General Discussion: Reader Top 30 Top 10 Discussion Edition

The first 10 of the Top 30 are done, what kind of reaction do people have to the list, just a recap here it is:

  1. Biddle
  2. Quinn
  3. Morgan
  4. Joseph
  5. Franco
  6. Ruf
  7. Asche
  8. Pettibone
  9. Martin
  10. Tocci

I am also introducing this spreadsheet https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0Aq9atTaYBdErdDFibUpEVENleTB0Mnk1X0dSb19DSWc, which for now has the industry/blog rankings (mlb.com still hasn’t been edited according to Jon Mayo on twitter so I will update the list when he does, I have also removed the traded people from the Reading Eagle list, as well as the rest of the BA Top 30).  I will post it every day with the new poll, at the end you will have the opportunity to post your personal top 30s for me to add to the list.

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

363 thoughts on “General Discussion: Reader Top 30 Top 10 Discussion Edition

  1. I honestly thought Gillies or Aumont should’ve gotten in at 10 instead of Tocci. If Gillies stays healthy, he has Denard Span upside. Aumont has the nastiest stuff in the Phillies organization.
    Tocci could flame out in Lakewood for all I know.

    1. Gillies’ talent is undeniable, but its getting more and more difficult with every hamstring pull/suspension/concussion/unnamed injury to believe he will ever see the field long enough to realize his potential. That said, I certainly haven’t given up on him, and thought his numbers when he did play last season were very encouraging.

    2. Agreed, although I don’t expect Tocci to flame out any time soon. By Autumn both Aumont and Gillies could make us all look short-sighted for leaving them off the top ten. I think their popularity took a hit simply for being part of such an unpopular trade. They have their flaws, though, so no real arguments here. Good job, everyone!

    1. Why are you spamming this website? My job is to keep this as a good community to discuss the Phillies minor league system, the people here don’t want to hear your message, if your goal is to educated the unknowing masses, then preach elsewhere this group just doesn’t understand your message.

  2. No huge gripes for me with the list. Not mine exactly but close. Ruf too high, and I don’t have Tocci for a little while.

    1. I started off having Ruf outside my top 10, but have been convinced he belongs there. He is the definition of proximity and he has a big bat. If he really has learned to play LF, then he might actually turn out to be a little low at #9. Obviously, he’s old enough that he is what he is and you are not looking at the possibility of a long career, but he could be a very potent power bat for us. There are a lot of guys in the top 10 who still require quite a lot of projection to deserve their spots. Biddle deserves the top spot, but he is a weak #1. Quinn and Tocci are so very young and everyone else still has serious holes in their game.

  3. I don’t completely agree with the reader top 10, but I think it has all of our top 10 prospects and is as good as any of the lists on your spreadsheet.

  4. I had the top 10 as follows, one major disconnect, the others not too far off, but I do have 2 more coming in the next 6 that will probably lead me to be voting for the same person or two for a week or three.

    1 – Tocci
    2 – Biddle
    3 – Franco
    4 – Quinn
    5 – Joseph
    6 – Morgan
    7 – Martin
    8 – Ruf
    9 – Asche
    10 – Pettibone

    1. How can you put Tocci at #1? He’s 16 years old, a big risk/reward guy, but I can’t see him above Biddle or even in the top 5.

    2. Sorry, Tocci has done nothng but run fast up until now. He has great potential and some scouts rave about all the raw ability. Same was said about Hewitt. The number one prospect needs to be a much surer thing than Tocci. We’ve had very young Latin Americans put up so-so numbers before and promise incredible defense. Galvis had better D than Tocci at a more primo defensive position. He still needs to learn how to hit a lot better than he has to be more than a major league utility player. Tocci also needs to learn to hit. Otherwise, his upside is Revere and Revere is young enough that we won’t need Revere2 for a while. I like Tocci toward the end of the top 10, and that is a real stretch for a guy who usually doesn’t rank GCL players at all, let alone in the top 10. If you go by how much the PHillies/scouts love a guy and how much they are willing to pay to sign him, then you have to put Watson ahead of Tocci. I see Watson missed your top 10 and I decided to give him an Inc. Gueller also got more $ from the Phillies than Tocci did.

      1. I respect your perspective and mine is just my opinion, but it is not based on how much he was paid. I don’t even have a clue what he was paid – I go on statistics, logic, what I see, and what I hear, not necessarily in that order.

        1. You’ve seen him in the field, while he looks the part, what performance have you witnessed that the abstract stat viewer isn’t seeing? Honest question, you’re pretty knowledgeable so while I trust your opinion it’s something of a headscratcher.

      2. I don’t think Galvis is a good comparison for Tocci. For one, Tocci has the projectable frame that Galvis lacked — he’s 6’2″ compared to 5’10”, and can add a lot of muscle as he matures. Yes, Freddy plays a more valuable position, but the bats just don’t compare.

        Galvis in his first short season at age 17: .203/.252/.507
        Tocci in his first short season at age 16: .278/.299/.629
        (Galvis’ first season was WPT, Tocci’s was GCL, so I’ll call the one-year age difference and the difference in leagues a wash)

        Tocci has defense at a premium position, has already shown more at the plate in a brief pro career than Galvis did for most of his minor league career, is fast and has a frame that could add muscle as he matures. The only thing the two really have in common is that they are both Latin American.

        1. No, to me the things they have in common are extreme youth for their first league state-side, their calling card being something other than hitting (D or D plus speed), playing a primo defensive position, and being more about shoutouts from scouts, rather than performance. Yes, Tocci can fill out and develop power, but 5′-10″ isn’t tiny for a SS. The big point is that there are far, far more fast, good defensive guys who need to learn to hit and develop power than there are such guys who ever actually learn to hit and develop power. We’ve had a string of state-side HS top round draftees spanning decades in Jackson, Taylor, Golson, and Hewitt (although Hewitt also couldn’t field) who filled the exact spot now occupied by Tocci. It may be wholly unfair to Tocci, who may be the guy in this mold who finally makes it bigtime, but I’ve grown wary of thinking too highly of these young gazelles until they actually learn to hit and develop power. Despite their huge hype, they’ve done about as well as lower round HS picks such as James, Altherr, and D’Arby Myers. We seem to have finally hit on this model with Gose. Bourn succeeded, but he was a college kid in this mold. Going back decades, the Phillies have been fascinated by these fleet, young, skinny, raw, athletic CF HS kids, but when is the last time we actually nurtured one of them into a successful major league career, as even an average ML starter in Philly? That’s why I feel much more confident in our scouts when they rave about a HS pitcher. We have demonstrated success, a ton of it actually, in that arena. Speedy HS OF, not so much. Organizations, including their scouting components, have strengths and weaknesses. While I think we have tremendous scouting, on average, raw, speedy HS OF are not their forte.

          1. I think it’s unfair to compare Tocci to those guys. I wouldn’t have voted for Tocci yet, but something he has that those others didn’t is apparently advanced skills at the plate. Yeah, his overall line kind of stinks but he showed okay contact skills and some ability to take a walk against older competition. Those two things have basically been the downfall of the other toolsy OFs you mentioned. There appears to be some foundation at the plate to work with, unlike, say, Hewitt.

            1. I grant you that Tocci has a much lower K rate than these guys. His BB rate isn’t all that much better. Golson put up quite a bit better CLW OPS, although he was older, of course, and a prodigeous strikeout machine.

            2. I would agree with Handzus here. I get what ATown is saying, but it’s a little to general and paints with too broad a brush. Hewitt was a bust because he’s an awful hitter, has bad plate discipline and can’t play defense anywhere on the field. Same is true to varying degrees with the others, but Tocci doesn’t fit that mold. He seems to be pretty good defensively and, while I’d never make too much out of GCL stats, the numbers seem to suggest he has some ability at the plate. Granted, Valle had a similar BB rate at the lower levels of the Minors. Then I got called away to a meeting and lost my train of thought.
              Still, I think ranking Tocci #1 is kind of crazy, but Top 10 is not unreasonable (though he wasn’t in mine).

            3. I never thought I would comment on a comparison between Tocci and Hewitt, but I’ve seen both play. I never talk about seeing Hewitt because what he does is irrelevant at this point as anyone who has seen him play would know that he does not have a big league future. Don’t want to be too harsh on him as I think he is a good kid who has worked hard but he just isn’t going to make it. As far as comparing the two, Tocci at 16 has baseball instincts and reactions to situations that Hewitt has never had and never will. That alone does not make Tocci anything at this point and I’m not saying it does, but for those of you that have not seen much of the two of them, it is an extraordinary difference. The best comparison I can draw is a football one – for those of you that watch the Eagles – if you think about Michael Vick’s football instincts or lack thereof and his inability to understand the time in which he needs to get rid of the ball or where to shift in the pocket to avoid a hit – that is Hewitt playing baseball. If you think of an Aaron Rodgers as an example, there’s an ability to read a defense, make decisions in the appropriate time, shift in the pocket, etc, that is Tocci compared to Hewitt’s Vick. Taking it back to baseball, one of the most intelligent baseball players I’ve ever watched is Chase Utley and I believe if Tocci ever makes it to the big leagues and becomes an everyday player, he will have instincts and baseball intelligence similar to that of Chase Utley, looking at where he is today at such a young age.

  5. Completely random thought, i guess it is my ocd, but shouldn’t the AA stick figure on the header of this site have a Fightin’ Phils hat??? Sorry just noticed :)

  6. I enjoy the rankings. The site’s top ten has eight of mine. I’m not complaining. Thanks for dealing with an obviously unstable person who is also very angry. I was ignoring him or her, but I’m happy you did not.

  7. Except for the fact that I think Pettibone should be little higher, above Darin Ruf, I like this top 10.

  8. I agree with this list, I have my favorites but I really have no issue with any of the choices.

    My overall opinion is that the Phillies prospect system is weak. I like Biddle and think he could still progress but for a top prospect he seems quite below most other organizations top guys. Most of the other Top10 Phils have limited upside and still many questions.

    Nearly all these guys have had one good year to get themselves into this Top10.
    Quinn and Tocci flashed great tools but are very far away. Morgan, Ruf, Asche, Martin all had good years in 2012 after some previously average seasons. Franco has had good 2nd halves after ‘adjusting’ to each level. Joseph did not show great at Reading. Pettibone has been the most consistent but his low K rate raises questions.

    It is possible that 6 of the 10 will be in AAA so they are getting close to helping the aging big league club. As always some of these guys will have poor seasons but maybe a few will break out. Yet another interesting minor league system awaits.

  9. The only problem I have with the list, is that Ruf is too high. He isn’t in my top 10. Everything else is sensible.
    On the other topic: I wish you hadn’t attached the Goodphight’s reverse 30. Pure ridiculousness and it might influence the votes on this poll.

    1. I think implying that the posters here will be more influenced by a list that looks like many reader lists is an insult to the posters on this site, people will make their own opinions.

  10. Austin Wright gets the Damarii Saunderson Ballot Stuffing Memorial Trophy. Thanks Handzus for reminding me who that was.

    1. Cesar is one of the two guys coming up in the next 5+ spots on my list that isn’t yet on this list, so I’d agree with this comment.

    2. The thing that’s knocked Hernandez down my list is that I took another look at the numbers after the season and, aside from batting average, his stats weren’t much different from Galvis’ 2011. And Cesar doesn’t have the glove Galvis does.

      Hernandez did have a significantly better LD% than Galvis in AA so the extra batting average probably isn’t all luck. Still, walk rate, K rate, ISO are similar.

      1. In my opinion batting average has been downplayed with current statistical analysis. Walks and Homeruns definitely help OPS while BA’s tend to fluctuate.
        I definitely like Hernandez better as a hitter and I think he has much better speed than Galvis. Hernandez is likely an above average fielding 2B and I’d like to see him get some time at SS just to see if he can be a utility guy because he’d be great to have on the bench. I see a comparison to Theriot actually.

        Utley’s situation combined with Hernandez’s own development will be an interesting situtation to watch this year.

        1. I think one of the better contributions of sabermetric guys is pointing out the importance of walks in offense. I think there was a period in baseball when walks as offensive factors were downplayed. OTOH, baseball people never lost sight of the fact that walks had a serious negative effect on pitcher performance.

          An emphasis on OBP and the impact of walks on OBP should not mean that BA be disregarded, however. Whatever a hitter’s OBP is, the higher his BA, the better. A hit is better than a walk; a high wOBA is better than a low wOBA; etc.

          1. I beg the question then…are walks more detrimental to a pitcher or more advantageous to a hitter? Or is it like comparing oranges to apples?

          2. There’s two separate issues with regards to BA and a third for Hernandez in particular.

            Regarding BA, PhxPhilly does go too far. As part of a retrospective measure of how valuable a player was, BA is important, just relatively less so that previously thought. It’s value as a predictive stat, though, without very large (multi season) sample sizes, isn’t that great. IMO especially for minor league players. (Obviously for a player with multiple major league seasons under his belt it is a different story.) The latter is true to the point where IMO BA just isn’t very important in evaluating minor league prospects.

            But the real issue with Hernandez is that even the BA isn’t that impressive. People are unduly influenced IMO by a player going over .300. Of course in this case, if we include AAA Hernandez didn’t even do that in 2012 (and of course hit an unimpressive .2666 in 2011).

            He’s an interesting guy in some respects, and still pretty young, but at this point he looks like a bench guy IF he can play some SS. After his 2010 season he looked like possibly more than that, but he has not progressed enough at higher levels.

  11. I really like our list and am impressed with the depth of the system even if we don’t have an elite prospect. Tocci seems to be the wild card and it will interesting to follow his developement.
    On a side note,I just finished reading “Josh Hamilton’s Beyond Belief”. If any of you are interested in his life’s story this is a great read.

    1. Agreed. We get a grade C for high end, near ready, sure fire prospects, but system depth is an A. Tons of depth all over the field and on the mound. Overall grade around a B, which is good considering the talent we have traded.

  12. Dylan Cozens, what’s the popular opinion on him? I’ve read that he’s not very good and I’ve also read that he could be our slightly watered down verision of Mike Stanton.

    And Shane Watson, again same question. Could we down the line be looking at a legitimate ace if all the cards go his way?

    1. I seriously have no idea on Cozens. Sounds like he can rip it. He also struck out in 24% of his at bats. He was well above average with the bat but that was 180 ABs in the GCL and could be a fluke. He wasn’t really on scouts radar before the draft (except for the Phils’, obviously) which makes one wonder why and if there isn’t something amiss. Did he make BA’s top prospects list for the GCL? I don’t think he did.

      Watson at least had lots of scouting info out about him with good reports on his curve and solid FB. Despite having played less in 2012, I feel he is much more projectible than Cozens. That said, I find Cozens immensely intriguing. He sounds like Paul Bunyon. Myths about him abound. Can’t wait to see what he does in WPT.

      1. I read somewhere, he was on the Texas Rangers’ radar, and that the Phillies may have taken him so high, because they didn’t think he would make it past the Rangers’ 2nd round pick.

    1. Great for Biddle. I was hoping Morgan could slip in at 10 but that would be greedy. How many other Phillies will make top tens? My prediction is Joseph, Quinn and either Asche or Franco..

  13. In terms of evaluating Amaro, the following distinction is I think important:

    (1) If you look at moves at the major league level, I think the OVERALL verdict is quite negative. D or D- overall.

    (2) The minors, on the other hand, despite the low ranking of the system, present a different picture. Taking into account trades of minor league talent (and even if you don’t like the trades, I think you count that against him in terms of major league moves) and low draft position, I think the team gets a solid “B” during Amaro’s tenure.

    The question is how much credit does Amaro get for the latter? i don’t know. None of us knows. His most visible moves are the major league moves. The minor leagues are more opaque. How much credit does he deserve for the draft? For LA signings? For scouting? For player development? I have no idea.

