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Signed for just $100,000 out of the Dominican Republic, Franco stood out as an amateur for his power bat, throwing arm and 7.7-second time in the 60-yard dash. That lack of speed had the Phillies consider a move to catcher, but that's no longer the case. Franco showed enough offensive polish to jump to the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League as a 17-year-old and reached low Class A Lakewood in late 2011 at age 18. Back at Lakewood in 2012, he dealt with a serious case of over-aggression, leading to a .207/.269/.338 line over his first 64 games in full-season ball. Once the weather in the Northeast warmed up, however, so did Franco (.346/.395/.530), and he hasn't stopped hitting. Franco followed up with a 31-homer season in 2013, earning himself a spot on the Florida State League all-star team in the first half, as well as his second Futures Game nod and a promotion to Double-A. He was the organization's player of the year after leading it in batting (.320), homers (31) and RBIs (103). Franco offers premium bat speed that produces 70 power on the 20-80 scale. He's still too aggressive at times, but he has significantly cut down on his strikeouts and increased his walk rate. He doesn't walk much but makes such hard, consistent contact that he rarely goes into slumps. His swing gets out of control at times, and he has shown a vulnerability to breaking pitches down and in. Even with those dings and despite his top-shelf power, he struck out just 70 times in 581 plate appearances in 2013, or just 12 percent of the time. At third base, Franco showed good hands and actions, along with an above-average arm while making 15 errors. He moves left to right well and has the footwork to stick at third despite his poor running speed. The Phillies see him as a true middle-of-the-order bat who can hit for average and produce something on the order of 30 homers annually. They moved Franco to first base for the last week or so of the season, a move designed to make him more comfortable with a new position rather than an abandonment of the hot corner. Rookie third baseman Cody Asche jumped to Philadelphia in August, and while his promotion was a factor in Franco's late stint at first base, Franco's ceiling is higher. His time at first provides Ryan Howard insurance for Philly, which intends to send Franco to Triple-A Lehigh Valley to open the 2014 season. He could challenge for a spot at Citizens Bank Park sometime toward the end of the season. Once he gets there, Philadelphia should have a power righthanded bat to complement Howard, Chase Utley and Domonic Brown in the middle of the lineup.
In his third full pro season, Biddle ranked third in the Double-A Eastern League in strikeouts (154) while ranking first among starters in opponent average (.210), and he struck out Maikel Franco in his one-inning stint in the Futures Game. He dealt with a bout of whooping cough that sapped his energy and had a bout of plantar fasciitis late in the season, though he never missed a start. Biddle has excellent size and athleticism, and he runs his fastball up to 94 mph and sits comfortably in the low 90s when he's at full strength. His dynamic curveball has reminded some evaluators of Barry Zito's offering and rates as the system's best. He also features a slider, which he threw in high school and then initially shelved in pro ball, and a changeup. The latter is average now and has a chance to be plus in the future. Biddle's spotty fastball command and a tendency to come out of his delivery when throwing his curveball led to a walk rate of 5.3 per nine innings, and he led the EL in walks (82). Biddle will have to pitch more efficiently in order to remain a starter. The Phillies believe that he will, giving him the stuff and frame to be a middle-of-the-rotation workhorse for years. If not, he'll still have a spot in the majors, most likely toward the back end of a rotation. He should start 2014 in Triple-A.
Crawford clearly comes from premium stock. He's the cousin of Dodgers outfielder Carl Crawford, and his father played football at Iowa State and in the Canadian Football League. The Phillies first saw Crawford as a high school junior when they were scouting his teammate, 2012 first-rounder Shane Watson. (They also drafted Travis d'Arnaud from the school in 2007.) Crawford won the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League batting title after signing and finished the year with low Class A Lakewood. Crawford combines athleticism with Southern California polish and has drawn rave reviews in his brief foray in pro ball. He gets plus marks for his play at shortstop, where he has soft hands, an above-average arm and a good knack for the game. Although his lefthanded swing can get long at times, he has a good feel to hit, hand-eye coordination and plenty of bat speed to make evaluators believe he will hit for average. He'll have to get stronger to hit for any kind of home run power. He'll return to Lakewood to open the season.
