Around the System (OF)–LV, Reading and CW

Read below the fold for a look at how the top half of the system performed in the OF this year.  Look for an article on the lower half of the system on Wednesday.

Lehigh Valley

Michael Taylor, Age 23, Phils 5th round pick in 2007 draft.  In Reading: .333/.408/.569 in 318 AB’s.  15 HR 65 RBI 18 SB. In Lehigh Valley, .282/.359/.491 in 101 AB’s. 5 HR 19 RBI, 3 SB. Combined: .320/.395/.549 in 419 AB’s with 20 HR 84 RBI and 21 SB. 3 errors, 11 OF assists. Taylor won several awards, most notably the Paul Owens Award as the Phillies Minor League Hitter of the Year.  Simply an outstanding year that was cut about three weeks short due to a lingering oblique injury.  Taylor will be playing in Mexico during the Winter.  Taylor is a five tool guy that is impressive in both his production and demeanor.  I was fortunate enough to watch him live hit for the cycle, and both start and end an inning with OF assists, so maybe I am a bit too awstruck.  Next season: Lehigh Valley with a September callup.

John Mayberry, Will be 26 in December, Acquired by the Phillies from the Texas Rangers prior to the ’09 season.  .256/.332/.456 with 13 HR and 43 RBI in 316 AB’s.  6 SB (2CS). .243 vs. RHP, .237 with RISP. .296 vs. LHP.  30% K rate. Mayberry was called up three times by the Phils this season, and as of 10/1 is hitting .196 for the Phils.  Mayberry needs to play every day to be successful and that will not be in Philadelphia.  He is a free swinging power hitter that someone will need to show much patience for success.  He was moderately successful in Lehigh Valley showing flashes of promise, but with those flashes come alot of strikeouts on bad pitches.  With the Phillies OF situation, they would be best served by trying to move Mayberry for some type of infield prospect.  Next year, unless traded, Mayberry most likely will see  most of his time in a crowded ‘Pigs OF with the possibility of an occasional start at 1B.

Jason Ellison, Age 31, Signed as a free agent prior to the ’09 season. .261/.332/.339 in 449 AB’s. 5 HR 37 RBI, 15 SB. .311 vs. LHP; .293 post all star; .262 with RISP. 1 error/12 OF assists. AFter a slow start, Ellison came on strong for Lehigh Valley and had a decent year at the plate, especially when leading off (his average was above .300 when he led off), and an exceptional year in the field.  I would be shocked if Ellison were back next year, simply because of the significant OF talent that will be in Allentown next year, but having watched Ellison live about 30 times, he is simply an excellent defensive outfielder.  He covers a ton of ground, saves alot of runs and has a very good arm.  He is a very good depth guy for an organization. His plate discipline could use work.

Rich Thompson, Age 30, Re-signed as a free agent prior to ’09 season.  .265/.334/.366 in 445 AB’s.   3 HR  36 RBI; 26 SB (4CS); .303 post all star; .294 with RISP.  3 errors, 13 OF assists. Personally, I love the way Thompson plays the game.  He works very hard, and is all out, all of the time.  At the plate, he was very streaky in 2009, but moderately successful and stole alot of bases with a Manager not known for running.  In the field, he is excellent.  He covers a ton of ground and has a very good arm.  All that being said, with what the Phils have moving through the system in the OF, it will be difficult to find every day playing time at the AAA level for Thompson.  I hope he is back, but would be surprised if he is.


Domonic Brown, Age 22, Phils 20th round pick in 2006 draft.  In CLearwater: .303/.386/.517 in 238 AB’s with 11 HR 44 RBI and 15 SB (8 CS). In Reading, .279/.346/.456 in 147 AB’s with 3 HR 20 RBI and 8 SB.  Combined .294/.377/.504 with 14 HR 64 RBI and 23 SB. 10 OF assist/9 errors. Brown was a Florida State League Mid-Season All Star.  A good year for the highly rated Brown, who missed over a month with a broken wrist and saw his power numbers suffer a bit after he returned from injury, He continues to have the ability to be a five tool major leaguer, but his nine errors in the OF are too much.  I would start him in Reading and analyze where he is at after 100-150 AB’s. If he is crushing the ball in the Arizona Fall League, that could sway my opinion.

Mike Spidale, Will be 28 in March, Re-signed as a free agent prior to ’09 season.  In Lehigh Valley: .289/.340/.333 in 90 AB’s. 0 HR 7 RBI, 5 SB.  In Reading: .297/.336/..399 in 263 AB’s, with 3 HR and 27 RBI’s.  12 SB. Combined: .295/.337/.382 in 353 AB’s. 3 HR 34 RBI, 17 SB. .294 with RISP. .350 vs. LHP. Spidale more than likely will never be a major leaguer, but is a very good guy for an organization to have around, as he plays the game the right way, and can float between AA and AAA and produce.  It is simply a matter of numbers for the Phils and opportunity for Spidale as to whether he will be here or somewhere else.

