Final Workout Groups – March 25

These were originally posted by Jay Floyd of PhoulBallz

Groups 1-3 and Groups 4 & 5

Thoughts:

- These are almost the final rosters (so the following comments may end up wrong)

- Joseph to AAA, Valle and Rupp to reading to split time

- Morgan going to LHV to start after a good spring

- Franco and Martinez to CLW, with a Altherr-Hudson-Dugan outfield

- Tocci to LKW but Greene is not in that group (this is now concerning)

- Tyler Greene, not Pullin looks like the LKW 2B

- Lino looks to spend some time in Extended Spring

- Watson and Mecias to LKW

- Milner to CLW and Brady to LKW as it stands right now

218 thoughts on “Final Workout Groups – March 25

  1. The final groups are about what I expected heading into spring training, except Larry Greene and Lino being held back. It’s pretty obvious that they are disappointed in Larry Greene’s conditioning. He was placed in group 3, before camp opened, then immediately pushed back to group 4, behind guys like Jonathan Knight and Yon Olmo.
    Biddle talked about the importance the Phillies place on conditioning, 2 years ago. It may be the camera angles, but he looks wider this year, than last. Very disappointing, especially when they could have drafted Jackie Bradley, for the same money, at that pick.

    1. Is that a serious comment about Biddle? Suspect you’re being facetious but with Bradley looking to break camp with the Red Sox . . . . .

      Will be a very telling season for Tyler Greene – wish him luck

          1. I saw LGJ this weekend and all I’ll say is that I was surprised he didn’t look trimmer than last year. His being left off that roster is clearly the most notable shock of the assignments. D Mitchell going back to be the 4th OF at Reading is probably a shock to the guy who had him as the next OF up to the majors. Btw, Alonso looks like the starting SS at CWater. I don’t think any of us guessed that last week but I saw him playing there over the weekend. Also of note, J Mitchell took over in CF in LHV on Saturday and Gillies moved to RF which moved Castro to the bench. Looking at the work groups, there’s stiull to many guys on some rosters so there will be some final movement I suspect.

            1. Mitchell was given the choice to be 5th OF in LVH or start for Reading. Won’t last long, he will be starting in LVH within 2 months.

            2. D Mitchell was given the choice to be the 5th OF in LVH or start in Reading. Won’t last long, we will be starting in LVH within 2 months.

            3. That makes sense. You must have misunderstood your inside scource, when he said Derrick Mitchell would be the first OF called up this year. He meant 1st OF called up to Triple A!

  2. I’m not too familiar with the workout groups historically, so does this mean LGJr will be heading to XST and/or Williamsport? Based on his performance last year and where he was drafted, I would fully expect he starts at Lakewood. Any ideas why this would not happen?

    Congrats to all the followers of the Pigs – should be a fun season with many interesting players to watch. Seeing how Gillies, Joseph, and Asche handle AAA, Ruf playing LF, Martin Pettibone and Morgan, and the hopeful polishing of DeFratus, Diekman, and maybe Stutes, should all be pretty fun to watch.

    1. yeah AAA looks like it is going to be a very interesting level to follow this year. AA though doesn’t look it has much.

      1. Biddle, Wright, Colvin, Rosin should be interesting pitchers to watch at AA, but on the offensive side other than Valle and Rupp there isn’t much there.

        1. Wright, Colvin and Rosin are interesting, but for my money Biddle is the only guy i’ll be keeping an eye on at Reading. Our position player prospects are in AAA or Clearwater and Lakewood (and obviously even lower than that). But with Morgan looking like he will start in AAA that takes away another pitcher to watch at Reading. Maybe Franco will get a promotion mid season. His finish would seem like it could portend that.

    2. Yeah, I’m skeptical too. There are some other suspect placements. Minor league games are still a little bit away, so I’d hold back on panic around Greene/Lino/Gueller (surprised he wasn’t mentioned yet).

      1. I’m more surprised about Jonathan Musser and Miguel Nunez being promoted to Lakewood, than I am surprised that Gueller was left in ‘Extended’. Musser has been awful and Miguel Nunez missed a whole year. Maybe Nunez becomes a sleeper.

    1. I was there Mark. Bradley got put a good swing on the ball but without the crazy winds it’s just a common fly-out. Wind gusts at Bright House Field were crazy yesterday and we’re blowing straight out most of the game

  3. Kind of disappointed to see both Greene and Cozens outside of the Lakewood group. Greene should be embarrassed to arrive in camp out of shape two years in a row.

  4. I don’t see any way if he is healthy that Greene doesn’t start in LKW. I get that maybe they want to send a little message that he has to watch his weight but let’s keep it real next to Quinn he had excellent production at WPT.

    Cozens is a different case. I prefer these guys hit all the stops along the way. If they excel great promote them but as someone else said its better to promote than demote.

    1. I don’t know that we can assume that is the case. If they just wanted to send a message, they would have started him in a lower workout group and moved him up. He was up with Tocci and many of the A+ guys when the first workout groups were posted.

      1. That is the point. When the 1st workout groups were posted (pre-workout), he was higher. Then he was demoted in the next few days. Why would they start him in a lower group, before knowing he is out of shape?

        1. I didn’t realize the first groups were posted before workouts began. I thought that being out of shape was most apparent in the very beginning, unless we’re only talking about his weight, and nothing about his conditioning.

  5. I just don’t see both Martinez and Franco playing at CLW. With the less than appealing IF prospects at Reading, somebody is moving up.

    1. Neither of these guys is ready for Reading. Tyler Henson,a big guy, will probably start at 3B at Reading. I’ll have to check out his previous stats. I suspect Martinez and Ludy will share DH duties at CWater because I expect Franco and Serritella in the lineup every day. Of last year’s draft, only Carver, Milner, Ludy and Seritella are starting in CWater and Ludy and Carver are back ups.

      1. Isn’t Henson mainly an OF? DHing really isn’t going to help Martinez and Ludy to develop as prospects. Perhaps they aren’t regarded as prospects any more.

      2. You sure Ludy is the backup? He looks like the best prospect in that group of catchers to me. I know people like Moore for his defense but he and Ludy are about the same age and Ludy seems to be much better with the bat.

