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Brown attended Redan (Ga.) High, a big-time program in one of the most heavily scouted areas of the country. He'd attended top showcases--even playing on Team Baseball America at the 2005 World Wood Bat tournament in Jupiter, Fla.--yet wasn't considered an elite prospect. Brown's athletic ability was obvious, as he had an opportunity to play football (as a wide receiver) and baseball at Miami. But the fact that he was raw, combined with his bonus demands, prompted few clubs to even crosscheck him enough to consider drafting him with a early-round pick in 2006. Phillies area scout Chip Lawrence followed him closely, though, getting to know the family and bringing him to the club's predraft workout in Atlanta. After selecting him in the 20th round, scouting director Marti Wolever and national crosschecker Mike Ledna got a long look at Brown in an Atlanta-area tournament at the East Cobb complex and signed him for $200,000. Brown had a breakthrough year in 2008, won the Hawaii Winter Baseball (.389) batting title in the offseason and took another step forward last season. He shook off a broken finger on his right hand to finish with a flourish at Double-A Reading. Brown is a physical specimen, long, lean and muscular, which earns him physical comparisons to Darryl Strawberry. While he doesn't have Strawberry's raw thunder, he has true five-tool ability. His work ethic has allowed him to translate his athletic ability into baseball skills, starting with above-average hitting ability. A free swinger as an amateur, Brown has developed a solid eye at the plate and recognizes pitches well. His buggy-whip swing and growing strength give him plus raw power, and he's starting to translate it into production. He has the bat speed and strength to drive mistakes and take advantage when he's ahead in the count. Brown's other tools grade out as well or better than his bat. He's a plus runner with an arm that grades out as high as a 70 on the 20-80 scouting scale. The biggest question on Brown's upside revolves around how much power he'll develop. Some Double-A Eastern League observers thought his power would be average at best and would limit him to hitting at the top of the lineup, rather than being a middle-of-the-lineup factor. He's still raw in several aspects offensively, compensating with his athleticism. He needs to keep improving with his pitch recognition and ability to lay off chasing pitches out of the zone. He also needs to take better routes in right field. The Phillies have productive corner outfielders in Raul Ibanez (signed through 2011) and Jayson Werth (2010), but refused to part with Brown at the trade deadline in a deal for Roy Halladay or Cliff Lee because they consider him a future star. The presence of Ibanez and Werth makes it easy to give Brown another year of at-bats and experience in the minors. He should reach Triple-A Lehigh Valley for the first time and earn at least a September callup in 2010.
The son of 1990 Cy Young Award winner Doug Drabek, Kyle blew out his elbow early in his first full pro season, costing him parts of 2007 and 2008. He used his off time to improve his body, refine his delivery and grow up a bit with the help of minor league veteran Mike Zagurski, his rehab roommate and fellow TJ alumnus. Drabek broke out in 2009, dazzling in the Futures Game and pitching well in Double-A. Drabek has the organization's best curveball, a power downer that he can bury or throw for strikes. Some scouts rate it a 70 on the 20-80 scouting scale. His fastball sits at 88-93 mph, usually at the top end of that range, and has solid-average life. His competitiveness helps him maximize his stuff. Athletic and coordinated, he's effective holding runners, fielding his position and hitting. Drabek's changeup is his third-best pitch and still needs refinement, as Double-A lefthanders showed by bashing him for a .924 OPS (compared to .521 by righties). He has to improve his arm speed and his command with his changeup. Drabek could be a power reliever in the Tom Gordon mode, particularly if the Phillies need him in 2010. His aptitude and athleticism make it more likely that he'll improve that pitch and fulfill his profile as a No. 2 or 3 starter. He'll open the season in Triple-A.
