Greetings From Clearwater – April 24

Originally written by Bradley Ankrom.

Last week, one of my early-season prospect crushes, Gauntlett Eldemire, let me down, but another, Brian Pointer, continued to rake. Also, Anthony Hewitt made his season debut at Clearwater, but it took a while for him to get into the swing of things. Let’s take a look at how Eldemire, Pointer, Hewitt, and the rest of the Phillies cadre of hitting prospects have fared in the early going.

View the Top 30 Prospects

HITTER

AGE

LVL

AVG/OBP/SLG

AB

H

2B

3B

HR

BB

SO

SB

CS

A. Altherr, lf

21

A

.316/.365/.456

57

18

3

1

1

4

12

6

2

M. Alvarez, of

22

A+

.222/.222/.259

27

6

1

0

0

0

13

1

0

C. Asche, 3b

22

A+

.312/.365/.396

48

15

2

1

0

4

5

1

0

J. Barnes, 3b

25

A+

.140/.240/.163

43

6

1

0

0

6

17

0

0

L. Castro, of

23

AA

.273/.288/.418

55

15

5

0

1

0

12

2

2

K. Dugan, of/1b

21

A

.245/.344/.396

53

13

2

0

2

7

15

0

0

E. Duran, ss

21

A+

.261/.300/.326

46

12

1

1

0

3

7

1

2

G. Eldemire, rf

23

A

.240/.397/.360

50

12

4

1

0

13

18

9

2

M. Franco, 3b

19

A

.263/.333/.439

57

15

4

0

2

5

11

0

0

F. Galvis, ss/2b

22

MLB

.214/.233/.339

56

12

4

0

1

2

9

0

0

T. Gillies, cf

23

AA

.267/.302/.433

60

16

3

2

1

1

11

1

0

G. Gonzalez, ss

21

A

.152/.152/.152

46

7

0

0

0

0

10

2

0

T. Greene, ss

19

A

.205/.280/.386

44

9

5

0

1

5

21

1

0

C. Hernandez, 2b

22

AA

.281/.300/.404

57

16

5

1

0

2

9

1

2

A. Hewitt, of

23

A+

.120/.120/.280

25

3

1

0

1

0

6

0

0

K. Hudson, cf

21

A

.143/.204/.163

49

7

1

0

0

2

18

8

3

J. James, cf

23

AA

.319/.346/.596

47

15

3

2

2

3

16

1

1

L. Moore, c

21

A

.216/.326/.378

37

8

3

0

1

3

12

0

1

C. Overbeck, 1b

26

AAA

.293/.344/.414

58

17

4

0

1

5

10

0

0

C. Perdomo, ss

22

A

.182/.217/.182

22

4

0

0

0

1

3

2

0

B. Pointer, of

20

A

.296/.365/.630

54

16

2

2

4

7

15

3

0

D. Ruf, 1b

25

AA

.393/.406/.554

56

22

6

0

1

4

12

1

0

C. Rupp, c

23

A+

.263/.333/.421

38

10

3

0

1

4

7

0

0

S. Valle, c

21

AA

.304/.340/.413

46

14

2

0

1

3

18

0

0

A four-game cold stretch in which he went 2-for-16 dropped Aaron Altherr’s batting average down to .233 on April 13, but he’s been on a tear since, collecting hits in six of seven games and raising his season line to .316/.365/.456. Altherr began 2011 in Lakewood, but was demoted to Williamsport after striking out in 28.8 percent of his trips to the plate through the first two months of the season. Despite his 6-foot-5 frame, Altherr is an above-average runner, and his six steals rank eighth in the South Atlantic League.

Clearwater’s Miguel Alvarez was placed on the disabled list after the Threshers’ April 12 game against Lakeland. Prior to being deactivated, the 22-year-old outfielder was mired in an 0-for-13 slump and had managed only one extra-base hit in 27 at-bats.

After striking out nearly 20 percent of the time at Williamsport last year, third baseman Cody Asche has demonstrated improved plate discipline in his full-season debut. The Phillies’ fourth-round pick last year out of Nebraska, Asche has a hit in 11 of the 12 games he’s started and currently owns a five-game hitting streak.

