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Top 25 Prospects from 2009

Prospect Rankings No. 1: Kyle Drabek

Posted by Ben Seal, Mon, October 05, 2009 05:00 PM Comments: 13

Kyle Drabek, RHPdrabek

Born: 12/8/1987 in Victoria, Texas

Height: 6’0”

Weight: 185

Pitching prospects are always in high demand, and with Carlos Carrasco and Jason Knapp shipped out to Cleveland in July, the Phillies organization lacks some of the top-end depth that they would surely like to have. But while there may not be many on the farm with enough talent to be considered elite pitching prospects, Kyle Drabek is the one pitcher in the Phillies system that has earned the tag. The past year was a breakthrough campaign for Drabek, as he impressed scouts across the country and had his name whispered in trade conversations. No matter the return on their investment, the Phillies refused to trade the 21-year-old righty, holding on to Drabek with the hopes that he is able to pan out in the same way as homegrown talent like Cole Hamels. Being an elite pitcher in the Phillies organization has been hazardous over the last decade for prospects like Gavin Floyd, many of whom never managed to put it together while in Philly, so to say that Drabek is a sure thing would be a lie. But with the potential to become a frontline starter in the not-too-distant future, Drabek gives the organization a singular talent that makes him both the best and most important prospect in the system.

When Drabek was drafted in the first round (18th overall) in 2006, he was a precocious teenager still riding on the success of his father, Doug, who won the NL Cy Young in 1990. Growing up with everything he wanted, Drabek reportedly developed an attitude that turned off many scouts. But it couldn’t do anything to hide his talent. Drabek throws a fastball that sits in the low-90s and tops out around 95 mph, a pitch that he controls very well. He also offers a changeup that still has room for improvement, as it does not always separate in speed from his fastball. The pitch that makes batters cringe, though, is his hammer curve that has been called the best in the minors. During this year’s Futures Game – where Drabek tossed a 1-2-3 inning – his curveball had scouts and fellow pitchers both paused in admiration. The talent has never wavered for Drabek, but a little over a year ago it was unclear if he would be able to use that great right arm when he had to undergo Tommy John surgery in July 2007.

After starting the 2007 season as a 19-year-old at Lakewood, Drabek’s arm needed work by July that would alter his expected path to the majors. He spent a year recovering before rejoining the Gulf Coast Phils at the end of July 2008. Once the 2009 season began Drabek was fully recovered and pitching at Clearwater, where he shut down any concerns over his health and durability. In 61.2 innings with the Threshers he posted a 2.48 ERA and 74 strikeouts to earn a promotion to Reading. He continued to dominate opponents through his first month at double-A before struggling toward the end of the season and being shut down early for precautionary reasons. After throwing 158 innings without any setbacks it became clear that Drabek is back to top form and ready to resume his charge to the Majors.

Much of the success Drabek enjoyed this year can be attributed to Phillies coaches, who helped the pitcher develop a new delivery that makes him both more effective and less susceptible to injury. In an interview with Baseball Prospectus, Drabek discussed the changes he made.

I had to change my mechanics due to Tommy John. I think that helped me out a bunch with my fastball command, which is one of the main things you need to be a successful pitcher. Before Tommy John I would turn my hips in a way that I would be facing left-centerfield. I wasn’t really looking at the catcher. After Tommy John I’m straight up and down, always looking at the catcher, and that allows me to get my fastball to where I want it easier.

Drabek also shortened his leg kick a bit, resulting in a much smoother approach that is easily repeated, something that clearly had positive effects in 2009. Many will hope for Drabek to be fast-tracked and arrive in the Majors sometime late next summer. He has shown an ability to dominate games, but should be given another full season in the minors, and some time at triple-A, before making such a big jump. With his skill set, though, that time will come. And when it does the Phillies might have in their possession a right-handed complement to Hamels and a homegrown 1-2 punch.

Statistics

Year   Level     W   L   ERA    IP    H    ER   BB   K    K/9

2006   ROOK    1   3   7.71   23.1  33   20   11   14   5.4

2007   A         5   1   4.33   54.0  50   26   23   46   7.7

2008   ROOK/A-1   3   2.23   32.1  17    8   12   16   4.5

2009   A+/AA  12   3  3.19  158.0  141  56  50  150   8.5

RankingsAll previous prospect profiles can be found here, which is also on the left sidebar for easy viewing

1.   Kyle Drabek, RHP
2.   Domonic Brown, OF
3.   Michael Taylor, OF
4.   Travis d’Arnaud, C
5.   Zach Collier, OF
6.   Trevor May, RHP
7.   Joe Savery, LHP
8.   Vance Worley, RHP
9.   Sebastian Valle, C
10.  Mike Stutes, RHP
11.  Antonio Bastardo, LHP
12.  Anthony Gose, OF
13.  Colby Shreve, RHP
14.  Anthony Hewitt, 3B
15.  Justin De Fratus, RHP
16.  Sergio Escalona, LHP
17.  Yohan Flande, LHP
18.  Julian Sampson, RHP
19.  John Mayberry, Jr., OF
20.  Mike Cisco, RHP
21.  Freddy Galvis, SS
22.  Jonathan Pettibone, RHP
23.  Domingo Santana, OF
24.  Jonathan Singleton, 1B
25.  Drew Naylor, RHP

