Greetings from Clearwater

Originally written by Bradley Ankrom.

Welcome to the first installment of “Greetings from Clearwater,” your weekly rundown of what’s happening on the farm. The minor league season got underway last night, so we’ll dive into some of the player performances a little later; first, though, let’s talk about what you can expect to see in this space going forward.

Who The Hell Am I?
This is a good place to begin. My name is Bradley Ankrom, and I write and build things for Baseball Prospectus. You’ll usually find me writing about prospects, player development, and talent evaluation on Tuesdays and answering reader questions via the Research Mailbag on Thursdays. I also contributed to this year’s Baseball Prospectus annual. I live in Tampa, Florida, and routinely make the 45-minute trek out to Clearwater (hence the title of this article) to catch the Threshers battling for Florida State League supremacy. I’m not a Phillies fan, per se, but I believe that objectivity will help me to provide unbiased and grounded analysis of the prospects within the organization.

Establishing The Follow List
Obviously not every player in an organization is considered a prospect, and the players who aren’t don’t need to be tracked as closely as the ones who are. For that reason, I’ve put together a follow list that consists of every player in the Phillies organization that is considered to be a legitimate major-league prospect. These are the players that will be followed regularly throughout the season, and players may be added or dropped as the year wears on.

Aggregate Top 30 Prospects
Not all prospects are created equal, and it’s for that reason that I’ve established the following ranking of the Phillies top 30 prospects. I haven’t personally seen the majority of players in the organization, therefore I’m uncomfortable throwing together what would ultimately be an arbitrary and derivative ranking of its prospects. Instead, I’ll average the rankings of five talent evaluators whose opinions I respect and value: Matt Forman at Baseball America (BA), Kevin Goldstein at Baseball Prospectus (KG), Keith Law at ESPN (KL), Jonathan Mayo at MLB.com (JM), and John Sickels at MinorLeagueBall.com (JS). Where a player wasn’t ranked by one evaluator, a generic ranking was used to calculate the average (BA: 31, KG: 21, KL: 11, JM: 21, JS: 22).

Rk Player Pos BA KG KL JM JS Avg Assignment
1 Trevor May RHP 1 1 1 1 1 1.0 Reading (AA)
2 Jesse Biddle LHP 2 2 2 2 2 2.0 Clearwater (A+)
3 Sebastian Valle C 3 5 4 6 3 4.2 Reading (AA)
4 Phillippe Aumont RHP 5 3 NR 5 7 5.0 Lehigh Valley (AAA)
5 Brody Colvin RHP 8 11 6 3 4 6.4 Clearwater (A+)
6 Jon Pettibone RHP 4 6 3 10 15 7.6 Reading (AA)
7 Freddy Galvis SS/2B 6 4 5 8 17 8.0 Philadelphia
8 Justin De Fratus RHP 7 12 NR 7 6 8.6 Philadelphia-15
9 Larry Greene OF 20 7 7 4 5 8.6 Extended ST
10 Maikel Franco 3B 10 10 9 9 10 9.6 Lakewood (A)
11 Roman Quinn SS 11 8 NR 11 11 10.4 Extended ST
12 Julio Rodriguez RHP 17 9 8 16 8 11.6 Reading (AA)
13 Lisalberto Bonilla RHP 12 14 NR 13 14 12.8 Clearwater (A+)
14 Jiwan James OF 9 15 NR 19 20 14.8 Reading (AA)
15 Aaron Altherr OF 15 17 NR 12 NR 15.4 Lakewood (A)
16 Cesar Hernandez 2B 14 16 NR 14 NR 15.4 Reading (AA)
17 Carlos Tocci OF 13 13 NR NR NR 16.0 Extended ST
18 Perci Garner RHP 21 20 10 17 13 16.2 Clearwater (A+)
19 Austin Hyatt RHP 22 NR NR NR 16 18.2 Lehigh Valley (AAA)
20 Ervis Manzanillo LHP 16 NR NR NR NR 18.2 Lakewood (A)
21 Austin Wright LHP 26 NR NR NR 12 18.2 Clearwater (A+)
22 Michael Schwimer RHP 30 NR NR NR 9 18.4 Lehigh Valley (AAA)
23 Mitchell Walding SS 23 18 NR NR 19 18.4 Extended ST
24 Leandro Castro OF 24 NR NR 15 NR 18.6 Reading (AA)
25 Kyrell Hudson OF 18 NR NR NR NR 18.6 Lakewood (A)
26 Harold Garcia 2B 19 NR NR NR NR 18.8 Reading (AA)-R
27 Joe Savery LHP 25 NR NR NR 21 19.8 Philadelphia
28 Zach Collier OF 27 NR NR NR NR 20.4 Lakewood (A)-7
29 Tyler Greene SS NR NR NR NR 18 20.4 Lakewood (A)
30 Ethan Stewart LHP NR NR NR 18 NR 20.6 Lakewood (A)

