Daily Discussion; 8/5

I’m short on time today, so I just have a few real quick thoughts, and then I’ll open the floor for discussion.

* When I look at prospects and try to determine their overall worth as a prospect (I’m sure they are all fine people), I focus on very specific traits. If you don’t find these traits important, you’re likely going to disagree with my rankings/evaluations. I welcome this, I just like when you back up your beliefs with reasoning and evidence. If you do that, we all learn something. This is just a general comment based on feedback I’ve seen in recent days/weeks/months.

* I’m going to be making some big changes here over the next few months. Many of these changes will be individually small, but I hope the cumulative product is an easier to read, more informative website with even more content. I’m ALWAYS looking for suggestions on how to improve things, and if you have them, please e-mail them to me. I read each and every email I get and I try to respond, though sometimes it takes me a few days. If you see something that is wrong, if there is something you want to see here, or anything else, just drop me a line. One thing I do want to address; this site will never contain ads and it will never be sold for a profit. I enjoy going to sites and not being inundated with pop ups and various embedded ads, and I’d never subject you to that treatment here. I’ve had numbers offers made to integrate my site with larger, cookie cutter sites, and I’ve turned down all of them. I’m here for the long haul, and I hope you are too.

So, onto today’s games. Discuss anything you’d like, just keep it prospect related….

68 thoughts on “Daily Discussion; 8/5

  1. never say never on the advertising front my man…we all gotta eat.

    but i respect you keepin it real!

  2. I wouldn’t mind seeing some ads if it means you get compensated for all of your hard work….. unless its those ones that tempt you to shoot aliens or something… they always trick me and then I end up buying timeshares.

  3. I see a guy named Eaton is staring in Reading…what kind of prospect is he? 🙂

  4. Eaton is a fringe prospect at best. Below average fastball velocity, fringe secondary stuff, below average control and terrible command. Not likely to be anything more than a #5 starter in the big leagues.

  5. He’s also a little old for AA at 31. I’d say he’s more organizational filler at this point

  6. at least Eaton won’t hurt Lakewoods chances at a second half title and playoff spot.

    agreed with the others too that this site is the best for phils prospects around. First place i check out in the morning!

  7. no doubt the best site around for learning about phils minor leaguers…even the all-knowing philly sportswriters could learn a thing or two here. now a regular part of my loop of websites i check daily. keep up the great work pp

  8. Didn’t the Phils draft a guy named Adam Eaton a bunch of years ago? First rounder, I believe.

    Does anyone know when the Olympics are over? My daughter wants to go see the Reading Phils for her 9th birthday (Aug 22nd – they’re playing in Trenton, which is about 30 minutes from where I live), and I’m hoping to see Marson and Donald again.

    – Jeff

  9. ****Didn’t the Phils draft a guy named Adam Eaton a bunch of years ago? First rounder, I believe. ****

    Yeah, he’s been kicking around in the system since then and is still only at AA.

  10. ****Didn’t the Phils draft a guy named Adam Eaton a bunch of years ago? First rounder, I believe. ****

    Yeah, he’s been kicking around in the system since then and is still only at AA.

    wasn’t he just at lakewood? wow a double jump? must be a keeper. maybe the big league club will sign him to a long term extension, AGAIN!

  11. Just read this:

    The San Francisco Chronicle reports that Gio Gonzalez is “a strong candidate” to be called up from Triple-A to start Thursday.
    It would be the 22-year-old southpaw’s major league debut. The A’s had been planning on Dan Meyer making the start, but he threw four innings out of the bullpen Monday, leaving Lenny DiNardo as the only other candidate on the roster. Acquired from the White Sox in the Nick Swisher deal, Gonzalez is one of the game’s better left-handed pitching prospects and has 128 strikeouts in 123 innings at Triple-A, but his 68 walks make it unlikely that he’s ready to thrive in the majors yet.

    Long live Freddy Garcia!

