Playoffs Box Score Recap – 9/17/2015

Reading (80-61) emerged victorious from the pivotal third game of their best-of-five series against the Bowie Baysox 9-3.  Jake Thompson limited the Sox to one run in seven plus innings on four hits and three walks while striking out five.  Meanwhile, the Phils’ offense piled on with nine runs on 12 hits and six walks.  Their five-run, sixth inning lasted so long that Thompson went to the bullpen to warm up to keep loose.  Coincidentally, he gave up his only run in the bottom of the inning.

Jake Thompson twirled a dominant performance against Bowie.  During his first four innings, the only base runners he allowed were a two-out walk in the second inning and a strike out wild pitch to lead off the fourth that was wiped out on a double play.  With a comfortable 4-0 lead in the fifth, Thompson finally allowed a base hit.  He went on to issue a walk but recorded his fourth and fifth strike outs in the inning.  After the long rally in the sixth inning, Thompson yielded a run on a one-out, ground-rule double and a two-out single.  He bounced back with a 1-2-3 seventh inning.

Thompson answered the bell for the eighth, but after single and a walk, he gave way to Reinier Roibal.  The reliever made quick work of the rally with a pop up to Andrew Knapp and a double play.  Stephen Shackleford replaced Roibal for the ninth and was greeted with a lead off home run.  A single and ground out moved a runner into scoring position with two outs, and the Sox scored an unearned run on a throwing error before the final out was recorded.

The Phils put pressure on Bowie from the outset, getting a runner into scoring position in the first inning but not scoring.  They were retired in order in the second inning, but scored in each of the next four innings.  J.P. Crawford broke the scoreless tie with a sacrifice fly in the third.  Harold Martinez’ two-run double in the fourth pushed the lead to 3-0.  Nick Williams led off the fifth with a solo home run and the Phils loaded the bases but couldn’t break the game open.  That came in the sixth inning when the Phils scored five runs. The Baysox needed three pitchers to get through the inning.  The Phils were relentless with an RBI single by Williams, a two-run double by Knapp, an RBI ground out by Brock Stassi, and a sacrifice fly by Angelo Mora.

  • The Phils collected 12 hits, 3 XBH – 2 doubles and a HR.
  • Nick Williams went 2-6 with 2 runs scored, a HR, 2 RBI, and 2 K.
  • J.P. Crawford went 2-3 with a run scored, double, SF, walk, and RBI.
  • Andrew Knapp went 1-4 with a run scored, double,walk, and 2 RBI.
  • Brock Stassi went 1-5 with an RBI.
  • Cam Perkins went 1-3 with a runs cored and a walk.
  • PH/LF Brian Pointer went 1-1.  (I think they put him in just for Brad.)
  • Dylan Cozens went 1-3 with a run scored and 2 walks.
  • Harold Martinez went 2-4 with a run scored, double, walk, and 2 RBI.
  • Angelo Mora chipped in with a SF, and KC Serna had a hit and 2 runs scored.
  • Jake Thompson threw 97 pitches, 65 strikes.
  • Thompson had 11 GO to 3 FO.
  • Reinier Roibal stranded 2 inherited runners.

Game Four – the Reading site still lists TBD as the Phils’ starter tomorrow, but it will likely be Ben Lively v. David Hess (1-1, 4.50 in 2 starts at AA; 9-4, 3.58 in 25 starts at Advanced-A) on Friday (7:05 PM)

Starters for game five, if necessary, are TBD on Saturday (6:05 PM).

Lehigh Valley (63-81)  Finished fifth in their division.

Clearwater (79-58)  Finished first in their division both halves.  Best overall league record. Eliminated in best-of-three divisional series 2-0 by Daytona Tortugas.

Lakewood (73-65)  Finished in the second place in their division (2nd half).  Third best overall record in their division, fourth best in the league.

Williamsport (46-30)  Finished first in their division with the best overall league record. Eliminated in best-of-three divisional series 2-1 by the West Virginia Black Bears.

