Prospect Q/A with Kevin Goldstein

I figured I’d ring in the new year with an always popular feature, a Q/A with the top prospect guru at Baseball Prospectus and longtime phuturephillies favorite Kevin Goldstein. KG recently unveiled his Phillies Top 11, and was kind enough to answer an extended set of questions I had on his list and on all things Phillies prospects. You know I’m not one to shamelessly plug sites here, but I’d recommend the Baseball Prospectus yearly subscription for Goldstein’s weekly features alone, but you also get good major league coverage, as well as access to the PECOTA projections, probably the most accurate baseball forecasts out there. Highly recommended. Before we get into the Q/A, check out Kevin’s list from last year here, as well as the Q/A he did for the site last year. Now that we’ve set it up, here is the latest buzz from Kevin…

phuturephillies. First off Kevin, thanks for doing this. Carlos Carrasco tops our list again this year, how would you assess his 2008 overall? Has he grown as a prospect, remained basically the same, regressed in any way? You list his ceiling as a #2/3, do you view him as a James Shields type of pitcher, who relies on his fastball and changeup, and can he achieve similar results?

Kevin Goldstein: I would basically say he held serve, making the base level improvements one would normally expect from a prospect in his position. I don’t hate the James Shields type of comparison too much – I think it might be a really good comp actually.

PP: Jason Donald is a guy who seems to elicit the phrase “good, butvnot great in all areas”, and many are saying his bat won’t play atvthird base in the big leagues, but is it possible that people arevselling him short? How would you feel about projecting him as av.360/.440 guy? Is that reasonable? How will he profile defensively atvthird base?

KG: Sure it’s possible that people are selling him short. No prospect ranker gets them all right. All we can really do is try to be a mirror and go with what people in the industry are telling us and combine that with our own experience as far as what those type of players turn into. When you say 360/440, I saw you as cutting his slugging significantly, but not his on-base, and I’m not sure that’s the right thing to do unless you have some specific reason to do so. Defensively he’d hold his own at third, although he doesn’t have the arm you normally expect there. I’m not down on Donald, I just don’t think I’m as high as you are on him. That said, the kind of guys who exceed expectations tend to be the kind of players who play the game like Jason Donald.

PP: I found it interesting that you ranked Travis D’Arnaud ahead of Lou Marson. Marson is 3 levels ahead of D’Arnaud and has an advanced approach at the plate. Does his lack of 20 HR power really diminish his prospect value that much? He’s displayed a solid approach through his minor league career (13% walk rate) and seems to have a decent line drive swing, and power seems to be the last tool to develop for catchers. Because he’s only 22, doesn’t Marson still have time to prove he can hit for at least average power for the position? And all that said, how do you compare these two to each other directly, and then to the better catching prospects in the minors?

KG: As you probably know, I had D’Arnaud ahead of Marson coming into the year, and based on what happened in 2008, as well as talking to scouts about it, I saw no reason to change it. I’d feel better about Marson’s power if scouts saw the potential for it, but it’s just not part of his game. He does so many other things to make up for it, but I think talking about power coming late for catchers is really just looking for an excuse – he’s never going to be a power guy, he’s going to be on on-base guy. I’m not sure D’Arnaud’s overall offensive package is going to be better than Marson’s, but I do think the defensive differences are significant.

PP: Michael Taylor put up video game numbers in 2008, though he was old for his level at both stops. Are scouts sold that he’s significantly distanced himself from the bad habits at Stanford and that his production is legit? His walk rate in 2008 was a tad below what you’d like to see from a guy who is going to strike out, but was it a case of pitchers just not giving him a lot to hit after he started to rake?

KG: Yeah, there’s a lot going on there. The Phillies just told him to swing the bat like he did in high school, and now you seen the results. In many ways he’s a weird guy as a product of a big time college program, but because of the new swing, he’s still kind of raw. I think it’s pretty darn legit. You certainly identified the plate discipline issue, and if that changes, look out. Double-A is going to tell us a ton about Taylor’s future, but I’m pretty optimistic.