      3. Why would Ludy have to DH? He looks like the starting catcher, at that level.
        You are right about Martinez though. I can see Serritella and Martinez switching 1B/DH duties between them.
        I’m also a little surprised Cameron Perkins seems to be left back, in Lakewood. He was supposed to be an advanced college bat.

        1. Agree about Perkins, but looking at the guys in the group ahead of him I can maybe understand why he would be in Lakewood to start. If Hudson struggles like he did last year then Perkins will probably move up quickly as long as he’s solid, with Altherr becoming the CF.

        2. IMO……Stumpo is the best catcher in the group, and based on his numbers from last year, I could still see Moore getting cut before the end of the week just to narrow the catching down to three.

            1. No…..Stumpo has been around awhile and done OK. Hill went from bad to worse last year and I don’t see him getting better. Moore was mediocre last year as well. Ludy was drafted for power….period, and only hit one out during his short season last year. I think he was drafted more for his batting performance at Baylor than for his defensive skills.

            2. You have to consider that Stumpo is 3 years older than Ludy and did not hit as well as Ludy last year. Unless Stumpo is great and Ludy really stinks defensively I don’t think there’s even an argument against Ludy being the better prospect. The little I can find on Ludy as far as scouting reports go are mixed on his defense. One report said his glove was suspect but improving, and John Sickels said he has a “good defensive reputation with a strong throwing arm”.

    1. This is preatty much the same group as in Williamsport, without a whole lotta team success, I’m feeling a little sorry for the pitchers

      1. You are right in that the core is the same, but you have potentially Tocci and Watson who are both top talents, and you add Yoel Mecias who has been really getting some buzz since fall instructs.

        1. The lineup is weaker than I expected. Tocci is a great talent, but at his age he is unlikely to show any power. I’m really surprised that neither Pullin nor one of Larry Greene/Cozens will be in the lineup. They have Quinn as the table setter and Walding as a likely plus hitter, but I was expecting Pullin and Greene/Cozens to be two of the best middle of the lineup bats on the team. Charles has power, but is he even a prospect? Strikes me as over-age organizational filler.

    2. This is preatty much the same group that was at Williamsport without a hole lotta team success, feeling a little sorry for the pitchers.

  6. I think by the end of the week we may see one catcher each get cut from the Lakewood and Clearwater groups (3 and 4). Four catchers on each is just too many.

  7. That makes sense. You must have misunderstood your inside scource, when he said Derrick Mitchell would be the first OF called up this year. He meant 1st OF called up to Triple A!

    1. Fair statement. I can only go by what the coaches say. Still not out of question to be pulled up from AA. He got an inning in RF yesterday with the big club, that should tell you they are still interested in Derrick.

      1. Pretty classy way for the team to throw him a bone. I also think its pretty cool if they gave him his choice of situations, that implies a level of civility from the team I didn’t expect in that type of situation.

        1. I just saw that the Phils got Castro and Susdorf, two guys who were basically passed by with J Mitchell becoming the starting CF at LHV, into today’s game. That’s a really nice thing to do for two good organizational guys.

        2. I agree. It all comes down to him playing very very well, and the right situations coming together for him to get his shot. And he knows that. A positive for him is the fact that he was given a choice which is rare, and he is still getting games with the big club. I don’t have much faith that the 28 year old J.mitch will hold a starting spot very long in LVH. I think that will open a spot for Derrick to come up to LVH. Regardless if he’s in reading or LVH he needs to play well and let the coaches dictate the rest. and for philsPH. My “inside source” is only as good as the coaches word that is giving the info coupled with the situation at hand. A player may get told something today and I can change over night, all I can do is post what has been said.

          1. It looks like the starting OFs in AAA will be Gillies, Castro and Ruf to me. Mitchell’s best chance to move up will probably be if Ruf gets promoted or if Gillies gets hurt again.

            1. I think that’s very probable. I think the third way would be for him to simply shine. If he can do what he did two years ago at AA but get his avg. to .300 to .315 he will have a good shot.

            2. Hard even if he does that to push past without a stumble by another prospect. He might pass Castro but that is a fight to be a #5 outfielder on a roster. Gillies is a better prospect because of the CF defense and Ruf is a better prospect because of power potential. Mitchell is a 4th/5th outfielder at best and the Phillies are not lacking, his best bet is a trade to a different organization if he wants his major league shot.

            3. He may well need to trade to get his shot. Watching Gillies this spring leads me to believe if he does get a shot at the bigs it won’t last long. Only thing defensively he has going is speed. He is a very sloppy fielder with a mediocre strength arm. Ruf has good power potential but so does Derrick, potential being key word. I agree with your assessment but I do think if he can hit 20 hr, get 20 SB and post a .315 avg he will be taken a little seriously. and I know that is a if!

            4. Um, no. Ruf has actualized his power and is a 70 power guy. DM has not. DM not in the same league as Ruf, in terms of power. I’ve seen Mitchell play and am not at all impressed by his power. I do’t know where this .315 avg, which you project, is coming from. This is a guy who will be 26 this year, has never hit even .270, and is .241 for his minor league career. Last season his BA was .218. To say he did not impress at Allentown would be an understatement. He has never hit 20 HR in a season, although his 2011 Reading year would project to over 20 if he had 600 AB. Your 20 SB is a realistic estimate, but you greatly overestimate is ability as a hitter.

            5. He hit 19 hr in 2011 with 20 sb. Last year he was out for 2 months that’s why his avg was 218.

            6. And I ment the “potential” in reference to Derrick not Ruf. I think 20 sorry 19 hrs deems power potential. I have seen Derrick play at every level and have seen him display great power. With 600 ab this year it is very likely for him to hit 25 to 30 hrs. I get this .315 avg because he is capable. He is over .400 for spring training.

    2. I am not sure I get all the love for D. & J. Mitchell over a single Spring Training performance. They just seem like so much org filler to me. Reminds me of 2011 with Rich Thompson and Brandon Moss. (I know Moss hit 21 homers in under 300 PA’s last year but I doubt he will repeat it.)

      1. Think it is more one poster who is a fan. I think Mitchell is a little bit of a tweener. He has a broad set of skills that just don’t profile offensively in the outfield. If he only could have stayed in the infield defensively he would have had a better chance. Hopefully he can make some progress but 5th OF is probably his ceiling these days.

