Open Discussion: Week of November 2nd

The 2015 Championship Season ended last night when the Kansas City Royals came from behind in game five to beat the New York Mets four games to one.  The victory triggers a series of important dates that relied on the end of the World Series.  Now, the off season can officially begin.

  1. At 9:00 AM on Monday, November 2nd, all players with 6 or more years of Major League service whose current contracts have expired AND who haven’t negotiated successor contracts for the 2016 season become free agents.  Affected Phillies are Aaron Harang, Jerome Wiliams, Chad Billingsley, Jeff Francoeur, and Cliff Lee whose $27.5M team option will certainly not be exercised ($12.5M buyout).
  2. During the period that starts Monday morning until 11:59 PM on Friday, November 6th, a Quiet Period exists per Article XX(B) in the current CBA whereby “… any Club representative and any free agent or his representative may talk with each other and discuss the merits of the free agent contracting, when eligible therefor, with the Club; provided, however, that the Club and the free agent shall not negotiate terms or contract with each other.  The following subjects are among those which may properly be discussed between any Club and such Player – (i) the Player’s interest in playing for the Club, and the Club’s interest in having the Player play for it; (ii) the Club’s plans about how it intends to utilize the Player’s services (as a starting pitcher or reliever, as a designated hitter or not, platooning, etc.); (iii) the advantages and disadvantages of playing for the Club including the nature of the organization, the climate of the city, availability of suitable housing, etc.; (iv) length of contract; (v) guarantee provisions; and (vi) no-trade or limited no-trade provisions.  Notwithstanding the foregoing, the free agent and his former Club may engage in negotiations and enter into a contract during the Quiet Period.
  3. November 6th, the fifth day after the end of the World Series, is also the last day to reinstate players from the 60-Day DL; the last day to outright potential Minor League free agents without Major League contract, if permissable; and the day that Minor League players become free agents at 5:00 PM, if applicable.
  4. On November 7th“Players who become free agents pursuant to this Section B shall, upon the expiration of the Quiet Period, be eligible to negotiate and contract with any Club, subject to the provisions of this Section B.”
  5. During the Quiet Period, teams have the right to extend a Qualifying Offer to any Player who becomes a free agent under Section B in the CBA with the following stipulations –  “… after having been continuously under reserve (without interruption) to the same Club (either at the Major or Minor League level) since Opening Day of the recently completed championship season (“Qualified Free Agent”). During the Quiet Period, the former Club of a Qualified Free Agent may tender the Qualified Free Agent a one-year Uniform Player’s Contract for the next succeeding season with a guaranteed salary that is equal to the average salary of the 125 highest-paid Players each year (“Qualifying Offer”).”
  6. Players who are offered a QO will have seven days after the end of the Quiet Period to accept the QO.  The Players Association will supply the Labor Relations Department of the Office of the Commissioner a list of all Free Agents who have accepted QO by 5:00 PM on Friday, November 13th.
  7. According to COTS, three Phillies’ players are under contract for the 2016 season – Ryan HowardMatt Harrison, and Carlos Ruiz.
  8. According to Baseball Reference, three Phillies’ players are eligible for arbitration – Andres Blanco, Jeanmar Gomez, and Freddy Galvis.

The remainder of the Phillies’ Reserve List (40-Man Roster) is comprised of the following 25 players –  Elvis Araujo, Alec Asher, Jesse Biddle, David Buchanan, Jerad Eickhoff, Luis Garcia, Ken Giles, Severino Gonzalez, Dalier Hinojosa, Mario Hollands, Adam Morgan, Colton Murray, Hector Neris, Aaron Nola, Nefi Ogando, Joely Rodriguez, Jorge Alfaro, Cameron Rupp, Maikel Franco, Cesar Hernandez, Darin Ruf, Darnell Sweeney, Aaron Altherr, Cody Asche, and Odubel Herrera.  If anyone is not tendered a contract by a date in December (the 12th, I think), he would become a free agent.

In other news, the Phillies signed Luis Miguel Ramirez to a minor league contract on October 16, 2015.  He is a pitcher from Venezuela.  He bats right and throws right.  He is  5’11 and 175 lbs.  He is 18 years old and his DOB is 9/14/1997.

On October 25th, Greg Pickett tweeted –

Greg Pickett ‏ Oct 25

A week from today I’m gonna be in the Dominican

Sunday he tweeted –

Greg Pickett ‏Nov 1


I would assume he is reporting to the Phillies’ Dominican Academy, I don’t think he qualifies to play in the DWL.

And finally, J.P. Crawford was replaced in the AFL with Drew Stankiewicz.  Crawford sustained a mild left thumb sprain while making a tag. An MRI exam revealed a partial tear of the UCL ligament, but won’t need surgery. His thumb will be in a splint for three to four weeks.  He is expected to be 100 percent healthy by Spring Training.



208 thoughts on “Open Discussion: Week of November 2nd

  1. Did anyone else see that Todd Z posted on the Phillies website that Bowa is back as bench coach and Samuel back as 3rd base coach?

  2. Those are quite a number of important dates… for everyone except the Phils. The largest number of guys will just be getting contracts or released. Three guys on the whole roster are signed. They have more coaches than players signed at this point. They aren’t going to go all in on free agency. Most of the front office business will be looking at draft choices and LA signing possibilities. That doesn’t occur for a very long time… in baseball years. What is a Phanatic Phan supposed to do? Football, Hockey and Basketball are going but that provides no relief. The best odds going in Vegas right now is picking how many losses the 76’ers will accumulate before their first win. If you include last year’s consecutive losses to end the season, it could reach 100….

  3. Some winter league stat highlights (lowlights). Edgar Duran leads the Phils in HRs with 2. How many of you Duran plugged into your top 30 or top 40 or top 50? I thought so. Andy Knapp and Rhys Hoskins lead in RBIs with 8 and 7 respectively. Williams Astudillo had better go home before he hurts someone. He’s hit into 5 DPs in 52 ABs. That’s astounding but he only has 1 K and 2 BBs to go along with his tiny slash totals.

    Hoskins has 6 doubles and a HR in those 8 hits of his. Malquin Canelo leads in triples with 3. Roman Quinn has 2. Gabriel Lino leads with 15 hits, followed by Duran and then Quinn. Most of that because they have the most ABs. Knapp has 7 BBs to lead the Phils players playing in the Winter Leagues. Lino, Duran and Canelo have the most Ks. Stolen Bases are nearly non-existent with Tocci and Quinn leading with the way with 2.

    Cord Sandberg has a nice triple slash but it’s only in 21 ABs in Australia (.381/.458/.429 with an .887 OPS. Tocci is not too far behind (.333/.447/.400/..847. Hoskins as the highest SLG% and OPS at ..567 and .938 respectively.

    My takeaways on this. Quinn looks fine and I’ll put him back in my top 10. Hoskins still looks good and strong after all the ABs he’s had. Cord Sandberg is looking pretty good. Remember Cozens went to Australia last year and he started out stinking up the joint but came on a little at the end. So Cord is holding his own (SSS and all).

  4. Those on 60 day DL needing to be activated: Hernandez, Araujo, Harrison, Hollands, and two likely to be released Lee and Billingsley. This would bring the roster to 31 with the free agents not counting. Francouer has the best chance to be back. Rodriguez, Gonzalez, and Biddle have the greatest chance to be removed from roster if the need presents itself.

    Which date do we find out which minor leaguers have been added to rosters or exposed to the rule 5 draft? There are several deep teams that will likely expose someone that would be an upgrade.

    1. Three weeks the rosters have to be finalized before the Rule 5 at the winter meetings. Usually around Thanksgiving.

        1. My guess is the date is November 27th for finalizing the 40, since the Rule 5 is usually the last day of the winter meetings, so that will be Thursday Dec 10th.

