Phillies still have something in the cupboard after trading all those prospects
Kyle Drabek. Michael Taylor. Travis D'Arnaud. Jason Knapp. Lou Marson. Jason Donald. Carlos Carrasco. Adrian Cardenas. Josh Outman. All Phillies minor leaguers who would have been part of any conversation of the farm system's best prospects over the last couple of years. All gone, traded in the deals that brought Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee and Joe Blanton to Citizens Bank Park.
Kyle Drabek. Michael Taylor. Travis D'Arnaud. Jason Knapp. Lou Marson. Jason Donald. Carlos Carrasco. Adrian Cardenas. Josh Outman.
All Phillies minor leaguers who would have been part of any conversation of the farm system's best prospects over the last couple of years. All gone, traded in the deals that brought Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee and Joe Blanton to Citizens Bank Park.
Reading outfielder Domonic Brown, by acclamation, remains the Phillies' most promising minor leaguer. But who comes next? An informal poll of baseball people both inside and outside the organization suggests they are:
* Clearwater outfielder Anthony Gose: The cliche is that speed never slumps and the 2008 second-round draft pick has plenty of it. That's pretty obvious considering that he led all minor leaguers with 76 stolen bases last season and had 17 in the Threshers' first 36 games this season. That attribute also makes him a defensive force in centerfield.
But Gose is just 19 and in his third professional season remains a very raw talent. He knows what to do when he gets on base. It's just that he has to figure out how to get on more consistently; he is hitting just .238 from the leadoff spot. But he has enough ability that most observers believe he'll eventually figure it out.
* Reading righthander Phillippe Aumont: Acquired from Seattle as part of the Lee deal, Aumont has already been named the Eastern League Pitcher of the Week. He's also 1-3 with a 6.61 earned run average, so, yes, consistency has been a problem.
Scouts who have seen the 6-7, 250-pounder say he throws some unhittable pitches and his fastball is consistently in the mid-90s. He also makes a lot of mistakes. That's probably to be expected. Big pitchers tend to struggle with mechanics early in the careers. Aumont is just 21 and came into this season with just 106 2/3 professional innings behind him. Patience may be required, but he's clearly a talent.
* Reading outfielder Tyson Gillies: Another part of the yield from the Lee deal, Gillies had a breakout year for Class A High Desert last season, batting .341 with 44 stolen bases. Promoted to Double A this season, he got off to a slow start but was starting to heat up (12-for-32, .375) in his last eight games before being placed on the disabled list this week with a strained left hamstring.
Chuck LaMar, the Phillies' assistant general manager for player development and scouting, thinks that Brown, Gose, Gillies and John Mayberry Jr. at Triple A Lehigh Valley give the Phillies good outfield depth.
"Those are four kids who, if they stay healthy, are going to play in the major leagues in some capacity," he said.
* Clearwater righthander J.C. Ramirez: The third player who came from Seattle - detect a pattern here? - the Nicaragua native is another talented-but-unrefined prospect. In his fifth professional season, he's still just 21 years old.
He is 3-2, 4.01 in seven starts for the Threshers.
* Clearwater righthander Trevor May: The Phillies' fourth-round draft choice in 2008, May has an eye-popping 50 strikeouts in 32 1/3 innings while allowing just 25 hits. So he obviously has good stuff. He has also walked 18, so he obviously needs to command that stuff better. But when he does, he could be put on the fast track, although one scout from another organization projects him as a back-of-the-rotation starter or middle reliever.
Also getting mention . . .
* At Triple A Lehigh Valley: righthander Scott Mathieson, Mayberry.
LaMar: "John Mayberry has continued to make progress. It sort of goes unnoticed, if you will, because we have such a good major league outfield and then you've got Domonic grabbing the headlines at Double A. But John Mayberry quietly came into major league camp and played well. He's a better player than he was at this time last year and it won't surprise me [if he gets] another opportunity this year. He's progressing and becoming a legitimate part of a 25-man roster."
* At Double A Reading: shortstop Freddy Galvis.
LaMar (on Galvis batting .197): "Right now, he's struggled with the bat more than we thought. We didn't think he was going to hit .300, but we didn't think he was going to hit .200, either. So right now it's been an adjustment for him his first full season at Double A. With that said, he's as fine a defender as you're going to see in the minor leagues and truly is capable right now not only of playing shortstop in the major leagues defensively but playing on a good team like ours in the seventh, eighth or ninth inning against the teams we've got to beat. So far I think 'disappointed' would be too strong but, yeah, he's got to hit better than .200. I don't care what kind of defender he is."
* At Class A Clearwater: righthander Heitor Correa.
* At Class A Lakewood: righthander Jarred Cosart, lefthander Nick Hernandez.
* At Gulf Coast League: first baseman Jonathan Singleton.