The Eagles thankfully have their bye day today to see if they can relocate the Chip on their shoulders before Ed Rendell lobbies Jeff Lurie for the job, and the Dogs have today off because the Arizona Fall League lies fallow on Sundays. I like this line about the Fall League: “It’s a graduate school for elite prospects”. With that said, let’s take a brief look at a couple of the Phils’ grad students not named J.P. Crawford on Andrew Knapp.
Tom Windle came over to the Phillies from the Dodgers in the Jimmy Rollins deal together with Zach Eflin, both 6’4″ pitchers with Eflin a RHP two years younger than the LHP Windle. Eflin is further along in his development, so Windle finds himself in the AFL looking to improve on his mediocre year at Reading. According to Dodgers’ scouts, the concern with Windle is his stiff delivery with an awkward finish and some recoil. You can see this in video from last summer.
Windle does alter his arm slot in different situations, and if he figures out how to channel that funky delivery he may be an effective graduate student. As I sat first row behind the plate to get a good look, his 6’4″ frame looked like a plane coming in for a landing as he delivered the pitch.
A different angle, this time viewing Windle from first base.
Aaron Brown is another player to keep an eye on. Drafted twice as a pitcher, once out of high school and once after his 3rd year at Pepperdine, the Phillies drafted him in the 3rd round in 2014 with the idea of playing him in the outfield. If he makes it, he projects to be a corner outfielder and has a nice arm with decent routes to the ball thus far. He was on the Grad School waiting list for the Fall League, and his break came when Dylan Cozens, a higher upside outfielder, went down with an arm injury the week prior to the AFL opening. When Brown makes contact, the ball has a nice crack off his bat and there is raw power. Here’s a clip from last year’s Instructs at Bright House Field.
I like what I’ve seen from Brown, including the way he goes about his preparation, though he’ll need to make more consistent contact at the plate if he’s going to get his Ph.D.