Stock Up, Stock Down for Philadelphia Phillies' Top 10 Prospects for Week 18
While deciding to stand pat at the non-waiver trade deadline, the Philadelphia Phillies promoted two of their top 10 prospects this past week.
Cody Asche and Ethan Martin were both promoted from Triple-A, although it’s still unclear how long Martin will remain in the major leagues.
Asche, meanwhile, now has a chance to audition to become the team’s starting third baseman heading into next season.
Both Asche and Martin join Jonathan Pettibone, Darin Ruf and Justin De Fratus as top prospects who began the season in Triple-A and are now on the major league roster.
Players such as Jake Diekman, Michael Martinez, Joe Savery and the recently promoted Zach Miner also began the season in Triple-A.
Will any of the Phillies’ other top 10 prospects earn a promotion this season? How did the rest of the team’s top 10 prospects, according to MLB.com’s 2013 Prospect Watch, fare this past week?
Let’s take a look at whose stock is up and whose is down following Week 18.
*All statistics courtesy of MiLB.com unless otherwise noted.
10. Ethan Martin, SP
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Stats (Triple-A): 21 GS, 115.2 IP, 67 BB, 107 K, 4.12 ERA
Last Week (MLB): 1 GS, 4.1 IP, 3 BB, 6 K, 12.46 ERA
Ethan Martin’s stock is up for the week following the 24-year-old right-hander’s promotion to the major leagues.
Martin’s season at Triple-A saw him rank among the International League’s best in wins and strikeouts, but also in walks, an area he has struggled in during his minor league career.
However, after allowing just one earned run in his last 18 innings and finishing July with a 2.79 ERA, the Phillies decided to promote Martin this past week and place Jonathan Pettibone on the disabled list.
Martin finished July with opponents batting .218 against him.
In his major league debut, Martin gave up eight hits in 4.1 innings. His six strikeouts were a solid total for his first start, but it also took him 93 pitches to get them in fewer than five innings.
Martin’s debut was strong until the fifth inning, when he gave up four hits, including back-to-back home runs, before being taken out of the game.
With Pettibone on the disabled list, Martin could get a few more starts before being sent back to Triple-A, depending on when Pettibone returns.
*Martin’s major league statistics can be found on ESPN.com.
9. Shane Watson, SP
Stats: 16 GS, 72 IP, 28 BB, 53 K, 4.75 ERA
Last Week: Did not play, injured
Shane Watson remains on the minor league disabled list due to right shoulder soreness, but he could be back this month as he tries to finish his first full season on a strong note.
Watson has been playing in the South Atlantic League after playing in the Gulf Coast League last season following his selection in the First-Year Player Draft.
Although he is now on the DL, Watson has a 1.13 ERA with 13 strikeouts to four walks in three starts since the South Atlantic League All-Star break.
If he returns this season and continues with these numbers, Watson could begin next season in the Florida State League.
8. Mitch Gueller, SP
Stats: 9 GS, 37 IP, 15 BB, 25 K, 5.59 ERA
Last Week: 2 GS, 0-2, 8.2 IP, 2 BB, 6 K, 7 ER
Mitch Gueller’s July performances didn’t match his outings from June, as the right-hander finished the month with a 9.00 ERA while opponents batted .419 off of him.
Gueller started strong in the New York-Penn League. He finished June with a 2.25 ERA and held opponents to a .224 batting average.
However, his two starts this past week caused his ERA to continue to climb.
In his first start, Gueller struck out three batters and did not walk any, but gave up eight hits and four earned runs in 3.2 innings. In his second start, Gueller struck out three more batters, walked two and gave up three earned runs in five innings.
Gueller has now made the highest number of starts in a season in his career and thrown his highest number of innings.
If he can get back on track and limit the number of hits he gives up, Gueller could begin next year in a full-season league and stay on track with his progression towards the major leagues.
7. Cody Asche, 3B
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Stats (Triple-A): 104 games, .295 BA, 15 HR, 68 RBI, 119 H, .352 OBP
Last Week (MLB): 5 games, 1 hit in 17 at-bats, 1 RBI
Cody Asche started this past week with a two-home run game at Triple-A and finished the week in the major leagues.
Despite not trading Michael Young at the non-waiver trade deadline, the Phillies still decided to promote Asche and play Young at first base a few times while giving a glimpse as to what the lineup could look like for the remainder of the season.
Asche increased his batting average in every month at Triple-A after batting .264 in April. His .330 average in July and .348 average in his last 11 games at Triple-A helped him earn his first major league promotion.
Although he has gotten off to a slow start in the majors, Asche should have the remainder of the season to prove himself.
If he can heat up offensively and play solid defense, he could solidify his status as the Phillies’ starting third baseman heading into next season, and cause the team to have Maikel Franco change positions at some point.
