Report Card–Outfield, Upper Half of System

The report card for outfielders in the top half of the organization. Remember, grades are based against pre season expectations of that player, not against each other. Next up is the report card for the outfielders in the lower half of the organization, coming up over the weekend.

Lehigh Valley

Leandro Castro, 24, Signed as a free agent in 2006; .256/.280/.368 in 438AB’s; 8HR 55RBI; 20SB; .328 vs. LHP; .228 vs. RHP; .308 with RISP; .226 Post All Star Break; 3%bb/17%K rates; 115 games in the OF with 8 errors; 8 OF assists; Castro performed better than I thought that he would at the AAA level and was a consistently clutch performer for the IronPigs.  He lowered his strikeout rate to a very manageable level and stole a respectable 20 bases.  The negatives are the continued very low walk rate and the fact that Castro is prone to enter outer space for periods of time causing some real head scratching plays.  All that said, 2013 was a success. Grade: B; 2014: Castro is a guy that could realistically be plucked in the Rule 5 if not protected.  Frankly, I was designate Gillies for assignment and protect Castro to give him another year to progress. He very well could become a capable 4th OF.

Steve Susdorf, 27, Phils 19th round pick in 2008 draft; .313/.390/.403 in 310AB’s; 2HR 36RBI; 11SB; .279 vs. LHP; .321 vs. RHP; .293 with RISP; .269 Post All Star Break; 11%BB/15%k rates; 64 games in the OF with 3 errors (.970); 3 OF assists; Also played 1 game at 1B with 1 error. Susdorf had an excellent year with the bat for Lehigh Valley. The only negative is the laack of power but Susdorf gives you perhaps the best at bat throughout the minor league system.  Problematically, his defense is passable at best. Grade: A; 2014: Again, trying to separate my feelings as Susdorf is a super guy…I would be surprised if Susdorf is not exposed to the Rule 5 draft and could easily help a team, giving very capable major league at bats in a limited role. I am hoping he is back and the Phils give him a chance to earn the 25th spot on the roster in a role similar to Greg Gross, who Susdorf reminds me of…Realisitically, either another organization or Lehigh Valley.

Tyson Gillies, 24, Acquired from Seattle in 2009; .241/.298/.387 in 390AB’s between Reading and Lehigh Valley; 10HR 29RBI; 17SB; 7%bb/22% k rates; Hit .220/.286/.313 in 214 AB’s for Lehigh Valley; 3HR 8RBI; 8%bb/24% k rates; .170 vs. LHP; .234 vs. RHP; .091 with RISP, .238 Post All Star Game. 111 games in the OF with 6 errors (.975); 12 OF assists. A disappointing 2013 for Gillies who had to be sent down to Reading after hitting below the Mendoza line for the first two months of the season. Gillies did improve upon his return to Allentown, but not to an extent that puts him in a category of a successful year.  He ended his season on the DL with another hamstring issue and was an absolutely abysmal 4-44 with RISP for the ‘Pigs.  Grade: D+. 2014: I would like to see Castro replace Gillies on the 40 man roster as it appears he has more up side at this stage. I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see Gillies with another organization come the Spring. 

Derrick Mitchell, 26, Phils 23rd round pick in 2005; .243/.317/.435 in 329 AB’s between Reading and Lehigh Valley; 13HR 40RBI; 13SB; 10%BB/24%rates; Hit .248 in 109 AB’s with Lehigh Valley; 4HR 15RBI. 95 games in the OF without an error (1.000); 12 OF assists; Mitchell has not fulfilled the promise he showed in 2011 with Reading…he suffered a significant wrist injury last year and was moved back to Reading to start 2013 where his playing time was somewhat limited.  His average was low this year, but got on base due to a good walk rate, hit for power and showed some speed.  He did play a very good outfield and has a very strong arm. . Grade: C; 2014: Mitchell is a minor league free agent eligible to sign with any team. One thing to keep an eye on is that Ryne Sandberg is extremely fond of Mitchell as a player, and very strongly advocated for Mitchell to be kept in Lehigh Valley rather than be sent down to Reading to start 2012. You wouldn’t expect a player who has spent parts of 9 seasons in the organization in the minors without extended success at the AAA level to have a legitimate shot for a major league roster spot, but stranger things have happened…havent they?

