Will Luis Garcia and Curtis Mead Be the Next Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley?

We all know about the great season 18-year old Luis Garcia had in the Gulf Coast League where he led the league in hitting and was selected as an All-Star shortstop. On Saturday he just might have been joined by another 18-year-old middle infielder in the Phillies system as a future All-Star in Curtis Mead.

Curtis Mead hitting in an Instructs game.

Luis Garcia hitting in an Instructs game

All Mead did in a doubleheader for the Adelaide Bite in the Australian Baseball League is go 6 for 9 with two homers including a grand slam.  He had 10 RBIs in the twin bill.

Curtis Mead (16) after hitting.a Grand Slam and is greeted  by Phillies catching prospect Mitchell Edwards (6) who was on base. (photo courtesy of Adelaide Bite Twitter page)

Curtis Mead (Photo courtesy of ABL.com.au)

 

 

 

Both Garcia and Mead were born in October of 2000 with Garcia only a few weeks older. We watched both of them play in Fall Instructs and they impressed.  Garcia is a switch-hitter out of the Dominican Republic.  Mead is a right handed hitting second baseman from Adelaide, South Australia.  It not hard to project them some year in the future as the next Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley up the middle for a World Series winning Phillies team.

Garcia hit .369 for the GCL West Phillies this season.  Mead got off to a slow start in the ABL but has hit .324 over his last ten games including his breakout doubleheader on Saturday.

When you come to the Phillies minor league camp at the Carpenter Complex for 2019 spring training don’t forget to checkout shortstop Luis Garcia and second baseman Curtis Mead.  Except for Mead batting right handed, you will think you are watching a young Chase Utley at second base and a young Jimmy Rollins at shortstop, circa 2000. It will be truly a back to the future experience.

 

 

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Phillies Pitching Prospect David Parkinson Selected to MiLB’s “Best of the Best” 2018 All-Star Team

Congratulations to Phillies left-handed starting pitching prospect, David Parkinson.  He was just selected to the “best of the best” 2018 All-MiLB Team.  He compiled a brilliant 1.45 ERA in 22 appearances between Lakewood and Clearwater striking out 141 in 124.1 innings.

David Parkinson

His ERA was the fourth lowest of any qualifying starting minor league pitcher since 2005  behind Justin Verlander’s 1.29 in 2005, Jon Duplantier’s 1.39 in 2017 and Blake Snell’s 1.41 in 2015, read HERE.

We watched three of Parkinson’s home starts in Clearwater after his call-up from Lakewood in August. In his first home start in the Florida State League, he faced the St. Lucie Mets and struck out the side in the second inning in a no decision game for him, watch HERE. He would go 3-0 in five starts for the Threshers and 11-1 combined on the season.

Parkinson just turned 23-years-old on December 14th. He was a 12th round draft pick out of Ole Miss. in the 2017 draft.

We look forward the watching him pitch in spring training with a chance to earn a spot on the AA Reading roster to start the 2019 season.

 

 

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Phillies, One of Only Five MLB teams to Not Lose A Player in Rule 5 Draft.

The Phillies did not lose any players in the Rule 5 draft.  They are one of only five MLB teams not to have any Rule 5 players drafted. Read HERE.  Either it means the Phillies did a good job of protecting their young minor league talent or they are not all that deep in minor league talent.  Experts will argue most of the top young Phillies prospects were not yet eligible for the Rule Five Draft.

Gilmael Troya (Photo courtesy of MiLB)

They did draft a couple of players in Rule 5 but traded one of them in the Major league portion for international slot money.  The did draft Gilmael Troya, a 21-year-old pitcher from the Yankees in the minor league portion. We alway like a pitcher who can average better than a strikeout an inning at any level.  He did that in the Appy League last summer. Read about him HERE.

Before the Rule 5 Draft, the Phillies protected its top eligible talent. The Phillies added three players to its 40-man major league roster and protected  37 of a potential 38 minor league player limit on its AAA roster from Rule Five.

Some concern about the quality of the players in the Phillies system was expressed when it was suggested that not enough high level talent was available to pull off a trade for Marlins catcher, J.T. Realmuto, read HERE.

