Prospect Discussion: Week of September 28th

Here’s an open discussion thread about minor league prospects.  Phillies’ talk and other non-prospect discussion should remain in the Open Discussion.

This is an open format for any minor league prospect you want to discuss.  This week I’ll introduce catcher Chace Numata to start the discussion.  Chace has had 6 injury-plagued seasons in the Phillies organization.  But the coaching staff thinks highly of him, and he was clocked with the best pop time in the organization this year.

  • Chace Kekoa Kenji Numata, catcher
  • Bats both, Throws right
  • 6’0, 175 lb.
  • Born 8/14/1992 (age 23)
  • Drafted by the Phillies in the 14th round of the 2010 MLB June Amateur Draft from Pearl City High School (Pear City, Hawaii).
  • 2010; GCL Phillies (age 17, -2.7)
  • 2011; GCL Phillies (age 18, -2.0) injured, didn’t play until mid-August
  • 2012; Williamsport (age 19, -2.1)
  • 2013; Lakewood (age 20, -1.6)
  • 2014; GCL Phillies (age 21, 1.2) injured, played about 2 weeks in August
  • 2014; Melbourne (age 21, -3.0) in the Australian Summer League
  • 2015; Clearwater (age 22, -0.6) played first 4 games in Lakewood in early May

Phillies’ catchers share time in the GCL.  No one catcher gets a lot of innings or at bats. Numata finally got 184 plate appearances in 2012 at Williamsport where he put up a .233/.287/.319 slash.  He followed that with a full season at Lakewood in 2013 where he posted a .231/.307/.305 slash.

Numata exhibits good skills behind the plate and the Phillies planned on bumping him up to Clearwater in 2014, but another injury derailed those plans.  He returned to get 27 plate appearances in the GCL before heading off to Melbourne for winter ball.  In Australia, Numata broke out with a .259/.293/.322 slash.

He continued to show improvement at the plate with a .263/.322/.324 slash in 2015 at Clearwater.  In addition, he threw out 24 of 40 base runners (37.5%) and was charged with only 2 errors.  While he had a team high 11 passed balls, pitchers had a team low 3.06 ERA when he was behind the plate.

He went 0-3 in 2 games in the playoffs with 2 walks.

Assuming Andrew Knapp and Jorge Alfaro get the lion’s share of innings at Lehigh Valley and Reading, and with Deivy Grullon prepared to move up from Lakewood, Numata might begin the season as the starter in Clearwater with some roster shuffling by June.



44 thoughts on “Prospect Discussion: Week of September 28th

  1. To put Numata in perspective, Gabriel Lino is nearly a full year younger and 2 levels higher. Logan Moore had a very nice season and showed he may have a little bat in him. Alfaro and Knapp are the two that everyone’s waiting for. Can they catch in the major leagues? They have different type of bats. Alfara has the louder bat and Knapp has the more consistent bat. Deivi Grullon is 3 1/2 years younger than Numata. He hasn’t exactly flashed enough bat but his 8 HRs opened some eyes. He seems like he’s on the Galvis type track: quick moving up the development levels as they wait for the bat to catch (no pun intended) up. No one wants to slow his progress but he could use a few more ABs in LKW before his ascension to loftier levels.

    Austin Bossart is a year younger than Numata and looks ready for the double jump to CLW. Jesus Posso and Gregori Rivero are very young and green prospects. They will move slowly until they show something that screams major prospect. Posso didn’t catch many games this season but they wanted his bat in the lineup so 1B and DH were his top positions. He did crack 6 HRs in Wmsprt so he might have some power in that there bat. Brodzinski was mostly left out this year but he has a nice bat and being 24 should be double bumped to CLW. Two young catchers in the GCL: Edgar Cabral (20) and Rudolfo Duran (17) look like they could be knocking on some higher level doors, especially Cabral. In the DSL, Nerlius Martinez is in the Florida Instructs so they are pretty high on him. Luis Luriano is younger than Martinez and may be a catcher with a future in the organization. There are also some guys in the VSL that are banging their chests to get noticed. Most notably Lenin Rodriguez who was a big sign last year and is only 17 and showing promise with the lumber.

