|Franklyn Kilome, image- Jay Floyd|
Signed by the Phillies as an international free agent in January, 2013, Kilome would make his professional debut the following year.
With the rookie level Gulf Coast League Phillies, as an 18-year-0ld, Kilome would post a 3-1 record with a 3.12 ERA and a .235 batting average against. He struck out 25 and walked 11 in 40 1/3 innings.
The Dominican native opened 2015 in extended spring training, then joined the short-season Class A Williamsport club. He helped the Crosscutters charge into the postseason with a 3-2 record with a 3.28 ERA and a .230 BAA. He struck out 36 and walked 21 in 49 1/3 innings.
Consistency was something that stood out about Kilome's progress last season, showing an ability to work on his mechanics and repeat his motions. He throws from a 3/4 slot and, despite the walks, he features plenty of command with his pitches steadily peppering the lower portion of the strike zone, when he wants them to.
His arsenal features a dominant upper-90's fastball that can get up to 100 MPH on occasion. The 20-year-old also touts a dependable above average curve ball with bite and a solid change up that coaches altered the grip on last year.
This off-season, the Phillies brought Kilome north to work out at the team's spring training facility in Clearwater, FL with a goal of adding muscle to his projectable and slim six-foot-six 175-pound frame. According to reports, the program was successful and the difference is noticeable.
Kilome told me last August that he is inspired by the path of top draft pick Aaron Nola to the majors. The younger hurler wants to take the mound for the Phillies with quickness.
According to Phillies director of player development, the organization may not have a pitcher with bigger upside if all things go right for Kilome.
An argument could be made for Kilome opening the 2016 season as part of different rosters. With his skill set where it is, he might certainly be able to compete at Class A Advanced Clearwater, while opening the campaign with Class A full-season Lakewood might be most suitable for his age and experience level.
For the immediate future, it sounds like the Phils will proceed with Kilome in a starting role, but the team's needs down the line as well as the youngster's blazing fastball may result in a move to the bullpen at a later stage.
Follow this year's full prospect countdown by clicking this link.