Reader Top 30 #25

Giles takes the #24 spot.

List so far:

  1. Biddle
  2. Quinn
  3. Morgan
  4. Joseph
  5. Franco
  6. Ruf
  7. Asche
  8. Pettibone
  9. Martin
  10. Tocci
  11. Aumont
  12. Gillies
  13. Watson
  14. Greene
  15. Valle
  16. De Fratus
  17. Collier
  18. Wright
  19. Cozens
  20. Hernandez
  21. Gueller
  22. Walding
  23. Pullin
  24. Giles

Here is the compiled spreadsheet of all rankings out so far https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0Aq9atTaYBdErdDFibUpEVENleTB0Mnk1X0dSb19DSWc

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

86 thoughts on “Reader Top 30 #25

  1. Nice, Giles could be top 10 this year. Now for some balance: diekman. A left handed sidearming flamethrower. The encouraging thing about him is he demonstrated good control for a much of the year in 2012.

    1. I don’t disagree with you but I decided to leave Diekman off mmy list. He satisfies the criteria to still be in our poll but he had 32 appearances last year. A lefty specialist could be doing the job in the big leagues for years before he meets our 50 innings pitched cutoff. Diekman could be pitching in the big leagues and making his small but important mark a lot longer than many of these guys we’re voting for. If your going for proximity, he’s your man. If you’re going for pedigree or potential, you can take almost anyone on that list ahead of him.

    1. I went with Cameron Rupp as he made alot of progress last year and is closer to being MLB ready than Kelly Dugan who would be my next choice.

    1. It’s hard for me to understand the justification of Kelly Dugan over Brody Colvin.
      Dugan and Colvin were both drafted out of HS in the 2009 draft. Colvin was the higher rated player. Dugan signed immediately and played the GCL season, while Covin signed last minute and pitched 2 innings. Colvin successfully completed/passed Lakewood in 2010. Dugan has taken until 2012 to graduate Lakewood. Colvin is at Reading, and has already logged 1.5 seasons in high A, while Dugan has yet to play an inning in High A. I’m missing something.

      1. Colvin’s stock has dropped because of his consistancy problems the last two years while Dugan is coming off a very nice bounceback year after 2 injury plagued seasons. It’s not hard to feel Dugan is trending upward, assuming continued good health, while Colvin’s status has taken a big hit the last two years. It’s all about what have you done for me lately and Colving hasn’t done much of anything lately.

  2. Colvin. Chances are he never puts it together, but the stuff by all accounts is still there, and an epiphany after years of struggle is not out of the question. (For reference, see the guy sitting at No. 9 on the Reader Top 30 above.)

    1. Yeah Colvin is in the same position as Ethan Martin was this time last year, so Colvin can’t be dismissed yet.

  3. Colvin.

    Still has time to figure it out, and he has the stuff to be really good if he ever does.

    Highest ceiling of the guys remaining.

      1. Good point. The fact that Colvin was repeating and Wright was only in his second year of pro ball is the reason I have Wright 2 spots ahead of Colvin, (17 and 19), even though by all accounts Colvin has a higher ceiling. I said yesterday that it’s still too soon to write him off, but I get why he’s fallen so far from prior years.

        1. On the other hand, Wright was a college guy–you expect more growing pains from a guy picked out of high school than the polished product of a four year university. Voted Colvin here, actually had him a quite a few slots higher.

          1. He only spent one year in that four year university, if I remember correctly. Think he was a JuCo guy prior, but I take your point.

    1. This illustrates the depth of the system even though we lack the surefire budding star. However; many of these players can be useful if they continue to progress well.

  4. I like seeing the support for Jose Pujols in the early going here. I have Grullon ahead of him on my list, but think both should be considered for the top 30.

    1. +1 I have Gruillon in the top 30 and Pujols just out of it, but they’re both big bonus guys with good reports from the scouts who actually go see them before they come stateside, and Pujols got at least one good review out of instructs as well, (I think more than one, but I can’t recall).

