Box Score Recap – 6/20/2013

Maikel Franco with a couple singles in four trips to the plate in his debut, and apparently he made a fine play on the move on his first chance in the field. I would make a joke about how he showed up Chase Utley, but I’m not crossing that guy in print. He’ll have a long life to payback his enemies, large and small, and I’ve no doubt he’ll find and destroy every single man who dared to write or speak ill of him, even in jest. Not because he’s vengeful, or filled with malice, but just because he’s such a hard worker, and he’s going to have very little to do with his time.

Here’s the affiliate Scoreboard from MiLB.



147 thoughts on “Box Score Recap – 6/20/2013

    1. Indeed. What has been starting pitching depth the last couple years is still there, but kinda iffy at the moment with questions about Morgan and Wright, an the unravelling of the “baby aces” group. C and 3b are stocked up and down to the point where at almost every level you have someone who could be considered at minimum a fringe prospect. A+ lacks a 3b now, but that’s about it.

      Please all note I said “fringe” before getting on me about Logan Moore and Chase Numata.

  1. I had the pleasure of attending the Reading v Portland game tonight sitting behind home plate just to the left of the screen. A few observations: Jesse Biddle needs to work on his command. He may have been squeezed somewhat by the ump but he was not sharp. He threw over 100 pitches in 6 innings with a roughly 50/50 ratio of balls and strikes. He was also taken yard twice. Maikel Franco did make a nice play on the first batter of the game who tried to bunt on him although the throw was a little off line. He showed a good approach at the plate hitting in the three hole behind Utley. He did not run very well though. Could have had another single if he had even slightly above average speed. Hewitt screwed up a play in right field that could have been ruled an error but was not. He did not drive the ball at all in 4 at bats. Collier also looked weak at the plate with just a walk. Who did we miss out on in 2008 when we drafted these two? Tyson Gillies and Jiwan James did not play. Other than Biddle and Franco I am not sure who gets to the show out of this group.

    1. Thanks for that report Captain Negative. Some of your comments are bordering on insane – you see one start and you can conclude Biddle needs work on his command? He’s a young pitcher – some nights he’ll have it, some nights he won’t. Give him a break.

      1. Well, of course he still needs to work on his command. He’s in AA because he still needs to work on things, like most players his age. And he has been walking a lot of batters lately- it’s not just this start. It’s been 6 starts since he’s walked less than 3 batters. Nothing wrong with acknowledging he still has developing to do.

        1. Exactly what I thought VOR. I actually read it a second time and still don’t see anything.

      2. Biddle had a 3.48 BB/9 in 5 April starts, a 5.34 BB/9 in 6 May starts and has a 6.00 BB/9 in 3 June starts. So if I would say any comment saying he has to work on his command (especially by someone who just watched him pitch and saw the entirety of his game and how many long counts he ran and how much he appeared to miss at times) is a completely valid and truthful statement.

      3. Buddy….His report was what he saw that night. If it bothered you that he was critical of our number one guy, so be it. As a future 3 in the rot, maybe a 2, that is what you can expect at times from Jesse Biddle.
        Thanks for the report, rick wise guy.

        1. I may be the biggest Biddle fan around, but I thought the report was very truthful and accurate. Biddle has a huge upside, but has to work on his command. That’s why he’s still in the minors, to work on things. The criticism of the critic is unfounded.

          Rick – any reports on Biddle’s velocity? When I saw him earlier in the year, he sat between 91-93, touching 94 and 95. The curve ball, the day I saw it, was an elite pitch – not a plus pitch, an elite pitch.

          1. And here’s another thing. We really have no idea what Biddle is working on. The struggle with command and the increased ERA may be a sympton of the team asking Biddle to try something very specific (such as hitting the corners with his fastball or throwing his breaking ball in fastball counts – it could be a bunch of different things).

            1. Yet still, his first taste of AA ball up to this point can only be described as successful particularly with so many describing him as a no. 3

      4. “you see one start and you can conclude Biddle needs work on his command? He’s a young pitcher – some nights he’ll have it, some nights he won’t.” Buddy – You honestly can’t see the connection between “needing to work on his command” and “some nights he’ll have it and some nights he won’t”? If not, then you are borderline insane.

