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Phillies 2012 Minor League System Check: GCL Phillies

Finally, we arrive at the Gulf Coast League. GCL stats are not great predictors of future success. The combination of small sample size and a shallower skill pool at the level makes it both a fairly small improvement in the level of competition from a top high school league and a breeding ground for fluke seasons. Still, there are some things that can be taken away as positives or negatives. Just don't take anything in the GCL as fact, they're just clues at this stage.

There are no pictures of GCL prospects, so please accept this photo of the Draft from 2 years before any of these guys were taken instead.
There are no pictures of GCL prospects, so please accept this photo of the Draft from 2 years before any of these guys were taken instead.
Mike Stobe

This is the Sixth and final in a series of prospect focused reviews of the Phillies Minor League system. We'll go club by club and look at the good, the bad and the ugly. The focus is on players who may help the Phillies, so I won't be discussing the positives of Troy Hanzawa or Scott Elarton, for example.

Willians Astudillo - 5'9" 182 lbs, C/1B 20 years old Spent the summer in the GCL. 40 G, .324/.329/.430, .106 ISO, 3.4% K, 0.7% BB, .331 BABIP, 5 Strikeouts (21 career strikeouts over 4seasons!), 47% CS, 4 PB

Astudillo is fascinating. He seems to have settled in as a Catcher (Previous 4 years he played 1B, 2B, 3B, SS, LF and RF as well as some C) and the stats look solid, GCL factors duly considered. That K rate is crazy, though he racked up most of those K's the last few weeks of the season. I thought there was a legitimate chance he could finish with fewer K's than Walks, which would be quite the limbo act considering he just plain doesn't draw walks. Or, I should say, didn't draw walks in 2012. His walk rate was actually decent in the VSL. If he can get back to that Walk rate he stands a chance of being a very interesting prospect. Without walks, I doubt he makes it past Lakewood with any success at all.

Andrew Anderson - 6'3" 185 lbs RHP 18 years old After being a 21st round pick out of High School, he spent his summer in Florida. 17 IP, 4.76 ERA, 4.73 SIERA, 4.26 FIP, 7.41 K/9, 4.76 BB/9, 1.82 WHIP, .358 BABIP

Anderson simply walks too many guys right now, but he struck out enough guys to see what he might do next year with some pro coaching and work on his stuff. He's likely an Organizational arm, but it's too early to make too much of the results.

Richard Bielski - 6'3" 190 lbs RHP 17 years old 14th round pick in 2012, spent the summer in Clearwater. 13 1/3 IP, 3.38 ERA, 6.03 SIERA, 4.70 FIP, 2.70 K/9, 3.38 BB/9, 1.50 WHIP, .280 BABIP

Bielski's line is a good illustration of why it's tough to judge short season stats from the GCL, especially for Pitchers. There's a nearly 3 run difference between his ERA and SIERA, whith his FIP fairly close to the middle of the difference. An extra couple of K's and his K rate would look respectable. There's still good potential, and given Bielski's youth, he could spend another season or two in the GCL and it wouldn't put his development behind schedule at all (19 or 20 in the NYPL would be perfectly normal).

Dylan Cozens - 6'6" 235 lbs OF 18 years old After being the Phillies 3rd pick in the Draft, Cozens signed quickly and reported to the GCL. 49 G, .242/.331/.427, .185 ISO, 24.0% K, 11.7% BB, 81.8% SB, 11.9% HR/OFB

...and the Phillies select: Dylan Cozens, OF Scottsdale, AZ. Who? After frantically searching, I turned up plenty of info on the Athletic High School Defensive End who had a commitment to Arizona to play college ball and had been booted from his team for "breaking the athletic code of conduct", but not much of anything on the baseball player. Even scouting lists of the top 150-250 players available either excluded Cozens or had him ranked way at the bottom. I was pleasantly surprised when Cozens flat-out destroyed the GCL his first month in pro ball, sporting a .914 OPS. He came back to earth a bit over the last month and a half of the season to the line above. I'm not going to make a ton out of the stats, but the plate discipline looks pretty damn good for a guy considered to be a more raw athlete. Cozens has plus power potential (maybe even 70+ on the Scouting scale), and while he's in the Outfield for now, he may eventually move to 1st. He's a mammoth kid, who, I'll admit, I'm buying into a little. It seems the Phillies double jump kids every year. I'm willing to bet on a double jump for Cozens. Lakewood in 2013, then possibly back to Williamsport in mid-season if he struggles.

