Bob Wirz, author of "The Independent Major Leagues: 2007 Season in Review," says the Phillies employ more graduates of the independent leagues than any other organization. [Link]
According to Wirz, 192 independent league graduates played organized minor league ball in 2007 and the Phillies accounted for 28 of them (Editor's note: It may be more than that). He reasons that because they hired Mal Fichman, a longtime indy scout, in addition to the appointment of special assistant Charely Kerfeld, an independent league manager for nine seasons, the club is more enlightened to the virtues of the indy leagues.
Two indy graduates played in Philadelphia: Kane Davis, and of course, Chris Coste, who’s mentioned heavily in Wirz's book. Roster fill rounds out the rest. Triple A: Gary Burnham, Jim Rushford, Pedro Swann, Jason Anderson, Gary Knotts, Jim Crowell, Brian Mazone. Double-A: Shaun Boyd, Allen Davis, Branden Florence, Greg Jacobs, Chris Key, Tim McClaskey, Chris Rojas, Michael Spidale, Charlie Weatherby, Peter Shier, JJ Trujillo, Cory Wiley. Class-A: R.J. Swindle, Luis Villarreal, Jason Wylie, Victor Hall and three late signees Charles Merricks, Dan Schwartz and Jared Simon.
Beerleaguer: Ugh. Bear in mind the reason for giving alms to the poor is because they haven’t drafted well, and what little they had faded from view, including players acquired through trades. You would expect a few veterans at the Triple-A level, but for several seasons, they’ve taken over Reading and are starting to infect the lower levels, where playing time should be given to young, developing talent. Need proof that the farm system sucks? You're stepping in it.