The Phillies this year will send players to the Scottsdale Scorpions, along with the Yankees, Mets, Pirates and Giants. There are requirements and negotiations that go into sending players to the AFL. It's not as simple as just sending a list (otherwise you could end up with a team of 4 Shortstops, 9 Outfielders, 3 First Basemen and 2 Pitchers). You also can only send one player below AA and players aren't eligible if there is a winter league in their home country (the Phillies could never send Valle, for example, because he could play in Mexico's Winter League and frequently has).I'm willing to guarantee the Phillies went through more than one iteration of this list and added a Catcher after not enough other teams did (and possible assignee Kelly Dugan broke his foot). Without further ado, here's the list:
- Colton Murray, RHP
- Logan Moore, C
- Ryan O'Sullivan, RHP
- Nefi Ogando, RHP
- Ethan Stewart, LHP
- Roman Quinn, CF
I know the first comment will be that everyone's a stiff except Quinn, but there's a few things to keep in mind. First, it's really rare for teams to send Pitchers they actually regard highly to the AFL, where they aren't in control of innings, usage, etc. The last thing you want to do is send Jesse Biddle, have him get used heavily, blow out his shoulder and you're out one of your better prospects. It's usually a mix of fringe starters and interesting, but not highly regarded bullpen guys (in this group, that's O'Sullivan and Colton Murray, respectively). Second, remember before how I said about negotiations and a Catcher being added late? It's likely that the AFL came back and asked if anyone could send a Catcher and the Phillies, needing to swap out Dugan (that's a guess on my part), looked and settled on Moore. Why Moore? He was the only choice, really. Valle has a winter league in his home country. Hill's MLB service time makes him inelligible and it's likely Rupp will pass that threshold this fall as well. Joseph has been on the DL and you need to be off the DL 45 days prior to season end to be eligible, so he's out too. That leaves Moore and RayWilly. Gomez is new to the Org and Moore is an Org. favorite for his Defense and work with Pitchers. He's basically the current version of Tuffy Gosewich. So lack of hitting ability be damned, he's going.
Who was left out that could have gone?
Harold Martinez, 3B - Martinez has a looming Rule 5 Draft eligibility issue, but honestly, who in their right minds would pick him? No offense to Martinez, who I understand is a good guy, but he couldn't even vaguely hang on an MLB roster, so really there's no pending decision for the Phillies here. Martinez will either play in Reading in 2015 or he'll be in another Org. because the Phillies cut him.
Brian Pointer, OF - Similar to Martinez he'll be Rule 5 eligible, but I don't think any loon would possibly take him. I like Pointer and picked him as a breakout candidate this year and for Power, he kind of has broken out, but he's pretty average or less across the board. Of course, both Martinez and Pointer are in A+, so sending either of them would mean no Quinn, who probably needs the playing time more after missing 2 months recovering from his Achilles rupture (and still amassing 30 steals at a 75% clip).
Aaron Altherr, OF - Altherr went last year, and while he could have gone to the AFL again, why? Additionally he could get a September call-up, making AFL less likely anyway.
Really that's pretty much all those you can list as having gotten left out. In the end Quinn is the star of what we're sending, but other than Pittsbugh sending Bell and Glasnow, most of the other teams sent fairly equivalent mixes of players to the Scorpions.