Daily Discussion – 9/13

Hello everybody.  This is Zac, the typical Reading Phillies Weekly Report guy.  Just wanted to chime in with a new post so that we can all direct our focus solely where it belongs, on the Pharm.  Also, I just wanted to note, that I think it would be prudent if everyone stopped bickering about the subject of bickering.  This is PP’s site, so lets try and keep the subject of conversation focused on what he believes to be appropriate.  I think if we accomplish this goal, we will all be pleasantly surprised by the amount of knowledge we will all again about the Phillies minor league teams and players.

On to the topic of conversation, irrational loves.  We all have them, I know I do, and so I was just wondering which players some of you guys see turning into a star, or even turning into a much better player than currently projected as (whether that be a star, regular, or bench guy).  I will start off with my number one irrational love in the system, Drabek.  I do not know what it is about him, but I have these starry eyed dreams of Drabek and Hamels leading us to five straight world series championships.  So, who do ya got?

63 thoughts on “Daily Discussion – 9/13

  1. I heard that Drabek already has 2 major league pitches. Is that true? and where do you think he’ll be next year? Clearwater Lakewood?

  2. to zac ive said this all year that jason donald is the best player in the minor league system,why he is not playing is a complete mystery to me. remember sandberg. next years staff hamels, myers, moyer, carrasco, and happ. all i can is say is i remember a manager who regretted it to his dying day. the great gene mauch who would not use his young piychers 1964 when ray culp would not take the ball. ive calculated that happ must 2 times in the final 15 games.

  3. Mine is (was?) Greg Golson. I say “was” because he’s obviously on the big club right now so not sure he really counts. I think for me it’s two things. One is the “love/hate” with this guy, so I think human nature in a battle like that is that you tend to pick your side and go way over the top. The other is the inevitable “five tools” (or the newer term which I like “toolshed”) thing. These are the utlimate tease guys – the ones that live with the perpetual “what if” (like “what if he actually gets plate discipline”).

    Like how I wrote my answer and immediately defended myself after I admitted my Greg Golson man-crush? I’m going to save this post so I can insert Anthony Hewitt’s name in a few years 🙂

  4. Nice misdirection, throw out a piece of meat and hope the wolves run to it.

    I was worried about Drabek when he had the surgery. He’s chased a lot of that worry away with the starts he had in August. Next year, he’ll be in Clearwater to start (I hope) and if he’s fully healed possibly Reading by the end of the year. I don’t think they’ll push him but he might force theri hand.

    My #1 irrational like is Michael Taylor. He took a huge step forward this year. He’s a monster among men. I’ve been chomping at the bit to see him play. I live in CT and Reading will play the Rock Cats and I hope to see him in person. I could see him in the Phillies outfield in a couple of years. How’s Utley, Taylor, Howard sound in the middle of that lineup? You could also have an outfield of Taylor, Golson and Victorino. They can all run and throw. 2 -3 years is a long time and things can change but I can dream.

  5. I too love Drabek, but as a closer.

    My irrational love might be the whole 2007 draft, but most specifically Mattair, D’arnaud, and Sampson.

    My most irrational love also might be Mike Arbuckle. He was made director of scouting in 1992 and since then he has drafted better than anyone in baseball except Tampa(but they have the #1 pick every year it seems.)

    He has drafted 2 MVP’s
    He has drafted 2 Rookie of the Year players
    he has drafted 2 gold glove players.

    can anyone tell me 2 other teams who have put more draft picks into the majors than the phillies since 1995? Only the Twins and Tampa might have a chance.

    Arbuckle isn’t the guy who deals with trades or sighing ML contracts so he can’t be blamed for trades and failure to sign guys, but as far as providing talent from the draft, there are few better than Mike Arbuckle.

    Mike Arbuckle should be our next GM.

    And since this is a website about the Phillies farm system, I find it shocking that I’ve never seen his name mentioned outside of one of my comments.

    Mike Arbuckle’s effect is felt throughout this website, yet there isn’t any resource for the anybody in the phillies scouting department or player development on the sidebar here.

    PP, If you haven’t already, it would be great if you could try and get Arbuckle or anybody else with the phillies scouting or player development for an interview. It’s an aspect of this site that I think would be greatly appreciated.

  6. It’s early but Hewitt is my irrational hope.

    Something about hearing one scout use the name Bo Jackson – which is apparently verboten in scouting circles – got me excited.

    Sure Collier has about a 80% of being a better player, but man, if Hewitt can hit…I’ve seen a few 19yo football players that look like that, but not many in baseball.

