Here is a quick look at the Phillies’ four minor-league teams that open this week.
Lakewood (low Class A)
One of the things to watch is the development of 2017 second-round draft choice Spencer Howard, a righthander from Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo. He had 40 strikeouts in 28 1/3 innings for short-season Williamsport last year. If the 21-year-old Howard pitches as well as expected, he could move up to Clearwater before the season’s end. Also, power-hitting outfielder Jhailyn Ortiz, 19, will be interesting to watch. Center fielder Simon Muzziotti, 19, could be among the faster players in the Phillies organization and looks to be a table-setter.
Clearwater (advanced Class A)
Righthanders Sixto Sanchez, 19, and Adonis Medina, 21 — the Phillies’ No. 1 and No. 4 prospects, respectively, according to MLB Pipeline — will be part of an impressive rotation. Last year’s first-round pick, centerfielder Adam Haseley, 21, from Virginia, is considered one of the top hitters in the Phillies’ minor leagues, and a quick start could mean a promotion to Reading. After a disappointing season at Lakewood, where he hit .236, centerfielder Mickey Moniak, 19, will look for a better season. He was the No. 1 overall pick in 2016. Shortstop Arquimedes Gamboa, 20, the No. 11 Phillies prospect, moves up from Lakewood.
— Marc Narducci (@sjnard) April 4, 2018
Reading (double A)
Righthander Franklyn Kilome, 22, and lefthanders Ranger Suarez and JoJo Romero are ranked among the Phillies’ top 14 prospects, and another starter who bears watching is righthander Jacob Waguespack, 24. The 6-foot-6, 225-pounder earned six late-season starts after moving up from Clearwater last season and struck out 35 in 37 innings. The development of left fielder Cornelius Randolph, who will turn 21 in June, will be worth watching. He was the Phillies’ first-round pick in 2015. He batted just .250 at Clearwater, but had 36 extra-base hits.
Lehigh Valley (triple A)
Two members of the rotation, Zach Eflin and Drew Anderson, have been to the big leagues, with Eflin having made 22 starts (with a 5.85 ERA) over two seasons. In addition to last year’s Phillies minor-league pitcher of the year, Tom Eshelman, another righthander who will draw attention is Enyel De Los Santos, 22. He was acquired in the Freddy Galvis trade with San Diego and was 10-6 with a 3.78 ERA and 138 strikeouts in 150 innings for double-A San Antonio last year. Center fielder Roman Quinn, who will turn 25 next month, has never played more than 88 games in a season during an injury-plagued career, but he is among the fastest players in the Phillies organization and, if healthy, could work his way up to the big leagues, where he had a late-season stint in 2016.