Minors Notes: Who’s Hot, Who’s Not – Phillies Nation

Minors Notes: Who’s Hot, Who’s Not

Kicking off this season’s (usually) weekly rundown of top performers from the minor leagues, we’ll also take a look at some names that aren’t off to a hot start in the developmental ranks.

Class A Lakewood-

Who’s hot…

First baseman/catcher Willians Astudillo is off to a great start, batting .447 with two doubles, a home run and nine RBI in 10 games for the BlueClaws.  The 22-year-old Venezuela native spent the entire 2013 campaign on the disabled list with a left knee injury.

In three starts, right-hander Mark Leiter Jr. has a 2-1 record and a 3.00 ERA while striking out 15 and walking two in 18 innings of work.  Leiter was drafted in the 22nd round last year out of the New Jersey Institute of Technology.

Who’s not…

Third baseman Zach Green is having a slow start at the plate, batting .186 with two doubles, four RBI and three steals in 15 games.  The 20-year-old righty hitter was selected in the third round of the 2012 draft.

Right-handed starter Ranfi Casimiro has a 0-2 record along with a 10.80 ERA through three games for the BlueClaws.  Casimiro has struck out six and walked eight in 10 innings.  The Dominican native stands six-eight and weighs about 200 pounds.

Class A Advanced Clearwater-

Who’s hot…

Righty reliever Colton Murray is 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA in five appearances thus far this season.   The 24-year-old has struck out 10 and walked two in 8 2/3 innings.  Murray was the Phils’ 13th round pick in 2011 out of the University of Kansas.

Left-handed starter Ethan Stewart has posted a 0-1 record with a 1.14 ERA through four games this season.  The 23-year-old British Columbia native was selected in the 47th round of the 2010 draft by the Phillies.

Who’s not…

Outfielder Justin Parr is struggling to start his first full year in the pro’s.  The lefty batting 23-year-old has posted a .082 average with a double and two RBI in 13 games for the Threshers.  Parr, an eighth round draft choice last year, posted a .247/.332/.353 line in 56 games with short-season Class A Williamsport in 2013.

Righty starter Colin Kleven has a 0-3 record with an 8.80 ERA through three starts.  The 23-year-old was the Phils’ 33rd round draft pick in 2009.

Double-A Reading-

Who’s hot…

Since getting demoted from the big league roster, Cesar Hernandez is on fire through seven games, playing mostly third base.  The 23-year-old switch-hitter is batting .500 with a home run, five RBI and a stolen base.  While adapting to the new position, the youngster, who was an All-Star second baseman in the minors, has three errors.

Outfielder Cam Perkins has been an excellent offensive producer for the Fightins, tallying a .415 average, with eight doubles, a triple, a homer, nine RBI and two steals.  The 23-year-old was the Phillies’ sixth round draft choice in 2012 out of Purdue.

Fightins closer Ken Giles looks great thus far this season.  In six appearances, the 23-year-old righty has notched five saves and has yet to allow a run.  In seven innings of work, the Phils’ seventh round pick from 2011 has recorded 16 strike outs and has walked three batters.  With just one hit, opponents are batting  .043 against Giles.

Who’s not…

Former top draft selection Anthony Hewitt is batting .148 with no extra base hits and two RBI through 10 games this year.  The 25-year-old outfielder was selected with the 24th overall pick in 2008.

Triple-A Lehigh Valley-

Who’s hot…

Backstop Koyie Hill is looking good, filling in for the injured Cameron Rupp.  The 35-year-old is sporting a .393 average with two doubles, a triple and five RBI in nine games.  Hill has played parts of 10 seasons in the big leagues and is a .206 hitter in 331 MLB games.

Left-hander Cesar Jimenez has allowed one earned while striking out 11 and walking three run in 11 2/3 innings (0.77 ERA) in four appearances with the Pigs.  The 29-year-old Venezuelan posted a 1-1 record and a 3.71 ERA in 19 appearances in the big leagues last season.

Who’s not…

Third baseman Maikel Franco had a nice game on Sunday, in which he went 3-for-5, but overall, the 21-year-old Dominican is sporting a .153/.231/.188 slash line in 16 games.  Franco was widely regarded as the Phillies’ top prospect heading into this season.

Outfielder Tyson Gillies is 3-for-23 (.136 avg) in five games to start his season with the IronPigs.  Prior to joining LV last week, Gillies had gone 2-for-8 in two rehab appearance with Clearwater.  The 25-year-old was dealing with a hamstring issue out of spring training.



  1. Hogey's Role

    April 21, 2014 at 9:42 am

    Good to hear about kids on the farm….
    Maybe Giles can come up this year and sure up the bullpen a little bit, the kid looks really good, of course a 100 mph fastball helps a little too, he looks pretty talented so far…

    With Hernandez playing third, do you think there’s a chance the organization might move him to the big club to play third and send asche down, as asche has been struggling of late??

    • Jaron B

      April 21, 2014 at 10:27 am

      Giles needs to show resiliency before the Phils will promote him, but he hasn’t had a bad outing yet. We’ll probably see him up here in Aug. or Sept., especially if the Phils aren’t contenders or have lots of injuries.

      Asche has had years where he needs 50-100 PAs to get going and his glove & bat (left-handed) serve best in a platoon role with Galvis & later Franco (Galvis is a switch-hitter & Franco is a righty). Franco has the glove but not the bat, so if he can maintain his glove, use his 3-for-5 night as a starting point for a nice, long streak & show the team he has shortened his swing on a more permanent basis… then Franco will be called up.

      It is not the time to hit the panic button. Many of the players on this team struggle in April, which is true for a lot of players around the majors AND minors. I think it’s best to wait and see… the biggest problem would be loosing lots of close games and/ or having bad stretches (the former may lead to the latter). Maybe Sandberg can use clever maneuvering to avoid that. Panic level: 2/10; Concern level: 8.5/10.

  2. Ken Bland

    April 21, 2014 at 1:39 pm

    What time frame constitutes a player qualifying for the who’s hot mention? Last Wednesday, Phillipe Aumont , credited with a hold, pitched 2/3 of an inning, but walked 2 batters in the process. That ran his season totals to 5 innings pitched, 6 hits, and 7 walks.

    But that’s old news. The weekend saw him throw a 2 strikeout, hitless, walkless inning. Might have equaled his regular season hot streak for his career since he struck out the side in the World Baseball Classic more years ago now than his then potential recalls in one career.

    I’d say that if we give Maikei Franco the benefit of an adjustment period for the start of the Triple A portion of his career, we should see SOME signs of improvement over the next equal amount of at bats. Not that a total of 120 at bats is a sum and substance finality, but 60 at bats in, a plateau has been set, and 2 doubles as his only extra base hits would be a quantity that would be nice to which to largely add.

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