It was a big weekend for hitting in the Phillies system. So this week is a jam packed spotlight, and it doesn’t even include any members of the Williamsport team that has started the year on a 9-0 run.
Hitter Spotlight #1: Brian Pointer 6-9 3 HR 2 BB
Pointer’s Saturday was probably the best single day of any prospect this year as he went deep 3 times against Portland. Pointer is now sporting a slightly strange looking line of .269/.398/.476 on the season thanks to his 8 home runs, 30 walks, and 44 strikeouts in 52 games. Pointer is a strange case. He is a good defensive outfielder in a corner, can run a little bit, has power, but isn’t a slugger, and will take a walk if one is given. I had someone once mention that on one day Pointer will look like a superstar and the next you will wonder how he got to the level he is at. I am not sure what Pointer is or could be, but he is putting up numbers that are worth watching going forward given the state of the Phillies outfield right now.
Hitter Spotlight #2: Rhys Hoskins 4-10 2B 3 HR 2 BB 2 K
Rhys Hoskins looked too old for Lakewood so his inevitable promotion to Cleatwater was welcome news this week. Hoskins responded by hitting a home run every day this weekend. He has very clearly put himself on the prospect map in the system, the real question is how high he will be on lists. It is tough for a prospect to be first base only, because failure is absolute failure, the only way succeed is to hit and that is what Hoskins has done. Some may want him to force his way to Reading this year, but even if he makes it next year he will be on pace to make the majors by the end of next year as part of the 2017 wave of prospects.
Hitter Spotlight #3: Aaron Altherr 3-11 2 HR 1 BB 3 K
Outside the home runs it wasn’t the greatest weekend to ever occur for Altherr, but this is more a celebration of his season to this point. After this weekend he is hitting .296/.371/.496 on the season. Most impressive is that through 66 games he has 30 walks and 44 strikeouts. He has cut down a lot of the holes in his swing (though I do worry if major league pitchers will be able to bust him in on his hands), and the results have been dramatic. Right now he is a good defender in center field and a very good defender in a corner, though it is unlikely he can stick in center deep into his career. However, he can play center now and should be playing it in Philadelphia at some point this season.
Pitcher Spotlight #1: Elniery Garcia 7 IP 4 H 0 R 1 BB 4 K
Elniery Garcia isn’t going to confuse anyone for a power pitcher, but he can really pitch. Garcia has had an up and down season because his margin for error is so slim, but when he is on he is going to fool a lot batters. Garcia is still young for his level (he turns 21 in December) so he could spend the whole year at Lakewood without problem. Garcia’s upside is not huge, but a lefty who can pitch is a valuable thing when pitching depth is always in demand.
Pitcher Spotlight #2: Victor Arano 7 IP 4 H 0 R 0 BB 3 K
It has not been a good season for Victor Arano as he has really struggled to turn over a line up a second time. Arano has knockout stuff with a fastball that sits 91-94, and above average offspeed pitchers. He has not missed many bats this year (29 strikeouts in 60 innings) which is something new for him. He has thrown a ton of strikes this year with 12 walks so far this year. He has been prone to big innings, especially on his second and third time through the order. Many scouts think that Arano will be a reliever in the long term (it is a role he is more comfortable with), but given how young he is (won’t turn 21 until next February) the Phillies will give him plenty of time to try and start.
The Phillies have officially signed Mark Laird and Joshua Tobias this weekend and assigned both to Williamsport. Per Twitter the Phillies have signed HS LHP Nick Fanti and college OF Reggie Wilson. Tobias’s bonus was reportedly $10,000, that leaves the Phillies $216,800 underslot, without knowing Fanti’s bonus. They can spend an additional $352,925 on top of that which will be taxed at a 75% rate, given them a total of $569,725 they can spend without incurring draft pick penalty. This all brings the Phillies to 30 draft picks signed. Given that 5 draft picks have removed themselves (Lauria, Watson, Brundage, Morandinin, and McCarthy), this leaves the remaining targets as OF Kyle Nowlin, RHP Jacon Stevens, OF Ben Pelletier, RHP Gabe Gonzalez, and RHP Malcolm Grady.