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Posts Tagged ‘Arizona Fall League’

PN Interview: Cody Asche, Fall League Edition

Posted by Jay Floyd, Tue, October 16, 2012 11:55 AM Comments: 5

The Arizona Fall League is in full swing and Phils third base prospect Cody Asche (pronounced ASH-ee) is leading the way for the Peoria Javelinas.

Last year’s 4th round draft selection out of the University of Nebraska posted a .324 batting average with 12 homers and 72 RBI through 130 combined games with Class A Advanced Clearwater and Double A Reading in his first full season as a pro this year.

Thus far in five games, playing for the Javelinas, Asche is sporting a .375 average with four doubles, three RBI and two runs scored.

This week, Cody answered some questions, sharing his thoughts on the AFL, the Phillies’ new hitting coach Steve Henderson and plenty more.  Read ahead to check out that full interview.

- What are your early thoughts on playing in the Arizona Fall League and the competition there?

It is a great experience. You get to play against organizations and players that you haven’t seen before. The competition is great.  Everyone playing is here for a reason.

- Many players from last year’s Arizona Fall League made their MLB debuts this year.  Clearly that ultimate goal must always be in the back of your mind, but does an experience like this make you feel legitimately closer to the big show?

Not really, no. I do know the track record of players in the AFL, but they weren’t called up because they played in this league. No matter what you do, you will have to go prove yourself everyday, no matter what league you are in. You have to go out and earn your call-up.
Continue reading PN Interview: Cody Asche, Fall League Edition

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New Arizona Fall League Season Kicks Off

Posted by Jay Floyd, Tue, October 09, 2012 08:00 AM Comments: 1

Tuesday marks the beginning of another baseball season…the Arizona Fall League season.  This year, as the league celebrates its 20th anniversary, representatives from the Phillies organization will team with players from the Reds, Padres, Twins and Mariners to make up the Poeria Javelinas roster.

Led by 2012 Double-A Reading Phillies manager Dusty Wathan, the club will feature seven Phils minor leaguers.  Righty relievers Kyle Simon, Tyler Knigge and Colby Shreve, who each manned a key bullpen role for the R-Phils into the playoffs this season, will solidify Peoria’s relief corp.  Left-hander Jay Johnson will also be serving as a reliever for the team.  Additionally, catcher Tommy Joseph, who was acquired by the Phillies in the Hunter Pence trade this year, will see considerable playing time.  Third baseman Cody Asche, who made an impact at two levels in 2012, his first full year of professional baseball, is also on the roster along with outfielder Zach Collier, who was the Phils’ supplementary 1st round draft choice in 2008.

Simon, a 22-year-old, was acquired from Baltimore in the Jim Thome trade this year, posted excellent numbers after joining the Phils system.  In 20 contests, the University of Arizona product posted a 4-0 record with a 1.36 ERA while striking out 35 batters and walking just six in 39 2/3 innings.  Simon was the Orioles’ 4th round draft pick in 2011. Continue reading New Arizona Fall League Season Kicks Off

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Schwimer: Diekman, Valdes, Luna Called Up

Posted by Jay Floyd, Thu, May 10, 2012 04:32 PM Comments: 19

Phillies’ up-again-down-again reliever Michael Schwimer posted a congratulatory message on Twitter to three Lehigh Valley IronPigs teammates on Thursday afternoon in relation to their promotions to the big league club.  The three players mentioned were lefty hurlers Jake Diekman (pictured) and Raul Valdes as well as mulit-positional veteran Hector Luna.

Diekman, 25, has posted sparkling numbers dating back to last year.  Over 16 combined relief outings in the Arizona Fall League and in Major League spring training this year, Diekman posted a 0.55 ERA with 23 strike outs and 7 walks.  The Nebraska native followed that up by allowing just 1 earned run through 12 relief innings, while striking out 22 and walking just 3 batters with the IronPigs.

Diekman, a 30th round pick of the Phillies in the 2007 amateur draft, sports a fastball that reaches 95 MPH, a solid slider and a deceiving change up. He was ranked 18th on the 2012 PhilliesNation top prospects countdown.

Valdes was signed by the Phillies last October as a free agent and has big league experience with the Yankees and St. Louis.  In 51 Major League games, Valdes has posted a 3-4 record with 4.58 ERA and a .265 batting average against.  This season with the IronPigs, the Cuba native was 1-2 with 1 save and a 3.86 ERA while producing an impressive 26/1 strike out/walk ratio in 21 innings pitched over 11 relief outings.