PP: Talking toolsy outfielders, I was kind of surprised to see Dominic Brown rank only 7th. Reports on him seemed very favorable this year, especially the reports on him in Hawaii. His approach at the plate seems refined for his age, though as you mentioned he sometimes might be a bit too contact oriented. Is there any one thing that he needs to improve to take the next step, and could you make a decent comparison for him, something more realistic than the Darryl Strawberry comps that have been thrown around in the past.

KG: Reports are very favorable on Brown, but at the same time, if you think he should be higher than 7th, you need to also tell me who he should pass up. I think you could re-arrange my 4-7 guys (the two catchers, Donald and Brown) in any order and I doubt you’d get a huge argument from me. I think the Straw comparisons were always misunderstood. Many scouting reports require PHYSICAL comparisons, solely for the purpose of painting a picture of the player. PHYSICALLY, Brown is lefty, long, lean, wiry strong, and therefore the comps to Strawberry were made. I don’t think anyone was saying he had nearly the same tools on Strawberry, who truly had some of the best tools in my generation. I think the one thing Brown needs to work on in power, but that’s very hard to work on. Often that either comes or it doesn’t, but he does show signs of identifying drivable pitches at times.

PP: I was looking for some insight on Kyle Drabek, and how he’s changed both his mechanics and approach since high school. We haven’t seen much of him since being drafted, but all reports on his maturity seem to have improved, and there was some talk that his mechanics have been cleaned up. If he’s back to his high school velocity with improved mechanics, his stock has to be on the rapid ascent, correct?

KG: Absolutely. Because he’s smallish for a pitcher, the Phillies wanted to get more of his body into his delivery, so all of the torque wasn’t just on his arm. When you see him pitch now, you can still see him kind of thinking about each step in his mechanics, so it’s still a little herky-jerky and not as smooth as you’d like, but he really made big advancements in Hawaii and it’s given him a much most consistent release point, leading to better command. I spent some time with his father, Doug Drabek, in Las Vegas last month and he said that Kyle really has taken well to it and likes what he’s getting out of it. I agree with you that he could be poised for takeoff.

PP: Speaking of mechanics, I was hoping you could shed some light on Jason Knapp, another hard throwing righty. From the very brief scouting bureau video available from MLB last spring, it appeared he was landing on a stiff front leg, and scouts had expressed concern over his mechanics as a whole. Have the Phillies been able to smooth them and clean up his delivery? There was a report that he suffered a minor arm injury at the end of the season and was shut down. Is this a long term concern or just the Phillies being extra cautious?

KG: It was just cautionary. Normally, with a high pick like Knapp, you just let him play the summer he signs and get used to the pro lifestyle before you start messing around with the way he does things. I think you definitely read the video correctly, but if you focus on nothing but the arm, you’ll notice that the action itself is very clean, it’s all the stuff around it that’s messy. The trick is to smooth out the beginning and the end while keeping the middle, as he’s an outstanding raw arm.

PP: Anthony Hewitt stirred up quite a bit of chatter around the draft, and some folks (myself included) wanted the Phillies to go in another direction, to put it kindly. We know that Hewitt would be a stud if we
were putting together a decathlon team, but has he shown anything since being drafted to indicate he will be able to hit professional pitching? If he can’t hit, does he have any hope on the mound?

KG: To be honest, I’ve never seen anything on him as a pitcher. Obviously, it’s a cannon for an arm, but I have no idea what his potential would be on the mound. He’s basically a lottery ticket with more upside than anyone in the system, but maybe less of a chance to reach it than anyone.

PP: A few quick hits on 2008 draftees; Anthony Gose was drafted as an outfielder, had a poor GCL debut at the plate, and then missed the rest of the campaign with a back issue. How committed are the Phillies to keeping him in the field? Also, the Phillies busted slot on Colby Shreve, who needed Tommy John surgery, and also on Jarred Cosart, an intriguing 2 way guy. Pre-injury, how high were you on Shreve, and do you have any insight on Cosart and if the Phillies plan to use him as a pitcher or an outfielder?

KG: As far as Gose goes, it’s my understanding that they are totally committed to him as an outfielder, as his tools are truly outstanding. Before Shreve’s elbow went pop, he was the best JUCO arm in the country, showing two plus pitches in a 92-95 mph fastball and sharp slider. I really like that signing, as it gives the team the ability to conduct his rehab, as opposed to a college program whose focus is on winning now. Cosart wasn’t worth $550K as a hitter. He’s a fine one, but he’s a much better pitching prospect as a big projectable arm that got up to 96 mph.