    Wow! A lot of catching ability up and down the organization. They all will be clamoring for attention in the coming years. A couple of years ago we had Rupp and that other guy who faded away to another organization. Now we have some very good prospects in the pipeline.

    1. There’s no need to rush Alfaro or Knapp with Rupp doing a decent job. But I’m hopeful that one of those 2 can be the total package and take over in the next 2 years. Right now, I’ll take anybody who can hit, period. That person can play 1B.

  2. I assume he gets exposed in the minor league phase of the Rule 5.
    If that is the case, I am sure other clubs have scouted him and one could take a chance on him.

    1. I don’t believe any team will select a catcher from high A ball, to be their back-up catcher. Numata won’t be protected.

      Logan Moore and Tommy Joseph, both could be selected in the Rule 5.

      1. Numata will be exposed but not picked up. Since Phils will carry Rupp, Ruiz, Alfaro and possibly Lino — i agree with VOR that Moore and Joseph will be exposed and selected in Rule 5. With Howard and Ruf as 1B, Phils may not protect Joseph.

        Hopefully, the Phils can work something out with Ruiz and open a spot to give Joseph a make or break season as C/1B.

        1. I can’t imagine Tommy Joseph will ever squat behind home plate again. If he is going to play first base, he’ll need more reps there. And he’ll have to hit much better and with more power to stay there.

      2. VOR….in minor league phase he is sent to their minor league affiliate….not the major league club…cost less then $10K.

        1. Correction for Chase Numata if selected….$12K for AAA……….there are the Triple-A and Double-A phases to the Rule 5 Draft. Players put on the Triple-A reserve list cost the selecting team $12,000, and players put on the Double-A reserve list cost the selecting team $4,000.
          Assume he would cost $4K for an AA assignment if selected.

          1. I’m aware of the minor league portion of the draft. It’s easier to be protected from that portion, but I’ll go out on a limb and say he wouldn’t be selected in the minor league portion either.

  3. I like the concept of these threads, but don’t feel compelled by any of the example prospects chosen to date. Seems like you are picking guys outside the top 30 or even lower. Why?

          1. yeah…i like this topic idea. would be a great primer to the vote of the top 30. let’s debate the prospects – pros and cons – before the vote.

            this is the third time this thread has been done and all were no name prospects and i don’t think any of them got much traction.

            so i am making a suggestion.

            1. It could get to that point……it is a long off-season, and we more less have already started before the 162nd game….plenty of prospects to profile with plenty of time.

    1. The player I highlight does not limit the discussion to that player. I thought I made that clear with the opening sentence in each of the first two paragraphs.

      Rather than start the discussion with the top prospects whom we have all talked about ad infinitum, I decided to give some insight into guys who don’t get much written about them, AND that I saw in Clearwater this season, AND had reasonably good seasons that go unnoticed because all the focus is on the top guys.

      But, anyone can introduce any player into the discussion at any time.

      Okay, this is where I scrolled down to see if you got any other replies. I want all to know that I value feedback and suggestions. And not just the, “you’re doing a great job” variety. I like writing about the “other guys”. It helps me gather the info I need to update the Prospect Pages. So. I’ll probably keep doing it. But, I will start a mid-week, weekly discussion along the lines of a “Top 30 Primer” as V1 suggests. How’s that?

      (P.S. It will be a Top 30 this year. I do not anticipate going out to 50 even though we’ve added a lot of talent to the organization.)


      1. jim – i’m always intrigued by HS prospects taken after rd 10 because they can be gems when it hits. i heard some good stuff about the injured drew anderson – but can you provide info for denton keys, venn biter and tyler viza?? I’m suprised (but glad) to see sam mcwilliams hit the top 30 in MLB rankings.

    1. BA Chat on Clearwater Prospects:
      Karl of Delaware (Georgetown, Delaware): ……No Clearwater guys? Astudillo, Hoskins, and who else got some consideration for the top 20?

