Around the System, OF–Lakewood, Williamsport, GCL

Definite reasons for optimism at the lower levels, which to a degree makes up for next to nothing at the higher levels in the OF.  Next up will be corner infield.


Carlos Tocci, 18, SIgned as a free agent in 2011; .238/.291/.307 in 323 AB’s; 0HR 20RBI; 4/13SB; 4%bb/18%k rates; .325 vs. LHP; .208 vs. RHP; .214 with RISP; .252 since June 1. 83 games in the OF with 3 errors (.986); 5 OF assists; Certainly improved over last year, now with well over 800 plate appearances for Lakewood over 2 years.  Still very young, the offense will have to continue to improve if Tocci is going to become a viable major leaguer.Plenty of time.

Dylan Cozens, 20, Phils 2nd round pick in 2012; .238/.296/.405 in 341 AB’s; 11HR 37RBI; 16SB; 8%bb/26%k rates; .271 vs. LHP; .221 vs. RHP; .176 with RISP; Hitting .350 in July thus far; Just over a year older than Tocci, Cozens avg and obp are almost identical, however Cozens is showing a huge power and speed tool.  There is plenty of reason for excitement in my opinion.  Needs to shorten his swing and strike out less, but to an extent, that is the price you pay for power. 79 games in the OF with 6 errors (.979); 7 OF assists.

Samuel Hiciano, 20, SIgned as a free agent in 2011; .257/.299/.402 in 276 AB’s; 7HR 31RBI; 7/12 SB; 5%bb/23%k rates; .212 vs. LHP; .271 vs. RHP; .221 with RISP; Hitting .220 since June 1. Hiciano has lost playing time to Larry Greene Jr recently which is unfortunate as Hiciano had been playing very well when getting regular time.55 games in the OF with 3 errors (.975); 4 OF assists.

Larry Greene, Jr., 21, Phils 1st round pick in 2011; .209/.273/.300 in 110 AB’s; 0HR 10 RBI; 2SB; 7%bb/27%k rates; .185 vs. LHP; .217 vs. RHP; .219 with RISP; 27 games in the OF with 3 errors (.949); 1 assist. Continued major disappointment.

Herlis Rodriguez, 20; SIgned as a free agent in 2011; .143/.226/.250 in 28 AB’s; 0HR 2RBI; 9 games in the OF without an error; 1 assist


Matt SHortall, 23, Phils 10th round pick in 2014 draft; .304/.322/.554 in 56 AB’s; 3HR 10RBI; 7 games in the OF without an error; 1 assist. Playing well in a 4th OF capacity.

Cord Sandberg, 19, Phils 3rd round pick in 2013 draft; .299/.349/.464 in 97 AB’s; 3HR 13RBI; 5SB; .300 vs. LHP; .299 vs. RHP; .273 with RISP;  23 games in the OF with 1 error; 2 assists

Jiandido Tromp; 20, Signed as a free agent in 2011; .261/.330/.472 in 180 AB’s between Lakewood and Williamsport; 8HR 29RBI; 11SB; 8%bb/25%k rates; .295/.368/.600 in 95 AB’s with Williamsport; 7HR 20 RBI; 7 SB; 47 games in the OF without an error; 5 assists; Tromp has played exceptionally well for WIlliamsport hitting for average, power, and stealing bases.  I would like to see him back in Lakewood.

Aaron Brown, 22, Phils 3rd round pick in 2014 draft; .304/.341/.367 in 79 AB’s; 1HR 8RBI; 6SB; 16 games in the OF without an error; 1 assist. Impressive early showing by Brown who, in addition to hitting has played an excellent OF.


Venn Biter, 19, Phils 30th round pick in 2013 draft; .125/.222/.219 in 32 AB’s; 0HR 3RBI; 1SB

Jose Pujols, 18, Signed as a free agent in 2012; .196/.293/.275 in 51AB’s; 0HR 7RBI; 1SB; 11 games in the OF with 1 error and 1 OF assist

Jake Sweaney, 19, Phils 4th round pick in 2013 draft; .227/.217/.227 in 22 ab’s; 0HR 1RBI; 10 games in the OF without an error; 1 OF assist

Carlos Duran, 19, SIgned as a free agent in 2011; .222/.323/.296 in 27 AB’s; 0HR 4RBI; 2SB; 9 games in the OF without an error; 3 assists

Gustavo Martinez, 20, Signed as a free agent in 2011; .458/.440/.625 in 25 AB’s; 0HR 3RBI; 4 games in the OF without an error


31 thoughts on “Around the System, OF–Lakewood, Williamsport, GCL

  1. Carlos Tocci becomes Rule 5 eligible in 2016 I believe, so hopefully he turns it around at the plate in 2015/16 or else the Phillies will need to make a decision to 40-man him or leave him unprotected..