  8. Regarding 2nd base, I was at Clearwater all last week, and frankly Pullin is a much better 2nd baseman that T Greene. I’m not one to nit pick at all the horrible little things these kids do, but I honestly don’t think I saw Tyler Greene hit the ball all week. Most at bats I did witness, he struck out. Pullin drives the ball much harder. As far as the defense, Pullin is still learning a new position, but I am a little concerned for T Greene’s future with the Phils IMO.

  9. I guess Dugan will move over and play LF now because Altherr will definitely stay in RF with Hudson in CF. However, when Hudson or Altherr sit, he’ll move over to RF with Alvarez in LF. At Reading it looks like Rupp and Valle will split time between catcher and DH.

  10. This might be the most balanced the minor league teams have been in quite awhile. Usually there’s a team that seems to have a bunch of filler with few interesting prospects, but this year I’m having trouble pointing to one team and saying “that’s the bunch to watch”.

    1. I don’t see much to get excited about in Clearwater other than Franco. Reading’s roster is a bit of an eyesore outside of Biddle and Wright. Reading’s lineup has a lot of power, but I can see a whole bunch of strikeouts there. Lehigh and Lakewood clearly seem to be where the interesting prospects are placed this year.

      1. There are definitely areas of some of the teams that are thin, but I’m not saying all the groups are stacked, just that there doesn’t seem to be a ton of filler on any one team. Like the OF in Clearwater- none of them are great prospects but none of them are 25 either. They at least merit paying attention to in the box scores. And I’m still very interested in Colvin being that he’s actually age appropriate for Reading and has good stuff.

        I’d probably go with Lehigh also if I had to pick one team to follow. Lakewood has interesting names but outside of Watson, Brady and Quinn I would be afraid to predict success for any of them.

          1. Let’s not put that unfortunate tag on anyone else. We know that anything can happen on the way up the baseball ladder. Gueller, who probably has good tools, is very young. Give him a break and let him develop.

          2. How can u call Brady and Watson the baby aces when Brady is 3 years older… and below if Gueller is still very young then Watson has to be considered very young too being just 3the months older than Gueller…

      2. Really? With Pullin, Cozens, Z Green, L Greene in Williamsport, I think they are just as interesting.

        1. You have to temper how they will presumably play at Williamsport with falling behind the solid prospect development curve. I’m sure that the Williamsport fans will enjoy watching LGJ, but repeating a level greatly reduces the level of excitement for those following the team from outside WIlliamsport.

          1. The plate discipline that Greene showed last year at Williamsport and his power potential will probably dictate a Lakewood placement once he gets in shape. It must have been embarrassing for Greene to be denied the opportunity to play because of conditioning. I wonder if the Phillies ever give their recruits training in nutrition. It may help Greene to have a plan during the next off-season. He is still learning how to eat and exercise efficiently. That is quite a chore for any youngster.

            1. I agree that we probably see LGJ in Lakewood by May. If he is held back it is probably some disciplinary measure though I don’t think we should assume it was his weight. He is a big guy so it is entirely possible he is in decent shape for his body type. All the board is doing is speculating based on a work group post.

  11. There are 25 on the list for the AAA group: While I’m very happy with the roster I’ll get to watch every day at AAA, there are probably a couple small moves to come. Orr likely comes back from the big club, which could send an infielder down to Reading: Asche? I hope not, but it could be for the time being. Also, we’ll need to add another catcher, Suomi or Lerud, so that’ll cost a spot.

    Finally, there’s Aaron Cook. Unless my info is wrong, he has an opt-out tomorrow: 3/26. So I guess we’ll know if then if he’s likely to get added for Doc insurance, or willing to accept assignment to LHV, or released. If a pitcher is added, could be Rosenberg goes on DL to start if he’s still hurting, or Morgan goes down temporarily.

    1. i believe bass is also injured. stutes will most likely get sent down. Is joesph seriously the only catcher at aaa?

      1. They seem to be holding a spot for Lerud, who would be the call-up if anything happens to Kratz or Quintero.

  12. I said this before, but I’m not at all surprised by the LGJr placement. He looked really out of shape when I was at the minor league complex. This is pretty distressing, but I guess that’s what they get for picking a guy whose body had yet to fully develop. That can go either way, of course.

    I’ll bet Greene is playing first base exclusively by the end of the year. That’s not such a terrible thing, necessarily. They’re going to need someone to replace Howard in four years, but realistically he’ll probably be a part time player (or traded to an AL team to DH) by the last year of the contract.

    1. I don’t agree, while he’s obviously a big guy, he still runs very well and plays the of just fine, especially if he was 10 lbs less.

      1. Did they let him play OF on any of the days you observed? Every time I saw his name in the Blueclaws blog or ross’ blog, he was the DH.

    1. I watched Tocci for 5 days last week, IMO nothing currently to get over excited about. Long term possibilities, ok, but right now he is just another prospect with absolutely nothing that stood out over any of the other prospects out there. Of course other than the fact that he is extremely skinny.

  13. We have many players with multiple tools that are under 21 years old. The argument that we all must worship Tocci because he is “only 17″ doesn’t work for me. What you have in Tocci is a kid who is from a Latin country who was of draft age at 16. Who is to say that any number of our prospects from this country (who are eligible for the draft until after high school) didn’t those same tools, instincts, plate presence at 16 or 17 that Tocci supposedly has? We don’t have those comparisons, so frankly I’m a little tired of the whole he’s only 17 argument.

    1. Beyond ridiculous. It doesn’t matter that you don’t have a comparison, with an American kid. Tocci is 17, playing against 21 year old, 3 year college players. Other 17 year olds are playing against 11th graders.

      1. Excellent point. High school seniors play against a mix of 15, 16, 17 and 18 year olds, most of whom will never be considered for pro ball at any level.

    2. There are many other players from LA countries that are Tocci’s age and weren’t able to play, let alone be decent, in Rookie ball.

    3. While any number of 17-year-olds might have the skills and instincts to survive in full season ball it is really pretty rare. No matter how polished Tocci is he will also develop physically over the next 4 years. If he can be a solid .280-.300 hitter in the low minors and then develop some modest power as he matures, we could suddenly have a top 100 prospect by the time he reaches AA or AAA.

