82 thoughts on “Box Score Roundup, 2 May 2011

    1. Cool Stat: In this last ten games Anthony Hewitt has a hit in each one of them. He is batting 310 during that period. During that period, his OBP is………310. Yup.

    2. We get a nice streak or 2 from him every year, and hopes are raised. Liove to see this be real, but as mentioned, his Ks and lack of walks predict that pitchers and his impatience will lead him back to futility. Love to eat my shoe if I’m wrong, but I think Galvis has a better chance of hitting something than Hewitt.

      1. He’s doing better than I would at A. 🙂 Anyway, in his last 13 games, he’s 20-56, with a slash of .357/.357/.643. I like the 1.000 OPS, but not the identical average and OBP. The 16/0 K/BB ratio certainly ain’t grand.

        One can still hope.

  1. happy to see biddle with a nice bounceback effort tonight and j rodriguez just continues to impress (a few too many walks though)

    is this the best run for hewitt ever? (granted his BB/K rates are still atrocious)

  2. Julio Rodriguez had another stellar outing before tiring in the seventh and having Esposito bail him out. Barnes was in the middle of all the scoring. Clearwater looks great and is stronger with Barnes in the lineup. Cosart and May were better in their last games.
    Biddle did better. It is nice that he is so young, willing, and not afraid to work. He is going to be very good.
    I would like to see Naughton play some at LHV. He hits well, but Kratz is hitting too.
    Bad defense hurt Reading. By making two plays they would have won the game.

  3. Brown did something tonight I’ve never seen him do–he loafed a double into a single. He roped a ball in his third AB to the wall in RF. It short-hopped the wall, the RF had to wait a bit to corral it, and Brown somehow only got a single. Maybe he was overly concerned with not taking risks down 4-0, but Matt Stairs or Greg Luzinski would have gotten to 2nd base on that hit.

    Brown looked a little over-matched at the plate today in his other ABs. Zagurski gets boatloads of swings and misses–more in 1 inning than Bass in 6. Bass is a batting practice pitcher. Schwim has every hitter off-balance. Frandsen looks like a decent player–got robbed twice tonight.

    1. He’s gone from A to AAA. I’m sure it will take a bit of time to adjust to the pitching as he really hasn’t played regularly in 9 months.

    2. He’s not a big name but Frandsen is showing me something. I researched his career and found a guy with a history of hitting in the minors who did fairly well the first year in the majors but bad last year. He’s a guy the Phils could look at at some point for 2B if Utley remains out and with Valdez back to being Valdez. Bocock’s return just put Barfield on the bench. Lots of 4A guys there..

  4. It’s nice to see Savery collecting a couple of walks tonight, that’s been his only red flag this year except being old for high A.

  5. Hate to hear Brown looks overmatched. we really need him and quick, unless ibanez somehow finds his lost stroke.

    1. I was originally going to say that the bigger concern with Savery is that he is not slugging the ball – but I just checked and his ISO is around .160 – which isn’t too bad. And even if he’s not drawing all that many walks, he’s not striking out too much either. All in all, he’s definitely worth following – and if he can continue to rake in Reading – hitting .300 with an OPS in the area of .850, then he is back to being a legitimate prospect.

      Speaking of redemption, Aumont really has his groove back – striking out better than a batter per inning while have a GO/AO ratio around 2.5 is certainly a formula for success

    2. It’s his first game there – I wouldn’t read to much into that and, by the way, I expect him to look overmatched when he gets to the big leagues. But he just needs to keep getting at bats. Dom Brown is a huge talent and there’s a damn good chance he is going to become an all-star. In any event, the team is right that, wherever he is, he needs to play and play a lot. When he gets back to the majors I see him starting at least 3 times a week.

  6. How is Savery not drawing walks a red flag? He’s hitting over .400, If you get a pitch to hit you swing the bat. No one goes to the plate taking good pitches to hit just because they want to walk. Every player wants to hit. They cant walk their way to the big leagues and Savery isnt going to steal his way there either, so why not swing the bat?

    1. Fangraphs has his BABIP at .468, which is unsustainable, especially for a player with little speed. Yesterday he increased his minor league career total in walks from 7 to 9 with now 200 PAs under his belt. Maybe now that he has shown himself to be a good hitter at high A, pitchers will be more careful with him and his patience will emerge. But if it doesn’t a hitter with little speed and one HR will not advance much further.

