AFL Finale Today

Heads up to anyone interested – the AFL finale is on MLBN this afternoon at 3EST.  Peoria made the final and Phils guys will participate.  I asked Tommy Joseph if he was catching and he said no, but I will guess Cody Asche will be at 3b and Zach Collier will also play, as he’s been on fire. 

I’ll follow up with results and a season wrap-up after the game, or tomorrow some time.  Enjoy!

71 thoughts on “AFL Finale Today

    1. A guy named Zunino (sp?) is a highly rated catcher on the team with Joseph. 5-6 big league teams contribute prospect5s so somebody good figures to sit some while somebody better plays.

    2. Zunino is the second best catching prospect in the minors, Joseph is probably the second best catcher in the AFL just bad look they are on the same team

  1. Time to stop trading what will soon be cheap labor @ the ML level. Everyone can’t make 10 million a year!

  2. looked at today box score in afl championship game. I hope we get the kid who finished game, kevin quakerbush, i love that name.

    1. Seeing Quackenbush pitch intrigued me, I know we have a plethora of near big league ready pitching but this guy is 92-95 with movement, and Wathan apparently loves him. We could pick him up for very little, it would be a nice edition, just imagine saying “Now pitching Kevin Quackenbush.”…. awesome

  3. Was at the game, late. Very interesting baseball game (officially protested, long injury delay, a couple broken bats into play, excellent defense by pticher in 8th…), but not much of note for Phillies guys.

    Jay Johnson pitched, not great. First time I have seen him. His delivery is interesting.

    Asche came up with guys on base a few times and hit a couple hard balls but nothing of note.

    Collier did not do much at the plate or in the field. He moved from LF to CF due to injury.
    He did spend a bunch of time signing autographs all over the 3rd base side. He was quite friendly even telling the Phillies fans there (myself included) he’d see them soon.

    The decision to protect Collier will be an interesting one. He was a not a star this year in the minors but did show some talent. He has been great statistically in the short season hitter friendly AFL. Is that enough that Phillies will be concerned another MLB team will select and hide him all year despite just finishing A+ ball?

    1. At this point they have to protect him. He is a former first round pick so he has the pedigree (and the tools), additionally the Phillies have put a large size investment into him. He is slightly behind developmentally due to missed time so there is a chance for some quick development as he puts stuff together. His floor at this point has to 4th/5th OF on a team with the chance to be a first division regular, but likely second division regular. His AFL stats I think prove that he is much more advanced than his last developmental level would suggest (he hit like a guy just finishing AA not A+) and that if you carry him as your 5th OF, he likely won’t be good offensively but he has the contact ability and plate discipline to not be an automatic out every trip to the plate.

      A team would take him, he doesn’t have the contact issues that Jiwan James did last year, he has shown better power as well, he doesn’t have the speed arm or defense (though his range factor is only slightly worse than James’ 2011 numbers), but he has the better chance to hit enough to stick in a line up.

      1. Agreed – Collier has to be protected – if he isn’t, it’s virtually a lock he will be drafted. His contact and plate discipline skills in the AFL were impressive and we’ve always been told his other skills – fielding, arm, speed – are very good. He’s not too old to develop power and there’s no better place to do so than Reading. The silver lining in the AFL was that, even though he hit no homers, he did show extra base power and this will be his age 22 season (will not turn 23 until after next year’s minor league season has ended), so there’s definitely still hope for a power surge.

        His presence makes Jiwan James almost entirely irrelevant and puts pressure, in a good way, on Tyson Gillies, who undoubtedly will start his year in AAA and could be in the majors by June or July, if healthy (my prediction is that, if Gillies is healthy and has his head screwed on right next year, he will be outstanding in AAA and will force the Phillies’ hand).

        1. Agreed. Thanks for the info. Collier could still be developing as you say. Contact ability is a very good point distinguishing Collier from James. I still like James, especially since he has a bonafide Major League skill in playing CF.

          If James (and Casto) is still with Phillies this season I see a rotation of Gillies, James, Castro, Ruf in the OF. James should play all the positions (maybe Gilles also, depending on who is signed for CF for the majors); Gillies in CF, Castro in RF, Ruf in LF and one of them as DH.

          It will be interesting to see what he Phillies do with the Major Leagure squad and these 4 guys (and Brown even) looking like 4th OF with talent to be quality starters.

          1. James and Castro are nowhere close to being major league players, Gillies must do everything right to get there this year and Ruf is borderline at this point. If that outfield starts in the majors this year, which it won’t, the Phils would be in deep trouble.

            1. That looks like his projected AAA OF, and with regards to that, I think James stays in AA and that AAA role is filled by Mitchell who will essentially be the veteran presence, though I expect Ruf to be with the major league team based on Front Office comments.

