Florida Instructional League – Adam Morgan Edition; 9/24/2014

In Florida, Wednesday is Camp Day. After morning workouts, the players head over to Bright House Field for an intrasquad game. Today, a little past 12:30pm, Adam Morgan started a game for the first time since he was shut down in 2013.

Intrasquad games are a pain to score. The line ups are fluid, innings can start with runners on base, innings can last more or less than 3 outs, and there are double the number of pitchers to chart. I can provide a lot of detail on Morgan and some sketchy highlights on the rest of the game.

Adam Morgan’s first pitch was an 86 mph fastball for a ball. His second pitch was also at 86 mph and was lined to center for a single by 16-year old, Venezuelan signee Arquimedez Gamboa. Another 16-year Venezuelan signee, Lenin Rodriguez, followed and struck out swinging in a 3-pitch at bat. Morgan’s pitches were clocked at 87, 87, and 88 mph. Cord Sandberg was fooled on an 81 mph first-pitch. As his bat sailed into the empty stands, Willians Astudillo gunned down Gamboa on a steal attempt. Sandberg fouled off a 79 mph pitch before grounding an 88 mph fastball back to Morgan. Damek Tomscha became the fourth out of the inning when he missed an 89 mph, 1-2 fastball. He took two 74 mph curve balls for strikes earlier in the at bat.

Morgan’s first inning included 12 pitches to 4 batters. He threw 10 strikes and 2 balls. His 8 fastballs ranged in velocity from 86-89 mph.

His second inning was a 1-2-3, 10-pitch beauty. He recorded his third strike out and 2 infield ground outs. His 4 fastballs were in the 87-88 mph range. His 5 curve balls fluctuated from 72-74 mph.

Morgan threw 18 pitches in the third inning but failed to record an out. He got ahead of Jesmuel Valentin 1-2 to start the inning, but left an 87 mph fastball up where Valentin could drive it into the left field bleachers and also into a noticeable breeze. Morgan’s exclamation on contact was audible in the empty stadium. Chace Numata then worked a 7-pitch walk. Venn Biter lifted a 1-2 pitch down the right field line that was in the air way to long to drop for a double. Gamboa followed with an infield chopper. He might have been out with an accurate throw. I scored it an infield single with an E6 on the throw, Biter scored on the play.

That was it for Morgan. In all he threw 40 pitches, 31 strikes and 9 balls. His 24 fastballs were 87-89 after his first 2 pitches of the game, and accounted for 7 of his 9 pitches out of the strike zone. He threw 11 curve balls, 9 were in the strike zone – 4 swinging strikes, 3 called, 1 foul ball, and 1 ground out to second (Derek Campbell was the only batter to make contact with his curve balls). His 5 other pitches were probably change ups (81, 79, 79, 82, 80 mph), all in the strike zone (3 fouls, a ground out, and a miss).

All in all, it was a good outing. His fastball has a way to go before he’s back to the pre-injury Morgan. His off-speed pitches were moving nicely and gave the batters problems, albeit younger batters than he last faced with Lehigh Valley.

  • Adonis Medina, a 17-year old from the DSL, threw his fastball 88-89 mph and hit 90 mph once.
  • Carlos Indriago, a 20-year old from the VSL, threw 24 pitches. His fastball was predominantly at 87 mph but he drifted from 89 to 85 mph, makes the 4 pitches he threw at 84, 83, 81, and 79 mph hard to identify.
  • Felix Paulino threw in the 89-90 mph range.
  • Carlos Salazar, another 17-year old from the VSL, hit everything from 86 to 82 a couple of times in his inning.
  • Ismael Cabrera, a 20-year old from the DSL, threw his fastball 89-90 mph.
  • Kyle Bogese pitched an inning but I missed his numbers. The guns in front of me ran low on power and were put away. It was a quick 1-2-3 inning, though.

The game ended 7-7 after 6 and a half innings. A good portion of the runs scored were from the situational runners placed on the bases at the start of an inning. Sac bunts by leadoff batters were attempted but rarely executed. The offensive highlights were –

  • Valentin’s home run.
  • Jan Hernandez tripled into the left field corner.
  • Astudillo hit a 2-run doubled into left center field.
  • Christian Palacios doubled down the left field line.
  • Rhys Hoskins had another hit.
  • Drew Stankewicz singled down the left field line but was thrown out at second.
  • Carlos Duran contributed 2 singles.

Daniel Brito, another 16-year old Venezuelan, walked and stole second. However 4-5 guys were thrown out stealing or picked off first.

