Up the middle talent is always at a premium and center field is no exception. Center field has not been a weakness for the Phillies up until the trade of Shane Victorino in July, this offseason the Phillies traded for a young center fielder in Ben Revere. In the system there are some interesting toolsy players who have questions ranging from their hitting, to fielding, to their injury history. Revere should give time for one of these players to unseat him as the center fielder of the future.
Like shortstop, it is not good enough to average defensively in center field and a player must be either plus defensively or plus at the plate. If a player cannot stick in center field there hope is that they have enough bat that they can stick as a fourth or fifth outfielder that can play occasionally in center.
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 of all outfielders in the system.
Tyson Gillies (24) – Gillies was acquired in 2009 for Cliff Lee and his career with the Phillies has never really gotten off to a good start, having played only 129 games in those three years. Gillies before the injuries had easy 80 speed and above average raw power, but his injuries have diminished both of those skills. Gillies is still a plus defensive center fielder defensively, and he has a good approach at the plate. Gillies still can drive the ball and has ok power for a center fielder (mostly gap and not home run power). All of the tools add up to a major league regular but the injury history has hindered him from reaching his ceiling. Gillies will likely be the CF in Leigh Valley to start 2013. Continue reading
You asked and Jiwan James answered with the help of Greg Giombarrese at the http://blog.blueclaws.com/. See below for the deatils.
Have you used insights as a pitcher to help you hit? Not really. It’s just two totally different worlds. As a pitcher you’re trying to keep the hitter off balance. As a hitter, we’re just looking fastball and reacting. It doesn’t really help that much.
You had the long hitting streak but went 0-9 in the 18-inning game at Delmarva. Then you bounced back from that. What’s the key to responding mentally to tough nights over a long season? You just have to do it. You can’t do anything about yesterday. You have to take your confidence back to the plate and look forward to what’s coming ahead. Continue reading
Through the continued help of Greg Giombarrese, the Media Relations Director of the Lakewood BlueClaws, Outfielder Jiwan James has agreed to answer your questions. James, 21, was the Phils 22nd round pick in the 2007 draft. Prior to the 2009 season, James converted from pitcher to the outfield and has shown a great deal of promise. In his 429 AB’s this year, James is hitting .284/.331/.382 with 3 HR and 53 RBI, to go along with 27 stolen bases. A native of Williston, Florida, he has impressed with his arm, notching 8 assists from his center field position this year. The signing of James was considered to be a major coup back in 2007 when he was hours away from attending University of FLorida before signing with the Phils. Prior to this season, James was ranked the 11th best prospect in the Phillies system by Baseball America. Feel free to leave your questions below for Jiwan James and expect to see a post at the end of next week with your answers.
This debate is one that goes back a bit, as the Phillies have had their share of two way players, and invariably, they always seem to pick the wrong route for that guy. This question is again at the forefront with Jiwan James. James was a gifted two way player in High School, and turned down a commitment to Florida, where he was set to play Wide Receiver, in order to sign with the Phillies. Most were unsure which way he would go, and the Phillies have decided to put him on the mound. There’s no way of knowing if this is permanent, but it likely is. Not surprisingly, I think this is the wrong way to go.