Results of 2017 Phuture Phillies Top Left-Handed Starting Pitchers Poll

JoJo Romero was selected the Best Left-Handed Starting Pitcher by Phuture Phillies readers.  Ranger Suarez finished second.  Kyle Young and Nick Fanti finished in a close race for third.  Cole Irvin rounded out the top five, all of whom finished with over 10% of the votes.

Romero pitched at 2 levels in 2017 finishing the season at Clearwater.  He posted a combined 10-3, 2.16.  In 23 games and 129.0 innings, Romero walked 36 (2.5 BB/9) and struck out 128 (8.9 K/9).  According to Joe Jordan, Romero has a FB that sinks at 93 MPH, a 4-seamer at 94-96 MPH, a plus change, and a back-door cutter.

Player Votes Pct.
JoJo Romero 133 22%
Ranger Suarez 92 16%
Kyle Young 77 13%
Nick Fanti 72 12%
Cole Irvin 63 11%
Elniery Garcia 34 6%
Jhordany Mezquita 31 5%
Bailey Falter 27 5%
McKenzie Mills 27 5%
Brandon Leibrandt 19 3%
Ethan Lindow 7 1%
Will Stewart 4 1%
Manuel Silva 4 1%
Jose Jimenez 2 0%

Ranger Suarez pitched at 2 levels finishing at Clearwater.  He posted a combined 8-6, 2.27. In 22 games and 122.2 innings, he walked 35 (2.6 BB/9) and struck out 128 (9.4 K/9). According to Joe Jordan, Suarez ranks right up there with Romero.  He’s a pitcher, not a thrower with a 95 MPH fastball, change, slider, and curve.

Kyle Young made 13 starts for Williamsport.  He went 7-2, 2.77.  In 65 innings, he walked 15 (2.1 BB/9) and struck out 72 (10.0 K/9).  Young throws his FB 87-90 MPH and has a virtually unhittable “slurve” as his out pitch (CB speed, SL movement).

Nick Fanti made 21 starts in Lakewood, his first year in full season ball.  He was involved in two no-hitters, one a complete game and the other combined with a final out from Trevor Bettencourt.  He went 9-2, 2.54.  In 120.1 innings, he walked 28 (2.1 BB/9)and struck out 121 (9.0 K/9).

Cole Irvin pitched at 2 levels finishing at Reading.  He posted a combined 9-9, 3.39.  In 25 games (24 starts) and 151.1 innings, he walked 38 (2.3 BB/9) and struck out 118 (7.0 K/9). Irvin had slightly better peripherals at Clearwater.  He was subjetc to to far more long balls while with Reading.

Notes:  Elniery Garcia posted a 2-1, 1.47 in seven games at Clearwtaer and Reading after coming off his 80-game suspension.  He only pitched 5.0 innings in Clearwater, and didn’t look like anything special.  He walked a lot of guys at Reading (6.0 BB/9).  Probably just hadn’t regained his former control.  Jhordany Mezquita went 3-0, 0.72 in 9 GCL starts.  The 2017 eighth round pick looked good walking 18 (2.9 BB/9) and striking out 35 (8.4 K/9) in 37.2 innings.  He throws his FB in the 88-92 range.  McKenzie Mills was acquired via trade and made just 3 starts for Clearwater.  At full A and Advanced A, he displayed remarkably good walk (1.6 BB/9) and strike out rates (10.0 K/9).  Ethan Lindow was a 5th round pick out of high school in 2017.  In 8 starts he posted a 2-2, 4.55 in 8 starts and 27.2 innings.  He walked 12 (3.9 BB/9) and struck out 34 (1.1 K/9).  He looked superb in the two Instructs outings I saw – two 1-2-3 innings in one appearance and striking out 5 in his second two inning appearance.  Eighteen-year old Manuel Silva went 6-0 with a 3.40 ERA.  In 9 games, he threw 45 innings.  He spent Instructs on crutches.  Jose Jimenez struggled to find a groove and had a 4.2 BB/9 and 5.6 K/9 in 38.2 innings.

15 thoughts on “Results of 2017 Phuture Phillies Top Left-Handed Starting Pitchers Poll

  1. The top 5 lefties in the organization. I guess that includes the Phillies too. Young is the youngest at 19. Fanti is 20. Romero is 21. Suarez is 22 and the oldest lefty is Irvin at 23. That’s a very nice pipeline. Let them progress at their own pace and good things will happen. I think we’ll also be talking a lot about Mills next year and he’s only 21. Elniery got a haircut because of his lack of innings after suspension but he’s still got a very good chance to be the best of all of them. He’s only 22.