Taylor played a season of high school baseball as Zack Greinke's teammate, and his size and athleticism made him a top high school prospect. His grades helped lead him to Stanford, where he came around as a college junior, and he's been unstoppable the last two seasons, clubbing 39 homers and batting .334. Despite his size, Taylor has few holes and has become an excellent hitter, squaring up balls consistently and smashing line drives to all fields. Pitchers try to tie him up inside, and while he can be vulnerable there, he has shown the ability to make adjustments. He has excellent raw power, average speed and good baserunning instincts. He's a solid defender with an average-to-plus arm who grades as above average in left field. Taylor could stand to be more selective to get to his power more consistently. He needs to learn to loft the ball to become a true 30-homer threat. Conditioning probably will be a long-term issue for Taylor, who does a good job of staying on top of his juvenile diabetes. With Raul Ibanez and Jayson Werth ahead of him and Domonic Brown coming on, Taylor seems like ideal trade bait. He also could be a replacement for Ibanez, whose contract doesn't expire until after 2011. He's slated for Triple-A in 2010.
The 37th overall pick in 2007, d'Arnaud played against his brother Chase, a shortstop in the Pirates system, in two four-game sets in the low Class A South Atlantic League last May. Chase was caught stealing just three times in the SAL, twice by his brother in the second series. The strong-bodied d'Arnaud got better as 2009 wore on, clubbing 25 doubles in his last 224 at-bats. He led the SAL in doubles and is tapping into his plus raw power. He has strength in his hands and generates good bat speed. D'Arnaud understands the importance of defense for a catcher and works hard at managing a staff. He has above-average arm strength, soft hands and good agility. Footwork can get d'Arnaud in trouble in both blocking balls and with the accuracy of his throws. He threw out just 40 of 172 basestealers (23 percent) last season, though opponents ran wild on Lakewood's pitching staff. He needs more at-bats against good breaking balls, against which he tends to lunge and get long with his swing. The Phillies were confident enough in their young catchers to include Lou Marson in the Cliff Lee trade. D'Arnaud is ahead of Sebastian Valle defensively and in his development, but will have to keep improving to maintain that lead. He's slated to move up to high Class A Clearwater in 2010 and should be ready for Philadelphia by 2012.
The Phillies have gone to the Pacific Northwest well several times in recent years, and May has outpaced such prospects as third baseman Travis Mattair and righthander Julian Sampson from that region. After starting 2009 in extended spring training, May jumped into Lakewood's rotation and stumbled at first before becoming the Blue Claws' ace. He finished the season with 24 scoreless innings, 11 coming in the playoffs as Lakewood won the South Atlantic League title. Big and strong, May has gained fastball velocity as a pro and now ranges from 88-95 mph. His heater features heavy sink at times, and he uses its armside run to pitch inside effectively. He has solid command of his upper-70s curveball, which has solid if slurvy break. His solid-average changeup features fade when thrown down in the zone. Still raw, May can lose his command suddenly. He needs work on all facets of pitching out of the stretch, as he tends to fly open with his shoulder and doesn't hold runners well. His curve remains inconsistent because he gets under it at times, and it's easier to identify out of his hand than his changeup. May has No. 3 starter potential and took a giant step with his strong finish last season. He still has a ways to go, however, and will begin 2010 in high Class A with the goal of surpassing 100 innings for the first time.
Gose had as much arm strength as any high school lefthander this decade, reaching 97 mph at times, but had no desire to pitch as a professional. He also had a shoulder problem as a senior, so the Phillies popped him as an outfielder and paid him a $772,000 bonus. His tools were evident in 2009, as managers rated him the best and fastest baserunner, best defensive outfielder and most exciting player in the South Atlantic League. Gose earns 70 grades on the 20-80 scouting scale for three tools: his arm, his center-field defense and his speed. He led the minor leagues with 76 steals in 96 attempts, and he'll be even more dangerous as he gets on base more often and refines his basestealing instincts. His arm helped him rack up 13 assists, third among SAL outfielders. Despite hitting just two homers in 2009, he has solid-average raw power. His weakest tool is his bat, and Gose will need time to rework his offensive approach and improve his pitch recognition. His power gets him in trouble as he takes wild hacks at times. He gives away too many at-bats and lacks a two-strike approach. The Phillies believe in Gose and will give him plenty of time to learn and improve, but he may need 2,000 minor league at-bats. Some scouts liken his offensive upside to that of Carl Crawford, and Gose would have more defensive value. He'll advance to high Class A in 2010.
