Report Card–Corner Infielders

Before we get started, a couple of notes to try to keep the discussion on track. Each player that is on a final minor league roster or has less than 130 major league at bats, 50 innings pitched or 45 days on a major league roster will be graded.  As far as grading goes, players will be graded against their own pre-season expectations as opposed to grading them against others in the organization.  While I will be positing Top 40 rankings attached to the appropriate players, a final Top 40 list will be published for discussion when the report cards are done.  To be considered for the Top 40, the same rules apply as above (less than 130 major league AB’s; 50IP and 45 days or less on ML roster). My hope is to get a new article out every three days or so, finishing up the entire system by mid October.

Lehigh Valley

Josh Fields, 30, SIgned as a free agent in 2013; .289/.337/.406 in 377 AB’s; 4HR 45RBI; 10SB; .348 vs. LHP, .264 vs. RHP; .330 with RISP; .258 Post All STar Break; 7%bb/27% k rates; 31 games at 1B with 3 errors (.987); 7.29 R/F; 12 games at 3B with 1 error (.964); 10 games in the OF without an error. Fields had a very good year with the bat, showed his versatility, and was a good guy to have in the clubhouse.  Grade: B+. 2014 projection: Another organization.  I am sure that from Fields perspective having been left out of the callups, he needs to focus his career on a situation where he may be able to get some roster time at the major league level.

Tyler Henson, 25, Signed as a free agent in 2013; .278/.350/.439 in 353 AB’s between Reading and Lehigh Valley; 8HR 37RBI; 13SB; 9%bb/30% k rates; Hit .316 in 95 late season AB’s for Lehigh Valley; 12 games at 1B with 1 error (.988); 56 games at 3B with 10 errors (.934); 2.52 R/F; 30 games in the OF without an error; 1.77 R/F. Henson had his ups and downs this year which included landing on the DL for an extended period of time.  After his call up to Lehigh Valley, Henson played very well and played a key role with his bat in the IronPigs late seasin success.  Grade: B-. 2014: Henson will go where he has the best opportunity and that probably is not the Phillies organization.  I think the Phils would like to have him back, but with 3B being a position that the Phils have major league ready talent, Henson very well could end up elsewhere.

Cody Overbeck, 27, Phils 9th round pick in 2008; .255/.307.450 in 440 AB’s; 19HR 65 RBI; 2SB; 6%bb/30% k rates; .308 vs. LH, .235 vs. RHP; .216 with RISP; .255 Post All Star Break; 96 games at 1B with 5 errors (.994); 8.05 R/F. Overbeck gave Lehigh Valley exactly what they hoped for this year. He hit for power in the middle of the lineup and played a very solid first base.  The strikeouts were high as expected.  All in all, a positive year but it is clear the Phils don’t have plans for Overbeck at the major league level.  Grade: B-; 2014: I don’t expect Overbeck to be added to the 40 which exposes him to the Rule 5 draft, but doubt he will be taken. He has one year remaining until he becomes a minor league free agent and I expect him to be back in Lehigh Valley.

Reading

Maikel Franco, 21, Signed as a free agent in 2010; .320/.356/.569 in 541 AB’s between CLearwater and Reading; 31HR 103RBI; 5%bb/12% K rates; Reading: .339/.363/.563 in 277 AB’s; 15HR 51RBI; .314 vs. LHP, .348 vs. RHP; .300 with RISP; 122 games at 3B with 14 errors (.956); 2.49 R/F; 8 games at 1B with 1 error (.986); Franco had a truly exceptional year, exceeding all legitimate expectations and has landed himself the #1 prospect position on my list. Albeit with a low walk rate, he hit for average and power and played a very good 3B. Grade: A+; 2014: Start in Lehigh Valley, Phils by July. Prospect Ranking: 1

Jim Murphy, Soon to be 28, Phils 17th round pick in 2006; .273/.352/.465 in 505 AB’s; 23HR 83RBI; 1SB; .300 vs. LHP, .267 vs. RHP; .317 with RISP; 11%bb/21% k rates; .247 post all star break; 124 games at 1B with 8 errors (.992); 8.44 R/F; 3 games in the OF without an error. Murphy had a very, very good year and is an excellent guy to have around for the young players.  His second half wasn’t nearly as good as his first half but he still provided much needed punch in the Reading lineup. Grade: A-; 2014: Murphy is now a minor league free agent and with his power, I would expect him to be able to go make a few dollars outside the Phils organization.