Reading

Zach Collier, 23, Phils 1st round pick in 2008; .222/.310/.348 in 446AB’s; 8HR 36RBI; 17SB; 10%BB/26%K rates; .236 vs. LHP; .218 vs. RHP; .194 with RISP; .263 Post All STar; 118 games in the OF with 1 error (.996); 9 OF assists. Looking at the overall body of work, simply not a good year for Collier, who often seemed lost at the plate. Things changed in August, when he posted a .327 average to close out the year winning the Phillies Minor League Hitter of the Month; outstanding in the field all year. Grade: D+; 2014: I think you have to give Collier one more year based on his last 100 at bats this season and his relatively successful 2012. My feeling is that should be done in Lehigh Valley. Prospect Ranking: 31

Anthony Hewitt, 24, Phils 1st round pick in 2008; .244/.296/.430 in 386 AB; 16 HR 51 RBI; 21SB; .389 vs. LHP; .199 vs. RHP; .216 with RISP; 6%BB/33% K rates; .240 Post All Star Game; 98 games in the OF with 6 errors (.967); 9 OF assists. Hewitt hit .240 for Lakewood in 2011, .241 for Clearwater in 2012, and .244 this year.  THe same problems remain.  He can’t hit RHP and strikes out a TON. That said, 2013 brought glimpses of hope never seen before from Hewitt.  Grade: C+; 2014: A decision about whether to put Hewitt on the 40 needs to be made. I think you give him a year. Too much has been invested to lose him and see him turn into a legitimate major leaguer.  If he fails next year, it would be much easier to move forward. Lehigh Valley in ’14. Prospect Ranking: 30

Kelly Dugan 22, Phils 2nd round pick in 2009; .291/.352/.506 in 429 AB’s between Clearwater and Reading; 20HR 59RBI; 1SB; 6%BB/25%K rates; For Reading: .264/.299/.472 in 212 AB’s; 10HR 23RBI; .269 Post All Star Break. 100 games in the OF with 2 errors (.992); 9 OF assists.  Very successful year for Dugan who solidified himself as a Top 10 prospect.  Still work to be done, but Dugan projects now as a solid major league corner OF. Grade: B+; 2014: Reading for 200-250 AB’s. Prospect Ranking: 8

Clearwater

Aaron Altherr, 22, Phils 9th round pick in 2009; .275/.337/.455 in 466AB’s; 12HR 69RBI; 23SB; .254 vs. LHP; .283 vs. RHP; .307 with RISP; 9%BB/27%K rates; .252 Post All STar Break; 114 games in the OF with 2 errors (.993); 17 OF assists; A very good year for Altherr who consistently put up impressive offensive numbers, and was very, very good in the OF.   The strikeout rate is a concern, but more of a secondary concern with the production otherwise this year. Altherr’s performance in the Arizona Fall League will be closely watched. Grade: B+; 2014: I expect Altherr to be added to the 40 man roster and to play in Reading next year ; Prospect Ranking: 15

Cameron Perkins, 22, Phils 6th round pick in 2012; .295/.346/.444 in 387 AB’s for Clearwater; 6HR 53RBI; 4SB; 6%BB/14%K rates; .317 vs. LHP; .284 vs. RHP; .340 with RISP; .250 Post All Star Break; 89 games in the OF with 7 errors (.961); 9 OF assists; Prior to going down with a broken wrist in late May, Perkins was one of the most talked about hitters in the organization absolutely raking the first two months in the year. Post injury, Perkins struggled at times to get his swing back, but was really beginning to come back around in late August/September. Defense needs some work. Grade: B; 2014: Reading; Prospect Ranking: 24

Peter Lavin, 25, Phils 20th round pick in 2011; .224/.314/.336 in 214AB’s; 0HR 14RBI; 5/12 SB; .217 vs. LHP; .227 vs. RHP; .235 with RISP; 12%BB/16% k rates; .222 Post All Star Break; 50 games in the OF with 6 errors (.942); 6 OF assists; Lavin missed the first two months of the season on the DL and was less than productive when activated.  The only positive in his line was a good walk rate. His line went significantly backwards in his 2nd year at High A.  Grade: D; 2014: Another organization