Jesen Dygestile-Therrien - 6'2" 200 lbs RHP 19 years old A 17th round pick in 2011, this was JDT's first season of pro ball, all in the GCL. 41 2/3 IP, 3.46 ERA, 4.41 SIERA, 3.78 FIP, 7.34 K/9, 4.32 BB/9, 1.34 WHIP, 45.5% GB, .278 BABIP

The 2011 pick with the name that is bound to be butchered by announcers everywhere had a pretty solid debut. He's a cold weather pitcher, so it's expected he may be behind his warmer climate teammates, but he seems to have a good, repeatable delivery without a lot of extraneous movement. As with many Pitchers in A ball, the Walk rate needs work, but there are some solid signs here that he should stick as a Starter for now. Probably goes to the NYPL next summer.

Mitch Gueller - 6'3" 210 lbs RHP 18 years old Phillies second pick, he signed quickly for slot money and reported to the GCL. 27.3 IP, 5.27 ERA, 4.66 SIERA, 3.13 FIP, 6.26 K/9, 3.95 BB/9, 1.39 WHIP, 45.3% GB

Walk rate, blah, blah, blah. Gueller is an athletic Pitcher from the Pacific Northwest (the Phillies seem fond of Pitchers from this area), who already works in the low to mid 90's with a pretty good Curve and a Change-up that needs work. He has mid-rotation potential. Here is a write up on him from Draft day. He'll probably go to Williamsport in 2013, though a few turns in the Lakewood rotation to start the year wouldn't shock me.

Zach Green - 6'3" 210 lbs SS/3B 18 years old 3rd round pick played the summer in the GCL. 47 G, .284/.333/.426, .142 ISO, 23.5% K, 4.4% BB, .363 BABIP, 3 HR

He's not a SS long term. Frankly, he's the 3rd base prospect with pop that no one talks about. Scouting reports note a quick bat with good power potential and enough arm for 3rd. Perfect Game notes that he has good potential to hit for average as well as power. The one red flag in his line is that low BB rate, SSS abounds but that is probably half of what you'd like it to be. Combine that with some BABIP luck and his line is okay, but not great. I'm guessing an Extended Spring Training followed by Williamsport, with maybe a late season promo to Lakewood.

Manaure Martinez - 6'1" 155 lbs RHP 20 years old Split the season between GCL and NYPL. Stats seperated, as it was a nearly even split. GCL: 37 IP, 2.43 ERA, 2.73 SIERA, 2.31 FIP, 9.97 K/9, 2.68 BB/9, 0.89 WHIP, .233 BABIP NYPL: 29 1/3 IP, 4.91 ERA, 4.89 SIERA, 3.85 FIP, 6.75 K/9, 4.60 BB/9, 1.74 WHIP

Manaure killed it in the GCL, but he's a little old for the level, so he should have. The NYPL numbers were much different, but frankly it's such a small sample that you can't read too much into either the GCL or NYPL stats. If his stats can average out somewhere in between in 2013 in full season ball, that would be a success.

Yoel Mecias - 6'2" 160 lbs LHP 18 years old Spent the season in the GCL. 41 2/3 IP, 2.16 ERA, 3.71 SIERA, 3.61 FIP, 7.34 K/9, 2.38 BB/9, 1.03 WHIP, 44.3% GB, .239 BABIP

Frankly I don't know much about Mecias aside from that line. I know he's a Free Agent Signee in 2010 out of Venezuela and that's it. Still, as much as I said not to make much out of GCL numbers, these are pretty good for a guy who's age appropriate and playing in the states for the first time; and 42 innings isn't much data, but it's more than we have on several other GCL Pitchers. Not much to go on, but I'll be paying much, much more attention to him next season.

Marek Minarek - 6'5" 176 lbs RHP 19 years old Second season in the GCL. 17 IP, 2.65 ERA, 3.97 SIERA, 3.55 FIP, 5.82 K/9, 1.06 BB/9, 1.47 WHIP, 49.2% GB

You better Czech yo'self, before you wreck yo'self. Okay, I have never felt lamer than just typing that, but it's hard to resist when you have a prospect from the baseball hotbed of Lokomotive Louny in the Czech Republic. The Phillies won a 4 team bidding war for him back in 2010. As you might expect he's pretty raw by most reports; and another season of Short Season ball and XST is likely. It's not many appearances to judge on, but at least the Phillies can say he didn't go totally off the tracks, this is something for the kid to build on for 2013. There's plenty of time for him to develop.

