Open Discussion: Early sleeper prospects for 2012

I wanted to throw this one out there for discussion. My plan is to start the Reader Top 30 in early November, but until then, I’m going to throw out a few discussion topics, I’m working on a few pieces of my own, and then we’ll have AFL recaps as well. For today, I figured I’d solicit your picks for 2012 sleepers. To make it clear, Trevor May and Jesse Biddle aren’t sleepers, they are well established upper echelon prospects. When I say “sleeper”, I define it as a guy who is not a consensus top 10-15 prospect, preferably someone who is even further off the radar, who you feel will break out in 2012 and establish/re-establish his prospect status. For instance, Mike Stutes was a breakout guy this year, because he wasn’t on any industry Top 30 lists this past winter, and was on very few Reader Top 30 ballots. Those are the guys I’m thinking of.

So give me your best guys for 2012.

148 thoughts on “Open Discussion: Early sleeper prospects for 2012

  1. Joe Savery. He pitched well at the end of this year and the Phils look like they could benefit from carrying a second lefty.

  2. Jeremy Barnes in Reading, Carlos Aonso in Clearwater. Perci Garner in Clearwater and Lakewood, Tyler Greene in Williamsport and Lakewood, Mitchell Walding in GCL and Williamsport.

    1. I feel like he is the definition of the sleeper prospect in the organization. He has all of the skills, if he stays healthy he goes back to being an elite prospect.

    2. I hope that Gillies can stay healthy and hit and play well enough to be considered for the CF position in 2013 and maybe move Shane or let him go.

      1. It’s really tough for a player to recover from 2 lost years of development. But that said, he is still only 22 (turning 23 later this month), and he had a quite impressive A+ performance at 20, even adjusting for context. If he is healthy, he could indeed surprise.

  3. LHP – Adam Morgan – I see him rising quickly (you could put Austin Wright here, they both have the potential to go up fast)
    RHP – David Buchanan – He does not quite have the raw stuff of some of the others but he is only 4 months older than May. I see big things in his second full season (start CLW and on to REA soon)

    IF – Mitch Walding – Seems to be getting lost in the discussion but the Phils gave him 800k for a reason
    OF – Brian Pointer – Put up some nice numbers in GCL, I could see him starting in LKW w/ a possible move back to WIL if needed but I think he could emerge from the tools

    Deep Sleeper – Anthony Hewitt – I think he has a chance to put in the work this winter and come a year from now he ends in Reading and we view his similar to Savery and we realize he will never fulfill his draft position put he might not be an end zero (if he becomes a 5th OF at this point, I would call it a monumental success) and just maybe he sits down with Mayberry and they can discuss breaking balls from RHP.

  4. Not sure Pointer and Greene count, considering the amount of hype they’ve gotten over the past season.

    At this point, what’s a successful season for Hewitt, assuming he starts in CLW? If he hit 240/300/400, would people be happy? I honestly don’t know. I think he keeps moving up until he’s completely overmatched or decides he’d be better off in another line of work. (Just double-checked his stats, and realized he’s NEVER had an OPS of 300. So I think, by definition, that slash line would be a success.)

  5. I like Overbeck and Feirabender from Lehigh.
    Overbeck can make a great RH hitter I see him being a breakout player next season even getting a call-up before september.
    Feriabender- I love the way this guy pitches he eats innings and has great endurance I have seen this guy 3 times over the past 2 years and he kepts improving I see him steping it up next year and maybe get a start for the phillies some point in the season if injuries occur.

    Also, Justin Friend from Reading he has been an effective closer for the R-Phils if he is in AAA next year he will do good he can break out and be the stutes of this season.

    Also, Carlos Rivero maybe a big part next in the big club if polanco gets injured and they need someone its not likely but still next year will be big.

    Honorable Mentions: Jake Diekman/Joe Esposito/Steve Singleton
    I like the 3 of them and think one or two can be good next year,

    1. Feierabend already has too many MLB innings to be considered a prospect. If he makes it though, I suggest he take his MLB salary and buy himself a new last name.