      1. I think that generally a BABIP that high is unsustainable. However, if a hitter is simply too good for his league he will probably sustain a higher than normal BABIP (e.g. if Polanco were in AA, his BABIP would probably be well above .300). Maybe not .470, but I would not be surprised to see a high BABIP for the whole season for Savery in A+.

        I also agree with Anonymous that you are not going to draw many walks if you are getting lots of good pitches to hit *and* you are successfully hitting them.

        As John C said, the important thing now is to see how Savery adjusts if pitchers start pitching around him. Will he wait for his pitch or will he swing away?

        1. This is sort of the absurd outer limits of the walks-as-an-undervalued-stat argument. The guy is hitting over .400! It’s like that time a couple years ago where PP wrote that he was excited about Damarii Saunderson, who was hitting .103, because he had taken 8 walks.

          1. The problem with that is that hitting over .400 – especially given the Babip – tells us virtually nothing about how good he is.

            Look, I’m not as dogmatic as some regarding babip. I’m willing to assume/hope that part of what is going on is that he is hitting a lot of line drives (which leads to a higher babip). But the outer limit of a guy who hits a lot of line drives but isn’t particularly fast is a babip of around .330. Ryan Howard is kind of the poster child for that type of player; his career babip is .328, one of the higher figures of active players who have enough ABs to have an established babip level. Most of the guys who are higher are players who hit line drives AND have some speed.

            Making a bend over backwards optimistic assumption that he can eventually do that in the major leagues:

            Assuming his current HR% and K% (the first average or a bit below, the second maybe a bit above average), that would result in a .300 BA.

            IF he can do that, and if his current power (lots over doubles, so not bad) and BB rate are maintained … he is a .300 hitter with some mid range power and low BB% – for a player without a lot of defensive value, not at a premium defensive position … that’s not a regular.

            Bottom line – given that the average is (at a 100% level of certainly) largely a mirage, for him to be a real prospect (and given his age, that’s a marginal proposition at best), he’s going to either need to show more power or a better BB% or both.

            Now, all that said, the one thing you can say (and some people have) is that maybe he’s not getting many BB because he is getting so many good pitches to hit. Maybe. I don’t buy it – as hot as he’s been (even if it is partially an illusion), you don’t think maybe pitchers are starting to pitch him carefully?

            1. Larry, I basically agree with you. However, if a player is too good for his league, he’s going to have a ridiculously good BABIP. For example, Rizzoti was too good for CLE last year and had a BABIP of .442.

              Savery has been hot and over a full season will probably not have a BABIP of .470. But it would not shock me to see a full-season BABIP well above .330 for a man among boys in high-A.

            2. BP, as I suggest elsewhere, your argument, while likely true, reinforces my point. It’s yet another reason why the babip is unsustainable when he faces tougher competition. Minoe leaguers do often produce freakish babip – which they can’ sustain when they are facing major league pitching (or even good minor league pitching).

              Of course an added factor here is likely poor defense, which is often the case in A ball, and part of the reason some people are able to post freakish babip in the minors.

            3. I thought your point was that his high BABIP tells us nothing about how good he is. I’m arguing that his BABIP tells us he is way better than his competition at A+. So it tells us he is too good for this league and he should move up. It may not tell us how he’ll do in the majors, but I do think it tells us he’s too good for this league.

          2. To put a finer point on it: All else being equal, looking at hitting prospects, this is what you should be looking at (in terms of statistics):

            HR% and ISO
            BB%
            K%
            SB and SB% (not so much in and of themselves, but as indicators of speed)

            Batting average in isolation tells you very little.

            Of these 2 players, I’d take “B” for sure:

            A 31 BB 72 K, 7 HR, in 427 PA, .348 BA
            B 103 BB, 109 K, 29 HR in 554 PA, .269 BA

            That wasn’t a hypothetical, btw. 2004 PCL. B is a solid regular/borderline all star, A is a career reserve.

            1. LarryM,

              I am generally interested in your arguments and line of thinking. So your comparison between players A v. B caught my eye.

              Maybe you can help me understand why I shouldn’t assert you’re cherry picking statistics. I mean, I see the two players above and it just feels not so random. I mean I could show you the following option:

              C: 24 BB 57 K 5 HR in 642 PA .350 BA
              Ty Cobb 1907

              I’m a statistician, so I comprehend the issues around sample size and mean reversion… just wondering.