  7. I have all kinds of irrational loves for players (I just love Happ and Donald and our man Michael Taylor isn’t far behind), but putting that aside, I want to second the nomination of Arbuckle for GM. Arbuckle hasn’t been perfect, but he has really done a good job of bringing talent in to the team when, basically, the prior GMs during his watch have done nothing to acquire top notch minor league talent. In other words, he’s produced major league talent when the organization as a whole has generally traded talent to acquire other talent. Unlike the Marlins, Twins and As, who always try to acquire talent. Under these circumstances, I say we need to go with Arbuckle or Gerry Hunsicker. Frankly, Amaro really scares me. It’s possible that he’s a genius and could be great. But it seems to me that he’s been an organizational lap dog – the guy who always says yes, always does what he’s told and always shakes the right hands to move forward with his career. In other words, he impresses me as more of politician than as astute baseball man. This is not to say that he’s not bright or inexperienced – he’s just never impressed me as someone who can develop a vision for the team and push the right buttons to get them there. Perhaps that’s an unfair assessment (since, really, has no individual track record) – but that’s what I’ve seen from afar.

    Mike Arbuckle for GM, 2009.

  8. Let me be clear – I meant that prior GMs have traded minor league talent to acquire major league talent.

  9. Drabek is my pitcher man-crush…. has been since they drafted him. He’s a fire-throwing righty with a great pedigree and even better ground-ball tendencies, and just seems like the kind of pitcher who would absolutely thrive even at CBP. He’s by FAR got the most projectionable arm in the system, and he’s the best right-hander on the pharm since Gavin Floyd. (Some people would disagree with that statement, but the kid is tearing it up in Chicago. Imagine how good we’d be right now if we didn’t unload him for Garcia. But i Digress…)

    For a position player, I can’t wait to see D’Arnaud in red pin-stripes. Marson is awesome, but I’d take the catcher who can hit for average and pound the ball into the upper-deck over the one who hits for average with no power but gets on base almost half the time. Having to pick one is such an awesome problem to have though.

  10. If Gillick Jr. is GM over Arbuckle next year I might stop following this team. I’ve said it as well in the past on this board Arbuckle deserves a lot of credit for his decision making.

    I have a crush on Brummet. I see him pulling it together and being what we’d hoped Kendrick would be.

    I have a huge crush on Lou Marson. I think he could be a HoF type player.

  11. Micahel Taylor. his size alone is so impressive. combine that with the year he had this year, and I just wish he was another level along so he could replace burrell next year. Did anyone else find it strange they didnt send him to Arizona to play out there?

    I see the airborneranger hasnt parachuted in on this thread yet.

  12. The first player I looked for in the box scores everyday was Taylor and then Brown. Seemed like they always had something positive going on. If it wasn’t a hit then it was a steal or a assist. Pitching wise I think Drabek and Worley are the ones to watch out for.

  13. Marson, Naylor, Berry, Savery, Happ, De Fratus, Taylor and d’Arnaud are guys I tend to see with rose colored glasses on. Having said that, I think seeing prospects with rose colored glasses on represents a kind of delusion and can cause you to keep running guys out there who don’t produce or trading the wrong players. I’m rather conservative when making projections and tend to let the numbers bring me back to reality.

    As for the next Phillies GM, I can’t say I have a favorite right away, but I can say this: whoever it is should build the team with a focus on pitching. They must understand the three most important guys on the team are the top three starting pitchers. Whoever will do what it takes to acquire a top starter and obsess about maintaining a Big Three in the rotation is the person for the job. I’m not convinced the person is in-house. In fact, I rather doubt it.

    The only way to win is to spend your money where it matters most. That’s on starting pitching. And the only way to truly improve your rotation is from the top down. It’s harder for the Phillies to attract top pitching talent because of the stadium, weather and fans, but that just means the new GM will have to obsess all the more to get the job done. Someone has to take the bull by the horns and put together a package for an ace. Plugging holes and leaks is great when it works but it can get expensive and haphazard doing things that way.

  14. My irrational fanboyish player is Mattair. I like the Gold Glove caliber third baseman who can be a middle of the lineup type player – I’ve grown up on Schmidt and Rolen, and Mattair has Rolen potential.

    The rational part of me realized that his numbers didn’t really improve much in 2008. However, he was double jumped and was young for his league, and was able to rally after a horrible start. Still, 2009 is the year he needs to show us something.

