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Weekly Phillies prospect update Aug 13 - 19

Let's look at some interesting guys who might be in line for September callups and guys who will be affected by Rule 5 and Free Agency. Plus Franco, always, plus Franco. I may throw in a few other interesting guys.

It was then that Phil E. Phanatic saw them coming over the horizon, the dawn promised beyond the dark night of the present
It was then that Phil E. Phanatic saw them coming over the horizon, the dawn promised beyond the dark night of the present
Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Let's start with the non-Rule 5/September call-up guys.

Mikael Franco - Franco went .276/.290/.448, 2 doubles, 1 HR, 1 K, 1 BB and 1 CS (Franco should never get a CS, as he should never be running and really shouldn't get carried away with his leads). For the month he's at .240/.263/.373, so forget the idea of calling him up in a week and a half. He needs more time to see if he can adjust his approach some and learn when not to swing and possibly adjust his mechanics. Fall/Winter ball might be a good idea for Franco to go work on loading during windup and taking some pitches in less of a spotlight.

Jesse Biddle - 2 G, 12.0 IP, 13 H, 5 ER, 1 HR, 16 K, 3 BB. Only 3 XBH out of those 13, so he didn't get hit too hard, and the K:BB rate is beyond unassailable. After a remarkably awful last week of July for Biddle, he's bounced back with several good outings (aside from a bit of a walkfest on 8/8, but even then he only gave up 3 H and 0 ER and 10 baserunners in 6 innings is not something you want to do a whole lot, but everyone has those games from time to time. Could go to AFL this fall, I suppose.

Mark Leiter, Jr. - When the Phillies picked the son of fomer Starter/Reliefman Mark Leiter and nephew of ReliefmanStarter/MLB Network Anchor Al Leiter, I thought it was a nice guy for Org filler. Maybe a nice thing for a kid Amaro or Wade may have met when he was a kid during his Father's time with the Phillies. He was somewhat intriguing thanks to some decent stats, the lineage and a no-hitter, but he also did it against fairly weak competition. He's now managed to pitch in the GCL, Low A Lakewood and High A Clearwater. All with mighty good results. This week he went 2 G, 10.0 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 1 HR, 8 K, 2 BB. The starts were in Lakewood and Clearwater. That's the first Pro HR Leiter's given up, but he's a strong fly ball hitter, so I'd expect a few more, as his current 3.3% OFB/HR is pretty strongly unsustainable. He's probably a future reliever, if he can't induce more Grounders.

Now on to the Rule 5, Callups, Free Agents, etc.

Zach Collier - Protected on the 40 man from last winter's Rule 5, Collier didn't do a whole hell of a lot to keep that protection this year. He was very good this week at .346/.452/.692, 2 doubles, 2 triples, 1 HR, 7 K, 3 BB, 2 HBP, 1 CS, but for th season his triple slash is only .214/.296/.333 with a .119 ISO. Now he "achieved" that line with a mighty low .281 BABiP, so it could move up some next year, but truth is His K rate skyrocketed (though his BB rate is quite consistent and mediocre at 8.5%) this year in Double-A. He'll only be 23 next year and if he puts it together he has a Shane Victorino-esque skillset that could come back to haunt the Phillies if he goes in the Rule 5on waivers. I'm not sure that bothers me too much and I'd be okay with taking that risk.

Tyson Gillies - Another guy with a Victorino-esque potential to haunt if taken in the Rule 5off waivers. Similar to Collier he was protected last year. Unlike Collier he went through a total overhaul of his swing. Also, unlike Collier, Joe Jordan in an interview said Gillies did not listen to instruction well (which was probably a poor word choice given Gillies is deaf), which doesn't seem to be a great, ringing endorsement for keeping him on the 40 this Winter. Gillies of the Phillies had a pretty solid week going .333/.412/.333, 3 K, 1 BB, 1 HBP, 1 SB (0 CS). For the season Gillies is at .243/.299/.392, .146 ISO, 16 of 21 on SB. The swing change was to add power, which clearly failed, as his ISO is in line with career norms. Gillies hits almost as many Grounders as Ben Revere, and since the Phillies current Ben Revere supply sits at 1 in inventory currently, I think this could be the end of the line for Gillies here.