  • 13 Comments
 

Prospect Rankings No. 2: Domonic Brown

Posted by Ben Seal, Fri, October 02, 2009 02:10 PM Comments: 6

Domonic Brown, OFdomonic brown

Born: 9/3/1987 in Zephyrhills, Florida

Height: 6’5”

Weight: 204

He could have ended up running routes and catching passes in the NFL, but instead Domonic Brown runs those routes in the outfield and sprays line drives around the field as the Phillies best position prospect. Though he was recruited to play wide receiver for the University of Miami when he was in high school, Brown chose to pursue a career in baseball and looks to be well on his way. Gifted with a long, wiry frame that allows him to have better than average power and speed, Brown is showing himself to be an elite prospect, ranked 24th in the country by MLB.com and 17th by Baseball America this season. With two years of development left before he reaches Michael Taylor’s current age (25), Brown is already showing the statistical output that vaulted Taylor toward the top of the heap.

Brown, who was drafted in the 20th round in 2006 as a right-handed pitcher, has a quick swing allows him to make consistent, solid contact and when he gets his arms extended the result is an impressive display of strength. His body is made to hit balls hard, something he does on a regular basis. Brown uses his smooth left-handed stroke to hit the ball over the field, a skill he has worked on to increase his power to center- and left-field. The same long strides that made him a good wide receiver allow Brown to cover plenty of ground in the outfield. Considering he was drafted as a pitcher, he also has a good throwing arm that, coupled with his range, will make him an asset on either corner of the outfield.

On the basepaths Brown adds another above-average tool to his game. He has stolen 72 bases over parts of four seasons, and though he has been caught stealing 27 times that is still a good success rate for a young player. In a recent interview with Baseball Prospectus, Brown explained the work he has put into become a threat on the bases.

I’m trying to get out here with Q, Quintin Berry, because he’s a great base stealer. It’s all about the technique and reading pitchers, and just getting out there and doing it, working on your cross-over step and getting out there and just doing the job, using your speed. Usually, if a pitcher is around 1.3 [seconds] and up, I’m going. I’m taking a chance, because it’s usually a good time to go.

He has the speed, the defensive range, a strong arm and an ability to hit for both power and average. With all of those skills on his resume, Brown is truly a five-tool prospect, the type that teams salivate over when talking trades. Brown’s name was thrown about all over the place this summer, with every team the Phillies talked to reportedly interested in the 22-year-old. Seeing his name on ESPN throughout July didn’t slow him down at all. Brown started the year in Clearwater before suffering a broken finger that kept him out for six weeks, but rebounded from that injury to earn a promotion to double-A, where he finished well. In 147 at-bats with Reading he hit .279 and slugged 16 extra-base hits, while going 8-for-9 in steal attempts.

There is still room for Brown to grow, more power that will come as he improves his strength and gains more experience. But at 22 he has already turned potential into ability, tools into skills and weaknesses into strengths. When he starts 2010 at Reading there will be plenty of eyes tracking his progress, with Michael Taylor one level ahead of him. By the end of the year he could be at Lehigh Valley with the team and its fans eagerly awaiting his arrival in Philadelphia. It may still be two seasons away, but once Brown makes it to the Majors he’ll be a mainstay for years.

Statistics

Year   Level   AB   H   2B   3B   HR   RBI   BB   K   SB   AVG   OBP   SLG

2006   ROOK  117   25   3    0   1     7   12   30   13   .214  .292   .265

2007   A-/A+  294  88  12    5    4    39   29  49   14   .299  .363   .415

2008   A       444 129  23    3     9   54   64   72   22  .291   .382   .417

2009   A+/AA 395  118   21   9   14   64   49   86  23   .299   .377   504

RankingsAll previous prospect profiles can be found here, which is also on the left sidebar for easy viewing

2.   Domonic Brown, OF
3.   Michael Taylor, OF
4.   Travis d’Arnaud, C
5.   Zach Collier, OF
6.   Trevor May, RHP
7.   Joe Savery, LHP
8.   Vance Worley, RHP
9.   Sebastian Valle, C
10.  Mike Stutes, RHP
11.  Antonio Bastardo, LHP
12.  Anthony Gose, OF
13.  Colby Shreve, RHP
14.  Anthony Hewitt, 3B
15.  Justin De Fratus, RHP
16.  Sergio Escalona, LHP
17.  Yohan Flande, LHP
18.  Julian Sampson, RHP
19.  John Mayberry, Jr., OF
20.  Mike Cisco, RHP
21.  Freddy Galvis, SS
22.  Jonathan Pettibone, RHP
23.  Domingo Santana, OF
24.  Jonathan Singleton, 1B
25.  Drew Naylor, RHP

