Archive for the 'Around the Farm' Category

Mitch Rupert Looks at ’14 Cutters

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014

Mitch Rupert is the outstanding Williamsport Crosscutters beat reporter from the Williamsport Sun-Gazette and recently unveiled a new blog post looking at 20 players from the 2014 Crosscutters and their outlooks heading into the 2015 season when most will be with the BlueClaws.

BlueClaws fans are familiar with some of the players listed, such as C Deivi Grullon, who was with Lakewood for six weeks prior to joining Williamsport at the start of their season, OF Jiandido Tromp, who has spent part of the last two seasons with the BlueClaws, and OF Aaron Brown, a 3rd round pick this year who played the last three weeks of the season in Lakewood.

We won’t get into the entire analysis (you can read that by clicking here), but here are Rupert’s top five hitting and pitching prospects from Williamsport this year.

Position Players

  1. C Deivi Grullon
  2. 1B/OF Jose Pujols
  3. OF Cord Sandberg
  4. OF Aaron Brown
  5. OF Jiandido Tromp

Grullon, Sandberg, and Tromp are locks to be in Lakewood when the season opens. Pujols is only 18 and only had a few games in Williamsport this year, so it’s not inconceivable he could stay in extended spring training, come up here if there is an injury, or go back to Williamsport, but I’m sure Pujols will at least have a chance to play his way onto the BlueClaws roster. Brown seems ticketed for Clearwater on Opening Day.

Pitchers

  1. LHP Matt Imhof
  2. RHP Chris Oliver
  3. RHP Ricardo Pinto
  4. LHP Brandon Liebrandt
  5. RHP Edubray Ramos

Imhof will almost certainly be in Clearwater and it’s possible, if not likely, Liebrandt, a 6th round pick this year from Florida State who had a 2.85 ERA and struck out 9.9 hitters per nine innings, will join him there. Ramos, being 21 already and off a sensational season (0.81 ERA and a 0.92 WHIP in 44 innings), could definitely go to Clearwater, especially if they keep him in the bullpen.

Again, I recommend you read the entire piece from Mitch and we’ll try to get Mitch for a Q&A at some point in the near future as well.

Phillies Hire Almaraz to Amateur Scouting Director Post

Wednesday, October 8th, 2014

From the Phillies:

The Phillies have hired Johnny Almaraz as the organization’s Director of Amateur Scouting, Benny Looper, Assistant General Manager, Player Personnel announced today.

Almaraz, 49, had spent the last eight seasons (2007-14) with the Atlanta Braves, where he was the director of Latin American operations (2007-09) and more recently the director of international scouting and operations (2010-14).  In his role he oversaw scouting operations for the club outside the United States and Canada, supervised all operations at the Braves’ Dominican Baseball Academy and managed a staff of nearly 20 international scouts.  During his time with the Braves, Almaraz signed, among others, right-hander Julio Teheran and catcher Christian Bethancourt.

Prior to working for the Braves, Almaraz spent 16 years with the Cincinnati Reds in various roles including director of player personnel and director of player development.  As a scout, he was credited with signing a number of future major league players including right-hander Johnny Cueto, outfielder Adam Dunn, catcher Paul Bako and left-hander B.J. Ryan.

“We couldn’t be happier to add someone of Johnny’s caliber to our baseball operations staff,” said Looper.  “He has established a reputation for being able to identify future major league talent and brings a great deal of experience to the Phillies.”

Almaraz pitched for two years in the Reds’ minor league system after being selected in the 14th round of the 1988 draft out of Southwest Texas State University.

You can read more on Almaraz’s appointment from Ryan Lawrence at Philly.com here.

Baseball America – Crawford #2 Among Sally League Prospects

Thursday, October 2nd, 2014

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Baseball America is in the process of rolling out their 2014 league top 20 prospect rankings and the South Atlantic League list features SS JP Crawford at #2.

You can see the lists for all of the leagues (with some still to be unveiled) by clicking here.

Crawford, the 16th overall pick in the 2013 draft from Lakewood, California, played two weeks with the BlueClaws at the end of last season and this year, hit .295 with 3 HRs, 19 RBIs and 14 SBs over 60 games with Lakewood. At the All-Star break, he was promoted to Hi-A Clearwater, where he played 63 games and hit .275 with 8 HRs, 29 RBs and 10 SBs.

I’m sure he will also appear on the Florida State League prospect list when it is announced next week.

