Sep 032014

Arizona Fall League logoLast week, Arizona Fall League rosters were announced.  The Phillies will send seven (including one TBA) players to the Scottsdale Scorpions where they’ll be joined by prospects from both New York teams, the Pirates and Giants.

When choosing players to get AFL assignments, they usually think about these factors: if a player missed a significant part of the season due to injury or suspension, players that will be eligible for the Rule 5 draft and may need to be placed on the 40 man roster, and players that could just use some more reps against upper level competition.

C Logan Moore: Moore will be eligible for the Rule 5 draft this winter, but I don’t think anyone will care.  He’s a career .213/.288/.299 hitter, and even though reports on his defense seem to all be good, I’m not sure if any kind of defense will make up for hitting like that.

RHP Colton Murray: Murray is also in his first year of Rule 5 draft eligibility, and he’s having his best career season at just the right time.  The 24 year old has a 26.0% strikeout rate at Double-A Reading, but he needs to cut down on his 9.5% walk rate.  He works mainly with a 92-94 MPH fastball and high-70’s breaking ball which gets swing and misses.  If the Phillies don’t protect him on the 40 man roster, he could be taken and even stick, but it’s not like they’d be missing out on a significant contributor.

RHP Nefi Ogando: Usually Latino players go to their home countries to play winter ball, but apparently LIDOM wasn’t interested in him.  It’s his second year of Rule 5 eligibility after being acquired for John McDonald last year, and it’s possible he would be selected.  He’s pitched poorly, but he has a high-90’s fastball, so it’s not hard to see why he might appeal to teams.

RHP Ryan O’Sullivan: The Phillies got O’Sullivan from the Dodgers in the Joe Blanton trade two years ago, and he’s now Rule 5 draft eligible.  The younger O’Sullivan brother the Phillies have has bounced between the rotation and bullpen for Reading, and he’s had okay results.  He works with an average fastball and slider, and the lack of a quality changeup means he should probably pitch in relief.

CF Roman Quinn: Quinn laps the field in terms of intrigue among prospects the Phillies assigned to the AFL.  His .708 OPS is just a bit over the league average, and his 21.2% strikeout rate and 9.3% walk rate are nearly identical to last year’s rates with Lakewood.  He stole over 30 bases this year, so there’s not much concern about bouncing back from his wrist and achilles injuries that sidelined him for half of the year.

The level of competition he faces in the AFL will be higher than what he faced in the Florida State League this year, but he shouldn’t be so far out of his league he doesn’t belong.  He’ll get more time to adjust to center field.

LHP Ethan Stewart: There was a time Stewart was a top 30 prospect in the organization.  That time has passed, mostly because he’s walked a horrendous 14.8% of opponents in the two seasons since then.  He hasn’t even had much success against lefties, so I’m not sure how a big league team could utilize him for a whole year in the bullpen.  He’ll still only be 24 next year, and it does take time for big pitchers to straighten out their mechanics and throw strikes.

On Baseball America’s roster listing, there’s a TBA spot in the infield, and I’m assuming that’s one the Phillies are going to fill.  I wonder if they’re hoping to get permission for Maikel Franco to play there this year, but I’d imagine he’s going back to LIDOM for another off-season.  KC Serna, an independent league signing that plays a good shortstop, played at Clearwater and Reading this year, and he’s still young enough to be prospect-ish.

Click here to Comment and Discuss on the PSC Phillies message board forum…  Want to comment but not yet a PSC member?  Click here to register!

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