    – Jeff

  15. Jeff O
    Have you seem Mattair play? If he has Rolen potential that is awesome! If so does he display the range and arm strength of Rolen? I live in wpb, Florida so I dont get many chances to see them unless they go to play at Roger Dean stadium.

  16. I like players who lead teams to league championships or win medals in tournaments. Like Donald leading Team USA to Bronze in the Olympics, Marson quarterbacking teams to the SAL and FSL Championships and the Olympic medal. 18 year old Sabastian Valle turning it up a notch or two by driving in runs , homering and catching a doubleheader for a sweep to lead the GCL Phils to the league championship. To me these guys have earned the “Clutch” designation and you want on your side when the season is on the line.

  17. I don’t see Drabek in that category at all. To me he is a stud with great pitches, who just needs to remain healthy.

    Irrational loves? Don’t really reach that stage until I have seen them in person, which means they have to reach Reading. I’ll list Garcia. Going on his age, velocity, a body that can still fill out, and the bonus he got from Phillies’ scouts, who have a knack of judging kid pitchers, I hold higher hopes for him than his Reading record supports. But he did very well at CLW, so I don’t think I’m totally unrealistic. Still, i realize I am possibly the only guy on this board who would rank him among our top half dozen prospects. Other unrealistic love? Mathieson. I’ve seen him pitch pre-injury, expected him to come back stronger from TJ surgery and hold down a prominent spot in Phillies rotation. That hasn’t happened, but I still have hope against reality that his latest surgery will be the charm.

    Whole other categories for guys I have possibly unrealistic hopes for, but haven’t seen in person. Tops on that list are Galvis, Myers, Mattair, Sampson, Colliier where I’m expecting more that the record to date has shown.

    I am very high on Taylor, D’Arnauld, Marson, Carrasco but I think that is reality, rather than hope.

  18. I should have included Brown and Savery as guys I see as top prospects based more on reaality than hope.

  19. mind is swindle hope he make majors so we stop talking about him. But I want to see donald in philly.

  20. Mike Taylor. 6 foot 6 beast with a gun roaming CBP hitting .300, 35 homers, 100 rbi a year. Ahh it’s gonna happen.

  21. To Big T – I have seen Mattair play and he does have a great arm. He did have quite a few errors, but at 19 I’m content with the raw talent he has, and trust that the errors will go down. I definitely saw improvement as the season progressed, with some beautiful plays throughout (and especially at the end of) the season.

  22. On not sending Taylor to the AFL:

    The guy is a diabetic who, at the age of 22 for the first time a full season of pro ball…i.e., more than 100 games.

    A diabetic tires more readily than the average person; occasional “rests” are called for during a full season AND a post-season rest from baseball play seems–to me–the ticket to get him off to a good start at Clearwater FSL at ’09s beginning.

  23. EdWadesprop —
    They make a lot more sense than Ed Wade. Phil had a good point. It would be nice if the site provided 1)interview with Arby, Wolever, Noworyta, Agostinelli — a really tall order, i realize 2)a summary of the scouting staff and territories over the Arby era. Who are the guys responsible for the key draft picks? Who has been replaced for giving punk advice?

    How much of the change in draft philosophy this past season is the increased involvement of Arby?

  24. Here’s what I would do, Allentown, if I could. I’d can every last one of the guys running the Phillies minors. Arby, Wolever, Noworyta, Dallas Green. Every one! I’d junk their drafting system completely and look for a new GM that thinks a different way. The Phillies way is not working, as evidenced by 0 playoffs wins in 15 years under Arbuckle. Ben Cherrington, 33, of Boston would be a great selection. He does the same thing for them as Arby does for Philly. Then we would draft hard-throwing college pitchers who can jump to the majors quickly and be ready for an audition in 2 years. Like Papelbon, Masterson, and soon Bard. He’s connected enough to hire the right people to fill his key positions. One thing he would also do is draft hard-throwing college relievers, turn them into starters and see what happens. Arby hasn’t a clue in developing relievers, a key area of a championship team, and after giving thought to this problem, the solution I just mentioned seems to be the best way for me.
    Your questions: 1) Cherrinton gives interviews all the time and tells the fans what they are doing. His interviews are great. Assistant GM Jed Hoyer does the same thing. Arby can’t publicly speak well, let alone give an honest interview. 2) I have no idea how many scouts have come and gone in the Arby era, but I know 2 that he hired were Gene Schall, who signed Anthony Hewitt, and Steve Cohen, who signed Golson, Drabek and Savery. Jury is still out on all of them. Now Arby has added Chuck LaMar and says he’s a top notch A#1 scout. I’m sure he scouted and recommended Hewitt. That’s his m.o. Our new Rocco Baldelli. 3) I’m guessing here, but I don’t think Arby has changed at all. If he did anything , he listed to Gillick more. Pre-Gillick, all hitters had 1:2 BB/K ratios. All of a sudden starting in 2006, the new draftees have much better ratios. In the pitching department, I’d still like to see many more pitchers with more K’s than IP. Knapp is a good example.
    I think Arby is too development oriented in thinking he can take raw skills and turn them into a superstars in the making. That idea has not worked. We’ve been looking for a 3B since Rolen made hay about leaving in 2001, yet we still haven’t a 3B near ready for the majors. That’s 7 years we had to find one. Same with Burrell. He won’t likely be re-signed, and Arby has how many years to find a leftfielder? 3? 4? more? It won’t be Golson in the outfield, he just isn’t very good. When a player departs, an organization better have an alternative to replace him lined up. An example of this is when Mike Lowell’s contract runs out after 2010, Youkilis moves to 3B and Lars Anderson moves in. That’s perfectly timed. Something the Phils can’t do.