Asche’s teammate, third baseman/designated hitter Jeremy Barnes, is on a different kind of streak, having gone hitless in five-consecutive games and losing .110 off of his batting average. Barnes is repeating the Florida State League after hitting .267/.335/.403 for the Threshers last year, and time may be running out for the 25-year-old.

The only minor-league player to have gone longer than Leandro Castro without drawing a walk this year is Tigers farmhand James Robbins, who owns a 23:0 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 63 plate appearances.

Kelly  Dugan spent his first three professional seasons in the outfield, but a logjam at Class-A Lakewood prompted the Phillies to move their top pick from 2009 back to his high school position of first base this year. After going 2-for-4 with a home run on opening day, Dugan finally hit his second homer of the year on April 19 in the BlueClaws’ 11-9 loss at Hagerstown. Southpaws continues to give Dugan fits – he’s hitting .125/.300/.125 with six strikeouts in 16 at-bats against lefties – but he’s already matched his season-best home run total through 61 plate appearances.

Speaking of significant left/right splits, Clearwater shortstop Edgar Duran has hit .345/.387/.379 against right-handed pitchers but only .118/.167/.235 versus lefties.

Gauntlett Eldemire, one of the toolsiest players in the Phillies organization, has been on a nasty skid since going 2-for-3 with a pair of stolen bases on April 10. The 23-year-old right fielder has gone 5-for-31 in nine games since, though he’s drawn nine walks during his slump .

Lakewood third baseman Maikel Franco has three multi-hit games out of his last six contests and has hit both of his home runs in those six games. He struggled in a late-season promotion from Williamsport last year, hitting just .123/.149/.200 in 65 August at-bats, but is handling himself well this year as one of only 15 players under the age of 20 in the South Atlantic League.

Freddy Galvis put together a modest five-game hitting streak during the Phillies first homestand of the year, but hasn’t done much with the bat since the streak was snapped on April 15. Offensive expectations were minimal, however, and Galvis is delivering on defense, leading all major-league second basemen with 1.66 fielding runs above average (FRAA).

Reading center fielder Tyson Gillies has strung together a seven-game hit streak, raising his batting average to .267.

Considering how raw his tools are, Tyler Greene’s opening day assignment to a full-season league came as somewhat of a surprise. He’s been overmatched at the plate, striking out 21 times in 44 at-bats, and could be in line for a trip T. Williamsport when short-season leagues open in June if his struggles continue.

Cesar Hernandez has added 15 pounds to his 5-foot-10 frame since last year, which could explain his uptick in extra-base hits. Hernandez is already more than 70 percent of the way toward matching his 2011 doubles total of seven.

After beginning his season on a 1-for-20 slide, Clearwater right fielder Anthony Hewitt may have turned things around last night against Brevard County, going 2-for-5 with his first extra-base hits of the season, a double and a home run off of Brewers prospect Jed Bradley.

Reading’s Jiwan James had four multi-hit games in the first week of the season, but has gone 5-for-23 with eight strikeouts since April 12. James still leads the Double-A Phillies in slugging average and is second behind first baseman Darin Ruf in OPS.

Drafted out of Mississippi as a third baseman, Cody Overbeck has played first base almost exclusively since arriving at Triple-A Lehigh Valley last June. Unfortunately, the power he showed at Double-A and below has yet to manifest itself, severely limiting his major-league upside.

Lakewood’s Brian Pointer has shuffled between the outfield corners, but it hasn’t affected his bat, as the 20-year-old currently leads the South Atlantic League with four home runs and is tied for sixth in triples and 10th in slugging average. Philadelphia plucked Pointer out of a Nevada high school in the 28th round of the 2010 draft and signed him away from an Oregon State commitment for $350,000. Pointer spent last year in the Gulf Coast League, hitting .278/.353/.503, but it wasn’t enough for him to rank among the league’s top 20 prospects according to Baseball America. He draws a fair number of walks and is a good baserunner, having swiped 11 bases in 11 tries as a pro. His power-speed combination elicits some comparisons to Domonic Brown, but Pointer isn’t the physical specimen that the enigmatic Brown is, nor does he possess Brown’s raw speed. The lefty hitter struggles mightily against same-side pitching, hitting .143/.250/.229 last year and only .133/.300/.200 through 19 plate appearances at Lakewood this season. He’s gotten hits in 12 of 14 starts this year, going hitless only games started by Greensboro left-hander Adam Conley.

