July DSL Update

The DSL Phillies have now completed a little more than half of their season and stand at 21-19 after 40 games, in 5th place, 3.5 games behind the Yankees and the Giants.  The Phillies are in a new division this year which appears to be more difficult, with big spending teams such as the Yankees, Mets, and Marlins among their competition.

The 2010 Phillies are not the youngest squad in the league, but they have seen some positive performances from younger players.  The better prospects in the Latin American complex leagues tend to be the younger players age 17-19 that are holding their own performance-wise.  The Phillies hitters average 18.9 years old, slightly older than the league average of 18.2.  The pitchers average 19.2 years old, again slightly older than the league average of 18.8.On offense there are several potential prospects that have been playing well.  Perhaps the most interesting prospect is 17-year-old OF Delvi Francisco.  Francisco is hitting .274 with 2 of the team’s 11 home runs and a .710 OPS.  Two 18-year-old catchers have also made favorable impressions in the early part of the season.  Edwin Esquea has seen the most playing time and is hitting .256 with 1 HR and a .697 OPS.  Rafael De La Cruz has played less, but appears to be the better hitter so far hitting with 1 HR and a .932 OPS.

Other offensive highlights include the following:

LF/2B – Jorge Castillo (age 19) – leading power hitter hitting .275 with 5 HR

2B – Robinson Torres (age 18) – little power, but enough walks to turn a .236 average into a .382 OBP

3B – Yeisson Morales (age 18) – Big kid (6’3″, 195) playing mostly at 3B – Some power and walks but a low average so far

Two other names are also worth mentioning on offense.  Carlos Valenzuela was a high priced signee now in his 3rd season hitting .278 (only a .640 OPS however).  It is likely that his prospect days are over, as he is no longer a regular SS these days.  Finally, the most intriguing older player must be 21-year-old SS/OF Witer Jimenez who is hitting .264 with some speed (11 SB).  It is unclear whether he is the slightly older reincarnation of last year’s sensation Nevri Jimenez who hit .347 last year playing the same variety of positions and coming from the same home town in the Dominican.

On the pitching staff the number of prospects appears more promising.  New high-priced signee Miguel Nunez made a few cameo appearances at the beginning of the year and pitched poorly with a 10.12 ERA.  Those were his first professional appearances, however, and he appears to have made progress more recently in the GCL.  Lendy Castillo (former SS, now P) also made a few cameo appearances (3.52 ERA) before earning a promotion to the GCL where he was a weak-hitting infielder for a couple of years.

The top starters on the team are a couple of older pitchers.  Gabriel Arias is 2-1 with a 0.48 ERA and near perfect control (37.2 IP, 27 H, 3 BB, 36 K).  He was originally a mid-priced signee ($100K) but is now in his 4th season in the DSL.  At age 20 his prospects are dimming in spite of the good performances both this season and last (2.29 ERA).  Adrian Sierra is a small (5’11”) LHP that has made major strides this year at age 19.  He is 0-3 but has a 1.72 ERA in 8 starts (47 IP, 38 H, 15 BB, 41 K).

Other pitchers of note:

Converted OF Carlos Best (age 19) in his second year on the mound is 3-0, 1.21 ERA (37.1 IP, 25 H, 7 BB, 34 K)

LHP Luis Gonzalez (age 18) has been wild but effective at times, going 3-3 with a 4.01 ERA (33.2 IP, 24 H, 30 BB, 24 K)

New signee 6’4″ Ramon Oviedo (age 19) is 3-1 with a 1.12 ERA in limited time (24 IP, 19 H, 8 BB, 18 K)

RHP Daniel De La Cruz (age 19) – The team’s closer has a 1.07 ERA with a 2-0 record and 4 saves (25.1 IP, 19 H, 6 BB, 17K).  In his 3rd good season he still has not received a promotion.

RHP Alvaro Bacil – Bacil was another high priced signing from 3 years ago that has had an injury filled career.  After pitching only 3 innings last year he has totaled only 6 this year.  While he showed lots of promise as a 17-year-old, his star appears to be dimming.

