May 28th discussion posting

Just a brief note before we get to the scores. I won’t be writing my weekly notes column this week. But I am going to try and write up a long piece on the draft this weekend, what I expect from the Phillies, etc etc. Look for that on Sunday or Monday, maybe Tuesday.

Now the box scores

Lehigh Valley loses 3-2.

Reading game was suspended.

Clearwater lost 11-2.

Lakewood game was suspended

70 thoughts on “May 28th discussion posting

  1. Looks like those games at Reading and Lakewood were resumed at some point because 1st inning had scores on them.

    Reading- looks like they are giving Tagg Bozied an extended try-out at 3B, while 1st is held down by Brian Stavisky. Then they work in Matt Rizzotti and Kevin Mahar at 1B-DH. No room for Overbeck as yet.

    Looks like D’Arby Myers took a step back, as he is no longer on the Clearwater roster. Somebody on here said he went to Extended Spring Training. Might be similar to the Mattair situation as it first unfolded, a release that is not a release. Looks like they dropped him to add a 3rd catcher in the recently released after Spring training by the Twins, Jeff Lanning. They also kept Derrick Mitchell , Brian Gump, and Steve Susdorf over him as OF’s in addition to Anthony Gose.

  2. Not sure why you’d let a 30 year-old like Bozied block a 23 year-old like Overbeck, but, temporarily, that appears to be the case. In reality, I think they are trying to figure out if they’d like Bozied to be their AAA taxi-squad guy over Ransom and others and that’s why he’s getting a good look. By early July, I expect both players to be bumped a level so we can all see if Overbeck is really that good. I will say this about Ovebeck, he apparently mashes the ball all over the place. When you look at the box scores, the impression you get is that his hits are virtually all doubles or home runs and this is, in fact, fairly accurate – 30 of his 59 hits have gone for extra bases. If the hitting is real, I’d be fine with Overbeck finishing this year at AA and spending a full year at AAA next year polishing his fielding and working on other things. I’m cautiously optimistic.

    As for the running commentary on Rizzotti, it is true that there seems to be no real place on the major league team for him, but calling him a non-prospect makes little sense. He’s not a great prospect, but if he can hit like this, he’s precisely the type of guy that a team like Oakland, Minnesota or Kansas City would acquire to work his way into a DH/1B slot. He’s not a great prospect, he’s certainly not a prospect multi-talented prospect, and he’s not a prospect who fits well with the expected needs of this team, but it’s still far too early to label him a non-prospect – that’s ridiculous.

  3. Agree Catch 22. Baseball is all about hitting and scoring runs. If the kid can hit – he’s a prospect. The ideal place for him may not be with the Phillies, but he could be valuable as a low level trade piece. I think it’s always better to be able to give up these type of guys (that are blocked, etc) than guys we really could use down the line (like pitchers). Granted, he’ll need to continue hitting the rest of the season to really have any trade luster.

  4. Fun stat of the day courtesy of BA. Brandon Duckworth leads AAA in percentage of batters struck out. That includes Steven Strasburg.

  5. About Rizzotti…I believe hitting is a gift, like running or throwing. Either you can hit or you can’t. I will agree you can improve on your hitting…if you can hit in the first place. Anthony Hewitt can run and throw, 2 other things you can’t teach. But he can’t hit and I don’t believe he ever will become a good hitter.

    It seems to me John Kruk was a good hitter who couldn’t do much else very well. I’ll take 8 John Kruks on my team any day.

  6. Sorry, I didn’t finish my thought…

    I’ve never seen him play but if Rizzotti can hit, he’s a valuable player (prospect). There’s always a place for a guy who can put the bat on the ball. Greg Dobbs is on the big team b/c he could hit. Now that he’s not hitting, he may find himself replaced by someone who can.