PP: Edgar Garcia has made the rapid rise to AA at the age of only 20. He’s shown very good control at every level, but hasn’t really missed as many bats as you’d like to see. He’s obviously still very young, but what do you see from him? His stuff was originally billed as a 92-93 mph fastball with a plus changeup and not much of a breaking ball. What is the current status of his stuff, and is he more of a reliever going forward or does he still have a chance as a mid-back of the rotation starter?

KG: I’m not very high on him at all, and that might admittedly be biased by what happened at Double-A and what scouts said about it – which was awful. Even still, his Clearwater reviews were just so-so. The fastball is good – but not great or anything, and he throws strikes with it, but his breaking balls are flat and his changeup didn’t get especially good ratings from those I talked to. I wouldn’t put a starter grade on him right now, but like you say, youth is on his side, so it’s not like anyone should give up on him either.

PP: You listed Julian Sampson as your sleeper prospect. His debut seemed to be a mixed bag, but the overriding theme seemed to be a lack of strikeouts despite what appears to be a power arsenal. Is it a case
of him trying to learn a new pitch, just not having refined command, or something else? What do you expect from him in 2009?

KG: All of the above? Command is a lot of it, as is the need for a deeper arsenal. His fastball is outstanding, in terms of both velocity and movement, but he needs to find something to get hitters guessing as well in order to miss more bats. Despite the numbers, scouts really do like him.

PP: I’ve been a big Joe Savery supporter, much to the dismay of some of my readers, but it seems like scouts are starting to turn on him as well. He showed flashes over the summer, and posted a 3.50 ERA over his last 10 starts, which included a nightmare 1 IP, 8 ER meltdown, but was largely inconsistent in 2008. Is he still not recovered, whether physically or mentally, from his college injuries? Has his stuff just dropped off and never recovered? What are scouts seeing here? And finally, at what point do the Phillies consider turning him into a position player full time, after his brief DH cameo this season?

KG: I think I might have be as surprised as you about that fact that he didn’t make to top 11. I kept looking at it and trying to find something in my notes to say he should be on the list, but he really did fall short. His stuff was really marginal all year. He rarely even touched 90 with his fastball, and there’s significant fear that we’ll never see the stuff we saw at Rice. That said, it was his first full year, so we are probably well off a position switch even being considered at this point.

PP: The Phillies were more aggressive in terms of their draft spending in 2008, going over slot to land the likes of Shreve, Jon Pettibone, Trevor May, and Jarred Cosart, but with Mike Arbuckle and Pat Gillick departing, do we have any idea as to how the Phillies will approach the 2009 draft? They’ve punted their first round pick with the Ibanez signing and received no compensation picks. Would you say 2008 represents a step in a new direction or a 1 year aberration?

KG: I’d say it represents nothing of value to us on an information level, because like you say, we’ll have some new names making the calls. We’ll need two or three drafts from this new group to get a good hold of their philosophies.

PP: There has been significant turnover from last year’s top 11 to this year’s; Savery, Cardenas, Outman, Carpenter and Mattair off the list, with Taylor, Happ, Collier, Knapp, and Hewitt entering the list. How much stronger would you say the Phillies system has gotten over the last year, and just numberwise, where would Cardenas and Outman have ranked in the 2009 list if they hadn’t been traded?

KG: I’d say it’s about equal to what it was last year. They had a lot of players step forward, but like you said, they had trades and a couple of backsteps. As far as Outman and Cardenas go, I haven’t done my Oakalnd list, so I don’t have all of the information I need, but my gut tells me that both would be in the top six, if not a bit higher.

PP: One final question for you. The Phillies and Rangers engaged in a challenge trade of sorts, sending Greg Golson to Texas for John Mayberry Jr. How do you feel about this trade from the Phillies perspective? Is Mayberry an everyday corner outfielder in the majors, a platoon guy capable of bashing lefties, or nothing more than a 4A filler type?

KG: It’s a classic challenge trade. Here’s a talented guy that annoys me for a talented guy that annoys you. I think they’re about equal as prospects, with Golson possessing the higher ceiling and Mayberry having significantly more certainty. I think you’ve identified his best bet as a platoon guy who can play first base and both corners.


