Reader Top 30 #12 – Tyson Gillies

Aumont takes the #11 spot with some weird voting spikes, thank you to everyone watching the polls.  Zach Green has been added.

List so far:

  1. Biddle
  2. Quinn
  3. Morgan
  4. Joseph
  5. Franco
  6. Ruf
  7. Asche
  8. Pettibone
  9. Martin
  10. Tocci
  11. Aumont

Here is the compiled spreadsheet of all rankings out so far

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

127 thoughts on “Reader Top 30 #12 – Tyson Gillies

  1. Shane Watson. He was my #10. Keith Law said he was the Phillies’ #3, the minute he was drafted. He was one of the top 40 amateurs in baseball last year, by all accounts. The Phillies’ system doesn’t have 12 prospects that should be ranked ahead of Watson. IMO.

    1. I’ve said it before .. he comes from a proven area of producing major league players .. just at Lakewood HS alone you have Craig Grebeck, Larry Casian, Chris Gomez, Damion Easley, Mike Carp and Travis d’Arnaud ..

    2. Agreed with all these points. Watson has a high ceiling and plus pitches already. All the other guys have lower ceilings or big warts.

      1. Yes, he had Gueller #39 and Watson #50. He said that one particular thing about Watson reminded him of Joe Blanton (he did not comp him to Blanton, just that one aspect of Watson reminded him of Blanton).

        I’m guessing here from reading Law’s separate comments about the two of them, but it seems like he grades their FBs the same, Watson’s CB better, but Gueller is more athletic and has the chance for three average or better pitches.

  2. I’m on Watson. Please add Dugan – would be nice to see a breakout year. I’ve got him before Cozens, Hernandez and Green, at least.

    1. Add Kevin Brady. He is older (22) but throws in the mid-90s and tore up the NYPL. He went low in the draft because he missed May due to injury. To me, Brady is the most likely to have an Adam Morgan-like breakout this year.

  3. Went with Gillies over Watson. Just having trouble taking Watson based on reports as amateur and 7 innings in SS ball.

    1. Just what reports would that be exactly.. the 7the he did pitch at GCL was just after finding out he had diabetes .. imagine if he was full strength .. also he did pitch at instructs

      1. Reports such as he was a top-40 amateur, high praise by Law, etc. I’m not down on Watson by any means but there are a couple of guys who have a body of professional work that I give some weight to.

        1. I’m with you. I’m excited about the amateur reports but need more of a sample size to assess him which affects where I rank him.

  4. I went Larry Greene Jr for the reasons I stated yesterday, Watson certainly a good pick here also. Not sure I understand all the love for Gillies – we hold guys back in our rankings at the lower levels for not staying on the field and/or demonstrating performance and Gillies has accomplished both of those things over the past few years at higher levels and is much older. I have several players yet before I get to Gillies in my rankings.

    As for the weird voting spikes, it is unfortunate but we may have to start investigating logins and what not to comment and vote as it seems one person in particular is lacking sufficient content in his life to avoid spending copious amounts of time messing with this website.

    1. I think it’s the flashes we saw from Gillies last year Buddy. Yes the health thing will always be a big IF with him, but he played well when he was on the field, that’s the difference. If he didn’t perform last year with the injuries more people would have written him off. Kid has a ton of talent, just has to stay healthy. Hopefully he’s able to do that this year.

  5. LGJr. Love his power potential. Toyed with Watson here–I actually think both Watson and Greene should be before Aumont. If Gillies wins this round I’ll start to seriously wonder about the voting. I know he still has his advocates, but if he wins the #12 spot, it will mean he rose two spots from last year, a season in which:

    1)he was hurt a substantial amount of the time, again
    2)showed continuing discipline issues
    3)got a year older without advancing a level
    4)the rest of the system got better

    Greene was #12 last year and I think he’s showed enough potential to stay there.

    1. I don’t think the rest of the system got better. Only Quinn and Morgan from the 2011 draft really impressed. Some of the 2012 guys performed well but it was the GCL and they all had some question marks anyway. May (#1 in 2012) was traded, Valle (#3 in 2012) was not impressive (at least to some, I know others like him a lot), Colvin (#4 in 2012) struggled, Galvis (#5 in 2012) lost eligibility, DeFratus (#8 in 2012) was hurt most of the year, J-Rod (#10 in 2012) struggled…it was not a great year in 2012 for the system. I can see why Gillies might move up a couple of spots despite the issues you correctly point out.

      You make another good point on LGJ – was he so bad in 2012 that he should move *down* the ranking? I personally am probably being too harsh on him, but the low ISO and high K% concern me and his high BABIP suggests an AVG of .272 is not repeatable.

      Then again, it was his first taste of professional ball and he “passed”. His power is legit, at least in BP. He was 19 in the NYPL playing against a lot of college guys. He finished 20th in wRC+ (out of 80 qualifiers) in the league and was the fourth highest teenager in wRC+ in the league (Quinn was #2). Again, perhaps we are being too harsh.

