103 thoughts on “Inky discusses Phils’ prospects

  1. I think he misses on Taylor. First, I would not have included him in the group with Mayberry, Donald, Worley, Escalona, and Marson. Second, I have seen Taylor play a lot at Reading this season and I have a hard time believing that Mayberry is the better all-around player. I have only seen Mayberry 3 times in LHV and in a few other games against the Yanks, but to me it is not even close. Taylor is a complete player. The only tool that I might give to Mayberry is power, but Taylor might close that gap considerably in the years to come.

  2. Mayberry might be slightly better right now, but he is also at the end of his development. I have little doubt that Taylor will have the better career.

  3. Speaking of D’Arnaud, just finished looking at boxscore of Lakewood’s last game. It was the 2nd game of Double Header, but it went extra innings for a 9 inning game. The other team started one of the releivers and they went with 4 relievers for the 9 innings. They combined for 13 strikeouts against Lakewood. As I recall D’Arnaud struck out 4 times and Valle (the DH) struck out 3 times. Looking over the accumulated season stats, it seems to me that team strikes out alot. D’Arnaud hitting around .197 and Valle around .212. I would think D’Arnaud is good defensive wise and he has hit with power (at least home run wise) as I see it. Could be a blip in the road. Anybody care to guess what the post-draft catching situation will look like at the low levels?

  4. He listed D’Arnaud as a prospect they would be more then willing to move.

    No mention of Valle, who could bring a decent return.

  5. Rodeo Jones what value would Valle have? a low a 212 hitter. Can’t figure that one out.

  6. wow did he miss on taylor. I mean, he belongs right up there with Brown. one of the bigest debates about the system is who is a better prospect, brown or Taylor. Taylor is a way better player right now than mayberry, mayberry is just farther along. Hell. i’d put taylor in that first three instead of knapp, ,and bumped knapp down a spot. He has a ton of potentail, butt thats all he has right now.

  7. i dont know where salisbury gets his info but hes a moron. read the piece at philly.com. he has bastardo as a romero type happ available mayberry better than taylor which if true is bad news for taylors ability.he has a strange fascination with gose , collier. the guy is off target on just about everything he writes. oh yeah drabek as a top starter or RELIEVER. give me a break. read it and laugh. anyone on this site knows more about the system than this hack.

  8. Hey john from philly

    I think salisbury has better sources than you. In fact, I have read the phillies are very high on gose and collier.l think there is more to scouting than reading a box score. He actually interviews the scouts who make it there living to evaluate players.

  9. Mikemike – he’s 18 years old at Lakewood. Last year at 17 (17!) in the GCL he had a line of .281 avg/.341 obp/.748 ops. He hits lefthanded and from what I understand plays his positon, catcher, fairly well.

    I’m not saying he’s good enough to get Peavy on his own, but I think as part of a deal he has some good value.

  10. hey dan tell me you agree with salisburys assessments and ill tell you that no scout would agree with his assessments. did you read his piece do you watch games have you read this site for any lengh of time, have you read salisbury at all then youll know his report is nonsense.

  11. My only beef is his assessment that Mayberry is an all-around better player. I haven’t seen Taylor enough in the field to provide my own comparison, but saying “better all-around” assumes that Taylor has some incredible deficiency in the field and on the basepaths that negates how much drastically better his bat is than Mayberry’s.

  12. Look, I’m not a big salisbury fan. I went nuts earlier in the week when he suggested there was simply no room for Taylor and that he’d probably be traded. Overall, his assessment are okay, but where he misses, he misses wildly. I wrote in another column here this morning that the Taylor assessment was incredibly far off and it was. He also seems to be too high on some of the very young guys, particularly Galvis and Collier. I think they like all of these guys, but they could be had in the right trade. Are you telling me they wouldn’t trade Donald OR Galvis straight up for Brad Penny? They probably would. But would they trade Penny even up for Taylor? I can’t imagine that in even my worst nightmares.

    By the way, as far as Penny is concerned, at this point, I’d entertain the possibility of getting him, dropping Taschner and putting Penny in the bullpen. If Lidge continues to struggle, they may have make Madson the closer (he’s perfectly qualified to do that job right now), but they could use setup help for Lidge (I assume Lidge would, at least temporarily, move to another role that would allow him to rehabilitate). Now we’re seeing what the folks in Houston lived with in Lidge. By the time he left, they hated him. But, no matter what happens, you can never take away the ring and Brad earned that fair and square, to say the least.

  13. My two cents on Lidge.

    His stuff is still just fine, but this year he is struggling with his command from time to time.

    The biggest problem is that he’s using his slider to set up his fastball. His fastball is just slow enough where good hitters can make the adjustment if the fastball is in the middle of the plate, which it often is when he’s throwing it behind in the count.