The Phillies were not represented in the Gulf Coast League top 20 and their lone representative in the NY-Penn League top 20 was Aaron Brown (#18), who played for both Williamsport (.256, 3 HRs, 8 SBs) and Lakewood (.309, 1 HR in 14 games). Brown hit is lone BlueClaws home run in the Labor Day season finale, a 9-8 BlueClaws come-from-behind win in Hagerstown.

BlueClaws Sweep Phillies Weekly Honors

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014

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BlueClaws 2B Andrew Pullin and RHP Jesen Therrien were named Phillies Minor League Player and Pitcher of the week for the period ending June 29th, the first BlueClaws sweep of the season.

Player – 2B, Andrew Pullin, Lakewood … 7 G … Batted .444 (12-27), .500 OBP, .444 SLG %, 4 R, 6 RBI, 3 BB …Pullin is honored as Phillies Minor League Player of the Week for the first time this season and third time in his professional career (others: 7/8-14/13 & 8/19-25/13) … Pullin ended the week riding a 12-game hitting in which he was batting .378 (17-45) … Selected by the Phillies in the 5th round of the 2012 draft out of Centralia High School (WA), Pullin was signed byRick Jacques.

Pitcher – RHP, Jesen Therrien, Lakewood … 3 G, 1-0, 0.99 ERA (1 ER, 9.1 IP), 3 BB, 12 H, 7 SO … Therrienearns Phillies Minor League Pitcher of the Week honors for the 2nd time in his career (other: 7/8-14/13) … The 6-foot-2 right hander made 3 relief appearances and picked up his 2nd win of the season (other: 6/8 at DEL) … The 21-year-old native of Montreal, CA, was selected by the Phillies in the 17th round of the June 2011 draft and signed by Alex Agostino.

Lehigh Valley IronPigs - International League North Division… 39-44, 6th place… 1-5 for the week … OF Leandro Castro batted .333 (8-24), 2 2B, 3B … INF/OF Tyler Henson batted .300 (6-20), 3 2B, SB … Henson’s 16 SB this season lead the PHI minor league system … C Sebastian Valle batted .333 including his 4th HR of the season … Valle’s 4 HR came in his first 50 AB in triple-A … 1B Jim Murphy belted his 9th HR of the season … INF Nate Spears hit .500 (7-14), 3B and 2 BB … Over his first 15 G with LV Spears was batting .333 … OF Grady Sizemore batted .308 (4-13), R, BB in his first 4 games with the IronPigs … RHP Nector Neris tossed 2.0 scoreless innings as he struck out 5 of the 6 batters he faced, without allowing a walk or base hit … RHP Phillippe Aumont tossed 2.1 scoreless innings out of the bullpen, striking out 5 as he allowed just 1 hit … LHP Greg Smith allowed 2 hits and struck out 5 over 6.0 innings in his only start … RHP Jason Marquis allowed a run and struck out 6 over 6.0 innings in his only start.

Reading Fightin Phils - Eastern League Eastern Division … 34-45, 6th place … 0-6 for the week  … OF Peter Lavin hit .381 (8-21) with 2 HR, 2 3B,  2B, and a 1.314 OPS … Lavin has 10 HR this season … 1b Jake Fox hit .375 with 3 HR and 8 RBI this week, Fox is hitting .361 with 6 HR over his first 15 games with the Fightins … OF Kelly Dugan hit .273 with 2 HR this week … OF Aaron Altherr hit 2 HR, his total this season is now 6 … Brock Stassi and Edgar Duran also homered this week for Reading … RHP Severino Gonzalez allowed just 1 H and struck out 7 over 7.0 IP in his only start… LHP Matt Hoffman did not allow a run in 3 relief appearances, and has only allowed 1 R in his 6 G (6.0 IP) with Reading …RHP Seth Rosin allowed just 1 run over 4.0 IP in relief.

Clearwater Threshers - Florida State League North Division… First Half – 17-51, 6th place… Second Half – 4-7, 4th place…1-6 for the week … OF Brian Pointer hit .400 (8-20), HR, 2 2B … SS J.P. Crawford slugged 2 HR as he totaled 8 hits … CF Roman Quinn had 6 hits and 4 BB as he went a perfect 3-for-3 in stolen base attempts … 1B Art Charles hit 2 HR this week giving him a total of 7 so far this season … INF Angelo Mora had 6 hits including his 2nd HR of the season …RHP Colin Kleven went 7.0 innings in his only start … Kleven didn’t allow a walk as he struck out 5 batters and allowed 1 run … RHP Mark Leiter made his first start at CLR since earning a promotion from LWD … Leiter allowed 2 runs and struck out 6 over 6.0 innings … Leiter has a combined 91 strikeouts between levels which leads the PHI minor league system … RHP Kevin Walter tossed 4.2 scoreless innings out of the bullpen, totaling 4 strikeouts … RHP Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez pitched 5.0 innings in relief, allowing 1 run, with no walks and 7 strikeouts.