  25. Next year during the first week of spring training I am looking forward to seeing Stanford’s Michael Taylor and Oregon State’s Michael Stutes get some playing time with the big team after what they did this year.

    Interestingly the organization had two starters at two different minor league levels with the same 1.72 ERA in six starts over 36.2 innings in August. Stutes at Low A, about 6 months older than Carlos Carrasco at AAA, had the very same numbers as Carlos did in August . Stutes should move up quickly to AA next year. Gotta like what that annoymous scout told the Asbury Park Press about Stutes:
    “To me it is most confounding that he was (as low as) an 11th round pick, it’s almost impossible to imagine, because he’s got first round stuff,”

  26. How can a kid with that arm drop so low. It makes me think .there is something like attitude or injury problem. There has to be a reason he was missed. You find later round picks who make it. But most times its that team though. They wouldn’t sign or were going to college.Or wanted too much money.

  27. Sorry to keep beating a dead horse and not that I expect it to continue for too long but Josh Outman had a solid performance and his first ML win in a 5 IP start against most of Texas’ regular players.

    Congrats to him and BOO to Gillick for letting another one get away.

  28. I think Stutes dropped as far as he did because he didn’t have a great year in college – ERA over 5.00, and pretty poor peripherals. It was great to see him put up the numbers he did this year, but I’ll wait until next year before getting an irrational love for him. 8)

    And Big T, I have seen Mattair play – I was only able to get to Lakewood once (and they French Fries that were more than worth the trip!), and Mattair had a good game. 3-4 with an opposite field double and a perfectly executed hit and run single. He displayed nice range to his left and an excellent arm (throwing a bullet to first on a ball hit down the line). I’ve heard some scouts make the Rolen comparison primarily because of his size and athleticism (three sport athlete in high school). I’d certainly love to see him develop into that type of player.

    – Jeff

  29. I see D’Arnaud as a potential star…just not in a Phillies uniform because of Marson’s presence. Hopefully he nets us a legit player in a trade in a couple years.

  30. this is off topic, but i had to post this:

    josh outman just pitched 5 innings of 1 run ball against the powerhouse offense of texas.

    he now has one less win in the majors than joe blanton since that trade.

    sorry, i had to point that out. that will end up haunting the phillies. maybe im still bitter and need to get over it, but i cant get over the fact that we gave up more for blanton than the cubbies did for harden

  31. oops i see MIKE already posted that….at least that confirms that im not the only one who had that on my mind tonite

  32. I believe zac asked for an irrational choice. Most of the selections have been top draft picks Now here is a irrational pick, Derrick Mitchell. Outplayed Mattair, Galvis. First in doubles on Lakewood, second in hits and RBI’s Besides the fact that I’m pals with his daddy, one might say what about the 33 errors and .298 obp. Well I’m pals with his daddy.

  33. IRRATIONAL loves:

    Clay Harris, Jeremy Slayden, and Neil Sellers — I like older guys who can hit and might just surprise in the big leagues. I like ’em a lot more than Jeff Jenkins/Matt Stairs types.

  34. Sellers is a minor league mercenary in the mold of Andy Tracy and Mike Cervenak. I’ve thought that Harris might just make it. He’s got some versatility and some legit power.

