Archive for the 'Around the Farm' Category

Minor League Spring Training Report: March 20th

Friday, March 21st, 2014

We did not have a report from Tuesday as the teams played intrasquad scrimmages, but they were all back out on the field yesterday against the Yankees and some familiar faces had big days. More on that later. Let’s start at the Triple-A level.

Lehigh Valley (4-1 win vs Yankees)

  • Barry Enright gave up a run on five hits over five innings and was followed by Austin Wright who threw two scoreless innings. Jeremy Horst and Cesar Jimenez each threw a scoreless inning as well.
  • Tyson Gillies went 2-2 with a double. Jim Murphy and Cody Overbeck each homered for the ‘Pigs.

Reading (5-2 win vs Yankees)

  • Hoby Milner allowed a run on four hits over five innings and continues to have a very good spring.
  • Lino Martinez threw two scoreless innings of relief.
  • Albert Cartwright, Justin Parr, and Carlos Alonso all had two hits with Parr and Alonso each picking up two doubles.

Clearwater (8-7 win vs Yankees)

  • Kyler Burke and Jordan Guth each gave up three runs in three innings.
  • The story of the day was the offense. JP Crawford went 4-4 with a double, walk, and three RBIs. Samuel Hiciano homered, and Brian Pointer was 3-4 with a double and two triples.

Lakewood (2-1 loss vs Yankees)

  • Tyler Viza gave up two hits and a run over four innings of work.
  • It was a quiet offensive day, with the lone run coming on a solo HR by 1B Wilmer Oberto, who played with the Gulf Coast Phillies last year.

Spring Training Game Recap – March 18th

Wednesday, March 19th, 2014

We had the weekend round-up in yesterday’s post. Here is the round-up for Tuesday’s games.

Lehigh Valley (2-0 win at Pirates)

  • Greg Smith threw four scoreless innings and was followed by Tyler Knigge who added two shutout frames.
  • Jay Johnson, Mike Nesseth, and Justin Friend all had scoreless innings as well.
  • Offensively, Tyler Henson drove in two runs and went 2-2, while Cody Overbeck was 2-4 and Bob Stumpo was 2-2.
  • Tyson Gillies went 1-1 with three walks.

Reading (7-2 loss at Pirates)

  • Percy Garner started and allowed four runs in three innings. Nick Hernandez gave up two runs in 2.2 innings. 2013 BlueClaw Kevin Walter was here and gave up one unearned run in an inning.
  • Justin Parr and Brock Stassi drove in the runs while Jim Negrych, Harold Martinez, Josh Ludy, Logan Moore, Parr, and Edgar Duran each had a hit.

Clearwater (7-5 win vs Pirates)

  • Ethan Stewart threw four scoreless innings as the starter, but all the relievers gave up runs (Delvy Francisco – 2 in 2.1 IP, Chris Nichols – 2 in 1.2 IP, and Zach Cooper – 1 in 1 IP).
  • JP Crawford slid up to this group for the first time this spring and went 1-3.
  • Zach Green contined his good spring and went 2-2 with a double and a walk. Casey Serna had two hits as well, while Chris Serritella homered.

Lakewood (3-2 win vs Pirates)

  • Ranfi Casimiro started and gave up a run over 3.2 innings and was followed by Alejandro Arteaga, who allowed a run over 4.1 innings. Both played primarily with the GCL Phillies last year.
  • C Deivy Grullon went 2-3 with a pair of doubles to lead the offense.
  • Jiandido Tromp, Andrew Pullin, Jan Hernandez, Logan Pierce, Cord Sandberg, Robinson Torres, and Gustavo Martinez all had hits as well.

The plan is to do a rundown of some likely 2014 BlueClaws broken down into hitters and pitchers over the next few days.

Minor League Spring Training: Weekly Recap

Tuesday, March 18th, 2014



Let’s try to catch up on some of the Spring Training results from minor league camp over the last few days.

