11-2-2013 AFL Update

A reminder to anyone interested, the AFL Rising Stars Game is tonight.  It’s on MLB Network at 8pm EST for those properly-cabled amongst you.  I tried to figure if it was going to be streaming but I can’t tell, (might be), and it looks like it’s not on MLB.TV or MiLB.TV, at least according to their website schedules for today.

Not much to write home about on the stat front – Jay Johnson had a couple nice outings, and Tommy Joseph’s been on base in 4 of his 5 games since coming back from the flu.

As usual, here’s a link to all the stat lines for all of the Phils minor leaguers in off-season leagues.  Cesar Hernandez is running wild in Venezuela.  7/8 on steal attempts.

115 thoughts on “11-2-2013 AFL Update

    1. Its a very small sample size but it does make Cesar Hernandez’s batting average stand out in a negative way.

  1. Nice to see Collier more than holding his own. If there was any question before as to whether he should be protected, I think it’s been answered.

    1. If Collier and his less than 300 ABs of Advanced-A ball gets claimed, I’ll promise never to post on this site again. There’s about a 1% chance he gets claimed if unprotected and the 1% is merely to leave the door open to another GM’s stupidity.

      He may very well end up being protected in which case we’ll never know the risk of not protecting him, but in my opinion he certainly doesn’t need to be.

      1. The odds of his being claimed are well above 1%. I’d say 1 in 3 if not protected. It really is not pain for a second-tier AL club to carry a guy at the end of the bench, especially if he has good D.

        1. I’m admittedly in the minority here Atown but I’ll stick with my position in that there is next to no chance that he will get claimed. I guess will find out soon enough particularly if the Phils fail to protect him

    1. Truly, there is a difference in age and defensively Collier may not be all that far behind James. At the plate Collier’s upside seems to be more then James at this point of their careers.

    1. Hamilton’s speed is insane. He’s the fastest baserunner in professional ball since Vince Coleman.

    1. Joseph looks great. Nimble behind the plate. Fabulous arm. Perfect build and size for a catcher. Nice, short swing. And the word on tv is that he has great leadership skills. Just really impressive. Goodbye Sebastian.

      1. On Asche, I can’t reach any conclusions yet. Hasn’t played great so far but he doesn’t look bad either. Has a decent build but nothing out of the ordinary.

            1. I know, weird comparison, but look at Brogna when he was here. Around .265 20 HR 30 2B and 100 RBI….would you take that kind of production out of Asche. I would. He won’t be a star but he will be a solid contributer…much like Brogna.

            2. If Brogna was a 3B his offense would have been fine. Brogna was a good enough defensive player he could have played SS if he was RH. He would have been an all star at SS or 2B.

      2. Hopefully Valle has enough trade value.

        That one throw Joseph made on the stolen base was impressive.

  2. We have the 16th pick this year does anyone what the tie breaker was between us and Arizona for 15/16th pick? Was it just a coin flip?

    1. If two teams finish with identical records, the previous year’s standings of the two teams is the tiebreaker, with the team having a worse record receiving the higher pick.

    2. If we keep our pick, it could end up being earlier if any of the teams with picks 10-15 sign any of the nine players that were given arb.

        1. No, no Anonymous. Murray is correct and his is a keen observation. If the Mets, Mariners, Padres, Pirates or Diamondbacks (picks 11-15) sign any of the eight remaining unsigned players who were made a qualifying offer, rejected, and later signed with another team, the Phils could indeed end up with a higher first round pick.

          I say ‘eight’ players above as Ortiz was one of the nine players to receive a qualifying offer but he has since resigned with the Red Sox. So eight remain; Bourn, Hamilton, Kuroda, Swisher, Raf Soriano, BJ Upton, Laroche and one other who I can’t recall.

