The 2013 DSL season started a couple of weeks ago. This post (like the previous VSL post) will summarize the new players on the roster and provide some clues on which players to watch over the rest of the season. As with all the Latin American complex posts, observations are based almost entirely on stats, the playing time of prospects, and the prospects’ age. Playing time is an important variable as the Phillies will naturally give playing time to the better prospects. Thus pitchers in the starting rotation and hitters at prominent defensive spots (like C and SS) are generally held in high regard.
In 2012 the Phillies finished the season with a 32-36 record in the BC South division. This year they have switched divisions to the BC North division and have an 8-13 record, 6th out of 8 teams in the division. The team is lacking the two highest profile Dominican signings from the past year in Jose Pujols and Deivi Grullon. Those 2 high dollar signees have already made their debut with the Phillies’ GCL squad.
The team roster includes 13 new players. We will list the new players in this post and then provide some commentary on which players might be the better prospects.
Edgar Campusano (age 19, RHP) – 6’4″, 177 – 1-0 with a 1.06 ERA so far (17 IP, 14 H, 6 BB, 18 K)
Roberto Contreras (age 19 in July, RHP) – 6’3″, 170 – Has not pitched yet
Yan De La Cruz (age 18, RHP) – 6’4″, 176
Juan Figueroa (age 20, LHP) – 6’0″, 185 – Only LHP among the new pitchers
Yonathan Gonzalez (age 17, RHP) – 6’3″, 165 – Youngest new pitcher has had a rough beginning (7.36 ERA) but did merit one start
Franklyn Kilone (age 18, RHP) – 6’6″, 175 – Tallest pitcher has not pitched yet
Angel Mejia (age 18, RHP) – 6’0″, 160 – 0-1 with a 3.18 ERA so far (11.1 IP, 7 H, 7 BB, 8 K)
It is difficult to know if any of the new pitchers are good prospects. None has been in the starting rotation so far. The best has been Edgar Campusano who is slightly older at age 19 but also seems to have some projection for the future.
The starting rotation consists of 18 year-old Seranthony Dominguez, 19-year-olds Gerard Vasquez and Jorge Serrano, and 20-year-olds Gregorio Santos and Francibel Alejo. Santos has been the most effective so far with a 3-0 record and a 1.61 ERA (28 IP, 14 H, 3 BB, 18 K). At age 20, however, he really needs to miss more bats to be seen as a prospect. Seranthony Dominguez is off to a slower start than last year as he has walked 12 in 18 IP. Alejo had shown flashes in the past (and is a tall LHP with some projection), but is struggling this year. It will be interesting to see if Campusano gets additional shots at a rotation spot if he continues to pitch well.
Jesus Passo (age 18, C/3B) – 5’11″, 201 – hitting only .149 but has some power and walks so far
Hugo Arrocha (age 17, SS) – 5’11″, 150 – the team’s offensive star in the early going hitting .359 with 6 BB, 4 SB, and an .878 OPS
Leomar Morillo (age 19, SS) – 5’10″, 165
Enmanuel Garcia (age 19 in July, OF) – 6’0″, 180 – hitting .230 with 4 XBH, 7 BB, and a .655 OPS
Yunior Reyes (age 18, OF) – has not played so far
Henry Santana (age 18, OF) – 6’3″, 188 – hitting .222 with a .501 OPS
The hitting star among the new players has clearly been Hugo Arrocha. Playing mainly SS and batting 1st or 3rd, he is hitting .359 and is one of the youngest players on the team at age 17 (18 in October). A glut of SS prospects is always a good thing to have. The other new players to watch include Enmanuel Garcia and Henry Santana, 2 OF prospects with decent size and Jesus Posso, especially if Posso remains a catcher.
Among veteran players the best hitter has been VSL alum Deiber Olivera who is hitting .415 so far with a .980 OPS. Olivera hit .350 with a .869 OPS in the VSL last year. It is odd that he has been allowed to play in the DSL as the Phillies are supposed to play Venezuelan prospects in their home country league. It is possible he has family in the Dominican. Unfortunately for his prospect status Olivera is on the older side and will turn 21 in late August. 2B Enmanuel Serra is the other good offensive player on the squad, hitting .319 with a .778 OPS at age 20.
This does not appear to be a prospect-laden DSL team. Arrocha certainly has opened some eyes at SS, though most of the rest of the team has not hit well or is slightly too old to be considered a prospect. Among pitchers the team is also slightly older than the league average as none of the new pitchers has broken into the starting rotation. Several of the new signees are taller pitchers with some projection, however, so it might be a little too early to dismiss the prospect status of the newer players.
Later this year we will take a more complete look at each league as younger players will have the opportunity to earn more playing time.