Report Card, Outfielders–Lower Half

The report card on all outfielders who finished the year at Lakewood, Williamsport or the GCL. A reminder that grades are based on pre-season expectations against that same individual player, NOT against each other. Next up will be starting pitchers (Lehigh Valley, Reading and Clearwater)

Lakewood

Carlos Tocci, 18, Signed as a free agent in 2012; .209/.261/.249 in 421 AB’s; 0HR 26RBI; 6/13 SB; .223 vs. LHP; .203 vs. RHP; .227 with RISP; .169 since Aug 1; 5%BB/17% K rate; 117 games in the OF with 4 errors (.987); 10 OF assists; Tocci played with guys 2-3 years older than him and mostly held his own, especially in the field where he is an excellent outfielder. He has the build of a 17 year old and was wholly without power this year.  His production dwindled further as the year went on and the “grind” wore him down. Grade: C; Tocci did no more or no less than I thought this year; I just can’t make myself give a grade higher than that to someone who hit .180 for half the year(.179 post all star break)…let the criticism begin.  2014: Tocci clearly has alot of potential…let him realize it and experience success through another year in Lakewood.; Prospect Ranking: 11

Brian Pointer, 21, Phils 28th round pick in 2010; .216/.337/.334 in 416 AB’s; 6HR 44 RBI; 22SB; .190 vs. LHP; .223 vs. RHP; .250 with RISP; Hit .198 since Aug 1; 12%BB/26% K rates; 114 games in the OF with 6 errors (.972), 10 OF assists; I have had an infatuation with Pointer since he was drafted but his production really doesnt warrant my attention. He now has over 700 AB’s for Lakewood and has struck out over 225 times., and has a batting average of .217 in those AB’s.  He CAN hit for power, and he does have speed, but the results are just not there. Grade: D; 2014: I think you have to move him to Clearwater for a change of scenery in what will be his last hurrah without marked improvement.

Larry Greene, 20, Phils 1st round pick in 2011 draft; 111 games in the OF with 13 errors (.927); 4 OF assists; .213/.306/.303 in 400 AB’s; 4HR 28RBI; 8/16SB; .148 vs. LHP; .239 vs. RHP; .180 with RISP; .189 since Aug 1; 12%BB/36%K rates. Just an absolutely abysmal season for Greene, who came in out of shape, was sent to Extended Spring and then had little to no production all year. Luckily, he is just 20 and young enough to write the season off to immaturity and start over in 2013.  Grade: F; 2014: Lakewood; Prospect Ranking: 28

Zach Taylor, 22, Phils 12th round pick in 2012 draft; .240/.295/.397 in 179 AB’s; 2HR 14RBI; .222 vs. LHP; .245 vs. RHP; .125 with RISP; .175 Post All Star Break; 7%BB/34% k rates; 45 games in the OF with 6 errors(.945); 3 OF assists; After limited playing time and a sub .200 average in 2012 for Williamsport, Taylor played a bit more, and showed a bit more, but not by a lot in 2013. The strikeout rate and average with RISP (6 for 48) is just awful.  Grade: C-; 2014: I see Taylor playing in Clearwater and picking up his 150 or so AB’s.

Jiandido Tromp, Soon to be 20, Signed as a free agent in 2011; .259/.319/.388 in 147 AB’s; between Williamport and Lakewood; 1HR 11 RBI; 6SB; 6%bb/26% k rates; Hit .150 in 40 late season AB’s for Lakewood; 42 games in the OF with 2 errors (.977); 2 OF assists. Tromp is someone who impressed in WIlliamsport and was rewarded with a late season promotion. Grade: B-; 2014: Lakewood

Williamsport

Dylan Cozens, 19, Phils 2nd round pick in 2012; .265/.343/.469 in 245 AB’s; 9HR 35RBI; 11SB; .247 vs. LHP; .273 vs. RHP; .230 with RISP; 10%BB/23%K rates; .261 since Aug 1; 60 games in the OF with 2 errors (.982); 4 OF assists; A good season for Cozens who is showing steady progress.  Showed his power and used his speed while maintaining a respectable NYPL average.  Grade: B; 2014: Certainly Lakewood, with Clearwater not totally out of the realm of possibility. Prospect Ranking: 10

Gustavo Martinez, 19, Signed as a free agent in 2010; .257/.297/.295 in 218 AB’s; 0HR 11RBI; 16SB; .259 vs. LHP; .257 vs. RHP; .204 with RISP; .273 since Aug 1; 5%BB/20% K rates; Martinez generally played well using his speed at the top of the lineup.  WIthout power, he is going to need to get on base more through a higher walk rate.  54 games in the OF with 2 errors (.982); 2 OF assists; Grade: C+; 2014: Lakewood