Andrew Pullin - 6'0" 190 lbs OF 18 years old The 2012 5th round pick spent his summer in the GCL. 41 G, .321/.403/.436, .115 ISO, 20.0% K, 7.5% BB, .406 BABIP, 2HR, 37.5% SB

Pullin is a potential 5 tool player, who just hasn't quite put all of the tools together yet. He seems to have pretty good plate discipline. The Batting Average, while BABIP inflated is still pretty solid. His only extra base hits were the 2 Home Runs, but he's a line drive hitter with solid bat speed and contact, those tend to profile into future power development. Additionally, he's a former Pitcher, so he has plenty of arm for Right Field. The Phillies have played him predominantly in Left, but with his speed and arm, he seems more of a fit in Right. Speaking of speed, dude needs to work on his base running. He ran a decent number of times and clearly needs to work on technique, timing and/or recognition. I'm tempted to predict a double jump for Pullin, but there are so many Outfielders who are likely to be in Low-A next year that a numbers crunch may keep Pullin in XST and NYPL next year. No rush, he'll be 19 next summer so it doesn't put him behind the curve any.

Keive Rojas - 6'0" 170 lbs RHP 19 years old Aside from an off 1 inning triple jump to Clearwater, Rojas was in the GCL. 33 1/3 IP, 1.62 ERA, 1.77 SIERA, 2.15 FIP, 11.88 K/9, 1.89 BB/9, 0.93 WHIP, .286 BABIP

Rojas dominated. Sure he had a little BABIP luck, but even with a high BABIP he still would have had solid numbers. A 6:1 K:BB ratio is impressive no matter what league you do it in. Rojas is going to Lakewood next year, I'd imagine, with a worst case scenario of going to Williamsport when short season opens. I think he'll stick though.

Carlos Tocci - 6'2" 160 lbs OF 16 years old Spent his summer in the GCL. 36 G, .272/.327/.293, .021 ISO, 16.7% K, 5.9% BB, 80% SB

Tocci wasn't overwhelmed and that's the take away here. Power may come later, it's hard to say with a guy this young. He seems to have a pretty advanced approach at the plate for a guy who turned 17 at the very end of the season. No doubt, this was a pretty aggressive assignment, but this is also a kid the Phillies signed for a whole lot of money (~$750K). He projects as more of a centerfileder given his build currently, so power is a little less concerning. I'm excited about Tocci, but he's at least 2 years from even full season ball. Back to the GCL for 2013.

Shane Watson - 6'4" 200 lbs RHP 19 years old Phillies top pick in 2012 spent, frankly a couple days in the GCL. Almost not worth listing stats, but since he was a top pick, here goes: 5 IP, 0.00 ERA, 0.45 SIERA, 1.00 FIP, 7 K, 0 BB, 2 hits against

Sports Illustrated called Watson a bit of a project, who needs to work on his command, especially with the Fastball, but has a knee buckling curve. Watson works in the low to mid 90's and there is more speed projected to develop as he finishes maturing. Sickels noted he had reports with a strong Cutter on top of the fastball and curve. Everyone seems to agree the Change-up needs work. That's really common for High School Pitchers though, so no surprise. If he gets his command in order and develops an at least average Change-up, he has middle to back of rotation potential. Short of that, I think he has good potential to make it to an MLB bullpen at some point.

Other Notables:

Braden Shull - Shull was a hail mary draft pick in 2011 that the Phillies hoped to sign overslot and lure out a strong college commitment. He has exactly 1 inning of pro experience. This year was lost to injury. He's raw, and we really have no data on him, but he's also still quite young, so none of this is a big issue... yet.

Jiandido Tromp - Not a great season, but a .188 ISO, 9.4% BB rate and .259 BABIP make me feel a little better about it. (all 3 numbers changed in his time in NYPL, but he's more age appropriate for GCL). Still a 30% K rate isn't going to get it done and that combined with his BABIP left him hanging around the Mendoza line at both levels. There's potential, if he can pull down the K rate ~5 points.

Stephen Golden - He's only 17. That's literally the only good thing to say about his 2012. Don't make too much out of GCL numbers, but a bad 2013 probably means a quick end to Golden's pro career.

Yacksel Rios - Well, his second season in the GCL did go better than his first, so there's that.

Franklyn Vargas - Young for the league (almost exactly 1 year older than Tocci), the big Lefty walked a few guys too many, but he had the high K rate to make that easier to swallow. I really like Vargas, but we'll need to see more data for him to rocket up any prospect lists. That said, a 6'4" Lefty with a 9+ K/9 rate and a 51% GB rate, those are nice to have.