The Phillies are next in our series looking at the five largest bonuses each team has given to amateur prospects…
- Gavin Floyd, $4.2MM (2001)
- Pat Burrell, $3.15MM (1998)
- Brett Myers, $2.05MM (1999)
- Cole Hamels, $2MM (2002)
- Chase Utley, $1.78MM (2000)
Philadelphia managed to land an above-average big leaguer with each of those bonuses, but unfortunately Floyd developed into that player with another team. Taken fourth overall in 2001, he pitched to a 6.96 ERA with 6.2 K/9 and 5.3 BB/9 in 108.2 innings with the Phillies before being traded to the White Sox (along with Gio Gonzalez) for Freddy Garcia in December 2006.
As the first overall pick in 1998, Burrell's deal paved the way for the mega-deals we see now. The $3.15MM bonus was part of a five-year, $8MM major league contract, an unheard of amount for a draftee back then. Burrell reached the big leagues less than two years after being drafted, and was a fixture in the Phillies' lineup for the better part of a decade. He hit .257/.367/.485 with 251 homers in seven years with Philadelphia before departing for the Rays as a free agent after the 2008 season.
Myers was the 12th overall pick in 1999 and made his big league debut in July 2002. He made 30+ starts every year from 2003-2006, and overall pitched to a 4.40 ERA with 7.5 K/9 and 3.1 BB/9 in 183 starts and 57 relief appearances with the Phillies. He, of course, signed with the Astros as a free agent last winter.
Hamels is yet another first round success story, reaching the majors less than four years after being drafted 17th overall. He owns a 3.53 ERA with 8.5 K/9 and 2.4 BB/9 in 149 career starts, taking home World Series MVP honors in 2008. More money well spent.
Might as well save the best for last. Utley was the 15th overall pick in 2000 and first reached the big leagues in 2003. He's a .293/.380/.514 career hitter at a premium up-the-middle position, earning five consecutive trips to the All Star Game (2006-2010) and three top eight finishes in the NL MVP voting (2006, 2007, 2009) in his career. Since Utley's first full season in '06, only Albert Pujols (42.6) and Joe Mauer (33.8) can top his 30.8 WAR.