Daily Discussion; 8/22

Before I open the floor for random banter, I wanted to point something out, because its something I’ve seen a lot here this year. There is no anti-Phillies bias in prospect circles. There simply isn’t. From an objective, outside point of view, the Phillies system hasn’t been very good over the last five years. We’ve always been a top heavy system (one or two very good prospects) and we’ve gotten the occasional ML performer on the cheap (Geary, Madson), but our system doesn’t compare with the type of guys that Boston, Tampa Bay, Cincinnati and other teams have produced. The system is getting a lot better, and is as strong now as I can remember over the last 10 years. These publications are going to pick up on this and the Phillies will start to move up the rankings. Or maybe they won’t. But it really doesn’t matter. You have to remember also, Baseball America gets a lot of their info directly from the Phillies, and as we’ve chronicled, the Phillies don’t go out of their way to hype up their own guys to the degree that some teams (Mets, Yankees, Red Sox) do. But think about it from a practical standpoint. These places are trying to get more readers every day, and they are competing with other sites just like themselves. What benefit would they see in alienating an entire fanbase and being biased? Keith Law has no rooting interest in the Phillies or any other team. Why would he go out of his way to downgrade our prospects? He works for Scouts Inc/ESPN, ESPN wants as many new customers as possible. He is very consistent in his analysis, and he’s said “I was wrong on him, he’s gotten better since I last saw him” on more than one occasion.

There is no bias. Sometimes players legitimately fly under the radar. It happens in every organization. Now, onto the games…

The GCL game has been canceled due to rain.

177 thoughts on “Daily Discussion; 8/22

  1. I don’t think there is a bias. I do believe that the horridness that was the Phillies farm system is making certain prospects of ours highly undervalued.

  2. James, what about your Golson and Bastardo bias?

    Seriously though, James makes an interesting point: If these guys are getting a lot if info from the Parent Club, then the Phillies tendency to downplay their prospects will reflect on that.

    On the Thursday night games not, Reading is leaking oil, nice outings from Sampson and Byrd, and Michael Taylor was… Michael Taylor.

    – Jeff

  3. I consider myself a pretty reasonable guy and I absolutely think Keith Law is rather objective (he hates everyone). After reading several years worth of chats from Jim Callis at BA, however, I am convinced that he would view the exact same prospect/draft pick differently if the organization was Boston, Atlanta or Milwaukee rather than say Houston, Pittsburgh or Philadelphia. I’m not saying its insidious, I just think there is a conditioning that occurs.

  4. I will begin the random bantor. Does anyone know when Pettibone and Cosart might see some action? And where is Gose? Go Blueclaws!

  5. Squire, that’s an interesting observation. I think Callis can be cut some slack. He’s the editor at BA, its his job to speak in generalities it seems, and he basically only follows a few teams for the Handbook, one of which is Boston. Chris Kline did the Phillies list (pretty poorly, in my opinion), and he’s now in the Pirates front office, so it will be interesting to see who takes over.

    I generally have started to take less of what BA says to heart, but thats a general rule, based on things I’ve read and heard. But I still don’t think there is a systemic bias. If anything with Callis, its a bias in favor of a few teams (the ones you mentioned), not a bias against certain teams.

    I think Pettibone and Cosart are both going to pitch in Instructs, and their performance there as well as their performance in ST will determine where they start. Both obviously have the talent to start at Low A, but there are only so many spots available, and it depends on their readiness.

  6. great topic james. I agree in that Taylor really did come out of the woodwork this year and while we here know who he is, its going to take the KLAW’s etc of the world longer as they’re further down and they have to manage through 30 teams, not one like we do. I’m also sick and tired of the Mets pushing Fernando Martinez. Is he a nice prospect, probably but I’d say right now that while he’s older by several years, Taylor is as much if not more of a prospect because he’s destroying the level he’s at while Martinez is average for AA. Before anyone jumps down my throat i realize he’s very young for his level but he’s been touted by the mets as the second coming of Lastings Milledge, haha and they wouldn’t trade Manny for him or previous stud ML players at the waiver deadline. That to me is where the Mets overvalue their prospects while we undervalue them.

  7. The other thing with Law in particular (and Goldstein to an extent as well) is that he tends more toward the “performance” end of the spectrum, as opposed to the “projection” side. In other words, Law has the polar opposite view of building a farm system than the Phillies have. It’s why he doesn’t like Golson very much, or even Marson or Taylor to a lesser degree (since they don’t have lengthy track records). It’s not bias against the Phillies; it’s just his philosophy.

    Now, onto some random banter…

    Another solid outing from Julian Sampson last night (6.0 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K, 12 ground outs). If I showed you a mystery 6’5″ 19-year old in the SAL with decent command (3.55 BB/9) good groundball tendencies (52.4% on the season), and a big fastball (I believe he can run it up to 96), you’d be impressed with his potential. Of course, the number that most needs improvement is the strikeout rate (4.2 K/9), but hopefully that will come as he refines his secondary pitches.

    Duke: maybe I’m hoping against hope, but I’m wondering if Gose is in extended spring training transitioning to the mound. He played pretty regularly until July 12 and has disappeared since; some other 2008 draft picks (Rodriguez, Saunderson) have disappeared for awhile — presumably to work at instructs — but have resurfaced from time to time to get a few games in. Obviously I’m just speculating, but Gose has a continuous, extended absence, so it’s possible (then again, it could just be an injury).

    And finally, it’d be great to see Cosart and/or Pettibone in Lakewood, but as James mentioned, there could be a logjam of candidates for that rotation. Roth, de Fratus, Cloyd, and even Ballestas are candidates to move up from Williamsport; Worley, Stutes, and Cisco could start in Clearwater, but would be shoe-ins for Lakewood if they didn’t; Slate and Flande could jump from the GCL; and from this draft class, Knapp, May, Pettibone, Cosart are candidates as well. And who knows — maybe Diekman gets another shot? Anyway, if it were up to me, I’d probably do this…

    Justin de Fratus
    Rob Roth
    Yohan Flande
    Kyle Slate
    Jason Knapp

    …and I’d keep Cosart and Pettibone in extended spring training before sending them to the NYPL. Then again, as James said, it’ll ultimately depend on how everyone looks in spring training.

  8. Can anything one think of a college player who had that level of success in A+, or of a big league player drafted out of college who made it two A+ around the same age that we could compare Taylor to?

  9. PhuturePhillies. about five or six years ago if I am right boston’s farm system was bad. Did it get better through better scouting or more money put into the farm system. I wish the phillies would follow what Boston, Milaukee and Florida does in there drafts.

  10. liquidanthropoid –

    Ryan Howard comes to mind, although he didn’t really explode until he got to Reading, which was his fourth year in the minors. Still his Clearwater numbers were pretty impressive – 300 average, 23 homers, 82 rbis.

    Heh, So far, Taylor has been a more impressive minor leaguer. I can’t wait to see how he does next year.

    – Jeff

  11. rocky, the Red Sox have consistently spent the most money of anyone in baseball in the draft and have spent a lot of money in Latin America too. And their 2005 draft they had 5 first round picks (counting the comp round) which netted them Ellsbury, Buchholz, Lowrie, and Craig Hansen, the latter of whom was included in the deal to get them Jason Bay. They also landed Michael Bowden, who is now one of the best pitching prospects in their system. Since 2005 they’ve done a great job of drafting but have also really put the money into it to allow themselves to sign these guys.

    I think the thing with Taylor is really simple. As has been mentioned, he really struggled in college and never put up numbers that backed up his physical tools. He struggled mightily in his debut last year in the NYPL. So scouts had 3 years of disappointing college performances along with a disappointing pro debut. He’s absolutely destroyed both levels this season. But he is 22. And that does matter. If he goes to Reading next year and obliterates the Eastern League, people are going to rave about him.