          Though I’d add that teams 11-15 are unlikely to be in on any of the bigger names. Perhaps Laroche or Upton can be of interest to the Mariners, Pirates or Diamondbacks. Oh, and Kyle Lohse is the eight remaining player,

          1. The Mets and Padres won’t but I could see the Pirates, Dbacks, or Seattle try to make a splash and all have money.

            1. I guess I would take BJ without the pick vs. Borjos for Morgan (or equivalent, someone wold have to be traded). It’s the pick against a trade of a top prospect who is close. I guess I would have to know who would be required to make a deal happen. Pagan would clearly be the preference because it wouldn’t cost a pick. Pagan plus Cody Ross signings would be best but several teams are in pursuit of the same players. Unlikely that we would get either let alone both.

  3. I didnt get to watch the game last night, can anyone tell me how Asche and Joseph looked or what the broadcasters said about them?

    1. Here were my thoughts:

      Joseph is really impressive. Alot of poise for young player and you can already see his leadership ability. Looks like he has strong arm and I thought he looks good offensively even if numbers don’t support that yet.

      Asche – I was slightly disappointed here. One thing that became clear is he will not be power guy. His build is more of 2B. Looks like he will be gap hitter and his swing is smooth. I think he could be serviceable at ML level just not sure he is what you want from 3B.

      Cosart – for all the hype he was getting…I wasn’t impressed. Sure he throws in mid-upper 90’s but he has major control issues. I don’t like his set up or delivery…just doesn’t look right. On one 3-2 count he threw it into the backstop.

      1. I’d like to see a lot more of Asche before I start writing him off as a guy without power. Actually, I thought his build was fine and his swing looked okay. Sure, he didn’t bowl me over, but I’d like to see him over an extended number of at bats. Fortunately, as soon as he gets to LhV, I will be able to see all of his at bats either live through MiLB network or in their archives (most of the video I watch of guys in the minors is in archive – last year I gave my general plug about getting the minor league video package and I’ll do it again now. It costs like $30 for the entire year and you get all the AAA games live, some assorted lower minor games and every game that’s recorded is fully accessible at all times in the archive files – if you are doing this to scout talent rather than watch games, which is what I do (scout talent that is), this is one of the best values in baseball – if you can afford, DO IT!).

        1. Two at bats in an all star game and opinions are formed? I suggest you need to watch him a bit more. Asche can hit but, as I’ve said many times, he’s had all of one full season and needs the entire 2013 season in LHV to learn and improve. I see a lot to like when I watch him but he’s more Utley than natural athlete. In other words, he works very hard and will improve all aspects of his game. By the way, he’s 6’1″ and 180, want to bet he’s 200 in a few years?

      2. This whole “not the type of production you need from 3B” argument is old. That is from 20 years ago when catchers and shortstops didn’t hit. Back in the 80’s the 7 and 8 hitters were the SS and catcher. It was rare to get production out of those positions. In the 80’s second base was also not a power position. It was rare to get 30 HR out of a secondbasemen. So that left the outfield and corners for power.

        Times are different today. You get power from all positions. So this whole, “not the type of production you want from 3B” argument is weak and outdated. Where did Scott Brosius was hit 7, 8 and 9 for the Yankees. They didn’t need to prototypical thirdbasement because the lineup was loaded and they got production from catcher, second and short.

        Sometimes a lineup needs a guy who can hit some line drive in the gaps for doubles.

        Also, how many 3b hit more than 25 homeruns this year. I bet is was about 10.

        1. As for 2nd baseman with power, I believe Nat’s Manager Davey Johnson and Oriole Bobby Grich (sp) may have been one the fore-runners in modern times for power from that position in the late 60s/early 70s. And of course before my time there was HOFer Rogers Hornsby, the original.

  4. Phillies have a guy named Todd Van Steensel. What are the pct. that he is a badass of some sort? Im going to guess 99% Coolest name in the minors.

