Zeid, DeFratus named AFL Rising Stars, AFL update

Matt Rizzotti continues to swing a very hot bat, going a combined 5-10 in games Monday and Tuesday, with 2 doubles and 4 RBI’s.  In 39 Fall League AB’s, Rizzotti is at .410/.531/.462 with 0 HR and 7 RBI. He has walked 10 times and struck out only 4 times.

Tim Kennelly has been opening eyes in his limited action going 2-3 with 2 runs and a double in the 15-1 Mesa win Monday.  Kennelly was behind the plate with 5 hurlers from the Phils organization on the hill. Kennelly is now at .429/.500/.619 in his 21 AB’s, with 0HR and 2 RBI’s.

Jacob Diekman made his AFL debut on Wednesday and probably wished he never got out of bed, as he did not record an out while facing 6 hitters, all of whom got base hits.  He allowed 6 runs, 5 earned.

Josh Zeid started on Monday and was very impressive in earning his 3rd win, going 4 shutout innings, allowing just 2 hits.  He did not walk a batter and struck out 3, throwing 61 pitches, 37 for strikes. Zeid is now 3-0 in his 4 starts, having thrown 14 innings.  He has allowed 11 hits, 1 walk and struck out 12.  Zeid’s WHIP stands at 0.85 and the opposition is hitting just .204 against him.  Zeid, named a member of the AFL’s Rising Starts team seems to be solidifying a spot in the Reading rotation for himself.

Tyson Brummett threw a scoreless inning and did not allow a hit Monday, striking out a batter and throwing 11 pitches, 7 for strikes.

BJ Rosenberg threw an impressive scoreless inning without allowing a hit Monday.  Most impressively after struggling with his control for much of the Fall season, he threw 12 pitches, 10 for strikes.  Still very poor AFL stats, but this was a step in the right direction.

Justin DeFratus, named to the AFL Rising Stars team, continued dominating the AFL with another scoreless inning on Monday.  He did not allow a baserunner and struck out two. Yet to allow a run in his 5 appearances, DeFratus has struck out 10 in 5 innings of work.

Chris Kissock added a scoreless inning on Monday, while giving up two hits. He too, has not allowed an earned run in 6 appearances, and has allowed just 4 baserunners in 6 innings.

Notes: John Mayberry has returned to CLearwater to rehab a calf injury suffered during opening day of the AFL season.

Harold Garcia has been struggling in the beginning of the Venezuelan Winter League season, hitting .143 with 7 strikeouts in 21 AB’s.

67 thoughts on “Zeid, DeFratus named AFL Rising Stars, AFL update

  1. Diekman has been on shaky ground. If this is what he shows in AFL, then he relegates completely to no-prospect status. Maybe a last huzzah for him.

  2. Lobby for DeFratus!!!

    See Mathieson; see his splitter. See him on the 25.

    Wondering Worley. Brown.

    All that there.

    Players to follow, watch, and fit ’em in.

    Time’s awasting.


  3. It’s worth remembering that the AFL is a hitters’ league. Its a six team league, that means there are 54 batting order slots generally. 25 players in the league have an OBP .400 or better. The bar is high.

  4. Looks like Rizzotti brought his bat from Clearwater instead of Reading. Very little power. But seriously, that kind of batting eye is great. This power is there, it just comes in streaks.

  5. “It’s worth remembering that the AFL is a hitters’ league. Its a six team league, that means there are 54 batting order slots generally. 25 players in the league have an OBP .400 or better. The bar is high.”

    Which makes the Zeid and DeFratus preformances all the more impressive. The reports I’ve read on Zeid are extremely strong, suggesting he can pump his FB into the mid to high 90s at times. About 6 or 7 years ago, we’d be thrilled to have a farm system with Zeid, Hyatt and DeFratus, but, these days, that’s just the tip of the pitching iceberg. It’s pretty incredible.

  6. In the long run, I think what we are going to see with the pitching is the following. Hallday and Hamels are still the long-term stalwarts and Hamels will be signed to an extension, probably sometime into the year or even in ST. The team will begin replacing its starters over the next few years. It will start, next spring with Worley and, if he sticks and somebody else capable comes along, don’t be surprised if the team trades Blanton in the next year or so. The bullpen will be completely overhauled with the exception of Ryan Madson and probably another left specialist that they will acquire. Next year, one of Contreras or Durbin will remain, but after that, it will mostly be our guys from the minors, including DeFratus, Mathieson, Bastardo, Stutes and Schwimer – one or two of those guys are likely to find themsevles in a trade, but I doubt that DeFratus gets traded – he’s the closer of the future.

    In addition, pitching will be traded for hitting. Hopefully they can engineer some interesting deals where we exchange top minor league pitchers for up and coming hitters as the need to replace talent at the big league level is not immediate – it’s more a 2-5 year window, so the idea should be to start lining up the replacements and work them in slowly.