The Phillies saw Valle shine in international competitions for Mexico at the 16-andunder level, ripping hits against top pitchers from Cuba and the United States. They signed him for $30,000. Playing for his hometown team in Los Mochis, he was one of the youngest players in the Mexican Pacific League this winter and was the season's first player of the week. Valle has natural hitting instincts and plus raw power that stems from his pure bat speed. He has excellent timing and a good load in his swing, as well as the strength to drive the ball to all fields. He has a good plan at the plate for a teenager and is an average runner, though he figures to slow down. Valle's defensive tools are average across the board. Low Class A pitchers overwhelmed Valle a bit in 2009 as he got pull-happy and impatient, though he adjusted after a move down to short-season Williamsport. He needs to polish his footwork and throwing accuracy, and he'll never have a cannon for an arm. He threw out just 18 percent of basestealers last season. With Travis d'Arnaud ahead of him, Valle could move a level at a time, working to polish his defense. Both players have taken grounders at third base as the Phillies look ahead. Valle will stay behind the plate and take another shot at low Class A in 2010.
Noted for his bat as much as for his arm in high school, Cosart committed to Missouri as a two-way player. The Phillies drafted him in the 38th round as a summer follow, then paid him $550,000 after seeing him dominate American Legion competition. His father negotiated the deal in the stands during a Legion game in Enid, Okla. The Phillies love Cosart's pitcher's frame, athleticism and quick arm. He generates the hand speed to have a power fastball and to spin a potentially above-average breaking ball. His fastball sits at 92-94 mph while touching 96, and there should be more velocity in there as he fills out. His 12-to-6 curveball is presently average but should be a plus pitch as it gains consistency. A lack of maturity has held Cosart back. He needs to prepare better in the offseason as well as between starts, and he must improve his work ethic. Shoulder soreness delayed his pro debut until July, and he needs innings to hone his command. His changeup is in its nascent stages. With Trevor May and Cosart on hand, the Phillies were more comfortable parting with Jason Knapp's power arm in the Cliff Lee deal. Cosart has front-of-the-rotation potential and is a breakout candidate for 2010. He'll make his full-season debut at Lakewood.
Bastardo earned a victory in his big league debut in June, shoving 92-95 mph fastballs past the Padres. A left shoulder strain cut his first big league stint short, but Bastardo returned to the majors in October and earned a spot on the Division Series roster. Bastardo has grown into a power repertoire. His fastball regularly sits at 91-93 mph, and he throws it for consistent quality strikes when he's going well. His changeup remains an average-to-plus pitch. His slider has its moments, as when he struck out Jason Giambi in the Division Series. Though it has its moments, Bastardo's slider usually is a below-average pitch and needs to be more consistent for him to remain a starter or succeed as a left-on-left reliever. Shoulder woes have interrupted each of his last two seasons, casting doubt on his durability. While he could be a fourth starter, Bastardo has a better chance to fill the Phils' immediate need for a lefty reliever if he shows an improved slider in spring training.
Philadelphia's instructional league program featured a plethora of athletic, high-upside outfielders such as Santana, converted pitcher Jiwan James and 2009 draftees Kelly Dugan, Kyrell Hudson and Alston Altherr. Santana still stands out in that crowd. Born in the Bahamas, Santana signed for a $330,000 bonus--big money for Sal Agostinelli's budget-conscious international department--and had a strong debut in the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League despite being its second-youngest player at age 16. Santana is a physical monster and yet can run the 60-yard dash in 6.7 seconds. He has reached 90 mph off the mound and has a plus arm in right field. His hitting tools are more advanced than even the Phillies expected. Add in his raw power, and his total package evokes Jermaine Dye. Santana also speaks English well. Santana may lose some athleticism, speed and looseness as he fills out physically. Mostly, he just needs at-bats to learn how to adjust to hard stuff inside and to improve his pitch recognition. Santana's upside, performance and age give him a slight edge over his fellow toolsy outfielders. He should move up to Williamsport next season, but could jump to low Class A with a strong spring.
