ProspectNation 2011: #10 Tyson Gillies- OF – Phillies Nation
2011 Top 25 Prospects

ProspectNation 2011: #10 Tyson Gillies- OF

Tyson Gillies is the third of the three players acquired from Seattle in December 2009, in the trade for Cliff Lee, to appear on this countdown. Gillies struggled with leg injuries during his 2010 season while with the Double A Reading Phillies, but still projects to be a solid contributor at higher levels.

Gillies, a lefty batter that primarily plays center field but has played all three outfield positions in his professional career, had multiple stints on the disabled list due to a recurring left hamstring ailment in his first season in the Phillies organization. The injury limited Gillies to just 28 games played in 2010, an issue that Gillies somewhat blamed himself for, as he felt he came back too soon from the hamstring ailment, which caused him to aggravate it a second and third time.

A ground ball/line drive hitter that is know for using his speed to help him reach base, Gillies is also pretty well known for his hearing impairment. Diagnosed at an early age with significant hearing problems, Gillies grew up using hearing aids and has become accustomed to playing baseball with a slight disadvantage. At times, outfielders could rely on the sound of the crack of the bat to judge the distance of a ball, but Gillies makes up for that with his quickness and great range on defense. Gillies says for him, it’s just natural.

Growing up in British Columbia, Gillies played both hockey and baseball. However, when he reached his teenage years, Gillies felt that it was best to choose one sport to focus on and, as determined by his size at the time, he selected baseball. As he progressed as a player, his love and passion for the game of baseball developed along with his talents and he has never looked back.

A 25th round selection in the 2006 amateur draft, Gillies has been compared to Curtis Granderson and Shane Victorino at times. With a bigger frame than both of those players, one wonders if the 6’2″, 195-pound Gillies could develop into an offensive threat that could surpass each of those men. That’s certainly a tall task, but not impossible if the 22-year-old can stay healthy and continue to mature on the field. On the low side, perhaps Dave Roberts is a more reachable type of level for Gillies.

Gillies began his pro career in 2007, as a member of the Arizona League Mariners and later with Everett of the Low A Northwest League. Combined at both levels, he batted .255 with 11 steals and a .688 OPS in 39 games.

He followed that up with an improved 2008, where he spent time with Everett before earning a promotion to High Class A High Desert. In 72 combined games, Gillies’ production shot upward as he batted .302 with 25 steals and an .831 OPS.

In a 2009 return campaign with High Desert, Gillies became a highly regarded prospect, as his offensive output excelled even more. Gillies posted a .341 batting average, good enough for third highest in the minors, with 44 steals and a .916 OPS in 124 games.

What seemed to improve the most over Gillies’ first few seasons in the minors was his ability to get on base. His solid eye at the plate saw his on-base percentage rise in each of his initial three seasons in the pros, with marks of .358, .421 and .430.

Following the trade to the Phillies, Gillies played in 26 games with Reading and 2 rehab games with the Gulf Coast League Phillies in 2010. During his injury shortened season, Gillies batted .243 with 2 homers, 7 RBI and 2 stolen bases.

The summary for Gillies is that he’s got all the right tools to, someday, reach the Major Leagues. He has exceptional speed, has shown progression at the plate and has solid instincts with a strong throwing arm on defense. This year, Gillies should return to Double A for a full season. Provided he can continue to progress, Gillies could see an estimated time of arrival in the Majors of 2013.


Jay Floyd is PhilliesNation’s minor league insider.  To check out more from Jay, please visit his site,

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  1. Ted Bell

    February 9, 2011 at 7:57 am

    I think there was also an arrest for cocaine possession during Gillies’ first season as a Phillie…

    I’m Ted Bell.

    • Chuck

      February 9, 2011 at 8:28 am

      Funny how Jay failed to mention that… Are we trying to sweep that under the rug and pretend it didn’t happen? Hopefully, that was just a blip on the screen for the kid…

  2. John Nolan

    February 9, 2011 at 8:52 am

    Do your homework. It wasnt true.

    • Ted Bell

      February 9, 2011 at 1:26 pm

      He WAS arrested John. What part of my statement wasn’t true?? There was no conviction, but he sure was arrested.

      I’m Ted Bell.

  3. Pat Gallen

    February 9, 2011 at 8:55 am

    I agree that it should have been in the article, but this is about the prospect himself. That moment doesn’t define him and it’s not really the crux of the article. Should it have been mentioned? Yes. But if that was what we wanted to talk about, we should have just put:

    #10: Tyson Gillies:
    Got caught with cocaine.

