Baseball, Prospects, and an Icon; 9/20/2014

The Florida Instructional League scheduled an intrasquad game for Friday at 1:45pm. In an effort to get the game in ahead of the rainy weather, they moved the game up to 10:00am, but still had to call it by 10:30am.

The rain was so heavy that Bright House Field was unplayable for Saturday’s 10:00am game against the Yankees, and was moved to Robin Roberts Field at the Carpenter Complex.

I arrived in the bottom of the first inning after getting a flat tire on Route 19. Those of you who have been down here know that is not the best place to get a flat. So, by the time I got to the correct field, I just tracked highlights and didn’t chart pitches or keep a proper score card. Continue reading

Report Card, Starting Pitchers, CLearwater and Lakewood

The report card for starting pitchers who ended the season in CLearwater and Lakewood.  Reminder on grading…players are graded against pre-season expectation of themselves not each other.  A= Far exceeded expectations; B= Exceeded Expectations; C= At Expectations; D= Below Expectations; F= Far Below Expectations.  Next up, Starting pitching in Williamsport and GCL

Clearwater

Colin Kleven, 23, Phils 33rd round pick in 2009; 24 starts, 6-10 with a 4.83ERA; 136IP 155H 33BB 107K; 13HR allowed; .289 opp avg; 1.38 WHIP; 1.41 GO AO; 2.2BB/7.1K per 9; .285 with RISP; .339 vs. LHH, .252 vs. RHH; Post All STar: 12 starts, 4-3 with a 4.32ERA; Kleven’s numbers are very pedestrian until you consider that he recovered from an extremely significant back injury in 2013 to pitch a full season and become more effective as the year went on.  Grade: C+; 2015: I think he will be challenged to sink or swim in Reading.

Mark Leiter, 23, Phils 22nd round pick in 2013; 27 starts between Lakewood and Clearwater; 9-12 with a 4.35ERA; 149IP 160H 37BB 141K; 10HR allowed; .274 opp avg; 1.32 WHIP; 1.24 GO/AO; 2.2BB/8.9K per 9; For Clearwater: 11 starts; 4-5 with a 4.31ERA; .273 opp avg; 1.30 WHIP; Leiter would throw two outstanding games, followed by an atrocious game and was inconsistent all year.  His final numbers are adequate and show continued promise but he needs to work on his consistency.  2015: Reading; Grade: B-

Miguel Nunez, Soon to be 22, SIgned as a free agent in 2010; 25 games (20 starts); 6-7 with a 4.49ERA; 122.1IP 125H 44BB 95K; 8HR allowed; .263 opp avg; 1.38 WHIP; 0.71 GO/AO; 3.2BB/7.0K per 9; .269 vs. LHH; .257 vs. RHH; .243 opp avg over last month; Since July 1: 4-1 with a 2.32 ERA in 9 starts; Nunez came on to become the Threshers most consistent starter, throwing exceptionally well towards the end of the season.  Grade: B-; 2015: I think he starts in CLearwater but with a quick call to Reading when a Reading starter either falters or is called up to Lehigh Valley Continue reading

Shane Watson Suspended for 50 Games

The news keeps getting worse for Shane Watson, but this time, it is of his own doing.  Watson, the Phillies first round pick in 2012 missed all of last season with a shoulder injury and will now miss the first 50 games of next season due to a suspension for violating baseball’s drug policy.  Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer is reporting that the violation is not for steroid use, but a “drug of abuse”.   STay tuned for more details as they become available.

More on the FIL Roster: 9/17/2014

Just a few observations and answers about the Instructional League Roster.  It’s a little easier to address the questions that arose in yesterday’s thread here than after each comment.

A lot of the players you guys noted were missing attended the Instructs last year and maybe the year before, guys like – Anderson, Keys, Rivero, Viza, Rios, Posso, Canelo, Green, Greene, Pujols, Tocci were all included in the 2013 Instructs. I think Mecias, Cuicas, Marte, Hiciano, Tromp were included in 2012. Continue reading

Phillies Instructional League Roster as of September 16, 2014

The Phillies have determined their roster for the 2014 Instructional League (FIL).  I apologize for the appearance, I just did a basic block and copy and haven’t ruined the integrity of the file, yet.  If you would like a copy, e-mail me at jimpeyton19@yahoo.com and I will forawrd a copy.  It is still in its original Excel format.

