Thursday, February 22, 2018

2018 Phillies Prospects Countdown: #12 RHP Adonis Medina

Adonis Medina, image- Jay Floyd
Widely ranked among the Phillies' top prospects by many outlets, right-handed pitcher Adonis Medina has already made a name for himself at quite a young age as coaches really like his potential while Phils' brass adores his ability.

Medina is equipped with a mid-90's fastball along with a curveball and a change up that are considered to have plus potential has used that arsenal to impress at the lower levels of the minor leagues as to date.

Signed in 2014 at age 17, Medina made his pro debut that year as part of the Phillies' Dominican Summer League team. In 11 games (two starts) he would post a 2-3 record with a save, a 1.27 ERA and a 7.5 K/9 mark along with a .220 batting average againts.

In 2015, the six-foot-one 185-pounder competed with the rookie level Gulf Coast League Phils, sporting a 3-2 record with a 2.98 ERA, a .253 BAA and a 6.9 K/9 mark in 10 games (eight starts).

The following season, at the age of 19, he pitched with the short-season Class A Williamsport Crosscutters and was the team's opening day starter. In 13 games, all starts, Medina tallied a 5-3 record with a 2.92 ERA along with a 4.7 K/9 mark.

In 2017 Medina would join the Class A Lakewood BlueClaws.  In 22 starts he tallied a 4-9 record with a 3.01 ERA, a .227 BAA along with a 10.0 K/9 mark.

Medina is praised for having a great feel for pitching and a power arm. His fastball, which can reach 95 MPH, arrives at the plate featuring sink, helping to result in ground balls from the opposition. Additionally, both secondary pitches are strong. The Dominican Republic native already has the control of an elder pitcher, with consistency in the strike zone, and coaches cite that he embraces the learning process.

His ceiling seems to be a big league starter, but development will certainly shed more light on where among a team's starting staff he could land as a contributor.

Fans should look for the 21-year-old Medina to compete with the Class A Advanced Clearwater Threshers this year where improved competition will help his development.


You can keep track of this year's Phillies prospect countdown at this link.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

2018 Philliies Prospects Countdown: #13 LHP Ranger Suarez

Ranger Suarez, image- Jay Floyd
The Phillies have a growing collection of highly regarded left-handed pitching prospects with Venezuela native Ranger Suarez leading the way among them.

Suarez, who stands six-foot-one and weighs around 180 pounds, was signed by the Phillies at the age of 16.

The exciting youngster would make his professional debut as a closer with the Venezuelan Summer League team in 2012. He tossed five scoreless innings and earned two saves in three outings there.

Over the next two seasons in the VSL, Suarez posted very solid numbers (5-4 record, 1.66 ERA) in 22 appearances. In 2014 he was converted to a starter.

Suarez pitched stateside in 2015, pitching in extended spring training that year and then sporting a 3-0 record with a tremendous 0.65 ERA in six appearances for the Rookie level Gulf Coast League Phillies.

In 2016 with short-season Class A Williamsport, Suarez tallied a 6-4 record with a 2.81 ERA, a 6.5 K/9 mark and a .223 batting average against.

Last year, he opened the season as part of the Class A Lakewood rotation. In 14 starts with the BlueClaws, Suarez would notch a 6-2 record with a 1.59 ERA and a 9.5 K/9 mark in 14 starts.

He made the move to Class A Advanced Clearwater, earning a promotion on July 4th. With the Threshers, Suarez sported a 2-4 record with a 3.82 ERA and averaged more than a strike out per inning pitched over eight starts.

The pitch repertoire for Suarez features a fastball that peaks at about 94 MPH and has sinking movement. He also throws a diving curve ball, a slider as well as one of the premiere change-ups in the Phillies system. He touts excellent command with the ability to pitch to both sides of the plate at will and is an absolute leader for his staff.

Suarez's control helps him keep walks to a minimum. He surrendered one walk or less in 11 of his 22 starts last season.

Coaches describe the 22-year-old as having a tremendous baseball IQ. Suarez is a student of the game that works closely with those around him to develop on the mental side of the game just as much as the physical side of it. He is a cool and relaxed competitor that will control the pace on the diamond.

