Four Moves to Make in June

This should spur some discussion.  All this is assuming continued production and health.

1.  Jesse Biddle to Lehigh Valley–Its time.  His control has been better and he is pushing 40 starts in AA, with an ERA under 3.20 and the opposition hitting under .230 against him.

2.  Cameron Perkins to Lehigh Valley–The IronPigs OF at this stage has several AAAA players that will never make a contribution in the majors beyond possibly that of a 5th OF. WHile I don’t see Perkins as a Major League regular, I do think he has the potential to be a 4th OF with 300+ AB’s a year for a big league club.  Challenge him.

3.  Peter Lavin to Reading–It is not likely that Peter Lavin will ever make the major leagues but having him play three years at High A makes no sense.  He is producing, so reward him.  He will do a competent job in Reading.

4.  Cody Forsythe to Clearwater– Forsythe is a 23 year old college draftee who is has been pitching very well for Lakewood. 2-0 with a 1.93 ERA and 8 saves; .216 opp avg…Again, challenge him.  A new class of draftees will be here shortly which will replenish the rosters at the lower levels…

Move I wouldnt make yet–JP Crawford.  Crawford has done everything asked and then some.  I am of the opinion that losing is an attitude and I would be a little leery about putting him into the current environment in Clearwater.  If I were king, I would let him play in Lakewood until the beginning of August and then consider giving him a taste of Reading, or in the alternative CLearwater for the final three weeks or so of the season.



48 thoughts on “Four Moves to Make in June

  1. Lets just assume they keep Crawford in LWood most of the year. Do you see him in Reading to start next year?

      1. Yes, at this point the hope would be he’s the starting SS in Philly in 2016 when Rollins is gone. So for that to happen, he’ll be starting next year in AA.

  2. The big move which must be considered: either move Quinn off SS or flip flop Quinn and Crawford. Yes, I think Crawford should be in Clearwater sometime around mid-July. His bat needs more of a challenge than it’s getting in Lakewood and Quinn isn’t ready for Clearwater. Quinn has only 50 more AB at Lakewood than Crawford has, and didn’t do nearly as well in those AB. Yes, he’s older, but he lost close to a season due to injury. He’s not fully sharp with the bat yet, but more than that, he was a much less polished player than Crawford at the time he was drafted. It is time to admit that Crawford has lapped Quinn and move forward on that basis. At this point, Quinn is blocking Crawford’s progress and the lesser prospect should never be allowed to do that. It’s time to bite the bullet. This problem will rear it’s head again next season. Despite being drafted later, Crawford is more advanced than Quinn. Really, no way Quinn should be in Clearwater after half a rather unproductive season of Lakewood. He needs more Lakewood time than that.

    1. Crawford was a shortstop from start considering Quinn has a new position at short and also switch hitting Crawford bats should be ahead . Let’s flip flop let Crawford bats from his right the majority of time and sees where his batting average would be.

      1. But that’s not really the issue is it. What you are saying is really just giving another explanation for why Quinn is behind Crawford. You might equally well say ‘see where Crawford would be today if he had lost close to a full season to two injuries as Quinn did’. None of that changes the objective fact that at this point in time, Crawford has passed Quinn and all things being equal, Quinn isn’t going to catch up. So… either Quinn and Crawford need to be at the same level, which means Quinn needs to play a different position, or Crawford needs to be playing a level ahead of Quinn. I’m not saying in any of this that Quinn isn’t going to develop into a solid major league player for the Phillies — I think he will. It’s going to be a slower process than it will for Crawford. That was the case, even without the injuries. Crawford was very polished for a HS player, while Quinn — at least for what the Phillies want him to do — was an unpolished speedster. He would have moved faster as a CF that didn’t switch hit. I don’t doubt that at all, but the Phillies don’t believe that was the move to unlock Quinn’s full value. Given the injuries and the rawness of Quinn at the time he was drafted, it is no shame to have been lapped by Crawford. Crawford is the Phillies most impressive HS draftee since Hamels and most impressive HS position draftee since Rollins. He is just a very superior prospect. He is not a guy you should allow to be blocked by Quinn, not even for a little while.

        1. Btw, I don’t think the Phillies have done Quinn a favor by rushing him to CLW. That also is not how a true prospect like Quinn should be treated and something Jordan had vowed not to do. Quinn’s move to CLW was the equivalent of an unearned social promotion. Any teacher will tell you that those seldom work well.

          1. I’m surprised that they didn’t just promote Crawford when Quinn came off the DL, and sent Quinn to Lakewood. My guess is that the system doesn’t think Crawford is ready, or they really don’t want him on that aberration of a team that Clearwater is. It might be fine to let him finish the whole year in Lakewood, and if ready, double jump while Quinn repeats Clearwater.

