2008 Draft Recap; Part 3

Part 1: Rounds 30-50
Part 2: Rounds 20-29
Part 3: Rounds 11-19
Part 4: Rounds 1-10
Part 5: Overview of the draft/comparison to last 2 drafts

Today we’ll get to rounds 11-19, where you need to find good value and start to move away from the org filler and into the legit prospects. Before we dig into each pick, some thoughts regarding yesterday’s post

* The idea of draft philosophy after the 20th round is fairly simple to me, and I’d imagine the Phillies have a similar strategy. Guys taken in the first 20 rounds, you generally will have a good idea how many you’re realistically going to sign. You know which guys will sign for what (for the most part), you know what your bonus allotment is (self-imposed), so you have your plan. You look at your current system without the new draftees. You have a general idea how many guys you’ll have for the following season. So after round 20, I think for the most part, you are targeting three groups of players; the high ceiling (and likely unsignable) prepsters, the organizational filler, and the guys with a few deficiencies and one or two notable strengths. That last group might include guys with huge arm strength but no command, or guys with big raw power who can’t make contact. You essentially are gambling in 3 directions here. A guy like Jordan Ellis. He throws hard, but he does little else. Can you refine his control and teach him one effective secondary pitch? If you can, he could be a ML middle reliever. The high upside guys are leverage against guys taken in the first 5 rounds, and you hope something happens and they have a change of heart. And the final group, the org filler types, are basically just guys you take hoping to fill out your rosters so you don’t have to sign 34 year old minor league free agents. Most every team seems to follow this plan.

With that, lets get to the picks.

R19 (586) — Steve Susdorf, OF — Fresno State
[Signed, Bonus Undisclosed]
[BA = 65th in CA, PGC = 92nd in CA, 437 overall]

large version here.

Info: Susdorf, a decorated 4 year senior, capped off his college career by winning a College World Series and coming up with big hit after big hit. He lacks one plus tool, but is a solid all around player and is more of a grinder, leading him to drop into the 19th round. Pre draft reports

has a solid lefthanded swing and average athletic ability. He’s best suited defensively to left field and lacks profile power, though he can shoot line drives from pole to pole and has shown pull home run power. One scout compared him to Aaron Guiel with less speed.

BA Draft Preview

A pure hitter with a knack for finding the sweet spot, Susdorf’s power is mainly to the gaps. He has quick, strong hands with a level plane through the hitting zone. The knock on Susdorf earlier in his career was his defense and arm strength, but both tools are now considered average. He gets proper jumps and reads on balls, and makes the routine play in left field. But he is still considered mainly a one-dimensional talent for the purposes of pro ball.

PG Crosschecker

Here is his scouting video

Nothing flashy. He has a short swing and keeps his hands pretty high even through impact, which probably helps to limit his power. I readily admit I know less about swing mechanics than I do about pitching mechanics (which isn’t a whole lot either, I’m a novice but I’m learning more), so that could be just a wild guess.

Take: Susdorf honestly reminds me a bit of Jeremy Slayden. He doesn’t do any one thing exceptionally well, but he seems to do everything well enough to get by. I don’t think he profiles as an every day player on a championship caliber team, but he does feel like a perfect 4th or 5th outfielder capable of spot starting here or there. In the 19th round, this is a pretty good pick for me. I feel pretty confident that he’ll make it to the bigs at some point, what he’ll contribute is up for debate, but I think he gets there. In the 19th round, thats a good return on your investment.

R18 (556) — Tyler Cloyd, RHP — No School (from Nebraska)
[Signed, Bonus Undisclosed]
[BA = Unranked, PGC = Unranked]

large version here.

Info: Cloyd pitched 2 seasons at University of Nebraska-Omaha but didn’t return for his junior year because of grades. According to his bio, he’s 6’3, 180, almost an ideal pitcher’s frame. Cloyd made one appearance for the Havasu Heat, an amateur team, in 2008. I have no idea about his stuff, I haven’t even seen video of him pitch.

Take: Cloyd’s numbers prior to his academic woes were impressive. At 21, he was as old as many college juniors pitching in the NYPL. He probably walked a few too many hitters, the 58 strikeouts are decent, but as you can see, he was victimized by 8 long balls in only 66 innings, way too many for a pitching dominant league. Cloyd was an obscure pick at the time, and one I still don’t fully understand. Does he have low-mid 90’s velocity? Does he have a plus secondary pitch? He wasn’t ranked by BA or PGC, and PGC does deep on their draft lists. The Phillies don’t have a strong recent track record in the Big 12 region, unless I’m forgetting someone obvious, so I don’t have high hopes for this pick unless I see something in the way of big raw stuff that can be refined. If anyone has personally seen him pitch, that would help.

