Report: Phillies accuse draft picks of wrongdoing

Report: Phillies accuse draft picks of wrongdoing
February 20, 2014, 11:30 am

The Phillies drafted left-handed pitcher Ben Wetzler in the fifth round and outfielder Jason Monda in the sixth round in 2013. (AP)

CLEARWATER, Fla. – Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. had no comment Thursday morning on a Baseball America report that said the team has accused Oregon State pitcher Ben Wetzler of violating NCAA rules.

“I can’t talk about it,” Amaro said. “It’s an investigation.”

Amaro directed inquires to assistant GM Marti Wolever, who heads up scouting for the club.

The Phillies drafted Wetzler in the fifth round last year, but did not sign him. According to the Baseball America report, the Phillies told the NCAA that Wetzler violated rules forbidding the use of an agent. The law is seldom enforced as draft picks often use “advisers” during negotiations.

In baseball circles, the Phillies are being portrayed as vindictive for their actions. Wetzler, now a senior at Oregon State, was not allowed to pitch in last weekend’s college opener as the NCAA investigation continues. A ruling on his eligibility is expected in the coming days, according to Baseball America.

According to Baseball America, the Phillies also accused Washington State pitcher/outfielder Jason Monda of using an agent after he spurned the team and returned to college. Monda was the Phillies’ sixth-round pick last year.

Efforts to reach Wolever on Thursday were not immediately successful.