  12. phuturephillies –

    Question for ya. I was looking at the GCL Phils box from last night, and I see they have an outfielder named Fabio Murakami whos putting up some nice numbers (.351, .389, .739 in 90 ABs). I’d never heard of him, so i looked him up on milb.com and they have him listed as being from brazil. Do you know anything about him? Do people play baseball is brazil? If so, can we hope that the Phils are getting in at the ground floor, like they’ve failed to do in the DR and Venezuala? It would be great to see the Phils get to a scouting area first, even if it is Brazil.

  13. Gio is a really interesting guy. Depending whose opinion you value more, he’s either a #2 starter or a #4/5 starter. Teams seem to really covet him, but not enough to keep him out of big trades. I think he couldn’t have asked for a better situation than Oakland. Huge park, great defense behind him, and in a division with one of the best pitcher’s parks in baseball. He will have to navigate the volcano that is Arlington, but other than that, a good situation for Gio.

  14. Jeff, Brazil seems to be gaining a bit of steam on the international front. The Phillies signed Heitor Correa (who is MIA, due to some unknown disciplinary issue) out of Brazil a few years ago. The price for prospects there is much lower than that of the Dominican Republic, Venezuela and Cuba, so teams may be trying to get a bit of value there. Of course, eventually the price of talent there will rise as well. Smart of the Phillies for trying to maximize their return there before it happens though.

  15. Its amazing how at the beginning of the season AAA Lehigh Valley was the wasteland with few prospects and the losing atmosphere but now, with Marson and Donald at the Olympics, Carrasco promoted, and Outman traded, suddenly Reading has become the team with few prospects that can’t win…

  16. Does anyone know much about Matt German at Clearwater? He’s put up some nice numbers and is listed at being 6’8″ by MiLB. We do need a center.

    I believe that Conlin mentioned Murakami in one of his ramblings about the minor league system, but I can’t find the link.

  17. Quintin Berry keeps on going in Clearwater. He picked up hits in both halves of yesterday’s double header to extend his hitting streak to 21 games, and remains just one steal away from setting a franchise record. He is currently tied with Reggie Taylor at 40, the record was set by Taylor in 1997.

    Berry hit .266 in APR / .206 in May / .231 June then exploded hitting .367 in July, and is hitting .474 in the first five games of August.

  18. Darren Byrd also had another good game in Clearwater yesterday. He gave up just one run on a solo home run in a complete game (7 inning), but took the loss as the Threshers offense offered no support.

    Over his last 5 games Byrd has given up just 7 runs in 36.1 IP with 24K and 9 BB averaging 7.1 innings per game.

  19. 3up3kkk –

    Yeah, it’s disappointing. I’m about 35 minutes from Reading, and enjoy going to the games up there, but you’re right, there’s really no reason to go up there for the rest of the season, Golson, and MAYBE Casto aside. They even put Harris on the DL yesterday with a Knee.

    Would love it if someone would want to take a stab at Reading’s roster next year. Anyone want to start?

  20. In the spirit of “backing up my beliefs”, I made a comment last week that I thought Golson would be a bust, and then just let it go because I didn’t feel like getting into the debate.

    First, I get that some of you refuse to put the term “bust” on anyone that makes it to the show. Okay, fine. I think he will make to the Phillies but I believe his career will be a dissapointment. He just reminds me of Juan Samuel, who ironically just got inducted into the Phillies Wall of Fame. As nice of a guy that Sammy may be, considering him an all time great Phillie is kind of a joke.

    In my mind, Juan Samuel is the epitome of unrealized potential. That guy had it all and could have been an all time great, but he never learned plate discipline. Good major league pitchers took advantage of that. I can still see him hacking away at every slider in the dirt thrown his way.

    I see Golson as having similar lack of plate discipline, and despite periods of success in the minors, I believe major league pitching will eat him alive.

    I believe, like Samuel, even if Golson becomes an every day player, he will be the next great whipping post by frustrated fans.

