Reader Top 30 Remix

Okay, so newcomer Ben Lively joins the organization during the vote for #7, receives 5 write-in votes, and wins the first poll in which he is entered.  Lively received 40% of the vote for #8, besting Yoel Mecias 119 votes to 41 votes.  Just so we get him placed in the right spot, here’s a poll to make a correction, if necessary.

58 thoughts on “Reader Top 30 Remix

  1. Good idea, Jim. FTR, I like him at 8 behind Dugan. I would have him 9 with Grullon also in the mix ahead of him.

  2. I have him behind Mecias and Windle, but ahead of Dugan and Biddle, so that made voting a little tough. To me, he belongs around 8-10.

  3. 20014:

    Biddle: Physically injured, takes a “time-out” for being “emotional injured,” terrible control with numbers to prove it.

    Lively: Wins “Minor League Pitcher of Year” for the Reds.

    Yeah, I put Lively before Biddle.

    1. “Emotionally injured” = He had a concussion. Remember that the Phillies past Paul Owens Award winners include such luminaries as Tyler Cloyd and Mike Zagurski. While Lively is a nice prospect, I don’t think winning the Reds’ minor league pitcher of the year award is a strong argument in his favor.

        1. The point is that that these awards are generally awarded to the prospect with the best numbers but they don’t necessarily take future ML potential into account. It doesn’t matter if the Reds’ system is better than ours; just because a guy can dominate in A-ball doesn’t mean he has the talent to do it in the majors. Scouting reports don’t paint him as a guy who will be a top flight ML pitcher.

            1. That’s fine if you value the floor enough to put Lively ahead; he seems the safer bet. I was mostly responding to the tone of Fritz’ post that seems to dismiss the viability of Biddle in the spot he was voted.

              I don’t agree that Biddle’s ceiling is falling- last year, pre-injury, he showed the same potential we’re used to. His floor is falling though, as he hasn’t been able to advance the last couple years, for various reasons. I think Lively is more likely to be a ML starter but Biddle has a better chance at being a #3.

            2. I also disagree that his ceiling has fallen. In fact, quite the contrary. I believe his floor has fallen. His development has certainly taken at least a half step backwards because of the concussion then the elbow tendinitis this winter but his top end potential is still the same. If he figures out some consistency with his command, his stuff is still nasty enough to be a 2-3 starter in the bigs. That curveball is still an out pitch and the fastball has enough velocity and life for a lefty but the change needs to progress.

        2. Yes, but as the above Phillies example illustrates, this isn’t an award for best pitching prospect in the Reds system, it is an award for pitching prospect who had the best season. The two aren’t the same thing. The one factors in ceiling, while the minor league pitcher of the year does not. There are stronger pitching prospects in the Reds organization.

          1. Results do matter. If Biddle won the Paul Owens last year, we might have him ahead of Crawford. If a player with a respectable ceiling, as Lively does, the pitcher of the year award does matter I think a lot.

            1. Would tend to agree, however MLB had him ranked behind the following Red’s starting minor league pitchers….Stephensom, Lorenzen, Howard , DeSclafani and Crawford. So you really have to take it with a grain of salt.

            2. Consider, Luis Garcia was Phillies 2014 Pitcher of the Year. Tyler Cloyd won it a few years earlier. Organizational player of the year awards tend to be more about seasonal statistics and less about prospecting.

  4. I agree Friterland! Biddle is after Windle for me,as at this point he needs to prove something,since he repeated Double A last year with poor results.
    I don’t get the excuses that people make for Biddle last year.

    1. He got hit in the head with a golfball sized chunk of ice traveling at terminal velocity. If you don’t get that, then maybe you are the one that has been concussed.

  5. Slotted behind Eflin (and Cozens) and ahead of Biddle

    1. Crawford
    2. Franco
    3. Nola
    4. Quinn
    5. Eflin
    6. Cozens
    7. Lively
    8. Biddle

    Imhof and Dugan will likely round out my top 10. Mecias, Altherr, Windle, Grullon in consideration.

    Tocci my biggest drop thus far. A decreased walk rate and increased strike out rate while repeating a class did not thrill me. I can’t recall a prospect who’s development as a pro baseball player was so highly influenced by his physical development. He’ll play all next season at age 19.

  6. Rule Five pick, Odubel Herrera. last night (Dec 29th) celebrated his 23rd birthday with a career high sixth homer in only 197 at bats and should win the VLW batting title with a .365 average and tops in OPS with a .975 percent. He also can pick it and throw in centerfield by starting an 8-3 double play last night. Herrera is probably one of the few players in professional baseball history to win two league batting titles in one year. Earlier he won the AA Texas League batting title hitting .321 but hit only 2 home runs in 368 at bats and started the season in the high A Carolina League hitting no homers in 111 at bats.