  5. Why has Franco only had 1 ab? Injury? and its interesting that Tim Kennelly is both pitching and hitting in Austrailia

  6. BA AFL Hot Sheet Nov 2nd-Peter Wardell:
    1. Jonathan Singleton, 1b, Mesa Solar Sox (Astros)
    Statistics: .273/.407/.500 (6-for-22), 4 R, 3 2B, 1 3B, 1 RBI, 5 BB, 5 K………After posting a .284/.396/.497 line with 21 home runs at Double-A Corpus Christi, Singleton has remained a solid and consistent contributor this fall, collecting a league-high nine extra base hits. Playing in 19 of the 21 games thus far, Singleton has not only impressed scouts with his elite power potential and feel for the barrel but also his advanced approach (pitch recognition and two-strike ability). He’s a confident hitter, willing to work deep into counts and look for his pitch. The 6-foot-2, 235-pounder was acquired from the Phillies last summer for Hunter Pence and so far appears to be a cornerstone bat for the lineup going forward.
    ————–oh brother!

    1. In some ways, now that the first Pence trade is far behind us, I’d like the guys we traded to do well for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that I want Amaro to pause long and hard before he dumps high level talent for a marginal upgrade. I’d like this trade to sting a little bit, you know?

        1. They just may turn out to marginal players as well also. The truth is we do not how they will turn out but a possible All Star catcher is more valuable than a good hitting 1B.

          1. Look, I like the Tommy Joseph trade a lot – Joseph is an intriguing prospect who I personally raved about (see above). However, if you’re asking whether Joseph, standing alone, right now, is more valuable than Singleton, Cosart and Santana together, the answer is a clear no and it’s not particularly close. That’s not to say that, in the long, run it’s possible that Joseph could be more valuable than those three – sure it’s possible. But right now, the odds are stacked strongly against that. One mitigating factor, of course, is that they are going to need another catcher more than another strong-armed starter or first baseman so, while the value is not equivalent, the resource is directed more to an expected need, which is good.

            1. By the way, while I believe Joseph is clearly the Phils catcher of the future, don’t be surprised if he is traded for, wait for it . . . . . Travis d’Arnaud. Now that Joseph looks like he has a solid future ahead of him, he has value. I could easily see the Phillies packaging him, Worley, and, say, May or Martin, to the Blue Jays for d’Arnaud. If this were any other team, this would never happen, but when Ruben Amaro fixates on a player, for better or worse, he usually does what he has to do to get his man. I think the Phillies have a little Travis d’Arnaud on the brain, so this type of trade would not surprise me. Honestly, given the Blue Jays’ various needs and the Phils various deep reserve of minor league arms, this could be a good trade for both teams. Just saying . . . . .

            2. I think that trade you propose is a little high on d’Arnaud whose value is down, which is why I think the Jays wouldn’t trade him. I think you started on the right path and veered off though, I would say that Joseph is the catcher of the future and part of the Phillies effort to replace or recreate d’Arnaud since they couldn’t reaquire him.

            3. MattW…’d’Arnaud whose value is down’, not sure how you mean that. In almost all publicatons he is either one, two or three…with Zunino and Sanchez all mixed in there. His 2012 season stat wise may not have been his best, but his defensive catching abilities probably were enhanced and improved.

            4. I disagree Matt. His statistics were superb and his value is sky high. The statistics were facially “lower” because he got injured and played a partial season. But in terms of average, slugging and OBP, the guy had his best season by quite a bit. He’s the number one catching prospect in baseball right now.

            5. He is, but given a years progression he should be the #2 prospect in baseball. His numbers were high because of Vegas. It is not that he is plummeted but his value is not where it should be.

            6. I don’t think his profile has changed in a year with the injury. I don’t trust the Vegas stats, I just think a year has passed with nothing changing and that has lowered his value from a year ago.

  7. Was at the game but way in the OF grass so I paid little attention to the game. Others certainly had a better view from TV or internet.
    I did see Asche make 2 good grabs at 3B though. I have no idea how consistent he may be but to me he did not look like a stiff.

