Head To Head – Low-Level Outfielders

In the run up to the Reader Top 30 Poll, I’m going to start a couple conversations about similar players who appear in clusters on my personal, (and still not settled) Top 50.  I hope this will help get everyone geared up for voting in the first full week of January.

In the next couple weeks, I’ll take a look at some recent college draftees who’ve stayed as starting pitchers, a couple upper-level outfielders, and lower-level infielders and starting pitchers.  But first up: low-level outfielders.  Carlos Tocci, Larry Greene Jr., and Dylan Cozens. 

On my list, Tocci sits at 9, Cozens at 14 and Greene at 15.  Tocci has the edge over the other two fairly easily, based mostly on scouting.  His current lack of power, (and a questionable potential thereof, according to some scouts), is a concern. 

Aside from that, however, Tocci’s the kind of CF prospect you want to have in your system.  He played himself into national mention in 2012, impressing scouts with his game while being one of the youngest stateside players in any league.  He’s thus far looking like a capable line-drive hitter (19% in his 109 PA in 2012), with elite defense, and he has all kinds of time to fill out his body into something that can make those line-drives find the gaps and corners.  If he shows a touch of HR potential in the next couple years, he could be a top-tier prospect in baseball as he nears the big leagues.

The other two are very similar players with similar profiles.  Power to dream on and body/positional issues to worry about.  Neither struck out too much for a power hitter, though Greene came closer to that dubious distinction, (23.5% DC, 25.7% LGj – I get squeamish at around 28%).  Both walked a good amount, (11.4% DC, 13.5% LGj).  Since they were in similar age/league situations, that’s kind of a push to me. 

So to differentiate the two, I note that Cozens clearly hit for more power, (5HR to 2 for LGj, and an ISO .185 vs LGj’s .109).  Greene had more batted ball luck with little difference in LD%, and Cozens stole 9 bases to Greene’s 1.  With a body as big as his, you have to wonder if Cozens’ speed is for real, or just a symptom of the poor arms trying to throw him out and young pitchers not yet refined at holding runners on.  Either way, it’s still nice to see some athleticism, even if that fades as he gets bigger and stronger.

I like the idea of Larry Greene Jr.  He shows prodigious power in batting practice, and his plate discipline looks good.  He’s got the tools to move through the system, and if he brings the power to game situations with any regularity, he could have a breakout year at any point.  But after a really nice first campaign with few warning signs, Dylan Cozens has moved ahead of Larry Greene Jr. on my list.

So, what are your thoughts? Anyone not have Tocci at the top of this short group?  Is there another teenaged outfielder anyone really likes in thier top 20 or so, (Giandido Tromp, anyone?) Anyone sad to be discussing a couple real power hitting OFs from the last couple drafts instead of a handful of “toolsy” OFs?

126 thoughts on “Head To Head – Low-Level Outfielders

  1. My favorite of the bunch is Larry Greene Jr. He has great plate discipline for his age, and his natural power is mammoth. He has the attitude to succeed, and he’s very athletic (could’ve played LB for Alabama). Cozens’ athleticism is for real, as he was going to play defensive end for Arizona.. Tocci would be #2 of the bunch for me, with Cozens coming in last.

  2. I like Greene way more than Cozens, when it comes to pure athleticism Greene is a much better athlete of the two (I know they were both recruited to play football but Greene has the more natural athletic ability) and so while Cozens has the bigger arm I am much more comfortable with Greene’s ability to stick in the outfield. When it comes for ability to hit for power Cozens might have the edges because he gets plenty of leverage on his swing from his huge frame, but I don’t think Greene is much far behind (the raw power is still drawing great reviews) and I think much of his in-game power struggles have been due to passiveness at the plate and not looking to drive the pitches he should. When it comes to hitting for average I side with Greene, we are already hearing words like stiff about Cozens swing at age 18 and that is not a good sign for dealing with his larger strike zone and the ability to handle quality breaking pitches, Greene has already shown a willingness and ability to work counts against better pitchers (the pitching difference between GCL and NYPL is quite large with the average age of pitcher a year older), once he starts to learn what pitches he can drive and become more selectively aggressive he should hit for a better average and possibly on base than Cozens. When it comes to speed both are likely 50 runners right now but I project that Greene will likely keep his longer, I have real concerns about how big and stiff Cozens will get.

    I personally have Tocci the highest (but I have well documented love for Tocci and his potential) with Greene not far behind and Cozens almost 10 spots behind that with another 10 or so to Jose Pujols (yes he sneaks into my Top 30) who belongs in the hulking corner OF power hitting prospect discussion at least on the fringes.

    1. I’ll take Dylan Cozens any day over Green’s power speed and athleticism ! No contest,not a bad problem to have for Phillie’s! Three sport star,Division 1 all three sports football,basketball and baseball!

    2. I agree with Greene over Cozens. We weight GCL stats far too much. NY-Penn as a 19-year-old is a bigger challenge than GCL as an 18-year-old. Not that GCL stats mean nothing, just that they mean less (both on the good and bad side as everyone is making major adjustments). Tocci seems to be a cut above based on his baseball aptitude as much as his physical potential. It will be interesting to see if they push him to Lakewood which he can probably handle – though the extra year of physical development in XST would also be helpful.

      1. Andy, do you think the 2012 version of the GCL should get an asterisk for its talent level compared to prior years? The pool of signed guys ready for the start of the season was much greater than under the previous CBA.

        1. NO.

          All half season A-ball is strictly pass or fail.

          No player can become a legit starting prospect until they have completed full season ball.

  3. Since I have not seen any of these three play I can only go by what I have read. Tocci seems to have had the most successful debut with Cozens and Greene both showing some positives. If each of the three reach their ceiling they could be our starting outfield in 4 or 5 years which is exciting. Tocci and Greene will be in my top ten with Cozens in the 11-15 range.

  4. I don’t think the difference between the NYPL and the GCL is a small thing. I’d take Greene over Cozens, no doubt. I’d probably take him over Tocci too at this point, but it’s close.

