General Discussion Week of January 14

Reader Top 30 is in full swing as well as another industry Top 10.  This is your thread for all news outside of the annual prospect ranking.

About Matt Winkelman

Matt is originally from Mt. Holly, NJ, but after a 4 year side track to Cleveland for college he now resides in Madison, WI. His work has previously appeared on Phuture Phillies and The Good Phight. You can read his work at Phillies Minor Thoughts

144 thoughts on “General Discussion Week of January 14

  1. I agree with most polls Valle is still talented and young enough to be just outside of the top ten. He has outstanding contact skills, otherwise with his low walk rate, he would be failing miserably already. Besides I hope Joseph some day has his defensive skills. Right now he is way behind in digging balls out of the dirt and controling the game.

  2. Good to see Gab Lino be noticed. I saw him just after the trade. He has the best catchers arm in the system. Big, athletic, effortless behind the plate. His swing is to long, but he sets up well. Plenty of time to work on hitting. Defense gets you to the majors as a catcher. Hitting keeps you there. One of Rube’s better trades.

    1. Perhaps the Phillies want Lino to make Valle expendable at some point this year. He could get a mid-season promo from LKW to CLR if he is doing well. He is after all, Joe Jordan’s guy from the O’s system.

      1. The Phillies have done everything they can to make Valle “expendable”. Every team knows they can steal Valle from the Phillies with a burned out bullpen arm as bait.

        If the Phillies are anxious to give away a catcher to another team they should pick someone other than Valle as the gift.

  3. If Valle is no longer a top prospect, does that mean paradoxically that he has a shot at making the opening day major league roster? I mean if he was still a top prospect you wouldn’t want him wasting a month with the big league club getting maybe 20 plate appearances; you’d want him getting regular at bats and game time in AAA. But if he is what he is just a backup catcher[whom the Phillies have shown little concern if the position bats under .200], why not start now? He has to be better than Quintero/Lerud or whatever their other option right now is[there are none on the 40 man], right?

    1. Just because he’s not a top prospect doesn’t mean he’s done developing. Not much to gain from sitting on the bench.

    2. I think some go too far to the extreme on Valle. He is still a prospect. He just hasn’t made the jump forward that many thought he could make, this past year.
      He disappointed me, because I thought, once he got to hitter friendly Reading, his power would show. Then unnamed scouts started commenting that he makes some lazy mistakes on defense. But I don’t think one season condemns a player to non prospect status.
      I thought Valle was the #3 prospect last year. After last year, I think he is #13-15. He is a catcher, he has a lot of time, to make improvements. I do not think it makes any sense that some are saying he isn’t a top 20, in this system. That is too far to the extreme. There is no way there are 20 more valuable prospects in this system, than Valle.

      1. As with some other players, my vocal disagreements with Valle’s boosters probably make me look a little more pessimistic about him than I in fact am. I never said he was a non-prospect, and I don’t think that he is a non-prospect. I’d probably slot him towards the back of the top 20.

        In one sense he is a tough guy to evaluate, in that, IMO, he’s either going to be able to improve his approach, in which case he rockets up the list, or he won’t, in which case next year at this time we WILL be talking about him as a non-prospect. As I’ve said, I am skeptical that he can make those adjustments – I won’t repeat my reasons – but if he does, even to the extent of getting his BB/K numbers to a semi respectible 5%/20%, he rockets back into the top ten, maybe high in the top ten. But another year with a 7-1 K to BB ratio and he’ll be out of my top 30.

      2. As for “there’s no way there are 20 more valuable prospects” than he is, well, as I said, I’d tend to (barely) agree, but if you take the ten or 12 players than most of us would easily put ahead of him, the 2 or 3 relief candidates who are close to ready & project to have a chance to be high leverage relievers, the high upside guys in the lower minors, and then add the other players in the high minors who haven’t lost prospect status (e.g., Gillies, Collier), it’s easy to find 20 players who at least arguably are better prospects. I agree that putting him any lower than the low 20s, though, is hard to justify.

        1. Not to beat a dead horse, but just to compare him to a guy like Collier: Collier obviously suffers vis a vis Valle in being less advanced and at less of a position of need. But his path to serious prospect status is a little easier to see – a jump in power, like a lot of prospects his age see, and incremental improvement in a number of other areas. He’s not a guy who has to change his basic approach. At this point, I think Valle is someone who needs to change his whole approach – and that’s tough to do.

        2. “it’s easy to find 20 players who at least arguably are better prospects”

          It really isn’t. Roman Quinn or Carlos Tocci as better prospects than Valle is ridiculous. Both of these guys could be Kelly Dugan and Aaron Altherr by September. You don’t anoint half season A-ball players as elite prospects.

          1. The key word you used is “could.” Prospect status includes both potential and performance. Valle’s performance suggests that he will not make the adjustments needed to be successful at the ML level.

            You say its ridiculous to call Quinn and Tocci better prospects than Valle. Does that mean you would trade either of those players before letting Valle go? Because that, I think, would be ridiculous.

          2. That’s beyond absurd. I think you must just be trolling. I’m not even going to go into detail as to the reasons, except to say that, even with a poor season, Quinn would still be a top 15 prospect, and Tocci top 30. With a poor season. Valle falls outside of the top 30. And personally I think Valle is much more likely to have a poor season than either of the other two guys.

            1. “except to say that, even with a poor season, Quinn would still be a top 15 prospect, and Tocci top 30″

              Then Jim Callis was being too generous in rating the Scammies farm system as #26 in the game.

              Quinn will be 20 years old on May 14th. If he posts an OPS below .700 at Lakewood a line is drawn through his name and you move on. To be the hot prospect people here and elsewhere are trying to make him out to be Roman Quinn has to put up 450 PA with an OPS above .800.

            2. No. God, AEC, you are a moron. He absolutely, no doubt about it, could recover from that.

              A player with an 80 speed tool, who at least semes to have other decent tools, absolutely can afford a detour in the road. It’s true that you don’t put short season players in the top ten based upon performance alone, but perfoemance and tools and scouting combined, yes you do. Absolutely. Even if not for Quinn ((and yes for Quinn, he is justifiably in everyone’s top 10), then certainly routinely, for many, many other players.