  7. by the way, the nice thing about the succession plan that I outline is that it gives the team a ton of spending flexibility, which they will need in the coming years.

  8. The Phillies have a LOT of pitching depth in the minors.

    What is the pattern we want the Phillies to do? Sign free agent hitters, or trade these prospects for MLB hitters, or trade these prospects for other good hitting prospects?

  9. Phils signed infielder Carlos Rivero off waivers from the Indians… would love to see some sort of analysis.

  10. On Rivero:

    A poster over at PhuturePhillies said that he can’t hit and can’t field. Nothing about whether he could run from the batter’s box to 1st base. Who knows? More info called for. Does any statement issue forth from the Phils front office about him?

  11. As for the future, every team other than the Yankees has to have young “cheap” pitching peform well to compete. That’s because its easier and less risky to sign FA position players than it is pitchers. As long as the Phils’ young pitchers continue to develop as assets, the Phils will continue to have a strong major league team. In reality, there’s no way any competing team is going to have 3 rookie starting pitchers break in over 2 years so its reasonable to assume there will be some trades down the road. Choosing the right ones to keep (talent evaluation) and which to trade will be the difference maker. No one wants to be a team trading away a future 20 game winner. Our system has plenty of quality outfielders, and hopefully 2 good catching prospects in Valle and Rupp, plus Howard and Utley aren’t going anywhere for awhile, so I’m only worried about SS and 3B for the near future and that’s where a possible trade could help. 3B is less of a concern to me though because there seems to usually be players available. The big issue to me is SS and what to do for 2012. As we’ve discussed recently, its very hard to find a good SS prospect beyond the middle of the first round of the draft. Does any organization have 2 major league looking shortstop prospects?

  12. The important thing is if you can fill a few spots in the bullpen with young, cheap talent, then you can spend more money on a veteran back end setup guy or closer. We’ve had to pay higher dollars for the middle relievers for the past few years and that leads to budget constraints.

  13. Murray, the Cubs have two good young shortstops – Starlin Castro and Hak Ju Lee. If Castro maintains his successful rookie campaign numbers, I could see the Cubs putting Lee on the block, though I’ve heard that they may also be considering putting Lee at 2B if he is blocked by Castro. I’ve also read a few previews of the 2011 draft class that have been up on a number of SS prospects with respect to their bats and abilities to field in the majors.

  14. Matthew (Columbia, NJ)

    Hey Keith, do you see Matt Rizzoti as a regular 1st baseman in the Major Leagues?

    Klaw (1:34 PM)


  15. Another from todays KLAW chat

    Chris (Columbia, MO) [via mobile]

    Can Justin DeFratus be an elite reliever or is he more of a good middle reliever?

    Klaw (1:53 PM)

    Good middle guy, at least right now.

  16. Poor Rizz KLAW just doesn’t see it

    Monty (Philly)

    Would you change your mind on Matt Rizzoti if he had a great year in Lehigh Valley this year or is he one of those guys that might be able to do really well in the minors, but who doesn’t translate to MLB because he’s too limited physically? THanks

    Klaw (2:15 PM)

    It would take a lot to get me to come around on him. Unathletic minor league slugger who looks like he beats up on bad pitching. I like that Phillies system a lot, but it’s because they have guys on the opposite end of the spectrum from him.

  17. Hey Klaw must be a lot of bad pitching in the AFL everyday. Klaw’s bad rating probably the Riz is headed for the allstar game and the hall.
    Maybe he is right Riz was only 1 for 3 and Defratus got a save but NO
    strikeouts. Slump
    I think grandfather Klaw said Ruth had a long swing and would never make it.

  18. Seriously if the Riz ever needs motivation he should paste that comment on the workroom wall(or bathroom)

  19. Plan: draft early TWO SSs: one HS and one Coll. Coll for the short term, HS for the longer term. Add a Coll 3rd baseman, and a pitcher,and VOILA! we’re trying to fill those holes.

    DeFratus for middle relief now, closer later; Mathieson (with splitter!!) helps Madson in late inns but not closing now…both of these new guys to work toward even better competitive roles in ’12.

  20. Klaw’s opinion on Matt Rizzotti is worth listening to considering Keith is actually IN Arizona, watching Rizzotti play.

  21. Well if “KLaw’ is in Arizona seems to me he might be on vacation visiting the Grand Canyon, or maybe the Hoover Dam. Because he certainly isn’t watching the same Rizzotti that is batting .405 with a .500 + OBP against what is supposed to be the best prospects in various organization. Bad pitching, thats laughable! Tell your boy “KLaw” to send me a couple of good polaroids of the Canyon…

  22. No surprise there, Law has never had a good word to say about Matt Rizzotti. BUT…check this out! Peco you hit the nail on the head with Law!

