89 thoughts on “Box Score Recap, 25 August 2011

    1. He’s a poor man’s combination of Herb Washington and Wily Mo Pena, who’s a poor man’s version of Dave Kingman.

  1. This only revives the questions about his FB’s MPH…with some pundit or scout saying that J-Rod’s stuff is not that of a real MLB prospect.

    The only thing he keeps on doing is…win.

    He may remain a mystery whose solution is to be revealed in the next 2 seasons. Meanwhile, it is good to see him continuing to win and putting up good numbers.

    1. look my point is theyve said that about a few kids now. Robbie Erlin comes to mind. I mean how many reports are Goldstein, Law, and BA getting in the season. So what if hes only throwing 90. I can name plenty of major league mid rotation rhsp’s with deceptive stuff…

      1. But that’s a RHP pitcher’s ceiling when they throw 88, potentially a good #4, which just will never excite anyone when your still in A ball. If he’s dropping these same numbers in AA/AAA than he will start to have some value. But he’ll just have to keep proving people wrong all the way up the ladder before he gets any due.

    2. I don’t think he throws 90, I think he can touch 90 and sits in the 80s. He also has gotten very lucky on balls in play this year with a BABIP of .241.

      One cannot argue with results and I’m very pleased by his performance this year. But if the people who watch him play raise a red flag about his future, you have to pay attention to it. I think Lamar said it best when he said something like he’ll just have to prove it by continuing to get people out at each level. Here’s hoping he mows ‘em down at Reading next year!

  2. Good game for Franco. Morgan very wild.
    Really good game for Collier. Although I’m loathe to mention Hewitt, two walks, a single and a homer is a really great game. Wright had a nice start.
    Nice game Cesar Hernandez and a really dominant start from J-Rod. Eight Ks, one walk and two hits is fantastic.
    Like Galvis stealing but not the two Ks.

    1. In my opinion, 4 walks in 6 innings for Morgan is wild, but not very wild. Of course, he must improve, but he can get away with it if he only allows two hits.

        1. Good point. Lefties are hitting .333 against him while righties are at .153. Not what you would expect for a left-handed batter. The number of plate appearances by lefties is very limited, however, so the splits may normalize somewhat as he pitches more.

  3. How long can we keep talking about JRod’s “weak stuff”? By most accounts, he throws a moving 90-93 four-seamer, great cutter, at least avg change and hammer curve. Rodriguez consistently gets as many swings and misses(career K/9 between 9 and 14) as anyone besides May, allows the fewest hits( OPP AVG below Mendoza), throws a lot of innings and doesn’t walk enough batters to raise concern. When he goes to Reading and does the same thing he’s always done, he’ll be impossible to ignore.

    1. Change that “when” to an “if” and I’m totally on board with you. He has been baffling hitters for the past two years, but he jump to AA is usually the one where a lot of players hit walls, so next year will tell us if Rodriguez is the real deal or not.I’m going with legit – He’s probably in the top 5 for me or very close to it.

      - Jeff

    2. His stuff sits more in the 88-90 range. His curve is also a really slow curve that is more in the 68-72 mph range from all reports. He certainly misses bats and is incredibly consistent, but many scouts will say that his stuff is the type that can fool younger, minor league hitters but will have trouble as he moves up the ladder.

      He has earned the chance to move up, however. Reading will be key, as it has exposed some similar weaknesses in a guy like Hyatt, even if Hyatt is still missing enough bats to be a prospect. I suspect JRod has what the scouts call superior pitchability – changing speeds, moving the ball around, etc.

      1. People question Ian Kennedy because of his fastball velocity. I heard Rich Dubee say that pitchability was all that matters for a starting pitcher. Look at Livan Hernandez or Jair Jurrjens. It can be done.

        1. Exhibit A here would probably be Greg Maddux, someone who all great control, great movement, not high MPH on fastball pitchers aspire to be.

          1. This point about Maddux is often referenced, but truly not that accurate. Maddux lived in the low 90s with his fastball. However, he threw so many cutters in the high 80s that he became known for that. Admittedly the distinction between FB and Cutter is not a real bright line, but Maddux was no soft tosser.

        2. Ian Kennedy’s average FB velocity is 89.6. I understand J-Rod’s average is below that.

          I agree that J-Rod, and in fact all of our prospects, should aspire to be Greg Maddux. That shouldn’t be too tough, right?

