January 10, 2014 |
The Phillies' top position player and pitching prospects, Maikel Franco and Jesse Biddle, were invited to big-league spring training Wednesday, although neither may have a chance at winning a job. Franco will compete with Cody Asche at third base. Asche is the favorite in that competition given his decent production as a rookie in the final months of 2013. Franco is viewed as the future at the position; the 21-year-old Dominican solidified his top-prospect status with 31 homers last season.
September 9, 2013 |
Jesse Biddle was so good in April that there were pleas from fans in Philadelphia to get him to the big leagues immediately. The reports from double-A Reading were astonishingly good, with the highlight being a seven-inning, one-hit performance at Harrisburg that included 16 strikeouts. He followed that with a one-hit performance over six innings against New Hampshire that included 10 strikeouts. Around that same time, however, Biddle began having coughing fits. He'd wake up in the morning with headaches and eventually had to see a doctor.
August 19, 2013 |
READING - Jesse Biddle didn't get the win, but he did something even more encouraging. The lefthander gave one of his most commanding performances of the year in Reading's 7-6 win Tuesday. Statistically, it was his third-most accurate start this season. For three innings, Biddle had everything figured out. The Inquirer's No. 2-ranked Phillies prospect allowed a run in the second and third innings against the Binghamton Mets. He also took a line drive off his hip. Then the Germantown Friends product settled into a rhythm in the fourth.
August 5, 2013 |
TRENTON - Jesse Biddle was just a bit player in the three-ring circus that stopped at Arm & Hammer Park on Friday night. With an army of news media camped out at the double-A Trenton Thunder's ballpark along the Delaware River, Biddle was given the task of facing Alex Rodriguez, a three-time MVP mired in one of the biggest controversies in baseball history. As stories swirled that the New York Yankees' third baseman could be suspended through the 2014 season as early as Monday, Biddle got set to make his 22d start of the season for the Phillies' Reading affiliate.
July 28, 2013 |
1. Nelson Prada, the first-year manager with the Phillies' Williamsport affiliate in the New York-Penn League, has a pretty cool story. Only 37 years old, he is already in his ninth year as a minor-league manager. A native of Maracay, Venezuela, he started coaching at the age of 22 when an injury ended his playing career in the Minnesota Twins' farm system. The Twins offered him a coaching job and he remained in the organization until the end of last season. Prada said he stresses to Latin American players the importance of learning English because it opens doors and makes the game easier.
July 22, 2013 |
1. It continues to be a rough season for catcher Tommy Joseph, The Inquirer's No. 6-ranked Phillies prospect. Joseph, who turned 22 on Tuesday, began the year with triple-A Lehigh Valley, but suffered a concussion in early May. He missed more than a month, briefly returned at high single-A Clearwater and then sat out 11 more days while he worked on getting his conditioning back. Most recently, Joseph was at double-A Reading for three games before suffering a shin contusion that placed him on the disabled list on July 14. "You have to remember that at 22, many players his age came out of the draft this year and Tommy has already played at triple A and a full year at double A," Reading manager Dusty Wathan said.
July 19, 2013 |
It's time for the midseason installment of The Inquirer's list of the Phillies' top 25 minor-league prospects. The biggest change from our preseason top 25 is that power-hitting third baseman Maikel Franco has jumped from third to first, replacing lefthander Jesse Biddle at the top. Nine players on our preseason list - Jonathan Pettibone, Tyler Cloyd, Justin De Fratus, Phillippe Aumont, Brody Colvin, Zach Collier, Tyson Gillies, Dylan Cozens, and...
July 18, 2013 |
WHEN ALEX Rodriguez comes to a minor league stadium, he gets star treatment - right down to his security detail. The Yankees third baseman is rehabbing with the Trenton Thunder, which is in the midst of a three-game Double A series against the Fightin Phils this week in Reading. On Monday, A-Rod belted a two-run homer to lead the Thunder to a 6-5 victory. Last night, he went 0-for-3 with a sacrifice fly as the Thunder fell, 6-3. On both nights, part of Rodriguez's five-person security team was former WWE wrestler Gene Snitsky.
July 16, 2013 |
NEW YORK - Each of the first three batters reached to begin the fourth inning. As the World team continued to rally, United States team manager Mookie Wilson called in the lefty. Jesse Biddle was scheduled to be the fourth pitcher out of the 'pen, so his number was up. With runners on the corners, two outs and two runs in, Biddle, the Phillies' top prospect, was summoned in a tough spot. He was asked to retire a batter who had hit more home runs this year than all but 12 other minor leaguers.