Observations on the 2015 Reader Top 30

This year, we extended the Reader Top 30 out to 50 positions.  There has been some discussion among commenters whether the organization was strong enough to provide 50 prospects to such a list.  I would suggest that even though some of the players who made the top 50 are at best questionable that there are some talented, young players who didn’t make the list because we just aren’t familiar enough with the lowest levels within the organization.  I would further suggest that an older player designated a prospect in the 30-50 range is less of a prospect than a considerably younger player who didn’t make the list.  Players in their age 25 or age 26 season are really at the outer edge of being a prospect.  They should be much higher on the list to be considered a true prospect. That said, here are some observations about the Reader Top 30 (and, in keeping with previous year’s,  I’m only going to consider the Top 30). Continue reading Observations on the 2015 Reader Top 30

Full Squad, Day Four

The number of people attending spring training is much lower this year than in any of the three previous years that I’ve been here.  In the past, the bleachers were full, people were two, three deep around the fences, and the pathways around the complex were crowded.  This year, I can walk unimpeded from one field to another, get a prime spot along the fences surrounding the fields, and rarely have to worry about blocking the view of fans seated on the bleachers. Continue reading Full Squad, Day Four

The Pope

Full Squad, Day Three

I didn’t go to the Carpenter Complex this morning for the Phillies spring training session.  Instead, I waited for the afternoon minor league session.  So, here’s some pictures and a video from the first two days that I haven’t posted yet.

Video of two Cliff Lee pitches – a soft line drive to short and a single up the middle.

Chad Billingsley getting on line.Billingsley

Ken Giles waiting his turn. Giles

Mario Hollands sporting full stirrups. Hollands in full stirrups

A little before 1:30PM, the 50-plus minor leaguers who are in Clearwater exited the  clubhouse and filed over to take positions along the left field line on Robin Roberts Field.  They waited patiently for the coaches to start them through their pre-practice exercises.  After agility drills they formed a circle and went through a series of stretching exercises and other drills to loosen their muscles.  Here they are doing what we called windmills in high school.  The blue and khaki jackets on the left are Ruben Amaro and Pat Gillick.

Practice ring

While waiting, I noticed that the grounds crew added a twist to the horizontal string they installed at home plate on the warm up mounds between the fields last season.  They have added vertical string to better define the plate.  The string is loosely knotted so that it can be moved to further minimize the target zone to one side of the plate or the other.

New tech HI tech

I’m starting to recognize some of the players in their nameless red tee shirt uniforms.  Names and numbers will come when practice starts officially next week.  There were a few more players in camp today.  Cord Sandberg was here today and  acquisition P.J. Walter arrived .

I think I watched Adam Loewen and Victor Arano pitch live batting practice.  I asked catchers Corey Bass and Joel Fisher who they caught and a couple coaches who was on the mound.  All 4 did not know.  I may be able to identify more players than anyone here.  Loewen throws a heavy ball that is effective when he can keep it down.  Arano really pops the glove.  Can’t wait to see a gun on him.  I was standing near a Phillies exec for a part of the live BP, and I overheard him say that he had yet to see a good curve ball.  I think he meant all week.

Roman Quinn drove a ball around the right field foul pole and followed it up with a smash to the gap in right-center while facing a live pitcher.  Left-handed, of course.


Full Squad, Day Two

Day two started the same as day one – meeting at the mound, pitchers and catchers stretching in one outfield, position players stretching in another.  Once loose, the position players split up between Schmidt and Ashburn infields and began base running drills.  When completed, they completed long toss to warm up their arms.  The groups then came together on the two infields to practice pickoffs and rundowns.

Continue reading Full Squad, Day Two


Phuture Phillies Reader Top 30 (50) Completed

Mark Leiter takes the 50th prospect slot in our poll.  He received 39 of 157 votes (25%).   Jesus Alastre finished second with 20 votes.

The final poll is listed below.  It will be added to the Prospect Ranking menu option above by week’s end.  I’ll also post some observations on the poll and share my Top 30 when I have time.

Don’t forget to post your sleeper and breakout prospects here.

Continue reading Phuture Phillies Reader Top 30 (50) Completed

Full Squad, First Practice

Shortly before 10:00AM this morning, 58 roster and non-roster players as well as 30 coaches, instructors and guest instructors gathered around Ryne Sandberg at the mound on Mike Schmidt Field.  After addressing the team, he dispersed them to their stations on the various fields and Spring Training 2015 was on.

The pitchers and catchers gathered in right field on Schmidt Field to do their stretching exercises.  The position players did their own stretches in left field on Ashburn Field.  While his team mates went through their exercises, Kelly Dugan limped between the fields in his walking boot, stooped over to retrieve his glove, and continued alone into the Bright House Field clubhouse. Continue reading Full Squad, First Practice

MiLB: May 04 - Clearwater Threshers at Tampa Yankees

Dugan Down, Again

There is a story on the Phillies site that Kelly Dugan is injured again.  He is wearing a walking boot on his right foot and is expected to be out for a couple weeks.  He received a mild stress reaction running sprints.



PhuturePhillies Reader Top 30 (50) Poll for #50

Mitch Walding takes the 49th prospect slot in our poll.  He received 30 of 141 votes (21%).   Mark Leiter finished second him with 28 votes.

The current poll’s selections so far are listed below.  Continue reading PhuturePhillies Reader Top 30 (50) Poll for #50

Open Discussion: Week of February 23rd

Pitchers and catchers reported Wednesday and took to the field Thursday  for their first official practice.  Position players are scheduled to report Monday and the first full practice will be Tuesday.  A week later the Grapefruit League season begins at home against the Yankees.

Cole Hamels answered honestly that he hopes to play for a team that has a chance to win, and that (as already admitted by upper management) winning wasn’t going to happen here.  This, of course, pissed off Phillies fans.

The rotation is set thru #4 – Hamels, Lee, Harang, Williams – only #5 appears to be up for grabs with Gonzalez, Billingsley, and Buchanan vying for that spot.

Have a go at these or anything else that interests you.


PhuturePhillies Reader Top 30 (50) Poll for #49

Lewis Alezones takes the 48th prospect slot in our poll.  He received 20 of 122 votes (16%).   Mitch Walding finished second him with 19 votes.

The current poll’s selections so far are listed below.  Continue reading PhuturePhillies Reader Top 30 (50) Poll for #49