Archive for the 'MLB Draft' Category

Crawford, Leiter Join BlueClaws

Saturday, August 17th, 2013


2013 Phillies first-round pick JP Crawford and Toms River North graduate Mark Leiter Jr. have been added to the BlueClaws roster.

Crawford, taken 16th overall, joins the BlueClaws after beginning his career in the Gulf Coast League, hitting .345 in 39 games with 12 stolen bases. He was the league’s leading hitter at the time of his promotion.

He is the first high school draft pick to ever play for the BlueClaws in the year he was drafted (a 2013 draft pick in 2013). Crawford also becomes the 12th Phillies first-round pick (including five supplemental first-round picks) to play for the BlueClaws, but the first to do so the year he was drafted.

Crawford went to Lakewood High School in California, the same high school that produced 2013 BlueClaws RHP Shane Watson (supplemental first round pick in 2012) and 2009 BlueClaws C Travis d’Arnaud (supplemental first round pick in 2007).

The Phillies drafted Leiter Jr. in the 22nd round this year from NJIT. He began his professional career with the GCL Phillies and most recently made two appearances for Clearwater. With the GCL Phillies, he went 1-0 with a 1.57 ERA in 11 games. He gave up two runs in six innings with Clearwater, including one run in five innings of an August 13th start against Daytona. He will start Monday’s game for the BlueClaws at Delmarva.

Leiter Jr. is just the second Shore Conference alum to play for the BlueClaws, joining 2003 BlueClaw Casey Martinez of Holmdel. Leiter’s father, Mark Sr., was a Phillies teammate of BlueClaws manager Mickey Morandini.

The BlueClaws now have six 2013 draftees (also 10th round pick Jon Prosinski, 16th round pick Lee Ridenhour, 23rd rd pick Chris O’Hare [disabled list], and 26th round pick Chris Burgess) on their roster.

Pitcher Jonathan Musser has been transferred to Williamsport and infielder Miguel Abreu has been transferred to Lehigh Valley.

Some More Phillies Draft Notes…

Sunday, June 9th, 2013

The three-day MLB draft completed yesterday and here are a few quick-hitters on some of the players taken by the Phillies (here is the full list)…

  • Mark Leiter Jr. was taken in the 22nd round out of NJIT and Toms River North. If he makes the BlueClaws, Leiter Jr. will be the first Shore Conference alum to ever play for Lakewood. The last Shore Conference player drafted by the Phillies was RHP Kyle Slate (37th round, 2007) from Christian Brothers Academy.
  • 3rd round pick Cord Sandberg has already signed, forgoing a chance to play football and baseball at Mississippi State. Take a look at the of the schools that offered him a football scholarship. Greg Legg threw BP to Sandberg when he worked out for the Phillies during spring training.
  • Looking for some players that could be with the BlueClaws this year? Think college pitchers. Here is a post from two years ago where we looked at some of the current-year draftees to play for the BlueClaws. You can add in two from 2011 – RHP Ryan Duke (25th round from Oklahoma) and LHP Austin Wright (8th round from Ole Miss) who were here in 2011, and a bunch from 2012…
  • The BlueClaws had eight from last year’s draft on their roster: RHP Zach Cooper (15th round, Central Michigan), LHP Blake Mascarello (NDFA, Purdue), RHP Chris Nichols (31st round, University of Sioux Falls), LHP Hoby Milner (7th round, Texas), RHP Geoff Broussard (23rd round, Cal Poly), SS Tim Carver (20th round, Arkansas), Josh Ludy (8th round, Baylor), and Willie Carmona (11th round, Stony Brook).
  • 2nd round pick Andrew Knapp of Cal learned a lot from his father, who played 11 years in the minors.
  • 5th round pick Ben Wetzler, a left-handed pitcher from Oregon State, was drafted in the 15th round out of high school before enrolling at OSU. Oregon State plays today in their Super Regional against Kansas State after dropping the first game yesterday. Matt Boyd, a 6th round pick of Toronto, pitched yesterday, and Wetzler should throw today.
  • 10th round pick Jon Prosninski went to Seton Hall and was a two-time all-Big East Pitcher and three-time Academic all-Big East player. He’s from Skillman, NJ, just north of Princeton.
  • Good story on 16th round pick Lee Ridenhour from Austin Peay, a hard-throwing right-hander who won his NCAA Tournament start last week.
  • 17th round pick Rob Marcello from Appalachian State saw his draft stock rise as he moved into a closer’s role this year.
  • 29th round pick Cavan Biggio is the son of former Astro Craig Biggio, but he is expected to go to Notre Dame.

