Open Discussion: Week of October 19th

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

  • Another name has entered the discussion surrounding the the Phillies’ search to fill their vacant GM position.  It was reported this week that Cardinals’ Director of Player Personell, Matt Slater, has interviewed for the position.  Former Marlins GM Larry Beinfest has also been interviewed.  Indians executive Ross Atkins is also believed to have interviewed.   Others who have been mentioned as candidates are Matt Klentak of the Angels front office, Kim Ng of the Commissioner’s office, Thad Levine of the Rangers front office,  Ben Cherington formerly Boston’s GM, and Royals assistant GM J.J. Piccolo.
  • The Phillies signed local LHP Jeff Singer to a contract this week.  Singer was not drafted undrafted this spring and subsequently signed with the Camden Riversharks.

190 thoughts on “Open Discussion: Week of October 19th

  1. I like MacPhail’s process for a GM. He is interviewing a lot of candidates and taking his time to gain information and make the best decision.

    But I can’t figure out why he didn’t apply the same process for his head coach. It is hard for me to believe that our coaching staff is truly the best possible options out there. There is no better pitching coach or hitting coach? There is no more forward thinking analytics based head coach out there? Maybe it is true, but I wish he at least ran a process like he is doing for the GM spot.

    1. Perhaps the new GM will do the hiring for a new manager next year this time.
      Would it be fair for a new GM to come in with a new coach already signed for a 4/5 year deal under MacPhail?
      MacPhail, IMO , opinion made the move he was comfortable with, in giving Pete Mack basically a one-year deal….and he was happy with it.

    2. I am less concerned about who was picked as the manager and the coaches (although I share your concerns about upgrading the coaching) than I was concerned about the fact the HE chose them and will now stick his new GM with these people (at least for a season or so) whether the new GM likes them or not. If I’m the GM candidate that’s more than small red flag about how much (or little) autonomy MacPhail would give me as the new GM. I’d definitely be concerned about it, especially since his reputation is to run the team and micromanage from the President’s office (that’s what he did in Baltimore).

    3. Giving all the coaches a one year extension indicates to me that they are expecting a lot of turnover on the current 25 man roster.

      This could be a case of letting the new GM find a manager and coaching staff that fits well with the next “core”. Also with good young players already in place it could make the job more attractive to the next manager.

      Right now the position of GM looks great to everyone who has been interviewed, good pharm and getting better, big TV contract, fans that will sell out the stadium. But to a potential manager these are not so great, since his job is to win.

        1. I think that is a good approach for basketball, fewer people on the roster and up side of players is easier to see in a short time. Also Hinkie was in charge of the tear down and rebuild.

          The Phillies may want to go with a “big name” manager. As opposed to a first time guy. Like Coach Brown.

    4. In my opinion Mac just kept them so that whenever he did hire the new gm they wouldn’t have to go out looking for a new staff and could focus on continuing the rebuild. Philly is not gonna be good next year so it really doesn’t matter who is managing the team as long as the team responds well to the manager in my opinion. The gm can go out and look for a manager next year when he or she has a better grasp off exactly what the team needs in a manager.

  2. 2nd provocative thought: The Mets success kills Boston’s theory that the way to win is through over investing in hitting and under-investing in pitching.

    The Mets lineup was middle of the pack this year. The got a good, cheap FA to be bat at the deadline and Murphy is hot, but they are here and winning due to their elite starting pitching and lights out closer.

    We are several years away, but our hope for a similar quality staff is:
    #1 pick

    Much higher risk since they aren’t proven yet. But at least there is a window to it happening.

    1. Cespedes and Johnson arrivals sparked, which up to their acquisitions was an anemic Mets offense for the last two months. That could have been a factor, along with the addition of Conforta..

      1. The Mets had a lot of things come together on offense. Cespedes joined and was the second half MVP. Johnson played well. Conforto arrived and showed he is a legit. regular. d’Arnaud got healthy and really started to hit (it hurts a bit to watch him, doesn’t it?), and Wright got healthy. Add all of those bats and it makes a huge difference.

            1. not sure what this link proves? the mets were a good team at the top of the standings all year with a below average offense. their elite pitching kept them in it. they add a FA bat and call up a rookie and their offense improves. but it was their elite SPs that kept them in it and are what is winning in the playoffs. That’s my point.

            2. Understand theor great staff…but your point was…..’their elite starting pitching had them in first place before those additions happened’……perhaps without Cespedes’ 7-week MVP tear…..they would not have been able to maintain and muster enough of a lead to sink the Nats.into futility.

    2. Many of us are counting on Kilome, which has me scratching my head a little bit. Not because he lacks talent, but because he’s a pitcher, he’s young, he’s raw, and he’s years away from contributing and a lot can go wrong between now and then. I know you are not high on Eflin, but I think you will be pleasantly surprised by him and Pivetta might have the best arm of all of them, which can allow a prospect who starts to show control to develop quickly. He can bring it.

      1. A poster yesterday was more critical with Kilome, having said he watched him thru the year and mentioned he was at the most, just the 5th best starter on the team at times..
        Granted his metrics could have been better vs LHBs, but they were still pretty good overall.
        And he just got comfortable with a new change-up grip, so that could have been the reason for the higher BB rate vs LHB, since the control may have not come yet with that grip..
        Plus the fact, he was the youngest pitcher on the team, almost two years younger then some starters, one of which was Mitch Gueller.
        Mitch Rupert and Ian Catherine saw him all year and they raved about him.
        So I am hopeful and giving him the benefit of the doubt, next season in LKW will be a true measuring stick.

        1. That was me. Kilome was 20 this past season. All but one (Luis Morales) of the other starters were 21. That’s only one year difference. He was not 5th best “at times” but at anytime. He did not look comfortable with any pitch – control issues. He needs to start next year in Williamsport because he did nothing to prove he can pitch at Lakewood. Williamsport fans are genuinely mystified about the hype surrounding Franklyn Kilome.

        2. Plus, Kilome suffered a strained rib cage and missed a couple starts. He returned on a pitch count and pitched through discomfort the remainder of the season.

        1. I like Eickhoff too – but I need to see more. Man, if he could just sit consistently around 92 or 93 and touch a little higher when needed, that with his breaking pitches could make him a nice middle rotation piece. But he’s the kind of breakout “throw in” prospect that you need to succeed to make a good trade a great trade.

    3. First of all: one team’s success (or lack thereof) kills no theory (and proves no theory. That is regardless of the specific issue in question.

      Now, as to that issue: IMO, either strategy can work, either strategy can fail. Each has strengths and weaknesses. For an example of a case where the Boston strategy can work, look no further than the 2008 Phillies. For an example of where the Met’s strategy can fail, look no further than the 2011 Phillies.

      As for Boston this year … there were some obvious mistakes in talent evaluation, and some bad luck. (The FA signings obviously turned out spectacularly badly; IMO bad judgment made worse by bad luck). In hindsight, they probably SHOULD have bolstered their rotation some. Even setting aside the fact that the pitching was poor rather than mediocre, the hitting wasn’t good enough to carry even a mediocre pitching staff. But neither their failure, nor the Met’s success, proves that the strategy of winning with a strong offense and mediocre pitching is a poor one.

      As long as I’m disagreeing, let me touch upon another topic that has been debated here. Contrary to some opinions stated here, Boston is in fine shape going forward. Yes, they have some bad contracts. But:

      (1) They have a ton of cost controlled talent on the major league roster;
      (2) They have one of the best minor league systems;
      (3) They still have enough financial flexibility to add some talent through trade or free agency.

      It will be interesting to see how Boston proceeds going forward. As much as I generally agree with the modern tendency to not trade good prospects, Boston in the past probably took that tendency too far. The new FO probably will be a little more willing to trade some of the prospects. Combine the young talent on the team with a couple veteran holdovers, some current minor leaguers, and a couple veterans acquired through trade or free agency – it’s easy to see Boston returning to contention as soon as 2016, though more likely 2017.

      1. As is typical, you make comments without doing the research.

        In 2015, Boston’s lineup had a payroll that was 66% to hitters.

        In 2011, Philly’s lineup had a payroll was 46% hitters / 54% pitchers

        In 2008, Philly’s lineup had a payroll was 56% hitters/ 44% pitchers. And that included a salary of only $500k for Cole Hamels.

