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PN Interview: Joe Jordan talks Phils prospects

Posted by Jay Floyd, Mon, August 11, 2014 08:00 AM Comments: 27

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

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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

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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

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Minor League Notebook: Greene Update, Collier & Dugan Return

Posted by Jay Floyd, Wed, June 18, 2014 07:30 AM Comments: 4

Larry Greene works with a coach, Image- Jay Floyd

-Good news this week for Larry Greene Jr., who was previously said to have required surgery to repair his ailing left wrist.  The 21-year-old outfielder has resumed game action after spending time in a brace and is playing intrasquad games with the group that is slated to become the Gulf Coast League Phillies.

The Phillies’ top draft pick from 2011 anticipates that he could be activated for the Class A BlueClaws by July 1st.  Greene’s original diagnosis was a cartilage tear.

Prior to being sidelined, the Georgia native posted a .167 average with five RBI and two steals in 15 games with Lakewood this year.

The GCL kicks off its season this coming Friday.  Greene could continue action there once their season begins.

-Two other outfielders made their returns for the Double-A Reading Fightins on Tuesday.  Former 1st round draft selection Zach Collier (back) and 2009 second round pick Kelly Dugan (oblique) were in the lineup, going 2-for-4 and 1-for-4 respectively.

The 23-year-old Collier, who drove in two runs in his return, sports a .214/.308/.282 slash line in 34 games this season.

Dugan, 23, has posted a .275/.396/.375 slash line in 14 games for Reading this year. Continue reading Minor League Notebook: Greene Update, Collier & Dugan Return

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Howard, Lee, Hamels Make Fortunate 50 List

Posted by R.C. Cowie, Tue, June 17, 2014 04:05 PM Comments: 1

Fortune Magazine in collaboration with Sports Illustrated have just released the 2014 Fortunate 50. According to David Roberts description of the criteria, the list ranks U.S. citizens who play or participate in a U.S.-based league or sport. The monetary accumulations for each athlete are taken from reports of pre-tax salary, endorsement deals and bonuses. The 2014 list is topped by boxer Floyd Mayweather who earned $105,000,000 last year. He was also ranked number one on the Fortunate 50 list last year. The highest earning baseball player, Zach Greinke, ranks 15th,  earning $24,000,000 as a part of his monster deal signed in 2012.

Three Phillies made the Fortunate 50 list, Ryan Howard, Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels. Howard is ranked 17th overall with $26,100,000 in total earnings. His 25 million dollar salary is supplemented by 1.1 million in endorsements from Subway and Scholastic publishing, where he is set to co-author a children’s book series with his wife.

Cliff Lee lands 23rd overall with total earnings of $25,270,000. Lee’s dollars include his 25 million salary and accumulated endorsement deals from AT&T, Rawlings and Holman Automotive in New Jersey.

Lastly, Cole Hamels comes in at 37 totaling $22,850,000. Hamels earns $350,000 from deals with Big League Chew, New Balance and Marucci on top of his 22.5 million dollar salary.

The Phillies are currently in last place in the National League East. They sit 5.5 games back from the Atlanta Braves, who they will face in game two of a three games series in Atlanta tonight.

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Minor League Hot/Cold List: Lincoln, Altherr, Perkins, Quinn, Franco, Rupp

Posted by Jay Floyd, Wed, June 11, 2014 07:45 AM Comments: 7

The latest semi-weekly rundown of your top performers from the Phillies developmental ranks and those that aren’t doing so well is back. In this edition we look at all four full-season clubs.


Triple-A Lehigh Valley IronPigs-

Who’s hot…

Right-hander Brad Lincoln has pitched 13 scoreless innings over his last two starts while allowing just four total hits in those outings. The 29-year-old allowed three earned runs in 2 1/3 innings this season in relief with the big league team. Lincoln was the 4th overall draft selection by the Pirates back in 2006.

Through his first seven games since earning a promotion to Lehigh Valley, OF Cameron Perkins posted a .308 batting average. With Double-A Reading this season, the 23-year-old sported a .342/.408/.495 slash line. Perkins was the Phillies’ 6th round draft choice in 2012.

Who’s not…

Third baseman Maikel Franco entered action on Tuesday batting .103 with a home runs and five RBI in nine June games. Overall this season, the 21-year-old Dominican was batting .212 with five homers and 25 RBI in 60 games. Franco entered the 2014 campaign ranked widely as the Phillies’ top prospect.

Catcher Cameron Rupp entered action on Tuesday batting .152 with two homers and seven RBI over his previous 20 games. Since going 4-for-16 with four home runs in his first four games of the season with the IronPigs, 25-year-old is batting .158 with two homers in 25 games. Rupp was the Phillies’ 3rd round draft choice in 2010.


Double-A Reading Fightins-

Who’s hot…

Infielder Carlos Alonso entered action on Tuesday sporting a .452/.553/.774 slash line in eight June games. Through 55 games this season, the 26-year-old was batting .282 with six homers and 18 RBI. Alonso, a University of Delaware product was the Phils’ 32nd round draft pick in 2010.

