Monthly Archives: September 2017

Phillies “Promote” Mackanin

Phillies manager Pete Mackanin will not return as the manager in 2018.  Earlier this year, he had signed an extension thru the ’18 season.  Mackanin signed a new contract and will return as a special assistant to the GM.  Here is Jim Salisbury’s report.

IMO, this is an interesting development.  It may signal that the organization feels that they are closer to competing for a playoff spot than when they extended Mackanin.  It will also be be interesting to see who the Phillies target as a replacement.

Here is Saisbury’s article on possible replacements.

2017 Phuture Phillies Top Corner Outfielders Poll

We”ll continue the “Best of” series of polls with your selection as the best corner outfielders in the system.

Since this will cover two positions (left anfd right), I have allowed a maximum of five answers for each ballot. This will allow us to establish what kind of depth we have in the organization. Continue reading 2017 Phuture Phillies Top Corner Outfielders Poll

2017 Instructs Schedule and Roster, et al

After a one week delay due to Hurricane Irma, the Phillies’ Instructional program is underway.  Players started arriving in Clearwater on Sunday.  They went through their indoctrination meetings on Monday.  Tuesday morning, they took to the fields at the Carpenter Complex for drills and BP.  Afterwards, they went inside around 12:30 for lunch. The coaches milled about on Ashburn Field, and this tweaked my curiosity.   Continue reading 2017 Instructs Schedule and Roster, et al

Best Tools: 2017 Clearwater Threshers

Reflecting back on the 2017 season, below are my picks for best tools among Clearwater Threshers this year.

Best Fastball: Sixto Sanchez

Sanchez hit triple digits a handful of times across his five starts for Clearwater. His heater easily sits around 97-98 mph, and he gets it over the plate consistently, having walked only 18 batters total this year between Clearwater and Lakewood.

Best Changeup: Jose Taveras

Taveras’ fastball sits around 90 mph, but he kept hitters off-balance with one of the better changeups in the league. While his stuff isn’t flashy, Taveras has found a way to be successful at every level at which he’s played, soaring all the way to Triple-A Lehigh Valley this year. Not only did Taveras reach AAA, he dominated there – posting a 1.32 ERA in seven starts.

Best Breaking Ball: Edgar Garcia

Entering this year, Garcia’s slider was ranked as the best in the Phillies farm system per Baseball America. The 20-year-old had some struggles with consistency, particularly in the later stages of the season, but that slider paired with a low/mid 90’s fastball should keep him on the radar.

Best Control: Cole Irvin

The 23-year-old lefty walked only 14 batters in 67 innings for Clearwater, issuing two walks or less in 10 of his 12 appearances before his promotion to Reading. Irvin, who works with a four-pitch mix plus several variations on the fastball, was a Florida State League All-Star this year and has emerged as one of the top left-handed hurlers in the system.

Best Speed: Zach Coppola

Coppola was one of only four Threshers this year to reach double digits in stolen bases, despite playing in only 45 games before earning a promotion to Reading. Between the two levels, the 23-year-old swiped 39 bags in 54 attempts (72.2% success rate).

Best Hitter for Average: Damek Tomscha

Tomscha provided consistent production from the middle of the order, batting .329 in April, .278 in May, and .308 in June, before a DL stint and a subsequent move up to Reading. Tomscha hit .270 or higher in every month of the season, batting a combined .307 on the year.

Best Outfield Arm: Jan Hernandez

Jose Pujols is a close second; both possess cannons from right, but give the edge to Hernandez for better accuracy. Hernandez started the year as Clearwater’s third baseman, but moved to the outfield in July for the first time in his career. He collected five outfield assists – tied for most on the team – in just 23 games.

Best Raw Power: Jose Pujols

Pujols finished with eight home runs, a year after leading the SAL with 24, but in terms of raw ability and BP display, the power to both fields is unquestionably present.