    The case for mediocrity – IMO the best case that you can make for Amaro – is that he deserves a lot of credit for the positives at the minor league level. The case for sub mediocrity is that he delegates most of the minor league decisions. But I’ll admit that, if that is not the case, he deserves somewhat higher marks overall than I give him.

    1. To underline the strength of the minor league system, here’s a top 14 without trades:

      1. d’Arnaud
      2. Singleton
      3. Biddle
      4. Quinn
      5. Morgan
      6. Franco
      7. Cosart
      8. Ruf
      9. Asche
      10. Villar
      11. Santana
      12. Pettibone
      13. May
      14. Tocci

      That’s a pretty darn good top 14.

      Not saying they shouldn’t have made the trades, and of course many of these guys were acquired before Amaro’s tenure, but still – the trades alone are why the system is bottom ten rather than top ten or even top 5.

      1. Confirmed. I was hoping the speculation was inaccurate but now that I see the 750k price tag I feel somewhat different. I hate the OBP but the average is there and he should hit for good power in CBP. Not a whole lot of risk here considering you could simply let him walk if warranted.

          1. The risk is that they play Ruf-Revere-Young as the OF, and have one of the worst outfield defenses ever as Revere just runs around like crazy and they bench Brown. Brown should have the RF job because only Mayberry could play the position defensively (Ruf and Young’s best defensive position is by far DH)

          2. I hear you. That’s why I initially didn’t like reading the rumor. I knew Young was a below average defender but the reports I’m now reading have him are even less encouraging. Still, 750k for a guy that hits like he does and entering his age 27 season? This could work out well for the Phils and the low risk I mention is merely referring to the fact that the Phils could cut him loose without losing much in terms of investment. I don’t think Young is going to come in here and get 600PAs though so there will still be ABs for Brown and Ruf. Nix becomes a pinch hitter now and I suspect Brown and Ruf will serve somewhat of a platoon. These guys are all young. They’ll be plenty of ABs for all of them

            1. Sorry, this is an indefensible move. Even the other Young move, horrible as it was, was defensible, even if the defense wasn’t very convincing. There, assuming a rebound, he at least is an offensive upgrade over the alternatives, and neither alternative was a long term solution at third base. Compared to the guys that Young will be taking AB from:

              (1) He is worse defensively than Brown, and possibly worse defensively than Ruff.
              (2) His is almost certainly a worse hitter than either Ruf or Brown.
              (3) His ceiling is far lower than either player.
              (4) He is a clubhouse cancer.

            2. I certainly agree with your 1st and 4th points, somewhat on the 3rd though he is entering his age 27 season and he played in pitcher’s parks for the better part of his career. But at the same time I’m not trying to make a counter-argument here. An hour ago when I read the rumor I was absolutely adamant that we should not sign him. But 750K? Looking at his recent salary made me thing he could be had on a 1yr 3-4 mil contract.

              As far as players losing playing time? Who are we really concerned about here? Nix suffers the most. Delmon Young is not going to play 150+ games unless one or both of Brown and Ruf struggle. And if they do, you have an accomplished hitter, if nothing else, able to give you some production in their place. Again, not arguing for liking the trade, I don’t. But there is some prospect here even if merely a mid-season trade candidate should be put up a decent first half. At 750k? I’m not as disgusted as some

            3. You’re right. There is not much wrong with this signing. If you are against having bad guys on your sports teams, then you aren’t going to have enough players to field a team. Either way, 750K for this guy, isn’t going to hurt anything.

            4. Oh, come on. It’s certainly possible to have a 25 man roster without having a guy with as negative a personality as Young has on the roster. The Phillies have managed it since Myers left (and even he wasn’t as much of a negative as Young), and I’d estimate at least 25 teams manage to avoid it every year.

              That aside, in purely baseball terms, as I said below it isn’t a horrible move if (a) you think Ruf can’t play,and (b) if he is the guy who loses playing time. Either or both of those assumptions could be wrong, and, if so, even ignoring the fact that Young is a lazy, immature jerk, this move is pretty horrible.

              But the bottom line is this: there is no real upside to weigh against the possible downsides. Make all of the most favorable assumptions in the world, and AT BEST this move … is neutral.

              Finally, if the hole in LF was deep enough that Delmon Young constitutes an upgrade, then the failure to sign/acquire a REAL baseball player to fill the hole is the real indictment of the FO.

            5. The hole in LF IS that deep. That is the problem. Signing Young is better than going into a season with a AAA First baseman as your starting LF.

            6. Better for what? So the team can win 85 games rather than 84 games?

              But that’s quibbling. Assuming that you are correct, as I implied, failing to acquire a real left fielder under those circumstances should be a firing offense. For a team who expects to contend (however unreasonably), to go into the season with Delmon Young as the regular left fielder is beyond absurd.

              (Though ironically, the availability of a Nix/Mayberry platoon is, a partial defense to the criticism in my second paragraph,. Of course it is also yet one more indictment of the Young signing itself).

            7. I wouldn’t be too sure that Nix is the guy who he takes playing time from. Obviously this is all somewhat speculative at this point, but I don’t see them even having all three of Young, Ruf and Brown on the 25 man. Most likely it means that Ruf ends up in AAA. I don’t even want to think about the other possibility (trading Brown for pennies on the dollar).

              If you don’t buy Ruf as a real candidate to be the regular left fielder, and assume that he is the guy who loses out, then the downside of the move is low. He’s still a bad club house guy, not something I usually put a lot of weight on, but he seems particularly problematic without even good performance to outweigh it.

            8. Agree on the problem side and that also speaks to my contention. He gives us any problems, any at all, and you release him. 750k loss and not a whole much more

            9. If another team picks him it is probably more like a $200k loss since the other team must pay the major league minimum. The only thing I can say in defense of this move is that it is theoretically possible that he is still going into his age 27 season and could have a big improvement in hitting just due to his age. The problem is that he has not been showing improvment (in fact he’s been getting worse) and he has no plate discipline which might suggest that improvement and was possible. Put his attitude in with this mix and you just get a kind of stupid roll of the dice.

            10. Young isn’t going to take any time away from Brown or Nix. He is being brought in to compete with Ruf and Mayberry. Whoever hits best in the spring, gets the job.

            11. I was thinking exactly the same thing until at the press conference RAJ was saying that Young is going to play RF.

        1. I won’t say that I am surprised, but maybe the fact that this DID happen, and a major league deal to boot, will start to convince people around here that, if anything, I have far, far too kind to Amaro.

          As for the likely impact of the move – it likely won’t cost the Phillies more than a win or two, but it decreases their chances of reaching the playoffs because they substitute guaranteed mediocrity for possible excellence at one of the OF corners (depending upon who he takes AB from – likely either meaning AAA for Ruf or relegating Brown to a platoon role).

          More to the point, it hurts the team long term by taking AB from either Brown or Ruf, each of whom could develop into decent regulars.

          1. Im hoping that Young is only signed to fight it out with the other outfielders in spring training. I don’t really believe in platooning players in the first place, especially young ones. We all know that Brown needs to get a full season of at-bats, and that Ruf can probably hit big league pitching as well as DYoung

            1. Your hope is understandable, but the fact that it is a major league deal. means that it is not a reasonable hope. He’s taking AB from Ruf or Brown or both.

              I normally wouldn’t wish an injury on a player, but since Young, in a addition to being a horrible baseball player, is a horrible human being, I sincerely hope that he suffers a career ending injury on the first day of spring training.

            2. This is absolutely unforgivable by Rube on numerous levels. I hope and pray that Young doesn’t make it out of spring training.

            3. Ouch!!! Man, I just want him to be cut or traded. I don’t like the guy either, but I can’t wish that on almost anyone.

  14. I don’t get the hate for the Young signing. RAJ has said he envisions the outfielders competing for playing time starting this spring. If Dom and Ruf are going to be big leaguers, then they can win the job.

    1. A big part of my reasoning as well. Though I generally don’t favor the signing, I don’t feel it’s as bad as many care to state. Neither Brown nor Ruf, and I’m a big fan of each, have proven anything to warrant them getting 500PAs. But at the same time, they can certainly prove they are worthy with a strong April and May. Let them earn it. Delmon Young is hardly getting in the way here. You think of Howard, Utley, Werth, Victorino, all of whom had to lay claim to an everyday spot in the lineup. I hope Young gets 200ABs this season since it would likely mean that both Ruf and Brown are having success. But Young at 750k carries little risk particularly a financial one, and for a guy who hit 18 dingers last season with half of his ABs at Comerica Park.

    2. Rookies do not compete with veterans for jobs in ST. Under Cholly, the veteran always gets the job for the first half of the season, no matter how much he stinks. Young is already inked into Cholly’s lineup.

      1. RAJ specifically stated recently that he envisioned the corner outfielders competing for jobs during spring training:

        “There’s some risk in going with a possible double platoon or letting the guys we have battle it out for playing time,” Amaro said. “There are some advantages to that, as well. The best-man-wins type of scenario can be created and likely will be created in spring training. At the same time, a lot of these guys are not proven everyday major-league players. But that doesn’t mean they cannot become them.”

        http://www.the700level.com/baseball-philadelphia-phillies/news/Amaro-Phillies-likely-going-with-what-we?blockID=820907&feedID=8972

    3. The case against:

      -A terrible, terrible fielder
      -consistently terrible OBP
      -terrible clubhouse guy
      -since he can only play LF, cannot help but take ABs from Ruf with no likley added value
      -would take the roster spot of a player that could add something of need to the bench(i.e. defensive ability, speed, LH bat, etc.)

  15. Fresh off mlbtraderumors, Michael Richards and Mel Gibson both signed for 1 yr 750k to fill the other two outfield sports.

  16. In response to the long thread above about Young being an unfortunate signing because it takes playing time away from Ruf in left: we are really not sure Ruf can play left yet. He only started playing it later in the the season last year, and apparently he played some games there in Venezuela, but it’d be a real stretch to suggest that he’s ready to play the position. Yes, I realize Delmon Young is terrible defensively, but we really have very little idea on Ruf. It may be that they need to take a long look at him out there in Spring Training before they decide if he can be a major league outfielder. It may be that he needs a couple months in AAA to work things out defensively. In any of those eventualities, it’d be nice to have a low-cost, right handed option for a corner outfield spot. At $750,000, that’s all Young is–an option. If he sucks, or if he gripes, they can unload him.

    Also, clearly he’s a jerk, but there are lots of jerks in baseball. He wasn’t such a cancer that he kept Detroit from going to the ALCS last year.

    1. On the other hand, apparently Amaro said today that he envisions Young as the team’s starting RIGHT fielder. Sweet jesus. Poor, poor Domonic Brown.

      On the bright side, I can’t wait to see Ruben Amaro’s new Broadway show, “Springtime for Hitler.”

      1. Brown is a better player right now than Young, I really don’t understand what is going on. Young has no arm and cannot field. Brown is probably going to the Cubs for Soriano who they will put in Center so that they can have all of their RH power in a Ruf-Soriano-Young outfield. At what point to the pitchers revolt and demand a good defense behind them. With the Young acquisition (Michael that is) and Howard at first, and Chooch out to start the year, the only three competent defenders are Revere, Utley, and Rollins. This move also means no Inciarte defensive substitutions and Freddy can only play one position at a time.

        1. I saw Young play as a 19 year old at AAA and he played right field and had a very good arm then. I know he is a lot bigger now but wasn’t sure if he lost his arm.

      2. Is there a link? If true, one would think/hope that even the most enthusiastic dfender of Amaro would have to concede that he must go.

        I said that a Young signing couldn’t lower my opinion of Amaro, and I’ll hold to that. The signing combined with a decision to play him in right would, indeed, lower my opinion. And that’s saying a lot, given how low that opinion already was.

        1. Look, I hate to be dogmatic about this, but anyone who can defend Amaro at this point knows nothing at all about baseball. This is insane on so many levels it isn’t funny. I suspect that Amaro has a brain tumor or other serious health problem that is interfering with his cognitive abilities. He was bad before now, but not this bad. This is … this is a Dayton Moore level of incompetance.

          At this point, as someone who, despite everything, is and always be a Phillies fan, my hope is that they lose 110 games in 2013. That will get the village idiot fired, and will get the team a #1 draft pick.

          1. Though if anything it makes me more sympathetic to Amaro on a personal level. I hope he recovers fully from whatever cognitive deficit he is suffering from. But could he take a leave of absence in the meantime?

      3. I refuse to believe Delmon Young will be the Phillies’ every day right fielder. I don’t care what Ruben said, that just can’t be true.

  17. If we are getting a headcase I would rather have Melky Cabrera. Only positive I see is when we need a DH, Young will be ok.

    1. Agreed – that was the moving I was rooting for. Not a great guy either but could have really been a great, cost-effective addition if all went according to plan and would have even been fine if his performance had taken a step back since his contract was so reasonable.

  18. Larry you come on here and made a really imo stupid statement. and from a guy on relies on stats, how can you say young is a worse hitter than ruf or brown, there is no bases for that statement, i never saw young play, but he has had a couple of decent years not great but better than what, brown has shown so far,The guy is a 284 career hitter, not bad, not great if he cant field, but imo a insurance policy if ruf and brown, are bad, at least he can hit a little,and last if he is worst than brown in the outfield thats bad, brown isnt very good, misjudges balls, drops balls, takes bad routes to balls, maybe i have seen a diffeernt brown then you, are you talking about ollie brown who used to play??

    1. Because he is absolutely correct. Young as a good batting average, because he has no on base skills to speak of. Youngs CAREER OBP is .002 higher than Brown’s despite a .050 lead in batting average, and in 2012 Brown’s OBP was .020 higher than Young. Young had an ISO of .144, Brown has an ISO of .161. He cannot field at all, in 2012 Young only played 31 games in the field and cost his team 1.7 wins during that time (Brown was worth -.9, mostly in RF over 51 games). Delmon is also one of the slowest players in baseball and is station to station with bad instincts. Young has a Career WAR of .6, that is an average of .075 wins per year, he is barely a replacement level player.

      If you want to look just at RH hitters, he is almost identicle to John Mayberry Jr, except when it comes to everything but hitting (clubhouse, running, and defense) Mayberry is a superior player. This move has nothing to do with the money it is the fact that they gave a major league to someone who is strictly worse than what they have, will block plate appearances from those guys, is a terrible clubhouse presence. They did it all because they want something that doesn’t matter or they already have in RH outfield bat (Mayberry was almost as good as Ross and he is much better than Young)

      1. That’s a difficult argument to buy when leading off by pointing out that Young’s career average is .05 points higher than Brown’s and his career OBP is .002 better. It’s still better. Young also has a higher career slugging percentage by a wide margin. The comparison itself is also faulty due to the length of service of the players we are trying to compare. We know very little about Ruf and have yet to see Brown get 250PAs in a season. Young is not going to block appearances from anyone. If Brown hits, he’ll play. If Ruf hits, he’ll play.

        1. When will they get a chance to play? Spring Training is the worse place to evaluate hitting ability in baseball, because the pitchers are working on so many thing. There is plenty of evidence to point to bad luck for Brown batting average so far (the LD rate is good) and when it normalizes his numbers will look much better

          1. I just think there’s enough ABs to go around. Unless one of Brown, Ruf or Young breaks out in a big way, I don’t see any of the three accumulating 550+ PAs. If all three are on the opening day roster then it plays out in April.

            Again, I’m not for the signing. I think adding another suspect defender in the outfield and behind a loaded pitching staff is generally a bad idea. I just don’t think it’s quite as bad a signing as many here are contending

          2. Matt,I don’t understand your behavior on this minimal signing and perhaps he gets traded in mid season to a AL team who needs a DH. You usually don’t act like this.

