77 thoughts on “Box Score Recap – 6/2/2013

  1. Franco has now matched his career high for HR in half as many ABs as the previous season. FWIW, he’s also got just as many doubles (23) and triples (1) and more HR (14) in 253 AB than Jonathan Singleton had in High A for the Phils and Houston two years ago (23 doubles, 1 triple, 13 HR) in 449 AB. Yes, Singleton was a year younger, but don’t discount that Franco plays a more premium defensive position.

    I can’t wait to see what he does at Reading.

    1. Wow.

      It does seem like Bright House/the FSL is playing a lot more hitter-friendly than in past seasons, though. If anyone has done the legwork to determine whether this is true, I’d love to see that analysis.

      1. Park factors seemed to be more neutral the last time I saw them a couple months ago. Can’t find the link, though.

    2. Not to disparage the year Franco is having, but Singleton also walked, like, twice as much in Clearwater as Franco.

      Still, with the year he’s having I’ve changed my mind about possibly moving him up to AA this year. I wouldn’t be as quick to move him as Dugan or Altherr, but if he goes like this for another month and a half, why not?

        1. I’m comparing their offensive numbers, and was perfectly clear in my post that they play different positions. If that’s not a “smart” comparison, oh well. Personally, I find it interesting that the Phils’ 20-year-old 3B prospect is hitting XBH at twice the rate as Singleton — at top 25 prospect — at the same level.

    1. LeeAnn….always good to have prospects relatives on the site. Gives us some prospect insights normally we can only speculate about. Hope he continues his success.

      1. Actually not a relative–I’m his host Mom from when he was drafted last year and spent the season in Lakewood. He’s an amazing young man (as many of them are) and I wish him nothing but success. :)

  2. Milner’s last 10 games: 1.72ERA, 62ip 60K’s 47 hits, .212 avg. I’m not sure what to make of him. I love the results but his frame (6’2″ 165lbs) just screams reliever. He was pitching out of the bullpen for Texas but began starting again last year. I know when top 20 lists started coming out before the season John Sickels was very high on him and included him on his list.

    This was his pre-2012 draft write up about Milner. Sickels chose him as one of his sleeper picks:
    “Hoby Milner, LHP (Texas) (JR) was a bullpen arm for Texas that sat 90-93 flashing 94 from the left side. Listed at 6’2 165, he has a frame that will fill out and could possibly add a few ticks on his fastball. Threw a slurve that had 10-4/11-5 break but did not throw it too much. Throws over the top, and was affective against both LH and RH hitters. I think that he will be a steal for someone in the mid-late rounds. I see him being a bullpen guy still at the next level that could go through an order more than once.”

    This was Sickels again in his top 20:
    20) Hoby Milner, LHP, Grade C+: Finesse lefty from University of Texas features advanced pitchability, possible back-end starter but could move very fast if they use him in the bullpen.

    Coming from a top college program, is this just a case of him pitching as he should at this level or is he developing into a possible 4-5 starter?

    1. I was looking at that last night too. Milner is ready to get moved up. He’s a college kid (we had a nice chat during spring training, he’s a nice, smart kid) who has had a nice run of success here who is ready to get challenged with AA. He looks smooth when he pitches, I think he can stay as a starter but time will tell.

      1. I also spoke with him at spring training. A very down-to-earth guy and very friendly. He is extremely thin (not a bad thing) just an observation. I like his makeup and love the results.

  3. I think I read on a previous post that either Keith Law or somebody from BA said Franco “would never be” a top 50 prospect. Seems like a pretty good prejudice on a 20 year old in High A who is on pace for 25+ bombs, batting .280+, and I believe only has 1-2 errors.
    I guess since his name isnt “Sano” hes not good enough.
    Better prospect Biddle or Franco?

      1. It was Callis … he based it on Franco’s swing, which he believes has a hole that will be exposed at the big league level. He’s the only person I’ve heard make this insinuation, however.

            1. Camden (Philly): Can you please help me understand what is meant by Maikel Franco’s “arm-bar swing?” Does he have the potential to be a top 50 prospect by season end?

              Jim Callis: Not sure I can explain this well but I’ll try … It’s an overextension of the front arm in a swing, which adds length to the swing and makes it difficult to handle good inside fastballs. I like Franco some, he’s one of the best position prospects in the Phillies system, but don’t see him as a future Top 50 guy.

            2. 9 months earlier he didn’t have anything bad to say about his swing.

              Tom B (NJ): Maikel Franco has put up some pretty staggering post All Star numbers (.335/.392/.537/.929) as a 19 year old in Lo-A. Reports I’ve heard are his glove is solid as well. What are your thoughts on him and does he have any chance at being a top 100 player this year? Thanks.

              Jim Callis: I don’t think I’d put him on the Top 100 but he’s one of the best prospects in the Phillies system. The bat is promising and he’s a solid defender at third base.

