77 thoughts on “Box Score Recap, 12 May 2011

  1. Lakewood pitching and hitting tonight..looks like they are getting their guys over the Mendoza line….barely. Shreve doing well as a reliever. Watched the Clearwater game…Nice to see that swing of Utley on the HR…Chooch looks ready..Oswalt..hopefully ready for next week. Singleton didn’t have a good game..Barnes looked strong with the bat…Castro is going to hurt himself swinging but had a HR and two hits..Valle had two hits and looked strong behind the plate..that one pitcher Alanaiz needs to go..Pettis was good except the one pitch 50 feet outside

    1. Wondering if I need to snap shot the Mendoza line for all 3 guys today.

      Some interesting lines besides the rehabbing stars.

    2. “Singleton didn’t have a good game”

      I like how a “bad game” involves getting on base in 2 of his 5 plate appearances.

  2. It would be good to see Overbeck and Rizzotti join Brown at Lehigh Valley. They have a shot at a championship and all three will help them. I don’t think the pitchers are ready, but Overbeck is the real deal. He had the one bad season with the undiagnosed health problem, but before and after has been a consistent RBI man. The drawback is fielding, but there are tons of major leaguers who have the same problem. Rizzotti’s bat will be welcome on any team. At worse, they can showcase them in AAA for a trade.
    Buchanan is dominating in low A. He needs some Florida sunshine.
    Rodriguez has benn getting AA and AAA hitters out for two winters. Why can’t he do it in the summer? I hear those that say he has time so why not spend the year at Clearwater. I understand that thinking, but he has shown that he can do get higher class baseball hitters out. Why not let him? I also think the Phillies know what he can bring. I’d be comfortable with him staying, but much of my thought says let him do it.

        1. But the problem is, trade for what? Rizz can hit, but on a value level, he’s like the 25 year old soft tosser who keeps getting people out at upper levels. Off the top of my head, he’s like the Danny Syvret of the Philles. There is value in having that in your minor leagues, but not much in trading it.

          1. A team that doesn’t have a long term 1B locked up, who thinks he can play 1B, might want him included in a deal. He certainly won’t be a centerpiece, but he could definitely be used in a deal for an impending free agent, or as the 3rd/4th piece in a bigger deal.

            1. I have been reading the comments about Rizz on here for a while and i finally have to chime in. I saw hime several times at LHV last year and the bat is legit. He is one of the rare players where even a foul ball screams with contact. The MAJOR PROBLEM is that he can not field at all. Not even as a project. No hands and no range means at best a DH and I would tend to believe a potential DH has no value in any trade because big guys who can hit close to .280 and 25 HR are not that rare when you look through the Minors.

  3. Hey, that Utley kid had a decent night in short work. Maybe the Phils will be aggressive in promoting him.

    Did Dom Brown just get the night off? Hoping to get out to LV soon to catch him play before he’s brought back to the big club.

  4. Am I reading correctly on fangraphs that Valle has a 1.1% BB%? He was low last year at 5.6% and 8.9% in 2009, but 1.1% is, uhh, low (1 walk in 91 PA). His BABIP this year is .379, which will normalize. His K rate is 23.6% which is high, but in line with his historical numbers. I want to get excited, but these numbers are a little worrying.

    1. I’m not worried about the walks while he is hitting above 300 with power. He has an 821 OPS so he must be getting good pitches to hit. If the pitchers start pitching around him his walk rate could climb and his average could go down. Why do you say his BABIP will normalize? It is different for pitchers and hitters. Good hitters can have consistently high BABIP. It is for pitchers, whose BABIP are based on luck not related to the skill, where it will normalize.

      1. BABIP is highly dependent on the type of contact you are making.

        For 2011 so far, the averages in the majors

        Line drives: .725
        Fly Ball: .214
        Groundball: .230

        So, if you’re hitting a lot of line drives, you have a good chance to sustain a higher BABIP. If you hit tons of fly balls, your BABIP will probably be lower, and if you’re hitting tons of groundballs, its easier to maintain a higher BABIP.

