Reader Top 30 #20 – Cesar Hernandez

Cozens takes the #19 spot and Kyle Simon has been added for the last poll of the week.  There will be a large batch of names added Monday as we go into the final stretch.

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
  12. Gillies
  13. Watson
  14. Greene
  15. Valle
  16. De Fratus
  17. Collier
  18. Wright
  19. Cozens

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

76 thoughts on “Reader Top 30 #20 – Cesar Hernandez

    1. The only reason Dugan’s line looked good last year is because he had a BABIP of .391. His ISO of .170 was pretty impressive for LKW, so I’ll give him that. But he also struck out in 25% of his at bats. These are not things that portend well for the future. He is not in my top 30.

      1. He also had a 10% walk rate. Dugan also stayed on the field which was probably the biggest question mark about him coming into the season. The BABIP is unsustainably high but he had a great second half, OPS’s .900. Not saying he’s top 10 or even top 15. But not top 30, especially in this system with the year he had, seems harsh

        1. Dugan isn’t in my top 30 either. Dugan is a four (4) year professional, that signed early enough to play GCL in his draft year. He has only progressed three (3) levels. BABIP and K%, not withstanding, he would have to at least hit his way to Clearwater the first half of last season to get on my top 30.

          1. He’s also missed significant time due to injuries. I would have liked to have seen him be promoted during his tear in the second half, but the team didn’t do it for some reason. I think guys are constantly knocked for not “staying on the field”. This guy finally did….and performed well. He also passes the “old for his league” test by age-appropriate for his level (BBA has the median DOB at 1/6/90, his b-day is 9/18/90). So, while I understand him being low for progressing slowly, he’s also a guy who’s gotten himself back on track and shows some promise. Agree to disagree I guess.

            1. “Age appropriate” for a prospect is not the same as “median age.” Of course in this case, he’s a little younger than the median age, but not IMO enough to make him much of a prospect at this point. That could change; he is more than just org filler. But the system is deep enough that there are probably more than 40 players who are prospects to some extent, even if marginal ones.

          2. I think you have to make a distinction between poor performance as a reason for not advancing and injuries. True, his performance wasn’t great in prior years but staying healthy was the bigger problem. If the injuries are behind him then it’s not a huge deal. This is a key season for him (I know you could say that for most prospects but this seems especially true for Dugan)- if he forces a mid-season promotion to Reading he’ll be pretty much right on track age-wise despite the injury trouble. And I assume if he repeats his performance from last year, the team will indeed promote him. I agree with Anon- I don’t see 30 guys in this system worth putting ahead of him.

            1. Dugan is close to top 30, no doubt. He isn’t a better prospect than many of the players on the ballot though.
              The injury excuse for Dugan is overblown and has just become a meme on this board.
              If the guy would have shown something at instructs after year 2, he would have been promoted to Lakewood in 2011. The guy is a year behind his HS draft class and if he was a prospect, the team would have played him in the OF the entire year or moved him to Clearwater. I prefer to first rank the guys who are not behind their level, or have yet to fail.

            2. I find Dugan in the high 20s to be fair. He’s seems like he’ll have offense enough to play a corner OF spot. Regarding that BlueClaw blog post from the other day with Forman suggesting he might be pegged to 1B – Dugan’s not a big slow body, and unless he gets bigger and slower, he might stick in the OF. I haven’t heard other scouts say he’s destined for 1B, (really, haven’t heard much scouting on him at all), so to assume 1 guy has it right is a bit premature. It’s something to consider, for sure.

              Compared to a lot of the guys I have below him, Dugan’s 2012 makes it look like he’s on his way forward, while many of the guys below him are still very far away with red flags or obvious flaws, or stagnating in the upper levels.

    1. The guy is 26 and he walked over 4 per 9 when he got promoted to AAA. There 40 guys in the system that are easily ahead of Friend.

