• Steve Potter

The GCL


I thought I’d change it up a bit and instead of looking back into the Phillies game Archives I’d do a historical review of the current Phillies Minor League teams. May be of interest to some of you at least ... here’s what I’ve found ... starting with the Gulf Coast League


Gulf Coast League Phillies ( GCL ) :


The current version of the Gulf Coast League was formed in 1966. There had been three prior iterations dating back to 1907-1908, 1926 and 1950 -1953. The present form of the league began in 1964 with 4 clubs and was known as the Sarasota Rookie League, it expanded in ‘65 to six teams and was renamed the Florida Rookie League. It became the Gulf Coast League a year later.


The Phillies participation in the GCL began with the 1984 season with Roly De Armas at the helm. They didn’t field a team again in the GCL till the 1999 season ... a 15 year gap. During that time the Phillies maintained their stateside “rookie league” development in different forms ... first with an extra A level club in 1985 ( 3 teams that summer ) - the first year the Clearwater Phillies franchise played in the Florida State League, then with two teams in short season play ( Bend, OR & Utica, NY - 1986-1987 , Northwest League & NY Penn League ) followed by a club in Martinsville, VA ( 1988-1998) as a member of the Appalachian League. Prior to 1984 Helena, MT ( Pioneer League ) served as the “Rookie League “ affiliate from 1978 to 1983 with Pulaski, VA ( Appalachian League) having that distinction from 1969 to 1975.


I’ll expand more on classification structure when I write another article later this week on Phillies previous affiliates and minor league classifications such as “B, C, D, etc”.


If they play ball this year will become the 23rd season in the GCL for the Phillies.


I’m a big fan of Mr De Armas ... he’s skippered 16 Phillies GCL clubs ( 1984, 2001, 2004, 2007 - 2019 ) and tutored 2 league champions ( 2008 & 2010 ) with 2 more clubs going to the playoffs ( 2016 & 2017 ). He also managed the GCL White Sox in 1997.


There have been only 5 other GCL Phillies managers : Ramon Aviles ( 1999-2000), Ruben Amaro Sr ( 2002-2003), Jim Morrison ( 2005 -2006 ), Nelson Prada ( 2018 ) and Milver Reyes ( 2019 ).


The Phillies expanded to two GCL teams ( East & West ) in 2018 with Prada and Reyes thus far being the only two managers of the West team ... this year Bobby Wernes will manage Team West ... Roly De Armas is the sole manager in Team East’s history and is slated to skipper his 17th GCL season this summer.


Phillies GCL League Champions :


2002 - Managed by Ruben Amaro Sr - 39-21 record - defeated Dodgers in Championship Series 2 games to 1 - four players ( not including rehab short term assignments ) on the roster reached the major leagues -all pitchers - Scott Mathieson, Jean Machi, Elizardo Ramirez and Zach Segovia.


2008 - Managed by Roly De Armas - 33-25 record - defeated Nationals in Championship Series 2 games to 1 - five players ( not including rehab short term assignments ) on the roster reached the major leagues - SS Lendy Castillo ( went to majors as a pitcher ), OF Anthony Gose ( now a pitcher ) and pitchers Tyler Cloyd, Yohan Flande and Trevor May.


2010 - Managed by Roly De Armas - 32-24 record - defeated Rays in Championship Series 2 games to 1 - five players ( not including rehab short term assignments ) on the roster reached the major leagues - OF Aaron Altherr, 3B Maikel Franco and pitchers Jesse Biddle, Lisalverto Bonilla and Lendy Castillo.


The Phillies GCL team with the highest winning percentage was the 2016 club with a 43-15 record ... they went to the Championship Series but succumbed to the Cardinals 2 games to 1 ... 20 players on that roster remain in the organization ( not including short term rehab assignments ) with 6 more presently active in other organizations.


Last season’s GCL West team qualified for the playoffs with a record of 33-15 but the playoffs were cancelled due to Hurricane concerns ... in my humble opinion they would have become the 2019 GCL champions.


A total of 68 Phillies GCL player alumni thus far have reached the majors ( not including short term rehab assignments )... here’s a list by roster year when they played in the GCL :


1984 Team : Pitchers : Bob Scanlan, Jeff Gray and Pete Smith


1999 Team : SS Anderson Machado, Pitchers : Miguel Ascencio, Eude Brito and Robinson Tejada


2000 Team : 3B Travis Chapman, Pitchers : Eude Brito, Taylor Buchholz, Yoel Hernandez and Robinson Tejada


2001 Team : OF Chris Roberson, Pitchers : Ezequiel Astacio and Alfredo Simon


2002 Team : Pitchers : Scott Mathieson, Jean Machi, Elizardo Ramirez and Zach Segovia.


2003 Team : Pitchers : Kyle Kendrick, Scott Mathieson and Zach Segovia.


2004 Team : OF Greg Golson, IF Brad Harman, C Lou Marson, C Jason Jaramillo and Pitcher Carlos Carrasco


2005 Team : Pitcher Carlos Carrasco


2006 Team : OF Domonic Brown, IF Adrian Cardenas and Pitchers : Antonio Bastardo, Kyle Drabek and Carlos Monasterios


2007 Team : C Travis d’Arnaud , Pitchers Justin DeFratus and Jake Diekman


2008 Team : SS Lendy Castillo ( went to majors as a pitcher ), OF Anthony Gose ( now a pitcher ) and pitchers Tyler Cloyd, Yohan Flande and Trevor May.


2009 Team : OF Aaron Altherr, SS Lendy Castillo, IF Jason Donald, SS Freddy Galvis, 2B Cesar Hernandez, 1B Darin Ruf, OF Domingo Santana, 1B Jonathan Singleton, IF Jonathan Villar and Pitcher Jared Cosart


2010 Team : OF Aaron Altherr, 3B Maikel Franco and pitchers Jesse Biddle, Lisalverto Bonilla and Lendy Castillo.


2011 Team : Pitchers Ken Giles and Yacksel Rios


2012 Team : C Willians Astudillo, OF Dylan Cozens, 3B Zach Green, OF Cameron Perkins, OF Carlos Tocci and Pitchers Drew Anderson, Yacksel Rios and Jessen Therrien


2013 Team : SS JP Crawford, C Deivy Grullon and Pitchers Mark Leiter Jr and Jessen Therrien


2014 Team : Pitchers : Austin Davis, Seranthony Dominguez, Edubray Ramos and Josh Taylor


2015 Team : Pitchers : Seranthony Dominguez, Edgar Garcia, Ranger Suarez and Jacob Waguespack


2016 Team : None to Date


2017 Team : Adam Haseley


2018 & 2019 Teams : None to Date


Till tomorrow ... Happy Day, Happy Baseball ⚾️

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