R17 (526) — Jim Murphy, 1B — Washington State
[Signed, Bonus Undisclosed]
[BA = 21st in WA, PGC = 13th in WA]

Info: Murphy was looking like a legit draftee after a big sophomore year and then fell apart. He regained some of his stock with 16 HR his senior year. Here are the reports on him.

Jim Murphy has had a mercurial career, bouncing back as a senior to slug 16 homers. He’s an organizational player for most as he strikes out too much and lacks athleticism.

BA Draft Preview

Murphy can put a charge in a fastball, but struggles to hit a breaking pitch, particularly a slider, and he went down on strikes 58 times in 254 plate appearances. Despite his size, Murphy is surprisingly agile at first base and moves well on the bases. Everything, though, hinges on his power

PG Crosschecker

PG Crosschecker also notes that he performed well in two summer leagues that use wood bats, which indicate some success would be possible.

Take: Murphy really tanked his junior year. Was it “Ryan Howard syndrome” where he just pressed too much? He seemed to relax a bit his senior year and the power emerged. 16 HR in only 209 AB is fairly impressive. His pro debut wasn’t very smooth, he hit a gaudy .355 in the GCL but with only 2 HR, and his .220 in the NYPL illustrated the contact issues, and the .147 ISO for a 4 year senior doesn’t scream prospect. He did still draw his walks, and he got hit 6 times (its a skill, you know), so that’s something. Murphy is the kind of guy I mentioned before, the guy with one big skill (raw power, in this instance) who really lacks much else. PGC indicates hes decent at 1B, which is nice. But he’s going to need a big 2009 to establish himself as any kind of real prospect.

R16 (496) – Troy Hanzawa, SS — San Diego State
[Signed, Bonus Undisclosed]
[BA = 138 in CA, PGC = 139 in CA]

large version here.

Info: Hanzawa was the starting shortstop at San Diego State for his final two years after spending time with Yapavi Junior College. He’s a contact hitter at the plate and an above average defender. Here’s what BA and PGC had to say

Hanzawa is a wizard with the glove who excels with plays to his backhand and has a 60 arm (on the 20-80 scale) to go with average range. He’s much improved as a hitter but profiles as a bottom-of-the-order hitter with little power.

BA Draft Preview

The knock on Hanzawa has been his slight frame, but he’s an above-average defensive shortstop with arm strength and runs the bases well. He’s also highly competitive. With a team-high .376 average this spring, he may have finally convinced scouts he won’t get the bat knocked out of his hands at the next level, though he doesn’t put the ball in play consistently as he struck out 47 times this spring, while drawing just 16 walks

PG Crosschecker

Take: Hanzawa seems to be a slap hitter with a great glove. He did hit .297 at Williamsport, but it was a fairly empty .297, as his ISO was only .106. He wasn’t very active on the bases (only 6 SB) and drew only 18 walks in 293 plate appearances. 51 strikeouts is too many for a guy without a lot of power, especially a 22 year old with 5 years (1 was a red shirt) of college experience. Hanzawa has a great glove, so if nothing else, he should instill confidence in the legit pitching prospects he’ll be playing behind in Lakewood and Clearwater. As far as his big league future goes, he looks like a utility infielder at best. Could they have gotten more value in this spot? Possibly. Do I hate the pick? No. He seems like the type of guy, who in a full season league, will put up a .270/.330/.375 line. That’s nothing to get excited over, but as an 8/9 hitter he should save some runs/hits for his pitchers.

R15 (466) — Damarii Saunderson, OF — Northville HS (Michigan)
[Signed, Bonus Undisclosed]
[BA = 11th in MI, PGC = 14th in MI]

large version here

Info: Saunderson is a toolshed, the good kind. He had a commitment to Iowa Western CC, but turned it down to turn pro. He doesn’t have an over-slot bonus listed, but I wonder what the story is here. Anyway, here is some info on him

Outfielder/lefthander Damarii Saunderson has the best tools among Michigan’s high schoolers, but he’s so raw that he’d be better served by attending Iowa Western CC than turning pro. He’s an athletic 6-foot-3, 195-pounder with power potential, arm strength and decent speed. He also has holes in his swing.