    I doubt he will be a ‘power’ hitter. But if not, it’d be nice if he had a higher walk rate or much lower K rate. I think expecting him to be an above average 3B is somewhat unrealistic but he could be consistently average and hold the position for years. That is not a bad thing. And it appears he would be a great clubhouse guy and will likely end up getting ‘clutch’ status.

    Could not say much about Joseph as I have no experience determining nuances of a Catcher. I did not see much to influence my opinion on his hitting which I think will be classic power hitting catcher.

    Billy Hamilton (I think it was him) made an outstanding catch diving at the CF warning track.

    1. I am a Philadelphia resident that lives in Korea, and Ryu Hyun Jin pitches for the hometown team. My take on him is pretty much that same as what I overheard a White Sox scout say about him a coupe of years back. He’s a really good AAA pitcher at the moment that probably needs some more seasoning before the big leagues. He has a filthy change up and a plus fastball. He is pretty consistent, perhaps the most consistent pitcher in the KBO. He could be a decent starter, but if that doesn’t work he could be dominant out of the pen for a inning. Like Roy Halladay, he’s prone to give up runs in the first two innings. Then, he settles in and cruises. Sorry, for not being able to give more, but I am not a scout, just a fan.

      1. Thanks – actually, I should have been clearer in my post. I was curious is anyone heard whether the Phillies were going to make a run at him. I got a sense of him as a pitcher from Keith Law’s blog. He ranks Ryu 37th in his list of top 50 FAs. If anyone hasn’t seen Law’s report, here it is:

        Ryu will be posted by his KBO team, the Hanwha Eagles, and should attract interest from just about every club because of his potential as a reliever who can get hitters on both sides of the plate out.

        He is a thick-bodied lefty who has been a starter in Korea, working with a drop-and-drive delivery but with very late elbow pronation, and in the rotation his fastball is just average at 88-91. He does have a plus change-up with good arm speed and a fringy curveball in the upper 70s, which is a better left-on-left option right now than his slider. I don’t love the arm action and he had Tommy John surgery when he was in high school, but if he moves to the bullpen he could work in the low 90s with an out pitch in the change, a better option than being a back-end starter with some question about durability.

  8. Sooo Tyson Gillies is still hurt? shocker, but anyways Winter ball is coming along decent, Ruf is killing the ball, Freddy is killing it, Collier is playing some good ball, and Tommy Joseph is stating to turn it around. Oh and Justin F. ERA is back to normal down to 1.80. Haven’t heard of any talks with the big club and the offseason moves heating up, but I really want Angel Pagan, he would be a perfect fit in Philly. My question to you guys is would you accept Ruf/Valle/May for Justing Upton and would the D-Backs? I would.

    1. Well of course I’d take that. Any sane person would. But the Diamondbacks would laugh at that offer. It would take AT LEAST two of those three guys as the “filler” in the trade, in addition to Worley and one of the Phillies’ REAL prospects (i.e., one of their their top 5). And THAT might not get it done, not so much because it is uneven, but because I don’t think it matches up well with Arizona’s needs.

        1. That might be too much, you have a major league #4 who is under control for 4 more years, a very good pitching prospect, and a high upside shortstop prospect. I think if you went Biddle/Worley/May, or Biddle/Worley/Valle/Ruf you might have a conversation starter. I have Biddle rated higher but I would rather move him than Quinn based on the depth in starting pitching.

          There really isn’t a ton of good fits with Arizona unless they are selling really low on Upton or they are really high on Asche or one of the catchers (Joseph/Valle/Rupp).

        2. Not that you asked me, but, while it would be close, that’s one I’d pass on. I say that mostly because I think, of all of our players, Quinn has the best chance of becoming a superstar. I’d hate to give that up. I could live without Worley or Biddle, even though Biddle has a really good upside.

        3. No, that’s too much from the Phillies’ perspective. Moreover, part of the reason that I think a deal doesn’t get done is that, from Arizona’s perspective, that, while “enough” on a purely talent basis, isn’t necessarily the best fit in terms of their needs.