      1. If ur eluding to roids I can assure u Watson hasn’t .. the dude’s 6′-4″+ & 195 maybe 200.. not an excessive amount of weight for that big of a frame.. Cozens now is a big-boy.. Watson actually doesn’t look big next to him.. but come on these guys r having physicals n a few weeks u really think they’re gunna take something knowing they’re guna urinate n a cup and give blood.

        1. It’s a Cozens reference. Keith Law intimated in a chat last year that Cozens bulked up in an unnaturally short amount of time.

          1. I posted on here before Keith Law is a techy no-nothing know-it-all and u shouldn’t read his garbage .. it might rub off on u
            my point was our dudes look great and ready to go.. I sure wouldn’t want to mix it up with them

            1. Im kidding but serious .. he commented on Watson last Feb. after an MLB showcase and had no clue what he was talking about.

  1. Decided on Colvin….for the past three years all the national pubs raved about his stuff..maybe this is the year.

    1. I’m with you. He was non-terrible in CLW last year with a FIP of 3.73. We all know he has control problems and he really struggled in AA. Still, he has stuff. Hopefully he can harness it at some point. He’s only 22.

  2. Walding. The mid- to late-season struggles were significant, but the scouting reports suggest he’s got the tools to be a good player. I could just as easily put Green, Pullin or Gueller in here, but I suppose I just like Walding more. Plus, wouldn’t it be nice to have another Mitchie-Poo playing in Philly?

      1. LOL that didn’t even occur to me. If there’s a prospect out there named Mitch Green(e), they’re likely to draft him on general principle.

  3. Not a big proximity guy but Ceasar Hernandez has quietly moved up through the system…and can be knocking on the door next year…I like Gueller from what I read but he has to play some first…I had Cozens at 19 on my list but had Hernandez at 17…so far I have had all 19 that were picked in my top 20…I need Hernandez here

  4. Cesar Hernandez has to get the award for being the hardest to project. Looking at the spread sheet lists, he is all over the place and not to be seen on some lists. I was really high on him until he trailed off considerably at AAA. It is interesting that the writers who probably saw him the most (Reading Eagle) have him at 4.

    1. I gave him an incomplete and won’t put him in a number slot until next year. I did the same thing with Watson. Gueller pitched badly this year. There was an FIL report on him posted on this forum, which also was less than glowing. At this point, t

  5. I voted for Cesar Hernandez as he is the closest prospect that is MLB ready and could help the Phillies as an injury callup. Lets hope he has a better year in AAA than last year to make him more valuable to the Phillies or use as trade material.

    1. I certainly think that a vote for Hernandez is defensible at this point, though I voted for Gueller..

      I’ve said some negative things about Hernandez, but I agree that there is probably more upside than some of us give him credit for. I’m inclined to think that “injury call up” would set him back developmentally – he’s a guy who IMO isn’t close to ready for a role as a regular (and may never be, but there’s enough of a chance of that that he should be given a full year in AAA at least).

      One interesting side issue – he’s certainly a more viable injury fill in than (shudder) Betancourt, but I tend to think that Hernandez’ long term development is more important than wringing an extra win or two from a team that won’t contend anyway. Of course there are hundreds, probably thousands of better options than Betancourt, so it SHOULDN’T come down to that sort of Hobson’s choice, but with the village idiot in charge one never knows.

      1. Larry, agree with your Cesar Hernandez comments. However; I strongly disagree with you about the Phillies ability to contend as they had one of the better records in baseball after the All-Star break. Lastly, we all know how you feel about Ruben Amaro so do you have to keep criticizing him even in threads that don’t involve him? This would have been a nice reply if you took out the last paragraph so remember less said is better.

        1. I don’t think that less than 1/2 season of games is much of a guide to expected performance in 2013.* Look at the personnel, and the personnel of the competition. Hitting will be average IF the team is healthy, well below average if not. The defense is the worst in the league. The pitching could be pretty good, but unlikely to be as good as 2011 (when the hitting and fielding were also MUCH better). The Phillies are at best the 7th best team in the NL. One can surely posit a scenario where they are contenders, but it is pretty much the equivalent of drawing an inside straight. You can say that about almost any team; heck, the Mets could be contenders if everything breaks right for them. But take away Lee and Hamels, and this is a 95 to 100 loss team.

