As one season winds down, another one winds up in Arizona. This year the Phillies farmhands report to the Peoria Javelinas. Pitchers Jay Johnson, Colby Shreve, and Kyle Simon join catcher Tommy Joseph, third baseman Cody Asche, and outfielder Zach Collier.
Kyle Simon was acquired in the Jim Thome trade (remember the Phillies had Jim Thome this season?) and was immediately converted to a reliever and immediately put up stellar numbers in Clearwater and later in Reading. Could very well be a dark horse candidate for the bullpen in '13 and we definitely have lots of options there. Jay Johnson's future seems to be that of a lefty specialist and while Shreve's numbers don't appear all that impressive, they seem to be distorted by a handful of bad appearances sandwiched between some really good ones.
Tommy Jospeh needs no introduction being the key piece of the Hunter Pence trade. After being dealt, he instantly became a top ten Phillies prospect. With Carlos Ruiz entering the final year of his contract next season, Joseph could very well be the heir to the throne.
Cody Asche is the number one player to watch. Third base has been a position that has haunted the Phillies since they dealt Scott Rolen away ten years ago. He skipped Lakewood and went straight to Clearwater this season and after a few months was up in Reading. Had it not been for Darin Ruf's insane season, he probably would have taken home the Paul Owens Award this year. Keep an eye on him.
A failed drug test cost Zach Collier a good chunk of his season in Clearwater. The Phillies love toolsy outfielders which is where Collier fits in. His numbers aren't very impressive at all but if he can turn a corner, the upside can really be something. That's just what the Fall League is for.
Also Dusty Wathan is managing the team this fall. Wathan was the manager for Reading and could very well be the manager for Lehigh Valley next season.