    Instead, he needs to use the FB to setup the slider and he needs to aggresssively establish the inside of the plate with the FB. If he does that, it’s impossible to hit that slider when you’re looking for a rising FB.

    As bad as he’s been this year, he still has good stuff and can rebound if he can take it emotionally. Lidge has been through these types of struggles before. I think he can and will make it back, but it’s unclear when and in what role that will happen.

  14. I think Jim Salisbury’s column made more sense than JohnPhillyNE’s declaration that he would’nt trade Jason Donald straight up for Clay Buchholz.

    I would switch Taylor with Galvis in his categories and would have no issue with the rest.

  15. Catch – I think Lidge is hurt but the Phils wanted to tough it out until Romero returned to the bullpen. The Phils are now able to move Lidge to the DL w/o significant disruption to the pen.

    I agree with everyone here who thinks that Salisbury missed on Taylor. I can’t imagine them selling D’Arnaud low. At least I hope they’d hold onto him just to see how he develops.

  16. I can’t see how scouts, or anyone else with a functioning brain, would think Mayberry is better than Taylor. Here’s Mayberry’s line at age 23 in A+/AA: .235/.311/.474/.785; and Taylor at Reading: .348/.411/.602/1.013. Mayberry had better be the second coming of Roberto Clemente in the field to earn a “better all-around player” evaluation.

    To me the categories on the list are silly and inconsequential. You’re telling me that if the Blue Jay’s were offering Halladay, one of Happ, Bastardo or Carrasco would illicit a “maybe?”

  17. It depends on if the question is “is better” or “is the better prospect.” Mayberry might currently be a better player than Michael Taylor, but Taylor will most likely have the better career.

  18. FWIW,

    Todd Zolecki has the same 3 players (Drabek, Brown and Knapp) as the “untouchables”.

    Maybe they have the same scource within the organization.

  19. Its hard of guage Lidge since games end with people on base his era could be higher. I wonder of Condrey gets thru the seventh and there Romero could of done the eight last night, would they had let Madsen close.
    I am still for ditching Taschner and bringing up Carpenter but Durbin needs to pick it up too. I couldnt understand SoSo
    blocking anyone last year. Taschner is this years SoSo.
    Two more hits for Taylor isnt talking about trading him a felony.

  20. john from philly ne: What beef did you have with Salisbury labeling Bastardo as another Romero? I think a lot of us would love to have Bastardo develop in to a shutdown lefty reliever who can pitch in high-leverage situations. We’ll see how Bastardo looks tonight, but I’m pretty sure most people see him as a top-notch reliever down the line, rather than a starter.

  21. I agree with various above. Upon further reflection I have to think Salisbury is more on point then a lot of us give him credit. Sure he might vary from some our projections but he’s probably going off of a source within the organization. It’s hard to say what’s ‘right’ when you’re projecting guys into the major leagues.

    At the same time the Phillies public opinion of some guys might not be the same as their private opinion. They might want to characterize some guys as available or unavailable as it suits their internal plans. Whoever told Salisbury this stuff must have their own motives, if they are internal to the organization.

  22. I think that with Salisbury releasing these names and with Zolecki giving basically the same info on MLB.com that the Phillies are prepping us for the eventual trade of Michael Taylor. I can’t see how a Seattle GM could part with a Bedard without asking for him.

    Unfortunately, Marson, Donald and Carrasco are’nt doing enough to be the centerpiece in a trade for a #2 pitcher.

  23. Alan, that argument would work just fine if they didn’t seem like they were considering Taylor as seasoned as Mayberry. Taylor is not at the pinnacle of his development in the least, like Mayberry is. After reading his interviews, I don’t think Taylor think’s he’s finished learning either.

    I have a hard time putting any lowA pitcher in the “untouchables” column. We see what the lowA to highA jump did to Naylor last year. From double-digit SOs to hittability issues. The jump from lowA to highA is 2nd to the AA jump as far as difficulty. If Knapp handles that well, then I’ll think about making him an untouchable.

  24. Ryan H. – I’d make an A pitcher untouchable if I thought he could handle the transition in the next year. Why sell low?

  25. reggie t its not that bastasdo couldnt be a shutdown closer or drabek couldnt be a shutdown closer, my point is both are much much more valuable as starters and a scout without an agenda would never tell a writer they,d be better off in the pen. just like saying mayberry is more aedvanced than taylor. if a scout said that he,d never use his name or he,d be out of a job.therefore salisbury has either used a rogue with an agenda or their his own opinions. ive read salisbury for years he,s right out of the the university of got it wrong. i would trust the opinions of most of the people who write on this site certainly our minor league reporters. afa lidge good point catch about resting him and trading for penny and using him as setup man. i believe madson has the mental makeup to close. you simply cant blow 35% of your games. and lidges fastball is 2-3 mph off his breaking ball isnt biting nearly as it should be.