Lakewood BlueClaws - South Atlantic League North Division – First Half – 27-42, 6th place… Second Half – 2-9, 7hplace… 1-6 for the week … POTW 2B Andrew Pullin batted .444 (12-27) and ended the week on a 12-game hitting streak … INF Zach Green batted .333 (9-27), 2 2B, 2 HR … Green went 3-5, 2 HR, 5 RBI on 6/29 at WV … C/1B Willians Astudillo batted .333 with a HR … POTW RHP Jesen Therrien pitched 9.1 innings of relief allowing just 1 ER with 7 SO …Therrien picked up LWD’s only win this week, 6/29 at WV … RHP Wil Morris did not allow a run in 4.0 innings this week …Morris totaled 5 strikeouts as he walked just 1 batter … In his first 13.0 innings for LWD this season Morris has 15 strikeouts to only 1 BB.

Williamsport Crosscutters- New York-Penn League … 7-9, T-4thplace … 3-3 for the week  3B Jan Hernandezhit .333 with 2 HR, 2 2B, 2 SB … C Deivi Grullon hit .400 with a team high of 8 hits this week … OF Jiandido Tromp had 6 hits including 2 HR, 2B, 2 SB, he leads the team with 4 HR … 10th round pick OF Matt Shorthall hit .333 this week including his first professional HR … 7th round pick SS Emmanuel Marrero hit .389 (7-18) with one 2B and one SB … 3rd round pickOF Aaron Brown and 5th round pick Rhys Hoskins both hit their first professional HR this week …  16th round pick RHP Calvin Rayburn pitched 3.2 scoreless innings out of the pen and picked up his 2nd save of the season (other: 6/19 vs JAM)  … Mitch GuellerFrank Rivas and Alejandro Arteaga all picked up wins this week for the Crosscutters.

GCL Phillies-Gulf Coast League … 5-4, 2nd place … 2-4 for the week … SS Grenny Cumana hit .353 including 2 2B and his 1st HR … 3b Damek Tomscha (17th round pick) stayed hot hitting .316 on the week including 4 2B , he is hitting .423 over his first 7 professional games with a HR and 5 2B … OF Chase Harris (14th round pick) hit .381 including a 2B, 3B and 4 SB … Luis Encarnacion hit his first professional HR … 2nd round pick LHP Matt Imhof made his professional debut this week pitching 3 scoreless innings … RHP Seranthony Dominguez pitched 6 innings out of the bullpen and gave up 1 R, 2 BB and threw 8 SO … RHP Luis Morales picked up a win in his only start this week, he allowed just 1 run and struck out 5 in 5.0 innings of work.

Phillies Minor League Review

Tuesday, June 3rd, 2014

Courtesy of the Phillies…

Players of the Week 

Pitcher – RHP, Tyler Knigge, Reading … 1 G, 1-0, 0.00 ERA (0 ER, 3.0 IP), 0 BB, 1 H, 4 SO … Knigge earns Phillies Minor League Pitcher of the Week honors for the 1st time in his career … Knigge has not allowed an earned run in his last 21 innings pitched.  During that span Knigge has allowed just 14H and 4BB while striking out 14.  Knigge’s streak earned him a promotion to Lehigh Valley on Sunday … The 6-foot-4 Oregon native was signed in the 12th round of the 2010 First-Year Player Draft out of Lewis & Clark State College.

Player – OF, Leandro Castro, Lehigh Valley … 8 G … Batted .345 (10-29), .387 OBP, .448 SLG %, 4 R, 3 2B, 2 BB 2SB … Castro is honored as Phillies Minor League Player of the week for the 1st time in his professional career … Having hit safely in 16 of his last 20 games played going into tonight, Castro is batting .298 (20-67) in that span … The Dominican Republic native was signed as a non-drafted free agent on March 7, 2007.

