10-18-2013 AFL Update

More than a week into the AFL season, and Cody Ashce continues to rake.  It’s like he’s back in Clearwater with those numbers. 

Anyway, here’s a link to all the stat lines for all of the Phils minor leaguers in off-season leagues.  Good place to go check in on Freddy Galvis and Darin Ruf and Tyson Gillies, among others.  Just ignore Justin Friend’s 27.00 ERA.  Give him a full year, and it’ll come down to 0.27.  Trust me.

Also of note, the AFL guys have new photos.  Which means one important thing: Kyle Simon’s mustache.

47 thoughts on “10-18-2013 AFL Update

    1. Given he’s been busted for PED use recently and coming off a literally “broken” back, I’m really skeptical of his performance. That said, I’m pretty sure >60% of players are cheating and are finding ways to mask it successfully, so maybe it doesn’t matter.

      That said, if Galvis can turn into a .260 20HR player I’d be estatic! :)

      Asche’ could use some of whatever Glavis has because he’s starting to seem like a player with excellent line-drive ability (maybe a .300 average is achievable) with 15 HR’s tops. I’d really like a bit more power from him and I’m starting to think giving him a few months off for strength training may be more beneficial then the extra at-bats.

      1. Also, earlier this year, I was one of the rational posters saying Asche had the potential to hit 20-25 HR’s, I might be retracting that statement in exchange as he has evolved throughout the year. That said, I’m bumping up his hit tool a bit since then so it’s not a complete loss. (Previously I was at a .290 20-25HR estimate, now I’m .300 15 HR)

        1. Not trying to be a wet blanket or anything, but I really don’t think Asche’s line thus far in the AFL should adjust an estimation of his hit tool too much. Yes, he has an outstanding line of .360/.385/.520, but the entire TEAM has a line of .320/.358/.472. It doesn’t look like they’ve been facing any sort of outstanding pitching and likely goes a long way toward explaining why guys like Keith Law who have seen him play in the AFL haven’t really changed their viewpoint.

          1. From today’s Law post.”Cody Asche (Philadelphia Phillies) struggled badly at third base, showing slow reactions in both directions, although I like that he’s loading his hands a little deeper to drive the ball to the gaps “

  1. Asche is doing what he does. Remember however that the pitching quality there is sub par. Joseph not hitting there is more concerning that Asche’s hitting is uplifting. I get that everyone digs the long ball but give me a 320 hitter with 35 doubles and 15 homers and I’m happy. I was disappointed to see Knigge get rocked yesterday. I’m wondering whether his ball is too straight to make it.

    1. How do you see a .320 hitter in Asche? He has an above average LD%, but his K rate, power and speed all profile as average at best. I thought I was generous at .300.

        1. Well he has called him potentially just that, something I find odd given that Murray is otherwise one of the better commenters around here.

          I keep meaning to do a more detailed post about this, but haven’t found the time. Going through the list of career .310 plus hitters over the past 20 years …. none fit the profile of a guy with a mediocre contact rate, mid range power and average or below speed. The closest you can get to an Asche type hitter is Buster Posey, but (a) I think it’s a stretch to project Asche to be that level; he would have to improve his contact rate, his HR rate, and fully realize every ounce of potential that he has as a line drive hitter, and do so against much tougher pitching in the major leagues; (b) he’s at .314, not .320, and (c) Posey only has a bit over 1200 PA; my guess is that his BA will normalize a bit as time goes on, albeit still at a level over .300.

          But the point is that Posey is the one guy in all of baseball that comes closest to a guy who is an Asche type hitter and hits in the vicinity of .320. The other guys with that kind of career performance, in addition to being almost universally being line drive hitting machines, have some combination of more power, more speed, or (most crucially) much better contact rates.

          Not that I put much weight in SSS AFL results, but for me the number that leaps out is 7 K in 25 AB.

          1. In defense of high K rates for the admittedly small sample – we shouldn’t forget that they’re facing a lot of relievers there. That said, I would guess you’re looking at a few more swing-and-miss 1 inning type guys than you would in a typical MiLB week, where you might see two starters with swing and miss stuff and 2 guys with average K potential, and a couple noodle arms with nothing but junk before you get to the bullpen. Maybe this has nothing to do with anything. Just throwing it out there.

      1. His speed is definitely above average as is his LD%. Yes I think Asche could become a 320 hitter. Does that mean a career 320 hitter? No. I mean he can hit there in his peak years, the career numbers will always be lower because the early and late career numbers will be lower. This is a guy that just played in his first full season. Allow him some time to improve. Just because he did so well this year doesn’t mean he won’t improve in his second season. He’s trying to add more power now and that will cause him to strike out more. It’s a process. A good comp to me is Al Oliver. I don’t really have much to say about the fielding though. He’s been ok when I’ve seen him but he didn’t resemble a gold glover either. I’ve talked about Asche enough, I’m done.

  2. Keith Law mentioned Asche in his AFL writeup today. Says he’s very bad at 3rd, but is ‘loading’ better now to drive the ball into the gaps.

      1. LF is the move, the bat doesn’t profile there, but he could provide some value there it just would be a borderline starter there (think a poor man’s Martin Prado)

      2. His infield skills may still work at 2b. He didn’t hit while playing there two years go in WPort but his fielding may have been adequate. If his problem at 3b are his reflexes, 2b might work.

        1. Law’s comment was, “Cody Asche struggled badly at third base, showing slow reactions in both directions, although I like that he’s loading his hands a little deeper to drive the ball to the gaps.” The phrase, “slow reactions” sounds like reflexes. So I hope you are correct about 2B.

