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Prospect Nation 2015: #16 Catcher Deivi Grullon

Posted by Jay Floyd, Thu, January 29, 2015 04:15 PM Comments: 0

Deivi Grullon 2

Deivi Grullon, image- Jay Floyd

At the time of his signing with the Phillies in July, 2012, backstop Deivi Grullon was one of the top baseball prospects in the Caribbean. Following two years in the minors, the 18-year-old is looked at as an even more promising player.

Grullon, who signed for a reported $575,000, looked very good with the Gulf Coast League Phillies in 2013, posting a .273 batting average with eight doubles, a home run and 14 RBI in 41 games at the rookie level.

He followed up that campaign with a season in which he split time at three levels in 2014.  Grullon started his season in mid-April with a promotion to Class A Advanced Clearwater out of extended spring training.  He notched two hits in ten at bats in two games there.  A demotion to Class A Lakewood, where he would get more playing time, followed.  In 24 games as a BlueClaw, the six-foot-one 180-pounder posted a .237 average with five doubles, a home run and seven RBI.  Grullon would be demoted once more to short-season Class A Williamsport when their season began in June.  With the Crosscutters, he batted .225 with nine doubles, a triple and 18 RBI in 53 games. Continue reading Prospect Nation 2015: #16 Catcher Deivi Grullon

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PhoulBallz Podcast Episode 74: HoF Voting, Revamped Phils Farm & Carlos Alonso Interview

Posted by Jay Floyd, Fri, January 09, 2015 01:15 PM Comments: 2

On the 74th edition of the PhoulBallz Minor League Podcast, Tug and Jay discuss the recent Hall of Fame voting including thoughts on Pedro Martinez and Barry Bonds.  The guys also pour through the revamped Phillies prospect core thanks to last year’s amateur draft, trades and December’s Rule 5 draft, reviewing Jesmuel Valentin, Zach Eflin, Odubel Herrera as well as plenty more.  Also minor league infielder Carlos Alonso joins the guys for the fun segment Nine Silly-Ass Questions.

Use the media player below to stream the full episode, or simply download it by clicking HERE.

You can also check out previous episodes and subscribe on iTunes.

Thanks also for making the previous episode of the show featuring live call-in guest Matt Imhof the most downloaded edition ever!

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Off-season league notes: Astudillo, Herrera staying hot

Posted by Jay Floyd, Mon, December 22, 2014 07:30 AM Comments: 1

Baseball goes year-round.  All over the globe, Phillies players are in action and we’ve got the rundown on how they are performing.  Read ahead for all the details.

Venezuelan Winter League-

Willians Astudillo, image- Jay Floyd

Willians Astudillo, a corner infielder and backstop who has been playing a lot of outfield of late, is batting .314 with a homer and four RBI in nine games for Anzoategui. The 23-year-old was the catalyst for the Class A Lakewood team this year, where he finished second in the South Atlantic League with a .333 average.

Odubel Herrera, who was selected by the Phillies in this month’s Rule 5 draft, leads the Venezuelan Winter League in average with a .373 mark.  He has also mashed five homers, driven in 25 runs and stolen seven bases in 52 games for La Guaira.  The 22-year-old played second base primarily in the regular season at Double-A Frisco, but has been playing center field in the VWL.

Infielder/outfielder Cesar Hernandez is batting .307 with seven doubles, 15 RBI and six stolen bases in 34 games with Lara. In 66 games with the big league Phillies this year, the 24-year-old switch-hitter batted .237 with a homer, four RBI and a steal.

Catcher Gabriel Lino is batting .227 with six doubles and seven RBI for Lara. The 21-year-old righty batter, who was acquired from Baltimore in the 2012 Jim Thome trade, played in 90 combined games with Class A Lakewood and Class A Advanced Clearwater this year, posting a combined .215 average with five home runs and 34 RBI. Continue reading Off-season league notes: Astudillo, Herrera staying hot

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Baseball America Releases Phils Top 10 List

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Mon, December 15, 2014 12:15 PM Comments: 5

Baseball America is in the process of releasing their annual list of Top 10 prospects for each team and released the Phillies this morning. The list is significant for its inclusion of new names; just four Phillies prospects remained on the 2015 list from 2014 and the exclusions were not due to graduation to the Majors.