Jiwan James, 24, Phils 22nd round pick in 2007; .260/.301/.322 in 146 AB’s for Clearwater; 0HR 10RBI; 8SB; .180 vs. LHP; .302 vs. RHP; .250 with RISP; 5%BB/18% K rates. 34 games in the OF without an error; 3 OF assists; James, who moved back a level in 2013 came back from a significant knee injury to start playing in July.  He did a decent job but nothing to warrant forcing the Phillies hand to call him back up to the AA level.  After a .249/.291/.360 year for Reading in 2012, James may have reached the end of the road with the Phillies organization as he has become a minor league free agent.  Grade: C.

61 thoughts on “Report Card–Outfield, Upper Half of System

  1. As much as I hate to say it, among Collier, Hewitt and Gillies, I still think that Gillies has, by far, the most potential and I keep him protected for at least one more year. That said, all are huge disappointments and I really don’t view the now fairly old Anthony Hewitt as a prospect anymore and I leave him unprotected. I’m not sold on Collier either and I only protect him if there are easily available spots (I haven’t done that analysis). If we lose him, it wouldn’t bother me.

    1. I think I put Collier first among those 3 and he should remain on the 40. I agree that Gillies might have more high end potential, but I also think I’d be fine losing him in the rule 5 draft because I can’t imagine him sticking on a major league roster now. Hewitt also in terms of sticking on a major league roster. I think you protect him on the AAA roster and take your chances for a year. Nobody will take him until that light (and the ability to hit RHP) goes on. Collier to me has the best balance of skills. Decent defense, speed, and patience with a little power that might project to more. I know that also might describe Gillies, but I think Gillies is more liable to lose his speed because of injury which would affect his projection down the road.

    2. See, I think Hewitt is the most likely to be capable of sticking on a major league roster right now because he has a predictable and easy to leverage platoon split and can also be used as a pinch runner. Honestly, I think the Phillies could benefit from using him as a major league platoon bat immediately – at least that’s what his stats say.

      1. Asking whether you’d rather hold onto Gillies, Collier or Hewitt is like asking which Kardashian sister you’d prefer to date.

  2. I’d easily have given Dugan an A or at least A- for his year. Very impressive stuff and he could be playing in the majors this time next year.

  3. ’93 Phils had 3 platoons (LF/RF/2B) and I don’t see a problem with it. Find a LF who rakes against right hand pitching (Susdorf?) and you have a cheap combo with Hewitt. Then each would be availabe to PH on off days. It’s really the only way I can picture Hewitt in MLB.

    1. Right. Hewitt is showing almost the exact same skill set as Jonny Gomes except with more upside vs. LHP and more downside vs. RHP. Honestly, I would consider that a good thing.

      1. I think Jonny Gomes has some skills Anthony Hewitt lacks …

        Gomes minor league career: .272/.395/.532
        Hewitt minor league career: .228/.271.382

        1. I really don’t understand why people quote minor league career stats. It is where the guy ends up that counts. It’s like saying a college freshman did poorly in kindergarden. Career stats are pretty shallow at the MLB level when it comes to projecting the future, for minor leaguers they are just worthless. It is the recent stats that count.

          1. And beyond that, what do Hewitt’s overall stats have to do with how well he would do against LHP in the bigs? I mean, this whole discussion was predicated on the fact that he can’t hit RHP, so why even quote overall stats?

          2. Yeah, but the Gomes comp is a horrible comp any way you look at it. The only saving grace for Hewitt – and I don’t buy it, sorry, but acknowledge it is at least an argument – is the platoon specialist argument. But the Gomes comp doesn’t tell you anything about that possibility.

  4. I am almost sure if susdorf is your outfielder, then your team stinks. one tool he is a single hitter has nothing else cant field, no arm, no power no speed, why do people think he could help, swindle lives agin in susdorf, i watch him in the outfield he could get killed, he is so bad.

    1. He’s a guy who can legitimately hit .300 in the majors and people still love that skill set. You’re right to point out that the overall package is roughly replacement level. If you’re going to have a player like that, you might as well keep Bernadina who has more ways to get lucky and help the club.

      And I do not advocate keeping Bernadina on the 40 man.

