Head to Head – Advanced Level Outfielders

Just a couple days away from the crowning of the Reader #1.  I have a guess who it might be…(cough Biddle cough cough)…Jesse Biddle.  Sorry for the coughing.  I’ve been sick.

So today, I’m going to take a brief look at Kelly Dugan, Zach Collier and Tyson Gillies, and where they appear on my top 30.

I’ve got Dugan at 19, Collier at 22, but I’m going to talk a little about Gillies first – I will say that if he can stay on the field for a whole season, Tyson Gillies could be in Philly in September, or earlier.  He could be the kind of player that works his way into a fourth OF role, eventually breaks into the lineup, and never looks back, getting better as he goes, hitting and swiping bases and making great plays all over the outfield. Or he could do what I think most of us fear at this point – get hurt every year, never get more than a cup of coffee, and be in Japan by 2015. I hope that’s not the case, because you can see the skills when you watch the guy play. But until he proves his health, he’s just going to keep sliding down my list of prospects. He was my #6 in 2011, he was my #16 in 2012.  And now he’s my #27.

So how should we differentiate Dugan and Collier?  It’s a difficult task, as both have had injury concerns in the last couple years.  Dugan finally had a near-full season in 2012, and he took his hitting to a new level.  The club moved him to 1B for a stint early in the year, (which I think was related to others in the OF, and not Dugan’s injury issues), but he eventually played the majority of his time in right field. 

He racked up a triple slash of .300/.387/.470, for an OPS of .857, and ISO of .170, both very solid numbers. His walk rate was a respectable 9.7%, but his K rate of 24.6% was a bit high for someone who’s not hitting for a ton of power.  He has 33 2b and 12 HR in just shy of 500 PA in 2012, so if some of his doubles are going to turn into homeruns, and he winds up with an ISO closer to .200, I’d be totally ok with a K rate at 25%.  If not, it would be nice to see that number come down.

Collier missed the beginning of the year after testing positive for a banned substance.  I won’t pass a judgment on him for not going to the doctor before taking what doesn’t have to be a banned substance if he really needs it.  Ok, yes, I will.  That’s dumb.  But he’s not the first and won’t be the last guy to do that same dumb thing.  SO DUMB! 

Ok, coming back to baseball now – Collier took what could have been a wasted season and made it respectable by posting a .269/.332/.399 slash.  He impressed even further in the Arizona Fall League, where he went .371/.461/.532 in around 75 PA against generally more experienced (if not overly talented) pitching. He probably earned his spot on the 40-man roster with his regular season performance, but he cemented it in Arizona. 

At this point, we’re putting a lot of faith in Collier based on mild improvements in his stats and general concensus of scouting, which says he has the tools to be a big leaguer.  He flashed a little bit of power, (6 HR is nice, and an ISO .130 in not great, but markedly better than 2011’s .094), and reports of his defense continue to tell the story of a big league center fielder.

So I guess I’m projecting Dugan’s power and hitting to be a bit more valuable that Collier’s hitting and defense in the long run.  What do you all think?  I imagine some of you have Gillies outside of your top 30, but does anyone have him first in this group?  Anyone have Jiwan James or Leandro Castro in their top 30?  Am I missing anyone?  Hewitt in anyone’s top 50?  He’s my #66, FWIW.

Tomorrow I will take a look at some young starting pitchers, and then low level infielders on Friday in the lead-up to voting season on Monday.

64 thoughts on “Head to Head – Advanced Level Outfielders

  1. Brad – Can you detail the Gillies injuries in this post? I am of the belief that hamstring/groin misdiagnoses/injuries in an athlete like him should have a high recovery rate. I think the Phillies stayed away from the FA OFs because of this – expecting him to push for a spot soon. But I could be wrong. Having said that, I have Gillies in my top 10; Collier 15-20; and Dugan 20-25.

    1. I don’t have a detailed injury history on him. Just look at # of PA for the last 3 years and you’ll see how little he’s played, mostly due to leg injuries. I think the last I heard of him being misdiagnosed or anything of the like was in spring of 2011, but then he barely played in 2011 either. Some of his injury trouble in 2012 was related to a concussion, which is hardly a ding against him, but he had leg issues immediately thereafter, (and then the suspension, which I don’t consider a huge thing). I don’t believe personally that the Phillies stayed away from FA OFs because of Gillies. I also think if they had a lot of faith in Gillies, they would not have brought in Ben Revere, but might have looked for a stop-gap in CF.