        3. Jurrjens is a sinkerballer and Livan is a million years old and wasn’t always such a soft-tosser. J-Rod is neither as far as I know. If your fastball is just a 4-seamer and it only sits 86-88, it’s not a good sign.

    3. I’m a big JRod fan and have been for quite awhile. I want to say that upfront. In the discussions we have about him, he reminds me of Carpenter (Drew not Chris). When Drew was in CLW he won 19 games (2 playoff games). He practically carried CLW to the title that year. He had 4 pitches although none were considered plus. When Carpenter got to AA, he hit a wall. He still had 4 pitches but they wasn’t as effective as he went up the ladder. Eventually he was moved to relief and he dropped a couple of pitches so the other two could be worked on. If Carpenter is the comp, then he’ll become a AAAA, ROOGY or a fringe major leaguer. If a couple of his pitches are plus, he might have a career like Kendrick ( not stuff-wise but career-wise). He’s probably the baby-ace that gets the least amount of attention and 16 wins in any league is a damn good year.

      1. I don’t see the comparison at all. Maybe they both didn’t throw hard but JRod is dominating high A at 20, whereas Carpenter was 22. JRod hasn’t had a season with a SO/9 less then 9 (high of 14.4 last year) since his first full year of pro ball at any level. Carpenter hasn’t broke 7.

        JRod clearly has something in his arsenal that has translated well in his first 4 levels of professional ball. Carpenter never displayed this and was always though of as a pitch to contact, control type of pitcher.

      2. Nice comp. Had not thought of Drew and his C’water year, but the parallel is right on. Both guys are effective because they throw 3 or 4 good pitches, none great, but all decent, and they show consistent command. The big diff is that Carpenter blew up at AA because of conditioning. He got really fat, out of shape, and lost his edge. JRod looks like a horse in shape. We will see next year. I think he has already established himself as someone who can get a ML tryout, maybe as middle relief, maybe a #5 starter, if the need arises. All he has to do to solidify that projection is repeat his efforts at Reading and have close to the same results. Not a lock for that, but you’d be dumb to bet against a guy that consistent with that many well-controlled pitches. I’d be happy with a Chad Durbin or Kyle Kendrick, maybe a Vance Worley (blue sky ceiling comp). His floor is Drew Carpenter, IMO.

      1. Incorrect. In Lakewood he reached 93-94 in relief.. I was there and witnessed it. So did others. It could be that as a starter he has to pace himself and throws slower. Or perhaps, as Vance Worley has said, he could throw harder but doesn’t need to.

    1. They also noted that Santana has hit .344/.432/.688 in his first eight games for their low-A affiliate. Wowser!

      1. Our offensive prospects sometimes get underrated because of the pitcher’s parks they play in at every level through Clearwater. Not sure about Lexington specifically, but it has to be a better park than Lakewood. One more reason to think a guy like Collier is underrated and the power is partially hidden by the park.

        1. Very good point. Does not get emphasized enough. Many cases of guys’ power stats blowing up in Reading after being mediocre in L’wood and C’water. Start with Ryan Howard.

          Question, by the same reasoning, should we undervalue some pitching performances in the same parks?

          1. I am hoping the Clearwater park has sapped some of Valle’s power this year also. He has run out of steam as the year has gone on, but that is understandable playing in Florida all summer and donning the tools of ignorance. Hope PA suits him well the next many years in AA, AAA and MLB.

          2. We probably should, though with pitchers I guess it is tough to figure out who is going to be home run prone. H/IP and K/IP should not be that different in Lakewood and Clearwater. Hyatt has started to give up HRs this year in Reading while maintaining his other peripherals, so the parks might have contributed to overrating him. As for our Clearwater pitchers, it is a very real question how guys like JRod and Pettibone will fare in Reading’s better offensive park. Those two guys I am guessing are liked a little more on this board than they are by the scouts.

          3. Ryan Howard was a beast in CLW. He hit .304/.374/.514 with 23 HRs. I remember feeling like he hit a HR every time Floyd started.

            Future All-Stars usually make themselves apparent irrespective of the park they play in or their age.

  4. Trade Cosart, still have JRod, May, Pettibone, Shreve, Colvin, Pettis, Sosa on that team. Not bad leavings. Should get some help there for middle of rotation, back end, and relief.