        The Phillies were far more balanced than the Sox. And I hardly consider a 102 win season that lost in the playoffs to the eventual WS champ Cardinals as a failure.

        I also never said the Sox were doomed. Of course they can flip prospects for balance. All I ever said was their approach was wrong. And that wasn’t hindsight or bad luck. Everyone was saying that they needed pitching before the season started.

        1. First of all, why so nasty?

          Secondly, on the offense, sure they were 4th (in a fairly closely bunched AL). My point wasn’t that the offense was bad, but that it wasn’t good enough to overcome even mediocre pitching. And it wasn’t. With mediocre pitching they would have been on the fringes of the AL wild card race, but probably would still not have made it.

          As for luck, they were unlucky in two ways: first and primarily, the pitching was bad rather than mediocre largely because of luck (and to a lesser extent defense). Compare xFIP to ERA. xFIP was middle of the pack. Now, xFIP is not a perfect measure, but, especially for a group of pitchers with no history of under performing xFIP it is a far better measure of pitching quality than ERA. (Porcello had slightly under-performed his xFIP in the past, but not by much; he drastically did in 2015.)

          The other “luck” factor is that their two big FA signs under-performed reasonable expectations. There’s IMO some poor player evaluation there too, but luck (in the sense that they under-performed reasonable expectations) played a role too.

          As for pitching, I conceded that they should have gone after more pitching. But see above: it wouldn’t have been enough, and that error was exacerbated by bad luck.

          Boston’s failure was multi faceted. Blaming their pitching strategy alone is flawed mono-causal analysis.

          1. first, nothing i said was nasty. i just pointed out that you often don’t look up data when making your arguments. your debate style is to use strong language rather than data.

            Case in point, your examples of the 2008 and 2011 Phillies as a comparable are completely wrong. When you actually look up the data, those teams allocated resources far more balanced than the 2015 Sox.

            It isn’t bad luck when you allocate an extremely low % of your budget to pitching and that results in poor team pitching statistics. There is a reason why Dombrowski unloaded Porcello for a 1 year rental. And why the Diamondbacks unloaded Miley and why Masterson was signed late in FA.

          2. Well your first sentence explains a lot. I’ll leave it at that.

            On the substance, you’re doing what you always do – ignoring the best and most relevant arguments of your opponents, and focusing on side points which you perceive to be weaker. (In this case side points regarding the Phillies which IMO are defensible but I don’t have the time or energy to engage you on it.) A typical debating tactic.

            On the substance:

            (1) No attempt from you to defend your initial indefensible assertion that the performances of two teams in a single season “proves” that a certain approach is right or wrong. That’s typical of you – you throw out an initial hyperbolic comment, someone calls you on it, and, instead of backing off, you shift the debate to side issues.

            (2) No attempt from you to engage my specific arguments as to the Sox. The funny thing is that you do have a counterargument, I’ll make it for you. This is what you could have said, turning my own argument around on me:

            “You know, you’re right about luck. But that just reinforces my point – IF the Red Sox had decent luck THEN the difference between making the post season and not making the post season would have been their failure to allocate enough resources to pitching.”

            It’s still not a great argument – there’s some truth to it, but I’d argue that the problem wasn’t so much allocating too many resources to hitting as much as allocating resources to the wrong position players.

      2. The redsox scored the 4th most runs in the AL. Only 3 behind the Rangers at 3rd. And ahead of the Astros and Royals. Their problem wasn’t hitting. Or bad luck. They under invested in pitching. They signed several weak FA pitchers late.

  3. Kilome will likely be in A next year and could move fairly quick which could mean a September call up in 2017. But players who could become top starters would include himself, Nola, Thompson, and Pinto. Pivetta, Eickhoff, Lively, and several others would also be in the mix for good starters with potential. That is 7 starters that would likely be joined by the number 1 pick in 2016. Thats not a bad list.

    The Pirates rolled the dice on Jung-ho Kang and it worked well. Wonder if the Phillies would consider the same with 1B Byung-ho Park? Last 2 years he has had over 50 HRs & 300 BA. He strikes out a lot but also walks a good amount of time but he does bat righty and is 29. By adding him it would put Ruf’s roster spot in jeopardy. Now Kang went from 40 HR/ 356 BA to 15 HR/ 287 BA. If Park saw a similar decline that would translate to about 20 HR/ 280 BA. It would be an interesting thinking outside the box addition.

    1. This is what I mean. He would have to be absolutely dominant at every level to have a September, 2017 call-up (essentially, 2 levels per year – which is extremely fast for a young pitcher). I think even a reasonably aggressive projection has him in Philadelphia in 2018 (probably late in the year), at the earliest. Look, I love what I’ve been hearing about Kilome as a prospect, but it’s really premature to be penciling him as a #1 or a #2 in this rotation, even if we agree that he has that ceiling (which appears to be the case from the scouting reports).

    2. That’s way too aggressive for Kilome. He’s going to go from Lakewood to the bigs in 2 seasons? He’s going to pull a Clayton Kershaw? The more likely scenario is September 2018

      1. You are assuming he goes to Lakewood. Being a top talent, it’s reasonable to believe Kilome gets assigned to Clearwater. If he dominates Clearwater he’ll be in Reading the 2nd half of the year (still 2016). What would be so amazing for Kilome to make it to the majors by 2017? Pitchers do two levels in a year all of the time.

        1. He didn’t do very well at short season A this past year. He looked like he should have been in the GCL. If performance, as opposed to “potential” and wishful thinking count for anything, he will start 2016 in Williamsport again.

          1. Kilome was injured early in the season, missed a couple starts, and returned on a pitch count as he pitched his way back into shape. If healthy at the end of ST, he will begin in full season ball, either Lakewood or Clearwater.

            1. I don’t recall the Phillies ever allowing a young starting pitcher who was not coming out of college to skip a level. I’d be shocked if he started the year at Clearwater.

            2. Biddle, Watson, Cosart and May all skipped Williamsport and went straight to full-season at age 19.

            3. Sorry, I meant to say a full season league – I don’t recall any non-college guys skipping Lakewood, do you?

            4. No, I don’t recall any non-college guys that skipped Lakewood. Most of the very good Pitching prospects never see Williamsport, so its hard to remember a triple jump HS pitcher. Kilome is the rare, good, non-college, Pitching prospect that actually pitched in Williamsport, so it wouldn’t shock me if he’s the rare pitcher that skipped to Clearwater.

            5. Again, with him having little experience, not a lot of innings and coming off a year where he was injured, I would be completely shocked if Kilome went right to Clearwater and if I were the Phillies I sure as heck wouldn’t start him there. If he dominates completely at Lakewood, they can move him up after 5 or 6 starts.

            6. Catch, I agree. Harold’s continued negative comments about Kilome led me to do further research. I believe it is likely that Kilome could follow a similar path as Pinto – half season in Lakewood, finish at Clearwater.

            7. Kilome needs to first break the 50 innings mark for one season somewhere….and he will start with that at LKW And barring injuries, a mid-season promo to CLW. He starts the season as a 20-year with a total of 90 IPed in his stateside pro career.
              Starting at CLW makes no sense!

    3. I think there’s very little chance of Kilome in Philly by Sept 2017. The plan next year should be to get him 100-120 innings at Lakewood. Perhaps by late 2017 he’s getting his first starts with Reading. But even looking towards OD 2018, if Kilome is a contender for the rotation, then you’re saying he will be conditioned by then to throw 180 innings over a season. That’s optimistic

      There’s a lot of hype with Kilome right now, and most of it deservingly so. But it almost feels like its entering over-hype area. He has a long way to go – consider next season will be his first full season in pro ball.

      1. I saw him pitch nearly every one of his home starts in Williamsport. It’s way beyond over-hype. Very reminiscent of the Tommy Joseph hype. I’m not alone among Williamsport fans who think a more realistic timetable is 2019 at the earliest – if he ever even makes it to MLB.

      2. At first, I blanched when I saw your 100-120 innings projection for Kilome who threw 49.1 innings in 2015, and 40.1 in 2014. Then I checked to see how the Phillies handle starters v. prospects in the lower levels of the organization. Your expectation of 100-120 fits well with the way the Phillies handle the jump from GCL. It isn’t unusual for a pitcher to go from 30-40 IP to 120+ IP.

