Prospect Tiers; Pitchers

Today is the second part to the prospect tiers which I brought up the other day. To understand the reasoning, check that post. I’m only going to break the pitchers down into RHP and LHP, simply because its tough to know which guys the organization will move from starter to reliever in any given season. I’ll make some editorial comments on guys I think should be converted, but I’m just going to address them as what they are, and then comment on the upside/downside relative to a role change in their future. So, lets get going.

Just a quick frame of reference, here are the 5 tiers

Elite prospect: This is a guy who would be a #1 prospect in more than 10 other organizations, or at least be in solid contention. He’s a blue chip guy, he has top of the rotation (#1 or #2) potential, or All Star potential as a hitter. A grade in this tier won’t be given out liberally, it has to be pretty clear cut.

Above Average prospect: These are guys who aren’t quite in the Elite tier, but look like better than average prospects. They’re guys who you’d expect to be starters in the big leagues position player wise, and middle of the rotation starters. For pitchers, if you’re more fringy and potentially a #5 or just an innings eater, you don’t profile here. Only the best relief prospects fall in here, since the value of relievers is generally lower than that of a good starting pitcher.

Average prospect: These guys are fringe starters in the big leagues, more likely a 4th OF or a utility infielder, but maybe a starter on a bad team. Guys who have the repertoire to start, and could hang on in the bigs as a starter, but without much upside will go here. Good relievers go here, guys that aren’t dominant but who will probably find themselves as serviceable 7th/8th inning guys in the majors.

Fringe prospect: This is the group that will likely have the highest population. These are guys who might possess one good tool, but have major deficiencies in their game. If the light suddenly turns on and they put it together, they can graduate out of here, but they’re likely only going to move up one group. A select few will have tons of tools but very poor results. They can’t be considered average prospects, because a lot needs to go right for them to correct the major flaws in their game and make it as anything more than a fringe starter. For pitchers, you’re looking at command/control guys with modest peripherals who will likely bounce back and forth between the majors and AAA within a major league season.

Organizational player: These are basically the non-prospects, guys who are really here to just make up the numbers. For pitchers, if they develop a new pitch, learn a new motion, or undertake some kind of drastic re-invention of themselves, they could possibly move up to the Fringe prospect tier. But more than likely these guys will end up with nothing more than a cup of coffee.

Righthanded Pitchers


Kyle Drabek – No surprises here. Drabek is the best pitching prospect in the organization, and off the top of my head, I’d say hes one of the 15 best pitching prospects at AA or above in baseball. Scouts aren’t universal in their love, but even the skeptic sees Drabek as a top quality #3 at worst, likely a #2, and some guys think he can be a true ace. He’s got the fastball with great life in the zone, he has the hammer curveball. He also has a major arm surgery and he still needs to work on his changeup, and more importantly, focus on the nuances of pitching, setting up hitters and the like. But there’s a whole lot here to like, his mechanics have been smoothed out, he’s got a sturdy frame, and he looks like a future fixture in the Phillies rotation.

Above Average:

Trevor May – Everyone knows I’m driving the Trevor May bandwagon, there’s still plenty of space on board. He has a power arm, in fact, I’d say his profile is similar to Drabek’s in many ways, he just needs to refine his arsenal and work on his command. He walked a lot of guys this year, but missed a lot of bats and didn’t give up a lot of hard contact. Though he didn’t show major groundball tendencies in 2009, I can see him improving in that area because of the life on his fastball. If his changeup develops and he’s able to refine his command and control, I think he actually has elite tier upside, though maybe I’m being a bit optimistic. I have no trouble ranking him here though.

Brody Colvin – I covered Colvin extensively around draft time, I like him more this year than I liked May last year, and that should tell you something. He’s another power arm with a power arsenal, and it looks like all upside here. He’s got a low 90’s fastball and a good breaking ball. Like most every prep pitcher, he doesn’t have much of a changeup, so that will be something he needs to work on. At this point, he basically just needs innings. This is an aggressive ranking, he’s thrown 1 inning as a pro, but I loved what I read about him leading up to the draft, and I’ve read nothing since that would make me believe he’s not going to be a great pitcher.

Jarred Cosart – Cosart, maybe the Phillies biggest splash in the 2008 draft, was limited in his debut, and limited again in 2009, but when he was on the field he was generally excellent. More than 1 K per inning, walked only 7 in 25 innings, and didn’t allow a HR. Of course this came in the GCL, and he hasn’t shown groundball tendencies, but he does have a very big arm, maybe bigger than both May and Colvin, so he might have even more upside. I want to see him a bit more in 2010, which will be his 3rd season in the organization, and it will be interesting to see if he gets the bump to Lakewood.


Michael Schwimer – I debated dropping him one more level, but I’ll leave him here. He dominated at 2 levels this year, and while he might not profile as a closer, I think he has a definite shot at an 8th inning role. His fastball is 90-92 with good life, and his slider is an out pitch. He’ll have to continue missing tons of bats and limiting the walks. I don’t think there is much room to the upside, there is room to the downside, but his performance speaks for itself at this point.

Justin De Fratus – De Fratus has been a personal favorite, so maybe its a blind spot, but I view his upside as similar to Schwimer’s. He has better control, though he hasn’t had the gaudy strikeout numbers. Again, this might be one tier too high, and there isn’t much upside from here, but his peripherals have been great. I doubt he’s staying in the rotation, and if he does I view him as a #5, but as a reliever I think he could be a 7th/8th inning guy.

Colby Shreve – I forgot him initially, but I’m still a fan. The Phillies knew he needed surgery when they drafted him, so this has basically been par for the course. Most guys are back within 12 months of the surgery, so Shreve “should” have pitched last year, but there’s no harm in moving a guy slowly, and 2009 was always going to be a very minimal season for him anyway. He’s got a power mix, and if he comes back at full strength, he’s a middle of the rotation starter. I think we’ll know more after seeing him for a full season, but he’s got room to move either up 1 tier or down 1 tier depending on his results and performance in 2010.


Scott Mathieson – Mathieson is one of the best stories in the minors. He’s gone through 3 big arm surgeries, and his tale before then was astounding, as he went from a mid 80’s extremely raw high schooler to throwing in the mid 90’s and starting for the Phillies. He’s back from injury, his fastball is in the mid-high 90’s, and his slider is solid. He’s here though because prior to injury, his secondary offerings were lagging far behind his fastball, and because he does have 3 major arm surgeries on his docket. He has 1 tier of upside, but guys with his injury profile are major longshots. We’re all pulling for him though.

Austin Hyatt – Hyatt had probably the best debut of any Phillies 2009 draft pick. His numbers were dominant in the NYPL/Lakewood, but he was also 23 years old. If his stuff does play up and he can continue to dominate, then he has some upside, but hes already really old for a newly drafted prospect, so he’s gotta move fast, and he has to continue to put up great peripherals.