Outfielder Aaron Altherr was batting .414 through his opening eight games this month. The 23-year-old began the season with a wrist injury and is batting .230 with three home runs and 18 RBI through 47 games with Reading this season. Altherr was selected by the Phillies in the 9th round of the 2009 draft. Continue reading Minor League Hot/Cold List: Lincoln, Altherr, Perkins, Quinn, Franco, Rupp

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Minor League Notebook: Hot/Cold List, Injury Updates

Posted by Jay Floyd, Mon, May 26, 2014 08:00 AM Comments: 15

The latest semi-weekly rundown of your top performers from the Phillies developmental ranks and those that need to turn some things around includes a few injury notes on some key prospects.  Read ahead on the latest from the minors.


Triple-A Lehigh Valley IronPigs (25-24 record, 4th place in the International League North division)-

Who’s hot…

Maikel Franco, Image- Jay Floyd

Third baseman/first baseman Maikel Franco has tallied a .301/.389/.482 slash line in 21 games this month.  The 21-year-old, who is rumored to be a candidate to join the big league roster this week, missed two games over the weekend due to a respiratory illness.

Outfielder Steve Susdorf is having quite a month, sporting a .344 average with seven doubles and nine RBI in 22 games.  The 28-year-old lefty batter went 1-for-7 in three games with the big league Phillies last season.

Who’s not…

Catcher Cameron Rupp is batting .208 with a home run in seven games since returning from the disabled list following an oblique strain.  Rupp, 25, went 4-for-13 (.308 avg) in four games in the majors last season.

In his most recent start against Toledo, righty pitcher Brad Lincoln allowed five earned runs in five innings.  While the 29-year-old has tallied a 3.71 ERA in four starts, he’s averaging less than five innings per start.  Lincoln allowed three earned runs in 2 1/3 innings for the Phillies this season.


Double-A Reading (28-19, 2nd place in the Eastern League’s Eastern division)-

Injury notes…

Lefty ace Jesse Biddle missed his start on Sunday after experiencing headaches which stemmed from being struck in the head with ice during a hail storm on Thursday. The 22-year-old has a 3-4 record with a 3.18 ERA and a 9.69 K/9 mark in 10 games this year.

Outfielder Kelly Dugan is still rehabbing his oblique strain in Clearwater and expects that he could return to game action in the coming days.  Through 14 games this season, the 23-year-old was batting .275 with a home run and five RBI. Continue reading Minor League Notebook: Hot/Cold List, Injury Updates

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BlueClaws Quotables: Coaches talk about Grullon, Walding, others

Posted by Jay Floyd, Wed, May 21, 2014 07:30 AM Comments: 2

This week I spoke with Lakewood manager Greg Legg and team pitching coach Les Lancaster about a some Class A BlueClaws players.  Legg, who is in his 33rd year in the Phillies organization, shared some thoughts about a pair of young positional prospects, catcher Deivi Grullon and third baseman Mitch Walding.  Lancaster, who pitched in the majors for seven seasons and is coaching his fourth season in the Phils system, shared thoughts on righty starter Ranfi Casimiro and BlueClaws reliever Ulises Joaquin.

Deivi Grullon, Image- Jay Floyd

-Legg speaking about Grullon, an 18-year-old backstop who was ranked as PhilliesNation.com’s #24 prospect heading into the season…

“He’s as young as they get.  I don’t know if there’s anybody younger in the league than him.  He’s got a lot of energy back there.  He’s got a strong arm.  He’s just a young catcher with some tools.  And we’re hoping, Les and myself and Lino, that we can get him experience behind the plate on how to call a game and, especially with our young pitchers.  And he’s getting better at it every time out.”

-Legg on the 21-year-old Walding (.247 avg., three doubles, seven RBI in 20 games), who appears in great shape following surgery to remove a rib that had been a chronic problem dating back to last season…

“(He’s got) a little more experience.  He’s a veteran now and he knows what’s coming or knows what to expect and he’s been carrying himself real well.  He’s got great presence on the field and he’s got quick hands with that bat, when he uses them.  He gets us hits.”

-Lancaster spoke of  the 21-year-old righty Joaquin, who entered action on Tuesday with a 6.13 ERA, but regularly clocks 93-95 MPH with his fastball… Continue reading BlueClaws Quotables: Coaches talk about Grullon, Walding, others

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Fightins Quotables: Hewitt, Alonso & Wathan Speak

Posted by Jay Floyd, Fri, May 16, 2014 03:35 PM Comments: 2

While covering the Double-A Reading Fightins over the past week, I collected a ton of feedback from  many players and coaches.  With so much material in the hopper, here are some quotes that I didn’t want readers to miss from 2008′s top Phillies draft pick Anthony Hewitt, U Del product and utility infielder Carlos Alonso as well as team manager Dusty Wathan.

