Game Report – Clearwater 6 July 2011

Commenter “sillybones” posted an in depth review of the Clearwater game from July 6th he attended, and I think it warrants its own post. For future reference, if you attend a game and would like to contribute a writeup, I would love to add it as its own post, and I’m actually going to create a section of the site here for reader submissions and things of that sort. Note, I’m only interested in reports that contain observations on prospects/players, not how much fun you had, if the hot dogs were good, etc etc. If you have a game report you want to share, send them to me via email…phuturephillies at gmail dot com. In the meantime, check below for a report from Clearwater, featuring Jarred Cosart.

Hey everybody, been a reader here for the past few years, thought I’d make a post since I was at the Clearwater game last night. Thought I’d post up some impressions on the notable guys for anyone who’s interested. Granted I don’t see a lot of live games and am hardly a scout, so take it for what it’s worth.

COSART 5IP 6H 3R 3ER 2BB 3SO 1HR… definetly wasn’t sharp on the mound. Seemed a bit agitated out there. Never really settled in. Looked like he was having trouble consistently locating his fastball. Heaters topped out at about 95 (via scoreboard) a few times. I’d say his fastball probably averaged about 91-92 for the game. Could’ve just been my imagination but seemed like the harder fastballs were flatter with slower ones having more movement on them. But it might have just been that he was running them up the ladder making them look flatter.

Hard to really get a read on how effective his secondary stuff was considering he was struggling with the fastball location. He was able to throw his curve for a strike. Batters weren’t really squaring the pitch up from what I could tell, except maybe one or two he left hanging. I guess it was a change up he was throwing in the low 80s. Seemed like his arm slot was repeated consistently from what I could tell. Really, he was having trouble putting batters away. Got two strikes a lot but couldn’t get the K. Gave up a homer to the first batter of the game. On a full count, he put a fastball right down the pipe and the guy was all over it. He might not have been fooling too many guys, but his stuff was good enough that they weren’t able to square up a whole lot of balls. Only 3 of the 6 hits were well struck. 1 infield single probably would have been an out with an Mlb caliber SS behind him (Hanzawa made a nice diving stretch to his right, but didn’t have enough arm to beat the runner). Two back to back walks in the third really hurt him.

All in all though he battled. Wasn’t phased when he got into some jams. No Kendrick style deer-in-headlights look. I’d say that was the big positive I left with. Though he struggled he stayed after it and got the win. While he might not have been sharp, his raw stuff was still enough to have some success.

Also, he fielded his position very well. Comfortably handling a couple of slow choppers sent back towards him and an impressive snag on a ball over his head he stretched out for. Did a decent job holding runners on I guess. Throws over to first were a bit inaccurate in the first inning moving off the front of the bag toward the line. But got much better and accurate later in the game.

JAMES 4AB 2R 3H 1BB… had a great game. Tremendous athlete. Most physically imposing player on the field. Seemed really comfortable at the plate, liked going after the first pitch. I’d say he’s an aggressive hitter but still had the ability to draw a walk and take balls. Has a nice swing, maybe a bit long at times.

Extremely impressed with his baserunning. Great instincts and reads on the balls put in play. Executed his part of a hit and run perfectly to go first to third. Alertly scored on a past ball. Read it so well he scored standing up even though the ball didn’t get too far from the catcher.

Later in the game, on second, grounder at 3rd baseman who looked him back. James kind of gave a juke back to second and drew the throw to first, than took third anyway with his speed. Kind of a clever play and allowed him to score on a sac fly with the next batter.

Went first to third easily on another single he read perfectly. Oh, he runs hard too. On his double, he blooped one in to shallow left and was able to stretch it for two since he busted it out the box. Very kinetic on the bases trying his best to distract the pitcher and get in his head.

Very smooth out in center. Looked like he was getting good reads. Was able to chase down a hard liner to right center fairly easily.

Funny anecdote, before each at bat he scribbles something into the edge of the dirt with the end of his bat. Couldn’t make it out, but whatever it was it worked for him as he reached base four times.

SINGLETON 4AB 1R 1H 1RBI… had a solid game. Plays with a relaxed confidence, especially at the dish. His approach and quick swing are as described. (Though don’t think he was on the same page with the ump as far as the strikezone. Especially, early in the game. He checked some swings, expecting them to go for balls, but were called strikes anyway). Very comfortable hitting with two strikes. Had a nice sac fly out to left. Always great to see a young player who can target the opposite field. Nice piece of situational hitting. Should have had two hits on the game. Ripped a liner to right center, but the RF made a nice sliding catch.

Looked fine out in left. Handled a couple semi-routine flyballs he had to move for easily. Hustled after the balls in front of him. If I were being picky, I’d say there was one shallow looper he didn’t get a great jump on. Twitched to his left, before coming in on it. But it was a hard read heading out to left center before slicing back toward the line. One of those low fly balls that are kind of right at you, which as I understand are the hardest to read. Even with a great jump, I don’t think a speedy fielder could have got it anyway.