  6. Saw an article in Baseball America on the AFL rosters that said Tyler Cloyd was the sleeper prospect of the Scottsdale team. I’m gonna agree with that. Hasn’t really been on anyone’s radar but he ends the season with the second lowest era in the phillies minor league system. What’s really putting him on the map is the bb/k ratio. Potential 40man.

    1. I agree with Cloyd being the major sleeper. He was top five in all Phillies minor league pitchers in ERA, WHIP, and strikeouts. If his offense would have helped him he could have won double digit games. Either the Phillies place him on their 40-man roster by December or somebody else will steal him in two months.

  7. Dugan for me.

    Not sleepers but guys who will really exceed expectations – I expect a HUGE bounceback season from Colvin, I believe JRod is going to go to AA and more than hold his own, and I believe Galvis will be at AAA and come out and deliver an even bigger offensive season this year than he did last season.

  8. I’d keep an eye on:
    3B – Willians Astudillo
    OF – Herlis Rodriguez
    They played great in the VSL this season and should be promoted up to the GCL

      1. Nice one. He’ll turn 20 this week so I suspect we’ll see him state-side to start 2012. NYPL probably

      2. Nice ratio, but it also means he swings at everything. In a league with 17-19 year olds that might work, but there are many examples of low strikeout players like Astudillo that cannot translate that skill to higher levels (witness Carlos Perdomo this past year). Hopefully he gets promoted and continues to hit, though Herlis Rodriguez is the more interesting prospect to me.

    1. Thanks for keeping track of the VSL so I didn’t have to! Between Astudillo and Maikel Franco there might finally be something to be excited about at 3B for a change.

  9. Gonna go with one pitcher and one hitter.

    Pitcher – Mike Nesseth. Second year coming off of Tommy John so we should really see what he has.

    Batter – Harold Martinez. Showed good patience in his first taste of pro ball. If he can start showing some power he could shoot up the boards.

    1. HM is interesting…since he fields his position well and has patience for walks and power potential at bat. BUT it seems he doesn’t make enough contact. Ends w a BA around .260 (?) which is disappointing for a guy with 3 college seasons in his resume.

      Should the coaches find/fix the hole(s) in his swing, he could move up quickly.

  10. J Rod. after Trevor May talked about how everything he throws has cut to it, I don’t believe his fastball speed is that big of an issue

    1. Twitter Brian Gump said JRod’s FB is 91 and the curve is 67. Called the curve “ridiculous”.

      Twitter Jiwan James told me JRod’s FB sits 95-97 and touches 103. I think he was bustin’ my chops. He’s good on the twitter.

  11. Maikel Franco will likely be a top 5 prospect on my Phillies prospect list. He can hit, hit with power, take a walk, not strike out a lot, and seems to be holding his own defensively at third base, so he could be very valuable just for his defense. The Phillies put him on my radar by batting him clean-up last year in the Gulf Coast League. This year he put up an impressive .287/367/411 slash line as an 18-year old in the pitcher friendly NYPL. Bill Conlin ranked him #3, this July 1, before Singleton was traded. Maikel Franco is the first player I think of when I think of a top newcomer to the current crop of top Phillies prospects.

    Last year I voted several times for Worley, J-Rod, Hyatt, and Galvis and I think Schwimer, Castro, and Mayberry in the reader’s poll until they finally were voted in (or not, in Mayberry’s case). Of those I have a feeling that Hyatt and Rodriguez are still lack the respect they deserve, but I am pretty sure that both will be too highly rated to call a sleeper pick. We’ll see. I still like Schwimer a lot, and still like Castro probably more than most readers on this site. I would call Leandro Castro an under-the-radar sleeper pick, a bit like Gillies perhaps, due to their injuries, except Gillies has been highly rated too recently, so I don’t think he’s a sleeper, just a still highly ranked prospect coming back (hopefully) from injuries.