        I think the way the Phillies handle Ricardo Pinto could provide a clue to how they hope to handle Kilome. After 47.0 IP in 2014 at Williamsport, Pinto started 2015 in Lakewood (68.0 IP) and was promoted to Clearwater (78.1 IP) at the mid-point of the season (June 22nd, he actually had more starts in CLW).

        If Pinto begins 2016 in Reading, it is not out of the realm of possibility that Kilome follows the same path to Reading in 2017. Of course, he has to continue to show the progress that most of us have seen so far.

        1. I think it is also key to remember that Kilome probably pitched close to 40-50 innings between Extended Spring Training and Fall Instructs so the jump is less than it appears on paper.

          The Pinto path is probably a likely one for Kilome, he probably would have been in Lakewood by end of this year anyway if he hadn’t had the rib injury and then been part of Williamsport’s playoff run

  4. Piccolo reportedly interviewed, as well. This is my problem. I think the Phils waited too long to name MacPhail officially and I believe that the GM should then, in turn, hire the Manager and influence the coaching decisions. Extended Mack for 1 year simply says that 2016 is a wasted year, the new GM has the year to decide who he wants as a manager and another rebuilding year is wasted. Why did they have to extend the Manager before a GM gets hired? Mackanin seems like a good guy, granted, but does anyone see him as the future Manager of the team? I don’t. And, I think the coaching needs a face lift as well. Who is responsible for Baserunning and Defensive fundamentals on this staff? A much better job is needed. The same applies to both the hitting and Pitching coaches.

      1. I really can’t comment too much on Piccolo as a GM comment except that he seems to come from a scouting background and not an analytical background, which might not be a good thing. My view is that Gillick is pretty dismissive of the analytics movement and MacPhail, while receptive, takes it with a very large grain of salt. It wouldn’t surprise me if they hired someone with a traditional scouting background with the condition that one of that person’s key assistant GMs would be an analytics person. Again, until we hear the new GM speak and then begin to act, we’re all just guessing a lot.

        1. But on the very surface level, this would not strike me as an “out-of-the-box” candidate as we were promised but rather, a “squarely-within-the-box” GM candidate – welcome to Philliesville.

        2. The only hopeful sign was Middleton talking about the importance of analytics and the need to develop their own system. But, you are right, we are just guessing until we see who it is and what they actually do. If MacPhail will be as hands on as he seems, then I would go with Kim Ng. mac brings the traditional approach. She is, reportedly, really smart, and knows analytics and believes in it.

  5. I’ve never seen Kilome pitch, and know the scouting community–and this board generally–is very high on him. But I have a hard time getting behind such a young pitcher, especially one who hasn’t been consistently lights-out in his two years of low ball. Penciling him in as a #2 future starter seems overly ambitious. At this stage, a generous estimate of his chances to even reach The Show is 35%.

    I know I’ll be debating this again with some of you over the winter when we do our annual Readers’ Top 30, but I put a high value on proximity to the majors when ranking prospects. Maybe its just from experience–but I’ve seen too many “can’t miss” low level prospects miss once they reach high A. His jump to CLW next year should tell us a lot more about his status as a prospect, obviously. For me, its hard to really take a prospect serious until he’s in high A.

    1. I agree with you about “penciling him in” but I don’t think many people are doing that. We’re simply acknowledging (and are excited by) his potential, which exceeds any other pitcher in the organization.

      I’ve only been following the minors for about 7-8 years now, but I’ve changed how I look at prospects in that time. I used to favor proximity more than I do now. Yes, a lot of low-level prospects fail to amount to anything (and I would never really call any prospect a “can’t miss” aside from a Harper/Trout type) but , from what I’ve seen, a lot of “safe” prospects in the high minors miss too.

      Drew Carpenter, Jason Donald, Jason Jaramillo, Austin Hyatt, Scott Mathieson, Matt Rizzotti, Pettibone, Asche (not looking good) all succeeded in AA and all failed to make it in the majors or got hurt. And if they make it you’re probably looking at a Vance Worley, or J.A. Happ type: journeyman starters or bench guys.

      So I’ll take a guy like Kilome, because if he misses by a little he’ll end up a journeyman starter or reliever and if he misses by a lot he’ll end up like one of the guys I listed above. If he makes it then you have a franchise building block.

      1. Valuing proximity over tools is good way to get a bottom 10 system. If the Phillies have an AAA team full of future major league middle relievers, Utility infielders and 5th OFs, that doesn’t move the needle on either the farm system or the big league club. One potential star in the low minors is worth a whole AAA team full of replacement level players.

        1. Your comments are usually insightful, but you’re missing the boat here. No one would ever value proximity over tools; that’s obviously absurd. Servino is closer than Kilome, but no one would ranked him above Kilome. But its about expected value.

          Let’s take Eflin. I’d say he has a 60% chance of reaching The Show, with an upside of a #3 SP.

          Let’s say Kilome has an upside of a #2. But, right now, his chance of making The Show, based on his age and production, is about 15%.

          Is a #2 SP worth 4X as much as a #3 SP? Its not.

          The expected value of Eflin is higher than that of Kilome, and that’s why I would have Eflin higher on my prospect ranking. His upside may not be as great, but there’s a greater chance he’ll actually make a contribution.

          I’m always disappointed when people in here take potshots on Kendrick. He accomplished something many more toolsy projects never did–he contributed to a MLB team. And there’s value in that.

          I understand many people on this board are only concerned with tools when they vote for Top 30. But to me, there’s a difference between a “best tools ranking” and a “prospect ranking.” To me, its about balancing tools with their expected return on the Big League club.

          1. The thing is your numbers don’t make sense every as a back of the envelop callculation. While Eflin may have a 60% chance to make the majors he doesn’t have a 60% chance to be a #3, not until he develops an out pitch. And Kilome’s ceiling is seen as a #1. Maybe Kilome has only a 5% chance of becoming a #1, but he is the only one currently in the Phillies system seen with that potential. A cost controlled #1 is extraordinarily valuable.

            1. Many posters say Eflin needs to develop an ‘out pitch’ is that determined?
              v1 claims it is by K/9.
              Eflin at 385 IPed over all levels but AAA sits at 5.9/9
              Kilome at 90 IPed in low A currently sits at 6.1/9
              Negligible difference.
              The big difference…….Eflin DOB Apr’94, Kilome DOB-June ’95.
              The flip side…..Kilome has the physical profile to become potentially dominant, Eflin is now close to where he will eventually be.
              I lean with fritzerland evaluation right now.
              Come July 2016, hopefully Kilome proves me wrong.

            2. Romus, trend matters. and scouting reports matter. simply focusing on one stat to prove a point is a fools errand.

              regarding trends: Eflin’s K rate trend is down significantly and Kilome’s is trending up considerably.

              regarding scouting reports: Kilome’s is off the charts and Eflin’s is routinely focused on his inability to get out of a big inning.

              you have to put all of the pieces together to form an opinion. you can’t just pick one stat and try to prove a point.

            3. Kilome trending is up considerably!
              it is only 50 IPed in short season ball!
              I look at another way….Eflin has done it for almost 400 IPed in his career and hitters get better as you go up the ladder.
              Kilome is potential, with outstanding velo in a short period of time at this point. At the next full season level will be a better test for him.
              But you seem to forget the age factor also….Eflin is only one year older, and higher level.
              If Eflin was seated now going into High A, then I may have a different opinion.

            4. Second this. The very odd Kilome hate is a combination of two things: (1) over reliance on looking at raw minor league stats, and (2) personal observations by people who don’t know what to look for. Everyone who knows what to look for who has seen him pitch raves about him.

              No, he’s not a sure thing. But I think he pretty easily makes the organization top ten.

            5. LarryM…..not sure were you are coming from on the ‘very odd hate’ on Kilome.
              IMO, I would like to see him play out one full season in 2016 before anointing him the next ace of the Phillies. It may be a about 10 months premature if you ask me at this point.IMO, by August 2016 one can get a better take on his projection.
              Currently, all of 90 IPed in professional baseball seems to be a rather low sampling…by metric standards.
              And not everyone who has seen him pitch raves…..the one poster Harold Seldon seen him pitch all year at WLMT, and he posted his doubts…..but I countered with the fact Kilome was still the youngest of that staff and in fact youngest on the entire pitching roster. And he worked on a new grip for his CU after recovery from his injury.
              When it comes to the debate that was earlier subjected: Eflin and Kilome projection
              I lean Eflin right now. Next summer may be different.