    Not much of a story there anyway, nothing ever came of it as John says. Its an unfortunate part of his story, but we want to focus in more on his prospects.

    • Chuck

      February 9, 2011 at 9:05 am

      I see what you’re saying. Makes sense. Like I said, hopefully it was just a blip on the screen and an isolated incident. I look forward to seeing what Gillies can do. Maybe the center fielder of the future???

  4. bfo_33

    February 9, 2011 at 9:02 am

    Car crashes, drunk driving, strippers, even pot, I can write off to immaturity. Coke and heroin are bigger issues that often don’t go away. For every Josh Hamilton, there are 10 former stud athletes living under an overpass. Maybe a one time indiscretion, but I wrote Gillies off as soon as I heard about the arrest. Hope he proves me wrong.

  5. tavian

    February 9, 2011 at 9:39 am

    He seems to have a very good eye at the plate. That is something a lot of gifted speedy athletes do not have and never have developed (Rollins and Victorino, for example). I hope we see this kid in the majors soon. He seems to have a genuine upside and being a line drive and ground ball hitter with speed to burn and a good eye at the plate are great combinations.

  6. The Original Chuck P

    February 9, 2011 at 9:54 am

    The charges against Gillies were dropped and supposedly he was tested just after the incident… so the issue might not be “use” but it’s still a sketchy scenario and anyone who blindly ascertains that there is no reason to think that Gillies’ character is not flawed is not looking at the facts. He has to prove that this is not an issue… this year is a huge year for Gillies on and off the field.

  7. The Original Chuck P

    February 9, 2011 at 9:56 am

    My previous post is a grammatical abortion… sorry, it’s still early.

    Pujols wants 10 years and $300 million… wow.

  8. Don M

    February 9, 2011 at 10:05 am

    If i was the Cardinals, I would tell Albert to Suck-a-D …. he’s been injured multiple times, he’s already 31 years old, they’ve already given him a $100 Million contract, he’s a big bodied guy and our league doesn’t have a DH

    Albert, he’re $30 M for 5 years… with a team option for a 6th.. take it or leave it

    you’re a great player… we’re willing to pay you like a great player.. if you want to stay in St Louis, sign on the dotted line

  9. Chuck

    February 9, 2011 at 10:09 am

    Who the F is THIS guy?? 10years/300M?? You’ve got to be joking, Albert!!!

  10. Manny

    February 9, 2011 at 10:40 am

    How is that shocking? We knew this all along and he’s looking to surpass A-roid’s contract.

    Plus, Jayson Werth –similar age– just got 7 from the Nationals. Albert has got to be thinking: “I should get AT LEAST 7 years –though obviously payed at least twice as much annually cause I’m twice as good.” Since he’s Pujols, he should expect at least 8 years I’d think. Anything less than 8 would be a win for the Cardinals.

  11. bfo_33

    February 9, 2011 at 10:47 am

    Here’s the big question for Stl – are they willing to take a short term revenue hit to stay competitive? It makes no sense to pay a third of your payroll to one guy, even if he continues to be one of the top players in baseball for the life of the contract. Casual fans want to see Albert hit bombs, the real baseball fans – the ones who buy season tickets, watch the games, buy the merchandise,…, want to win.

    Stl wants their payroll to stay @ $100M. Consider they are already paying Holiday $17M.yr, that is almost half the payroll to two guys. Building a competitive team with $50M isn’t impossible, but it’s tough.

    Their best bets are either to trade him now, or go all in this year and hope he has a change of heart, or let him walk at the end of the year (or, if out of it in July, trade him then). $30M/yr, even for 5 yrs, will make the Cards a non-factor by 2013, but they’ll sell plenty of merchandise as long as Pujols is healthy/performing.

    I didn’t love the Howard contract, but it seems reasonable now, and it was done before public opinion forced the Phil’s hand.

  12. The Original Chuck P

    February 9, 2011 at 10:48 am

    Albert is a historical talent… he’s one of the four greatest sluggers in history. If A-Rod can make $27.5 million until he’s 42 years old, there is no reason that Pujols is not worth $30 million until he’s 41.