      5. To be fair, the biggest knock on Biddle for his entire minor league career has been that he needs to work on his command. Its his command that has him pegged as a #3 starter instead of a #1/2 right now…Maybe basing it on 1 start is poor judgment but the point is still an accurate one.

    2. Wow. Mr Rick Wise Guy, my apologies to you, looks like I had one too many jack and cokes last night on the airplane. The tone of that response was not called for, my bad.

      The point I was calling out, and meant to in a more civil tone, was that what pitcher doesn’t need to work on command at his age and his level, and that nights like that for him are going to happen at this point in time, and for that matter it happens to pitchers at the big league level.

    1. To get ABs they are going to try and get all three catchers some ABs. Also helps long term with giving him ABs with all the other catchers

      1. What do you guys think will happen with Lino? I am asking because if he continues to go 1 level at a time he will be matched up with Knapp unless Knapp gets a double jump or early promotion to LKD. Is it possible Lino does 2 years at WP? I thought higher of Lino but i think he might not be thought of highly by the org. Seems like he has no place to play C in the lower levels.

          1. Starting at Lakewood would be a stretch. Williamsport is the normal starting point for a college draftee, especially one who isn’t a first rounder. The Phillies want to let Knapp get his feet on the ground, not throw him in the deep water and see if he can swim. There are certainly things they want to change about his game and that won’t begin in earnest until FIL.

        1. I don’t think Lino and Knapp have to be matched up at every level. Knapp, being the top collegiate catcher, will get moved to Clearwater next year, to start season. Knapp may effect Numata’s playing time more than Lino.

          1. I think so as well. I would be shocked if Knapp isn’t at Clearwater next year given how the Phillies promote college players and handle them in their 2nd season after being drafted. I would think Numata and Knapp trade-off DH duties most games since Lakewood isn’t very deep in bats it shouldn’t make 2014 Clearwater much of an issue.

            I think Lino is at 1B due to his inconsitency fielding at catcher. The Phillies feel he has pop and could develop, but I put very little into what he does at Williamsport because he spent all of last year at a higher level. He *SHOULD* hit at Williamsport.

    1. Let’s hold on before we get too excited over 18 ABs in which he has not walked and has struck out 6 times already.

  2. In all seriousness, the Phillies need to retain Mr Utley beyond this season. I believe Mr Galvis needs to play more, so the trading of Mr Rollins is probably the right thing to do, but Mr Utley needs to stay. Mr Rollins clearly has no burning desire remaining to win a championship.

    1. Let me get this straight. They need to re-sign the guy who only plays 80 games a season, but they need to trade the guy who plays Everyday, at the most difficult position?

      1. Will Mr Utley play for half pay???? He will want at least three years 45 million. no thanks. Hernandez and Fransen and Galvis at second next season.

    2. I think you do bring back Utley because the games he plays would be better than any alternative (besides Cano, but he’s not coming here). I don’t think you trade Rollins though. If you are blown away with an offer, sure, but he plays a good shortstop and does a lot of good things. I like Galvis but I just don’t think he is a starter on a good team. I think he’s a super-utility player. Insurance if anyone goes down and should be starting 3 times a week.

      1. We’re not a good team and won’t be a good team next year either. I really c an’t see Utley doing much in 2015. Utley was a great Phillies, but it’s time to say goodbye. You don’t rebuild around 35 year olds who have missed big pieces of the past 4 seasons, even if they do still play well when they are on the field. That ‘I’m good, while I’m healthy to play’ isn’t going to last forever. I don’t know when it will stop, but it likely isn’t all that long from now.

      2. Only if Utley is willing to take a one year deal with a vesting option based on performance metrics achieved in 2014. That would be 145 minimum games played, 500 ABs, 20 HRs, and 80 RBIs.

        With more power to offer than Hernandez. Do / Can you move Asche to 2B when Franco is indeed ready for the majors in 2015 or sooner? Otherwise, you need to trade the 3B / C depth to fill positions of need. I think Asche can give you comparable numbers to Utley right now. Galvis and Hernandez cannot.