Reading first baseman Darin Ruf ranks third in the Eastern League with a .393 batting average, and he went 5-for-5 with a double and a home run at Richmond on April 17.

Top catching prospect Sebastian Valle continues to hit in Double-A, and after walking in just 3.6 percent of his plate appearances in 2011, has posted a 6.0 percent walk rate through 50 plate appearances. Seventy-two percent of his trips to the plate have ended in a hit, walk, or strikeout, and he’s fanned multiple times in six of his last seven games.

.

Greetings From Clearwater – April 20

Originally written by Bradley Ankrom.

You’ll probably notice something missing from today’s prospects update: hitters. Going forward, I’m going to split up the hitters and pitchers, running the former on Tuesdays and the latter on Fridays, so as to avoid time crunch situations like the one that occurred last week that resulted in my not having a timely update ready for you until today.

What we have today, however, is a pretty lengthy rundown of the pitching prospects currently playing meaningful baseball games in the Phillies organization. I’ve included season totals (through games of April 19) below, as well as start-by-start lines and commentary thereafter. Stats accrued through two weeks of baseball are still relatively meaningless, but the data is sizable enough to allow us to spot some early trends that bear watching.

Also, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that you’re now able to follow the statistics of Philadelphia’s top 20 prospects (as ranked by Kevin Goldstein) over at Baseball Prospectus’ new Top 11 Prospects Tracker.

(Note: to conserve pixels, I won’t be running the Top 30 Prospects list every week, but I will include a link to the list in each post: View the Top 30 Prospects)