    1. This is another point that I do not get. If the player is thought to be a backup, how is that valuable? Todd Pratt never made over 850K in any season, and averaged 400K for his career. You don’t need a farm system to produce Todd Pratts, Clay Condreys, Jose Felicianos or Ben Fransiscos. You can sign those guys off the street for nearly the same money you would pay a minor leaguer. Where is the value?

      1. Especially for a big market team like the Phillies who don’t have a issue buying a back-up player off the street for $1-$2m. That’s why I support a high risk/high reward draft strategy

      2. Only point I will make here is that when you sign those guys off the street they’re often old and hence more injury prone than a guy coming up through your system in a timely manner. Aside from that, I think you know my feelings on Rupp. I value him a fair bit more than a Pratt-type career.

      3. And how many in the top 30 so far project as regulars? Every system needs to produce those types of guys in ordrer to remain cost effective and either re-sign the stars you do develop or sign them out of free-agency. No team is made of of 25 15mil a year players and there is value in developing solid backups yourself. We have at least 15 of those guys in our top 25 so far so not sure why you’re up in arms this far down the list.

        1. Your mistaken on two points. I’m not up in arms about Cameron Rupp being voted in, this far down the list. It is reasonable for him to be on the top 30. I was challenging the idea, that he because some believe he will be a mlb backup, that makes him worthy of the top prospect list. I say if you only envision Rupp as a backup, he shouldn’t be on the list. If, like bradin DC, you believe he will be a regular, that justifies him.
          The other point that you made, ‘that every team needs it’s farm system to produce cheap backups’. That’s absolutely false. It doesn’t cost anything to fill bench spots. The greatest backup catcher in the world, David Ross, made 1.6 million. Schneider made 1.1 million. Minor leaguers make 4-500K. A MLB team can fill their entire bench and middle relief for 10 million. You fill those spots with ALL minor leaguers for 5 million.

          The farm systems purpose is to produce cheap regulars and stars. They cost real money.

          1. I think Rupp WILL be a backup, BUT could be more.
            Colvin is likely to flame out, might be a middle reliever, and has a chance as a starter.

            So for me it is a risk analysis. Colvin if he meets his ceiling will be more valuable. I think Rupp will be a very good backup, I am not sure how reliable ‘backup’ catchers are, since if they were good then they would be starters. Plus he will have a few years of team control, which I always like because that makes him an easy shuttle between majors and minors.
            I ranked Rupp just a few spots above Colvin on my list

            1. I understand your risk analysis point. I guess from my perspective a 23 year old catcher that in A ball carries just as much risk as a 21 year old pitcher in AA ball. IMO, Rupp doesn’t have the ceiling to match Colvin.
              I guess the disconnect on my part is that I don’t see Rupp in the Major Leagues, as a foregone conclusion, like many others.

          2. I’m not mistaken on any of your points, I just don’t agree with them. If you fill your middle relief and back up spots through free agency and only spend 10 million, you’re going to have a terrible team.

            Maybe this is just a philosophical difference on how to build a team. Of course the farm system is in place to produce stars and cheap regulars, but as we’ve seen over the years, the complimentary pieces can be just as important (injury, ineffectivness). I mean hell, last year was the perfect example of going cheap on the bench and middle relief and having no one capable of filling in for a couple weeks let alone a couple months.

            I understand that if you don’t view him as a possible/potential regular he shouldn’t be a top prospect, but we’re well down the list……with a weak farm system…..with maybe 10-15 guys you can reasonably project to be regulars. That was my point, that this far down to criticize someone’s pick simply because he may only be a backup is kind of pointless. Everyone we vote on right now is either way way way too far away to have an informed opinion about or are going to at the most be *gasp* middle relievers or back ups.

            1. Regarding your first paragraph, 10 million is a little on the low side, though “terrible team” is quite a large exaggeration (not even “terrible backup and middle relief,” and even terrible backups and middle relief wouldn’t equal a terrible team). But 15 million should be plenty for 5 backups and 6 relievers. Maybe a tad more given the market for “set up” relievers, but not MUCH more. Compared to how much for an entirely home grown contingent? They won’t all be getting the minimum. Say you save 5 million dollars. That’s meaningful, but not a huge deal when a team can afford a 150 million payroll.