Brian Rosenberg – Rosenberg was like the 2008 version of Austin Hyatt. Great debut, very old for a newly drafted prospect. Rosenberg followed up his strong debut with great numbers between Lakewood and Reading, wisely skipping the FSL because of his age. He’ll have to continue to post big numbers, because he is basically a middle/late inning reliever, but he has a solid profile and good raw stuff, so he could make it.

Jesus Sanchez – Sanchez, a remnant from the Bobby Abreu salary dump, has made the conversion from catcher to pitcher, and early returns are promising. In his first season on the mound, he threw a surprising 136 innings, posting great peripherals (7.9 K/9, 2.8 BB/9 and 0.3 HR/9) and staying healthy all season. Sanchez turned 22 in late September, but his age has to be treated differently mainly because he is a conversion project. I believe he has to be protected on the 40 man roster after 2010, so its a big season for him. If he continues to make progress, he has some upside from here.

Jonathan Pettibone – I was lukewarm on Pettibone at this time last year, leaving him out of my top 30, and he didn’t really do much this year to wow me. There were positives in 2009; more than 1 K per inning, no home runs allowed, but he did walk 4 per 9, and that’s not quite good enough in a pitcher’s league. Still, the Phillies invested 2nd round money in him, he had an interesting profile before the draft, and he might just be a guy who needs time to develop, as he was considered pretty raw. He’s a guy who does have upside, but he’s also much riskier.

Mike Cisco – I kind of went back and forth on this one, as I debated dropping Cisco down to the organizational category, but I’m going to leave him here on the strength of his 50% groundball rate across two levels in 2009, as well as his strong showing in the Arizona Fall League. He doesn’t walk guys, which is a big plus, and he did generate groundballs, another plus, but his K rate (5.5/9 across 2 levels) needs to improve. Focusing on a relief role could help in that department, but even if he can’t make that jump, he could be a reliable groundball guy in the #5/swingman role.

Steven Inch – I was kind of lukewarm on Inch after the draft in June, and I remain that way now. In a way, he’s like the Canadian Jon Pettibone, circa 2008. He’s very raw, but the Phillies made a big financial investment in him, so they obviously like what he brings to the table. He’s going to be a project, he has upside, but he’s probably going to stay in this area of the pyramid for quite a while.

Ebelin Lugo – I gotta admit, Lugo intrigues me. As I mentioned in my SONAR report, Lugo scored very highly on the scale for someone I’d never really paid attention to. All I know is that he’s apparently 6’2, 170 and was signed out of the Dominican Republic. And that he posted excellent peripherals at Williamsport at age 19. His GB rate wasn’t great (41%), but it did improve slightly from his 2008 debut. He’s a guy I want to get more information on, but I think he deserves watching. I rank him here instead of the org bin because he’s still quite young, and because he appears to be trending upward.

Drew Naylor – Naylor is kind of in neutral right now after his breakout two seasons ago. His stuff appears fringy as a starter, but his curveball is at least a fringe-average to average secondary pitch. He’s a prime guy to move to the pen and see if you can’t get his fastball from 88-91 up to 90-93. If he can add a bit of life/velo to his fastball, and you couple that with an average curveball, he’s got middle relief/average prospect upside. I hope they make that conversion this year.

Julio Rodriguez – Another guy I forgot on my first time through. I liked what I saw in his pre-draft video in 2008, he’s tall and lanky, so there’s projection left there I do believe. He’s a guy that’s going to take some time, and he may never develop, but he’s been promising thus far, and at only 18, he’s one of the youngest guys on either the pitchers or hitters list, so time is on his side.


Edgar Garcia – I was one of Garcia’s biggest backers the last few seasons, but 2009 was a pretty big disappointment. Part of that doesn’t appear to be his fault, as he had Visa issues and it seems like that kind of sunk his season before it even started. While he’s still only 22, he’s going backwards now, not making progress, and that’s not a good sign. He still has an interesting arm, but right now he looks like a reliever if he makes it, and his stuff is too inconsistent at this point.

Vance Worley – I might be harsh on Worley here, but he really didn’t have such a good season. The Phillies aggressively moved him to AA, and while he started strong, he steadily faded over the final 4 months of the season, culminating in a really poor September start to end his regular season. His profile was always an innings eater starter who would roll lots of groundballs, limit walks, and not miss bats. Those types of guys don’t project as the best relievers, because missing bats is a preferable skill for a bullpen guy. If Worley makes adjustments and can miss bats, he’d be back in the fringe category, but I’m kind of down on him now.

Mike Stutes – Stutes had an up and down 2009, getting off to a nice start before really struggling in May and June. He finished the season on a better note, but as I mentioned before, using split stats in the minors is a dangerous game. Stutes has a good arm, he works off his fastball, and his secondary offerings are fringy to average, which shows up in his modest K rate. Ultimately I think he’s going to end up a reliever, but he has some upside if hes able to ramp up his fastball.

Heitor Correa – Correa was a personal favorite of mine 2 years ago, but that was before he missed the entire 2008 campaign due to a team suspension. Not only does that set off big red flags when thinking about future projection, but it also cost him very valuable developmental time. His 2009 was fairly poor, as he showed below average peripherals at Lakewood. He did generate 51% groundballs, but that was the only real peripheral of promise. He looked like one of our brighter prospects after 2007, but he has a long way to go in regaining his prospect status. He does have some obvious upside, but he’s a million miles away at this point.

Julian Sampson – My worst call a year ago, and it pains me just writing his name now. He had a ‘mare in 2009, everything that could go wrong seemed to in short order. The arm strength is still there, and he was still rolling up groundballs even when he was getting shelled, but it was just a disaster season. He’s obviously got plenty of time, he’s only entering his age 21 season, but he needs to start from scratch. Of the guys ranked down in these last two tiers, he has arguably the most upside, but its going to take a while to erase that putrid 2009 from the memory banks.

Andrew Carpenter – Carpenter has been around for what seems like forever, and appears to have kind of hit the wall in terms of where he’s going. His stuff is fringy, his command is fringy, and he throws across his body, which is a red flag in terms of future injury. He probably doesn’t have the stuff needed to start, especially in a tough park like CBP and on a championship caliber team. Because his stuff is fringy, he doesn’t necessarily have the best profile for a reliever. He needs to find 2 secondary pitches he can trust, tighten up his arsenal, and focus on his command and he might make it as a reliever. But I’m not optimistic. He’s the last guy I’m ranking/putting into the tiers, so this is kind of a lifetime achievement award.

