With the major league winter meetings starting tomorrow, activity shifts to San Diego next week but Phillies prospects continue to get ready for spring training in many places. Baseball Betsy and I visited with pitching prospect Feliberto Sanchez yesterday here in Clearwater. He underwent surgery two weeks ago back in Philadelphia area after injuring his left knee while running at the Dominican Academy.
Sanchez is in great spirits and will continue his rehab for the next two weeks at the Carpenter Complex before returning to the Dominican for the holidays. While in the hospital over the Thanksgiving holiday Feliberto saw snow and Citizen Bank Park for the first time. Wish it could have been under better circumstances. He hopes to be ready for the minor league camp in March. The highlight of his season last year for the Williamsport Crosscutters was pitching a five inning no-run, no-hit game.
Another good friend of ours is Rivar Nelson Angulo. Rivar always has a smile on his face and yesterday was no exception. The 6’3 left hander did not pitch last year due to arm and wrist problems. His last year of any significant action was in 2012 when he struck out 23 in 21 innings in the GCL. He is headed to Philadelphia this coming week for further evaluation on his arm. We wish him well.
The other rehabber here is 19 year-old left hander Ranger Suarez who pitched most recently at Instructs and put up some interesting numbers as a starter for the Phillies team in Venezuelan Summer League. In 14 starts he struck out 78 and walked only one in 80.2 innings in the VSL.
Also working out at the Complex this Fall have been top prospects, shortstop Malquin Canelo, center fielder Carlos Tocci, and right fielder Jose Pujols. A weight training program has been designed for them. It will be interesting to see them in the batting cages when the minor league camp opens in the beginning of March.
Not all the Phillies prospect action has been taking place at the Complex here in Clearwater. Right field prospect Dylan Cozens has been playing in the Australian Baseball League for the Melbourne Aces. I was all set late Saturday night to watch the Aces play the Perth Heat on the internet but the game was rained out. Cozens has started to hit the ball down under going three for six with a home run in his most recent game and has hit .314 in his last ten games for the Aces. Its not easy watching ABL games with the 16 hour or so time differences for most of the games.
And finally we have to congratulate Phillies top prospect Maikel Franco on his 700th at bat in the 2o14 season Saturday night. He had 521 at bats for at AAA Lehigh Valley, 56 with he Phillies and now has 123 at bats for the Gigantes in the Dominican Winter League. Last night for the Gigantes he drove in two more runs to bring his total to 111 combined adding in the runs he drove in for the IronPigs and Phillies this season. It seems Franco never takes a game off or gets much of a rest.
Now, we will be following the League meetings in San Diego this coming week to see if the Phillies make any moves. The Rule 5 Draft closes the meetings on Thursday morning. With two openings on the Phillies 40 man roster look for the them to pick one or two young players in the draft to give them a look in spring training. If the Phillies do make a pick in the draft, that player must be offered back to the team from which he was drafted if he is not kept on the Phillies 25 man roster all of next season. On the other hand most experts do not expect any of the Phillies eligible Rule 5 players to be be picked by other major league teams.
Last year only nine players were taken in the major portion of the Rule 5 draft including seven relief pitchers. The Phillies did pick a relief pitcher from the Arizona Diamondbacks organization Kevin Munson. He was returned to the D-backs during spring training.