Category Archives: 04. Prospect Features

It Isn’t Time for Maikel Franco, Yet

This weekend the Phillies put Cody Asche on the disabled list retroactive to Friday with a hamstring injury, publicly the Phillies have said the move is precautionary and Asche should be back in the minimum amount of time.  This has led to a ton of speculation surrounding the Phillies pre-season #1 prospect, Maikel Franco.

It is easy to see why the push for Franco in the big leagues.  He is exciting and new, the team is old and not very good.  Franco offers the sexiest of offensive potential with towering HRs from a right handed batter.  The fanbase wants someone like Franco to come up and save this season, or at least provide hope leading into next year.  It is entirely understandable, but now is not the time. Continue reading

Checking in on Severino Gonzalez

Ever since his breakout last year, Severino Gonzalez has been a source of much discussion. There have debates not just about his ceiling and profile, but also about how that profile fits into the value scale of a major league team. Last night Severino made his 6th start of the season, and while it is too early to write any conclusions in stone, we can start to look at emerging trends.

So lets start with the overall stats:

2013 25 103.2 2 2.23 0.31 0.43 1.91 10.33
2014 6 34.1 3.67 3.23 0.311 0.52 1.83 6.82

Continue reading

Jesse Biddle #2 On BA Hot Sheet

Jesse Biddle coming off a pair of dominant starts was #2 on Baseball America’s Hot Sheet.  Over the two starts Biddle went 14 IP and gave up 4 hits, 1 earned run, 2 walks, to go with 21 strikeouts.  If Biddle puts up another start or two like this Biddle could be in Lehigh Valley soon.  Biddle was blocked from the #1 spot by Ranger’s masher Joey Gallo‘s .409/.500/1.091 line (yes that is a 1.091 SLG).  Gallo has been on fire this year so far.  Coming in at #4 on the list was Red Sox LHP Brian Johnson who went 6 IP 0 H 0 ER o BB 5 Ks for hi-A Salem.  Johnson was selected with the Phillies pick forfeited for signing Jonathan Papelbon, he is 23 and in hi-A though.

Full Hot Sheet is here -

Bonus: A scout’s take on Maikel Franco so far this year

Severino Gonzalez - Picture by David M. Scholfield/Lakewood BlueClaws

Breaking Down Severino Gonzalez

Severino Gonzalez has been the subject of much conversation between those who favor stats and results and those who are looking at scouting reports and the physical body of work.  This is not to say that anybody is wrong in this discussion, but more that we need to strip away all of our personal biases and look at the facts in front of us to come to a more informed conclusion.

The Stats:

No matter how you slice it Severino had an incredible statistical season.  His line across three levels was:

103.2 IP 2.00 ERA 22 Walks 119 Strikeouts 7.3 H/9 0.4 HR/9 1.9 BB/9 10.3 K/9 Continue reading

The Body Issue

So in thinking down my Top 30 list a bit, I come to a bit of a conundrum – I have three guys in close proximity with “body issues”. Severino Gonzalez, Dylan Cozens and Luis Encarnacion.

I spoke in the comments the other day about Severino Gonzalez. He’s listed around 6’1″, 153 pounds, and he’s yet to throw many more than 100 professional innings in any given year. Since he wound up in AA at the end of 2013, I think some folks have taken to assuming he pitched a full season, but we should not forget he was in extended and pitched out fo the bullpen for much of the year. Will a slight frame hold up to starters’ innings?

We believe Luis Encarnacion will hit, based on scouting leading up to his signing, but while he was listed as a 3B, much of the same scouting seemed to think he would never be anything other than a LF or 1B in the future. So not only are we betting on a 16-year-old, which gives plenty of people pause, but a 16-year-old who’s already ticketed for the two least demanding positions on the diamond.  Continue reading

Adam Morgan

Adam Morgan and Shane Watson have Shoulder Surgery Out Until August

Per Todd Zolecki, Adam Morgan had shoulder surgery this past month and Shane Watson is scheduled for surgery soon.  The Phillies expect both to be out until August.  This represents a big blow to the farm system as it makes it essentially two lost years for the pair of pitching prospects. Continue reading

Maikel Franco’s Contact

There has been a lot written and said about Maikel Franco‘s swing over the course of the season.  There have been talks about the shape and length as well as how much power it is going to generate.  Overall scouts have questioned how the swing as a whole will translate to the next level.  Franco has big time raw power and he has elite bat speed and hand eye coordination.  He has demonstrated the ability to make contact, but the quality of that contact has begun to come into question lately.  The goal is to explore if that is true and what that deterioration in contact might look like.

Contact Type:

So the first question is what kind of contact is Franco making.  Here is a break down of his percentages across each level Franco played at this year (sample size of 228, 249, and 88  balls in play respectively).

Contact Type

The first thing that jumps out is the spike in ground balls in AA that coincided with a drop in fly balls.  The next thing is that outside of a spike in winter ball, his line drive rate is very low (for example the lowest LD% among qualified 3B in 2013 was Todd Frazier at 18.1%), given that line drives have the highest probability of being hits, that is troubling.  The decline in flyball rate is troubling as well because that is where the HR power is coming from.  Overall it is an indication that Franco is not making the best contact possible, but given that minor league ball in play classifications can be off lets look at some spray charts. Continue reading

40 Man Roster Decisions – Part 1 – On the Roster

One of the first big moves of the offseason is the reshuffling of the 40 man roster.  The Phillies have already made their first round of cuts but they still have some work remaining to get down to enough to protect newly Rule V eligible players as well as sign free agents.  We are going to kick off this series by looking at the players already on the 40 man roster who may be on the bubble.  I have deemed players with established major league roles as safe and won’t discuss them here (this includes De Fratus, Diekman, Pettibone, Asche, Galvis, and Hernandez), I am including players who either are on the fringes or are pure minor leaguers.  I am going to give my opinion on what the Phillies should and give my guess at what they will do.

When it comes to players already on the 40-man roster, removing them subjects them to the waiver process.  This gives each team the option of claiming them, if claimed a player most only then be placed on his team’s 40 man roster.  If you are looking to keep some of these players in the org the big thing to look at is number of options years left.  A player with multiple options and some talent is likely to get claimed purely for a look, other, more fungible players can be snuck through waivers a bit easier. (*All ages are for Opening Day 2014) Continue reading