In a move that should surprise few, the number one prospect in the Phillies’ system according to Baseball America is shortstop J.P. Crawford. 2014 first-round pick Aaron Nola joins the list at number two, followed by last year’s number one Maikel Franco at number three. Center fielder/shortstop Roman Quinn jumped from five to four after recovering from an Achilles injury and last year’s number six, outfielder Carlos Tocci, moved to number five.

Six through ten are all new names to the ranks of the Phillies’ top prospects. Sixth is 22-year old outfielder Aaron Brown, the Phillies third round pick out of Pepperdine in 2014 who hit .268 with four homers and eight steals in 61 games across Williamsport and Lakewood. Seventh is 6’5″ left-handed pitcher Matt Imhof, the Phillies’ 2014 second round pick out of Cal Poly who posted a 2.98 ERA in 11 starts across the GCL Phillies, Williamsport, and Lakewood.

Number eight is a product of one of Ruben Amaro‘s shrewdest trades, Jesmuel Valentin, son of Jose Valentin. Valentin, a 20-year old middle infielder, was the 51st overall pick in the 2012 draft and had an excellent year at Single-A Great Lakes in the Dodgers organization (.280/.349/.430 with seven homers and 24 steals) before being dealt to Philadelphia. Left-handed pitcher Yoel Mecias, 21, was Baseball America’s pick for ninth while BA selected 19-year old 6’6″ righty Franklyn Kilome as the Phils’ tenth-best prospect after Kilome impressed with the GCL Phillies in 2014.

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PhoulBallz Podcast Episode 73: Matt Imhof Interview

Posted by Jay Floyd, Fri, December 12, 2014 06:00 PM Comments: 0

On the 73rd edition of the PhoulBallz Minor League Podcast Tug and Jay are joined by lefty pitching prospect Matt Imhof, who was the Phillies’ 2nd round draft choice this year. Additionally, the guys talk about the Phils’ rebuild mode kicked off by the team trading former National League MVP Jimmy Rollins and what Rollins’, as well as other core team members’, places in team history should be.   Wondering if Cole Hamels is next to go and the organization’s cranky fan base are also a topics of discussion.

Use the media player below to stream the full episode, or simply download it by clicking HERE.

You can also check out previous episodes and subscribe on iTunes.

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Off-season League Updates: Franco slumps, Martin deals with injury

Posted by Jay Floyd, Sun, November 23, 2014 11:40 AM Comments: 0

It’s time once again for another weekly review of Phillies players’ performances and progress in off-season leagues around the globe.

Dominican Winter League-

MaikelFranco

Maikel Franco, image- Jay Floyd

Third baseman Maikel Franco has been in a slump lately, going 3-for-27 (.111 avg) over his last seven games.  One positive out of that is that two of his three hits during that time are home runs.  Overall in 22 games for the Gigantes, the 22-year-old is batting .239 with six homers and 21 RBI.  This year in 133 contests with Triple-A Lehigh Valley, the righty hitting Franco posted a .257 batting average with 16 home runs and 78 RBI.

Right-handed reliever Hector Neris has made 11 scoreless appearances for the Toros while striking out five and walking four in 8 2/3 innings.  The 25-year-old appeared in one game with the Phils this year, earning a win in his big league debut.

Australian Baseball League-

Power hitting outfielder Dylan Cozens has a .205 average with three homers and six RBI in 11 contests with Melbourne.  This year, with Class A Lakewood, the 20-year-old sported a .248 average with 16 home runs and 62 RBI in 132 games.  The six-foot-six 235-pounder was the Phillies’ 2nd round draft selection in 2012.

Catcher Chace Numata has tallied a .295 average with three doubles and four RBI in 12 games, also with Melbourne.  Numata missed much of the 2014 season after undergoing surgery to repair a broken hamate bone prior to the season.  The 22-year-old was the Phillies’ 14th round draft pick in 2010.

After opening his season 1-for-12, outfielder Brian Pointer has gone 11-for-34 (.324 avg).  Overall, Pointer has a .261 average with a home run and five RBI in 12 games with Perth.  In 123 games for Class A Advanced Clearwater this year, Pointer posted a .246 average with 15 homers, 53 RBI and 16 steals.  The 22-year-old lefty batter was the Phils’ 28th round pick in 2010.

