Phillies sending 8 players to the AFL

Per Todd Zolecki

Arizona Fall League. The Phillies will send eight players to the Arizona Fall League to play for the Mesa Solar Sox: righthanders Joe Bisenius, Andrew Carpenter and Pat Overholt; lefthander Sergio Escalona; catcher Lou Marson; infielder Jason Donald; and outfielders Quintin Berry and Jeremy Slayden.

No real surprises, with the possible exception of sending Berry instead of Taylor as the one below AA representative. This also tells me Slayden and Overholt will be protected on the 40 man roster, as you wouldn’t really want these guys in the limelight if you didn’t plan on protecting them.

33 thoughts on “Phillies sending 8 players to the AFL

  1. I’m not quite sure I understand the Phils’ handling of Berry – they gave him the Minor League Player of the Year Award last year, they’re sending him to the AFL this year. You would think they might be aggressive with him. He has had two decent seasons, but he is also old for his league by two years. So is he a prospect or isn’t he? (rhetorically)

    – Jeff

  2. Jeff O: My read of that is that Berry is seen as a prospect but also a slow developer who needs time at each level to adjust. This is his year to get reqarded and to feel like a true prospect by experiencing the talent level of the AFL. I think you will see a full year of him at Reading and LH before he sniffs the majors. Looks like a 5th OF type.

  3. Could this mean that Donald and Marson do not get called up in Sept? Not sure. I am of two minds there. One mind says wait till next year and let the mercs (Cervanek, etc.) provide the extra bats. Another says both could help off the bench as extra bats and Marson might even start 3-5 games. They have experienced the pressure of the Olympics and might be somewhat immune to jitters after that.

  4. My take on Berry, is they believe he’s a prospect. May not ever be starter in the big leagues, but should be on the team in a couple years as a reserve.

    He has two things you can’t really teach, speed & instincts on the bases. He’s stolen 50+ bases each of the last two years.

  5. What does that mean for other guys who have to go on the 40-man next yr and won’t be going to Arizona like Gosewich,
    Harris, Harker, ect. Do they get let go, or do we roll the dice and not care if they are grabbed by the rule 5?

    Will we even keep any of these guys?

    G.M???? OR WHAT.

  7. @ From Section 113: I don’t think Harris, Harker, or Bear Hill will make the 40 man for next year. They should each be moved up a level before the November 20 deadline, especially Harris, who has put together an impressive offensive season and has an outside shot to wind up a decent bench bat at the ML level.

    As I mentioned over on The Good Phight, no real shockers in that group. I would’ve liked to have seen Taylor instead of Berry, but maybe they didn’t want to risk a tough stint in the AFL ruining the confidence Taylor’s built by dominating two levels this year. On the other hand, Berry is what he is — “a better version of Chris Roberson” sounds like a fair assessment — so there’s no harm, no foul if he struggles in the AFL.

  8. I don’t really like the Roberson comparison, because I think he’s better than Chris. I see Berry as closer to Michael Bourn with a little less upside. Roberson only had more than 40 walks once in his 6 full seasons in the minors, Berry has averaged 60 walks in his two full seasons. Plus Roberson stole 59 bases once then failed to steal more then 34 after that.

  9. not sure Bisenius should be going, is he even a prospect at this point?? he is about to be 26 yrs old, he was a fringe top 30 prospect to start the year but has done nothing of any good this season for me to send him to AZ.

  10. The phillies must think Afl stands for the american fringe league, Bisenius,overholt,slayden can they send maybe somemore non prospect they have plenty of them. What’s carpenter going for he proved he is nothing special he got lit up in aa ball. I can’t see them not sending Taylor,lets find out if he can play higher level. He is a college player who is 22 lets find out so we have some read on what we have. or don;t have.

