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2012 Top 25 Prospects

Prospect Nation 2012: #11 OF Tyson Gillies

Posted by Jay Floyd, Thu, February 16, 2012 12:00 PM Comments: 1

Having dealt with a series of significant injuries since joining the Phillies organization in the December 2009 trade that sent Cliff Lee to Seattle, outfielder Tyson Gillies has become somewhat of an afterthought. Having only played in 31 total regular season games since joining the Philadelphia organization, the lefty batting speedster has not been able to prove himself worthy of the high praise that led to his inclusion in that deal and earned him a spot among the players in the 2009 MLB Futures Game.

Growing up in British Columbia, Gillies played both hockey and baseball. However, in his teenage years, Gillies felt that it was best to choose one sport to focus on and, as determined by his size at the time, he selected baseball. As he progressed as a player, his love and passion for that great game developed along with his talents and he has never looked back.

A 25th round draft selection of the Mariners in the 2006 amateur draft, Gillies began his professional career the following year, as a member of the Arizona League Mariners and later with Everett of the Class A Northwest League. Combined at the two levels, Gillies posted a .255 batting average with 11 steals and a .688 OPS in 39 games. Continue reading Prospect Nation 2012: #11 OF Tyson Gillies

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Prospect Nation 2012: #12 RHP Lisalberto Bonilla

Posted by Jay Floyd, Tue, February 14, 2012 03:30 PM Comments: 1

Righty hurler Lisalberto Bonilla was one of the fastest rising prospects in the Phillies organization last season. With an All-Star campaign for Class A Lakewood, the 21-year-old built on an already impressive two seasons as a pro, as he showed the world that it’s not just Philadelphia’s well-regarded “Baby Aces” that should have folks excited about the organization’s developing young arms.

The 6-foot-1-inch 170-pounder was signed by the Phillies as an amateur free agent in December 2008. Bonilla began his professional career the following year with the Dominican Summer League team, posting a 6-2 record with a remarkable 1.41 ERA and 2 complete game shutouts in 11 starts.

In 2010, Bonilla split his time between the Gulf Coast League Phillies and the short-season Williamsport Crosscutters. As a starter in the GCL, Bonilla went 2-1 with a 1.95 ERA with 38 strike outs and 5 walks in 32 1/3 innings. Continue reading Prospect Nation 2012: #12 RHP Lisalberto Bonilla

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Prospect Nation 2012: #13 RHP Michael Schwimer

Posted by Jay Floyd, Mon, February 13, 2012 11:58 AM Comments: 10

Righty hurler Michael Schwimer had another great minor league season in 2011 and earned a spot on the big league roster. With nothing left to prove in the developmental ranks, Schwimer will get a considerable look in spring training with the Phillies this year.

Selected in the 14th round of the 2008 draft, Schwimer signed quickly and made his pro debut with short-season Williamsport, posting a 1.96 ERA in 22 relief outings. A year later, Schwimer skipped Class A Lakewood and began his 2009 season at Class A Advanced Clearwater, where he went 2-1 with 20 saves and a 2.85 ERA in 48 games. He earned a promotion to Reading, of the Double A Eastern League, by season’s end.

The Virginia native, who will turn 26-years-old next week, began the 2010 season back with Reading where he posted a 5-3 record with 11 saves, a 3.60 ERA and a .225 batting average against in 32 appearances. Continue reading Prospect Nation 2012: #13 RHP Michael Schwimer

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Prospect Nation 2012: #14 OF Larry Greene Jr.

Posted by Jay Floyd, Sat, February 11, 2012 10:11 AM Comments: 5

The Phillies’ top draft pick from 2011, Larry Greene Jr., has the type of power that already has many within the organization and around baseball buzzing. After inking his first professional contract close to the signing deadline last year, Greene Jr. has yet to play in his first organized professional contest. The power hitting outfielder from Berrien County High School in Georgia is expected to make his pro debut in just a few short months.

Greene Jr., who got a $1 million signing bonus, worked out with the Gulf Coast League Phillies late in the season last year and spent some time at the Florida Instructional League as well. Despite sitting out with a groin injury, the lefty batting slugger was able to take in plenty of batting practice and put himself on display for the brass in attendance to see many of their newly drafted prospects. Continue reading Prospect Nation 2012: #14 OF Larry Greene Jr.

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Prospect Nation 2012: #15 RHP Austin Hyatt

Posted by Jay Floyd, Thu, February 09, 2012 10:05 AM Comments: 4

Right-handed pitcher Austin Hyatt has been a bit of an underrated talent since joining the organization in 2009. Often considered old for each level he pitches in, Hyatt has simply excelled in his career and has recorded strong stats at every level. The University of Alabama graduate had another great season in 2011, proving to be the ace of the Double-A Reading Phillies’ staff.