The 4 international signees, Gamboa, Rodriguez, Brito, and Jonathan Arauz, a 16-year old from Panama, were in the starting line up.

Astudillo left the game with Morgan and was replaced by Joel Fisher.

Jesus Alastre started and was hit by a pitch in his first at bat. Later he doubled down the line and raced into second base. He really looked fast.

Andrew Pullin started in left field.

I think every position player on the roster (except Grullon, Crawford, and Sweaney) got into the game at some point.

Two road games in Bradenton coming up, then a home game Saturday morning at Bright House.


54 thoughts on “Florida Instructional League – Adam Morgan Edition; 9/24/2014

  1. That is encouraging.
    Morgan should pick up a few ticks in his velo as he gains strength and more confidence in his shoulder’s healing.

  2. JimP….when you run into any scouts…see what they have to say about Rhys Hoskins’ bat.
    I think he could really take off next season.

      1. I put “Rhys Hoskins Darin Ruf” into an anagram generator, and I got back: “Hand Risks Horrify, Sun”. Just something to consider, sun.

  3. Thanks for some positives Jim, anybody not look so good out there. I really like how the socialist south American countries or cuba name there kids in honor of Russian communists

    1. I could stand having someone of Vladimir Guerrero’s talent play for the Phillies and make them a better team.

      1. IM all for that, I think the names are cool and it is an interesting socio cultural aspect of what is in a name. Its kind of a shame the great socialist experiment was allowed to be derailed by dictators and greedy politicians but hey I guess it really is no different than Capitalism in some respects

        1. And thus concludes “A Brief History of 20th Century Political Thought,” by Anonymous

          1. Yep, Socialism would no doubt be wonderful if just the right dictators and politicians were in charge. /sarcasm

  4. IMO Morgans velocity is exactly where it needs to be right now, I actually think it’s higher then what I would have expected. A big part of it will be being comfortable going all out. When you come back from an arm injury/shoulder you will be hesitant to pump up the velocity. A off season will do him well, a healthy off season will do him well.

  5. I just don’t get the guys we sign who throw less than 90.. I understand morgan who is coming off injury, our scouts stink to high heaven

    1. After a full season of pitching maybe they are getting tired and their velocity is down a little.

    2. rocco…….Giles, Diekman, DeFratus all throw in the 90s…all relievers.
      Reliever can air it out with two basic pitches for an inning or two.
      Difficult finding legit starters that can go a full 7 innings maintaining 93/94.
      Ethan Martin had the velo but after 4/5 innings it headed downward.

      1. I think Lisalverto Bonilla can maintain his velocity late into games – perhaps we can convert him to a starter. Ooops, we traded him and the Rangers thought he might make a good starter too. But it was all worth it for 4 1/2 months of unfortgettable baseball from Michael Young.

          1. Of course it is – I’m just frustrated.

            It’s hard to tell how effective and durable Bonilla will be in the long run and, of all of the assets the Phillies had available to trade in the winter/spring of 2013, the only surplus they had was in relief pitchers (which is what he was at the time), so I get why they traded him.

            That said, it would be interesting to see if any of the Phillies younger BP arms could be transitioned to the starting rotation. The Rangers and Cubs have had some success doing this. Of course, doing this is not easy and most relief pitchers don’t have the multiples pitches, the stamina or the command to do it and when you get a good reliever, the concern is always that you’ll take an asset (good reliever) and turn him into a liability (as happened when the team tried to convert Ryan Madson). But with the Phillies so desperate for young starters and their having so many of their best arms in the bullpen, it’s something they should be aware of and consider in certain circumstances. Of the current group, one guy who I would consider in addition to MAG (who is a starter by training and will likely be tried in that role next spring) is Luis Garcia. Garcia has exceptional velocity, has shown multiple pitches and, at times, his breaking stuff can be lethal. He has too much ability to ignore or give up on. Martin, however, probably needs to stay in the pen because of his arm problems and his inability to retain velocity past about 35 pitches or so.

            1. Off topic but, Bonilla was one of my favorite prospects to follow and I was pretty PO’d when they dumped him for Young. If he was still with the Phillies he would have been in our bullpen last year some time. I’m not really sure why the Phils gave up on him as a starter so early, but that might end up looking like another mistake in addition to trading him for a once good player who was done by that point.

              I don’t think making Garcia a starter would be a successful experiment. For one, he’s started 8 games in his career- 6 in the DSL. I’ve only seen two pitches from him out of the ‘pen and his fastball control is the most erratic of any of the guys on the staff. I do like him as a guy to keep around in the ‘pen but I can’t see him starting.

