Category Archives: Castro, Leandro

What to Expect in 2013: Corner Outfielders

Corner outfield like the infield corners is where teams look to put players with power and limited athleticism.  Typically right fielders have to have a strong arm to make the throw to third base to prevent teams from going first to third on every single (and tagging up on fly balls), however having a plus arm in left is still a legitimate asset to a team’s defense.  Up until 2010 the corners had not been a major problem for the Phillies but since the departure of Jayson Werth the Phillies have struggled to fill RF, they got a successful half season out of Hunter Pence at a very high price but otherwise the replacements in RF have been disappointments.  In LF the Phillies historically have been willing to sacrifice defense in order to get a good bat into the line up.

On a whole the Phillies have drafted and signed toolsy outfielders with limited success to this point, highlighted by Dominic Brown’s current major league struggles.  It does however leave the system with a good amount of players who have high upside, both in the corners and center field, that could make the jump to solid prospects.

As always if you have not read gregg’s end of year recaps for would like the refresher here is the upper half and the lower half.

Darin Ruf (26) – Ruf has been the source of much discussion this fall after a torrid end to his AA season.  Going into the year he has a very good org first baseman that had some upside as a bench bat.  By the end of the season Ruf had put up one of the greatest AA in Phillies history, and had hit 3 HRs in the major leagues.  Ruf has been playing mostly in LF since the middle of August, where he has the tools to be average at best with an ok arm and poor speed, there have been positive reports so far from his time in winter ball.   In both the majors and winter ball Ruf showed more swing and miss to his game, but he still maintained his ability to hit for power.  At best Ruf can be a poor fielding, slugging LF who will provide RF power in a market where it as a premium.  Ruf’s best position is first base but that is blocked by Ryan Howard’s contract.  There is little to no precedent for a player of Ruf’s profile becoming a major league regular so there are no good comparable players to look at to judge how his future will project. Continue reading

Sleeper Alert; Leandro Castro

As I mentioned in the box score roundup, I’m intrigued by Leandro Castro. I don’t know much about his backstory, I just know he was signed as an undrafted free agent out of the Dominican Republic. He made his US debut last year in the GCL at age 19, a year or two later than most big time Latin American prospects. His line for the season didn’t look particularly impressive; .298/.317/.422 with 9 2B, 3 HR and 9 SB, but only 4 BB and 25 K in 161 AB. He struggled at Lakewood before being placed back in the NYPL where he’s compiled an impressive batting line; .357/.395/.585 with 14 2B, 5 HR, and 12 SB, with a 25/9 K to BB ratio in 171 AB thus far. The power spike is notable, and though he’s been caught stealing 9 times, he obviously does have some speed. So seeing an intriguing guy who I didn’t know much about, I got in touch with a good friend of this website, Kevin Goldstein over at Baseball Prospectus and asked him if he had any good info on Castro. Check below the fold for his brief report

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