    1. I agree there’s a big difference in the leagues. NYPL is a ton of college pitchers, but had LGj (theoretically) put up Cozens stats in the GCL in 2011 right out of HS, and then his own in NYPL in 2012, I think we’d be quite disappointed. I don’t see Cozens regressing to those lackluster power numbers even in the big park against some older pitching, mostly because it looks like he’s got enough plate discipline to handle himself.

  5. I was thinking along the same line. I posted this in GD but this might be a better place for it

    In anticipation of our Top 30 vote I’m wondering if you all would be interested in an around the horn discussion on Sleeper Picks to either be in or out of your top 10, top 20 with the idea being shedding light on players rated to low, not on the radar or possibly over rated.

    It would look some thing like this:

    Top 10 in: Gillies (will be the year he stays healthy and puts it all together)
    Top 10 Out: Joseph (1400+ PA’s only .308 OBP and .735 OPS)
    Top 20 In: Delvi Francisco (SSS but I like age 20 .962 WHIP with 12.2 K/9)
    Top 20 Out: J. James (now age 24 doesn’t appear to have the hit tool)

    again the idea that to most it would be some what controversial. What do you think?

    As for LGJR I have him 10, Tocci 11 and Cozens 24. Last year I got caught up in the Tyler Greene excitment of his short season GCL numbers so I vowed I won’t do that again unless the player is dominant or highly drafted.

    1. If I am understanding you right you are looking for things like in my own personal Top 30.

      Out of the Top 20 – Valle
      In the Top 20 – Kelly Dugan

      Or that I have Kenny Giles in front of Tyler Cloyd right now

      1. Pretty much. Wow Valle out of the top 20 that is pretty controversial. Dugan in not so much he was on the cusp for me last year and this year I have him slotted at 17.

        I personally take out the Cloyds, the Aumonts, The Rufs at this stage as they all got their cups of coffee.

        1. When we do the top 30 we’ll have to be clear on the guidelines for eligibility, so some people aren’t voting from a different template. If a guy still has rookie eligibility he should be up for the top 30 right? That would include Aumont, Ruf and Cloyd.

          1. Yep we do it on rookie eligibility which includes Aumont, Ruf, Cloyd, and DeFratus, I need to look into service time for Rosenberg, Deikman, and Schwimer. Also it will include everyone who has signed a contract up to the start of the Top 30 so all 2012 draftees and international signees are eligible and should be included if deserving.

            But for people’s personal Top 30s they can rank it how they want.

    2. Re: Tyler Greene and the small sample – I think we need to remember that jerks like me (yes, guilty), who thought he had proved enough despite his very high K rate and comically unrealistic BABIP were looking at something like 70 PAs, while Cozens had 185 or so. That’s a decent sample to consider.

      1. True but I’d rather leave him some room to move up in my rankings as opposed to down. Of all the GCL players Pullin has my attention with 160 PA’s a .409 OBP and a .838 OPS to go along with a .321 avg.

        Let’s see where he and Cozens are after another 300+ PA’s in WPT.

        1. Really? I have the entire bunch at GCL Cozens, Tocci, Green, Pullin, Watson starting at Lakewood this year.

          For what reason would they sit in Florida instead come April? GCL is pass or fail and they all passed.

          Gueller failed and I expect him to show up at Williamsport instead. Walding failed at Williamsport and 3B at Lakewood belongs to Zach Green.

          1. Jon Singleton didn’t even start the season at Lakewood, but it is a foregone conclusion four players from last year will start at Lakewood? I’d bet that Zach Green doesn’t start at Lakewood over Walding.

  6. My crazy stat of the week. This guy is 21 has 801 PA’s he has a 2.62% K Rate and still managed to OPS .756

    Who is he?

      1. He played last year as a 20 y.o. in his first season stateside. Those stats include his 17, 18 and 19 y.o. seasons in the VSL. His incredibly low K rate has been very consistent (as his incredibly low walk rate).

      2. Honestly I don’t much care what league it was in. If you are in Baseball Reference and you have 801 Professional PA’s with a K rate such as his that is a crazy number.

  7. I like all three players. Tocci hit and fielded well at his young age; thus should have more projection at this time. Cozens started well, but hit the wall during the season in GCL and never really got it back. Greene was steady in his progression and looks good, but his power hasn’t shown itself. I have Tocci at #12, Greene at #20, and Cozens not yet breaking into the top thirty. There are other players in his class that looked better.

  8. I’m leaning towards Greene over Cozens at this point although I’m eager to see both in action and hopefully both progressing. I just think Greene has the better chance of being a more complete hitter.

  9. Ranking the 3 players, I would put Tocci (1), LGj (2) and Cozens a distant 3rd.
    Tocci being 16, sent directly to the states, and being successful gets the nod. The scouting reports about his baseball IQ, speed and defense are enough for me.
    Larry Greene is far ahead of Cozens in my eyes. There is no comparison between the GCL and NYPL. Cozens had a promising start, but a good couple of weeks against HS pitchers in the GCL can’t be compared to a successful debut in the NYPL. LGj (like Franco in Lakewood) was told to work on hitting the ball to the opposite field. He was successful hitting the ball the other way, and that may have contributed to his low power numbers. Considering LGj was making his pro debut against college pitchers, while working on a specific thing, he should easily hold his status as the higher rated prospect, over Cozens.

    1. You need to compare apples to apples Greens first year GCL and Cozens first year GCL also instructional league, Cozens out performed Green in both ! Both drafted out of High School! Do your home work guys !Also 9 stolen bases for Cozens to 1 for Green! These guy’s will definitely be competing against each other you can count on that. I’ll take cozens !

      1. @Raw Talent – Get your “Green’s right. We are talking about Larry Greene an outfielder – not Zach Green an infielder. Larry Greene was not drafted out of high school in 2012. He is a year older that Cozens. So before you tell everyone to do their homework – you need to do yours!!!!

  10. I really like the idea of these posts. Much better than an ‘open’ discussion of ‘some’ outfielders.

    Tocci is a dream upon guy. I ranked him super high on potential alone. If he grows then he progression will depends on his ability to adjust and remain coordinated. He could never rebound to the player he is projected to be at this time.

