Will Donald’s bat play at 3B?

The reports on Jason Donald this fall remain the same. He’d be fine at shortstop, but he doesn’t have prototypical power to play third base, and he’d be more valuable to the Phillies in a trade. Well, lets consider the composite batting lines for the 3B position over the last few years

2008: .266/.336/.436
2007: .273/.342/.443
2006: .276/.347/.458
2005: .270/.338/.435

Of course, this line considers all players who appeared at 3B, its not a standard for players who started at the position and played a large chunk of games. So to do that, I looked at all 3B who had at least 400 PA in 2008. The line, when considering these 27 players, is

.271/.355/.457

This tells us a bit more, its not radically higher, but it is a bit higher. So then we have to figure out what kind of hitter Jason Donald is in the majors.

Career: .297/.384/.459
2008: .307/.391/.497

Donald’s 2008 was his best minor league season, betting his numbers across the board, while doing it in AA. Is he a .280/.360/.460 hitter in the majors? If he is, then he’d be a league average 3B. I guess time will tell.

94 thoughts on “Will Donald’s bat play at 3B?

  1. Your incisive stat summary highlights the foolishness of the Phillies public position that Donald has too light a bat to play 3B. His numbers have improved as he moved up each level and his performance as a pro has outshone his hitting in college. All of this suggests that he should be able to match his minor league averages in the majors. He should also play very well defensively at 3B. There really seems to be nothing written on the wall saying Donald cannot be a highly successful 3B for the Phillies for at least 6 seasons. I only hope that the Phillies public position is a smokescreen to protect Feliz from the sense that his replacement is breathing down his neck. I don’t know why Phillies think competition for their starting positions is a bad thing, but that seems to be the Phillies way. It is fine for Donald to begin 2009 as the starting Lehigh Valley 3B, with a move to Philly later in the year and assumption of the starting 3B role at the beginning of the 2010 season. That approach seems to make the best source of resources for a budget-constrained organization.

  2. Thank you James. I don’t think anyone in their right minds is calling him an All-Star 3B but if he can play good defense he can play 3B for the Phillies. ‘League-average’ is far better then anything the Phillies have had since Rolen and that is what is getting people excited.

  3. However, and I hate I am bringing this up as I am writing it,
    but let’s say by 2010 the Phills are already going to take offers on Howard. Then realistically they could move Utley to 1B and Donald to 2B? Is that an option or no?

    I think at worst, Donald will take Bruntlett’s place by year end.

  4. If he puts up “Major League Average” numbers with around 15 homers, a decent amount of doubles and a mid to upper .300 obp, we’re looking at a quality ballplayer.

    He’s the Phils regular 3B by September 2009. It will be interesting to see how the Phils handle things if Mattair blossoms this year and Donald hits like we expect him to – they might have a difficult decision to make in a couple of years.

    – Jeff

  5. I could see Donald profiling similarly to Bill Mueller as a third baseman–probably with a bit more power, at least in counting stats (call it the difference between CBP and Pac Bell). That would be fine by me, and certainly an upgrade on anyone we’ve seen at the position since Rolen.

  6. No way do I want Utley at 1b. His defense is one the biggest parts of his game, and it’s not like half decent defensive 1B are tremendously hard to come by.

  7. liquidanthropoid – True. True. i just feel like eventually we won’t be able to afford Howard and if Donald is still around we’ll need his bat in the lineup.

  8. And Howard’s worse part is his defense. I am not saying I am for or against the move. Only that if there is any falloff defensively at 2nd ,the better defense at first will more than make up. Feliz fell off in Total touchs I think from .34 an inning to .31 and will do down again next year.
    To repeat next year It pays to change things up a little. Other teams are looking at 2008. Speed is all important so Donald again fits over Feliz to burn the offensive catchers in the NL east

  9. With Myers, Eaton and Burrell off the payroll in 2010, they’ll have enough to pay Howard. I don’t know why everyone is so obsessed with trading Howard, just because BP wrongly compared him to Mo Vaughn(while talking up Prince Fielder, who IS Mo Vaughn) That same article projected the Phillies to finish 3rd in the NL East. Utley and Rollins are older than Howard, and haven’t been much more consistent.

    …but enough of all that. I just get worked up everytime trading Howard is proposed, because this franchise would return to mediocrity without him.

    back to Jason Donald

  10. Jason Donald’s fit at 3B is contingent on the LF situation.

    If Burrell returns, we don’t need power out of 3B.
    If Burrell walks, his power needs to be replaced.