Gonzalez pitched in front of major league scouts in several significant international events as the ace of Cuba's national team. The biggest feather in his cap came in Taiwan in 2010, when he struck out 14 against Team USA in a 151-pitch epic in the gold-medal game of the World University Championship. He defected to Mexico in 2012 and initially agreed with the Phillies on a six-year, $48 million contract. After a physical, however, he signed a reworked three-year, $12 million deal in August. Gonzalez works with a fastball that typically sits between 90-94 mph and has been known to touch 96 on occasion. He sometimes has issues commanding the heater. He complements his fastball with an above-average splitter and solid-average changeup that make him effective against lefthanded hitters. His 75-79 mph hybrid breaking ball has flashed average, but more often than not it acts as a way to vary the looks hitters get. He has added a cutter in the last year. He can throw uphill at times, which flattens out his pitches. Gonzalez hasn't pitched much since 2011 thanks to a suspension in Cuba due to his defection attempts and then his subsequent flight from the island. He also didn't pitch in instructional league, but assuming he's healthy in spring training, the Phillies expect him to compete for a spot in the big league rotation.
After signing him on his 16th birthday for $759,000, the Phillies assigned Tocci to their Rookie-level Gulf Coast League affiliate in 2012, where he was the youngest player on his team by nearly a full year. They skipped him over short-season Williamsport in 2013 and instead opted to send the 17-year-old to the low Class A South Atlantic League, where only Royals shortstop Raul Adalberto Mondesi was younger. One look at Tocci makes it apparent that he needs to add at least 20 pounds to his rail-thin frame. Even as currently constructed, though, he shows flashes of why the Phillies gambled on his projection. He wasn't overmatched in the SAL thanks to good pitch recognition and the ability to get the barrel on the ball. Problem is, his lack of strength means his well-struck balls often die in outfielders' gloves. He has good instincts in center field, an arm that projects as above-average, and a combination of solid-average speed and long strides that allow him to glide to balls all around him. When Tocci reported to instructional league, he was already 10 pounds heavier than his listed weight entering this year. As he bulks up, he'll add more sock to his swing and be able to better withstand the rigors of a 140-game season. He should begin 2014 back at Lakewood.
BA's 2008 High School Player of the Year has endured a lot in his pro career, struggling significantly with control issues early in his career with the Dodgers. The Phillies acquired him for Shane Victorino in 2012, and Martin made his big league debut in 2013. He was hammered as a starter before moving to the bullpen in September. Armed with a live arm and clean delivery, Martin has a four-pitch repertoire that includes a fastball that sits at 92-93 mph and touches 95 as a starter. His fastball plays up to 97 in shorter stints. He throws both a downer curveball that he struggles to command consistently, as well as a slider that flashes plus and a straight changeup. While his curve tends to be in the low 70s, his slider at times features cutter action and reaches 87 mph. Martin has below-average command that regressed in 2013, and he has averaged 5.5 walks per nine innings as a professional. With the big league rotation in flux, particularly from the right side, Martin has a great chance to start in Philadelphia. His main challenge will be throwing strikes consistently. If he succeeds, Martin could find himself in the back end of the rotation. If not, he'll still probably be a weapon out of the bullpen.
Rated as the best defensive second baseman in both the Eastern and International leagues over the past two seasons, Hernandez has earned all-star nods in three different leagues in his career. Shifted to center field in July, he earned a September callup and played virtually every day for the Phillies in the season's final month. Much like countryman and system-mate Freddy Galvis, Hernandez's slight frame oozes with athleticism, which came in handy with his shift to center field. He wasn't a natural at his new position, but he showed enough progress to make his employers believe he's a legitimate option there. He's a plus runner with the smarts to make his legs a weapon on the basepaths, and they play in center. He's also sure-handed when focused at second, with an average arm makes him merely an emergency option at shortstop, which he's played sparingly. At the plate he showcases a line-drive swing with gap-to-gap power but can get beat with good velocity up in the zone. Hernandez will head to the Venezuelan League to keep himself sharp at both second and in center. The Phillies' infield remains crowded, with veterans like Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley, as well as Freddy Galvis, so Hernandez fits better in the short-term in a utility role, putting his new outfield experience to work.
