Monday, November 30, 2015

Rule 5 draft just around the corner, Phils choose first

Rule5The off-season is moving along and it’s almost time for "Hot Stove" excitement. With the Phillies not expected to be a major factor in the MLB free agent market, their time to shine at next week’s Winter Meetings will likely come in the annual Rule 5 draft.

Last December the Phils selected Odubel Herrera, in the 9th slot, from Texas and the youngster proved to be a talented contributor for the team in a clear rebuild mode. As a 23-year-old big league rookie, Herrera tallied a .297 average with eight home runs and 16 stolen bases.

Selecting first this year, the Phillies have a chance to really utilize their professional scouting department and take another player ready to impact a big league roster. Positionally, the spots to target may be the outfield or pitching, with depth or a lineup slot locked up in just about every other place on the roster.

With their eyes on finding another Herrera, some players the Phils should be considering are listed below:

Jabari Blash, OF with Seattle. Originally an 8th round pick in 2010, Blash was eligible last year but was not selected in the Rule 5 draft. Following a 2015 in which he slammed 32 homers and OPS’d at .946 in 116 combined games at Double-A and Triple-A, the righty hitter should expect to find a new opportunity next week. The 26-year-old is said to be a plus defender as well.

Tyler Goeddel, OF with Tampa Bay. The 23-year-old was selected 41st overall by the Rays in 2011. The righty batting Goeddel sported a .279 average with 12 home runs, 72 RBI and 28 stolen bases in 123 games for Double-A Montgomery. He was converted from third base to the outfield following the 2014 season.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Phillies Off-season League Updates: Cordero, MAG, Araujo, Knapp, more

Throughout the off-season, Phillies Nation be bringing you details on Phils players participating in fall and winter leagues from around the globe. Read ahead for a rundown of how various players have performed to date.

Venezuelan Winter League-

Carlos Tocci
Carlos Tocci, image- Jay Floyd
With the Tigres, outfielder Carlos Tocci is currently sidelined with a broken hand after being hit by a pitch. Prior to the injury, Tocci posted a .333 average with a triple, four RBI and two stolen bases in 11 games. The 20-year-old posted a .287/.339/.363 slash line in 127 combined games with Lakewood and Clearwater this year.

Outfielder Herlis Rodriguez is batting .196 with five RBI in 25 games for the Tigres. The 21-year-old lefty batter posted a .284 average with 10 home runs and 61 RBI in 120 games for Class A Lakewood this year.

In six starts Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez as a 0-4 record with a 4.88 ERA for the Aguilas. In his most recent appearance, MAG allowed seven runs (six earned) in 1 2/3 innings. The 29-year-old right-hander appeared in six minor league games this year after dealing with shoulder issues.

Elvis Araujo has a 3-1 record along with a 2.84 ERA and a .205 batting average against in 11 outings for the Aguilas. The 24-year-old left-hander posted a 2-1 record with a 3.38 ERA and an 8.8 K/9 mark in 40 games at the big league level this year.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Phillies acquire SP Hellickson for pitching prospect

phils logoThe Phillies' new general manager has completed his first trade. A deal announced on Saturday saw Matt Klentak send pitching prospect Sam McWilliams to Arizona for right-hander Jeremy Hellickson.

Hellickson will join a Phils pitching staff that included three rookies by season's end and is in need of some established durability. In the last five years, the Iowa native has averaged 150 innings per season.

The 28-year-old sports a 49-48 record along with a 3.94 ERA in 142 career MLB outings. Hellickson was a 4th round pick by Tampa Bay in 2005 and was the American League Rookie of the Year in 2011 when he posted a 2.95 ERA in 29 starts in his first big league season. He also won a Gold Glove Award for his defense in 2012.

McWilliams, 20, was an 8th round draft selection by the Phillies last year. In his time as a pro, the righty sported a 2-5 record with a 4.19 ERA and a 4.8 K/9 mark in 16 games (12 starts).

Klentak took over as the team's GM last month. During his tenure, the Phils have acquired two other hurlers, claiming Dan Otero off waivers from Oakland and signing James Russell to a minor league deal.

Analysis: McWilliams would not have ranked in Phillies Nation's top 25 prospects this off-season and would not have been close. With considerable pitching depth at the upper levels of the organization's developmental ranks, McWilliams, who has not pitched above the rookie level Gulf Coast League (two levels below Class A Lakewood), is very expendable. Acquiring a proven big league arm for this youngster is a steal for the Phils.