              As for fourth outfielders, if you develop them you don’t have to pay 2yrs 2mil to get them. I think at least one of the group of Brown, Collier, Gillies, James, and Castro becomes a major regular for a good team I am just not sure it will be the Phillies.

            2. Well I will say it again, someone has to be a bargain on this team. Everyone can’t make 10 million. Plus the team needs youth somewhere to provide some energy.

            3. I more than many have emphasized the importance of young cost controlled players for even a big market team like the Phillies. But you can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear. Looking at position players in high A and above:

              Brown no longer has prospect status, but, of the team’s young cost controlled outfielders, probably still has the best chance to be a productive regular.
              Galvis ditto but in the infield.
              Asche is a real prospect if not the budding superstar some fans project.
              Ruf is a guy who IMO is not going to make it as a major league regular, but he could prove me wrong and I hope he does.
              Joseph is a real prospect.

              None of those guys project as a star at this point, but if 3 of them become average regulars, that would indeed help out the payroll situation immensely.

              It would surprise me if any of the other position players in high A and above became major league regulars (though some of them could become bench guys). The best of the rest:

              Gillies – it’s interesting to speculate what he could have become absent the chronic injuries. But because of both the development time lost to the injuries, as well as the ongoing injury concerns, it would be a shock to see him make it as more than a 4th outfielder.
              Collier – still could break out. Probably less than a 20% chance that he does so, and I’m likely being generous.

              Below THAT a lot of interesting guys (Castro, James, Valle, Rupp) who might – might – have a bench role on a major league team at some point

            4. Yea, Thanks was thinking. AAA OF of Ruf, Gillies, Castro with James rotating. I still think one of them is drafted, so then Mitchell would be the next OF. I guess either James or Mitchell could go to AA.
              Collier will be CF in AA with Hewitt in RF. Maybe Lavin in LF? Or some Vet minor leaguer?

            5. Have to think Ruf will make the team. Ruben keeps talking him up. If he hits 3/4 dingers in ST with a an average OBP he probably sticks.

  4. I think Collier easiiy makes the 40 man roster and unless the Phils do a bunch of free agent signing soon, I think they will not be left with particularly hard decisions. Maybe Jiwan James is left off but he was left off last year as well and the world kept turning.

  5. There is so much talk of james. did I miss something??.what makes him so valuable? I just dont get the love for a weak hitting outfielder, there are tons of speedy outfileder who cant hit.

    1. “Tons of speedy OFs” with elite defensive skills? From the comments I’ve read James’ defense is not just good, but elite. He’s not “just fast”. Afterall, Dom Brown is “fast”-so is Hunter Pence-but their “speed tool” doesn’t translate into GH-caliber defense.

    2. In addition to his speed and defense, he had shown moderate on-base skills and improvement offensively before last year. And due to his 6’4″ frame, there’s been the thought that he could develop some power also.

    3. James has one real problem which he can’t make consistent contact. He is unlikely to overcome it, but if he does he could be super star with plus plus speed, elite defense, good power, and a plus plus arm. But his hitting hasn’t played up to his raw tools to this point.

      He is coming up a lot now as a comparison for Rule 5 as he was thought as a lock to be selected last year and went unselected

      1. And he spent 2012 battling knee injuries. Played through pain, from what I recall reading. Hard to say what that means to his valuation by the Phils…depends how much pain they know he was in and was still able to produce what he was.

  6. Apetty. i dont have proof, but i bet everyteam has a least one or two guys , like that. good defense great speed but cant hit.

  7. Guys let me step in once again and give some of you a wake up call with reference to Castro and why I like him. This guy is a proven winner hands down and more than anything he has improved his strikeout to walk ratio over the last 3 years. His average has also increased every year as well. If not for an injury shortened 2011 he would be on the 40 man. Time will tell, by the way what day are they making these moves.

      1. I like Castro also. Unfortunately he doesn’t really profile as a starting CF so he has to play a corner. I think this limits him to a 4th OF type or maybe a corner for a second division team. I really think he has a chance to be a terrific bat off the bench who can wake up and hit and always seems to drive in runs. He’s definitely still improving.

        1. Completely agree, he has an above average bat for center, but profiles in right defensively. He doesn’t have the secondary skill (power or on base ability) to profile in a corner making him a good 4th outfielder (Mayberry with less power and more contact). I personally think he should be 40 man protected because he can be on major league bench as soon as spring training.

      2. I think Castro will hit for average and power. You have to realize one thing and that’s that most Dominican players are taught to swing and swing hard. Therefore once he learns to be a little more patient and let the game come to him he will be in my view a great talent to see.

