All posts by gregg

Starting Pitching Report Card, Lehigh Valley and Reading

Report card for starting pitchers at Lehigh Valley and Reading.  Clearwater and Lakewood are up next.  A reminder that grades are based on pre season expectations against the players themselves not against each other.  A= Far exceeds expectations; B= Exceeds expectations; C= At expectations; D= Below Expectations; F= Disaster

Lehigh Valley

Greg Smith, 30, Re-signed as a free agent in 2014; 27 games, 9-11 with a 4.40ERA; 157.1IP 176H 37BB 92K; 17HR allowed; 2.1BB/5.2K per 9; .286 opp avg; 1.35 WHIP; 0.63 GO/AO; .297 vs. LHH, .282 vs. RHH; Post All Star Game: 2-5 with a 5.58ERA in 9 starts; .318 opp avg with RISP.  Smith was serviceable this year, transitioning into a side armor.  Best that really can be said is that he gave Lehigh Valley innings, some good, some bad.  Grade: C; 2015: Elsewhere

Sean O’Sullivan, 27, SIgned as a free agent in 2014; 25 starts; 6-10 with a 4.30ERA; 148.2IP 154H 50BB 94K; 17HR allowed; .271 opp avg; 1.37 WHIP; 0.79 GO/AO; 3.0BB/5.7K per 9; .282 vs. LHH, .261 vs. RHH, .323 with RISP; 2-1 with a 2.56 ERA in 5 August starts; There were times O’Sullivan threw well, and he was an innings eater for Lehigh Valley, but basically, it was a mediocre year for the RHP.  Home runs simply killed him and the high opponents average with RISP tell the tale. Grade: C; 2015: Could be back in Lehigh Valley providing depth but more likely, elsewhere. 

Brad Lincoln, 29, Acquired from Toronto in 2013; 27 games (22 starts); 6-11 with a 5.11ERA; 123.1IP 123H 58BB 112K; 13HR allowed; .260 opp. avg; 1.47 WHIP; 0.79 GO/AO; 4.2BB/8.2K per 9; .271 vs. LHH, .252 vs. RHH; Since July 1st: 2-8 with a 6.12 ERA; .281 opp avg with RISP; Lincoln started the year with the Phils, was awful and was sent down.  He pitched well early for Lehigh Valley but his second half turned into an unmitigated disaster.  Grade: D; 2015: Elsewhere Continue reading

Report Card, Middle Infield–Lehigh Valley, Reading and Clearwater

The report card for middle infielders at the upper reaches of the organization. Next up: Starting Pitching

Lehigh Valley

Reid Brignac, 28, Signed as a free agent in 2014; .279/.357/.471 for Lehigh Valley in 128 AB’s; 5HR 21RBI; 3SB; 11%bb/22%k rates; .211 vs. LHP; .289 vs. RHP. 16 games at 2B without an error (1.000); 8 games at SS without an error; 10 games at 3B with 3 errors (.870); 1 game at 1B with 1 error.  Brignac was up and down between Lehigh Valley and Philly, with the DL in between this year. In fairly limited action with the ‘Pigs he did a good job with both the bat and glove.  Grade: B; 2015: Elsewhere; Brignac will go where there is the best opportunity for major league time.  Looking at the Phils situation, the likelihood is that his major league chances are limited.

Cesar Hernandez, 24, Signed as a free agent in 2007; .290/.358/.394 in 259 AB’s between Reading and Lehigh Valley; 3HR 24RBI; 8/15SB; 10%bb/16%k rates; .250 over last month; 24 games at SS with 4 errors (.952); 21 games at 3B with 10 errors (.831); 23 games at 2B with 2 errors (.981); Hernandez bounced all around in 2014, between the minors and majors; between Reading and Lehigh Valley. They experimented with him at 3B which did not go well.  His stats at the plate were solid as they usually have been in the minors.  Bottom Line: Hernandez can be a  backup middle infielder that is far more solid at 2B. Grade: C; 2015: The Phils are in a dilemma as Hernandez will be out of options after this year, so he must make the major league roster in the Spring or all major league teams will have a shot at him.  At just 24, he is a likely candidate to be picked up if the Phils choose to outright him.  Continue reading

Report Card–Middle Infield, Lakewood, Williamsport, GCL

The report card for middle infielders at the lower levels of the organization.  Up next is a look at the middle infield for Lehigh Valley, Reading and CLearwater.