  7. I don’t agree that the book is closed on Hewitt and to say you can’t teach hitting is not true. If someone doesn’t have certain skills, it will be very difficult to ever learn to hit. However, for a guy like Hewitt who can hit a fastball a long way and hits the ball very hard, his challenge is very different. To see the ball and react differently if its coming fast than if its not is very hard to do. There’s a reason that so many great hitters fail when they face good offspeed pitching. Hewitt has never learned how to recognize it and is still trying to learn. I agree that he may never get it but when you watch him crush a fastball, its tough to give up too soon. On the opposite side of this issue is Singleton who sees the ball amazingly well for a young kid and is crushing all kinds of pitches and is taking his walks. Its very early obviously but he’s showing jump off the charts skills so far. His value is clearly on the rise which is critical with so many others’ value dropping this season so far. By the way, Rizzotti can definitely hit and has a chance…

  8. Yup, when you project a whole bunch of “projectable” athletes, you strike gold once in a while (probably worth the risk if you get enough talented players in the overall pool – see Dom Brown and, now Jon Singleton), but you get a whole bunch of clunkers. But you also get a lot of guys like Jeff Jackson, Greg Golson, Reggie Taylor and Anthony Hewitt who have bodies molded by the Gods but just can’t hit – Bill James once wrote a neat piece explaining the odd phenomenon of how so many of the great hitters in baseball history didn’t look the part (Yogi Berra and Kirby Puckett were among the examples he used, I believed), while the players who were perfect physical specimens often never amounted to anything (Glenn Braggs, who looked like an NFL linebacker, was the classic example).

  9. Washington promoted the catcher who caught Strasberg in AAA. Mostly because of injuries but SS may make a career for this guy. This will be an interesting June. Trades,promotions.pennant race and the draft what else could you want?

  10. Tough night throughout the system–perhaps the malaise of the big club is becoming epidemic. Nice to see Gose with 2 more hits. I have a good feeling about him.
    Have not seen much of Rizzotti but find it curious that he is not being worked in at first more since Stavisky has no prospect status at all. The Reading team needs some fresh faces–very stale.

  11. catch… if i remember from last year, singleton wasn’t really tagged with the “projectable tool-shed” label like some others we have drafted. He came out of high school with an already pretty polished skill in making contact and seeing pitches so i don’t really think he belongs in the same discussion as a dom brown, hewitt, jiwan discussion.

  12. dwildcat53 – you are probably right about Singleton – he probably is not in the pure “toolshed” camp, although his skills were said to be raw and he supposedly has a fair degree of athleticism. Fair point.

  13. There are definitely aspects of hitting that you can’t teach like power and bat speed… but Hewitt has both of those things. I’m not sure if pitch recognition is more a function of hand eye coordination or of knowledge, conditioning and experience, but it IS something you can practice and teach. I’m not giving up on him just yet.

    And as for your fantasy team of 8 John Kruks, which do you put at catcher? At shortstop? That team would have all the grace of a drunken orgy in the field and every game would take 12 hours.

  14. Didnt you get the memo. Singleton fits the profile of the toolshed. What does his skills have to do with anything.

  15. From my memory of last year, I can’t recall any description of Singleton including him in the “toolshed” category per se. From what I recall his polish as a hitter and ability to hit for average wasn’t really questioned. I think the questions for him was that he was probably stuck at 1B defensively and so his power potential was going to be crucial and scouts weren’t sure. Some had no concerns about his future power potential and others did.

    I am sure the more knowledgeable posters can correct me if I am wrong.

  16. Castellanos would be such a perfect fit for the Phillies but I doubt they are interested as he has floated a 6M price tag. That’s not something the Phillies do picking 27th.

  17. Nowheels:

    I think the Nats called up the Catcher b/c I-Rod is on the disabled list.

  18. Wow…$6M? Top 5 money? I hadn’t read or heard that. I am a firm believer that the Phillies should spend more aggressively in the draft by going for more overslot players than just 2 or 3 every draft. I would have offered Susac and Stewart last year at least $750K each to sign…maybe more.