  5. It’s nice to see Austin Wright continue to do well at Lakewood. His scouting report from BA said he has good velo from the left side (90-94) and an average curve. That kind of stuff should get good results in low-A. The report made it sound like he needed to work on command. Hopefully this year’s performance will set him up to start at CLW next year. So far so good!

      1. Actually there was a rain delay after the 3rd, thats.why he was taken out. Though they may be limiting innings anyway.

  6. The debate on Rodriguez will happen until he either becomes a successful big leaguer or flames out in AAA. Guys with below average fastballs and good secondary pitches generally feast on inexperienced hitters. Most non-prospects will wildly chase a big looping curveball, and most of them can’t hit a good changeup…that’s why they are non-prospects. RHP sitting 87-89 without absolute laser like command have zero margin for error. And lets face it, J-Rod doesn’t have Greg Maddux-esque command. What he does appear to have is a deceptive delivery that causes problems for hitters.

    He’s a prospect right now. But he’s not on the same level as Trevor May or Jesse Biddle, even though his numbers look great. If he continues to perform, he’ll get his chance eventually.

    1. I haven’t seen him pitch, but reports of his velocity have been all over the place for the last few years and could have an enormous impact on his value as a prospect. For what it’s worth, my general perception is that the reports we have been getting for the past several years on the Phillies’ minor league prospects have, as a general rule, understated their velocity (as measured by the velocity readings we see when they are promoted). Although I have absolutely no way to verify this, it would surprise me if J-Rod were not touching 93 or 94 at times with his FB, even if he does sit in the 89-91 range.

  7. Domingo Santana is batting .361 with 4 homeruns and 13 rbi’s in his first 9 games in the Astros organization.

    1. Losing Santana hurt a lot because it was such a surprise (we expected the PTBNL to be a lower ceiling guy) and because Santana could easily become the best player sent to Houston in the trade. Ed Wade definitely did not get ripped off this time.

      Oh well . . . .

      1. I totally agree. A lot of people on the radio have said that we did it again, sending Houston nothing and getting an allstar in return. I think we gave up more talent in this trade then in the Cliff Lee trade arguably the same amount of talent as the Haladay deal. The players in the Lee trade were pretty much major league ready but they are 2 bench players a 4th/5th starter and a young pitcher with arm problems. with the Haladay deal I think Drabek is a tick better then Cosart, same with D’Arnaud and Santana but I think Singleton is quite a bit better of a prospect then Taylor.

  8. And Singleton is batting .333 with 7 2b’s, 1 3b, 4 Hr’s and 12 rbi’s in his 1st 24 games with the Astros…but Pence is batting .322 with 4 2b’s, 5 Hr’s and 15 rbi’s in his 1st 23 games with the phillies. I would have preferred to stand pat, have Dom Brown stay in right field, replace Ibanez with Mayberry in left, and trade for Michael Young to help out the left side of the infield and replace Rollins or Polanco next year…but I can’t wait for the playoffs to start in October, and Lidge and Ibanez to be gone come November

    1. This wasn’t a complaint, more a hope that we could have traded another pitcher rather than Santana as we have an abundance of good young pitchers and God knows the Astros need pitching too.

      1. I agree that the part about the Kruk diet is nonsense. But the personal account of the fielding is of interest since most of us haven’t seen these outfielders play. It is also interesting that Hewitt is working hard, but just can’t master hitting. Too bad.

    1. Bill Conlin has gone from my favorite columnist to probably the worst source of baseball info this side of Joe Morgan. He should have retired to his Dominican palace a long time ago.

  9. Not fair. I thought it was a good column too. I thought we were keeping personal hostilities off this site. Not a good example.

    1. I think drivel is an opinion, not a hostility. And Rule 5? Can you imagine any club keeping him on their 25-man?

      1. If a bad team thinks they can fix him? Sure. At worst he’s a speed-only fifth outfielders, and bad teams can stash those guys no problem. That’s exactly what the Reds did with Josh Hamilton in 200(7? 8?); while that was a completely different set of circumstances–to say the least–he was just as much a risk as being a zero contributor. At worst you return the guy. I could see it.

        That’s in no way a defense of Conlin’s article, by the way. At least he didn’t call Kruk “gritty.”