Justin Parr, 22, Phils 8th round pick in 2013; .247/.332/.353 in 190 AB’s; 0HR 19 RBI; 8SB; .275 vs. LHP; .237 vs. RHP; .244 with RISP; .229 since Aug 1; 10%BB/20%K rates; 44 games in the OF with 2 errors (.976); 6 OF assists; With the significant college experience Parr had, more was expected in 2013 from the high draft pick.  Grade: C-; 2014: Using history as an example, the Phils are generally aggressive with college players after their time in WIlliamsport, ala Perkins and Serritella. Clearwater 

Samuel Hiciano, 19, Signed as a free agent in 2012; .243/.348/.449 in 143 AB’s; 7HR 20RBI; 1SB; .326 vs. LHP; .204 vs. RHP; .220 with RISP; .254 since Aug 1; 12%BB/25% k rate; 37 games in the OF with 3 errors (.958); 2 OF assists; Hiciano showed some significant glimpses of exhibiting real power this year playing basically every other day. I expect him to be a guy the Phils work to get more regular AB’s next year. Grade: C+; 2014: Possibly Lakewood to start but a bump back to Williamsport when the NYPL season opens. 

Herlis Rodriguez, 19, Signed as a free agent in 2010; .324/.386/.432 in 139 AB’s between GCL and Williamsport; 2HR 19RBI; 7SB; Hit .204 in 49 AB’s for Williamsport; 10%BB/13% k rates; 30 games in the OF with 2 errors (.971); 5 OF assists; Very good progress for Rodriguez who hit just .221 in the GCL during 2012. Grade: B+; 2014: Starting for Williamsport

GCL

Cord Sandberg, 18, Phils 3rd round pick in 2013 draft; .207/.313/.272 in 169 AB’s; 2HR 14RBI; 4SB; .218 vs. LHP; .202 vs. RHP; .191 with RISP; 12%BB/19% k rates; Hit .205 since Aug 1; 44 games in the OF without an error; 5 OF assists; An inauspicious debut for Sandberg who came in very highly touted.  Grade: D; 2014: Back to the GCL to start with hopefully a quick promotion; Prospect Ranking: 20

Jose Pujols, Soon to be 18, Signed as a free agent in 2012; .188/.278/.369 in 160 AB’s; 6HR 18RBI; .256 vs. LHP; .165 vs. RHP; .151 with RISP; 11%BB/31% K rates; 42 games in the OF with 3 errors (.964); 0 OF assists; THis is pretty much exactly what I expected from Pujols in his first Stateside effort. Tons of power, needs a lot of work, but has a lot of time.  Grade: C; 2014: GCL; Prospect Ranking: 32

Nick Ferdinand, 23, Phils 35th round pick in 2013 draft; .261/.323/.444 in 142 AB’s; 5HR 22RBI; 2SB; .261 vs. LHP; .260 vs. RHP; .311 with RISP; 7%BB/17% k rates; 25 games in the OF without an error; 2 OF assists; Ferdinand performed well, and he should have as he was 3-4 years older than most in the GCL. Grade: B-; 2014: 5th OF in either Lakewood or CLearwater

Johnathan Knight, 20, Phils 49th round pick in 2011 draft;.109/.222/.182 in 55 AB’s; 1HR 2RBI; 2SB; 13%BB/33% K rates;  24 games in the OF without an error; 3 OF assists. Simply overmatched.  I don’t expect Knight back next year.

Venn Biter, 18, Phils 30th round pick in 2013 draft; .288/.328/.407 in 59 AB’s; 0HR 2RBI; 6%BB/30% k rates;  18 games in the OF without an error; 3 OF assists. Biter signed in mid July so really not enough time to judge.  I do expect him to move to Williamsport next year.

33 thoughts on “Report Card, Outfielders–Lower Half

  1. I think BP has Tocci as a top 100 guy coming in to next year, you’re a little down on him compared to some others but I understand why given his stats. I know Jason Parks absolutely loves Tocci because of his age and I think next year he solidifies a top 100 spot, maybe even top 75 on most national lists by July.

    1. It’s very hard to judge Tocci. He has moved quickly for his age, based on great defense, just as Galvis did. His youth and slight build explain the poor offense, but there is absolutely no assurance that the muscle bulk or hitting will ever appear as he grows older. He could gain weight and enough power to allow him to hit enough for a CF, or he could just be the Latin American version of Hudson — there just might not be anything beyond the great speed and D. I guess I shouldn’t say Hudson, since his hitting problems seem to arise more from lack of physical strength than from inability to make contact, but in the worst case scenario the result is the same. I think the ranking here is reasonable. It’s really the average of two very different possible futures. To really compensate for age/level, there have to be some good results to give the credit to. Bad with the bat, but young is hard to compensate for.