BA Draft Preview

Saunderson is a very athletic outfielder with a very projectable, loose body. He’s a 6.9 runner in the 60 who also throws 87 mph from the mound from the left side. Saunderson has flashed his power and bat speed with wood at showcase events, although his swing mechanics and approach are very raw. He hit .418-3-33 this year and has signed with junior college power Iowa Western for next year. Under the old draft-and-follow rules, Saunderson would be an ideal player to draft and watch develop for a year.

PG Crosschecker

Take: Step out on the edge of the cliff with me…..I love this pick and sign. He hit .103 in his pro debut, but damn, he drew 8 walks in only 39 PA’s. Sure, he struck out 15 times in those same 39 PA’s, so contact is obviously an issue. But 8 walks indicates one of two things; either the pitcher was really wild every time he faced him, or he has a really good eye and can tell what a breaking ball is, he just can’t hit the ball when he swings. Both reports indicate his swing has a lot of holes, but I think swing mechanics can sometimes be cleaned up and fixed, being able to tell a curveball from a fastball is often a much more elusive baseball trait. He’s extremely raw, so obviously patience is a virtue with a guy like this, much like we need to be patient with Anthony Hewitt. But the Phillies obviously bought the lottery ticket here, and it seems they didn’t pay a big premium for it. Picks like this are risky, obviously, but this is gambling with a 15th round pick (and doing it cheaply), and those are the types of picks I absolutely love. Sure, the odds are long, but its a great spot to take a cheap gamble. I’ve got Damarii on my short list of guys to watch every day in 2009.

R14 (436) — Michael Schwimer, RHP — University of Virginia
[Signed, Bonus Undisclosed]
[BA = 13th in VA, PGC = 18th in VA]

large version here.

Info: Schwimer served as the closer at UVA his senior season and pitched exclusively as a reliever in his 4 year college career. You can read a bio on him here, which lists his many accomplishments. He pitched on the Cape last summer, posting a solid 3.51 ERA in 33 innings, showing success in a wood bat league. Schwimer is a beast of a man, listed at 6’8, 240 lbs. He was undrafted last summer as a junior because he wanted top 10 rounds money. Here’s what BA and PGC had to say

He profiles better as a set-up man at the pro level. His best two pitches are a fastball that sits between 90-93 mph and slider in the mid-80s. Schwimer also throws a split-finger pitch that acts as his changeup. He has command of all three pitches.

BA Draft Review

The Cavaliers planned to take full advantage of his intimidating mound presence and herky-jerky delivery, and intended all along to turn over the closer’s job to him in 2006. He got off to a strong start in that role, with seven saves in his first eight appearances this spring. While starting last summer, Schwimer developed a changeup to get lefthanded hitters out, to go along with a 90-92 mph fastball that has touched 95 and gets plenty of cut and run. He can also mix in an 84-85 mph slider with good strike-zone bite and an 81-83 mph splitter

PG Crosschecker

Take: College closers are generally bad bets if you expect them to be big league closers, but the expectation for Schwimer should be 7th/possibly 8th inning reliever, and I think he can get there. He obviously has size on his side, so pitching downhill should come easy for him. He allowed only 7 HR in 140.1 college innings, so that’s a plus. He showed good control in college and was able to miss bats, and he carried over that success at Williamsport. He 62 while walking only 15 in 41 innings, more innings than he’d worked since his sophomore year, and he also did not allow a home run. Lefties hit only .176 off of him, so the changeup likely kept them at bay. If he can command his fastball in the zone and his slider remains sharp, he should move quickly. If you’re going to take a college closer, its better to take one of the less heralded guys and do it after the 10th round. This was the ideal spot to do it, and based on the fact that he can command all 3 of his pitches, I like the pick. He needs to be fast tracked.

R13 (406) — BJ Rosenberg, RHP — Louisville
[Signed, Bonus Undisclosed]
[BA = 11th in KY, PGC = 8th in KY]

large version here.

Info: Rosenberg missed all of 2007 with a torn labrum after serving as team workhorse in 2005 and 2006. He returned to the mound in 2008 and eventually transitioned to the closer role at Louisville. He has a decent pitcher’s frame at 6’2, 210 lbs and showed good control as well as a decent strikeout rate despite his pedestrian ERA and opponents BA. You can read his full bio here. Some scouting info…

He opened this spring in Louisville’s rotation and took off when he shifted to the bullpen in mid-March. Working in relief, Rosenberg boosted his fastball to 93-95 mph. If he had a more consistent slider and a better medical history, he’d be a sure bet for the first five rounds.

