It remains to be seen if any of the 11 minor league prospects the Phillies added to its 40-man roster will ever have much of an impact in the major leagues. These guys did get Rule Five protection. Only $50,000 would have been the cost to have drafted one of them on December 8th and retained them on a team’s 25-man roster all season. Read about all of them, HERE.
Of the seven pitchers added to the 40-man roster, you have to respect the likes of Ben Lively who, including a playoff loss, went 18-6 between AAA and AA and a rare lefty starter Elniey Garcia who went 13-4. This included Reading’s only playoff win after his call-up from High A, Clearwater. Garcia who turns 22-years-old on Christmas Eve is now the youngest player on the 40-man roster. Lively compiled a 2.69 ERA at AAA and Garcia a 2.68 ERA at high A during the regular season.
What other organization can claim a righty-lefty starting pitching combo like Lively and Garcia at the minor league level? They compiled a 31-10 combined record playoffs included with an under three ERA in 2016.
Some of the other five pitchers have question marks ranging from control problems to troubled arm histories. Read Baseball America’s ratings of the players added to the 40 man rosters HERE.
The best starting pitching prospect in the Phillies system is not yet Rule Five eligible since he has only pitched three years in the Phillies system. He is Franklyn Kilome who will pitch at baseball age 22 next season. He ended the season by pitching a seven inning, nine strikeout, one hit, shutout in the first game of the SAL Finals. It was to be the only game Lakewood would win in losing the next three games of the best of five series to the Rome Braves.
The other five pitchers added to the 40-man roster include Drew Anderson, Mark Appel, Ricardo Pinto, Nick Pivetta and Alberto Tirado.
Of the four position players added, all have flaws. In 2016 right fielder, Dylan Cozens hit only .195 with a .640 OPS against left-handed pitching at AA. Catcher, Andrew Knapp was charged with 16 passed balls and registered an a middle of the pack .709 OPS., only slightly below outfielder, Nick Williams’ .714 OPS both at AAA. Second baseman, Jesmuel Valentin was even slightly worse coming in with a .706 OPS at AAA in the final six weeks of the season.
One Phillies minor league player did catch my eye in 2016 and is Rule Five eligible after five years in the Phillies system. He was not protected. He is outfielder, Jiandido Tromp. The 23-year-old showed me all five tools in his second half stay with the Clearwater Threshers.
He hit for power with 20 home runs equally split between Lakewood and Clearwater for a .796 OPS, neither with home run friendly parks for a .796 OPS. Watch a three-run home run of Tromp’s at then Bright House Field, HERE.
Tromp has a strong arm and is a good defensive outfielder. He was charged with only one error last season for .996 fielding percent with 8 outfield assists in only 105 games in the field. Watch him throw out a runner at the plate from left with Clearwater. HERE.
Tromp is a good situational hitter. One of my favorite type of at bats is the rbi sacrifice fly. He was one of the leaders in the Phillies organization in rbi sac flies in 2016. Rhys Hoskins and Kyle Martin each recorded nine and Mitch Walding had eight sac. flies. Watch two of Tromp’s six rbi sac flies HERE and HERE.
He also can steal a base. Between Lakewood and Clearwater he stole 14 bases in 18 attempts.
And even the Phillies Front Office admits they need outfield corner help. Watch HERE.
Tromp would make a good 25th man, or 26th man, if MLB rosters are expanded as rumored. He would be a Rule 5 pick who is a good situational hitter, who hit with power and can run, throw and field.
Another major league team in the December 8th Rule Five Draft could take a chance for only $50,000 on a young outfielder who plays all three outfield positions coming off the bench using the tools that JiandidoTromp showed in 2016.