Category Archives: ** My Top 30 Prospects

Phillies 2014 Top 30 Prospects

Sitting down to write the Phillies Top 30 Prospect list is one of the most interesting parts of the offseason.  The ranking process poses questions about how we evaluate different profiles and try to replicate the kind of characteristics that major league clubs value.  That being said, I find the final order to be the least important part of the process.  I find the write-ups and other details to be the much more informative.  I felt much more comfortable approaching the list this year, and I feel that I have learned a lot from talking to people and examining what I value.

My Ranking Philosophy:

Overall this ranking is the order that I would value these players if I were running the Phillies.  This evaluation is what I think their major league profile projects to be, coupled with their risk of obtaining that.  In general I lean towards high impact talent, because the impact of a single all-star is more valuable than a collection of lower impact talent.  You can’t go pure ceiling though.  I tried to balance the player’s upside with their floor, as well as how their profile fits into a major league role.  With current budgets and the influx of money, roster spots are becoming the limited commodity and players that fit well onto rosters have more value than limited use players. Continue reading Phillies 2014 Top 30 Prospects

Thoughts on Those That Missed the Top 30

After working on the Top 30, I ended up with a list of names that I had opinions on.  This list may only represent two-thirds of them, because I just didn’t have time to finish them all.  This is not meant to be really in depth, so if you want more on a player just ask.  Previously I had attached this list to the Top 30, but in an effort to streamline the main list, the supplement gets its own post.  From this list you can probably take a good guess on who made the Top 30, so enjoy the speculation.

Jake Sweaney
Sweaney just missed the list.  Some evaluators love the upside, but I just feel that a raw catcher that may not catch, just doesn’t have a ton of value.  Check back in a year and he could be much higher in lesser form of what a Grullon did this year. Continue reading Thoughts on Those That Missed the Top 30

Top 30 Accountability: 1-5

This is a retrospective back on the Top 30 prospects list I wrote before the start of the season.  My opinion is that anyone who puts their opinion out there should be accountable for that opinion, in this case rather than just ask whether I was right or wrong, but more why was it right or wrong.  The goal is to explore things in the development of a prospect that can point to growth or regression.  Additionally just because a prospect fails to live up to or exceeds expectations does it mean the base analysis was wrong when it was written.

The first thing I see when looking at this list is that all 5 of these guys did not step forward.  Four out of the five dealt with some sort of physical set back (injury/illness).  In reality it comes down to you just can’t predict a lot of things and sometimes it all breaks the wrong way.  This certainly does not excuse us from our duty of making good analysis, but we do need to acknowledge things out of our control.  As always the original list is here http://phuturephillies.com/top-30-prospects/mattwinks-top-30/2013-top-30/.

5. Ethan Martin

Martin has a ton of upside if he can prove his new control is real, though the lack of a good changeup is concerning.  This ranking reflects the raw stuff that Martin has; a plus plus fastball, a plus breaking ball, and another average breaking ball to pair with what profiles as an average changeup.  I believe the new command is legitimate and even if the changeup does not develop Martin as at least a dominant reliever. Continue reading Top 30 Accountability: 1-5

Top 30 Accountability: 6 – 10

This is a retrospective back on the Top 30 prospects list I wrote before the start of the season.  My opinion is that anyone who puts their opinion out there should be accountable for that opinion, in this case rather than just ask whether I was right or wrong, but more why was it right or wrong.  The goal is to explore things in the development of a prospect that can point to growth or regression.  Additionally just because a prospect fails to live up to or exceeds expectations does it mean the base analysis was wrong when it was written.

When I wrote up the Top 30 I had Biddle and Morgan in their own tier followed by Quinn and then a bunch of names you could have argued in any order.  In that scenario I find the ranking to not provide a lot of information, because at the time the difference between 3 and 7, and as far down to Tocci at 10 was miniscule.  It is the problem with doing a numerical ranking is that you create an artificial hierarchy where none exists.  So the emphasis is much more on the reports and analysis than the order in which the names appear.  As always the initial list can be found here http://phuturephillies.com/top-30-prospects/mattwinks-top-30/2013-top-30/

10. Shane Watson

Watson is very polished with two plus pitches and an average changeup under development.  He should easily handle a full season assignment and could move quickly through the system.  Watson’s limited debut due to diabetes should be behind him and he impressed in instructs.  With a good year Watson could be near the top of this list. Continue reading Top 30 Accountability: 6 – 10

Top 30 Accountability: 16-20

This is a retrospective back on the Top 30 prospects list I wrote before the start of the season.  My opinion is that anyone who puts their opinion out there should be accountable for that opinion, in this case rather than just ask whether I was right or wrong, but more why was it right or wrong.  The goal is to explore things in the development of a prospect that can point to growth or regression.  Additionally just because a prospect fails to live up to or exceeds expectations does it mean the base analysis was wrong when it was written.

