Archive for the 'Phillies' Category

Another Perfect Game and Other Prospect Notes

Thursday, April 27th, 2017

Domenic Mazza LHP (Giants) - Not really considered a prospect. Players drafted in the 22nd round as Domenic was in 2015 fall far from that criteria, unless large bonuses are associated with their name to get them to sign. Mazza did make some press by throwing the second perfect game of the year and the first nine inning perfect game in South Atlantic League history. For Domenic that is a welcome start after lasting under three innings and giving up seven runs in his first start of the season. During that game he gave up Tim Tebow’s first professional career homerun, publicity he would just as soon avoid. The lefty needed only 85 pitches to toss his perfecto.

Dane Dunning RHP (Nationals) - It was pay back time for the ex-National as he threw six innings of two hit ball against Low A Hagerstown, a Nationals farm team. For Dunning that was his third consecutive shutout outing to lower his ERA to 0.35. He has only given up two runs in four starts with only one of them earned. He has a 2/33 walk to whiff ratio in 26 innings and the opposition is hitting him at a .143 clip. He was traded to the Nationals along with Reynaldo Lopez and Lucas Giolito for Adam Eaton. Dane is making the Nationals begin to regret that deal.

Nik Turley LHP (Twins) - In his fourth appearance and second start Nik Turley gave up his first run. He also struck out 14 in the seven inning outing, at one point striking out eight hitters in a row. In 20.1 innings he has now struck out 36 hitters with a 0.44 ERA and a .076 opposition average. At age 27 his prospect status is sagging but the Twins starting rotation could use some help.

Michael Kopech RHP (White Sox) - Michael was throwing bb’s in his six inning one hit shutout. The 2014 first round pick of the Red Sox struck out eight in his outing. The opposition is only hitting .145 against him but 14 walks in just 18 innings have plagued him. During his one hitter he walked four. The Red Sox traded him to the White Sox as part of the Chris Sale trade.

Dinelson Lamet RHP (Padres) - Myworld remembers writing about Dinelson a lot last year. After a 13 K performance in his third start he came back with a 9 K performance, throwing seven innings of shutout ball. Like Kopech, Lamet does not give up a lot of hits (.171 opposition average) but his walks could be tapered down (9 in 20 innings). After four starts the Dominican has seen his ERA lowered to 0.45.

Ronald Acuna OF (Braves) - After dominating in Australia Acuna is wreaking his wrath on Florida State League pitchers. The Venezuelan banged out three hits, including his second homerun of the year and five RBIs. Acuna was a double short of the cycle. Strikeouts have been a bit of a problem with 25 in 17 games, but his last two games in which he went 5 for 9 have come without a whiff. He has 10 stolen bases in 11 attempts.

Alex Jackson C (Braves) - Another Fire Frog, Jackson has seen his bat come alive now that he is no longer a Mariner. In the same game Acuna banged out three hits Alex collected three hits including a homerun and two RBIs. Alex was a double short of the cycle. The three hits raised his average to .338. While with the Mariners he struggled to get his average above the .250 neighborhood. The Braves have returned Alex back to his high school position as a catcher.

Willie Calhoun 2B (Dodgers) - The homerun drought has ended for Willie with his first yesterday. Last year the 5′8″ slugger bashed 27 over the fence. Despite the paucity of homeruns Willie has been hitting with his average at .333.

Jorge Alfaro C (Phillies) - The Phillies don’t have room for Jorge behind the plate for their major league team. So they will show patience with him as he assaults AAA pitching. Back to back three hit games in which he hit a homerun in each game raised his average to .377. The Phillies would like to see some improvement on his 1/17 walk to whiff ratio (22/105 in 2016).

Edward Olivares OF (Blue Jays) - With the two perfect games comes the first cycle that myworld has become aware of in the minor leagues. Edward singled, doubled, tripled and homered in a four RBI event a couple days ago. His batting average needed the outburst as it was sitting at .172 before the game. Edward now has a four game hitting streak to raise his average to .231. He has driven in 8 of his 14 runs during that streak.

Jason Vosler 3B (Cubs) - Jason is not considered one of the more touted Cub prospects. Last year he hit three homeruns. In a game last night Vosler equaled his 2015 homerun out put with three dingers to give him four for the year. The third baseman drove in six runs to double his RBI output for the year.

Hot Prospects for April 24

Wednesday, April 26th, 2017

A couple players identified as hot prospects, Christian Arroyo and Cody Bellinger were recently promoted to their major league team. They will not be the last.

Raimel Tapia CF (Rockies) - Tapia hits .300 no matter where he plays. The one concern is his lack of power. While he has speed his defensive tools are not ideal for center and his absence of power makes a corner position suspect. A rocket of an arm makes right field his best fit. Tapia slapped three hits yesterday to increase his average to .356. The Rockies outfield could get crowded with the improved health of David Dahl and Ian Desmond so expect Raimel to get most of his time in AAA. He did play two major league games early this season finishing 0 for 7.

Andrew Pullin LF (Phillies) - Reading is a hitter’s ballpark. Last year Pullin hit 10 homeruns in 46 games there. Yesterday he slugged two to put him at five for the year. That is halfway towards his production of last year. One of those homeruns was a grand slam to give him a big 5 RBI night. Pullin has gone 11 for 19 in his last four games to raise his average to .381. Last year in his 46 games at Reading Andrew hit .346.

Joe Rizzo 3B (Mariners) - Rizzo made a late debut to the season going 4 for 5 in his second game to raise his average to .625. A 2 for 4 day the next day dropped his average to .583. Rizzo was a second round pick of the Mariners in 2016. The one big criticism with Rizzo is how much power can he pack in his 5′9″ frame.