Lehigh Valley IronPigs - International League North Division… 29-28, 5th place… 4-4 for the week … INF Ronny Cedeno hit .400 (8-20) HR, 2b, 4 RBI and has hit safely in 16 of his last 18 games and hitting .381 during that time … OF Leandro Castro hit .345 (10-29) 3 2B, 2 SB … UTL Tyler Henson hit .310 (9-29) HR, 2B … Henson has hit safely in 9 of his last 12 games, Henson leads the pigs with 12 2B’s this year … OF Tyson Gillies, C Cameron Rupp, and 1b Jim Murphy all added HR’s for the pigs this week … LHP Cesar Jimenez threw 2 scoreless innings before being promoted to Philadelphia this week, he extended his scoreless innings streak to 15 innings … RHP Philippe Aumont was also called up to the big leagues after tossing 3 scoreless innings this week in Lehigh … Aumont struck of 4 and allowed just 1 hit … RHP Chris Bootcheck picked up a win in his only start going 7 innings allowing just 1 run … RHP Ethan Martin threw 3 scoreless innings this week – Martin has a 1.69 ERA over his first 8 appearances in AAA … RHP Ken Giles was 2 for 2 in save opportunities this week – Giles now has 4 saves on the year for LV.

Reading Fightin Phils - Eastern League Eastern Division … 29-25, 3rd place … 1-6 for the week … OF Cam Perkins hit .389 (7-18) on the week with a HR and 2 2B – Perkins is hitting .342 with 19 2B and 3 HR on the season – Perkins’ 19 2B’s leads the eastern league and his .342 AVG ranks 4th … 2b/OF Albert Cartwright and 2b Carlos Alonso both added HR for Reading this week … RHP Colton Murray threw 3.2 scoreless innings allowing just 1 hit and striking out 4 – since being promoted to reading Murray has not allowed an earned run over his first 12 IP … RHP Tyler Knigge threw 3 scoreless innings and picked up a win in his only appearance for reading this week – Knigge has not allowed an earned run over his last 21 IP, … RHP Ryan O’Sullivan allowed just 1 run over 6.2 relief innings, he has allowed just 2 ER over his last 20 innings (0.90 era) … LHP Jesse Biddle made 1 start on the week allowing 2 ER over 6.2 innings.

Clearwater Threshers - Florida State League North Division… 12-43, 6th place… 2-4 for the week … 1b Art Charles hit his team leading 13th double and also hit his 3rd home run of the season … C Andrew Knapp hit his first HR of the year … INF KC Serna had 7 hits on the week including 2 2B’s … LHP Adam Loewen made one start allowing just 1 ER over 4.2 innings … RHP Lee Ridenhour allowed just 1 hit and struck out 6 over 4.2 scoreless innings out of the pen … RHP Jordan Guth picked up a win and a save in 3 relief outings this week, the save was Guth’s 4th on the season.

Lakewood BlueClaws - South Atlantic League North Division – 20-34, 6th place … 1-6 for the week … C/1b Willians Astudillo led the claws with 8 hits on the week including 2 2B’s – Astudillo leads the team with a .341 batting average and only has 9 strikeouts in 182 AB’s … OF Sam Hiciano had 6 hits including his 6th HR of the season … SS JP Crawford had 4 hits and 3BB’s on the week – Crawford is hitting .322 on the year with 27BB and 28K … RHP Jon Prosinski picked up a win in his only start this week – Prosinski did not allow an earned run over 6 IP … RHP Julio Reyes threw 3.1 scoreless innings out of the pen , allowing just 1 hit … LHP Cody Forsythe picked up his 8th save of the year – Forsythe did not allow a run over 3 appearances this week.

Phillies Weekly Review

Tuesday, May 13th, 2014

Sent over by the Phillies… 

Pitcher – LHP, Cesar Jimenez, Lehigh Valley … 4 G, 1-0, 1 SV, 1 SVO, 0.00 ERA (4.1 IP), BB, H, 4 SO …Jimenez earns Phillies POTW honors for the 1st time in his career … Jimenez ended the week with an active 7.2-inning scoreless streak (7 G, since 4/28) … A non-roster invitee each of the last two seasons to Spring Training in Clearwater,Jimenez appeared in 19 games for the Phillies last season … The 29-year-old left-hander was signed by the Phillies as a minor league free agent, 12/5/12.

Player – OF, Peter Lavin, Clearwater … 6 G … Batted .500 (12-24), .538 OBP, .792 SLG %,    4 R, 2B, 2 HR, 2 RBI, BB, HBP, 4 SB … Lavin earns Phillies POTW honors for the 1st time in his career … The 26-year-old was also honored as the Florida State League POTW … Lavin has hit safely in 8 of his last 10 games (15-41, .366 AVG) … The 26-year-old Lavin was selected by the Phillies in the 20th round of the 2011 draft out of the University of San Francisco … Lavin was signed by Joey Davis.

