Phillies Pitching Prospect Ranfi Casimiro Plays A Key Role For the Aguilas Cibaenas in Winning the Gold Cup of the Serie del las Americas

The Aguilas Cibaenas of the Dominican Winter League defeated the Cardenales de Lara of the Venezuelan Winter League, 4-3, to win the Gold Cup in the first Serie de las Americas Sunday night at Marlins Park in Miami.

Phillies pitching prospect Ranfi Casimiro pitched clean fifth and sixth innings for Aguilas retiring all six batters he faced in the game to hold a 2-2 tie at the time.  In the top of the ninth Aguilas pushed across two runs which turned out just enough for the win.

Ranfi Casimiro

Ranfi Casimiro

Casimiro continued his excellent pitching this season by striking out two and getting the other four outs on ground balls in the tournament. See his last four outs HERE, HERE, HERE and HERE.

In 16 innings so far in winter ball, all in four November games, Casimiro has induced 26 ground ball outs compared to only six air ball outs.  His WHIP is now under 1.00 and his batting average against is around .200.  His ERA is just over 2.00.  In his last two appearances he has struck out seven in seven innings of work allowing only four hits and no walks.  What more can any organization ask of him?

After going 6-2 in the second half of the SAL with the Lakewood BlueClaws and his work in offseason ball, the 23- year old Casimiro has developed clearly into a major league pitching prospect.  As we can see in the above videos his slider and change up have been his out pitches.  I have seen his fastball top at 94 mph.

The tall the 6’8″ Casimiro is showing he has major league stuff. All he needs is a chance to show it for some MLB team what he can do next season!

Casimiro (with backwards cap) and the Gold Cup

Casimiro (with backwards cap) and the Gold Cup






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Edubray Ramos Finishes Strong in the AFL and Rhys Hoskins Heats Up In The ABL

Take out one bad outing and Phillies top bullpen prospect Edubray Ramos had an outstanding Arizona Fall League season.  The AFL season ended on Thursday.

In eight of Ramos’ nine AFL appearances including the Stars game, Ramos picked up two saves over 9.1 innings giving up only 2 earned runs, 7 hits, 13 strikeouts and had no walks. Can’t beat that strikeout to walk ratio and walks/hits to innings pitched ratio.

Edubray Ramos

Edubray Ramos

In his one bad AFL outing he did give up seven hits and six runs with a strike out but no walks in one inning of relief.

Ramos’ AFL numbers compare favorably to Ken Giles’ AFL numbers back in 2013.  Giles also had one bad outing and struck out two in the Stars game. The big difference was that Giles walked eight in his 10.1 AFL innings excluding the Stars game.

Now on the Phillies website all the talk is about its current closer Ken Giles drawing interest from many other major league teams READ HERE.  It would seem only logical that Edubray Ramos is being groomed to take over as the Phillies closer of the future maybe sooner than later.

Rhys Hoskins continues his hot streak in the Australian Baseball League for the Sydney Blue Sox.  Friday night he hit his third home run in his last ten games down under.  Watch HERE  between the 4:00 and 5:00 mark of the game replay. In those ten games Rhys is hitting .359 with 11 RBI’s.  He leads the ABL in doubles with 9 in only 15 games so far.

Rhys Hoskins' headlines on the Sydney Blue Sox website.

Rhys Hoskins’ headlines on the Sydney Blue Sox website.

Edubray Ramos and Rhys Hoskins have been two of the top Phillies prospects so far in the offseason leagues.





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Phillies Prospects Casimiro, Hoskins and Arano Continue To Be Weekend Standouts In The Offseason Leagues

Same old story different day.  The Phillies do have three prospects playing strong offseason ball around the world and they continued to do it over this past weekend.  They were pitcher Ranfi Casimiro in the Dominican, first baseman Rhys Hoskins in Australia and set-up pitcher Victor Arano in Mexico.

The 23-year old Casimiro has been outstanding in his three starts for his hometown team, the Aguilas Cibaenas.  In 14 innings in his starts, 12 of them have been shutout innings. In Saturday’s game he pitched five innings and struck out five with no walks.

His improvement in his three starts in the Dominican League can be measure when comparing his current WHIP and ERA with his 2015 and 2014 seasons as a starter in Lakewood:  WHIP/ERA: DWL, 1.07/2.57; LAK, “15” 1.15/3.35; LAK “14” 1.57/4.92.

Watch two of Casimiro’s strikeouts on big breaking pitches against left handed bats against the Gigantes on Saturday:  HERE and HERE.

Hoskins will turn 23-years old in March and has been a model of consistency so far this season.  Compare his 2015 OBP/SLG/OPS with the three teams for whom he has played in 2015: Lakewood, .397/.525/.922; Clearwater, .394/510/.904 and Sydney Australia, .356/ 566/.922.  He is one of the few players in minor league baseball to have an OPS over .900 in 2015.