        1. John. what depth. You have names right now at catcher. Not one of them is worth anything, same at third. you best propect franco is two days into double a. and asche cant hit left hand pitching. what do you get for that them? a guy who cant hit right hand pitching and plays third.

        2. John – if we were seeking a one yr w option, even of the vesting variety, why not just make a Q.O. and let it play out? If he walks at least we get the draft pick. Signing Utley to any kind of deal aside from a Q.O. is the least favorable scenario in my opinion. And even a Q.O. is less than favorable since we’d certainly receive more value in Trade than a mid to late 1st round pick next year.

    3. Sorry, I couldn’t disagree more. I love Utley but I expect him to be traded to an AL team in a pennant race. Rollins will retire as a Phillie

  3. Serritella’s getting hot. He’s hitting .361 in his last 10 games. He was double jumped to CLW but he is a college guy so he’s about where I’d expect him. Altherr batted 3rd and went 2 -3 with a HR and a couple of RBIs. Dugan batted 4th. Put a pin in June 19. That begins his post-Franco era.. Serritella’s batting #5 so he has a little protection there but Franco provided a lot of protection.

      1. Right. He had knee surgery before the end of camp, I believe, and from his own accounts on Twitter he’s at least been in the cage for a couple weeks now. Not sure if he’s running, jogging, etc.

          1. I don’t know what it was exactly. I think it was the same thing he had last year. I know he didn’t come to camp early this year, (which I guess he has in the past), and then a couple weeks in they decided he would have surgery. So maybe it was a “rest and hope it heals” kind of thing. Partial tear or something like that? I wonder if he would tell us on Twitter if we asked him.

  4. If Altherr stays the year at CLW and injury-free, look for a minimum slash like 290/320/380/700, with 15 HRs, 80 RBIs, 35 doubles, 7 triples and 25 SBs. K rate still can be a problem however.

    1. I would expect a lower average , but higher OBP and SLG for Altherr on the year. On the high side I’d say .275/.340/.450 on the low side I’d say close to his numbers from last year .250/.320/.400.

      1. As I look at Altherrs numbers more and see that he has already almost hit his XB totals from last year I’ll revise my SLG range to be from ..425 to ,475.

        1. Altherr is still listed at 190 lbs from 2011….I am wondering if he has really muscled up and added more weight then what is listed?
          Has anyone seen him look bigger?

    2. Atherr is having a really weird season. His BABIP was astronomical the first two months of season it was over .400 in April and was approaching .500 in May. It’s normalizing a lot in June (around .265), but the crazy thing is his OPS in June is actually higher than it was in May. His ISO is .286 for June with 4 HR’s to go with some other XBH’s, he’s also walking a lot (12.3 BB%).

      1. Yes, oddly enough, he’s showing some very encouraging progress. Altherr has moved forward a lot as a prospect this year, but I’m still not entirely sure what to make of him. One big thing he has going in his favor is that he’s said to be among the most athletic of our minor league outfielders, which helps expand his time horizon.

        1. Not that he’s behind or anything – he’s perfectly age appropriate as a 22 year old at Clearwater, but now he really must move at least a level each year.

          1. “Age appropriate” IMO can have a couple of different meanings. We tend to say “age appropriate when a player’s age is about average for a level. But for a player who is going to end up as a major league regular, generally we would like to see him at least a year younger than the average for the league, at least for players who were drafted out of High School. A future regular who is the same age as the average for his level should really be standing out in terms of performance.

            Now you could argue that Altherr IS having that sort of season. I’d argue that he isn’t quite (because of the Ks). Dugan, also 22, probably is having that sort of season. It’s funny, their hitting performance are quite similar at this point, except that Dugan has a lot fewer Ks and consequently much better rate stats.

            Which doesn’t mean that Altherr isn’t a prospect, and he has been doing some good things. If he can bring the Ks down, we may have something.

            Of course, this just makes Franco’s performance even more impressive by comparison, doing what he did at the age of 20.