Jon Duplantier RHP (Diamondbacks) - More shutout innings for Duplantier. In four appearances, three starts he has gone 20.1 innings without allowing an earned run. Yesterday he threw five innings, allowing just three hits, striking out 8 without walking anyone. Opponents are hitting .121 against him. Jon was a third round pick last year appearing in only one inning. He did not allow a run in that inning.

Gregory Soto LHP (Tigers) - In his third start Soto tossed six shutout innings. That increases his 2017 shutout streak to 17. Gregory struck out eight and walked two. His fastball can touch the mid-90s but sits more comfortably in the low 90s. Expect him to get promoted soon to High A.

Grayson Long RHP (Angels) - Grayson got a quick promotion to AA where he threw six shutout innings in his first start. He only allowed one hit, a leadoff single to start the game but did not allow a hit after that.

Cesar with the Dagger Shot to Down Nationals

Saturday, April 15th, 2017

Chris Heisey had just lined a shot into the left field bleachers to send the game into a 2-2 tie after seven innings. Joe Blanton came on to relieve Tanner Roark and again the Nationals bullpen failed the team. Blanton hit Freddy Galvis on a 1-2 count and Cesar Hernandez launched a high shot into the right field bleachers to give the Phillies a 4-2 lead and the eventual win over the Nationals.

The Nationals hit Phillies pitcher Jeremy Hellickson hard but the balls died in the outfield grass for 11 flyouts, a couple of those outs finding the warning track dirt. They only managed four hits off Hellickson, two of them by Tanner Roark. In the third inning with Lobaton on first and the infield playing in for a bunt Roark pushed a ball into right field for a hit. Anthony Rendon bounced a single into left field to score Lobaton with the first run of the game.

The Phillies came right back in the top of the fourth. Back to back bunt singles by Cesar Hernandez and Howie Kendrick put the first two runners on base. Odubel Herrera hit a slow roller past the diving Rendon, the ball rolling into the corner for a double to score Hernandez to tie the game. A Maikel Franco ground out to second scored the Phillies second run. With a runner on third and just one out Michael Saunders popped to short and Tommy Joseph grounded to third to keep the score at 2-1.

Roark went seven innings and allowed just four hits, two of them bunt singles and three hits in the fourth inning. Hellickson gave up four hits as well, but lots of solid strokes that resulted in fly outs.

Game Notes: Wilmer Difo made a number of nice plays at short. He is showing he can play the position defensively. Unfortunately his bat has been a little soft, another 0 for day dropping his average to .200…If Maikel Franco had some speed he could have had two infield hits. Difo robbed him of a hit with a back hand stop in the second inning and Daniel Murphy robbed him of a hit up the middle…It was a rag tag lineup for the Nationals filled with backups. The last four hitters in the lineup were hitting .000. Difo was replacing Turner because of injury, Heisey and Michael Turner were in the outfield replacing Werth and Eaton and Lobaton was replacing Wieters behind the plate. The revised lineup was quiet with the bats as far as hits, though many balls were hit hard…Michael Taylor hit two long balls to the warning track in center field but they were both tracked down and caught by Odubel Herrera…The Nationals bullpen has given up 10 homeruns in the last 11 games with Blanton giving up three homeruns…Daniel Murphy ended his 10 game hitting streak with an 0 for 4 day.

30 Teams in 30 Days - Philadelphia Phillies

Thursday, March 30th, 2017

General Overview - Philly fans will not have Ryan Howard to kick around anymore. He has left as a free agent with no team having the courage to sign him as of yet. Like the Braves the Phillies are rebuilding, but they are not sprinkling in veterans to enhance their lineup. They are giving opportunities to some of their younger players, with more down in the minors ready to show they are worthy. For Philly fans they hope these youngsters improve over their performance from last year. This is an offense that was at the bottom of the league in almost all categories, so the ability to score runs was challenging. The same bats who struggled to score runs last year are returning this year. The pitching was also pretty bad, near the bottom in most of the categories. For the most part the same group returns for an encore. Hard to believe it has now been five years since the Phillies last made the playoffs.

Strengths - Hard to find one. They have some promising players that they hope become strengths. Odubel Herrera showed a mixture of speed and power for centerfield. He was a Rule V pick for the Phillies a couple years ago that has panned out nicely. There was some concern about his centerfield defense, with his nine errors on the season leading all National League outfielders. Maikel Franco could provide the power to hit 30 plus homeruns. He struggled a bit, slugging only .427 with a .306 OBA. The Phillies will be looking for more from him next year. It will be interesting to see if Tommy Joseph and Freddy Galvis can continue to put up their 20 plus homeruns power numbers from last year.

Weaknesses - The outfield is not going to hit for a lot of power but they hope Howie Kendrick and Michael Saunders hit for average. Howie has bounced around a bit and Saunders has battled injuries, but did hit a career high 24 homeruns last year. The starting staff lacks an ace. Jerad Eickhoff finished three innings shy of 200 and could be the best starter, but his ERA was 3.65. Jeremy Hellickson has more experience and may take on the ace role with his 3.71 ERA. Vince Valasquez has the best stuff among the starters, but he is still learning the art of pitching. The Red Sox finally gave up on Clay Buchholtz and the Phillies are taking a flyer on him. The bullpen lacks a closer but rebuilding teams normally do not need one. Jeanmar Gomez saved 37 games for the team last year but his numbers were not good. Joely Rodriguez is a young pitcher who has high 90s heat now that he has moved into the bullpen. He could take over the closer role by mid-season if Gomez continues to struggle with consistency. Joaquin Benoit was a free agent signing that has closer experience, but it has been a couple years since he has had success in that role. Hector Neris did an excellent job in the setup role last year and could find himself in the closer role.

