The 2011 “ProspectNation” Prelude – Phillies Nation
2011 Top 25 Prospects

The 2011 “ProspectNation” Prelude

Now that the first 75, or so, days since the Phillies’ 2010 journey ended have flown by and as we begin the painfully slow crawl of the 40-something days until spring training, PhilliesNation.com will deliver its 2011 top 25 Phillies prospects list, in count down fashion.

Gradually, over the coming week that lead to the dawn of a fresh campaign, with hopes higher than Lawrence Taylor while surfing online personal ads, we will be unveiling prospect rankings with reviews of all the players that our readers should be familiar with.

These rankings will not include Domonic Brown, Vance Worley or Antonio Bastardo, as each of those players spent considerable amounts of time with the Major League club last year. Those individuals all project to make the big league roster in the coming season as well.

In addition, some remarkably talented young players did not make the cut simply because other individuals ranked higher.  Included in the group that fell short of making this year’s top 25 list are slick fielding shortstop Freddy Galvis, former top draft picks Anthony Hewitt and Joe Savery, outfielder Zach Collier, righty hurler Colby Shreve, former member of the Phillies’ bullpen Sergio Escalona, 2010 draft bargain pitcher Eric Pettis, lefty hurler Nick Hernandez and the last man trimmed from the list, RHP Josh Zeid.

Galvis, a superior defensive shortstop once regarded as a prospect with the tools necessary to develop into a big leaguer, seems to have stalled on the offensive front. He posted a paltry .233 batting average and a dismal .586 OPS in 138 games at Double A Reading in 2010. In 21 games with the Navegantes in the Venezuelan Winter League, Galvis, who was signed out of Venezuela as a free agent in 2006, posted a .188 average with just one extra base hit, a triple. Galvis no longer seems worthy of high prospect praise despite his top tier glove and excellent range.

Hewitt struggled quite a bit at the plate in 2010 while with Class A Lakewood. Hewitt switched to the outfield this year, after beginning his professional career as an infielder. In 116 games with Lakewood, Hewitt posted the following splits- .202/.243/.327. Those are certainly not numbers expected from a former first round draft pick at the age of 21, playing in a league where much of the talent was younger than he was. The Phillies have plenty invested in Hewitt, who signed for around $1.4 million, so he will get every chance to succeed.

Savery, a 2007 first round draft selection out of Rice, is likely to make a transition to being an everyday player after spending time as a designated hitter late in the 2010 season. Savery, a lefty who was named a Double Eastern League All-star in 2009, posted a 28-31 record with a 4.29 ERA in four seasons as a starting pitcher in the Phillies’ organization. As a hitter in 2010, Savery batted .348 with 3 doubles, 1 HR and 6 RBI in 23 games.

Collier, a compensatory first round pick in 2008, experienced a wrist injury that cost him his entire 2010 season. With Lakewood in 2009, Collier, listed at 6’2″, 185 pounds, struggled (.218/.275/.319) and was demoted to Williamsport for a stretch of the season. The lefty hitting Collier, who turned 20 in September, will likely return to Lakewood for the 2011 season where he hopes to prove that he is ready to progress.

Shreve, a right-hander,  is a solid prospect who has the potential to soar upward in the Phillies prospect rankings in the 2011 season. Shreve, who turns 23-years-old this week, was a sixth round draft pick in 2008, but suffered an elbow injury during his college season that required Tommy John surgery. The Phillies thought so highly of Shreve, that they still drafted him quite high, despite the injury status. While recovering, Shreve missed the entire 2009 season and made his professional debut as a member of the Lakewood BlueClaws in 2010, going 7-5 with a 3.95 ERA. Shreve, whose repertoire is fastball, change up, curveball, is expected to pitch at High-A Clearwater in 2011.

Escalona, formerly a situational left-hander out of the big league Phillies’ bullpen has fallen off as a well-regarded prospect for the organization. As a member of the Double A Reading Phillies in 2010, Escalona had a 4-8 record, with 10 saves, and a 3.81 ERA. Those are surely respectable numbers, but in a season during which he turned 26-years-old, the club wished to see more strength in key relief situations from Escalona, who blew several saves with Reading.

Pettis shined as a late round steal in the 2010 amateur draft. The 6’2″, 200 pound right-hander was taken in the 35th round out of UC Irvine and performed extremely well with the short season Williamsport Crosscutters before joining Lakewood for the postseason. In regular season action, Pettis posted an 8-0 record and a 1.37 ERA while striking out 67 batters in 59 innings as both a starter and reliever. Pettis’ arsenal includes a 2-seam fastball, a change up and a slider that he feels is his best asset. Look for Pettis to lead the BlueClaws’ charge for a third straight SAL championship in 2011.

Lefty hurler Nick Hernandez was a guy who was among my top prospects during the 2010 season, but he has fallen out of consideration at this time…not for any doing of his own, but simply because others have shined brighter in the time that has since passed. Hernandez suffered an injury to his throwing shoulder during the 2010 season, after being named to the mid-season South Atlantic League All-star team as a member of the Lakewood BlueClaws. In 8 starts prior to the injury, Hernandez, whose uncle Angel is a MLB umpire, went 3-1 with a 1.61 ERA and a .192 batting average against. Hernandez experienced setbacks while rehabbing with the Rookie level Gulf Coast League Phillies, and his season was cut short to allow proper healing. With a jam packed list of potential starting pitchers ready to go at High-A level Clearwater next season, Hernandez, who spent a month at instructional ball following the 2010 postseason, could be back with Lakewood to begin the season.