There are a couple of surprise attendees. Guys I didn’t expect to see, like J.P. Crawford. And guys I’m looking forward to seeing, like Jesus Alastre. I can’t wait to start covering the Instructs.

The first game is this coming Saturday morning. I have an updated schedule, too. If you would like a copy, e-mail me at the address above. I’ll get copies out tonight or tomorrow. I have an important lunch meeting at the Brown Boxer today. Yeah, meeting sounds more official than happy hour lunch. Continue reading

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General Discussion – Week of 9-15-14 – Saint Diego Edition

Seven on the west coast this week. Four in San Diego then the weekend in Oakland.

The Phillies sit in 21st place overall in the MLB, which does afford them the last of eleven protected picks (with that Houston 2014 re-pick at #2). The club is even in the loss column and just a game up in the win column on San Diego right now, so honestly, I would be fine with a Padres sweep for the betterment of the club in the long term. Perfectly reasonable that the Phils could finish in the bottom eight, (pick #9), below San Diego and the White Sox, and less reasonable but still plausible that they could finish as low as the bottom five, (pick #6), if the Cubs, Astros, and Red Sox all get a little bit hot and the Phillies do not. Seems to me that Colorado, Texas, Arizona and Minnesota are locked in ahead of the Phils, as they’re currently lined up to fill out the top five picks around Houston at #2.

As for the other direction, if the Phils get a little hot, they could potentially pass any of Cincinnati, the Mets, Marlins and Rays. Passing all four would push them down to the 16th pick, but passing any of those four would put them in a position where a QO free agent signing would lose them that pick. I’ll say that IMO, there’s no reason they ought to be signing any QO free agents this year based on my quick look at free agent power rankings. However, if the right name fell to them at the right price, it would be lousy to have to weigh it against losing a pick that could theoretically help them in the next couple years, assuming they plan to repeat their 2014 draft strategy by picking another advanced college player.

Discuss.

Starting Pitching Report Card, Lehigh Valley and Reading

Report card for starting pitchers at Lehigh Valley and Reading.  Clearwater and Lakewood are up next.  A reminder that grades are based on pre season expectations against the players themselves not against each other.  A= Far exceeds expectations; B= Exceeds expectations; C= At expectations; D= Below Expectations; F= Disaster

Lehigh Valley

Greg Smith, 30, Re-signed as a free agent in 2014; 27 games, 9-11 with a 4.40ERA; 157.1IP 176H 37BB 92K; 17HR allowed; 2.1BB/5.2K per 9; .286 opp avg; 1.35 WHIP; 0.63 GO/AO; .297 vs. LHH, .282 vs. RHH; Post All Star Game: 2-5 with a 5.58ERA in 9 starts; .318 opp avg with RISP.  Smith was serviceable this year, transitioning into a side armor.  Best that really can be said is that he gave Lehigh Valley innings, some good, some bad.  Grade: C; 2015: Elsewhere

Sean O’Sullivan, 27, SIgned as a free agent in 2014; 25 starts; 6-10 with a 4.30ERA; 148.2IP 154H 50BB 94K; 17HR allowed; .271 opp avg; 1.37 WHIP; 0.79 GO/AO; 3.0BB/5.7K per 9; .282 vs. LHH, .261 vs. RHH, .323 with RISP; 2-1 with a 2.56 ERA in 5 August starts; There were times O’Sullivan threw well, and he was an innings eater for Lehigh Valley, but basically, it was a mediocre year for the RHP.  Home runs simply killed him and the high opponents average with RISP tell the tale. Grade: C; 2015: Could be back in Lehigh Valley providing depth but more likely, elsewhere. 