Quintin Berry, Age 25, Phils 5th round pick in 2005 draft. .266/.355/.335 with 5 HR and 28 RBI in 516 AB’s.  48 SB/14 CS; 118 K’s. .305 vs. LHP; .249 vs. RHP; .228 with RISP; .240 post all star. 3 assists/2 errors. Berry continues putting up impressive numbers as he heads into his Rule 5 Winter, where a decision must be made whether or not to protect him.  He led off for the RPHILS until late in the year, when he was relgated to further down the order, probably because of his propensity to strike out.  He also had a couple notable defensive lapses down the seasons home stretch. Next Season: If Protected,Lehigh Valley.

Steve Susdorf, Will be 24 just prior to next season; Phils 19th round pick in 2008 draft. In Lakewood: .333/.402/.500 in 99 AB’s. 2 HR and 15 RBI; 2 SB. In CLearwater: .371/.421/..510 in 151 AB’s. 3 HR 22 RBI, 3 SB. In Reading: .221/.318/..351 in 77 AB’s. 2 HR 7 RBI. Combined: .324/.389/.467 in 306 AB’s.  7 HR 44 RBI, 5 SB. In a year in which he climbed from Lakewood to Reading, he performed very well until the AA stumbling block at the end of the season, which could be expected. He had a 34% K rate in Reading as he attempted to rise to the level of his competition.  Susdorf should be back in Reading showing what he can do with more AB’s next season.


Gus Milner, Age 25, Phils 14th round pick in 2006 draft. In CLearwater: .239/.280/.339 in 109 AB’s; 3 HR and 11 RBI’s. 2 SB (2 CS); In Reading: .226/.292/.315 in 257 AB’s; 3 HR and 23 RBI; 3 SB (8 CS); .375 in 8 AB’s for Lehigh Valley. Combined: .233/.292/.329; 6 HR and 34 RBI’s; 5 SB (11 CS); 8 assists, 5 errors. AFter a 2008 with some promise, it was a very disappointing ’09 for Milner who did not show much of anything, until a two game recall in Lehigh Valley at the end of the year.  Where Milner starts next year will be based on where the Phils need to fill a need rather then Milner’s potential which remained unfulfilled this year.

Javis Diaz, Age 25, Drafted by the Phils in the Minor League Rule 5 draft in 2009.  .253/.326/..321 in 368 AB’s.  2 HR 23 RBI, 34 SB (9 CS); .091 vs. LHP; .206 with RISP; 7 assists, 5 errors. Diaz, at 25, clearly old for A ball, was decent this year, showing good speed while leading off for the Threshers.  The fact that he has had such difficulty with left handed pitching makes a promotion and every day play very questionable for Diaz.

Arlon Quiroz, Will be 23 in November, Signed by the Phils as a free agent in 2006. .229/.314/.278 in 284 AB’s. 0 HR 19 RBI, 20 SB (8 CS); .199 vs. RHP; .267 with RISP. 11 assists, 4 errors. Quiroz has not shown the he is a good enough hitter ro progress much further without marked improvement at the plate.

Derrick Mitchell, Will be 23 in January; Drafted by the Phils in the 23rd round of 2005 draft. .208/.254/.384 in 331 AB’s.  11 HR and 31 RBI; 7 SB; .173 with RISP; .299 in August; 8 OF assists. Mitchell most likely will be Rule 5 exposed; but almost certainly will not be picked up and has one more year before free agency kicks in.  It was a lousy season for Mitchell, who showed some late glimpses of life in August. The organization seems to like him, as they continued to run him out there avery day, even while hitting well below .200 most of the season.  That being said, I cant see him getting promoted.  Clearwater in 2010 or out of the organization.

26 thoughts on “Around the System (OF)–LV, Reading and CW

  1. this is the strength of our system. top end talent and depth at all levels. lots of guys who are fun to watch to.

  2. I agree that a trade of Mayberry probably makes the most sense, as there’s still time for him to figure out how to compete against righthanders to the point where he could help a team as a starter, and he won’t get that opportunity with the Phils with the four outfielders there already and Taylor and Brown rising fast.

    That said, given what he can do already–mash lefties, play a decent corner OF, and run a bit–I’d rather see him as the Phillies’ fifth outfielder next season than give him away. It’s also possible that he’d get more out of watching guys like Werth (who also was once believed to have little more upside than “short half of a platoon”) than yet another year at triple-A.