            1. I was reading an article on Fangraphs which touched on Franco, speculation that if he maintains his A+ performance in AA, he’ll be ranked right around 25 in the top 100 lists… ahead of Biddle. Which brings me to another point, in the next few weeks, I may flop on the Biddle/Franco 1/2 debate. Biddle has been struggling a bit with command lately where as Franco has done extremely well. Always tough to compare pitchers and hitters, but in light the fact that pitchers have an inherently higher risk profile, I’m nearly to the point of making Franco our #1 prospect.

            2. Oh one thing I am a bit concerned with for Franco is his low BABIP’s… If he’s only going to be capable of maintaining a .300 BABIP in his career, I wonder if he’ll be able to put up “plus” batting averages even in light of his boarder-line elite contact skills.

            3. Franco does seem to be more of a flyball hitter than a line-drive hitter which I think accounts for some of his BABIP being lower than say Dugan or Altherr. And yes it does make me believe that his BA will probably not break .300 terribly often. I think this and his low OBP rate are what keeps him from rising from very good to elite prospect territory.

            4. If he could work his BB% up to 10% it would really help his overall line in light of his likely lower then average career BABIP’s…

            5. Well if his homers were doubles he’d have a higher BABIP. But I mean I think it’s better he’s putting up the numbers he is with a lower BABIP right now then if he had an insanely high one. But I think Franco’s BABIP probably will stick around .300 and maybe go to .320 occasionally. He doesn’t really need to be a .300 hitter with the power he has but he will probably flirt with it throughout his career if things go right for him.

            6. This is why I chafe against that statistic – home run hitters look worse for having hit home runs. It should be modified – to something like Batting Average Balls in Regulation (which would include home runs).

            7. You are missing the point of the statistic, it is not a measurement of talent. It is an indication of what is happening on balls in play and potential regression points. Franco is slow so he isn’t going to benefit from extra hits. Just remember that BABIP is not a talent evaluation statistic it is a context statistic helping to explain the details of other data points (batting average and strikeout rate)

            8. His LD rates are very, very low but at least he’s hitting more FBs this year. With his speed, or lack thereof, we really don’t want him hitting the ball on the ground. Unless his LD rate increases considerably we’re probably looking at a .260-ish hitter at best, though I’d be thrilled with .260 if accompanied by 25 hrs

            9. That’s about where I am on Franco also. .260-.270 maybe. Lots of doubles, and 20+ HR and a good glove works for me.

            10. Please comp Miguel Cabrera with Mikael Franco at their respective age. Both are below average speedsters.

            11. Miguel Cabrera was already in the major leagues and coming in 5th in the ROY award, at the same age as Franco.

            12. If we look at Altherr’s past two seasons it’s difficult not to characterize his 1st half as a success in spite of the alarming K rate. His BB rate has been moving in the right direction for two years now and if he’s going to K at such a high rate it better be accompanied by a better than decent ISO, which he has also managed. The Ks are a concern but I’m loving the 33 XBHs in 240 ABs and for a kid who was so close to being written off I’m happy with what he has shown this year so far. Back on the radar to say the least

            13. Steve, I don’t think we are disagreeing much. I would agree his season so far is a success overall. I would put it a little differently about the Ks: he’s NOT going to succeed unless he cuts them down. Some players have, but they tend to have plus plus power. That said, I think it’s quite possible he WILL cut the Ks down.

            14. @LarryM. You are exactly right.
              Altherr and Dugan really aren’t age appropriate for players with aspirations of being major league regulars. They are both at least one level behind minimum. That’s why I don’t believe either player should be considered top 10 in the system.

            15. Altherr – maybe but he has the tools and sometimes it takes guys longer to use them. Dugan was injured for parts of 2 seasons, he gets a mulligan. However, he really should have been moved to AA with Franco, hopefully he will once he reaches 200 PAs.

            16. Biddle, Franco, Tocci, Quinn, C Hernandez, Asche, Morgan, Watson, T Joseph, and Martin are all ahead of Dugan and Altherr. No to mention Crawford and Mecias. I’m sure each of those 12 players command more in trade than Altherr or Dugan.

