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Philadelphia Phillies Top 20 Prospects – #12: Darin Ruff, #11: Jonathan Pettibone, #10: Maikel Franco, #9, Justin De Fratus

August 11th, 2012 at 12:09 AM
By Andrew Waltz

After recapping the Philadelphia Phillies win over the St. Louis Cardinals tonight, I thought I’d get back into breaking down the Phillies top 20 prospects! Here we go…

#12: Darin Ruf, 1B, Reading Phillies (AAA)

Ruf is 26 years old, but he was a 20th round selection in 2009. He isn’t as widely known as some of the others on this list, but the Phillies might need some help at first base. I’ve made it no secret that I think there’s something wrong with Ryan Howard. I know we’ve had a very small sample size, but that should still scare you.

While in the minors (433 games), he has sported a .303/.384/.500 slash line and accounted for 52 home runs and 251 RBIs. He doesn’t have the same pop as Howard, but he could be the next to contribute for the Phillies at the position as they expect him to make his debut in 2013.

#11: Jonathan Pettibone, RHP, Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs (AAA)

There’s a very good chance that you’ll know this name near the beginning of next season because it will probably be your fifth pitcher in the rotation. Pettibone has a great fastball that he throws at about 93 mph, a phenomenal changeup, and an improving slider. He isn’t the best of the pitching prospects, but he’s the most big-league ready at this point.

In 80 starts at the minor league level (he’s 21, by the way), he’s thrown 457 innings, has a 3.41 ERA, a 1.206 WHIP, and struck out 327 batters to only 124 walks. He’s shown the Phillies that he’s durable and can handle a full load at the next level. Expect to find out if he’s for real next season.

#10: Maikel Franco, 3B, Lakewood Blueclaws (A)

Franco is only 19 years old and the scouts have nothing but great things to say about him. He profiles as a potential star in the hot corner and he’s got good power for a 19-year old. The Phillies, as you might already know, lack elite talent at 3B. If Franco hits his project major league date of 2014, the Phillies aren’t far from having a much better man for the job.

In 111 games and 416 at-bats this season, Franco has 12 HR, 66 RBI, 22 2B, and 33 BB. The only thing that scares me is the plate discipline, as he’s struck out 69 times and grounded into 22 double plays.

#9: Justin De Fratus, RHP, Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs (AAA)

De Fratus recently made the move from starting games to finishing them. He isn’t closing, but he’s been coming out of the bullpen for Lehigh Valley and it moved him to the big league fast track. The Phillies web site lists De Fratus’ estimated arrival time as 2012, but we’ll see if he comes up with roster expansions. Since being added to the Iron Pigs, De Fratus has pitched 9.1 innings in nine games and has an ERA of only 1.93. If you follow the Phillies closely (as you should), you know that no one in our bullpen has a very low ERA. De Fratus would be a welcome addition.

Stay tuned later in the week as we break down the top eight prospects for the Phillies Farm System!

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Tags: Baseball, MLB, Philadelphia, Philadelphia Phillies

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