PITCHER

AGE

LVL

W-L

ERA

WHIP

G-GS

SV

IP

H

HR

SO-BB

BABIP

Phillippe Aumont

23

AAA

0-0

4.26

0.95

6-0

4

6.3

2

1

9-4

.100

Jesse Biddle

20

A+

0-2

7.94

2.03

3-3

0

11.3

18

1

16-5

.472

Lisalberto Bonilla

22

A+

0-1

1.42

1.26

5-0

0

6.3

6

0

7-2

.333

David Buchanan

23

AA

1-1

2.37

0.89

3-3

0

19.0

15

2

15-2

.250

Michael Cisco

25

AA

1-1

1.17

1.43

5-0

0

7.7

9

0

8-2

.409

Tyler Cloyd

25

AA

2-0

3.75

1.33

2-2

0

12.0

16

1

8-0

.375

Tyler Cloyd

25

AAA

1-0

0.00

0.00

1-1

0

6.0

0

0

8-0

.000

Brody Colvin

21

A+

0-1

2.81

1.19

3-3

0

16.0

16

0

10-3

.302

Jake Diekman

25

AAA

0-0

0.00

1.33

5-0

2

6.0

8

0

9-0

.533

Ryan Duke

23

A

0-1

3.00

1.17

5-0

3

6.0

6

1

8-1

.333

Frank Gailey

26

A+

0-0

13.50

2.70

4-0

0

3.3

7

0

5-2

.538

Perci Garner

23

A+

0-1

2.70

1.70

2-2

0

10.0

10

0

6-7

.303

Mario Hollands

23

A

0-0

9.00

2.67

1-0

0

3.0

5

0

3-3

.500

Austin Hyatt

26

AAA

2-0

2.20

1.47

3-3

0

16.3

16

0

13-8

.314

Jay Johnson

22

AA

0-0

4.15

1.62

5-0

0

4.3

6

0

6-1

.500

Tyler Knigge

23

A+

0-0

0.00

1.00

5-0

0

5.0

4

0

3-1

.286

Ervis Manzanillo

20

A

0-1

6.55

2.36

3-3

0

11.0

19

0

7-7

.413

Lino Martinez

20

A

2-0

3.78

1.26

3-3

0

16.7

14

1

10-7

.250

Trevor May

22

AA

3-0

3.18

1.00

3-3

0

17.0

11

0

19-6

.256

Bryan Morgado

23

A

1-0

6.14

2.05

4-0

0

7.3

10

1

7-5

.391

Adam Morgan

22

A+

0-1

4.86

1.32

3-2

0

16.7

19

0

21-3

.413

Colton Murray

22

A

0-0

15.63

3.16

5-0

0

6.3

14

1

4-6

.481

Mike Nesseth

24

A

1-1

7.59

2.16

3-3

0

10.7

14

0

7-9

.368

Jon Pettibone

21

AA

1-1

2.95

1.64

3-3

0

18.3

26

1

7-4

.397

J.C. Ramirez

23

AA

0-1

9.00

2.67

4-0

0

6.0

9

1

5-7

.364

Julio Rodriguez

21

AA

1-0

2.45

1.27

2-2

0

11.0

9

0

7-5

.250

B.J. Rosenberg

26

AA

0-0

1.50

1.17

4-0

3

6.0

5

1

7-2

.250

Joe Savery

26

MLB

0-0

3.86

0.86

2-0

0

2.3

1

1

0-1

.000

Joe Savery

26

AAA

0-0

0.00

0.75

2-0

1

2.7

2

0

3-0

.250

Mike Schwimer

26

AAA

1-0

1.17

1.30

6-0

2

7.7

7

1

7-3

.261

Colby Shreve

24

A

1-1

4.38

1.22

5-0

0

12.3

10

2

14-5

.286

Juan Sosa

22

A+

0-1

9.00

1.40

5-0

0

5.0

7

2

5-0

.312

Ethan Stewart

21

A

0-1

1.10

1.04

3-3

0

16.3

10

1

16-7

.220

Austin Wright

22

A+

2-0

2.45

1.36

2-2

0

11.0

10

0

13-5

.333

Jesse Biddle, lhp

DATE

OPP

LVL

DEC

IP

H

R

ER

HR

BB

SO

TBF

PIT-ST

GO/AO

4/7

@DUN

A+

4.0

4

3

1

0

3

5

19

2.50

4/13

LAK

A+

L

4.1

7

5

5

0

2

7

22

1.17

4/19

@LAK

A+

L

3.0

7

7

4

1

0

4

19

1.38

The youngest pitcher in the Florida State League, Biddle is off to a rough start in Clearwater, failing to get out of the fifth inning in any of his first three outings and averaging more than two base runners per inning. Right-handed batters have hit Biddle especially well, compiling a 1093 OPS in 38 plate appearances. When I saw Biddle in his first start at Dunedin, his fastball velocity sat 88-90 mph and touched 91 early, but fell to 86-88 by the fourth inning. He struggled with fastball command throughout the game, issuing four-pitch, four-fastball walks to right-handers Marcus Knecht and Michael Crouse. Biddle has labored through each of his starts this year, averaging 1.58 batters faced per out on April 7, 1.69 on April 13, and 2.11 in last night’s loss at Lakeland. He and catcher Cameron Rupp have struggled to control the running game, allowing five stolen bases in five tries over his last two starts. Four of those runners have come around to score. Slow starts are nothing new for Biddle, who carried a 7.16 ERA and 1.25 SO/BB after his first four starts in Lakewood last year. He rebounded to go 7-5 with a 2.39 ERA and 2.02 SO/BB over his next 21 games, surrendering more than three earned runs once.

David Buchanan, rhp

DATE

OPP

LVL

DEC

IP

H

R

ER

HR

BB

SO

TBF

PIT-ST

GO/AO

4/7

POR

AA

W

7.0

2

0

0

0

1

9

24

93-65

0.50

4/13

@HAR

AA

6.0

7

3

3

1

0

2

25

79-53

1.08

4/18

@RIC

AA

L

6.0

6

2

2

1

1

4

23

93-61

1.05

Buchanan, the Phillies’ seventh-round pick out of Georgia State in 2010, has made a smooth transition to Double-A after finishing second in the organization with 14 wins between Lakewood and Clearwater in 2011. Through three starts, Buchanan has a 7.1 SO/9, up a tick from the 6.2 batters SO/9 he posted last year.