    1. I’ve still never gotten a firm answer on this. I think it may be not until 2017 that he has to be protected–according to Baseball Reference, though his signing was first reported in August of 2011 (right after the Pence trade) he didn’t make his playing debut until the following season. According to his profile page here, though, it appears like maybe he played in one of the fall leagues in 2011?

      Anyway, I’m not sure of the rule, but it seems like if he didn’t start his career within the organization until 2012 he might have an additional year of eligibility?

    2. Is this really even going to be a decision? Is there a run on OFs with a slash line of .230/.290/ .300??

      1. That may not be his line in 2016, and guys who can play a good CF are easier to stash on a ML roster as a 5th OF.

      2. You have a point. But like I implied above….next season is probably his make or break year…whether he is back in Lakewood or up with Clearwater.

    1. Larry Greene should not be taking at bats from Sam Hiciano. It is a sign of a bad organization to take playing time away from a potentially productive player to expend more time on an expensive mistake. That needs to stop and soon.

      No comments on Cord Sandberg? He’s the man! Perhaps the excellence just speaks for itself.

      1. Well Cord’s been a bit quiet lately. IMO doesn’t mean anything negative, he’s certainly a prospect to be excited about, but probably explains why people aren’t talking him up as much lately.

        1. I had this impression too, so I looked up his stats. I was a little surprised to see this:
          June (15G): .297 / .348 / .453
          July (11G): .297 / .341 / .459

          So after a red-hot start he had a short cold streak, but since then he’s back to his overall average.

          I also stuck his peripherals into a slash line calculator I developed (based on a simple linear regression) and regressed his BABIP down to .300. I still got a nice slash line:

          0.274 / 0.332 / 0.439

          1. Okay then, my impression was wrong. See, I do admit it when that happens. 🙂

            Though he hasn’t been quite as hot as he was the first couple of weeks – I bet that if you did the splits that way, he is down a bit from his hot start. Not that it matters at all in the greater scheme of things.

  2. Sure seems like Greene is a turkey masquerading as a baseball player. Another first round pick bites the dust. Hewitt…? Lousy choices, both were :”fliers,” i.e., shots in the dark hoping to hit a bulls-eye.

    If both of those first rounders were used for pitchers, the horrendous state of the system’s present pitching would have been eased…

    Who bears responsibility for such terrible errors and philosophy?? And why did that ever happen…?…asking in retrospect….?

    1. I don’t think its fair to Hewitt comparing him to Greene. Hewitt was a hard worker who unfortunately never developed. Greene is nothing of the sort, showing up to ST fat and out of shape and doing nothing since to change others perception of him.

      They may both be first round busts, but for Hewitt at least, it wasn’t through lack of effort.

    2. Well when you aren’t drafting at the quasi ‘lottery’ slots and drafting near the 2nd round, I guess taking the ‘fliers’ was their mantra.
      I think, based on what some other orgs do, like the Cardinals, as Giles liked to refer to the other day, they have changed that philosophy, if they ever get into that position of drafting again.

  3. Art – not sure who could have possibly given you a thumbs down for your post. Not that you are stating anything that hasn’t been said before but I felt compelled to give you a thumbs up to even the score.

    1. I didn’t – and wouldn’t – give him a thumbs down. But one could argue that he’s being a bit rough on the organization for the Greene pick, which (unlike the Hewitt pick) wasn’t really regarded as a questionable pick at the time. Some first round picks just don’t work out.

      1. No, he’s not being too rough on our scouts. This was our worst first round pick in a decade. Scouts need to look both at talent and the softer things: desire, attitude, what the guy will sign for. A guy who comes to ST out of shape two seasons in a row, apparently with the attitude that staying in shape is not something he does on his own vacation time is an awful pick. That is the same sort of ‘know the guy well’ error made by our scout who had us draft 5th and 6th round college guys who didn’t sign last year. Scouts have to know these things. Beyond that, on the skill side, the scouts (and it’s not just the area scout, for a first rounder everyone on up the scouting org and probably RAJ has major input) ignored a total lack of hit skill and mistook batting practice power for real power. When you spend a #1 on a guy because you think he has plus plus power and he proceeds to be unable to put up 1 HR/100 AB or 1XBH/10 AB in the lower minors, you know the scouts made a major mistake. Couple that with no initiative to stay in shape and it is a horrible first round pick which should cost some employees their jobs. If the team has to be rebuilt largely through the draft, as you argue, then we simply can’t have a scouting department which makes these gross errors. To top it all off, he has a high error rate in the OF.

