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Posts Tagged ‘Philadelphia Organization’

Dugan becoming Lakewood’s offensive star

Posted by Jay Floyd, Thu, May 31, 2012 11:00 AM Comments: 0

Lakewood BlueClaws first baseman Kelly Dugan has been somewhat forgotten by many people that follow prospects throughout the minor leagues.

A flurry of physical setbacks have prevented the Phillies’ top selection from the 2009 MLB amateur draft (2nd round, 75th pick overall) from progressing through the system with any type of commanding push.

This year, however, Kelly, the son of film director Dennis Dugan (Happy Gilmore, Big Daddy), hopes to make enough of a splash in the Class A South Atlantic League to rekindle some of the excitement that surrounded him when he was originally selected by the Phils.

The level of instant popularity that came Dugan’s way upon joining the Phillies organization could have been credited to an image taken on draft day from the set of his father’s film, Grown Ups, which starred Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Chris Rock and David Spade. With the closely knit star power involved and the collection of widely-known actors all sporting Phillies caps, fans and media alike were ready to see this Hollywood endorsed ballplayer make an impact in the pros.

Unfortunately for the 21-year-old Dugan, injuries have hindered his progress.

In 2010, Dugan dealt with a staph infection after being hit with a batted ball during batting practice, which resulted in him missing a large chunk of the season. The history of disabled list stints left Dugan in disbelief, like last month when he turned his left ankle badly while stepping on first base and fielding a throw on a close play. The damage to the ankle was only a sprain, despite awful looking bruises and substantial swelling. Dugan was grateful for only needing to miss about two weeks of action with his latest ailment.

“When you get injured, you can’t really move up,” Dugan told me recently. “You need to take at bats at each level and you have to show that you can produce at the level before they’re going to move you up, so you just end up repeating. It was frustrating, but it just makes me grateful that I can go out and play right now.” Continue reading Dugan becoming Lakewood’s offensive star

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PN Interview: Eric Pettis Talks Being Cut & New Book

Posted by Jay Floyd, Wed, April 04, 2012 11:54 AM Comments: 3

Eric Pettis proved that even 35th round draft picks can make a name for themselves. In roughly a year and a half in the Phillies organization, the UC Irvine product posted a 10-3 record, a 2.17 ERA and 12 saves with 122 strike outs in 128 2/3 innings pitched. Last week the Phillies surprised many by releasing the 23-year-old who was selected late by Philadelphia in the 2010 amateur draft.

With the bad came some good, however, as Pettis announced the release of his first book. Available in electronic formats, Just a Minor Perspective: Through the Eyes of a Minor League Rookie, became available to the public last week.

With his newly found free time, Pettis was able to answer questions about being cut by the Philadelphia organization as well as a few inquiries about his debut as an author. Read ahead for that exclusive interview.

Many people were surprised to learn of your release from the Phillies organization this past week. I imagine your were more surprised than anyone. Can you talk about learning of that news and your reaction?

Continue reading PN Interview: Eric Pettis Talks Being Cut & New Book

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South Jersey’s Rice and Others Released by Phils

Posted by Jay Floyd, Fri, March 30, 2012 10:53 PM Comments: 3

On the heels of a string of cuts this week, the Phillies released three more players from minor league camp on Friday, including outfielders Bill Rice (pictured) and Brent Clevlen as well as catcher Jeff Lanning.

Rice, a native of Sewell, NJ, was signed by the Phillies following a tryout at Lakewood’s FirstEnergy Park in June, 2010. Always a standout at every amateur level he has played, Rice’s lifelong dream of competing as a professional was achieved when the team he grew up cheering for offered him a contract.

Last year, in 46 combined games with the rookie level Gulf Coast League Phillies and the Class A Lakewood BlueClaws, the 5-foot-11-inch 185-pounder sported a .296 batting average with 1 HR, 13 RBI and 10 stolen bases.

After watching several teammates receive similar news in recent weeks, the lefty hitting speedster was stunned to learn he was being released early Friday.

Speaking exclusively with PhilliesNation.com’s Jay Floyd, Rice expressed his greatest appreciation for the Philadelphia organization.

“The Phillies helped me out in so many ways, in the game of baseball and life as well,” Rice said. “I’ve learned so much these past couple years and have all of my coaches and people in the organization to thank for that, along with the chance to do what I love and getting a shot at professional baseball.”