Altherr is a prime example of the Phillies' style of gambling draft picks on toolsy players that require a lot of projection. Born in Germany, his mother was a U.S. service member and his father a former German soccer player. He played for the Germans in the World Baseball Classic qualification round in 2012 and went 6-for-11 with two homers, including one off future big leaguer Andrew Albers. With one of the most athletic bodies in the system, Altherr is just beginning to tap into his impressive tools. He honed his swing in 2013, though he still has a tendency to collapse on the back side, and established career bests in hits (128), walks (45), home runs (12) and slugging percentage (.455). He also had the most strikeouts in his short career, fanning nearly 27 percent of the time, due mostly to a long stroke that leaves him vulnerable to pitches on the inner half. He's a true center fielder with sneaky speed and enough arm to play in a corner if he's pushed there. He ranked second in the high Class A Florida State League with 17 assists. The Phillies assigned Altherr to the Arizona Fall League to get him more at-bats, and he's headed to Double-A Reading in 2014 to see if he can maintain his improved power while making more consistent contact. If he does, he profiles as a major league regular in center field.
The biggest surprise in the organization, Gonzalez didn't sign until he was 18 but made up for lost time in 2013. Making his U.S. debut after having starred in the Rookie-level Venezuelan Summer League for two seasons, he took advantage of what was supposed to be a two-start fill-in role at high Class A Clearwater and never went back to low Class A Lakewood. Gonzalez's command elevates an otherwise average arsenal. He showcases near elite-level control of a three-pitch mix, which is predicated on a low-90s heater that features both cut and sink. He has added nearly 10 mph to his fastball since signing and commands the pitch well. His curveball and slider both project to be average as he throws both for strikes, and he's been toying with a changeup as well. He varies the velocity on his breaking balls to keep hitters off balance, but he'll need the changeup after allowing lefthanded hitters to bat .309/.380/.404 against him in the FSL. His slight frame prompts questions about whether he can handle a starter's workload. Gonzalez finished the year with a flourish, fanning six in 6 2/3 frames in Double-A Reading's season finale, with Twins prospect Miguel Sano as his final strikeout victim. Gonzalez figures to return to Reading to start 2014.
When he was in high school, Quinn was neither a shortstop nor a switch-hitter. He has become both in pro ball, which speaks both to his athleticism and his coachability. He was an effective running prep quarterback, earning scholarship offers from football programs including Florida State. Instead he signed for $775,000 with the Phillies. His first full season was cut short on June 24, when a pitch struck and broke his right wrist. Quinn's calling card is his blazing speed, which rates at the top of the scouting scale and is just a tick below Reds burner Billy Hamilton's. He was clocked this season at 14 seconds flat on an inside-the-park home run. He is still learning to switch-hit but should be a solid hitter from both sides. Despite his size, he has enough pop to keep pitchers honest. He's raw at shortstop, as shown by his 31 errors in 66 games last year. Most came on throws, and the Phillies have worked with Quinn to correct flaws in his motion and iron out that part of his game. The presence of 2013 first-rounder J.P. Crawford and a postseason injury cloud Quinn's future. Crawford might have pushed him off shortstop anyway, and in November, Quinn ruptured the Achilles tendon in his right leg. The injury and rehabilitation could sideline him most or all of 2014, costing him valuable development time and perhaps hastening his move to center field or second base.
In mid-2012, some evaluators were calling Morgan the best arm in the Phillies system. He finished his first full season at Double-A Reading, and he threw well in big league camp in spring training 2013. It looked like the southpaw would be on the Citizens Bank Park mound at some point in 2013, but instead, Morgan suffered a small tear in his left shoulder that limited him to just 78 innings in the minors. He escaped the scalpel through a rehab program, which provides a silver lining. He went down for two months in May, then returned to the Triple-A Lehigh Valley rotation in late July and threw well down the stretch, posting a 2.73 ERA in his final 30 innings. When at full strength in 2013, Morgan sported a fastball that sat between 88-91 mph and touched 93. He backed it up with a mid-80s slider that is plus now and has a chance to be double-plus in the future, as well as an above-average changeup. He also has a curveball, but it lags well behind his other three offerings. He had a tendency in 2013 to rush himself through his delivery and fall off line, costing him his formerly above-average command. If healthy in 2014, Morgan should return to the Lehigh Valley rotation.
A first-team all-conference third baseman at Purdue, Perkins helped the Boilermakers win their first Big Ten Conference title since 1907, then moved quickly in his first full pro season. When Kelly Dugan went down with an injury early, Perkins moved to high Class A Clearwater as his replacement and earned a midseason all-star spot in the Florida State League. A pitch broke his left wrist and prompted him to miss the exhibition and the month of June, but Perkins returned and wound up finishing third in the FSL batting race at .295. His body, which draws comparisons with Hunter Pence, isn't done maturing. The doubles he produces at present have to potential to turn into home runs once he adds muscle, giving him average power potential. Like Pence, Perkins' swing isn't the prettiest, but he's got a good feel for the barrel and can put it on just about any pitch. As a right fielder, he's athletic and uses his long strides to have average range, and he has average arm strength. His speed is just average but is a tick better when he gets going. Perkins hasn't hit for corner-profile power yet, but his bat is intriguing. He's headed for Double-A Reading in 2014.
