phillie tree

Open Discussion: Week of December 22, 2014; Christmas Week

Well, in the words of Andy Williams, ” It’s the most wonderful time of the year”.  So far this month, the Phillies have turned Jimmy Rollins and Antonio Bastardo into three young pitchers – Zack Eflin, Tom Windle, and Joely Rodriguez.  They have also added another pitcher and a young infielder through the Rule 5 Draft – Andy Oliver and Obudel Herrera.  What would you like the Phillies to find under their tree come Christmas morning?  A package of prospects for Cole Hamels?  A smaller package for Marlon Bird?  Jung-Ho Kang?  Discuss.

Rollins rookie

Reader Top 30 #1

Welcome to the 2015 Reader Top 30.

I will post a poll most days Monday thru Friday.  I’m starting with MLB’s Top 20 and will add names as needed.  I expect the first new group of names will be added after Prospect #5 is decided.  If you want to make sure a name is added to the list e-mail using the Subject Line – Add Prospect

As I mentioned earlier, we will follow Baseball America’s standards for prospects by considering any player eligible for rookie status as eligible for this poll.  Reminder: the following players exceeded Rookie Status during the 2014 season – David Buchanan, Ken Giles, Miguel Gonzalez, Cesar Hernandez, Mario Hollands, Ethan Martin, and Cameron Rupp; and these players retained their Rookie Status – Aaron Altherr, Maikel Franco, Hector Neris, and Seth Rosin.

I would encourage each participant to submit his own Top 30 to using the Subject – My Prospect List.  I am curious how the day-by-day voting affects the outcome when compared to a one-time submission along the lines of an MVP ballot.  If I receive enough prospect lists early in the poll, I’ll share whatever observations I reach.


Franco in Gigantes uni

Winter Ball Round Up: Dec. 7 – Dec. 20.

I was on the road last weekend and couldn’t provide an update. So, here’s a two-week update today.

Position Players

  • In the VWL
  • Willians Astudillo played in 8 games and went 10 for 31, no XBH, 1 RBI, and his first 2 VWL Ks. His overall slash is .314/.351/.400/.751. He has been splitting time in Left and center fields, has one outfield assist from LF, and has committed no errors.
  • Andres Blanco played in 12 games and went 13 for 41, 5 XBH, 6 RBI, 6 BB, 5 K. His overall slash is .306/.444/.472/.917. His BB rate is 11.4% and his K rate is 18.3%.
  • Freddy Galvis played in 13 games and went 16 for 53, 5 XBH, 8 BB, 7 K. Overall, he is .259/.326/.345/.671 with 12 doubles. His BB rate is 8.4% and his K rate is 21.9%. Surprisingly, he has been caught stealing in 4 of 5 attempts.
  • Cesar Hernandez played in 11 games and went 9 for 38, 3 XBH, 9 BB, 7 K, 3 SB. Overall he is .315/.393/.371/.764 with 7 doubles. His BB rate is 11.4% and his K rate is 17.7%.
  • Obudel Herrera played in 12 games and went 18 for 47, 2 HR, 6 BB, 6 K, 3 SB. Overall he’s .378/.434/.567/.1.001 with 5 HR, 13 doubles, 3 triples, 7 SB in 7 attempts. His BB rate is 8.6% and his K rate is 14.2%.
  • Gabriel Lino played in 9 games and went 6 for 24, 8 K. Overall he’s  .247/.345/.329/.674 with 6 doubles. His BB rate is 13.1% and his K rate is 31.5%.
  • Wilmer Oberto saw time in 4 games and went 0 for 5. Overall he has 39 at bats in 19 games. His slash is .179/.273/.179/.452. He has 15 Ks in those 39 ABs.

Continue reading Winter Ball Round Up: Dec. 7 – Dec. 20.

Upcoming Reader Top 30 Poll

Get ready for the 2015 Reader Top 30 Prospect Survey.  An overwhelming number of readers expressed interest in having a top 30.  Of 274 respondents, 246 were in favor  (89.8%).

I will start next week and try to post a poll every day.  I would encourage each participant to submit her or his own Top 30 to using the Subject – My Prospect List. I am curious how the day-by-day voting would affect the outcome when compared to a one-time submission along the lines of an MVP ballot.  (This is not a requirement.)

I suggest we continue to follow Baseball America’s standards for prospects by considering any player eligible for rookie status as eligible for this poll.

As a quick refresher, the following players exceeded Rookie Status during the 2014 status – David Buchanan, Ken Giles, Miguel Gonzalez (he has 122 playing days at the major league level according to Baseball Reference), Cesar Hernandez, Mario Hollands, Ethan Martin, and Cameron Rupp. Continue reading Upcoming Reader Top 30 Poll

Phillies trade Jimmy Rollins to the Dodgers, receive 2 prospects

Its finally official now. The Phillies send Jimmy Rollins to the Dodgers and get back RHP Zach Eflin and LHP Tom Windle.

Here is video of Eflin.

Here is video of Windle.

My analysis: Eflin looks like a #4 starter in the majors. He is durable, none of his pitches are truly plus or better, but his overall package is solid. He looks like he’ll pitch at 90-93, so his command will need to be sharp, but he has done well since turning pro and he looks pretty durable. Windle looks like a reliever to me, but I’d give him every chance possible to stick as a starter. He has good raw stuff, but hes not a finished product and has a bit more to do. Given the Phillies struggles with player development, I’m at the point where I will take the low end of the probability scale on most guys, but Eflin at least seems pretty low risk.

