38 thoughts on “Daily Discussion, 5/22

  1. A little love for Antonio Bastardo from the ESPN fantasy site:

    One to two years away: Antonio Bastardo, SP, Phillies

    Bastardo needed only five starts to get promoted from high Class A ball, as he struck out 47 in 30 2/3 innings and allowed a 1.17 ERA. He’s handled the transition to Double-A just fine thus far, striking out 20 in 23 2/3 innings with a 2.66 ERA in his four starts at that level. The 22-year-old is a short (5-foot-11) lefty who fanned 98 in 91 innings at low Class A last season with a stellar 1.87 ERA. He’s not a flamethrower, as his pitches usually sit in the 90-91 mph range, but his plus changeup is a true strikeout pitch. His inconsistent slider, lack of overpowering heat and extreme fly ball tendencies may come into play at higher levels down the road, but he’s been getting it done so far.

  2. It’s nice to see Joe Savery have a good outing. 7 IPs, one BB, 7 Ks, and 1 ER. I’ll take it!

  3. Lou Marson has become an OBP machine. Truly, he’s taken about 2 giant leaps forward as a hitter. Now, all that’s missing is the power. Even if that doesn’t come, if he can sustain the average and walks, he has a chance to be a really nice player.

  4. And my appologizes to Mr. Savery for my “Savery? Not So Much” article from last week…that is if he can pitch like he did tonight in his next outing.

    I’m certainly not ready to put him on first or throw in the towel on him but I will be concerned if he throws many more games like his past few were … last night was a very positive sign after having suffered through watching him in his last 4-5 starts.

    The next time he pitches will be on the Threshers return home next Tuesday. I hope it’s another good outing since I’ll get to see it this time.

    Wear Phuture Phillies and spread the word.

  5. Question for anyone:

    Would we be happy if Marson turns into a Kendall in his prime? High OBP, low strike outs, takes walks, can steal some bases.

    Kendall, when he was a Pirate, was such a valuable player and I think now had gotten overlooked next to the Varitek’s/Posada’s/Pudge’s of the world. He even was a good fit with the As. I haven’t seen much MIL baseball but I personally would love Marson to reach that kind of level.

  6. Lou Marson as Jason Kendall. The only thing that doesn’t work for me is the $10m per year salary (never justified). Other than that, it would be just fine. I would hit him 2nd or 7th (Victorino may be a better number 2 hitter).

    By the way, I agree that it’s unlikely that he will continue to show this little power. He’ll probably develop into an 8-17 homer a year guy (just a guess), which is great and, until about 1998, described a player with reasonable power. Also note that his hobby is weight lifting (the same is probably true of about 50 percent of the hitters in the minors), so the strength could continue to develop. But, man, the dude is on base 2 or 3 times practically every game. It’s amazing.

  7. I just looked at Marson’s BP similar players list, which gives his 20 most comparable players. This list only covers up through his 2007 season, so the names aren’t that impressive at the top of the list, but Russell Martin shows up at #12 on his comparables. Its going to be really interesting to see how his list changes after this season, assuming he continues on the path he is on.

  8. Its been a long time since I’ve been genuinely excited about a prospect…probably Howard was the last minor leaguer to really wow me so keep it up Marson!

  9. After going 3 for 4 today, Marson now leads the EL in OBP at .452 and is third in BA. at .339. His only home run of the season last weekend was a grand slam over the .400 sign to dead center in Reading so he will have the power. Remember watching Lieby catch for Reading when he hit only 2 homers the entire season.

  10. If Ruiz got hurt tonight and was out 4 to 6 weeks, how would you suggest the Phillies handle the catching situation?

  11. Yep. Coste and Jaramillo.

    Actually, Ruiz should be trade chip #1 this summer when we go patrolling for a starting pitcher. Ruiz is what he is, when he gets in a groove he’s probably slightly above to moderately above average offensively for a C, but hes still a #8 hitter on a good team. I could live with Coste and Jaramillo next season, assuming Jaramillo is fine defensively. I wouldn’t rush Marson to the big leagues, though if he continues on this path, he might be ready next season.

  12. “Actually, Ruiz should be trade chip #1 this summer when we go patrolling for a starting pitcher. ”

    Maybe when Marson’s ready next year, but if your trying to win this year, that doesn’t seem like a smart shakeup. Ruiz’s minor league hitting numbers were pretty outstanding too as he got into his mid-20s. He’s not hitting that well now, but ultimately I think he and Marson will average about the same type numbers at the big league level- with Marson a bit higher on OBP and BA (unless his bat has picked up a good bit of speed, he won’t sustain that kind of batting average at the big league level).

  13. The difference is that Marson is around 21 whereas Ruiz didn’t start hitting till he was 25/26 in the minors. Huge difference in learning curve there, Fish.

  14. Marson has a much more advanced batting eye than Ruiz and is far more advanced at this stage. Ruiz was a late bloomer, but hes now 29, the improvement is likely done, and he is what he is.

    Look at their comparative age 21 seasons

    Marson, A+: .288/.373/.407 — 11.4% BB rate — 28.3% XBH
    Ruiz, GCL: .277/.324/.369 — 6.5% BB rate — 25% XBH

    Marson was already playing a full year in High A, Ruiz was making his debut as a 21 year old in the GCL. As I said, Ruiz was a late bloomer, but Marson also didn’t start catching until he turned pro, and he focused more on football in high school, which makes his ascent all the more impressive.

