2011 Reader Top 30, #30

And now we’ve arrived. Its the final spot in the 2011 Reader Top 30. I want to thank everyone for their participation, we drew an average of over 500 votes per round, definitely up from last year’s turnout.

1. Domonic Brown, OF
2. Jon Singleton, OF
3. Jarred Cosart, RHP
4. Brody Colvin, RHP
5. Trevor May, RHP
6. Sebastian Valle, C
7. Vance Worley, RHP
8. Jesse Biddle, LHP
9. Tyson Gillies, OF
10. Justin De Fratus, RHP
11. Jiwan James, OF
12. Julio Rodriguez, RHP
13. Domingo Santana, OF
14. Aaron Altherr, OF
15. Phillippe Aumont, RHP
16. JC Ramirez, RHP
17. Matt Rizzotti, 1B
18. Jon Pettibone, RHP
19. Austin Hyatt, RHP
20. Cesar Hernandez, 2B
21. Harold Garcia, 2B
22. Kelly Dugan, OF
23. Michael Schwimer, RHP
24. Colby Shreve, RHP
25. Freddy Galvis, SS
26. Josh Zeid, RHP
27. Leandro Castro, OF
28. Perci Garner, RHP
29. Cameron Rupp, C

95 thoughts on “2011 Reader Top 30, #30

    1. As previously promised, I am voting for Gauntlett at 30.

      Prediction? By August he’ll be honing in on our top 10 list.

      1. I agree Catch – I wouldn’t be too surprised if they start him at Lakewood this year. At the very least, he may get the same treatment Singleton got last year (extended Spring Training for a bit, then a call up after a month or so)

        – Jeff

        1. Relievers have been completely overrated.Cesar Hernandez at #20 is comical. Alther at 14 is horrible. Garner at 28 is terrible.

        2. Altherr at 14 is not horrible. He has a short history of success and we’ve all seen guys with a few hundred strong ABs. It also wasn’t widely known at the time that he would be playing 3B, increasing his value through positional flexibility.

          Garner has pretty much no history of success, just a big arm and a lot to dream on. I think he’s placed appropriately.

          You might be right about RPs, but people value these things differently.

          You are right about Hernandez, he ought to be higher. I mean, a 21-year-old in AA? Oh wait…

        3. BA has Cesar Hernandez as our #19 prospect. Perhaps we didn’t do all that poor a job on him?

          BA also has RPs at spots 12-15.

          They have Altherr at 10 and Garner at 21.

  1. I think for pitchers like Hernandez and Way they might find the bullpen the way to move up especially because of the lack of lefties in the system.

  2. Decisions, decisions.
    A 27 year old, AAAA relief pitcher, with one pitch and injury history… or an 18 year old, top 150 prep player in the nation.

    Kevin Walter

    1. How impressive really is being one of the top 150 high school players? Projection is great. But you take these high school arms and line them up and you’re fortunate if a third of them come as far as Mathieson. Even first round high school picks are a toss up, let alone 4th-6th round talent (to quote BA). I just can’t rate a high school arm until they gets innings under their belt.

      1. Even if Walter’s probability of success is only 10% his upside is so high I think his value is higher than Mathieson. People are treating Mathieson like a sure thing for a late inning role at some point. He hasn’t convinced me yet he can cut that. Let’s say he has a 75% probability of success – to be what, a one inning middle reliever?

        1. Exactly.
          Mathieson is closer, but closer to being what. A one inning middle reliever or maybe Tyler Clifford or Derrick Turnbull?
          Mayberry is close, too. Same issue. These guys are not prospects anymore. They are AAAA players hoping to land in a good situation.

        2. Just say Walter’s upside is Mark Mulder and Mathieson’s upside is Danys Baez. Mulder’s five best years averaged 4.1 WAR per year. Baez’s five best years as a RP averaged 0.7 WAR per year.

          10% of 4.1 = 0.41
          75% of 0.7 = 0.525

          Mathieson comes out ahead. This is far from perfect but it illustrates how certainty is important to a prospect’s value. Don’t dismiss guys who have a high likelihood of contributing to the MLB team just because their upside is limited.

