Baseball Betsy posted the opening day 2014 rosters for the four Phillies minor league teams and the extended spring training squad yesterday on her blog. SEE HERE. A quick overview shows a few young prospects on the Group One list. Many potential major leaguers on the the Group Two list. Next to none on the Group Three list. And a nice mix of future major leaguers on the Group Four and Group Five lists.
Oh, some movement might still take place but it is clear that the AA or Group Two, Reading, team will be the most interesting from a prospect projection. It’s a mix of players who ended the season from last year’s team including outfielder Kelly Dugan, starting pitchers Jesse Biddle and Severino Gonzalez and reliever Tyler Knigge. Plus the best from the last year’s Clearwater Threshers in infielders Carlos Alonso and outfielders Brock Stassi, Aaron Altherr and Cameron Perkins.
The AAA or Group One, Lehigh Valley IronPigs, will be an older team made up of players with little upside but will have a few young prospects including catcher Cameron Rupp and corner infielder Maikel Franco on the roster and starting pitcher David Buchanan and swing man Mario Hollands likely to join the roster from the Phillies. The AAA team at least will have four young major league prospects on the roster.
Group Three, Clearwater Threshers, appears to be the team most lacking in major league prospects. With the exceptions of catcher Logan Moore and first baseman Art Charles, few position players stand out. Future major league arms on the pitching staff are hard to identify though we can always hope that several of them have break out seasons. I like Daniel Child out of the pen and Jordan Guth looks like a prospect but was hit hard at times last season. The jury is still out on the rest of the pitching staff from what I have seen in camp.
Hope spring eternal on the low A and extended spring squads but if you have been following my blog you know I am fascinated with these guys. The Group Four ,Lakewood, roster should be fun to watch just as these guys have been in camp games. Gabe Lino behind the plate, Wilmer Oberto at first, Andrew Pullin at second, J.P. Crawford at short and Zach Green at third all can be projected to have major league skill sets. Outfielder Dylan Cozens has been my lock for a major league impact player since I first saw him in the GCL two years ago. Also I like the size and pop of left-fielder Sam Hiciano. Pitching is not overwhelming but could develop.
The extended spring training squad, which will eventually become the Williamsport or GCL team by mid June, will play the nearby Yankees, Blue Jays and Pirates extenders and are interesting too. The best young catcher in the organization Deivi Grullon is always worth watching. The ball just jumps off the bat of little second baseman Grenny Cumana. I am a big Jan Hernandez fan at third base. Wonder where big international signing from last year Luis Encarnacion will play. Hernandez is so much better defensively at third than Encarnacion and has shown more pop. Really like Cord Sandberg and Herlis Rodriquez in the outfield and not so much impressed with the right field defense of Jose Pujols but he can hit a fastball. Young starting arms like Feliberto Sanchez and Ricardo Pinto have impressed me in camp. Who can’t be intrigued with two pitchers who each won nine of 14 starts last year in the Caribbean summer leagues in lefty Manuel Chavez and right-hander Gregorio Santos.
“Let’s Get This Party Started”. It’s time to start the 2014 Phillies minor league season. Especially time to move up the prospects as the season moves into the summer months. The major league team is old and on the downside. The Phils do have major league prospects in the system if only the Front Office will challenge them by moving them up the chain in a timely way and give them a chance something they did not do with the likes of Derrick Mitchell, Tuffy Gosewisch and Seth Rosin. All of whom have been impressive in other major league camps this spring.