Clearwater

Harold Martinez, 23, Phils 2nd round pick in draft; .272/.317/.362 in 323 AB’s; 2HR 29RBI; 6SB; .247 vs. LHP, .282 vs. RHP; .276 with RISP; .316 post All Star break; 6%bb/23% k rates;  11 games at 1B with 1 error (.989); 58 games at 3B with 9 errors (.939); 2.34 R/F; Martinez started the season miserably and then really picked up the pace after he began getting regular playing time with Maikel Franco’s call up to Reading.  Martinez was probably very close to be categorized as a complete bust but a very solid second half makes me re-think where we are at with Martinez.  All that said, Martinez has now played two complete seasons at High A and should be putting up very good numbers. The lack of pop from a corner infield guy makes long term success unlikely. Grade: B-; 2014: Reading 

Chris Serritella, 23, Phils 4th round pick in 2012 draft; .244/.291/.372 in 484 AB’s; 12HR 53RBI; .159 vs. LHP, .276 vs. RHP; .194 with RISP; .229 post all star break; 6%bb/24% k rates; 68 games at 1B with 4 errors (.993); 8.68 R/F. Serritella’s overall body of work in not awful but when you dig in deep there are significant problems for a guy that was a very high draft pick.  Serritella did show some pop, but was absolutely miserable against lefties and with RISP, two critical categories for success. Grade: D+; 2014: I am not sure Serritella has done enough to move up.  The dreadful splits are extremely problematic.

Brock Stassi, 24, Phils 33rd round pick in 2011 draft; .295/.347/.399 in 288 AB’s; 3HR 32 RBI; 8SB; .316 vs. LHP, .288 vs. RHP; .300 with RISP; .295 post all star break; 7%bb/14% k rates; 60 games at 1B with 3 errors (.994); 8.27 R/F; 12 games in the OF without an error. Stassi received far more AB’s than expected and answered with a good deal of success, hitting for average and showing some speed. Still, Stassi does not figure to be a true prospect at this stage, but can be thought of as an important extra piece that gives you some versatility. Grade: A-; 2014: Reading

Lakewood

Willie Carmona, 22, Phils 11th round pick in 2012; .303/.356/.433 in 462 AB’s; 6HR 54RBI; 1SB; .279 vs. LHP, .310 vs. RHP, .288 with RISP; .316 Post All Star Break; 8%bb/19% k rates; 32 games at 1B with 2 errors (.993); 9.06 R/F; 24 games at 3B with 5 errors (.921); 2.42 R/F. Carmona was one of the most consistent hitters in the Phillies system during 2013, hovering around 300 almost all season.  He was used primarily as a DH this season but received regular AB’s and will move on in 2014. Grade: B+; 2014: Clearwater

Art Charles, 22, Acquired from Toronto in 2013; .251/.339/.412 in 442AB’s; 11HR 72RBI; .167 vs. LHP, .276 vs. RHP; .292 with RISP; .254 Post All Star Break; 12%bb/25% k rates; 14 games at 1B with 14 errors (.985); 8.56 R/F. Charles showed some power, was a run producer and has an excellent eye at the plate but struggled desperately against lefties and in the field. In his four seasons in the minors, his average has always hovered right around .240.  Grade: C+; 2014: Clearwater 

Mitch Walding, 20, Phils 5th round pick in 2011 draft; .224/.323/.386 in 404 AB’s; 1HR 42RBI; 6/13 SB; .210 vs. LHP; .228 vs. RHP; .243 with RISP; .191 Post All Star Break; 12%bb/26% k rates; 112 games at 3B with 25 errors (.923); 2.69 R/F. Not a good year for Walding who struggles at the plate continued after a disappointing 2012.  His struggles this year extended to the field where he had his troubles as well. Grade: D+; 2013: He stays at Lakewood to start with hopes to move him up by June.

