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Posts Tagged ‘Arizona Fall League’

2011 Phillies AFL Wrap Up

Posted by Jay Floyd, Sat, November 19, 2011 01:35 PM Comments: 1

The Arizona Fall League season wraps up today as the Salt River Rafters take on the Surprise Saguaros in the championship game in Scottsdale. The game will be broadcast live on MLB Network and on MLB.com at 3 PM Eastern.

No Phillies prospects will be represented in the title contest, as their club, the Scottsdale Scorpions finished 14-22, placing last in the East division.

Salt River features minor leaguers from the Astros, D-Backs, Dodgers, Rockies and Tigers, while Surprise includes players from the Braves, Marlins, Rays, Rangers and Royals.

Despite Philadelphia farmhands missing out on the final game of the AFL season, let’s take a look at their fall league performances, with some players shining and others just getting by.

Lefty hurler Jake Diekman, who was added to the Phillies’ 40-man roster on Friday, performed exceptionally for the Scorpions. The 6-foot-4-inch 190-pound reliever allowed just 1 earned run in 11 appearances (11 1/3 innings) while striking out 14 batters and walking 6. AFL opponents posted a lowly .079 batting average against Diekman, who also recorded 2 saves. The Nebraska native was originally a 30th round draft pick by the Phillies in 2007. Continue reading 2011 Phillies AFL Wrap Up

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Phillies Add 4 to 40-Man Roster

Posted by Pat Gallen, Fri, November 18, 2011 12:25 PM Comments: 12

From the Phillies:

PHOTO: Delcotimes.com

Right-hander Phillippe Aumont, left-hander Jacob Diekman, catcher Sebastian Valle and outfielder Tyson Gillies had their contracts selected to the Phillies’ 40-man roster, the club announced today.

Aumont (right), 22, posted a 2-5 record with seven saves in nine opportunities and a 2.68 ERA in 43 combined games for double-A Reading and triple-A Lehigh Valley in 2011. Between both clubs, the 6-foot-7 reliever recorded 78 strikeouts in 53.2 innings and held opponents to a .216 batting average. The Phillies Minor League Pitcher of the Week for April 7-17 of this year, Aumont was acquired via trade from the Mariners in 2009. He was a first-round selection (11th overall) of Seattle in the 2007 draft.  Following the season, Aumont was named the fifth-best prospect in the Phillies minor league system by Baseball America.

Continue reading Phillies Add 4 to 40-Man Roster

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Diekman Set to Shine Among AFL Stars

Posted by Jay Floyd, Sat, November 05, 2011 09:00 AM Comments: 4

The Arizona Fall League’s Rising Stars Game is set to be played tonight at 8 PM EST. The exhibition contest that features many top prospects from all across baseball will be televised nationally on MLB Network.

Left-handed pitcher Jake Diekman, a 30th round draft choice in 2007, will be the Phillies’ lone representative, as he will be among the relievers for the East division squad.

Thus far in 7 appearances for the Scottsdale Scorpions, the 6-foot-4-inch 190-pound Diekman has not allowed a run or a hit. In 7 1/3 innings, Diekman has struck out 9 opponents and walked 5.

Continue reading Diekman Set to Shine Among AFL Stars

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Phillies On Deck, Vol. 2: De Fratus & Aumont

Posted by Jay Floyd, Wed, November 02, 2011 12:00 PM Comments: 0

From time to time this off-season, we’ll take a look at young players within the Phillies organization that could impact the big league roster in 2012. In this edition, relievers Justin De Fratus and Phillipe Aumont will be the focus, as they target filling out a Philadelphia bullpen that has multiple potential vacancies.

With the Phillies’ refusal of Brad Lidge‘s option and with free agent Ryan Madson possibly on the move out of town, the club has some openings up for grabs in the coming season. A pair of young fireballers stand a great shot at filling those voids on the roster for the five-time defending National League East division champions.

Righty hurlers Justin De Fratus and Phillippe Aumont are two of the top candidates to make a big splash on the Phillies pitching staff next year. Each of the two relievers looked sharp at two levels of the developmental ranks this year.

