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Posts Tagged ‘Top Prospects’

Reading Eagle Survey: Franco Ranked Top Phillies Prospect

Posted by Jay Floyd, Tue, August 27, 2013 08:00 AM Comments: 39

Recently, Mike Drago of The Reading Eagle conducted a survey of about ten experts, made up of writers and other media members, designed to rank the top prospects in the Philadelphia developmental system.

The participating individuals, who are all close to the Phillies minor league system, were asked to rank their personal top 15, which were tabulated to determine the paper’s published list of top prospects. Those that offered their insight for the ratings this time around included Bob Brookover, Tony Graham, Mitch Rupert, Jeff Schuler, Mike Drago himself and yours truly, PhilliesNation’s Jay Floyd.

The collection of experts found that fast rising third base prospect Maikel Franco, who represented the Phillies organization in the MLB All-Star Futures Game this year, is the club’s top minor leaguer.  Franco, who recently began playing first base is primed to make an impact with the big club in the near future and has become the Phils’ most highly touted offensive prospect since Ryan Howard was trying to break into the big leagues.

Last year’s results ranked lefty hurler Jesse Biddle at the top.  The Philadelphia native fell in this year’s rankings while others rose and some fell completely off of the list.

Here’s a review of The Reading Eagle’s Phillies prospect rankings…

1- Maikel Franco, 3B, Double-A Reading…the 21-year-old slugger notched his 30th homer and 100th RBI of the season on Monday night.  Franco, who began the season with Class A Advanced Clearwater, is one of the biggest breakout prospects in all of minor league baseball this season and plans to continue his outstanding year in the Dominican Winter League.  In 127 games this season combined at the two levels, the youngster sports an impressive .313/.352/.566 line.
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Halladay Throwing, Red Sox/Tigers Interested in Papelbon?

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Tue, June 25, 2013 05:44 PM Comments: 2

Roy Halladay - Philadelphia PhilliesTwo big news items from this afternoon – the first comes from Phillies beat writer Todd Zolecki who says that Roy Halladay is feeling “good”. Zolecki notes that Halladay has been throwing from 60 ft. The Phillies are hoping Halladay will return in late August at the earliest.

Rich Dubee had this to say about watching Halladay in Zolecki’s piece:

“It looks very, very good,” Phillies pitching coach Rich Dubee said. “The arm action, he’s able to get his arm back up very easily. No effort at all. Whereas before, because of the stuff that he had going on in his shoulder, he couldn’t get it up on a consistent basis. But now his arm slot is fantastic and he’s doing very, very well so far. He’s a long ways from pitching, but everything so far is going according to plan.”

Jonathan Papelbon - Philadelphia PhilliesAnd the other big news item today was Jayson Stark reporting that the Phillies are talking to both the Red Sox and Tigers about closer Jonathan Papelbon even if the club themselves denies it. An unnamed exec had this to say in the Stark piece:

“Don’t be surprised if you see Papelbon end up in Detroit. If the Tigers have a chance to get the closer they need, they won’t let [a big asking price] stand in the way. So if you’re Ruben, how can you not do that if the Tigers step up the way I think they’re about to step up?”

The Red Sox and Tigers both have several top prospects but it may be a stretch to expect one as a return considering Papelbon’s high contract value. The Red Sox entered the year with Baseball America’s #8th, 31st, 40th, 49th, and 91st-ranked prospects while the Tigers have the 21st, 74th, and 95th-ranked prospects in the game.

Stark also noted that Chase Utley may be able to fetch the club a decent return should the team decide to retool. Stark believes that Utley is the player most likely to be traded should the Phillies become sellers. The Orioles have been noted to be in need of a second baseman and Utley could fit on just about any American League team in a DH role.

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Who Fills in For Doc?

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Mon, May 06, 2013 10:00 AM Comments: 25

With Roy Halladay likely headed to the the disabled list, the Phillies will have a vacant spot in the rotation that needs to be filled. There are really only three candidates to replace him and our selection may surprise you.

Quick notes: whoever replaces Halladay, as Matt Gelb points out, will have a hard time pitching worse than Halladay has in 2013. Our Eric Seidman pointed out last week that Halladay’s biggest comparable over the last calendar year has been Joe Blanton – unfortunately for Halladay, with his last two outings, that ship has sailed as well.

Finally, for the purposes of this article, Jesse Biddle, despite his strong start, is not included here because, frankly, myself and many others would like to see slightly more out of him in Double-A, and perhaps Triple-A, before considering him for a promotion to MLB but also because his addition would require him being added to the 40-man roster – a move that would be almost wasted should Doc’s expected DL stint last for only 15 days.

http://www.trbimg.com/img-5169fc91/turbine/mc-morgan-adam-jpg-20130413/600/480x600Adam Morgan

Pros: Dynamite secondary pitches, great location on fastball, started the year with two truly great starts (1.29 ERA, 9 Ks in 14 IP against a very good Syracuse club), most complete/polished pitcher of the three available at this time.

Cons: Just 23 years old – why rush? Has struggled in last three starts (6.75 ERA, 3 HR allowed) and has struggled keeping pitch count low. Has only gone past the sixth inning once. Is not on the 40-man roster.