        4. From the DBacks perspective, they would pass on this deal. Why? Because for them, they would be giving up Upton for a #4 starter, 1 top 100 prospect (not even top 50), and 1 prospect who is a LOOONNG way from the bigs.

  9. I think if the Diamondbacks insisted on Worley, Biddle and Quinn, I think Amaro would gulp hard and accept that deal and I wouldn’t fault him for doing so. I think if that trade is done early in the off season, then Worley can be comfortably .replaced in free agency. I think the really hard decisions are made on players who have reached AAA and are on the doorstep of helping the big team. Neither Biddle nor Quinn fall into that category. The kicker is that J. Upton is 25/26 making him not only better but younger than what is available through free agency. J Upton in candy stripes takes pressure off of Ruf to be THE right handed power bat in the middle of the lineup. And, if Ruiz starts to show signs of age, Upton similarly takes pressure off of Chooch to fill that middle of the order role. I also think that acquiring J Upton takes the Phils out of the Hamilton market which in the long run I think is a good development in terms of salary flexibility.

    1. I hope they are never in the Hamilton market. The more I think about it, the key to any Upton deal is the information anyone outside the orginaztion is missing, and that is all the scouting reports they have on him. If your scouts say that 2012 is a fluke and 2011 is the real deal you do that deal without blinking. If any of those guys come back with a question and list of problems that will have to solveable you might need to move on and look at a Josh Willingham or Alex Gordon (or even if the Nats sign a CF and LaRoche, seeing if Michael Morse is available for a small price), and spend your resources elsewhere.

      I agree also that this is a deal you do early in Free Agency to fill those holes you will create.

  10. AFL – Hopefully Collier, Asche and Joseph can finish strong. They have to be so tired at this point.
    Ruf – With him not playing LF down there, I wonder if the Phils will shut him down and bring him home. Supposedly, he was going to come home early anyway to work out with a trainer and to try and get in better shape for running down fly balls.
    FAs – RAJ must be talking with about 20 FAs at this point. I would love to know their decision tree as in 1) FAs without losing the pick, 2) FA while losing the pick, and 3) trade. I’m sure they’ve ranked all of their options. Upton has lots of people opposed to his possible signing for legit reasons. However, Upton has power, speed and potential, and is young, and I think the Phils want to add some power. Cody Ross is certainly a guy that could add some power also. Adding Ross to play a corner would allow them to sign a CF without power like Pagan or Victorino. At 3B, I understand people wanting Youklis and I like the idea of adding a guy that takes his walks but he’s not the guy he used to be. Chavez platooning with Frandsen would work better for me but Chavez will probably stay with the Yanks and scutaro will stay with the Giants. Options are slim. In relief, Adams will command a lot of money but he’s one of the best in the business in the 8th innning. Lyon is a less attractive but realistic option.
    How much would you pay to be allowed to sit in on organizational meetings? You’d have to sign a non-disclosure but what a great charity idea… haha

  11. I liked B. Brookover’s article in Sunday’s Inquirer……I would agree to stay away from any of the high priced FAs and not give up the first round pick. I agree to make a play for Pagan and/or Ross. I also agree with spending $$ on a higher end 7-8th inning reliever. I wonder what type
    of negiotiations Scott Boras will approach this year when he markets Madson????????

    As for trade options I do not think any of the current minor leaguers are untouchables. However,
    Biddle and Quinn are very close to untouchable IMO. Quinn seems to be the only position player with top tier talent potential. What continues to amaze me is I do not think the Phillies have any
    real top tier minor league talent. However, they seem to have a significant amount of good to very good prospects. Especially at pitching. It goes back to the old philosophy that you never
    have enough good pitching. Any trades for ML talent will need to include the higher end pitching
    prospects which the phillies do have. I think they can afford to trade some prospects from this group and still have depth in their system.

