Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Arizona Fall League Updates, 10/18/11

Autumn is here and the Arizona Fall League is in full swing. The Phillies have several players assigned to the Scottsdale Scorpions, where they merge with prospects from the Giants, Red Sox, Angels and Nationals organizations to fill out a roster that does battle with other clubs' talents.

Below is a list reviewing all of the Phils' players that are seeing action in the annual fall developmental league.

Through 8 games, outfielder Tyson Gillies has gone 5-for-21 (.238 avg) with no extra base hits, 7 walks and 1 stolen base. The Vancouver native, who turns 23-year-old at the end of this month, missed a great majority of the 2011 regular season with hamstring and foot injuries after playing just 28 games in 2010 due to his recurring hamstring problem. He is using this time in the Arizona Fall League as an opportunity to make up for some of the time missed since joining the Phillies organization in the 2009-2010 off-season as part of the return from Seattle for Cliff Lee.

In 3 starts, righty hurler Tyler Cloyd has gone 0-2. Cloyd, who posted a 9-4 record and a 2.77 ERA in 31 combined games with the Class A Advanced Clearwater Threshers and the Double-A Reading Phillies in 2011, looked good in his first two AFL outings. However, in his latest effort on Monday, the 24-year-old allowed 5 earned runs in 4 innings against Phoenix. One positive for Cloyd is that he has struck out 9 batters and walked just 2 in his 9 innings of action for the Scorpions.

Left-handed reliever Jake Diekman has thrown 4 1/3 scoreless innings in 4 appearances for Scottsdale. The 6-foot-4-inch 190-pounder took great strides this year, adding velocity to his fastball which now hits the 94-95 MPH range on a regular basis. In 53 outings for the Double-A Reading Phillies in 2011, Diekman posted a 0-1 record with 3 saves, a .199 batting average against and struck out 83 batters in 65 innings. If Diekman continues to progress, he could be a lefty worth considering for the big league bullpen next season.

Right-hander BJ Rosenberg, who flip-flopped this past season between reliever and starter at Double-A Reading, has allowed an earned run in 2 relief innings thus far for Scottsdale. The once well-regarded relief prospect is now 26-years-old and doesn't seem to have a high ceiling any longer, as he posted a 5-7 record with 2 saves and a 4.28 ERA in 39 games (14 starts) during the 2011 regular season.

First baseman Darin Ruf has had a slow start in the AFL, going just 2-for-18 (.111 avg) with a homerun and 2 RBI. The 25-year-old Ruf, a 20th round draft selection in 2009, had a solid season for the Class A Advanced Clearwater Threshers, posting a .308 batting average with 17 homeruns and 82 RBI.

Cody Overbeck, who converted to a first baseman from third base this past season, is doing very well in the Arizona Fall League. Through 8 games the 25-year-old has gone 8-for-25 (.320 avg) with a double and a triple. Overbeck has hit 24 homeruns in each of his past two minor league seasons and could be an option to fill a roster spot with the Phillies early next season, as All-Star first baseman Ryan Howard is expected to miss time while he recovers from left Achilles tendon surgery.

And lastly, righty pitcher Colby Shreve has allowed 3 earned runs in 3 2/3 innings pitched for Scottsdale. The 6th round draft choice from 2008 posted a 2.87 ERA in 40 combined games for Class-A Lakewood and High-A Clearwater this year. The 23-year-old Nevada native stands a very good chance at reaching Double-A Reading in 2012.
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