We’ll back up a couple of days to Friday (note – there were no reports from Thursday, March 13th as that was an intrasquad day, and there were no games on Monday, March 17th because of rain).

Friday, March 14th

Lehigh Valley (4-0 loss at Blue Jays)

  • Severino Gonzalez threw three shutout innings, allowing just one hit and striking out two, needing 34 pitches. He seems to have picked up where he left off last year.
  • Austin Wright followed and allowed three runs in two innings.
  • Offensively, the ‘Pigs had just three hits, two by RF Kelly Dugan, just down from big league camp.

Reading (8-1 loss at Blue Jays)

  • Nick Hanson, with the BlueClaws for much of last year, allowed five runs on six hits over three innings, while Lino Martinez followed with two scoreless innings. Kevin Walter added two more innings, allowing one run on one hit.
  • Offensively, Brock Stassi and Justin Parr each went 2-3 while Edgar Duran drove in the only run.

Clearwater (3-2 win vs Blue Jays)

  • Jeb Stefan started and allowed one run on one hit over three innings while Jordan Guth gave up one run over two innings. Delvi Francisco and Keivi Rojas each threw two scoreless innings.
  • Dylan Cozens went 2-3 with two runs, two steals and an RBI. Art Charles and Hilton Richardson added RBIs as well. Anthony Phillips, Charles, Chad Carman, Richardson, and Logan Pierce each had hits.

Lakewood (7-5 loss vs Blue Jays)

  • Mitch Gueller started and gave up two runs on three hits in two innings of work. Shane Martin allowed three runs in three innings after Gueller.
  • Offensively, six players each had one hit: Andrew Pullin, Larry Greene, Wilmer Oberto, Jan Hernandez, Jonathan Knight, and Jesus Posso. Oberto drove in two runs.


Five Former BlueClaws Invited to Spring Training

Thursday, January 9th, 2014


From the Phillies release…

The Phillies have invited five additional players to major league spring training as non-roster invitees, the club announced today.

  • Jesse Biddle, LHP – In 27 starts with double-A Reading last season, Biddle went 5-14 with a 3.64 ERA and 154 strikeouts in 138.1 innings.  Despite battling whooping cough for the majority of the 2013 season, the Philadelphia native finished tied for first in the Eastern League in starts (27), tied for second in complete games (2), third in strikeouts and ninth in ERA.  He was also selected as an Eastern League midseason All-Star and earned the win for the U.S. Team in the MLB Futures Game at Citi Field in July.  On April 22 at Harrisburg, the 22-year-old took a perfect game into the 7thinning and struck out a career-high 16 batters.  After the season, he was named the second-best prospect in the Philliesminor league system by Baseball America.  Biddle was originally selected by the Phillies in the first round (27th overall) of the June 2010 draft from Germantown Friends School (Pa.).
  • Maikel Franco, 3B – The 2013 Paul Owens Award winner as the best player in the Phillies minor league system, Franco batted a combined .320 with 31 home runs and 103 RBI in 134 games between single-A Clearwater and double-A Reading last season.  He led all of Minor League Baseball with 308 total bases last year while finishing tied for second in extra-base hits (70), fourth in hits (173), tied for seventh in home runs and tied for eighth in RBI.   In 2013, the 21-year-old infielder was selected to the World roster for the MLB Futures Game, as well as the Florida State League midseason All-Star team, and was named Phillies Minor League Player of the Month for June and Player of the Week twice.  Following the season, he was named the top prospect in the Phillies minor league system by Baseball America.  In 388 career minor league games, Franco has batted .281 with 98 doubles, 50 home runs and 260 RBI.  He was originally signed by the Phillies as an amateur free agent out of Azua, Dominican Republic, in January of 2010.
  • Ken Giles, RHP – Limited to just 24 games due to injury last season, Giles, 23, went 2-2 with six saves and a 6.31 ERA with single-A Clearwater.  The Albuquerque, N.M., native also pitched for Peoria in the Arizona Fall League, where he was selected as an AFL All-Star after holding opponents scoreless in nine of his 10 relief appearances and striking out 16 in 10.1 innings.  Armed with a fastball which touches 100 mph, Giles has compiled 152 strikeouts in 112.1 career innings (12.18 SO/9.0 IP) over three minor league seasons between the Gulf Coast League Phillies, Lakewood BlueClaws and Clearwater.  Giles was originally selected by the Phillies in the seventh round of the June 2011 draft out of Yavapai College in Arizona.
  • Mario Hollands, LHP – In 2013, Hollands went 7-3 with a 2.86 ERA in 27 games (20 starts) between single-A Clearwater and double-A Reading.  He struck out 114 batters while walking just 32 in 132.0 innings.  The 25-year-old was named Phillies Minor League Pitcher of the Month in June after going 2-1 with a 1.00 ERA in four starts.  In four minor league seasons with the Phillies organization, Hollands has compiled a 24-22 record and 3.93 ERA in 96 games (67 starts).  The Oakland, Calif., native was originally selected by the Phillies in the 10th round of the June 2010 draft out of UC Santa Barbara.
  • Sebastian Valle, C – Valle began 2013 playing for Team Mexico in the World Baseball Classic before spending the regular season with double-A Reading, where he hit .203 with 15 doubles, 12 home runs and 41 RBI in 98 games.  Following the season, he also appeared in 46 games with Caneros de los Mochis in the Mexican Winter League where he batted .304 with 11 extra-base hits and 15 RBI.  In parts of seven seasons in the Phillies minor league system, the 23-year-old has a .258 career average with 132 doubles, 61 home runs and 311 RBI in 608 games.  He was originally signed by the Phillies as an amateur free agent in October of 2006.