The additions to the relief corps should help solidify a Phillies bullpen that has shown considerable weakness this season, serving up a Major League worst 5.59 ERA in 31 games. The struggles have gotten worse recently, as Phillies relievers have allowed 19 earned runs in 16 2/3 innings over the past six games, leaving no question that some changes in the bullpen were necessary. Continue reading Schwimer: Diekman, Valdes, Luna Called Up

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R-Phils’ Ruf Focused on Performance, Not Obstacles

Posted by Jay Floyd, Fri, May 04, 2012 07:30 AM Comments: 3

The term prospect is typically reserved for younger players who display considerable talent in the minor leagues and tends to skip those players that might be of a more advanced age.  The omission associated with the way older players can be overlooked doesn’t bother 25-year-old Reading Phillies first baseman Darin Ruf, who has developed into an impact player and has proven to be his team’s standout offensive star.

Through 26 games for the R-Phils in the Double-A Eastern League, Ruf has posted impressive numbers, tallying a .362 batting average with 2 homeruns, 11 RBI and 15 runs scored.

A 20th round draft pick by the Phillies in 2009, Ruf has steadily progressed upward in the developmental system during his time as a pro, having made stops in the rookie level Gulf Coast League, Class A Lakewood, Class A Advanced Clearwater and now with Reading.

A solid performer at the plate last year with a .308 average, 17 HR and 82 RBI with Clearwater in the Florida State League, Ruf credits his time playing as a member of the Scottsdale Scorpions last autumn with benefiting his offensive development.

“I think a lot of my success can be attributed to my time in the Arizona Fall League.  I got a lot of good learning in, out there.  I got to pick the brains of some different coaches and some of the players…guys that have had success at the big league level and everything like that,” Ruf stated. Continue reading R-Phils’ Ruf Focused on Performance, Not Obstacles

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Spring Training Check In: Tyson Gillies

Posted by Jay Floyd, Sun, March 04, 2012 11:55 AM Comments: 0

Well-regarded Phillies outfield prospect Tyson Gillies is back at it for his third season in the organization. After being acquired in the December, 2009 trade that sent Cliff Lee to Seattle, Gillies, a 23-year-old British Columbia native, has been plagued with nagging injuries that have held him to just 31 regular season games and a hand full of extended spring training games played.

In his days with Seattle, Gillies posted remarkable numbers (.341 avg, 9 HR, 42 RBI, 44 SB, .916 OPS with Class A Advanced High Desert in 2009) and earned an invitation to the MLB Futures Game.

After an off-season in which he played in 27 Arizona Fall League games and spent countless days at the Phillies’ spring training home in Clearwater, FL, Gillies is 100% healthy and is focused on having an impact season in the Philadelphia developmental ranks.

This past week, Gillies went 1-for-2 with 2 runs scored and a stolen base in the Phillies’ victory over the Florida State University Seminoles in the spring’s exhibition opener. As the spring continues, team brass will be watching the speedy outfielder closely in hopes that he returns to being an elite performer.

Recently, I briefly spoke with Tyson about pressure to perform, learning from established big leaguers, golf and plenty more. Read ahead for that interview. Continue reading Spring Training Check In: Tyson Gillies

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Prospect Nation 2012: #5 RHP Justin De Fratus

Posted by Jay Floyd, Sat, March 03, 2012 08:05 AM Comments: 0

Righty hurler Justin De Fratus was selected in the 11th round in the 2007 amateur draft by the Phillies, and since then has been one of the organization’s most steady ascenders.

After signing his first pro contract in 2007, as a member of the rookie level Gulf Coast League Phillies, De Fratus posted a 2-3 record with a 4.30 ERA and a .273 batting average against in 10 games, 8 of which were starts.

The following season, the Oxnard, CA native pitched with the short season Low A Williamsport Crosscutters. In 14 games as a starter, the California native went 6-5 with a 3.67 ERA and a .260 batting average against.

In 2009, De Fratus was a key piece of the Class A Lakewood BlueClaws pitching staff, taking on both starting and relief duties. In 36 games (12 starts) that season, De Fratus went 5-6 with 3 saves, a 3.19 ERA and a .258 batting average against.

