Archive for the 'Williamsport Crosscutters' Category

Road to Lakewood: Relief Pitchers

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011

Here’s out last positional grouping of potential 2011 BlueClaws, the relief pitchers. We’ve looked at starters, infielders, and outfielders, and today we round out a potential roster. Obviously not everyone on this list will be here (we listed nine for probably seven spots and that doesn’t include some potential starters who could be relievers), but these are a few of the guys we’ll look for when the spring training games start.

Note: The Road to Lakewood is presented by Viridian Energy. Click here for information about how you can “Go Green” and save money on your electric bill. It’s fast, it’s easy, and you save, all with Viridian Energy…Power with Purpose.

Previously in this Series: Road to Lakewood, The Infield, Road to Lakewood: The Outfield, Road to Lakewood: Starting Pitchers.

Bradley Blanks: Bradley was undrafted out of University of South Carolina Upstate back in 2008. He played Independent league ball in Evansville after graduating for one year, took a year off of baseball in 2009, then started back in Independent ball in 2010 for the Windy City Thunderbolts. The Phillies noticed him and signed the 25-year-old to a contract last July. He reported to Williamsport where he pitched in relief in 16 games, going 4-1 with a 2.71 ERA and 1 save.

Jacob Borup: The Phillies nabbed Jake with the 23rd pick last June as a redshirt sophomore out of Arizona State. He has started and pitched in relief in his career, but we have him with the relievers here (guess). He was a starter at ASU, and then he went 2-1 with a 2.68 ERA in 16 appearances (4 starts) last year with Williamsport. Great read on Borup from the ASU student paper who has a pretty interesting back story. He graduated Mountain View High School in Mesa, AZ in 2005. Jake redshirted his first year as a Sun Devil, following his freshmen year he headed to Charleston, WV to complete a two year Mission through the Mormon Church. He returned to school, pitched well for two years, and the Phillies took notice selecting him in the 23rd round.

Garrett Claypool: Garrett was a 32nd round pick by the Oakland A’s in 2009, decided to return to UCLA for his senior season, and it turned out to be a smart move. He had his best season as a collegiate going 8-3 with a 2.29 ERA and limiting the opposition to a .174 batting average, best on the team and second-lowest among Pac-10 pitchers, and the Phillies nabbed him in the 11th round last June. He reported to Williamsport and went 3-3 with a 3.18 ERA in 12 appearances (4 starts). He also struck out 45 over just 34 innings for the Crosscutters. Here is a profile on the 6’2, 170 pound righty over on PhuturePhillies.com. Garrett is another young guy with experience starting and relieving and we did put him in the starter list too. He was throwing in the high 80’s at UCLA, but was up to 92-93 in Williamsport.

Juary Gomez: Gomez is a very raw 20-year-old out of Aragua, Venezuela. After two seasons with the Phillies Venezuelan Summer League team, he came to America last season and dominated. He started out with the Phillies Gulf Coast League team and pitched to the tune of a 0.66 ERA in 27.1 IP over 20 appearances. Juary also closed out 17 games and collected 9 saves. He made one appearance for Williamsport late last season and could certainly come right to Lakewood this year.

Matt Hutchison: Matt was picked by Philadelphia in the 25th round last June out of UNLV. He started and closed for the Rebels, going 6-4 with 4 saves and a 4.46 ERA as a senior. Beginning with the GCL Phillies, he threw 34.1 innings over 13 appearances with a 2.36 ERA and a 4-0 record. He made a few appearances with Clearwater at the tail end of the season. Matt is a 22-year-old native of Lancaster, CA. Here is his UNLV bio.

Chase Johnson: The Phillies nabbed Chase in the 21st round of the amateur player draft back in 2009 out of South Mountain Community College. He is a big, bulky righty who just looks like a closer at 6’5”, 245 pounds. In 2009 with the GCL Phillies, he threw 29.2 innings over 15 appearances, striking out 35 and finishing with a 3.94 ERA. Then he followed that up by spending 2010 as the closer for the Williamsport Crosscutters. In 26 appearances he threw 29 innings, posted a 2.79 ERA, and collected 15 saves. With experience the past two years closing out games, he very well could anchor the back end of the BlueClaws bullpen in 2011.