BA Draft Preview

He began the 2008 season in the Cardinals rotation, but got hit hard in the role and didn’t blossom until being installed as a closer. He was lights-out with a fastball in the 93-95 mph range, that even reached 97 as Louisville won the Big East Conference tournament. His 83-84 mph slider was a dominant second pitch, especially when thrown early in the count. His low three-quarters arm angle made him difficult to square up, and he threw consistent strikes with both his offerings while keeping hitters honest with an occasional changeup. His overall 5-4, 4.08 record, along with nine saves and 62 strikeouts in 53 innings, don’t begin to do justice to his dominance over the latter half of the 2008 season

PG Crosschecker

Scouting video here

For some reason, and maybe its just me, he reminds me, delivery wise, of Kerry Wood. He doesn’t have the same velo or the big looping curveball, but his motion seems kind of similar. Thats anecdotal, but whatever. Anyway, good velocity, and because he drops down a little bit, I can imagine RHB would flinch on his slider.

Take: The Phillies took back to back closers in Schwimer and Rosenberg, both seniors as well, both guys with big fastballs and nasty sliders. Rosenberg, as the reports indicate, took to the closer’s role well. If he can sit consistently in the 93 range as a pro and command both pitches, there’s no reason he can’t become a reliable setup guy. For what seemed like forever, the Phillies lacked hard throwing relievers in their system, but they seem to be remedying that with picks like Rosenberg and Schwimer. A torn labrum is obviously, well, its not desirable, and while it used to be the kiss of death, not so anymore. Rosenberg not only came back, but the velocity is still there. Command will be key, and staying on top of his slider. Righties hit only .198 against him in his pro debut, and he struck out 40 of the 100 righties he faced. That works. I like the pick, as long as he is fast tracked along with Schwimer. There’s no need for a 23 year old to start in Low A. Send him to Clearwater along with Schwimer and let them handle the 8th/9th innings.

R12 (376) Ryan Weber, RHP — Clearwater Central Catholic HS (Florida)
[Did Not Sign]
[BA = 27th in FLA, PGC = 20th in FLA]

Info: Weber is a short righthander, the type of guy scouts often shy away from, but he dominated during his high school career, including showcase events. The scouting reports indicate this…

He has arguably the best mix of command, feel for pitching and competitive nature in the country and has proven it on the international stage. Weber has pitched as the ace for both the youth and junior national teams for USA Baseball, but aside from his track record he doesn’t fit the pro mold, with a fastball in the high 80s. Weber has movement on all of his pitches, and commands his slider and changeup with pinpoint accuracy. Pitching out of a three-quarters arm slot, Weber has a loose delivery and is one of the most proven high school pitchers in the state. He is committed to Florida

BA Draft Preview

It will be interesting to follow how scouts evaluate Weber this spring, as he embodies much of what is successful at the major league level but lacks either the physical build (he’s generously listed at 6-0, 170) or the plus fastball that gets one drafted in the upper rounds. Weber pitches with an upper-80s fastball that will touch 91 and runs hard into righthanded hitters. His upper 70s slider from a low three-quarters release point is nasty and big, and his changeup equally efficient. Weber spots all three pitches with maturity and overmatches hitters. He has committed to Florida, where he could be an immediate-impact pitcher should he take that route.

PG Crosschecker, March 2008

Weber was the same pitcher all spring that he’s always been, prompting one scout to say that Weber might be pound-for-pound the best pitcher in the country. While a team might take a chance on Weber in the first five rounds based on his extreme pitchability and track record, it seems more likely that he’ll follow a similar path as former Sarasota High and current University of Miami ace lefthander Eric Erickson, who had a similar profile from the left side coming out of high school

– PG Crosschecker, May 2008

Take: The Weber situation was really interesting. He originally committed to Florida, a big baseball school, but then with turmoil surrounding the program, he switched his commitment to St. Pete Community College. This would have seemingly made him an easier sign, but at the end, the Phillies went with Cosart. Last year it was Julian Sampson in the 12th round, this year it looked like Weber would follow suit. Based on his scouting profile, he reminds me of Kevin Slowey. Both guys were lauded for their pinpoint command. Weber’s secondary stuff seems like it might have even more potential than Slowey’s. Its a shame the Phillies couldn’t ink him. He’s likely the type of pitcher who will carve up the low minors because he’ll be able to exploit inexperienced hitters, but you always wait and see how they will adapt at the major league level. It would have been great to add Weber too, but he was likely asking for first four rounds money, and the Phillies just ran out of dough at the end, or so it would seem.