    2. The point about Kruk, Kruk’s body and Hewitt’s body was pointless.
      Conlin could have chopped the column in half and said “Hewitt is a fantastic athlete, but he hasn’t learned to hit a breaking ball”. It doesn’t matter if he had John Kruk’s body, or John Mayberry’s body, or anyone else’s body. Its his ability to recognize pitches.
      Conlin’s always had this belief that he is William Shakespeare reincarnated. He obviously knows a lot about baseball, he’s been around the game forever, but he should spend more time sharing his knowledge of the game, and the relevant parts of the game, and stop cluttering up his articles with unnecessary prose and filler. It serves no purpose.

      So yes, I thought the article was drivel, because it was largely unnecessary.

    3. Philadelphians just love reading about John Kruk. The article was pointless and the reference was utterly inane… but it did mention the Krukker

  10. so jrod is not on the same level as biddle because of velocity on his fastball, but weren’t there reports earlier about how biddle was only throwing in the upper 80′s as well

    1. Biddle has been reported in mid-90s at his best. Does not always sit there, and any pitcher is going to dip more than a tick or two in some outings in mid-season. JRod high 80s to low 90s. Some difference there. Biddle’s velocity, immediate performance, projection, competitiveness, leftiness, and age are all part of his high esteem by observers.

    2. Jesse Biddle is also left handed. Left handers can get away with not having great stuff, even though Biddle does have a good fastball.

  11. Soo Brian Pointer is a beast. I have him in my top 10 right now. OPS of .857 in the GCL at CF? You kiddin me? Awesome.

  12. I think that JRod’s age need to be highly considered here. Not so much with regard to his level of competition, but in the fact that he will continue to develop physically for a few more years. It’s not unthinkable for him to add 3-4 mph to his FB over the next few years. 3 stellar years in a row, plus a brilliant showing last fall, age 20 (21 Aug 29). Not a bad resume

    1. I know what you are saying, and I am usually on the age-relative-to-level bandwagon too. I just think it is unlikely that he adds velocity since his velo has been the same for at least two years now. Young kids are just as likely to lose velo as they mature as to gain it (a point that does not often get made – we never remember the ones who lose velo).

      At this point I’m hoping for one of three things: 1) His FB is so deceptive/has so much movement that velo does not matter (a la Randy Wolf or Blanton, whose ave FB are 88 and 89 respectively); 2) A change in mechanics unlocks more velo; or 3) He gets stronger and the 93-94 that one commenter here (SIFPA?) saw him throw in relief becomes easier to do as a starter.

      1. The delivery that is apparently adding to his deception also appears to limit his extension and the potential to maximize torque. A little more strength and some adjustments and added velocity is a very real possibility for him.

      1. KG wrote: “could land him in Philadelphia by the end of 2012.” Anything “could happen” in Philadelphia, even an earthquake and a hurricane in the same week. Maybe he starts in AA, moves up to AAA and comes up to pitch in September.during roster expansion.

  13. At these levels these guys are in are developmental stages They try new pitches, new mechanics,and young bodies have to learn them in game situations and until they learn them they have problems. Batting stance, swings etc are muscle learning. Unless you have a pipeline to the coaches your guessing about their abilities.Not all baseball players are stars they are the workers who contribute to the team.

  14. I’ll take Julio’s game anyday. I like the way he has consistently been successful in every league in which he has pitched, including the Puerto Rican Winter League against some of the people that play at higher levels. I think the guy is for real. I’ll be very disappointed if his stuff doesn’t transfer to the majors. I know what they all say. I’ll go out on the proverbial limb on this one.

  15. It’s not like Biddle hasn’t had success to go with his upside. I don’t think anybody is saying that J-Rod is a better prospect than Biddle. I’m glad to have both guys in the organization.

  16. Yeah, I actually think a lot of us are saying that Biddle is a better prospect (I certainly am) – and that’s no insult to Rodriguez.

  17. I’m on the Biddle bandwagon as well. Take away the first month and give him some support and he would be in double digits in wins. But even without that he is 19 yrs old and his ERA is a sub 3 with 120+ innings and almost 120Ks.

  18. 19 and coming from the Northeast, which usually means more raw than players of the same age from the south and west. Yeah his walks are too high but I think this season is an unequivocal success for him.

  19. Interesting Casey Barnes Paul Cusick and Ethan Stewart were all promoted. Will they start in lakewood next year?

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