Quantcast


Threshers

Arizona Fall League Interviews: Ethan Stewart

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Fri, October 17, 2014 08:00 AM Comments: 0

On Monday October 13, I had some time to kill after arriving in Scottsdale for business and wandered over to Scottsdale Stadium, just a block from my hotel, where the Arizona Fall League was taking place. As luck had it, the Scottsdale Scorpions were playing and I was able to get press credentials. I conducted a number of interviews with some of the Phillies’ players and coaches who were in attendance. Come back each day to see the latest interview!

Ethan Stewart was the Phillies 47th round draft choice in 2010 out of New Mexico Junior College. The 6’7″ lefty native of British Columbia, Stewart and I talked about the importance of a good start, working with Ray Burris, and the difference in climates between British Columbia, Florida, and Arizona.

Ian Riccaboni, Phillies Nation: So, how does it feel to be in the Arizona Fall League with some of the top prospects in baseball?

Ethan Stewart: It’s pretty special. You get to pitch against and play with players who will be in the Major Leagues soon. It’s really special to be out here and it’s really fun.

IR: You’ve had six strikeouts through your first three-plus innings. How important was it for you to get off to a great start here in your first Arizona Fall League?

ES: I like to set a good impression. It’s nice to have that. I mean, I wouldn’t have wanted to start out struggling, you’d have to catch up and have to show yourself from there. Six strikeouts in three-plus innings is nice but I’m just trying to throw up zeroes.

IR: How cool is it to have Ray Burris here, the pitching coach at Lehigh Valley? (Burris is) someone in your system that you can almost pitch for and get advice from and work with. Continue reading Arizona Fall League Interviews: Ethan Stewart

  • 0 Comments
 

Quinn’s Speed Propels Scottsdale to AFL Win

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Tue, October 14, 2014 12:53 AM Comments: 0

Center Fielder Roman Quinn

In front of a crowd with as many scouts as fans, speedster Roman Quinn led off, played center field, and went 1 for 4 with a stolen base en route to a 2-1 win for the Scottsdale Scorpions at Scottsdale Stadium.

Before the game, I talked to Quinn, who stated that his Achilles is “100%” and that he was looking forward to facing the best competition he has ever faced. Quinn had two at-bats from each side of the plate, helping him address his main goal of the AFL: becoming a switch hitter.

Quinn’s lone hit came in his second at-bat from the right side, a dribbler about five feet up the third base line, the first hit for the Scorpions. Quinn would get an amazing break on two straight pitches, one a foul ball, the second a walk for the Scorpions. Quinn would misread a flyball to center from second base but was able to tag anyways and easily beat out a throw from center. Quinn scored easily on passed ball to put Scottsdale up 1-0.

Quinn looked solid in the field, taking a great route to a sixth inning ball hit to the left center field gap, cutting what should have been a sure triple and keeping it to a double. Quinn took a solid route to a fly ball and fielded another can of corn. Quinn’s speed was on full display in the bottom of the seventh with Quinn stealing second easily with a good jump and a bad throw.

Quinn wasn’t the only Phillie to get in on the action. Colton Murray, a 2011 13th rounder out of the University of Kansas, got out of a jam created by Tyler Mizenko in the bottom of the eighth inning, retiring the only hitter he faced, earning a hold and preserving the Scorpions 2-1 lead.

Phillies pitcher Adam Morgan is scheduled to pitch Wednesday night for Scottsdale. Please check back tomorrow for the first of our five exclusive Arizona Fall League interviews.

  • 0 Comments
 

Quinn excited for Arizona Fall League assignment

Posted by Jay Floyd, Tue, October 07, 2014 08:00 AM Comments: 8

RomanQuinn-TugHaines

Roman Quinn, image- Tug Haines

Less than a year removed from suffering a significant injury, Roman Quinn is fresh off a solid half season in the minors and is set to see action as the Phillies’ premiere name in the Arizona Fall League.

Originally forecast to miss the majority of the 2014 season, Quinn was back on the field by mid-May and impressed many with the strides that he took to improve his offensive game.

Playing in 88 contests, the most he’s played in any of his three pro seasons, for the Class A Advanced Clearwater Threshers, Quinn returned from surgery to repair a ruptured right Achilles tendon that he suffered last off-season to post a .257 batting average along with seven home runs, 36 RBI and 32 stolen bases.

Selected in the second round of the 2011 amateur draft, Quinn, who was mainly an outfielder in high school, was switched to shortstop by the Phillies after signing his first professional contract.  The quick rise of top 2013 draft choice  J.P. Crawford, a natural shortstop, did away with the need for Quinn to continue manning an infield spot.  He was repositioned back to center field, a change that boosted his comfort level on the field.

