Finally, the young pups are beginning to show their stuff. Now that the Grapefruit League is officially underway, we’ve gotten to see some of the top prospects in the organization on the field, taking live at bats from pitchers wearing a different uniform.
In other words, there is real baseball news.
We’ll start with some encouraging stuff. Last week, RHP Justin De Fratus had to be shut down because of a sore right elbow and didn’t pitch for about seven days. However, before Monday’s game against the Yankees, De Fratus began throwing on flat ground from 40 to 60 feet. There was no word on how he felt afterward, but the fact that he threw is a step in the right direction. Still, it seems unlikely there’s any chance he can make up the time quickly enough to earn a spot in a crowded Phillies bullpen.
Freddy Galvis wants on the Phillies in a bad way and he knows that ain’t gonna happen at the shortstop position, which is where Jimmy Rollins will be patrolling for the next three to four years. So, Galvis has asked Phils’ infield coach Sam Perlozzo to get some extra time at third base and second base this spring, in the hopes of landing the utility infield spot. Such a move would probably not be wise, however. While Galvis’ defense is already Major League-ready, his offense still needs improving, and that’s only going to happen by playing every day.
However, with Placido Polanco on the last year of his contract, learning third base may be the best way to land a starting gig in 2013.
And with three games already in the books, it’s time to look at the box scores and start determining whether or not any of these so-called “prospects” have a chance at a successful big league career. Because if three spring training games isn’t a good enough sample size, I don’t know what more you people want!
First, we’ll start with the two guys that have played in all three games. Galvis is 2-8 with a double and an RBI, and has appeared in the early going to be a bit of a free swinger early in the count. But so far, so good.
Next is Tyson Gillies who is 3-5 with a double, an RBI and a run scored in three games. He’s also shown off his unbelievable speed in center field, and is probably the main reason the Phillies are considering letting Shane Victorino walk in free agency after this season. Gillies is still a ways away from being an everyday player, but has shown some pretty nice flashes so far.
Catching prospect Sebastian Valle got into the first game on Saturday and went 0-1 with a walk. And in the game on Sunday, Phillippe Aumont was the unfortunate recipient of the Phils’ homage to Babe Ruth Little League, pitching one inning, giving up four hits and three runs, although only one of them was earned. The great news is Aumont was humming his fastball up to the plate at around 96 mph with regularity.
Overall, it’s been a decent start for the four Phils prospects who have seen game time as of Monday.
Now, onto the week that was in Twitterville. Top prospect Trevor May had some issues with some of our nation’s largest airline carriers, most notably because of those incredibly annoying bag fees.
Perhaps it was all the turntables that DJ Hey Beef was lugging around that screwed the pooch. The experience obviously left a sour taste in the young man’s mouth…
I always fly Air Guam. Their peanuts are the superest awesomest.
And I know that everyone has been keeping up on the funky fresh sounds of DJ Hey Beef over the last few weeks, and I certainly don’t want to deprive you of his dulcet tones now…
Make sure you’re following @DJHeyBeef if you like those jams. I can tell you for sure that Jiwan James is following him… and my guess is he’s also first in line at the clubs when Hey Beef is spinnin’ the wax…
And while it’s apparent that James likes to party, he apparently knows when too much is too much…
So basically, Jiwan is telling us that it’s cool to trash someone else’s place, but his place is off limits. Frankly, I’m 100% cool with that.
Oh, and count Hunter Pence as someone who is excited about Tyson Gillies’ prospects as a big-time defensive outfielder…
Is “Mongoose” a new nickname for Tyson, or something Pence made up? I’m going to have to do some digging on this one.
Until then, keep an eye on those prospects this week down in Clearwater, and let me know what you see.