Huge thanks to Kevin as always.

67 thoughts on “Prospect Q/A with Kevin Goldstein

  1. ***Defensively [Donald] hold his own at third, although he doesn’t have the arm you normally expect there***

    This is confusing because BP is the one that said he has a “cannon for an arm suited for 3B” in last year’s publication. Perhaps KG didn’t agree with that determination but it is odd.

    Carlos “Big Game” Carrasco? I think so. Good to hear on Carrasco, Taylor, D’Arnaud, and Brown. We’ve got some legit talent in our system for the first time in a few years.

    Oh, I reposted the whole text in addition to your link on the Message board…

  2. as far as the normal ss arm it is usually considered the position with the strongest arm, not 3rd. try going deep into the hole and throwing a good runner out or going behind 2nd spinning and throwing someone out.A ss goes into the hole more than a 3rd baseman. a 3rd basemans need for a strong arm is the slow roller up the line. people get used to seeing the standard throw across the diamond and assume you need the strongest arm, not true. as ive said if you can play ss you can play 3rd. if you can 3rd you cannot necessarily play ss. thats why they sent me to 2nd. i couldnt play either.

  3. Hey good stuff James. What’s interesting all to me is that he said our system is where it was at last year. Don’t really agree with that assessment, I think we are clearly stronger and all the systems that BP has done only a few really stood out as clearly stronger (although I do acknowledge most of the good systems are in the AL).

  4. Interesting article. Some thoughts. Do they move Stairs or Jenkins to make room for Mayberry and platoon him occasionally with Howard? Remember when Lieby hit two homers the entire season in Reading. Marson will have enough pop. The real question is what do they do with Marson, D’Arnaud and Valle. It’s like two too many ML ready catchers in a few years. Since they have Tiffee and Cervenak at third to open AAA looks like Ruben will keep Donald as a middle infielder.for the Iron Pigs. Hope Dominic Brown skips A+ and goes directly to AA after what he did in Hawaii. Nice to have in the system a Dave Winfield type, Taylor, in left and a Darryl Stawberry type in right. In any event they control Brown only two more seasons before he must go on the 40 man. The Phils might be getting ready to pull the plug on Savery and move him to first if his under 90 fast ball does not get some giddyup. They did not move him up to AA when the opening was there last season and they DH’d him 4 or 5 games late in the season, the first pitcher to ever do that in the FSL. At least I was not “nuts” on Edgar Garcia’s lack of potential. Good stuff.

  5. Rickey, I like your enthusiasm but I am afraid you might be jumping the gun just a bit. First, what Lieberthal did in Reading in the year 1992 has very little bearing on Marson. Sure, Lieby eventually developed average power, and Marson might also, but the two have no correlation with one another. Also, the Phillies barely have one major league catcher at the moment, so lets not worry about having two too many in a few years! I like Marson as much as the next guy, and he is obviously the most developed of all of our catchers, and yet he may not even turn out. Finally, I was a bit disappointed that KG felt that our system did not really advance all that much, but I suppose that is mostly due to the trading of Outman and Cardenas.

  6. Thanks for this Q/A!

    Great to see Goldstein thinks Sampson’s fastball is plenty fast. And it’s good to see him praise the Shreve and Cosart signings. Even better is his love for Drabek and Carrasco.

    My only disagreement: Marson should be his top catching prospect. Is D’Arnaud’s defense really so excellent? Or is Marson just terrible behind the dish? Because offensively Marson is way ahead of D’Arnaud at this point, I can’t believe the gap on D makes up for it.

  7. I’d like to thank KG for his time and PP for a great job as usual. Thanks for getting an Edgar Garcia question in there as well.

  8. Good stuff james and KG. One of the best pieces throughout the year. I, too, think the Phillies minor league system is way underrated. It’s top 6. You know, I believe the minors got so much better after Gillick arrived. The Phils hardly ever had players with good, or even decent, AB/BB/K ratios. Now, it’s like every one of them do. Gillick must have taught some good things to someone about drafting certain players. I don’t care if Gillick missed on some bigger deals like Freddy, Eaton, ect. He set up the organization nicely for the future while winning the WS.
    Like KG stated in the Baseball Prospectus, if one or two of these prospects come through bigtime, the future will be very bright, if it isn’t already.