6. Adam Morgan, SP
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Stats: 13 GS, 60.1 IP, 18 BB, 45 K, 3.88 ERA
Last Week: 1 GS, 4.2 IP, 1 BB, 3 K, 0 ER
Adam Morgan made his third straight start at Triple-A this past week after missing time with a tear in his rotator cuff dating back to May.
In his lone start, Morgan gave up five hits in 4.2 innings but did not give up an earned run. In his last three Triple-A starts, Morgan has given up one earned run.
With Ethan Martin now in the major leagues, Tyler Cloyd coming off a solid month of July and Roy Halladay still working his way back, Morgan will likely remain in Triple-A for the remainder of the season.
However, if he can continue to increase his innings count and finish the season strong, he could find himself in a position next season similar to the one Jonathan Pettibone and Martin found themselves in this season.
5. Tommy Joseph, C
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Stats: 36 games, .179 BA, 3 HR, 16 RBI, 22 H, .229 OBP
Last Week: Did not play, injured
Tommy Joseph remains sidelined with a shin contusion that has kept him out since July 11.
Joseph has already spent time on the disabled list this season after suffering a concussion in May. When he returns, he must build on the .273 batting average he had at Double-A prior to his injury.
The Phillies’ decision to hold onto Carlos Ruiz at the non-waiver trade deadline could have been due to a lack of strong offers, or because the team is still unsure of who could take over for Ruiz if he were not offered a new contract.
4. J.P. Crawford, SS
Stats: 26 games, .367 BA, 11 RBI, 36 H, 10 SB, .456 OBP
Last Week: 8 hits in 23 at-bats, 3 2B, 1 3B, 6 RBI, 4 SB
J.P. Crawford's batting average dipped this past week, but his solid offensive week nonetheless has kept his average among the best in the Gulf Coast League.
Crawford continues to rank among the best in the league in batting average, OBP and stolen bases and has maintained a nearly identical number of walks and strikeouts so far this season.
The 2013 first-round selection batted .358 in July with more walks than strikeouts.
The left-handed batter is hitting .422 off right-handed pitchers. Although he hasn’t hit a home run yet, the Phillies should feel optimistic about Crawford’s offensive ability with his solid plate discipline this early in his career.
Crawford may not receive a promotion to the New York-Penn League this season, but he could go straight to the South Atlantic League next season if he maintains this production.
He has a long way to go, but Crawford is off to a great start in his first games as a professional.
3. Roman Quinn, SS
Stats: 67 games, .238 BA, 5 HR, 21 RBI, 62 H, 32 SB, .323 OBP
Last Week: Did not play, injured
Roman Quinn did not play again this past week as he remains on the minor league disabled list.
Upon his return, he will have to improve on a month of June that saw him bat .188 and have more strikeouts than hits in his last 10 games prior to his injury.
If he can do so, the Phillies could find themselves with a shortstop situation similar to their situation at third base, with Quinn potentially changing positions during his progression.
2. Maikel Franco, 3B
Stats: 105 games, .317 BA, 24 HR, 82 RBI, 135 H, .356 OBP
Last Week: 4 hits in 27 at-bats, 1 2B, 1 HR, 4 RBI
Maikel Franco cooled down this past week, but his batting average at Double-A this season is still .354.
Franco only had two extra-base hits this past week, and he has not drawn many walks since his promotion. Since moving to Double-A, Franco has walked just four times and only once in his last 10 games.
However, despite the lack of walks, Franco is still having a breakout season. The right-handed batter has already reached a new career high for home runs in a season, and is three RBI away from setting another new career mark.
Franco’s strikeout total is still lower than his total from last season, despite making the jump to Double-A.
If the Phillies decide to sign Chase Utley to a contract extension, Franco could change positions so that he, Cody Asche and Utley can all be in the same lineup in the next season or two.
If the team does decide to have him change positions, it could help him reach the major leagues in the near future.
1. Jesse Biddle, SP
Stats: 22 GS, 111.1 IP, 62 BB, 123 K, 3.96 ERA
Last Week: 1 GS, 5 IP, 2 BB, 6 K, 3 ER
Jesse Biddle’s start this past week was an improvement over his two starts from the previous week, but he still gave up his highest number of hits in a start since June.
Biddle gave up five hits in five innings while losing his third straight start. The left-hander struck out six and walked two as his ERA climbed closer to the 4.00 mark.
After finishing July with an ERA of 7.11, Biddle got off to a shaky start in August. However, he still has the Eastern League lead in strikeouts.
Biddle has hit a rough patch following the Eastern League All-Star break, but if the Phillies decide not to shut him down and he is able to finish strong, he could still start next season in Triple-A.