This post originally appeared on Phillies Nation

Friday, November 6, 2015

Knapp & Ramos slated to rep Phils in AFL Fall Stars Game

Knapp 1
Knapp, image- Jay Floyd
One of the biggest events of the off-season league schedule takes place this Saturday when the Arizona Fall League's Rising Stars Game happens at Scottsdale's Salt River Fields.

The "Fall Stars" exhibition marks the 10th annual event and will be nationally televised at 8PM Eastern on MLB Network and will stream live online at

Representing the Phillies will be righty hurler Edubray Ramos and catcher Andrew Knapp, who were part of the Double-A Reading team that went to the Eastern League Championship Series this year.

Ramos, a 22-year-old Venezuelan, was a stand out performer this year, when he tallied a 4-6 record with eight saves, a 2.07 ERA and a .196 batting average against in 47 games in relief for Class A Advanced Clearwater and Reading. As a member of the Glendale Desert Dogs in the AFL, Ramos has allowed seven earned runs in 6 2/3 innings (9.45 ERA) while striking out eight and walking none.

The switch-hitting Knapp, who turns 24-year-old next week, entered AFL action on Friday with a .214/.361/.321 slash line in nine games with Glendale. He was honored as the Phillies' top minor league player this season with the Paul Owens Award. Also having split time with Clearwater and Reading, the man known as "The California Kid" sported a .308 average with 13 homers and 84 RBI in 118 combined games.

Knapp was named to the club as a first baseman, where he's been getting playing time in the field to enhance his versatility, when Houston's A.J. Reed was shut down with soreness by the Astros.

Salt River Fields serve as the spring training home to the Rockies and the Diamondbacks.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Morandini added to Phillies coaching staff

M Morandini
Mickey Morandini, image- Jay Floyd
The Phillies announced on Monday that former infielder Mickey Morandini would be added to their staff next year as the team's first base coach.

Morandini spent the last five seasons coaching in the minor leagues in the organization that drafted him in the 5th round in 1988. He began his coaching career as the manager of the Class A short season Williamsport Crosscutters in 2011. He would go on to manage Class A Lakewood the following season, spending two seasons there. He coached at the Triple-A level in 2014 and at Double-A this year. In those roles with Lehigh Valley and Reading, Morandini spent time overseeing base running and assisted with hitting as well.

Previously, the 49-year-old was a guest instructor for the big league team in spring training in 2009 and 2010. As a coach in the higher levels, he was utilized in recent seasons during big league spring training as well.

During his playing career, Morandini, a second baseman, represented the Phillies as an All-Star in 1996 and was a member of the beloved 1993 National League Championship club. He was best known for turning the ninth unassisted triple play in MLB history in 1992. Morandini was a .268 hitter in 1,298 big league games, also playing with Toronto and the Cubs.

Replying via text message, the Indiana native offered his thoughts on the promotion.

"At this stage of my life, I'm just as excited (for a promotion to the major leagues) as I was as a player," Morandini stated. "I consider myself very fortunate to get this opportunity again."

With the addition of Morandini at first base, Juan Samuel is slated to move across the diamond to coach third base.

Other recent additions to the coaching staff for next year include John McLaren as catching coach and Rick Kranitz as the bullpen coach.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Off-season League Notebook: Sandberg, Arano, Knapp stay hot

Throughout the off-season, we'll be bringing you details on Phillies players participating in fall and winter leagues from around the globe. Read ahead for a rundown of how many players have performed to date. Stats are current through games played on Friday except ABL notes, which include stats for Saturday's games.

Australian Baseball League-

Cord Sandberg, image- Jay Floyd
Outfielder Cord Sandberg is hitting a lofty .444 with a double, four walks and a steal in six games for Canberra. The 20-year-old was one of nine minor league Gold Glove Award winner as a member of the Lakewood BlueClaws this year. Sandberg was a 3rd round draft selection in 2013.

Through seven games for the Sydney Blue Sox, first baseman Rhys Hoskins is batting .240 with five doubles, a homer and five RBI. In a double header on Saturday, Hoskins went 3-for-6 with two doubles and a home run. The 22-year-old was a 5th round draft pick by the Phils last year. He batted .319 with 17 home runs and 90 RBI in 135 combined games for Class A Lakewood and Class A Advanced Clearwater this year.

Mexican Winter League-

For the Yaquis, right-handed pitcher Victor Arano has a 2-0 record with a 1.00 ERA in eight relief outings. He has struck out nine and walked none in nine innings of work. The 20-year-old had a 4-12 record with a 4.72 ERA in 24 games with Clearwater this year.