Breakout Prospects - J.P Crawford is the Phillies top prospect. He should be occupying the shortstop position by mid-season. At that time the Phillies will have to find some place for Freddy Galvis or Cesar Hernandez. Crawford is a defensive whiz who has the bat to sting the ball. He won’t hit for a lot of power or steal bases but he will pepper the gaps. Cameron Rupp is a solid catcher so it may be hard for Jorge Alfaro to get a callup. Jorge has a strong arm and a power bat but he has had his issues with staying healthy. An injury to Rupp would put him in a starting role. A couple power bats in Rhys Hoskins at first base and Dylan Cozens in right field will try to show it was not Reading that padded their power numbers. If the Phillies want speed they can call on Roman Quinn for centerfield, though with Herrera in center it may be tough for Quinn to get an opportunity. Andrew Knapp will back up Rupp. He lacks the tools of Alfaro but has a solid bat and can play the position. The Phillies are a little weak in pitching, especially with any arm that can make an immediate impact. Nick Pivetta has had AAA experience but he is more a back of the rotation starter. Mark Appel was once the first pick of the draft by the Astros, but his prospect status has dulled considerably. The Phillies could always promote him to see what he has got. Joely Rodriguez saw a significant increase in velocity when moved from the starting rotation to the bullpen. In the minor leagues he had a lot of success against left handed hitters.

Prospects to Watch - Mickey Moniak was a first pick in the 2016 draft. Myworld is not impressed with his overall tools. His power is absent and he lacks the burner speed to cover ground in center. Perhaps he will develop those tools as he matures. The Phillies do have other outfielders crowding their system. Nick Williams needs to improve on his contact to improve upon his .258 average. A 19/136 walk to whiff ratio is frightening, but he does have the potential to hit for power. Cornelius Randolph was a first round pick in 2015. He has been moving up the minors slowly as the Phillies wait for his power to develop. His speed is absent so the power must be found for him to be of any use. Sixto Sanchez is a young pitcher with a mid-90s fastball who can throw an excellent changeup. After two seasons in rookie ball he should be ready for Low A. Franklyn Kilome has the long arms a 6′6″ frame will provide, winging darts in the mid-90s. His secondary pitches are not as developed as Sixto.

Expected Finish - The Phillies will be battling with the Braves for the bottom of the AL East. They have four young hitters with the potential to hit 20 or more homeruns. They also have a couple power bats waiting in the minors. This should help them overcome the Braves for fourth place in the AL East.

Myworld’s Top 100 - 10 -1

Tuesday, March 28th, 2017

Myworld finally finishes our top 100 list. It took awhile to post the top ten. Next in line are the organizational rankings for the major league farm teams.

10. J.P. Crawford SS (Phillies) 8.85 - J.P. did not have a good year from an offensive perspective, hitting just .244 in AAA with a .318 slugging percentage. He does have a smooth glove and makes solid contact, walking almost as many times as he whiffs (232/243). The Phillies current shortstop Freddy Galvis also has a smooth glove so J.P. will have to show a better bat if he wants to replace Galvis. The power may be less than Galvis but the overall consistency with the bat and glove may tip the job to Crawford. He lacks the speed to steal bases but the Phillies hope his high walk rate will be enough to make him a successful leadoff hitter.

9. Brendan Rodgers SS/2B (Rockies) 8.87 - The Rockies currently have Trevor Story at short but his 27 homeruns would make him a nice fit at third. A lot will depend on how Rodgers handles short as he climbs the minor league ladder. Last year he hit .281 with 19 homeruns at Low A. The 2015 first round pick also has the power to move to third. Brendan won’t give you tremendous range at short, but he will give you consistency, though he did make 16 errors in 70 plus games in Low A last year. Look for Brendan to start the season in High A. His bat will determine if he gets a promotion to AA.

8. Eloy Jimenez OF (Cubs) 8.87 - The Cubs have another big bat lying in wait in Low A. Last year the Dominican hit .329 with 14 homeruns in Low A, stitching together a .901 OPS. Eloy would be a five tool player if he carried a better arm. If his speed does not allow him to play center field he will move to left. The speed is not burner so there will not be a plethora of stolen bases. What will separate Eloy from the others is his power accompanied by a high batting average.

7. Cody Bellinger 1B (Dodgers) 9.12 - Combine a glove that should win gold gloves with a bat that should produce 30 plus homeruns a year and you could have an Anthony Rizzo type of player. Adrian Gonzalez is currently occupying first base for the Dodgers so Cody is getting some playing time in the outfield. His speed is good for a first baseman and he has a strong arm, but he won’t win any gold gloves in the outfield as he will do at first base. In an 11 at bat debut at AAA he hit three homeruns and hit .545. This is where he will start the 2017 season. At AA he socked 23 balls over the fence for a .843 OPS.

6. Amed Rosario SS (Mets) 9.13 - The Mets have been dealing with the redwoods of Asdrubal Cabrera and Wilmer Flores at shortstop. Once they see the ground Amed can cover in the dirt Met fans will realize what a true shortstop can do. Last year he hit .324 at High A and AA with five homeruns. He will not show a lot of power but if he can hit above .270 his defense will justify his play at short. Expect him to start the season in AA. Myworld was impressed by what we saw from him in spring training. The dilemma the Mets face in a couple years is they have another gold glove fielding shortstop in Andres Gimenez, who will make his United States debut in 2017.

