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Showing posts from January, 2011

ProspectNation 2011: #13 Phillippe Aumont- RHP

Phillippe Aumont, the second prospect acquired from the Mariners for pitcher Cliff Lee last off-season to appear on this countdown, is back in a position more comfortable to him after experiencing some hiccups in his progress during the 2010 season. Upon joining the Phillies organization, higher ups decided to move the young reliever into a starting role. Aumont struggled as a starting pitcher during his first season in the Philadelphia system, but remains a talented pitcher worthy of consideration as an excellent prospect. A first round draft choice (11th overall) by Seattle in the 2007 amateur draft, Aumont was a highly regarded hurler when he was traded to Philadelphia in 2009. In 2008, his first season as a professional, Aumont appeared in 15 games, 8 of which were starts, posting a 4-4 record with a 2.75 ERA and 50 strike outs in 55 2/3 innings in the Class A Midwest League. The following season, Aumont appeared exclusively as a reliever in High A and Double A, going 2-6 with a

Sunday School: Phillies History Lesson 87

After the 1965 season, the Phillies acquired first baseman Bill White from the Cardinals in an effort to solidify a sluggish offense that batted just .250 with a .697 OPS the previous season. In the deal, the Phillies sent catcher Pat Corrales , pitcher Art Mahaffey and outfielder Alex Johnson to St. Louis for White, catcher Bob Uecker and shortstop Dick Groat. White had broken into the Majors at age 22 with the New York Giants in 1956. In his rookie season, White posted solid numbers, batting .256, slugging 22 homers, driving in 56 runs and stealing 15 bases in 138 games. Following the Giants' move to San Francisco, White was traded to St. Louis in a 4-player deal. Bill White went on to be named to the National League All-star team in each of his first three seasons with the Cardinals. In 1962, White began a string of three consecutive seasons in which he accomplished the rare feat of batting over .300 while driving in 100 or more runs, including the 1964 season, when he fi

ProspectNation 2011: #14 Domingo Santana- OF

In March, 2009, Domingo Santana was signed as a 16-year-old free agent out of the Dominican Republic. At the time, the Yankees were also interested in Santana and it took a $330,000 signing bonus to lock down the youngster. At 6-feet-5-inches tall and weighing around 205 pounds, Santana possesses one of those athletic and projectable frames that the Phillies organization loves. Santana, primarily a right fielder with a very good arm, made his professional debut as a member of the Gulf Coast League Phillies in 2009 and posted great numbers. In 37 games, Santana batted .288, slugged 6 homers, drove in 28 runs and posted an .897 OPS. His homerun total in 118 at bats, at age 16, was extremely impressive, especially considering the rest of the GCL Phillies roster mashed only 11 homers in 1,744 at bats. Members of the media and scouts alike saw elite power potential in the well regarded teenage phenom. In 2010, the right-handed hitting Santana started the season as a 17-year-old with Clas

Dan Baker Speaks with PhoulBallz, Part 2

This week I spoke with the voice of Philadelphia sports, Dan Baker, who is, of course, the public address announcer for the Phillies and the Eagles. The interview was lengthy and was split into multiple segments. In this second portion of the interview, Dan Baker speaks about his family's close connections with his work, meeting fans and more. Use the media player below to listen to part 2 of my interview with Dan Baker. To listen to part 1 of this interview, click here . _______________________________________________________________________ You can follow PhoulBallz.com on Twitter by clicking HERE . Connect with PhoulBallz.com on Facebook by clicking HERE .

ProspectNation 2011: #15 JC Ramirez- RHP

Righty hurler JC Ramirez was one of three prospects acquired from Seattle last off-season in the trade for Cliff Lee. While some critics suggest that the trio of farm hands did not necessarily impress (Ramirez posted a 5.45 ERA at Double A, Phillippe Aumont struggled greatly at Double A when he was converted to a starting pitcher and Tyson Gillies was sidelined with a leg injury much of the season), Ramirez showed flashes of exceptional talent and displayed reason to believe he can mature into the talent that the Phillies were hopeful for when they acquired him. One example of what Ramirez can do was an extremely impressive complete game loss, on the road, to the eventual Eastern Division champion Trenton Thunder in which he struck out 9 and walked none while allowing just 3 earned runs that were scored on two defensive miscues by his teammates. With a two-seam fastball that regularly reaches the mid-90's, a slider with excellent control, and a respectable change up that he uses

