Top 25 Phillies Prospects (6-10)
One day during spring training, the Phillies' coverage triumvirate of Matt Gelb, David Murphy and Bob Brookover sat down for a discussion about the top 25 minor-league prospects in the farm system.
By Bob Brookover and Matt Gelb, Inquirer Staff Writers | Produced by Matt Mullin, Philly.com Sports Editor
Putting together a top 25 prospect list for a big-league baseball organization is like trying to predict who will be the next president four years before the election.
It’s guess-work at best.
“I don’t remember anybody having Darin Ruf on their list last year,” said Joe Jordan, the Phillies’ director of player development.
And still we try.
With just 10 days left before pitchers and catchers go through their first workout at the Phillies’ spring-training complex in Clearwater, Fla., the who is entering his second season in his player development role, had nothing to do with the compilation of the list, but he did agree to comment on each player on our list.
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At 23, Aumont got his first taste of the big leagues and initially excelled, allowing just one run on four hits in his first nine appearances. Over his next nine outings, however, he had a 7.11 ERA and walked five batters in 6 1/3 innings.
Jordan’s comments: “Phillippe made a lot of progress. He’s a big guy and still a young guy. He really got more consistent with his delivery. He just started pitching to his stuff. Once this guy learns to be consistent with his delivery, he’s going to be pitching in big parts of the game for us.”
Asche, 22, is the third-base prospect closest to the big leagues. After hitting a disappointing .192 in his first professional season at Williamsport, the left-handed hitting Asche rebounded in a big way in 2013 and he could open the season at Lehigh Valley.
Jordan’s comments: “If you’re around Cody Asche very much, you’ll see how confident he is out there. He’s a worker and a very good athlete. He had a really good year offensively, which the numbers tell us, but he had just as good a year defensively with his progress third base. He’s got in his mind where he wants to go and you go to battle guys like him.”
After two disappointing minor-league seasons in the Los Angeles Dodgers farm system, the 6-foot-6 righthander started to develop into the pitcher most people expected when he was selected with the 15th overall pick in the 2008 draft. The Dodgers traded him to get Shane Victorino. Martin should be part of an interesting rotation at Lehigh Valley this season.
Jordan’s comments: “When he came over to us, he was easy to watch. On any specific night, he had four major-league pitches and most of them were above average. If this guy makes his pitches and works ahead of the hitters he will pitch in the big leagues for a long time.”
The University of Alabama product from Marietta, Ga. sharpened his change-up in 2012 and maintained his ability to consistently throw strikes. By his own admission, he was wildly inconsistent in college, but the 2011 third-round pick has been the polar opposite in his two professional seasons. In addition to a fastball and change-up, he also throws a slider and curveball.
Jordan’s comments: "What we do in pro ball fits for him. Slider can be a put away pitch at times. This guy can beat you in three different ways. Doesn’t have to beat you with a fastball. I think pro ball fit him and brought his stuff out."
It is players like Ruf who make these prospect rankings fun.<NO>A year ago, he wasn’t on the radar of any prospect list despite the fact he had hit .308 with 43 doubles, 17 home runs and posted an .894 OPS at single-A Clearwater.