            6. Romus,

              I’m not talking about the mild skeptics – I’m talking about posters like Seldon and Fritzerland and a few others who seem entirely mystified about the hype. Recall my comment was agreeing with Aron who was responding to Fritzerland. Nothing personal, but Fritz’ comment was silly. Kilome’s upside is a 1, not a 2, and who knows where he gets his 15% figure, which is absurdly low. Kilome, absent injury, is significantly more likely than not going to have SOME role on a major league roster. Yes, given his level and the vagaries of starting pitchers, he probably won’t reach his ceiling. But a guy who has a chance to be a #1, and a GOOD chance to have a lesser but still significant role on a major league roster – that’s a heck of a prospect.

              I would absolutely stand by my comment that every person WHO KNOWS WHAT TO LOOK FOR has raved about him. Let me elaborate, not just about Kilome, but generally.

              My default assumption is that they typical fan doesn’t know ANYTHING about evaluating prospects from personal observation. I tend to ENTIRELY discount such observations, with the following exceptions:

              (1) Professional scouts – even there I don’t blindly accept such evaluations, but there is IMO a reasonable default assumption that they know how to evaluate prospects.

              (2) Non scouts who have demonstrated (through a combination of accurate predictions, and detailed, specific, logical observations about specific players) that they know what to look for.

              Any other personal observations I reject out of hand. Seldon’s observations fall into this category. In his case (and I’m not trying to be harsh, nothing personal) some of his other comments (e.g., the comparisons with the other starting pitchers on the team) further detract from his credibility by revealing a lack of understanding of prospect evaluation.

            7. LarryM…got you. Thanks for the clarification. When the mid-season rankings come out in 2016 I am hoping by then he has solidified his position in perhaps top five in the Phillies rankings.. And can be labeled as the future number one in the rotation.
              Additionally, I am hopeful, with him and maybe a Puk/Groome in the Rule 4…the Phillies could have a staff in a few years,similar to what the Mets currently now have.

          2. Not sure I got lumped-in here:

            “I’m not talking about the mild skeptics – I’m talking about posters like Seldon and Fritzerland and a few others who seem entirely mystified about the hype.”

            I’m not down on him. Like everyone else, I’m excited about him. But I’m more interested in seeing what he can do at High A than in anointing him the best pitcher in MLB history (sorry, if that was too over-the-top =)

            Regarding the 15% figure: for every pitcher his age and with his production at low levels who actually makes The Show, there are at least five who didn’t. Frankly, there’s probably 12 who don’t. But I was generous with the 15% figure since the scouting community is high on him.

            We’re talking about a low-A player who has miles to go to reach The Show. Prospects, for whatever host of reasons, fall by the wayside. I’ve been a member of this site since ’07–I’ve seen too much hype about low-level prospects to get too excited.

            1. Agree….want him to be the ‘man’, the Phillies version of DeGrom….and will know more about him after his next 100 innings pitched in a full season outing.
              Looking back at midseason rankings in 2014…he wasn’t even top 25 in PMTs and was 18th here in preseason 2015. So, from instructs one year ago until now, has been his rise.
              If he is what the knowledgeable observers say he is, then he could be in CLW-High A, IMO by July 2016.

    2. Another thing on Kilmome which will impact our projections. What is his actual regular consistent velocity? I have seen him listed as regularly hitting 99 and 100 and have seen him listed at 93-94. Which is it?

      1. Normally a pitcher at that level hitting velos’ in the mid-90s and sometimes high-90s, you would think would have plenty whiff factor going for him.
        Kilome’s after 90Iped is K6/9.
        Just not off-the-charts.
        When you comp two other LA highly rated pitchers at the same level in their development…Teheran and Severino….they were already vastly better.

        1. There’s a pretty big difference between what Kilome was throwing in 2014 and what he was throwing this past year. His K-rate still wasn’t great, but it did jump up while he was facing much more experienced competition. He also gets a ton of groundballs from throwing his sinker.

          1. I am interested in seeing how he does at the next level and does pitch more then 50 IPed in a year. So far, at 90IPed over two years, it would seem to be a fairly low number, bordering on SSS, for a starter. And metrics can be taken with a grain of salt since he is still very young. So anxious to see how he does at LKW.

        2. Like many pitchers in the organization, Kilome is not up there just pumping gas past low minors hitters. They are forcing guys to use their changeups (his is good but inconsistent) and their offspeed pitches (it took a while for him to get used to his curveball).

          As for velocity, normally he is 93-96 bumping 97 and a touch higher. He was especially amped in his first start back from injury. It also isn’t just velocity, the fastball has good run on it.

          But overall, the Phillies don’t have their minor leaguers pitching to miss bats, they are building pitchers in the low minors.

          1. Good pitchers are those that miss bats.

            What other teams think that de-emphasizing strikeouts in the minors is a good way to develop pitchers?

            1. Pirates (fastball command) are one, it isn’t that it is an approach you are looking for in the majors, but it involves growing as a complete pitcher in the minors before using the complete arsenal

            2. Its not about de-emphasizing strikeouts but rather emphasizing that young pitchers focus on improving their weaknesses.

              Kilome being able to throw fastballs past short season hitters might make his numbers look better but how does that help him once he advances up the ladder and faces hitters who can actually hit a fastball.

        3. I do think that the mediocre K/9 is curious. But especially in light of the scouting reports, I buy Matt’s explanation for this.

          It would be interesting to look for comps – pitchers with similar K/9 rates in the low minors who went on to substantial major league success. I don’t have time to do the research, but I’d bet that it isn’t all that uncommon. A two minute search reveals at least one – Dallas Keuchel.

          1. Greg Maddux was another.
            And there are others, in the HoF, but I will spare that out of respect for v1. 🙂

            1. The interesting thing here is that I side a little more with the “hard thrower” side of the debate generally (though falling somewhere in the middle of the extreme opinions). But Kilome IS a hard thrower, though also with at least decent command AND good “stuff.” The results so far haven’t matched the repertoire, but that’s not all that unusual for young pitchers. I see him more as a guy who could end up with a very good K% in the majors (not guaranteed, I said “could”) as opposed to a Maddux type pitcher who succeeds through perfect command.

            2. Most of all the HoF pitchers , with the low minor league K/9 (<7 /9) are actually what would be described nowadays as 'soft-tossers' with very good command. And a majority of them are from 20 years back and prior. I suspect you will not see that again from pitchers that are dominant without higher velos..

    3. I have seen him pitch and my estimate is the same as yours. 35%. He just is not that good. His “potential” most definitely did not translate into performance this past season. W’port fans expected a win whenever Arteaga, Gueller or Taveras pitched. We had no such confidence in Kilome. We don’t understand the hype surrounding him. Seeing is believing.

  6. The story of the Mets success in such a short time is like an exclamation point re: choices in the June draft and in int’l signings pending. Would anybody here be surprised that our first 3 picks in June could all be pitchers? And, how about grabbing one or more pitchers in the Cuban/Latin areas?

    Also, considering the int’l signing periods, what other players should we seek and sign aside from pitchers? What positions are most needed to be filled…given the present status of the pharm’s prospects and present 40 on the MLB roster…?

    Commentary sought……..

    1. ‘what other players should we seek and sign aside from pitchers?’…Cuban Ofer Yusniel Diaz would be a nice addition to the farm system.
      As for the Mets pitchers….Thor and Wheeler were fortunate trades of Dickey and Beltran. Harvey (7th pick) and DeGrom (272nd) were outstanding 2010 draftees.and Matz in Rd 2 (72nd), 2009. So the scouted well, especially in DeGrom’s case..

      1. It’s nearly incomprehensible that, next year, Wheeler, who is a stud, will be added to that mix. I’m not denigrating the Phillies’ young pitchers (who are pretty good), but I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that I would pretty much rather have any of the Mets’ young starters than our best young starter – you could argue about Nola versus Matz or Wheeler, but aside from that, they Mets’ young pitching completely outclasses the Phillies’ young pitching. This is a more a commentary on the Mets’ pitching than the Phillies’ prospects, but nonetheless . . . . It makes for a serious gap in talent between the clubs.

