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June 15, 2015

What they're saying about the Phillies: Draft picks, prospects and trade talk

For a team that has the worst record in baseball, there's plenty to talk about with the Phillies. 

From potential front office changes to prospects on the move, a lot of it has to do with what the team is doing off the field. And given their record, that's probably for the best. 

Here's a look at some of the goings on around the club in our latest edition of "What They're Saying."


Cornelius Randolph & the Family Band


Let me start by saying that full credit for that one goes to Paul Boye, but it was so good I felt it needed to be shared.

I would have put the "I Need More Love" video here, but I've always been partial to "Squeeze." Anyway...

The Phillies have reportedly agreed to deals with 28 of their 2015 draft picks, including first round pick Cornelius Randolph and second-rounder Scott Kingery. Randolph tweeted Monday afternoon that he was on his way to Philly -- he's since deleted that tweet -- and is expected to take his physical on Tuesday, according to Todd Zolecki of MLB.com.

More from Zolecki:

Second-round pick Scott Kingery, fourth-round pick Kyle Martin, seventh-round pick Luke Leftwich and 12th-round pick Skylar Hunter were some of the players in Philadelphia today. They have agreed to deals.
The Phillies have reached agreements with 13th round pick Zack Coppola ($85,000 signing bonus), 17th round pick Kenny Koplove ($75,000), 22nd round pick Sutter McLoughlin ($50,000) and 24th round pick Zach Morris ($30,000).  [mlb.com]

Zolecki added that the Phillies have also signed Penn catcher Austin Bossart and Penn Charter grad Andrew Amaro, nephew of general manager Ruben Amaro, Jr.

And speaking of draft picks, Jake Kaplan of The Inquirer had a great story on Randolph over the weekend in which he talked to the Phillies area scout from Georgia, Aaron Jersild. He had plenty of good things to say about the soon-to-be left fielder, including the following:

"He performed for me every time I saw him," said Aaron Jersild, the Phillies' area scout for Georgia. "It's the most comfortable I've been in a high school hitter, actually, in a long time."
The Phillies scouted Randolph for nearly a year during the extensive buildup to the first round of the draft Monday night. When it came time for their pick, months of evaluations from dozens up and down the organization created a consensus in the Citizens Bank Park draft room. [philly.com]

Jersild went on to say that he's "got that hitting gene." Not sure if that's in the same classification as LeBron's "clutch gene," but as long as Skip Bayless didn't say it, I'll buy it.


Down on the farm...

• SP Chad Billingsley to make rehab start Tuesday for IronPigs

He's been sidelined since mid-May with a shoulder strain after making just three starts with the team (0-2, 6.75 ERA). The 30-year-old righty missed the first month and a half of the season trying to battle back from multiple elbow surgeries that caused him to miss the last two seasons.


• OF Roman Quinn's breakout season interrupted by injury

Jordan Hall of CSNPhilly.com has more:

The Phillies’ speedster at Reading left the Fightin Phils’ 12-11 loss to Akron on Friday night in the bottom of the second inning with a strained quad. The Phillies’ third-ranked prospect by MLB.com suffered the injury while running out a single. Per Mike Drago of the Reading Eagle, the Phillies have sent Quinn to Clearwater to rehab, and he may not rejoin the Fightin Phils until early July.  [csnphilly.com]

Quinn, the top-ranked outfield prospect in the Phillies organization according to Baseball America, had a league-leading 44 runs scored and 29 stolen bases to go with his .306 average in 58 double-A games prior to the injury.


• SP Mark Leiter, OF Kelly Dugan promoted to Reading

After top pitching prospect Aaron Nola got called up to triple-A, there was an open spot in the prospect-studded Reading lineup. That job, at least for now, belongs to a guy with a familiar name to any MLB fan, Mark Leiter, son of former MLB pitcher Mark Leiter and nephew of Al Leiter.

In 68.2 innings with the Clearwater Threshers, Leiter, 24, has posted an impressive 1.97 ERA and 0.947 WHIP, along with 60 strikeouts to go with just 15 walks.

Dugan, on the other hand, was more of a foregone conclusion, as he spent the most of the last two seasons in Reading and hit close to .300 there last year. He missed the start of the 2015 season with injury, but after going 3-for-11 in Clearwater, it's back to double-A for the 24-year-old outfielder.


Orioles a possibility for Hamels?

Not sure what their farm system looks like or if Amaro would be interested in what prospects they would be willing to part with, but according to George A. King of The New York Post, the Orioles could be a fit for the Phillies ace:

The Phillies, who are listening on Cole Hamels, had two scouts at the Yankees-Orioles game at Camden Yards Sunday. Some industry voices believe Hamels would be a great fit for the Orioles, who are showing signs of overtaking the Yankees in the AL East despite a suspect rotation. [nypost.com]

Don't be surprised to see more and more teams surface as possible suitors in the weeks leading up to the deadline. That's just how this stuff goes...