“It was good news to me, because outfield had been my primary position.  It’s like being at home and it felt real good to go back out there.  It just took a lot of pressure off me and I can go out there and relax rather than worrying about so much,” Quinn explained during a phone interview this week. Continue reading Quinn excited for Arizona Fall League assignment

  • 8 Comments
 

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

  • 49 Comments
 

Phillies Nation: Episode 20 – Minor League Update, Curt Simmons

Posted by Brian Michael, Wed, August 20, 2014 11:25 AM Comments: 2

This week, our minor league expert Jay Floyd joins Pat and Corey to breakdown Phillies prospects and discuss when we might see them in Citizens Bank Park. They analyze guys like Maikel Franco, Aaron Nola, J.P. Crawford and Jesse Biddle.

Ian returns with his exclusive sit-down interview with Phillies legendary pitcher Curt Simmons. He talks about playing baseball in Egypt, NJ and relives his days when Babe Ruth was his coach. How awesome is that?!

Brian Quinn, owner of BQ Basement System (presenting sponsor of PNTV), stops by the set and talks baseball and basements with Pat.

Tommy Greene returns for another pitching lesson. And Ryann and Natalie bring you fan questions like, “What is your favorite baseball movie?”

Phillies Nation TV is presented by BQ Basement Systems and filmed each week at Field House Sports and Beer Hall in Center City Philly.

You can watch Phillies Nation TV on your TV at the following times this week:
Tuesday at 6pm on TCN

  • Tuesday at 11pm on CSN
  • Wednesday at 4:30pm on CSN
  • Wednesday at 11:30pm on TCN
  • Thursday at Midnight on CSN
  • Thursday at 11:30am on CSN
  • Thursday at 9:30pm on TCN
  • Friday at 4pm on CSN

 

  • 2 Comments
 

PN Interview: Joe Jordan talks Phils prospects

Posted by Jay Floyd, Mon, August 11, 2014 08:00 AM Comments: 26

On Sunday, I sat down with Phillies director of player development Joe Jordan.  As usual, I bounced as many names as I could his way until I felt as though I may be keeping the former pro catcher and longtime scout from doing the work that he was at the ballpark to do.  Topics of discussion included Adam Morgan‘s recovery from shoulder surgery, Cameron Perkins‘ slow start at the Triple-A level, Maikel Franco‘s turnaround, Dylan Cozens‘ emergence and several more prospects.

Read ahead for all of Jordan’s remarks about some well regarded prospects.

-Are there any updates you can share on lefty pitcher Adam Morgan (3rd round pick, 2011), who underwent shoulder surgery last off-season?

He’s throwing, progressing well.  You know, I mean, we’re hopeful that during instructional league we may have actually him on the mound, participating.  But really, right now, he’s doing well.

-And righty Shane Watson (supplemental pick, 2012) is completely shut down till next spring, correct?

He’s not going to throw any (more) this year.  We’re just going to try to rehab him and get him ready for spring training.

-Tyler Viza (32nd round pick, 2013) is one of the youngest pitchers in the Class A South Atlantic League.  He’s got the Lakewood record for losses.  He’s 19 and it’s his first full season as a pro.  Any concern about what sort of discouragement that claim to fame could bring for him?

No.  He’s a strong minded kid.  He gets it.  He’s getting his innings, he’s (pitching) every six days.   He’s gonna gain from this year.  Obviously, some of it’s been his doing, some of it’s not scoring runs, but he’s alright.  Continue reading PN Interview: Joe Jordan talks Phils prospects

  • 26 Comments
 

Nola, Biddle strong with new teams

Posted by Jay Floyd, Thu, August 07, 2014 09:27 AM Comments: 4

AaronNola-TugHaines

Aaron Nola, image- Tug Haines

Two big name pitching prospects took the mound and shined for their respective new teams on Wednesday night as this year’s top draft pick Aaron Nola and 2010 first round selection Jesse Biddle looked strong and notched wins.

Nola, who was selected by the Phillies with the 7th overall pick in June’s MLB amateur draft, made his Double-A debut with the Reading Fightins, going five innings, allowing one earned run on six hits while striking out four and walking one to down New Britain.

First baseman Jake Fox carried the Reading offense with his team leading 16th home run and four RBI.

In eight pro games, Nola sports a 3-3 record with a 2.97 ERA while striking out 34 and walking six in 36 1/3 innings.

Biddle, who entered this season widely regarded as the Phils’ top pitching prospect, tossed five no-hit innings for the Class A Advanced Clearwater Threshers to earn a win. He struck out five and allowed just one base runner, a walk. Continue reading Nola, Biddle strong with new teams

  • 4 Comments
 

Minor League Notes: Henson, Franco, Fox, Mecias, Others Heat Up

Posted by Jay Floyd, Mon, July 21, 2014 10:05 AM Comments: 9

We’re back with another rundown of top performers from the Phillies’ developmental ranks, with some less than stellar performers mixed in for good measure.