    2. Nov. 10 – Rawlings Gold Gloves
      Nov. 11-Wilson Def. Player of the Year Awards
      Nov. 12, -Louisville Silver Slugger
      Nov. 16- ROY
      Nov. 17-Managers of the Year
      Nov. 18- Cy Awards
      Nov. 19- MVPs
      Dec. 7-10-Winter Meetings, Nashville, Tenn.

    3. This is covered under Rule 2 of The Major League Rules.
      Rule 2
      (a) RESERVE LISTS.
      (1) Filing of Reserve Lists. On a date designated by the Commissioner or the Commissioner’s designee (which shall be no later than November 20, or the last business day preceding November 20, if November 20 is not a business day), each Major League Club shall file Major League and Minor League Reserve Lists with the Commissioner or the Commissioner’s designee. A Major League Club shall include on its Major League Reserve List all players, player-managers and player-coaches who are currently under Major League Uniform Player’s Contracts (unless they have been assigned outright to a Minor League Club) or who have been promoted to Major League status and must be tendered a Major League Uniform Player’s Contract for the following championship season by December 12.

    1. How great was Harvey. The mets will be the team to beat for next 5 yrs. How in the world do the Phillies compete with them. Nola is a fifth starter on that team.

      1. i hate to say this, but the Mets kick the s**t out of our Phils for the last 3 years even with the Colon’s, Niese’s, Gee’s pitching. The Royal probably gave a sample blue print to the Phils on how to play against the Mets – making contact, baserunning and lights out bullpen.

        Mets have stud young SPs but their offense is still suspect so a disciplined game from a solid pitching staff can still give the Phils a chance to compete with the Mets.

        1. It’s true to a degree, but you also have to factor in your park and play to its strengths. One of the real head scratchers of the Amaro era was the movement away from power hitters. A lot of home runs are hit in CBP and lately, when you go to games, the other teams who have power (especially American league teams and the Mets who crushed the ball in CBP) have had a huge advantage over the Phillies. So yeah, you want contact and players who play good, fundamental baseball, but you want some power hitters too.

          1. “POWER” (pitching and battting) is a game changer aspect of the game that’s why most are fixated with it. Personally, i would like to have a power pitcher or batter in my line up but it will not be the #1 consideration – it should be a balance of timely hitting, contact, defense and quality pitching.

            I have a different take on Amaro’s construction of the team. Creating a team based on pitching is still a solid strategy but doing it via trades and FA haunted him. IMO, the failure is due to lack of balance in the team (and relying some much in the declining core) and shortage of talents from the farm (due to poor scouting and player development) to reinforce Cole Hamels and the pitching staff and replace the “Core” of JRoll-Chase-Howie when they started their sudden decline and/or injury.

      2. Don’t lose hope. The Mets’ pitchers are great (they really are), but pitching has a funny way of being inconsistent at times and pitchers tend to get hurt. Also, although they came on well at the end of the year, I don’t think the Mets are a juggernaut on offense; they’re good offensively, not great. Also, the Mets’ players will start to become expensive and they won’t be able to keep everyone.

        If the Phillies put together a well-rounded club, they could compete with the Mets in a few years.

        It was interesting watching the Royals. There are no truly great players on that team. They kill you with competence. In a lot of ways, the Royals remind of the scrappy Giants teams that have won 3 World Series (although the Giants have more star players). Perhaps the most interesting thing about the Royals is their ability to put the ball in play. Now that we have moved to a pitcher-dominant era, a line-up full of players who make contact, have decent patience and moderate power, might be the best antidote. What’s unclear is whether this model – which appears to be well suited for the current environment – will play as well in 5 to 10 years.

        1. totally agree with your last paragraph especially and comparison to Giants.
          just having competent performers at all your spots and putting the ball in play; first makes the pitcher work more, second tests the defense.
          Royals also were fortunate to stay healthy and not need their bench; at least until they needed the game winning run and hit in game 5.

        2. Agree with your analysis of the Mets.

          I tend to be very skeptical of the tendency of people to look at a recent WS champ and argues that that “model” should be emulated. (I realize that that isn’t exactly what you’re doing – this isn’t so much a response to your post, as an extension of it). There is more than one way to build a contender. I would say that what’s unique about the Royals “model” is: (1) contact ability, as you note, (2) team defense, (3) excellent relievers. All, in isolation, positive attributes. Are they undervalued in the current market, and, more to the point, will they continue to be so? Color me skeptical. All nice to have; but do you emphasize these at the expense of other qualities (good starting pitching, power, etc.)? Not so sure.

      3. rocco….hitters like JPC, Randolph, and also maybe Quinn and Knapp are similar hitters to what the Royals put out there….contact guys with high BA/OBP.
        And pitching can be so fluid and guys that throw velo that high are more susceptible to UCL damage…..Thor and deGrom are the only ones on that portion of the high-velo staff who have not had elbow-tendon issues. Matz already this summer had shoulder issues and was shut down for awhile. So pitching can be very fluid.

        1. Is Knapp really a contact guy? Not if one looks at his minor league performance as a whole. His AA performance was improved in that respect, but nothing special in that regard. I’d characterize his offensive profile as:

          Makes good contact when he does make contact.
          Contact skills, strike zone judgment, power all decent and (arguably) improving.

          It’s a profile that wouldn’t be terribly exciting at most positions, but for a catcher is quite nice, especially if he can sustain the improvements.

          I don’t really see him fitting the Royal’s “model” at all, not that there’s a problem with that (see above).

          1. I was judging Knapp mostly on this years stats, and most of it from Reading, which could be misleading as to projection. The previous year he started slowly I assume, due to the TJ recovery process and possibly limited off-season preparation (’13 thru early ’14). So going forward not sure how much his BABIP will trend downward to normality. That is why him and Quinn , like I mentioned, maybe could be ‘contact’ guys. Of course, the argument will be that Knapp’s 22%K will need lowering for him to ever be considered a player with a good hit tool. But as a catcher, if he remains at the position, the bar is not as high as for some other positions.

            1. Maybe this is semantics …

              When I hear “good contact skills,” I think a high contact percentage, which translates to a low K%. Even just focusing on Reading, Knapp was at 17.8 K%. Which is decent but not spectacular.

              Now, high BABIP … I’m assuming for the sake of argument that Knapp will maintain a high BABIP (though obviously nowhere near his 2015 Reading rate). But that doesn’t make him a good contact hitter. That’s making good contact, an entirely different thing.

              You’re right about the bar not being that high at catcher, which is why I’m bullish on him. But IMO the fact that he started to tap into his power in Reading was at least as important for his development as other improvements (lower K%, higher BB%, higher BABIP). He could hit .270/.330/.420 and be a well above average hitting catcher. But still not a contact guy.

    2. I was rooting for them. My loyalty to the National League overcame my hatred for the Mets and in particular their chant (along with “hoo”) and that f’n cowbell sound.

    1. does it mean that Knapp made it to the Top 100 Prospects? I can’t imagine that Randolph will be out so Phils should have 6 in Top 100. I wonder how close Kilome is.

      I like Medina (I’m glad) but surprised to see him in Top 10. I thought Eflin, Pinto or Pivetta are ahead of him.

      Tocci?? Top 15 or 20 i guess.

    2. Wow, when Ricardo Pinto, the Phillies top minor league pitcher, is not even in the top 10 list, the Phillies have some serious depth. We have come a long way in a short period of time.

      1. He’s the top minor league pitcher, that doesn’t make him a top prospect. Scott Mathieson was top pitcher one year, and he was barely a prospect.