Others: RHP-David Buchanan, RHP-Mike Cisco, RHP-Garrett Claypool, RHP-Tyler Cloyd, RHP-Ryan Duke, RHP-Kenny Giles, RHP-Tyler Knigge, RHP-Ebelin Lugo, RHP-Colton Murray, RHP-Jonathan Musser, RHP-Mike Nesseth, RHP-Roman Oviedo, RHP-Eric Pettis, RHP-J.C. Ramirez, RHP-B.J. Rosenberg, RHP-Colby Shreve, RHP-Juan Sosa, RHP-Kevin Walter, LHP-James Birmingham, LHP-Jake Diekman, LHP-Frank Gailey, LHP-Nick Hernandez, LHP-Mario Hollands, LHP-Jay Johnson, LHP-Lino Martinez, LHP-Bryan Morgado, LHP-Adam Morgan, LHP-Braden Shull, LHP-Matt Way, C-Tuffy Gosewisch, C-Logan Moore, C-Cameron Rupp, 1B-Cody Overbeck, 1B-Darin Ruf, 2B-Carlos Perdomo, 3B-Cody Asche, 3B-Jeremy Barnes, 3B-Harold Martinez, SS-Edgar Duran, SS-Gustavo Gonzalez, OF-Miguel Alvarez, OF-Kelly Dugan, OF-Gauntlett Eldemire, OF-Tyson Gillies, OF-Anthony Hewitt, OF-Brian Pointer.

Yesterday’s Action

TM HITTER POS

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

BB

SO

SB

CS

PHI Freddy Galvis 2B

4

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

LHV Domonic Brown LF

4

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

2

0

0

LHV Cody Overbeck 1B

2

1

0

0

0

0

0

1

1

0

0

REA Tyson Gillies CF

4

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

REA Cesar Hernandez 2B

8

1

3

2

0

0

2

0

1

0

0

REA Sebastian Valle C

3

2

2

0

0

1

1

1

1

0

0

REA Leandro Castro RF

7

1

2

0

0

1

4

0

1

0

0

REA Jiwan James LF

2

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

1

0

0

REA Darin Ruf 1B

7

1

3

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

CLW Miguel Alvarez LF

4

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

2

0

0

CLW Cody Asche 3B

3

0

1

1

0

0

0

1

0

0

0

CLW Edgar Duran SS

3

1

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

CLW Cameron Rupp C

4

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

LAK Gauntlett Eldemire RF

4

0

1

1

0

1

1

0

0

0

0

LAK Brian Pointer DH

4

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

2

1

0

LAK Kelly Dugan 1B

4

1

2

0

0

1

1

0

2

0

0

LAK Maikel Franco 3B

4

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

2

0

0

LAK Aaron Altherr LF

2

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

LAK Kyrell Hudson CF

2

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

2

0

0

LAK Logan Moore C

3

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

2

0

0

LAK Tyler Greene SS

3

1

1

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

Leandro Castro hit a game-winning two-run home run in the bottom of the ninth to give Reading the win in game one of its doubleheader against Portland. Sebastian Valle also hit his first home run of the season, off of Chris Balcom-Miller in the second inning. Second baseman Cesar Hernandez collected three hits, including a pair of doubles, on the day.

