Category Archives: 04. Prospect Features

Aaron Altherr In Tonight’s Philadelphia Lineup

Just a quick note – Aaron Altherr will make the start in left field tonight for the Phillies. Altherr was called up in June while Tony Gwynn was on bereavement and took one PA, and he was recalled yesterday when Dom Brown went on the paternity list. The German-bron Altherr, nicknamed “The Rhineland Rocket” (by me – I am beating it into the ground, folks), OPSed .930 in June at AA Reading, but is OPSing .688 on the season between two MiLB levels.

Anthony Hewitt Released

When you pick for the boom, sometimes you get the bust – Clearwater announced on Twitter that Phillies 2008 First Round Draft Choice Anthony Hewitt has been released. Hewitt was old for his class, when at 19 years old he was taken with the 24th overall pick in out of Salisbury Prep (CT). He received a $1.38 million signing bonus at the time.

Over 2300+ PAs of professional ball, Hewitt triple slashed 223/264/370, with 82 doubles, 24 triples, 63 home runs and 94 stolen bases, and 763 Ks to just 91 BBs.

Matt’s profile of Hewitt’s career is here, last updated in the fall of 2012, before he had what I guess you would call a resurgence in 2013. Last year, the right-handed hitting Hewitt OPSed above .700 for the first time in his career, and added a couple points to his walk rate, while feasting on left-handed pitching, prompting some to wonder at the time if he’d make a short big league career for himself as a platoon/bench option if he could play decent defense and steal some more bases. 2014 has been a train wreck, however, as he OPSed .317 over two levels, having been demoted from AA Reading to A+ Clearwater a few weeks ago.

By many accounts, Hewitt was one of the hardest working guys on every team on which he appeared, and it’s a shame to see a guy like that never figure it out. Sometimes that’s just not enough to force a good ballplayer out of a good athlete.

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:

G IP ERA FIP BABIP HR/9 BB/9 K/9
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 – http://www.baseballamerica.com/minors/prospect-hot-sheet-april-25/

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