Daily Archives: June 7, 2015

Open Discussion: Week of June 8th

Here’s an open discussion thread so the minor league posts don’t get cluttered with Phillies’ talk and other topics.

The First Year Player Draft starts Monday night.  There will be separate threads for that.

Some random stuff to light a fire –

  • Freddy Galvis got a hit today to end an 0-31 drought.
  • Maikel Franco’s 6 HR are enough to be second on the team.
  • Chase Utley is back under .200.
  • Papelbon is still earning his salary.
  • With Seve Gonzalez back to LHV, who’s #5?
  • Or, with an off day on the 11th, they just don’t need him until the 16th?
  • And since the draft is tomorrow, there’s this.  The Phillies are one of 3 teams with sub-.400 winning percentages – Oakland .390; Philadelphia .379; and Milwaukee .351

Box Score Recap – 6/7/2015

Lehigh Valley (21-37) lost to the Indianapolis Indians, 5-2.  Chris Leroux allowed 2 runs (1 unearned) on 5 hits and 2 walks in 5.0 innings.  The bullpen allowed 3 more runs over the next four innings, and rendered 2 late runs irrelevant.  Brian Bogusevic went 1-1 as a pinch hitter and drove in the first run.  Chris McGuinness hit a solo HR in the ninth.  Lino and Brown each went 1-4.  Joely Rodriguez (2-5, 5.76) pitches Monday. Continue reading Box Score Recap – 6/7/2015

Around the System, RP, Lehigh Valley and Reading

Not a whole lot to be excited about when discussing relief pitchers at the upper reaches of the organization.  In fact, almost no reason to be excited.  That will come when discussing Clearwater and Lakewood.

Lehigh Valley

Jake Diekman, 28, Phils 30th round pick in 2007; Sent down Friday, Diekman pitched s scoreless frame in his first outing, yielding both a base hit and a walk.

Seth Rosin, 26, Acquired from San Francisco in 2012; 22 games, 1-1 with a 2.35 ERA; 2 saves; 30.2IP 32H 6BB 21K; .254 opp avg; 1.24 WHIP;1.39 GO/AO; 1.8BB/6.2K per 9; .302vs. LH, .219 vs. RH, .250 over last 30 days; .268 with RISP.  Rosin has thrown very well this year and has likely past Hector Neris as the likely RHP to come up if need be.

Hector Neris, 26, SIgned as a free agent in 2009; 19 games; 1-3 with 4.50ERA; 1/3 saves; 24IP 28H 17BB 26K; .292 opp avg; 1.88 WHIP; 1.14 GO/AO; 6.4BB/9.8K per 9; .395 vs. LH, .224 vs. RH, .234 opp avg last Month; .294 with RISP.  Neris has pitched very poorly with an astronomical walk rate combined with getting crushed by left handed hitters.

Nick Hill, 30, Signed as a free agent in 2015; 13 games, 0-3 with a 3.80ERA between Reading and Lehigh Valley; 2 saves; 21.2IP 22H 11BB 14K; .289 opp avg; 1.55 WHIP; 0.95 GO/AO; 4.6BB/5.8K per 9; .389 vs. LH,.285 vs RH, .286 with RISP.  Hill has been nothing more than an innings eater for Lehigh Valley.  Very inconsistent. Continue reading Around the System, RP, Lehigh Valley and Reading

Reading Player Focus – Brock Stassi

Johnny Almaraz, the Phillies Amateur Scouting Director, said in an interview this past week that one of the criteria of his scouting crew is to find out about the players family and background. In his words “The apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree”, he feels it is very important to not just focus on baseball ability, albeit obviously of primary importance, but to also try and determine the makeup of the young player as desire, will, composure and passion are big elements of succeeding in professional baseball.

With that theme I thought it might be worthwhile to review, as best I can, some of the backgrounds and support of some of the present Phillies minor leaguers. My focus on Phuture Phillies is the Reading Fighten’s, with that being the case here is a look at a player who has perhaps performed better than any other minor leaguer in the system thus far, Brock Stassi.

Stassi is a 25 year old first baseman who stands 6’2″ and weighs in at 190 pounds. He was the 33rd round selection of the Phillies in the 2011 draft. He is from Sacramento, California and attended Yuba City High School where he played the positions of pitcher and outfielder for his dad Jim Stassi who coached the high school team for 18 years winning 337 games in his career. Brock graduated from the University of Nevada-Reno and was drafted by the Cleveland Indians in the 44th round of the 2010 draft but chose to complete his senior year and subsequently signed with the Phillies the following year. His father Jim also attended and played for the Wolfpack at the University of Nevada Reno and holds a few school records still.