Arizona Fall League-

Catcher Andrew Knapp is batting .296 with eight RBI in six games. "The California Kid" has played catcher, first base and designated hitter for the Desert Dogs thus far. The 23-year-old was the Phils' second round draft selection in 2013. With Double-A Reading this year, Knapp sported a .360 average with 11 homers and 56 RBI in 55 games.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Crawford injured, replaced in Arizona Fall League by Stankiewicz

Top Phillies prospect J.P. Crawford will miss the remainder of the Arizona Fall League season after suffering a small tear in his left thumb, as first reported by CSN's Jim Salisbury.

Crawford, who was the Phillies top draft selection in 2013 (16th overall), had gone 3-for-20 (.150 average) in five games with Glendale in the AFL this month.

The 20-year-old shortstop missed time early in the 2015 season with an oblique strain.

In a season split between Class A Advanced Clearwater and Double-A Reading, the lefty batting Crawford sported a combined .288 batting average with a .793 OPS in 107 regular season games. He was also named a mid-season All-Star in the Eastern League with Reading and competed in the MLB All-Star Futures Game.

The ailment for Crawford does not require surgery and he is expected to be healthy for spring training.

Drew Stankiewicz, image- Jay Floyd
Replacing Crawford with the Glendale Desert Dogs will be infielder Drew Stankiewicz, who was an 11th round draft pick by the Phillies out of Arizona State University in 2014.

The 22-year-old lefty spent time during the 2015 regular season with Clearwater and Class A Lakewood, posting a .283/.345/.368 slash line in 99 games. "Stankie", as he's referred to by teammates, splits his time on defense between shortstop and second base.

The son of former big league player and minor league coach Andy Stankiewicz, Drew attended Arizona Fall League games as a child.

"My excitement level is great," Stankiewicz expressed on Friday. "I remember watching these games when my dad was a coach back when I was little and (I) always wanted to play here."

The call to fill the void on the Glendale roster came as a surprise for Stankiewicz, but he wasn't just sitting at home on the couch getting rusty. He was already set to stay active on the diamond this autumn.

"The call came as a surprise because I was going to work out with Team USA and literally checking in and 10 minutes later I had to return all the stuff because of me playing here. I am ready for this opportunity as I have been working out regularly with my off-season program," the five-foot-nine 160-pounder said.

Stankiewicz understands the call for him to tackle this challenge was under less than ideal circumstances with a teammate getting hurt, but he's looking forward to the chance to play among some of the top prospects in baseball.

"I am honestly just really happy about my opportunity to play right now. Worked out great me being here in the off-season anyway. And (I'm) just looking to make the best of this opportunity and play hard."

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Dylan Cozens Interview Excerpts

Dylan Cozens, image- Jay Floyd
Recently, I spoke with Phillies outfield prospect Dylan Cozens about an injury keeping him from playing in the highly regarded Arizona Fall League (read that feature by clicking here). Below are some bonus quotes from my telephone interview with Cozens about his progress, his 2015 season, spending time last winter playing baseball in Australia and more.

- The 21-year-old talked about transitioning from the Class A Advanced Florida State League to the Double A Eastern League late in the season this year...

I felt like it was easy for me (in Double A). I felt like it was a lot easier up there to get a plan, make a plan against the pitcher. You kind of have an idea of how they are going to attack you. In High A, you don't really see that as much. Everybody's just kind of doing their own thing. I definitely felt like it was easier to get a plan. More pitchers were around the plate, which was good. Umpires were better, made it easier to lay off things, so I felt more confident laying off pitches and waiting to get my pitch. Also, I came up to more hitters' parks, which made things a lot better. I felt like it was very tough to get the ball out of the yard in the Florida State League. So, I just stopped trying to do it. I just focused on hitting line drives.

- Cozens spoke of who has helped him progress through the minor leagues thus far...

I've had some great coaches. I've had Greg Legg as my manager for two years in a row now. He's been awesome. He's helped me out a ton. This year, my hitting coach, Coach (Rob) Ducey was great. We worked on a couple different things and tried new things out. Different approaches, talking game, different things with my swing, stuff like that. He's a hell of a coach and our hitting coordinator (Andy) Tracy is always great. He's taught me a lot too. And then, going up to Double A, Dusty (Wathan) and Mickey Morandini were also great.. They were just supportive and kind of let me do my own thing. I was kind of on the right track. I've been blessed with some great Phillies coaches, that's for sure. And then, (Andy) Abad, the outfield coordinator has really helped my game in the outfield with my throwing and stuff, getting me to throw better as well. 