  11. yes i agree taylor should have definately gone, he is going to have an adjustment period in AA next year as it is because the pitchers are a lot better, why not let him face some better competition in the AFL, even if he struggles because then when next year rolls around he will be ready for AA, he is one of the phillies best prospects they have to test him

  12. During the last week of the AFL season Berry will turn 24. He might be the oldest player with no AA or AAA experience to ever play in the AFL. Taylor would seem to have been perfect for that AFL spot. Maybe they will send him to the Hawaii Winter League. Last year they sent Cruse with Bear Hill and Naylor who split the season.

  13. The way the phillies are handling donald,and taylor doesn’t make sense to me. But I now realize that they are professional men who know players,So I have come to the fact that donald can’t play in the majors and taylor if he ever makes it will be twenty six the way they move players.

  14. Marson is back in the lineup tonight and still getting on base like it’s his job. Wait, it is his job.

    Bastardo’s line is kind of ugly but he cruised through the first three innings. Probably still building the stamina post-injury. 8 of the 13 outs he got were Ks.

  15. How exactly are they handling them that is so confusing??

    Donald isn’t going to replace Feliz/Rollins/Utley in the line-up with the big club and Taylor isn’t going to make the jump from A ball to CBP either.

    Donald is being sent to the AFL hopefully he will get time at 3b while there. Not sure what the thought process is with sending Q rather than Taylor but maybe they want to see if they have anything with Berry who is approaching that threshold between prospect and warm body. After Taylor’s season, they might already be convinced that he is ready for AA so there is no need to evaluate more..

    Taylor is 22 and will probably start 2009 in AA at 23 so not sure exactly how that puts him on pace to reach the majors at 26.

  16. Rocky, ive stood up for you in the past(not that you needed it)..But seriously man, every single post is negative as of late…You whined they dont spend moeny, this year they spent a boat load…You whined we have no prospects, we now have a decent lookin futire..Its taylors first full year and hes already been jumped a level and dominating, how exactly do you want them to “handle” him better??Start in left right now in CBP?i know youre a die hard, thats clear, but this has been a good year for the phils in the draft and some prospects jumping to potentila ba top 50-100, give them some props occasionally

  17. On Taylor:

    This was his first long season of mnore than 100 games. For a guy who has diabetes, a rest now would be beneficial.

    He played only 60 plus games in pro ball in ’07; people with diabetes need more rest than the general population.

    Nevertheless, on his own he might sign pon with some winter lg team, but I doubt it. IMO the FO would like to keep their own close eyes on his development at least through ’09.

    Should he continue on his rise to the bigs, that’ll mean two outfielders to join the Phils in ’09…at the beginnming or latter part of the season.

    P.S. Golson was chosen by the Eastern Lg managers as the league’s “most exciting Player.”

  18. taylor seems to be on track to be at CBP before 26 but knowing the phillies (utley, howard) came in when they were 26 they will probably find some way for him to stay down in the minors till he is 26 but hopefully not

  19. Just checking in, on topic, Taylor should be on this team and marson should be called up. Not too happy with some of the prospects chosen.

    On a side note, sorry for discussing CBP, but the phillies mets game last night was absolutely amazing, but as it relates to the minors, they’re probably going to end the year with 60 sellouts, and I have to think the purse strings have loosened quite a bit, it wouldn’t surprise me to see a 110-115 payroll and years like this year in draft spending should this continue next year.


  20. 23 in AA puts a player in the majors at 23 in Sept 09 or worst case 24 in Apr 10…hardly a bad pace for a guy who stuggled in college.

  21. Aaron, I think the state of the game bodes well for those in the subject of this discussion and for phuture players in general. There could be a (performance enhancing?) paradigm shift to younger talent vs. middle aged free agents (ala Burrell). Which hopefully means those sellouts will be the benefactor for increased player development and scouting.