    Greene I ranked higher than Cozens mostly on the fact that he adjusted so well for being ‘raw’. I read that he was in a small high school with poor competition. Therefore, it was assumed he would take extra development time. The fact that his plate approach seems good is a huge plus in his development in my opinion, I have no idea how his defense will progress but I hope he can stay in the OF.

    Cozens was at a more advanced HS but he peformed much better than I expected. I think he fits a similar profile as Greene so it will be interesting to see if these guys move up at the same pace and try to out do each other.

  11. I spent a fair amount of time in Clearwater last summer and had the opportunity to watch both Tocci and Cozens in game action and in batting practice. When I do my rankings, I lean towards giving huge value to the guys that could become stars vs average major league contributors. Having said that, I have Tocci at #1. In addition to watching these two guys, I talked with a bunch of scouts that can spot things that I would never see in a million years. When Tocci runs, it is almost superhuman speed. I have not seen Quinn in person but I believe Tocci is faster than 2007 Michael Bourn. In BP, a guy would hit a ball in the gap and Tocci was shagging from CF. I would think there’s a gapper, and not only would he catch it but he’d be slowing down so he didn’t overrun it. I don’t have a specific example but his instincts for the game just seem real strong for his age. In the couple games I saw he just didn’t make any kind of mistakes and carried himself with confidence that someone that age normally doesn’t have. As for his arm, it is a gun. One scout during a game said he hadn’t seen a kid throw like that since Mark Whiten in Dunedin about 20 years ago. As for the bat, he just pounds line drives all over the place, to all fields. He is small but hits with authority if not power at this point.

    As for Cozens, he is a beast physically. He towers over his teammates and his bat makes that special sound when he connects. Like mentioned above, he looks like a linebacker or defensive end. He seems to approach the game like an Utley or Hollins, but he’s doing it in Bo Jackson or Frank Thomas’s body. I also believe he has every bit the arm that Tocci does although I didn’t see him get the opportunity in game action to let one go. I have him at #13.

    I have not seen LGJ play in person so cant compare him as well, but have him at #16.

      1. I did not talk to anyone about Pullin and all I saw was nothing special. He played LF and made routine plays and didn’t do much at the plate. Now Green is a bigger kid, looks more like a 3B than SS in terms of size. Has what seems to be a long swing but he looks like he’s 6’4″ or even 6’5″. Scout I talked to said there might be something there but has a lot to work on in the next year or two. He sounded unimpressed.

        1. Awesome stuff. Please continue to post!

          Hearing the work hard attitude of Cozens is outstanding (and surprising given his checkered (albeit in HS)) to hear. Of course, I think someone posted that Hewitt works very hard also, but just cannot seem to get the plate discipline down.

          I have crush on Pullin just since I just project an solid regular future on him. Good all around player. Yeah, no pressure.

    1. That’s the best info I’ve read on Tocci. I tried hard to establish that he was not a slap hitter and did so, but not with a description anything like that. This was what I was looking for.

      1. He’s definitely not a slap hitter. When I think slap hitter, I’m thinking Brett Butler and Ichiro Suzuki types. He just hits a lot of line drives in what I saw to all fields.

        1. Line drives to all fields… in BP? 2 XBHs last year tells me he’s not putting much thump behind the ball when he hits it.

          1. Slap describes the type of swing a hitter is taking, I.e., he’s slapping at the ball. That’s not his approach in games, or in BP. His swing results in a lot of hard hit line drives in what I saw, very few fly balls.

          2. Do any of you have teen-aged sons? My HS player is 14 months younger than Tocci (born October 1996). His body is developing rapidly. His frame might look slight at first glance but he is actually quite strong. If we were playing professionally he’d be a slap hitter. Please, people, get some perspective!!!

            And, for the Ryan Howard haters out there, I ask my son if he’d be able to drive the ball if his rear leg were impaired and the answer is always NO!!!!

            If Tocci were American he’d be junior in high school.

            I sometimes get the sense that few of the posters on this site ever played or had kids who play now.

            1. I was not questioning Tocci’s ability to develop or his legitimacy as a prospect, just the notion that last year he was spraying line drives all over the field in games.

            2. Agree with that. I wonder how much Mike Trout weighed at 17 as a junior in HS? Maybe a buck 75 or 80.

            3. Probably not, dude is built like a tank but here is a 16 year old Bryce Harper from the SI story on him. I wouldn’t exactly call him large http://baseballdraftreport.files.wordpress.com/2010/02/bryce-harper.jpg, that being said Tocci’s frame (he doesn’t have broad shoulders or a large frame) doesn’t suggest a guy who is going to put up loud raw power but there is plenty of room to get to at least average power especially with good bat speed and approach.

  12. Thanks, up there, for mentioning Dugan who could use ’13 as his breakout year.
    This time of the year at this forum is only secondary to watching the team peform well. Kinda gets us stirring toward ST and the season. Thus, thanks to all who put it all together so well…Matt!

    I’m on the side of rating guys based on the potenhtial level of play that it is believed they can reach by professional evaluators.

    Of the 3, to me Tocci rates as #1. His excellent outfielding has already shown itself. His ability to make contact at the plate is unusually advanced for his age (16) in his first pro season. Think: in 5 years he’ll be just 21 yrs old with 6 years of pro ball on his resume and thus time enough to add strength and weight to his frame.

    Neither of the other two should now be seen as most likely to become a star; Tocci carries that expectation the best among them. It is interesting to contemplate a lineup containing such speedsters as Quinn, Revere, and Tocci…plus maybe (?) Gillies somewhere, then backed up by the power of Greene,Jr and Cozens should they come to fruition, too. (Oh, for a solid righthanded hitting OFer with some power to bring that lineup to glory)

    Now…on to the top 30! Baseball is a’comin’ in!

    1. Your OF is full in your scenario (even if you move Cozens or Green to first there is plenty of guys to project out there) so you are just going to have to the infield for power bats and the good news is you have two potentially good ones in Franco and Joseph.

    1. If you are talking D’Arby Myers he signed as a minor league free agent with Oakland early in December. It would have been tough for him to get playing time in AA/AAA, a small loss because there was some talent there but not a big deal (if he does put it together it will be because of opportunities he would not have gotten here)

      1. That’s him. His stats were pretty good, but he must have been in the system awhile. I’m going through all the minor league rosters and taking a peak. That way I’ll have a fram e of reference when I read the update on here(mostly yours now).