    Albert is in a tough place because most of the big market teams have their 1B… there are two teams that I think could swoop in- the Cubs and the Angels but I think that St. Louis is where he wants to be. If Albert finds someone that says, “Play this year and we will give you the contract you want” he would be crazy to leave that kind of money on the table… he would feel a lot of pressure to go where the money is because he’s setting the bar for future negotiations. If St Louis doesn’t get something done now, things will get interesting.

    In context, I hope that we all feel a little better about Howard’s 5 year $125 million contract extension.

  13. Chuck

    February 9, 2011 at 10:48 am

    OK….8/25+ per year then. I can MAYBE see a 200-250M contract (as ridiculous as that really is). But 300 and TEN YEARS for a 31 year old??

  14. Chuck

    February 9, 2011 at 10:52 am

    And, yeah….for all you RAJ bashers….. Ryan Howard’s deal will now be a bargain. I said that last year when it was done…and I wasn’t even completely on board with it.

    • Manny

      February 9, 2011 at 11:06 am

      To be fair, Howard’s contract hasn’t even kicked in. It will starting next year (2012), so it still seems to be very risky. It might seem like a “bargain” if he goes back to hitting 45+ HRs this year. Otherwise, not so much.

  15. DroppedThirdStrike

    February 9, 2011 at 11:14 am

    We’re also assuming that he’s really 31 years old… You know how those Dominican Republic record keeping systems can be. Dude looked like a 30 year old about 5 years ago!

  16. The Dipsy

    February 9, 2011 at 11:22 am

    10 year 300m contract at age 31? No way. Trade him right this second if you’re the Cards. You can write off drunk driving to immaturity but not coke? Hey, anyone who hasn’t had a half a g in his pocket on his way to a party at some point in his life just isn’t living life to the fullest. I don’t condone cocaine use. I’m just saying that snorting cocaine is fun and that kids like to have fun, often without giving thought to the consequences. Additionally, maybe he hadn’t heard that coke was illegal. Ba-doom pssshh. Don’t forget to try the veal. I’m here all week.

    The Dipsy.

  17. bfo_33

    February 9, 2011 at 11:23 am

    In basketball, and to a lesser extent, hickey, you can build a team around one or two players. Baseball, not so much (how many rings does Barry have?). The short term low risk is to sign Pujols no matter what he wants – who wants to be the GM who let the greatest active player go? That has a huge long term risk though – if Pujols gets hurt, the team (and the revenue) is done.

  18. Don M

    February 9, 2011 at 11:36 am

    The Yankmees have openly admitted that the contract they gave ARoid was a HUGE mistake.. and just because one team made a mistake doesn’t mean that’s the rule from here on out..

    To give a 32-year-old, a $275 M contract was a complete waste of money… He opted out of his 10-year, $250 Million deal in 2007 – which was 7 years into the deal.

    I literally have NO idea why the Yankees ripped up the previous contract to give him that other deal, it doesn’t make any sense to me

    The Yankees are set with a 1b in Texiera …. The team I could see getting involved is the RedSox.. yes they have Adrian Gonzalez, and David Ortiz, and JD Drew, and YOukilis . . . . . but Big Papi is in the last year of his deal, Pujols is a very good defender , but they are among the only teams that could afford Pujols, and the ability to have him play DH in the future has to be a real plus. With the mega millions spent on Left-handed hitting Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez, to balance their lineup with the best RH hitter in baseball has to be at least explored

    Crawford, Pedroia, Pujols, Gonzalez, Youkils… hell you could bat me 6th and still have the best lineup baseball has ever seen.

    I don’t see any possible way that the Cardinals would let him go to the Cubs… at least not without making them five him the $300 M, 10-year deal he was seeking . . . . and I think that Pujols is smart enough to know that he would go from widely respected, to PUBLIC ENEMY #1 if he just chased the money and went to the other side of the NLs version of Yankees-RedSox …. I can’t see it happening.

  19. Don M

    February 9, 2011 at 11:43 am

    I dont see it ever happening, but I really think a SALARY CAP, and a SALARY FLOOR would save the game…

    There is the arguement that Revenue Sharing is a great thing for baseball, and allows the teams to compete, which some teams do …. but it sucks that the Rays just lost their best players, to the mighty RedSox.. and the Cubs.. etc..