Charlie Manuel: "Tickle My Fantasy"

If you missed it, Philies manager Charlie Manuel sat down with WIP hosts Anthony Gargano and Glen Macnow this week and in response to a question, Charlie mistakenly used the phrase "tickle my fantasy" instead of "tickle my fancy". Check out the media player below for a little fun with Charlie's unique quote. _________________________________________________________________ You can follow PhoulBallz.com on Twitter by clicking HERE . Connect with PhoulBallz.com on Facebook by clicking HERE .

Dan Baker Speaks with PhoulBallz, Part 1

This week I spoke with the voice of Philadelphia sports, Dan Baker, who is, of course, the public address announcer at Citizens Bank Park and Lincoln Financial Field. The interview was lengthy and will be featured here in multiple parts. In the first portion, Dan Baker speaks about getting his start in professional sports, including time as a substitute ring announcer for the World Wrestling Federation, as well as how he spends his time between professional sports seasons. Use the media player below to listen to part 1 of my interview with Dan Baker and check back in the coming days for additional exclusive comments from Dan. ________________________________________________________ You can follow PhoulBallz.com on Twitter by clicking HERE . Connect with PhoulBallz.com on Facebook by clicking HERE .

Moose Tracks, Vol. 3

Phillies minor league third baseman Moose Mattair checked in, once again, to give readers an inside look at his journey back to baseball, after taking a year off to try his hand at Division I college basketball. Moose and his cousin Eric drove together from Washington state and stopped in central Florida to move Moose into his temporary Winter/Spring residence before wrapping up their bonding with a few days in Miami. Moose is now back in the Clearwater area and phoned in with a report on his past week, or so, in Florida. To read Moose's previous diary entries click here and here . Miami is an awesome place...just a fabulous place. The weather was beautiful. I got a nice sunburn, which prevented me from getting the tattoo that I originally planned to get on the trip. I wanted to add on to the cross that I have on my back, but I was just too sunburned that I couldn't get it. We went around the city and took in the beach and went to a couple different spots. It was a load of

ProspectNation 2011: #16 Scott Mathieson- RHP

Scott Mathieson has been a name that has intrigued Phillies fans for several years. A 17th round draft pick in the 2002 amateur draft, out of Vancouver, BC, the right-handed Mathieson rose through the Phillies minor league ranks as a starting pitcher and made his Major League debut with Philadelphia in June, 2006. That season, Mathieson was on the opening day roster for the Double A Reading Phillies. In 19 starts, Mathieson posted a 10-3 record with a 3.40 ERA and 99 strike outs in 92 2/3 innings pitched. Those efforts earned him a promotion to Triple A Scranton-Wilkes Barre where he went 3-1 with a 3.93 ERA and 36 strike outs in 34 1/3 innings. With such solid stats, the Phillies rewarded Mathieson with another promotion. The 6-feet-3, 200-pounder stepped up another level but didn't have the same results, allowing opponents to hit .312 and going 1-4 with a 7.47 ERA in 9 games, 8 of which were starts, with Philadelphia. By September that season, however, he was sidelined with a

Take it to the Bank

The following is a post from ballpark aficionado Kurt Smith. Kurt, a New Jersey resident, is the creator of Ballpark E-Guides , a series of baseball venue reviews that provide extremely detailed rundowns of various MLB facilities. From time to time, Kurt expects to join PhoulBallz.com to talk about professional baseball, its cathedrals and whatever else might be on his mind. Right now, though, check out information from Kurt about his excellent downloadable booklet of everything there is to know about Citizens Bank Park. Currently I live in Turnersville, NJ, just a 20-minute drive from the sports complex in South Philadelphia. I saw plenty of Phillies games, Flyers games, and concerts at the Vet and at the Spectrum. And I had no truck with any of it then. But I will say it looks a heck of a lot nicer now. Especially Citizens Bank Park. The idea for writing a guide to the Major League ballparks came to me while lying in bed one night. I thought about my frequent trips to Camden Ya