Lehigh Valley IronPigs - International League North Division… 18-18, 5th place… 3-4 for the week … 3B/1B Maikel Franco batted .345 (10-29), 2B, HR, 4 BB … Franco is batting .313 since 4/20 and has a slash line of .347 AVG /.439 OBP /.551 SLG in the month of May … Franco has 7 BB to 8 SO during the month … INF Ronny Cedeno has hit safely in 5 of his last 6 games as he batted .348 (8-23), 2 2B, 4 RBI … OF Tyson Gillies has hit safely in 5 of his last 6 games as he batted .375 (6-16), 2 2B, SB … OF Leandro Castro batted .316 (6-19), 2 2B, 6 RBI … OF Steve Susdorfbatted .333 (7-21), 3 2B, 3 RBI … Susdorf is hitting .377 over his last 22 games … RHP Sean O’Sullivan made 2 starts as he posted a 1.93 ERA (3 ER, 14.0 IP) … RHP Justin De Fratus made 3 scoreless appearances totaling 4.1 IP as he allowed only 2 hits … POTW LHP Cesar Jimenez appeared in 4 games and did not allow a run over 4.1 IP … Jimenezalso picked up his 1st SV of the year, 5/8 at Charlotte … Jimenez ended the week with an active 7.2-inning scoreless streak (7 G, since 4/28) … RHP Luis Garcia recorded his 6th SV of the season prior to his promotion to PHI … RHP Ken Giles was promoted from double-A Reading after posting a 1.20 ERA (2 ER, 15.0 IP) for the Fightins in 13 appearances while averaging 17.40 SO/9.0 IP (29 SO, 15.0 IP) … Giles made his 1st appearance for LV on 5/9 (1 ER, H, SO, BB).

Reading Fightin Phils - Eastern League Eastern Division…16-17, 4th place… 2-5 for the week … INF/OF Cesar Hernandez hit .500 (10-20), 2B, 3B and a team-best 5 BB … Hernandez batted .340 (35-103) at REA and had a 10-game hitting streak snapped on 5/12 before his promotion to PHI today … 2B Carlos Alonso batted .308 (8-26), 2B, SB and is hitting .284 this season … OF’s Aaron Altherr and Zach Collier each totaled 7 hits on the week with a 2B …LHP Hoby Milner picked up a win in his only start, 5/7 at Portland, going 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 SO … RHP Tyler Kniggetossed 8.0 scoreless innings over 3 relief appearances with 4 SO … RHP Hector Neris tossed 5.1 scoreless innings out of the bullpen as he allowed just 2 hits in 3 appearances … RHP Colton Murray made his 1st double-A appearance after his promotion from Clearwater where had a 2.04 ERA (4 ER, 17.2 IP) on the season. 

Clearwater Threshers - Florida State League North Division… 8-25, 6th place… 3-3 for the week … POTW OF Peter Lavin hit .500 (12-24), 2B, 2 HR, 4 SB … The 26-year-old Lavin was also honored as the Florida State League POTW … Lavin has hit safely in 8 of his last 10 games (15-41, .366 AVG) … 1B Art Charles batted .313 (5-16) with a team-best 3 2B … C Gabriel Lino, OF Brian Pointer and INF KC Serna all homered for the Threshers this week …RHP Colin Kleven picked up a win in his only start, 5/6 at Brevard County … Kleven has allowed 3 ER or less in each of his last 4 starts … RHP Jordan Guth tossed 4.0 scoreless innings of relief as he picked up a SV, 5/9 at Dunedin …RHP Colton Murray recorded 2 SV during the week and was rewarded with a promotion to double-A Reading.

Lakewood BlueClaws - South Atlantic League North Division – 13-21, 6th place… 1-4 for the week… Coming off POTW honors last week, SS J.P. Crawford picked up right where he left off batting .400 (8-20), 4 2B, 3 BB, SB …Crawford had a 13-game hitting streak snapped earlier today … Crawford, 19-years-old, ranks in the top 10 in the South Atlantic League in AVG (.328), OBP (.421) & OPS (.902) … 3B Mitch Walding batted .294 (5-17), 3 BB … 1B/C Willians Astudillo has an organizational best .371 AVG after 5 hits during the week … RHP Delvi Francisco earned a win for LWD, 5/11 at Delmarva as he totaled 3.2 innings of scoreless relief over 2 appearances … RHP Yacksel Riosallowed just 1 ER over 4.0 innings in relief … LHP Cody Forsythe picked up his 5th SV of the season, 5/11 at Delmarva.

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Phillies Minor League Weekly Review

Wednesday, May 7th, 2014

For the week ending Sunday, May 4th.