              Tocci is a guy with a lot more uncertainty who deserves a lower ranking (and gets it). But at his age, he could have TWO down years and stillc ome back to have a career.

              Here’s the thing, – for brains – what’s more likely:

              (1)Every single scout, scouting expert and reasonable intelligent person who follows the game is wrong; or
              (2) – AEC is wrong.

              - Edited and approve, watch the language

            3. “A player with an 80 speed tool, who at least semes to have other decent tools, absolutely can afford a detour in the road.”

              An 80 speed tool and a good glove – something Quinn does not yet have – equals a utility player. If we assume that the team in question is after a World Series flag.

              Given that Dave $$$ Montgomery has made this a point and has proven himself to be a LIAR by his own words published on the Phillies web site, then maybe your analysis of Quinn is correct in the Scammies world.

              I’m not a follower or fan of the Dave Montgomery and the Scammies. I’m a booster of the Phillies. As such either you can rake, or you’re a fake.
              .

        3. LarryM, you are right, there are about 12 prospects that should be ranked ahead of Valle. For me, there are also about 8 more that can be reasonably argued. That group includes Darin Ruf, Austin Wright, T Gillies, Z Collier, C Hernandez, M Gueller, DeFratus and Cozens. If your saying that Sebastian Valle (a 22 year old catcher in AAA, that has never been left back) does not have as much value as any one of those 8 players, I say that is false.
          Valle has more prospect value than Hernandez and Collier, IMO. De Fratus’ upside as a 7th/8th inning reliever doesn’t justify conclusively, that he is the better prospect. Mitch Gueller doesn’t have the pedigree and hasn’t done anything to warrant being placed ahead of Valle.
          Valle’s BB% is horrendous. I get that. But he is a catcher, and his offensive developement can not be based on the same standards as other players. His prospect value comes from DEFENCE. You say, that if he could get his production 5%-20% BB/K, that would change your opinion. I don’t think that is far out of the realm of possibility, if the Phillies or another team lets him play in AA in 2013, at age 22.

    3. Kratz won’t need more than two games off before Chooch is back. Lots of off days early and he’s not the starter so he doesn’t have to be paced to last. He’ll be getting lots of rest for five months of the season.

      1. I’d like Valle to have the chance to start in the Majors. He is already on the 40-man and gives him a chance to get his some time with the pros.
        That way Phillies can say what a great job he has done, that he looks like a pro, blah, blah, and try to bump up his prospect value. Or he actually does look great and Phillies decide he is a valuable piece to hold onto.
        He might only get 3 to 5 starts but I think it would be good for him, and it leaves Joseph to start those games in LHV at C.

        Not that Quintero/Lerud are valuable pieces, but putting either one of them on the 40-man will expose the team to lose them when Ruiz comes back. Again not a big deal, but it might be nice for the pitching staff in the minors to know the catchers from Spring Training on through the season.

  4. I would love for him to start the season with the Phil’s. He would hold his own defensively. How would the Pitchers like it? Some primadonnas there.

    1. Our starting staff consists of 4 consummate professionals and an unknown (Lannan/Pettibone/other). The 5th starter will either not have enough clout to matter, and/or would be Pettibone who would be used to Valle as his catcher. So I must assume you are talking about our BP arms as being “primadonnas.” In the BP we have Mike Adams, Paps, and a bunch of young guys who Valle has likely caught for before. So who are you talking about, Adams or Paps? Because they’re both elite relievers and I doubt they give a damn who their catcher is as long as he can make the plays.

  5. Thomas Neal was designated for assignment by Cleveland yesterday. By no means do I think he is any sort of answer in the outfield, I just figured that he would be good depth to have in AAA. He is 25, put up decent numbers and if any outfielder goes down, there is no one in AAA to call up. (unless you are happy with Mini Mart) Anyway, thought he’d be worth a look.

    1. I think Phillies have some decent 4th OF types in AAA. I’d start Ruf there at LF, Gillies at CF, and Castro in RF. Jiwan James could fill in at any spot if one of the guys gets called up.
      The guy from the A’s system might have some upside, and someone decided to reside Mitchell.

  6. I’m really sick of reading posts on boards about the “luxury tax”. I even hate that name and never use it myself. It’s a payroll tax, and it’s not nearly enough to have any concern over its existence.

    Let’s say Dave $$$ Montgomery was not a LIAR and the Phillies signed Aramis Ramirez last winter and Josh Hamilton this winter. Let’s say the Phillies had a payroll of $200 million three years from now (Halladay won’t be getting checks here anymore). The threshold will be $189 million. A 50% tax is only on the the money over that limit, not the whole payroll (that would make it significant).

    So we’re talking about five and half million dollars in tax, less than the Phillies paid Polanco to be a below replacement level player. About what the Scammies paid Wigginton, Nix and Pierre to do nothing. What did Blanton make, $10 million?

    It’s paying MLB rubbish – and plenty of it – money to occupy roster space that kills you as far as spending is concerned, not “big contracts” for guys who produce well above replacement level.

    Everyone seems to think Mike Adams is a great signing. $6 million a year for a 33yr old 8th inning reliever. I would be comfortable going with Bastardo and Aumont. There are plenty of others on the farm who could be brought up too. The problem with the Phillies pen in 2012 was the Scammies lineup that couldn’t score runs so the trash of the pen got lots of work and the Phillies lost most of their extra inning games while Papelbon watched from the pen.

    Aramis Ramirez and Josh Hamilton were the answer, not Mike Adams, Michael Young and Ben Revere.

    1. Hmmm Dave $$$ Montgomery and the Scammies…, forgot John Stinkberry JR….I wonder who Anonymous is…. even though you make some coherent points, your hate really takes away from any type of credibility you have.

