After a solid first two rounds, the Philadelphia Phillies may have just made the biggest splash of day two of the 2013 MLB Draft, drafting Manatee HS, Fla. OF/1B Cord Sandberg over 30 picks later than both Baseball America (no. 40) and MLB.com (no. 56) projected the youngster to go.
Despite some of the baseball experts’ predictions, Sandberg was still on the board by the time the Phillies drafted at pick no. 89. And they made the incredibly intelligent move of swiping him up, as Sandberg, if he so chooses, could be a pretty solid major leaguer.
There is, however, one caveat with Sandberg, and it could perhaps be the reason as to why the talented 18-year-old fell to the third round: there is no certainty Sandberg will choose to play baseball.
A two-sport athlete at Manatee HS, Sandberg has a standing offer to quarterback at Mississippi State if he so chooses. He also now has the option to become a major league outfielder or first baseman if he doesn’t mind spending some time in the minors.
Sandberg has been described as a toolsy outfielder with raw power potential. In fact, on scouting reports, Sandberg projects as a 6 on the traditional 2/8 scale, meaning he has the ability for above average power. In hitting, running, fielding and arm strength, Sandberg projects as a 5, which is average.
But it is that power on a 6’2, 215 lb high schooler that is intriguing, and it is certainly something that will have the Phillies excited as he traverses through the minor leagues. Not to mention, the size has garnered Sandberg comparisons to Josh Hamilton.
And if Sandberg does choose to sign with the Phillies and does end up being anything like Hamilton, hitting 40 home runs in a season, well, then the Phillies may have just gotten the biggest steal of these early rounds of the draft.