Andrew Pullin,20, Phils 5th round pick in 2012; .270/.332/.374 in 492 AB’s; 9HR 61RBI; 6/13SB; 8%bb/18%k rates; .241 vs. LHP; .282 vs. RHP; .268 last month; .317 with RISP;  123 games at 2B with 26 errors (.951);  Grade: B; 2015: Clearwater.  A very good year at the plate by Pullin who was productive throughout the year.   In his second year since transitioning from the OF, Pullin committed too many errors but worked hard and showed defensive potential.  The Phils will be faced with a dilemma with the newly acquired Jesmuel Valentin likely to start in CLearwater as well, with AB’s potentially shared until someone steps up (or down).

Drew Stankiewicz, 21, Phils 11th round pick in 2014; .239/.297/.284 in 155 AB’s between Williamsport and Lakewood; 1HR 14RBI; 5/7SB; 8%bb/17%k rates; For Lakewood: .145/.198/.145 in 76 AB’s; 0HR 2 RBI; 27 games at 2B with 6 errors (.945); 17 games at SS with 2 errors (.971); Grade: C; 2015: Lakewood.  Stankiewicz was very good for Williamsport and very poor for Lakewood with the stick.  He will need to show some success in Lakewood before any more movement. Continue reading

Report Card–Catchers

A look at catching throughout the organization.  Problems up top and some excitement down below. 

Lehigh Valley

Koyie Hill, 35, Signed as a free agent in 2014; .227/.333/.352 in 176 AB’s; 3HR 17RBI; 14%bb/22%k rates; .125 vs. LHP; .266 vs. RHP; .231 last month; .275 with RISP; 46 games at C with 2 errors (.993); 3 passed balls; 38%CS rate; (13/34). Grade: C+; 2015: Most likely another organization or retired; Hill gave the ‘Pigs exactly what was anticipated with a bit of offense through an excellent walk rate, very solid defense and organizational depth at catcher which was needed in the bigs for an extended period with Ruiz and Nieves both out.

Cameron Rupp, Soon to be 26, Phils 3rd round pick in 2010; .165/.256/.299 in 194 AB’s with Lehigh Valley; 6HR 19RBI; 10%bb/36%k rate; .218 vs. LHP; .144 vs. RHP; .160 with RISP; .194 over last month; 56 games caught with 3 errors (.992); 4passed balls; 29%CS rate (14/48); Grade: D-; 2015: Lehigh Valley.  Rupp has just an awful year with the bat, during a season in which I expected him to step up and find himself knocking on the door for the backup catcher position in 2015.  AFter an early season trip to the DL, Rupp was never the same, albeit still doing a decent job defensively. With one option remaining, next years production will make the difference between whether Rupp is the 2016 Phils backup or likely in another organization by them. Continue reading

Report Card, Outfield, Lakewood, Williamsport and GCL

A look at outfielders at the lower levels of the organization.  A reminder that grades are expectations coming into 2014 vs. themselves not against others. A= Far exceeded expectations; B= Exceeded expectations; C= At expectation; D= Below Expectations; F= Horrible.