  26. Salisbury isn’t saying anything most posters already know. Besides, it’s all speculation.

  27. Just because you don’t agree with someone’s assessment, that doesn’t make him a hack. These are prospects, they are unproven and different people are going to have different opinions on them.

    I do agree, Salisbury probably ran these names by scouts and then reached his own conclusions.

    The Phillies viewed Bastardo as a bullpen peice, they did start him out in the bullpen in Reading. Noworyta was on DNL a couple weeks ago and he spoke highly on Gose and Collier.

    As far as Taylor, I think he undervalued him some.

  28. John from Philly NE: Almost everything I’ve read on Bastardo, including quotes from plenty of scouts, pegs him as a reliever.

    Of course we’d like him to be a legit starter, as that’s more valuable, but it’s not as if Salisbury is alone in reporting Bastardo is seen as more of a reliever.. Both BA and BP have had scouts quoted as seeing Bastardo as a reliever.

  29. I think Mike77 has it right. It is not that Taylor is not better than Mayberry — having watched them both this season, I think Taylor is better now and way better in future. It is that Taylor is a recognized stud and apparently a guy who other teams value highly. This is the Phillies standard way of telling us they have Mayberry and Brown in the near term and Gose and Collier down the road, so we should consider Taylor expendable. That is regrettable, since Taylor likely the best, hitting at least, of all these prospects. But the Phillies want a solid starter now, and apparently Taylor is the guy they have decided they have to move, so this is the PR groundwork being laid. Looking at the list, the outcome is becoming clearer — Carrasco, Taylor and a throw-in or two from the final list will be traded. That seems about right. Last year we traded Our #2 and #4 prospects, plus Spencer as a throw-in, for Blanton, who is a less good pitcher than the guys we supposedly are targetting.

  30. Reggie…john thinks Donald (a younger Bruntlett) is going to be the starting 3rd basemen next year.

  31. reg ill say this having watched bastardo if he continues to pitch like he has his entire career a 5-1 k to bb ratio with his stuff ? theres absolutely no way he,d be in the pen. also it,s obvious he belongs in the bigs and you generally dont use 22 year old,s as closers. but the main thing is he,s much more valuable as a starter.unless we trade half the system for someone imo we dont need.

  32. Allentown – I am hoping that the Phillies can not pull of a trade unless it is for Halladay. I don’t think there is any “#2” pitcher on the trading block that is really worth a guy that is duplicating or surpassing Howard’s #s in AA.

  33. Donald is having a bad two months or so, he’s had a long history of success. He’s what, 23 , 24? I’m not ready to write him off yet. He could even finish well this year.

    Agreed that Taylor is better than Mayberry right now. I think he could start in RF in Philly and, statistically, you’d barely notice the difference from Werth. Not that I dislike Werth, mind you. I like him a lot.

    Bastardo should be tried at starter because starters have more intrinsic value than most relievers and because he may very well be able to do the job.

    Gotta get back to work. Have a great evening everybody and enjoy the second outing of AB.

  34. One more thing. I’ve thought a lot about Taylor in terms of historical comps. The name that keeps popping up in my mind is Dave Parker. Hit lefty I believe, but other than that seems similar. Looked like just a big power hitter, but was not a true home run hitter. Hit for a high average, moderate to good power and was just a great ballplayer. We’ll see.

  35. This whole discussion of Michael Taylor is ludicrous. He has Albert Pujols numbers in the minors. He started last year in low A ball and was leading the league in hitting when he was promoted to high A. He then led that league in hitting but did not have enough at bats to receive credit. This year he was moved to AA ball and is now leading that league in hitting at .351. So in the 3 leagues that Taylor has been in (in less than 2 years), he has led the league in hitting. If the Phillies trade Taylor, they are morons. I hope that Brown is as good as people think but the fact is, he has never had the kind of numbers that Taylor has put up.

  36. catch good post donald has been successful at every stop in his career to think he would not be is the aberration. also i was in pittsburg during those years of the lumber company parker was lefthanded overweight great arm hatural gap hitter. i alwaYS thought he was overated though. from the way it sounds taylor sounds like an andre dawson type with less power and obviously not the arm.any opinions ricket b.

  37. i watched hanson today looks like, to me, arm troubles like lincecum down the road. btw if they trade donald to boston could they get masterson instead of penny. one more thing i have a difficult time treating knapp as an untouhable, as a matter of i tend to think cloyd will be better.

  38. I don’t think that lincecum will end up with arm troubles. this guy has been anylyzed by just about every scientific organizaion that works with baseball players, and he has had no reports of arm problems, at all. the only people who have said that his delivery could cause problems are scouts, and they rarely trust anything that they haven’t seen before.

