Jose Taveras was your selection as the #30 prospect in the Phillies’ organization.
Taveras received 40 of the 194 votes cast (21%). Jhordany Mezquita finished second with 33 votes (17%), Kevin Gowdy finished third with 22 votes (11%), Victor Arano fourth (20, 10%), Simon Muzziotti fifth (15, 8%), and Andrew Pullin sixth (11, 6%). Fifteen others received the other 53 votes.
Jose Taveras was signed by the Phillies at the age of 20 as a free agent. The 6’4, 210 lb. RHP was assigned to the Dominican Summer League where he was about a year older than the average player in the league. As expected, he fared well: 8-4 record, 1.05 ERA, 0.809 WHIP in 15 appearances, 13 starts. He walked 8 (0.8 BB/9) and struck out 70 (7.4 K/9) in 85.1 innings.
Taveras advanced to Williamsport in 2015 where he faced age appropriate competition. He posted a 7-4 record and 3.88 ERA in 13 starts. He walked 21 (3.0 BB/9) and struck out 59 (8.5 K/9) in 62.2 innings.
In 2016, Taveras pitched in Lakewood and faced age appropriate competition again. He posted an 8-8 record, 3.28 ERA, and 1.034 WHIP in 20 starts, 25 appearances. He walked 26 (1.7 BB/9) and struck out 154 (10.2 K/9) in 137.1 innings.
Taveras started the 2017 season with Clearwater. In 16 starts, he posted a 6-4 record, 2.38 ERA, and 1.069 WHIP. He struck walked 23 (2.0 BB/9) and struck out 92 (8.1 K/9) in 102.0 innings. He was rewarded with a promotion to Reading on July 20th. After a couple so-so starts, Taveras was promoted to Lehigh Valley on August 1st, the beneficiary of several IronPigs being assigned to the DL and some vacancies created by deadline trades by the Phillies. He took advantage of the opportunity and posted a 3-1 record, 1.32 ERA, and 1.000 WHIP in 7 starts. He walked 15 (3.3 BB/9) and struck out 37 (8.1 K/9) in 41.0 innings. In December he was added to the Phillies’ 40-man roster.
Taveras is a curious prospects. He’s big and friendly with a quick smile. In spite of his size, he does not look like the prototypical pitcher. On the mound, he throws with an easy motion that gives the impression that he’s just tossing the ball to the catcher. In the 5 starts I charted, his FB sat 89-91 mph in three games and 90-92 mph in the others two. He get it up to 93-94 mph on occasion.
But in addition to what most of you would consider a pedestrian fastball, he possessed a change up, slider, and curve ball. His change up was considered the best in the Florida State League. He has very good command, and moves the ball around the strike zone effectively. And, he can change velocity at will. I can remember charting his games where he threw multiple pitches at each velocity from 76 to 94 mph.
He also has the uncanny ability to not get rattled when he walks a batter or an error is committed behind him. I was pleasantly surprised how effective he was in Clearwater. The league was too as he was voted the started in the FSL All Star game. He pitched a perfect inning and was awarded the win.
2018 Readers’ Poll, so far –
- Sixto Sanchez
- Scott Kingery
- J.P. Crawford
- Jhailyn Ortiz
- Jorge Alfaro
- Adam Haseley
- Adonis Medina
- Franklyn Kilome
- Mickey Moniak
- JoJo Romero
- Roman Quinn
- Enyel De Los Santos
- Cornelius Randolph
- Tom Eshelman
- Dylan Cozens
- Ranger Suarez
- Seranthony Dominguez
- Nick Fanti
- Arquimedes Gamboa
- Darick Hall
- Luke Leftwich
- Kyle Young
- Francisco Morales
- Daniel Brito
- Spencer Howard
- Drew Anderson
- Cole Irvin
- J.D. Hammer
- McKenzie Mills
- Jose Taveras
We began our Tuesday with our morning ritual of identifying new faces as the players walked past us on their way to the left field foul line on Roberts Field. Today we spotted six – Rhys Hoskins, Jorge Alfaro, Tommy Joseph, Brandon Leibrandt, Andrew Pullin, and Matt McBride. These bring my count to 39 players in Clearwater.
The players did their stretching, sprints, and long-tossing and broke into their groups – pitchers and catchers to the Seven Mounds to pitch out of sight (grr!), outfielders to center field to shag balls hit from the right field foul line, and infielders took ground balls (only Florimon at short today, I didn’t see Walding today).
The position players batted in three groups today –
- 1.) Pedro Florimon, Roman Quinn, Rhys Hoskins, Tommy Joseph;
- 2.) Andrew Pullin, Dylan Cozens, Carlos De La Cruz; and
- 3.) Jorge Alfaro, Edgar Cabral, Logan Moore, MattMcBride
They batted under the watchful eye of Charlie Manuel.
Hoskins crushed a ball over the left field fence and I commented, “the launch isn’t scheduled until 1:30”, a vague reference to the rocket going off on Florida’s east coast. After all the hitting was done, Charlie had a long talk with Cozens out by the mound. Seemed to last at least ten minutes, maybe more. We noticed that Cozens was swinging with mostly his arms, little use of his legs, and an imperceptible shift in weight from his back foot to his front. It seemed clear that they were talking about hitting based on the motions Cozens was making, and really, Charlie knows hitting. I’ve heard that Cozens is slow to take advice, so it will be interesting to see if he makes any changes tomorrow.
As players left the field, McBride took grounders at first, throwing to a coach at second. I difficulty recognizing Pullin. He’s sporting a full beard.