Addition by Subtraction

My two cents….the Phillies have made their 40 man roster stronger by outrighting both P David Herndon, as well as utility infielder Michael Martinez off the 40 man today. Herndon was subsequently picked up by Toronto.  With a number of difficult decisions upcoming over the next several weeks prior to the Rule 5 draft, this clears necessary space for some of the bigger prospect names to be added into the mix in the short term.

148 thoughts on “Addition by Subtraction

  1. Shame to lose a quality reliever in Herndon, but it’s going to make for one less tough decision down the line. Herndon was a true professional and even when he wasn’t pitching (or pitching well) I liked having him around the younger guys. Best of luck to him in the frozen tundra.

      1. Herndon was better than Stutes for the second half of 2011. He was making progress. He’ll never be a dynamite back of the bullpen reliever but it wouldn’t be surprising if he ends up as a solid 6th/7th inning guy.

          1. Do guys stop trying to hit in blowouts? News to me. Herndon throws a hard sinker, he’ll be alright somewhere else. Martinez never made any sense.

          2. Statistics show that Derek Jeter hits about the same in clutch situations as he does in non-clutch situations. Statistics show that David Herndon is a serviceable big league bullpen piece. Tcorch don’t need no stinkin’ statistics. Tcorch knows what he knows.

            1. I probably overreacted to this yesterday, as I sometimes do, but it does boggle my mind the extent to which math based arguments are often casually dismissed with a simple “you can’t measure that” statement, backed by no argument or analysis. Of course, SOMETIMES that’s an appropriate response. But not always (or, I would argue, in baseball, even often). And on the whole issue of “clutch,” I can even respect the point of view that a player should be given credit for clutch performance when it is real, i.e., when it is actually reflected in the numbers.

              But when when you show someone that, using their own definition of a “clutch” situation (late/close), Jeter has actually performed worse than his career numbers, you would think it might, if not shake that person’s certainty, at least impel him to try to at least come up with a credible counter argument.

              About Herndon, for what very little it is worth, given small sample sizes, he has performed well in some “clutch” situations, not so well in others. At the risk of firming up tcorch’s certitude in matters clutch, in contrast to the Jeter situation, the numbers actually DO support his assertion that much of Herndon’s success came when the game wasn’t close. Of course the sample sizes are so small as to be meaningless.

              But given the easy availability of the data, one would like to see tcorch to actually, you know, LOOK AT it before stating his opinions with such certainty.

            2. I question if some of you actually watched David H. pitch live lol. Or just looked at his ERA at the end of the year. He blew so many games.

            3. You know what Tommy? We have stats for that too. In the course of his career, Herndon had 2 – yes 2 – games in which he registered a blown save. I don’t think “many” means what you think it does. (Papelbon, by the way, had four blown saves last year alone.)

              Now, that doesn’t tell us that he was “good” in “clutch” situations either. The Phillies rarely used him in high leverage situations.

              Look, the bottom line is this: letting Herndon go was the right move, and he is not a particularly valuable pitcher. But he does belong on am major league roster. It’s absurd to regard him as a failure as a major league pitcher.

            4. I define a failure as someone that was supposed to be good someone that people were very high on which is completely different from simply being awful

            5. You know, my reputation aside, I do try to be fair. The “8 losses” argument, given how often he pitched & the fact that he was not usually used in high leverage situations, is, while not a GOOD argument, at least an argument. You can’t really say, like Tommy did, that he “blew” many games. What he did, fairly often (6 to 8 times, depending upon whether he took losses on his 2 blown saves, don’t recall and too lazy to look up the game logs) was to come into tied games and give up the tie breaking run.

              My response to that, which I feel is correct to a high degree of certainty, is sample size. The fact that Herndon gave up runs in ties games at a fairly high rate isn’t predictive of future performance, it’s luck. But I wouldn’t expect that argument to be persuasive to you or to Tommy.

            6. I completely agree with you, Herndon is your typical middle reliever. He is perfect for the role of mop up guy who can give you multiple innings in a pinch. He is ultimately fungible, especially when he is going to be out for half of the year. He has a good sinker and won’t give you strikeouts but every bullpen needs a David Herndon especially at the minimum salary (btw the current Phillies incarnation is LHP Jeremy Horst)

            7. We keep forgetting about Stutes but, if he’s returns to full health, he’s a pretty nice little pitcher with a live arm and an aggressive approach. Although I do (reluctantly) agree that the team needs at least one experienced bulpen arm to serve as a possible 7th or 8th inning pitcher, the team is just loaded with young relief pitchers who are ready to prove themselves, many of whom are the process of doing so. The good news is that there are so many of them that the cream rise to the top and the team should not have to waste a lot of time relying on guys who consistently come up short and don’t appear to have a significant upside (I do not want to see Josh Lindblum blow three or four games every month, thank you).

      2. Herndon was only awful to people who don’t know what they’re talking about. And age doesn’t matter. Any guy with a hard-nosed professional approach who puts the work in is good to have around the younger guys.

        1. How do you know he was a hard worker and that he had a professional approach? he was one of the “younger guys” that you said you wanted him to be around

          1. Don’t know if you knew this, but younger is a relative term. Herndon can’t be younger than himself. Duh.

        2. Another reason why I and many other different fans didn’t like him where these statistics:
          Career numbers
          117IP 131H
          only 76K 42BB
          2W 8L and 2BSV
          only 5 HLDS which proves he didn’t pitch meaningful innings
          I’ll give it to him yeah he can be a serviceable chip in a bullpen somewhere, but those are the reasons Herndon left a bad taste in my, and many others, mouth.