        Valle’s LD% this year is 19%, by far the highest of his minor league career, which is a great sign. His GB% is 32%, down from 41% last year. If those line drives start turning into fly balls, there’s a good chance his average is going to come down.

        He may not be drawing walks because pitchers are just challenging him. If the pitcher throws you fastballs down the middle, you can’t walk even if you’re the most patient hitter in the world. If he continues to sting the ball all over the field, pitchers will start to expand the zone and work the corners. If his walk rate then improves, its a doubly good sign.

        1. Ah, this is interesting, and I’m glad that you pointed this out. Thank you.

          Let me try to get this straight:
          For hitters, our main concern is LD%? The higher this percentage, the higher BABIP will be. If Valle had a high BABIP but low LD%, we would consider him being more “lucky.”

          And we want his GB% and FB% to be low always? Or am I wrong on that? (also, where do I find this info?)

          I understand the last part – if people are throwing down the middle of the plate, he swings – still seems like 1% is low, especially after his declining numbers last year.

        2. At last! Somebody brought up LD% when referencing BABIP. It is so annoying, how many guys just blindly throw out BABIP #s on these sites. Not understanding the contributing peripherals.

          1. Oh, I think most of us understand the contributing peripherals plenty well, and I often reference LD% when talking about babip. But when you see (to take the classic example of Rizzotti) babip in the .380 to .400 range, that’s not going to be sustainable no matter how high the LD% is.

        3. Is anyone measuring the velocity of balls coming off the bat?

          It seems to me that measuring velocity off bats would increase the precision in determining the effectiveness of both pitchers and batters.

        4. The LD%is a good sign and I am high on Valle. Of course the current babip is not entirely a function of the increased LD%, and will indeed normalize to some extent, but likely at a higher level than his previous career mark because of the LD%.

          But your BB speculation is .. just that. Yes, that COULD be happening, but is it? Any reports or observations to back it up? Why wouldn’t the pitchers be pitching him carefully at this point?

          Now, I don’t happen to think that his plate discipline is nearly as bad as his absurd 1 BB in 97 PA would indicate. I’d look more to the career numbers – which are … okay. But not great, not even average. I’d like to see some better plate discipline, and the trend (even if not a big red flag) is a little concerning.

          All this is to say is that, while Valle’s perfromance is indeed VERY encouraging, you have people on this site who are calling for his promotion to AA which would be quite premature. He still has plenty to work on.

    2. My focus is on solid contact, some power and improving defense–at A+, a higher level. When a guy gets better against better competition and he has obvious tools, to me that’s the bottom line. Agree plate discipline is the area he will need to improve incrementally. But if he ultimately can hit something like one of Jimmy Rollins’ better years (other than the MVP year)–and catch consistently well, we have a guy, who like Rollins, plays a premium position and can be an offensive threat, if not consistently, then enough to keep him in there for 130 games. In many cases, that level of play means 1 or 2 AS appearances down the line. If he acquires significantly better plate discipline, the chances get better. We’ll see how it work out, but Low A to High A is about the hardest jump there is, given pitchers able to get more breaking balls over, even in hitters counts, and the conditions in the FSL, which do not produce huge offensive numbers (re: Ryan Howard’s jump from A+ to AA).

      1. We are not only thin in middle IF and 3B prospects; we also need more competition at C. While Valle looks pretty good, I’d like to see the Phils draft some catchers.

        Too bad we couldn’t sign Susac the last time around.

  5. Somebody should tell the ump in the Clearwater game that you’re supposed to stand behind the catcher, not the batter. No wonder he couldn’t tell if it was a strike whenever there was a pitch on the outside part of the plate.

  6. Just curious, but could there be any service time motivation to keep Brown at LV longer than necessary. I don’t know the rules, but I heard this morning that is why the Royals kept Hosmer down this year and the Giants waited on Posey last year.

    1. I think the Giants did it with Posey but the Royals did not do it with Hosmer. I think it has to do with which season they can elect free agency. The Royals GM said that he wanted to do what was best for the team which was to play Hosmer. The Giants left Posey in AAA when he was ready for the majors but it all seemed to work out when Posey won ROY and the Giants won the WS.

