31. Leandro Castro
Position: OF | Bats: R | Age: 23 | 5' 11", 175 pounds
Castro is one of those guys who always appears right on the edge of truly breaking out and becoming a big-time prospect. There are times when he looks brilliant and others when he comes up short and appears to be overmatched. Offensively, he's done okay for himself, but his mechanics are anything but text book perfect and he's prone to getting into some prolonged slumps. His plate discipline is below average and he goes on the premise of when in doubt, swing. There are natural talents there and his numbers are decent, but there is always that feeling that he's not quite as good as he could be. Defensively, he's solid and has a strong arm and the speed to play either in a corner outfield spot or in center field. He's got plus speed and can swipe bases, but again, he should be able to post a higher stolen base percentage than he has shown in his career. Perhaps 2013 will be the year that he puts it all together.
32. Justin Friend
Position: P | Throws: R | Age: 26 | 6' 1", 200 pounds
It's a little surprising that a team didn't take a shot at grabbing Friend in the Rule 5 Draft last December. He needs more seasoning at Triple-A, but it wouldn't have been impossible for a team to hide him in their bullpen for a season and wind up with a quality reliever down the road. What makes it so surprising is the season that Friend put together in 2012, when he put together one of the more dominating string of performances that you'll see from a reliever. His stuff isn't great, but he makes up for it by having pinpoint control and keeping the ball down in the zone. He throws a heavy, downward fastball that is hard for hitters to get much lift on and they find themselves beating the ball into the dirt more often than not. It's going to be interesting to see how Friend handles a full season at Triple-A and what kind of role he's given by the Phillies; will they look to continue developing him as a potential closer or a set-up guy or do they just look to fit him into a mid-to-late bullpen guy. It's certainly not out of the question that Friend will be in the Phillies bullpen by the end of 2013.
|2008||Kane County (A)||5||5||3.84||42||11||63.1||59||34||27||6||32||78|
33. Jeremy Horst
Position: P | Throws: L | Age: 27 | 6' 3", 215 pounds
Horst has pitched in parts of two major league seasons, but still qualifies as a rookie, so he still qualifies for our prospect list. Horst was quietly a very dependable reliever for the Phillies last season, just as he was for Cincinnati in 2011. While it's easy to try to categorize any left-hander into a specialist role, right-handers have hit just .238 against Horst in 44 career games (left-handers hit just .212 against him), so he doesn't have to be used only against lefties. Horst doesn't have much variety in his pitches - he's a fastball, slider pitcher - and neither of those pitches are necessarily above average, but he finds a way to get hitters out. His fastball doesn't have much movement and is generally in the low-90s, while his slider does have some decent movement and generally sits about 10 miles per hour slower, which keeps hitters off balance. There will be competition among lefties in the bullpen this spring, but Horst and Antonio Bastardo would seem to be the front-runners coming in.
34. Mitch Gueller
Position: P | Throws: R | Age: 19 | 6' 3", 210 pounds
The Phillies took Gueller with the 54th overall pick in the 2012 Draft out of W.F. West High School in Washington State. For a high school kid, Gueller's pitches - especially his secondary pitches - are more advanced than most. His fastball is in the low-90s and occasionally reaches 94. He's got a slider and a change that are pretty good and he gets good movement on all of his pitches. The job now is to work on his command and consistency and the Phillies also want him to develop more arm strength and be able to repeat his mechanics, so they gave him a lot to work on. Gueller is athletic and once he settles in, he should be able to move pretty quickly, so even though his first year numbers weren't great, there's no reason for concern.
35. Cameron Rupp
Position: C | Bats: R | Age: 24 | 6' 1", 240 pounds
The 2013 season could be very big for Cameron Rupp. There's no denying that Rupp was overwhelmed in his first pro season back in 2010, but his offensive numbers have improved overall in each of the last two seasons. He started to show a little more pop in his bat this past season at Clearwater and cut down dramatically on his strikeouts. It will be interesting to see two things: 1. Just how much more can Rupp improve? and 2. Will he be able to handle the adjustment to Double-A if the Phillies move him up, which they may or may not due thanks to the glut of catching that they have in the organization right now. Defensively, Rupp is adept at blocking pitches in the dirt, has a strong, accurate arm and good mechanics. If his offense does continue to improve, he could become a very viable catching prospect, adding to the ones that the Phillies already have in the organization.