  14. FYI. Pointer and Walding have the same Agent. Fans don’t hang out at Minor League games ALL week. Fans watch the Big League games when they can. This guy has had an Agenda against players that knock these two down for a while. I know nothing and don’t pretend to , but this guy knows it ALL! Tocci making Lakewood effects Pointer. T. Greene has a glove at 2nd, SS , and has played 3rd this Spring. Frankly, players that can play three IF positions very well is very rare. Is Anonymous working for a cause?

    1. I don’t know why you are being hostile. I doubt anyone has an agenda against players here (and this isn’t the place to have that have any affect). You are reading too much into this. As for Pointer he is more of a corner outfielder and Tocci going to Lakewood has little baring on Pointer, if Greene and Cozens had forced their way to Lakewood that would have affected Pointer. As for Tyler Greene he needs to worry about his strikeout rate more than anything. He is unlikely to stick at short defensively (though there is no need to force him elsewhere unless needed) and if he can play second there is less pressure on the bat to be impactful. But for now getting at bats and making more contact needs to be his focus.

  15. Let’s have a discussion without the vindictive language, please. When you perceive that someone has touched your button, don’t bite. This site has a troll that lurks here. You can tell it is him by how you feel when he has managed to touch your button. Don’t respond.

  16. Come on guys… this stuff happens all the time… a young guy is thought of highly and gets a chance… the issue is most of these guys that aren’t getting the chance tocci is have never ever had this happen to them.and now they and/or their parents don’t quite know how to handle it… ( which also happens all the time) that’s wherethe most ofof these commentsguys are comingto from…. let it play out and we’ll see what happens

    1. I’m not sure why it didn’t occur to me that it was a parent of another player, but it seems you nailed it.

  17. I will be watching to see if the toolsy OF of Reading-Collier, James, and Hewitt-may do something this year. As long as they are still playing, I can hope one may finally actualize his tools.

      1. I doubt he’ll be out all year. I saw him the other day and he was walking in a knee brace and carrying his crutches. I’m guessing he’ll be back by May.

  18. If you want to see our latest acquisition Welty there’s video at : http://www.youtube.com/user/TheGkita along with footage of Colin Kleven. Watched Pullin play defense for several innings and I’m pretty sure that’s what is keeping him at extended ST. He definitely needs work, he appears not sure of himself at he new position.

  19. No one has touched upon Kleven-how is he doing down there in Spring Training? He was the SAL All-Star pitcher representing Lakewood last year. How’s he looking?

    1. Saw him throw 4 innings yesterday against a CC college team pitching for the group#5 club, gave up 4 hits(1 double), 2 R(1 unearned) 8 ground outs, 3 K’s and 2 walk. His one bad inning which was the 3rd went GO,W,K,SB,S(run), W, Double(wasn’t hit hard, actually a broken bat ball that fell between the CF,RF and 2B)(run),E,K. Pullin hit a double in that game.

    1. No, I checked out Murphy’s milb page yesterday because I was asking myself that same question and realized that Murphy is already 27. He doesn’t have the hitting track record of pre-breakout Ruf either. Hopefully he has a good year at Reading though because the lineup doesn’t look very imposing.

        1. In fairness, the Phillies have not had draft picks in top 2/3 of the first round in recent memory. To compensate for that, and to try to develop a couple of the impact players that a team needs to succeed, they have taken gambles. Some of the gambles have been quite risky. They have gone for the homerun — not just power, but also speed. They have bet on a pitcher with a somewhat mysterious broken arm and rumored behavior issues, who is now our ace. They bet on a college 2B whom the scouts in general felt couldn’t field wll enough to stay at second. They bet on an often dominant HS pitcher of good baseball lineage whom everyone thought was an arrogant head case. They bet on super athletic speedsters who had yet to really learn to hit a baseball consistently and learn a good approach to the game. They bet on a super-raw-power OF who faced doubtful competition and was thought to have trouble with weight control. Some of those gambles failed totally. We got good trade return for Drabek and decent return for Golson. LGJ may or may not make it. Utley and Hamels make up for all the misses. You gotta reach for the HR when you are drafting in the 20s, 30s, even higher with your first pick, but our scouts know that 1 HR is worth more than 3 doubles. This year at #16, we will have less of a reach than we’ve had in a long time — more of an Utley-level reach. Even at 16, unless you’re willing to settle for a double, some risk-taking is required.

      1. I don’t see any evidence that RAJ has final say on draft picks, other than to say that the top pick must be a guy who will sign for slot.

        1. I know Keith Law said when he was in Toronto the GM would have final say on the first pick or two and then it got handed over to the scouting director.

          Im not one to complain because they hit on Biddle and wouldve hit even harder if Yelich had made it to us. Its not like they didnt wiff on Hewitt.

        2. Ruben is the General Manager he might let other guys like Wohleven conolidate the information from the scouts but if he doesn’t agree with them which way you think that decision would go. Btw that is true for any GM not just Ruben.

    1. This is ignorant because half the league or more passed up on JBJ. So something in his game a TON of scouts didn’t like.

      1. I think a lot of teams watched him struggle late that season, on into the college world series, and put too much stock into that sample.

        1. Bradley said he would be happy to play his senior season at South Carolina if he did not get an offer he liked. I don’t think we expected he would sign for slot.

    1. It shows how much better the upper levels are now that we actually have propects that can come in when needed.

  20. Nice to see some support for all the parents here.I myself like to hear the comments on how my son and the other players are doing,good or bad. It is the personal attacks that bother me the most.What I do not like is when I see post about certain aspects of a player and they say we are bias when we correct them. Let’s face it we as parents have better in sight on whats going on with our sons than most people posting here do. We talk to our sons who talk to the coaches, we talk to the scouts that drafted them, that talk to the coaches, and we talk to the agents that hear everything.So I say we have a pretty good idea what is going on good & bad.What I love is the comments of people who actually are at the games and what the see.How the players are doing each day. That I love.

    1. Let me say that pretty much everyone posting on this site roots like heck for every player we have. There are a few exceptions who are more concerned with their own agendas, but it’s a supportive group for the most part.

  21. A guy that was somewhat of a prospect at the beginning of last year, Lino Martinez, has seemingly taken a huge step back. The guy pitched all year in the starting rotation at Lakewood, now he is in the Extended spring training group.

    1. Singleton was in the EST group also. They may want to work on something with him before he goes to Clearwater, or wherever he may go. I noticed that Manzanillo was not to be found. Is he injured?