Encarnacion, who signed last Aug. 29, mere weeks after turning 16, solidified his reputation among scouts by collecting four hits at MLB's international showcase in January 2013, and he then notched two more hits against the Canadian national team five months later. The Phillies liked what they saw and in July 2013 responded with a $1 million bonus, the largest outlay the organization ever has given to a Latin American teen. (Korean righty Seung Lee got a $1.2 million back in 2001 to set the franchise record.) Encarnacion is an extremely powerful hitter who also has the tools to hit for average. The knock on him right now is his lack of a defensive home. The Phillies worked with him at instructional league to help build his instincts and range at third base, but there a lot more work remains. He doesn't run particularly well, which even further limits his overall potential. If Encarnacion does have to move across the diamond (or to left field)--even as a righthanded hitter--he projects to produce enough power to land gracefully at either spot. Because he's so young, Encarnacion will play in extended spring training in 2014 before heading to the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League as a 16-year-old.
Signed for $575,000, Grullon earned the top bonus handed out by the Phillies to an international amateur in 2012. The organization intends to invest more heavily in Latin America, and they believed the expenditure for Grullon was money well spent. He's the rare teen catcher whose defense appears to have the early lead on his offensive potential. He comes with a broad, durable body, and he has already proved himself adept at blocking balls. Grullon's lateral movement needs improvement at the moment, but not enough to be a worry. His arm rates as a 70 on the 20-80 scale right now, and he threw out 28 percent of basestealers in the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League in 2013. Grullon's offensive tools are understandably raw, but he made progress in the GCL. The length of his swing concerned scouts who believed it would cause him to swing-and-miss excessively, so his low strikeout rate in the GCL (about 13 percent of plate appearances) was a pleasant surprise. The Phillies project Grullon as a 10-15 homer threat eventually if he can get his average to the .250 range. He should start 2014 in extended spring training, where he'll work on adding strength in his lower half, and he likely will repeat the GCL.
Green signed for $420,000 in 2012 out of Sacramento's Jesuit High, which has produced recent big leaguers such as J.P. Howell and Lars Anderson. His ability to put a charge in a ball is not in question. Green led the short-season New York-Penn League in homers (13), was tied for the top in doubles (20) and finished second in slugging percentage (.476). Whether he'll hit for average, however, is a different story entirely. Green led the NYP with 91 strikeouts in 311 plate appearances, and opposing managers noted he had particular trouble with breaking pitches. He's also a bit pull-happy at this point, and he will have to learn to adjust as he moves up the ladder. Evaluators are split as Green's defensive value at third base. None sees him as a definite candidate to move off the position, but nearly all see areas he'll need to clean up. He sometimes fails to finish the play, and he needs to complete his arm action more consistently. A big, broad-shouldered guy, Green will have to work to maintain his agility. He's not a baseclogger, but speed won't be a part of his game. After his success at Williamsport, he'll move up to low Class A Lakewood, where he and J.P. Crawford will form a talented left side of the infield.
When the Phillies acquired Tommy Joseph as the key to the 2012 Hunter Pence trade, they appeared to have found their catcher of the future, and to have relegated Rupp to a backup role. A year later, Joseph's stock has tumbled as he's dealt with concussion-related problems, while Rupp reached a career-high in homers (14) and finished the season in the major leagues. A durable Texan with huge hands and great makeup, Rupp has the physicality to hold up as an everyday catcher. Pitchers love throwing to him, and he has improved his receiving and game-calling to the point where he can be at least a serviceable backup. His plus, accurate arm rates as his best tool and helped him throw out 34 percent of basestealers in the minors in 2013. Rupp's swing is powerful but long, so he probably won't ever hit for a high average or avoid strikeouts. He has the power to punish mistakes. Rupp's lack of speed makes him a baseclogger despite his consistent best efforts. The Phillies re-signed veteran Carlos Ruiz in November, so Rupp's best bet is to compete for the backup job in spring training. More likely, he'll be the starter at Triple-A Lehigh Valley in 2014.