Aaron Brown, 22, Phils 3rd round pick in 2014; .268/.310/.383 in 235 AB’s between Williamsport and Lakewood; 4HR 21RBI; 8/13 SB; 3%bb/25%k rates; For Lakewood: .309/.339/.373 in 55AB’s; 1HR 5RBI; .309 over last month; Brown was a very exciting player at times and has shown alot of promise.  Plate discipline will be a key.  Grade: B-; 2015: Clearwater

Dylan Cozens, 20, Phils 2nd round pick in 2012; .248/.303/.415 in 509 AB’s; 16HR 62RBI; 23/30 SB; 7%BB/27%K rates; .204 with RISP; .255 vs. LHP; .245 vs. RHP; .213 over last 30 days; 123 games in the OF with 9 errors (.962); 8 OF assists;  A very exciting year for Cozens who showed speed, power, and run production.  If he can lower the “K” rate by a few percentage points, Cozens future looks extremely promising.  Grade: B; 2015: Clearwater

Larry Greene, Jr. 21, Phils 1st round pick in 2011; .183/.265/.279 in 197 AB’s; 2HR 18RBI; 4/6SB; 10%bb/27%k rates; .132 vs. LHP; .201 vs. RHP; .167 over last month; .164 with RISP; 50 games in the OF with 4 errors (.959); 3 OF assists; Simply an unmitigated disaster.  .132 against lefties…really?  Grade: F; 2015: Lakewood although he may go the way of Anthony Hewitt very quickly if he doesn’t produce. Continue reading

Report Card, Outfield, Lehigh Valley, Reading and Clearwater

A look at outfielders at the upper portion of the organization, with Lakewood, Williamsport and GCL up next.  A reminder that grading is based on what expectations I had for each player entering the season and they are not graded against each other.  Conceptually, an “A” far exceeds expectations, “B” exceeds expectations, “C” meets expectations, “D” is below expectations and “F” just sucks.

Lehigh Valley

Leandro Castro, 25, Signed as a free agent in 2007; .259/.307/.367 in 425AB’s; 6HR 48RBI; 7/14SB; 6%bb/15%k rates; .209 vs. LHP; .280 vs. RHP; .146 over last month; 109 games in the OF with 6 errors (.978); 10 OF assists; Grade: C; 2015: Another organization; Castro was re-signed by the Phils as a 7th year minor league free agent this year and was “decent” but far from consistently good (Note, avg last 30 days). He has improved his plate discipline through the years, but if the Phils didn’t call him up this year, he is best to sign on as a free agent with another organization.  Most of his numbers went down (although marginally) from 2013 to 2014.

Tony Gwynn Jr., 31, Signed as a free agent in 2014; .290/.383/.362 in 69 AB’s for Lehigh Valley; 1HR 7RBI; 2/6 SB; 14%bb/15%k rates.  Grade: C; 2015: Could be back in a similar role to 2014 floating between Philly and LV, but I suspect he will be elsewhere.  Gwynn was awful with the stick for the Phillies but produced well in limited AB’s with the ‘Pigs.  Whether he will be back or not is dependant on where Gwynn believes he can accrue the most ML time next year.

Cameron Perkins, Soon to be 24, Phils 6th round pick in 2013; .271/.326/.384 in 451 AB’s between Reading and Lehigh Valley; 5HR 51RBI; 8/14 SB; 7%bb/16%k rates; For Lehigh Valley: .216/.259/.298; 2HR 17RBI; 5%bb/18%k rates; .174 vs. LHP; .231 vs. RHP; .221 over last month; 115 games in the OF without an error (10 OF assists); Grade: C+; 2015: Lehigh Valley.  I struggled with Perkins grade. He was far better than I expected him to be for Reading and far worse in Lehigh Valley, so overall things evened out.  I think his hitting for average will come around but without much power, there is a likelihood that we may have another Steve Susdorf on our hands.  Susdorf, (who by the way is a great guy), just didnt have the one additional tool to take the next step. I hope Perkins proves me wrong.


Aaron Altherr, 23, Phils 9th round pick in 2009; .237/.292/.400 in 477 AB’s; 14HR 59RBI; 13/19 SB; 6%BB/23%K rates; .247 vs. LHP; .231 vs. RHP; .216 over last month; .211 with RISP; 126 games in the OF with 7 errors (.978); 13 OF assists; Grade: C; 2105: Lehigh Valley; When you watch Altherr play, he looks like a ball player but it doesn’t always translate.  His 2014 was ok, hit for some power, showed some speed but went through periods with very little production.  With 2 options left, having already played in the Fall League and 450+ AA plate appearances, I would challenge him in Allentown next year.