        1. Franco worked very hard on his swing last year and changed it. His 2nd half success came with the new shorter stroke and he’s continued it this year. He sure looks good to me…. but Dugan looks just as good…..

          1. Albeit 2 years older and at a less premium position… I’d call them both up and see how it goes.

            1. This is true, but something which may be overlooked there is because of various injuries Kelly Dugan actually has almost 200 fewer minor league plate appearances than Maikel Franco. Dugan’s level/age is always going to be a concern(which is why I want to see him pushed to Reading), but the injury thing is definitely qualifier for him.

  4. Alright, is Milner this year’s Adam Morgan? The numbers say yes. 1.14 WHIP and a 4.5 SO/BB ratio along with a strong 9.0 SO/9. Dude is going to reading with Dugan soon I would think.

    1. The difference between Milner and Morgan is that Morgan’s stuff is better and his frame is better too. Milner has been pitching very well but I don’t see him ever getting on Morgan’s level as a prospect.

  5. From Larry Shenk at Phillies Insider :
    Transactions: Clearwater C Tommy Joseph, who missed a month with a concussion, was placed on the DL after 10 games there with a contusion of his shin . . . Released form extended spring training: OF Miguel Alverez, OF Yan Oimo, RHP Andrew Aizenstadt, INF Tyler Greene.

    1. Woah, Tyler Greene release is pretty big. And great news on Joseph, everyone pretty much assumed his concussion was still a problem.

      1. I never liked the kid but I know several on the board loved him… wish I’d have been wrong.

      2. That Joseph thing is great news. Hooray for non-career altering injuries.

        So Tyler Greene…it’s is so early to be releasing him. I wonder if it was his decision or the club? If I were him, and the club was planning to use me in a utility role in WIL until I figued out that thing I’ve been unsuccessfully trying to figure out for two years, I might be tempted to pack it in.

        A bit surprised they released Jan Olmo. Numbers game there, I imagine. You can only have so many outfielders and if they felt like he was at the bottom of the pile, then what can you say about it?

      3. The release isn’t much of a surprise, based on how poorly he preformed. For a player that was a top 100 draft prospect, in 2010, he was outrageously overmatched from the start.
        He had an interview, prederaft with a NY Yankees blog, where he came off as the most cocky, arrogant player I’ve ever seen. But after I read he gave his whole signing bonus to his mother, to open her own business, I was kinda rooting for the guy to figure it out.

        1. He’s actually a great kid and I’m very sad to see him go. Hopefully he’ll be playing somewhere else again soon! It’s not an easy business at all. :(

    2. Olmo and T Greene were released because of the numbers. They just drafted a SS and they have Pullin to play 2B and they have several outfielders also so with guys signing so early and playing right away some guys are getting sandwiched. It is a surprise on both though since both were pushed last year. Tough business….

      1. The ‘un’Chosen One released.. just like any business, promotion follows performance..

      2. To give up on a guy who you paid $375k 2 years ago, there is probably more than just numbers. Play him in the outfield, play him from the bench, etc. No reason to drop him unless either he doesn’t want to be there or you are convinced he will never, ever, progress.

  6. Interesting comparison between Franco and Scott Rolen… Franco is outplaying him at the same position, same age, same level by a decent margin (when evaluating OPS).

    I’d say Franco probably has higher offensive upside, but less chance of realizing it… (I say that because Rolen had elite BB%, and that seems to be a high predictor of “floor” at the major league level). I also don’t think Franco has the defense Rolen had, though nothing to sneeze at. Interestingly, perhaps it’s time to promote Franco (as they did Rolen through 60+ games)…

    1. Franco doesn’t have the size, speed or athleticism of Scott Rolen – that’s why Rolen’s ceiling was higher. That said, Franco could be one hell of a hitter – I’d take another Adrian Beltre in a heart beat.

      1. So during his prime, what is the absolute best case scenario for Franco in terms of OPS+?

        I don’t think it’s all that much different then Rolen… Rolen was a 129 OPS+ player…. Franco I think has that potential.

        1. Rolen played in the steroid era, if he was truly clean you can probably adjust the 129 OPS up. Not to mention Rolen was a superb defensive third baseman.

          1. Franco is clearly our #1 prospect. He will be aramis ramirez who has been one of the more solid 3b in the mlb for the past 10 years

          2. Not to accuse him of steroid abuse, but him playing in that era to me is a red mark against him, not for him… Best case scenario is a neutral effect…

  7. I saw BA has a new international article about Luis Encarnacion and the Phillies. Can anyone summarize the article?

    1. I know we have had ties with Encarnacian and he can’t sign until the 9th of August. One of the best bats but will have to move off third. This is all from the last article on him. It would be really awesome if the phillies could sign him. Cherry on top of an amazing draft.

        1. He’s huge and only going to get bigger. His motions don’t look smooth but maybe he does stick. Looks more like a first baseman or corner outfield.