Expect Suarez to be a part of the potent Double-A Reading rotation to start the 2018 campaign, though he is in big league camp this spring and is getting an initial opportunity to impress much of the Phillies' coaching staff.   If his progress continues at a solid pace, Suarez could be an arm that the Phillies rely on by next year.



You can keep track of this year's Phillies prospect countdown at this link.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

2018 Phillies Prospects Countdown: #14 LHP JoJo Romero

JoJo Romero, image- MiLB.com
With a growing crop of very talented pitching prospects, left-hander JoJo Romero is among the standouts for the Phillies.

The six-foot tall 190-pounder was the Phils’ 4th round draft selection in 2016. That year he helped Yavapai College, the same school that the Phillies drafted Kenny Giles from in 2011, clinch the JuCo World Series, leading the way with an 11-5 record, a 3.64 ERA and a 10.2 K/9 mark. He also tossed a complete game gem to earn the win in the title game.

After signing with the Phillies, Romero joined the short-season Class A Williamsport Crosscutters. There he notched a 2-2 record with a 2.56 ERA while striking out 31 and walking 11 in 45 2/3 innings.

In 2017, he got off to a remarkable start with the Class A Lakewood BlueClaws. In 13 starts, Romero tallied a 5-1 record with a 2.11 ERA and a 9.3 K/9 mark.

The California native was promoted to Class A Advanced Clearwater in late June. In 10 starts for the Threshers, Romero posted a 5-2 record with a 2.24 ERA and an 8.4 K/9 mark.

With an electric arm, the 21-year-old features a good mix of offerings including a fastball that sits in the 94-95 MPH range, a curve ball, a slider and a change-up. He struggled with the command of his fastball in the early going last year, but that was attributed to the considerable movement of the pitch. Stabilizing his back foot and working with coaches proved to be the remedy for that concern and command was not a lasting issue.

Romero tends to draw a lot of ground ball outs. Also, he seems to regularly have a good plan and is confident on the mound, throwing each of his pitches in any count.  Opponents have mustered just a .232 batting average against while facing Romero thus far in his pro career.

A ball of energy in the locker room, Romero is a guy that teammates enjoy being around and can help the club by being a motivator of those around him, even when he’s not in the game.

The Phillies plan to have Romero stick as a starter, but he could possibly move to a relief role at some point, depending on what opportunities and/or openings lie ahead.

Look for Romero to have a go in the Eastern League this year with Double-A Reading.  A potential estimated time of arrival in the big leagues would be more than a season away.


You can keep track of this year's Phillies prospect countdown at this link.

Friday, February 16, 2018

2018 Phillies Prospects Countdown: #15 LHP Elniery Garcia

Elniery Garcia, image- Jay Floyd
Despite missing time last season due a performance enhancing drug suspension, left-hander Elniery Garcia is one of the Phillies' most promising pitching prospects.

Signed as a 17-year-old in 2011, Garcia would start his professional career in the Dominican Summer League the following year.  There, he would post a 2-1 record with a 4.18 ERA and a .253 batting average against in eight appearances.

The following year, he pitched in the rookie level Gulf Coast League posting a 1-3 record with a 5.15 ERA and a .291 BAA in nine starts.

In 2014, the progressing Garcia would split his time in the GCL and with the short-season Class A Williamsport team. In 11 combined games (four starts), he tallied a 2-2 record with a 2.64 ERA and a .254 BAA while striking out 28 and walking six in 30 2/3 innings.

He would debut in full season ball the following year with Class A Lakewood. In 21 starts for the BlueClaws, Garcia notched an 8-9 record with a 3.21 ERA, a .275 BAA as well as a 5.0 K/9 mark.

In 2016 the six-foot tall 155-pounder stepped up and looked more like a standout talent. In 20 games (19 starts) as a member of the Class A Advanced Clearwater Threshers, en route to being honored as a Florida State League All-Star, he posted a 12-4 record with a 2.68 ERA, a .219 BAA along with a 7.0 K/9 mark. 