  39. bastardo looks good so far in his second outing. throwing the slider much more and getting it over. sitting around 92-93 through the first 2 innings

  40. Still a long way to go, but Bastardo is using his off speed stuff decently enough. Hope it continues…

  41. I’ve only seen two of Bastardo’s starts in the minors, but has anyone ever seen him miss “up” so much on his fastball? To me, that would be a symptom of overthrowing.

    I know, I’m really nitpicking. Great start so far though.

  42. Ducky – He threw a slider to Eithier (I think that’s who it was) to strike him out. It didn’t look to be a strike, but he chased. Not sure if any of Lidge’s sliders are strikes either.

  43. Ironically, he’s thrown several off-speed pitches for strikes and has thrown 1/3 of all his pitches as off-speed stuff.

    Taylor and Brown could both be very very good…we should just hang on to both as we will have plenty of openings in the next 2-3 years.

  44. joe morgan just made a great point about trading bastardo. while he really likes what he sees from bastardo, he notes that he isn’t used to pitching 150+ innings and will fall off dramatically when he gets to that level, i.e. playoff time. as such, we would need to still fill his position in the rotation no matter how well he pitches.

  45. did I just hear a Donald for Masterson proposed trade? I can hear Epstein laughing from Boston already…

  46. He’s only been squeezed on his slider and that’s probably because he can’t locate it very well. He’s gotten a bunch of on the black calls for his FB so far.

  47. John from NE: Um, just because he’s a reliever doesn’t mean he’d be the closer. What are you talking about? You make no sense whatsoever.

    Donald for Masterson? No way Boston would do it.

  48. From John Sickels site, a mock draft.

    Philadelphia

    75) Jake Marisnick, OF, California HS
    106) Ian Krol, LHP, Illinois HS

    COMMENT: Marisnick is a high-ceiling-but-raw-tools outfielder, the kind of guy the Phillies have liked historically. Krol is an intriguing cold-weather high school pitcher. The money saved by not having a first round pick can be deployed to keep these guys out of college, and I can easily see the Phillies doing something like this.

  49. reggie if youd read my post i did nt say hed be a closer wake up if your going to criticize. i simply said he,d be in the pen and have we lost the right to ask questions we dont know the answer to, i.e. donald for masterson,i guess im not as omnisient as some of our more illustrious posters.btw after tonites horrendous outing i immediately move bastardo to the pen. morgan made 2 good points the one somebody mentioned about bastardos innings and lidge giving furcal a break using his slider instead of his fastball. btw for those with reading impairments that was a joke about bastardo, capice?

  50. Another nice start for ab. Dodgers are a much better hitting team than the pads.

  51. Bastardo looked a little gassed in the fifth. I was surprised when he came out for the sixth. I know they used the bullpen lately but rookies should be used according to whats best for them. Older guys have more duties. they need to bring up Carpenter or….
    Next start i expect Bastardo to use more breaking balls. Hudson fouled off three str FB the changeup was in order.

  52. I wouldn’t mind Krol. He didn’t play this year because he was either at a party or in a car with liquor(he supposedly hadn’t drank any). In some workouts I think he wasn’t getting in to the 90’s, but should easily. Obviously some scouts have questions about his character.

  53. LOL @ Taylor being included in the 3rd class of players. He’s either the lowest of 1st or highest of the 2nd.

  54. when do we lose the right to get answers to questions we don’t know the answer to, john? wtf kind of question is that? if you don’t know that Masterson is a better value than Donald, than every other opinion you have (and we know you have plenty) is extremely suspect at best.

  55. Salisbury is a Phillies Front Office mouth piece and his reports reflect their thinking. Remember the number he did in a story on Rollins last year. He appears to have been tipped off to be in Reading almost before Drabek’s plane landed from Florida back on June 1 to interview him. He then got all kinds of quotes from LaMar for his June 2nd story about Drabek. I doubt he has ever had any original opinion that does not correspond in general with the Front Office’s thinking. Ruben had said that pitching will likely be acquired by trade. If I were Michael Taylor I would keep my bags packed and expect to be in another organization by the June 30th trading deadline.

  56. He misses on Taylor, but Brown is the better prospect. Brown is two years younger but only one year behind developmentally. That one year advantage is much larger than most people think.

    Of course, for the same reason his Mayberry/Taylor comparison is way off.

  57. Losing Taylor would be a huge mistake (in my amateur opinion), I hope the theories about the pre-trade pr campaign are wrong.

    With all the big contracts the Phillies have, they’re going to need to save some money somewhere at some point…thats where the minor leaguers can come in. Same talent, lower expense – and they give us more options to go out and get a good free agent. Can we stick Gose in there next year to save money? Or Collier??

