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Minors Notes & Quotes: Rupp, Dugan Injured, RHP Viza Speaks, More Transactions

Posted by Jay Floyd, Tue, April 15, 2014 08:00 AM Comments: 0

Monday was a busy day for roster moves in the Phillies’ organization.  On top of the news that Mike Adams would return to the Phillies at the expense of Luis Garcia being sent down to Triple-A, there were several notable transactions announced throughout the system.

Cameron Rupp, Image- Jay Floyd

Top catching prospect Cameron Rupp was placed on the disabled list with a strained oblique suffered in Sunday’s game.  The 25-year-old was batting .231 with four homers and eight RBI in nine games with the Triple-A IronPigs.  Sebastian Valle was promoted to Lehigh Valley from Double-A Reading to fill the void.

Other backstop moves: Chad Carman promoted to the Reading roster from Class A Advanced Clearwater, Deivi Grullon activated for Clearwater from extended spring training.

Also placed on the disabled list with an oblique strain for Lehigh Valley was infielder Andres Blanco.  The 30-year-old infielder was batting .273 with one RBI in nine contests in the young season.

Reading outfielder Kelly Dugan, who was hit on the left hand with a pitch on Sunday, tweeted on Monday evening that X-rays were negative and he expects to be out of action for a week.  The 23-year-old was hitting .233 with a home run and four RBI through 10 games. Continue reading Minors Notes & Quotes: Rupp, Dugan Injured, RHP Viza Speaks, More Transactions

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BlueClaws Quotables: Manager Greg Legg Talks New Season

Posted by Jay Floyd, Sun, April 13, 2014 08:00 PM Comments: 4

Lakewood manager Greg Legg, Image- Jay Floyd

Earlier this weekend, I sat down with Class A Lakewood manager Greg Legg, who has been in the Phillies organization for the past 33 years, after being drafted by the club in 1982.  He managed the BlueClaws in their inaugural season in 2001, managed Double-A Reading from 2002 to 2004, was the skipper for Class A Advanced Clearwater from 2005 through 2006 and managed short-season Class A Williamsport in 2007.  He then acted as hitting coach in Lakewood from 2008 through 2013.

The former infielder played in the big leagues for just a handful of games in 1986 and 1987.  He now grooms the Phillies’ stars of the future.

Greg spoke with me about the roles of some of his players including Gabriel Lino, Carlos Tocci, Samuel Hiciano and Willians Astudillo, the BlueClaws’ start to the new season, his own goals for this year plus plenty more. Read ahead for his thoughts.

-The team started the season on the road before having its opening home stand this weekend.  What were your thoughts on how the team opened the season, winning two of six contests?

For what happened on the road, we played pretty good baseball.  We could have won five of the six.  J.P. (Crawford) missed two games.  He could have been the difference in at least one of them.  But, I thought we played pretty good ball on the road trip.

-The BlueClaws have just a small amount of returning names this year.  What can you tell me about how you expect those guys to help the team this year?

Well, (Carlos) Tocci was so young last year, he almost had to come back here this year and he should patrol center field for us pretty good and get the job done out there.  And we’re hoping he’s a little stronger, he’s a bit heavier- six or seven pounds heavier- so far, he’s swung the bat really good.  He hasn’t gotten much results for it, but he’s driven some balls better than last season.  I look for him to have a pretty good year.  Larry Greene got out of the gate slow last year, joined us (late) and didn’t have the year that he wanted and he’s back here repeating and, hopefully, this year he’ll have a nice season for us. Continue reading BlueClaws Quotables: Manager Greg Legg Talks New Season

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PN Interview: OF Prospect Dylan Cozens

Posted by Jay Floyd, Sat, April 12, 2014 07:30 AM Comments: 0

Dylan Cozens, image- MiLB.com

Taken with the Phillies 2nd round draft choice in 2012, Dylan Cozens has been an impressive young player since joining the organization.

In 50 games with the Gulf Coast League team after signing his first pro contract, the Arizona native sported a .255 average with five home runs and 24 RBI.

Last year with short-season Class A Williamsport the six-foot-six 235-pounder tallied a .265 average with nine homers and 35 homers in 68 games.

Assigned to a full-season club for the first time in his career, the 19-year-old Cozens will man right field for Greg Legg‘s Class A Lakewood BlueClaws this year.  Through a week of the season, the lefty batting power hitter is batting .278 with two doubles and four runs driven in.

This week I spoke with Dylan about being drafted, his progress thus far as a pro, his coaches and more.  Read ahead for that full interview with the Phils’ 19th ranked prospect.

-When you were drafted by the Phillies back in 2012, how were you tracking it and how did you celebrate?

I just watched on the computer, the day of the draft.  I went out to a sports bar afterwards, had a bunch of people come out and celebrate and it was a good time.  Pretty much anybody that was close to me could come on and come celebrate with me, so it was friends and family.

