Phils draft switch-hitting prep outfielder
Taken No. 75 overall, Dugan projects as center fielder
Kelly Dugan already knows something about celebrity life.
His father, Dennis, is a big name in Hollywood, directing the Adam Sandler hits "Big Daddy," "Happy Gilmore" and "You Don't Mess with the Zohan."
Now Kelly may become a big name in Philadelphia, as the Phillies selected the 18-year-old center fielder with their first pick, 75th overall, in the 2009 First-Year Player Draft. The Phillies had lost their first-round pick to the Mariners after signing left fielder Raul Ibanez to a three-year contract in the offseason.
The 6-foot-3 Dugan, who hails from Sherman Oaks, Calif., has at least an average arm, the potential to become at least an average runner, and, most importantly, power from both sides of the plate, Phillies scouting director Marti Wolever said.
Perhaps that's not surprising, since according to a Los Angeles Times report, Dugan began switch-hitting when he was 8 years old.
"He's got a great swing and a great approach," said Wolever, who projected that Dugan could average 20-plus homers in his prime.
Dugan hit .379 with eight home runs and 35 RBIs as a senior at Notre Dame High School this year. In his junior campaign, he hit .438 with four homers and 28 RBIs.
But it was the 18-year-old's mental qualities that caught the attention of the Philadelphia brass.
"The makeup is a separator," Wolever said. "This young man's got tremendous makeup, and we've found over the years [that] guys with great makeup really achieve what they're supposed to achieve, and we think he will do that."
The Phillies, though, have to make sure they can secure Dugan, who has already signed a letter of intent with Pepperdine University. Wolever is confident, especially since Dugan spent last weekend working out at Citizens Bank Park.
"It's always a concern," Wolever said. "But we have a good relationship here. Our area scout has done a tremendous job in the home. Our regional supervisor has gone in as well as one of our national guys. And again, the family came here, and they were very cordial and very receptive and really enjoyed their visit here in Philadelphia."
For a while, the Phillies were unsure whether Dugan would be available when they were on the clock -- "it was kind of nip and tuck right to the end," Wolever said -- but his selection is emblematic of the club's plan entering the Draft: Choose the best player, regardless of positional needed, and improve organizational hitting. The Phillies have a bevy of outfield talent in their Minor League system, but that was not a concern.
"It was the best option for us at this point in time," Wolever said. "He was very high on our board and we are very pleased to have him."
Round 3, Kyrell Hudson, OF, Evergreen (Wash) HS:
In the third round, the Phillies selected Hudson, another high school outfielder, at No. 106. The 18-year-old is blessed with tremendous athletic ability and plus speed.
At 6-foot-2, 185 pounds, scouts have compared Hudson's body to Mike Cameron and Curtis Granderson's. A good defensive center fielder and prime basestealing threat, Hudson has also shown power potential, but will need to develop more consistency to find success at the plate.
David Gurian-Peck is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.