With loads of updates coming out of Clearwater on the big league Phillies, it’s about time we took a glance at some of the organization’s prospects and their performances in developmental level Grapefruit League action thus far.
24-year-old Josh Zeid, who helped the Class A Lakewood BlueClaws win their second consecutive South Atlantic League title in 2010, then went on to shine the Arizona Fall League as a member of the Mesa Solar Sox. Thus far in 2 spring starts, the 10th round pick from the 2009 amateur draft, has tossed 5 shutout innings for the Double A Reading Phillies club. Zeid has allowed 4 hits and just 1 walk, while striking out 7 batters.
With Lakewood last year, Zeid sported an 8-4 record and a 2.93 ERA for Lakewood. He fanned 111 batters over 107.1 IP as both a reliever and a starter. In the AFL, Zeid started 4 games, going 3-0 with a 3.86 ERA while holding opponents to a .206 batting average.
Justin Friend, who was selected in the minor league phase of last December’s Rule 5 draft out of the Athletics’ system, has thrown 4 scoreless innings in 2 appearances with the Phils’ Double A club. A 13th round pick in the 2007 draft, the right-handed Friend went 3-3 with a 3.70 ERA in 36 games with Double A Midland last season. Friend is 24 years old.
Jesse Biddle has thrown 5 2/3 scoreless innings in 2 appearance thus far with the Class A Lakewood team. Biddle, a lefty hurler and native Philadelphian, was last year’s top draft pick and posted a 4-1 record with a 3.92 ERA in 12 games combined with the Gulf Coast League Phillies and short season Williamsport in 2010.
Jarred Cosart threw 3 shut out innings and allowed just 1 hit in his lone spring appearance for the High A level Clearwater team thus far. Cosart, the Phillies’ 20-year-old top pitching prospect who sports a high-90’s fastball, posted a 7-3 record and a 3.79 ERA before having his 2010 season shortened due to an elbow injury.
Joe Savery has had a strong start at the plate. The former top draft pick out of Rice University has converted to an everyday player, after pitching in the Phillies’ system for four years. In his first three spring games, Savery, now a designated hitter and first baseman, had 5 hits and has continued to be successful as the exhibition season has rolled on.
Trevor May has appeared in two games…one each for the Double A club and the High A level team. He has thrown 5 combined innings and has yet to allow an earned run. May, a righty, was the Phillies’ 4th round draft selection in 2008 and has led his teams to the league title in each of his three seasons in the organization- one with the Gulf Coast League Phillies and two with the Lakewood BlueClaws. In two postseasons with the Class A ‘Claws, the 21-year-old May allowed just 1 run in 22 2/3 innings.
Julio Rodriguez, a right-hander, has thrown an outing each for High A and Class A. In his first appearance, he threw 2 scoreless innings for Clearwater. Then this week, he tossed 3 perfect innings for Lakewood. Rodriguez, 20, is fresh off an amazing 2010, in which he combined to go 7-3 with a 1.89 ERA in 20 games as a starter and a reliever for short season Williamsport and Lakewood. The 8th round pick from 2008 then pitched for his native Puerto Rico in the Pan-American qualifiers and posted a 3-1 record with a 2.00 ERA in 11 games in the Puerto Rican Winter League.
Another former top draft pick, Anthony Hewitt, who was selected in the first round of the 2008 amateur draft out of high school as a shortstop, moved to the outfield last year, spending a lot of time in right field. Hewitt, who struggled at the plate last year, posting a .202 average in 112 games with Class A Lakewood, has been playing with the BlueClaws again this spring and has spent time in centerfield.
Third baseman Travis Mattair, making a return to the Phils’ system after taking a year off to try his luck at college basketball, has been playing with the Double A Reading club, seeing time at shortstop in addition to his regular spot at the hot corner. Mattair was a 2nd round pick in the 2007 draft.
Jay Floyd is PhilliesNation’s minor league contributor. You can read more from Jay by visiting his site, PhoulBallz.com.