    The reason there needs to be a salary Floor.. is because there is no rule in place that owners need to spend a certain amount on their rosters… which is why, under the current structure – and their current owners, the Pirates, Marlins, Royals, Indians, etc .. will never be able to compete long-term

    They might have good teams a few years from now (The Royals are said to have among the best minor league talent in all of baseball) … but as soon as those players reach Free Agency – they”ll be gone … like we just saw with the Tampa Bay Rays

  20. The Original Chuck P

    February 9, 2011 at 11:54 am

    The problem is that the Pirates have no reason to try to compete- they just keep soaking up the revenue sharing and I can’t blame them. It’s a viable business model and the owners are in it to make money… bottom line… it’s almost risk-free. They lose a ton of games, keep payroll low and take the revenue sharing to the bank. They have young talent, which is fun to watch but they have no incentive to go for it- it’s not worth the risk. Die-hard fans will always be there to put a few butts in the stands and buy some merchandise because your team is like your family… you can’t pick who you root for. I feel bad for Pirates fans.

    Don- the game doesn’t need to be saved… it’s thriving. If the NFL can’t get their act together with the CBA, you’re going to see a massive swing in sentiment. The MLB Network is tenfold better than the NFL Network and there are a lot of really likeable players out there. I’ll watch whatever game is on- I can’t say the same for football anymore. I rarely stay up for Monday night games and the entertainment value isn’t what it used to be, in my opinion.

    • Don M

      February 9, 2011 at 12:21 pm

      MLB has made a HUGE stride in the past few years…. there is no doubt that the HomeRun race.. the Yankees-Sox rilvary, etc.. all brought baseball 100% back from the Strike of 1994 when many fans swore they would never be back . . .

      The problem though, is that, unlike the NFL …. there are some teams in MLB that haven’t been competitive in DECADES! …. The NFL prides itself on parady.. the fact that the 3-win Tampa Bay Bucs, and the 2-win St Louis Rams could turn their teams around in just one season, and both be a mere win away from the Playoffs …

      That doesn’t happen in baseball.. so you have MLB where some cities, eat, sleep and breathe baseball … New York, Boston, Philly, Chicago, St Louis …. but then you have some that don’t care one bit.. Both Florida teams, Pittsburgh, Kansas City, Cleveland, Houston, Oakland …

      MANY of those are HUGE, HUGE, HUGE x 10 NFL MARKETS…

      If MLB wants to put all its eggs in that one basket, they’ll soon realize that alienating 50% of the country hurts the game as a whole… I can’t blame owners for wanting to MAKE MONEY from owning their MLB team.. but if MLB wants to give fans the best possible product.. they need to make sure that everyone can compete on as close to the same field as possible

      • DroppedThirdStrike

        February 9, 2011 at 1:02 pm

        Of the last 12 MLB league champions (last 6 years), only the Phillies appear on the list more than once.
        Of the last 12 NFL conference champions, the Steelers have been in 3 Super Bowls and the Colts have been in 2.

        In the last 10 years, 9 different teams have won a world series.
        In the last 10 years, 7 different teams have won a super bowl.

        So the MLB doesn’t have parity?

        It’s easy for a new team to MAKE the playoffs in the NFL because the season is so short and one or two lucky wins puts you in the picture. But in the end, it’s same 4 or 5 teams going for the gold every year. The NFL is successful in the midwest because people have short attention spans. If the Royals only played 8 home games a year, I bet they’d sell out all of them!

      • Don M

        February 9, 2011 at 1:55 pm

        longest current Playoff droughts

        The NFL has two teams that have not made the playoffs in 10 years.. the Bills and Lions, both of which haven’t made the postseason since 1999

        MLB has 5 teams… Expos/Nationals, Royals, Blue Jays, Orioles, and Pirates… with another team, Seattle added to that list if the don’t make it this year

        but 24 NFL teams have been in the postseason in the last 3 years… in MLB only 18 teams can say the same.

        The better arguement might be to expand the playoffs to allow more teams into the tournament, I don’t think that would take anything away from the regular season, but actually add to the excitement for more fans.. and reqard the teams with the better Regular Season records to a BYE.. allowing them to set their rotations.. rest injured players, etc.

        Basically.. the MIDDLE teams in MLB have a fair chance every few years, but the teams at the bottom have almost no chance ever since the spending spree of the Yanks, Sox, Cubs, Angles, Phillies, Mets, etc.. have become common place in the past 5-10 years

      • betasigmadeltashag

        February 9, 2011 at 9:33 pm

        The last thing baseball needs is more playoff teams. That is what ruins the playoffs, I do not care about parity I want the best teams in the playoffs. A bi in the playoffs would be awful this is not football and a ten day break before a first playoff game would be disastrous. These guys play every day, and that kind of lay off would destroy any momentum that team would have. Take a team that locks up their division and or best record in their league a week or two before the end of the season. And their starting nine would have like a month off before they start playing again. Just like people complaining that the West winner makes the playoffs but there are better records in the other divisions, too bad you want to guarantee a playoff spot win your division. Parity destroys sports it does not help them.