Garcia would make his Double-A debut with Reading in the post-season in 2016, collecting a win in the Eastern League division series against Trenton. In six innings of work, he surrendered three runs (two earned) while striking out four and walking one.

To start the 2017 season, Garcia was mysteriously not assigned to a full-season roster.  An injury was suspected, but during the second week of the season news broke that Garcia had tested positive for PED's and would miss 80 games. 

After serving his suspension, Garcia made two warm-up starts for the Gulf Coast League team, notching five scoreless frames.  After moving to the Reading roster, Garcia's base numbers were good, as he sported a 2-1 record with a 1.75 ERA and a .193 BAA.  However, the strike out the walk ratio  (10:17 in 25 2/3 innings) was alarming. 

Usually a pitcher with solid command and no difficulty with issuing many free passes, the youngster showed rust after missing nearly three months of action.  Figuring that this handful of regular season appearances for Garcia were essentially his spring training, the walks shouldn't weigh too heavy on anyone's opinion of his efforts.

He made his Triple-A debut in the postseason for Lehigh Valley.  In five innings of work, he allowed four earned runs while striking out six, walking one, while allowing seven hits and a wild pitch in that outing.  

He'd spend a month in the Arizona Fall League following the playoffs.  In four starts Garcia would post a 1-2 record with a 5.79 ERA.  Additionally, the strike out to walk ratio was back to a normal range at 13:4 in 14 innings.

The 23-year-old's repertoire features a solid three-pitch menu. In previous seasons, his fastball resides around 95 MPH. His curveball looks to be a go-to offering with good, sweeping movement. His change up appeared to be a pitch that the youngster focused on improving and he has tossed a slider at times in his pro career as well.

Phils coaches have praised his ability to work through difficult spots and they like his mental toughness.  Following the PED concern it will be key for Garcia to show that he can be strong enough and durable enough to compete and contribute for a full season.

No longer on the team's 40-man roster and not invited to big league spring training this year, Garcia will likely open the season with Triple-A Lehigh Valley.  If he can prove himself and get back into the Phillies' good graces, Garcia could make an impact on the top roster before too long.


You can keep track of this year's Phillies prospect countdown at this link.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

2018 Phillies Prospects Countdown: #16 LHP Cole Irvin

Cole Irvin, image- Jay Floyd

A swift ascent in the organization has helped left-handed starting pitcher Cole Irvin show that he is one of the Phillies’ top pitching prospects.

A 5th round pick in the 2016 draft, Irvin had undergone Tommy John surgery, missing the 2014 college season, and recovered enough to earn first team all conference honors as a red shirt junior, posting a 6-4 record with a 3.17 ERA and a 7.9 K/9 mark in 17 contests for Oregon.  Irvin was the first of the Phils’ 2016 draft selections to reach the Double-A level and has enjoyed notable success at each level.

Irvin made his professional debut shortly after signing with the Phillies as a member of the Class A short-season Williamsport roster. In 10 outings there (seven starts) he sported a 5-1 record with a 1.97 ERA while striking out 37 and walking just eight in 45 2/3 innings of work.

Last year, Irvin opened the season with Class A Advanced Clearwater. In 12 games (11 starts) he posted a 4-6 record with a 2.55 ERA while striking out 52 and walking 14 in 67 innings. He earned a promotion to Double-A Reading in June. In 13 starts he would notch a 5-3 record with a 4.06 ERA with 66 strike outs and 24 walks in 84 1/3 innings.

The repertoire for Irvin includes four-seam and two-seam fastballs, a strong change up that he can throw in any count, a slider and a curve ball. Irvin has, at times, thrown a one-seam fastball, but he cites its unpredictability as a reason why he doesn’t go to it often. The fastball has movement with velocity that can often range 93-95 MPH.

Irvin works quickly on the mound and has excellent command. He likes to take charge and dictate the pace of a game. While possessing a great understanding of the game and displaying mature instincts, he studies the opposition and will have a solid plan each time out.

Listed at six-foot-four and 180-pounds, Irvin told me that weight’s not accurate. He’ll correct anyone who doesn’t put him in the 215-220 pound range.

