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Phillies’ Sleeper Righty Franklyn Kilome Has a Velo Spike

Phillies 6-foot-6 righty Franklyn Kilome works from a high 3/4 slot and has the size, arm speed, pitches, and mentality that you want in a starting pitcher. He has shown a huge jump not only in velocity, but also with the consistency of his secondary pitches. His long, lanky frame still oozes projection and the growth he’s shown with his stuff in less than a year has been exciting to watch.

Fastball 60/70

Last summer I had Kilome sitting mostly 89-92 while touching 93 mph on occasion, so seeing him routinely in the 93-95 range and touching 96-97 at times during extended spring training shows how quickly he is developing. The command is still not where it needs to be, but the growth he’s shown in one year is very positive. The fastball is heavy and has excellent sinking action, which is amplified with the good amount of downhill plane he gets by creating angles and letting his tall frame work for him.

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Jeff Hoffman Surprisingly Polished in Return from Surgery

The Blue Jays’ farm got stronger last week, as last summer’s first-round pick, right-hander Jeff Hoffman, made his pro debut for High-A Dunedin. Hoffman was in the mix to go #1 overall last year until he underwent Tommy John surgery just before the draft and slid to ninth overall. The 6-foot-4 righty has the size and athleticism to support his frontline starter stuff, which was already back in his first regular season after surgery.

Fastball – 65/75

Hoffman came out establishing his fastball and showed his premium arm speed, sitting 95-98 and touching 99 mph early on. The pitch had life up in the zone and, when located down, the heater had good run and sink. It’s a heavy pitch that has the ability to swallow up opposing hitters’ barrels. In the second inning, Hoffman was leaving the pitch up and out over the plate, causing it straighten out. He was hit hard and loud that inning, but that was the only bump in the road.

Hoffman allowed four runs on four hits that inning, but put up zeros in the other four innings, scattering another four hits. He also showed the ability to hold his premium velocity while working out of the stretch, sitting 93-97 mph. The fastball command was better than I anticipated, as well. Even though he was getting squeezed a bit, Hoffman was regularly working the fastball to both corners and moving it up and down in the zone. Fastball command is usually one of the last traits to return after an injury like his, so it’s an encouraging sign to see glimpses of it this early.

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