            1. Because Amaro has come out and declared him the starting right fielder (he is horrible in left and RF is harder). At first it looks like posturing but you don’t posture and destroy the confidence of your best hope for the position, Brown. A lot of my opinion toward this is less about Young himself, we already know he is terrible in all three phases of the game (offense, defense, base running), Amaro has gone out of his way to block better players (Brown and Mayberry, and likely Ruf) while also declaring his distain for the walk and love of the RBI.

              He has no value has evidenced by 750,000 contract with weight incentives. He will not be healthy in spring training and handed the job when he gets back. It is a huge opportunity cost more than monetary

            2. Perhaps he is using him to motivate Brown to turn the switch on and play well and Ruf to keep motivated in his development. Brown should be helped by the presence of Sandberg as a coach. Delmon Young could also be our DH in Inter league games and as a platoon in RF against left handed pitching. Either way it cheap short term deal and is a low risk/high reward signing as their is no stand out RH hitters in FA. Lastly,Delmon’s roommate will either be Chase Utley or Michael Young who are hard nosed players and may be able to keep him in line. May the best players get the playing time and have competion to keep sharp.

            3. It’s not low risk if they force him into the starting job ahead of younger or more deserving players. It then becomes more of a high risk/low reward move.

              I’m not really following the high reward part of your post either. Based on his draft position I guess. He’s never been a high reward player in his 7 ML seasons, 4 games in the ALCS aside.

      2. Again while listening to WIP and Gargano who is cholly’s buddy, he is intimating that this has more to do with Brown than Ruf. I do not think that Charlie like Brown at all. I hear things like lack of hustle, lack of baseball brain, I am not sure if there is a divide in the org on the thinking of Brown but he is not being handed the job this spring.

          1. Funny part is health wise the only 2 sure things at corner OF are actually Ruf and Mayberry, though Ruf has never had a season of OF wear and tear to go through. I understand the logic of the move and at that price I guess it is worth the lottery ticket shot. My worry is that it is going to be another Charlie production of the vet gets the time unless the rookie hits lights out.

      3. The move might almost make a little sense if Ruf were not around and the team was strictly committed to a double-platoon system with the corner outfielders. But as it is, it just does not make any sense unless Young completely remakes himself as a hitter which, despite his age, is highly unlikely since his stats are headed in the wrong direction and he plate discipline is eroding, not improving. But as Larry suggests, it’s not so much this move in isolation as it is an aggregation of unfavorable moves – a death of a thousand cuts if you will.

  19. young may be a terrible person. thats not the point, the point is right now brown and ruf arent the offensive player that young is, simple and true, brown is a 236 lifetime hitter, young is 284. he is insurance as i stated if ruf and brown dont hit, thats all, and he is cheap, dont see what is so bad about having a right handed hitter, to play on days lefthand pitchers are starting against phillies, IF he is the cancer you all say. what did they risk 750 thousand dollars, not a lot by todays standards,yes i would rather have hamilton,but we didnt get him. so we take a chance on young, its a stopgap imo. if this team doesnt play well, i really believe, you will see them let utley walk, trade jimmy if they find a taker, not resign roy, and rebuild, the only contract thats bad will be howard, and i dont see anyway to get rid of that one.

    1. Once again, the fallacy of judging a guy by his career numbers, when the bottom has fallen out of his career.

      1. It’s not just that … he was lousy when he broke in, and has been lousy in 6 of his 7 major league seasons. And not much better in the 7th. His career numbers stink.

        Look, I don’t engage roccom. He seems like a nice enough guy, just not very knowledgeable about baseball. But since it has becoming increasingly obvious that he is actually Reuben Amaro, maybe we should start. Okay, probably not really, but he seems to evaluate players the way that Reuben does. Young is the poster child of the type of player that gets over rated by the casual, uninformed fan. His pluses are a decent BA and mid range power, but:

        (1) He is and has always been one of the worst players in the league at drawing BB (and trending downwards) (3rd worst since 2006 for players with 3000 plus PA; the two players worse are middle infielders, one of whom is terrible, and the other redeemed only somewhat by being decent defensively);
        (2) A lousy base runner;
        (3) He has either no defensive value (when playing DH) or tremendous negative defensive value (when playing LF);
        (4) he has some ancillary weaknesses, including a high GDP rate.

        Someone with decent baseball knowledge – not necessarily advanced statistical knowledge, just traditional baseball knowledge as it exists in the 21st century (i.e., informed by the most uncontroversial findings of the statistical revolution) looks at that combination and sees what Young is – a replacement level player. But the casual fan, who overvalues BA and mid-range power (and RBI, which I did not list as a strength but the causal fan and Amaro see as a strength), and undervalues defense, base running, and BB, sees that combination and concludes “decent player.”

        But he isn’t now and (aside from one season in the middle of his career) has never been even that. Measured by WAR, an imperfect measure but IMO one that perfectly captures Young’s sub mediocrity, he is the worst position regular in the majors since 2006.

        1. Outside of M. Young and Francour right Larry? My worry with this move is that all of their posturing has been that he will be the starter in RF when healthy. Previous experience tells us that once that happens he will be given months to work out of any slumps ala. Ibanez. The contract sufficiently protects the Phils from Young and make it a reasonable gamble, but the contract does not protect the Phils from themselves and the proclivity of Charlie to play his favorites. In the end we need to wait and see what happens because every word that comes out of their mouthes is with purpose and often does not reflect the truth. Oh and for you hardcore SABR guys check out the RAJ interview on 97.5 with Missanelli you will love it.

          1. Worst WAR by Position Player in 2012:
            1. Jeff Francoeur (-2.7 WAR)
            2. Michael Young (-2.4 WAR)
            8. Ty Wigginton (-1.7 WAR)
            20. Delmon Young (-1.2 WAR)
            22. Ryan Howard (-1.2 WAR)

            Yeah it is going to be an awesome 2013

  20. I’m really a little shocked by the reaction here. Talk about drinking the cool aid.

    I now realize that only a sustained streak of losing seasons will change some people’s minds about Amaro. I expect that two years from now, people will be telling me that they realize that I was correct about Amaro (just as some people gave me retroactive credit for my opinion about the Pence deal).

    I just hope that ownership also wakes up at some point. The best case scenario at this point is probably a return to contention in 2020 (2 more years of Amaro, then 5 years to rebuild).

  21. What worries me about the Young signing is Amaro apparently saying something about envisioning him as the starting RFer. If he takes time away from Dom this will be awful. I could live with Ruf getting stashed in AAA because I’m still not sold on him (although he’s probably a better option than Young because there is some unknown). Young wouldn’t be a terrible platoon partner for one of the corners if we go double platoon but he’s not anything we didn’t already have in Mayberry or Ruf who both can mash lefties as well if not better than Young. I think it’s just funny that we’re more willing to give someone else’s troubled (read: not living up to expectations) top prospect a shot but not our own in Domonic Brown.

  22. So Matt Winks and Larry, as an admin and one of the more visible posters on PP, are you officially going on record that the Delmon Young signing is horrendous, say, 1 out of 10 if ranking low to high? Just curious as I would certainly not rate it a 10, but am confident that it is at least a 5 or better. And I should add, I would consider it null should he be released prior to OD which is consistent with my contention that the risk of this signing is somewhat mitigated by its price tag, i.e. 750k (I’ll leave the bonuses out of the equation since it would only strengthen my argument if they were reached). You want to sleep on it?

    1. The thing that keeps me from really going off the handle over this signing is thinking that, if Ruf turns out to be terrible, Young could make a solid platoon half in LF. But I really don’t want him usurping at bats from Brown or Ruf if they’re at all productive.

    2. I have essentially been preparing for this since the beginning of the offseason. I am really concerned by Amaro saying he is the starting RF and that he won’t be ready for opening day, meaning the chances of him being DFA’d early are low. I am not concerned about the money, I think Brown has much higher upside and Mayberry is just a better player. I think this is a case where Amaro set is mind on getting something and failed at other options like Ross, Soriano, and Wells (a real illustrious list of names). Young is just not a good player and I would put the signing at a 2 purely because it is not a lot of money but otherwise it is a large opportunity cost, even if Young matches his career best he will not put this team over the top and I think Brown and Ruf have the upside to do that. This team should have an eye beyond 2013 and Young is a look back not even at 2013.

      1. The upside of the dl thing is that it may give the other outfielders breathing room to claims their spots.

    3. Okay … first of all, it depends partly upon how he is used and upon what other moves this sparks. It also depends upon what the rating scale means – is 5 a “neutral” move that neither hurts or helps? That seems to be about how you are treating it. Or is “zero” a neutral move, and we go into negative numbers if it is actively harmful?

      Even apart from those questions, as with some other moves this off season, there is a difference between a high risk/high reward move that might have significant downside, but could significantly help the team (the Pence acquisition comes to mind), and a low risk/low reward move that can’t realistically help the team but probably doesn’t hurt it much (this deal, if you assume that Amaro and Manuel will use him in a rational manner; i.e., as a bench guy with about 150 AB).** The former may be worse from a negative value perspective, but the latter is worse in the sense that is is more obviously a bad move.

      With that preface, I think would say this: this is a move with no upside*, and, depending upon how Young is used, could actively hurt the team, not just in 2012 but for years to come. The simple fact is that I wasn’t exaggerating – Young hits the trifecta of being a lousy ball player, as lousy presence in the club house, and a lousy human being. Why would you ever want such a player on your team?

      So to answer your question, on a scale of zero to ten, I’d give this deal a negative eleven.

      *Yes, yes, one can come up with an unlikely scenario where Young has a personality transplant and actually helps the team a little; the chance is so remote as to not be worth considering.

      **Of course the worst case scenario is that it ends up being one of the worst moves in club history – Young a negative 2 WAR right fielder, Brown traded for a bag of balls, and Brown goes on to have a 20 WAR career.for someone else. I agree the chance of all of this happening is low, but it’s at least an order of magnitude more likely than Young actually helping the team.

      1. I’ve been off the grid for a few days so when I saw this come out yesterday I couldn’t wait to here the thoughts of the board.

        Even if Young has somehow found enlightenment as a person there is no way he is an everyday RF so again its a move that makes zero sense.

        Brown strikes me as a super talented kid (offensively) who lacks confidence. I thought if he could just get a little security that the job was his to start and he could get off to a good start his career would take off. All this move does IMO is strike another blow to that kids confidence.

        I hope Dom has the mental toughness to stick this move in their face.

        1. I feel the same way about the treatment of Brown. Maybe the only saving grace of this move is that RA knows something we don’t about Brown and that the competition will light a fire under him. But that doesn’t seem to jive with what we’ve seen.

    4. Steve, agree with you about how people are overreacting to this signing like it was a 5 year contract for $50 million. This signing is an insurance policy if Brown or Ruf has difficulties and he will probably be at best a platoon with Brown.

  23. Why would I receive a notice stating “Your comment is awaiting moderation.” when trying to post here? Is this new or am I under double-secret probation for some reason?

    1. You are the first accidental victim of one of the filters I put in that were slowing down FreeAEC over the weekend. I can’t tell you what it was because it would defeat the purpose but it had nothing to do with you personally or the actual content of your post, I am still trying to stay one step ahead right now so I apologize for any temporary inconveniences

      1. OK, i used one of the words that shall not be written in another post and that’s why it didn’t show up….I posted under Ruben Amaro Jr’s Master Plan, or something to that effect.

  24. I think it was Brad a few months ago that asked for suggestions for good poll questions for the off-season. Perhaps a ‘Rate the Young Trade’ as a subset of the next General Discussion thread would generate some good, albeit heated, discussion. Just a suggestion . . .

  25. I think people at this point (i.e., after the “Young is my right fielder” comment are either (a) keeping silent about he issue because – what is there to say at this point, except that, if Amaro is serious, everything his strongest critics have said is true, or (b) assuming that this is yet another case of Amaro saying something stupid that he doesn’t really mean.

    But for those holding the latter position, consider this: even if you are right, the comment itself represents a stupid unforced error that can’t be undone. Yet again he publicly undermines Brown, Look, Brown’s a professional, but he’s human too. For a guy whose biggest problem seems to be lack of confidence, to YET AGAIN – this isn’t the first time, it is an annual ritual – have the GM publicly undermine that confidence – is mind boggling. Indefensible, whatever you think of Brown.

    1. I’d have to be in the (a) camp. He’s always so guarded and measured in what he says, I can’t see (b) being a reality.

    2. My jaw was on the floor last night when I saw Amaro saying that “ideally” Young would be the everyday right fielder followed by Salisbury saying that a) young probably won’t be ready to go opening day (which of course, exposes Rube’s lie that the RF job is a competition, or some on here who claim that he coul dbe valuable as a part-time player/bench bat) and b) that Young, a terrible defensive LF, hasn’t played RF in FIVE YEARS!!!!

      My only hope was that Young was so bad in spring training that not even Rube could defend keeping him around, but there goes that idea. This is arguable the worst defensive team in baseball at this point. Rube is one apple that fell long and far from the Gillick tree and the club is suffering from it and will continue to do so.

      1. Another hope of mine (as someone posted as a comment to an article on another site) is that maybe Rube doesn’t know the meaning of “ideally” and hence, misused the term

            1. So a position he hasn’t played in 5 years is his best positon? Amaro is off his rocker.

              Please share any more of Amaro’s gems if you can- I’m at work and can’t listen. Thanks.

            2. I just facepalmed, was the followup that they are moving Michael Young to shortstop because he can’t handle third base any more. You don’t move players up the defensive spectrum, has Amaro seen Young throw?

            3. No, I’m actually embarrassed by the extent to which I bent over backwards to be fair to the man. I said he wasn’t the worst GM in the game, and I was clearly wrong.

              People say that I never admit when I am wrong, but I admit it here: Amaro is a much worse GM than I ever imagined.

            4. This is just depressing. With the farm system and financial resources at his disposal there is no reason for this team not to constantly be in contention. And it will take years for them to fire him because they are blindly loyal and slow to move. How can he possibly be this stupid? What an arrogant dufus.

            1. Lets translate: “I don’t care about getting on base and not making outs, I care about numbers put up by others in the lineup”. I am pretty sure that Young’s 74 RBI are more a reflection of Miggy’s .393 OBP (gotten from his 66 walks) than by Young’s ability to do anything.

            2. Yeah, I am seeing it all over. I have been harsh on Amaro for a lot of things, but in general I thought he had done a pretty good job up to this point, but there is a lack of fundamental baseball that isn’t just not understand advanced statistics, there other GMs who don’t have huge statistics backgrounds but they have a knowledge of baseball, whether it is talent evaluation or just general idea of how a baseball team is constructed.

            3. I’m not clever enough to make this up. Missanelli didn’t really press RA (I suppose he wants future interviews), but he did ask the right questions (e.g., he’s not going to platoon, he’s going to be your right fielder?) and MMiss essentially said he didn’t agree with the signing after they hung up.

            4. “Much more accomplished offensive player than Dom Brown”, 2012 OPS+: Young – 89, Brown – 91, Brown drew more walks in 212 PAs than Delmon did in 608 PAs. Also if you are like RAJ and you only care about RBIs, if you extrapolate Brown’s RBIs out to Delmon’s number of PAs than Brown has just as many as Delmon.

              Apparently also he believe Sabermatricians don’t know how runs are produced, he also just quoted that he drove in more runs than any player on the Phillies. This team has too many unknowns according to him, how does he think that players get established? You have to let them play baseball.

              He also said they didn’t want to acquire Upton because they want to see what Dominic Brown can do, so they acquired Delmon Young to block him.

            5. Listening to that sounds so much worse than just reading the quotes. Hey Rube, since you’re all about “run production”: how do you expect to score runs if you don’t have guys who get on base?

            6. Phils saw their team OBP drop in 2012 for the fourth straight year, to .317. The approach didn’t change and the Phillies were a mediocre offense. They were 24th in walks. Four of the top five teams in walks made the playoffs last year, as did six of the top nine.