    3. Does anybody remember the last time the top five prospects on the BA list all finished the previous season at AA or higher? I certainly don’t.

        1. If I am free during the chat, I will ask him who he thinks is a reasonable comp to Tocci. I don’t buy the Devon White comp you throw out due to lack of elite speed on the base paths. So I want to see who he thinks his ceiling can be.

          1. Yeah, I don’t think Devon White is a good comp either – I don’t think he’s anything like Devon White except that they are both good fielders and not true power hitters. For me, the real question with Tocci is power projection (not whether he will be a power hitter, but whether he can hit with enough power to allow the other skills to play up) and that’s as much a physical growth/developmental question as anything else. Tocci is literally the slightest professional position player I have ever seen at any level – he looks like a middle school kid in terms of his muscular development (or at least he did in ST). He might hit well without filling out, but I think he’d need to be a real outlier to do that.

            1. How about Garry Maddox as a comp? And I think that is even a stretch. Tocci most likely never wins 6-7 or gold gloves like Maddox and almost certainly never even shows the (limited) power that Maddox had.

            1. Denard Span is the best comp that I have ever heard on Tocci. That is actually possible. Although Span is 2 inches shorter and 50 pounds heavier. So even with his poor power, he still is far bulkier than Tocci is likely to ever get to. The extra 2 inches means Tocci has to put on 70 pounds to get to a similar body type as Span. But still, that makes far more sense than Devon White.

            2. Sorry. Don’t have the link. I don’t remember if it was in an article or comment section. But it was part of a discussion of Quinn and Tocci and he comped Quinn to Michael Bourn and Tocci to Span. Both good comps I thought. Just FYI, Span was listed at 6′, 170lbs when drafted as an 18 year old and never hit 4 HR (Tocci’s 2015 total) in a minor league season.

            3. It’s an interesting comparison. Although we’d certainly be happy with a Bourn-quality centerfielder, I think Quinn’s ceiling is higher than a player like Bourn, but, surely, the floor is much lower too. I think at similar ages, Quinn might have been a hair faster, but Bourn is a better base stealer and has/had better plate discipline. Aside from that, I think Quinn has better tools. Quinn has a chance to be one of the most exciting players in baseball – I think he’s just scratching the surface of what he could become.

            1. Actually, you put your question in the comments, but there is a button to submit a question. I submitted your question

          2. Here’s what got asked re Tocci:

            Greg T. (Lake Central): When will you guys jump off the Tocci bandwagon??? Have you seen his career #’s? Using the excuse that “he’s young for his level” doesn’t fly anymore! In over 1500 AB’s his slash line: .250/.303/.315 for an OPS of .618!!! That doesn’t = a top prospect in anyone’s definition!

            Josh Norris: We’re talking about a guy is less than two years older than Cornelius Randolph but is on his third full professional season in A-ball. The guy is still young and being challenged. He has to continue to get stronger, but he has the tools to be a center fielder and there’s plenty of ability to hit in there. It’s a slow burn for sure, he’s plenty intriguing.

        1. Scouting reports on Medina a through the roof. Every year, BA likes to put a surprise or two on the top 10 with players they’ve identified at lower levels with supposedly outstanding tools. To give them some credit, they often turn out to be right, but BA is very, very tools focused, which is why we should take note when they rank a non-toolsy guy like Knapp so high.

          1. Following on the point above, I often think BA’s list is more of a “tools” list than a pure “prospect” list.

            And, while they are sometimes correct, far more often they swing-and-miss. Though, to be fair, most of us are, too, when evaluating the low minors.

            1. Last year’s Phillies list included 6 through 10:

              6. Aaron Brown, of
              7. Matt Imhof, lhp
              8. Jesmuel Valentin, 2b
              9. Yoel Mecias
              10. Franklyn Kilome, rhp

              The were possibly right about Kilome, and I’m still holding-out hope for Imhof, but their other picks weren’t so hot.

            2. Yeah, fair enough, but there’s a lot of swing and miss with prospects generally and, as it turned out, Mecias was hurt. But yes, they are sometimes focused on the tools almost to the point of exclusion of performance. Brown was a good example of that – they focused on tools last year for him seemingly not taking into account his plate discipline issues and his advanced prospect age.

            3. It’s hard to judge their Valentin pick too much because he missed most of the season. He was good when he played (I think he’s also more of a “skills” guy than a “tools” guy).

              Mecias never recovered from injury, but otherwise the biggest disappointment from that group was Imhof, the “safe” pick.

            4. Brown, imhof, valentin, mecias and kilome(who’s climbed his way up) might have been the 6-10 last year but the pharm is way deeper this year than it was last year so to see Medina on the top 10 list is saying a lot more

          2. Having interacted with Josh Norris quite a bit, I wouldn’t say he favors one thing over another. I have used this comparison on Medina before because he is 18 (at least until December) so he is the same age as this year’s HS draft class.

            Where does a 6’1″ HS RHP who sits 91-94 reaching up to 97 while flashing a plus curveball and plus changeup get taken in the draft? That is a late first round type pick, why is it any different because he is a Latin player few have heard of. He is smaller physically, but that is a much better player than Shane Watson was when they took him in 2012 (and the Watson pick was considered fair or better value in the comp first round).

            I personally wouldn’t have him over Pinto because I really like Pinto’s upside, but that is more about Pinto than Medina, who is the real deal.

            1. I questioned Medina as a top 10 prospect too, but when you break it down that way it makes sense. BA seems to look at it the same way. They loved the talent in the GCL this year and said that everyone in the top 20 of that league was at least a top 60 draft pick talent. Most all 1st round picks usually fall into their organizations’ top 10, so your logic is sound.

              Also, since Arauz was picked right behind Medina, be probably isn’t too far from the top 10 organization prospects.

  5. Who is Mickey replacing? Glad that he’s back.

    On another note: did anybody (beside me) notice how much the Royals took advantage of d’Arnaud’s terrible arm to steal bases practically without danger of being caught? Watching him, I saw how poorly he handled many pitches in the dirt. Compared to the Royals’ catcher (Perez) the Mets were at a severe disadvantage. Quite a few Royals on first base made it to 2nd off of Mets’ d’Arnaud placing them in scoring position throughout the series. To me, this was a LARGE factor in KC’s winning.

    On Tocci: we all are still waiting for him to get up to 185-190 lbs which accomplished might then get a better take on his potential. Don’t know if that weight gain will happen; it seems that unless it does, he will become another “could have made it, but…”

    1. Rhys Hoskins just keeps hitting and hitting and hitting. If he keeps it up through AAA (I’d be shocked if he didn’t hit at AA), he’s going to start getting more of the buzz he deserves and he could be an important part of the puzzle moving forward.

      It’s funny, in the last few months, as the dust settles from all of last year’s transactions, you can start to see how this team might come together in 2016 and 2017 – the wreckage of past years is almost all moved aside and forward momentum is starting to build. It’s really exciting.

    1. Top 15. Everybody in the current top 10, plus Arauz, Pivetta and Eflin are the only prospects I’d definitely place ahead of him.

    2. IMO – Ortiz is still “TBD” pending actual playing time with “organized baseball”. At first look, I think he can be like Cozens (power and mobility despite his size). If Ortiz cannot play the OF, then he can be like Encarnacion. Ortiz ceiling will he judge by his ability to make contact (because his raw power is useless if he cannot make contact) and his defensive position.

      I don’t see Ortiz making it to the Top 30 with lack of organized baseball experience.

