All posts by andyb

2013 Early Season DSL Report

The 2013 DSL season started a couple of weeks ago.  This post (like the previous VSL post) will summarize the new players on the roster and provide some clues on which players to watch over the rest of the season.  As with all the Latin American complex posts, observations are based almost entirely on stats, the playing time of prospects, and the prospects’ age.  Playing time is an important variable as the Phillies will naturally give playing time to the better prospects.  Thus pitchers in the starting rotation and hitters at prominent defensive spots (like C and SS) are generally held in high regard. Continue reading

2013 VSL Phillies – Early Season Update

Both of the Latin American complex leagues have started in the past few weeks.  This post and a subsequent DSL post will look at the new players on the roster and highlight some of the players to watch for this season.

The Phillies won the Venezuelan Summer League last year with a 48-22 record.  The team did have a handful of prospects who have won promotion to GCL and above (Severino Gonzalez for example), though it was not a team with a great number of top tier prospects. They were a dominant team primarily because the quality of the rest of the league was relatively poor.  The league dropped down to only 4 teams because of the political unrest in the country with most organizations sending their prospects to the DSL and even starting a 2nd DSL team to give them playing time. Continue reading

Box Score Recap – 5-15-2013

Not a good line from Seth Rosin - made me take a closer look at his numbers. If he can’t strike as many guys out from the rotation, he’d better be getting a ton of groundballs. So far this year his GB%, according to First Inning, is only 40%. That’s not good for a guy with just a 16% K Rate. He may be headed ultimately to the pen where his stuff played more for strikeouts in 2011-2012, (25% and 27% respectively).

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DSL 2012 Midseason Update

This year’s DSL Phillies are off to a good start with a 16-13 record in their first 29 games, good for a share of 2nd place 4.0 games behind the Yankees in the BC South division.  While this year’s Phillies team has no known high bonus players on their roster, they are holding their own with a mostly age appropriate roster.  The average age on offense is 18.7 (compared to the league average of 18.5) and on defense is 19.0 (compared to the league average of 18.9).

The Phillies recently made 5 additional Latin American signings including 2 high profile Dominican players.  OF Jose Pujols is a power hitter out of the Domingo Santana mold ($540K) and C Deivi Grullon ($575K) is a catcher with a strong arm and other tools.  Look for both Pujols and Grullon to make their debut next year either at GCL or in the DSL, depending on how their offseason development progresses. Continue reading

VSL 2012 Midseason Update

With the beginning of July we are now over half of the way through the 2012 VSL season.  It has been a strange season for the Phillies entry who have dominated the league going 28-14.  The team has a 2.41 ERA overall and a .779 OPS.  They are in first place by 1.5 games.  With all that, however, it is difficult to determine whether the team has any real prospects.  The offense is certainly young, though the best performances have come from older players.  The pitching has dominated though also led by strong performances from the older players.  In spite of these dominant performances it is very possible that the Phillies have a better group of older players than the other teams in the 4-team league.

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2012 DSL Phillies – Week One Update

As we did with the VSL a few weeks ago, this post will summarize the new names on the 2012 Phillies Dominican Summer League roster while also providing some early clues on who the top prospects to watch might be.  As always we lead with the caution that any observations here are based on stats, playing time, and age.  They are not based on actual scouting reports unfortunately unless certain players have been mentioned in interviews with the Phillies minor league staff.

In 2011 the DSL Phillies played in the 8 team Boca Chica South division and finished at 38-33, in 3rd place 8.5 games behind one of the Cubs 2 affiliates.  Many other organizations have started a second VSL team in recent years as they have closed their Venezuelan academies.  The Phillies still field one team in each league.  One interesting note on the Phillies DSL team from last year: they were outscored by 58 runs and still finished 5 games over .500.  Maybe Manny Amador should be considered to manage the big club. Continue reading

2012 VSL Phillies – Week One Update

The 2012 Venezuelan Summer League Phillies season started last week.  This post will provide a quick summary of the new names on the roster as well some insights on the first week of play.  It can also serve as a discussion area for Venezuelan prospects.  The Dominican Summer League should start next week as well and will be covered in a separate post.

The VSL has shrunk this season from 6 to 4 teams as the Pirates and Reds both pulled out of the league.  Four teams remain: the Phillies, Rays, Tigers, and Mariners.  The other teams are now sending their Venezuelan prospects to the DSL where the competition is better and the politics are a little more stable.  It is an open question as to whether the VSL can continue as a viable entity, though the Phillies seem to be staying to take advantage of the money they have invested in their baseball complex.  In addition, there may be additional advantages in attracting Venezuelan prospects who can play on a team in their country for the first year or two.  The Phillies do continue to invest in top Venezuelan prospects with their largest investment to date last year in signing OF Carlos Tocci.  Tocci will most likely make his debut later this year in the GCL.

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2012 – New International Players In Spring Training

This post will provide a brief summary about the new names seen on the minor league work groups this spring.  There are more than 20 players on the minor league spring training rosters that are new signings or who played last year in one of the two Latin American complex leagues (the DSL and VSL).

The big news internationally for the Phillies this past year was the signing of OF Carlos Tocci for a reported bonus of $759,000.  This bonus is one of the largest ever given by the Phillies to an International player, though the team’s largest bonuses in the past have a mixed record of success.  The highest bonuses have generally been spent on players that did not work out (Seung Lee, Il Kim, Carlos Rodriguez), though the team has had some success with mid-level bonuses to players like Carlos Carrasco and new 2B Freddy Galvis.  By all accounts Tocci is a highly skilled CF with plus tools but with major questions about how much power he might eventually add.  Tocci is the big name in spring training, however, and it will be interesting to see where the team places him.  Galvis was in a similar situation and he was given an aggressive placement in the NY-Penn league when he was 17.  Tocci will not even turn 17 till later in the Summer, however, so a GCL destination is the most likely. Continue reading