    My current fear is that the Phils make it to the playoffs and falter again – which could bring pressure to add a marquee starting pitcher. The problem is there is not a great crop of 2009 free agents to choose from, even though the Phils would probably loosen up the purse strings if there was one available, or the wrong one (Freddy Garcia). Then they’re left with the trade market, which is why I think the guys we love to follow here are in jeopardy (at least as far as we fans are concerned) and the AFL is then another parade of our talent for other teams to see.

  22. I thinkLou Marson needs more time. He will start next year either at Reading and be promoted mid-year to Lehigh or he wll start at Lehigh and if he does well, be a late 2009 callup with his first real chance coming in Spring, 2010. How good can this kid be? Maybe pretty good in time.

    Donald has defensive liabilities and doesn’t look at this point as if he will be a regular with the big club. But he could be a reserve with the Phillies.

    Someone said, “why send Taylor to the AFL” and I agree. Let’s move him up to Reading and see how he does there. My guess is Taylor will do fine and he will be the best position prospect in the system for 2009-10. I rate his upside as above Mason, Berry, Donald or Slayden. But we will have to wait and see him next year to be certain.

    Carrasco is still a big questionmark. He had three nice games at LV but then got lit up for 6 Er’s in 5 IP. It’s what he did in Reading. Consistency seems to be his problem even more than talent. Sometimes he doesn’t bring it with him. Still at the moment, he is the #1 pitching prospect in the system #2 is still a mystery. My own favorite was Drew Carpenter but he has to do a lot more to prove he deserves such a high rating. Nobody else is close.

    I am still trying to figure J. Happ. He has to be disappoined that he never got the call back and he is going on 27. If I were him, I’d pray for a trade. The Phillies like Kendrick better than Happ so that tells you something. Exactly what, i am not sure.

    Drabek and Savery are futures. Add Monasterious (at least I thnk so.) And maybe Slayden has a ticket to the bigs as a backup outfielder. He could be a surprise. No one else has been tested and survived at the hi-A level yet.

    Berry does remind me of Robersson and Bourne. Remember both were prizes of the system and both failed. Boune never had anything more than Berry has and Berry may have more upside. His 50+ SBs are a big asset. On the downside, he is 24 this year and playing at Hi-A Clearwater (.271).

    Golson was the ‘most exciting player” in the Eastern league? I’ll be dogged. He only has a few drawbacks, he strikes out a bit (30.8% at AA converts to what in the Majors?) and he doesn’t get many walks 7.7%.) Those are distressing numbers.

    The cupboard is rather bare at AAA, AA and even Hi-A. For the present, one middle-of-the roration pitcher. One pitcher who probably will be traded by next spring. Two Of’s with some promise ie. Slayden and Taylor. Acouple of backups (for now anyway) Marson, Donald and Jaramilla.

    The best talent is yet to come.


    We need outfielders.

  23. Does Carlos Carrasco’s omission from the AFL perhaps tip the Phils hand that they intend to call him up in Sept (prob in some sort of relief role)? I have to think he could help the bullpen down the stretch

  24. Good news from the Solar Sox. Ryne Sandberg will be the bench coach and work with the hitters. That’s good news for Marson and Donald. I am sure Ryne can help Donald with his fielding as well. Sandberg is finally helping the Phils. The only bad news is that Q. Berry can play only on Weds. and Sat. as a taxi squad player.

    “The biggest name on the Solar Sox is actually not a player, but rather a bench coach. Ryne Sandberg, the Hall of Famer coming off his second year as manager of the Class A Peoria Chiefs, will be working with the young hitters.’

  25. There is a shortage of top starting pitching? Isn’t Sheets, Burnett, C.C. going to be free agents.Plus lohse ,not a top but a number three at least this year.

  26. Joey How can you list Taylor[as much as I think he is good] ahead of marson. Marson is a catcher who has been great at a higher level. Taylor has to prove his worth at higher levels .

  27. TAYLOR should of been moved to Reading after the incredible
    10 game hitting streak and JS to AAA but it the phils
    scared and preprogramed starting at the winter meetings

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