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SPORTS
December 19, 2012 | By Bob Brookover, Inquirer Staff Writer
The best prospect in the Phillies' organization is a Philadelphia native, according to the top 10 rankings released Monday by Baseball America. Lefthander Jesse Biddle, the 27th overall player taken in the 2010 draft, moved to the top of the rankings for the first time in his three-year professional career. "My agent texted me and I kind of checked it out," Biddle said. "It's a cool honor and it means a lot . . . but I think everybody would agree that there are a lot of players who aren't on that list who are very, very talented and will still make an impact at all levels of the game.
SPORTS
July 4, 2016 | By Matt Breen, STAFF WRITER
The Phillies started the international free-agent period on Saturday by signing four of the top 50 available players, according to reports. All six of their signings came from Venezuela, more than any other team in baseball. The Phillies signed the South American country's best pitcher and two of its top infielders, according to Baseball America. All six of the free agents are 16 years old. Because of their dismal record last season, the Phils had the largest allotment to spend in the international market.
NEWS
December 17, 2014
Baseball America ranked the Phillies' top 10 prospects. 1   J.P. Crawford   SS    2   Aaron Nola   RHP    3   Maikel Franco   3B/1B    4   Roman Quinn   OF/SS    5   Carlos Tocci   OF    6   Aaron Brown   OF    7   Matt Imhof   LHP    8   Jesmuel Valentin   2B    9   Yoel Mecias   LHP    10   Franklyn Kilome   RHP    ...
SPORTS
May 24, 2000 | By Marc Narducci, INQUIRER SUBURBAN STAFF
Gloucester Catholic's baseball team, which has been ranked No. 1 in South Jersey by The Inquirer since the preseason, has vaulted to the top of the national rankings. The Rams are No. 1 in the country in the most recent national rankings by Baseball America. They are the only New Jersey team in the Top 25, which was released Monday. Based in Durham, N.C., Baseball America won't release its next poll until June 5. "It's difficult to tell who's No. 1 in the nation, but it's an honor," Gloucester Catholic coach Dennis Barth said yesterday.
SPORTS
February 22, 2014 | By Matt Gelb, Inquirer Staff Writer
CLEARWATER, Fla. - The Phillies reportedly accused two college draft picks who did not sign contracts last summer of potential NCAA violations, a decision that could affect the team's future negotiations with amateur talent. Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. confirmed Thursday that an NCAA investigation was ongoing, as first reported by Baseball America, but he would not comment. He referred inquiries to Marti Wolever, the team's assistant general manager in charge of amateur scouting.
SPORTS
February 6, 2015 | BY RYAN LAWRENCE, Daily News Staff Writer rlawrence@phillynews.com
THE PHILLIES' top two prospects won't be reporting to the big-league clubhouse at Bright House Field later this month. Neither righthander Aaron Nola nor shortstop J.P. Crawford received an invitation to major league camp, team officials said yesterday. There had been some speculation that Nola, the team's first-round pick (seventh overall) in last June's draft, could get a big-league audition this spring, regardless of the team's intentions of starting him in the minor leagues in 2015.
SPORTS
November 24, 2012
Six seasons ago, Josh Fields was a 24-year-old rookie third baseman who mashed 23 home runs in 100 games and was seen as a future cornerstone of the Chicago White Sox. You know, the kind of guy the Phillies currently dream of to fill a gaping hole. He has played in 106 major-league games since 2007, been labeled as a first-round bust, and is now the property of the Phillies as he attempts to revive a career that has taken him from Arkansas to Japan to Albuquerque. Fields is the Phillies' first minor-league free agent signing, as reported by Baseball America.
SPORTS
June 8, 2013 | By Mike Still, Inquirer Staff Writer
In the days leading up to this week's Major League Baseball first-year player draft, Malvern Prep graduate Leon Stimpson has noticed many of his summer-league teammates and predraft workout comrades endlessly staring at their cellphones. They're waiting for a phone call, a text message, an e-mail - any clue from a major-league club or scout - about where their immediate future lies. So it goes for hundreds of prospects across the country, especially for those such as Stimpson - a product of Division III Alvernia College - who aren't wasting time pondering how to spend the multimillion-dollar signing bonuses they likely won't receive.
SPORTS
July 3, 2015 | By Jake Kaplan, Inquirer Staff Writer
A year ago, on the first day of baseball's international signing period, the Phillies expended a combined $1.55 million to sign a pair of 16-year-old Venezuelan shortstops. On Thursday, when the next period opens, the team with baseball's worst record is expected to spend more than twice that amount on one 16-year-old slugger who boasts what is said to be loads of raw power potential. The Phillies have long been the favorites to land Jhailyn Ortiz, a 6-foot-2, 260-pound Dominican whom Baseball America ranks as the 18th-best prospect in this class.
SPORTS
November 4, 2015 | BY RYAN LAWRENCE, Daily News Staff Writer rlawrence@phillynews.com
FORMER PHILLIES All-Star second baseman Mickey Morandini will be back in red pinstripes in 2016. Morandini was hired Monday as the team's first base coach, the Phillies announced. Morandini rounds out the 2016 coaching staff for first-year manager Pete Mackanin. Morandini, 49, was the hitting coach at Double A Reading in 2015, his fifth season on the team's player development staff. During that time, Morandini managed at both short-season Williamsport (2011) and Low-A Lakewood (2012-13)
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SPORTS
July 10, 2016 | By Erin McCarthy, STAFF WRITER
ALLENTOWN - Andrew Knapp has had a productive July so far, pulling himself out of a late-June slump. He entered Friday batting .368 with a .952 OPS in his last five games. While there is still plenty of baseball left this season, Knapp said he was encouraged by his recent progress, which has brought his average to .266. The starting catcher for triple-A Lehigh Valley began trending downward last month. From June 19 to 29, he had only seven hits, all singles, in 37 at-bats (.189), with one RBI. Self-aware and focused on his goal - becoming an everyday catcher in the big leagues - Knapp diagnosed the problem: poor pitch selection.