            17. Look, disproving a point by using outliers is not really my game, but I can’t help but point out that Chase Utley spent a full season at 22 in Clearwater and Ryan Howard spent a full season at 23 in Clearwater.

              I think it’s fair to say the Phillies are generally conservative placing young hitters, which has certain benefits when you think about salary control. They can only play where they are assigned and presently, they certainly are age appropriate given a little context (injuries, rawness when drafted, a conservative organization, etc), and they are doing what needs to be done to project major league upside.

              IMO, not placing Dugan in the top 10 in this system is absurd. He reports to have the athleticism to be a net positive defensively at the LF, RF, and 1b positions (I remember them saying he might be able to play a credible CF when they drafted him), and his bat seems to project to maybe be a little plus in a corner outfield spot, and average at 1st base. Not only that, the Phillies thought highly enough of him to make him a fairly high draft pick no so long ago, so you know from a scouting perspective, he has tools. There aren’t a lot of players in this system that have scouting pedigree to go along with current performance.

            18. Larry specifically mentioned high school hitters as needing to be younger than the league average- college draftees (which both Utley and Howard were) rarely wind up younger than league average because they start at 21/22.

            19. First he said, “But for a player who is going to end up as a major league regular, generally we would like to see him at least a year younger than the average for the league, at least for players who were drafted out of High School. A future regular who is the same age as the average for his level should really be standing out in terms of performance.”

              Not to be pedantic, but he is specifically not limiting it to high schoolers, only including all high schoolers.

              As for LarryM, dude, everyone chafes you, so meh. Utley / Howard’s future career arcs have virtually nothing to do with the refutation of the argument that Dugan/Altherr are not age appropriate. So help yourself to some gold bond, and get over that strawman.

              I would point out that the odds that a 22 year old in Single A has a career like Utley’s are roughly the same as that of a 20 year old. However, the odds that a 22 year old has a Major League future compared to that of a 20 year old is more material. So being younger is better; brilliant insight.

              However, I take issue with the notion that Dugan / Altherr are not age appropriate. Age to level is a very contextual discussion and there are several factors that should lessen how much you ding a player if they’re not particularly young for their level. College would be a factor. So would injury histories, how much baseball they’d played prior to being drafted, and organizational philosophies (Who knows, but I wouldn’t be the first to say the Phillies promote hitters slowly), among numerous other factors. What Utley, Howard and the innumerable other players who did play their Age 22 year in Single A prove is that that fact, by itself, without context, is not a very helpful number. What we do know is that, by itself, being 22 is not age inappropriate.

              As for the top 10, obviously IMO, Dugan easily should slot into the back half at this point for the reasons I stated earlier. And yes, “if everything breaks right” is generally applicable to every prospect ranked, no? I mean, Ethan Martin isn’t in the discussion due to his 5.4 BBs per 9, right? We’re not looking at Shane Watson as a top 10 prospect based on his near 6 era, I’m guessing? We’re “projecting” based on current performance and how their tools might play in the future, no? Brilliant.

            20. Yeah, what snood said and I said earlier.

              But also, here’s the thing about outliers ….set aside all the other distinctions you could make (college again), what a comparison with an outlier tells you, AT BEST is that it’s possible – but then no one is saying differently. The questions is, just HOW possible? I think both players, Altherr especially, are still long shots to be major league regulars, extreme long shots to be anything more than average major league regulars. Does that merit top 10 status? For Altherr, clearly no at this point. For Dugan maybe, but I think that it’s far from “absurd” to omit him from the top 10. I can think of a couple guys in VOR’s list I MIGHT put him behind, but no one I’d CLEARLY put him behind.

              I find using Utley as a comp particularly grating because he is such an EXTREME outlier. If you use the Utley argument, there are probably 500 current minor league prospects who you can argue have a chance to become a borderline HOF player. It’s kind of the equivalent of saying that every kid in your child’s kindergarten class could go on to be president – or, for a Napoleonic reference, that every French soldier carried a marshal’s baton in his knapsack.

