Phuture Phillies 2016 Reader Top 30 #25

Deivi Grullon was selected the Readers’ Poll 24th prospect.  He received 61 of 331 votes (19% our lowest plurality so far). He finished comfortably ahead of Darnell Sweeney (51 votes, 16%).  It looks like Sweeney and Alberto Tirado will be the favorites in the next poll with Victor Arano close behind.  Tom Windle is the only player to receive votes in every poll.  However he is also suffering the biggest drop, from 9th in last year’s poll to “still falling”.

The Phillies signed Grullon as an international free agent out of the Dominican Republic for $575K on June 20, 2013.  He was considered one of the top Latin American catching prospects at the time of his signing.

Grullon’s body type reminded scouts of Phillies’ current backstop Carlos Ruiz.  Grullon possesses the classic catcher’s build with a thick trunk and thighs.  He is quick behind the plate and has a reputation as an exceptional blocker with exceptional arm strength.  His offense has been the soft spot in his development.

Grullon posted a .273 in his first season in the GCL but has struggled since.  He batted .227 across 3 levels in 2014 and .221 in a full season at Lakewood in 2015 (but with 8 HR).

Grullon threw out a 28% of base stealers through 2013-14, and had a bump up to 32% in 2015.  He committed 13 errors last season and had a .982 Fld%.

Grullon has been a trendy pick on prospect lists the past year or so.  He was 11th on your poll last year.  Six of the guys ahead of him in the 2015 poll either graduated (Nola, Franco), left the organization (Mecias, Dugan, Biddle), or haven’t made this year’s poll yet (Windle). But instead of moving up, Grullon saw a bunch of guys from other organizations placed ahead of him (Williams, Thompson, Appel, Alfaro, Goeddel, Cordero, Eshelman, Pivetta, Ortiz), another handful pass him (Kilome, Knapp, Hoskins, Pinto, Cozens, Tocci), a couple of draft picks get placed in front of him (Randolph, Kingery) and a couple of unranked guys shoot up the poll ahead of him (Canelo, Medina).

I don’t mean the above paragraph to be an indictment of Grullon.  His defenders will point out the age differential he faced in 2014-15.  This year’s ranking is probably a little low as all the shiny new toys are placed in the rankings.  But, it’s likely that Grullon was over-valued in previous years.

So, what do you do with him this year?  Send him to Clearwater where he is likely to fail at the plate again and make age-diff excuses this time next year or let him gain some confidence with a half-season of at bats in Lakewood?  He has Knapp and Alfaro ahead of him, but doesn’t need Rule 5 protection until after the 2017.

In addition to Grullon’s season  stats, I looked at his splits.  I found this curious reverse bell curve of his monthly batting average and don’t know what to make of it (April thru August) – .297, .193, .098, .186, .301.  (His AB each month was 64, 88, 61, 70, 83). Odd isn’t it?

Top 30 so far:

  1. Crawford
  2. N. Williams
  3. Thompson
  4. Appel
  5. “C” Randolph
  6. Quinn
  7. Alfaro
  8. Kilome
  9. Knapp
  10. Eflin
  11. Hoskins
  12. Kingery
  13. Pinto
  14. Cozens
  15. Tocci
  16. Goeddel
  17. Medina
  18. Cordero
  19. Eshelman
  20. Canelo
  21. Lively
  22. Pivetta
  23. Ortiz
  24. Grullon

Somehow I overlooked adding Zach Green after stating I had added him to satisfy the remaining reasonable requests I had received.  I have added his name here.

Next up is your selection for #25.

 

56 thoughts on “Phuture Phillies 2016 Reader Top 30 #25

      1. Fair point. The big difference is that Galvis always played plus (to plus-plus) defense with a plus arm. The only question with him was could he hit enough to play.

        Sweeney doesn’t have any plus tools that I know of. He is just a solid bench player. I agree he is likely to stick around the majors for a while. But I don’t see him being a significant WAR player. A valuable role player for sure.

          1. Fair point. I might be wrong on Sweeney. I just don’t see him being anything more than a utility guy. I can see him having a 10 year career. Bouncing around a lot. He just doesn’t seem to be a regular to me. But I hope I am wrong.

            1. Sweeney’s likely scenario is a guy who sticks around as a utility player for 6 or 7 years, but, I think, still a major leaguer with some value above replacement. That said, there are little intriguing things about him that suggest that, if he puts it together and continues to improve there’s some upside there. If you pick through his minor league seasons you see some speed, some versatility, some plate discipline and some really surprising power, the ball jumps off his bat in a way that you would not expect from someone with his profile. If everything comes together he’s kind of a poor man’s Tony Phillips (who was one heck of a player). That said, Sweeney enhances his value tremendously if he can man second base for periods of time – as an outfielder it’s going to be harder for him to stick around.