Third baseman Mitch Walding is batting .220 with three doubles and eight RBI in 11 contests for Canberra.  Walding sported a .237 average with seven home runs and 55 RBI in 108 games for Class A Lakewood this year.  The 22-year-old was the Phillies’ 5th round draft choice in 2011. Continue reading Off-season League Updates: Franco slumps, Martin deals with injury

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Phillies announce 2015 developmental coaching staffs

Posted by Jay Floyd, Wed, November 19, 2014 08:00 AM Comments: 0

On Tuesday, the Phillies released their planned 2015 coaching staffs for their minor league affiliates.

The Triple-A level will maintain the same group with Dave Brundage staying on as manager, Ray Burris and Sal Rende returning as pitching coach and hitting coach respectively along with Mickey Morandini coming back as bench coach.

Dusty Nerris

Dusty Wathan, image- Jay Floyd

Reading skipper Dusty Wathan will return for his fourth year with the team. Pitching coach Dave Lundquist will also be back at the Double-A level, while hitting coach Frank Cacciatore, who previously worked with the Reading team from 2008-2013 and with Clearwater in 2014, will make his return to Reading.

Class A Advanced Clearwater will have a new manager, as Greg Legg has been promoted after holding the same position with Class A Lakewood last season. 2014 Reading hitting coach Rob Ducey will work with the Threshers next year, while Steve Schrenk, who previously coached in Clearwater in 2007-2008, will be back as pitching coach after working in the Gulf Coast League last year.

Lakewood’s skipper will be Shawn Williams, who has one season as a pro manager under his belt after being hired for that gig with short-season A level Williamsport last season. Williams is the son of former big league skipper Jimy Williams. Former Phillies hurler Aaron Fultz will return to Lakewood as pitching coach after previously holding that position in 2013 and working in Williamsport last season. Nelson Prada, who managed Clearwater last season, will fill the spot of hitting coach with the BlueClaws next year. Continue reading Phillies announce 2015 developmental coaching staffs

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Off-season league updates: Biddle falters; Martin, Hernandez, Cozens debut

Posted by Jay Floyd, Sun, November 09, 2014 02:35 PM Comments: 3

This week’s rundown includes details on some Phillies players making their off-season league debuts including Ethan Martin, Cesar Hernandez as well as outfield prospect Dylan Cozens along with updates on key names such as Jesse Biddle, Maikel Franco and Aaron Altherr.  Read ahead for all your fall/winter league updates from around the globe.

Puerto Rico/Roberto Clemente League

Jesse Biddle, image- Jay Floyd

Lefty pitcher Jesse Biddle had an alarming outing with Mayaguez on Saturday, allowing seven earned runs on seven hits in 2 1/3 innings while striking out four and walking two. The 23-year-old sports a 15.19 ERA in two outings in Puerto Rico. Biddle, the Phils’ top draft pick in 2010, posted a 5-10 record with a 4.58 ERA in 19 starts in the minors this year.

Also with Mayaguez, Jesmuel Valentin, who was acquired from the Dodgers by the Phils in the Roberto Hernandez trade this year, is 2-for-7 with an RBI in five games. The 20-year-old infielder posted a .273/.341/.412 slash line in 120 minor league games this year.

Emmanuel Marrero is 0-for-1 in two games for Santurce.  The 21-year-old switch-hitting infielder posted a .214/.272/.279 slash like in 60 games with short-season Class A Williamsport this year.

Venezuelan Winter League-

Righty hurler Ethan Martin made his VWL debut this week, throwing two scoreless frames while allowing one hit and striking out one for La Guaira. The 25-year-old allowed two earned runs in four innings with the big league club and sported a 3.93 ERA in 32 games in the minors this year. Martin was acquired from the Dodgers in the Shane Victorino trade in 2012.

Outfielder Cam Perkins, through eight games with La Guaira, posted a .292 average with a triple and an RBI.  Perkins last played on October 29th and was slated to be on the restricted list for a minimum of 14 days as he reportedly returned to the United States for some time.  In 126 combined games at Double-A and Triple-A this year, the 6th round draft pick from 2012 posted a .271 average with five homers and 51 RBI while swiping eight bags.

Outfielder Aaron Altherr is batting .270 with three home runs, 21 RBI and a steal in 22 games played with Zulia. The 23-year-old righty batter played in two games with the big league Phillies this year. In 127 minor league games in 2014, Altherr, the Phillies’ 9th round pick in 2009, posted a .237 average with 14 HR, 59 RBI and 13 stolen bases. Continue reading Off-season league updates: Biddle falters; Martin, Hernandez, Cozens debut

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Phillies off-season league notes: Biddle debuts, Quinn shines

Posted by Jay Floyd, Sun, November 02, 2014 11:50 AM Comments: 15

Throughout the autumn and winter months, we’ll be bringing you weekly roundups of how various Phillies players are performing in off-season leagues around the globe. This edition includes details on top pitching prospect Jesse Biddle‘s Puerto Rico debut, OF Roman Quinn, who shined in the Arizona Fall League Fall Stars Game on Saturday as well as plenty more. Read ahead for all the details.