    2. Shouldn’t be that surprising that Gillies could rise a couple of spots in the rankings from last year.

      1) While he missed time, he did get 340 at-bats across 3 levels while basically not playing in 2011. Also, the time he missed was not related to leg injuries.
      2) In those at-bats he still shows the same abilities to get on base
      3) The 2012 top-30 included the following players ahead of Gillies:
      May, Valle, Colvin, Galvis, T. Green, J. Rodriguez, J. James
      That’s 7 players that have either left the system, fell in the rankings, or graduated (Galvis). I don’t think that there are 7 players who have jumped ahead of him.
      4) He didn’t advance a level but his numbers in AA were significantly better than they were in 2010 when he was there and he also had significantly more time at that level.

      I certainly have concerns about Gillies health (high) and behavioral (low) issues which is why he’s outside of my top-10 but I also have concerns about various aspects of the others players games that are still on the list as well.

      1. Quinn Morgan Joseph Ruf Asche Martin Tocci and Watson all are either viable candidates to replace those seven guys or have already been ranked. Not saying you couldn’t value Gillies ahead of some of them, but he didn’t show a great deal of progress and all of those guys did or were added to the system via trade. I have Gillies fairly far down the list as I have basically given up hope of him staying healthy. If he does, good for him and good for the team, but I’m not holding my breath.

          1. Ok, was just responding to you saying you don’t think there are seven players who jumped ahead of him.

      2. Voting for Gillies is at least defensible at this point, I’ve already had me say about him, and Brad already IMO refuted a significant part of your argument, so I won’t go on at length about this. But I question the extent to which his performance last season really is a plus in terms of evaluating him. For a guy his age and with his history, even though it was his best season in 3 years, the continued injury problems plus the really mediocre overall performance overall (only the BA stands out, and IMO that looks to me to be unsustainable unless he improves his contact rate) justify AT BEST maintaining the same ranking as last year.

        1. Hi Larry, your “mediocre overall performance” comment makes me concerned that I missed something. His wRC+ was really good. Was it, in your opinion, all BABIP driven? Unfortunately I don’t remember Brad’s statements on Gillies.

          I think there is a case to be made that Gillies is a sustainably high BABIP guy. His BABIP this year was .362. The last time he had a meaningful number of PAs was in A+ in 2009 and he had a BABIP of .394. In 2008 in A- he had a BABIP of .397. Considering that we know he is fast, it is at least plausible to think he will maintain a high BABIP over a full season (if he ever plays one) a la Starlin Castro, Melky Cabrera, Howie Kendrick, Gerardo Parra, etc.

          1. “High” BABIP is a relative term. He is a guy IMO who MIGHT BABIP .330 in the majors. No way he can maintain a .361 BABIP.* Plug .330 into last year’s numbers, and I think mediocre is a fair assessment. 5.8% BB rate, 16.7% K rate, .4 HR, 8 SB with 6 CS – those aren’t BAD numbers, they are … mediocre. If he had a still fantastic but more sustainable BABIP of .330, his BA would have been .277.

            *The players you list as a whole average less than .330, with the highest at .340. As for his minor league BABIP numbers, for a variety of reasons minor league BABIP numbers are not directly transferable to the major leagues.

            1. You are assuming he ought to have had a BABIP of .330 in AA last year. I’m saying that a BABIP of .362 in AA was justifiable, not a fluke, and will translate into a BABIP of .330 or so in the *majors*, a la Castro, Cabrera, Parra, Kendrick. Moderately fast guys, below-average walk rates, high BABIPs over the past three years. Those guys had higher BABIPs in the minors too.

              But if you think a BABIP of .362 was not an accurate representation of his abilities, and with his profile one would normally expect a BABIP of .330 in AA, it is hard for me to disprove that point.

            2. I think you’re somewhat missing the point, though. The issue isn’t how good was he, really, in AA, but what does his minor league performance tell us about his potential major league performance? And I’m saying that, without getting into the extent to which “luck” was involved, his biggest positive last year, his batting average, isn’t really predictive of his likely major league batting average.

              People are comparing him to Victorino and IMO that doesn’t wash: Even assuming Gillies has the hamstring problems licked and continues to develop his tools (or resumes developing them):

              (1) Vic is faster, and, maybe more to the point, has much more “effective” speed.
              (2) Vic has much better contact skills.
              (3) Vic has better plate discipline.
              (4) Vic’s power probably represents Gillies upside.
              (5) Vic’s defense probably represents Gillies’ upside (they even profile the same – very good arm, somewhat better than average range).

              Weight that against the fact that Gillies might be a bit more of a line drive hitter. Big edge to Vic overall.

            3. My original concern was that you said his performance last year was mediocre, which I did not agree with. I was trying to think of what components of his performance were misleading/fortunate such that a 129 wRC+ could be interpreted as mediocre. I assumed it came down to differences in opinion on what a realistic BABIP is for him. I think a BABIP of .362 in AA is plausible for him and repeatable, but I certainly understand why someone would disagree. I also assume it will decline as he rises levels.

              I totally agree that batting averages, in general, are not good predictors. I guess in this case I am assuming that BABIP is a good predictor if one has enough of a sample. I could definitely be wrong. I am also assuming that, all else equal, he should be able to sustain a higher than average BABIP, even in the majors.