        1. Agreed.

          The Mets young pitching is miles ahead of the Phillies young pitching.

          And the Cubs young hitting is miles ahead of the Phillies young hitting.

          It will take a few years before the Phils are a top team again.

    1. It sounds a little shocking at first, but when you think about it, it makes sense. It means upper management has made a conclusive determination (in their minds, anyway), that Brown’s problems simply cannot be fixed. I, for one, am certainly ready not to see him and his sluggish, often foolish, brand of baseball any longer. In terms of disappointing Phillies prospects of all time – he has to be in the top 10, probably the top 5.

      1. Although, when you’ve been a Phillies fan for a long time, there’s plenty of disappointment to go around!

    2. i expect Domo to be out, but thought that Dugan and Joseph (and deFratus) will have a sink or swin 2016. I think the roster is now down to 30, with Harang, Williams, Billingsley and Cliff Lee expected to go and possibly Frenchy and Blanco. I can see at least 10 open spots (after considering players in 60-day DL) in the roster. Quinn, Ramos, Cordero are Lino the potential locks to be protected so that leaves at least 6 more sports which already includes Murray, Hinojosa and Neris who I think are expendable as well.

      I don’t expect the Phils to sign a lot of older FA since they want to go younger. There are still some interesting prospects that can be protected – Rios, Nunez, JDT and my dark horse in Jairo Munoz.

      Can we see an early call up of some of the 2016 (Rule V eligible) batch like Thompso, Knapp or Williams? or are the Phils are seeing another Doobie Herrera in Rule V again?

      1. Cam Perkins is someone who has versatility in the corners and could be also protected for possibly his first and last time in 2016.

        1. yeah, Perkins is a also a good possibility too – a good RH bat from the bench. Hopefully he can carry his hit tool in the majors especially against RHP. Stassi can be interesting if can be the next Brandon Moss.

          I like Y Rios, he can can be a long relief and can do spot SP. Munoz and JDT had shown good stuff for a bullpen piece. Phils will have mostly young guys in their pen. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Phils will sign a veteran RP in a 1-year deal to do a Frenchy like role in the pen.

  7. I guess its about time Dom was cut but its still shocking. Dugan and joseph had to be removed form the 40 man because they’re not close to being ready to play in the majors. It wouldn’t surprise me if one or both resigned with LHV but we’ll have to wait and see. There sure are lots of open spots on the 40 man finally and there will be more coming. I know they’ll take one and maybe 2 guys (reliever and/or an OF) with the rule 5 and see if they can get lucky again. For a bad team, it is pretty funny that there really aren’t that many openings on the 25 man roster. They need a few starting pitchers but that’s about it, if Frenchy comes back. Let the young guys play and then see if Nick Williams can push himself into the lineup midseason and maybe JP and Quinn in Sept.
    How many minor leaguers need to be added to the 40?

    1. I’m really shocked about Brown. It’s not like the Phillies don’t have open 40 man slots. But if Brown was smart, he’ll become a FA and go elsewhere. He will have not shortage of suitors hoping to turn him around.

      1. The Phillies seem to have a lot of 40 man spots, but it would be really tight if the kept Brown, Dugan and Joseph.
        I was almost certain they wouldn’t keep Dugan, but am slightly surprised by Joseph and Brown. I guess Joseph has zero chance to catch again and they didn’t want to risk the arbitration raise Brown would get, due to service time.

    1. You’re talking about a former #1 prospect who is still only 28. He’ll be a reclamation project for somebody. I can see somebody giving him a $2M contract and letting him play RF like the A’s. Remember Brandon Moss? Went to Oakland at age 28 and resurrected his career.

  8. There are 29 players eligible for rule 5 draft. There are 14 pitchers, 4 catchers, 7 infielders, and 4 outfielders. There is a list at

  9. I think they take a shot at 2. It will be interesting to see the List when it is finalized. Herrera, DeShields and Gilmartin all have to be considered very successful acquisitions. I am not sure if there are many others that stayed with their team and may be future assets. I see the Phils, at the very least, grabbing a Pitcher.

    1. I think gauging interest in Giles is going to be a top priority for the new GM. Chapman and Kimbrel will also be shopped, but a guy like Giles will make more sense for a lot of teams because of his inexpensive salary and the four years of team control he comes with. Personally, I’d trade him for a young, established starting pitcher with pedigree like Aaron Sanchez. Any package of minor leaguers would have to include a top 100 prospect. I think the Astros make a lot of sense.

    2. I would hate to see Giles go unless it is for a legitimate #2 pitcher or 3-5 hitter who has produced in the majors. I am a big Giles fan and would like to see him stay in philly (at least long enough to break paps save record) forever but if someone is willing to overpay for him let them. Me personally I wouldn’t take prospects unless they were considered can’t miss.

    3. the Kimbrel deal can be a good comp for Giles – combination of $$ to be absorbed to get good return. If Giles is a SP, it will be a good haul, but for a RP it may not be much especially if the Phils is looking for a Top 10 prospect (for a weak farm possible yes, but for a top farm – no way).

      If the Phils want to raid the Cubs farm, the best way is to package Giles with Cole (and Diekman) during the trade deadline. But staright up trade — the Phils FO need to do a lot of propaganda to get at least 2 top prospects.

    1. I’m wondering if anyone else is getting the idea that by ‘scraping’ the 40-man roster in the way the Phils have, that the Phils may become more active in the free agent market than many would have supposed. I just don’t see anything like 38 players worth protecting from Rule 5 selection.

      For those here who would like the Phils to make a splash in free agency this off-season, how do you see Ryan Braun as a trade alternative? He gets a bump in salary in 2016 and is under a long term contract expensive for a team like the Brewers. Could see him going to the Angels, Tigers or even Cardinals if Heyward isn’t resigned. If the Phils are creating roster room to bring in players from other systems, Braun would be an impact player easier for the Phils to get than Heyward or Cespedes for whom there will be aggressive bidding..

      1. Ryan Braun would be an ideal LFer and a plus with his power in CBP.
        I would think the Brewers would want a minimum of 2/3 prospects…..1.a pitcher- like Thompson/Eflin, 2. an OF prospect Altherr/Quinn/Williams and 3. and one more A prospect.

        1. If I could get Braun for Eflin, Quinn, and an A guy outside our top 15 I’d do it, but I don’t think that would be enough. I wouldn’t want to give up Thompson or Williams. Braun’s is the kind of contract that got the Phillies where they are today. He is not worth his contract and it is only going to get worse.

          I’ll admit that I personally do not like him. Braun got a guy fired and ruined his life to cover up his own lie. I have little respect for Braun as a human being.

          1. I am only guessing what the Brew Crew would want…like most they shoot high and then a compromise finally comes about.
            But agree …Eflin, Quinn, and maybe an A prospect, ie Grullon….would be a reasonable trade from the Phillies standpoint.
            Like you say…not sure about Braun’s character, tough pill to swallow.

        2. An All Star in his prime is not being traded for:
          – a questionable pitching prospect who can’t strike out minor leaguers
          – an often injured CF prospect with no power and a questionable hit tool
          – a low A player

          Dream on.

            1. I do agree with you in that the timing is not right for the Phillies, unless, they can get him relatively cheap.
              IMO, I would try to make a play to the Indians for Clint Frazier and see what weaknesses they may want to try to strengthen on their roster. I do know catching is weak in their system and there was talk they were looking at third base

          1. Ha…you make me laugh…..perhaps a small market team wants to get a lower salary expenditure base!
            How does anyone know what their strategic long-term objectives are and the tactical means they will use to get to that end..
            Teams have different reasons for following differing paths on their way to the ultimate goal.
            Braun’s age and salary I would think are negatives for them right now and they could look to move him now, while he may have value, for future benefits.

            1. glad i make you laugh. this is a baseball blog. shouldn’t be taken seriously.

              i agree with you that milwaukee might want to dump Braun’s salary, but if they do, they can get a far better package than what you offered. The guy is an all star LF who had a very good year. i don’t know what his injury situation is, but let’s agree they couldn’t give him away if he is injured. so this is all predicated on him being healthy.

