Daily Discussion

Jason Donald started at Second Base last night for Lehigh Valley, his first start at second this season as the Phils continue in their quest to make Donald a “super utility” type player.

–Reading pitchers (Bastardo and Escalona) walk one and strike out 11 in a 2-1 win.

Carlos Carrasco on the mound this morning (10:30) for Lehigh Valley, trying to bounce back after two rough starts.

84 thoughts on “Daily Discussion

  1. Well, Donald is certainly hitting like a utility player these days.

  2. It could be a coincidence, but it is interesting that both Blanton and Park had their best performance of the year now that Carlos Ruiz is catching again. It could be as subtle as the confidence he inspires in the pitcher, but in his absence, neither Coste nor Marson were able to coax many good performances out of the starters.

    On another matter, it seems to me that if they are going to bring up a pitcher to replace a starter, it should probably be Myers. Watching him pitch in that last game was like watching a right-handed Moyer without the control. I don’t think he can be effective topping out at 86. Even Kendrick throws harder than that.

  3. AAA isn’t any harder than AA-more vets but less studs. History shows us donald can hit. I’d be surprised if he didn’t finish .290-14-70 w/obp of .340 and ops between 850 and 900. I think he should learn the outfield a little bit this year especially if feliz keeps hitting because they will pick up his option for 2010 and donald will be MLB ready by then w/no position to play. In 250 at bats next year donald would hit .250-7-35 w/10 steals due to him also pinch running for slower runners late in games.

  4. marky aa is usually much harder in the eastern league.agree with your projections but he should stick in the inf. were already logjammed in the of and donald is the only inf we have in the system.somehow hes progressed to aaa but suddenly he cant play ss 3rd or 2nd strange sounds like sandberg. they said the same thing.

  5. ****Even Kendrick throws harder than that.****

    Kendrick usually throws 91-92. Its his complete lack of location and secondary stuff that is a major issue. None of our MLB starters are hard throwers…Hamels is 89-91 usually, Moyer is 81-83, Park is 89-91, Myers is 86-90 (on a good day), and Blanton is 87-90. The hardest thrower on the team is Madson and its by a significant margin. Lidge is probably the 2nd hardest and he’s usually in the low-to-mid 90s (93ish to 95 when he’s really throwing hard).

    So its good that we have some hard throwers coming up in the minors…our current rotation is bereft of that quality.

  6. I’m curious. With a .290 ba. .340 obp and 14 HR, how does a full time player have an ops of .850-.900? Assuming 500 AB, that would require about 68 doubles (for .850) or 93 doubles (for .900). He had 19 last year.

    I mean, I may well be underestimating Donald. But as a matter of simpe math, in order for him to have an ops of .850-.900, he is either going to have to have an obp much better than .340, many more than 14 HR, or both.

    To be clear, I’m not saying that he won’t have an ops in that range (he did last year), though I predict he won’t (but that argument has been done to death), but if he does it he will most likely do it the same way he did last year – with a very high obp and some mid range power.

  7. I love the daily discussions. (almost) Anything goes.

    Does anyone know if there is an iPhone app for listening to minor league games?

  8. Fangraphs actually has Kendrick at 89.7 mph for his fastball last year…so a range of 88-92 would probably be fairer. I distinctly remembering him sitting at 91-92 and hitting 93 during a couple of games last year though. Its an average though so its just the mean.

  9. Pitching staff was awful the first week when ruiz was catching. Too small of a sample to judge so far. Myers in his career has been a decent 3 type and very nice 4 playing the role of ace and later #2. Park has had one really nice start and several horrible ones-no brainer park has got to go if he reverts back tp previous performance. Don’t worry myers and possibly blanton gone after this year. 2011….
    Hammels
    carrasco
    drabek
    stutes
    worley
    Knapp(blowing through AA)
    Hey i can dream(project), isn’t that what this sight is about

  10. Manny suspended 50 for PED use…(no surprise there)

    A couple of those pitchers will either be gone from injury or from trades…lets hope we pick the right ones to keep.

  11. your right larry, obviousley he won’t hit that many doubles. should have done the math before posting that ops projection. Hopefully then the obp will be around .360 and he will add a couple more homers to that projection. 20 would be a nice round number and get me and others pretty excited!