  3. Mayberry is a decent prospect but he needs to focus if he wants to be more than a 4th outfielder. He has a good arm but he needs to be more aggressive going after balls. A bunch of times, he got lazy and the batter took an extra base. At the bat, the power is there, but he needs to go the other way more. He has the tools, and I think he’s better than Greg Golson, but he needs to show a lot in spring training if he wants to stick with the Phillies next year, especially with Ben Francisco around.

  4. I’d like to see if they can trade Mayberry and a pitcher (Condrey?) to KC for Aviles. Aviles would be a good bat off the bench and would hit enough to be a 2 week fill in at 3b, ss and 2b.

  5. I wouldnt be at all surprised to see him in Philly next year, but I would hate to see him in Philly to ride the bench.

  6. thats a good place for mayberry. a 26 year old guy who,s proven he can hit mlb. pitching at a decent level. maybe he needs more ab,s. no he belongs on the mlb roster.

  7. One or two of these guys will be with another organization next year. My guess is Mayberry and Berry are traded along with some of our pitching depth for bench and bullpen help.
    Some of the lower level outfielders may also be moved to help the big club.

  8. John, I think we should qualify that. He’s proven that he can hit MLB left-handed pitching to the tune of .247 with some power (3 HRs in 37 AB), although he strikes out too much (12 Ks vs 1 BB). Against right-handers he hit .150 with 11 Ks and 1 BB in 20 ABs, which is definitely not acceptable.

  9. I’m cautiously pessimistic about Mayberry. Maybe he’ll prove me wrong, but I just don’t see him become anything but an odd-fit with this team. I don’t, by the way, feel the same about Francisco – he could be a big revelation. Don’t be surprised if Ben becomes a nice complimentary player – in fact, he’s pretty close to that right now and, if they make it to the Series, having him as a righty DH will be huge. What a great job by Amaro – the sort of thing that separates the good GMs from the great GMs.

  10. Mayberry can certainly be a major league 5th OF/PH. He can be the Stairs replacement next season. Berry could also fill that role in another year. I like Francisco as the 4th OF over the next several seasons and a guy who could play every day if need be. But our next generation of starting OF is Taylor and Brown. Nobody else in the system has stepped forward with numbers that say they can be a major league starter. Santana a possibility, but you really can’t conclude anything after one GCL season. I also see Susdorf topping out as a 5th OF/PH. Not that this is an entirely bad thing. Among Mayberry/Berry/Susdorf we have a progression of guys who can be very cheap 5th OF and maybe one of them steps up to be a 4th OF if Francisco has to be upgraded to a starter.

  11. I doubt Mayberry will be back in Philly. Francisco is a much better 4th outfielder and I think they’ll try to add a 5th outfielder next season who can run. I don’t see him as someone with much trade value. Q Berry definitely has a chance to be a major league 5th outfielder and will be protected. Acquiring Francisco, who is good enough to start in the event of an injury to one of the current starters, will keep Taylor down on the farm for all of next year. I would hate to trade him but there’s a chance that other teams will come hard at the Phillies in an attempt to get Taylor who is major league ready now. Brown definitely starts at Reading next year because he’s still very raw. His future ability is still mostly projected because his actual stats are only good, not great like Taylor’s.

  12. I seriously doubt Taylor or Brown are going anywhere. My guess is that the team is already in the process of tentatively getting their hands around the post-Ryan Howard era (I don’t see them paying Mark Texeira money for Howard, and how can you blame them?). That is a long way of saying that I expect that there will be an extra spot open at first – one of the team’s better hitters (Jayson Werth, for example) could end up there and not skip a beat.

  13. That said, given what [Mayberry] can do already–mash lefties, play a decent corner OF, and run a bit–I’d rather see him as the Phillies’ fifth outfielder next season than give him away.

    Agreed. The only thing to worry about in that case is balancing the bench out a bit — with Francisco and Mayberry as right-handed outfielders, it would behoove the team to replace Bruntlett with a decent left-handed hitting utility infielder. Someone like Craig Counsell would fit the bill nicely, and it would keep Dobbs from being the only usable lefty pinch hitter.

    Anyway, nice work on this, Gregg. I agree with your initial gut reaction that Brown should start in Reading — he only got 150 at bats in Double-A and struggled a bit toward the end with strikeouts, and I’d like to see him dominate a bit before promotion to Lehigh Valley. With the logjam in the outfield, there’s no need to rush him at all.

  14. The Phillies starters are so lefty heavy, I wouldn’t worry about two righty OF off the bench. It’s a plus, actually.

  15. Getting back to minor league outfielders…. Interesting fact, Rich Thompson has 1 major league at bat in his career. He hit into a double play around 5 years ago.

