Keith Law ranks Phillies system 11th

I know Keith Law “hates the Phillies” and is biased, but he did have this to say about our system…

11. Philadelphia Phillies: This system has improved dramatically in the past year, in particular because of the emergence of two tools guys, Dominic Brown and Michael Taylor, who weren’t really on the radar last winter. The system could make a big move up if a few high-risk/high-reward picks from this year pan out.

Check out the full rankings here. (insider content. sorry)

Also, KLaw has published his Top 100 prospects. Check that list here.

48. Jason Donald
60. Carlos Carrasco
84. Dominic Brown
100. Michael Taylor

130 thoughts on “Keith Law ranks Phillies system 11th

  1. Taylor jumped from not very much at all to eye-popping numbers, but Brown hasn’t really put up the impressive stats yet. Must be a scouting tools thing.

  2. Allentown: it’s partially scouting reports, which are very positive on Brown, but the other half is the continual improvement in numbers, especially the key peripherals. His plate discipline is very good and his ISO should continue to improve as he fills out.

    Good stuff from Law, who I think has always been very fair.

  3. That’s an improvement. I believe last year only carrasco appeared on the top 100 prospects list. too bad the phillies are giving away draft picks for no apparent reason ><

  4. Donald over CC is a little weird but I guess he feels JD is a little more of a sure thing at either 3B or OF with solid production over a #3 SP.

    Brown is being praised by every single scout out there even though the numbers dont jump out at you, that has to say something about the kid. If he does indeed reach the heights that 90% of the scouts think he will WATCH OUT.

  5. Suprised the phils system was ranked that high, according to the geniuses in the philly media i.e howard eskin the phillies have the worst farm system in baseball

  6. its good to see the immortal fernando martinez ranked 16th. i think he begins to collect social security this year. for the past ten years i have heard the mets refuse to part with their jewel, way to stick with him.

  7. Also from KLAW (http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/columns/story?columnist=law_keith&id=3849552):

    Philadelphia Phillies
    1. Jason Donald, SS
    2. Carlos Carrasco, RHP
    3. Dominic Brown, OF
    4. Michael Taylor, OF
    5. Travis D’Arnaud, C

    Proving once again that there is absolutely no consensus on the Phillies top prospects. Let’s compare the top 5 of KL, BA, BP, and ours, shall we? In alphabetical order:

    Dominic Brown: BA #1, KL #3, PP #6, BP #7
    Carlos Carrasco: BP #1, PP #1, KL #2, BA #2
    Travis D’Arnaud: BP #4, KL #5, BA #7, PP #8
    Jason Donald: KL #1, PP #3, BA #4, BP #6
    Kyle Drabek: BP #3, PP #4, BA #5, KL NR
    Lou Marson: PP #2, BA #3, BP #5, KL NR
    Michael Taylor: BP #2, KL #4, PP #5, BA #6

    That’s just crazy. Three different top prospects, two of which did not crack everybody’s top 5. Carrasco is clearly our top prospect, but after that, who the hell knows who counts as our #2? Totals:

    Carrasco: 6
    Donald: 14
    Taylor: 16
    Marson: 16/17
    Brown: 17
    Drabek: 18/19
    D’Arnaud: 24

    If even 2 of these 7 pan out to what their rankings say, the Phillies are in great shape. Obviously, more would be better, but let’s not get too greedy.

  8. I think Law is underestimating the pitching. By a lot. What if Drabek becomes a monster? Or one of Donald, Marson, or Carrasco does too? That’s added fuel to the fire that’s already there. He doesn’t even have Marson in his top 10. lol.
    The Phils should be ranked higher.

  9. Ducky,

    To add to post, here are Sickel’s rankings. Giving more weight that Carrasco is clearly the consensus #1, but no clear choice beyond that.

    1. Carrasco
    2. Taylor
    3. D’Arnaud
    4. Donald
    5. Happ
    6. Brown
    7. Collier
    8. Knapp
    9. Savery
    10. Marson

  10. Rating the Phillies up at 11th is nice to see and it could definitely go up even more next year depending on how lots of these kids do. 2008 was potentially the best draft ever but they have to go out and perform now. 2007 was also a good draft and between the two, we could see many major leaguers in a few years. The Phils have a good depth of prospects although Taylor is the only one who has had an eye popping stat year so far. We all know that Drabek could top this list next year if he performs well and stays healthy but there could be others moving up also. Its easy to see that our prospect list is better year over year and that’s after trading a few kids from the top of the list.

  11. John, what in the world are you talking about. Fernando Martinez is a 19 year old prospect who, in 352 AA at-bats, put up a standard line of .287/.340/.432. He is a phenomenal prospect. A prospect, who if he were to be in the Phillies system, would easily be the consesus number one prospect. Unfortunately, it wouldn’t even be that close.

  12. Law is simply down on Carrasco. He has been for the past couple seasons. He has seen him in person a few times when he wasn’t at his best so that doesn’t help. He was very down on him after the 08 Futures Game…where he was just coming off an injury.

  13. Law has really come a long way on Donald. I remember him pretty much writing Donald off like he writes off Marson.

  14. I didn’t include Sickels for two reasons. One, his rankings were done before all the Winter leagues, and two, because he simply doesn’t have the credibility of BA, BP, or KL, at least in my opinion (simply look at the amount that BA, BP, and KL wrote for our prospects compared to JS). We don’t either really, but I included us because I wanted to compare us to them. But yeah, it’s crazy how much it varies.

