A reminder that grades are based on a players expected performance (in my mind) for 2016, not against others. Next up: Corner Infielders
Anthony Vasquez, Soon to be 30, Re-Signed as free agent in 2016; 28 games (27 starts) between Reading and Lehigh Valley; 12-4 with a 3.08ERA; 3 complete games; 172.1IP 168H 43BB 119K; 15 HR allowed; .261 opp avg; 1.22 WHIP; 0.88 GO/AO; 2.2BB/6.2K per 9; .244 opp avg last 30 days; Vasquez was once again excellent, with stats that were actually slightly better for Lehigh Valley than for Reading. Grade: A-; 2017: Having thrown 300+ very good innings over 2 seasons for the Phils organization without getting a spot start in the majors, Vasquez will go wherever he has his last best shot at the majors.
Nick Pivetta, 23, Acquired from Washington in 2015; 27 starts, 12-8 with a 3.27ERA between Reading and Lehigh Valley; 148.2IP 128H 51BB 138K; 12 HR allowed; .235 opp avg; 1.20WHIP; 1.07 GO/AO; 3.1BB/8.4K per 9; For Lehigh Valley: 5 starts; 1-2 with a 2.55ERA; .233 opp avg; 1.22WHIP; Major steps forward this year for Pivetta who stayed predominately healthy, pitching very well all year. He should be protected on the 40 man roster in the off season and projects to be a mainstay of the ‘Pigs ’17 rotation. If 2017 is successful, a September ’17 callup is likely.
Ben Lively, 24, Acquired from Reds in 2014; 28 starts between Reading and Lehigh Valley; 18-5 with a 2.69ERA; 170.2IP 118H 42BB 139K; .192 opp avg; 0.94WHIP; 0.85 GO/AO; 2.2BB/7.3K per 9; For Lehigh Valley: 19 starts, 11-5 with a 3.06ERA; .196 opp avg; 0.93WHIP; 2.1BB/6.9K per 9; .150 opp avg last 30 days; Simply outstanding this year. Lively took his game to another level, Grade: A+; 2017: I see him as the Phils #5 starter
David Buchanan, 27, Phils 7th round pick in 2010; 27 starts; 10-9 with a 3.98ERA; 167.1IP 163H 40BB 95K; 15HR allowed; .257 opp avg; 1.21 WHIP; 1.31 GO/AO; 2.2BB/5.1K per 9; .239 vs LHH, .266 vs RHH, .273 opp avg last 30 days; 6-4 with a 2.93ERA in 11 post all star game starts; Buchanan was just awful during the first part of the season but had a very strong second half and the whole body of work looks pretty good when it is all said and done. That said, I don’t think (based on Buchanan’s experience) that he is more than a AAAA pitcher, and his days in the organization are likely numbered with the talent surrounding him. Grade: C+; 2017: Another organization
Phil Klein, 27, Acquired off waivers in 2016; 14 games (10 starts) 5-1 with a 1.52ERA; 65.1IP 44H 13BB 76K; .190 opp avg; 0.87WHIP; 0.98 GO/AO; 1.8BB/10.5K per 9; .225 vs LHH; .193 vs RHH; Klein was picked up in late June and really opened some eyes putting together a string of excellent starts, going deep into games. As a current member of the 40 man, I expect to see him in Philly after the minor league season concludes. Grade: A;
Mark Appel, 25, Acquired from Houston in 2015; 8 starts, 3-3 with a 4.46ERA; 38.1IP 40H 20BB 34K; 4.7BB/8.0K per 9; .242 vs LHH, .284 vs RHH. Appel last pitched in May and needed season ending surgery that should have him ready for 2017. Many believed he would join the Phils rotation at some point in 2016, so the season was a real disappointment. 2017: Lehigh Valley rotation
Alec Asher, 24, Acquired from Texas in 2015; 9 starts between Reading and Lehigh Valley; 4-2 with a 2.45ERA; 58.1IP 44H 8BB 40K; .198 opp avg; 1.2BB/6.2K per 9; Asher started out on fire, pitching far better than anything we saw in 2015 and then was suspended for 100 games for the use of PED’s. Put simply, it will take time to work out if what we saw was real, or as a result of the use of PED’s. Grade: D; 2017: Lehigh Valley
Tom Eshelman, 22, Acquired from Houston in 2015; 24 starts; 9-4 with a 4.27ERA between Clearwater and Reading; 120.2IP 137H 28BB 119K; 11HR allowed; .281 opp avg; 1.37 WHIP; 1.19 GO/AO; 2.1BB/8.9K per 9; 13 starts for Reading: 5-5 with a 5.14ERA; .307 opp avg; 1.57 WHIP; Eshelman was excellent in Clearwater and very mediocre for Reading dealing with multiple DL stints. Reason for promise but plenty of work to do. Grade: C+; 2017: Reading
Mark Leiter, 25, Phils 22nd round pick in 2013; 23 games (17 starts); 6-3 with a 3.93ERA; 103.2IP 91H 30BB 94K; .240 opp avg; 1.17WHIP; 0.97 GO/AO; 2.6BB/8.2K per 9; .253 vs LHH, .229 vs RHH, .277 last 30 days; Leiter missed the first five weeks of the season injured and it took him awhile to establish himself in the Reading rotation but when he did, he did a nice job. He is Rule 5 eligible but I don’t expect him protected predominately because of limited up side with his age. Still, even with “limited up side”, what the Phils may have is a competent middle reliever sometime in ’17 or ’18. Grade: B; 2017: Lehigh Valley
Ricardo Pinto, 22, Signed as a free agent in 2011; 27 games (25 starts); 7-6 with a 4.10ERA; 156IP 150H 51BB 101K; 20 HR allowed; .253 opp avg; 1.29 WHIP; 1.06 GO/AO; .243 ve LHH, .261 vs RHH, .204 last 30 days; 2.9BB/5.8K per 9; Coming off an outstanding 2015, Pinto had an up and down 2016, but ending on an up note with several good outings at the end of the season. The home run ball really hurt Pinto, a problem that will need to be addressed for a significant move forward. Grade: B-; 2017: With an expected glut of starters at Lehigh Valley to start next season, it wouldn’t surprise me to see Pinto open ’17 in Reading with a call coming to Allentown in May after things shake out a bit.
