This year’s DSL Phillies are off to a good start with a 16-13 record in their first 29 games, good for a share of 2nd place 4.0 games behind the Yankees in the BC South division. While this year’s Phillies team has no known high bonus players on their roster, they are holding their own with a mostly age appropriate roster. The average age on offense is 18.7 (compared to the league average of 18.5) and on defense is 19.0 (compared to the league average of 18.9).
The Phillies recently made 5 additional Latin American signings including 2 high profile Dominican players. OF Jose Pujols is a power hitter out of the Domingo Santana mold ($540K) and C Deivi Grullon ($575K) is a catcher with a strong arm and other tools. Look for both Pujols and Grullon to make their debut next year either at GCL or in the DSL, depending on how their offseason development progresses.
In this quick write-up I wanted to highlight a few players worth watching the rest of the year.
Hitter to get excited about: Samuel Hiciano – The best hitter on the team is only 18. Hiciano plays RF and is hitting .342 with some power (8 2B, 3 3B, 2 HR) and patience (11 BB versus only 14 K). His OPS is a healthy .921 and leads the team by a fair margin. While a little heavy at 6’1″ 203, he is also 2nd on the team with 8 SB.
Other hitters: CF Olvy Marte is only 17 and is hitting .278 with a .409 OBP playing about half the time. Wilber Torres is the best of the catchers and is hitting .316 with a .842 OPS at age 18. Enmanuel Serra is a little old at age 19 but has provided good offense from 2B (.299 AVG, 9 SB, 14 BB). While probably a little old to be a prospect, 20-year-old Rafael De La Cruz has hit .274 with 2 HR at 1B, though unfortunately he is no longer catching as in previous years.
Pitcher to get excited about: Seranthony Dominguez – Only 17, Dominguez has held down a regular spot in the rotation going 2-3 with a 4.06 ERA (31 BB, 24 H, 14 BB, 19 K). While it is still a small sample size, he is giving up only 7.0 hits per 9 IP on a team that averages 9.2. He is also the youngest pitcher on the roster who has played so far. The best prospects on these complex teams tend to be the younger starters as the Phillies want to make sure they get their regular innings.
Other pitchers: The next layer of prospects are a little less clear. Feliberto Sanchez (age 18, 3-2, 4.88 ERA) and Jorge Serrano (age 18, 0-4, 6.03 ERA, from Columbia, played a little at GCL last year) are relatively young pitchers pitching regularly in the rotation. Pedro Emelenciano is also 18 and has pitched well (2-1, 1 SV, 2.55 ERA) out of the bullpen. At 6’4″ and 175 punds Emelenciano is the most projectible of the 18-year-olds. 2 19-year-olds make up the rest of the rotation. 6’3″ LHP Francibel Alejo has an 18-2 K-BB ratio but has become more hittable compared to last season (41H in 29.1 IP). Gregorio Santos has also been a solid all-around starter (2-0, 3.62 ERA, 37.1 IP, 46 H, 10 BB, 27 K) though nothing stands out in his stats that screams prospect. Finally, San Lazaro Solano has pitched well coming back from suspension, though at age 21 his prospect time has probably passed.