Zach Collier, 24, Phils 1st round pick in 2008; .240/.318/.408 in 267 AB’s; 9HR 29RBI; 5/12 SB; 8%bb/28%k rates; .192 vs. LHP; .259 vs. RHP; .260 over last 30 days; .186 with RISP; 82 games in the OF with 2 errors (.994); 1 OF assist; Grade: C-; 2015: Elsewhere; Collier was removed from the 40 man roster and designated for assignment mid-season after an awful first half, and after he was not picked up by any other team re-assigned back to Reading where he was more productive in the second half.  So, with that said, Collier now has close to 800 AA AB’s and an average sitting at .229, doesn’t hit consistently for power and was thrown out more times than he successfully stole bases this year.  Time to move on.

Kelly Dugan, Soon to be 24, Phils 2nd round pick in 2009; .296/.383/.435 in 253 AB’s; 5HR 34RBI’s; 10%bb/20%k rates; .281 vs. LHP; .306 vs. RHP; .338 over last month; .313 with RISP; 64 games in the OF with 3 errors (.976); Grade: B-; 2015: Lehigh Valley; Dugan’s biggest issue has been simply staying on the field.  If you extrapolate his year over a full season, the grade goes up drastically, but missing 200+ AB’s makes passing judgment more difficult.  He is ready for AAA pitching, has two options left, and if he stays on track is likely on the 2016 Phils roster.

Peter Lavin, 26, Phils 20th round pick in 2011; .287/.332/.441 in 460 AB’s between Clearwater and Reading; 6%BB/14% k rates; .227 vs. LHP; .307 vs. RHP; .325 over last month; 11HR 49RBI; 11/18SB; .283/.322/.434 in 251 AB’s with Reading; 110 games in the OF with 5 errors (.982); 21 OF assists; Grade: A-; 2015: Lehigh Valley; After an awful 2013, during which he hit .224 in 200+ AB’s in CLearwater and missed significant time with an injury, Lavin came back very strong this year, earning a quick promotion out of CLearwater and performing in consistent solid fashion in Reading.  His 21 OF assists led the organization by a wide margin.  Already at 26, Lavin’s age is working against him.


Brian Pointer, 22, Phils 28th round pick in 2010; .246/.336/.419 in 415 AB’s; 15HR 53RBI; 16/24 SB; 11%BB/28%k rates; .283 vs. LHP; .231 vs. RHP; .264 over last month; .284 with RISP; 115 games in the OF with 2 errors (.992); 13 OF assists; Grade: B-; 2015: Reading; After a first half of the season during which he hit .214, Pointer came on to hit .272 during the second half, with power, run producing ability and speed, while playing a solid OF.  About to fall off my personal prospect chart after a sub par 2013 and a poor first half, Pointer has re-established himself as someone to watch closely.

Roman Quinn, 21, Phils 2nd round pick in 2011; .257/.343/.370 in 327 AB’s; 7HR 36RBI; 32/44SB; 10%bb/22%k rates; .327 vs. LHP; .227 vs. RHP; .260 over last month; .317 with RISP; 69 games in the OF with 6 errors (.967); 3 OF assists; 17 games at SS with 3 errors (.954); Grade: B+; 2015: Reading; Quinn came back earlier and stronger than I expected and had a very good year.  He made it clear through his 32 SB’s that he was fully healed and became significantly more comfortable at the plate when moving back to his natural position in the OF.  Of note as well is the impressive walk rate.

Herlis Rodriguez, 20, SIgned as a free agent in 2011; .260/.305/.338 in 77 AB’s between Williamsport, Lakewood and Clearwater. 0HR 5RBI; 1SB; 6%bb/16%k rates; Grade: C+; 2015: Lakewood; Rodriguez was placed in Clearwater for the last several weeks of the season simply because they needed to fill a OF roster spot, but he impressed with multi hit games in 5 of the last 6 games for the Threshers.  Until that time, Rodriguez had played sparingly, wherever he has.  At just 20, he may have earned himself some regular AB’s in Lakewood next year.