      John Manuel:
      No, no Clearwater players made it, though the team had many contenders. Andrew Knapp and Aaron Brown actually got the most attention from the sources I talked to; Knapp had a great season once he jumped to Double-A, and he hit enough in the FSL to have ranked; he came closest to making it. People were a bit mixed on his defense but his bat definitely attracted attention. Brown looks the part; he’s a bit raw at the plate to make it, but I’m an Aaron Brown fan and was tempted to squeeze him in at the back. I just didn’t get enough support from the sources I had in the league, enough conviction in his bat. Astudillo and Hoskins attract attention for their stats; Astudillo might be the most unique single player in the minors. If he had a defensive home, I could have ranked him. But no one I talked to thinks he’s more than a DH. He needs A LOT of work to be a catcher, and he only caught 33 games. He’s just not good enough there, and the Phillies’ don’t seem to believe in him either. Hoskins was the toughest guy to leave out; statistically, he was the league’s best hitter in his time in the FSL. He didn’t jump out to any of my sources, and he’s fighting the Right-Right 1B profile. His athleticism has been questioned as well as his bat speed. I also recall people being unimpressed with him as an amateur at Sac State, where more was expected coming off his big 2013 Cape, but I think he’s a good sleeper.

      1. This is actually a very fair summation of the four players in my opinion.

        Knapp was a steady, middle-of-the-order guy who provided gap power from both sides of the plate and a .260ish batting average, but no HR power. If it hadn’t been for his break out in Reading, I don’t think anyone would question Manuel’s assessment. I won’t until I see him in the AFL and then how he carries over to next season.

        I like Brown, too. And, yeah, he’s raw at the plate. He’s too aggressive early in the count, making poor contact on first-pitch fastballs (assuming that’s what he’s looking for and missing on). He’s also an aggressive and very good outfielder, certainly suited to play center field. He tosses his body around with reckless abandon, and missed a stretch of games at least twice during the season after diving attempts on fly balls the night before. I can’t help but think these instances affected his batting, if only a little. To his credit, he improved during the second half of the season to raise his average over .250 and finish second on the team with 11 HRs. This power display will serve him well down the road, since CF is crowded with prospects and he will likely be pushed to a corner OF position.

        He’s on target with Astudillo, too. Where do you play him. He doesn’t have the power to play any of the corner positions. I’m not as hard on his catching skills. He led the team with a 40% caught stealing rate (16 of 24). He had a mere 4 passed balls, and committed three errors, mostly on pickoff attempts. He has a quarterback’s mentality. He thinks he can make any throw needed. However with only three HRs, he slashed .314/.348/.384 with 10 BB and 10 K in 418 PA. I think the reason he doesn’t catch more (aside from the competition factor) is that his knees can’t take the strain day in, day out; not that the Phillies don’t think he can play the position.

        It’s funny, I had the same feeling about Hoskins. As much as you guys raved about him, he didn’t do anything that jumped out to me either. I was happy that he was promoted to fill the void in the middle of the line up that I anticipated when Knapp was promoted. And he put up very good numbers, a .317 batting average and was third on the team with 8 HRs in half a season. I don’t know why I wasn’t impressed. Maybe I need to see one of these HR bashing first basemen continue to mash when they leave Clearwater – Art Charles (2014) didn’t at Reading and neither did , Chris Serritella (2013). Jim Murphy (2012) did but was 27 (2.6 years older than the mean) and out of baseball after the 2014 season.

  4. So where do you think the catchers will be next year.

    LV- Lino, Knapp
    Reading- Alfaro, Moore
    Clearwater- Numata, Bossart
    Lakewood- Grullon, Brodzinski

    Plus others like, Edgar Cabral, Gregori Rivero, Lenin Rodriguez, Jesus Posso, Jose Mayorga, Nerluis Martinez, Rodolfo Duran, Wilson Garcia, Rafael Marchan

  5. Not a good sign for the Clearwater guys’ prospect status, that none of them made the FSL top 20. That is a scouts league. Where a lot of scouts live and see the players all of the time.
    Maybe next year. I would guess Kingery and Tocci will impress enough to be considered.

