The baseball off season went from tepid to boiling this week. Prior to Baseball’s Winter Meetings in Orlando, the free agent and trading markets were stagnant. Continue reading How Do You Like Them Transactions?
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.
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?
Cam Perkins, 26, Phils 6th round pick in 2012; .288/.374/.447 in 257AB; 7HR 27RBI; 3SB; 10%BB/16%K; For Phils: .174/.232/.267 in 86AB; 61 games in the OF with 4 errors and 3 OF assists; 4 games at 1B without an error; Perkins continued to be a plus hitter and fielder at the AAA level but it did not translate to the majors in Perkins time with the big club this season. Perkins can be a competent #5 major league outfielder but I believe with the talent coming through the OF, he just as likely could be DFA’d in the offseason. Grade: B-
Roman Quinn, 24, Phils 2nd round pick in 2011; .274/.344/.389 in 175AB; 2HR 13RBI; 10SB; 9%BB/25%K; 44 games in the OF with 4 errors, 2 OF assists; I am at a loss for words on Quinn but Ill try. Another season cut significantly short by injury; When healthy (and that is almost never), he is a true talent. He hasn’t played a game since May. Grade: D-; 2018: Quinn is a guy the Phils are more than likely afraid to remove from the 40 because they will lose him because his upside is tremendous. He will likely stick around one more year to prove his health.
Andrew Pullin,23, Phils 5th round pick in 2012; .272/.327/.488 in 504AB; 20HR 69RBI; 5SB; 6%BB/17%K; For LV: .231/.280/.412 in 238AB; 6HR 23RBI; 20%K; 95 games in the OF with 3 errors, 2 OF assists; Pullin moved up to Lehigh Valley after raking for parts of the last two seasons in Reading and the AAA numbers were mediocre in the half season up with the ‘Pigs. Grade: B-; 2018: Pullin is Rule 5 eligible if not added to the 40. I don’t think he will be added, nor do I think he will be selected in the Rule 5. 2018: Lehigh Valley
Herlis Rodriguez, 23, Signed as a free agent in 2011; .249/.314/398 in 357AB between Clearwater, Reading and LV; 11HR 34RBI; 10SB; .216/.259/.318 in 148AB with LV; 3%BB/24%K; 77 games in the OF with 3 errors, 7 OF assists; 6 games at 1B without an error; Rodriguez played well at Clearwater but them slumped in Lehigh Valley. The Phils likely wanted to see Rodriguez get some significant playing time in against high level competition as unless he is added to the 40 man roster, he will become a minor league free agent. I think it very unlikely he is added to the 40 man. Grade: C
Dylan Cozens, 23, Phils 2nd round pick in 2012; .210/.301/.418 in 476AB; 27HR 75RBI; 8SB; 11%BB/36%K rates; .194 vs LHP; .217 vs RHP; .165 last 30 days; .151/.273/.283 Post All Star Game with a 44%K rate; 109 games in the OF with 4 errors and 9 OF assists; Regress is too diplomatic a term to describe what happened to Cozens during the second half of the season. The numbers are mind bogglingly (is that a word?) poor. His power potential and athleticism rank at the top of the Phils prospects but any semblance of long term success is a real question mark. Grade: D; 2018: Lehigh Valley
Carlos Tocci, 22, Signed as a free agent in 2011; .294/.346/.381 in 482AB; 3HR 52RBI; 4/9SB; 6%BB/15%K; For LV: Hit .189 in 53AB; 123 games in the OF with 2 errors; 8 OF assists; Tocci had an excellent season in Reading before struggling in the last month of the season for Lehigh Valley; Tocci will never hit for power but did a nice job hitting for average and knocked in 50+ with is a nice number for Tocci. His fielding remains outstanding. Grade: B+; 2018: I hope to see Tocci on the 40 man and in Lehigh Valley Continue reading Report Card–Outfield, CW, REA and LV