Anthony Hewitt, Image- Jay Floyd

-Hewitt (.139/.149/.181 slash line in 24 games this season) spoke of if there’s any mental impact related to his struggles at the plate thus far in 2014…

Mental impact?  I don’t even know.  I’m struggling, (but) I’m just going out there every day, grinding, having fun, having a positive attitude, getting my work in on and off the field and, you know, that’s all I can do.  It’s a game of failure.  Just, right now, no hits are falling.  No luck’s turning my way, but I’m sure that tomorrow, today, whenever it’s gonna happen, good luck’s gonna fall my way, hits are gonna start falling my way.  Everything comes in bunches and I can’t wait till the bunches start coming my way.

-The 25-year-old Hewitt on if he is discouraged with the lack of offense he has produced, when he was able to be more productive last season at the same level…

No, not discouraging at all.  It’s just that’s just the way it is.  That’s just the way the cookie crumbles sometimes.  You just gotta stay positive and stay at it and, um, you know, things unfold the way they’re supposed to be at the end of the season.  It’s still early.  We still got plenty of season to go.

-Hewitt on if he is ever frustrated when his name is not in the lineup…

No, that thought process doesn’t even come to mind.  I just come to the field every day ready to work and with the mindset that I’m gonna play and that’s how I feel you gotta keep it.  Let’s say someone gets hurt during the day, I’m ready to go.  My mindset doesn’t change.  I come to the ballpark ready to play and that’s it.  That’s the mindset I’m always going to have, whether I’m playing or not. Continue reading Fightins Quotables: Hewitt, Alonso & Wathan Speak

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This Week in Phillies’ History- May 11-18

Posted by Kenny Ayres, Sun, May 11, 2014 08:00 PM Comments: 1

There has been an awful lot of Phillies baseball that has been played since 1883- close to 20,000 games in fact. A lot can happen in 20,000 games, including broken records, quirky plays, once-in-a-lifetime performances and a tons of other historical gems that often go forgotten. In order to remember those days that shaped the history of the organization, here is the first of our new weekly post called This Week in Phillies’ History.

May 11

1923- Phils top Cards 20-14, combine for 10 home runs

The Phillies hit six of those home runs, including three bombs by Cy Williams, his 10th, 11th and 12th of the young season. He went on to lead the National League with 41 homers in 1923. Leadoff hitter Johnny Mokan hot two round trippers, while second baseman Frank Parkinson blasted one himself. Williams (7 RBI), Mokan (7 RBI) and Parkinson (5 RBI) were responsible for driving in all but one of the 2o runs scored.  Phillies pitcher Petie Behan drove in the other, and won his first game of the season despite allowing eight runs on ten hits in five innings.

May 13

1960- Phils shut out 1-0 for third straight game

The first two losses came on May 11 and 12 at the hand of the New York Giants, with great performances by Jim Owens and Robin Roberts going to waste. The third game was the first of a four game set against Cincinnati. In the fifth inning, Vada Pinson tripled to center, driving in Billy Martin for the only run of the game. Jim O’Toole tossed a complete game for the Reds, scattering seven hits en route to the shutout. The Phillies made up for the lack of offense in the next two games, scoring 18 times and winning both contests against Cincinnati before eventually splitting the series.

May 14

1942 and 1977- Happy Birthday to Tony and Doc

Tony Perez, remembered for playing on the 1983 Phillies’ pennant winning team, was born on May 14 in 1942. In that 1983 season, a 41-year old Perez hit .241 with six homers and 43 RBI. It was his one and only season with the Phillies, as he returned to the Reds to finish his Hall of Fame, 23-year career.

Doc Halladay was also born on May 14, in 1977. His first two seasons with the Phillies (2010 and 2011) were among the best of his career. In 2010, of course, he won the N.L. Cy Young Award after posting a 21-10 record, 2.44 ERA, throwing a perfect game, as well as completing the second ever postseason no-hitter. In 2011, he won 19 games and lowered his ERA to 2.35, and was narrowly edged by Clayton Kershaw for the Cy Young Award. As a Phillies pitcher, despite two less-than-stellar years before retiring, Halladay was 55-29 with a 3.25 ERA.

May 16

1953- Leadoff single ends up being only baserunner against Curt Simmons

When Brewers’ center fielder Bill Bruton led off the game with a single, then one better late advanced on a passed ball, it didn’t look like the night was going to go the Phillies’ way. But pitcher Curt Simmons, who had already won five games in the young season, rebounded in the biggest way possible. Simmons mowed down the next 27 hitters he faced, 10 of them via strikeout, as he came as close to a perfect game as one can get. The performance lowered his season ERA to 1.42, and put him on the unfortunate list of near perfectos, right along with Ernie Shore in 1917, who retired all 27 batters he faced after Babe Ruth walked the leadoff batter and was ejected for arguing.

1984- Lefty hits slam off Valenzuela

Fernando Valenzuela was not all that easy to hit off of, but nobody told Steve Carlton that on May 16, 1984. Carlton, who was known for being able to swing the bat well, lifted off against Valenzuela for a grand slam in the fourth inning—his 10th career home run. Carlton also was the winning pitcher, as he allowed just one run and struck out six in seven innings.  Since Lefty’s slam, only two Phillies’ pitchers—Jeff Juden in 1995 and Robert Person in 2002—have accomplished the feat.

 

 

 

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