Here are a few guys who I couldn’t quite see adding in yet, but could sneak into the picture next year

Josh Zeid – 2009 draftee, solid debut, needs to move quickly
Alex Concepcion – Always kind of been a fav of mine, was re-signed
Carlos Monasterios – Another remnant of the Abreu trade, kind of fringy, but could still make it as a ML reliever
Eric Massingham – Another relief prospect who has to move fast, as he was just in the NYPL this year at age 22
Freddy Ballestas – Has been around a while, needs to get on the fast track
Eryk McConnell – Another hard throwing reliever, needs to improve his control/command and move quickly
Miguel Matos – Has been on the radar for a while, but still stuck in rookie ball. Need to see some progress
Robert Roth – Still only 20, but appears to be going nowhere despite having a nice arm
Todd Van Steensel -Another in the long line of Australian products the Phillies have attempted to unearth. Only 18, so worth watching
Mike Bolsenbroek – He’s been coming along very slowly, but has produced consistent results. Needs to get moving quickly

Lefthanded Pitchers



Above Average:



Antonio Bastardo – Bastardo has always been a polarizing prospect, so its no surprise that I had a tough time figuring out where to rank him, and I’m sure he’ll get lots of people saying he should be in the Above Average tier. And I debated putting him there. But I didn’t for two main reasons. First and foremost, he’s had major trouble staying healthy. He blew the doors off the place in his major league debut, struggled thereafter, and then disappeared with an arm injury of which the Phillies didn’t really elaborate on, then he re-surfaced in time for the playoffs, amazingly. After missing big chunks of the last few seasons with arm/labrum issues, I’m very cautious about projecting anything for him going forward. He showed that he could throw in the low-mid 90’s, but he lost his velocity as he progressed, and I’m sure the 95’s were a case of adrenaline. Which brings me to point number two. His secondary pitches are average, so if you can harness that fastball, throw one average secondary pitch, and adjust to life in the bullpen, then he could be an upper echelon reliever, like JC Romero with a better fastball. And that would be an average prospect. They could continue to let him start, but there’s been no real indication that his arm can hold up. The other unknown is how his arm will respond to pitching 3 times in 4 days, the constant warming up/sitting down routine. Lots of question marks, which forces me to put him here. If he could remain healthy and hold his velocity, he has obvious upside.


Matthew Way – Way is your classic finesse lefty, with an average fastball and a plus changeup. He carved up low minors hitters in his debut, not a surprising development at all. The big test for him is going to be more advanced hitters, and he’ll get that test when he reaches AA. The Phillies have been very aggressive with promotions of late, so it wouldn’t shock me to see him in AA to open the year, and that’s where we’ll be able to evaluate how his game will play. If he can miss bats, limit the walks and keep the ball in the park, I’ll feel comfortable moving him up to Average at this time next year. But the profile he has, and the skill set he possesses, are tough to project as anything more than a #4/5 starter in the big leagues, unless he adds velocity, which seems unlikely to me.

Nicholas Hernandez – Hernandez is very similar to Way, so I won’t recite the same speech here. He had a disappointing season in 2009 entering the draft, but seemed to get back on track in pro ball. The Phillies seem to have done a decent job the last 2 seasons in finding guys with intriguing profiles who had down college seasons and grabbing them late, which is good in terms of value. I like Hernandez just about as much as Way going forward, and like Way, he’ll have to prove it at the upper levels. Hernandez has a slight edge over Way in that he’s  about a year and a half younger.

Yohan Flande – Flande went from off the radar nobody to the Futures Game in a few short months. He’s kind of like Way and Hernandez, but with a bit more velocity and a bit less control/command/secondary offerings. Less polish, but a bit more upside maybe, and his GB rate of 51% is superior to the other two. Flande turns 24 in January, so time is working against him. Still, he’s come on fast and gone from non-prospect to interesting guy in a hurry, so it will be interesting to see what he does in 2010. He has a decent amount of upside.

Ryan Sasaki – This might be one tier too high, but I’ll take a flier on him. He’s a projectable lefty from the 2009 draft, and he showed decent numbers in his debut. He’s really all about projection at this point, at he’s 6’5 and 215, a great frame for a pitcher, and he’s only 18. He has plenty of upside, but he’s a work in progress obviously.


Sergio Escalona – Escalona bounced between the majors and minors every 2 weeks it seemed in 2009, and he’s basically a finished product at this point. That product is a situational lefty who, in his good seasons, should be able to retire righties enough where he can be a 1 inning guy instead of a 1 batter guy. His numbers were decent in the minors as a whole but not great. He actually had a weird line against lefties in the minors; they hit only .207 off of him in 33 PA, he struck out 9 and walked 3, but gave up 3 HR. Very weird. Anyway, he’s already pitched in the majors, he’s just 25, and the Phillies should be able to squeeze a few productive seasons out of him. Just want you want from an organizational type prospect.

Spencer Arroyo – Arroyo was an intriguing JuCo draftee in 2008, but didn’t have the best of seasons in 2009. He’s a somewhat tall and lanky lefty, his raw stuff was supposed to be decent, and his pro sample of innings is still quite small. He’s someone to keep an eye on, but he’s got a long way to go, obviously.

Jacob Diekman – I was a Diekman believer a few years ago, but he’s been moving in the wrong direction after a strong 2007 debut. I’m modestly encouraged by his splits from 2009 (despite warning you about split data) as he kept lefties to a .246 average despite a very high .343 BABIP. He’s done a nice job keeping the ball in the park, but he needs to trim the walks a bit. 2010 is his age 23 season, so now is a good time to kick things into gear.

Joe Savery – This one hurts to write, kind of how I felt about writing the Julian Sampson entry. I wanted to see Savery succeed. His 2009 ERA is a testament to his ability to grind it out. And luck. His peripherals were fairly poor. He walks too many guys, he doesn’t strike out many guys, and thats really a recipe for suck. If you want to find one bright spot, across 2 levels in 2009 he held lefties to a .235 AVG and allowed only 2 HR to the 184 lefties he faced. But that’s about it in terms of bright spots. His GB rate wasn’t even all that good in 2009, and that was one of his bright spots in 2008. I have no idea what is next for him. He doesn’t profile as a LOOGY, he doesn’t really do the things needed for a #5 type (lots of groundballs, minimal walks, modest K rate), so maybe its time for him to give hitting a shot? I really don’t know at this point.

Guys that I didn’t rank, but who might pop up in the bottom tier next year

Kevin Angelle – 2009 draftee, don’t have a ton of info on him, but he seems intriguing enough to mention
David Noles – 23 years old already, has to get on the really fast track, fringe reliever

91 thoughts on “Prospect Tiers; Pitchers

  1. You are way off on Savery, he is not organization, Fringe at worst. Do you ever watch these guys pitch or do you do this simply by stats?