      2. FWIW, Kevin Walter was rate 134 of all pitchers, college or prep. Jesse Biddle was rated 116.
        Walter was virtually the same level prospect as Biddle. He is worthy of the top 30.

  3. Yeah Walter at this point. If I had my way id take a couple names off the top 30 that are on there and get Eldemire, Pointer, Walter, Alvarez on the list.

  4. List is way off. Gillies ahead of Defratus and the minor league pitcher of the year (must have been for some reason, dont you think) #30
    Sorry, lost all respect for this site

      1. Gillies is at camp already and sounds excited to be there. Here’s hoping he returns to the form he showed when he was 19 in the Northwest League and posted a .439 OBP, or 20 in the Cal League and posted a .430 OBP.

        1. Yeah, I’m being cautious about Gillies – I like his skillset, he just had a bit of a lost year in 2010. He definitely has the potential to be a premier prospect

    1. perhaps you should rethink how you phrase things?
      1) Perhaps you meant you lost all respect for the readers of the site because the rankings did not match your list which is clearly the master list and most accurate?
      2) You lost ALL RESPECT because Gilles is ONE SPOT above Defratus? May I also mention that Keith Law doesn’t have Defratus in his top 10 prospects for the Phillies?
      3) Where do you want Hyatt ranked? top 10?

    2. Need to understand the difference between being a prospect and winning awards. Being name minor league pitcher/player of the year has nothing to do with the player’s overall status as a prospect.

      Tagg Bozied won the Eastern league player of the year award so by your criteria he should also be on the list?

    3. Mike Zagurski was Phillies Minor League Pitcher of the Year a few years back. Granted, the pharm was weaker then, but it tells you what that title means. Nothing. Mathieson deserves to be #30 or worse. He’s old and running out of chances.

  5. Look, I didn’t vote for Mathieson in the top 30 either, but I don’t think it’s crazy to vote for him. Yes, he’s on the older side. Yes, he had arm surgery – at least twice. Yes, he doesn’t have a lot of pitches and his fastball is straight.

    Having said all that, Mathieson had a very fine season last year and he throws the living heck out of the ball. He’s also got a great baseball frame and almost no mileage on his shoulder – the area of the body where velocity is generally lost when a player gets older. So, while I didn’t have him in the top 30, it’s not a huge stretch to argue that he belongs at the back end of the list. If Mathieson could throw a passable splitter, he could easily become a fine a set-up man in the big leagues. Not many people can throw a baseball 99 MPH.

  6. Mathieson – you don’t bring in Bruce Sutter to help a AAAA guy. The team obviously still sees some potential there, and he’s a step away from being a regular in the pen for as long as he can keep his injuries at bay. I’d have little argument against Walter either. Same arguments you could make for and against Garner or almost any of the other HS guys with good prospect status coming into the draft. They look nice right now but unless you’ve seen them play a couple times like pro scouts have, you can’t project them properly until they have a statistical sample other then HS. Either guy could be a complete bust in the minors, probably with as much likelihood as Mathieson could become a killer setup guy in the bigs.

    1. Of course you bring in a Bruce Sutter to help an AAAA guy. What that shows is that the Phillies see Mathieson as a AAAA pitcher who won’t be able to hold down a ML job without developing an acceptable off-speed pitch.

      They’ve tried everything else without success so the splitter is a final resort.

      1. Maybe so, and I think it’s true that the team stated or it was reported when Sutter came in that he would be evaluating more than just Mathiseon, though we never heard much about that after the initial release, as far as I recall.

        So, if it was as it seems and not as they said, predominantly about teaching Mathieson the splitter, I say that you spend money developing talent, you don’t throw it away on a has-been/never-will-be kind of guy. And people on this site do rely to some extent on the evaluations of the big club in making our opinions here, as we see whenever someone quotes Chuck Lamar to back up their point.

        Maybe I’m missing the point of “AAAA”, but to me it seems AAAA guys are considered nothing more than serviceable, short-term back-ups. They’ve signed a bunch of those types to minor league contracts already, and why bother spending money on a Hall of Famer’s expertise when you could just replace it with a guy named “Grilli”.