ProspectNation 2011: #17 Julio Rodriguez

Righty hurler Julio Rodriguez shot up the Phillies' prospect rankings over the past year. Drafted in the 8th round of the 2008 amateur draft as a 17-year-old out of Puerto Rico, Rodriguez has developed both physically and as a player during his time in the Phillies' system. After an unsuccessful professional debut in 2008 with the Gulf Coast League Phillies (12.19 ERA in 7 games), Rodriguez returned to the GCL in 2009 and showed improvement along with some added muscle. In 11 games (8 starts) that season, Rodriguez posted a 1-2 record with a 3.08 ERA and a .197 batting average against. As a 19-year-old, Rodriguez began the 2010 season in extended spring training, before making his Class A debut with Lakewood in late May, when he made a spot start in place of an injured Jonathan Pettibone. In his first BlueClaws appearance against the Hagerstown Suns, Rodriguez showed glimpses of things to come as he struck out the side in both the 2nd and 3rd innings before being relieved in

ProspectNation 2011: #18 Michael Schwimer RHP

Phillies right-handed pitching prospect Michael Schwimer had a tremendous season at two levels of the system in 2010 and is on the list of talented young relievers that the Phillies have at the higher levels of their farm system. After making his pro debut with short season Williamsport and posting a 1.96 ERA in 22 relief outings in 2008, Schwimer skipped Class A Lakewood and began his 2009 season at High-A Clearwater, where he went 2-1 with 20 saves and a 2.85 ERA in 48 games. He earned a promotion to Reading of the Double A Eastern League by season's end. The Virginia native began the 2010 season back with Reading where he posted a 5-3 record with 11 saves and a 3.60 ERA in 32 games. As a member of the R-Phils, Schwimer recorded 58 strike outs and 14 walks in 40 innings. After a July promotion to Triple A Lehigh Valley, Schwimer continued posting remarkable numbers, going 2-2 with a 1.35 ERA while striking out 18 batters and walking 7 in 20 innings. The 24-year-old Schwimer ha

Sportsdome Excerpt- Cancer Girl Hates David Wright

Comedy Central's new program Onion Sportsdome is a program that features fictional news stories with humorous twists. This week's episode included the tale of a young female cancer patient that loves the Phillies and hates rival third baseman David Wright. Highlights of the clip include the young girl heckling Wright with an inquiry about his close relationship with a teammate and her wish that Wright would suffer with the same illness that she has. The following mediocre quality video is part of a comedy program and includes some mature and objectionable content, so please consider that before viewing it or offering feedback about it. _____________________________________________________________ You can follow PhoulBallz.com on Twitter by clicking HERE . Connect with PhoulBallz.com on Facebook by clicking HERE .

Moose Tracks, Vol. 2

Phillies minor league third baseman Moose Mattair checked in once again on Monday night to submit another diary entry, detailing his road trip from Washington State to Clearwater, Florida. Moose is returning to baseball after taking a year off to dabble in Division I college basketball . On the road with Moose is his cousin Eric, who shared time behind the wheel and is helping with the move, as well as serving as a boisterous companion. Check out what Moose had to say below and check back for more in the coming days. We stayed in Dallas, Texas on Saturday night. We went out, there, and had a good time. It was an experience. We got to meet some southern belles and just had a good time there in Texas. We took some taxis around to see the city and watched the Seahawks/Bears game. Even though the Seahawks lost, it was still a good time. Then after watching football we drove from Dallas to Baton Rouge, Louisiana yesterday. We dealt with heavy rain the entire way. We drove for about 9 h

ProspectNation 2011: #19 Aaron Altherr

After splitting his second season of professional baseball with the Gulf Coast League Phillies and the Williamsport Crosscutters, outfielder Aaron Altherr is already turning heads and moving up the Phillies prospect rankings at a fast pace. A 9th round selection in the 2009 draft, the 20-year-old Altherr is known to be a contact hitter. The righty hitting Altherr debuted with the Gulf Coast League Phillies after signing his first professional contract in 2009 and batted .214 with 1 HR, 11 RBI and 6 steals in 28 games. In 1 less game played in the GCL this past season, Altherr showed improvement and posted a .304 batting average with 1 HR, 15 RBI and 10 steals. He was promoted to Williamsport on July 22nd. With the short season Class A Crosscutters of the New York-Penn League, Altherr continued a strong season with a .287 average, 7 doubles, 3 triples, 10 RBI and 2 steals in 28 games. Altherr made such a strong impression that he was named one of the NYPL's top 20 prospects by Bas