Adam Haseley, 21, Phils 1st round pick in 2017; .284/.357/.405 between GCL, WP and Lakewood in 215AB; 3HR 28RBI; 6SB; 9%BB/18%K; Hit .258 for Lakewood in 18 games; 49 games in the OF with 1 error and 1 OF assist; Many expected Haseley to immediately start his career in Clearwater but it didn’t happen that way. He produced for both GCL and Williamsport as expected and was coming around for Lakewood at the end of a very long year for Haseley; Grade: B; 2018: CLearwater
Mickey Moniak, 19, Phils 1st round pick in 2016; .236/.284/.341 in 466AB; 5HR 44RBI; 11/18SB; 6%BB/23%K; .179 vs LHP; .255 vs RHP; .145 last 30 days; 115 games in the OF with 3 errors; 7 OF assists; The expectations for Moniak have to be weighed against expectations for the #1 overall pick in the draft (as he was), and with that said, it was a pretty ugly year. There were signs of his true talent which would appear and then disappear for prolonged periods. The “its a long season” adage was trumpeted by those in the organization over and over again in protecting Moniak, who was playing full season ball for the first time professionally. That said, he was held out of 30 games for a variety of reasons, including rest. Moniak hit just .201 after the all star break, striking out 24% of the time. His work against lefties was miserable. Lets hope the early season Moniak gets extended into July, August and further next season; Grade: D; 2018: Lakewood
David Martinelli, 22, Phils 6th round pick in 2016; .205/.258/.328 in 302AB; 6HR 26RBI; 4SB; 7%BB/28%K; .197 vs LHP; .207 vs RHP; .132 last 30 days; 90 games in the OF with 1 error; 5 OF assists; Little production from Martinelli who struggled equally against all forms of pitching. His high draft status may keep him around for one more year but he is on the fence. Grade: D Continue reading Report Card, Outfield–GCL, WIlliamsprt and Lakewood
Scott Kingery, Phils 2nd round pick in 2015; .304/.359/.530 in 543AB between Reading and Lehigh Valley; 26HR 65RBI; 29SB;7%BB/19%K; .290 last 30 days; For Lehigh Valley: .294/.337/.439 in 265AB; 8HR 21RBI; 10SB; .269 vs LHP; .300 vs RHP; 125 games at 2B with 11 errors (.980); 4 games at 3B without an error; 2 games at SS without an error; Outstanding season and progress for Kingery who looks to be the Phillies second baseman to be for the next decade. Grade: A; 2018: Lehigh Valley until June, then Phillies
Jesmuel Valentin, 23, Acquired from Dodgers in 2014; .229/.282/.292 in 96AB; 1HR 7RBI; 6%BB/16%K; .310 vs LHP; .167 vs RHP; 26 games at 2B with 2 errors (.969); 2 games at SS with 1 error; Valentin came real close to making the Phils out of SPring Training in April and then struggled when he didn’t, his season ultimately ending in injury mid May; Grade: C-; 2018: I expect him in Lehigh Valley with a debut with the Phils at some point next season
Pedro Florimon, 30, Signed as a free agent in 2017; .265/.347/.410 in 310AB with Lehigh Valley; 10HR 33RBI; 4SB; 10%BB/27%K; 33 games at 2B with 1 error (.989); 26 games at 3B with 2 errors (.966); 15 games at SS with 1 error (.980); 14 games in the OF with 1 error (.960); In 48AB with Phils, Florimon hit .348. I hardly expected to become a big “Pedro Florimon fan” this season but that is what happened. Florimon has the ability to play numerous positions and do it at a level where you will not be hurt defensively. That skill set got him called up to Philly where he was being touted as a potential 2018 super utility player before his season ended with a gruesome injury. He had a very good year being asked to do a little bit of everything. Grade: B+; 2018: It all depends on his ability to bounce back from the ugly ankle injury. Currently on the 40 man, if healthy, he will compete for Andres Blanco’s former role.