    Donald should primarily play SS at Lehigh Valley, not 3B. He is the insurance policy in case either Rollins or Utley get hurt, which seems to happen every year. A SS hitting .300 at triple A is worth much more than a 3B doing the same. If Donald is an average fielding shortstop and serious student of the game, he should be able to make the jump to 3B. Until then, Donald’s better off raking in AAA and proving that he can play SS.

  11. I was an advocate of trading Howard last offseason. My ideal match was the Dodgers, getting some combination of Kemp, Loney, LaRoche and Billingsley in return. Obviously Kemp and Billingsley blossumed a bit and LaRoche is gone, but that’s still a trade partner with some minor league talent. The Angels are another match with a strong bunch of minor leaguers and controlable young players. I could see Donald as a chip in that type of deal, since both teams are looking at a bit of a need at SS.

  12. I don’t think the Phillies want to trade Howard, but I think his salary demands are going to be so outrageous that, sooner or later (probably later), a trade will occur. The more I think about the trade, the less concerned I become. When you look at the team’s big 4 – Howard, Rollins, Utley and Hamels – in all truth, Howard is the most easily replaced because of the position he plays, because of his body type and likely career trajectory, because of his defense (abysmal), because of how often he descends into horrible slumps (to his credit, he makes up for this with some unreal hot streaks) and because of the unbelievable salary he will demand. As hard as it seems to believe, they can probably replace Ryan Howard, at some level – this year his “Win Shares” were 25 – very good to be sure, but not Pujols or Bonds numbers and, in fact, even in his best year he was not at that level. Utley, Rollins and Hamels probably cannot be replaced – not even close.

  13. atkins is a guy the phillies are interested in for left field. What would you think it would take to get someone like him.

  14. Please stop trying to trade Howard and stop looking at what he can’t do (field plus make contact enough). He just completed 3 seasons, except for the roids years, where he achieved success at a level that hasn’t been done since Babe Ruth and Jimmy Foxx played. His homerun and RBI totals are mind bending after you exclude the roid years. Opposing teams always pitch around him, ALWAYS. His mere presence effects the game. As for Chase, what makes him so special is getting his production as a second baseman. Its what allows the Phils to have a lessor bat at third. As for Donald, its the power numbers, not the batting average, that people question with the expectation that 3B is a power hitting position. If he hit 280 with 10 homers and 30 doubles and a few steals his first year there, no one would complain. I keep hoping the Phils release Bruntlet and give that spot to Donald right now.

  15. Truth is that Donald’s bat probably isn’t enough to play 3b for the rest of his career but for the next 1-3 years, he would fit into the Phillies line-up at 3b and be an improvement over what they have had.

    Eventually he will probably need to move to SS/2b because he is a better fit for the offensive characteristics of those positions.

  16. Murry you beat me to it I Can’t believe people will say he is easily replaced. What he has accomplish in this first three years is remarkable. To my question I have been looking at a lot of information on teams. and have come to the conclusion that we are one of only three teams in baseball. that doesn’ have prospect. If you read tampa is loaded on there farm, the only team like us is royal and mets,could it be every one has top players but those three teams.

  17. Folks, I love Ryan Howard and, no I don’t think they should be in any hurry to trade him. Why should they be? They have rights to him for another 3 years, so you folks can calm down for now. However, the reality is what it is. This team is not going to pay all four of those guys market salary – I just do not see how this is going to happen. So the question becomes, who is the odd man (or odd men) out considering all of the factors at play. When you look at the entire situation, it’s clear that Howard would probably have to be the right guy to go, particularly if they can get good value for him in his last year of arbitration eligibility. But nothing’s going to happen overnight. This core group of players has at least another 2 years together and perhaps 3.

  18. On Donald. I saw him play and I am telling you that he is going to develop into a much better player than the projections suggest. I view him as a 17-25 hr a year guy with a .360 OBP and a .435-480 slugging percentage – a really nice player and way, way better than Pedro Feliz.

  19. The point is not that Donald can not play 3B, or
    that he couldn’t hit enough, play good enough 3B,
    and contribute enough to be part of a winning team
    at 3B.

    The point is Donald is capable of playing middle infield
    and the offensive contribution he would make as
    a middle infielder (especially at 2B where no defensive
    deficiiencies would be expected) would be of greater
    value than an adequate, likely little power 3B.