5. Gleyber Torres SS (Yankees) 9.58 - The Yankees acquired Torres in the Aroldis Chapman trade. Torres spent the season in High A. With Didi Gregorius at shortstop the Yankees can show patience with him. When he is ready he will show tools far greater than Didi, with the bat and with the glove. The power began maturing last year with a career high 11 homeruns. He shows enough patience at the plate to take walks, putting together a .354 OBA. The only tool in his game that is not above average is his speed, which is considered average. Torres should start the season in AA in 2017.

4. Alex Reyes RHP (Cardinals) 9.72 - He would not be on this list if not for a 50 game suspension for a drug of abuse that delayed his start to the major league season. He should appear on this list next year after learning he will undergo Tommy John surgery, forcing him to miss the 2017 season. His fastball explodes to the plate in the high 90s, occasionally hitting triple digits. His breaking ball and change are also plus pitches leading to 10.2 whiffs per nine innings in a 46 inning major league debut. The Cardinals were hoping he would team up with Carlos Martinez to give them two fireballers to head their rotation. Time will tell how much his pitches will be impacted upon his return in 2018.

3. Dansby Swanson SS (Braves) 9.73 - The Diamondbacks made Dansby the first pick in the 2015 draft. They made a horrible trade, giving him away to the Braves as one of three players for Shelby Miller. Dansby went from High A to the Braves major league roster last year, hitting .302 for the Braves. He appears to have beaten out Ozzie Albies for the Braves shortstop job. Miller struggled with the Diamondbacks for a 6.15 ERA. Dansby will be the starting shortstop for the Braves next year. His defense is smooth, his offense should contend for batting titles and his all around game should make him an All Star.

2. Yoan Moncada 2B (White Sox) 9.8 - He was number one on this last year but his struggles in his major league debut dropped him down a notch. Now he has traded his Red Sox for White Sox. There is no question that Moncada will hit, but 12 whiffs in 20 major league at bats indicate he still has some issues to work on. Perhaps trying to learn a new position (third base) impacted his bat. The White Sox will keep him at second. His bat should hit for power and average and his speed could translate to 30 plus stolen bases. As he matures he could eventually be a 30/30 player (homeruns/stolen bases). Expect Yoan to start the season in AAA with a major league callup possible once he achieves consistent success.

1. Andrew Benintendi OF (Red Sox) 10 - Andrew should win batting titles with enough power to hit 30 plus homeruns. He also has the speed and range to play centerfield but the Red Sox have that position covered with Jackie Bradley. Andrew will fit in left field. If he finds success in the major leagues maybe his next goal will be to find world peace. There doesn’t seem to be anything Andrew has trouble achieving success at. Starting the season Andrew will be favored to win the Rookie of the year award.

Myworld’s Top Prospects - 30-21

Thursday, March 16th, 2017

30. Mitch Keller RHP (Pirates) 6.62 - Myworld was a little surprised to see him rated so highly in many of the Top 100s since we did not know that much about him. The Pirates 2014 second round pick had a breakout year last year with a 2.46 ERA in 23 starts. Increased velocity in his fastball, which now hits the mid-90s plus an improved change was the reason for the turn around. His curveball was already a swing and miss pitch. Mitch hopes to repeat his 2016 performance in High A in 2017.

29. Kyle Lewis OF (Mariners) 6.62 - Kyle was the Mariners first round pick in 2016. A gruesome knee injury cut his season short but not before he impressed with a .915 OPS. Kyle has all five tools to be an impact player. His speed, especially after the injury may be a little short to play center but his arm is good enough for right. Kyle makes good contact, is patient enough to take walks and should hit over .300 with 20 plus homeruns. The knee injury will delay the start of his 2017 season. Myworld expects him to begin the season in Low A.

28. Josh Bell 1B/OF (Pirates) 6.7 - Josh Bell began as an outfielder but the Pirates moved him to first base because his speed was not extraordinary and the Pirates outfield situation was already crowded. He was a second round pick in 2011 draft but the Pirates had to pay him a $5 million bonus to convince him to give up his football career. The power has yet to arrive but it showed flashes last season with 14 minor league homeruns and three major league shots. Defensively, his play at first is below average and needs to improve if he hopes to make the major league team in 2017. Expect him to start the season in AAA with Bell playing both the outfield and first base.

27 Brent Honeywell RHP (Rays) 6.87 - One of the better pitchers in the minor leagues with a different pitch in the screwball. He complements that pitch with a fastball in the low 90s with a plus change and a cutter that is above average. That is four pitches hitters have to look out for. He finished his season in AA with a 2.28 ERA in 10 starts, limiting the opposition to a .231 average. His command is good and with his mix of pitches he has a chance to be a number two starter. He should begin the 2017 season in AAA and should make his major league debut this year.

26 Clint Frazier OF (Yankees) 7.22 - A first round draft pick of the Indians, they traded him to the Yankees last year to acquire Aroldis Chapman to push themselves into the playoffs. Clint is a five tool player who will hit for both average and power. His above average speed could allow him to play centerfield but a plus arm makes right field a good fit. The Yankees would like to see Clint cut down on his strikeouts, an issue that may drive his average below .300. He will see next season in AAA and is just an injury to Jacoby Ellsbury away from getting promoted to the Yankees.

25 Jose Deleon RHP (Rays) 7.28 - Deleon was acquired recently from the Dodgers for Logan Forsythe. The Puerto Rican throws in the low to mid 90s, but his change is what gets hitters out. In AAA he struck out more than a hitter an inning, threw strikes and limited the opposition to a .194 average. When promoted to the majors his command disappeared, the opposition hit him at a .288 clip and he gave up five homeruns in 17 innings pitched. The Rays hope this was a learning experience for him. He will probably start the season in AAA but the Rays have the potential to have one of the best young rotations in baseball with Blake Snell, Brent Honeywell and Jose Deleon.