John Richy, 24, Acquired from Dodgers in 2015; 23 starts between Clearwater and Reading; 8-8 with a 4.44ERA; 119.2IP 123H 42BB 78K; .270 opp avg; 1.38WHIP; 0.82 GO/AO; 3.2BB/5.9K per 9; For Reading: 13 starts, 4-4 with a 5.11ERA; .278 opp avg; 1.49 WHIP; 3.7BB/5.9K per 9; Richy was very average this season, allowed too many walks and failed to put away enough hitters; Was very hittable at times. Grade: C; 2017: Reading
Tyler Viza, 21, Phils 32nd round pick in 2013; 25 starts between Clearwater and Reading; 10-6 with a 3.96ERA; 143.2IP 155H 31BB 113K; 17HR allowed; .274 opp avg; 1.29 WHIP; 0.97 GO/AO; 1.9BB/7.1K per 9; For Reading: 16 starts, 4-6 with a 4.69ERA; .274 opp avg; 1.31 WHIP; 0.93 GO/AO; 2.2BB/5.6K per 9; 2016 has to be considered a successful year for Viza who jumped two levels by years end and was performing generally well for Reading. Still only 21, Viza has learned plenty during his time in the organization and has turned himself from 32n round pick to potential 2018 major leaguer. Grade: B; 2017: Reading rotation
Drew Anderson, 22, Phils 21st round pick in 2012; 15 starts; 3-4 with a 2.70ERA between Lakewood and Clearwater; 70IP 55H 22BB 78K; 3HR allowed; .218 opp avg; 1.10WHIP; 0.82 GO/AO; 2.8BB/10.0K per 9; 8 starts for Clearwater, 2-1 with a 1.93ERA; .217 opp avg; 1.10WHIP; Anderson came back in late May off of Tommy John surgery and was outstanding throughout the year, progressing to Clearwater before he was injured during his last start of the year where he lasted just 0.2IP. Grade: B..simply because of the question marks that now exist because of the late season injury. 2017: If he is healthy, he is likely to begin in Clearwater.
Eineiry Garcia, 21, Signed as a free agent in 2011; 20 games (19 starts); 12-4 with a 2.68ERA; 117.2IP 94H 36BB 91K; .219 opp avg; 1.10 WHIP; 1.03 GO/AO; 2.8BB/7.0K per 9; .215 vs LHH, .220 vs RHH, .213 last 30 days; Excellent year for Garcia who threw consistently well for Clearwater minus two short DL stints. Grade: A-; 2017: Reading
Luke Leftwich, 22, Phils 7th round pick in 2015; 23 starts; 10-7 with a 3.38ERA between Lakewood and Clearwater; 122.2IP 119H 35BB 137K; 6HR allowed; .255 opp avg; 1.26 WHIP; 0.83 GO/AO; 2.6BB/10.1K per 9; For CW: 11 starts, 3-4 with a 5.07ERA; 55IP 64H 17BB 49K; .292 opp avg; 1.47 WHIP; 2.8BB/8.0K per 9; Leftwich dominated the SAL and was called up after 12 starts during which he was averaging 12 K’s per game for Lakewood. It was bumpy in Clearwater for Leftwich, but the promise still showed pretty consistently. Grade: B-; 2017: Clearwater
Brandon Leibrandt, 23, Phils 6th round pick in 2014; 6 starts, 4-1 with a 2.25ERA; 28IP 21H 10BB 21K; .216 opp avg; 1.11WHIP; 1.24 GO/AO; 3.2BB/6.8K per 9; .250 vs LHH, .205 vs RHH, .179 last 30 days; Leibrandt spent the large majority of the year on the DL, coming off at the beginning of August and throwing well in limited action. He is slated to pitch in the Arizona Fall League and his performance there should be a good marker on what is to come in ’17 for Leibrandt. Grade: Inc
Shane Watson, 23, Phils Comp Rd pick in 2012; 21 starts between Lakewood and Clearwater; 6-7 with a 3.67ERA; 110.1IP 110H 40BB 92K; .261 opp avg; 1.36 WHIP; 1.19 GO/AO; 3.3BB/7.5K per 9; For Clearwater: 14 starts, 4-5 with a 3.93ERA; .282 opp avg; 1.51WHIP; For the first time Watson showed glimpses of why he was a high draft pick. He finally moved passed the SAL league and had some occasional success for Clearwater but landed on the DL multiple times and was far from overpowering. I don’t think Watson has done enough for the Phils to protect him on the 40 man. Grade: C+; 2017: Clearwater