  • 6 Comments
 

Prospect Rankings No. 3: Michael Taylor

Posted by Ben Seal, Wed, September 30, 2009 12:00 PM Comments: 19

Michael Taylor, OFtaylor2

Born: 12/19/1985 in Cheverly, Maryland

Height: 6’6”

Weight: 250

He was not supposed to be this good. For three years Michael Taylor struggled in college, never managing to achieve the expectations at Stanford that his large bag of tools made for him. Phillies scouts watched him at Apopka High School in 2002 when they were scouting Zack Greinke, and had liked him then, so they chose him in the fifth round of the 2007 Draft when he left Stanford and hoped to cash in on the potential they saw five years earlier. It’s safe to say at this point that both the Phillies and Taylor himself will be cashing in on that potential in the near future, as Taylor has ascended the ranks to become one of the Top 25 prospects in the game according to outlets like Baseball America and MLB.com.

Taylor, a right-handed hitter with a massive frame many have likened to Darryl Strawberry, had trouble in his first season of pro ball at short-season Williamsport. Using the classic “Stanford swing” that all Cardinal products implement, Taylor couldn’t do much of anything, hitting to a .227 batting average in 233 at-bats. Despite the low average he did show some pop, only natural for a player his size. But in 2008, a breakout season by any definition, Taylor abandoned the contact-heavy Stanford swing and began to use a more natural stroke that worked wonders for his performance at the plate. By allowing his great size and strength to do most of the work, Taylor turned into a high-average hitter with above-average power – and even more unharnessed pop that is ready to be unlocked.

The change in his swing allowed Taylor to hit .361 with 25 extra-base hits in half a season at Lakewood before moving on to Clearwater, where he finished with 37 extra-base hits and a .329 average in just 243 at-bats. It was a statement season for Taylor, who instantly rocketed up prospect lists and became a Phillie to watch heading into the 2009 campaign. He didn’t disappoint, hitting .333 with 15 homers in his first taste of double-A ball before making another jump to triple-A Lehigh Valley. Just one level away from the Majors, Taylor started out slow but gained steam in August and finished hitting .282 in limited time, including a 5-for-5 night when he hit for the cycle. A strained oblique ended his season early in mid-August, cutting short a hot streak. In the end he had followed up 2008’s breakout by hitting .320 with 53 extra-base hits across two levels this season. Not bad for a kid who looked lost just two years ago.

The ceiling is very high for Taylor, who will start 2010 at Lehigh Valley and is likely to earn a promotion to the Phillies at some point in the summer. He has a good arm, though nothing spectacular, and managed to steal 21 bags this year despite not having great speed. At the plate he has the type of physique that allows him to drive the ball every time he makes contact, which is often. He may have given up the Stanford swing, but still maintains an impressive average and good walk-to-strikeout ratios across the board. He has played both left and right field well in his career and could slot in at either corner once the Phillies are in need. Though Jayson Werth and Raul Ibanez won’t be vacating their positions next season, Taylor is just a hot start and an early injury away from his first call-up. And when that happens, the outfielder with Ryan Howard’s broad stature and an equally impressive track record will be ready to make an impact.

Statistics

Year   Level   AB   H   2B   3B   HR   RBI   BB   K   SB   AVG   OBP   SLG

2007   A-     233   53  14    0    6    33   23   53   8   .227   .300   .365

2008   A      249  90   12    3   10   50   31   43   10  .361   .441   .554

2008   A+     243  80   27    1    9    38   19   46   5   .329   .380   .560

2009   AA    318  106   22   4    15   65   35   51  18   .333   .408   .569

2009   AAA   110   31   6    1    5    19   13   19   3    .282   .359   .491

RankingsAll previous prospect profiles can be found here, which is also on the left sidebar for easy viewing

3.   Michael Taylor, OF
4.   Travis d’Arnaud, C
5.   Zach Collier, OF
6.   Trevor May, RHP
7.   Joe Savery, LHP
8.   Vance Worley, RHP
9.   Sebastian Valle, C
10.  Mike Stutes, RHP
11.  Antonio Bastardo, LHP
12.  Anthony Gose, OF
13.  Colby Shreve, RHP
14.  Anthony Hewitt, 3B
15.  Justin De Fratus, RHP
16.  Sergio Escalona, LHP
17.  Yohan Flande, LHP
18.  Julian Sampson, RHP
19.  John Mayberry, Jr., OF
20.  Mike Cisco, RHP
21.  Freddy Galvis, SS
22.  Jonathan Pettibone, RHP
23.  Domingo Santana, OF
24.  Jonathan Singleton, 1B
25.  Drew Naylor, RHP

