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Draft

Second round pick Imhof prepared for transition to minors

Posted by Jay Floyd, Fri, July 25, 2014 07:30 AM Comments: 0

MattImhof

Matt Imhof, Image- MiLB.com

When lefty pitcher Matt Imhof was drafted by the Phillies with the 47th overall pick this year, it came as a surprise to the young hurler.  The transition to the professional ranks isn’t something that has surprised the 20-year-old though, as he feels he knew exactly what to expect.

The Cal Poly product took time after the draft to wrap up his final exams, then headed straight to Philadelphia to sign with the Phils, who weren’t really on his personal radar as a team that might select him in the draft until minutes before the pick was announced.

“We were watching from the first pick and I got a call from my advisor at, like, pick 45 and he said, ‘The Phillies are going to pick you at 47.’   I got that call and let my family know and pick 47 came up and my name flashed across the screen and everyone stood up and screamed and my dad knocked a chair over,” an excited Imhof explained.

“There was a level of surprise. I didn’t really know who was going to take me, but I hadn’t really talked to the Phillies especially leading up to the draft. I had talked to them early, kind of in the fall. They kind of left me alone. Not that they didn’t want me or anything, I just didn’t know. And it just happened to be that and they said they were hot on me from the beginning. It was just one of those things where they were playing their cards close and it worked out,” Imhof added. Continue reading Second round pick Imhof prepared for transition to minors

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Phillies Nation – Episode 10 – Draft, Matt Stairs, Chasing Dreams exhibit

Posted by Brian Michael, Wed, June 11, 2014 08:07 PM Comments: 0

This week Pat and Corey discuss Ken Giles’ promotion, analyze the Phillies draft and offer their perspective on the upcoming schedule. Speaking of the draft, Rudy Mezzy interviews Neumann-Goretti star Josh Ockimey who was recently drafted by the Boston Red Sox.

Natalie returns with the second part (of three) of her interview with Phillies broadcaster Matt Stairs. Tommy Greene explains the conditioning needed for pitchers to last a full nine innings. And, Ryann moderates Batters Inbox featuring fan questions.

Finally, we have an exclusive tour of the Chasing Dreams exhibit on immigrants and baseball at the National American Jewish History Museum in Philadelphia.

Phillies Nation is presented by BQ Basement Systems and was filmed on location at Shibe Vintage Sports.

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Phillies Sign First Round Pick Aaron Nola

Posted by Pat Egan, Tue, June 10, 2014 03:04 PM Comments: 3

The Phillies have come to terms with their first round pick, Aaron Nola. The Phillies took Nola seventh overall in last Thursday’s draft as he became the first of many college draft picks by the Phillies. Nola’s father A.J. Nola has said that the contract includes a $3.3 million dollar signing bonus, which is slot value for the seventh overall pick.

Nola, who was the LSU ace, compiled impressive numbers this past season with the Tigers. In 16 games this season Nola went 11-1 with a 1.47 ERA (16th in NCAA). He struck out 134 batters (2nd in NCAA) in 116.1 innings pitched. Hitters batted just .172 off of him this season, and his .83 WHIP was good for fourth among NCAA pitchers.

Scouts believe that Nola will be the first player from the 2014 draft class to reach the majors. Because of this I wouldn’t be surprised to see him thrust right into the struggling High A Clearwater Threshers rotation. The Threshers have struggled mightily this season with a record of 14-49 and the worst team ERA in the Florida State League (4.89).

With AJ Burnett, Kyle Kendrick, and Roberto Hernández on the last years of their contracts, and Cliff Lee the topic of impending trade talk, the Phillies will probably look to fast track Nola to the majors as they will likely have a pressing need for starting pitching come next season.

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Phillies Day 2 MLB Draft Running Updates

Posted by Jay Floyd, Fri, June 06, 2014 03:30 PM Comments: 18

The Phillies continued their new approach on the second day of the MLB amateur draft, taking college players with their opening five selections of the day.

