Post Season Report Card–Relief Pitchers–LK, WP, GCL

We conclude our player report cards with a look at relief pitchers at the lower levels.  A caveat here, below Lakewood there is very minimal (if any) analysis and grades as I haven’t seen most of these pitchers and their sample size is extremely small.  It becomes guesswork at that point, which I feel obligated to stay away from.


Jason Zgardowski, 21, Signed as a free agent in 2014; 34G, 4-1 with a 3.12ERA; 57.2IP 36H 26BB 54K; .184 opp avg; 1.08 WHIP; 1.08 GO/AO; 4.1BB/8.4K per 9; .176 vs LHH, .186 vs RHH, .180 last 30 days.  An excellent year for Zgardowski was went undrafted last year and was a very good find.  He throws very hard and was overpowering at times for Lakewood.  Walk rate needs some work.  Grade: A-; 2016: CLearwater

Calvin Rayburn, 23, Phils 16th round pick in 2014; 32G , 5-3 with a 4.44ERA; 1/3SV; 48.2IP 37H 24BB 26K; 2HR allowed; .214 opp avg; 1.25 WHIP; 1.50 GO/AO; 4.4BB/4.8K per 9; .215 vs LHP; .213 vs RHP; .313 last 30 days.  Rayburn was generally pretty effective but seemed to run out of gas during the later part of the year.  He will not overpower you, but knows how to pitch.  Grade: B; 2016: CLearwater

Jairo Munoz, 24, Signed as a free agent in 2015: 13G(3 starts) for Lakewood; 3-0 with a 2.67ERA; 33.2IP 26H 9BB 28K; 1HR allowed; .217 opp avg; 1.04 WHIP; 2.00 GO/AO; 2.4BB/7.5K per 9; .180 vs LHH, .243 vs RHH, .198 last 30 days.  I admittedly dont know too much about Munoz and have never seen him pitch but his line looked good.  Grade: B; 2016: Clearwater

Matt Hockenberry, 24, Phils 9th round pick in 2014; 42G, 4-4 with a 2.24ERA; 19/22SV; 52.1IP 34H 19BB 51K; 1HR allowed; .186 opp avg; 1.01 WHIP; 1.68 GO/AO; 3.3BB/8.8Kper 9; .207 vs LHH, .168 vs RHH, .167 last 30 days; .209 with RISP.  Quite honestly, I don’t know what more the Phils were looking for out of Hockenberry and was very surprised he was not promoted during the season.  He was consistent all year other than a very short stretch when he was injured, bounced back very strongly after a DL stint and was the primary closer throughout most of the season for Lakewood.  One homer allowed in over 50 innings to go along with a strikeout rate approaching one per inning, while holding the opposition below the Mendoza line.  Grade: A; 2016: Hockenberry’s age is what is working against him, however the calendar is out of his control and he can only worry about his performance.  No reason he shouldn’t be double bumped to Reading to see what he can do.  Closers mentality.

Manny Martinez, 23, Signed as a free agent in 2010; 31G, 3-1 with a 2.51ERA; 43IP 28H 19BB 36K; 3HR allowed;4.0BB/7.5K per 9;  .192 opp avg; 1.09 WHIP; 1.00 GO/AO; .209 vs LHH, .184 vs RHH,.105 last 30 days; Martinez put together a very good year after missing the first five weeks of the season.  When Martinez got into trouble it was often because he was mixing a walk in.  Grade: B+; 2016: Clearwater

Scott Harris, 22, Phils 27th round pick in 2014; 30G, 1-2 with a 4.65ERA; 0/3SV; 50.1IP 53H 19BB 38K; 5HR allowed; .270 opp avg; 1.43 WHIP; 1.06 GO/AO; 3.4BB/6.8K per 9; .240 vs LHH, .281 vs RHH, .364 last 30 days; Very pedestrian numbers for Harris who ended the season on the disabled list.  Grade: C-; 2016: Harris has not positioned himself for a promotion and may not have positioned himself for a return to Lakewood.

