Box Score Recap – 7/28/2014

Maikel Franco with his eighth home run and second in three days. He was 4-4 and has been absolutely crushing it in July, with an OPS of .972 for the month, which includes 14 XBH in ~90PAs. Solid. Reading managed just two hits, and Severino Gonzalez lasted just three innings against Portland. Seve only threw 52 pitches, but he did allow two more homers. Not solid. Roman Quinn’s streak of walks and steals comes to an end, but he has hit in six straight. For LKW, Andy Knapp had three hits and Dylan Cozens and Mitch Walding had two a piece – Walding’s OPSing a Maikel Franco-esque .975 in July. His Ks remain a little high, though he’s been better this month at around 23%, but his walks are near double digits for the year. A month in A+ might be a good idea for his progress, as he appears to be over SAL pitching, finally.

And hopefully Tyler Viza’s getting something out of his time in Lakewood, because you know he’s not getting much confidence from his game day results. He’s 3-14, which has to kind of suck. It’s meaningless in judging his performance, and there’s plenty not to like in his stats, but it was a really aggressive placement for a HS draftee who didn’t even see WIL last summer. He’s at least kept his control, as evidenced by a really strong 1.88 BB/9 for a 4.6% BB Rate. Seems he’s been a little bit unlucky as well, as FIP has him at 4.10 for the year, which is not bad at all for one of the ten or so youngest regular starters in the league, and nearly a run better than his ERA. His placement in 2015 will be interesting.

I’ve spent too much time on this already, so I’ll leave the short season leagues to you all to discuss, but I will say this much: ¡Viva Encarnación!

Is it “vivo”, “viva”, “vive”, or one of those with an accent, maybe? Anyone? Viva seems to flow off the tongue, but I don’t think it’s right.

Here’s the affiliate Scoreboard from MiLB.

7-28-14 boxscores

57 thoughts on “Box Score Recap – 7/28/2014

  1. Don’t know if this was talked about but why was Keivi Rojas released? He’s young enough with solid enough #’s to keep around.

  2. Record of stateside teams is 202-301 for a .402 winning percentage. Translate this to majors and it is better than only 1 team Texas. Looks like high draft picks for many years to come.

      1. They certainly do, especially in isolation. But in this case, the records are so bad and the bad records are so pervasive, that it speaks to a profound lack of depth in the system, especially among pitchers. I find it very hard to believe that we are anything other than last in the MLB in minor league pitching talent. It’s pretty bad. I’m not a doomsayer and I generally don’t care at all about minor league records, but here, it’s a level where it is disconcerting.

            1. Funny, I was looking at it as pretty good, considering how bad our drafts a few years ago were, and how many prospects we traded to remain in the hunt back in 2010-2011. I see the system as rebounding, with some pretty good drafts the last two years, some great international signings, and potential for a bunch more. I like our top 20 this year better than last year, and significantly better than two years ago.

        1. I generally agree with what folks are saying – records are typically entirely irrelevant, but here, I really do believe they can reveal an organizational weakness, and, in the case of the Phillies, the main weakness is pitching talent and depth. If the Phillies trade Cliff Lee, or Hamels, it’s a pretty bleak picture on the starting side for next year because, aside from Nola, there are no top tier starters and maybe even no middle tier starters, anywhere on the horizon (sorry, I love Biddle, but until he sorts things out he’s just a big question mark).

      1. And when you consistently stink across the board in the minors, you can insure continued poor results at the major league level.

      1. Winning is a learned trait. If an organization has a multi-year record of losing all the players who do eventually reach the phils will know only that. I think it speaks to the organization philosophy of teaching fundamentals, learning how to win close games, learning how to move runners, get good AB’s especially with RISP, and how to hold leads late in games. Must build winning traits from A level to majors if you want to be successful. Everyone is amazed at how the Cardinals get so much from late round picks and cast-offs. Maybe it starts by learning how to play the game to win.

          1. And they have such a great record for winning since the late 1970’s. Until last year they had gone like 10 yrs without a winning record. My point exactly.

        1. From 2011-2013, the Cardinals three highest minor leagues affiliates (High A, AA, AAA) had two winning seasons out of a possible nine. Are you sure that’s how they’re building a winning culture?

          Just from looking at minor league records quickly, the most common trait among winning teams appears to be age. If you have a club that’s on average a year or so older than other teams in the league, you have a huge advantage. Like Catch mentioned above, the pitching is absolutely thin in the system, but the Phillies’ record is also hurt by their aggressive promotion of their better hitting prospects. Look at Lakewood. It’s record is terrible, but it’s also one of the younger teams in the league. I would say that team has an above average group of hitting prospects who have been promoted quickly and have struggled at times against older competition.

