Monthly Archives: April 2014

Hot or Not

This was by far the worst week that the organization has had since I began the Hot or Not feature four years ago.  There was very little positive to speak of over the time period of April 24-30, with Mark Leiter being the lone positive that I will mention. He has been very consistent and has shown excellent command all year…Two steps forward and one step (or more?) back for Jesse Biddle…Three “toolsy” OF’s land on the not hot list this week (Pointer, Cozens and Hewitt), with I am sure more to come…Two pitchers I was excited about out of the gate this year (Shane Martin and Drew Anderson) hit the not hot list…We can only go up from here.

Hot Hitters: (Min 13AB’s) Harold Martinez (.370, HR, 4RBI, SB); Reid Brignac (.333, 3R, 2SB); Tyler Henson (.333, 4R, 3RBI); Brock Stassi (.320). Honorable Mention: Hill, Serna, Alonso

Not Hot Hitters: Brian Pointer (.091); Anthony Hewitt (.105); Angelo Mora (.122); Justin Parr (.125); Nick Ferdinand (.133);  Dylan Cozens (.158); Jan Hernandez (.158); Clete Thomas (.176); Gabrial Lino (.176); Andrew Pullin (.188)

Hot Starters: Mark Leiter (8IP 4H 0ER 2BB 7K);  Greg Smith (7IP 5H 1ER 0BB 6K); Jon Prosinski (7IP 6H 1ER 1BB 4K); Sean O’Sullivan (7IP 6H 2ER 3BB 2K); Tyler Viza (6IP 6H 2ER 1BB 1K) Continue reading Hot or Not

Lehigh Valley Weekly Report

Lehigh Valley finished up a long homestand with a 8-0 rain shortened loss against Pawtucket, and after a day off Wednesday, head to Gwinnett and Charlotte for an 8 game road trip.  Lehigh Valley went 2-4 on the week and are 11-14 on the year, four games behind division leading Pawtucket in the Northern DIvision of the International League.

‘Pigs leaders: Hitting: Reid Brignac is 5th in runs(17); Clete Thomas is tied for the league lead in walks(18)

Pitching: David Buchanan is tied for 5th in wins(3), tied for 9th in walks (13), 7th in IP (28.2), and is tied for the league lead in starts (6); Barry Enright has the 9th worst ERA (5.16) and 8th worst WHIP (1.63); Luis Garcia is 6th in saves (3) Continue reading Lehigh Valley Weekly Report

Box Score Recap – 4/29/2014

Lehigh Valley was shutout over a rain-shortened five inning contest by Red Sox off-season #11 prospect (per BA) Anthony Ranaudo. Phillippe Aumont allowed just one base runner (by walk, of course) and struck out the side in his only inning, if we’re looking for things to be happy-ish about. For a guy who revamped his delivery in the off-season, I have no problem giving him a while to work it out, especially with so many questionable arms (and bats) holding roster spots that aren’t nearly as exciting as his often-filthy movement. I will not, however, refrain from making light of his bad outings with “Aumont is French For”s. I just don’t have it in me.

Cam Perkins had one hit and Ken Giles struck out the side in order in a most-decidedly non-save situation, with Reading down 10-2 in the eighth. Boston’s #7 (BA) Mookie Betts is crushing Eastern League pitching, OPSing 1.159 on the year. He tagged the Fightins with a 3-4, HR, 3RBI performance. Also his name is Mookie Betts. It’s no “Rock Shoulders“, but it’s an easy 70. Also, apparently he was a good bowler in high school. Thanks for that nugget, BA Prospect Handbook!

A thing happened in Clearwater. It resembled a sporting contest, but I don’t think anyone would confuse it with an actual contest. Chad Carman, a guy who’s usually a catcher, was the best pitcher for one side. That’s not normally a good sign.

And, what’s this? Hitting? I don’t believe it!!! Yes, Lakewood used the sticks well in their 9-4 rain-shortened affair with Lexington, pounding out 13 hits, including 8 doubles, in their seven innings at the dish. Notable were Dylan Cozens and Willians Astudillo, who each tallied two doubles, and Samuel Hiciano, Jan Hernandez, and Mitch Walding with two hits a piece, all including one for two bases. Walding is just back from rehabbing after rib-removal surgery, to get rid of the bum rib he possessed that could be broken by getting off a couch. I’m sure there’s a joke to be made there, but I’m struggling to find it. Rest assured, it wouldn’t have been that funny anyway, as most of you probably already assume with most of my material.

Continue reading Box Score Recap – 4/29/2014

10 Names For Draft Day

In past drafts there are definite tiers of players, often headlined by a true first overall pick who projects as a can’t miss beast.  The 2014 MLB draft offers a little less of that flash at the top, but what it does have is incredible depth, especially among prep pitchers.  I am going to kick off our draft coverage by looking at 10 guys who appear near the top of many boards.  Given the volatility of the draft this year, these names could shuffle many times over the next month plus.

