De Fratus, Zeid named to AFL Rising Stars game

Here's a name you should learn quickly because come spring training, he could be an interesting Phillie to watch.

Justin De Fratus, a 6-foot-4 righthander, was the lone Phillies representative named to the Arizona Fall League's Rising Stars game to be played this Saturday.

With possibly numerous spots in the bullpen up for grabs come spring and the desire to rely on some younger arms, De Fratus will almost certainly merit consideration. He turned 23 on Oct. 21 and has been impressive in the AFL.

Pitching for the Mesa Solar Sox, De Fratus has appeared in five games, allowing one hit in five innings while striking out 10 and walking two.

He began the 2010 season at single-A Clearwater and earned a promotion to double-A Reading by the end of the season, excelling at both levels. De Fratus was 3-0 with a 1.94 ERA in 49 games and had 21 saves. In 65 innings, he allowed just 48 hits. He had a spectacular 71/16 strikeout to walk ratio.

Phillies officials gushed about De Fratus during the season. His fall has done nothing to change that.

Catching up on other Phillies prospects in the AFL:

-- It's been a rough go for B.J. Rosenberg, who effectively lost a season because of nagging injuries. In 7 2/3 innings, he has an 8.22 ERA. Rosenberg, 25, is running out of time but will get some looks in spring training. He was invited to big-league camp last spring.

-- First baseman Matt Rizzotti has kept his hot 2010 season alive with a slash line of .412/.545/.441 in 34 at-bats (nine games). Do-it-all utility man Tim Kennelly is hitting .429 in 21 at-bats. It'll be interesting to see if Rizzotti has earned an invite to big-league camp.

-- Another one of the Lakewood pitchers, Josh Zeid, is 3-0 with a 3.86 ERA in four starts. Zeid is 23.

CORRECTION: Thanks to some of our intrepid commenters, it's noted that Zeid made the all-star team too. I missed him on the roster because he was listed under the Nationals' organization.

Zeid sort of flew under the radar because he was in a Lakewood rotation that featured Jarred Cossart, Trevor May, Brody Colvin and Jonathan Pettibone. Zeid was a little old for the South Atlantic League and 2011 will be a better sign of what sort of prospect Zeid is when he is challenged at a higher level.

The whole AFL all-star roster can be found on Baseball America.


A programming note for the blog: We're in the process of coming up with some ideas for the off-season, but there will be times where The Phillies Zone goes dormant. (Hey, vacation time is calling.) But we'll find ways to keep this space fresh.

And again, a thanks to everyone who has read the coverage in The Inquirer, the posts on the blog, and followed me on Twitter during my first season on the beat. Appreciate it.