The Phillies have announced that Jesse Biddle will undergo Tommy John surgery to repair a torn UCL ligament and is likely to miss the 2016 season. If rehab if successful, Biddle will be entering his final option year as 25 year old in the 2017 season.
We conclude our player report cards with a look at relief pitchers at the lower levels. A caveat here, below Lakewood there is very minimal (if any) analysis and grades as I haven’t seen most of these pitchers and their sample size is extremely small. It becomes guesswork at that point, which I feel obligated to stay away from.
Jason Zgardowski, 21, Signed as a free agent in 2014; 34G, 4-1 with a 3.12ERA; 57.2IP 36H 26BB 54K; .184 opp avg; 1.08 WHIP; 1.08 GO/AO; 4.1BB/8.4K per 9; .176 vs LHH, .186 vs RHH, .180 last 30 days. An excellent year for Zgardowski was went undrafted last year and was a very good find. He throws very hard and was overpowering at times for Lakewood. Walk rate needs some work. Grade: A-; 2016: CLearwater
Calvin Rayburn, 23, Phils 16th round pick in 2014; 32G , 5-3 with a 4.44ERA; 1/3SV; 48.2IP 37H 24BB 26K; 2HR allowed; .214 opp avg; 1.25 WHIP; 1.50 GO/AO; 4.4BB/4.8K per 9; .215 vs LHP; .213 vs RHP; .313 last 30 days. Rayburn was generally pretty effective but seemed to run out of gas during the later part of the year. He will not overpower you, but knows how to pitch. Grade: B; 2016: CLearwater
Jairo Munoz, 24, Signed as a free agent in 2015: 13G(3 starts) for Lakewood; 3-0 with a 2.67ERA; 33.2IP 26H 9BB 28K; 1HR allowed; .217 opp avg; 1.04 WHIP; 2.00 GO/AO; 2.4BB/7.5K per 9; .180 vs LHH, .243 vs RHH, .198 last 30 days. I admittedly dont know too much about Munoz and have never seen him pitch but his line looked good. Grade: B; 2016: Clearwater
Matt Hockenberry, 24, Phils 9th round pick in 2014; 42G, 4-4 with a 2.24ERA; 19/22SV; 52.1IP 34H 19BB 51K; 1HR allowed; .186 opp avg; 1.01 WHIP; 1.68 GO/AO; 3.3BB/8.8Kper 9; .207 vs LHH, .168 vs RHH, .167 last 30 days; .209 with RISP. Quite honestly, I don’t know what more the Phils were looking for out of Hockenberry and was very surprised he was not promoted during the season. He was consistent all year other than a very short stretch when he was injured, bounced back very strongly after a DL stint and was the primary closer throughout most of the season for Lakewood. One homer allowed in over 50 innings to go along with a strikeout rate approaching one per inning, while holding the opposition below the Mendoza line. Grade: A; 2016: Hockenberry’s age is what is working against him, however the calendar is out of his control and he can only worry about his performance. No reason he shouldn’t be double bumped to Reading to see what he can do. Closers mentality. Continue reading Post Season Report Card–Relief Pitchers–LK, WP, GCL
A friend sent me this article from a newsletter he receives. In short, the Atlanta Braves are looking into moving their spring training operations from Orlando, FL; and have come up with a proposal that would place them in St. Petersburg, FL by 2018. Atlanta’s lease with Disney is up at the end of the 2017 season and neither is interested in renewing the lease.
The move would benefit Atlanta (and me) since it would Continue reading Braves Pitch St. Petersburg Sports Complex
A look at relief pitchers at the upper levels of the organization. The report on relief pitchers from Lakewood, WIlliamsport and GCL comes Thursday
Jason Berken, 31, Signed as a free agent in 2014; 28G (13 starts); 5-8 with a 4.61ERA; 113.1IP 133H 33BB 78K; 11HR allowed; .291 opp avg; 1.46 WHIP; 0.95 GO/AO; 2.6BB/6.2K per 9; .287 vs LHH; .294 vs RHH, .369 last 30 days; For a good portion of the year, Berken was one of Lehigh Valley’s most dependable starters, but then bouncing between roles and presumably tiring towards years end, he really struggled. Grade: C; 2016: ANother organization
Chris Leroux, 31, Acquired from Milwaukee in 2015; 22G (3 starts); 3-3 with a 2.82ERA; 60.2IP 47H 19BB 40K; 3HR allowed; .210 opp avg; 1.09 WHIP; 1.67 GO/AO; 2.8BB/5.9K per 9; .150 vs LHH, .314 vs RHH, .159 last 30 days; Acquired mid season because of injuries and call ups, Leroux was asked to do a little of everything and did it well. Spot starting, long man, late innings, Leroux was effective throughout coming on strong towards the end of the year. Not overpowering but knows how to pitch. Grade: B+; 2016: Could get an invite to Spring Training and hold down a Lehigh Valley roster spot depending on needs in March.
