What to Expect in 2013: Right Handed Starting Pitchers (Advanced Edition)

The strength of the Phillies system for the past few years has been right handed starting pitching. In 2010 the Lakewood rotation of Trevor May, Jarred Cosart, Brody Colvin, Jonathan Pettibone, and Julio Rodrgiuez were dubbed the “Baby Ace”. Since then, the only guy to survive trades and decline has been Jonathan Pettibone, but he has been joined by some interesting arms.

As I started to write up the right handed pitchers it became clear that their is two sets of right handed starters in the Phillies system, one is more advanced, usually composed of pitchers in the high minors or college pitchers, the other group which will be addressed in the next post are the rawer younger pitchers who still haven’t made it above low A-ball.

Just a reminder that when evaluating any young pitcher that there are many things that can go wrong. We still do not fully understand what causes pitchers to break down and often it can be unpredictable and sudden. Additionally many starter will not develop the necassary control or secondary pitches to stay in a rotation and their future may be in a bullpen.

As always please read gregg’s end of season report cards for the upper and lower minors.

Ethan Martin (23) – Going into 2012 Martin was a failed prospect, a former first round pick who struggled greatly with his control. Martin rebounded in 2012 and was obtained from the Dodgers in exchange for Shane Victorino. Martin has a fastball that can sit anywhere from 91-97 and has good late life, this is paired with a sharp cutter-like slider, and a changeup that flashes good late life. Martin still struggles with control and his issues can come in spurts where he will overthrow his fastball and fail to keep it in the zone. If he can continue to improve his control Martin could be a mid-rotation starter who could be a #2 if he can also add consistency to his off-speed pitches, if not he has a future has a high leverage reliever with a good fastball/slider combination. Martin will start the year in the AAA rotation and could be ready by late 2013, but it is likely that he will need the whole season before being a contender for a rotation spot in 2014.

Jonathan Pettibone (22) – Pettibone has less upside than any other top prospect in the system, but he has the highest floor of any pitcher. Pettibone’s fastball sits in the low-90s and has good sink, he also has an average slider, and a plus changeup, also late in the season he started throwing a cutter which showed plus potential. Pettibone is durable with a good repeatable delivery that also allows him to have plus command and control. The issue that holds Pettibone back as a starter is his lack of a strikeout pitch, which could limit his upside at the major league level. Pettibone profiles as a mid-to-back of the rotation starter who should provide 200IP a year at his prime, there is a chance that he add enough to be a very good #3 starter. Pettibone should be ready to contribute by Spring Training but it is likely that he goes to AAA to bide his time for a spot to open up for him.

Tyler Cloyd (25) – Cloyd had a breakout 2012, but he did it without a tick up in his stuff. Cloyd’s fastball rarely breaks 90 and he compliments it with a solid cutter and change, as well as an average curveball, but none of the pitches profile as a put away pitch. Cloyd has a good delivery which gives his pitches good movement and above average but not plus command. Cloyd could make a career as a #5 starter but he will always be on the edge of disaster if he is not perfect. Cloyd will compete for the #5 starter position as well as the long man role, if he does not crack the major league staff he will return to LHV to try and refine his command.

Austin Hyatt (26) – Hyatt was supposed to be major league ready as a #5 starter by the middle of the 2012 season, instead Hyatt regressed and was demoted down to AA. Hyatt has an average fastball and slider that he pairs with a plus changeup and control. Hyatt has little margin for error and much of his success has come from deception in his delivery. Hyatt will have to prove quickly that he can still be a #5 starter going forward, if not his future is a move to the bullpen to see if the stuff will play up enough to give him a major league future.

Brody Colvin (22) – Colvin has been a complete enigma the past two seasons, he was dominant in 2010 and has been horrible since. The stuff is still there to be a good starting pitcher with a mid 90s fastball with natural sink to go with an above average curveball and changeup. The problem has been command and control, Colvin has struggled to find the strike zone and when he does, the ball has been crushed. Colvin showed some improvement when moved to the bullpen, but a late season promotion to AA was disastrous. If Colvin can harness is command to be at least below average he could be a back of a bullpen, high leverage reliever with excellent stuff, he will need to make huge strides to stick as a starter, but if he does his ceiling is high as a front of the rotation starter but that is just a far away dream. Colvin will likely start in the Reading rotation in 2013 in what is his last chance to stick in a rotation.