  26. I’m just speechless at the latest. I couldn’t imagine that I was being too easy on Amaro yesterday, but apparently I was. And I wasn’t really serious about the cognitive impairment – but now I’m thinking it almost has to be that.

    I’d rather have Dayton Moore as GM.

    1. And reading between the lines of some of the news stories, it looks like this was an Amaro move all of the way, taken against the advice of the rest of the FO and only reluctantly approved by the ownership.

      1. I was with you on thinking that Ruben has done a pretty good job up til now, even though I thought some of his moves have been awful. Even this signing I could have just brushed aside as paying next to nothing for the off chance that Delmon young turns into a much better player. After hearing that interview, though, it’s hard to deny that Ruben is just way behind the curve on some basic truths about baseball.

        I usually hate when people act like they know more than a professional GM and in this case a former player, but I just heard some flat out, shockingly dumb things come out of Ruben’s mouth. Wow.

      2. Matt, I can’t believe you wrote that and how have the Royals done lately? You know that the last place finishes won’t fly in Philadelphia. As the moderator you need to be the calming presence on this board.

    1. roccomsockem….Braves may have to give up their fine young shortstop in the deal, among other prospects.

  27. I understand larry, matts take on young. I am just looking at the guys stats, and i dont care how he gets there,but 280 and 80 rbi, it a good year to me for a 750 thousand guy,to try in the outfield, its better than what we have in mayberry,brown or ruf,and i like ruf, I have said it many times, some guys just dont walk, but get the average you like to see. just dont understand and maybe larry is right i dont know baseball, as far as how you guys judge players in war, and other stats, like i have said a lot of times, i like to see the player, then look at production, in this case i really havent seen young play, so i am doing a larry and judgeing him on his numbers. and what i see is a better version right now of ruf brown, mayberry, at a small price, if he is a cancer,i couldnt tell you, you guys are overreacting at the signing, if he is a cancer, bad clubhouse guy, thats something charlie will handle or the guy will be gone,and just to tell larry when you say i am not knowlegable in baseball, i have seen guys from mays , my idol mantle, and many others, i know a lot of this game. if you think so or not, i just dont believe in the way,the younger guys judge a player based on war, and other numbers. let me see him play ,i have seen many a player whos number werent the greatest, but love to see them play, they did the little things to win, one in mind is tony taylor,he would win you a game in may ways, yet he wasnt a 300 hitter,

    1. Hi roccom, I appreciate you sharing your thoughts. There is a lot of room for difference of opinion on baseball!

      I think there are two simple ways to understand why batting average is not all that good a number to look at when evaluating a player’s usefulness. 1) Batting average treats all hits as the same. It counts a single as a hit and it counts a homer as a hit. But a homer is better than a single. So batting average understates the value a player provides by getting extra base hits. 2) Batting average does not count walks. But a walk is better than an out. So batting average understates the value a player provides by not making outs.

      To address these shortcomings of batting average, you should look at slugging percentage, which appropriately values extra base hits, and on-base percentage, which appropriately values walks.

    2. Rocom,

      There isn’t enough time in the day to give you an answer that would satisfy you. The problem with Young isn’t just one thing, but a whole host of things, as I’ve set forth in detail. The two “positive” stats that you cite (a) aren’t all that positive, (b) are not even close to the first stats you would look at even for evaluating a player’s hitting. BA is about 4th on the list of hitting stats, and RBIs around ten millionth.

      You talk about watching him play. My guess is that neither of us have done a ton of that. I’m not sure in THIS case what we would learn, but the people that have watched him by and large don’t think much of him.

      This isn’t a close case, and not a result of any deep statistical analysis. He’s just awful at baseball in al\most every respect. He is good against left handers, but we already have two corner outfielders on the roster who are good against left handers. And Amaro is planning to use him as a full time player, which is simply indefensible.

    3. Oh, and “little things to win?” I think that’s exaggerated by a factor of about 10,000 by the causal fan, but if I’m wrong, that’s another black mark against Young, who is regarded (with justification) as a player who does all of the little things wrong. Not a smart ball players at all.

    1. OK, that comment was funnier when it was attached to the comment left before it which is under moderator review. Anyway, suffice it to say, I’ve invented a saber-metric formula that even Ruben can understand!

  28. Well, Larry’s ben right all along. Amaro is clueless. There is no evidence of a coherent approach to building a team.

  29. The last thing I want to do is be an Amaro apologist but he has a philosphy that differs from SABR that doesn’t make him wrong. If SABR was the end all be all for winning basball championships explain how the Angels didn’t make the playoffs and the A’s won 94 Games. Explain how in the past two seasons the teams with the most wins in baseball didn’t even make it to the world series.

    The game is played on real fields with grass in most instances, real dirt, real human emotion not on some stratomatic board in a living room. Presenting SABR as some absolute science is shear ignorance.

    One need only point to Brian Sabean a GM who has an illogical approach to building a team according to SABR yet some how he scores two WS wins in the last 3 seasons. The point is you don’t have to be a GM that kneels at the alter of SABR to be a good or bad GM.

      1. That’s right. Ruben’s quote yesterday is that he doesn’t care about sabermtrics but instead values “production” is a very scary comment. The fact that he sights RBIs as indicating Young’s production is even scarier. I’m far from a full fledged stat guy but even the most skeptical old timers will agree that certain advanced stats (and even basic stats like OBP, slugging, and OPS) are far more indictive of run production than RBIs. RBIs have never been seen by knowledgable baseball people as being indicative of anything.

        What we learned yesterday is what many suspected, and some on here were sure of- that Rueben does not understand where run production comes from. Therefore, we must conclude that he does not rely on ANY relevant available statistics as even a small part of player evaluation. In other words, he is making evaluations on only a portion of the information available to him which makes him negligent in his GM duties. That is akin to a CEO in the late early 2000s saying “our company is fairly successful as is, I don’t see the need to advertise on the internet.”

        We have also learned that he does not value defense even a little bit (or undertsand it) but that is another topic.

        1. No, it’s like a CEO saying that he’s not so concerned with costs and profitability, what he’s really looking at is sales.

          Honestly, for probably the first time in about 7 or 8 years, I am losing interest in the team because the GM, who went to Stanford no less, actually does not understand the value of walks to run production. It’s inconceivable, incomprehensible, rage inducing. It is cause for immediate termination. Even the not too sophisticated sportswriters understand that this is just rank negligence and stupidity.

          I will probably snap out of it, but what chance does your team have when the general manager can’t use the most basic statistical tools to figure out whether the player he is acquiring is good or not? Yes, he does seem to understand pitching, but that’s only half the equation. And, yes, the farm system is promising, but what good is it when you trade those players for other players that the GM cannot effectively evaluate based on current performance, let alone predict future performance (he’s also terrible at that too by the way – does not appear to grasp the fundamentals of the age curve)>

          Unfreakingbelievable. How’s that for a new word.

          1. Catch 22 says:
            January 24, 2013 at 11:25 AM
            No, it’s like a CEO saying that he’s not so concerned with costs and profitability, what he’s really looking at is sales.
            ————————–
            Yes, a much better analogy. Thank you.

            It’s funny, I find myself losing a bit of interest with them as well since yesterday. If he is running the club in this manner it gives me little hope for much success in the immediate, and perhaps medium term, future. I’ve pretty much become convinced that our only realistic hope to be anything other that an 80-85 win team with him in charge is that a fair number of prospects EXCEED their projections, which is never something to bet the house on.

            1. Well, smart CEOs say something like that, when sales are the only positive that they can present. If they can spin a great tale, they can build that sales argument into a soaring stock price. Look at all the internet stocks which soared, before they made penny one of profits. Like that CEO who trumpets the only positive stat he’s got, RA has got to sell tickets and is clutching at positive straws to make his winter acquisitions seem a lot better than they are. He may know how the two Young’s really look as baseball value, but he certainly isn’t going to say that publicly. If he did, ticket sales go down and Cholly goes out and demands a couple of real players, instead of the two cheap mirages that RA acquired. The Phillies 2012-13 off-season is the GM equivalent of kicking the federal budget deficit can down the road. I think if you administered a healthy dose of truth serum, RA would tell you that he gives the Phillies perhaps a 5% chance of reaching post-season in 2013 and a 40% chance of advancing beyond the wildcard game if they do reach the playoffs. The window is closing/has closed, Manuel is approaching the end of his rein, the GM has to do something. RA did something, without major foreclosing of future options. The loss of Worley and May hurt, but other than that, can successfully kicked. Hopefully we wave goodbye to Cholly after 2013 and the Phillies are reshaped for the future.

          2. He looked at Delmon Young and thought, “Hmm, if he can be sorta not fat, he can probably still play”.

            So wise. He got played by the player’s agent, if you ask me. Listen, maybe Young has changed his life since hs arrest and Amaro recognized it, but does that mean he’s going to be worth no less than $1.35M if all he does is stay kinda trim the whole year? He’s assuming not gaining weight means he’ll play better. I can hold my weight and still be lousy at baseball. I am betting Young can also.

            1. The thing is, for a team (IMO more appropriately an AL team who could DH him) that saw him as a bench/platoon guy, he’s arguably worth that. Used right, as much as it pains me to admit it, Young has some (not much) value (but you don’t need to have much value to justify a 1 million dollar contract).

              And the people defending the move – well, the people who understand player value – are making essentially this argument, that used rationally he has some value. And normally I would give the organization the benefit of the doubt and assume that they will use him rationally. But that goes against both (a) Amaro’s explicit statements, and (b) past experience with this FO and manager (and I have defended Manuel, but his love of veterans and lack of understanding of platoon advantage are weaknesses).

              (Though even used rationally, IMO he is a poor fit for the Philies, who have two right handed corner outfielders who are better in that role than Young – Mayberry definitely, and Ruf arguably. The only half way rational argument for Young (made by anonVOR) is that, if you don’t believe in Ruf, and if you want to platoon at both corner outfield spots, Young could help in that very limited role. But that’s not the plan.)

            2. That and the fact that he takes now a roster spot from a player that could provide something that the club actually needs(a LH bench bat, a defense-first OF with abit of speed who could play late in games, etc.)

            3. The best that can be said for either Young is that if they hit well, they are deadline deal candidates to an AL team seeking a DH or 1B.

          3. “let alone predict future performance (he’s also terrible at that too by the way – does not appear to grasp the fundamentals of the age curve)”

            This actually a good point that I missed the first time I read your comment. It must be added to the list….

        2. I’d make a distinction between RBIs and BBs. I think that the “conventional wisdom” on BB (and OBP) has changed more completely than the “conventional wisdom” on RBIs (which, contrary to your comment, have always played a role, out-sized IMO, in player evaluation). Even on RBIs, Amaro seems to be a real outlier in terms of the weight he places on it (of course the best organizations, e.g., Tamp Bay, the Cardinals, etc., have a more SABR friendly understanding of run production & probably place no weight on RBIs at all). But it’s his position with regard to BB that is most disqualifying. You can find a manager or two (no successful ones) who still believe that BB don’t matter, but Amaro is probably the only GM with that belief. And while OF COURSE BB are not the most important hitting stat, a GM who “:doesn’t care about” BB, over a course of years, is guaranteed to produce a below average offense.

          Add to that the comment about moving him to right field because he is a lousy fielding left fielder – really in one respect the worst comment – and it is impossible to overstate the horribleness of having Amaro as GM.

          I don’t think people quite realize just how bad the every day lineup is. Hitting, if EVERYTHING breaks right, could be mediocre, but the fielding at this point is the worst in either league. I expect that we will experience an “unexpected” apparent drop in pitching performance, which will really be a function of lousy defense.

    1. The problem with Amaro is that he is neither. Sabean is a good example of the non-SABR guy, he makes a lot of really stupid moves (you think he would like Zach Wheeler back for Carlos Beltran), but he also relies on a good scouting staff that has built a good system (I say system here broadly including guys they have graduated). He sticks to his plans though, that team is built on pitching because of its park, in the late 90s/early 2000s he built the team around Bonds, there was still a plan. His staff has been really good at putting players (especially bullpen guys) in the right positions to succeed.

      The problem with Amaro is that there is no plan. He doesn’t believe in the SABR stats (at this point walks and OBP are not SABR stats and even the most old school GM appreciates them) and he doesn’t seem to listen to the scouts. There has been no long term vision and plan for this team and it has led to a lot of panic and spontaneous moves. The frustration with Amaro isn’t that he isn’t a SABR guy it is that it is starting to look like he isn’t a baseball guy.

      Sabremetrics look to be predictive and provide more information to individuals and if you look at the stats by any system the Angels weren’t good enough to make the playoffs last year. The A’s rise was predicted by no one in the SABR or scouting community, they arrived a year earlier than even they suspected (Beane was actually trying to tank the year to get the team out of Oakland). Yes the game is played on the field but you have to able to judge talent enough to put the right players on the field.

    2. It doesn’t just differ from “SABR,” it differs from any reasonable point of view held by anyone who knows anything about baseball at all. That’s what you and some others aren’t getting. Sabean may not be a SABR guy, but he understands how to build a baseball team and how to evaluate talent. Amaro does not. We prviously had an inkling of that; after yesterday, we know that for a fact.

      No one who could give an interview such as the one yesterday should be allowed to have the smallest role on a major league baseball team, let alone GM.

      I mean, I don’t want to knock rocom, who seems like a nice guy (so does Amaro!), but he is probably the least knowledgeable commenter on this site. Yet he and Amaro seem to share the precise same way of evaluating ball players.

      1. Sabean got killed for years out in San Fran for his philosphical view of trading young players for old players. He was darn near fired for his move that brought Kent over. Kent went on to win an MVP.

        So what is my point? I don’t like this Young signing, I didn’t like the Michael Young trade but both guys might prove us wrong we’ll have to wait and see. I think what bugs me most are those that want to attack him because he does not endorse the use of advanced metrics.

        This isn’t fantasy baseball.

        Larry this is my opinion and I could be wrong but I think you are way biased to your own school of thought. You don’t like D Young it seems personal. But Roccom and RAJ do have a reasonable argument for his signing especially with the very low risk.

        It irks me a little that you would say he is the least knowledgeable commenter on this site. What makes a knowledgeable commenter anyway, I mean how do you quantify that? I don’t think it makes any of us more knowledgeable because we go to (pick your site) and look up statistics and read scouting reports to bring here and REGURGITATE as fact.

        Again until one of us starts getting a check from a MLB team for our scouting or statistcal evaluations of a player would I ever make such a remark. I still think you’re the best Larry.

        1. i don’t think it’s right to still consider walks as part of advanced metrics. It’s very basic: You need guys on base to score a lot of runs. Ruben does not understand this, as demonstrated by his statements yesterday.

          1. My little league coach knew “a walk’s as good as a hit”. We know that isn’t technically true, but when you’re bat’s as bad as mine was, (and Delmon Young’s is), it probably better you can walk when given the chance. Especially if he’s going to be so lean and trim, maybe he can steal a few basAHAAAAAAAAHHAHAHAHHAHAHA!

        2. Briefly (for me):

          (1) Pass on roccom; I’m trying to be nicer.

          (2) The problem with Amaro isn’t just this deal, but his history of deals and contracts, and his obviously lack of understanding of the game by ANY standard, as shown in that horrible interview.

          (3) Amaro’s defense of the deal isn’t a reasonable argument. There’s a reasonable argument to be made for the deal if one assumes a limited role for Young. His defense of Young as the everyday right fielder was entirely irrational.

          (4) I don’t think I have all of the answers by any means. But, to expand upon what Handzus said, when it comes to building a team that scores a lot of runs, among professionals there is a growing consensus of how it is done. Among SABR guys and “traditional” baseball guys (though increasingly, that distinction doesn’t exist – not that traditional scouting isn’t important, it is, but EVERYONE respects both scouting and statistical analysis. Or almost everyone).