Kelly Dugan, the Phillies’ top pick in 2009, started at first base for Lakewood and hit his first home run of the season and only the fifth of his career.

TM PITCHER IP

H

R

ER

BB

SO

HR

WP

PIT-ST

GO-FO

TBF

LHV Phillippe Aumont 1.0

1

0

0

0

1

0

0

20-11

1-1

4

LHV Tyler Cloyd 6.0

0

0

0

0

8

0

0

73-46

7-3

18

LHV Jake Diekman 1.0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

17-11

1-1

3

LHV Michael Schwimer 1.0

0

0

0

1

1

0

0

21-11

0-1

4

REA Mike Cisco 1.0

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

3-3

1-1

3

REA Jay Johnson 0.2

3

2

2

1

1

0

0

11-7

1-0

6

REA Jonathan Pettibone 6.0

10

1

1

0

1

0

0

25-25

7-3

23

REA B.J. Rosenberg 2.0

1

1

1

0

4

1

0

16-15

2-0

7

CLW Frank Gailey 0.2

0

0

0

0

2

0

0

6-6

0-0

2

CLW Adam Morgan 4.2

7

3

3

3

6

0

0

46-32

0-5

23

LAK Lino Martinez 5.2

6

1

1

0

4

0

0

32-31

5-3

23

Tyler Cloyd, a 24-year-old right-hander taken in the 18th round of the 2008 draft, threw six perfect innings against Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in his Triple-A debut, earning the win. Phillippe Aumont, Jake Diekman, and Michael Schwimer combined to allow just one hit in relief. Schwimer, who led the IronPigs with 10 saves last year, picked up his first save of the year.

Jonathan Pettibone scattered 10 hits and one earned run over six innings in the first game of Reading’s season-opening doubleheader against Portland, but didn’t factor in the decision. Mike Cisco pitched a scoreless top of the ninth inning and notched the win after Leandro Castro hit a game-winning two-run home run in the bottom of the inning.

Lino Martinez went five and two-thirds innings in Lakewood’s opener at Greenville, giving up one earned run while striking out four and walking none.

This Weekend’s Schedule

Four of the Phillies’ top 11 pitching prospects, including top overall prospect Trevor May, will make their 2012 debuts tonight. Jesse Biddle, the organization’s number-two overall prospect, will face Asher Wojciechowski in Dunedin on Saturday. Lakewood will face a pair of Red Sox 2011 first-round picks in Greenville this weekend, Henry Owens (36th overall) and Matt Barnes (19th).

Friday, April 6
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (Dellin Betances, 0-0) at Lehigh Valley (Austin Hyatt, 0-0)
Portland (Brock Huntzinger, 0-0) at Reading (Trevor May, 0-0)
Dunedin (Sean Nolin, 0-0) at Clearwater (Brody Colvin0-0)
Lakewood (Ervis Manzanillo, 0-0) at Greenville (Luis Diaz0-0)

Saturday, April 7
Lehigh Valley (Pat Misch, 0-0) at Pawtucket (Alex Wilson, 0-0)
Lehigh Valley (Tom Cochran, 0-0) at Pawtucket (Aaron Cook, 0-0)
Portland (Chris Hernandez, 0-0) at Reading (David Buchanan, 0-0)
Clearwater (Jesse Biddle, 0-0) at Dunedin (Asher Wojciechowski, 0-0)
Lakewood (Mike Nesseth, 0-0) at Greenville (Henry Owens, 0-0)

Sunday, April 8
Lakewood (Ethan Stewart, 0-0) at Greenville (Matt Barnes, 0-0)

Leave a Reply

*

15 comments

  1. ghovnanian

    April 06, 2012 11:17 AM

    Seems like there are a lot of pitchers on this list (15/30). 2 reasons I can think of, but can you tell me which it is (or another)?
    1. Teams carry more pitchers, so it’s in proportion with roster make-up.
    2. Our pitchers in the farm system are disproportionately better than our position players, so the “top 30″ has more pitchers

    Garo

  2. loctastic

    April 06, 2012 11:18 AM

    am I missing something? where is Dom Brown in the list of top 30 prospects?