        1. i don’t see a league where Ortiz (or some of the 16 yos) played so you don’t know the level of competition that Ortiz has been to. So it’s hard to rank him with prospects that played baseball leagues in high school and college (that we have an idea about the level of competition is) because you don’t know for sure if his stats/performance is up to par with the prospects that already played in HS and college programs. You can rank Ortiz against other 16-17 yo kids but not “yet” with the prospects that already played VSL/DSL or above unless he actually played in any of those leagues.

          Likewise, I don’t see any baseball analyst, sites, blogs that ranks Ortiz anywhere in their Top 10, 20, 30. Maybe if you expand the list to Top 40 or 50, Ortiz may sniff at the end.

          I’m not saying that Ortiz may not make it, i just think we just have to wait and see first.

        2. or maybe come spring, we might see Ortiz played with the rest of the prospects then we can already rank and see where he is the depth chart. but for now, IMO it should be “TBD”.

    3. Ortiz commanded $4 million. while acknowledging that the nature of the market in which he was signed does not suppress bonuses quite like the draft, it is hard not to treat him on a level of a first round pick, and probably not a low first round pick at that. While he may not have any pro ABs under his belt, where would we slot a guy we drafted 15 overall? Randolph was 10th overall, had a successful debut and will probably come in somewhere between 5-8 on most lists. I tend to think Ortiz should be top 20 and probably a bit higher.

      1. using the signing bonus is not a good basis for his ranking because teams tend to may more $$ with international than players under the Rule 4 draft. I just asked Matt Winks’s about his assessement of Ortiz and said that it’s too early but there’s a lot to like – moves well for his size and some feel for the approach at the plate. He thinks it will be in the 20-30 if he will rank him.

        1. Saying “we don’t know how to rank a guy until he plays” Is a double edged. Most prospects are flawed, and most prospects outside the top 10 are substantially flawed.

          For instance, everyone on our list outside of Crawford has red flags. And probably starting around 9 or 10 everyone on the list has pretty substantial red flags that make it MOST LIKELY (not possible but MOST LIKELY), that they will never be real major league contributors.

          Relying on ignorance as a factor when ranking players should almost cut in favor of a player like Ortiz, since there are no red flags that we know of.

      2. Top 20 seems about right to me given that he should have first round talent but with much more risk than a first rounder with more of a track record. The reality is we (not scouts who have been watching him) have no clue how good he is. But it is also a fair assumption he is better than Tocci, Encarnacion, and Pujols because of the larger bonus.

        It is kind of a meaningless debate because both sides are correct. On talent he is clearly a top 20 prospect for us, maybe even top 10. But there is no objective evidence of that so those that do not want to rank him are also correct. He is in the system however and clearly has talent, so it is just as much of a problem to ignore him completely even if we do not have great clues as to where to rank him.

  6. Its a great list, and just the fact that we have so many guys we are throwing out who “could” be on the list instead of someone elise is a huge plus for the organization.

  7. Dan Otero claimed from the A’s. Was really successful in ’14, and was off this year. But, he is a veteran Bullpen piece definitely worth a shot. I bet he was claimed elsewhere as well, and the Phils #1 position gives them priority. I don’t think it will be the last claim. There will certainly be veteran SPs available in FA, and we know they will be active there. Nothing that is going to change the Phils’ future, but a nice pick up.

  8. Really good chat with Josh Norris:

    Some highlights:

    Jordan (NYC): Overall, how optimistic should Phillies fans be about the farm considering where it was just a year ago?

    Josh Norris: Extremely, over-the-moon, buying season tickets to your local Phils affiliate excited. This is a fantastic system.

    Joshua (CT): Is this a top 5 system right now in your mind? How about once they add Puk or Hanson this coming summer?

    Josh Norris: Yes

    Nenad Tomovic (Fiorenzeville): Which prospect, aside from J.P, has elite potential and could be a star if everything breaks right?

    Josh Norris: Williams

    @Jaypers413 (IL): At this point in time, do you think the Phils got a decent, good or great haul in exchange for Hamels?

    Josh Norris: I think they did wonderfully. Look at it this way: If Alfaro, Thompson and Williams somehow all don’t pan out, they have three MLB SPs in there (and possibly three-fifths of their Opening Day rotation next year) in Asher, Eickhoff and Harrison (if healthy). That’s a fine job right there, plus it’s unlikely all the Rangers guys bust. Give it up for Ruben Amaro and Pat Gillick, everybody.

    Reac other stuff here:

    1. Sounds nice to hear on the Hamels return. Not sure how much Asher will be a part of April’s starting rotation…maybe later in the year if he produces at LHV..

    2. Thanks. This is a highlight, too (in the sense that the more prospects the Phillies have, the better):

      Greg T. (Lake Central): When will you guys jump off the Tocci bandwagon??? Have you seen his career #’s? Using the excuse that “he’s young for his level” doesn’t fly anymore! In over 1500 AB’s his slash line: .250/.303/.315 for an OPS of .618!!! That doesn’t = a top prospect in anyone’s definition!

      Josh Norris: We’re talking about a guy is less than two years older than Cornelius Randolph but is on his third full professional season in A-ball. The guy is still young and being challenged. He has to continue to get stronger, but he has the tools to be a center fielder and there’s plenty of ability to hit in there. It’s a slow burn for sure, he’s plenty intriguing.

      1. What’s funny to me is the outrage at Tocci being placed in the top 10, while saying Cozens should take his spot. Tocci hit way better at age 19 in Lakewood as a CF, than Cozens did at age 20 as a corner OF. If Tocci was a 19 year old HS draftee and performed like he did this past season, there wouldn’t be any question.

  9. I know that we did not get that “can’t miss” prospect when we traded Cole, but I am very pleased with what I have seen of the return so far. I find it hard to believe that Williams, Thompson and Alfaro all are busts. Clearly, we have seen even “can’t miss” guys fail to pan out, but I think the Phils did well with the return. This is a huge year for so many of the prospects, and those of us who follow this have a lot to look forward to. I do think, however, that calling this a Top 5 farm is a bit of a stretch. Definitely a lot to be excited about, but not sure Top 5. It may very well be that at this time next year.

    1. Good stuff Matt, those three prospects could certainly become key components of our next contending team. I am also impressed with Eickhoff. He looked very impressive after getting called up. There has been a lot of discussion on whether he develops into a strong #3 starter or if the league figures him out and he settles as or 4 or 5. I like his upside and think he will be more of a #3-4 starter. Even if he ends up as a #5 I think he will be able to stick there for a while. He has shown that he can miss bats and get big punch outs when there are men on base. I’d love a guy like Eickhoff at the back of the rotation opposed to the Buchanan, Kendrick, Pettibone types who just have to rely so much on location.

  10. I agree with you completely. Really impressed with Eickhoff, and not just relegating him to a #5. May continue to grow. Speaking of past #5s, JA Happ had a really good year for the Pirates. Could he be on the Phils radar as a veteran SP? There is speculation about Fister and Vogelsong, but Happ could fit.

    1. Happ seems to be another bit of Ray Seerage magic (see Burnett, Liriano, Volquez, Worley). I would not expect him to be as good away from Pittsburgh.

      1. There are some other interesting names out there in free agency. If the Phils were to sign Scott Kazmir, I view him as ‘Hamels light’ and it would make me like the trade with Texas even more. Hamels could win 12-14 games a year on the current team and Kazmir can approach that. Another interesting lefty is 36 year old Rich Hill who came off injury to post 4 outstanding starts with the Red Sox in September. He’s healthy and certainly would be affordable if not re-signed in Boston. Then there’s Mat Latos in a down market for him. The Phils can help themselves with 1-2 year signings though I suspect Kazmir will get a minimum of 3 years.