R11 (346) – Mike Stutes, RHP — Oregon State
[Signed, Bonus Undisclosed]
[BA = 2nd in OR, PGC = 2nd in OR]

large version here.

Info: 2008 marked the 3rd time Stutes had been drafted. The Dodgers took a 32nd round flier on him in 2004, and then the Cardinals took him in the 9th round last season. He risked it and went back to school, but he was a relative disappointment in 2008. The scouting info…

He has shown excellent velocity, hitting 94 mph at times and sitting at 89-92 mph. Even after four years of school, he’s still more thrower than pitcher, however, lacking fastball command and a feel for pitching. He threw more sliders this year than in the past and throws a curveball and changeup. At times all four are average pitches.

BA Draft Review

He is a short, unimposing righthander, though he has a quick arm, a good three-pitch mix that includes a 91-92 mph fastball with sink and run, and is a good competitor with a proven track record. The biggest knock on Stutes has been the inconsistency of his curveball, though it has good downward bite when he stays on top of it. He walked 60 in 133 innings last spring and has a history of walking nearly a batter every two innings.

PG Crosschecker, March 2008

Stutes’ gamble to return for his senior year, hoping to improve his draft position, did not pay off. He went just 4-7, 5.32 with 42 walks and 81 strikeouts in 88 innings. He rarely dominated a game, like he had in OSU’s run to consecutive national titles, and suffered from inconsistent command. A fastball/curveball pitcher a year ago, he added a slider and changeup to his repertoire this year, and he tended to work more off his breaking ball than his fastball, which was his dominant pitch a year ago. His fastball was customarily in the 89-92 mph range. Scouts see little upside in Stutes, believing what they saw this year is what he’ll be down the road

– PG Crosschecker, May 2008

And the scouting video…

As you can see, he does have a very quick arm and some effort in his delivery. His fastball is fairly straight and his 11-5 curveball was mainly 80-81 in the video, though he did snap off one slower version at 76. He does do one thing I’m not fond of, and that’s the Inverted W. I know not everyone buys into this, but I think there is something there. You can see Stutes clearly doing it from the side angle

Take: Stutes’ college career ended in disappointment, but he turned things around in his pro debut, posting a 1.42 ERA in 69.2 innings across two levels. His 1.48 ERA at Lakewood is obviously impressive, especially because it was the bigger of his two samples. The walks are still problematic (3.77/9 combined), but the strikeouts somewhat offset that. Lefties had no chance against him, hitting .121 against him in 124 combined AB’s between Williamsport and Lakewood. Overall he also was at 53.7% groundballs compared to only 28.4% flyballs. Of course, you have to consider he was a college senior, but the numbers are still impressive. Looking at his delivery, I think he’s going to end up a reliever and he could have arm trouble in the future. But he should remain in the rotation for now, if nothing else to work on refining his secondary pitches. If he can pitch on the upper end of his fastball velo and sit at 91-92, he might stick in the rotation. If not, I think its better to just let him ramp it up and pitch 1 inning at a time. In the 11th round, this was a decent pick. If you’re going to take college guys here with a lowish ceiling, you may as well take arms. If Stutes can stay healthy, he could be a major league asset. As with Schwimer and Rosenberg, he should be moved quickly.

R10 (316) — Jean Carlos Rodriguez, C — Washington HS (New York)
[Signed, $105,000]
[BA = 7th in NY, PGC = 5th in NY]

large version here.

Info: New York isn’t traditionally a baseball hotbed, and this year was no different. The Phillies seem to have done well in recent years identifying interesting catching prospects, and Rodriguez is no different. The reports on him are mixed. Take a look

The best of the lot is catcher Jean Carlos Rodriguez, who could sneak into the top 10 rounds. Rodriguez has raw power and a plus arm behind the plate, but he’s unrefined as a hitter. He has a tall approach that doesn’t incorporate his legs well. He is a promising receiver but has plenty of work to do defensively.

