10-12-2013 AFL Update

After a couple games, you can see that all of the Phillies prospects have played.  Cody Asche had a nice game in there.  Kyle Simon didn’t really have a great one last night.  Which is a mild understatement.  Come to think of it, calling that a mild understatement is a mild understatement.  And so forth.

62 thoughts on “10-12-2013 AFL Update

  1. This games aren’t broadcasted anywhere? I thought MLB Network carried some but I guess they don’t till the playoffs are over

  2. I can understand all the kids we sent to afl. but johnson, he is older to my knowledge hasnt shown anything, all i come up with is he is lefthanded, can that be it, why waste a spot on him, rather have seen valle there, or pettibone, or bonilla, franco one of those over this kid, i think there is a rule that only one a player can go,if that is right then collier was imo good chocie, and the other i mention,werent eligible except valle.

    1. The “rules” for the AFL are:
      - you must send 7 players
      - only one player can have ended the year below AA (Collier)
      - you are ineligible if you have ever played in a foreign winter league or are from a country with a winter league
      - the team has to have at least a certain number of players at each position (which means negotiating with the other teams sharing to give them room here if you give them room there)
      The first things is that Bonilla and Valle are ineligible due to the league thing (not to mention Valle would never play with Joseph and Zunino in front of him). Most of the time starting pitching prospects never go unless they were hurt or they have just signed because their workload for the year is already finished. This means that you get a good set of positional prospects and a bunch of middle relievers. Johnson is a lefty who throws moderately hard and maybe he breaks into the bigs for a year or two, don’t read too much into the guys sent (for example Simon was sent because they moved him to the pen which kept his innings down and they would like a larger sample size of seeing him)

  3. I was at the AFL game on Wednesday, October 10 with the Peoria Javelinas (with our guys) vs the Surprise Saguaros (guys from the Cardinals, Mets, Royals, Red Sox and Rangers). I saw Johnson, Shreve and Knigge pitch and Asche’s two doubles. Not all the videos are up yet, but if you search under “zekegramgem” on YouTube you should be able to see videos of Shreve and Knigge. Check back and hopefully the videos of Asche’s two doubles will be posted, as well as Jay Johnson. I did not get to see Kyle Simon pitch, but that was probably a good thing given yesterday’s performance.

    All the velocity reports below are basically me sitting in the middle of about 10 scouts and trying to look at all their radar guns. Fortunately, after a few pitches I figured out they were all reading the same, so I just focused on the one closest to me, who was a scout for the Cubs.

    The videos on Asche tell you most of what you need to know. He hits the ball hard, has a nice swing and is pretty fast. Also made some nice defensive plays. He is really good.

    Johnson had rough outing. Gave up a 2 run HR to RF on his 6th pitch (on a 2-2 count) to the first guy he faced after coming in with 2 outs. He also messed up on a ground ball hit to him (fell down) which would have ended the inning. He topped out at about 91 mph, using a 3/4 lefty arm slot. Throws a nice “back door” slider, though. Velocities on all pitches ranged from 79-91 and he ended the inning with a swinging K on an 81 mph pitch that looked like a slider.

    Shreve’s velocity was not as high as I expected on this day, ranging from the mid 80′s slider to a 92 mph FB. I know he threw harder than that during the regular season. He gave up one single, a fly out to RF, and 2 go. He looks to be a ground ball pitcher and has a nice delivery (dangles his arm like Paps). He did not give up any runs.

    Knigge seemed to be the guy the scouts were most interested in, as the radar guns were all pointed at him. He throws hard and with ease. Had a nice 1-2-3 inning and K’d the last batter looking on an 85 mph slider that followed a 96 mph strike looking. He has a very smooth delivery and has a dominating presence on the mound….appears very confident. Velocities ranged from 95-97 on all the FB and slider up to 85. I overheard the Cubs scout telling another scout that he thought Knigge was “quite a find” for a 12th round pick.

    On a side note, I will say that sitting in the middle of a bunch of scouts is an experience. They spend alot of their time telling stories about former players, former scouts, their wives and children, and flashing their World Series rings. Looks like a good gig to me!

    1. BillB….Very good informational report and entertaining to boot. Keep them coming if you can. When sitting among the scouts, ask them what they think of Asche and his projection as a player, if you would? Curious to hear if they differ from the national pub guys. Thanks again.

      1. Unfortunately, I am no longer in Arizona or I would post more. If any of you guys ever get a chance to hit a few AFL games, it is worth it. Tickets are $7 and you can sit anywhere. Lots of very nice/cheap hotels within walking distance to the stadiums. Also lots of former big leaguers in the stands, and dry weather in the low 90′s in October ain’t bad either.