Eric Pettis: We had Eric with the starters, but we’ll put him here too…Almost immediately after being drafted by Philadelphia in the 35th round out of UC Irvine last June, he was thrust into the starting rotation for Williamsport. He started 5 games, pitched in 20 games total and finished the regular season a dazzling 8-0 with a 1.37 ERA (67 Ks and 7 BBs in 59 IP). Williamsport got knocked out on the last day (Sunday before Labor Day), and on the bus home, Chris Truby told Pettis he was coming to Lakewood for their playoffs, and he appeared in three of the seven playoff games. Here is a great interview with Eric over at PhuturePhillies.com and one with BlueClaws Blog in which he talks about Tweeting. His 2011 is kind of a mystery. He could be in Lakewood’s rotation or bullpen (he pitched in the pen to limit his innings), or he could be in Clearwater’s bullpen too. Considering how dominant he was with Williamsport, it wouldn’t be shocking if he skipped Lakewood this year.

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Road to Lakewood: Starting Pitchers

Wednesday, February 16th, 2011

Over the next few weeks, we’re going to preview different units on what could be the 2011 BlueClaws. Today’s our third look, the starting pitchers. Obviously not everyone on this list will be here (we listed 11), and some will be here in the bullpen, but these are a few of the guys we’ll look for when the spring training games start.

Note: The Road to Lakewood is presented by Viridian Energy. Click here for information about how you can “Go Green” and save money on your electric bill. It’s fast, it’s easy, and you save, all with Viridian Energy…Power with Purpose.

Previously in this Series: Road to Lakewood, The Infield, Road to Lakewood: The Outfield.

Starting Pitchers (in alphabetical order)
Jesse Biddle: Jesse’s story is one straight out of a Disney movie. A hometown kid from Mount Airy, PA, the Phillies drafted him 27th overall in the 1st round in the 2010 Amateur Draft. He signed quickly and went to the Gulf Coast League and pitches well. He got bumped up to Williamsport (very rare for a high school draft pick to get to Williamsport in their rookie year), and again he pitched well. Here is a BlueClaws.com article on Biddle from the Winter Tour earlier this month, and another from Phillies.com. He was a combined 4-1 with a 3.92 ERA in 12 starts last season between the Gulf Coast League Phillies and Williamsport. Baseball America has him 8th in the system. Considering we’ve seen a number of second-year pros open with the BlueClaws (Jason Knapp, Anthony Gose, Brody Colvin for example), he has a good shot. He said at the Winter Tour his first goal was to start here.

David Buchanan: David was a 7th Round Pick by the Phillies in last June’s MLB Amateur Draft out of Georgia State University. He started all 13 game he pitched in with Williamsport last season, and went 3-1 with a 4.21 ERA. A native of Peachtree City, GA, David pitched for two years at Chipola Junior College in Florida before finishing his college career after one year with Georgia State. Here is an article from Georgia State’s Athletics website after he signed with the Phillies. The article notes that he was the highest drafted GSU player, behind Scott Youngbauer (10th rd, 2000). Youngbauer is also a former BlueClaw (2001-2002). A The 6’3”, 190 pound right-hander, Buchanan throws a mid 90’s fastball to go along with a curveball.

Lendy Castillo: A 21-year old from the Dominican Republic, he pitched quite well last year for the GCL Phillies (3-1, 2.22). He struck out 51 in 44 innings and opponents hit .212 off him. Moved into the rotation for the final month, he’ll have to earn a spot but that was a very promising US debut.

Garett Claypool: An 11th round pick from UCLA, Claypool went 3-3, 3.18 with Williamsport last year, 12 starts and four relief appearances. Like others, his bullpen outings could certainly have been related to a heavy workload from the spring season, which for UCLA lasted into the College World Series. Was a 32nd round pick in 2009 by Oakland. He gave up three runs in 1/3 of an inning in his final appearance, raising his ERA from 2.41.

Percival Garner: 2nd round pick of the Phillies last year from Ball State, where he went to play QB for now Michigan coach Brady Hoke. He switched his focus to baseball (wisely, obviously) after being ranked the top pitching prospect in the Great Lakes summer collegiate league in 2009. He made just two appearances with Williamsport last year (he was shut down for precautionary reasons), but touches 96 with his fastball. Baseball America has him 21st in the system.

Nick Hernandez: One who you wouldn’t think would be here except for a loaded Clearwater rotation (Jarred Cosart, Brody Colvin, Jonathan Pettibone, Trevor May, Colby Shreve). He was 3-1, 1.61 with the BlueClaws, including taking a no-hitter into the 8th inning on May 16th at Greensboro. That was his final appearance of the season, however. He was with the BlueClaws (inactive) during the playoffs and said he felt great, 100%. I would be surprised if he’s with the BlueClaws when the season opens, and the only reason its even a consideration is the Clearwater potential rotation. But again, I think he’s pitched his last game as a BlueClaw.