  12. “Hey i can dream(project), isn’t that what this sight is about”

    Hehe, prempted my response – obviously the chances that ALL of those guys avoid injury & other setbacks and become good major leaguers is slim. But obviously Mark knows that.

    That said, we DO have a nice group of pitching prospects, don’t we? If even 2 of those 5 make it, along with Hammels and a couple of guys filling in as the 4 & 5 starters (Happ? Blanton? A (relatively) cheap FA? A trade?) the Phillies staff will be looking quite good. If three of them make it – watch out.

  13. Look at it this way: If 1 in 5 of our pitching prospects succeeds at the MLB level, then we’re stocked when it comes to pitching. We have something like 15 okay-awesome pitching prospects. We could have our own Mulder/Hudson/Zito triumvirate in a couple years if it all falls into place.

    I can’t wait for the June draft to see what they do with the extra cash from last year’s run. Bust slot, baby! Bust slot!

  14. To John: Go to any major sports page or even to LA TIMES website…he’s gone for 50 games for steroids. I won’t go in depth here out of respect for James’ wishes for his site.

  15. Carrasco’s line is someone misleading. He was pitching fine until the 6th inning. Then he got hammered giving up 4 ER. He got the first out, then gave up a single, a walk, another single, and then a bases clearing double. Then he was pulled. The inherited run scored for the 4th earned run.

    So he likely simply ran out of gas. 2 ER in 5 IP on 5 H is a bit nicer of a line.

  16. the chances are slim larry i agree but becomes more reality i think the further they move up the system. If drabek gets moved up in the next few months we will have 4 of our 5 top pitching prospects in AA or higher. Knapp being the exception. If drabek meets projection as top of rotation guy and becomes a 2, carasco then just needs to be a 3 and stutes and worley just need to be a 4 or 5 in either order. If one of those 2 are unsuccesful happ should be an ok 4 or very good 5. I’m getting excited larry.

  17. NEPP,

    15? Guess it depends how you define “okay.”

    But I’m quibbling. I agree that the Phillies have a decent chance to end up with a Mulder/Hudson/Zito type triumvirate in a couple of years.

    mark,

    Clearly I mostly agree but I think there is a bigger chance than you think that some of the guys end up flaming out. But yes, obviouisly the higher they go (while still getting good results) the better their chances of making it.

  18. On a different but related topic, I would say tentatively (because it’s still early in the season) that the minor league results so far this year are a vindication of the Phillies toolshed/high ceiling approach to the draft.

  19. NEPP–
    Lets hope he didnt run out of gas….He only had thrown 67 pitches entering the 6th….We need much more than that.

  20. Donald hit two of those 68 doubles this morning. He’s well on his way!

    Looks like Gameday for minor leagues does not have velocity so hard to see how fast CC was throwing.

    Draft is less than a month, I’d be curious on people’s thoughts on draft strategy. I assume that the first 5 or so rounds will be guys they think they can sign close to slot, some mix of HS and college. Here’s hoping that in the later rounds they find some B/B+ prospects that are tough to sign that they can bring on board. I also doubt they’ll spend more on the draft this year than in years past. Let’s also hope they avoid 19-year-old high schoolers with little experience against high-level competition in the first round…by the way, a late happy 20th b-day to Anthony Hewitt!

  21. its obvious the big club will be different next year imo brown should be at reading and based on our scout ricky b. well be able to get an eyes on look at brown and taylor. im starting to believe werth will be gone. with donald and marson being looked at for a year well know much more but the big move should drabek to reading, worley and stutes to lhv, and knapp and cloyd to clearwater. with this staff imo being radically different and possible trades it is imperative to know what we have.

  22. I would personally bust slot in the 2nd round if there is a good 1st round talent that fell due to signability/money issues. We need to make up for the lack of a 1st round or any comp picks this year.

    Hewitt is already 20?!? What a waste of a pick.