      1. I think this is where actual scouting comes in, which is why Parks likes him a lot more than an 11th ranking.

        I also talked myself out of sending him back to Lakewood yesterday and given the way the Philles handled Galvis, I don’t think they will either. I don’t see what he has to gain from another spin in Lakewood unless he’s showing a confidence problem. I don’t think that’s at issue.

        1. I agree. The baseball skills are ready for Clearwater. Repeating Lakewood won’t help him develop physically any faster.

            1. Yes, that is certainly an important thing to consider with a guy who loses strength over the course of a season and has trouble adding weight.

          1. The people closest to the situation – the Phillies – obviously think he is a talented player. Otherwise, you would not have had him going up against much older competition, even when the stats weren’t there.

            That said – as an outsider – minus any Dykstra-like off-season beef-up ‘weight’ programs, I just can’t imagine sending him up to Clearwater. I often look at this similar to a work perspective (I know – overly simplistic – but this is the way I am). Say you had a young employee at your company, and on paper, he had great credentials (i.e. MBA from a great school, very smart, well spoken, etc). But, say this new employee struggled (failed?) to knock out the project that he has been assigned to. For his next project, would you move him to a larger, much more complicated project, or would you place him on a project where he is more apt to succeed?

            I would like to see him succeed a bit prior to promotion. If he gets off to a great start – then perhaps you can look at an early promotion – I just don’t see the need to rush a prospect without a bit of success (or even stats that border on average).

            1. This is good. Really what the minors exist for is developing skills. If a guy is constantly just trying to survive, how many skills will he develop? Challenging a guy is fine, but sometimes it can help to let a guy adjust a little longer and focus on skills (or adding some damned weight) then challenge him mid-season. His challenge right now is growing. Eat a bit, lift some weights and face Clearwater when you’re ready. If that’s day 1 next year, then fine.

      2. Tocci isn’t just a no bat all glove guy. Peripherals and scouting indicate good contact ability and advanced approach for his age. There’s plenty of reason to project a good hit tool down the line. But yes, power is all projection at this point, and is physically overmatched.

        1. Are the peripherals and scouting pointing to pretty much a sure thing as far as his hitting goes? Do they show better than average contact ability for a slight MLB player? It’s really not clear, which is why the projection of Tocci is open to so much doubt. We had a long discussion of Hernandez on another thread and whether or not his K rate was acceptable for a hitter without much power and whether or not his BB rate would decline in the bigs, because pitchers would just go right at him without fear of a HR. Well, Tocci has about the same K rate as Hernandez, a lower BB rate, and even less power (at least at the moment). So, there definitely are questions. I’m not even sure what ‘advanced approach’ means. Certainly our scouting reports said that Golson, Hewitt, Greene, and Hudson would all hit. Most of that crew was forecast to develop well above average power. Scouting is about ceilings, especially as the Phillies do it with young position players, seemingly not nearly so much about probabilities. The jury is still very much out on Tocci. Given age/level, what do an 18-19% K rate and a 5% walk rate tell us, coupled with a BA barely north of Mendoza. To me, it says question mark and a kid who would benefit from another year at Lakewood, to put him more physically on a par with the pitchers he faces. To keep rushing him up the ladder, because his defense justifies it, seems to condemn him to the sort of offensive wasteland that Galvis inhabited during most of his minor league career, in which he was always significantly younger and less physically developed than the pitchers he faced. I’m not at all convinced that this hopeless zone is a spot in which good hitters are optimally developed. Isn’t a little success needed, if only to show the kid what works and what doesn’t?

          1. What is amazing about Tocci that I have to keep reminding myself about ….he would be entering his senior year in HS as an American. And he played this year as a ‘junior in HS’ against 21, 22 and 23-year old professional players and though statistically faded, still held his own..

      3. I’m mostly inclined to agree. The one caveat, and I would guess that this explains the more optimistic takes, is that, even if he doesn’t add a huge amount of strength, it seems likely that natural maturation is going to allow him to at least develop a Ben Revere level ability to make decent contact. I’m not one of the people saying that Revere is his floor,- the floor for virtually any guy in the lower minors is never making the majors – but he COULD be a Revere type (with less speed but more defense) EVEN IF he doesn’t develop any power to speak of. And of course if he develops even mid range power, he could be a star.

        1. It is his speed (or potential lack thereof) that I worry about. 6-13 in SB and zero triples. I find it hard to believe he has anything close to Revere’s speed. If he does add power he might end up being more like a 45-50 runner in 5 years. I like him as a prospect, but he really did not do much this year to raise his stock for me. He sort of held his own, though a .510 OPS with no power or patience really was not much. Remember if he hit .175 with more power and patience to equal the same .510 OPS he would have been benched and sent to Williamsport. He is a kid that will need to hit .300 with his present skill set to have any sort of chance.