De Fratus was drafted in the 11th round of the 2007 amateur draft by the Phillies. Often praised for his control, De Fratus has seen his stock rise based on his improved abilities to get batters to swing and miss. In recent years, the 6-foot-4-inch 220-pounder has seen his K/9 rate go from 8.84 in 2008 and 2009, to 9.83 in 2010, then to 11.86 in 2011.

The California native, De Fratus, has a repertoire that includes a fastball that tops out at 96 MPH, a slider which he improved in the Arizona Fall League last year after working with former Major Leaguer Ricky Bones and a deceptive change up. Continue reading Phillies On Deck, Vol. 2: De Fratus & Aumont

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Galvis Injures Wrist; Arizona Fall League Update

Posted by Pat Gallen, Wed, October 19, 2011 12:16 PM Comments: 10

PHOTO: Lehigh Valley Live

GALVIS OUT

According to Philly.com, Freddy Galvis was removed from the lineup of a Venezuelan League game on Tuesday with an injured wrist. The report comes from Gerardo Boscan of Mi Diario newspaper in Maracaibo, Venezuela, who tweeted that Galvis was removed from the lineup after feeling discomfort in his right wrist (throwing hand).

The 21-year-old Venezuelan-native began play last week for the the Aguilas de Zulia of the Venezuelan Winter League.

It’s going to be a very interesting winter for Galvis, depending on what happens with Jimmy Rollins and the contract negotiations between he and the Phillies. If Rollins stays, Galvis will get ample time to shore up his game in the minors and work his way into a top shortstop prospect for the future. If Rollins goes, Galvis may be looked at as a replacement in the nearer future.

No word on the extent of the injury in the reports, but a wrist injury can certainly be damning to a shortstop’s progress, both at the plate and in the field.  We’ll update once more information becomes available.

Continue reading Galvis Injures Wrist; Arizona Fall League Update

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Phillies on Deck, Vol. 1: Rizzotti, Overbeck

Posted by Jay Floyd, Sun, October 16, 2011 06:15 PM Comments: 21

Cody Overbeck.

In the coming weeks and months we’ll be taking a look at several young talents within the organization that could make an impact on the Phillies’ big league roster in 2012. With this first edition, we’ll review a couple names that could seize an opportunity due to the Achilles tendon injury that Ryan Howard suffered in the final game of the National League Division Series.

It’s no secret that three-time All-Star first baseman Ryan Howard could possibly miss the start of next season after undergoing surgery on his ruptured left Achilles tendon this past week. While many fans, media members and baseball analysts expect the Phillies to fill the void, next April, with John Mayberry Jr., who played 18 games at first base in 2011, the team will have other in-house options courtesy of a pair of older prospects.

Perhaps the leading option from the minors that could fill in while “The Big Piece” is out of action is 25-year-old Cody Overbeck. The 9th round draft pick from 2008 has been strong on offense in each of the past two seasons, posting a .276 combined average with 48 total homeruns and 154 RBI.

Formerly a third baseman through his first three seasons in the Phillies developmental system, Overbeck dabbled in the outfield and was primarily a first baseman in 2011 with Double-A Reading and Triple-A Lehigh Valley, which clearly increased his versatility.

Continue reading Phillies on Deck, Vol. 1: Rizzotti, Overbeck

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Justin De Fratus Interview Excerpts

Posted by Jay Floyd, Thu, May 19, 2011 07:55 AM Comments: 0

Armed with a 2-0 record, 3 saves and a 2.95 ERA in 15 games this season for the Double A Reading Phillies, Justin De Fratus continues to make strides toward his goal of reaching the Major Leagues.

Ranked as a top 10 prospect within the Phillies system last off-season, the 23-year-old De Fratus was in camp with the Phillies during big league spring training. In 3 games with the Phils during the Grapefruit League season, De Fratus allowed 4 earned runs in 4 innings and took a loss. He did strike out an impressive 5 batters in those 4 frames, however.

The 6-foot-3-inch, 220-pound De Fratus stood out as a force in relief last year for both the High A Clearwater Threshers and the R-Phils. In 49 combined games at the two levels, De Fratus posted a 3-0 record with 21 saves and a 1.94 ERA.

De Fratus continued his excellent 2011 by pitching for Team USA in the Pan-American qualifiers held in Puerto Rico, helping the Americans finish with a 9-1 record. He also posted outstanding statistics for the Mesa Solar Sox in the Arizona Fall League, holding opponents to a .125 batting average in 7 scoreless outings.