  2. I know what Savery throws. I’ve followed him since he was a freshman in college. He hasn’t produced in 3 seasons as a pro. His pure stuff grades out as average right now, at best. Unless he does something much different next year, I have no reason to believe he’s even an average prospect.

  3. I have seen Savery throw several times and James couldnt be more on…his stuff is very average, fastball rarely hits 90, control has been problematic, constantly pitching with runners on base, and his off speed pitches have been inconsistent.

  4. I think Fringe on Mathieson is pessimistic. Yeah his health is a major concern. But if he’s healthy he is about 90% certain to reach the big leagues.

  5. Savery never bounced back from his arm injury…James is completely right on that call. Maybe Fringe at best.

    I’m a bit more optimistic on Mathieson but I accept the injury profile concern. Still, he appeared healthy in the AFL so I’m hoping its all behind him at this point.

  6. I’m with the pessimistic opinion on Savery. I saw him pitch several times at Reading last year, and wasn’t impressed at all with what I saw.

  7. Two comments:

    1. I think you killed guys due to injury a little too much, namely Bastardo and Mathieson. A guy shouldn’t be dropped a tier because he can’t stay healthy. Put a guy’s name is red, mention they’re injury-prone, but dropping somebody a tier (or possibly two in Mathieson’s case depending on how you view his stuff) seems to just be misrepresentative.

    2. Schwimer is too high IMO. I know he can write, but I don’t see anything (either in videos I’ve seen or in the stats) that makes me think he’s more than a 7th inning guy at best. But that’s just my opinion.

  8. But injuries do matter. If you can’t stay on the field, you have very little value as a prospect. There are freak injuries (ie, getting hit with a batted ball, tripping and falling and breaking your leg) and then there are systemic, re-occuring injuries, like hurting the same throwing arm multiple times. Mathieson has 3 major arm surgeries to his name. Go through the last 15 years of MLB stats and find all of the pitchers with 3 major arm surgeries and then look at their stats. Its a very small sampling.

    As for Schwimer, we’ll see. His velocities from the AFL were encouraging, and his fastball has a lot of movement. I think he’s capable of being more than a 7th inning guy. Then again, 7th inning guys are valuable. Look at Madson before he really emerged in 2009, he was a valuable 7th inning guy.

  9. Hey Guys, I guess I’ll mention a few comments as well…

    Love May, saw him pitch a number of times and love his stuff, age, build and make-up..

    Based on stuff and numbers and not blog posts, I like Rosy over Schwimmer…

    People still, somehow, have not grasp that Diekman is a new pitcher with his side-arm delivery…Figure it out…Hes much much better and his numbers overhand should be thrown out…

    Rob Roth and Heitor Correa wont make it higher than AA.

    I love Way, Hyatt and Korey Noles.

  10. Have also seen Savery and keep waiting to see a 1st rounder. Am a big Mathieson fan. Understand the 3 surgery risk but mental toughness must be off the charts and should count for something in the evaluation. His slider and changeup were plus pitches in Reading this year, not mention a high 90s heater. May is intereesting, big upside if he can get his secondary pitches polished up

  11. Skunky, i laughed my ass off after i read your comment. I think it safe to say that most people here have a soft spot for savery, i always would look for his box score and just hope and pray it would resemble 1st round stuff but it was not to be. Is it unreasonable to try him out for 1/2 a season at pitcher then make a move to 1b or is that unheard of? I would have dropped cosart 1 notch only because he hasn’t pitched much but i do love his arm. And it does seem that carpenter has been with the org forever.

  12. Julio Rodriguez?

    I think Mathieson should be bumped up a tier, and Edgar Garcia’s lost 2009 should be chalked up to bad luck, I think he is still very young as has shown enough to be bumped up as well. I was really suprised they sent him to the AFL since he barely pitched this year.

    Overall, I think the list is pretty dead on.

  13. “Maybe Savery could play 3rd. At worst we would have another lousy 3rd base prospect.”

    uh, he is leftrhanded

  14. I would give Savery two months to be sure, then switch if he makes no progress. Even then I would keep him pitching a little , the goal situational stuff. What can it hurt.

  15. I ave to agree with most people here that you’re a little hard on mathison. other than that, yeah, its a pretty good list.

  16. I can’t at all disagree with the placement of Bastardo and Savery, which seem to be the two most debated in the comments. Bastardo’s injury concerns have to make him down a tier, and Savery hasn’t shown us enough to think he’s going to have a long major league career at this point. If I’m the Phillies brass, I might seriously start to consider developing Savery as a LOOGY/pinch hitter, which would maximize his value to a 25-man roster.

    The only pitcher I’d argue could be bumped up is Worley. I understand the reasoning for being down on him, but I think there are a couple of mitigating factors at play. First is fatigue, which PP mentioned: Worley jumped from 54.1 innings his sophomore year to 172.1 innings last year, and I’d venture to guess he felt the effects about two months into this season (his DICE in April and May was 3.45; after that, it was 4.49). Second, his awful 5.34 ERA masked the fact that, despite his struggles, he posted a respectable 4.19 DICE over the course of the year. And finally, Worley was a 21-year old in Double-A for the entire year. While age relative to level certainly isn’t the be all, end all for prospects — pitchers in particular — it certainly should be taken into account. He’ll repeat Reading next year, and I expect to see better results this time around… and he’ll still be 22.

  17. Oh, a couple of other random points…

    Sanchez has already been added to the 40-man, so it looks like he needed to be protected this year.

    The last update we had on Shreve came from Schwim as a commenter in the Instructs post (clicky). I’d venture to guess that Shreve starts next year in extended spring training before heading to Williamsport (in an attempt to limit his innings), but I suppose he could be sent to Lakewood.

    Josh Ellis: thanks for your comments. It’ll be interesting to see how Diekman fares with his new delivery, though he’ll need to find his command rather quickly. Still, 11.8 K/9 against lefties gives at least some hope that he can develop into a LOOGY.

  18. Thanks for the add on Shreve. Any thoughts on Julio Rodriguez? Put up good stats/peripherals in the GCL as an 18-year-old (turned 19 in late August).

  19. Just to chime in, Mathieson has the velocity and mental toughness to be in a higher tier. Watched him throw this year in Reading and he is a polished pitcher with tremendous mound presence. His past injuries have really made him tough and he is a bulldog on the mound and someone definitely worth following. Besides, can you think of a better comeback story?

  20. It was a joke, Dude.

    I might sound crazy but I think you’re a little hard on Stutes. Didn’t BA say he had the best slider in the system last season? Even if it is only a decent offering his stuff might play up really well in the pen. I guess I look at anyone with even a remote chance of contributing at the MLB level as at least a fringe prospect.

  21. For awhile now I’ve thought they should convert Savery to relief to see if he might add some velocity back on the fastball, and let him start a few times a week to regain his stroke. Maybe he turns out to be a serviceable LOOGY and bench bat, which isn’t what you’d hope for from a first-round pick but does have value on a big league roster. And is also just kinda cool.