    (Yes, I get that’s not how prospects are ranked, but there’s something to be said for someone as good as Taylor that’s as *almost* ready as Taylor)

  58. Hamels, read what he said before you mouth off in ur condescending tone..he said could the phils trade donald for masterson..he didnt say donald has the better value…how do you know what boston values??you dont, period..they have a ton of huge arms in the pen and starters on the farm..they have a huge whole at short and they may deem that donald would be of more value than masterson for their club…its not so far fetched..but even if you do think its far fetched how bout dropping the tude when replying, simply make a counter in a civil tone..i know i, as a reader, am coing less ofter due to so many peoples holier than thou replys…That only what they say is fact, when 99% of the time its solely an opinion…i always find airborne rangers, boston phans, and rickey branch’s messages the best..always based on facts, informative and always written in a cordial manner…i think some of the posters tones, imo, could be playing a big part in why our host doesnt stop by more often…i for one miss his commentary in the community posts.

  59. I don’t think placing Taylor on the trading block list means he is underrated. It’s just a fact that the two best position prospects in the system are both best utilized in right field. With a surplus in one area and deficiencies in the other, it’s natural for the organization to explore a trade. No offense intended. I love Taylor as a player and person, he should perform admirably no matter where he plays.

  60. Why would the Phillies name him their minor league player of the month (was it twice in a row – april & may?), and have it announced to all the phillies watching at home a few nights ago? Just for the sake of getting his name out there as trade bait?

  61. you answered your own question when one question makes your opinions suspicious thats called fascism, or if you know your history mc carthyism. no more.

  62. ez e good and fair post. yery knowegable. rickey thanks for your once again timely reporting.

  63. How could anyone label Galvis as untouchable? He hasn’t hit at any level and the days of Ozzie Smiths are over. The only way we truly need him is if JRoll declines.

    Mike 77 has a great point, perhaps something is going down and they are buttering us up for it.

  64. I read that the BoSox may want Donald for Penny…I think I’d be ok with that. Its hard to think that the Phillies will have a spot for Donald soon, and if that’s all we have to give up for a pitcher like Penny I think that’s a good deal. Especially considering the year Donald is having thus far.

    Man, back in my youth when I didn’t follow prospects it was a lot easier to say “yeah, trade for that guy, throw in a minor league player or 5″…not so easy when you know how good they are.

  65. bastardo so far 11 innings 3 er,s 2 bb,s 10 k,s. not bad. it looks like foul balls will keep his pitch count high but his average seems to be 92 and his change wasnt bad. only negative not going deep into games. his stats seem to mirror his minor league stats. same k to bb.

  66. Donald hasn’t had a good year so far and he is blocked. But, being blocked isn’t a good enough reason to trade him for someone like Penny. I don’t think Penny would be an improvement over Happ or even Bastardo.

  67. Opponents are hitting over 300 against Penny. He seemed to be improvinng in May. His last start was poor,for me you would have to see a couple starts before doing anything.
    The next start will tell a lot about Bastardo and if there is a need. Morgan brought up the 150 inning thing. Skipping a turn late in the season would help. It would help any pitcher but its a little out of the box for the Phils

  68. I thought it was established that Valle was a Right-Handed Hitter. I know what the roster says. For the 1st couple of years they had him at Throws Left Bats Right. This year they changed it to Throws Right Bats Left. Every picture I have seen has Valle in a Right-Handed Stance. I thought there were some pictures from a Winter League that established he bats Right.

  69. You’ve got to like the Phillies OF prospects. Mayberry at AAA, Taylor at AA, Brown at A+, Gose and Collier at A-. they’re all lined up. They are all at different levels of development. Let’s think about how they fit in a lineup. Mayberry and Taylor are both righty swingers (get your minds out of the gutter). They are the closest to Major League ready. Brown’s a Lefty. Gose and Collier are both lefties.

    If you think Mayberry is only a 4th or 5th outfielder, then Taylor fits as a righty starter for Werth. In a perfect world, Brown will be ready in 3 years and will be heir apparent to RF and Ibanez will need to be replaced or at least subbed for a lot. Gose and Collier have to pay their dues up the chain and 4 years is the best you might see.

    As for trades, Taylor is the guy in the middle of the chain. Mayberry can help out now and help next year. Brown can get there as Werth is leaving. Gose and Collier will push each other all the way to the show. Taylor could be used to bring a vauable piece now.

    We’re not the Pirates where the best we can hope for is .500 and the really good team is just arounfd the corner… every year. We’re the friggin’ World Champions. I don’t want to trade Taylor but if we have to — to continue our WS reign– I’ve got to do it. I want to mention that no one on this board or possibly outside of Taylor’s family is higher on him than me.

  70. “you answered your own question when one question makes your opinions suspicious thats called fascism, or if you know your history mc carthyism. no more.”

    What in the hell does that mean? That was about the worst post ever.

