Box Score Recap – 5/4/2014

Tyler Henson hit for the Big Wheel, y’all. Two home runs, a double and a single, plus he drove in seven runs and scored twice. That’s a pretty nice day’s work. The Reading Fightins put up 15 runs on 18 hits, with home runs from Aaron Altherr (2) and Tommy Joseph (5). Jesse Biddle gave up 2R on 3H, 1HR, 3BB, 6K in 7IP. That’ll do, I guess, though three walks after the five he allowed his last time out didn’t do much to allay my main concern about his game.

Milwaukee’s 2012 1st Rounder Victor Roache hit three home runs off of Clearwater pitching. He led the NCAA in dingers in 2011 and hit 22 last year in his pro debut in Low-A. Ethan Martin worked a scoreless inning as he began his official rehab assignment on the way back from a shoulder ailment, allowing no hits and a walk with no Ks.

And on to the main event, a nine round slug fest, between a bunch of crabs and a bunch of tourists. Sounds like a day at the beach, right? Well, not if you’re a pitcher! *makes fake rimshot noise by tapping desk and going “psshh” with mouth* Lakewood beat Asheville 14-11, outhitting the Rockies’ affiliate 22-15. J.P. Crawford led the hit parade with a 4-5 day, including his third home run, and also drew a walk. Also going yard were Dylan Cozens (3), Willians Astudillo (2), Andrew Pullin (3) and Samuel Hiciano (3). All five men, plus Carlos Tocci and Mitch Walding had multi-hit games. All nine Blueclaws had hits.

Here’s the affiliate Scoreboard from MiLB. http://www.milb.com/scoreboard/index.jsp?sid=milb&org=143&ymd=20140504

5-4-14

69 thoughts on “Box Score Recap – 5/4/2014

  1. Pretty good night for Henson. Really surprised that Hill has been doing so well – for a AAA depth signing, I’m really liking it (after dismissing it because of his age & wondering why they signed him); I did the same with Bootcheck too, but he said earlier that he was in Atlanta, so he’s likely traveling with the team. Wonder who will be sent down or released to make room for him.

    Biddle and Joseph (especially Joseph. Glad his precautionary removal hasn’t affected him too much) doing well pleases me. Guessing Perkins will likely be moved up soon, given how well he’s hitting.

    I feel bad for the people who go to Threshers games, but given how well JP Crawford is doing, I don’t think he’ll be down there too much longer. I’m gonna guess middle of June at the latest. (I’d say promote him now to give them SOMETHING to be excited about, but I’m not being serious.)

  2. According to some folks in Clearwater, JP will be moved here when Quinn leaves XST for Lakewood.

    1. He’s that close to retuning? Nice. I knew he’s been more active, but I wasn’t aware he was that close. For anyone down there, how has Roman looked?

  3. Sorry to say it but Clearwater is looking like a team that will have a lot of guys out of baseball next year. I really hope they turn it around and/or get some help

    1. Help on the way soon. Quinn or JP, Waldo, and eventually andrew knapp. That will really help the lineup. Not sure if any arms will be coming in

  4. Lakewoods O has really picked up as of late. Cozens, Pullin and Tocci have really picked it up as of late.
    As for Reading , good to see Biddle bounce back after a shaky outing. That’s 3 out of 4 real solid outings for
    him. Also, Joseph seems to of picked up where he left off. I just hope he can stay healthy.

    1. I’m having a really difficult time not getting excited about Joseph’s start to the season. He has an OPS of .941 — Fifth best in the Eastern League — despite a BABIP of only .265. I know another concussion could stop the party at any time, but … damn.

      Crawford is moving quickly through the system. If the promotion to Clearwater comes soon and he handles it well, I wouldn’t be surprised if he didn’t get a taste of Reading by the end of the year (similar to his Lakewood stint last year). The BB and K rates are elite, the contact is there, the defensive skill set is supposed to be solid. If he develops a little more power, he’s a top 10 prospect.

      1. From BA’s minor league roundup:

        J.P. Crawford, ss, Lakewood (Phillies): Crawford, the Phillies’ first-rounder last season, drew raves from evaluators who watched him tear up the Gulf Coast League. So far, he’s had no trouble adjusting as a 19-year-old in the South Atlantic League. Crawford is athletic, plays plus defense and has the bat speed and hand-eye coordination to be an asset offensively as well. He was 7-for-14 this weekend and hasn’t struck out in his last 25 at-bats.

        http://www.baseballamerica.com/minors/minor-league-roundup-victor-victorious/

  5. Asheville must be a fun place to play. As a team, they’ve hit 33 HRs but opponents have 25. both are the most in the league. They have the top 3 HR hitters in the Sal. The place must be a band box. With that said, Lakewood came in and beat them at their own game. Nice to see.