Mario Hollands: A hard throwing (see a trend?) left-hander, Mario is another 2010 Philadelphia draft pick. Chosen in the 10th round out of UC Santa Barbara, Mario is a California native. PresidioSports.com did a nice write up on Hollands after the Phillies selected him last June. The 6’5”, 205 pound lefty hopes to build upon his first taste of pro ball at the end of last year where he went 4-4 with a 4.57 ERA in 14 starts with Williamsport. He throws 5 pitches: a four seam fastball which tops out around 91 mph, two seam fastball, curveball, slider, and a changeup.

Craig Fritsch: The Phillies plucked him in the 16th round last June out of Baylor University. He was an 8th round pick by the Detroit Tigers in 2009, but decided to stay in school. A 6’5”, 190 pound right hander, he finished 2-0 with a 4.38 ERA in 16 games (7 starts) with Williamsport. Faded at the end (8 ER in last 3 IP), raising his ERA from 2.65. Three-time Big 12 Commissioner’s Honor Role. Not sure exactly what the Phillies plans are for him, as in starter or reliever. Certainly possible (likely?) that his relief appearances were related to a heavy workload from the long college season.

Ervis Manzanillo: A 21-year old lefty from Venezuela, Manzanillo split 2010 between the GCL Phillies (3-0, 2.16 in seven starts) and Williamsport (1-2, 6.29 in six starts). Seems like a big difference, but basically in the Penn-League he just started walking guys. With the Crosscutters, he only allowed 19 hits in 24 innings, to go along with 23 strikeouts, very good numbers. However, he walked 18, compared to 11 (in 33 IP) with the GCL Phillies. Don’t know much else about him beyond that, but certainly you can put him in the mix.

Eric Pettis: Almost immediately after being drafted by Philadelphia in the 35th round out of UC Irvine last June, he was thrust into the starting rotation for Williamsport. He started 5 games, pitched in 20 games total and finished the regular season a dazzling 8-0 with a 1.37 ERA (67 Ks and 7 BBs in 59 IP). Williamsport got knocked out on the last day (Sunday before Labor Day), and on the bus home, Chris Truby told Pettis he was coming to Lakewood for their playoffs, and he appeared in three of the seven playoff games. Here is a great interview with Eric over at PhuturePhillies.com and one with BlueClaws Blog in which he talks about Tweeting. His 2011 is kind of a mystery. He could be in Lakewood’s rotation or bullpen (he pitched in the pen to limit his innings), or he could be in Clearwater’s bullpen too. Considering how dominant he was with Williamsport, it wouldn’t be shocking if he skipped Lakewood this year.

Julio Rodriguez: On the surface, he shouldn’t be back here. From the time he re-joined the BlueClaws in July (he was here for a few weeks in early June) through the end of the season, his line was as follows: 39 IP, 3 ER, 19 H, 11 BB, 68 K. He could not pitch better. However, when Clearwater’s rotation could conceivably be: Jarred Cosart, Brody Colvin, Jonathan Pettibone, Trevor May, Colby Shreve (plus Matt Way, maybe Nick Hernandez too), Julio could be here for a few months at the start of 2011. He was an 8th round pick by the Phillies in 2008 out of his native Puerto Rico. Check out this nice read on Julio written a few weeks ago by Jay Floyd at PhoulBallz. Rodriguez also pitched over the winter for Puerto Rico in qualifying for the Pan-American games, and he went 3-1 with a 2.00 ERA in 11 games for the Gigantes of the Puerto Rican Winter League. Baseball America has him 25th in the system.

Road to Lakewood: The Outfield

Wednesday, February 9th, 2011

Over the next few weeks, we’re going to preview different units on what could be the 2011 BlueClaws. Today’s our second look, the outfielders. Obviously not everyone on this list will be here (we’ve listed seven), but these are a few of the guys we’ll look for when the spring training games start.

Note: The Road to Lakewood is presented by Viridian Energy. Click here for information about how you can “Go Green” and save money on your electric bill. It’s fast, it’s easy, and you save, all with Viridian Energy…Power with Purpose.

Previously in this Series: Road to Lakewood, The Infield.

Outfielders (in no particular order)
Zach Collier: Zach, a supplemental first-rounder in 2008, split 2009 between Lakewood and Williamsport, hitting .221 with 20 stolen bases as an 18-year old. Last year, he had hand surgery and missed the entire season. He just turned 20 (in September) and we’d expect him back with the BlueClaws.