      1. It has nothing to do with free agency. It has everything to do with arbitration. The “Super Twos” get an extra year of arbitration.

  7. Brown jammed his thumb. It’s minor, but he will miss a couple of days. I don’t think it’s time to bring Brown up yet. He’s barely had a chance to move into his apartment. The sample size is still too small and he’s still trying to get rid of any lingering tentativeness from his injury. Fransisco has been playing poorly, but his performance could get better. If the team is winning and his average is .250 or better, then let Brown develop for another year. He’ll be just 24 in the middle of this season. If Fransisco is still struggling by the end of May, then trade him to make room for Brown. You might say send down Mayberry, but he’s not the problem. He’s been playing very well as a reserve and it would not be fair to send him down when he’s playing well. Also, I have hopes for Mayberry and I fear that sending him down would demoralize him.

    1. I agree…with Francisco not producing, I don’t see why Mayberry can’t get some more playing time. Sure, they are still winning, but I’m optimistic about Mayberry if he just had more of a chance to prove himself

      1. I don’t get the universal Francisco bashing on this site. No, he isn’t a regular in the long term. But I think a lot of the hate on this site is a combination of unreasonably high expections and putting too much weight on a recent slump. His power numbers are acceptable and his BBs are excellant. He’ll be batting in the .260 range by the end of the year, and if he ends up at .260/.370/.400 (maybe a higher SLG and lower OBP) that’s … not Werth, but people who expected him to put up Werth’s numbers weren’t being reasonable.

        Now, could Mayberry do better? As a platoon player, probably yes. As an every day player, absolutely not. His splits are simply far worse than Francisco’s; over the long haul, Francisco is simply going to be much better against RHP, and Mayberry’s likely better hitting against LHP won’t make up for that.

        1. I was actually just looking at Francisco’s fangraphs page right before coming to this site.

          BenFran has the highest LD% of his career so far this season and his FB% is lower than it’s ever been. He’s also posting his highest career walk rate and his lowest career K rate. Yet his BABIP (.242) is nearly 50 points below his career BABIP.

          All signs point to his current .229 batting average being bad luck and/or flukish.

          1. Agreed. I think Ben may be poised for a breakout. He certainly deserves at least another month to show what he’s got.

  8. Question – who are the top 10 most likely players to get promoted in the next month or two?

    I vote Buchanan, Julio, Overbeck, Savery, DeFratus, Aumont, Rizzotti, Pettibone, Valle, and Brown.

    1. I doubt Overbeck is promoted soon. He has a BB% of 6% and K% of 27%. That’s not good. He doesn’t have a position that he plays well, other than 1B. There is no reason to promote him.

    2. No way Valle get’s promoted. He’s had a great 2 weeks but is no where ready for AA. No need to rush him either.
      Same thing with DeFratus and Aumont. You would need 2 spots in Lehigh to open up.

    1. Gillies is still rehabbing his hamstrings with a specialist in Nebraska (according to his twitter account).

    2. Colvin was activated today per Kevin Goldstein.

      Kevin_Goldstein Kevin Goldstein
      The day after giving up #STLCards 3B Zack Cox’s first pro HR, the #Phillies have released Adrian Alaniz and activated Brody Colvin at Hi-A.

  9. PP, will you be doing a draft primer this year? Showcasing some potential targets, and your thoughts on who would be good fits again. I know it’s still a little early, but I’ve always been a fan of those posts.

    Either way keep up the good work.

  10. Watching last nights clearwater game was great, got to see singleton and valle. love singleton swing,but he is very young and very raw. a lot of times I talk about seeing the kids play over babip and other things guys go crazy over, pp talked about hitting a lot of grounds,and a higher babip well my thing is you have to see these kids, last night the palm beach third basemen missed a lot of grounders,which would help stats, point is all the infielder you saw last night except chase who still isnt major league ready in the field contribute to making the guys in the boxscore look better, ruiz hit would have been a out. the pitcher for palm beach stats for the game weren’t very good. but that kid in my opinion is a good relief pitching prospect with his stuff, could turn into a madson type, but you wouldnt know it by his stats. so my point is stats are good but you must see the kids to really know. that castro kid man what a hack he takes,

    1. Seeing prospects play live is a reason not to trust batting average, IMO. BABIP is theory that actually backs up the principles you’re discussing. I score minor league games part time, and one of the things we track is soft, medium and hard hit balls off the bat. You get the sense quickly the difference between a hit and an out is not that big. Flares drop in, groundballs find the gaps in the infield, etc. BABIP is about normalizing performance, adjusting for what you discuss.