Brad Lincoln, 29, Acquired from Toronto in 2013; 27 games (22 starts); 6-11 with a 5.11ERA; 123.1IP 123H 58BB 112K; 13HR allowed; .260 opp. avg; 1.47 WHIP; 0.79 GO/AO; 4.2BB/8.2K per 9; .271 vs. LHH, .252 vs. RHH; Since July 1st: 2-8 with a 6.12 ERA; .281 opp avg with RISP; Lincoln started the year with the Phils, was awful and was sent down.  He pitched well early for Lehigh Valley but his second half turned into an unmitigated disaster.  Grade: D; 2015: Elsewhere Continue reading

Report Card, Middle Infield–Lehigh Valley, Reading and Clearwater

The report card for middle infielders at the upper reaches of the organization. Next up: Starting Pitching

Lehigh Valley

Reid Brignac, 28, Signed as a free agent in 2014; .279/.357/.471 for Lehigh Valley in 128 AB’s; 5HR 21RBI; 3SB; 11%bb/22%k rates; .211 vs. LHP; .289 vs. RHP. 16 games at 2B without an error (1.000); 8 games at SS without an error; 10 games at 3B with 3 errors (.870); 1 game at 1B with 1 error.  Brignac was up and down between Lehigh Valley and Philly, with the DL in between this year. In fairly limited action with the ‘Pigs he did a good job with both the bat and glove.  Grade: B; 2015: Elsewhere; Brignac will go where there is the best opportunity for major league time.  Looking at the Phils situation, the likelihood is that his major league chances are limited.

Cesar Hernandez, 24, Signed as a free agent in 2007; .290/.358/.394 in 259 AB’s between Reading and Lehigh Valley; 3HR 24RBI; 8/15SB; 10%bb/16%k rates; .250 over last month; 24 games at SS with 4 errors (.952); 21 games at 3B with 10 errors (.831); 23 games at 2B with 2 errors (.981); Hernandez bounced all around in 2014, between the minors and majors; between Reading and Lehigh Valley. They experimented with him at 3B which did not go well.  His stats at the plate were solid as they usually have been in the minors.  Bottom Line: Hernandez can be a  backup middle infielder that is far more solid at 2B. Grade: C; 2015: The Phils are in a dilemma as Hernandez will be out of options after this year, so he must make the major league roster in the Spring or all major league teams will have a shot at him.  At just 24, he is a likely candidate to be picked up if the Phils choose to outright him.  Continue reading

Report Card–Middle Infield, Lakewood, Williamsport, GCL

The report card for middle infielders at the lower levels of the organization.  Up next is a look at the middle infield for Lehigh Valley, Reading and CLearwater.

Lakewood

Andrew Pullin,20, Phils 5th round pick in 2012; .270/.332/.374 in 492 AB’s; 9HR 61RBI; 6/13SB; 8%bb/18%k rates; .241 vs. LHP; .282 vs. RHP; .268 last month; .317 with RISP;  123 games at 2B with 26 errors (.951);  Grade: B; 2015: Clearwater.  A very good year at the plate by Pullin who was productive throughout the year.   In his second year since transitioning from the OF, Pullin committed too many errors but worked hard and showed defensive potential.  The Phils will be faced with a dilemma with the newly acquired Jesmuel Valentin likely to start in CLearwater as well, with AB’s potentially shared until someone steps up (or down).

Drew Stankiewicz, 21, Phils 11th round pick in 2014; .239/.297/.284 in 155 AB’s between Williamsport and Lakewood; 1HR 14RBI; 5/7SB; 8%bb/17%k rates; For Lakewood: .145/.198/.145 in 76 AB’s; 0HR 2 RBI; 27 games at 2B with 6 errors (.945); 17 games at SS with 2 errors (.971); Grade: C; 2015: Lakewood.  Stankiewicz was very good for Williamsport and very poor for Lakewood with the stick.  He will need to show some success in Lakewood before any more movement. Continue reading

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General Discussion – Week of 9-9-14 – Franco In The Two-Hole Edition

Since I hijacked yesterday’s General Discussion with my departure announcement, here’s a fresh thread for all things Phillies. Something of note – Maikel Franco is batting second tonight with JRoll out of the lineup. He fits the “contact hitter” part of the traditional number two hitter. Not sure he fits any of the other typical traits you’d expect there. Maybe he’ll turn out to be a really awesome bunter and just no one’s ever given him the chance, ya know?

Discuss.