  5. Regarding Hewitt, isn’t the elephant in the room his defense. Is he not a bad defensive outfielder, even relative to other minor leaguers like Susdorf? Has this improved?

  6. I don’t see Hewitt ever getting a MLB start. I see Collier as a possible Quentin Berry (a brief sniff as an extra OF) and as much as I hate to say (being his biggest fan and all) the Phillies would be wise to move Gillies if they get the chance.

    Cam is my favorite of the bunch. Before the wrist injury he was doing everything well and would no doubt have gotten a shot in AA. I have him slightly higer than Altherr. Altherr is back on the map and regardless of what he does in AFL is destined for Reading next year where he will either get over the hump or move backwards again.

    Finally I do have Dugan also in my top 10 by default I think. It’s hard to ignore his 20 HRs and career .360+ OBP but what is he going to hit lefties well enough to be in the line-up every day.

    1. The way his career is going, Hewitt really is a guy who could make it starting only against LHP and coming in late in the game as a PH against LOOGYs. He has hit LHP really well this year, which could make him part of a platoon (in RF, with Ruf moving to 1B) to sit Howard against LHP. He would be the cheapest possible way of accomplishing that. Not for 2014, but possibly for 2015. If he is still with the org, really no reason not to play him at AAA in 2014.

      1. I think it’s rare for major league teams to carry a guy like that. The Phillies did for a couple of years with Matt Stairs/Jim Thome–but in both of those cases they were left-handed batters, meaning that they served a strategic use as a pinch hitter, in forcing an opposing manager to burn his left handed specialist if he wanted to play the matchups. Also, bigger issue: that role is usually played by a veteran who brings some experience, feel for the strike zone, knowledge of when to cheat, etc. Hewitt can’t hit very consistently in an every day role, what makes you think he’ll be able to learn to deal with major league pitching while getting a handful of at bats a week.

        Anyway, probably more words that I’d ever thought I’d waste on the notion of “Anthony Hewitt, pinch hitting specialist.”

        1. I haven’t done the research, but it seems to me that if a guy’s splits are so horrible that it makes him virtually useless against a lefty or righty, his utility as a pinch hitter is incredibly limited because they will just bring in the type of pitcher he can’t hit. Right? Couple that with the fact that he is righty – and therefore, would only get a small fraction of the starts as a possible platoon outfielder and I find it difficult to see how the current version of Anthony Hewitt has any legitimate role as a big leaguer. Now if he can fight off righties with some degree of competence the equation might change, but I don’t Anthony Hewitt is likely to evolve in that manner. I see Hewitt as a slightly more powerful, but otherwise worse, version of John Mayberry. In other words, a minor league player.

        2. He is not quite the same as a Stairs because theoretically he would play decent defense and could pinch run. I would want to hang onto him for another year to see if Hewitt continues to develop, but I also would not care if he was lost in the rule 5.

    2. Derrick Mitchell is your best fit for late innings, most ASST 3rd year, great arm good speed and has power, he would be a ideal 4th 5th outfielder, and I know that’s what Sandberg thinks.

      1. Other than as a defensive replacement, Mitchell just isn’t that good. He wasn’t good enough to win his way onto the AAA staff until well into the season. His bat is very pedestrian.

        1. Oh so Defense isn’t important tell that to the Tigers who us Kelly the way I would use Mitchell, I wonder why the Tigers are in first place because they know how to use there players to there best of there abilities, pretty simple ……

    3. Perkins looks more like a Susdorf to me. Guys that have little power, speed, and patience are pretty dependent on batting average. That is a hard road to get to the majors on.

      1. I think the scouting reports on Perkins as a hitter are far better than those for Susdorf. Perkins has some ability and projection, but he must hit for more power and/or improve his OBP or, you’re right, his road to the majors will be filled with obstacles.