James has tremendous upside and is the best athlete in a system loaded with toolsy players. One scout said his pure tools are better than Anthony Gose's across the board except for his throwing arm. He was signed by the same scout, Chip Lawrence, who unearthed Domonic Brown in the 20th round. James was a quarterback, wide receiver and safety in football and an all-state shooting guard in basketball at Williston (Fla.) High, where he doubled as an outfielder and pitcher in baseball. He signed for $150,000 as a 22nd-round pick in 2007--notable because he was the first over-slot signing in that summer--and made nine appearances as a pitcher, posting a 7.71 ERA. He missed all of 2008 with a stress reaction in his forearm, and when that didn't heal well enough for him to return to the mound, he became an outfielder. Just as he was getting caught up in 2009, James missed a month with a left wrist injury. But he put on a show at instructional league, jumping out with his switch-hitting ability, blazing speed and surprising raw power. He has a chance to be a plus defender in center field with a plus arm, though his arm is just average now. James is raw and essentially missed two years trying to pitch. The Phillies are eager to get him to low Class A for his first full season as a hitter.
Philadelphia paid Colvin considerably more than any of its other 2009 draft picks, signing him for $900,000 in the seventh round. While many clubs were concerned that he couldn't be signed away from a Louisiana State commitment, the Phillies were confident they knew the family well enough to know that he wanted to play pro ball. They landed one of the best fastballs in the draft and one of the best arms in the system. Colvin's fastball touches 96 mph and he could sit at 92-96 mph range eventually as he grows into his lean frame. Like most young pitchers, he'll have to work to clean up his mechanics. He's athletic enough to repeat his delivery, so a small adjustment or two should help him improve his command. He'll also need to harness his breaking ball. While his curveball at times has power and depth, it's inconsistent. His changeup remains in its early phases. Colvin should be able to start his first full pro season in low Class A, but it wouldn't be a surprise if Philadephia held him back in extended spring training and sent him to Williamsport instead.
Venezuelan glove-first shortstops inevitably get compared to Omar Vizquel, and that has happened a few times to Galvis, whose defense prompted his promotion to Double-A at age 19. His career path and ceiling are much closer to fellow Venezuelan shortstop Cesar Izturis, whose glove is excellent and whose bat has been just good enough to make him a big league regular. The Phillies believe in Galvis' offensive potential for several reasons. He centers the ball, he has a balanced swing that he repeats, he has hand-eye coordination and he has solid offensive instincts. He has improved at bunting and at moving runners. He lost two months of at-bats last spring with a broken right hand. He has just average speed and won't be a basestealing factor. If his bat reaches his ceiling--and he'll have to mature physically and get stronger before that happens--he still profiles as a No. 7 or 8 hitter. Defensively, Galvis has few peers and might be the best shortstop in the minor leagues. He has top-flight instincts, plus range and arm strength and excellent hands. He makes more plays than most shortstops, and he's more reliable on routine plays than most young shortstops. Galvis figures to return to Reading in 2010. It remains unclear where he'll fit in Philadelphia with Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley starring in the middle infield.