GCL Phillies (36-24)  Finished in second place, four games back.

DSL Phillies (40-32)  Finished tied for second place, three games back.

VSL Phillies (30-40)  Finished tied for third in a four team league.

Here’s the affiliated scoreboard from MiLB.

Extra Innings –

  • No player transactions.
  • With only one or two more Box Score Reports remaining in the season, you’re probably wondering what comes next:
  • I will continue the weekly Open Discussion for all non-prospect discussion.
  • I think I’ll continue the weekly Prospect Discussion I tried this week.
  • I’ll start covering the Fall Instructs the week of the 28th, and I’ll post the most current roster and schedule next week.
  • I’m going to update the current Prospect Pages as best as I can.  I have already updated and moved Kenny Giles to The Graduated, and Austin Wright and Zach Collier to The Departed.  If all goes well with that, I’ll add new Prospect Pages.
  • Someone asked about the support system the organization has in place for new, young players.  I have an upcoming interview and story coming on that.
  • I’ll have to dig up the Sleepers and Break Out players data and see how we fared.  I’ll put out some sort of story on that.  Note to readers:  I was one of only two who picked Andrew Knapp for a break out season.  But, just so you don’t think I’m going to hurt my arm patting myself on the back, Chase Harris was my sleeper pick.
  • I’ll probably do a weekly report on the AFL like I did last year.  But with all the good players we’re sending this year, I’m fighting the impulse to do a daily.
  • No such problem with the Winter Leagues.  Weekly will be enough.
  • Trying to trick my wife into a trip to Nashville to visit the Opry … December 7th-10th.
  • And some time after the Rule Five Draft but before Pitchers and Catchers, I’ll start our Reader Top 30.  Just 30.  No more than 30.  We may have more worthy prospects this year that a run out to 50 wouldn’t be as silly as last year, but I’m not as worried for the fate of the site as I was last year.
  • Fun Fact: This past Monday night there was no need for a Box Score Report.  That was the first night since April 9th where I did not post a report – 158 days.

73 thoughts on “Playoffs Box Score Recap – 9/17/2015

  1. Forgot to mention that the Baysox’ announcers were very impressed with Crawford’s plate discipline, especially with two strikes. They practically conceded the run when he came to the plate with a runner on third and less than two outs. Crawford hit his sac fly.

    The same announcers described Cozens as a dead pull hitter. That is dead wrong. He sprayed the ball all over the park in Clearwater.

    1. Jim,

      You do absolutely amazing work with this site in every way.

      Reading your reports and reader comments is the favorite part of my day.

      Thanks very much.

  2. The bell has rung for Crawford. The playoffs came and he has gone nuts. In 6 post-season games, he is 10 for 21 with a dbl and HR and 43 RBIs. Even more impressive is he has 7 BBs and ZERO Ks. Yikes!!! His triple slash is .476/.586/.667 with an astronomical OPS of 1.253. 6 games is not a career but can I just say, “WOW!!!”.

    Perkins is another guy who has come out swinging in the playoffs. He has 9 hits in 21 ABs with a dbl and 3 RBIs. His post-season triple slash is .409/.440/.455 with a much more earthly OPS of .895. He failed at AAA before but he’ll get another chance next year.

    Nick Williams has flashed the power. He has 9 hits and 3 of them have been HRs. He has 8 Ks and no BBs but he’s coming back from a concussion and only played in 1 regular season game, after the layoff, before jumping into the playoffs. This kid is something special.

    Martinez also has a nice playoff run so far. His triple slash in 6 games is .318/.423/.409 with a .832 OPS. He has 4 BBs to s Ks. He’s won a chance, between his year in AA and the playoffs, for another year in the organization. I saw him this year and Gustavo Pierre was getting starter ABs. Gusto didn’t look very good in the field or at the plate. Martinez replaced him and started two rallies that won the games I saw. He’s getting long in the tooth and his talent has been a long time coming but another year to find out what he’s all about is not asking too much.