        2. I think we need to be patient. One season is not enough to get over the tentativeness of a new position. It could be a mental thing where he is afraid of making a mistake. He might still improve incrementally over the next few years and become a avg or slightly avg+ 3B. I’m not a fan of snap judgements about a new position. Catcher is worse to judge, but 3B is not easy to judge early on.

          1. +1
            It sounds like he had a bad day fielding. He’s not the next Mike Schmidt defensively, but his fielding percentage was OK last year (.950-ish between two leagues) and it was his first year playing the position professionally. I don’t think a move to LF is imminent.

            1. Just to try and be a bit more realistic on this, the fielding percentage doesn’t mean much when rating fielding, especially if we’re talking about balls that he can’t get to. You don’t make an error if you don’t get to the ball. His range factor (2.3) in AA would’ve ranked him 41st in the Eastern League for all third baseman. Granted, that’s everybody who played one inning at the position, but still you get the idea that he didn’t get to a ton of balls. The scouting report backs that up.

              Also, saying that he is learning a new position is somewhat disingenuous. He’s been playing third base since high school, and that includes three years at a major college program.

              I’m rooting for the guy to succeed as much as anybody, but we need to be realistic about his future as well. Sounds like league average defense at third may even be a stretch.

            2. To put another way on his range factor, of the 12 teams in the EL, 10 teams had their primary 3B log a range factor of better than 2.3. The only team that was worse than Reading was the Binghamton Mets.

  3. some say Asche’s future position will be 2B……..Still too early to know if he is a suspect or prospect. With that said you have to be impressed with the progress he has shown from 2011 to 2012. I am hoping he shows he’s a prospect in 2013.

      1. Range and quickness are different. Lots of good infielders can’t play 3b because the ball comes so quick.

        1. From what I understand is that Asche is fine with the reaction plays it is when he has to move to make the play he can be slow footed (coming in on a bunt having to cover any amount of ground left or right) and at second base it is even more exaggerated. It has been mentioned that his hands can be a little hard but of all of his deficiencies I think that is the easiest to work to clean up.

  4. Starting to sound like Asche could be the second coming of Dave Hollins. Phillies actually made it to the world series with Hollins at third with a .914 fielding %. Hollins was actually one of my favorite phils of that era.

    1. I remember reading an article during mid-season that Joe Jordan said that Asche plays ” a good thirdbase”

  5. Censorship is usually more trouble than it’s worth.

    I’ve got the time to do this all day and night.

    Let’s rock!

    1. I am politely asking you to either leave or present your ideas like a mature adult. I am not looking to censor ideas, this is a place for intelligent dialogue about the Phillies minor leagues

  6. It’s kind of awesome to see Harold Garcia getting at bats in Venezuela. Does he project for Reading in 2013?

    1. To the annoying ‘anonymous’, aka FreeAec, who has become very indignant with posters. Pushing Josh Hamilton and David Wright acquisitions to the endth degree. He is like ‘Rage Against the Blog’.

  7. Questions about two of our Winter leaguers:
    Why hasn’t Tyson Gillies played since Oct. 14th? I understand Darrin Ruf has not once played left field. If true, why not?

    1. This week Ruf started playing LF, it appears that they have been slowly working him into a new environment. Don’t know what is up with Gillies, haven’t seen an injury report. I would suspect it is something minor and he is out as a precaution.

    2. Gillies has a twitter account and tweeted that he ‘hoped’ to return to action on Wed earlier in week, which didn’t happen since I still don’t think he’s played.

      I didn’t like sending a guy who is injured as much as he is to winter ball…but it probably doesn’t make much difference if you rest him the entire off-season or not. Dude is Mr. Glass from Unbreakable.

  8. On a related note, Darin Ruf has resumed his Babe Ruf ways. He’s hit 4 homers in the last 5 games. You know, sometimes a guy just comes out of nowhere and establishes himself as a legitimate player – it doesn’t happen often, but it does happen. Here’s hoping that Ruf can become borderline tolerable as a left fielder because, man oh man, the guy can really hit.

    Also, Galvis continues to hit in Venezuela. It’s hard to draw too many conclusions from this, but, what is most important and interesting is that he’s hitting doubles and home runs. He’s driving the ball. Fangraphs had Galvis at a .6 WAR for essentially one-third of a season – that’s how good he is in the field. If he can become even an average hitter, you are looking at a very strong regular and perhaps even a borderline star. While Galvis’ suspension is clearly troublesome, it bears mentioning that he had back problems all year and this may have restricted his hitting, perhaps significantly. I don’t think there’s anyone I am monitoring this off season more closely than Galvis (I know Ruf is going to hit – none of that surprises me).

    1. Catch, it is not mentioned much here, but part of Ruf’s problem is fitness. Rizzotti and Howard both made improvements in the field after they tightened and lightened up their bodies. Howard also did core work, which improves flexibility and agility. I think that would go a long way toward Ruf being a serviceable LFer. You should not have a double chin and a tire around your midriff at age 25. And I like Ruf, seems like a good guy. I think the technique can be learned, but you MUST have more mobility in the OF, and there is only one way for him to make a significant change there: get a personal trainer and chisel that body, gain agility.

      1. I believe it was discussed on radio. As soon as winter ball is done…Ruff goes for intense training (i believe it starts in november). They will probably mention he has to get his weight down some and focus on improving his initial burst which should help him in the field. I am holding off on any projections for next year until I see how his off-season workout program goes and he has chance to practice one position.

        1. Encouraging to know that is in the plan. I don’t think you have to be an exceptional athlete to play LF if you can hit, but you do have to be in good shape.

    2. Two more homers for Ruf thus far tonight. That’s four in less than two games. He really is amazing regardless of what you think of his future propects.

      1. Sheeesh…all the guy does is hit home runson a daily basis. You think the guy could at least do something else!

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