We’re nearing the end of the line.
Mitchell, Derrick, SS (age 20) Grade = C-
Mitchell, the Phillies 23rd round pick in 2005, failed to impress in his repeat of the GCL in 2006. Drafted at age 18, he needed to be cut some slack because of his youth and rawness, but in 2006 he showed little sign of improvement, posting a .610 OPS, compared to his .581 OPS in 2005. He drew a few more walk and knocked a few more extra base hits, but for a kid repeating the lowest league in pro baseball, he really should have done a bit better. Because he just turned 20 in January, we shouldn’t give up on him just yet, but we also shouldn’t expect much of anything going forward. He’ll probably head to Williamsport, but if he doesn’t make drastic improvements, he’ll fall off the prospect radar. He has great athleticism, but he’s going to need to translate that to tangible baseball skills on the field.
2007 Outlook: My guess is, he’ll get his looks at SS at Williamsport, but if his past record is an indication, we shouldn’t expect much. The Phillies felt that he really hadn’t started growing into his body yet, which could be seen as a reason he’s been lagging a bit. If he puts things together, it could happen quickly, or it might not happen at all.
Warren, TJ, OF (age 18) Grade = C
Warren represents another notch in the Phillies belt in terms of luring toolsy, potential high impact guys away from college out of high school. Warren, who played most of his 2006 GCL campaign at age 17, is already a freak of an athlete, measuring in at 6’4, 200lbs, and the Phillies feel he has more room to fill out as he grows and matures. He struggled mightily in his debut, posting a lowly .532 OPS, but is considered a major product, and will probably spend 2007 and 2008 in short season ball to try and adjust to the pro game. He’s a superior athlete with the potential for bigtime power as well as 20 stolen base potential.
2007 Outlook: Warren is likely to repeat the GCL this season. He will probably need at least two seasons in the GCL/Williamsport before he’s ready for Lakewood. But because he is only 18 now and will not turn 19 till the end of August, he has plenty of time to get things figured out. Warren is certainly in the extremely high risk/very high ceiling category in terms of prospects.
Sanchez, Jesus, C (age 19) Grade = B
Sanchez, acquired in the Bobby Abreu trade, might turn out to be the best player we received in the deal when all is said and done. Signed as an amateur free agent by the Yankees in 2004, 2006 was his first year in the US, and he held his own, all things considered. He logged a combined .634 OPS with the Yankees and Phillies, which doesn’t seem overly impressive, but you have to consider the adjustment period needed for a guy playing his first season in a new country, couple that in with him being traded, and it’s logical to assume anyone could have struggled in those conditions. Despite his low OPS, he was rated the 14th best prospect in the GCL by Baseball America, and was lauded as being the best defensive catcher in the league. He has a cannon arm, and is still working on the nuances of the position.
2007 Outlook: Based on nothing scientific, I have a good feeling about Sanchez. He will surely spend 2007 in short season ball, either at the GCL level or at Williamsport. With a solid year, depending who the Phillies take in the draft, he could be starting at Lakewood in 2008. Defensively, he’s probably the most promising prospect in the entire organization.