              Perhaps I have the rose-colored glasses on and his BABIP was influenced by good fortune, and his BB% and K% will worsen as he rises each level such that he is not a productive major leaguer. I just think that he had an above average offensive performance in 2012 and has the tools to back it up.

    3. I agree with you. I’ve been shocked at the voting for Gillies these past 3 seasons, in the reader top 30. I’ve got Watson and Larry Greene jr ahead of him.
      Gillies seems to be a good talent, but he has been at Reading for three (3) years and he is still not downgraded. Rodriguez has a bad year, he’s out. Hyatt has a bad year, he’s out. Gillies is hurt for three (3) years and he still has support over top draft picks who haven’t failed a level yet. Gillies and maybe Brody Colvin, seem to be the only prospects that can do nothing, year after year, and hold their prospect status.

      1. I almost just asked Matt to add Colvin but decided not to. He’s got value as a relief prospect. Not nearly as much as a starter, but if he’s in Reading’s pen in 2013 he could be up for a big league shot sometime in 2014 and likely pushing guys like Rosenberg and Schwimer out of a job if he does well. I had him preliminarily ranked 19, but I am pretty sure that’s not going to hold up when I take a harder look at my 16-20 this weekend, and he’ll probably wind up behind Giles, Brady and Vargas, likely in the mid-late 20s.

        1. It looks like there might be a big debate on Colvin brewing. I have him ahead of Austin Wright. They had the same exact FIP at CLW and Colvin is younger.

          He obviously was poor in AA, but the ingredients are still there. That said I have him ranked #18, so it’s not like I’m pounding the table here, but to me there is still a glimmer of hope.

          1. I have Colvin at #13 at the risk of sounding crazy. His stuff is just exceptional despite the fact that he’s had a horrible few seasons. The scouts I’ve talked with over the past few seasons always say that pitchers with big arms are one adjustment away from figuring it all out, sometimes mental, sometimes physical. I would not be surprised if Colvin had a big, breakout year. I also would not be surprised if he continued to struggle and not justify this ranking that I’ve assigned him. It will be interesting to see how the Phils handle him in terms of what level and what role. Personally, I’d like to see them start him in the bullpen and have him pitch exclusively from the stretch and simplify everything for him. Use him for 2 inning stints and not as a closer. See if he can gain some momentum that way and then work him back into a starting role.

            1. I would argue that though it is reasonable to believe that Colvin has the talent to shoot up the rankings, why does he need to be ranked high until he demonstrates something?
              Guys hold lack of demonstrated performance against draft picks, but don’t hold it against guys who’ve played a lot, and done nothing.

      2. For me that has to do with why each player drops. Guys like Rodriguez and Hyatt drop because the bad year goes along with with the scouting assessments that they don’t have high-end ability while Gillies (and Colvin) continue to display the ability but the performnce isn’t there for various other reasons.

        1. If a player that has been left behind in AA two (2) years in a row, is the 12th best prospect in the sytem, then that is truly an embarrassment to the last 2 years’ draft picks and the overall system.

          1. Your point is misleading in that he was not “left behind” in AA for two years. He played in in AA in 2012 because he missed 1 1/2 seasons because of injuries not because of performance.

            1. My point is not misleading at all. Injuries a part of the total package. Gillies was in Double A in 2010, and he still hasn’t played at Triple A as of 2013. That is a mark against his prospect status.
              Guys like Collier and Dugan have been hurt a lot, and it is reflected in the way they are viewed/ranked. With Gillies, it seems like he is the only prospect that hasn’t been downgraded due to injury.

        2. I agree with 3up. Gillies did not have a bad year on the field last year. He had a wRC+ of 129. That would have tied for 10th in the Eastern League if he had enough PAs to qualify.

          The issue (obviously) is staying on the field. That’s why he’s not a top ten guy for me, but he has the skill to be a major leaguer if he can ever get healthy.

          1. “He has the skill to be a major leaguer if he… (is) healthy.”
            You could say that about at least 10 guys in the system, especially the pitchers.
            If Tyson Gillies were on another team, and the Phillies traded Shane Watson for him, the fans would storm the Phillies’ spring training facility.

            1. I don’t think there’s anyone else in the system you could say that about, at least not in the way one says it about Gillies.

              My point was that when he is healthy, he performs well. That performance is backed up by tools. Throw in the fact that he is in AA (i.e. proximity) and I don’t think there is anyone else like him in the system where you could legitimately say if that player can stay healthy, he will be a major leaguer. Perhaps the difference is that a lot of guys have the tools to be major leaguers but need a lot of development and need to stay healthy. Gillies needs less refinement than most of the higher ceiling players in the system.

            2. I like Shane Watson a lot more than Gillies. To me there is a big divide between the top 12 and the rest.

        3. You say scouting reports have an influence in your rankings yet you fail to mention several reports that Gillies has lost a step or two due to injuries.

      3. I agree with you on Colvin and, as a result of his non-performance, he has slid down dramatically in virtually all rankings. As for Gillies, he didn’t do anything for two years because he was hurt and did not really get on the field. Last year he finally did get on the field and, after a few months of knocking the rust off, he began to show his impressive skills and then he also acted like a jerk which did not help matters. When you see him play in person, however, Gillies is a really, really impressive talent. He’s sitting in the 10-15 range because of the lost time and injuries and some bizarro conduct. If he hadn’t been injured or done things to call his judgment into question, his talent alone would have him in the top 5 – probably ahead of Morgan.

