In the minors, unsettled prospects for Phillies

If all Freddy Galvis had to take to the big leagues was his glove, the Reading Phillie would be an all-star right now, a scout said.
If all Freddy Galvis had to take to the big leagues was his glove, the Reading Phillie would be an all-star right now, a scout said.
Posted: August 07, 2010

Two weeks ago it would have been easy to name the best outfield prospect and best shortstop prospect in the Phillies' organization.

The answers were Jonathan Villar and Domonic Brown.

When Brown left, Anthony Gose replaced him for one day as the top outfield prospect.

Now, none of the three is in the farm system.

The good news for the Phillies is that Brown has already helped them win some games with his myriad tools, and Villar and Gose are the reason Roy Oswalt is taking that long stride toward home plate in red pinstripes.

The bad news for the Phillies is that there is no clear-cut replacement for the titles of top shortstop and top outfield prospects.

Freddy Galvis is probably the answer at shortstop, but it remains to be seen if he's a good answer. If all he had to take to the big leagues was his glove, Galvis would be an all-star right now.

"Every throw he makes is right there," said a National League scout who did not want to be named.

The same scout, however, said he does not believe Galvis will ever be a quality big-league hitter and compared him to Ramiro Pena, the slick-fielding extra man for the New York Yankees.

Wilson Valdez has proven there is great value in that kind of player, but Jimmy Rollins is a year away from free agency, and the Phillies don't have an obvious replacement if they decide against giving the veteran an extension.

Chuck LaMar, the Phillies' assistant general manager in charge of player development, said Galvis, 20, has performed about as expected in his first season at double-A Reading.

"We thought he would hit .230 or .240 in his first full year at double A," LaMar said.

Entering the weekend, Galvis was hitting .239 with three home runs and 37 RBIs. He also had stolen 12 bases.

"If he goes back to double A next year, he'll continue to improve," LaMar said. "He's never going to be an outstanding offensive player, but he is an outstanding defensive player. He'll have to do all the little things."

Despite Brown's graduation to the big leagues and Gose's trade departure, LaMar said he still feels good about the stock of outfield prospects in the system, and he said that Tyson Gillies is at the top of that list.

"He has always been a major-league prospect for us," LaMar said. "He has just been hurt."

A hamstring injury has limited Gillies to 26 games this season, but LaMar said he is about to return to the playing field, and he'll make up for lost time in the off-season by playing in the Florida Instructional League and the Arizona Fall League.

"He's just about ready to play," LaMar said. "I don't know where we're going to activate him, but he's at least 90 percent and very close. We just want him to keep healthy. He just needs to get the time in."

LaMar also considers Jiwan James (.280, 27 stolen bases, and 67 runs at single-A Lakewood), Leandro Castro (.263, 7 HRs, and 61 RBIs at Lakewood), Domingo Santana (.258, 4 HRs, and 16 RBIs at single-A Williamsport), and Kyrell Hudson (.205 at Williamsport) prospects. All four are 21 or younger, and Santana just turned 18 Thursday.

"Some of them will pan out, and some of them won't, but outfield is still one of the strengths of our organization," LaMar said.

Draft signing update. It has been exactly two months since the first round of the baseball draft, and Phillies scouting director Marti Wolever is still at work trying to sign as many of the team's 50 selections as he can.

Wolever said the Phillies have signed eight of their first 10 picks, including their top four selections. He is hopeful that deals for fifth-round selection Scott Frazier and ninth-round pick Brenton Allen can be reached before the midnight Aug. 16 deadline.

"I think we're close with both of them in terms of our relationship with them, and dollar-wise we're in the ballpark," Wolever said. "I think it's just going to come down to a family decision with both of them."

Frazier, a righthanded pitcher from Upland High School in Southern California, must decide between the Phillies and a scholarship to Pepperdine University. Allen, an outfielder from Gahr High School in Southern California, has a scholarship to UCLA.

Wolever said there are five other players the team has followed closely this summer in the hope they can get them signed. That list includes 20th-round pick Kevin Walter, 21st-round pick Jonathan Musser, 22d-round pick Jonathan Paquet, 28th-round pick Brian Pointer, and 38th-round pick Keenyn Walker.

Walter, Musser, and Paquet are all righthanded pitchers. Pointer and Walker are outfielders.


Contact staff writer Bob Brookover at 215-854-2577 or bbrookover@phillynews.com.

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