Stock Up, Stock Down for Philadelphia Phillies' Top 10 Prospects for Week 6
The Philadelphia Phillies called up two prospects from Triple-A this past week who turned in solid season debuts, although neither is considered a top 10 prospect.
Tyler Cloyd received a promotion over Adam Morgan to pitch in Roy Halladay’s spot in the rotation, and took a no-decision after allowing two earned runs and two hits in 6.1 innings.
Following the game Cloyd was sent back to Triple-A, while Justin De Fratus was promoted. De Fratus struck out the lone batter he faced in Sunday’s game, and wound up with the win after the Phillies scored two runs in the 10th inning.
But what about the players currently ranked as the Phillies' top 10 prospects according to Baseball America?
Has Darin Ruf started to heat up? How did Jesse Biddle bounce back from his rough outing last week? Did Ethan Martin improve his command in his two starts this past week?
Let’s take a look at which players’ stocks are up and which are down following Week 6.
*All statistics courtesy of MiLB.com unless otherwise noted.
Stats: 32 games, .216 BA, 7 RBI, 25 H, .260 OBP
Not much changed for Carlos Tocci’s stock in Week 6, as his three hits in 17 at-bats helped keep his average above .200, but down from where it stood at .222 to start the week.
The 18-year-old outfielder struck out only twice this past week but also drew just one walk, contributing to his OBP remaining at .260.
Tocci is currently batting .263 in May, and has a .257 average with runners in scoring position.
Last year, in his first professional season, Tocci played in 38 games in the Gulf Coast League. By the end of the week, Tocci may have eclipsed that mark, meaning that he will have played in the highest number of games in his professional career.
If he can produce some more multihit games and draw a few more walks in the South Atlantic League, his first full season will create a great deal of optimism going forward.
Stats: 34 games, .294 BA, 5 HR, 21 RBI, 37 H, .372 OBP
No player's stock is up higher than Darin Ruf’s following this past week.
After beginning the week batting .250 with 15 RBI and 26 hits, Ruf exploded for 11 hits in 22 at-bats, while driving in six runs.
In the past week, Ruf had five multihit games, hit his fifth home run of the season and drew eight walks while striking out six times.
Ruf’s offense is not the only part of his game that has improved this season.
Phillies director of player development Joe Jordan was complimentary toward Ruf’s defense in left field, Bob Brookover of the Philadelphia Inquirer wrote. Entering this past weekend’s play, Ruf had made one error in 42 chances at the position, Brookover wrote.
Ruf has his work cut out for him with the Phillies outfield currently full at the major league level. But continuing improvement, combined with an injury or trade at the major league level, could earn him a promotion from Triple-A.
Stats: 34 games, .287 BA, 6 HR, 29 RBI, 41 H, .333 OBP
Maikel Franco’s stock is down after he finally cooled off for at least one week. But it would have been difficult for his stock to continue going up after he began the week batting .309.
Franco collected just three hits in 20 at-bats this past week, while striking out three times and driving in two runs.
The right-hander is still batting .297 against righties, and is tied for the third highest home run total in the Florida State League. He has also hit the second most doubles in the league, behind teammate Cameron Perkins.
The third baseman could benefit from drawing a few more walks but he is still off to an outstanding start this season.
Stats: 33 games, .272 BA, 3 HR, 19 RBI, 34 H, .333 OBP
If we forget about Cody Asche’s four strikeouts in Sunday’s game, the third baseman had a tremendous week at Triple-A.
Asche picked up 10 hits in 29 at-bats, including a grand slam May 11. Although he finished the week with six strikeouts in two games, he managed to raise his OBP from the .318 mark it stood at to start the week.
Asche is now batting .302 against right-handed pitchers, and is batting .286 so far in May.
He must, however, cut down on his strikeouts, as he is currently on pace to break his career high of 93 from last season.
If this week is the start of an offensive breakout for Asche, the Phillies will have reason for optimism about the future of their third base position.
Stats: 7 GS, 34.1 IP, 23 BB, 34 K, 5.77 ERA
After walking at least four batters in three consecutive starts, Ethan Martin walked just three batters combined in his two starts this past week.