            2. Thanks for suggesting some statistics to look at! As someone who follows baseball fairly closely, I’m well aware of the arguments for looking at peripheral statistics. But that’s the key word–they’re peripheral. They tell you something at the margins. Do I think that Joe Savery is going to hit .400 in the majors? Of course not. Do I suggest he’s a legit hitting prospect? Certainly too soon to tell. But he has 86 official plate appearances. He has gotten hits in 38 of them. That is sick. He has struck out 7 times. That suggests that he’s not swinging at everything. Your concern appears to be misplaced. It seems likely that he will at some point stop hitting so well, as players always tend to, at which point I suppose you will feel vindicated. But my point was, if what the guy is doing is working–and, judging from his OPS (whatever that is?) of 1.072, I’d say he’s doing all right at the moment–it seems a bit churlish to complain that he’s taking his bat off his shoulder too often. If he’s no good, the truth will out. But despite your despite your claims to the contrary–and they are just claims, there are no certainties in this business–the high batting average tells us more than “virtually nothing” about how good a player he is. It tells us that right now, he is, in fact, playing very very well. With virtually no track record as a hitter, it’s hard to predict whether this will continue. But the early results are encouraging.

            3. Annon,

              Was it completely random? No. Does that mean it was cherry picked? No. I didn’t have to look far or long to find the examples, and the only reason it took any time at all is because over the course of a season, even in the minors (where extreme babip are common), seeing someone with a high BA but medciocre to poor K, BB, and HR data is rare. I think you would be hard pressed to find many if any examples of similar players who went on to become major league regulars – and the exceptions would be younger players who improved their skills over time.

              Now, that said, those examples were more illustrative than probative. The proof is something that you as a statistician should appreciate. NO ONE in modern baseball can maintain anywhere near the kind of babip as Savery has, or even close. High BABIP are particularly suspect in the minors for a number of reasons (poor fielding & Bostan Phan’s point, which actually SUPPORTS my argument). The statistical evidence for this, some of which I’ve trotted out before, but none of which I have time or space today to repeat, is pretty overwelming. Basically few players exceed .330 babip over a signficant sample size, and the few that do are almost without exception very fast. I’m talking about contemporary baseball; go back 100 years and you will find some exceptions, but the consditions of the game have changed (in this regard chiefly defensive improvement). That’s why your Cobb example is … silly.

              For minor league players in particular, past BA is not the best predictor of future BA. That’s much less true of established major leaguers for a variety of reasons, but if you want to predict major league BA from minor league performance, you need to look primarily at K rates, HR rates, and context. Of course add to all of that sample size issues, with Savery still under 100 PA.

              Now, I suppose it’s BARELY POSSIBLE that Savary is a unique talent who can maintain a much, much higher than normal babip despite lack of speed. The fact that he has maintained a very high babip over a small sample size in A ball as a 24 year old is … not meaningful evidence that he is a once in a generation ball player.

              I would venture to say that NO ONE who understands the evidence would disagree with what I am saying. Literally no one. The only people who think that Savery’s current batting average is particularly predictive of major league success* are people who are either inumerate or haven’t looked at the evidence.

              *Is it entirely irrelevant? No. Before this year, it would have been fair to pretty much write Savery off as a prospect. He’s shown enough that it’s possible that, if he can play the outfield, he might carve out a career as a bench guy. And his chance of being a regular … is maybe now 0.1% rather than 0.01%

            4. ACA,

              As I state elsewhere, EVEN SOMEONE HITTING AS WELL AS SAVERY should be more selctive. Given his competition (i.e., A pitchers with on average less control than the typical major leaguer), he is certainly swinging at many pitches outside the strike zone. Now, clearly he is getting hits on a lot of those pitches. Does that vindicate that strategy? NO. He won’t be getting hits on those pitches against major league pitching, and he needs to learn to lay off them. Hitting is (among other thing) habit and repetition. The best hitters wait for their pitch and lay off of pitches outside the strike zone.

            5. At the risk of pounding the issue into the grouond, but to avoid possible misinterpretation, I will certainly concede Savery’s performance to date is some evidence – not conclusive, but some evidence – that he is a line drive hitter who will consequently be able to maintain a higher than average babip.

              My point, though, is even if that is translatable to the major leagues (maybe it is, maybe it isn’t). It translates, along with his other statistics (again, assuming that they are transferable – A ball is not the majors) to maybe .300/.340/.420. Not bad, a little light for a first baseman, but not bad. But that’s a ridiculously optimistic best case scanario.

              His performance is encouraging, but far, far less so than you might think if you just looked at his rediculous BA.