  23. yea he was pitching good again through 5 and blew up in one inning again, hes been doing this all year he needs to throw consistently throughout his whole start, i guess he just runs out of gas in the 6th and 7th innings and loses it

  24. John thanks for those #’s i’d love to see those happen w/ the phils. If they do i think he is our replacement at 3d. I only mentioned the outfield just so he could pick up an extra combined 10-20 games to go as 5th OF w/ a combined 20-30 starts in the inf. plus PH incase the phils decided he was more of a super utility guy, especially for next year if feliz is back and taylor not ready. I’m assuming mayberry will be given shot at 4th OF next year. I have a feeling if berry does well enough to be promoted to LHV next year then bats around .230-.250 w/50 steals, he will get a promotion to phils as a poor man’s bourne(not much of a compliment I know)

  25. Larry What high toolsy player is doing good. I can think of one brown was one.Who else?,

  26. gose is leading the world in stolen bases, collier is really hitting his stride, and taylor is a tool shed w/ surprising speed for his size.

  27. Taylor, Mayberry, Collier, Gose and Mattair are all “toolsy” guys who are having varying degrees of success in the system. Collier and Gose won’t be 19 until the end of the summer, which needs to be factored in. In fact, if Collier were to show a bit more of the plate discipline that he did last year, I think we’d all be getting really excited about him. As it is, he is showing a lot of positives at Lakewood

  28. Does anyone think that part of Donald’s problem hitting is because he is learning new positions?? That’s a big adjustment even if he hasn’t played 2B or 3B that often this year, he’s likely spending time learning to field from a different perspective instead of working in the cage.

  29. I’m not so sure that Carrasco runs out of gas as much as I think he gives up a run or two and gets frustrated. That could be a problem, as pitchers like that have very limited success in the majors. We don’t need a headcase.

  30. I have said I love Moyer’s influence on the young pitchers. Now that I have seen Raul play I believe he can be Moyer like
    to the young outfielders and for that matter all batters coming up. I think it was saturday he went second to third on a ground ball to SS. Them aimed an outside pitch to left field.
    He sort of reminds me of Jim Katt who still seems to be in great shape. Money aside he is the best FA I have seen here unless I am forgetting someone. If he can spread his know how and attitude great

  31. I haven’t seen Carrasco pitch that much, but it sounds like he loses focus at some point during the game. This could be a problem of immaturity (hopefully) that he will grow out of. Another point is that some pitchers who don’t give up a lot of baserunners don’t pitch well from the stretch. This can appear as though they are getting frustrated when things aren’t going well. Of course, loss of focus can lead to a baserunner, which results in having to pitch from the stretch and the inability to pitch well from the stretch can lead to frustration, so all of these can combine to result in a sub-optimal performance. The good new is that all of these problems can respond to coaching.

  32. PGD –

    Carrasco’s first three starts were really excellent, its been his last three that he has problem with blowing up, which is concerning. The one good stat that he has going for him right now is the high K/9 and almost a 6:1 K/BB ratio which is his best ever. The good thing though is he just turned 22 this year so, if has the spend the whole year at AAA then it wont be the end of the world, he still has great potential, but he really needs to learn how to pitch with runners on base from what his splits look like.

  33. nepp could be wrong but ive never been impressed with hewitt. i hope we realize that if 5 of the minor leagers we talk about make significant contribution i.e. rollins,utley howard hamels,madson and if we can move 5 for 1 or maybe 2 significant players were doing GREAT.thats 5 to 10 of the 150 or so players we talk about now in all of our system.

  34. Taylor wasn’t toolsy outfielder he was a college four year stater. mattair is not shown he can hit, either has gose or collier, mayberry is another four year stanford college player, not a toolsy player . When you talk toolsy its a player like gose Hewitt players high school players who have the tools. but you never know if they will use that speed , and athletism to make the majors.