  9. Just wondering if the love for D’Arnaud defense is based on his athleticism. To me athleticism is more important at SS, 2B, and CF. C does not require sprint speed or gymnastic ability. Flexibility and quickness help, but technique, discipline, and intelligence are just as important. Bob Boone is an example. Also Clay Dalrymple and many others. I-Rod and others are more athletic and that plays into the position, but it is not a great differentiator at C, where other attributes easily bridge the gap. No reason Marson can’t keep improving incrementally and become a top defensive catcher eventually. Maybe not a Molina, but the next tier.

  10. d’Arnaud is going to have power. Big time. That is what will set him apart. I listened to a few Crosscutters and BlueClaws games when he hit his home runs. They were gone at the crack of the bat and hit way out. I question his defense more than his bat. His bat will be solid.

  11. clayton how is jay silverheels. by the way who was the best catcher on the u.s. olympic team? doesnt marson throw out 40% of baserunners. nothing against d,armand never saw him but if hes better than marson maybe were looking at bench. thats johnny, which i really believe.

  12. Pretty disheartening to hear that on Savery, especially the reports on his fastball, not reaching 90 is not good going forward compounded by the fact that he has command problems. Wonder if he’s hurt?

  13. Groom Savery to replace Howard. Seriously. Let the guy play 1B half time this season, unless he comes out blazing with a fastball that sits at least 91 – 93 mph. He is far enough removed from surgery that if he isn’t good this Spring, he is unlikely to be. More guys don’t recover from frayed labrums than do.

  14. ****Do not compare Phillies prospects to Hall of Famers. Ever.****

    Probably a good rule.

    ****Pretty disheartening to hear that on Savery, especially the reports on his fastball, not reaching 90 is not good going forward compounded by the fact that he has command problems****

    Yeah, that was tough to hear. Maybe he comes back strong in 09 another year removed from injury issues and with some good rehab/training. If not, he’s likely a bust.

  15. Letting Savery play 1B at all this year will essentially finish his pitching career. I think becoming a MLB pitcher is hard enough without having to focus half your time on swinging a bat and playing a new defensive position. So, if you really want to play Savery elsewhere, you mine as well make it full time. Not that I am in favor of that, I think it is a bit drastic to move a 1st round pitching talent off of the mound after a single season. In fact, I think it would be a bit drastic to move Savery off of the mound even after this season, unless it is an absolute disaster. Also, a LH pitcher hovering around 90 on his fastball isn’t really that big of a deal.

  16. It seems neither Bastardo or Carrasco have pitched since
    dec 16 . Are they shut down for the winter ? Or do they pitch in the playoffs?

  17. ****Also, a LH pitcher hovering around 90 on his fastball isn’t really that big of a deal.****

    It is if his FB was one of his calling cards during his career at Rice. Most Moyer esque lefties don’t make it in the Majors…at least not for long. If Savery doesn’t regain at least a bit of snap on his FB, the odds of him ever making it become very very long.

    And, to be clear, I use the term “Bust” as in “he likely won’t live up to his 1st round billing”, not “He’ll never make it in the majors. Thus, if he doesn’t have a good 09, expectations for him will be drastically lower.

  18. From what I heard, the main difference between the two catchers from a defensive standpoint is about their throwing motion. Marson apparently has a long, slow motion, while Travis can snap the ball a little quicker. Basically, Marson is projected to be below average defensively, meanwhile D’Arnaud is projected to be average or above.

  19. At least Savery can hit…
    Seriously though, I am more worried about Savery having poor secondary pitches, his fastball can be 90 mph, but that’s not the main problem if his changeup and breaking pitch aren’t like they used to be. Remember, he was supposed to have a similar pitch repetoire as Hamels, although not quite as good.

  20. ****Basically, Marson is projected to be below average defensively, meanwhile D’Arnaud is projected to be average or above.****

    Marson is supposed to be below average defensively??? Since when?

    Oh and D’Arnaud does have a very quick snap release as you stated.