A native of the Anaheim, CA area, Irvin grew up as a big fan of Jim Edmonds of the Angels.  He would also watch former Phillies lefty Cole Hamels and sees a reflection of Hamels’ mechanics and demeanor in his own approach. Irvin stays reserved with comparisons to the other Cole, but hopes to take the same path to the diamond at Citizens Bank Park.

The talented 24-year-old will be a non-roster invitee to big league spring training this year and will get a chance to impress the Phils' coaching staff.  He has the makeup and talent to be a big league pitcher and could prove to be a contributor at the top level for many year.


Keep track of this year's Phillies prospect countdown at this link.

Friday, February 9, 2018

2018 Phillies Prospects Countdown: #17 OF Cornelius Randolph

Randolph w/ Lakewood in 2016, image- Jay Floyd
Upon being selected with the 10th overall selection in the 2015 MLB amateur draft, outfielder C. Randolph quickly placed among the Phillies' top ranked prospects.

After being drafted out of Griffin High School in Georgia as a shortstop, the five-foot-11 205-pounder was converted on defense to the outfield, where he has looked comfortable and capable

During his senior season in high school, Randolph drew considerable attention from professional organizations, posting great offensive numbers with a .533 batting average, seven home runs, 33 RBI and a 1.631 OPS in 26 games, leading his team into the state tournament.

As an 18-year-old, Randolph had a tremendous professional debut in 2015, posting a .302/.425/.442 slash line in 53 games for the rookie level Gulf Coast League Phillies.

In 2016 as a member of the Class A Lakewood BlueClaws, Randolph would tally a .274 average with two homers and 27 RBI in 63 games.  The youngster missed more than two months of action with an injury (muscle strain in back/shoulder blade area) from April to June, but he finished the season healthy.  He spent time during the following off-season working with a strength coach as well as former big league outfielder Mike Cameron at his training center in Georgia.

Last year as a member of the Class A Advanced Clearwater Threshers, Randolph sported a .250 batting average with 13 home runs and 55 RBI in 122 games.  The Florida State League gave Randolph the kind of challenge the Phillies had hoped for.  He improved month to month, seeing his batting average rise a great deal with each turn of the calendar until he cooled off in August.

Over the off-season, Randolph played in the prestigious Arizona Fall League.  In 19 games with Glendale, the 20-year-old batted .239 with four doubles, a triple and eight RBI.  

Touted by Phils scouting director Johnny Almaraz as the top high school hitter in the country at the time he was drafted, Randolph was an exciting choice by the Phillies. Armed with a quick bat, the left-handed hitting Randolph has the ability to hit for average as well as power. A Clemson recruit out of high school, he is described as a patient hitter that has a good approach at the plate.

On the defensive side, Randolph has played left field exclusively. He has a strong arm and is athletic enough to display quality range in the outfield.  He would likely classify as an average defender.

Speed wise, Randolph can be quick but with just 20 steals in 33 attempts in his professional career to date, he doesn't appear to be a runner that will strike fear into opposing batteries as a notable threat.

It's likely that Randolph will see some time at the Double-A level with Reading this year.  If his offensive game progresses the way the Phillies have hoped it will, he's got an estimated time of arrival in the big leagues that is still a couple seasons away.


Keep track of this year's Phillies prospect countdown at this link.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

2018 Phillies Prospects Countdown: #18 Second Baseman Daniel Brito

Daniel Brito, image- Jay Floyd
Venezuelan infielder Daniel Brito has proved to be a rising performer in the Phillies' system in recent years. 

Signed by the Phillies in 2014 at the age of 16 for a reported $650,000, Brito would debut the following year with the Dominican Summer League team.  In 60 games there, the six-foot-one 155-pounder would tally a .269 average with 10 doubles, three triples and 19 RBI while swiping eight bases.
 
He debuted stateside in 2016 2018 as part of the Rookie level Gulf Coast League Phillies.  There he batted .284 with 10 doubles, five triples, two home runs and 25 RBI while stealing seven bases in 47 games.
 
