Another batch of Phillies prospects
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Another batch of Phillies prospects
Bob Brookover, Inquirer Baseball Columnist
The Inquirer’s Top 25 Phillies prospects have been detailed in the newspaper and on philly.com the last two days.
Now, in no particular order, here’s a look at some guys who were in the conversation and could very well be in the mid-season top 25.
Austin Wright, LHP
The 23-year-old lefthander was named the Florida State League pitcher of the year after going 11-5 with a 3.47 ERA for single-A Clearwater. He was drafted twice in the 23rd round – once out of high school by Pittsburgh and the second time out of junior college by Boston – before the Phillies took him in the eighth round in 2011 after one season at the University of Mississippi. He will attempt to duplicate the success of his first two professional seasons at double-A Reading this season.
Tyler Knigge, RHP
The 24-year-old reliever was a lights-out closer for single-A Clearwater last season, going 4-1 with nine saves and a 0.60 ERA in 34 appearances. He finished with a 2.92 ERA in 21 outings at Reading.
Mitch Gueller, RHP
The 54th overall selection in last year’s draft, Gueller’s career got off to a rocky start in the Gulf Coast League as he posted a 1-5 record and 5.27 ERA in eight outings, including six starts. The Washington state native just turned 19 in November, so there is plenty of time to develop.
Seth Rosin, RHP
Catcher Tommy Joseph was the most touted prospect in the trade that sent Hunter Pence to San Francisco, but Rosin, 24, has a chance to reach the big leagues, too. The hard-throwing righthander will likely open this season at Reading, where the Fightin’ Phils figure to have one of the better pitching staffs in the Eastern League.
Leandro Castro, OF
The 23-year-old native of the Dominican Republic had a strong season at Reading, hitting .287 with 10 home runs and 71 RBIs. His 35 doubles ranked second in the Eastern League and his RBI total was eighth in the league. He is a free swinger who does not walk much, but his power potential is real. Castro hit .313 in 48 at-bats in the Dominican winter league.
B.J. Rosenberg, RHP
The 27-year-old righthander has proven he has a powerful enough arm to pitch at the big-league level, but he must learn to throw consistently good strikes.
Chris Serritella, 1B
The Phillies took the left-handed power hitter in the fourth round out of Southern Illinois University and he hit .297 and slugged a team-leading six home runs at short-season Williamsport last summer. He led the New York-Penn League with 24 doubles. It will be interesting to see if he opens 2013 in Lakewood or Clearwater. First base appears to be his only position in the field.
Mitch Walding, 3B
The Phillies’ fifth-round pick in 2011 was overmatched at times in his first professional season at Williamsport. He batted .233 with one home run and 31 RBIs and struck out 66 times in 292 plate appearances.
Kevin Brady, RHP
Pitchers drafted out of college should dominate the New York-Penn League and that’s what the 22-year-old righthander did last summer. Brady, a 10th-round pick out of Clemson who battled a variety of injuries in college, posted a 1.85 ERA and struck out 49 batters while walking just five in 39 innings.
Tyler Greene, 2B
He was rated among the country’s top 75 picks in 2011, but the Phillies got him in the 11th round and convinced him to sign instead of accepting a scholarship to the University of Georgia. Greene’s first full professional season did not go as planned. He returned to the instructional league in Clearwater after being overmatched at Lakewood (11-for-75 with 37 strikeouts in 23 games), then was moved from shortstop to second base later in the year at Williamsport. He hit only .211 at Williamsport.
Zach Green, SS/3B
The Phillies took the 18-year-old Green in the third round of last year’s draft and he got off to an impressive professional start by hitting .284 with 13 doubles and three home runs in the Gulf Coast League.
Willliam Carmona, 3B/1B
The Long Island native is an Eagles fan and he helped Stony Brook University become the Cinderella favorite in last year’s College World Series. The Phillies took him in the 11th round and after he hit .348 in 25 Gulf Coast League games, he was promoted to Lakewood. He played third base in college, but is more likely to play first base at the professional level.
Keive Rojas, RHP
The 19-year-old Venezuelan excelled in the Gulf Coast League, posting a 4-1 record and 1.67 ERA in 17 relief appearances. He allowed just 22 hits and seven walks while striking out 42 batters in 32 1/3 innings.
Ethan Stewart, LHP
The Canadian native was not taken until the 47th round of the 2010 draft, but he impressed in his Gulf Coast League debut in 2011 and pitched at low-A Lakewood last season. Stewart, 6-foot-5 and 210 pounds, is still a work in progress, but he has a chance if he can learn to throw consistent quality strikes.
Yoel Mecias, LHP
The 19-year-old lefty from Venezuela had an impressive professional debut for the GCL Phillies, posting a 2.16 ERA and a 1.032 WHIP in 41 2/3 innings.
David Buchanan, RHP
The 23-year-old righthander only made 13 starts at Reading last season because of a ligament injury to the middle finger on his throwing hand. He is not overpowering, but he knows how to pitch. Phillies assistant general manager Benny Looper compares him to Kyle Kendrick, the man who will be the No. 4 starter for the Phillies this season.