Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Phils sign pair of draft picks

-Courtesy of the Philadelphia Phillies

Righthander Julian Sampson and outfielder Cedric Johnson, the Phillies’ 12th and 19th round selections, respectively, in the 2007 First-Year Player Draft were signed by the club today, Marti Wolever, Director of Scouting, announced.

“We are very pleased to come to an agreement with Julian, who we think has the potential to be a middle-of-the-rotation starter in the big leagues,” said Wolever. “He has athleticism, aptitude and a plus fastball with a chance to have a plus breaking ball in the future.”

Sampson, 18, went 7-1 with a 1.88 ERA in nine starts for Skyline High School in Sammamish, Wash., en route to being named the Class 3A Player of the Year by the Washington State Baseball Coaches Association. Sampson was ranked 43rd on Baseball America’s list of the Top 300 high school players in the country.

This summer, the 6-foot-5 Sampson pitched for Lakeside, an American Legion team in Washington, and went 3-2 with a team-best 1.61 ERA in six starts, including two no-hitters. He pitched three complete games and struck out 37 batters in 34.2 innings.

Johnson, also 18, hit .410 with 11 doubles, six triples, five home runs and 40 RBI in 21 games for Thatcher High School. A left-handed hitter, Johnson measures up at 6-foot-2, 175 pounds and will be the third member of his family to play professional baseball. His older brother, Elliot, is a second baseman for triple-A Durham in the Devil Rays’ organization and his other brother, Leon, is an outfielder in the Cubs’ minor league system.

“Cedric has a chance to be an offensive-producing corner outfielder,” Wolever said. “We obviously spent some time on him due to the fact that he has two brothers in professional baseball.”

With Sampson and Johnson signed, the Phillies have agreed to terms with 30 of their 51 selections from June’s draft.

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