Martin went 2-0 with a 2.25 ERA, 11 strikeouts and three walks in 12 innings.
In his first Triple-A start of the week, Martin struck out four while walking one in six innings. In his second start, Martin struck out seven in six innings, while walking two.
Prior to these starts, the last time Martin walked fewer than four batters in a game was April 14. That also had been the only start in which he walked fewer than four batters.
At the beginning of the season, Martin may have been alongside Jonathan Pettibone, Tyler Cloyd and Adam Morgan as potential replacements for the major league starting rotation.
However, when a pitcher was needed for Roy Halladay’s rotation spot, the decision seemingly came down to Cloyd and Morgan based on recent performances.
If Martin continues to pitch the way he did this past week, he should put himself back in contention if another call-up is needed later in the season.
Stats: 7 GS, 38.1 IP, 12 BB, 28 K, 4.70 ERA
Adam Morgan was passed over for another major league promotion, and went on to allow his highest number of earned runs in a start this season.
In his last four starts, Morgan has allowed 17 earned runs in 18.4 innings. His most recent start was also his shortest outing of the season. He has also given up 26 hits in this span.
The left-hander started out strong prior to his recent struggles, as he allowed three earned runs combined during his first three starts, while striking out 13 batters.
Triple-A manager Dave Brundage talked about Morgan needing to trust his pitches over the course of a game, according to John Finger of CSNPhilly.com.
It’s unclear if being passed on as a replacement for the last two rotation spots has affected Morgan, or if he simply needs more time in Triple-A.
Either way, a solid outing in his next start could quickly bring back the optimism that he had recently generated.
Stats (MLB): 4 GS, 22.1 IP, 6 BB, 14 K, 3.63 ERA
Jonathan Pettibone faced the San Francisco Giants in his fourth major league start and took a no-decision after winning his previous two starts.
However, the Phillies eventually lost the game, making it the first time the team has lost one of his starts.
Pettibone struck out just one batter while walking four, making it the most batters he has walked in a start this season. His one strikeout came while throwing 112 pitches.
With Roy Halladay out for an extended period of time, Pettibone has a chance to remain in the starting rotation well past the All-Star break.
Although his last start shouldn’t impact his chances, signs of growth could help him stick in the rotation for the remainder of the season or help him start next year in the major leagues.
Stats: 21 games, .209 BA, 3 HR, 14 RBI, 14 H, .264 OBP
Tommy Joseph did not play this past week after suffering a concussion on May 4.
When he returns, Joseph must improve on both sides of the ball. He's seen nine balls get past him this season, the Inquirer's Bob Brookover wrote.
With Carlos Ruiz currently set for free agency after the season, Joseph has an opportunity to take over in the major leagues next season.
As of now, the Phillies will have a difficult decision to make if Joseph does not improve.
Stats: 31 games, .228 BA, 3 HR, 10 RBI, 28 H, 15 SB, .301 OBP
Roman Quinn used a strong finish to the week to help his stock rebound after a steady decline in recent weeks.
Quinn played in only four games this past week, and struck out three times in his first game.
However, he finished the week with three straight multihit games, as he picked up six hits in his last 11 at-bats.
Quinn also hit his third home run of the season while picking up three RBI.
The switch-hitting shortstop in the South Atlantic League is batting .294 to start May. A full month of a similar batting average, after batting .202 in April, would be a huge improvement.
Stats: 7 GS, 36.2 IP, 18 BB, 45K, 2.70 ERA
Jesse Biddle lasted less than an inning in his previous start, walking four batters and allowing three earned runs.
How did he respond this week?
The left-hander struck out five in five innings while walking two and allowing two earned runs.
Although his performance doesn’t quite match his 16-strikeout, two-walk outing a few starts ago, it still made for a solid bounce-back performance following his roughest outing of the season.
Biddle currently has the seventh most strikeouts in the Eastern League and the ninth-best ERA.
Seeing Biddle bounce back this week should be another positive sign for the Phillies in regards to their top prospect.
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