His error came with runners on and he had to chase down a liner and was definetly rushing to get the ball back in. Threw to the wrong bag, allowing runner to take third. Basically, just a mental mistake from a guy still learning the position. Not something to be concerned about at this point. I didn’t see any reason why he can’t make for a solid left fielder. There was certainly no Ben Franscico cha cha-ing going on out there.

VALLE 5AB 2R 2H 2RBI… had five walks. Joking of course, loves to swing. Does make a lot of contact and fights off pitches. Oddly enough though, I believe he took the first pitch on his first four ABs. Could’ve had three hits, but was robbed on a great diving catch by the LF in shallow left.

His zeal got the better of him on two strikeouts, swinging at garbage. Probably was looking for fastballs. The first was particularly disappointing considering he had a man on second, no outs. Failed to move the runner, swinging for the fences. Must be watching too many Phillies’ games *rimshot*

But, he made up for it in the ninth. With two strikes it was nice to see him shorten his swing and dump one into shallow right for his second rbi on the night.

DH’ed so didn’t get to see him behind the plate.

Anyway hope somebody finds these ramblings interesting.

34 thoughts on “Game Report – Clearwater 6 July 2011

  1. Awesome report! Thanks so much for sharing – these types of scouting reports, especially regarding James and Cossart, are the type of things that no amount of scouting or number crunching can give you.

    One thing that I (and I’m sure a few others here) have been wondering: Cossart’s strikeout numbers are rather pedestrian this year. Was there anything you got from watching him that would give some insight as to why his Ks are down?

    Once again, thanks for the firsthand report.

    - Jeff

    1. Agree. Kudos to PP for posting these. They’ve all been clear writing that get the experience across. Really fills in the observational part for these who can’t make it to see these teams. I’ll be away on vacation when Lehigh Valley comes to Durham, But should be able to get to Greensboro (just an hour down 85) to write that up. Hopefully, there will be a couple new guys from Williamsport and XST brought up to report on.

      1. Cutters are coming to Aberdeen the 12th-14th in August…my goal is to provide this kind of detail for one or all of those games. Last time they came down here 2 summers ago, some of the guys I saw in action were Barnes, Valle, Hyatt, Hewitt (still at 3rd) and I believe James was injured at the time. Came away most impressed with Valle, seemed to be far ahead of the rest of the guys out on the field from a physical standpoint. Nice to see his progression!

    2. Good to see this was helpful to you guys. I tried to fill in all the stuff you don’t see in the stat lines.

      Re: K’s I couldn’t really say why his numbers are down. With this particular outing I would just assume his inconsistent fastball location had something to do with it. He did get some swings and misses with his fastball, so he definetly has the ability to blow it by guys.

      Perhaps, also his curve just isn’t at that plus level yet where he can get punch outs with it. But good enough to keep it off the center of the bat. But that all of course is just based on one game in which he wasn’t particularly sharp.

  2. Very nice, sillybones. Love the detail. Just like being there. Really got a sense of Valle’s good eye-hand coordination and ability to make consistent contact, fouling off pitches. You can’t teach that. I expect him to be a little more selective as he moves up. But some of the Polanco-contact-gene in him, with more power. That, from a catcher whose defense is improving? Playing in a pitcher’s league, Valle may one of our most improved and flowering prospects. Can’t wait to see him in Reading.

    Report on Singleton’s defense and hitting, confirm my vision of him. Solid athlete, premium hitter. Many of my concerns from late last year and early this season have been assuaged.

    I saw James last year in Clearwater and your description fits my observations.

    Cosart, in summary, from your report: A guy with great stuff who needs experience, but can be effective even when he does not have his best stuff.

    1. Mark it down, Singleton is special and he will be a huge star in a couple years. I just hope its in red pinstripes.

  3. If the gun is accurate, his velocity at 91-92 is a data point to consider, as previous reports had him consistently sitting 93-96.

    The important thing to keep in mind, and the reason I want as many first person reports as possible, is that pitchers will sometimes not have their best stuff, for whatever reason, and that could mean reduced velocity. Its important to be able to compare this outing for Cosart with, for instance, an outing 2 weeks from now. Data points, we need them.

    1. Cosart is also throwing more innings than ever, so it would be understandable for him not to have quite his best stuff every time out. He is at 92 IP so far after throwing 95.2 his first two seasons combined. I would be surprised if they leave him in the rotation the rest of the year and would not be shocked if they shut him down in August.

    2. PP: I’ve heard it said that different radar guns can vary with their calibration and accuracy, so collecting a large sample size is definetly important as you suggest.

      I will say that of all the pitchers in the game, Cosart had the hardest fastball. I don’t remember anybody pitching faster than him. So perhaps the lower numbers are results of a less than generous radar gun compared to ones at other ballparks.

      Another positive, was that he just didn’t top out in the early and was still throwing a few hard ones through all five of his innings.

  4. I think they’ll leave him in the rotation, but I think he’ll probably have pitch limits in every start, maybe 75-80. That will obviously limit his innings.

      1. What’s the Knapp thing? Trade him for an Ace pitcher when we know he’s hurt?

        Seemed to work out pretty well to me.