        In any event, I do understand why people are so divided on him, but the important point is that the Phils are holding onto him because he’s worth more to them at this point than he would be in a trade. With Gillies, a whole range of outcomes are possible. He could continue to get injured and frustrate or he could put together an MVP season at LhV, as Victorino did in 2004. Your guess is as good as mine, but the ability is definitely there for him to be a special player.

  6. I think it’d be fun, at this point, to say: “Gillies was ahead in the voting, before suddenly injuring his {your choice of leg muscles/tendons}.

      1. Sorry, that was my Gillies on Twitter impression. I hit send before I could tag it with #teamcanada #youremyson

  7. Voted for Watson again and think he should’ve gone several spots higher. Aumont’s a reliever and inherently less valuable. Martin is basically what we hope Watson doesn’t become. Pettibone and Ruf have low ceilings. Gillies is a major question mark with health and has now been in AA for three years.

    If we traded Watson for any of these guys straight up, I’d be pretty upset.

  8. Hmmm. Seems the last three votes have gone this way. Strong arguments for 2 or 3 prospects, then boom, 15 quick votes for Austin Wright while no one is paying attention, with no comments attached.

  9. It seems that Valle’s stock has really dropped. Judging by the way the voting is going, he may not crack the top 20. I guess the alarming lack of plate discipline is a huge knock against him. I personally am not sure were he ranks at this point

    1. I personally have him around 15 but I agree that he will probably drop outside of the top 20.

    2. I have Valle #9 and have been voting for him since Pettibone. Valle is a young catcher who made it to AAA in his age 21 season. He’s 2 years younger than Gillies and 1 year younger than Wright, the two guys leading this poll, and neither of them has tasted AAA. Valle is a power hitter and plays the premier defensive position well. He was young for AA and is young for AAA. I expect his plate discipline to improve and return back to what it was when he was in A-ball as he gains experience and gets to hit against pitchers his own age.

  10. Phillies now considering signing Delmon Young. So let’s see – he’s bad at fielding, he’s actually also fairly bad at hitting (no plate discipline), and he’s a clubhouse distraction who will take away at bats from Darin Ruf, who actually can hit. Aside from all that, he’s a regular Stan Musial. If they sign him to much more than a minor league contract, you can take back all the semi-nice things I said about Amaro.

    1. Solely as a platoon bat he is hitting .840 OPS against lefties or thereabouts for his career compared to .700 against righties. Of course we already have that guy and his name is John Mayberry (who also plays better D). Maybe they are not sold on Ruf being able to be a guy in the OF.

      1. He’s also only a year older than Ruf with a much better pedigree. I agree though that I don’t really want him and I hope it’s nothing more than a minimum salary

        1. This. I not a fan of D Young, but if you gave me a choice of a 27 year old with 6 years of 100 OPS+ Major league hitting versus a 26 year old that has never played in AAA and got 37 abs in September, I might take my chances with the major leaguer.

          1. Really?

            Look, I’m generally the last guy to stress an “intangible” like “make up.” But that isn’t because it isn’t important, it’s because it is so hard for outsiders to discern which players have good make up until after it is reflected in his stats. But in this case … I’m not willing, as some people are, to assume that “make up” is a particular positive for Ruf, but there is no reason to think that it is a negative. Young, OTOH …

            Even aside from that issue, while we have reason to believe that Ruf will be a horrible fielder, we KNOW that Young is a horrible fielder. Moreover, Young has proven that he is a below average major league hitter (OPS+ overstates his value because of his horrible on base skills; the much more accurate wRC+ shows him to be 4% worse than the average major league player over the course of his career). I don’t think that one has to be much of an optimist to believe that Ruf’s upside is much better than that, and IMO even his most likely projection is a somewhat above average major league hitter.

            Add to all of that the fact that, even with a minor league deal, but IMO even more so if they sign him to a major league deal (quite possible), if Young fails he still could get 200 plus AB, whereas if Ruf fails he’ll be in AAA in a heartbeat.

            And finally, I would say that the risk/reward on Ruf is much higher. Two years ago, that would have been a negative – but in 2013, with the Phillies entering the season at best the 7th best team in a league where only 5 teams make the playoffs, a high risk/high reward player is exactly what the team needs.

            1. I think where I differ, is my expectation of “High reward”. I dont see Ruf as any higher reward than Delmon Young. If Ruf is more than a 1 WAR player over an entire season, I would be shocked. At least Young has had a 124 OPS+ in the major leagues. Ruf has never played a meaningful game above double A.
              Rueben Amaro would need his head examined if he actually went into a season with Darin Ruf penciled in as his Left Fielder, with no backup plan. In fact would’ve needed to be fired for that kind of negligence to a major league team.

            2. We differ obviously somewhat on Ruf, but honestly it almost doesn’t matter. Signing Young to a major league deal, regardless of the alternatives, should be enough to get any GM fired.

