Apologies for the delay on this week's roundup, as the powerful hypnosis of MLBTR and Twitter near the trade deadline has my palms alternately sweaty and hairy. Don't worry, I can stop anytime I want to write a P.Friar-endorsed Prospect Roundup(TM).
Dom. No sooner did I get to start on this week's update than a bunch of stuff happened and Dom wound up in the Show Wednesday night. I should have figured he was getting closer to the bigs when he started inspiring bolg baseball poetry (h/t zoowithroy), which you hep cats all knows I digs. Still, verse is one thing, stats are another. While we all welcome our new right field overlord, it's worth noting that Dom's last 10 AAA games had been middling (for him): .282/.370/.436, but he'd only gone hitless in two of them. This past week he'd also passed the 100AB mark at AAA, so it's somewhat useful to take a look at these splits: 1.083 OPS vs. RHP, .697 vs. LHP, the difference almost entirely in the power (0 HRs). Curiouser still: 1.275 OPS at home, .626 away. So all of his 5 AAA HRs have been off RHP at home. And Wednesday night? A righty at home. As of today, it seems he'll play (mostly) every day, so watch carefully how the young man performs against lefties on the road. Spilled milk, but I'm pretty sure the Phillies would rather have had Dom play the 14 road games in August at AAA, then bring him up 9/1 to be a real valuable bench piece better suited to share time with Victorino , which, upon Victorino's recovery, may still happen. And, we'll cross that bridge when we get there, but if Victorino's ready to go on August 10 and Dom's been good, it'll be interesting to see which lemon gets bumped.
With that, actual minor leaguers after the jump...
Vance Worley. (AAA-Lehigh Valley) With Dom in the Phillies' dugout, Worley now becomes the most MLB-ready talent in the Phillies. What's that, you say? You saw him in a Phillies uniform? And he looked goofy? Well, it's true, as Worley pitched a clean inning of relief on Sunday before getting shipped back to make room for J.A. Happ, who in turn left to get punk'd! by Brett Myers in the Houston clubhouse. Good times. The good news for Worley is that he got a promotion to Lehigh Valley in the process, which, as cups of coffee go, is a decent cuppa. And in his first game starting at AAA, he threw six shutout innings. Worley joins a Hummel shelf full of decent pitching prospects in the system that he might not even headline. This of course continues a comment-section-ready discussion: With Dom gone, who is the Phillies' most valuable prospect?
Jarred Cosart. (A-Clearwater) Here's one answer to that question, although the Phillies are at least debating whether to just shut him down until the Fall Instructional Leagues after his June elbow strain. Some of that debate is probably for show, because Cosart has been part of trade talks, along with...
Trevor May (A-Lakewood), who just twirled this bit of ridiculousness at Delmarva this week. I mean, 14K 0BB? Raises some eyebrows when you're, um, 20, and was precisely the kind of game the Phillies had been hoping for from May, who has struggled with his control all season and wound up demoted from Clearwater earlier this year. If he's found a groove, watch out SAL, because the BlueClaws are awesomer enough, and May might just strap the team on his back for another league title down the stretch. He's still young enough to be well-positioned for next year.
Bello Garcia. (AA-Reading) Last time, you recall, our 2010 breakout prospect Bello was, well, adjusting to life at AA, most likely distracted by all those great deals at Reading's bus-trip-from-Queens-worthy outlets. You'll be pleased to know that since that time, he's been absolutely en fuego (.381/.480/.619 last 10), picking right back up where he left off when he set an FSL consecutive game hitting streak record in Clearwater. You could quibble that he's striking out at a higher rate than in A ball, but that's to be expected, and even at that, most of those came in his first 8 games. The 23-year-old 2B prospect is cruising in Reading.
Matt Rizzotti. (AA - Reading) Sweet Jeebus, is this guy ever hitting the hell out of the ball! He's your Eastern League batting leader, folks, at .364/.450/.649. They don't grow on trees, you know. As the meat in the organizational Ryan Howard - Jonathan Singleton 1B sandwich, I figured he was expendable Billy Beane bait during the abortive Ben Sheets talks, and I'm a bit surprised he's still around. Despite the fact that most prospect heads see his ceiling as a Ross Gload type, I'm glad he's still in the organization. He's never quite slugged it like this before, so it's worth holding on to him and seeing what he can do, and heck, a cost-controlled Gload type might be useful as the Howard contract progresses into 2012.
Aaron Altherr (A/short season - Williamsport) got a promotion to Williamsport (that link is a nice report from upstate and will also help answer the question - Why'd Gose hafta go?) from the New York-Penn League. Altherr is yet another tall, lanky 19-year-old outfielder who the Phils selected in the 2009 draft in the 9th round. He hit .304/.331/.400 in 27 GCL games, which is a leap forward for him over last year. Still, five walks in 146 PAs this year is, how do they put it in your performance eval? - oh yeah: an opportunity for improvement. But he's come right on up for the Crosscutters and buzzed about in the toolshed with the other young outfielders, at .320/.393/.400 in his first seven games, coppin' that Doug Glanville cult of personality.
Maikel Franco. (Rookie/GCL) Franco didn't get off to such a great start, but hey, it's rookie ball. And in a system stuck in Plato's Cave, trying to divine candlelit images of big league third basemen they've grown themselves, his last 10 games, at .314/.375/.457, certainly are enough to raise at least one eyebrow. And yes, that is Maikel with a "K" - 21.1% of the time so far. Hey, he's 17. It's a Dominican thing.