The Phillies have an eye for athletes and the patience to develop them. For every Greg Golson who doesn't work out, they find a Domonic Brown who looks like he will. They targeted Hudson in the third round and signed him for $475,000 in 2009 because they considered him the best athlete in the draft class. He turned down a football scholarship from Oregon State, where he would have played both sports. His speed is his best tool, as he covers 60 yards in 6.4 seconds. He's just as fast as minor league stolen base leader Anthony Gose, and Philadelphia may have them race in spring training. Like Gose, Hudson pitched in high school and has a plus arm in center field. He also has strength in his frame, and he has a chance to hit and hit for power. His tools aren't in question, but area scouts in the Pacific Northwest questioned Hudson's desire and makeup. He was suspended for two football games as a senior for breaking team rules and showed inconsistent effort during the spring. That's why a player with his tools was available with the 106th overall pick. The Phillies hope to channel Hudson's competitiveness in the proper direction and were encouraged by his offensive progress and behavior in instructional league. His spring performance will determine whether he opens 2010 in low Class A or extended spring training.
Everyone in the organization is rooting for Mathieson, the son of a prominent Canadian amateur coach. He's still trying to complete his comeback after injuring his elbow during his first taste of the majors in September 2006. He had Tommy John surgery, then needed a second elbow reconstruction after he came back the following summer. He got back on the mound last June and showed power stuff again in the lower minors and the Arizona Fall League. Mathieson reached the big leagues as starter, but he was somewhat miscast in that role because he lacked command and feel for a changeup. Now a reliever, he still doesn't command his fastball well enough to project as future closer. He can be an asset as a set-up man if he can stay healthy, as he has a 93-97 mph fastball and a solid slider that's a plus pitch at times. He gets more life on his changeup than on his fastball, and it's a solid third pitch. His fastball can be straight, so he'll need to locate it with more precison against big league hitters. If he can avoid injuries, Mathieson could help Philadelphia at some point in 2010.
The Phillies jumped three of their 2008 college draft picks to Double-A last season. Stutes and Vance Worley began the year in Reading, while Mike Cisco joined them in August. A member of Oregon State's back-toback national championship teams in 2006-07, Stutes threw five scoreless innings in his Double-A debut but endured an up-and-down season. His best pitch is a plus slider that he throws in the low 80s. He also flashes an above-average fastball, sitting at 89-93 mph with his two-seamer and peaking at 95 with his four-seamer. He's a long-toss devotee who has regained some of the arm strength he lost by throwing too many breaking balls as a college senior. His changeup is below-average, and he doesn't change speeds or locate his pitches well. Those shortcomings hurt him against lefthanders, who batted a .307/.393/.512 against him in 2009, and he'll have to address them to remain a starter. Most scouts think he's better suited to focusing on two pitches and working as a reliever. He'll remain in the rotation in Triple-A this season.
Few prospects came as far as fast as Flande did last season. He spent three years in the Rookie-level Dominican Summer League and another in the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League before reaching Double-A and pitching in the Futures Game in 2009. The Phillies have pushed their minor leaguers more aggressively since Chuck LaMar took control of their farm system, and Flande responded positively when challenged. His work ethic and athleticism also helped. Signed for $10,000 at age 18, he took a while to mature physically. His previously average fastball pushed up a tick or two last year, sitting at 91-92 mph at times. His best pitch is his plus changeup, which gains deception from his a stiff, unconventional arm action. Flande is tough to profile because he doesn't throw a true breaking ball, relying more on a cutter/slider that lacks depth. That makes him more of a back-of-the-rotation starter and limits his effectiveness as a potential left-on-left reliever. He's already something of an overachiever, and the Phillies don't want to limit him. After getting added to the 40-man roster in the offseason, he figures to return to Double-A to open 2010.
The Phillies drafted Worley in the 20th round out of high school in 2005, and he spent three seasons in the Long Beach State rotation before they drafted him again in the third round in 2008. His profile has changed since his days at McClatchy High in Sacramento, and if he joins Larry Bowa and Nick Johnson among the school's big league alumni, he'll do it as a back-of-the-rotation starter rather than a premium power pitcher. Worley's 88-92 mph fastball has solid life and he controls it well. He maintains his velocity deep into games and deep into the season. He generally throws strikes with his secondary pitches, which include an average slider and changeup. He also uses a slow curveball as an early-count, get-me-over pitch. Worley had elbow issues as a high school senior and college sophomore, but he threw 172 innings between college and pro ball in 2008, then logged 153 in Double-A last season. While he has shown he can shoulder a heavy load, Worley tailed off in the second half of 2009, losing seven of his last eight decisions as his command deteriorated. He got tired and didn't finish his pitches, getting pounded when he left the ball up in the zone. Worley lacks a pitch to put hitters away with, and he could wind up in middle relief. He'll move up to Triple-A this season.