      2. Wouldn’t take Braun under any circumstances. Will turn 32 in less than a month, is already in fairly steep decline, and just had back surgery.

        Well, there is one circumstance where I’d take him, but it is the type of deal that almost never happens in baseball. If the Brewers traded him AND a good prospect for basically nothing, I’d do that trade. Not happening, though.

        1. The Brewers seem intent on rebuilding and Braun doesn’t figure to be part of that rebuild, comes with a long term contract (which the Phils could absorb), injuries and other issues. I wouldn’t expect the Brewers to dangle any worthwhile prospect to unload him but throwing in Matt Garza relieves more salary, on a contract the Phils could absorb.

          My best offer going back would be Odubel Herrera and Zach Eflin, if Braun could pass a physical.

          This move would be in lieu of seeking a middle of the order bat in free agency. I acknowledge pinning a lot of this on Roman Quinn being the team’s CFer and lead-off bat as early as 2017.

          1. I agree with Larry. The best way to look at this is to ask the following question – if Ryan Braun was a free agent today, would you sign him to a deal that matches his existing contract? If the answer to that question is no (and I think it is here – at best, it’s a wash), it means that he’s likely not worth the contract he is playing under. If he’s not even worth the contract alone, why would you expend additional resources in the form of prospects beyond the cash to acquire him? It’s just a waste of valuable assets and makes no sense.

      3. The Phils just moved on and started to unload 30+ yo players with big $$ contract. Braun is on a decline. The Phils should only absorb him and his contract for low minors but no way trade 2-3 top prospects for a 30+ yo player with big $$ contract. This kind of decision can slow down the rebuild. Either sign a young stud FA (without losing a top prospect other than potentially a 2nd rd draft) to compliment your young core of prospect or just use the money to invest in infrastructure (analytics), hire top coaches and/or sign top internationational prospects.

        The Phils is in the process of cleaning the house and I hope they already learned from the failures of the ex-GM.

        1. I don’t understand a rebuild to mean going in 100% for youth. If the Cubs had gone further, they might have provided the counter-argument. I think a guy like Franco develops better with some veteran protection in the order. Braun with 5 years and $96 M on his contract is just $3.4 M a year over qualifying offer compensation. This pales compared with what guys like Cespedes and Heyward will make. Everybody talks about building a lineup that ‘plays’ in CBP. That’s what my suggestion was about. Throwing this back, who coming along in the system projects power numbers comparable to what Braun is producing now?

        2. Any GM that is dumb enough to trade anything for Ryan Braun and that contract, should be fired on the spot.

          1. I am not a fan of Braun because of the steroids, but you are talking about a 31 yo who had a .850 OPS, 25 homers, 24 steals and played average defense. That is elite production. He did have s back problem, but played 140 games. I don’t know what his performance will be in 2020 when he is 36, but his contact price actually goes down that year to $16 mil. If I am a contending club, I would absolutely give up Eflin, Quinn and a low A prospect for him.

            He just isn’t a fit for the Phils given how far we are.

          2. You’re about 40% right. If you were a GM in Oakland, Miami, Minnesota, Tampa Bay, Baltimore, Atlanta, Arizona, the Mets and a few others, you’re probably not allowed anywhere near the corporate checkbook. A few other teams like the Yankees, Dodgers, Cardinals, Tigers, Red Sox, Rockies, Cubs and Padres are financially committed to incumbent RFers.

            So those factors limit the active market to just a few teams where he could be shopped. He’s coming off a 3.8 WAR season which is just a shade below his career average. That’s equal to Herrera’s and better than anyone else on the Phils. So suggesting lack of GM interest is like suggesting a lack of interest in a 15-17 game winner.

            1. the additional 15-17 games in the WIN column may not help the Phils next year or the year after but the package of prospects that the Phillies will lose to get Braun will certain help them in a longer run past 2018.

              if the Phils is just a player away to contend and have a chance to win, then go ahead. but in reality, they are not.

              it happened before with the Phils and Eagles that they thought that they are only a piece away and reached deeper in their pockets and it hurts them more.

              i’m ok with spending $$ and/or getting any player that can help additing games to the Win Column as long as the Phils will not loose any of the “core players” that will help the Phils relevant again in the long run. Core Players for me includes Franco, Nola, Eikhoff and any of the Top 10 in the farms (just exchange Alfaro with Knapp).

    2. I would not mind getting back Baez and Eloy Jimenez in a deal for Giles. I’m not saying that this would be thee final deal, but I like these players. Baez has huge power potential at 2B and Jimenez is a nice OF prospect with a 60 grade arm and power.

      Contenders are always looking to add relievers especially at the deadline. I think we could get a nice return for Giles with his age and years of control. It is not outrageous to think a couple of teams could get into a nice bidding war over him. It is never easy to trade a a young, lights out closer who you drafted, but we don’t need a dominant closer on this team. We will be looking to get some young guys experience the next two years and build up the core group of guys. IMO the smartest move would be to trade Giles in order to speed up the rebuild and fill the closer position in a few years when we are ready to contend.

      1. If it’s a trade with Cubs, I’d want Dylan Cease included in a deal.

        Here’s a question. Mark Melancon is set to make about 10 million dollars in his third year of arbitration. Would you trade Giles for the super talented, but often injured Jameson Tallon ? Would the Pirates do that deal ?

        1. I think the pirates would do that deal. Tallon has had injury issues and Giles is really starting to solidify himself as a closer. They could trade Tallon and still have a rotation with Liriano, Cole, and Glasnow which would give them a nice 1-3. Of course a healthy Tallon to go with Cole and Glasnow could give them a young powerful rotation similar to the mets. Kingham is another power arm they have who is coming off of an injury.

          Austin Meadows is a guy I would like in a trade with the pirates. With McCutchen, Marte, and Polanco there isn’t really room for Meadows in the OF in Pittsburgh.

      2. I don’t see an analytics-based, patient team like the Cubs ever overpaying for a closer (which is what the trades you are suggesting would be), although I suppose anything is possible if they get to a trade deadline and are truly desperate.

        But I agree that you’d probably get more generally for a guy like Giles at a trade deadline and, for the right price, I’d be open to trading him. I feel the same way about Odubel Herrerra – nice player, but I think he’s probably pretty close to his ceiling and, given their depth in centerfield (I think Altherr could play that position just fine if Quinn doesn’t make it), his best use to the organization may be as a trade chip if the right deal comes along (no rush).

        1. How can you say Odubel is at his ceiling? Not only is this his rookie year (at 23) but also his first season ever in CF. he showed remarkable progress in plate discipline and defense. His power also improved and we know that power always improves as a player gets older. Odubel’s ceiling is much higher.

          1. It’s a personal observation – I could be wrong about that, especially if he develops consistent power or improves his plate discipline. But there are other players who come up, do well in their first season and then plateau or decline. I don’t think he will decline but I think there’s a fairly decent chance that he will not get much better. He will have a lot of trade value so, given that they will probably have some nice depth in center I would be open to a trade IF the return is especially appealing. If not they can keep him.

          2. Additionally Odubel’s defense , according to SABR defensive index is second in the NL, only .7 points below Hamilton’s at first with a 8. rating and fifth in all MLB behind Kevin Kiermaier ( 26.7), Kevin Pillar (10.8) and Lorenzo Cain (9.2).

  10. Random thought but does anyone remember when cliff was placed on trade waivers in 2013 and the Dodgers claimed him? If only amaro would have traded him and got one or two of urias, Seager, or Joc back, 2017 wouldn’t seem out of the question for being back to contention. On the downside amaro probably would have kept his job but in all reality if he would have pulled that off maybe he would of been deserved to keep it.

    1. 20/20 hindsight. If you knew everything that was going to happen in the future, you could build an exceptional team. You have to play with the cards that are dealt. Lee was going to be a big part of the pitching staff but sometimes crap happens.

    2. Why the assumption that the Dodgers would have been willing to trade their top prospects for a player they claimed off waivers?

      The Dodgers made the claim because at most, they would just have to take on the contract, they weren’t trading away their top prospects for him.