Williamsport

Logan Pierce, 23, Phils 15th round pick in 2013; .266/.356/.392 in 237 AB’s; 5HR 29RBI; .170 vs. LHP, .293 vs. RHP; .281 with RISP; .264 since Aug 1; 10%bb/15% k rates; 65 games at 1B with 8 errors (.987); 9.43 R/F. Pierce was very consistent for the Crosscutters swinging a good bat with the typical stuggles against left handed pitching for the left handed swinger.  Grade: B; 2014: Pierce fits the profile for a players the Phils would consider a double jump but that will depend on whether Carmona or CHarles are left behind in Lakewood. I will be conservative and say Lakewood for 2014, where he will be old for that league.

Zach Green, 19, Phils 3rd round pick in 2012; .252/.344/.478 in 270 AB’s; 13HR 41RBI; 8SB; .218 vs. LHP; .266 vs. RHP; .250 with RISP; .250 since Aug 1; 10%bb/30% k rates; Green profiles as one of the best power prospects in the system, probably behind only Franco. He had a good 2013 showing excellent power and run production with the stereotypically high strikeout rate. Green led the NYPL in homers and was 4th in RBI’s. 72 games at 3B with 17 errors (.921); 2.74 R/F. Grade: B; 2014: No reason to rush Green with the upper level talent at 3B. Lakewood. Prospect Ranking: 13

GCL

Wilmer Oberto, 20, Signed as a free agent in 2010; .316/.387/508; 6HR 45RBI; 8%bb/18%k rates; .288 vs. LHP; .329 vs. RHP; .391 with RISP; 40 games at 1B with 3 errors (.992); 9.43 R/F. Oberto was outstanding, opening many eyes during the short GCL season.  He led the league in RBI’s, was among the league leaders in Avg, OBP and homers, and played well in the field.  Grade: A+; 2014: Lakewood to start with a potential fall back to Williamsport if necessary. Prospect Ranking: 36

Trey Williams, 19, Phils 7th round pick in 2013 draft; .208/.306/.304; 3HR 9RBI; 9%bb/19% k rates; .294 vs. LH, .176 vs. RHP; .207 with RISP; .242 in August. 14 games at 1B with 3 errors (.974); 23 games at 3B with 9 errors (.877); Williams really struggled in the early going but was starting to come around towards the later part of the season. Grade: C-; 2014: Williamsport

Jan Hernandez, 18, Phils 3rd round pick in 2013; .210/.291/.347; 3HR 14RBI; 7SB; 9%bb/37% k rates; .303 vs. LHP, .176 vs. RHP; .207 with RISP; 35 games at 3B with 11 errors (.890); 2.54 R/F; Hernandez really struggled with a Dave Kingman like strikeout rate.  He does have a good deal of raw skill and has the potential to hit for power, play good defense and has speed…that said, a disppointing start to his professional career.  Grade: C-; 2014: GCL unless substantial progress is shown in the Florida Instructional League. Prospect Ranking: 23

Look for the report card on Middle Infielders Sunday or Monday

61 thoughts on “Report Card–Corner Infielders

  1. It’s hard to exceed high expections and that’s exactly what Franco did. I’m trying to not get over excited…

  2. Zach Green’s year only gets him a B?

    If he were one of my students, he would be complaining vociferously.

          1. I think he stated up front that grades are based on expectations going into the year not in comparisons to other prospects.

      1. Errors aside, glove is plenty good for third. K% is concerning, but his overall batting line was 5th in the NYPL. Gained 10+ places in the rankings.

        You can call that a B if you like, but then you’re not handing out too many A’s.

        1. Sadly there aren’t to many in the system that deserve A’s and it is tough to give someone with over a 25% K rate an A much less someone who surpasses 30%. If he can’t get it straightened out it is likely his career ends at AA.

            1. I see 28.7. Where do you see 29.3? Besides, Aron said “surpasses 30%”, which Green surely did not.

            2. Fine, approaching 30%, but the point still stands. It isn’t like hitting .250 is A grade worthy either, but since it is part and parcel of his lack of contact ability that might be a little redundant to call attention to.