Brandon Short, 26, Signed as a free agent in 2014; .215/.270/.347 in 251 AB’s; 4HR 32RBI; 4/8SB; 7%bb/20%k rates; .243 vs. LHP; .203 vs. RHP; .237 over last month; .277 with RISP; 51 games in the OF with 4 errors(.952); 1 OF assist; Grade: D; 2015: Out of Phils organization.  Short was a combination of poor and injured fro all of 2014.


Report Card, Corner Infielders

With the Post Season Report Card, we will grade the performance of each and every player that ended 2014 on a Phillies affiliate minor league roster.  When grading, the grades given should be considered what was expected “against themselves” for 2014, not a reflection on their performance vs. others.  For example, far more was expected from Maikel Franco coming into 2014, then was expected of  Art Charles.  Additionally, with the grade will come a projection on where the player fits in (or not) for 2015.  Enjoy and discuss.

Lehigh Valley

Jim Murphy, soon to be 29, Phils 17th round pick in 2008; .240/.330/.391 in 396AB’s; 11HR 47RBI; 11%bb/24%k rates; .242 vs. LHP; .239 vs. RHP; .269 over last 30 days; .243 with RISP; Grade: C-; 2015: Out of the organization; Murphy’s days with the organization have simply run their course.  He has done a good job historically but he isn’t a major league player and there are plenty of players that can fill the void that Murphy will leave.

Russ Canzler, 28, Acquired as a free agent in 2014: .286/.360/.545 in 213 AB’s with Lehigh Valley; 11HR 34RBI; 2SB; 11%bb/22% k rates; .320 vs. LHP; .256 vs. RHP;  .298 over last month; Grade: B+; 2015: Its a crapshoot.  Canzler will be a minor league free agent and go where it makes the most sense for him personally, but the Phils should make an offer.  Canzler is a local kid, who put up good numbers and is a good guy to have in the clubhouse and quite versatile. Continue reading

John Mayberry Jr., traded for Gustavo Pierre

The Phils announced this evening that they traded OF John Mayberry Jr to Toronto for High A 3B Gustavo Pierre.  Pierre, 22, is a DOminican native and played for Toronto’s affiliate in Dunedin this season, hitting .263/.285/.390, with 7HR 40 RBI and 8SB.  Most problematic is the 3% walk rate to go along with the 26% k rate.    Pierre has played 104 games at 3B this year and committed 24 errors (.909).  Just last week, Pierre was called up to Toronto’s AA affiliate in New Hampshire to finish out the season and Pierre is likely to start 2015 as Reading’s 3B.

Credit where it is due to Amaro.  Mayberry had no future in Philadelphia and while likely neither does Gustavo Pierre, there should be an appreciation for the fact that Amaro acquired something of value, albeit likely minimal for something that has zero current or future value for the Phils.

2015 Phillies Roster Make Up

When looking at who is likely to progress, the contract status of those on the current 25 man and 40 man roster is critical to evaluating potential next steps, so here it goes:

Catcher: Carlos Ruiz will be back and is scheduled to make $8.5M next season.  Wil Nieves has done a real nice job as a back up and is scheduled to become a free agent at the end of this season. He made $1.125M this year and should probably be in line to get between $1.5–2M next year.  The Phils would be wise to bring him back based on the large question marks surrounding both Tommy Joseph and Cameron Rupp right now.  Going into next season, Joseph will have two options remaining and Rupp will have one option left.

Corner Infield: Ryan Howard’s $25M salary is well documented and as much as I would like to see him move on, I expect him back at 1B, collecting in excess of 450 AB’s next year.  Cody Asche will have a salary right around the major league minimum of $510K and all three options remaining next year.  It will be interesting to see how things play out with Maikel Franco a certainty to be added to the 40 man roster and will be knocking at Asche’s doorstep.  Darin Ruf will go into next season slated to make just above the major league minimum if he sticks and has one option remaining.  Continue reading