        Is the a matrix or reference point for age/experience and level. A lot of talk of old for his level, in-experienced for his level. Is there a comprehensive matrix on such?

        1. I believe PP always said the basic path for a prospect (one who has real major league aspirations) is to be 18 in rookie ball, 19 in lo-A (Williamsport), 20 in A, 21 in hi-A, 22 in AA and 23 in AAA.

          It’s not a hard and fast rule. For example college guys often get assigned to lo-A after they’re drafted, even though they’re older than 19. But it’s basically what people are expecting when they talk about age-related to level for true prospects.

          1. Yeah, I wished they’d include a revised ‘age appropriate’ for college drafted players.
            Low end college guys could be 22 in lowA. Then likely 23 in A/A+, and 24 in A+/AA depending on pedigree. With 4 years of ‘control’ before needing to make a 40man roster choice I think that path is reasonable for evaluation, even though this type of player will always be ‘old for level’. Year4 they play in AA (like Ruf) or AAA to see if they get a shot in the majors.

            Of course for top college guys, they usually play half of their second year in AA. And may go right from AA to the majors in year 3.

            1. There is no need for a ‘revised age appropriate’ for college players. Unless they’re good enough to get skipped straight to High A when drafted, they are “old” for the level. Period. Guys like Adam Morgan and Cody Asche, who power their way to AA, in their 2nd year, become age appropriate. College players who start in low A and go one stage at a time are never age appropriate, and for the most part, are not considered prospects. There is no need for a 2nd seperate age chart for college players.

            2. That seems kind of short sighted. When a prospect comes in out of HS the org has the opportunity to have them work on specific things, refine certain aspects of their skill set and move them at the pace they feel is best without a real care about ‘winning’. Yes they want them to be part of a winning culture coming up but standings take a back seat.

              With the college kids, you don’t know what kind of coaching they get. College coaches, imo and from what I’ve seen playing college ball, aren’t going to have pitchers stop throwing their change if it’s a plus in order to work on other things. They’re not going to have their best hitters spend the season working on hitting the ball the other way. Their job is to try to win games or they’ll be out of a job.

              Guess what I’m trying to say is that a college kid getting drafted, unless they’re a star-level player, have to go through the same progression as the high school kids. The org is going to want them to change habits they developed in college, they’re going to want them to work on certain things over the course of a year. Yes, they they may be old for their leagues but it seems unnecessry to call them non-prospects because none of us know the specifics of their development. Than taking into account the Phillies reluctance to move guys up (which is hopefully changing with Jordan) and you’re painting yourself into a corner. If Asche raked at Clearwater all year and was never moved to Reading would he still have powered his way to prospect status? According to that line of thinking, no.

            3. Again. If no matter what the circumstances of the college player, he is still older than much of his competition, if he starts in SS. Until he shows he is much better than his younger opponents, he isn’t considered a prospect. If the college player is not dominating younger competition enough to get skipped, he isn’t showing he is a prospect.
              Asche dominated High A. He is now a prospect. Harold Martinez struggled at High A. He is not a prospect right now. Seems reasonable to me.

            4. Wasn’t trying to imply it’s not reasonable, just saying there’s more to take into account besides age when it comes to these guys. It’s easy to take a long-term approach with HS players than with college guys. Add that to the Phils previous tendancy to move guys along slowly and you have college guys too old for their league. I hope they keep up with the aggressive approach with these guys so we can see what they have.

            5. Agreed. There is a normal college progression, but it depends upon being drafted as a normal aged junior, i.e. 21. Guys who are drafted as seniors or 23-year old super-seniors are never going to be age-appropriate, unless they skip multiple levels. For the college junior, one who is a good prospect and progressing normally, the steps are Williamsport at 21, Clearwater at 22, Reading at 23, Allentown at 24 although a really good prospect might skip Allentown. To get back onto schedule as a colege senior, you almost have to start at CLW or skip CLW to end up in Reading in year 2. Otherwise, like Ruf, you are fighting the age/level battle until you get a regular major league job. When a college junior starts in GCL, they are starting behind the curve.

            6. With the big program college kids, I would assume our scouts have quite a good idea of the quality of coaching and the idiosynchracies of programs like Stanford for hitters and Rice for pitchers. The scouts have probably built up relationships with some of the smaller college program coaches, as well.

            7. Here’s the thing – IF there was a history of college kids being moved slowly through the minors, graduating to the majors at 26 or 27, and going on to significant major league success, you would have a point. But there isn’t and you don’t.

              The simple fact is that college players who end up having significant major league success rocket through the system. They still tend to get a somewhat later major league start than high school kids, but they still tend to hit the majors at 23 or 24 or 25 at the VERY latest (and rarely that).

              Now one could argue I guess that there is a self fulfilling prophecy aspect to this – I don’t really buy it, but one can argue it – but if you want to argue it, argue it. Don’t just assume it.

            8. Which isn’t even to say that there aren’t or can’t be some exceptions to the rule. But exceptions they are. If one were adopt a separate age scale for college players, one would constantly – constantly – be misidentifying players are prospects who simply aren’t. As happens constantly in the comments section on this site.

            9. When it come to the Philadelphia org, like to hear a Joe Jordan interview and what his philosophy is. Last year he appeared to be aggressive in promos with college guys, so have to assume in 2013, guys like Serritella, Perkins, Milner and the like will be jumped in mid-season if they are progressing well up to say June/July time-frame. I like that approach.

  13. Give me LGJ. I really like the reports on Tocci and he seems to project as the most “natural” player, but I need to see a guy get his slugging over .300 before I get too excited. Let’s hope he fills out some as he gets older. Cozens was a nice surprise and he has the tools to tantalize all the way up the minor league ladder. On the other hand, it wouldn’t shock me if he struggled to make contact at the higher levels. I was pleased to see LGJ take so many walks last year. I’m guessing some of those doubles turn into home runs in then next 2 seasons. He seems to “get” what a guy with his skill set needs to do to make it in the majors. Tocci has a higher ceiling, but I’d still take LGJ today based on their current skills/attributes.