    I think a High School team could play better than CLW. As a team they are last in the league in hitting and 20 points lower than the next worst team. Pitching isn’t keeping them in games as they are giving up .6 more runs per 9 than the next worst team. So 5 wins sounds about right. To paraphrase Queen, Can anybody find me,,, somebody to pitch.. or to hit or run or play…

    1. Ashville Field Dimensions

      Left Field – 326′ Left Center – 370′ Center – 373′ Right Center – 320′ Right Field 297′

      ‘Nuff said.

      1. Perhaps they should build a mega-‘Green Monster’ around the outfield.

        1. It’s a Colorado affiliate. Got to get the pitchers ready for one soul-crushing nightmare after another, perhaps.

      2. Plus, McCormack Field sits at 2400′ of elevation – almost half way to mile high Denver.

  6. I have been beaming the last few days reading the Lakewood boxscore……….I keep clicking on each individual player and checking out their up-to-date stats……..Clearwater is simply a disaster, but in about 6 weeks they will be getting a couple of the Lakewood regulars promoted down there………as fantastic as JPC has been, Hiciano has done nothing but been an XB machine since he started playing in the DSL.

  7. In the Reading game Biddle looked fairly good. 2 of his 3 walks came late in the game when he seemed to be battling a problem with his finger on his throwing hand, perhaps a blister. The manager and trainer looked at it, but they let him finish that inning and go one more.

    Reading hit the heck out of the ball as evidenced by the box score. Joseph looked really good on both sides of the ball, probably the best I’ve ever seen from him. Perkins, Altherr and Duran had good games. Really impressed with the manner in which Perkins carries himself.

    Hernandez looks like a 2nd baseman playing 3rd base and has some work to do there. Before the game, before warm ups he was being coached on attacking slow hit balls. During the game he tried to take a ground ball to his right by reaching across his body and missed putting leather on it. I believe it was his 8th error in 19 games.

    I don’t see Collier or Hewitt going forward.

  8. What’s the deal with Willians Astudillo is he a prospect or not? Does he have a defensive position? Is he too old, slow, no power. I’m assuming he is a non prospect because he gets very little mention especially for a guy hitting 400 albeit with only 85 pa and only 5 Ks.

    1. As a catcher he would have been an intriguing prospect.

      As a first baseman, despite the legitimate contact ability, not so much because of lack of power.

      It’s my understanding that he really isn’t a catcher anymore after his injury. Thus, he isn’t much of a prospect.

    2. Non-prospect unless he can go catch, Chris King has said he had the tools to stay at the position before the injury. The Phillies have been hesitant to put him behind the plate this year. At first base he offers no above average secondary skills (power, speed, on base ability).

        1. No chance, I timed him as somewhere around a 30 runner home to first. The body is bad and already very rotund. It really is catcher or org 1B for him, unless he really changes his hitting profile.

          1. Can’t find a spot for an OPS .990? He gets on base plenty, by hitting his way there.

            1. He isn’t going to OPS .990 going forward. Lets go down a statistical rabbit hole for a minute. Lets say he never strikes out or walks at a higher rate, his whole value is in contact (ignoring that he hits a ground ball 45% of the time).

              The major league average BABIP for a first baseman this year is .305. If Astudillo did that he would hit .303/.319/.438, in 2013 he would have ranked 4th in BA, 23rd in OBP, and 17th in SLG with that line.

              Lets say he is Victor Martinez with the bat, a low K rate unathletic 1B/C type and his good contact gives him a career .315 BABIP. He is now a .313/.328/.449 hitter. Sure the batting average is sexy, but a .328 OBP is really bad, and a .449 SLG is nothing to write home about. The ISO is James Loney-esque, only Loney’s walk rate is 5% higher than Astudillo’s career rate.

          2. Rotund is certainly not a good thing, but being 30 runner hasn’t stopped Franco from playing a good 3B at the AAA level. I do agree that Astudillo needs to catch or he isn’t a prospect. He doesn’t have to have the knees to catch every day to be a major leaguer, however. If he can catch a day or two a week and continue to hit anywhere close to where he’s hitting as he moves up the org, then he can be a very useful backup catcher and PH. A big bat who could do a little catching and play a little 1B would look great on the current Phillies bench.

            1. I Thought I read he is 5’9? how many first basemen are that short, he really has no positon at that height and weight, Unless he can catch.

  9. I very much enjoy “The Good Phight” website, but they had a summary of yesterday’s Lakewood game in which they referenced JP Crawford’s performance as follows

    “JP Crawford with his 3rd homer on the season, but also earns another failed base stealing attempt (his 5th on the season). I’m not sure if he always has the green light, but this is a growing concern.”

