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Top Prospects Review: Part 2

Harold Arauz
Harold Arauz made two starts with Lehigh Valley in 2018 and struggled in the first outing, but rebounded with a respectable five inning, one run outing on August 16th against Indianapolis. (Photo courtesy Cheryl Pursell)

With the minor league season over and the major league season winding down, it’s a good time to take a look back at our list of the Top 50 Prospects that we published prior to the season. We’ll start at the bottom and work our way to the top with our review.

Top Prospects Review: Part 1

30. Eliezer Alvarez, 2B/OF – The Phillies acquired Alvarez last September from the Cardinals, giving up pitcher Juan Nicasio in the deal. He never actually played in the organization though because he was designated for assignment and subsequently traded to Texas last March. He played at Double-A Frisco for the Rangers and hit 12-43-.228/.300/.387 in 108 games.

31. Cole Stobbe, 3B/SS – The 2018 season was pretty much a lost cause for Stobbe, who struggled offensively in 2017 and was looking to turn things around. The 20-year old opened the season in extended camp and was assigned to Lakewood in early June. He played just 12 games before going on the DL with a hamstring strain and missing the rest of the season.

Stobbe is not eligible for the Rule 5 Draft or minor league free agency.

32. Connor Seabold, RHP – The 22-year old starting pitching prospect opened the season with Clearwater where he made 12 starts and posted a 3.77 ERA. He was moved to Double-A Reading in late June and made 11 starts with the Fightin Phils, posting a 4.91 ERA. Combined, he was 5-8 with a 4.28 ERA. He’s likely to start the 2019 season back with Reading.

Seabold, who was drafted in the third round of the 2017 Draft, is not eligible for the Rule 5 Draft or for minor league free agency.

33. Dylan Cozens, OF – The Phillies added Cozens to the 40-man roster last November to protect him from being selected in the Rule 5 Draft. He opened the season with Lehigh Valley and later was recalled and made his MLB debut on June 1st. Unfortunately, a quad strain put him on the DL eight days later and he wound up back at Lehigh Valley for thre weeks before again being recalled. He was optioned out one more time before returning to the majors on September 1st. With the IronPigs he hit 21-58-.246/.347/.529 in 88 games. He’s played in 18 games with the Phillies and has one home run with two RBI and is batting .091 (2-for-22) in 22 at-bats.

34. Andrew Pullin, OF – For the second time in two years, Pullin announced his retirement from baseball. He had retired in April of 2016 only to return about a month later. He again announced his retirement in late May of this year and likely isn’t returning, at least not with the Phillies. At the time that he walked away he was hitting 2-11-.171/.224/.291 in 36 games at Triple-A.

35. Bailey Falter, LHP – Falter went on the DL July 10th with Clearwater and didn’t return to the Threshers until almost a month later. Prior to going on the DL, he was 5-4 with a 3.39 ERA overall but a 5.12 ERA in June and July. Following the DL stint he returned to form and was 3-0 with a 1.20 ERA over the rest of the season, including a 0.78 ERA in four August starts with 17 strikeouts in 23 innings.

Falter isn’t eligible for the Rule 5 Draft until after the 2019 season.

36. Elniery Garcia, LHP – The 23-year old was on and off of the disabled list early in the season with Reading and was 0-6 with a 6.38 ERA. The Phillies dealt him to St. Louis for future considerations in early July and he went 1-1 with a 4.26 ERA in 12 relief appearances and one start at Double-A Springfield. He made one relief appearance with Memphis (Triple-A) and surrendered four earned runs in two innings of work.

37. Darick Hall, 1B – The Phillies took Hall in the 14th round of the 2016 Draft and he’s moved through the organization pretty quickly. He started the season back with Clearwater and was moved up to Double-A Reading on June 1st. He went through some growing pains with the Fightins, hitting 15-52-.224/.368/.417 in 80 games. Between Clearwater and Reading, he hit 26 home runs, just three shy of his career-high set in 2017, and drove in 87 runs with a .244 average between the two stops. It’s likely that he starts 2019 with Reading but it shouldn’t take long for him to move up to Lehigh Valley.

Hall is not eligible for the Rule 5 Draft or for minor league free agency.

38. Harold Arauz, RHP – Most of the 2018 season was spent at Reading for the 23-year old righty but he did make two starts for Triple-A Lehigh Valley with a 6.23 ERA in those two opportunities. While he got hit around in his first start with the ‘Pigs, his second was respectable with just one earned run allowed in five innings of work, striking out eight batters. With Reading, Arauz was 9-7 with a 4.59 ERA in 24 starts. The Phils have a couple of decisions to make with Arauz; first, do they put him on the 40-man roster to keep him from becoming a minor league free agent? They could also attempt to re-sign him to a minor league deal. Second, if they do keep him around, do they start him at Reading or challenge him with a step up to Lehigh Valley?

39. Jose Pujols, OF – Talk about decisions to be made, the Phillies have to decide what to do with 22-year old slugging outfielder Jose Pujols. Last season the Phillies took their chances and got Pujols through the Rule 5 Draft without losing him to another organization but there are no guarantees that they could pull off the same trick this December. Pujols hit a combined 22 home runs, just two shy of his career-high, between Clearwater and Reading. He hit 18-58-.301/.361/.523 in 95 games with Clearwater and 4-18-.270/.369/.427 in 26 games at Double-A Reading. If they either protect him by placing him on the 40-man roster or are able to sneak him through the Rule 5 Draft again, Pujols will open 2019 at Reading with a promotion to Lehigh Valley likely at some point in the season.

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