  71. Lets forget that Taylor tends to lead the league he is in. And we can also pretend Werth is constantly bending over to hit
    pitches. In that fairyland you can trade Taylor and watch him be a top ten hitter in a couple years. Tell me you dont think
    Taylor can hit over 260 now

  72. I guess I didn’t get the memo Marfis, but you’re probably right. I don’t know as much about Valle as I’d like.

    Donald for Penny is fair, but it’s not what the club needs.

  73. Taylor a can’t-miss star who realizes he can miss
    By Mike Drago
    Reading Eagle

    Michael Taylor is diligent as he goes about his daily routine of preparing to play baseball.

    He makes sure he sleeps and eats right. That he stretches before batting practice, loosens up his arm, chases down fly balls during batting practice and takes his hacks in the cage.

    And, as a diabetic diagnosed at age 10, he makes sure to pace himself; if he feels taxed, he’ll take a timeout or skip a drill.

    Whatever it takes to ready for that first pitch.

    These days Taylor’s pregame routine often includes a few minutes speaking to a reporter.

    More and more, as he continues to crush Eastern League pitching and solidify himself as one of the top players in the Philadelphia Phillies farm system, the media flock to Taylor.

    He is becoming a star, a role he seems well-suited for.

    Not only can he play the game – the 6-6 outfielder regularly draws comparisons with Ryan Howard because of his immense power potential – but he enjoys the game.

    Every facet of it, from spraying line drives around the Eastern League to talking about it before or after games with whomever happens to stop by.

    He’s an open book who figures to play well when he becomes a big league star – a thought not hard to envision for the 23-year-old former fifth-round pick.

    He’s among the Triple Crown leaders in the Eastern League and leads Phillies minor leaguers in virtually every major offensive category. He entered the weekend with an organization-high .351 batting average and was second among Double-A players in slugging percentage at .615.

    Just the other day he was named Phillies Minor League Player of the month – for the third straight month.

    He’s got Will Smith good looks, he’s engaging and he’s obviously bright.

    You don’t have to know that Taylor, drafted after his junior season at Stanford, is a couple semesters away from a degree to realize how intelligent he is.

    He’s as comfortable talking about politics or international affairs as he is about hitting theories.

    In conversation he casually tosses out words such as “palpable,” “provincial,” “cross-reference” or talks about “trials and tribulations” or “mental wherewithal” – hardly standard clubhouse vocabulary.

    “I enjoy talking, sharing my thoughts,” said Taylor, who later this month will be featured in Baseball America. “Being an entertainer is part of this, too. I have nothing to hide. Everything that I do is on the cuff. I don’t have a problem sharing any of it. I have embarrassing stuff that’s happened to me. I have great stuff that’s happened to me. I have sad stuff and very happy stuff.”

    It’s only a matter of time until you see his face popping up regularly on “Baseball Tonight” or phoning in to the MLB Network studio guys to talk about a big game.

    “That feels so far away that I can’t even fathom or grasp it,” said Taylor, smart enough to know that even though he’s tearing up the minor leagues he’s still miles from The Show.

    He understands the game can be humbling, and that it can all be taken away in an instant.

    “I realize that you’re only as good as your last game,” Taylor said. “Everyone’s success, or stardom, or fame, is finite. I’m really trying to enjoy every day. I’m trying to get better every day and have a good time playing the game. Because that’s what I set out to do.

    “No one sets out to do interviews; that’s not why they play the game. (They play) because it’s something they enjoy. They enjoy the challenge of baseball. Guys get kind of lost when (fame) is what they chase.

    “For me, (all of this attention) hasn’t really changed the fact that I enjoy coming out here, trying to get hits, hanging out with the guys, trying to win games and trying to put on a show for the fans at the ballpark.”

    Taylor’s daily preparation also includes hitting the books. He studies what that night’s pitcher might try against him and what he needs to do to maintain his swing, or, should it get out of alignment, correct it.

    Taylor studies batting techniques the way he studied economics at Stanford.

    Growing up in baseball-rich central Florida he was exposed to an array of professional players, coaches and scouts, and absorbed each nugget he saw or heard.

    It shows now in his approach at the plate, where he has become more disciplined and selective with a focused plan of attack not often found in someone just beginning his second full professional season.

    “He may be 23 years old, but his mental age, and the way he approaches his work, is like a veteran,” said Reading batting coach Frank Cacciatore, who has watched Taylor since his days at Apopka High. “He’s always looking around, seeing how things are done. He’s come up here and scanned what Double-A baseball’s about. He’s very aware of what’s happening.”

    “Anybody who likes to talk baseball, I like to talk to,” said Taylor, who has enjoyed winter batting cage sessions with former Phillies batting coach Billy DeMars, Nationals batting coach Rick Eckstein and Nationals manager Manny Acta, among others. “It’s a fascinating thing to do. Everyone’s got their own unique approach; there’s no one way to do it.