            21. As for “his bat seems to project to maybe be a little plus in a corner outfield spot,” I’d disagree. Maybe that’s his upside if everything breaks right. But just because his current numbers, even with BABIP normalized, are above average for a corner outfielder, doesn’t mean that he “projects” to achieve that in the major leagues. The difference between the pitching he is facing now and major league pitching is immense.

              And there is where the age factor comes in – if you had a 20 year old doing what Dugan is doing, there’s a lot of room for continued growth as a hitter. Less so for Dugan and Altherr for that matter. Yes, he COULD do it. If he gets promoted soon and performs similarly in AA over the course of a decent sample size, then yes he would clearly be top 10 in the system.

            22. Will, you didn’t disprove my point. Utley and Howard were college players. HS players who are great prospects, SKIP levels, they don’t fall behind their own draft class.
              Dugan and Altherr don’t look like top 10 prospects to me right now. I may be wrong. I may change my mind by the end of the season, if they are promoted to AA, in the next couple weeks, and continue to hit. Right now, they are both still behind.

      2. Altherr is having a strange statistical season overall, but outside of a 2 week period, after he returned from the DL in May, he has played well.
        Altherr’s K rate is hideous, but it is skewed due to a 14 game period, immediately after he came off the DL. Altherr struck out 27 of 63 PA’s (42.9%) from May 16th, to May 31st. His K rate hasn’t been horrible, outside of that period.

      1. No pop, speed, and LF profile. It isn’t a major leaguer (but then again neither is Delmon). Susdorf is the type of guy who should get a cup of coffee in some September. If he could sub in center he would be a #5 OF.

      2. Because he’s Org Filler…no real plus skills. I love the guy for what he did in the College World Series a few years ago and he’s one of those “good guys” but he’s not going to be an improvement even over Delmon Young.

        I’d LOVE to see Steve get a cup of coffee though…just so he can say he made it to the The Show after all the time he’s put in as an Org Guy for us.

        1. I agree, he’s organizational filler but it would be great to see him put on a Phillies uniform just once and get some ABs.

        2. I would assume that Susdorf has a plus hit tool. It appears he has hit everywhere he has played. He is at the higher level he can get with being in the majors so I am not sure how much age matters.
          Unfortunately, he has not other average skills, the rest are below average.

          I’d like to see him as a pinch hitter in the majors. Mostly, in those cases you want someone who can get on base or knock in a run. Though NL teams normally need some fielding out of their bench, there is often a ‘designated pinch hitter’ like Stairs, Gload, Thome who could barely field at all.
          Nix is okay for now, but if Nix was platooning with Mayberry then maybe Susdorf could be the designated PH.

          1. A 27 year old, six year minor leaguer, who has been old for every level he has played, with a sub-800 OPS, has a “plus” hit tool?

            1. Actually yes, It is something like 60 hit, 35 power, 40 defense (LF), 40 run, 40 arm, it just isn’t a prospect, he makes a ton of good contact though.

            2. A 40 grade, is slightly below average. If all of those were his true scouting grades, he’d be on a major league bench right now.

            3. With no homers this year and only two homers last season, I think his power tool has eroded ot less than 35. It is not totally out of question for him to be on some major league bench as a no-power, get-on-base guy, who can play a decent corner OF. A .399 OBP in AAA is not to be sneezed at.

  5. 2 hits and a walk for Ruf. He’s been filling up the boxscores recently. Really want to see the organization have some balls and bring him up and cut Delmon loose.

    1. OPS’ing 1.039 in his last 10. Only 3 xbh’s though so he still has some work to do but looks like he’s heating up. If he keeps this up a couple more weeks with added power it should be a no brainer. But than again we are dealing with RAJ.

