Monthly Archives: October 2015

Top Prospect Discussion: October 8th

This post is reserved for the discussion of the top prospects in the Phillies’ organization. You can tout the merits of your favorite prospects, instruct us on why your ranking is superior, talk about a prospect who intrigues/worries you, ask about prospects you haven’t seen and don’t know much about, or anything at all as long as it is about the top prospects. Continue reading Top Prospect Discussion: October 8th

Florida Instructional League – Game #7; 10/7/2015

Wednesday the Phillies played the Blue Jays at Bright House Field.  The comfortable surroundings made up a little for yet another game with no offense.  The pattern of ineffectiveness is beginning to be a little concerning.  The Phillies managed five hits, only one of which was hit hard – Greg Pickett’s line drive single in the ninth inning.  The only other hard hit ball was a line drive off the bat of Juan Luis in the first inning that was speared by the second baseman.

Continue reading Florida Instructional League – Game #7; 10/7/2015

Prospect Discussion: Week of October 5th

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.  The weekly top prospects article will be posted later in the week.  This week, I want to put the spotlight on Jesmuel Valentin.  Jesse had some personal problems that delayed the start of his season. When he was finally activated on July 31st, Coach Legg said Valentin would have to compete for playing time.  He must have impressed quickly because he started 31 of the Threshers 33 final regular season games plus both playoff games.

  • Jesmuel Jose Valentin, second baseman and shortstop
  • Bats both, Throws right
  • 5’9, 180 lb.
  • Born 5/12/1994 (age 21)
  • Drafted by the Dodgers in the 1st round (51st) of the 2012 MLB June Amateur Draft from The Puerto Rico Baseball Academy (Gurabo, PR).
  • 2012; AZL Dodgers (age 18, -1.4 age dif) .211/.352/.316 in 197 PA (35 BB, about 18%)
  • 2012; Ponce in the PRWL (age 18, -8.3) 18 PA in 16 G, but look at that age dif
  • 2013; Great Lakes (age 19, -1.8) 5 weeks at full season A; .212/.325/.293, then
  • 2013; Ogden (age 19, -1.6) sent to short season A; .284/.379/.396
  • 2013; Ponce (age 19, -7.5) 27 PA in 14 G, .320/.370/.360
  • 2014; Great Lakes (age 20, -1.5) .280/.349/.430 in 462 PA before trade
  • 2014; Clearwater (age 20, -2.7) just 44 PA in 12 G; .205/.255/.250
  • 2014; Mayaguez in the PRWL (age 20, -6.3) 89 PA in 29 G; .278/.341/.367
  • 2015; Clearwater (age 21, -1.6) 118 PA in 31 G after activation; .273/.351/.424

Jesse Valentin remains an enigma for Phillies’ prospect followers.  He arrived too late in 2014 for us to get a good feel for what we could expect.  He was the 26th prospect in the Reader Top 30, 11th by Baseball America, 14th by Keith Law (ESPN), 8th by John Sickels (Minor League Ball), 22nd by Matt Winkelman (Phillies Minor Thoughts), 18th by Kiley McDaniel (FanGraphs, on 12/3/14 before Odubel Herrera, Zach Eflin, Tom Windle, and Ben Lively joined the organization).

When Valentin was activated this season, I thought he looked a little thick around the middle.  But, I honestly can’t remember with any reasonable accuracy his build when he reported in 2014.  I’m probably so used to seeing skinny LA middle infielders in the GCL that Valentin just looked “heavy-ish”.  In any case, he was in good enough shape to quickly win the starting second base position for the remainder of the season.  And it certainly made sense to play him every day for the organization to properly evaluate him.

Valentin started off 1 for 14, but finished with at least one base hit in 15 of his final 17 games.  He only walked 12 times in 118 PA, but it’s understandable if he was a little more aggressive after his return to the roster.  Valentin was utilized in the lead off position, batting ahead of Carlos Tocci in the final weeks of the season.

Valentin is not a speedster.  He tried to steal twice and was thrown out both times.  The Threshers’ speed game dried up with Dylan Cozens’ promotion to Reading.  (Seriously, he was 18 for 23.  Chase Harris was next at 15 for 21.  After them, the team was 52 for 100.) Valentin is competent on the base paths, but not as quick as I would have expected.

Valentin’s biggest asset was his glove.  He went error-free in 119 chances.  It is not unreasonable to suggest that he is the best fielding second baseman in the organization.

It will be interesting to see where the Phillies place Valentin in the organization next season.  Another good season of winter ball will help them decide.  Valentin has hit pretty well while playing with much older competition in Puerto Rico.  It wouldn’t be a stretch for Valentin to start in Reading, especially if Crawford starts in LHV and Mora moves from 2B to SS.