  • 19 Comments
 

Prospect Rankings No. 4: Travis d’Arnaud

Posted by Ben Seal, Mon, September 28, 2009 12:22 PM Comments: 2

Travis d’Arnaud, Cd'arnaud

Born: 2/10/1989 in Lakewood, California

Height: 6’2”

Weight: 195

There are generally two types of catchers in Major League Baseball. There are the offensive catchers who give their team an advantage because the rest of the field is fairly weak behind the plate, like Brian McCann. And there are defensive catchers like Carlos Ruiz, who are lauded for their ability to call a good game and keep runners at their stations. Not many can excel at both facets of the game – and not many are expected to – so when a 20-year-old comes along with the potential to do just that, the hype is bound to build. Though he is still not close to the Majors, Travis d’Arnaud has been equally impressive at the plate and behind it in his minor league career and is now the best infield prospect in the Phillies system.

When the Phillies chose d’Arnaud with a supplemental pick after the 1st round in 2007 he had a reputation as a great defensive catcher with a streaky bat that might never develop. After a so-so showing in Williamsport the summer that he was drafted, d’Arnaud started back in short-season ball in 2008. He opened up well at Williamsport, then moved to Lakewood before the season was out, posting a .305 average and 25 extra-base hits in 239 at-bats between the two leagues. With that, his name began to be mentioned right next to – or even above – Lou Marson’s name on many prospect lists. The pressure was on d’Arnaud to succeed this year, and though he got off to a very slow start, by the end of the year he cemented himself as a serious prospect at one of the few weak offensive positions on the Phillies club.

In his first full season of at-bats d’Arnaud hit .255 with 13 homers and 71 RBI at Lakewood this year. But a deeper look at the numbers shows an even more impressive season for the young catcher. D’Arnaud hit .306 in the second half of the season, consistently ripping off multi-hit games after a disappointing first half. He finished the year by hitting .391 while catching every game in the playoffs for the S.A.L. Champion Blue Claws. His walk-to-strikeout ratio of 41-to-75 isn’t bad, and though he runs like a catcher he has good awareness on the basepaths so he was able to steal eight bags this year. The 13 homers are nothing to laugh at, but next year should see a spike in d’Arnaud’s power. Many of the 38 doubles he pounded out this year will likely begin to clear the fence next year as he harnesses more of his strength.

Scouts say that d’Arnaud has an above-average arm behind the plate, regularly gunning down steal attempts or picking off baserunners straying too far from the bag. His soft hands and agile movement make him a great receiver to go with his strong arm. The type of hitter who gets good contact and hits every ball hard, d’Arnaud should only grow in the next couple of years as a batter. He could be in store for a breakout season in 2010 when he should start in Clearwater with a chance of tasting double-A by the end of the year. The defense is already there, and the offense is well on the way, so it seems only a matter of time before d’Arnaud becomes the complete package at catcher. With the three prospects ahead of him on this list fast-tracked for the Majors, d’Arnaud could be the top prospect in the organization within a year or so.

Statistics

Year   Level   AB   H   2B   HR   RBI   BB   K   AVG    OBP    SLG

2007   ROOK  141  34   3     4    20    4   23  .241   .278   .348

2008   A-      175  54  13    4    25   18   29  .309   .371   .463

2008   A       64    19    5    2    5     5   10   .297   .357   .469

2009   A       482  128  38   13   71   41  75   .255   .319   .419

RankingsAll previous prospect profiles can be found here, which is also on the left sidebar for easy viewing

4.   Travis d’Arnaud, C
5.   Zach Collier, OF
6.   Trevor May, RHP
7.   Joe Savery, LHP
8.   Vance Worley, RHP
9.   Sebastian Valle, C
10.  Mike Stutes, RHP
11.  Antonio Bastardo, LHP
12.  Anthony Gose, OF
13.  Colby Shreve, RHP
14.  Anthony Hewitt, 3B
15.  Justin De Fratus, RHP
16.  Sergio Escalona, LHP
17.  Yohan Flande, LHP
18.  Julian Sampson, RHP
19.  John Mayberry, Jr., OF
20.  Mike Cisco, RHP
21.  Freddy Galvis, SS
22.  Jonathan Pettibone, RHP
23.  Domingo Santana, OF
24.  Jonathan Singleton, 1B
25.  Drew Naylor, RHP

  • 2 Comments
 

Prospect Rankings No. 5: Zach Collier

Posted by Ben Seal, Fri, September 25, 2009 12:16 PM Comments: 13

Zach Collier, OFcollier

Born: 9/8/1990 in Chino Hills, California

Height: 6’2”

Weight: 185

The 2008 Draft was a critical moment for the future hopes of the Phillies organization. With seven picks of the first 136 thanks to compensation picks for losing Aaron Rowand and unsigned selections, there was pressure on the team’s scouts to come up with at least a few big hits to add to the farm. They did just that, finding several top talents to boost the system. The most important player chosen that year could turn out to be Zach Collier (34th overall), a lefty outfielder said to be in the Garrett Anderson mold who still has plenty of room to grow before he can really cash in on his potential.