            3. Has Detroit’s GM been fired yet? Hell, he even traded away players to get the guy.

              I’m by not means a fan of D. Young but you’re overreacting to this deal. It’s a low cost, low risk backup plan for going into the season with Brown,Ruf,Nix, and Mayberry as the options in the OF corners. Young becomes another body to compete is ST. If he is a problem or doesn’t perform, they just cut him loose and lose $750,000…

            4. That would have been a plausible argument before Amaro anointed him the team’s regular right fielder. I would agree that IF the team used him rationally – as a backup getting fewer than 150 PA – then it is merely a bad move, not a horrible one (even then, though, more evidence of Amaro’s poor talent judgment). But it is increasingly apparent that Young won’t be used that way.

              At the point Detroit acquired him – 25 years old and just a half season removed from his only good year – it was still plausible to think that he could become an actual major league ball player. And, of course Detroit is an AL team which actually can use a DH, which is Young’s only real position.

              I said it once, I’ll say it again – I am rooting for a 110 loss season so that the village idiot gets fired & the team gets a #1 pick. Sadly the pitching is probably too good for that to happen. More likely they are a .500 team, and lurch into the future with Amaro continuing to “lead” them. Then a couple of years of sub .500 play, at which point hopefully ownership wakes up & fires the bum. Then 5 years to rebuild, and maybe they’ll contend again.

            5. Larry….surely you cannot be rooting for a 110-loss season! Understand your frustration with the current scene. There could be light out the end of the tunnel, if 2/3 of the youngsters, Brown or Ruf, among a few of the minor leaguers, do develop into something special.

    2. Here’s the thing about Amaro: one can make a list of positives, yes. And even make excuses for some of the negatives. But after a while, the excuses for the negatives don’t add up, and positives don’t begin to outweigh the negatives. There are IMO multiple legitimate complaints about him, but the most significant and all encompassing is that, when it comes to position players, he has incredibly poor talent judgment. Judgement as bad as the very worst GMs in the game. He avoids being the worst only because of a few positives – but he’s bottom 5 in the game for sure.

      Delmon Young – IMO even a minor league contract would be a mistake. But what’s kind of frightening about this is that Young has the profile of an Amaro signing.

      The Phillies are perhaps the last team in the league not to incorporate modern statistical analysis. For years, because of their success, they were the poster child for the anti-stats crowd. Ironically, despite the FO not using such metrics, they had the profile of a team that stat guys loved. IMO that’s because the prior FO, while not explicitly using such tools, understood player value. Amaro clearly doesn’t.

      And in the long run, you can’t win in this league with that level of incompetence, even with a big payroll. People around here point to teams like the Cardinals and the Rays as models for the Phillies. The problem is that the Rays have the best FO in the game, and the Cardinals are top five. The most bend over backwards to be fair thing you can say about Amaro is that he is mediocre – and again, I think that is wildly overpraising him. A FO led by him simply cannot execute that kind of strategy.

      I have the reputation around here of being overly negative. But if anything I think I may be guilty of over optimism. When one combines a bottom 10 minor league system, an aging major league roster with mediocre talent, sub-mediocre cost controlled talent,only one star level player under the age of 30, and all of this led by Amaro – the future is quite grim. The only things stopping the team from being the worst franchise in the NL are high revenue, decent scouting and the existence of the Florida Marlins. And in Stanton alone, Florida arguably has more under 30 talent than the entire Phillies organization.

      1. I actually agree with you. I’ve said it over and over again, but he compunded error upon error.

        Wild overpay for Howard who wasn’t even a FA.
        Trades Lee for a return that hasn’t paid any dividends so far.
        That trade led to the Oswalt trade in which Gose was dealt.
        Overpays for Pence.

      2. Hamels is under 30 (not meant as a contradiction of your argument just point out the one guy to offset your last point). Amaro has proven good at making the “big move” and getting his guy, this is both good and bad. It means he has been able to get some talent that most teams would never be able to pull off (Lee x2, Halladay, Hamels extension) but he has made some rush moves (Pence, Lee trade) and has proven to not be a great evaluator of complimentary talent. The biggest flaw has been bad self scouting/talent evaluation. The treatment of Dominic Brown (I don’t care what Charlie likes to do it is the GMs job to tell the manager what to do at times), the misdiagnosis of Utley’s injury situation, the 2012 bullpen construction, the lack of knowledge of age related decline, and the desire to get a RH power bat (Pence) that wasn’t truly needed.

        1. Matt, I am not sure that the second Lee trade was Amaro’s idea but the ownerships idea. I don’t think that you can expect your 2B to have 65 year old knees or your starting 1B to tear his Achilles Heal(freak injury). Dom Brown has not exactly sparkled but should be given a chance this year along with Ruf. Agree with you about the Pence trade, the 2012 bullpen construction and the complimentery talent (which seems to be improving this year). As for scouting issues he seems to trust his staff quite a bit.