  21. Big red where did you hear these projections? Everything i have heard about marson defensively has been fairly positive and D’arnaud was drafted as a defensive catcher who all of a sudden has proven that he can hit a little bit. So I’m not sure I agree with the average to above average defensive projection.

  22. The rule of not comparing Phils’ prospects to Hall of Famers is indeed a good one. The only player that I’ve ever seen go through the system who, at the time, I thought might have a career with that type of trajectory was Cole Hamels. That’s it. I never even remotely entertained that thought with Rollins, Howard or Utley, although, of the Phils’ current ML players, Utley may have the best chance for enshrinement (along with Hamels). With all the variables that come into play (development, injuries, maturity, work ethic, opportunity, bodily changes, career longevity, etc. . . .) HOF comparisons for prospects are almost silly.

  23. Now to the prospects . . . .

    I like that KG at least admitted that prospects who exceed expectations tend to be much like Jason Donald. As I view it, that’s a tacit admission that Donald’s upside may be much greater than KG currently expects.

    As for our young catchers, it’s going to be fun seeing how all of this plays out. Whatever happens, it’s not going to be a “problem.” Having too many catchers who can really play will do nothing but give the club opportunities. If D’Arnaud develops as expected, he may move to another position or Marson might be traded – but all of this may occur many years down the road. I do not believe, however, that Carlos Ruiz’s tenure will be a long one.

  24. KG’s analysis on Knapp and Drabek is encouraging..It’s disappointing that Gose isn’t going to give pitching a shot in the near future. He’s supposed to have a big arm.

  25. Nepp, there are a lot of LH pitchers in the majors who throw 90 mph, which is a far cry from Moyer’s 80 – 85 mph fastballs. In fact, I was not referring to Moyer at all when I said lefties do not need great fastball velocity. Moyer is in a world of his own, and I think is a pretty laughable comparison to a guy like Savery. The bigger question is not the zip on his fastball, but rather the development of his secondary pitches. Only time will tell…

  26. I think KG’s comparrison to slot the system as the same as last yr is fair.

    We lost Cardenas who should be better than Donald. We lost Outman, who evidently will be a better pitcher than Savery and who was further along than Drabek/Garcia/Sampson/ect. Taylor broke out while most of our prospects have just stayed the course.

    While I think the overall package of players we have is more optimistic, I think the top 10 is not better than it was last yr. And alot of those promising arms are just that, promising. Our system is not even close to a top 10 in the league. But our system has worked for this team since every year we find a guy to come up and help the team.

  27. Section 113–
    I agree with your conclusion that it is fair to say system ranking is about same as last winter, about #20. A very good draft class, but a lot more projection than high ceiling guys who also performed. And, looking at the falloff from BA’s top prospects of last winter —
    #2 Cardenas — traded
    #3 Savery — more than slightly disappointing
    #4 Outman — traded
    #9 Carpenter — more than slightly disappointing
    #10 Jaramillo — traded for major leaguer
    #12 Mathieson — injury crash and burn, don’t expect to see him
    #17 Correa — suspended for unexplained lapse, did not play
    #20 Harmon — exceeding disappointing after great 2007
    #21 Myers — crash and burn in 2008
    #22 Monasterios – disappoints
    #25 Tyler Mach — mysteriously retired after a half season
    #28 Spencer — traded
    #30 Holdzkom — returned

    This is balanced by better than expected from:
    #6 Brown, #15 Donald, #16 D’Arnaud, #26 Bastardo, #29 Naylor

  28. From Baseball America TODAY.

    And the Phillies’ farm-system talent and depth has climbed, as BA has ranked the organization’s talent 12th, its highest mark of the decade.


  29. With all those high-ceiling toolshed types, the Phils’ 2008 draft seemed almost designed to garner some love from Baseball America. After what they did last June, I’m not surprised they jumped in the rankings.

  30. That Baseball America article is more optimistic than many of us. I would have thought more like 18 overall. Obviously the system is on the right track regardless of where it should be ranked.
    PP great job with the questions. The NO Hall of Famer comparison rule is a good one.

