The Phillies had a great minor league regular season with four teams making the playoffs and another team which had the best overall record in the league but did not qualify for the post season because of coming in second in both the first and second half season standings.
But the Phillies farm teams did not play well in the post season going 6-11 and winning no league championships. This marked the sixth straight season in which no Phillies teams won a post season minor league championship. The longest stretch for any major league organization.
The Phillies seem not to stress post season success too much at the minor league level. For example the Front Office called up Darin Ruf from Lehigh Valley at the end of the regular season to sit on the bench in September for the most part at Citizen Bank Park.
Ruf was the clean-up hitter and led Lehigh Valley in homers, RBIs and OPS during the regular season. The IronPigs were swept in all three games of the best-of-five series. They were shutout in the first two games and held scoreless over the first 21.2 innings by the Yankees Farm team from Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Then to top it off the Phillies fired the manager afterwards.
After watching Madison Bumgarner and Noah Syndergaard both pitched so brilliantly in Wednesday night’s wild card game, let’s see how the Phillies pitchers compared to them in this year’s minor league post season.
This picture comes from the BlueClaws Blog where they discuss Kilome and Taveras being named to Baseball America’s Top 20 of the SAL Prospects. You can read that blog, HERE.
In the six playoff wins, the starting pitchers won four of them: GCL’s Sixto Sanchez,( IP-7, R-0, H-4, B-0, K-4) Lakewood’s, Franklyn Kilome, (IP-7, R-0, H-1, BB-2, K-9) see HERE. and Jose Taveras (IP-7, R-2, H-7, BB-0, K 4) and Reading’s Elniery Garcia (IP-6, R-2 earned, H-7, BB-1, K-4) see his first AA strike out HERE. He would go on and strikeout the side in order in the second inning.
Elniery Garcia was the big game “stopper” of the group. He won a game in the final series of the regular season to avoid playoff elimination at time for Clearwater and won the only playoff game for Reading the next week.
In a fifth win, GCL’s Nick Fanti, (IP-5.1, R-0, H-3, BB-0, K-6), came on in the third inning and threw 5.1 shutout innings in relief to pickup the win. In one of the losses, Lehigh Valley’s Ben Lively, (IP-7.2, R-2, H-5, BB-1, K-8) pitched seven shutout innings before giving up two runs with two outs in the eight inning to suffer a 2-0 loss.
Most of the winning pitchers induced more ground ball outs than fly outs except Kilome, 3 GO-6 FO and Garcia, 5-5. Sanchez and Taveras were extreme ground ball to fly out pitchers with 14-1 and 10-3 respectively.
So how do these Phillies minor league numbers stack up to what Madison Bumgarner and Noah Syndergarrd did Wednesday night? Bumgarner pitched all 9 inning giving up no runs, 4 hits, 2 walks and 6 strikeouts. He had 6 ground outs and 7 fly outs. He threw 119 pitchers with 78 for strikes. Syndergaard pitched 7 innings giving up no runs, 2 hits, 3 walks and 10 strikeouts. He had 5 ground outs and 5 fly outs.
RHP Ben Lively’s playoff game numbers came closest to LHP Bumgarner’s numbers, Wednesday night. Lively’s game was 0-0 with two outs in the top of the eight. Ben had a shutout going for 7.2 innings allowing only 4 hits with a walk and eight strikeouts before giving up a two- run homer in the 2-0 loss.
Franklyn Kilome numbers came the closest to Syndergaard’s numbers. Kilome was more efficient with his pitches. Each pitched seven innings. Kilome threw only 86 pitches, compared to 105 pitches for Syndergaard.
Both are listed at 6’6″ in height. Syndergaard weighs in at 240 lbs. and Kilome at 215 lbs. The Mets pitcher is 24 years old and the Phillies top pitching prospect is 21.
It remains to be seen what will happen in the future but a case can be that the best starting pitching prospects to emerge from the 2016 minor league season in the Phillies system are four right handers: Ben Lively, Frankly Kilome, Jose Taveras and Sixto Sanchez. Plus two left handers: Elniery Garcia and Nick Fanti.