  15. KLaw chat nuggets.

    Matt (Pittsburgh): You seem to be in the minority rating D’Arnaud ahead of Marson in the Phillies system. What makes the former the superior prospect?

    SportsNation Keith Law: (1:21 PM ET ) Call me when Marson hits something in the air.

    Philip (State College): Since the Phillies we’re 11th, can you tell your next 5 on their top 10? I’d assume its 5 out of these 6: Knapp Collier Savery Drabek Marson and Happ?

    SportsNation Keith Law: (1:26 PM ET ) d’Arnaud and Drabek were the next two. Then Marson, just by default because he can catch and makes some contact; Collier; Knapp.

    Brandon (Nashville, TN): Who, in the bottom 50, has the best chance to jump up into the top 10 (or 20) after this year?

    SportsNation Keith Law: (1:31 PM ET ) There are several candidates but both Dominic Brown and Michael Taylor came to mind right away. Others: Wilmer Flores, Freddie Freeman, Michael Main, Aaron Hicks, and – because I’m stubborn – Chris Nelson.

    Bill (Washington, DC): Actually Marson did hit one in the air (a home run in the final game of the season). ANYWAY what kind of major league player do you project D’Arnoud at at this point?

    SportsNation Keith Law: (1:42 PM ET ) Solid-average big-league catcher with average power, makes contact, good defender, no one area that’s plus. He could become more than that if the bat develops, but he’s just out of short-season ball so I’m offering a realistic projection rather than an optimistic one.

    Zac (Philadelphia): Klaw, I know that you were down on Knapp coming into the Draft. Has anything changed after his first taste of pro ball? Number ten on the Phillies list ain’t too shabby. Thanks.

    SportsNation Keith Law: (1:45 PM ET ) Outside of the top few orgs, clubs don’t really run ten deep in legit prospects. Knapp has a live arm, had a nice debut, and after the Phils’ top eight, it gets thin.

    matt (philadelphia): it seems like you’re not that impressed with carlos carrasco, please explain? His fastball is mid 90’s with a plus changeup. He is only 21 and already at triple-a

    SportsNation Keith Law: (1:50 PM ET ) I’ve seen him a few times. He’s never sat mid 90’s and his changeup hasn’t been plus.

  16. Law’s comments on Carrasco in his top 100 list read like a defense against our criticism of him.

    Didn’t he rank Carrasco in the 40s last year? Thats kinda odd, considering Carrasco is coming off his strongest pro season.

  17. I’m really surprised by this recent backlash against Marson. A little over a month ago MiLB had him rated as the 43rd best prospect in all of baseball, and Baseball America had him as our #3 prospect. We have all had him rated very highly and has seemingly impressed the Phillies a great deal. However, BP and KLaw seem to be down on him.

  18. Unless I missed him somewhere, I didn’t see Adrian Cardenas on the top 100 list, which is a bit surprising. I guess Law never loved him that much as a prospect, but I thought he’d make it somewhere on the list. Curious.

  19. Cardenas is listed 8th on Oakland’s top 10… though Oakland is also the 3rd ranked organization as a whole.

  20. Also interesting that Law doesn’t consider Savery one of the Phils top 10 prospects, and ranks Collier 7th.

  21. A few more from KLaw. The last two don’t offer much insight…

    Mike (Philly): Keith, do you see the Phils draft philsophy changing (toolsy guys) now with Amaro replacing Gillick and Arbuckle gone?

    SportsNation Keith Law: (1:56 PM ET ) The scouting director is still Marti Wolever, so I assume the philosophy will generally stay the same unless Amaro insists on changing it.

    Danny(Philly): If I’m not mistaken don’t you have Carrasco ranked 60th? Isn’t that the potential of a 2 or 3 on a good team?

    SportsNation Keith Law: (2:01 PM ET ) He has upside, sure, but he’s not there right now. I also consider performance, and he did pitch well after his little episode with the shoulder.

    Brian (Brooklyn): No Anthony Hewitt?

    SportsNation Keith Law: (2:07 PM ET ) That’s funny.

    Chris Cordes: I didnt see Lou Marson Catcher for the Phillies on the list of 100. How far off the list is he?

    SportsNation Keith Law: (2:11 PM ET ) He’s in the rye.

  22. I’m assuming it’s a play on “Catcher in the Rye.” As for how that pertains to his ranking, I got no idea what that means.

  23. More from the chat:

    Brian (Brooklyn): No Anthony Hewitt?

    SportsNation Keith Law: (2:07 PM ET ) That’s funny.

    Chris Cordes: I didnt see Lou Marson Catcher for the Phillies on the list of 100. How far off the list is he?

    SportsNation Keith Law: (2:11 PM ET ) He’s in the rye.

  24. A reference to J.D. Sallinger’s “Catcher in the Rye”–meaning he is down in the grass with many other players and does not rise much above ground level in the prospect firmanent.

  25. Chat’s over now. Two more of note.

    Matt (Alexandria, VA): How far off the list is Hewitt? Would it have been better for the Phils to go in a different direction for last draft with the first pick?

    SportsNation Keith Law: (2:28 PM ET ) I would not have taken him in the first round. Too low probability. And I do like upside/high-risk picks … just not THAT high risk.

    Mike (NJ): Jonathan Niese or Carlos Carrasco (remember you may have to write a column about it so think CAREFULLY.