    1. from what i’ve seen of martinez (sss), he plays a decent third base with an adequate arm and seems to have figured out something with his hitting but he lacks the power tool to be a legitimate prospect at third.

    2. Agreed on Crawford, Perkins to me really isn’t much of a prospect. I love Nick Williams’ physical tools but his plate discipline and hit tool (not really exposed at Reading, but could be at AAA and would be at the major league level) leave a little to be desired. He’s 21, is still developing and he has a lot of power, but he’s not a sure thing and he needs to keep improving to have a chance to be the type of corner outfielder that we need. Some guys make the adjustment to major league pitching fairly quickly (Maikel Franco), others never do (hello, Dom Brown).

      With every start, however, Jake Thompson looks better and better. As I said yesterday, if he had had two months as good as his August and September before he was traded there’s no way he gets included in a package with that many high level prospects. As far as I can tell, he’s now profiling as a 2/3 – probably closer to a 2. It’s not easy to come in as a 21 year old and dominate the Eastern League – not easy at all. Right now, he is, in my view, the #2 prospect in the system.

      1. By the way, I don’t mean to come off as sound as if I’m down on Nick Williams – he’s a really good prospect – definitely in our top 6 or 7 and has a high ceiling. I’m just saying that he’s not at the same level as a J.P. Crawford or Jake Thompson who are just about sure things.

        1. I am tempted to do a comp of Nick Williams’ metrics thru AA with Dom Brown.
          But after a quick overall glance at their peripherals decided against it.
          Just let it play out.
          Metric comps do not always give the most accurate projections..

          1. I watched Dom play in spring training a few years back and then at Reading and I’ve seen Williams in a few games since the trade. The first game I saw Dom, I said what the heck is going on with this guy. He didn’t catch the ball the right, he didn’t throw the ball correctly, and his path to catch fly balls was awful. It was impossible to see how this same guy was a big time wide receiver recruit in football with the way he tracked fly balls. I had no idea how so many people had him ranked so high. He could hit though and that tool carried him to the majors where it just wasn’t good enough, outside of one month. Williams on the other hand looks like a ballplayer. I do strongly agree with Catch though that Williams has some bad habits at the plate that he must correct to make it at higher levels. For one, he chases high fastballs that he can’t catch up to. Its much easier to hit a high 86mph – 88 mph fastball than a 92 mph (or more) one. He also struggles with lefties and has really bad at bats against them. He can improve though hopefully. To me Williams looks head and shoulders better than Dom looked.

        2. I cringe at the thought of labeling any pitching prospect a “sure thing”. Even injuries aside, Tucker Blair (ex-BP) was at the game and his tweets on Thompson were decent but not glowing. Fastball 89-93, flashing above average slider, had some issues with his mechanics.

          I agree that Thompson is the #2 prospect in the system right now, but I don’t see him in that echelon where he’s a “sure thing” to do anything but make the major leagues (health provided) and get a chance to stick there.

        1. Wow – I hope they are right. I’m not seeing that from my reviews of him on tape or the box scores, but I could be wrong. Who knows?

          1. That’s an interesting write-up from last year. The scout/evaluator raved about his hit tool -saying it was the best he has ever seen live (omg)! Although I differ from some of his evaluations, his overall take was that Williams’ most likely destination was a 50 – an average major league regular – with an upside of 65 (basically, a major league star – but not superstar) with a high risk factor. I agree with that overall assessment. I definitely want to see him hit for power and I want to see the plate discipline improve incrementally.

            1. I’d say more like a very poor man’s Ken Griffey, Jr. – similar skills and look at the plate but, not surprisingly, much less ability across the board. I’ve thought about this a little and there really are not a lot of comps for this guy. You could say Dom Brown, but Williams is more athletic and has a more compact swing – he’s really nothing like Dom Brown.

          2. He has elite bat speed. So not sure what you are seeing on tape. And his box scores are pretty awesome. So not sure what you find wrong with him there.

            He is a little impatient, but he has improved dramatically. This year he dropped his K rate 14%! and upped his walk rate 4.6% to 7.7%. (I am ignoring the small sample size at Reading and just focusing on his season in Texas AA team).