Players of the Week

Pitcher – RHP, Perci Garner, Reading … 1 G, 1-0, 0.00 ERA (6.0 IP), 2 H, 2 BB, 9 SO … Garner set a career-high with SO in his only start this week (previous: 8 SO, 7/13/13 with CLR vs Dunedin) … Garner has allowed 3 ER or less in all 6 starts this season and 2 ER or less in 5 of 6 … He 3-1, 2.98 ERA (8 ER, 29.0 IP) through 6 starts … Garner was selected by the Phillies in the 2nd round of the June 2010 draft out of Ball State University and signed by Nate Dion.

Player – SS, J.P. Crawford, Lakewood … 6 G… Batted .440 (11-25), .500 OBP, .680 SLG %,    5 R, 3 2B, HR, 5 RBI, 3 BB, SB … Crawford has hit safely in 8 straight including a 4-for-5 game on 5/4 at Asheville … Through 81 career minor league games Crawford is batting .313 (95-304) with 21 SB and 48 walks to 51 strikeouts … Crawford, 19, was selected by the Phillies in the 1st round (16th overall) of the June 2013 draft out of Lakewood High School and signed byDemerius Pittman.

Lehigh Valley IronPigs - International League North Division… 15-14, 4th place… 4-2 for the week… LV finished the week winning 4 straight games … IronPigs closed out their week on Sunday by hitting a season-high 4 HR in an 11-7 win at Gwinnett … 1B Jim Murphy batted .300 (6-20), 2 HR, 2 2B … Murphy has hit safely in 12 of his last 13 games … INF Reid Brignac hit .412 (7-17), 3 2B, 4 BB … Brignac has hit safely in 7 of his last 8 games … 3B/1B Maikel Franco hit .300 (6-20), 3 2B, HR … Franco has gone 17-for-56 (.304 AVG) since 4/20 after starting the year in a 6-for-54 slump (.111 AVG) … INF/OF Tyler Henson went 4-for-5, 2 HR, 7 RBI in LV’s win 5/4 at Gwinnett … Henson’s 2 HR and 7 RBI tied a LV franchise record … RHP David Buchanan earned the win in his only start going 6.0 IP, 7 H, ER, BB, 6 SO … Buchanan is 8-2 since joining LV last season … RHP Luis Garcia tossed 2.0 scoreless innings while recording 2 saves … Garcia has not allowed an ER through 12.2 IP this season and dating back to last season has not allowed an ER over his last 19.0 IP with LV … RHP Jonathan Pettibone picked up a win in his only start as he struck out 5 and allowed 1 ER over 5.0 innings … RHP Seth Rosin picked up his 2nd SV of the year on 5/4 at Gwinnett … Rosin totaled 3 scoreless appearances with 5 SO and only 1 H allowed during the week … RHP Phillippe Aumont tossed 3.0 scoreless innings and allowed only 1 hit with 4 SO.

Reading Fightin Phils - Eastern League Eastern Division…14-12, T-3rd place… 3-3 for the week … OF/1B Cam Perkins led the Fightins with 10 hits on the week, including 2 2B which brings his season total to 11, T-1st in the Eastern League … INF Cesar Hernandez batted .308 (8-26), 2B, 2 HR … Hernandez is batting .341 (28-82) with a .914 OPS through 20 games for Reading … C Tommy Joseph returned from the DL and went 4-9 (.444), 2 R in 2 G with a 3B and HR … 1B/DH Chris Serritella went 5-for-12 at the plate (.412), 2B, 2 HR and 4 RBI in 5 G … 2B Carlos Alonso hit .333 (8-for-24), 3 2B … POTW RHP Perci Garner picked up the W in his only start and is now 3-1, 2.48 ERA (8 ER, 29.0 IP) through 6 starts … Garner has held opponents to a .190 average (19-100) … RHP Severino Gonzalez went 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 SO, picking up the win in his only start … RHP Ken Giles recorded his 7th SV and totaled 6 SO in 3.0 IP … Giles is averaging 17.36 SO/9.0 IP (27 SO, 14.0 IP) through 12 appearances this season.

Clearwater Threshers - Florida State League North Division… 5-22, 6th place… 0-4 for the week…  Clearwater was rained out 3 straight days (5/1-3) including back-to-back doubleheaders on Friday and Saturday … OF Peter Lavinbatted .333 (6-18) and belted his 3rd HR of the season … 3B Harold Martinez tallied 4 hits, 3 of which were for extra bases (2 2B, HR) … OF Brian Pointer connected on his 1st HR of the season, 4/30 vs Brevard County … INF KC Sernabatted .398 (7-18), 2 2B … RHP Jordan Guth tossed 3.0 scoreless innings in relief … RHP Colin Kleven was activated from the DL and allowed 1 ER over 3.2 IP … RHP Ramon Oviedo struck out 2 over 2.0 scoreless innings.

