As expected the GCL Phillies were loaded with talent in 2015. The team featured a premium prospect at nearly every position at the lineup, and until the stretch run their rotation could match anyone in the league. Despite their talent, they failed to reach the playoffs losing out on the division race to the GCL Blue Jays. The team mixed premium draft picks and top Latin signings with some breakout seasons for off the grid players. The best hitting prospect on the team was easily #10 overall pick Cornelius Randolph. On the pitching side the top prospect was right handed pitcher Adonis Medina who came out of nowhere this spring, and carried his success into the season. Overall it was a positive season for the Phillies’ lowest level affiliate.
Standing: 2nd in Northwest Division (missed playoffs)
Hits – Luis Encarnacion (52)
Doubles – Cornelius Randolph (15)
Triples – Randolph/Gamboa/Luis (3)
Home Runs – Luis Encarnacion (4)
Walks – Cornelius Randolph (32)
Strikeouts – Arquimedez Gamboa (50)
Stolen Bases – Jose Antequera (15)
Batting Average – Cornelius Randolph (.302)
On Base Percentage – Cornelius Randolph (.425)
Slugging – Cornelius Randolph (.442)
ERA (SP) – Ranger Suarez (0.65)
ERA (RP) – Sutter McLoughlin (0.00)
Innings – Felix Paulino (50.0)
Home Runs – Paulino/W. Stewart (3)
Walks – Tanner Kiest (17)
Strikeouts – Felix Paulino (46)
WHIP (SP) – Ranger Suarez (0.69)
WHIP (RP) – Sutter McLoughlin (0.21)
Players That Intrigue Me for the Future:
There is a second part of this that is an interview with Chris King that will touch on a lot of great topics so I don’t want to go too terribly in depth here. Also there will be many things written about many of the top players on this roster so there is no point in reminding you that Cornelius Randolph is indeed good at baseball. So instead here are some thoughts on some guys who gave glimpses, but not a full enough view that they will get huge coverage this offseason.
- Ranger Suarez – I was at the top of the list of people who were saying to pump the breaks on Suarez a year ago when he had an amazing statistical year in the VSL before throwing in the mid-80s last year in Instructs. This spring he was more of the same, but by summer he was more 89-91. His command and some feel for offspeed pitches put him back on my radar right before an arm injury (was reported as soreness over damage) ended his regular season. The profile reminds me somewhat of Elniery Garcia, but Suarez is going to need to prove some health and better offspeed pitches to be where Garcia was at this point last year.
- Bryan Martelo – It was a super strange year for Martelo. He showed why the Phillies gave him $230,000 in 2013 as he has the power and defense to be a solid right fielder. But the 19 year old has struggled with his approach at the plate. He has 9 walks and 15 strikeouts in 84 ABs (yes I realize ABs are bad here but we have to work with what we have) in June and July, and in august he walked 10 times and struck out 20 times in 39 ABs. There are a lot of things to like about Martelo, but he does lack the raw tools of Jose Pujols, which makes the payoff for the journey a little less exciting.
- Nick Fanti – The results were good, the reports were not. He is a cold weather kid with some arm strength but he is a complete project. The developmental staff was able to turn Sam McWilliams into something very exciting, but Fanti is a different profile all together. His developmental path will say a lot about what the developmental staff can do and what they are trying to shape their young pitchers into.
- Rodolfo Duran – Duran was bad at the plate and solid behind it. He is extremely young (was 17 all year) and likely comes back to the GCL next year, but the Phillies liked him enough to give him a lot of playing time at such a young age. It is hard to know what he will be because there is a lot of journey in front of him, but I have my interest piqued.
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