    Taylor was ranked 15th in the state of Florida as a high school senior, and this is what BA said of him

    Taylor has overcome juvenile diabetes to own one of the draft’s most impressive bodies. He’s an imposing 6-foot-6, 233 pounds and looks like a linebacker, but with grace. He’s intelligent and has committed to Stanford, and like many Cardinal recruits that might keep teams from drafting him altogether. The other big reason he may not get picked is that for all his tools–he runs well for any size, owns a plus-plus arm and shows impressive power in batting practice–he hasn’t performed where it matters most, at the plate. He hit a soft .424 with five homers this spring. He was inconsistent driving the ball in games, and few scouts have seen his raw power translate in games. Teams probably will get three more years to judge him 3,000 miles away.

    So the thing is, he always had the tools. The raw strength, the arm, etc etc, but he didn’t put it together. He’s had an outstanding 2008. If hes finally put it together, the sky is obviously the limit.

  12. Who cares what law thinks, he is not going to be right more than he is wrong. I still believe a lot of what they say is based on some scouting report. I believe they don’t get to see these kids a lot.I can’t believe that you can take a kid like knapp and say he’s a relief pitcher based on high school .In high school how many of these kids get good instruction.

  13. rocky, its really simple. Law weighs what he sees when he personally scouts a kid over what he gets from others, but his job is to synthesize all of that info and form an opinion. Knapp has a violent delivery. He said that he sees him as a reliever because of that, not because he doesn’t have talent. I don’t see how that is a ridiculous opinion.

  14. I would say BA has not been biased against the Phillies. When our big prospects were in the system, we were rated very highly. I would argue that for a couple years we were even over-rated, and perhaps the over-estimation of guys like Byrd and Machado tempered their view of later prospects. We forget, how highly we were rated recently. Here are values for the Springs listed:
    1999 — 21
    2000 — 17
    2001 — 12
    2002 — 11
    2003 — 7
    2004 — 21
    2005 — 20
    2006 — 22
    2007 — 21
    2008 — 22

    I think we were over-rated in 2003, based largely on Floyd as a blue chip pitching prospect, who didn’t pan out for us and Utley, who did. Our top 10 prospects that year included Hamels, Madson, and Howard who all panned out. It included the semi-flop Byrd at #3, the traded but flopped Buchholtz at #4, the traded and flopped Machado and Ramirez at #8/9, and the subsequently injured Segovia at #10. These were all very solid prospects. Outside the top 10 were other very legit prospects like a still healthy Juan Richardson, $700K Latino bonus baby SS Carlos Rodriguez, Juan Padilla, Keith Bucktrot, Eric Valent, Carlos Simon, and already injured Brad Baisley. We still had high hopes for Jake Blalock and SS Danny Gonzales, huge pitcher Erick Arteaga, and the young almost 100 mph fastballer Jean Machi. Clearly a higher caliber bunch of prospects than we have had recently.

    Our system was severely downrated the next season. Why? First, the team had obviously turned away from the farm, losing its first and second round draft picks that Fall. Perhaps a BA snit over that. That draft did yield Kyle Kendrick in round 7 and Bourn in round 5, but it was a weak draft class. Our top prospects were Hamels, Floyd, Howard, Madson, Bucktrot, Simon, Bourn, Ramirez, Richardson, and Terry Jones. Definite falloff after Ramirez as Richardson and Jones were already falling apart, due to injuries. Still, How can a system with Hamels, Floyd, Howard, and Madson at A+ league level or higher for Madson, be rated only 21st? So, compared to the year earlier, the farm lost Byrd and Utley, Richardson, Carlos Rodriguez and Machado lost their bloom. In fairness, Howard would not be Howard until close to halfway through the next season at Reading.

    The bad farm ranking for 2005 is also a little overdone. The farm was led by Howard and Floyd, who both had monster years at Reading. The system was hurt by the injury to Hamels, who was still listed as #3, despite injury. Top draft pick Golson was #4 and had a good GCL season. Then Bourn, Mathieson who had a decent Lakewood season, Blalock off the best season of his career at Lakewood, and then two of our current gem recent Latin American bonus babies — Carrasco and Garcia. #10 was Scott Mitchinson, our first major Aussie and a guy who looked to make it based on control prior to injury. The system also had other notables — Carlos Ruiz, Chris Roberson, Jason Jaramillo, Happ, and Victorino. A lot of prior prospects had been injured or bombed out by now. Still, this season’s crop seems underrated, but that may be largely due to knowing how Hamels and Howard turned out. At the time, Hamels looked like a permanent emergency room resident and the Phillies were seriously bad-mouthing Howard. Still, how can Floyd, Howard, Hamels, Victorino, Happ, Golson, Carrasco, Garcia put you in the bottom third?

  15. if taylor qualified, he would be #1 in the FSL in BA, OB% and Slugging %. true he has only played 56 games, but 208 at bats are too many for it to be a fluke.

    liquidanthropoid – here’s a name from the past…remember ron jones ? .371 at clearwater. a shame that he got injured.

  16. liquidanthropoid: Taylor’s numbers at this age, experience, and level are a touch below Scott Hairston’s and a touch above T.J. Bohn’s.

  17. I don’t honestlly think Law is biased towards any team. I prefer constructive criticism instead of his seeming inconsistency in the comments concerning Knapp and Hewitt. Good topic, James.

    Personally, and this is a biased, I don’t get excited by anybody under AA. Lots of guys are great in Clearwater and never make it past Reading. Its fun to watch the lower levels and daydream about what could be but its all projection at that point. That said, I can’t wait to see what Taylor does in Reading next year…and Savery for that matter.

  18. BTW…did everyone notice Drabek’s strong outing for Williamsport? 4 and 1/3, 0 ERs I believe. Hit 92 on the gun reportedly.

  19. liquidanthropoid —
    Let’s compare him to a few of our own guys, who have done very well.

    Pat Burrell (age 22) — .303 BA, 7 HR and 15 XB in 132 AB, with 27 BB and only 22 Ks

    Chase Utley (age 22) — .257 BA, 16 HR and 43 XB in 467 AB, with 37 BB and 88 K, .324 obp, .422 slg

    Ryan Howard (age 23) — .304 BA, 23 HR and 56 XB in 490 AB, with 50 BB and 151 K, .374 obp, .514 slg

    Eric Valent (age 21) — .264 BA, 5 HR and 14 XB in 125 AB, with 16 BB and 29 K, .359 obp, .464 slg

    Eric Valent (age 22) — .288 ba, 20 HR and 60 XB in 520 AB, with 58 BB and 110 K, .359 obp, .489 slg

    Compare Taylor at age 22
    .337 ba, 7 HR and 30 XB in 208 AB, with 14 BB and 39 K, .382 obp, .548 slg

    Conclusion — Taylor beats all our collegiate comparisons except Pat the Bat. But Pat was a consensus best in draft.

  20. ***Lots of guys are great in Clearwater and never make it past Reading.***

    Nepp – i would agree with you if you changed the word “great” to “good”. there are a lot of guys who are good in A+ but don’t make a big impact. but using the word “great” changes the conversation. i would challenge you to find people who truly dominate A+ in their first full season and don’t make it (barring injury like my ron jones example). i mean, this guy is killing it. his numbers are only getting better too. his august numbers are silly. video game stats.

  21. The only thing concerning me about Taylor is his somewhat low walk rate. Though that could be a product of him seeing the ball so well that he’s simply making contact instead of taking pitches…His walk rate was better at other levels so its not a Golson-level concern on my part.

  22. A low walk rate is concerning if it accompanies a high strikeout rate.

    A-: 10.8% BB — 14.9% K
    A+: 6.2% BB — 17.3%

    17.3% is kind of high, but not for a guy with big time raw power.