- I asked Cozens if he feels like he's a little underrated for his defense and speed...

I don't really pay attention to any of the ratings and all of that, but I do feel like I'm definitely one of the fastest and can get around just as good as anybody out there in the outfield. I feel like I've proved that just on the base paths and stealing bags and what not and laying down bunts. And in the outfield, I definitely need to make more of an emphasis on that and keep getting better.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Poll: What Should I Name My Son

In the coming weeks my wife and I are expecting our first child, a boy. We're just about ready for his arrival, but we haven't locked in a name for him yet. Recently, I've talked with some well-known individuals to ask for some name ideas. Phillies outfield prospect Nick Williams, fresh off being acquired from Texas in the Cole Hamels trade, suggested the name Braden. Comedian, actor and TV host Hal Sparks recommended Logan. Phils lefty pitcher Mario Hollands thinks Mario is a swell option. Lastly, outfield prospect Dylan Cozens offered the name Christian as his top choice.

With those choices, it's time for you, readers and friends, to weigh in on what the world's newest baseball fan should be called.  Vote in the poll below.

What should I name my son?

Please Specify:
Quiz Maker

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Reports: Klentak to be new Phillies general manager

News broke on Saturday that the Phillies have decided on their next general manager with Matt Klentak in line to take on the role. First to report the decision was the Boston Globe's Nick Cafardo on Twitter.

Many considered Klentak as a front runner for the gig as he has previous ties to current team president Andy MacPhail while both were with Baltimore.  Klentak held the title of director of baseball operations with the Orioles and most recently was the assistant GM with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

Klentak played baseball in college for Dartmouth University where he was a shortstop and the team's captain as a senior.  Out of college, Klentak worked for the Colorado Rockies in their baseball operations department and later spent four years working for MLB's labor relations department.

Varied reports have Klentak as either 34 or 35 years old.  Either way, he's a young man in an evolving pro baseball world, which can certainly play in the Phillies' favor.

Also first reported by Cafardo is the destination for the Phillies’ previous GM Ruben Amaro Jr., who will be manning the first base coach’s box for the Boston Red Sox. Amaro was let go by the Phils late last season after spending nearly seven years in the role.

This post was originally published on Phillies Nation.

Promising OF prospect Cozens missing Fall League with arm injury

Dylan Cozens, image- Tug Haines
An attempt to show off in front of various team coaches and front office personnel seems to have cost Phillies outfield prospect Dylan Cozens a chance to play in the prestigious Arizona Fall League. A week prior to heading out to take part in the highly regarded autumn exhibition league that features many of baseball's top minor league talents, the skilled slugger hurt his arm during routine drills in Clearwater, FL, at the organization's spring training facilities.

"My first throw I went to make from right field I went to throw it and I was trying to throw it pretty hard, and I was trying to show off a little bit, like maybe show off the arm, and it just like grabbed on me and tightened up real bad," Cozens confessed in a phone interview on Friday. "And then, I overthrew the guy a little bit and they made me do another throw and I went to throw that one and it hurt pretty bad and I was like, 'I'm shutting it down.'"

Medical examinations, including an MRI and x-rays, followed for the 21-year-old, who wrapped up his 2015 regular season with the Double-A Reading Fightins. The diagnosis was a forearm strain and swelling of the UCL in his left arm.

Initially, it was unclear how much time Cozens would miss, so he flew out to Arizona to join six other Phillies minor leaguers as members of the Glendale Desert Dogs for the month-long AFL schedule. After further evaluation, the imposing six-foot-six 235-pounder was ordered to return to Clearwater for rehab work with the organization's training staff.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Phillies off-season league updates

Off-season leagues are underway for many Phillies players including some stateside in the Arizona Fall League, but with several players taking the diamond abroad. Read ahead for a complete rundown of how your Phils are doing across the globe. Stats listed are current through Saturday's games.

Arizona Fall League-

jp craw
JP Crawford, image- Jay Floyd
In two games, shortstop J.P. Crawford is 1-for-8 (.125 avg) with a walk and a strike out. The 20-year-old was the Phillies' first round draft selection in 2013. In 86 games with Double-A Reading this year, Crawford posted a .265 average with five home runs and 34 RBI.

