26 thoughts on “Carpenter or Happ?

  1. Today I’d say Happ because he’s a lefty and lefties are always more in demand than right-handers. Besides, Happ has better numbers (WHIP, K/9) and has faced more advanced hitters. Who knows what Carpenter will do at the AAA level?

    Happ has a very good chance of making the Phillies rotation out of Spring Training next season.

  2. Happ got blown up this weekend, but I still like his long-term projection better. Carpenter has been nothing but solidly consistent his entire career with us, but Happ just has more elusive/dominant stuff. Carpenter could very easily end up having more career success than Happ just simply based on his consistency, but Happ has the chance to be a middle rotation starter.

  3. I think that Carpenter’s consistency could carry him for a long time. While Happ’s got better stuff thus far, I’ll always think of how many pitchers had “better” stuff and haven’t really done anything.

    But I also know for a fact that I don’t know enough to make a truly legitimate case for either.

  4. i believe that my statements were the impetus for this question, but even so, i don’t think it’s completely fair. ja happ was drafted two years earlier than andrew carpenter, and as a result has a more developed track record and a more impressive resume. not only does happ have 2 more years in pro ball, but he was also born 2.5 years before andrew carpenter

    i’d like to add that i don’t like andrew carpenter that much. i think there are about 150 MiLB pitchers that i’d rather have, which should say something about how i view the other guy in this question.

    hopefully savery will make a strong case for being the phillies second best pitching prospect early next season because as it is, i’m not too optimistic about the group as a whole.

    and for those who thought that kyle drabek was worthy of being the second best phillies prospect at the end of last year, i hope that this year has taught you a lesson of caution and skepticism about amateur pitchers.

  5. Have to like Carpenter a little more. He has the potential to be more of a ground ball pitcher. This year Carpenter’s GO/AO is 1.02 and Happ’s is 0.72 Phils young pitchers should strive for Kendrick’s 1.42 which he has maintained both at Reading and with the Phils so far.

  6. Does anyone have an informed opinion of our top pitchers other than steagle who quite frankley does not seem informed. I never heard any claim happ or carpenter was our number 2 pitcher.

  7. I like Happ, he has good stuff and being a lefty clearly gives him an advantage over Carpenter.
    But if a pitcher who has good stuff can’t throw strikes then what does it really matter anyway?

    So Carpenter being consistent is a huge plus. No one thought Kendrick had overpowering stuff, but he’s been consistent and gives the team a chance to win. He pitches to the situation in the game.

    But given all of that, being consistent only gets you so far and you will likely eventually pushed out by someone who has more of an “upside.”

    So my answer is Happ.

  8. and for those who thought that kyle drabek was worthy of being the second best phillies prospect at the end of last year, i hope that this year has taught you a lesson of caution and skepticism about amateur pitchers.

    So you knew he’d get hurt? That’s quite an astute opinion to have. Everyone should be skeptical of every young pitcher or position player.

  9. no, i didn’t know drabek’d get hurt this year, but i didn’t have him in my top 10 last offseason because i felt there was a reasonable doubt. i certainly didn’t have him in my top 3.

    you’re completely right about being skeptical of any young pitcher, but sometimes i feel that truism is sacrificed at the alter of projection.

    i’ll be slightly higher on savery for this year’s list than i was with drabek and last year’s list, but i don’t anticipate savery being in my top 5.

  10. At this point both Happ and Carpenter are inconsistent. Happs control has really hampered him this year. Hes a strikeout pitcher, at least in the minors. A lefty who strikes out hitters is a valuable commodity. I don’t know that hes a “crafty” lefty, he does throw in 90s consistently.

    Carpenter can have dominant outings and then others he struggles with his control. He pitches to contact and doesn’t get many swings and misses.

    Without seeing how Carpenter does at AA or AAA I will go with Happ at this point. He has overall better stuff and if he can regain the control he showed last year he could be an effective MLB starter.

    “i’ll be slightly higher on savery for this year’s list than i was with drabek and last year’s list, but i don’t anticipate savery being in my top 5.”

    Savery is more polished then Drabek was last year. He pitched in college and was dominating until his shoulder injury. Drabek was a high school kid taken based on projection. I’m not ready to give up on Drabek. Hes still young and time will tell about his prospect status. Before his injury he was pitching all right.