  23. As I said, its not a big concern and I really think it has more to do with him batting .337 than anything. There’s not much impetus to take a walk when you’re crushing the ball like that. As you say his SO rate isn’t very high for a power bat. Anything under 20% is good for a power guy I would think.

  24. For those of you who only know Taylor as a name on a page let me just say that to see him is to see a serious athlete. He looks like a linebacker who can really run. He’s the complete package physically so its not surprise that he was always thought to have the talent to be a stud. The reality is that it took him awhile to figure it all out but that he now looks like he gets it. That is to say that he’ll get a look in spring training because of his stats and what he looks like, He’ll start at Reading but if he hits again there, he’ll end the year in Philly. Do doubt! Really!
    As for Marson and Donald, marson was 1-4 and Donald 1-3 with an rbi in their loss to Cuba today in the semifinal game. I hope both get promoted to the big club next week.

  25. Law likes to make bold statements that will get a reaction such as Victorino has an average outfield arm or Kendrick is a AAA lifer. I don’t think he necessarily has a Philly bias. He is better with stat based analysis that he seems to know well. He comes off poorly when he attempts to come off as a field guy who can evaluate batting mechanics and throwing motions. I don’t think he even played college, high school or legion ball; probably less than nearly everyone on this blog.

  26. In Law’s defense, I believe he was a professional scouting development guy for the Blue Jays for a decent amount of time. He does know alot about it.

  27. So because he didn’t play professionally he doesn’t understand hitting and pitching mechanics?

    The guy was a scout. He understands hitting mechanics and pitching mechanics better than a lot of guys who have “played the game”. That really is one of the more lame excuses I read when trying to attack someone’s knowledge. Lots of people who play the game have no idea why they were actually successful. Look no further than Hall of Famer Joe Morgan.

    And Kendrick, in case you guys haven’t been paying attention, has 5.01 ERA and a 1.58 WHIP. He is a AAA pitcher. He has 10 wins because hes 2nd in major league baseball (for pitchers with at least 100 IP) in run support, at 7.15 R/G.

  28. allentown – I have to think Howard’s season is more impressive, simply because he did it over 490 ABs compared to 208 for Taylor. But the point remains, those are some nice comparisons.

    rocky – adding to PP’s response to your point about the Sox, they did have a run-of-the-mill farm system in the early part of this decade. This changed with the arrival of the new ownership group and Theo Epstein in 2002. Epstein’s first two drafts (03 and 04) were focused on getting quality college players and filling up the upper-ranks of the system with players that could contribute. So in fact they did not spend that much more, they just were “smarter” about their approach. Since 2005 their approach has been to try to get elite talent into the system. Hence, as PP said, they have been one of the biggest spenders in the draft (this year spending $10.5m) and in international signings. Since they have been picking towards the end of the first round, they have had to try to get elite talent through later-round “tough signs”. Based on the success (admittedly small sample size) the Sox have had taking that approach, it was exciting for me to see the Phils start to sign some late-round tough signs this year, since of late the Phils have been picking in the latter half of the first round.

    Two more interesting points about the Sox and the draft – 1) the Red Sox have more money to spend than almost every other team, so they are naturally going to do better at this “spend money on tough-sign elite talent” philosophy than most (including the Phils). 2) Of late, they seem to be incorporating mental and emotional make-up as another “tool” to evaluate among high schoolers. This makes sense since a) it is tough for an 18-year-old to make the transition to full-time professional baseball; and b) Boston is a tough place to play in. I think the Phils would be wise to start weighing mental and emotional make-up more as well, considering the environment in Philadelphia.

  29. wow i didn’t even notice that NEPP,
    thanks for the heads up. That’s HUGE news that Drabek was promoted and looked great. Deserving of it’s own thread IMO.

    Drabek 4.1 inn, 1 hit, 0 ER (1 unearned), 3BB, 5 K’s

    BA Top 100 for next year:
    Carrasco – headed up the ranks with every AAA start
    Marson – very solidly in the top 100
    Donald – should be in the bottom half
    Taylor? maybe too soon but possible
    Drabek? rising in rankings with every start
    Savery? nice rebound but may drop off after struggling early
    Golson? solid season might get him some love
    Brown? possibly still too low a level for next year

    Off topic a bit:
    Anyone know what’s up with Heitor Correa? I heard a rumor he was having some kind of visa issue but it would be good to get something concrete on the issue. Was really looking forward to seeing what he could do for us this year and now it seems like he’s not going to get any work in at all this year.

  30. “Can anything one think of a college player who had that level of success in A+, or of a big league player drafted out of college who made it two A+ around the same age that we could compare Taylor to?”

    If you want some cold water for the Taylor fire, compare him to Joe Gaetti, son of former ML Gary Gaetti…

    At 23 in A+ he was 21/87/.332/.418/.605/.810

    He is now hitting .263 in AAA ball in the Oakland system and will turn 27 next month..

    I’m not saying that Taylor won’t be a success but just suggesting that some prospective needs to be maintained on the fact that his great season isn’t overly unique or an sure-fire indicator of future success…

  31. No one knows what is going on with Correa. I’ve asked everyone. He’s supposedly suspended for a “team violation” or something of the sort. No one knows exactly, and I’m sure the Phillies aren;t going to tell anyone if they don’t have to.

  32. couldn’t disagree more about kendrick being a AAA “lifer”.

    the guy has a 20-10 record (say what you want about run support, he keeps us in just about every single game) with a 4.47 era in his first 45 starts – at AGE 22/23!

    He obviously has the big league mentality to succeed even though his “stuff” isn’t great. When his location is good he can be dominant and that’s what is most important. The fact is we shouldn’t be relying on a 23yo 2nd year pitcher to be more than a #4/#5 anyway at this point, but we’ve had to at times and for the most part he’s gotten the job done.
    Cut him some slack!

  33. Thanks for the heads up on Correa,
    i’m sure you’ll keep us posted – btw this is definitely one of the best websites in all of baseball for minor league updates/chat.

  34. 3up,
    Except Gaetti doesn’t have the size or athleticism that Taylor does. I think prudence is deserved in Taylor’s case, but at this point he certainly is headed towards top prospect status.

  35. i know this is not the blog for major leaguers, but i have to second Danno.

    kendrick has 13 quality starts out of 25 total starts. that is a very good ratio for a #5 pitcher. he has “kept them in the game” in 18 of his 25 starts. for a team that has so much money invested in the offense, you won’t find a much better #5. he has had a few horrible games that killed his era.

  36. Liquid,

    I absolute agree that he is headed towards top prospect status….

    Just think too many people are writing him into the CBP outfield a bit too quickly!!!

  37. #up,
    Yea I think a lot of us are looking at Burrell’s impending departure to an AL team and the lack of depth in the OF and are praying he pulls a Pujols and gets called up to start next year.

  38. btw Kendricks ERA over his 10 wins barely tops Hamel’s ERA in his last 7 no decisions.

  39. I was wrong. I’ll cut Kendrick some slack because he knows how to win. Thats a very important trait to have. And has nothing to do with the amount of runs scored behind him.

    Kendrick’s best run this season was arguably early-mid May through early July. In 11 starts he was 6-1 with a 4.05 ERA. But over that span he allowed 63 H and 20 BB while striking out only 25. When you miss that few bats, you simply can’t sustain success unless you are getting an absurd amount of groundballs.

    Kendrick isn’t a “lifer” yet, hes young, he could develop a good 3rd pitch, or even a good 2nd pitch. But right now, he’s a AAA caliber pitcher. He doesn’t miss bats, and unfortunately, he’s been walking more batters. His control was good last year, even if his command was poor. His command is still poor this season, and you’re seeing the results. In his last 7 starts hes allowed 52 H and 17 BB in 36 innings. A WHIP of almost 2.