The son of Dennis Dugan, best known as the director of Adam Sandler's early comedy movies, Kelly played at the same high school as Giancarlo Stanton. He started making a name for himself in 2013, his best pro season, and earned a spot on the 40-man roster as a result. The Phillies' first pick in the 2009 draft (in the second round), Dugan signed for $485,000 as the 75th overall pick. He has the body of a power hitter, with a chiseled frame and long, looping, lefthanded swing that helps produce an impressive batting practice power display. He started translating his raw pop into actual home runs in 2013. He'd hit 15 homers in his career previously, then hit 20 between high Class A Clearwater and Double-A Reading despite missing most of April with a case of turf toe. Mainly a pull hitter with occasional opposite-field sock, Dugan holds his hands low, crowds the plate and has a hitch in his load. As is to be expected from someone with those traits, he's vulnerable to breaking pitches and doesn't project to hit for much average. He's also too aggressive and was exposed to a degree by Double-A pitchers. He's just a fair athlete and defender, though he has an average arm, and has played more left field as he's moved up the ladder after playing primarily right field at Class A. Dugan will start 2014 back at Reading.
A high school teammate of J.P. Crawford at Lakewood (Calif.) High, Watson lost about 30 pounds after signing with the Phillies before he learned that he had Type 1 diabetes. Once that was under control, he rebuilt his prototype pitcher's frame and showed flashes in 2013 of the pitcher the Phillies liked enough to pop in the sandwich round in 2012. He signed for $1,291,300 At his best, Watson sports a fastball that gets up to 95 mph and rates as a 60 on the 20-80 scale. He complements it with a big overhand curveball that flashes above-average. He's learning a changeup to go with those pitches, and got into trouble in 2013 when he went to the pitch too many times. Shoulder tendinitis and elbow inflammation limited him to just 72 innings at low Class A Lakewood--none after July 4--which raises red flags going forward. Watson's stuff and command came and went, and he appeared to run out of gas prior to being shut down. He has the stuff to pitch in the middle of a big league rotation, but he'll have to learn to maintain his stuff and hold up physically over the course of a full season. Watson needs innings and most likely will head back to Lakewood, but he could graduate to high Class A Clearwater during the season.
Much like Carlos Tocci at low Class A Lakewood and the since-traded Domingo Santana, Jose Pujols is a lottery ticket waiting to be scratched. The Phillies signed him during the 2012 international signing period for $540,000, a bonus second only to Dominican catcher Deivi Grullon in his class. Built with a tall, lean and powerful frame, Pujols' calling card is prodigious raw power, which some scouts have projected to an 80 on the 20-80 scale, borne from his premium, righthanded bat speed. His six home runs in 2013 tied for the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League lead with a quartet of other players, including teammate Wilmer Oberto. To get to that power, Pujols hit just .188 and struck out nearly a third of the time due to a lack of hitting polish. Right now, his power is exclusively to the pull side, but age and maturity should help him gain a better approach at the plate, which in turn will allow him to tap into his strength more evenly and more often. He's an average runner right now, but his long legs and strides help magnify that tool a bit. Pujols, whose body has earned comparisons with John Mayberry Jr., has an average arm and fits the right-field profile. He will begin 2014 back in the GCL.
A classic reliever if there ever were one, Giles was drafted out of a New Mexico high school by the Marlins in 2009 but didn't sign, then attended New Mexico JC for a year, then took off at Yavapai (Ariz.) JC in 2011, moving up 37 rounds and signing for $250,000. He has the power arsenal that profiles well for the back of the bullpen. When healthy, Giles brings his heat in the upper-90s with ease and couples it with a tight, mid-80s slider. The fastball, which was clocked as high as 101 mph in the Arizona Fall League, does have a tendency to be a little flat, and he has been much more hittable than someone with that kind of velocity should be. Because major league hitters can catch up with any velocity, Giles must hone his control to make the pitch play to its potential. In a year that was supposed to present his first real test, Giles missed a significant chunk of the season with an oblique strain that he later reinjured. He has the stuff to be successful, but he needs to stay in his delivery and harness his adrenaline to throw more strikes. He'll head to Double-A Reading to begin 2014 and should be on the fast track toward the major league pen.