Combined for the three teams he has played for so far in 2015, Hoskins has hit 20 homers and driven in 102 runs in 151 games.  He is one of the few power bats in the Phillies system.

See his two hits on Sunday in a game against Adelaide in the ABL.  His single can be seen on the video replay of the game from the 33:20 to 34:40 mark and the double from the 2:02:05 to 23:03:35 mark.  Watch HERE.  His ninth double leads the ABL.

Twenty year-old Victor Arano picked up his sixth save in the Mexican Pacific League yesterday to go with three wins and a save in 15 games in relief.  Over 16.2 innings he has struck out 15, walked only 2 and has given up only one run.  Arano was a starter for the Threshers in 2015 and appeared in only two games in a relief for them.

Clearly Casimiro, Hoskins and Arano continue to stand out in the offseason leagues as they position themselves to move up in the Phillies organization in 2016.  No doubt an organization that could use a starting pitching, a power bat and a set up reliever as soon as possible!














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Phillies 20-year old Victor Arano Is Emerging As One Of The Top Reliever Prospects In The Organization

The Phillies new General Manager Matt Klentak has started off by signing two veteran relief pitchers released by other organization.  He appears to be hoping for bounce back years for Dan Otero and James Russell who appear to be in the twilight of their careers.

But the solution to bullpen depth may eventually rest with the young arms already in the Phillies system such as 20-year old Victor Arano.  He was acquired last year from the Dodgers in the Roberto Hernandez deal.

Arano started in 22 of 24 of his appearances this season for the Clearwater Threshers where he compiled a 4-12 record with a 4.72.  But in his two relief appearances he gave up only one earned run in seven innings.

Victor Arano gets strikeout on 94 mph fast ball

Victor Arano gets swinging strikeout on 94 mph fast ball

Watch several hitters he faced in an August 22nd start this year against Brevard County including a strikeout on a 94 mph fastball HERE, HERE and HERE.

Arano has been brilliant pitching in relief in the Mexican-Pacific League this Fall for Obregon.  In 14 games over 15.2 innings, he has gone 3-0 with one save and five holds including one last night.  In that time he has given up one run, eleven hits, walking two and striking out 14.  He has found a home as a shutdown reliever.

Victor Arano should get a look as a non-roster invitee in spring training games at the major league camp.  He is earning it right now in Fall Ball!







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Phillies Top Minor League Pitching Prospect Franklyn Kilome Leads The Boys Of Summer Already Working Out In Clearwater For the 2016 Season

Much of the Phillies talk at the recently concluded General Manager meetings in Boca Raton, Florida was about the need for more international signings.  Read HERE and HERE.

The Phillies are already heavily invested in that market.   With a team in the Dominican Republic and only one of four major league teams with a team in Venezuela the Phillies are heavily invested in international rosters.  So much so that even the two half season teams in the states, the GCL Phillies and Williamsport in the NY-Penn League had many players on both rosters from the Caribbean region in 2015.

Baseball Betsy and I have become friends with several of the players from the Dominican Republic and Venezuela.   We provided a month of housing for one of them during the last month of the 2015 season when he was assigned to the Threshers.

We have been asked by another one already if we could provide lodging for him for the 2016 Florida State League season.  At the A Advanced level, the Clearwater team is the first level the minor league players are on their own for housing.

We get to know many of them on a first name basis. We share a pizza or a trip to Chipotle along Gulf to Bay and visit the Dominican market a couple of miles down Drew St. with them a few times after the games. Especially, we get to know the pitchers who are not scheduled to pitch that day and have time to intermingle with the fans before and after spring training, extended spring and Gulf Coast League games.

As reported in the Phillies Insider column, eight minor league players from Venezuela and the Dominican Republic have reported to the minor league Complex for special workouts.  The are  participating in a strength and conditioning program, October 29 through December 19, at Carpenter Complex: SS Malquin Canelo, OF Carlos Duran, RHP Ricardo Pinto, OF Jose Pujols, RHP Franklyn Kilome, 1B Luis Encarnacion, SS Arquismedez Gamboa and C Deivy Grullon.

Franklyn Kilome is one of our favorites and he was selected by Baseball America in its current issue as the seventh best prospect in the Phillies organization.  This marks the second year he has appeared in Baseball American as one of the top Phillies prospects.

Franklyn Kilome in the November 20 issue of Baseball America

Franklyn Kilome in the November 20 issue of Baseball America

We took the opportunity to drop off again a copy of BA for Franklyn.  Needless to say the workouts at the Complex have been paying off for him. He has always had a powerful lower body and now his upper body is catching up.  He is listed at 6’5″ in the Baseball America article but when he came to the door of his motel room he had to duck under the top of the door frame and he looked ready for an opening day 2016 start for either Lakewood or Clearwater.