      1. Not an assumption just a what if. I think LA has bee reluctant to trade there top prospects bc they are so close to the majors. Seager was only in high a ball if I remember correctly and urias was probably playing rookie ball in 2013. I don’t think it is ridiculous that philly could have got one of their top 4 prospects for one of the best pitchers in baseball. It’s not like philly needed the salary relief and LA would have know that.

  11. We can all go back and pick quite a few mistakes Amaro made. What if trading Cliff Lee after ’09 netted the equivalent of Travis D’Arnaud and Noah Syndergaard? Not unrealistic, but instead the Phils got zero. I don’t remember what the thought on Urias was in 2013, but the Dodgers were never trading Seager or Pederson for anybody. If they are to get back to be a contender, they will need a little luck along the way. Like a Rizzo for Cashner. Like finding a Jayson Werth off the scrap heap. The new GM needs to be both good and lucky.

    1. matt13..well the old GM got a little lucky, so far, with Odubel Herrera.
      Maybe another Rule 5 nugget awaits in December’s choosing.

    1. While I think there are some real similarities, keep in mind that Brown (in terms of his minor league performance/profile versus his major league performance) was a real outlier. That comp is sort of the reverse of the typical Greg Maddux/soft throwing command and control minor league prospect.

      I think he has more power potential than a lot of people realize. But plate discipline and defense are real concerns. On the bright side, he does seem to have some capacity to learn and grow. Something that, for whatever reason, Brown seemed to lack.

    2. Jr….earlier in the year he had his doubters….KLaw for one, from late April, that could have changed by September.

      Bucky (Texas):
      Have you heard about Nick Williams’ supposed improvements in approach? Any hope there, or would you still call him a NP?

      Klaw (1:04 PM)
      I haven’t called him a non-prospect, just not a very good prospect. Three walks in 50 PA shouldn’t make us rethink who he is – a player with a bad approach and terrible instincts on both sides of the ball.

    3. Nick Williams has never been profiled as a player with great plate discipline. Domonic Brown was always a player with great plate discipline. Domonic Brown was similar to Dexter Fowler and Ike Davis as a minor league hitter, but for some reason he couldn’t make the adjustments those guys made. Nick Williams has never been described as a player with great approach, but he has huge tools, similar to a Torii Hunter, Mike Cameron type, when he was a minor leaguer.

  12. A player like Nick Williams will benefit from being a coachable, hardworking prospect. That, often, makes all the difference. Of course someone needs skill to start. Dom Brown never seemed to improve. His fielding, base running, baseball instincts, always seemed to come up short. I certainly don’t know him to posit a reason, but there seemed to be something missing. And, he never adjusted to the adjustments that were made to him. Time will tell with Williams. How much does he want to succeed? We need more than JP and Franco to become a contender again. I like our young pitching, but it falls far short of the Mets. So, Williams, Alfaro/Knapp, Quinn, Altherr, etc. need to step up. I think #1.1 this year will be 90%, a Pitcher.

    1. matt13….here is a scouting report on Williams from this month.
      MLB’s Bernie Pleskoff on Williams:
      “….. The 6-foot-3, 195 pound Williams has a well-proportioned athletic frame.”
      Hitting…….Williams is still a work in progress. He has been inconsistent in his approach and results until this past season. He hit a combined .303 playing for Double-A Frisco for the Rangers (.299 in 415 plate appearances) and .320 over 100 plate appearances at Double-A Reading in the Phillies’ organization. I first saw Williams when he played for Surprise in the 2014 Arizona Fall League. He hit .277 with two homers and a solid 19 RBIs in his 27 autumn games. Williams is an aggressive hitter with a very quick bat. That excellent bat speed helps him drive the ball and allows him to generate power from his strong body. Using the entire field, Williams is a solid gap hitter with emerging home run power.

      Defense……..Considered an average outfielder by most, Williams is known more for his hitting and power upside than his fielding. He has played all three outfield positions, but I project his best position to be left field. He looks and reacts more comfortably in that role.

      Strengths…….Whenever I watch Williams play, his power and his good foot speed are evident. His outstanding bat speed forms the foundation of his overall hitting mechanics. He has a fluid swing and can punish a fastball.

      Weaknesses…..Recently I have seen his highly aggressive approach become reduced a bit. That’s a good thing. This year, his splits against right- and left-handed pitching were a bit troubling. He hit .a very solid .330 against right-handed pitching, but only .210 vs. lefties. In 2014, his splits were close to equal, both being above .275.

      I find this interesting……Williams is still a raw player. He is gaining momentum and learning more about his game as he continues his development. Williams is a player who could ultimately hit .300 with 25 home runs if he continues his current progress. But risk remains that he won’t consistently harness his abilities.

      The future for Williams……There is risk involved in going out a limb with Williams. He has such great upside that the Phillies will likely give him every opportunity to be an offensive force in their hitter-friendly home park. I can see him arriving in late 2016. His bat speed and the power in his athletic body are real. Can he translate upside to reality?

      Williams in a word….Explosive

      1. Its a very accurate read based on what I’ve seen in the kid. He needs to learn to stay in the strike zone because he won’t get many strikes unless he does. He’s a very aggressive hitter which is fine but he needs to continue improving. Obviously he needs to improve against lefties where he struggled mightily this past year. Its a process. Hopefully, he’ll have a great 3/4 year at LHV and come up and take over LF in Philly come August. He has the potential to be a #3 hitter. Whether he truly becomes that guy, we’ll have to wait and see.
        “Explosive”?? We can only hope!

        1. If you check some of the other lefthanded hitting prospects in the minors, a good majority you will see their numbers versus LHP are lower then agaisnt RHB as can be expected and rather mediocre. This is not uncommon for 21/22-year old prospects.
          Though have to admit, with Cornelius Randolph, his splits, in a SSS in rookie ball, are exceptional…almost dead even.
          Bernie Pleskoff emphasizes Williams’ .210 BA vs LHP…..but the frequency that they see them is also low. The more he sees the better he will get..not as bad as Williams’ but same also with JPC if you look at his splits at AA, and his hit approach/discipline is plus. Though he adjusted and picked it up in the second half.
          The more they see the better they will be.

  13. The plot of “Trouble With The Curve” involved a prospect who the GM wanted to draft based on his stats. Clint Eastwood’s character and his daughter actually saw him play and knew the kid wasn’t worth their top draft choice. Imaggitti reminds me of that GM. I may not be a pro scout and most of you may not be pro scouts, but pro scouts are not always right either. I urge you all to get out from behind your monitors and physically go to minor league games next season and actually watch these kids play in person. No offense, but if you haven’t been to the park I totally discount your opinion. So, believe what you see with your own eyes or believe the hype? But the Phillies would never engage in hyperbole, would they?

    1. Really, citing a movie script doesn’t strengthen you position. The point with Kilome isn’t that the Phillies are hyping him but rather the comments coming from people paid to evaluate prospects generally give him high marks.

      For those of us who have been to many minor league games, the eye test only goes so far, especially when talking about short season leagues with teenagers playing. At that level skills mean much more than results.

      With all due respect to your eyes, I’ll assume that Kilome isn’t the 5th best starter on the Williamsport staff.

      1. The movie script citation is silly for other reasons as well, not the least of which is that no one is arguing for Kilome based upon advanced metrics.

        That aside, I am completely baffled by the kind of argument that foes like this: “you can’t trust the scouts, but you can trust the observations of the typical fan.” Of course the scouts are wrong sometimes; of course the scouts are right FAR more often than the typical fan in the stands.

    2. I would love to hear your complete analysis of why Mitch Gueller is a better Pitching prospect than Kilome.

    3. if i’m following a movie script – i will just go down to Mexico and look for my Steve Nebraska. #sarcasm

    1. It is so important to see this coming season for all of the top potential picks. Especially with Pitching and the amount of injuries that we see. Any one of them could get hurt and the whole decision gets turned around. One of the hitters can have a huge year and vault into the 1.1 spot. If all things stay the same, but they rarely do, I see Puk as the Phils choice today. It will be fun to watch all 4 Pitchers and see who emerges as a hitter. This is, hopefully, our reward for the dreadful season we just sat through. I don’t see an exciting trade deadline this year unless we buy a prospect like the Braves did with Toussaint.