            3. Yes. He struck out 3 times yesterday, which had not been factored into most stat websites when I wrote that.

    1. A for green, easily, lead league in runs, doubles, home runs, slugging, and total bases. How do you get an “A” ??? Top 10 -12 prospect in Phil’s entire system

      1. Depends how you define A. As most people define an ‘A’ prospect, there most certainly are not 10-12 ‘A’ prospects in the Phillies system. There probably aren’t 10-12 ‘A’ plus ‘B’ prospects and no more than 2-3 ‘A’s. To me, Franco and Crawford are our only ‘A’ prospects. Given the questions about his hit tool, Green is, at best, a ‘B’ prospect, more realistically, a B-, going by the standard grading system. If anything, Gregg has been a little generous with his grades, but I think he is grading not on ‘prospect level’, but in general on the sort of year the guy had for his level, not considering age. Otherwise, everyone is right and Fields is about a C- prospect.

        1. Allentown…u r right on. I am grading (as I stated up front) against what type of year was expected from each player coming into the season not against each other. So, for Green, in my mind he did better than what I had hoped but there were some issues that stuck out that prevented him from an “A” grade

        2. The stated standard was performance relative to expectations.

          I think Green had one of the best years in the system in terms of raising his prospect status, but I guess others disagree. Which is fine.

          1. A few weeks ago someone comp’d Green’s year to Will Middlebrook’s short-sdeason year and Green came out favorable. Hope is what we have here.

      2. Don’t strike out 30% of the time. I fully agree with his grade. An A would imply there was nothing disappointing about his performance, but I don’t think you can say that with all the strikeouts. And I agree with him being a top 10-12 prospect.

      3. I disagree. I expected good things from Green coming into the season, and while he surpassed them wildly in power, he did not in average and K%. If this were just a grade based on his year, or a grade on his power, it would be an A. Easily. But it’s based on his year versus expectations coming into the year (and not just power). So he exceeded expectations a bit, but the K rate/contact rate is concerning, so a B seems reasonable.

  3. My break out guy for 2014 is Willie Carmona. It would not surpise me if he is raking in Reading this time next year, after a torrid April, May and June in CLW.
    Pablo Sandoval East.

  4. It is tough to say without seeing all of your rankings but it is tough to see Jan Hernandez at #23 for me. Then again it is tough to evaluate someone after just a single short season. Seems to be ranked based on draft position more than anything else. Larry Green and Mitch Walding should be the case studies in why not to do that.

    I do have to say I love the new signing date. It is great to be able to see something of these guys right away and not have to wait a year.

  5. Did anyone notice that Walding isn’t on any roster? I hope that’s oversight and he’s not been released. Or maybe my eyes are playing tricks on me.

    1. End of season roster shenanigans, he is still in the org. Broken ribs from a fall off a couch that broke ribs that already had a stress fracture. He will be in Florida for Instructs to help rehab the injury.

      1. Let’s just hope that the ribs are the cause for the truly disappointing season that Walding has had.

        1. Don’t know anything about his condition, but I do know that rib injuries are a terrible thing. Breathing can be painful, let alone any sort of twisting of the torso or extending of the arms.

  6. Stassi played his way to Reading. Very solid year / showed a lot of versatility playing some LF – RF – 1B – DH and some pinch hitting. Also a very good defender . Maybe a long shot prospect, but still valuable to organization.

  7. Marc Hulett on Best of 2013:
    Third Base: Miguel Sano, Twins — Sano was the runaway winner at third base, although the Cubs’ Kris Bryant could give him a run for his money in a year’s time (assuming both prospects are still in the minors). The Dominican native launched 35 home runs and produced a .610 slugging percentage. However, he didn’t hit for a great average after his promotion from High-A to Double-A, and he combined to strike out 142 times in 123 games, so there are some holes in his game that need to be addressed.
    ……………give me a break, Sano as ‘runaway winner’ and Bryant second and no mention of Franco.

    1. I saw that. I have no quibble with Sano getting this distinction, but to not even mention Franco after the year he had was a bit odd to me.

    2. Not surprising given Hulet’s very negative scouting report on Franco a month ago or so, posted a few times here.

    3. If you take a step back and don’t sucked in by batting average. Sano had an OBP .030 higher than Franco as well as an ISO almost .100 higher than Franco. Sano’s numbers are a little skew by an enormous BABIP in the FSL and a low BABIP in AA. Also remember than Sano is 9 months younger than Franco.

      He didn’t say Bryant was second this year, but said he would give him a run next year (and yes Bryant is a better prospect than Franco).

