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Crawford first popped onto the Phillies' radar while they were scouting righthander Shane Watson, a high school teammate whom they eventually took as a supplemental first-round pick in 2012. They were so enamored of Crawford's overall skill set that they took him with their first-round choice in 2013 and signed him for $2,299,300, then watched as he won the batting title (.345) in the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League in his professional debut. Crawford built on that performance in 2014 with a stellar season split between low Class A Lakewood and high Class A Clearwater that cemented his status as one of the best prospects in baseball and as a shortstop who should have no problem sticking at the position longterm. He's the cousin of Dodgers outfielder Carl Crawford and the son of a former football player at Iowa State and in the Canadian Football League. All the pieces are there for Crawford to be a potential all-star at shortstop with strong contributions on both sides of the ball. Evaluators' biggest question is how much impact he'll have at the plate. Some look at his above-average raw sock in batting practice and eight home runs in a half-season in the large parks of the Florida State League and project a player who could produce 20-25 homers annually. Others are less confident, projecting more than 10-12 homers, but the Phillies say he still has plenty of strength to gain, which of course will help his potential power output. In either case, all evaluators believe he will be an above-average hitter, especially considering the keen eye that manifested itself as a nearly 1-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio this summer. That was particularly impressive at Clearwater, where he played as a 19-year-old and had a stretch in July when he struck out just twice over 62 at-bats. He's capable of being a spectacular defender with strong baseball instincts and a plus arm. The Phillies worked with Crawford in instructional league on improving his comfort level on the backhanded play, for he was a bit more careless in the FSL, committing 17 of his 29 errors on the season. He shows a strong internal clock and an excellent baseball IQ, and he doesn't take his bat at-bats into the field with him. The only other area where Crawford earns below-average marks is his running, where he's below-average out of the box but uses long strides to kick it up to average underway. Multiple evaluators have noted that Crawford is a duckfooted, heel-toe style runner, which could partly contribute to his slow times to first base. He was nevertheless aggressive, if not efficient, in stealing 24 bases in 38 attempts. Crawford is on line to head to Double-A Reading in 2015 to get his first taste of the upper levels and work toward fulfilling his role as Jimmy Rollins' heir to shortstop at Citizens Bank Park. The 36-year-old Rollins has one year left on his contract, and a strong 2015 would set up Crawford to replace him by 2016. If everything clicks, he has the potential to be an all-star for many years to come.
Nola entered his junior year at Louisiana State with high expectations, then exceeded them in an All-America 11-1, 1.47 campaign. He ranked third in NCAA Division I in strikeouts in 2014, and the Phillies popped him seventh overall, signing him for a $3,300,900 bonus'the secondhighest in team history. Nola's hallmark is his stellar command, which stems from good athletic ability and freakish flexibility. His fastball checks in at 93-95 mph and gets excellent life from a mid-three-quarters arm slot. He backs up the fastball with a slider and changeup, which each have the potential to be plus in the future. He's on a fast track for sure, but the Phillies would like to see him improve in a few areas before they consider him for the rotation. Most notably, they'd like to make sure he stays consistent with his arm slot. When it drops lower than three-quarters, his slider tends to flatten. His changeup, a plus pitch earlier in his career, has regressed. He needs to work more on controlling the running game. The Phillies' best pitching prospect by a wide margin, Nola finished his pro debut at Double-A Reading and should return there to start 2015. He should at least score a Philadelphia cameo by season's end, if he's not up sooner.
Franco signed as a 17-year-old out of the Dominican Republic for $100,000. His career took off in the second half of the 2012 season at low Class A Lakewood, and he broke out in 2013, hitting 31 homers while reaching Double-A Reading. He had to rebound after a poor introduction to Triple-A Lehigh Valley in 2014, but he turned it on late in the season and earned a September callup. The biggest knock on Franco is always going to be his overaggressive approach, and his walk rate of 5.4 percent tied for fifth-worst in the International League in 2014. He's got plenty of power and makes a high rate of contact despite a swing that can get long, but he's vulnerable to velocity on his hands. Franco probably won't hit for a high average unless he tones down his approach and learns to better recognize and lay off breaking pitches out of the zone. He still draws positive reviews at third base for his quick first step'though he's a well below-average runner-- and top-shelf arm strength, which allows him to unleash laser throws from all arm angles. Franco will challenge Cody Asche for the third base job with Philadelphia to open the 2015 season, but he most likely faces a return to Triple-A to work more on refining his approach.