    3. Roccom, you do realize that most of these kids are lottery tickets. The hope is they can develop more velocity and/or pitches and/or command/control.

      They’re prospects, not finished products. If they had mid-90s fastballs with great secondary offerings we wouldn’t have been able to sign them (for a small amount, if at all).

    4. Hey thumbs 6 down people are you part of the ones who thumbed down my brown cant hit remarks last season. Sounds like it to me. people who never watch a player just go on minor league stats, lmao. learn the game thumbs down people.

      1. You know, this reminds me of someone who promised to never comment again if the aforementioned Brown met a certain criteria. Brown met said criteria and yet the commenter continues to frequent the site.

        If only I could remember who it was that made that promise…

        1. Anonymous moron was I right , did you read todays paper, HEADLINE BROWN AND HOWARD WORST. use your name so we can check if your over eighteen or not, you talk like a little kid

          1. That was a different thread, and a different anonymous for what it’s worth. I avoid political discussions because I come here for baseball.

      2. You hold yourself to an rather easy standard. Since most prospect fail, it doesn’t take any skill to just claim that everyone sucks and be correct most of the time.

        Baseball is the perfect game for cynics

  6. Hey Jim, just wanted to thank you for the great write up. Great info and really appreciate you taking to the time to not only go to an empty stadium to watch the prospects but chart all that you do and then write it up for us.

    And personally any ball coming out of Adam Morgan’s hand right now is a good thing – surely not worried about velocity at this point. Baby steps!

    We now break from our “thank you” interruption and get back to personal sniping mixed in with socio/politico comments:)

    1. Yeah, I second SteveB–thanks for the writeup Jim, I was really curious about how Morgan looked his first time out… Now back to my personal sniping and sociopolitical commentary.

    2. I hope the balls are coming outta Adam Morgans right hand . . If that’s the case then there’s a huge problem. Doubtful that he can do what Billy Wagner did ; )

  7. Reading a comment from Rollins in an interview the other day stuck out to me . . . He says “sure I’ve had a great season but I haven’t really helped us win”. I agree completely with the second part of his quote but the first part . . . What exactly was “great” about his season? I would have graded his season as ok at best. I might even say that it was slightly above good if you factor in his age, his position and what he has around him but “great”? If he really thought his season was great then I think he needs to up his standards.

    1. Actually, not sure about this, but he may have been comparing himself with other shortstops thru the majors….he did finish rather high on the list.

      1. Romus I believe he had a bad year, but your right if you compare him to other shortstops not bad. I just hate his obp for a guy who bats second and his ability to hit behind runners and bunt. I know a lot of people don’t believe in moving runners and putting pressure on the pitcher, I guess I am old school.

    2. I’ve mostly given up on this … haters are going to hate … but OF COURSE Rollins had a very good year. By WAR he’s tied for the third best SS in the game this season, and even setting WAR aside it’s hard to make an argument that he’s any lower than 5th. He’s well above average … 3.6 WAR, which is a borderline star. Again, even more traditional analysis leads to a similar conclusion – above average base running, above average hitting (yes, indisputably so, not MUCH above average overall but above average for all players and well above average for a SS), above average defense, and all this playing shortstop.

      And he is of course being too hard on himself regarding “helping the team win.” If (say) Galvis was the regular SS this year, the team would have won fewer games. At least one or two, more likely 3 or 4.

      1. Though to be fair`it’s not JUST irrational Rollins hate that fuels the mistaken belief that he had a very good year. It’s that, plus:

        (1) Insufficient understanding of just how much offensive context has changed, and
        (2) The common tendency to undervalue players who are solid or a little better across the board.

        1. I really think people are going to miss JRoll after his career is over (I know I will). He’s had a terrific career and has been a fun player to watch. How enjoyable would it be if he and Chase retired together after an entire career in Philly (after 2016 – I don’t think they’ll be ready to call it quits after next season)? I’m not expecting to win anything the next 3 – 5 years (and we have no one to play 2b/SS until Crawford and Pullin or Valentin are ready so what’s the rush to get rid of them), I believe we’re in the middle of another deep hole of years out of the playoffs. I’m looking at 2018 as the year we start turning it all around. If I’m right, Hamels would be 34 by then so I truly hope we trade him this off season IF we can get value for him (a big IF).

