Australian Prospect Update

With a growing number of Australian players making their way throught the Phillies minor league system, we thought we would try to sort out who's who.

OF Tim Auty     20    6' 0", 180 lbs.    B:R / T:R

The Mariners likely made a big mistake when they released Auty. The young outfielder made an impressive debut in the states playing in the Arizona League last season at the lowest level of the Mariners' system. But, the M's needed visa room to sign a Latin American player and Auty was cut loose. The Phillies had scouted Auty in Australia and pursued him, but lost out to Seattle. Now, they've got their man and are glad they did.

C Kent Dixon    20    6' 1", 200 lbs.    B:R / T:R

Dixon is another product of the Mariners organization. Unlike Auty, Dixon struggled in the Arizona League, hitting just .224 in 19 games. Again, the Mariners wanted to add other foreign players and didn't have visa room, so they made room. While Dixon isn't as heralded as some of the other prospects, the Phillies figured it wouldn't hurt to take a shot on a young catching prospect, even though they've restocked the position pretty well through the draft.

2B/SS Mitch Graham    20    6' 7", 170 lbs.    B:R / T:R

After an impressive debut in the Gulf Coast League in 2004, Mitch Graham missed the entire 2005 season because of injuries suffered in a serious car accident. While Graham has improved greatly from the injuries, there's no way of knowing for sure how he'll be able to perform on the baseball field. If he can get back to where he was, Graham's return would be welcomed, since he has a lot of potential. In his first season, he hit .283 in the Gulf Coast League.

SS/2B Brad Harman    20    6' 1", 175 lbs.    B:R / T:R

Harman started his Phillies career slowly in 2004, but put it all together in 2005, hitting .303 at Lakewood. He's one of those players that the Phillies challenged with a promotion even though his numbers in the Gulf Coast League didn't necessarily warrant a promotion. The good news is that it all worked out well and Harman should be moved to Clearwater for the 2006 season. He is definitely one of the players to watch in 2005.

RHP Mark Kelly    21    6' 4", 200 lbs.     B:R / T:R

The Phillies were happy with Kelly's performance in the Gulf Coast League in 2005 (2-1, 3.27, 1 save) and it's going to be interesting to see where they have him in 2006. Following suit, he'll probably have to wait for Batavia's season to begin in June before he sees action, unless the Phillies push him along to Lakewood. Some scouts believe that he could handle the promotion and it would help age-wise, since he'll turn 22 shortly after the season begins, but it's not imperative that the Phillies put him on the BlueClaws roster to start the year.

3B Tim Kennelly    19    6' 0", 180 lbs.    B:R / T:R

One of the younger Australians in the mix, Kennelly won't turn 20 until December. He made his pro debut in the Gulf Coast League last season and hit .295 with a .415 on-base percentage. There are some obstacles at third base - mainly, Mike Costanzo - but Kennelly could become one of the hotter prospects in the organization. Like Kelly, it will be interesting to see how hard the Phillies push Kennelly in 2006 and whether he'll start at Lakewood or Batavia.

RHP Scott Mitchinson     21    6' 3", 185 lbs.    B:R / T:R

Mitchinson could be the best of the Australian prospects in the Phillies organization. He's certainly the best of the pitching prospects. He made an amazing debut in the GCL in 2004, giving up just one walk in nearly 62 innings of work, while striking out 60. His numbers in 2005 weren't near his accomplishments in his first season, but it's possible that he'll start the 2006 season at Lakewood and be challenged by the Phillies.

C Joel Naughton    19    6' 1", 178 lbs.    B:L / T:R

Another of the Australian contingent to debut in 2005, Naughton caught 27 games in the GCL and hit .275 with 1 homerun and 11 RBI. Naughton shows good defensive skills, but is still a little rough around the edges. He'll probably head to Batavia in mid-season with Dixon handling some of the duties in the GCL. Scouts think Naughton is a bit more of a project than some of the others, but don't doubt his abilities and think he'll catch up just fine.

P Drew Naylor

The Phillies signed Naylor in March of 2004 and it's likely that he'll make his pro debut this season in the Gulf Coast League.

LHP Daniel Schmidt    17    6' 3", 180 lbs.    B:L / T:L

One of the two recent signings by the Phillies, who inked the left-hander on his 17th birthday after scouting him for some time. Schmidt gets good movement on his pitches and the Phillies love those taller pitchers.

SS Alan Schoenberger    17    B:S / T:R

With three other clubs pursuing the young shortstop, the Phillies stepped up with an improved offer and got the switch-hitter to sign a deal with the club. The Phillies will keep Schoenberger in Australia until next spring and then bring him stateside for his first shot at pro baseball, likely in the Gulf Coast League for the 2007 season.

 


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