While this DSL team does not appear to compare to the powerful team of a couple years ago (featuring players like Jonathan Villar and Leandro Castro), it does have some intriguing prospects.  Francisco and the two younger catchers are all playing well at a young age.  The pitching staff also might contain some interesting prospects, especially if younger pitchers like Oviedo continue to develop.  We will check in again with the DSL towards the end of the season to see how the younger prospects are progressing.

16 thoughts on “July DSL Update

  1. Carlos Best appears to be pretty intriguing as a converted OF with some great numbers, its a shame that we don’t appear to be getting too much from the position players though, it’d be great to get either a diamond in the rough or a high priced signee to eventually make a big splash for the phils.

  2. Witer Jimenez is Neury Jimenez. He confesed he was a year older and was using a relitives birth Cirtificate to appear younger. He was suspended by MLB for 10 months and Phillies Resigned him under his real name and Age.

  3. I don’t know what Gabriel Arias has to do to get a promotion at this point. I thought he would have earned it two years ago. With his numbers being much better than other prospects from the DSL/VSL that graduated this year, he’s definitely someone that should be stateside by now.

  4. max, DSL is Dominican Summer League. There is also a VSL in Venezuela. They are baseball leagues with academies from major league teams. They tend to consist of young raw players from the locale, international signings from each team. In talent relation, they are the lowest level, a step behind the GCL. Usually, you see the best players from these two summer leagues come stateside to the GCL after 1 season.. but inexplicably, some get left behind despite great performances. With these teams, most arent prospects of note.. The ones you can tell are prospects are the young kids that are starting at positions of worth.

  5. Thanks for the description. I had an idea what it was but wasn’t fully aware. The DCL an VCL are rarely brought up on this site.

  6. My guess is that Arias is getting by with pinpoint control but has not really shown enough “stuff” to advance. Could be velocity, could be assortment of pitches. But for whatever reason the Phillies like other pitchers more. They gave the kid a $100K bonus, so that usually gets one promoted if they show something.

  7. Thanks AndyB. You know I like to keep my eyes on the younger guys. It’s nice to note that this team is in the middle of the pack in the standings.

    I saw the weirdest pitching line. It wasn’t a Phils player but a Cubs2 player. Ramon Reyes pitched 6 innings and gave up 3 hits and no runs, earned or otherwise. They tagged him with the loss. How does that happen?

  8. The comment on Nevri/Witer Jimenez seems to make sense, maybe that’s the story.

    I thought Lendy Castillo was the SS when Leandro Castro was in the DSL.

    Luis Gonzalez – youngest pitcher also was IP leader for awhile. Getting alot of action, somebody to watch.

    Gabriel Arias’ numbers not as impressive as either Lisalverto Bonilla or Felix Cespedes, maybe 3rd among the starters in DSL last season. Other promotees from Latin America are Strikeout ratio types like Ervis Manzanillo and Juary Gomez who are doing well in GCL, so there is no issue.

  9. @bellman …I dunno, i looked up the game log and Reyes was replaced to start the 7th inning. All the runs came after that, probably just a scoring mistake, or maybe they play under some weird rules down there.

  10. its possible that a player might not make it the GCL simply because of visa problems.

  11. It’s possible a player may not make the GCL due to visa problems, if what is suspected and stated above on Witer/Nevri Jimenez is true that might have kept him on the island. Usually , when a player has visa problems it is because they can not confirm the identity (age) etc., which may lead to other problems vis-a-vis playing baseball in the States. There is not a quota or limited number of spots like there used to be, so any selected for Stateside play or training can go on the team’s say-so.

  12. As always, thanks for this, andyb.

    Agree with DanDan that Best is probably most intriguing among the pitchers — the significant statistical improvement from last year could show that he’s becoming increasingly comfortable on the mound, and the fact that they’ve moved him from the bullpen to the rotation backs up that theory. And among the hitters, I kind of like Torres as a potential late bloomer. Looks like his overall numbers are suffering from a BABIP deficiency, as he’s controlled the strike zone well, and perhaps his limited July sample (12 games) is evidence of a turnaround: .375/.524/.500, 20.0% BB, 15.6% K, 5 SB (1 CS).

  13. Does anyone have a clue what happened to Felix Cespedes? I was looking forward to him coming over to the GCL this year after his fine 09 in the DSL

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