  20. Look I don’t want to trade him, but the reality is this:
    ~ The Phillies have a self imposed salary cap;
    ~ Salaries are increasing all over the team (Vic, Werth, Myers, Hamels, Utley, Lidge). Without resigning Moyer, we’re already at about $110 million payroll.
    ~ Howard is the most expendable of Rollins/Utley/Howard/Hamels;
    ~ We have few or no prospects to fill the holes that are coming up (LF, 3B, bench, RP). Myers, Werth, Feliz, Madson and Jenkins are all free agents next year.

    Why not use him to re-stock the system (and give us more to talk about)? The good news is that 3 of the 5 mentioned for ’09 free agents are currently “A” level, as is Moyer and Burrell. Plus Tad Iguchi and Stairs are “B” level, so we could get a boat load of pics. There could be even more to talk about come draft day.

    Sorry if I’m doing too much big club related talk, but my point is that we need to re-stock the organization and farm system. Howard is the best chip we have. We have a number of guys with great promise, but nothing too close to be ready to stepping in and starting.

  21. Atkins is a nice player and his market value is down – I would support any reasonable effort made by the Phillies to obtain him, including trading Donald and/or Happ. Atkins would be a significant and major upgrade at third base and he would make Burrell fully expendable in left. That would be a great move if the cost is not outrageous.

  22. Utley and Rollins are better hitters than most 2B and SS in the Majors. I’ll take Donald at 3B over Feliz anyday.

  23. I think a lot of people — not here, necessarily, but elsewhere — are hung up on finding the “ideal bat” for each position. Jason Donald is not that, at least not at 3B, but that doesn’t mean he can’t provide solid value.

    Here’s a couple of other numbers that might help highlight this. I can’t filter it down to the 27 names phuturephillies has come up with above, but Baseball Prospectus has the MLB 3B median line as this:

    .266/.340/.438 = .270 EqA

    Now let’s take a look at Donald’s numbers. BP has some neat tools that “translate” MiLB performance into MLB performance using Clay Davenport’s formulas that account for league difficulty, park factors, etc. The regular translation for Donald’s 2008 (i.e. how his numbers from this year would have translated to the majors) looks like this:

    .268/.343/.451 = .274 EqA

    That’s a tick above the average 3B this year, and here’s the kicker: Donald would be doing that while making the MLB minimum. That’s phenomenal value and lets you spend your money elsewhere. For comparison’s sake, Pedro Feliz made $3 million this year to put up the following line:

    .249/.302/.402 = .241 EqA

    And as much as I appreciate Feliz’s defense, it apparently slipped to +7 on John Dewan’s plus/minus scale this year (compared to +27 in 2007). So if Donald can play a passable defensive 3B — and we’ve heard nothing to the contrary recently — then yes, he represents a good cost-effective solution at 3B for a couple of years.

  24. PhillyFryar – nice stats, not that I want to send you on a fishing mission, but I would have loved to see league average for SS/2B just to see how he would compare.

  25. Count me in to keep Ryan and slide Jason in at 3B for a few years, starting sometime in 2009. He may need ABs in AAA to get a good head of steam up and put the icing on his minor league career. Then again, if he hits .350 in ST (I think he is sure to be in major league camp almost to the end–why not give him the experience against MLB pitchers?) , and Feliz struggles, you might want to bring him north and split time with Feliz, matching them up to best advantage until someone wins the position outright. But coming up in July-Sept is more likely.

    How can anyone see a problem with him handling 3B? Solid, surehanded SS. Not great range for SS, so probabaly pretty good mobility at 3B, where you get a lot of barrell-chested guys. He will probably have a few extra errors his first year, but might be a plus fielder before long, much like Chase at 2B.

    Agree with the Bill Mueller comp. I have made the same comparison here. Nice AVG, good OBP and 10+ homers the first full year, then steady improvement to 15-22 homers and all other stats heading north year by year until age 27/28. That’s the projection. Only way to find out for sure is to play him

    And there is no one else realistically available to Phils, even if their resources were allotted in that direction, which they are not.

    Here is a cheap candidate to fill a long-time need. To me, this defines “no-brainer.”

  26. Another comp for Donald is a healthy David Bell–Bell in his best years, but with more patient at-bats and better OBP.

  27. No doubt Donald will hit and hit with power in the ML. He has hit .300 and over in 5 different leagues and in one tournament over the last two seasons. Including the Grapefruit, EL, the Olympics and the AFL Donald has 20 homers this year. I watched him rap one around the left field foul pole that even fooled the third base ump and punch one over the right field wall in Reading. He will be ideal for CBP. My concern is his defense: glove, throwing and range. So far this year he has committed 22 errors including one in the Olympics and three in the AFL, 2 at third and one at second there so far.