-Were you expecting the Phillies to be the team that drafted you or were they a surprise?

I was kind of expecting it.  It was them and a couple other teams that I was pretty sure would be one of those three teams.  So, the Phillies, I felt pretty strong about them. Continue reading PN Interview: OF Prospect Dylan Cozens

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Minor League Roster Announcements

Posted by Jay Floyd, Sun, March 30, 2014 04:15 PM Comments: 0

JP Crawford, image- Jay Floyd

As the 2014 season draws near, rosters for the Phillies’ minor league clubs have begun to surface.

The Class A Lakewood BlueClaws will feature the return of last year’s top draft selection SS J.P. Crawford.  Local NJ product Mark Leiter Jr., who made his pro debut last year, will return to the Claws as well.

The team’s outfield will be made up of 2011 top pick Larry Greene Jr., 2012 2nd rounder Dylan Cozens, well-regarded youngster Carlos Tocci as well as Samuel Hiciano.

Joining Crawford in the infield will be Andrew Pullin, Zach Green, Wilmer Oberto and Robinson Torres.

The team’s backstops will be two Velezuelans Gabriel Lino and Willians Astudillo along with Jose Mayorga of Panama. Continue reading Minor League Roster Announcements

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Prospect Nation 2014: #3 SS J.P. Crawford

Posted by Jay Floyd, Thu, March 13, 2014 03:15 PM Comments: 0

JP Crawford, Image- Jay Floyd

Equipped with big-time athleticism, a strong baseball IQ and all the right on-field tools, J.P. Crawford joined the Phillies system last year and quickly proved to be among the organization’s best prospects. Drafted in the opening round of last year’s amateur draft, Crawford looked sharp and put himself on the map as a fast rising talent in baseball.

Last year, Crawford posted great numbers at Lakewood High School in California, batting .432 in 25 games during his senior season and he stands as the school’s all-time leader in hits and runs scored at a school that also produced former Phillies 1st round draft choice Travis d’Arnaud.

Upon signing his first pro contract and making his minor league debut as an 18-year-old with the rookie level Gulf Coast League Phillies, Crawford was very impressive. He lead the GCL in batting for a considerable stretch and posted a .345 average with a homer, 19 RBI and 12 stolen bases through 39 games. To wrap up the regular season, the youngster was promoted two levels up to Class A full season Lakewood.

In the South Atlantic League, Crawford handled the jump quite well enough for a kid that was playing high school ball just three months earlier. Continue reading Prospect Nation 2014: #3 SS J.P. Crawford

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Minor League Injury Notes: Numata, Walding, James

Posted by Jay Floyd, Mon, March 10, 2014 03:08 PM Comments: 0

ChaceNumata

Chace Numata, Image- Jay Floyd

Just a few quick notes on some injuries throughout minor league camp…

Catcher Chace Numata confirmed with me today that he will miss at least a few months following a fractured hamate and surgery to repair triangular fibrocartilage in his left wrist.  The 21-year-old Hawaiian was a South Atlantic League All-Star for Class A Lakewood last season, posting a .231/.307/.305 line in 94 contests.

Third baseman Mitch Walding is on the shelf as he continues to deal with the rib issue that shortened his season last summer.  Walding was dealing with a misdiagnosed fracture when he suffered a more severe break while getting off the couch in the Lakewood locker room last August.  Walding told me today that he is scheduled for surgery to fully remove the rib and is likely to miss at least six weeks.  The 21-year-old was the Phils’ 5th round draft pick in 2011.

Outfielder Jiwan James, who missed a considerable portion of last season following knee surgery, is out of action once again with a knee issue.  The limitation is precautionary, according to a source.  James, who is a month shy of turning 25, sported a .260/.301/.322 line in 36 contests with Class A Advanced Clearwater last season.

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Prospect Nation 2014: #7 SS Roman Quinn

Posted by Jay Floyd, Thu, February 27, 2014 02:55 PM Comments: 0

Roman Quinn, Image- Tug Haines

Selected in the 2nd round of the 2011 draft out of Port St. Joe High School, speedster Roman Quinn was immediately a prospect that many thought would be on a fast track upward in the Phillies system.  Hampered by injuries last year, it could be a difficult road back for the athletic shortstop.

Listed at five feet ten inches tall and weighing 170 pounds, Quinn showed great improvement during his first year as a pro.  After signing late, he did not play in his first official minor league game until 2012.  With short-season Class A Williamsport, Quinn sported a .281 average with nine doubles, a league-leading 11 triples, one homer and 23 RBI while swiping 30 bases in 36 opportunities.

Those excellent offensive efforts came while learning to switch hit and adapting to a defensive switch to the infield after playing mostly outfield in high school.

