A Minor Review of ’09: Philadelphia Phillies

Prospect ranking season is here. Top 10 lists will be arriving shortly and in preparation for that, we present an intro series looking at some of the players who deserve mentioning but probably will not be appearing on their teams’ Top 10 lists. The series is back for a second year.

Philadelphia Phillies

The Graduate: J.A. Happ, LHP
Happ did not garner a lot of attention while rising through the minors, but the left-hander had a solid rookie season for the Phillies. He did a nice job of keeping runners off base with just 149 hits allowed and a walk rate of 3.04 BB/9 in 166.0 innings. Happ’s strikeout rate dipped from his minor-league average, but it was still reasonable at 6.45 K/9. If he can utilize his curveball more often, it might help him with his strikeout rate, because it will change the hitters’ eye levels. One of the biggest ugly marks on his stats line is the 38.4% ground-ball rate.

The Riser: Trevor May, RHP
The 20-year-old May made just 15 starts in ’09, but he flashed some intriguing potential. The right-hander posted a strikeout rate of 11.06 K/9 while allowing 58 hits in 77.1 innings at the low-A ball level. May did struggle with his control, posting a walk rate of 5.00 BB/9. He did a nice job of keeping the ball in the park with a HR/9 rate of 0.35. Left-handers hit just .188 against him in ’09. May features an 87-93 mph fastball, curveball and change-up.

The Tumbler: Anthony Hewitt, OF
Hewitt is a classic raw athlete with the potential to absolutely explode if he can embrace the nuances of the sport. It could be a long wait for Phillies fans, though. After struggling during his debut in ’08, the 20-year-old Hewitt scuffled again in ’09 and hit just .223/.255/.395 in 233 at-bats. He posted a low walk rate of 3.7% and his strikeout rate was far too high at 33.0%. In a small sample size of 44 at-bats, his performance against southpaws was brutal: .136/.188/.273. Hewitt did show some power with an ISO of .172. He has some speed on the bases, but his base-stealing skills are raw, and he was successful in just nine of 14 attempts.

The ’10 Sleeper: Yohan Flande, LHP
The 23-year-old Flande had a solid debut in North America in ’08, and he followed that up by making 13 starts in both high-A and double-A in ’09. The left-hander allowed 81 hits in 70.2 innings at the senior level, but he posted a solid FIP of 3.94. Flande posted solid walk rates at both levels and averaged out around 2.65 BB/9. His strikeout rate dropped from 7.35 in high-A to 6.27 K.9 in double-A. Overall, his ground-ball rate was solid at 52.1%. Flande’s repertoire includes an 87-91 mph fastball, a plus change-up and a developing slider.

Bonus: Drew Naylor, RHP
Naylor was highlighted in the ’08 series as the Phillies’ breakout candidate for ’09. Pitching in high-A in ’09, he had an OK year but really did nothing to distinguish himself. Naylor showed good control with a walk rate of 2.11 BB/9, and his strikeout rate was OK at 6.55 K/9. He allowed 162 hits in 158.0 innings of work. Naylor, 23, should move up to double-A in 2010.



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Marc Hulet has been writing at FanGraphs since 2008. His work focuses on prospects, depth charts and fantasy. Follow him on Twitter @marchulet.


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phuturephillies
Guest
6 years 8 months ago

Flande is lefthanded, not a RHP.

Dan
Guest
Dan
6 years 8 months ago

If you want 2 wonderful articles about the Phillies minor league system and where players rank, read here http://phuturephillies.com/2009/11/06/introducing-the-sonar-score/#more-4512 for position players and here http://phuturephillies.com/2009/11/12/sonar-scores-the-pitchers/ for pitchers.

Top hitters:
Domingo Santiago
Sebastian Valle
Dominic Brown
Michael Taylor

Top pitchers:
Kyle Drabek
Justin De Fratus

Gary
Guest
Gary
6 years 8 months ago

I do find it a bit funny that Phuturephillies posts and decides not to advertise, but some random guy comes in right after him and advertises for him. (On another note, I do read Phuturephillies and love the site).

neuter_your_dogma
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neuter_your_dogma
6 years 8 months ago

If Santiago was really 16-17 this summer, then he may be the next great thing. However, 6’5″ 200lbs and his skills makes me wonder. Not spreading rumor here, just wondering aloud.

Bobo
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Bobo
6 years 8 months ago

Ah, dude if you typed it for the world to see you’re not really wondering aloud. I didn’t click on the links, but I’m guessing your talking about some kid in their system that isn’t even mentioned in Mark’s post, and yah, if I’m the Phils I’m double checking his birth certificate and passport data.

Anyway, looks like Hewitt is a gigantic flop, those are some of the worst lines I’ve ever seen…

knox
Guest
knox
6 years 8 months ago

Wow, those are weird numbers for May. With that strike out rate I’d have expected him to be a flame thrower, but then I see the typical FB seems just ok. So ok, I then say I guess he must be really good at hitting his spots, err, wait look at that walk rate. So got me confused. I’m not terribly familiar with A ball, was he much he much older than the rest of the folks at that level? Is low 90s FB overpowering down there?

I was kind of expecting to see that Drabek kid somewhere on here, but maybe he was profiled before. Seemed like he was big stuff two years ago, disappeared for awhile, and then was mr.centerpiece in all that Halladay talk at midseason.

Joe G
Guest
Joe G
6 years 8 months ago

yeah I follow the Phillies and was really surprised by May only having an 87-93 mph fastball….not sure if that’s accurate because I feel like they were calling him a “flamethrower”…I guess not though?

GrandSlamSingle
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GrandSlamSingle
6 years 8 months ago

Drabek will most likely be on the Top 10 list that Hulet will do later. This is a list of noteworthy guys outside the Top 10.

Knox
Guest
Knox
6 years 8 months ago

Yah, you are right I’ve completely skipped the intro to these all of these articles and missed that point.

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