  11. Someone doesn’t know sarcasm when they see it (or is too self-absorbed to see it). No, you shouldn’t be skeptical of every young pitcher – you should keep in mind that there’s no such thing as a sure thing in baseball, but that doesn’t warrant downright skepticism.

    Oh, and I love that you buy Bill Conlin’s trash about Drabek already being a bust, Steagles. Shows how much you know about baseball. Many pitchers come back with improved velocity after Tommy John surgery. If he doesn’t pan out over the next three years, then he’s a bust. As far as ceiling is concerned, he is in the top three Phillies prospects.

  12. i never said that drabek is a bust, and i certainly don’t think that drabek is a bust.

    i just don’t think that 18 year olds with workload issues need to be represented at the top of prospect lists.

  13. I don’t think there is a right or wrong answer in many cases when you are drawing up lists of prospects. A lot of it depends on personal preference as to: a. What you consider a prospect to be and, b. What you value the most.

    You can make a good argument for Drabek to be a number two or three prospect or you can leave him off your top 15 and present a fine case.

    This is a real hit and miss game. Plus, who is a prospect? Is Castro? Where would he fit in here? I’d rate him pretty high I think. What about Durbin? Is he still a prospect? How about Kendrick? Probably not those two.

    I’d rate Outman high. And, of course I like Mathieson and Zagurski a lot as well.

    I think the best pitching prospects the Phils have are Carrasco, Mathieson, Castro, Outman, Savery, Happ, Zagurski and Bisenious. All of them have had some great success and some big bumps in the road. But they seem to have enough stuff to make it if things go well for them.

    Carpenter, like Maloney before him has done very well in the low minors despite not having dazzling stuff. It’s pretty difficult to translate that into major league success. I think it might be a little misleading to point to Kendrick as an example of a guy who fits that profile and has been successful in the big leagues. Kendrick, I think, is the exception to the rule.

    I don’t think the Phils have a single pitcher who I can confidently say will have a good big league career. But they have a lot of guys who might make it to the big show and few might be very good. But all of them have enough drawbacks that give you some doubt as to how well they will do.

  14. Wow, Smitty really said it all. Dear readers: disregard everything else you read today about pitching prospects and read his write-up. Well done.

    Anyway, I feel exactly the same way about Carpenter. Right now, you just can’t project him above A ball. Let’s see what he does at AA and then we can make a more informed decision – . . . but I’m not holding my breathe.

    By the way, I understand he supposedly has a big upside, but I’m not sure how much I’m sold on Carrasco yet. If he’s another one of these righties who throws between 89-93 MPH and occasionally touches 94 I will temper my enthusiasm (why is that we almost never get a Phils pitching prospect who hits 95 or more on the gun – for a righty, those extra 2 or 3 MPH make all the difference in the world). Anyway, has anyone actually seen Carrasco pitch a bit either in person or on TV? What kind of stuff does he have? I am very curious to know as the AA stats tell me very little.

    Finally, as predicted, Mike Costanzo is coming on strong. He’s now close to .270, with good OBP and leading the EL in homers. He’s torn up the league in August, after struggling early and hitting his stride in the middle portion of the season. It’s now looking very probable that he’s going to have a future with the big club. The question now is where. I’m betting on a corner outfield slot (a replacement for Burrell – in fact, my guess is that his stats will almost be the same as Burrell, except he’ll cost $14 million a year less) with either Donald, Harman or Cardenas playing third. One of those guys will be close behind him in the system and, last time I checked the Phils don’t need anyone at SS, 2B, or 1B for, say, the next 5 years or so.

  15. With pitchers of at least moderate talent, staying healthy seems to be the number one factor in getting to the majors. Talent — stuff plus control — sets the ceiling. For the young guys, the stuff is often just one pitch with the control iffy. We had a guy with a 100 mph fastball a few years back (Machi) who never made it to high A, and I think not even to full-season ball.