Brock also pitched in college but focused primarily as an outfielder and led the team in hitting his senior season with a .360 average in 55 games and 203 at bats. He was not heavily recruited out of high school and being a third day draft pick is an underdog to make the show. As Matt Breen of the Philadelphia Inquirer pointed out in an article published on May 24th Stassi sees himself as someone who has always had to prove his doubters wrong. In a quote in that article Stassi said “I’ve always had to grind stuff out and open people’s eyes,  I play with a chip on my shoulder. Being a 33d-rounder, I use that as motivation. I take pride in that.”

Read more of that article http://www.philly.com/philly/sports/phillies/minor_leagues/20150524_Reading_s_Stassi_looks_to_keep_proving_doubters_wrong.html#4cLOKmxxFxLSU833.99

So what about family background? As mentioned his dad was a very successful high school coach and actually continues to coach as the hitting coach for the Marysville Gold Sox Baseball Club which is a summer collegiate wood bat team based in Marysville, CA. He played in the San Francisco Giants organization after being drafted in the 17th round of the 1982 draft and made it to the triple A level before ending his playing career in the Italian Pro League in Rimini, Italy. Additionally, Jim’s uncle Sam Stassi played minor league ball, and he is the great-nephew of big leaguer Myril Hoag. Some news stories claim his father Bob played in the minors as well as his grandfather Sam Sr.

Brock’s brother Max Stassi is a 24 year old catcher in the Houston Astro’s system playing at Triple A Fresno, he was a 2009 4th round draft pick of the Oakland A’s and was acquired via trade by the Astro’s.

So Brock definitely has a family with a baseball background and therefore a platform for reference to succeed. Now let’s take a look at his numbers, prior to this season he has had a relatively non-descript pro career. His first summer as a pro in 2011 was spent in Williamsport where he hit only .200 in 150 at bats while converting to a new position, first base. In 2012 he spent time at both Williamsport and Clearwater but the brunt of his time was at Lakewood where he posted a .247 average (.342 OBP with a .719 OPS) in 186 at bats. He only struck out 34 times against 28 walks while posting 15 extra base hits ( 9 doubles, 3 triples and 3 home runs).

Brock spent 2013 in Clearwater where the offensive game came around as he hit .295 ( .347 OBP and .746 OPS) in 288 at bats. Again he had minimal strike outs with 43 but only 23 walks with 19 extra base hits ( 11 doubles, 5 triples and 3 home runs).

In 2014 he struggled at Double A Reading hitting .232 ( .302 OBP and .629 OPS) in 440 at bats as the regular first baseman. He struck out 49 times with 39 walks and 23 extra base hits ( 12 doubles, 3 triples and 8 home runs) while driving in 44 runs. He actually got off to a decent start hitting .282 thru June but faltering to a .188 average in the second half of the season.

In an April, 2015 article written by Mike Drago of the Reading Eagle Stassi cited nutrition as a factor in his 2014 fall off, he spent the offseason living and training with his brother Max and adapted a diet which includes a regimented frequency of more meals as he said last season he lost weight and strength as the season went on.

So far so good this season for Brock as he comes into play today with an Eastern a League leading .339 average thru his first 180 at bats. He also leads the league in Runs Batted in with 43 and is second in OPS at .913 while being fourth in OBP at .402.  He already has 19 extra base hits ( 13 doubles and 6 home runs).

I for one always pull for the underdog and the hard worker, Brock Stassi seems to fit the mold there and I hope he has continued success, as Mr. Almaraz stated this week the mental make up and family background of players goes a long ways in helping them to succeed in this sport where the majority of the time you fail, this season so far Brock Stassi has turned prior setbacks into success, sure would be nice to see that continue.

Box Score Recap – 6/6/2015

MLB’s 2015 First Year Player Draft will take place June 8-10.  I will post a discussion thread on Monday. I will include a file to track the draft, similar to the tracker that Brad provided last year. I will post updates as players are picked and as signing information is reported.  I hope it can be as informative as Brad’s was. He set the bar high.

On Monday, day one includes Rounds 1 through Competitive Balance B and will start at 7:00 pm ET on the MLB Network & MLB.com

On Tuesday, day two includes Rounds 3-10 and will start at 1:00 pm ET, live on MLB.com.

On Wednesday, day three includes Rounds 11-40 at 12:00 pm ET, live on MLB.com.

Lehigh Valley (21-36) lost to the Indianapolis Indians, 4-0.  Adam Morgan gave up 2 ER in the first inning and 2 unearned in the seventh.  Chase d’Arnaud had 3 of the IronPigs 4 hits.  Chris Leroux (0-1, 4.05) pitches tomorrow. Continue reading Box Score Recap – 6/6/2015