    2. I have never said that the Phillies would stay below the luxury cap because the tax was a huge amount of money that the team couldn’t afford. I have said the Phillies will stay below the cap, because the support the commissioner and his attempts to set a salary structure for baseball. That is the same reason they stuck with what the commissioner wanted them to spend on the draft, when there was zero penalty for exceeding the informal guidelines. They think they are acting in the best interests of baseball. Likely they also remember the days when the Phillies were noncompetitive, because they were short on $. I fully concede that the Phillies have enough revenue to afford a $200 mill budget and the multi-year luxury tax that goes with that budget. The owners don’t think that is the proper thing to do and they won’t allow RA to do it.

      Don’t look at revenue or wealth or future revenue. Look at the Phillies past behavior. They have never exceeded even a suggested cap. They wasted the #2 pick in the draft ‘for the good of baseball’. These guys see themselves as super moral boyscouts. They won’t bend the rules to get to the WS.

    3. It is sickening to think that this could/should be our starting lineup.
      Rollins
      Utley
      Hamilton
      Ramirez
      Howard
      Pence
      Revere
      Ruiz

      1. The Phillies would be the World Series favorite and easily win the N.L. East by more than a half dozen games.

        So the Phillies ownership has essentially handicapped the team to support a socialist scheme for billionaires so they can put their feet up at the country club, sip a gin and tonic and watch the profits roll in by the tens of millions of dollars each year.

        How far removed from “Eight Men Out” is this?

        1. You are really quite delusional aren’t you, over the course of a season Hamilton is only worth about ~2 wins over Brown. Over his 13 seasons as a full time starter Ramirez has been worth about 2.3 wins a year (he had a career year last year). So we have added about 4.5 wins to the team. That doesn’t win the division, you should have also gotten Grienke and Sanchez while you were at it, plus Bourn and Pujols.

          The reason the team was bad last year can almost be entirely attributed to a sharp decline by Victorino and Halladay’s injury, they cost the team close to 12 wins last year. The Howard and Utley injuries combined to cost the team 2 wins.

          Also baseball is a business, the goal of ownership is to make money, that aligns with putting a competitive team on the field, to not do so would not be in their best financial interests. You talk about ownership hogging the money so much, you don’t think they know about the TV deal?

          1. I a little surprised that not many people recognize that Halladay’s WAR was nearly 8 games less. Basically, the Phillies would have had a good chance at the playoffs, if Halladay would have been Halladay. This, regardless of the other injuries.

          2. “Victorino and Halladay’s injury”

            You actually think this is worth three times as much as Aramis Ramirez and Josh Hamilton?

            And you called me “delusional”?

            Oh yeah, and the other day you compared as equals Maikel Franco and Adrian Beltre.

            And you are empowered to edit or delete anyone’s post at your discretion.

            WOW.

  7. Jonathan Mayo, http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/prospects/watch/y2012/#list=phi, listed his top 20 Phillies prospects on Sep 6, right after the 2012 minor league season ended. “With the Minor League regular season completed and September callups being made, MLB.com has re-ranked its Top 100 Prospects and each club’s Top 20 Prospects. ” I am reporting this list, not because I agree or disagree with it, but just because it is another of the mainstream, nationally recognized reference that I liked reading to help me make my personal rankings. The * and + are mine to denote lefties and switch hitters. The first 2 columns show the 2012 pre-season and post 2012 post-season ranks. NR are players unranked specifically as Phillies prospects, although many were ranked on another team or in the overall top 100. I was interested in the biggest changes from the pre-season to post-season. Surprisingly to me, Franco moved down from 9th in the pre-season 2012 top 20 to 17th in the current postseason 2012 top 20, from ahead of Pettibone, Rodriguez, Quinn, Hernandez, Walding, Gueller, Watson and Asche, to behind them. Walding went from unranked to 14th. Hernandez went from 14th to 9th. Mayo builds a case for Colvin being the Phillies second best prospect. “Despite a rough couple of seasons, Colvin still has pure stuff and a projectable pitcher’s body that would be the envy of many a pitching prospect. His fastball is plus at times, up into the mid-90s with good sink that generates ground balls. Both his curve and his changeup have the chance to be very good secondary pitches, and he’s shown a better feel for the offspeed pitch in the past then many his age. His command suffered during most of two full seasons with Class A Advanced Clearwater, but the Phillies saw enough to challenge him with a promotion to Double-A Reading on July 30.”

    Mar Sep
    ’12 ’12
    2 1 Jesse Biddle*
    3 2 Brody Colvin
    NR 3 Joseph, Tommy
    4 4 Larry Greene*
    5 5 Phillippe Aumont
    6 6 Sebastian Valle
    NR 7 Martin, Ethan
    NR 8 Shane Watson
    14 9 Cesar Hernandez+
    10 10 Jon Pettibone
    11 11 Roman Quinn+
    7 12 Justin DeFratus
    16 13 Julio Rodriguez
    NR 14 Mitchell Walding*
    NR 15 Mitch Gueller
    NR 16 Cody Asche*
    9 17 Maikel Franco
    NR 18 Darin Ruf
    12 19 Aaron Altherr
    NR 20 Lino, Gabriel
    15 NR Leandro Castro
    17 NR Perci Garner
    18 NR Ethan Stewart
    19 NR Jiwan James+
    NR NR Adam Morgan*
    NR NR Carlos Tocci
    NR NR Cloyd, Tyler
    NR NR Tyson Gillies*
    NR NR Austin Wright*
    NR NR Kenny Giles

    http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/prospects/watch/y2012/#list=phi

    For the accompanying article discussing the Phillies top 20 prospects, see: http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20120906&content_id=37988942&vkey=news_phi&c_id=phi

    For information on how this list was put together and on the MLB top 100, see: http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20120905&content_id=37948926&vkey=news_mlb&c_id=mlb

    1. I refuse to give any credence to a Phillies prospect list that puts Altherr ahead of Morgan. That’s just crazy- or an automatic shifting based on preseason rankings to get the right guys with the right teams.

