Minor League Report: Alfaro, Crawford off to hot starts in Double-A


By: Brandon Apter, contributor

The 2016 Phillies season will focus a ton on development of the young talent within the organization. At the big league level, Maikel Franco and Odubel Herrera are two players that are likely to play a part in the teams' future, but in the minors, each affiliate is stocked with a handful of prospects hoping to make an impact on the Phillies in the coming years. Following a variety of trades over the past few years, the Phils have a farm system with a plethora of talent, some of which is knocking on the door of the big leagues. This week, we kick-off the 2016 Minor League Report with a look at how the teams' top prospects have fared through the first six days of the season. 

  1. J.P. Crawford (SS, Double-A) - After going 0-for-3 in the season opener for Reading, the Phillies top prospect has looked very impressive at the plate. Over the last two games, Crawford is 6-for-10 with two runs scored, two doubles and an RBI. Through six games, he's hitting .370 (10-for-27). Crawford's only struggle thus far has been in the field, which is surprising. He has two errors already, but you can attribute some of that to the near freezing temperatures to start the season.
  2. Nick Williams (OF, Triple-A) - Lehigh Valley has fallen victim to two postponements already thanks to poor weather conditions and Williams has struggled out of the gates. In four games, he's hitting .154 after hitting .227 in nine big league Spring Training games. No need for concern with Williams, who hit .303 between two Double-A teams last season. With injuries to Aaron Altherr and Cody Asche, Williams could see big league time before September if the Phillies outfield continues to struggle offensively.
  3. Jake Thompson (RHP, Triple-A) - Thompson pitched in five innings during the Phillies preseason, allowing an unearned run and eight hits. He made his first start of the Triple-A season back on Friday night as part of a double-header against Syracuse in front of no fans at Coca-Cola Park. He got the loss, though pitched a strong five innings, surrendering just one run on two hits. Thompson walked two and struck out five. He'll get his second start of the year on Thursday at home against Pawtucket.
  4. Andrew Knapp (C, Triple-A) - After a breakout season in 2015, Knapp has primary catching duties in Lehigh Valley. He's played in two games thus far in 2016, going 3-for-6 with a homer and two RBI's. The 24-year-old backstop hit .360 in 55 games last season with Double-A Reading.
  5. Jorge Alfaro (C, Double-A) - Playing consistently for the first time since coming over to the Phillies last season in the Cole Hamels trade, Alfaro has the ability to pan out to be a power bat with a phenomenal arm behind the plate. In four games thus far with Reading, Alfaro is hitting .500 (9-for-18) with three doubles, four runs scored and five RBI's. He's 4-for-9 in Reading's last two games. 
  6. Cornelius Randolph (OF, Class 'A') - Selected in the first round of the 2015 draft, the 18-year-old outfielder hit .302 in 52 games with the GCL Phillies. This season, he's with Lakewood and is having some trouble getting going at the plate, hitting just .071 (2-for-28) with nine strikeouts. Expect some growing pains this year for Randolph, who will play his first full professional season in 2016.
  7. Mark Appel (RHP, Triple-A) - One of the five pitchers aquired for Ken Giles, Appel was the Astros first round pick back in 2013, but never really panned out. In 55 games at the minor league level, Appel has a 5.01 ERA, so perhaps a change of scenery was in order. He looked good in his first outing for the Ironpigs on Tuesday, hurling 5.2 shutout innings, scattering five hits while walking two and striking out five.
  8. Franklyn Kilome (RHP, Class 'A') - Just 20 years old out of the Dominican Republic, Kilome impressed the Phillies brass last season, posting a 3.28 ERA in 11 starts with Short Season Williamsport. He struggled in his first outing for Lakewood though, allowing five runs on five hits in just two innings on the mound. He walked four and struck out two. He'll get the start tonight against Hagerstown on the road looking to rebound.
  9. Roman Quinn (OF, Double-A) – An injury spoiled Quinn's impressive 2015 season, but he showed the Phillies what he was capable of by coming back full strength in Spring Training. He played in 11 games during Grapefruit League action and went 6-for-20 with three triples, a homer and three RBI's. He's off to a slow start in Reading this season, hitting .182 (4-for-22) a double, an RBI, two runs scored and three steals.
  10. Adonis Medina (RHP, GCL Phillies) - The 19-year-old right-hander out of the Dominican Republic hasn't thrown yet in 2016, but looked strong in 10 games, eight starts, for the GCL Phils last season. He went 3-2 with a 2.98 ERA in 48.1 innings, striking out 35 and walking 12.

Top performers outside the top 10..

  • Zach Eflin (RHP, Triple-A) - In his first start of the season, Eflin went six innings and gave up a run on five hits while walking two and tallying three strikeouts.
  • Adam Morgan (LHP, Triple-A) - After being beaten out in Spring Training for the 5th starter role, Morgan looked good in his first start at Triple-A. He tossed five innings of one-run ball, striking out nine.
  • Darnell Sweeney (IF/OF, Triple-A) - In four games, Sweeney is hitting .500 (5-for-10) with a double, two triples and two runs scored.
  • Dylan Cozens (OF, Double-A) - The towering outfielder is hitting .273 thus far through five games, showing off a nice power stroke with two homers, two doubles and seven RBI's.
  • Zach Green (1B, Advanced 'A') - He's hitting .381 (8-for-21) with two doubles, a homer and six RBI's in five games so far in 2016. 
  • Carlos Tocci (OF, Advanced 'A') - At just 20 years of age, Tocci is in his first full season in Advanced 'A' ball. He's off to a nice start, hitting .360 (9-for-25) with a double, four RBI's and two steals.
  • Jiandido Trump (OF, Class 'A') - The 22-year-old outfielder already has two home runs this season and is hitting .393 (11-for-28).
  • Jose Taveras (RHP, Class 'A') - In six innings of relief, Taveras has nine strikeouts.

Affiliate Records:

  • Lehigh Valley Ironpigs: 2-2
  • Reading Fightin' Phils: 3-3
  • Clearwater Threshers: 3-3
  • Lakewood Blueclaws: 1-5


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