    1- LGJ
    2- Tocci
    3- Cozens

  14. I’d like to make a point about character – I think about Cozens getting dinged before the draft for getting in a fight with a coach. Frankly, I don’t much care about that stuff. Some might. If it becomes a recurring theme, then I take it into consideration, but these are very young guys playing high level sports with competitive coaches – a disagreement turning into an argument, and that argument getting out of hand is not, in my opinion, the end of the world. I would imagine that for those young men who are capable of maturing, (some certainly aren’t, as is the nature of man), that kind of event is just the thing that might help them turn the corner.

    As it relates to Dylan Cozens, who knows what his maturity level is right now and where it will be in 2013 and beyond. The Phillies took the calculated risk and gave him a large bonus based on their assessments, and unless he has another incident, I look at him as a guy who could have been drafted higher than he was based on tools he displayed in a short time frame in the only league you’d expect him to display them. I don’t think I am down on LGj at all. I’m just high on Cozens.

    Tomorrow, I’mma get a little high on Kevin Brady. Lock up your daughters.

    1. I’m really interested in seeing where Cozens will play next season. I guess it all depends on his offseason workouts and spring training, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the organization challenges him by bumping him to Lakewood and if he struggles send him to Williamsport.

      1. If Cozens takes his “vitamins” this winter to go along with his workouts he might get signed away from the Phillies by Vince McMahon. .

        1. I guess the ‘vitamin’ reference is in regards to Keith Law’s alluding to the ‘other’ problems he was purported to have had prior to the draft and RAJ knew this going into the draft.

    2. Thanks for reminding me of Brady. I keep forgetting him when adjusting my top 30. A lot of good names this year. Last year, there were barely 20 guys worth mentioning in the top 30. This year, there are at least 35 that are worthy of consideration.

    3. “think about Cozens getting dinged before the draft for getting in a fight with a coach”

      That’s one incident that tells the tale of Dylan “Anabolic” Cozens. Then there was the bullying of his teammates. That together with shoving his coach got him canned from the team. Those just symptoms, warning flags of what was going on. The clincher was his putting on 60 pounds that winter. 60 pounds and the “rages”. Symptoms of anabolic steroid use.

      Classic symptoms, highlighted in a chat held by Keith Law.

      Gerry (Philly)

      KLaw!! Ruben Amaro was downright giddy about Dylan Cozens in his draft analysis. Cozens wasn’t even rated due to football commitment or character issues. Why all the excitement? What is his potential?
      Klaw (1:14 PM)

      He wasn’t rated highly because he’s not that good. Shoved his coach and told him to “f off” in the dugout during a game, so he was kicked off the team – the culmination of a series of incidents that turned many scouts off him, one even calling him a “bully.” (Just what you want on your GCL team around a handful of 16-year-old Latin American kids.) And he’s a big power-before-hit guy who put on 50-60 pounds in a single summer. Amaro is pumping up his draft pick, which is his job, but he’s giving you half the story.


      brian (brooklyn)

      Late to the party but regarding your answer from earlier on Cozens, he gained 50-60 pounds in one summer and has rage issues?
      Klaw (2:20 PM)
      I have no idea what you’re getting at here.

  15. This concept is awesome – really Keeps one focused. I read all of the above and feel I have a better read on each player now – I am high on each. I could see Gilies at 8, Tocci at 9, Larry G at 10 and Couzens at 11 (the GL/NYPenn differences flipped this for me). But then Buddy’s input almost flipped me back…

  16. 1. Tocci
    2. LG Jr
    3. Cozens

    I like all three of these guys but from all the reports Tocci performing the way he did at his age is phenomenal. I’m really impressed with what I’m hearing and reading. As for LG Jr, I liked what I heard out of first hand reports from Mitch Rupert. His plate recognition is good at such a young age. Cozens is the ultimate tease. If Cozens’ tools materialize, he could be something this organization and it’s fans will love for years and years. Of course the chances of this actually happening are smaller than we would like to hope for, but it gives us something to monitor and hope for.

  17. I love all three of these guys. I like Tocci the best and think you can make a decent case that he could be as high as #5 on our propect list.

    I actually like Cozens a little more than Greene right now. For all the talk of Greene being more athletic, Cozens is the one who’s playing a tougher defensive position right now. While Cozens was playing against inferior competition, he is 16 months younger than LGJ. They were both age-appropriate for their leagues. LGJ had a full offseason and spring training as a professional, with access to the Phils facilities and coaches. Cozens came straight from high school to the GCL.

    My biggest concern with Cozens was the sample size, but the elite power seems legit. I guess we’ll have a much better idea of these two this time next year.

    1. As far as the athleticism between the two, I’d tend to believe LGj would have the advantage based on the pre-draft reports of him playing CF for his high-school team and being recruited to play Linebacker for the Crimson Tide. CF and linebacker are not usually positions that you envision one guy playing.

      1. I wasn’t trying to say that Cozens was more athletic because I haven’t seen enough of either to know. The Phils must see LGJ as a LF because he didn’t play any CF or RF in Williamsport despite the team not really having a CF or RF prospect. So despite Greene being maybe more athletic , Cozens still presents more value defensively because there’s at least a chance he can play RF.

        1. Not that he’s a huge prospect, but didn’t Perkins play a fair amount of RF? (I could be remembering that wrong, but I am not looking it up, so there). He was a 3b in college, so maybe he just has the better arm.

  18. I like Greene, Cozens ans then Tocci. I think people like the idea of Tocci. In reality, he’s just a real young, real skinny kid who has very good hand eye coordination and good speed. He has zero power which could improve but will he lose his speed when he gets bigger? I hope he becomes as good as most of you think he already is. Greene and Cozens both have the chance to become legit power hitters, lets hope that at least one of them actually does.

  19. I wouldn’t get to excited about Buddys comments. They go against what I read from a BA writer. Quote Don’t discount Pullin “Pullin is a hitter”. Scouts have cooledon Valle 11-20 range. Mitch Walding A star football player in hs. Needs to translate skills to game. Iwouldn’t be sursprised if he was in the top ten next year.Wright not near top10. Lakewood should be exciting this summer. Hudson [body beau] , l,Greene,Quinn,Walding,Cozens and Pullin if there is room. Has been a long time coming. Pitching has kept them afloat now hopefully we will see some hitting by more then two or three guys.