Carlos Rodon (NC State):  Rodon came into the Year as the near consensus 1:1 pick.  He has been very inconsistent so far this year.  The fastball has been anywhere from fringe average to plus and the command has been all over the place.  The slider is still an incredibly nasty pitch, and the changeup has flashed potential.  When he is not on he looks more like a 2/3, but when it is all clicking he is a no-shit monster on the mound. Likely Outcome: Top 3 Continue reading 10 Names For Draft Day

Threshers; April 28, 2014

Clearwater opened a 3 game series with the Brevard County Manatees last night. They took an early 1-0 lead, fell behind 5-1, and rallied to 5-4 before losing 6-5. Jeb Stefan got the start. He threw an impressive 9 pitch, 8 strike first inning. He was on his way to another good inning in the second when, with one out, he struck a batter on a 3-2 pitch. He lost focus long enough to give up a walk and 2 doubles in a 29 pitch, 3 run inning. A lead off home run in the third, 2 walks, and 2 hits led to 2 more runs. Stefan settled down over his next 2 innings, allowing no further damage. Continue reading Threshers; April 28, 2014

Box Score Recap – 4/28/2014

(Forgot to mention B.J. Rosenberg when I posted this – he took a liner off the head in the 11th and had to be removed. He walked from the field under his own power, but it sounded like he was having concussion-like symptoms – I’m sure we’ll hear more about it today or tomorrow after testing. I follow @GJoyce9 on Twitter for Pigs’ news, FWIW. I’m sure he’ll have updates around the same time as anyone else).

As much as we’d like to believe Jesse Biddle is an ace, most of us are resigned to the idea that his ceiling is likely a mid-back of the rotation guy. With starts like he had a couple times in a row before this, I understand why some of us, (myself included), get a little excited about him.  But after last night, we’re reminded why no professional is assuming he’ll be an #1 or #2 type starter. He’s young enough to build on bad games like this – he can try to learn to mitigate the damage and fix his mechanical issues on the fly, so hopefully in 2015 or 2016 when he’s a full-time big leaguer, these five and six walk nightmares become three and four walk bummers, and leave his team a little better shot at pulling the game out of the fire for him.

As for Greg Smith, he’s really got it working right now. Gregg (@PhuturePhilz) said on Twitter last night that Smith should be the first man up if you need another starter. I personally wouldn’t go that far, but I think Smith could get a look at some point. He costs you a roster spot, so Jonathan Pettibone makes more sense right now, IMO, but I’d take Smith over David Buchanan at the moment, if only for the fact that Smith can be waived off the 40-man with minimal risk when he’s done in the bigs, and Buchanan would need to stay on or risk losing a young, serviceable arm to a waiver claim.

Also, FTR, I spent three minutes on BRef trying to figure out why I couldn’t find the right “Matt” Smith to link to. I like to think I’m pretty smart sometimes. Other times…

Continue reading Box Score Recap – 4/28/2014

Martin and Quinn are back! XST; April 28, 2014

I arrived at the Carpenter Complex expecting to watch Filiberto Sanchez pitch for the Williamsport group. I arrived early and was excited to see Roman Quinn come out of the club house in uniform. He was carrying both a bat and glove. He began stretching out with the GCL group, so I was beginning to change my plans. Then I saw Ethan Martin long tossing in the outfield, getting loose for some innings. That clinched it; I was watching the GCL group today. Continue reading Martin and Quinn are back! XST; April 28, 2014

Phillies Making the Most of Bad Injury Situation

It is no secret that the Phillies system came into the 2014 season with a long list of injuries.  Coming out of spring training the system was relatively thin, with normal depth players forced into starting roles for many affiliates.  Since the start of the season, the injuries have gotten worse, not better.  The Phillies have made the most of this situation and been aggressive in pressing young players into challenging roles while they work to get the regulars healthy.

Catchers:

The Phillies entered the year with two catching injuries in Andrew Knapp and Chace Numata.  The extended spring roster was composed of 5 catchers who had never played above the GCL.  When Cameron Rupp went down the Phillies bumped Sebastian Valle to AAA and Chad Carman to AA.  Rather than get an org filler catcher to fill the gap, the Phillies reached down to Extended Spring Training and brought up a pair of teenagers in top catching prospect Deivi Grullon and 19 year old Jesus Posso.  Both were above their head, but in the safety of the Clearwater complex. Continue reading Phillies Making the Most of Bad Injury Situation

Box Score Recap – 4/27/2014

All across the system today, starters managed their games without throwing a ton of strikeouts. David Buchanan led the org with 5k/5.2IP, Perci Garner has 2K/6IP, Miguel Nunez 1K/6.2IP, and Tyler Viza 1K/6IP.

Quite a first impression Gabriel Lino is leaving on the Florida State League – 2-4 with a home run in his first game for Clearwater. Aaron Altherr was 3-4 with a 2B for Reading, while Logan Moore went 1-3 and also doubled in his AA debut. Moore was a JuCo draftee four years ago, and he’ll need to be protected this off season or exposed to the Rule 5 Draft. I have a hard time believing he’d make a big league club out of spring training in 2015, so I’d guess he’s safely a Phillie next year, protected or not.

And finally, J.P. Crawford hit his second long ball of the year, to go along with two bases on balls. He’s got 13 walks now, and just 15Ks in just shy of 100 PAs. His OPS in .931 over his last ten games, driven by a higher OBP than SLG. He’s walked nine times in those ten games, and managed 11 hits, but just two for extra bases. I’m not sure how he’ll hold up over a full year, but if he manages to OPS near the .794 he’s sporting right now, as a 19-year-old in Lakewood, he’ll make every top 100 list in the off-season, and possibly push his way into the Top 50 on a majority of those. You’re already allowed to get excited, but a full year of this will open up the floodgates of prospectorial gushing the likes of which Philly hasn’t seen since Dom Brown was beginning his ascent towards an eventual peak as BA’s mid-season #1 overall in 2010.

Continue reading Box Score Recap – 4/27/2014