Tyler Cloyd, rhp

DATE

OPP

LVL

DEC

IP

H

R

ER

HR

BB

SO

TBF

PIT-ST

GO/AO

4/5

SWB

AAA

W

6.0

0

0

0

0

0

8

18

73-46

2.33

4/11

NH

AA

W

6.0

6

2

2

1

0

6

22

88-56

1.00

4/16

@RIC

AA

W

6.0

10

3

3

0

0

2

28

87-60

1.2

Cloyd struck out eight Scranton/Wilkes-Barre hitters over six perfect innings in his Triple-A debut on April 5, but was bumped down to Double-A Reading when Dave Bush joined the Lehigh Valley rotation. The 25-year-old gets by with average stuff by having excellent command, demonstrated by his sparkling 16/0 SO/BB through three starts and 4.00 career mark. He gets strikeouts with an excellent changeup, but doesn’t profile as more than a back-of-the-rotation starter or middle reliever in the big leagues.

Brody Colvin, rhp

DATE

OPP

LVL

DEC

IP

H

R

ER

HR

BB

SO

TBF

PIT-ST

GO/AO

4/6

DUN

A+

L

5.0

7

4

3

0

1

1

23

1.00

4/12

LAK

A+

5.0

7

4

2

0

2

3

24

1.08

4/17

@TAM

A+

6.0

2

0

0

0

0

6

20

1.31

In his full-season debut at Lakewood in 2009, Colvin struck out 7.8 batters per nine innings. That rate dropped to 6.0 last year and 5.6 though his first three starts in 2012. He’s also cut his walk rate nearly in half, so batters are putting the ball in play more frequently, which means Colvin is relying on the defense behind him to make plays. He has struggled with conditioning in the past, but reported to camp in good shape this spring, likely contributing to his improved command. At age 21, Colvin is still on schedule despite repeating Advanced Class-A this year, but he’ll need to find a way to miss bats if he’s to realize success further up the ladder.

Perci Garner, rhp

DATE

OPP

LVL

DEC

IP

H

R

ER

HR

BB

SO

TBF

PIT-ST

GO/AO

4/10

TAM

A+

L

5.0

7

4

2

0

2

3

23

4.50

4/15

@TAM

A+

5.0

3

1

1

0

5

3

23

1.88

Injuries limited Garner to just 34 innings in his first two years after being drafted out of Ball State in the second round of the 2010 draft. Because of the time he’s missed, Garner is still raw, evidenced by the four stolen bases and seven walks he’s allowed in two starts at Clearwater.

Austin Hyatt, rhp

DATE

OPP

LVL

DEC

IP

H

R

ER

HR

BB

SO

TBF

PIT-ST

GO/AO

4/6

SWB

AAA

5.2

6

4

2

0

0

6

24

92-63

0.71

4/11

SYR

AAA

W

5.0

6

2

2

0

4

3

23

98-58

0.69

4/16

BUF

AAA

W

5.2

4

1

0

0

4

4

25

90-60

0.67

After giving up 20 home runs at Double-A Reading in 2011, Hyatt has yet to surrender a long ball through his first 21.1 innings of 2012. He’s still leaving the ball up in the zone, however, so a few of those fly balls are bound to leave the yard.

Ervis Manzanillo, lhp

DATE

OPP

LVL

DEC

IP

H

R

ER

HR

BB

SO

TBF

PIT-ST

GO/AO

4/6

@GVL

A

3.0

3

2

1

0

3

3

17

1.33

4/11

@GBO

A

L

2.2

7

4

4

0

4

1

20

0.75

4/16

GBO

A

5.1

9

4

2

0

0

3

25

1.25

Manzanillo has been generous with the walks this year, but so far only one of the seven walked batters has come around to score. He has been exceptionally hittable in his second tour of the South Atlantic League, however, giving up hits to three consecutive batters twice in his last two starts and averaging 15.54 hits per nine innings. Manzanillo was expected to move up to Advanced Class-A Clearwater this year, but he doesn’t appear ready for the challenge.

Lino Martinez, lhp

DATE

OPP

LVL

DEC

IP

H

R

ER

HR

BB

SO

TBF

PIT-ST

GO/AO

4/5

@GVL

A

5.2

6

1

1

0

0

4

23

0.63

4/10

@GBO

A

W

5.0

3

3

3

0

6

2

23

1.08

4/15

HAG

A

W

6.0

5

3

3

1

1

4

24

0.95

Two walks, a single, and a third walk to lead off the sixth inning chased Martinez from his start at Greensboro on April 10, but entering the sixth he had allowed only one run on three hits through five innings. Opposing batters are hitting just .182 with two walks through the first four innings, but .316 with four walks thereafter

