Weekend Preview – 7/3/2015

Lehigh Valley (vs Rochester):

Friday: Severino Gonzalez
Saturday: Aaron Nola
Sunday: Jason Berken

We are running out of #NolaDays as the deadline approaches, and Aaron Altherr’s stay could also be brief.  It also now looks like the big league club will be hanging on to Adam Morgan for a while now.  Good news is that David Buchanan is back from injury and pitched pretty well in his first game back which helps the rotation somewhat.  Gabriel Lino is now hitting, which makes the lineup a bit deeper.  Overall the IronPigs are playing like averagish team and not like their big league parent.  And who knows, more help could be on the way.

Reading (@ New Britain – Friday, vs Trenton – Saturday & Sunday):

Friday: Hoby Milner
Saturday: Mark Leiter Jr.
Sunday: Colin Kleven

Oh how the mighty have fallen.  Nola, Altherr, Lino, and Ogando are in AAA, Quinn and Perkins on the DL, Eflin is at the Pan Am Games, and Windle is struggling and in the bullpen.  They still have Crawford, Dugan, Biddle, and Knapp so they are far from talentless, but Reading isn’t the prospect juggernaut it was a month ago.  I am not a believer in Kleven or Leiter as starting pitchers, but I want to see them after a few starts in the league, both leave something to be desired outside of their fastballs.  On the hitting side it will be interesting to see which version of Brian Pointer we get in the month of July.

Clearwater (vs Tampa – Friday, @ Brevard County – Saturday & Sunday):

Friday: Matt Imhof
Saturday: Yacksel Rios
Sunday: David Whitehead

The Threshers ended the first half on a tear and are 6-2 to start the second half of the year.  The two pitchers not on rotation this weekend (Ricardo Pinto and Victor Arano) have been very good.  Matt Imhof still has been pitching with diminished stuff, even though he is apparently healthy after his arm injury.  Rios is probably a reliever long term, but he has really stabilized the rotations with promotions and injuries.  The bullpen with Nunez, Ramos, and Joaquin has been lights out over the past month.  The hitting and defensive boost from the recently promoted Canelo, Tocci, and Hoskins has also helped to carry the Threshers.  Add that to Aaron Brown showing signs of life and Andrew Pullin acting like a slugger and you have a pretty potent hitting core.  Brandon Leibrandt and Dylan Cozens likely won’t be back this week, but aren’t far off.  It isn’t a bunch of superstar prospects, but the Threshers are very deep with good players right now.

Lakewood (@ Delmarva – Friday, vs Hagerstown – Saturday & Sunday):

Friday: Chris Oliver
Saturday: Elniery Garcia
Sunday: Yoel Mecias

The BlueClaws had a thin lineup before losing their three best hitters, so it should be a surprise that offense is still a problem.  Scott Kingery and Kyle Martin have done their part, and Cord Sandberg continues to have a bit of a hot streak going, but it is rough some nights.  The pitching has been pretty inconsistent, ranging from average to Elniery Garcia’s gem last weekend to Mecias’ meltdown.  Speaking of Mecias, it is panic time, the stuff is way down, the control is non-existent.  He just hasn’t been the same guy since Tommy John surgery.

Williamsport (vs Auburn – Friday, @ Brooklyn – Saturday & Sunday):

Friday: Franklyn Kilome
Saturday: Jose Taveras
Sunday: Mitch Gueller

This Crosscutters team might be the best New York-Penn League team I have seen assembled.  Their lineup is deep and has guys with speed (Laird, Coppola, Cumana), power (Hayden, Pujols, Hernandez), some of both (Biter, Duran, Tobias), and patience (Amaro).  They are aggressive at the plate and on the bases, putting a ton of pressure on inexperienced players.  The pitching staff is even better, behind ace Franklyn Kilome they got 6 deep with everyone capable of going 5 solid (or even more on the right night).  Behind the starters is a deep bullpen with college relievers and former starters working as relievers to get work.  This week they then added 6th round pick Tyler Gilbert and 7th round pick Luke Leftwich to that mix as relievers working on reduced starter workloads.  Combined they turn 2 out of every 6 starts into a 3 pitcher game with dominance.  There is enough streakiness that the bats have been silenced on occasion, but normally there is enough depth to overcome it.  Outside of a few players there are not a lot of players here with big time ceilings, but there are a lot of potential major league pieces on this roster.

Author: Matt Winkelman

Matt Winkelman
Matt is originally from Mt. Holly, NJ, but after a 4 year side track to Cleveland for college he now resides in Madison, WI. His work has appeared on Phuture Phillies, The Good Phight, and TheDynastyGuru.


  1. Handzus

    Think Windle is in the bullpen permanently now? I don’t really get giving the rotation spot to Milner instead. I would have liked to give Windle the full season to try and figure out some things in AA.

    • Matt Winkelman

      I think Milner is more a stop gap while Eflin is at Pan Am games. I think Windle could go back to rotation at some point in career, but looks like they are going to work him in relief for now.

  2. Bdinella

    Matt, I have seen every report on Kilome the last year and a half it seems some people see him as a potential ace or #2. It looks like he is just starting to put it all together. If such glowing reviews why is he not even in domes people phillies top 10? Does he need more consistency? It sure would be nice to have another top of the rotation guy besides Nola

    • Matt Winkelman

      Last spring he was 89-91 T92, last fall he was 90-92 T94. He had a real fringy slider and the changeup was not really a usable pitch. He was a huge projection project. He had hug projection.

      This spring in his first outing he was 91-94 touching 95 and touched 97. He then scrapped the slider for a curveball, and found a new changeup grip. From the start forward, the velocity has continued to creep up and the secondary pitches have gotten better every time out.

      In the end, everyone ranking prospects knew he was last winter (and some of us were hyping him as having big upside). None of us expected it to come together this quickly. It is fairly unprecedented how quickly he has gotten this good.

  3. Bdinella

    Thank u

  4. Josh

    Is it crazy to think that kilome will be our 3rd or 4th best prospect and land in some top 100’s this year? I have seen him mentioned by some national guys too.

    • Matt Winkelman

      Right now he is #3 for me behind only Crawford and Nola and would be in my top 100

  5. dag5

    Matt- Is Gueller’s velocity back to where it was in high school (low to mid 90’s}?

  6. Jack

    Since Leftwich and Gilbert are getting added to the rotation and keys is getting kicked out what will they do with him? 6 man rotation? I like his potential

    • Matt Winkelman

      Already have 6 man rotation, not sure how they are going to make it work

      • Jack

        Maybe promote Gueller if he puts together a couple more solid starts? Do you like seeing keys as a starter or reliever?

        • Matt Winkelman

          Starter, but he doesn’t have velocity yet to be a major leaguer

  7. Kurdt Kobeyn

    Yoel Mecias released today? Wow!