      1. Yeah, it’s not a good list. Possibly the worst of the ‘professional’ rankings I’ve seen. He is way too high on Colvin. Colvin may well retrieve his strong prospect status, but he isn’t there now, the past two seasons have seen to that. If he’s going on talent, Morgan and Giles can’t be NR. That’s just silly. Asche and Franco are way low I can forgive him Quinn, based on proximity, but can’t see Greene above Quinn. Both catchers, and I like both of them as prospects, seem high. If Colvin is our #2 prospect, then we are just about the weakest minor league system in baseball.

        1. Yeah, really. How could J-Rod be ahead of Morgan? It would make no sense if it were a recent list that any real thought went in to.

        2. I agree. All those problems you pointed out are glaring errors, but not having Morgan was the most immediate and egregious to me. On second thought, Colvin nine spots above Quinn is pretty atrocious too. Or over Joseph…

        3. It’s pretty clear that he’s not doing much more than what Matt suggested, since some of the rankings make so little sense, and since there is so little movement apart from adding/subtracting players acquired or either no longer with the organization, or who have graduated from prospect status.

          What it looks like to me – and really this gives Mayo the benefit of the doubt – is that he starts with basically just making the adgustments set forth above, and then in a few cases – presumably with players on this “radar” – he does some cursory re-ranking. Actually, I’m being VERY generous, as some of the ranking don’t even make THAT much sense. I mean, Cesar Hernandez jumps 4 spots in the rankings, over Quinn and Pettibone? I don’t think either ranking passes the laugh test even in isolation, but juxtiposing it with the May rankings is even more bizzare – if Hernandez is behind those guys in May, he sure as heck is behind them in September.

          Though it’s more embarrassing for Mayo than for you. You’re just stubbornly sticking to your original point for whatever reason. Mayo, by claiming to have done a serious re-ranking when he clearly has not, is trashing his own professional reputation.

          1. My main point is pass this information on including the fact that mlb.com is claiming these rankings were done in September and that the prospects do seem to be re-ranked from the beginning of the season I think the list is provocative and I enjoy reading the discussion it provokes. I agree that Morgan seems like a gross oversight, but other than that his opinions seem reasonable and well presented. None of the Phillies prospects are blue-chippers. They all carry risk either of proximity (even Biddle hasn’t pitched above A ball) or holes in their skill-sets, so there really is not much difference in value between #2 and #20. I understand his reasoning in having Colvin #2. Mayo has thought highly of him since 2011 so he is being consistent in still liking him. Colvin is still young and is relatively young to be pitching in AA. If he indeed does have high upside tools and 3 potential plus pitchers as a starter than is he really any more of a long-shot to be a major league star than Quinn, who has yet to play above Williamsport or show that he can handle shortstop? It may be that Mayo is preferring proximity, which would also explain him liking Hernandez and J-Rod better than Franco. Mayo explained that he like Hernandez because he moved quickly from low A to AAA in under 2 seasons while showing a good glove, good base-running, and good on-base skills. He said we need to be patient with Franco but that he has star potential. I prefer to think of this list as another point of view from a national perspective rather than just a sloppy job.

            1. We get your point. But your point is wrong. You say “I understand his reasoning in having Colvin #2.” Your problem is assuming that there is any “reasoning” going on, at all. I disagree with your analysis on that point – I think it’s howling obvious that no sensible person could see Colvin as the number 2 prospect in the sytem – but there are just SO MANY obviously wrong rankings in that list, worse than that even, that is is obvious that it is not a serious updating. Ironiclly Mayo himself would probably be horrified that anyone was taking these interim rankings seriously. Honestly someone who knew nothing about the system and just picked names at random could do a better ranking. Okay, that’s an exageration but not by much.

              Reminds me of this:

              “K: Are my methods unsound?
              W: I don’t see any method at all, sir. “

      2. It is not automatic shifting since players reversed positions relative to each other. He may have overlooked Morgan, but isn’t it at least as likely that he has Morgan at #21, 2 spots behind Altherr? While I would rank Morgan higher, I would not call it crazy not to. Isn’t it possible that Mayo just doesn’t believe in Morgan as highly as you do based on just 37 starts in pro-ball and just 6 of those in AA? Morgan was not a college star, so it is not crazy for Mayo to still want him to prove himself. In 3 years at Alabama, Morgan had a 16-14 record in 47 appearances. In his final season he posted a 5-7 record with a 4.64 earned run average, making 16 starts, throwing 97.0 innings with 77 strikeouts, 26 walks and a .278 opponent’s batting average. Of Altherr, who is a year younger than Morgan, Mayo wrote, “He still has as high a ceiling as anyone in the system.”

    2. Thanks I didn’t know he had updated it. Does he do all 20 teams. That would explain why he is so on about some players and lost on others.

      1. He released updates of the top-20 lists of 30 teams on Sep 6, as well as the overall top 100 and a ranking of the top 10 systems in terms of “prospect points.” Seattle was #1 with Pittsburgh just 1 point behind. Philadelphia was not top 10.

  8. What is so funny is that . you can list the prospect all you want but morgan,unless he gets hurt will pitch in the big leagues,he has major stuff and the makeup to be a starter, now is he going to be a 1 or 5 i couldnt say.

    1. How does he have Walding moved up. I agree with that, but greene and Rodriguiz are ridiculess…Its like he knows a little but not enough about the org. I wish I knew more about another org to see if he is just as lost on other orgs. I even see his Colvin point and agree.

  9. Do you also lose a high draft pick if you excede the Lux tax threshold I thought I read that once ,but can’t remember when it kicks in.

      1. No, you do not lose a pick. The financial penalty escalates if you go over the lux tax in multiple consecutive seasons.

      2. No, you are flat out wrong.

        You’re wrong because you get your information from this site and those who delete and edit posts here allow this ignorance to pass uncorrected because it supports the policies of the SCAMMIES

        The Dodgers will never lose a draft pick for exceeding the payroll limit.

