40 Man Roster Decisions – Part 3 – Position Players

So we reach the end of our journey through the 40 man roster decisions, with position players.  If you missed it I already discussed the players on the roster and the pitchers eligible.  The position prospect list is actually quite small due to the Pence trade (Jonathan Singleton), Kyrell Hudson and Gauntlett Eldemire no longer being with the org, and Cameron Rupp‘s recent addition to the roster.

Tommy Joseph – C – Acquired from San Francisco for Hunter Pence

A year ago Joseph was the centerpiece of Hunter Pence’s trade to the Giants and a no doubt Top 10 prospect in the system.  In the spring he looked like the catcher of the future showing huge raw power and an electric arm behind the plate.  Joseph’s season got off to a rough start in AAA, but it ended up being only a 20 game sample size as his third concussion essentially ended his season.  There are some doubts whether Joseph will be able to catch longer term, but he is back behind the plate in the Dominican right now with an eye on a comeback.  If he can’t stay behind the plate he is not a prospect, but if he can stay behind the plate he has value at very least as a backup and that upside makes him a must protect this offseason. MPW: Keep Phillies: Keep

Kelly Dugan – OF – 2nd Round 2009 Draft

Dugan doesn’t have a ton of special tools, the hit tool is probably more fringe average than average, the power is above average, he moves ok, the glove is fine in a corner, and the arm is strong and accurate.  If any of those things improve he is an average regular is a corner outfield position, if it all stays the same he is somewhere between a second division regular and 4th OFer.  Given his career trends and scout’s opinions of his approach, his walk rate should rebound from where it was in AA, but he will be close to the .260 hitter he was there, as there is still plenty of miss in the swing.  He is probably about a year away from the majors but would be a nice cheap bench option going forward.  MW: Keep Phillies: Keep

Aaron Altherr – OF – 9th Round 2009 draft

The first thing that comes up with Altherr is that he is toolsy with good power, speed, and arm.  He does swing and miss a lot and the power is only just now coming in.  He is not a burner but has been a fairly effective basestealer in his time in the minors.  The biggest thing that is often overlooked is that Altherr has worked himself into being a true center fielder, and that takes a lot of pressure off of the bat to carry him to the majors.  He has some continued growth to do, but given his defensive flexibility and tools his floor is as a 4th OFer, and if he continues to put it together he profiles as a regular in CF, and possibly more if he closes the holes in his swing. MW: Keep Phillies: Keep

Anthony Hewitt – OF – 1st Round 2008

Hewitt still looks like the physical monster he was when the Phillies drafted him.  He has continued to make incremental improvement as his 6.2% BB% was a career high, as well as his .187 ISO.  He continues to swing and miss at a huge rate and he can’t handle same side pitching or anything with spin.  What Hewitt did well in 2013 was mash lefties at a .389/.434/.800 pace over 97 PAs.  If Hewitt is going to make the majors it will be in that type of limited role where he is a platoon player/pinch hitter.  Hewitt has improved his defense (mainly his throwing accuracy) and is quick on the bases (though not always efficient).  In the end it is a great story that Hewitt has made it this far (and likely AAA next year), but there is a limited role for him in the majors and not a ton of upside to be gained by having him sit for a year.  MW: Leave Unprotected Phillies: Leave Unprotected

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

12 thoughts on “40 Man Roster Decisions – Part 3 – Position Players

  1. There are also 2 guys that have recently resigned with the team. What is the status of leandro castro and jiwan james???? Are they to be possibly protected or will they be rule 5???

    1. They are not protected from the Rule 5 draft. If the Phillies had wanted to protect them they would have added them to the 40 man roster rather than let them go to minor league free agency and signing them there.

      That being said, if any team wanted them that bad they would have reached out and signed them in free agency (it would have saved them around $50,000 dollars)

      1. Not true. Original team has a Window to sign The player before he becomes a free agent. Both james and Castro signed before other teams had access. That being said i dont think they will loose either player

  2. With all his swing and miss I think Altherr’s floor is well below 4th OF.

    I know what you mean but saying “In the end it is a great story that Hewitt has made it this far” sounds like an odd thing to say about a 1st round pick who hasn’t faced any injury issues or other well publicized personal tragedy.

    1. If Hewitt were a guy who showed up out of shape each year and didn’t put in the work, I’d agree. But he’s always conditioned and appears to have strong perseverance despite being the poster child of the failures of the high risk/reward philosophy of drafting. He’s a toughkid who deserves recognition for improving every year, no matter how incremental it might be.

      1. That’s correct. The arc has yet to swing all that high, but Hewitt remains on an upswing, moving up the ladder with improving numbers. He does hit really well against LHP. He was 24 last season, which is old for a prospect in AA and his OPS wasn’t good for a corner OF, because he is an outright bad hitter against RHP. The speed and athleticism are still there, but despite that, he really doesn’t shine as a corner OF and cannot play CF. He still could make it as a LH PH and platoon guy in the bigs, but he is getting short on time. A big problem from the start was that he was a year older than many of the other HS kids in the draft the year we took him. It seems the Phillies didn’t compensate for age. He also was a raw hitter from the northeast, and that must be a lot tougher to judge than the Southern California kids. A cautionary example of taking a kid without a hit tool in round one. He was a huge, huge reach on draft day, since his fielding was also inadequate, forcing a switch from inadequate IF to average corner OF defense. On D, he still has the strong arm, although it doesn’t stand out for accuracy.

  3. Bad news about Joseph. No way Phillies can rely on him for anything. No other team will value him either so I suppose Phillies aer doing best the can, play him until concussions end his career.

    Altherr is just the next of toolsy OF. Hope for James, Gillies, Collier has fallen.

    1. I asume you live in Phoenix, did you have a chance to see some Fall League games and if so how did our guys do?

      1. Not this year.
        And I am a terrible scout.
        Only Altherr would have interested me and his being hurt early stopped my interest. Would have been nice to see Giles throw 100+ up close though.

  4. James, Gillies, Collier and Hewitt have all gotten a littler stale as prospects. Kyrell Hudson was in that category, but he has been cut. At this point, we have to hope that last year’s draft and this year’s will re-stock the shelves. One of the catchers in the post season–I can’t recall who at this exact moment–also had concussion problems early in his career, but switched back from the lighter mask to the heavier traditional mask and has been fine. Maybe that will work with Tommy Joseph.

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