Biddle, a 2010 first-round pick of the Phillies, was with the BlueClaws in 2011 and an on the SAL post-season All-Star team. Franco was with the BlueClaws for a few weeks in 2011 and all of 2012. Giles was with Lakewood for most of 2012. Hollands was the Opening Day starter in 2011 and here for part of 2012. Valle was here for half of 2009 and all of the 2010. He hit the game-winning home run in the SAL Championship Series clincher against Greenville in 2010.

Phillies Minor League Coaching Staffs

Thursday, January 9th, 2014

The full list of assignments is posted below:

phillies coaching staffs

As you can see, Mickey Morandini, who managed the BlueClaws each of the last two years, is now a coach with Lehigh Valley. Chris Truby, who managed the BlueClaws in 2011, is now the Phillies minor league infield coordinator. That role had been held by Doug Mansolino, who is now the minor league field coordinator. Mike Compton, who was the field coordinator, is now a senior advisor of player development.

 Williamsport coach Shawn Williams is the son of Jimy Williams.

On the Phillies Top Ten…

Wednesday, December 18th, 2013

A few weeks back, Baseball America released their annual Phillies Top Ten prospect rankings, which you can view here. As we’ve done in the past, we sat down with the Baseball America’s Josh Norris, who made the list, to talk further and deeper about the rankings.

We thank Josh for his help, and you can follow him on Twitter by clicking here.

1) First, give us an overview of all that goes into putting a list like this together (10 are out now but you go to 30 in the Prospect Handbook).

First and foremost, a lot of time on the phone with scouts and managers inside and outside of the organization. You need to get a sense of how players are gauged before you can rank them, obviously.

Once all that’s done, I took what I thought were the best-reviewed guys and put them on a white board. Then made notations for categories such as players with defensive questions, players with injury history, players who’d had upper-level experience, and a few others.

With that out of the way, the top guys tend to sift to the top rather easily. The only real wild-card this year, for me, was Miguel Gonzalez, who should be in the big leagues very early, if not on Opening Day.

2) Last year, Jesse Biddle was #1. This year he was overtaken by Maikel Franco. What did Franco do this year to move up?

