Reading Phillies beat writer Mike Drago has published his annual end-of-season list polling industry experts and minor league scribes. Right-hander Trevor May, 21, takes over the top spot, but Beerleaguer has a different choice. [Full list]
Beerleaguer: Last year's first-rounder Jesse Biddle has the makings of an elite pitching prospect in the mold of Cole Hamels and would earn my vote as the top prospect in the chain. In 11 starts since the break, he's held Sally League hitters to a .202 average, posting a 1.75 ERA while striking out 63 in 61 2-3 innings, showing tremendous strides for a 19-year-old kid. Biddle, who was held to five innings his last start, is unlikely to appear again this season as the Phils try to limit his pitches. Meanwhile, Trevor May, who was named the best in the Drago poll, has been a Florida State League beast, running away with the league lead in strikeouts (197 in 143 1-3 innings) while going 10-7 with a 3.45 ERA. Stablemate Julio Rodriguez, who should crack most postseason Top 10 lists, is 16-7 with a 2.84 ERA and 150 strikeouts. The right-hander rates eighth in the Drago poll, which is dominated by young starters and high-minor relievers, like Phillippe Aumont, Justin DeFratus, Michael Schwimer and even Joe Savery, who has had one of the craziest minor league seasons in Phillies history, beginning as the hottest hitter on the planet in Class-A Clearwater and ending with a 1.86 ERA and 21/5 K/BB ratio in 19 1-3 appearances out of the IronPigs' bullpen.
Positionally, Sabastian Valle, Freddy Galvis and Jiwan James earned Top 10 nods. Overall, however, only Biddle and May smack of being elite, high-ceiling talents, but then again, nobody expected Vance Worley or Antonio Bastardo to do the kinds of things they've done this season.
Schedule FUBAR: Oddly enough, conditions might actually be playable if the Phillies' doubleheader with Florida had been scheduled to start Sunday afternoon. Of course, they couldn't have known and not that it matters anyway; the Phillies flew to Cincinnati Saturday to get ahead of Irene for their series beginning Monday. Both games of the washed out twin bill will be played as part of a day-night doubleheader Thursday, Sept. 15. The first game will begin at 2:35 p.m. and the second at 7:35 p.m.
What does it mean? It means the Phillies have lost their last remaining off day and will play 33 games in 31 days beginning Monday, which also includes a doubleheader with Washington. This will be a tired bunch once the calendar flips to October. As best they can, they'd do well to take their time with players like Jimmy Rollins and others.