Joey DeNato, 23, Phils 19th round pick in 2014; 46G between Lakewood and Lehigh Valley; 2-3 with a 1.67ERA; 10/12SV; 70IP 47H 21BB 68K; 2HR allowed; .198 opp avg; 0.97 WHIP; 0.96 GO/AO; For Lakewood: 43G; 1.24ERA; .188 opp avg; 0.90WHIP; 2.5BB/8.8K per 9; 1HR allowed in 65+IP.  The analysis for DeNato is almost exactly the same as Hockenberry, except the numbers may even be a little bit better. DeNato was only promoted during the seasons final week when Lehigh Valley ran out of pitchers and the “higher ups” in the organization did not want to disturb the Clearwater or Reading playoff rosters.  I would have liked to have seen him in Clearwater come mid season.  DeNato was consistently outstanding and even with his small frame, often unhittable.  Grade: A; 2016: Reading


Jacob Waguespack, 21, Signed as a free agent in 2015; 19G between GCL and WIlliamsport; 0-1 with a 2.00ERA; 1SV; 27IP 18H 9BB 32K; 1.00WHIP; 3.0BB/10.7K Waguespack was a nice find and threw real well with a higher strikeout rate than any other Cutters pitcher. 2016: Lakewood

Robert Tasin, 24, Phils 19th round pick of 2015; 25G, 0-0 with a 1.84ERA; 17SV; 29.1IP 18H 6BB 24K; 0.82WHIP; 1.8BB/7.4K; Tasin was the Cutters closer, an all star and lights out all season; That said, at age 24, in rookie ball this is the level of production needed to move on.  2016: Clearwater

Anthony Sequeria, 23, Phils 23rd round pick of 2015; 23G; 2-1 with a 1.87ERA; 4SV; 33.2IP 22H 10BB 34K; 0.95WHIP; 2.7BB/9.1K per 9; Threw consistently well in the late innings for the Cutters all season.  Likely double bump based on production and age.

Feliberto Sanchez, 22, Signed as a free agent in 2011; 18G; 1-2 with a 3.93ERA; 34.1IP 29H 13BB 36K; 1.22WHIP; 3.4BB/9.4K per 9; Sanchez put together good numbers in his second season in WIlliamsport.  2016: Lakewood

Sutter McLoughlin, 22, Phils 22nd round pick in 2015; 20G between GCL and Williamsport; 4-0 with a 2.30ERA; 27.1IP 15H 5BB 33K; 0.73WHIP; 1.6BB/10.9K per 9; McLoughlin was promoted to Williamsport after not giving up an ER in his first 9.1IP in the GCL anc continued to pitch well with WIlliamsport.  2016: Lakewood

Kenny Koplove, 22,Phils 17th round pick in 2015; 23G, 2-3 with a 4.50ERA; 34IP 34H 17BB 27K; 1.50 WHIP; 4.5BB/7.1K per 9; Koplove is a guy who perhaps has the most upside of this group however struggled at times this season.  His command wasn’t at the level it should be.  2016: Lakewood

Denton Keys, 21, Phils 11th round pick in 2013; 15G (5 starts) 0-1 with a 4.12ERA; 39.1IP 49H 16BB 31K; 1.65WHIP; 3.7BB/7.1K per 9; Keys was very hittable this season although had success at times.  I see another year with Williamsport in Keys future

Skylar Hunter, 21,Phils 12th round pick in 2015; 22G, 2-2 with a 3.48ERA; 33.2IP 34H 11BB 21K; 1.34WHIP; 2.4BB/5.6K per 9; Nothing outstanding for Hunter.  He simply did enough to move along to Lakewood next season.

Andrew Godail, 22,Phils 26th round pick of 2015; 19G, 1-1 with a 3.04ERA; 23.2IP 20H 15BB 25K; 1.48WHIP; 5.7BB/9.5K per 9; Walks hurt Godail but he showed good enough stuff to put away over a hitter an inning by strikeout.  2016: Lakewood

Ismael Cabrera, 21, Signed as a free agent in 2013; 16G(2 starts) between GCL and Williamsport; 0-0 with an 0.47ERA; 19IP 15H 5BB 23K; .203 opp avg; 1.05 WHIP; 1.31 GO/AO.  Cabrera put up exceptional numbers in his limited work.  2016: Lakewood


Zach Morris, 22, Phils 24th round pick of 2015; 16G between GCL and Lakewood; 5-1 with a 2.15ERA; 2SV; 29.1IP 25H 10BB 35K; 1.19WHIP; 3.1BB/10.7K. Morris threw real well and was rewarded with a late season promotion to Lakewood, which I suspect he stays to start ’16.