Quite simply, he raked. He swatted 36 doubles and 31 bombs across two levels, en route to a .320/.356/.569 batting. Evaluators noticed marked improvements in his plate discipline, as shown by his mere 70 strikeouts in 541 plate appearances. Moreover his defense, while not elite by any means, appears to be more than enough to stick at third base, especially given his well above-average arm.


Dugan, Altherr Added to 40-Man Roster

Thursday, November 21st, 2013


We would like to congratulate former BlueClaws Kelly Dugan and Aaron Altherr, who were each added to the Phillies 40-man roster on Wednesday and will get to now participate in big league Spring Training.

Wednesday was the deadline to add players to the 40-man roster in order to protect them from the Rule-5 Draft, which takes place on Thursday of Winter Meetings week, this year on December 12th in Orlando.

Dugan was with the BlueClaws in 2012 and hit .300 with 12 home runs (including over .350 in the second half of that season). This year, he opened the season with Clearwater, hitting .318 with 10 home runs before a July 4th to Reading. In his first taste of Double-A, he hit .264 with 10 more home runs in 56 games. He was a 2nd round pick of the Phillies in 2009.

Altherr played a season and a half with Lakewood, starting 2011 here and playing with the BlueClaws all of 2012 with Dugan. After hitting .211 in 2011, he hit .252 with 8 home runs and 25 stolen bases in 2012. This year with Clearwater, he had his best season as a pro, hitting .275 with 12 home runs and 23 stolen bases. He was a 9th round pick of the Phillies in 2009.

Both players signed at age 18 or younger, meaning they had five years before they needed to be placed on the 40-man as Rule-5 protected. Players who signed at age 19 or older (college draftees) have four years.

The Phillies also added catcher Tommy Joseph, acquired from the Giants last year as part of the Hunter Pence trade, and LHP Rob Rasmussen, who was acquired from the Dodgers on August 31st in exchange for Michael Young.

Winding Down in Arizona

Tuesday, November 12th, 2013

We owe you an Arizona Fall League update so let’s take a look at the former BlueClaws down in Arizona as the fall season winds down.

Ken Giles – Giles has been one of the better relievers in the Fall League this year, and has thrown 4.1 scoreless innings on one hit with five strikeouts since our last update. He’s allowed six runs in 9.1 innings so far, though all six of those runs came in one inning in which he allowed four hits and three walks without recording an out. He’s probably ticketed for Reading to open 2014.

Mike Nesseth – Nesseth has struggled since our last update, having allowed 10 earned runs on 13 hits in 5.2 innings since our last update. Overall, he’s allowed 14 runs in 12.2 innings in Arizona so far.

Austin Wright – Wright has allowed two earned runs in 3.2 innings since our last update, walking three and giving up a run in his last outing on Monday. The lefty has allowed seven runs in 9.2 innings so far.

Cameron Rupp – Rupp has added two more multi-hit games in his five November starts and is 15-50 with a home run so far. His home run came on October 29th against Mets prospect Cody Satterwhite.

Aaron Altherr – Altherr had a three-hit game on November 6th in which he picked up three of his eight hits this fall. The 22 year old is from Buckeye, Arizona, which is just 38 miles from Peoria. He’s 8-40 this fall.

Lendy Castillo – Castillo, representing the Cubs, has thrown three scoreless innings since our last update. He’s allowed five runs/two earned in 9.1 innings so far in Arizona, though he’s walked nine. He’s probably headed for the Cubs Double-A affiliate in the Southern League next year.

Trevor May – May has been coming out of the bullpen since making one start earlier in the season. In November, he’s thrown seven innings and allowed one earned run with seven strikeouts. He’s allowed five earned runs in 13 innings so far this fall.

Travis Mattair – Moose has been getting extended playing time so far and is 14-62 (.226) so far in Arizona. He’s added in a pair of home runs though he’s 3-17 in November.