Kevin Brady (22) – A 2012 draft pick, Brady dominated short season ball. He has a mid-90s fastball and a promising slider and changeup, but both are inconsistent at this time. If he sticks as a starter, Brady profiles as a #4 starter, if he struggles to improve his secondary offerings, Brady could move very quickly as a power arm reliever. Brady will likely go to Clearwater to start and will likely have a year or two to prove himself as a starter.

David Buchanan (23) – Buchanan had a good 2011 but a finger injury derailed his 2012. Buchanan has a low 90s fastball and a plus slider but his changeup needs plenty of work. His command has struggled at times and he does not miss enough bats to be really effective. There is a chance that Buchanan could be a back of the rotation starter but his future is likely in the bullpen where he could be a good middle reliever. Buchanan will struggle to crack a rotation because of the better prospects around him in Reading, if he makes the move to the bullpen he could be ready by late 2013 to contribute to the big league club.

Perci Garner (24) – Garner was a raw pitcher when the Phillies took him in the second round of the 2010 draft. In 2012 he struggled with BB rate spiking and his K rate plummeting. Garner has a mid-90s fastball and a sharp curveball, a combination that should play up in short spurts. Garner is destined as a power arm reliever who could have setup upside, the Phillies may keep him in the rotation in 2013 to give him innings to refine his command and off speed pitches. Either way Garner will start 2013 in Reading.

Julio Rodriguez (22) – Before 2012, JRod’s numbers defied his stuff, but he struggled in his AA debut. JRod has a hi-80s fastball with natural cut, a loopy curveball, a hard slider, and average changeup. Unlike most soft tossing righties JRod has average control, but he has consistently missed bats, even when struggling. His delivery has natural deception to it and he has a good feel for pitch sequencing. JRod could be a back of the rotation starter but it is likely that he goes to the bullpen where his stuff might play up and he will have plenty of success if he maintains his strikeout rates. JRod will likely begin 2013 in the AAA rotation but could be moved to the bullpen quickly if he continues to struggle.

Colin Kleven (21) – There is little scouting reports on Kleven except that he sports of a low 90s fastball and that is mechanics have been inconsistent at best. Kleven seems destined for the bullpen where his strikeout rates should tick up enough to be effective. Until then the Phillies are committed to developing him as a starter to get him innings and he will start in the Clearwater rotation.

Some Questions:

Will Martin build on his 2012 improvements or will he regress to his previous levels?

Are any of the soft tossers #5 starters or are they all destined to fight for middle relief?

Who emerges as power arm relievers when they are moved to the bullpen?

Can Pettibone succeed without a strikeout pitch?

About Matt Winkelman

Matt is originally from Mt. Holly, NJ, but after a 4 year side track to Cleveland for college he now resides in Madison, WI. His work has previously appeared on Phuture Phillies and The Good Phight. You can read his work at Phillies Minor Thoughts

68 thoughts on “What to Expect in 2013: Right Handed Starting Pitchers (Advanced Edition)

  1. Martin shaved 2 BB/9 last season. That’s an amazing improvement. Even if his BB rate stays above 4 BB/9, he can already be projected to stick as a starter. As long as he can maintain the K/BB ratio around 2, he can be a live-arm #3. With just a touch better control, I can see a Bud Norris type in him.

        1. Are you his boyfriend? I’m not being a dick, just pointing out how useful spellcheck can be. This is a great oppurtunity for these writers to go pro, a lot of great writers now started off as bloggers. If we’re not honest about small errors etc, they’ll never go anywhere

  2. Mattwinks: Alot of these guys seem to throw mid-90s. Are they topping out in the mid-90s or cruising there? There is a big difference between be able to throw 95 and pitching at 95. Im just curious as far as their upside is concerned, not questioning the scouting reports. Thanks and great job!

    1. I should have clarified but for the most part I didn’t have great reports so i didn’t give exact numbers, I would use this as a guide.
      Low-90s – sitting somewhere 89-93, touching 94
      Mid-90s – sitting 92-95, touching 96-97
      Hi-90s – sitting 94-97, touching 98-99

      1. I saw Colvin pitch at Reading last season. He most definitely was not sporting a mid-90’s FB. By your definitions, he almost qualified as low-90’s. I think his stuff is diminished from what it once was. Alternatively, he was tired by the time he reached Reading or was urged to not throw as hard and focus on control. Either way, he threw more FB under 90 than over 90 and never touched 94.

