Skip to main content

Prospect Nation 2015: The Prelude

ProspectNationThe dawn of a near year brings along with it the annual Phillies Nation “Prospect Nation” countdown, running down the organization’s top 25 up and coming players. In the coming weeks, as a brand new season approaches, I’ll be bringing you player reviews for each of the top developmental talents that appear to have the brightest futures for the Phillies.

Always taken into consideration when compiling the list is age, minor league performance relative to levels played, value to the organization as well as future potential and proximity to the big leagues.

These rankings do not include players over 25 years old or individuals that have spent lengthy stretches in the big leagues. As such, infielder Carlos Alonso, who played his age 26 season at Double-A last year, will not make the list, despite deserving some consideration. The same applies 28-year-old to relief pitcher Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez, who debuted with the Phillies late last season. Additionally, a guy such as infielder Cesar Hernandez that has played considerable chunks of two seasons in the major leagues won't be regarded as a prospect any longer.

A youngster that I felt was very close to this list and certainly would have placed among the top 25 if not for the solid group of off-season prospect additions that the Phillies acquired is second baseman Andrew Pullin. The 21-year-old converted outfielder showed loads of development as a middle infielder and was one of Class A Lakewood’s most consistent offensive contributors last year, tallying a .270 average with nine home runs and 61 RBI in 129 contests. Pullin, a 5th round draft selection in 2012, is a player that coaches are thrilled by, as they cite his adaptability and improved approach at the plate, making more contact and having a better plan as the season progressed. The six-foot 190-pounder has loads of potential to develop into a talented contributor at his position.

Also a near miss was multi-positional fan favorite Willians Astudillo. The 23-year-old catcher/first baseman/third baseman/outfielder placed second in batting in the Class A South Atlantic League last season as a member of the Lakewood BlueClaws. He posted a .333 average with four homers and 61 RBI in 117 games. Described as an extremely skilled contact hitter, Astudillo’s physical build leaves some critics doubting his ability to do what he has done at higher levels. Generously billed as five-foot-nine and 182 pounds, it is likely that Astudillo is multiple inches shorter and multiple pounds heavier than media guide claims. With just 20 strike outs in 465 plate appearances last year, the youngster impressed his teammates, his coaches as well as his opponents. This year in the Class A Advanced Florida State League should be very telling for the Venezuelan with a career .772 OPS in 328 affiliated pro games.

Another player missing from the rankings is right-handed hurler Franklyn Kilome, who is held in high regard by many prospect heads. The 19-year-old Dominican sported a 3-1 record along with a 3.12 ERA while striking out 25 and walking 11 over 40 1/3 innings in 11 appearances (eight starts) in the rookie level Gulf Coast League. Projections and upside are the key factors in reviewing this talented youngster. At six-foot-six and 175 pounds the frame seems mighty thin for now, but as his body matures his quality repertoire should improve as well.

Players currently still in the Phils’ developmental system that were ranked last year and will not appear in 2015 include righty pitcher Shane Watson along with catchers Tommy Joseph and Cameron Rupp.

Watson, the Phillies’ top draft selection (40th overall) in 2012, underwent his second shoulder surgery in a year recently, to correct a nagging issue with the capsule, trying to clear room for the bone to move around within the joint. He also made headlines this off-season when it was announced that he’d be facing a suspension due to an apparent positive recreational drug test. The 21-year-old is slated to begin a throwing program in February under the watchful eyes of the Phillies trainers and staff in Clearwater. Watson, a six-foot-four 200-pounder hasn’t pitched since 2013 when he tallied a 4-6 record and a 4.75 ERA in 16 starts for Lakewood.

Joseph is another player that’s dealt with repeated injury concerns. Once the prized return from San Francisco in the deal that sent Hunter Pence out west to increase his jewelry collection, Joseph hasn’t shown the type of bat he was touted to have prior to being dealt. In 91 games sprinkled over two-plus concussion plagued seasons in the Phillies’ organization, the 23-year-old has notched a .222 average with 11 home runs and 46 RBI.

Rupp, who would have aged out of the rankings at 26 years old, fizzled in 2014, after making his big league debut the previous September. In 59 games with Triple-A Lehigh Valley, the Phils’ 3rd round draft choice from 2010 posted a .165 average with six homers and 19 RBI. What’s worse is that Rupp began his minor league campaign last year with a homer in each of his first four games, so after April 6th, the six-foot-two 250-pound Texan batted .157 and laced two homers in his next 55 games for the IronPigs. In 18 big league contests last year, Rupp sported a .183/.234/.250 slash line.

As pitchers and catchers report date approaches, check back here regularly for the unveiling of this year’s countdown of the top 25 ranked prospects within the Phillies organization.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

PhoulBallz Interview: RHP Ben Brown talks TJ recovery, O'Hoppe, cancelled season

Image- MiLB.com Out of action since last May when it was determined he required Tommy John surgery, righty pitching prospect Ben Brown is using the downtime of the pandemic hiatus to continue his physical recovery.  A 33rd round draft selection of the Phillies back in 2017, Brown made his professional debut that same year, posting a 2.57 ERA and a 1.43 WHIP in 10 appearances in the rookie level Gulf Coast League.  The following season, Brown began to make a name for himself in the GCL, striking out 16 batters in one July appearance.  He would post a 3.12 ERA and a 1.18 WHIP in 10 games (eight starts) before earning a promotion and finishing the season with a pair of outings with Class A short-season Williamsport. Brown, a Long Island, NY native, opened last year with Class A Lakewood.  In four appearances with the BlueClaws, he struck out 20, walked four and allowed no runs in 13 2/3 innings and looked well on his way to making an impact on betting odds and available promo codes

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

Kendrick & LaGrossa- Second Phils/Survivor Marriage

On Saturday, Phillies pitcher Kyle Kendrick married 3-time Survivor contestant and former Flyers employee Stephenie LaGrossa. The couple exchanged vows in front of 105 guests at the Silverado Resort in Napa, California. Their special day featured many personalized aspects, including cocktail hour snacks modeled in the fashion of mini Philly cheesesteaks, as well as the couple's two dogs, Bebe and Champ, serving as flower girl and ring bearer during the ceremony. The pets wore a white dress and a tuxedo, respectively. Kendrick is now the second Phillies pitcher to marry a former contestant of the CBS reality competition program, as lefty Cole Hamels wedded Heidi Strobel, who appeared on the sixth season of Survivor, in 2007. _________________________________________________________________ Be sure to follow PhoulBallz.com on Twitter, for updates, stats and info, by clicking HERE . Photos- People.com