I spoke with Justin recently about his Reading teammates, his well regarded command, Twitter and much more. Check out the media player below to listen to excerpts from the interview.


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Jay Floyd is PhilliesNation’s minor league contributor.  You can check out more solid content from Jay by visiting his site, PhoulBallz.com.

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Minor League Exhibition Updates

Posted by Jay Floyd, Tue, March 22, 2011 05:45 AM Comments: 0

With loads of updates coming out of Clearwater on the big league Phillies, it’s about time we took a glance at some of the organization’s prospects and their performances in developmental level Grapefruit League action thus far.

24-year-old Josh Zeid, who helped the Class A Lakewood BlueClaws win their second consecutive South Atlantic League title in 2010, then went on to shine the Arizona Fall League as a member of the Mesa Solar Sox. Thus far in 2 spring starts, the 10th round pick from the 2009 amateur draft, has tossed 5 shutout innings for the Double A Reading Phillies club. Zeid has allowed 4 hits and just 1 walk, while striking out 7 batters.

With Lakewood last year, Zeid sported an 8-4 record and a 2.93 ERA for Lakewood. He fanned 111 batters over 107.1 IP as both a reliever and a starter. In the AFL, Zeid started 4 games, going 3-0 with a 3.86 ERA while holding opponents to a .206 batting average.

Justin Friend, who was selected in the minor league phase of last December’s Rule 5 draft out of the Athletics’ system, has thrown 4 scoreless innings in 2 appearances with the Phils’ Double A club. A 13th round pick in the 2007 draft, the right-handed Friend went 3-3 with a 3.70 ERA in 36 games with Double A Midland last season. Friend is 24 years old.

Jesse Biddle has thrown 5 2/3 scoreless innings in 2 appearance thus far with the Class A Lakewood team. Biddle, a lefty hurler and native Philadelphian, was last year’s top draft pick and posted a 4-1 record with a 3.92 ERA in 12 games combined with the Gulf Coast League Phillies and short season Williamsport in 2010.

Jarred Cosart threw 3 shut out innings and allowed just 1 hit in his lone spring appearance for the High A level Clearwater team thus far. Cosart, the Phillies’ 20-year-old top pitching prospect who sports a high-90′s fastball, posted a 7-3 record and a 3.79 ERA before having his 2010 season shortened due to an elbow injury.

Joe Savery has had a strong start at the plate. The former top draft pick out of Rice University has converted to an everyday player, after pitching in the Phillies’ system for four years. In his first three spring games, Savery, now a designated hitter and first baseman, had 5 hits and has continued to be successful as the exhibition season has rolled on. Continue reading Minor League Exhibition Updates

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ProspectNation 2011: #5 Justin De Fratus- RHP

Posted by Jay Floyd, Sat, February 19, 2011 02:00 PM Comments: 4

Right-handed pitcher Justin De Fratus, a California native, who was drafted in the 11th round in the 2007 amateur draft, has shown steady progression since signing his first professional contract with the Phillies.

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, De Fratus pitched with the short season Low A Williamsport Crosscutters. In 14 games as a starter, the man known to his brothers and friends as J-Bone 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 High-A level 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.

De Fratus stayed hot throughout the off-season, pitching for Team USA in the Pan-American qualifiers held in Puerto Rico, helping the Americans finish with a 9-1 record. He also posted exceptional statistics for the Mesa Solar Sox in the Arizona Fall League Continue reading ProspectNation 2011: #5 Justin De Fratus- RHP

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Minor Jobs: How Prospects Spend Their Off-seasons

Posted by Jay Floyd, Thu, December 30, 2010 07:29 PM Comments: 4

As many fans know, not every baseball player gets a huge signing bonus or a large salary. Many minor league players find themselves working in the Autumn and Winter months to supplement their income and to stay busy. A question often wondered by fans: What do prospects do during the off-season? The answer is simple…pretty much anything and everything.