        1. When a player’s strengths are average and power, and he hits .287 with 10 HR in AA as a 23 year old (not old, but not young for the level either, and yeah I know the back story), you don’t even need to look at his weaknesses to see that he isn’t much of a prospect.

          I think some Phillies fans have forgotten what a real prospect looks like. I think it’s a stretch to even project him as a bench guy (though he could eventually be). He’s not really even the kind of player who manages a year or two as a regular for a non-contender.

          1. In the next few weeks we will know his fate. If protected the Phillies have a glimmer of hope, if left unprotected, up for grabs and we will see how other club’s scouts think of him.
            Quite possibly, he may go the road of Jiwan James from last year’s draft…unprotected and not selected. IMO, a ‘prospec’t in limbo.

    1. This is going to be my last Castro comment because frankly he is hardly worth discussing. But “he has improved his strikeout to walk ratio over the last 3 years” isn’t really accurate. He improved his ratio slightly in 2010, it took a nose dive in 2011, and it improved a bit in 2012 but still at a mediocre to poor 4 to 1 rate.

      Now, let me say this: as a decent to good contact hitter, Castro can probably afford a lower BB rate than a player with poor contact skills. So I’m not saying the poor BB rate by itself disqualifies him as a prospect. But you combine that with everything else – the lack of really plus skills – he doesn’t come close to projecting as a major league regular. If he really was a guy who could hit 30 HR, with his contact skills he might get by with say a 5% BB rate, still better than what he has done the past 2 years. Even then he would be a below average hitter for a corner outfield regular. But he does not project as a 30 HR guy, not even close.

  8. Speaking to the scout that signed him he for sure thinks that Castro is a sure shot major league type player and the fact that sal has signed so many Latin all stars throughout the years it’s crazy to second guess him. The problem here is the fact that Castro is not a bonus baby,so like in the case of a collier where he is a first round pick, they would protect him prior to Castro. Castro has proven himself at every level and the numbers speak for themselves. Not once has collier been even close in even carrying castros bag. Not only will he be picked in the rule 5 but he will perform because like you said this guy drives in runs. The last time I checked the name of the game is about many runs you drive and score. Both of which he is exceptional at. Hitting at the. Bottom of the reading lineup for about 90 percent of the season he still drove in 70 plus runs and guys he is sneaky fast. Scouts got him at 6.5 in the winter league so don’t letem fool you. This guy can run throw field and hit.
    D

    1. He just doesn’t do anything at a good enough level to profile as a regular, if he could do one thing better, like draw walks he could be a regular, if not he still has a long career as a bench player.

    2. I picked Castro as my sleeper coming into this year and he performed ok. The problem with him as a hitter to me is that he is a bit of a hacker, which is probably why he doesn’t walk very much or show much plate discipline. I have really only seen a handful of his at bats and none of them live but I just didn’t get that strong of an impression of him as a hitter. I caught some of his at bats in the All star game and he almost fell over swinging the bat a couple of times. I think he could probably provide some major league value, just not enough to make us all lament if we lose him.

      1. I have seen this guy from ground zero to now. Trust me he is the real deal. He hustles hard and all plays and he can hit. If it was up to you who would you protect?

        1. I would protect May, Martin, Pettibone and Collier over Castro out of the current crop of Rule 5 eligible players. I’m not quite sure how many open spots we’ll have on the 40 man though. I’d take Castro over Jiwan James and basically everyone else that is left over.

          1. Agreed. Hate to tell you this guys, but Castro is an extremely borderline prospect and nearing “non-prospect” territory.

            1. He is a back of the Top 30 guy somewhere between 25-35 depending on your optimism. I wouldn’t say he is a non-prospect he has tools and proximity, he isn’t a very good prospect though.

            2. I didn’t say he was a non-prospect – I said he was nearing that status, which he is. I haven’t ranked prospects recently, but my uneducated guess is that he would end up somewhere between 30-40. He’s a fringe prospect and would have to have a great year this year to change that.

  9. So did Collier not play in the finale? Geez did he rake this winter… 7-11 2SB in last 4 games. Can’t wait for him at Reading. He’s in my top 20 prospects.

    1. IMO, he projects as a CF…not enough power for the corners. So it will behoove the Phillies to clear a path for him, ie, have him start there in CF at Reading until he proves he cannot do it.

        1. Until he proves otherwise, IMO he is a ‘poor man’s’ version of a Garrett Anderson type of a player. Which is decent.

  10. Does anyone have that weird feeling when thinking about Galvis? I loved him and saw him as a big part of our future but I HATE when people juice. I hate knowing that for the rest of his career people can say “he cheated” and everything he does will be questioned or have an *. I dont know i just get this weird feeling….

