Monthly Archives: October 2013

Five Minor Leaguers to Phillies Dominican Academy

In move different from previous seasons, the Phillies have sent four of their low minors hitters to their Dominican Academy this winter to get extra work in.  The four players are Lakewood Third Baseman Mitch Walding whose season ended prematurely with a broken rib, Lakewood Left Fielder Larry Greene, Williamsport Second Baseman Andrew Pullin, GCL Outfielder Cord Sandberg, and GCL Third Baseman Jan Hernandez.  They will not be playing in organized games in the DWL but they will be work with coaches to get some extra reps in.  All five players had underwhelming years and have plenty of things to work on this offseason.  Overall this is a positive step in working to try and make up for lost time or accelerate development.

AFL Update – 10-24-2013

Kenny Giles day took a decidedly downward turn around the eight inning of the game on October 19, when he was called upon to pitch to hitters and attempt to retire them. He was unable to do the latter. At all. Just saw his results from today, and they were ok, I guess. No runs, a walk, a hit and 2Ks in his first (and likely only), inning. Aaron Altherr has not appeared in a game since the 16th. I’m wondering is he’s still nursing that hand injury he had early on.

Cam Rupp has continued to hit, and injury replacement Cam Perkins has a couple knocks. Cam those guys hit? They certainly Cam. Cam, Cam. (Apologies to any Marilyn Monroe fans out there).

Kyle Simon has been pitching well so far, allowing just four baserunners in 5.1IP, and Austin Wright has two scoreless outings since his initial two scoreful outings. And finally, Mike Nesseth continues to exist, throwing baseballs with varying success. Hashtag analysis.

Here’s the link for the Phils’ Off-Season League stats. Of note there – Cesar Hernandez has been hitting some and taking some time in center field for Los Bravos de Margarita. Severino Gonzalez walked three men in his two innings of work, (wait, he did what???), and apparently Rodrigo Lopez is associated with the Phillies still. Somehow.

Continue reading AFL Update – 10-24-2013

Top Tools: Breaking Ball

A breaking ball is defined as a pitch that creates movement with sharp spin induced from the wrist. But all of the similarities end there. Almost all breaking balls fall into the slider or curveball, but there is a lot of slurviness in between and each pitcher defines their pitches differently.  There are different components to a breaking ball and they parallel those of the fastball. There is velocity or hardness, deception, command, movement, and breaking out from movement, shape.  Many of the components of a breaking ball are inherent to a pitcher based on their arm, wrist, and delivery.

Velocity in relation to a breaking ball is not a cut and dry with big velocity equaling success. The most obvious implication of velocity is that the faster the pitch the less time the batter has to adjust to the pitch.  The trade off to velocity is that it can often come with less movement.  This is due to the physics of a thrown baseball, in order to get sharp movement on a hard breaking ball, the pitcher must impart more rotation on to the pitch.

Continue reading Top Tools: Breaking Ball

Baseball America’s Draft Report Card

First you should read it here (it is behind the pay wall)  There is a lot jammed into it making it difficult to paraphrase.

Here is the Quick Take:

The Phillies signed an exciting class of hitters, though Knapp had to have Tommy John surgery this fall, which may slow his progress. Their pitching class offers less upside after Keys and Viza.
Bonus Spending: $5.57 million




Continue reading Baseball America’s Draft Report Card

AFL Update – 10-15-2013

I’ll kick off the AFL updates today, now that we’ve had a couple games for most everyone involved. The league is good about getting up new photos, and so we get a fresh reminder that Kyle Simon knows how to wear a mustache, and that Cameron Rupp could eat you whole if he wanted.

A couple roster notes – Kelly Dugan, originally on the roster, was sent home without seeing the field, as he battles turf toe. He was replaced by Cameron Perkins, who has yet to log a PA. Aaron Altherr had some kind of hand injury last week, but he was back on the field last night.

As for the results, it’s so early, in a league where it’s going to be early the whole time, but Kenny Giles clearly got it done in his two outings, strking out 5 of the 7 men he’s faced. Rupp has been hitting some – 3-8 with a double. And Austin Wright gave up a homerun to Byron Buxton last night, which proves almost nothing about Austin Wright. I’m sure somewhere there’s a Twins fan saying the same thing about Buxton hitting a homerun off of “Some Phillies guy name Ashton White”.

Here’s the link for the Phils’ Off-Season League stats. As we go, I’ll mention anything interesting I see in those stats as well. So far, all I see is Manuel Chavez pitching in his native Mexico. Recall he had a fine year in the VSL, striking out 72 and walking just nine in 74.1IP. One to keep an eye on, even if he is about to turn 20 and has yet to pitch stateside in competition.

Continue reading AFL Update – 10-15-2013

Top Tools: Fastball

We now transition from hitting to pitching where we can scout individual tools more easily but the complete package is often more difficult to put together. So we start with the most basic of pitches, the fastball. I break the fastball down into 4 components; velocity, command, movement, and deception of which each pitcher and pitch will combine to form a unique offering.  If a player cannot get their fastball in for strikes he is going to struggle to reach the majors, and if he cannot get weak contact or swings and misses in the strikezone, he is going to have a severely limited ceiling.  By mastering other parts of his fastball a player can marginalize weaknesses and amplify strengths. Continue reading Top Tools: Fastball

Maikel Franco #4 and Jesse Biddle #11 on BA’s Eastern League Top 20

Franco with another high placement on a list.  This time coming in behind Xander Bogaerts, Miguel Sano, and Noah Syndergaard.  He did place a head of two guys who are better prospects who were hurt by limited time in the league in Gregory Polanco and Anthony Rendon, but they are/were among the very elite prospects in the game.  He also placed ahead of 2010 #2 overall pick Jamison Tallion who has scouts split around whether he is a top of the rotation or mid rotation starter. Continue reading Maikel Franco #4 and Jesse Biddle #11 on BA’s Eastern League Top 20

General Discussion – Week of 10-14-2013

I was going to try to think of something funny to say or something interesting to talk about, but I recently contracted a case of the LCS Blahs, and I’ve got no energy for anything.

The only cure for LCS Blahs? World Seriesteroids. If you offer him some cash, Jose Canseco will inject some into your “upper thigh”, if you catch my drift. He’ll do almost anything for a buck.