          Set aside older journalists and under informed fans – among professionals, belief that BB don’t matter is akin to believing in a flat earth.

          1. And yes, it is a FACT that BB are important for scoring runs. Other things are important also, but BB – and more generally, OBP – are vital in a good offense. More vital than power, though that’s important also of course. That this is presented as at all controversial at this late date is mind boggling. I expect it of some casual fans who haven’t really looked closely at the issue, but to have a major league GM in this day and age say that is indefensible.

            1. I don’t much like what he said in the interview either nor how he came across but I learned a long time ago to pay more attention to what a person does rather than what they say.

              At the end of the day its up to Brown and Ruf to seize their opportunity and make sure he never never gets a snif at the starting job. The saving grace is that they believe he will start the season on the DL.

  30. Braves to acquire Upton for Delgado + bigger piece and I’m guessing one or two lower level prospects per MLBTR

    1. Bigger piece is Martin Prado, Braves also getting Chris Johnson. Prado is a really good player, I still think the Braves are getting the better end of the deal because they get the best player in the deal, but Prado has been the better player 2 out of the last 3 years. Definitely not a deal the Phillies could have pulled off.

    2. Upton + Chris Johnson for Prado + Delgado + Nick Ahmed + Zeke Spruill. Just doing a cursory glance I think the Braves easily win this deal if you get the Upton that is closer to MVP level.

      1. Yes if Upton plays at an MVP level they win this deal, but he only showed that once and followed it up with a pretty pathetic performance with a lot of that classic Upton pouting. I really think that at this point the Braves are really worse off than when they were last year. Take away Bourn, Chipper, and Prado and add 2 Uptons is not better. Plus subtract Ross an above avg backup which will be needed as McCann will potentially miss time to start the year and this team is not better. They got the bigger name and potential,. but Prado to me has more value in that he can play 2 infield positions pretty well and also play the OF while hitting around 300 and if you like ops for their career Prado – 109 Upton – 117.

        1. I agree with you — they’re possibly worse this year. But this is a good move for them nonetheless since they give away one year of Prado for a few years of Upton.

      2. Don’t think its much of a win for Atlanta. Johnson is a negative WAR player, especially defensively and Prado/Upton are a wash (Prado is actually better) based on the last 3 years. I would certainly take Upton over Prado based solely on age/talent but current production isn’t much different.

        Wildcard will be what kind of career Delgado has and that will most likely determine who wins the deal.

  31. Per the Inky: Asche, Joseph, Morgan, Simon and Friend all invited to Spring Training. Interested to see how they hang in:

    “Extra bases. The Phillies invited six more players to spring training, including third baseman Cody Asche and catcher Tommy Joseph, two of the team’s top position-player prospects. Also invited were pitchers Adam Morgan, Kyle Simon, and Justin Friend. . . . Outfielder Joe Mather, who played in 103 games for the Cubs last season, was signed to a minor-league deal and added to camp. Mather, 30, is a career .219/.271/.357 hitter in 229 major-league games.”

    http://www.philly.com/philly/sports/phillies/20130124_Domonic_Brown_has_another_chance_to_show_Phillies_he_deserves_to_start.html

  32. Brown …

    First of all, to clarify a discussion up thread, going purely on major league performance so far, overall Brown really has been pretty bad. Arguably even (a little) worse than Young. The point is that Brown has done this in less than 500 major league PA, and there is still plenty of reason to think that he may be something more. In fact, he is almost certainly better than his major league performance to date – the question is, how much better.

    Young OTOH, with over 3000 major league PA is what he is. (And that’s pretty stinky.)

    But what now to do with Brown? I think it’s clear that he will never be given a chance to succeed with the Phillies. So for his sake, he should be traded, even for a very low return. It won’t hurt the Phillies, since they won’t allow themselves to benefit from his potential value. And even if is does hurt them, all the better. 110 losses baby – #1 draft pick and the village idiot gets fired.

      1. You’re right that they won’t lose that many games.

        As for wishing they would, I am fully aware that most people will not share my perspective. But, for the reasons stated (getting rid of the village idiot, the #1 pick), I think that, from a perspective purely of “how best to return the team to perennial contending status,” a 110 loss season makes a ton of sense.

        1. But to get to 110 losses would probably mean injuries/ineffectiveness to a number of guys we need production from after next year. I don’t know if we want to go down that road.

        2. Even if they lose 110 games (nearly impossible due to pitching as Matt points out) are we sure that gets Amaro fired? He seems to be the groomed golden boy by the powers that be and this owenership group, despite their positives, have always been slow with such changes…

        3. Cheering for your team to be a 110 loss team is pretty pathetic, regardless of your feelings towards the FO.

    1. I think there’s a good chance Brown gets the strong side platoon in LF next year. Given Brown’s shaky performance in RF, having him play LF might be the best thing for him anyway. I wonder more if the Young signing means they think Ruf is incapable of playing the OF or at least a hedge against that possibility. If you remove Ruf from the equation, we did need another RH bat. It’s not an awful move in that context, provided they come to their senses between now and opening day about Young playing RF.

        1. He does have a good arm, but Brown has been a bad RF. Both the scouting reports and the limited big league numbers point to this.

          1. We don’t know for a fact how bad Young would be in RF at this point, but he has been horrible in LF, and lacks the one skill that a RF needs to be successful. Even given Brown’s problems, I think it is reasonable to assume that Young would be even worse in RF than would Brown..

            There’s also reason to believe that Brown will improve as a fielder (the trend line is in his favor). But even if he doesn’t. likely we are talking about the difference between bad (Brown) and horrible (Young).

            1. Agreed. I don’t want Young in RF ever. I just think it might be to Brown’s benefit to move to LF. I’m still holding out hope for a Brown/Young platoon in LF and a Nix/Mayberry platoon in RF.

            2. Dom vs Delmon by Dave Murph, CSN:
              ‘Again, at the rates both players have posted over the last two seasons, this is how a season of 600 plate appearances would look:

              Domonic Brown: 600 PAs, 195 times on base, 14 home runs, 30 doubles, 4 triples, 98 strikeouts, 64 RBIs, 70 runs, 11 GIDPs.
              Delmon Young: 600 PAs, 179 times on base, 16 home runs, 26 doubles, 1 triple, 106 strikeouts, 75 RBIs, 58 runs, 21 GIDPs.

              Really, the best anybody can say for Young is that the two players’ production has been similar. The big difference, of course, is that we at least have enough of a sample size to say that Young can be expected to give the Phillies mediocre production. Maybe you think we have enough of a sample size to say the same thing about Brown, and that he has already peaked at 24 years old, and that Young after seven years in the majors has more upside. I’m just not sure that it makes sense to give Delmon Young his fourth opportunity to fulfil his potential before giving Domonic Brown his first real one’.

      1. I would feel the same way if Ruben hadn’t said he wants Young to start in right field. As a hedge against the very real possibility that Ruf doesn’t cut it, he’s fine. As a starting right fielder even if Ruf is ok it left, it’s baffling.

    2. I still don’t want to trade Brown. Maybe Young comes to Philly and really falls in love with cheesesteaks to the point where he can no longer roll onto the field, and the Phillies are forced to do the most awful, horrible, nightmare inducing thing imaginable: play Dom Brown regularly. And maybe he’ll show them what a bunch of dunces they are, and we’ll luck out.

      Also, rolled into the poop nuggets that came out of Amaro’s mouth in his radio interview yesterday was the assertion that Young was a good signing because he had more RBIs than anyone on the Phils last year. Apparently lost on Rube was that DY also had way more plate appearances than anyone besides Rollins, and that Brown was on a similar HR/RBI pace. So we can see that the threshold to impress Rube is quite low. If Brown can find a way to put up 70 RBIs and 15 HRs, the team could change its mind about him. Unfortunately it will probably require an injury or absolute ineffectiveness by a teammate to allow him to get there.

      1. You forgot to add that Young hit behind Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder with their .393 and .412 OBPs respectively. That makes Young’s RBI numbers incredibly unimpressive.

        If we want to venture into the realm of stats that don’t matter even more, if we extrapolate Howard’s RBI numbers to a full season its 110+. I just don’t understand Amaro.

        1. IMO, Amaro is banking on Utley and Howard to return offensively to their past ‘production’ and all the other pieces …Young and Young…fall into their proper place. For that to happen their lines would have to look something like this: Utley-.285/.370/.475/.850 and Howard-.265/.350/.550/.900….just not sure that can happen at this point of their careers.

      2. Don’t get me wrong, I wish we had a different GM, but I think we might be overreacting a bit to the interview. DY is being paid like a part time OF. We only had one right-handed hitter who we know can play the OF so we did need another cheap option. When he goes on the radio, what is RAJ supposed to say? That Young sucks? The contract itself is an acknowledgement that his skills are limited. He’s talking to a large audience of relatively unsophisticated fans so the RBI comments don’t really bother me. It’s a number that an average fan can relate to that’s also complimentary of the player he just signed. Let’s wait until DY is the starting RF on opening day before we kill this.

        I thought the Michael Young trade was way more of an indictment against RAJ than this move.

          1. Yeah, you’re right. I guess I was just trying to stay optimistic, but I listened to the interview again and it’s pretty infuriating.

          2. It’s even worse when you finish the sentence: “I care about production.”

            Productive players don’t play for $750,000. Ruben knows that.

            1. Yeah, but they do play for $3.25 million, which is what Amaro could end up paying him.

              I can’t talk about this stupid deal anymore, it makes my head hurt.

            2. Haha, I’m with you. I wish Ruben hadn’t given any interviews about this deal so I could maintain my fantasy that this was purely insurance, exactly like I did with Michael Young.

        1. If all this move was just about bringing another RH bat to compete for an outfield (possibly platoon) spot and a low cost hedge against Ruf not being anything. I would not have had a big problem with this signing. However, the things RAJ said in that interview were just baffling. Young gave away all his offensive value in just 31 games in LF can you imagine him playing 150 in RF?

  33. Why do we need a gm DPHEY,all they have to do is look at saber-metric and pick there team. no need for scouts, or player personal, its the way . that championship teams are build. amaro needs to fire all personal people today, and just read the saberic on each player, and he will be gm of the year. lmao

    1. No one is saying that roccom, and really it’s comments like this that make the anti-stats crowd look so bad. Have you even been reading people’s comments? The point is that Amaro is a horrible GM by ANY standard, traditional or modern stat based. He’s bad at every part of his job (with the arguable exception of running a decent minor league operation, though his major “talent” there seems to be choosing some good people and delegating authority to them).

    2. And roccom, the other thing that you don’t get is that the value of BB and OBP is no longer an insight limited to the “SABR” crowd. Obviously there are exceptions, some generational, some just, well, idiotic, but among major league front offices, scout, and talent evaluators, the value of BB and OBP is almost universally recognized. Even among non-SABR people (though they, too, are a vanishing breed – the anti stat crowd doesn’t seem to be aware the extent to which virtually every organization – at this point, I think every organization but the Phillies – uses advanced statistical analysis.

      And, in terms of my last response, it is true as I said that no one is saying that all you need to succeed as a GM is advanced statistical knowledge, but increasingly as a component of success it is quite important, and, increasingly, GMs have an analytic background, not SABR per se, but very a SABR friendly community, and perhaps more to the point, comfortable working with numbers (e.g., Daniels, trained in applied economics, Friedman, a former analyst at Bear Stearns). There are a bunch of other GMs, too many to list, who don’t have those kind of backgrounds but who are known for fully adopting advanced statistical analysis (not alone, of course, but in combination with traditional scouting).

      1. Kind of a side issue, but Ii do think that guys like Daniels and Friedman are the wave of the future a MLB GMs. Smart guys with an analytic background who never played baseball professionally. List the best run organizations in baseball – Rangers, Rays, Cardinals the top 3 probably? Those two guys and Mozeliak, who also never played the game professionally.(though he coached HS). Byrnes is another in that mold.

        1. I think the future is now – these guys are already entrenched as a group and are part of the big league landscape (and some have failed already and are on the outside looking in). I can’t wait until someone finally has the guts (I would say “balls” but for reasons that will become immediately obvious, the reference is especially inappropriate here) to hire Kim Ng to be their GM. By all accounts she is incredibly smart and experienced and just really knows her stuff and would probably be fantastic, but has been stuck under a horrible glass ceiling due to the all boys nature of professional male sports. I’d love somebody like Epstein to break the mold and give her her shot. I cannot imagine it happening in Phiadelphia with the Dave Montogomery and his buddies running the show (sorry for soundling like Free AEC with that last comment, but it’s pretty apt in this instance).

          1. Kim right now is a SrVP in MLB Ops….she will get her chance, but then again, why have the headaches of a GM!

            1. Because I think it’s what she wants and what she deserves. The same reason why Jackie Robinson wanted to play in the big leagues even though he knew that many people and players would treat him like dirt.

        2. Man I think you are giving those guys way to much credit what have Daniels and Friedman won? Don’t get me wrong I like all of them but I am not enamoured with either. I like Mozeliak quite a bit. I like the chances that he took on Berkman and letting Pujols walk. I like the Beltran sign.

          Friedman’s drafts were not that difficult if memory serves me correct he had 11 of the first 59 picks in 2011. Does he get credit for having such a crappy team to acquire that many picks IDK.

          Can you judge them by number of regular season wins 09-12? Amaro’s teams have 373 wins the next closest is Texas with 366. Mozeliak is the only one with a WS and it happened in a season where the Phils won 102 games and the Cards 90.

          We’ve been critical of Amaro and rightly so but I don’t think we’ve been fair.

          1. I don’t know. He obviously deserves no credit for winning with Howard/Utley/Hamels/Ruiz/Rollins/Victorino/Werth, etc. Other than obtaining Doc and Lee (the first time around) we need to look at the Howard and Papelbon contracts, the Pence trade, Delomon Young, Polanco, etc.

            1. And neither have contributed to the number of wins you attributed Ruben which is what I was responding to. .

              But since you mentioned it, I do not think Joseph was a great return considering what Rube paid for Pence in the first place. The jury is still out on Martin.

            2. We like Aumont, but everybody hated trading Lee when it was made. It looked bad at the time and in hindsight it was bad. The prospects we get back from other teams is really more about the Phillies’ scouts though. So he can’t get too much blame for the specific prospects he got back; maybe the scouts told him it would be a great haul. By the same hand, he can’t get much credit for Joseph or Martin. He does get credit for finding those deals and negotiating for those players though.

            3. And Gillies was a decent piece who didn’t work out because of injury, (or hasn’t yet, anyway). I just think the overall haul for Lee was weak, but forced by ownership. That’s not Ruben’s fault. Maybe he could have waited for a better deal from someone else, but it doesn’t seem like he wasn’t given that luxury. He basically was trading one year of Lee and our prospects for 4-5 yrs of Doc and the Seattle bunch. Not extraordinarily lopsided on its face, but in the context of winding up signing Lee the next off-season anyway, it looks really quite bad. That’s an indictment of the entire FO, including ownership, moreso than of Ruben specifically.

              That said, Ruben is still a dumb jerk and I hate him.

            4. Petition to give the site a subheader and make “Ruben is still a dumb jerk and I hate him” the first one.

            5. The Lee trade was simple. RA had a surprising chance to get Halladay, the best pitcher in the game. He could only afford Halladay if he traded Lee. The owners were not willing to allow that large a salary over-budget to stay on the books for even days. The Lee trade happened at a time when a lot of teams had spent their budget and the pickins were lean. Likely RA was also afraid of stirring up competitors for Halladay. The two trades were paired. I think it is much more nerve-soothing to view it as a three-team deal. It was a huge 3-way trade and we won the trade hands down. I still believe that Aumont and Gillies will both help the major league Phillies. Ramierez, of course, will not, but he never seemed like much from day 1. Both Aumont and Gillies had flaws, but both had extraordinary talents.