A high school quarterback at Port St. Joe (Fla.) High, Quinn passed up a scholarship to play the position at Florida State. Instead, he signed as the Phillies' second-round pick for $775,000 in 2011. He spent his first two seasons playing exclusively shortstop, but then the Phillies drafted J.P. Crawford in 2013, so Quinn moved to center field in 2014. He tore his right Achilles tendon in a workout following the 2013 season, but his topof- the-scale speed took only a minimal hit in 2014. Quinn's calling card is blinding speed, which has allowed him to steal 94 bases in 121 tries--a 78 percent success rate--over his first three seasons. It also has been crucial to his fine play in center field, where he draws comparisons with current Phillie Ben Revere. Like Revere, Quinn's routes lack precision or polish, but his speed allows for quick corrections and minimal misplays. Given his dimensions, Quinn projects to hit for little power, but he has the skills to be an average hitter, and his fleet feet could allow him to tick up just slightly if he learns to embrace an approach more suited for his skill set. Quinn played in the Arizona Fall League in 2014 to make up for the time he missed while rehabbing from his leg injuries. He will get his first test at the upper levels in 2015 when he moves up to Double-A Reading.
Signed out of Venezuela for $759,000 in 2011 when he turned 16, Tocci has been pushed aggressively by the Phillies since Day One. He jumped straight to the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League as a 16-year-old and was just 17 at low Class A Lakewood in 2013, when he showcased raw skills but a severe lack of strength that showed up with a .249 slugging percentage in 421 at-bats. Tocci repeated the South Atlantic League in 2014 and grew into a touch more strength, and it showed up in his performance. He was more patient and drove the ball more frequently, hitting his first two home runs and eight triples. He still needs more strength behind his swing, which could come if he continues to mature physically. Not all scouts are convinced Tocci's body projects to add weight, but he could make it to the majors based on his defense alone. He gracefully covers tons of ground in center field with fine first-step quickness and fluid actions, and he adds an average arm for the position. He's an average runner as well. After two full seasons in Lakewood, Tocci will have to move to high Class A Clearwater in 2015. He might not be ready for the jump offensively, and at some point being young for the league won't be an excuse. If he doesn't hit more, his ceiling is that of a fourth outfielder with excellent defensive skills.
Drafted by the Pirates in 2011 and Indians in 2013, Brown intrigued scouts both as an outfielder and a lefthanded pitcher at Pepperdine. He throws in the low 90s off the mound and finished with the second-best ERA in the West Coast Conference in 2014, spinning seven innings in the super regional to deal Texas Christian its only loss. He signed as the Phillies' third-rounder for $750,000. The Phillies liked Brown more as an outfielder, and he could take off offensively now that pitching is in his past. He earns high marks for his work ethic, physicality, intensity and, most importantly, his well-balanced set of tools. He starts his swing with a double toe-tap of his front foot, and his stroke itself is smooth and shows the potential for above-average power due to both strength and good bat speed. Evaluators who caught Brown after he turned pro said that he must smooth out his stike-zone judgment and cover some holes, noting he was prone both to swinging through pitches in the strike zone and looking vulnerable on breaking balls off the plate. He's an above-average runner with an above-average arm and average range in right field. Brown fits the right-field profile if he reaches his ceiling, though he also can handle center in short looks. He could potentially begin 2015 at high Class A Clearwater.