Dustin McGowan, 33, Signed as a free agent in 2015; 31G, 2-2 with a 4.08ERA; 15/17SV; 39.2IP 41H 24BB 28K; 1HR allowed; .261 opp avg; 1.64 WHIP; 0.82 GO/AO; For Phils: 14G, 6.94ERA; .296 opp avg; 2.10 WHIP. I actually expected McGowan to make a big league contribution this season and that dream was put to rest early with extreme ineffectiveness leading to his demotion to Lehigh Valley. Occasionally effective as a closer for the ‘Pigs, McGowan continued with his inability to throw strikes. Grade: D; 2016: Elsewhere
Seth Rosin, 26, Re-acquired via Rule 5 return in 2014; 47G; 4-3 with a 3.29ERA; 3/5SV; 68.1IP 76H 21BB 49K; 4HR allowed; .278 opp avg; 1.42 WHIP; 1.05 GO/AO; .300 vs LHH, .261 vs RHH, .250 last 30 days;2.8BB/6.5K per 9; Rosin had a very mediocre year and looks now to profile as the stereotypical AAAA mid to late inning reliever. Grade: C; 2016: Rosin will be a minor league free agent and will go wherever he has the best opportunity. Not likely to be added to the 40. Continue reading Post Season Report Card-Relief Pitching, LV, REA, and CW
Lots of talent to talk about here…Remember grades are based on expectations against the player themselves (pre-season) not against each other. Next up: Relievers (LV, REA and CW), likely Tuesday.
Aaron Brown, 23, Phils 3rd round pick in 2014; .257/.324/.406 in 389AB; 11HR 47RBI; 10/18SB; 6%BB/21%K; .285 vs LHP; .242 vs RHP; .300 last 30 days; 104 games in the OF with 2 errors (.992); 6 OF assists; After starting the season slowly and a stint on the DL, Brown came on strong as a very important cog in the Threshers offense towards the end of the year. He is one of my “under the radar” guys that if given the opportunity could break out next year. Grade: B-; 2016: Reading
ANdrew Pullin, 22, Phils 5th round pick in 2012; .258/.300/.396 in 493AB; 14HR 73RBI; 1/6SB; 5%BB/15%K; .274 vs LHP; .250 vs RHP; .282 last 30 days; 98 games in the OF with 3 errors (.983); 10 OF assists; Pullin transitioned back to the OF this year and was the Threshers primary LF. The transition was smooth and Pullin was a consistent key run producer in the Clearwater lineup. Grade: B-; 2016: Reading
Carlos Tocci, 20, Signed as a free agent in 2011; .287/.339/.363 in 509 AB between Lakewood and Clearwater; 4HR 43RBI; 17/28SB; For CW: .258/.296/.313 in 275AB; 2HR 18RBI; 3/12 SB; 4%BB/18%K rates; 127 games in the OF with 2 errors (.991); 5 OF assists; After almost 1200 plate appearances with Lakewood, Tocci was promoted after putting up outstanding numbers for the BlueClaws early this season. Still just 20, Tocci’s transition to Clearwater was acceptable but he will need more time in High A before moving up. His defense remains excellent. Grade: B+; 2016: Clearwater Continue reading Post Season Report Card–OF, CW, REA and LV
A look at outfielders in the lower levels. A reminder that grades are based on performance against was expected pre-season of this player, NOT against others. Next up will be outfielders at the upper levels.