  35. here’s something shocking and exciting i looked up for fun the other day our top 10 prospects for 2005 w/ a side by side 2009 11-20(arguably, not neccesarily mine) were as follows
    hammels Marson
    golson donald
    bourne mayberry
    mathieson savery
    w. Baez hewitt
    costanza gose
    harmon bastardo
    moss shreve
    jaramillo sampson
    e. garcia cloyd
    that would make our top 10 arguably drabek-brown-taylor-carrasco-worley-stutes-knapp-d’arnaud-collier-valle.
    Guess my point is that our 11-20 is comparable to our 1-10 of just a few years ago. I actually like it better at most numbers except obviously #1. Of course we have the benefit of knowing the future of the 2005 top 10 and can only project for the 2009 top 10. I also added a few hot players to top 10 and took out some lower ceiling/locks to make the big show like donald/marson to have my 11-20 appear stronger and make my point. Again this isn’t what i would say our top 10 is but you certainly could argue the fact.

  36. other tools/high ceiling guys off the top of my head are Knapp and Taylor. taylor was a serious tools prospect comming out of high school and then kinda stunk for three years of college. he was a risky pick, but he turned out great so far.

  37. That is the first time I have ever heard toolsy player for a pitcher .Taylor wasn’t a high school kid with tolls, he was a college player who develop his skills expect hitting, I don’t call college seniors toolsy players, they aren’t raw athletic kids,

  38. Taylor was a super tools guy in high school who just sucked in college.

  39. mike mike it’s always been my understanding that toolsy guys are guys that display at least four of the five following tools speed-avg-power-arm-fielding. Usually people seem to not speak of a guy like mattair as toolsy but rather, talented or as a skill player. Not sure what taylor playing all 4 years in college has to do w/his tools. collier and gose are and will be 18 for almost the whole year and are in lakewood and holding their own against many college players and advanced latino players. I’m sure the phils are thrilled w/ how they are doing even though being fast tracked. on the phils jimmy and shane are toolsy guys and werth is somewhat of a toolsy guy. The ultimate tools guy of recent history are griffey and bonds. at least this is my take on the toolsy discussion.

  40. well, knapp was about as tollsy as a pitcher could be. you know, young, raw, not great expirence because he plays in NJ, big fastball and secondary stuff that needed a lot of work. Im just saying, he has pitching tools and he needs to learn to use them.

  41. I think a lot of talented athletic kids can’t transfer their athleticism into a baseball career and so has come to mean “can’t hit” but i believe it refers to extraordinary athleticism.

  42. “Larry What high toolsy player is doing good. I can think of one brown was one.Who else?,”

    You don’t need a lot to justify the strategy – I mean, if Brown becomes what it looks like he might become, that would be huge.

    But I was also referring to high ceiling pitchers like Drabek. I wouldn’t call them “toolsy,” obviously, but it’s the same sort of draft strategy – pick a guy with a high ceiling but some questions marks (for Drabek I guess that would have mainly been attitude/maturity issues) over the “safer,” low ceiling pick. So I’d say several of the successful pitchers also provide support for my statement. As jpd noted, Knapp also falls into that category.

    And yes, you are right about Taylor not being a classic “toolsy” player – but again, it’s the same strategy – I’d say Taylor was a classic high ceiling/high risk pick.

    Which is why I said toolshed/high ceiling, not simply toolshed.

  43. I think its time for all you guys that love Carrasco to dial it back until the results match the hype. He’s far from being ready to pitch in Philly. Happ, Kendrick, maybe Carpenter and even Lehr would get a Philly start ahead of him at this point. He’s got me worried. Drabek on the other hand is the real deal and a real bulldog on the mound.
    I agree that its very interesting that Blanton and Park both pitched so well with Ruiz. It could very well be a coincidence but I know I felt more comfortable with “Chooch” behind the plate.

  44. I went to the Lehigh Valley game today. Carrasco generally threw around 91 mph according to the stadium gun, varying anywhere from 89 mph on the slow side to 94 mph with his fastest pitches.

    I think his outing is indicative of the nature of pitching. The bases clearing double by Mike Lamb was placed perfectly in the corner. Make a single pitch differently and it’s an inning ending double play. And a couple hits went in the hole between first and second. Remember that the Ironpigs had an inexperienced second baseman (Jason Donald). So perhaps that did not do Carrasco any favors.

  45. “Varying degrees of success”. Yes, a lot of those guys are having success, but Mattair is not one of them. Can we stop pretending as if Mattair is ever going to be a real prospect? He’s hitting .232/.413/.319 in Low-A as a 20-year old 3rd baseman. And the early walk totals were most surely a fluke. He can’t hit. Sorry.