Trevor May, rhp

DATE

OPP

LVL

DEC

IP

H

R

ER

HR

BB

SO

TBF

PIT-ST

GO/AO

4/6

POR

AA

W

5.0

3

4

4

0

3

6

21

1.25

4/12

@HAR

AA

W

7.0

4

1

1

0

1

6

25

85-59

0.77

4/17

@RIC

AA

W

5.0

4

1

1

0

2

7

22

92-53

0.78

May rebounded from an underwhelming performance in his Double-A debut to toss 12 innings of two-run ball over his next two starts, striking out more than a batter per inning allowing only eight batters to reach base. Opponents are hitting just .183/.250/.200 and have managed only one extra-base hit, a double in the second inning of May’s first start.

Adam Morgan, lhp

DATE

OPP

LVL

DEC

IP

H

R

ER

HR

BB

SO

TBF

PIT-ST

GO/AO

4/5

@DUN

A+

4.2

7

3

3

0

3

6

23

0.00

4/11

TAM

A+

6.0

4

1

1

0

0

9

22

0.23

4/16

@TAM

A+

L

6.0

8

5

5

0

0

6

25

0.50

The Phillies selected Morgan out of Alabama in the third round of last year’s draft and assigned him to Advanced Class-A for his full-season debut. After walking 14 batters in 53.2 innings in his short-season debut last year, Morgan issued three free passes in his first appearance of 2012, but has walked zero in two starts since, striking out 21 in 16.2 innings overall. He’s limited right-handed batters to a .155 average since turning pro, but same-side hitters have hit .323.

Mike Nesseth, rhp

DATE

OPP

LVL

DEC

IP

H

R

ER

HR

BB

SO

TBF

PIT-ST

GO/AO

4/7

@GVL

A

L

3.2

7

6

6

0

2

3

20

1.33

4/12

HAG

A

W

5.0

5

1

0

0

2

3

22

0.90

4/17

GBO

A

2.0

2

3

3

0

5

1

13

0.60

Nesseth turned 24 yesterday, but has been very hittable in the South Atlantic League so far this year, while also walking nine batters and striking out only seven through 10.2 innings of work.

Jonathan Pettibone, rhp

DATE

OPP

LVL

DEC

IP

H

R

ER

HR

BB

SO

TBF

PIT-ST

GO/AO

4/5

POR

AA

6.0

10

1

1

0

0

1

23

1.40

4/10

NH

AA

L

6.2

8

3

3

1

2

3

27

99-59

1.00

4/15

@HAR

AA

W

5.2

8

2

2

0

2

3

25

96-56

1.53

He’s never been a high-strikeout pitcher, but Pettibone’s 3.4 SO/9 through 18.1 innings and .366 opponents’ batting average indicate that his 2.95 ERA is likely unsustainable.

Julio Rodriguez, rhp

DATE

OPP

LVL

DEC

IP

H

R

ER

HR

BB

SO

TBF

PIT-ST

GO/AO

4/9

NH

AA

W

5.0

4

2

2

0

3

4

22

85-51

0.83

4/14

@HAR

AA

6.0

5

3

1

0

2

3

27

95-61

0.59

The right-handed Rodriguez led Phillies farmhands with 16 wins and a 2.76 ERA last year, and is off to a good start at Double-A Reading. His frame and strikeout numbers throughout his career suggest better stuff, but Rodriguez works with an average fastball and series of good-not-great off-speed offerings.

Ethan Stewart, lhp

DATE

OPP

LVL

DEC

IP

H

R

ER

HR

BB

SO

TBF

PIT-ST

GO/AO

4/8

@GVL

A

L

5.1

4

1

1

1

2

5

21

0.67

4/13

HAG

A

6.0

3

1

1

0

1

7

22

0.75

4/18

GBO

A

5.0

3

0

0

0

4

4

22

1.00

Stewart leads the Lakewood rotation in ERA (1.10), strikeouts (16), and WHIP (1.04) through three turns, striking out 25 percent of the batters he’s faced.

Austin Wright, lhp

DATE

OPP

LVL

DEC

IP

H

R

ER

HR

BB

SO

TBF

PIT-ST

GO/AO

4/9

TAM

A+

W

5.0

5

3

2

0

2

7

21

2.50

4/14

LAK

A+

W

6.0

5

2

1

0

3

6

27

1.22

Last year’s eighth-round pick out of Alabama, Wright may not be long for the Florida State League after striking out 13 batters in 11 innings while winning his first two starts for the Threshers.