        1. Honestly, I think the reason that people discount Mathieson is because the Phillies are trying to get a pitcher with a history of arm problems to learn a pitch that the organization strongly discourages because it ruins arms.

        2. An AAAA player is a guy who is good enough to fill an injury need for a period of time but not good enough to hold down a regular ML job because they are lacking in some way. For a hitter, maybe they can field the position but don’t hit enough.

          For Mathieson, its a case where he has enough velocity to get the average AAA guy out but won’t be able to just throw it by ML hitters without having a serviceable breaking pitch he can use to get them off of his fastball.

      2. Or is Sutter the next pitching coach? The starter don’t need a coach and you can’t say Dubee has done well with the relievers.

  7. I vote Miguel Alvarez.

    Voting in Mathieson at #30 , is that an honor for that level of experience, reward for being on list for previous times, damning with faint praise, a back-handed slap, like engaging in misconduct and flipping a silver dollar.

    1. Damn – you guys take these lists too seriously. Voting or not voting for a player on a list is not a back-handed slap or any bit of damning with faint praise. At worst, it is a miscalculation. Nobody is personally disrespecting Scott Mathieson.

      Please, let’s all give the seething invectives a rest – it’s just a list of baseball prospects.

      1. I thought we were voting on which guys to send to Cairo to quell the unrest. I may need to rethink things.

  8. I lost a lot of enthusiasm for the list since #20 or so. I think we should start a new list of the coolest names in the system. One of my criteria is if the first name is unique (I never heard of anyone else using that first name) but everyone can have their own criteria. Here’s a start on it:

    1. Gauntlett Eldemire

    2. Tagg Bozied

    3. D’Arby Myers

    4. Ebelin Lugo

    5. Colby Shreve

    1. What about Riswish Ramirez? (DSL Phils)

      In all seriousness, there’ really no need to argue about the prospects this late. It’s actually a GOOD thing that there is still a split of opinions, which means we have more depth that goes even beyond a general consensus of 30 top players.

      Regardless of who finishes #30, there’s still tons of interesting names left.

    2. Best names? Hmm.

      1. Gauntlett Eldemire
      2. Riswish Ramirez
      3. Stephen Batts
      4. Placido Polanco
      5. Tagg Bozied
      6. Tuffy Gosewisch
      7. Jiwan James
      8. Ervis Manzanillo
      9. Siulman Lebron
      10. Korby Mintken

      Honorable mention today only (and perhaps tomorrow) to Andrew Snowdon.

      1. I still miss Josh Outman (can a pitcher have a better last name?).

        And, I think any Phillies prospect great name list has to include Domingo Santana (I’d have paid $20 on the spot to hear Harry Kalas say his name – DOE- MIIIING -GOOO SAANTAAANAAAAH).

        And how about Antonio (“Tony the Bastard”) Bastardo?

        1. and you can’t forget the new manager of Williamsport. One of the all-time great names: Mic-KEY MOR-and-DI-ni. I remember someone joking with Harry Kalas when Morandini retired that he won’t get to pronounce his name any more.

          Sebastian Valle has to be on that name list too.

          – Jeff

        2. I do look forward to seeing what a healthy Josh Outman will do in Oakland’s rotation this year. He should be back from TJ surgery this year. He was a solid pitcher prior to the injury. Hard throwing LHPs are relatively rare.

  9. I voted Nick Hernandez.
    Some people are getting way over-excited about how others are voting. A lot of it comes down to whom the voter considers to be eligible for the vote. I like both Bastardo and Mathieson and believe they will help the major league Phillies this season. I didn’t vote for either, because I consider them major leaguers already, as does MLB, which doesn’t count them as eligible for ROY, although BA has different rules and counts them as rookie eligible. I also decided at the start of this that I wouldn’t vote for any of the 2010 draftees who have not played or virtually not played. So I voted Biddle in my top 10 and Rupp at 29, but did not even consider Eldemire, Musser, Walter, Pointer, Garner. It’s not that they don’t have talent, they just have yet to do anything in professional baseball. I’ll rank them next year, after they have a record. I fully expect that three and maybe all of this list will make my top 30 next season. So, not voting for them isn’t a view on their value, just that it is not yet time to consider them.