Taken in the 3rd round (81st overall) was outfielder Aaron Brown, out of Pepperdine.  In his junior season this year, the California native posted a .310/.349/.539 slash line with team highs in homers (12) and RBI (47) for the Waves.  Also a lefty hurler, Brown tallied a 12-1 record with a 2.07 ERA and an 8.28 K/9 mark in 16 games.  Brown, a left-handed batter, was drafted by Cleveland last year and by Pittsburgh out of high school, but did not sign.

The Phils’ 4th round selection (112th overall) was Chris Oliver, a right-handed pitcher out of Arkansas.  In his junior season, the six-foot-four 180-pounder posted a 9-4 record with a 2.51 ERA and a 5.69 K/9 mark in 16 starts.  Oliver was in the news recently, as he was charged with DWI just a couple days ago.  A 20-year-old, Oliver is likely in store for some considerable legal concerns stemming from this week’s arrest.

In the 5th round (142nd overall) the Phillies took Rhys Hoskins out of Sacramento State. In 59 games this year, the six-foot-four 225-pounder sported a .319/.428/.573 slash line as a junior. Hoskins, who was a top performer in the Cape Cod League last summer, graduated from Jesuit High School in California, the same school attended by two other Phillies prospects, Dan Child and Zach Green.

More updates… Continue reading Phillies Day 2 MLB Draft Running Updates

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Phillies Refine Draft Approach, Take Two College Pitchers Early

Posted by Jay Floyd, Fri, June 06, 2014 08:00 AM Comments: 7

The Phillies altered their typical early round approach this year, going with college hurlers for their top two selections. Choosing 7th overall, their highest pick in 13 years, the Phils chose LSU junior righty Aaron Nola. Additionally, in the 2nd round, the team picked lefty Matt Imhof out of Cal Poly with the 47th overall pick.

Nola, a First Team All-American, posted an 11-1 record along with a 1.47 ERA and a 10.37 K/9 mark in 16 starts. The Louisiana native enjoyed a tremendous college career, twice winning SEC Player of the Year honors while compiling a 30-6 overall record with a 2.09 ERA in three seasons. Nola, 21, stands six-foot-one and weighs 196 pounds. He is often praised for his precision control and is projected as a top-of-the-rotation pitcher.

Nola was previously selected out of high school in the 22nd round of the 2011 draft by Toronto, but did not sign. His college coach, Paul Mainieri, also coached Brad Lidge at Notre dame.

Recent players selected with the 7th overall pick include the Mets’ Matt Harvey in 2010, the Braves’ Mike Minor in 2009, the Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw in 2006 and Troy Tulowitzki of the Rockies in 2005.

Readers can view video footage of Nola by clicking here.  Check out the media player below to see Nola and his loved ones watching his draft announcement.

Continue reading Phillies Refine Draft Approach, Take Two College Pitchers Early

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Minor League Rundown: Reviewing Last Year’s Draft Class

Posted by Jay Floyd, Mon, June 02, 2014 08:00 AM Comments: 7

As this year’s amateur draft draws near, this week’s minor league rundown will focus exclusively on last year’s draft selections.

With only some of the 2013 class actually playing with full-season clubs, many of the Phillies’ 2013 picks will be slated to open their season with short-season Class A Williamsport after spending the past couple months in extended spring training.  Players on that list include 3rd round pick Cord Sandberg, 4th round selection Jake Sweaney as well as 7th rounder Trey Williams.

Here’s a look at how the active draft class from last year is performing this season.

JP Crawford, Image- Jay Floyd

Last year’s top draft choice (16th overall) J.P. Crawford has quickly shot to the top of Phillies prospect rankings and will be among the top 25 prospects in all of baseball as those lists get refined and updated in the coming weeks and months.  The 19-year-old shortstop has looked tremendous in his time as a pro. Less than one year removed from high school, the lefty hitting Crawford is batting .322 with 14 doubles, three home runs, 17 RBI and nine steals in 47 games with Class A Lakewood.  Having shown well-rounded defensive skills as well, the California native appears to be quite a get by the Phils, who selected Crawford with their highest pick in 12 years.