    1. For what its worth, he’s been batting 1st or 2nd in Venezuela, still batting over 320, which is interesting to me. It at least suggests that the team there sees something in him.

  11. The Rule 5 draft takes place on December 6. Assuming no trades or free agent signings before that date, the Phils have a reasonably easy task of protecting 40 players and readers will recognize some marginal talent on this list who could be supplanted by others if necessary:

    Pitchers (23) Aumont, Bastardo, Cloyd, De Fratus, Diekman, Halladay, Hamels, Horst, , Kendrick, Lee, Lindblom, Martin, May, Papelbon, Petitbone, Ramirez, Rodriguez, Rosenberg, Savery, Schwimer, Stutes, Valdes, Worley

    Catchers (3) Kratz, Ruiz, Valle

    Infielders (7) Frandsen, Galvis, Hernandez, Howard, Nix, Rollins, Utley

    Outfielders (7) Brown, Castro, Collier, Gillies, Mayberry, Ruf, Schierholtz

    While I’ve seen other names floated on this board of candidates for protection (James, Duran, Hyatt, Friend,, Myers), I don’t see the Phils at risk of exposing anyone they will miss later.

    1. If this is accurate, there are a lot of borderline players on this list who you’d really never miss (Rodriguez, Ramirez, Valdes, Castro), which gives the team plenty of space to acquire new players and bump marginal players off the list.

    2. IM…You basically just made the case as to why Castro won’t be protected. Making this your 40-man roster means that there are no other free agent signings or that any trade would need to involve guys on the 40-man roster leaving the team. There simply isn’t space for everybody, and the Phillies are unlikely to max out at 40 during this point of the off-season.

      1. See catch22 above. I see it in this case the way he does. We have no way of knowing how the Phils rank Castro among their prospects but if they rank him highly, there is plenty of room to keep him. If they think they will be caught in a numbers crunch, they can make a minor move to turn one of the marginal prospects into a player they won’t need to protect. It’s natural but we tend to overrate our prospects individually at the same we acknowledge that the Phils’ system is recovering from being partially depleted through trade. In my opinion, there’s a better chance of the Phils finding a useful piece through a Rule 5 selection than losing a valuable piece.

        1. I agree that there is a certain amount of ‘junk’ on the 40-man roster that can be cleared if the Phillies deem Castro worthy. However, any of those players that are removed from the 40-man are then lost for nothing, and the claiming team has no requirement of keeping him on the 25-man roster. Any player claimed in the Rule 5 (as would be the only way to lose Castro) must be kept on the 25-man roster and would also cost the claiming team $50,000. Although the money is not huge, it is more than $0.

          In other words, I would be surprised if the Phillies protect Castro. I would be even more surprised if they remove another player from the 40-man roster in order to do so.

        2. I hope my remarks were not misconstrued. All I was saying is that it appears that the back end of the current 40-man roster is pretty thin, which means that players on the bubble can be repmoved and replaced with very little true consequence to the team. I was definitely not touting Castro as a prospect, nor making any particular pitch for them to place him on the 40-man roster. He’s just not a very good prospect right now.

  12. Short Darin Ruf Article from Philly.com
    http://www.philly.com/philly/sports/phillies/Darin-Ruf-has-people-in-Venezuela-talking-single-season-HR-record.html

    No big news, other then it adds a little context to his numbers down there. The single season HR record there is 20 and Ruf is nearly on pace to tie or break it(season is 63 games he’s played 32), but won’t because he’s coming home to rest before next season. So yeah, mostly just what we already knew, he has power.

    1. He’s striking out at an alarming Mark Reynolds pace however. Its time to let the kid come home and relax. I recall reading that he was going to hit the gym in December and work on his foot speed to help him in the OF. We’ll see… I’d still prefer the Phils sign a CF and a corner OF and let Ruf start in LHV. If he forces his way into the lineup, so be it, that would be awesome.

  13. Why doesn’t anyone like castro and what constitutes being considered a prospect? It’s funny bc I come from a family that breeds baseball and we know baseball. Trust me Castro is the real deal. Let him get drafted by another team and you will see

    1. You were asked earlier in this thread to indicate what you thought Castro’s ceiling to be. You didn’t really respond so let me make it easy: What do you see for him?

      1. Perennial All Star
      2. High end big league outfielder below All Star level
      3. Starting outfielder
      4. Spare big league outfielder
      5. AAAA talent – occasional call-ups
      5. Career minor leaguer
      7. Answer to a trivia question in 2 years’ time.

      (I would be happy with 4.)

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