  46. I think writing off a prospect who is having some minor success in an age-appropriate league is ridiculous.

    As for Carrasco, it’s his approach and mentality. He doesn’t carry himself like he owns the strikezone. He nibbles too much. As a comparison, Drabek fires like he owns the plate. Carrasco needs that fire. It’s been his biggest issue since coming stateside and it’s been documented for over a year. Marson said in an interview last year that sometimes he had to snap Carrasco out of a faze while on the mound. He’s got some of the best stuff in the minor leagues, just not the brain or fortitude so to speak. Some say a promotion will get him into that zone…that he gets bored and lax at times in the minors…but he needs to find that fire inside and push himself into the majors.

  47. I must have misunderstood what was said. The phillies feel vintigation ? Shane Victorino was offered back to the dodgers wasn’t he plus he was a polised in outfield already. Only brown is a player in that catagory right now and he still is at clearwater so how is that make them right? D. Myers is atoolsy player how is he doing. You can’t take guys like gose collier until they prove something, Remember another toolsy player Golson. Now if you want say the system looks better right now yes but only Taylor and marston have shown at a higher level they can hit, And stutes and worley are not toolsy but guys who have so far been better than project. by scouts and if it continues yes the phillies have done a good job in scouting and developing some of these kids. But they were wrong about floyd and that hurts,

  48. I’m sorry man, but if you’re saying the Phillies or other teams shouldn’t take toolsy guys because they haven’t done anything then you’re a fool. They should take guys like Tyler Mach and Cody Overbeck all the time because they performed at the college level with a metal bat? But they shouldn’t take guys with just tools and raw skills because they haven’t performed and they were wrong about Gavin Floyd?? You’re not backing your point up with much. What about guys like Dom Brown, Michael Ynoa, Mike Taylor, BJ and Justin Upton, Tim Beckham, (I know they’re aren’t all Phillies guys but toolsy guys nonetheless)? I just don’t get your point, it doesn’t make any sense and drafting college guys without tools and just production will get you years of last place.

  49. Stutes,Worley, and Carraco might get a chance to spend september with Moyer. Then spring training as many pitchers that can touch Moyer the better. That is an upgrade not measureable

  50. Pat Burrell the point was a statement that jbg said that they are now vinitation for taking toolsy players. I never said they shouldn’t but only so far in the last 7 drafts only Brown is a toolsy pick they have made that is so far panning out. I love the fact that lakewood is full of these kids this year, I would rather have them then 24 year old college fiilers . But as much as you say I don’t back up my points, how is a four year college star a toolsy player, he hit in college Bj. upton was a stud not a hewit or golson type especially Hewitt playing against not good competition and when he play in the better leagues he was awful with a wood bat. But he is the definition of toolsy player. some of the players people on here have mention like victorino are not a toolsy high school kid. And we tried to give him back for 25,000 . But what would be nice and [so far the last two draft are looking good] but I would like to see them be more right on there projection on these kids, Floyd wasn’t a mistake did you see him pitch for the sox, maybe I am nit picking but you called me a fool, what are you by saying that?

  51. How can you say such things about Gose/Collier? Both guys are YOUNG for their league and have had success.

    But that’s not even my main point. Using Gose and Collier in the same sentence as if they’re both “similar” players is a joke. Yes, both are toolsy, so to speak, but Collier is SO MUCH MORE REFINED. He’s much less of a risk than Gose. Or Myers. Or Golson.

    All toolsy players aren’t created equal, mikemike.

  52. That toolsy undersized SS the Phils took in the second round a few years ago worked out pretty well. . . . His name? Oh yeah Jimmy Rollins, gosh I hate toolsy draft picks!!!

    People love to complain about the misses on the toolsy players, but refuse to give credit when they do well with Toolsy picks.

  53. To say the Phils’ draft strategy is one thing (high risk) or the other (low risk) is oversimplification.

    Teams always take a mix of college jrs, college srs, and high school guys. The Phils are no exception. Of the Phillies current roster in the bigs, their own ex-prospects speak to this mix of players. Myers, Hamels, Madson, and Rollins were HS players. Howard, Utley, Happ were college guys. Ruiz was Latin America and Victorino was Rule 5. That’s about as an ideal blend as you can get.

