Sunday mailbag

I was hoping to write a longer post today, but due to some extenuating circumstances I haven’t had the time to do the research needed. That said, I did receive a few emails, so I’ll answer those below the fold. Thanks to those of you who submitted questions.

Of the unsigned draftees, which ones should the Phils break slot for? Is there any “must” sign in the group. The next Cosart or Singleton? Of the signed draftees, which do you think will make a big splash in the Majors some day.




The biggest guy on the board for the Phillies is 5th round pick Scott Frazier. Everyone assumed that he would require an overslot deal to sign away from college, and MLB frowns on announcing over-slot deals prior to the deadline. As we get closer to the deadline, a few overslot guys should sign, and you’d expect the Phillies to make at least one or two interesting plays. Frazier tops the list, and has the most upside of any of the unsigned guys. Jimmy Hodskin might fit the mold of the possible “Cosart” signing, as he will require a lot of money to sign.

Along the same lines

Thanks for doing this, James. Whom do you think the phils will sign of the remaining draft picks? What would be a best case scenario? Any of those guys you are high on besides Frazier?



Frazier has the most upside, following by 19th round pick Dan Palka and 20th round pick Kevin Walter, a prep righthander out of Colorado. RHP Patrick Lala, a JuCo guy, has an interesting profile, and 43rd round pick Jimmy Hodskin might have as high a ceiling as Scott Frazier. All of these guys will be tough signs. The best case scenario is Frazier, Hodgskin, and then either one of Palka or Walter, but that might be optimistic.

A lot has been made of Cosart and Colvin this season, and I was wondering if you can break them down individually. I get the sense that both of them are from the same mold, with similar “stuff”, and a similar ceiling. Do you think one pitcher is further ahead of the other, and when would you expect them in the Major Leagues?

Bay Slugga

Bay Slugga,

Cosart and Colvin are very similar, both in their raw stuff and their physical builds. Both are 6’3, both in the 185-195 lb range, and both have excellent arm strength. Cosart has consistently pitched in the 94-95 range this year, hitting 97/98 at times, whereas Colvin has been more 91-95 and hitting 97 when you need it. Cosart features a plus 12-6 curveball, while Colvin’s is more of a softer slurve, which the Phillies will attempt to tighten up. Both guys feature a changeup, with Colvin’s slightly more advanced. Colvin is 3 months younger than Cosart, so they are on a very similar trajectory, and really are very similar across the board. At this point, Cosart edges Colvin in the arm strength department, but Colvin might have a bit more polish and doesn’t have the same injury worries. Both profile as front of the rotation starters.

BA had a number of articles and a podcast where Jonathan Villar’s defense was praised. Given that his bat already seems more advanced than Freddy Galvis, is Villar our number 1 short-stop prospect? What are you looking for as Villar moves forward and what is his ETA in your estimation?



I was very optimistic about Jonathan Villar this winter, ranking him 18th in the my Top 30, whereas BA had him at 22nd. In the same ranking I had Freddy Galvis ranked 14th, noting that his exceptional defense meant he would provide value at the big league level, even if he never developed even an average bat. Villar has made his mark this season in his first taste of a full season league, hitting .277/.338/.366 in 397 PA, with 37 SB despite not turning 19 until May. Because he has shown promise with the bat already, and the defensive reports on his glove have been very positive, I think he will vault ahead of Galvis in my rankings, and he’s looking more like a Top 10 prospect. Galvis hasn’t hit this year, which isn’t surprising, as he is still one of the youngest players in AA. The glove remains outstanding, however, a notch or two above Villar and most every other SS prospect in the minors.

Hi James,

I’ve got a question for you, though it may be tough to answer.

I’d love to hear your take on the Phillies’ organizational philosophy for graduating prospects to the bigs. With MLB teams in search of more athletic and dynamic players, it seems to me that we’ve seen some young prospects called up on the earlier side of the development track, like Stanton, Heyward, Smoak, Saunders, Ike Davis, and even others from this last year. I’m not saying these guys weren’t ready, but they all could have justifiably spent more time in the minors. On the other hand, the Phils have a prospect in Brown who looks to be ready, and yet the Phils are giving him even more time to season his skills. What do you see as the organization’s philosophy on graduating prospects, position players or pitchers? Do you see the Phils as different than other orgs, or basically the same?

By the way, Brown is simply an example that sparked this question. I’m well aware that there are myriad personnel issues that may be impacting his promotion, but I still think the question is an interesting one. Other Phils examples of graduating prospects that come to mind a delayed (vs early in the track) include Utley, Howard, and even the 2010 version of Mathieson.

Love the work you do at the site; hope to see an answer.

Joe (Phillies Red)

Hi Joe,

Thanks for the compliment. The Phillies, as a team with one of the biggest payrolls in baseball, have made a habit of keeping guys in the minors a year (and sometimes longer) longer than most fans think they should be there. But the result is, when the player steps in, he is closer to his baseball peak and his physical peak, and the Phillies generally receive quality production out of the player. The advantage to this is getting exceptional production while the player is making the league minimum or close to it. You can see this with guys like Howard and Utley in recent years. The Phillies have shown that when a guy dominates a level in the minors and appears ready, they will bump him up a level. But the arbitration clock and service time are big factors, and the Phillies handling of this is smart, even if you want to see guys up sooner. Domonic Brown, who appears set to take over a full time spot in 2011, will now make the major league minimum in 2011, 2012, and 2013, after which he will be arbitration eligible. For a team with a very high payroll, having a player making the minimum will help the team use that money on other spots. As avid minor league fans, we want to see our guys get up to the majors quicker, but starting their arb clock when they aren’t ready not only costs the team production, but also impacts salary considerations in future years.