In 2017, Brito was able to put his skills on display in the full season Class A South Atlantic League as a member of the Lakewood BlueClaws.  As a 19-year-old, Brito sported a .239 average with 15 doubles, a triple, six homers, 32 RBI and 12 stolen bases over 112 contests.  The full season seemed to wear on the youngster, as his hot start (.826 OPS in April) could not be matched the rest of the way (his best OPS month after April was .618 in August).
 
Organizational coaches were pleased with the progress Brito made throughout the season last year, despite any statistical struggles.  Manager Marty Malloy had him focusing on learning to be a lead-off man in the Claws’ lineup in the early portion of the season, then targeting getting into certain counts and seeing more pitches. 
 
The left-handed hitter looks small and thin, but displays an ability to drive the ball with his quick bat.  If he adds some muscle, the power portion of his game could be quite exciting.  Brito already displays an ability to make adjustments and hit the ball well to the opposite field.
 
Brito is a smooth defender.  He is not the best you’ll see at second base, but he has the tools to become very reliable for a long a time with an above average skill set.   He has spent some time at shortstop during his professional career as well, so that versatility could help him obtain playing time at the upper levels.
 
On the bases, Brito’s got solid speed that he could really use to contribute. 
 
A class clown of sorts, Brito keeps the dugout and clubhouse loose.  He’s a player that can pick a teammate up mentally, when needed.  He’ll also lead by example and may be the majority of fans’ favorite player on the field.
 
Phillies director of player development Joe Jordan offered the following endorsement of Brito in the first half of last season. 
 
“Brito, you know, honestly, five years from now, he might be the best hitter of the bunch,” Jordan told me in relation to the Phillies’ outstanding crop of second baseman that includes the highly regarded Scott Kingery, last year’s spring training standout Jesmuel Valentin as well as the guy at the top level Cesar Hernandez.
 
Look for Brito to play this year with Class A Advanced Clearwater.  It may not be long before he’s among the handful of prospect names that stir a lot of buzz where ever he goes.


Keep track of this year's Phillies prospect countdown at this link.

Friday, February 2, 2018

2018 Phillies Prospect Countdown: #19 RHP Seranthony Dominguez

Seranthony Dominguez, image- Gigantes
Dominican native Seranthony Dominguez is a talented hurler that deserves recognition among the Phillies top pitching prospects.

After signing with the Phillies at age 17 in 2012, the six-foot-one 185-pound righty would make his pro debut that   year with the Dominican Summer League Phillies.  He spent two seasons there, tallying an 8-10 record with two shutouts and a 3.20 ERA in 29 outings (24 starts).

He would debut stateside in 2014 with the Rookie level short-season Gulf Coast League Phillies, spending two seasons there.  In 16 appearances, Dominguez posted a 3-3 record with a 2.94 ERA.

In 2016, Dominguez opened the season in extended spring training and made three starts for short-season Class A Williamsport.  He would sport a 1-1 record with a 2.12 ERA and a .136 batting average against with the Crosscutters before a promotion to Class A Lakewood.

With the BlueClaws, Dominguez would notch a 5-2 record with a 2.43 ERA, a .202 BAA and a 9.3 K/9 mark in 10 starts.

Dominguez opened the 2017 campaign with the Class A Advanced Clearwater Threshers, where he was honored as a mid-season All-Star.  He would miss roughly two months in the middle of the season with a reported shoulder injury, but posted good numbers overall.  In 15 games (13 starts) for the Threshers, Dominguez had a 4-4 record with a 3.61 ERA, .230 BAA and a 10.8 K/9 mark. 

While his walk rate has been a concern at times during his time in the minors, his considerable strike out numbers are a big plus for Dominguez.

The 23-year-old was added to the Phillies' 40-man roster this off-season in order to protect him from the Rule 5 draft.

With an announced move to the bullpen, it's likely Dominguez should get opportunities to close.  Dominguez's arsenal features a very good fastball that ranges from 96-99 MPH, a wipe out breaking pitch that dives away from righty hitters with late movement along with a solid change up. 