          1. He’s 6’2” 185 at 15 2/3rds… 6’5” 225+ as an adult? yeah, it’s a bit big… i’m not sure his body type though, is he really athletic or pudgy?

            1. Almost have to trust the scouting here. They’ve seen him, and more than one time we’ve heard the same thing, with no dissenters to my knowledge.

    2. The arcticle compared him to Devers. Devers has more bat speed and a shorter swing. Scouts are split on who they like more. Encarnacion has more present power (considered plus). Scouts expect him to end up at 1b, maybe LF. Compared him to Allen Craig and Billy Butler. Expected to get a bonus greater than 1m.

  8. I was at the Reading game last night. Lannan looked good, only one ball was hit hard off him. But man, Reading is miserable to watch offensively.

      1. seriously, I spent half the game trying to talk myself into believing Hewitt was a prospect

        1. part of problem is lakewood is not performing as well also. That might factor in to clearwater guys being moved up.

          1. And that fully describes the problem with our farm system. Last year the rallying cry was that the lower levels were strong, but now Lakewood stinks. Some promising guys were moving up in Reading and Allentown, but Collier, Joseph, Martin, and a bunch of relievers have sorely disappointed and Morgan is hurt. That leaves just Rupp and Biddle. At Allentown we have Asche and Hernandez. Ruf has also disappointed. Clearwater is the only point of strength in the system. We will see what short season is like.

    1. i hope some of the clearwater guys get promoted. then we’d have a reason (other than biddle) to check the box scores. :-)

  9. Gawd, the whole Reading outfield just makes me sick. So tired of their wasted talent (or perhaps a couple were drafted waaaay higher than they should have been and don’t really have the talent…?). Please, please, please just cut Gillies, Collier and “Jennifer Love” Hewitt, declare the whole thing a disaster and find anybody…ANYBODY…to fill their spots. So disgusted….FAIL!

    1. Gillies is an enigma. Hewitt is actually having the best year of his career, although he bats down the lineup and sits/DHs a lot. Collier was showing promise at the end of last season and in the AFL and has just collapsed this year. I am hoping he is just playing through some nagging chronic injury, like a wrist, because you are correct that he sure looks awful. The three of them have bad hitting/contact/pitch recognition skills, although Hewitt really seems to have taken a step forward from truly horrible to only bad in that category. They generate a lot of swings and misses as an OF trio. I also find their AB difficult to watch. I suspect Collier will repeat AA next season and Hewitt and Gillies will be gone from the system.

    1. So after the writeup on Micker Adolfo Zapata and saying the Phils have offered $1M (but the trainer is holding out for $1.3m) it lists
      Comparison: Delmon Young

      Should that be a warning?

    2. Does anyone know what the Phillies international allotment is? Just these two players would be $2-2.3 million. It doesn’t seem likely they would get both but I don’t know how the current rules on international signings work.

      1. Aron,

        See 2 attached articles from BA. Phillies bonus pool is $2.289M. In addition to its international signing bonus pool, each club is allowed to sign six players for bonuses of $50,000 or less that will not count against its pool, the same way each team is allowed to do so during the current signing period. Any signing bonus of $10,000 or less will also be exempt from a team’s bonus pool.

        http://www.baseballamerica.com/international/international-bonus-pools-for-2013-14/

        Here is an article explaining penalties for going over…they are pretty harsh…

        http://www.baseballamerica.com/international/penalties-for-exceeding-pools-depend-on-international-draft/

    1. I am always curious when I read something like “some question his defensive ability.” IS that just “We are afraid he will get too big and/or too slow” or do they have information that we don’t have? Everyone around here seems to suggest that he is at least an above average fielder at this point.

      1. It’s a stupid new-journalism report-both-sides-but-don’t-conclude-but-gie-no-objective-information-to-hel- the-reader-decide insipid sentence. ‘Some question his defensive ability, but scouts I have spoken with say he can stay at 3B, without question’. So scouts say his 3B defense will be just fine, but some, of indeterminant occupation, have raised a question. What does such a sentence even mean? It has a sly, cover-your-ass quality to it, possibly because we have no commonly accepted defensive metrics. You can report HRs and that is viewed as starkly factual and unquestionable, you can add OBP and OPS and although some will quibble about new stats and want to see OPS+ you’ll get nodding agreement from most. Talk of defense in terms of errors committed and a very large number of fans know you’re talking nonsense, while the advanced defensive metrics disagree with each other and don’t get a lot of respect. So, we are left with purely subjective opinion, presumably including from those who haven’t watched Franco play since his first year in the system. But hey, it’s just opinions and journalism says all opinions must be equal, or we have revealed our bias as pundits and journos.

  10. I like to keep it simple.

    The Phillies have too many guys in the system that seem like they can’t hit a lick. Franco is a welcome exception. His hitting will move him along. As he gets to AA and AAA, and as he finishes filling out, what he is or isn’t defensively will manifest itself more clearly. I could be wrong but right now I am not sure how much it matters.

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