      1. If he can produce a 1.039 without really heating up, that should tell you that good things are going on and more good things can be expected. I think he is getting more comforable with advanced pitching and is getting better at looking for his pitch. Reports on his fielding from AAA are excellent, including reports regarding his arm. Obviously, he will never be a “good” outfielder because his range will be so limited, but if he could be average to slightly below average it will allow his bat to play up. But it really does appear that the Phillies have done him a favor by allowing him to get regular outfield playing time and adjust to better pitching – it should benefit him in the long run. I’m hoping for a power spurt shortly that will propel him to Philly and get D. Young the hell off the roster once and for all – GOOD RIDDANCE!

        1. i’m sick and tired of delmon young, too. he has no business on the phillies’ 24-man roster.

  6. GCL game in less than 2 hours. Sandberg, Crawford etc. Work days are going to be more fun the next 2 months.

            1. Just saw. Not raining here in Tampa but ‘isolated’ showers take on a whole new meaning in the Gulf Coast

            2. and so it begins… I wonder how people vacation in Florida during the summer when it comes like 20% of all the GCL games get rained out.

  7. Got to go to Reading last night, seemed like a good night to take a day off work and enjoy the game. Agree 100 percent with what Rick Wise Guy said. Franco has a quick first step defensively, as shown on the bare-hand play, but he can’t unhitch the wagon running the bases. Had another chance on a bare-hand play later in the game, but missed the pick up. Thought Franco looked a little anxious in his first couple ABs, but he didn’t look overwhelmed or nervous. Was actually begging for Utley to get a hit in the bottom of the ninth with two outs just to get Franco another AB.

    Biddle got squeezed quite a bit, but it was amazing how quickly he lost the strike zone. Can’t remember what inning it was, but he gets the first two outs quickly and then walked the bases loaded on less than 15 pitches and wasn’t even close to the zone. The curveball is a big-league pitch and he gets outs with it in the strikezone.

    As for Lino. he’s been working at first base as another option there for the team. Logan Pierce is the only first baseman on the roster, so Lino gives them another option to be able to work an extra bat into the lineup.

  8. Matt Winks – in your estimation who has more of an upside Asche or Franco. Also can either one play any other positions besides 3rd base

    1. Let me try a response. Franco has more upside and projection – by quite a bit actually and that’s not a slam of Asche who is a good prospect in his own right. Asche’s current projected upside is as an above-average regular (he could be more than that, but that’s not his likely ceiling right now).

      Franco’s projected upside is as a regular all-star candidate – Aramis Ramirez in his good years. Franco might be able to move to first if necessary, but that’s way down the line. He’s got a good glove but is probably too slow to play the outfield.

      Asche was tried at second right after he was drafted (his bat would have played up REALLY well there), but it didn’t work out. Not sure if he could do it again if necessary. Asche could probably handle first or a corner outfield postion if trained to do that but the concern would be that his bat would not be enough to play one of those positions. Asche would have to grow as a hitter by a lot to justify an outfield position (unless, of course, he’s competing for outfield time with Delmon Young, in which case, he’s probably ready right now).

      In short, you have two prospects that, currently, projected almost exclusively as third basemen.

    2. Franco has way more upside than Asche, better defender, power, arm, probably equal hit. You could probably put Asche in an OF corner because he has average speed and a slightly above average arm. He could stand at 2B like Wigginton used to but it would be really ugly. Franco is likely 3B/1B but because of the arm (and right handedness) he profiles much better at 3B

      1. The problem is that Asche’s bat doesn’t come close to playing at a corner OF spot. He basically has to make it as a 3B or not at all.

        Asche likely ends up as either washing out or as a starter on a 2nd division club whereas Franco’s upside is MLB regular on a good club and maybe even near all-star.

        1. How does his bat not come close to playing as a corner OFer? He would never be a premium guy at the position but if you believe that his line will be in the territory of .770-800 OPS how is that not a good enough bat for a guy in corner OF whose defense would probably be average to above? The league average corner OFer hits for like a .750 OPS.

          1. And do you think that he would post that same OPS at the MLB level?

            Because he most likely wouldn’t. For a corner OF, he’s got a tweener bat where he wouldn’t hit enough power to ever be a starter nor would his AVG be high enough to make up for it. Think Jason Michaels back when he was a Phillie.