The Phillies see a bright future for Dominguez in the late innings.  Look for him to open 2018 as part of the Double-A Reading roster with the potential to rely on his power arm and be a quickly paced mover in the upper levels of the sport.



Keep track of this year's Phillies prospect countdown at this link.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Former top draft pick Appel stepping away from baseball

Mark Appel, image- Jay Floyd
Following a difficult stretch in the minor leagues, former first overall draft choice Mark Appel has announced his plan to walk away from the sport that made him a multi-millionaire without ever reaching the big leagues.

In an exclusive piece from BleacherReport, Appel admits that he may be the biggest bust in MLB Draft history.  The 26-year-old righty also shared that he is planning to take an indefinite break from baseball.

Appel, the top draft pick in 2013 by Houston, signing for a reported $6.35 million, joined the Phillies organization following the 2015 season when he was included as part of the return in a trade for reliever Kenny Giles.

Sporting a disappointing 5.06 ERA through 81 games over five professional seasons, Appel isn't convinced his future is in baseball, so he'll take time to do other things and he doesn't seem sad about the decision.

"Maybe we should all get together and have a party," Appel says with a laugh in his Houston home. "I don't know what the future holds. I'm pursuing other things, but also trying to become a healthy human."

Having spent time on the shelf with injuries in recent seasons, Appel has had plenty of time to ponder the decision. He seems to have peace of mind with what he has, or has not, accomplished.  The Stanford product responded on Twitter to a question about if it bothered him, being an all-time bust with the following quote.

I think it would if baseball was my identity. @iamjoonlee and I got to talk a lot about identity perspective. Putting your whole identity in something as fleeting as baseball (or living up to expectations) is a dangerous way to live. I'm rooted in much longer lasting things.

It's certainly possible that after a break from the game, the Texas native could get the itch to pitch again. But, whatever is to come for Appel, here's wishing him the best.


Monday, January 29, 2018

2018 Phillies Prospect Countdown: #20 RHP Jose Taveras

Taveras w/ Lakewood in 2016, image-Jay Floyd
Starting pitcher Jose Taveras is a rising prospect worthy of Phillies fans’ attention. Protected by the Phils from December’s Rule 5 draft, Taveras was added to the team’s 40-man roster this off-season and could be part of the team’s near future.

The Dominican native began his pro career with the Dominican Summer League Phillies in 2014. In 15 appearances (13 starts), Taveras posted an 8-4 record with a 1.05 ERA, a .202 batting average against and 7.4 K/9 mark.

The righty followed that up with a solid 2015 campaign for Class A short-season Williamsport, where he notched a 7-4 record, a 3.88 ERA, a .273 BAA and an 8.5 K/9 mark in 13 starts.

The next year with Class A Lakewood, Taveras posted an 8-8 record with a 3.28 ERA, a .229 BAA and a 10.1 K/9 mark in 25 appearances (20 starts) for the BlueClaws.

Last year was a virtual coming out party for Taveras, who really seemed to make a name for himself. In 25 regular season starts in 2017 combined at three levels (Class A Advanced Clearwater, Double-A Reading and Triple-A Lehigh Valley), the six-foot-four 220-pounder tallied a 9-6 record with a 2.22 ERA, a .215 batting average against and an 8.2 K/9 mark. His efforts in 2017 wrapped up with a dominant stretch in Triple-A, rocking a 1.32 ERA in his seven starts for the IronPigs. He allowed zero earned runs in five of his starts there.

With considerable punch out numbers, Taveras sports a low-90’s fastball, which is just about average. Additionally, he typically can use his secondary pitches as complimentary weapons, relying on a strong changeup and a curveball to mow down the opposition. His delivery can be deceptive, which is something that is helpful to the talented hurler, as batters tend to be late on the heater.

Taveras is aggressive and attacks hitters. He’s got the ability to change an approach in given situations, giving him an advantage as well. If something isn’t working, or if command is an issue on a given day, Taveras is a guy that can adjust and keep his team in a game.

Coaches love his preparation and the work he does on the mental side of the game.  Described as very reliable, Taveras takes the ball every fifth day and could be a useful hurler at the top level for the Phillies this year when vacancies in their rotation come about.