Anthony Hewitt - Hewitt can become a Minor League Free Agent this winter. He's got a decent 4th/5th Outfielder profile and may be able to step into the John Mayberry role in a year or two. I'll skip the weekly stats here. For his career against LHP, Hewitt hits .284/.327/.517, 27.4% K, 4.7% BB, .233 ISO, with more Line Drives and Outfield Fly Balls. Against Righties? He's awful .220/.264/.359, .139 ISO, 32.8% K, 4.3% BB. His 2013 splits are even crazier: Vs. LHP .365/.407/.838, .473 ISO, 16.0% K, 6.2% BB all with a .327 BABiP. Vs RHP .198/.253/.313, .115 ISO, 35.9% K, 6.0% BB with a .301 ISO that's right on his career norms against RHP. He can ply Right and Left, he doesn't play Center, but he'd be fast enough for the position, if they tried him there. I'd sign him and give him an invite to Major League ST. That kind of bat on the bench and playing short side of a platoon or spot starting would be usefull.

Aaron Altherr - Altherr was as hot this week as he was early in the season going .333/.346/.417, 2 doubles, 6 K, 1 BB, 1 HBP, 2 SB (0 CS). For the season Altherr's numbers continue to improve slightly from one season to the next. He's at .268/.331/.446, .178 ISO, 27.2% K, 8.5% BB, .356 BABiP. At this rate of improvement Altherr should be a top prospect sometime in 2020. I actually like Altherr's skill set, but he's not ready to spend a full season on an MLB roster yet. Maybe in 2-3 years, but not now. For that reason I'm on the fence about protecting him on the 40. I could see a case for protecting him, but even if he gets picked up, I think he gets offered back in ST.

Brody Colvin - If you want him, you can have him.

Kelly Dugan - Dugan also becomes first time eligible for the Rule 5 Draft this year. Dugan's week was a bit rougher than Altherr's as he went .179/.207/.357, 2 doubles, 1 HR, 11 K, 1 BB. Dugan is still adjusting to AA and will not be getting a September callup, I do think he should get Rule 5 protection though. For his time in Reading his line is at .258/.299/.454, .196 ISO, 24.4% K, 2.8% BB (his career rate is closer to 10%) with 7 HR. I think Dugan could stick on a 25 man roster out of Spring Training as a 5th OF and be adequate with the glove and stick, but he needs at least a full season in AA/AAA. If he adjusts and reaches his ceiling I think he's a fringe starter in Right Field, not an All-Star, but not Roger Bernardina either.

Perci Garner - Garner was a second round pick because his arm is electric, but he was known to be quite raw as a 2 sport College player. Garner is probably best served in the Bullpen, but he's still starting. If left available to Rule 5, I'm fairly certain someone would grab him. It can be fairly easy to stash a guy in an MLB bullpen, so there's a strong chance someone would take the chance on getting his Walks down. His ceiling is as high as any reliever's and a bullpen a few years from now with him, Martin, deFratus, Aumont (assuming he's ever capable of finding the plate again) could be pretty special. Or it could be especially awful given the various control issues on that list. Take this week as a good example of what Perci can do, good and bad. Start one was for Clearwater where he went 1.2 IP, 4 H, 4 ER, 1 HR, 3 BB, 1 K. Five days later he Started for Lehigh Valley and went 5.2 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 7 K, 2 BB.

Cameron Rupp - Rupp could probably play in the Majors now. He's likely an Erik Kratz or Brian Schneider career backup type guy, but if things break right he could be a bordeline starter capable of something around maybe a .260/.330/.450 line, with average Defense. He had a mighty good week in Triple-A going .467/.529/.733, 1 double, 1 HR, 2 K, 1 BB, 1 HBP. For his time in AAA his stats are .273/.310/.447, .174 ISO, 29.2% K, 4.7% BB, .358 BABiP. In Reading he went .245/.329/.455, .210 ISO, 27.1% K, 8.7% K, .273 BABiP.

Other guys to consider: Valle, who could still be a usefull backup Cathcer, given his good D and power. Joseph, I don't know what the hell to do here. Given his Concussions and uncertainty about him staying behind the dish, I'm thinking about leaving him unprotected (talking as though I'll be the GM, weirdo). Jiwan James also can become a Minor League Free Agent. Not sure what the Phils will do, he's a nice guy, by all appearances, he's a top notch defender, but he can't hit (as I type that he's hitting quite well in a small sample size).