        2. The farm teams in this organization have been there and won before. Many of the players who were key to those winning seasons of Lakewood, GCL, LHV, are currently in the majors playing for the Phillies and other teams: Bastardo, Zeid, D’arnaud, Cosart, Gose, et al. The organization presently has little talent that can have an impact at the major league level Morgan, Buchanan, Franco, Biddle, Knigge are mainly pitchers who will contribute to the Phillies. Giles and Asche are players who have done well this year. There is talent in the lower levels, but no one can predict how they will do at this stage. Of all the talent in the farms of major league teams only a few have impact each year. The Braves during their long run had to go to free agency and trades to stay good. Their system had high draft choices for years and couldn’t produce a pitcher until Tom Glavine came along. It will be a while before the Phillies field a competitive team, and longer before another penant winner. We have been truly privileged to witness the seasons from 2003 to 2011 when the Phillies were the best with many players coming from the farm. Let the memories sustain us as we follow the young talent as they seek to become the next rollins, Utley, Howard, Hamels. I hope the Phillies bring on more Latin American players and Japanese players. We may be able to get better faster.
          Nothing is guaranteed.

    1. amazing to me that people still pay attention to wins and losses at the minor league level. one more time…wins and losses are completely irrelevant at the minor league level. the ONLY goal of a minor league team is prospect development. there is no correlation between minor league wins-losses and major league success. the Phillies had horrible minor league records while we were winning the NL East for 5 years. completely irrelevant stat.

      1. Agree that W-L isn’t important, but a majority of those players were in the majors already during that stretch. Howard, Rollins, Utley, Chooch, Hamels, Lidge, Werth, Victorino, Burell. The only legitimate player that ever came up in 2010 and 2011 was Brown. The phillies didn’t really get minor league contribution during those years. The reason the phillies have fallen off is due to trading away the talent in the minors during those 5 years that coudl’ve helped now.

          1. Doesn’t really matter with this argument, I said the help wasn’t coming from the farm system while we were winning aka guys were not coming up during the success they had come up before it.. It was fa signings as well as former minor leaguers.

        1. Not sure you really understand the meaning of the word condescending. Must be tough to act like a hooligan behind an anonymous handle.

        2. nah…my posts:
          1. don’t hide behind being anonymous (like you).
          2. back up my statements with the logical argument behind my conclusion
          3. use data
          4. always attack the point, not the person
          5. never use insulting terminology

          more to the point, one should never be insulted because someone challenges their opinion on a blog. it is all for fun.

          and if you met me in person, you would think that i am a good guy. i just like to mix it up on the blog.

      2. This argument appears off base to me. The minor league records have little to do with the current major league record, but might be a leading indicator of where the major league team will be in a few years. I have not studied the data, so I don’t know, but eventually having extremely weak minor league teams has to catch up with you.

        1. Your minor league record is heavily influenced by the relative quality of your organizational filler. How many guys in the minor leagues are legit prospects? Maybe 25%? Prospects, for the most part, are not the ones determining ML records.

      3. Once again you go overboard…sure nobody will remember records but winning is good for everyone…if your team stinks it makes coming to the ballpark tougher…these kids are competitors…they want to win…if your team struggles you may press…hitting is contagious despite what sabremetrics say…on the opposite end adversity builds character…also making the playoffs put players in higher pressure situations…Winning always better than losing

  3. I wouldn’t move Walding up yet. He did just hit .178 / .257 / .233 in June. But it’s great that he’s FINALLY showing some power.

    I’m starting to get excited about Encarnacion. A .737 OPS from a 16 year old in the GCL is very impressive. He could be in our top 10.

    1. While the ceiling could be quiet high, hes so young and so far away to put him in the top 10, IMO. In my mind in no particular order, I have JPC, Franco, Biddle, Nola, Pullin, Quinn, MAG, Dugan, Tocci, and Cozens as my top 10, with grullon easily being interchanged with some. I think this time next year, if he keeps it up it might be a different story.

      1. Yeah, he’s probably in the 12-18 range for the reasons you mentioned and because he’s already playing 1B. The bat is going to have to really good. Fortunately, early results look promising, but we just don’t know yet.

        I’d also lump Matt Imhof in with Grullon as a guy you could slide into the back end of your top 10. He’s flying under the radar a bit for a 2nd round pick with a good fastball and encouraging early performances.

      2. Ranking Encarnacion in the top 10 would be very aggressive given his age, and I said “could”, meaning conditional on how he finishes the year.

        It’s true that he is a first baseman, but mashing first basemen are less common than they were 10 years ago. At his age, his performance is very encouraging.

        When you factor in his pedigree (1 million signing bonus ~= a 2nd round pick), I think he’s a candidate for the top 10, IF he finishes out the year strong, and assuming the scouting reports support his performance.

