It’s that time of year, the Phillies are looking to develop starting pitchers to fill a big need. We have seen most of the potential prospects pitch at some point when they have come through Clearwater and on MiLB-TV.
The top two minor league starters I have watched over the last couple years in Clearwater have been Jose Taveras and JoJo Romero. They should make a nice righty/lefty combination someday soon in the Show. They are on the cusp of major league stardom and should debut sometime this season. Watch them pitch HERE and HERE at High A in 2017.
Other names mentioned in numbers articles include the likes of Tom Eshelman, Franklyn Kilome, Ranger Suarez, Cole Irvin, now reliever Seranthony Dominguez, Adonis Medina and even Sixto Sanchez with his 100 mph heat.
Another name mentioned was someone named Connor Seabold who pitched all of ten innings for Williamsport in 2017. He is the great mystery man of the Phillies minor league pitching prospects. He was the third round (83rd overall) draft pick last year. Here is what Matt Breen, beat reporter of the Inquirer, had to say about him in a recent article:
“Seabold worked as a reliever last season at short-season Class A Williamsport as the Phillies managed his innings after his final season at Cal State-Fullerton. Seabold, who will turn 22 later this month, shapes up to be a candidate for the starting rotation at Class A Lakewood. He walked just 23 in 127 2/3 innings in college last season. He matches a low-90s fastball with a solid changeup and curveball. The reasons for excitement around Eshelman — consistent strike thrower, strong mechanics — are the same for Seabold. And it’s fitting that the two were college teammates in 2015.”
The two starting pitching prospects I will be watching closely in spring training will be Jacob Waguespack and lefty Nick Fanti. Jacob’s fastball tops in the mid 90’s and Nick’s fastball in the high 80’s according to reports.
Wauguespack shot up the Phillies system in 2017, starting out with the Threshers as a middle reliever, and winding up dominating as a starter in a AAA playoff game with Lehigh Valley to end the season. Watch HERE.
Fanti was one of the most interesting pitcher in the minor leagues last season where he pitched an 8.2 inning no-hitter and then a nine inning no-hitter going 9-2 for Lakewood last season. In three seasons in the Phillies farm system Nick has made 42 appearances going 18-3 including a 5.1 inning win in the GCL playoffs in 2016. Watch his work in the GCL playoff game, HERE.
There you have it, the Phillies’ minor league starting pitchers to watch in spring training.
“Maybe never in our history has it been more important to develop starting pitchers.” — Phillies general manager Matt Klentak to Matt Breen on Dec. 13 at the winter meetings.