    We’re not here to discuss Kendrick’s ML performance, this is simply a clarification of the attack on Law. He was right about Kendrick.

  40. I’ve never thought that baseball insiders have had an ax to grind when it concerns the Phillies minor league system. The Phillies were ranked higher when they had good and great prospects at AA and AAA. The Phillies minor league ranking has moved down since the promotions and trades of Utley, Howard, Hamels, Floyd, Gonzalez, and whoever else I’m missing. The Phillies simply do not have many plus prospects that are close to the majors. It will once again move up now that Brown, Carrasco, Marson (if he stays in the minors), Donald, D’nuardo, Drabek, Golson, Savery, Taylor and all the other prospects move up a level or repeat AA/AAA. I’ve missed quite a few but the Phillies will once again have a highly ranked system. At least that is my hometown opinion 🙂

    The major league team is starting to get old fast. With out the use of performance enhancers 30 year old players will once again be 30 year old players and on the downside of their careers. Most if not all of the Phillies position players are nearing or above 30 years of age. Hopefully the Phillies have drafted wisely and make wise trades in the future to develop a deeper system that has legit position player talent at AA and AAA not just high ceiling prospects.

    If I can go back to Cardenas that was a bad trade for a # of reasons. One of those reasons is that Chase will most likely be in the twilight of his career in 5 years. Cardenas will be just 23 or 24, I think.

  41. It’d be pretty amazing if Cardenas were just 23/24 years old in 5 years….it would mean he’s defied the time/space continuim. 🙂

    I think BA can be a bit biased towards the Phillies. Does it bother me? No, because I’m biased towards my own prospects. I think so-and-so is the best prospect no one is talking about. It’s how it goes since I don’t follow other systems very close.

    With that said, I’d have to imagine that Carrasco, Marson, and Donald will all be Top-100 guys. And I think there will be some serious discussion about Taylor, D’Arnaud, and Savery if these 3 guys finish their respective seasons at their currents paces. Golson doesn’t have a chance because a lot of people are extremely skeptical of his ability/development going forward. Understandable. They assume he’s going to fail; as Phillies fans, we’re blinded by pure ambition (or glass half-full) that he WILL succeed.

  42. no one said “he knows how to win. Thats a very important trait to have.” and no one said that “it has nothing to do with the amount of runs scored behind him.”

    he keeps his team in the game in 3/4ths of his games. also, he is a sinker ball pitcher with extreme ground ball ratio. so missing bats isn’t his strategy. he wants them to hit the ball into the ground.

  43. Perhaps cherry-picking a bit, but if you discount Taylor’s 10-game adjustment period in June, his plate discipline numbers in Clearwater look like this…

    7.6% BB — 15.8% K

    Furthermore, it’s been offset to an extent by an increase in his ISO (which has bumped from .193 in Lakewood to .211 in Clearwater). Now it’s something he’ll have to improve on as he climbs the ladder — as I mentioned in the Top 10 position prospects thread, it’s my biggest concern with him — but as he continues to get comfortable with his old/new swing, we can certainly hope it’s doable.

    Oh, and one completely random point (spurred on by allentown, who mentioned this guy in his comment)… Scott Mitchinson, although old (23) for his league, is absolutely dominating the Class A Midwest League: 77.2 IP, 60 H, 78 K, 11 BB, 1.74 ERA, 0.91 WHIP). Remind me again why the Phils didn’t think it worthwhile to protect him in the Rule 5 Draft?

  44. Kendrick has a 1.68 GB to FB ratio.

    Thats not bad.

    Roy Halladay has a 2.09 GB to FB ratio.

    Thats good.

    Kendrick’s ERA, by decision

    in W: 3.08 ERA — 1.25 WHIP
    in L: 9.10 ERA — 2.26 WHIP
    in ND: 5.09 ERA — 1.67 WHIP

    Just compare him to Hamels

    in W: 1.75 ERA — 0.91 WHIP
    in L: 4.67 ERA — 1.17 WHIP
    in ND: 3.91 ERA — 1.18 WHIP

    That is keeping your team in the game when you don’t have your best stuff. Hamels has been very unlucky this year, Kendrick has been very lucky. He’s not a solid pitcher. He’s a 5th starter getting by on smoke and mirrors.

    This is my own fault. I should have just deleted the comment ripping Law earlier and moved on instead of taking the bait.

  45. PP fan, Kendricks ground ball ratio stinks. His groundball to flyball out is a measly 1.65 and he’s only thrown 7 DP balls this year.

  46. You’re comparing Kendrick, a #5 starter, to Hamels (or Halladay), a number #1 starter, to show there is a difference?

    I’m pretty sure everyone already notices that difference!

  47. I was thinking could you imagine. That on august 15 the phillies owners would have gave the okay to pay broxton and weber overslot. What a great draft it really could have been. I wanted broxton. I feel we need more potential bats in the system. You saw how hard it was to name ten positon players ,we could have use another bat. The draft on paper was real good but it could have been great.

  48. (Advance apology for talking about a major-leaguer)

    Kendrick is still only a sinkerballer with below average secondary pitches. You can’t call a pitcher that relies so much on location a dominant pitcher, especially when he has doesn’t strike that many people out. If he had even an average change-up with some solid depth and fade, people like Keith Law would grant him #5 pitching status, but his secondary pitches aren’t there yet so they downgrade him. Kendrick is not helping his case this year, with statistical declines acroos the board. His 3.24 BB/9 is not exactly offsetting his 4.08 K/9, which is causing him problems. Even so, we should give him a fair shot next year before burying him, he was a lot better last year in most statistical categories including ERA+ (2007 ERA+119 vs. 2008 ERA+ 89)

  49. this is not about kendrik or hamels. this is about understanding pitchers better. this is about all of us learning.

  50. Agree with you there and if he can’t develop his secondary pitches soon, he won’t be a #5 pitcher much longer either..

  51. Anyway, Rocky I agree with you, next year we’ll need an infusion of bats in the system to keep up with a our growing pitching prospect base. We still don’t have a clear-cut 3rd base prospect, and eventually we’ll need insurance at first base, because I doubt the Phillies are giving Howard a long-term extension anytime soon (outfield appears to be pretty solid though.)

  52. I’d be very surprised if Golson was in the BA top 100 next year. He’s a guy who draws very polarizing opinions either very good or very bad. The raw skills and high K rate will do that.

    I think the locks for the top 100 are Carrasco & Marson. Donald most likely will be in it, I think Taylor should but I can understand them being hesitant because he’s been an underachiever his whole career.

  53. If the Phillies could get an OFer and/or a young mlb ready 3B for Kendrick; we’d be crazy not to take the trade. I love the guy, but he’s been very lucky. He doesn’t have a second pitch. He doesn’t even have his sinker going very well in a lot of games.

  54. Yep, Cardenas will turn 25 in 5 years. I thought he was 19 turning 20 not 20 turning 21 🙂 I think my point still stands at least on one leg 🙂

    I don’t get this Kendrick discussion though. He’s a #5 pitcher that could conceivably turn into a #3 pitcher if he develops a pitch that can handle lefties. If he fails to do this then he’s a fringe pitcher. I don’t see why there’d be much room for debate. IF he develops a PLUS change up then he sticks but lets be honest Carrasco and Happ are waiting in the wings. They need a spot in the rotation… Kendrick is the most expendable from that rotation.

  55. PhillyFriar,

    we had to ensure we didn’t lose the likes of Fabio Castro, Joe Bisenus and now Oscar Robles. Those are true gems that would be stolen up in an instant. Yes i’m just kidding.

  56. What kills me is that we have two guys in the majors that have very good changeups (Hamels and Moyer) that Kendrick should be learning a change-up from. I just had a thought, since Tom Gordon is out for the year anyway, why don’t we send him to the minors to teach the young guns how to throw his curveball that used to be so dominating.

