Monthly Archives: February 2012

Baseball is back, Austin Hyatt is a boss

Sure, it was a college team, but baseball is back. The Phillies beat Florida State 6-1 today, kicking off the exhibitions before the exhibitions. Some notes from the game:

* Austin Hyatt was given the start, and he responded with 2 clean innings, striking out 3 and walking none. I wrote rather glowingly about Hyatt in my Top 30 writeup, where I ranked him 12th.
* Michael Schwimer and Jeremy Horst both pitched clean innings
* Jake Diekman, Joe Savery, Phillippe Aumont, and BJ Rosenberg pitched scoreless innings
* JC Ramirez gave up the lone FSU run, getting a blown save and a win in the process, or what I like to call “The Tyler Clippard”
* Freddy Galvis was 0/2 with a run
* Tyson Gillies went 1/2 with 2 runs, an RBI, and a SB
* Cesar Hernandez was used as a pinch runner

David Hale interview with Austin Hyatt

BASEBALL!

Back At It

After a very long Winter that included a labor intensive job change, perhaps my favorite day of the year comes tomorrow with the first pitch of Sprong Training, this year being thrown by Austin Hyatt.  I expect to be back reporting regularly on the Lehigh Valley IronPigs and was hoping for some constructive commentary of what you, the reader, would like to see more of.  While I have certainly become a fan of team over the last several years (much easier with Ryne Sandberg leading the way), they key for this site continues to be the analysis of the production and growth of the minor league prospects and that is how most reports will be written, with general team overviews, and then specifics about the perspective Phuture Phillies.  Any thoughts and comments are appreciated as we attempt to give you the thorough coverage you expect. 

Open Discussion, week of 27 February 2012

The Phillies have tabbed Austin Hyatt to start the first exhibition game of the spring. As you know from my Top 30 write-up, I’m very optimistic about Hyatt’s 2012 and I think it’s a great sign that the Phillies have rewarded him with the first start of the spring. Joel Pineiro is probably ahead of him on the depth chart as the next starter in line should an injury pop up, but Pineiro can opt out of his deal if he’s not on the 25 man roster at the end of spring training. Because Hyatt doesn’t have big time velocity and is older for a prospect (because he was older when drafted) he’s going to have to really put up numbers at AAA to stay on track, but I think he’s capable.

Also scheduled to pitch:

Jake Diekman
Jeremy Horst
Michael Schwimer
Joe Savery
J.C. Ramirez
B.J. Rosenberg
Phillippe Aumont

So, discuss this and anything else you’d like. I’m glad baseball is back.

Elbow soreness for De Fratus, the bullpen picture in ST

Per Todd Zolecki, Justin De Fratus will be shut down for a week with elbow soreness. Given that he will now be behind all the other pitchers, and there weren’t many openings available anyway, he’s probably a lock to start the season in AAA. This is the first time he’s had any health issues, and its all just guesswork as to how serious this is. He may have just overworked himself this winter, or it may be a sign of something else. No use speculating right now.

The Phillies have brought in the usual mix of veterans this winter, meaning there aren’t many clear cut openings in the big league bullpen. Assuming the Phillies go with 12 pitchers (which they almost assuredly will), the current crop looks like this

SP (5): Halladay, Lee, Hamels, Worley, Blanton
RP (7): Papelbon, Bastardo, Willis, Contreras, Kendrick, Stutes, Qualls

This would leave zero openings for the likes of Phillippe Aumont, David Herndon, Michael Schwimer and De Fratus. However, this supposes that Contreras is healthy and ready for opening day. If he isn’t, there will be one spot open. Herndon has the most experience and would probably be #1 on the depth chart, but if Aumont has a lights out spring, I think they’d give him a look, since he is on the 40 man roster.

Discuss.

Phillies one of the finalists for Jorge Soler?

I’m trying to not get too excited, but Jeff Passan, who generally doesn’t make a habit out of rumor mongering, tweeted this

So I’m excited now. I did a writeup on Cespedes and Soler a little while back. BA has a nice in depth scouting report on Soler in this article (subscription required for the full thing), but here is the conclusion:

Soler is athletic for his size and there are reports of him running the 60-yard dash in 6.5 seconds—a time that grades out as well above-average speed—but several scouts have said he’s really an average runner at best, running better underway than down the line. Soler was a tall, slender guy back in 2008 when he played third base for Cuba at the 16U COPABE Pan American Championships in Mexico, but he’s blown up physically since then. Depending on how much bigger he gets, there’s a chance he could end up at first base down the road, but he should be able to handle right field for the near future. Scouts are mixed on his outfield instincts but he does have an above-average arm. He would likely begin his career at one of the Class A levels.

So if you’re the type of person who gets bent out of shape when things don’t go your way, then don’t get excited. But if you like to believe in the best possible scenario unfolding, then get excited that the Phillies are legitimately in the running for this guy.

My Top 30 prospects for 2012

Well, it’s that time of year. I’ve spent all winter studying the prospects in the Phillies system (sort of), we’ve conducted the Reader Top 30 and given you your say, and now it’s my turn. As I’ve thought about my top 30 for 2012, I’ve gone back and forth quite a bit, an in addition to thinking about the Phillies crop, I’ve also spent plenty of time thinking about prospects in general, philosophies for evaluating prospects, and everything else related to player development. I feel that it might be beneficial to go over some of these things I’ve been thinking about as something of a primer for my Top 30 list. This entry is going to be quite lengthy. I suggest you use the bathroom, grab a cup of your beverage of choice, then settle in and try to dig through it. Hopefully you’ll enjoy reading it, because I always enjoy writing it.

Continue reading My Top 30 prospects for 2012

2012 Reader Top 30, Wrapup

JC Ramirez won the run-off vote for #30. That means Leandro Castro is, unfortunately, #31 in a contest that only has 30 spots. The full list

01. Trevor May, RHP
02. Jesse Biddle, LHP
03. Sebastian Valle, C
04. Brody Colvin, RHP
05. Freddy Galvis, SS
06. Phillippe Aumont, RHP
07. Jon Pettibone, RHP
08. Justin De Fratus, RHP
09. Maikel Franco, 3B
10. Julio Rodriguez, RHP
11. Tyler Greene, SS
12. Larry Greene Jr, OF
13. Jiwan James, OF
14. Tyson Gillies, OF
15. Lisalberto Bonilla, RHP
16. Roman Quinn, SS/OF
17. Cesar Hernandez, 2B
18. Austin Wright, LHP
19. Brian Pointer, OF
20. Mitchell Walding, SS
21. Carlos Tocci, OF
22. Aaron Altherr, OF
23. Cameron Rupp, C
24. Austin Hyatt, RHP
25. Perci Garner, RHP
26. Harold Martinez, 3B
27. Harold Garcia, 2B
28. Michael Schwimer, RHP
29. Ervis Manzanillo, LHP
30. JC Ramirez, RHP

Thank you again for all of the participation and discussion. Feel free to continue discussing the list here.