Phillies Minor League Starting Probables

Originally written by Bradley Ankrom.

Probable starters for the next few games can be found below. Tuesday night’s Jonathan Pettibone / Drew Hutichison matchup at Reading is one to watch if you’re in the area.

Speaking of watching: it’s worth looking into an MILB.tv subscription – I believe it’s around $40 for the whole season – if you’re interested in watching all of Lehigh Valley’s games live. You’ll also be able to see all Reading/Harrisburg games as well as Lakewood’s tilts against Greenville, Hagerstown, and Lexington.

Monday, April 9
Lehigh Valley (Scott Elarton, 0-0) at Pawtucket (Doug Mathis, 0-0) – on MILB.tv
New Hampshire (Brett Cecil, 0-0) at Reading (Julio Rodriguez, 0-0)
Tampa (Zachary Nuding, 0-0) at Clearwater (Austin Wright, 0-0)
Lakewood (Colin Kleven, 0-0) at Greensboro (TBA)

Tuesday, April 10
Lehigh Valley (Dave Bush, 0-0) at Pawtucket (Ross Ohlendorf, 0-0) – on MILB.tv
New Hampshire (Drew Hutchison, 1-0) at Reading (Jonathan Pettibone, 0-0)
Tampa (Michael O’Brien, 0-0) at Clearwater (Perci Garner, 0-0)
Lakewood (Lino Martinez, 0-0) at Greensboro (TBA)

Wednesday, April 11
Syracuse (TBA) at Lehigh Valley (TBA) – on MILB.tv
New Hampshire (Ryan Tepera, 0-0) at Reading (TBA)
Tampa (Nik Turley, 0-0) at Clearwater (TBA)
Lakewood (Ervis Manzanillo, 0-0) at Greensboro (TBA)

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)

What To Expect From Freddy Galvis

Originally written by Bradley Ankrom.

With Chase Utley beginning the season on the disabled list, the Phillies are turning to homegrown middle infielder Freddy Galvis at the keystone, hoping that his defense will provide enough value to offset his deficiencies at the plate.

Galvis split last year between Double-A Reading (464 PA) and Triple-A Lehigh Valley (126 PA), and didn’t receive a major-league call-up after the IronPigs lost to Columbus in the International League championship. After not hitting better than .240 in any of his previous four minor-league seasons, Galvis posted a .273 batting average in his second tour of the Eastern League and followed that up with a .298/.315/.364 line after being promoted to Triple-A in August.

He has held his own through 74 spring at-bats, hitting .257 with a pair of home runs and seven total extra-base hits while making steady contact (10.5 percent strikeout rate) and providing impressive defense (yes, they’re spring training statistics and, yes, it’s a small sample, but it isn’t meaningless data).

We’ve seen similarly-precocious players make the leap to the major leagues before they were expected to be ready. Is there anything that we can learn from their experiences in order to shape our expectations for Galvis?

Shortstops Age 21 or Younger with
>= 400 PA at Double-A,
>= 10% Strikeout Rate,
<= 730 OPS,
>= 250 MLB PA the Following Year

Player Yr/Age OPS, SO/BB, SO% Yr OPS, WARP, FRAA
Freddy Galvis 2011/21 727, 2.43, 14.7% 2012
Ruben Tejada 2009/19 723, 1.59, 10.7% 2010 580, -0.1, -0.1
Elvis Andrus 2008/19 715, 2.39, 17.0% 2009 695, 2.2, 0.9
Hanley Ramirez 2005/21 716, 1.59, 11.9% 2006 830, 3.9, -9.0
Ray Olmedo 2002/21 645, 1.62, 15.6% 2003 546, -1.2, -2.5
Cristian Guzman 1998/20 656, 5.29, 18.9% 1999 539, -1.0, 2.4
Edgar Renteria 1995/18 712, 2.66, 15.2% 1996 756, 2.5, 5.9

Three of the six players listed above were worse than replacement level in the major leagues, though the three others all made significant contributions to their clubs. Put another way, there has been little “in between” for these players — they have either damaged their teams’ chances of winning or substantially improved their clubs.