Phillies first base prospect Matt Rizzotti is an individual who typically finds himself working during his time away from the baseball diamond. However, Rizzotti is not working this Winter as a result of having spent much of this off-season continuing to play baseball. Following the 2010 regular season, Rizzotti went to instructional ball in Clearwater for a month, then spent another five weeks playing for Mesa in the Arizona Fall League, where he batted .333 with an .865 OPS in 19 games.

Last year, however, Rizzotti, who was a physical education major at Manhattan College, went back to his roots and worked as a full-time teaching assistant at the high school which he graduated from in Floral Park, NY. Rizzotti, a 6th round pick in the 2007 amateur draft, has also held one position in previous off-seasons that he enjoyed quite a bit, while working for a friend’s family. “My best friend’s father owns a haunted house in New York City and I usually work there every year too, from September through the month of October. I don’t even have to dress up, I just naturally scare people,” Rizzotti said in an exclusive interview.

Phillies minor league third baseman and 2nd round pick in the 2007 MLB draft Travis “Moose” Mattair is another player who goes back to his high school, as he has coached basketball there for the past three years. “I was the varsity assistant coach for 2 years and I became the head coach for the freshman girls this season,” Mattair said. “I never thought I’d coach a girls sport, but I absolutely love it. It’s more than just coaching to me. It’s a fun gig, and keeps me in at my old high school where I’m friends with so many of the staff there.”

2010 Lakewood BlueClaws pitcher Mike McGuire, who grew up in the Philadelphia area, chose employment where he can stay in shape, during the Autumn and Winter months. “For the past three years, I’ve been working at a baseball facility, up here in West Chester, PA,” McGuire said. “And we’ve got a nice facility here. We’ve got pitching mounds and an indoor field. We get about 40-50 kids here every week to coach and give lessons. It’s called All Star Baseball Academy. We’ve got four locations around the area right now.

“I’ll get to work with an 8-year-old and give him pitching lessons, or work with a guy who is ready to go to college ball. It’s a good routine to have. It keeps me working, I’m making some money and keeping myself baseball ready.”

McGuire is one of three active minor leaguers working at his location. The others include lefty hurler Tom Cochran, now in the Reds system, who was once in spring training with the Phillies.

Left-handed pitcher Nick Hernandez, a 12th round draft selection in 2009, stays close to the sport of baseball without being on a field, or in a training center. Hernandez, a 2010 South Atlantic League (Class A) All-star, works for a memorabilia and merchandise retailer. “(It’s) called Collectibles of the Game. It is an online retail store that ships apparel, signed items, Christmas ornaments, stockings (and more) to people who make orders online through Amazon or through our website which is CollectiblesoftheGame.com. The company has a retail store at our local mall, but most of our business is done online as we have about 2,000 orders daily during the holiday rush.” According to Hernandez, his favorite items to sell are player autographs and Phillies bobble head dolls.

Some of the other gigs that Phillies prospects have had in recent years include sales clerk at Best Buy, wait staff at a Red Robin restaurant, office intern and grounds crew staff member at a golf course.

Other players, who don’t work, like top pitching prospect Jarred Cosart, simply train during the Winter months. “I spend most of my time dedicated to baseball,” said Cosart, who has spent his off-season working out five days a week and began a throwing program in mid-December after allowing some down time for his prized right arm. “I go to a trainer three days a week to work out and condition as well as do the same exercises by myself on the other two days.”

Cosart will report to spring training early, on January 15th, in order to work closely with team trainers, coaches and other pitchers.

Rizzotti is another player that stays in shape by working with a personal trainer. “I go to a trainer, basically everyday, about 5-6 days a week. I have a trainer that I got with, he got me in shape last off-season. He loves the stairs…anything can be done- walking and running- it can be done on the stairs,” Rizzotti, who dropped a  considerable amount of weight last Winter stated.

Whether it’s work or working out, all of the Phillies prospects I spoke with have their minds constantly focused on baseball all throughout the colder months of the year. With visions of fastballs dancing in their heads, spring training can not come quickly enough for these ballplayers, especially if their meantime employment isn’t the most ideal.

And according to one player, “Rolling 70 sets of silverware at the end of your shift (at a restaurant) truly makes you realize how awesome baseball is, even in the toughest of times.”

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Jay Floyd is PhilliesNation’s minor league contributor.  You can read more from Jay by visiting his website, PhoulBallz.com.

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