            6. Those guys may yet help the Phillies, but at the time neither was the type of elite prospect you would expect in return for an elite SP. There were scouts who felt that Gillies would only be a 4th OF, even before his legs went all wonky on him with the Phils. Aumont had already been deemed a failed starter by the M’s. The best defense for Amaro is to blame the ownership instead. That may be a totally valid point, but it was still a bad trade no matter who was at fault.

            7. Let’s be honest. RA assembled a great team in 2011. It is not his fault it didn’t go to the WS. The 2010 team was also very good. Last year was an injury-disaster and likely a sign that the window had already mostly closed, due to aging/injury of the core. Even for 2013 Hamels/Lee/Halladay/Papelbon is a gigantic plus in the playoffs, if the team can somehow crawl into the playoffs. To me, this winter is a wishy-washy disaster, but the team still has a small chance. I don’t think the addition of either Young really helps the team. I’m not as high on Revere as some, but admit their is something there and I could be pleasantly surprised by his upside. The biggest winter problem is allowing Cholly a last hurrah, but I really don’t see that as having been RA’s decision to make.

            8. Let me get this straight. You’re giving RAJ a pass for for the 2010 and 2011 team, but have a problem with Charlie managing the last year of his contract? So it’s Charlie’s fault the team couldn’t score, or that Lee blew a lead, or that the team was hit with injuries last year?

          2. The sabermetrics cult is almost unbearable at this point. We should just hire a MIT kid out of college to develop a program which spits out optimal lineups based on advanced stats.

            1. You should read the comments before you post. Is having a GM that uses even basic statistics (not even counting advanced stats) AND traditional baseball sense too much to ask for? every othe rteam does it. Far from that, as others have correctly pointed out, Rube is apparently using neither at the moment.

            2. Phillies do have a hired person with a SABR background. Though he is a teenager, Ruben does at times listen to his son!

            3. This is an un-winnable battle on one level, and an already won battle on another. Some people will never accept statistical analysis, but the people who count (professional baseball people) mostly already do.

              The reality (which most but not all statistically inclined people realize), is that not every conclusion of the modern baseball statistical analysis has an equal claim to truth. There’s certainly stuff out there that is open to question. I doubt that front offices use WAR that much, for example, and defensive statistical analysis is still in its infancy. Those are just two examples.

              But when dealing with the stronger findings of the SABR era (e.g., most of the conclusions about hitting) calling it a “cult” is akin to someone in Newton’s day talking about the “gravity” cult.

              Of course none of this takes away from mds’ point that this is not just (or even primarily) about advanced statistics.

              Though I will say that the specific suggestion about lineup construction is probably a good one. :) That said, the biggest takeaway from lineup studies is that line up construction (i.e., batting order) doesn’t make a huge difference.

            4. It’s interesting too how the argument about defense has shifted. Apart from Amaro, professional baseball men have always realized the importance of good defense. In the early days, the SABR crowd underestimated defense. This is one area where the SABR crowd has come around to the traditional point of view. At the same time, though, the causal fan (and Reuben Amaro) massively underestimates the value of good defense, and thinks that emphasizing the importance of defense is some geeky SABR plot.

              Interesting times.

            5. I’ll admit that, unlike BBs, where the evidence (revealed preference plus his comments) is unambiguous, with defense there is some evidence cutting the other way. But:

              (1) The team during his tenure has gone from having one of the best defenses in the league to having probably the worst. Much of that is an aging roster, but not all of it, and Amaro has done little to counter the trend.
              (2) This dovetails with #1, but most of his personnel moves among position regulars have been to acquire players with sketchy defense. The Youngs this year, Ibanez, you could argue that Pence falls into that category though he probably was better before the trade than after, somewhat excusing that. Some ancillary acquisitions, e.g., Wiggington. OTOH, he did sign Polanco and traded for Revere. He does not seem to have been the architect of the Revere trade, though he obviously signed off on it.
              (3) Some of his comments about players. This is also ambiguous – is he just puffing, or does he really believe some of the things he says (e.g., about Ibanez’ defense)? I think there is some reason to believe that he shares the unsophisticated view that all that counts in outfield defense is error rate, not range.

            6. It is funny that people still bring this holy war between sabermetrics and old school guys. Most of the stats guys are huge proponents of in person scouting to understand the stats. The real battle is between those that believe the old school stats batting average, runs, RBI, errors, fielding %, wins, etc are valid stats for evaluation vs those who like WAR, obp, slg, ops, UZR, FIP, K/9, ISO, etc. It is not that sabermetric guys are saying do away with the people and replace them with computers, they are saying do away with stupidity.

              When it comes to your MIT guy, the study was already done and there are plenty of models for the ideal line up (players wise) it is usually worth 1-2 wins a year and even less for batting order.

    3. Scouts and player development play a huge roll in the minors – even bigger in than sabermetrics! However, once you get a guy who is 27 years old and is basically done developing and who has had thousands of at bats (data) – that’s when statistics should be given more weight.

      I’ll give you one that will burn this forum down – I really do believe that a properly programmed ‘deep blue’ style computer program (using sabermetric) tools could lead the Phillies to a better Win/Loss record than Cholly (or any other manager could)!

  34. I think at 27 it’s conceivable that Young (as well as D Brown, and even Michael Young at 36 and concentrating on 3B) can improve on his defense. Not sure how/why Young’s D got so bad, but it’s not like he’s old, slow and lacking talent… Anyway, I think, in general, some of the hard-line stances on guys using defensive statistics as the basis (i.e. Delmon Young, Michael Young) are overstated. Defensive play can be improved with practice/repetition/focus. Guess we’ll see.

    Found this on Fangraphs (re: Delmon Young): http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/what-delmon-young-was/

    “Kevin Goldstein, in February 2007:

    The Good: Pure hitting skills that are unparalleled in the minor leagues. Ultra-fast bat, plenty of raw strength and enormous plate coverage allow for projections of a .300+ average with 25-35 home runs annually. Not just a one-dimensional talent, Young is a tick-above-average runner and an excellent base stealer, as well as a good outfielder with an outstanding arm.”

    1. Michael Young: Was never a good fielder, he has ok instincts but he is old and slow and has zero range

      Delmon: He got fat and unathletic. He also lack instincts, he is terrible on the bases, and his routes are terrible in the OF.

      If the argument is that the Youngs have a chance to get better than they are now we are better off playing Brown and Asche because their chance of achieving success is better than the Youngs.

    2. I’ll buy your projection of improved D from Brown. Brown at 36, playing a position he has’t played in years and wasn’t good when he last played it? That sounds totally, unrealistically optimistic. Delmon? I don’t know, it starts with less weight and an improved attitude. He’s destroyed his body. It’s possible if he realizes he’s hit bottom and really works hard to turn his career around. Not likely, but possible. It takes a character guy, which he isn’t, to manage such a turnaround. The ankle also needs to be good.

      1. The problem is that there is almost no glimmer of hope. If he had turned his life around, looked like a fitness model and was raring to go, I might cut Ruben some slack. But he’s fat and injured and cannot train properly until he is better. Aside from the age issue, the signing is the worst of all worlds.

  35. In related news:

    I am going to Tweet Andrew Bynum and ask him to take Delmon Young bowling before opening day. I will also ask him to send Young a referral to that super medical clinic Bynum went to in Germany.

  36. I am going to boo Delmon Young every chance I get. I haven’t done that since the good old days of David Bell. I’m on a partial season ticket plan, so feel free to come by section 144 and join me. Boo Delmon!!!!

    1. Ah, good olde section 144. I love that section. I loved that we would always kill the wave. I loved that we were forced to stop saying people sucks so we started being more verbose with our criticism. My friend I had the plan with use to go in a Spartan(Roman actually) uniform every Sunday. We had a cool beer guy and a good feeling in that section. And then the Phillies won the world series and idiots bought season tickets. One guy(who had season tickets) asked me who Pat Burrell was.

  37. I’ve got to say, I’m stunned by the venom the Young signing is drawing. The guy is a few years removed from a decent season and is cheap — even if he hits all his incentives. So what if RAJ sees him playing in RF every day? Brown just has to outplay him for it. Same with Ruf in left.

    It’s not like this is a rebuilding year. The Phils still have Lee/Halladay/Hamels, a good bullpen, and a healthier lineup than the past few years. I can’t see how allowing Delmon Young to compete for playing time is going to hurt this team’s present or future.

      1. I didn’t mean to sound flippant with my comment. But I am not sure how you can be stunned by how little some of us like this signing. This thread contains more than a dozen comments with reasonable reasons as to why and no (IMO) reasonable reasons why it isn’t a bad signings.

        1. I guess what I’m not clear on is how adding a corner OF bat to a competition of unproven guys is going to hurt at that price tag. Again, if Ruf and Brown are going to be big league regulars, they have to win the job. Dom in particular has seen enough big league pitching by this point to show he’s put it together in a competition.

          1. The fear, and the way it seems, is that it won’t be a competition. The Phillies intend to give the job to Delmon Young.

            1. That’s what they say now. But if Brown and Ruf rake early in the year and play decent defense, I can’t see them sticking with Young. If they don’t, the club has another bat that can take some of the pressure off. It’s low risk in my eyes.

            2. For me at least, the signing was not as bad bad as Amaro’s attempt to justify it. Saying he was a bad left fielder but we’ll start him in right field and “I don’t care about walks, I care about production” in reference to a guy who simply isn’t productive by any reasonable measure is what really upsets me.

              It just pulls back the curtain completely on his philosophy, whereas before this I was still able to convince myself that even when I disagreed with moves, he might still be operating in a way that would make some sense if it was fully revealed to me.

              Now I feel like it’s fully revealed, and I hate it. A guy who thinks Delmon Young is productive won’t be able to rebuild this team.

              My only hope now is that he doesn’t believe any of what he said.

    1. I’ll repeat the argument for the nth time — you may choose not to believe, but some of us believe it is undeniably true. Delmon Young will not ‘compete’ for playing time. He is a veteran. Cholly will award him the starting job and stick with him for at least half a season, regardless of how bad he is or how well Ruf and Brown do in whatever ST/regular season chances they are given. Cholly will never allow a rookie or near-rook to push a vet out of a job. Even Chase Utley couldn’t pull of that feat. Neither could Ryan Howard.

      1. I don’t buy it. The situations with Utley and Howard were different, and largely had to do with dollars: Utley was blocked by Polanco in his prime and an expensive David Bell. Howard was blocked by Thome, who hit 42 home runs the year before he lost the job (and was also expensive). I don’t believe anyone will keep a better bat on the bench in order to keep Delmon Young and his damn-near league minimum contract in the lineup on a daily basis.

          1. And the young corner outfielder whose red-hot bat was left to smolder on the bench while Raul played was … ?

            1. Mayberry was hitting a ton in the second half of 2011. He had a higher OPS against both RHP and LHP, both at the time he was sat down for Ibanez and on the year as a whole. He was also better defensively and on the bases.

            2. I’ll concede that JMJ had better numbers there, although one could argue that Ibanez was a streak hitter known to go on tears. (One could also say that Charlie was probably correct to be wary of giving JMJ a regular OF gig, given his results last season.

              Again, I don’t see this situation being similar to even that one. Young doesn’t fit the profile of a savvy veteran that managers tend to stick with because of their acumen or leadership or intangibles. He’s just a guy, and he’s cheap. I honestly can’t see a scenario where the best player does not win the playing time when it comes to LF and RF this year.

            3. It’s not a matter of being a savvy vet, and having leadership intangibles (which I think are seldom real, anyway). With Cholly, it’s a matter of who has paid his dues and who hasn’t. Young is a reasonably long-time major leaguer who even came in tenth in MVP balloting once upon a time. That puts him first in Cholly’s mind. Cholly will NEVER diss a vet. Especially a vet with incentive clauses to be met to get his paycheck. Although you assumed an answer, we really will never kn

            4. That was to be ‘never know how Mayberry’s 2012 would have gone had Cholly stuck with him, expressed confidence in him, rather than always complaining to the media that he needed ‘a RH OF bat’. Young players are often fragile and can be ruined by poor treatment. I think we’ve seen that with both Brown and Mayberry and history may be about to repeat itself with Ruf. Mayberry was hitting up a storm in 2011 and all the while, Cholly was publicly denigrating him. I think it takes a tremendously strong player for that not to really work on your mind, especially when you have to come back to the same manager who dissed you.

            5. Looking forward to reading the stories in which Cholly “denigrated” Mayberry in ’11. Would you post the links?

            6. What else would you call it when the kid is playing really well and Cholly’s every other sentence to the media is ‘I need a RH hitting OF’?

        1. Agree with everything Mike has been saying. Young is 27 years old. He has great incentive to get his act together. It is a risk worth taking. When the salaries are this close, the best players will play. And if his weight stays low, his athletic ability just might magically re-appear, too. But hey, maybe I’m wrong. We’ll see.

          1. If the best player plays, that will be about the first time that Cholly has handled the situation that way.

  38. Mets want to sign bourn, but dont want to lose draft choice, so they are making argument that they should pick tenth instead of eleventh, which is protected, they are saying that pittsburg shouldnt get tenth pick,based on there inablility to sign there first round choice, wonder if they win that argument, with the commissioner

    1. Even more harsh than my comments, wow.

      It’s interesting, you know. Both you and I have offered comments about the artificiality of the “SABR versus scouting” divide. Young is a real case in point – the people most hostile to him tend to be the stat oriented people, yet many or even most of the objections to him aren’t based upon stats of any type*, or are based upon basic stats (yes, OBP is a basic stat).

      But the fact is that people inclined to accept advanced statistical analysis tend to share other beliefs about player analysis, unrelated or only tangentially related to advanced statistics. I have some theories about that, but its pointless to share them – they tend to be self congratulatory, and this not persuasive even if true.

      *It’s true that advanced stats tend to confirm some, not all, of the criticisms, but you don’t need advanced stats to see that he is a disaster in the outfield or on the base paths.

  39. Charlie on WIP talking about having better ABs in the lineup and working the pitcher and he talks about Howard who is able to do it when he is going well and Chase being good at it, and then Delmon talked about being better at it this year after talking with Miggy and Veggy last year. For all of you under the guise that this will be an open competition it is not. Second best player on the roster in working the pitcher is Dom Brown and not a mention. He almost had an orgasim talking about Ruf. Your lineup to start the year when healthy:

    Rollins
    M. Young
    Utley
    Howard
    D. Young
    Ruf
    Kratz
    Revere
    Pitcher

    oh and he was also talking about the best defenders will be the ones to be out there. That means the OFs how get to the ball quickly and get it to the cutoff, play it in the corner well. been 20 min and no mention of Brown. He is in love with the young BP arms, like all of us.

    1. It’s almost as if the Phillies want to destroy the kid’s confidence. He had a 9.9% walk rate and no mention of him working the pitcher? Seems ridiculous to me. I’m shocked that Brown has not spoken out at some point about all he has been through, I really respect the kid for that. Seems like a class act and just deserves a real chance. This season seemed like it would be his shot to finally be healthy and prove what he could do. At this point I hope they trade him just so I can finally watch him play.

      1. I’ve defended Manuel in the past, but managing a semi-rebuilding team like the Phillies accentuates his negatives and de-emphasizes his positives. He’s a bad fit for a team in transition. Thanks goodness he is gone after 2013.

        The whole Brown thing is beyond bizarre. I hope they trade him for his sake, and I hope he becomes an all star. Has there been a prospect in the past 20 years that was sabotaged by his organization to the extent that the Phillies have sabotaged Brown? I don’t think so.