    1. Allentown,

      For the third time, you are TOTALLY WRONG on Mathieson. Baseball America uses the same qualifications as Major League Baseball for rookie eligibility. They stated it on of their prospect books several years ago. For a pitcher to be eligible as a rookie he must have pitched less than 50 innings and be on the active 25-man major league roster for no more than 45 days between Opening Day and September 1 for all seasons combined. Time on the disabled list does not count since it is not the active roster. Mathieson has only had 23 days on the active 25-man roster. The days he was on the active 25-man roster was June 17, 2006 thru July 6, 2006 or 21 days and June 16, 2010 thru June 17, 2010 or 2 days. His total days on the active roster is 23 days which is less than 45 needed to retain rookie status. Mathieson has pitched a total of 39.0 innings in his major league experience. This is less than 50 innings needed to retain his rookie eligibility. Mathieson’s total major league service time for arbitration is 2 years and 103 days which includes his disabled list time. Total major league service time has nothing to do with rookie eligibility time.

      The fact that the Phillies have committed over a Million Dollars in salary to him while he was on the disabled list after TJ surgery that they did not have to also shows their commitment to him as a prospect. In addition, the Phillies tied up a 40-man roster spot for him for what will be an unprecedented 5 years also show their commitment to the belief that he will help the team and the fact that they spent additional money to hire a personal pitching coach (Bruce Sutter) just to make him a better pitcher also show the Phillies commitment and belief that he will contribute to the major league team.

      1. THANKS for clarifying that Mathieson still qualifies officially as a rookie by MLB rules. MLB should make it easier to figure out. Even baseball writers are not always sure which players are and are not eligible for rookie of the year voting, especially early in the season when there are lots of potential candidates, and they’re the voters!

  10. for 2011, I would recommend hiding the results until the vote is final. I think some people vote based upon results..i have done that on occasion to be honest. Example- someone may be for eldemire but also anti-mathieson. so they look at results, see eldemire cant win but want to vote against mathieson and vote for walter…

    1. Better yet, we can just each submit our top 30 to James and he can run a computer simulation of the voting for all 30 rounds. That would be fun.

  11. Point is, why list players who have more than 1 year of MLB service time?
    Best to set a criteria of eligibility I would humbly suggest.

        1. He did it 3 years ago, but not this year or last. Because number of days on the 25-man roster is hard to determine, eligibility was based only on the easily available 130 AB and 50 IP limits. I agree PP should state it up front each year and have requested it before.

  12. Crazy thought for the day……….could Joe Blanton be a closer? We all talk about how his salary is too high for a 5th starter, and it’s obviously too high for any bullpen role other than closer, so my question is if Brad Lidge were to go down to an injury in spring training and Kendrick or Worley were stepping up as the 5th starter, would Joe Blanton have the capacity to be a closer in the big leagues?

    1. Honestly, he’s about the last guy who I think would be good for a conversion from starter to closer. He doesn’t throw particularly hard or have an out pitch. He has traditional starter’s stuff. So, if you put him in the bullpen, I think you’ll pay a lot and get poor production.

      By the way, I do like the idea of Kendrick moving to the bullpen. He threw much harder there in 2009 – he seemed an entirely different pitcher. He could become a classic valuable long man/swing starter.

      1. Not good. Someone who cares to look it up can correct me, but I seem to recall it was around 8 last year deep into the season. Don’t know how it finished.

        1. True. But Myers has a filthy curveball. Blanton doesn’t have an out pitch like that. Also, relievers and starters warm up and train differently, so it is hard to say one way or the other that he would be bad just based on first inning stats.

        2. Unlike Blanton, Myers was a strike-out pitcher. I also wouldn’t say that Myers was a particularly good closer. He had 21 saves but he also had 3 blown saves and lost 4 other games that were tied when he entered the game.

  13. Lottery ticket time so I went with Walter. Out of all the 2010 draft picks with limited professional stats I like him as the most upside.