      2. I knew that quote was going to cause an uproar, but if you look at the full context you can see he’s not explicitly boasting about his season. Here’s the full quote from Todd Z (http://zozone.mlblogs.com/2014/09/24/rollins-talks-season-phillies-future/):

        “I don’t know what the overall grade would be, but you’re never doing enough if you’re not winning,” Rollins said. “Ultimately, that’s how we grade ourselves as athletes. Yeah, I did great, but I didn’t really help us win too many games. That’s how you feel. Even if you did everything you could. Nobody is going to be perfect. Leaving that runner on third those five times, that could have been five wins because we lost by one or something. Things like that. I always look to improve. So you’re never satisfied.”

        So my reading of this quote is that he’s explaining the baseball player’s mindset: yes personal accomplishments are great but it’s winning that matters most of all. It’s a pretty generic statement, unless you cut off everything before, “Yeah I did great,” which makes it sound like he’s basically boasting about his season. Which is what some of the other beat writers did. I suspect because the quote sounds much better that way.

        1. Very good explanation , plus hard to gauge how his voice inflection was when you read it in print. “Yeah I did great’ could have sounded a bit different from JRoll then how it reads.

          1. I didn’t read the quote in print, I saw/heard the interview. I wasn’t trying to say that he was boasting at all, I was just saying he thought he had a great season. Im really not big on WAR, I don’t know how you can tell what a “replacement player” would do, what a non existent player would do. You can’t tell. You can tell what any player would do for this team or that team. Just an example . . If you put say Troy Tulo in the phillies line up he would out up solid numbers but wouldn’t put up what he does in the Rockies line up. No one knows what his numbers would be. But back to Rollins, I don’t care what WAR says he didn’t have a good year. If you are telling me an avg under .250 with a low OBP is a good season, I’m just not buying it. I don’t care what position he plays either . . With that being said I do this he still plays a solid SS.

            1. I watch jimmy all year and thought he didn’t get on base like he should. fielded his position great, cant take that away. I just really don’t understand what people watch, I see a guy who popups a lot, doesn’t move runners, and has a terrible obp for a veteran player,

  8. Oh and by the way on the topic of language skills and Marxism – did anyone else notice Baseball America started their top 20 lists (one of my favorite times of the year – and yes I am a dork) and we got shut out of the Gulf Coast League?

    1. Is that really surprising? The Phils went college heavy in draft and don’t have many high end prospects there. Only 2 players I could see were Encanarcion and maybe Keyes.

      1. Encarnacion is very young and a big $ international signee, but his offensive production was only ‘held his own’ and he’s not a good defender. It is second year in the league for Keys, he wasn’t a heralded draft pick, and his K rate isn’t high enough to draw top 20 attention, although he did have a very nice year. My award for best year for a GCL Phillie (and same age as Keys) goes to Cuicas. Good offensive production, good D at a premium position. Probably not quite enough to merit the top 20 list.

        1. Have to assume Encarnacion may repeat the GCL next year, and more then likely do well at the plate. He will only be 18-years old. I can see him making the BA list next season.
          Keys could be headed to short-ball at WLMSP.

    2. I’m mildly surprised that Encarnacion isn’t on the list, given his age and talent that got him a large signing bonus. But his numbers weren’t that great and defense is a question. Other than him, the team’s top prospects would probably be, in some order:

      Cumana- Got off to a great start but numbers fell off after his injury

      Cuicas- 11th best wOBA in the league but he’s 19 and was unheralded coming into the year

      Pujols- Production doesn’t match the talent at this point

      Posso- Solid but unassuming batting line

      Garcia/Davis/Alezones/Keys/Kilome- Good but not dominating numbers and not much hype coming into the season, except maybe for Davis who was a college guy pitching out of the bullpen.

  9. I talked to one scout many weeks ago about Rhys Hoskins and he was VERY high on him and his bat.

    On the comment of turning relievers into starters, I heard the Phils are considering that but have ruled out Giles, Diekman and Martin, but will consider MAG, DeFratus, and Hollands.

    1. That is reasonable. A lot of college players have trouble in Short Seasons. I think it is because they are playing against better players than in college, and because they have just finished two seasons of baseball from January through August and are probably tired.

  10. The GCL Phillies did not play Encarnacion in the playoff games when top production was needed. The would never get a good review by baseball america for two reasons; one, they were top-heavy with older players, and two, the LA players were not the highly scouted and publicized players that appear on BA lists. They finished second best in season and playoff ball. They will have produced some of the highly regarded future prospects of the Phillies in Alezones, Keys, Kilome, and Pujols in my estimation.

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