            6. Yeah, I don’t think I’m making an argument Joe Savery is Ty Cobb… I just think you’re being a relativist. Pick your stats to suit your needs. That is what we do.

              As I acknowledge, I know Savery will not hit 400. But neither you nor I know what his mean is. You’d have to be shortsighted to suggest anyone thinks he’ll hit 400.

              You’d also have to be shortsighted to make a statement like you can’t tell anything about a player if they hit 400. Tell that to Ted Williams.

              I agree with that babip statements you made though. Too high, and he isn’t fast enough.

          3. Andrew, I was trying to argue that we shouldn’t care about his walk rate because he’s hitting so well. I agree with Anonymous and you. You’re not going to draw walks if you’re hitting everything. Sorry if that wasn’t clear.

            1. Yes, sorry about that, wasn’t directing my comment at you. This commenting system can be a little counterintuitive at times.

            2. And THAT isn’t necessarily true. High BB totals tend to be positively correlated with high BA, not the reverse.

              Look, the sample size issue goes both ways – maybe over the course of a year the BB rate will increase. And you do have a germ of a kind of a sort of an argument – maybe part of the reason he is not being selective (and he isn’t) is because he is hitting so well. But EVEN IF TRUE, that is not a good sign in a young hitter. You want him to be selective EVEN WHEN HE IS HITTING WELL. (I would say even in the major leagues, but ESPECIALLY in the monirs.) Obviously you want him to swing at good pitches to hit, but any player who is walking only about 5% of the time, especially against A pitchers many of whom have poor control, is swinging at pitches he shouldn’t.

              I mean, I’d rather have a guy hitting .400 with few walks than hitting .200 with few walks. Of course. But let’s say hypothetically that Savery’s line was as follows:

              PA 92 AB 80 H 28 EB 12 BB 11 K 7 ave. .350 OBP .424 SLG .500.

              In terms of predicting future success, that’s a better line that the line he in fact has – despite the fact that that would be a less “productive” (but also less lucky) line. (Even though it basically means 6 BB and 4 outs replace 10 hits.) That’s a guy with some plate discipline, a fine and somewhat more sustainable BA, and more or less the same mid range power he has in fact displayed. That’s something to grow on. A freakish babip with no plate discipline – not so much.

              (Just to be abundantly clear, OF COURSE his current line is “better” in the sense of creating more runs – I’m taking about predicting future success, which is quite a different thing).

            3. Larry, walk rate and BA might be correlated but it is a non-linear relationship. This makes intuitive sense – if you get a hit on half of your plate appearances, you will have fewer PAs in which to draw a walk, hence you will have a lower walk rate.

              It sounds like you are saying he is not walking because he is not selective. I am saying he is not walking because he’s smoking hot. Maybe you are right, maybe I am. Certainly he won’t hit this well all season, so we will see what happens when he cools off.

    1. Thanks for posting this, Tom B.

      Buchanan turns 22 next Wednesday. It is hard for me to get excited about him after just a few starts. I think the “hot prospect” label he is given is used a tad too loosely.

      1. I hear ya, but at the same time look at Stutes, Worley, & Bastardo. All making decent impacts in the big leagues, and all guys who I’m pretty sure had similar things said about them. He’s in a similar situation to Stutes who was drafted higher the year prior to us taking them by a different NL east club but didn’t sign.

        I think Buchanan could be a possible impact reliever. Out of the pen his fastball should probably sit mid 90s. And if his curveball is a plus pitch he very well could be a big arm at the back of the pen.

        1. Also meant to add, notice how much he’s improved since last year. 1.2 ish K/BB to a 3 K/BB. Seems like they’ve more than likely fixed his mechanics.

          1. B, I doubt such things were said about Stutes, Worley, and Bastardo. Each of those guys spent most or all of their age 22 year in AA, not low A.

            If Buchanan can sit mid-90s with a plus curveball out of the pen, then send that man to the pen! That’s basically Aumont, right? That would accelerate his timetable for sure.

            Good luck to Buchanan, perhaps he has made mechanical changes that make him a stud, and I hope he continues to pitch this well all season. However, he is not a hot prospect.

  7. I have to agree Savery doesn’t seem to strike out much so not walking is no big deal. If we were to say his floor is that of a Ross Gload type then all I really need to know is he comes off the bench and hits the ball hard.

    I find it hard to believe Brown can be overmatched in AAA. It looks as if his hands are up again to start but during his load he is bringing them down and back. We shall see soon enough if he has found his stroke again.