    I thought Tyler Cloyd was the surprise player of the year, and he’s certainly moved onto the radar, giving and I love his K/BB ratio, but want to see him put up even more K’s and prove that his year was not a fluke. I’ll move him into the top 25, possibly the top 20, but still behind Hyatt, who disappointed me, but who I still see as the Phillies #8 starter (behind Kendrick, Blanton, Worley, and the big 4).. Hyatt had 352 K’s the past two years. Last season’s 10.0 K/9 was a career worst, so he does not need to show he can miss bats, but he does need to show he can keep the ball in the park. But he improved his troublesome HR rate at the end of the season and I see him still improving the 2012 season at AAA, potentially making a big jump just by becoming more consistent, which is next season will be all about for him.

      1. Franco was not in the top 20 in the only published list I’ve seen so far, the one in the Reading Eagle by Reading Phillies beat writer Mike Drago. He annually polls media members who cover the Phillies farm system. Franco was not in the top 20 of the poll nor in the top 15 of Mike Drago. Its just one poll, but he wasn’t there, and its the only poll I’ve seen. If Phillies minor league scribes don’t consider a player to be in the top 20, that makes him a legitimate potential sleeper prospect in my book.

        What list of top Phillies prospects are you referring to where Franco is top 15 or top 10? I’d like to see it, unless it is a restricted members only area of some national website. Thanks.

        1. Well for one, you can look no further than this site. The midseason updated Top 30 had Franco at 10th:

          Plus Baseball America just named Franco the 4th best prospect in the entire New York-Penn League:

          John Sickels at is going to come out with his Phillies list by early next week. It will be interesting to see where he ranks Franco. My guess is its somewhere around 10 give or take. I think he would be a good barometer. If he doesn’t, then I will withdraw my objection.

        2. And while it’s regarded almost humorously around here (given the source, and the seeming overagressiveness), Bill Conlin had him I think third around midseason, which was around the start of Franco’s season.

  12. Juwan James. No stastical data or intelligence behind my pick but if he has a big year next year he could end up in AAA by end of season and be in mix for OF spot soon after. Of course, i will assume he starts AA next year.

  13. Would put Pettibone on my list as a guy who has a chance to move quickly through the system. He has stayed healthy, throws strikes, and doesn’t give up a lot of hits or homeruns.

  14. Tyson Gillies. Definitely a big time sleeper, and an absolute bum if he misses significant time again next season : )

    I’m loving Cloyd after a remarkable and unexpected year, in an offense-minded league no less. I suspect he picked up another pitch or simply mastered an existing piece of his arsenal. Haven’t geard anything specific but would love to see some post-season scouting reports on him.

  15. Harold Garcia. Forgotten man coming off ACL. Hopefully he’s healthy enough to compete for a utility role next year. He may have gotten the shot this past year if it wasn’t for the injury.

  16. Have to agree with Tyler Cloyd as my pitcher. I saw him pitch in Trenton this year and he just knows how to get guys out. Not a great FB but he commands it well and it seems to move enough to at least play in the Bull Pen.

    For a position player is it fair to say DBROWN can be a sleeper. I say yes since his stock plummeted so dramatically in 2 seasons. I’ve been the first in line to beat him up. I like nothing about his swing yet I believe he some how puts it together.

    Consider in 6 Minor league seasons his career avg. is .299 with a career ops of .834. In only 1 of those seasons did he fall below his BA and only a couple seasons did he miss marginally his OPS career. No his regression in the bigs and after being sent down last season was not pretty to watch. As far as his defense goes he is to much of an athlete not to improve there to at least a satisfactory level. So Brownie here’s to you kid I’m rooting for ya!

    1. Brown has already exhausted his rookie eligibility and therefore does not even qualify as a prospect. Even if he did, while yes his stock as dropped some he would still be a Top 3 prospect and therefore not qualify as part of PP’s requirement of being a non Top 15 prospect.

    1. Garner a good one. Maybe one with the best chance of going from zero to hero, that is, a dominant pitcher.

  17. I think most of the guys mentioned, while legitimate breakout candidates, are too well regarded already to be considered sleepers. How about Carlos Valenzuela? A little old for his league, but impressive numbers. If he can stick at 2B, and keeps hitting at a higher level, he can rocket up our prospect list.