        1. My goodness…FreeAec is correct….Now, the luxury tax rate itself is not such a deterrent that it would prevent the Phillies from adding payroll during the season. A team that eclipses the threshold for the first time is charged 17.5 percent of every dollar they spend over the limit. So right now, if the Phillies’ cap number is $179.64 million (benefit charge included), they would pay an additional charge of just $725,000, which is 17.5 percent of $4.14 million (the amount they would be over the cap). You wouldn’t expect that they would let under $1 million stop them from acquiring a player they valued highly. The bigger ramification would be their status as a second-time offender next season, which would bump the penalty rate to 30 percent. Third-time offenders pay 40 percent. Fifth-time offenders pay 50 percent.

          1. The Phillies probably could afford the 50% penalty. They are a high revenue team and will get a bigger TV contract. THose who see this as being about money are totally wrong, in my opinon. The Phillies brass have always supported the commissioner’s efforts to establish a financial framework for baseball in which teams don’t go crazy on spending and smaller teams have a better chance to compete. They are doing what they are doing because they want to support what they see as the good of baseball. Bill Giles got permission to assemble this ownership group because his father was a baseball exec. Giles is loyal to the commish through and through and this likely has rubbed off on the other owners or may have been one of the screening conditions as he took on partners. Giles is no longer managing partner, but I think a lot of his philosophy still permeates the ownership. The Phillies have never exceeded what the commish wanted them to spend on the draft as a whole. To the great detriment of the team, they have not been big international spenders. Likely Selig guides the teams in that direction. The Phillies owners are not the brash entrepreneurs with a burning desire to establish a name for themselves as owners and push the voluntary and semi-voluntary constraints aside to win. They see themselves as gentleman aristocrats. They are very conservative mainliners who likely look askance at giving $ million bonus to some kid from Latin America. I can’t really call the owners cheapskates, because they always seemed to budget up to the breakeven point when the team was not flush in money.

  10. What is a fair trade for upton now that we have a rough idea that we know what Arizona wants.
    I am thinking,

    Upton

    for

    Brown
    Biddle
    Quinn or Galvis
    Valle
    1 of these three Schwimmer, Defratus, Rosenberg

    1. What are they going to do with Brown?

      Biddle, Morgan, Galvis and Giles.

      Nick Franklin is a very good middle infield prospect that the Phillies do not have. The Diamondbacks would have to take a better starting pitching package in the deal and accept Galvis with his PED conviction.

      But Upton is another enigma. A better enigma than Brown but he does not solve the problem. You just don’t have any idea what you’ll get.

      Hunter Pence was a question mark at best given his poor walk rate and it turned out he had no “intangibles” that made his skill set play, just the opposite really; and oh what a price the Phillies paid for Pence. If the Phillies still have Singleton and Santana they are firmly in the hunt for Giancarlo Stanton who is the answer.

      1. Biddle doesn’t equal Tajuan Walker. You have give Biddle, Morgan and Joseph just to get close to that one player’s value. Then you would have give Quinn to get close Franklin’s value. Basically you would have to trade nearly the whole top 10 to get Upton, because they don’t have the blue chip piece.

      2. I agree with some of this. Upton seems troubled. The grass is always greener in the other guy’s ballpark. Pence did nada to push the Phillies over the top and in the end, I think the Phillies were extremely disappointed in him. I don’t think you can go out and buy the answer. To have a true team, you need to basically home grow it with very strategic additions. We have just witnessed the Eagles’ attempt to buy their way over the top with the ‘dream team’ end up throwing them nearly into the cellar and driving the architect of that plan out of town. It is very difficult to paper over the deficiencies in a team’s core. Vick was the core and he was hollow. Adding pieces around that didn’t do a lot. A lot of what was acquired at great expense after massive coveting turned out to be the dross we saw in our defensive backfield for two seasons. The Phillies need to get out of the quick fix mentality and work on building a solid team. They have the starting pitching there and on the way. Nothing they can do to add position players will do more than learning how to keep Utley healthy and teaching/persuading Howard to go the other way. Beyond that, use the first half of the year to see if we have anything in Brown/Ruf/Mayberry/Revere and correct at the trade deadline. See if Asche is ready to move up. I think we’ll be needing a replacement for our ancient mariner at 3B. That was a truly desperation move, but YOung will have us thinking both Asche and Franco have the greatest range ever seen at 3B by comparison. There are a lot of kids to audition for the pen, but the Phillies have the makings of a really good bullpen. Coupled with the SP and the improved CF D, we may significantly reduce the runs scored against us from last season.

        1. “I don’t think you can go out and buy the answer. To have a true team, you need to basically home grow it with very strategic additions.”

          The Yankees became the “storied team” by purchasing Babe Ruth and never reexamined that decision. How many World Series flags did George Steinbrenner capture while he owned the team? Every flag was purchased.

          Since the end of the 1994 season the Yankees have missed the playoffs once. 1994 was a strike year and the Yankees were rolling toward a division title then as well playing .619 baseball.

          Aramis Ramirez and Josh Hamilton would not be “strategic additions”?

          1. The Yankees have been no more successful than the Phillies over the past decade and seem to have concluded that a build from within approach makes more sense. They were not huge FA buyers this off-season. The Babe Ruth Yankees were in a different era. The Yankees did not give top minor league talent to buy Ruth and others, they basically acquired them for money and crap from other owners facing bankruptcy. The salary, even for a Ruth, was not astronomical, even adjusted for inflation. That was an era in which teams could sign any amateur they wished for whatever he would accept.

    2. D-Backs want to start with a ‘ ready-to-go’ shortstop, ie Simmons, and plenty of pitching. They do not need anymore outfielders.

  11. walden , why dont you just tell arizona to give us upton. only one semi legit prospect in your trade quinn. and thats a stretch, we could offer arizona biddle, morgan.quinn. galvis. joseph. and aumont and they wouldnt take it. we dont have a potential player who has upton talent.. forget upton,

  12. FreeAEC eat your Quinn hating heart out..hahahttp://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/roman-quinn-a-better-billy-hamilton/

    1. hah. Mike Newman loves himself some Quinn. Together with the fact that Quinn is #2 on BA’s top 10 as well as the readers and FreeAEC is really on island by himself with the Quinn hate.