From a strictly statistical standpoint, Galvis compares favorably to Andrus and Renteria. All three players controlled the strike zone as youngsters in Double-A and Galvis posted the highest OPS of the bunch. Let’s take a closer look at each of the six.

Ruben Tejada, Mets

Tejada hit .289/.351/.381 as a 19-year-old in the Eastern League in 2009 and made the Mets roster the following spring, but was demoted to Triple-A after just three games. He returned to the big leagues when second baseman Daniel Murphy hit the disabled list with concussion symptoms in early June, and Tejada finished the year hitting .213/.305/.282 in 255 PA. He carried most of his contact ability (12.2% strikeout rate in the minor leagues) to the majors with him, but posted the 12th-lowest OPS among players with at least 250 PA.

Elvis Andrus, Rangers

Andrus’ bat took off after he was acquired by Texas in the 2007 trade that sent Mark Teixeira to Atlanta. Before earning the Rangers’ starting shortstop job in the spring of 2009, he had hit .295/.350/.367 in 535 Texas League plate appearances. Andrus provided sparkling defense and surprising pop en route to a second-place finish in the AL Rookie of the Year balloting in 2009, and has combined for 8.4 WARP in three big-league seasons.

Hanley Ramirez, Marlins

The similarities between the age-21 Double-A seasons had by Ramirez and Galvis are startling, but also serve to demonstrate why “stat line scouting” without knowledge of the player’s physical characteristics is generally a futile activity.

Player Year  PA AVG/OBP/SLG OPS SO/BB SO% BB% SB/CS TB
Freddy Galvis 2011 464 .273/.326/.400 726 68/28 14.7% 6.0% 19/11 169
Hanley Ramirez 2005 519 .271/.335/.385 720 62/39 11.9% 7.5% 26/13 179

While their performances may have been similar, Ramirez was a 6-foot-3, 195-pounder with room to grow in 2005. Galvis, on the other hand, is currently listed at 5-foot-9 and 170 pounds, and his slight frame doesn’t project to add strength as he ages. Ramirez’s body oozed projectability in 2005, and he’s added 35 pounds to his frame since then.

Ray Olmedo, Reds

After a dreadful .247/.331/.314 season at Double-A Chattanooga in 2002, Ray Olmedo earned a ticket back to Double-A the following year. A .294/.349/.400 start convinced Cincinnati to give Olmedo a look in the majors, and he managed to hold his own before fading badly down the stretch. The 250 PA he collected in 2003 are 58 more than he’s earned in the eight seasons since, and he hasn’t sniffed the majors since 2007.

Cristian Guzman, Twins

When Minnesota elected to non-tender starting shortstop Pat Meares in December 1998, it handed the keys over to budding star Cristian Guzman. Guzman had hit .277/.304/.352 at Double-A New Britain after coming over from the Yankees along with Eric Milton and change in exchange for second baseman Chuck Knoblauch. His -13.45 VORP in 1999 was the fourth-worst in baseball, but he salvaged his overall value by ranking among the top 10 in FRAA among major-league shortstops. Guzman gradually improved at the plate, and his seven seasons of 1.0 or more WARP between 2000 and 2009 are tied with Luis Castillo, Brian Roberts, Orlando Hudson, and Carlos Guillen for the 10th-most during that time.

Edgar Renteria, Marlins

Believe it or not, there was a time when Edgar Renteria was considered precocious. After hitting .289/329/.388 as an 18-year-old in 1995, Baseball America rated Renteria the 33rd-best prospect in baseball and fourth-best shortstop behind Derek Jeter (okay), Rey Ordonez (his glove was pretty good), and Donnie Sadler (oof). The Marlins called him up in May 1996, and, like Andrus, he rode surprising offensive statistics and spectacular defense to a second-place finish in his league’s Rookie of the Year voting.

Galvis doesn’t have the body of any of the players discussed above, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see him hold his own offensively while providing excellent defense up the middle for several years. His glove at shortstop is regarded by some as the best in the minor leagues, so with a little bit of development at the plate he could emerge as a solid first-division regular. Even if he tops out as a empty-average hitter with stellar glovework, that’s a player who can stick around and contribute to championship-caliber teams for a decade.