Lakewood BlueClaws - South Atlantic League North Division – 12-17, 6th place… 5-1 for the week… Lakewood scored 46 runs over 6 games (7.67 runs per game) … POTW J.P. Crawford batted .440 (11-25), 3 2B, HR, 3 BB, 0 SO …Crawford has hit safely in 8 straight including a 4-for-5 game on 5/4 at Asheville … Through 81 career minor league gamesCrawford has 48 walks to 51 strikeouts … OF Dylan Cozens, 19, was honored as the South Atlantic League Player of the Week as he batted .435 (10-23), 4 2B, 3B, HR, 6 RBI (.826 SLG) … Cozens finished the week with 3 straight multi-hit games … 1B Willians Astudillo hit .400 (10-25), 5 2B, 3B, HR, 8 RBI (.800 SLG) … Astudillo is batting .393 on the season and has hit safely in 20 of 23 games this year … 2B Andrew Pullin batted .381 (8-21), 2 2B, 2 HR with an team-best 9 runs scored … 3B Mitch Walding was activated off the DL and hit .360 (9-24), 2 2B … OF Samuel Hiciano batted .381 (8-21), 4 2B, 2 HR … C Delvi Grullon hit his 1st HR for LWD … RHP Drew Anderson was activated off the DL and picked up the win in his only start tossing 5.2 innings of 1 run ball with 7 SO … RHP Alejandro Arteaga made 2 starts, picking up a win in both games including a 6.0 inning CG … LHP Cody Forsythe and RHP Ulises Joaquin each picked up a SV for LWD.

Phillies Minor League Review – Leiter Pitcher of the Week

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014

BlueClaws RHP Mark Leiter Jr. was named Phillies Minor League Pitcher of the Week as part of this week’s Phillies Minor League review.

Players of the Week

Pitcher – RHP, Mark Leiter, Lakewood … 2 G, 1-0, 0.64 ERA (1 ER, 14.0 IP), 8 H, 4 BB, 12 SO, 0.86 WHIP … Leiter earns POTW honors for the 2nd time in his career (other: 8/19-25/13) … Through 5 starts this season Leiter is 3-1, 1.97 ERA (7 ER, 32.0 IP) with a 4.5 SO/BB ratio (27 SO, 6 BB) … In 21 career games (9 starts), Leiter is 7-1, 2.19 ERA (13 ER, 77.0 IP) … Since being converted to a starter last season on August 13, he is 6-1, 1.36 ERA (8 ER, 53.0 IP) with a 4.25 SO/BB ratio (51 SO, 12 BB) in 9 career starts between Lakewood and Clearwater … The 23-year-old right-hander, who is the son of former Phillies pitcher Mark Leiter, was selected by the Phillies in 22ndround of the June 2013 draft out of the New Jersey Institute of Technology and signed by Paul Murphy.

Player – C, Tommy Joseph, Reading … 4 G… Batted .375 (6-16), .412 OBP, 1.000 SLG %,    3 R, 2B, 3 HR, 9 RBI, BB … Joseph is honored for the 1st time in his career as Phillies Minor League Player of the Week … Was placed on the DL, 4/26 … Joseph was acquired from the San Francisco Giants with RHP Seth Rosin and OF Nate Schierholtz for Hunter Pence, 7/31/12.

Lehigh Valley IronPigs - International League North Division… 10-12, T-5th place… 3-2 for the week… OF Steve Susdorf batted .421 (8-19) and has hit safely in 6 of the last 8 G for LV … OF Leandro Castro posted a .961 OPS and batted .333 (6-18), 3B, HR … After starting the season 4-for-33 (.121 AVG) over his 1st 11 G, Castro has hit .310 (9-29) over his last 8 G … 1B Jim Murphy had 4 2B and batted .250 with 5 RBI … C Koyie Hill has hit safely in all 10 of his starts this season … Hill went 4-for-13 at the plate (.308 AVG) this week and currently leads LV with a .366 AVG … C Sebastian Valle batted .364 (4-11) with 2 2B … 3B/1B Maikel Franco belted his 1st career triple-A HR and in doing so, became the youngest IronPig to hit a HR in franchise history at 21-years-old (7,911 days to be exact), passing C Tommy Joseph (7,937 days) … RHP David Buchanan picked up a win in each of his 2 starts totaling 9 SO in 11.2 IP … RHP Luis Garcia notched 2 saves over 3 scoreless appearances … Garcia has yet to allow an ER this season for LV and dating back to last season has not allowed an ER over his last 17.0 innings in the International League. … Last week’s POTW, LHP Greg Smith went 6.0 innings, ER, BB, 3 SO and picked up the win in his only start … RHP Phillippe Aumont tossed 2.2 scoreless innings … RHP Justin De Fratus converted a SV, 4/22 at NOR.