    I hope I’m wrong, but that’s what I believe, and why.

  21. If golson has a career like Samuel he is not a bust. Not all major leaguers (even first rounders) go on to become hall of famers. Juan Samuel had a solid career for the time he played in, expecially for second basemen.

  22. I’d be very happy is Golson has a career like Juan Samuel. He was a pretty solid major league player.

  23. And to think the Phillies trade a real 2nd baseman, named Sandberg, so that Sammy could play 2nd. Boston Phan, Matt German is not 6’8″. MiLB has it wrong. I mentioned he was 6’8″ a while ago and some guys on the board corrected me. I believe he’s 6′ or 6′ 1″. Someone else might be able to tell you exactly.

    If a center is what you’re looking for, then head to Williamsport. Michael Schwimmer and Charlie Vartanian are 6’8″ and 6’7″ respectively. Vartanian is 265 pounds so I think he can take the beeating inside. Michael Taylor is listed at 6’6″ and people who have seen him in person call him “the mountain”.

  24. Matt,

    As for the 2009 Reading Roster, I think the rotation is probably the easiest to project.

    IMO, it will consist of:
    Savery (not sure he will start at Reading but think he will be promoted quickly)

  25. I knew that would be the response, which is why I didn’t bring it up the first time. Yes, if he has a career that matches Samuel, it will have been a solid major league career. It doesn’t stop it from being a dissapointment, like Samuel was.

    In all likliehood, he won’t even reach that level. Samuel is his ceiling and he has maybe a 20% chance of reaching that (in my opinion). So yes, I would have traded him for anything that could have helped this team right now because I believe his career will be a dissapointment.

    Notice I didn’t use the term bust this time. That was my concession.

  26. Looking over the position player possibilities, it doesn’t look too promising for Reading next season. Taylor will probably be moved up and possibly Golson will start the seaon there, although I doubt it, and that is about it for legit prospects. Expect to see a lot of 25-28 year-olds you’ve never heard of before.

  27. Since Golson has been mentioned, it would (to me) make sense that he gets called up in September, and possibly a couple days earlier (so he can be on the postseason roster) to serve as the late inning defensive replacement/pinch runner. If that is the case, should we expect to see him get a promotion to Lehigh, so he can move a step closer to the Bigs.

    And if Golson has a similar offensive career to Juan Samuel’s (at least the Philly years), then I’d be okay with that. Yeah, his strikeouts were frustrating, but he was an exciting player.

    – Jeff

  28. Last thought on the issue to put what I’m saying into persepctive: looking back, would I trade six frustrating seasons of Juan Samuel for one piece that might have made a difference in the 1983 World Series against the Orioles? Without hesitation.

  29. No doubt everyone would agree with that assessment. The problem is knowing what that one piece is ahead of time.

    I would trade Golson, Marson, Carrasco, or any other of the teams prospects if it guaranteed they got that one piece to win the WS in 2008!

  30. I didn’t say guarantee. I realize there are no guarantees. I said that one piece that MIGHT have made a difference.

  31. Marc H, I think the propriator mentioned in another thread that at this point most draft signings, if they happen, will not be announced until right before the deadline as they are likely going to be slot-busters. You want to keep those under wraps until the last minute to lessen the bargaining position of other players and limit the ire of Selig’s boys.

  32. Jeff, thanks for the bit about Quintin Berry. By the way, you typed .267 in July, should be .367. For the season with RISP (81 AB) he’s hitting .358 with and OBP of .409.

    I’m fairly high on him and I was a bit concerned with his slow start but he’s back on track with his recent 21 game hitting streak. I’m thinking Berry should start the season in AA next year.

    Again, for those who don’t know, Berry has worked out with Tony Gwynn and is known for excellent plate discipline and above average speed. Someone mentioned here before that he was taking too many good pitches earlier this season, lacking aggression. Personally, I think if you’re going to err with pitch selection you’re better off taking a few good ones than swinging at a few bad ones, unless you’re Vlad Guerrero.