  22. You know, I’m happy to see family participation here, and certainly make an effort to be especially polite when commenters are obviously family members (hence, e.g., my silence lately on the “Derrick Mitchell is going to become a major league star” discussion). And of course Mr. “unbiased” should be ignored (it does look like most if not all of his comments have been appropriately removed).

    But really this works both ways. Of course I think we can all agree that instances of family members bashing other prospects are unfortunate, but thankfully few of the family members commenting here engage in this. However, I’d also – respectfully – suggest that, just because “[they] talk to [their] sons who talk to the coaches, [they] talk to the scouts that drafted them, that talk to the coaches, and [they] talk to the agents that hear everything” family members are not necessarily particularly objective and/or knowledgeable about prospect evaluation. Along with the very natural and understandable tendency to favor their family members, what they hear from the organization (and agents even more so) is likely heavily colored by the tendency of the organization to boost the confidence of players by spinning everything in a positive light. I doubt that any player is told that he is just organizational filler.

    1. I can’t resist one comment about Mitchell. My best guess, putting EVERYTHING together, and yes it is a guess:

      The Phillies probably do indeed “like” Derrick Mitchell, in the sense that he is probably a good guy who works hard, with some undeniable skills. He might well be the kind of player who, because of that, gets a chance at a major league fill in role at some point. Or heck, maybe even a position in the organization after his playing days are over. And, yes, he may have a chance – and outside chance IMO – to get more than just a “cup of coffee” in the majors – maybe a couple/few years as a major league 4th or 5th outfielder.

      But anything more than that, given his age/level/demonstrated ability, would be essentially unprecedented in the modern history of the game.

      1. You are being kind. Derrick Mitchell has not done a thing that says he will eventually be a 4th or 5th OF. I previously compared him to TJ Bohn, who got a cup of coffee, but TJ Bohn was significantly more productive than Derrick Mitchell.
        Mitchell is a poor man’s version of John Mayberry Jr. Has the same contact issues, but without the power. Which means he would not get the opportunities or patience that Mayberry has received. Mitchell is a useful minor league player. Leave it at that.

        1. Disagree on the power comparison. Dmitch has shown the ability to hit 19 hrs in a season and has been in the top 4 for RBI for the last two seasons. Given he has to show much more than that to be considered a power hitter, still he has shown power. Keeping in mind that he was out for two months last season with a hand injury which is very difficult to come back and hit well from. Before his hand injury he was in the top 3 for RBI and hr. I think Larry’s prediction is far more accurate than VOR. None the less he may have to leave the org to get a real shot at the bigs.

        2. I did say “outside chance,” so we are not disagreeing much. However, let me dissent from you in three respects:

          (1) If indeed the team does “like” him, and we do have some evidence of that apart from his dad’s comments, his chance of getting a shot is indeed higher than performance alone would suggest.

          (2) It’s legitimate to mostly throw out last year’s numbers because of the injury (of course the flip side is that a player his age can’t really afford missed development time).

          (3) While correct about Mayberry having a significant power edge, Mitchell does have some skills that Mayberry doesn’t. Don’t get me wrong, his chances of putting together even a Mayberry type career are slim, but he does have some real characteristics of a 5th outfielder. Some pop, speed, good defensively, defensive flexibility.

          Let’s say that, 2 years older than his last stint in AA, he builds upon his 2011 season and puts up some legitimately good numbers at Reading. If the team has an injury in the outfield in mid season, I could see a call up. And at that point, a hot month or two could translate into a few years on a major league bench. Not IMO likely, but stranger things have happened.

      2. Correct me if I am wrong….but didn’t we have this same ‘comp conversations’ about D. Mitchell last year and also in 2011 and 2010? Is this an annual agenda item?

        1. Derrick’s relatives won’t give up. The coaches are now tired of the questions, so evidently they’re telling them he is the 1st call-up, in order to get some peace.

    2. Compared to what ? all the insight you have. I will take all the inside knowledge a parent has over unexperienced opinions of some random poster who thinks he knows baseball from behind a computer screen.And I think you are misinformed if you think the coaches are spinning things in a false positive. That shows how little you know.And tell me, what credintials do you have for your evaluations of players? We all have opinions and thats O.K. it is just how you state them.I have been to the Spring Training games watching these guys, and the only other people in the stands watching are other parents. So when I see statement on players that are truely false I want to know, were are you getting your information.But make no mistake even with all the unsupported comments i am proud to say at least I have a son playing in the Minor leagues.

      1. Given that of all the posts you have made for the last two years have involved Mitch Walding, I would assume that is where your connection is. If so congratulations on your son’s success, realize that no one here (well there are occasional trolls) has an agenda against any player. Some may have higher opinions and lower opinions and everyone has their own way of coming to them (personally I get every look I can at a prospect in person or video, talk to everyone I can who saw them, look at the stats, and listen to what scouts and experts have to say).

        If you have come here to join the community and provide good insight we welcome you with open arms, some people have their rough edges but they often provide good conflicting opinions.

        1. The kind of interesting thing about this guy in particular is that the reaction on this site, on the whole, has been pretty positive about Walding. In essence, most people are emphasizing the positive scouting reports and down playing the (frankly mediocre so far) numbers. And, IMO, appropriately so! But this isn’t a Derrick Mitchell case, where the board consensus is “no prospect.” We LIKE Walding around here.

          It’s true that he was “only” 22 in the reader top 30, but most of the guys ahead of him (all of the guys ahead of him?) are either more advanced developmentally, or also highly touted by the scouts. If his performance in full season ball this season begins to match the glowing scouting reports, he’ll vault into the top 10 very quickly.

  23. To get back on track, the Phillies released Aaron Cook today. How will this affect the workout groups for pitchers?

  24. Best of luck to ALL of the boys–the end of Spring Training is near.
    Can’t wait for the season to start!!!

  25. I resent some Anonymous guy/girl referring to me as a know it all/I don’t know SH**. I have a wife who can tell me that.

  26. OK, here’s the big question of the day, who is the 6th starter? With Halladay looking like he does, its not impossible that the 6th starter will be needed sooner rather than later. I’m guessing its Morgan now that Cook is gone although it could be Cloyd. I read Zolecki say that BJ Rosenberg was in the LHV rotation but I believe Cochran has that spot over him. If not, that would be an awfully young rotation (Morgan, Martin, Pettibone, Cloyd, and Cochran or BJ).

