► Reports and Scouting:
Role: #2 Starter
Risk: High – Kilome has the high end fastball and curveball to be a dominant starter. His delivery can still get out of sync, and his changeup has not progressed to being a meaningful pitch.
Summary: While Sixto Sanchez has gotten a lot of the press among pitching prospects this year, Franklyn Kilome still has the upside to be an impact starter for the Phillies. Kilome started the year horrendously. He was unable to throw strikes, and his curveball was not a usable pitch. The Phillies shut him down for a start to retool his curveball and delivery. Kilome’s season took off as he was able to locate his curveball again.
Team (LVL) GS IP ERA HR/9 BB% K% Full Season 24 122.1 3.60 0.4 9.9% 26.5% After Start Skip 21 112.2 2.56 0.3 9.0% 28.4% Last 10 Starts 10 55.1 1.94 0.2 6.1% 34.1%
At his best, Kilome drives the ball downhill, using his height to get good plane on his pitches. His fastball sits 92-97, with heavy sink and some armside run. His best secondary pitch is a power curveball in the low 80s. By late 2016, he was able to bury the pitch in the dirt for swings and misses, while also being able to freeze batters for strikes looking. Kilome has struggled to find a consistent changeup, and his current version is a bit hard and lacks life. Because of his dominant fastball and curveball, Kilome does not need a standout changeup, just one that will keep hitters off balance. Outside of a curveball that he couldn’t throw for strikes, Kilome’s biggest problem has been keeping his delivery consistent and in sync. This is a common problem for large pitchers, and Kilome has made improvements over the year. However, when his delivery is off he is unusable as a pitcher, as his velocity will dip dramatically, and he will be unable to locate any pitches. If Kilome can keep his delivery together and find a usable changeup, he has the upside to be a high end starting pitcher. If his changeup never develops and his control stays just ok, he could move to the bullpen in a late inning role. Worst case, if his delivery goes to pieces he could find himself stuck in the minors trying to put it all back together.
2017 Outlook: Kilome will start in Clearwater alongside Dominguez and Tirado. The Phillies pitching depth means that Kilome won’t automatically get the bump to Reading without destroying the FSL first. If the Phillies force him to use his changeup, his results could suffer as he develops feel for the pitch.
Role: #2/#3 Starting Pitcher
Risk: High – Kilome has flashed all of the raw stuff to be a top of the rotation pitcher, so while there is room for more growth, it isn’t required. However, he has yet to pitch in full season ball and he lacks the command to start at present.
Summary: Franklyn Kilome entered the 2015 season as a trendy sleeper. His fastball was touching 94-95 by the end of 2014 after starting the year at 89-92, and his big frame hinted at more. Early in 2015 Kilome was touching 96-97 with his fastball while sitting 93-95. Even with the increase in velocity, Kilome’s fastball has kept its movement, and the pitch has good sink and this combines with his height to give him huge ground ball tendencies (57.3% in 2015) and makes it difficult for opposing batters to square him up. Given his size, there is room for Kilome to add at least another 2-3 mph to his fastball, and there were unsubstantiated rumors out of Williamsport that he hit 100 when amped up. It is easy to see the fastball growth, but it probably showed the least growth of Kilome’s pitches this year. The big leap was in his curveball, which evolved from somewhere in the slurve-slider range into a true downward breaking curveball in the 76-80 mph range. The pitch shows plus potential with good shape and bite. More impressively, he showed at times the feel and ability to manipulate the shape and pace on the pitch, moving it at times back towards a more slider like pitch in the low to mid 80s. Kilome flashed a lot of his potential before going north with the Crosscutters, but what he didn’t flash was his changeup. Early in the year he was throwing his changeup in the hi-80s even up to 90-91. He was overthrowing the pitch and it was mostly a slower fastball with worse command. Over the spring and summer, Kilome began throwing the pitch with a slightly different grip, and the resulting pitch was 84-86 with more fade and deception. He still is very inconsistent in his control and feel for the pitch, but there is the foundation for an above average pitch as he grows into it. Overall Kilome’s delivery is smooth and easy, which points to future command and control. However, he still has a tendency to overthrow and force pitches, which can cost him some command. He is at his best when he pounds the bottom of the strikezone as hitters struggle to square up his pitches. His control suffered in the middle of the 2015 season when he hurt his ribs and missed some starts. He was fully healthy to end the season and pitched in Instructional League. If Kilome’s velocity continues to progress and he gains feel for the curveball, his ceiling is that of a front of the rotation starter. It is more likely to bet on some progress, but not enough, and he will be more of a mid rotation starter. Kilome is a very cerebral pitcher with a good understanding of the game, so don’t be surprised if at some point he starts adds new wrinkle to his arsenal (like the return of a true slider). There is a lot to like and a lot to dream on here.
2016 Outlook: Kilome will almost certainly go to Lakewood to start the year. He is nearing the point where his stuff will dictate that he will need to move quickly to continue to be challenged. With a good start he could get to Clearwater by the middle of the season.
What Happened: Kilome put himself on the map last year when his stuff jumped from 89-92 to touching 94 by the end of the year. This year he swapped out his slider for a curveball that flashes plus or better and found a changeup grip that was less firm and had more movement. And oh by the way he showed up this spring throwing 92-95 touching 97 and now sits 94-96 with his fastball and has touched 97+. Kilome’s delivery is easy and he has some feel for command already. The best I analogy I can use for his growth is that he is the robot or alien in the movie that is learning and growing at an accelerating rate after becoming self aware. He missed some time due to a rib injury and the Phillies are taking it very slow with him, but his upside is up there with the top pitching prospects in the game.
What Now: Health and innings. Kilome still hasn’t logged a full year of innings and it is one of the main concerns still out there for him. The other thing is that he just needs to get used to his new stuff, where it is the off speed pitches or the velocity. Once he reestablishes that base he could start moving quickly again.
Role: #2/#3 Starter
Risk: High – Kilome still has a lot of filling out to do to max out his frame and potential. If he doesn’t, his ceiling might not be too high, but his solid delivery and his ability to generate ground balls give him something to fall back on.
Summary: I first heard about Kilome this spring. It was mentioned to me secondhand that the Phillies had a kid they were bringing stateside who was already up to 94 but could get to 98. Kilome not only didn’t disappoint, but he was a pleasant surprise in the GCL this year. The fastball was mostly 90-92, but he touched 95 towards the end of year. The regular fastball has good downward plane from his long frame, but he creates something special when he combines that frame with a heavy sinker that comes in at 88-90. He can pound the strike zone with the sinker and hitters have little choice but to hit it into the ground. Kilome has begun to show a feel for a curveball and a changeup, and the curveball could be a plus pitch. Filling out his projectable frame could see Kilome’s fastball reach as high as plus plus long term. His delivery is nice and easy for a man of his size, and he has shown the ability to control all of his pitches. Kilome might have the most upside of any pitcher in the Phillies organization, and it’s not a stretch to say he has #2 upside if he can get to a 70 fastball and keep the heaviness to his arsenal. Given his polish, Kilome could jump to Lakewood, but the number of pitchers at his level, coupled with an effort to keep his total innings down, could land him in Extended Spring Training before going to Williamsport.