    However that asking price (if true) by Castellanos seems even too rich for me.

  19. I like and agree with Anonymous’s post above and would welcome more such anonymous postings. It’s very helpful for people like me who never get to see these guys.

  20. Let’s give Singleton another month and a half or so to see if he can keep this up, but my sense is that we are dealing with a very special talent here. I say this not just because of the power numbers and the average, but the discerning eye and the pitch recognition.

  21. The other piece with Singleton was that by all reports he has a great work ethic and is very “coachable.” Given his talent and eye, he was a brilliant signing.

  22. From BH Hot Sheet. For some reason he wasn’t on the sheet but got the helium award:

    • Jonathan Singleton, 1b, Phillies. Singleton caught scouts’ eyes on the high school showcase circuit in 2008, but an underwhelming season as a high school senior last year kept him on the draft board until the Phillies nabbed him in the eighth round. Philadelphia trusted their reports that Singleton was an advanced hitter for his age and gave him $200,000. He’s looking like a bargain right now. Singleton, 18, joined low Class A Lakewood in mid-May and has hit in 13 of 14 games since getting in the lineup.

    The lefthanded hitter currently is riding an 11-game hitting streak and has shown his share of both patience and power, having homered four times and walked nine times on his way to a .429/.508/.755 line through 49 at-bats. This week alone, Singleton hit .520/.556/.920 (13-for-25) with a pair of homers, four doubles and nine RBIs.

  23. Agree, Andy. It was reported he was raw once or twice, but that might be about his fielding. I too remember reports that he was an intensive student of hitting, learning from his dad and coaches since a young age, a lot like Tony Gwynn’s approach.

    If that is correct and we are seeing a lot of walks, as we are, then that would be a huge factor in his success. It means he has already internalized plate discipline at a much higher level than his contemporaries in A ball, and may be ready to fast track.

    If he hits around .300 with accompanying OBP, SLG, from here on in, I might send him to Clearwater in August as a reward and for a little early exposure to that level, with the view of starting him there next year and looking at a mid-seasom promotion to Reading.

    Just speculating, but if in fact he is mentally mature as a hitter while possessing his wealth of physical hitting skills, that may be the way to go. It will be exciting to see how it plays out. Maybe our next Dom Brown, with a somewhat different profile?

  24. Wow! Singleton had 28 walks in 111 plate appearances in his senior year. Yet he swings hard and has a high SLG in PAs where he does not walk.

    To me, that combo is one of the most reliable predictors there is, so long as you are not talking about a very weak league and a guy who is not physically impressive. We know he is built like a fireplug and that he has now hit in 2 pro leagues quite well, so those caveats are answered.

  25. Jim Callis of BA has the Phillies taking prep RHP/SS Kaleb Cowart at #27. Seems like a Phillies type pick- they like two way players early.

    I agree Castellanos would be an ideal fit, if not for his monetary demands, but with the CBP consecutive sell-out streak about to break 100 games, maybe we’ll flex some of that revenue by breaking slot early.

    An alternative to Castellanos could be Dominican 3B Elvis Sanchez. Like Castellanos, Sanchez has the elite power potential we’re always looking for in 3B prospects…I say spend the money signing Sanchez and draft the best available pitcher in the 1st round.

  26. Scouts view is esentially that Singleton is a unique prospect. I am getting giddy here, I admit it, but wouldn’t it be nice to follow Jonathan when he is hitting over .400 in August. Not likely, but that would get some notice.

    I am also thinking in a year or so, even now, he could be a significant piece in a trade.

  27. I’m pretty sure the DSL Phils roster is finally up. It looks like there’s a few new names on it, including Miguel Nunez.

  28. Rickey, thanks for the link. Love this quote

        “”He’s in the top 2 or 3 guys I’ve ever seen as A ball teenagers  that  have his
    approach,” said a scout.

    Heard those same words about Jason Heyward when he was in Low-A ball

  29. Santana has more BBs than Hits. Yesterday he had 2 BBs when all the opposing pitchers gave up was a bunt single to Castro and the BBs to Santana.