        1. Flea…I am leery of Kazmir. He really tailed off with Houston in the last two months of the season. Not sure why. Since the Phillies will probably not contend in 2016, I would lean to a pitcher that may prove to be a trade chip in July, but one that would be willing to sign for two years or less, and as you say Kazmir at 32-years old in ’16 will be looking for his last big pay out in money and years. And may not take anything less then three years. Hill, otoh, could take a short term contract for the right money and could prove valuable in July..

          1. I think in the case of Kazmir as much as Johnny Cueto, you look at the body of work. Cueto’s performance in K.C. fell off prior to the post-season but there will be a market for him as well. Kazmir for 3 years at $16 M@ is affordable and if he can do better elsewhere, so be it.

            1. Kazmir @ 3yrs/$48M would really be a head scratcher. Wasn’t he a $11M AAV guy last year? Bumping him up to $16M AAV thru his age34 season is dicey IMO. Also thought Klentak said he was hesitant in large FA contracts right now.
              But who knows what direction they will go in 2016!

    2. I don’t think Happ would be a bad option. A veteran lefty who could at least eat some innings for us and possibly be dealt at the deadline if he pitches well. I think Pittsburgh would want to resign him after how well he pitched there. I would also guess that there are some other teams that have interest in him as a 5th starter.

      1. When you are a large market team in a rebuild this is the market you play in. You over pay on short term deals to players that have no compensation attached to them and hope to flip them.

        The fact that the Mets turned Dickey into Syndergaard is completely amazing to me.

        1. DMAR…agree. Next season is another rebuild. Even Vegas has the Phillies having the number one pick in 2017 at 200-1 odds, by virtue of finishing last again next season. Alderson pulled some magic….an older Beltran for Wheeler and then Dickey gets them Thor and D’Arnaud…..I guess that is part of the reasoning of letting JP go in Toronto.

    1. Pint is wise beyond his years. He’s talking up his life long dream of pitching in the College World Series. That adds 2+ more million to his signing bonus.

      1. Pint sounds terrific, and he is currently ranked 3, behind Groome and an OF coming from HS. How good must Groome be projected to be if he is more highly rated than Pint? It can’t just be because Groome is a Lefty.

        1. The scouting word is that Groome is a power lefty who easily throws in the mid to high 90s and is said to have good breaking stuff as well. That’s hard to pass up. Pint sounds good, but with a number one pick, I am suspicious of a righty whose best pitch is a breaking ball. Unless that pitch literally has the ability to become an unhittable pitch in the big leagues (I have no idea if that is the case or not), if a team is considering a HS righty with the first pick, what I’m primary looking for is a well-commanded power fastball and at least one or two breaking pitches with plus or plus plus potential. I am also concerned about high pitch count reports in that article about Pint.

          1. So, J64, as things stand now, do you prefer Puk? I know there is a whole season to play out, and a number of sites have Hansen as the #1.1.

            1. I really don’t know enough about these prospects to say who I prefer. I’ll gather information and hopefully be in a better position to see where I stand come the spring. But pretty much the last thing I want to hear about a potential first pick of the draft who is a righty is that his best pitch is a breaking ball.

  11. That’s a major dilemma for a first year GM Groome/Pint HS Arms further away but you can control their innings VS Puk. College coaches love to throw the hell out of those arms (e.g. Rodon)

    I guess if you do your homework on Puk’s pitch count and medical records he might be less risk. I think we got lucky with Nola a superb pitch to contact type of pitcher that was probably able to manage on his own his pitch count.

    Either way it seems nowadays you have to bank on these mid to upper 90’s starters needing TJ at some point.

  12. Lots of teams are looking for a 3B and we have a LF who is really a 3B… I expect the new GM to trade Asche this winter to a team who needs him to play 3b for them. It might not be until after the FA market shakes out and prices are set. That will make Asche look better and have more value. I like the guy a lot but his bat can’t carry LF and we have a 3B who is better than him. We’re at the point we’ve talked about for several years. New GM, make a deal and get us back a pitcher or two for the pen.

    1. I think it’s very unlikely that Asche has any real trade value. Other teams might be interested but what would you really expect to get back in return for a 25 year old who hasn’t shown the ability to hit or field in the majors?

      1. Exactly. What exactly are you going to get for Code Asche? What team needs a bad fielding, light hitting 3B for their starting lineup?

    2. I understand that Cody Asche is a man in search of a position who has struggled mightily with the bat and probably doesn’t have a long-term place on this team. That said, I hate trading any younger player when his value is so depressed and, really, the roster is flexible enough now for him to get some regular at bats at least through the AS break next year (after that, it might get dicey). Unless you get another talented project player in return, I’d resist the urge to sell so low on Asche.

      1. But it’s funny – when you go back and look at his defensive statistics, he’s probably (thus far) a better third baseman than he is a left fielder and of course the bat would play up much better at third. So, in the long run, absent a huge surge, he needs to be moved – it’s just a question of when and for what value.

        1. I would guess. Asche , if moved, would be part of some sort of complimentary package. Stand alone, not sure what a negative WAR player over three seasons may bring back.

          1. Probably not much, which is why you wouldn’t trade him. But I could see a situation where, for example, another team had a young pitcher with a strong arm but control problems and needed a third baseman and was willing to give him a try. Asche is still pretty young – he’ll be 25 to start next season and he sometimes shows signs that he could turn into something interesting. But I don’t want to see him cut or flipped for another team’s org player – at least not yet.

  13. Now that the Phillies have officially cut ties with Cliff Lee, I would like to express disappointment in the fact that, as far as I know, he has not uttered one word publicly since around last spring training. Despite us knowing the basics of his situation, I think he owed and owes it to Phillies fans about his status, in his words. Until then, he will be known as SILENT CLIFF.

    1. Cliff Lee’s end as a Phillie is one of the more disappointing story lines in Philadelphia sports history. Not because he was hurt and didn’t end his stint as a healthy player but because, once he was hurt, he really just rode things out in a way that would allow him to not play for a bad team, not get surgery he really didn’t want to deal with, and finish out his massive contract in the comfort of his home. How neat and efficient. It has really made me think less – much less – of Cliff Lee as a man. He was a great player (on the mound, I don’t think I’ve ever enjoyed watching a pitcher more than I enjoyed watching Lee at his peak) and fierce competitor, but he did not act like a stand up guy at the end.

      But honestly, I’m sure he could care less what the fans or the organization think, which is precisely the problem.

      1. You said it better than I. I just want to be clear it doesn’t mean I didn’t appreciate his his near stellar era with the team. I have a #33 Phillies jersey hanging in my closet.

      2. There is the the issue of the Insurance on his Contract, which might have had something to do with his silence during the year. Even the Phils may have told him to not say anything about his condition. However, I do not think that has any bearing on what he could say now! Perhaps at some point if he formally retires he will speak, that would be nice

      3. Interesting though J64. I try to keep myself grounded in the fact that there are likely a number of details influencing the decision that I am completely oblivious to. If the reality is as straight-forward as your post presumes, it would probably sit different with me as well. I’m still left with the notion that I don’t really know the whole story and am therefore going to resist the urge to judge

    2. I agree, over the last 6 or 7 years Phillies fans have really been supportive of Lee. The Phillies have paid him over 100,000 Million. It would have seemed that he could have either called a press conference, or at least issued a P.R. saying how much he enjoyed playing in Philadelphia. Of course there is the possibility that none of that is true. You never know!

      1. …..or attend one fund raiser sponsored by teammates Utleys, Howards, Hamels’ and Phillies ALS…..but he was not obligated to attend.

      2. The Phillies paid Cliff Lee over 100,000 Million? That is indeed an impressive sum, especially if you are talking dollars. In fact $100,000 Million is the same as $100 Billion. For comparison, the Phillies franchise is valued at S1.25 Billion by Forbes, and Bill Gates’ net worth is $79.6 Billion.