Angelo Mora, 24, Signed as a free agent in 2011; .291./334/.435 in 398AB between Reading and Lehigh Valley; 9HR 55RBI; 5SB; 6%BB/19%K; For LV: .280/.291/.330 in 100AB; 25 games at SS with 4 errors (.966); 24 games at 3B with 3 errors (.952); 47 games at 2B with 8 errors (.964); 4 games in the OF without an error; Mora did a real nice job this year with the bat and continued to be steady in the field at multiple positions. Unfortuantely, I think I am more of a Mora fan than the Phils organization and I really doubt he ends up on the 40 man, leading to minor league free agency for Mora. Grade: B
JP Crawford, 22, Phils 1st round pick in 2013; .243/.351/.405 in 474AB; 15HR 63RBI; 5/9SB; .250 vs LHP; .286 vs RHP; .278 last 30 days w/ LV; 14%BB/17%K rate; 113 games at SS with 17 errors (.960); 6 games at 3B without an error; 5 games at 2B without an error; Hitting .278 for the Phils in 36AB; Crawford’s way down then up season has been very well documented. Looking at his season in its entirety, there was progress but not as much as I expected; The bright side saw his power substantially more than expectations, although not sure that will translate to MLB; His average was fairly significantly lower on the year than hoped but, more importantly his OBP was excellent and Crawford was among league leaders in runs because of his OBP. Still a plus fielder but a small notch below my expectations this season. Grade: C; 2018: I see him in Philly fulltime come June
Drew Stankiewicz, 24, Phils 11th round pick in 2014; .280/.364/.421 in 328AB between Clearwater and Reading; 9HR 35RBI; 3SB; 11%BB/19%K; .297 last 30 days; 81 games at 2B with 9 errors (.975); 14 games at 3B with 2 errors (.900); 3 games at SS with 3 errors; A good season for Stankiewicz who does a lot of things right, leading to lineup opportunities for him. Grade: B; 2018: Reading
Derek Campbell, 26, Phils 20th round pick in 2014; .250/.308/.359 in 159AB between Clearwater and Reading; 3HR 13RBI; 6%BB/22%K; Hit .162 for Reading in 37 late season AB; 8 games in the OF without an error; 21 games at 3B with 2 errors (.941); 15 games at 2B with 2 errors; Campbell spent large portions of the season injured and was mostly a spare piece when healthy; Grade: C-; 2018: Elsewhere Continue reading Report Card–Middle Infield
The results for upcoming polls and articles are in and tabulated. As I expected, you guys love polls, so it looks like I will conduct some polls this fall. Continue reading So, Let’s Poll …
Rhys Hoskins, 24, Phils 5th round pick in 2014; .284/.385/.581 in 401AB for Lehigh Valley; 29HR 91RBI; 4SB; 14%BB/16%K; For Phils: .298/.424/.754 in 114AB; 16HR 34RBI; 17%BB/19%K; .240 vs LHP; .315 vs RHP; Combined: 45HR 125RBI; 116 games at 1B with 10 errors (.989); 27 games in the OF with 1 erro. I cant find enough superlatives to express the level at which Hoskins has impressed this year. The numbers speak for themselves, but the transition to MLB, while learning to play a new position has been nothing short of exceptional. Is currently making Babe Ruth look like a minor league home run hitter: Grade: A+; 2018: Philadelphia
Brock STassi, 28, Phils 33rd round pick in 2011; .251/.325/.351 in 179AB; 4HR 23RBI; 10%BB/21%K; .163 vs LHP; .277 vs RHP; .237 last 30 days; For Phils: .167/.278/.295 in 78AB; 2HR 7RBI; 13%BB/24%K; 54 games at 1B without an error; 13 games in the OF without an error; After an outstanding 2016; Stassi came back to Earth this year and leveled off to be the AAAA player he likely is long term. Plus defense, good batting eye, but ultimately limited enough offensively that I don’t see him sticking with the Phillies; 2017: C; 2018: Stassi is a minor league free agent and will likely go where the best opportunity presents itself.
