Recap: The BlueClaws went 5-2 on the week en route to clinching the SAL North first half title with Sunday’s win. Jonathan Singleton led the way with two home runs and 5 RBI on Sunday to back a decent start from Brody Colvin. The week caps a stretch that saw the ‘Claws win 16 of their last 21. As an aside, last week’s column noted that Sebastian Valle’s two-HR game last week was the first since 2006–turns out I’d gotten that information from a bad source and Derrick Mitchell actually had been the last to do it in 2008. I can say, with a fairly high certainty, that Singleton’s two-HR game Sunday was the first for the ‘Claws since Valle’s last week.
Hitters: Just straight stats–longer commentary on the first half below.
- Jeremy Barnes–returned from the DL and went 0-3 in his only game, then went back to the DL
- Adam Buschini–6 for 20, 2B, 3 SB, 3 E
- Leandro Castro–9 for 28, 2 2B, 3B, 3 RBI, SB
- Anthony Hewitt–7 for 27, 3 2B, HR, 3 RBI, 10K / 1 BB, SB
- Jiwan James–8 for 31, 2B, 3B, HR, 3 RBI, 2 CS, E
- Jonathan Singleton–6 for 26, 2 2B, 2 HR, 8 RBI, E
- Sebastian Valle–7 for 25, 2 2B, HR, 6 RBI, PB
- Jonathan Villar–7 for 27, 2B, 2 RBI, 2 SB, 3 E
- Brody Colvin–13 IP, 13 H, 3 ER, 13 K / 2 BB
- Jarred Cosart–14 IP, 14 H, 6 ER, 10 K / 3 BB
- Jordan Ellis–3 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 6 K / 0 BB, 2 Saves
- Ebelin Lugo–5 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 3 K / 0 BB
- Jonathan Pettibone–5.2 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 2 K / 3 BB
- Colby Shreve–5 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 1 K / 3 BB
- Matt Way–6 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 6 K / 3 BB
- Luke Wertz–5 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 5 K / 0 BB
- Josh Zeid–3.1 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 3 K / 1 BB
First Half Recap:
Just some thoughts on what I’ve seen so far. My actual in-person experience watching these guys is based solely on about 6 days at the Carpenter Complex in March, so my views are based primarily on stats and a lot of reading. So I’m going to tier these guys out as I see them in terms of prospectdum. Not really sure what my tiers mean relative to each other,other than that 1 is better than 2, etc.
Tier 1–Singleton, Cosart, Colvin
What more can be written about Singleton that hasn’t already been written? While I’ve only been writing on this site for half a year, I have fervently followed the Phils system for years and can’t recall a player this young putting up these types of numbers and generating this much attention. His arrival coincided with the ‘Claws ascent in the standings (granted some other guys also picked it up) and his impact on the team and on the stature of the entire system cannot be understated. From Mark Parent’s comments in the Asbury Park Press, it seems likely that I’ll get to follow him at Lakewood for the rest of the year. In Cosart and Colvin, I don’t think there’s much more you could want out of them so far, although they’ve taken different paths to arrive. Cosart, save for a few minor bumps, has been top-notch since Day 1. Colvin struggled, but after what I assume was an adjustment to his first season of pro ball, has been excellent over his last ten starts or so. With Trevor May still working on his control in Clearwater, these two have moved to 1A and 1B for me among Phils’ pitching prospects. Maybe as important as the performance, there’s no more talk about the maturity issues that followed Cosart when he was drafted or Colvin’s incident from this past offseason.
Tier 2–Valle, Villar
Valle has obviously turned his season around. A few weeks ago, I’d commented that his numbers at the time were worse than when he got sent back to Williamsport last year. Well, while that was true at the time, it became moot almost instantly as Valle started hitting 12 seconds after I hit submit. Still not 100% sure where his defense plays out–difficult to judge his defense through the boxscores, although 7 passed balls in half a year does seem high–but for the time being, he represents the totality of catching prospects in the system and a good prospect at that. Villar has been the most surprising guy for me–mainly because it was hard to have expectations from a guy whose name is misspelled in the BA Handbook and on firstinning.com every day. Nonetheless, his speed is a plus and for a guy who turned 19 last month, I’m guessing that there’s some room to grow and some of the 14 doubles turn into homers down the line. Of course, at 6’1″, 180, much more growing may move him off SS. Needs to get more consistent in the field, but he’s cemented himself as the best middle infield prospect in the system.
Tier 3–Barnes, Castro, James, Shreve, Way
Might be a stretch to put Barnes in here, and he certainly doesn’t have the upside of some of the others in this group, but he seems like a guy who’s gonna get some big league at-bats at some point. Leandro Castro is all about learning plate discipline–he’s churning out extra base hits, although at 21, it would be nice to see him get some ABs in Clearwater this year. I’m really not sure what to make of Jiwan James, but give him the benefit of the doubt since he’s only a year and a half into his career as a hitter. The athleticism is certainly not lacking, I’m just at a loss on how to judge a conversion project like James. Colby Shreve’s first starts as a pro leave me pretty optimistic, but it’s still a relatively small sample size to judge how he fits in relative to the others. There seems to be some debate about Way on this site since he’s not a hard thrower, but the results have been there so far and it appears he will be promoted shortly, so his prospect status given his age should become clearer shortly.
Tier 4–Hewitt, Pettibone
In all honesty, Hewitt would have been left off my review if not for the past three weeks. The biggest change I’ve seen is his OBP over that stretch, which really seems like an outlier given the rest of his career. He had a dreadful May. It’s still hard for me to imagine him ever playing for the Phils, but I’ll temporarily buy into his last 64 ABs and skeptically view him as not yet a complete flop. Pettibone doesn’t strike out enough guys for me to view him as anything more than filler, although I guess you could’ve said the same about Kyle Kendrick a few years back, but he’s ended up with a World Series ring and a girl from Survivor.
Incomplete–Santana, Hernandez, Zeid, Wertz, etc.
It would’ve been nice if Santana had come in and even hit .220 or .230. He carried himself through the first month with a good eye that led to a high OBP, but eventually this fell off and he ended his tenure with a .182 batting average and a sub-.300 SLG. Yes, I realize that he’d be a high school junior, which is precisely why I give him an incomplete–just no way to gauge what a 17-year old should be doing in a full season league. Nick Hernandez was arguably the best pitcher on the team early on prior to getting hurt. Still unclear as to when and where he’ll pitch next. Zeid, Wertz, Lugo, Ellis…figured these guys are worth a mention because at the very least, between these guys and some guys higher up through the system, it seems like the Phils may eventually have some cheap options for middle relief down the line.