  2. This is a nice mix of lefty pitchers, including several who have very good velocity for lefties. I don’t know who of this group will succeed at the big league level, but I expect we will have at least a couple who do. I’m keeping a really close eye on Lindow as well – he seems like quite a good prospect and Michael Mills is very intriguing. And, while I’m not the biggest fan of soft tossers, there are more than a few lefties who can do quite well despite not throwing too hard so I’m keeping a close eye on Nick Fanti; it’s not easy to be part of two no hitters in one year. We might really have something in him.

  3. The number of left-handed pitchers drafted last year was impressive. The Phillies previously had drafted a few, but nowhere near this number. Hoby Milner was the lone left-hander in his draft year. Our Latin American scouting gave the team some good lefties, but not in volume. I saw it as a commitment to being serious about the lack of depth of left-handed pitchers in the organization. When I see the growing depth of good left-handed pitchers I get a good feeling about the thought that our scouting team has put into their acquisition of players both from the draft and from Latin America.

    1. Puddihead…..many teams do not like to sign LA pitchers to high bonuses since there is less success than the position players….Phillies entire LA pitching corp were less than $100K except for starting last year…Francisco Morales …. and this year’s three kids …Colombian RHP Victor Vargas,( approx $500K)…..DR’s RHP Israel Puello,(approx $450K) and Ven’s RHP Carlos Betancourt (Ven bonuses are not advertised…but it was triple figures )
      Phillies are one of the few teams that are starting to do that now.
      This may be the direction John Middleton wants to go in the international market when it comes to acquiring pitching..

  4. Awesome write up Jim. I’m pretty excited that a few of these guys might emerge in the next year or two and either end up pitching for us or become the depth we need to plug a hole with a really solid MLB regular.

  5. Kyle Young could end up being the star in this group if he can find a little more fb speed. If he really has an unhittable pitch, he will move quickly. His size seems to work for him.

    1. I would like to see Young develop a little more velocity and another pitch (or two). His slurve ate up GCL hitters last year and the opposition he faced in XST this year. I assume he had similar success with it in Williamsport. However, it only has high 70s velocity with slider movement. I fear that as he moves up to Clearwater and Reading, batters will be able to sit on it or spit on it.

  6. I’m bullish on Falter, he was a projection high lhp that has come on the right way. I had a buddy see his last two starts and said he was up to 93 mph. He also thought, or imagined there was an extra large contingent of scouts on hand for the those two starts he saw. Either way, Bailey seems to be on track

  7. Although the farm is still deficient of a TOR-type LHP, i like that the depth is spread across all levels with high end potential are showing up in the low to mid minors.

    High Minors – Irvin, El Garcia, Leibrandt and Mills
    Mid Minors (transition to Low to High) – JoJo, Ranger, Fanti, Bailey
    Low Minors – Young, Parkinson, Lindow, Mezquita, Hernandez

    1. KuKo…looking around the league….other than the Braves and Padres, there are not many teams that have a blossoming LHP TOR, i e number one or two, to be projected in their system
      I guess Puk and the As can qualify also.
      So the Phillies have many lefty arms that are in the category of hopeful.
      I do think now the Phillies have more depth in that regard than most teams….of course, outside the Braves.

      1. A number of young TOR-type LHP graduated from the prospect world in the last 12-18 months – Snell, Garret, Newcomb, Hader. High end LHP’s are really hard to find so it’s good for the Phils that some lefty’s in the farm are showing some promise.

  8. JoJo seems a possible call-up during the ’18 season….should he do well. Oh my, lefties are as scarce as “hen’s teeth” in our roster and in upper minors, excepting JoJo. Mills should be at Clearwater in ’18…with a chance to do well enough to get up to Reading during the season. His turnaround in ’17 is great to see…i like his increase in Ks and decrease in BBs. Less hits per innings, too.

    P.S. I live in Rohnert Park, Ca. which is Sonoma County where fires have been running wild. Santa Rosa, the largest city in the county has been wiped out in various parts…homes, businesses destroyed. It is painful to see people on news stations who no longer have a home, whether insured or not. My wife and I watch for news and pray we will be spared. Put a good word in for us and all others threatened, pls. Maybe there is somebody up there who will hear you ! The RP leaders have gotten the farmers surrounding this city of 25000 to underturn their lands to prevent them from being kindling for the fires. Pray and hope for us all….! Thanks!

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