With no plans on giving up on continuing to live his dream, the 23-year-old Rice feels his pro career is nowhere near finished.

“I feel they made a mistake in releasing me but it is a business and I can’t hold that against them. I wish all the guys in the organization much success, but I do plan to take this opportunity to prove them wrong,” Rice stated. Continue reading South Jersey’s Rice and Others Released by Phils

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Phillies Continue to Make Cuts Throughout Organization

Posted by Jay Floyd, Wed, March 28, 2012 08:19 PM Comments: 9

Eric Pettis. (photo: Jay Floyd)

The Phillies continued their trimming of the masses in minor league camp Wednesday morning by releasing another group of players. Among those who were let go was lefty pitcher Matt Way. Right-handed hurler Eric Pettis (pictured) was also among those cut.

Way was often injured during his time in the Philadelphia organization. In three seasons as a pro, including 2011 in which he did not pitch, Way posted a 13-9 record with a 3.22 ERA in 31 games (30 starts). The 24-year-old was a 5th round draft choice in 2009, out of Washington State.

Pettis stormed onto the pro scene as a 35th round draft selection in 2010, going 8-0 with 7 saves and a 1.37 ERA in 20 outings (5 starts) and becoming a NY-Penn League All-Star with the Williamsport Crosscutters that year before joining Class A Lakewood for their playoff push. Last season, Pettis, now 23-years-old, continued his success, tallying a 2-3 record with 5 saves and a 2.84 ERA in 47 combined relief appearances with Class A Lakewood and Class A Advanced Clearwater. The release of Pettis is rather surprising, as many thought he was a solid option to contribute as a reliever at higher levels.

As more names of released players become available, we’ll have that information right here.

A source in Clearwater has also confirmed that the following players have been released by the Phillies: catcher Nolan Clark, catcher Chabriel Pizarro, right-handed pitcher Cody Fick, outfielder Luis Amaro and righty hurler Leonel Bastidas.

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Phillies Cut More Farm Hands

Posted by Jay Floyd, Sun, March 25, 2012 12:30 PM Comments: 3

Early Sunday morning, the following players were informed that the Phillies no longer required their services: Luis Unda, Ian Durham, Paul Cusick, Chase Johnson, Juary Gomez and Rye Davis.

Unda (pictured, right), a 22-year-old infielder had been signed by the Phillies in 2008 and played as high as Class A Lakewood, where he went 0-for-8 in 3 games played last season. The Venezuelan native was a member of the Phils’ championship Gulf Coast League team in 2010.

Durham, a 23-yar-old righty pitcher, went 1-0 with a 3.62 ERA and 2 saves in 18 appearances for the Gulf Coast League Phillies last year.

Cusick, a 23-year-old right-hander, was drafted by the Phillies last year. In 18 combined appearances (1 start) with the GCL team and Williamsport in 2011, the University of Penn product went 3-2 with a 3.79 ERA.

Johnson (pictured), a righty reliever that was selected in the 21st round of the 2009 draft, had a respectable season with Class A Lakewood in 2011 (4-6 record, 4.31 ERA, .268 batting average against). As the closer for short-season Williamsport in 2010, Johnson was a New York-Penn League All-Star.  Johnson will turn 24 years old next month.

Gomez, a native of Venezuela, had a very good campaign last year for Williamsport, as the team’s closer. In 28 relief appearances, Gomez went 4-1 with 10 saves and a 2.84 ERA. The right-hander was signed by the Phillies back in 2008. Gomes turns 22-years-old in May.

Davis, a Western Kentucky grad, was also signed as a non-drafted free agent last year. In 17 combined relief outings with the GCL team and Lakewood, he posted a 1-1 record with 2 saves and a 2.33 ERA. Davis turned 23 years old over the off-season.

Keep it locked right here for breaking news at all levels of the Philadelphia organization.

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

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Prospect Nation 2012: #8 RHP Julio Rodriguez

Posted by Jay Floyd, Thu, February 23, 2012 08:00 AM Comments: 5

Right-handed pitcher Julio Rodriguez has quietly become one of the Phillies’ most promising prospects in recent years. Without the hype and buzz that has surrounded other well-regarded youngsters within the Philadelphia organization, the Puerto Rican born hurler has proven himself worthy of being held in considerable regard by the Phils, their fans and talent evaluators alike.

