Ranger Suarez was your selection as the #14 prospect in the Phillies’ organization.
Suarez received 49 of the 177 votes cast (27.68%). Kevin Gowdy received 20 votes (11.30%), Austin Listi received 18 votes (10.17%), Simon Muzziotti received 17 votes (9.60%), and Dylan Cozens received 16 votes each (9.04%). Twenty-two guys shared the remaining 57 votes.
The Phillies signed Ranger Suarez as an international free agent out of Venezuela on April 1, 2012. He began his career that summer as a 16-year-old in the now defunct Venezuelan Summer League. He spent three seasons in the VSL.
Suarez was brought along slowly. He made 3 appearances in 2012 and 8 appearances in 2013. Finally, as an 18-year-old in 2014, Suarez made 14 starts. He posted a 5-4 record with a 1.56 ERA in 80.2 innings. He struck out 78 and walked one that season. That’s right, ONE!
Suarez made his way state side to the GCL in 2015. In just 6 appearances (4 starts), he posted a 3-0 record with a 0.65 ERA in 27.2 innings. He struck out 20 and walked four.
In 2016, Suarez pitched for Williamsport. He posted a 6-4 record with a 2.81 ERA in 13 starts, 73.2 innings. He struck out 53 and walked twenty-four. After this season, the 20-year-old was Rule 5 eligible, but left unprotected.
Suarez was dominant for Lakewood in 2017. In 14 starts, he posted a 6-2 record with a 1.59 ERA in 85.0 innings. He struck out 90 and walked twenty-four. He was promoted to Clearwater where he went 2-4 with a 3.82 ERA in 8 starts. He struck out 38 and walked 11 in 37.2 innings. The 21-year-old was put on the 40-man roster after this season.
After a slow, laborious start to his career, Suarez completed his meteoric rise through the top four levels of the organization in 2018. He made 12 starts for Reading and 9 starts for Lehigh Valley. He had a combined 6-3 record with a 2.75 ERA in 124.1 innings. Suarez made 4 appearances (3 starts) with the Phillies and recorded his first win in his first start on July 26th. He still retains rookie status with just 22 days of major league service time.
Two things stand out to me.
- Suarez completed his fifth season with Willianmsport in 2016. Then he rose through Lakewood, Clearwater, Reading, and Lehigh Valley to the majors in less than 2 years.
- That one-walk season. I don’t care what level, that is amazing. He faced 312 batters and walked just one.
I had forgotten how quick Suarez moved up the organizational ladder the past two years. It gives me renewed hope for him this season
Suarez’ 2012 VSL team finished 48-22 and included pitchers Severino Gonzalez and Ricardo Pinto. His 2013 team included Pinto, Edubray Ramos, Alexis Rivero, and Grenny Cumana. His 2014 team included Ramos, Luis Carrasco, Gustavo Armas, Jesus Alastre, and Jose Antequera.
The top of the system is overcrowded with pitchers. But Suarez is a left-handed starter. He will likely start at Lehigh Valley with a quick look in camp and a long shot at making the Phillies opening day roster.
The poll for the next prospect will be posted in a separate thread.
Here are the complete results for this poll.