            But we shouldn’t assume this organization is approaching this situation intelligently.

        2. I think Crawford is just fine where he is. There’s an advantage to him staying in the same league for more than two months — he gets to see how pitchers adjust to him, and gets to adjust to pitchers he has gone up against multiple times.

          1. he has leveled off lately but if he goes on another streak…its promotion time. What the phillies need to do (and probably aren’t) is eliminate Quinn from the discussion when it comes to Crawford. They need to do whats correct for Crawford development not whats good for both Crawford and Quinn. From my untrained eyes Crawford looks like a star in making (rarity) and Quinn looks like a fringe teaser (not rare at all).

  3. There’s no rush, let Crawford spend the whole year in Lakewood. If you flip him with Quinn, you may incrementally speed up Crawford’s development, or you may not, but you will definitely be dealing a setback to Quinn. Once he’s behind Crawford in the system, they’re probably not going to flip them back, so it means that barring a a position change for Quinn or an injury for Crawford, Quinn will remain behind him for the next few years. Better to be patient and let them both play at the age-appropriate level. If the front office feels like it’s time to do something drastic, they can always consider the double-jump for Crawford or the position change for Quinn next spring.

    1. I really don’t see how it sets back Quinn. He’s over-matched now. He is behind Crawford. There is really no denying that. No shame in that. Crawford is now the best prospect in our system. Quinn is going to remain behind him for the next several years, likely forever, with Quinn eventually traded or making a positional change.

      1. I agree with this. I also think there’s prob a good chance Quinn repeats CWater next yr while JP is in Reading. Considering Quinn missed half of last yr in LWood and the beginning of this year and got promoted.

        1. I know I raised the possibility above, but I have hard time seeing Crawford being double-jumped to Reading next year. When was the last time if happened with a Phillies prospect? I couldn’t recall a time it happened. I went back and looked at a bunch of players the Phillies developed over the last decade or so, and the only example I could find was Michael Bourn, who jumped from Lakewood to Reading between his Age 21 and Age 22 seasons. As that suggests, he was a good bit older than Crawford. And it definitely didn’t happen in-season, as some are suggesting might occur with Crawford.

          In general, though, it seems from looking at the history of a bunch of major league players developed by the Phillies system over a long period of time, that the norm is moving one level at a time. Except for Cole Hamels, who really did have the oddest minor league career with all those freak injuries.

          1. Vance Worley did it also. Of course, he was a college pitcher. I would be really surprised if it happened with Crawford.

          2. He didn’t jump two levels to Reading, but Utley jumped over Reading from CLW to Scranton Wilkes-Barre. I think it makes much more sense to move Crawford to CLW mid-season, than to double-jump him to Reading. The move to AA is a big enough jump, without skipping CLW. I’m not upset exposing Crawford to a lousy team in CLW. His presence (and Astudillo?) would improve it. If he is going to stay in the Phillies system, he is going to have to get used to being on a lousy team. He certainly shouldn’t move up in lock-step with the current Lakewood team. Anyway you slice it, Reading is likely to be bad next season, and that’s where he needs to be next season.

          3. You mean spefically from Low-A to AA?
            Asche did it from Low-A (ss) to High A then in June to AA.

            1. Yes, that my point. They say that the jump to AA is the biggest in the minors, much bigger than going from Williamsport to Clearwater for a guy who already played four years in college. I just find think it’s highly likely that they give him some time in Clearwater. I’d just prefer if they could figure out a way to do it that’s not to Quinn’s long-term detriment, although I of course think Crawford is the more valuable commodity.

            1. College, college, college, and Hernandez was not double jumped to AA, he spent the entire 2011 season in Clearwater.

    2. I think we all should be very happy if Crawford’s major-league debut is as the starting SS to open the 2017 season (when he will be 22).

      There are a number of ways that Crawford can get there, including skipping Lehigh Valley.

      What level Crawford reaches this season need not affect this timetable.

      1. Agree……Crawford’s goal should be 2017 at the Bank and he would be right on time. I rather him be ready when the time comes to have to struggle.

  4. I said b4 the year to give Crawford 2 months at LWood and see where he’s at. He’s more than met the excpectations. I would move him to CWater for the final 3 months and then have him likely start in Reading next year. As far as playing time with Quinn you just DH 1 and let the other play the field. That is unless they start giving Quinn some PT at second or the OF. I wouldn’t let Quinn be the reason Im holding Crawford back, though.