Gauntlett Eldemire: The Phillies took the outfielder in the 6th round out of the University of Ohio, where he led the league in on-base percentage and was second in the league in slugging percentage. However, Eldemire did not play at all last year (after the draft, he played his college season) because of a wrist injury suffered when he was hit by a pitch in April. Here is an interview with Eldemire from Phuture Phillies. Because of a large number of potential outfielders and the fact he did not play last summer, it’s possible he starts in extended and joins Lakewood later on, but that could certainly change with a big spring.

Miguel Alvarez: A 21-year old from Santo Domingo, Alvarez burst onto the scene last year with Williamsport, hitting .329 in 258 at bats (and playing all three outfield positions). That’s 69 points higher than he hit in the GCL in 2009 and 41 points higher than he hit in 2008, his final season in the Dominican Summer League. He stole 32 bases in 2008 and 13 last year despite reaching base 15 times more, so he found it tougher to read the pitchers. That said, in the NYPL, most of the pitchers were 22-23 year olds just drafted out of college, so last year was certainly a big season for Alvarez.

Domingo Santana: Baseball America has had Santana among the top 10 Phillies prospects each of the last two years. In 2010, he opened the season with Lakewood at age 17, becoming the youngest player in team history (nine months younger than Freddy Galvis on Opening Day 2008). If he opens with Lakewood this year, he’ll be among the youngest players in the league again. His high point with Lakewood last year was a 14th inning home run at 11:56 pm on April 23rd to end a 14-inning game. He hit .182 with Lakewood and .237 with Williamsport, with 8 combined home runs, as the youngest player in each league.

Geancarlo Mendez: Don’t know much about Mendez, a 21-year old from the Dominican Republic. He hit .264-6-40 with the GCL Phillies and played a few games in Williamsport at the end of the season. He’s also useful defensively. In three years (two in DSL), he’s played 64 games at first, 42 at second, and 51 in the outfield (where he played last year).

Anthony Hewitt: A first-round pick in 2008, Hewitt was with Lakewood last year and hit .202 with 11 HRs. According to this report in the Philadelphia Inquirer from September, he could be back here this season.

Drew Rundle: A 23-year old from San Diego, he was a 14th round pick of the Cubs in 2006 and the Phillies signed him in August. He played the last month with Williamsport, going 12-46.

That’s a bunch of OFs right there, but don’t forget about two other players: Aaron Altherr and Kelly Dugan. Both well regarded players spent last year primarily in the outfield. We listed them with the infielders (Altherr at third and Dugan at first) based on reports that they would move in this year. But we certainly wouldn’t be surprised in the slightest if either of those two guys also spent time in what figures to be a crowded outfield.

Road to Lakewood: The Infield

Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011

road-to-lakewood-viridianOver the next few weeks, we’re going to preview different units on what could be the 2011 BlueClaws. Today’s our first look, and we’ll start with the infielders. Obviously not everyone on this list will be here (16 players listed), but these are a few of the guys we’ll look for when the spring training games start.

Note: The Road to Lakewood is presented by Viridian Energy. Click here for information about how you can “Go Green” and save money on your electric bill. It’s fast, it’s easy, and you save, all with Viridian Energy…Power with Purpose.

Catchers
Cameron Rupp
: A 3rd round pick from the University of Texas last year, Rupp spent the season with Williamsport and hit five home runs. Baseball America ranks him 30th in the system and mentions his “unquestioned strength that generates raw power.” The likely starter.

Jim Klocke: a 36th round pick last year from SE Missouri State, Klocke was the first of the 2010 draft class to reach Lakewood last year and was with the BlueClaws for a few weeks at the end of the regular season and for the playoffs. He hit .275 with a home run and 16 RBIs in 95 ABs with Williamsport.

Marlon Mitchell: A 27th round pick in 2009, Mitchell has spent the last two years with the GCL Phillies, where last year he bumped his average up 61 points to .273. A former switch hitter, he now hits exclusively from the left side. He’ll be 20 for the entire season so it’s possible he’s the everyday catcher for Williamsport. Here is a Q&A with Mitchell from Spring Training 2010 in MyPhillyPress.

First Baseman
Kelly Dugan: As we’ll see, the Phillies have another vast group of young outfielders that could theoretically be with the BlueClaws this year, Dugan being one of them. However, Baseball America, in their write-up of Dugan (he was ranked 28th in the system), notes that he’s spent some time at first base in Instructional League and could at least play some 1B this year. The Phillies to pick (2nd round) in 2009, Dugan played last year at Williamsport (and rehabbed an infection with the GCL Phillies going 19-33). A Pepperdine commit, his dad directed Happy Gilmore and Adam Sandler, Kevin James and Chris Rock were at his signing party.