  18. Much as I am reduced to doing during the annual top 30 prospect list, I shall repeat a vote. (note: here’s hoping the idea is revived of voting for 5 prospects at a time with a weighted counting system, cause , now,I am all for that. There is no voting worse than having to vote for the same player again and again only to be aced out on the voting, only to have the following unfolding season, proving you were right and everybody else was wrong. I know this from experience. Course, it’s getting to be old hat.)

    So, again, I vote for Edgar Duran. Early last season, last year’s prediction was looking real good, but then part way through the season some injuries hit, and he tailed off a bit. Finished the season with a broken Middle Finger. But, still a good fielder, still with good reflexes, so I say he gets the hitting up enough to make another good field- adequate hitting SS prospect. (Which should give more value than the players who might move into positions that already have a lot of candidates already.

    And another thing, again people are voting for sleepers who are not sleepers at all, but players mentioned 50 or more times by others already, which is where the idea was spawned, I suspect.
    Especially this Joe Savery thing, finishes the season on 40 man roster and the active roster, at a position role of great shortage with little prospect of bring in outside help, Yeah, that’s a stretch.

  19. I don’t have a pick yet, but I would suggest some parameters for what constitutes a “sleeper,” at least to me: no one who was in the Top 20 of PP’s post-Pence trade list ( Also, no one was who was a Round 1-5 pick in the last three drafts. Thus I think Anthony Hewitt could qualify if you though he was likely to improve (I don’t), because he’s fallen so far in everyone’s estimation, but I’d have a hard time picking Perci Garner or Tyler Greene, just because Garner was a recent second-round pick and Greene was someone that a lot of people including PP has already gotten excited about. I realize this is an arbitrary definition, but it’s one that works for me.

    Ok, based on those criteria I think I’m going to go with Aaron Altherr. Took a big step back this year, but still has a lot of great tools. I’m also biased because I saw him play live for Williamsport and he hit a massive home run, and I am easily distracted by shiny things.

  20. In the upper minors, I like Gillies and Garcia.
    In the lower minors, I’ll go with Yachsel Rios and Giles and for a position player Asche

          1. Hahaha. If Keith’s broken from that tussle then he can just put a little ‘tussin on it and that should heal him up good.

  21. Aaron Altherr is definitely a strong sleeper pick IMO. The only reason I would hesitate is because I already have him top 10-15 in my list.

    1. He’s a guy who, despite some doubts from the scouts, is already too well regarded to be a true sleeper.

      I have no strong sense as to whether he will prove the scouts wrong, but even is he does, he doesn’t fit the mold of a true sleeper pick.

      1. Fair enough. What if I told you I thought he was going to get a mid-season call up because he’s mowing them down in AA? πŸ™‚ (I don’t though)

        1. Personally, I continue to have a wait and see attitude on J-Rod. On the one hand, he is the kind of guy that the scouts sometimes miss on. On the other hand, the scouts aren’t stupid, and they downgrade that “type” of pitching prospect because more often than not they aren’t as good when they get to a higher level. But that’s a general statement; I have no personal knowledge regarding J-Rod specifically, and it may well be that the scouts are missing something there. Though I don’t think you can conclude that from the numbers alone. So I am agnostic with regards to his potential.

          All THAT said, if he has the same level of success in AA (adjusted for context) as he had in A+, then the scouts sure as heck will take notice, and he will rise quickly on the prospect charts.

  22. Juan Sosa. I saw him pitch for Lakewood and thought he looked really good and then he got called up to Clearwater and put up even better numbers.

  23. lets go out on a real limb here and say Johnathon Knight….. heres hoping the unheralded pick in the very bottom of the draft comes out in the GCL and mashes the ball.

    1. Isn’t his mom a commenter on here? Ask her if he’s gonna have a big year. She should know.

      Hi Ms. Knight!!!

      1. Yes I am here πŸ™‚ I am a quiet lurker LOL! Thank you for that, and yes I do hope he comes out and smashes the heck out of the ball. No one wants to see it more than me and my husband and Johnathan himself. He has been working hard and learned a ton in instructional ball. They broke his swing down and are helping him see the ball. He really liked his batting coach!! πŸ™‚ He is working hard in the off season and hopeful that he can come out and do well in Spring Training and then where ever he goes from there. Thank you for supporting him, it means alot to all of us. He is such a good kid and I hope you all will get a chance to see that!! πŸ™‚

  24. One for upper minors, one for lower:

    Harold Garcia. Fell off the radar from injury. If healthy, could be one of our premium AAA players, ready to step into a role in majors in 2012/2013.

