It’s not all that easy to get on a top ten list of a major league team. But yesterday was a very special day for a young, 19 year old left-hander Elniery Garcia. He was named by Baseball Prospectus as the Phillies ninth best prospect. His name appeared in a blog by Philly.com columnist David Murphy about the top ten Baseball Prospectus Phillies prospects for 2015.
Baseball Betsy let Elniery know about his selection and story. He expressed surprised while he was getting ready for another workout down at the Phillies Dominican Academy.
His name was sandwiched at No. 9 between No. 8 prospect Carlos Tocci, a big international signing from Venezuela back in 2011 and No 10. ranked Dylan Cozen, a second round draft pick from the 2012 draft. Both Tocci and Cozens have appeared on just about every Phillies top prospect list over the last several years. But this is Garcia’s debut on any list.
We have followed Garcia closely all season from the minor league spring training camp, to extended spring games, to Fall Instructs and have watched his development this season. It has been his curve ball that first caught our attention. At instructs it he has been working on his sinker which has resulted in him inducing several soft contact double play ground balls. He has “swing and miss” stuff against both left handed and right handed hitters as we have shown in his final two strikeouts in the Florida Instructional League against the Pirates at Bright House Field last month. See Here, Here.
Garcia’s goal is to start the 2015 season in Lakewood and of course stay on the Phillies Top Ten List. Baseball Prospectus projects his ETA in the big leagues for sometime during the 2018 season. That would put him right on schedule for acting General Manager’s Pat Gallick’s stated goal of making the Phillies competitive again by the 2017-2018 seasons.
Below is the Baseball Prospectus 2015 Phillies Prospect List:
1. SS J. P. Crawford
2. RHP Aaron Nola
3. 3B/1B Maikel Franco
4. LHP Yoel Mecias
5. LHP Jesse Biddle
6. C Deive Grullon
7. OF Kelly Dugan
8. CF Carlos Tocci
9. LHP Elniery Garcia
10. Dylan Cozens
Other Phillies prospects will certainly make other lists as they come out over the winter. The play of Roman Quinn certainly will shoot him up the rankings of future lists. He currently leads the Arizona Fall League in stolen bases and is tied in runs scored.
We were particularly impressed with a number of players in the recently concluded Florida Instructional League: catcher Andrew Knapp, first baseman Rhys Hoskins, second baseman Grenny Cumana, outfielders Aaron Brown and Carlos Duran, super sub Willians Astudillo, starting pitchers Ricardo Pinto , David Whitehead, relievers Edubray Ramos and Josh Taylor come to mind. Starting pitchers drafted out of college back in June, Matt Imhof and Brandon Leibrandt, should be even better next spring.
The entire starting five for the Clearwater Threshers were vital in helping the Clearwater Threshers finished up the season by going 14-13 after the team was 41 games under .500 up to that point. They all finished strong: Colin Kleven, Jordan Guth, Miguel Nunez, Mark Leiter Jr. and Kevin Walter. Likewise starting pitcher Ranfi Casimiro finished strong for Lakewood going 3-0 over his last five starts.
Position players that finished strong were 2B/3B Carlos Alonso who hit .395 over his last ten games and OF Pete Levin who hit .316 in his last ten games both for Reading. Brian Pointer had a strong second half for Clearwater with a slash line of .272/.363/.500 and 12 homers over his final 66 games in the Florida State League. With the same team 1B Art Charles clubbed 16 home runs over his last 66 games in the second half of the Florida State League.
So the Phillies do have prospects ready to break out in the 2015 season even if they might or might not make someone’s Top Ten List. But for young Elniery Garcia making the Baseball Prospectus Top Ten List was a special day.