        1. Hehe, Agreed.

          Nowheels – I’m not sure what the “Knapp thing” is. I seem to recall that he was on the disabled list when the Phils traded him, and they were being very cautious about his innings. It’s a shame that Knapp’s career is likely done, but that trade was a massive win for the Phils.

          - Jeff

  5. Might it be smart to break these up and add these to the player pages as well. It would be interesting, for example, to go to Cosarts player page and have a section called “First hand reports” or something that are date sorted. You can then read a progression of reports on just that player if you want. Maybe give a quick synopsis or grade(IE..”Impressed”, “UnImpressed” or “So so”). I don’t know. Just a thought.

    1. Nice thought. Some of the commentaries, such as sillbybones’, while not pro scouting reports, are thoughtful, detailed, intelligent, and show that the commenter has been paying attention to baseball and/or played it in the past.

  6. Great report.
    I think I mentioned in another thread that Jiwan is a tough player to place. He has great non-hitting ability – speed, defense, arm; that appear major league quality. He obviously had a great game this game. Unfortunately, he has enough 0-5 with 2K’s game that make it difficult to be as excited. I doubt his K/BB is every good enough to be a starter. At the worst I think he could hang on a roster due to his defense and speed, which may make him a useful 5th OF in the A.L.

    Singleton, Valle, (and Galvis) are at the top of my phatom ‘untouchable’ list. Singleton because he is nearly major league ready in his approach. Valle and Galvis due to positional depth. One or more of the top pitchers may be a star but I have no idea how to predict which one.

    1. Rollins or Galvis ???? Rollins is making a money run. Galvis lets u put money elsewhere(of).
      Lets not forget the flying H can also play a great right field if a CF is available and maybe move Brown to left ( this year or next)

      1. So you want to give the starting SS job to Galvis who has never hit above AA and has a career minor league avg under .240 and think that’s a good idea? And you’re complaining about Michael Martinez who actually has hit pretty well in AAA.

        Second, you want to move Domonic Brown who’s only started to get used to playing RF (and he’s still a work in progress) and move him to LF, a position he has played very sparingly if at all.

        Third, with Victorino being a FA in 2013, he’s likely to walk since he’ll command around $12M per year, so we’ll have a hole in RF again.

        I’m just trying to see your logic here

      2. Don’t really see the point of moving Brown to left. His biggest weaknesses defensively are routes and jumps, not speed or throwing ability, and putting him in left won’t change that. Besides, a clumsy LF who can hit will be a lot cheaper than a CF who can hit and the Phillies haven’t had a decent defender in left since the Bank opened so we’ll hardly know the difference…

  7. Chuck Lamar said that he is pleased with James’ progress this year. His numbers are merely solid, although they have been picking up quite a bit lately. Lamar said that James was still getting used to his new role as a hitter and his numbers needed to be seen in light of this.

    1. As far as hitting, James certainly looks the part. His swing was smooth. I don’t remember him swinging and missing too much which makes me the hand eye coordination is there. At least in this game, he showed good pitch recognition from what I could tell.

      Hopefully, it is just a matter of time and experience and he’ll be able to bring his numbers up.

    1. Seems to me that Tyson Gillies has a lot in common with Jason Knapp. Both traded for Ace pitchers and both have played sparingly ever since.

  8. Foot injury for Gillies after he played a couple games. I hope this year is not another lost year for him. He needs to start playing, as soon as he is totally healthy.

    1. Well, its July and he’s had 13 PA…even if he makes it back by the end of the month, its pretty much a lost season. He has 130 total PA since the start of 2010 now. His Age 21 & 22 seasons have been a complete loss.

  9. Off the subject a bit, and not trying to be a Donald ‘Birther’ Trump type, however, does anyone know—are birth certificate dates and their validity, for the Latin player signings, still a questionable item as they were in years past? Or have things tightened up?

  10. There’s a kid playing in the indians organization that Williamsport is playing tonight named Bryson Myles who’s numbers really jumped out at me. They took him in the 6th round this year and he’s been tearing up the Penn League so far. He’s got that plus plus speed and power potential in a 6’1 230ln frame and led the country with 53 steals at SF Austin last year. He seems like a guy the Phillies would usually target and maybe overdraft. He would’ve been a really fun guy to follow.

  11. So much for Juan Perez having command issues. He struck out the side on 99 pitches and got the win.

  12. Great article. Always love reading these, along with the rest of the info on this site. Could’ve done without the unnecessary Kendrick and Francisco bashing though. I watched plenty of higher-paid, much worse players than those two over the years. I’ll take those two and Mayberry over the previous players I’m referring to any day of the week.

    Still, Worley is obviously the ideal 5th starter right now but unfortunately Oswalt going down has really thrown a wrench into that.

    Like I said though, great report.

  13. One of the pitchers they faced on Jupiter was Chad James. He is rated the second best Marlins prospect and the tenth leftie in the minor. Why bring his name up. He is 0-13. but he has a 3.81 era. Weird stat

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