              Of course, in reality, the Phillies, like most teams, do fill some of their relief slots from the minors. Which is probably a good idea. But no one really looks to develop bench position players. Most bench players are declining veterans of failed prospects who have enough skills for a backup role. Not just for the Phillies, but for all teams. IMO that’s pretty much as it should be. You can find exceptions (and, yes, many of those exceptions are catchers), but not many.

              But your statement that last year’s team is “the perfect example of going cheap on the bench and middle relief and having no one capable of filling in for a couple weeks let alone a couple months” couldn’t be more wrong. No team can survive the rash of injuries plus aging stars plus under performing veterans that the Phillies faced last year. A thin bench/middle reliever corp played zero role in it. When teams do survive injuries particularly well, it is not because of a “strong bench.” It’s because of one or more of four things:

              (1) They have major league ready talent – not “bench” talent, but players ready to step in as regulars – in the minors.
              (2) A declining veteran who was signed as a bench player has a rebound year (the Juan Pierre factor).
              (3) A career backup has an unexpectedly good season (the Kevin Frandsen factor);
              (4) The team acquires a replacement from another team.

              None of those is about having a good bench – not even 2 and 3, because they are inherently unpredictable (if they were predictable, someone would have given said players an opportunity as regulars).

              And, as Frandsen and Pierre indicate, the Phillies actually were fortunate last year in how well fill in players worked out. Those two, plus Kratz and Galvis, and, to a lesser extent, Mayberry.and some of the young relievers, did quite well. Kendrick did not start out as a starter, but filled in well in that role. Heck, Peter Orr did well in limited playing time. Nix was miscast as a regular, but was fine for a backup when healthy.

              Mind you, the Phillies bench and relief corps was to some extent infected by Amaro’s poor talent judgment (Martinez, Wiggington), but:

              (1) That wasn’t a case of the team being too cheap or too reliant on veterans*, but of … poor talent judgment;
              (2) Despite Amaro’s misteps, the team (IMO partly through good fortune) did pretty well with its backups and fill-ins last year.

              *I fully buy in to the “too reliant on veterans” argument when it comes to position regulars, and it is somewhat true for relievers and even starting pitchers, but when it comes to the bench, it simply is not an issue. Most teams rely on mostly veterans for their bench guys, for good reason.

            2. My 10 million comment was based on going entirely free agency in filling the bench and bullpen. I also was not trying to imply that the Phillies, or any other team for that matter, intentionally draft and develop guys with the goal of them being a bench player or middle reliever. My main point was that in the process of their development, if that’s all they are, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Add to that our current position on the list (voting for #25), who are we reasonably voting for that is going to project as a regular? We’re going to rely on scouting reports and “ceilings” on guys who haven’t played stateside or were only in instructionals? There’s no data at all to place a guy like Pujols except his signing bonus and scouts who say a 16 year old has power potential.

              Last year for me was an outlier. Injuries should be expected with an aging team but last year was excessive. I agree with you that Galvis, Fransden, Pierre, Kratz all played well filling in, but keep in mind we also suffered through too much of Wiggington, Mayberry’s early season struggles, and a disaster in the bullpen (mostly first half). If those guys don’t step up, or you don’t have anyone in the minors capable of replacing those that underperform, that’s a problem. Yes players like Nix are miscast as regulars but if he has to play due to injury you need him to at least play adequately. Nix is also a bad example due to his own injury. No, 4A players won’t make or break a team, but they can help weather a storm if injuries arise…..assuming they are capable of playing at at least a replacement level.

              All that being said, people vote on this list with no set criteria. Some like “ceilings” (terrible term BTW) and some like proximity. Some rely on slash lines and traditional numbers, while others rely on a more SABR approach. Point is, no one is wrong because we’re all standing at the same craps table with these kids. If you want to disagree with someone’s pick, fine, make your argument as to why you think it’s misguided. But add something to the conversation besides “you can sign those guys off the street”. Since that is entirely true than what does it matter if you just so happen to get that same guy through your farm system? And since every team needs those type of guys, how is there “no value”. Again, at #25 we’re not exactly debating world beaters here.