          1. Stolen Bases are more an indicator of technique than pure speed. Reports seem to put his speed 70-80, so I assume he just gets bad jumps on his steals and a lack of triples for a guy who disappears when he turns sideways isn’t much concern. A lot of triples come on balls laced to the corner and gaps and Tocci isn’t lacing anything but shoes just yet.

            1. I guess I am skeptical of the reports when I have not seen any results in games. His range factor in CF is OK, but behind what Aaron Altherr did last year. The kid makes decent contact, especially for his age, but anyone with 70 speed should steal more than 6 bases in low A regardless of technique. The most overrated prospects are often those without great secondary skills and I am a little worried that Tocci will fit into that category.

  2. I agree with your evaluation of Tocci and your grade. I think he would be helped by starting at Lakewood and moving as his hit tool improves. Parr started well and then tailed off. Let’s see about next year. Martinez was a spark plug at the top of the order. His speed helps too. As a young player, Cousins is progressing well. I really have hopes for him. Pointer impresses as having skills, but not utilizing them because of his poor contact. I like Biter, who was drafted late and signed only after they couldn’t land Wetzler/Holmes. He hits better than more highly ranked players. He may be like Alonso, who just does everything well, but with the advantage of being much younger. I think he has a chance to be very good for this organization. I look for Hiciano to break out in 2014. Herlis is a good player. He should advance steadily.

  3. Thanks for the piece Gregg. IMO I think there’s no way Sandberg starts back in the GCL. He had a good K/BB ratio, but he did make weak contact all season. I also think he improves a lot because now he is focusing on just baseball. Remember if he didn’t sign, he’d be a back up QB in the SEC

    1. Agreed. As a high pick, they’ll push him. I can’t think of another pick that high that started year 2 in GCL.

  4. For me, Tocci is a guy who should fill in his potential with actual results. So far, we could all agree that he is likely to turn out as an excellent center fielder in not so much time. Obviously, the rest of his game is marked “unproven.” All of know that any offensive promise to be fulfilled is dependent on his body maturing and filling out. IMO, until he does achieve that, we will be left wondering just what we have in him. His numbers and exhaustion in ’13 don’t reflect any real reason to move him up beyond where he now is.

    Repeating the same level with another year under his belt doesn’t delay his climb to the MLB status; it should solidify his value to move up IF he comes together physically and displays the needed energy and strength to not only endure a long season but also to gain better numbers. At his age, there is no good reason to move him up now, and probably repeated bad results would be discouraging to him AND the organization if he did move up now.

    It should be interesting to see the shape he is in when he reports to spring training…

    1. Do you actually think Tocci will fill out? Maybe gain 20 lbs of muscle.
      I do not see it. He is lean and wiry and 10 lbs gained would be a hard go.
      I still think he will still gain an inch taller or more before he stops.
      And still be a strong bat. There are plenty of Latin players who are lean and wiry with strong bats.

  5. I guess you were hearing slightly different things than I was about Sandberg if you slapped a D on his year. All I was hearing was 5 tools, but very raw, so I was expecting a rough going. I was pleasantly surprised that he had such a good BB rate and his K rate was nothing to be disappointed about, either. I think his triple slash suffered a bit from bad luck and a high school kid getting tired, but the defense and the peripherals are there to support his 5 tool assessment.

    That said, your rank for him is pretty spot on, I think, so I don’t take any offense to your grade for him. Hard to be upset at a person for being optimistic about a high draft pick with 5 tools.

  6. Another good writeup Gregg. I really cannot argue with any projections made on these guys since the have so far to go and the data are so limited. I suppose that causes more reliance on scouting reports than sabermetrics.

    I buy the hype on Tocci, and Hiciano had a good couple of days. Cozens did make progress across the board. Disappointing that he is the only player in this list with SLG > .450.

    Maybe Sandberg will be great next year or maybe he will struggle again. How much with that change his ranking? his upside?
    The window on Greene is closing, but hopefully he can make a significant leap, as it was suspected he would take a long time to develop.
    I have no idea about Martinez and Rodriguez. With years into the organization but still age appropriate, I suppose anything can happen with them.

      1. Biddle is easily top 100, probably top 50. Next year, when he comes up and helps with the pennant chase, he will give us many reasons to smile. Trust me on this one, he’s going to be good.

      1. Absolutely, but because of his injury people forget how electric Quinn’s speed is. I’d love to see him eventually make a change to 2B to see him and Crawford play together when in Reading or something…

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