    In my opnion, Mathieson has turned out fairly well as a prospect. His age and injury history are certainly HUGE demerits but only so many guys throw 98+ FB so he still has ‘potential’. I ranked him around #20 (assuming he is eligible and healthy). I tend put more value on pitching prospects than hitters. I also think that a dominant closer is as valuable as 4th starter. Though the general inconsistency of relievers may limit the upside value of a projected reliever/closer.

  14. The community list is just that, a list based on the voting preferences of the entire phuturephillies.com community. I’ll set something up for everyone to submit their own top 30 lists. And I’ll have my own list. This is simply a vehicle to pass the time in the middle of the winter when there isn’t much to discuss. My whole vision for the Reader Top 30 the first time we did it was to basically just give people something to discuss and debate for 6 weeks. And in that regard, its certainly proven its worth, as each voting thread generates 50+ comments.

    As for eligibility, I think I determined that it would be based on MLB’s criteria, which factors in service time. I guess this wasn’t the easiest way to do it, because service time is tougher to calculate than just looking at IP and AB. Someone remind me next year to make it just the IP/AB requirements.

    1. Thanks for doing it for us, PP. I remain a Phan.

      By the way, Mattair is in camp already too. Let’s hope some time away has helped him somehow…

    2. My understanding is if you put them on the voting list, their eligible! After all this is your site?? If someone doesn’t know, they can always ask you.

  15. The experts can’t agree on prospect valuations but people want a bunch of fans on a website to agree with no dissension. That’s pretty funny when you think about it.

    1. What’s also funny is different people saying that at least one player (De Fratus) is “clearly” overrated and underrated.

      I disagree with some of the rankings but don’t think any of them are wildly unreasonable.

      One point which has been made about the relief pitchers is that for pitchers closeness to the majors means even more than it does for hitters, since so many young pitchers fall by the wayside because of injury, and the Phillies just happen to have more relievers close to the majors. Julio Rodriguez (for example) obviously has a FAR higher ceiling than De Fratus, but is much less likely to actually play in the majors. I think Rodriquez deserved to be higher, but can see the other side of the argument.

      1. Some have lost sight of the fact that Defratus has improved at every advancement. How do you evaluated that?

        1. Well I’m not sure that is a huge factor, except that of course for minor leaguers I put much more weight n recent performance, and De Fratus has indeed been putting up improved numbers. (And, unlike some players ho show superficial improvement, has good peripherals showing real improvement.)

          But that doesn’t answer the argument of his detractors, which starts from a decent premise – that relievers aren’t nearly as valuable as starters. But De Fratus’ detractors exagerate this concern. De Fratus has real value, and is close to the majors (again for pitchers espcially an under rated factor). He IMO deserves to rank roughly where he does, maybe a little lower but not much.

  16. I switched and Voted Walte since it appears to be a two man race.
    However, there are still some viable names up there which is nice for being at 30.

    1. Yes, I think he does if he’s fully recovered from his surgery. If Altherr plays 3B and Dugan plays 1B, that would allow a combination of Eldemire, Alvarez, Hewitt and Santana or Collier to play the OF at Lakewood. They will provide a prospect laden team there again, with Hernandez at 2B and J Rod, Biddle, and Garner likely in the rotation. Jobs will definitely be won and lost at ST this year.

        1. Hopefully Clearwater is just as laden this year with all the guys from Lakewood being promoted.

          We could have the best Single A teams in all of baseball this year.

  17. We know Clearwater will have terrific starting pitching with Lugo their likely closer and Valle doing the catching. Their OF will be Singleton, James and Castro so that will be fun to watch. The IF will be Ruff at 1B, Barnes back at 2B, and Mattair at 3B (SS?). They’ll also have a few decent bench guys and a few roster decisions to make. Yes, C-Water will certainly be a team to watch early in the season. They should have 9 of my personal top 20 on the team.

    1. Schoenburger did put together a decent season offensively and played quite a few games at SS. He could also see some time at 2nd, with Barnes seeing some time at 3rd.

      I think it’s not impossible (though still not very likely) that Barnes sees a game or two at SS. If he can hack it there occasionally, it’ll help his chances to make the major leagues eventually as a bench player.

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