      1. I personally don’t have a lot of faith in any of these three. But I’d have to rank them Gilies, Collier, then Dugan. Gillies still has the highest ceiling and Collier edges out Dugan because the threshhold for a bat is so much lower for CF than CO. I just don’t think Dugan has enough power in him to make an impact at CO. Of course I may have said the same thing for Ruf last winter so Dugan is obviously one breakout season away from making me eat my words and I hope he makes me do it too..

      2. He had many .ham pulls and at one point they thought it was a problem with his hip [bone structure]. He is one extremely tight looking athlete from the waist down, Not knowing what his workouts are like makes it hard to figure but you hope he includes lots of streching and or yoga. I have him just after 10 with the hope he makes the big team at some point this year. He is one exciting player to watch and he always plays hard. He also is like Vic in that he will flip out easilly.

    2. “I think the Phillies stayed away from the FA OFs because of this”

      Yeah, Josh Hamilton isn’t good enough to clean the cleats of a guy like Tyson Gillies or Kelly Dugan.

      1. Man…whatever cereal you are eating for breakfast you need to think about changing up…you are so cynical! And later in the day perhaps a Snickers will help.

  2. I would have Gillies first only b/c of his potential ceiling. “If” he can remain healthy, I believe he is a major league starting outfielder who will hit for average and play solid defense. I am not sure the others possess that kind of ability yet.

    1. Have to agree. Gillies tool set is substantially more impressive than Collier or Dugan. Without having his medicals in hand or knowing the ins and outs of his disciplinary issues, I can’t penalize Gillies too heavily until something else gives.

      That said, those problems are enough for him to rank outside my top 15.

    2. I did not like what I saw from Gillies in spring training on TV in 2012.

      Gillies looked like one of those guys who is running to first base before he was done swinging the bat.

      1. You mean like Ichiro? Not making a comparison by any means but that kind of slap style swing is used by a lot of speed guys

  3. Gillies has been on twitter with pics of himself working out solo during the winter to get his legs ready for spring training. Let’s hope he can finally put a full season together and put the injuries behind him.

  4. I also have Gillies low in my top 30. I’ve about had it with the injuries, one after another. I have little confidence that they’ll suddenly stop now. I have Collier ahead of Dugan because of proximity and defensive value, although I like Dugan. Both guys will probably be in the teens for me.

  5. It will be interesting to see which of the three upper level center fielders separates himself in 2013. I haven’t totally given up on James yet because he battled a knee injury most of last season. Collier seems to have the momentum and Gillies doesn’t seem to be able to stay on the field for long stretches.

  6. I have it Collier, Gillies then Dugan. Collier and Gillies in the 15-20 range. Dugan in the 25-30 range.
    I don’t see Dugan and Collier as close. Collier has lost almost 2 years to injury and suspensions, but is still age appropriate. Collier is the same age(within days) as Dugan, but is a full level ahead of him. Plus he plays a premium position, as opposed to Dugan, who is a 1B/RF. I think Gillies is probably more talented than Collier, and definitely more than Dugan, but there is always something with him, so I can’t justify him being any higher than 20. Dugan had a good season last year, but honestly, I have him closer to Altherr and Castro, than Collier and Gillies. He hit the way a College age, 1B/RF, should hit at Lakewood.

    1. “He impressed even further in the Arizona Fall League, where he went .371/.461/.532 in around 75 PA against generally more experienced (if not overly talented) pitching”

      I really did LOL! at this gem from above, but you made the point about Collier that I was going to make. The Phillies must have not noticed Collier’s age on draft day so he has been the rare player in their system who had time on his side. I hope he’s been hitting the weight room and his power improves. If it does he could develop into a Victorino type of CF.

      AFL pitching is a JOKE, and the climate itself in Arizona greatly favors hitting.

      Dugan needs to find some HR power in a big way if he’s going to become anything more than a 4th outfielder/1B.

    2. Dugan did put up a much better OPS than Collier, like over 100 points better. Collier has yet to post a minor league OPS over .732. His performance in AZ was great. It was also small sample size and with an OPS so much higher than he has ever achieved in the minors. We need to see what he does in 2013 before getting overly excited by him.

      1. I’m not overly excited by Collier at all. I’m just less excited by Dugan. Neither player has yet to do anything that shouldn’t be expected based on their experience/age to level. A .730 OPS for a 21 year old CF in High A ball is nothing special. An .857 OPS for a 21 year old 1B/RF in Low A is nothing special. The fact that Collier can play CF gives him the better opportunity to make the majors as a reserve.
        Some seem overly impressed by Dugan’s OPS last year. For me, it was what a 4 year minor league corner OF/1b should have the ability to do. A 2009 draftee that has not played at High A, is barely a prospect. I have Dugan ranked in the 25-30 range, but it is not based on “excitement”. Honestly, there are at least 30 guys in the organization I am more “excited” about. If the organization “jumps” Dugan to AA, and he hits this year, I will change my tune.