BA Draft Preview

Rodriguez has impressive raw tools in his short, stocky frame. He’s a surprisingly polished receiver with above-average arm strength, and intriguing power potential. The ball jumps off his bat and he slammed 11 home runs this spring (all with wood) for a 45-2 high school team, but his overall approach to hitting is unrefined. He plays aggressively in all phases of his game, but has been prone to letting his conditioning lag and packing on unwanted weight. His signability is not an issue, meaning he might be an attractive option for a team looking for a high school catcher before the 10th round

PG Crosschecker

Scouting video here

While his throws didn’t appear to be especially accurate, I think its important to note that his throws didn’t tail away from the bag, which seems common in guys with less than plus arms. At 1:45 of the video, you get to even see a Manny Ramirez-esque home run pose.

Take: PGC estimated he wouldn’t be a tough sign, and that proved true. There are no slots after the 5th round, teams are just urged to not spend more than $150,000 on any bonuses after the 5th. A bunch of guys signed in the 100K range, there were a few notable slot busts, and a few notable real cheap bonuses in the 50-70K range, plus a few guys that didn’t sign. You can never have enough catching prospects, even if it would appear we’re fairly stacked at that position. And while I hate to jump on it like I did with Saunderson, JCR drew 8 walks in only 62 PA’s. That’s a big plus for me. Most everything else is negative, but I love plate discipline at any level. He only threw out 3 of 18 would be base stealers. So he needs work. But the Phillies don’t need to rush him, and he can repeat the GCL next year, with Seb Valle going to Williamsport and D’Arnaud staying at Lakewood. The Phillies will have a legit catching prospect at at least 4 levels. That’s promising.

*R10-19 Summary*

Whew. The Phillies really ran the gauntlet in this portion of the draft. They signed college dropouts, 4 and 5 year seniors, and prepsters. They signed hard throwers, toolsheds, defensive specialists and grinders. And they only really let one guy (Weber) get away. As I’ve mentioned a few times now, I like the strategy of drafting hard throwers with obvious flaws. Schwimer’s only “flaw” is that he wanted to get his degree from a damn good school. Rosenberg’s flaw is his labrum surgery 2 years ago. Both guys have a great chance of making a big league contribution in 3 years as long as they remain healthy. Susdorf and Hanzawa feel like utility guys, but in both cases, especially in Susdorf’s case, probability seems higher. Stutes and Cloyd are somewhat intriguing, if Murphy can figure out how to make contact he could at least be a Mark Sweeney type utility/pinch hitter type, who knows. And then you’ve got Damarii. Its all about Damarii.

I was really impressed with this portion of the draft, sans one or two picks. If you can get contributions from 2 out of the 10 guys, this part was a success. If 2 more turn out to be big leaguers then you really did your job well here.

The heavy hitters are tomorrow, and we wrap the whole thing up with some comprehensive numbers analysis on Friday.

35 thoughts on “2008 Draft Recap; Part 3

  1. Some of things I wanted to say after yesterdays post, you stated today in a way. I hate the term org. fillers. Why take a org. filler instead of a kid say who has great speed and work on his hitting more upside than a kid who has peaked and has no chance to make majors. Take hard thrower with no other pitches or feel for pitching and try to develop him. At least there is a chance you get lucky with unknow compared to known. just a thought.

  2. Except prospects are like marriages Sometimes the ones u think will work dont etc…..
    Mike Cisco might of been a “friend” pick but he is off and running. Too bad there is winter before we find out

  3. The report on Cloyd was that he commands ‘4 solid pitches’, which i would take to mean in terms of fastball velocity he’s probably 89-91 mph.

    Damarii Saunderson signed for $100,000 – if it wasn’t posted on this board, it must be on philliesphans.

  4. I asked the same thing of Arbuckle once. His answer, you need to put nine players on the field everyday. Not all of them will be prospects.

  5. I hadn’t realized that Rodriguez and Saunderson had exhibited that kind of plate discipline in the GCL (albeit in a limited sample size). As you say, maybe it’s fluky, but on the possibility that it’s not, it’s a great sign for their potential heading forward. Not to say Rodriguez will turn out anything like these guys, but for comparison’s sake, check out what BB:K ratios Marson and d’Arnaud put up in the GCL…

    Marson (2004) — 13:18 BB:K / 10.3% BB (126 PA)
    d’Arnaud (2007) — 4:24 BB:K / 2.8% BB (149 PA)
    Rodriguez (2008) — 9:20 BB:K / 15.0 % BB (60 PA)

    For my money, that’s the greatest indicator of ability to hit at higher levels, so that’s an encouraging early sign, especially for a kid from a cold weather region. Same goes for Saunderson, obviously.

