Pitching is the heart of any minor league organization and the Phillies are no different. Four of…
A look back at Phillies 2012 Draft class
Round 1s - 40th overall | RHP, Shane Watson (Lakewood HS, California) - Watson got his pro career off to a good start last season, making five appearances - three starts - for the Gulf Coast League Phillies and pitching to an ERA of just 1.29 with one walk and eight strikeouts over seven innings of work. The Phillies decided to challenge Watson with a jump to Low-A Lakewood to start the season and his first couple of starts went well, but he's had some ups and downs since then. In 11 starts, Watson has managed just 49 2/3 innings of work and is currently 3-5 with a 5.26 ERA. Command has been an issue for Watson, who has walked 20 and struck out 32 on the season. Round 1s - 54th overall | RHP, Mitch Gueller (W.F. West HS, Washington) - The Phillies stayed young with their first two picks in the draft, satisfied to be patient with a couple of high school pitchers that they thought they could mold into quality pitchers. While Watson got off to a fast start, the growing pains have been tougher for Mitch Gueller, who also pitched in the Gulf Coast League last season, making six starts, and pitching to a record of 1-5 with a 5.27 ERA for the GCL Phillies. The Phillies have elected to keep Gueller in extended camp all spring and will send him out to either the GCL or the New York-Penn League when their seasons start in a couple of weeks. Don't read into that and think that Gueller was a wasted pick. He's got a low to mid-90s fastball that will likely get a little stronger as he develops. His secondary pitches aren't overwhelming and that's what needs the most work for Gueller. Round 2 - 77th overall | OF, Dylan Cozens (Chaparral HS, Arizona) - Having grabbed a couple of young pitchers, the Phillies turned their attention to some bats when they made their second round selection in 2012. Cozens was actually compensation from the Reds for signing Ryan Madson (how did that work out for you, Cincy?). Cozens played 38 games in right field for the GCL Phillies last summer and hit five home runs in 161 at-bats, while posting a .255 average. The Phillies love Cozens' power potential and overall skill set and believe that he has the defensive ability and a strong enough arm to play right field. Again, he's young and the Phillies decided not to push him along to Lakewood and are instead, waiting for the short-season leagues to begin before they send him out for true game action. Round 2 - 95th overall | RHP, Alec Rash (Adel DeSoto Minburn HS, Iowa) - The Phillies worked right up until the deadline in an attempt to sign Rash, but instead, he chose to attend the University of Missouri. Some believe that if the Phillies had been able to up their offer just a little, Rash might have changed his mind, but the Phillies simply didn't have room in their draft stash to offer Rash any more than they were already giving him. Round 3 - 125th overall | 3B/SS, Zach Green (Jesuit HS, California) - The biggest question mark with Green is where to play him. They tried him at third base last season and he made 20 errors in 31 games, resulting in an .870 fielding percentage. Things weren't a whole lot better at shortstop, where he made three errors in nine games and posted a .925 fielding percentage. Green hit .284 in the GCL, but struck out 43 times in 169 at-bats and drew just eight walks. Needless to say, Green is in extended camp and will likely be back in the GCL when their season opens. Round 4 - 158th overall | 1B, Chris Serritella (Southern Illinois University) - the first of the college players chosen by the Phillies last season didn't disappoint. The Phillies put Serritella at Williamsport and he immediately started spanking the ball. The left-handed hitting Serritella hit six home runs and drove in 47 in 300 at-bats and posted a slash-line of .297/.349/.437 in 75 games. His numbers were good enough to push him all the way to High-A Clearwater this season and he's holding his own even though he skipped a level. His plate discipline needs work (8 walks, 59 Ks in 212 ABs at Clearwater) but he's showing a lot of tools and poise considering where he's playing. Serritella is one of those players who could be poised to put up much nicer numbers in the second-half than he has in the early going. Round 5 - 188th overall | OF, Andrew Pullin (Centralia HS, Washington) - Pullin got a jump on his professional career last summer, playing in 41 games for the Gulf Coast League Phillies, where he hit a strong .321 with two home runs and 13 RBI, while scoring 16 runs. Right now, Pullin is showing some potential for gap power, but he's more known for his contact and the Phillies aren't changing much with him, preferring instead to just make sure his mechanics stay strong and that he continues to work hard. As he develops physically, he should become a much better player. Interesting that the Phillies had him play seven games at second base last season. It will be interesting to see what team and what position Pullin plays once the short-season leagues get underway. Round 6 - 218th overall | OF, Cameron Perkins (Purdue University) - Perkins played five games with the GCL Phillies and added another 67 with Williamsport last season. Between the two stops, he hit an impressive .294 and drove in 41 runs. Perkins showed enough last season that the Phillies have him at Clearwater this season and he's looked very strong for the Threshers. In 51 games, Perkins is hitting .337 and has 18 doubles, four triples and three home runs, already surpassing last year's numbers in triples and home runs and it's possible that he'll also surpass his total of 23 doubles in 72 games from last season. The Phillies decided that Perkins is best suited in the outfield and he's been learning to play both corner outfield spots. The early returns are a little shaky, but the Phillies believe he'll become a quality player at both spots. Round 7 - 248th overall | LHP, Hoby Milner (U of Texas at Austin) - Milner made a quick stop at Williamsport in his debut season, pitching in just two games before being promoted to Low-A Lakewood where he would spend the rest of the summer. Milner wound up making 12 starts for the BlueClaws, going 6-3 with a 2.59 ERA in the South Atlantic League. This season, the Phillies didn't miss an opportunity to promote Milner to Clearwater to open the season. While his first 12 starts this season haven't been quite as strong as his 12 last season at Lakewood, Milner has pitched well (3.76 ERA) and his command numbers have shown big improvement. His walks have dropped from 3.2 per nine innings to 2.1 and he's striking out nine batters per nine innings, up from 6.8 per nine last season at Lakewood. Round 8 - 278th overall | C, Josh Ludy (Baylor) - The Phillies didn't waste time sending Ludy to one of the short-season leagues last summer, preferring instead to send him right to Lakewood, where he played in 32 games, hitting .271 with the 'Claws. One of those residual stats that you like to see in young players showed up well on Ludy's stat sheet, as he walked 14 times and struck out just 19 times in 107 at-bats at Lakewood in his first pro season. This season, Ludy started the season with Clearwater, but wasn't seeing regular playing time because of fellow catching prospect Logan Moore. The Phillies dropped Ludy back to Lakewood after the first month of the season, but he's struggled offensively, batting just .207 in 11 games with the BlueClaws. He's also drawn just one walk and struck out 12 times in 29 at-bats.
97 Fans onlineJoin The Conversation