  7. I want to like Collier a little more than Dugan but I thought after what I saw in the AFL that Collier didn’t look like he could stick in CF. He looked shaky in LF. If that scouting report is true I like Dugan a little better. I think you all you know how I feel about Gillies.

    Like I said its up to him now. How he and his body react. More so mentally after he saw they brought in Revere and Inciarte. If the Inciarte signing doesn’t light a fire under his rear I don’t know what will.

  8. If you compare CF you need to add Altherr in the mix, his Lakewood numbers are better than Colliers and he plays better defence. I think he will finaly put it all together and show both power and speed.
    If you compare Dugan with Collier as a corner outfielder than I take Dugan of Collier on account of the power he has shown.

    1. Altherr is fairly far down my list right now. Unlike Dugan, who actually had a pretty nice breakout after having been injured enough to justify moving slowly, Altherr’s bat is just progressing too slowly. I haven’t written him off yet, mostly because of reports of his defense being good and his speed (stl% around 75% is pretty good), and his improved plate discipline in 2012. If he gets out of Clearwater with a better offensive year than he had at LKW in 2012, I think he’ll be taken much more seriously. How about OPS of .780-.800 or so and a late season bump to Reading? That’s what I think he has to do to show he’s more than a back-up outfielder.

      1. Fair enough as far as Altherr goes but you can’t really compare Kelly Dugan with Centerfielders.

        1. I like Altherr quite a bit to develop over time into a solid big
          Eagle reserve OF type. I just don’t see an upside to him that makes him a starting caliber player at this point. The games I’ve watched him play he is very fundamentally sound, good baseball IQ, but no skills that jump out at you. Slightly above avg defender, slightly above avg speed, avg bat.

  9. All three have seen their development stunted by either injuries or suspensions, so you can’t really knock Gillies alone in those departments. Collier’s struggles staying on the field are well-documented, and Dugan never had more than 200 PA in a season before 2012. I’d say they’re all fairly undependable in that regard.

    With that in mind, I look at what they’ve done when they have played. Gillies is clearly the top player, with plus-defense at a premium position, the highest OBP (.369 in Reading, .390 career) and proximity. His SLG in Reading nearly matched Dugan’s from a level lower, despite the latter’s projection as a corner OF or 1B (.453/.470). Gillies is well above the other two if they’re all healthy.

    1. I don’t disagree with that. I just don’t see him ever being healthy. Dugan went through 2012 with nothing more than a couple week DL stint for an ankle sprain, and was raking for long stretches. Gillies’ late season leg injury was really just too much for me. If Dugan winds up on the shelf for a month in 2013 with something other than a fluke injury, I’ll probably write him down a good deal next off-season, too.

      Had Gillies had the concussion, and then the suspension, and no leg injury in between, I think I’d probably look at his 2012 and say he’s on the way. But that’s not how it went.

  10. Good stuff as always, Brad. I haven’t made a list yet, but I’d be inclined to put Collier ahead based on the reports of those who’ve seen him in center field. If you suspect (as I do) that both their ceilings are fourth outfielder, I’ll take the guy who you can put in all three positions. Dugan is limited to a corner, which really limits his value long-term unless he hits like crazy.

    Gillies should probably get a special sidebar with Carlos Tocci and Brody Colvin titled “Who the [censored] knows?” For a variety of reasons, those guys could be anything. How you rank them is as much a rorschach test as intellectual exercise.

    1. “Gillies should probably get a special sidebar with Carlos Tocci and Brody Colvin titled “Who the [censored] knows?” For a variety of reasons, those guys could be anything. How you rank them is as much a rorschach test as intellectual exercise.”

      +1

  11. Penalizing Gillies for his injuries does not speak of his baseball talents which include a strong arm, excellent CF defense, speed in the outfield and on the bases, extra base power for doubles and triples with maybe 15 dingers/season and a good oba. all that says to me that he has extraordinary MLB talent which would play in RF.

    His injuries include that concussion and knee/hip problems that were aggravated by a misdiagnosis that cost him more than a full season. He seems to be appropriately disgusted and disappointed by his lousy luck but seems to be “hanging in there” despite his misfortunes…and IMO we still have to acknowledge his skills and talents. His frustrations have resulted in a few episodes over the past several months and more. To me, that all is understandable.

    Some here have been frustrated by his progress in fits and starts and we can imagine his own feelings of a player banging his head against the wall.