            He did all of this as a 21yo in AA. Pretty impressive IMO.

            btw, BP has him ranked as the 21st best prospect in their mid-season rankings.

            1. I think he’s a really good prospect but he might struggle with elite level pitching. He can look very overmatched at times. AAA will tell us exactly where he is. Again, I’m not damning him, I like him. I’m saying he might struggle against advanced pitching as he progresses and I think his fair plate discipline will work against him this regard. Ultimately, it will come down to his ability to make adjustments – Franco appears to be able to make them; Asche and Brown did not.

            2. Agreed that if he continues to progress and can make adjustments, his upside is very high. And, you are right, the age factor works in his favor.

        2. Yeah, his hit tool is very good from a physical standpoint, but he seems to have a problem with selectivity. As Catch alluded to above, going to AAA should be a good teaching tool for him as it was for Franco. Hopefully he can make adjustments as well as Franco seems to. I wouldn’t be surprised if he struggles a bit initially.

  3. I am a little confused on Martinez. why did it take him to get to reading to hit. I know he was a highly thought of high school player, Whos college career didn’t go as planned. Never saw him so only can go by numbers.

  4. Not much mystery to Martinez’s success. He’s hitting like every other 25 year old that comes through Reading.

      1. Actually, it is at some level. Reading and the EL generally are really friendly hitting environments and he’s probably finally matured as a hitter – but he’s 25 and this is probably all you are going to get from him. A LOT of guys have hit at age 25 for the first time at Reading – very few of them make it past Reading and have any success, even at Lehigh Valley. By the way, I think Stassi is an exception and will have success in AAA – I just don’t think he hits quite well enough to nail down a job in the majors.

      2. rocco,
        Part of the reason may be FirstEnergy’s lay-out.
        One Year Park Factor: 103 in the EL, tied with Bowie…..4th favorable in the EL…….PF-HR—124 highest in the EL

        The outfield wall is 9ft high from the LF foul pole to the LFd power alley. The wall is 10 feet high the remaining stretch to the RF foul pole, except directly in front of the right field pool, where it is only 5Ft feet. The dimensions are 330 feet down both foul lines, 370 feet to each power alley and 400 to dead center.

        1. You make it more complicated than it is. Again and again, its age to level, nothing more. He’s an older more experienced player who is finally an average AA player.

          1. You missed the last factor, which is park and league context. Everyone’s hitting stats spike in Reading – it’s not a coincidence, it’s due to the hitting environment.

            1. I didn’t miss that at all. If Martinez was hitting HRs, then the park would be a factor. In the case of Rizzotti, who did nothing, then suddenly became Babe Ruth at Reading, the park was a factor. Martinez isn’t hitting for any more power than he has in the past. It isn’t the park, its the fact that he’s hit his maturity.

            2. Age-to-level would seem to be the ultimate factor…, hitting against the majority of pitchers who are 2/3 years younger then him….and two, unless it is the top pitching prospect for a specific team…he is hitting against ,more then likely 4/5s in a future rotation, or reliever.

            3. It’s a good point, but, I believe if you looked at this carefully, it’s not just about home runs, batting averages and overall power are higher in that league too – a lot higher I believe.

            4. Yes…the league does have high park factors, ie HR…..the CAL league, however, is another league notorious for that reputation.
              1 Bakersfield PF-HR127
              2 High Desert 125
              3 Inland Empire 78
              4 Lake Elsinore 79
              5 Lancaster 132
              6 Modesto 79
              7 Rancho Cucamonga 93
              8 San Jose 83
              9 Stockton 117
              10 Visalia 102

              1 Akron 103
              2 Altoona 79
              3 Binghamton 96
              4 Bowie 114
              5 Erie 105
              6 Harrisburg 106
              7 New Britain 103
              8 New Hampshire 110
              9 Portland 92
              10 Reading 124
              11 Richmond 88
              12 Trenton 87

    1. If you asked who has the 12th best OPS in the Phils minor leagues this year and has a .239 BA, it would be none other than Brian Pointer. He had 7 SBs to 1 CS. He has 8 OF assists including 2 from CF (in 6 games there). I saw him throw a guy out at the plate and if another ball hadn’t stuck in the grass, he would have had 2 in that game. He’s an enigma. He has 91 Ks in 94 games in 2015. His BBs are 43. I love the guy because he gives his all in every game. He brings his lunch pail to work every day.