24. Mickey Moniak OF (Phillies) 7.48 - The Phillies 2016 number one pick, making him the top pick in the draft. Above average speed and a rocket arm makes him flexible for center or right field. The power is absent for now but it is expected to show as he fills out. He makes solid contact now, hitting balls into the gaps. Last year in rookie ball he slugged .409. Expect him to start the 2017 season in Low A. Don’t expect the power to become evident until 2018.

23. Manuel Margot OF (Padres) 7.52 - The Padres acquired Manuel from the Red Sox in the Craig Kimbrel deal. He has the speed to play center and the arm to fit in right. Last year that speed contributed to 32 stolen bases in 43 attempts. Power is lacking but he should get close to double digits and with his speed doubles should be frequent. Last year he made his major league debut hitting just .243. In AAA he was able to get the average up to .304. The Padres expect him to compete with Travis Jankowski for the centerfield job.

22. Francis Martes RHP (Astros) 7.77 - The Astros stole Martes from the Marlins in the Jarred Cosart trade. At that time he was still in rookie ball struggling to throw strikes. His control has gotten better and his fastball has climbed to the mid-90s, hitting triple digits when he really lets loose. Martes also has a plus curveball that sharply breaks down towards the plate. The one down side with Martes is his short height (6′1″) which does not give him any downward plane. After his success at AA last year it is expected the Astros will start him at AAA, with a promotion to the major leagues if an injury or ineffectiveness plagues the starting staff.

21. Lewis Brinson OF (Brewers) 7.77 - Brinson is a nice little centerfielder who the Brewers got from the Rangers in the Jonathan Lucroy trade. Brinson shows all five tools, with the ability to hit for power with 30 plus homeruns and the speed to play centerfield. That speed has not translated well to stolen bases. The Brewers would like to see him walk more to increase the OBA, making him better suited for the leadoff role. He reached AAA last year and hit .382 in less than 100 at bats. The 2017 season will see him back at AAA with the chance to see the outfield for the rebuilding Brewers.

MyWorld’s Top 100 - 60-51

Friday, March 3rd, 2017

60. Zack Collins C (White Sox) 3.62 - The 2016 first round pick of the White Sox would have been their top prospect if not for the acquisitions of Yoan Moncada, Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez and Michael Kopech. Now he has to share the spotlight. Zack is a power hitting catcher whose defensive skills are not fully developed yet. If he does not make it as a catcher he has enough pop to move to first base, though he would be more valuable as a catcher. Next season should see him break out in a full season league after he hit six homeruns in just 36 games in rookie ball. Pitchers were a little hesitant pitching to him, walking him 33 times.

59. Sean Reid-Foley RHP (Blue Jays) 3.75 - Sean had a breakout season last year, lowering his ERA by more than a run and striking out more than a hitter per inning. The opposition had trouble making hard contact off him with an opposition average less than .200. His fastball sits in the low 90s but he can touch north of 95 with a solid curve and developing slider. If he can find the feel for his change he could move fast. Last year he reached High A for 10 starts. Sean should start the season in AA with a possible major league callup if he continues to achieve success.

58. Erick Fedde RHP (Nationals) 3.75 - The Nationals like to collect those pitches who have to undergo Tommy John surgery prior to the draft, dropping them lower in the draft. They did that with Lucas Giolito and Erick was drafted in the first round of the 2014 draft even after he found out he needed Tommy John surgery. Erick pitched 121 innings last year and will need to start the season in the minors to control his innings count. With the trade of Reynaldo Lopez and Lucas Giolito he could be considered the number six starting pitcher for the Nationals after their first five. He has a low 90s fastball and a high 80s slider. His change needs to develop more consistency if he hopes to make it as a starter.

57. Amir Garrett LHP (Reds) 3.82 - Until last year Amir was a basketball player who dabbled a bit in playing baseball. He has now decided to focus on baseball. That may jump start his career. At 6′5″ he has impressive height with a fastball in the low 90s complemented by a plus slider. His change is still a work in progress. Amir dominated at AA with a 1.75 ERA, 9.1 whiffs per nine innings and a .184 opposition average in 12 starts. A promotion to AAA gave him a little bit of a struggle but the opposition still only hit him at a .202 clip. A 31/54 walk to whiff ratio shows he was more hittable with less command. A repeat of AAA will be in store for Amir in 2017.

56. A.J. Puk LHP (Athletics) 4.05 - Puk was the Athletics first round pick in 2016. He was drafted ahead of his Florida teammate Logan Shore, who was their Friday night starter, usually reserved for the best pitcher on the team. The Athletics chose Puk but then had the opportunity to snag Logan Shore in the second round when his name was still on the list. At 6′7″ Puk has an intimidating plane he brings to hitters with a fastball that can cross the plate in the high 90s. His secondary pitches (slider and change) still need a lot of work, but once he figures it out his fastball will be that much better. While he finished the season 0-4 Puk averaged just 3.3 innings per start.

55. Jorge Alfaro C (Phillies) 4.07 - Injuries have slowed down Alfaro’s development, leaving him on prospect lists for at least five years. The Colombian was signed by the Rangers but traded to the Phillies in the Cole Hamel deal. His bat has pop and his arm can slow down a running game. The big concern with Jorge is the 5/1 strikeout to walk ratio (105/22 last year) that can be exposed by better pitchers. Cameron Rupp is currently ahead of him on the major league roster so Jorge will probably see a full season in AAA.