  31. James – great job, Thanks!
    What’s needed for the Phils’ overall number to improve is for Taylor or Brown plus Drabek to become possible major league all star level talent. Its not that far fetched but they’re not there yet. By the end of this next year??? Our farm system has good talent and improved depth after last year’s draft but we don’t have likely all star level talent and that’s a big difference with other teams’ systems. By the way, I’ve watched Marson play several times and I think he calls a good game and throws very well (he sometimes throws the ball around too much). I don’t see any holes in his game other than he doesn’t hit for home run power. Chooch knows he’s fighting for his job. As for the big club, I still expect they’ll trade or release Stairs and sign Aurillia or Emil Brown to be a right handed bat on the bench.

  32. That’s one of those “let’s shock ’em so those crazy Phils phans will get a subscription” things. I know, I know, I’m a cynic. Shoot me.

    Brown’s *good*, not #1 good in my book just yet.

  33. **Do not compare Phillies prospects to Hall of Famers. Ever.**

    that made me laugh.

    good interview. i agree with most of what he said. we all really do over rate our prospects. too hard to seperate the heart from the head. that being said, i don’t fully understand the knock on marson. excited that he sees what i see in taylor. and would love to see that write up you have been promising on savery. should stir some interesting debate.

  34. That’s strait up crazy, 12? haha, aparently those on this site are “undervaluing” our talent. LOL… Even I had them pegged NO BETTER than 15.

  35. Regarding Marson… here’s the bottom line for me, i’d rather him hit for .03 (so ~.284) less in average and hit for .08 better in slugging (so ~.500).

    Anyone else hoping for that change next year from him?

  36. has anyone ever heard of sarcasm,it is ridiculous to compare minor leagers to hof, reference was not to be taken seriously although tuffy goosewich appears to be on the fast track.

  37. i gotta believe he wouldn’t have signed that deal with the phils. but then found out his market value was not what he thought. dissappointing, because i would rather have pat for 2 years and the first round pick.

  38. 2 years, $16 million – sounds about right.

    The question, in the abstract, is whether one would trade Pat Burrell (at a reduced rate) and a first round pick for Ibanez and a heavier (and longer contract). I think the answer to that is clearly no.

    So does that make this a bad trade? Probably, but not necessarily. The Phillies believe, and rightfully so, that they were giving away a lot of runs by having another strikeout king in the 5 hold after Mr. Strikeout and Chase Utley, who strikes out much more than we think. Their thought was that they would overpay in money and talent, but if it helped keep them on top, it would be worth it. I agree with that thinking, but only if Ibanez delivers what he has in past years. He certainly hasn’t shown any signs of decline, so it’s hard to say if he will be a Moises Alou type or not, but the odds are somewhat against it.

    I appreciate what they were trying to do, but it sure would have been nice to acquire a younger player.

  39. Burrell doesn’t strike out hugely more than Ibanez, gets on base more, and hits more HR. Plus, you don’t have the L-L-L problem and you don’t have to worry how he’ll perform at age 39.

  40. All legitimate points, particularly the age. However, last year, the stat.s really hid how poorly Burrell did as a hitter. With that OPS in this line-up, he should have either scored a lot of runs or driven in a lot of runs – he did neither. Ibanez also has a BA of 40 to 50 points higher. This is not a small thing. At his point in the line-up, they need a guy who gets hits more than they need a guy who draws walks.

    That having been said, the move was full of risks, but moving Pat Burrell, while not popular, seemed like a good idea.

  41. john from ne: there were 2 comparisons to HOF’ers. First Dave Winfield, then your Johnny Bench. I even think comparing Brown to Strawberry is going overboard. Straw was a HOF talent, multi time allstar with a drug problem.

    The funny thing about Marson and the power issue is that he homered the only time he played at CBP. Obviously do not want to overreact to one game, but it is not the toughest park to hit one out of and if the rest of his game is as solid as we think, the lineup has plenty of power.

  42. The power thing with Sweet Lou comes from scouts looking at his swing and see that it has no uppercut to it and a downward, one plane to that isn’t conducive to power and more likely to hit the ball on the ground. Keith Law pointed out that Lou hits the ball on the ground all the time, even in Batting Practice.

  43. catch22-

    Taken on a per AB basis, Burrell has a few more runs than Ibanez and Ibanez has a few more rbis. It’s not a huge difference in rbi — 116 for Ibanez and an adjusted 105 for Burrell.