Looking for quicker returns in a system that had been widely panned for lack of impact at the top, the Phillies went college heavy in the 2014 draft, inking only one high schooler out of their 28-player class. Imhof, a Cal Poly lefthander who pitched on USA Baseball's College National Team in 2013 and finished seventh in NCAA Division I with 11.2 strikeouts per nine innings in 2014, was the club's second-round pick and signed for $1,187,900. Blessed with a physical pitcher's body, Imhof primarily works off his fastball, which clocks in at 86-92 mph and touched 94 in college. He couples it with a 75-80 mph curveball, which features strong overhand break out of a high three-quarters slot. He has a changeup as well, which sits in the low 80s, but he doesn't throw it often. None of his pitches grade as plus, but all are average or have the potential to be average with development. His arsenal gets a bit of a boost from the deception created when he hides the ball behind his body during delivery. A polished college arm, Imhof should begin the 2015 season at high Class A Clearwater. He projects as a back-end starter but one who could move quickly.
Gurabo, P.R., The Dodgers drafted Valentin, the son of longtime big league shortstop Jose Valentin, in 2012 and signed him for $984,700. He was middle-infield partners with Astros top prospect Carlos Correa at the Puerto Rico Baseball Academy. The Phillies acquired Valentin along with righthander Victor Arano in the August 2014 trade that sent veteran righty Roberto Hernandez to Los Angeles. Valentin is a second baseman with an strong set of offensive skills. He shows a quick stroke from both sides of the plate and the ability to hit line drives all over the diamond. His power is more to the gaps, but he has shown the potential for a home run every now and again. He's also got above-average speed and some aggressiveness on the bases. At second base, Valentin shows good hands and actions, albeit with a fringy arm that plays better when he's able to set his feet. He also hangs in well on doubleplay pivots. He's a solid runner from home to first who is faster when he gets going. After a brief stop at high Class A Clearwater following the trade, Valentin will head back there in 2015. Phillies stalwart Chase Utley, entering his age-36 season, can't last forever, so Valentin should emerge as the best in-house replacement option.
Mecias has worked just 133 pro innings in four pro speasons. He spent 2011 on the restricted list, then missed half of what had been a dominant 2013 season with Tommy John surgery, which he had in June of that year. He got back on the hill in 2014 with a four-start tuneup in the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League before finishing his season with seven more starts at low Class A Lakewood. The Phillies, understandably, didn't tax Mecias terribly in 2014. He didn't throw more than five innings in any start until his last turn of the season, when he tossed six shutout innings against Hickory. At his best, he throws a fastball with armside run that sits in the low 90s and touches 93 mph. He backs it with a deceptive changeup in the low 80s and a slurvy slider that sits in the 78-80 mph range. Mecias has a deceptive delivery that features a little bit of a stab in the back. He's aggressive in the strike zone, goes after hitters without fear and when he's right can rack up strikeouts in bunches, as shown by his 11.1 punchouts per nine innings at Lakewood in 2013. With a full offseason of rest, Mecias will be pushed to high Class A Clearwater in 2015. He has to show he can stay healthy to fulfill his mid-rotation upside, and will be given that chance this year.
Signed for $40,000 in January 2013, Kilome was a project worth embarking on at 6-foot-6 and somewhere around 150 pounds. Since then, he's added plenty of bulk, which has added velocity to his arsenal. The Phillies have overhauled the long-levered righthander's delivery, incorporating his lower half more, which takes the strain off of his arm and allows him to drive the ball downhill. The result is a pitcher the Phillies consider to have as much upside as anyone in the system. More size and a better delivery have led to a spike in Kilome's velocity, including an 89-92 mph fastball that has touched 95. Evaluators inside and outside the organization praise his ability to locate the pitch to both sides of the plate. He backs his fastball with a hard curveball in the 78-80 mph range and a changeup in the low 80s. Scouts are split as to which secondary is his best. His curve needs to be tightened at this point, and his changeup needs to develop consistency. Kilome's athleticism helps him repeat his delivery, but he does get in trouble when he overthrows and leaves the ball up. Kilome has a ceiling as a strong mid-rotation starter, but he's a long way from reaching it. He should begin 2015 in extended spring training before moving to short-season Williamsport in June, and a jump to low Class A Lakewood isn't out of the question.