    What the Phillies have made their living on recently is finding talented college guys who need some minor tinkering to excel. They did it with the 08 pitching crop (Stutes, Worley, Schwimmer, Rosenberg) and they did it with Taylor and Donald. Honestly, I think Taylor would have been successful anywhere. All he had to be told was to swing like he did in high school.

    As for the Phils supposed strategy of taking “toolsy” guys, I just don’t buy it. Like someone said above, do you want the minors filled with Tyler Mach-type players or real prospects?

    They bought a lottery ticket with Hewitt in the 1st round last year. Whatever. They still got the guys, Collier and Knapp, that they really wanted. I think if Hewitt makes it to the majors, he’s exceeded expectations. And if they get A-Rod lite for a $1.25 million bonus, more power to the Phils.

    Because the draft is such a crapshoot, you need to fill the minors with true talent and hope some of it pans out. True talent is mostly college juniors and high schoolers…there is usually a reason college seniors haven’t gone pro yet. Stutes was (apparently) a big exception to this.

    I think there is difference between taking “toolsy” guys like Dom Brown, Michael Taylor, Collier and Drabek, who had all proven prior to the draft that they have both talent and baseball skill (two entirely different things), and taking Hewitt, Gose, or Knapp, who are almost entirely athletic talent with unverified baseball skill.

    Obviously, the Phils seem to have hit the jackpot on Knapp. Gose is treading water after being fast tracked, but the Phils must see something in him to have jumped him over short season ball.

    With Drabek, I don’t think his ability was ever the question. He was a top-5 talent who fell because of character questions, and then he had arm trouble after being drafted. The injury/rehab/time off allowed him to grow up mentally and physically, and the dominance we are seeing now is the result of Drabek becoming a man and having incredible talent and skill at his disposal.

  54. It’s too bad Carrasco is failing when it is painfully obvious that the big club could desperately use a decent SP or 3.

    *watches as Jamie Moyer continues to throw batting practice in Flushing*

  55. There are plenty of guys talked about here who can be considered “prospects”, as in they have a chance to be real live major league players. Given how he has hit so far, there is about a 99% chance that Travis Mattair is not one of them. He’s hitting .225 with 19 K’s and 4 extra-base hits. As a 3rd baseman. After putting up a .649 OPS last year. Sorry.

    I don’t mean to bash the guy; I know nothing about him as a person. All I know is that as a baseball player, he has done nothing to generate any sort of discussion of him as a prospect here.

  56. Sifpa Says:
    May 7, 2009 at 9:54 am

    It could be a coincidence, but it is interesting that both Blanton and Park had their best performance of the year now that Carlos Ruiz is catching again. It could be as subtle as the confidence he inspires in the pitcher, but in his absence, neither Coste nor Marson were able to coax many good performances out of the starters.
    Their backs were to the wall. Then what about all the bad pitching

  57. Governator I never said that they shouln’t draft toolsy players, I was answering a blogger who said that now that they have all these toolsy player, then they were vinitation. that is not true not one of them is on there team expect maybe jimmy rollins which was the 98 or 97 draft I think, How can you in my opinion bring up lower minor leaguer who have proven nothing and say see we are right, we forget the guys who go to reading and lehig valley and flop. My point and if maybe some of you would read it is I Hope we get more of these high risk , high reward guys right one in 11 or 12 years is that good. maybe its me I just don’t buy it, and to mention mach to me I HATEd pick from day one, I have had my time with pp cause I wonder about why they take some of these type like Overbeck, murphy and he explain a lot to me about it through my time on this site, but I would like to know if he thinks I am wrong to say they have yet prove there way with these kids projection is average or better. that all.

  58. governator1,

    You’re one of the few guys here that I’m not going to pretend I have the knowledge to argue with on pure baseball terms – at least with regard to minor leaguers.

    That said, I see something of a contradiction. You say: “To say the Phils’ draft strategy is one thing (high risk) or the other (low risk) is oversimplification.”

