Singleton, Valle Named to All Star Team

The awards continue to roll in at the lower levels of the Minors for the Phils with two members of the Lakewood BlueClaws being named to the South Atlantic League All Star Team. First Baseman Jonathan Singleton was named the league’s most outstanding prospect, the first member of Lakewood to ever win that award. The 18 year old from California is hitting .296 with 14 HR and 73 RBI.

Catcher Sebastian Valle, 20, was named the league’s all-star catcher.  He is hitting .256 with 16 HR and 74 RBI’s. Lakewood opens their quest for the South Atlantic League championship next Wednesday, September 8.

33 thoughts on “Singleton, Valle Named to All Star Team

  1. SO Singleton won the most outstanding player? Is that like the MVP of the league? If so that is pretty good for an 18 year old.

  2. Congrats to Singleton.
    Now, have they also named the All-Star pitchers?
    Looking there for some of Lkwds guys.
    Nice…adding to Hyatt winning the FSL best pitcher award.
    Congrats also to the Phils scouting, evaluating and coaching personel.
    And how about the NY-Penn Lg where Crosscutters who have several candidates for the All-Star squad…especially Alvarez and Hernandez(2nd Base).

    Later, in about 5-6 weeks Baseball America.s post season minor lg evaluations will be naming players who represent the best in each lg. Expecting quite a few Phillies’ guys to be named.

  3. Singelton’s award is basically the Rookie of the Year and the pitchers were already picked. No love for Lakewood. All of the info listed on MILB site.

  4. is anyone realizing what’s happening in the lakewood game right now?

    Blueclaws up 14-0 in the 5th.

    also the team has only 1 extrabase hit (singleton 2B)

    singleton has 4 RBIs so far

  5. RE: Pitchers, they only name like 2 or 3 pitchers to the all star team, best left hander & best right hander, maybe best reliever too but I don’t think so. I know the best right hander was some 23 year old Mets pitcher.

  6. A prize for a 23 year old guy in Low A ball?… he would be two years over age-appropriate for that league. Maybe they just go on his stats.

    Shouldn’t a “best” in any category of player depend–aside from his stats–on how much of a major league prospect he is? At 23…? In that league?

    Hunh.

  7. Singleton is awesome. He is 3rd in the league in OBP, 4th in SLG, 3rd in OPS. All at the age of 18 (turns 19 in 16 days). The two guys ahead of him in OPS are 24 yrs old and 23 yrs old (and one of them is now in AA). Anyone who isn’t stoked about this guy needs their head checked. The only thing concerning me right now is that it appears he is swinging more freely in August and his OBP is suffering because of it.

    A side note, I had no idea but Jeremy Barnes is 6th in the SAL in OPS. Good for him!

  8. I’m getting excited about Singleton, but a friend of mine asked, “What about Howard? Isn’t he blocking Singleton?”

    When will we have to worry about Singleton being blocked by Howard? 3 years from now? 4? In other words, I’m not worried at all about it. There’s a very old joke about a man who was condemned to death by the Czar of Russia. He convinced the Czar to give him one year to live, in which time he would teach the Czar’s horse to talk. A friend of his told him this was impossible.

    “Quiet!” say the condemned man. “A lot can happen in a year. The Czar might die. Or I might die. Or the horse might die. Or, the horse might talk!”

    A lot can happen in the 3 to 4 years before Singleton gets his shot. He might not pan out. Howard might get injured. Howard might get traded. Singleton might get traded. Overall, it’s a good problem to have.

  9. Art, I see it as a performance award and not a projection award. I don’t think its unreasonable for an older player to win.

  10. Agreed on the “a year is a long time” theory. Who would have thought, a year or two ago, that our ML rotation would have Halladay and Oswalt? Many things can happen, but Singleton looks like a keeper. The inherent power, combined with the BA and topped off with a very discerning eye make him an extremely attractive prospect.

    I look forward to the day when he can join Dom Brown and some of our hot shot pitching prospects in Philly.

  11. The amazing thing about Singleton is his lack of strike outs, most guys his age who hit for power & also walk are patient but will have struck 140+ times. Yet this kid only has 70.