    Really? That’s your JP Crawford takeaway from that game and this season – that his caught stealing percentage is a growing concern? The guy goes 4 for 5 and is taking the league by storm as a 19 year old shortstop and you’re really worried about his base stealing percentage as a first year full time player? Come on now!!!!!

    1. I totally agree, if you give this kid about a month with david lopez he will learn.

      1. roccom….you did mean Davey Lopes?
        He is now almost 70-years old and not sure if he is still coaching in the majors.

    2. I think you are being a little too critical, but I appreciate the feedback. If you read my minor league roundups everyday you will see I reap my love for JP on a daily basis. No prospects are subject to criticism. Matt even pointed out yesterday JP’s spray chart and how many of his hits are actually bunt or infield singles. He also mentions his need to work on hard contact.

      Sorry to say, but his stealing percentage isn’t spectacular and has regressed a little at the next level. It’s something you hope evens out.

  10. Matt, I’m a little curious about this tweet from you about Crawford: “I do fear that people are going to think he will be an offensive savior, or even the offensive player Rollins was in his prime”

    The first part of that I can see your point. He’s not going to OPS .885 in the majors, and he isn’t going to be an offensive savior. I find the second part curious.

    Two initial caveats: one, I doubt that Crawford will have Rollins’ power or base stealing ability. Two, as with any prospect, he’s far from certain to hit his ceiling.

    But I would think that Crawford’s ceiling as a hitter is higher than Rollins in his prime. Crawford should have a higher BA and a higher BB%, and, of course, the offensive context is lower. Prime Rollins (2004-2008) was about 6% better than the average major league hitter. Crawford, even if he only hits 10-15 HR a year, certainly could exceed that. Say he hits .290/.360/.440. That’s optimistic but possible. That, in the current run environment, is about 25% better than the average major league hitter. Maybe that’s high, but even .280/.340/.415 is 15% better than the average hitter, and, context adjusted, better than Rollins at his peak (he exceeded an wRC+ of 105 only once, in his MVP season).

    1. I agree with these sentiments. Even without a projected spike in power – which could easily occur given his age – I think Crawford’s offensive ceiling is higher than Rollins, although he definitely won’t be the base stealer Rollins was and will have to achieve his ceiling to match Rollins as a defensive player (13 Career defensive WAR and counting – essentially, Rollins has produced $65 million of defensive value alone in his career – that’s superb – and it only represents about a third of his total value). If Crawford develops any kind of a power game (say he develops the same power Rollins had), he’s going to be one of the best players in the league – similar in value to a Dustin Pedroia.

      1. I’m going to go out a limb here, but if Crawford has the type of “hit” tool I think he has (I think it’s a 55/65 tool, perhaps even a little better), if he stays with the Phillies and stays healthy (a lot of “ifs” but what else would you expect with a 19 year old kid), he could easily retire as their all-time hits leader.

        1. Wow, projecting 15-20 years into the future, that is quite a long limb!

    2. Your second part is doing exactly what that tweet was about. You are taking a player who is in low-A and locking them into a .280-.290 batting average. I know Crawford is great and all, but you are looking at the ceilings here. I am not saying that Crawford’s ceiling is below Rollins’ prime, but rather his likely outcome is below that. We can play the ceiling game all day, but in the end you are looking a borderline hall of famer and a good prospect, the chances that Crawford is better than Rollins are low, it is certainly possible, but grasping onto that as the outcome is building unrealistic expectations of that kind of player that Crawford is.

      1. I hear you, but I don’t think the odds are not as low as you are making it sound. The bottom line is that, as a shortstop with a solid defensive skill set, good plate discipline and a solid hit tool, I think there are fewer things that are likely to go wrong, and fewer things that need to go right for him to become a significant player.

        1. I think he is a role 6 player long term (1st division regular, occasional all-star). Rollins in his prime was a Role 7 player. In his age 24 to 29 seasons he hit .282/.339/.455 while averaging 17 HRs and 36 SBs.

          This is a bit of a combination of slow down on Crawford, but also an acknowledgement that Jimmy Rollins was a really outstanding player, and Crawford not reaching that level is not a failure in anyway.

          1. Well, either way, it’s going to be really fun watching Crawford grow up as a shortstop and, yeah, I’m a big Jimmy fan and always have been. Rollins will likely end his career one notch short of being a HOFer and that’s nothing to take lightly.