        The one good thing to come of this is that, even with Lee and Hamels, the decisions being made with regard to the position regulars are so bad that the team might end up with a decent draft pick. 110 losses is out of the question, but 90 losses is an achievable goal that will get them a fairly high draft pick. If injuries hit (and I don’t wish that on anyone, even D. Young – I changed my tune on D. Young getting injured when I realized that this team was better off losing a lot of games next year, and, of course, an injury to D. Young could only help the team).

        1. Ugg, didn’t finish the last sentence – if injuries hit, I do think they could lose 95 to 100 games, but, given the strength of the pitching staff, that is an uphill (downhill?) battle.

        2. For those of us who like Brown I hope he tears it up in spring training and forced their hand-though of course Amaro will pat himself on the back and say that all Brown needed was motivation. I’d gladly put up with that if it means Brown if the RF.

          I’m still hoping this is a concerted motivation tactic by Manuel and Rube and that Young will end up a pinch hitter

        3. ‘Has there been a prospect in the past 20 years that was ‘sabotaged’ by his organization to the extent that the Phillies have ‘sabotaged’ Brown? ‘…I rather use the word ‘mishandled’. Not sure they wanted him to not succeed or fail.

          1. Okay, fair enough and I shouldn’t have phrased it that way. As someone who advocates a bright line between criticism aimed a player’s ability, or an executive’s competence, both fair game, and criticism aimed at a player or executive’s integrity or work ethic, which, unless there is strong and direct evidence to the contrary, should be off limits, I should be particularly careful about using language such as this.

  40. I am man enough to say to you larry, no matter what you think of my knowledge on baseball, i would be willing to be anything, that brown, never becomes a good or allstar player, look at him, matt thinks he was hurt, i dont he has a slow bat, all the saberic in the world, cant make his bat faster, he is a sucker for a fastball, the pitch that most big league hitter feast on. brown is nothing, maybe a 240 hitter at best, and a bad outfielder, he hasnt improved his fielding from what i have seen. lets see who is right on this kid, and manuel isnt the blame if he stinks, which i believe will happen.

    1. (1) As someone else has pointed out – I forget who – his bat speed is fine, his problem is that he hesitates before he swings. I blame the Phillies for that, because of excessive tinkering with the swing. Is it fixable? I don’t know. But I’ll say this: while players’s with Brown’s minor league accomplishments and tools sometimes fail, they almost never fail because they can’t hit a fast ball.

      (2) Your observations about his defense contradict the observations of myself and dozens of others – everyone I know of who saw him last year. Even setting aside the arm and his range, both hard to measure, he definitely improved his error rate. That’s very east to measure. Not that I imagine that you put much weight on this, but advanced stats also confirm the improvement in his arm (it was always strong, but more effective in 2012). Ironically, advanced stats DON’T confirm subjective impressions about his improved range, but for that I’ll go with my subjective impressions (I’ve said before defensive metrics are in their infancy). In any event, there are hundreds of examples of fast young outfielders whose defense improved significantly as they got older & more experienced running routes, etc.

      Setting all of that aside, less than 500 PA is a lousy sample size, and the number of players who have failed in their initial 500 AB and gone on to be solid regulars or even stars is quite large. But even setting all of THAT aside, it takes a complete moron to give a guy like Young, who has failed miserably in over 3000 AB, another chance – his 7th – when Brown hasn’t had his first full opportunity. Especially a team like the Phillies who are in semi rebuilding move, where the cost of giving Brown a full season is zero.

      And even setting all of THAT aside, I have plenty of other evidence of the bad judgment of Amaro and Manuel, so my starting assumption is that they are wrong in position player evaluation even with no evidence to the contrary.

      Let’s say the chance of stardom is only 5% and the chance of being a solid regular 35%. I think those percentages are low, especially the latter one. But even at those percentages, it absolutely makes sense for the Phillies to give him a fair shot at the job next season.

  41. This is related to something that I posted in the top 30 thread, but belongs in the general discussion thread. For really getting into the details of the issue of plate discipline and contact ability, the detailed information in fangraphs is very valuable. Anyway, one of the pieces of data – not the only interesting one – is O-swing%. the percentage of pitches out of the strike zone that a player swings on. Here are some career numbers for some Phillies & other interesting players:

    K. Youkilis 19.1%
    A. Dunn 19.8%
    C. Utley 23.0%
    R. Howard 28.7%
    D. Young 41.4%

    Anything under 25% is quite good, anything under 20% is truly exceptional. Over 40% is pretty horrible.

    1. And you know, THIS is the kind of data that the modern baseball team should be and are aware of. Well. MOST modern baseball teams. Set aside some of the more analytical “SABR” stats. A lot of that influences major league front offices, but some of it (e.g., WAR) probably doesn’t, and for good reason (WAR has it’s value, but probably not much in terms of the player evaluations that major league teams need to make). But increasingly major league teams are absolutely using this kind of raw data in their decision making processes. And the team that do, over time, are going to win many more games than the teams that don’t.

      1. I would make the argument that this is not advanced stats it is something that has started being recorded as the technology has made it easier, but this is something scouts have been noting and grading all along. This along with k/9, bb/9 and a few other stats are things that non stat guys for years have been looking at. For me at least the problem is with WAR and even RC as from the explanations i have read they seem to try and explain something that is only usefull to us fans, arguing over who is more valuable. But like i have said before stats to me are used intelligently as the supporting data behind the scouting reports. I would love to see an associated stat that lists the percent of non-strikes swung at that the player made successful contact.(it is probably there i just have not looked). Most people don’t really understand how poor their memory actually is and how much confirmation bias sneeks its way into most opinions.

        1. I don’t disagree with you. But it gets lumped in with advanced stats by a lot of people, for better or worse. I suppose it is barely possible that the Phillies, despite eschewing advanced stats, have someone tracking this stuff and integrate it into their decision making process. but I doubt it. Put it this way, I’ll believe it when I see it. If nothing else, it’s hard for me to imagine someone with awareness of Young’s O-swing percentage not being scared away from signing him.

          Oh, and as you expected they do have ALL of that information available, a couple clicks away.* Honestly my eyes even used to glaze over a bit at it, because there is SO MUCH data, and we don’t have standards as to what are good and bad performances (a lot of the analytic stats are calibrated to a familiar scale to make them more intelligible, but you can’t do that with raw data).

          *E.g. the player who made contact most often with pitches swung on out of the strike zone last year was Mark Scutaro at 89%. Young was at 62.4%, not horrible but not terribly impressive either. If you want to see a horrible combination of swinging at pitches out of the strike zone and not connecting, look at Ryan Howard’s (hopefully) injury affected totals.

        2. One of the interesting things that you see when you look at the data – expected, of course, but often lost sight of when you just look at BB data – is the extent to which it matters whether you have power. There are light hitting players who have low BB totals but actually decent plate discipline.

          Juan Pierre fits into that category. Over the course of his career, his O-swing% is quite good. But combine the fact that, because he is light hitting, pitchers tend to challenge him more than they would a power hitter, and the fact that he connects on a lot of those pitches outside the strike zone – and in the strike zone, his contact rate is excellent – and his career BB rate is poor. But Pierre actually has quite good plate discipline. Revere fits the same profile. It’s very hard to have a high BB rate if you don’t have enough power to keep the pitcher honest. Jamey Carroll is one of the few active hitters who manages that, and his BB%, despite extraordinarily good plate discipline is still (just) under 10% for his career.

          1. Larry I have a question for you. I am probably in the minority here when I say this, but Brown is one of my favorite players, should I give up on him potentially becoming a star and just hope he becomes a solid regular?

            1. I wouldn’t say “give up” … but realistically, blame the injuries, blame the team, talk about small sample size, but I think the chances of stardom are less than we thought they were a couple years of ago. As much as one can sugar coat his performances and make (often legitimate) excuses, he simply hasn’t been a very good player at all so far, despite some positives. And while I think he should get a shot at a full time job, there is a chance that he will end up being best suited to being a very good platoon player (of course the left handed side of a platoon ends up with most of the at bats).

              Let’s see him become a solid regular first, then go from there.

            2. It does occur to me – I hadn’t thought of this until now, because I assumed/hoped that Brown would get a full time job and saw him as a right fielder – but a strict Brown Mayberry platoon would be quite good, EVEN IF Brown made no progress as a hitter.

          2. Not to beat a dead horse, but for clarity’s sake, my biggest complaint about Amaro isn’t that he doesn’t use this stuff, but that he isn’t even aware of the most banal, well accepted finding of the modern statistical revolution. That he probably thinks that wRC is the abbreviation for the world rally championship is funny but ultimately not that important. That he “doesn’t care about” bases on balls is, on the other hand, quite concerning.

          3. I would put this in the category of something which I wasn’t sufficiently aware of until recently. I think it effects discussions of players with little power. It cuts both ways of course – on the one hand, we are often too free with using the term “bad plate discipline” for light hitting players with below average BB totals. OTOH, it shows why light hitting players, even with good plate discipline, are facing a real uphill battle for major league success. Players with ISO under .100 just have a rough time as hitters unless they combine great plate discipline and contact skills. Once you get under .050 it’s even worse,

            That’s why many of us fear that, despite his young age, Revere might not have much room for growth as a player. Unless he can develop more power – and he just doesn’t seem to have the frame for that – he’s pretty much maxed out his skills as a hitter. Not JUST because of direct effects of the lack of power, but because of the indirect effects – i.e., low BB rates despite good plate discipline.

          4. Powe is a very big component and so is speed. Guys like Pierre and Revere pitchers don’t want to let them get on base so they will serve up a ball in the zone without the fear of it being driven because a BB is most likely a 2b and maybe a 3b. And even being a Howard supporter the most frustrating thing is chasing Pitches when everyone but him knows the Pitcher is not throwing a strike so take the BB. But power is a big component where pitchers will throw anything away from the power sones of the hitter to avoid the easy run. This is also why players who have both are so valuable and it is why you give someone like Brown at 24 time to work things out as he still seems to be capable of being a 20/20 guy at least and sustaining a .350+ OBP with his speed is valuable to a lineup. He might not be the staple in the middle of the lineup we once thought but he is not a detriment like some people think.

        3. As I said, I also think that some of the analytic stats are useful by organizations, not just fans. For example, something like wRC+, which encapsulates a players’ total hitting contribution, in context, in a single number. Not something you want to rely on by itself, but it’s hard to balance in your head all of the various components of hitting without expressing it numerically, and other alternatives are simply less accurate (for example, I am quite sure no major league front office uses OPS, even OPS+).

          But here’s the thing … a lot of this stuff came out of the SABR movement, even if you can make a logical distinction between it and more analytic stats. Certainly none of this data would be publicly available without the SABR movement. Outsiders don’t know for sure the extent to which major league front offices use this stuff internally, and to what extent they did so before the SABR movement. They don’t make that information public. But putting a lot of little pieces of evidence together, I get the very strong impression that, as I said, the organizations that use this stuff are the same organizations with a strong advanced statistical orientation. i.e., not the Phillies.

          And of course you’ll find plenty of people – not you obviously – I’m sure that you’ll see some follow-up comments to this effect – claiming that even THIS kind of information is just geeky nonsense dreamed up in mom’s basement with no relation to the real game.

        4. I do think you are right on point about WAR. (Less so about RC, especially the wRC+ version.) But … we ARE fans. WAR is such an easy short hand to use to compare players. Especially in the context of a comment section, where long comments such as mine are ridiculed – with some justice – but where is is hard to make a decent argument supported by evidence in just a few words.

          I would HOPE that major league teams have a much more involved evaluative process, and thus would not need or use imperfect “shorthand” methods like WAR.

          1. The one thing i love is the + stats and i wish they did it for all of them. To have at a quick glance how they were vs the league avtg is very insightful. And i like the term shorthand for WAR and RC.

    2. I’m having a ridiculous amount of fun with this data, especially for a Friday night. Rollins, one of my all time favorite Phillies: roasted, just roasted, for supposedly being a free swinger. We knew this was false, but not quite HOW false. He has an excellent O-swing%. Interestingly, he had a worse BB rate early in his career when his O-swing % was at its best. As his career progressed, the O-swing% got worse but his BB% got better. Not so much a mystery of course when you realize that he added power.to his game, so that pitchers pitched him more carefully. (Reflected in the % of pitches in the strike zone, over 53% in each of his first 4 years, 43 and 42% his last two years.)

      He’s probably also a guy who was effected by the speed factor. Along THOSE lines, the biggest dip in the percentage of pitches in the strike zone came not when he first exhibited power, but more recently, when presumably his speed was less feared.

      I’d note that there are two different data sources for this; i’m using the one that goes back the furthest. The other data source shows similar results, albeit a couple of the patterns discerned above are a little less clear using the other data source. (and some don’t show up at all because the data doesn’t go back far enough).

      This is just very, very interesting stuff.

      1. My issue with Jimmy has always been how many hitable pitches he pops up. And they always to me seem to follow a couple good ABs.

        1. it was really only a problem in 2012, not before that. (He was league average in infield fly outs before last year.)

          And … I don’t really know what that was about. And I don’t know if it’s something easily corrected. But I ALSO don’t know how much of an impact it had. Obviously, a popup is much less likely to fall for a hit than a fly ball. But most fly balls are outs as well, So we’re talking ultimately a few hits a year. (Assuming that the popups would otherwise have been outfield flies, not line drives or ground balls, which is consistent with logic and with Rollins’ batted ball data.) Which .. matters. But the criticism seemed so disproportionate last year – first of all, because some people seemed to be “double counting,” dinging him for his low batting average AND for the pop ups, like they were two separate problems.* And second of all, because some people (not you) seemed to be making it into some sort of character flaw, like he was stubbornly refusing to not pop up.

          *And yes, yes, I GET the “argument” people made. No batter advances on a pop out, occasional batter advances on an outfield fly. And if all of that added up to more than one run all year, I’d be shocked. Oh, those “productive” outs.

          1. The other thing about Rollins – not relevant to your criticism – is that some people argue that he shouldn’t “try to hit HR.” And that seems just … so far from the truth. The opposite of the truth, if you will.

            I really wonder, ultimately, what people expected from Rollins? Just short of a hall of fame career, but still not good enough for some people. So he didn’t have a classic lead off hitter’s skill set. How many players really do these days? How many high OBP players are there that aren’t ALSO power hitters, usually ending up in the middle of the lineup?* And who on the Phillies would have been better at the role over Rollin’s career? (Actually, I can think of a couple of players, but they also don’t fit the “traditional” image of a lead off hitter, and goodness knows Charlie doesn’t mess with tradition.)

            *Since 2000, the major league players with the best OBP … looking at the first page of leaders on fangraphs, they are ALL power hitters to some degree. The one with the lowest ISO – Joe Mauer – is no one’s image of a lead off hitter (and in fact not one). You get the the second page, and, in a sea of power hitters, you finally see one classic “leadoff” type, Luis Castillo, with an OBP of .368 – and even HE batted lead off less than 60% of the time.

            1. I think this may tie into your point about Rollins “trying to hit home runs”. I’ve wondered why Rollins’ BABIP has been low every year since 2009, resulting in low BA and OBP.

              Starting in 2009, his fly ball% seems to have gone up, and that’s all I can really come up with. (Although, the highest FB% of his career was in 2007 and that was a pretty nice year for him. And in 2010 his FB% wasn’t unusually high for him but his line drive rate was low). His BB rate and K rate generally improved since 09.

              Is the increased fly ball rate to blame? If so, why is he hitting more fly balls? I think he had the reputation for “trying to hit home runs” even before 2009, but it almost seems like the numbers support that claim since then. Pitchers pitching him differently maybe? Subtle change in his swing? Slower bat as he’s aged? Any theories?

            2. I’d guess slower bat speed as he ages, and maybe some compensation for same.

              But I suppose part of my point is that, to the extent there IS a trade off, it is far from clear that it has been a bad trade off. I’d argue the contrary, but at worst, even if it is a “choice,” it’s a reasonable one. Yes, even for a lead off hitter. His overall value as a hitter has remained reasonably stable;, his decline as a hitter (and if we’re talking about a decline, we’re really talking about 09-10, not 11-12) less than expected for his age. (Of course the league wide decline in offense makes his “decline” look steeper than it has been).

