Today was the first day that the entire major league team was due to report. Things are quite different under the Kapler regime are very different. Whereas they had previously started at 9 and went to about noon, now it starts “around” 11 and goes after 2.
Today, my friend Jose Taveras pitched live batting practice for the major league time since making the 40 man roster.
I was able to catch most of the big names as well:
Again this year, I was privileged to be asked by Reading Eagle Sports Writer Mike Drago to be part of the “Rank the Phillies Prospects” survey. He asked us to “rank the top players in the Phillies organization from No. 1 to No. 25, based on their present value to the organization and their major league ceiling/potential. (A weighted ballot will be used, with first-place votes earning 25 points, second place 24 points, etc.)”
This is one of my favorite things to take part in as it’s so cool to be included with so many other reporters and bloggers whose work I enjoy reading.
So I talked through my list with Baseball Ross and we realized that we have seen so many of the prospects as they have progressed, save for a few that were acquired via trades or the draft. So here’s “our” list:
1. Jake Thompson
2. Dylan Cozens
3. Rhys Hoskins
4. Jorge Alfaro
5. J P Crawford
6. Roman Quinn
7. Mickey Moniak
8. Franklyn Kilome
9. Elniery Garcia
10. Nick Williams
11. Jose Taveras
12. Scott Kingery
13. Ben Lively
14. Tyler Viza
15. Jose Pujols
16. Cornelius Randolph
17. Jhailyn Ortiz
18. Andrew Pullin
19. Andrew Knapp
20. Jiandido Tromp
21. Alberto Tirado
22. Jimmy Cordero
23. Sixto Sanchez
24. Nick Fanti
25. Adonis Medina
As you can see, I have been able to take pictures of all but two, and I have seen all 25 but sadly the two I missed were on days where I didn’t have my camera with me or the battery was dead by the end of the day during spring training. So Ross and I really put a lot of thought into our list.
The list from Drago as complied by all my fellow reporters and bloggers:
Reading Eagle Phillies minor league prospect ranks
(with position, current club)
1. J.P. Crawford, SS, Lehigh Valley
2. Jorge Alfaro, C, Reading
3. Nick Williams, OF, Lehigh Valley
4. Jake Thompson, P, Philadelphia
5. Mickey Moniak, OF, Gulf Coast
6. Dylan Cozens, OF, Reading
7. Roman Quinn, OF, Reading
8. Cornelius Randolph, OF, Lakewood
9. Franklyn Kilome, P, Lakewood
10. Rhys Hoskins, 1B, Reading
11. Scott Kingery, 2B, Reading
12. Andrew Knapp, C, Lehigh Valley
13. Adonis Medina, P, Williamsport
14. Nick Pivetta, P, Lehigh Valley
15. Jhailyn Ortiz, OF, Gulf Coast
16. Ricardo Pinto, P, Reading
17. Elniery Garcia, P, Clearwater
18. Ben Lively, P, Lehigh Valley
19. Kevin Gowdy, P, Gulf Coast
20. Carlos Tocci, OF, Clearwater
Others receiving multiple votes( in order of vote total):
Mark Appel, P, Lehigh Valley
Sixto Sanchez, P, Gulf Coast
Jimmy Cordeo, P, Reading
Cole Stobbe, SS, Gulf Coast
Jose Pujols, OF, Lakewood
Alberto Tirado, P, Lakewood
Alec Asher, P, Lehigh Valley
Thomas Eshelman, P, Reading
Drew Anderson, P, Clearwater
Andrew Pullin, OF, Reading
Cole Irvin, P, Williamsport
Arquimedes Gamboa, Williamsport
JoJo Romero, P, Williamsport
Malquin Canelo, SS, Clearwater
Tyler Viza, P, Reading
It’s enlightening to see where all they players fall per the weighted vote. Of the list, Ross and I could see almost any of them on the list though may be in a different position (as was evidenced by our differences on our list). I will find it interesting to see how this pans out in the future.
Today was one of those days where there was so much going on on three of the four fields at the Carpenter Complex that I could have used a twin or even a triplet to help me try to cover all the action. I’m still stuck using my knee scooter, which has actually turned out to be a help, I can zip around faster than I can walk and when I pick a spot to set up, I can sit on the cushioned seat right against the fence without obstructing anyone’s view.