The Phillies popped local product Biddle with the 27th pick in the 2010 draft, and he has deep roots in the city of Philadelphia, having attended the Germantown Academy. He pushed through the low minors with relative ease, albeit with a mediocre walk rate. Biddle led the Eastern League with 154 strikeouts at Double-A Reading in 2013, but he also walked 5.3 batters per nine innings, which landed him back in the EL in 2014 for a season that turned out to be an unmitigated disaster. First he sustained a concussion in the middle of a freak springtime hailstorm in Reading, then a 10-run shellacking on June 26 earned him a demotion to high Class A Clearwater until the concussion symptoms dissipated. He ultimately returned to the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League a month later to regroup. Scouts who saw Biddle in the instructional league continue to like what they see, including his typical 91-93 mph fastball, a low-80s slider with bite and a changeup in the high 70s with good fade. He still throws his signature mid-70s curveball, but most evaluators note that he casts the pitch. He left winter ball in Puerto Rico after two starts with elbow soreness, though the Phillies protected him on the 40-man roster anyway. Biddle seems bound for Reading again in 2015, this time for a true second turn at the level. If he can get his control in order, he can make huge strides toward achieving his ceiling as a back-end starter.
Signed by the Rangers for $160,000 as a 16-year-old back in 2008, Herrera always has been an offensive-oriented prospect who hits for a high average'though a rough 2013 season at Double-A Frisco dropped his stock. He regrouped in 2014, winning the Texas League batting title (.321) and ranking third in on-base percentage (.373). Swimming in middle-infield prospects, the Rangers did not add Herrera to the 40-man roster, and the Phillies selected him in the major league Rule 5 draft. He has a quick, compact stroke and squares up line drives to all fields. He showed better patience at the plate in 2014 than he did the previous year, which is important because his swing doesn't have much loft and he doesn't have the power to crack double-digit homers. Despite his thick body, Herrera is a plus runner, though he needs to improve his jumps to become a more effective basestealer. Managers voted him the best defensive second baseman in the TL in 2014, a testament to the improvements he has made, along with a thin crop at the position in the league. He's still a fringy defender, but that's better than he was before, and he has an average arm. He spent some time in the outfield in the regular season, and was playing center field while leading the Venezuelan League in batting in winter ball. His versatility and bat give him a good chance to stick with the rebuilding Phillies in 2015.
One of best catching prospects on the international market in 2012, Grullon signed that July for $575,000, and the Phillies have reaped the benefits ever since. He spent the 2013 season in the Rookielevel Gulf Coast League before being jumped first to low Class A Lakewood, then to high Class A Clearwater for a brief cameo in 2014. Grullon draws raves mostly for his arm, which rates as a borderline double-plus tool. While his receiving and blocking have improved, he still has a ways to go in those departments, such as when he spread his legs noticeably wider in 2014 when calling for something other than a fastball. He also has been routinely praised for his leadership skills behind the plate, as well as his willingness to take initiative when it comes to improving his English and establishing a better rapport with his pitchers. While Grullon hit just .227 in 2014, scouts see both hittability and power potential in his future if he tightens his approach, but they also noted that he didn't seem to trust himself to hit the fastball at all times. Assuming the rest of the system's catchers remain healthy, Grullon should return to Lakewood in 2015 to continue to hone his skills and work toward his ceiling as a solid everyday catcher with strong defensive chops.
Signed out of Venezuela in 2011, Pinto spent two seasons putting up solid numbers in the Venezuelan Summer League before coming to the U.S. in 2014, when he pitched in extended spring training before joining short-season Williamsport in June. With the Crosscutters, Pinto kept right on performing and emerged as the staff 's best arm. He sports a three-pitch mix of fastball, changeup and slider and employs a drop-and-drive delivery with crossfire action. His high-three-quarters arm slot sometimes drifts toward three-quarters. His fastball generally sits between 93-95 mph and has hit as high as 97 in the past. His changeup is his best secondary offering, sitting at 80-82 mph with excellent deception out of his hand. It projects as above-average, and the Phillies asked him to shelve it in instructional league with the hope of further developing his slider, which shows sharp but inconsistent break and could be average in the future. Pinto also throws a two-seam fastball in the low 90s and shows a willingness to attack the strike zone. He'll spend 2015 as a 21-year-old at low Class A Lakewood.