  28. if the guy hits over .300 with a good OB% and a good glove he can play anywhere. especially on a team like the phillies that get power from the 2nd base and shortstop position.

  29. This one is a no-brainer: get Donald on 3B next year no matter what. Move Feliz if you can – the guy is getting old and cannot hit the ball off the ground. A lot of people have said Feliz will rebound from his back problems this year. *Cough* David Bell anyone? *Cough*

    Donald would cost this team nothing, and if he could hit .285 and get on base, it would be a vast improvement.

  30. do the trade howard people understand what they saying.lets get rid of a guy who in 127 years the phillies have never had. do tou understand your saying lets dump stargell. when you win you pay especially with the amount of revenue howard brings in, he more than makes up for paying him dont give me this baloney he is too expensive and dont tell me its not you but phillies management.do you think he is replacable, your nuts.

  31. The reasons for trading Howard are very easy to figure out and carry a great deal of merit. However, this is a blog about the minor leagues, so let’s try to keep to the topic.

    I think Donald is the best option going forward at 3B. Mattair is the closest thing in the minors and that is a good ways off. There are no trade choices that interest me, including Atkins.

  32. erich the phillies do not need a 3rd baseman they have one, jason donald as ive said if you can play ss you can play 3rd. from watching donald i will bet anyone who cares he will give the phillies 20 hrs 80 rbis .300 ave and good 3rd base and that is starting 2009. i am sick and tired of hearing what these guys cant do when if youve watched them its obvious they can. take a look at rollins and h.ramirez stats from double a. nepp give these doubters some projections. one thing i learned from uncle hughie alexander was trust your gut. put your pressure on phillies ownership and management to sign howard not trsde the future hofer because of money. buy the i predict they will sign him becacause the money he generates is more than they would spend in payroll for him. same thing with hamels. or maybe we should trade him when he wants santana money. dont ever kid yourself they dont have the money to reach the luxary tax and still make a bundle. do you want the morass of the 90,s or a parade every couple years.

  33. A guy with marginal range for SS but a good arm…Hmm that smells like a 3B. Power is overrated from the 3B. We get good power from 2B (a non-power position) and massive unworldly power from 1B. Besides which, our SS, CF, & RF are all above average hitters for their positions. We can handle a good OBP/mediocre power guy at the hot corner and win alot of games.

  34. NEPP, not only can we handle it–it’s a mjor upgrade there over anyone since Rolen or Bell’s one good year.

  35. From what I’ve read, it was a pretty bad year for defense at 3B, particularly in the NL. I don’t think there’s any question that Donald should immediately hit better than Feliz (who’s salary jumps to $5mil next year). Can’t see that much of a downgrade in defense either. The case for Donald should also be helped by the Phillies needing a right handed bat with any kind of power.

    Great analysis PhillyFriar. BR also shows that the Phils were 27th in 3B OPS last year, so we couldn’t get any worse. Phils Catchers were 19th, so there’s an arguement for giving Marson a shot as well.

  36. Aaron: the EqA lines for SS and 2B read like this (as compared to 3B, which I’ll re-post)…

    SS: .275/.340/.409 = .264 EqA
    2B: .271/.331/.390 = .255 EqA
    3B: .266/.340/.438 = .270 EqA

    For my money, Donald’s ideal MLB position is 2B, where his somewhat limited range (for a SS) would be masked, and his bat would be a real asset. But given that 2B — and SS, for that matter — aren’t opening up in Philly anytime soon, we need to look to alternatives.

    If the Phillies’ system had a legitimate 3B prospect that was nearly MLB-ready, then I’d be all in favor of dealing Donald to maximize his value. But with no 3B waiting in the wings, and with Adrian Beltre the only intriguing 3B hitting free agency next offseason, Donald has to be the guy.

    As I see it, there are two options for where to place Donald heading into next year: (1) he’s the everyday 3B for Lehigh Valley; (2) he’s the utility infielder for the Phillies, getting some starts at 3B and giving Utley and Rollins a day off once in a while. I’d be fine with either, but if Donald starts at SS for Lehigh Valley next year, I’ll be pretty frustrated.

  37. Bill Mueller isn’t a good comparison:

    -Bill Mueller(5’10 175) was a terrible athlete with no power: 13 home runs in 1573 minor league at bats.
    -Jason Donald(6’1″ 200) is a good athlete with average power: 27 home runs in 1065 minor league at bats

    -Mueller was a switch-hitter who never struck out and walked a lot; Mueller’s minor league BB/K was 333/238.
    -Donald is a right-handed batter who strikes out a lot and doesn’t walk much; Donald’s BB/K is 198/346.