    SportsNation Keith Law: (2:34 PM ET ) Carrasco is on the list and Niese isn’t. Niese would be the better bet for 2009, but long-term I’d take Carrasco.

  26. I think he’s actually a little sick of hearing Philly people complain about Marson getting no respect. Sickels literally had to post an addendum when he made his list because people went nuts.

  27. I’d take Carrasco in a heartbeat over Niese…no disrespect to Niese.

    Carrasco is very young and almost MLB ready….he can still improve quite a bit.

  28. Carrasco didn’t do well at AA, not sure where the outrage is coming from. (SOMETHING ROTTEN AT READING)

    I think he’s right, Niese is ready to pitch in the majors this year, but Carrasco will have a better career. I’m not sure where the arguments are.

    I like how people just call him Klaw. I guess it fits peoples perception of him as some super-villian.

  29. If by pitch in the majors, you mean get slapped around like he did in his call up. Then yes I agree Niese is ready to pitch in the majors.

  30. The Catcher in the Rye joke is a reference to last week’s chat, when, for whatever reason, I had a few questions about that book. Which I hated … almost as much I hate the Phillies.

  31. When last season began, I was not the biggest Lou Marson fan, but he has grown on me. Nobody knows if his power will increase and, if so, how much, but he’s very young, appears to play the position well, is going to hit the ball and is going get on base an awful lot. I, for the life of me, cannot see why the prognosticators are not seeing this, but, over time, I am sure they will.

  32. One of my favorite things about Teh Internets is that it’s fairly common to see the subject of a blog post then appear in the subsequent discussion of the post. Last summer I was writing about Rick Perlstein’s book “Nixonland” on my blog (not TGP, the other one), and Perlstein left a comment.

    This isn’t exactly the same, as IIRC KLaw has been here before for a chat. Still pretty cool though. Perhaps if James asks nicely, he’ll do it again. Given the comment he made about Hewitt, I’d like to hear what he thought of the Phils’ overall “get them lottery tickets” draft approach last summer, of which Hewitt was the first but far from the only example.

  33. On his Spanish chat Klaw was asked a question about Freddy Galvis. According to the Babelfish translation, he said Galvis is very young but hasn’t had any success in the minors and so Klaw can’t call him a prospect.

  34. It’s the real me. Although I suppose the fake me could just say that too.

    Catch 22: I don’t see Marson’s style of player – contact, some patience, but maybe grade 30 power – as a successful archetype. If he hits .290/.370/.340 … okay, useful guy, probably plays every day, not plus in any way, though. And I don’t see why we’d expect much more than that from him. Plus, if you’re pitching to a guy with 30 power, why would you pitch around him at all? Most of the guys I can think of – none catchers, of course – with that type of skill set have flamed out because they suddenly stopped drawing walks in the majors.

  35. Good column Keith…

    So do you have an opinion on J. Donald being able to play 3B maybe in 2010? His bat is a bit light for the hot corner but what about his range/arm?

  36. Gotta say all the KLaw haters have got to be a tiny bit impressed that he stopped over here to post a comment or two. Your the man Keith.

  37. That’s got to be KLaw; he commented around these parts before after James did a Q&A with him. And now we know, straight from the horse’s mouth, that he really does hate the Phils!

    Law and Sickels are in agreement on Marson, while BA and BP seem to like him a bit more. I understand their concerns regarding his swing mechanics and lack of power, but I think they’re correctable to an extent, and I think the rare plate discipline for a catcher makes him our #1. Time will tell, of course.

    Thanks for stopping by, Keith. Any chance of a Q&A for the site again?

  38. It is nice to see the Phils prospects climbing the ladder. Considering we gave away 2 of our top 10 from last year, much progress was made. Even better in that a few prospects like Savery, Drabek and maybe a guy like Hewitt all have the potential to step up like a Taylor did last year. We were fortunate to see guys like Marson, Donald, Taylor and Carrasco really perform at a more consistent level last year than in the past. We are finally getting some athletes and pitchers with upside. Kudos to the Phils’ brass for bringing in some quality young players.

  39. Eventually, he sneaks into his parents’ apartment while they are away to visit his younger sister Phoebe, who is nearly the only person with whom he seems to be able to communicate. Holden shares a fantasy he has been thinking about; he pictures himself as the sole guardian of several children playing a game of ball in a huge rye field on the edge of a cliff. His job is to catch the children if they wander close to the brink, to be a “catcher in the rye”.

  40. Pardon me Mr Law but i thought these were young prospects
    learning the game , able to improve and learn and improve
    but that is just me i wish i knew it all like you

  41. Wow, thanks, nowheels…. I never caught that part of the book. I feel enlightened… you’re some kind of prince, you know that?

  42. nowheels,
    Unfair hit. When it is your job to have opinions you must express your opinions, which are based on the best info you have and reasonable projection. All the under 25 guys in the minors are young ‘prospects’ with a chance to learn and improve. However, history does tell us that those who have either great skills or great stats or preferably both at an age-appropriate league placement are far, far more likely to succeed than your random young prospect who will have to magically learn and improve well beyond what reasonable projection suggests possible. Yes, it happens and these top 10 or top 20 lists aren’t gospel, but the surprise success after a few years in the minors is rare. I do like Marson a lot better than KLaw and did see Marson quite a bit at Reading this last season. Unlike the other guys on the team, Marson and to a slightly lesser extent Donald, seemed to have a really good idea of what they were doing at the plate and a good feel for hitting.