          We’ll need to agree to disagree about Amaro; IMO his ineptness is relevant to every Phillies’ topic.

          1. Goodness gracious. I think the poster was saying that you have valid points, but the way you attack RAJ is irrelevant to the discussion. You’re a pretty logical guy so do you understand how petty it makes you look when your constructive criticism (rightly earned by Amaro IMO) is capped off with a personal attack? It totally kills credibility when this happens. This is why people criticize WIP callers.

            1. Riggs, I am glad that you understood what I saying to LarryM. There was no need to hammer RAJ again and it was totally irrevelant to Cesar Hernandez’s ability. I also think this is the Phillies last chance with their core and if they stay healthy (a big question indeed) they can contend. How far they go is anyones guess. Thanks again.

          2. Larry, that is okay by me but your ideas don’t really work in a northeast city where the fans don’t have patience, the fans want to win now and a large TV deal is at stake. Lastly, the farm system is not bare with some talented replacements on the way. Allentown and Reading should be very interesting to watch this year. Peace.

            1. Larry….I really think Ruben sees the 16th pick in June as a golden nugget that will translate to someone who will be a core player someday, and if a collegiate, then maybe in 2014. Thus, not signing any FA that would have cost him that pick.

            2. I have problems with that point of view which I won’t go repeat, but as I said his off season is defensible at least philosophically if one assumes a calculation to accept a rebuilding year as a trade off for the future. The execution of the strategy isn’t defensible, but never mind that. But his “strategy” is not consistent with any serious attempt to contend in 2013.

              The continued stubborn refusal of otherwise smart people to realize just how horrible Amaro is baffles me. Ed Wade is a genius compared to the village idiot.

            3. Folks, Larry’s right, Amaro is the slum lord of GM’s – he took a pristine golden opportunity of a ballclub (high spend, great core under team friendly deals, a destination desired by top flight free agents, hands off ownership, great scouts, etc) and has done his darnedest to piss it away – he’s made one or two really great moves (LEEROY!) but beyond that, really almost every move he’s made has been sub-par. You can explain away a move here or there, but when viewed in the aggregate, well, a rudderless ship could make better headway. If you want to ask Larry to keep the Amaro bashing to the general discussions, fine by me, but you can’t look at Amaro’s body of work and really think he’s not one of the 5 worst GM’s in baseball.

            4. I believe the phillies had the most wins in baseball in 2010 and 2011 it is not rube’s fault they did not win the world series either of those years.

            5. Carzac, some people like Dphrey can’t be satisfied no matter how many playoffs you make in a row and keeping a decent farm system despite drafting lower due to winning.

            6. Can we stay on topic please? The Readers #20 Top Prospect is the topic of this thread not Ruben Amaro..

            7. Fair enough!

              Hernandez/Gueller, Tough call. Hernandez is closer, and he’s still young enough that he could develop a little more umphff. It’s not fair to ding Gueller for a SS poor showing, and he is supposed to be raw….I’ve historically been higher than most most on Hernandez so I’ll stay internally consistent and go with him.

    2. Hernandez is being hurt in the rankings from actually being promoted during the season. If he would have been left to dominate AA all year, he would have been voted on to the list already.

      1. His numbers would look better but he wouldn’t be a better prospect. He still remains a guy who is average defensively, with little to no power, and poorly used speed. He is hurt by the fact that he does not profile as a regular.

        1. He actually has the skill to be an excellent defender, he just needs to be more consistent. He’s very smooth but he occassionally misses an easy one which he can’t do in the majors.

      2. What Matt said. As I wrote yesterday, he needs to take a significant step forward to be a serious prospect. At this point, the most likely area of improvement would be more power with possibly some ancillary improvement in his BB rate. Not impossible, but not something to count on.