Wishing the Best to Roman Quinn

Thursday, November 7th, 2013

QuinnDiving4803802013 BlueClaws shortstop Roman Quinn reportedly has a ruptured Achilles tendon, per this report from Jim Salisbury of Comcast SportsNet.

“It just popped,” farm director Joe Jordan said. “He thought he stepped in a hole. It’s really a tough one.”

Quinn opened last year with the BlueClaws and was active until late June when he broke his wrist after getting hit with the 4th pitch of a June 24th game at Delmarva.

“This is really unfortunate,” Jordan said of Quinn’s injury. “He’s a speed guy. It’s definitely going to set him back because his legs are such a big part of his game…Obviously, next year is going to be impacted. We just have to see how he heals. We might be looking at the second half of the year. It would be great if we can get that.”

He was ranked as the 5th best prospect in the Phillies system by Baseball America in their annual survey released this week.

We wish Roman the best and a speedy recovery and can’t wait to see him back on the field!

Baseball America Phililes Top Ten

Wednesday, November 6th, 2013

top ten logoBaseball America released their annual Phillies top ten prospects list earlier this week. Of the players on the list, seven have played with the BlueClaws and we can expect at least one and probably two of those ten to be back with the BlueClaws in 2014.

The list in full (years with BlueClaws):

  1. 3B Maikel Franco (2011-12)
  2. LHP Jesse Biddle (2011)
  3. SS JP Crawford (2013)
  4. RHP Miguel Gonzalez (–)
  5. SS Roman Quinn (2013)
  6. OF Carlos Tocci (2013)
  7. RHP Ethan Martin (–)
  8. 2B/OF Cesar Hernandez (–)
  9. OF Aaron Altherr (2011-12)
  10. RHP Severino Gonzalez (2013)

We would expect to see Crawford and Tocci at the very least to open the season in Lakewood and we suppose Quinn is possible but would be surprised if he’s not in Clearwater when the season starts on April 3rd.

Quick run-throughs on these 10:

1. Maikel Franco: The third baseman spent 2012 with the BlueClaws as a 19 year old and after a big second half with the BlueClaws that year (.346, 8 HRs, 57 RBIs) into 2013, where he sizzled in Clearwater (.299, 16 HRs, 52 RBIs) and carried that to Reading (.339, 15 HRs, 51 RBIs) after a June promotion. He ranked 8th on this list last year. Franco will certainly be placed on the Phillies 40-man roster and almost certainly will open next year with Triple-A Lehigh.

2. Jesse Biddle: Biddle topped this list last year. With Lakewood in 2011, the Philadelphia native and Phillies 2010 first-round pick, Biddle this year pitched for Double-A Reading, where he hada  3.64 ERA in a hitter-friendly park despite a 5-14 record (Biddle didn’t get any run support in Lakewood either, going 7-8 despite a 2.98 ERA).

3. JP Crawford: The Phillies first-round pick this year made a huge impact, leading the Gulf Coast League in hitting at .345 before a late August promotion to the BlueClaws. He went 11-53 with two stolen bases over 14 games. Crawford turns 19 in January and finishes

4. Miguel Gonzalez: Gonzalez doesn’t fit in with the others on this list as he was a free agent signing after defecting from Cuba last year. He signed a 3-year, $12 million contract and could be in the big league rotation in 2014. He originally agreed to a 6-year, $48 million contract but had issues with his physical, per media reports, so the Phillies and Gonzalez eventually agreed to a smaller deal.

5. Roman Quinn: Quinn, a 2nd round pick of the Phillies in 2011, turned down a scholarhip to Florida State to sign with Philadelphia, and after leading the NY-Penn League in stolen bases in 2012, he joined the BlueClaws in 2013. In 67 games, he hit .238 with 32 stolen bases before unfortunately breaking his wrist in Delmarva on June 25th, which ultimately ended his season. He’ll play winter ball and we’d expect to see him in Clearwater to open 2014.