Triple-A Lehigh Valley IronPigs…

Tyler Henson with coach Mickey Morandini

Infielder Tyler Henson is batting .448 with a home run and eight RBI over his last 10 games played. In 90 games this season, the 26-year-old sports a .282 average with six homers and 36 RBI.

3B/1B Maikel Franco has tallied a .365 batting average with nine doubles, two triples, a homer and 15 RBI in 15 games played this month. Franco went 0-for-2 in last week’s All-Star Futures Game. The 21-year-old Dominican has a .236/.286/.370 overall slash line in 96 contests this season.

Tyler Knigge let up 10 earned runs over five innings (18.00 ERA) in his most recent four games with the Pigs. The troublesome stretch earned Knigge a demotion back to Double-A Reading this weekend. The 25-year-old sported a 2.69 ERA in his first 11 Triple-A appearances.

Double-A Reading Fightins…

Outfielder Aaron Altherr is 11-for-30 (.367 avg) with five extra base hits over his last nine games. Altherr, a righty batter, has a .255/.309/.416 slash line in 78 games with Reading. The 23-year-old was the Phillies’ 9th round draft choice in 2009.

Corner infielder Jake Fox has hit 10 home runs while batting .333 and driving in 31 runs in 34 games with Reading. The righty hitter, who turned 32 years old on Sunday, played in Mexico prior to signing with the Phillies last month. Continue reading Minor League Notes: Henson, Franco, Fox, Mecias, Others Heat Up

  • 9 Comments
 

Crawford & Franco play on national stage in Futures Game

Posted by Jay Floyd, Mon, July 14, 2014 07:45 AM Comments: 0

JP Crawford, Image- Jay Floyd

Two Phillies prospects participated in this weekend’s 16th annual MLB All-Star Futures Game.

In Team USA’s 3-2 victory over Team World on Sunday, shortstop J.P. Crawford went 1-for-2 with a single and a stolen base for the winners.  Third baseman Maikel Franco went 0-for-2, including a fly out with a runner on base for the final out of the game for the losing squad.  The contest was nationally televised.

Crawford has tallied a .235 average with four homers and eight RBI in 21 games since he was promoted to Class A Advanced Clearwater.  The lefty batting 19-year-old was an All-Star this season with Class A Lakewood, sporting a .295/.398/.405 slash line in 60 games in the South Atlantic League.

Scouts are very high on Crawford’s skills and it’s likely he’ll begin popping up near the top of national prospect rankings before long.

Franco, began the season with some struggles, but has heated up as of late.  After pledging to fans in a recent interview that can be seen on this week’s Phillies Nation TV (new episodes air each Tuesday at 6 PM on The Comcast Network) that he was about to turn things around offensively, the 21-year-old has posted a .390/.419/.707 slash line in nine games this month.

Overall this season, Franco is batting .230 with six home runs and 42 RBI in 87 games with Triple-A Lehigh Valley.

The MVP of the Futures Game was Texas prospect Joey Gallo, who mashed a two-run homer in the sixth inning to give his team a lead that they wouldn’t surrender.

Gallo is batting .307 with 31 home runs and 73 RBI in 85 games this season at Class A Advanced and Double-A.

The 21-year-old was selected by the Rangers 39th overall in 2012, the pick immediately before the Phillies’ turn in that draft.  The Phils drafted right-handed hurler Shane Watson, who is still sidelined following off-season shoulder surgery.

  • 0 Comments
 

Minor League Notes: Franco Leads List of Players Heating Up

Posted by Jay Floyd, Sun, July 06, 2014 12:15 PM Comments: 6

Here’s a quick stroll through the Phillies’ developmental ranks, reviewing some hot and cold performers of late.

Triple-A Lehigh Valley IronPigs-

MaikelFranco

Maikel Franco, Image- Jay Floyd

Third baseman Maikel Franco has collected nine hits in three games played this month, batting .529 with two doubles, a triple and a homer during those few games.  The 21-year-old righty batter sports a .226/.280/.351 line through 81 games this season.

OF Grady Sizemore has looked great since joining the Phils’ organization.  The 31-year-old lefty batter has hit safely in all seven games played with the Pigs heading into Sunday.  He is batting .303 with a home run and an RBI.

Newly signed right-handed pitcher Jason Marquis has allowed one earned run in 18 innings of work in three starts (two with Lehigh Valley) while striking out 19 and walking three.  The 35-year-old has 14 big league seasons under his belt.

Outfielder/first baseman Darin Ruf, who was activated on Sunday for the IronPigs, went 3-for-23 (.130 avg) with two walks and two RBI in six rehab games with the Gulf Coast League Phillies last week.

Outfielder Cam Perkins is 4-for-30 (.133 avg) over his past nine games entering action on Sunday.  Overall, since his promotion to Triple-A, the 23-year-old Purdue product has tallied a .198 average with three doubles, two triples and six RBI in 27 games. Continue reading Minor League Notes: Franco Leads List of Players Heating Up

  • 6 Comments
 
Previous Page Next Page