Moose Tracks, Vol. 1

This week, Phillies minor league third baseman and Lakewood BlueClaws fan favorite Travis "Moose" Mattair will be checking in to log diaries from the road, as he starts his cross country journey back to baseball, after taking a year off to dabble in Division I college basketball . Moose's trip began with terrible news, but with the blessing of his family to not delay his expedition, he trucked on. In this entry, Moose talks about his family, traveling from Washington state, rooming in Florida with an old BlueClaws teammate and the NFL Playoffs. Check back for more from Moose in the coming days. 18 hours on the road yesterday. We began at 4:15 yesterday morning and it started off as a really rough morning for us. I am with my cousin, Eric, and we found out our uncle actually passed away yesterday morning. He's been dealing with and fighting cancer everywhere in his body. We found out last January that he had it. It's just very unfortunate that he ended up passin

ProspectNation 2011: #20 Mike Stutes

Oregon State product Mike Stutes is a righty hurler that has been impressive throughout his minor league career with the Phillies. Stutes, who stands 6'1" and weighs 185 pounds, was in Philadelphia for two days this week, as the Phillies hosted several prospects for team seminars at Citizens Bank Park. Formerly a starter, Stutes moved to the bullpen in 2010. Stutes earned a promotion in June after posting a 3-0 record and a 3.79 ERA in 25 games as a member of the Double A Reading Phillies. After moving to Triple A Lehigh Valley, Stutes stayed sharp, going 4-1 with a 3.10 ERA, while holding opponents to a .200 batting average in 28 outings for the IronPigs. Prior to 2010, Stutes looked solid as a starter. In 2009, Stutes became one of two pitchers, along with Vance Worley, to accomplish the rare feat of beginning the season with Double A Reading the year after he was drafted. They were the first Phillies hurlers to do that since Randy Wolf in 1998. As a starter with the R-Ph

Aumont Headed Back to Bullpen

Phillies prospect Phillippe Aumont will return to a relief role going forward. As reported by the Inquirer's Matt Gelb on Thursday, the Phillies plan to restore the righty Aumont to the role in which he enjoyed the most success in his career. A first round pick in the 2007 draft, Aumont was a prized prospect acquired in the deal that sent Cliff Lee to the Seattle Mariners last off-season. Aumont posted a 2-6 record with 16 saves, a 3.88 ERA and 59 strike outs in 51 relief innings at two levels of the Mariners system in 2009. However, after coming over to the Phillies, the organization chose to move Aumont, who stands 6'7", into a starting role, and he was not nearly as effective. As a member of the Double A Reading Phillies staff, Aumont struggled, going 1-6 with a 7.43 ERA in 11 starts. By June, the Phillies demoted Aumont to High A Clearwater, where he initially pitched in relief and improved somewhat, posting a 2-5 record with a 4.48 ERA in 16 games (10 starts). Phil

ProspectNation 2011: #21 Jonathan Pettibone

Right-handed pitcher Jonathan Pettibone, a third round selection in the 2008 amateur draft by the Phillies, was a member of the Lakewood BlueClaws club that won a second consecutive South Atlantic League championship on 2010. As a member of the Class A 'Claws, Pettibone was a force on the team's starting staff. In 24 games (23 starts) he posted a record of 8-6 with a 3.49 ERA. Pettibone is an aggressive pitcher who steadily focuses on attacking the strike zone and trusts his defense to get outs behind him. His pitch repertoire consists of a four-seam fastball that was clocked at 94mph during the playoffs in September, a change up and a curve ball. The California native, Pettibone, improved his velocity this past season by working closely with pitching coach Steve Schrenk to adjust his mechanics and extension. His results on the mound became increasingly solid as the 2010 season progressed and he opened many eyes within the organization and outside of it, as teams made their