SPORTS
July 4, 2016 | By Matt Breen, STAFF WRITER
The Phillies started the international free-agent period on Saturday by signing four of the top 50 available players, according to reports. All six of their signings came from Venezuela, more than any other team in baseball. The Phillies signed the South American country's best pitcher and two of its top infielders, according to Baseball America. All six of the free agents are 16 years old. Because of their dismal record last season, the Phils had the largest allotment to spend in the international market.
SPORTS
June 11, 2016 | By Paul Schwedelson, STAFF WRITER
Jason Groome could have been the first overall pick. Throughout the spring, several projections had him slotted there. But during the Major League Baseball first-year player draft Thursday night, Groome slipped down the board. At No. 3, the Braves took a pitcher. At No. 4, the Rockies took a pitcher. At picks six through nine, pitchers were taken. None of them was Groome. But eventually, with the 12th pick, the Red Sox selected the 6-foot-6 lefthander from New Jersey's Barnegat High School.
SPORTS
June 10, 2016 | By Ed Barkowitz, STAFF WRITER
FOR THE FIRST time since 1998, the Phillies will have the first pick in the amateur draft. The general feeling among the people with the stopwatches and the radar guns is that there is no consensus No. 1 overall pick. So while there may not be a Bryce Harper or David Price, there is plenty of talent for the Phils to choose. What's immeasurable is how stable these kids are between the ears and what sort of fate awaits them. Top players  * Mickey Moniak, CF, La Costa Canyon H.S. (Calif.)
SPORTS
June 10, 2016 | By Phil Anastasia, STAFF WRITER
To Devin Smeltzer, the 140th pitch felt like the first. "I had no idea my pitch count was that high," Smeltzer said. "I felt great. " Smeltzer, a sophomore left-handed pitcher at San Jacinto (Texas) Community College, threw 140 pitches in an 8-1 win over Chattahoochee (Ala.) Valley in the junior college national semifinals June 3. He struck out 20. He said he felt "great" the next day. The overpowering performance highlighted Smeltzer's development in the two years since his graduation from Bishop Eustace and explained why he's such an intriguing professional prospect on the verge of the major-league baseball draft, which is set for Thursday through Saturday.
SPORTS
May 30, 2016 | By Phil Anastasia, STAFF WRITER
Mike Shawaryn knows the way many Gloucester Catholic baseball fans feel about Bishop Eustace. Zac Gallen knows the way many Bishop Eustace baseball fans feel about Gloucester Catholic. The Rams and Crusaders are among the most decorated programs in New Jersey baseball history. They also are fierce rivals. Shawaryn knows it. He lived it as a star pitcher for Gloucester Catholic. Gallen knows it. He lived it as a star pitcher for Bishop Eustace. But three years after graduation - separated by time and distance from the roaring fire of that high school competition - Shawaryn and Gallen look at each other and see something other than an old foe. They see a kindred spirit.
SPORTS
April 21, 2016 | By Matt Breen, STAFF WRITER
Maikel Franco slogged into Tuesday with just two hits in his last 20 at-bats. He has begun the season without the plate discipline that carried him last year. According to the FanGraphs website, Franco has swung at 38 percent of pitches outside the strike zone this season. That mark is nearly 4 percent higher than last season's. And Franco has connected with just 55.3 percent of those pitches, a mark that is 7 percent lower than last season's. Franco struggled with plate discipline in the minor leagues as the Phillies wanted him to resist overswinging and find a patient approach.
SPORTS
April 10, 2016 | By Marc Narducci, Staff Writer
BARNEGAT, N.J. - The scouts were lined all around the field. The fans were there with their iPhones snapping pictures at the pitcher. Every pitch drew a reaction. And this was only the warm-ups. Welcome to the world of Jason Groome, a 6-foot-5, 230-pound lefthander from Barnegat High School in Ocean County, a player who is capable of drawing a standing-room-only crowd even on an unforgiving 40-degree day. This was Tuesday, the first game of the final high school season for Groome, a player Baseball America has ranked as the nation's top draft prospect, including college players.
SPORTS
April 7, 2016 | By Bob Brookover, Inquirer Columnist
CINCINNATI - The changing of the starter in the shin guards really took place in the middle of last season when Pete Mackanin replaced Ryne Sandberg as the Phillies manager. During Mackanin's 88 games filling out the lineup card, Cameron Rupp started at catcher 53 times, and Carlos Ruiz made only 33 starts. It was obvious what was happening, but now it is official that the job belongs to Rupp. Before being deferential to Ruiz, a guy who will one day be inducted into the Phillies Wall of Fame, by giving him the opening-day start Monday against the Cincinnati Reds, Mackanin made it clear that Rupp is going to get the bulk of the catching assignments this season.
SPORTS
March 26, 2016 | By Rick O'Brien, Staff Writer
It soon will be an exciting and possibly nerve-wracking time at the Jones household in Langhorne. Holy Ghost Prep's Nolan Jones, a steadily rising shortstop with natural hitting power and arm strength, is a possible first-round selection in Major League Baseball's amateur draft on June 9. And his older brother, Peyton, a standout goaltender for the United States Hockey League's Lincoln (Neb.) Stars, may hear his name called when the NHL draft takes place two weeks later. Peyton Jones, a 6-foot-3, 210-pound netminder in his second year of junior hockey, has committed to play at Penn State next season.
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