Progress Report: The Top 10 Prospects

These are the best of the best. PhillyBaseballNews.com takes a look at how the 2005 season is going for the Top 10 Prospects in the Phillies' organization. Some have struggled and some have yet to officially start their season, but all show good promise for the future.

1. Gavin Floyd - After starting the season in the majors and with an impressive outing against St.Louis, Floyd has struggled. A short and unsuccessful bullpen stint was his last stand before heading back to AAA Scranton. Unfortunately, Floyd continues to struggle in the Red Barons' starting rotation, although he allowed just one run in seven innings in his last start on Sunday (May 29th). All sides insist that it's all strictly mechanical and that there is nothing physical wrong with Floyd.

2. Ryan Howard - Not unlike Floyd, Howard also had a short, but unsuccessful stint in the majors this season. Just as he got hot, Jim Thome returned to the lineup and Howard was headed back to Scranton. His homerun numbers are down a little from where you might have figured they would be, but his strikeouts are also down and his average is impressive. A recent streak of six homeruns in four games shows that Howard appears to have returned to his usual form.

Cole Hamels has spent too much time out of uniform because of injuries. He should return to the Clearwater Threshers soon and looks to return to the form that he showed early in his career. (Photo by Holly Oswald)

3. Cole Hamels - Because of a broken bone in his hand, Hamels has yet to start his season. Surgery late in the winter put his season on hold, but he's throwing off a mound in Clearwater and building his way back to game action. The hope is that he'll join the Clearwater Threshers before too long - hopefully in a couple weeks, at most - and that his career will be back on track and hopefully, stay on track.

4. Greg Golson - Last year's top pick is rehabbing in Clearwater. The Phillies have been pretty tight-lipped on his progress, but some reports have him returning to Lakewood before too long. Before the injury, Golson was hitting .267 for the BlueClaws.

5. Scott Mathieson - After some minor injury issues, Mathieson has returned to the Clearwater rotation. He's putting up good numbers - 0-1, 3.03 in seven starts - and is pretty much where the Phillies had hoped that he would be at this point in the season. In 35 2/3 innings, he's struck out 39 hitters while walking just eleven. He has also kept hitters in the park, giving up just two homeruns.

Jake Blalock didn't hit for much power early in the season, but he's been turning that around and hit his 7th homerun of the season Thursday night.(Photo by Holly Oswald)

6. Jake Blalock - Like Ryan Howard, Jake Blalock is having somewhat of a power outage - just seven homeruns in 188 at bats - but nothing too severe. That's not to say that he's not having a good season. Blalock is hitting .298 with a .380 OBP. His strikeout percentage is down from a career mark of one strikeout per 3.9 at bats to one strikeout every 4.6 strikeouts, which was a major point that the Phillies had hoped to improve upon with Blalock.

7. Michael Bourn - His promotion to Reading to start the season was somewhat of a surprise, but Bourn has handled it well. The 22 year old is hitting .251 in AA with a .353 OBP. Not staggering numbers, but considering that he jumped over his expected stop at Clearwater, it's not surprising that his numbers are down a little. The bottom line is that Bourn is playing well and figures to have much more impressive second-half numbers than he'll put up in the first-half of the season.

8. Scott Mitchinson - The Phillies haven't pushed Mitchinson, who was one of the top stories from last season. They've kept him in extended camp and have told him that he'll be assigned to Batavia once the New York - Penn League gets underway. It will be interesting to see what kind of a start he gets off to and whether the Phillies will move the young Australian to Lakewood before the end of the season.

9. J.A. Happ - He started the year in extended camp, but was added to the Lakewood roster before too long. Happ is 3-2, 2.27 with the BlueClaws and has looked good. Happ has 31 strikeouts in 31 2/3 innings with the BlueClaws this season and has allowed 24 hits. He also has yet to give up a homerun in his six starts.

10. Keith Bucktrot - After some elbow inflammation that hindered his 2004 season came back this spring, Bucktrot was shut down and started the season on Reading's DL. He was in camp with the Phillies, but was simply overmatched and it was obvious that he needed more work. He looked good pitching in extended camp and was activated just this week. Rather than sending him right to Reading, the Phillies will keep Bucktrot at Clearwater for a few starts before moving him along. If all goes well, Bucktrot could see AAA Scranton by the end of the season.

It's interesting to note that four of the top ten prospects - Hamels, Golson, Mathieson and Bucktrot have all spent time on the disabled list at some point this season. Overall, the performance of the top ten prospects has been under-whelming to say the least.


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