  21. Jay Floyd

    February 9, 2011 at 11:56 am

    The arrest is not relevant to his development. Gillies was never indicted. The charges were dropped for lack of evidence. It’s not important.

    I don’t plan to address Colvin’s arrest when he pops up in the countdown either.

    If someone was on trial, or locked up, or on probation and missed time with the team because of it, that would be key information to these articles. Neither man was absent from their teams during the year and neither man will see any lasting effects stemming from his arrest, so they won’t be spoken of here.

  22. bfo_33

    February 9, 2011 at 1:20 pm

    Back to Gillies – I haven’t had a speeding ticket in over 2 years, but I red-line my vehicle whenever traffic and road conditions permit – just got a little smarter about it. I hope the arrest is completely irrelevant – there are a bunch of reasonable explanations.

    I know a lot of people who quit drinking, smoking pot,…., before it destroyed their lives. Unfortunately, the people I know who were into coke had to hit rock bottom before they recovered, if they did at all.

    When Hamels had his immature phase while in the minors, I remember thinking he was more trouble than he was worth, time to cut the loss. I hope Gillies proves me wrong also.

    Happy my computer is still working – sprayed coffee all over it after reading Dipsy’s last post.

  23. The Dipsy

    February 9, 2011 at 1:21 pm

    Whoaaaaaa, Jay. Goin old school with the reporting. I like it. Well, just to play Devil’s advocate, do you think Steve Howe’s first team would have liked to have known he got popped for drugs? Michael Ray Richardson? Would the Rangers or whoever have drafted Josh Hamilton if they knew he shot smack? So lets face it, a conviction or lack thereof of something like this doesn’t mean jack. If the Phillies are convinced there are no substance abuse issues, and thats what matters, then fine. But if it may be indicative of a larger problem that may impair one’s ability to stay out of jail or to keep from getting suspended, or screwing up his performance, then its worthy of being addressed and talked about. Doesn’t appear to be the case hear…oh…I mean “here”. Sorry.

    The Dipsy

  24. Chuck

    February 9, 2011 at 1:50 pm

    In regards to Dipsy: The days are getting longer, the temperature a little warmer (although it’s cold as ba!!s today). Spring’s almost here and the Dipsy’s now waking up from his long winter nap.

  25. Pat Gallen

    February 9, 2011 at 2:43 pm

    Hey guys, we’re giving away a free t-shirt on our new thread. Check out the rules to enter to win if you’d like.

  26. GoPhils

    February 9, 2011 at 6:00 pm

    I appreciate the fact that the cocaine situation was not mentioned. I noticed on Jarred Cosart’s Twitter account that he believes that Gillies is a great player and a great person. Cosart said that Gillies was in the wrong place at the wrong time and that he is totally clean. I believe that there was a mix-up and the issue does not need to be discussed anymore.

  27. loupossehl

    February 10, 2011 at 3:12 am

    One factor not yet mentioned is that we’re dealing with a young black guy who had a run-in with a sheriff’s deputy, or whatever. Perhaps the black guy – who with his signing bonus could have bought and sold the deputy’s trailer-park home about 10 times over – didn’t show quite the degree of submissiveness that the deputy thought he deserved. So one thing led to another, and voila! cocaine magically appears on the dude or on the back seat of his car. Then, some time later, cooler and more responsible heads prevail, and the whole thing is dropped. (The deputy gets a glove signed by Gillies, for his kid.)

    I have absolutely no idea if this is how the incident went down, but among the various possibilities we should consider is that of the whole thing being a set-up, and Gillies was never involved in cocaine in the first place.

  28. The Dipsy

    February 10, 2011 at 7:20 am

    Thats what probably happened.

    The Dipsy

    • Chuck

      February 10, 2011 at 7:49 am

      Or… he COULD have actually F’d up and had cocaine on him. I’m willing to give the guy a pass for now and focus on his talent and what he can do for the Phillies going forward (like I suggested yesterday….center fielder of the future??).

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