    I know it is frequently mocked, but I put a lot of credence in the notion that there was indeed something awry with Reading management, especially of pitchers.

  43. I thought it funny that nowheels called Klaw a know it all just after he decided he was qualified to give us all an unnecessary plot synopsis of the most widely read 20th century American novel.

  44. well if you read the posts before mine it is obvious some havent .
    what i dont like it finality of his statements like nothing can
    change or evolve

  45. I love the idea of a phony Keith Law claiming to hate “Catcher in the Rye”. Of course a phony would hate that book! But, really, he’s not a phony, he loves the book and he doesn’t hate the Phillies. Makes my head hurt.

    On Marson: “”Most of the guys I can think of…with that type of skill set have flamed out because they suddenly stopped drawing walks in the majors”

    If Marson’s being challenged instead of walked, since he’s a contact, line-drive hitter, one might expect him to put more balls in play. Question is: will they be hits or outs? I think more balls in play will help rather than hurt and I don’t see his K rate inflating too much either way. In other words if his walks go down, I see his run production going up. But maybe that’s just me.

    I want a player who doesn’t make outs whether he has 50 HR power or 10. Of course, I want the 50 HR guy a lot more but there’s room in a lineup for both, especially a catcher.

    Thanks for stopping by!

  46. With Ruiz and Paulino tied up with WBC games it should give Marson a lot of work early in the ST games. Hard to believe in 08 this guy had an OBP of .433 in AA; .438 in the Olympics; and .425 in the AFL. And went 2 for 4 with a home run 20 rows deep to left in the final Phils regular season game. Quite a season for Marson after coming off an 06 season backstopping Lakewood to the SAL championship and in 07 Clearwater to the FSL championhip. Lou will be all right when he gets to the ML

  47. Keith might have stopped by just to troll and bait us – you know how those Phillies Haters are. Actually, I don’t think he was hating on Marson. I interpreted that for Marson to be successful he’d need to hit .290 with an obp of .370, but if he doesn’t hit for power, the opposition will go after him, and getting that kind of obp will be difficult. Seems to be a reasonable analysis. Maybe Marson could do that – work ten pitch at-bats, fouling stuff off until he walks. Any team in the majors would take a guy like that in a heartbeat, regardless of his power numbers.

    – Jeff

  48. not much power for a position where power isn’t really expected doesn’t deter me. Keith’s projecions may be right but a 280 hitter, with a high OBP and doubles power is fine for me at the plate. I’m more interested to see his defense and how he handles the pitching staff.

  49. Nick, I think the problem that The Klaw (and other experts) are seeing in Marson is that he is a singles hitter and doesn’t even have doubles power. I believe I read somewhere in his chat that he mentioned that Marson hits most of his stuff on the ground. Personally, if he can hit 280-290 and get an obp in the 360-370 range, then I don’t care if he only hits singles – the Phils have five other guys with at least 20 homer bats. If Marson can put up those kind of numbers, he’d be an ideal #2 hitter, and probably score a ton of runs

  50. Right. There were only a handful of catchers last year that even broke 20 HRs. The only thing that worries me about ground ball hitters is the dreaded DP.

    But I don’t see a correlation between lack of power and lower OBP. A good eye is a good eye. Pitchers aren’t going to groove a fastball down the middle knowing the pitcher is on deck. Turning the lineup over is really big for this team.

  51. Nick, there is a huge coorelation between power and OBP. If I have time I’ll do the regression this weekend.

  52. While I am excited about the position players, outside of Carrasco and Drabek there isn’t too much to really hope for yet. We haven’t seen all that much production from the ’08 class and Garcia/Savery/Bastardo/Naylor/De Fratus just aren’t on the same level as Carrasco and Drabek.

    Is that concerning or should I just let some of the projectable arms panout before over thinking this too much?

  53. It’s be interested to hear that. I would think their spot in the lineup would contribute to that coorelation as well.

  54. That was really cool and helpful of Keith Law to post here. I now have a better sense of why some people are skeptical of Marson. It makes more sense. I’m not saying I necessarily agree (or disagree for that matter–I don’t know enough to do either) but it’s good to get as much info about different perspectives as possible. Cool.

  55. I really think that even if Marson hits .290 with a decebt OBP that it would be quite a breath of fresh air to this lineup. I’m not a Ruiz hater, but the guy rolls the ball over like there is no tomorrow.

  56. Nick – I could try and add that as a factor. It might be hard if a guy in the sample moves around the lineup a lot or if I sample AL/NL guys as batting order is slightly different. I could stick to NL guys for the population to keep it simple and Philly relevant though.

  57. I get the concerns about Marson. But I don’t see him as a Michael Bourn type or a victim of the “Rexrode Threshold,” where big-league pitchers basically can knock the bat out of his hand.

    The guy has at least a little pop: 42 doubles in 715 at-bats over the last two years, compared to Bourn’s 28 in 1,014 at-bats over his last two full years in the minors (2005-2006). He should be able to hit some meatballs into the gap, which I’d think would be sufficient to preserve the value of his good batting eye.

  58. I can see Marson maxing out as something like Brad Ausmus in his prime, and hanging around the game for a long time after. Of course, Brad Ausmus ‘useful’ offensive prime only lasted about 3 years. Though I would hope for double digit homers from the kid at some point.