            2. Sweeney needs to improve his K rate from his minor league metric. If he does, everything else at the plate falls into place. That could be the sole issue he will need to address going forward. If he cannot, he becomes as v1 says, ‘don’t see him being anything more than a utility guy’

            3. J64 pretty much hits the nail on the head. I think Sweeney will likely be a bench guy, but for the 20th ranked prospect that would be a nice outcome. I like his tools though, and remain impressed by the power he displayed last year. He has more power and speed than, say, Cody Asche, and there’s a chance that he can handle 2B. His hit tool and his ability to play passable infield defense are the questions.

      2. This is sort of my case for windle. He is never gonna be a closer on a mlb playoff team and more likely than not he will never close in the majors. However I feel that he can be a legitimate 8th inning guy and that he isn’t far from becoming one.

        1. You value high probability, low ceiling prospects over high ceiling and lower probability prospects. We understand your point. That’s your prerogative. It seems that few agree with it.

          1. Stick to your guns, Chad! There’s nothing wrong with being pragmatic.

            People on this site called me the devil because I voted de Fratus and Worley over Jiwan James and Tyson Gillies.

            “But Jiwan’s ceiling is so high, that if he reaches it, he’ll be the next Willie Mays!”

            “If Giles reaches his ceiling, his BAPIP will be .400 and he’ll steal 60 bags, easily.”

            Meanwhile, boring, low-ceiling guys deF and Worley play Major League Ball.

            I’d love to sit around, smoke weed all day, and live in “if” land, too.

            1. Don’t pat yourself on the back too much. Justin De Fratus has yet to produce even one (1) WAR for his entire career. Hooray, you once voted two Replacement level pitchers over prospects who didn’t make it.

            2. That’s the point. They made it. And they continue to contribute. A WAR of 1 is infinitely better than a WAR of null.

              Jiwan “The next Willie Mays” James, is 27 and had an OPS less than .650 at High A ball last season.

              And, to be straight, I wasn’t choosing Worley and deFratus over Hamels and Nola. I was voting them ahead of:

              Julio Rodriguez, Phillippe Aumont, JC Ramirez, Jon Pettibone, Austin Hyatt, Michael Schwimer, Colby Shreve, Josh Zeid, Perci Garner, Kevin Walter, etc.

              So, while I’m not patting myself of the back, I do stand by my selections. Of the players available for whom to vote, I did chose the ones who’ve contributed the most at the ML level.

            3. Another way to put it is that 1 WAR is 1 WAR better than 0 WAR.

              You must realize that mathematically a prospect with a 20% chance of having a 10 WAR career is better than a prospect with a 75% chance of having a 2 WAR career.

              You may dispute percentages however you like among particular players, but if you do not agree that the first prospect is better in this hypothetical, then you are wrong.

            4. Guys,

              Very interesting discussion on floor vs. ceiling. Obviously, both need to be considered so it’s a question on where one falls on the spectrum, to some degree philosophically.

              Also, there’s a certain amount of trendiness as some players just seem to come into, or fall out of, favor. And, finally, there’s a bit of a pack, or bandwagon mentality.

              And most importantly, of course, is the actual analysis and understanding of a player.

              All of that combines to make this message board so much fun to read. Thanks to all for posting.

              I’m not sure where I fall on the spectrum. I can get excited about a player’s potential, but also don’t want to fall in love with a flame out, especially if it is just conforming to the flavor of the day. Sebastian Valle seems to be this board’s poster child for that.

              From here:

              Sweeney
              Arano
              Adubray Ramos
              Aaron Brown
              Valentin

            5. I think I fall a little on the ceiling side of things vs floor. I have Brown here then Tirado, Ramos, Richy and then Sweeney.

            6. Yeah, what if you include another high-ceiling, low-floor player like Aaron Altherr in your list? He produced more WAR in 40 games than De Fratus has in his career. That’s why if you can get even one of those types to pan out, they will be more valuable than 10 “bottom of the roster” types.

            7. Fritz, honestly, did anyone ever say Jiwan James was the next Willie Mays? He never ranked in the Top 10 at any point during his time with the organization. You have more of a point on Gillies. But I’d say that actually, a lot of that had to do with his proximity to the majors and the fact that he looked good during Spring Training with the big club a couple years. In other words, people were voting for him based on what was perceived to be his floor (speedy fourth outfielder) as opposed to his ceiling. Really, in that sense, Gillies is more of an illustration of the type of player you champion: a guy who seems a safe bet to have some kind of major league career, even if it’s as a role player.