Drafted in the second round in 2013 out of California, Knapp signed with the Phillies for $1,033,100. The switch-hitting catcher hit .253/.340/.401 at short-season Williamsport in his first pro campaign, but he felt his elbow pop during instructional league and needed Tommy John surgery. The procedure cost him the first month and change of 2014, and he served solely as DH until June 12. Knapp wasn't a particularly polished defender before the injury, and that remains the case. Evaluators note that he tends to stab at balls but is an adequate blocker. He understandably looked tentative on throws in 2014, and his arm, while accurate, ranged from below-average to average, throwing out just 19 percent of basestealers. He's a solid hitter who takes a good angle to the ball and keeps the barrel in the zone a long time. Knapp has pull-side power and the potential for 10-12 home runs in the big leagues. As with most catchers, he's a well below-average runner. Knapp appears destined for high Class A Clearwater in 2015 with the potential to move to Double-A Reading at midseason.
The well-built Cozens also starred as a football defensive end in high school, but he turned pro in baseball as a 2012 second-round pick for $659,800. He possesses some of the best raw power in the organization, which manifested with 16 homers at low Class A Lakewood in 2014, but with that power came many strikeouts. Cozens fanned 147 times--or 26 percent of the time'so he needs to improve upon what is now an all-or-nothing approach that leaves him vulnerable to breaking pitches. He's a passable defender in right field with an accurate, above-average arm, but scouts worry that he may be better suited for first base or DH in the long term due to his lack of range. Despite his massive frame and lack of pure speed, Cozens' aptitude and instincts allowed him to steal 23 bases, the fourth-most in the organization, and just one fewer than top prospect J.P. Crawford. Cozens offers intriguing power potential, but without refinement to his approach, he won't hit for average, and his in-game power could decrease as he faces more experienced pitchers. He will head to high Class A Clearwater in 2015.
After forfeiting their first-round pick to the Mariners in 2009, the Phillies used their second-round choice on Dugan, the son of Hollywood director Dennis Dugan, and signed him for $485,000 to keep him away from Pepperdine. Injuries have littered Dugan's career, including a staph infection, a stress fracture in his back, a case of turf toe and a strained oblique that cost him two months in 2014. He broke his foot toward the end of 2014 at Double-A Reading and tried to play through it briefly before landing on the disabled list. Dugan's calling card is his bat and his power, and he's showcased those skills when he's been on the field. Much like system-mate Cameron Perkins, Dugan is a bit of an awkward runner in the outfield and on the basepaths, though he grades out as an average runner and thrower and a fringe-average defender on an outfield corner. He'll need to make up for lost developmental time, and he'll try to do so at either Reading or Triple-A Lehigh Valley in 2015.
After being selected in the third round in 2012 and mashing 13 homers in 74 games at short-season Williamsport in 2013, Green seemed primed for a breakout in 2014. Then things got weird. He started slowly at low Class A Lakewood and came down with a balky back. Upon further investigation, the Phillies found that one of Green's legs was longer than the other. Fitted with an orthotic insert to straighten things out, he returned after roughly two months away and hit .286/.325/.442 with 28 extrabase hits in 69 games the rest of the way. With his health under control, Green still has issues to correct. The Phillies played him some at first base in 2014, and scouts internally and externally believe his lack of agility and erratic arm might move him there permanently at some point. He also showed an extreme pull tendency and appeared geared toward the fastball and vulnerable to breaking pitches. Green seems destined to return to Lakewood for the first part of 2015 to make up for lost time.
Gonzalez was plucked out of Panama in 2011 and spent two nondescript years in the Venezuelan Summer League before making what was supposed to be a two-start cameo at low Class A Lakewood in 2013. He was so dominant in those two starts, however, that he forced the Phillies' hand and finished the year at Double-A Reading. Gonzalez is armed with above-average command of four pitches, but the Phillies wanted to develop his changeup further in 2014. With that in mind, they took away his best pitch, a cutter thrown in the low 90s, for the first part of the season and asked him to throw more changeups. One result was an improved change, in the mid-80s, that could be average in the future; another was a plummeting strikeout rate and the second-most home runs allowed in the Eastern League. Gonzalez throws a low-80s slider that scouts say needs to be tightened before it's considered a weapon. Gonzalez showed excellent durability for such a slight body and should move up to Triple-A Lehigh Valley in 2015. His strikethrowing ability profiles him as a back-end starter.
