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Weekly Phillies Prospect Roundup - 21-26 April

Pitching heated up slightly this week (from ~5 Kelvin previously), but a few bats cooled with a vengance.

Ruben looking a bit disheveled in Phoenix.
Ruben looking a bit disheveled in Phoenix.
Christian Petersen


Tommy Joseph - ToJo put together a stunningly good week after a slow start: .375/.412/1.000, 1 bouble, 3 HR, 0 K, 1 BB. I'm curious to see how his numbers balance out, as his BB rate is near career norm, but his K rate is roughly half his normal rate. Did he make an adjustment? Is he seeing the ball better? Just lucky? His BABiP is extremely low (.222) and seems unsutainable. Now, if his BABiP and K rate both normalize they'll pretty much cancel eachother out. His ISO is the part that makes me most curious, as he has 14 hits and 7 have been for extra bases. Joseph has always had plus power potential, but had struggled to show it in the past. He'll likley cool down from a .272 ISO, but how much?

Jesse Biddle - I noted on Twitter earlier this week the weird similarities between Jesse Biddle's 4th and 5th starts the last 2 years. Hopefully his start tonight is nothing like last year's 6th Start. If Biddle keeps up anything close to his current pace a promotion to LHV seems pretty likely by June. I'm not going to get into numbers, since any week with only one start was already covered by Jay's daily recaps.

Leandro Castro - Castro's not really a big prospect, but you could see him in Philly if any injuries hit and he has some pop and can play D. His line this week of .333/.375/.667 is unusually high with uncharacteristic patience at the plate. Castro's ceiling is emergency 5th OF, but he can have hot streaks like this, though I expect him to crash hard once his BB rate normalizes.

J.P. Crawford - Crawford picked up his second HR of the season on Sunday. He also managed a 6:5 BB:K rate. Crawford's line for the week was a very solid .273/.429/.318 (not including his Sunday totals). He hasn't been as successful on the basepaths this summer, but he has enough speed and instincts that I expect he'll adjust as the season wears on.

Kelly Dugan - He only played part of the week, but he was very much on fire when he was playing. He went .400/.538/.400 with 1 K and 3 BB. He also stole a base. Just learned Dugan strained his oblique and went to the 7-day DL.

Cameron Perkins - Cameron Perkins is unstoppable at the plate. He just continues to rake, going .278/.381/.500 with 1 double, 1 HR, 3 K, 2 BB, 1 HBP this past week. Crazy as it seems, that's actually a significant cool off from his prior weeks. Weird swing and lukewarm scouting reports be damned, Perkins is a hell of a lot of fun to watch.

Carlos Tocci - Tocci is also on fire of late. Afteran ice cold start he sported a .333/.370/.542 line with a double, two triples, 1 BB, 1 HBP and 8 K. It's those last few numbers that make a red flag for me (not so much the HBP). Tocci's BB and K rate's have changed dramatically this year with a 25% K rate and 2.2% BB rate. Tocci's BB rate wasn't stellar last year, but he was so insanely young for the level you could cut some slack on that. Year two in the same level I'd expect to see these numbers go in opposite directions from what they've gone. It's a small sample and if they both normalize and he can keep hitting he's an easy Top 100 prospect candidate, but if those numbers carry forward, you can be worried. That's usually not a harbinger of success against more advanced pitching.

Mark Leiter - Leiter is kind of the Cam PErkins of Pitchers. Lukewarm scouting reports (at best), not great stuff, just just keeps succeeding. He went 14.0 Innings this week with 8 H, 1 ER, 4 BB, 12 K and 1 HBP. Leiter's a bit old for Lakewood, so that needs to be factored in, but he had success as high up as Clearwater last summer. I wouldn't get too excited yet about Leiter as his ceiling is probably as a middle reliever, but if he keeps succeeding like this maybe he can be a Jason Vargas type back of the rotation guy. That's would not be a bad return for a 22nd round draft pick.

Not hot

Aaron Altherr - Aaron came out of his injury rehab tearing it up in Clearwater, but he cooled pretty immediately in Reading. Aside from hitting a Homer this week, Altherr has actually made a lot of weak contact and sports a .105/.182/.316 line in Reading. Now, a .063 BABiP is pretty unsustainable regardless of how many Gounders you hit, so I expect some rebound. One silver lining, sample size be damned, Altherr's K and BB rates look really, really good after 55 PA.

Brian Pointer - Pointer has cooled considerably. Downright frozen, frankly. As he went .125/.222/.125 with 9 K and 2 BB.

Dylan Cozens - It's not all bad, as shown by his .167/.231/.417 line. Cozens didn't hit much, but of his 4 hits one was a double, one was a triple and one was a Homer. He also K'd at a >30% clip. Contact issues remain for Cozens and if anything derails him, it will be those K's, because he's got power and will take walks.

Maikel Franco - The power's back, at least for now. .227/.261/.409, on 2 K's with a Homer and a double.

Cesar Hernandez - The transitio n to Third has been shaky, at best, with several throwing and fielding errors. It's an odd experiment, as Hernandez doesn't have the arm for the left side of the infield. I know the goal is to make him a super-utility type, but I just don't think that's a role he can fill. He's a utility guy who you can play in the OF and at Second, who can cover  SS and 3B a few times a year in emergencies. He's not blocking anyone's development presently, but I don't know that this is helping his any.

Samuel Hiciano - The power is there, but Hiciano racked up a lot of K's this week and no walks. Hiciano's a guy I expect to rebound, as his composite numbers are sound and he's displayed solid hitting skills in the past.

Gabriel Lino - Lino has struggled all around the plate the past few weeks. His arm is one of the best in the Minors behind the dish and only a fool would try to steal against him. Of course, he undoes a lot of that with very sloppy receiving skills, routinely suffering Passed Balls on very ordinary pitches. Lino's also got pretty top of the mark power potential, but so far this year Lino has struggled catching balls with his glove or bat.

Other notables

Aillians Astudillo - For Phrozens benefit I'll keep updating on Willians. Thjis week he went .318/.318/.318, a very Astudillo line. That included 2 K's, which is very out of character. Prior to 2014, Astudillo had 7 career K's in nearly 400 PA (that is not a typo, SEVEN). So far in 61 PA in full season ball he has 4 K. He is however maintaining his clinical aversion to walks though, with only 1 in 61 PA so far ( he had 1 in 153 PA last year).

Malquin Canelo - Canelo is an all glove prospect, very much in the Freddy Galvis mold. So you may see his .250/.357/.500 line this week in Clearwater and say "Wow, a 19 year old hitting well in High-A. We might have another grewat SS prospect here.", but don't get ahead of yourself. Canelo doesn't have a fast bat or a projectable build. His future is probably more Freddy Galvis than Andrelton Simmons.

Jan Hernandez - Called up for the injured Zach Green, Jan is simply overmatched right now in Lakewood.  Lots of K's and lots of weak contact. Hernandez needs to go to Williamsport when it starts the season. I expect he'll adjust and improve and the experience should help him in the NYPL, but this was a mighty rough start.

Sebastian Valle - Valle is splitting time with Koyie Hill in Triple-A since Rupp was injured and he put up a bizarrely Valle-ian line this week: .375/.333/.500. Valle has certainly had struggles, but at 24 it's not out of the realm of reason to consider he may still grow into a viable MLB backup, that said, he isn't playing much and he'd probably have been better off getting cut loose by the Phillies and getting a fresh start elsewhere.