        1. Probably not the best idea to equate int’l signing bonuses with MLB draft rounds. Encarnacion, had he been in the draft, probably would have gone much earlier than the middle of the second round ($1M was slot for around pick 55). Potentially he could have gone in the Top 30 or so, IMO. He was ranked very high in Int’l market by BA at least, (#4, IIRC), and I could see a scenario where he went to Tampa at 21 or 29 or St Louis at 28. Of course it’s really hard to project, as a couple Int’l guys would have been picked ahead of that as well, so who knows.

          So your argument about his pedigree probably sells him a little short, I guess is my point. Also agree with you that there may be a case for him to be ranked quite high in the system after doing as well as he has in the GCL at 16. His 17th birthday is next weekend – he’s the youngest pro player in the states and holds a wRC+ of 115. If he finishes strong, and depending what kind of reports we get out of instructs, who knows what the consensus might be on his placement in the system.

    2. ramsey – agree about Encarnacion. Would say he’s more of a prospect now than Tocci was at 17, and Tocci got a hell of a lot of love here at the time (including me). I don’t think the back end of the Top 10 is a stretch at all.

  4. Martelo seems to be doing better — more extra base hits, higher average. Encarnacion’s progress is really encouraging.

    1. martelo has a .256/.342/.309 slash in july with a .651 OPS… that’s a large improvement from his june slash of .167/.250/.201 with .454 OPS in june. With july being the larger sample size. Now obviously small sample warnings attach to both, but at least its an improvement

  5. Viza is a guy I want to keep an eye on. At this point, it is the organizations job to just keep shouting into his ear that they don’t care about his record, and not let him get down because of it. There is real stuff there. You can have a guy like him who is 3-14 but promising, and then you can have a guy in the minors go 14-1 and it means nothing. Who can forget the monster seasons weve seen from the likes of Joe Grahe, Brandon Duckworth, and Joe Roa? Winning really doesnt mean anything, a lot of the best W-L teams in the minors do so well bc they have a bunch of non prospects way too old for the league. Lets just wait and see how these guys develop.

    Now, if you want to criticize the lack of AAA and AA talent, that is 100% fine.

  6. Danurda I will buy what you say except this kid doesn’t hit 90 on the gun. according to what I have heard

  7. Hey all, was at the ‘Pigs game last night and figured I would weigh in with a few, albeit amateur, observations from the game. I won’t waste time on the pitching, O’Sullivan looks like Joe Blanton minus the talent, nothing more to say. The defense was lazy, for lack of a better descriptor. Bad error by Hernandez reminded me of Bill Dorn and his Ole Bulls@#t from Major League. Get in front of the ball, they teach that in little league. Other than that nothing stood out other than it looked like guys simply going through the motions. Now on to the hitting…

    First off, there were 5 hard hit balls by the ‘Pigs all night, 4 by Franco and 1 by Hill. Otherwise, it was really painful to watch in that the running theme was bad approach, bad swings, bad results.

    Franco looked really good, aggressive and was squaring everything up. The homer in the first was on the first pitch he saw and left about as quickly as a ball could. Absolutely smoked it. The other three obviously didn’t travel as far, but he was right on the ball every time. As far as his swing goes, to my untrained eye it looked shorter than last year. Also, the “load” that is frequently discussed in regard to him seemed less pronounced. Again, I’m nothing but a fan, but it looked like the hands weren’t moving backwards quite as much as last year with Reading. Oh and he stole a bag. He’s not J-Roll, but he was not as bad a runner as I was led to believe by some reports.

    Hernandez was disappointing. He was overly aggressive which resulted in weak contact. Not sure if it’s due to rust from being pinned to the bench with the Phils, or if he’s unhappy at being sent back down, or simply a bad day. To me it looked like he was simply going through the motions, which was certainly not unique to him last night.

    Castro is an interesting case in my opinion. You look at him and you think “that’s a ballplayer”, but he really looked bad at the plate. Similar to Hernandez in that he generated very weak contact and didn’t show much discipline up there. One note, and I’m sure it’s meaningless, but I have never seen a human being walk more slowly than Leandro. After at-bats and coming in from the outfield, you could have timed him with an hourglass. Yet he flowed to the ball nicely in the outfield and showed very good range. Kind of an interesting contrast.

    Galvis also looked lost up there. Swinging at bad pitches, weak contact, even his double was a bloop down the opposite field line. He, and this is true about Hernandez as well, tries to uppercut everything which generates the aforementioned weak contact. He simply did not look comfortable up there which is understandable given an injury plagued season.

    Beyond that, nobody in the lineup would qualify as a prospect, so I won’t waste your time.

    One factor I would point out is that it was probably 55 degrees or so throughout the game, which might have had some effect. It was a little shocking to me that it was so cold and I live here. I can only imagine the players must have been thinking “It is July right?”.

    Wish I had something more heartening to report, but I’m sure none of what I said comes as a surprise. Frankly all I wanted was to see Franco in person and he rewarded me with a great night, so that was A-Okay in my book.

    Keep Calm and Phight On.

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