Second rounder Andrew Knapp, a catcher, is still recovering from Tommy John surgery that took place last October and hasn’t played defense this season.  The 22-year-old has struggled as a designated hitter for Class A Advanced Clearwater, sporting a .157/.222/.205 slash line through 23 games.  Knapp, a UC Berkley product, is a leader on the field and should be able to turn things around at the plate as his overall health improves.

Third baseman Jan Hernandez (first name pronounced like “John”) , taken in the 3rd round (96th overall), spent a short stint with Class A Lakewood this year as injuries dictated a brief need.  The 19-year-old righty batter posted a .145/.217/.255 slash line in 17 games before being reassigned to extended spring camp.  Expect to see the Puerto Rico native with Williamsport later this month. Continue reading Minor League Rundown: Reviewing Last Year’s Draft Class

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Phillies Return Munson to Diamondbacks

Posted by Pat Egan, Tue, March 18, 2014 08:15 PM Comments: 0

 

(MLB.com)

(MLB.com)

Jim Salisbury of Comcast Sportsnet is reporting that the Phillies are returning RHP Kevin Munson back to the Arizona Diamondbacks. Munson, who was originally a 4th round pick in the 2010 draft out of James Madison University, was taken by the Phillies in the Rule 5 draft back in December.

Munson was a closer in college, and the Phillies thought they would be able to get a live arm that could bolster the bullpen. In 5 games this spring (7 IP) Munson posted a 1.29 ERA, but walked 8 batters. With Munson being returned to Arizona it  leaves the Phillies’ current big league roster at 31 players.

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Hewitt, Collier, and the 2008 MLB Draft’s First Round

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Fri, September 20, 2013 02:00 PM Comments: 2

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-KmC8KTiPPZs/TZwBuoj1xmI/AAAAAAAAC98/lb9rupEcguA/s200/Hewitt.JPG

Anthony Hewitt, Photo by Jay Floyd

When Tim Beckham took the field last night for the Tampa Bay Rays, he became the 34th first round or supplemental first round pick from the 2008 MLB Draft to reach the Major Leagues. It took the former number-one overall pick six seasons, including two-and-a-half seasons in Triple-A, to have enough seasoning to join the Tampa Bay Rays. Somewhat surprisingly, Beckham is the first player drafted by the Rays since 2007 to reach the Major Leagues.

To be fair, the Rays did draft Zach Rosscup in 2009 and Derek Dietrich in 2010, players who reached the Majors but did so after being traded by the Rays. Compared to the Rays’ seemingly-paltry tally of just three players drafted after 2007 reaching the Majors, the Phillies have had 20 (seven from 2007′s class, nine from 2008′s class, two from 2009′s class, one from 2010′s class, and one from 2011′s class). Some, Brian Schlitter, Travis d’Arnaud, Michael Taylor, Jarred Cosart, Josh Zeid among others, reached the big leagues with other teams after being traded with others, including 2007 30th round pick, bullpen impact arm Jake Diekman, slugging 2009 20th round pick Darin Ruf, and 2011′s fourth round pick Cody Asche reached the Bigs with the Phils.

Diekman and Ruf are examples of the Phillies doing well in the later rounds of the draft and this is an area of the draft the Phillies have excelled in discovering value. For example, the Phillies found a slew of Major League-caliber bullpen arms after the tenth round of the 2008 draft: Michael Stutes (11th), B.J. Rosenberg (13th), and Michael Schwimer (14th). And the 2008 crop also produced Vance Worley (3rd), Jonathan Pettibone (3rd), and Cosart (38th).  But it was the big misses in the first round of that draft that is one of the big reasons the Phillies are hurting in 2013.