            1. Yeah, you could definitely use him in that way…I just meant he didn’t profile as a full-time starter.

            2. I don’t think Asche would do that immediately. I think he could do it after a year or two. yes we all want the powerful corner outfielder but what are we going to do when that guy doesn’t actually exist within our system and on the market while signable. The average corner outfielder is actually far worse than your expectations for the position in today’s game. If a good trade doesn’t present itself if/when Franco and Asche both make it then I wouldn’t be opposed to switching him into the OF.

            3. In the long term I agree. Although Murphy was a 1.5-3 WAR player for a decent stretch.

            4. That’s not a bad comp – Asche may have a little better power projection than Murphy, but probably not quite as good of a hit tool. Asche also may be better at third than Murphy is at second, but since second is higher on the defensive spectrum the fielding might be roughly a wash.

            5. The kind of thinking that sees Asche a regular in a corner outfield slot – and you see it for other prospects also, but I won’t name names as I don’t want this to get side tracked into a debate about specific players – is a second division/non-contender mentality.

              Now it IS true that there is currently an organizational deficit at the position. But I can think of dozens of better options than moving Asche to corner OF slot. I

            6. Even world series teams have a few second division starters. The problem is when EVERY player is a second division starter. If Asche can fill in at a corner spot and save you payroll to spend on something else, then he has value in that outfield spot.

          2. I wouldn’t say “doesn’t come close,” but I don’t think his hitting would play as a corner outfielder. That’s because even those of us who like Asche think that that is a bit on the optimistic side for his major league OPS. I think .700 to .750 is more realistic, which is fine for third base but marginal for a corner outfielder.

            That aside, it is virtually always, and in this case, irrational to move a player leftward on the defensive spectrum for other than defensive deficiencies. The only time it makes sense is a case of positional duplication AND where the player’s value can’t be realized via trade. The first may be true, the second is purely speculative at this point (I wouldn’t trade him NOW, but rather after 2014 if Franco is ready in 2015). Even so, the few exceptions tend to be players who are exceptional offensive talents and/or temporary moves (see Profar for an example of both – and even there, the move is controversial).

            1. Disagree Larry…trade now. In 2015 his value could be lower because: 1. He may not have a good rookie year. 2. Other GMs know the ‘surplus’ situation you sit in, due to Franco’s emergence, with no viable option for Ache’s future position.
              Personally, I trade him and Ruf, with Paps to the Tigers for their best offer in return…I assume it could be Castellanos and Porcello or Rondon..

            2. The more I think about it, I think the middle ground for Asche in the near future is something you and a few others have suggested, which is to platoon him with Frandsen later this season and next year. I have a feeling he’s a guy who can probably hit big league RHP right now but will struggle mightily against lefties. It’s both cheap and probably pretty efficient. It also leaves you with options if Franco isn’t ready in 2015.

          3. People really really really overestimate how much value a corner OF in baseball provides. They think all corner outfielders should be Ryan Braun or CarGo. And don’t realize most are just a little better than John Mayberry. Asche would be fine in the corner.

            1. I think the idea is that there are many people here who think, and not without good reason, that Asche won’t produce much better than Mayberry’s career .759 OPS. So he may not be “just a little better than John Mayberry” in an OF corner.

            2. JoeDE…better look at the LFers thru-out baseball. Trout, Harper, Cespedes, Holliday, Marte et al.

  9. looked at the Gulf Coast roster and no Willians Astudillo … the non-strike-out machine, the Anti-Larry Greene … I know he was a non-prospect, but I did enjoy looking at his box score.

    With Catcher a very deep position now, I assume he’s been released … anyone know for sure?

  10. Danny (Philly): Hey Matt thanks for the chat. Can we get a little Philly love? Wats the general consensus on Maikel Franco and how high has he vaulted up the prospect lists?
    Matt Eddy: We ran a cool feature on Phillies 3B Maikel Franco last week, in case you missed it. As long as he continues to produce power with a swing that isn’t exactly textbook, then he’s going to rank among the best 3B prospects in the game. I think his new straightaway hitting approach will serve him well. I’m cautiously optimistic about his development.

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