    Colvin was solid again. He shot himself in the foot on the two runs he gave up by hitting the 1st batter in the 5th. Singleton got the lead runner on a force out. A SB, a BB and then an error by Colvin on a pickoff attempt moved the runners up. A double and it’s a 2 – 0 game . The rest is all about the silent bats.

  30. Looks like , from the above link, a scout says Singleton “never looks bad” and “doesn’t get fooled” when talking about how Domonic Brown will do that at times.

    Said that Cosart and Singleton were named pitcher and player of week in SAL. also.

    LaMar said in that Domingo Santana will go to Williamsport when season begins.

    Kaleb Cowart is actually a 3B, who wants to be a hitter, though many like him as pitcher. He is said to have power from both sides of the plate and has been compared to Chipper Jones. Nick Catellanos is another HS power-hitter 3B prospect. I think Both would be very good picks, but mostly have seen them going before 27. HS OF Austin Wilson, as debated yesterday would also be of that calibre, and any of these players would likely cost at least a 3 million bonus, and Castellanos is rumored to want alot, maybe as much as stated, it is true. I hope that the Sporting News Draft is better regarded than their football drafts.

  31. Dominican roster is up, it is true. Whopping 21 active pitchers as of now. Another conversion pitcher as Lendy Castillo will give it a go. Miguel Nunez in DSL, and players still in XST are listed as “reserve” so there is Felix Cespedes, Lisalverto Bonilla, Geancarlo Mendez (INF) . Luis Beltre (OF) is also listed as a reserve, though I did not see it before and he may appear on the GCL roster when Short Season starts.

  32. MARFIS
    Nice picks but the trouble is 3rd is a position of need and probably be filled way before these guys are ready. Take them sure but no expections.

    You would know is Singleton fast enough to play the outfield?

    Santana may wreck the NYP league and maybe come back in August. For once I am in COMPLETE agreement with the phils plans.

    Aumont should be sent down like any other prospect. It isn’t fair to him .

  33. It was so refreshing to open the most prestigious newspaper in the region and see an entire page of coverage on Phillies prospects. And it wasn’t an annual review or mid-season wrap-up, it was just regular coverage. Most of the stuff we already know. What we don’t know, however, is what Chuck Lamar and Mark Parent are thinking and quotes that Brookover gets from Parent, and, particularly, Chuck, speak volumes.

    Here’s what I got from it that, honestly, I didn’t know before (or only suspected).

    1. The team thinks as highly of Cosart as we do. He’s the number one pitching prospect on the club and will progress as fast as his maturity and breaking stuff will allow.

    2. Domingo Santana is likely headed to Williamsport, but they really don’t seem disappointed in him. His fielding has improved a lot.

    3. Team likes JC Ramirez’s stuff. They’re concerned with what he’s throwing and how he’s reacting to situations, not with how many runs he gives up in a particular outing.

    4. There’s nothing wrong with Trevor May and they like him. He just needs to improve his command.

    5. They’ve always thought Overbeck was a capable run producer as he was in 2008, he was just injured last year.

    6. They’re not sure if Aumont is going to be a starter or a reliever, but his career his helped most by developing all of his pitches as a starter. They wouldn’t say it, but, clearly, they have to be very discouraged by what they’ve seen thus far.

    7. Drew Carpenter is clearly LhV’s best starter at AAA – hard to guage what else, if anything, they are thinking about him.

    8. Mathieson is perhaps the most dominant reliever in the minors and he’ll be up with the big club before too long. They won’t say it out loud, but I think he’s still in AAA for a lot of reasons, not the least of which is that they are getting him used to the closer’s role because they envision him as the team’s future closer.

