[Note: NL Beast would like to welcome James from Phuture Phillies, who will be rounding up the Phils minor league prospects on a weekly basis. Phuture Phillies is a must-read blog for all serious Phillies fans, and we’re elated to have James contribute his immense knowledge of the Phils farm system.]
Hey guys, this is James from phuturephillies.com here to give you an update on the workings of the Phillies farm system, who’s hot, who’s not, and some random tidbits thrown in for good measure.
The Phillies farm system has made small strides over the past 2-3 seasons, with a decent amount of talent now spread from A ball all the way up through AAA. The Phillies system strength remains their pitching prospects, with JA Happ, currently in AAA, the closest thing to a major league ready prospect in the system. Happ got a brief cup of coffee last year for one spot start, but dealt with some minor arm injuries for much of the season, and the result was a loss of command and control.
Happ is still having control issues this season, but he’s limited his hits allowed and is still generating plenty of swings and misses. The Phillies rotation doesn’t exactly remind you of the ’72 Orioles at this point, so you have to think Happ is going to get his shot sometime soon. He features an 86-90 mph fastball with some movement, a curve, and a plus changeup. The key to success for him, like most pitchers without overpowering stuff, is to pitch aggressively and not nibble, just to locate pitches and pitch to his strengths. He’ll more than likely get his chance before the All Star Break.