    1. Because it hasn’t been to this point, Pettibone is at the point where you look at the results and not just the stuff. The changeup has good life and fade but for whatever reason it is not missing bats. There is a chance that it is a sequencing and approach issue, but the more likely issue is that the other pitches are not good enough to make the changeup effective

      1. I do not know much about scouting, but that seems kind of odd to me to call a pitch “plus” that doesn’t get the results it is supposed to get. If I have a 97 mph fastball with 6 inches of sink on it, but every time I throw it, it gets the daylights crushed out of it, is it still a plus pitch? A some point, don’t results matter when it comes to calling a pitch plus or not?

        1. The pitch itself is graded on its velocity and movement, many fastballs are grade on pure velocity but a good evaluator will mention whether it is straight or if it has specific movement. Most off speed pitches you are looking for good velocity separation from the fastball as well as what it’s movement looks like (is it sharp, is it loopy, when is the break). That is all a pitch is graded on.

          In an ideal world the better the pitch the better the results with it. If not it is normally because of a couple of factors. The most obvious is that they are tipping the pitch, for example Trevor May’s curveball comes from a different arm slot. The next would be pitch ability and sequencing, essentially is the pitcher using it correctly, the best pitchers will use one pitch to set up the next, so a pitcher may not be using his other pitches like his fastball to allow his changeup to fool a batter. The last thing is command and control, for example if you are throwing the fastball you described right through the hitting zone it will be crushed regardless of how good the pitch is.

          Just on a side note a plus pitch is not really a high enough grade that I would expect it always be a true out pitch, I would reserve that distinction for pitches that grade 70 or better

          1. Ok. I’ve always understood a plus pitch to mean an above average pitch right now. But you’ve explained a bit better how you see the Changeup. Thanks.

      2. If I’m understanding this correctly, perhaps a better way of putting this would be that Pettibone’s Changeup has plus potential, but it is not a plus pitch right now?

          1. Does everyone have a definition of what plus pitch means to them, or is a standardized glossary for these terms that everyone universally agrees on?

            The only reason I ask is because I’ve seen people call something a “plus pitch” on different websites, and for them, it obviously meant something different than your definition.

            The way you’ve defined a plus Changeup I have seen described as ” occasionally flashes a plus Changeup” or “Changeup has potential to develop into a plus pitch”. It just makes it very confusing going from site to site to figure out what the authors mean (without the annoying level of questioning I’ve subjected you to, and I thank you for your patience.)

  3. Maybe it’s just me but I’m not liking Pettibone’s chances of becoming a solid back of the rotation guy. He’s better than Cloyd in my opinion, but honestly I think he’d be lucky to be as good as Kendrick.

    1. I’ve spent a bit of time watching Pettibone pitch – I think he has a great chance to surprise some people. His upside is definitely higher than Kendrick (or at least the pre-change up Kendrick. who has now jumped a level due to the development of this plus pitch). Pettibone’s upside, without developing a better breaking pitch or adding velocity, is probably a #4. If he develops a killer change-up or other plus breaking pitch, he could be a really strong #3 or an average #2. The kid has a great pitching body, maintains velocity, has superb command and extraordinary composure on the mound – it is said that nothing phases him. I think one of the reasons the team did not seriously pursue another 5th starter is that they have a lot of confidence that, sometime this year, Pettibone will be more than an acceptable option.

      1. Going to big league camp will be big for him, I think. Hopefully spending time with Doc/Lee/Hamels and facing more advanced hitters will help him develop the out pitch he still seems to need. I agree we’ll see him in Philly by the end of the season.

    2. Don’t be discouraged, he can still be a very effective major league starter. He’s got a sinking fastball that gets lots of ground balls.

  4. A lot of NPs and middle relievers on this list for me. At some point, you have to stop trading these kids and letting them pitch for you, unless you want to pay the John Lannans of the world three million bucks a year to, you know, do John Lannan things.

    Looking forward to hopefully seeing Watson, Gueller, and Manny Martinez in Lakewood next year; if one or two of those guys can step up, this list won’t look quite so barren (Austin Hyatt?!?) in a year or two.

  5. Martin and Pettibone are my candidates to become part of the starting staff during ’13. Pettibone, though without any outstanding pitch but with solid command and a “developing” change-up is likely to be the first up. With the effective change, he seems to me to be a #3 candidate or #4 at the worst.