      1. He’s a guy I remember seeing a lot of at Lakewood and most of the time I was scratching my head wondering why he didn’t produce more. I think he was in CF while there. Nice quiet swing with very little movement, accept he swung through a ton of pitches. Pretty good baserunner n defender. He’s a guy I always pulled for to. Just can’t hit lefties. Enigma is the perfect word to describe him. I still haven’t given up on him. Do you think someone might take a rule 5 shot in him as a 5th outfielder?

        1. I guess I should have gone a little deeper to see the splits. His vs left split is pretty terrible but it was only 43 ABs. It’s hard to get better at something if you don’t get the reps. I don’t think he’d be taken in the Rule 5 but stranger things have happened.

          1. I think it’s only 43 at bats because he is functionally useless against lefties. You might be right that he could improve, but perhaps not enough to justify batting him against lefties voluntarily.

      1. Slick…..however, stick with wanting to see the Grand Ole Opry and can’t wait to see the Country Hall of Fame ….in like flint. Though i would avoid mentioning the baseball thing.

  5. Romus maybe jim can stay at your aunts house in Nashville. You told me she has a bed and breakfast there,

  6. Catch, I agree with you on Thompson’s profile looking like maybe a 2. I am very high on him. I am looking for Williams to improve his plate discipline and really having a good year at LHV. Do you think he starts at Reading again? Lively has had some terrific games and then a few not so hot. I am looking for the former tonight.

    1. I think it’s touch and go whether Williams and Crawford get promoted to AAA out of spring training – I think they will make that decision at the end of March; it could go either way. I think Thompson and Lively get promoted and Eflin will be on the fence. Stassi gets promoted and my guess is Quinn starts in Reading but if he starts off fast, he could be in AAA within a month or so. Next year Hoskins is going to make a serious statement in AA.

      Guys who will spend time in 2016 on the Phillies:

      1. Thompson – a critical piece of the rebuild – in terms of ceiling, somewhere between John Lackey and Adam Wainwright – he’s going to be REALLY good.
      2. Crawford (unless they just want to delay his arb clock – very possible – but he’ll clearly be good enough to play in the majors by next year)
      3. Lively (all the homers in the EL will be fly balls in AAA and his ERA will drop precipitously – then rise again in the majors to around 4 – competes for a 4 or 5 spot and ultimately, gets it)
      4. Quinn – next year is his year; what people don’t get is that he has tremendous upside as a fielder too – covers an enormous ground and has a superb outfield arm.
      5. Eflin – way closer right now than you might think – could settle in for years as a true workhorse #3 – a guy who pitches to a 2.5-4.5 WAR every year. The type of pitcher a good hitting team seeks for consistency
      6. Hoskins – will kill it in AA, do fine in AAA and the team will want to see him play a little before they say goodbye to Howard and decide if they need/want to sign a FA at first base.
      7. Knapp – at least a September call-up – they will want to see him in a trial before they give Alfaro a shot; much like they did with Asche before Franco was ready.
      8. Cordero – he will be their pet project. He and Kenny Giles are going to be scaring the living hell out of batters in the NL East for the next 5 years or so.

      Won’t make it (or will be a September call-up)

      1. Williams – probably struggles for a bit in AAA before finding his way. He will be 23 in 2017 – there’s no rush next year.
      2. Stassi – maybe gets a cup of coffee in September as a veritable “gold watch” award but I don’t see him really playing for the Phillies
      3. Mora – but could continue to make a name for himself
      4. Cozens – his game will be severely tested in AAA – I still have no idea what to make of him.
      5. Alfaro – see above, Knapp gets a first shot before Alfaro.

