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Rookie Leagues

Minor League Rundown: Hernandez, Biddle, Milner, Cutters Updates

Posted by Jay Floyd, Mon, August 19, 2013 08:00 AM Comments: 14

It’s another weekly rundown of the Phillies’ minor leagues with details on some recent noteworthy performers…

Triple-A Lehigh Valley IronPigs-

Cesar Hernandez w/ Reading in 2012, image- Jay Floyd

International League All-Star Cesar Hernandez is back in action after missing a few weeks with a wrist injury.  In three games since rejoining the Pigs’ starting lineup, Hernandez has gone 3-for-9.  Overall this season, the switch-hitting 23-year-old has posted a .315 average with two homers, 35 RBI and 31 stolen bases in 95 minor league games.

Righty hurler Tyler Cloyd in his last seven starts has tallied a 4-1 record with a 0.77 ERA while striking out 32 and walking five in 47 innings.  In 12 big league starts, the 26-year-old is 4-4- with a 4.14 ERA.  Cloyd was the Phils’ 18th round draft selection in 2008.

Double-A Reading Fightin Phillies-

Left-hander Jesse Biddle struck out seven and walked none while allowing three earned runs in six innings in his latest start on Sunday.  The 21-year-old has a 3.13 ERA in four starts this month after posting a 7.11 mark in five July outings.  Biddle was the Phillies’ first round draft choice in 2010. Continue reading Minor League Rundown: Hernandez, Biddle, Milner, Cutters Updates

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Cutters’ Green Wins NY-Penn League HR Derby

Posted by Jay Floyd, Wed, August 14, 2013 06:55 AM Comments: 1

Zach Green, image- Tri-City ValleyCats

Prior to Tuesday’s New-York Penn League All-Star Game, rising Phillies third base prospect Zach Green took down his short-season Class A competition, which included his Williamsport teammate Gabriel Lino, to lock down the league’s annual home run derby title.

In the opening round, Green, the Phils’ 3rd round draft choice last year out of Jesuit High School in California, slammed three homers while tallying 290 points. The total was good enough to knock off six others, advancing the 19-year-old to the finals where he faced Lino, a catcher that was acquired last year from Baltimore in the Jim Thome deal.  The 20-year-old Venezuelan also had three home runs in the initial round while posting 240 points.

The pair of Crosscutters went homerless in the finals, but Green, the league’s leader in home runs (10) and total bases (101) edged Lino on points, by a margin of 170-100 to lock down the crown.

In the actual game, the American League affiliate All-Star team downed the National League club, which included the Tri-City ValleyCats (Astros) in order to keep the teams even at seven organizations each, in walk-off fashion.  Continue reading Cutters’ Green Wins NY-Penn League HR Derby

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Minor League Rundown: Gillies, Orr, Tolbert & More

Posted by Jay Floyd, Tue, August 13, 2013 08:00 AM Comments: 1

It’s another weekly rundown of the Phillies’ minor leagues with loads of details on some recent noteworthy performers…

Triple-A Lehigh Valley IronPigs-

Tyson Gillies, image- Jay Floyd

Outfielder Tyson Gillies is batting .306 with four doubles, a homer and three steals in 10 August games.  Overall with the IronPigs this season, the 24-year-old Canadian is batting .217 with a .604 OPS in 55 games.  Gillies was originally acquired from Seattle in the 2009 Cliff Lee trade.

Infielder Pete Orr has posted a .392 batting average with six RBI and three stolen bases in 12 August games.  In 84 games this season, the 34-year-old sports a .255 average with four home runs and 27 RBI.

In 12 August games, first baseman Cody Overbeck is batting .370 with three homers and nine RBI.  The 27-year-old, who was the Phils’ 9th round draft choice in 2008, has a .268 overall average along with 19 home runs and 62 RBI in 108 games.

Second baseman/center fielder Cesar Hernandez, who missed nearly three weeks of action with a reported wrist ailment, went 0-for-1 in the IronPigs’ game on Sunday.  In 88 games at Lehigh Valley this year, the switch-hitting 23-year-old is batting .310 with two homers and 31 RBI. Continue reading Minor League Rundown: Gillies, Orr, Tolbert & More

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Minors Rundown: Asche, Biddle, Hanson, Charles, GCL

Posted by Jay Floyd, Tue, July 30, 2013 10:00 AM Comments: 4

Cody Asche, photo- Jay Floyd

Third baseman Cody Asche has been on a torrid pace of late. Asche, a University of Nebraska product, is showing more and more that he’s ready for a bigger challenge. The 23-year-old lefty batter has gone 14-for-33 (.424 avg) along with three doubles, five homers and 12 RBI in his last eight contests with the IronPigs.

Overall this season, Asche, who represented Lehigh Valley in the Triple-A All-Star Game earlier this month, is batting .295 with 15 home runs and 68 RBI in 104 games.