          1. I am not saying the choice to trade Lee was his but he seriously misvalued his own asset in that trade. Brown was never given a chance to either play or develop (leaving him on the bench in 2010 was a huge mistake, you need to give young players ABs), there was also no reason to not give him a better chance in 2011, the Pence deal was not a necessary addition, it was an overpaid luxury. I give him a pass on Howard, there were no good solution there, but Utley has a knee injury that is chronic, you have to know that you need a legitimate back up (Galvis slightly, but the 2011 Valdez/Martinez group was putrid), you also have an aging starting staff and no real depth behind it (you need to account for injuries especially when Blanton was showing problems and Lee and Halladay were up there in years). There was a real lack of good depth that ultimately doomed the team in 2012.

            1. I think this is true, but I also think a lot of it is on Manuel. RA did not hire Manuel and I really don’t think he is allowed to fire him. Manuel forced the Pence deal. That was the deal that really harmed the team. There was no need for him. Manuel has done his best to destroy Brown and Mayberry. He simply doesn’t want to play them and keeps yapping in public against them, even when they are doing well.

      3. You have justified your reputation with this post. What were you thinking-do you always fly off the handle this easily at a rumour? Add RG to that list also. Amaro is not without faults but has kept the MLB team at a high level and kept a decent to good minor league system(just look at AAA-almost all home grown players). Remember no prospect he has traded away has made an impact in MLB yet and Singleton really hurt his stock with his drug suspension.

        1. It’s not just a rumor – Amaro was quoted as saying he is considering Young.

          I’ve wasted too much time already this morning, so I don’t have the time to make a detailed refutation of your defense of Amaro. But as for keeping the major league team at a high level, I don’t think that 2012 and (prospectively) 2013 support your case. And the fact that the team did not IMMEDIATELY decline from world series champs to also rans – well, that’s not saying much. And the projected lineup for 2013 is really on the whole just horrible – horrible AND aging, a very bad combination.

          1. To be clear, Amaro confirmed the “rumor.” And the writer of the article relating the “rumor” is Salisbury, who seems pretty plugged in to the team’s front office.

      4. Ugh – I have to admit that I agree with a lot of this, perhaps even virtually all of it. It’s beyond disturbing that Ruben can’t seem to understand the fundamentals behind effective offensive performance which, in turn, renders him unable to effectively evaluate position players. What’s most inexcusable of all is that he really is not a stupid person – he just decides not to intelligently use or rely on all of the relevant information and research easily available to him, particularly statistical data. I don’t get it.

        At this point, I would have to characterize him as mediocre. Whereas Friedman is always getting the better of virtually every significant transaction he executes, Ruben sometimes gains ground and sometimes loses ground. His contracts are not particularly good or cost-effective and are sometimes foolish. His trades are mixed bag, ranging from good to horrible. I give him credit, however, for the beefed up scouting – looking at the team historically, it has never produced talent so deep nor drafted so well late into the draft. We have to hope that Ruben learns a thing or two and evolves (at least this off season, I sensed that he was focused on value – putting aside whether he got value or not). Obviously, a Delmon Young signing is NOT a step in the right direction. As much as I cannot stand him personally, Rizzo alone has seriously outperformed Ruben over the last few years and, no, I am not talking about the easy stuff, such as drafting and promoting Strasburg and Harper.

        1. Mike Rizzo has also stripped most of minor league system to win now and lost a draft pick for a closer he did not need.

          1. The owner made him acquire that pitcher – completely went over his head. As for winning now, it’s a questionable philosophy when your best players are 30 or over, but when your best players – and I mean a LOT of them – are well under 30, it’s a brilliant gamble because you have plenty of time to rebuild. By the way, he is already rebuilding behind the scenes, trading an asset he does not need (Morse), for young players to help rebuild. Hate to say it, but the guy seems to be doing a tremendous job.

            1. Agreed but you have to admit that Rizzo just fell into Strasburg and Harper. I have to admit that the Nats look awfully good on paper and they’re young enough that they should be good for many years to come.

            2. Catch, the Nationals may regret trading Morse especially if someone goes down in the outfield. A LOT of their younger players will have to paid handsomely soon and they will run into the same problems the Phillies have now unless they tear it down and rebuild the team. The rebuilding option would not be acceptable in Philadelphia.

        2. Larry, until Delmon Young is signed by the Phillies it is pure speculation. I agree with you in that I would not like his signing also. Remember it is his job to look at all possibilities available to him whether we like it or not.

          1. Damned if you do, and damned if you don’t. Unfortunately, that is some of the feelings toward the Phils FO anymore. They get criticized when they don’t look into certain guys but get reamed out when they look at others. It’s quite ridiculous. Larry is a fine poster here, but him freaking out about the Phils considering Young is quite strange.

            1. I’m not “freaking out.” I’ve already lost all faith in Amaro; a Young signing – even for a major league contract – wouldn’t make me feel worse about him, honestly I don’t think it’s POSSIBLE for me to think worse of him. (Even with a continuing string of bad moves, which I fully expect, the fact that a few of his deals were defensible, and the just unremitting horrible judgment of Dayton Moore, will keep Amaro from being the worst GM in the league).