  44. Not sure if this has been mentioned an a little off topic but on the BA website in the article about Pat Gillick it mentions the future and #1 prospect Dominic Brown. I guess we will find out tomorrow

  45. I’m not sure about Brown at #1, it takes a fair amount of projection, as his low-A OPS a shade under .800 and he turned 21 right after the end of season. That is not young for the league. Nor is it the eye-popping OPS that the two-year older Taylor put up at low-A, but also at high-A. I love the size on both of these prospects, but for now Taylor seems the better choice. Neither jumps out at me ahead of the 22-year old Marson and his .850 OPS at AA. More primo defensive position, that he plays well, two levels more advanced at two years older and with .050 higher OPS. So, closer to fruition, better #, although in more of a hitters’ park. Marson seems ahead.

  46. Why would we ever need to compare a Phillies prospect to a Hall of Famer when we have Adam Eaton, Rod Barajas, So Taguchi and Abe Nunez to compare to?

  47. Marson was ranked 11th on BA for pastballs per 9 innings. He was ranked higher than Jaramillo who was 16th. D’Arnaud and Valle were not ranked. LoA and HiA did have some catchers listed. I realize blocking the plate is only part of being a good catcher, but just one more thing Marson does well. I still feel there is a lot to like about him. The Phils kept him around for a reason. You could even see he has personality when he got the silent treatment and high fived the air.

  48. Erick why did you bring up So Taguchi I was trying to forget about him. Wondering why he stayed makes me dizzy.
    With Romero out I like Carrasco as the fifth and Happ
    as an seventh or eight inning guy. I loved when he struck
    out Reyes with men on after Rollins error in 2007. He seems to have guts and one inning stints might keep him from getting overexposed
    Note:50 game suspension for an OTC drug what the hell are they selling us

  49. BA Top 11
    1. Brown
    2. Carrasco
    3. Marson
    4. Donald
    5. Drabek
    6. Taylor
    7. d’Arnaud
    8. Collier
    9. Happ
    10. Knapp
    11. Bastardo

  50. More from BA (this is free info off the public site):
    Best Hitter for Average – Dominic Brown
    Best Power Hitter – Michael Taylor
    Best Strike-Zone Discipline – Lou Marson
    Fastest Baserunner – Quinton Berry
    Best Athlete – Anthony Hewitt
    Best Fastball – Carlos Carrasco
    Best Curveball – Kyle Drabek
    Best Slider – Mike Stutes
    Best Changeup – Carlos Carrasco
    Best Control – Mike Cisco
    Best Defensive Catcher – Lou Marson
    Best Defensive Infielder – Freddy Galvis
    Best Infield Arm – Freddy Galvis
    Best Defensive Outfielder – Anthony Gose
    Best Outfield Arm – Dominic Brown

  51. Section 205 —
    I read BA’s writeup on D’Arnaud and they are talking of his D as more potential, based on skills, than actual performance. They confess that he did throw out only 19% of basestealers and had a lot of passed balls. On the skill side, they are looking at arm strength and general athleticism. But I think it a stretch to slot him above Marson on D at this point. He may get there, or he may not, but Marson is certainly no slouch defensively. Watching him at Reading, he seemed very agile behind the plate and blocked balls well. BA dinged him for not setting up hitters well, but I think that was the Reading manager/coach, who made the pitchers begin games fastball-fastball-fastball … I think that also led to the critique of Carrasco not being able to put guys away and having some long innings. All fastballs will do that for you, since most AA hitters will hit even a good fastball if they are 99% sure that is the pitch they are getting.

  52. I would say that the best outfield arm would be DBrown or Gose and Gose probably did not play enough to win the tiebreaker. Brown pitched in the low-mid 90s in high school but had more potential as a multi-tooled outfielder.

    Taylor has a decent arm, but not that good. Assists are sometimes based on how many runners try to take advantage and maybe they don’t run as much on Brown.

  53. After observing both extensively this season, I’ll have to respectfully disagree. Taylor has a cannon for an arm. By far one of his best assets.

    I could see making that argument for position (center vs. left), maybe, but I highly doubt the runners in the SAL took particular notice of Brown vs. Taylor in that dept. Either way, its hard to argue with a 33% difference.

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