6. Carlos Tocci: Tocci was the youngest player in BlueClaws history last year when he joined the team on Opening Day at age 17. He didn’t even turn 18 until August 23rd. Tocci held his own, excelling in centerfield. At the plate hit .209 with 26 RBIs in 118 games. We’d expect Tocci, to return to Lakewood in 2014, where he will still be one of the youngest players, if not the youngest, in the South Atlantic League. (As a point of comparison, he is seven months younger than JP Crawford, who began the year playing as a senior in high school, while Tocci was in the Sally League.)

7. Ethan Martin: Martin came over to the Phillies from the Dodgers in 2012. He spent this year with Lehigh Valley, going 11-5, 4.12 and was called up to the Phillies in August, making 15 appearances and going 2-5, 6.08.

8. Cesar Hernandez: Hernandez skipped Lakewood, going from Williamsport in 2010 to Clearwater in 2011. This year, he had an excellent year, hitting .309 with Lehigh Valley over 104 games and hitting .289 in 34 games with the Phillies. He figures to get a shot to make the big league Opening Day roster in 2014.

9. Aaron Altherr: Altherr, a former 9th round pick of the Phillies in 2009, hit .275 with a career-high 12 home runs and 23 stolen bases (in 28 attempts) after hitting .252 with 8 home runs and 25 stolen bases with the BlueClaws in 2012, which was up from .211 which he hit with the BlueClaws in 2011 (over the first half before finishing the year with Williamsport). Altherr has to be placed on the 40-man roster by the Phillies or he will be subjected to the Rule-5 Draft.

10. Severino Gonzalez: Of all the players on this list, the one that was probably the least likely to be here entering the season is Gonzalez. The right-hander joined the BlueClaws and made four starts, going 3-0 with a 1.69 ERA, which included one game in which he retired all 18 hitters he faced. Gonzalez then went to Clearwater, where he had pitched in relief earlier this year as a fill-in (he finished with a 2.02 ERA in 75 Clearwater innings), and made one start with Reading on Labor Day, giving up two runs in 6.2 innings. There aren’t too many players that open one year in extended spring training and then open the next year in Reading, but Gonzalez will have the chance.

We’ll have more with this list over the coming weeks. As in the past, we have tried to interview a Baseball America writer, regarding this list, and that is again the plan.

Weekly Arizona Fall League Update

Tuesday, October 29th, 2013

Let’s take another look at the former BlueClaws currently in the Arizona Fall League, but first, congrats to 2012 BlueClaws RHP Ken Giles, who will play in the Fall Stars Game, the Arizona Fall League All-Star Game, on Saturday night. Here are the rosters.

Ken Giles – Giles bounced back from a rough outing last week (six runs, no outs recorded) by throwing two scoreless innings on Thursday, adding in two strikeouts. He’s struck out eight in five innings so far, only allowing the runs in the one outing on the 19th.

Mike Nesseth – Nesseth threw three scoreless innings last week and has allowed four earned runs (three in his first appearance) over seven innings so far this fall.

Austin Wright – Wright last pitched on Friday, allowing four hits and two runs (including a home run to top Cubs prospect Jorge Soler). He’s allowed five earned runs in six innings so far this fall.

Cameron Rupp – Rupp has had a good fall. He’s 9-30 so far and added two hits and two RBIs last Tuesday since we last checked in.

Aaron Altherr – Altherr has played just three games so far and has not played since the 16th. He’s 3-11 with two RBIs.

Lendy Castillo – Castillo, now with the Cubs, threw scoreless innings on Thursday and Saturday, though he did combine to walk three in those two outings. He’s allowed one earned run/four total over six innings so far this fall.

Trevor May – May has not pitched since the 19th and has made three appearances so far, allowing four runs in five innings.

Travis Mattair – Moose played four games last week and had three hits in his game on Saturday. He took Braves prospect Aaron Northcraft deep for his second home run and is 7-35 so far.