54. Triston McKenzie RHP (Indians) 4.12 - The only pitcher we witnessed pitch this year that made me go wow. He has long arms that seem to fly all over the place in his delivery. At 6′5″ his fastball can already hit 95. Once he gets more meat on his bones that fastball velocity should increase. His curve has a nice break but his change still needs more consistency. Rookie league hitters had no chance against him with a .180 opposition average. A 0.55 ERA in nine starts got him a promotion to Low A. That is where he will begin the 2017 season. For a young pitcher he is very good at throwing strikes.

53. Carson Kelly C (Cardinals) 4.18 - Carson has a superb glove who frames pitches well and controls the running game with a strong arm. The big question mark with him is whether his bat can develop. That will determine whether he will be a starter or backup. Last year he hit around .290 splitting time between AA and AAA. A promotion to the major leagues saw that average dip to .154. With Yadier Molina the Cardinals catcher for the next couple years Carson will improve his craft in 2017 in AAA with a possible back up role for Yadier by mid-season.

52. Alex Verdugo OF (Dodgers) 4.4 - Verdugo was a second round pick in the 2014 draft. Last year he hit a career high 13 homeruns in AA, showing the power is there to play a corner. Slow foot speed prevents him from playing centerfield, but a strong arm is a nice fit for right. If Yasiel Puig continues his downfall the Dodgers could call up Verdugo to take his place. Mark saw a full season in AA so the 2017 season should start in AAA. Alex needs to maintain his focus to win the right field job. There are times when he has a tendency to dial it back.

51. Luke Weaver RHP (Cardinals) 4.48 - Luke was a first round pick of the Cardinals in 2014. His fastball neighbors the mid-90s and he complements that well with a plus change. After dominating the minor leagues last year Luke was given a promotion to the Cardinals. In nine starts a 5.70 ERA and .311 opposition average with seven homeruns given up in his 36 innings showed he was not ready yet. He had only given up a total of seven homeruns in his last three minor league seasons. On the bright side he did strike out 11.1 hitters per nine innings proving he has swing and miss stuff. A good spring could find him in the starting rotation, but expect more a mid-season callup.

Breakout Prospects and Prospects to Watch - NL East

Saturday, January 21st, 2017

This is the last group of prospects myworld will look at who have a chance to make a major league impact in 2017 and other prospects to watch to see if they will find themselves on the cusp of making the major league team in 2018. Some of these prospects to watch are veteran minor leaguers trying to over come surgery, former top prospects who have tripped in their minor league ascension or Cubans who have no history at the professional level in the United States but were stars in Cuba. Today myworld takes a look at the NL East.

Atlanta Braves

Breakout Prospect (Dansby Swanson) - The Diamondbacks are going to regret trading Swanson to the Braves for an established pitcher Shelby Miller who struggled last year. Even if Miller bounces back in 2017 Swanson will be the starting shortstop for the Braves. He got a brief 100 at bat callup last year and hit .302 with an .803 OPS. Most teams would trade a starting pitcher to get a shortstop who can hit .300 or better. Defensively he is not a stellar shortstop, but he has the tools to play the position. If a better shortstop comes along his bat is good enough to move to second or third, though his lack of immense power will limit him to the low teens in homeruns. Hitting doubles in the gap will be his forte.

Prospects to Watch (Balbino Fuenmayor 1B, Touki Touissant RHP and Max Fried LHP) - With Freddie Freeman at first base and no DH Balbino will not get a big opportunity to play. He was the Independent League player of the year a couple years ago when the Royals picked him up. Last year he struggled with his bat so the Braves were able to pick him up on a waiver claim. An injury mid-season that ended his season in 2015 probably prevented him from making his major league debut after he had a monstrous season in batting average and homeruns. Myworld really likes the long limbed Touki who the Diamondbacks also traded to the Braves to rid themselves of a large contract (Bronson Arroyo). Dave Stewart did not think Touki would ever make it to the major leagues, but myworld begs to differ. His command must improve (71 walks in 132.1 innings) but you have to like his tools. The curveball may be his best pitch, but his fastball can zip past the plate at 95 miles per hour. If he can’t develop a third pitch the bullpen is always an option. Max Fried was a high school teammate of Lucas Giolito. Scouts flocking to see Giolito pitch were also impressed with Fried. When arm problems and scholarship offers scared scouts away from Giolito the Padres drafted Fried in the first round before Giolito was drafted. Tommy John surgery could have been the motivating factor for the Padres to trade Fried to the Braves during their fire sale, but Justin Upton was not going to be traded away cheap by the Braves. Fried was able to get 20 starts last year after being restricted to just five in the 2014 season and missing all of 2015. A low 90s fastball packs plenty of heat for a lefthander and his curveball is one of the best. Last year he pitched in Low A so expect him to begin in High A with a promotion to AA if he does well.

Miami Marlins

Breakout Prospect (Tayron Guerrero RHP) - Myworld was going to say Luis Castillo but the Marlins traded him a second time. They originally traded him to the Padres last year but got him back after Colin Rea came back as damaged goods. This year they traded Luis Castillo to the Reds as part of the package for Dan Straily. Myworld is not impressed with the rest of their farm system for a break out major leaguer. Tayron Guerrero is a pitcher to be watched for the bullpen. The 6′8″ Colombian throws hard, hitting triple digits with his fastball. As long as he continues to pitch out of the bullpen he could be a quick callup.

