Skip to main content

Clearwater Manager Chris Truby Speaks on Phils Future Stars

Truby with Lakewood in 2011- Photo by Jay Floyd
Former big league third baseman Chris Truby is entering his fifth season as a manager in the Phillies' developmental ranks.  The 39-year-old began his coaching career in 2008 in the Pittsburgh organization after retiring from playing a year earlier. He joined the Phillies in 2009, spending two seasons as the manager for Class A short-season Williamsport prior to managing Class A Lakewood in 2011, then earning another promotion to be the skipper with the Class A Advanced Clearwater Threshers last year.

During his playing days, Truby saw time with Houston, Montreal, Detroit and Tampa Bay.  The Indiana native batted .231 with 23 homers and 107 RBI in 263 career big league games.

This week I spoke with Chris about several subjects, among them the Phils' well regarded third base prospects, how he balances his goals to excel as a coach while helping his players improve and other players on the rise.  Read ahead for that full interview.


- You're a former big league third baseman and you got to manage third baseman Cody Asche for part of his impact season last year. What are your impressions of Cody and what his future could hold?

Cody worked his tail off on both the offensive and defensive side last year. He got better in all facets of the game. He has the desire and the will to be the best player he can be and I believe he will be a very good Major League third baseman.


- Another third baseman that played with Clearwater last year is Harold Martinez. Thoughts on H-Mart and his progress thus far as a pro?

Harold struggled a little once he got to Clearwater but he worked hard as well and finished the season strong. He too improved over the course of the year both offensively and defensively.


- Maikel Franco is a guy I know you've seen and coached. He seemed to make loads of progress last year with Lakewood. What do you think of Franco's potential and the maturing he's done?

Franco is a very young player that has improved with each year. He had a great second half of the season last year and I look for him to pick up where he left off. He has the ability to be a very good third baseman. For a young player, he is not intimidated by anything and has a great feel for playing third.


- Along with Franco, Kelly Dugan, Gabriel Lino, Ethan Stewart, Gabriel Arias and more of last year's Lakewood standouts would be expected to climb the ladder and play under you this year. Generally, when there are exciting players at lower levels, are there particular guys that you haven't coached that you look forward to reaching your level so you can help them develop or see them first hand?

That Lakewood team was young and had some good talent. I am looking forward to working with all of them as they make their way up the system. I haven't had a chance to work with a number of those players and I am looking forward to getting to Spring Training and seeing these guys.


- Along with Asche, pitcher Kenny Giles was the other guy that really made a name for himself in the Phils system last year, earning a promotion from Lakewood to Clearwater and steadily displaying big time velocity. What are your thoughts on Giles and the impact he made last season? Future for him?

Giles was fun to watch. You just don't see that type of arm very often. Pure power stuff. As a manager, or anybody watching for that matter, you just sit back and watch and enjoy it. He did a nice job for me last year. He really opened some eyes last year. He has a chance to be a special player.


- Cameron Rupp is a guy you've managed at multiple levels. He's certainly held his own in the minors, but has a couple of more highly touted backstops that are younger than him at higher levels in the system. Thoughts on Cam? And is it possible the depth could be a hindrance to any of these well regarded catching prospects?

Cameron improved as much, if not more, than anybody that I have been around in the last couple of years. He really took charge of the pitching staff last year. He has great leadership capabilities. He learned a lot being around (Threshers coach and former big league catcher) John Mizerock last year. From an offensive standpoint he came into his own as well last year. We have some good young catchers in the organization but Cameron fits right into that mix.


- Lefty pitcher Jesse Biddle has looked great and is widely regarded as the Phils' top prospect. Thoughts on Biddle and what he did with Clearwater last season?

Biddle has gotten better every year. The biggest area being the developement of his change up. He has become confident in it and is willing to use it at any time. His command of three pitches has gotten better as well. He is ultra competitive and that will help carry him to where he ultimately wants to be.


- First baseman/DH Chris Duffy showed a lot of power last year and looked good in his second trip to Clearwater, after having a weak showing during an early-season stint there. Late last season Franco credited Duffy with being an inspiration on offense. Thoughts on Duffy?

Duffy had a great year in Lakewood and showed some improvement in Clearwater. He can help take a lot of the pressure off the young guys by his presence. The guy can hit.


- When organization execs view you as a big league coaching prospect is that something that makes you feel good and does that impact your outlook? Secondly, of course, managers/coaches in the minors are there to help players grow and improve...how much of a focus by managers for themselves to also be climbing the ladder is okay? Are those focuses easily balanced?

If the organization is happy that means I am doing my job. We all have goals and would like to move up the ladder, but the focus is always on the player. It is a great feeling to see guys that we have worked with have success and move to the next level. That's what it is all about.


- Did you spent time last fall at with the Florida Instructional League team and, if so, were you able to check out any of last season's draft picks closely?

I did not attend FIL so I don't know much about the new young players. I look forward to seeing them in the spring.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

2019 Phillies Prospects Countdown: #7 LHP JoJo Romero

JoJo Romero, image- Jay Floyd With a growing crop of very talented pitching prospects in the Phillies organization, left-hander JoJo Romero is certainly among the standouts. The five-foot-11 200-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 their title game. After signing with the Phillies, Romero made his professional debut as a member of 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 terrific 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 and was honored as a South Atlantic League mid-season All-Star. R

Diekman a Late Addition to Mesa AFL Roster

On Wednesday, Phillies lefty pitching prospect Jacob Diekman made his Arizona Fall League debut. Diekman, who was drafted in the 30th round of the 2007 amateur draft, was assigned to Mesa late, in order to increase his 2010 innings total, according to Mesa hitting coach Mark Parent, who managed Diekman in Lakewood this past season. Diekman, 23, posted a 2-0 record with 1.90 ERA in 21 games with Class A Lakewood before being promoted to High-A Clearwater on June 24th. In 24 games with the Threshers, Diekman went 0-2 with a 3.66 ERA. Combined, Diekman tossed 55 2/3 innings and held opponents to a .187 batting average against at two levels in 2010. However, after not pitching in an official game since he threw a shutout inning to wrap up the Clearwater season on September 5th, Diekman was unable to record an out as all seven batters he faced reached base, six with hits, one on an error. Diekman was charged with 5 earned runs in the outing. Diekman had spent time at instructional ball f

McGwire Stays Phony, Despite Admitting Drug Use

Mark McGwire made an effort to publicly come clean today, admitting to the world that he took performance enhancing drugs during his playing career. Steroids and human growth hormones were among the drugs that McGwire admitted to using. MLB Network featured a one on one interview with Bob Costas and McGwire on Monday evening. The broadcast was virtually garbage, thanks to McGwire. Ahead is a list of quotes from McGwire's interview. McGwire repeatedly stated his point of view that there were no dishonorable intentions involved when taking steroids, and that he was merely using them as a means to recover from varying ailments. When asked if he felt like he cheated... "As I look back now...I can see how people would say that. As far as the talent goes and the hand-eye coordination, the ability, the genetics I was given...I don't see it." "I did not take this for any strength purposes." Denial. Read on for similar B.S. He whined about the abuse he'