Rollins had 1 year left on his deal, and I’m sure he’s happy he gets another shot at a ring, which he wasn’t going to get here.

Thanks for all of the memories, Young James.

next steps for

hello, its me. i wanted to quickly say a few words about what i plan to do moving forward and what has happened since i left. a few weeks ago, i wrote a quick post saying that the site would not die, and that i was debating making a return. so, now that ive had some time to think about things, i wanted to update you. as some of you know, brevity was never my specialty, so the rest of this entry is below the fold

Continue reading next steps for

Baseball America’s Phillies Top 10 list

BA released their Phillies Top 10 today. You can find it here.

The top 10 is:

01. JP Crawford
02. Aaron Nola
03. Maikel Franco
04. Roman Quinn
05. Carlos Tocci
06. Aaron Brown
07. Matt Imhof
08. Jesmuel Valentin
09. Yoel Mecias
10. Franklyn Kilome

Please do not post the scouting reports from behind BA’s paywall. They will be pissed if you do. Here is a summary

The good:

* JP Crawford is awesome, and one of the best all around prospects in baseball
* Aaron Nola has elite command, he’s more than a soft tosser, but he has to refine his secondary stuff
* Franco has legit power and a great arm, but he’s really aggressive and has holes in his game
* Roman Quinn is one of the fastest players in baseball

The bad:

* After the top 4, it gets really bad# in a hurry
* Jesse Biddle couldn’t make the top 10, in what will be a system BA ranks in the 20-30 range. That is really troubling.
* The Phillies drafts over the last 4-5 years have been brutal. We’re feeling the effects right now.

If you’re a believer in divine intervention, say a few prayers for the bottom half of our top 10 so that things look a little better at this time next year. Also, a few people have asked me about putting out a top 30 list this winter, since I may start writing again. I’m going to decline to do that, simply because I have not paid as much attention to the system (or baseball as a whole) over the last 2 years. If I get back into it again, I will write a top 30 next winter. I will say, from what I know, that I’d rank Quinn above Franco right now, and even with his struggles, I’d have kept Biddle at #10, as I don’t think hes lost all hope, and I think hes a better bet to contribute in the majors on some level over a guy who hasn’t gotten out of A ball yet. But there isn’t much else for me to add.

Now, please discuss.

Report: Phillies Move Rollins, Bastardo in Separate Deals

So, while travelling north to PA on Interstate 95, my text and Twitter exploded.  First, with news of a ¨completed¨ trade of Jimmy Rollins to the Los Angeles Dodgers and then with another trade where Antonio Bastardo was reportedly sent to the Pittsburgh Pirates.

In the Bastardo deal, the Phillies will receive Joely Rodriguez, a 6’1, 200 lb, left-handed pitcher who started in 2/3 of his 30 appearances for the Double-A Altoona Curve, and posted a 4.84 ERA.  He participated in the Arizona Fall League as a member of the Scottsdale Scorpions, which included seven Phillies’ players as well as Lehigh Valley pitching coach Ray Burris.  Rodriguez rebounded from a difficjult regular season to post a 3-0 record in 7 starts against the higher level competition of the AFL.  He posted a 2.38 ERA, struck out 22, and walked 6 in 22.2 innings.

Although the Rollins trade ¨broke”first, the players involved haven’t been announced.  There has been speculation that the Phillies will receive a pair of minor league pitching prospects, that some money will change hands (this requires approval by the commissioner), and that a third team is involved (the Marlins?) and that player(s) from that trade are involved.

So until we learn more, here’s a place to talk about these moves.


Open Discussion: Week of December 8, 2014; Winter Meetings Edition

MLB began their coverage of baseball’s winter meetings at 8:00PM Sunday evening.  Early in the show, Greg Amsinger, Harold Reynolds, and Dan Plesac offered their opinions on the level of activity we could expect from the Phillies at the 2014 Winter Meetings.  Their preview suggested that the Phillies -

  1. might be as inactive this year as they were last year because of the big contracts.
  2. had missed their window of opportunity for unloading their big contracts.
  3. had a new window and their big contracts didn’t look so bad.
  4. had an opportunity to move their big contracts, even Howard’s “if he’s able to turn it around” (Huh? What does that even mean?)

After these four earth shattering pronouncements, with which all three announcers agreed, I decided to mute the volume by 8:14PM and prep the Open Discussion for  Monday. Continue reading Open Discussion: Week of December 8, 2014; Winter Meetings Edition

Winter Ball Round Up: Nov. 30 – Dec. 6

Updates on Phillies’ minor league players from around winter ball  during the last week -

  • Aaron Altherr hasn’t played since November 18th.
  • Willians Astudillo hasn’t played since November 23rd, his only appearance where he hit a 3-run HR in a 1-4 outing.
  • Emmanuel Marrero hasn’t played since November 26th.
  • Cameron Perkins hasn’t played since October 29th.
  • Darin Ruf hasn’t played since October 31st.  I read that he suffered a muscle strain, returned to the US for a second opinion, and was sent home for the winter.
  • Wilber Oberto hasn’t played since November 4th.
  • Jesse Biddle hasn’t pitched since November 8th when he was shut down for the winter after an injury.
  • Ethan Martin hasn’t pitched since November 29th.
  • Lino Martinez hasn’t pitched since November 6th.
  • Yacksel Rios hasn’t pitched since November 18th.
  • Alexis Rivero hasn’t pitched since October 20th.

Position players – Continue reading Winter Ball Round Up: Nov. 30 – Dec. 6