Minor Leagues

Phillies Minor League Update: Who’s coming to pitch for the Phillies?

Let’s run through the minor leagues and check in on the Phils’ top prospects.

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LEHIGH VALLEY: So maybe 100 wins isn’t happening for the Pigs, who have started the season 3-6. Like their major league counterparts, the IronPigs are prone to low-scoring games, putting up about three runs per game in their last seven.

Part of that problem is a number of highly touted prospects aren’t squaring up yet this spring. Here’s the list:

  • Jorge Alfaro: .394/.412/.576, 3 XBH, 8 K, 0 BB, 33 AB
  • Jesmuel Valentin: .393/.452/.429, 1 XBH, 6 K, 2 BB, 28 AB
  • Rhys Hoskins: .310/.429/.517, 4 XBH, 7 K, 5 BB, 29 AB
  • Roman Quinn: .242/.257/.303, 2 XBH, 14 K, 1 BB, 33 AB
  • Cameron Perkins: .192/.300/.346, 2 XBH, 6 K, 4 BB, 26 AB
  • Nick Williams: .179/.233/.250, 2 XBH, 10 K, 1 BB, 28 AB
  • Dylan Cozens: .129/.229/.226, 1 XBH, 15 K, 4 BB, 31 AB
  • J.P. Crawford: .100/.182/.167, 1 XBH, 11 K, 3 BB, 30 AB

Hoskins is probably having the best season thus far, while Alfaro is also – as per usual – hitting everything. The strikeout numbers are disheartening, and surprising for Crawford especially. But it’s quite early. We need to let these kids play it out for a while, just as we need to let the struggling Tommy Joseph, Freddy Galvis and Cameron Rupp play a little more before making any judgments.

The Pigs have pitched somewhat better in the early going, though one pitcher has had a really bad start:

  • Jake Thompson: 4.2 IP, 28.93 ERA, 5 K, 6 BB
  • Ben Lively: 11 IP, 4.09 ERA, 10 K, 2 BB
  • Ricardo Pinto: 12.1 IP, 0.73 ERA, 6 K, 2 BB
  • Nick Pivetta: 6 IP, 1.50 ERA, 8 K, 0 BB
  • Zach Eflin: 5 IP, 0.00 ERA, 4 K, 3 BB (also 5 IP, 0.00 ERA, 6 K in high-A)
  • Mark Appel: 4.2 IP, 3.86 ERA, 2 K, 3 BB

So, yeah, two terrible outings for Thompson.

The Pigs have a doubleheader today, and Appel and Pivetta (against Kyle Kendrick!) are scheduled to be on the bump. But with Clay Buchholz’s recent injury, something will change in the Pigs’ rotation. The most likely scenario is Eflin (whose turn comes up at the same time as Buchholz) is bumped to the majors, getting the first crack in 2017.

The Phils do have an off day Monday before the Buchholz spot on Tuesday in New York, so it’s possible they go four-man for a turn before bringing up who they want (after his spring and start to 2017, Pivetta is probably most worthy of the promotion).

Either way, something is bound to change.

READING: The Fightin Phils are also starting slow. At 3-5, they haven’t yet won a game in which they score fewer than six runs.

How they’re hitting:

  • Andrew Pullin: .355/.429/.742, 8 XBH, 10 K, 3 BB, 31 AB
  • Malquin Canelo: .350/.409/.500, 2 XBH, 4 K, 2 BB, 20 AB
  • Scott Kingery: .300/.389/.700, 6 XBH, 8 K, 3 BB, 30 AB
  • Carlos Tocci: .273/.314/.273, 6 K, 0 BB, 33 AB

Pullin has been on a tear with six doubles to start the season. And how about Kingery? He now has three homers and 10 RBI on the young season; good to see the fast start. It’s also funny how Carlos Tocci continues to be exactly who Carlos Tocci has been (no extra-base-hit power).

How they’re pitching:

  • Thomas Eshelman: 10 IP, 3.60 ERA, 7 K, 2 BB
  • Drew Anderson: 8.1 IP, 10.80 ERA, 3 K, 2 BB

Also, reliever Yacksel Rios has 13 strikeouts in seven innings over four games.

CLEARWATER: Hey, a winning team! The Threshers are 7-3 and looking strong all the way through.

Hitters:

  • Herlis Rodriguez: .304/.429/.652, 4 XBH, 5 K, 5 BB, 23 AB
  • Damek Tomscha: .278/.316/.611, 6 XBH, 5 K, 2 BB, 36 AB
  • Cornelius Randolph: .250/.341/.528, 4 XBH, 10 K, 4 BB, 36 AB
  • Jose Pujols: .162/.162/.189, 1 XBH, 19 K, 0 BB, 37 AB

The Threshers don’t have all the sexy-name prospects, but they’re clubbing homers. Randolph and Tomscha have three each. Pujols, meanwhile, is having trouble adjusting to high-A early on.

Pitchers:

  • Cole Irvin: 13 IP, 0.69 ERA, 10 K, 2 BB
  • Franklyn Kilome: 10.2 IP, 3.38 ERA, 12 K, 3 BB
  • Jose Taveras: 9.2 IP, 0.93 ERA, 13 K, 5 BB
  • Seranthony Dominguez: 8 IP, 1.13 ERA, 14 K, 1 BB
  • Alberto Tirado: 6 IP, 0.00 ERA, 3 K, 4 BB

Dingers and strikeouts – that’s what you get in Clearwater. Promising starts for some touted pitching prospects.

LAKEWOOD: The BlueClaws won four straight to start the year, then lost four straight before winning Friday night. There’s a lot to watch on this club.

Hitters:

  • Cord Sandberg: .447/.488/.605, 4 XBH, 11 K, 2 BB, 38 AB
  • Daniel Brito: .390/.444/.634, 4 XBH, 10 K, 4 BB, 41 AB
  • Mickey Moniak: .308/.386/.410, 4 XBH, 13 K, 3 BB, 39 AB
  • Arquimedes Gamboa: .280/.321/.400, 1 XBH, 5 K, 2 BB, 25 AB

Good starts for most everyone of note. Brito has clubbed three homers and has already scored 11 runs. Sandberg was demoted back to Lakewood after a tough 2016 in Clearwater, so he needs to prove he’s above this level to avoid being lost in the shuffle.

Pitchers:

  • Sixto Sanchez: 9.2 IP, 4.66 ERA, 13 K, 1 BB
  • JoJo Romero: 9 IP, 5.00 ERA, 11 K, 3 BB
  • Ranger Suarez: 8.1 IP, 2.16 ERA, 11 K, 6 BB
  • Adonis Medina: 4 IP, 2.25 ERA, 2 K, 4 BB

Sanchez’s ERA is somewhat misleading, built mostly on a quick hook in his first outing and a two-run single allowed after he was pulled. So stare at that strikeout rating. It’s choice.

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