      1. Very true. Bryant was just about the top hitter in the draft and a plus fielder. No dishonor to Franco to be ranked below him on ceiling/general prospect status. We know Franco is a very good prospect and the best the Phillies have, but he isn’t realistically in MILB top 25 prospects, especially as judged by ceiling. Franco is legit top 50, but that puts a lot of guys ahead of him.

      2. I guess if you go by those stats and the logic, then Moran, Cecchini and Davidson could go ahead of Franco and to some extent maybe Gallo
        So Sano tops the list followed by Bryant…assume he would not have mentioned his name unless he thought he wasn’t second.
        Thus…..Franco comes in somewhere between 3rd and 6th on the MiLB third base prospect list.

        1. I think that’s correct. There are more highly promising minor league prospects at 3B today than in recent memory. They won’t all make it as even average MLB starters. Let’s hope Franco is one of the guys who makes it. Honestly, I think the Phillies moving Franco to 1B at the end of the season slightly dimmed his star as a future plus MLB 3B in the eyes of many outside Phillies area. I think it can certainly be fairly argued that Franco projects to be within the top 3 bats in this sextet. Whether he can be a plus defensively is another issue. Unless Asche is traded, Franco may not stay at 3B.

  8. Gregg, great job as always. I really enjoy your write-ups. Stats driven with opinion I cannot get anywhere else and all in one paragraph!
    My post are always too long for a blog, so I appreciate your excellent summaries and insight.

  9. Concerning the corner infielder prospects:
    Other than Franco, there is a tremendous amount of wishcasting. I certainly root for these guys to have breakout careers like Ruf. I will try to take away whatever positives I can but there is not much here.
    I was actually hoping to see Fields when Ruf was called up since he could play 3B also, then allow trade of Young. But Fields no longer has enough power to be worth playing.
    With Franco’s assent, Martinez may get one more shot. I’d almost like to see Carmona in Reading to split time at 1B/3B just to see if there is a decent bench bat there but he’ll likely start in CLW.
    Walding was seen a possible star even with poor performance. He has to go to CLW to fight for time with Carmona. Maybe he’d stick around as a utility minor league INF?
    Then Green may be nipping at his heels from LWD.
    Hernandez and Williams should be at WPT since Encarnacion should be the GCL 3B.

    No worthwhile 1B beyond Oberto (who they may send to LWD). Although I could see Joseph as the 1B in either AA or AAA.

    1. I think seeing Zach Green as a major league starter requires some, but not a tremendous amount of wishcasting. Oberto as a major leaguer in some capacity is also in the reasonable wishcasting category. Not at all sure he can be realistically regarded as a future MLB starting 1B, but he has done a lot better than expected in his state-side debut and has done nothing to rule out that slim possibility. Slim, because he’s old for GCL and because it is a long, long way, with a lot better pitching between GCL and CBP. But the kid has done great so far and is not as hugely age inappropriate at the college kids in GCL who get drooled over every season.

    2. I agree that 1B is sketchy for sure. But 3b is a strength now in the system and if anything there may be a little bit of an overload soon.

      May be “wishcasting” but they are in better shape than they were with Asche, Franco, Green, Carmona, Hernandez (sorry you can’t give up on him because of a short season) at 3b (potentially, Carmona really is probably going to be a trade piece or have to move from 3b even though he only played it a little). Really 3B is pretty encouraging.

      There are options for 1b, they may not be ideal or best value but you have Franco as a possibility there (sorry I know he has more value at 3b but in the short term you find out if about both him and Asche at the MLB level first and then decide what to do in my opinion because we’ve had a tough time filling 3b since Rolen).

      1b isn’t very good but there are possibilities there and worse came to worse you could probably flip a prospect at another position to an organization that had a 1b prospect overload anyway if you really had to at some point.

      Cozens had a good solid year playing mostly RF and no 1B but he is someone to consider. Carmona would not be ideal with his HR hitting but he’s maybe someone you could flip.

    1. Meh calling up older career AAA types I don’t really care. It is goofy they brought up Mini Mart. Fields is going to be 31 in December that hit 4 HRs and had 110 SOs in 377 ABs that is extremely low value at 1b and a .743 OPS.

    2. Fields already had 800 MLB PAs and 2400 AAA PAs to show what he’s got. This was actually his worst AAA year ever, with an OPS of .743 compared to a career AAA OPS of .862.

