De Fratus, the Phillies' 11th-round pick in 2007 out of Ventura (Calif.) College, has been with Lehigh Valley since July 18.
According to De Fratus, he was fortunate the elbow injury didn't require surgery.
""Look at it this way: Had I gotten surgery I would have been out all year," he said.
Without the injury, it is likely De Fratus would have been with the Phillies. Last season he appeared in five games for the Phillies, going 1-0 with a 2.25 ERA in four innings.
Now he is looking to regain his form.
Entering the weekend he had appeared in 14 games for the IronPigs, covering 15 innings, and was 0-1 with a 2.87 ERA. He had an impressive 0.96 WHIP and had struck out 15 and walked two.
He has not held back, he said. Now it's a matter of gaining consistency.
"I knew coming back there would be a little inconsistency," said De Fratus, The Inquirer's No. 9-rated Phillies prospect. "Lately I can say I feel really strong and am back to where I need to be."
IronPigs manager Ryne Sandberg said DeFratus has been showing strong signs.
"Starting late has affected his progress, but as he has gone along he sure seems like he is healthy and has shown the stuff he had in the past this year."
It's always an adjustment for a player in his first year as a professional, but Gulf Coast Phillies outfielder Dylan Cozens has shown some power in the early going.
Considering that he turned 18 in May, it will be interesting to see how he develops.
The 6-foot-6, 235-pound Cozens was the Phillies' second- round pick (77th overall) this year. He entered the weekend hitting .265 with 11 doubles, two triples, five home runs, and 24 RBIs in 155 at-bats.
"He is a big kid who moves around well for his size and he has shown power and the ability to hit," said Joe Jordan, the Phillies' director of player development.