      I think most agree that scouting is important. Where the stats guys on this site get most agitated is when the statistics fly blatantly in the face of scouting reports.

      1. I couldn’t agree more. The statistics are important but, for minor leaguers, personal observations are at least as important and are often more important.

        By the way, just a general observation here, has anyone noticed the veritable explosion of coverage in our local papers of the Phillies’ minor league prospects? The coverage is more constant, it’s more expansive and it’s far more in depth. I’d say it has increased 5 or 6 fold over the last 5 years. And, now, we often get information from these sources that we can’t learn anywhere else. Take, for example, this morning’s excellent DN article on prospect Mike Nesseth. I had no idea who this guy was, but he’s apparently a very hot young reclamation project.

        1. I was gong to post that thought about the coverage. I think the increase has been dramatic THIS YEAR, even the last several weeks. The story about Nesseth is pretty amazing. No guarantees on him, who knows? But a guy some scouts sat might have been round 1 or 2? And Chooch says he has great stuff? And he is an awesome worker. Maybe one of the exciting stories of shot season. That could be one of the fruits of the Gillick high risk/high ceiling philosophy.

          One last thought: I think it’s entirely possible that THIS SITE has provided the impetus for the general media to focus on minors. They have found out through here and renegade forum that there is an audience of aficionados who follow and know guys in various ways from the draft all the way through the minors and that this group forms a big part of the knowledgeable base for the general fandom. I have seen multiple references to this site in the last year or so. I doubt the journalists look at the rants on phillies.com and other rant sites, but I get the feeling from their content that Gelb, Murphy, Zolecki, etc. gauge the temp of informed fandom and get a few ideas from this site and 1 or 2 others.

          1. yes, I bet this site did grab the writers attention and that is why there is more minor league coverage this year. There is no denying it. This site is amazing. Keep up the good work!

        2. There’s definitely an increase in interest. I chalk it up to similar feelings about the Boston Red Sox. We have an explosion of rabid fans over the last several years. Major league attendance has boomed. The Phillies draw almost 10000+ fans a game more than any NL team save the Giants.

          I’d also note that the Lehigh Valley Ironpigs debuted in 2008. They sell out most games over the Summer every season, their fans are dedicated and the stadium is a short drive from Philadelphia. Their presence has certainly benefited the fanbase.

      2. Also, the references to OPS, walk rates, etc. in general, have been increasing over the last few months. They have been replacing batting avg, HRs, RBIs to some degree. That’s a testimony to having a good site and sticking with the message. Also, a few years ago, there was a lot of argument of sabremetrics. Stat guys disparaged traditionalists and vice versa. Now the stat guys talk more about merging the insight of scouting and new stats and the traditionalists are incorporating stats into their commentary. That’s a nice shift in the conversation that this and the renegade site can take credit for. Early on there was some knee-jerk disparagement of people not knowledgeable. Now the conversation is more balanced.

        1. A problem I think is that subjective evaluation is hard – with a few exceptions, few of us here are capable of doing it well – mostly it’s a skills that only professional baseball people develop. So often even those of us who realize the importance of subjective evaluation are left kind of hanging. Whereas on the other hand, almost anyone can understand statistics well enough to offer intelligent opinions about them.

          Not to beat a dead horse on Rizzotti, who as I think I’ve made clear I like more than some. Some of us stat oriented people quibble about some of the numbers – and legitimately so. But the fact is that while he isn’t going to bat .350 in the majors, or even close to it, he seems to have legitimate major league hitting tools (even if his upside is limited by his age). Dom Brown is younger & is an outfielder, but I can kind of understand someone looking at the hitting numbers and asking why is Brown considered a potential star and Rizzotti a AAAA guy?