Though Collier’s statistics don’t look impressive after one full season spent between Williamsport and Lakewood, what they show is a teenager swimming a little bit as he adjusts to pro ball. When he starts next year, likely back at Lakewood before a jump to Clearwater, Collier will be 19 and beginning to fill out physically. He still has about 30 pounds to add to his frame, and once he does that the power numbers will improve quickly. He has a line-drive swing, and if he learns to elevate the ball and get some backspin on it, his strength will translate better and result in extra-base power.

In addition, Collier still has plenty of room for coaching to influence his future. He has good speed but needs to improve his baserunning. He has plenty of internal power but needs to learn how to unlock it. He has a quick swing but needs to learn how to maximize its effectiveness. This may all seem like a lot, but at 19 Collier is more than young enough to give his coaches time to work their magic. A year or two ago the Phillies were in the same spot with Michael Taylor and Domonic Brown, who had all the tools but lacked the polish needed to be put on the fast track to the Majors. As Collier makes his way through the system and learns from the same minds that helped Brown and Taylor mature into well-rounded ballplayers, he should develop in much the same way. That’s not to say he will be on their level by next year, but if he tacks on some muscle and uses his natural ability the potential is there for rapid growth.

“”I understand I’m just out of high school, and I have to develop more, grow into my body,” Collier told the Inquirer in June. “I’m so young I don’t have the physical strength I will have. But I believe that I’ll get there.”

Growing up in California, Collier played on summer league baseball teams with Lakewood speedster Anthony Gose. His friend and teammate is ahead of him on the learning curve right now after leading all of the minor leagues in stolen bases this season, but Collier has a much higher ceiling. Of all the players in the Phillies system, Collier has the best chance of bursting onto the scene next season with a breakout campaign, much like Taylor did in 2008. If he can do that, Collier will add even more top-shelf talent to a very deep pool of Phillies outfielders in the minor leagues.

Statistics

Year   Level   AB    H   2B   3B   HR   RBI   BB   K   SB   AVG   OBP   SLG

2008   ROOK  129   35   9    1    0    19   17   28   5   .271   .347   .357

2009   A-     137   31   10   1    1    13    9   42    7   .226   .280   .336

2009   A      298   65   16   7    0    32   23   80   13   .218   .275   .319

RankingsAll previous prospect profiles can be found here, which is also on the left sidebar for easy viewing

5.   Zach Collier, OF
6.   Trevor May, RHP
7.   Joe Savery, LHP
8.   Vance Worley, RHP
9.   Sebastian Valle, C
10.  Mike Stutes, RHP
11.  Antonio Bastardo, LHP
12.  Anthony Gose, OF
13.  Colby Shreve, RHP
14.  Anthony Hewitt, 3B
15.  Justin De Fratus, RHP
16.  Sergio Escalona, LHP
17.  Yohan Flande, LHP
18.  Julian Sampson, RHP
19.  John Mayberry, Jr., OF
20.  Mike Cisco, RHP
21.  Freddy Galvis, SS
22.  Jonathan Pettibone, RHP
23.  Domingo Santana, OF
24.  Jonathan Singleton, 1B
25.  Drew Naylor, RHP

  • 13 Comments
 

Prospect Rankings No. 6: Trevor May

Posted by Ben Seal, Wed, September 23, 2009 12:37 PM Comments: 2

Trevor May, RHPmay

Born: 9/23/1989 in Kelso, Washington

Height: 6’5”

Weight: 215

Perhaps the most difficult prospect to give up in the Cliff Lee trade was Jason Knapp, a teenage fireballer with great strikeout potential and room to grow into a frontline starter. But while the Phillies will likely miss Knapp’s services down the road, Trevor May is ready to step into his spot and become the next young gun for the organization and fans to anticipate. With a large, durable frame, three good pitches and some gaudy numbers, May made the biggest rise in the Phillies system this year, turning himself into a Top Ten prospect with plenty of room for improvement.

The Phillies drafted May in the 4th round (136 overall) in 2008 and convinced him to sign rather than head to the University of Washington to play college ball. The decision seems to have paid off so far for May, who had an excellent season at single-A Lakewood. After pitching 12 decent innings last season in the Gulf Coast League after being drafted, May skipped short-season ball and headed right for Lakewood as a 19-year-old. He missed all of spring training and a portion of the season with a back injury, but it clearly didn’t affect him once he made it back to the mound.

May is very young, but has already developed three effective pitches that will only improve as he fills out physically and gains some strength. His fastball is a heavy one, hitting between 92-94 on the gun and topping out at 95. He complements that with an overhand hammer curve that has 12-6 motion, and a changeup that is reportedly good but still needs some work to catch up to his other pitches. May’s broad shoulders and large frame make him look like a durable, work-horse type pitcher, and he was just that for Lakewood this season on the run to the South Atlantic League Championship, taking the ball every time his turn in the rotation came up and posting great results. He struck out at least one batter per inning in all but two of his starts with Lakewood, despite it being his first time pitching above rookie ball.