    Chace Numata. Physically talented, super-energetic catcher with great makeup. Can hit and catch. Needs to stay healthy and get consistent innings to develop in 2012.

    1. I’m rooting for Garcia more than anyone. I really think he could’ve made the team next year barring that injury.

  25. I agree that Harold Garcia’s injury cost him a chance to make the big club out of spring training. Eldemire is a forgotten man and I still think he has a load of talent as does Gillies. However, I’ll throw out Rupp as my biggest breakout guy. The 2nd half of the year, he was a different player and I know how much pressure the Phils organization puts on the catchers to become good catchers first and good hitters second so I don’t even think he’s anywhere close to what he can be as a hitter. The guy just looks like a big league catcher. If he has a .280, 20 homer seaosn at C-Water with great defense, his status will be top 10 for sure.

    1. …open up the Eastern Block a little bit. There’s value there with all those big strong second generation capitalists.

    1. Umm, let’s see. He was a 3B (reportedly good defensively) who was 26% better offensively than the average player in his league, with some good on base skills, good contact skills, and a little pop (mainly doubles, but that often turns in HR power as a player develops), as a 19 year old (18 for most of the season) in low A ball.

      Not sure what your definition of “nothing” is. The reason he doesn’t belong on this list is that he is already a top 20 at least, probably top 10, prospect in the organization.

      1. That and scouting. If a guy has legit tools, he’s a prospect. We can grade prospects with ease who have played and provided numbers. But grading players with no track record is a fine art. And if a good scout can evaluate such a player well, no reason he isn’t a legit prospect.

    2. I also find it at least mildly ironic that mikemike can defend Polanco while dismissing Franco – not, of course, that Franco is necessarily even going to be a major leaguer, let alone have as fine a career as Polanco has had – but they are both third basemen, and apparently Polanco’s offensive performance, which was (on a relative to league basis) much worse than Franco’s, is just fine, while Franco has “done nothing.” Again, appropriate caveat regarding level, but I find it hard to see a consistent standard of evaluating players here.

    3. Then you clearly don’t understand the definition of “prospect”. If he’d done something, then he’d already be in Philly.

        1. BTW – I’m with you, I really like Franco’s potential. 2012 should be an exciting season for him after he did so well the first 3/4’s of 2011.

    1. I’d say with Overbeck favored by the org, it’s hard to argue Rizz would get that shot without a mind-blowing spring, (or a collapse by Overbeck). I assume we mean a spot on the bench behind JMJ…not that it’s a given he starts. Seems logical, though.

    2. Do you really think that a team that’s got its goals set on a World Series title would lay its 1B responsibilities on someone that they value so low he’s been stuck at AA for 2 straight years and taken off the 40-man roster? What’s that term again?? Oh yeah – N.F.W.

      1. So Rick, who do YOU think they should put in the role of filling in for Howard? Are you in the camp that thinks they should sign a guy like Carlos Pena – for millions of dollars and perhaps a multi year contract – to be a regular for one month and then a bench player? Sorry, doesn’t seem like a good use of resources to me. Among the REAL category of people who could serve that role, Mayberry excepted (and again he may be needed in LF), Rizzotti looks pretty good.

        Not that I think Rizzotti has the power potential that some of his more giddy admirers think, and he would be sent right back down to the minors when Howard is ready, but I’m baffled by the irrational unwillingness to consider him for a fill in role.

        Overbeck would indeed be a better option for a bench role, but that’s not what we are talking about. As a temporary regular, Rizzotti would be better. Though it is certainly possible that the BB adverse Phillies’ brain trust may not realize that.

        This year the team – surely having set it’s goals on a WS – laid its 2B responsibilities for two months on …. Wilson Valdez. Now, don’t get me wrong, as a bench player Valdez > Rizzottit because of his positional versatility.