    Michael Taylor had a great July but has cooled off in August so far. Since he’s struggled with the promotion overall, he’ll probably start next season in Clearwater again but I won’t be surprised if he’s also in AA by next summer.

  33. Thanks for the analysis 3up3kkk –

    I have to agree with you. I think the pitching will be real solid in Reading next year, but a lot of career minor leaguers filling out the lineup. I was thinking about getting season tickets next year, but maybe 10 will be the better year if these young guys pan out.

  34. Obviously Cardenas would have made the jump to Reading but I stray again. Taylor will be there, Milner and perhaps Berry in the outfield. A real surprise but worth watching would be Galvis. Harris may return at the start. I think the team may be fun to watch.
    As far as the one piece we as Phillies fans cry about the Sandberg trade but we would have not won in 83 with Bowa at short vs DeJesus in my humble opinion. Of course we blew the series.

  35. Would be a heck of a double-jump for Galvis at 19 years-old but you’re probably right that Berry will be moved up after a solid 2nd half this year. Kind of lost focus on him after the horrible start.

    Also might be a possibility that one of Lakewood’s catchers(Naughton) makes the jump to AA as well if for no other reason than because they need to make some room at the A-ball level for Valle, D’Arnaud and neither of Clearwater’s catchers are prospects..

  36. isnt valle in gcl?? if thats so than the logical jump is SS next year after extended spring training, with d’arnaud going to lakewood. ive also been surprised that dominic brown is still in lakewood and hasnt been given a bump to clearwater. his stats compare well with taylors, albeit slightly less power, and it would make room to see if susdorf could handle another level up.

    also i think that galvis has done pretty well this year, irrespective of the utter lack of power. his k/bb ratio of 35/30 suggests some ability to manage the strike zone and put his bat on the ball. as he matures hopefully those singles and groundouts gain a little power.

    my shot at reading rotation next year: bastardo (if healty), savery, garcia, carpenter, brummett. wonder where heitor correa will figure in if and when he gets back from phillies prospect purgatory…lakewood? or williamsport?

  37. also, all of those college pitchers the phils picked up in june are really standing out. i would be curious to see schwimer and rosenberg join worley at lakewood before 08 is up. their numbers indicate they are more than ready for the jump as wpt is clearly not a challenge to them. as nice as roth’s era is, i think a lot of that has to be attributed to luck. he isnt striking out near enough guys, and walking too many. btw…worley has walked a whopping 4 batters in 45 innings over two levels since the draft, and has a solid go/ao ratio to go with 23 k in 33 IP at lakewood

  38. Gov,

    The reason i think Brown is still in lakewood, and why we wont see many of their players moving in and out for the rest of the year, is because they are the only team in the hunt for a ship if im not mistaken. They want to keep the group together to win.

  39. Not that this helps the mood any, but ex-Phil Adrien Cardenas has been promoted to AA (Midland-A’s) and his trademate Matt Spencer is hitting a “cool” .452 after 15 games. Ouch! Outman doing “o.k.” Great trade.

  40. Shawn —
    I never understand comments that guys like Samuel were near busts because they failed to perform up to ‘expectations’. Usually this translates into something like, if only he struck out less and did everything else at the same rate, so that the same percentage of additional balls in play became extra base hits as for the balls he actually puts in play. But this is really not a valid extrapolation, as he would not be the same hitter if he changed his approach to focus on reducing Ks. Samuel had 5 very good years and one great years for the Phillies. In that year he had 80 extra base hits as a 2B in the era before MLB juiced up the ball. He also had 100 rbi. He also had a lot of steals in all his Phillies years. Who can say if his potential was higher than this? Few players have this level of success. When he was traded in the middle of his first down year in Philly, we got Dykstra back. Rather than being a ‘bust’, I would describe Samuel as a success and a star, albeit one with a short period of success. The vast majority of first round picks do not do as well. If we do as well with Golson, I will be thrilled. The steals, the power, the excellent D, a reasonable BA. That would make Golson a real benefit.