    With those displayed talents and future promises of a superior MLB outfielder it is easy for me to visualize a lineup with Gillies or Revere at the top followed by the other. That holds the promise of driving opposing pitchers crazy much to the benefit of the following hitters. Gillies in RF because of his arm over Revere.

    Our RF is begging for competence and better, prefereably a righty hitter….but Gillies together with Revere would close out many opposing rallies by their fielding.

    Gillies, were it not for his health barriers, would likely be our #1 prospect with those skills…notwithstanding Biddle. It is a big mistake to render him “meaningless” by his health obstacles which he has devoted great efforts to overcome, yielding a guy who is on the cusp of a superior MLB outfielder/hitter/fielder/stolen bases.

    1. Great post Art. Here’s hoping he has no further set backs in his return and hits his way to Philly by September. We’re not talking about a chronic problem with him so he should be able to overcome most of the issues with proper preperation.

      1. I think we’re more wishing and hoping than knowing that there isn’t something chronic with his legs. Maybe it relates to his exercise or warmup routines.

        1. Very true, guess I’m just looking at it like he didn’t miss any signifiicant time with the leg problems after the initial misdiagnosis. I understand he’s been held out of the lineup for a week or two a couple times because of tightness, but the significant injuries are to this point unrelated.

    2. Well said. Sometimes you have no control over injuries. You can blame him for being dumb for puting himself in that situation in Fla. but he works hard and is one talented and exciting dude.

  12. I am sure i am in the vast minority when i say i don’t consider Gillies for the top 30. The reason being was that I had last year as my make or break year for James and Gillies and both broke. I don’t consider either as much of a prospect. If Gillies gives me a good 500+ successful PA’s this year i will gladly get back on his bandwagon but as of now i am completely off of it. Now, Dugan vs Collier i would say low 20’s and would flip a coin for who is 21/22 and who is 22/23. Now, i will also say that both Collier and Dugan have make or break seasons this year. Both of those guys must build on last year and stay healthy or they drop like rocks.

  13. At Reading last year Gillies created a buzz in the crowd. At CBP Gillies and Revere would have the crowd on their feet all of the time. To say nothing about them being on base when Utley and Howard come up Dugan healthy for his first time showed how much range he has this year, but I think he is growing into a corner outfielder. Thats not a bad thing. Power along with an arm and good range. Collier is a cf, unless he starts a better weight program, but evertthing else is developing nicely. Nice to finely see some of those athletic draftees progress.

    1. Josh Hamilton would have had the fans at CBP on their feet all the time.

      Revere will have them heading for the exits after the 6th inning when the Phillies are down by just one run, just as we saw in 2012.

      1. I’ve talked to some work colleagues in Minnesota and I get the sense Revere is a guy Phils fans are gonna fall in love with, much like Victorino, albeit a different type player. The feedback outside of his stats is that his love for playing the game he wears on his sleeve, he’s a smart player, tons of hustle, and he makes some defensive plays you won’t believe. I’m really hoping his energy rubs off on this team and he gives them a lift in that aspect.

        1. Jimmy Rollins hit almost twice as many home runs as Revere hit doubles last year.
          Revere has never hit a HR.
          We’re talking about a ridiculous toothpick bat. I referred to Span as a toothpick bat when that trade happened.Span seems to have almost light slugging ability when compared to Revere.

          This is nuts.

          The Phillies back-to-back World Series appearances were just a few years ago and off that success the Phillies have set out to destroy that model.

          WHY?

          s

          1. Because power is at more of a premium now than it was in 2008. While a run on offensive is slightly more valuable than a run saved by defense, you can’t just look at his HR stats and dismiss him. His defense makes the pitching better, and improves the defense of the other outfielders (Okay Ruf, just stand there… I got this).

          2. Was that the “Dave $$$ Montgomery model” you are referencing that took them to back to back world series and 5 straight division titles?

          3. You could be no more RIGHT, they pick up these weak outfielders that can’t throw, don’t track well can’t hit with power it’s time for our GM who makes all the stupid decisions to look for a new Job, the Phillies won’t win big with him around.

        2. You can be, and probably are, correct in saying that Revere will become a fan favorite. You are also probably correct that he will be a very good defensive CF. None of that means he will be a good offensive player. I really doubt how much his play rubs off on the older players.

          1. Revere’s play will rub off on Charlie Manuel this year.

            Charlie defined Josh Hamilton as what the Phillies needed and Revere is what he got. Charlie has been set up as Francona was in 2000 and Bowa was in 2004. There’s a reason Charlie has not received an extension.

            Some parting gift the Scammies are giving the Phillies most successful manager.