              And thanks for the reply Larry. May not always agree with you but you always bring a well thought out response, and have changed my opinion on more than a few occassions.

            3. “…My main point was that in the process of their development,if that’s all they are,that’s not necessarily a bad thing.”
              That is a big difference than your original, “… Every team HAS to produce those type of players (backups and middle relief) in order to remain cost effective”.
              You were incorrect when you said it before and your unable yo argue the point cogently now. The reason you can’t argue it, and have to reword the argument, is because it is incorrect.

            4. Bring something else to the table besides trying to argue semantics with me. And yes, IMO the 5-10 mil you could save by developing your own relievers and back ups is worthwile. Even for a team with a payroll like the Phillies. I also expanded my argument which apparently you also didn’t care for.

              I’ve made my arguemnts, whether you agree with them or not and all you have to say is “you’re wrong”. How about giving your reasoning behind your line of thinking like Larry did. IMO you’re wrong when you say “If the player is thought to be a backup, how is that valuable?”.

              BTW, nice use of the word cogently.

  5. I like all 3 guys leading the poll at the moment, but I went with Colvin because he’s got the highest ceiling.

  6. A little off topic, but can we change the number 6 prospect from Darin Ruf to “Darin Ruf’s Steroids”? Just kidding, but it does make you think with the crazy production he had at the end of the year. It’s a shame whenever someone does something remarkable you can’t fully appreciate it because PEDs are always in the back of your mind (cough Adrian Peterson cough)

    1. It is a shame that we automatically go there. The thing with Ruf is (not that I am accusing you of doubting him, it is more just an interesting case) that he always had the strength and raw power. The home run binge can be attributed to a combination of the Reading Park, a more upper cut power supplying swing (possibly attributed to a change in bats), the complete lack of pitcher adjustment to said swing (it is AA after all and adjusting to Ruf isn’t a top developmental philosophy), and a ton of statistical randomness and unsustainable HR/FB ratio (nothing wrong with saying it was randomness, you still need to put the ball in the air, you just aren’t going to consistently square the ball up that well and there is a good argument he was unlucky to that point). The swing is the most sustainable part and what gives him a major league future, and I think it is much more reasonable to evaluate him on his season statistics, then look to the insane month.

      1. But it seemed an adjustment of some type was made. He continued the power onslaught in the winter league.

        1. No argument that it was made (there is always a reason), expect him to lose some batting average/on base ability because of it as the nature of the swing means less line drives and more fly balls and some more swing and miss (which was evident in both the majors and winterball) but it translates the doubles to homers. Most people seem to think the bat will play, especially against lefties, but is it enough to overcome the defense.

        2. They test guys in the minors a lot more than the guys on the major league level, right? And they have a lot less right to due process–if they’re caught, they’re suspended immediately. So I figure that at some point last year, maybe many points, Darin Ruf was handed a plastic cup.

          1. Minor leagues do allow in-season blood tests. Still, it is a continuing chase between new PEDs and new testing. I suspect a small minority of minor league PED users are actually caught. Bulking up over the winter with certain PEDs is probably impossible to catch.

            1. Is it blood-testing or urine- testing? I believe blood testing was a hot topic during the past CBA talks….the union (MLBPA) balked with blood-testing

      1. He';s another player who would be better than D. Young in right field.

        (Ducks to avoid the thrown objects from the audience.)

        1. Man, LarryM. This Delmon Young signing really was the last straw for you. The deal didn’t bother me, but I know how it feels when the management of your team disapoints over and over.
          I was a 30 year 76ers fan, the last straw for me was passing on drafting Rajon Rondo. Sometimes all it takes is a small thing.