  22. Was able to watch the last game of the FIL against the Tigers back in early Oct. Only Diekman in the 8th and Hyatt in the 9th had clean innings with two strikeouts each. Martinez, LeBron, Colvin, Sanchez, Pettibone, and Sampson all struggled to different degrees in their one inning of work. It was the last game of the season so it is hard to make too much of it all but Diekman with that new release point and Hyatt’s off speed pitches striking out two lefthanded hitters were dominate and they looked the most ready to move on up this spring.

  23. forgot Rodriguez too, add him in as fringe.

    To some who feel I’ve been harsh, I actually take that as a compliment. I think some people, and some fanbases, tend to fall in love with their own guys, hype them up to the moon, and the reality is that so few guys actually do make it. I think its valid to remain skeptical about guys who’ve had multiple major injuries/are still in rookie ball and wait for them to perform/prove they can stay healthy.

    Remember, this is only my opinion, I knew there would be obvious disagreements, just trying to explain the rationale on my part.

  24. if savery could hit like he did in college he would be alright he hit 20 hrs in 3 years and had a college career average of .356 with 169 rbis

  25. Your disappointment in Savery matches mine and others here.

    HOWEVER, since his record vs. lefty hitters looks very good, he might be considered for a situational left reliever…all on the supposition that his arm was well healed and thus 2009 showed all he had ionj his tank.

    ITOH, isn’t it worthwhile to watch him during 2010 spring training and following to see if he may have recovered some ooomph in his FB? (Rhetorical question,of course)

    They could tell with spring training plus a month or so of minor lg ball. If it’s gone forever, then prepare him for a relief role…so he wouldn’t be a total loss.

    A first round draft choice…gone bad.

  26. I agree with the placement of Savery as an organizational pitching prospect. If you focus on performance rather than draft placement, you’ll realize that, for this club, he’s been the left-handed version of Drew Carpenter, which is to say an organizational prospect or, at best, a fringe prospect. That having been said, the mere fact that he is lefty probably gives him more upside than Carpenter. But I’m not enamored of either prospect.

    If I were the Phils, I’d put him back down in AA; let him start as a pitcher and play a few games a week at DH and pinch hit. He’ll be ahead of the competition as a pitcher and behind as a hitter. As a hitter, he would need to knock the rust off and the team would need to see if he has big league ability. As a pitcher, my instructions to him would be to forget about his record and focus on command and additional pitches necessary to get him to the big leagues. Maybe there’s some way he could regain velocity, but, usually, a loss in velocity is permanent.

    If you do this, maybe something happens. And maybe it doesn’t, and you move on.

    On the other prospects, I either generally agree (I totally agree with the Trevor May assessment – his upside could be huge – the Ks are a big thing in my book) or don’t know enough about the prospect to quibble with the assessments. I have a sneaking suspicion, however, that Mike Stutes is going to surprise us all and develop into a very solid major league pitcher (I predicted this for J.A. Happ a few years ago, saying that he reminding me of Jerry Koosman – I’m not saying I told you so or anything, but both Koosman and Happ finished second in the ROY voting in their respective first full years, although Koosman was several years younger). It might take Stutes a few years and he could scuffle a bit in AA and AAA until it all clicks, but but I think he’s going to make it and be a mid to back rotation starter.

    With regard to Bastardo, I agree with your assessment. The injuries are too frequent and prolonged to ignore. Bastardo is, in my view a prospect with above average to borderline elite ability, but such a checkered injury history that you can’t list him as any more than an average prospect. I would probably also list Mathieson as an average prospect, but, again, the injuries are so significant that a downgrading is certainly understandable.

  27. In the “it’s so obvious, why isn’t everyone doing it” category – why aren’t all the Phillies pitchers and prospects getting the shoulder-strengthening regimen used by Ryan Madson? Madson’s FB jumped from, like 91-93 to 95-97. Can you imagine if May started throwing 97 or Savery was routinely hitting 93? What am I missing – why don’t more of them try this routine? If you don’t want to mess with your best prospects, why not at least let the guys who are borderline give it a try? What do they and the team have to lose?

  28. What about Cloyd, at Clearwater I think. Seemed to have a promising year, good control, and can strike guys out.

  29. The one thing that isn’t accounted for here is player who
    suddenly “gets it”. e.g. Taylor at Clearwater. Add a pitch or decide to not swing at everything etc and you become a new player and all the stats are out. Some on these lists will do
    just that.
    I have always been high on Cisco. If Moyer can pitch in the major. Why not MC. I also look for big things out of another “little guy”. I see Bastardo closing some games by the end of the season(ps. how do you know Lidge will not lie again about his condition)

  30. Part of Madson’s surge in velocity was also the guarantee that he would only ever be used in 1 inning bursts. He said as much in previous interviews. He used to hold back as he would never know if he’d be asked to go multiple innings in his previous role. Now he just throws all out on every pitch. Ironically, it was Moyer that recommended the conditioning program to Madson.

    I don’t think you can ever account for the player that just “gets it” suddenly. Also, Moyer is a 1 in a million shot…he is the outlier.

  31. If Bastardo is closing games instead of lidge next year then the team is in deep you know what. I really hope the light turns on for some of these guys but that doesn’t happen to many players, we lucked out with taylor and i’m not holding out hope for anyone else at this point. At this point i am really looking forward to the development of the 08 and 09 draft picks especially colvin and may.

  32. I’m still itching to see what Shreve has…its been 18 months of waiting and wondering as he’s healed from TJ surgery in 04/2008. I can’t wait to see if his potential is realized. He was considered 1st round/sandwich round talent before the injury.

    Colvin is an interesting piece too.

  33. aside from mathieson the list looks o.k., but i haven’t seen enough of many of the other guys to comment on them. the one guy that better be ready is drabek. with lee, hamels, blanton, happ their fine but i would’nt count on anyone else. since their too cheap to trade for halliday they’ll need ace stuff from drabek. forget moyer, martinez. they wont get away with an average rotation this year if they want to go all the way. imagine the yankees or red sox with halliday. i guess one title’s enough, unless they do whats logical and have drabek in the rotation. then again that’s hoping he’s as good as he looks. not having drabek in the opening day rotation is as good as saying ” the guy we told you is the reason were not trading for halliday is’nt true, were just skinflints again”

  34. John why do you keep calling the Phillies cheap? They went to 130 million last year and have upped that to 140 this year. Just because they are not spending like the Yankees (who are backing off compared to last year (so they say)) doesnt mean they are cheap.