              The fact that Gillies never made it is actually an indictment of the Darnell Sweeneys of the world. In reality, it’s seldom the guys with “good-enough” tools who have successful major league careers.

              And FYI, Worely ranked #7 on the 2011 list, higher than both Gillies and James. De Fratus was only one slot behind Gillies and was one slot ahead of James. So it’s not like you were a lone voice crying out in the darkness. Your judgements about those players actually pretty much reflected the consensus view.

            8. I can’t respond directly to these posts, but on this:

              “And, to be straight, I wasn’t choosing Worley and deFratus over Hamels and Nola. I was voting them ahead of: Julio Rodriguez, Phillippe Aumont, JC Ramirez, Jon Pettibone, Austin Hyatt, Michael Schwimer, Colby Shreve, Josh Zeid, Perci Garner, Kevin Walter, etc.”

              This just simply doesn’t reflect any year’s voting that I can find. In 2010, Worely (who was newly drafted) ranked #18, behind Aumont and Ramirez, along with a whole lot of other guys who went on to become major league contributors. (Cosart, Gose, Bastardo, Santana, etc.). The list was reasonably stacked that year. Nonetheless, De Fratus ranked even higher, #14.

              https://phuturephillies.com/top-30-prospects/reader-top-30/2010-reader-top-30/

              In 2011, Worely was ranked the system’s #7 prospect and De Fratus was #10. None of the guys you listed ranked ahead of them.

              In 2012 Worely had graduated to the majors and De Fratus was #8 in the system, just behind Aumont and Pettibone. Although those guys *stunk*, no doubt about it, they both did make the majors.

              You conclude “So, while I’m not patting myself of the back, I do stand by my selections. Of the players available for whom to vote, I did chose the ones who’ve contributed the most at the ML level.”

              Congratulations: you won a contest that appears to have existed solely in your own head!

            9. @Fritzerland

              I can’t respond directly to your follow up comments but on this:

              “And, to be straight, I wasn’t choosing Worley and deFratus over Hamels and Nola. I was voting them ahead of: Julio Rodriguez, Phillippe Aumont, JC Ramirez, Jon Pettibone, Austin Hyatt, Michael Schwimer, Colby Shreve, Josh Zeid, Perci Garner, Kevin Walter, etc.”

              This just simply doesn’t reflect any year’s voting that I can find. In 2010, Worely (who was newly drafted) ranked #18, behind Aumont and Ramirez, along with a whole lot of other guys who went on to become major league contributors. (Cosart, Gose, Bastardo, Santana, etc.). The list was reasonably stacked that year. Nonetheless, De Fratus ranked even higher, #14.

              https://phuturephillies.com/top-30-prospects/reader-top-30/2010-reader-top-30/

              In 2011, Worely was ranked the system’s #7 prospect and De Fratus was #10. None of the guys you listed ranked ahead of them.

              https://phuturephillies.com/top-30-prospects/reader-top-30/2011-reader-top-30/

              In 2012 Worely had graduated to the majors and De Fratus was #8 in the system, just behind Aumont and Pettibone. Although those guys *stunk*, no doubt about it, they both did make the majors.

              https://phuturephillies.com/top-30-prospects/reader-top-30/2012-reader-top-30/

              You conclude “So, while I’m not patting myself of the back, I do stand by my selections. Of the players available for whom to vote, I did chose the ones who’ve contributed the most at the ML level.”

              Congratulations: you won a contest that appears to have existed solely in your own head!

            10. One point De Fratus was abused last yr by Sanberg . He went to another team and can become part of a solid bullpen. When the Phillies had James and Gillies that’s when the Philles we going will hi end Athletes that couldn’t get beyond A ball.although Gillies was in AA then he self destructed was never the same . Worley has has some success in Mlb. We can never under estimate how important a bullpen can be. Three names that will down in Phillies history Lidge, Bastardo and Madson. I’m not saying De Fratus will be in the world Series but has more of a chance to be then a James or Gillies.

          2. seems to me Fritz you’re making a strawman argument since it will always be true that in picking the DeFratus/Worleys of the world you will always be able to make the argument that, hey they at least made the majors which is better than high risk/reward player ???

            my response is, so what? Who cares that DeFratus made it to the majors and managed be be a replacement level player. A team can get a replacement level player for barely above ML minimum without wasting developmental time and resources.

