Phils' Joe Jordan talks about the minors

Joe Jordan is the Director of Player Development for the Phillies and is in charge of the minor league system. Philly Baseball Insider talked to Jordan exclusively about the state of the Phillies system and some key players in particular.

PBI: "Let's talk first about the state of the system. You've dealt away a number of key prospects, but there is still pretty much talent left, isn't there?

Jordan: "I think so. I was really happy last year; coming into it from outside the organization and listening to the publications, it sounded pretty thin. I think what happened last year, number one, we had a few better players than people realized, and two, we have traded away a lot of people and I think we have a lot of players who seized the opportunity and really hadn't established themselves and now, they're in some of these discussions, so I give credit to our players and our coaches, because we're a lot healthier than people realize."

PBI: "We'll start with Jesse Biddle. How do you see his progress and will he be back at Clearwater or start the year in Reading?"

Jordan: "Our expectations going into the year are for him to be at Reading. He had a phenomenal year; there probably wasn't anybody in our system who had a better year if you put everything together. He was on a staff with older starting pitchers, some guys that I think he learned a lot from, he's a terrific worker. I'm sure stepping on the mound at Citizens Bank Ballpark keeps him up at night, because it's that important to him. He had a great year and Reading is the next stop; he's ready for that. Double-A will be a good challenge and he's earned that."

PBI: "How far away is Cody Asche? Will he be at Triple-A or back at Double-A?"

Jordan: "That hasn't been decided. It wouldn't hurt him to be back at Double-A. He had 250-something at-bats at both Clearwater and Reading and split the year between the two stops, which is great; listen, we love the kid, we love the way he plays the game and obviously, we love his bat and he's made a lot of progress defensively. For his first full season, I don't think we could have drawn it up as anymore of a success than what he did. It's not really that important to me whether it's Double-A or Triple-A. I just want him to keep getting his at-bats and at either place, he'll be in a very good league, so he's going to develop in either one."

PBI: "A lot of people look back at the Cliff Lee deal and still think that you didn't really get anything, but [J.C.] Ramirez is coming along, [Tyson] Gillies is coming along, so there could still be a couple of quality players coming out of that deal."

Jordan: "Aumont was in that deal too, and he's pretty good. It's one of those things where sometimes, it's just not a straight upward climb; you have injuries, you have bad years. I really like the development staff - the one that I inherited, mainly - they're really good, they're patient and their interest is for the players and I think that for some of the hard times that some of these guys have had, our staff has played a big part in helping them get through it, because it's a hard game, especially when you get to the Double-A and Triple-A levels. Gillies for me, has a chance to be an everyday player, I still believe that, if we can keep him on the field and keep him healthy, that's the big key. He's a tremendous center fielder, as good as we have in our organization, anywhere."

PBI: "There were some concerns with him [Gillies] last year. There was an altercation where he was suspended for violating team rules and there was an arrest a few years ago. Is his attitude a concern or is he just a young kid making stupid mistakes?"

Jordan: "Well, he's had some things happen and we all know that. He's had some things that he's had to deal with, but you know what? He's not a young kid. He's a grown man and he's got a lot of support, starting with me in the organization and I think he's got a fantastic chance to have a wonderful career, but he's not a young man and he's got to take care of his business, just like all of these guys, and he will. He made a lot of progress with that last year."

PBI: "You have a bit of a glut with young catchers in the organization, with [Sebastian] Valle and [Tommy] Joseph. How do you see that shaking out?"

Jordan: "I think it's going to be a lot of fun to watch in spring training, because we've got some really good options at Double-A and Triple-A this year. I don't know how it will end up; we all have our opinions and we've all given our rosters, pre-season, as far as how we think it will go, but the thing for me is that counting Steven Lerud and counting Cameron Rupp, we've got four catchers at Double-A and Triple-A right now that I'm comfortable with wherever they go and it's going to be a very competitive camp and may the best man win."

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