    2. Who cares what is written on fan graphs?

      What matters is the stats on baseball-reference and that says that Roman Quinn was 19 years old on May 14th 2012 and he was in the Florida Instructional League on that date awaiting the beginning of the short season New York Penn league to begin.

      Was someone blocking Quinn at Lakewood? Why don’t you tell us who that was? Publish their astonishing hitting stats for us. Who was the stud talent blocking Roman Quinn at Lakewood in 2012?

      But you’ve convinced me that Quinn is a real talent anyway, so I expect the 20 year old Quinn to have a .900+ OPS at Lakewood on May 31st and for Quinn to be promoted to Clearwater and continue to punish the baseball.

      Anything less would be a massive disappointment.

      1. Hey guys – I have to apologize for Free AEC. I’ve known him for some time and he’s down on his luck. He worked at a dominoes pizza with me but his job has been outsourced. I’m being serious.

        So please go easy on him. This is really all he has.

  13. Any takers for back-end of rotation guys like Livan Hernandez or Scott Kazmir? Livan is an innings eater and Scott was eaten -up by the innings, but now is trying to revitalize his career.

  14. FreeAEC, I don’t understand what your angle is…You want the Phillies to “come clean” with their draft spending intentions, you bemoan the fact that our system is terrible because of it, and then when one of the guys is starting to make a nice case for himself among the prospect rankings, you dismiss that because it can’t compute in your ideological baseball prospect nirvana.

    I guess He’d only be worth following if the Phillies gave him a 5M signing bonus in the 10th round. Whatever the case, you have a twisted sense of reality, and sorry to say you’re nothing close to a scout. I’ll take their word before your nonsense any day of the week. You seem like the type that will never be happy regardless of what the Phillies do, which makes me think your issues go way deeper than a professional baseball organization. Sorry to all for that.

    1. There has never been any mystery about the Phillies draft spending intentions. They have always spent on the draft as a whole almost exactly what Selig has suggested they should spend on bonuses, even when the Selig # was a very casual suggestion. Going forward, we can assume that they will spend at or just below the ceiling that the new agreement between baseball and its players provides. They will not go into penalty territory, neither on the draft nor on major league salary budget. “Come clean” is a juvenile demand. All organizations make statements with the interest of preserving their reputation and fostering what they expect will be positive PR. Simply discount the words and follow the extremely consistent actions. Past behavior is a far better guide to future behavior than comments from team owners and officials. Those comments are made for a reason and that reason is not to give fans a look into the organization’s bared soul. These statements should be viewed as unpaid advertising.

  15. Well there’s this…Nats sign Rafael Soriano 2 years $28 mil. Besides being outrageously over priced, they have one hell of a complete team now.

    1. It is definitely a complete team, he is really overpriced (14mil a year plus a lost pick, more per year than what the Phils payed Papelbon). At this point we have to assume that Boras has the Nats in his pocket.

        1. WaPo says owner Ted Lerner was “very involved” also. Didn’t read the article, just the headline. Dude’s got money to burn.

            1. They have a lot of cost controlled talent to go along with the big ticket guys. I would have to look for it to see how close they are, but it’s probably getting there.

            2. The Nats are really rolling the dice. Soriano has his share of injuries as does Werth and Zimmerman. LaRoche had a career year last year. I see Harper having a better season but also see a scenario where the Nats collapse like a house of cards.

              It should be fun to watch.

            3. I would love to see that happen, but I would doubt it. The Nats are deep in young and developing talent, including Strasburg, Desmond, Espinosa, Harper, both Zimmermans, Storen, Gonzalez, Ciippard – even if there are some flame outs or age related declines, they are almost certain to be offset by improvements and Davey Johnson is one of the best managers in baseball – as a game-day strategist he runs circles around Charlie.

            1. If they change their name to the Washington Boras’, will the Presidents’ race just be four guys dressed as Scott Boras?

  16. I really believe that the phillies better start drafting better. Washington is a serious team with money to spend. and atlanta has drafted well for years. we must start getting some elite talent into our system. instead of trying to make guys like alther and others more than they are , if we want to win consistanly, we must groom replacement for aging players, its a must. and i really dont know if amaro is the right guy for the job. I know peope will come back with we drafted low in the first round. but so does ny and boston, yet they have better systems , texas has drafted well too, the giants keep getting pitching, from there system. free agency is for that missing piece.right now we have howard, utley, rollins, ruiz from our system starting, where are there replacements, i mean rollins was drafted in 99, so in all those years the best replacement is galvis??? utley was drafted in 01 i believe, were is his replacement.?and howard where is his replacement, and dont give me the drug addict who got suspend, he hasnt proven anything , but that he is stupid. ruiz replacement is valle who is rip everyday on here and joseph is praise,because a scout likes him. and he was gotten in a trade, not homegrown. in all these years no outfielders, only gose,, who we traded, berry was let go. so either we misjudged him or he is a one year wonder. so personal decison must be better imo

    1. There is no doubt that they can always do better and that would help but I actually think that, recently, they have been doing a pretty decent job of drafting and developing players. Although you can get into a pretty serious debate about whether they have properly leveraged those drafts through trades and the like – the Pence trade will likely not turn out well although how we feel about that in the long run will depend on how Tommy Joseph (the player we later traded Pence to get) turns out.

      Knowing that the Phillies developed a great core of players through the draft, a few weeks ago I went back through their picks on baseball reference to see whether the old regime (around 2004 or 2005 and before) drafted better than the current regime. What I found was interesting. With a few exceptions, prior to around 2004 or 2005, what you find is that the Phillies did not have deep drafts – very rarely were they producing more than one player in a draft who had any real major league career. And most of the players who hit were first or second rounders. But when they hit, they hit big – really big – with players like Rolen, Rollins, Utley, Howard, and Hamels. I think some of this was wise drafting and some of it was good draft positions. The other thing you realize is that the team rarely had FA signings that deprived them of first round picks and they almost never traded their highly regarded prospects players for more established players – this is consistent with an organization that is bulding and is trying to keep payroll down.