    1. Pullin seems like he’s going to be a good obp guy as a hitter. Not as sure about the power. If he can play 2B, he seems a really serious prospect. If he has to play corner OF, the bat may not be good enough.

    2. I would love to see Lakewood with a lineup of Quinn, Pullin, Walding, L.G.j. and Cozens. Even better if Tocci can somehow take Hudson’s spot in CF. It would also mean Tyler Greene was left behind in Extended Spring.

    3. Lefty – my comments dont go against anything regarding Pullin, I simply said he didnt do much at the plate in the few games I saw, and he only had a couple of routine tries in LF. He just looks like an averaged size kid without any skills that jump out at you, not a knock on him, he just doesn’t have Tocci speed or Cozens power, etc, doesn’t mean he isn’t a good hitter and doesn’t have potential.

  20. Almost forgot, Don’t give up on Franco he is young for each level and the important thing is he has come on at the end of each year. Just what you want froma young guy. Don’t worry about beginning stats worry more about if the prospect works on his game and gets better each year. The lower levels are pass or fail like someone said. Stat guys always get carried away. He’s a prospect this year because his numbers are good , he’s not a prospect this year because his numbers are not good. Bull do you know how stupid that sounds . And you are trying to school someone. Just get rid of the scouts. We can get a bunch of accountts judge players. scouts use their eyes. I know it is hard to find film but try to find film and look at these guys. You will learn something. Stats are only a small part of scouting. Sorry about the rant but sometimes reading the comments drives me crazy. Ezperts everywhere.

    1. I rely on stats and written scouting from professionals, because, frankly, when I watch grainy film through a backstop screen, I don’t know enough to be able to judge bat speed or the break on a curve. What does that make me? Please tell me.

      1. I would like to just echo this, no one on this site is qualified to make a but few scouting judgments (most people can grade fastball velocity and speed because they are pure numbers), some more can make evaluations on major league actualized tools, but to think that anyone here can look at a video and give you any meaningful scouting analysis and give you projection is a combination of ignorance and arrogance. We all try to fill in the gaps between scouting reports with stats that help create a narrative that helps to understand the developmental process.

        1. Agreed on this Brad and Matt. When I go to games, primarily last year in Lakewood and Clearwater, I try very hard to talk with scouts and team personnel as much as I can for these very reasons – they know more than most or all of us ever will about the nuances of mechanics and swings, etc. Having said that, I’ll hear scouts tell me the complete opposite opinions about the same guy at the same time. That’s why I get a good chuckle when some commenters on this site will make claims like “there is no way this player will ever be x” or “this guy will never do y” or “this guy is a sure thing”. This business of evaluating prospects is as difficult to do as probably anything in sports and we should all strive to stay away from definitive statements of fact and focus on giving opinions and keeping an open mind for new insights.

      2. Brian i agree that professional scouting reports hold more weight than either of ours evaluation, but there are imperfections with some professional scouting report. This is why the AFL is such a big deal because you have the unbiased scouts getting extended looks at players opposed to seeing a prospect once or going off a second hand report. This is why I am really excited by the BA ranking of Asche and you can see the change in their tune after an extended look and not just reports from either his draft report or single game observations. And for the record I would call you a purveyor of information.

        Personally i like seeing grainy footage of low level guys to get an idea of what they are (athletic, power hitter, smooth). Personally I feel i have an advanced understanding of the mechanics of hitting and I like to look for several things when evaluating a hitter and there are certain steps that they need to do mechanically to be consistently successful (as always exception rule applies). What i get from the grainy footage of LGJ is that during that BP session he was not repeating his successful swing every time, and this is what the lower level are for working on the muscle memory. But the swing is in there and since i am not there everyday i look to some stats to give a view of what happened with the understanding that they provide an incomplete view but the best we have from a long distance. I will also take the grainy video over a first hand recollection/description and that is just following the rule of believe what you see over what you hear.

        I agree with the statement the SS leagues are Pass/Fail type leagues. All the information you need to learn from them are the placement of the player after his season. To pass you need to prove that mechanically you are to a point where you can repeat the good mechanics the majority of the time. This is so at higher levels you can move on to the more advanced aspects of playing the game (approach, pitch recognition…) This is what makes it difficult to judge Pitchers at an early level versus position players, the intricacies of pitching are greater than hitting or fielding.

        sorry for going long, but love the site and the back and forth. thanks guys!!

        1. Excellent post. You really articulate your points well. That was me who wrote that half-season ball is pass or fail.

          I watched “Pelotero” last night. Sano was an obvious monster talent. No one else looked anything like him. Those bone scans, DNA and one-to-one investigations with the people at the hospital and school were enough for me. Too bad Dave $$$ Montgomery didn’t feel the same way. The Phillies are not even mentioned in the documentary because they played on the international scene the way the Royals play in the MLB free agent market.

          Freeaec Phillies @Free_AEC
          June 2013 is an important anniversary in #Phillies history, the 20th year since they drafted Scott Rolen in the 2nd round. #PhilliesTalk

    2. Lefty32…..name me one starting MLB player who had poor stats throughout the minors and made it big in the majors?

    3. So wait, what? We ignore the scouts and the numbers, and just rely upon our (untrained) eyes viewing hard to get film. Okay ….

      For people like us, i.e., fans, with no insider information and no special expertise with regard to player evaluation, the way to have an intelligent opinion about a player is to consider all available information – which includes scouting/expert opinions and stats properly understood.

      The disdain for scouts is just silly – part of a sad trend in this country to reject the notion of expertise. The disdain for the numbers is a little more interesting. Some numbers do fluctuate wildly, and those are the stats – batting average, for example – where we DO want to place little weight (at least in terms of prospect evaluation). That aside, even when dealing with more reliable metrics, cautions are in order. It would be a mistake to rely JUST on the stats. Luckily no one here does that. There are, though IMO a couple of rules of thumb for looking at minor league statistics:

      (1) Be a little more cautious with pitchers than with hitters. Pitchers are often working on specific pitches which distort their overall numbers. There really is no analog for hitters.
      (2) As always, consider sample size.
      (3) The younger the prospect is, the less the numbers mean.