            If you measure prospect success by them eventually playing in the majors, then I get your selection process, I just don’t agree with it..

            1. @3up: Exactly. It’s a stawman used every year. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to pick every healthy pitcher that has any modicum of control, to have a higher probability of making the Majors. There are 11 spots on every roster for Pitching and every team goes through 15 pitchers per year. There is no landing place for 6th OFs and backup 1st basemen. Every minor league pitcher the Phillies have had, who could throw a strike, has gotten a cup-of-coffee in the majors. Claiming some kind of genius awareness of prospects, from this philosophy, is silly.

              Picking a replacement level pitcher is not genius. I’ll go out on a limb, and tell you right now, a healthy Arano or Jon Richy has a higher probability of making the Majors than Tocci or Cozens. But so what? They also have a high probability of having minimal impact ( less than 1 WAR per season) as fungible relievers. Whereas if Tocci makes it, he could be an Inciarte type and create 3 wins on defense alone. There has to be some weight given to potential impact, especially when you’re picking against guys with close to zero impact.

    1. yup, he’ll get his chances to play with the big club this year, who knows if he’s decent he’s an injury away from starting or is he’s good he could steal the job from caesar…

      another thing to mention is that he is friends with and trains with dee gordon in FL..after seeing his friend’s new contract you have to think that’s going to motivate him this off-season to work on what he needs to work on, at least for me my friends are one of my greatest sources of motivation

  1. It is Sweeney time. I felt like he was a major leaguer last year and appears to be a utility guy. He made my list because he doesn’t meet the MLB service time yet but it still feels like he has… at least to me.

  2. Sweeney should have been on about 10 slots earlier, but 11 through 25 is so close in my mind that I really only see 2 players on the list that I believe are clearly behind Sweeney. Unfortunately, for Sweeney and his position on the list, he had the misfortune of being promoted to the majors.

  3. Agreed. Rather than giving him props for having been promoted, the community is holding it against him since he didn’t set the world on fire during his time in the Bigs.

    Well-rounded, switch-hitter, position versatility, good speed, some power. May not excel at any one thing, but can contribute in many different ways.

    Agree with you other assessment as well, that 11-25 are all so close (well, mostly), it just wasn’t worth fighting for one over the other.

    1. Asher falls into that same category as Sweeney. He did well in minor and had a bad showing first time in majors. Now Asher granted is not a high profile pitcher as in his ceiling but he does have value. Sweeney could end up as better than C. Hernandez as he can play multi positions, has good speed, decent power – if he ends up as Greg Dobbs type that would be good for Phillies

  4. I don’t hold Sweeney’s ML performance last year against him but rather don’t see any specific tool that can carry him as a long-term ML regular.

    Sure he can carve out a solid career as a utility bench player who can play multiple positions but for me, that’s not a highly ranked prospect. The Galvis reference is a good one because I don’t have any problem that his was ranked at #25 in 2011. He has shown that he is not an everyday regular on a playoff caliber team and #25 is about right for a bench player.

    I’m much higher on ceiling vs. floor than others on the site and will always lean towards the prospect who has a chance to become a significant contributer, even if that chance is a riskier one.

    1. They also have Windle ranked 20th and on TBOH they have windle ranked in the other section outside their top 10 looks like I have more people agree with me than we thought. Lol that wasn’t meant to be snarky I just thought it was funny.

  5. I am still with the few like Chad who thinks that Windle, and then Arano and Tirado can be Major League relievers. I have Windle again because of proximity. I think an 8th Inning reliever ceiling outweighs a mediocre utility guy ceiling. And, the problem with these debates is that it appears that it is somehow knocking a guy like Sweeney when trying to make a case for someone else. That is not the case at all. I root for all of them. Being a mediocre utility guy in the Majors is a heckuva lot better than I could have done, but I think we undervalue relievers.

    1. I do hope Arano, and also Tirado, can be stretched to start again this spring. At least give it one more go of it at the high A level. They are still very young. And if it proves unsatisfactory for them, then into the pen with them.

  6. Tirado for me. Live arm that can play as a starter or reliever. The obvious elephant in the room is his control, but I’ll take his potential over Sweeney all day.

  7. And again, not to belabor the point, but I don’t think any of us considers ourselves a genius, or that picking a mid-level reliever over a guy like Altherr would even be smart at all. This is all guess work, some with more educated guesses than others. I picked a Reliever over a guy like Ortiz, because I haven’t seen Ortiz do anything yet, so to pick him would have been pretending I knew something. I picked relievers over a Grullon because I need him to hit even a little bit. There is some science involved in evaluating prospects, but I don’t have those skills.