    -Mueller played third base because of his limitations.
    -Donald plays shortstop because of his gifts.

  38. The fun thing about spring training in 2009 will be that there will be another world baseball classic and you have to assume the Phillies will be well represented on the US squad. Howard, Utley, Rollins, Hamels and Lidge may all be invited with the Phils’ new visibility. This will also open up lots of playing time in Clearwater for Donald and others to show their ability. Everyone should hold off on the trade Feliz stuff. They’re not trading for Atkins, although he would be an upgrade and is close friends to Utley, because he would cost too much or just be a one year rental. The Phils are in “manage your money” mode. Also, while I love Donald as much as anyone, I don’t want to go into the season with a rookie starter when there’s no need. Donald will hopefully have the year to learn his way around and to fight for more playing time as the year goes on and to have the starting job in 2010. Its the ideal situation. I see Marson doing the same thing behind Ruiz. It would be perfect if the Phils could sign Burrell to a 2 year deal and then Michael Taylor hits well in Reading this year and he can go through the same 1 year apprenticeship in 2010. Add a maturing and healthy Drabek to that 2010 mix….

  39. just a thought if the phils and burrell cannot come to an agreement and in my opinion pat should take 2 years. at 34 he will be desirerable to someone as a true dh,but i still think he has 2 years of of in his legs. but if hes not back it looks like the marlins are dismantaling their team how about some lower minor leagers for jorge cantu.i know he kills the phils i think hes young and hes a righty. maybe a micheal taylor and joe savery. like i said just a thought. any help?

  40. I’m against trading Howard. I don’t know how you make up for all that power. This may sound crazy, but I’d try to move Rollins. His value is never going to be higher than it is right now and his contract is reasonable (will look even better once Furcal signs), so you’re going to be able to get good value in return. You also save $8mil in the process. If we assume Donad is going to be a .280/.350/.450 player over the next three years, there’s not much of a dropoff offensively. I realize Jimmy is one of the better defensive SS in the league, but Donald projects to be solid there. There are a number of teams who need a quality SS and we have two of them. We could turn him into a quality LF, 3B, or #2 starter without losing much at the position.

  41. pat completely agree on howard as everybody knows but completely disagree on rollins youd never get get comparerable value for a great fielding great hitting ss who is the emoyional leader of this team. to trade rollins youd rip the heart out of this team.

  42. John
    Never ,never, never trade for a guy who kills you because he wont play against you and more and unless he is a star he probably sinks against everyone else. I must of seen that line of thinks go bad about 500 times.
    My option would be for speed , and a bit of power even if it means Vic back to right for the right guy(Werth in left) I would however overpay Pat for one year

  43. nowheels i know that you neverfor a guy who only hits your yeam but as far as i know cantu kills a lot of i.e. the mets thats why i was curious what his stats in total are. off of memory i said hes young, righty, and seems to be good against everyone if anyone has his stats it would be nice, i know nepp does. he could be an emerging star i appreciate your thoughts but i know you never trade a tommy hutton to the meys because the one guy he killed was seaver.

  44. checked out cantu,s splits 29 hrs, 95 rbis, .277 .808ops mostly at 3rd hits better in hitters parks, but is certainly respectible everywhere else. hits better on grass at night and has consistantly had september as his best month. i seem to remember him as playing of alot could be wrong. 28 years old. the one thing i dont like would be the temptation to play him at 3rd further blocking donald. these are the stats i see from donald although his batting 7th would cut down on his rbi,s. plus higher average. as i look at 2009 the most important player that must emerge is carrasco as a legitimate #2 starter

  45. I am not against Cantu just basing a player on what he does against you. He didnt do much against the Mets or ATL.
    Still he is younger then i thought. One would have to know what went on in Cin. very strange!
    To the point I think the Marlins wont trade him unless u overpay. If Donald doesnt pan out…..

  46. The point is not whether his bat will play at 3rd (it will), but whether it’s the most efficient allocation of resources to play him at 3rd (it isn’t). Think of it this way: Let’s say that his bat is an 8 for a SS, and a 6 for a 3B (in other words, he’s in the 80th percentile for SS and 60th percentile for 3B). Since he is blocked at SS, it is more efficient, for the Phils to trade him for an 8 at a different position (like 3B) than to use him as a 6 at 3B.