          Of course the problem has always been his defense and position – but the former few of us are qualified to evaluate, and as to the latter we are taking it on faith that the organization would try him in the OF if there was any chance he could succeed there. So people end up going back to the statistics, which ultimately can tell you only so much.

        2. One other thing – not trying to counter your positive post with negativity, I agree with you overall – I DON’T like the increased use of OPS, the worst analytical stat out there. Sure, it is a shorthand way of evaluating total hitting contribution, but it is a poor one, mainly for distorting the relative value of SLG% and OBP, but also for excluding relevant data. IMO it is ESPECIALLY a poor stat for evaluating minor league players.

  11. Kudos to Comcast for airing last nights game. I wish they would fill up more off nights with those types of broadcasts. I thought Ricky Bo was perfect for that type of telecast and I actually tolerate Jim Jackson better as a baseball guy than I do a hockey guy.

    All things considered it was very cool to see the kids we have talked about now for quite a few years. Whoever said yesterday that this group made of the Lakewood core(from last year) needs to stay together was absolutely right.

    I don’t see any reason to rush Valle or Singleton along this year no matter how tempted we might be to do so. Man Singleton is a big strong kid. Its hard to beleive my oldest son and he are the same age.

  12. LVIP- You know with the sudden placing of Frandsen on the back burner, had hoped that they could bounce up Rizzotti and Overbeck to LVIP, and thereby bounce out the 1b crew of Bozied, Larish, and with the moves of Rizzotti to 1B and Overbeck to LF, they could slide Delwyn Young to RF they could scrape by with Brandon Moss in CF and bounce Sullivan also. In fact , that lineup would still need a DH at times , so maybe they could keep Larish also. That move could have cleared some logjam throughout the organization as they could move Savery and Ruf to Reading, where they should have started, and move the James Murphy experiment to Clearwater, and then they could have G. Mendez at 1B, and play the younger IF’s and promote a younger OF to be DH. But, this does not look like it will come to pass anytime soon, and every season, it seems they add older 1B’s at AAA, who are good enough to sop up playing time an jam up the system.

    LKW- 4 HR’s for Hewitt to go with IIRC 10 SB’s. Perhaps starting to clear up a bit, still younger than some from last draft. Also 7 steals for Geancarlo Mendez, 6 for Collier.

    VSL- also in an item left from the offseason, PHILA made it official and signed Manaure Martinez, RHP. Also Kelvi Rojas and Liberio Bohorquez, RHP’s.
    OF- Pedro Miranda (brother of Jorge) placed on Restricted List.

  13. Yes, a big question abput Mayberry is his ability to hit right-handed pitching. But he could get better. People can get better at what they do. Mayberry always seems to work deep counts. He has shown that he can now lay off breaking balls that start over the plate and end up as balls. The other night against Nunez he was the victim of some terrible calls from the umpire.
    Castro does have a big swing. I don’t know how well this will work in more difficult leagues. But he also had a great game. If he’s comfortable with it and he’s hitting, there’s no reason to change it. Guys don’t need to conform to one pattern. Look at Kevin Youkilis. And a lot of players celebrate after a homerun, including Ryan Howard. Latin players seem to like to do this.

  14. I understand Singlton is only 19, but he still has A LOT of growing up to do. I did not like when he did that bat flip on a foul ball and on his first at bat. I also thought he could have cought that one ball in left with a little hustle. It just seems he needs a major attitude adjustment. He will learn, as he moves on, that doing that bat flip will eventually get hit in his next at bats. Same goes with Castro who acted like he hit a 500 ft. homerun, when it only made it out a few inches. Another thing with Singlton is that he needs to put down the cheese burger and eat something like a salad. He looked very chunky. If he committs himself more he can become a great ball player, because he has such a powerful swing.