Catcher Andrew Knapp is 1-for-3 with a double and a walk in one game played as a designated hitter. The 23-year-old was the Phils' second round draft selection in 2013. With Reading this year, Knapp sported a .360 average with 11 homers and 56 RBI in 55 games.

Edubray Ramos allowed an earned run in 1 1/3 innings while allowing a hit and striking out a batter. The 22-year-old righty tallied a 4-6 record with a 2.07 ERA and an 8.4 K/9 mark in 47 combined games with Class A Advanced Clearwater and Reading this year.

Lefty Tom Windle tossed a scoreless frame and notched two strike outs. The 23-year-old, a second round pick of the Dodgers in 2013, was acquired as part of the Jimmy Rollins trade last off-season.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Winter Leagues under way with Tocci, Lino and more

Carlos Tocci
Carlos Tocci, image- Jay Floyd
Just as the big league postseason is heating up, minor league players have gotten action rolling in the international off-season leagues, with top outfield prospect Carlos Tocci and promising backstop Gabriel Lino leading the way in the Venezuelan Winter League.

With Aragua on Wednesday, the 20-year-old Tocci went 3-for-6 with a stolen base. All of his hits were singles. Tocci, widely ranked among the Phillies' top 10 prospects, posted a .287/.339/.363 combined slash line in 127 games with Class A Lakewood and Class A Advanced Clearwater in 2015.

Also for Aragua in the VWL, outfielder Herlis Rodriguez went 1-for-1 with two RBI as a pinch hitter and later played right field. The 21-year-old lefty batter tallied a .284 average with 10 home runs, 61 RBI and 16 steals in 120 games for Lakewood this season.

Lino, who was acquired from Baltimore in 2012 for Jim Thome, went 1-for-3 with a walk and a strike out for Lara in the VWL on Wednesday. The 22-year-old sported a .234 batting average with three homers and 30RBI in 85 combined games for Double-A Reading and Triple-A Lehigh Valley this year.

Multi-positional standout Willians Astudillo went 1-for-4 as the first baseman for Anzoategui on Wednesday. Astudillo was the Class A Advanced Florida State League batting champion this year with his .314 mark, also hitting three homers and driving in 49 runs.

Additionally, infielder Edgar Duran was 1-for-4 with Margarita as their shortstop on opening night. Duran missed a majority of the season with a pair of injuries as a member of the Lehigh Valley IronPigs this year.

Opening days for other off-season leagues are coming soon enough with action starting in Mexico on Friday, October 9th, Arizona Fall League is under way on October 13th while the Dominican league starts October 15th and the Australian Baseball League begins on October 23rd.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

LHP Prospect Biddle to have Tommy John surgery

J Biddle 2
Jesse Biddle, image- Jay Floyd
The Phillies announced on Sunday that lefty pitching prospect Jesse Biddle will require Tommy John surgery after suffering damage to the ulnar collateral ligament in his throwing arm.

The 23-year-old has been plagued with injuries in recent seasons after missing considerable time with a concussion last year with Double-A Reading, he was shut down with elbow soreness during the off-season while playing in Puerto Rico and was shelved with what was said to be a shoulder strain this year while with Triple-A Lehigh Valley.

In split time with Reading and Lehigh Valley this season, Biddle tallied a 9-6 record with a 4.95 ERA and a 6.4 K/9 mark over 24 starts.

The Philadelphia native was the Phillies' top draft selection (27th overall) in 2010. He'll turn 24 years old later this month.

Another Phillies left-hander underwent UCL reconstruction this year. Reliever Mario Hollands is progressing well after going under the knife in April. Rehabbing in Clearwater, Hollands is currently on a throwing programs in which he plays catch every other day and has been doing so for a month thus far. Throwing off a pitching mound is something that is on the horizon for Hollands, although he's not sure how soon that change to his workload will pop up.

In 50 games as a big league rookie in 2014, Hollands posted a 2-2 record along with a 4.40 ERA.  Hollands was the Phils' 10th round draft choice in 2010.

Hollands, a close friend of Biddle, has offered guidance to the younger hurler.

"I've been talking to him since his first doctors visit about the process and what he should expect," Hollands said on Sunday.

The feedback is something that Hollands is pleased to share with Biddle, who is facing a troubling time.

"I'm happy to do it, but surgery and recovery aren't too fun to talk about," Hollands, who didn't have anyone to offer similar insight, stated.

The UC-Santa Barbara product, Hollands, expects to remain in Florida throughout the off-season in order to aggressively complete his rehab program and make a return early in 2016, barring any setbacks.