Comfort was a big factor for Quinn in 2013, according to his Class A Lakewood coaches, who saw things get easier for him at the plate as the season went on.  Quinn opened last season as a 19-year-old.  He got off to a rough start, batting .202 with a .556 OPS in 22 April games.  In May, things began to look up offensively for Quinn as he tallied a .304 average with an .874 OPS in 26 contests.  His season would not last much longer, as the Florida resident was hit by a pitch that resulted in a broken left wrist in June. Continue reading Prospect Nation 2014: #7 SS Roman Quinn

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Prospect Nation 2014: #9 OF Carlos Tocci

Posted by Jay Floyd, Sun, February 23, 2014 02:15 PM Comments: 2

Carlos Tocci, Image- Tug Haines for PhoulBallz.com

Outfielder Carlos Tocci was signed by the Phillies for a reported signing bonus of $759,000 in the summer of 2011 on his 16th birthday.  Since that time, many have raved about the teen’s talent and he’s done his best to live up to the hype.

A native of Maracay, VZ, Tocci participated in the Florida Instructional League after he signed his first professional contract, but made his official minor league debut in 2012 as a member of the Gulf Coast League Phillies.

His ability to compete with older players is definitely something that has Tocci standing out in the eyes of coaches, scouts and fans alike.  In 2012, the righty batting “Toch” posted a .278 average with two doubles and nine RBI in 38 contests in the GCL, with all but one of his games played before his 17th birthday.  He described the competition there as easy and the pitchers as predictable.

The following year, Tocci found his opposition to be improved and tougher to handle.  He continued to impress as he made the opening day roster for the Class A Lakewood BlueClaws and stayed on their roster for the entire season, but his statistics weren’t great. Continue reading Prospect Nation 2014: #9 OF Carlos Tocci

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Prospect Nation 2014: #15 LHP Yoel Mecias

Posted by Jay Floyd, Fri, February 07, 2014 04:00 PM Comments: 0

Yoel Mecias, Image- Tug Haines for PhoulBallz.com

Despite having his 2013 campaign shortened due to a severe elbow injury, Venezuelan born hurler Yoel Mecias made a name for himself as a notable prospect in the Phillies system last year. The lefty, who turned 20 years old this off-season, underwent Tommy John surgery in June after an impressive stint with the Class A Lakewood BlueClaws.

Signed as an amateur free agent in December 2010, Mecias made his pro debut with the Gulf Coast League Phillies in 2012, tallying a 0-2 record with two saves and a 2.16 ERA in 14 games (four starts). In his 10 relief outings, Mecias sported a 1.90 ERA. Overall, he struck out 34 batters and walked 11 in 41 2/3 innings that year after some time in extended spring training.

Mecias also made an appearance for Aragua of the Venezuelan Winter League in 2012 as well.

In 13 games (11 starts) with Lakewood last season, Mecias posted a 4-3 record and a 3.79 ERA along with an 11.05 K/9 mark. His efforts were enough to gain him recognition as a South Atlantic League All-Star. He was also honored as the Phillies’ minor league pitcher of the month in May when he posted a 3-1 record and a 1.50 ERA over six starts. Continue reading Prospect Nation 2014: #15 LHP Yoel Mecias

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Quinn progressing well from Achilles surgery

Posted by Jonathan Nisula, Thu, January 30, 2014 07:30 AM Comments: 1

RomanQuinn3

Roman Quinn, Image- Jay Floyd

This week, PhilliesNation’s own minor league expert Jay Floyd chatted with highly regarded shortstop prospect Roman Quinn about his recovery from off-season surgery, exclusively for ShoreSportsNetwork.com.

In the feature, the 20-year-old indicated that he’s well ahead of schedule as he recovers from the procedure to remedy his ruptured right Achilles tendon.  Quinn was doing routine sprints in October near his home in Florida, when he felt a pop in the back of his ankle.  Surgery came soon after for the Phils’ 2nd round draft choice from 2011.

Quinn, who posted a .238 average with five home runs, 21 RBI and 32 steals in 67 games for Class A Lakewood last year, is targeting a late-June or early-July return.

The youngster was still recovering from a broken left wrist that he suffered after being hit by a pitch in a game in June, at the time of the Achillies injury, but that first ailment is now 100%.

In the Floyd piece, Quinn details that he was very disappointed when he learned the diagnosis of his Achilles issue, but that a discussion with a friend in the Phils’ system provided him the boost that he needed to turn his outlook around.

“It brought me down real low, man,” Quinn explained. “It was just very discouraging until I talked with Albert Cartwright, actually. He had the same injury. I talked to him about his injury and everything and he was just telling me, ‘Stay with it and just go hard in your rehab, man, and you can come back even faster, even stronger.’ ‘Cause that’s exactly what he did and as soon as I heard that, it gave me all my confidence back.”

Continue reading Quinn progressing well from Achilles surgery

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