Finally, one more from a non-Phillies draftee:

We’ll have more on some of the Phillies draftees as they make their way to Lakewood.

Watson Ecstatic As Friend Joins Phillies

Sunday, June 9th, 2013

WatsonCrawfordWhile there weren’t a lot of smiles earlier in the evening for BlueClaws pitcher Shane Watson, there were a lot of them later in the evening on Thursday, as the Phillies selected shortstop JP Crawford, Watson’s high school teammate and long-time friend, with the 16th pick in the first round on Thursday night.

“I was watching in the clubhouse on tv with [strength and conditioning coach] Jeremy [Kneebusch] and I started jumping around and yelling,” said Watson, who was knocked out in the second inning of his start. “I had to calm it down a bit after I remembered the score but I can’t even explain it. It was crazy.’

Crawford and Watson have been teammates since they were five year-olds playing t-ball in California, and they’ve played together all the way through Lakewood (CA) High School. Now, they are re-united with the Phillies.

“He texted me a winky face right after the 15th pick and I was like, ‘Oh man!’

“We’re pretty much family. We have family barbecues. We live about a mile from each other. He’s out at my house. I’m out at his house,” said Watson.

JP Crawford is a cousin of Dodgers outfielder Carl Crawford, and the shortstop is expected to sign quickly and forgo a commitment to USC.

“He’s just like me. He gets after it,” said Watson. “He competes. He’s never going to take a play off and always play his hardest.”

Lakewood baseball head coach Spud O’Neil told last month that Crawford is the best all-around talent he has coached in 30 seasons.

“You never know for sure,” O’Neil said, “but I’ve had Chris Gomez, Damion Easley, Travis d’Arnaud, who is with the Mets, Mike Carp with the Red Sox… JP fits right in there with all those guys.”

Now, however, Crawford is in for a major change, one that Watson knows and one that he’s relayed to his friend: “Playing every day. It’s going from high school playing a few times a week to every single day. You have to get ready to grind,” said Watson.

Said Phillies scouting director Marti Wolever: “I thought he was one of the best HS players I saw last year when we saw Shane Watson play. He was outstanding then. It was just a matter of how everything fell in front of us if we were going to get a chance to select him, and things really worked out well.”

Think About This: There are over 36,000 high schools in the United States, and throw in another couple of thousand colleges, from Division 1 through various JUCO and Community Colleges that could in theory produce draftees. The Phillies have used their top pick in successive drafts on Crawford and Watson both from Lakewood High School (CA), and used it on Travis d’Arnaud in the 2007 draft.

Click here to listen to the full interview with Watson (mp3).

Welcome Larry Greene

Tuesday, June 7th, 2011

We would like to welcome Larry Greene to the Phillies organization. Greene, an OF from Nashville, Georgia (the other Nashville), was taken in the supplemental portion of the first round (39th overall) last night. He has been compared to 2010 BlueClaws first baseman Jonathan Singleton.

“He’s a man amongst young men,” Phillies director of scouting Marti Wolever said of Greene. “He is really strong and powerful. He’s just a really good athlete. He might have a little bit more power [than Singleton]. He’s built like him. His stroke is comparable. The bat speed is comparable.”

Here is a good write-up from Ed Barkowitz in the Philadelphia Daily News.

Greene had the chance to play football at Alabama but is focusing on baseball. We look forward to seeing him in a BlueClaws uniform!

Barkowitz spent five minutes with Reading RHP JC Ramirez. These are always great to read. Ramirez’s dream dinner guests are his mom, Barack Obama, and Jorge Posada.

MLB Draft Starts Tonight

Monday, June 6th, 2011

While the MLB Draft doesn’t have the panache of the NFL Draft or the NBA Draft, it serves the same purpose: to bring the next wave of players into the game.

There are people far more qualified than us to offer predictions and analysis, but we do want to point out one thing:

  • While most of these players drafted by the Phillies will not join the BlueClaws for a year or two, remember that in recent years, a few current year draftees usually make it onto the BlueClaws roster.

2007 Draft
RHP Brian Schlitter (16th round pick, College of Charleston): Went 0-1, 3.80 with three saves with Lakewood. He’s now with the Cubs organization for the second time (traded for Scott Eyre in 2008), then the Phillies claimed him off waivers this year, and then the Cubs got him off waivers a few weeks later.