Chris Duffy: A 26th round pick of the Phillies last year (out of the University of Central Florida), he hit .272-6-32 with the GCL Phillies.

Patrick Murray: Hit .313-2-26 with the GCL Phillies last year, splitting time with Duffy at first base. Murray was drafted by the Brewers (31st rd 05) and the Phillies (45th rd 06) before they got him again last year in the 34th round (out of Lewis & Clark State, a JUCO power).

Jeff Cusick: An 18th round pick out of UC-Irvine (same school as 2010 BlueClaw and fellow 2010 draftee Eric Pettis), he hit .233-1-12 with Williamsport as their regular first baseman.

Middle Infielders
Cesar Hernandez: A speedy product who started his career in the Phillies Venezuela academy, he had his best season so far as the starting second baseman with Williamsport in 2010. He hit .325 and stole 32 bases for the Crosscutters with an OPS of almost .800.

Edgar Duran: Another product out of the Venezuela academy, Duran is entering his 4th season as a pro and looking to clean up some things in the field and continue to progress at the plate. He hit .235 in 71 games as the regular shortstop in Williamsport in 2010.

Stephen Malcolm: An 8th round pick in 2010 (San Joaquin Delta College), he made an impact right away helping the GCL Phillies win the 2010 league title. He played 27 games at shortstop after he signed last June, and hit .253 with 7 stolen bases.

Matthew Payton: Another 2010 draft pick (Western Kentucky, 27th rd), he played 41 games at second base for the GCL Phillies in 2010. In his first season as a pro, he showed great promise defensively, and hit .228 with 10 RBI’s. Great article here from the Bowling Green Daily News.

Nerio Rios: At just 19 years old, he is entering his third year as a pro. He played 30 games at shortstop last year with the GCL Phillies, and hit .248.

Third Baseman
Aaron Altherr: Reports are indicating Altherr will be moved from the OF to third base in 2011. A 9th round pick in 2009, he hit .297 combined between the GCL Phillies and Williamsport, and stole 15 bases while driving in 25 runs. Baseball America ranks him 10th in the system (third behind Jesse Biddle-8th and Domingo Santana-9th of potential BlueClaws). Chuck LaMar said the following about Altherr last year:

“He started out in extended spring this year. Outstanding athlete who just needed, like all of them, to continue to play our game and get at-bats. I just saw him along with Benny [Looper] and Marti [Wolever] and the group and he’s going to be the next name that surfaces that the folks who follow us closely may not have heard of. Next year, when he goes to Lakewood, they’re going to start to hear about him. Not only keep an eye on him. I don’t know how low you can pick rotisserie guys, but I’d get him in my farm system somewhere.”

Carlos Alonso: The regular 3B for Williamsport last year, Alonso played at Delaware and was a 32nd round selection. He hit .389 with 20 HRs last year at UDel and .265 with 3 HRs with the Crosscutters.

Cesar Hernandez Makes Top 2Bs

Friday, January 21st, 2011

cesar-hernandezHere’s another one: Cesar Hernandez, likely Lakewood’s second baseman this year, was ranked by MLB.com as the 7th best 2B prospect in the minors. Hernanez played with Williamsport last year and after the season was placed on the Phillies 40-man roster. He didn’t make the top 10 in the system by Baseball America but will probably make the top 15.

7. Cesar Hernandez, Phillies: Hernandez made his United States debut in 2009 in the Gulf Coast League, but really jumped out with his All-Star performance in the short-season New York-Penn League last year. His 32 steals were good for second in the league and he was sixth in the batting race (.325). He should be a fun one to watch during his full-season debut with Lakewood in the South Atlantic League.

Hernandez is the youngest guy on the list and only one who hasn’t yet reached a full-season league.

Full Release on Phillies Top Ten

Monday, December 13th, 2010

toptenfullLAKEWOOD, NJ – Baseball America announced their annual Phillies prospect list on Monday with a heavy BlueClaws flavor. Top ranked Domonic Brown played for Lakewood in 2008 with players ranked second through seventh all playing for the BlueClaws during their 2010 run to the South Atlantic League title.