    1. When Ross Gload was 24 he was busy dropping 30 HRs between AA and AAA. Joe Savery’s floor is not Ross Gload, it’s a very optimistic ceiling.

      Joe Savery has had a very fortunate run, but his ISO and BB rate do not bode well. Regardless, it should be interesting to watch.

      1. I posted this a week or so ago, but Savery’s ISO is .163, which is higher than the average NL 1B. I know he is in A, but saying that his ISO doesn’t bode well is pretty much a misunderstanding of the stat, seeing as how right now it bodes very well.

        1. No, it’s not a misunderstanding of the stat. I understand that 163 is a good ISO. What I believe (me and) others are interpreting from looking at that 163 ISO next to his 450 avg, is that his power numbers should be over and above “good” because he is making contact at a ridiculous rate.
          One example is Cody Overbeck. He is hitting close to 330, which is 80 points more than last year. His ISO is 377, which is 170 points higher than his normal ISO.
          Basically, my “assumption” would be if you are a power hitter and you are getting hits at a higher rate, then I would think that you would get Homers at a higher rate also. That is what Overbeck is doing.
          But maybe you are right. Maybe that is the wrong way to look at it.

          1. Another way to look at this (i.e., a more numerical way of making Mike77’s point) – not the only way, but a legitimate way – is that if he hits (say) … oh, heck, let’s give him every benefit of the doubt and assume that he can maintain an average of .320 (extremely optimistic) AND he maintains the same rates of EB in terms of EB/H (as opposed to EB/AB) , his ISO would be only .118. Which is not bad, but distinctly below average for a major league first baseman.

            But honestly I think this whole debate misses the point. We have a guy who has an absurdly unsustainable BA based upon a small sample size in A, playing against mostly much younger players. ISO .163, .118, whatever – sure it’s fun to follow him, and if he can play the OF he is a guy who maybe could even have a major league career as a back up, but that’s about it. His chance of being a regular is lower than the chance of Rizzotti being a regular.

            1. If your point is that we shouldn’t draw sweeping conclusions from a small sample, isn’t saying “his chance of being a regular is lower than the chance of Rizzotti being a regular” pretty much the definition of a sweeping conclusion? Your approach seems to me every bit as much hunch-based–it’s just that your hunch happens to be negative. We just don’t know–time will tell. But if drawing preliminary conclusions one way or another based on this small–quite impressive!–sample, I find it hard to say things like, “He’ll never make it.”

              Of course, he probably won’t. Most prospects never do. That’s why it’s much less of a risk to argue the negative.

            2. ACA,

              Does the sample size issue in some ways cut both ways? Yes. But.

              You would, indeed, have a good point if I were basing my conclusions merely upon the small sample size of 2011. I’m not. In essence, there were abundant reasons prior to this year to think he was no real prospect – age & scouting reports, along with history (in terms of the fact that pitcher to position player transitions usually don’t work well, despite the one rather famous exception).

              My point is that his performance in a small sample size, especially given the fact that his numbers are generally unremarkable aside from the unsustainably high BA, is no reason to signficantly shift that evaluation.

              Now, does his relatively limited ABs over his minor league career introduce an element of uncertainty? Perhaps. But we’re also working with a default assumption that most prospects never make it the majors. Even moreso prospects that (in essence) miss 3 1/2 years of development time.

            3. And really to condense about 1000 words on my part and maybe 500 words on your part, I really don’t understand what’s wrong with taking the “safer” position. The safer position is the … factually correct position.

              And here is the advantage of understanding that fact. The truely gifted prospects stand out in bold relief. I would say, for example, that many people on this site underestimate the value of Singleton. That’s a case of someone who really has proven that he is an eleite prospect.

        2. Right, and Ross Gload’s ISO as a 24 yr old in AA and AAA was about .280. I do not misunderstand ISO at all. I understand the value of looking at production with an eye towards age vs. league. I further understand an inability to objectively look at your own prospects.

          Mind you, when you reference average 1st baseman as some sort of goal, you understand that in 3 seasons as the Phillies starting first baseman, Rico Brogna never had an ISO below .170. But I bet you never realized he was part of the problem.

      2. Its hard to walk when you already have a hit. Savery was also lucky at lehigh when he hit .348. I want to go to the casino with him.

      3. No one’s ISO in Clearwater bodes well. It’s a pitcher’s park in a pitcher’s league. It’s like judging a pitching prospect over the HR/9 they put up in Reading.

