Phillies Find Contributors

PHILADELPHIAIn August 2014, the Phillies made a nondescript trade in which they sent journeyman starter Roberto Hernandez to the Dodgers for two low-level minor leaguers.

Two years later, it looks like Philadelphia might have netted two future big leaguers.

Second baseman Jesmuel Valentin has played his way to Triple-A Lehigh Valley, while righthanded reliever Victor Arano was recently promoted to Double-A Reading after a strong showing at high Class A Clearwater.

The Dodgers made Valentin, now 22, a supplemental first-round pick in 2012 out of the Puerto Rico Baseball Academy. He missed significant time in 2015 while serving a suspension after a domestic battery incident, but he has come received high marks for his comportment and play in 2016.

Valentin, a 5-foot-9 switch-hitter, batted .276/.346/.399 in 89 games at Double-A before moving up. The Puerto Rico native is the son of 16-year big league shortstop Jose Valentin, and he could wind up on the 40-man roster this winter.

“He’s got a very good feel for the game, and he understands who he is as a baseball player,” farm director Joe Jordan said. “He handles the bat well, has a line-drive approach and turns the double play well.”

Arano, a 21-year-old from Mexico, worked a starter his first three seasons in pro ball. He moved to the bullpen this season and struck out 10.1 batters per nine innings and recorded a 2.29 ERA in 35 games at Clearwater before moving up to Reading.

Jordan compared Arano to Edubray Ramos, a power-armed righty who rose to the big leagues this season. The Phillies have seen Arano command a fastball up to 97 mph, and he throws a slider and a curveball.

“He’s got a chance to be a really good bullpen piece in important innings,” Jordan said. “He’s got the arsenal to start, but he worked as a reliever in winter ball and the role fits his personality.”


• Short-season Williamsport lefthander Ranger Suarez, a 20-year-old Venezuelan, threw a seven-inning no-hitter against Auburn on July 26. He walked one and struck out five.

• Reading sluggers Dylan Cozens, a right fielder, and Rhys Hoskins, a first baseman, are the first Eastern League teammates to hit 30 or more homers apiece since Ron Kittle and Randy Johnson of Glens Falls in 1981.

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