Monthly Archives: March 2013

Opening Day Housekeeping

My Christmas/New Years/Birthday/Cinco De Mayo/Hanukah/Kwanza  all wrapped up in one is this Thursday as the Minor League baseball season begins, and just a few housekeeping notes as we enter our 6th full season here at Phuture Phillies. Over 10,000,000 page views later, this site has grown to certainly one of, if not the primary source for Phillies minor league information.  James grew this site with his credibility of verifying information and well thought out analysis.  I hope we continue the tradition he built for years to come.

The huge contributions of Matt and Brad will continue through the 2013 season as they each basically have carte blanche to contribute as they see fit. Brad will be doing the daily box score updates and a feature or two if he can fit it into his schedule.  Matt will continue with player profiles and features and will focus on the upcoming draft as we head into June.  Like I have in years past, I will focus on Lehigh Valley, but with renewed vigor this year as for the first time in the five years I have been covering the ‘Pigs, they have a dozen players that have legitimate shots at appearing on major league rosters if not this year, then next. As much as my schedule permits, I will continue the “Hot or Not” and “Around the System” series that people seem to like,  which gives a good overview of what is happening from top to bottom in the minor leagues.  I am also hoping to get out to several Reading games this year for “in person” analysis of the prospects in Baseball Town.  Continue reading Opening Day Housekeeping

Reading and Lehigh Valley Rosters

I have been trying to put together what appears to be the beginnings of the roster for each team through a variety of sources and this is what I think we currently have.  None of this is confirmed, and all is subject to change:

Update: 700 pm–Both rosters are confirmed

Lehigh Valley

Catchers: Joseph and Lerud

Infield: Overbeck, Hernandez, Martinez, Asche, Fields, Orr

Outfield: Ruf, Gillies, Castro, J. Mitchell, Susdorf

SP: Pettibone, Morgan, Martin, Cloyd, Rosenberg

RP: Stutes, DeFratus, Diekman, Savery, Jiminez, Miner, Friend

Reading:

Catchers: Valle, Rupp, and Suomi

Infield: Murphy, Henson, Cartwright, Hanzawa, Duran, Abreu

Outfield: D. Mitchell, Hewitt, Collier, Welty

Starters: Biddle, Colvin, Buchanan, Wright

Relievers: Knigge, J. Johnson, Simon, JC Ramirez, Neris, Sosa, Robles

General Discussion – Week of March 25. “Ok it’s barely the week of March 25 anymore, but the weekend counts, right?” Edition

Super late on this week’s general discussion. Two games this weekend against the Jays at CBP, then Monday night’s opener. I know none of you are excited for this at all. Sorry to remind you of the nothingness that is opening day.

But hey! Box score recaps begin Thursday night, (or Friday morning). I know you’re all looking forward to my “pithy” remarks and acceptable screencapping skills. So at least you have something to get you through the next six days.

Austin Hyatt Released

Fortunes can change in a hurry in minor league baseball, the latest example being the case of P Austin Hyatt, who was released today by the Phils according to Jeff Schuler, the IronPigs beat reporter for the Morning Call.  Hyatt was considered to be a prospect to watch coming into the 2012 season after going 12-6 with a 3.85 ERA in 28 starts for Reading in 2011.

Hyatt’s 2012 was consistently miserable. He went 2-7 with a 6.33 ERA in 11 starts  in Lehigh Valley, with a WHIP over 1.63. He wasn’t a whole heck of alot better for Reading in his 16 starts, going 8-5 with a 4.62 ERA.  In several Lehigh Valley starts I witnessed, Hyatt struggled with his control, running many deep counts and was quite simply, very hittable.

Hyatt, 26, was the Phils 15th round pick out of the University of Alabama in 2009.  His release may actually be a favor to him, as with the glut of young starters the Phils have in Lehigh Valley and Reading, Hyatt may have struggled to get starts. In any event, it looks more and more like the Lehigh Valley rotation will be Pettibone, Morgan, Martin, Cloyd and Cochran, which will be an exciting rotation to watch for those who frequent Coca Cola Park.

Prospect Spotlight: Brandon Erbe

If you were watching or listening to yesterday’s game you may have been surprised by the pitcher on the mound in the 8th and 9th inning for the Phillies.  Brandon Erbe is another is a line of former Orioles that Joe Jordan has brought over to the Phillies.  Erbe on the surface appears to be roster filler, but he is a former top starting pitching prospect who is still young enough (25) to be impactful out of a bullpen.

How We Got Here:

Erbe was a 3rd round pick in 2005 out of high school by the Orioles.  He had an ok debut in 2005 but broke out in 2006.  At age 18 in low-A Erbe put up a 3.22 ERA, 47BB, 133 K line in only 114.2 IP (10.44 K/9 at age 18 in lo-A).  He was then rated the #2 propsect in the Orioles system and the #78 player in baseball.  Erbe had a mid-90s fastball, a plus slider, and an improving change up.  Starting in 2007 it went downhill as Erbe battled control and injury problems (still put up a 2.99 BB/9, 9.02 K/9 line in 2008 at age 20 in hi-A over 150.2 IP).  Injuries have really derailed his career and he hasn’t pitched much the last two years.  Erbe’s starting career at this point is over, but the Phillies still signed him to a minor league contract when he hit minor league free agency this year. Continue reading Prospect Spotlight: Brandon Erbe

Roman Quinn’s interesting spring

Although I haven’t been to the sunshine state at all this March, thanks to posters here and, especially, Greg Giombarrese at BlueClaws blog, we’ve basically been able to follow Roman Quinn for the entire spring.  Each day he’s given us a report that includes Quinn, a prospect everyone in Lakewood is excited to watch play.  Let’s review day-by-day after the break…

Continue reading Roman Quinn’s interesting spring

Organizational Best Tools

It is always fun to look at top tools because they are often the most exciting and awe inspiring part of a game.  Sometimes we lose perspective as to what top major league tools look like in comparison to minor leaguers.  The call on best tools in the minor leagues are often close so I have included honorable mentions.

Hitters

Speed:

Minor League: Quinn (80) – Much has been written on Quinn’s speed which is a legitimate 80 grade tool.  Honorable Mentions: Tocci, Gillies, Hudson

Major League: Revere (70) – A couple of years ago this might have been Jimmy Rollins, but Revere has near elite speed that he uses well in both the field and on the base paths. Continue reading Organizational Best Tools

Phillies trade RHP Julio Rodriguez to the Orioles for OF Ronnie Welty

The Phillies sent Rodriguez to Baltimore it what is essentially org depth for org depth.

Julio Rodriguez broke out in 2010 when he jumped to Lakewood at age 19 and posted a 14.38 K/9 over 50+ IP, and joined May, Colvin, Pettibone, and Cosart as the “Baby Aces”.  JRod’s fastball tops out around 90 but mostly sits in the hi-80’s, he compliments it with mid-80s cutter, a fringe average changeup, and a big loopy mid-60s curveball.  Going into AA in 2012, JRod had to prove the stuff was for real and that he could possibly get some more velocity out of his big frame.  He continued to miss bats but he was hit hard and walked batters at 5BB/9IP.  He might have some success out of a bullpen but he is somewhere between org depth and 6th starter and is only 22. Continue reading Phillies trade RHP Julio Rodriguez to the Orioles for OF Ronnie Welty