    Like many other fans I anxiously await Rueban’s Moves!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1. I think, unless they are part of a trade where high level players who play the same position are acquired, Joseph and Franco are also pretty darned close to untouchable right now too. Other than that, virtually none of the pitchers are untouchable because there is so much redundancy and, really, there is no sure fire ace or closer in the bunch (closest is Biddle). That having been said, I am pretty sure they would be reluctant to part with Aumont or Bonilla – both have such great upside.

    2. Boras has already started to sell Madsen as a closer. What will be interesting to see this year is whether RAJ will be more patient. In previous years, the team out front early got the best deals but last year the market tubed and some of the best deals were the ones signed later. I forgot to add Tori Hunter to the list of power corners that the Phils will talk to. The meetings are coming up soon and that usually starts things up.

      1. I like the thought of Hunter a lot but missed mentioning him in a previous post where I favored Pagan, Youk and Adams. I suspect Vic and Hunter could be had for similar $$$ on a 2-yr deal. Actually, both of Pagan and Hunter would be nice signings

          1. That seems high, I was think 2/16 or 3/22, he is still a bit of a platoon player but this team has the guys to protect him against tough righties. Overall he is much better version of Mayberry (which is starting to talk me out of Ross)

          2. Do not like at any price, but that is quite excessive. People were projecting Hunter for less, and Hunter would be much better as a hitter and as a fielder.

            1. Yeah, I think if the Phillies were to acquire Ross, by July of next year we’d all be asking ourselves why the hell they did that. Since all of the free agents except for Hamilton will be “affordable” in the abstract, this is really about finding the right guy(s), at the right AAV(s) with the right contract length and fitting together the pieces. I still believe that, while he concerns my in several respects, the guy with the most value in the outfield would be BJ Upton, depending on the price and the contract length.

              That being said, the two best “values” in the outfield will probably be Victorino and Melky. I wouldn’t sign Vic. It ended awkwardly and if he comes back it either means the team either signs him to a long-terms, which I really don’t like for many reasons, or it underpays him, in which case he’ll come back with a not-so-good chip on his shoulder. They need to pass on him this year.

              Cabrera would seem to me to be the guy if Upton cannot be had at the right price. I doubt that most of Cabrera’s performance was drug-enhanced. He is at an age where hitters reach their peak and he will have something to prove. If it seems like he’s put that mess behind him, I’d definitely give him the opportunity to hit the crap out of the ball for the Phillies for a few years. In a perfect world, I’d like to see him on a two year, $20 million contract ($8 million first year, $12 million second year) with a nice option $12-14 million for the third year with a legit buy-out of, say $3-4 million. The contract would be fully equipped with a termination option should he violate the league’s substance abuse policy. If that doesn’t work for either side, I’d be fine paying him $8 or 9 million for a one-year pillow contract.

              Of course, trade options abound as well, so it’s hard to tell what will happen. One thing is sure – Ruben is bound to make some moves which should at least provide for some grist for the rotisserie mill.

          3. I don’t think Ross gets 3 and 27, though it appears that’s what he’s after. In any scenario though, it only takes one team.

            I’d say more like 3 and 21 if we’re talking ‘reasonable’ here. I actually like Ross and think he’d be a decent fit for the Phillies but I would prefer a 2yr deal and don’t think I’d guarantee a 3rd. That said, Ross would be 3rd on my list of preferred corners behind Pagan/Hunter who are equally preferable. And you won’t find Upton on my list. Not because I don’t recognize the talent, but I don’t think he’ll be worth the AAV and years he’s likely to get. Notwithstanding measurable statistics, it’s the intangibles that lead me to shy away from BJ.

            1. Concerning BJ Upton…. I respect your opinion on his acquisition, since you have seen him everyday for the last number of years and know what he brings to the table and what he doesn’t bring. He has the tools for sure. Its the other intangibles that people seem to bring up. I also hope RAJ passes on him. Pagan would also be my answer and you get to keep the 16th pick.