    IMO, Martin has the most upside of ALL our righty pitchers who are anywhere close to the bigs since his stuff is pretty electric tempered by his closing in better command. In time I believe that with improving command, he and Biddle will contend for the #2 position behind Hamels. Behind them but bearing down heavily is Morgan. These 3 added to Hamels should form the basis for the needed youth movement to follow departing Lee and Halladay.

    Maybe all 3 will see the bigs during the ’13 season…in September (depending on the team’s standing) or before.

    A rotation of Hamels, Martin, Biddle, Pettibone and Morgan (LRLRL)could be more than adequate and a possible superior staff. The progress of the guys in lower classifications needs to be followed closely to determine whether pitching (#16 draft choice) needs to be of the first order in the ’14 draft. At that draft position there should be an opportunity to acquire either the 7th or 8th best pitcher available OR the 7th or 8th best offense player available.

    That choice is highly valuable since we’ve not had a 1st rounder that early for several years which has hurt the potentials in the pharm system along with the loss of good prospects in trades in the past 3-4 years. IMO, that choice is being protected from loss by RAJ’s unwillingness to give it up by a free agent signing. So far so good.

    We’ll read more about our system’s goodies by BA’s forthcoming best 10 due in several days.

    If anybody has been following BA’s best 10 published so far you’d take notyice of howe many rising stars have been culled from the Latin areas. With our seemingly large paydays from a new TV contract, it seems that reliance on the draft heavily is yesterday, and $$ should be available to do some smart shopping in those Latin areas. Emphasis there “desperately” needed.

    1. ArttD…’With our seemingly large paydays from a new TV contract, it seems that reliance on the draft heavily is yesterday, and $$ should be available to do some smart shopping in those Latin areas. Emphasis there “desperately” needed.’…….in the old days that was a good possibility, but now there are monetary restrictions/cap to signing LA free agents now under the new CBA, hopefully they will come up with some sort of a draft for just foreign players.

      1. It’s less restrictive than you might think from initial reading of the rules. It allows boom and bust signings. Splurge big in year one. Penalized into small spending in year 2. Splurge big in year 3. Yes there are annual limits. Yes the Dodgers sure blew through them.

    2. I think saying that this ‘could’ be a superior pitching staff is wis hful thinking, although the word could allows for truth in cases where the probability is close to nil. The only primo guys on the staff are Hamels and Biddle, and Biddle is far enough away from the bigs that you can’t project him as anything close to 100% chance of being an above average #3 starter, athough that certainly is a very reasonable level to project him at if he stays healthy and develops normally. Martin has just turned in his first good season in many tries. In bustout performance at a non-tender age he is close to the pitching equivalent of Ruf, except he had draft pedigree. I think well less than 50-50 that he becomes an above average #2. Pettibone and Morgan certainly could be #4/#5 based on health and normal development, but the chance of both of them making it is again less than 50-50. You can’t just throw out 4 prospects, only one of which is a truly primo prospect, and expect that they are all going to make it and be 80% of a superior rotation. Things just very rarely work out like that in reality. This is the problem with the argument that we really didn’t need May, Bonilla, and Worley, because we have all these pitching prospects. There is a normal winnowing down of guys who look good or better in A and AA ball, so you need several prospects for each rotation opening above #5, especially when you are dealing with guys who aren’t among the top 100 or even 200 prospects in baseball.

      1. Comparing Ruf ro Martin? A LARGE difference: hope yopu noticed that Martin is 22 (?) while Ruf is bearing down on 26-27. % yrs makes a giant difference, don’t you thaink?…when both of them are at AA-AAA ball.

        A distinction with a difference.

          1. I’m well aware of the difference in age. I’m also aware that pitchers are a bit iffier to project to the majors from a given level. The comparison to Ruf was merely that this was for each of them the first year in which their on-the-field performance suggested major league success. Martin has certainly gone from the smell of failed-prospect back to solid prospect status, but to pencil him in as a #2 in a major league rotation seems a bit much. My other point with Ruf is that he really, really excelled in 2012. So, to me to keep reading what a gamble Ruf is and that we must get Cody Ross so that we don’t bet the season on Ruf, while on the other hand reading that we’ve got Martin, who will be our #2 starter in a couple years, so who needs May seems like a break in logic.