  14. I guess my concern with Gillies [and the Phils] is why after 2+ years of time missed with leg problems he still is having leg problems? Is this a maturity issue? Don’t the Phils have a responsibility to develop this kid, which includes helping with health issues? It reminds me of what Cole went through in the pre-chiropractor days, I never understood that either. That being said, I think he is far and away the best prospect of the three discussed on this thread. If he stays healthy IMO he could compete for a spot with the big club in 2014…

    1. Baseball is certainly not like football. It seems in baseball the player is pretty much on his own. In football they do amazing things to get players back in unbelievable amounts of time. Last off season Gillies hamstring-hip problems sounded like a chronic situation. I have heard of payers pulling the hamstring completly away from the bone. To my knowledge he has not even had a medical procedure done. Just rest and meds I asume. It would behove the Phil’s to get him to the best doctors to fix this problem for good. You can’t expect these kids to have the knowledge to correct this problem. I know he is not a kid now but he was when it stsrted.

  15. is dugan still switch hitting? I heard a long time ago he was going to scrap it. Just dont know if he ever did.

  16. Really hope Gillies can stay healthy this year. I think he’s an MLB level CF talent. Fingers crossed.

  17. I have them all very close between and 15-20 overall, Collier, Gillies, Dugan. Collier over Dugan is easy based on age (virtually tied just 10 days apart) and proximity (Collier Clearwater > Dugan Lakewood). Collier also has the edge in position (CF> RF), arm, and speed. Offensively I think their upsides are similar, even though Dugan maybe slightly better right now (hard to tell due to the difference in leagues and levels).

    1. I was actually shocked Dugan didn’t get a late season call up to clearwater. Maybe they’ll be more aggressive this year if he starts out hot. I like all three and they all have simialr issues. If the three of them stay on the field (fingers crossed), and the Phils are aggressive promoting them (Dugan and Collier moreso than Gillies) than we might have a pleasant problem come the midseason list.

  18. I just need to thank you guys (and gals?) – I recently discovered this site, and while I know the names of (most of) the prospects, I don’t know their backgrounds. These scouting reports/rankings, along with the comments, has really helped me get to know the Phils’ system better in the past few weeks. And I also appreciate the civility and respect which most of you afford to other posters. I live in the Northern Virginia area, so I don’t get much of a chance to see our prospects in person. I’m looking forward to reading more great stuff once the season starts.

  19. I actually have them at 20 (Gillies), 22 (Dugan) and 24 (Collier) on my list. I’ve seen them all play. IMO, Gillies will play in the majors if he stays healthy. As for his issues, recognize that his biggest issue last year was that he got kneed in the head by Jiwan James going for a fly ball. That’s hardly something to fault him for. When Gillies played last year, he made things happen. He’s a terrific outfielder with great range and a good arm and I believe he’ll add power to his game in another few years. He likes playing the small man’s game (line drives and ground balls) of a traditional lead off hitter but he’s built like a rock and is over 6′ tall and routinely hits balls out in batting practice. Unfortunately, the leg and hamstring problems have been well documented and I worry whether he’ll ever get beyond them totally. Dugan is much bigger than I expected and he played himself back into prospect status the 2nd half of last year. He’ll start in CWater but they could move him quickly to Reading if he starts out hot. He needs to show power but he did better than expected in RF and should stay there. Collier is harder for me. He doesn’t have the power for the corners and I’m not sure he has the defensive ability to be a starting CF. He started fast in CWater last year once he started playing but then tailed off. He has a real pretty swing and has definitely added muscle over the few years he’s been in the system (coming from high school) so he could add some more power yet which would give him a better chance to make the show. Btw, I have Castro, Altherr and Pujols as my next 3 OFs (Hewitt is at 44 on my list…).

    1. FWIW. I currently have Altherr at 31, Castro at 33 and Pujols at 37. Pointer and Tromp just missed the top 40. Hewitt remains un-ranked.

  20. I have Gillies at #7, Collier at #14, and Dugan at #21. Even when I think about dropping Gillies down, I remember his athleticism and how he hit in spring training about three years ago when he was healthy, and I need to let him fail himself if he is going to fail. I think patience will be rewarded. I moved Collier up on the basis of his Arizona League performance. He was great there. Let’s see about Dugan. I hope he continues his good work.

    1. I agree with almost everything in this statement. Much more concise than if I posted myself.
      Due to the missed time for all these guys, I think their ranking depends on which small set of data one ranks as most important.

    2. If we have to rely on these type of outfielders were in big trouble. We have a lot better outfielders in the system that no body talks about. Just watch if these guys make it that your mentioning we will never ever contend…..

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