  10. Yes and they should start . the worst we play the better t he postion for the draft, play susdorf in center and fields at first, herdanez at second, galvis at short, mayberry in left, kratz catching. bring back nix for right field.

  11. Henson is a guy you’d like to give a shot to. He’s only 25. He’ll get a cup of coffee somewhere. Too much 3B depth in Philly, but he deserves to play somewhere. Wish he was a Sept. call-up with the Phillies. He’d be a nice bench bat with some versatility.

  12. I started my annual stat download. Interesting stat to start with is BB/PA. 13 guys were at or above 10% with 2 barely missing the 10% mark. JP Crawford was best with 14%. Pretty nice for a youngster. He was followed by Walding, Sanderg, Greene (one bright spot in a sea of darkness), Pointer, Stumpo, Lavin, Hiciano, Charles, Alonzo, Pujols, Cozens, and Z. Green. The two that just missed were Pierce and Parr (sounds like a law firm doesn’t it?). Last year, there were 3: Ruf, Pointer and Dugan. [I should mention that my restrictions are based on minimum 70 Plate Appearances and must be 25 years old or less. I had to pick something.]

    1. Sandberg, not Sanderg. Based on my criteria list above, overall for guys that met that criteria, the organization walked 7.8% of the time in 2013. In 2012, it was 7.4%. I know there will be a discussion of the the organization’s philosopy on that. I was going to report the K/PA at the same time but there was such an anomaly between 2012 and 2013 that I thought I should recheck the numbers first.

    2. Very interesting and I like that you set limits to exclude many of the career minor leaguers. The note on Dugan sent me to check the stats. He had equivalent walk rate to last season while he was at Clearwater, but only a quarter as high a walk rate after moving to Reading. His other stats also went down, but not as drastically, post-promotion.

  13. Mannn you guys are tough on Green..
    Would you prefer to not have a 19 yr old who won a HR title in his league?
    Would you prefer that he performed like Mitch Walding?
    Obviously he needs to cut down on the K’s and improve in the field but he does have a Power to become a legit prospect. Once you get past Franco, Crawford, Biddle, Quinn, and maybe Morgan you really can throw everybody in a bag and pick one for the 6-15 prospects.
    Green can definitely jump into that class with a nice year in Lakewood.

    1. Green’s power gives him as high a ceiling as anybody in the system. I agree that a strong season at Lakewood could jump him into the top tier of prospects in the system. That said, one can’t ignore that K rate. The number of prospects that struck out that often who went on to become quality big leaguers — if at all — is not large.

      1. Beyond a great hit tool, elite power is lacking throughout baseball. Green actually displaying that power in games is great; unlike Greene and Hewitt who have elite batting practice power.

        More of my issue is that most of the ‘top’ prospects are still huge risks since they are so far away.I am certainly not ‘giving up’ on these guys. Green’s ceiling is a top middle of the lineup power hitting who could be above average at 3B. If a change is his swing and/or approach removes his plus plus power is that worth the change? We will find out in the next couple of years.

  14. Why is no one addressing the whole Asche/Franco situation? I know Franco moved up very fast, but why was there seemingly no effort to move one of them (or try both of them) at a different position?

    I know that it seems neither can play SS or 2B. Outfield is always a fallback but we are rather full there as well. I’d rather have Ruf at 1B if we move someone (though I guess Franco is an upgrade over Ruf. I’d rather never see Howard again.)

    I just don’t see where to fit both Asche and Franco in – and I desperately want to.

    1. No need to worry Steve. Howard will be injured so Ruf will slide to first and Asche will slide to the OF. It’s not a corner outfield bat really, but it’s a huge upgrade over say….well, the guys we’re currently trotting out and calling MLB ‘players’.

      1. Speaking of Asche……after starting out 1 for 17 when recalled from triple-A Lehigh Valley, Asche is 28 for 84 (.333) with four home runs and 18 RBIs.

          1. Have to be hopeful, though a SSS. But RynoS certainly likes his work ethic and thinks he will continue to only improve. That bare hand pickup in the 9th and flip to first was a thing of beauty last night.

    2. With Asche’s athletic ability, I have to believe he could become average at second and I think that is where he will eventually end up. Joe Jordan has mentioned second as a possibility for Asche.

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