A month ago, I didn't know who Adam Morgan was. On Thursday, a scout who watched his Double-A debut labeled him as one of his favorite prospects in the organization. The rough comparison I've heard is Chris Capuano, the veteran lefty who is currently thriving with the Dodgers.
Right now, he projects as a mid-to-back-of-the-rotation guy, but cheap back-of-the-rotation pitching is something that the Phillies are going to need in the coming seasons as Cole Hamels and Cliff Lee play out their deals and Vance Worley's salary stats progressing through the arbitration process. The book on Morgan: not as much of a ceiling as Trevor May or Jesse Biddle, but a higher floor. He's more polished, and could be in a position to contribute as early as later next season. That is a fast timetable for a guy who was drafted in the third round out of Alabama in June of 2011. The 2014 season is a more likely projection. But Morgan has already skipped low-A, and this season posted a 3.29 ERA, 10.2 K/9, 2.0 BB/9 and allowed just seven home runs in 123 innings at Clearwater. Last night, in his Double-A debut, he held the Yankees' Double-A affiliate to two walks and one hit while striking out six in seven scoreless innings.
Morgan, the Phillies' minor league pitcher of the month for July, is 22 years old, which is how old Vance Worley was when he made his major league debut.
I'm here at Citizens Bank Park awaiting the start of the ceremony honoring Mike Lieberthal, the longtime catcher who will be inducted into (onto?) the Phillies Wall of Fame. I took part in an interview with Lieberthal on Daily News Live in which he said that the club had told him last year that it would likely come down to him or Curt Schilling for induction. Schilling obviously left the organization on less rosier terms than Lieberthal did, so it will be interesting how the Phillies proceed with next year's selection process.
There has been lots of talk about Tyler Cloyd lately given his sparkling numbers at Double and Triple-A this season. But another pitcher to watch is righty Jonathan Pettibone, who has 11 strikeouts, five walks and five earned runs in 11 innings over two starts since his promotion to Triple-A. Pettibone is only 21 years old, drafted in 2008, when the Phillies went over slot to coax him out of a scholarship to USC.
Domonic Brown is making is season debut in right field, the position he played all the way up to the point the Phillies acquired Hunter Pence last season. Nate Schierholtz is getting his first major league start in center field. So those are two things to watch in tonight's game against the Cardinals.