        1. Ah, submitted that before I was finished. The last sentence should read: “Now, don’t get me wrong, as a bench player Valdez > Rizzottit because of his positional versatility, but as a one month fill in, Rizzotti > Valdez, even considering the positional difference.

        2. Its neither irrational nor am I unwilling to give him a chance. Give him a chance on Day One of Spring Training. I have ZERO confidence that he’d seize that chance and succeed and would hope that other options are explored.

          My preference is for Mayberry to be the 1B and Brown to be the LF with Francisco as the extra OF who plays against some LHPs.

          And I think the Utley/ Howard comparison isn’t apples to apples as they went into ST assuming that Utley was going to play. They have 6 months notice that Howard won’t be ready.

          1. Well at least we are on the same page regarding our preferred alternative. And heck, maybe Brown WILL have such a good spring that he will leave them no choice. But if he doesn’t – and again, given the sample size pure chance plays a large role here – I still think Rizzotti is a reasonable option. Say I’m right about his hitting – .255/.340/.420. That’s not good enough for a one month fill in?

            1. We are indeed. Let’s hope so. I’m pulling for him big time. Would love for him to prove every arm-chair QB wrong that he needs to be given up on after a few hundred MLB ABs.

              Honestly, if his defense is as bad as Lamar thought it was, then no. Put Mayberry there. He’s a great athlete and will play above average D to go along with his improving offense.

            2. Well again that assumes that Brown or someone is in LF. If not Brown, who? Francisco? I guess I’m on board on that, but I have a feeling that the Phillies might reasonably think that he doesn’t deserve another shot at even a temporary full time role.

              Assuming a reasonable option in left, then yes, of course Mayberry is a better option than Rizzotti. But my comment on the issue in the other thread was premised on the assumption that Mayberry would be in left.

              Of course the question of how bad his defense is relevant though. I’m inclined to think that, at first base, the impact of even a poor defensive player is less than at other positions. But some of the modern defensive metrics seem to suggest otherwise.

            3. I think its pretty clear that Charlie more than anyone else soured on Ben after the first 8 weeks of the season. I’m not saying he’s right in doing so, but that’s what happened.

              I guess I’m not assuming it will be Brown in LF and Maybery at 1B, I’m HOPING. Big difference, right?

              And I think that’s even more magnified when you’re removing you biggest bat from the line-up. Not only will Rizz be lacking Howard’s offensive production but his defensive metrics will also be hurting the team (my assumption of course). This doesn’t sound like a valid option for the Phils when Mayberry is on the table.

  26. Anyone remember Bucky Jacobsen for the Mariners? Minor league vet who got a shot and produced decent numbers one year. He was a right handed version of Rizzotti, same listed height and weight. That’s what I think Rizzotti is capable of. As a one month fill in, it’s adequate. The issue is that over a month, you never know what you’re going to get. That goes for a veteran as much as a minor leaguer really.

  27. I will give you some names of sleepers Josh Warner, Ramon Oviedo(Leo Nunez’s brother), Hector Neris, Gabrial Arias And Ervis Manzanillo. I wont mention Lisalberto Bonilla cause I think he is a top 10 prospect already. I saw all these guys in spring training and they can all throw over 92mph.

  28. Sleepers:Kyrell Hudson and Adam Morgan with Anthony Hewitt and Lino Martinez moving up as well

    Big years off injuries Harold Garcia, Tyson Gillies, Nick Hernandez, and Matt Way

    Even though I don’t think of them as sleepers (all would be in my top 20): I see Aumont, Cloyd, and Jiwan James having big years in 2012.

  29. Josh Warner. I’m driving his bandwagon for anybody who wants on. Projectable frame, Aussie (so probably a little rawer than most 18-19 YOs) and he had some strong games mixed in with some awful ones in the GCL.

  30. Wow, I went through the list… did we leave anyone out.. I guess I have to pick Buster and the Williamsport bat boy!
    I will add a couple of low level guys that I think may show a lot more after a brief but decent showing… Kleven & Stewart from Williamsport (Walter?). From AA we should at least mention Steve Sustdorf, never been on the top 30, doesn’t get alot of press, has little speed, but the guy has done nothing but flat out mash since he was drafted. Hits both lefties and righties, and hits with runners on base and even better when they are in scoring position. He was having an outstanding first half .339 / .406/ .496/ .902. There is always room for a career .300+ BA somewhere in the bigs even if it as a 5th OF.