On the latest edition of the PhoulBallz Podcast, Asche was featured as a call-in guest. When asked when he’ll feel ready for the bigger challenge of the major leagues, he said the following:

“Whenever (the Phillies) tell me. That’s when I feel like I’m ready. There’s a lot of guys in this organization that are really smart and they know what they’re doing and they’ve been through this before with many players, so, you know, I 100-percent trust what they have in store for me and what they have planned for me. So, until they call me and say, ‘Hey, you’re ready! Let’s go do it.’, then I’m gonna keep working hard to be the best player I can be.” Continue reading Minors Rundown: Asche, Biddle, Hanson, Charles, GCL

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Weekly Minors Round Up: The Hot List

Posted by Jay Floyd, Mon, July 22, 2013 11:05 AM Comments: 3

It’s summer and in this scorching July weather, we’re focusing solely on the players who’ve been hot lately in this round of Phillies minor league notes.


Triple-A Lehigh Valley-

Cesar Hernandez with Reading in 2012, photo- Jay Floyd

Newly minted center fielder and All-Star second baseman Cesar Hernandez is batting .338 along with four doubles, a triple and seven RBI in 17 July games.  The 23-year-old switch hitter appeared in nine games with the big league Phils earlier this season, going 7-for-28 (.250 avg) during that stint.

Shortstop Freddy Galvis has tallied a .375 average with five doubles, a homer and seven RBI in his last 10 games for the IronPigs.  The 23-year-old sported a .207 average in 54 games with the Phillies earlier this season.

Double-A Reading-

In his past eight games, outfielder Kelly Dugan is batting .344 with two doubles, a home run and three RBI.  The 22-year-old lefty hitter has posted a .305/.380/.500 combined line in 70 games at Class A Advanced Clearwater and Reading this season.  Dugan was the Phils’ 2nd round draft selection in 2009.

Since posting a 4.09 ERA in nine May appearances, righty reliever Mike Nesseth has allowed just one earned run in 20 1/3 innings (0.44 ERA) in 17 outings.  The 25-year-old University of Nebraska product is pitching in just his third pro season, after he dealt with elbow surgery in his draft year, 2010. Continue reading Weekly Minors Round Up: The Hot List

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PN Interview: 1st Round Draft Pick J.P. Crawford

Posted by Jay Floyd, Wed, July 17, 2013 08:00 AM Comments: 2

JPCrawford

JP Crawford, screencap- MLB Network

Currently ranking third in the Gulf Coast League in batting with a .372 average, 18-year-old J.P. Crawford is proving that he was certainly ready for professional baseball when the Phillies selected him with their 1st round pick (16th overall) last month.

In 13 minor league games thus far, the lefty batting shortstop from California has also drilled two doubles, a triple and scored seven runs while swiping four bags in seven chances.

Crawford posted great numbers at Lakewood High School, batting .432 in 25 games during his senior season this year and is the all-time leader in hits and runs scored at a school that also produced former Phillies 1st round draft pick Travis d’Arnaud.  Additionally, another Lakewood High product, Crawford’s teammate from tee ball through their teens Shane Watson, who is currently rehabbing a shoulder injury in Florida, was taken in the 1st round by the Phillies last year.

With strong defensive skills to go along with his offense, Crawford, the cousin of big leaguer Carl Crawford, is highly touted and is a very exciting prospect.

This week, J.P. took some time to chat on the phone from Clearwater.  Among the topics of discussion were his transition to the pros, his draft experience, a visit to Philadelphia to sign his contract and much more.  Read ahead for that full interview.

- J.P., Take me through your draft experience.  I wanted to get your thoughts on the whole process and how did you celebrate once you were drafted?

Before, during the school year, that was the only thing I was looking forward to.  It was super fast too, in a way.  When we got to New York, time flew by and all of a sudden we were in the room.  When they called my name it was unbelievable.  I had never had an experience like that.  And after, we didn’t really do anything.  It was pretty late.

- For that trip to the draft, who was there with you?  Was it a lot of family?  Were there friends there along with you?

My whole family went and then my aunt and my grandpa.  My best friend and his family went there too.  Continue reading PN Interview: 1st Round Draft Pick J.P. Crawford

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Minors Notes: Updates on Ruf, Gillies, Watson, Joseph, James & More

Posted by Jay Floyd, Sun, June 30, 2013 06:45 AM Comments: 10

From all throughout the Phillies’ developmental ranks, here’s our weekly rundown of top performers and those players that have struggled recently.

Triple A Lehigh Valley IronPigs-

Who’s hot…

Outfielder Darin Ruf has picked up the production with his batting average of late, but has displayed minimal power during that stretch. The 26-year-old righty hitting slugger is batting .306 with only one extra-base hit, a double, while driving in seven runs in his past 10 games.  In 75 games with the ‘Pigs, Ruf is batting .270 with seven homers and 42 RBI.

Who’s not…

Righty pitcher Tyler Cloyd took his 7th loss of the season on Saturday, when he allowed six earned runs in 6 1/3 innings. The 26-year-old is 0-3 with a 10.69 ERA in three starts for the IronPigs since returning from the majors this month.