The numbers really say it all for May: 15 starts with Lakewood, during which he threw to a 2.56 ERA while striking out 95 batters in 77.1 innings and allowing only 58 hits. He pitched well in two postseason starts and finished the year without allowing a run in his last 21 innings, and just three in his final 37 innings. It was a dominant season, one that will make for some high expectations next year when May is likely to start in Clearwater. If he can repeat the success he displayed this year, and with Kyle Drabek possibly on his way to Philadelphia late in the 2010 season, May could be the Phillies top pitching prospect by this time next year.

Statistics

Year   Level   W   L   ERA   IP    H   ER   BB   K   K/9

2008   ROOK   1   1   3.75  12.0  11   5   7   11   8.2

2009   A        4   1   2.56  77.1  58  22  43   95   11.1

RankingsAll previous prospect profiles can be found here, which is also on the left sidebar for easy viewing

6.   Trevor May, RHP
7.   Joe Savery, LHP
8.   Vance Worley, RHP
9.   Sebastian Valle, C
10.  Mike Stutes, RHP
11.  Antonio Bastardo, LHP
12.  Anthony Gose, OF
13.  Colby Shreve, RHP
14.  Anthony Hewitt, 3B
15.  Justin De Fratus, RHP
16.  Sergio Escalona, LHP
17.  Yohan Flande, LHP
18.  Julian Sampson, RHP
19.  John Mayberry, Jr., OF
20.  Mike Cisco, RHP
21.  Freddy Galvis, SS
22.  Jonathan Pettibone, RHP
23.  Domingo Santana, OF
24.  Jonathan Singleton, 1B
25.  Drew Naylor, RHP

  • 2 Comments
 

Prospect Rankings No. 7: Joe Savery

Posted by Ben Seal, Mon, September 21, 2009 06:30 PM Comments: 5

Joe Savery, LHPsavery

Born: 11/4/1985 in Houston, Texas

Height: 6’3”

Weight: 215

Coming out of high school in 2004, Joe Savery was drafted by the Dodgers in the 15th round. Rather sign with L.A. he chose to attend Rice to play college baseball and entered the draft again in 2007. The time at Rice paid off for Savery, as the Phillies picked him 19th overall in the first round, placing immediate expectations on the lefty. So far in the minors he has shown both the talent that made him a first-rounder and some inconsistencies that make his future with the club a little less clear than many would like.

Savery works with a fastball in the low-90s, one that he can control well on either side of the plate when he is on his game. He throws a slider that still needs plenty of improvement to become a Major League pitch, but makes up for that with an excellent changeup. Savery’s change sinks low and away to right-handed batters and is his best pitch. The changeup will be his bread and butter once he can make the rest of his stuff rise up to meet it. Though his control is top-notch when he is on, Savery too often finds himself struggling to locate and command his pitches, making them ineffective. He also throws only a four-seam fastball with minimal life, one that does not profile as much of an out pitch.

When he jumped out to a 12-4 record this year at Reading before being called up to Lehigh Valley, Savery became a need-to-know prospect. The peripheral stats weren’t anything spectacular – a 4.41 ERA at Reading – but winning games is the goal, and he certainly knows how to do that. He didn’t look great at triple-A after the call-up, but there is reason to assume a full season at that level will benefit him next  year. He has the pitches and makeup to find greater success next season, which will be make-or-break year for Savery. He is still just 23 and should be given at least another year to put it all together and show why he was a first-round pick. If he does, it should be an exciting year on the farm in 2010.

Savery’s stock may be falling after it reached its high point earlier this summer, but what he has shown above all else is an ability to win baseball games, and if that translates to the Majors then he is deserving of a spot in the Top Ten. He has a great build and is experienced, and after three years in the system he is the Phillies best left-handed starting prospect.

Statistics

Year   Level   W   L   ERA   IP     H   ER   BB   K    K/9

2007   A-      2   3   2.73  26.1   22   8   13   22   7.5

2008   A+     9   10  4.13  150.1 171  69  60  122   7.3

2009   AA    12   4   4.41  112.1  111 55  53   77    6.2

2009   AAA   4   2    4.38  39.0   42   19   24   19   4.4

RankingsAll previous prospect profiles can be found here, which is also on the left sidebar for easy viewing

7.   Joe Savery, LHP
8.   Vance Worley, RHP
9.   Sebastian Valle, C
10.  Mike Stutes, RHP
11.  Antonio Bastardo, LHP
12.  Anthony Gose, OF
13.  Colby Shreve, RHP
14.  Anthony Hewitt, 3B
15.  Justin De Fratus, RHP
16.  Sergio Escalona, LHP
17.  Yohan Flande, LHP
18.  Julian Sampson, RHP
19.  John Mayberry, Jr., OF
20.  Mike Cisco, RHP
21.  Freddy Galvis, SS
22.  Jonathan Pettibone, RHP
23.  Domingo Santana, OF
24.  Jonathan Singleton, 1B
25.  Drew Naylor, RHP