          1. So wait, what, you’re down on Herndon for not pitching meaningful innings? That’s somehow his fault? Given your opinion of him, one would think you would be HAPPY that he hadn’t pitched meaningful innings.

            It’s also funny that those numbers, W/L aside*, are really fine for a pitcher in Herndon’s limited role. The one stat you could pull to superficially support your original position (even though, because of a small sample size, it wouldn’t REALLY prove anything), you ignore. (Hint: performance with the team ahead or behind by 4 or more)

            *And I realize that you are probably not disposed to accept this, but knowledgeable fans increasingly realize that win/loss records are so context dependent to be virtually meaningless.

            1. Yes, losses are still too much context based especially out of the pen where you have relievers changing mid-inning and a decision can depend on the strand rate of the next guy. W/L record ultimately gives you more information about the game situation than the player it is assigned to.

            2. See my comment above. I probably differ from Matt a tiny bit here. That is, I think that if you were able to control for how a reliever was used AND with a sufficiency high sample size, you might really be able to say that, at least relatively speaking, losses for relievers are more “meaningful” than losses for starters. But that’s two big ifs, and only relatively speaking. Marioano Rivera had 6 losses in 2001. Lee Smith accumulated 92 losses as a reliever, twice had 10 losses in a season, and was 21 games under .500. I could come up with plenty more examples.

              In Herndon’s case, for reasons stated separately, the losses don’t really mean much if anything.

  2. If Herndon wasn’t out till midseason I think he might have stuck around but they can’t afford the question mark for that long. How long does Mini-Mart ride the bench in LHV?

    1. Locks: May, Martin, Pettibone, Collier
      Others Exposed: James, JRod, Castro, Shreve, Hyatt, Hewitt,
      The two controversial ones at the beginning of September were Cloyd and Ruf but both have 40 man spots and are protected. Of the others I personally think Castro is protected with the possibility of protecting James or JRod if there is an extra spot.

      1. I thought if you are chosen Rule 5 the team has to keep you on the mlb roster? If so why waste a spot on Collier whom no team would feel he’s ready to be a major leaguer?

        1. There are teams that could stash him on a bench because he can play center field (then they could send him back down to AAA in 2014 if they wanted). The Astros aren’t going anywhere, why not take a free guy and stash him for a year. Collier has more pedigree and is a more polished hitter than James was a year ago.

          1. Agreed, this was Collier’s best season at age 21. Very curious to see what he can do in Reading next year. His upside is a 10 HR / 30 SB CF with a .350 OBP. That’s a solid player.

      2. Don’t be surprised if they protect Edgar Duran over Leandro Castro or Jiwan James. It’s even easier to stash a utility SS on your bench, than a CF. Pitchers and SS are always the most likely players chosen.

        1. I always forget about Duran, is there a more under the radar player in the system. I just looked at his stats, he is only 21 and hit 7 HRs in the CLW (though not a lot of doubles which doesn’t make a ton of sense). Whether he gets picked or not depends on his defense, it has be at least major league average for anyone to pick him (or the Phils to protect him).

          1. I think Phillies leave Collier, Castro, James, JRod unprotected. Personally of these guys I think James will be the best major leaguer.

            Collier has not done enough in my opinion to warrant a Rule5 selection. He will be overclassed at the MLB level, is not a plus CF and is really still riding the 1st Rd pick wave. He does seem to have decent speed and has improved his power. I agree that, at this point, he seems to have better projection than James.

            However, I would think James is a much more likely selection. James is a Gold Glove caliber fielder with excellent speed (though poor SB rate). He did battle some leg injuries but the defense would actually be useful to a Major League club who could then work on his swing/approach.

            Castro is also interesting as the best hitter of the group with flexibility to play all the OF positions. However, while I could see James or Collier as starting CF, Castro will likely be just a 4th OF.

            Duran’s fielding and speed could possibly get him drafted but again his bat is just too far behind and his upside does not seem that high to be worth it.

            I could see a team taking a flier on JRod. Never know when a scout sees something others may not.

  3. We can spin it all different ways, but BOTH of these guys stunk. Granted, Martinez stunk more, but Herndon had no future here.

    1. Martinez had no place on a major league roster, period. Herndon was a quasi decent reliever who had some value while making the major league minimum.

      To Herndon, happy trails. To Martinez, good riddance.

  4. Martinez was able to squeeze 1.5 seasons of ML salary without any talent whatsoever. Hope he banked that cash.

  5. Three more years of major service, i believe he gets a pension,There is a guy martinez who if he didnt always hit for the fences, might have been a decent player, i say might,

    1. I’ll say this, when he had his treds in 2011 he was a better player, then he cuts them this year and look what happens! I blame his barber for his slide.

  6. This team has assembled some of the worse bench nontalent in my memory and that is a long time. Worse they hold on to them even when they proven they can’t play a lick. To whit I give you Terry Harmon MLB 1969-1977 . Let him in a game he was to mess it up

    1. I know you have brought this up before but I think the huge problem hasn’t been the bench talent but the lack of depth when that bench talent was forced into a starting role. I am not going to defend MM, but when Wigginton or Nix is your pinch hitter of platoon bat that you don’t have to rely on your bench looks much better. That being said it is definitely an area that the team could improve without breaking the bank by just being smarter and better prepared.