One of the finest athletes in the organization, Altherr was born in Germany, the son of a U.S. servicemember mother and German soccer-playing father. Originally signed for $150,000, Altherr made his major league debut in 2014 when Tony Gwynn Jr. was placed on the bereavement list to attend the funeral of his Hall of Fame father. With his plus range and above-average throwing arm, Altherr remains the best defensive outfielder in the organization and could make the majors as a defensive-oriented extra. His offense, however, still needs more work, though he took advantage of Double-A Reading's cozy confines to set a career-high for home runs. The Phillies worked on a number of things with Altherr in 2014, including his hand positioning, being ready to hit the fastball and making more contact with two strikes. He's got long arms and will get beat inside with fastballs, and scouts noticed that his bat speed varied on fastballs and breaking pitches. He missed time early in 2014 while recovering from a broken bone in his wrist he sustained in the 2013 Arizona Fall League, and he could return to Reading in 2015.
Sandberg's father Chuck played in the minor leagues but also was a high school football coach. The Phillies bought Sandberg out of a Mississippi State football commitment (he was a quarterback) for $775,000 and saw progress in his first year as a full-time baseball player. Sandberg has an athletic body with some present strength and should fit an outfield corner profile if he clicks. Scouts have to project on his power future, with some seeing 20-25 homers as he learns his craft. He started to show some hitting ability, with a good stroke and a willingnss to use the whole field but remains raw thanks to his two-sport background. Sandberg needs to refine his approach and learn better pitch recognition, but the Phillies laud him for his improved two-strike approach and unquenchable work ethic. His next step will be low Class A Lakewood in 2015.
A third baseman at Purdue, Perkins signed for $152,900 as a sixth-rounder in 2012. He shifted to the outfield as a professional and posted a fine first full season while jumping to high Class A Clearwater, despite losing time with a broken left wrist. Perkins got off to a strong start in 2014 with Double-A Reading and was promoted to Triple-A, where he hit his first pro adversity. Looking back on it, Phillies officials concede that Perkins' move might have been too aggressive. Perkins stands upright at the plate, and scouts noticed a hitch in his hand movement and a willingness to chase breaking pitches out of the zone. He's an average runner and a passable defender on an outfield corner, but with just 13 home runs over 1,134 career at-bats, he faces legitimate questions as to whether he'll profile as an everyday right fielder. At this point, he looks like a bat off the bench, but he'll go back to Triple-A in 2015 to work on improving that outlook.
After plucking Julio Urias and Victor Gonzalez from Mexico, the Dodgers went back to the well in 2013 and inked Arano, then watched him put together a fine season in the Rookie-level Arizona League that year. He built nicely on his debut at low Class A Great Lakes in 2014 before joining the Phillies, along with second baseman Jesmuel Valentin, in the August trade that sent righthander Roberto Hernandez to the Dodgers. The Phillies don't deny their excitement over acquiring Arano, whom they believe is loaded with upside. Evaluators who saw him in instructional league saw an 88-92 mph fastball that he could command to both sides of the plate, and he's reached 94 in shorter relief stints. He backs the fastball with a sharp 11-to-5 curveball in the 74-80 mph range and a sinking changeup in the mid-80s. He'll head to high Class A Clearwater in 2015 to work toward achieving his ceiling of a back-end starter.
Considered a fringe prospect in the Pirates system until having a breakout season at two Class A levels in 2013, Rodriguez joined the Phillies in December in the trade for reliever Antonio Bastardo. Rodriguez struggled at Double-A Altoona in 2014 but bounced back in the Arizona Fall League. He is intriguing despite his relative lack of success because he can throw three pitches for strikes with his 89-92 mph sinking fastball, curveball and changeup. All pitches grade as average at their best. Though he reached Double-A as a starter, Rodriguez's long-term role could be as a reliever because he tends to tire in the middle innings. The Phillies probably will keep him in the rotation at Triple-A Lehigh Valley in 2015.