    “When I get a chance to talk to coaches, rovers, anyone who played, I like to see what they think about certain situations, what they look for in counts as opposed to what I see.”

    He keeps notes from past sessions and reviews them during down times.

    “Sometimes when I feel out of whack, I’ll take a look at them,” Taylor said. “I have a book of notes, photos, video – all things to go back and remind me of some of the principles and the precepts that I have. When you play every day it’s easy for you to be out of whack. It’s the most difficult easiest game in the world.”

    He sure has made it seem easy. Since the beginning of last season, when he started at low Class A Lakewood and moved up to high-A Clearwater at midseason, he has been a terror with a bat in his hands.

    In 181 games he has batted .347, with 29 homers, 128 RBIs and 111 runs scored.

    The only top Phillies prospects to approach those kinds of numbers in recent years were Pat Burrell, Chase Utley and Howard.

    It seems clear that stardom awaits Taylor, even if the vision is fuzzy to him.

    “Right now what I see (is) hopefully getting a day in the big leagues,” he said. “That sounds crazy to some people, but right now (all) I’m trying to (do is) get ready for a game and do well tonight. Then do well tomorrow. That other stuff takes care of itself.”

    Contact Mike Drago: 610-371-5067 or mdrago@readingeagle.com.

  74. I think you’ll see Taylor with the big club next year in the second half playing much like Victorino did when Rowand was here. He’ll get a ton of AB’s spelling Raul and Werth and take Werth’s place when he leaves as a FA (two draft picks as well). Great situation to have.

  75. Just a couple of observations:

    1) If Taylor is the main trade bait, and Salisbury is the front office’s mouthpiece, why would Salisbury have Taylor farther down the list than it seems he should be? Wouldn’t the FO try to talk up their main trade bait and make him seem hard-to-get? James has brought this up before – the FO seems to throw cold water on a prospect when really they should focus on talking about the prospect’s positives when they speak in a public forum. I don’t get it.

    2) That being said, I think Allentown hit it on the head when he said Carrasco + Taylor + someone else could yield a #2 type SP. I can see a lot of teams being enticed by that package.

    3) I read a lot about the Red Sox since I live up here and it’s clear they value Masterson extremely highly. He’s cheap and he fills many roles very well. They are also definitely going to deal Penny since Smoltz is basically ready to go. That means, to me, that they might be willing to take less than market value for Penny. All that being said, I am surprised to hear the Sox are interested in Donald. Jed Lowrie is very similar to Donald except Lowrie has had more success at AAA and in the majors. Lowrie has had injury problems, but he should be back later this year. It doesn’t make sense to me that the Sox would trade for a minor leaguer to fill in for a few months until Lowrie comes back. In my opinion, as long as Lowrie is able to get back to full strength, he and Pedroia will man the middle for a few years to come. But they’re the ones in the front office and I’m not…oh one more Penny observation: during his last couple starts he’s been lights out for a bit then run into trouble in one or two innings. To me that’s a sign that he’s almost all the way back and just needs to make a few adjustments. My only hesitation about bringing him to CBP is that he gives up a lot of flyballs.

  76. I would not trade Donald for Penny. I also would not give up Taylor unless I am getting Halladay in return. I would prefer to give up a package of Carrasco, Marson and Donald for Halladay. The Blue Jays need a catcher, shortstop and would also need a starter. I like Halladay enought that I would give up someone else if they do not want Carrasco. Happ, Bastardo, etc. I would not discuss Drabek, Brown or Taylor.
    If Boston wants Donald, I would want Buckholz, not Penny. I would start Buckholz and move Bastardo to the pen (goodbye Taschner or Park).

  77. I would also give up Carrasco, Marson, and Donald for Halladay. However, IF the Jays trade him (which they won’t), they’re going to get A TON more than that.

  78. Section 205 (and others who have mentioned Buchholz), while I have not heard this directly, Buchholz is essentially untouchable. Think of it this way – if you wouldn’t trade Drabek, why would the Sox trade Buchholz? He’s dominated at every level of the minors, he’s thrown a no-hitter in the majors, and he’s 24. The guy is a stud, potential #1 starter, and the Sox know it. We can always dream, but getting him would be highly unlikely.

    Michael Bowden (http://web.minorleaguebaseball.com/milb/stats/stats.jsp?n=Michael%20Bowden&pos=P&sid=milb&t=p_pbp&pid=476601), in the Sox system, is much more likely to be available and would be a good “character fit” for Philly in that he’s tough and he’s confident. He also is more of a ground ball pitcher (historically – not as much this year), which is good at CBP.

    All that said, the Sox are most likely trading Penny and will focus on that. I doubt they trade Bowden and would be shocked if they trade Buchholz.

  79. From the article posted above, we’ve heard much of his character and intelligence lately as he seems to be everyone’s favorite interview, but the most important thing I gleaned was the following:
    – “The only top Phillies prospects to approach those kinds of numbers in recent years were Pat Burrell, Chase Utley and Howard.”