    1. My level of excitement hinges on whether Herrera can truly play a competent CF. Competent, as in better than Revere competent, and with enough of an arm to prevent runners from nonchalantly going from 1st to 3rd on ground balls up the middle. Even as a .290 hitter his accompanying offensive production doesn’t make him much of a fit for a corner.

      I suspect an appropriately sized contingent of talent evaluators are watching Herrera’s play in CF this winter. If he can play, I suspect Revere will be traded.

      I mentioned this on another thread, but has anyone considered the lefty heavy OF on the roster right now. Revere and DBrown are both lefties and expected to get regular OF ABs. As of now, the next three OF’ers in no particular order are Sizemore (lefty), Herrera (lefty) and I would argue Bogusevic who is also a lefty. Asche experiment? Lefty. Dugan? Lefty.

      1. One might say that’s why they were able to get Lively for a 37 yr old right handed OF. Righties are scarce at the moment. Lots more right handed pitchers though, including most closers.

      2. Steve you are certainly right about all these lefties. I don’t think it matters much since they are rebuilding and want to get young guys, like Herrera, playing time. I think Sandberg is ok playing a lot of left handed hitters against RHP and just mixing in some right handed bats against LHP. Considering our offense and team we be among the worst in the league, I am not worried about an unbalanced lineup.

        I also agree that Revere could be traded if Herrera can play CF. If Herrera can hit for a high average like Revere and add more walks and some more pop there is not much need for Ben, unless they use him as a 4/5 OF.

        I am hoping a potential Hamels trade could bring back a young bat to add to Franco and JPC. That could add another right handed bat to the lineup.

      3. You can then make a case for Altherr eventually being up for good in 2015.
        Or it could be Perkins if he has a resurgence at the plate at LHV.

        1. I wish Altherr had a stronger 2014. There’s a clear opportunity for him to win a spot on the 2015 roster. I just don’t think he’s ready yet. Still, the floor for me has been rising on Altherr even if the ceiling has been dropping. He fields his position like a pro and I would think his worse case is a Mayberry type 4th-5th OF’er right now.

          1. My reference to Altherr, is to the fact he may be the only right-handed bat in that lefty dominate outfield you mentioned earlier, then he would serve a purpose as the 4th/5th OFer.

          2. Altherr definitely isn’t ready. AA to majors is a huge jump for a position player. Altherr didn’t even have an outstanding year in Reading, he had an ok-encouraging year. He is an outstanding defensive CF, so that takes some pressure off the bat, but his Reading stats sure didn’t scream ‘send me straight to Philly!’. Likely such a move would really mess up his development. That would be a shame, because among Dugan, Perkins, Altherr, I think the center field D makes Altherr the guy with the best odds to be an MLB starter long-term.

            1. Agree to some point on Altherr, but like I said above he will eventually be up in 2015, unless Francouer is the one they want as the righthanded OF bat. Both are defensively equal to or better then all the current Phillie OFers except maybe Sizemore

      4. We should be more focused on the minor league rosters. The major league roster should be there only to showcase veterans for trades or to find out if a prospect is ready. Lineup structure really means nothing when management has stated that winning will not be a priority for at least 2 years.

    2. He certainly seems like a guy we can get excited about. While he’s learning OF, he did win best fielding 2B in his league. Not always certainly but often a great fielder is a great fielder, like Zobrist and Galvis. Let’s hope Herrera is one of those guys. However, trading Revere now and giving a rule 5 guy CF seems a bit presumptuous to me this soon.

      1. I think I’m on the short end of the fence with respect to trading Revere. Still, for all the reasons given to keep here are the same reasons that tell me his value is decreasing with each passing season (and escalating salary). He’s not part of the long term answer in CF unless you’re thinking extension candidate, and he will likely never have higher trade value. I’m not saying we jettison the guy, but if he could bring back a pitcher the caliber of Lively, I’m all for it

      2. Why presumptuous for Herrera in CF?
        The team is not going to contend in 2015, and that is Gillick’s understanding from what he said in November.
        This is the time to experiment with a youth like Herrera, and he does have an extended MiLB experience with approx. 2600 PAs, plus all his winter ball experience over the year in the Ven..
        I would package Ben Revere in a deal.

        1. Maybe in spring training if Herrera shows he’s ready. I don’t think you can trade revere until you’re sure Herrera can play CF in the majors.

    3. This is very exciting based on the idea that when was the last Phils’ prospect to do so well in the VSL? That would be Bobby Abreu. Not saying he is Abreu, but it is nice to see a prospect with actual hitting skills. I understand the crapshhot of a Rule V pick, but those numbers sure spark my interest.