Puerto Rico/Roberto Clemente League-

JesseBiddle5

Jesse Biddle, image- Jay Floyd

Lefty pitcher Jesse Biddle allowed two earned runs, striking out three and walking two in three innings of work in a start for Mayaguez in his season debut on Friday. The 23-year-old was the Phils’ top draft choice in 2010. Biddle posted a 5-10 record with a 4.58 ERA in 19 starts in the minors this year.

Also with Mayaguez, Jesmuel Valentin, who was acquired from the Dodgers by the Phils in the Roberto Hernandez trade this year, is hitless with a walk in two at bats in two games. The 20-year-old infielder posted a .273/.341/.412 slash line in 120 minor league games this year.

Venezuelan Winter League-

With Zulia, outfielder Aaron Altherr is batting .250 with three home runs, 12 RBI  and an .865 OPS through 17 contests. The 23-year-old righty hitter played in two games with the big league Phillies this year. In 127 minor league games in 2014, Altherr, who was the Phillies’ 9th round pick in 2009, posted a .237 average with 14 HR, 59 RBI and 13 steals.

Freddy Galvis is batting .263 with a home run and three RBI through nine games also with Zulia. In 43 big league games this year, the switch-hitting infielder, who turns 26 years old this month, batted .176 with four home runs and 12 RBI.

First baseman/outfielder Wilmer Oberto is batting .219 with an RBI while being caught stealing twice in two attempts. Oberto, who turns 22 years old on Sunday, split time this season between Class A full season Lakewood and short-season A level Williamsport, posting a .226/.301/.355 slash line in 75 total games. Continue reading Phillies off-season league notes: Biddle debuts, Quinn shines

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Reading Eagle survey: Crawford ranked top Phils prospect

Posted by Jay Floyd, Mon, August 25, 2014 10:05 AM Comments: 49

Recently, Mike Drago of The Reading Eagle conducted a survey of experts, made up of local writers and other media members, designed to rank the top prospects in the Phillies developmental system.

The participating individuals, who are all close to the Phillies minor league system, were asked to rank their personal top 20, which were tabulated to determine the paper’s published list of top 15 Phillies prospects.  Individuals surveyed included Baseball America’s Josh Norris, Chris Rotolo of the Asbury Park Press, Mitch Rupert of the Williamsport Sun-Gazette as well as yours truly, Jay Floyd of PhilliesNation.com.

The collection of experts determined that last year’s first round draft pick, J.P. Crawford, who represented the Phillies in the MLB All-Star Futures Game this year, is the top prospect in the organization.  Crawford, 19, is widely expected to be the eventual successor to former National League MVP Jimmy Rollins at shortstop.

Last year’s Reading Eagle rankings featured Maikel Franco at the top.  The Dominican native fell to number three this year.  A few new names are also featured on the list.

Here’s an excerpt of The Reading Eagle’s 2014 prospect rankings…

1 J.P. Crawford: Just 14 months after being drafted the California shortstop found himself playing in the All-Star Futures Game. At 19 he was the youngest player on the Team USA roster and the second-youngest in the game. He was moved up to high Class A Clearwater in mid June, his third level in little more than a year. He’s hit at all of them and carries a .295 batting average and .388 on-base percentage through his first 720 professional games.  (ed. note- Crawford has played just 170 pro games)

2 Aaron Nola: The Phillies desperately needed a fast-moving, strike-throwing starting pitcher when they tabbed the LSU right-hander in the June draft and that’s exactly what they got. He became the first Phillies draft pick to reach Double-A in his first professional season since 1986. He’ll likely start next season in Reading and end it in Philadelphia.

3 Maikel Franco: The Phillies were hoping the 21-year-old would be their third baseman by now but he had a poor spring training and an even worse spring at Lehigh Valley. After a lousy first half he finally started to hit, batting .343 in July. He’s still extremely young – almost six years younger than the average International League player – so there’s no reason to panic. Continue reading Reading Eagle survey: Crawford ranked top Phils prospect

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