  14. A little about Groome as i’ve seen him pitch in person on several occasions. Actually coached against him as well. IMO he is the easy 1-1 . . . You are talking about a big LHP who sits in the mid 90’s and is capable of reaching the upper 90’s. This is all with ZERO Effort . . there’s the term effortless but watch Groome and you can truly see what Zero Effort or Effortless looks like . . it’s crazy to see how the ball explodes out of his hand. He also has solid secondary pitches and can locate all of his pitches with solid control AND command. I feel like he’s not as far away as most high school pitchers . . . I actually think he would be able to compete right now, yes I honestly think that. With all this said there is more projection in his arm, insane to even think that.

    Here is where he really stands out. Groome is from the Jersey Shore, he opted to go down to IMG Academy, which is a baseball powerhouse, as a junior to test himself. He preformed extremely well throwing 43 innings, striking out 77 while posting an ERA under 1 and a BAA Under .150. Back to where I said “this is where he really stands out” . . . after preforming how he did at IMG, he decided to come back home to Jersey because “I want to win a state championship with the guys i’ve grown up playing with.” If that doesn’t tell you the kinda person he is then I dunno what would. He steps up to face tougher competition (Does extremely well) then decides he wants to finish something he helped start back at home. Sounds like a competitor and someone with a good head on their shoulders.

    Seeing him at 15 I was sold. Still am. Go get the local kid!

    1. Reading the scouting reports on Fangraphs – by the guy who was subsequently hired by the Braves – Grooome really does stand out among the top prospects. A lot can change over the next few months, but at this point Groome looks like the guy. Love the velocity combined with a low effort delivery – you’re certainly not the only person to say that – along with the secondary pitches and command. Really does seem to have it all.

    2. “Go get the local kid!” Jesse Biddle concurs.

      For me, it comes down to not only how a prospective first rounder dominates but how he adjusts to adversity. This to me is at the core of the question about picking a high schooler vs. a player with 3 years of college competing against recruited players. Hand in hand with the level of competition is knowing how a candidate first rounder made it through times when he didn’t dominate because that’s a part of a pitcher’s reality.

      1. Fighter…….As for the 1.1, I think Klentak and Macphail will stay the course of previous success stories of late with college 1.1s, like Price, Cole , Strasburg.and to some degree Hochevar. Appel is still working his way up. I am not sure they will try to break the mold….was MacPhail ever like that in the past?
        However when it comes to drafting first rounder HSers, since the 2012 CBA changes, teams have selected a smaller percentage of HS players in the first round because of financial restrictions. In the draft before the 2012 CBA 55% of the first-round selections were high school players, followed by 45% in 2013 and 35% in 2014, the lowest percentage since 2008. However in 2015, 16 of the 36 first round picks were HSers@ 44%. The changes that have occurred could be cyclical fluctuations but also could be due to the financial implications put in place in the new agreement that may factor into it.

    3. There hasn’t been one (1) HS pitcher picked #1 overall, in the last 20 years, that became an All-star.

        1. Wood didn’t go #1 overall. The only high school pitcher even taken 1st overall in the last 20 years is Brady Aiken.

            1. Romus. When brian Taylor and David Clyde were picked, Do you know if there were the showcase tournaments like now. I Don’t know if they faced the competition these kids face. I am interested to know if they had them. I know a lot of these kids will go to florida in the summer to play.

            2. rocco….Clyde back 40 years ago…no. Taylor I guess things were in place then.
              In Oklahoma and Texas they were happening. Plus scouting has come a long ways since the 70s.

          1. You are right. I was looking at a list of HS 1st Round picks that made the All-star game and noticed Wood’s name. I “mis-remembered” him being a 1st overall pick.
            In the last 20 years, Beckett and Wood are the only top 5 selected HS pitchers, to make the All-star game.

            1. I think teams are hesitant to take a HS pitcher at 1.1 because of the greater risk of failure. College pitchers are “safer” because they have faced superior opposition.

              Missing with the 1st overall pick is the kind of thing that gets gm’s/scouting directors fired…

            2. @3up: I agree. If I’m the Phillies, I’m praying that a college player shows enough to be in consideration for the top pick. Tyler Kolek and Kohl Stewart the past two years’ top HS pitchers, who look very average since they turned pro. And even a guy like Dylan Bundy, who was a better prospect than anybody coming out this year for hurt like a lot of HS pitchers who through hard.

            3. Groome has done well against all of the best high school competition across the country. These are future 1st round picks, 2nd round picks, big time college recruits. I just think he’s too good to pass up . . Also IMO Groome is better a HS pitcher then Bundy was. There aren’t many HS pitchers who get a comp of Kershaw with potentially more upside.

              We’ll prob get a top 5 pick next year, we can go for a college arm then . . . I’m telling you, Groome is TOO GOOD to pass up.

  15. Did anyone notice that the Australian Baseball league, played in our fall and winter, only plays 4 days a week? That’s right, they play Thursday through Sunday only. I was wondering why the ABL stats weren’t updating like the other leagues. I thought they submitted the stats once a week or something. But it’s just selective playing dates. I guess most of the guys who play there have normal 9 – 5 jobs during the week.

  16. I was just spending a little time reviewing The Rangers and Phillies’ farms and realized how well the Rangers did in the 2012 draft.

    They drafted 3 current top 100 prospects in 2012 (Brinson, Gallo, and Williams) and also added Alec Asher in the 4th round and Keone Kela in the 12th round. That is some pretty significant talent to add to your farm in one year. Scouting is obviously a huge factor in finding top 100 prospects, but they were also helped by an additional 3 picks (two supplemental 1st round picks and an extra second round pick).

    I would like the Phillies handle their picks more carefully. They need to be able to bring up talent from within so that they do not have to spend big on free agents and lose their picks. They need to also be smarter and allow guys like Howard to walk and take the extra pick instead of handing out a huge contracts. Obviously I can say that in hindsight, but the cards let Pujols walk and didn’t seem to miss him.

    1. The Phillies had 2 comp round picks in 2012. With their 2nd pick the Phillies selected Mitch Gueller over Jake Thompson (Detroit) and Nick Williams (Texas) in 2012. The Rangers selected Joey Gallo (who the Phillies were reportedly hot for)right in front of Shane Watson.

  17. There is an article in Insider from Keith Law and Buster Olney that has the Future ranking of the Phils at 16 in the League. For reference, the Cubs are 1. I don’t have the subscription, but from what I gather, it is based mostly on the Farm. 16 does seem a bit high, doesn’t it, especially from 2 guys who no one could ever claim favored the Phils. Has anyone read the article?

    1. In the article teams are rated in 5 categories (Major league roster, current minors talent, Financial potential, Management and Mobility). The Phillies rate highly in only Current minors talent and Finances. The 16 rank seems high until you see teams like Minnesota and Cleveland ranked higher.

      From the article:
      “… They are mapping out a long-term plan and have no interest in deviating… The Phillies made some great strides over the past couple of drafts and at the trade deadline and could get back to contender status more quickly than most people think… ” – Bowden

      Impact prospect
      “Franklyn Kilome was already hitting 94-96 mph last year, and in 2015 he showed gradual improvements in other areas of his game, from his off-speed stuff to his command to his feel for pitching, while earning praise from Phillies’ staffers for his aptitude and willingness to learn” – Keith Law

      1. They ranked Philly’s finances on par with the Cards I’m fairly certain that Philly has quite a bit more money to spend compared to the Cards. Imo I think Philly should go out and try to sign as many as the top tier free agents who haven’t been tendered qualifying offers from their clubs on really big 1 year deals. Think close to 40 million on the promise of flipping them to a contender at the trade deadline. This would get them more prospects and help to speed up the rebuild. If price and Cueto are offered 40 million for one year deal I think they would take it but then again who knows. I would like to see Philly go after Zoberist. Imo he handles himself really well and could be a good leader in the clubhouse. Come midseason if they feel like they can get value for him trade him.