          2. Again ceiling versus most likely outcome, but also I might put it this way:

            Your tweet focused on hitting. I just think you’re wrong there. Not a LOT wrong, but a little. Rollins, as much as I like him, in context, was even at his peak not much more than an average major league hitter (your citation of Rollins’ slash line is misleading given offensive context).

            BUT looking at the whole package, no way Crawford has as much base running value, and Crawford would, as stated above, need to hit his upside as a defender to match Rollins defensive value. Also add in length of career, and length of time as at least a first division regular. The chances of Crawford – of, really, any 19 year old prospect – of matching that are low.

            So, looking at the whole package – Crawford is IMO, contrary to your tweet, likely to be as good or better as a hitter in his prime. But his chances of matching the whole package – defense, base running, lengthy career – are indeed slim.

            1. And obviously not intentionally misleading. 🙂 But to be clear for other people reading this,, if Crawford went .280/.340/.415 in the current offensive context, his value as a hitter would be substantially more than Rollins’ in his prime, despite the fact that his raw numbers would be worse.

          3. Hi Matt, where are you getting these “Role 6” “Role 7” labels from? I wasn’t able to find them anywhere.

            1. It is a lingo I have picked up from listening to too much Jason Parks and talking to the BP guys. It is another way of referring to a players overall profile and ceiling, it uses much the same as the normal 20-80 scale (with a shift to average around MLB ability, not total baseball). In general this is how it breaks down for me.

              Role 8 – HoF, Ace, Mike Trout
              Role 7 – Perennial All-star, low #1-#2 starter
              Role 6 – 1st division regular, #3 starter, “closer”
              Role 55 – Major league regular, low #3/hi #4 starter, “setup man”
              Role 5 – 2nd division regular, #4/#5 starter, solid reliever
              Role 45 – Bench/Utility players, middle relievers
              Role 4 – Fringe bench, AAAA
              Role 3 – org guys

              Keeping in mind not all All-stars are Role 7 and not all Role 7s are All-stars, because humans are subjective.

      2. Some of this is not a real disagreement – I AM talking about ceiling, and it doesn’t look like we disagree much if at all on that.

        Where I expect we disagree a little is on the chance of hitting that peak. Obviously FAR from certain, but IMO what makes him more likely to hit his ceiling than most players in A ball is the combination of decent to plus hit tool and excellent approach. Of course you’ve read the Fangraphs article on best predictors a of major league success – basically saying the same thing (it adds in defensive value which Crawford has also), and names him as one of three current prospects that fit the model. That’s statistical evidence that buttresses my subjective opinion.

        1. Also as I have pointed out in various places this morning. Of Crawford’s 34 hits, 9 have been infield hits, additionally as I pointed out in my comments on the Lakewood series, he is not stinging the ball. You need context, just looking at batting average is not a good method for scouting hit tool.

          1. Matt, if anyone knows that it’s me. 🙂 But I think you’re looking only at the negative and not the positive. No, of course he won’t hit .330 in the major leagues. But I’m baffled why you seem to think that .280 or .290 is unreasonable. A few points:

            (1) He has better than average contact ability
            (2) The reports of his hit tool suggest, at the major league level, the possibility, at least, of a better than average hit tool.
            (3) While it’s certainly true that, against major league fielders a lot of those infield hits will be outs, the ability to get infield hits is a real skill, and not one limited to speedsters. He could well end up above average in that regard.
            (4) I really think you’re ignoring the advanced approach, which bodes well not just for his BB rate but for his BA as well.

            Now, you bring him up now, OF COURSE he wouldn’t hit .280 or close to it. In a few years though? Why is that unreasonable?

          2. I am with you on the main point of ceiling. Rollins reached 95% of his ceiling. I think Crawford might have a slightly higher ceiling, but if he reaches 75%-80% of it he would still be a player development success.

            Not sure I would discount the infield hits that much. Everything averages out to some degree, but a 16/15 BB/K ratio is probably more important to look at. A big part of why his ceiling might be higher than Rollins is he might project to 20 more BB a year. Rollins always had more speed. I think JP ends up as a 20-30 SB guy rather than a 40+ SB player. We all need to discount yesterday’s game to some degree as it was in a tiny park with the wind blowing out.

        2. As of late Matt has been taking a page out of the Bill Baer playbook. It seems every time one of the prospects does something notable, he’s one of the first to look for the negative. I know when evaluating prospects you always need to be aware of both the red flags and silver linings but come on. Case in point everyone gets excited by the performance of Crawford’s past week and out comes the spray chart. Unless your name is Carlos Tocci or Yoel Mecias, there’s always going to a wort that Matt emphasizes.

