Right-hander Jason Knapp, a 2008 second-round pick, was rated fourth overall among prospects in the rookie-level Gulf Coast League, according to Baseball America, topping the list of Phils who played for the GCL champions. [Link]
Knapp, 18, was wooed by the Phils after signability issues dropped him into the second round. At 6-5, 215, the right-hander went 3-1 with a 2.61 ERA and 38/12 K/BB ratio in seven games with the Phils. In addition, catcher Sebastian Valle, outfielder Zach Collier and third baseman Anthony Hewitt ranked 6th, 8th and 13th, respectively. The Phillies’ 2008 draft is considered by many to be the deepest in years.
Valent sings praises of d’Arnaud: Yesterday, I wrote about Reading Phillies fantasy day. During the game, I had a chance to talk with former Phillie and current Williamsport minor league hitting coach Eric Valent. When asked which player stood out most for the short-season Crosscutters, Valent didn’t hesitate to mention catcher Travis d’Arnaud, a 19-year-old high-schooler who was chosen in the supplemental first round of the 2007 draft. Valent sees definite Major League potential in d’Arnaud, considered one of the best defensive catchers chosen in the ’07 draft. His bat also looks promising. In 175 at bats with Williamsport, he hit .309/.371/.463 with four homers, earning a mid-season promotion to Low-A Lakewood, where he hit .297/.357/.469 with two homers. At 19, there’s plenty of time for to develop power. Look for d’Arnaud to climb the charts significantly once Baseball America and other scouting mags publish their 2009 prospect rankings.
Trip to new Yankee Stadium highlights 2009 schedule: Old news, but yesterday, baseball released a tentative 2009 schedule. The Phillies will open at home April 6 against the Braves and conclude with a set with the Marlins ending Oct. 4. The interleague schedule features two series with Toronto, a trip to Tampa for a clash with the Rays and a visit to new Yankee Stadium for a matchup with the Bronx Bombers. The Phillies will host Boston and Baltimore at Citizens Bank Park. The Phillies were pummeled in interleague play this season, finishing 3-15 against the American League, tied with San Diego for the worst record in baseball. Wouldn't you rather have more games with the NL West (20-12) and Central (27-16)?