  31. Unless he wants to spend the rest of his like wondering ” what if” ,I would think Rizzotti would show up as lean mean hitting machine. If Galvis can put on muscle pulling and pushing cars, the Rizz should do the same with buses. He or Susdorf could be the left handed pinch hitter, Thome is one of the few FAs I would start out in that role. At least with the young guys if they get hurt the club will DL them unlike the sad Gload thing this year

  32. Well my position player sleeper is Leandro Castro and all the pitching ones have been covered for the most part. I’ll say I think Austin Wright and Adam Morgan are going to move up quickly.

    1. Have to assume that is based on his speed and defensive prowess…..if and when he gets his bat on the ball the eval should rise.

  33. Lending some plausibility to Freddy Galvis’ unexpected surge in 2011. The youthful age factor theory below seems credible..
    ……”The implication of the aging curve is that, the younger a player is, the more likely he is to improve over a short period of time. Take two players who are equally valuable today; if one of them is 25 and the other is 26, the difference between their long-term projections is minor. If one of them is 20 and one of them is 21, the differences can be massive, and much greater than you would intuitively expect.”……..Rany Jazayerli

    1. That makes sense and is why a small, sharp dagger was inserted in my heart the moment I learned that Houston selected 18 year-old Domingo Santana as the PTBNL in the Pence trade. Did Ruben really think that Wade, as dopey as he can be, would want Leandro Castro or somebody like that over Santana? It’s crazy.

      1. Of the players int hat trade, Singleton is obviously the guy who, on any kind of logical basis, is the one that hurts the most. But Santana … on an analytical level he looks like your typical very high upside, very high beta players … a good prospect for sure …. but I have a gut feeling about him. I’m not usually big on gut feelings, but I think that down the road he may be the guy most likely to make us regret that deal.

        1. Well, yeah, that’s my point. Obviously, to get a player like Pence mid-career in a good contract situation, you are going to have to give up quite a bit of upside talent. I would expect a Singleton and a Cosart to be included in that type of trade and for Zeid to be the secondary player. But I expected the PTBNL to be a traditional PTBNL – a guy who, at most, is a secondary prospect. Santana is not a secondary prospect – he was probably right around the 10th spot or so in the organization, but he has a huge upside, perhaps even higher than either Cosart and Singleton. Add to that that I, like you, have an ugly feeling that he will end up being the star in the trade. Can you ever remember any trade where the PTBNL turned out to be a star? I’m sure it’s happened but I, for one, cannot ever recall an instance where this occurred.

          1. I think that David Ortiz would disagree with you. He was the PTBNL in a trade between the Twins and Red Sox in 1996

            1. You’re almost right. He was the PTBNL in a trade between the Mariners and Twins in 1996. The Mariners got none other than Dave Hollins in that deal. He went to the Red Sox after the Twins released him.

          2. We all wrip Wade but this time you have to habd it to him. He held out for one more good, albeit young, prospect and the Phils gave in. Who knows whether the deal would have been made without him. On the other hand, and the part that is so tough for me, is that Wade then tunred around and traded Bourn to Atlanta and didn’t get one of the top pitchers they wanted. That combination of events weakened the Phillies in comparison to the Braves. Either way, I suspect that Wade will be out of a job soon with new owners coming on board.

            1. Gosh Murray, didn’t you write the same thing like 3 months ago?

              You raise a good point, however – the legitimate fear that Amaro is being branded by other GMs as an easy mark (just hold out – he’ll give you the players you want sooner or later). That is, perhaps, one of my largest concerns about him. And if he doesn’t back people off that cliff soon, it does not bode well for the team in the future.

            2. catch…….IMO, you don’t want to be a GM noted for ‘stealing’ in swaps……you get a reputation and few partners to deal with in the future…IMO, the guy from the Chisox, Williams, can be put in that category. Nevertheless, ‘baseball karma’ tends to even things up at some point.