Nine Claws Set For Arizona Fall League

Tuesday, October 8th, 2013


Nine former BlueClaws are in Arizona for the prestigious Arizona Fall League, which opens today. We’ll cover the league over the next month and you can follow them on Twitter here.

Here is a rundown of BlueClaws participants:

Kenny Giles – The Phillies drafted Giles in the 7th round of the 2011 draft and he made it to Lakewood in 2012, striking out 86 hitters in 67.1 innings with five saves and a 3.61 ERA. He was promoted in July to Clearwater, where he made 10 appearances and returned this year, going 2-2, 6.31. He’ll be one of the hardest throwers in the AFL this year.

Mike Nesseth – The Minnesota native played collegiately at Nebraska and the Phillies took him in the 17th round in 2010, though because of Tommy John Surgery did not debut until 2011. He opened 2012 with the BlueClaws, going 5-1, 3.06, most of it in relief after he made four early-season starts. He moved to Clearwater for the 2nd half of 2012, pitching to a 2.76 ERA in 21 games. He made 35 of his 48 appearances this year with Reading, going 1-4, but had a 1.64 ERA and threw seven innings allowing one unearned run with Lehigh Valley in three games at the end of the year.

Austin Wright – The BlueClaws have had current-year college starters finish the year in Lakewood the last few seasons (Hoby Milner in 2012, Jon Prosinski and Mark Leiter in 2013). Wright, a 7th round pick from Ole Miss, filled that role in 2011, making seven starts with a 2.67 ERA. He went 11-5, 3.47 with Clearwater in 2012 and went 6-5, 5.92 with Reading this year.

Cameron Rupp – 2013 was a special season for Rupp, who finished the year with the Phillies after opening the season with Reading. He hit a combined .258 with 14 home runs between Reading and Lehigh Valley this year, and took advantage of an opportunity at AAA after Tommy Joseph’s injuries. A 3rd round pick from Texas in 2010, Rupp was the every-day catcher for the BlueClaws in 2011, hitting .272 with four home runs.

Aaron Altherr – BlueClaws fans are very familiar with Altherr, who played 151 games with Lakewood between 2011 and 2012. He spent all of 2012 with the BlueClaws, hitting .252 with 8 home runs and 25 stolen bases after splitting 2011 between Lakewood, where he started the year, and Williamsport. This year, Altherr had his best professional season, hitting .275 with 12 home runs and 23 stolen bases (he has 85 over the last three years).

Kelly Dugan – Whatever clicked in for Dugan at the 2012 All-Star break has propelled him into one of the best hitting prospects in the minors. After hitting .253 with Lakewood in the first half of last year, he hit .331 in the second half (to finish at an even .300). This year, he picked up where he left off, hitting .318 with Clearwater and .264 with Reading, to split his year at .291 with 20 home runs (10 in each stop). He was a 2nd round pick of the Phillies in 2009 from Encino, California.

(Rule-5 draft implications – Wright, Altherr, and Dugan all have to be placed on the Phillies 40-man roster to avoid being unprotected for the Rule-5 Draft. Rupp is on the 40-man already after serving as a September call-up.)

Mickey Kozack – Mickey has been the BlueClaws trainer since 2008 (save one year in 2011 when he was with Clearwater). He will be the trainer for the Peoria club in the AFL.

Lendy Castillo – Castillo is an interesting case. He began the year as an outfielder with the Phillies before they made him a reliever in 2010. He was so good with the BlueClaws in 2011 (4-2, 2.54 with 46 strikeouts in 46 innings) that the Cubs took him in the Rule-5 draft and carried him on their Major League roster for most of 2012. This year, they wanted to make him a starter so they sent him to Low-A Kane County. It didn’t work. He allowed 26 runs in 24 innings and he went back to the bullpen. After 14 relief appearances with Kane County, he got promoted to Hi-A Daytona where he went 2-0, 3.60 in 20 innings. He was outrighted off the 40-man roster and cleared waivers last year and will try to bounce-back in the Fall and hopefully reach AA in 2014.

