Impressive Dugan Among Seven Headed to AFL – Phillies Nation

Impressive Dugan Among Seven Headed to AFL

Kelly Dugan, shown here at Reading. Photo by Jay Floyd

Outfielder Kelly Dugan is one of seven Phillies selected to participate in the Arizona Fall League. Joining Dugan are outfielder Aaron Altherr, catcher Cameron Rupp, RHP Kenny Giles, Mike Nesseth, and Kyle Simon and LHP Austin Wright.

Dugan has been the most improved of the group in 2013. Dugan, who turns 23 in September, was the Phillies first selection in the 2009 draft, taken in the second round. After battling injuries for much of 2009, 2010, and 2011, Dugan posted a .300/.387/.470 line in Lakewood last season with a then-career high 12 HR. Dugan torched Clearwater in 2013 in 56 games, hitting 10 HR with a .318/.401/.539 line before being promoted to Double-A Reading where Dugan has hit .262/.300/.487 with 10 more homers in 205 PA.

Altherr, 22, has long been considered among the best athletes in the Phillies system since being drafted in the ninth round of the 2009 draft. Altherr has responded well to his first taste of High-A Clearwater, hitting .276/.337/.464 with a career-high 12 HR and an impressive 21 steals in 25 attempts.

Rupp, the Phils third round pick in 2010, will be 25 when the Arizona Fall League commences. Rupp began the year in a platoon with former prospect Sebastian Valle in Reading but quickly outplayed his counterpart from Mexico. Promoted mid-season to Lehigh Valley, Rupp seized an opportunity created by Tommy Joseph‘s injuries, hitting .272/.314/.434 with 6 homers in 50 games. His 14 homers across two levels are a career high.

Giles, Nesseth, Simon, and Wright are all pitchers but couldn’t be more different. Giles was a seventh round pick in 2011 and was seemingly on the fast track to the Major Leagues. Frequently hitting 100 MPH, Giles has struggled with control in 2013. Nesseth, 25, is a control-based reliever who has surprised some with his sudden rise. After posting a 1.64 ERA in 44 IP for Reading, Nesseth now has a clean 0.00 ERA in five IP with the IronPigs. Simon, 23, has taken a step back (4.82 ERA) after looking like a shutdown reliever in 2012 for Reading following him arriving in the Jim Thome trade. Wright, 23, has fallen off most Phillies’ prospects lists, posting a 6.10 ERA in 24 games, 16 started for Reading, with career highs in HR/9, WHIP, and BB/9 IP.

Last year, the Phillies used the AFL as an audition for Zach Collier to make a decision on whether or not they should protect him on their 40-man roster. This year, similar decisions face them for Dugan and Altherr as well as Rupp and Nesseth while Giles, Simon, and Wright are likely headed there less as an audition but more likely to get more work in.



  1. Jaron B

    August 27, 2013 at 11:36 pm

    Personally, I’d like to see Rupp promoted in a week (barring injuries or AAA playoffs). Let’s see if he can handle our pitchers and be a nice bat off the bench. Let that be his audition for the 3rd catcher role next year (a role filled by Quintero & Lerud the past two seasons).

    Additionally, I hoped to see Biddle promoted to AAA for the last 6-8 weeks of the regular season, similar to Pettibone last year. however, a rough 2nd trimester & no trades at the ML level prevented that promotion. I still project him as a late-June 2014 call-up… filling in for the winner of the Spring Training competition for a rotation spot in 2014: Martin, Morgan, Cloyd & Pettibone look to compete there with Martin & Cloyd better suited for the long-man role.

    Tough decisions on the 40-man roster and they must keep four or five spots open for free agents/ Rule 5 pick. We need a utility man to assist Asche at 3B (Franco not ready in 2014) who can also play OF and a primary catcher (Kratz is a great back-up).

    • Cole

      August 28, 2013 at 12:27 pm

      While it doesn’t help the age fight on the team, signing Kelly Johnson to help Asche would be my personal first choice. Right handed with some power, plays third and the outfield and can also give chase a day off every now and again. Your thoughts on who we might be looking at as our starting catcher going forward??

      • Hogey's Role

        August 28, 2013 at 12:32 pm

        Kelly Johnson is a left handed hitter

      • Cole

        August 28, 2013 at 2:02 pm

        Ugh too true, saw that he threw right handed and got a little giddy =/

  2. Alex M.

    August 28, 2013 at 12:56 pm

    Decent group, it would have been nice to see Franco in the Arizona League but his Dominican Team Retained his rights. You can tell they are focused on producing relievers since they are sending 4 of them to Arizona.

    • Alex M.

      August 28, 2013 at 1:02 pm

      It is going to be very tough for the Phillies to retain or protect all of their young prospects since Castro, Rupp, Dugan, Hewitt, Altherr, Garner, Nesseth and James are all eligible for Rule 5.

      • Ryne Duren

        August 28, 2013 at 5:23 pm

        yea Alex you got that right. However if they unload a few of those knuckleheads like mini, wells etc etc . I figure without naming them they can open a lot of 40 man roster space with the players on it right now to protect those younger guys. I mean it’s not like the guys we take off are going to be having a wave of teams scooping them up.

      • Alex M.

        August 29, 2013 at 10:39 am

        Ryne, The problem that the Phillies are going to face is that out of those names listed Rupp and Castro are the only potential locks for being in Philly next season with an outside chance Nesseth joins them. Dugan, Hewitt, Altherr, Garner and James all still need time in the minors. Now James is not worth protecting after an injury filled year. But honestly you can make a case for the other four. Dugan is the closest outfield prospect that we have that could become a great player. Hewitt cant hit for average but all of the other tools are there and he has looked amazing at times this season. Altherr needs more time but he is a 5 tool prospect as well. Garner is a very underrated pitcher, but he has been solid this season and has the tools to be a great pitcher with a fastball that can get up to 97 and a strong curve. The question for the Phillies is, can they find a way to add 7 players to the 40 man roster (4 of which wont be with Philly next season) and keep players like Valle, Galvis, Hernandez, Collier and Gillies? If Ruben loses one of these guys because he is stupid I will be really pissed. (Note: I think that Valle, Collier and Gillies could be gone from the 40 man roster)

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