  59. Marson had 23 XBH in 322 AB (18 2B and 5 HR). While a ratio of 1:10 or higher is more promising, he is not incredibly far out of line. The encouraging factor is that a flat, non-loft swing should allow him a better chance of maintaining his BA. His .314 BA is very promising, as are the walks. A guy with a flat swing, who doesn’t swing at bad pitches should hit for good BA in the majors. A .290 BA seems very realistic. Even if his walks are cut in half, which seems extreme, that is still a .350 obp.

  60. I like where the phillies are in your ranking Keith. I have been known to complain about how BA and BP rank the phillies farm system. (i.e. in the low to mid 20’s while producing talent to the big club that wins games, awards, and eventually a championship.)

    I still think 11 is low but reasonable. The lack of a super prospect is probably the reason for that. In terms of overall depth, I believe we have a number of pitchers with projectable talent and enough position players that are progressing on schedule at the lower levels. Triple A has been a bit thin on talent. Hopefully a full season of Carrasco, Donald, and Marson in Lehigh will change that.

    Thanks for stopping by Keith, we all appreciate your perspective.

    Tell those execs at ESPN to bring back the nightly hour long Baseball Tonight at 10:00 and 12:00. The show is too great to be used as a time filler between live sports and sportcenter. I loved the extended coverage for each game and the live in-game coverage during the show. The way it has been the last two seasons, some games barely get a minute of coverage. They have enough channels to give a couple of hours to our national pasttime.

    As always, Thanks to James

  61. Can we think this over do you want line drives or flyballs
    in Philadelphia. Flyballs that do not leave are easier to catch
    here than say Florida with a much bigger outfield. So what is
    perceived as a fault by some is actually a strong point.
    A noloft swing is built for this stadium. Lou Marson will do fine here along with his awareness of the strike zone.

  62. Also tell ESPN to start the nightly Baseball Tonight at the beginning of Spring Training. It would give fans a better feel for who their prospects are and a chance to see them in action. As a Phillies Phan in DE, I only get to see a couple Lakewood games when they play the Delmarva Shorebirds and one or two Reading games when I visit friends in PA.

    Minor League baseball can be great for developing passionate baseball fans and expose athletes to the possibilites in minor league ball instead of hoping for the increasingly small chances in the Basketball and Football drafts.

    Minor league baseball offers a paycheck that doesn’t exist in football and basketball. That should be the biggest selling point to attract african americans back to the diamond as well as the massive number of coaching and scouting jobs available. No other sport offers more for those who aren’t superstars.

  63. In the end, Marson will be traded or be backup to D’Arnoud. D’Arnoud excels where Marson lacks but is also strong in what Marson does well. The only difference is that Marson HAS done it while D’Arnoud is only in the process of doing it. Marson IS going to be very solid, D’Arnoud SHOULD be solid but could be a star.

    The phillies aren’t short of arms. Any team would be happy to have Carrasco, Kendrick, Happ, and Drabek at the top with guys like Savary, Garcia, Knapp, Bastardo, Sampson, Naylor, and Stutes in the pipeline.

  64. Interesting discussion on Marson, I guess I do understand why he is being discounted, I just tend to believe that we’re just seeing the tip of the iceberg with Sweet Lou.

    On Taylor, my only comment is – are they kidding? Why would they make Taylor repeat Clearwater? Did they read the stat. sheet? They should be promoting that guy to Reading as quickly as they can. He’s mastered High A ball and he’s not a young prospect. Move him along already.

  65. The Taylor thing boggles my mind. I understand the danger in rushing players, but a .329/.380/.560 line from a college player in 266 High-A plate appearances should be evidence enough that he’s ready for Double-A.

    Another interesting tidbit from the article Rickey posted: they’re hoping Mathieson can get back a bit in the second half of the season. I think he’ll be limited to the bullpen from here forward, but I’m still holding out hope that he can make a full recovery.

  66. I was thinking about Taylor the other day and where he might start. I’m not surprised by Clearwater. After his performance in HWL (regardless of what he was working on) I think they want him to hit the ground running. I’m sure about 1/3 of the way into the season if he is raking he’ll go to Reading.

  67. Phil I think it’s a little early to be saying D’Arnauld will force a trade. D’Arnauld has 2-3 weeks of full season A ball experience. While we’d all love to see him fulfill his promise it’s still very early to make predictions like that.

  68. D’Arnaud is still 3 years away, while Marson could steal Ruiz’s job at some point this year. Its not an issue, and won’t be for some time. D’Arnaud hasn’t exactly shown power either, he just hits the ball harder.

  69. Agreed B. My point was more about tempering Marson worship. I love Marson too, but I fear locking into one guy when another younger guy can match or exceed the potential of the older guy.

    The Phillies(ED WADE) have been notorius for locking into a veteran when we have a viable option in the minors. Polanco/Bell instead of Utley, Seven years to Thome when Howard was MVP at Clearwater. I would have rather endured one more year of xxxxx, kept the draft pick and turned 1st over to a young Howard than have Thome screwing up the machine. (Thome is a HOF player and person of high character who I respect, he just wasn’t the right player at the right time in philly.)

    My fear of Ibanez in the 2nd or 3rd year @ 11 million when Taylor might be ready to play and cost all of 500,000. All those horrible 4th and 5th starters instead of giving a young arm a shot(Paul Abbott uhhhg) For all the total salary concerns the Phillies brass has, they sure spend some questionable millions when they have viable in house options. Geoff Jenkins for 3 years was crazy. Would Greg Golson been any worse than Geoff Jenkins this year? I don’t see how that would be possible. Jenkins SUCKED and we got him 2 more years taking up spots not only on the 40 but the 25 man rosters when any one of 5 minor leaguers would be better AND cheaper.