  7. Greg Gross is a terrific comp for Susdorf offensively although GG was better defensively and as a base runner. Collier had a terrible year but he came back and had a terrific August that will keep him in the discussion. The Phillies acknowledged that Perkins wasn’t completely healthy when he came back. A Reading OF of Perkins, Altherr, and Dugan (CWater’s OF for most of this year) to start the year is likely. That would push Collier and Hewitt to LHV so cuts will have to be made although I still would hate to release Gillies. I wouldn’t protect Hewitt but I don’t see him being selected either. How many possible major league starters do we have here? Its hard to picture Gillies as a starter any longer and I’m not sold on Altherr although he is still improving and has skills. Its also hard to see Collier or Hewitt ever making it that far. Only Dugan and maybe Perkins, if the injury really was the cause of his late season efforts, have the chance to be major league starters. Not exactly Buxton is it…..

  8. Tough decision as none of these guys, outside of Dugan, seem more than replacement level unless something changes.

    Dugan can stay in RF and probably hit righties. I do not know if he has enough of any skill to move beyond a platoon player.

    I still think GIllies had demonstrated enough through his history that he could actually be a plus fielder with speed, power, and enough plate discipline to be a starter. I’d keep him on 40man for this year at AAA and see what happens.

    Collier still carries that #1 draft pick status and has a good month here and there. I think Phillies still like him so they will keep him on 40man but I wonder if any other team would keep a 40man spot for him. My guess is that he will only be a 4th OF but his defense seems capable in CF and he does have speed.

    I think Hewitt will be a minor league free agent. No reason I’d protect him. Not sure what team would add him to the 40man but he may want another teams’ perspective. I think Phillies convince him to stay. Walk rate was up but the power spike I expected at Reading did not happen.

    I like Castro and think he is in similar category as the rest. Upside as a backup. His fielding in CF is not as good as many of these guys so that limits his options as a backup. He does seem to be a dynamic player which the Phillies could really use. I would have liked Castro called up this year instead of seeing Bernadina and Hernandez in CF.

    1. Dugan doesn’t really have platoon splits that make me think he can’t hit LHP, so I’m not too worried about that. He hit as many homers against lefties as righties while in AA, and in Clearwater he hit very well against LHPs overall.

    2. I really think the idea that one of our fringe outfield guys are going to get snapped up in the Rule 5 draft is not something we need to worry about too much. Every team in baseball has to have a collection of guys like this. Maybe some team takes a flyer on Leandro Castro, but he seems like the definition of a guy you can probably replace with a AAAA type minor league free agent.

      1. Anyone with good tools that is near the majors is pretty likely to get taken. Not necessarily because teams don’t have players like that, but because the players they do have they obviously haven’t been able to fix their issues. A player from someone else’s org, though, they might be able to fix something that their old team couldn’t.

        To put it another way, there’s always the “change of scenery” idea for tool-laden players.

  9. Gregg, regarding Perkins’ defense, are you saying it needs work based on what you’ve seen or what scouts say (or both)? I haven’t seen, so I’m not disagreeing just wondering. Also, is it range that’s the issue? Or just things like reading the ball and getting good jumps? Thanks in advance.

    1. I do not have scouting reports on Perkins defense. However, he was drafted as a 3B so I’d like to see him get some more time there to see if he can become a bench option at the corners. Before that happens, it is probably more important that he focuses on hitting and hopefully he will demonstrate above average power.

  10. Looking at this gang it becomes more apparent that after pitching, outfielders should be a high priority in June ’14th draft. Dugan seems the best of this bunch; too bad he doesn’t hit right handed.
    Patience should be wearing thin on Hewitt, Collier and Gillies. Each of them finds it next to impossible to live up to the better projections about them. Label each “also rans.”

    They are needed to fill positions in our higher minor lg teams, but I’d have little trouble saying that ’14 is their last chance to show why they shouldn’t be released.

  11. I am absolutely shocked that Hewitt continues to get consideration on this site as a major leaguer. Good kid, fine athlete, but not a Major League Baseball player. Not even close.

    1. Admittedly small sample size, but what’s not to like about a 1.2 OPS? Incidentally, about same number of AB as Collier’s late season turnaround. Hewitt is a year and a half older at the same level, however.

      1. What do you want to do with him A’town? Use him as a pinch hitter against LHP? We already know he’ll be less than an average defensive outfielder – perhaps he maxes out as average if we think best case scenario.

        I’d be curious if his ridiculous splits were in play during 2012. I know he’s always hit lefties significantly better but I don’t recall him having an OPS north of .900 against LHP prior to this season.