    1. “Maybe” and “no” to your two questions. Overbeck is supposed to play LF this coming weekend and Frandsen might….

    1. Would say it’s too early to make that declaration. Buchanan, a college product, should be doing well in LoA. Pettibone may be there though … need to see some more.

    2. Pettibone possibly, but I’d like to see more groundballs or more K’s.

      Buchanan needs to move up and dominate for me to put him top 10.

  8. 1. OF – Domonic Brown (Lehigh Valley) – (.200) 1 for 5 with a run and a K
    2. RHP – Brody Colvin (Clearwater)- (0-0, 9.00) DNP
    3. OF – Jon Singleton (Clearwater)- (.304) –DNP
    4. RHP – Jared Cosart (Clearwater) – (2-3, 3.81) – DNP
    5. RHP – Trevor May (Clearwater)- (2-2, 5.54) – DNP
    6. C – Sebastian Valle (Clearwater) – (.269) – 2 for 4 with a 2B (4), a run and a K
    7. LHP – Jesse Biddle (Lakewood) – (0-4, 5.91) – 5 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB and 4 K’s (loss)
    8. RHP – Vance Worley (Lehigh valley) – (2-2, 2.78) – Up with the big club
    9. OF – Tyson Gillies (Reading) – DNP
    10. RHP – Justin De Fratus (Reading) – (2-0, 3.18, 3 SV) – DNP
    11. RHP – Julio Rodriquez (Clearwater)- (4-0, 2.13) – 6.2 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 4 BB and 7 K’s (win)
    12. 2B – Cesar Hernandez (Clearwater) – (.143) 1 for 4 with 2 K’s
    13. OF – Domingo Santana (Lakewood) – (.229) DNP
    14. RHP – JC Ramirez (Reading) – (4-0, 1.03) – DNP
    15. OF – Aaron Altherr (Lakewood) – (.194) – 1 for 4 with a K
    16. RHP – Jon Pettibone (Clearwater) – (3-1, 1.55) DNP
    17. C – Cameron Rupp (Lakewood) – (.220) – DNP
    18. OF – Jiwan James (Clearwater) – (.273) – 2 for 4 with a BB and 2 K’s
    19. 2B – Harold Garcia (Reading) – (.300) Out for the season with a torn ACL
    20. RHP – Kevin Walter – Season hasn’t started
    21. RHP – Colby Shreve (Lakewood) – (1-2, 4.76) – DNP
    22. RHP – Phillippe Aumont (Reading) – (0-2, 2.25, 2 SV) – 1.1 IP, o H, 0 R, 0 BB and 0 K’s
    23. RHP – Michael Schwimer (Lehigh Valley) – (1-0, 2.84) – 1.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB and 1 K
    24. 1B – Matt Rizzotti (Reading) – (.329) – 1 for 4 with 2 K’s
    25. RHP – Austin Hyatt (Reading) – (3-1, 3.00) – DNP
    26. OF – Leandro Castro (Clearwater) – (.280) – 0 for 4 with a run and 2 K’s
    27. OF – Miguel Alvarez (Lakewood) –(.178) DNP
    28. OF – Kelly Dugan – Season hasn’t started
    29. RHP – Josh Zeid (Reading) – (1-1, 4.35) –DNP
    30. RHP – Percival Garner – Season hasn’t started

    Others:

    1B – Cody Overbeck (Reading) – (.322) 0 for 4
    3B – Geancarlo Mendez (Lakewood) – (.328) 0 for 4 with a K
    SS – Freddy Galvis (Redding) – (.244) – 0 for 4
    OF – Joe Savery (Clearwater) –(.442) 1 for 2 with 2 BB’s
    RHP – Scott Mathison (Lehigh valley) –(0-0, 4.97, 1 SV) – DNP
    RHP – Jordan Ellis (Reading) – (0-0, 2.45) – 1.2 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB and 1 K
    RHP – David Buchanan – (3-1, 1.99) – DNP
    LHP – Mario Hollands (Lakewood) –(2-2, 2.45) – DNP

  9. LVIP- Bocock returns to SS, Frandsen goes to 2B. Barfield in reserve. If that keeps up could be an opt out. Might be some slack there for other guys to go also.
    RDG- M. Miller, recent demotee, takes over in RF, guess they work him in with Susdorf. Kennelly looks to be in the little used reserve catcher role.
    Looks like all of the batting averages have gone down a bit lately.
    CLW- Barnes promoted here and see he plays at 3B. Didn’t see anything on Mattair, but didn’t look yet today. Schoenberger demoted in lieu of C. Hernandez, must be sticking with him. Gump looks to be hitting a bit, don’t think he’s as old as some, got to check.
    LKW- Schoenberger demoted to here , 2B—Schoenberger or Perdomo. Don’t believe either should be a full time reserve here. Wonder about the Cesar Hernandez situation. Biddle putting in some time, look to see some improvement by draft time.