It seems to us that the Phillies need to sign Manny Machad0 and/or Bryce Harper to convince the skeptical Phillies fan base that they are prepared to make a serious run for the 2019 post season.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Nick Fanti Continues To Impress in the Early Innings of his Recent Starts, “Down Under”

Nick Fanti (Photo courtesy of Sidney Blue Sox Facebook page)

Phillies minor league left hander, Nick Fanti, is attempting to get back on the prospect list after an injury filled 2018 season. He is finishing the year strong “down under” in the  Australian Baseball League. In his last two, five-inning starts, he has struck out 15 allowing only three runs on seven hits and one walk for the Sydney Blue Sox.

What is more interesting is in the first three innings in each of his last the two starts, he has combined for 14 strikeouts including nine in one start last week and five in his most recent start on Saturday. He has struck out the side in the second inning of both games. In the fourth and fifth inning of the two games, he has struck out only one.

Fanti is best know for throwing an 8.2 inning no-hitter and a nine inning no-hitter for Lakewood back in 2917. He spent most of the 2018 season on the disabled list with a back problems.

After his last two starts, Fanti appears to be back. It would seem though he might make a good late inning reliever either as a set-up man and or a closer because of his domination of the early innings in his last two starts.

The 2019 season will be an important one for Fanti. He turns 22-years-old on December 30th.  He will start his fifth season in the Phillies organization which means he will be eligible for the Rule 5 Draft at the end of next season, if not put on the 40-man roster.

 

 

 

 

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No Phillies Minor Leaguers are Listed Among Baseball America and MiLB’s Top Rule 5 Potential Draft Picks

I would take a chance on several Phillies pitchers not protected in the Rule 5 Draft at the MLB Winter Meeting on Thursday. Former Phillies prospect, pitcher Sam McWilliams, has rocketed up the Baseball America list to No. 1 of likely picks.  But it is likely none of the current Phillies Rule 5 eligibles will be drafted if the MiLB and Baseball America’s experts are right. Read HERE HERE  HERE.

While we watch the experts on MLB-TV talk about million of dollars to be handed out to major league free agents, a team could find a bargain non-40 man roster player for a mere $100K.  If they do not keep the Rule 5 prospect on the opening day 25-man MLB roster, the team from whom they drafted the player can get him back for only $5oK.  Not a bad deal to take a look at eligible Rule 5 players in spring training.

The Phillies have several pitchers who might get at least a look off the Rule 5 draft board. Go to the Phillies players who have played in the off season leagues. Some of them will be eligible for the Rule 5 Draft, having been stuck in the Phillies farm system for at least four years for college guys and five years for high school and international guys,  See HERE.

Tyler Viza (Photo Courtesy of the Reading Fightins)

Several names to consider. We like starter Tyler Viza.  He ended the Arizona Fall League with a five-inning shutout striking out nine.  He ended the season strong, pitching to a 1.98 ERA over his final ten games mostly with Reading.

Jan Hernandez had a good 2018 season hitting  .292 with 10 homers in the first half for Reading.  Currently, he is hitting .323 in Puerto Rico.

Catcher Deivi Grullon hit 21 homers for Reading.  But he went 0 for 16 in the Dominican Winter League before being shutdown. He is a late addition to the Baseball America Rule 5 potential Rule Five Draft picks.

A guy who appears to be not playing winter ball is Jose Pujols.  All he did was hit .301 with 18 home runs in the Florida State League read HERE and hit four more homers in August for Reading.  He was tied with 11 assists in the FSL.  Jose was voted FSL Player of the Year, read HERE.

Second baseman Daniel Brito showed flashes, hitting around .250 at both Lakewood and Clearwater. He finished up with the Threshers hitting .300 over his last ten games of the season. He was also the Rawlings minor league Gold Glove winner at second base in 2018.

Several Phillies relievers looked good in the Arizona Fall such as Luke Leftwich and Seth McGarry. Luis Carrasco can bring the heat along with a good breaking ball. He pitched well in the the Sally League playoffs where he pitched 4.2 shutout innings striking out five.

