Prospects Part I

During the All-Star Game break, we’re taking a look at some young prospects in the minor leagues, players from the Phillies four full-season teams: Low-A Lakewood, Hi-A Clearwater, AA Reading and AAA Lehigh Valley.  Today, pitchers and catchers; tomorrow, infielders and outfielders.  Players are listed in alphabetical order.  Source: my observations from reading game reports and conversations with those in player development.

Starting Pitchers
RH Victor Arano . . . age: 20 . . . Hi-A, 3-8, 4.73 ERA for 15 games, 14 starts . . . After 0-7 start, won 3 consecutive starts allowing 1 run in 20 innings with 10 strikeouts . . . Youngest among Phillies minor league starting pitchers . . . Came to Phillies from the Dodgers in Roberto Hernandez trade, 8/28/14. Originally signed by Dodgers out of Mexico, 4/4/13 . . . MLB.com: ranked #16 among Phillies top 20 prospects.

LH Jesse Biddle . . . age: 22 . . . Began season in AA; won 3 in a row from 6/10-21; promoted to AAA after 7-2 record; no decision in first AAA start on July 8; still working on command of strike zone . . . Drafted #1 in 2010 out of Germantown Friends School . .  MLB.com: #8.

RH Zach Elfin . . . age: 21, youngest player in Eastern League on opening day . . . 5-4, 2.88 ERA, 14 starts . . . Chosen to pitch in Pan Am Games this month . . . Drafted by Padres between 1st and 2nd rounds, 2012 (33rd overall); came to the Phillies in the Jimmy Rollins trade, 12/19/14 . . . MLB.com: #4.

LH Matt Imhoff . . . age: 21 . . . Hi-A:  3-3, 3.93 ERA, 8 starts; opponents are hitting .229; allowed two or fewer runs in 6 starts . . . Was on DL 4/15-6/10 . . . Drafted in 2nd round in 2014 out of Cal Poly . . . MLB.com: #7.

LH Brandon Leibrandt . . . age: 22 . . . Hi-A: 6-2, 2.77 ERA for 15 games, 4 starts; opponents are hitting .229; 13 BB, 62 SO . . . Was on DL, 6/4-26 . . . Excellent pick-off move . . . Drafted in 6th round in 2014 out of Florida State University . . . Son of former big league pitcher, Charlie Leibrandt.

RH Mark Leiter . . . age: 24 . . . Combined Hi-A/AA: 4-5, 2.76 ERA for 19 games, 13 starts, 2 complete games and 1 save . . . Drafted in the 22nd round in 2013 out of New Jersey Institute of Technology . . . Son of former Phillies pitcher, Mark Leiter.

RH Ben Lively . . . age: 23 . . . 7-7, 3.65 for 17 AA starts; has allowed 3 or few runs 12 times . . . Originally drafted in 4th round by Reds in 2013 of Central Florida; Reds’ Minor League Pitcher of the Year the following season (13-7, 3.04) . . . Acquired for Marlon Byrd, 12/31/14 . . . MLB.com: #6.

Aaron Nola 6

RH Aaron Nola . . . age: 22 . . . Began at AA (7-3, 1.88); promoted to AAA (3-0, 2.43); combined 2.03 ERA . . . In 161.2 combined innings, only 26 walks . . . Excellent command of 3 pitches and very composed on the mound . . . 4-3 in pro debut a year ago after being #1 selection out of LSU . . . Chosen for Futures Game . . . MLB.com: #2.

RH Ricardo Pinto . . . age: 21 . . . Combined Lo-A/Hi-A: 8-3, 3.07; 99.2 IP, 25 BB, 76 SO . . . Began season 6-2 at Lakewood before 6/21 promotion to Clearwater . . .
Signed by the Phillies as an amateur free agent out of Venezuela, 12/28/11 . . . MLB.com: #10.

Bullpen
LH Joey DeNato . . . age: 23 . . . 2-2, 1.70 ERA in 28 appearances, 4 SV; 43 SO in 42.1 IP; opponents are hitting .193 . . . Drafted on the 19th round in 2014 out of Indiana University.

RH Jesen Dygestile-Therrien . . . age: 22 . . . Low-A/Hi-A: 3-0, 1.08 ERA in 25 games, 3 SV; 7 BB, 34 SO in 41.2 IP; opponents are hitting .222 . . . Drafted in the 17th round in 2011 out of Ahuntsic College in Montreal.

RH Matt Hockenberry . . . age: 23 . . . Low-A, 3-3, 2.64 ERA in 21 appearances, 7 SV, 30 strikeouts in 30.1 IP; opponents are hitting .175 . . . Drafted in the 9th round in 2014 out of Temple University.

