Before I get to the update, I’m still looking for correspondants to write a once a week report for Lakewood and Reading. If you’re interested, send an e-mail to phuturephillies @ hotmail dot com
Way back in January, I wrote a little piece on 5 pitchers in the Phillies system that I thought would merit special attention and following in 2007, as I felt they were candidates to have very solid seasons and elevate their prospect status. So, let’s see how my guys are doing thus far.
Jarrod Freeman: Well, first off, I’m surprised Freeman was put at Lakewood and wasn’t started in short season ball. I guess if you can commend Gillick for one thing since he’s taken over, it’s his willingness to challenge prospects and move them quicker than Ed Wade did. Freeman, at age 19, has struggled a bit to adjust to full season ball, posting a 5.23 ERA in 10.1 IP while allowing 16 hits. He’s walked 4 and struck out 10, and hasn’t allowed a home run. There are obvious positives and negatives. He’s given up some runs, and he’s definitely been hittable, but at the same time, he has a strikeout per inning, and that’s good for a 19 year old in Low A. Also, he’s yet to allow a home run. I commented in his profile that he had strong groundball tendencies, and that would suit him well going forward. So far, so good.
Darren Byrd: I saw Byrd starting in short season ball as well, but again, Gillick gave him the bump to Lakewood. Like Freeman, he’s had a tough time adjusting, which is seen in his 7.56 ERA in 8.1 innings, allowing 8 hits and 7 walks to go with his 8 strikeouts, and he’s allowed 1 HR. Byrd has been slightly less hittable, but has battled his control a bit more and has allowed the 1 HR. There’s going to be an obvious adjustment period for both he and Freeman, but I suppose it’s a positive sign that he is in full season ball and not toiling in extended spring training like D’Arby Myers.
Carlos Monasterios: I liked Monasterios a lot, but his season started on the lowest note possible, getting shelled for 7 ER in just 0.2 IP in Lakewood’s opener. In his second start, he went 4.1 IP, allowing 2 ER, so I guess that’s a start.
Pat Overholt: I really liked Overholt for the fast track to the major league pen, but the Phillies apparently like his arm to the point of them converting him back to a starting role, and starting him at Clearwater. I ultimately don’t like this decision, because I don’t see him as more than a back of the rotation starter, while he could turn into a high leverage reliever and help the major league team in the next year or so. In 15.1 IP so far, he’s sporting a 2.93 ERA, allowing 16 hits and 5 walks to go with his 14 strikeouts. While I disagree with the Phillies decision to have him start, I’m willing to give it 2 or 3 months to see how the experiment goes.
Andrew Cruse: Cruse, to me, was a guy that could also move quickly through the system and help the major league bullpen sooner rather than later. Because he was already 22, I’d hoped the Phillies would start him at Clearwater and give him some late inning work, but he’s started out as the closer in Lakewood, pitching 4.2 scoreless innings, striking out 9 and allowing just 1 hit and 1 walk. He’s clearly overpowering the Low A hitters, and probably should be in Clearwater by June or July at the latest.