Just a quick note – Aaron Altherr will make the start in left field tonight for the Phillies. Altherr was called up in June while Tony Gwynn was on bereavement and took one PA, and he was recalled yesterday when Dom Brown went on the paternity list. The German-bron Altherr, nicknamed “The Rhineland Rocket” (by me – I am beating it into the ground, folks), OPSed .930 in June at AA Reading, but is OPSing .688 on the season between two MiLB levels.
Before anyone grabs their pitchfork, here are the top 13 prospects in the league in order, all of which are no doubt Top 100 prospects: Byron Buxton, Miguel Sano, Javier Baez, Gregory Polanco, Maikel Franco, Noah Syndergaard, Gary Sanchez, Jorge Soler, Andrew Heaney, Aaron Sanchez, Nick Kingham, Eddie Rosario, and Alen Hanson. That is a stacked list of names, and has pure prospects I would take Noah Syndergaard over Franco, because I think he is monster pitcher who was limited by only getting 12 games in the FSL. That being said it is a great placement for Franco.
I am not going to dive into the Franco report too much as he appears on the Eastern League list as well among many of the same names. Just know that scouts really like him and while their are weaknesses and nits to pick, he is still a very good prospect. Continue reading
Up the middle talent is always at a premium and center field is no exception. Center field has not been a weakness for the Phillies up until the trade of Shane Victorino in July, this offseason the Phillies traded for a young center fielder in Ben Revere. In the system there are some interesting toolsy players who have questions ranging from their hitting, to fielding, to their injury history. Revere should give time for one of these players to unseat him as the center fielder of the future.
Like shortstop, it is not good enough to average defensively in center field and a player must be either plus defensively or plus at the plate. If a player cannot stick in center field there hope is that they have enough bat that they can stick as a fourth or fifth outfielder that can play occasionally in center.
Tyson Gillies (24) – Gillies was acquired in 2009 for Cliff Lee and his career with the Phillies has never really gotten off to a good start, having played only 129 games in those three years. Gillies before the injuries had easy 80 speed and above average raw power, but his injuries have diminished both of those skills. Gillies is still a plus defensive center fielder defensively, and he has a good approach at the plate. Gillies still can drive the ball and has ok power for a center fielder (mostly gap and not home run power). All of the tools add up to a major league regular but the injury history has hindered him from reaching his ceiling. Gillies will likely be the CF in Leigh Valley to start 2013. Continue reading
BA continues their list of league top 20s and today’s stop is the New York-Penn League, which includes 2 Phillies in 3B Maikel Franco (4th) and OF Aaron Altherr (20th) Franco’s power potential and defense are praised, and for Altherr its his projection and athleticism that are praised.
So far, the rundown for Phillies guys is
GCL: (1) – Ethan Stewart, LHP (16th)
NYPL: (2) – Maikel Franco, 3B (4th), Aaron Altherr, OF (20th)
The SAL is up next, and I expect we’ll see a few representatives here, led by Jesse Biddle.
A source gave me the heads up a few weeks ago that the Phillies had given Aaron Altherr a few looks at 3B this winter, and now that Keith Law brought up the fact in his article today, I suppose its news fit for public consumption. I was told that he spent some time working out with Eric Chavez this winter, as they share the same agent….Altherr and Chavez, not Keith Law and Chavez. Early reports were positive, and it appears that his performance this spring will determine whether or not the Phillies go forward with the experiment. Altherr was a shortstop in high school, so the move to 3B is not really a huge stretch, certainly not as difficult as trying to become a catcher, or learning how to perfect the double play turn up the middle. Third base, in essence, is a reaction position, so it will come down to his footwork and instincts. This will be one of the more interesting story lines to follow in spring training.