    1. For some reason the BA staff seem to lessen the value of Hoskins’ metrics….first there was Lara (swings thru average fastballs) and now Manuel (slow bat).
      They have this mind-set that Hoskins is not the real deal, and I assume they think the metrics up till now are outliers, and he will be exposed at the next level.
      They could be correct.

      And did not realize the right-right 1st base profile was a detriment…..granted there seems to be a proliferation of left handed bats playing first base and apparently it is the preference.

      1. I think they’ve made it perfectly clear that they put together these lists based upon what scouts and coaches see in these players. And it’s obvious the scouts and coaches don’t think Hoskins projects as a good MLB player.
        The numbers accrued at that level for a college guy, seem to be used only if they’re are sooo good they can’t be ignored. Hoskins has good numbers, but evidently they aren’t good enough to alleviate their concerns about his bat speed or bad body.

        1. To be quite frank about it….I hope Hoskins falls into the right handed bats category with the likes of the ‘Altuve/Goldschimdt/Betts(thruAAlevel)’ genre……they went under the radar, though they all had plus metrics all the way up.
          And for Betts he didn’t even crack the top 50 from what I have seen..

          1. Group think is an issue in any profession. Prospect evaluation is no different. I know nothing about this kid to say that’s the issue here….just hoping that it is and we have a guy that got a bad rap that got repeated until everyone had to believe it. Scouts have miffed on enough big bat 1st baseman to hold out hope….but I’ve also seen my share of big statistic 1st basemen fizzle out of the system to also be skeptical at the same time.

            Rooting for you Hoskins!

            1. The Phillies didn’t exactly give Hoskins a vote of confidence by choosing NOT to send Hoskins to the AZ fall league. They had the opportunity to send him as their lone High A bat, but instead chose to send the younger Cozens. I’m surprised that hasn’t been mentioned.

            2. Hoskins and the AFL.
              As I explained this earlier, the Phillies are sharing their Desert Dog team with other teams, one of which is the Astros. The Astros prize prospect and MiLB player of the year, AJ Reed , already in AA level and with first preference, was selected to participate.
              Hoskins would get limited playing time and PAs with Reed getting most of the reps at first base. Next year is Hoskins’ year.
              It is pure nonsense, that the Phillies do not think highly of him.

  6. There seems to be a bias against guys like Hoskins. Whether that is unfair or not is a matter of opinion, but he had a good year and I hope he proves his doubters wrong. One thing that I have learned from this site is that a lot of Scouts, who were not high on someone coming out of school, have to really be overwhelmed to change their opinion. Manuel mentioned again in his response that he remembers people not being that high on him coming out of school. Ok, how does that change what he sees in the present? It may not matter much, but just an observation.

  7. Jim, you saw Chace a bunch what do you think are the chances of him being picked up by another team? Matt and a few others thought there is a possibility

    Also a few people are saying that Joseph will be exposed (he is on 40 man now) do you think with how they don’t have any strong prospects (I like Hoskins but probably a couple years away) for first. They just spent considerable time at the end of the season getting him ready for first, and neither Ruf or Howard are showing all that much to give any hope for next year…… I mean I don’t know why they wouldn’t protect him to start the year and see what he can do at first after a full offseason and spring training.

    1. I think Numata will be exposed to the Rule 5 draft and will not be selected. I hope.

      It cost them nothing to play Joseph at first. In the GCL, there was no first base prospect that he was taking at bats from. In Lehigh Valley, he was only playing ahead of a AAAA first baseman. I think that was a courtesy, since they don’t plan to let him catch again. (They even gave him some reps at third.)

      I think he gets exposed to the Rule 5 draft. If selected, I don’t think they would stand in the way when the selecting team wants to send him to the minors. Although, I don’t think he will ,be selected.

      1. The issue with Joseph is not the rule 5 draft. With Joseph being on the 40-man roster to remove him from it requires Joseph going thru waivers. Any team can claim him from waivers by putting him on their 40-man without any of the restrictions of the Rule 5 draft. Waivers cost is $20,000 as opposed to Rule 5 draft cost of $50,000 and the restriction of being placed on the 25-man roster for a full year.