A top lefty reliever available is Tyler Gilbert who pitched to left handed batters at a 1.50 ERA and a .132 batting average with Lehigh Valley.

So don’t forget to check in on Thursday to see if any movement occurs in the Rule 5 draft.

 

 

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Nick Fanti Earns a Brilliant Win by Striking Out 9 of the First 10 Batters He Faced in the Australian Baseball League

Four Phillies prospects have been playing note worthy baseball in the Australian Baseball League.  Lefty Nick Fanti led the way with a brilliant five inning start for the Sydney Blue Sox, Saturday afternoon, when he struck out nine of the first 10 batters he faced.  Righty Kyle Glogoski allowed only two runs in his five inning start for Auckland.  Catcher Mitch Edward is hitting .353 in his last ten games and second baseman Curtis Meade has gone 4 for 10 in his last three games both for the Auckland Bite.

Nick Fanti gets strikeout with a high fast ball. (picture courtesy of ABL.tv)

Nick Fanti gets strikeout with breaking ball in the dirt. (picture courtesy of ABL.tv)

 

Fanti is coming back from an injury prone 2018 season but in his last start he put it all together getting his first win in four starts.  In the five inning start start, in addition to his nine strikeouts, he allowed only a run and three hits over a five inning, 71 pitch outing. He struck out the side in order in the first and second innings, Watch HERE.

Glogoski continues to pitch well in his four starts in the ABL. Only a two-out, two-run single marred his five inning start. He is third in the ABL with his 0.61 WHIP and fourth in ERA at 1.37. Kyle has walked only three and struck out 18 in 19.1 innings.

The switch-hitting Mitch Edwards continues to drive the baseball.  In the three games so far this weekend he is 5 for 11 plus a sacrifice fly RBI.  He is leading all ABL catchers in batting average and is tied for the lead among catchers with a .873 OPS.

Listen to an interesting Adelaide Bite podcast called “Shark Infested Waters” featuring Edwards, HERE. (Mitch comes in at 8:48)

Expect Fanti and Glogoski soon be shutdown for the season to get ready for Phillies minor league spring training.  Reports said that the Phillies wanted Glogoski to pitch no more than 25 innings in the ABL.  Fanti, Glogoski, Edwards and Mead will be definitely four players to check out at the Carpenter Complex in the March minor league spring training games.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Phillies 2018 Organizational All-Stars Announced By MiLB But We Have Our Own Selections

On Friday of last week MiLB.com released the Phillies 2018 organizational All-Stars by position. Read HERE. Some picks we agree with, others we do not and one, Zach Green, is no longer in the Phillies organization. According to Baseball American, Green was a minor league free agent who signed with the San Francisco Giants.

Of the 12 twelve players selected by MiLB, we agreed with them on seven including Darick Hall, 1B, Daniel Brito, 2B, Adam Haseley and Jose Pujols, OF, Austin Listi, utility, LHP David Parkinson and reliever, Addison Russ.

Darick Hall

Hall had a big season hitting with runners in scoring position with three different teams but he did not hit much with the bases empty. He hit .362 RISP/.205 bases empty with Clearwater, .304 RISP/.203 bases empty with Reading and .313 RISP/.219 bases empty in the AFL. Overall, he led the Phillies minor leaguers with 30 home runs and 99 RBIs in 146 games. Watch several of his Clearwater home runs HERE.

Brito had nearly the same slash line at both Lakewood (.250/.300/.348) and Clearwater (.252/.309/.340). He will play at baseball age 21 in 2019 so he has time to improve his offensive numbers to go along with his minor league gold glove defense. He recorded a .988 fielding percentage in 116 games, the highest mark among second basemen in Minor League Baseball according to MiLB. Watch HERE.

Adam Haseley

Haseley kept improving his batting average as the season went on. He started the season with Clearwater slashing .300/343/.405 and finished up with Reading slashing .316/.403/.478. He played all three outfield positions. Watch a Clearwater home run HERE.

