NEW YORK — The Phillies have decisions to make on numerous prospects this winter, and they will use the Arizona Fall League for further evaluation on players like Kelly Dugan and Aaron Altherr.
Both are outfielders enjoying fine seasons that have reinstated their prospect status. Dugan, who turns 23 in three weeks, has 20 homers between single-A Clearwater and double-A Reading. He is batting .292 with an .870 OPS. Altherr is hitting for improved power at Clearwater with 12 homers, 36 doubles and six triples.
If they are not added to the 40-man roster this winter, they are eligible for selection in December's Rule 5 draft.
Catcher Cameron Rupp is another player facing a similar fate. He will play in the AFL, but stands a good chance of earning a September call-up to the majors before that. The former third-round pick has steadily risen in the system and bypassed Sebastian Valle and Tommy Joseph on the catching depth chart.
The Phillies will send four relievers — Ken Giles, Mike Nesseth, Kyle Simon and Austin Wright — in addition to those three position players. Nesseth was recently promoted to triple-A Lehigh Valley. Giles throws 100 m.p.h. but has struggled to find the strike zone in an injury-plagued season for Clearwater.
Simon and Wright are considered organizational depth.
The Phillies wanted to send Maikel Franco, their top prospect, to the Arizonal Fall League but were denied permission by Franco's Dominican winter ball team.