  47. You don’t trade Rollins…he’s the unofficial team captain and the best defensive player on the team and the best in MLB at his position. Those don’t grow on trees.

  48. Seth — While I get your point that we want to maximize Donald’s value, you have to find someone else who not only thinks Donald is an 8 at SS but also is willing to trade you an 8 at a position of need for you. Don’t know how likely that is. Plus, regardless of how highly you rate Feliz at third on the number system you are using (4? 5? 6?), after 2009 you will either need to find a free-agent (read:expensive) player to replace him or use your in-house, inexpensive 6. If no one will give me an 8 at 3B or an outfield corner I’ll take Donald as a cheap 6 at 3B and hope for some upside.

  49. Then again:

    AB (CT): Who has more trade value for their current team, Dye or Magglio? Could a package of J Donald and JA Happ be a realistic starting point for either (with PHI paying full contract)

    Keith Law: Dye has more trade value. AL teams are going to look at Happ as a 5/6 starter, tops. He doesn’t have much value. Donald’s an everyday SS for someone, though – he’s a very valuable trade piece.

  50. Maybe Donald should learn some magic tricks , or give out
    stock advice, or bake cookies . What the hell can he do to make you doubters happy? Ballons animals that will do the trick
    AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB magic ballons
    4 1 3 1 0 1 3 1 3 2
    what no triple

  51. I thought he was coming down after his hot start after he went 2-10 last week. Guess not. Please give him a spot on the team.

  52. Donald is MLB ready right now. Its ashame that the Phillies won’t give him a legit shot. I smell a trade in his future if we don’t resign Burrell unfortunately.

    If I were GM: Donald would be platooning at 3B in 09…If I were GM.

  53. Five more games left in the AFL season. Donald could be the first utility infielder ever to hit over .400 for the season in any league. What is more amazing he is hitting .422 and is now just 2 points off the league batting lead all the while learning to play two new infield positions. Seems like he could be the next Ryne Sandberg. What an irony that Sandberg is the hitting coach for Donald’s team in the AFL. Just hope the Phils don’t do to Donald what they did to Ryne. It’s scary how many similarities Sandberg and Donald have in common so far at this stage in their respective careers. From physical size, to initial position, to batting averages at Reading etc. Give Donald a position! He is too good a hitter to be wasted as a utility infielder.

  54. the insanity of devaluling donald is exactly what i heard about sandberg and franco. fortunately he will not be expensive for a few years, he will not be traded the question is when will he play fulltime. as far as happ goes what kieth says and what i see are two different things. happ is a valualble pitcher. did you know the so called experts have once again picked the mets. i love the know it all bb prognosicaters on espn,brilliant.

  55. The sad sad thing is that Donald could likely step in and be a respectable 3B at the MLB level right now. I will hate Amaro Jr. forever if they trade Donald and its another Sandberg.

  56. I have been saying donald is not a ulitily player. Also how he has improve at every level. That beeing said. Amaro will trade him you can feel it. no repect for this kid.

  57. Again, from a value standpoint, the best thing to do here would be to trade Donald to a team who needs a middle infielder for a player of eaqual value at a position of need for the Phils. Whether that can be accomplished is another story.

    It’s not that he’s not valuable as a 3B. It’s that he’s MORE valuable as a middle infielder.

  58. To trade a player who has only achieved without giving him a chance is crazy. I want to see real baseball. This year should of been a walk. Think of all the mistakes management made this year Taguchi,Jenkins alone cut the roster to 23 by being completely useless and still being here. Easton made that 22
    This year is a walk also. Time to build with solid young players
    who will be here a while. Two years from now the battle begins. Players on the Phils have great attittude,now let them teach the young player. How many players with Moyers knowledge will share and nurture

  59. Have we forgotten players get injured. I personally have seen enough of Bruntlett. Donald has a high ceiling,great attittude
    and he is insurance

  60. I am still trying to find out it anyone was at the instructional league. I didn’t hear anything about the players we sent. Airbornranger was going to go there .did I miss it?

  61. I forsee Donald in AA or more likely AAA to start the year. He will be insurance for any injury to Dobbs, Feliz, Infielders, Bruntlet. However by midseason or when the rosters expand he should be called up. I believe he will be on the team for the entire 2010 season with a good chance that he may find a spot sometime in 2009. With Feliz’s back and the chance that Bruntlet may just play himself off the team Donald may get called up early. He also could be used for trade bait, but with so many infielders being traded in recent years I do not think that will happen. (A catcher is more likely to be traded)

  62. Good idea play three of the inferior all around infielders in the game ahead of Donald . What is the bruntlet fan base Mario
    Mendosa’s old fans His batting average went from fair in the spring to bad to awful to worse to “Where is the batboy”
    Sept .154 for BA and OBP. He is worse then Terry Harmon.
    lol. The roster spot may be needed. and please dont meantion one Hr.