    1. sh291 you comments indicate you do not understand that he is 19. The reaction to the long foul ball is a minor thing that gets ironed out with age. The more important thing to get from that AB was how he was consistently getting offspeed pitches and sinkers outside and showed the bat speed to turn on the first FB inside and make solid contact. He also showed great patience with the 2 walks even after chasing ball 4 in his second AB which shows the ability to correct mistakes. A more experienced LF would have caught that ball, but he gets a pass for now since he was playing at 1B last season and is learning how to play out there and get comfortable with his own range. As far as the weight, he is not very chunky, he is what would be described as looking soft which is normal for most 19 yr olds whose bodies are still maturing. Just like Dom Brown needed to put on muscle which comes naturally with maturing and working out, and it has, Singleton will fill out nicely with proper training and diet moving forward. Let’s all remember he was getting ready to graduate HS last year at this time, and the raw ability at the plate here is tremendous.

    2. dont just go off of a snap judgement. If you go back and look at pictures from his days leading up to the draft until now, two years later, you will see that he has already lost some weight. One of the knocks on him coming out in the draft was that he had a soft body and only 1 position. Well in his two years so far in our system, he has slimmed down, hit everything in sight, and pushed himself to learn a new position. He still has work to do, every minor leaguer does, but don’t tear the kid down without first checking to make sure you are right.

      1. You’re right, of course – I think Singleton is an amazing prospect – probably will be a major league regular, and may be a star – his adjustment to A+ AND a new position at 19 is amazing. He’s going to be great.

        All that said, I hope that people don’t jump off the band wagon if his BA plummets – which I think it may. He seems a bit over matched at the moment – K% is way up, power down, and BA would be much lower but for some good luck with bip (how is his LD%? Even assuming it is high, his current babip is not sustainable). He has been getting a LOT of BB, which is of course a good sign.

        NONE of that is meant to suggest ANY negativity. He could have a mediocre year at A+, repeat a level, and STILL be a ROY candidate in 2014 or 2015 at a still young 22 or 23. It’s more that even for a potential star like Singleton we need to temper our expectations a little.

        OTOH he could adjust quickly to A+ and end up with improved power numbers and fewer Ks this year. But that would be a bonus; he does not have to do that to justify his top prospect status.

        1. Since you asked, his LD% is 16% and has improved from 12% in the GCL to 15% in Lakewood. Very positive signs. His GB% has also dropped every year. On the bad side of things, the K% has taken a huge jump this year (from 16% to 30%) and his BABIP currently sits at .440.

          His numbers for this year look significantly better on the road than they do at home, but when you have a small sample size and then break that size in half, you now have two really small sample sizes, so take that for what it’s worth.

          http://firstinning.com/players/Jonathan-Singleton-a/

      2. From BA Chat today

        John (Berlin, NJ): Jonathan Singleton is not slugging much yet. I know he’s only 19 in High A and playing in a pitcher’s league. Do the Phils see him more of a Garrett Anderson type than a potential 25 HR guy?

        Ben Badler: Like you said John, he’s just very young, in a pitcher’s league and playing through an ankle injury. The 60 raw power is in there and the hit tool and patience are so advanced for a 19-year-old. I have no worries about Singleton.

        1. The power will come as he gets healthy and as he fills out as an adult. He’ll probably be hitting 20-30 HRs in Reading next year with great secondary skills.

    3. I agree with Singleton. That was the first time I saw him and it was not what I expected. His facial expressions made me think he wasn’t even interested in being there. I think we need to keep in mind how young these guys are though. They’ll learn.

  15. beware the daily news prospect curse…first a right up on jc ramirez then jordan ellis…thats hard to ignore!!! also imo the top five starting pitchers performing to date 1 j rodriguez 2 d buchanon 3 j pettibone 4 v worley 5 a hyatt….jc wouldve been there before the curse!

  16. BEWARE the daily news prospect curse!!! first a write up on jc ramirez then jordan ellis…thats hard to ignore…i wont even mention quick mention of colvin before mysterious arm injury….top five starting pitching perfomers 1 rodriguez 2 buchanon 3 pettibone 4 worley 5 hyatt…jc wouldve been there had it not been for the curse!!!!

    1. Sandberg has been thrown out a few times this year….he has the Iron Pigs playing well this year.

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