  4. TY FOR THE INFORMATION. hey lets chip in some money and send larry there to scout for us. i will donate 2.00.

  5. I see old friends Singleton and Cosart are playing for Mesa. This may appear to go against the rules Matt listed above but Cosart had some down time this year and could use a few extra innings. He’s been spanked a bit in his only AFL appearance. Singleton has been doing the spanking as he’s hitting .350 with 2 HRs and 5 RBIs in 5 games. Singleton is used exclusively as a 1st baseman. He only played 19 games as an OF’er this year. We don’t need a rehash of the Pence trade so no comments about the trade are necessary.

    1. I don’t know the reason but Cosart has only thrown 114.2 innings this year as opposed to the 144.1 he threw the year before. He is one of the best pitchers there along with James Paxton of the Mariners who is on the same team as our guys. Singleton is 1B/DH only going forward especially with the Astros moving to the AL.

  6. Knigge with another impressive outing yesterday. 3ks and a walk in one and a third. Johnson strikes out the side in an inning of work as well

  7. There are other Winter Leagues starting up. Here’s a link to the Phillies players and their Winter League activity. http://mlb.mlb.com/milb/stats/org.jsp?id=phi

    Galvis is hot early. Batting .444 in 4 games with 5 hits in 18 ABs and a double and 2 HRs plus 4 RBIs. There has been a Harold Garcia sighting but it’s only 1 game and didn’t have an AB. Ruf is 1 – 12 with a double and 4 Ks.

      1. We got a few reports from Slash but he headed north after the first few days. I don’t think I heard anything wlse.

        1. Baseball Ross stated that Cozens to him was MVP of instructs hitting homers and XBH’s. H-Mart hit well along with Pullin and Mora. Interesting note was that he said they were trying to switch hit Tyler Greene. Jose Pujols got some playing time too. Sounded like no pitchers stood out.

          1. Now wouldn’t that be great for H-Mart takes off next season and produces as a high draft choice he was.

      1. Contrary to what others are saying, I do think the Phillies could trade Ryan Howard right now. The problem is that, in order to do so, they would probably need to pick up about $70 million of the $110 million (including buy out) that he is owed. It’s probably not worth it to the Phillies. The goal should be for Howard to have a good year in 2013 and hope somebody would pay him about half of what he is owed. And this would only happen if it appeared that Ruf could essentially replace his production at first base, which is unlikely at this point.

    1. RAJ stated in Sept. that he expected Ruf to be in LF every day. If Ruf isn’t getting starts in LF very soon, then RAJ needs to discuss that with Jorge Velandia .

      As for Howard, his performance when he returned to the line-up appeared to be affected by his Achilles injury. His injury and his contract make him virtually untradeable.

      1. I agree that he is virtually untradeable, but even if we are wrong a trade partner could be found, let’s think what such a trade would look like. I think we can safely assume that:

        (1) The Phillies would have to eat at least 50% of the remaining contract;
        (2) They aren’t getting much in return.

        Now, there is a case to be made that from a purely baseball perspective that would still make sense for the team (not sure that I agree with that conclusion, but a case can be made). But from a public relations perspective, trading a franchise icon for scraps, while continuing to pay him to play for someone else … not going to happen.

        1. More then likely, if it were to happen, it probably would entail a three-party trade. but like you said, the Phillies would need to eat a fairly substantial portion of the contract. Unless of course, the Phillies accept another albatross contract in return, like an A-Rod.

        2. Larry – Given the two points you made in your post (with which I am in complete agreement), I’d love to hear the case that could be made for moving Howard at this point in time.

          I look at it this way. As a GM from another org. in the market for a 1B or a DH, would I take a chance on Howard at a net annual cost of $12MM to 15MM? I make that deal in half a heart beat, especially if I do not have to give up too much talent to get him. So as RAJ, what is my motivation to make that move? Simply a salary dump? I would favor finding a platoon partner over giving him and lots of money away.

          Howard is at the lowest value point of his career. And while it could go lower, I think it is a better bet to play Howard in the (reasonable) hope that he regresses back to the vicinity of his career norms.

    2. My guess is that they want to get Ruf’s bat going before putting him in left field. However, he has not cooperated going 1 for 12.

      1. You guys are probably all correct that Howard is most likely here for the duration (right or wrong – I guess the Phils are partially a PR machine these days) of his contract. It just seemed odd to me that Ruf wasn’t playing LF, but it’s still early.

        1. I wouldn’t read anything into it on the Phillies end (I wouldn’t read anything to his struggles at the plate either, he just played a whole season, took a week off and went to Venezuela to play more baseball), they have little control over where he ends up playing in the field, I bet he is in the OF during BP and before games shagging fly balls which is almost as good as doing it in a game

          1. I figured they’d have a little more control over Ruf since it’s their guy running the team.

  8. Anyone read Keith Law’s blog piece on the AFL last Friday? He had some nice things to say about Cosart. In an earlier post, titled, “10 guys I am most excited to scout in the AFL” he mentions Cody Asche toward the end under Other Prospects to Watch.