          1. It’s not just how awful a ballplayer and human being he is. It’s how much his signing derails the opportunity to see how our young OFs perform in an extended test. It’s a season of likely very low quality patch and fill at the expense of kids who will effectively be shutout of a meaningful career in Philly. Also, the $ would have been better saved and possibly spent at the trade deadline. I think the biggest mistake that RA has consistently made in each year of his GM tenure is getting backed up against his budget limit, so that when he deals for someone, it has to be on a current-year, $-neutral basis. The cost of that is always giving more/better prospects than would otherwise be require, or, in the case of exchanging the Halladay contract for the Lee contract, selling Lee cheap and also paying extra prospects for Halladay, in order to take back $6 mill from Toronto on what really wasn’t at all a bad contract. Be up against budget means RA is always in the worst possible bargaining position.

  7. I know it’s a long way until draft day but do you guys think there is any chance Karsten Whitson drops to us? If he does I want us to pick him

    1. Long shot to drop to 15/16, but if he encounters any arm issues during the Gators season, could scare teams up top to by-pass him. Didn’t the Nats take the big pitcher, name something like Giolotti (sp), that way in 2012?

    2. From what I’ve read, it there is a good chance he falls to the #16 pick. If you go by mlb.com’s rankings, he might not go in the 1st round.
      The college class does not seem that strong this year. I’d prefer they draft one of the HS catchers or LHP’s, that seem to be a strength of this year’s draft.

        1. I agree here, you have Grullon who you just handed a bunch of money to and ideally want to give playing time to. Not that having catching depth is a bad thing but spending a high pick on a guy to compete with playing time with a recent big signing doesn’t make a ton of sense (that being said, taking a HS catcher later with one of their third round picks isn’t a terrible idea).

          1. I disagree. They are saying these are some of the best HS catchers to come out in years. If the best players at #16 are catchers, the Phillies should take a catcher.
            The Phillies shouldn’t resist taking a catcher because they have Grullon. The player that the Phillies Phillies select at #16, will probably automatically become at least the #3 prospect in the entire system. We don’t even have Deivi Grullon or Gabriel Lino rated in our top 25 prospects. Besides, Grullon is 16 and Lino is 20. Grullon can play in the DSL, while the #16 pick plays in the GCL. There is no conflict.

            1. The way first-round signings can go, there really is not guarantee that our first round pick will appear in GCL for more than a cup of coffee. Neither Larry Greene nor Roman Quinn had a single AB in their draft year.

            2. The draft cap rules weren’t in effect yet, when those guys signed. Many 1st rounders played GCL level leagues last year. But either way, the fact that you signed 16 year old Grullon (or Pujols) for 500K last year, should have no effect on your decision in the draft this year. There is DSL, GCL, GCL split squads and NYP available to get 2 catchers playing time.

          2. Best player available, especially if you are drafting HS, rather than college. So many things can change over the course of 5 or 6 seasons. Catchers are generally a scarce commodity and readily tradeable, if it comes to that.

        2. In baseball, you ALWAYS take the best player available, however you determine that equation with variables such as upside, signability, health, etc. Bottom line though, you don’t shy away from a position for any factor whatsoever.

          1. Except that there is rarely one clear “best player available: when a team picks. In the rare case where there is, then you are correct. Otherwise., organizational needs matter.

            1. Yes, if there is a tie, organizational needs can matter. Organizational needs are a tricky thing when you are drafting a HS kid in the first round. Today’s organizational need may no longer be a need 2, 4, or 6 years from now. This isn’t football or basketball, where the draft can be used to fill an immediate organizational need.

            2. That’s true also. More relevant for prospects that age is that you have only so many spots available on the relevant teams (for a HS kid, that means the SS teams). The last thing you want to do is have a top prospect sit or play out of position.

            3. But anon VOR’s point is that someone else might have to sit as a result.

              I think the real variable here is the extent to which you believe that there are clear “best” choices, and just what constitutes a “tie.” No one is saying you should pass on someone if he is the clear best choice.

            4. Plus where they are picking there is never a clear choice. I think a more interesting question would be:

              Do they draft another LH pitcher at 16?

