It’s great to be here writing for Phuture Phillies! I’m joecull, and as could be assumed, I’ll be writing for Phuture Phillies. My work will mainly pertain to the Reading Fightin’ Phils (And no, I’m not a fan of the name). Without further ado, lets analyze Reading’s catching situation.
Sebastian Valle- By now, we all know about Valle’s plate discipline, or lack thereof. Last year, he hit .253/.271/.428 with 17 homers and 58 RBI in 388 at-bats between Reading and Lehigh Valley. If he was in Lehigh Valley last year, why is he back in Reading? The answers are quite simple. He was simply dominated in AAA last year, in no small part thanks to his lack of plate discipline. Valle walked 2 times in 80 plate appearances and struck out 31 times. That’s a 15.5 K/BB ratio, which is pretty ugly. It’s safe to say that he wasn’t ready for AAA. Also, Tommy Joseph’s emergence plays a role in Valle’s return to Reading. Acquired in last year’s Hunter Pence trade, Joseph is a better hitter than Valle with more plate discipline. Continue reading
Loyal reader Warren was able to attend Tuesday’s Reading Phillies game and provided a well-structured, detailed report. I will provide that report to you here. Thank you Warren for the time and your opinions.
AA Game Review: Reading Phillies vs Richmond Flying Squirrels (SF Giants) – 4-24-12
Reading improved to an impressive 12-5 on a chilly Tuesday evening at First Energy Stadium, beating San Francisco’s AA affiliate 6-0. The big story here was Tyler Cloyd, who easily handled Richmond’s prospect laden lineup which includes top farmhands Gary Brown , OF, and Tommy Joseph, C / 1b. Reading’s own talented offense provided plenty of support, breaking things open with a four run seventh inning.
Reading at best treaded water over the last two weeks going 7-8. New Britain, New Hampshire, and Reading appear to be the class of the Eastern League this year, and all are in the same division, meaning it will be a tough fight for Reading all the way through August. The R-Phils averaged 5.4 runs/game over the period while yielding exactly 5.4 as well, leading to the .500 stretch. Details below the fold.
Coming off of the 6-3 start I reported on two weeks ago, many wondered if the R-Phils were just hot, or if they are really a good team. That question seems to have been answered, at least in part, by the 9-4 record they posted over the two succeeding weeks. The team has been led by their offense, efficient if not dominant pitching, and by getting the big hit or the big out when its needed. At 15-7, they’re in first place by 3 games in the Eastern Division of the EL.
The R-Phils are off to a solid 6-3 start after a week and a half of playing. They stand second in the Eastern Division, a game behind New Britain, and a game in front of New Hampshire. They are 5-2 on the road, including a sweep of previously front-running New Hampshire, and 1-1 at home. The offense has been strong, averaging 5.8 runs/game, while the pitching has held up its end as well, allowing only 3.3 runs. The offense has been a bit feast-or-famine, or they’d be a game or two better. They’ve been shut out twice, and scored 13 runs twice.
Rosters were posted this morning in CLearwater and this is where we are currently at:
Lehigh Valley: Catchers: Erik Kratz and Dane Sardinha
Infield: Tagg Bozied, Josh Barfield, Jeff Larish, Kevin Frandsen, Robby Hudson
Outfield: Matt Miller, Rich Thompson, Brandon Moss, Delwyn Young, Cory Sullivan
Starters: Nate Bump, Drew Naylor, Vance Worley, Ryan Feirabend, Brian Bass, Eddie Bonine
Relievers: Matt Anderson, Drew Carpenter, Jason Grilli, Scott Mathieson, Michael Schwimer, Mike STutes, Dan Meyer, Mike Zagurski, Juan Perez.
Lehigh Valley will need to cut three players from this list by opening day, next Thursday April 7th. Continue reading
The Philadelphia Inquirer reported today that 2010 Reading Manager Steve Roadcap has been told that he will not return to the RPhils in 2011, but will remain in the organization with a job at the Single A level. With Lehigh Valley Manager Dave Huppert having been fired at the end of the 2010 season, both of the top two levels of the organization will have new managers at the helm at the start of the 2011 season.
Although not a note relating to a Phillies prospect, I would be remiss not congratulating Lehigh Valley IronPigs General Manager Kurt Landes on being named the International League Executive of the Year. Lehigh Valley led all 160 minor league teams in attendance last year, a truly amazing feat considering the fact that Lehigh Valley is 27th out of 30 teams in AAA baseball as far as market size. Even with an abysmal team on the field, the Lehigh Valley staff led by Landes continued providing an entertaining night out for familes in the Lehigh Valley. Congrats on a job very well done.
Two games in two days–made it to Reading today (with family, so I missed the start and end of the game). I was interested in watching Harold Garcia and Cody Overbeck as position players (Galvis got the night off) and seeing Drew Naylor throw.
Hey everyone, I had the opportunity to see Reading last night. I am not a pro scout by any means. I actually just graduated high school and I am going to college this fall. I hope to do this one day professionally and I have been following baseball for a long time.
All of the velocities come from Readings radar gun which is typically 3 MPH slow.
These of course are just my opinion.
Drew Naylor- 84-86 FB, touched 88, 68-70 CB, 79-81 CU. Also showed a cutter/slider in the 83 range. Fastball was straight. Had decent command. Curveball looked very good. Multiple times he was tipping the pitch however. It still induced weak contact and swing and misses. Tired in the 4th, leaving many pitches up and losing sharpness. As of now he has a 45 fastball, 60 curveball, fringe 40 change, and a 35 slider. I can see him being effective out of the bullpen. If he can bump his fastball up, he can be effective. There were a few scouts there, none were watching Naylor for what it’s worth.
Reading went 6-5 over the last 11 days, including the completion of a suspended game, and another game that was suspended until mid-August. Harold Garcia was the hitting star of the period (along with the usual suspect, Matt Rizzotti), batting .356 and throwing in an unexpected .600 SLG. He hit in 10 of the 11 games, with a double, two triples, and 2 home runs. Garcia has been killing lefties in AA, posting almost a 1.200 OPS, albeit over only 30 plate appearances.
Of course, calling Garcia the ‘star’ shortchanges the monster of the Eastern League, Matt Rizzotti, who posted close to his usual stats, .414/.614/.655 for a 1.269 OPS. His most unusual stat was drawing 15 walks in the 10 games, with Akron simply refusing to pitch to him in the last two games of their series. Rizzotti now leads the EL in batting by 53 points, in SLG by 103 points, and in OBP by 20 points, currently holding the sabermetric triple crown. Continue reading