A pair of concussions laid waste to Joseph's 2013 season and put his future as a catcher, if not in baseball, in question. He had a strong spring, making a positive impression in big league camp, and started the season at Triple-A Lehigh Valley before he took a foul ball off the mask on May 4 that sidelined him the rest of the month with a concussion. Joseph tried to come back in June with high Class A Clearwater and struggled badly, and while he moved up to Double-A Reading, he never shook the concussion symptoms. He didn't play in the regular season after July 11 and was shut down in early August. Joseph caught for much of November in the Dominican League but didn't hit anywhere in 2013, posting a .179/.229/.285 line with three home runs, then hitting .192 in winter ball. At his best, Joseph, the centerpiece of the Hunter Pence trade with the Giants in 2012, is a thick, offense-first catcher with plus raw power to all fields. He has a strong arm behind the plate, as evinced by his 40 percent caught stealing rate two seasons ago. He still needs to polish the finer points of catching, namely receiving and blocking, obviously missing out on development time due to his injury. The first concern for Joseph is his health, which will determine his 2014 assignment and position.
As befitting a one-time Pacific-12 Conference defensive-end recruit, Cozens stands out for his physicality and strength. That strength translated into what most evaluators believed was among the best raw power in the 2013 short-season New York-Penn League, not to mention the entire Phillies system. Cozens' power comes not just from his size but also a quick swing with natural leverage and lift. With that power-oriented approach and long-limbed, 6-foot-6 frame has come a lot of swing and miss. Evaluators who watched with at Williamsport noted that he was particularly vulnerable to offspeed pitches and had trouble recognizing the spin on breaking pitches, both of which could be attributable to his youth and relative inexperience after spending so much time as an amateur focusing on football. Cozens runs well for his size and ranked second on the Crosscutters with 11 stolen bases. He's an adequate-at-best defender with enough arm for right field, but he may lose too much speed as he matures and land at first base. Cozens' value lies in his bat anyway. He'll play an outfield corner with low Class A Lakewood in 2014.
After signing with the Phillies in December 2010, Mecias spent 2011 on the restricted list before debuting in the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League as a 19-year-old in 2012. He moved up to low Class A Lakewood in 2013 and began to deliver. At his best, Mecias showcased a fastball that sat between 85-92 mph, and he backs it up with a curveball and slider that both range between the high 70s and low 80s. His main offspeed weapon, however, is a 79-80 mph changeup that features late tail and sink. Mecias' fastball, curveball and slider have the potential to bump average in the future, while his changeup has a chance to be above-average. His delivery is sound, but he does have a tendency to fall to the side after following through. Phillies fans will have to wait a little longer to see Mecias again, however, because he had Tommy John surgery in the middle of 2013. If he does pitch in 2014, it will be in the second half and mostly at the Class A level.
After starting the 2013 draft with prep shortstop J.P. Crawford, Phillies scouting director Marti Wolever scooped up Knapp, a switch-hitting, bat-first backstop with an above-average arm and a chance to improve behind the plate. Evaluators in the short-season New York-Penn League liked Knapp's chances to hit long-term but weren't as sold on his power potential. He caught just 21 of his 62 games with the Crosscutters, and his bat is far ahead of his glove. That's a bit of a surprise considering Knapp's father Mike also was a catcher, first at California like Knapp, then in pro ball for 11 years. Knapp felt something pop in his elbow while in instructional league and had Tommy John surgery in October, which obviously will slow his development. The rehab for TJ is quicker for position players, and Knapp likely will be ready to play when extended spring training begins in 2014. He'll get at-bats as a DH before gradually easing back behind the plate. Knapp played first base and right field at California but has the athleticism, hands and above-average arm strength to make catching work, if he puts in the time and hard work. Knapp's pro career got off to a rocky start, but he should be able to play most of next season at low Class A Lakewood.
The Phillies wooed Sandberg, a two-sport star at Bradenton's Manatee High, away from a scholarship to play quarterback at Mississippi State with an over-slot bonus of $775,000. He was the first of the franchise's two third-round selections in 2013. Sandberg's father Chuck played three seasons in the minors for the Red Sox, who took him in the ninth round in 1979. Big, physical, speedy and lefthanded, Sandberg drew comparisons with Tim Tebow as he navigated football's recruiting trail. Those same qualities will serve him well in center field. He spent the 2013 season learning what it's like to play every day and getting into baseball shape. For now, Sandberg sports power potential, signs of aptitude with his hitting approach and plenty of quickness, though his reads in center need work. Though the Phillies have shown a willingness to push younger players up to low Class A Lakewood for a trial by fire, Sandberg's rawness likely means he'll begin 2014 in extended spring training before moving to short-season Williamsport come June.