  35. seriously, the trade is over can’t do anything about it. if it upsets you still this bad stop following the team.

  36. Most of these great posts are rational.

    My irrational choice – who I am still pulling for?

    D’Arby Myers

  37. The thing with Mike Arbuckle, is you gotta ask yourself what you don’t know about him. He’s pretty good at his job, he has a solid track record, even if you don’t agree with his philosphy. But there is something about him that the corporates don’t seem excited about- not just the phillies, but for the other teams he’s interviewed with. Agents apparently usually like dealing with him- stories about him being straightforward and honest, he’s got good judgement regarding scouting- but something apparently doesn’t jive about his personality to make people believe he can pull together an entire organization and be run the whole shabang. who knows, its not a side of the story we get insight on.

  38. I saw Scott Rolen when he was 20 in Reading, and I’ve seen Mattair the last two seasons. Nobody says Mattair is as good as Rolen was of course, but Rolen was just quick to get big, at 18-19-20, he was just a big kid. With Mattair, you can see he’s got a great athletic body, he’s got the frame to pack on another 30 pounds. From last year to this year, there was a little growth. Thats what its going to take at this point- his tools are pretty solid – but how good of a hitter he evolves into is really gonna depend on how strong he gets- hes not there. yet.

  39. “How can a kid with that arm drop so low. It makes me think .there is something like attitude or injury problem. There has to be a reason he was missed.”

    Apparently in college, as noted he had a poor year, and all was known as was a kid with a strong arm, but not a good idea pitching wise. He was throwing 90-92 in school, but not much of a breaking ball. But he was at Oregon, so you can’t be completely terrible if you pitch for them. As a pro, his velocity jumped another mph or two, and his curve started to get a little more respectable. Mechanically he wasn’t terrible, but he had some things to work on.

  40. Joel, is one of my favorites. Very coach-able left hand hitting catcher from Australia. The first time I saw him I didn’t think he’s make it out of spring training. He was so skinny, I thought he had to be an infielder. Basically Mike Compton took him under his wing, got him on a weight program, musiled him up.

  41. Sorry I didn’t finish about Naughton before I accidentally posted. Is he a prospect? He hits left handed, so anything is possible. But has little to no power, doesn’t run well, his defense needs work. So I’d have to say doubtful. I think Valle and D’Aruand move ahead of him. Maybe even Tim Kennelly.

  42. Very accurate throwing arm. Never know with these aussie kids, almost seems like it takes them twice the years to develope that others due. If he ever makes it, it will likely be a minor league vet who bounced around a little first.

  43. You know HARRY it is going to be a long winter why not let people express themselves even if it is a tiny bit off the grid.
    relax a little enjoy

  44. I am a huge Jason Donald fan. I think this kid is better than the experts are saying as a defensive shortstop and he has good offensive potential at the position. I was thrilled when he was not traded at the deadline. CLose second is Lou Marson

  45. Regarding the analysis of Naughton…his defense is one of his best skills, he didn’t have the strongest arm but his reaction-time when throwing out a runner allowed him to have a great percentage of CS (don’t know the number off the top of my head). He was an all-star because of this (and his hitting), one of the best in the league and teams respected his ability to throw out runners (which you especially noticed when he was lost to a freak injury, and replaced with d’arnaud).

    Furthermore, d’arnaud is very young, and while he was first thought of as a defensive catcher, his hitting was what showed up this season. In my opinion, he was not a force to be reckoned with defensively. I do trust that this will be addressed and I think he has time to develop. He will definitely start next year in Lakewood.

    And the kennelly comment…he has been almost fully transitioned to a corner outfielder, he was only catching during the 2nd half to give d’arnaud a day off. He may have had more experience with the Lakewood pitchers, but they went with d’arnaud behind the plate during a playoff race despite this.

    Summary: Naughton – good defensive catcher, Clearwater next year since he’s already repeated Lakewood. D’Arnaud – pretty good bat, Lakewood next year. Kennelly – outfield somewhere?

  46. I don’t know if you know who Mike Compton is? When Naughton signed with the Phillies there wasn’t a catcher in camp as raw defensively as Naughton. Every aspect of his game needed work. Mike got him up on a broad for hours everyday teaching him balance and weight shifting. Joel wasn’t a natural like Marson. His improvements have come through really long and hard training. There is no reason why he can’t be a better catcher, game caller. Right now I can think of four catchers who are better defensively then Naughton within the system. Orlando Guevara is the best defensive catcher right now without a doubt.