    Take away Jenkins 5 Mil, Ibanez’ 11 Mil and the 3 Mil to finish Thome’s Contract, let Jaime Moyer walk, put any youngster in the field and that’s enough to sign CC Sabathia to the staff. Hamels, Sabathia, Myers, Blanton Kendrick/Happ. Rollins, Victorino, Utley, Howard, Werth, Feliz, Ruiz, young outfielder.

    They sign good players to good contracts, they sign bad players to bad contracts and do it at a bad time.

    I think the phillies brass has always been too conservative in bringing guys up

  70. I wonder if they just wanted to get Taylor and Brown together and bring them along together, build rapport in the minors. There’s no reason to push Taylor along because there’s no spot for him for two years anyway barring a trade.

  71. Agreed Phi better they offered Burrel arb I like Ibanez but not three years not in the National League
    I cant believe they are going to stay with Bruntlett he stunk
    the place out second half. Plus they knew Eaton and they knew he bad no belly for the game.
    They get into the Winter Meeting make silly plan then stick with it no matter what
    Before they signed Jenkins the Pirate were trying to “unload”
    Mclouth(61 run in 320 ab in2007) great fielder but they had their minds on Jenkins three years removed from good year

  72. Phil, two words…MLB Network. No need for Baseball Tonight anymore. Actually no need for ESPN anymore now that we can just get the baseball package on Comcast. MLB Network will have a highlight show that runs nightly from the first pitch of the first game to the last pitch of the final game of each night…including live look ins of each game.

    Baseball Tonight has regressed each of the last three years…right around the time orestes destrata, eric young, and chris singleton came on board. terrible

    I hate ESPN (except for Keith Law and Buster Olney) and I have been impressed with MLB Network during the three weeks it has been on.

  73. in The Steve Noworyta report is in today’s Allentown paper
    They referred to Ruiz late surge was that the .208 september
    or .261 in the ps I musta missed that
    I dont think Brown and Taylor will be long in Clearwater

  74. i agree with the fact that the deal to get ibanez might be blocking taylor and brown, but since the phillies are a serious contender for a repeat i believe that it was necessary. also its rumored that the phillies will trade one of their lefthanded outfielders (which will most likely be stairs) and then jenkins deal runs out in a year or two. this year they are set with outfielders but in a year or two if someone gets injured taylor and brown will be waiting…

  75. In taking a look at Law’s ranking, I think they are mostly fair. The Phillies do not have any can’t miss prospects ready for the Big Show just yet. However, I also think the recent success of the ball club has to be taking into account. I realize this was not the intent of Law’s rankings, but in looking at the current club, it was built almost entirely from home-grown talent. While that does not reflect the current farm system, it does point to the fact that the Phillies are a bit depleted on the prospect level because all of the good ones have made it through.

  76. Taylor and Brown are not blocked by Ibanez.

    Taylor can play, and is more valuable in RF. Brown can play, and is more valuable in CF.

    Taylor is at least* a year away. Werth’s contract expires in two years.

    Brown is at least* three years away. Vic’s a FA in three years and Ibanez is done in three years anyway.

    I won’t get into why I hate the Ibanez signing as it is off-topic, but he is by no means ‘blocking’ anyone.

    * I say ‘at least’ to be nice. I don’t think it’s prudent to start counting on ANYONE to provide quality ML at bats when they haven’t seen a professional pitch above high-A.

  77. Jeff-O: You seem to be describing the classic singles hitter or punch and judy hitter. Marson doesn’t have doubles power? Marson flat out CREAMS the ball. It jumps of his bat. He is probably one of the players who drives the ball the hardest on any of his minor league teams. He showed that when he hit a line drive HR 20 seats deep at CBP. And I saw him drive the ball to the CF wall at Durham Bulls Athletic Park against Canada during the Olympic prep games. That liner never got more than 10-12 feet off the ground and took about 2 seconds to hit the wall. It would have gone anther 30-40 feet. Believe me, he has a powerful physique and can drive the ball very well.

    Marson has two issues, IMO. First he has a line drive, almost downward swing that puts top spin on the ball. He does not create loft. Very similar in build and batting approach to Steve Garvey of the Dodgers. The result is many line drives, mostly singles, but some doubles and HRs. His second problem is that he is a catcher and young catchers take a few years to learn to pace themsleves for a pro season. The result is that there are many hot days, June through August, when his butt is dragging and his bat slows a little and he squirts a lot of ground balls.

    I don’t know if he can adjust, but it seems many players have done so, and it’s easier to teach a line drive purist to adjust than a free swinger to swing with more discipline.

    Bottom line is that it is grossly inaccurate to use language that suggests he has no power, like a Richie Ashburn or a Dave Cash. He can whack pitches hard.

  78. “Thome is a HOF player and person of high character who I respect, he just wasn’t the right player at the right time in philly.”

    He was from a business standpoint. And baseball is, first and foremost, a business.

    “Would Greg Golson been any worse than Geoff Jenkins this year”

    Yes. Much worse. He would not have crossed the Mendoza Line.

  79. Ya, Thome was signed to put cheeks in the new seats at CBP. Some kid from the minors named Ryan Howard wouldn’t have done the trick.

