The Reading Report, Week 2

Unlike Lakewood, and Clearwater to a degree, the Reading roster is not filled with legit prospects, but one guy is attempting to make his way back into the discussion, one Javon Moran. Moran was originally drafted by the Phillies in 2003, but traded to the Reds in 2004 in the Cory Lidle deal (thanks for the reminder), and spent 2 and a half seasons in the Cincinnati organization. Moran found his way back to Philadelphia as part of the Jeff Conine deal, and though he is 24 and playing in AA, he’s making his claim for legit prospect status. For the season, he’s compiled a .413/.451/.630 batting line in 46 AB, with 7 extra base hits, 7 RBI, 13 runs scored, and 7/8 in SB just for good measure. It’s premature to jump to too many conclusions, but if he finishes with a solid .330/.390/.500 line this season, he’ll gain quite a bit of his stock back heading into next year, and could offer a much better outfield alternative to Chris Roberson.

As good as Moran has been, that’s about as bad as Mike Costanzo has been. After starting with 2 home runs in his first two AA games, he’s hit only 1 more, and the more troubling aspect, he has only 1 double this season. 4 extra base hits in 43 AB just isn’t going to cut it, and that doesn’t even factor in his 18:3 strikeout to walk ratio, or the 7 errors he’s made at 3B in just 11 games.

Perhaps the most impressive performer thus far has been mercenary pitcher (read, free agent pickup, not a real prospect) Landon Jacobsen, acquired off waivers in the offseason. Jacobsen has started 3 games, pitched 18 innings, and given up a total of 1 ER….where did THAT come from? His 9:8 K/BB ratio would indicate he’s due to move backwards at some point, but he’s allowed only 10 H in his 18 innings, so that counts for something. Again, he’s really not someone to get excited about, mainly because he’s 28 and pitching in AA. The second most impressive pitching performance would have to be that of Anderson Garcia, acquired off waivers from the Orioles, who had gotten him from the Mets via waivers in August. Garcia, now 25, is kind of old for AA, but he’s kind of like Moran, and with a big season, could still turn into a useful player at the big league level. The timetable for relievers is a bit different from starting pitching or positional prospects, so Garcia has some time. In 8 innings this year, he’s given up only 1 ER, he’s notched 4 saves in 4 chances, and the best part is, he’s struck out 9 with 0 walks. Matt Maloney and Kyle Kendrick have adjusted to AA in an acceptable manner so far, and Kendrick is really the one to watch.

Week 2 of the season saw Reading drop their first two games to Bowie before winning on the 11th behind a solid outing from Jacobsen. They followed that up by taking 2 of 3 from Altoona, with the final game of the series being canceled due to weather. Reading, at 8-3, sits atop the Southern Division of the Eastern League, with a 2 game lead over Akron at the moment. This week, after a rainout on Monday, they took 2 of 3 from Harrisburg, and now return home for a 4 game series with second place Akron. Although they don’t have the shear amount of prospects that Lakewood and Clearwater have, watching the progress of Kendrick and Maloney will be interesting, and maybe more interesting is the Landon Jacobsen story, and the emergence of Anderson Garcia at the back of the pen. Javon Moran and Juan Tejeda trying to re-emerge as legit prospects, and the continuing struggles of Mike Costanzo provide us with plenty of storylines to follow as the Reading season unfolds.

8 thoughts on “The Reading Report, Week 2

  1. The info on thebaseballcube.com is incorrect regarding how the Reds originally acquired Javon Moran. He was originally traded from the Phillies to the Reds along with Joe Wilson and Elizardo Ramirez for Cory Lidle.

  2. Watching Anderson shows his lack of a significant breaking ball…but w 94-96 fb. No progress to the MLs ’til that is resoloved satisfactorily.
    Jacobson is the possible gift horse whose mouth should remain closed. Age–to me–means little if a guy caqn add some year(s) in the pen, unexpectedly. Effectiveness not age should be the guide UNLESS you want to count on the guy LONG TERM, which doesn’t apply here.
    If he does well continuously, he should be graduated to the next level as a “perhaps” guy fpr ’07 or even ’08.
    Enjoy yr opinions.

  3. P.S Wanted to add: the solution to Costanzo is Helms, Dobbs, Baez, Henry and our #1 ’07 draftee, from college!

  4. I don’t think Helms, Dobbs, Baez, or Henry are the answer to Costanzo. Maybe this year’s #1. Helms is not much of a fielder and hasn’t hit terribly well either. Baez is getting to be an older minor leaguer, who should have done AA last season but flunked it, went back to single A, and is in single A again this year. He has started the year hitting single A pitching well, but is old for that and needs to show something in AA. Henry hasn’t really hit a lick in his entire career. Started ok this season and then slacked off. The word is that he may not be able to hand 3B defensively. So the best shot of guys already in the system is still Costanzo, and by a fairly wide margin. It would be nice to get a solid college 3B in draft. I think a great HS prospect is more likely to be there when we pick, so you are talking 4 – 5 years away.

  5. Mangini is the best college 3B who is draft eligible this season, but everything I’ve read has him going in the 10-14 range. Dominguez is the best HS 3B, but he doesn’t appear to be “super raw”, so 4-5 years might be pessimistic.

    I’m not big on drafting based on current needs, but at this point, we have zero corner INF prospects in the system, and that’s alarming.

  6. First off, great job on the site – I make it a point to check in on what you’ve got going on here daily. I follow amateur ball and the draft pretty closely for work-related reasons and I’m a little surprised to see you think Matt Dominguez is the best high school third baseman. Based on everything I’ve seen, read, and heard, Josh Vitters is far and away the top top high school third baseman available this June. In fact, I think Vitters is the top high school bat period and could end up challenging Matt Wieters (a huge personal favorite, who I’ve seen play multiple times and love as a prospect) as the first hitter taken off the board. I talked to a scout from the Pirates (take it with a grain of salt), but he said that the Pirates think both David Price and Wieters will be off the board at four, so Josh Vitters and NC State righthander Andrew Brackman are the two amateurs getting the most attention out of their scouting department. Who knows if he was being honest or not, but I thought I’d pass the info along all the same.

    So if you were saying that Dominguez will be the best HS 3B that the Phillies will have a crack at…I offer my apology and rescind everything I’ve said. Picking at 19 Vitters will be long gone, but the Phillies might have a shot at any of the second tier of high school third basemen including Dominguez, Jon Gilmore out of Iowa, and Victor Sanchez (a guy I’m really high on).

    Anyway, very little of what I’ve said is undeniable fact and nothing is set in stone at this point – the draft is wildly unpredictable and everybody has different opinions on players, so you really can’t be wrong this time of year. And like I said earlier I seriously love the site, you’ve done a great job with everything so far.

  7. Yeah, I didn’t bother listing Vitters because he’ll be gone in the first 5 picks. In terms of guys we’ll have a shot at Dominguez is the best guy it would seem.

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