  41. Denny,

    You forgot to mention Blanton’s solid effort the other night, to be fair…

  42. I know he’s not a prospect, but Eaton is getting lit up at Reading tonight, I love it.

  43. how badly must they be booing him in reading? is it a home game??? that i’d pay to see. CUT HIM NOW.

  44. I actually get mad when a high $ signing fails like this but that’s just me. I don’t take pleasure with guys sucking on our team. He’s purely an organizational guy at this point.

  45. Hewitt’s hitting .500 when he puts the ball in play. But the problem: 30 K’s in 66 abs. It’s Golson all over again. After watching Golson swing this year with Reading I don’t know if I can take another one.

  46. nephilsphan.

    if i gloat about his horrible stats its just because now there’s no way he can poison the big league club again. management can’t justify it but if he was “average” in the minors, they’d try to.

  47. and unfortunately it wasn’t a good one.

    Happ’s coming in now for his first relief appearance. Hope its a good one.

  48. remember hes coming out of the pen, which he isnt accustomed to. also hes had a very long layoff

  49. lol this is the Phillies at their finest.

    Bring up 2 AAA starters, and just throw them into the Pen and pray it works.

  50. I bet outman would have done better out there 😉 At least he was being groomed to be the situational lefty.

  51. walrond got screwed on amezagas little dinky hit that scored two, outman probably would have walked the whole team, i think happ and walrond will be ok, its their first appearances as relievers for the year

  52. Has anybody noticed Ryan Bergh in the GCL. 3 – 0 with 5 Saves, 0.78 ERA in 15 games. He’s 23 and out of Old Dominion. He gives up more than a hit and inning but he doesn’t walk many.

    Happ and Walrond turned last night’s game into a rout. I agree that it’s a bit unfair to take guys who have been starters all their careers and then make them relievers in the big leagues. I hope they’re given another chance to figure it out and a bus ticket to LHV by the end of the day.

  53. Walrond looked amazing for about seven pitches. He’s got really decent stuff…. I can’t see how a lefty who hits 94 with a good curve and cutter can’t be at least a decent pitcher. His control just blows. I did get really excited after that strikeout though.

    I gave up and went to bed before Happs appearance… how did he look?

  54. I was at last night’s game and here are my impressions.

    First, it was a difficult situation for both Walrond and Happ. Happ has never been a situational reliever and Walrond hasn’t relieved recently, so it was a difficult spot for both and I’m not sure it helped that the team was behind. I wouldn’t make much of it and I would hope the Phillies do not either. However, it does suggest, at least with Happ, that they get him back to what he does best. That poor guy has really been jerked around this year.

    Second, I couldn’t see the break on his pitches, but Walrond has surprisingly good velocity. If he keeps throwing 92-94 and can set up his pitches he may be effective.

    Third, Happ obviously did not have a good outing and he did not throw really hard on the gun (topping out around 90-92 – fastball was routinely at about 88 or 89). However, I have never seen him throw in person, but I just love his smooth delivery (when he pitches, he does not overthrow, the legs and body generate the torque and his arm is like a whip that just follows the other moving parts – it’s a truly elegant pitching motion) and even though he doesn’t throw hard on the gun, the ball explodes out of his hand and elevates through the hitting zone. He has a ton of ability – hopefully, they won’t screw him up or trade him before that talent becomes evident.

  55. One other observation from the game – Lindstrom can just flat out bring it – he was in the 95-98 MPH Zone – just nasty. If he gains command, he’ll be one of the best relievers in the game over the next five years or so. He’s a stud.

  56. We’ll have to see about Happ. He did well in his starts in Philly and certainly in Allentown. He had no prep for relieving. Perhaps more seriously, I’m guessing he went a little stale on the PHillies bench with disuse. To switch from starting to relief and to jump in after too long a down period has got to be very tough.

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