Peter Lavin Deserves Some Love

I’ve been around the Phillies complex regularly for almost four years now and have a pretty solid grasp of their system, especially their rookie ball team in the Gulf Coast League. That’s where I first got eyes on Peter Lavin back in 2011.

Before you get too excited, Lavin is not a kid that is going to shoot up prospect lists and become a saving grace for this farm system. He is a kid who plays the game hard everyday, is easy to root for and deserves a little fanfare. Too often people get all caught up in what a player can’t do instead of looking at what he can do, so let’s take a look at what Lavin CAN do.

He plays above-average defense in center and on a regular basis tracks down balls that seemed destined for extra bases once they leave the bat. Lavin possesses good speed and while this allows him to get to some of these balls, it’s his reads he gets off the bat and his solid routes to the ball that really make the difference. The arm is fringe-average, but it’s accurate and not often have I seen him make a mistake throwing the ball.

Offensively is what I really enjoy about his game. Rarely will he give away an at-bat. There is a plan in place when he steps in the box and he tends to execute that plan more often than not. Lavin understands the strike zone and he does a good job of making pitchers work to get him out. There is some decent bat speed in his swing and when a pitcher makes a mistake he has shown the ability to capitalize. For the most part his power is gap to gap, but he has enough in-game pop to occasionally hit one out like he did in Clearwater yesterday. Another thing I like about Lavin’s game is his situational hitting. He controls the bat well and is able to put the ball in-play regularly, allowing him to have productive outs that help the team to score a run or even win the game.

Overall, Lavin has a high baseball IQ and while none of his tools will stand out he does most things well. It’s players like Lavin that you will miss if you’re just scouting the box scores. When you see him live he is a kid who will do something night in and night out that will make you notice him. He is off to a nice start at High-A Clearwater this season and I hope he can continue to hit throughout the season.

12 thoughts on “Peter Lavin Deserves Some Love

  1. I agree that he sounds like a nice guy to have on a team and that he is off to a very fast start, but… he is already 26 and starting his 3rd season in CLW. The reason we don’t discuss him a lot is that he isn’t a prospect. His full-season OPS in CLW peaked at .689 two seasons ago. He did have good numbers at Williamsport the second half of his draft season. That the Phillies started him in GCL as a 23-year old college senior says something about how they view him. I think he’s probably the Castro of the Phillies low-minors, although he can play CF — fan favorite, not a prospect.

  2. I liken him more to Carlos Alonso, a great guy to have in the system who is going to play the game the right way, play the game hard and help your minor league clubs win. There’s no way guys like Lavin and Alonso see Philadelphia, but you’ll let them hang around the system as long as they want to play.

    1. You really can say all those good things about Castro, as well. Agree with you on Alonso.

  3. Echoing Mitch,

    I watched Lavin play nearly every single game he appeared in between 2011-2012 while working for the Phils. He’s definitely an underrated ballplayer. Has perhaps the most relaxed batting stance I’ve ever seen, yet the ball can really jump off his bat.

    He can bunt, steal bags, play great D (0 errors in his full 2012 season in CLW). And I saw him hit a couple of laser-beam HRs that went a lot farther than you’d think he could put ’em. On top of that, he’s a really good guy. Quiet and unassuming, unlike many other young ballplayers.

    It’s too bad he and Alonso will mold into the “org filler” status, but I agree that they should be in the system as long as they want to keep playing.

  4. Its good to hear about guys that you normally dont, thanks statking , however I think the key term is some love

    1. Yes, he began the season on the DL with Dugan. The opening OF was Altherr-Hudson-Perkins. Lavin came off the DL around 6/7 shortly after Perkins wrist was broken by a pitch in Dunedin. He saw significant time the rest of the season.

  5. It’s time for the Phillies to cut Zach Collier from the 40-man roster and move Lavin from Clearwater up to Reading. Lavin has already played close to 200 games in Clearwater so let’s see what he can do at Double-A. The Phillies will eventually need to clear a 40-man spot when MAG comes off the 60 day DL, and Collier is the one who should go.

    1. I don’t really have a dog in this fight – Lavin of course isn’t a prospect, and Collier isn’t much of one – but:

      (1) Collier is three years younger.
      (2) Their hitting performances are similar – and, level and age adjusted, Collier’s much better.
      (3) Collier has an edge in the field and on the bases.
      (4) Collier has tools – not that I expect that to mean much at this point, but at least that gives some (IMO minimal) reason to believe Collier can amount to something.

      This isn’t a knock on the post – statking isn’t suggesting that Lavin is a prospect – but the kind of desperation that thinks Lavin is any kind of prospect is becoming all too common around here. It’s a loser’s mentality, and it makes the comment section around here often unreadable.

      1. Neither guy is a prospect but there’s just no reason for the Phillies to tie up a 40 man spot for the last 2 years on Collier. Meanwhile, they expose a guy like Seth Rosin to hold onto guys like Collier. Makes no sense. They could outright him off the 40 man and I’m sure he’d clear. No team is going to be eager to jump all over a .200 hitter in Double-A the last 2 years.

        This is probably a moot point anyway because Collier may already be gone from what it seems. He hasn’t played the last 2 days and Albert Cartwright, a 2B by trade, has gotten the starts in CF. There was no announcement of Collier being hurt so I think he may have gotten cut already and it just hasn’t been announced yet. It’s interesting because Seth Rosin was waived by Texas around the same time, so perhaps the Phillies were clearing a 40 man spot to take Rosin back.

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