Jiandido Tromp, 21, Signed as a free agent in 2011; .216/.268/.354 in 412AB; 9HR 44RBI; 10/15SB; 6%BB/27%K; .217 vs LHP; .219 vs RHP; .290 last 30 days; 108 games in the OF with 2 errors (.992); 10 OF assists; After a very good 2014, much was expected of Tromp and took alot longer adjusting to the SAL than many expected. He did play solid defense and came on at the end of the season. Already with over 1000 minor league at bats, I think he begins back in Lakewood. Grade: D+
Chase Harris, 24, Phils 14th round pick in 2014; .255/.310/.294 in 310AB between Clearwater and Lakewood; 0HR 23RBI; 21/29SB; 6%BB/16%K; 80 games in the OF with 1 error (.994); 6 OF assists. Harris was the odd man out in CLearwater, being demoted back to Lakewood when they needed roster space and then getting injured to end the season. Harris is like many other OF’s in the organization…decent hitting tools, little power, good speed. He may become victim to the numbers game once again as there are several younger players with similar skill sets. Grade: C-
Cord Sandberg, 20, Phils 3rd round pick in 2013; .255/.303/.345 in 499AB; 5HR 59RBI; 5/12SB; 5%BB/17%K; .222 with RISP; .218 vs LHP; .269 vs RHP; .243 last 30 days; 120 games in the OF with 4 errors (.983); 13 OF assists. Mediocirty for Sandberg this year, who showed his true potential in spurts and then really struggled in others. Grade: C; 2016: Clearwater
Herlis Rodriguez, 21, Signed as a free agent in 2011; .294/.339/.425 in 445AB; 10HR 61RBI; 16SB; 6%BB/15%K; .326 vs LHP; .282 vs RHP; .297 since Aug 1; 98 games in the OF with 6 assists (.967); 21 OF assists; Rodriguez had an outstanding year in all aspects of his game, hitting for average, showing his speed and even hitting for some power. He led all Phils minor league OF in assists as well. After missing most of 2014, he is back on track. Grade: A; 2016: Likely Clearwater, outside shot at a double bump to Reading. Continue reading Post Season Report Card–OF, GCL, WPORT and LAKEWOOD
All of a sudden, lots of talent behind the plate with many difficult decisions on “who goes where” come next season.
Erik Kratz, 35, Signed as a free agent in 2015; .312/.433/.558 in 77AB with Lehigh Valley; 3HR 15RBI; 19%BB/19%K; 11 games caught with 1 error (.988); 1 passed ball; 1/6 CS (17%); Also played one game at 1B. Kratz was picked up late in the season as the Phils wanted a catcher to add to the September roster in Philly. Kratz did his typical very competent job with Lehigh Valley. Grade: B+; 2016: Either retired or with another organization
Gabrial Lino, 22, Acquired from Baltimore in 2012; .234/.277/.329 in 304 AB between Reading and Lehigh Valley; 3HR 30RBI; 6%BB/25%K rates; .215/.244/.272 for Lehigh Valley; Hit just .188 over last month of year; 83 games caught with 4 errors (.993); 8 passed balls; 31/76 CS (41%). Although significant difficulties with the bat during the last two months of the season, Lino’s 2015 has to be considered a success as he established himself defensively behind the plate and showed the capability to hit a bit. Grade: C+ 2016: If the Phils have to make a choice between Lino and Moore, Lino has the advantage of being three years younger. I see him back in Lehigh Valley.
Logan Moore, 25, Phils 9th round pick in 2011;.253/.312/.349 in 229AB between Reading and Lehigh Valley; 3HR 25RBI; 8%BB/19%K; For Lehigh Valley: .276/.338/.351 in 134AB; 62 games caught with 5 errors (.988); 5 passed balls; 29/55 CS (53%). Moore had another excellent year with the glove and throwing runners out and was much improved with the bat. I would have liked to have seen him play a bit more in Lehigh Valley as he is Rule 5 eligible and could easily take a spot on a major league roster as a backup catcher. Grade: B+ Continue reading Post Season Report Card–Catcher
Next, we are taking a look at SS throughout the organization. Two legitimate major league prospects in Crawford and Canelo.