      When you look at the drafts since around 2007 or 2008, you realize that, due to the success of the big league team and more frequent signing of FAs, the team has more rarely had first round picks and when it did, the picks were uneven – some, such as Biddle and d’Arnaud were great and others such as Hewitt were big busts. But what you see on the whole with the drafts in the last 6 or 7 years, is that the Phillies are hitting on more and more later round picks. Hewitt aside (and, yes, that was a pretty big miss), the 2008 class is likely to be very good and deep class and the 2011 class is looking similarly good. The biggest change of all is that the Phillies have seemingly learned how to draft pitchers – it is staggering how much better they have become at identifying and developing young pitchers. For years and years, there was nothing, then, slowly, they hit on a few pitchers – Wolf, Madsen, Myers, Hamels – and now, the system is teeming with good young arms. It’s encouraging.

      1. I meant to say that beginning around 2007 and 2008 and after, the team rarely had HIGH first round picks – they had a lot of first round picks and supplemental first round picks.

    2. roccom…relax….cycles, baseball is cycles. Our time will come again. BTW…Rangers, Atlanta and Yankees were top spenders in the international market thus giving them surplus talent in their systems and more flexibility in trades. New CBA with its cap, has leveled the playing field when it comes to the International market now. Phillies’ scouting will make a difference. Hopefully they do not get too frugal.

    3. It really comes down to not having the high picks, you used Boston and NY as examples, and that has a lot to do with international spending (NY and Texas) and the fact that the Red Sox hit on two first round picks in 2011 (Barnes and Bradley). All of the Giants pitchers have been high first round picks (Lincecum, Cain, Bumgarner, and Wheeler). Those teams have also not traded away the premium talent that the Phillies have. Off the top of my head here is a position by position breakdown of the best prospect the Phillies drafted/signed that are either prospects or just into the majors.
      Catcher – D’arnaud (only one of the best C prospect in the minors), Valle, Marson (serviceable back up)
      First Base – Singleton (he is still the best prospect at the position in baseball suspension and all), Ruf*
      Middle Infield – Donald (more util), Galvis (tons of glove), Villar (still good potential here)
      Third base – Asche, Franco (still a black hole here)
      OF – Santana, Brown, Gose, Ruf*
      SP – Carrasco, Drabeck, Worley, May, Cosart, Pettibone, Biddle, Morgan
      RP – Stutes, Schwimmer, Rosenberg, Bastardo, Diekman, DeFratus

      They missed in the first round in both 2007 (Savery) and 2008 (Hewitt) and didn’t have a first round pick in 2009 and took Dugan in the second round. Players like Altherr (9th round) and Jiwan James (22nd round) are lottery tickets, you don’t count on them, and where you take them you hope you get something from them, no team in baseball is consistently pulling anything out of those rounds. If you want a team to compare the Phillies to and say they should be drafting and developing like that team it is the Reds who have not missed on a first round pick in forever. The Phillies had the replacements and they have traded most of them, but on a whole the Phillies under Amaro have drafted pretty well.

      1. What you say is all true, but you gloss over the Phillies decision to spend very little in Latin America. That is an unforced error that goes a long way to explaining our current problems.

        1. Atown, Brad did not gloss over the Latin American players as he mentioned Valle, Galvis, Villar, Franco, Santana, Carrasco and Bastardo as Latin American players signed by the Phillies. This list did not include H. Garcia, Hernandez and Castro who have made it up to AAA ball. These players are not superstars but they can contribute at the MLB level for the Phillies.

          1. I think his argument is that if the Phils had been willing to spend more money in LA, our farm would have more stars/studs in the minors from LA, or at least more of the kinds of prospects that we currently have from LA. I’m not sure I agree with that, but it’s a valid concern. However, going forward the Phillies have a distinct advantage because no one can doubt that they have a talent at getting the most bang for their buck.

        2. I answered the questions regarding the draft and lack of development. The lack of investment in high price talent in LA is definitely an area that the Phillies could have improved in, but that is a point that is no longer valid (with the new rules capping spending expect the Phillies to be close to the limit each year), the players that are in an open market (Asian and Cuban) have huge risk and should be treated as free agents would be not as amateur acquisitions.

          1. I realize that LA is a missed opportunity that can’t be retrieved. I just wanted to point out that our lack of star talent on the farm is not simply the natural consequence of not having primo draft picks. You mentioned how the Yankees and BoSox prospered, despite equally low draft picks. We are where we are because of deliberate budgetary decisions (or the decision to uniquely fawn over Selig) made by our ownership. As Phillies are eclipsed by Washington, it is helpful to understand how and why this happened. Cubans and Asian players are indeed an expensive risk, but other teams have been willing to take this risk to continue winning. Phillies ownership has really been unwilling to do anything to step forward and use our revenue stream to maintain the Phillies as the NL East leader. It was possible to do so. That path simply was not taken.

            1. I’m sorry what Cubans, LA or Asian signings did the Nationals make that put them over the top?

              Same question for the Yankees did I miss some big news story that has some major LA spending spree in their starting line-up the past few seasons?

              Can you even name 5 LA signings that are lighting it up in the Big leagues right now?

            2. Internationally the Yankees have Sanchez and Banuelos who are top prospects in their system as well as Montero who they used to get another LA signing in Michael Pineda (pre-injury a pretty good pitcher). They also have Cano who they signed out of LA.

              You are right, the Nationals have 0 international presence, the reason being a scandal involving a past GM who now works for ESPN.

              Some LA signings lighting it up in the big leagues (or at least performing well): Robinson Cano, Felix Hernandez, Miguel Cabrera, Adrian Beltre, Martin Prado, Aramis Ramirez, Johnny Cueto, Aroldis Chapman, Fernando Rodney, Mariano Rivera, Carlos Santana, Yoenis Cespedes, Starlin Castro, Carlos Ruiz, Rafael Soriano, Anibal Sanchez, Hanley Ramirez

              That list work for you?