  10. How bad is Mattair hurt? One thing I’ve noticed which really surprises me is that James, hitting 271, only has 2 steals. He’s a kid that got thrown out a ton last year but he has to know that he has to be a base stealer to make it to the bigs without power, playing CF. Has he had any leg injuries this year that maybe he’s played thru but can’t run with? It is surprising that they haven’t sent Hernandez down to LWood isn’t it?

  11. Does the new Dominican complex mean more investment in Dominican FAs? That article in Philly.com was really interesting if anyone missed it. Our Latin hit rate has been pretty solid in recent years when you think about it- Julio Rodriguez, Valle, Villar, Bastardo, Santana, Hernandez…no home runs yet but a pretty decent average for a minimal investment. Maybe a better Dominican program will max out returns

    1. There won’t be a max on returns until they decide to spend more than 1 million a year. They are having pretty good success at signing and developing guys who are good enough to get on the 40 man roster, but at some point they have to hit on a star.

  12. Who would move up to make room for Savery? Or would you consider double jumping him? I guess Overbeck’s showing in LF would go a long way toward answering that question. Is Savery ever playing the outfield or is that an off-season move? You’d think he’s at least as athletic at Overbeck and anyone who has spent that much time on the diamond should be able to judge fly balls well enough to give it a shot without an entire year to prepare. The risk is minimal compared to the massive reward.

    1. Very interesting, Knigge has performed better than Pettis this year. Plus Knigge has plus velocity whereas Pettis is upper 80s. Oh well. Congrats to Eric!

      1. Agree Boston Phan on all counts–including good luck to Pettis @ Clearwater. Will be interesting to see how he fares against some more experienced hitters and how they handle his stuff. Seems to have done well thus far!

  13. I am new to the board – and would like to leadoff w/ a name I’ve not seen mentioned.. “Brian Gump” … no not BubbaGump … LOL – This guy, who by the way has his own blog going about life in the minors -see > http://www.briangump.blogspot.com is getting little to no press as a possible prospect.

    I don’t watch or listen to the games, and I’ve often wondered how some of you do, so as an outsider I cant give an objective opinion but this kid might be someone to keep an eye on.

    1. He has played so infrequently since getting drafted that one would have to assume the Phils don’t see much potential in him. That said, he was solid in college and seems like an extremely nice, high quality individual to have around. I really wish him the best.

  14. A couple last comments – one, a point where I wasn’t sufficiently gracious. Savery’s low K rate probably isn’t evidence that he is a selective hitter, but it is a point in his favor, probably the strongest point in his favor, as it IS evidence of good contact skills. Some of what I said (in terms of the importance of a good K rate for minor league players) implied this, but I wanted to say it explicitly.

    Secondly, and I realize this isn’t evidence of anything, but it’s kind of funny. Somewhat stung by annon’s comment about my use of examples, I decided I would randomly select a year/league and look at leaders in Babip. So I randomly selected the Florida State league in 2007 … and the leader in babip was … Gregory Golson. Which doesn’t tell us much of anything*, except that I will note that Golson predictably hasn’t been able to maintain anywhere near the same babip in subsequent years. (To be fair, some but by no means all of the other names on the list have done a little better in that respect, but none of that changes the fact that sustained babip higher than around .330 are pretty rare in the majors**).

    *On the one hand Golson has a much higher K rate; OTOH he has (or had) advantages as a prospect, including being more age appropriate.

    **Its worth expanding upon this, which I may do later. There ARE exceptions, though even there the outer limit is about .355, and that only for a very few rare players who are very fast line drive hitters (see Jeter, Derek). Then you have a few – very few – players in the .340 to .350 range. Even they tend mosly to be players with some speed, even if they aren’t players known for their speed. And, again, they are RARE. The number of players who babip for .350 plus in the minors exceeds the number of players who babip over .330 in the majors by at least two orders of magnitude.

