Bohm gets new deal, peek at his fu­ture home

The Mercury (Pottstown, PA) - - SPORTS - By Rob Par­ent rpar­ent@21st-cen­tu­ry­ @Reluc­tan­tSE on Twit­ter

PHILADEL­PHIA » Much as he has to hone his in­nate base­ball gifts, Alec Bohm needs to de­velop his in­ter­view tech­nique a bit.

The Phillies’ first-round draft se­lec­tion (No. 3 over­all) agreed to terms with the club and was in­tro­duced Tues­day in a press con­fer­ence. Bohm re­port­edly has agreed to a $5.85 mil­lion sign­ing bonus, leav­ing nearly $1 mil­lion of his slot­ted bonus money to ap­ply to other signees.

It is the 6-foot-5, 225-pound third base­man out of Wichita State that’s ex­pected to be the fu­ture Bohm of that group, of course.

Af­ter his first per­sonal talk with the draftee, Phillies man­ager Gabe Kapler called Bohm, “a big, strong guy with pres­ence in the (bat­ter’s) box . ... And when he walks into a room, you know he’s there.”

But Kapler and ev­ery­one else who talked to Bohm Tues­day would read­ily ad­mit that pres­ence doesn’t nec­es­sar­ily come through with vol­ume. At least not yet.

Asked how he felt with the new con­tract and a first ap­point­ment to Clearwater, Bohm said, “Pretty ex­cited . ... Very grate­ful for the op­por­tu­nity to be a Phillie. I’m ready to get go­ing.”

This 21-year-old na­tive of Omaha, Neb. comes across as a pitcher of few words, and none of them are loud. For Kapler, how­ever, that’s hardly an is­sue.

“He’s a qui­eter guy and he’s go­ing to lead by ex­am­ple,” Kapler said. “Not with a big voice, or as a rah-rah guy, but cer­tainly you can tell he’s go­ing to to go about his busi­ness in the right way and he’s got that pres­ence that other play­ers will fol­low.”

Bohm, a sec­ond-team All-Amer­i­can as a ju­nior for the Shock­ers, hit .339 with 16 home runs and 14 dou­bles for them, col­lect­ing 55 RBIs and 57 runs scored. He also stole nine bases and posted a .436 on-base per­cent­age. He cer­tainly pos­sesses home run power, but the Phillies liked him for his over­all of­fen­sive game.

“For me, strik­ing out is kind of a waste of an out,” Bohm said. “So I re­ally hate strik­ing out. The ap­proach is real sim­ple, it’s try to put the ball in play. I’m not re­ally too wor­ried about hit­ting a home run with two strikes. I just want to put it in play.”

Asked what he thought of the friendly con­fines of Cit­i­zens Bank Park on a day when he took his first pre-game bat­ting prac­tice with vet­eran grown-ups, Bohm said, “I def­i­nitely heard it’s a hit­ter friendly park. We got to go out there the other day and see it and walk around. I like it.”

Can’t put it any bet­ter than that. But Bohm has shown to be the type of player with the kind of ethic who should keep get­ting bet­ter in all facets of his game.

“His big­gest im­prove­ment over­all was in his gen­eral ap­proach on the field,” Phillies scout­ing di­rec­tor Johnny Al­maraz said. “His work ethic that I saw and paid at­ten­tion to from the Cape (Cod Sum­mer League) to Wichita State ... he was al­ways do­ing pre-game work, whether it was his stretch­ing pro­gram, his long-toss pro­gram, his at­ten­tion dur­ing BP to field­ing ground balls.

“His work ethic that he showed me from the Cape un­til the time we selected him was re­ally, re­ally good. That’s one of the things I look for as far as in­tan­gi­bles are con­cerned. That

was sold when I met him and scouted him un­til the very end. I be­lieved he was the player for us.”

*** NOTES » The Phillies have signed 20 of their 38 draftees now, in­clud­ing four of their top eight (Bohm, out­fielder Matt Vier­ling and short­stops Lo­gan Sim­mons and Seth Lan­caster). ... Al­maraz said the im­me­di­ate Class A de­vel­op­ment plan for Bohm is sim­i­lar to that of last year’s top-round pick, Univer­sity of Vir­ginia out­fielder Adam Hase­ley. Bohm will meet the Phillies de­vel­op­ment staff and get some Gulf Coast League work in be­fore go­ing to Wil­liamsport and fin­ish­ing out the short sea­son there. “Then hope­fully,” Al­maraz added, “he fin­ishes up at Lake­wood.” ... Bohm on los­ing 15 to 20 pounds in col­lege: “It just kind of came with grow­ing and ma­tur­ing and spend­ing three years at Wichita State, where you’re on a daily rou­tine; prac­tice for four hours and lifting and do­ing all that and eat­ing well. It just kind of dis­ap­peared a lit­tle bit.”


Phillies am­a­teur scout­ing di­rec­tor Johnny Al­maraz, left, helps wel­come Phillies’ top draft pick Alec Bohm to Cit­i­zens Bank Park Tues­day.

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