  47. Why did the SAL managers vote Naughton, an SAL All Star, the best defensive catcher in the league? He threw out an amazing 38% of base stealers. Marson was at 36% for example. Naughton committed only 6 errors all season in 86 games . Lakewood basically fell out of the second half contention after the Naughton injury and he was replaced by D’Arnaud who had trouble throwing out runners and committed 4 errors in 16 games. Of full season league catchers Naughton’s .275 batting average was second highest in the system after Marson .

  48. Tim Kennelly is an interesting player. You’ve noted his outfield transformation but he’s also very capable at 3b, 1b, and catcher. There’s a lot of Chris Coste in Tim. The catching thing sort of got wings after the Phillies miss out on his brother, a catcher who signed with the Braves. He’s the post boy for versatility.

  49. This is why baseball is so neat. Because everyone’s opinion is valid. The SAL managers didn’t make a mistake. Naughton had a fine year. You have to remember that Joel was Marson’s backup at Lakewood when? 2 years ago. He hasn’t moved forward much which might indicate some reluctance. I sure hope you’re not trying to make your case by comparing Marson with Naughton?

  50. Naughton backed up Gosewisch last year at Lakewood while Marson was the starter at Clearwater. Marson at Reading committed 9 errors in 94 games this year compared to Naughton’s 6 in 86 games. Both were All Stars in their respective Leagues abeit on different levels. Reading’s pitching staff had the worst ERA in the EL this year. Lakewood had the 4th best ERA in the 16 team Sally. Marson is listed as 6′ 1″ 200, born 6/26/86 and Naughton is listed as 6′ 1″ 180, born 8/2786. Marson played in a home hitter park and hit .293 on the road and Naughton played in a home pitchers park and hit .310 on the road. So the comparison is appropriate.

  51. Here’s your comparison. Have you ever seen either of these two play? It easy to rub statics together an believe you have some parody. Trust me, Naughton is not in the same league as Marson no matter how you use numbers. Two years ago Naughton backed up Marson at Lakewood. Look it up if you don’t believe me. Let’s see Marson is in Philadelphia enjoying the pennant race. Naughton is in Clearwater as one of five catchers getting instruction. As much as I like Naughton, I serious doubt he reaches the show.

  52. Here’s a roster courtesy of Clearwater Phil and Laura over on Philliesphans. Thanks much.

    Spencer Arroyo(GCL)
    Wellinson Baez(GCL-being converted to pitcher)
    Mike Bolsenbroek(GCL)
    Tyler Cloyd(WP)
    Jarred Cosart (DNP_GCL)
    Jacob Diekman(WP)
    Kyle Drabek(WP)
    Yohan Flande(GCL)
    Jason Knapp(GCL)
    Trevor May(GCL)
    Joel Naughton(LWD)
    Sebastian Valle(GCL)
    Vladimir De los Santos(GCL)
    Freddy Galvis(LWD)
    Jeremy Hamilton(GCL)
    Daniel Hanzawa(WP)
    Anthony Hewitt(GCL)
    Travis Mattair(LWD)
    Derrick Mitchell(LWD)
    Cody Overbeck(WP)
    Leandro Castro(GCL)
    Zach Collier(GCL)
    Anthony Gose(GCL)
    Damon Haislet(WP)
    D’Arby Myers(WP)
    TJ Warren(LWD)
    Kyle Slate(GCL)
    Jon Pettibone(GCL)
    Chad Poe(GCL)
    Julian Sampson(LWD)
    Jesus Sanchez(GCL converting to pitcher)
    Julio Rodriguez(GCL)
    Robert Roth(WP)
    Joe Savery(CLW)
    Mike Schwimmer(WP)
    Jared Simon(LWD)
    Vance Worley(LWD)
    Travis D’Arnaud(LWD)
    Ferrel Gomez(GCL)

    Did anyone see that former Phillies farmhand Todd Cruz died at 52 years old the other day in Arizona. According to the article he was swimming at the apartment he was living in when he died.


  53. Very sad about Todd Cruz. I used to hang out with his father who was a bartender in a bar in Clearwater. Robert his father had been a minor league player in his day and was very proud of Todd. Todd was no angel but a really likable guy and not a bad ball player.. One time I was taking him and Jose Merino back to there hotel during spring training. As I’m driving along I start to smell the unforgettable scent of marijuana. I turned an Todd and Jose were passing a joint back and forth while I’m driving down Gulf to Bay.. Those were the good old days. I’m sorry things didn’t turn out the way you thought, old friend.

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