Low Level Prospect Lists Are Filled With Phils

When <I>Baseball America</I> ranks a young player among the twenty best in their league, that's something to be proud of. The Phillies have placed four young players on BA's list of top prospects for the Gulf Coast and New York – Penn Leagues. All four obviously have bright futures and will deserve a lot of attention as they climb the ranks.

Gulf Coast League
The lower of the two minor league levels for the Phillies youngest players is in the Gulf Coast League. The GCL Phillies put three players on Baseball America's list of the top 20 prospects for the league.

Greg Golson was the Phillies top pick in last June's draft. He ranked third on the list of top GCL prospects. He came to draft day with all the tools needed to be successful and showed all of his skills in his first pro season. Golson has plenty of speed and hasn't completely matured to where he will eventually be physically, so it will be interesting to watch how he develops. It will be especially interesting to see how much power he may be able to develop and whether he'll remain as a leadoff hitter or be dropped lower in the order to take advantage of his other offensive skills. Golson hit .295 with one homerun and 22 RBI in his first season. Stay tuned on this kid, because he'll be well worth watching.

Carlos Carrasco is a right-handed pitcher signed as an amateur free agent out of Venezuela. At just 17, Carrasco has a lot to learn and will continue to get bigger, stronger and better. While he's just a kid, Carrasco has shown a lot of poise on the mound, including handling the stress of throwing a no-hitter for the GCL Phillies. For now, he needs work on his breaking pitch, but that should come along for him. Carrasco is one of those guys who simply loves the game and is ready and willing to learn all he can to make himself better. Carrasco was 14th on BA's list of GCL prospects and finished the year with a 5-4, 3.56 mark.

Scott Mitchinson is out of the land down under and signed with the Phillies as an amateur free agent. The 19 year old right-hander led the league in wins with seven and finished with a 1.75 ERA. The most impressive parts of Mitchinson are that he increased his velocity by about five miles per hour in his first GCL season and maintained his excellent control, walking just one hitter in 61 2/3 innings. It's hard to tell if Mitchinson will add much more velocity to his fastball, but considering that he has a well above average curve ball, he won't need too much more velocity to be able to get hitters out.

New York – Penn League
J.A. Happ ranked 18th on BA's list of NYP prospects. The 21 year old third round pick in last June's draft, Happ appears to be ready for a quick progression through the ranks. His mechanics are sound and as he gets stronger and his velocity picks up, he could become downright dangerous. Happ already has a strong curve and is working to improve his changeup. Those pitches combined with a good fastball will serve him well. Happ was 1-0, 2.02 in 11 games at Batavia. If there is a downside, it's that he walked 18 and struck out 37 in his first pro season. There's no need for concern though, because that ratio will definitely improve as he continues to grow and progress. Happ will be in the Florida Instructional League working on those issues. Considering that all reports are that Happ is a coachable, hard worker, the kinks will work out pretty quickly.

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