  57. liquidanthropoid – your mis-understanding what a gb/fb ratio means. a 1.6 is terrific. it means that in a 9 inning game he will get 17 ground balls and 10 fly balls. to give you a sense, cole hamels is 1.04, so he gets roughly 4 less ground balls per nine innings.

  58. Big Red,
    Ever listen to Joe Morgan talk baseball? The guy was a HOF player, but talks about it with a level of intelligence comparable to an inebriated rock. I’d love to think Gordon could go down to the GCL phillies and teach Knapp a dominant curve, but just because he had one doesn’t mean he can teach it.

  59. PP fan,
    I understand the math, but 1.6 isn’t dominant, it’s decent. Hamels doesn’t need the ground outs because for most of his Career he’ll be in the top 5 in Ks.

  60. Really can’t get too excited about a 23 year-old dominating A level hitters, especially in limited innings…

  61. bigred,

    as far as 3B prospects go I’m actually pretty high on Cody Overbeck. I’m assuming he’s on to Lakewood next year so I’ll be interested to see how he does. He’s having a very good month of August pretty quietly although his fielding needs a bit of work.

  62. Very true, but the reason Chien-Ming Wang got his two-seamer was from one of the coaches. I know it doesn’t happen in an instant, and some guys cannot throw certain pitches, but a trick for some of the best pitches lies in the grip and an understanding of how it is thrown. For example, a guy with an overhand pitching motion would be able to get a lot of downward movement on a 12-6 curve, and a changeup, a la Hamels, therefore it wouldn’t hurt to try and teach them those pitches. Meanwhile guys who pitch from a side-arm slot can learn nasty sliders, cutters, and two-seamers. You also have guys that come from a relatively standard to slightly overhand position, such as lidge, who can throw a slider that looks like a power curve. My point in all of this madness is that with pitching, you give someone the basics of gow to throw a good pitch, much like a good golf teaching professional can teach a person to swing a golf club. Whether or not it develops is based on the willingness of the pitcher to practice the pitch and work on it. It wouldn’t hurt.

  63. Mike, Overbeck is crushing the ball, but unless Mattair/Hewitt pick up their game next year, like D’ Arnaud did this year, I would feel more comfortable with some more 3rd/1ste prospects (Brett Wallace would be nice right now…)

  64. By the way, I’ve heard about how ugly Knapp’s delivery is, but I can’t find/haven’t heard a detailed report about it. What’s so bad about it? Also, what arm slot does he pitch from?

  65. I would love to see Tom Gordon be successful teaching breaking pitches to minor leaguers, I just know as an education major how difficult it really is to teach someone a usable skill.

  66. Nepp,
    On overbeck, do you is his defense bad enough to think about a move to the outfield or is it DH bad?

  67. On Knapp’s delivery, go here

    http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/events/draft/y2008/draftcaster.jsp

    then navigate to the phillies tab and watch his video

    I’m not an expert on mechanics, though it is something I have been reading more about and trying to learn more about. He has a few problems. He has a very slow tempo in his delivery, and I think this can lead to getting a bit out of whack and having trouble repeating the delivery. He also throws from a low arm slot and drops down, which I think is what makes it tougher for him to stay on top of his curveball. His front leg is also very stiff on his follow through, which will hinder control and could lead to arm trouble.

  68. I think he’s a corner OF personally. I watched him play 3 games in person a couple months back and he just isn’t comfortable at 3B. He’s got stone hands and his reactions aren’t quick enough. He looked athletic enough to be a corner OF though.

  69. Bohn’s stats at age 22 were not in shouting distance of Taylors. Please don’t even try to compare the two of them.

    Also if Law did in fact say that Victorino had an average arm, he must have been scouting him in preschool.

  70. Nepp did you see him in person a lot. According to crosscheckers his biggest improvement was in his fielding. Did he go back to bad habits from his sophomore year, when his fielding was bad, I have not seen him so I was just wondering.

  71. liquidanthropoid, true but unless you’re in the Philadelphia public school system, the teachers still try. Like I said it takes time and effort to learn something as complex as learning a new pitch.

  72. I like Overbeck too, but I have to second NEPP (who I believe has seen him play) with regards to his fielding. The scouting report on him as a 3B was not good, and I believe he has a ridiculously high amount of errors this year. I wouldn’t be surprised if he did a position switch next year. First base might be a good option for him – he seems to me that he has the power for that position.

    Big Red – someone did a writeup on Knapp’s delivery yesterday. It was posted under the Reading thread by Pat Burrell in the evening (7:59 to be precise):

    Knapp has an “ugly” delivery that is conducive that is violent and conducive to injury. It also doesn’t let him command his breaking stuff well, leaving him with command of really only his plus fastball. The fact that his delivery probably wouldn’t hold up over 6,7 innings a game and would lead to injury combined with the lack of two other average pitches, leads people like KLaw to think he will end up in the bullpen.

    Hope that helps

    – Jeff

  73. I only watched him in 3 games…his range was poor at 3B and he was very rough when he did get to balls. It could be something he improves in time but he’s reportedly had a pretty bad defenseive season at Williamsport (very high error total). He straight out didn’t get to several balls that should have been routine. It was a small sample size though.

  74. I think Overbeck ends up in LF. Threshold offensively is lower there than 1B. He seems like a tweener to me. We have very few 1B prospects of note, so he might slide there next season but I don’t think hes necessarily a big leaguer (or a good one offensively) at that position. Then again, guys like Ross Gload have logged significant chunks of time at 1B in the majors without hitting for much power, so who knows.

  75. Yikes, Overbeck has 16 errors in 58 games. He has almost the same amount of doubles though – 15, which means that 25 of his 62 hits are XBH.

    I just checked his college stats – he had 19HBP this year in 63 games. MiLB doesn’t list how many times he’s been plunked, but that oughta offset the fact that he doesn’t draw a lot of walks. We need to get him and Utley in the lineup together.

    – Jeff

  76. So that footage of knapp was from his Junior year of High School, and he was throwing a 90 mph fastball. That delivery is god awful ugly though.

  77. Indeed. I usually check The Baseball Cube, but their Minor League Stats aren’t always up to date. Thanks for the tip.

    – Jeff

  78. PhuturePhillies,
    From what I can see in this scouting video (which is probably outdated since something has to change for him to pick up 6 mph on the fastball.) Anyway, your assessment seems correct. I really don’t seem him opening his hips enough due to the stiff leg. This could also lead to a more violent delivery by forcing the arms to do more work than needed. From his arm slot he could get a lot of movement on a slider/cutter. I can understand why people peg him as a closer type though. The way he throws it now, he looks like he can realistically only throw two pitches, his plus fastball and a slider. I need to se him live though to make any further judgement.

  79. Yeah. I want to see video of him now and compare the two deliveries. From that arm slot he should be throwing a slider instead of a curveball. But I have no clue what the Phillies may have altered with his delivery.

  80. I hate my keyboard right now, stupid wireless. I just saw Shreve’s scouting video. I honestly believe if there weren’t any injury complications, he would be our #3 pitching prospect in a year. Curveball isn’t great, but the fastball and change-up are pretty solid.

  81. phuturephillies That’s one of the reason I liked russo. His delivery was so effortless and his breaking ball was,from what

  82. hey – just an idea, but the guys who do the write ups (i am assuming that they go to the games) can buy a camera that hooks up to a computer for under $50. i am sure we would all chip in through paypal to cover the expense. there are services out there (like skype) that can video tape a player.

  83. True, Pettibone has absolutely no deception in his picthes and they look a little flat on movement to me. It looks like Pettibone’s arm is moving in slow motion from the side view. Good news is that he looks to have avery projectable body. He looks like a twig in that video. I looked at Cosart out of curiousity. He has a little hitch right before he fully transitions his weight over. He has a much better pitching repetouire than Pettibone though.

