Monthly Archives: February 2013

Spring Training: What to watch for?

Let me start off this post by saying that we have a month of spring training left so there is a lot of change to come and all spring training events are small sample size due to the variability of each encounter because the primary objective is to ready oneself for the season.

Spring Training is the time for snap judgments and irrationality, but here are some tips to think about as we go through another month of Spring Training

Context Matters:

Looking at pure stat lines tells you very little.  For example Joseph and Brown hit home runs off a pitcher who has never pitched above hi-A and Asche’s opposite field double should have been caught.  That being said, don’t discount any event, everything is information, the context is an important part of that, don’t leave it out.  To gather the most context, watch/listen to the game (if possible), read play-by-play, read the recaps, and when in doubt just ask, someone probably caught it. Continue reading Spring Training: What to watch for?

Michael Schwimer Traded

The Phillies traded 27 year old relief pitcher Michael Schwimer to the Toronto Blue Jays today for 22 year old Low A 1B prospect Art Charles. Schwimer, who spent a good portion of last year with the big club ran into problems with the organization towards the end of the year last year after a disputed injury to his arm left the tall righty out of action for the final six weeks of the season. Schwimer was 2-1 with a 4.46 ERA in 35 games and helped stabilize a very rocky Phillies bullpen in the middle of last season. His relationship, which had been described as rocky at times with the Phils organization became a bit more rocky when Schwimer refused to report to AAA Lehigh Valley last August after being sent down by the Phils. Schwimer cited arm problems and publicly stated he should have been placed on the DL, rather than sent down (which would have ensured his major league salary). He didnt pitch in another game for the organization after that.

Charles was drafted in 2010 by the Blue Jays in the 20th round of the draft out of Bakersfield College. The 6’6, 245 pound left handed hitter, batted .236 in just over 200 AB’s split between rookie ball and Low A. He does have some power, as he hit 13 HR’s last year, but was crippled by a strikeout rate that hovered around 30%.

The analysis of this trade is that it stinks. While I have never hid my admiration for Schwim ( I know him and like him quite a bit as a person), the Phillies traded something for what looks to be nothing. Schwimer did have options remaining this year, meaning he could have been sent down to the minors for another year. He was undoubtedly progressing as a pitcher, and while never likely be be a closer, he does continue to have the potential to perform in a middle relief role with competency and success.

Schwimer was a victim of “telling it the way it is” as opposed to telling it the way the organization would like it to be on several issues over the last couple of the years. Its tough to fault a guy for voicing his honest opinion. That being said, when the honest opinion is coming from a 27 year old middle reliever and that opinion differs from the organizations opinion, you are likely to find yourself in Buffalo for the next baseball season (Toronto’s AAA affiliate).

Good luck to a good guy.

Top 30 Prospects

My Philosophy:

I value elite tools; there is a level of ability that just cannot be taught to a player.  That being said once you hit hi-A you need the other skills to let those tools work in games.  The corollary to this is that an elite player is worth way more than a major league ready replacement player.  A player whose upside is being a #5 starter, middle reliever, or bench bat has little value to a team beyond their pre-free agency years. Their value is much less than a guy with a chance to be an average regular even if there is some risk.  This means there are guys who put up great numbers in the minors who just aren’t going to make it.  Baseball is hard and they just don’t have the raw abilities. Continue reading Top 30 Prospects

Thirty-One Short Blurbs About Prospects

We’ve all had the arguments, we know where we stand and why. I hashed out around half of these guys in various posts since the tail end of December, and many more in the comments of the Reader Poll, and Matt is going to go into way more detail that I am tomorrow. So, without further delay, I bring you:

Thirty-One Short Blurbs About Prospects:

Continue reading Thirty-One Short Blurbs About Prospects

2013 Breakout Prospects

Yesterday was about the prospects off of the radar who may get on to lists and gain attention.  Breakout prospects are players who are going to make a leap in value and projection.  They could be anywhere, if you think Biddle is going to start pitching 93-95 and make his changeup a plus pitch, then he might be a breakout prospect as he jumps in national rankings.

The process is almost as important as the result so please share what kind of adjustment or change is going to make this prospect really make a huge leap this year.

General Discussion – Week of February 18. Hilarious Giancarlo Stanton Rumors Edition.

So some guy says the Phillies are aggressively pursing Giancarlo Stanton. It would have to be aggressive, otherwise, they’d just be waved out of the room and a large man in a suit would show them the door.

Rube: GIVE ME STANTON, NOW!!!  I’VE GOT NEARLY UNLMITED SUPPLIES OF FRINGY RELIEF ARMS IN THE HIGH MINORS AND ALSO SOME KIND OF KNIFE IN MY POCKET!!! No, I won’t show you the knife. Oh, trust me, it’s a knife. Like one of those ones with the wavy edge? What’s that? Serrated? Am I saying it right? Ser…serrated? 

THAT’S RIGHT, I’VE GOT A SERRATED KNIFE, A CATCHER OF YOUR CHOICE, AND A LOWER LEVEL THIRD BASEMAN, PLUS A FUTURE #4 STARTER. DUDE! BRO! COME ON! DON’T TASE ME, BRO!

2013 Sleeper Prospects

Everyone has their guy that they think is not getting enough attention and will become a legitimate prospect in the coming year.  This is the chance to put that idea down for all to see.  Just as with the Top 30s we will likely come back to visit this later to see how we did.

For the purpose of this exercise a “sleeper” is a prospect outside of the consensus Top 30 who you think will make a leap onto the list next year or is someone that has a big league future that people are overlooking.  We will do “breakout” players tomorrow.

Reader Submitted Top 30s

Now that we have finished our collective list it is time for everyone to submit their own lists if they want to.  I will post them all up here https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0Aq9atTaYBdErdDFibUpEVENleTB0Mnk1X0dSb19DSWc#gid=1 so that they can be compared against each other.  I will try to remember to bring this post back up mid-season so that we can see how we all are doing even if it will be impossible to judge for another 5-10 years.

Please post your Top 30 along with what ever name you want me to post it up as in its own post rather than reply to a previous one.

Reader Top 30 – Complete List

The Reader Top 30 is finally completed and here is your list:

  1. Biddle
  2. Quinn
  3. Morgan
  4. Joseph
  5. Franco
  6. Ruf
  7. Asche
  8. Pettibone
  9. Martin
  10. Tocci
  11. Aumont
  12. Gillies
  13. Watson
  14. Greene
  15. Valle
  16. De Fratus
  17. Collier
  18. Wright
  19. Cozens
  20. Hernandez
  21. Gueller
  22. Walding
  23. Pullin
  24. Giles
  25. Colvin
  26. Rupp
  27. Dugan
  28. Lino
  29. Green
  30. Brady

What is everyone’s initial reaction? Continue reading Reader Top 30 – Complete List