    I also love the Schwimer and Rosenberg picks. With guys like Overholt and Walls struggling mightily this year, the two draftees have to be the best reliever prospects the Phils have in the system right now. If the Phils start them at Clearwater next year, hopefully they can be in Philly by 2010 at the latest.

    And one quick thought on Cloyd. You noted that his numbers at Williamsport, especially the hits and homers, weren’t ideal. But the way I see it, here’s a kid that hadn’t really played competitive baseball in over a year — and “competitive” = Division II in this case, so it was quite a leap for him — holding his head above water in a league featuring a ton of 3- and 4-year DI college players. Cloyd probably winds up in the bullpen, but I’m very pleased with how he performed this year given those circumstances.

  6. In addition, you want your prospects playing with other guys who are fundamentally sound. Fielding teams of projects who strike out 18 times a game is no way to develop your better prospects. Get a hit and stand on first while your teammates whiff? No thanks. All your homers are solo? No thanks. Lose half your games 11-2? No thanks. You have to maintain decent competitiveness, fundamentals, and interest in the games. You need some guys who perform decently in lower minors to do that, even if they have no upside. That’s just table stakes and there’s a reason for it.

  7. I like the Shwimmer and Rosenberg picks, also. One of the biggest hits on the Phillies has been their inability to grow their own middle relievers (and closers). This has cost us numerous draft picks, prospects traded away, and inefficient major league salary budget. It is very, very costly not to grow your own. A serious effort to grow our own pen and bench, plus a continuation of the non-comp FA dumpster dives that Gillick has pulled off is as important in roster building as growing our own position players and starting pitching.

  8. Allentown,

    I absolutely agree and would even go one step farther to say that in many cases, growing your own bullpen/bench players is in someways more important because the money you save can be used to bring in that frontline pitcher or position player to fill the voids.

    Now obviously, developing a Chase Utley is far superior to developing a Ryan Madson but if you can avoid paying $2-$4 million per for a 1/2 dozen middle relievers and 4th/5th OFers then paying $20 million for that star FA or locking up one of your own stars is more doable.

  9. Developing a utility guy is far preferable to brutally overpaying a veteran on the downside of his career to plug a hole. (Read Jenkins)

  10. I echo the comments about the relievers and the bench and will take it one further. Let’s face it, every team has its fairly fungible players. Middle relieves, bench guys, 4th and 5th starters, etc. . . . My view is that, as an organization, you want to pay as little as possible for average players so that you can properly compensate stars and up and coming players. Seriously, it’s a joke to pay Taguchi, Adam Eaton (or, god forbid, Carlos Silver?!!! – talk about a GM that deserved to be fired) and players of that type a lot of money. It’s all about bang for the buck.

  11. I agree with the rationale behind these decisions, but don’t love this portion of the draft. Weber was probably the best pick, but he didn’t sign.

    I like that the Phillies took a couple hard-throwing college closers, but I would’ve preferred healthier, harder throwers a few rounds earlier. Still, this is better than constantly trying to convert mediocre minor league starters into middle-relievers.

    On the topic of “organizational fillers”, I like the Phillies taking fundamentally sound, consistently hustling college players who put up solid career numbers for winning NCAA programs. Their experience and work ethic might rub off on more talented players. This organization needs to start winning on all levels, and these guys can help instill a sense of professionalism…

  12. John Manuel just answered my question in his chat today.

    Andrew(Philly): 4 GCL Phils in the top 20. Thats a nice suprise. Any of those 4 make the phils top 10 and of the top of your head, how many phils make the top 100?

    John Manuel: (2:48 PM ET ) I’m actually doing the Phillies’ Top 30 for the first time this offseason, extending my BA record for most organizations, I believe I now go to 11. So that’s fun. I’m most bullish on Zach Collier, loved him pre-draft, thought he was an absolute steal in the supplemental round; in fact, I thought he might have been the better prospect than Aaron Hicks going into the draft before BA’s Dave Perkin talked me out of that. Glad we listened to Dave. Collier and Jason Knapp certainly could be top 10; I might be more patient with Anthony Hewitt and wait until he hits the ball but let’s see what happens in instructional league. Sebastian Valle gives the Phils three catchers in the top 10 with Lou Marson and Travis d’Arnaud, quite the organizational strength. I’d guess 3 to 4 Phils in the Top 100 with Carrasco, Marson and Collier for me, with one other possible such as Greg Golson (possible No. 100 guy, high-risk, high-reward) or one of the other C’s such as d’Arnaud.

