STATEN ISLAND, NY- Coming into the 2015 season, Franklyn Kilome wasn’t among the buzz names in the land of Phillies prospects. But as some of the top ranked talents in the organization have successfully climbed the developmental ladder, the 20-year-old righty pitcher has begun to stand out.
With an excellent season thus far for the Class A short-season Williamsport Crosscutters, Kilome has begun to draw plenty of attention. In seven starts, the six-foot-six 175 pounder sports a 2-1 record with a 1.74 ERA and a 7.26 K/9 mark.
It’s not just the numbers that have caught people’s eyes. It’s his blazing fastball and strong secondary offerings, a strong change up and a curve ball that feature good break, as well.
“Kilome throws upper-90’s, touching 100 every once in a while,” Crosscutters manager and former big league catcher Pat Borders stated. “He’s got some velocity. He’s very talented and one to watch out for.”
Kilome, who has been able to throw strikes more consistently this season, credits his pitching coach Les Lancaster with assisting his growth this season.
“He helped me a lot. He taught me how to throw my change up. A different grip. So, now I have one that’s great. My breaking ball is much better. My fastball command, he works hard with me and my command is great, my curve ball I throw for first pitch strikes, my change up, everything’s working good. The mental part of the game too- he’s helped me a lot,” Kilome said in the visitor’s dugout at Staten Island’s Richmond County Bank Ballpark.
Signed as an international free agent out of the Dominican Republic in 2013, Kilome quickly became friends with another Dominican native, Maikel Franco, who was already making a name for himself and became on of the Phillies’ biggest contributors this year, Maikel Franco.
“I met him in the Dominican Academy and we talked a lot about the organization and he gave me advice and we talked about what we wanted to do. And he told me to work hard and play hard. He’s a great guy,” Kilome said.
Another recently promoted youngster and previous top prospect that Kilome can take inspiration from is pitcher Aaron Nola. Last year’s top draft pick made his big league debut last month at the age of 22.
“I see him there and it gives me more to go for. With young guys on the Phillies, I think I can get there fast too,” Kilome stated.
As he’s been dominating the New York-Penn League, Kilome feels ready for bigger challenges, but understands his rise through the minors will take patience.
“It’s what I think, but it’s not my decision, so I just keep playing hard and work hard and they’ll see it. It’s not my decision, so the only thing I can do is play baseball. If they move me up or move me down, I’ll play the same and do my job,” Kilome said.
With the Phillies organization in a rebuild mode and more focus being placed on their upcoming talent, keep the determined and electric Kilome toward forefront of all discussions about the team’s future.