  63. after further consideration i would say Bruntlet is a test for Ruben. If he cant see this player has no value,and only grace is that he is here and should be replaced then he is part of the Phils “status quo is good enough for me no matter what.

  64. Donald, unless they want to start him, shift him between 3b
    and LF on a regular playing time basis, or trade him,should
    be placed in AAA. Players don’t get better by sitting they
    get better by playing. Same goes as far as people who
    rant over a bench players statisical anomolies. Hitting
    is based on rythym and timing and a player who does
    not get regular playing time will lose alot of that. So
    the Bruntlett stats, and Coste’s stats after he was dropped
    from regular rotation for defensive purposes mean
    less than some imagine. Players on MLB bench can exceed
    some minor league prospects when they play more.
    I bet some on here raved over Golson, but when they all
    played in the last game of the season, he was not up to
    the level of So Taguchi. Ways to go. And don’t give me
    it was Odalis Perez pitching, either. He ain’t bad, Maybe he’s coming here.

  65. bruntlett’s job is to be ready as well as Coste if they cant do it and they cant there is NO reason to keep them. Keep your excuses

  66. These are not excuses, just simple statements of fact as
    to the way things really are, as opposed to how they
    appear on a stat sheet. They won’t find superstars or
    players without flaws to sit on the bench. Especially
    not for a middle infield back-up who is very likely to get
    very little playing time in Philly. They don’t need to have
    a top prospect sitting around at MLB level all year. Even
    if they work Donald in at 3B they should still have another
    middle infield back-up anyhow. These back-ups should
    be compared to other back-ups in MLB, not to Chase Utley.
    I am strongly leaning to believe they will both be back to
    start the ’09 season. There is value to have players who
    can fill in at a variety of positions without defensive SNAFU’a
    which can result in the immediate loss of a game. You
    would be hard-pressed to find better back-ups without
    undue expense or prospect movement. And, after all,
    a world championship was won with those guys on the
    bench the entire season.

    Oh , and T.J. Bohn? I didn’t notice that he got into very
    many games or had any significant AB’s whatsoever, So
    what is the difference? He is very good at OF defense.
    He has filled in for other MLB teams before and will likely
    do so again. Often times a player will get out of timing
    upon a minor league assignment, or have an injury at a
    time, which I believe to be the case here, rendering statistics misleading. Look at the stats for Quinton Berry
    when he was first starting as a professional, and it can be
    illustrated.

  67. Please you cant learn to hit major league pitching in the minor
    besides Adam Eaton had a higher OBP then Bruntlett. He only sits if the manager makes him sit. Why are so committed to
    status quo

  68. marfis i understand your desire to have a brunlett or coste on the roster, the big problem with that theory is a managers natural inclination to play it safe, especially old timers like charlie. ive seen it happen too many times. this play it safe approach only limits the playing time of a donald or marson. the ultimate solution to this is hope brunlett and coste can make it lehigh and will accept it.remember what happened to howard in 2005 he was ready but thome was blocking him. now it could have been service time but it could have been reluctance to play a rookie. well never know. and thome was a certified star. nowheels is right in saying you cant learn to hit mlb pitching in aaa.in my opinion there is nothing more to be gained by donald or marson in the minors.

  69. John you stated that much clearer than i could thanks. let me add one thing this is an entertainment business and Bruntlett
    is able as exciting as burnt toast and the whole Coste thing while nice is played out

  70. Now , from some reading around, I’m inclined to think
    management feels inclined to keep ‘em. Charlie
    Manuel was quoted in a ST.Louis paper, concerning
    next year’s roster, that he would like the team to
    add another middle infielder “in addition to Bruntlett”.
    I got that from the Phillies team page on Sports
    illustrated. I believe in one of the Philly papers, Ruben
    was quoted as saying getting a better catcher “was
    not a priority” and “we have the utmost confidence in
    Ruiz and Coste”.

    There it is . Professional thinkers agree. These players
    deficiencies are no where near what is circulated.
    It has become a phenomenon typical of the internet,
    Oft-repeated nonsense, which becomes “an indisputable
    fact ” to those who circulate the theory , re-eat it, and
    feed off of it.