        1. I agree with you on Zobrist though I think many here wouldn’t. I think he provides a veteran presence of a winner whose versatility means that he wouldn’t block development of any prospect. The other point is that if the Phils dip heavily into the Rule 5 signings, the short bench that results is helped by a versatile player.Then I’d go for signing starters on short deals like Mat Latos and Rich Hill, relievers like Mark Lowe or Jonathan Broxton; Oliver Perez or Neal Cotts.

        2. Zobrist isn’t going to take a 1-yr deal though, even of the inflated variety. Neither would other top free agents who are looking for the security of a lengthier deal. If you’re looking for good short term opportunities, a good place to start might be the list of players who received QOs. For many of them, the ones with star potential and/or a track record of success, the QO means relatively little. They will decline and land a multi-year deal on the open market (or with their current teams). For others, the more fringy types, declining might leave them on the market into spring training. Stephen Drew a good example last year. Kendrys Morales signed for 2yr – 17mil as a result of the QO offer.

          I do agree that the Phillies should be active on the open market, but they need not overpay for players. Rather I think they should be patient and see what players are still looking for teams come early January. That’s where they’ll find the value which can in turn lead to more prospects at the 2016 trade deadline.

      1. I feel like a lot of people over estimate the Nationals fan base and ability to continue on the financial course that they are on. If they have another train wreck of a year again I don’t think it’s out of the realm of possibility that their money starts to dry up. If that happens I can see them hitting the restart button and starting over. It would make me laugh considering how much the national media was all over them the last few years.

    1. Insert you infamous HAL 9000 quotes here…

      “I am putting myself to the fullest possible use, which is all I think that any conscious entity can ever hope to do.”

      1. Hopefully PHIL will soon ‘be completely operational and all its circuits will function perfectly’ and not hear it say:
        ‘I’m sorry Matt. I’m afraid I can’t do that’

    2. Anyone can say they are using analytics. But few use it properly. Time will tell for Klentak but “launching PHIL” means nothing to me. It strikes me as cheap PR to be candid. I smart guy and a spreadsheet can add a lot of value.

        1. Not sure how, but it could guide them in the direction for the ultimate decision that awaits in June…Puk or Groome.

            1. Can someone explain to me how analytics would be used in a draft? I mean what can they possibly use for HS guys and even college guys for that matter. It’s a totally different game at both levels with totally difference competition. There are a ton of college guys who put up solid numbers that analytics would see them as good players but they are only good at the college level. I played with this kid in college (Univ of Memphis) who had to have hit like .340/.500/.450 extremely low K rate and high BB rate but he never got a look bc he just wasn’t someone who had the tools to play at the next level however strictly by numbers and advanced stats, you’d drool over him.

          1. EricD,
            Level of competition is one area of the analytical process that could be used.
            There have been a good number of successes from large conferences of D1 ball…SEC, PAC12, AAC and even the BIG Ten…so the level of competition can be one aspect of the analytical scheme of things in the decision making process.
            I would think it is easier to metric college players vs HS players in that regard.

            1. It’s not super-advanced but knowing a prospect’s batting average with 2 strikes (swing adjustment) or how a pitcher’s velocity trends over the course of a game.are useful stats not found on your basic baseball card.

  18. The Phillies payroll for 2016 is projected right now at approx. a little less then $65M. Their first check from Comcast starting in 2016, on the $2.5B deal, is for approx. $65M. Talk about coincidence.

  19. I wonder if there is a team with a bad contract that the Phils can take on with the addition of a good prospect. A little Hinkie-ish, I know, but a way to use their $. Similar to the Braves getting Toussaint, a move I really liked. I know there is no salary cap, but not many teams have unlimited $.

  20. The 2017 payroll will be something to behold – probably in the $40-50 million range – max; before FA acquisitions. This team will be set up perfectly to acquire players as and when they need them. By the way, all early signs point to Klentak being a very close protégé of MacPhail, with a very similar philosophy – grow pitching internally and acquire hitting. Certainly, the fastest way to respectability and more is to develop pitching. So, I guess we’ll see.

    I can say that, if you are signing a FA to a long-term contract, I’d prefer to do that with a hitter than with a pitcher – the injury and failure rate is just way too higher with pitchers in their early to mid-30s. Hitters decline too and sometimes pretty quickly, but it’s typically more gradual. Look at Halladay – he ended 2011 as perhaps the best pitcher in baseball and certainly in the top 5. When he went to ST in 2012 it was immediately apparent that his arm was shot and he was never again better than a 5. And look at Lee – 3 great years; 2 injured years and a costly buy-out. Injuries and decline occur with hitters too but I think the risk is far greater with a pitcher.

    1. It also appears that there will not be much SP wise in the upcoming years in Free Agency. This year seems to have the most choices. So, imperative that 1.1 this year yields a future Ace, and hopefully Nola, Thompson, Eickhoff, etc. complete a playoff caliber rotation. Free Agency can bring that piece that is missing, or 2, maybe 1B, maybe 2B. So this year and next year should see $ spent overseas or on other avenues.

      1. It isn’t imperative that 1.1 bring an ace. The Royals just won with a ‘rented’ ace. They spent all of their highest draft picks the past decade on position players except Hochevar. It would be an optimal result, if they got a ready made ace with 1.1, but its not imperative. If they take Rutherford, and he becomes a top prospect, they can trade him for pitching, when the time comes.

        1. “If they take Rutherford, and he becomes a top prospect, they can trade him for pitching, when the time comes”

          Good point

        2. There are, I think, two different issues here:

          (1) Position player versus pitcher;
          (2) College pitcher versus high school pitcher.

          On the first, you have a point IF there is a position player worthy of the top pick. Too soon to say whether that will be the case.

          On the second, I think you’re on much weaker ground. Your argument about 1-1 picks of HS pitchers is flawed: as pointed out by others above, the SS of 1-1 HS pitchers is tiny, and no valid inferences can be drawn from that tiny sample. (Mind you, I’m not necessarily saying they shouldn’t take a college pitcher, just that they shouldn’t necessarily take a college pitcher. In this case, the scouting reports I’ve read on Groome are better than the reports on the college guys.)

          1. The sample size of 1.1 pitchers is small, but there is always a consensus #1 HS Pitcher selected. The top HS pitchers selected, arent becoming the game changers people expect this 1.1 to become. Tyler Kolek (looking average) Kohl Stewart (looking average) Max Fried (Tommy John/looking average) Kevin Gausman (looking very average in the majors) Dylan Bundy (Tommy John). Those are the top HS pitchers selected the last 4 years. The top HS pitcher in each draft are panning out at a rate that is less than inspiring.

  21. My top 3 “what ifs” that would make the system stronger –

    What if Quinn stays healthy and hits 300 with 50 steals across AA and AAA?
    What if Hoskins hits exactly the same at Reading as he did at both levels this year and finishes the year with a 300/25/90 season across AA and AAA?
    What if Cozens continues what he started at Reading and CWater late in the year and puts up a 280/20/80/20 steals between AA and AAA?

    Would those 3 things happening change the landscape of the system? Any players whose realistic possible improvement could have a larger impact? All I could think of was if Pinto went 15-5 with a 2.50 at AA and established himself as a legit #2. Other guys are too low down, or not as likely, to make as large of an impact I think.

