Phuture Phillies 2017 Reader Top 30 Poll for #14

Harold Arauz was your selection as the #13 prospect in the Phillies’ organization.  Arauz’ supporters showed up in force late in the evening to push Arauz from virtually no votes to 85 votes and a 24% plurality.   Andrew Knapp and Adonis Medina had a tight race all day before being eclipsed by Arauz.  They totaled 65 and 61 votes respectively for 18% and 17% of the vote.  Jhailyn Ortiz remained close all day and finished with 53 votes and 15%.  And I recall that Mark Appel was the next highest vote recipient with 25 votes and 7%.

Now, how do we handle this.  I checked the poll around 10:00PM and Knapp, Medina, Ortiz, and Appel were the top 4 in this poll with essentially the same gaps as shown above. One reader joked that “Putin likes Arauz”.   I spent some time trying to figure out if this outcome was valid or if we had been hacked, or worse targeted by one of those internet groups that does this sort of thing.

First, I verified that the poll settings allowed only one vote per person.  That restriction was still in effect.  Then, I asked my son to check online to see if we were the victim of one of those internet plots. Not by any of the sites he visits.  Then I checked to see if Polldaddy could show any voting patterns.  Nada.  We only have minimal features without an upgrade and an upgrade isn’t worthwhile for our site.  Finally, I checked for any oddities within WordPress.

First thing I noticed was that we had an unusually large number of visitors and views today, more than we’ve been getting recently.  And since I had looked at those numbers earlier in the evening, I knew that a whole lot of the new activity came between ten and midnight. Then I found that I had a large increase in activity from Panama.  We average 10.5 visitors a day from Panama.  Monday the number spiked to 559.  I checked verified that Harold Arauz is from Panama. So, it appears to me that the poll was in fact manipulated in a way not in the spirit of the poll.  But what next?

I’m going to continue as though this outcome is legitimate.  To do otherwise would invite the same behavior from a solid voting block.  We won’t be able to get valid polls until his name is removed, and my removing him would prevent you from voting him in where he actually belongs.  At some point down the road, I’ll run a “where in the world should Harold go” poll.

If you have a better idea, please submit it in the comments section below.

Next up is your selection for the #14 prospect in the organization.


Poll to date –

  1. J.P. Crawford
  2. Jorge Alfaro
  3. Mickey Moniak
  4. Roman Quinn
  5. Nick Williams
  6. Franklyn Kilome
  7. Sixto Sanchez
  8. Rhys Hoskins
  9. Dylan Cozens
  10. “C” Randolph
  11. Scott Kingery
  12. Kevin Gowdy
  13. Harold Arauz


55 thoughts on “Phuture Phillies 2017 Reader Top 30 Poll for #14

  1. I have to say, its pretty freaking awesome that the poll was manipulated by a block in Panama.

    I don’t say that to encourage such behavior–otherwise our next winner could be Alexi Ivanov, or some 400 pound guy in his bedroom in NJ–but because its awesome this site has such a global, passionate following that someone would be interested in manipulating the results.

    As an aside, I’m curious: do many of this site’s visitors originate outside the USA?

    Oh, and I’m going Knapp again.

    1. We get a few from abroad. A couple years ago, the Phillies had a kid from South Africa in the minors. I can’t remember his name. PP was one way for family and friends to follow him. We would get frequent hits from South Africa while he was in the organization.

      For example, on December 30th we had visitors from Indonesia, Canada, Panama, Japan Israel, China, Barbados, Germany, Brazil, Mexico, South Korea, Jamaica, Colombia, Viet Nam, Slovakia, Curacao, and the Philippines.

      Some could be random hits from search engines, and some could be from spammers. But others make some sort of sense. For instance, Aaron Altherr was born in Germany.

      1. There is a baseball playing, non-hockey Russian in the system…LHP Anton Kuznetsov. We could get hacked by the Russians next! 🙂

    2. If people want to get on and vote for Arauz, it’s up to them, but he’s not our 13th best prospect. I had Knapp at this point, but a number of selections at 13 would be perfectly fine including Ortiz, Appel, Pivetta, Medina and Lively.

        1. Because, as screwed up as his path has been thus far, he was the top pick in the draft and reports are that he has regained his elite stuff. Is he a big risk? Sure he is and that’s why the Phillies were able to get him as a second or third guy in the Giles trade and that’s why he’s not in the top 10 – but if he can fight the confidence demons within him (I think this is his biggest problem), he could still become a fine pitcher.

          1. I went Appel too for the same reason.
            Very High Potential Ceiling.
            I suspect he WILL bus………….

            However, He was Top 100 Prior to last year in a number of polls.
            I would like to see him have at least a full healthy year under the Phils guidance before giving up on him.