      All of that said, there are statistical profiles of what a good prospect looks like. OF COURSE sometimes you have exceptions – but even there, the apparent exceptions are often an illusion of context.

      It’s also odd for you use Franco as an example; he’s a guy that looks great by the numbers and is liked by the scouts.

      Final irony – Lefty, the king here of the “use your own eyes” school, in the post prior to this blasted Buddy’s opinion derived from … using his own eyes.

      1. Just to clarify my stance (not sure if you were talking to me about the dismissing of scouts). The point I was trying to make was that current scouting reports available to the public are either first hand account like Buddy talking to a scout or larger publications who do not have the budgets or manpower to properly scout all players so they rely on 2nd hand info. Which most likely are scouts associated with teams who provide them the information. Now we all know that there is always a bias when one reports on a player and teams would love to drive up or down the reports on a prospect. I AM NOT SAYING THIS DOMINATES THE SCOUTING REPORTS BUT DOES ENTER INTO THE EQUATION WHEN EVALUATING INFORMATION. Just want to be clear that i am not trashing scouting as it is the best info available to us currently. And like i said the AFL is a nice way to get some info on prospects from 3rd party scouts that are more likely to not contain bias.

        As for my comments on grainy footage it is just my personal preference to like to see these guys as early as possible to see if they have attributes I consider good or bad. Especially the Williamsport and Crosscutters because stats are essentially meaningless at these levels. You just want to see that the tools scouts stated they have are they and show up in game situations. Sometimes we are surprised like with LGJ’s plate discipline and Roman Quinn’s power.And ultimately how a team moves a prospect along is the only true evaluation/ranking of prospects as their decision is based on the most information available on the prospect and the most observation time. If Tocci is that truly advanced at the plate (with his swing mechanics and dicipline) and his playing speed is good enough to learn on the job in CF he will be moved along. The nice part about him being 16 is there is time to wait if he is not quite there yet.

        1. ‘The nice part about him being 16 is there is time to wait if he is not quite there yet’….he is now 17 as of August.

        2. I would like to echo and clarify some of your points about where scouting reports comes from. Be wary of anything but hard evidence from reports talking to Phillies personnel, they can be insightful as to what the organization thinks about the prospect as a whole but there is a lot of posturing going on there (it is their job). When it comes to reports from places like Baseball America, Baseball Prospectus, and ESPN (Keith Law) they rarely if ever talk to a team or their scouts about one of their players so their information comes from opposing scouts (who don’t normally have agendas but again we are dealing with individuals so there are outliers either way) and then most of the sites also supplement with their own scouting (which normally is pretty good, but again personal preference caveats). This leads to a ton of differing reports because every scout and organization has some things they are looking for and will see as positives and two different people can look at the same report and come out with two different opinions.

          My own here, the numbers are a more objective way of looking at prospects (though you can really skew them around if you want, but for the most part posters here look at the important numbers for prospects), but they don’t give you a lot of information that a scouting report can (first hand reports much preferable to video scouting because you can follow much more of what a player does and not just a single AB). The best method still is to combine every piece of information you can together and use it make your opinion.

          1. Thank you Mat for clarifying that a little better than i did in my statement. I think to some extent most of us do the same thing where we look at scouting reports for the tools the player has and then look to the stats to verify what we either saw or read.

        3. My remarks were directed at lefty, not at you. Nothing you say here is unreasonable, though I’d emphasize things a little differently.

          We agree I think that for the short season guys there’s not a whole lot that outsiders can base an intelligent opinion on, scouting, numbers, or personal observation. Your own comment that “how a team moves a prospect along is the only true evaluation/ranking of prospects” is not only correct – well, I wouldn’t say “only,” but “best” – but is also illustrative of just how hard it is for an outsider to get a grasp on prospects in short season ball. When the best evidence is circumstantial evidence of the team’s thinking, that is pretty meager evidence. Of course, once a player gets to full season ball, outsider opinions begin to have a more solid basis. The numbers start to mean more, and generally you here more from a variety of sources with direct or second scouting knowledge.

          (I would add that OF COURSE you need to use your critical reasoning skills in evaluating those “expert” opinions. I won’t repeat what others have said, but ironicly IMO what you hear from the team itself is the LEAST reliable information. Not because they don’t know their prospects best, they do, but because there is always an agenda (as their should be). Maybe Ruf really did learn to field in winter ball. I’m skeptical, but stranger things have happened. But I put zero weight – none at all – on the comments of team officials on that point.)

          Lefty … look, I’m trying to be less harsh, so I’ll mute my comments a bit. The lack of literacy undercuts his comments a bit; maybe if he had better writing skills he wouldn’t come off looking so bad. He reminds me a lot of John from the northeast. (Btw, who is john in RL? Apparently an old guy who once, many many years ago, did have a connection to the team – John from the northeast I mean – a lot of people around here seem to know who he is – I don’t because I don’t listen to WIP.)

          1. Keith Law aways talks about how hard it is to get good information from the team sources. He says he has contacts on every team, but some scources are more credible than others, and a lot of the time he is surprised at how candid some are with negative comments about certain players. Some of the positive comments from the team scources are BS, but he feels he has become better at identifying that.

      2. “(3) The younger the prospect is, the less the numbers mean.”

        You meant to write “The lower the level the prospect played at the less the numbers mean”?

        1. Both are true, especially when the age is young enough (I generally put it at 21 and under) that you can see a lack of physical maturity or advanced instruction that should be there, that may be holding them back (for example Tocci and the power or Watson/Gueller and the lack of feel for secondary pitches right out of high school). It is why there is still some benefit of the doubt for Joseph and Valle, at some point though age is no longer and excuse for poor results.

          1. It’s why I’ve always liked Galvis a lot more than the consensus of this site. He was young when promoted to A+ at 19, very young for AA (19) and AAA (21), so I discounted his poor hitting stats figuring he’d improve with age and switch hitting experience.