    Mayberry needs to play a lot to hit. As a 5th OF’er, I don’t think he’ll ever hit. I think he should play in AAA full time and play a little 1B to expand his value a little. If an injury occurs, he could come up for a short stint. If an injury occurs for a longer stint, Taylor should get the nod. My reasoning is Taylor needs a little time to acclimate to a new level. Calling him up for 2 weeks to spell an OF’er isn’t enough time to get comfortable. Knocking back and forth between AAA and the bigs, would mess him up. When Taylor comes up, it should be for the long haul.

  16. Finally, on another topic, could people on this site stop insulting one another? If you disagree with somebody, that’s fine. If you think they’re wrong, either respond or ignore them. But nobody needs or deserves to be bullied or insulted. Come on – cut it out already.

  17. I don’t want to spend $2 mill on a clone of this year’s Stairs, if that were possible. Mayberry is fine.

    I don’t see Howard as overrated. Over his time in the majors, he has more HR than any other player and more rbi. His OPS is quite good. Putting Feliz in Howard’s spot in the lineup definitely does not give him Howard’s consistent 140 rbi and certainly not 45 HR. Over their time in Philly, Howard and Utley have pretty much the same on-base percentage. I’d love to have Howard steal Utley’s spotlight for years to come. That means he will be hitting lots of HR and driving in tons of runs. Utley is the better overall player, including defense and speed, but Howard is clearly the better hitter.

    Kinda’ bad year for Howard? I’ll take a .931 OPS any day.

    But this site is about prospects. I would look long and hard before extending Howard, with the prospects we have on the way. Howard is great, but seems on the decline. Taylor and Brown need a place to play and likely replace Ibanez and Howard before too many seasons, perhaps moving Werth to 1B. We don’t need an expensive old vet like Dunn who will be a big step down from Howard. Four seasons from now, our major league OF is Brown, Gose, and Taylor. OF and catcher are really the only positions we can reasonably project into the future, since the IF talent basically isn’t there. Still, if we home grow everything but the IF, that isn’t a horrible situation.

  18. This is a minor leauge website — I would try my best to get Mayberry on the MLB roster full time next year. I think having cheap (salary wise) talent on the roster is critical to maintaining of payroll flexibility, and moving guys through the minor league system.

    I’d rather spend the money on Howard.

    The pimp walk after his majestic homeruns is worth $15mm.

    Also, it is the internet, all name calling should be allowed. I can’t possibly say something to someone’s face, only from the protection of my computer screen can I be bold and authorative. If you take this away what am I?

  19. “I don’t want to spend $2 mill on a clone of this year’s Stairs, if that were possible. Mayberry is fine.”

    Agreed, that is why you drop Stairs and get someone who can still catch up to a fastball. You need a lefty masher off the bench (Dobbs isn’t that guy) because most of the pitchers in baseball are right handed. Charlie has said many times he likes the big lefty batter off the bench (how about the return of Jim Thome as a pinch hitter extrodinaire, plus dh for 2 weeks?) Francisco is a terrific 4th outfielder and fufills the righty bat you need. Leave Taylor in AAA for the year, Brown in AA for half then year then AAA. You can use one of these guys as a trading chip.

    Ryan Howard at $15 million is not overrated, he is about right. At $20 million he would be overrated. Unfortunately when this contract is up, that’s what he will expect, so waive good bye to him while he goes someplace that has its own TV contract (hope he likes to wear red sox).

  20. Andy Seiler from John Sickels’ website has a 2010 mock draft up. He has the Phillies grabbing this guy at 27:

    27. Philadelphia Phillies – Kevin Gausman, RHP, Grandview HS (CO) – The Phillies signed the marquee 2009 LSU pitching recruit in Brody Colvin, and Gausman’s that guy in the 2010 class. He’s blessed with good size at 6′4”, and he’s ultra-projectable, probably more projectable than anyone in the class. He doesn’t have the plus fastball velocity that the top guys have, but it’s still above-average with good life. He’s got the makings of a good curveball and changeup, so we might have another high-ceiling arm on our hands. The Phillies love these type of projectable arms, and assuming they don’t sign a Type A free agent, Gausman might be on their short list.

    But here’s one that caught my eye and what the Phils really need:

    29. Boston Red Sox – Jedd Gyorko, 3B/2B, West Virginia – Gyorko’s a questionable first-rounder to those that only love pure tools, but his bat is a legitimate first-round weapon in my book. He’s got a plus hit tool and decent raw power, and I think Gyorko could be a solid all-around infielder. Whether he’s a second baseman or third baseman isn’t a big deal, as his bat will play at either spot, but the Red Sox would probably only go for him at the third base spot. He fits perfectly into the Boston style of hitting, and I can easily see a match here.

  21. i guess defending howard against ridiculous comments is verboten gregg? remember i didnt bring him up.

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