    2. Wheels, this is a long running obsession with you, and one where I’d at least like you to engage the arguments of the many people who disagree with you. As I’ve said before, while obviously not defending every signing/move last season (I never really liked the Wigginton acquisition, and I share the consensus opinion on Martinez), or historically, the team actually does a pretty good job of filling out the bench. As Matt says correctly, the problem last year was that these guys were forced by injuries into starting roles, and that some of them (the relievers especially, to the extent that you include them in the “bench”) were injured themselves.

      Basically, you make three errors:

      (1) Most significantly, your expectations for what a good bench should be are wildly out of whack. Especially post free agency, teams don’t and shouldn’t spend a lot of resources on the bench. The bench talent – and not just for the Phillies – reflects that.

      (2) You focus on the negatives without acknowledging the positives. Nix last season was fine when he was healthy (he was a lousy PH, so what – that was a tiny portion of his PA), Pierre was a great sign, Galvis did a good job before getting injured, Mayberry was very good after a rough start, they did eventually add Kratz who performed well (and see below regarding Schnieder), Frandsen did well for the team, Thome contributed before the trade, and so on. The top 7 bench guys (I’m not even counting Ruf) contributed a total of 6.6 WAR – that’s huge, granted it was inflated by the fact that most of them were pressed into starting roles to some extent.

      (3) You ignore defense and positional flexibility, the latter of which is particularly important in the days of 12 man pitching staffs. The former is exemplified by your lack of appreciation of the importance that the team places upon the hard to measure defensive value of the back up catcher; the latter is exemplified by your lack of understanding of the need for a team to have a player like Martinez (not that I disagree with you on the bottom line; he had no place on a major league roster. But the decision to go with him at least becomes understandable when one considers the need for positional flexibility. The same can also be said for Wigginton.)

    3. Harmon is actually a perfect lens through which to view your distorted expectations of bench performance. He wasn’t much on offense, but that in a era where even most regular middle infielders weren’t good hitters. Even so, he had some offensive skills – decent BB rates, decent contact hitter. His defense was good. He was, for his era, pretty much what you could expect from a bench middle infielder, no more, no less. In 1972 he was actually one of the better players on a notoriously bad Phillies’ team.

      In contrast, during the same time period, the middle infield reserve for the Big Red Machine was a guy named Darrel Chaney. Harmon is Derick Jeter compared to Chaney. Well, I exaggerate. But the point is that that’s the kind of player teams were rolling out as middle infield reserves. Look at 1974 – probably the BEST true bench middle infielder was Gene Michael. The best. and he was basically Terry Harmon on a career basis, except that he was a regular for most of his career.

  7. I really don’t understand the wigginton signing from the start, terrible defense,and not a lot of offense. but i really can only go on this year, never really saw much of him on other teams, a bench to me is sometimes luck, you pick up a guy and he has a career year. we let go of dobbs, who was awful for two seasons , he goes to florida and has two nice seasons, plays about 120 games and produces for them.

    1. Well I understood it. Doesn’t mean I liked it (though, to be fair, my reaction at the time was probably more lukewarm than negative). He is a guy who had positional flexibility, was cheap, and wasn’t THAT far removed from seasons as a decent hitter.

      The biggest problem in retrospect is that he was forced by circumstance to amass 360 PA, most of them while playing at first base. Arguably the Phillies should have anticipated this, given the Howard injury. It’s here that positional flexibility rears its ugly head. If one recalls the start of the season bench, as planned at least, if they signed a real first baseman instead of Wiggington (even setting aside salary issues), they would have been overly lacking in positional flexibility on the bench. One could argue that the Thome signing backed them into that particular corner, but then again Thome played well and got them a pretty decent return when he was traded.

      All that said, in retrospect at least he was not a good addition to the team. at all

      1. I don’t think 1974 is relevant to today, heck I don’t even think 08 is relevant. Different front office regimes have different philosphical views on building out the bench. The one thing I do agree is that in the NL positional flexibility is paramount which is why I believe Nix stays, Mayberry Stays, Galvis assumes MM’s role and Big Nate might find he is the odd man out.

  8. Neither was making next year’s team and the Phils correctly exposed Herndon, who won’t be ready until June or July of next year anyway, to protect one more young guy. It looks like our 40 man roster currently is at 36 including Polanco and Wig which will represent 6 spots after they’re released. The FA signing can start pretty soon after the WS ends but the Phils will have to consider the Rule 5 draft in the timing of the signings. I expect a CF and an 8th inning guy to be signed so that will use up 2 of the 6 open spots and I counted 6 guys that need to be added to the list. I think they will definitely protect Collier and Castro but not James or Duran while the pitchers are obvious. Savery is probably the next guy to go although Valdes could be next also depending on what the team thinks of him and his chances of pitching in Philly next year. I suppose they could trade Nix or Scheirholz to free up a spot but I think that spot will ultimately go to a corner OF signing or trade. Schwimer might go also I suppose. Let’s get this WS over so we can get on with the Hot Stove season…

      1. I think Castro is a definite future major leaguer in some capacity, most likely as a 4th of. He would definitely be taken by someone. He can play all 3 of positions, he can throw, and he routinely knocks in runs. I can see him as a great pinch hitter bench guy in the future.

      2. He is a 4th OF, and if you can have that for 400k and not cost you any other resources you do that. He may not be a star but he easily is a major league contributor in some capacity.