2008 Draft
RHP Vance Worley (3rd round pick, Long Beach State): Went 3-2, 2.66 in 11 starts after opening his career with Williamsport. He’s been and forth with Lehigh Valley and the Phillies this year.

RHP Mike Stutes (11th round pick, Oregon State): Went 5-1, 1.48 in seven starts after opening his career with Williamsport. He is currently in the Phillies bullpen.

2009 Draft
LHP Matt Way (5th round pick, Washington State): Went 4-1, 3.11 in six starts and 1-0 in two playoff starts (Lakewood won both playoff games he started en route to a South Atlantic League title). Lakewood won the first half title without him but might not have earned a ring without the help of a player who had not yet made his pro debut when the BlueClaws locked up a playoff spot.

2010 Draft
RHP Eric Pettis (35th round pick, UC-Irvine): Dominated at Williamsport and after they were eliminated, he was added to the BlueClaws roster for the playoffs, where he appeared in three games. He was promoted to Clearwater from Lakewood this year on May 3rd.

What do all of these guys have in common? They’re all college pitchers. So if the Phillies draft any this week, make a special note. We could see them with the BlueClaws before the summer is out.

Philly Inquirer on the Pharm System

Saturday, August 7th, 2010

Bob Brookover in the Philadelphia Inquirer today takes a look at the farm system now that the two top OF prospects are gone (Domonic Brown in the big leagues and Anthony Gose has been traded) while the top SS prospect (Jonathan Villar) has also been traded.

Click here to read the article, and a snippet.

A hamstring injury has limited Gillies to 26 games this season, but LaMar said he is about to return to the playing field, and he’ll make up for lost time in the off-season by playing in the Florida Instructional League and the Arizona Fall League.

“He’s just about ready to play,” LaMar said. “I don’t know where we’re going to activate him, but he’s at least 90 percent and very close. We just want him to keep healthy. He just needs to get the time in.”

LaMar also considers Jiwan James (.280, 27 stolen bases, and 67 runs at single-A Lakewood), Leandro Castro (.263, 7 HRs, and 61 RBIs at Lakewood), Domingo Santana (.258, 4 HRs, and 16 RBIs at single-A Williamsport), and Kyrell Hudson (.205 at Williamsport) prospects. All four are 21 or younger, and Santana just turned 18 Thursday.

“Some of them will pan out, and some of them won’t, but outfield is still one of the strengths of our organization,” LaMar said.

The article also has notes on some draft picks the Phillies are trying to sign as we enter the final week of the signing period (which ends August 15th).
One is their 5th round pick Scott Frazier, a 6-7 right-hander who throws 96 mph. Sounds like the big-framed hard-throwers that we’ve had in recent years in Lakewood (Jason Knapp and Trevor May come to mind). Frazier committed to Pepperdine.
Another is OF Brenton Allen who has a commitment to UCLA. In fact, Allen went from California to Omaha to watch UCLA in the College World Series in June.

MLB Draft Day Two

Wednesday, June 10th, 2009

With day one now in the books, the draft moves to its second and busiest day where rounds four to 30 will be taken. The draft, now a three day event, will finish on June 11th with the final 20 rounds being selected.

– Beginning with pick #137, the Phillies will draft every 30 picks until pick #1547. In the baseball draft a team can take as many or as little picks as they choose.

Draft Notes:

– The first two picks did not come until 75 and 106…The Arizona Diamondbacks selected seven times before the Phillies did once.

– Both top choices were high school outfielders.

– With the 167th choice, the Phillies selected Matthew Way, out of Washington State, former teammate of first baseman Jim Murphy.

– Through ten picks, the Phillies have selected six high schoolers and four college seniors. As the draft goes on, the number of high schoolers will decrease because they will become less signable.

– The draft is an awesome event where 1,500 or so dreams will come true…updates throughout the day. Picks for the Phillies will be updated at the completion of the afternoon.

– Players from both Northwoods University (Jon Velasquez) and Lakewood High School (Travis d’Arnaud) were selected amongst others.

– In the 10th round Zachary Von Rosenberg was selected out of Zachary High School…pretty funny.

Updated 2:45…more to come.

– Former BlueClaw Josh Outman’s brother goes #850 overall

– Pat Light, of CBA, goes #852 to Minnesota…Light’s CBA played at FirstEnergy Park on May 29th.

– Nine of first 15 picks are high schoolers…only one of next 13 are…Total of 10 high schoolers.

– Pitcher Michael Monster goes #749 to Cincinnati…Awesome name, he spooks hitters.