            3. Miguel who? Ca-bre-ra?

              And ATown’s point about the Nats was that they are eclipsing the Phils, not that they did it in the LA market. They had a ton of high draft picks to sign, which, when your franchise has like four dollars of revenue for a decade, is kinda pricey. Skipping out on LA signing there doesn’t prove they didn’t spend a lot on amateur talent. I would imagine they spent a considerable amount more on amateur talent than the Phillies from 2004-2012.

            4. I would guess the Nats actually spent more than the Phils entire amateur budget from 2004-2012 just on first rounders from those years. I’m not looking that up, though. If I’m wrong, then whatever.

            5. I don’t know that any of us have the time to go down the whole list (your reaching with a few of these names) but if we only looked at Cano he signed in 2001 for a paltry $150K this after the BoSox declined to go $200K.

              So it’s not like the Yankee’s rolled up the brinks truck to get Cano. Their scout who liked him made the right call. If you want to say the Phillies don’t scout the LA market well fine but let’s not make it about budget.

              Miggy…well yeah he is different animal. He raked $1.8 Million from the Marlins of all teams as a 16 y/o in 1999. King Felix $710K by the Mariners in 2002 but again they had a scout that built a relationship with the family.

              And at the end of it all for every name on this list there are multiples more at who knows what cost were serious wastes of money….

            6. “Can you even name 5 LA signings that are lighting in up in the big leagues, right now?”

              LOL. Classic.

    1. Aaron Cook must own compromising pictures of half the general managers in major league baseball. This guy is one of the worst pitchers ever to be given 3 or 4 legitimate opportunities to pitch for an extended time in the big leagues. But I wouldn’t worry to much about it – the Phils are so deep in arms that he won’t get a chance unless he really turns some heads, which is extremely unlikely. It is, however, hard to understand why he even got another chance – his strikeout rate last year was 1.9 ks per 9 innings. That’s the lowest rate I’ve ever seen and would appear to be entirely inconsistent with any prayer of success in the majors.

  17. they are looking at couple more veteran starters i heard. roatation of cook. and kenrick, cloyd is second to none.

  18. Those who like Crashburn alley likely have already read this, and those who don’t, won’t, but this is a great article:

    http://crashburnalley.com/2013/01/16/phillies-prospect-conversation-jason-parks-baseball-prospectus/

    No so much for the conclusions, which one might or might not agree with (and which are a little depressing if you do agree), but more for insights on the process that sites like BP use in making their rankings, and for insights on the gap between success in AAA and success in the majors.

    The “experts” don’t always get it right, but when they miss, it’s usually on the side of overestimating a player’s chances rather than the reverse.

    1. Jason Parks let it fly. Skepticism about Quinn’s future at ss surprised me, along with Larry Greene’s final destination at first-base.

    2. Well that was horribly depressing. From the sounds of it you’d think he has the Phillies system right near the bottom in all of baseball.

  19. Utley looks ready. Jim Salisbury reports: According to Amaro, Utley is now doing baseball activity five days a week. Scott Sheridan, the Phillies’ head athletic trainer, is watching Utley’s workouts this week in California. “Chase is doing very, very well,” Amaro said Wednesday. “Scott has been with him the last couple of days and he says Chase looks great and is feeling great. We hope it continues.”

    1. Good to hear as the Phillies season success depends on his recovery along with Ryan Haoward and Roy Hallady.

    2. Isn’t this pretty much exactly what Salisbury and the Phillies said about Utley at this time last winter?

  20. I said it before and will say it again greene is like brown. slow bat. not a great prospect,agree on biddle, i know people who have seen him, in the philadelphia league and legion ball, these are the same people who told me the orioles were nuts to take billy rowland i think thats how you spell it, with the ninth pick, he wasnt anything special and they were right, they only are college guys who teach hitting and fielding at my sons hitting lessons, but they coach legion ball, and see all these local kids a lot, they had trout hitting there too, but we never talked about him. point is i said it the other night, the phillies need to draft better, or they will be spending a ton in freeagency and never catch the braves or national. we are trying to make these kids look better than they really are, so this draft is really important,

    1. Don’t agree on your point about Brown having a slow bat. Some guys are indecisive in what they swing at which can make them look slow. When Brown goes for a pitch he’s looking for, there’s nothing slow about it. He can and has pulled some real shots.

  21. I feel like I’ve slept through the whole semester and the final is today. Let me get this straight, the Phillies essentially chose Revere and Lannon over Victorino, Worley and May.

      1. Yeah. They decided that it was better to pay Ben Revere 500K for the 2.4 WAR he was worth in 2012, rather than pay Victorino 13m per, for the 2.4. WAR he was worth in 2012.
        The price was a #4-5 starter and a prospect that is headed for the bullpen. The Phillies have guys capable of being 4-5 starters, they have guys capable of bullpen pieces. They aren’t hard to get.

        1. Worley is better than a #4/5 starter and May likely is a future major league starter. Let’s not use the ‘good riddance to bad rubbish’ on our former players once they’ve left. May had an off year. Prior to that, he was our top pitching prospect. He still has the electric arm. He and Martin exchanged seasons. Don’t expect them not to flip again. And no, Worleys and Mays are not easy to get.

          1. Worley is absolutely a replaceable arm on the Phillies. Let’s not act like Worley was an ace here, because he wasn’t.

  22. Victorino went for an incredible money offer in Beantown. 29 teams missed out on that. I had a distant relative who missed out on a ride on the Titanic. Some mistakes you get to live through. I think we’ll survive Victorino. I think we’ll know pretty quickly what we have in Revere. Too early to rip the trade. We’ll have some idea by June. Not excited at all about Lannan. I’ve seen enough of his pitching to think there were (and still are) better options out there. Next time you wake up we can discuss Michael Young if you like. While you were away, he became a Philly.

  23. million for marson, as a backup, who cant hit, make your sons a catcher, i wish i would have done it.

  24. this is way off subject, but i was bored so I put in top baseball wifes, and my new favorite player is swimmer, you should see his girl, wowowwo

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