          1. I am trying to provide context given the general reaction is put everyone in the major leagues now. In general we jump from shiny thing to shiny thing and in the end there is a failure to see the growth and process. The vast majority of the internet is scouting a box score and a stat line. It is the mindset that trashed Brown for years, and spent this spring calling for Maikel Franco to start in the major leagues. If all you are ever looking at is success and failure than you end up underappreciating players, just look at Cody Asche, he has either been garbage or the next Chase Utley.

  11. I am a lifelong Phillies fan that grew up in the area and my cousins went to GFS…with that said, I would trade Biddle in a second for a quality MLB reliever that is controllable. I hope that I am wrong, but I don’t think he is going to have a great MLB career. I think now is the time to sell high on him. Again, hope that I am wrong.

    1. Where’s my unrestrained optimist?

      I think you are quite wrong about this. I’ve been following Biddle carefully because he’s our best pitching prospect and my one of kids knows his cousin (so I’m a little biased, but not a lot). In any event, Biddle is going to settle in and have a lot more value than a reliever and they are going to need him because their other starters are long in the tooth. One thing about Biddle that you don’t see from a box score is what he is working on during the games. I’ve seen video replays of several of his games and I’m convinced that, right now, he’s working on one specific thing – fastball command. And he’s still striking out a ton of guys. His best pitch is a devastating curve and, currently, he’s only throwing that enough to retain his touch and record tough outs. Mark my words, when he has mastered his fb command, he will be promoted to AAA and reigns will be off. He may have some games where he struggles putting it all together, but when he is able to mix his curve and other breaking pitches more freely with the fastball he’s going to put up big strikeout numbers and he probably won’t be in AAA more than a couple of months before they recall him for a stretch run (I’m predicting late July sometime, maybe early August).

      1. I hope you are right. but i don’t think it is easy to just “master fb command”. I think command is something you either have or don’t have at 22. again, hope i am wrong, but i think jessie is all hype. i would sell high.

        1. I don’t think it’s easy, either, but I do think it’s something young pitchers can improve upon with work and I definitely think Biddle’s command of the fastball has improved quite a bit. Last year, when he was healthy, he was so dominating with the curve he could get away with subpar fastball command. Kudos to the organization for not glossing over that weakness and kudos to him for working so hard on this aspect of his game.

        2. Any suggestion for the MLB reliever you would think a Jesse Biddle would command in a trade?

          1. Putting aside the exact trade return, as a matter of principle, I can think of little that will make a team go into a nearly irreversible spiral than to trade your top young starting pitching prospects for relief pitchers. It’s the road to oblivion.

            1. It is all relative to what you think Biddle will be in the majors. Obviously, if i felt he would be a #3 I wouldn’t make that deal. But I think he is a back of the rotation guy who has a very inconsistent career. A guy that is easily replaceable. I think you are all over valuing him. And under appreciating just how critical control is. I believe control is EVERYTHING. Nothing else matters unless you have control. And I don’t think you just find it. I think you have it or don’t. The examples of guys who develop control are very limited relative to the guys who never get it. And it is not like Biddle’s stuff is electric. Great curve, but average FB and that is the pitch you throw 60%+ of the time. Without control of FB he won’t be able to take advantage of his curve. As for a trade, a true shut down reliever that is young, cheap and controllable is very hard to get and very valuable. Much more valuable then a back of the rotation starter. You can find them easily any offseason.

            2. Here’s the problem with trading a young starter for a reliever. A solid #3 starter is worth more than any reliever except perhaps a select few shut down closers and nobody’s trading those guys, especially if they are young and cost controllable. Biddle is projected to be a solid #3 starter – perhaps better, perhaps worse, but that’s his trajectory, which, to my mind, makes trading him for a reliever a complete non-starter.

  12. Question about Tyler Henson: He’s listed as a 3B, but clearly with Franco on the AAA team he’s not going to get many starts there. Could he play a decent 3B in the majors if asked to? If so, maybe he has a future as a bench guy who can handle all the corners.

  13. first time this year I have felt good about minor league teams. What an explosion.

  14. Henson is a AAAA guy who had a great game…nothing to be excited about. If he gets 100 career abs in the majors, it will be a win for him.

    As far as trading Biddle for a reliever, unless its Kimbrel come on man. I am with you in being a little worried about him as a great mlb player, and i would be open to listening to trades from teams who like him and are intrigued by his stuff, but not for a reliever. Maybe its the phils organization that has made getting relievers come off to fans as something its not.

    Basically, your pen should be homegrown arms/failed starters, a few scrap heap guys, and a few randoms. You should not be trading for or offering big contracts to relievers ever.

  15. Matt – do you ever see the Phillies moving Tommy Joseph out from behind the plate and moving him to 1st base.

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