        1. Taking your three criticisms one by one:

          (1) You may be right about the make up issue. Or may not. Determining make up is hard, especially BEFORE the guy is in your organization.
          (2) You’re right about the hit tool, and that has indeed historically been an issue with the Phillies scouts. BUT that’s why a guy with his power tool was available when the Phillies picked.
          (3) You’re wrong about the power tool, at least if we look at it from the perspective of the time the pick was made. Approximately no one doubted, or had reason to doubt, that the power tool was real. This one is entirely hindsight.

          Bottom line: it really comes down to the make up issue. I don’t give the organization a pass on that, but I also think that this is yet another case where you (and some others) simply assume the worst without sufficient evidence.

          Further complicating it is the difficulty of separating scouting problems from development problems. IMO there is more evidence of that latter, and that could be (part of) the problem with Greene’s development.

          There’s plenty of grounds to criticize the organization without assuming the worst about issues that are hidden from the average fans.

          1. Except, the ‘hidden’ scouting and development staff issues are what will determine how well the Phillies are able to rebuild the organization through the farm. It is opaque and conclusions we make can be nothing more than inferences with a little hard evidence, but this is really more important than what the GM does on FA signings. It is the only route to good young talent and the future stars we need for the new core. Having a strong scouting and development staff is among the most important duties of the GM on top of proper budget management. Even trades likely come second to these nuts and bolts organizational issues, as bad, desperation trades are driven by poor budget management and a poor farm.

            Not saying others didn’t think Greene had actual power at the time, but none of these organizations popped Greene ahead of us in the draft. For whatever reason, the power simply is not there. Not plus power, not even average power for an average non-first-round player in the low minors. Greene’s current realized power is at about a 30 rating.

            1. allentown…..your point is well taken and having a strong scouting staff and developmental program is a prime neccesity.
              But look at the greatest drafting baseball organization of all time, not my words, but many national pundits seem to adhere to that, the St Louis Cardinals.
              Now check out their failure rate for number one round draft choices in a small sampling.
              2003 — Daric Barton-c….2004 —Christopher R Lambert-p….2005 —Mark A Mccormick-p.. —James T Greene-ss…..—Tyler D Herron-p —Colby R Rasmus-of …..2006—Adam R Ottavino-p —Christopher R Perez-p 2007 —Peter M Kozma-ss —Clayton G Mortensen-p 2008 —Brett A Wallace-3B —Michael L Lynn-p 2009 —Shelby Miller -p 2010 —Zach Cox-3B —Seth Blair-p —Tyrell Jenkins-p 2011 —Kolten Wong-2B 2012 —Michael Wacha-p
              …as you can see it is not 100% guaranteed stardom for the majority of their picks. I see maybe 4/5 quality picks out of 18 first rounders.

  4. Tough to get excited just yet about the 2014 draftees out of college who are 22-23 playing against competition that is mostly 18-19. Their doing no better than the absolute minimum of what they should be doing against competition 3 yrs+ younger, and they’re hardly dominating.

    I’d save the enthusiasm for the double-jump to Clearwater. Of course, players like ABrown and MShortall continue to be blocked by the soon to be 24 year old Everett Williams and the soon to be 26 year old Brandon Short who for whatever reason continue to get everyday ABs in the heart of the Threshers lineup. I don’t see any of the Lakewood outfielders moving up any time soon so hopefully we’ll see a few double-jumps for the Crosscutter outfielders in the very, very near future.

    1. You could have some double-jump Asche’s in the mix and ones who move fast up the rung like Perkins.

    2. Was just wondering if there was a 3B we could double/ triple/ quintuple jump to Clearwater? Sending H Mart out there for ABs is beyond comical at this point. But I digress….

  5. I wonder what the Phillies are doing with Gustavo Martinez. He is 20 years old. He is a speedy outfielder who hits for average and steals bases. Is his defense bad? He leads off well. Is his OBP horrible? Are they wasting his time?

  6. Double-jump G. Martinez now. He had a very good year at Williamsport last year and now he is buried in GCL. Green has really been hitting at Lakewood. Pullin is showing he can be a future second baseman. There are beginning to be very good signs of life in the system. I hope Dugan will get a chance when they clean their big-league outfield. If Morgan and Biddle get past their injury and other problems, they can have some effective pitchers moving up. It may not be so long ntil they can compete again.

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