Category Archives: Valle, Sebastian

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 40 Man Roster Decisions – Part 1 – On the Roster

What to expect in 2013: Catchers

Traditionally Top 30 season begins with the Reader Top 30 right after New Years, to prime us for discussing the system as a whole, we are going to take a walk through the positional groups in the system.  The goal is to look at where they rank with regards to each other, how they profile going forward, and how they fit into the system as a whole.  I will try to post one of these every couple of days starting with Catchers, and then proceeding through the other positional groups (Corner Infield, Middle Infield, Corner Outfield, Center Field, RH Starting Pitchers, LH Starting Pitchers, and Relievers).  I am not James, nor am I a scout so I will be focusing on initiating the discussion rather than creating the narrative.

Additionally this will focus on “prospects” avoiding players who are organizational filler or minor league free agents.  If I have missed someone you think deserves to be on this list let me know and they will be added.

To start, if you have not read it all already, here is gregg’s positional recap of catchers.
Continue reading What to expect in 2013: Catchers

What to expect in 2012, Sebastian Valle

I was thinking about the next player to write up, and Valle seemed like a great case. Always young for each league he’s played in, Valle had his best season in 2011 and performed very well in the pitcher friendly Florida State League, posting a line of .284/.312/.394, and that line may have been higher if he hadn’t worn down a bit in the hot summer sun over the last 6 weeks or so. Early in his career, Valle was considered an offensive first prospect whose future behind the dish was a bit uncertain. Over the last 2 seasons however, his athleticism and instincts have helped him improve tremendously defensively, and he now looks like no worse than an average defensive catcher with significant upside. He has a strong arm, and though he is still adding polish to his defensive game, all the tools are there. The question now is what is his offensive upside? Here is his career ledger

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32-33% caught stealing is solid enough, he cut down on his errors significantly, and the last piece is refining his ability to block pitches in the dirt. Offensively, his walk rate tanked and his K rate went up a tad, which means part of his batting average was definitely BABIP induced luck. Its important to remember the threshold for catchers in baseball. The average three slash line for all major league catchers in 2011 in the major leagues was .245/.313/.389. That’s putrid, obviously, and you only have to scan major league rosters to find guys who, if they played another position, would have been out of baseball years ago because they can’t hit their way out of a wet paper bag. Valle could struggle in AA, especially against quality offspeed stuff. The Phillies are probably anticipating this, and are fine with this, as long as he plays solid defense, which is going to be a requirement for him making it to the big leagues and contributing.

So, what do you expect from Valle in 2012 at Reading?

BA Top 20: FSL list includes 3 current Phillies and 2 former Phillies

BA continues their run of league top 20s with the Florida State League, where the Phillies dominated the list, with 3 current players and 2 former players. The current crop includes Trevor May at #4, Sebastian Valle at #12, and Brody Colvin at #19, with former Phillies property Jon Singleton coming in at #7 and Jarred Cosart coming in at #9. You can see the full list here. Do not copy/paste the blurbs. Here is a quick summation

May – Good low 90s fastball, toying with a 2 seamer (which is GREAT news), curve and changeup are solid but both still need work, and his command is still his biggest question mark
Valle – Good raw power, ability to barrel balls to RF and his defense continues to make impressive progress, as he has a strong arm and improving footwork
Colvin – 90-94 hitting 95, but struggling with his secondary offerings and his fastball command and has trouble repeating his delivery (the cause of the command issues, obviously)

Singleton – Nothing groundbreaking here, good bat, good approach, raw power, but struggles against LHP
Cosart – Messy delivery, but huge arm strength, changeup grades out above his curve right now, both are inconsistent, some scouts think he’s a reliever (which I agree with)

I expect we’ll have a name or two on the Eastern League list. The FSL has 12 teams, so to have 3 of the 20 and 5 if you count the traded prospects shows the depth of Clearwater’s roster this year. Also, Pettibone, Jiwan James and Rodriguez missed the list, and both probably got consideration.

Updated running list

GCL: (1) – Ethan Stewart, LHP (16th)
NYPL: (2) – Maikel Franco, 3B (4th), Aaron Altherr, OF (20th)
SAL: (1) – Jesse Biddle, LHP (6th)
FSL: (3) – Trevor May, RHP (4th), Sebastian Valle, C (12th), Brody Colvin, RHP (19th)

Futures Game Wrap: Thoughts on Cosart/Valle

The Futures Game is a lot of fun. You’re seeing 50 prospects, and though not all of them are future all stars, most of them will make it to the majors. This game isn’t the best data point to try and evaluate someone’s future career, but its fun nonetheless. Some quick thoughts.

Sebastian Valle: Came in to pinch hit and had himself a heck of an AB, laying off a tough 1-2 pitch before lining a double down the left field line and taking 3rd on the wild overthrow from Bryce Harper. In his 2nd AB he faced Jacob Turner, one of the best RHP in the minors. He showed a quick bat, roping a hard fastball just foul and working a deep count before flying out to right centerfield. Defensively, Valle looked just fine, presenting a quiet target, framing high velocity fastballs perfectly, and blocking everything in the dirt. 3 years ago, we were wondering if Valle would have the capability to stick behind the plate defensively, and now his defense appears to be almost completely caught up to his offensive potential. Very positive developments.

Jarred Cosart: Cosart started the 8th inning and blitzed the three hitters he faced. As I noted in the liveblog, the TV gun was 2mph fast, so his 99s were 97s, but that will certainly play. He flashed a big hammer curveball to record a strikeout, and then finished off the last hitter he faced with an 83 mph changeup with solid late fade. He still has a somewhat complex delivery with moving parts, but it did not appear to hamper his command at all. With the USA holding on, Cosart is the winning pitcher.

Pretty solid night for the Phillies farm system.

Singleton, Valle Named to All Star Team

The awards continue to roll in at the lower levels of the Minors for the Phils with two members of the Lakewood BlueClaws being named to the South Atlantic League All Star Team. First Baseman Jonathan Singleton was named the league’s most outstanding prospect, the first member of Lakewood to ever win that award. The 18 year old from California is hitting .296 with 14 HR and 73 RBI.

Catcher Sebastian Valle, 20, was named the league’s all-star catcher.  He is hitting .256 with 16 HR and 74 RBI’s. Lakewood opens their quest for the South Atlantic League championship next Wednesday, September 8.

4 Phillies make the GCL Top 20

I’ll be doing something similar to what BA does, highlighting the 20 best prospects in each league, but they beat me to the punch on the GCL list. Which is ok, because mine is likely to look much different. Anyway, today is the GCL, and the Phillies are well represented.

4. Jason Knapp
7. Sebastian Valle
8. Zach Collier
13. Anthony Hewitt