    3. I was surprised to read that we normally get 10 readers a day from Panama. ThTs crazy. Great work by Jim plus all the loyal commenters who make this site interesting. Thanks! I actually have him at 33.
      Jim do you DR activity also?
      Jim – I like your idea of placing Arauz properly later. Obviously he doesn’t go here but let’s just move on for now and slot him later.

  2. I like Harold Arauz. He’s a guy who created a lot of excitement on this board. But I don’t think it was appropriate for him at this point in the poll. If his home and away splits were identical (to his home splits), he might have gotten a lot of votes in this slot. If all the rules were followed, then I think the pick stands but it will always have an asterisk attached to it. I’m glad it wasn’t Encarnacion or someone like that. That would delegitimize the poll and that would make me very sad.

    Ortiz again for me.

  3. Not sure I buy Roldy at 13 either but then a look at his numbers and the guy appears to be a pretty decent find in that deal…

    1. Harold is indeed a good 5th piece of the trade. LWD fan seems to be high on him, but I read from Philly bloggers that Seranthony Dominguez is the better prospect and even have Seranthony in their Top 30. Taveras is another prospect in the same both as both.

      Both SP prospects are exposed to Rule V but did not generate any buzz. Next year will be big for both especially if both oitch wekll in CLW and end in REA.

  4. can’t vote as well. I’m optimistic that my Top 15 below will mirror the Poll results (although a slight change in order). Harold Arauz is just ourside my Top 40 and behind SPs like Fanti, Falter and Seranthony Dominguez.

    Block voting is not unusual and is part of the poll process. My concern is such power can manipulate the the legitimacy of our poll exercise. For now, one way to avoid this is for Jim to continue the same precaution he did (since we don’t have the rights to do it) and look for unusual behavior. For us, we just need to protect the integrity of the poll and vote to support the goal of having a objective prospect ranking.

    1 Crawford
    2 Moniak
    3 Alfaro
    4 Quinn
    5 Williams
    6 Kilome
    7 Hoskins
    8 Cozens
    9 Sanchez
    10 Gowdy
    11 Medina
    12 Randolph
    13 Kingery
    14 Knapp
    15 Pivetta

    1. KuKo…agree.
      Seems each year something like this has transpired and can be difficult to prevent. Unless every reader privately emails their own top 30 to Jim at the beginning of the polling, and he takes the time to calculate them, not sure it can be completely stopped from occurring.

  5. These things can happen and we know Arauz is not a Top 15 prospect, but this, in no way, subtracts fun the fun of doing these. I can see the voting, but cannot vote. Last week’s issue was that I could only see the previous poll results. I am on here often enough that I can vote later.

    1. Jim,

      As Ford Frick would say, put an asterisk by that boy’s name.

      Maybe go to a Top 31 with an asterisk. Or maybe just live with it and continue being diligent recognizing that this is a case of stuffing the ballot box.

      Also can’t vote, but then, by now, you know that.

  6. I still cannot vote. I like the idea of a ” what can we do with Harold Arauz ” sequence at the end of polling.

  7. The poll is Open.

    I am sorry, but I have no idea what happened.

    When I logged off last night, the poll was Open and 8 votes had already been counted. Sometime later, after the count reached 28, the poll was closed.

    1. Thanks for fixing it Jim. I appreciate your being so on top of this.Now I can vote again for Knapp.

  8. I also think it’s cool that a bunch of Arauz fans from Panama jumped on and got their guy noticed. At the end of the day we shouldn’t take ourselves so seriously on this sort of thing.

    So long as to the best of your ability you can confirm the votes came from multiple IP addresses and it didn’t all come from a single fan boy…

    1. Panama does not have some far away time zone that they all couldn’t vote until late at night.

      The fact that there were practically no votes until then, and all at once cannot mean anything but it was a concerted effort by one or two people, probably bouncing their IP address to Panama from here, or someone over there flooding us. It’s actually quite clever if the former.

      I’m not sure I understand how putting his name at 13 will stop this from happening. I doubt it’s actually a Panamanian, but I suppose we’ll find out tonight if someone strikes again.


      1. it could have been someone in panama with a lot of social media followers making a post about voting for harold arauz.

  9. Not sure if I should vote for Medina again, or vote for Knapp since he was the rightful winner of #13. Eh, Knapp is leading so I’ll go with Adonis.

  10. Welcome visitors from panama, I’m sure there is a large phillies following there due to ruiz, thank you for him. Feel free to join the discussion here, I am very interested to know how you feel about Arauz and others.

  11. FWIW, a Q & A from Longenhagen Fangraph chat today:

    Q: Speaking of hit-before-power prospects, what is your take on cornelious randolph?

    A: An excellent example of a hit before power prospect who doesn’t have the physical projection that I like in those types of hitters. Where’s the power coming from there? He’s not growing into it and has already tumbled down the defensive spectrum since being announced as a SS.

