Sep 092013
Phillies prospect JP Crawford

Phillies SS prospect JP Crawford

It’s now three months since the 2013 draft, and the picks who signed have completed their first professional season.  The stats these players compiled are often not indicative of how their careers will pan out, but it’s still something to look at.  For example, after being drafted in the fourth round in the 2011 draft, Cody Asche was dreadful for Williamsport, batting under .200 with a .537 OPS.  He rebounded the next season though and is now transitioning nicely to the majors just two years later.  How did some of the new Phillies do?

1. SS J.P. Crawford: Crawford had a very impressive pro debut, and the 16th overall pick is going to find himself on top 100 lists this off-season.  He’s a really good defender, and he hit much better than expected.  Before a late season promotion to low-A (incredibly rare for high school draft picks), he batted .345 in the Gulf Coast League with as many walks as strikeouts (25) in 186 plate appearances.  Only 12 of his 49 hits were for extra bases, but he’s just 18 years old and will get stronger.  I don’t think he starts the season in Clearwater, but he could finish there with a good follow-up performance.

2. C Andrew Knapp: The draft’s top college catcher had a decent debut with Williamsport in the New York-Penn League, a league that is becoming more and more starved for offense every season.  His .741 OPS was 90 points above the league average, and his 20 doubles were tied for the league lead.  Only 21 of his games were behind the plate though with another prospect, Gabriel Lino, needing reps.  Knapp’s defense is where he has to make the most improvement, and he needs all the games as a catcher as he can get.

3a. OF Cord Sandberg: Sandberg’s OPS in the GCL this year was only .585, but that’s not too surprising for a raw player out of high school.  He was almost entirely a singles hitter which was also to be expected based on pre-draft scouting reports.  His .207 average was also poor, but perhaps some of that was bad luck.  His BABIP was only .252, and his strikeout rate wasn’t a huge issue at 18.4% either.  If he’s on a Phillies top 30 list this off-season, it’ll probably be near the very end.

3b. 3B Jan Hernandez: Hernandez though showed a pretty raw approach.  He struck out in over one-third of his plate appearances and batted just .210.  He showed some speed and a little bit of power potential, but overall he played like a player who’s going to take a lot of time to develop.  He’s more than likely not a top 30 player yet and should start next year in extended spring training.

4. C Jake Sweaney: It’s difficult to find something positive to say about Sweaney’s debut.  He batted .164 with a .448 OPS with 31 strikeouts to just five walks in 83 plate appearances.  He’ll surely be starting next season in extended spring training, and a return to the GCL probably isn’t out of the question.

9. RHP Shane Martin: Martin was the first pitcher the Phillies drafted and were able to sign.  With a 3.31 ERA and 1.12 WHIP in the NYPL, his performance was decent enough, but again it’s an extreme pitchers league.  College pitchers should perform well here, and his 15.2% strikeout rate wouldn’t indicate he’s going to be missing a lot of bats at higher levels.  He’s a groundball guy though, and over 50% of balls in play against him were on the ground.

22. Mark Leiter Jr.: Among later round picks, Leiter’s statistics were really the only ones that stood out.  In 45 innings across three levels, he struck out 50 batters and walked 13.  The high strikeout rate was a bit of a surprise since his stuff isn’t very good, but he can throw strikes and should give them decent innings in the minors.

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Scott Grauer writes for PSC and Bus Leagues Baseball – check him out!