The announcement of rosters each year is a good marker of where players stand with the organization. The release of short season rosters is always in flux as new draftees alter the lineup over the first week of the season. So here is the current roster, what it means and how the 2014 draft fits in.
The only set members of the rotation are likely Arteaga (who started 9 disastrous games for Lakewood this year), Sanchez, and Gueller. Of that group Gueller’s return trip to Williamsport is the most interesting name here, a former 1st round pick who had the potential for 3 plus pitches coming out of the draft. In 2013 he showed inconsistency across the board along with a drop in velocity, but if he can show some of his pre-draft stuff he could jump back up lists.
2014 Draft – The Phillies top 2 picks Aaron Nola and Matt Imhof could skip past Williamsport on the way to Lakewood or higher. However, the Crosscutters rotation should pick up 4th round pick Chris Oliver and6th round pick Brandon Leibrandt. Depending on signings, Matt Hockenberry (9th), Austin Davis (12th), Nathan Thornhill (13th), and Joey DeNato (19th) could all factor into the rotation and at least into the bullpen. Speaking of the bullpen, 22nd round pick Ryan Powers is a power RH reliever out of Miami (OH) who could factor into the late innings of the Crosscutter bullpen if the Phillies send him there.
Grullon was demoted from Lakewood where he hit.237/.275/.342 over 24 games. The young catcher is a potential elite defender behind the plate with an elite arm. At the plate he has some power and a decent contact profile. He isn’t going to lead a team in any offensive categories but he should be able to stick around at the bottom of a lineup. Garcia spent the past 3 years in the VSL hitting .307/.357/.418 across the 3 years while splitting time between catcher and first base. If he can replicate those numbers in the NYPL he could be someone to keep an eye on.
2014 Draft – Sean McHugh (18th) and Joel Fisher (23rd) are pair of college senior signs. One could get pushed to give the Crosscutters 3 catchers. There is also a chance Grullon returns to Lakewood if Andrew Knapp moves back to Clearwater.
Hernandez is the top prospect here, the Phillies 3rd round pick in 2013, he has big time power, but an approach that needs to be refined. He could shoot up prospect lists with a good year in Williamsport. Canelo makes a return trip to Williamsport, he has plenty of glove for SS and should hit better this trip around, he did appear in 16 games for the Threshers where he hit .208/.,269/.271. Hoskins is the Phillies 2014 5th Round pick, a RH power bat out of Sacramento State, he hit 12 HRs this spring, as a first baseman he is going to need to continue to mash to stay on the prospect radar.
2014 Draft – If J.P. Crawford is promoted from Lakewood, Canelo could move up to the Blueclaws, that would open up a spot for 7th round pick Emmanuel Marrero, who was the best defensive college shortstop in the 2014 draft. Additionally, 11th round pick Drew Stankiewicz should join the Crosscutters at some point, Stankiewicz was a college SS, but he likely has to move to 2B in pro-ball. It is a difficult profile, but Stankiewicz showed the ability to make a bunch of contact in college.
Cord Sandberg is the big name on this team. The Phillies took Sandberg in the 3rd round last year and signed him for 2nd round money. Sandberg has the potential to be a 5 tool player in an OF corner, he has struggled to make consistent hard contact as he has adjusted to playing baseball full time. Tromp and Herlis make return trips to Williamsport. Tromp struggled in Lakewood this year after hitting .299/.353/.430 for Williamsport last year, he might not be long for Williamsport (returning to Lakewood) as other players filter in. Herlis struggled in 13 games for the Crosscutters last year, but he hit .389/.437/.533 for the GCL Phillies last year. Herlis can play CF and LF, and at age 20 (as of June 10) he should be more age appropriate this time around. The two players missing are 2013 4th round pick Jake Sweaney (converted from catching) and 2012 Latin American signee Jose Pujols. Both could appear in Williamsport eventually, but will start in the GCL this year.
2014 Draft – Since the Phillies are trying him as an outfielder Aaron Brown should fit into the Crosscutter’s outfield as soon as he signs. In the field Brown played centerfield, but he profiles best in right field, he has a big time arm in a corner, at the plate there is big power, but the approach will need some work. Phillies 10th round pick Matt Shortall could fit into the outfield mix as well.