Victor Delgado, 20, Signed as a free agent in 2012;20G between GCL and Lakewood; 0-2 with a 4.85ERA; 26IP 26H 5BB 19K; 1.19WHIP; 1.7BB/6.6K; 2016: WIlliamsport

Nick Fanti, 18, Phils 31st round pick of 2015; 9G, 1-1 with a 2.55ERA; 17.2IP 14H 6BB 20K; 1.13WHIP; 3.1BB/10.2K; 2016: Williamsport

Edgar Garcia, 18, Signed as a free agent in 2013; 12G(2 starts); 1-2 with a 3.31ERA; 2SV; 32.2IP 27H 8BB 34K; 1.07WHIP; 2.2BB/9.4K; 2016: Williamsport

Tanner Kiest, 21, Phils 28th round pick of 2014; 12G; 2-0 with a 4.67ERA; 17.1IP 13H 13BB 18K; 1.73WHIP; 8.8BB/9.3K; 2016: Elsewhere

Will Stewart, 18, Phils 20th round pick in 2015; 12G, 1-0 with a 4.79ERA; 20.2IP 18H 15BB 20K; 1.59WHIP; 6.9BB/8.7K per 9; 2016: GCL

Horace Stubblefield, 23, Phils 28th round pick in 2015; 14G; 0-1 with a 3.44ERA; 6SV; 18.1IP 13H 7BB 25K; 1.09WHIP; 3.4BB/12.3K per 9; 2016: Lakewood




12 thoughts on “Post Season Report Card–Relief Pitchers–LK, WP, GCL

  1. It must be discouraging to be in the low minors and already deemed not good enough to be a starting pitcher. Almost relegated to the thought their best outcome is fringe/cup-of-coffee major Leaguer.

    1. Or they need to perform to such a level that they can’t be ignored and eventually force themselves into the discussion as a major league reliever.

      Common theme is that most of these guys are low round picks who are already swimming up-stream.

    2. Some guys show that they cannot physically or mentally assume the characteristics necessary to be a starting pitcher, expected to go at least 7 innings. It probably helps their careers to be put into the position of showing how well their stuff can operate over an inning or two. Manny Martinez is a good example.

  2. I’m with Gregg here on his write-up. Kenny Koplove definitely has the highest upside of the Williamsport relievers. I believe he’s got the makings of a big league reliever. There’s inconsistency with him, and thus walks, because he hasn’t pitched much at all. He was a two-way player at Duke this year, but was for three years the Blue Devils’ starting shortstop, I believe. He only threw 27 innings in college, and 25 of those came this year. But his stuff is good. It’s a low-90s fastball from a sidearm angle, 89-92 consistently, occasionally touching 93. It’s a change-up around 80 with good arm-side run, and a curveball in the mid to upper 70s that’ll get a touch slurvy at times.

    Skylar Hunter is a guy I really like. He’ll get the fastball to 94-95, but is mainly 92-94. I like the big curveball he throws with an occasional change-up. His stuff is legit. He allowed five earned runs over his last 12 outings and three came in one game. And during that time he was throwing 68 percent of his pitches for strikes, and holding opponents to a .566 OPS.

    I’d like to see both these guys start in Clearwater next year. They both look like there’s room to fill out a little bit. Koplove is a pretty thin dude. But considering you got them in the 12th and 17th rounds, I call it solid value.

    Tasin obviously is going to have to move quickly because of his age. But I like the arm angle coupled with 91-93, T95.

    1. Mitch–
      Thanks so much for the insight. Your view is the view best positioned to speak on many of the players as you have seen them live, consistently. As always, your expertise is greatly appreciated. Gregg

  3. Aside from the three GCL 18 year olds who could be starters next year, Zgardowski and Munoz seem the most interesting. Both guys throw hard and Munoz did a nice job in his spot starts for Lakewood.

  4. Munoz is 24 but he came from the KC organization. He pitched at 4 levels for the Phil’s in 2015. He started in the DSL and moved through GCL, and Lakewood with an appearance in CLW. He got as high as Rookie ball in KC but could be a trash heap find for the Phil’s.

  5. Seeing Manny Martinez live, his FB had some jump to it, was impressed with what I saw and look forward to seeing how he does next year.

    I only saw a couple Crosscutters games on but while I didn’t get to see Ismael Cabrera in any of those games, i’m interested to see how he does next.

  6. FYI Rob Tasin was only 23 this past season, not 24. He just turned 24 on Sep 18th, after his season was over.

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