    Just to put things in perspective.

    Ryan Howard Age 22 – .280/.367/.460, 570 At Bats, 20 doubles, 19 home runs, 66 BB: 145 K
    Jon Singleton Age 18 – .297/.399/.489, 364 At Bats, 24 doubles, 14 home runs, 60 BB: 70 K

    Kids got a chance to be special

  12. Dan, that joke wasn’t funny, but it was hilarious when you said howard might get traded. No team is dumb enough to trade for the worst contract in all of sports. The Phils are stuck with seal hands for the life of his deal

    Nice to see Singleton get deserved recognition for his season. I wouldn’t worry about his August stats. As someone mentioned, he’s not even 19 yet. I’m sure there is some fatigue from playing his first season as a pro.

  13. Utley, there are always ways of moving heavy contracts, one of which is to include a lot of cash with the deal (such as the trade which made room for Howard in the first place). I don’t think it’s likely this would happen, but it certainly is possible. Baseball is very strange, and you never know what will happen from one year to the next.

  14. Dan – fair enough.

    On another note, I was able to get a question in during Klaw’s chat today.

    Do you think Jiwan James projects as a capable MLB starting outfielder?

    Klaw: I’m not buying it – good tools, not off the charts tools, and that swing isn’t going to produce any power as it is right now.

  15. Hasn’t BA listed as the fastest runner, and best athlete in a system full of toolsy players?

    Isn’t it pretty much accepted that he has a + arm, + defense, & + speed? So right there you have 3 tools, and he’s shown improvement as a hitter as the season has gone on.

  16. B…

    No, he wasnt listed with the best tools in the system. It was the best tools in his league (not level…it was league specific).

    I know some people don’t like keith law because of the snarkiness. I love his insight and the way he gives an unbiased opinion. He’s right a lot more often than he’s wrong. For my money Law is the best analyst/scout out there

  17. Utley, disagree with you whole heartedly on the howard deal and his skills… he’s not as bad as a first baseman as you think he is. I think this year, he’s had a rough year, but if you use 2009 as a better example of the future going forward he’s right in the middle of the pack defensively in the NL (per UZR) and slightly above the 50th % in 2008. As to his contract size. At 35 he’ll make 25 million, which is a tad much in todays dollars, but by 2016 (he has a buyout for 10 mil his last year), 25 million then is like 18 or so in todays dollars. Certainly a lot, but I think “Dan in Philly” hit the nail on the head, we can always trade him with cash if forced to. No one is a sure thing, but I’d say it’s 50 50 he lives up to the contract, and that’s not a bad deal considering what living up to the contract means. 125/5 is significantly better then what A-Rod cost the yankees (10 yrs @ 275… yeah that’s right, he’ll be 41 when the contract is in its last year) and it is just as likely (50/50) howard will outperform A-rod over the next 5 years, and that’s without the added shitty years (and high dollars) you’ll have with A-Rod for the next 4. It wasn’t a “horrible” deal by any means, sure, the phillies didn’t win here, but they didn’t lose either. No need to be jaded.

  18. Utley, BA listed him as the best athlete, and fastest runner in the Phillies org before the season started. If Jiwan James doesn’t have any “off the charts tools” than I don’t think one could say Anthony Gose has any off the charts tools either.

    Btw I have no problem with Law, but like all prospect people you have to take everything with a grain of salt. Also one thing about him being the “best scout”, Law doesn’t go out and travel the country checking out prospects all that much. Most of his opinions are from scouts that he talks to or very small sample sizes.

  19. Keith Law, the “second most interesting man in the world.”

    He sees these guys once or twice a year and pontificates on them (but that’s his job). James has incredible tools and needs to earn a better toolbox. His swing is considered to be not built for driving the ball though, so Law may be right.

    Stay thirsty my friends…

  20. Ryan Howard is horrendous in the field. He almost singlehandedly lost the game for the phils last night with his shennanigans in the field. I don’t know why more teams don’t bunt at him. His hands, decision making, range, and ability to get off elementary throws are just plain terrible. As a fan, I cringe every time a ball is hit in his vicinity.

    Hopefully Law is wrong with his analysis on James. His track record is pretty good, regardless of how many times he personally sees guys.