    1. It doesn’t work that way on protecting guys on the 40-man roster for the Rule 5 draft. Once you put them on the 40-man, you have to keep them on the 40-man roster or expose them to waiver claims, when you remove them. A guy claimed on waivers just needs to be kept on the other team’s 40-man, not on their 25-man for the whole year, as in the case of Rule 5, nor is there the $50K cost of claiming someone in the Rule 5. Therefore, we have more chance of keeping a prospect by exposing him to the Rule 5 draft than we do if we protect him from the Rule 5 and then remove him from the 40-man to add a FA. IF we are going to add 2 FA, then we can really only protect 4 guys from the Rule 5. The other reason not to add 6 guys and get up to 40 on the 40-man is that it allows us to make a Rule 5 pick, if the Phillies see someone they like.

  9. Some good news….Derrick Mitchell has re-signed with the Phillies for a ninth season in the organization.

    1. 4th OF for LHV, he is firmly an org guy now, maybe he gets a cup of coffee some September in the Pridie type role if they need a warm body at the end of season

    2. That’s good news although Ruf, Gillies, and Castro will be the starters unless Ruf surprises us. Gillies gets hurt so often though, a back up is needed. Susdorf still coming back?

      1. Look, it’s all well and good to support family, but why do so anonomously?

        Seriously, even assuming for the sake of argument that you are correct, his gifts still haven’t manifested themselves on the field. He’s a AAAA guy who might – might – get a brief taste of the major leagues at some point, but he isn’t a prospect.

  10. He has played every position in the Phillies system except shortstop but now as a pitcher out of the pen who can throw in the mid to high 90′s and gaining control and command, don’t rule him out as a member of the Phillies pen sometime during the 2013 season….who will be Tim Kennelly.

    1. I think more September time frame but I think you are right in including him, probably in the next reliever wave with Knigge, Simon, Giles, and Bonilla (who might be slightly ahead of the others)

      1. If Bonilla’s change is as good as indicated in the past, I think he’s way ahead. Kniggle and Giles throw harder but neither has a 2nd plus pitch to my knowledge.

    2. After 20 innings pitched ever? Hardly. I did see the Cubs signed our old friend Jesus Sanchez the other day ( speaking of former position players).

  11. Is Larry Greene concerning to any of you guys? With only 2 HR and the fact that Roman Quinn had a higher slugging percentage gets me a little worried about our first rounder. Also why are him nor Quinn playing winter ball? They both signed late and only have 280 some pro ABs under the belt, wanna see these guys on the field

    1. They are both 19, let them have an offseason to rest. They both played in the FIL, also if they play in any foreign league they will be ineligible to ever play in the AFL. Greene is going to be fine, his plate discipline is way above where we thought it was. The Williamsport park is huge and his power will really play up in Lakewood.

      1. Ok thanks, and i’m not completely sold on Greene yet. We drafted him in the first round as a crazy power 40 HR a year guy and he only hit 2 bombs. There is also a lot of concern about his frame (5’11-6’0 235) and becoming a big power guy. He did have 22 doubles and hopefully some of those will turn into HRs next year. He did show great plate discipline but you shouldn’t judge a prospects success ooff of it

        1. The thing with plate discipline is not about walks here it is that he has pitch recognition and which is encouraging for translating his power. He still hits for power in BP which says it is in the swing and when he puts the approach and swing together he will be able to hit well. The big thing to remember is that Greene faced poor competition in high school and is much rawer than people think he is. Don’t judge the pick until after his full season debut.

        2. The thing to remember with Greene is that he played against weak comp in high school and it will take him some time to adjust to the much better pitching. His good eye was really seen as a positive for a guy with that background. It’s way too early to be worried.

        3. It was Greene’s first season playing minor league ball. I don’t pay too much attention to their first season. He’s in a new environment, on his own, trying to absorb everything. I mean, Asche had a terrible first year, and we know where he is now.

          1. Plus, it’s a lot harder to get your start in pro ball jumping into NYP league as a 19-year old than it is to jump into GCL as an 18-year old.

      2. Are you sure about that Matt? Happen to see that Donald Lutz played in Australia last year or the year before and is playing AFL this year.

        1. It appears I was wrong on the winter league rule if you are an American (still no team sends a prospect abroad at the short season level)

          Eligibility Rules
          The eligibility rules to play in the AFL are simple.

          The roster size is 30 players per team.

          Each Major League organization is required to provide six players subject to the following requirements:

          – All Triple-A and Double-A players are eligible, provided the players are on at least a Double-A level roster no later than Aug. 1.
          – One player below the Double-A level is allowed per Major League team.
          – One foreign player is allowed, as long as the player does not reside in a country that participates in winter ball, as part of the Caribbean Confederation or the Australian winter league.
          – No players with more than one year of credited Major League service as of August 31 are eligible, except a team may select one player picked in the most recently concluded Major League Rule 5 Draft.
          – To be eligible, players on Minor League disabled lists must be activated at least 45 days before the conclusion of their respective seasons.

    2. Not sure any major league team ever sent American-born teenage players to foreign countries to play winter ball.

  12. Collier is doing pretty good in afl. but shows no power, wonder if he is still consider a good prospect, after the drug incident and his lack of power,I really never saw him play,and wonder what kind of player he would be compared to,by people who have seen him.and if he has a shot to help us,

    1. As to his prospect status, it’s up, not down, after a solid 2012. He’s not a can’t miss A level prospect, but he’s a guy who is one breakout season away from being a serious prospect, and with the tools to have that breakout season.