            5. No, there very often is a very clear top choice at #16. Team’s draft boards will differ drastically. The guy who is #5 in the nation on the Phillies draft board may fall to them, because everyone picking above them had a higher rated guy still on their board at the time they picked. Utley fell to #15. I suspect he was the very clear favorite on the Phillies board when it was their turn to choose. It would not surprise me if the Phillies get the chance to pick somebody from the top half dozen guys on their list. Almost surely from their top 10. Why do I say this with such confidence? Because the Phillies look at guys differently than a lot of teams do. They saw the value in the risky Hamels. They were wrong, but they were perhaps the only team thrilled by the chance to pick Hewitt in the first round. Quinn fell to the Phillies in the compensation round. He’s a prototypical pick. He was probably dozens of positions farther up the Phillies draft board than the position in which they nabbed him.

            6. By a clear choice i mean that the vast majority of teams given the opportunity will draft that person over the rest of the players available. And i guess part of my point is something Larry has been saying when referencing losing this pick. It is not like you are getting Strasburg, Upton, Harper with the pick, you may, but not a guarantee and most likely not a player everyone agrees on. Don’t get me wrong they are way more likely to get a difference maker this draft over the last few based on picking higher in each rd.

    3. He needs a bounceback year to stick in the first round, or at least that is the impression I am getting. I doubt the Phillies take a college pitcher in the first round unless someone falls, they seem to have more luck with high school pitchers (especially lefties) and there is quite few that would look nice at that pick in this draft. Otherwise look for them to take the best athlete on the board or whoever falls to them.

        1. I know next to nothing, I try not to look at amateur talent until it is close to the draft so that coupled with moving away from the area have limited my knowledge. That said the stuff and locality might be tempting for the Phillies, the one problem is that they like prototypical size and build on their HS pitchers (less so with their college guys). Kaminsky is only 6′ 0″ and most of their draftees are in the 6’3″ to 6’5″ range.

        2. I saw Kaminsky pitch for the US 18U team vs. the US Collegiate National Team over the summer. He seems to profile as a bullpen piece i.e. Tim Collins in KC that would be my comparison. Not worth the 1st rd pick

      1. On the topic of Karsten Whitson: Has there been a successful MLB pitcher in the last 20 years, that turned down top 1st round money coming out of HS, and then signed out of college?

        1. I don’t know any having major league success off the top of my head. Not many people turn down the money. Gerrit Cole certainly looks good right now after turning down the Yankees money out of high school

        2. Probably happens more than we can document, because in the era of flier picks that has now passed a pitcher might make his intent to attend college well known and then turning down 1st round money as a 40th round pick may not have been publicized that well.

          Aaron Crow did make an all star team recently. Luke Hochevar has had less success. Alex Fernandez was a Brewer’s mid-1st round pick who did not sign in 1988 and became the 4th pick in the draft in 1990. Mark Prior was drafted 43rd overall by the Yankees in 1998 before being #2 overall by the Cubs in 1991. Pete Broberg was the 2nd overall pick in 1968 and they #1 overall in 1971. Of course he went straight to the majors and blew out his arm in a few years.

          I think it happens with about the same frequency as hitters though maybe hitters in general get better bonus offers because there is less injury risk. There are just so few #1 picks that do not sign in the last couple of decades that there is not a huge number of either hitters or pitchers that do not fall into that late round flier category.

          1. ‘Mark Prior was drafted 43rd overall by the Yankees in 1998 before being #2 overall by the Cubs in 1991’…….1991?????.

  8. ‘•Nationals principal owner Mark Lerner told college students at a conference directed toward finding a career in sports that he often learns of deals made by his GM Mike Rizzo by visiting MLB Trade Rumors, writes James Wagner of The Washington Post. A special thanks to Mark for publicly recognizing the work done at MLBTR by Tim Dierkes and his staff.’……….talk about having autonomy on your job!
    “Hey Dave”, Ruben here, “check out MLBTR, I just traded Cliff Lee again, see MLBTR for the details”

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