Hector Gomez, 29, Signed as a free agent in 2017; .236/.260/.425 in 212AB; 7HR 27RBI; 3%BB/20%K; .200 vs LHP; .248 vs RHP; 57 games at 3B with 8 errors (.937); The expectations for Gomez were significantly higher than the production, which was hampered by multiple injuries. Grade: C-; 2018: Talent pushing upward in the organization, so likely elsewhere
Damek Tomscha, 26, Phils 17th round pick in 2014; .307/.386/.439 in 362AB between Clearwater and Reading; 11HR 52RBI; 3SB; 9%BB/14%K; .345 last 30 days; 43 games at 1B with 1 error (.997); 51 games at 3B with 12 erros (.907); 13 games in the OF without an error; After a second full season as a 25 year old at Lakewood last season, Tomscha finally moved along to Clearwater and had a lot of success. He matched that level of success in Reading in his 50 games. Grade: B+; 2018: Reading
Mitch Walding, 25, Phils 5th round pick in 2011; .236/.327/.516 in 351AB; 25HR 62RBI; 11%BB/32%K; .229 vs LHP; .240 vs RHP; .178 with RISP; 96 games at 3B with 15 errors (.943); Walding completed his 6th year in the organization and most of the trends he started his career with hold true, including striking out a ton and struggles against left handed pitching. He has become more selective at the plate and hit for a significant amount of power but the .178 average with RISP is troublesome. He missed about a month injured or he likely would have hit 30HR; Grade: C+; 2018: Walding is eligible to be a minor league free agent if the Phils don’t add him to the 40, which I believe to be unlikely. Continue reading Report Card–Corner Infield
We are entering the quiet time for Phillies discussion. The minor league seasons are completed. The major league playoffs loom on the horizon without the Phillies, yet again. So before I switch to off season reporting, how about one more poll? Continue reading Moving Forward into the 2017 Off Season
Jorge Alfaro, 24, Acquired from Texas in 2015; .241/.291/.358 in 324AB with Lehigh Valley; 7HR 43RBI; 5%BB/33%K; .279 vs LHH, .223 vs RHH, .247 with RISP; 77 games caught with 2 errors (.997); 9 passed balls; 15/46 CS (33%); After starting the season very hot, Alfaro struggled for large portions of the year with the bat and was merely adequate with the glove. Because of the injury to Andrew Knapp in Philly, Alfaro got the call up and he has caught fire at the plate but his defensive inadequacies come out frequently. Grade: C; 2018: Alfaro is without options. He will be in Philly.
Logan Moore, 27, Phils 9th round pick in 2011; .233/.310/.362 in 210AB; 6HR 31RBI; 11%BB/31%K; .133 vs LHP, .261 vs RHP; .239 last 30 days; 58 games caught with 4 errors (.991); 5 passed balls; 19/45 CS (42%); Moore continues to be an excellent defensive catcher that pitchers trust and enjoy throwing to. His offense is a notch above poor. Grade: C; 2018: Moore will be a minor league free agent. The Phils would be wise to bring him back for depth.
Nick Rickles, 27, Acquired from Nationals in 2017; .258/.292/.422 in 158 AB between AA and AAA; 4HR 17RBI; 5%BB/15%K; 33 games caught with 2 errors; 3 passed balls; 11/26 CS(42% CS rate); Rickles was a depth pickup mid year for the organization and did a nice job filling in for both Reading and Lehigh Valley when needed; Grade: B; 2018: Likely elsewhere
Deivi Gruillon, 21, Signed as a free agent in 2013; .249/.283/.398 in 354AB between Clearwater and Reading; 12HR 37RBI; 5%BB/22%K; .229/.270/.410 in 83AB with Reading; 12 games caught with 12 errors (.985); 10 passed balls; 40/109CS (37%); Overall a decent season for Gruillon who progressed through Clearwater to Reading, showing a level of competency with the bat and hitting for some power. For a guy who has always had his defense mentioned as his most positive attribute, he struggled a bit with his glove, but his arm was excellent. Grade: B-; 2018: Reading. Continue reading Report Card–Catchers