    But then, while (correctly) showing that it is indeed an over simplification to say that “the Phillies pick a lot of toolsy guys,” you do end up showing that they do, indeed, tend to pick a lot of “high rsk, high reward” kind of guys. Some are toolsy high school kids, some are “college guys who need some minor tinkering to excel,” some are guys with “character questions” … but the common theme (not of all of them, of course, but more than in most organizations) is high risk, high reward.

  59. There’s nothing wrong with a “High Risk, High Reward” strategy. Wolever has had a good track record so far so we should trust him to do his thing. Hopefully they give him the same leeway financially that they gave Amaro over the Winter. We don’t have a ton of picks but hopefully we can strike gold on a couple of them.

  60. Interesting…Greg Golson is now a MLB player…he made a PH appearance for TEX today…not surprisingly his line was 0-1 with 1 K.

  61. NEPP Do you think based on speed and his outfield play he sticks around. even if he doesn’t hit a lot?

  62. To be clear, I wasn’t knocking the high risk/high reward strategy. I think it’s a good strategy, as long as the talent evaluation is solid. It wasn’t for a few drafts earlier in the decade.

  63. I doubt it personally…he seems to be a 5th OF at best. They don’t really need him with their depth. He’s Joey Gathright with less strike zone recognition. This is a short-term callup until Josh Hamilton comes off the DL (he’s eligible to do so around May 10th (Sunday). Same story as before…IF he can figure things out, he’s got the tools to succeed (great speed, great arm, great defense and even great raw power)…blind as a bat at the plate though.

    Anyone else have an opinion.

  64. Larry Finally someone says what I was trying to say. We must get more right. I believe you must take risks. But as you stated talent evaluation that is the key.to me, If you are going to use high first round picks on these types.

  65. Almost any HS player is a high risk, especially in the first round. If you are picking a toolsy athlete, who cannot yet really play baseball, then it is super risky and not something I would recommend doing with a first round pick. Hated Golson, Hewitt, Reggie Taylor. You can get just about equally toolsy, risky guys rounds later. Not a good strategy. Brown is not a good justification for strategy, since he did not take a first round pick. I see a big difference with guys in HS who can flat out hit, or have super fastball or drop dead breaking ball. Yes gamble on guys like Hamels and Drabek, who have shown great baseball ability, but have warts. Drafting Hewitt with a #1 is like picking a toolsy pitcher because he is tall, has powerful legs and big muscles on his pitching arm, even though he can’t get HS hitters out.

  66. They said on the netcast that Cloyd threw over 100 pitches. Great to see Wathan stretched him out over 8 shutout innings but great defense from Mattair at third was a key according to the Blueclaws Blog:
    “1-2-3 for Cloyd in the 8th, a wonderful outing…Mattair a barehand throw on a bunt attempt for the out…2 gold glove plays tonight for Moose…”

  67. @LarryM

    I think the problem here is the usage of ‘toolsy’ vs ‘high-risk/high-reward.’ All toolsy technically means is the guy has some physical talent. While this ought to be a good thing, it’s come to have the negative connotation of a guy who can run and throw but can’t hit (Hewitt, Golson) or a pitcher who can throw hard and that’s it. What those guys really are is ‘athletes.’ You hope they have the aptitude to hit the ball, or throw a change-up, but you just don’t know yet. If they do eventually hit it, though, the ball’s going to go a long way.

    All baseball drafting should have risk. There aren’t 50 guys you can look at on any given year and guarantee will make the majors. In fact, it’s probably about 5 (tops) in a given year, and most of those guys are proven college ballplayers. Drafting high school players involves a certain level of risk, but you have to be willing to take those risks to get premium talent out of the minors.

    I love that the Phillies had a risky draft last year. It has been phenomenal thus far. If they drafted like that every year, we would have the best system in baseball.

    Their strategy last year was ideal. They got a bushel of high upside high school talent. They got the best JuCo pitcher in the country at a steep discount. They busted slot late in the draft for a premium premium talent in Cosart. And they got something that they usually get, which is college talent that was overlooked for whatever reason.

