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. Continue reading
Both of the Latin American complex leagues have started in the past few weeks. This post and a subsequent DSL post will look at the new players on the roster and highlight some of the players to watch for this season.
The Phillies won the Venezuelan Summer League last year with a 48-22 record. The team did have a handful of prospects who have won promotion to GCL and above (Severino Gonzalez for example), though it was not a team with a great number of top tier prospects. They were a dominant team primarily because the quality of the rest of the league was relatively poor. The league dropped down to only 4 teams because of the political unrest in the country with most organizations sending their prospects to the DSL and even starting a 2nd DSL team to give them playing time. Continue reading
2012 was a transitional year for the Phillies in Latin America. They continued to have teams in both the Dominican Republic and Venezuela, though most of their better International prospects skipped those leagues and went straight to the United States (usually to the Gulf Coast League). Continue reading
This year’s DSL Phillies are off to a good start with a 16-13 record in their first 29 games, good for a share of 2nd place 4.0 games behind the Yankees in the BC South division. While this year’s Phillies team has no known high bonus players on their roster, they are holding their own with a mostly age appropriate roster. The average age on offense is 18.7 (compared to the league average of 18.5) and on defense is 19.0 (compared to the league average of 18.9).
The Phillies recently made 5 additional Latin American signings including 2 high profile Dominican players. OF Jose Pujols is a power hitter out of the Domingo Santana mold ($540K) and C Deivi Grullon ($575K) is a catcher with a strong arm and other tools. Look for both Pujols and Grullon to make their debut next year either at GCL or in the DSL, depending on how their offseason development progresses. Continue reading
With the beginning of July we are now over half of the way through the 2012 VSL season. It has been a strange season for the Phillies entry who have dominated the league going 28-14. The team has a 2.41 ERA overall and a .779 OPS. They are in first place by 1.5 games. With all that, however, it is difficult to determine whether the team has any real prospects. The offense is certainly young, though the best performances have come from older players. The pitching has dominated though also led by strong performances from the older players. In spite of these dominant performances it is very possible that the Phillies have a better group of older players than the other teams in the 4-team league.
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. Continue reading
The 2012 Venezuelan Summer League Phillies season started last week. This post will provide a quick summary of the new names on the roster as well some insights on the first week of play. It can also serve as a discussion area for Venezuelan prospects. The Dominican Summer League should start next week as well and will be covered in a separate post.
The VSL has shrunk this season from 6 to 4 teams as the Pirates and Reds both pulled out of the league. Four teams remain: the Phillies, Rays, Tigers, and Mariners. The other teams are now sending their Venezuelan prospects to the DSL where the competition is better and the politics are a little more stable. It is an open question as to whether the VSL can continue as a viable entity, though the Phillies seem to be staying to take advantage of the money they have invested in their baseball complex. In addition, there may be additional advantages in attracting Venezuelan prospects who can play on a team in their country for the first year or two. The Phillies do continue to invest in top Venezuelan prospects with their largest investment to date last year in signing OF Carlos Tocci. Tocci will most likely make his debut later this year in the GCL.
This post will provide a brief summary about the new names seen on the minor league work groups this spring. There are more than 20 players on the minor league spring training rosters that are new signings or who played last year in one of the two Latin American complex leagues (the DSL and VSL).
The big news internationally for the Phillies this past year was the signing of OF Carlos Tocci for a reported bonus of $759,000. This bonus is one of the largest ever given by the Phillies to an International player, though the team’s largest bonuses in the past have a mixed record of success. The highest bonuses have generally been spent on players that did not work out (Seung Lee, Il Kim, Carlos Rodriguez), though the team has had some success with mid-level bonuses to players like Carlos Carrasco and new 2B Freddy Galvis. By all accounts Tocci is a highly skilled CF with plus tools but with major questions about how much power he might eventually add. Tocci is the big name in spring training, however, and it will be interesting to see where the team places him. Galvis was in a similar situation and he was given an aggressive placement in the NY-Penn league when he was 17. Tocci will not even turn 17 till later in the Summer, however, so a GCL destination is the most likely. Continue reading
The Phillies DSL team is a work in progress after last year’s team had a number of players promoted to GCL or Williamsport this past winter. 2010 DSL graduates included Witer Jimenez, Carlos Valenzuela (playing surpisingly well), Jorge Castillo, Gabriel Arias, Hector Neris, Luis Gonzalez, Carlos Best, and Ramon Oviedo. That is 8 promotions from the DSL team alone and prompted some criticism about the Phillies having an older DSL squad without a huge number of prospects last year. Continue reading
The Phillies’ VSL season is now 30 games old, enough to get a feel for who might be a prospect on this rookie level team. Overall the Phillies are 12-18 and are in 5th place out of 6 teams in the VSL. While the team’s record is mediocre, there have been some bright spots for prospects particularly on the offensive side. The team’s offense averages only 18.0 years old in age and is considerably younger than the rest of the league. More importantly, they are getting significant contributions from several of the younger players.
The team’s pitching is not as good, unfortunately. The pitching staff is older than the league average (19.3 years) and the best performances are generally coming from the older pitchers age 20 and 21 years old. These pitchers are not likely to be great prospects, though I would also note that the Phillies have started moving some older foreign prospects directly to Williamsport rather than GCL. Note opening day starter Leonel Bastides along with Gabirel Arias, Pedro Lora, Hector Neris, and Witer Jimenez. This is an atypical 5 players that have essentially skipped GCL for the Phillies. This is most likely an acknowledgement of how crowded the GCL roster can get and a recognition of the ability to get a pitcher regular starts in the VSL or DSL while they learn English and other skills necessary to ease the transition to the United States. Continue reading