RH Ulises Joaquin . . . age: 23 . . . Low-A, 4-1, 2.52, career-high 11 saves; 8 BB, 38 SO in 39.1 IP . . . Missed 2013 season with a right shin fracture . . . Second full season as a closer . . . Signed by the Phillies as an amateur free agent out of Dominican Republic, 7/23/10.

RH Miguel Nunez . . . age: 22 . . . Hi-A, 2-2, 4.03 ERA in 24 games; began the season in the rotation and moved to bullpen after 4 starts, 6.75 ERA; as a reliever, 2-1, 2.65 ERA; opponents are hitting .175 . . . Signed as an amateur free agent out of Dominican Republic, 1/22/10 . . . Missed 2011-2012 seasons because of right elbow injuries.

RH Nefi Ogando . . . age 26 . . . Combined AA/AAA: 3-3, 2.34 ERA, 3 SV, 29 games . . . Currently riding an 11.2 scoreless inning streak, 7.2 after promoted to AAA on 6/24 . . . Acquired from Red Sox for John McDonald, 8/31/13.

RH Edubray Ramos . . . age: 22 . . . Combined Hi-A/AA: 3-4, 1.42 ERA, 31 appearances, 8 SV, 7 BB, 48 SO in 50.2 IP . . . Signed as a minor league free agent 11/21/12; originally signed by Cardinals out of Venezuela, 3/25/10. Did not pitch in 2011-12.

RH Yacksel Rios . . . age: 22 . . . Hi A: 5-2, 2.87 ERA for 15 games, 16 starts . . . 15 B, 42 SO in 53.1 IP; opponents are hitting .206 . . . Drafted in 12th round in 2011 out of Gurabo, PR, high school.

RH Alexis Rivero . . . age: 20 . . . Low-A, 3-0, 2.62 ERA in 25 appearances, 7 SV; opponents are hitting .191 . . . First season pitching in the states . . . Signed as an amateur free agent out of Venezuela, 11/7/12.

RH Stephen Shackleford . . . age: 26. . . AA: 2-1, 3.38 ERA, 33 games, tied for league lead with a career-high 19 saves; opponents are hitting .229 . . . Originally drafted by Giants in 35th round in 2010 . . . Signed as a minor league free agent by the Phillies, 12/16/14.

LH Tom Windle . . . age: 23 . . . 3-5, 4.98 ERA for 18 AA games, 14 starts . . . Moved to bullpen on 6/30; allowed 1 R in first 7 IP, 2 H, 3 BB, 5 SO; opponents are batting .136 . . . Drafted in 2nd round by Dodgers in 2013 out of the University of Minnesota; came to Phillies in Rollins trade . . . MLB.com: #5.

Catchers
Willians Astudillo . . . B-R . . . age: 23 . . . Hi-A, .302, 3 HR, 33 RBI in 70 games, 5 BB, 9 SO . . . Also plays 1B and DH . . . Career .319 hitter in the minors; missed 2013 with knee injury . . . Signed as an amateur free agent out of Venezuela, 12/15/08.

Deviy Grullon . . . B-R . . . age: 19 . . . Low-A, .208 in 64 games, 3 HR, 25 RBI . . . Hitting .281 in July after struggling in May-June . . . Youngest player on Lakewood roster and one of the youngest in the South Atlantic League . . . Signed as an amateur free agent out of the Dominican Republic, 7/2/12 . . . MLB.com: #11.

9 March 2015- Phillies minor league headshots, Clearwater, FL

9 March 2015- Phillies minor league headshots, Clearwater, FL

Andrew Knapp . . . B-B . . . age 23 . . . Combined Hi A/AA: .274 in 76 games, 2 HR, 42 RBI; currently riding a career-high 16-game hitting streak, including all 13 games since promotion to AA on 6/26 . . . Underwent Tommy John surgery on right arm 10/4/13; works daily on arm strength . . . Second-round selection that summer out of University of California. Originally drafted by A’s (41st round, 2010) out of high school but chose college . . . MLB.com: #12.

Gabriel Lino . . . B-R . . . age: 22 . . . Combined AA/AAA: .270 in 58 games, 3 HR, 26 RBI . . . Hit in 20 of the 26 AAA games since promotion from AA on June 2 . . . Has thrown 11 of 28 base stealers (39.3 %) . . . Acquired from Orioles for Jim Thome 6/30/12 . . . Orioles signed him out of Venezuela, 12/16/09.

Chace Numata . . . B-B . . . age: 22 . . . Combined Low-A/Hi-A: .299, 1 HR, 20 RBI in 44 games . . . Currently riding an 8-game hitting streak; includes 5 multi-hit games . . . Limited to 9 games in 2011 with right wrist hamate fracture . . . Drafted by Phillies in 14th round in 2010 out of high school in Hawaii.

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