      1. I think Williams definitely starts in LHV, there’s nothing left for him at AA. I’m on the fence with where they’ll start JP. I think his AFL performance might effect the decision. I actually see Thompson and Eflin definitely starting in AAA with Lively remaining at AA to start the year. Quinn should start back at AA but I agree he could move up mid year. I agree on Cordero but I see Windle moving fast also now that he’s in the pen. I think Ramos could move quick also. Bullpen depth will be on the way next year.

      2. I don’t think Ben Lively makes it to the starting rotation unless there are numerous injuries. Thompson and Nola will both settle in as #3 level pitchers, hopefully one of them is able to improve enough to be a legit #2. Eflin will be the #4 and Eickhof will be the #5. The rotation will be filled out with Matt Harrison or another veteran pitcher until they get a #1. Lively, Pivetta, Asher and Biddle will be minor league depth or middle relievers.

      3. Re: The Hitters.

        1. I don’t have any confidence that Roman Quinn can stay healthy enough to get to the Majors.
        2. I agree that Crawford should get to the Majors unless they want to start his Arbitration clock later.
        3. I agree, Hoskins will probably hit very well in Reading and should see a spike in HRs. Not sure he will hit in AAA, yet. I’d like to see what he does with AA pitching.
        4. I believe in Knapp’s bat. I loved his swing form both sides of the plate, when he was drafted. I hope they move Rupp, so Knapp can get a shot. Knapp has the higher ceiling.
        5. I’m not excited by the scouting reports I’ve heard or seen regarding Alfaro. Hopefully he’s as good as his ranking.
        6. Cozens will start at Reading and will do well, but won’t do enough to get to the Majors until 2017.
        7. Stassi will be promoted to AAA and stay there for the next few years until he’s a minor league Free-agent, and leaves the organization.

        1. 5. Alfaro…….I feel the same. His power and his arm strength are plus…..but the hit tool with contact ability seem average at best. His receiving skill with all those pass balls in less then 100 games last year is worrisome, though pitchers could be a little wild at that level. As a corner OFer with his athleticism and arm, plus his power as a right handed bat could be his final destination if his catching does not improve and just plateaus. Though the Phillies could keep him in AAA until his catching skills come around.

          1. If he can’t hit. I definitely don’t want him in the OF. If he was an excellent receiver, I wouldn’t care much about his bat. But his Scouting report doesn’t say he is a plus receiver and it says he can’t make enough contact to get to his power.
            John Manuel said on one podcast that Jorge Alfaro is basically Jeff Franqoeur.

        2. 4. I’d like to keep Rupp. He has not hit his ceiling yet. Knapp, who has made great strides defensively (to bring him closer to Rupp) as well as his offense, will have his chance to prove himself further in LHV next year while Ruiz plays out his contract. Then Knapp and Rupp will be it starting in ’17.

      4. Watched Lively in Bowie Friday night and, if he was healthy, he was the worst pitcher in the game for either side. I feel confident in saying that unless he takes several steps forward early in ’16, he won’t get a sniff on the big team. Put his team in a hole from the first inning on. He’s a long shot. Lack of control, lack of ‘put away’ ability, not a good fielder. Sorry to have to say it. I was hopeful starting out. Big game — he didn’t show.

  7. Its very easy to get very excited about Thompson. Meanwhile, Eflin has upped his game as well in the playoffs. Watching Williams and JP at the top of the order is such a treat. My dream is still to have Quinn and JP at 1/2 in the order in 2017. Williams is looking like he might be able to be that #3 hitter that we’ve been looking for. Franco is certainly also somewhere in a 3/4/5 spot. From there. we’ll see where it goes but its not enough to get me excited.

    1. Add a power hitter like Alfaro’s right handed bat and a switch-hitting guy like Knapp in the mix and things get better.

  8. I can’t imagine all of the below works out as these guys being average to above average major league regulars, but even if 5 of the 8 turned out this way, the Phils future is bright….