  35. The philies are in no way cheap. Part of the reason they are not making a huge splash in the offseason is because lee is a fa after this season and its going to take a lot of money to sign him. Getting back to the list, it seems like there are quite a few high risk his reward players. It will be exciting watching these players progess through the system and hopefully make an impact with the big leage club.

  36. I counted 1 elite and 3 above average pitchers in the entire farm system. Any sense of how that compares to any other organization?

  37. NEPP Says:

    Part of Madson’s surge in velocity was also the guarantee that he would only ever be used in 1 inning.
    Interesting and sorta what some were saying about Savery.
    Maybe he doesn’t have the strength to go 7 innings but maybe two is more his cap.

  38. i dont know how their payroll is 140 mil. last season they were 115., and they cut. but so what if it’s 150. i’m willing to pay more for my tickets to get halliday. but they would’nt even have to do that. they have the money, they just dont want to pay guys down the road. however the main point is withouy drabek they may not beat atlanta. if drabek is so good it’s time for him to step up.

  39. john —
    Looking at what the Phillies have spent the last several seasons, I can’t believe anyone would call them cheap. And being ‘that good’ is different from being immediately major league ready. Domonic Brown is also that good and he also is not ready to start in Philly.

  40. if i am right they spent less than any one else in the draft las t year, without a first pick and a cheap second round choice.they should have been able to get more hard to signs like the catcher to agree. But what frustrated me more is halladay if they get him its makes them really good, favorite to go back barring injuries, and if he is only here one year we get two first round choices, not a bad deal.the celtics did it mortage the future for a title, the ravens did it back in 2002 i believe and stunk the next year, no reason they cant go get halladay and put someone like de rosa at third or felix for less.

  41. I am in favor of moves that make the Phillies a top tier team for the next decade. Acquiring Halladay would, in my view, jeopardize that goal because they would have to unload their best prospects to get him and then where are we in two or three years when they don’t re-sign Halladay and Lee? Rebuilding is where we are. No thank you.

  42. I don’t really want to get into a payroll debate here (its not the place and it will piss James off as it has little to nothing to do with the minors (other than their draft budget which has been fine the last couple years anyway)…but here goes real quick:

    The Phillies entered the 2009 season with the 7th highest payroll and finished the year (after adding Pedro and Lee as well as some incentive clauses) with the 5th largest payroll. They are play in the 5th largest market (or 6th depending on which factor you use with Houston just ahead of them on some levels) with the 5th largest payroll. They increased their payroll by over 30% after winning the WS in 2008. They have stated their payroll will be around $140 million this year (give or take) which means another increase of 5-10%. This in a year where almost every other team is cutting payroll by sometimes drastic measures. To complain about payroll in this economy with this team is asinine to say the least. As Rube stated, if he can’t build a WS level roster with $140 million, he should lose his job (that’s a verbatim quote BTW). The Phillies have pretty much maxed out their revenue streams. Their attendance was over 100% this year and they just announced an across the board increase in ticket prices (making them have some of the highest prices in baseball actually if you look at a per ticket cost). There are very few teams that have higher prices and they are basically NYY, NYM, & BOS. The Phillies do not own their own sports network so they lose out on that revenue stream. They won’t raise their budget any higher than it already is. They could very well have one of the top 3 budgets in baseball this year depending on what the Mets and BoSox do (both have cut spending so far). So, again, lets not whine about the Phillies being cheap. That isn’t the case anymore.

    Besides, on a long-term outlook, cashing in our top prospects for a one year rental is just stupid, especially when we are basically depending on them to take prominent roles in the next couple years when guys like Werth and Ibanez leave.

  43. your missing my main point. we have 2 of prospects who are highly touted. taylor and brown. only 1 would be dealt. your making it sound like trading for halliday would empty our system. not so. drabek would be the 1 replaced. we would still have taylor to replace ibanez. but your making my point about payroll when you assume they will not resign werth. why? money? then we would not resign lee or halliday? why money? the only way trading for halliday imo would be wrong is not resigning him or lee. once again money. but no one is addressing my point about dradek. this staff will be unable to win without hamels returning to form and a very solid righty. et. drabek. but then again i need to believe the phils are putting the best yeam on the field they can to WIN THE WS. if you can get halliday for 5 years and dont do it your not.

  44. The Phils picked up Lee at midseason and spent the prospects they had to. But think how many top pitchers went down that most were hot to trot to obtain and ended up in a hospital or trainers room.
    1. No one knows if there will be a need.
    a. will the competion be better
    b. will prospects step up
    c. will injuries hit the other teams
    To spend prospects and money at this point for a possibly one year guy is uncalled for.

  45. Add to the above
    d. will injuries hit the Phils ? Trading prospects that might be needed to fill other positions is unwise. Thin at catcher, shortstop and third is not a good position to be in before the season starts.

  46. if the organization believes that brown, taylor, drabek are part of their future core group of players they won’t be traded unless its a lop-sided trade. that’s not being cheap, its good business. yes any one of them could fail but they also could be traded for someone who gets hurt or doesn’t fit. Yes the odds of the later are less, but the loss would be greater.
    its hard to take a long term approach, but that’s what successful businesses do.

  47. This discussion could go around and around in circles, but here’s the bottom line.

    1. The Phillies are going to be around $140 million in salary expenditures this year – perhaps a little more or perhaps a little less, but it’s going to be around that number. If you don’t believe it, wait until a few days before opening day and do the math – that’s where they’re going to be.

    2. You can say the Phillies are cheap, but I guess that’s a relative term. The Phillies are going to have one of the highest payrolls in major league baseball. They’re not the Yankees, but nobody else is either. Aside from that, they’re right in the mix. We’ve got nothing to complain about as far as I’m concerned.

    3. Unless you’re the Yankees, if you want a great team, you are not going to be able, from a financial standpoint, to sign or keep every player you would like to keep. So, the team needs to balance carefully which players are so good they can’t be replaced and which players can be replaced or nearly replaced with a much lower cost option. Remember, the money saved on the lower cost option can go toward keeping players that are expensive but really can’t be replaced. Also keep in mind that if you sign older players to long-term contracts, particularly pitchers, the last few years that player is under contract, the team may be paying that player far more than he is worth. Obviously, for a team that is trying not to overspend, that is a serious, serious issue.

    4. Unless you get very lucky and find undervalued through a trade or on the waiver wire (such as Jayson Werth a couple of years ago), the best way to replace older, more expensive players is through the farm system. All kinds of good things happen when you can replace an expensive and valuable experienced player with a young player in the farm system. First, you shed payroll that you would have had to pay the older player and that savings lasts for many years – as much as 6 or 7 years until the younger player becomes a free agent. Second, you build stability in the organization. Third, if the older player is particularly valuable (such as Cliff Lee or Jayson Werth), you can offer that player arbitration and obtain draft picks in return which help you maintain a strong farm system. Fourth, you now have more money to pay more established and perhaps irreplaceable players. The risk in all of this, of course, is that the younger player is not going to be a legitimate replacement for the departing player. The more the younger player can play before the decision is made to let the older player go, the less risk there is (an example was Ryan Howard in 2005 – there was very little risk in allowing Thome to leave because it was clear that Howard was going to be a star). In my view, this is one of the reasons that the Phils are slow to promote their players – they want to make sure the player is ready when such decisions are made.