  84. Yeah the hitch in Cosart’s delivery is the only flaw I see. He hides the ball well and comes over the top, which should help him keep the ball down. When I do my big draft recap and analysis I’ll talk about everyone’s delivery and my general thoughts.

  85. Spelling corrections…
    *pitches
    a* very*
    We couldn’t have signed one of the Law, Russo, Marrs group instead of giving 500K to Pettibone? Anyone of those were better than what I see from Pettibone here. (Personally I like Law, for some reason reminds me of Josh Johnson of the Marlins.)

  86. Out of curiosity (and not to rush/pressure)…is there an ETA on your draft recap? You’ve mentioned it several times and I’m very eager to read it.

  87. Cosart has the delivery to throw a very nice 12-6 curve, and changeup. Basically a right-handed Hamels in terms of the type of pitcher he is (although nowhere near as developed…)

  88. Out of curiosity (and not to rush/pressure)…is there an ETA on your draft recap? You’ve mentioned it several times and I’m very eager to read it.

    After the minor league season ends. Its going to be rather extensive, probably a 5 part series at least.

  89. Has anyone seen Knapp pitch in the past year? I have to assume he may have cleaned up his delivery a little bit this past year. In the scouting vid he was only throwing 90/91 and I read he was throwing mid 90s all year and even touching higher. Hopefully the Phils are working with him on that and developing his secondary stuff.

  90. It strikes me as odd that the more we try to make mechanics consistant from pitcher to pitcher the greater the number of injuries.
    What would have become of the Bunnings,Marichal, and Spahns in todays game.
    Look at Lincecum—-everybody hated his mechanics and he is Mr Consistancy. Pryor—-the perfect delivery–can’t avoid injury.

  91. It strikes me as odd that the more we try to make mechanics consistant from pitcher to pitcher the greater the number of injuries.
    What would have become of the Bunnings,Marichal, and Spahns in todays game.
    Look at Lincecum—-everybody hated his mechanics and he is Mr Consistancy. Pryor—-the perfect delivery–can’t avoid injury.

    lots of inaccuracies in this.

    1. The game is different today. Hitters are different, and whats required to succeed in the big leagues is different. Pitchers throw harder now because they have to.

    2. People who don’t really understand mechanics were worried about Lincecum. I read a great article that broke down his motion and was convinved it wouldn’t be an issue. They are also concerned about his size, not just the moving parts in the delivery.

    3. Prior’s delivery isn’t perfect, he actually has poor mechanics. He’s a classic “Inverted W” type pitcher

    Link

    4. No one is saying that every delivery needs to be changed. But when you do fundamental things wrong, you’re not only decreasing your chances of success, you’re elevating your risk for injury.

  92. I was just looking at the draft tracker and inserted past years in. It’s interesting to read the comments on some of the guys the Phils drafted in past years. Here’s the little tidbit on Worley coming out of high school.

    “Stretched out version of Trevor Hoffman, FB between 89-93 with good late life. CB a nasty 12/6 knee buckler. Circle Change has the bottom fall out, Consistently throws strikes and mixes pitches well. Mature for his age.”

  93. Pitchers throw harder today?
    Obviously we have radar today but the sound I hear today from the hardest throwers is not that of Duren,Ryan and the young Gossage.
    I guess it is just the catchers mits are softer.
    BTW—–I read the same article in SI—–his dad developed the delivery.

  94. On the Pryor mechanics I was quoting Tom House his former pitching coach who said they were “perfect mechanics”—–I am not qualified to refute him.

  95. To mwbbfan’s point, as more money has become involved with MLB, teams have gotten more risk-averse and are less likely to stray from accepted norms. So if a guy pitches in a weird way, teams will either stay away or will try to change it. Basically it doesn’t pay to let a guy stay with wacky-looking mechanics and then have him get hurt. You’ll get second-guessed and lose your job.

    That being said, things are different now and much more is understood about bio-mechanics and what kinds of deliveries can lead to injuries. For every Spahn, Tiant, etc. there were hundreds more guys who got hurt and never pitched again.

    The average pitcher throws harder today. You can compute velocity using old films (distance thrown, time between frames on the film). The hardest of the hard throwers are the same (Joba throws as hard as Nolan), but on average pitchers throw harder than they used to.

  96. There is no such thing as proper mechanics. If you study only the shoulder joint, there are so many variations in anatomy that what works for one pitcher will not work for another.

    Simply taking an MRI of every prospect would yield a ton of information. If all you did was estimate the space below the acromion, you would be able to tell who was more likely to be able to throw over the top as opposed to 3/4 or sidearm. And motion studies of joints would yield even more info.

    If you look at what Mike Marshall does with his academy, just making sure that a pitcher pronates as he releases the ball would save a majority of the elbow injuries we see. Look at Roger Clemens’ delivery if you want a great example of pronation.

    I was always taught to come straight over the top because that was proper form. I’m now the recipient of shoulder surgery because I had little space below my acromion and should have stuck with my natural lower arm slot. If I’d only gone to medial school before pitching instead of after, I would have known better than the anatomically uneducated coaches who forced me into an unnatural arm slot.

    I look at someone like Ryan Madson and think he probably has the world record for space beneath his acromion. And before altering Knapp’s mechanics, I’d certainly image his shoulder. And if the acromion is sloped downward, as mine was, I’d either encourage him to work with the delivery he has or arthroscopically go in and shave the bottom off the acromion to free up space before causing him an injury.

    There’s an awful lot to take into consideration in something like this. But everyone is correct about that stiff leg. Puts a lot more pressure on the upper extremity in a number of ways. And that is easily fixed.

  97. The big lesson is that there is no one size fits all approach to pitching. Just flip through a night’s worth of baseball games to see that. There are just things you really shouldn’t do. Some guys seem to have bionic arms and it never catches up to them. Some guys are constantly hurt. Conditioning and strengthening not only your pitching muscles, but also your core and other areas probably helps as well.

    I’m in the camp that thinks Prior’s mechanics are poor, no matter what Tom House has to say. But I didn’t play the game, so I guess I’m not qualified to comment really.

  98. LOL…this is true.

    Seriously though…that was one of the sillier comments in the history of the site. Lots of scouts have never played professionally…lots of coaches have never been at the top of the game either. Mike Maddux is considered a great pitching coach and he was a journeyman at best in the league.

  99. NEPP in my honest opinion journeymen make the best coaches. The fringe player usually has to make the most of his ability to succeed and therefore learns more about the nuances of the game.

    O and Tom House… When I was young my coach taught me how to pitch by using House’s techniques. It worked somewhat. At 14-15 I was hitting mid 80s with out much effort with a lot of room for growth. At 18 my brother topped out at 93 but I was already taller and just bigger than him. He obviously had more muscles than me but I was just wider and lankier.

    I started to use House’s methods in 8th grade..13? I started to have real elbow problems when I was a soph in high school. I went to camps and people would talk about my great mechanics but I eventually learned that I was “dragging” my elbow. Eventually I hurt it while pitching then hurt it even more while trying to rehab it. 😦 My ortho asked if I was going pro…I said probably not…then he said that I better stop pitching otherwise I’d need surgery. 😦

  100. That’s my opinion as well on most coaches…the truly great players usually have trouble teaching what comes so naturally to them. Some can but many can’t.

  101. Good news, bad news with D’Arnaud at Low A . He hit his second homer and went 3 for 5 tonight but also was charged with his 4th passed ball. Also in only 7 games so far, he has committed 2 errors and the last I checked he was only 1 for 6 in caught stealing.

  102. Two thoughts:

    Taylor’s lack of HRs concern me. A guy his size with his power should have more. That being said, anybody have his LD%? (what site provides LD% for minors and majors?)