    Baseball Writers Association of America
    In December 2007, Law was denied admission to the Baseball Writers Association of America, members of whom vote for Baseball Hall of Fame candidates and several annual awards including the Most Valuable Player and Cy Young Award.[8] While 16 other internet baseball columnists were admitted in their first year of eligibility, ESPN’s Law and Rob Neyer were refused due to the BBWAA’s perception that Law and Neyer did not attend enough games in person.[8] In 2008, however, Law was admitted to the BBWAA along with Neyer and Baseball Prospectus writers Christina Kahrl and Will Carroll.[9] On his 2009 NL Cy Young ballot, Law listed Javier Vázquez in front of Adam Wainwright and did not include Chris Carpenter on the three name ballot,[10] which elicited strong reactions from St. Louis Cardinals fans.[11] Law stated, “Carpenter’s innings total was the main reason he ended up off my ballot. He pitched extremely well when on the mound, but not well enough to close the value gap between him and the three pitchers I listed, each of whom threw at least 27 innings more than Carpenter”.[12]

  23. 42 at bats in a league where 5 players are currently hitting over .400. If that isn’t incontrovertable evidence that Klaw is wrong, I don’t know what is.

  24. Well Alan put him in the draft. Then you can watch him play for someone else next year. Say maybe the Braves.

    I am glad to see you and Klaw are friends again.

  25. We can only hope that the Braves will scoop up “the Riz” so they can play him in front of Freeman.

  26. There is a write up in Baseball Prospectus 2010 on Rivero saying he has good tools in search of a toolbox. BP does not think he will ever find said box.

  27. Honestly, I don’t see Rizzotti being taken in the Rule 5 draft. If I’m a GM, I see too many readily available minor league sluggers to go wasting an entire season trying out a player unproven beyond AA.

  28. No team is taking and keeping Rizz or Savery. I could see someone taking Savery to see what he is but he’s not ready to take a roster spot all year and would be offered back. Whether the Phils would pay to take him back is another story. Rizz looks exactly like Thome, without the back leg power style (taught to him by Charlie btw). If he keeps hitting, he’ll force someone’s hand. As for DeFratus, he looks great and will get a spring training look but he’s destined to be the LHV closer to start the year. No way Charlie takes 3 rookies north and Bastardo and Matheson have the inside track for two spots. Any interest in Bill Hall for a bench spot if they can get him for cheap? He’s righthanded with some power and can play multiple positions. Also, Dan Wheeler would be an upgrade in the pen.

  29. PECO PICK:

    you claim that “Rizz” is batting .400 against other organizations best pitchers. However, our pitchers there are Kissock, Brummett, Zeid, and DeFratus. Most teams do NOT send their best pitchers to the AFL. The best pitchers are gettign rest for their arms right now because teams are too worried about protecting their best assets.

    Alot of the AFL pitchers are relievers that still have innings to burn in their season. If teams were sending their best pitchers wouldnt May, Biddle, Cosart, Colvin, Ramirez etc. be in the AFL? At least one of them?

    The “Rizz” love is getting too hard to take at this point. Not every guy is star, fellas. Some guys never make it. Some guys become AAAA players. Some guys make it as bench players. Give “Rizz” a break. You are putting unrealistic expectations on him. Why would anyone Rule 5 him? Someone is going to waste a roster spot on a guy that had a good 2 months in AA and likely has the ceiling of a MLB bench player?

  30. remember that time the Phillies Rule 5’d Victorino, didn’t want him, and were able to keep him because the Dodgers wouldn’t pay $25k to take him back? yeah….about that. I imagine a lower-division team would take a shot on Rizz in the Rule 5.

  31. I hope bill conlin is wrong about lopes, he said he wanted 250000 thousand and phillies said no> didnt realize they led the league in basestealing percentage at 88 percent.

  32. The answer — May, Cosart, Colvin, and especially Biddle are simply too young for AFL. The team also doesn’t want these guys racking up any more IP. Rare to send a guy from low A ball. While we might have sent a Schwimer, Stutes, or Hyatt, we weren’t sending guys from GCL and Lakewood. Nobody does. There is, in fact, a rule that you can only send one such guy to AFL.

  33. I think they should protect Rizzotti, if only because he provides depth in case Howard goes down with an injury, which has been known to happen. I’m not one of his big boosters, but I do think he offers you more potential upside than a career minor leaguer like Andy Tracy. If he continues to hit in LV, and Howard doesn’t go down, he becomes a possible second or third piece for a trade with an AL club. Savery on the other hand–it is absolutely inconceivable to me that any team would burn a Rule 5 pick on him. The world is full of first round draft picks that never amount to anything, every team has a few, and no one’s going to take a flyer on him on the basis of a couple of IL at bats.