The fact that much of Zeid’s success occurred at the Class A Level at the age of 23 kept him from making the list. As a member of the South Atlantic League champion Lakewood BlueClaws in 2010, Zeid earned Phillies minor league pitcher of the month honors in April when, as the team’s closer, he posted a 2-0 record with 2 saves while allowing no earned runs in 9 outings. He was also honored as a mid-season SAL All-star in 2010. The Phillies’ developmental staff likes Zeid, who combined to start 16 games in 2010 between Lakewood and the Arizona Fall League, better as a reliever than a starter. Zeid struggled with his slider at times during the 2010 campaign, but he worked hard to improve his results, using it as a key weapon to put his mark on Lakewood’s title run. His repertoire also includes a fastball and a split-change hybrid known as a fosh. Zeid, a 10th round draft choice in 2009, could skip over High-A Level Clearwater completely and join the Double A Reading staff out of spring training.

In the coming weeks, check back with PhilliesNation.com regularly as we unveil our list of top 25 ranked prospects within the Philadelphia organization, one by one.  The future is certainly bright.

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Jay Floyd is PhilliesNation’s minor league contributor.  You can read more from Jay by visiting his site, PhoulBallz.com.

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0 Comments

  1. tavian

    January 3, 2011 at 5:58 pm

    Thank you Jay Floyd. I enjoy your writing about the minors in PhoulBalz.com. Always entertaining and always informative. It’sw a shame that Freddy Galvis has not learned the offensive aspect of the game. I understand that he is a defensive star, but cannot hit a lick. ANother Bobby Wine perhaps ?

  2. georgie

    January 3, 2011 at 7:02 pm

    Yeah, I’m sorry to hear about Freddy Galvis too…..I’ve seen him play at Reading, he’s a joy to watch defensively, if he could pick it up at the plate a little I think he’d be ok…he’s fast as well.

  3. Jay Floyd

    January 3, 2011 at 7:39 pm

    Thanks for the compliment. I appreciate that.

    Galvis was still a guy people within the system still had confidence in as recently as July when I asked some developmental types within the Phils system about him. That bat is just too weak at the Double A level.

    Zeid was a guy that I really wanted on the list of 25, but he didn’t quite make the cut as I reviewed my notes and created the actual list that will be unveiled as a countdown. I can see him proving his worth at Reading this year and being a guy that could fill in as the Phillies inevitably will have relief needs in 2012. I just want to see how he deals with higher level talent. He performed great in AFL action.

    I also initially thought Hernandez was an easy choice for top 25, but it’s tough, since he missed time. He’ll be on the top 25 list next year for sure.

    BJ Rosenberg really fell off with a weak 2010 resulting from injuries. He was excellent in 2009, jumping from Lakewood to Reading and closing games for both teams. Rosenberg in 11 games w/ Reading in 2010- 1-0, 9.22 ERA. In 10 games for Mesa in the AFL- 0-1, 8.53 ERA, .333 batting avg against.

  4. Chuck

    January 4, 2011 at 8:42 am

    Man…we’re thin at shortstop…. With Rollins aging this is a concern. Gone are the days when a SS could get away with hitting .200 because he’s so good defensively (a la Mark Belanger from those dominant Orioles teams of 40 years ago.)

  5. NigeyJ

    January 4, 2011 at 9:30 am

    This just gets more excited about the Phils going forward over the next half decade. So many teams will be looking at their affiliates to find the future faces of their franchise which limits the opportunities for guys in the minors to make those teams because they’ll need cheap veterans. The faces of the Phils will still be here there are opportunities for young guys to come up and craft a role.

    Savery can hit like Micah Owings. Hewitt and Collier are still kids. If as a reliver Zied’s 23 then great cause how many back end relievers come up young and sustain a career like Mariano or even Ryan Madson?

    The line is so much thinner for prospects to succeed quickly now and turnover their farm quickly to keep their payroll down. The Phils can afford the time to let some of these guys mature slower for the long-term pay-off and how many especially capable pitchers do the Phils have in the minors right now?

    Exciting!

  6. bfo_33

    January 4, 2011 at 1:44 pm

    Definitely looking forward to Prospect Nation’s top 25. During the late 80’s / early 90’s, when the Phils went on their spree of drafting tall pitchers who couldn’t throw strikes and signable position players, I stopped paying attention. Now, we have a great stadium in Allentown, and a pipeline of talent on it’s way. Having a stable roster means they don’t have to be rushed. Looking forward to seeing some of these guys in a pigs uniform, then contributing to the Phils (either on the field or through trades).

    Too bad about Galvis, but I wouldn’t give up on him yet. Bowa and Ozzie Smith eventually figured out how to be respectable at the plate, maybe Galvis will too.

  7. phillies34

    January 6, 2011 at 4:28 pm

    hey jay,

    what about the prospect mike mcguire. he was the closer last year for Lakewood how do you think he ll be this year

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