Prospects to Watch (Destin Hood OF) - Tayron was our player to watch, but we’ve bumped him up so our prospect to watch is Destin Hood. Once a highly touted prospect with the Nationals he made his major league debut with the Marlins last year. His .240 batting average did not overwhelm last year and he had some defensive lapses. With a good spring he should make the team as a fifth outfielder behind Ichiro. Stanton is also always getting hurt so he could be insurance against that. His defense is best suited for a corner.

New York Mets

Breakout Prospect (Ahmed Rosario SS) - Ahmed is a fireplug who will beat you many different ways. Power is the one tool he currently lacks, but as he matures he should hit in the teens in homerun. The Mets have Asdrubal Cabrera signed through next year but Ahmed is probably the better defensive shortstop. All Ahmed is lacking is consistency. The bat is also filled with explosiveness with many of his future hits destined for the gaps. If the Mets fail to contend Cabrera will be traded and the job will be given to Rosario. It has been a long time since the Mets have had a natural shortstop who could also hit. Ruben Tejeda was the last Met true shortstop, but he lacked the offensive swag.

Prospect to Watch (Thomas Szapucki LHP) - Myworld has to admit we don’t know a lot about Szapucki. The lefthander was a fifth round pick in 2015 but an opposition batting average of .145 with 86 whiffs in 52 innings is pretty impressive. At the lower levels pitchers with good breaking pitches can amass a lot of strikeouts but Szapucki has good velocity on his fastball, hitting 92-96. A full season of work in Low A will determine whether his body of work in 2016 was a mirage or the real thing. The Mets always seem to have a knack for finding good pitchers from the lower levels of the draft.

Philadelphia Phillies

Breakout Prospect (Jorge Alfaro C) - Injuries have prevented him from making a major league impact. The Phillies already have a pretty good catcher in Cameron Rupp, but Alfaro has more tools in his tool box. The bat has power and the arm is a rifle that will limit the run game. The intangibles need to be improved such as calling a game and managing a pitching staff but that will come as he stays healthy to catch more games. A 22/105 walk to whiff ratio is a bit worrisome, which could result in a low batting average. He also struck out in close to 50 percent of his major league at bats. Jorge is the second player from Colombia on this list.

Prospect to Watch (Mickey Moniak OF) - He was the first player drafted in 2016. Those kind of players draw your attention. A .409 slugging average and one homerun gives myworld the impression power may be lacking so if his defense is not of centerfield quality he could be a bust. He runs well and makes consistent hard contact but the ball does not carry over the fence. For 2017 the Phillies should give him an opportunity for a full season league. The high school pick is still a couple years away from the major leagues,

Washington Nationals

Breakout Prospect (Koda Glover RHP) - The Nationals need a closer and Glover throws hard, hitting the high 90s with his fastball. The Nationals will probably not trust the closer role to a rookie, but expect him to get in a lot of innings as the set up reliever before the season is over. Last year he was promoted to three different levels before making his major league debut. At each level his strikeouts to innings pitched ratio was reduced but overall the opposition could only hit him at a .197 clip. That continued to ring true in the major leagues with a .200 opposition average but only 16 whiffs in 19.2 innings. At 6′5″ and 225 he is a pretty imposing force on the mound.

Prospect to Watch (Carter and Spencer Kieboom SS/C and Victor Robles OF) - Most teams wanted Victor Robles when the Nationals looked at enhancing their playoff roster. Victor is that five tool athlete with gold glove defensive ability and the speed to steal 50 plus bases, ideal for a leadoff hitter. The power is still lacking in his game but the Nationals expect it will break out once he matures. When Bryce Harper is ready to sign his $400 million free agent contact with the Yankees Victor will be ready to take his place with an outfield role in centerfield. The Kieboom brothers have a father who played baseball in the Netherlands. Carter is considered the better prospect after being drafted in the first round last year. Carter has the tools to play shortstop, but that defensive capability will not win him any gold gloves. His bat will carry him to a major league lineup. His older brother Spencer is a fringe prospect who was drafted in the fifth round in 2012. He is still down a couple levels in the totem pole of catchers ready to make a major league impact. His defense behind the plate is average, but his bat is lacking and his speed is non-existent. It would be nice if the two of them make it to the Nationals major league roster, but only Carter really has a chance for that.

The Philies and Pirates Roster Through the Draft

Tuesday, December 6th, 2016

Below is a look at what the Philadelphia Phillies and Pittsburgh Pirates roster would look like with the players they drafted, beginning with the 2005 draft. It is no wonder that the Phillies are mired in last place after a number of years of success. There drafts have left them without players at second and short. The Pirates are a little better than the position players, thou they will have to rely on a young pitching staff. The 2008 draft the first eight players drafted made the major leagues, though the second round pick Tanner Scheppers never signed with the Pirates.

Pittsburgh Pirates

2005 - Andrew McCutchen (1) OF, Steve Pierce (8) 1B/OF, Ryan Lollis (20-DNS) OF
2006 - Jared Hughes (4) RHP, Alex Presley (8) OF, Lonnie Chisenhall (11-DNS) OF/3B, Ryan Kelly (20) RHP
2007 - Tony Watson (9) LHP, Cameron Rupp (47 - DNS) C
2008 - Pedro Alvarez (1) 3B/1B, Tanner Scheppers (2 - DNS) RHP, Jody Mercer (3) SS, Chase d’Arnaud (4) SS, Justin Wilson (5) LHP, Robbie Grossman (6) OF
2009 - Tony Sanchez (1) C, Brooks Pounders (2) RHP, Brock Holt (9) UTL, Matt den Dekker (16 - DNS) OF, Jake Lamb (3B - 30 DNS)
2010 - Jameson Taillon (1) RHP
2011 - Gerrit Cole (1) RHP, Josh Bell (2) 1B, Tyler Glasnow (5) RHP, Trea Turner (23 - DNS)
2012 - None
2013 - JaCoby Jones (3) 3B, Chad Kuhl (9) RHP