        What he looks like to me NOW (again, current profile, projecting NORMAL future development) is a guy who hits an empty .270. Absent plus defense or plus effective speed, that is not what you want from a major league regular at 2B. I mean, you can find some regulars who fit that profile, even for good teams, but that’s not what you want to aspire to.

        1. I guess the counter argument is that, even if we assign a fairly low probability to him becoming a quality major league regular, he’s already behind some guys like Collier who probably have even less chance of making it. So I can certainly see the point of view that he was unfairly hurt by his stint in AAA.

      3. Interesting point. He’s been better than age appropriate since the double jump in 2011, and it’s not like he fueled his stats with Reading homeruns, but I bet you’re right that he’s being dinged for a couple months as a 22 yr old in AAA, in a league where only 30 guys 22 took PAs, (and around half of those were pitchers). Pretty harsh. He could use the year in AAA in 2013, IMO, like mentioned above, but he’s using his second option this year, so I hope they give him a call-up in September if nothing else to get his feet wet.

        1. MLB’s Jon Mayo has CH ranked 6th in 2nd basemen, ‘….when he’s locked in, as he was in 2012 with Double-A Reading, he can hit for average and has solid on-base skills. When he gets on consistently, he can then let his speed work to his advantage. Plus, he’s a good defensive second baseman’

    3. I like Cesar’s game a lot but I went with Gueller over him because of his much higher ceiling. Hernandez is a throw back 2B, pre Utley model, and I think he and Galvis could be our middle infield combination for a few years starting in 2015. Hernandez has very smooth hands and is very good defensively plus he and Galvis are friends since they were opponents in little league which is pretty cool. An injury this year would put Galvis in the lineup ahead of Hernandez, and they wouldn’t bring him up to sit. I’ll be very curious to see what Gueller looks like in spring training, refreshed and ready to go and totally focused on baseball. He could be a fast riser up this list next year.

      1. I don’t disagree strongly with this … I guess my biggest problem is that I see a Galvis/Hernandez pairing, even making some good assumptions about their development, as a below average keystone combination.

        And to some extent, our current group of upper minors position prospects fits into the same category. Asche to some extent – though I’m higher on him than are some people, and higher on him than I am on Galvis and Hernandez – Ruf also, though he is a somewhat different case. Brown maybe even now also, though as I’ve said many times he deserves the opportunity to prove otherwise.

        Even a good team can afford a couple of guys like this – I mean, look at the Cardinals SS/2B last season – but 4 or 5 is pushing it, and, moreover, you need some stars to make up for the mediocre or even slightly sub mediocre players. Say the 2015 Phillies regulars are Brown/Ruf/Revere/Asche/Hernandez/Galvis/Joseph/Howard. Howard aside, that’s a pretty cheap lineup, but also a pretty bad one. I don’t think we should aspire to that. That’s not a contender. That probably would be the worst lineup in baseball.

        1. Just compared the 2012 Astros (fewest runs in baseball) with that 2015 lineup. Really other than right field are there any positions where that lineup would clearly be more productive than the 2012 Astos? Maybe left field also.

          I absolutely think that that lineup would struggle to score 600 runs. In a way, it makes me even less optimistic about the team’s long term prospects than I was. The team pretty much needs to add two star level position players via FA or trade to even THINK about being competitive in 2015. This is getting far afield, though, so I will stop.

          1. I mean when you think about the Phils had in 2008, they had 3 position players who in their prime performed to a star caliber level. it is arguable that the Phillies minor leagues have no star caliber position prospects. and it is a certainty in that lineup you posted above that none of them have a star potential. I suppose that Joseph maybe has that if his contact develops enough for him to really unlock his power potential, but most of those guys we’re hoping for 2-3 WAR seasons. a 2-3 war player is a valuable commodity but an entire team of them is probably not going to do it

            1. Yeah, it is interesting that the Phillies do have a realistic shot of have all pre-arb guys (except Howard) as soon as 2014. And I agree that none of them appear to be star level guys. Brown was the only one with huge hype. Ruf would have to be an incredible anomaly to be an all-star. Galvis/Hernandez/Asche are all small ball players who might be league average at best.