  8. So weird, my comments seem not to be posting. I’ll try this a little shorter, maybe I’m running into some spam filter.. In response to Fritzerland, who wrote:

    “And, to be straight, I wasn’t choosing Worley and deFratus over Hamels and Nola. I was voting them ahead of: Julio Rodriguez, Phillippe Aumont, JC Ramirez, Jon Pettibone, Austin Hyatt, Michael Schwimer, Colby Shreve, Josh Zeid, Perci Garner, Kevin Walter, etc.”

    This just simply doesn’t reflect any year’s voting that I can find. In 2010, Worely (who was newly drafted) ranked #18, behind Aumont and Ramirez, along with a whole lot of other guys who went on to become major league contributors. (Cosart, Gose, Bastardo, Santana, etc.). The list was reasonably stacked that year. Nonetheless, De Fratus ranked even higher, #14.

    In 2011, Worely was ranked the system’s #7 prospect and De Fratus was #10. None of the guys you listed ranked ahead of them. In 2012 Worely had graduated to the majors and De Fratus was #8 in the system, just behind Aumont and Pettibone.

    1. The first comment didn’t post due to language. I inserted *stunk* for your word. We had a reader whose name included that word and his comment was always the same 2 words, one of which was the flagged word.

      The second and third comments were flagged for the same word, but were additionally flagged as spam because of the number of URLs in the text. I edited and approved two comments, deleted the third because it was the same as the second.

      Sorry for the inconvenience.

      1. Right, got it. Just so people don’t think I’m too vulgar, it wasn’t a word that would result in FCC fines if you said it on live TV, or would surprise anyone coming out of Donald Trumps mouth, but I understand this community has higher standards!

  9. As promised, I’m starting my campaign for Jose Pujols. Big power, has showed results at the plate in flashes, have read some really positive things about him from scouts. Contra the argument made elsewhere on this thread, I’ll take a 10 percent chance that he develops into a mashing first-division starter in the outfield over a 70 percent chance that Tom Windle develops into a useful LOOGY.

    1. I’d say that Pujols has a 10% chance of making the majors. I’d think his chance of reaching his ceiling is much lower.

  10. Andrew, I don’t understand that at all. I hope Jose Pujols does great, but so far he hit 4 or 5 HRs in Williamsport in about 65 games. Windle pitched effectively in relief at AA. So, at this stage, Pujols does not even get a 10% shot to be a 1st division MLB slugger. How does he rank higher than Windle? If you don’t like Windle that is ok, you are certainly entitled to your opinion, but wouldn’t 10-12 HRS from Pujols been a little more inspiring? Maybe he has a great year and we can vote for him in the top 20 next year, but can we let him do something first?

    1. Well I mean Pujols could turn into an all star so that is really all that matters. It seems like some people only value ceilings when in all reality prospects almost never hit their ceiling. What’s Pujols best case scenario for making the majors something like 4-5 years. That’s a long time and a lot of things that can happen. For every successful Jason Werth, Shane Victorino, Josh Donaldson, and Aaron Alther there are infinite more prospects that bottom out and never make it to the majors. Don’t get me wrong I am rooting for all our prospects to make it and reach their ceiling but I am a realist.

      1. The point that most players don’t reach their ceiling goes for guys like Windle too. His ceiling is 8th inning reliever, but he probably won’t reach it. A more likely outcome is middle relief or LOOGY. Or he could end up not having a major league career.

        Pujols could be an all-star, or a solid regular, or something less. He could fail to reach AA. So, it comes down to how much you value their floors and ceilings and how likely you think they are to reach them. I think Pujols has a much better chance to be an impact player than Windle, so I would vote him higher.

  11. I voted for the starting pitcher who was the 4th youngest player in the NL, who was 3-3 with a 4.50 FIP in 7 starts for the worst team in baseball, who was the Phillies minor league pitcher of the year a couple years ago, who has 4 pitches, who does strike batters out, 8.2 SO9 with the Phils, who has exceptional control, 1.7 BB9 in his pro career, and going into his age 23 season at AAA is a forgotten man. Because of his major league experience some don’t consider him to be a prospect, although he is still a rookie. Because his last name is the same as MAG’s, some confuse the two. How can a potential #4 starter who will be 4 years under the average AAA player not be on the ballot? I’m voting for Severino Gonzalez until someone talks me out of it, or possibly until or if Watson makes the ballot first.

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