Baseball America Phillies Chat Wrapup

Today, Chris Kline at Baseball America took questions on the Phillies Top 10 list for the better part of 2 hours. I won’t be posting his comments exactly, I’ll just comment on a few of his more interesting revelations. The gist of what Chris said will be in italics, my comment will follow
Scouts are really split on Costanzo. Some love him, some think he doesn’t go all out all the time and won’t succeed at higher levels.

This doesn’t really surprise me. As I wrote up in my top 10 list, Costanzo seems to run hot and cold. He has good stretches where he shows good plate patience and some pop, but then goes cold for a month or two. The defense is there, but if he can’t hit, he’s nothing more than a backup at 3B and 1B.

Lou Marson struggled with the bat, but handled the Lakewood staff well, and should continue to progress. 

Marson is a name that sometimes gets lost in the mix. If I did a top 30 list, I’d probably put him around 25. We won’t know more until he continues to climb the ladder. If he’s solid defensively, they’ll keep giving him chances, but if he can’t hit at all at the higher levels, he probably doesn’t have much of a big league future.

Still hope for Brad Harman, solid defensively, Phillies still think he’ll hit.

The organization is still high on Harman, and he’s always been young for his league. He’ll start at Clearwater in 2007, and it’s a big year for him in terms of his future.

Carrasco and Drabek are close, but Carrasco is further along and has more consistency with his fastball.

Can’t really disagree there. Drabek has more velocity, but Carrasco has better command of his fastball at this point, and that comes with 2 more years in pro ball than Drabek. He also commented that Drabek seemed to take to instruction well in the FIL, which is a good sign.

James Happ has added a few MPH to his fastball, which has evelated his stock a bit. Still needs to sharpen his slider/curve.

This was one of the best revelations in the chat. Happ’s fastball was in the 88-90 range before this season and through much of 2006, but if he is in fact pitching more in the 90-92 range, hitting 93, it definitely improves his chances of future success. Kline likes his changeup quite a bit already, and says his curve/slider will develop more as he throws it more. Great news on Happ.

Cardenas will be moved from SS to 2B and maybe eventually to the OF. He’ll play 2B at Lakewood with Donald at SS.

Not surprising, though I’d have liked to see him tried at 3B. Scouts apparently don’t feel he has the arm for 3B, which means he’s probably going to either end up at 2B or LF.

Baez still has promise as a defensive 3B, but he’s only hit in Instructional League and hasn’t been able to translate it to full season ball. Jim Ed Warden has the best chance to stick out of the Rule 5 guys. 

Baez was ranked 5 last year and really saw his stock drop this year. He was atrocious at the plate at Lakewood, but can still play defensively. 2007 is an important year in terms of figuring out what’s there. Warden’s fastball/changeup combo should help him, and Kline thinks he’s got a good chance of sticking. See my piece on Warden for a full writeup of his offerings.

D’Arby Myers has 5 tool potential and looks like a potential star in CF. 2007 is a make or break year for Golson

Right on. I’m disappointed Golson made the top 10 over him, but if he has a strong 2007, he should move into the top 10, and possibly even the top 5. Likely will start at Lakewood, Golson likely to start back at Clearwater.

Jason Jaramillo really struggled defensively and scouts in the Arizona Fall League rated his defensive ability much lower than in the past.  

This was the one thing in the chat I really couldn’t figure out. Jaramillo was always thought of as a defense first guy who wouldn’t hit much at the big league level, but Kline seemed to say the opposite here. Maybe he just wasn’t focused in Arizona? Maybe he got some bad info? Not sure what to make of that.

That about sums it up. If you have anything to add, please do so in the comments section.

6 thoughts on “Baseball America Phillies Chat Wrapup

  1. The other nice thing about Happ’s increased velocity is that no matter how good his changeup was, it just got better by now being even slower in comparison to the improved fastball.

    Anything on Alfredo Simon? I thought he might be the best Rule 5-er to stick because of the way he was mowing people down in winter ball until Cincinnati pulled him out of there to hide him before the Rule 5 draft.

  2. I’ll do a writeup on Simon in the next few days. I think Warden has the better shot, at this point, because he has a clear advantage against RH batters. Simon was flat out terrible in 2006, but he still has a big arm.

  3. I agree with your reactions to Kline’s comments on Myers and
    Jaramillo. Given his effusive praise of Myers, how could he
    have put Golson ahead of him? Both are “tools” guys, but Myers
    at least showed some performance skills as well–if only on a
    limited basis. (Yet he ranked Drabek highly on equally
    limited exposure, as well as poor performance.) Golson over Myers makes no sense to me at all.

    Likewise, my understanding of Jaramillo’s skills coincides with
    yours. I always understood him to be defensively strong and
    offensively suspect. When he had a good AFL with the bat, I
    thought surely he would rank highly. He must have had a tough
    AFL defensively, but he wasn’t playing every day and he was
    catching some unfamiliar arms.

    While I still think BA does the best job of evaluating minor
    league talent, their conclusions often puzzle me.

  4. Just one other point I don’t understand. If Cardenas’s arm is
    too weak to play short or third, how can he be suited for a corner OF position (esp. RF)?

  5. LF requires less of an arm. They must think he doesn’t have the arm for 3B, which is puzzling that they wouldn’t even try him there, given our lack of great 3B prospects.

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