ProspectNation 2011: #22 Mike Zagurski

With a track record of Major League experience, Mike Zagurski continues to be the virtual understudy for the Phillies' lefty relievers. Zagurski's primary role in his career, when healthy, has been as an occasional substitute for the big club's bull pen. The Nebraska native, Zagurski, made his debut with the Phillies in May 2007 and was sidelined with an elbow injury by August that year, which required Tommy John Surgery and kept him out for the entire 2008 season. Teamed with Kyle Drabek, who underwent the same procedure, during rehab and their time at Reading in 2009, Zagurski is credited with helping the former Phillies prospect to mature as a ballplayer. Drabek was, of course, dealt to Toronto as part of the Roy Halladay trade in December, 2009. In October, 2008, the Phillies invited Zagurski, and another rehab partner, Scott Mathieson, to be guests at game 5 of the World Series. That historic night was something that really got under Mike's skin and gave him even

Interview with New Phils Farm Hand Albert Cartwright

Courtesy of Dave Gershman, author of the MLBlog SPANdemonium and contributor to another site that I write for known as 1BlueJaysWay.com , here is a recent interview with the Phillies' newly acquired minor league second baseman Albert Cartwright. Talk about the transition from class High A Lancaster to Double A Corpus Christi and what adjustments you had to make. Lancaster was a good league with a lot of good pitchers, but I thought when I got to Corpus the pitcher had a better plan and didn't stray away from it until you made the adjustment yourself. Describe what you think is the biggest part of your game and how you can improve upon it. The biggest part of my game is my speed, so I try to work it into my game the best that I can, meaning; taking the extra base, bunt, tagging up when necessary. Anyway I can make the defense uncomfortable that's how I try to play this game of baseball. You set the Cal League record for most triples in a game. Whats a record you&#

Escalona Dealt to Philly-West For 2nd Baseman Cartwright

Recently DFA'd lefty relief pitcher Sergio Escalona was dealt to the Houston Astros on Monday for minor league infielder Albert Cartwright (pictured). The trade saw yet another acquisition of talent with a track record in the Phillies organization by former Philadelphia general manager, and current guy in charge of the Astros organization, Ed Wade. Cartwright, a 5-feet-10-inch 180 pound right-handed batter, was selected by Houston in the 36th round of the 2007 amateur draft. Last season, in 127 combined games at High A level Lancaster and Double Corpus Christi, Cartwright posted a .294 batting average with 10 homers, 31 steals and 87 runs scored. Much of that production was compiled with the Class High A Jethawks. As a member of the Double A Hooks, Cartwright produced a low .561 OPS in 140 at bats. Cartwright, 23, committed 29 errors in 116 games as a second baseman in 2010. The 26-year-old Escalona, who went 4-8 with a 3.81 ERA in 50 games in relief for the Double A Reading Phil

So Close, Yet So Far Away- By Phils Prospect Jake Borup

The following is a PhoulBallz.com exclusive guest post by Phillies pitching prospect Jake Borup. From time to time, Jake, who was selected in the 23rd round of the 2010 amateur draft by the Phillies out of Arizona State University, will join us to share his thoughts on his life as minor leaguer. To check out my previous interview with Jake, click here . It’s January 10th, and spring training is less than 2 months away. It feels like yesterday I was in Williamsport with guys like Eric Pettis, Garret Claypool, Cameron Rupp, and now as the season approaches I’m excited to get back to Clearwater and be around baseball again. It’s been almost four months since I was last around a clubhouse, a field, or any sort of baseball. My life for the past few months has consisted of working part-time at a nearby golf course, golfing, hanging out with family, and enjoying college football and the NBA (Go Suns). And with a great deal of anticipation, I can say that I’m ready for baseball season to sta