              His BABIP has always been a little lower than you would like to see, obviously more so in recent years. But again his decline – for a middle infielder – has been overall really rather gradual, and, measured imperfectly by WAR, last season was overall quite a rebound year.

              It’s funny, too, because there is ONE case that the haters could make it they knew their way around modern statistics. It IMO is a weak case – not anywhere near outweighing the positives – and not taking away from his near HOF career – but a legitimate “might have been” that I wonder about. But I’m not going to be the one to bring it up..

            3. It’s not just fly balls. Fly balls aren’t all bad — they turn into hits at a (slightly) lower rate than ground balls, but they turn into doubles, triples, and HRs, not singles and the occasional double down the line. Good players hit lots of fly balls, which is fine.

              The problem is infield fly balls, which basically never become hits. And Rollins lead all qualified mlb hitters in that category last year with a whopping 19% IFFB!

              Why is this? He’s always swung at too many high fastballs (not because he’s trying to hit HRs! It’s just a weakness of his), and with age it looks like he’s having more and more trouble getting on top of them.

              I don’t expect that to get better, but he should remain an above-average player for a few more years.

            4. True that IFFB are more problematic, but Rollins really wasn’t so bad there except for last year. Yes, 19% sucks, but for his career he’s only 11.3% and league average is around 10%. So that number could account for his low BABIP and BA last year, but not really in years prior.

            5. This is similar to all the anger with Abreu over the bogus claim that he ‘refused to bat leadoff’ but was still ‘looking for the walk’ in the 3-hole. This despite the fact that there is no evidence that Abreu ever refused to bat leadoff and plenty of evidence that he was just about the prototypical 3-hole hitter. Still, he was derided by Phillies announcers for being too willing to take the walk and leave it to the next guy to drive the run home. The fans fed on this announcer-led criticism. I doubt all of this escaped Rollins attention. He knew he was playing for an organization and fan-base that had an irrational hatred of taking a walk with a runner on base. It was portrayed as the cowardly thing to do. Dancy was critical of Bourn after a .400 OBP year for ‘looking for the walk’ instead of the hit. He pushed Bourn to be more aggressive at the plate. From some of what we are seeing with bringing in guys like YOung, this still seems to be organizational philosphy. If Rollins isn’t the prototypical leadoff guy, he is just doing what the Phillies taught him to do.

            6. We could really use an Abreu-type player in the lineup right now. I always knew he was underrated when he was here but if you look at his career numbers they’re really impressive.

            7. And a generation of Phillies fans who don’t understand that correlation doesn’t always equal causation will remain convinced that Abreu was lousy because the team improved after his departure.

  42. There’s also been some commentary about Asche, to the extent that people think he will be a .300 hitter unless he starts “trying to hit HRs.” I disagree with that for reasons which I won’t repeat, and are tangential at best to the current discussion. And let’s start with two caveats: one, I am a believer that prospects probably shouldn’t mess with a swing that is working for them, and two, Asche already projects to have some power, maybe enough to keep pitchers honest.

    But a swing that generates power, all else being equal, has benefits well beyond just more power. Again, none of this is or should be a revelation to anyone, myself very much included. But I think we tend to forget it when evaluating players. If Asche can add some more power, it will likely also mean more BB, assuming he otherwise maintains his plate discipline.

  43. abreau was decent. it was his clubhouse manner, and lackluster effort that got him traded, something like the effect you mention young will have on this team with his attitude, and other character issues,

    1. Abreu was probably the best Phillie between Schmidt and Utley.

      Young from all accounts is a jerk, but it’s silly to think a bunch of 30-something veterans are going to be impacted in any way by his behavior.

    2. Oh, yeah, except, you know, the evidence thing. Like abundant evidence that such description really fits Young, and none that it really fit Abreu.

      Not incidently, Abreu had a career that fell just a bit short of HOF quality (not quite recognized as such because of his skill set, whereas Delmon Young has proven to be one of the worst players to get 3000 AB in major league history. Slight exaggeration but not much. Abreu generated as much value in a good month as Young has generated in his entire career.

      1. Unfortunately, Abreu’s right-field tendencies damaged his image for Philly fans. He was fearful of the cyclone-fencing in RF. But charging a ball he was decent and what an arm!
        Philly fans forever fell in love with Aaron Rowand for one catch.

  44. I’m by no means a fan of the Delmon Young signing, especially when you compare him to the other options that were on the table, but I don’t understand the overwhelming hate for the signing.

    The guy’s a semi-veteran who brings the only real experience and right-handed power to this outfield. I don’t think Amaro brought him here to make him hit at the top of the lineup, I think he was brought here to be a 5 hitter. That being said, why put so much emphasis on the OBP? I don’t care if he doesn’t draw walks as long as he’s hitting home runs and driving guys in.

    I understand that it’s a big question mark as to whether or not Young will even be able to hit 20-25 homeruns and drive in 100 runs, but every player on that outfield is a question mark with the exception of maybe Revere. In fact, Young is probably the closest to a sure thing offensively among the other corner outfielders on that team, even though that’s not saying much.

    I agree that he’s a liability in the field, but he’s can’t much worse than Ruf and if Brown or Ruf don’t pan out, it would be a good idea to have a guy like Young who can come in as an insurance plan.

    At the very least, the guy’s good competition for Ruf and Brown or a solid pinch-hitter. Not that I expect Ruf or Brown to slack off, but these guys still have to earn their spots on the outfield.

    1. Saying “so what if he doesn’t get on base” is kind of ridiculous. To score a lot of runs, you need guys who get on base. The main objective of a hitter is to not make outs, and Delmon Young is bad at not making outs. His mid range power doesn’t make up for his terrible deficiencies in every other facet of the game. And if the team planned on using him according to his skillset, there wouldn’t be so much vitriol about the signing. Based on Amaro’s words and Charlie’s history, the team will likely use him in a role that does not allow his strength to outweigh his myriad weaknesses.

      1. And further angering people: the Phillies already had a better player (Mayberry) on the roster who will now probably be used in a smaller role than Young AND a younger, roughly equal player with a better approach at the plate (Brown) who will see his development again be put on the back burner.

        1. Given the Phillies history of playing vets over upcoming prospects I can see where D.Young might become a very bad signing (i.e. plays 1st half terribly in RF while Brown is on the bench).
          And Amaro should be taken to task for his comments. The ‘I don’t care about walks’ comment is dumb, and saying ‘Delmon would start in RF’ should be to tell Brown he is not being handed the job.

          However, I look at it like a recovery project. Delmon was considered an excellent talent and is still young (punny!). I’d much prefer him on a minor league deal but the one he has is quite close.

          I like Mayberry, especially when comparing him to alternatives (Cody Ross), but last year was his chance to be a starter. It appears he is really just a good 4th OF and a good platoon against lefties. I was not a fan of Vernon Wells (who might be worse than Delmon) nor Soriano who’d be better all around but cost ~$5M and a prospect, who were the other players rumored to the Phillies.

          If the Phillies are just blowing smoke, saying they like Delmon and expect him to start since he took a huge paycut, but they treat him like a bench/vet player I could understand the deal. I hope signing Delmon is just insurance against Ruf. And I hope the Phillies DO just hand the RF job to Brown for at least the first half.

          I still would have preferred the ‘do nothing’ than sign Delmon. Let Ruf have his chance, and go with NixBerry if not. Maybe Delmon hits well and Ruf is a stud in AAA, then Phillies can trade Delmon for a needed piece for the stretch run. (Or likely they trade Brown and sign Delmon to a 5 year deal.)

          1. Let’s say how to phrase this – I think it is more likely that Freddie Galvis develops 30 HR power than D. Young developing into a solid major league regular. No, that doesn’t really express how unlikely it is. I think it’s more likely that Jaime Moyer will make a comeback with the Phillies in 2014 and win the Cy Young award, than Delmon Young becoming a solid major league regular. No, still not clear:

            I think it is far more likely that Steve Carlton will come back at 69 years old in 2014, pitch every three days, and go 54-0 with 54 complete games, and an ERA of 0.00 with 1000 Ks, than Delmon Young becoming a decent major league player.

            1. IMO, Delmon will not be healthy enough to start the season…surgery recovered and weight lossed… and will be on IR in April.

    2. Mayberry 2011 and 2012 iso: .240, .150
      Young: .125, .145

      Young doesn’t really bring any more right-handed power to the outfield.

      If he was thrown in the mix to compete for a job, I would be ok. Signed to be the starting right fielder because Ruben thinks he’s productive, I’m not ok.

    3. The whole plate discipline/BB debates are not going to be won in comment sections, for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is lack of space. But this particular argument, “sure BBs matter for lead off hitters, but not for middle of the line up players whose job is to drive in runs” is annoyingly wrong, and really a moment’s thought should demonstrate that. I’ll avoid the easy “the rules don’t preclude middle of the line up players from scoring runs” snark, because I am trying to persuade. But how about this as a short demonstration: in 2012, NL batters hitting first scored 1528 runs. Batters batting 5th scored fewer, but not THAT many fewer: 1271.

      That aside, the oft overlooked aspect of this is not the value of the BB itself, but the value of not making an out. Put the ball in play, and even the best players will still make an out almost 70% of the time. All else being equal, a player who walks 10 more times a year will make 7 fewer outs, even assuming that he is a .300 hitter. An out has a negative run value of around 3 tenths of a run (on average, varying by situation and offensive context). Add it all up, and someone who walks just 10 extra times per year will cause his team to score around 3 extra runs per year (factoring in the value of the BBs, and subtracting the value of the lost hits). That may not sound like much, but it adds up.

      Now realize that, over 500 AB, D. Young gets about 25 fewer walks than the average player, and about 50 walks less than someone with good on base skills. That’s using his career totals; he was worse the last year.

  45. I went on 97.5 the phanatic today and I got blasted as a SABR guy the moment I brought up BABIP and was was told to watch baseball to know baseball.

    1. BABIP….isn’t that the guy from Pakistan who opened up a Pakistani restaurant in NY based on Jerry’s recommendation!

  46. One other thing: let’s assume for a moment that there really was a such thing as a guy who had horrible plate discipline, but made up for it with either a very high batting average or lots and lots of HR. Let’s call him “2012 version of Josh Hamilton.” You find find some of those guys on a seasonal basis, not so much on a career basis (though even on a seasonal basis, Hamilton last year walked at triple the rate that Young did). But let’s assume such a rare bird could maintain that through a career. (Okay, okay, let’s call him Dave Kingman, closest I could come up with.) Such a player WOULD have value, maybe a lot of value. The negative value of the HR, or BA, would more than make up for the lack of BB.

    But THAT ISN’T Delmon Young. He has some mid range power, .145 ISO last year, .141 for his career. He ranked 97th among major league qualifiers in ISO last year. 97th. Omar Infante was one spot behind him. Freddie Galvis (.137) almost beat him. Remember, that was slightly above Young’s career norm of .141.

    He has a decent career BA. Last season not so much, and it is almost unfair to hold his BA last year against him. Well, not really. He was 87th. But even if he had matched his career high, it would only have ranked him 52nd. You know who also had a ..284 career BA? Shea Hillenbrand. And actually Hillenbrand was a much better player than Young. And remember, BA is Young’s biggest assert.

    So what do we have to make up for his horrible – not merely below average, not merely bad, but horrible – plate discipline and BB rate, and, oh yeah, also horrible defense and base running? He has some mid range power, but not much, and at times has had a decent (not great) batting average. it’s not enough. It isn’t close to enough.

    And, yeah, Mayberry, against left handed pitchers is better than Young in, well, every aspect of the game. Also a much better defender, less bad base runner, and, oh yeah, no criminal convictions as far as I know. Yes, not as good against right handed pitchers, but why in the name of all that is holy would anyone not named Reuben Amaro or Charlie Manuel want to let either player hit against right handed pitchers? Young’s career numbers against righties: .307 OBP, .401 SLG%. Laynce Nix is better (.297, ..447). Yeah, Nix has the platoon edge there, but when I suggested that Nix might be an adequate (not great) platoon player, I got laughed out ogf the room.

    1. I’ve always thought of Vlad Guerrero as the patron saint of batters who don’t walk much but are still awesome. His walk rate was just a tick below Kingman’s.

      1. And of course still about double Young’s rate. A little unfair I guess in the sense that most of the reason for that was that Guerrero was much more feared as a hitter, but, well, ultimately that sort of cuts the other way, doesn’t it? (FWIW, we don’t have O-swing% for the early portion of Guerrero’s career, but what data we do have shows that his plate discipline was a lot better than Young’s until he was 30, at which point his plate discipline fell off significantly. As did his overall value.

        Hell of a player before that, though.

    2. I know I’ve beaten this deeply into the ground, but one more factoid. Before that, though, let’s emphasize something else that might be obscured by my focus on his horrible plate discipline – by itself, it wouldn’t be anywhere near enough to justify the level of hostility that I and others have towards this pick. It’s the whole package.

      And that relates to the factoid. Looking at players in the past 20 years with roughly his career BB rate, there are some good players. Most of them, actually, are catchers (thus some hope for Valle, IF he can get the BB/K ratio from where it is now to barely acceptable). Harper, Molina, Piersynski and Olivo. Actually, it’s uncanny, every player in the past 20 years with a comparable BB rate and a career WAR over 10 is a catcher. Until you get to 4.3%, where you find another catcher but also a couple middle infielders.

      You don’t find an outfielder until you get to Cory Patterson, at 4.5%. And he isn’t all that much. Still better than Young (though not as good of a hitter).

      And of course there is a reason for this. Because while some of these guys were good players,and some of them better hitters than Young, none of them was a really good hitter. You have to go down (up?) the list to Mark Trumbo (5.3% career K rate) to find a player who is significantly above average as a hitter.

      Yes, you can find some examples of good hitters with low BB rates if you go back further then 20 years. Pretty much without exception, they had exceptional contact skills.

      And yes, it’s not just about plate discipline, it’s also about pitchers pitching carefully to good hitters. But we have already established that it amount to the same thing no matter which direction the causal arrow points.

  47. And this one, from a fan who has seen a lot of Young’s play, is for Roccom, who (not entirely unreasonably) wants to reserve judgement until seeing Young in person: Enjoy:

    http://www.thegoodphight.com/2013/1/23/3907356/delmon-young-a-users-guide

    Can’t resist pulling out a few quotes for those too lazy to click over:

    “I try never to make assumptions about the actual effort a professional athlete puts forward, but Delmon is exceptionally gifted at looking like he’s not trying, even at the plate, where he approaches hitting (supposedly the thing he does best) with the lethargy of a kid forced to be in gym class.”

    “to watch him play is to know that those [defensive] numbers can’t even come close to capturing the damage Delmon does in the outfield. He stumbles about in the general direction of the path of the ball, but with a certain degree of random variation built in. Confusion clouds his face as he sticks his glove up awkwardly at the last second and often, astoundingly, manages to catch the ball.

    It occurs to me, actually, that in one sense I’m wasting my breath: this is JUST the kind of player that the “don’t you dare jog to first base on a ground out” Phillies fans absolutely hates. You think I’M negative about him now? Wait until the typical Phillies’ fan gets a look at his antics at the plate, on the base paths, and in the field.

    What a prize.

    1. Thanks Larry. That is priceless. Looks like jobs are assured for Ruf and Brown. I just hope Brown has developed a thick skin from all the abuse he has received as a member of the Phillies..and they could have saved $750K!

  48. Great line today: —- ‘Fact: The Braves have accumulated all of the Uptons. Unless you include Kate, who at last check was with Detroit pitcher Justin Verlander, this is true.’

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