When the Phillies popped him in the 2013 draft's third round, Hernandez made a history as the first drafted player from the Carlos Beltran Baseball Academy in Puerto Rico, which the major league all-star established in 2011. Hernandez signed for $550,000. A shortstop in high school, he's been converted to third base as a pro because of his below-average speed. He does, however, have good hands and a better-than-average arm. Hernandez has a quick swing from the right side, which the Phillies see as capable of producing power to all fields in the future. Opposing scouts aren't as sold on his power, but they believe he will hit for average in the future. And though he didn't make a ton of contact in his pro debut in the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League, the most important part of his initial experience was getting used to the speed of the game. He'll begin 2014 in extended spring before likely returning to the GCL.
Collier was having a miserable 2013 season until August, when everything seemed to click. During that final month, he hit .327/.433/.485 with three doubles, five triples and a home run. Before that, however, he had cobbled together a .191 average, the worst among all players in the Double-A Eastern League. The Phillies attributed Collier's poor season to his not being in a strong position to hit at the outset of his swing. They worked on that throughout the year and saw the benefits toward the end. He also has injuries in his background, including a pair of hand injuries that cost him all of the 2010 season. Collier also served a 50-game suspension at the outset of 2012 after testing positive for the stimulant Adderall, and he has never put it all together for a full season. If everything clicks, he projects to be an average hitter with below-average power. His eight home runs this year matched his previous career total. He has plenty of strength, but it hasn't translated into a slugging percentage of better than .400 in any of his five professional seasons. Collier shows terrific range in center field and has the arm strength and accuracy to be an acceptable defender in either corner. He likely will head back to Double-A Reading in 2014 to build on his strong August and fulfill his potential as a backup outfielder in the big leagues.
A defensive wizard in the mold of Adeiny Hechavarria, Canelo signed with the Phillies out of the Dominican Republic in April 2012. He faces the same looming question as many of his predecessors: Will he ever hit enough to get his glove into the lineup on an everyday basis? Canelo made progress in 2013 as an 18-year-old in the short-season New York-Penn League, making more hard contact and swatting more line drives overall, even if his final line doesn't necessarily reflect it. He's quick and light on his feet, carries a plus arm and can make every play scouts want to see at shortstop. Canelo also is versatile enough to move over to third base in a pinch, so he could be a candidate for a super utility role down the line. He's a solid-average runner who was a skilled-enough baserunner in 2013 to swipe 10 bags in 13 tries. With J.P. Crawford entrenched as low Class A Lakewood shortstop in 2014, Canelo likely will head to extended spring training before taking another go at short-season Williamsport.
After a strong 2012, Wright took enough of a tumble in 2013 for the Phillies to cut the cord on his future as a starter and instead take their chances on him as a lefty reliever. His results out of the bullpen were modest (4.96 ERA, 1.7 SO/BB ratio) but better than his rotation work (6.06 ERA, 1.2 SO/BB) at Double-Reading. The results weren't much better in the Arizona Fall League, where Wright surrendered 16 hits and six walks in 11 frames with Peoria. He utilizes a max-effort delivery and throws across his body, sporting a 90-93 mph fastball that has sink and tail. He failed to command it as his walk rate skyrocketed, and when he fell behind, hitters teed off. Wright gave up more home runs (13) in 94 innings than he did (11) in 148 innings in 2012. The Phillies like his slurvy, three-quarters curveball, which should serve him well in relief. His changeup, which sits between 78-80 mph, features sinking action but lags behind his heater and hook. In need of a rebound year, Wright's spring training in 2014 will determine whether he head back to Reading or moves up to Triple-A Lehigh Valley.
A member of USA Baseball's 16U national team, Child was drafted by the Padres in the 48th round in 2010 but did not sign. He instead opted for Oregon State, where he served as a midweek starter and again got the chance to represent his country as a member of the 2012 Collegiate National Team. Because of his funky and effort-filled delivery, Child was shifted to the bullpen immediately after the Phillies signed him for $100,000. Philadelphia pushed him aggressively as he finished the season in the high Class A Florida State League. He throws two pitches: a fastball that can reach as high 95 mph and a slider that flashes plus at times and has a chance to stay that way in the future. Child has a chance to move quickly if he can harness his arsenal, but the effort in his delivery makes it tough for him to repeat and throw consistent strikes. He appears headed for a return engagement in the high Class A Clearwater bullpen to begin 2014.