Sunday School: Phillies History Lesson 86

Art Mahaffey was a pitcher with the Philadelphia Phillies from 1960-1965. Signed by the Phils as an amateur free agent in 1956, he made his Major League debut at the age of 22, after four seasons in the minors. Upon his arrival in the Majors, midway through the 1960 season, Mahaffey, a 6-feet-1-inch right-hander, swiftly made quite an impact with the Phillies. In his first MLB game, on July 30th, 1960, Mahaffey was used in relief against the Cardinals. He pitched a 1-2-3 8th inning and then allowed two runners (Bill White and Curt Flood, who each reached on singles) in the final frame, both of which he picked off. Mahaffey pitched again the next day and picked off Jim Marshall of the Giants, successfully erasing the first three men that scored base hits against him in the Majors. In 14 games (12 starts) that season, Mahaffey posted a 7-3 record, including 5 complete games and a shutout, with a 2.31 ERA. Mahaffey finished third in National League Rookie of the Year voting, behind the

ProspectNation 2011: #23 Cody Overbeck

Slugging third baseman Cody Overbeck made a considerable impact in the Phillies system during the 2010 season . Overbeck, listed at 6'1" and 205 pounds, is a native of Tennessee and attended the University of Mississippi, prior to joining the Phillies organization after his junior season. Overbeck was named a Florida State League All-star in 2010, as a member of the High-A Level Clearwater Threshers. In fact, the day before the All-star break, the righty hitting Overbeck, who hit .302 with 11 HR and 41 RBI in 58 games with Clearwater, was called into the office of his manager Dusty Wathan and told to pack his bags prior to departing, as he was being promoted to Double A Reading. As a member of the Reading Phillies, Overbeck continued his strong season, after a bit of a slow start, mashing 13 more homers, driving in 41 and posting a .255 average in 78 games. Combined at the two levels last season, Overbeck posted a slash line of .276/.354/.490 (batting average/on base percen

ProspectNation 2011: #24 Leandro Castro

Leandro Castro was a key offensive cog for the South Atlantic League champion Lakewood BlueClaws during the 2010 season. A solid young talent, who played well throughout the entire season and led the 'Claws with 81 RBI, Castro, an outfielder, impressed fans, media and scouts alike. A right-handed hitter, standing 5'11" with a 180 pound build, Castro will be 21-years-old until mid-June. Castro is an individual that plays ball the right way both on offense and defense, who rarely gives away at bats and seldom makes a mistake on the bases or on defense. Castro, a native of the Dominican Republic, was signed by the Phillies as a 17-year-old free agent in 2007. He batted .257 in his longest season as a pro in 2010. Castro had previously never played more than 88 games in a single season and fatigue seemed to be a small factor, as his batting average dropped toward the end of the season (.219 avg. after July, .270 avg. until that point). With plus speed, Castro could surely i

ProspectNation 2011: #25 Kelly Dugan

Kelly Dugan was taken with the 75th overall pick in the 2009 amateur draft by the Phillies out of Notre Dame High School in Sherman Oaks, CA. A switch hitting outfielder, Dugan was committed to Pepperdine prior to the draft that year, but surprisingly signed quickly with the Phillies. Dugan (6'3", 195 pounds) projects as a power hitter, despite showing minimal power in limited playing time thus far in his minor league career. Since signing with the Phillies, he has just 1 homerun in 73 games played. This past year, Dugan suffered a freak injury, when he was hit in the leg with a batted ball during batting practice in June, shortly after making his season debut with short-season Williamsport. His shin became infected and he developed a staph infection that required draining. Dugan was put on antibiotics and it was August before he healed and returned to action. In his injury shortened season, Dugan posted a .366 average with a .981 OPS in 28 games with Williamsport and the

ProspectNation: Phillies Farm Hand Ranking Prelude

This post was featured as part of PhilliesNation.com's annual Top 25 Phillies Prospects countdown. Now that the first 75, or so, days since the Phillies' 2010 journey ended have flown by and as we begin the painfully slow crawl of the 40-something days until spring training, PhilliesNation.com will deliver its 2011 top 25 Phillies prospects list, in count down fashion. Gradually, over the coming week that lead to the dawn of a fresh campaign, with hopes higher than Lawrence Taylor while surfing online personal ads, we will be unveiling prospect rankings with reviews of all the players that our readers should be familiar with. These rankings will not include Domonic Brown, Vance Worley or Antonio Bastardo, as each of those players spent considerable amounts of time with the Major League club last year. Those individuals all project to make the big league roster in the coming season as well. In addition, some remarkably talented young players did not make the cut simply be