    But with the exception of Hewitt and Pettibone, the guys they took weren’t really any riskier than the average pick. They just scouted better than the other teams.

    Ultimately, there is no “best” way to get talent into your minor league pipeline. There are different ways, with their own ups and downs.

    Latin guys come without needing to be drafted, but they get signed so early that they are all projection, even more than USA high school players. Not to mention you might have to get in a bidding war.

    College guys are more advanced, but for the most part they have lower upside than high school guys.

    High schoolers have lots of upside, but they still are mostly projection.

    In general, the best thing to do is just cast a wide net. It’s such a crapshoot in the end that the best thing to do is to buy the most tickets to the lottery.

  68. it pains me to say it but moyer is done.when an umpire controls your game its over. you may say moyers allways needed the black the difference was before he had the control to hit his spots forcing the umpire to give him the black. no more umps even if you hit middle of the plate should not control the outcome of a pitch with moyer they do. this staff is in shambles. whether or not you want to fastrack any pitchers is now a necessity if we want to see another ws.

  69. Another thing college pitchers are often abused by their coaches who see only as a means to an end. (see Atlee Hamamaker and countless others)
    e.g I ONCE watched the college world series. A player pitched a compete game on friday and the coach had him in the sunday game for quite a while. The kid had nothing and was actually in tears because he let the team down on TV. The trouble is the better you are the more likely it is to happen
    Ps. no NCAA rules against this type of abuse

  70. Governator1 , Since larry said you know the draft, Was byrd a toolsy pick . I was looking back at the draft and he had one good year in 2003 and then nothing unitil4 years later when he reaches thirty. He now has a 280 lifetime averages, So in your opinion toolsy players can be had with later picks? Take a toolsy player over a limited college player like a mach, or overbeck. with little upside. That Is basically the stragery I would like to see them do. not first round Hewitt types.

  71. Did anyone notice Haap’s night last night, the kid looked great against a mets team who was obviously on a tear. I don’t know if we even consider him a prospect at this point, but you can’t deny the kid is looking great and has great future in the big club.

  72. Happ was rookie eligible coming into the season, so yeah I think he fits the prospect definition. He should definitely get the next shot at a starting job.

  73. … and given the way their starters are pitching, that shot should come soon

  74. got smooched together when i hit enter and was unreadable so am sending again w/spacers
    here’s something shocking and exciting i looked up for fun the other day our top 10 prospects for 2005 w/ a side by side 2009 11-20(arguably, not neccesarily mine) were as follows:
    1hammels—-11Marson
    2golson — –12donald
    3 bourne —–13mayberry
    4 mathieson —–14savery
    5 w. Baez —–15hewitt
    6 costanza—– 16gose
    7 harmon—– 17bastardo
    8 moss—– — 18shreve
    9 jaramillo —–19sampson
    10 e. garcia —–20cloyd
    that would make our top 10 arguably drabek-brown-taylor-carrasco-worley-stutes-knapp-d’arnaud-collier-valle.
    Guess my point is that our 11-20 is comparable to our 1-10 of just a few years ago. I actually like it better at most numbers except obviously #1. Of course we have the benefit of knowing the future of the 2005 top 10 and can only project for the 2009 top 10. I also added a few hot players to top 10 and took out some lower ceiling/locks to make the big show like donald/marson to have my 11-20 appear stronger and make my point. Again this isn’t what i neccesarily would say our top 10 is but one you certainly could argue.

  75. Yeah, it is sad about moyer, but I am actually one who doesn’t think he is done, he has had a string of umps with very tight strike zones, I expect I just don’t see there being a huge difference between his stuff at 43-45 and this year at 46. In all honesty, I think he’ll be ok, posting an ERA around 4.5 for the year.

    Regarding Happ, the more I see this kid in the majors the higher I think his ceiling is. You would think by his age he would be pretty much as developed as he’ll get but I see wiggle room in terms of his long term spot in the rotation. Before he came up I saw him as a long reliever/”ok” 5th spot guy. At this point, seeing how he responds to the race for the 5th spot, his reaction upon being religated to the BP, I now believe Haap to have a ceiling as a “good” (alibet not great) 4th pitcher (think Blanton).

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