Best Defender: Mark Laird

Laird was automatic in center for Clearwater this season, recording the first 1.000 fielding percentage among outfielders in the FSL in the last five years (the last to do it was former Thresher Pete Lavin in 2012). Laird, 23, handled 226 total chances flawlessly, and has not committed an error since July 16, 2016 while playing left for the Williamsport Crosscutters.

Under the Radar Prospect: Jacob Waguespack

Waguespack had a breakout year in 2017, culminating in seven innings of one-run, three-hit ball in an elimination game in the International League playoffs. The 23-year-old started the season in the Threshers bullpen but stepped into the rotation for the first time in his career in May, and surrendered two runs or less in each of his first seven starts. He posted a combined 3.42 ERA between Clearwater and Reading this year.

Waguespack was a non-drafted free agent signed out of Ole Miss in 2015. The 6’6” right-hander now features a fastball in the 93-95 mph range as a starter and 95-96 mph from the pen, and a hard, biting cutter in the upper 80’s/low 90’s. Since moving into the rotation he began throwing his changeup and curveball, both of which have shown progress, and implemented a slider midseason.

He has never appeared on a prospect list, and remains under the radar due to the fact he was not drafted and had not started prior to this year. Yet the cutter and mid-90’s fastball alone give him, at the least, a future as a Major League reliever.

Was It Amaro, or Was It Us?

Here’s another article submitted by one our readers.  As always, the opinions stated in a submitted article are not those of the staff here at Phuture Phillies.  I expect that the opinion stated in the article could ignite a spirited debate.  But, keep in mind that it is NOT a defense of the unpopular GM. Continue reading Was It Amaro, or Was It Us?

2017 Phuture Phillies Top Third Baseman Poll

We”ll continue the “Best of” series of polls with your selection as the best third baseman in the system.  This should be a more interesting vote.  There is no Hoskins, Kingery, or Crawford to monopolize votes.  Not having a clear cut, top prospect is a little worrisome with Maikel Franco’s struggles this season.  I hate to pin our hopes on a trade that is unlikely to happen or the the free agent class after the 2018 season.  Continue reading 2017 Phuture Phillies Top Third Baseman Poll

Results of 2017 Phuture Phillies Top Shortstop Poll

The outcome for the Best Shortstop Poll was predictable.  J.P. Crawford garnered almost half the votes.  Crawford got off to a slow start this season but he rebounded from his long, early slump and posted a full season slash of .243/.351/.405/.756 with 15 HR and 63 RBI in 556 plate appearances.  He walked 79 times and struck out 97 times.  His recovery was so good that he earned a September to the Phillies where he has played very well.   The career shortstop has been playing almost exclusively at second and third the past month. Continue reading Results of 2017 Phuture Phillies Top Shortstop Poll

Open Discussion: Week of September 24th

This week the Phillies posted a 4-3 record.  They came within a Pinto of sweeping a four-game series from the Los Angeles Dodgers.  They had a 4-3 lead in the fourth game when Mark Leiter turned the game over to the bullpen.  Leiter had held the Dodgers to just one earned run in his six innings.  The Phillies then dropped two out of three to the Atlanta Braves.  They have a 62-94 record and a .397 PCT.  They are still not the worst team in baseball. Continue reading Open Discussion: Week of September 24th

Results of 2017 Phuture Phillies Top Second Baseman Poll

The outcome for the Best Second Baseman Poll was predictable.  Scott Kingery was the runaway winner.  Kingery was the winner of the Paul Owens Award for the top hitter in their minor league system.  He also won the Rawlings Gold Glove Award for Second Base from among all second basemen in the minor leagues.  Kingery split time between Reading and Lehigh Valley and posted a combined .304/.359/.530/.889 with 26 HR and 65 RBI in 603 plate appearances.  He struck out 109 times (18.1%) and walked 41 times (6.8%).  His numbers were considerably better at AA. Continue reading Results of 2017 Phuture Phillies Top Second Baseman Poll