Saturday, February 13, 2016

A lost year for high Phillies draft picks Larry Greene, Shane Watson

Two former prospects, Larry Greene and Shane Watson, have yet to progress above single-A Lakewood. This was a lost season for both of them.

A lost year for high Phillies draft picks Larry Greene, Shane Watson

Larry Greene Jr. (Photo by Curt Hudson)
Larry Greene Jr. (Photo by Curt Hudson)

The Phillies did not possess a first-round draft pick in 2011 or 2012. They waited to pick until 39th in 2011 and 40th in 2012, both as compensatory selections. Those players, Larry Greene and Shane Watson, have yet to progress above single-A Lakewood. Neither is considered a prospect.

This was a lost season for both of them. Greene, 21, was touted for his raw power. He has seven homers in 239 pro games, and just one this season. He is hitting .177 with a .264 on-base percentage and .263 slugging percentage for Lakewood. 

His last 16 games (55 plate appearances) have produced a .109/.236/.109 line. His last extra-base hit was almost a month ago.

"It's been a bad year," said Joe Jordan, Phillies director of player development. "That's one of the situations in the system for me that I'm disappointed we haven't been able to get turned around. Not that I don't think there's been the effort there needs to be, we just haven’t been able to get him going. Don't really know what else to say other than that. Sure, it's been a disappointment."

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Greene hurt his wrist earlier in the season. He was punished before for poor conditioning. That is not the current problem.

"Larry looks great," Jordan said. "He looks as great physically as he’s looked since I’ve been here. He’s not making contact enough. That’s a fair assessment."

The player taken immediately after Greene, Jackie Bradley Jr., has played in 149 major-league games with Boston. His center-field defense was lauded but a prolonged slump at the plate forced his demotion last week to triple A. Bradley, 24, is often mentioned as a possible Phillies trade target.

There is concern for Watson, a 21-year-old righthander who underwent shoulder surgery in January. He will not throw a pitch this year. He has a 4.44 ERA in 21 minor-league games. 

Jordan cast doubt on Watson's future.

"He's been rehabbing all year," Jordan said. "I don't think we really know. I think he's still in that phase of his rehab that we don't exactly know how he's going to come out the other end of it. We believe the guy is going to pitch again. We just haven't got to the point where we have the conviction level of knowing this guy is going to come back close to what he was, this guy is going to come back 80-90 percent of what he was. I just don't think we know that yet."

The Phillies paid Greene a $1 million signing bonus. Watson received a $1.29 million bonus. Both were drafted from high school.

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