    1. Just in a very brief response to what you say above: there’s no need to resort to claims of innumeracy when people disagree with you. I think everyone recognizes you have a point worth arguing on the BABIP numbers–by definition, someone who is hitting that far outside the norm is going to have a ridiculous BABIP, and so the question becomes whether that’s attributable to luck or the fact that he’s just scorching the ball. He’s not a three-true-outcomes guy, and none of us are actually watching him every day, so it’s hard to know for sure. So I guess on this point I’d defer to what Chuck Lamar has said, which is that the start is promising but he needs to start slugging more. (A valid point I believe you made, although it got lost in the plate discipline argument.) Is he likely to be a legit prospect? Probably not, who knows, but as you gracefully concede, there’s more there to be excited about than there was when he was stinking up the joint as a starter. I think it’s hard not to be a *little* excited when a guy you had fully given up on gives you a reason to hope. If your aim is to point out that the chance is still a long shot, I don’t think anyone would disagree. But again, my point–really, my only point, which I think should be noncontroversial–is that the numbers so far are good. Perhaps you are right, and in the airless realm of statistics it would be more promising for Savery to be hitting .260 with a bunch more walks. But that’s not where the game is played, and Savery–fully knowing that time is running out–knows that the only way he’s moving on is to show he can hit a ton. He’s doing that. I, for one, am pleased to see it.

  15. ACA,

    Ironically I don’t think we are disagreeing much*. What gets me – and yes, I overreact a bit I realize – is that there ARE some people on this forum who DON’T get the nuances of babip, age/level, and sample size, and consequently jump on the … Rizzotti, Savery, whatever … bandwagon to an absurd degree. And so we end up sounding like curmudgeons who aren’t pleased to see our minor league players playing well. I think it’s great – and I’d love to be proven wrong. Just keep it in perpective.

    *We still disagree a bit on plate discipline, though I will say that I’ll be interested to see if his BB numbers increase when his BA declines to a more sustainable level. And again, the low K rate is evidence of good contact skills, not good plate discipline.

  16. This is somewhat tangential, and something that I don’t have solid numbers to back up (I base this on a combination of circumstantial statistical evidence, personal observation, and reading people knowledgeable about hitting mechanics).

    Setting aside extremes (i.e., swinging at pitches WAY outside the strike zone), I don’t think that swinging at a ball outside the strike zone results in a significantly higher chance of a swing and a miss. All else being equal, it’s just as easy to make contact with a pitch a little out of the strike zone as it is to make contact with a pitch in the strike zone.

    Players should despite this be selective, and lay off pitches outside the strike zone, for three overlapping reasons:

    (1) Swinging at some pitches outside the strike zone (e.g., inside pitches) generates worse contact, i.e., is less likely to result in a line drive, and more likely to result in a ground out.
    (2) BB are good in and of themselves. In most situations with most hitters, a BB is better (often much better) than putting the ball in play.
    (3) Running up favorable counts forces pitchers to make suboptimal pitches that are (i) easier to make contact with and (ii) easier to make GOOD contact with (i.e., line drives versus ground outs).

    But players who DON’T do this won’t necessarily strike out more (or not much more). They won’t get on base as much because of fewer BB, and they might tend to generate more ground balls and fewer line drives.

    1. In coaching, I used to show kids the Ted Williams chart where it shows his batting average depending on where pitches were. He couldn’t hit 300 on any balls out of the strike zone but very clearly did very well when he stay disciplined. The difficult thing to teach young hitters is to lay off the good strikes early in the count and balls out of the zone most of the time in an attempt to create a better hitting count. They’re still waiting for Rollins and Victorino to master this skill.

      1. I disagree that Rollins doesn’t have that skill. Rollins understands the strike zone. His issue is that his approach won’t allow him to settle for walks. His sole purpose is swinging at strikes, in fastball counts. He only takes pitches when it is not a fastball count. Rollins isn’t a hacker like Juan Samuel, who can’t recognize pitches outside of the zone. Rollins has the ability to be a disciplined hitter who takes walks, but he doesn’t because he’s been successful doing it his way.

        1. Rollins has also evolved as a hitter. Obviously his results are worse in a lot of ways, but IMO that’s despite, not because of, his changed approach. Or maybe the causation goes the other way; i.e., he has changed his approach because other skills are declining. But last year his BB% was a career high 10.2% (his career mark is 7.5%), and this year so far it is 12.6%.

          1. I don’t know that he has evolved, but he certainly has shown more patience this year. He seemed to make a concerted effort to take walks while in the 3 hole, to get Howard to the plate with someone on.

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