  34. Not only was Sanatana taken but the idiot Marlins immediately traded him for a hotdog. Anything is possible.

  35. A first basemen with no power and not a good fielder is not someone you take,in the draft , I BELIEVE if he has a future its as a pinchhitter and maybe a triple a guy in the waiting if your firstbasemen goes down and you need someone short term. but its only my opinion

  36. I think we have to be a little less black and white on Rizz and a little more grey. There have been a lot of guys that hit like this in the minors and turned out to be good big leaguers despite the concerns – wasn’t that long ago people said Ryan Howard was in AAA at 24/25 because he had a slider speed bat and he’s done okay. On the other hand, a lot of guys don’t make it. I don’t think it would take much for the Pirates or Royals as examples to keep him on the roster for a year. If there’s a 10% chance he turns out to be a Ryan Howard type player (maybe not that good but close), its worth the risk to a team in their position.

  37. For those of you who listen to Kevin Goldstein’s “Up and In” podcast he does, he gave the site a nice shoutout in his latest edition and talked a bit about Justin De Fratus. He complimented his stuff, especially his fastball, saying hes consistently 93-95 and can touch 96-97. His slider is still a work in progress but has shown great improvement. He projects him right now as a 7th inning guy, maybe more down the road if his slider improves even more.

    Good stuff. We all are assuming that he will be protected on the 40 man. If he’s left off, for some reason, I’ll be pretty peeved.

  38. Cool name drop for the site.

    And I can find this pod cast where? I’ll try the old google search: Kevin Goldstein Pod Cast UP and In

  39. My god Diekman is going for the 100.00 ERA. That is a shame. Poor kid I hope he turns it around.

  40. Off topic but just a remember moment regarding Sparky Anderson. I being an old goat saw him play here. He tired hard but was an outdate body type. Yet he made the greatest catch I ever saw in person on a blooper by Vada Pinson. I hope you are slim and fast “up there”.

  41. If Howard goes down for any extended amount of time the phillies already have Gload and will more than likely get another bench player that can play 1b. Then you have Tracy assuming he will be re-signed so he probably isn’t gonna get much of a chance. You also assume he will warrant a call-up based on his stats. No one is taking Savery, period, if they do, good luck to ya kid, nice knowing you. I have a feeling only 1 of the young relievers will make the big club for an extended period of time, I am thinking Bastardo considering he was on the post season roster and got into a game.

  42. Will people stop getting so butt-hurt about KLaw’s reviews of Rizz? It’s his objective opinion. He’s seen enough ABs and talked with enough scouts to know what he has to offer. I’d bet he’s seen more of Rizz than 90% of the people jumping on the Rizz bandwagon. Rizz is not a physically gifted athlete, he’s got a lot to prove, and his defense is suspect. His bat has produced over the past year+, but one year doesn’t make a career (well, unless you’re Jeff Francoeur). Calm down folks.

  43. Rizz gets taken in Rule 5 before Savery because he is far more advanced as a hitter. But who knows? I would have laughed out loud last year if someone had been so bold to suggest that Carlos Monasterios would be drafted by a 2009 playoff team AND would survive the entire campaign.

  44. I could see Savery getting selected. Some team might surmise that a move to the bullpen could jump start his career, and teams are always on the prowl for left handed arms. Such a team would take a flyer and work him in Spring Training, figuring its low risk and if he doesn’t show anything you just return him.

  45. MLB Trade Rumors Is reporting that Jamie Moyer left a Dominican game today after 2 innings having reinjured his elbow. They quote the GM Moise Alou as saying that he will likely never pitch again. If that so, its a sad day, but he will be a great pitching coach if he wants to

  46. Zeid pitched a hitless, scoreless inning last night and De Fratus pitched a hitless, scoreless 1/3 of an inning. No walks or strikeouts for either.

  47. Ummmmm…. WHAT?

    “As an aside, I’m sure you remember Brown had his name spelled “Dominic” for a couple years before finally correcting everybody. He might need to correct people on the pronunciation, too. His first name is pronounced Dominique, like Dominique Wilkins. At least that’s what Boras told me. He said he got the correct pronunciation from Brown’s father. ”


  48. Even with Boras as his agent, he’ll be with Philly for at least six more years if the Phils want him to be. And that’s pretty long in baseball, where most careers total less than that.

  49. This whole thing with fearing Boras is ridiculous. Yes, he’s aggressive and wants the best deal for his clients. But Philadelphia is a prime destination for free agents and players who come through the system here generally want to stay here. If Brown becomes a star, it’s far more likely that he will sign and stay rather than leave. But, gosh, it’s so far in the future, how can we even be concerned about that when we’re not sure he’ll even be a good major league player?

  50. Certainly true but most were prime in their time. You could make a nice team from that group.

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