      As for power, he hasn’t displayed much so far, but he did have a career high in HR this season, and scouts see more HR as his body continues to mature.. He’s never been a player that’s likely to develop 20 plus HR power. He’s a guy, if things break right for him, profiles as a Victorino type player, with maybe more speed. (and despite fans being down on him this season, with some cause, a cost controlled Victorino type player would be of considerable value.) A center fielder with speed, decent on base ability, and good defense doesn’t have to hit a ton of HR.

      1. From PhoulBallz.com….With the Lara Cardenales, outfielder Tyson Gillies, who has steadily concerned both the Phillies organization and its fans with his long list of injury troubles and his off-field issues, is currently sidelined with a right hamstring strain. In four contests, the British Columbia native who turns 24-year-old on Halloween, went 7-for-15 (.467 average) with a double and a triple while driving in two runs. Gillies knows his body well following a stream of hamstring and foot issues in recent years and proclaimed, via Twitter last week, that he would be okay. Right now, the lefty hitting prospect is day-to-day and is expected to return to action by mid-week.

      2. I thought Victorino had plus plus speed. I doubt Collier is that fast and I am still not sure is even an above avg CF. I also doubt he has Vic’s arm in the OF.
        I do agree that he showed improvement and has upside,

        1. Victorino ran a 10.80 100 meter dash in High School. That’s really really fast for a high schooler. In Phila he would be considered a elite track and field athlete. I doubt Collier is anywhere near those times.

            1. On the speed front, I will defer to some extent to the comments above, while noting that Collier is certainly fast, so I’m not sure that Vic gets a big edge there.

              On the power front, you’re at least potentially wrong (remember, we’re talking upside here). Look at Victorino’s minor league power numbers – they were as anemic as Collier’s. Certainly looking at his frame, Collier seems like someone who could develop a little more power than Vic. Suddenly developing mid range power as a player approaches his mid 20s is actually reasonably common (and no, not just because of PEDs).

              Not sure why people jumped all over the Victorino comp and not the Anderson comp. Vic is not a perfect comp, but probably a better comp than Anderson. Of course, once again we’re talking upside; his change of reaching it is still pretty slim.

    2. He has to be able to play CF to make it and he didn’t play CF before this year. This was a god year for him however and he still has a chance to become a player. He was always thought to have a max of a 300 hitter with 15 homers with speed. This year in AA will be huge for him. It looks like Jiwan will be moved out of CF again if he’s back.

  13. Why is Kelly Dugan never talked about as a prospect? He was arguably Lakewoods MVP and has great defense out in right.

    1. Because he is a step below the other guys. I just started working on a very rough Top 30 and he is right around #20 in the same cluster with Walding, Cozens, Hernandez. For reference that is around #10 for position prospects. He is on the older side for the level (22 in low-A) and is a real candidate to be advanced quickly (it isn’t really a performance thing on being behind, it was injury). The problem is he is a corner OF with slightly above average power which isn’t a great profile (if he keeps a plus hit tool or better going forward he can work there), he is good but not great. But the biggest things is he isn’t special and frankly he is a guy who was a disappointment for a while and people were tired of talking about him.

  14. Wow…..I just lost 5 minutes of my life that I’ll never get back reading all those posts about Herndon!!! Bottom line, he was serviceable and filled a huge need for a bullpen arm a few years ago when they picked him. He was a sinkerballer pitcher who most thought would do well at CBP. Now, the Phils have several younger players that need protecting so Herndon was just keeping that roster spot warm til now. WHile I liked him, Im not sure he even merited the amount of comments at the top of this post.

      1. Ummm….and this should come as no surprise to anyone. The fact that it took up so much space is a mystery to me as the PHILs have numerous young players who need to be protected. This was a no brainer decision!

        1. It was a no-brainer for us to waive Herndon because we have other pitchers coming up (and he’s still recovering from TJ). The big argument was that some of us thought Herndon was serviceable, while the other side thought he was dog crap.

  15. I really get nervous on a prospect,when someone says he didnt face good competition,or he didnt do well against better competition,but like his athleicsm and body, has tools, remember hewitt, didnt hit in the summer maine league and it was ignore, and he didnt play against good competition, couple of quotes, i remember after he was drafted, its happen to guys from this area, never made the impact we thought like , ben davis, second pick in draft , kid from new jersey rowell i think its spelled that way, he face lesser,i know people who played against him and said to me he isnt as good as they say,but you take those comments with a grain of salt.so my question is this., how much stock you put in the competition they faced in high school? do you take it serious or just look at the bat speed and other things,

      1. When you take away the Ht/Wt he has a very good body when you remember that he had a scholarship to go play linebacker for Alabama (last time I checked not a slouch football team), he is a really good athlete for his size. BTW he is 6′ 0″ not that makes a giant difference

        If you want some power hitters, I give you Billy Butler, Jason Kubel, Nelson Cruz, Nick Swisher, Dayan Viciedo, and Edwin Encarnacion (all under 6′ 2″)

      2. Mickey Mantle, Gary Sheffield, Carl Yastrzemski, Dick Allen, Adrian Beltre, Al Simmons, Rogers Hornsby, Goose Goslin, Roberto Clemente, Pedro Guerrero, Jackie Jensen, Hal McRae,….

    1. The one thing you can’t get from scouting a guy who plays against weak competition is how they do against plus stuff. Greene really struggled against good velocity in showcases because he just never faced it in high school (and it seems like he is adjusting), Hewitt never faced good breaking balls and never really recognized one. This is one of the reasons Mike Trout slipped, from scouting him you had no clue just how good his approach and plate discipline were (it turns out they are elite but no one knew that till he showed in the AZL and dominated). You give the bad competition guys half a season or so to adjust and then you treat them like everyone else (maybe they take a year longer but it depends on the guy).

