The latest MLB Mock Draft ties the Phillies with the Tar Heels Star

The latest MLB Mock Draft ties the Phillies with the Tar Heels Star

The Philadelphia Phillies have a star-studded team and the best record in the National League. But, that stocked roster also has a certain age, and the window to bring a World Series title to Philly won’t stay open forever.

One way to extend it is to hit on a player who can help him soon in the Major League Baseball Draft.

ESPN recently posted its first two-round mock draft, which includes competitive balance rounds after the first round and second round. The first round of the draft is set for July 14 in Fort Worth, Texas as part of the All-Star weekend festivities.

The Phillies have the no. 27 in the first round and the no. 63 in the second round.

In the first round, ESPN has the Phillies selecting North Carolina outfielder Vance Honeycutt.

The 21-year-old from Salisbury, NC is a junior-eligible player who was previously drafted in the 20th round by the San Francisco Giants three years ago. He passed on that and went to UNC.

He had his best offensive season in 2024 as he slashed .312/.407/.700/1,107 with 12 doubles, two triples, 27 home runs and 67 RBI. He also stole 27 bases.

ESPN pointed out that one of the reasons Honeycutt may go down is swing-and-miss issues at the plate. He struck out 81 times and walked 36 times this season.

Where he can be of serious interest to teams is on defense. He is a two-time ACC Defensive Player of the Year as he had a .987 fielding percentage and recorded four assists. When he won the award in 2023, he did so while missing the last 10 games due to injury.

He helped the Tar Heels go 48-16 in 2024 with a 22-8 record in ACC action. UNC won the regional, hosted a Super Regional against West Virginia and won both games to advance to the Men’s College World Series.

In Omaha, the Tar Heels defeated ACC rival Virginia before falling to Tennessee and losing to Florida State, leading to their elimination.

Right now, the Phillies’ top-rated prospect is Justin Crawford, ranked No. 4 by MLB Pipeline. The son of former Major League star Carl Crawford is in High-A and projected to reach the Majors by 2026.

The Phillies were hooked on Tennessee first baseman Blake Burke in the second round. The Volunteers advanced to the championship series at the MCWS.

Burke could be seen as a long-term replacement at first base, even though current starter Bryce Harper likely has a few seasons ahead of him. The lefty has power as he just hit his 20th home run of the season in the MCWS. He can also play cornerback.