    As for pitching, I never pitched anything meaningful, but I used to pitch a tennis ball against my garage always either full overhand or full sidearm and I developed shoulder problems before my junior year of high school (inflammation of the rotator cuff or something like that, basically, it’s always tight and there’s not a damn thing I can do about it). I now throw from a slot between 3/4 and sidearm that’s much more comfortable and doesn’t cause any pain. I’m always told it’s wrong, and I’ve never seen anybody regularly throw from the same slot, but I find that I have by far the most control on it and I throw only about 2-3 MPH slower than full overhead. But I’m still about 8 MPH below where I used to pitch before injuring my shoulder. Oh well.

  103. d’Arnaud kills the ball. Move him out from behind the plate. He’s just fast enough not to kill you at 2nd, 3rd or LF.

    Does anyone know if his struggles throwing out runners is due by poor moves to the plate by the pitchers?

  104. D’Arnaud actually has a very good accurate arm and a quick release This is a case where the stats aren’t telling the whole story. He’s supposedly a very good defensive catcher…that’s actually his calling card as a prospect…not the offense.

  105. didn’t realize it but Marson caught two runners stealing in the semifinal game against Cuba. He’s definitely outplayed Teagarden in this olympics and Donald has played very very well too. THey’re both hitting well over .300 for the Olympics. Great showing by the boys from Reading. And d’arnaud really does look good. I’d like to see him move to 1B to move up the chain quicker and possibly replace Howard if/when he’s not resigned.

  106. He has far more value as a catcher though…even if we have to end up trading him for something if he’s blocked by Marson. Luckily he’s very very young so it won’t be a problem for several more years.

  107. it would make a lot of sense to move a guy from the toughest defensive position, where he’s a plus defender, to the lowest position on the defensive spectrum.

  108. Ducky –

    Taylor has 18 HR’s while slugging .550 between two levels so far.

    Thats pretty good.

  109. It’s pretty good on average, but for a supposed plus power hitter at a level low for his age, it really isn’t. At least I don’t think it is.

  110. James

    i have to disagree. i don’t consider kendrick a AAA pitcher. while his numbers aren’t great this year he has had quite a few quality starts. he’s been off lately (although ok tonight) but has been solid for a good part of the year.

  111. does anyone remember my saying that jason donald is going to be a star. as i remember i heard ” he,s a utility man, lets use him as trade bait. i know nepp and pp remember, they actually pay attention. this kid, donald, along with marson, and golson and happ should be on the roster b-4 sept. 1st, making them eligible for the post season. goodbye so.

  112. I definately think there is a national bias against the phillies farm system. Show me another team other than the Tampa bay Rays that has more players they have drafted and developed on their team. Add in players we’ve drafted and devoped starting on other teams like Rolen, Wolf, Easy Ramirez, Gavin Floyd, Nick Punto, Michael Bourn, Taylor Buchols, Andy Machado, Carlos Silva, Marlon Byrd, etc. and you have a system that not only drafts well but also develops players better than most.

    That’s the reason I really hope the Phillies choose Mike Arbuckle as the next GM. Arbuckle is the guy in management most closely related to player development.

  113. John from philly That’s the day I argued that donald has hit everywhere he’s played. Why is he a utility player but most said he couldn’t field and was block by others, all kinds of reasons but I saw that homerun in spring training. I still believe this kid will outdo what so called expert say. Scouts said his bat at arizona was not what they thought coming out of college but he proved them wrong.

  114. Very nice post from liquidanthropoid –

    I think rating prospects is about the same as picking winners from a scratch-0ff. Each of us looks at them differently for clues as to their future and with equal success or lack thereof.

    To me, a nobody but a nobody who has been watching my team since shortly after Lincoln was shot, Michael Taylor looks like a work in process. By that I mean he is only going to get better and better. His power has not yet begun to assert itself, yet in the stats provided by liquidanthropoid – he really does look impressive. He is hitting XB at a more proficient rate than Pat was at this juncture in his career. (8.8 to 6.6). I am sure his HR’s will pick up. I think Taylor is the #1 prospect in the system. The guy with the highest upside. In the past three weeks, I think he has hit about .400.

    He should be at Reading. I can’t wait to see if he falls back as he did at Clearwater and then adjuts or if he just hits from the outset. This time I am betting he gets off well and continues to improve as long as they keep him there. that’s because I think Michael is a major league talent playing against kids most of whom are not. So he should excel from now on.

    Question: Can anyone tell me with any assurance whether Donald can be an everyday player in the majors at either SS or 3rd base? I know the kid can hit but I keep hearing whispers that his defense will come up short. I would like to know but only if you do know. I don’t want just what someone thinks. What are the “pros” saying about this kid? You can email me: Chonors686@Aol.com.

    I also want to ask the same question of Marson. My hunch is Donald is the better hitter. But until now, the story was that Mason is a fine defensive catcher. Recently however, a few people have questioned his arm strength. So what’s the story on Lou? Yes, no or maybe?

    These guys are obviously two of our best prospects. But can either be considered a relatively sure thing in the bigs?

    I also have watched Andrew Carpenter carefully. Last year, I thought he could be a very solid work-horse type middle of the rotation poitcher in the big leagues. Then he had that terrible time at Reading and I lost confidence in him. But now he is back and pitching like I thought he would. So what are people saying about Andrew? Is he going to see Philadeolphia say mid-2009?

    Joey

  115. @ D’Arnaud and his passed balls

    Remember, this is his first year outside of the GCL; and he spent most of it in Extended ST not playing. And he was promoted relatively quickly due to injury.

    What I’m saying is that he’s likely not used to catching guys with such refined pitches. This is simply, IMO, a young catcher trying to get used to catching new pitchers (guys he’s likely never seen before) during a very crucial playoff drive.

  116. And this isn’t directed at anyone particularly, but why is everyone so sure that Taylor simply fell back upon being promoted to Clearwater as if he couldn’t initially handle the change in talent?

    Yes, I think that MAY have been a factor. But I tend to think that he was due for a struggle regardless of the level he was at. Had he stayed in Lakewood, I think he would’ve hit a wall eventually. I mean, the guy was unbelievably hot at-the-plate. A fall off was due, regardless.

    I tend to think that’s what happened since he’s simply tearing the cover off the ball now in CLW. I think the change of scenery, the new home/teammates played a bit of a role; not as much of the new competition b/c he’s just been annilhating the ball.

  117. Here is what Mike Arbuckle said about Jason Donald last April: “We’ve talked about moving Jason Donald around actually to various positions, but ideally you’d like your third baseman to have home-run power, a guy that can drive in runs. I’m not sure that Jason would be the prototype third baseman for that reason.”

  118. Orin Boyd but in the phillies case they are getting power from a second baseman.They can afford a good average hitting third basemen. I email the phillies front office and got back we are happy with donald at shortshop and have no plans to move him to third.

  119. d’arnaud replacing howard? by the time d’arnaud is ready howard’s situation will be figured out.

  120. Rocky, I agree with you.
    Harry, they haven’t figured out the 3B situation in 6 years yet, so why would you thing they can solve the 1B situation in 2 or 3?
    From what I understand and hear, what if Marson IS the real deal and is a top flight major league catcher in a couple of years. What will happen to D’Arnaud? He’s athletic enough to change positions. I think his bat is the best in the system. Watch out! Like someone mentioned on another board, he crushes the ball. And he isn’t a strikieout machine.

  121. I’ll be the first to admit that I lowballed Jason Donald at the beginning of the season. He’s had a very good season and really moved up this year. I could see him as a the 3B of the future…the type that has average defense, decent average and around 15 HR…maybe 20 HR in a peak season. That’s a darn good possibility. Whether they see it is is a different story.