There was a bit of a kerfuffle trying to get into the parking lot so we were delayed a bit, but as I walked up to Roberts Field in the back, I was pleased to see Cody Asche back at the plate. I was even more pleased to see him smack the ball so hard that it landed at the base of the hill to US 19! It was definitely one of the longest hits I’ve ever seen on that field. You can see pictures of the hit HERE.
Mitch Walding also had a great day, with two home runs, one that I have a picture of and one that Baseball Ross has on video. You can see it HERE.
Dylan Cozens also hit two home runs, I managed to get a picture of one of them.
Here’s some pictures from the rest of the day, my only regret is that I got to Schmidt field in time to see David Buchanan’s last pitch and didn’t have time to get my camera up to get a shot.
The most unique thing I saw today was a true submariner, Ben Rowen of the Jays. I think he has the lowest release point of any submariner I’ve ever seen.
It was a great day for baseball and I can’t wait to do it again tomorrow.
It was a busy day at the Carpenter Complex, not only were the AAA and AA Phillies teams playing the Yankees, there was another team (either independent or a college team, even the Phillies players didn’t know which.) playing what will likely become the Gulf Coast League team this summer.
While I’m still not up to 100%, I did my best with my knee scooter, zipping between fields, trying to guesstimate when the different players would be either pitching or hitting and just trying to capture a few good shots. The side effect is that it makes it really hard to have any clue what inning or even what the score was.
Either way, Baseball Ross and I had a good time watching baseball.
Interesting note: John Richy executed a nice bunt, almost out ran it to first and managed to advance the runner…just what a pitcher should do. It was good to see.
For the casual fan, the first day of pitchers and catchers isn’t the most exciting. They come out and spend about half an hour stretching then break into work groups and go to different fields with different coaches.
Then the coaches talk for about another twenty minutes (this is done somewhere on the field so fans can’t hear) and after that, they begin practicing. The first few days, they only pantomime throwing.
Watching drills (especially when you’ve been doing this 7+ years) can get a little boring so Baseball Ross and I walked over to Bright House to watch position players take batting practice.
On the half field next to the stadium, Darin Ruf, Freddy Galvis and Andres Blanco were doing infield drills:
Once inside, we saw:
The weather was the best in recent memory. I can’t wait for tomorrow!
Yesterday the starting pitchers for the A ball games really gave me pause. It shows, in my opinion, the hope and hopelessness of the Phillies organization.
You can contrast the youth, health and play of just these two players and get a sense of what is wrong with the front office’s plans.
Garcia is 20 and in the peak of health. Harang will be 37 and has already two missed starts this season due to back issues. If you saw my picture from the first day of Spring Training, it’s easy to see that he did not report to camp in shape.
To me, this is the most glaring problem with the organization, they bring in a high-priced older player with obvious health issues, pay them a ton of money (for Harang it’s 5 MILLION) and then are stymied when they break down.
Contrast that with kids like Garcia, who are in great shape and developing, improving with almost every start, kids that are barely making enough money to get by.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I’d rather lose games because a kid is learning how to play at a higher level where they can use the loss to improve their play than to lose because a “veteran” isn’t able to perform at a high enough level.
Garcia is in MiLB camp, which started later than MLB camp, so he hasn’t been “stretched out” as much as Harang…but if you look at their lines, it makes the problems with Harang seem glaring, like the lights of Las Vegas. Both pitched against A-ball teams.
Garcia: 3IP, 1H, 0R, 0W, 2K (both swinging)
Harang: 5IP, 7H, 3R, 0W, 5K
For me, this is what is going to make the MLB season long and arduous…and give me hope for quality minor league teams. The more I think about it, the more excited I am getting for the minor league season to start. With some of the young players we have, Garcia, Franklyn Kilome, Aaron Nola, Roman Quinn, Dylan Cozens, Matt Imhof, Jan Hernandez, Rhys Hoskins, JP Crawford, Deivi Grullon, and Grenny Cumana we could have some contenders in the minor league system. So if you want to catch me at a game, don’t look for me at Citizens Bank Park.