Gonzalez emerged as the ace of the Cuban national team in 2010 after striking out 14 batters in the gold-medal game of the World University Championship, then became one of the hottest commodities on the international market when he defected in 2012. The Phillies won the bidding with a six-year, $48 million deal, but after a physical turned up shoulder issues his deal was reduced to three years and $12 million. Gonzalez made his professional debut in 2014, but had shoulder soreness in the spring, so he moved to the bullpen at high Class A Clearwater when he returned in mid-May. Gonzalez has a fastball that sits between 94-97 mph and touches higher. He backs it up with a loopy curveball that has the potential to be a tick above-average. A changeup with a chance to be average has pushed the Phillies to build him back up as a starter. Gonzalez probably will begin in the Lehigh Valley rotation in 2015.
The Red Sox signed Ogando and gave him a total of six starts over his first two seasons, but he has worked primarily as a reliever his entire career. The Phillies acquired him late in 2013 for shortstop John McDonald, taking a flier on Ogando's power arm, and then added him to the 40-man roster in November. Despite a fastball that touches triple-digits with regularity and a high-80s slider that occasionally shows as a wipeout pitch, Ogando was hit for a .291 average in 2014 at Double-A Reading. Scouts attribute the gory numbers to a failure to drive the fastball down in the zone, something he did with much more frequency in the Arizona Fall League. Ogando has an 70-grade fastball on the 20-80 scouting scale and a slider with the potential to be plus if he ever learns to land it for a strike. He appears ticketed for Triple-A Lehigh Valley in 2015.
Inked for $540,000 in 2012, Pujols has as much raw power as any outfielder in the system. He opened 2014 in the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League at 18 years old and hit five home runs, which tied for fourth in the league, before receiving a brief taste of short-season Williamsport at season's end. As would be expected with someone his age with his power, Pujols swings and misses often and struggles with breaking pitches. Beyond the power, he's an average defender in right field. He'll need to refine his pitch recognition and an approach that right now is geared toward pulling fastballs. If Pujols can do that as he repeats Williamsport in 2015, then he could jump up the list.
Astudillo has uncanny bat control, which allows him to hit fastballs and breaking balls, whether up or down, inside or outside, balls or strikes. He finds a way to put the good part of the bat on the ball and struck out just 4 percent of the time in 2014. He plays with energy, and club officials like how he calls a game when he catches. Astudillo is a bad-bodied player who doesn't profile because he doesn't draw walks, and he lacks over-the-fence power. Ideally, the Phillies would like Astudillo to commit himself to becoming a passable catcher, where his bat would profile better. He threw out just 14 percent of baserunners and had eight passed balls. He'll move up to high Class A Clearwater in 2015.
The Phillies signed Encarnacion for $1 million in 2013, handing out the largest bonus in franchise history for a Latin American teen. They hoped he would transform, albeit slowly, into a third baseman with the power to hit in the middle of the order. As such, the Phillies aggressively assigned him to the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League in 2014, where at 17 years old he was one of its youngest players. And he performed like it, hitting .229/.294/.343 in 40 games with 4-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio. He's going to take plenty of refinement at the plate, and scouts inside and outside the organization are convinced that his lack of speed and agility will make him either a left fielder--he's got a strong arm--or a first baseman. Still, if he develops into the kind of hitter the Phillies believe he will, he'll profile at either position. He's due for a repeat of the GCL in 2015.
The Rookie-level Gulf Coast League is full of arms easy to dream on, and Garcia is one of the Phillies' most intriguing. He's a smooth lefthander with projection who started the year with short-season Williamsport, then missed a month with minor elbow issues before moving down to the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League. His fastball is 88-92 right now with a chance to add more velocity as he gains strength. Both of his secondary offerings are in the developmental stage, but his curveball, a true 12-6 breaker with bite in the low to mid-70s, is the better of the two. He's likely to return to extended spring and then Williamsport in 2015.
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