With the June 5th North American Amateur Draft right around the corner look for the Phillies to focus on starting pitching. In the 2013 Draft the the first four picks were position players: shortstop J.P Crawford, catcher Andrew Knapp, outfielder Cord Sandberg and third baseman Jan Hernandez.
Knapp was the only college player and started out at Williamsport in the New-York Penn League and is now the DH for the Clearwater Threshers in the Florida State League.. The other three were teenagers. We were able to watch them in the Gulf Coast League last year. Crawford and Hernandez are now playing for Lakewood in the South Atlantic League while Sandberg struggles in extended spring training.
No doubt the Phillies need starting pitching and soon. They can not wait for 18 year olds who may ready to pitch in the Majors in four or five years. They need help ASAP. We learned last night that starter Jonathan Pettibone is back on the disabled list with more shoulder discomfort. The Phillies basically have no starting pitching depth if one of their five starters go down.
The problem is nothing has worked out for the Phillies when it come to starting pitching. The only starting pitcher at AAA David Buchanan looks ready to pitch at the MLB level and he had to miss a start recently with shoulder discomfort. He was able to pitch five innings and win his last start for the IronPigs.
This morning we watched rehabbing potential young starting pitcher Adam Morgan leave the Carpenter Complex. He hopes to pitch by August. Another starter, international signee, Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez is rehabbing with Clearwater Threshers and he pitched on Thursday night at Bright House Field.
Gonzalez has yet to show swing and miss stuff. At this point he does not have a strike out pitch. In the two starts I have seen him pitch in an extended spring game last Saturday and in Thursday night’s start he has struck out only two batters in 9.1 innings. He has a fastball in the low 90’s but not much else. He gave up six hits and three runs on Thursday night using 69 pitches over five innings. In the Threshers game he was saved from further damage on a great catch by Pete Lavin in deep center to double off a runner at first.
The Phillies will have three chances at the Top 100 amateur players in North America starting on June 5th. They will draft 7th, 47th and 81st in the first three rounds. They can not afford any misses. All three of these players should be pitchers and reporting to the Carpenter Complex ASAP after the Draft. None of this best player available we always hear. The first Phillies pick at least needs to be a college starting pitcher with the potential for swing and miss stuff at the major league who can quickly help the struggling Phillies sooner than later. http://www.baseballamerica.com/college/2014-top-100-draft-prospects-list/.