  71. Just because the Phils do it doesnt make it right. So-So should of been gone before allstar game. The fact that the Phils played with a 22 man roster is testamony not to their manament skills but no serious injuries and poor ,poor competion(count the fired managers). Bruntlett is a sore,easily replaced. As far as i am concerned end of discussion.
    P.s get off the internet crap I dont rehash anything without thought and reference and no one said anything about
    Bruntlett other than he “should”go.

  72. Coste is a useful backup catcher, but Bruntlett and Taguchi stink. There’s no doubt Donald is better than either of them right now. The only reason you’d keep Donald in the minors is if you think he needs more ABs (I don’t, but he’s only had 360 AA abs so at least that’s a realistic argument)…I like how Marfis quotes internet articles to support his argument and then scolds us in the next paragraph for relying on the internet for our points of view.

  73. Pat or Nowheels: With the amount of teams that seem to be looking for a backup/offensive catcher, don’t you think the time to moe Coste is now, or maybe during spring trainning? I wouldn’t be expecting much of a return at all but he’s coming to the end of the road and we have depth behind him. I just don’t want our organization falling into the realm where we cannot jettison any of these guys because they won us a championship.

    Coste was awesome for us, but he might just be more useful in a trade.

  74. Section 113…I definitely agree with you on Coste. I was responding to Marfis. I thought he was overvaluing our backups, but didn’t want to lump Coste in with the others he was referring to.

  75. Corrections of some erroneous materials topside.
    I did not cite the internet as a source , I cited
    quotes from Charlie Manuel and Ruben Amaro,
    which were found on the internet. Difference.

    Did not say some on here got their ideas from
    the internet. They give their views on the
    internet When these often erroneous views are
    given, they are not immeadiately corrected by one
    with greater insight and understanding.
    Then these views spread until they are parroted
    by like minded individuals. Thus, the originally
    errroneous are spread and reinforced , until among
    the “in-crowd” they become an “established fact”
    which “everyone knows”.

    3rd partys reading this, you decide, which is the better
    plan? The plan of 2 professional baseball people and talent
    evaluators, as endorsed by intelligent, insightful observers.
    Or the plan of a small cult of internet geniuses?
    You be the judge.

  76. Marfis
    Alot of truth in what u say but it is not like u are getting truth
    from Phils statement. So much is just spin. A day or two b4
    a move spin will appear on the Mlb website or on the radio.
    I was upset about something Ruben said during the year.
    A respected writer told me not to take these types of statement too seriously. Baseball people think they are so
    clever but usually are as transparent as glass

  77. I see no reason why Jason Donald can’t be as good as Garrett Atkins at third. A slighty average to above average defender who hits in the 280-300 avg, OBP of 360-380 , 20-25 home runs, 80-100 rbi’s per year. I don’t see how his BAT doesn’t play to the position, especially with the power that comes from 1st and 2nd base

  78. Well, we can stop worrying about Donald to third. It looks like he’ll be playing second for the first few months next season after Utley’s surgery.

  79. Yep, I was just going to say that. Utley’s hip surgery
    and possible abscence until late June, means
    that if Donald is deemed worthy to make the squad
    at the start of the year, he could be the starting
    2B at the season’s beginning.

  80. From Keith law in chat today:

    Danny(Philly): Keith it turns out Chase Utley was hurt most of the season and will have hip surgery next week and could miss the start of next season. Do you think Jason Donald could fill in nicely if needed to?

    Keith Law: (1:06 PM ET ) Yes, he could, and he’d probably increase his trade value for a midseason deal once Utley returns. It’s not as good as actually having Utley, but there’s a silver lining.

  81. shows you what keith law knows.as one who does not bow at the alter of buster olney,and the steve phillips of the world i consider the above statement by law ludacris. i think what ryne sandberg said about him is spot on. when are people going to realize donald is not playing to increase his trade value.he IS the phillies fulltime 3rd baseman by 2010 probably b-4.

  82. Ok let say Donald starts the season well at 2nd. I have previouly sent out a trial ballon about put Utley in left.
    That may be the way to go for next season at least until
    Chase is fully healed. Of cource he will see if he can play outfield but no one is breaking up DPs out there.

    Thoughts anyone

  83. Considering that even with a bum hip, Chase Utley was far and away the best defensive player in all of baseball at any position, moving Utley from 2B is probably a ridiculously bad idea. Move Donald, not Utley.

  84. All due respect to Chase Utley he maybe the best defensive
    2nd baseman in the NL but his dStats are almost identical
    to Robinson Cano as they were last year percentage wise

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