The Phillies signed Correa in 2006 as the highlight of their first Brazilian signing class. He lost much of his prospect luster in 2008, when Philadelphia suspended him and sent him home to Brazil for disciplinary reasons. Correa returned last season and became the best starter on Lakewood's staff before he tired and lost his last five decisions. A back injury kept him out of the South Atlantic playoffs, but he got in 124 innings of needed work. Correa's fastball reached 94 mph consistently when he signed as a 16-year-old, and he touched that peak in 2009 while sitting at 89-93 mph. He has solid secondary pitches, with one of the system's better breaking balls. Alternately described as a slider or power curve, it arrives in the low 80s with some depth. His changeup gives him a third average-or-better pitch. Correa's control is his biggest issue. He doesn't throw enough quality strikes and hasn't learned how to control the armside run on his fastball, leading to 21 hit batsmen--19 against righthanders. He creates decent plane to the plate and gave up just six homers last season. Correa's inexperience means he'll move a step at a time, heading to high Class A for 2010. His ceiling is the highest among Philadelphia's international pitchers and ranks among the best in the system.
It's possible that the best players the Phillies drafted in 2009 were taken with consecutive picks in the seventh and eighth rounds: Brody Colvin and Singleton. The latter is the most advanced hitter Philadelphia has drafted since taking Adrian Cardenas (since traded to the Athletics) in 2006's sandwich round. The team continued a trend with Singleton, making it the fifth straight draft in which they took a first baseman with a single-digit pick. His feel for hitting makes him the best prospect on the bunch. He made a strong impression on 2008 showcase circuit, but didn't stand out as much last spring, batting just .321 as a high school senior. The Phillies trusted their scouting reports and got him for a $200,000 bonus. Singleton had a good pro debut, showing off plus bat speed and a disciplined approach. His swing can get long at times, but he has improved his stroke since signing, reducing the length of his trigger. He's not as athletic as his father Herb, a former quarterback at Oregon, and has below-average speed but isn't a slug. He shows promise as a defender, deftly picking balls out of the dirt and exhibiting some feel for plays around the bag. Singleton will spend his first full season in low Class A, and he may anchor the Lakewood lineup with Sebastian Valle.
Nine Rice pitchers have been drafted in the first round or the supplemental first round since Wayne Graham took over the Owls program in the early 1990s. After just one full big league season, Jeff Niemann already has as many victories (15) as any pitcher in the group, which has a track record of injuries and modest success. Savery is trying to buck that trend and is coming off his best pro year, rising to Triple-A and leading Phillies farmhands with 16 wins. But he isn't the same guy the Phillies drafted with the 19th overall pick and signed for $1,372,500 in 2007. He seems to have left his velocity in college, now touching 91-92 mph with his fastball at his best after sitting there at Rice. The athleticism that produced excellent command early in his college career also has regressed. The hope was that Savery's velocity and command would improve after he put college shoulder problems behind him and gave up hitting (he played first base and batted third for much of his time at Rice). To his credit, Savery still creates angle and plane with his fastball, which usually peaks at 90 mph. At times, he can spot his changeup with solid fade to both sides of the plate. His slider is below-average, limiting his usefulness as a potential reliever. He'll spend 2010 in Triple-A unless his stuff and command improve.