            2. Probably the intangibles thing is why we disagree on him; as you know, i am not much of an intangibles guy, setting aside a very few extreme examples. In fact, I see someone with that reputation and my reaction is “hey, maybe we can get him for a bargain price because of his reputation.” At the same time, given the Philadelphia fan base, his reputation, and his skill set (which is subtle enough that the typical fan probably underestimates his value), I do worry a little how he would be received here & his reaction to that. And finally, the approach is a bit of a concern.

              All that said, it comes down to the options and the contract. As you know, I love him at 5/60. If it’s more like 5/80 or 6/80, and if Pagan really does go for around 3/30, then yeah, take Pagan.

              You’re confusing things a little by mixing in Pagan/Upton with Hunter/Ross. The former fill the bigger need (CF) and are both probably going to bring the team more value. They need a center fielder even if they have to overpay a bit. They have corner OF options, so that they can afford to pass on a corner OF unless they get a bargain.

              As I said elsewhere, I want nothing to do with Ross, even at a bargain price. I’d rather go with a Nix/Mayberry platoon.

    3. Agree that Bob Brookover’s article was the best article from him that I have read so far. The article was well thought out and nicely presented to improve the Phillies without losing our #16 draft pick.

  12. Amaro to CSN’s Jim Salisbury..Nov 5, 2012—-Amaro said Ryan Howard’s offseason conditioning program has already shown results. “I think he’s lost a significant amount of weight, which bodes well for him,” the GM said. Amaro said he has been impressed with the reports on Darin Ruf, who was hitting .264 with nine homers and 19 RBIs in 72 at-bats over 20 games in Venezuela. Amaro has gotten positive feedback on Ruf’s progress in left field from manager Jorge Velandia, a Phillies staffer. “Yeah, baby, I love it,” Amaro said of the reports on Ruf. “I hope that he’s challenging for a job in left field next year for the Fightins. Jorge likes him and says he can play left field. We’ll get others to see him. We’re not giving him anything, but he’s certainly in the conversation.”

  13. I agree that Hunter would be a nice fit for the outfield. The guy can still field with anybody and offensively he had a strong 2012 season. The question becomes what kind of contract will he want, what RA will be willing to pay and what the market will be this winter for him. You can say this about any of the possible FA outfielders Upton, Ross, Pagan, Cabrera and Hunter. Athleticly,
    Upton is the cream of this group. However, his low OBP and high ## of Ks reminds me of guys already on the Phillies and for this reason I am not as high on him. I also value the 16th pick and do not want to forfeit it. My preference stays with signing Pagan as the number one choice. If unable to work a deal for Pagan, then move onto Cabrera and Hunter. As for the earlier mention of Victorino………I feel we have already been there, do we realy want to go back again????

    Final thought……Do we really think Ruf can be a everyday or platoon LF???? I want to really
    wish he could, BUT REALLY CAN HE??

    1. Nix, Schierholtz are platoon options. Brown is left handed. And Gillies if he is ever not injured is also a lefty.
      If Phillies can get a #3 or #5 hitter from 3B or CF (Hamilton, Youkilis, maybe Hunter) then I could see them letting the existing mix of players fill the corner OF (Ruf/Nix,Brown/Mayberry).

        1. I agree with you about Ruf playing fulltime LF. Platoon Mayberry and Brown in right and sign Pagan/Upton to play center with Nate S. as a late inning defensive replacement for Ruf.

          1. Mitchell would be a great late inning replacement for Ruff, Mitchell is one of our better Defense of players in the out field.

    2. Ruf isn’t a platoon player, he can hit pitches from both sides. His issue will be defense, in my opinion, and the ball always finds the worst fielder. Guaranteed, he will make a mistake or not get to a ball that should have been caught. After that, the press will be after him and the pressure will be turned very high. The alternative is that he starts the year at LHV where he can play LF every day and improve his fielding, while working on his hitting of off speed pitches. Spring training will be very important for him and its extra hard playing the OF in Florida at that time with the high sun and swirling winds.