Drafted in the 8th round of the 2008 amateur draft as a 17-year-old, Rodriguez made his professional debut that same year, throwing in 7 games with the Gulf Coast League Phillies. However, the 6-foot-4-inch 200-pounder struggled, as he sported a 12.19 ERA and a .383 batting average against.

The following season, back in the GCL, Rodriguez added some strength and made some serious improvements in the GCL, posting a 1-2 record with a 3.08 ERA and a .197 batting average against in 11 games (8 starts).

In 2010, as a 19-year-old, Rodriguez began the season in extended spring training, but joined the Class A Lakewood BlueClaws in May. He spent time with the short-season Williamsport Crosscutters as well that year, and finished with an overall record of 7-3 with a 1.89 ERA and a .175 batting average against in 20 outings (12 starts). Continue reading Prospect Nation 2012: #8 RHP Julio Rodriguez

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Prospect Nation 2012: #11 OF Tyson Gillies

Posted by Jay Floyd, Thu, February 16, 2012 12:00 PM Comments: 1

Having dealt with a series of significant injuries since joining the Phillies organization in the December 2009 trade that sent Cliff Lee to Seattle, outfielder Tyson Gillies has become somewhat of an afterthought. Having only played in 31 total regular season games since joining the Philadelphia organization, the lefty batting speedster has not been able to prove himself worthy of the high praise that led to his inclusion in that deal and earned him a spot among the players in the 2009 MLB Futures Game.

Growing up in British Columbia, Gillies played both hockey and baseball. However, in his teenage years, Gillies felt that it was best to choose one sport to focus on and, as determined by his size at the time, he selected baseball. As he progressed as a player, his love and passion for that great game developed along with his talents and he has never looked back.

A 25th round draft selection of the Mariners in the 2006 amateur draft, Gillies began his professional career the following year, as a member of the Arizona League Mariners and later with Everett of the Class A Northwest League. Combined at the two levels, Gillies posted a .255 batting average with 11 steals and a .688 OPS in 39 games. Continue reading Prospect Nation 2012: #11 OF Tyson Gillies

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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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Australian League Rolling Again

Posted by Jay Floyd, Fri, November 04, 2011 12:30 AM Comments: 3

The second season of the revamped Australian Baseball League gets under way this weekend. Over the years, the ABL had previous incarnations that failed. The current version debuted in 2010 as a new entity that is jointly owned by Major League Baseball (75%) and the Australian Baseball Federation (25%). The league features many American players and coaches, plenty of which are employed by MLB affiliated clubs in the United States.

The league down under consists of six teams and has the potential to grow in the coming years, provided the fan attention progresses with it.

According to former Phillies minor league hurler Mike McGuire, who will pitch for the Canberra Cavalry, he’s enjoying the exposure to a different culture and the popularity of the sport is growing greater.

Continue reading Australian League Rolling Again

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Reflecting on the Departed

Posted by Jay Floyd, Fri, September 02, 2011 02:54 PM Comments: 11

Recently, we took a look at the return the Phillies acquired when they traded Cliff Lee to Seattle in December 2009. So why not take an updated look at the talent the Phillies traded away to obtain Roy Halladay?

The biggest key to the deal with Toronto was righty hurler Kyle Drabek, who made the Blue Jays’ opening day roster this season. The Phillies’ first-round draft selection from 2006, Drabek was a force in the minors after bouncing back from Tommy John surgery in 2008, posting a 13-6 record and a 3.03 ERA in 33 outings from 2008-2009 at four levels of the Phillies’ developmental system.

After joining the Toronto organization, Drabek had a strong 2010 with the Double-A New Hampshire Fisher Cats, leading the team to the post-season with a 14-9 record and a 2.94 ERA. The 6-foot-1-righty rode that string of success right into a September call-up, making three starts for Toronto, all of which he lost.

In an exclusive interview last August, Drabek stated that he felt he was ready for Major League competition, however this season, he has struggled. He lasted on the Blue Jays’ big league roster until mid-June, but was demoted to Triple-A Las Vegas after getting torched to the tune of a 15.30 ERA and a .404 batting average against in his final 3 starts. Things haven’t gotten better for the 23-year-old as a member of the 51′s in the Pacific Coast League. Through 14 starts at the Triple A level, Drabek has gone 4-4 with a 7.41 ERA and a .361 opponent’s batting average. Continue reading Reflecting on the Departed

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