Villan has as much upside as any Phillies infield prospect. Signed for $105,000 in 2008, he has plus tools across the board except for power. He earned a promotion to the short-season New York-Penn League in his first season in the United States, showing impressive polish. While he has a plus arm suited for shortstop, Villan may end up at second base as he continues to fill out. He might have enough bat for the move. A natural righthander, he's now better from the left side and has solid gap power, though he'll probably never be a home run threat. Villan has a willingness to take walks but must make more contact. He takes a big hack at the plate but is a plus runner once under way. He's also a smart, aggressive basestealer for his age and experience level. His excellent hands work well at the plate and in the field. He has solid range at shortstop. The Phillies will see if Villan can handle low Class A in 2010.
The grandson of former big leaguer and former Phillies pitching coach Galen Cisco, Mike is trying to beat his brother Drew--a top high school prospect for the 2010 draft--to the big leagues. Cisco isn't as tall or as talented as his younger brother, but he has a head start and has fared better than most scouts expected after his modest four-year college career at South Carolina. After sitting at 89-92 mph and touching 94 with his fastball during his 2008 pro debut, Cisco opened last season on the disabled list with a strained oblique and didn't have quite the same velocity. He worked at 88-90 mph, which wasn't a problem because he still got outs with his plus changeup and mound savvy. Cisco throws strikes with his curveball and has a modest slider that's more of a cutter. He depends on his fine command, because when he gets too much of the plate, he's vulnerable to homers. Cisco's velocity could spike back up with a move to the bullpen, but he's likely to anchor the Reading rotation in 2010.
Rosenberg had an eventful first full pro season in 2009. He opened the year as Lakewood's closer and thrived, not giving up an earned run in his final 20 appearances. The Phillies decided to aggressively jump him to Double-A, and he responded well before missing the Eastern League playoffs to pitch in Team USA's bullpen at the World Cup. He won a gold medal, striking out 11 in six innings. Rosenberg started for much of his college career at Louisville until he tore a labrum, which cost him his 2007 season, and he has shown the ability to pitch more than one inning at a time. He relies heavily on his fastball, which often sits at 93-95 mph in shorter stints. He needs to spot his fastball better at upper levels because it's more notable for its velocity than for its life. He also has a solid-average slider, which is a bit inconsistent but can be a strikeout pitch. Rosenberg turned 24 during the World Cup and will be pushed accordingly. With Scott Mathieson ahead of him and starters such as Mike Stutes, Vance Worley and Mike Cisco all potential future relievers, Rosenberg may best serve the Philadelphia as trade bait. He's likely to close at Lehigh Valley this season.
Castro sticks out among the Phillies' lower-level outfield prospects because his bat is his best tool and his athleticism is merely good. He's advanced enough as a hitter that Philadelphia sent him to low Class A as a teenager to open 2009. After struggling there, he regrouped in extended spring training and went on to lead the New-York Penn League with 81 hits and 31 extra-base hits. Castro doesn't have a pretty swing--he uses a pronounced arm bar--but he squares balls up consistently and has good power. He has strength in his hands and forearms, giving him plus bat speed. An above-average runner now, Castro figures to slow down a bit down the line. He played all three outfield positions last season and projects as an eventual left fielder with an average arm. Unless he develops true plus power, he's more of a second-division regular or a fourth outfielder on a contender. His speed and arm give him an edge in the system over Steve Susdorf, who has a similar bat and has reached Double-A. Castro figures to return to Lakewood in 2010 but could advance to high Class A with a strong spring.
Garcia and Carlos Carrasco often were mentioned in tandem because they signed a year apart for significant money. They once were also two of the best righthanders in the system, but Carrasco went to Cleveland in the Cliff Lee trade last summer and Garcia wasn't protected on the 40-man roster after performing poorly in the Arizona Fall League. Garcia flashes the stuff that earned him a $500,000 signing bonus, but not on a consistent basis. He had a 92-94 mph fastball when he signed and worked at 93-96 during the high Class A Florida State League all-star game in 2008. But after he had visa problems in 2009 and didn't take the mound until late July, his arm strength was down. His fastball was average at best in the AFL, flattening out at times and getting hammered. His slider remains his best pitch, peaking in the mid-80s with depth, and he has a solid-average changeup. He has a good feel for using his secondary pitches and can get on a roll if he throws strikes with his fastball. Garcia still has a high ceiling, but his chances of reaching it keep getting smaller--which is why he didn't find any takers in the Rule 5 draft. He'll give Double-A another try after getting torched there in 2008.