      1. Please Murray, relax…Ruf will be as competent in leftfield as all the other great Philadelphia leftfielders through the decades. And we have had some outstanding in their field leftfielders! (tic) Correct if I am wrong….but do leftfileders qualify for Gold Glove awards? Or do they give it to the second place finisher from CF or RF?

  14. With last night’s game Zach Collier is hitting better than Cody Asche in the AFL. Small sample size applies, but a very impressive showing against superior competition for Collier. The most impressive has to be 7BB and 8Ks in 58 plate appearances.

  15. Ordinarily there is a cascading phenomenon in free agency as the signing of the highest profile players forces teams to work their way down the list. This year with guys like anxiety prone Greinke and substance prone Hamilton, it throws this natural cascading process off. If the Rangers lose Hamilton and Hunter through free agency early in the process, they might move to sign B.J. Upton and Ross. But Hamilton has assured the Rangers he will give them the chance to match the best outside offer which assures that his situation plays out slowly. I thnk Ruben will have to make one outfield move before Hamilton gets resolved because lesser chips might well get bid up late rather than becoming more affordable as the off season plays out.

    1. I might be thinking of Youkilis as the first target, due to positional scarcity. But that will drive up his price. He is also a poor fit for NL team with a locked in 1B if injuries keep him away from 3B. I do not think Amaro goes after him.

      If not 3B, then CF is a priority but Phillies need another middle lineup bat:
      Rollins, Utley, Ruiz, Howard, NOTHING, Brown, OF, 3B
      since the last two spots could be some mix of other guys.

    1. Interesting that Wathan sees Asche as potentially hitting up to 40 doubles and 30 homers as a major leaguer. I see the doubles but not the homers.

      1. Heck I would be happy with 15-20 HRS and 30 Doubles with a .280 BA and a .330-.350 OBP. That assumes he can get his 3B defense up to par.

        1. Sheeesh…the kid is 22-years old…he has been playing third base since he was a junior in high school….seven years now, he has to have some defensive abilities. Its like all the dang pundits talk as if he is a late convert to the hot-corner.

          1. Just because he has been playing it all his life doesn’t mean he has the athleticism and skills to play the position in the major league. Remember that most of the major league third basemen started out at a more demanding position (likely shortstop) and had to move to third base, but have more athleticism than a player who has played the position long term.

          2. I posted this once before on Asche, but his range factor (meaning the number of balls he got to in any nine inning span) was 2.3 in AA this year. Good for 11th out of the 12 regular third baseman in the Eastern League. That would lead me to believe, no matter how long he has been playing the position, that he has a long way to go defensively.

            Admittedly, defensive stats are tough to gage, especially in the minors. But this one at least shows that he isn’t exactly mobile over there at the hot corner.

            I believe in his bat and that he has the ability to become an above average offensive major league third baseman (not a star mind you), but his defense will likely leave much to be desired.

      2. I think it’s overblown too, but it certainly doesn’t hurt to have an experienced minor league professional have such a high opinion of a prospect. I am genuinely excited to see him in AAA this year – that stadium and league are tough hitting environments (in fact, AAA hitting numbers at that park are not all that far off of major league projections). If he can hold his own there, it bodes well for his success with the big league team. More than anything, I can’t wait to see his at taped at bats (I’m not watching that live for the most part- there have to be some limits on my baseball watching).

  16. So I am starting to get my top 40 on paper in preparation to come up with my top 20. Two names that intrigue me are Delvi Francisco and Willians Astudillo. Has anyone seen if either are playing Winter Ball?

  17. Mostly a product of the opposing pitching but Asche, Joseph, and Collier walked a combined 7 times today. Another 7 walk performance by Collier, even if the guy is wild you still have to lay off the pitches.

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