        1. NEPA – i might be wrong but i though a minor league will only go thru waivers after the 3rd yr of the Rule V eligibility. Joseph was drafted as a HS player in 2009, eligible for Rule V in 2013 and becomes a minor league FA and exposed to waivers @ 2016?

          1. I also think they can designate Tommy Joseph for assignment, if he has minor league options left. I may be wrong though.

          2. Kurdt,

            You are wrong.

            Joseph is a major league player since he was added to the Major League 40-man roster on Nov 20, 2013. In both 2014 and 2015, he was a “major league player on assignment to the minor leagues” burning 2 of his optional assignments. He was not considered a minor league player in the Collective Bargaining Agreement even though he spent the entire year in 2014 and 2015 in the minors. This is how a player like him (major league player on optional assignment) is referred to in the Collective Bargaining Agreement.

            Joseph was given a Major League contract for both 2014 and 2015 be it being a split contract which pays different amounts for each day spent on the minor’s league active roster and for each day spent on the major league 25-man roster. The Collective Bargaining Agreement called Joseph to make at least $40,000 while in the minors for the year and $500,000 if in the majors in 2014. Both of the rates are divided by the number of days in major and minor league seasons and pro-rated for the time spent in the minors and majors. In 2015, the Collective Bargaining Agreement called for his split major league contract to pay a minimum of $505,000 in the majors and $80,000 in the minors.

            Since he is on the 40-man roster the rules require him to clear outright waivers in order to be sent to the minor leagues in order to open a spot on the 40-man roster. At that point he would be eligible for the rule 5 draft but he would not get that far since any team that would want him would have claimed him when he was put on outright waivers.

            Anonymous VOR,

            The Phillies would not Designate for Assignment DFA Joseph from the 40-man roster because it would cost them almost $30,000 to do so that they would not have to pay if they went straight to outright waivers. You do not understand what DFA is according to the Collective Bargaining Agreement.

            Designate for Assignment (DFA) in the Collective Bargaining Agreement is a temporary storage area for players for up to 10 days. It is defined as a quick way to remove a player from the “Active” roster while retaining rights to that player while the team attempts to trade the player. Players so designated are entitled to Major League Salary while they are DFA’ed. In addition, any player DFA’ed are automatically placed on outright waivers after 7 days. It then can take up to 3 Days for a player to fully clear waivers.

            Joseph is on the 40-man roster not the active roster. If they DFA him then they would have to pay him approximately $28,000 that they would not have to if they went straight to waivers. ($505,000/180) x 10 = approximately $28,000.

            1. So that means they can DFA Joseph and retain his rights without exposing him to waivers, like I said. It would just cost them 28K to do so. Right?

            2. Anonymous VOR,

              No, they can not DFA Joseph and retain his rights. When you DFA a person you only have 7 days to retain his rights in order to trade him if he is not traded in 7 days he is automatically placed on outright waivers where any other team can claim him for $20,000.

            3. NEPA you may be right, and I am not certain enough to debate you on this topic. But I’m almost positive that there is a way for the Phillies to remove Tommy Joseph from their 40 man, without exposing him to unrevocable waivers, IF he has a minor league option left.

      2. Unless someone views him as a potential every day catcher (highly unlikely), there’s no way that somebody uses a sparse roster spot to select Numata – he doesn’t have enough upside and he’s too far from the show. He would be embarrassingly inadequate as a major leaguer next year – think Michael Martinez, but MUCH worse.

    2. I think that there is room to retain Joseph on the 40 man roster but that he wouldn’t get picked up elsewhere if left off.

  8. If Joseph is no longer a catcher then his value as a prospect is almost nothing. He hasn’t shown the bat to carry at 1b and he doesn’t appear to be able to play 3b or OF.

    Phillies could waive him outright and I highly doubt another team would pick him up and add him to their 40-man roster. He can then decide if he wants to report to AAA or elect to become a FA.

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