    5. Now, you can argue that, if you acquire a player like Roy Halladay for a bunch of top minor league talent, you will be okay even if Halladay has to leave because you will get draft picks. The problem with this strategy, however, is that the minor league picks you obtain won’t be ready for another 4-6 years, which is a lifetime when you are trying to maintain a championship-caliber team.

    So, here’s my summary. If you’re not the Yankees, you have to have a continuity plan in place with a strong minor league system so that you can carefully pick and choose which players you can allow to leave and which will remain. When you trade your best and most advanced minor league talent to acquire a player that you will probably only have for a year, you seriously compromise your ability to compete with the likes of the Yankees. That’s not to say you never make a trade – everyone on this site loved the Lee trade WHEN IT WAS MADE. You just have to be very judicious about how you expend your resources.

    Just one man’s opinion, but I’m sticking with it.

  48. the phillies are not cheap, at all. the twins are the cheapest team in baseball, by a large margin. they have the richest owners. The yankees ownership is actually in the bottom half of mlb as far as money goes, they are just willing to spend more than any one else is. the phils ownership spends a bigger chunk of its money than most owners do, so they aren’t cheap.

  49. If it were me, I’d put both Knapp and Carrasco in the “Above Average” tier. Both project with MLB starters. Knapp has a higher projection than Carlos but he also has big injury concerns as well as many years of development to go. Carrasco should be battling for a spot in the Indians rotation this spring. However, his Sept callup was far from encouraging (0-4, 8.87 ERA, 2.284 WHIP in 5 starts)

  50. I agree with most of the assessments although i’d probably rate a few more up to Fringe status. I actually like Stutes and Worley a bit more and I’m hoping that a 2nd year at AA allows them to “catch up”. I agree that Cisco could be a middle innings reliever in the bigs. I’m very high on Diekman after his mid season change that made him lights out after that. He could surprise and move fast as a lefty specialist. I love Bastardo’s arm but the injuries are a major problem if he has to overthrow to get outs and that breaks down his arm. Some of those fringe guys will likely be in a bullpen in the majors at some point. For money reasons, a good team (non Yankees division) has to develop a few starting pitchers from their system. The Phils currently have two in their rotation (and Kendrick vs Moyer for the 5th spot which could add another) and hopefully three in 2011 with Drabek. The other possibilities (May, Cosart, Shreve, Colvin) are still all years away so they’re really counting on Drabek because Lee’s money demands after next season might force the Phils to file arbitration but to let him go for the draft picks. By the way, I agree that Knapp is above average but not Carrasco. He’s just average to me.

  51. A couple of points.

    First, the Yankees can be big spenders because their revenue is higher than any other club. But they also spend more than they make, so part of it is that they really want a winner. Point noted.

    Second, everyone is down on Carlos Carrasco and I’m not a big fan but, realistically, he’s an above average prospect. He’s young, he has good stuff and he’ll probably end up being a competent third starter in the majors, although it may take a few years – that, to me, is the quintessential above average prospect.

    Knapp is only above average (at best) or average because he is far from the majors and he is already having arm troubles. Elite upside, but, for now, he’s only a tick above average.

  52. I think the system is a little hard on guys like Stutes and Worley, especially compared to Cisco and De Fratus. I know you like De Fratus, but he and Cisco are essentially the same age as Worley and Stutes. Worley and Stutes had the disadvantage of getting a double jump and also throwing lots of innings. Both De Fratus and Cisco had fewer innings, most at lower levels. When Cisco got to AA he pitched OK, but his K rate took a nosedive and his stuff is reportedly mediocre (with great control and some deception at least). Cisco might be a middle reliever, but I think both Worley and Stutes have shots at a starting role. They were hurt stats-wise by the way they were handled. That does not necessarily make them lesser prospects than the pitchers handled more carefully.

  53. Can’t really argue with the list, other than thinking Worley should be a notch higher. Agree totally on Savery, he just hasn’t been what they gambled on.

    Wondering what Happ would have been considered to begin 2008. I remember alot thought he was at best a spot starter. Hope a couple of guys in this list are going to surprise us.

  54. Interesting on Carrasco: I went back and looked at his Pitchfx numbers from his 5 starts. His fastball velocity was anywhere from 88/89 – 96 with an average of anywhere from 91 to 94 depending on which game it was…91 being the final start. His max velocity was 95.8 I believe. Not too bad actually. I hope he pans out for Cleveland.

  55. Most projections I remember reading had Happ as a spot starter or 5th starter at best. He exceeded them in 2009. Though his peripherals hint that he might take a step back in 2010 (his sub 3 ERA is pretty unsustainable with his peripherals) but it will hopefully be in the 4-4.5 ERA range…ie a decent to good 4th starter.

  56. what a bunch of non facts jpd said on owners. Did y know john middleton just sold his company for a ton, the phillies combine weath is more than the twins, i am not calling them cheap but they wont go over the top to win, halladay gives them the best chance to win, and y could put a cheap thirdbase there and it would still make them favorites. if this was a lot of other teams they would do it to win.met yankess boston texas angels , celtics redskins, giants, lakers, cowboys, falcons, and a lot of others.

  57. This “the phillies are cheap!–No they’re not!— Yes they are!!” debate is getting so tiresome. Just give it up, trading for Halladay is a dumb idea on more levels than just salary. Not to mention the entire debate is completely irrelevant to the scope of this thread apart from the fact that minor leaguers eventually become cheap major leaguers.

    mikemike- did you seriously just use franchises from other sports to illustrate your argument? Seriously? The NFL has a salary cap so that negates your argument COMPLETELY—- and THANK GOD the Phillies don’t operate like the Redskins.

  58. To Mike Mike and John John from Philadelphia

    CHEAP! They just won 2 league pennants and 1 World Series. They aren’t cheap if they win are they?
    Hey – they already went over the top to win. THEY WON!
    What John Middleton does with his billion dollars is his business… and by the way, who do you think forced Ed Wade out? Anybody think he was going to GM us to a title? At least Middleton cared about getting a winner. Believe me, no one wants to win more than that guy.
    The “Phillies are cheap” is a tired argument. The Phillies want to build an organization that is consistantly successful. This blog is great, because if you looked back 5 years ago, you could see how the team was built… Utley, Hamels, Rollins, Howard, Madison were there. You can’t trade all your feedstock off and expect continued success. I really enjoy reading phuturephillies because it is about all of that.