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Prospect Rankings No. 8: Vance Worley

Posted by Ben Seal, Fri, September 18, 2009 12:00 PM Comments: 3

Vance Worley, RHPworley

Born: 9/25/1987 in Sacramento, California

Height: 6’2”

Weight: 220

Alongside fellow righty Mike Stutes, Worley was drafted by the Phils last season (3rd round, 102 overall) and found himself at double-A Reading to open his first full pro season. That’s a big jump for anyone and Worley handled it well despite not putting up very impressive numbers. He pitched at Long Beach State, a well-known college pitching program, before coming to Philadelphia, and already has some of the polish that prospects take years to develop. With four pitches and great control, he has all the makings of a Top 10 prospect.

Stutes and Worley will always be linked because of their early experiences in the minor leagues. Both were high picks in the ’08 Draft, then pitched at Williamsport and Lakewood last season. Just like Stutes, Worley dominated opponents at those levels, striking out 61 batters against 8 walks in 69 innings last year. The two made the significant leap to Reading together this season, and both struggled to continue their success. With Worley, though, there is reason to believe that there could be a statistical turnaround next year that will elevate his status as a top prospect.

Worley throws four pitches: a four-seam and two-seam fastball, a curveball and a changeup. He offers a two-seamer in the 87-89 range that has some sink, as well as a four-seamer that sits around 91-93 but can touch 94 or 95. The four-seamer has good life as well. His changeup is right where it should be, around 79-81 on the radar gun, and his low-70s curve is developing quickly. Worley’s struggles this season might have been in part caused by an attempt to strengthen all of those pitches and focus on increasing the effectiveness of his off-speed stuff. His greatest strength is probably his control of all those pitches, which his double-A pitching coach said is “major league.”

It was a tough year for Worley, adjusting to an entirely new level of opponents in the Eastern League, but he will need to step it up next year to remain a highly-rated prospect. The pieces are all in place – four pitches, great command, a quality pitching education in college – for him to turn it around quickly and achieve success in 2010. That may mean he starts at Reading to show that he can perform well at double-A, or he might be challenged yet again with a spot in the staff at Lehigh Valley. Either way next year will be a big test for his future in the organization.

Statistics

Year   Level   W   L   ERA    IP     H    ER   BB   K    K/9

2008   A-      0   0    1.12   8.0    3   1     1    8   9.0

2008   A       3   2   2.66   61.0   58   18   7   53   7.8

2009   AA     7   12  5.34  153.1  163  91  49  100  5.9

RankingsAll previous prospect profiles can be found here, which is also on the left sidebar for easy viewing

8.   Vance Worley, RHP
9.   Sebastian Valle, C
10.  Mike Stutes, RHP
11.  Antonio Bastardo, LHP
12.  Anthony Gose, OF
13.  Colby Shreve, RHP
14.  Anthony Hewitt, 3B
15.  Justin De Fratus, RHP
16.  Sergio Escalona, LHP
17.  Yohan Flande, LHP
18.  Julian Sampson, RHP
19.  John Mayberry, Jr., OF
20.  Mike Cisco, RHP
21.  Freddy Galvis, SS
22.  Jonathan Pettibone, RHP
23.  Domingo Santana, OF
24.  Jonathan Singleton, 1B
25.  Drew Naylor, RHP

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Prospect Rankings No. 9: Sebastian Valle

Posted by Ben Seal, Wed, September 16, 2009 02:30 PM Comments: 0

Sebastian Valle, Cvalle

Born: 7/24/1990 in Los Mochis, Mexico

Height: 6’1”

Weight: 170

When the Phillies traded catcher Lou Marson to Cleveland in the Cliff Lee deal, there were two players in the farm system that made the loss bearable. Sebastian Valle, one of the Phils’ two catching prospects that landed in the Top 10, may not be Major League-ready like Marson, but he could very well be a more enticing option within a few years.

Valle is a teenager and has only been playing behind the plate since he was 17, so it’s fair to expect a handful of bumps along the way. But while it may be three years before Valle is a viable option to play in the Majors, he is already showing some impressive attributes that make him a valuable commodity.

The Phillies signed Valle as a non-drafted free agent in October, 2006 and he spent 2007 playing in the Dominican Summer League as a 16-year-old. He moved on to the GCL last year and posted strong numbers, highlighted by his 15 doubles, good for third in the league. He made the jump to single-A Lakewood to start this season, but struggled to adjust as one of the youngest players at that level.

Valle was sent down to short-season Williamsport in the middle of the year and flourished, hitting .307 with 26 extra-base hits in 50 games in the pitching-heavy New York-Penn League. Valle spent the last month of the season back in Lakewood, and though his overall numbers at single-A don’t look great, he still showed plenty of pop, slugging 12 doubles in 45 games.