    1 Quinn CF
    2 Crawford SS
    3 Franco 3B
    4 N Williams LF
    5 Alfaro RF
    6 Hoskins 1B
    7 Knapp C
    8 Herrera or Cesar or Kingery 2B

    And this doesn’t even consider Altherr, Rupp, Lino, Tocci, Cozens, Randolph, and others. This lineup could be potent if 5 of the above make it, and the Phils spend wisely on FA’s to fill the other slots.

    1. Anyone else see the irony, if the above line up does work out (or even just five of them), the Phillies fired two of the architects in the past 13 months?

      1. It’s hard to know how much Ruben was part of the trade team over the last year, but he did a lot of the leg work. Still, he put them in this spot.

        As for the drafting Marti Woelover had his deficiencies to be sure, but he was far better than anyone gave him credit for. If you gave Ruben and F or a D, Marti probably deserved a C+ or a B- – he gets a lot of criticism because not many of his picks made the Phillies, but he had routinely awful draft positions, many draft picks were forfeited and many of his best picks were traded away. He wasn’t awful – he was solid, but had some big misses and blind spots (tool shed picks whose one missing tool was that they were bad at baseball).

        1. Catch, Marti Woelver is the one who put the Phillies in this position by not developing enough players to replace the 2008 team and his drafting record is very spotty other than the first and second rounds recently. You just won’t give Amaro any credit as he was fired for lack of attendance and player development.

          1. philabalt……reading between the lines what Monty said at Jamie Moyer’s fund raising ceremony the other night was telling. He more or less vaguely laid the fault at his and perhaps Giles’ feet when he said they should all take the responsibility for past decisions, not solely Ruben.
            At some point down the road, I am waiting for Charlie , in an interview, to come out say something to the same effect
            All these entangled relationships is part of what MacPhail alluded to on the firing day when he said a GM positions has multi-level relationships that have to be navigated carefully..

          2. On Wolever (sorry for the awful misspelling above) – as I tried to explain above, Marti was no rock star, but he had awful draft positions, many of his first round picks were lost due to FA signings and a lot of his good picks were traded away. But when he had higher picks, he sometimes did well or very well (Crawford, Nola). I’m not sad he was fired, but he’s taken way more heat than he deserves.

            Ruben is the architect of this thing. Ruben was so clueless at so many levels (understanding the most basic metric, unnecessarily surrendering draft picks, trading away prospects as if they were nothing, failing to build age balance in the roster, it goes on and on and on) that even if his hands were tied a bit, he still failed miserably. He was the laughing stock of baseball for crying out loud – and the laughers were and are correct.

    2. Buddy,

      Nice line up. I might sub Alfaro for Knapp and put one of the OF prospects in the starting line up — Altherr and Randolph coming most to mind

  9. On Williams and Alfaro: the Reading Williams has done well BUT he needs to learn to hit lefties decently. If he could hit at least .275 vs. lefties, he could hit over .300 overall. He has shown extra base and HR power BUT (again) his tracking outfield balls is mediocre at best. In sum, he DOES need an improvement on these over spring training and the first several months of the ’16 season at AAA LV. Putting these together would yield a extra good lefty hitter within the lineup. The potential is there…

    Alfaro: his substantial value will remain as long as he sticks at catcher. Both his catching defense and contact at the plate are in need of work which he can do at Reading in ’16 and in the ’16 AFL and then the ’17 season. With the right coaching and good work etc., he could/should be ready to show his stuff in ’17s final month. To play any other position would require him to start from scratch…a loss of time and value. His main attributes are two: a powerful arm and a an explosive power bat. In the meantime, Rupp and Knapp should share catching in the latter part of ’16s season. Until than, Ruiz is supplemental.

    On Crawford: IMO, sending him to the AFL is an indicator that–if successfully done–he IS ticketed to see the bigs toward ’16s latter months. Watching his excellent playoff work shows his capabilities in hitting growth. IMO, he will certainly start ’16 at Lehigh Valley.

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