              The pitching better be really good. It will be interesting to see what the Phillies do with Utley and Ruiz. There is no player who can replace the uniquely awesomeness of Utley, no even himself at this point. I figure Rollins will be around for his full contract unless the team is really out of it and he requests a trade.

            2. There would be tons of dollars to spend on free agent bats if that was our team so there’s no way that would be the team. The payroll will continue to be high.

  6. One problem for Hernandez is there’s really no such thing as a backup second baseman with teams carrying 11 and 12 pitchers. He doesn’t have the arm to play on the left side of the infield so he doesn’t project as a utility guy. I see his floor as actually being very low for this reason. It’s basically starter or bust for him.

    1. There is no such thing as a backup 2b. Correct. But Hernandez has played shortstop, good enough that BA scouts thought he was more natural at that position two years ago. He could easily be a utilty infielder.

      The value of a decent hitting utility IF, is as as much as a relief pitcher.

      1. I believe the thinking has changed on that though. He’s definitely viewed as a good defender at 2B but I’ve read two scouts over the winter that claimed he doesn’t quite have the arm or range to play there (I wish I could find the links but after searching for a few minutes…nothing). The Phillies most likely share this opinion since he hasn’t played an inning there the last 4 years despite never playing on a team with SS prospect. Teams usually don’t move players off a more valuable position if they think a player can handle that position. I think it’s unrealistic to expect him to play SS and he definitely doesn’t have the arm for 3B so he’s not really a candidate for a utility role.

        1. I have heard reports this winter that he can play SS in short stints (a game or an inning here and there). Your utility guy doesn’t necessarily need to be able to cover SS for more than a game or two and Hernandez has the ability to do that. He would definitely be exposed over a long period of time but is he a better back up defensively than Frandsen or Orr, absolutely. Also if you are in a situation where you have Rollins, Galvis, and Hernandez you can move people around to cover all of the positions.

          1. I certainly hope people know this but it is not like Hernandez (or nearly any major leaguer) cannot throw the ball far enough for it to reach 1B from fielding 3B.
            It is just that a close play he will not get the guy. He might also have more trouble with the ball arriving quicker at 3B.

            I’d like to see the Phillies swap Hernandez and Galvis for a few games to see how they handle it. Agree that Hernandez should be kept at AAA with a Sept callup if possible/deserving.

      2. He can’t play SS, doesn’t have the arm for it. Its correct that he’s a starter or he’s a 4A guy. He’s had a few good years and a few fair years so it will be very interesting to see what he does this year playing the entire year at LHV. Could he be a 310 guy with 20 steals and good defense at LHV? I think he could. As a major leaguer, could he be as good as Mickey Morandini?

  7. Has Jake Diekman graduated? If not, for all his deficiencies, I think he has to go on the list. He has already made the majors and has nasty, nasty stuff. I like him a lot better than, say, Aaron Altherr.

    1. BA uses 50 innings as their benchmark. Deikman had 27 innings, but still didn’t make their list.

    2. He’s nasty but I don’t see him as more than a situational guy who maybe can become a 7th inning guy. That’s valuable and he’s close to being ready to help but he’s not as valuable as others here.

    3. I am with you. Positive contributions at the MLB level is more valuable than the rest of these guys. Except maybe Cesar.

  8. I have Hernandez just ahead of Rupp for this spot but no problem with Gueller either to make the Top20, though I think he will take some time.

  9. It went right over my head that Simon was added to the poll. I read that the centerpiece of the Jim Thome deal was Gabriel Lino. Kyle Simon was just the sweetner. That would lead me to believe that Lino is the more valuable prospect of the two, at least in the Phillies’ eyes. Lino should be added to the poll.
    Hope to see Lino, Grullon and Pujols added to the poll soon. I have them rated higher than some of the guys already on the poll.

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