          3. Maybe he was for the Philly organisation. Maybe they know something we don’t. If he was as highly regarded with the people in charge as with people on this side he would not have been part of any package. Just my opinion.

            1. I think, as a GM, you don’t want to be perceived as dishonest or as someone who is truly trying to cheat other people, but perhaps the worst thing would be to perceived in the opposite way – as someone who can be taken advantage of or can be persuaded to do almost anything. I won’t trash the Pence deal for many reasons, but it would seem that they gave up (in terms of potential value) quite a bit more than they got. To my mind, it was more than they had given up in any of their trades over the last few years, for a player who is clearly not as good as some of the other players they got (namely, Lee and Halladay).

              But I actually think that Amaro understands that the team needs to get younger. He acknowledged as much in the press recently, which is the first time I’ve ever heard him say that. Slowly but surely there has been turnover. All of the bullpen is essentially home grown and the younger guys look as if they will be around for quite some time. I am very excited to see Aumont pitch next year – if you look at his stats in AA and AAA, they point to potential dominance at the big league level, although I think that might take a few years given his control problems (note I said control and not command – if Aumont’s stuff is as good as I think it is, he might be able to dominate even if his command is not all that good).

              In any event, the real challenge will be for the team to get younger in the field. I think the team is going to be just fine in the outfield this year and in the long term. With Pence, Mayberry and Brown (even when he is “bad” he is still pretty decent – his plate discipline is so good and his ability to track the ball is so off the charts excellent that I think it’s only a matter of time before he breaks through – sure he will struggle with swing mechanics and with handling inside pitches, but I think he’ll figure it out) – things will largely be handled.

              At some point, maybe next year or the year after, the team will either sign or trade for an established third baseman. For at least the next 2-3 years, I don’t think Utley or Rollins will move and, frankly, while they have not been productive as folks would like they are NOT the source of the team’s problems. To my mind, Utley still projects, on full time basis, as something between a 3.5-5.5 War per year player – that is still one hell of a baseball player.

            2. Sorry, my post had nothing to do with sleeper prospects. Unfortunately, I have to stop myself from responding to sideways discussions. In the future, I’ll just note that I’m responding on another thread.

  34. Think that David Ortiz would beg to differ. he was the PTBNL in a deal between the Twins and Red Sox in 1996.

    1. Well, sort of. Ortiz was the PTBNL in the Dave Hollins trade. In other words, he was the player the Twins got from Seattle. But the Twins released Ortiz in 2002, whereupon he was picked up by the Red Sox. I think it’s fair to say that the Twins did not capitalize on Ortiz’s lowly PTBNL status, but it’s an example . . . I guess.

        1. So what you’re saying is Domingo Santana has a chance to be the second best PTBNL ever (behind David Ortiz)?

          Funny that EZ Ramirez made the list as a reliever. What the hell has he ever done, aside from make Bill Conlin cream his pants as 19-year-old in Lakewood?

          1. my favorite PTBNL is Alex Arias, whom the Phillies acquired for a PTBNL. That happened awhile later, and the PTBNL was . . . Alex Arias. He got traded for himself

  35. Arias was signed as a Free Agent and played here for a full year. I think you are mixing him up wit hRob Ducey, whowas his own PTBNL

  36. Things are getting desperate when you bring up Rob Ducey. I was trying to forget. If I remember correctly he was one of Ed’s gang that could run but not play baseball.
    Gillies is about the only one doing well in the AFL

    1. Azrider…….a poster who inferred his swing evidently needs more work. His slash line is respectable for a small sampling—313/542/854, with 7 BBs in 23 PAs, but 5 Ks. He has no power at all. Hopefully he gets his swing back to square up more often on the ball.

  37. I was just looking at some stats and saw that Tyler Greene had 11bb in only 17 games while Valle had only 13 in 91 games. Impressive for Greene but dissapointing for Valle??

  38. I find it interesting seeing so many names mentioned as possible breakouts and even more interesting how few of the suggestions I’m dismissing in my own mind as too far-fetched. The majority won’t break out, but most of them at least seem to have a legit chance to do so, if they are healthy.

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