Jose Pujols

Pujols had a season to remember slashing in the FSL at .301/.364/.523. He finished second in qualifying Florida State League batting average and OPS. He was tied for first in outfield assists in the league with 11 playing in right field. He played his final 26 games with Reading finishing up with a combined 22 home runs for the season. Watch a Clearwater home run HERE.

Austin Listi

Listi is the utility selection. He put on a great show for us the first half of the season with the Threshers hitting .344 but fell off with Reading hitting .281 and in the Arizona Fall League hitting .250. He played all the corner infield and outfield positions and DH’d.  In the AFL he played primarily in right field. Watch several of his home runs HERE.

David Parkinson

Parkinson had the fourth lowest ERA for a starter at 1.45 in minor league baseball since 2005.  He was a 12th round 2017 draft pick with average fastball velocity. The major league average fastball velocity for a left-hander last season was 91.6 ERA. Still, he averaged better than a strikeout an inning last season with his outstanding curveball command. Watch HERE.

Addison Russ

Russ was outstanding with similar splits in relief for both Lakewood, 13 for 13 in saves and Clearwater, 13 for 14 in saves. He was 9-2 with a 1.68 ERA overall in the regular season.. He averaged over a strikeout an inning. He recorded the win in the only Threshers playoff victory. Watch HERE.

The outstanding left handed reliever has to be Zach Warren. For Lakewood he was 15 of 16 in save opportunities striking out 100 in 56.2 innings. He had a was 3-2, won-loss record with a 1.91 ERA. He finished strong striking out 29 with 7 saves in only 12.1 innings over his last 10 games including two of the saves in the playoffs.

Spencer Howard and Rodolfo Duran Celebrate after Howard’s No-Hitter. (Photo courtesy of the Lakewood BlueClaws)

In the other selections where we disagree with MiLB. Rodolfo Duran is clearly the top catcher in the Phillies organization. He proved it in the six games of the SAL playoffs where he caught a nine inning, no-hitter; hit three home runs and threw out four baserunners in six attempts. He will turn only 21-years-old on February 16th. With the playoff games home runs included, he hit 21 homers on the season.

Alec Bohm

With Zach Green gone, the third baseman of the future is left to first round draft pick, Alec Bohm. When we watched Bohm in Fall Instructs he showed he can hit for power. He hit a homer that landed on top of the Tike Bar roof in left in the first Instructs game but he had trouble fielding a ground ball chopper at third in a later Instructs game. Watch his home run HERE.

Luis Garcia

The most impressive young player we saw at Fall Instructs was middle infielder Luis Garcia. He just turned 18-years-old on October 1st and plays like a seasoned veteran.  We saw him play both at second and short. All he did earlier was lead the Gulf Coast League in batting average hitting .368. with a .921 OPS. MiLB selected Daniel Brito at second and Nick Mason at shortstop as Phillies organization All-Stars. Wherever they put Garcia, he is the All-Star. Watch HERE.

Mickey Moniak

In the outfield, we are selecting centerfielder Mickey Moniak. MiLB has Dylan Cozens in the outfield but his time as a top prospect is passing.  He just strikes out way too much. Moniak, much like Jose Pujols, had a break out season with Clearwater.  In the second half of the season, he hit .286 with 17 doubles, 3 triples and 4 homers.  Remember, he does not turn 21-years-old until May. Look for a big season for Moniak likely starting out the 2019 season at Reading. Watch HERE and HERE.

Mauricio Llovera

Our favorite starting pitcher in 2018 was Clearwater’s right hander Mauricio Llovera. He did everything he could to get the Threshers into the post season. Over his last nine starts including a playoff start, he went 6-0 striking out 63 in 54.2 innings.  In two of those starts he struck out 21 in 13.2 innings. He has good off speed stuff and threw his fastball in the mid to high 90’s. He took a one-hit shutout into the bottom of the seventh in his playoff start before giving up a home run and left the game with the lead before the Threshers bullpen imploded. Watch his double digit strikeout games, HERE and HERE.  

Spring training will be interesting with some of these guys getting called over to the major league camp and play in Grapefruit League games and others later attending the minor league camp. In any event, the Phillies do have talent at the minor league level to help the big league team, even at some point in 2019.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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