By Harry Allison

The only time the Phillies had the first overall draft pick, in 1998, they selected Pat Burrell.

They hope they are just as successful as getting Pat the Bat tonight through Saturday, when the 2016 MLB draft kicks off.

The Phillies could use as many quality hitters as possible in their system, although they also cannot be picky.

That is why many believe the Phillies will select Florida left-hander A.J. Puk with the first pick, while sources have indicated recently that they are focusing on hitters.

Here’s how the draft is shaping up for the Phillies, whose first selection is the No. 1 overall pick.

There is no consensus No. 1 pick, which is why the Phillies’ pick remains up in the air. Puk had been the smart bet since last fall, but the Phillies are looking at hitters because they might sign for less, which would allow the Phillies to use the money saved to acquire better talent in the later rounds.

The Phillies have narrowed their choices to these seven players: Barnegat (N.J.) High School left-hander Jason Groome, Mercer University outfielder Kyle Lewis, La Costa Canyon (Calif.) High School outfielder Mickey Moniak, Puk, Louisville outfielder Corey Ray, Chaminade (Calif.) College Prep outfielder Blake Rutherford and Tennessee third baseman Nick Senzel.


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