  80. Thome was signed before the 2003 season. At that point, Howard was old for his level in Lakewood, putting up good numbers but striking out a ton. And Thome’s first two seasons in Philadelphia were every bit as good as what Howard’s done.

    You can’t let your Lakewood prospects determine what your MLB club does. It’s still a long way to the majors.

  81. Rickey B- If you go a little farther down the list to the prospects are coming article, it states that taylor could start in reading this year. I would be surprised if he didn’t, he has nothing left to prove at A+. Maybe phils want to slow him up until there’s an opening. Wish we had pat or raul for 2 years so taylor or brown could start in 2010, probably taylor, brown won’t be ready. Well maybe an 010 callup and fourth of in 011, starter in 012 and star in 013.

  82. Lets get Howard done . Two years at 18 mil. That ought to work. Hopefully Raul has trade value as a DH later if the big guys are ready. But the Phils need to move them along
    regardless of Raul. You cant become a genius repeating third grade.

  83. Hello phillies dye hards i am one also,good reading on this topic. My QUESTION IS THIS TOO ALL, Who is the Phurtur at 3rd base. nobody is jumping out in this position.

  84. John, I probably did say that about Werth, but that’s because I was being unrealistic about Taylor’s timeline to the majors at that time. I think it’s more realistic to put him two years away. Even though he’s old, he still hasn’t had an at bat above high-A.

  85. the only reason donald is not your everyday 3rd baseman right now is because of feliz,s contract. he is 24. he will be a star at 3rd where we dont need extreme power but 20 hrs and 80 rbis .300 are fine. if howard is not signed a travesty, dont think the phillies are not thinking of taylor or brown at 1st. vic and werth will be here a long time.as i said on another post #20 ? as insane as it sounds check the cost of a players rookie card. the guys from beckett actually are quite accurate when it comes to a players value. donalds card is much higher than 48. money talks bs walks. actually donald, carrasco, and marson are 3 of the most expensive rookie cards. theve been very accurate in the past knowing which players will succeed. more accurate than the people who rate minor leagers. there dealing in money and before you dismiss them remember the card business is just like the stock market,big money. just a thought.

  86. Looks like Reading will have an experienced AA starting pitching rotation with repeaters Carpenter, Garcia, Bruntlett, and Bastardo back to start 09 joined by Savery who LaMar said was out of shape last year. Sometime during the 09 season the Reading outfield will be Taylor, Berry and Brown but LaMar would not say when.

    http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=122818

  87. I’m kinda stunned on Taylor starting in Clearwater. They sent him to the HWL with the specific purpose to focus on making contact and ignoring his average, which he did to a T. He didn’t crush the ball but he cut his K rate dramatically while there.

    He’s old for Single A and he has nothing left to prove there.

  88. If anybody read the almost hysterical demeaning of the Phils front office (“stupid” comes to mind, though he didn’t say that specifically) for making the deal for Ibanez instead of re-signing Pat B, it is easy to confirm that he really searches for something bad or purposely controversial conjured up to evoke response at his blog.

    Now…many sports pundits scratch at the thin-skinned in order to justify their presence in being paid lotsa $$ for their sometimes snarky opinions.

    But I saw/believed that that commentary was out-of-bounds especially when he complained at the respective ages of the two.
    He tried to compare the likely physical health in the future of both, and said that Ibanez will be creakily unable to offer much in a year ot two.

    I–a poster there–said that he should make an inquiry into the present health and playability based on the recent “staying in shape” programs of both and their results.

    He clearly had no idea of the strong strength, endurance program followed by Ibanez…and the results of same.

    As we should know, Ibanez follows a VERY STRICT AND SUCCESSFUL training program.,..with ongoing great results, as indicated by baseball people who have been with him including members of the Seattle team who praise him for his workout theme AND the great results achieved by him.

    Of course, there was little mention of the fact that with his outfield limitations and ability to run the bases, Pat was/is destined to be a DH/PH…which suits and fits well his remaining talents and physical condition.

    Beside his pilloring the front office for signing a lefty hitter in this predominately lefty lineup he demeans the move…without much consideration of Ibanez’ good hitting of late vs lefty pitchers. He equalizes both of their LF abilities; but the fact that Pat really can’t run much in the OF and on the bases never gets much consideration.

    Thus, I labeled his opinion one without knowledge…and possibly a leap-before-you-look thing.

    It MAY well be he is as Phillies-unworthy as Joe Buck during the WS…which was tough to take.

  89. Please get off your high horse . Three years is a bite much in the national league and not getting a draft choice is not the sign of over intelligence. Clearly this affair has a personal
    element to it. The guy could even ride with the others in the parade

  90. I really like that Reading OF of Taylor, Q and Brown…that’s a very good OF defensively and offensively. Taylor is built like an NFL linebacker, not at all a big hulking slugger.

    Savery being out of shape would explain a ton. Being a top prospect (#1 pick) with a HUGE signing bonus, there is NO excuse to show up out of shape. Its your job 12 months a year to be in shape and work on playing baseball. He better have been out of shape due to issues with rehab, not out of laziness. That’s very disappointing to hear.

    On Ibanez, he is reputed to be a gym rat and hopefully UC will avoid placing him in the 5 hole L/L/L. If he bats 6th with Werth or Vic in the 5 hole, I think our lineup will be very tough on opposing pitchers….1 through 6 will be very tough.