Brown, who became the 35th former BlueClaw to reach the big leagues in the team’s 10 year history, led the list which featured (in order): 1B Jonathan Singleton, RHP Brody Colvin, RHP Jarred Cosart, RHP Trevor May, C Sebastian Valle, OF Jiwan James, LHP Jesse Biddle, OF Domingo Santana, and OF Aaron Altherr.

Singleton, Colvin, Cosart, May, Valle, and James were with the BlueClaws when they won the South Atlantic League title, while Biddle, Santana and Altherr could be with Lakewood in 2011.

“It’s always exciting to see guys play here in Lakewood who have a great chance to reach the big leagues,” said BlueClaws general manager Geoff Brown. “Our fans have seen some great players over the last few years and it looks like there’s more on the way.”

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Print Pieces

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010

Some articles today on the new hires around the Phillies farm system. First locally, Tony Graham of the Asbury Park Press talked to Chris Truby, new BlueClaws manager (click here for full article).

“I’m stepping into a situation where they’ve been used to winning, which is good,” Truby said. “Hopefully we can carry on that tradition.

“You get there and hopefully the players realize what they’re walking into, the expectation level of not just what just we have as a development staff in terms of getting better, but to be able to produce a product on the field.”

2010 BlueClaws manager Mark Parent is off to Double-A Reading. He spoke to Mike Drago of the Reading Eagle (click here for full article).

“My style doesn’t change,” said the former big league catcher, who took low Class A Lakewood to the South Atlantic League championship last season.

“When I’m communicating with players and running a game, I try to run it just like I would if I was a major league guy,” said Parent. “I treat them like grown men and I expect them to act like grown men.”

The Phillies announced last week that Ryne Sandberg would manage Triple-A Lehigh Valley. He and Parent were teammates with the Cubs in 1994.

Meanwhile, Mickey Morandini, former Phillies second baseman who the Phillies had been calling for the last nine years, will manage Williamsport this year after serving as a high school coach in Indiana. He’s excited to be back, as he tells the Williamsport Sun-Gazzette (click here for full article).

“Absolutely, I played there for almost nine years and I bleed Phillies red,” Morandini said. “I love the organization and know people in the organization and still do the Phillies camps and hang out with the guys I played with, so I’m thrilled to be back with the organization.”

The best part about that article is the picture of Morandini signing a baseball for Bill Clinton.

“Future BlueClaws” Among NY-Penn League Top 20

Wednesday, September 29th, 2010

roadtolakewoodWilliamsport had three players ranked among the top 20 prospects in the NY-Penn League in a survey released by Baseball America. IF Cesar Hernandez, OF Domingo Santana (who BlueClaws fans are already familiar with) and OF Aaron Altherr (who was also ranked among the best in the GCL) could all be with Lakewood when the 2011 season opens in April.

IF Cesar Hernandez: ranked 9th, signed as an amateur free agent from Venezuela in 2006 and spent two years in the VSL, one in the GCL and this year with Williamsport, where he hit .325 and stole 32 bases. A switch hitter, he was 27-69 (.391) batting right-handed. He sounds like the leadoff hitter on the 2011 BlueClaws.

OF Domingo Santana: ranked 12th, signed as an amateur free agent from the Dominican Republic in 2009. Santana turned 16 in August of 2008, signed with the Phillies in March of 2009 and went to the GCL. This year, he opened with Lakewood (hit .182 with three HRs) and was sent to Williamsport when their season opened (hit .237 with five HRs). Still, he turned 18 in August and was one of the youngest players in the league, a league often filled with 21 and 22 year old college pitchers straight out of the SEC or Pac-10. That he was here in Lakewood to open the season tells us what the Phillies thought of him in the first place and he’ll probably be back to open 2011 with…

OF Aaron Altherr: Ranked 15th (in the NYPL and 9th in the GCL), a 9th round pick of the Phillies in 2009 (from Arizona, originally from Germany)…Altherr hit .304 in the GCL over 27 games before a promotion to Williamsport, where he hit .287 in 28 games to finish the season. Here is what Chuck LaMar said about him recently:

“He started out in extended spring this year. Outstanding athlete who just needed, like all of them, to continue to play our game and get at-bats. I just saw him along with Benny [Looper] and Marti [Wolever] and the group and he’s going to be the next name that surfaces that the folks who follow us closely may not have heard of. Next year, when he goes to Lakewood, they’re going to start to hear about him. Not only keep an eye on him. I don’t know how low you can pick rotisserie guys, but I’d get him in my farm system somewhere.”

Related: The Gulf Coast League top 20, which features LHP Jesse Biddle and Altherr.