We had a nice chat with Franklyn since we last saw him at Instructs last month. He showed us his latest pencil sketch which he is a master at.  If this baseball thing does not work out, he can always be an accomplished artist.

But I will not forget Kilome’s start for Williamsport in the NY-Penn League playoffs in September when we listened to the game over the internet.  He recorded a strikeout for the third out in each of the five shutout innings he worked to earn the win.  Can’t recall if I have ever followed another game where that had happened.

As Baseball Betsy and I learned this week, the boys of summer are already getting ready for what should be a great 2016 season in the Phillies minor league season.















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Phillies Prospects Casimiro, Quinn and Moore Playing In The Dominican Winter League

It almost seemed like a Phillies minor league intrasquad game late yesterday afternoon and early evening.  Baseball Betsy and I watched the Dominican Winter League action matching Aguilas Cibaenas and the Licey Tigres from Santiago, Dominican Republic on the internet.  (

On the bump for Aguilas was our good friend Ranfi Casimiro, a local guy from Santiago DR.   Ranfi was making his second start of the season.  In his first start he pitched a five inning shutout last week.  Last night he pitched three scoreless innings to start the game but allowed three runs in his final inning of pitching in the fourth.

Ranfi has pitched well and appears to be eligible for the Rule Five draft which comes up at the winter meetings on December 10th.  The 23-year old has been in the Phillies organization for five years.

In his second year this season with the Lakewood BlueClaws he made significant progress improving in all his stats across the board.  He finished strong going 6-2 in the second half of the Sally League season and made all of his 23 starts for the season.

At 6’8″ the lanky, right-handed Casimiro, reminds me somewhat of 6′ 10″ Chris Young who pitched effectively for the Kansas City Royals in the World Series.  Ranfi had a 1.15 WHIP last season, one of the best in the SAL last season   I have seen his fastball top at 94 mph at times but he seems to pitch more effectively with a fastball sitting in the lower 90’s.

Ranfi Casimiro

Ranfi Casimiro

Lacey’s centerfielder in the game was Roman Quinn and its catcher was Logan Moore.   Moore lined a double down the right field line and scored on a Quinn base hit to right center in the sixth inning.  They both seem targeted for Lehigh Valley in 2016.

Quinn missed the entire second half of the 2015 season to a left upper leg injury but seems ready to go after playing for the Phillies fall instructs team and now in the Dominican League for Licey.  He leads the DWL in stolen bases with six and runs scored with 13.

The 25-year old Moore just finished his fifth year in the Phillies organization which would   make him Rule Five eligible to be drafted by another organization if not placed on the Phillies 40-man roster.

Moore hit a career high .276 in 42 games with Lehigh Valley in 2015.  He was one of the few catchers in baseball to throw out more runners on the bases than runners who were successful in stealing base.  He threw out 29 of 55 runners attempting to steal (52.7%) combined between Lehigh Valley and Reading.

Watch the last at bats in the game for Quinn and Moore, HERE and HERE.

We will be watching to see if Casimiro and Moore are added to the Phillies forty-man roster to avoid exposure to the Rule Five draft.  They both have major league skill sets from the games we have seen them play the last several years.





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Phillies Prospects Edubray Ramos and Rhys Hoskins Have A Big Weekend in Fall Ball Action

Edubray Ramos looked like he belongs as one of the top relief pitching prospects in baseball Saturday night in the Arizona Fall League Stars game.  He came on in the ninth inning and struck out the only two batters he faced.  His West team defeated the East 8-3.

Ramos needed only 11 pitches to pick up his two swinging strikeouts. He threw seven fastballs ranging from 94 to 96 mph.   His first strikeout came on a 94 mph fastball and his second was on an 85 mph slider.

He had good command throwing 9 strikes and two balls.  According to Gameday, he posted a 2″-4″ break on his fastballs and a 7″-9″ break on his sliders.  His pitch speed ranged from the 96 mph fastball to a 79 mph slider.

Watch his two third strikes, HERE and HERE.

Playing for the Sydney Blue Sox in the Australian Baseball League, first baseman Rhys Hoskins had his second big weekend in a row.  He went 5 for 17 with a home run, two doubles and four RBIs in four games this weekend.

In his last eight games over his last two weekends in the ABL, he is hitting .344 with two homers and ten RBIs.  He has hit a double in six of his last eight games. He leads the ABL in doubles with eight after the first eleven games of the season.

Hoskins home run for the Blue Sox came in the top of the fourth inning of Sunday’s game.  You can watch his long ball HERE.

Ramos and Hoskins were without a doubt the top Phillies Fall Ball players from this weekend.









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