Phillies offseason prospect update - mid October

Cameron Rupp attempts to seceed from First - Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

As timing would have it I got very busy when nothing was going on and now that Arizona Fall League is in full swing, I have time for updates. Of which there are a few.

Arizona Fall League is the epitome of short season ball. Sample sizes are incredibly small and plenty of guys tear up the AFL and don't do much thereafter (Zach Collier last fall and this summer, for example). Still, for the few valuable players there it is a great showcase and a good chance to see how these guys fare against top hitters (most of the Pitchers tend to be org fodder or borderline guys the team is trying to evaluate for future roles. The few quality pitchers are often guys coming back from injuries needing some extra mound time).

So who is there to look at for the Phillies? Well, there were a few potentially exciting guys to follow: Aaron Altherr and Kelly Dugan. Sadly Altherr suffered some type of hand injury and missed most of the last week or so, while Dugan battled turf toe and was sent home for the year last week. Well, Altherr is back now and Dugan is replaced by Cameron Perkins. Also there is Cameron Rupp, who has gotten decent playing time. On the Pitching side there is 70's porn star/relief pitcher Kyle Simon, fireballer Ken Giles, enigma Austin Wright and Former Monkees guitarist Mike Nesseth.

So, how are they doing? Glad you asked.

Aaron Altherr - Has gone 3 for 11 with a double, 2 K and 1 BB with 1 CS. Pretty small sample, but given his strong defensive reputation, if he can hit at a respectable level he'll have a nice Fall as a launching pad to Double-A next year. There is star upside with Altherr if he can get his K's under control.

Cameron Perkins - 2 for 6 with a double, 1 K, 1 BB and 1 CS. Talk about your small sample sizes.

Cameron Rupp - The Phillies clearly have the strongest contingent of Camerons in the AFL at this point (sadly not as good as the Twins contingent of Byrons). This Cameron has gone 7 for 20 with a double (apparently everyone must get spotted a double just for showing up), an astounding 7 K and 1 BB. Yes, it's a small sample, but it's generally not good to strike out in a third of your plate appearances. A strong Fall and good Spring could easily win Rupp the backup job in Philly next season though, so this is definitely worth watching.

Ken Giles - First off Giles looks a lot like Lurch in his AFL picture. That aside he rang up 6 K's and 0 walks in his first 3 appearances (facing 10 hitters in that span), sadly he then melted down in appearance #4 over the weekend when he got no one out and gave up 6 ER on 4 Hits and 3 walks. His Fastball is reportedly hanging in the mid-90's with reports of him hitting 99 mph on occasion. Hopefully his Saturday line was an abberation.

Mike Nesseth - Nesseth is doing about what you might expect. in 4 innings of relief, he has given up 6 hits, 4 ER, 2 K and 1 BB.

Kyle Simon - Over 4.1 IP Simon has given up 3 H, 1 ER, 3 K, 1 BB, 1 WP. A nice improvement over what was largely a dissappointing regular season. I like Kyle Simon and think he has a shot at being a bullpen piece in the future, though not likely a high leverage guy.

Austin Wright - Wright has essentially picked up where he left off. Unfortunately. In 4.1 IP he has a line of 7 H, 5 R, 3 ER, 1 HR against (Buxton, for whatever that's worth), 4 K, 3 BB, 2 WP. Control is an enormous issue here. If he can't find some modicum of control he'll never get above High-A, but any semblance of control and he has lights out potential as a reliever. Obviously if he can really harness his stuff he could be a valuable starter. At this point though, that last option seems exceedingly unlikely.

Of course there are other leagues going on now too (Venezuelan, Dominican and Mexican Winter Leagues primarily. Fall Instructionals are also ongoing, but no stats for them and you essentially need an eyewitness account to know what's really going on there. Among the other leagues the more intriguing lines to follow will be: Can Gabriel Lino take a walk and keep the ball in front of him as a Catcher? Can Sebastian Valle keep his K's down and show some discipline at the plate? Is Manuel Chavez worth following (a very good year in VSL, but he's a little old)? There are plenty of other good names, but largely just picking up at bats (Galvis, Cesar, Franco, Murphy, Susdorf and Castro).

Once these leagues wrap you'll start seeing a lot more Top Prospect lists coming out as these leagues may help slightly in seperating guys who might be viewed equally otherwise.

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