When this feature began last year, there was a trio of prospects who merited mention every single week: Domonic Brown, Michael Taylor, and Kyle Drabek (the so-called "Big Three"). 2009 was good to those guys -- they each wound up in the Top 30 of Baseball America's offseason prospect rankings -- but by the time 2010 rolled around, only one of them was still with the organization. Phils fans and prospectniks alike wondered aloud whether Ruben Amaro had made the right decision on which one to hold onto.
Fast forward to May 2010, and while Drabek struggles to find his command in Double-A (5.1 BB/9) and Taylor is saddled with a .247/.314/.462 line, Dom Brown is firing on all cylinders. It's too early to definitely say that Amaro made the right call, but while Roy Halladay does his damnedest to validate the major league portion of the deal, Brown is trying to do the same for Amaro's decision to make him the chosen one. Who knows -- maybe Brown will be part of a big inning off Johan Santana before you know it?
Check below the jump for info on Domonic, a pair of young shortstops, a guy making his debut after Tommy John surgery, and more.
Domonic Brown, OF-L, Reading: Unlike last year, I'm not making it a rule that Brown needs to be on each week's prospect roundup... but he needs to have a blah week before I can give him a week off. Brown slams homers in back-to-back games over the weekend, raising his slash line to an impressive .333/.397/.650 through 67 plate appearances. After some early strikeout problems, he whiffed only 4 times (with 3 walks) over the past
weeks week, so it's pretty much all systems go at this point.
Tyson Gillies, OF-L, Reading: Gillies' plate discipline, or lack thereof, was one of the only real concerns to emerge from the first few weeks of the season. He's certainly not out of the woods yet, but a 5-for-11 weekend series at New Hampshire with a homer, 2 walks and 2 strikeouts looks like a step in the right direction. The .224/.272/.342 on the year is an eyesore, as are the plate discipline numbers (5.0% BB, 25.0% K), but that's nothing an extended hot streak can't make us forget.
Anthony Gose, OF-L, Clearwater: Gose sludged through a 6-for-25 week, showing both good signs (3B, 2B, and BB on Sunday) and bad (9 K on the week). His .163 ISO is a pleasant surprise, but it's fueled by 7 triples on the year, so it's not like Gose has suddenly morphed into a power threat -- and as a non-power hitter, the plate discipline (3.9% BB, 28.6% K) has to get a lot better. Gose got a better feel for working the count as last season moved on, so here's hoping the same pattern follows this year.
Leandro Castro, OF-R, Lakewood: It's easy to get overlooked when you play in the same outfield as Domingo Santana, Jiwan James, and Anthony Hewitt, but Castro is demanding attention by outperforming all of them in the early going. A 6-for-21 week with a homer, a walk and a pair of steals has Castro at .305/.346/.484 on the season. The plate discipline isn't tremendous (6.9% BB, 15.8% K), but it's already an improvement on last year, so the 20-year old Castro has already shown some ability to make adjustments.
Freddy Galvis, SS-S, Reading: More of the same with Galvis -- still getting rave reviews with the glove, while the news on the bat isn't nearly as good. The hand-eye coordination is clearly there, as the 20-year old Galvis has only struck out in 8.0% of his at bats (while walking in just 5.4% of his plate appearances), but he's not making hard contact, as evidenced by his .034 ISO and .227/.269/.261 line on the year so far. Galvis is still young for Double-A, but he has to show us something -- anything -- with the bat to keep his prospect status.
Jonathan Pettibone, RHP, Lakewood: The 19-year old Pettibone was impressive last Tuesday, notching the win with a 7 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 0 BB, 7 K performance for the BlueClaws. A third round selection in 2008, Pettibone has been somewhat under the radar to this point, but there's a lot to like here -- a big (6'5", 200-lb.) righty with solid ground ball tendencies (54.5% on the season) and an ability to retire both right- and left-handed hitters. He's a cut below the likes of Trevor May and Jarred Cosart as far as young arms go, but Pettibone's a nice prospect in his own right.
Drew Carpenter, RHP, Lehigh Valley: Carpenter did what he does on Thursday, surrendering 7 hits and 2 walks in 5 innings, but keeping a clean sheet and striking out 3. Kyle Kendrick and Jamie Moyer's continued struggles have many calling for the Phillies to pull the plug, but the truth of the matter is that there simply aren't any better alternatives currently in the organization (assuming they're serious about not liking Figueroa in that role). Carpenter could eventually help a major league club as a long reliever, but a white knight for the rotation he's not -- nor are any of the IronPigs.
Jonathan Villar, SS-R, Lakewood: Villar turned 19 yesterday, so his .280/.366/.354 line is nice to see in Low-A. But the 29.3% K rate is disconcerting for a kid who's only ISOing .074 and doesn't project to hit for much power down the line. Scouts say that Villar has some work to do on his pitch recognition, and there's no better way to do that than playing every day, so perhaps the Phillies were wise to send Villar to Lakewood despite his limited experience.
Yohan Flande, LHP, Reading: The 1.52 ERA aside, Flande's 2010 campaign has been a disappointment in the early going. He's struck out just 6 (while walking 6) in 23.2 innings across 4 starts, and it's his .267 BABIP that has kept the house of cards from tumbling down. Flande came out of nowhere last year to wind up in the Futures Game, and you had to figure a year of consolidation in Double-A would be good for his development -- but a 2.3 K/9 mark can't be what anyone had in mind.
Colby Shreve, RHP, Lakewood: Shreve made his long-awaited pro debut last Monday, pitching an inning in relief, and followed that up with a 5.1 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 2 K start on Thursday that earned him his first pro win. Shreve was an overslot signing as a 2008 6th round pick out of the juco College of Southern Nevada (the school where Bryce Harper is currently playing); the Phillies drafted him knowing that he would need Tommy John surgery. Nearly two years later, Shreve's finally letting her rip, and it'll certainly be interesting to track his progress this year.