    It is hard to say who our top 6 pitching prospects are. The top 5 talents include Carrasco, Mathieson, Drabek, Savery, Outman, and probably Garcia. I’m excluding the super young. Of this crew, only Carrasco is healthy and performing fairly consistently. Mathieson may come back with an even better fastball or he may turn into Segovia. Same with Drabek, where an extra mph or two on the fastball to go with the offspeed stuff would really give you somehing. Savery has the nagging old injury issue, since he hasn’t been able to log significant innings yet. Drabek really erratic. Outman has really gotten banged around in AAA and hasn’t missed a lot of bats, despite a fastball that hits mid-90′s.

    Then there are the guys like Maloney, Happ, Carpenter who pitch very well, but don’t have as much stuff. Maloney did really well at AA and pitched a lot of innings. Sorry he was dealt. Happ seems the best pitcher of the 3, but I think he is the least healthy.

    The mystery guy was Segovia. Liked him a lot, but he is certainly not the poster boy for TJ surgery. Someone may get a Rule 5 find in him this off-season.

    Castro is not rookie eligible and I suspect Durbin isn’t either.

  16. There’s no such thing as a “can’t miss” pitching prospect. Gavin Floyd, anyone? Meanwhile, the Phillies starting rotation is a mess. If not for Kyle Kendrick, this season would be over already. And as others have pointed out, who projected Kendrick this time last year to be the savior of the ’07 staff? Possibly his mother…but does that really count?

    Burrell just homered against the Mets, Go Phillies!

  17. By the way, I understand he supposedly has a big upside, but I’m not sure how much I’m sold on Carrasco yet. If he’s another one of these righties who throws between 89-93 MPH and occasionally touches 94 I will temper my enthusiasm (why is that we almost never get a Phils pitching prospect who hits 95 or more on the gun – for a righty, those extra 2 or 3 MPH make all the difference in the world). Anyway, has anyone actually seen Carrasco pitch a bit either in person or on TV? What kind of stuff does he have? I am very curious to know as the AA stats tell me very little.

    I’ll try and edit some footage for you later. Basically, he consistently throws 91-93, maybe 89 if he’s trying to change speeds. He has a fairly compact delivery which makes it easier to repeat, and he features an excellent changeup (best in the system) and a good curveball. The curve has made the most strides in the last year. His problem comes from occasional wildness, but he’s basically 2 years young for his league, so he’s more than holding his own. He’s gotten really good at changing speeds on his fastball as well, able to throw it 89 and also able to throw it 95 with ease.

  18. “He’s gotten really good at changing speeds on his fastball as well, able to throw it 89 and also able to throw it 95 with ease.”

    QFT. i don’t know how good carrasco’s changeup would be were it not for this fact.

  19. “There’s no such thing as a “can’t miss” pitching prospect. Gavin Floyd, anyone?”

    Did anyone consider Gavin Floyd a can’t miss prospect? If so, they weren’t looking at his peripherals. Now, Cole Hamels, health questions aside, was a can’t miss prospect.

  20. Thanks Phuturephillies for the scouting report on Carrasco – that’s very helpful and encouraging.

  21. Anyone that isn’t sold on Carrasco just doesn’t keep themselves well enough informed. I’ve watched him pitch 6-7 times, and every single time he’s impressed me. His changeup isn’t just the best in our system, it’s probably the best in all of the minors (and that’s saying alot). His breaking ball is coming along nicely, and he has picture perfect control on his fastball at almost all times. Get on board with him, he’ll be our #2 or 3 sooner rather than later.

  22. The main thing that’s impressive about Carrasco is his age. He was struggling a bit at AA until recently, but even then he was holding his own, and he was doing it at age 20, which is outstanding.

    This doesn’t make Carrasco a sure thing because he isn’t, but then, no pitching prospect is ever a sure thing. To hold that against Carrasco is to evaluate him without any sense of perspective or context. If Carlos Carrasco’s potential flaws mean that he isn’t someone to be sold on, then there’s no basis for ever being sold on any pitching prospect anywhere. The stats are there, the peripherals are there, the “stuff” by all reports is there, the traditional scouts are impressed with him, he’s well below age for his league – what’s there to criticize?

  23. I think Carrasco’s fastball is better than 89 – 93 with a touch of 94. I have seen him in more than one Reading game where by their gun he was 91-95 with the fastball through about 5 innings, with a touch of 96. He has looked very good. Much better than Outman, who is also regarded as one of our top 5 pitching prospects.

Comments are closed.