    Ruiz made it to Clearwater at age 23 and really struggled to the tune of .213/.253/.327

    I know we have to temper expectations and relax a bit, but Marson is turning himself into an elite prospect. Sure, the batting average might dip, but his ability to identify pitches is what makes him a dangerous hitter. Lots of guys struggle when getting called up because they swing at junk and allow experienced pitchers to exploit the holes in their swing. It appears Marson’s “hole” is that he doesn’t consistently hit the ball over the fence. Hes not going to hit .340 in the big leagues, but if he can hit .290 or so with 35 2B and 10-15 HR, he’s probably an all star. Again, thats looking down the road. But the jump from A+ to AA is the biggest jump in the minors, and Marson has responded by having his best offensive season as a pro.

  15. I don’t think they should. The more of our legit prospects he catches, the better, and most of those guys are going to remain at Reading, I’d have to think. The Phillies seem to be treating AAA as a retirement ground for 4A types, and they aren’t the only team doing that.

  16. Jamarillo who?

    We will see Marson in the bigs before Jason… It’s just the reality of it, Marson wont stop hitting, and Jamarillo wont start….. Ruiz probably wont get traded at the break, though he should if the offer is right….

  17. also no one really mentioned this or i didnt see it posted anywhere in here…..

    David Price makes his pro debut for Vero Beach against Clearwater tonight…. should be interesting…

  18. For once in his Phillies career Durbin’s ERA is 0.00…too bad its for Reading! Good to see Savery pitched well last night…hopefully the visit from the pitching coordinator helped and will continue to help him.

  19. phuture-

    You really think Jaramillo/Coste would be effective? Also how does Marson compare to other catching prospects? Is there a site that easily sorts minor leaguers by position?

    Thanks.

  20. Based on the comments after Naylor’s outing yesterday he sounds like a ML propsect to me but why is he still at low A?

    Catcher Joel Naughton, said the team’s ace is easy to catch. “He has such good command,” he said. “He gets the ball, looks in and throws it where you want it.”
    “The big thing is he works quickly,” Demmink said. “He throws strikes and the pace of the game is quick. That helps you in the field and helps you make better plays.”

  21. I could live with Coste and Jaramillo for half a season this year. The Phillies could sign an aging stopgap for half a year next year if they think Marson still needs time. But if he hits the cover off the ball for the rest of the season, I don’t know that sending him to Lehigh Valley is necessary.

    As for Naylor, theres really no need to rush him right now. Its getting close to the end of May. Thats only 2 months out of a 5 month season. He’ll likely get promoted sometime in mid June, and his spot in Lakewood will go to a 4th year senior we draft in the beginning of June. He’s got great command, and he is 21, but as I’ve said before, the learning curve for Australian players is different from US kids and those from Latin America. He’s been impressive, but it wouldn’t hurt for him to take a few more turns in the Lakewood rotation.

  22. NEPhillliesPhan Says:
    May 22, 2008 at 2:50 pm
    The difference is that Marson is around 21 whereas Ruiz didn’t start hitting till he was 25/26 in the minors. Huge difference in learning curve there, Fish.

    but essentially the point is that Marson is physically mature- with the exception of perhaps adding some more power- whether that comes in his body or his hitting mechanics. He’s the same size as he was at lakewood (but he’s always been a strong looking dude). At 24-25 Ruiz was physically mature, so like Marson it is now all about refining his game and learning to hit and refine himself. I just think the ceilings are similar- but with an overall edge to Marson of course. I think its just the age that makes Marson the sexy pick over what has to be a more pratical decision.

    “Hes not going to hit .340 in the big leagues, but if he can hit .290 or so with 35 2B and 10-15 HR, he’s probably an all star. Again, thats looking down the road. ”

    I agree, though I think Ruiz is will come close to those numbers as well as he settles into the major leagues- just with a lower BA I think.

  23. 32 Responses and not one really mentioned or spoke in depth about defense. We all know that Jaramillo has taken a step back this year, but will Marson’s defense and game calling be ML ready by 2009? I know that his athletic ability should ensure that he becomes a solid defensive catcher, but how’s his head?

  24. Supposedly Marson’s a plus at both game-calling and defense…I don’t have any specifics in front of me though. I know BP rates him as above average defensively.

  25. I recall Marson shutting down Eugenio Velez on the bases in the Sally championship finals in 06. This year Velez was tied for the most steals with the Giants before being sent down a day or two ago.

  26. I’ve got Marson fever! I just looked at his profile and find it very impressive that he has improved his batting line as he’s moved up in the system. I hope the Phils don’t move him at the deadline for pitching help but he is starting to look like the top position product in the system and he isn’t really ‘blocked’. I love Ruiz as a player and I agreed with Bill James he’d have a breakout year this year but it just isn’t looking good.

  27. something to consider with Marson and Power

    Geovany Soto never slugged a thing till his 23 year old season in AAA…. in which he mashed baseballs, granted Soto’s power was always assumed to be there, but he did make a HUGE stride in is 23 year old season in the power department…. it seems the power production curve differs a lot with catchers compared to other position prospects, it could be the increased concentration on other aspects of the game, like defense or game calling…

    either way i dont think Marson is G Soto, but I dont think he is Jason Kendall either…. Somewhere in the middle would be PHENOMENAL….

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