    This is why you don’t trade Michael Taylor.

  80. Taylor or anyone else can be traded if it provides the big club a team which can compete at championship caliber play for a long time. I think Taylor can possibly be a player who you will want to see at the park year in and year out, but if there is a better recipe then cook it up.

  81. taylor would be one of the last guys i would trade along with drabek, but if halladay was available I would include him. Section 205 i know we are mostly all philly fans and value our prospects but cc, marson and donald all are Q marks and wouldn’t come close to getting it done for halladay. It would have to start w/ 2 of either drabek,taylor or brown and conclude with 2 of donald, marson, bastardo, happ, mayberry. It would hurt but I’d have to do this for the best pitcher in the AL and arguably in baseball.

  82. Donald for Penny is ridiculous. Donald hasn’t been great shakes, and Feliz will start next year after they pick up his option, but I wouldn’t give up anyone with major league potential for a pitcher who’s having a lousy year and who will be a FA at the end of the year.

  83. Not sure the package has to be overwhelming in the current economy. Boston was supposedly considering Buckholz for Marson, which means is you include Donald, it could be possible. The Padres were giving Peavy away. Nowhere close to the package we could offer. The Pirates got less for McLouth who did make an allstar team (I know…a Pirate had to make the team – but he was the best Pirate). The got the Braves 4th, 7th and a 2012 #5 starter. We managed to get Lidge for less and Blanton for prospects 2 & 4. Carrasco was prospect 2, Marson 3 and Donald 4. We know they have changed around since the rankings were released, but it is a good package for a guy who is only signed through 2010 (Halladay). We have the money and outside of the Red Sox, we have a lot of prospects which the Yankees and Mets do not. I also wonder if they would trade Halladay to the Yanks or Sox.

  84. I wouldn’t trade for Penny right now regardless of cost. If Moyer reverts to his early season form, and/or if Bastardo doesn’t continue to get the job done, and if there aren’t any better options out there, I would trade Donald for himit. But then I think much less of Donald than some people here.

    For the right starter I would think about trading Taylor. If if you have to trade one of the big 3 of Brown, Drabek and Taylor (and I think you would for a number 1 starter), Taylor is the one to go. But the list of starters for whom I would trade him is a pretty short one.

  85. Ah, I overlooked something when talking about the Sox and their pursuit of an SS. They can move Lowell to DH and Lowrie to 3B and sit Ortiz. Still, I hear they’re looking more at guys who are already major league SSs, like Jack Wilson of the Pirates, not someone who projects to be one someday.

    *If* we trade for Penny, it is not likely to be Donald for Penny straight up, in my opinion.

    Also, on Penny, he had a 4.17 ERA in May and a 4.7/1 K/BB ratio. He had a rough start the other day against the Rangers, but he was cruising for the first 4 innings, and all the runs scored with two outs. I’m not saying he’s a #2 type pitcher, but he’s not as bad as people are making him out to be.

  86. Also, on Penny, he had a 4.17 ERA in May and a 4.7/1 K/BB ratio. He had a rough start the other day against the Rangers, but he was cruising for the first 4 innings, and all the runs scored with two outs. I’m not saying he’s a #2 type pitcher, but he’s not as bad as people are making him out to be.

    we cant be trading for someone who is “not as bad as people are making him out” we have a few of those already…if we pull the trigger it needs to be a difference maker, imo, penny doesnt fit that bill

  87. when theres as much talk about a player like their now seems to be about taylor it usually means it was planted by the organization, in this case with salisbury. its called a trial balloon. float it up and see what happens. its been done for years. in this case most of the people who know about taylor are against it. personally i would only move taylor for haren or halliday. but one thing you can be sure of the phillies or a representative is reading this.

  88. I don’t know John, you know what they say about management listening to fans, they do that too much and they end up being fans themselves.

    As far as Taylor, I agree with you. He should only be moved if the right deal comes along.

  89. edge i,ll clarify myself. its not that theyll do what we say but its the premise if you hear something enough youll get used to it. iow the more we hear taylor will be moved the more well become resigned to it. but i just think a better package without taylor drabek brown could be offered if they do make a deal,i mean a better package for us. i would hate to make the wrong choice between taylor and brown.

  90. Lakewood representatives on South Atlantic League All-Star team: Tyler Cloyd, RHP, Justin DeFratus, RHP, Brian Rosenberg, RHP, Travis D’Arnaud, C (brother also on team as SS) , Harold Garcia, 2B, Anthony Gose, OF

  91. Clearwater Threshers on Florida State League All-Star team:
    Kyle Drabek, RHP, Yohan Flande, LHP, Fidel Hernandez, 2B,
    Tim Kennelly, C, Dominc Brown, OF

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