Keep track of this year's Phillies prospect countdown at this link.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

2018 Phillies Prospects Countdown: #21 SS Jose Gomez

Jose Gomez, image- MiLB.com
Last season's trade of pitcher Pat Neshek to Colorado copped a nice return with two prospects nabbed from the Rockies landing inside the Phillies' top 25 heading into the 2018 season.  The first of those two was reliever J.D. Hammer, who came in at number 24, and now infielder Jose Gomez makes the list at number 21.

Gomez, a native of Venezuela, was signed as an amateur free agent in 2013 at the age of 16.  He would make his pro debut the following year.  In two seasons in the Dominican Summer League he notched a .271 batting average with two homers and 46 RBI through 133 games.

In 2016, playing in the short-season Rookie level Pioneer League, Gomez made a big splash, leading the league in hits with 98 and tallying a .367/.426/468 slash line in 66 games for Grand Junction. 

Opening the 2017 campaign with Class A Asheville, where he posted a .324 average with 20 doubles, two triples, four home runs and 33 RBI in 81 games prior to the trade.

After joining the Phillies organization, the five-foot-11 175-pounder batted .265 with two doubles and four RBI in 24 games, mostly with Class A Advanced Clearwater. 

The righty hitting Gomez has primarily manned the shortstop position, but has mixed in plenty of playing time at third base as well as second base and even sprinkled in 13 appearances at first base during his minor league career thus far.

The 21-year-old is considered a contact hitter, maintaining a solid strike out rate and showing an ability to hit the ball to all fields. 

On the base paths, Gomez has shown some speed which could continue to translate to more steady contributions.  He's got 73 stolen bases in 117 attempts (62% success rate).   Lower levels of the minors get by with a small number of coaches and usually have a spare player manning the first base coach's box.  As Gomez rises through the minors, a true coach that keeps time on the pitchers' delivery and tendencies should help Gomez become more of a threat with his feet.

The Phillies would likely have Gomez open the 2018 season back in Clearwater.  If his offensive efforts there match what he has done at other levels, it won't be long before he earns a shot at Double-A ball.


Keep track of this year's Phillies prospect countdown at this link.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

2018 Phillies Prospect Countdown: #22 3B Cole Stobbe

Cole Stobbe, image- MiLB.com
After making a transition to third base from shortstop last year, Cole Stobbe (pronounced STOW-bee) looks ready to climb the developmental ladder and garner some attention among the Phillies' top prospects.

Selected in the 3rd round of the 2016 MLB amateur draft, the right-handed hitting infielder signed quickly with the Phils. 

As a high school player prior to the draft, Stobbe was a very well-rounded high school hitter, stroking the ball to all fields while displaying power.  He was committed to playing college ball at Arkansas before being drafted by the Phillies.

The first pick of the third round, Stobbe had already seen two of his teammates from the USA Baseball 18-and-under national team get picked by the Phils. Those players, first overall selection Mickey Moniak and second rounder Kevin Gowdy, also signed.

Stobbe made his pro debut as a shortstop for the rookie level Gulf Coast League Phillies. In 44 games, the Nebraska native tallied a .270 batting average with eight doubles, four home runs and 13 RBI.

In the fall instructional league following the 2016 season, he got playing time at third base and the organization felt comfortable transitioning Stobbe to the hot corner.

Last year with the short-season Class A Williamsport Crosscutters, playing nearly the entire season as a 19-year-old, Stobbe notched a .280 average with eight doubles, a triple, eight home runs and 22 RBI.

Defensively, the six-foot-one, 200-pounder has quality range and a strong arm with a quick release.  Those were things the Phils liked for the third base position.

Speed doesn't appear to be a great part of Stobbe's game, as he's been successful in just five out of 14 steal attempts in the minors.  

Coaches like Stobbe's work ethic and attention to details.  He's definitely a student of the game.

Look for the 20-year-old to possibly open the 2018 season as a member of the Class A Lakewood BlueClaws.

Keep track of this year's Phillies prospect countdown at this link.