Roster

C - Cameron Rupp, Tony Sanchez
1B - Steve Pearce, Pedro Alvarez, Josh Bell
2B - Brock Holt, Chase d’Arnaud,
3B - Jake Lamb, Lonnie Chisenhall, JaCoby Jones
SS - Trea Turner, Jody Mercer
OF - Andrew McCutchen, Alex Presley, Robbie Grossman, Matt den Dekker, Ryan Lollis
SP - Gerrit Cole, Jameson Taillon, Tyler Glasnow, Chad Kuhl, Tanner Scheppers
RP - Tony Watson, Jared Hughes, Justin Wilson, Brooks Pounders, Ryan Kelly

Philadelphia Phillies

2005 - Josh Outman (10) LHP, Tuffy Gosewich (11) C, David Huff (19 - DNS) LHP, Vance Worley (20 - DNS) RHP
2006 - Kyle Drabek (1) RHP, Quinten Berry (5) OF, Dominic Brown (20) OF, Kyle Gibson (36 - DNS) RHP
2007 - Travis d’Arnaud (1) C, Justin DeFratus (11) RHP, Jacob Diekman (30) LHP
2008 - Anthony Gose (2) OF, Vance Worley (3) RHP, Trevor May (4) RHP, Julio Rodriguez (8) RHP, Ryan Weber (12 - DNS) RHP, Keon Broxton (20 - DNS) OF, Jarrod Cosart (38) RHP, Giovanni Soto (46 - DNS) RHP
2009 - Jon Singleton (8) 1B, Aaron Altherr (9) OF, Josh Zeid (10) RHP, Andrew Susac (16 - DNS) C, David Ruf (20) 1B, A.J. Griffin (34 - DNS) RHP
2010 - Cameron Rupp (3) C, David Buchanan (7) RHP
2011 - Adam Morgan (3) LHP, Cody Asche (4) 3B, Ken Giles (7) RHP
2012 - None
2013 - Andrew Knapp (2) C
2014 - Aaron Nola (1) RHP

Roster

C - Travis d’Arnaud, Cameron Rupp, Tuffy Gosewisch, Andrew Knapp, Andrew Susac
1B - Darin Ruf, Jon Singleton
2B - None
3B - Cody Asche
SS - none
OF - Quinten Berry, Dominic Brown, Anthony Gose, Aaron Altherr, Keon Broxton
SP - David Huff, Vance Worley, Jarred Cosart, A.J. Griffin, Aaron Nola
RP - Ken Giles, Josh Outman, Kyle Drabek, Kyle Gibson, Trevor May, Julio Rodriguez, Ryan Weber, Justin DeFratus, Jacob Diekman, Giovanni Soto, Josh Zeid, David Buchanan, Adam Morgan

Dominican Winter Wonders to Watch in 2017

Wednesday, November 30th, 2016

Below are some of the players to watch in the Dominican Republic winter leagues. They are either highly considered prospects or veterans having a good winter that they hope will bring some attention to them when they enter spring training in 2017.

Rafael Bautista (Nationals/Escojido) CF - He will not hit for a lot of power but if he can hit for average with his speed and defense he could win the starting job in centerfield for the Nationals, moving Trea Turner to second or shortstop. With Leones he is hitting .314 with eight stolen bases in ten attempts. That could get him some playing time for the Nationals.

Manuel Margot (Padres/Toros) CF - Margot has some pop to go with his speed. A good winter could give the Padres a tough choice between him and Travis Jankowski for the centerfield starting job. In the Dominican he is hitting .263 with two homeruns and eight stolen bases in 9 attempts. He could fit in the three hole if he shows double digit pop or the leadoff spot if he can improve his patience at the plate. In a brief major league callup he did not walk once in his 37 at bats.

Dylan Cozens (Phillies/Aguilas) RF - Last year Cozens hit 40 homeruns to lead the Eastern League. It is not easy hitting homeruns in the Dominican, but his four lead the Dominican league. Unfortunately, the more experienced pitchers are finding the holes in his swing resulting in 32 strikeouts in 85 at bats for a .165 average. They are passionate about their game in the Dominican and Dylan will have to be more consistent if he hopes to stay on the roster. He is 0 for his last 13 but appears to have gone home for the winter, his last game on the 21st.

Rhys Hoskins (Phillies/Gigantes) 1B - They are playing for different teams in the Dominican but Rhys and Dylan hope to both be playing for the Phillies by September 2017. Rhys is tied with Dylan for the Dominican homerun lead. Last year his 38 homeruns were second in the Eastern League to his teammate Dylan. He is making better contact than Dylan with just 14 whiffs in 76 at bats but his .224 average is still disappointing. He is 0 for his last 14 and may be home for the winter, his last game on the 22nd.

Willy Adames (Rays/Licey) SS - Willy has struggled early this season with a .167 average. Of his five hits none have gone for extra bases. He has the tools to play shortstop and showed a potent bat in AA last year. The 30 at bats are a small sample size but they could be indicators that he needs another year in the minor leagues before he takes over the Rays shortstop job.

Alec Asher (Phillies/Gigantes) RHP - He made a nice end of the season debut with the Phillies with a 2.28 ERA in five starts. He is achieving the same amount of success with a 2.14 ERA in eight starts for the Gigantes. Right handed hitters are batting only .145 against him. Myworld expects his last start was on the 27th, his worst start of the winter when he coughed up three runs in four innings.