    2. Of course, when it comes to lesser comp in this area, you can say the same about Mike Trout playing down in the pines of south Jersey.

  16. I need to have a celebration that Martinez is gone. Wish someone else claimed him!

    Herndon being claimed is surprising since he will be out for a couple months. Toronto does not have better middle reliever candidates? One thing that could help Herndon though is if he velocity increases after TJ as has occurred for a few pitchers. Never good when a team loses talent, but Herndon is replaceable, just nice that he had Majors experience.

  17. Anyone have a BP subscription? a post went up over there today talking about Phillies players in the instructs, curious to see the report

    1. Unlike some of the other guys who are in Winter League to really get work in, players like Franco are there to play with their locals teams that I have played with for years. This means that I expect him to have a lighter work load for the most part and there will be less of a priority to have constant at bats (in contrast to a Ruf or Gillies). Personally I would like to see him get some rest after his first full season playing and then show up in shape and ready next spring.

  18. Jonathan Villar and Jarred Cosart have to be protected by the ‘Stros or lost in Rule 5.
    Villar is a toolsy shortstop that the Astros will certainly want to be patient with. Jonathan will enter his age 22 season with five years of experience and 162 minor league stolen bases to his credit. Still a bit raw and immature, Villar’s 2012 season ended early when he broke his hand trying to beat up a door. Although he still has a lot to learn, Villar is rated as one of the Astros top prospects.

  19. At the time of his trade, Villar was an essential piece for the Stroes. He was speedy and with good range at SS, but had error problems which usually gets worked out in the 2-3 more minor lg seasons. He would be the Phils proximate candidate at SS now taking 1 -2 seasons to come together.

    Now we do seem to have a superior SS coming along; his write-up after just his first season in pro ball was extraordinary. Should mean 3 more seasons of minor lg ball to make his entrance to MLB.

    This offseason must produce not only several new players to the roster, but also will test the FO’s longer term plan. We should know that this team desperately needs to get some young, fresh blood or it will continue to fade away. With Howard and Utley and Halladay health questionables and the outfield bereft of starters, plugging holes should be aimed at ’13 AND beyond.

    The pressure on RAJ will be to somehow maintain the high attendance rate as well as growing the team for post ’13. I believe RAJ will have to show some daring and put some established guys on the trading block or continue the down-tread for the club.

    It is essential that they retain their #16 draft choice in the June ’13 player draft, because that could give them a shot at a special pitcher of extraordinary potential. For the sake of comp, consider how the Giants parlayed some early draft pick (ses Bumgarner, Posey, etc.) to form a solid foundation for progress FROM WITHIN.

    The draft choices lost via FA signings shows how far behind the Phils are now on “can’t miss” prospects. It is now time for a change…but will RAJ rise to the occasion or fall back to his plan of the last few years?

    MM and Herndon done.

    1. Again ArtD with a pitcher at 16th, I think not. Do you think the Phillies organization are in dire needs of pitching in their system…check the last draft and see the majority of the top ten picks are pitchers. I suppose Watson, Gueller, Milner, Guth and Brady are not what you wanted! IMO it will be the best right-handed bat on the board, and there will a be a few good ones available at that spot.

      1. You don’t draft for major league needs.

        Their job is to draft the best player available. If it’s a left handed bat, a right handed bat, pitcher, whatever, it doesn’t matter.

    2. Art, if you are waiting for the team to rebuild by trading veterans, you’re going to be waiting a long time. Thankfully.

      Every team is different. The Phillies, looking at their current roster, are not in a position to go that route in rebuilding. Why? There are 8 guys signed for next year (assuming Ruiz’ option is picked up; we’re not counting pre-FA controlled players, who after all the older players you are referring to).

      -one guy has an untradeable contract (Howard)
      -three guys have contracts that, while not horrible, are far from bargains. Trading those guys would likely not bring back prospects commensurate with the qualities of the players traded (Lee, Rollins, Papelbon)
      -three guys are going into the last year of their contract, and, for one reason or another (health mainly), not the kind of guys who will bring a big haul of prospects for one year of control (Utley, Ruiz, Halladay)
      -one guy is probably valuable, but a just signed young pitcher that should still be around when the team again contends (Hamels)

      Of that group, Hamels aside, Lee is the one guy who likely could get an a-level prospect. I wouldn’t do it, and I doubt that the Phillies will.

      Expecting Amaro to … what, exactly? Trick other teams into over paying for our veterans? – is highly unreasonable.

      I realize that there is a contingent around here tired of watching older players and who would rather watch young guys. Your’e entitled to your aesthetic preference. But please don’t pretend that trading away the veterans for (figuratively) pennies on the dollar is going to result in anything other than a 100 loss team. The Phillies don’t want that to happen, I don’t want it to happen, nor do most of their fans, and I can promise you it won’t happen.

      1. I disagree with you on one player and that is Rollins. He is no bargain but with the constant need for major league short stops he has enough value (he was the #12 SS by WAR this season) to bring you back a good package (if you want to dream maybe you try to convince Arizona that he can fill that whole and you use him as a center piece in an Upton trade, but that is huge dreaming). But more importantly he is the only moveable guy who has a clear replacement. As was previously discussed, Galvis doesn’t make you afraid on offense but on defense alone he should be close to Rollins’s value. By no means is this me advocating we trade Rollins but if you are going to creative and use the major league roster to upgrade itself rather than dip into the farm system, he is a guy you could use.