  12. I would think this group has to be the most interesting from the decisions needed by the Phillies organization. Also, many of these players are free agents so the Phillies may not be the decision makers on their future.

    Here’s my early prediction:
    I think Castro. Susdorf and James go to other teams. Mitchell and Hewitt are signed. Gillies, Collier, Altherr on 40man.
    AAA: Ruf, Gillies, Hewitt, Mitchell, AAAA Vet
    AA: Dugan, Altherr, Perkins, Collier, Stassi
    A+: Greene, Tocci, Pointer, Parr

    I’d like to see Susdorf given chance to be the primary LH PH off the bench. Though he has no power, he has good contact ability and can get on base which is needed in many PH situations. It appears the organization is not going to put him on 40man, nor should they.
    Though I’d prefer to save a roster spot and risk Altherr to the Rule5 I doubt the Phillies do so. AFL performance will likely determine his status.
    I guess Phillies guilt Hewitt into staying. Sandberg convinces Mitchell to stay with both promised time in AAA. Amaro will not give up on Gillies and gives him the starts with Mitchell the backup at all spots.
    Collier would stay in AA based on logjam at AAA and his ability to play all the OF positions. Once Gillies is hurt/traded then he move up.
    Stassi is like Susdorf, a decent hitter but little else. Seems like a team guy and worth filling a bench role.
    Parr should not be holding back any of Cozens, Hiciano, Tromp, G.Martinez, Rodriquez at LWD; so push him to CLW and see how he does.
    Also, we may see Quinn move to CF in CLW in which case Tocci might stay in LWD.

      1. I agree that he should remain in Lakewood for hitting purposes, but they might be aggressive with him like they were with Freddy Galvis. After all, the defense is fine and the only thing that isn’t working in his hitting profile is the power. Leaving him in Lakewood does nothing to improve that, it’s up to his conditioning.

      2. Agreed. I don’t see why you would be aggressive in promoting a physically immature 18 year-old to high A ball. He needs to fill out and begin to dominate. He can work on his defense anywhere and better to do it where there is less pressure. But the hitting and strength need work – he’s not ready for Clearwater now. Look, if he dominates Lakewood, they can promote him at any time. What’s the hurry? I don’t get it.

        1. Not sure Tocci will fill out more then he sprouts upward. Maybe an added 12/15 pounds, but then again he could grow taller another inch or two. The Latin guys built like him stay thin and wiry, but does not mean they are not strong with the bat. There are many who have the power and pop though slight of build. I can see Tocci finally ending up at 6’3″ and about 180185 lbs. max and still have strength in his bat.

          1. He has to fill out even a little to progress. He looks weak even for a high school athlete, although I’m sure he must be stronger than he looks or he wouldn’t even have been able to handle Lakewood. The concern is whether his frame will accept the added muscle weight, even 10-20 pounds, which is not much but could make a big difference in his game.

      1. Yeah, he’s not going back to the minors. In a perfect word, he will be a bench player splitting his ABs aming LF/RF/IB.

        The biggest question for me is what they do with Collier. Dugan and Altherr are prospects, but above CLW there really isn’t anyone I’d shed a trear over if they left the org. Collier is in the middle.

        1. In all fairness to Collier, he has to get his chance at the AAA level at LHV. They were patient with Gillies giving him his opportunities.
          I assume Dugan starts next year in RF at LHV, with Collier/Gillies (if still here) in CF and probably Hewitt, if he is also still in the org, in LF.
          I think they are high on Dugan and will give the best opportunity to succeed.

          1. I would guess a Perkins-Altherr-Dugan OF in Reading with Collier as a 4th OF and playing alot. But you could be right about Collier going to LHV to give him sort of a final test to see what you’ve got. As I think about it, Dugan might have a shot at LHV depending on how he does in the AFL and spring (I wouldn’t mind seeing him as a major league invitee) and what decisions are made with the currect AAA guys.

  13. I like Castro much better than Gillies. I don’t see how a .648 OPS for an outfielder who’s a below average CF can get a B, while Gillies with a .685 despite learning a new batting style, who plays a good CF and has a great arm gets a D+. Castro cannot take a walk. Gillies has been injury prone. I like Gillies odds of beating his injury bug much better than Castro’s odds of learning patience at the plate.

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