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Keith Law's Phillies Prospect Notes

Keith Law took in some Phillies vs Jays and offered some notes on Phillies prospects.

Phillies left-hander Jesse Biddle, the second-best pitching prospect in their system after Trevor May, wasn't quite as sharp on Friday, working 86-90 mph with very good downhill plane to get groundballs, but never working to the inside half against right-handed hitters. His changeup had solid fading action and he trusted the pitch, going to it repeatedly rather than forcing the curveball against those righties; he didn't have a changeup in high school, so the development of that pitch is a positive. But the velocity is a solid grade away from where it needs to be on Opening Day.

The best reliever the Phillies ran out there was Lisalberto Bonilla, sitting 92-93 for two innings with a hard breaking ball at 79-83 and a fringy changeup that you can pick up a little early but that has some fade to it in case the hitter doesn't see it out of his hand. There's effort involved here, and his arm is stiff coming around from a slot at or just under three-quarters; he also doesn't land cleanly, coming down with his foot crooked and then turning it as his arm comes around. The latter is a minor thing that could be cleaned up and might help him command the ball better to both sides.

The effort makes me think he's more reliever than starter, but the three pitches he showed mean he should at least get the chance to stay in the rotation.

Phillies outfielder Aaron Altherr clobbered one for a big home run. Antolin's delivery is all reliever and his body isn't loose enough to start anyway. Altherr crushed that changeup from Antolin, and he's got a very live body (although his run times were pretty ordinary). He's still fairly crude at the plate, with a very wide stance and no stride, so he can't transfer his weight easily and has to commit very early, before he can really recognize the pitch ... Mitch Walding signed too late with the Phillies to play last year; he showed good bat speed, but nearly bars his lead arm and drags the bat through the zone with a swing that's too flat for power right now ... Maikel Franco showed the most promise at the plate, with very quick hands and the ability to stay inside the ball well, and the size and hip rotation to grow into moderate power down the road ..

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