            1. I don’t have a super strong opinion on Martin – I would simply say that like ANY starting pitching prospect, the beta is high – but you’re still missing the point. Let’s take a hypothetical Ruf who does exactly the same thing – hits as well as he did in AA, but the same sort of break out performance – “the first year in which their on-the-field performance suggested major league success.” Change only one thing – he’s 5 years younger. Or, heck, three years younger. While some people might harbor some small doubts based upon the prior (relative) lack of success, that hypothetical Ruf would be the team’s top prospect and probably one of the top 50 prospects in baseball.

              I don’t think your comparision is useful.

      2. I agree with you that expecting all of these guys to make it is a bit ridiculous but I don’t think people were really saying that we didn’t need Worley and May as much as they were saying we needed a Centerfielder more. Or were you happy with the prospect of having Mayberry as your starting centerfielder? Obviously, the Phillies thought the $15 million a year they are saving is better allocated elsewhere than on Upton or Bourn

    3. Art, Jon Pettibone also has great composure and mental makeup which allow him to minimize the damaging big innings. Ethan Martin looked very good after his trade and showed good poise in the playoff game I saw him in this year.

  6. Art, They could be involved in the non latin international market and they could have been heavily into the latn market before the rules were changed. But they either did not have the knowlege nor the heart to spend like the big boys. Many, like you, have been disgusted with their reluctance to replenish the farm this way. They are getting out spent by t he Pirates andKC . .

    1. I think the name is Sal Agostinelli who is the Phils’ big name for scouting in Latin America. Everything I’ve read of him is very positive. I think the budget for signings south of the border has lagged behind a host of other organizations.

      1. Part of that budget include baseball academies in both the Dominican Republic and Venezuela(one of the few teams in VZ) but you are seeing signs of the Latin Market signing sucesses.

        1. I think this is a thread-bare excuse for low bonus spending. Every team has two Latin American teams. For most clubs, both are in the Dominican. This has more to do with the political and criminal risk in VZ than cost. The majority of teams which had academies in VZ have fled, leaving a league which is a pale shadow of the DR league. It might be wisest for the Phillies to follow this exodus. The teams who fled VZ still sign VZ talent.

      2. Sal is one of the best in the business (BA praised him in the Tocci write up), he is the guy who signed Ruiz out of Panama for $8,000. In general the Phillies LA program is praised in terms of getting some of the best results for their money. This is something that will swing in the Phillies favor under the new CBA rules that limit the bonuses and force teams to be smart with their signings.

        1. The rules aren’t all they seem. They seem to permit a splurge/famine/splurge/famine cycle in which average spending above the cap is very possible and likely the preferred route. I agree on Sal — our problems in Latin America have been caused by a tiny budget, not by poor scouting. Sal is basically told to get the best guys he can, spending no more than 3rd or 4th round money, with the very occassional opportunity to beg for a real semi-impact-type bonus. As with the draft, the Phillies scouts have found and signed a lot of quality guys to 3rd round bonus money.

          1. Atown, I believe your “spending above the cap” comment is incorrect. Question for you: How many large bonus Latin American signees have become MLB stars and compare that to the number that never made it?. Whether we like it or not the Phillies would rather sign many more projectable players than spend all the money on one player. This approach has not produced superstars but we are seeing talented players coming up.

  7. Eye test for Martin is impressive. Only saw one game (vs Trenton in the AA Playoffs) and he was awesome. Got stronger as the game went on. Struck guys out swinging and looking. Used fastball and off speed pitches to get guys out. If he consistently perform like this, he can be a really good 2 or 3.

    1. It was left unsaid, but I think the Phillies decided that there was some redundancy between Martin and May (and I think there probably is) and made a determination that Martin was the better prospect in that he has a bit more upside. From what I’ve heard, I agree with that assessment although Martin brings his own set of risks that are not dissimilar to the risks associated with May.

      I saw May earlier in the year and, by the Reading gun, he was sitting in the low 90s – generally, he was around 91 or 92, touching 94 and perhaps once hitting 95. I don’t know if the Reading gun is slow, but I suspect it was – I think you can add maybe one MPH to those readings. He is an imposing figure on the mound and has good stuff, but I didn’t come away with the firm impression that he was on track to become an ace, although that’s not impossible. To me, he comes across more as an Edwin Jackson type or a watered down version of Matt Garza.