    1. I agree. Your good teams wouldn’t even factor Quinn into their thought process. He is not an elite prospect. We don’t know if he can hit or field. With Crawford (and I have seen him in person multiple times play) he is way advanced for his age. I am not kidding when I say that you could put Crawford in majors right now (and he would struggle) but he would hold his own. He is that advanced.

      1. Sorry, but no, Crawford could not play in the major leagues right now, any more than Franco could have last year. He’s a great prospect, someone to be excited about, but he’s not anywhere close to being a finished product.

        And Quinn, before his injury at least, was reputed to be one of the fastest players in all of organized baseball. He’s not a Top 100 prospect right now, but he’s a valuable commodity and not a player to be disregarded just because there’s a shinier thing one level beneath him. I think your “good teams” recognize the value of patience and strategic thinking when it comes to developing all their prospects.

  5. The Phillies are the only National League team whose first-round picks since 2004 (including compensatory ones) have produced negative wins above replacement in the major leagues, according to an Inquirer draft analysis. They have picked low and surrendered numerous picks for free-agent signings.

    1. Rather than settle for a guy with a good chance to become a solid major leaguer, they have consistently gone for the boom/bust guys, most of whom never really had any chance at all. That’s what happens when you fall in love with athleticism and continually under-rate the hit tool. We have stubbornly believed for a very long time that we were able to teach athletes with very deficient hit tool to become hitters. History has proven that we can’t. This really is just as silly as drafting a good hitter for CF under the assumption that you can teach him to run fast. Some things you’re born with. You can teach anyone to do a little better, but you aren’t going to make a kid who is deficient in the tool even average, no matter how good a teacher you are. Let’s hope that the Phillies have finally learned this lesson.

      1. Bingo….all the toolsey guys were 4 1/2 tool with speed, powerfully built with some power, strong arms, good gloves…but the 1/2 tool they were below par in…that separates major league players from minor league players, was hitting the ‘curve-ball’

      2. if they had even one person on part time basis running saber metrics on this…they would have discovered their flawed approach long ago.

  6. Arn Tellem and the Wasserman Group need to tell Darin Ruf NOT to report to LHV and demand his release.
    Ruf needs to play in the majors and Mr Amaro doesn’t afford him the respect that is commensurate with a major league ballplayer.
    Ruf has done everything a player was asked to do from the Phillies…from the defensive switching positions to changing his batting stance.
    I am sure a team like the Texas Rangers would sign him and put him at first…and he probably could hit a few HRs in Arlington.

    1. Darin Ruf is not that good. He is a major league bench player who really can only play first, has limited upside, and huge holes in his game. The org owes him nothing. They needed roster spots, he had minor league options, he was demoted.

      1. So Matt, what you are implying …no other team would sign him if the Phillies released him today?

      2. Brown cant play RF (they threw Ruf there who was just learning how to play LF), still cant read a ball in LF. Had one good month last year and is currently tearing the cover off the ball at the mendoza line (with little power). Send Ruf to Oakland where he can go be another Brandon Moss and hit 25+ homers a year. Brown and Mayberry will never leave because……oh wait, cant go there.

        1. I think Brown, at least In the minors, was better in RF than in LF. He seemed to track the ball better and he has a good arm. He got lost in LF because RF was promised to Young.

          1. Agree on that point.
            Brown played over 300 games in RF and he apparently was comfortable there.
            The last two years , with decisions on Brown, Young and Ruf playing whatever corner of the outfield they were thrust into, is just mind-boggling and befuddling.

      1. Not really……he will be 28 soon…..he needs a extended stable chance. This is his third year now yo-yoing between the minors and the majors because of a front office who have made a multitude of great decision over the last three years….and their record is there to prove it.

  7. How about Astudillo? Now that he is catching on a pretty regular basis and still leads team in hitting, doesn’t he deserve a shot at High-A?

    1. Yes, move him with Crawford. Since Lavin is clearly seen as org filler, he gets to stay at CLW to help the lineup. Send an OF down from Reading to help the O.

    1. To be honest, we don’t have all that many guys who have demonstrated that they belong at the level they currently occupy, as in most of the Reading and CLW teams.

    1. Let’s hope he returns to health and pitches well enough that he is tradeable for something worthwhile. I was opposed to trading him in the off-season, thinking the team would be not much at all without him and that he’d be easier to trade for reasonable return at the deadline. I really hope that ship hasn’t sailed.

  8. If you trade Hamels you are likely closing the playoff door for the next five years. If I’m upper management, I wouldn’t let them execute that trade unless I was convinced that it was a truly great trade that would bring me several future stars that were not far off. Otherwise, no way – people would stop rooting for the team in droves. Revenue could be sharply down.

    Trading Lee is more defensible as it is unclear for how much longer he will be great.

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