              Look, until he Pence trade I defended him more often than I criticized him. Even after that, I still on occasion defended him. And it wasn’t one specific move which convinced me that he was horrible. It was the accumulation of many bad moves. This of season was the crowning blow. Not so much because his moves doom the team – the best GM in baseball probably couldn’t rescue this team in the short run, and none of his moves mortgaged the future to any great extent. It’s just the steady drip, drip, drip of poor moves and non-moves which confirm the biggest criticism of Amaro – horrible talent judgment.

              If you’re not convinced yet that Amaro is one of the worst GMs in the game, then the fact that they are considering Young won’t push you to that conclusion. But if you are convinced of that … well, it’s par for the course. Not a surprise.

            2. Larry stop getting upset so easily and I am not surprised at your getting upset with people who disagree with you.

        3. Catch – What evidence do we have of a deeper system than in the past? We’re generally recognized as having one of the worst systems in the minors. I also don’t see much evidence of our improved drafting deeper into the draft.

          1. I wrote a post on this last week. If you go back historically, even during the years they were producing some stars, the drafts were very weak. Typically one player made the majors in a draft and went on to have any type of career, on occasion, there were a few players, but that was the exception. Go to Baseball Reference and check it out – it will amaze and surprise you. There were rarely more than about 5 or 6 players who were even worth talking about. All of that has changed. Last year, not one, but two players who throw 97-98 MPH (in other words, they really have ability) made the majors for the Phillies (Rosenberg and Diekman) and did not even crack the pre-season top 30! That’s phenomenal but is symptomatic of a system that has just gotten much, much deeper. Trust me on this, it’s waaaaayyy deeper than the Phillies teams of old – but you are going to have to see that play out over the next 5-7 years as players get promoted and start to establish a major league track record. Remember to look at the players we traded as well, many of whom will end up being quite good (d’Arnaud, Gose, Singleton, etc. . . . ).

            1. Amaro didn’t draft Rosenberg, Diekman, d’Arnaud, or Gose though. He did draft Singleton, which obviously looks like a great pick. I think we tend to always overrate the depth of the current year’s top 30 because we always assume the best for low level prospects and also college players who do well against older competition.

              I’ve been following the site for several years and one of the consistent themes once we get to the back end of the top 30 is always “wow, we really have a lot of depth. it’s way better than past years.” And every year all but a few prospects hit a wall the following season. I’m not complaining because it’s fun to speculate, but as a low ranking system I’d guess that our #25-#40 prospects on the whole are worse than most teams.

      5. I know this shouldn’t go here but if you could rank all of Amaro’s moves on a A-F scale, would you do it? Just for some reference.

        1. I rank moves, not just on outcome, because you can’t really control that entirely, but, rather, on how they should have been judged at the time given the team’s needs and the projection of the players acquired and surrendered. Here are some of the big trades and signings and other doings that merit comment

          Oswalt trade – C+/B-
          First Lee trade – B+/A-
          Second Lee trade – C-
          Halladay trade and signing – B+/A- (he delivered two Cy Young quality seasons and limited his contract demands)
          Pence trade – D or F, depending on who you ask
          Lee signing – B- (pretty much got what they paid for – not a bargain, but got value)
          Hamels signing – B- (waited too long)
          Howard signing – F
          Halladay Contract – B+/A- (this was a particularly good part of the deal)
          Young trade – C
          Victorino trade – B
          Second Pence trade – B
          Ibanez signing – C-
          Polanco signing – B-
          Revere trade – B-
          Thome trade – A- (a miracle they got such good prospects for almost nothing)
          Handling of D. Brown – D- (not entirely their fault since he did break his hand and stopped fielding altogether in 2011)
          Handling of C. Utley’s injuries in 2011 and 2012 – D-
          Handling of R. Halladay’s injuries in 2012 – C-
          Handling of R. Oswalt in 2011 – D (seeing a trend here?)
          Drafting – B/B+
          Papelbon signing – C+ (not good value, but can you imagine what a mess the bullpen would have been last year without him?)
          Overall second tier acquisitions (Wigginton, Baez, Qualls, etc. . . ) – D- (they have done a dreadful job of filling in the gaps)

          Overall Amaro Grade – C/C- (needs things to turn around or, in 3 years, the Phils will be on the road to being as irrelevant as the 76ers)

          1. Some people are never satisfied with winning five divisions in a row. Disagree with you on Howard’s contract especially if he comes back strong from his injury, Roy Oswalt’s behavior was one of a disinterested player in 2011, Raul Ibanez was a good player for two years(the third not so good) and Hamels signing was delayed until Pence and Victorino were gone. Lastly, Singleton is a good prospect but one more drug suspension will really damage his career and the Pence trade was not good because we did not win the WS. Overall I think your grading is too harsh.

    3. It is completed. Young signed by Phillies for a deal slightly above major league minimum. Pretty much a complete waste of money as far as I can tell.

  11. I finally finished ranking my top 30 and it was nigh impossible in the late teens and early 20s. I can see arguments for so many guys I left off my list (Zach Green, Josh Ludy, Kelly Dugan) to be on there and for many guys I have on there to be left off (Gueller, Walding, J-Rod). I suppose at least there is a lot of depth!

    1. FWIW. Presently, I have Dugan #31, Z Green #33, J Rod #43, and Ludy #50. Have no good arguments for Walding and Gueller in my top 30, except for good scouting reports.

