Time for a Phillies farm system report, sponsored by Bob Evans...yum, sausage!
Triple A: Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs- this team sucks. Seriously, I tallied up their record and it's 3 wins to 239 losses. Usually AAA serves as an insurance policy for the parent club, but if the Lil' Piggies are insurance for the Phils, they better hire a lawyer and get ready for a false advertisement lawsuit. 31 year old journeyman Mike Cervenak is the only batter with an average .280 or better. JD Durbin now has a 9.61 era through 5 starts and Travis Blackley is trying to top his ineffectiveness with a 6.64 era. Steve Kline, Matt Childers, Ron Chiavacci, Gary Knotts, and Brian Mazone are the only pitchers with eras below 4.00. Like I said before, this team sucks. The only way this team could get worse is if Gillick went and picked up the original no-talent ass-clown Danny Sandoval, No-Hit Nunez, and Paul Abbott to round out this roster of losers.
Double A: Reading Phillies- I'm heading over to City Island Friday night to scout this talented group of youngsters when they face the Harrisburg Senators. Greg Golson continues to put past struggles behind him and excel at the plate this season with a .312 average along with his normal game of moderate power and tremendous speed. Joining him in excellence are recently promoted Jake Blalock (brother of Hank), Jason Donald, and Jeremy Slayden. Donald had a 2 homerun game in spring training and is beginning to become a legitimate positional prospect. Slayden is a hidden gem, as this is his 4th year in the minors and he's done nothing but hit at every level (career .294 avg./.864 OPS). In the pitching department are promising hurlers Carlos Carrasco, Josh Outman, and Fabio Casto. Carrasco is highly touted, but Outman and Castro are nearly as young and all 3 will play a part in Philly's future withing the next two seasons (as trade bait or winning games). Relievers RJ Swindle and Pat Overholt are turning heads with their performances, so keep those names in mind.
Single A (High): Clearwater Threshers- heading into the 2008 minor league season Adrian Cardenas was the sole Phillies positional prospect. Luckily for the Phils, others are joining him on the prospect list, but regardless Adrian remains the cream of the crop in Phils minor league batters. It's clear as day that Clearwater is where some serious pitching talent is kept, as last year's #1 pick Joe Savery transferred his success from Rice straight over to the minors, now sporting a 2.25 era. However, the real eye-grabber in Florida is a real bastard. Everyone's favorite prospect Tony Bastard is awesome. Lefty Antonio Bastardo is now 12-0 in his professional career striking out more than a batter per inning and keeping his era below 2.50 (2.22).
Single A (Middle): Lakewood Blueclaws- the funky lobsters have some skilled hitters in the Michaels (Taylor and Durant) as well as Dominic Brown. Taylor was drafted out of Standford last season and didn't really do much in rookie ball last year. He's on fire this season though, .356 average and .905 OPS. Starting pitchers Tyson Brummett, Drew Naylor, and Chance Chapman are doing a fine job thus far, and reliever Jared Simon already has notched 4 wins and 2 saves.