    Collier in the top 100 for him. Very Interesting. And since that’s the case and he’s do the top 30 this year for BA it looks like Collier may come in at number 3 on the list

  13. Can’t agree you need fillers sorry. Solo homeruns, losing 11-2 that sounds like leigh valley filled with org. fillers. You have coaches and instructor to help tutor and teach these young players. The minors isn’t about winning or losing so if you have a bunch of kids with a least one tool like speed or pitchers like we talk about. It’s better than guys like swindle,and the rest of the garbage at triplea. Plus I would like to see how my better players like a utley coming up handled adversity.

  14. “His father, Kevin Saunderson, is widely-acknowledged to be one of the originators of the Techno Pop-style of music and is a very successful musician and producer with his own music label, KMS.”

    That’s about Saunderson’s dad, so that’s probably why he didn’t need a huge signing bonus to buy him out of college.

    Also Rocky, org fillers/long shot prospects are needed. No farm teams, not even the Red Sox org is devoid of org fillers. It’s just the way it goes, there are so many teams and different levels that you need to fill out your rosters. It’s the way of minor league ball.

  15. bphils. all I am saying.I would rather take less players,but the players I bring in must have a least a chance to make the majors. long shot prospect to me are players with a least one tool that’s okay. But to take a player because he is a cheap sign isn’t what I would do in building a good system.

  16. “Org filler” is such a dirty term. So easy to say just get rid of them and put in a real prospect. But as others have said it just doesn’t work that way. Coste would have been an org filler by most definitions and yet most of us are pleased he persevered and made the team.

    As for what is more important, winning or development, I
    don’t like the idea of separating the two. To me, winning is a critical part of development. Winning is an attitude that can be taught and refined but not in the context of sloppiness and losing. We want winners, not just stat sheet stuffers. We don’t want players satisfied with personal goals, we want players who think team first and who know how to contribute in close games by doing little things, professionally. Ultimately we want to train them to expect to win. Besides, it is important to see what prospects do in the pressure of playoffs against the hottest teams. Bottom line, the goal of the game is winning and nothing succeeds like success.

  17. You like the coste story. Its like a rocky movie , but guys like him are a dime a dozen. He is part time catcher who isn’t very good defensely. and okay hitter as a part time player. can’t run or throw out runners.

  18. You have to love BA.

    Collier at age 17 as a corner OF with zero HR in the top 100?

    And ranked in the Phils system over Donald, over Drabek, over Savery?

    And Golson a possible top-100?

    Good grief.

    Great write-up Phuture. For what it’s worth (nothing), I like Stutes delivery more than any other pitcher with video so far. There’s effort, sure, but it’s a powerful delivery and looks like something you would see at the big league level. No awkwardness at all.

  19. Damarii Saunderson, OF — Northville HS (Michigan)
    I am a fan. Hope the light bulb goes on for Damarii
    and D’Arby Myers.

  20. “It is useless to worry about lack of power in a teenager
    if he hits 24-25 with no power then worry.”

    You can’t be serious that you think it’s useless to look at Collier’s power numbers over the next seven years.

    And what does 3 guys having double digits mean? Collier didn’t have one.

    There are a lot of teenagers in the GCL, but very few corner OF with that many ABs without a HR. In fact, there is only one (Ryde Rodriguez).

  21. I agree that worrying about Collier’s HR totals right now makes little sense but you do realize that Frank Thomas was drafted in 1989, right??

  22. Well, there’s definitely some precedent for guys developing power later on – which from what I hear is not uncommon because guys take time to mature. I’m just excited that we finally have a toolsy guy that looks like a potential star in the making from the gate. Of course, D”Arby Brown started out the same way, but aren’t Collier’s peripheral numbers better that Myers in 2006?

    – Jeff

  23. Thome I’ll give you, but Thomas?

    I don’t know why The Cube lists him on the 85 GCL team, but whoever that was was a pitcher who got 2 ABs in ’85.

  24. Yeah, I looked that up on the Cube too. Something isn’t work right with the link – since it was the right Frank Thomas until you clicked on his name. Whoever the GCL ’85 Frank Thomas is, he did only allow one homer though, so he might’ve been a good ground ball pitcher 8^/

  25. James, I posted this a while but I don’t know if you caught it. The Phils offered Weber 230 K. Not sure what the slot was on that, found that out through facebook from him directly.

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