So, time for me to stop slacking and get in gear. I have some general thoughts. Before I get to that, if you want to make a redundant comment about the Joe Blanton trade, or even a fresh comment with fresh ideas, go to the Joe Blanton post, make it there, and do it before the end of the day, because I’m going to lock the comments on the post and freeze it in the time capsule for all of us to look at later. But I want to move on, and I feel like Blanton-Mania has cast a general malaise over the rest of the site. With that said, lets get to the tidbits.
* Travis Mattair’s current batting line is; .248/.315/.319, and this after going 0 for 9 in his last 2 games. Over his last 10 games, he’s drawn 4 walks and struck out 9 times, but he’s also collected 3 2B and hit a HR. Progress has been slow this year, but I think he is making progress. He’s hit .266 since May 1, and he has a 7.0% BB rate for the season, not great, but better than I expected considering his profile heading into this season. The question now is, where does he go next year? He’s only 19, so he could repeat the level and be age appropriate, but should he be challenged and moved up? If he repeats does Cody Overbeck double jump over Lakewood and move to Clearwater? The Phillies lack 3B prospects in the lower reaches, so this is going to be an interesting situation. Best case scenario is Mattair finishes the last month strong and logically moves to Clearwater in 2009.
* Drew Naylor experienced some growing pains upon his promotion to Clearwater, but he’s starting to piece things together. His lines couldn’t be more different;
first 4: 21.1 IP — 7.68 ERA — 22 H — 18 BB — 16 K — 1.85 WHIP
last 2: 13.1 IP — 0.69 ERA — 9 H — 4 BB — 14 K — 0.99 WHIP
Naylor’s fastball is only average velocity wise (89-91, based on reports), but he can spot it well, and he has the potential for 2 plus offspeed pitches. The key for him, as is the key for every guy without a plus fastball, is to locate his pitches to all four quadrants, especially inside, to set up his offspeed stuff. In a perfect world, Naylor becomes a #3 starter. More realistically, he becomes a solid back of the rotation guy, kind of like Kyle Kendrick but with the ability to miss bats.
* I wasn’t a huge fan of the Jason Donald pick in 2006, mainly because of his unspectacular college career at a major program. After a somewhat sluggish half season in the NYPL, a pitcher’s paradise, Donald exploded in 2007, and he had me convinced. Scouts still were skeptical, but it seems like everyone is on board this year, and Donald has established himself as a legit prospect. Some still wonder if he’ll stick at SS, but he can probably play passable defense there, and might be a candidate to move to 2B possibly for another team. I wanted to watch how Donald progressed this year at AA, if he’d have a bit of a falloff after beating up on A ball pitchers last year, but so far so good;
April: .339/.403/.393 — 2 XBH (0 HR) — 4 BB — 13 K
May: .267/.398/.476 — 13 XBH (4 HR) — 22 BB — 28 K
June: .308/.370/.549 — 11 XBH (5HR) — 8 BB — 19 K
July: .324/.346/.581 — 9 XBH (5 HR) — 3 BB — 16 K
Donald’s month to month splits are kind of odd. No power and lots of singles in April, a monster April in the power and walk department but a .267 average (and this is why average is overrated), a solid June and already 5 HR in July, with very few walks. It seems like when he’s not hitting for average, he’s not afraid to take a walk, and since May, he has 33 XBH with 14 HR, very very good totals for a middle infielder. Its possible that the Phillies see Donald as a 2B, and because of this, they decided they could trade Cardenas. I think at the highest level, Cardenas still ends up the better long term guy, but Donald has clearly won over scouts and the front office. Could he be our version of this guy, with fewer walks and a few more strikeouts?