        1. Well first of all, I’m recalling all the stories about Rollins around the trade deadline, where the narrative was that he was not a player with much market value. Maybe that is wrong, heck, as big a Rollins fan as I am, I am disposed to think it is wrong, but it’s possible that Rollins is the classic example of a player more valuable to the Phillies than to anyone else.

          Beyond that, Rollins is, at this point, with Utley’s heath up in the air, probably the one regular who you can really say is still a star level player. If you had to project for 2013, I think you would have to project him as the team’s best position player. So if I trade him, I want a good return and a guy ready to step in right away. As the centerpiece to an Upton deal, maybe. But yeah I do think you are probably dreaming.

          1. I really hope Martinez is not brought back in any capacity for the Phillies.
            I agree that after Ruiz, Rollins is the most valuable position player on the Phillies. Still excellent defense with speed and power. Probably should not lead off but still quite good. Also he will continue to set Phillies records and is actually signed to a reasonable deal.
            I, for one, have no confidence that Galvis can hit much better than Martinez, and want him in the minors for most of 2013. I still think he will be nothing more than a utility INF.

        2. Also understand that Rollins is a 10-5 guy so he’s not going anywhere unless he is willing to agree to the move.

      2. I think you are exactly correct on this. The Phillies will try to win in 2013, which says trading away our vets is a bad thing to do. There is also no reason to do it. We aren’t going to be able to sign equivalent FA to replace them for the money saved. We don’t need to shed salary. The team’s coffers have ample cash and we got under the salary cap last year. Last year’s deadline deals brought some fresh talent to the top half of the farm, while other talent already in the system progressed a year, so that the top half is in better shape than it was last winter.

    3. I disagree with you both on the #16 pick. When you are picking that high you don’t have “needs”. Going on history they will take the highest upside high school player on the board (unless an Austin Wilson or another Top 10 college guy falls to them). You don’t draft anything but the best player on the board and looking at the lower levels of the minors there is not an imbalance between hitting or pitching so you shouldn’t be leaning one way or another. You take a guy with All-Star tools because this will likely be there only time for the next few years to get a player with that kind of profile.

      1. I disagree with you. Better check the stats/numbers…you are a numbers guy right! The last 12 drafts…1st pick for pitchers equals six, 1st pick for position players equal six. And in almost sequentially one-for-one drafts. So you would say SSS or coincidence, I say it is not random but strategically deviced that way by the FO.

        1. A pattern does not guarantee future. I would see those numbers and say that they don’t favor one or the other first. You can make the argument that with Gueller and Watson this year that they might favor a position prospect, but with Pujols, Cozens, Pullin, Green, and Tocci they have the high upside young guys down there as well. They have kept the system balanced on the lower end (the upper levels have been decimated on position players by trades).

        2. They’ll take the best player available. You don’t match draft to immediate team needs in baseball, since a HS kid is 4-6 years from contributing in the bigs, while a college guy outside the top 10, other than a reliever, is expected to be 2-4 years away. In that length of time, what you think you need in the bigs gets totally scrambled.

          Phillies seem to prefer the HS pitching stud, when available. They have also shown they will take a position player or a college pitcher. They have done worst when picking HS OF and college pitchers in the first round, so I would prefer not to go that route. If a stud HS position player, whose tools revolve around contact, pitch recognition in addition to speed and the more speculative power tool falls to them, I’d be happy with that, also. Beware the super-raw HS speedster, who has played against poor competition. No more Jeff Jacksons, Reggie Taylors, Hewitts, or Golsons, please. And no more ruined college SP arms.

          1. Bottom-line…no ‘toolsy’ players? Some could say there are racial nias overtones in that philosophy.

            1. How? Toolsy, as I take it to mean it, is someone who has the physical capabilities (read: physical specimen) to be a good baseball player, but is raw in that they either haven’t faced tough competition, or they just haven’t put it together yet. There is nothing indicative of race there, just experience and ability as a baseball player.

            2. Anon is right in that in general “toolsy” is often thrown around to describe African American players while “gamer” is used on white players. You have the right definition but it often gets some stereotypes attached to it.

            3. No, there are tooly players of all races. Also, it is fine to take toolsy guys later in the draft, when they are cheaper and a better value. Hewitt and Golson cost us primo draft picks and over a million dollars to sign. Were they better than guys like James, Altherr, even D’Arby Myers, without getting into guys taken just a little later, like Collier and Gose. It’s great to be fast and a plus OF defender, but the top tools for a position player should be contact skill, plate discipline/pitch recognition and demonstrated power. Bat speed is a more valuable tool than foot speed early in the draft. I am happiest with HS pitchers in the first round, because that is what our scouts seem to do best, but you have to take best available Too much dreaming on teaching a fast, great defender how to hit is simply too much of a reach in the first round.

            4. The one place I disagree is on power. It is hard to find power at the high school level later in the draft. If you want a kid with big time power you have to take him early, that is why I defend the LGreene pick, and why I think the Hewitt pick is defensible because if it works out the upside is tremendous.

  20. I understand in baseball doesn’t allow teams to trade draft picks. However, if a team gambles and makes a qualifying offer to say Tori Hunter. If it appears nobody is going to sign him, can the angels offer another team player(s) to a team to sign him? Hmm.