  122. i meant they will have figured out whether there going to sign, trade or just pay howard until free agency, whichc will be most likely before d’arnaud is ready. i pretty sure they only have two more years of arb. with howard and d’arnaud is only 19. do you think his bat would be ready for 1st base at 21 with him only having 28 abs at low a, to really judge by.

  123. You simply don’t move a guy playing a hard position to the easiest on the diamond. No matter how good his bat is. You keep him at catcher and hope it works out…having 2 good catchers is not a bad thing.

  124. Exactly, NEPP. If we were even to entertain the thought of d’Arnaud moving positions down the line, it would be to 3B (a la Russell Martin). But that’s not even something to consider for at least 2 years.

    And I know he’s only had 28 at bats in Lakewood, but the results have thus far been very, very positive. If he continues to rake, I wonder if the Phils would consider moving him to Clearwater to start next year. We’re getting a bit ahead of ourselves, obviously, but maybe it’s something he could handle.

  125. @PhillyFriar

    Actually D’Arnaud to 3b would be the opposite of Martin, Martin was drafted a third baseman and converted to catcher, something the Dodgers do a lot of actually.

    Long time reader, first time poster, I love this site, you do a good job PhuturePhillies.

  126. Complete dream scenario: They could try moving Marson to 3B if both he and D’arnaud pan out…he was a HS QB afterall. He’s pretty athletic. He was never a catcher till he wsa drafted by the Phillies.

  127. @ NEPP: Yeah, that’s the more likely scenario. If he were any other position but catcher, he’d be a good bet to start at Clearwater — but you usually like to move catchers a bit more slowly so they can hone their receiving skills as they move up the ladder.

    @ Shalom: good point, I should have been more specific. I was referring to how the Dodgers steal some games for Martin at 3B to keep his bat in the lineup (he’s played there 11 times this year), so while it’s sort of an odd transition, an athletic catcher like d’Arnaud might be capable of doing it. Again, I think it would be a waste of a perfectly good catcher, but if he were eventually to move positions at some point, I think 3B and 2B would be the preferred options.

    The GCL Phils were rained out yet again today; it’s got to be frustrating when you’re trying to develop young players and you can’t seem to get them on the field with any regularity.

    And finally, as for starters today, we’re probably looking at: Jordan Ellis (WPT), Mike Stutes (LWD), Drew Naylor (CLW), Tyson Brummett (RDG), and Fabio Castro (LHV).

  128. Don’t know if this was mentioned already but Carlos Carrasco and Anthony Hewitt both made the not-so-hot section of the prospect ot sheet. I personally don’t think Carrasco was deserving although Hewitt probably should have been on there a long time ago.

  129. Donald actually led the Olympic team in Batting Average .381, OBP .536, Slugging .571, and OPS 1.107 He had 5 RBI, & 4 Runs Scored.

    Marson was 3rd in Batting Average .308, and 2nd in OBP .438

    The higher rated prospects didn’t have quite the success.
    LaPorta .158 BA, 2 HRs
    Teagarden .188 BA
    Fowler .250 BA, .300 OBP

  130. The funny thing about doubles is that they usually turn into HRs as the prospect gets older…nice to see emerging power like that.

  131. Can anyone post from baseball america ” best tools ” ? Manager choose players from every league and I’m curious to know how many Golson won and what other Phils prospect won.

    I’m not an insider to Baseball America so I cant post it.

  132. B–the best part about Donald’s performance is that it was done out of the 8 hole. imagine if davey Johnson had the sense to shuffle his lineup as to who was hitting. You couldn’t argue at the beginning as Donald played poorly in the preliminaries but once he got hot he should have moved him.

  133. i don’t think you replace him with him, but you can certainly give him a spell to get his head together.

  134. Rollins was BA best defensive SS in NL. Golson was most exciting player in Eastern League as well as best OF arm and best baserunner. Marson best strikezone judgement in EL. Brad Harman best defensive 2B. Freddy Galvis best defensive SS in SAL. Joel Naughton best defensive C. Drew Naylor best breaking ball.

  135. Also from Phillies for National League — Howard first in power, Rollins second as best baserunner, Cole Hamels 3rd for best curve, Lidge 2nd for best slider, Hamels 2nd for best changeup, Hamels 3rd for best control, Lidge 1st for best reliever, Utley 3rd for best defensive 2B, Victorino 3rd for best defensive OF.

  136. Hmm Also from Phillies for National League — Howard first in power, Rollins second as best baserunner, Cole Hamels 3rd for best curve, Lidge 2nd for best slider, Hamels 2nd for best changeup, Hamels 3rd for best control, Lidge 1st for best reliever, Utley 3rd for best defensive 2B, Victorino 3rd for best defensive OF.

  137. I don’t think you’d move D’Arnaud, you’d move Marson. Marson used to be an infielder and probably isn’t as good defensively as D’Arnaud. Its ridiculous speculation anyway, because we can just worry about having two great young catchers in 3 years. Maybe one of them would become trade bait.

  138. rocky, thanks for the compliment. it is amazing that people fail to see donald as the player he is, a future star. 300 hitter, 25 hrs, 100 rbi,s who gets his uniform dirty. as ive said b-4 if you can play ss you can play 3rd. as for 7 dbs in 3 games its been done quite a few times in the majors. back to donald, who would you rather see at third feliz, brunlett or donald against lefties. who would you rather see as a defensive replacement and pinch runner golson or taguchi. and if one of our starters goes south wouldnt it be nice to have happ up. im not sure of this but doesnt marson throw out 65% of attemted steals. shades of campanella. and as far as bringing up minor leagers just look at the mets. without murphy and a. reyes theyed be dead.

  139. In their defense Donald wasn’t expected to be anything more than a utiliity guy until this season. He was 23 in AA and doing good but not great. This year he blossomed into an pretty good player…proving that he is liekly just a late bloomer. I’m very happy we didn’t trade him for LOOGY though. I’d like to see Donald on the tream next year in a Bruntlett like role. It’d be nice to have someone who could actually spell Utley, Rollins and Feliz with a decent bat. He needs to go play in the AFL and learn 3B. I’d also really like to see him on the 25 man before 1 Sept but it looks like we get Andy Tracy instead.

  140. Remember all the folks who were intent on dumping Victorino? There are late bloomers in baseball and he is the poster boy for that phenomenon. Donald certainly seems to fit the mold.

    And it’s important to point out that two of the people who were unimpressed with the pre-late blooming Vic were Ed Wade and I think DePodesta (I think he was the Dodgers’ GM at the time.) Neither wanted him and he only remained in the Phillies system by dumb luck. Or to put it another way, we’re lucky the Dodgers’ GM was dumber than Ed Wade.

    Dobbs and Coste and Vic and possibly Werth should just scream out to have a little patience with players like Donald. No two people develop at the same rate.

  141. Hello,just joined the forum and to not be ghost user with no posts will post some USELESS joke 🙂

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Smoking in the Rain

    Two old ladies were waiting for a bus and one of them was smoking a cigarette. It started to rain, so the old lady reached into her purse, took out a condom, cut off the tip and slipped it over her cigarette and continued to smoke.
    Her friend saw this and said, “Hey that’s a good idea! But, what is that thing you put over your cigarette?”
    The other old lady said, “It’s a condom.”
    “A condom? Where do you get those?”
    The lady with the cigarette told her friend that you could purchase condoms at the pharmacy. When the two old ladies arrived downtown, the old lady with all the questions went into the pharmacy and asked the pharmacist if he sold condoms. The pharmacist said yes, but looked a little surprised that this old woman was interested in condoms, so he asked her, “What size do you want?”
    The old lady thought for a minute and said, “One that will fit a Camel.”

    poor,poor Camel 🙂 🙂

    P.S. Do not Click Here 🙂

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