Chase D’Arnaud, 28, Signed as a free agent in 2015; .268/.317/.354 in 497AB; 5HR 35RBI; 28SB; 5%BB/12%K; .258 vs LHP; .272 vs RHP; .228 last month; 87 games at SS with 22 errors (.945); 34 games at 3B with 2 errors (.972); 3 games in the OF. Once D’Arnaud started playing every day, he played well and was among league leaders in SB and runs. Grade: B; 2016: With Crawford knocking on the door, I don’t see D’Arnaud back.
Edgar Duran, 24, Signed as a free agent in 2007; .163/.242/.207 in 135AB; 0HR 9RBI; 8%BB/16%K; .163 vs LHP; .163 vs RHP; 44 games at SS with 8 errors (.960); 4.36 R/F; 2 games at 2B without an error; Duran missed considerable time injured this season, including the last six weeks of the season; Slick fielding, he is pretty much awful with the bat. Grade: D; 2016: He could stick around in Lehigh Valley as a back up middle infielder
JP Crawford, 20, Phils 1st round pick in 2013; .288/.380/.414 in 430AB between Clearwater and Reading; 6HR 42RBI; 12SB; 13%BB/11%K; For Reading: .265/.354/.407 in 351AB; 5HR 34RBI; 7SB; 12%BB/11%K rate; .227 vs LHP; .282 vs RHP; .300 last 30 days; 106 games at SS with 27 errors (.953); 5.12 R/F. After missing the first month or so injured Crawford had a very good, borderline excellent year. He slumped a bit in late July, early August but came back strong in the seasons final weeks. Exceptional batting eye, makes very regular contact. In a “perfect” world, his average would be about 10-15 points higher and a few fewer errors. That said, he is right where he needs t be to debut late in 2016. Grade: B+; 2016: Lehigh Valley Continue reading Post Season Report Card–Shortstop
Cord Phelps, 28, Signed as a free agent in 2015; .229/.319/.290 in 397AB; 3HR 34RBI; 5SB; 12%BB/18%K; .292 vs LHP; .202 vs RHP; .143 last 30 days; 55 games at 2B with 4 errors (.984); 4.53 R/F; 55 games at 3B with 6 errors (.950); 2.07 R/F; Phelps had by far the worst year of his minor league career with the bat, struggling almost all season but particularly at the end. Grade: D; 2016: Another organization
Tyler Pasternicky, 25, Acquired from Texas in 2015; .286/.358/.367 in 98AB with Lehigh Valley; 1HR 4RBI; 1SB; 9%BB 9%K rate; 20 games at 2B with 3 errors (.972); 4 games at 3B with 1 error. Acquired around the time of the Chase Utley deal, Pastornicky was needed as an upper level insurance policy. He played well in his role and profiles as your stereotypical AAAA middle infielder. Grade: B-; 2016: Could stick around as a back up in Lehigh Valley
Brodie Greene, 28, Signed as a free agent in 2015; .251/.338/.299 in 338AB between Clearwater and Reading; 0HR 24RBI; 4SB; 11%BB12%K; .177 last 30 days; .241 for Reading; 88 games at 2B with 7 errors (.982); 4.25 R/F; Also played 4 games in the OF and 1 game at SS. Greene was signed after Carlos Alonso was lost for the season injured and did a competent job filling in. Grade: C; 2016: Another organization
Angelo Mora, 22, Signed as a free agent in 2010; .312/.356/.447 in 340AB between Clearwater and Reading; 3HR 39RBI; 4/11SB; 7%BB/15%K; For Reading: .327/.411/.531 in 113AB; 3HR 18RBI; 12%BB/21%K; .348 last 30 days; 50 games at 2B with 7 errors (.969); 4.42R/F; 37 games at SS with 9 errors (.934); After hitting .214 for Lakewood in 2013 and .227 for CLearwater last year, Mora put together an outstanding season first at CLearwater, then at Reading. He hit consistently all year and added even a bit of punch when called up to the Fightins. Grade: A; 2016: Reading Continue reading Post Season Report Card–Second Base
The Phillies announced their decision to not extend the contract of GM Ruben Amaro. assistant GM Scott Proefrock was named interim GM effective immediately.
I know most of the reader here couldn’t wait for this to happen. I am rpoviding this thread so that the anti-Amaro discussion can be posted here. Keep them out of the minor league threads. I don’t want to have to delete a lot of misplaced comments, as I have already been forced to do.
The Phillies press release is provided for those who haven’t seen it.