Trevor May – May, a 4th round pick of the Phillies in 2008, is the rare two-time champion in the minors, winning titles with the BlueClaws in both 2009 and 2010. In 2009, he went 4-1, 2.56 after joining the BlueClaws in June. He opened 2010 with Clearwater, but 61 walks in 70 innings got him sent back to Lakewood, where he went 7-3, 2.91 in 11 games. After a year in Clearwater and another in Reading, after the 2012 season, he was sent to the Twins (with Vance Worley) for Ben Revere. This year with Double-A New Britain, he went 9-9, 4.51, and while he struck out 159 hitters in 151 innings, he also walked 67, which has been his bugaboo. He’ll work on his control under pitching coach Tom Browning (former Reds pitcher). He is on the Twins 40-man roster.

Travis Mattair – “Moose,” as he is affectionately known, has been in professional baseball since the Phillies took him in the 2007 draft’s 2nd round, save one year, 2010, when he played basketball at Boise State. He spent 2008 and 2009 with the BlueClaws, serving as the 3rd baseman on their first championship team. In 2011, he returned to Lakewood, playing 33 games (and hitting a grand-slam single on the 4th of July) before finishing with Clearwater. The Reds picked him up before 2012 (his first Claws manager, Steve Roadcap, is now a scout with the Reds). He spent last year with Hi-A Bakersfield and this year hit .242 with 13 home runs with Double-A Pensacola.

Buchanan, Knigge, Charles Among Those Honored By Phillies

Thursday, September 19th, 2013

2013 BlueClaws first baseman Art Charles was among a group of Phillies minor leaguers honored before last night’s game at Citizens Bank Park for their Community Service work this year.

Each Phillies minor league team was represented as follows: Lehigh Valley – David Buchanan, Reading – Tyler Knigge, Clearwater – Cameron Perkins, Lakewood – Art Charles, Williamsport – Andrew Pullin, Gulf Coast Phillies – Jonathan Knight.

Buchanan and Knigge were each presented with the Step Up Award for leading the organization in community service. The pair were teammates with the BlueClaws in 2011.

Below is a video from last night’s ceremony, courtesy of the Phillies:

Hanson Promoted to Clearwater

Monday, August 5th, 2013

Congratulations to BlueClaws RHP Nic Hanson who has been promoted to Clearwater.

Hanson, a 16th round pick of the Phillies last year from Golden West College, began the year in the Lakewood bullpen and moved into the rotation in early May.

As a starter, he went 2-2, 1.64 over 10 starts and gave up four runs in 33 innings since returning to the BlueClaws after missing six weeks with a right groin strain.

He made his last start with the BlueClaws on Thursday, and gave up two runs over eight innings at West Virginia. He became the first BlueClaws pitcher to throw eight innings in a game this year and first since Colin Kleven did it on July 30th of last year.

From an story on Hanson earlier this year -

If Hanson develops into a top prospect, the Phillies may have to send a thank-you card to a member of Red Sox organization.

“I actually didn’t even play baseball my junior year [of high school] and my best friend, Henry Owens, was like, ‘We need a pitcher on the team,’ so I said all right, I’ll go for it,” Hanson said. “I had a good year and decided to stick with it. I went to junior college, I got hurt my freshman year, came back my sophomore year and got drafted.”

The 21-year-old right-hander’s freshman season injury was nothing mudane. Hanson required ulnar nerve transposition surgery, in which the ulnar nerve is moved to a more suitable position in the elbow.

“I didn’t even know anything about it,” Hanson said. “I pitched the first game of the year and it felt weird. They said if you want to keep playing baseball you have to get it moved over.”

Congrats to Nic on his well-deserved promotion. Jonathan Musser will take his spot in the rotation and start the second game in Hagerstown on Tuesday.