Why haven’t the Phillies been able to sign Hinson? I thought his father was a scout for the team & he was a safe bet to sign.
Thank you,
Ken Blythe

Hi Ken,

This one is a perplexing one, isn’t it? Hinson’s dad works in the Phillies organization, and the Phillies drafted him out of high school. After a long college season, he may have just wanted to assess his options. I’m sure the Phillies will have discussions, and if something reasonable can be agreed on, he will sign before the deadline.

AJ sent 4 questions, I’ll answer all 4 separately and briefly.

What is the outlook for Cody Overbeck’s future? What are the team’s thoughts on his potential upside?

I can’t say what the Phillies think of him, but he is probably not an every day player in the big leagues, and fits in more as a utility bat who is capable of playing 1B, 3B, and the corner OF spots, but will not be a defensive asset. He struggled quite a bit prior to 2009 and wasn’t really on the radar, but he’s had a nice season. Because he isn’t a young, raw prospect, he’ll have to continue to produce, but if he does, he could be a Greg Dobbs type in the big leagues, with a little less batting average and a decent amount of pop off the bench.

Michael Bourn a few years back was extremely valuable as a September call up to basically serve as a late inning pinch runner. Is there anyone in the system that would fit that bill this year?

I don’t really see anyone here on the offensive side. Andy Tracy could come up to pinch hit, and John Mayberry could come up to also offer a RH bat off the bench, but I don’t see a big time speed/defensive replacement type. I think the reinforcements will come on the pitching side in the form of Vance Worley, Mike Stutes, Scott Mathieson and Antonio Bastardo and Michael Schwimer, if the Phillies so choose.

If Carrasco, Donald, Marson, Knapp, Drabek, Taylor, Cardenas, And Travis D were currently in the Phils system, where would you rank them in the Phils prospect rankings?

This is a really tough question, and one that I will try and answer in more depth later this week.

What are the rules for when minor league players need to get added to the 40 man roster to be protected? What key decisions do the Phils face on that front this coming off season?

Players who were 18 or younger when drafted/signed must be placed on the 40 man roster after their 5th pro season. Guys who were 19 or older when drafted/signed must be placed on the 40 man roster after their 4th pro season or they are subject to the Rule 5 draft.

A few notable guys who fall under this umbrella after 2010 are

D’Arby Myers
Domonic Brown (who will be added sooner than that)
Joe Savery
Matt Rizzotti
Tyson Brummett
Justin De Fratus
Jacob Diekman

It will depend on what the Phillies 40 man roster looks like this winter, but my gut instinct is that De Fratus and Savery will be protected, while the rest will not.

Thanks for all the questions.

21 thoughts on “Sunday mailbag

  1. You don’t think Rizzotti will be protected?

    Also, Taveras is no longer with the team as of a month ago.

  2. thanks for the Q&A james… very interesting as usual. Im interested you think they wont protect Rizz after this year, but would keep savery. I know Rizz is getting really overhyped by some on this site, but even so, with this years numbers you would have to think he would be a very high pick in the rule 5 next winter.

  3. I have a hunch Rizzotti could be included in a trade, and therefore not need to be protected.

  4. I assume James was thinking the Phils will give Savery every chance to make, especially if they convert him to a 1b, so he’d be protected.

  5. Rizzotti is a guy without a position who has hit his peak value on this team. I am almost certain that he will be part of a deal at the deadline or an August trade. If not, he will definitely be protected.

  6. Very informative, but I must disagree with protecting savery over rizzotti. No MLB team could keep savery on their team for a full season. There is a chance a team could take the rizz and keep him.

  7. Great post. thanks. Really excited to see who the Phils sign….more the merrier!

  8. Don’t agree at all that the Phillies would protect Joe Slavery, but not Rizzotti. LH pitching is premium, and someone will claim Savery, but he is no loss. Additionally, I believe the Phillies have to protect Harold Garcia, Edgar Garcia and Correa. Brown, HGarcia, Defratus and Rizzotti have to be protected. That is a lot of spots on the 40 man, without waisting on Savery.

  9. I think Diekman will be protected also if he needs to be. I think he may still have a loogy future ahead of him.

  10. Murray why would they protect a loogy over a rizz or garcia that to me would be nuts. but just my opinion.

  11. rizz and Garcia will be protected if still here—no chance for Diekman nor Savery.
    With the talent developing we will have roster challenges for the next several years.

  12. In the draft review it was mentioned that phuture Phillies was high on Chad Thompson, and felt 300k would be a deserving figure for him. He was rated as high as Brody Colvin before his injury. What happened between the draft and now, that he was left out as one of the over slot players. Was that an oversight?

  13. Sorry if this has already been discussed in the past, but do you think there is a chance in the near future that the Phils will try to make Savery a position player? He hasn’t lived up to expectations pitching wise plus he was an outstanding hitter in college and just hit a pinch-hit homer. He has often stated that he really enjoys hitting. If so, could he be another Rick Ankiel?

  14. Haren prospect anyone know why there is talk arizona got little for him? Could we have offer better without hurting our system, I thought one of them was eight best prospect?

  15. Savery has no where near the raw power that Ankiel had and he’s about 4 years older than Ankiel was when the switch was made. I don’t think that comparison of the two is accurate (plus, Ankiel actually had potential as a pitcher!)

  16. Due to his call up, Worley has to be on the 40 man now. Correct me if I’m wrong James.

  17. There is someone in the system that fits the bill as a time speed/ defensive player that could be extremely valuable as a September call up who could basically serve for late inning pinch running. He is very good defensive player and he is the fastest runner in the phillies org. If you have seen him play in the outfield you have seen a show. D’Arby Myers is the player.

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