  9. Keith Law was at the AFL game today, someone asked him about Asche, and he responded that he wasn’t positive about Asche and that his defense at thirdbase was shaky

    1. From Keith Law….that is a very good report on a Philly prospect. ‘He wasn’t positive about Asche’…outstanding, he is beginning to realize his estimations from earlier in the season may need to be re-assessed. He is doubting himself. Nevertheless, it seems, he has not digressed from the defensive aspect of Asche’s game however.

  10. Collier wiith the only BB in the game and oh yeah a triple. Same thing as a two hit game only different. :)

  11. There is a lot of passionate feelings regarding Asche in this thread so I will break down the national writer’s opinions. I think most writers are coming around to saying he has a plus hit tool and should hit around .290 and even as high as .300, but here is where the real debate begins on Asche:
    - can he stick defensively at third base, and that hasn’t looked promising so far
    - if he can stick there does he have the power to profile there, right now he has only shown slightly below average power, it has be average to plus to profile there
    - if he can’t play third it pushes him to an outfield corner, likely LF, where there is even more pressure on the bat to perform
    Asche just doesn’t have the right set of skills right now to profile as an everyday regular, hitting doubles in an offense dominated league is not going to change anyone’s mind. He needs to show home run power and the ability to play third defensively to make the national guys feel better about him.

    1. I’ll take .280 and 25-30 doubles and whatever HR’s he can get over what we’ve been running out there to be brutally honest. As for his defense I’m reminded of the prevailing opinion on Utley and that worked out ok.

      I’d like to hear what he doesn’t do well over at 3B. If its a matter of footwork that can be worked on. If its a matter of his hands being to hard that can be worked on. If his reaction times are to slow or he can’t throw that’s a different story and may call for a move back to 2B.

      1. Very good points made in your post as Asche hopefully has the ability to play 3B and can work hard to become our regular 3B.

    2. Yes, you’ve assessed the national opinion pretty accurately. I don’t really agree with it though as I’ve said quite a bit recently. The national guys never say a guy can hit higher than 300, there’s too much room to be wrong. If a guy ultimately hits 320, they feel they were correct in their assessment. I think Asche can be a 320 hitter. He doesn’t hit homers, he hits doubles, and I see nothing wrong with that. In fact, its much harder to hit homers off of good pitchers, the doubles hitters stand out then. Asche’s current defensive ability is less than ideal but its better than many current 3rd basemen and I totally expect him to improve in the next two years. A plus power bat plus a good glove? There’s just not that many guys that fall into this category. Its why we dream on Franco having a chance to be that kind of player but he’s still far away. Lots of teams have guys that profule like Franco in the deep minors but not many do as well at AA or above.

      1. He doesn’t have the bat to be bad defensively and be a good starter. It is just as hard to hit a double off a good pitcher as a home run. It is a mixture of footwork, range, and hands at third, he has nowhere near enough range to play second base. He is a bit stif and that is not going to improve in time.

  12. Hey Matt, I really love your posts man and same with this site. I am an inspiring baseball blogger probably going to major in journalism, but anyways I was wondering if you guys had any openings for bloggers! I Love the phils and know their system inside and out and if i could throw in some write ups/articles every once in a while that would be awesome.

    1. I would start by really joining the dialogue in the comments section, but I am also not in charge, gregg runs the site and you can email him through the link at the top of the page.

  13. Ruf homers and throws out a runner at home in first game playing left field. Does anyone else think Gillies is playing himself into the center field picture for 2013?

    1. Yes, Tyson will be 24 and knows this may be it. And he has a history that needs to be overcomed. So, IMO, I look for some good production from him.

    2. The chance of Gillies being in the CF picture in 2013 is less than the chance that Asche is in the third base picture, and you know what I think of those chances.

      IF the team doesn’t trade for or sign a long term solution for the CF position, and IF Gillies is healthy and productive in 2013, then he should be in the mix for 2014.

      1. There is absolutely no way that the Phillies would go into 2013 thinking Gillies could play CF in Philadelphia all year. It doesn’t matter how good he plays. He has not yet put together a full and productive season in the Phillies system and for them to think that 2013 would be that year AND put him on the major league roster would be a huge mistake that they won’t make. Gillies needs to prove he can play an entire season at any level before doing it at the major league level.

  14. Galvis looking good thus far. I really think he will mature into an avg offensive player, maybe above. I keep thinking back to something Ryne Sandberg said about him in 2011, how he is very intelligent, as well as a student of the game, that he can get creative out there in the field, making adjustments on the fly. His comments reminded me of what we see in Chase Utley, how intelligent he is and how he uses it on the field. Then there were the reports about how Galvis was notorious for pushing/pulling a small car around the track to help him add strength.

    He is tenacious. He is intelligent. Can’t wait to see him again next year.

    1. A lot of encouraging signs so far from the winter /fall leagues. Though someone commented that Wilson Valdez hit .400 in two separate years during the winter leagues a few years back. So I guess you take it with a grain of salt.

      1. I don’t put TOO much into what Galvis is doing, but am encouraged that he is doing what a good player should: beat up on inferior pitching.

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