  7. We all vote based on our own criteria which is perfectly fine. Some votes seem to be on a player’s ceiling regardless of his ability to reach it. To me, Lively and Windle appear to be likely major leaguers. How good? Who knows? But to me Biddle and Altherr, to name two, are far less certain to get there, Altherr’s few ABs last year notwithstanding. To me, Biddle is not a top 10 guy right now and neither is Altherr. I like sustained success in my top 10 guys. As for Mecias, he’s a very good prospect but he’s not in my top 10 either because he needs to regain his pre surgery fastball first. Just my perspective but I have the 3 new pitchers 5,6,7 for us. Nice job RAJ.

    1. For me it’s because most project him to be a bullpen arm in the majors, and I don’t value bullpen arms all that highly when it comes to these lists.

      1. Everything I have read project him to be a starter with bullpen as a fallback if he can’t locate better. Which sounds an awful lot like the scouting reports for Biddle. But Wendel throws harder.

        1. Wow…. never seen a guy’s surname bastarized so much like Winde, or Windel, or Windell or Windl (wasn’t he a Czech forward?).
          Seems like Tom Windle has made a lasting impression.

          1. Just listen to Philadelphia sports radio for a while. It’s amazing how many names people simply cannot pronounce even though they hear the announcers say them almost every day. One day my wife was listening and I had to convince her that these were actual calls, not practical jokes.

            1. I wonder how the people that call into Philly sports radio AND host the shows are able to function.

              It amazes me that they have the brain functions to dial the number and speak for two minutes.

              Add in the concepts of breathing, walking, and driving and *mind blown.*

            2. Omg You have posted the most ignorant statement ever. Who do you think you and your wife are. People don’t have to be rocket scientist to voice there opinion, College sometimes just makes people dumber, no common sense.

      2. Agree G$. Right now The reports suggest a 2 pitch pitcher with neither offering viewed pitch as above average. A lot needs to improve there for him to be a starter. But he’s still young and has plenty of time to work on things

        1. According to MLB:
          His slider is plus rated.
          Velo FB is low 90s, and touching 94.
          And work-in-process with a changeup.
          And in 2013 at Minnesota…… he led the Big Ten in strikeouts (all games) and opposing batting average, having held opponents to a .203 average. Windle still established 49 strikeouts against league opponents, which ranked second in the Big Ten.
          His pro 2013 stats are naturally SSS and at the end of a collegiate season so they can be skewed a bit.
          If he ever masters the change-up he could be a valuable asset to a rotation.

          1. One thing Phillies have been able to do is help guys develop their change up. Hamels I believe has always had a really good change up, but Kendrick didn’t come up with a good one. He developed it and its become a good pitch for him even though he pitched lousy. Madson is another guy the Phillies brought up with a good change up. I wanna say Halladay credited the Phillies with his change up as well, but I’m not 100% sure. Hopefully Windle will develop a change up and be a solid SP.

            Even if Windle becomes a bullpen arm he should be a good one. Cost controlled years of a good LHP and Eflin is a good return for Rollins. If Windle and Eflin both make it to the bigs as starters this will be a great trade for us.

          2. And fangraphs says solid-average fastball and below average secondary offerings. Prospectus thinks he’s a BP arm. Seems to be a lot of disagreement on his stuff

    2. I agree. I know this is a minority position, but I don’t think we value “floor” enough.

      Windle, Lively, even Imhof all have a good chance to actually make the majors. I’d say the odds for each of them to reach the show are about 40%. And that’s multiples higher than most of the players for whom we’re voting.

      In a previous post, I put the odds of Biddle reaching the majors at 15%. And the more I’ve thought about it, I think that’s probably too high.

      1. I think that, barring injury, all of these guys are far enough up the minor league ladder and have shown enough that they have about an 80% of reaching the majors. The question is in what capacity and how much they will be worth over their 6 years of team control. That’s why I value ceiling as much as I do. A guy who can be a #2/#3 starter is worth half a dozen guys who can only be #4/5 starters. Some of these guys will be injured, but that’s not predictable. Some may peak out as middle relievers/#5 starters. They are useful, but really not all that valuable in the grand scheme of things.

        Biddle still has a decent ceiling. I agree that he has the greatest likelihood of all these guys to be an almost complete injury or can’t-overcome-wildness flameout. Of all the guys we are discussing, Biddle is the only one whom we know is currently injured. That’s a not insignificant fact.

    1. Exactly. I enjoy the discussions. Each of us has the guys we like and the guys we don’t. Makes the site fun and different from the others.

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