      1. The is no such thing as redundancy with pitching prospects. They’re all lottery tickets, and it’s better to own two of them than one of them.

        1. Yes, there is the problem of more injuries than with position players. Also, while a team needs a single 3B, it needs 5 SP. Consider injuries and a team needs at least 6, often 7 or 8, SP to make it through a major league season. To suggest that the Phillies rotation of a couple years from now couldn’t make use of Martin, May, and Pettibone is bizarro world. We likely don’t have Halladay two years from now. Lannan will be gone. Lee may also be gone or unproductive. If on the minuscule chance we end up with 6 quality SP rather than the necessary 5 to start the 2015 season, there is nothing more tradeable than a good SP.

  8. Colvin revamped his delivery and no longer throws across his body. Make or break year for Brady. He’s a fringe top 30 at this point but a bounceback could put him back on the radar.

    1. Jon Mayo, MLB.com, latest on Brody Colvin: —Despite a rough couple of seasons, Colvin still has pure stuff and a projectable pitcher’s body that would be the envy of many a pitching prospect. His fastball is plus at times, up into the mid-90s with good sink that generates ground balls. Both his curve and his changeup have the chance to be very good secondary pitches, and he’s shown a better feel for the offspeed pitch in the past then many his age. His command suffered during most of two full seasons with Class A Advanced Clearwater, but the Phillies saw enough to challenge him with a promotion to Double-A Reading on July 30.

  9. One thing that we don’t see in a box score is a pitchers mental make up. If someone has great stuff but is mentally weak or a mess, then that is where the organization knows more than we know. Just going by quotes, Drebek and Gose seemed like bratty complainers. Colvin obviously is a mess. May could have been that way as well. Same with Bonilla. Gavin Floyd I thought was real weak (although a change of scenery did him good) My point is, look at our starters or most teams successful starters. Mentally tough. As great as an arm and arsenal that some of these guys may have, if they are going to crumble in big spots or can’t deal with failure, then they will eventually become worthless. So, again, this is all just speculation, but if this is the case with a lot of these guys who have been traded, then I am good with that. Trade then now while they have value before they eventually crumble

    1. excellent point. the makeup of a player is extremely important. we don’t factor it in enough when discussing prospects, probably because it’s difficult to judge from afar. we don’t know these players as people and only get glimpses of them, based on what we hear about their behavior and the way we see them go about their business as professionals. makeup doesn’t necessarily show up in the stats, but can have a dramatic impact on a player’s ultimate contribution.

      as a possible example, i have had doubts about may’s makeup and his ability to process failure and progress. the phillies’ willingness to include him in the trade for revere didn’t surprise me. makeup could easily have been a factor in the bonilla move. only the front office brass knows for sure.

      1. agree and agree. Same with Gose. I don’t remember why or what I read but he seemed like a head case to me. Not only do these guys need to have talent, but they need to be good teammates.

    2. Make up is the hardest thing to judge, and really only the team knows it about their own prospects. Often we think of it as just is this guy a good teammate or his he just a dick. The thing is that is likely the least important part of the mental part of a player. As you said with pitchers is this a guy who can hold up when he his under pressure, this was the knock against both Gio Gonzalez and Carlos Carrasco, if they got into a tough spot they would fall apart, and Gio has improved on it. There are things like is he going to take instruction and make adjustments. The biggest thing you hit on is, how will he take failure, most of these kids have always been the best and now they won’t be, even Mike Trout was horrible in his major league debut at the end of 2011. Is the player going to make the improvements and keep working or are they going to give up.
      I tend to give the team the benefit of the doubt because they know the players infinitely more than anyone else. That being said these are young people and for every guy that just doesn’t get it there is a guy who matures and puts it together at some point, even if it is years down the road. This is why this is such an inexact process, people make declarations because otherwise there is no point in projecting anything, but realize that every expert when they make a prediction is taking an educated guess (they will all admit that they are often wrong and are by no means infallible) based on what they know (which is considerably more than anyone else in the media or than fans, but much less than what the teams have to work with)

    3. http://www.baseballexaminer.com/FAQs/scouting_faq.htm

      I keep this page bookmarked as I love how it breaks down the 20/80 scale, what is a “plus” tool vs a “plus-plus” tool, what are the five tools for position players and pitchers, etc.

      Anyway, towards the bottom of the page it gives a chart showing where a pitcher will end up based on his five tools grade out. “Makeup” is one very important tool, for a #1 or 2 starter, as well as an elite closer.