Continue reading Who Fills in For Doc?

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Biddle Ranked Top Prospect by Reading Eagle Survey

Posted by Jay Floyd, Mon, August 27, 2012 08:00 AM Comments: 12

It’s certainly been an unusual summer for local baseball fans. In recent years, the Phillies have displayed divisional dominance, and, while doing so, they have swapped top rated minor leaguers to beef up the big league roster for the impending postseason drive. This year’s struggles, during which the Phillies have only recently dug themselves out of last place, have presented an opportunity for the team to not only hang onto their more highly regarded minor league talents, but to deal away some established major league players and add to the organization’s collection of promising youngsters.

This month Mike Drago of The Reading Eagle conducted his annual survey of fifteen organizational minor league experts, made up of writers and other media members, designed to rank the top prospects in the Phillies’ developmental system. The prospect that was ranked at the top of the list was lefty hurler Jesse Biddle, who has had a strong season for the Class A Advanced Clearwater Threshers in the Florida State League.

Flattered by the honor, the 6-foot-4-inch 225-pound Philadelphia native was clear in stating that he isn’t fully pleased with such rankings. Biddle has his eyes set on getting better each time out and on the ultimate goal of reaching the major leagues.

“Having seen the talent throughout this system, top to bottom, it is an honor to be considered in the same category as these players,” Biddle said. “But, I also understand that being a prospect only gets you so far in the game between the lines, because (the field) is the only place that counts.”
Continue reading Biddle Ranked Top Prospect by Reading Eagle Survey

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Phillies Send Pence to Giants in 4-Player Deal

Posted by Eric Seidman, Tue, July 31, 2012 02:07 PM Comments: 125

Moments after the Phillies finalized a deal sending Shane Victorino to the Dodgers (see story), reports surfaced that the Phils and Giants were close to completing a deal for Hunter Pence.

A few hours and a few issues later, the deal was finalized. Pence is on his way to San Francisco for three players: catching prospect Tommy Joseph, major league outfielder Nate Schierholtz and Single-A pitcher Seth Rosin.

The Phils and Giants had been negotiating all week, but the acquisition of Victorino by their NL West rival likely escalated talks between the parties.

Joseph is 21 years old, was a 2009 second-round pick and entered the season as the Giants’ No. 2 prospect, behind centerfielder Gary Brown. Joseph has a .315 wOBA in Double-A this season and has hit slightly below average relative to his level in each of his first three years in the minors. But then again, he’s only 21, and he’s in Double-A. So growing pains are to be expected. Last season, Joseph hit .270/.317/.471 with 22 home runs and 33 doubles at High-A San Jose.

Scouts consider him a viable catching option, which obviously increases his value to the team, with Carlos Ruiz a potential free agent after the 2013 season. The Phils also have Sebastian Valle waiting in the wings, though his struggles at Double-A have caused some concern. Plus, catcher is one position where depth is welcome. Acquiring Joseph means the Phillies have two solid catching prospects in the system.

Joseph, Rosin and Schierholtz might seem like an underwhelming return, but Joseph is now one of the top prospects in the Phillies’ system, Rosin has some potential, and Schierholtz, if platooned with Mayberry, could be pretty effective. It’s an interesting deal. Here’s why…

Continue reading Phillies Send Pence to Giants in 4-Player Deal

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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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Prospect Nation 2012: #23 RHP Garett Claypool

Posted by Jay Floyd, Thu, January 19, 2012 11:30 AM Comments: 4

Right-handed pitcher Garett Claypool is a UCLA product that was selected in the 11th round of the 2010 draft by the Phillies. The 6-foot-2-inch 175-pounder broke out, in 2011, with an All-Star campaign for the Class A Lakewood BlueClaws.

Armed with a fastball that ranges from 90-92 MPH, a strong slider which he uses to put hitters away, as well as a curve ball and a change up that are definitely improving, Claypool ranked in the top 10 among South Atlantic League pitchers in several key statistical categories. His ERA (3.47) ranked 8th, and he was tops in strike outs (151). That dominance is even more impressive considering he was 21 K’s ahead of the next highest total while only having the 11th highest innings pitched total (137 1/3) in the league.

According to Claypool himself, the key to his success has been Continue reading Prospect Nation 2012: #23 RHP Garett Claypool

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Top Moment #9: Addition of Hunter Pence

Posted by Amanda Orr, Wed, January 18, 2012 12:40 PM Comments: 116

Photo: Philly.com (Ben Margot/AP)

July is a crazy month for baseball.  With the trade deadline at the end of the month, hundreds of rumors and potential trade scenarios are revealed.  With all the transactions and rumors, the end of July is sure to spark a lot of debate.

Jayson Werth signed with the Washington Nationals in the 2010-2011 offseason, leaving a gap in right field for the Phillies.  Ruben Amaro didn’t fill the void, giving Ben Francisco and Domonic Brown an opportunity.  However, it wasn’t enough as the Phillies were struggling to produce runs.

Continue reading Top Moment #9: Addition of Hunter Pence

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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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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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