May 29th is the beginning of the 2010 DSL season for the Phillies. Last year the Phillies featured a relatively young team that struggled to a 31-39 record. With a number of players such as ace pitchers Lisalverto Bonilla and Felix Cespedes having graduated to the U.S., another young team is likely this season.
For the past several seasons the Phillies have played in the 5-team Santo Domingo North division which posed 2 disadvantages of having an odd number of teams in the division for scheduling and always playing the same opposition teams. This year the Phillies have moved to the 8-team Boca Chica South division and should see a greater variety of opponents.
The new roster is posted here on the Minor League Baseball site: Phillies DSL roster
The biggest news on the roster is the presence of 6’6″ 17-year-old pitcher Miguel Nunez. Nunez signed in the off-season for $220,000 making him the next in the Phillies series of mid-level signings. While the Phillies tend to shy away from signings that cost more than $500,000, they do typically sign several players in the $200K-$300K range each year. While Lino Martinez (a high profile Venezuelan LHP also signed this winter) will likely make his debut in the GCL. Nunez may a raw prospect that needs an extra year in the complex leagues.
New players on the roster this year include the following:
Pitchers: RHP Anthony Astacio (6’2″, 185, age 18), RHP Enrinzon Bautista (6’4″, 180, age 20), LHP Luis Gonzalez (6′ 2″, 170, age 18), RHP Marlon Guzman (6’4″, 200, age 19), RHP Hector Neris (6’2″, 175, age 20), RHP Miguel Nunez (6’6″, 215, age 17), RHP Ramon Oviedo (6’4″, 160, age 19), RHP Julio Reyes (6’3″, 200, age 19), RHP San Lazaro Solano (5’11”, 170, age 19)
Outfielders: OF Delvi Francisco (6’1″, 190, age 17)
Infielders: SS Witer Jimenez (6’1″, 180, age 21), SS Robinson Torres (5’10”, 160, age 18)
Catchers: no new signings
There is no sign of last year’s offensive star Nevri Jimenez who has either been promoted to GCL or (since he was not listed in spring training) released. SS Carlos Valenzuela, another high profile signing from 2 years ago is back for his third season in the league and has most likely cemented his non-prospect status. Yeisson Morales is a big third baseman also back for a second season who is a name to watch. None of the catchers is likely a top prospect, though having veterans around will certainly help the young pitching staff.
On the mound Daniel De La Cruz has had good stats the last 2 seasons (1.03 ERA in 61 innings last year) but has failed to earn a promotion. Two high profile signings (Alvaro Bacil and Gabriel Arias) are also back for their 3rd seasons after signing for $100K a couple of years ago. Another name to watch is converted outfielder Carlos Best who compiled a 2.63 ERA last year in his first on the mound. With 9 new pitchers on the staff, however, expect some ups and downs on the mound this year.
We will check back periodically this season with posts updating the progress of the squad. Next up: an early look at the better VSL performers.