    1. If the Angels extend an offer to Hunter he will sign it, 13.5 million is likely more than he would make on the open market (not much more but I would suspect he is in the 10-12mil range).

    2. A ‘qualifying offer’ comes only from the team that has had the services of the player, in this case the Angels. In the absence of that offer or if the player declines the offer, the player becomes a free agent. Any offer made by another team is not a ‘qualifying offer’, it’s just an offer.

      Your question implies that the Angels might have a reason to induce another team to sign Hunter. I have to assume that the reason would be so that the Angels would get the compensatory draft pick. Keep in mind that with the qualifying offer needs to be at least $13.3 M on a one year contract, that becomes an expensive draft pick measured in terms of the compensation necessary to induce another team to sign a guy like Hunter if they weren’t inclined to do so any way. Since the Angels would pick near the end of the first round, I can’t see the issue arising since the draft pick would not hold
      value sufficient to justify the type of transaction I believe you’re describing..

  21. A team doesn’t pick for needs? The best player available? Check our draft of ’11. We surely were in desperate need of infielders at SS, 3b, and 2b. Now check how many of our first 15 picks, and earliest, which consisted of a bundle of infielders. The picks are more than just what the big club needs but also about the farm system needs.

    Also: how many of our prospects need to be traded to supply us with outfielders, and a 3rd baseman, and who are they? Yes, we have TWO pitchers nearing ready: Martin and that tall guy from local climes: Biddle. And perhaps Pettibone. Other than them I see a bunch of disappointments who look like they couldn’t fire a fb ACCURATELY through a 2′ CARDBOARD BOX. Compare with the Giants who have grown their staff from within by smart drafting AND holding on to then for the bigs.

    We need some outstanding prospect pitcher who wows us all and others.

    1. Do not sell Trevor May or Adam Morgan short, as apparently you have done by omitting them from your select list because, ‘. I see a bunch of disappointments who look like they couldn’t fire a fb ACCURATELY through a 2′ CARDBOARD BOX’. No prospect is plus-plus in every category.

    2. If you have bunch of players equal on your board you can say we would rather have an infielder over an outfielder here and things like that. Looking back at the 2011 draft the only guy who seemed like a reach at the time was Roman Quinn who the Phillies were convinced was a shortstop and that has worked out better than anyone can hope.

      When you are looking at the Giants rotation I assume you are talking about Cain, Lincecum, and Bumgarner and that is a product of where they were drafted:
      Cain – 1st round #25 – 2002
      Lincecum – 1st round #10 – 2006
      Bumgarner – 1st round #10 – 2007
      you could add Zach Wheeler – 1st round #6 – 2009

      Since 2002 the Phillies have never picked in the Top 10 (in 2001 they picked Gavin Floyd #4) and they have used a first round pick on a pitcher 4 times:
      Hamels – 1st round #17 – 2002
      Kyle Drabek – 1st round #18 – 2006
      Joe Savery – 1st round #19 – 2007
      Jesse Biddle – 1st round #27 -2010
      You can see from that list that two pitchers were decimated by injuries (Drabek and Savery from college), another pitcher is the best of all of those listed in this response (Hamels), and the last is a pretty good prospect (Biddle). All of them picked way after the Giants pitchers. You are getting upset at the later round guys the Phillies have taken over the years to try and turn into good pitchers (of which I see none of in the Giant’s rotation or in their farm system). These include but are not limited to May (4th round), Pettibone (3rd round), Morgan (3rd round), Colvin (7th round), Wright (8th round), and traded Cosart (38th round). I would count Martin who was a 1st round pick as one of the guys who can’t throw strikes. In the later rounds the Phillies take big guys who can and will throw hard and try to teach them how to pitch, the idea being that all of those guys listed will be dominant relievers if they don’t work as starters.

  22. Drafting for needs. is a big mistake,ask the philadelphia eagles. They came out this week and said,for two drafts. they drafted for needs, and came out with danny watkins ,who sinks,kid from temple in second round jarrett who got cut and so on,so you should imo draft best available.

    1. Yes, in the latter part of the first round, but there is that ‘line in the sand’ when teams have to make a decision and draft for need or best available when you have a so-called ‘lottery’ pick, where there is a group of players that are variably equal potential and talent. Phillies at 16th may be a little outside that luxury.

      1. The line in the sand where need takes over in baseball is close to the 10th round when the need is we need a first base man at WPT or some bullpen arms. But before then you may break ties on need but you aren’t targeting a type of player

        1. Exactly, making the football analogy, the Carolina Panthers who may get a high pick in the NFL draft are not going to take a Matt Barkley, QB from USC, who could be the best available, with Cam Newton sitting on their team. So it comes down to need. So the theory always draft ‘best-available’ has to be weighed at the poitnt where a team is drafting and the pool of talent available. IMO, after the first round in baseball, it should always be best available.

          1. The only time this really comes too much into play is if you have multiple picks at the top of the draft, you aren’t going to take prospects that are going to block each other with your first two picks. But with the new signing rules, most of the previous class has gotten experience so they have moved on to WPT or LKW and you don’t have to worry about anywhere being blocked on your GCL roster. Good analogy (why the Rams traded the RGIII pick was what I think of).

  23. Baseball is almost always draft best available in the early rounds. Of all 4 major sports I believe baseball easily has the highest miss rate of early draft picks. taking best on the board maximizes the success rate. As mentioned, add the fact most players are years away from the bigs so mlb need is hard to gauge down the road versus organizational need is.

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