    1. I would guess it’s Cloyd, and then whoever is pitching better between Morgan and Pettibone would be #7.

      1. Yes. I think Morgan has a lot better chance to be an impact pitcher than Pettibone does, so the Phillies will try harder to avoid arb and FA for an extra season with Morgan.

      2. Morgan’s not on the 40 man either. To get to Morgan, the Phillies would have to bypass Cloyd Pettibone and Martin. That would be a tough decision.

        1. There is an issue nobody has considered. At some point there will be an LHP problem with the big club. Unless Martin suddenly accelerates and Pettibone settles down, we have 2 years from now Hamels, Lee, Morgan, Biddle and??? You can’t have 4 LHP in a rotation. As much as I am excited by Morgan, it would not surprise me to see him traded for an RHP or outfielder.

          1. We had 4 in 2009: Hamels, Lee, Moyer, Happ and Blanton as the lone RH. Myers was injured for most of the year. It can be done, even if not preferred.

          2. Why is this a problem for the Phillies if they are your best pitchers available? There are teams like Detroit with mostly RH pitching and they did well last year.

          3. If Biddle and Morgan develop into legit #2 type starters in the big leagues, and Hamels and Lee pitch 80% as good as they do right now, I’d be more than happy to have those 4 in my rotation regardless of what side they throw from.

          4. Having a same handed rotation matters in only a couple of cases.
            - They have large platoon splits, Hamels has slight revere splits because of changeup
            - Opposing line up is heavy right handed (only a worry in specific playoff matchups)

            Otherwise platoon splits mean very little for a starting rotation as opposed to in a bullpen or lineup (normally due to a bullpen). Large platoon splits can be a factor.

  27. And we tend to like some guys more than others and want to build those players up. But as a community we keep each other honest when the projections get out of hand.

  28. I feel like there are 2 camps on this site with regard to Tocci. There’s the “imagine when Tocci puts on the 40 lbs (that he is definitely going to put on) and still has his speed and contact ability and is hitting bombs to go along with it” and then there’s the other group which looks at him as a slap hitting, good fielding CF who is only talked about because of his age, and if he were 19 he would be just another guy in the organization.

    Obviously he is an intriguing prospect. Compared to most prospects that are his age he seems to really know how to play the game as opposed to just being a freak athlete who is trying to play baseball. At this point he has speed, can field and has good contact ability, which is a nice skill set to build off of. I don’t think there is much of a point in debating whether he will just be a skinny guy or will add significant weight and devlop power at this point. We have absolutly no idea how his body will develop so arguing over his ability to add weight just seems ridiculous. Obviously we are here to talk about prospects, but a lot of people seem so sure, one way or the other, about something none of us know.

    1. Even if he does not develop any power he can be Ben Revere with a grade less speed but with a 60+ arm as opposed to Revere’s 20-30. The Phillies just traded a #4 starter and a back of the Top 10 prospect for that. If he develops power he can profile much better. He is going to put on some weight because he is so young.

    2. Your comment about whether Tocci will develop power made me think of a very unfortunate comparison for Tocci, Jose Tabata. Tabata had that same natural feel for the game as Tocci as a 16 year o ldin Rookie league and was playing in the SAL at 17. For years people kept saying wait until he develops power, and he did show much more power at 16 than Tocci. Well now at 24 Tabata never developed the power at went into the tank after getting a big contract. On the plus side for Tocci I have never heard the “not a hard worker” rumor that followed Tabata when he was traded from the Yankees and was on full display last year.

    3. I’ve probably said too much already about Tocci, and at the risk of angering my dear friend larrym, I’ll just say that I’ve spent a lot of years in Clearwater and minor league locales on both the east coast and west coast, and from what my eyes tell me, Tocci is very, very, very special for his age. I just started following this site in the past 1-2 years and I can’t even begin to tell you all how much I’ve learned from the commentary about things like babip and age appropriateness for levels and k rates, etc. I’ve viewed the minors over the years minus all this insight and even today I struggle with how to apply a lot of it, so I go off of what I see and I’m very aggressive about trying to talk with people a lot smarter than me to learn things about what I should be looking for and what they’re seeing. In all my years of watching, I’ve never seen a minor leaguer at this stage of his development do the things Tocci does. I am truly in awe of his baseball instincts and awareness and maturity, and the speed and arm are something to really appreciate. I can’t fault anyone here for under-estimating him because most haven’t seen much of him, but I think he’s going to be an above avg major leaguer whether he devlops physically or not, and if he does, wow, look out. And no, I’m not his dad, uncle, brother, cousin, or neighbor.

      1. Not sure why you think it would anger me. I’m a Tocci fan and have never said a bad word about him. Probably not QUITE as high on him as you are, but that’s only because IF he doesn’t develop any power, the “margin for error” for that type of player is very small, even if his instincts and other tools are indeed exceptional. (That is, IF he doesn’t develop physically, he COULD still be an above average major league player, but such an outcome is far from certain.)

        As for the value of personal observations, I’ve never denied the importance of them. What I object to are:

        (1) People who expect to have their personal observations accepted as gospel truth, without either (a) evidence of ability to make accurate observations,or (b) details supporting general observations.

        (2) People who claim that personal observations are ALL that counts, trumping any numerical analysis or even professional scouting reports.

        (3) People who put a huge amount of weight on personal observations with regard to established major league players (defense arguably excepted).

        None of the above applies to you Buddy. I’ve always found your observations valuable – though obviously as one piece of evidence among others.

        1. And what really … well, angers me isn’t the right word, on these forums the only thing that really angers me is some of the crap thrown at Rollins and a few others (and,the mere presence of D. Young on the roster – yeah, I get the irony) – bugs me, I guess, is people going overboard on guys who don’t really merit it, based mainly on flawed statistical reasoning.

          Asche was a case in point last year, and I LIKE Asche, who is at this point, because of proximity, justifiably a higher ranked prospect than Tocci. But, while Tocci legitimately has an EXTREMELY high ceiling, Asche is unlikely to be more than a solid major league regular. Which is fine, of course. And the irony is that the extreme touting of Asche as more than that was based not on anyone’s personal observations, but, rather, upon an unsophisticated interpretations of the statistics – the idea that he’s a .320 hitter in the making.