Florida Instructional League – Game #5; 10/5/2015

Monday the Phillies traveled to the Blue Jays’ Englebert Complex to face a line up that included three position players who are headed to the Arizona Fall League, three pitchers who are also going to the AFL, and Vladimir Guerrero’s talented, 16-year old son.  Both teams combined to produce only nine hits, but the Jays were able to turn their six hits into five runs while their pitchers shutout the Phillies on three hits.

Continue reading Florida Instructional League – Game #5; 10/5/2015

Open Discussion: Week of October 5th

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

  • Well, the drama ended Saturday night.  The Phillies will have the first selection in the 2016 Amateur Draft.  They will also select first in the Rule 5 Draft and receive the largest portion of International Signing dollars.  You can all take solace in the fact that you didn’t suffer through this season for nuthin’.
  • The Phillies’ 63 wins  and .389 winning percentage were their lowest since they won 59 games in 1972 and posted a .378 percentage.  Four years after that nadir, the Phillies won 101 games in 1976.  So there’s that.
  • The Phillies have made their first offseason decisions when they decided the fates of several members of the coaching staff.  Bench coach Larry Bowa, hitting coach Steve Henderson, pitching coach Bob McClure and first-base coach Juan Samuel have been invited back.  Bullpen coach Rod Nichols and third-base coach John Mizerock were not retained.  Coach Jorge Velandia’s status is not clear.  Congratulations to Bob Stumpo!
  • Interim GM Scott Proefrock offered some insight into the Phillies’ offseason plans. Really nothing different from what Andy MacPhail stated a couple weeks ago.
  • And, how about we accept the fact that Ryan Howard and Carlos Ruiz are going to be on the 2016 roster and not spend a lot of time speculating on trades involving either player.  Or releases. Or line ups.  Platoon means platoon.  Let’s just accept that for now.
  • Damn!  Jesse Biddle can’t catch a break.  The tail end of the Proefrock article mentions that Biddle is having Tommy John surgery on October 14th.  There was a time when news like this would have been announced under it’s own headline. Good luck, Jesse!
  • Since December 10, 2014 when the Phillies went into rebuild mode and started to dismantle the roster in earnest, the Phillies traded away a lot of players –
    • Antonio Bastardo to the Pirates, and
    • Jimmy Rollins to the Dodgers in December,
    • Jonathan Papelbon to the Nationals on July 28th,
    • Cole Hamels and
    • Jake Diekman to the Rangers on July 31st,
    • Ben Revere to the Blue Jays also on the 31st, and
    • Chase Utley to the Dodgers on August 19th.
  • I’m sure a lot of Phillies fans are gratified that from the above list of players, all are in the playoffs except Papelbon.

Florida Instructional League – Game #4; 10/3/2015

Since Tuesday’s game, the Phillies have traveled to Tampa and had two camp days.  More camp days is a direct result of the Pirates decision not to schedule very many games this year.  I don’t believe they are travelling out of Bradenton at all this fall.

This morning at ten o’clock, the Phillies took the field against the Blue Jays.  Tyler Gilbert got the start.  He was followed by Edgar Garcia, Alexis Rivero, and Robert Tasin.  The top of the Phillies order was comprised of Roman Quinn, J.P. Crawford, and Domonic Brown. Cornelius Randolph batted fifth and Jhailyn Ortiz was the DH and batted seventh.  Sixteen year old Rafael Marchan also made a cameo at catcher but played the field for only half of an inning.

The Phillies received some good pitching and outscored the Jays 6-4.  Details below the fold.

Continue reading Florida Instructional League – Game #4; 10/3/2015

What? We Worry?

Darn Mets!  Darn Reds!

The Phillies will go into their final weekend series with a slim lead over the Cincinnati Reds for the worst record in baseball and the prize that come with it, the number one pick in the 2016 June Amateur Draft.

After sweeping the Mets (a team they were 2-14 against this season), the Phillies find themselves in danger of improving from the worst record in baseball for the first time since June 8th when they successfully held off the Milwaukee Brewers.  But the Phillies have won six of their last ten and the Reds are mired in an 12-game losing streak. Continue reading What? We Worry?

Phillies Activate Maikel Franco

The Phillies activated Maikel Franco from the DL this morning.  Todd Zolecki made the announcement in his post today.  He is expected to play this weekend.  Jordan Hall got a couple quotes from manager Pete Mackanin in this article.

Playing Franco in meaningless games in Philadelphia is not that big of a deal.  He would be playing in Instructs games in Clearwater anyway as he continues to ready himself for winter ball.  He may as well play the games in the big league environment in Philadelphia in front of season ticket holders and Phillies’ execs. Continue reading Phillies Activate Maikel Franco

Top Prospect Discussion: October 1st

This post is reserved for the discussion of the top prospects in the Phillies’ organization. You can tout the merits of your favorite prospects, instruct us on why your ranking is superior, talk about a prospect who intrigues/worries you, ask about prospects you haven’t seen and don’t know much about, or anything at all as long as it is about the top prospects. Continue reading Top Prospect Discussion: October 1st