Continuing on with the next group of 5 players including a 2 relievers, 2 players who had disappointing years, and a player with decent potential in the low minors.  As always the original list lives here http://phuturephillies.com/top-30-prospects/mattwinks-top-30/2013-top-30/

20. Sebastian Valle

Valle has no real approach and just sells out for power at the plate.  This leads to a high strikeout rate with a really low walk rate.  At the major league level that approach will be completely exposed.  Behind the plate Valle is a very good receiver, but he does not have a good release making him below average against the run game despite a plus arm.  Overall Valle will need to improve greatly to have a chance as anything more than a marginal back up. Continue reading Top 30 Accountability: 16-20

Top 30 Accountability: 26-30

I started this series with players who didn’t make the list, and now will be stepping through the list 5 at a time.  The list itself can be found here http://phuturephillies.com/top-30-prospects/mattwinks-top-30/2013-top-30/

30. Gabriel Lino 

This is a tools pick, it came down to three catchers for the last spot in Lino, Grullon, and Rupp.  I aimed high on the projection because he is a pure boom or bust player.  Lino has huge holes on offense and defense that are not allowing his monster tools to appear in game action.  Lino is still very young so there is time, but there is a lot that can go wrong here. Continue reading Top 30 Accountability: 26-30

Top 30 Accountability: Off the list

Part of learning to be a better evaluator and writer is examining your past work for mistakes and successes.  Now that the minor league season is essentially over, I am going to be working back through the Top 30 published at the beginning of the season.  The goal is to relook at guys in the system and how they have developed as well as look for evaluation trends and keys to things that caused misses along the way, as well as another opportunity to bring up 30+ individual players for discussion.  The original post is here http://phuturephillies.com/top-30-prospects/mattwinks-top-30/2013-top-30/

The first group is to focus on the players that didn’t make the list but had enough intrigue to warrant a write up.  Not all of the players were big time prospects and few are now, I have also only selected players who provide room for commentary.

Cameron Rupp – He just didn’t have enough upside for me, he just missed the list because of the safety, but he isn’t more than a backup. Continue reading Top 30 Accountability: Off the list

Top 30 Prospects

My Philosophy:

I value elite tools; there is a level of ability that just cannot be taught to a player.  That being said once you hit hi-A you need the other skills to let those tools work in games.  The corollary to this is that an elite player is worth way more than a major league ready replacement player.  A player whose upside is being a #5 starter, middle reliever, or bench bat has little value to a team beyond their pre-free agency years. Their value is much less than a guy with a chance to be an average regular even if there is some risk.  This means there are guys who put up great numbers in the minors who just aren’t going to make it.  Baseball is hard and they just don’t have the raw abilities. Continue reading Top 30 Prospects

Thirty-One Short Blurbs About Prospects

We’ve all had the arguments, we know where we stand and why. I hashed out around half of these guys in various posts since the tail end of December, and many more in the comments of the Reader Poll, and Matt is going to go into way more detail that I am tomorrow. So, without further delay, I bring you:

Thirty-One Short Blurbs About Prospects:

Continue reading Thirty-One Short Blurbs About Prospects

Julio Rodriguez Scouting Report (with video): 5/19/12

Well, this was fun. I had the chance to see Julio Rodriguez pitch on Saturday night in Reading against the New Britain Rock Cats. Yes, it’s the Eastern League, and yes, some of these guys probably will never make it to the Major Leagues, but let’s go ahead and commend both teams on the fact that they are currently one and two atop the E.L.’s Eastern Division.

OK, and now for the reason I was there: Julio Rodriguez. Obviously we knew going into this season who the big three would be in Reading: Trevor May, Jonathan Pettibone, and Rodriguez. May has obviously been fantastic so far and Pettibone has been pretty solid as well, but Rodriguez is beginning to make his name known. Saturday night at FirstEnergy Stadium certainly didn’t hurt. Continue reading Julio Rodriguez Scouting Report (with video): 5/19/12