    Not to be missed, is a half page article on Jonathan Singleton. Wonderful for the press it gives him, but I don’t think I learned anything new from the article except there was at least one reference to him as a future big leaguer – clear evidence to me is that they view his ultimate ascension, at least at some level, to be something of a foregone conclusion. I haven’t seen him play, but there were comparisons to Ryan Howard that seemed misplaced to me and seem to come more from the author than the team or scouts. Singleton has power and plays first, aside from that, I don’t see how, as a player, he is that similar to Howard – the dissimilarities seem to outweigh the similarities.

    There was other stuff (not looking at article as a write this), but those are the highlights.

  34. It’s hard to say who is best at Lehigh because the team is so bad especially defense.

  35. Encouraged to see that Mike Zagurski seems to be regaining his ability to strike out batters (K/9 at 13.5). If he can become the pitcher he was on the way to becoming before his surgery, the Phillies may have 2 quality relief pitchers in Zagurski and Mathieson with the potential to help the team. I still remember how dominant Zagurski was (at least in the minors) before he was injured.

  36. Catch 22: Which paper did you see all that stuff? Inky? Do you have a link?

  37. Found it. Sometimes articles are hard to find when you go to the generic site, as opposed to the Inky or DN sites.

  38. If Gose and Gillies are no good, as you say, then the Phillies are thin in the Outfield. If that is the case they need to take Outfielders in the draft.

  39. Zagurski has not always been terrible. Zagurski sped through the minor several years ago and was in the process of becoming a very useful middle reliever when a series of progressively difficult injuries forced him to delay his career and almost start over again. Now he’s back and it appears he’s making great progress. Zagurski is not a magic cure to the team’s problems, but, if he’s got that FB humming in the 92-94 range like he did a couple of years ago, he could have a productive major league career, although perhaps not with the Phils. It’s extremely unfair to say he’s been terrible.

  40. I, for one, am nowhere near ready to write off Gillies and Gose. My sense is that at least one of those guys is going to be a good major league centerfielder, and perhaps even both. It doesn’t happen overnight, these guys need to develop their skills.

  41. why would you write gose off 19 years old in a ball. and you are writeing off, cant understand that one.

  42. It seems a post was deleted. My response to john seems a little out of context now.
    Mark Parent, the Lakewood manager, said he can see Jared Cosart jumping a level next year. That would put Cosart in Reading next year.

  43. That would seem like a strange statement. Why wait til next year then double jump.

  44. Makes plenty of sense, if at the end of the year they do not feel he has anything to learn in A ball. If they move him up to Clearwater this year, they have to promote some pitchers at Reading and Clearwater to make room. Nobody at Reading is ready to be be promoted.

  45. Two more strike outs for Scott Mathieson tonight in an inning of work to lower his ERA to 0.73. If Amaro has no need for him with the Phils then trade him because he belongs in the major leagues now.

  46. Rocky – that is my point, others seem to be writing Gose off. Of course, I am not. I was responding to other posts saying he was no good – an incomprehensible assertion given his age, skill set and placement in high A at 19 years old.

  47. At what point is it appropriate to be officially concerned about Aumont? He’s getting killed in Reading so far this year.

    He’s had only 1 quality start out of his first 10. retooling his delivery or not, that’s terrible.

  48. “At what point is it appropriate to be officially concerned about Aumont?”

    July 15 – you gave a date, I picked one.

  49. Gose three walks tonight make .372 obp for May. That is a big step forward

  50. Sometime around mid 2012 if he’s still struggling in AA-ball.

    At that point he will be 23 and age appropriate for the league.

  51. 3up3kkk
    repeat why is he there? New delivery, new situation, new starter. We all know the answer.
    Congrats to Doc.

  52. He’s there to work on all of those things nowheels, not sure why you think it makes much difference if he is in Lehigh Valley, Reading, or Clearwater.

    He’s most likely still in Reading because there are too many idiot fans, sportswriters, and radio talking heads around who are just waiting for the first opportunity to say “I told you so” and they don’t want Aumont become a whipping boy for the Lee deal.

    Sound like anyone you know?

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