  59. I would think all 3 are comparable level prospects…with Knapp maybe having a bit more upside than Colvin and the same as May. The arm concerns were and are real for him going forward though. Colvin was a top talent in the draft so it will be interesting to see what he does as a pro.

    Between Colvin, May and Shreve, we will hopefully get 1 MLB level starter. That would be a success in my mind.

  60. Based on Colvin and Knapp’s pre-draft write-ups a strong year from Colvin could make him a prospect on par with Knapp when he was traded. That’s easier said then done, obviously, as Knapp’s year last year was off the charts.

  61. There are also a couple of pitching prospects from South America. Its impossible to gauge them yet but they could make a splash when they come state-side. Felix Cespedes, an 18 year old righty, threw a perfect 9 inning game this year and looks very good on paper. Lisalverto Bonilla is a 19 year old righty who also has good stats. Ely Izturriaga, 19 year old lefty, started in SA and finished in the GCL. His ERA doesn’t look too good in the GCL but it is a very small sample. He was also a starter but was used as a reliever in the GCL. I’m hoping these guys follow in Flande’s footsteps.

  62. Minor league teams only really exist as a place for the handful of real prospects to play and improve. If none of their prospects make the major leagues, there’s no reason to have it. I say that to ask the question, have we seen any major league prospects come from our South American or Dominican teams yet? Flande may be the closest but he isn’t that close yet and may never make it. Domingo Santana doesn’t count because at 16 he was already over here. The three lefties mentioned above, who I know very little about other than Cespedes’ 9 inning perfect affair, may hold the fate of those teams in their hands.

  63. Upgrade alert:

    Phils sign Brian Schneider. Another lefty hitter, but a definite improvement over Bako.

    Now back to our regularly scheduled programming . . . .

  64. Great signing for the Phils. Even better is that its a 2 year deal so we won’t be scrambling for a backup next year and d’Arnaud (see there’s a minor league angle here) doesn’t have to be rushed in his development.

  65. While the best prospects usually skip the complex leagues (VSL/DSL), a fair number of complex league grads do make the majors.

    Carlos Ruiz played 1 season in the complex leagues before hitting GCL. Elizardo Ramirez had 3 good DSL seasons before he hit the states. The Phillies have traded many of their Latin American prospects in recent years so they have not had the opportunity to debut with the Phillies.

    Think of the DSL and VSL this way. If a player is a top 5 round draft talent (maybe top 3 round) they usually start at GCL. All others start at the VSL or DSL. Very few of these prospects mature, but some will over the course of 5+ years.

    It is also possible that the Phillies are leaving prospects in the VSL or DSL longer these days as their complexes there get better and the minor league system is stronger. Someone like Flande or Harold Garcia or Yonderman Rodriguez gets held down because there may not have been enough playing time at GCL and they figured they could develop just as easily in their home country.

  66. About Schneider — he went to my high school. Good guy, well respected, hard-working and comes from a great family. Agreed NEPP, Good pick by Philly.

  67. It’s a bit out of place here, but there’s important news brewing on the draft front: Jayson Stark says the Phillies are unlikely to offer arbitration to Scott Eyre and Chan Ho Park.

    Now, both are Type B free agents and would garner a supplemental first round pick if they signed elsewhere. I don’t have a problem with not offering Eyre — quite frankly, it’s not worth the risk that he’d accept — but I just don’t get the thinking with Park. I sincerely doubt he’d accept, as he might be in line for a multi-year deal as a reliever. Why waste the opportunity to acquire an extra draft pick?

  68. Agreed – the Park decision makes little sense. He’s not in line for a big raise and somebody else will want him anyway. A blown opportunity, plain and simple.

  69. Park made $2.5 million. He likely would have gotten $3-4 million in arbitration. That’s more than Amaro feels willing to pay. It makes sense not to offer and risk him accepting.

  70. did y read what i said didnt call them cheap, but point is do y guys follow other sports or what.when i mention other franchise i should have said washington with 3 superbowls hid players and payed them so if someone got hurt they had replacement point was teams go for it, it doesnt always work but y cant tell me halladay doesnt put them on a par with any team in baseball, and as far as draft choice taken years that doesnt always happen with first round picks who is the pitcher for dogers kershaw 20, porcello, i just feel with this team now is the time to go all out for it, ryan will mostly leave and so will werth after next year.or do y want to be the eagles win enough games to get in the playoff and then lose no superbowls, we have 2 stinking world titles in 128 years we have a chance for a third go for it and if we have to take a step back so be it.

  71. Re Smoltz
    Plug in should Lidge fail, should Moyer not recover and can leave Drabek down until late summer

  72. Not the place for extended comment on the big league team, but it is worth noting that, at least last year, Smoltz last about 4-5 MPH on his FB (now in the 90-93 range). But he’s been a great pitcher and they could certainly do worse than him.

  73. On Knapp and Carrasco:

    Either one or both (or neither) may become a star.

    The question in the Phils’ collective mind was really on Carrasco. His intriguing promise and “stuff” gave dreams of a top of the staff guy w2ho’d be young enough to last for plenty years as a #2,#3 ,or 4 at least.

    This assessment has suffered greatly over the last two seasons when he has failed to meet the challenge of AA and particularly AAA ball.

    Particularly unimpressive has been his failure to deal with adversity on the mound. Loses his cool resulting in happy opposition bats. Pretty consistently.

    Golden arm; leaden head?

    His recent history as said, gave the Phils a willingness to give him up as long as, in a combination, something decent would come back.

    In fact, IMO Carrasco was becoming a problem…for explaining his consistent failure to measure up and the FO’s mistaken evaluation of such a seemingly premium prospect.

    In that way, the Indians took a problem off the Phils’ hands and heads.

  74. Mostly thanks to this site, many of us have now been following the phils pharm teams for a few years now. Iguess we are naturally complacent and cannot fathom how big our top 3 are. According to Callis we have a top 5 system. We have 3 blue chippers, 3 or 4 promising arms in the pipeline, and time to wait on our many lottery ticket outfielders. That top 5 system thing is hard to really take in, am i right?

  75. BA rated our system #7 prior to 2003. I believe at that time we were looking at Marlon Byrd, Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, Gavin Floyd, Cole Hamels, Ryan Madson, Brett Myers. And that’s not even considering the flameouts like Zach Segovia and Eude Brito.

  76. I see Carrasco differently. Many, MANY young pitchers need a lot of patient development (re: Gavin Floyd, many others). Carrasco should begin competing for a rotation spot in 2010 and should wind up there consistently in 1-2 years, with his stuff. He could well be a solid #3, a very good #4, or more than those. We did not give up a problem. We gave up a high-value resource who will likely be a starter that helps a team.

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