  14. Thanks Romus, We have to hope for the upside. Outstanding bat speed, footwork and showing power, Needs to work on approach, average defensively. His ability to better learn patience at the plate and his ability to make necessary adjustment to breaking pitches will determine his future. With all that we got for Cole, not having that one star prospect means we have to hope on them all. I always liked Thompson and he pitched great for Reading. He still needs to improve, be in great shape, and continue to grow. Alfaro needs to have a year where he is not injured and show what he has. Eickhoff has been a big surprise and will be in the rotation. I think he is a #4 or 5. Asher as well has shown better than I hoped. I think we did well, considering, for Cole, but 1 of these guys, at least, has to really elevate his game.

    1. Unless what we saw is a complete mirage (always possible with a young pitching prospect), I think Eickhoff is a 4 right now, with likely 3 upside. He’s a revelation to be sure.

      1. @catch – I’m more optimistic in Eikhoff compared to the Worley’s, Happ’s, Cloyd’s, Buchanan’s or any of the young pitchers. Eickhoff’s ave FB may continue to sit in low 90s but what separates him is that insane CB and good slider that shows plus potential. To control these pitchers early in his career is a good sign which can be his K pitch to finish the batters.

        eikhoff’s body is fully develop and can withstand long innings, thus, I don’t see any potential to increase a couple of MPH in his FB but I think he can still improve the control/command of his FB to continue throwing strikes to set up his CB and SL.

        I can see Eikhoff improving his CH than increasing the velocity of this FB. Eventhough it’s SSS – the profile projects to be a really solid middle of the rotation SP.

        1. True, that’s why the development of a CH can be key. but i think eikhoff’s nasty CB can be a true wipe out pitch that can eliminate both RH and LH batters. his FB will be pretty much a set up or use to K weaker batters.

        2. Yup.

          I’d add that it’s really hard to know just how good Eickhoff is right now. Catch says a 4, which is certainly possible. But how do you evaluate a guy who looked like a 5 in the minors (that his, his AAA performance projected to a 5 in the majors) but performed like a 2 in the majors? Splitting the difference and calling him a 4 is defensible but who really knows.

          None of this is a knock on Eickhoff. I like him, and there are solid reasons to believe that he has made some real, sustainable improvements in his game over the past year.

          1. Yeah, I hear you – we still need to find out more about him, including whether he can consistently command his slider and curve and whether he can make necessary adjustments. Agreed we really don’t know yet. But my assessment of him wasn’t really splitting the baby – it was based on my observations of him from AAA through the majors (I saw his first start in AAA on Milb.TV and raved about him on here). By the way, I don’t think being a “4” is a back-handed compliment – it’s basically Kyle Kendrick in one of his better years; easily replaceable performance. I think it’s possible Eickhoff could end up being quite a bit better than that, but we just need to see.

          2. My first impression of eickhoff. was he wasn’t anything special a 5 type. But he did look better. Now we have to see how he does. once he goes around the league twice. Imo that is the mark of what kind of pitcher he will become.

  15. Odubel Herrera really adjusted well to CF…second in the NL SDI with a 7.3 score..

    Billy Hamilton CIN 8.0
    Odubel Herrera PHI 7.3
    A.J. Pollock ARI 5.4
    Michael Taylor WSN 3.7
    Carlos Gomez MIL 2.2
    Juan Lagares NYM 0.8
    Will Venable SDP -1.0
    Joc Pederson LAD -2.3
    Dexter Fowler CHC -3.0
    Gregor Blanco SFG -3.4
    Marcell Ozuna MIA -3.6
    Andrew McCutchen PIT -5.4
    Charlie Blackmon COL -7.3
    Cameron Maybin ATL -10.0
    Angel Pagan SFG -12.0

  16. Houston needs a closer Phillies could use a guy like AJ Reed to be our first base of the future.

    Aj Reed, Tony Kemp and a low A pitcher for Giles?

  17. I wonder if MacPhail and the Phillies are considering moving the Lakewood BlueClaws to Camden’s Campbell Field on the waterfront?
    Riversharks are done there and park officials looking for a major league affiliate.
    Lakewood’s lease may be up for renewal in 2016.

  18. I had a KC st Louis final with a KC winning. O Well still have KC who seems to like hitting in cold weather.

  19. It’s always amazing to me to watch a team rise from the ashes to a WS appearance. Syndergaard and D’Arnaud come over in the Dickey trade in 2012. De Grom the 9th round in 2010 and then you have Harvey 1st round 7th pick in 2010.

    Done on a $102 Mil. I hate the Mets but I love good baseball nicely done!

  20. They also got lucky when the Carlos Gomez deal fell through and they made the Cespedes trade. That really turned around their offense. I hate them also but wanted them to beat the Nats. I should be careful of what I wish for! When you compare the Phils to the Mets, only Nola makes their rotation. We have a lot of work to do.

  21. SB Nations’ Bobby Glover’s Breakout Phillies for 2016:

    His take also on Hoskins/Martin:

    I don’t love his swing (Hoskins). The power is legitimate, but it’s not exceptional bat speed from what I have seen. For a player with his polish and experience, I am inclined to temper my enthusiasm just a little bit beyond what the raw numbers might suggest. If he continues to produce at a level anywhere close to this at Double A, I would be forced to come around a little. The right/right profile at first is tough too although I haven’t heard or seen anything overly critical of his glove work. I just have a high bar for what it takes to be a difference maker at first which is not to say he won’t contribute, but I want to see what it looks like as he climbs the ladder right now. Another guy who you definitely have to like more than you would have a year ago.
    Incidentally, if you are looking for a guy from this system who is a bit similar and could surprise some people along these lines in 2016, I would submit Kyle Martin. A 4th rounder from South Carolina, I have seen Martin play quite a bit. He is a similarly polished offensive player with a bit more power than his 2015 pro line might suggest. Even as a lefty stick, it’s tough business at first base, but he could definitely improve his stock this season.

    by Bobby Glover on Oct 22, 2015 | 1:25 PM

    1. I don’t mean any disrespect, but this article reads like a person writing from stats and reports without ever seeing the players he’s writing about. I checked his bio on the masthead, and it supports that impression. He is a HS history/economics teacher and HS baseball coach in Indiana. His story is a nice read, but no more or less valid than the point of view of anyone who comments on this site who cites and interprets metrics. (Note: I routinely check credentials for any writer who professes to be an expert on the prospects in our organization. BTW, John Sickels from the same site has an impeccable baseball background.)

      Is there something about this writer that I’m missing?

      1. He does get to view a certain segment of the prospects live. And not sure how many posters on here do that…on a continued bases.

        1. But which of our prospects has he seen live? He didn’t join the staff until this past June. He was tasked with covering the Midwest League. So, who among our prospects did he see live? Sweeney (Great Lakes in 2012)? Jimmy Cordero (Lansing in 2014)? Alberto Tirado (Lansing in 2014)?

          I don’t begrudge him his opinions. But, I expect the writers for this type of article on this type of site to be a little more “expert” than this guy. I would give more credence to his opinions had he seen the players. His bona fides don’t make his interpretations of stats and someone else’s scouting reports any more valid than anyone else’s. IMO.

          1. Have to believe, from his post yesterday, when he says he seen quite a bit of Kyle Martin he is being truthful. How to you prove anyone has seen anyone ‘live’ on websites, you have to take them for their word!
            Now John Sickels is the owner of that site, so have to assume he screens writers for authenticity like it is done on this site. His reputation is at stake.
            Now I value MattWinks opinions on prospects, and he rarely ever sees them, but what he does is gather every available ‘eye-witness’ account and every write-up from the national pubs, plus also doing interviews with local team announcers and reporters. Dicephers the material and gives a pretty comprehensive report. Some on here, a few years back, did not think that was enough.
            I agree, an ‘expert’ opinion is what is desired and expected

      2. John Sickel seems to think he has adequate credentials to peer eval prospects.
        Perhaps John would be the one to inquiry with on that matter….if you like I can do that for you.

      3. John Sickels is the national writer I give the least attention. He’ll tell you right up front he doesn’t see any of the prospects. He relies on reports from other writers. He also leans heavily towards low ceiling, high probability prospects, on his organization rankings.

    1. Thats what he desired.
      He wanted to get back on the field he said. I guess the headaches and criticism of front office work were a little too much for him

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