Colvin: “Not as bad as it looked”

Wednesday, August 18th, 2010

From today’s Asbury Park Press, manager Mark Parent said Brody Colvin is doing fine after coming out in the third inning last night. He was struck in the leg with a line drive and had to leave the game.

“[Athletic trainer] Mickey [Kozack] tells me he’s doing fine, it wasn’t as bad as it looked,” Parent said. “I thought it killed him the way he laid there.

“I’m not going to throw him out there and change his mechanics and risk hurting him.”

As for Colvin making his next scheduled start, Parent said, “We’ll have to monitor it and see how it goes.”

That is certainly good news. Colvin laid on the ground for a few minutes after he was hit.

A bunch of Future BlueClaws played last night in the NY-Penn League All-Star Game in Staten Island with Miguel Alvarez, hitting .322 with Williamsport, going 2-2 with a home run.

James: Phillies Minor League Player of the Week and more Pharm Notes

Thursday, July 22nd, 2010

Jiwan James went 12-26 last week as part of his franchise-record 24-game hitting streak and was named Phillies Minor League Player of the Week for his efforts. Jonathan Villar and Jonathan Singleton have won the award for Lakewood this year, and pitchers Ebelin Lugo, Nick Hernandez and Matt Way have won on the pitching side.

Players of the Week

**Pitcher: RHP Vance Worley, Reading Phillies.  Was 1-0 for 1 start, 8 scoreless innings on Sunday at Trenton.  He allowed 3 hits, walked 1 and struck out 3 in stretching his scoreless streak to 17 innings and his winning streak to 4 in a row.  In Sunday’s game he retired 17 hitters on 4 pitches or less. At one point, he retired 12 in a row.  98 total pitches, 74 for strikes.  He’s 9-4 on the season after starting 0-2.  The 22-year-old was a third-round selection in June 2008 out of Long Beach State U.; he was signed by Tim Kissner.

**Player: CF Jiwan James, Lakewood BlueClaws.  Hit .462 in 6 games (12-26) with 2 doubles, 1 triple.  Saw a club-record 24-game hitting streak end with an 0-for-3 in the second game Sunday’s doubleheader in Kannapolis. Was hitting .213 when the streak began on May 30. Had just 18 hits in the first 17 games but went 16-28 in the next 7 games.  A 21-year-old switch hitter, James was a 22nd round selection in 2007 out of Williston (FL) High School. He was signed by Chip Lawrence.  He was a pitcher (0-4) in his first pro season before switching to centerfield last year at Williamsport. He missed all of 2008 with a right biceps injury.

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Lugo Named Pitcher of the Week

Thursday, June 24th, 2010

BlueClaws pitcher Ebelin Lugo was named Phillies Minor League Pitcher of the Week, plus more in this week’s Pharm Report, courtesy of Larry Schenk.

Levitra order onlinesans-serif"; color: black;”>Players of the Week

**Pitcher: Lakewood RHP Ebelin Lugo. Relieved in 3 games, 1-0, 1 save, 0 runs in 5 total innings. Allowed 3 hits, no walks and struck out 3. Hasn’t given up a run since May 26, 15 consecutive scoreless innings. The 20-year-old was signed as an amateur free agent in 2007 by Sal Agostinelli and Wil Tejeda out of Guayacanal, DR.

**Player: Clearwater 2B Harold Garcia. Batted .361 in 6 games (9-23) with 3 doubles, 1 homer and 8 RBI. Stole 5 bases. Ended the week riding a 24-game hitting streak. The 23-year-old was signed as an amateur free agent in 2004 by Sal Agostinelli and Jesus Mendez out of Maracaibo, Zulia, VZ.

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Quite the Night on the Pharm

Saturday, June 19th, 2010

Some big performances around the Phillies farm system last night, starting with one Domingo Santana (remember him?) on Opening Night for Williamsport.

Santana hit two home runs and added a double for good measure as Williamsport beat State College on Friday 5-3.

Cutters manager Chris Truby said about Santana: “I told him he was going to hit in the middle of the lineup. He’s 17 and has tremendous power as he showed (Friday). And he’s going to get consistent playing time. I think that’s the biggest thing for him.”

“Domingo is a strong man, and he’s a big boy,” said Cutters first baseman Jeff Cusick, who had an RBI double in that same fourth inning. “That’s just crazy. You see it a little in batting practice. But he’s a big boy with a good swing. It’s fun to watch.”

Santana hit .180 with Lakewood before being sent to Williamsport to open their season. So far so good for the 17-year old.