Reading Fightin Phils - Eastern League Eastern Division…11-8, T-3rd place… 2-3 for the week … POTW Tommy Joseph batted .375 (6-16), 2 2B, 3 HR, 9 RBI before landing on the DL, 4/26 … OF Aaron Altherr hit his 1stcareer double-A HR … C Logan Moore was promoted to REA from CLR and in his only start recorded his 1st career double-A hit … OF Cam Perkins hit .273 (6-22), 2B, HR … Perkins has a PHI system best .373 AVG so far this season … Last week’s POTW LHP Jesse Biddle picked up the win in his only start going 7.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, BB, 10 SO … Biddleleads the Eastern League with 38 strikeouts … RHP Ken Giles picked up his 6th SV of the year as he totaled 5 SO in 4.0 IP … Giles sports a 0.82 ERA (1 ER, 11.0 IP) with 23 SO, 3 BB … RHP Ryan O’Sullivan tossed 3.0 scoreless innings in relief with 5 SO … RHP Luis Paulino picked up a win in his only start as he allowed just 1 ER over 5.0 IP … Paulinohas earned the win in each of his 2 starts for REA this season.

Clearwater Threshers - Florida State League North Division… 6-16, 6th place… 3-3 for the week…  3BHarold Martinez batted .300 (9-30), 2 2B, HR, 3 RBI, SB … Martinez had 3 multi-hit games as he hit safely in 6 of 7 during the week … C Gabriel Lino was promoted to CLR from LWD and hit a HR in his 1st game for the Threshers … SS Angelo Mora belted his 1st HR of the season … OF Peter Lavin picked up his 1st SB this season and had 6 hits, 4 of which went for extra bases … LHP Ethan Stewart had another strong week as he picked up a win in his only start allowing 2 ER over 7.0 innings of work … Stewart has a 1.47 ERA (5 ER, 30.2 IP) over his 1st 5 starts this season …RHP Jeb Stefan allowed 1 run over 5.0 innings of work as he picked up with win in his only start … RHP Colton Murray had made 5 scoreless appearances to begin the season before allowing his 1st ER on 4/21 vs DAY … RHP Dan Child picked up his 1st SV of 2014, 4/23 vs DAY … Child has a 1.17 ERA (1 ER, 7.2 IP) over his 1st 5 appearances this season.

Lakewood BlueClaws - South Atlantic League North Division – 6-16, 7th place… 2-5 for the week… Last week’s POTW OF Carlos Tocci batted .321 (9-28), 2B, 2 3B … After starting the season 5-for-40 (.125 AVG), Toccihas hit .400 (20-50) over his last 13 G to raise his AVG to .278 on the season … 1B Willians Astudillo hit .318 (7-22) …Astudillo has hit safely in 14 of his games and has his AVG at an even .400 (24-60) for the season … SS J.P. Crawford batted .292 (7-24), HR, 6 R, 8 BB (.469 OBP this week) … Crawford has 13 BB to 15 SO this season … 1B Wilmer Oberto had 5 H including 3 HR … OF Dylan Cozens hit his 2nd HR of the season … POTW RHP Mark Leiter went 1-0, 0.64 ERA (1 ER, 14.0 IP) … … Since being converted to a starter last season on August 13, he is 6-1, 1.36 ERA (8 ER, 53.0 IP) with a 4.25 SO/BB ratio (51 SO, 12 BB) in 9 career starts between LWD and CLR … RHP Keivi Rojas tossed 5.0 scoreless innings with 7 SO over 3 appearances … In 14.1 IP this season Rojas has a 1.88 ERA (3 ER) … LHP Cody Forsythe picked up a win and a SV in 2 appearances this week as he tossed 3.0 scoreless innings … RHP Tyler Vizapicked up the win on 4/27 as he allowed 2 ER over 6.0 IP.

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

SpringTraining480270

 

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.

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Five Former BlueClaws Invited to Spring Training

Thursday, January 9th, 2014

SpringTrainingInvites

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.

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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.

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