Dugan's father Dennis is a Hollywood actor, director and producer who often works with Adam Sandler, directing him in comedies such as "Big Daddy" and "You Don't Mess With the Zohan." His son has made a name for himself in baseball, where he was the first player the Phillies drafted (second round) in 2009 after giving up their first pick for signing free agent Raul Ibanez. His advanced bat and strong predraft workout prompted Philadelphia to buy him away from a Pepperdine scholarship with a $485,000 bonus. Dugan started switch-hitting as an 8-year-old and recognizes pitches well from both sides of the plate. A slightly better hitter as a lefty, he has average to plus raw power from both sides, thanks to good strength and a fairly mature, physical frame. He has average speed and arm strength, making right field a viable option. The Phillies are encouraged by his competitive streak and believe he'll do what it takes to get the most out of his ability. He's probably headed to Williamsport in 2010 because Lakewood's projected outfield is already crowded with Leandro Castro, Zach Collier, Jiwan James and perhaps Anthony Hewitt.
For the second straight year, the Phillies got strong early returns from the college pitchers in their draft. Nick Hernandez (12th round) and Austin Hyatt (15th) tore up the New York-Penn League, while Way did the same before earning a promotion and easily handling low Class A hitters. A fifth-rounder who signed for $40,000 as a college senior, the Alaska native turned down the Giants as a 36th-round pick in 2008. He led Washington State to its first NCAA regional berth since 1990 in the spring, and capped his pro debut by contributing two fine playoff starts to Lakewood's championship run. He reached 190 innings between college and pro ball, but Philadelphia isn't overly concerned. Way relies on a downhill fastball that sits in the upper 80s touches 90-91 mph, and a solid to plus changeup that locks up righthanders. They hit just .197 against him in pro ball, with one home run in 234 at-bats. His slider has been short throughout his career, which hinders his chances of moving into a lefty specialist role if he can't stick as a starter. His sinker and changeup may be good enough to keep in the rotation, however. He'll open his first full season in high Class A.
The Phillies drafted DeFratus out of Ventura (Calif.) JC, where he showed raw arm strength but was green in terms of pitching experience. He has advanced slowly in pro ball, but he has made improvements with his conditioning and delivery. DeFratus does a better job now of maintaining his velocity, sitting at 88-92 mph with his fastball and regularly touching 94-95 mph out of the bullpen. His command is among the best in the system, and he locates his fastball down in the zone consistently. He didn't allow a walk last year until May 12, and was so good out of Lakewood's bullpen that he became a starter in the second half. Though he was much more hittable working out of the rotation, his command didn't waver. His slider also continued to improve, giving him a second average to plus pitch. His changeup remains below-average in terms of life and his arm speed, but he does throw it for strikes and generally keeps it down. DeFratus finished strong before an oblique strain shut him down for the playoffs. His long-term future is likely as a reliever, but he'll pitch in the Clearwater rotation in 2010.
Collier ranked eighth on this list a year ago, after he signed for $1.02 million as a sandwich pick and enjoyed a solid pro debut. He moved to full-season ball in 2009 and was one of Lakewood's few disappointments. Considered a fairly polished hitter coming out of high school, he failed to make adjustments and lost his confidence last year. A midseason demotion to Williamsport didn't help. The biggest concern was his lack of power, as Collier hit only one home run. He didn't make frequent or hard contact, and scouts have started to question his explosiveness. He also was overmatched by lefthanders. Collier remains athletic and has a projectable body that should get stronger, but he may top out with just gap power. He's a plus runner, and his average arm gives him flexibility to play any outfield spot, though he fits best in left. He needs to show more in his second tour of low Class A this year to regain some of his lost luster.
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