(Sun Gazette photo)

Here is an article on JA Happ, who gave up four runs in 5.1 innings for Reading last night. Matt Rizzotti tied the game with a two-run home run in the 9th inning and won it on a Freddy Galvis RBI triple. Tommy Viola, Reading’s media whiz, posted this on Twitter: The Year of the Pie continues.

Former BlueClaw (08) Mike Stutes was sent to Lehigh Valley while Mike Cisco (08) was activated off Reading’s DL and sent to Clearwater. Finally, JC Ramirez, acquired in the Cliff Lee deal, was sent to Reading after going 4-3, 4.06 with Clearwater, was sent to Reading to make his Double-A debut.

And of course the BlueClaws moved to within one win of a first-half championship.

Full Phillies Player Development Staff and Other Notes

Tuesday, December 15th, 2009

Earlier we told you that Mark Parent is the new manager of the BlueClaws, taking over for Clearwater-bound Dusty Wathan. You can read the Q&A with Parent here. But there are a lot more coaches around the entire organization. Here’s the list.

Lakewood

  • Manager: Mark Parent (1st season)
  • Pitching Coach: Steve Schrenk…was with the BlueClaws in 2005 and 2006. He spent last year with Double-A Reading.
  • Hitting Coach: Greg Legg…the popular “Legger” returns for a 4th season in Lakewood (he was the manager in 2001 and the hitting coach the last two years), his third straight as hitting coach.

Lehigh Valley

  • Mananger: Dave Huppert…the only manager in IronPigs history is back. He managed the BlueClaws to a 2006 Championship with Schrenk as his pitching coach.
  • Pitching Coach: Rod Nichols…his 5th straight year in AAA with the Phils, he was Lakewood’s original pitching coach in 2001.
  • Hitting Coach: Greg Gross…the 1973 NL Rookie of the Year completes a coaching staff identical to the 2009 version.

Reading

  • Manager: Steve Roadcap…Lakewood’s manager in 2007 and 2008 begins his 5th year in the system, and second in BaseballTown.
  • Pitching Coach: Bob Milacki…He flips places with Schrenk, and starts his second year in Double-A. He spent one year with Altoona while with the Pirates.
  • Hitting Coach: Frank Caccitore…His third year with Reading and in the organization.

Clearwater

  • Manager: Dusty Wathan…Lakewood’s manager during the Championship season of 2009, Wathan begins his third season as a Phillies manager after retiring from playing.
  • Pitching Coach…Dave Lundquist…With the BlueClaws in 2008, Lundquist begins his second year with Clearwater.
  • Hitting Coach…Kevin Jordan…the former Phillie begins his fourth season as a coach in the organization, and his 3rd with Clearwater.

Williamsport

  • Manager: Chris Truby…thought he might be coming to Lakewood this year but he’ll return to Williamsport for a second season…Spent four years in the big leagues, this is his second as a manager.
  • Pitching Coach…Lance Carter, former big league reliever in his first season as a coach.
  • Hitting Coach: Jorge Velandia…utility player spent part of last year with Lehigh Valley…this is his first season as a coach.

Two other notes

  • Our buddy Ben Hill from MiLB.com (and this blog) tweeted over to us today the following: I once attended a Phils-Marlins DH in which both games went 12 innings. Mark Parent was behind the plate the entire time.
  • Mark Parent spent one year as a manager in the Mariners system when Dusty Wathan played for the Mariners organization in 1999.

Two Former ‘Claws to Penn League All-Star Game

Friday, August 14th, 2009

Congrats to two former BlueClaws, Sebastian Valle and Leandro Castro, who have been selected to play in the NY-Penn League All-Star Game next week in State College.

Valle, a catcher, is hitting .320-4-32. Just 18, Valle began this year with the BlueClaws and could well be the BlueClaws catcher when the season opens again in 2010. He’s currenly 3rd in teh Penn-League in hitting and in RBIs.

Castro, 20, is second in the league in hitting at .343, with 5 home runs and 28 RBIs.

Both began the year with Lakewood. Valle was sent down to play everyday at the all-star break, and Castro was sent down to make room for OF Steve Susdorf (now with AA-Reading) on Memorial Day.

Pitcher Austin Hyatt, out of Alabama, (who has allowed two earned runs in 35 innings this year), SS Jeremy Barnes, out of Notre Dame (.294-3-26), and 1B Francisco Murillo (.280-4-14) were also selected.

Williamsport is 31-23, three games out of first place behind Mahoning Valley under first year manager Chris Truby.