  21. Bianc413 you put it much better than I did. Anonymous I couldn’t remember who said pass or fail. You are right on point. I only stayed around for a little while otherwise I would have answered the stat guys that don’t get it and get their panties in a wet bunch. Matt Anon1 and long winded Larrymouth. It is a comb of all, stats are a small part, as Bianc so elequently said I would rather watch grainey film or see a prospect live for the reasons Bianc said then look at stats like you guys and when you see them at the AA level and realize this guy is never going to be a major leaguer because he is not athletic enough or he can’t move his feet fast enough, or he doesn’t have soft hands etc. I don’t have time to teach you these things. but maybe if you listen to an old guy that has a different oppinion than you, maybe you will learn something. Instead you think I was attacking you guys. Well if you pick your top 10 without seeing these players your wasting everyones time. Matt you made yourself sound pretty bad. Even if Anon1 and some of these guys say yeah every time you say something, doesn’t mean you know what you are talking about.

    1. Lefty…..been watching the Phillies since 1960. So a come lately ‘stats guy’. Can watch and do watch prospects, be it live or on a ‘grainey’ video. But you have to realize that statistical measurements do play a role in forecasting a players’ future. If just looking at a prospect, and seeing their swings and physiques, you can make a case that the Hewitts, Golsons et al of the world should be the next Willie Mays. Not saying first-hand accounts are not a necessity, they still are, however stats also play a key role. Also, Buddy B’s first-hand accounts I find fascinating and worthwhile and hope they continue.

  22. Some of your points have some merit. Whatt I don’t get: Why a professional scout, like you, would waste his time arguing with, and trying to discredit a bunch of admitted amateurs. That can’t be very stimulating for a professional scout.

  23. Oh and for all of the typing i did here is my ranking:

    1. Tocci – At 17 showing 4 tools with the potential for the 5th to develop At a premium defensive position in a league where he is the youngest. For me he has the highest ceiling of the 3 and of course with so much projection still attached he is the biggest ? of the 3.

    2. LGJ – Reported to have one plus tool and we were pleasantly surprised by the reports of having decent plate discipline. He also is probably a much better athlete than many people give him credit for as one is not recruited to play LB at Alabama if they do not have size and speed. I can see where the expectation of him having to play 1B came from as he does resemble a barrel.

    3. Cozens – Admittedly it is really close between LGJ and Cozens because they are similar tools wise and Cozens has a better arm which allows him to play RF. Reports of a long swing are not surprising as he is tall and muscular. I get a feeling that Cozens may have a little “Man among boys” affect from this season as he is a very physically developed player already and likely playing against lesser developed kids at that age. I don’t think there is much projection left for his tools (They may be good enough already) just need him to mature mentally and as a hitter to see some rewards.

  24. I appreciate reading this discussion. Before reading it I had Greene 9, Tocci 14, then Cozens 25, roughly on my preliminary list. Now I will move Tocci ahead of Greene and maybe move Cozens up. I like Greene more than Cozens based on him being a year more advanced, having a little better eye, and a little more power. I just love power hitters who walk. I’ll love Cozens as much as Greene when he gets past the GCL. I had downgraded Tocci due to his lack of any power, but his center-field defense, arm, and speed counteract that. I’ve seen Gillies name thrown around in this discussion, but he is not too relevant to this topic due to his age relative to Greene Tocci and Cozens and due to his injury history relative to other older prospects like Pointer, Collier and Dugan. I have Collier the best of the rest and ahead of Cozens mostly for defense, speed, relative proximity and power potential.

    My working list of the outfielders in the Phillies top 30 prospects, in ordered clusters:
    Tocci, Greene, Collier, Gillies, Cozens, Dugan, Pointer.

    1. My “clusters” didn’t work, so again with periods this time: Tocci, Greene,…, Collier, Gillies, … , Cozens, Dugan, Pointer.

      1. @Ken45: I usually do not agree with your ratings. On this one, I think you are on point. I have the Outfielders in the organization in the same order, except I have Aaron Altherr at end, instead of Brian Pointer. Same “clusters” though: Tocci, LGJ…. Collier, Gillies…. Cozens, Dugan and Altherr.

        1. If I may guess on behalf of Anon, based on better performance in W-port and maybe what seems to be untapped power potential (listed at 6’5″ but just 195lbs). I’d have Pointer ahead because of the age gap, which is a little more than a year, but Perkins did show a lot of improvement month by month.

          1. From my perspective, Perkins should have better performance in Williamsport. He is the older player. Either way, Perkins didn’t do anything to get close to be considered a prospect.

            1. Wow…talk about a thorough eval on approx 300 professional PAs with a ‘mediocre’ slash of 304/.352/.407/.759 @ WLMSP.

            2. Exactly. His 300 abs didn’t tell us anything other than he put up mediocre numbers for a college player. Additionally, the team didn’t tell us he was a prospect, because they didn’t promote him ahead of his class. He was just an older player who barely held his own.
              You may know something more about him, that I don’t know, so I wanted you to share. He might be the next Cody Asche.

            3. Disagree. Certainly he’s not a top prospect, but a guy that size, if he can stick in RF, who was a 6th round pick and 21 the whole season, is not just org filler as soon as he suits up. And he hit very well from July through the end of the season.

      1. Perkins is an interesting name especially in the OF. Drafted as a 3B and then moved to 1B and then had a pretty good season in Williamsport. He only played 10 games in RF and i don’t remember seeing anything on how well he played out there. But he would be my choice for a Asche-esque rise as a prospect next year. Would not surprise me to see them jump him to Clearwater like Asche being that they were both college guys who there really is no position open for at lakewood. Second thought i guess he could stay in RF. Depends on Tocci and Cozens and where they end up.

      2. If you’ve got Ken45’s order and gaps, it doesn’t really matter — Pointer and Perkins are both nothing. I don’t agree with his order or gaps. Gillies is not a gap below Greene and Tocci. If he stays healthy, he may be the best on the list. Cozens and Dugan most definitely not two gaps below Greene. Cozens can be as good as Greene. You can argue that he’s two hairs better or two hairs worse, but he certainly is not two big steps down from Greene. Greene may end up with more walks and a higher obp, but Cozens looks to have more power.

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