  10. Where is BJ Rosenberg?

    He’s a “sleeper” but that normally doesn’t apply to this website. If Cloyd and Hyatt are still prospects, so is Rosenberg. He compares favorably to those two, if you ask me, because of his stuff & deception. Before Lannan became Rube’s latest overpriced insurance policy (evidence that testicular fortitude is lacking) I expected Rosenberg to distinguish himself in spring training and win that #5 job over Cloyd/Hyatt/Pettibone.

    Toward the bottom of Fangraph’s main page, the top 5 in several stats are listed. Look who made #2 under “avg fastball MPH(starter)”; none other than our forgotten pal, BJ Rosenberg, at 96.2 mph. For him to sustain that sort of velocity as a starting pitcher is pretty impressive.

    Although I certainly understand the rationale for why he’s not listed: he’s 27 years old, only started one game in the majors and will be lucky to carve out a career as a AAAA/5th starter or swingman. The thing is, Cloyd and Hyatt fall under the same category, with fastballs that are about 8mph slower. Those two might have the edge on secondary pitches, but I’d take Rosenberg every time.

    Also, Pettibone is still underrated. He should be listed among the top 25 pitching prospects in baseball. To me, his consistency gives him the edge over Biddle, who actually is one of the top 25 pitching prospects.(or borderline) Pettibone is about as close to a sure thing as you get in an aggressively promoted young pitcher drafted out of high school…at least one without dominant stuff. Maybe he won’t ever be an Ace, but that’s okay; plenty of the top pitching prospects in baseball(top 25) profile as future #3 starters. Take a guy like Jake Odorizzi for example- what distinguishes him from Pettibone?(curve probably) Odorizzi’s scouting reports describe his upside as a #3 starter. If you actually look at the “real” top 25 pitching prospects going into the 2012 season, Pettibone out-performed nearly all of them. You could argue those guys deal with high expectations and typically face more experienced hitters, but Pettibone has thrived on every level. I hoped he’d get a shot to win the #5 job in spring training, but I’m still confident he’ll be a permanent fixture in Philadelphia’s rotation by the end of the 2013 season.

    1. “Before Lannan became Rube’s latest overpriced insurance policy…”

      Have you SEEN what pitchers are getting in the open market this year? Lannan is no ace, but he’s certainly a solid #5, especially for us because he keeps the ball on the ground which means they don’t end up in the seats. $2.5M guaranteed is chump change for a free agent starting pitcher. Hell, look at what Blanton got from the Angels. Then again, look at what WE were paying Blanton. Point is, Lannan is very likely to be worth the contract. And if he isn’t, 2.5M is a figure the FO will have no problem eating and demoting him while we find someone else to take over his spot (Pettibone, Cloyd, trade, another free agent, or whoever). It may not be “sexy” but you don’t need another top of the rotation starter when Halladay is your #3 and you have two of the three best lefties in baseball leading the way.

      1. Yes, Lannan is a reasonable gamble. Not all that different in quality from Kendrick, whom I’d take over Lannan, and Cloyd, whom I wouldn’t. Cloyd’s job this season is to be the #6 starter, the guy in reserve, stationed in Allentown.

    2. As I said with Ruf and the corner infield category (where he should likely have belonged), I will treat players as the Phillies have treated them, to this point the Phillies have treated Rosenberg has a reliever so he is on the reliever list. I am not sure he would pitch at that velocity if he pitched every 5th day for an entire season but it is definitely a live arm and those are always assets to an organization.

      1. I actually liked Rosenberg as the ‘longman’ in the bullpen. I actually think he’d benefit with more time in the minors trying to figure out a breaking pitch. He does seems to be able to hold his 95mph until the 5th inning and could be a guy worth pitching in odd situations; assuming Phillies give up on developing him into something else.

        I seem to think he will not become a 5th starter, nor a high leverage reliever, so why not just send him out there for multiple innings or extra innings and see how he does. He still has 2 years of roster control and many years of cost control, if he proves to be at least useful in that role.

  11. Did the Mayans mean the Phillies.?So much rests on Adams and if the prospects who may have to replace him.

    1. Adams ‘ procedure was successful, and should be ready to go. Chris Carpenter, same procedure, had his in July and was pitching for the Cards in October, so Adams should be throwing good by February.

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