As we did with the VSL a few weeks ago, this post will summarize the new names on the 2012 Phillies Dominican Summer League roster while also providing some early clues on who the top prospects to watch might be. As always we lead with the caution that any observations here are based on stats, playing time, and age. They are not based on actual scouting reports unfortunately unless certain players have been mentioned in interviews with the Phillies minor league staff.
In 2011 the DSL Phillies played in the 8 team Boca Chica South division and finished at 38-33, in 3rd place 8.5 games behind one of the Cubs 2 affiliates. Many other organizations have started a second VSL team in recent years as they have closed their Venezuelan academies. The Phillies still field one team in each league. One interesting note on the Phillies DSL team from last year: they were outscored by 58 runs and still finished 5 games over .500. Maybe Manny Amador should be considered to manage the big club.
In 2012 the Phillies remain in the Boca Chica South division and are off to a 4-3 start. As usual there are a large number of new faces on the team that are replacing a number of graduates to GCL and other stateside leagues. Graduates from last year’s team in Spring Training include: Jairo Cardozo (2B/SS), Angleo Mora (SS), Delvi Francisco (OF), Diego Gonzalez (OF), Yan Olmo (OF), Ulises Jouaquin (RHP drawing rave reviews in extended), Yari Sosa (RHP already at Lakewood), Enrizon Bautista (RHP), Ranfi Casimiro (RHP), Julio Reyes (RHP), and Felix Santos (RHP). That is 11 graduates off a .500 team last year. Some of those graduates will probably be released before GCL starts, though the majority of them should find themselves on a roster within the next week or two.
A dozen new players have shown up on the roster to replace this group of graduates. Here is a brief listing and set of notes on these players:
Elniery Garcia – LHP (age 17) – 6’0″, 155
Seranthony Dominguez – RHP (age 17) – 6’1″, 183
Feliberto Sanchez – RHP (age 18) – 6’1″, 175
Masilis Valera – RHP (age 19) – 6’3″, 182
Seranthony Dominguez and Filberto Sanchez were in the starting rotation the first week and are probably the names to pay attention to. Dominguez in particular has held his own: 1-1, 3.27 ERA, 11 IP, 6 H, 6 BB, 6K. Sanchez got knocked around in his one start and Valera also fared poorly in his one relief appearance. The rest of the rotation is led by Gregorio Santos (age 19), Francibel Alejo (age 19), and Jorge Serrano (age 18). Santos has pitched well in his two starts so far and Alejo is a big 6’4″ LHP who showed some promise last year. This rotation does not have any older pitchers like the VSL rotation, which is a good sign prospect-wise.
Wilber Torres – C (age 18) – 5’11″, 206
Raymer Soto – C (age 19) – 6’1″, 207 – interestingly born in the Bronx
Malquin Canelo – SS (age 17) – 5’10″, 156
Marte Olvy – SS (age 18 in August) – 5’9″, 154
Hector Valdez – SS (age 19) – 5’11″, 171
Enmanuel Serra – SS (age 19) – 5’10″, 166
Samuel Hiciano – OF (age 18) – 6’1″, 203
Emmanuel Salas – OF (age 17) – 6’2″, 172
Several hitters stand out from their early playing time. Perhaps the best offensive prospect to watch might be OF Samuel Hiciano who is holding down the #3 spot in the batting order hitting .276 with 4 XBH in only 29 AB. Enmanuel Serra is playing 3 infield positions and batting leadoff most games. He is a little old at age 19, but he is hitting .308 with a .400+ OBP and speed (5 SB) in the early going. Other newcomers getting a decent amount of playing time include Wilber Torres (C, 2-12, 4 BB) and Malquin Canelo (SS, 2-16, 2 SB). Finally, one other young player worth highlighting is 17-year-old Roberto Contreras who is in his 2nd season but is still one of the younger players on the roster. A 6’3″, 170 left-handed OF, Contreras is 4-16 in the early going.
Next up we will take a second look at the VSL team. They are 15-8 so far but it is possible they are taking advantage of a 4 team league in which only 2 of the teams (the Phillies and the Mariners) are any good.