          That is, it’s one thing to say that “I’ve seen Tocci; his approach, his poise, his instincts, his maturity at such a young age point to a player who is likely to develop into an above average or better major league player,” and another to say “Asche hit over .320 in less than a full season of A+ and AA ball, and hence is likely to be a .320 hitter in the major leagues!” The former may be a bit on the optimistic side, but I don’t really have any evidence to the contrary. The latter is a statistical argument that’s just wrong.

      2. Thanks for the information on Carlos Tocci as it is impressive that he doing well against much older competition. The Phillies seem to like Tocci and will promote him aggressively as he seems to be taking the Freddy Galvis’s path to the Phillies. Lets hope that he does well and makes the big team someday.

  29. I just want to say, as the parent of a current Phillies player, I always keep tabs on what you people say about my kid Delmon Young. Oh boy, do I have plans for you, Larry.

  30. I think some people are taking the (mostly amateur) opinions on this site a little too personally, Other than the rare occurrence of a troll, when we say something like player X has a below average tool or only projects as org filler, it is never meant as a personal attack on the player. It is just a person’s opinion based on his/her baseball knowledge and evaluation of video, live action, and/or opinions of other scouts and bloggers. Trust me, I would like nothing more than to have each and every person I have said was org filler to prove me wrong and become an All-Sttar. Heck, I’d be happy if the became an All-Star even if it was on another team. We really don’t mean any of the players ill-will or disrespect.

  31. We should rename this site, the phillies excuse site. no matter what they do someone will say something to make it seems right, who cares if other teams passed on bradley, we should be better if we want to win, second we take a fat out of shape guy over a good college hitter, we didnt draft in top 2/3 of draft. has boston, st louis who has so many prospect, they are in a bind.and two titles in what last 12 years. excuses are for losers. organization knows what best for players, am i mistaken but we have more suspenion for drugs,than any other team?? bad decision is the reason this team has little to replace ageing players. letting guys like workman walk over money and wasting the pick is another bad way to run a draft, if you draft someone in top ten you must sign them.

    1. Won’t argue with you that the farm hasn’t been hurt by Phillies being extremely cheap on draft bonuses (and even cheaper on international bonuses), because that, along with draft picks lost to sign mediocre vet FA, is why the farm hasn’t been a lot better. Still, our selection of talent, limited as it is by the sign for slot requirement, seems well above average. You pointed to a guy they missed. All teams will miss a number of guys who late do well. Everybody missed Pujols, and not for just one round. Everybody missed Howard. Half the league missed Hamels. Everybody missed Rollins. Everybody missed Brown. Any team is going to have more misses than hits, even with picks in the first few rounds of the draft. I think the problem with the LGJ draft was missing on some character issues. SOme guys will sign for big money and then strive to compete, making sure they arrive at ST in the best possible shape. Apparently LGJ is not willing to do that. We drafted him out of the Braves back yard. The Braves clean up on their local HS players who can become major league impact players. They knew something about LGJ that we did not. If the Braves pass on a local HS kid in first round, that should be cause for extra due diligence.

    2. Except, based on the draft, the Phillies would have a top 5-10 farm system. The reason our farm is bad has ZERO to do with our drafting and everything to do with trading for 2! Cy Youngs, 2 viable number 3/4′s, 1 All-Star Closer and 1 All-Star Outfielder.

      1. I agree but my how good would Domingo look in Reading this year? He might wind up being the one guy that got away that didn’t need to. I don’t believe there is anyway Wade wasn’t going to turn down the Pence deal if RAJ said no on him.

        1. Totally agree. But, once again, that has nothing to do with how the Phillies draft. They seem to draft really freaking well. They just end up trading everyone.

    1. He is in group 5 and is probably headed to extended spring training and then GCL when the season starts.

  32. On that note, watched Zach Green blast two Home runs today. I didn’t realize how big he is. Not as big as Cozens, but not far off. What are we gonna do with all these 3rd basemen?

    1. During my recent spring training trip, Green was the guy that impressed me the most (although Cozens is very impressive too). If not for Walding, who also has looked great, Green would have been sent to LWood. It would truly be a great problem to have if Asche, Franco, Walding and Green all hit well this year. Walding and Green are both ex football guys and are tall great looking athletes. Unfortunately, I thought Mattair was a great looking athlete and player also so that doesn’t always indicate success…

  33. From MLB.com
    “Cook’s departure sets up a Triple-A rotation with right-handers Tyler Cloyd, Jonathan Pettibone, Ethan Martin and B.J. Rosenberg and left-hander Adam Morgan, although Proefrock said nothing has been finalized.”

      1. Where does that leave Tom Cochran? I figured he would be in the AAA rotation…Is Rosenberg definitely starting?

  34. Martin in 4 K’s 4 but walks 5. Will he ever put it together and seize a spot in the rotation. Most guys with his stuff at his age are already pitching in the MLB.

    I’m definitely getting to LKW for a few games this year. Keep an eye on Delvy Francisco…

  35. Looks like Lavin is on the DL? Too bad…he was one of my favorite players for the Threshers last year. Does just about everything right and can flash all 5 tools. Yeah he’s a little old and is probly an ORG guy, but he’s a solid ballplayer and I was hoping he’d get some reps at Reading.

    1. Before resigning some more minor league vets, I thought Lavin was going to be a starter (by default) at AA due to his prior success. Hewitt, Collier, and one of the Mitchells or Welty at this point would get time ahead of him but Lavin is one of those guys (like Susdorf) I hope can make the majors.

      1. Meh, Lavin got off to a hot start last year, but it was just the start. He ended the year with pretty poor numbers in a league he was about 3 years too old for. I don’t think Susdorf is a good comparison because he can at least hit decently in the minors, though I guess Lavin probably has the superior glove.

        1. I agree, a .689 OPS for an over-age OF is nothing to write home about. Hewitt put up about the same OPS, is a year and a half younger on the same team, and still doesn’t strike me as a serious prospect.

  36. The minor leagues for baseball are unlike any other professional sports. It takes years through many leagues/levels for players to make it to the majors. Minor league baseball also has a wonderful history throughout the United States. I am a fan of the stories involved and wish the best for players hoping to make their dreams come true.

    Seeing a prospect have success, projecting them to stardom, and then see them reach that level makes the sport even more compelling.