Continue reading Hewitt, Collier, and the 2008 MLB Draft’s First Round

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PN Interview: Mark Leiter Jr. Talks Draft, Baseball Pedigree, Pro Transition

Posted by Jay Floyd, Sun, August 25, 2013 11:00 AM Comments: 0

With family and local ties, Mark Leiter Jr. is one of the best stories out of this year’s Phillies draft class.  The son of former Phils hurler Mark Leiter Sr., nephew of former big leaguer Al Leiter as well as Kurt Leiter who was also a pro pitcher and a product of Toms River North High School and the New Jersey Institute of Technology, Leiter Jr. has been enjoying success since he was selected in the 22nd round this year.

In 13 outings to start his professional career, the 22-year-old had gone 2-0 with a 1.86 ERA before earning a promotion from the Gulf Coast League Phillies to Class A Lakewood recently.  Leiter, who stands six feet tall and weighs around 195 pounds, has not allowed a run and has struck out 12 while walking only two in two starts (11 innings) since joining the BlueClaws.

Last week I spoke with the right-hander, who grew up as a Phillies fan, about his draft experience, coming from a baseball pedigree and his family’s hobby of collecting baseball cards.  Read ahead for that full interview.

- Can you take me through the draft process this year?  How were you tracking it?  And were the Phillies on your radar or were they a surprise to take you?

Well, the Phillies were the team I hoped would draft me.  They had seen me a few times over the last couple years in college and, so they were keeping tabs on me and how I was doing.  I think a decent amount of different scouts saw me, from the Phillies.  So, we were hoping it was the Phillies.  

On the day of the draft, I didn’t know what was going to happen.  You never know.  We watched the first day, I watched the second day with my family and on the third day, my dad took me and my grandfather and my cousin golfing, so we didn’t watch at all.  So, we were playing golf and I got the phone call and it was nice.  It was a good experience, I was just with my dad and my grandfather and my cousin, playing golf.  It was definitely cool. Continue reading PN Interview: Mark Leiter Jr. Talks Draft, Baseball Pedigree, Pro Transition

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PN Interview: JP Crawford on Promotion to Lakewood, Advice From Big Leaguers

Posted by Jay Floyd, Fri, August 23, 2013 11:00 AM Comments: 0

JP Crawford, Image- Jay Floyd

Last week, this year’s top Phillies draft pick shortstop J.P. Crawford was promoted two levels, from the Gulf Coast League to the Class A Lakewood BlueClaws. After leading the rookie level league in batting for a considerable stretch and posting a .345 average with a homer, 19 RBI and 12 stolen bases through 39 games, the 18-year-old lefty batter was offered a bigger challenge of playing in the South Atlantic League.

The move made it clear that another much hyped shortstop, Roman Quinn (2nd round, 2011), wouldn’t be able to return from his broken wrist before season’s end, but the silver lining of Crawford’s addition to the ‘Claws’ roster was certainly welcome.

Crawford, who was selected 16th overall by the Phils, stands six-foot-two and weighs about 180 pounds. He’s the third Phillies first round pick out of Lakewood High School in California to play for the Lakewood BlueClaws. The other two are catcher Travis d’Arnaud and righty pitcher Shane Watson, who is currently at home nursing a shoulder injury.

This week I had the opportunity to speak with J.P. once again (previous interview HERE). Topics included sharing good news with his long-time friend and childhood teammate Watson, the transition to the new level, advice he’s received and more. Read ahead for that quick interview.

- When I spoke with you about a month ago, you were saying that the transition to the pro’s had been an easy one for you. Now that you’ve been promoted and taken two steps, what do you feel about transitioning up two levels now?

I think I just have to get more comfortable with the team and stuff. It’s the same game. I just have to go out there and have fun.

- Do you have thoughts on the competition between the Gulf Coast League and here in the Sally League right now?

I’m loving this way better. The competition’s better and it’s more competitive here. Continue reading PN Interview: JP Crawford on Promotion to Lakewood, Advice From Big Leaguers

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