Double-A Reading Fightins-

Who’s hot…

Outfielder Tyson Gillies has been on a tear, batting .400 with three homers, seven RBI and two steals in his last 10 games. Gillies, who batted .244 through his first 25 contests at Double-A this year, has his average up to .275 after 50 games. The 24-year-old began the season with the IronPigs, where he struggled. Continue reading Minors Notes: Updates on Ruf, Gillies, Watson, Joseph, James & More

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Minors Notes: Franco, Susdorf, Green and Others Heat Up

Posted by Jay Floyd, Mon, June 24, 2013 07:30 AM Comments: 0

From all throughout the Phillies’ developmental ranks, here’s our weekly rundown of top performers and those players that haven’t done much as of late.

Triple-A Lehigh Valley IronPigs-

Who’s hot…

Steve Susdorf with Reading in 2011

Outfielder Steve Susdorf has been on a tear lately, going 10-for-24 (.417 avg) with a double, a home run and four RBI in his last seven games.  The 27-year-old lefty batter was the Phils’ 19th round draft choice in 2008 out of Fresno State.  Susdorf is batting .326 with a home run and 23 RBI in 51 games this year.

First baseman Josh Fields has five multi-hit games in his last seven contests.  The 30-year-old is 10-for-25 (.400 avg) during that stretch.  Overall this season, Fields, who was signed as a minor league free agent last November, is batting .316 with four homers and 26 RBI this year.

Who’s not…

Infielder Pete Orr is 3-for-23 (.130 avg) with two doubles in his last seven games.  Orr, who has spent time in the big leagues with the Phillies in each of the past two seasons, is batting .231 with three home runs and 17 RBI in 54 games with the IronPigs this season. Continue reading Minors Notes: Franco, Susdorf, Green and Others Heat Up

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PN Interview: Shane Watson Speaks on JP Crawford

Posted by Jay Floyd, Mon, June 17, 2013 11:25 AM Comments: 0

Shane&JPTeeBall

Watson & Crawford go back to tee ball, image- Shane Watson

With the Phillies’ 2013 first round pick, J.P. Crawford en route to Philadelphia, jotting some ink on his first professional contract seems inevitable. What has become somewhat of a ceremonial signing for 1st rounders, which typically includes the player taking batting practice and/or putting himself on display to the media, seems to be in the near future for the 18-year-old Lakewood High School (CA) product that was taken with the 16th overall pick in the MLB draft less than two weeks ago.

With the excitement level picking up for Crawford to join the Phils organization, I spoke with one of his closest friends, Shane Watson, who was selected with the Phillies’ first pick in the 2012 draft. The two players grew up together, playing tee ball on the same team and being by each other’s side through high school ball until Watson turned pro last year.

Now, the two “brothers” seem to be more excited than any pair of ball players you might come across. I spoke with Shane over the weekend and he offered his thoughts on the guy that will soon be the newest addition to the Phillies family. Read ahead for that interview.

- In your playing days, I know you guys came up on the same tee ball league team together and played at the same high school, but through all those years in youth ball, I imagine that you two would have faced each other at some point.

Yeah, a couple times in, like, intrasquad games, for high school, we would face each other and I think it was a draw. I know once he hit a dribbler back to me and then another time I walked him. So, we came out even and it was a draw, I think. We both got the best of one another one time. That was about it, though, from what I remember. 

- And obviously, you got to see him play a considerable amount. So, how would you describe his strengths out there on the field?

I would say there’s not too many holes in his swing. I mean, it’s kind of hard to pitch to him. He’s one of those guys where he can handle pressure. He’s gonna play hard. He’s a Lakewood (High School) guy. All of us pride ourselves on playing really hard, playing with lots of heart and getting after it. So, he’s gonna do that, no matter what.  Continue reading PN Interview: Shane Watson Speaks on JP Crawford

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Phillies Continue to Sign Draft Picks

Posted by Jay Floyd, Sat, June 15, 2013 08:00 AM Comments: 0

The Phillies continued locking in last week’s draft picks on Friday as the team came to terms with their second round pick Andrew Knapp and officially announced the signing of their third round selection Cord Sandberg.

Knapp, taken 53rd overall, is a switch-hitting 21-year-old. The University of California product led the Golden Bears in batting average this year with a .350 mark while mashing eight homers with 41 RBI. Knapp’s deal is said to be for $1.03 million.

Reports last week stating that Sandberg has signed almost immediately for the amount of $775,000 seemed to be fully on point as the amount proved accurate with details released by the Phils.

High school prep catcher Jake Sweaney, who was selected in the 4th round with the 121st pick out of Garces Memorial High School in California, signed for a reported $400,000.

Other signees include 25th rounder Cody Forsythe, a lefty pitcher out of Southern Illinois.  In his senior season this year, the 22-year-old sported a 4-5 record with a 3.03 ERA in 15 games started. Continue reading Phillies Continue to Sign Draft Picks

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