All posts by Victor Filoromo

About Victor Filoromo

Baseball and politics. All day, every day. Follow me on Twitter, @victorfiloromo.

Baseball Prospectus releases Phillies top ten

In case you haven’t heard (and really, what else were you doing with your Monday?), Baseball Prospectus released their Phillies Top 10 list today.

There aren’t any major surprises in the top three, with J.P. Crawford in the top slot, Aaron Nola at two, and Maikel Franco third. It’s pretty easy to expect that many lists will have those three guys at the top in some way, shape, or form.

Continue reading Baseball Prospectus releases Phillies top ten

Dugan hoping to be an x-factor in 2015

Once general wrangling this off-season ends over who should be in the top few spots on Phillies prospects lists, there will be plenty of interesting discussion about some of the guys who may show up in the middle of the pack on a top-20 or top-30 list.

One such interesting case will be Kelly Dugan, who, when healthy, put together a nice season in 2014. It’s easy to feel bad for Dugan, who, at 24, was hoping to put together a full campaign. In the end, Dugan appeared in just 76 games and had only 253 at-bats. It was a stark contrast from his 2013, when he had 429 at-bats.

Dugan’s 2013 was marked by a standout period in Clearwater (.318/.401/.539) and a decent enough stint in Reading (.264/.299/.472). Of course, at 22, Hi-A ball should not have been too troubling for Dugan, so the promotion to Reading was a bit of a test to see if he was ready.

The numbers were strong in 2014 for Dugan, as he hit .296/.383/.435. The trouble? Staying on the field. An oblique injury sidelined him for about two months, and a broken foot caused him to miss the tail end of the season.

That said, there was a point where Dugan finally looked like the alpha dog that he should look like on a AA team. It’s likely that Dugan will never be an All-Star or punch a ticket to Cooperstown, but there is a realistic opportunity for Dugan with the Phillies.

There will be a chance for Dugan to impress, simply due to the current makeup of the team’s outfield. Domonic Brown is coming off a rough season. Ben Revere is likely cemented in center field, but anything could happen with him. Marlon Byrd could be the talk of the trade deadline again if the Phillies are out of the race next year.

That could open a door for Dugan. If he’s healthy and plays well to begin 2015 in the Minors, he’ll be on the Phillies’ radar. Ideally, Dugan is a fourth outfielder on a good team. There is plenty of use out there for the Nate Schierholtzes and Gerardo Parras of the world. That type of guy is valuable.

Dugan has hit both lefties and righties well in the Minors, a trait that not a lot of younger guys like him have developed. He has a career minor league OPS of .833 against lefties (as a lefty, there was a short time he tried switch-hitting), and an .854 OPS against righties.

He took advantage of Reading playing as a hitter’s park, and that would probably continue if he starts there again next year. If he is told to start at Lehigh Valley, it would be a case of the Phillies showing some faith in a player despite prior injury.

Maybe that’s just the news Dugan would like to hear next spring in Clearwater.

Phillies in between rock and hard place with Gonzalez

When the Phillies signed right-handed Cuban fireballer Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez last August, there were hopes that he would slot in to a 2014 starting rotation featuring Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels, giving the Phillies a formidable threesome that would allow them to compete. To say the least, that didn’t happen. A lot of other things didn’t happen for the 2014 Phillies, as they have plummeted to the bottom of the National League standings.

Now, the focus must be on 2015, and the focus on next year begins with looking at what is happening in the minors throughout the rest of 2014. Continue reading Phillies in between rock and hard place with Gonzalez

Reading Report: At the Break

Going into the 2014 season, there was hope, promise, and some sort of optimism that we could see some great performances and talented players in Reading.

Though the All-Star Game is far past the midway point of the Eastern League season, I figured it was as good a time as any to recap the first “half” of the season (if we can really call it that), and take a look back while looking ahead to the team’s final 49 games.

While the outstanding performances have been few and far between, some great things did happen this year. But, for the most part, the story of the 2014 Reading club has been written over the past month: it’s a flawed team that doesn’t have a ton of talent, and they have scuffled to a 38-55 record. Continue reading Reading Report: At the Break

Staying optimistic about the future in center field

In what has been a disappointing 2014 season for the Phillies, one thing has become abundantly clear: the team’s future in the outfield is muddled. Ben Revere, Domonic Brown, and Marlon Byrd have struggled as a unit, and out of those three guys, the only one who has provided much of anything may not be here past July 31.

Brown’s problems are another story for another day, and Byrd’s story may be written over the next few weeks if Ruben Amaro, Jr. finds a taker for the right fielder.

There is one big question here: What is the team’s future in center field? Set aside Brown for a second. Forget about Byrd. Just block the corner outfield out of your mind. Where does this team plan to go in center field?

Continue reading Staying optimistic about the future in center field

Reading Report: 6/23-6/29 (In Haiku Form!)

Listen, things haven’t been so great lately for your Reading Fightins. They have lost 12 games in a row (maybe the only thing that stopped them from racking it up to 13 this week was a rain out), Jesse Biddle was shut down after another disastrous performance, and the offense continues to struggle, save for a few names.

I can only offer a haiku at this point, in hopes to change the team’s luck a bit.

Biddle has been shelved
They’ve lost twelve games in a row
At least Fox can hit

That is all for the week.

Jiwan James Released

The Phillies have announced the release of Jiwan James, as another outfielder in the organization will part ways.

The Phillies have now released James, Anthony Hewitt, and Tyson Gillies, all in a very short amount of time.

A 22nd round pick of the Phillies in 2007, James posted a career .265/.317/.364 line with the organization. He certainly was one of the fastest players the organization has seen over the last 10 years, but he never put things together. Our (slightly outdated) profile of Jiwan can be found here.

He battled injuries throughout his career, finally returning making his 2014 Reading debut a few weeks ago. He had 21 at-bats, and hit .333 with a .364 on-base percentage.

That said, there was too much to overcome. With so many outfielders on the roster, there wasn’t really anywhere for James to play, and he will now be moving on.

James had this to say:

The Fightins still have six outfielders on the roster, though listed outfielder Jake Fox has played plenty of first base.


J.P. Crawford and Maikel Franco selected for Futures Game

A pair of Phillies’ prospects are on their way to the 2014 All-Star Futures Game at Target Field in Minnesota.

J.P. Crawford and Maikel Franco have both been selected to participate in the contest, which will take place on Sunday, July 13th as part of the All Star festivities.

Crawford is a no-brainer, as he has hit .286/.388/.391 so far this season. He has struggled in his first 23 at-bats in Clearwater, hitting just .190. That said, it would have been impossible to keep him off the roster. He will suit up for the U.S. team.

Franco’s selection is a bit more of a surprise, considering he has hit just .207/.265/.323 so far. He began the season slowly, then had that nice hot streak for 20 games, where he hit .304 with three homers and 11 RBIs. He has been very quiet for about a month now, and his struggles have been well-documented. He will play for the World roster.

This is Crawford’s first time at the Futures Game, and Franco’s second trip to the game.

Reading Report: 6/10-6/15

It was a mediocre 2-3 week for the Fightins over these past five contests, with a rainout thrown in against New Britain on Thursday. Let’s get to the big stories of the week, including one man on the comeback trail, and another getting his first taste of the Bigs.

Continue reading Reading Report: 6/10-6/15