  37. Remember when the rumor was out that the Phillies would trade Cliff Lee to Texas for Mike Olt.
    In 19 games in 2012 he hit .182 and it 19 spring training 2013 games he hit .194. Yeah I am ok with our up and coming 3rd base prospect Cody Asche.

    1. Not that I was for such a trade but righting off a 24 year old because of a 35 game sample size, more than half of which is spring training, seems absurd.

    2. Yes, Olt put up a .977OPS in AA last year at age 23. He’s still a solid prospect, although arguably no better than Asche, who put up an .873 OPS last year in AA at age 22. Neither is ready for the bigs today. Both could well be by the All Star break.

    3. The big difference is that Olt has 60 or 70 power to Asche’s 50 and Olt is a grade better defender at thirdbase (it is irrelevant that he won’t play third because he is blocked, doesn’t change his value as a player only the value he is providing). Asche has a better hit tool but Olt is a much better prospect because he is a regular regardless of extremely small sample size arguments.

    4. So what, Olt hit .186 in September, last year. Mike Trout hit 220 when he was called up in September, 2011. That didn’t mean Trout was a lesser prospect than other guys who hit, that September.

      1. Olt needs a full seasons worth of PA’s but Brett Wallace is another guy that offensively didn’t make the transition to pro ball after raking in the minors.

  38. Baseball Prospectus has a LOAD of Phils prospect reports on the site today. Some of them are…not good(Asche and Biddle) and some are very good(Collier and Quinn).

        1. There’s a blurb about newly former Phils prospect Julio Rodriguez that’s not behind the pay wall. Apparently, not only has his velocity not improved, it sounds like it’s gotten worse. “The arm is dead”. Yikes.

      1. It’s not that. It’s just that the Biddle review wasn’t as high as I would like and Collier got a better write up than expected.

  39. Tyson Gillies, via Twitter: “Keeping options open! Anyone know of a good place to live in the Lehigh Valley area?? #IronPigs”

  40. I don’t believe any of us want these kids to fail . but to keep talking about non prospects like they are future stars is nuts, mitchell isnt a starting outfielder or a major league prospect,based on his age and what he has done, here is a question to matt, would you trade even up ache for ott?? just wondering i haven’tt a clue who will be better. and we can track the two over there careers.

    1. Judging by what I’ve read about Olt I think almost all of us would be silly if we weren’t willing to trade Asche for Olt straight up. RAJ would likely pull the trigger on that in a heartbeat although I highly doubt that the Rangers would ever take such an offer seriously. That’s not to say that there is no way Asche ends up having a better career than Olt. But given everything we know about both right now the consensus is Olt is clearly the better prospect around the league; front office guys, scouts and fans alike.

      This isn’t me trying to belittle Asche because I like him quite a lot and he is one of the first people I look for in the box scores during the season. It’s just all current evidence seems to point to Olt being the better prospect and more likely to have the better career.

    2. I would trade Asche for Olt in heart beat. As I posted above here are their tool break downs (both are essentially finished products tools wise, just a little more polish needed).

      Asche: 60 Hit, 50 Power, 50 Speed, 50 Glove, 55 Arm
      Olt : 50 Hit, 65 Power, 40 Speed, 60 Glove, 65 Arm

      That means that Asche is somewhere around an average regular and Olt is a first division guy. Nothing against Asche who has surpassed my expectations and will be a fine major leaguer. A better comparison is Olt vs Franco, where Olt has a large experience edge (AAA vs A+), decent defense edge (50 vs 60), and speed (though 40 vs 20 really isn’t as large a gap as 40 vs 60 at third base). Obviously you would take Olt because he has some positional flexibility (he has the range for the OF) and is near major league ready but they are actually more similar tools wise.

      Could Asche be better, there is some possibility but it just isn’t as good a profile for it to happen.

  41. •Right fielder Micker Zapata, born on the island of St. Thomas but trained in the Dominican in recent years, has drawn interest from the Phillies, Mariners, Twins, did anyone ever hear of this guy??

    1. July 2 eligible player, he is either 15 or 16 right now, names are just starting to surface. Rumors Phillies already have $1mil offer out there

  42. There is not much on Miker Zapata, but the Phillies are supposedly going to offer 1 million dollars to him on July 2nd. Scouting report sounds like Jose Pujols.

  43. As an ex minor league player for 5 years i played with about 15 guys who got at least a cup of cofee in The big leagues. 2 of them are superstars and 6 or 7 are solid mlb players. The other 200 teamates now do other things(some work in baseball). Just a Bit of advice to some of The parents out there. Tell your kids to work hard, have fun and give it there best shot. Just having the oportunity to compeate @ a pro level is more then most people even dream of. So dont take offense to people who comment about a player they know little about. it comes with the territory and if he is 1 of the lucky few who gets to step onto a ml roster.there will be a lot more critisism then there is on this blog. anyway tell your kids to Always have a back up plan. The odds are against U

  44. I am a parent sir but fortunately my son is getting every opportunity and has been rising to the occasion. Plus he doesn’t play the same position as Tocci and has a good chance of breaking camp with A ball. So I’m happy as a lark And have nothing but great things to say About the organization And all the players

  45. Whoever your son is, we are all rooting for. Don’t let unbiased get to you. Everyone here is rooting for all of our prospects to succeed, we wish your son the best of luck and we hope he becomes a star.

  46. The organization knows what”s best for the players and where they will fit in. The Phillies do a Great job of taking care of all their players no matter where they were drafted or came from. I am also a parent and I’m happy as a lark with the organization :)

  47. Happy to have all the parents here. As a father myself (of two wee ones) I can only imagine the self control required to hear people comment on your child as posters on this site are apt to do. As Alec said above, we are all die hard fans and would like nothing more then to be proven wrong when we say something like “his hit tool is suspect” or “he profiles as a back-up”. There are always players who exceed expectations, it’s what aloud the phillies to win the WFC to quite Utley in 2008. Matter of fact, outside of Bryce Harper and a handful of others, every player when drafted must exceed reasonable projection to become a star at the MLB level.

  48. You get use to it… Plus it’s better to be on the receiving end of the bitter fruit of anger that grows from the seeds of jealousy …. than to be the coward spewing all the hateful comments while hiding behind the cloak of some screen name because their kid is getting out played …

  49. Alec is correct we all root for all Phillies prospects as a strong minor league system is good for everyone who supports the Phillies.

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