  21. The timing of Singleton’s ascent to the show is hardly an issue today. There going to have multiple options at first base… Singleton projects as an OF anyways; and I bet you he returns next year shagging flies.

    Ryan Howard has shown improvement every year since his rookie year in the field. The only area that still seems a sore point is his throws to 2nd base on double play balls. He makes a lot of good picks and is running down foul balls he wouldn’t have 2 years ago due to his weight / reads on the ball. In general he seems to have improved how much he is taking care of himself; which leaves me to believe his durability has increased.

  22. Singleton should shag flyballs in LF in Clearwater this winter until his feet bleed from running the practice field…and he should keep doing it until he’s in a Phillies uniform in 3-4 years.

  23. I have to agree with the part about Singleton shagging balls in the outfield. Pat Burrell and Ibanez learned how to play left field – there’s a high level of probability that our friend Jon Singleton can do it too and, then, when gets in his late 20s, they can slide him over to first base and throw Ryan Howard a huge retirement party.

  24. Re Howard, IF one gives credence to UZR (and I do to some extent, while at the same time realizing that the margin for error is much more significant than for analytical hitting stats), his defense had improved markedly before taking a huge step backwards this year.

    Whether you credit such UZR or not, it’s one of the biggest reasons his WAR numbers are off significantly this year (the injury also is a factor, as well as hitting numbers which, while they aren’t as bad as some people think, are down a bit, even taking into account the league wide decrease in hitting numbers this year). (We don’t know for sure where his WAR numbers will end up; they project out now to be aeound 1.7, a fun 3 wins below last year’s number. Probably one win is a result of defense; roughly half a win from his injury and 1 1/2 wins from his hitting decline).

  25. and there ya go Catch 22… That’s exactly what I think the plan should/would be as long as Singleton continues his progress as he moves up the ladder. I don’t think Singleton is a guy you’d have in the OF his entire career, but he doesn’t need to be.

    Let’s be generous and have him stay at each league an entire season.
    2011: Clearwater(19 years old), 2012: Reading(20 years old), 2013: LHV (21 years old) , 2014: LHV/Phillies? (22 years old)

    Ryan Howard is signed through 2016 although the 2017 year which is an option has a large buy-out($10mil).

    So from the age of say 22 to 25/26 Singleton could be manning left-field and then when Howard’s contract expires Singleton would just be either 25(if the ’17 option isn’t picked up), or 26(if the ’17 option is picked up)

    So he’d still be in his mid 20s and then would replaced Howard at 1B (assuming Howard is hear for the duration of his entire contract)… How is that a horrible idea? It’s not like Singleton will be 30 years old when Ryan Howard’s contract expires. This is not Ryan Howard/Jim Thome over again. Singleton was drafted out of High School while Ryan Howard was drafted out of college. Singleton is 4 years younger than Ryan Howard was when he was at Lakewood. Jim Thome was signed through 2008 (with a 2009 option that had a $3m buy-out) Ryan Howard was 29 years old after the 2008 season.

    So the situations are very different in terms of age and how the players are blocked and since it appears that the Phillies believe Singleton can play the outfield it’s also another difference because Howard was 1B or bust. No matter if you think that Singleton is such a great hitting prospect the Phillies will almost be forced to move him more quickly through the system it doesn’t change the fact that he’ll only be 25 or 26 years old when Ryan Howard’s contract expires so he can play left-field for 2 to 4 years in the bigs and then return to 1B.

  26. I see James as lean and sinewy, very good athlete, with lots of upside. Ceiling comp could be Garry Maddox (the Secretary of Defense). Lean and tall, not great power, but good gap power . Came in 5th in MVP voting in 1976. Never hit more than 14 HR. 8 gold gloves. Two years over .800 OPS, but mostly in the .700s. It’s not unreasonable to project this as James’ ceiling. His floor is Michael Jordan, great athlete, mediocre hitter, who probably could have played AA and AAA if he stuck it out another year or two and maybe had a cup of coffee in bigs.

  27. I think Singleton, with his athleticism, might be better than Burrell or Ibanez in LF, given the appropriate development time.

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