Unlike many years in the past we have only gotten a couple of minor league work groups. We are still at least a week out from minor league assignments and this list (posted originally by Jim Peyton at Phuture Phillies) is already a few days old, so these things may change. This new list saw the creation of group 5 which roughly corresponds to the old Group 4 and the players destined for extended spring training. It is also important to remember that the group in Extended Spring will be augmented by more players from the Dominican Academy.
So first the list:
I am not going to deal too much with movement up and down groups, if you want to dissect it all, go ahead. But here are some thoughts as things start to solidify:
- Players no longer listed are: Joey Curletta (traded), David Whitehead, Daniel Garner, Evan Rogers, Scott Harris, Luke Maglich, Scot Hoffman, Alex Kline, Guery Ortiz, and Oskerlly Sanchez. The assumption that all of these players are released or retired but nothing is official.
- First baseman Darick Hall has been destroying baseballs this spring and right now he is in Group 3 (Clearwater). It would not be out of the ordinary for a college hitter to skip Lakewood, and in this case it makes a ton of sense because Clearwater doesn’t have a first baseman and this would free up Lakewood for Alex Wojiechowski and possibly Caleb Eldridge.
- There is probably still another outfield cut coming somewhere between Lehigh Valley, Reading, and Clearwater. It looks like AAA will probably be some combination of Cozens, Williams, Perkins, Quinn, Nava, and Stassi. Reading then has to fit Goeddel, Pullin, Tocci, and others. Clearwater already has Coppola, Laird, Randolph, and Pujols, with Sandberg and Martinelli looming.
- No one really cares about minor league relievers, but there are a lot more of them in the Reading/Lehigh Valley group then will fit once the MLB guys come down.
- Lucas Williams stays a group ahead of Cole Stobbe, and Williams reportedly played at least a game at shortstop. With Brito, Gamboa, and probably Stobbe in Lakewood there isn’t much room there. Clearwater has Jen Hernandez at third, but not really a lot locked down. Williams’ bat looks a lot better player second or short, and his glove has been really good at third so far in his career, so maybe a move up the spectrum.
- Grant Dyer and Edgar Garcia are two of the best bullpen arms in the system and both are listed with Reading, jumping in front of some guys who pitched ahead of them last year.
- Lakewood is going to be very good, even if Kevin Gowdy doesn’t go north. It looks like their rotation will at least have Sixto Sanchez, Adonis Medina, Bailey Falter, and JoJo Romero, and then on offense they will have Daniel Brito, Arquimedez Gamboa, and Mickey Moniak.
- The AAA team still is missing a few guys, but when you see all the names on paper it really becomes how clear how talented that team is.