    1. Man, there are a lot of “what ifs” to go around:

      What if Andrew Knapp’s emergence as a hitter is for real and his defensive skills are more than acceptable?

      What if J.P. Crawford develops 15-20 home run power?

      What if Williams achieves his potential??

      What if Jared Eickhoff really is a 3?

      What if Nick Pivetta develops command?

      What if Thompson or Eflin becomes a 2 and the other guy becomes a solid mid-rotation starter?

      What if Tocci gains 15 pounds over the winter?

      What if Aaron Altherr’s major league numbers were not a SSS blip?

      What if one of our second base prospects (any of them, really), takes his game to the next level?

      What if someone in the organization realizes that there is no nothing to be gained by keeping Ryan Howard on the roster.

    2. Pinto having a 15-5 record and 2.50 record doesn’t make him or any other pitcher a #2. A huge uptick in his ‘stuff’ is what would make him a potential #2.

      1. How many times have you see him pitch?? In high school you know how hard it is to get a error. its his stuff that makes people excited. Looking at high school stats means nothing.

        1. I could be wrong here but I believe you are confusing the fact that he is talking about Ricardo Pinto not the high school pitcher Pint.

      2. l don’t know that he needs a huge up tick as his fastball and change up already rate as plus pitches. He just needs to improve his breaking ball.

        1. He is a low 90’s pitcher. That’s average. He has a good change-up, I don’t know that it’s plus. If Pinto had two legit, plus, major league pitches, and was even close to being a #2, he’d be a top 100 prospect.

      3. My point was Pinto could step up and it would big for the system. If you think he could hit my projection without improving those things, I wouldn’t agree.

        1. I’m more inclined to believe a pitcher can learn to control and command their pitches easier than gaining pure “stuff”. I’d be more hopeful that Tirado or Pivetta gained control, rather than a 6 foot tall RH pitcher, with mediocre breaking ball, gaining plus major league stuff.

  22. Steve Adams of MLBTRs suggests as an alternative, the D-Backs in his profile of them, should pursue the Phillies closer Ken Giles if it is a closer they are interested in acquiring:
    “If the Diamondbacks are set on trading for a relief ace, I’d submit that a more reasonable trade target would be the Phillies’ Ken Giles. Philadelphia isn’t likely to consider Giles a building block due to the volatile nature of relievers, and his most valuable (i.e. least expensive) seasons will be, in some sense, wasted in Philadelphia as the club looks to rebuild.”
    …to that end, if Matt Klentak is wanting ‘pitching, pitching, pitching’ as he says, he may find some opp with a trade with them.
    If he could get two of the following six pitching prospects from the D-backs he should think about it.
    1. Archie Bradley-RHP
    2. Adam Blair-RHP
    3. Yoan Lopez-RHP
    4. Cory Reed-LHP
    5. Braden Shipley-RHP
    6. Alex Young-LHP

    1. If I am the Phillies GM, and I can pick two from this list, I pick Archie Bradley and Braden Shipley. I love Kenny Giles, but this deal would be a no-brainer. If I am the Arizona GM, I offer Cody Reed and Alex Young. I am much less enthusiastic with this deal. Arizona already “sold” Toussaint to the Braves. If money or taking on a bad contract could get this first deal done (and that would HAVE to be the case), then we pick up two of their top three prospects (according to BA’s 2015 Prospect Handbook.

      1. If you were Arizona’s GM, and the Phillies offered Kenny Giles for your top two Starting Pitching prospects (both top 50 prospects) would you do it?

    2. If we could get two of Bradley, Blair, Shipley, and Reed I would take it in a heartbeat. Even better if we could also get Pete O’Brien.

    3. I think Arizona is a really good fit. They expressed a lot of interest in acquiring a closer at the deadline and they are coming up in rumors for some of the front line starters in free agency. The money saved by acquiring Giles instead of trying to resign Chapman could go towards adding a starter. Trading 2 pitchers from this list would still leave them with some quality pitching prospects. They could also add another starter with the #13 pick in the draft to restock their arms.

      1. IMO, Dave Stewart probably has that group tiered in to two segments with Bradley, Shipley and Blair as the top tier, and Lopez, Reed and Young second tier.
        First tier he would offer up who he wants to give, second player in the deal involving the second tier, Phillies would have the choice of one.
        I would think, no chance of getting two of the first tier.

  23. I wonder who is in the free agent market for a closer. Teams now would rather spend the money then give up there prospects.

  24. I think a lot of you are over valuing Giles. There’s NO WAY he gets you a Bradley type in a trade let alone him and someone else. You MIGHT be able to get a second tier guy and a lottery ticket for him, that’s at most.

    1. Phils may need to add another player with Ken Giles to sweeten the pot. Lively, Windle, Joely, Asher or even Sweeney, Galvis if a need needs a ready UTIL player will defensive ability. These group of guys cannot net a first tier prospects straight up. But may if the Phils package them with one another a team may take the bait.

    2. I don’t know what Giles is worth, but consider this:
      1. Kimbrel was arguably the best in the business when he was traded to the Padres for a prospect ranked in the 50s and a competitive balance pick;
      2. Maybin and Melvin Upton were also exchanged; let’s say these two are a wash in terms of expected future performance; and
      3. the Braves also received $60 million + in salary relief.

      I’m not suggesting the Padres made a good trade, but, at the time, they thought they had a good shot at the playoffs; so, they were willing to pay a premium for a top closer.

      If Kimbrel was worth a prospect ranked at No.53, a competitive balance pick, plus $60 million + in salary relief, how much less is Giles worth to a team willing to pay a premium for a closer? Remember that the acquiring team would control Giles for five years, including two pre-arb years. Those five years might cost the team $25 million in salary.

      1. The issue is that with Chapman, Miller, Giles, and Kimbrel all potentially on the market, it will be a buyer’s market.

        1. I don’t see those players being available severely altering the Market for Giles. Anybody interested in Giles would be interested in him because he is cheap and wouldn’t add to their payroll.

          1. I think it will alter his market, but in a good way. The moment otherwise interested GMs begin a dialogue about the aforementioned closers who may be available, and they then realize that there is an equally effective (or nearly) closer who also may be available, is much cheaper and is under control, and if you had to give up a notable prospect to acquire one of the aforementioned closers anyway, then why not just offer a bit more for the much cheaper Giles?

    3. I think Giles could net a good prospect. He is under team control for quite a few years and will be considerably inexpensive. He’s a good closer who has proved that he can compete at a high level. I wouldn’t want to trade him for anything less than a top 30 prospect.

      1. A Top 30 prospect might be way too much for RP. I don’t think a team will trade someone like Thompson for Ken Giles straight up and Thompson is not even Top 50. Maybe the Phils can get a prospect that has a potential to be Top 30 in a couple of years (when Thompson was traded for Soria couple of years ago) but NOT an already Top 30 prospect.

  25. Premier12 Tournament begins Tuesday 10 Nov in Taiwan. Some former Phillies prospects and current prospects are playing. Current ones include: Joey Denato, Kyle Martin and Ethan Stewart (Canada)

  26. My dvr stopped at 3 hours taping the game yesterday and ended right in the middle of Knapp’s 3rd at bat. What did he do? He struck out his first two times looking bad on breaking balls. AAA should be a real test for him next year. Did Ramos get in the game? Knapp looked fine at 1b by the way although his bat won’t play as a 1b. We have to hope on Hoskins, at least in the near future.

    1. Knapp swung over a slider in his second AB and struck out again.

      Ramos faced two batters in the ninth and struck out both. His FB was 94-96. FWIW, he looked bigger than what I remembered when he was in Clearwater.

      1. rocco…….though your wife has a rotator cuff issue and her velo has trended downward….you still are a married man.
        Go take a walk.

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