41. J.C. Ramirez
Position: P | Age: 24 | Throws: R | 6' 4", 250 pounds
Ramirez was just sort of strolling through life as a starter, but when the Phillies moved him to the bullpen, his average stuff picked up a notch, since he knew he wasn't going to be throwing too many innings. The result has been a different Ramirez, who attacks hitters and is showing much more confidence on the mound. Admittedly, he's not the prospect that the Phillies thought he would be when they acquired him from Seattle in the Cliff Lee deal, but at least now, he's looking like he can at least be a quality reliever and could find some time in the Phillies bullpen as early as 2013 if things break right for him.
42. Garett Claypool
Position: P | Age: 24 | Throws: R | 6' 2", 170 pounds
Ideally, the Phillies would have liked to be able to develop Claypool as a starter, but his stuff just isn't deep enough for him to work consistently as a starter. He's developing more velocity on his fastball, but his secondary pitches aren't strong enough for him to rely on them too much. One concern is that he still walks a few too many hitters for him to be truly effective. This could be an important season in Claypool's development as he has to improve on his weak showing last season at Clearwater, where he posted a 7.30 ERA in 20 games.
43. Michael Cisco
Position: P | Age: 25 | Throws: R | 5' 11", 190 pounds
Cisco has really started to show true potential over the past couple of seasons. He's not necessarily a dominating type pitcher, but he is showing potential as a back of the bullpen type reliever. Injuries - a strained oblique in 2009 and elbow inflammation in 2010 - helped make the decision to move him into the bullpen and he's able to throw much more freely. As a guy who likes to work the edges of the plate, Cisco is sometimes apt to lose control and he still walks a few too many hitters. Odds are that he's never going to be a big strikeout guy and he doesn't have the velocity to consistently throw fastballs by hitters, so he has to rely on his control. He's starting to figure out though that he has good enough stuff and keeps it down in the zone, so it's okay if hitters get a piece of what he throws.
44. Mitch Walding
Position: 3B | Age: 20 | Bats: L | 6' 3", 190 pounds
The Phillies knew Walding was going to be a bit of a project and they've taken it a little slow with him, even holding him back in extended camp after he signed in 2011 rather than sending him right into the Gulf Coast League. Last season at Williamsport, he got off to a good start, but wound up struggling for much of the season. The tools are there, but he hasn't been able to translate everything into the game. He should develop gap power and if things go right, he'll be able to hit the ball to all fields. He's disciplined at the plate, but swings through a lot of pitches. Defensively, he's still transitioning from playing shortstop in high school, so there's a lot of work to do, especially with his throws to first. He's worth the patience and the work that he'll require to develop into a quality prospect.
45. Steven Lerud
Position: C | Age: 28 | Bats: L | 6' 1", 215 pounds
Lerud got a surprise call to the majors last season and wound up getting his first ten major league at-bats with the Phillies. His ticket to getting back to the majors would be his defensive skills behind the plate, because he doesn't generate enough offense for teams to look at him as much of a weapon. In fact, he might not hit enough to even make it worth carrying his glove and strong arm. The fact that his defense is so good though, keeps him in the conversation as a potential journeyman back-up catcher. He's also got a strong, accurate arm to go with good throwing mechanics that make it tough for runners to steal against him. If he can just find a little more offense in his bat, Lerud could position himself to have a decent career.
|9 minor league Seasons||685||2244||254||497||123||7||53||277||235||641||.221||.311||.353|
* Williamsport was an affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates while Lerud played there.