  91. I found it interesting that Ruiz decided to opt out of playing in the WBC for Panama. Think maybe he’s a little paranoid about Lou taking his spot?.. a couple of weeks to establish himself in ST without any competition might have put Lou on the 25 man.

  92. ***Savery being out of shape would explain a ton. Being a top prospect (#1 pick) with a HUGE signing bonus, there is NO excuse to show up out of shape. Its your job 12 months a year to be in shape and work on playing baseball. He better have been out of shape due to issues with rehab, not out of laziness. That’s very disappointing to hear.***

    I agree this is disappointing, but i don’t see what it explains? it is not like he had a patern of getting tired later in games and getting rocked. some of his worst games were when he got rocked in the early innings. i think that you are hoping upon hope that just being out of shape was the silver bullet. but i have seen a lot of fat pitchers throw hard and have good curves. his velo was horrible as was his secondary pitches.

    to me, starting savery at reading is worse of a move then starting taylor at clearwater. i would put savery in clearwater and tell him to dominate. blow people away. build the confidence and refine the secondary pitches. i don’t know why no one has commented on that.

  93. and they are probably starting taylor at clearwater because they want him to work on something specific. which is a wise move. let him fix one or two things at a level he knows he can handle.

    which is the same reasoning why i don’t understand why they are moving savery up. he needs to work on his pitches and build confidence. i think that it hurts him to advance him. he didn’t even face good winter competition. i don’t get it.

  94. Maybe they think an advancement would motivate him more than letting him mull around in A-ball. Nothing really indicated that Carlos Carrasco was ready for a promotion to AAA… but that move seemed to work out okay.

  95. One thought on the Savery out of shape thing
    Why are out of shape reportees allowed to pitch. If they knew they had to face some standard, it would happen as least now as much. Limit out of shape players to long toss
    and conditioning.
    If Myers had had these things in the minors He wouldnt of
    ……..

  96. ****I agree this is disappointing, but i don’t see what it explains? it is not like he had a patern of getting tired later in games and getting rocked. some of his worst games were when he got rocked in the early innings. ****

    I meant in that its probably a work ethic thing…not due to wearing down. If he’s out of shape that says something about how “hard” he works on getting better, his rehab, learning new pitches, refining his skills. That would explain (in my mind at least) why a highly touted prospect has essentially fallen flat on his face in the minors. Maybe last season humiliated him enough that he’ll rededicate himself to his craft and he’ll start working every day, all day to improve as a pitcher.

  97. I do believe that after the arm and legs the brain is the next most important baseball organ in the body.
    commitment and lask of fear or at least over coming fear
    So all our stats are good but

  98. I wonder about the Savery thing – from what I heard (from someone on this sight who has seen him pitch) that he is an extremely competitive guy, and he has more grit than skill as a pitcher. To me, that doesn’t sound like a guy who would let himself get out of shape. I could be wrong, but from what I understand, he is basically a two-pitch guy, and neither pitch is a dominant pitch. This year will be very crucial for Savery, and it will be very curious to see where the Phils assign him to start.

    – Jeff

  99. I think it is significant that two early round college draftees (Carpenter and Savery) come to ST out of shape and pitch poorly.

  100. I read Hunt’s comment on Savery a bit different. When he says he was not in top physical shape, I take that to mean that he was still not 100% healthy, not that he was unfit and out of shape.

    That would better explain the apparent overall loss in velocity and inconsistency. As stated above, if he was simply out of shape, that effect wouldn’t show up until later in games..

  101. First time poster here so bear with me.

    John from Philly.ne,

    I am in to cards and the market that goes along with it. Nerdy? Yes, but I love it. For those who aren’t aware here is what goes on. Maybe most of you are but I figured I would post it anyway.

    Cards can sometimes be a great estimate of how good a player can be, but at other times you can make a lot of money buying cheap when a player is under hyped. For example, Ryan Howard’s best rookie card went for at the most $15(sometimes less then $5) when he was in the minors. Even after winning ROY it reached around $45. During the 2006 season it approached $900. Today people are more aware of players and do a lot of research so that doesn’t happen again.

    Of the players in the minors now the one that sticks out is Lou Marson for higher prices reached. A lot of comps to Russel Martin will do that I guess. A guy that might be a little undervalued is Dominic Brown right now. Donald seems to be on par, maybe a little low.

    Also it’s tough to go off Beckett now a days since changes in prices can happen weekly. I prefer to just use Ebay’s completed listings.

    My personal opinion is that Marson gets overlooked a lot. That’s fine by me because those guys seem to succeed more.

  102. “3up3kkk Says:
    January 26, 2009 at 10:08 am
    I read Hunt’s comment on Savery a bit different. When he says he was not in top physical shape, I take that to mean that he was still not 100% healthy, not that he was unfit and out of shape.”

    I thought that might be the case too- being out of shape just didn’t seem like part of Savery’s MO. but Lamar seems to say it was both- health, and conditioning.

    “If he’s healthy and in the shape that we expect him to be in”

  103. An interesting outing by lefty starter Daniel Schmidt in the final game of the best of three Aussie national tournament . His Perth team won 3-2 on an unearned run in the bottom of the 9th. Schmidt pitched a 6.2 inning, two hitter, striking out 5 and getting 13 ground ball outs. It will be interesting to see if he turns out to be a prospect to join Naylor, Harman and Naughton as the top Aussie in the organization.

    http://www.baseball.com.au/default.asp?Page=50267

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