  12. The player I find most interesting during this ranking discussion is Mitch Gueller, and I bring him up because I have him #12 on my list. If he doesn’t make his debut in 2012 he is right behind Watson on most lists. But he did pitch and he statistically didn’t pitch well, but this is a guy with the potential for three plus pitches, and his fastball is already better than Watson’s, and while he never will have Watson’s curveball he flashes a plus breaking ball and has feel for a plus changeup, both are horribly inconsistent right now, as were his mechanics. He has the athleticism to make the mechanical changes that should solve his control problems and allow him to miss more bats. The biggest thing to me is that it doesn’t look like the industry opinion has changed on him, there is nobody questioning the pick or the tools, there is acknowledgement that he is raw but while not as impressive in instructs as Watson he impressed with his work ethic to make the necessary changes. Some of you are fond of the rookie ball is pass/fail, well Gueller took the exam without taking the class or studying. The Phillies put him in the GCL out of the Pacific Northwest (not a baseball hotbed), did not make the mechanical fixes and took away his offspeed pitches to throw fastballs and build arm strength.

    I don’t know how we can drop a prospect that much for 27 rookie innings in his signing year when he should all of his predraft tools. He arguably has more upside than any pitcher in the system other Biddle (possibly Vargas who and Mecias, but they are just as raw)

    1. I agree that Watson and Gueller shouldn’t have much space between them. Personally on my rough draft from a few months ago I had Watson 16 and Gueller 18. The final draft has them moved up 1 or 2 spots.

      1. Yet everyone here is ready to move Gueller to the outfield after a few innings in short season ball. Thank you for providing a sensible view on him.

        1. Not everyone. One poster who has an irrational hatred of Gueller and spams the board with his nonsense.

          1. I think the hatred is for Gueller as a pitcher, no? If I know who you’re referring to, I think he has somewhat of a crush with Gueller as a hitter.

            1. We are probably thinking of the same person. Person X’s obsession with Hitter Gueller comes across as criticism and sarcasm about Pitcher Gueller.

              I hope Gueller does become a hitter and crushes homeruns so we can call him Parc Gueller. After Parc Guel.

    2. Is it guys like Gueller who redouble my commitment to assigning an incomplete ranking to new draftees who have played almost not at all in GCL or played poorly.

    3. I have Gueller at #20. If he were as good as Watson, he should have dominated in the GCL. It was only 27 IP but they were not that good (low Ks, high BBs). Based on your comments, he has a lot of development to do with his secondary pitches and mechanics. That means he has a much higher risk profile than Watson. I will cede he has a high ceiling, but it seems like his chances of reaching it are much lower than Watson’s.

      Let’s hope he proves me wrong in 2013!

  13. I’m on the Shane Train for now. Looks like Gillies will take this round, though I think some people are overlooking his riskiness. He’s like the Andrew Bynum of the Phillies. Except not at all proven at the highest level.

    As for the young pitchers, I’ve got Gueller a few spots behind Watson and Vargas a couple spots behind that. I’d love to hear more reports on Vargas. Seems like he’s got a plus fastball from the left side.

    1. Yeah, it looked like Gillies would take #12, at 4:30 when he was up 30 votes. Someone woke from their afternoon nap and magically Austin Wright got 30 of the next 40 votes.

      1. Don’t worry the current winner is Gillies, until I see the Wright voters declare their existence in the numbers appropriate to the votes I will continue to assume that we have some stuffing the ballot. Whoever it is, they are going through a lot of work to do as it requires a unique IP and cleared cookies to vote again.

  14. I’m somewhat surprised that Mitch Gueller has received zero votes to this point. Cozens, Pullin and Zach Green all have received a handful of votes. I know most who would vote for Gueller, are still voting for Watson, but it would seem at least a few would tab Gueller.

  15. I voted Gillies again but for me Wright is at least a reasonable choice in next few votes.

    I am always wary of Draft picks without professional data, just because high school competition is so variable. Draft picks have all potential and no demonstrated warts. I really cannot fault anyone who ranks them based on their excellent tools and projection just like minor leaguers are evaluated.

    I’d just like to see how they perform against the 5th year college seniors and upstart latin guys away from home before I rank them. However, ‘unranked’ in my case means they fall below someone like Brady, who probably all the Major League teams at least think is a lot less valuable than Watson.

    Thanks for keeping an eye on the voting. Despite some of the repeating arguments, it is fun to read each day.

  16. I’m still high on Walding at Third Base. I know some think he had a disappointing year, but he also did a lot of good things. His transition from Short Stop to Third went better & faster than they had planned, they were very happy with that. And even though his hitting wasn’t what we had hoped he came out of the gate on fire. He was hitting everything, in the first month. For a kid out of high school that was impressive.I look for good things with this kid in 2013.The scouting reports are very positive and he is going to be a dominate Third Baseman in the future.

    1. Micster – everytime you leave a comment on here it is only about how great Walding is or how well he did. If you’re a parent or relative, great, but your efforts in trying to sway the rest of us on Walding are falling short.

    2. Starting hot and then fading not a good sign. It means the pitchers found his weakness and he couldn’t adjust.

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