After beginning the 2010 regular season with Class A Advanced Clearwater and posting a 2-0 record with 15 saves and a 1.79 ERA in 29 games, De Fratus was promoted to Double-A Reading in early July. Over the last two months of the season, as a member of the R-Phils, he went 1-0 with 6 saves and a 2.19 ERA in 20 games. Combined at the two levels and pitching exclusively out of the bullpen, opponents batted .208 against De Fratus. Continue reading Prospect Nation 2012: #5 RHP Justin De Fratus

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Prospect Nation 2012: #10 OF Jiwan James

Posted by Jay Floyd, Mon, February 20, 2012 08:14 AM Comments: 0

Originally drafted as a pitcher in the 22nd round of the 2007 draft, Jiwan James was converted to an everyday player in 2009. The switch-hitter has since earned recognition as a superb athlete and a rising star within the Phillies developmental ranks.

In his first season as an everyday player, James played in 30 games with short-season Class A Williamsport. As a member of the Crosscutters in the NY-Penn League, James batted .264 with a homer and 13 RBI.

The following season, James helped the Class A Lakewood BlueClaws lock down a second straight South Atlantic League title. The 6-foot-4-inch 185-pounder shined atop the batting order for SAL champs, setting a club record 24-game hitting streak in July. In the longest season of his career to that point, James posted a .270 average with 26 doubles, 6 triples, 5 homers and 64 RBI in 133 games played. Continue reading Prospect Nation 2012: #10 OF Jiwan James

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Prospect Nation 2012: #18 LHP Jake Diekman

Posted by Jay Floyd, Wed, February 01, 2012 03:02 PM Comments: 1

Lefty reliever Jake Diekman raised his value a considerable amount in 2011. The 6-foot-4-inch 190-pounder was fresh off a dismal effort in the Arizona Fall League, over the off-season, when a revised focus and some simple adjustments to his loosening efforts breathed new life into the young hurler’s pro career.

After struggling in the Arizona Fall League in 2010, when he allowed 12 earned runs in 3 2/3 innings over 5 outings, Diekman refocused his approach on the mound. Diekman entered the 2011 season with a goal of throwing all his pitches for strikes and getting into a hitter’s mentality in order to mix up his approach toward the opposition. That approach helped the Phillies’ 30th round draft choice from 2007 compete against hitters at the higher levels of the minors. Continue reading Prospect Nation 2012: #18 LHP Jake Diekman

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Prospect Nation 2012: #21 1B Cody Overbeck

Posted by Jay Floyd, Mon, January 23, 2012 12:00 PM Comments: 3

Cody Overbeck has proven himself to be an impact slugger after slamming 48 total homeruns and driving in 154 runs across three levels of the Philadelphia developmental ranks from 2010-2011. Throughout his time in the Philadelphia system, Overbeck, who is regarded for his quick hands and his ability to drive the ball, has been valuable to every lineup he has swung a bat for.

Formerly a third baseman through his first three seasons in the minor leagues, Overbeck, a 6-foot-1-inch 200-pounder, dabbled in the outfield and was primarily a first baseman in 2011 with Double-A Reading and Triple-A Lehigh Valley. The experience for Overbeck increased his versatility. Continue reading Prospect Nation 2012: #21 1B Cody Overbeck

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Gillies Focused on Bounce Back Year

Posted by Jay Floyd, Sat, December 17, 2011 12:30 PM Comments: 3

Ask a child about his Christmas wish list and the tyke might not be quite as excited as Tyson Gillies is when he talks about being on a baseball field on a daily basis. The Phillies’ young outfield prospect has spent a great amount of time away from the diamond, as he has suffered repeated injuries over the past two seasons. However, at long last recently, Gillies has been on the field, training at the Phillies’ spring training facilities in Clearwater, FL.

“I took a week to ten days off for Thanksgiving and when I came back I started hitting straight away. (I’ve) been taking fly balls in the outfield and I’ll be starting to run again here soon. And basically, I’ve just been lifting weights, hitting and fielding a little bit. I love being on the field!”

The Canadian born Gillies was acquired by Philadelphia as part of the December 2009 Cliff Lee trade with Seattle, along with pitchers J.C. Ramirez and Phillippe Aumont. Continue reading Gillies Focused on Bounce Back Year

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