Phils clinch worst record in MLB, lock down top draft pick

phils logoGetting swept in a double header at home has likely never had such a positive spin as it did for the Phillies on Saturday as they lost a pair of contests against the division rival Marlins.

In the opening game of the twin bill, the Phils would lose for the first time this season when leading after eight innings as flame throwing closer Kenny Giles blew just his second save opportunity since taking over the duties at the back end of the bullpen after the trade of Jonathan Papelbon.

In the night cap, rookie hurler Alec Asher, acquired from Texas in the Cole Hamels deal, surrendered three earned runs in two innings of work to fall to 0-6 on the season in the big leagues. The Marlins were victors by scores of 7-6 and 5-2.

The Phillies solidified their worst record since 1969 with their 99th loss of the season. With one game remaining this season, the century mark isn't out of the question in the loss column. They've not lost 100 or more games since 1961 when the club dropped 107.

It wasn't all bad news for the home club at Citizens Bank Park, however, as the Phillies locked in the top spot in next year's MLB amateur draft.

In their history, the Phillies have had the first overall draft pick only once. They selected Miami third baseman Pat Burrell with the top selection in 1998.

The top name rumored to be drawing the most interest as the first overall pick come next June is local standout, Jason Groome, a lefty hurler out of Barnegat High School in New Jersey. Groome, a senior, was clocked at 96 MPH in a late-summer showcase game at Petco Park prior to his 17th birthday. He is said to throw heat effortlessly and features outstanding secondary pitches as well.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Two Phillies honored with minor league Gold Glove Awards

Aaron Altherr, image- Jay Floyd
On Monday, Minor League Baseball announced that right fielder Aaron Altherr and left fielder Cord Sandberg were honored as Rawlings Gold Glove Award winners.

Altherr spent time this season with Double-A Reading as well as Triple-A Lehigh Valley before he was promoted to the majors. He was perfect in 107 games in the field, recording 279 chances and eight assists without an error. The 24-year-old was a 9th round draft choice by the Phils in 2009.

The 20-year-old Sandberg, who was the Phils' 3rd round draft selection in 2013, recorded a .983 fielding percentage in 120 games for Class A Lakewood. Sandberg had 232 chances, recording 13 assists.

According to a release, players must have participated in one of the 10 domestic-based, full-season leagues, and shown outstanding defensive skills to be eligible to receive the Rawlings Gold Glove Award.

The award was re-introduced to Minor League Baseball in 2011 after an almost 50-year hiatus.

With just nine recipients nationwide, the Phillies were the only organization to have multiple winners this year.

The previous honoree from the Phillies organization was infielder Carlos Alonso, who was honored in 2013.

This post originally appeared on Phillies Nation.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Knapp and Pinto honored as Paul Owens Award winners

Knapp 1
Andrew Knapp, image- Jay Floyd
The Phillies announced the honorees for the annual Paul Owens Award this year, with catcher Andrew Knapp and pitcher Ricardo Pinto being named as the top performers in the organization's developmental ranks.

Knapp, began the 2015 campaign with Class A Advanced Clearwater where he posted a .262 batting average with two home runs and 28 RBI in 63 games en route to being named a Florida State League All-Star. Promoted to Double-A Reading in late June, Knapp would really turn things on offensively, collecting a .360 average along with 11 homers and 56 RBI in 55 games. Knapp was the Phils' 2nd round draft pick out of Cal in 2013.

Phillies Nation recently aired a feature on Knapp. That video can be viewed by clicking here.

Pinto, a 21-year-old righty, tallied a 15-4 record with a 2.97 ERA and a 6.5 K/9 mark in 24 combined starts with Class A Lakewood and Clearwater this season. For the Venezuelan, 2015 was just his second season pitching in North America.

Earlier in the season, it appeared as thought Reading outfielder Roman Quinn was well on his way toward winning the Paul Owens Award, as he sported a .306 average with four homers, 15 RBI and 29 steals through 58 games prior to being sidelined with a hip/quad injury in June. The 22-year-old is slated to play for Licey in the Dominican Republic this off-season to make up for lost time.

Instituted in 1986, the Paul Owens Award is named after the man who spent 48 years in the Phillies organization as a scout, farm director, general manager, manager and senior advisor.

In other news, Phillies minor league outfielder Aaron Brown will be playing in Australia this off-season. Brown tallied a .257/.324/.406 slash line in 110 games for Clearwater this season. The 23-year-old was the organization's 3rd round pick out of Pepperdine last year.