It will be some time before Valle is ready to contribute at the top level of the organization. He will need to prove that he can handle pitchers well – both at the plate and behind it – as he advances through the system. But if his early success is any indication of what the future might hold, the Phillies can expect the buzz around Valle to grow.

Statistics

Year   Level    AB    R   H   2B   3B   HR   RBI   BB   K   AVG   OBP   SLG

2007   ROOK   176   29   50  13   1    2    25    29  26   .284  .398  .403

2008   ROOK   167   27   47  15   0    2    18    12   31  .281  .341  .407

2009   A-       192   25  59  15   5    6    40    10   41  .307  .335  .531

2009   A        157   16  35  12   1    1    15    16   37  .223  .313  .331

RankingsAll previous prospect profiles can be found here, which is also on the left sidebar for easy viewing

9.   Sebastian Valle, C
10.  Mike Stutes, RHP
11.  Antonio Bastardo, LHP
12.  Anthony Gose, OF
13.  Colby Shreve, RHP
14.  Anthony Hewitt, 3B
15.  Justin De Fratus, RHP
16.  Sergio Escalona, LHP
17.  Yohan Flande, LHP
18.  Julian Sampson, RHP
19.  John Mayberry, Jr., OF
20.  Mike Cisco, RHP
21.  Freddy Galvis, SS
22.  Jonathan Pettibone, RHP
23.  Domingo Santana, OF
24.  Jonathan Singleton, 1B
25.  Drew Naylor, RHP

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Prospect Rankings No. 10: Mike Stutes

Posted by Ben Seal, Mon, September 14, 2009 06:54 PM Comments: 0

Mike Stutes, RHP

Born:  9/4/1986 in Corvallis, Oregon

Height: 6’1”

Weight: 185

Experience always counts for something, and in the case of Mike Stutes it counts for a lot. The 23-year-old just completed his first full season of sp.beavers.sn.8020minor league ball, but is well ahead of the learning curve for his relative youth as a professional. Before the Phillies chose him in the 11th round (346th overall) of the 2008 Draft, Stutes pitched in college at Oregon State where he helped his team to two straight College World Series in ’06 and ’07. That experience pitching on a big stage for two years in a row will surely make a difference for Stutes in his pro career.

But more important than Stutes’ experience is what he can do on the mound. And pitching all of 2009 at double-A Reading, Stutes showed that he is more than capable on the mound. After throwing 69.2 stellar innings last season between Williamsport and Lakewood, the Phillies decided to move Stutes up to double-A to start 2009, a big jump for his first full pro season. With teammate Vance Worley, Stutes became the first Phillies prospect to start at Reading the year after he was drafted since Pat Burrell in 1999. Stutes handled the task well, finishing the year with a 4.26 ERA in 27 starts. He had some poor stretches, especially as he wore down a bit toward the end of the summer, but also showed a great deal of ability and performed very well most of the time.

Stutes is an athletic pitcher with a good low-90s fastball that still has room to improve if he can add a little bit of size. Both his fastball and his curveball are plus pitches that will carry him as he moves through the system and scouts have described him as having advanced off-speed stuff. He is not a dominant strikeout pitcher, and his strikeouts-to-walk ratio is just about 2-to-1, but that hasn’t stopped him from getting batters out consistently.

His great showing in 2008 across two levels made Stutes look like a fast-track type of pitcher, one that would blaze through the system and make it to the Majors sooner rather than later. This year he made a huge jump to face much more talented batters and fared well, but the real test will come next year. It’s likely that he starts at Reading again and is up with Lehigh Valley in triple-A before long. He has said that he thinks he’s ready to start at triple-A, and that remains a possibility. Either way he will need to find more consistency and continue to grow as a pitcher, which seems attainable for someone with Stutes’ pedigree.

Statistics

Year   Level   W   L   ERA   IP     H    ER    BB    K    K/9

2008   A-      2   1   1.33   27    16    4    11   31   10.3

2008   A       5   1   1.48  42.2   20    7    18   53   11.2

2009   AA      8   8   4.26 145.2  147  69   58   109   6.7

RankingsAll previous prospect profiles can be found here, which is also on the left sidebar for easy viewing

10.  Mike Stutes, RHP
11.  Antonio Bastardo, LHP
12.  Anthony Gose, OF
13.  Colby Shreve, RHP
14.  Anthony Hewitt, 3B
15.  Justin De Fratus, RHP
16.  Sergio Escalona, LHP
17.  Yohan Flande, LHP
18.  Julian Sampson, RHP
19.  John Mayberry, Jr., OF
20.  Mike Cisco, RHP
21.  Freddy Galvis, SS
22.  Jonathan Pettibone, RHP
23.  Domingo Santana, OF
24.  Jonathan Singleton, 1B
25.  Drew Naylor, RHP

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