  3. Bradley Ankrom

    April 06, 2012 11:22 AM

    @ghovnanian
    That pitcher/hitter balance is actually a good thing. The organization is heavier in pitching at the top, but also possesses a lot of raw, high-upside hitters throughout the system.

    @loctastic
    Brown doesn’t qualify as a rookie any longer, so he didn’t make the top prospects list. I included him in the recap, though, because he’s still a person of great interest.

  4. loctastic

    April 06, 2012 11:25 AM

    ah gotcha. makes sense. i guess i’m just used to seeing him there.

  5. nik

    April 06, 2012 11:37 AM

    Looking forward to the weekly stats graph. I think its more informative than just going through the daily boxscoress

  6. Dan K.

    April 06, 2012 11:39 AM

    One other note on the observation of more pitchers than hitters:

    It was speculated on another website I frequent that most teams draft pitchers more successfully than hitters because, frankly, it’s easier to see a good pitcher than hitter at the young age players are drafted. If a young pitcher has good “stuff” or velocity, or movement, you’ll see that manifest no matter who they play against. As for hitters, you can only see how good they are as compared to the skill of the pitcher they are facing. If a kid hit .575/.650/.980 (made-up numbers, FWIW) exclusively against pitchers that will never even be drafted, who knows if he can have that same kind of success against even a marginal pitching prospect. This is all speculation, but it passes the “eye test” so if someone can think of a way to research it I would be interested to read it.

    On a different topic, Valle’s HR and BB numbers will be of extra interest to me. If he increases his power and patience, he’ll be a very, very dangerous hitter.

    Also, not that it particularly matter, but the rankings of those who weren’t ranked by everyone listed seems rather arbitrary. Zach Collier only received one ranking of 27 and a NR of the others, but was still ranked higher than Tyler Greene and Ethan Stewart who both had one ranking of 18 and the rest NR.

  7. Bradley Ankrom

    April 06, 2012 11:45 AM

    Here’s how the numbers used in the calculations for Collier, Greene, and Stewart look:

    Zach Collier OF 27 21 11 21 22 20.4
    Tyler Greene SS 31 21 11 21 18 20.4
    Ethan Stewart LHP 31 21 11 18 22 20.6

  8. B in DC

    April 06, 2012 11:48 AM

    Looking forward to this feature. Pretty sure Carlos Rivero is gone. Didn’t clear waivers or something. Can’t recall.

  9. Bradley Ankrom

    April 06, 2012 11:54 AM

    You’re right, Rivero was claimed on waivers by Washington. Fixed.

  10. pedro3131

    April 06, 2012 07:10 PM

    What your take on Biddle? I’ve never seen him in person, but I actually played highschool basbeball in the same league he was drafted out of and it’s shocking that someone with actual talent can come out of there

  11. Bradley Ankrom

    April 06, 2012 11:01 PM

    @pedro3131
    I’ll have some thoughts on Biddle next week… seeing him Saturday night in Dunedin.

  12. hk

    April 07, 2012 07:19 AM

    Bradley,

    Welcome aboard. Having you report on the system will make a great site even better. Can you tell me a little about Tyler Cloyd and what keeps him from being in the top 30. Is it that he’s always been a little old for his level? Is it that he’s more of a finesse pitcher than a power pitcher? He’s put up some impressive K/BB rates the past two years and had a great AAA debut.

  13. Dan K.

    April 07, 2012 09:39 AM

    @hk,

    As far as I’m aware, Cloyd’s “issue” is merely not having a plus pitch. He’s got an arsenal of average pitches, and then he uses them very effectively. So his projection isn’t great, but he’s probably more likely to make the majors than, say, Mitchell Walding or Larry Greene, Jr who both have tons of projection but are long ways off. That being said, I was somewhat surprised he was left off the top 30 myself.

  14. Bradley Ankrom

    April 07, 2012 11:29 AM

    Keep in mind that the top 30 isn’t my own, it’s the aggregate of the rankings the five analysts I mentioned compiled. Cloyd does stand a good chance of pitching in the majors at some point, but he’s a sixth- or seventh-inning arm at best.

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