An Eastern League All-Star, Hyatt posted an overall record of 12-6 with a 3.85 ERA and a .235 batting average against last year in 28 starts. Hyatt tallied tremendous numbers in the second half, to help his team reach the post-season. In 10 starts after the All-Star break, Hyatt posted a 5-1 record with a 2.78 ERA and a .221 batting average against. Continue reading Prospect Nation 2012: #15 RHP Austin Hyatt

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Prospect Nation 2012: #16 2B Cesar Hernandez

Posted by Jay Floyd, Mon, February 06, 2012 03:42 PM Comments: 4

Cesar Hernandez is a Venezuelan born infielder that was signed as an amateur free agent by the Phillies at the age of 16. Since then, Hernandez has proven to be sharp on defense with some outstanding speed on the bases and a productive bat. As the 5-foot-10-inch 160-pounder has shown in recent years, he’s deserving of considerable recognition as a rising infielder in the Phillies’ system.

Hernandez made his professional debut with the Venezuelan Summer League at the age of 17. In two seasons there, he tallied a .296 batting average with 3 HR and 45 RBI in 114 games.

The current Phillies 40-man roster member played with the Gulf Coast League Phillies in 2009, where he batted .267 with 5 doubles and a triple in 41 games. Continue reading Prospect Nation 2012: #16 2B Cesar Hernandez

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Prospect Nation 2012: #17 2B Harold Garcia

Posted by Jay Floyd, Sat, February 04, 2012 10:05 AM Comments: 4

Harold Garcia was signed as a free agent at the age of 17 back in 2004. The 5-foot-11-inch, 190-pounder got his professional career started with three seasons in the Venezuelan Summer League before heading to the United States to continue his ascent up the developmental ranks.

In three seasons playing in the VSL, Garcia’s offensive progression was evident, as he posted batting averages that increased annually- .226, .273, .296.

After arriving stateside, Garcia spent the 2008 season with the Gulf Coast League Phillies, where he batted .299 with 5 homers and a .907 OPS in 50 games, leading his club to the league championship.

In 2009, Garcia continued his winning ways, helping the Class A Lakewood BlueClaws lock down the South Atlantic League championship. As a member of the BlueClaws, Garcia finished third in the SAL with 42 stolen bases. He also batted .291 with 8 homers and 55 RBI with a .765 OPS in 118 games that season. Continue reading Prospect Nation 2012: #17 2B Harold Garcia

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Prospect Nation 2012: #18 LHP Jake Diekman

Posted by Jay Floyd, Wed, February 01, 2012 03:02 PM Comments: 1

Lefty reliever Jake Diekman raised his value a considerable amount in 2011. The 6-foot-4-inch 190-pounder was fresh off a dismal effort in the Arizona Fall League, over the off-season, when a revised focus and some simple adjustments to his loosening efforts breathed new life into the young hurler’s pro career.

After struggling in the Arizona Fall League in 2010, when he allowed 12 earned runs in 3 2/3 innings over 5 outings, Diekman refocused his approach on the mound. Diekman entered the 2011 season with a goal of throwing all his pitches for strikes and getting into a hitter’s mentality in order to mix up his approach toward the opposition. That approach helped the Phillies’ 30th round draft choice from 2007 compete against hitters at the higher levels of the minors. Continue reading Prospect Nation 2012: #18 LHP Jake Diekman

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Prospect Nation 2012: #19 3B Maikel Franco

Posted by Jay Floyd, Sat, January 28, 2012 02:03 PM Comments: 10

Maikel Franco has quickly caught plenty of attention around minor league baseball. The Dominican Republic native, whose name is pronounced similarly to Miquel, was signed by the Phillies in 2010 as an amateur free agent.

The 6-foot-1-inch 180-pounder began his pro career with the Gulf Coast League Phillies in 2010. As that club’s everyday third baseman, Franco posted respectable numbers for a 17-year-old making his professional debut (.222/.292/.330). It was Franco’s defense, however, that immediately began to get him noticed. With excellent reflexes and a top notch arm at the hot corner, Franco impressed many in his U.S. debut.

A year later, Franco began the season in extended spring training and later competed with the short-season Williamsport Crosscutters. The righty hitting Franco looked great against NY-Penn League competition, posting 2 homers, 28 RBI and a .274/.339/.389 line in 42 games before earning a promotion to Class A Lakewood.

Continue reading Prospect Nation 2012: #19 3B Maikel Franco

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Prospect Nation 2012: #20 RHP J.C. Ramirez

Posted by Jay Floyd, Wed, January 25, 2012 12:00 PM Comments: 2

For more than two years, righty hurler J.C. Ramirez has been primed to become an impact prospect in the Phillies system, but inconsistency seems to be preventing the Nicaragua native from truly proving himself as a dependable talent.

Last season, Ramirez spent the entire season in the Double-A Reading Phillies’ starting rotation, where he got off to a scorching hot start in April, going 4-0 with a 1.03 ERA and a .187 batting average against in 4 starts, but his output fizzled quite a bit after that. Ramirez posted an overall record of 11-13, an ERA of 4.50 and .258 batting average against in 26 starts for the R-Phils. After the All-Star break, Ramirez struggled considerably, tallying a 5.92 ERA and a .305 BAA in 10 outings. Continue reading Prospect Nation 2012: #20 RHP J.C. Ramirez

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