  12. Long(ish) time reader, 1st time posting.

    I don’t think the selection of Arauz de-legitimizes the poll or anything. At the end of the day this is just for fun. I don’t think he’s #13 by any means, but he’s certainly a prospect and there may be something there. Also, after the top 12, I think we hit a new tier of prospects (at least in my opinion). I’d be a little irked if he got in a few spots earlier, but I do think we’re hitting a a drop off where there can be arguments made for any of the next 10 or so guys.

    I’d love to hear from some of our Panamanian voters why they think he’s worthy of #13 though! I think the insight would be greatly appreciated.

    Also, what’s with the Bailey Falter love? Serious question – does he project as anything more than a potential back-end type?

    1. It’s more of a back-end projection right now. But he’s still young and has a good frame that can still fill out. So there’s a chance he’ll see a jump in stuff at some point which could change that projection.

    2. Harold Arauz played the last 3 years in the US, logged about 200+ IP and probably has been scouted fairly well for the last 3 years. I think we can fairly assess what he is capable of.

      As for Falter, he’s been mentioned a lot last year but as as much this year (simlilar to Lucas Williams) and he may not make it to the Top 30 (I have him as my #40) — so I don’t really see the “love” that you are talking about. Falter is the Tocci of the pitching prospects. If he adds at least 20 lbs of muscle into his 6’4″ frame and continue his feel of his 3-pitch mix of FB, CH and CB with potential increase in velocity — that’s an easy #3 profile.

      1. KuKo……at 20 Hamels may have had the same physique as Falter does now. Some tall lean pitchers seem to be able to get away with slimmer bodies.

        1. it’s been a while since i see Hamels name mentioned in the same sentence as Falter….this is probably where the “love” that Kevin is referring too…

          Falter should work out with the same condition coach that bulked up MickeyMo. With loose/easy delivery and frame to add muscle – an extra 20 lbs can tick up that heater by 2-3MPH.

          1. Falter’s fast ball already ticked up a little last season. The pitching coach in Williamsport (I think it was Hector Berrios) altered Falter’s delivery. He had him lengthen his stride toward the plate, driving off the rubber. His sub-90’s fastball rose to low 90’s and was reported to have touched 95 in a game. However, I saw his FB return to sub-90s in a Fall Instructs start in late September.

            He’ll bear close observation this spring to see how he progresses. I expect he’ll be in Lakewood. You’re right about his frame. He can certainly stand to add some additional weight and muscle.

      2. Thanks for the response. The love I was referring to was that he was 4th in today’s poll with over 10% of votes when I posted.

        1. @kevin – gotcha!! I didn’t pay attention to the results yet since some of us are having issues with the poll. you’re right, that’s an unexpected turn out for Falter at this stage of the poll — surprise to see him out vote pitching prospects already in the 40-man. we’ll see tonight if Falter will make that last minute surge.

  13. I am hight on Viza. LIke his progress. 2017 will be big from him. Also, I like Valentin (His attitude reminds me of Randy Velarde)
    Regarding the Arauz think, in all seriousness, let’s bear in mind that latin families are huge, so it was probable a family or fan or friend fest or whatever. The kid was part of a deal, so I there is probably some potential there. Time will tell.

    1. What makes me think that the poll was violated by one person with expertise in ‘hacking skills’ is the fact that the poll shutdown approx. the same time that the 599 hits may have occurred
      As far as Arauz and the Panama connection…I think that was a selective decoy.
      For all we know tonight could be Arano and 599 voters from Mexico or Valentin and 599 voters from the PR.
      I cannot prove this… is just a gut reaction on my part
      I guess we will know tonight

      1. I’m inclined to believe (hope) that this was a one time ballot stuff for a “favorite son”. The unusually high 559 views could have been by 75-80 visitors. At least 135 articles were looked at Monday. That too is an unusually high number for any day. Hopefully, they saw something they liked and will continue to visit.

        FWIW, we’ve had well over 100 views from Panama today and nothing peculiar has occurred with today’s poll.

        1. When you say you had over 100 views from Panama….is that over 100 different people or could a few people open and view, then close it, then come back numerous times thru the day?

          1. Each visitor creates a new view with every post or page she/he views. Today, we’ve had around 2800 views by over 800 visitors, roughly 3.5 views per visitor. So, 100+ views could be reached by any number of users from 1 to 100+, more than likely 50-60 who checked in to see if Arauz won.

  14. Eshelman is the other Huston trade here. I am higher on him than on Aruz or Appel, but his age does worry me a bit. Appel also seems to be running out of love in most boards.. I hope he gets his tools together. Elfin and the other guy are in the 22-24 range and already tasted the majors or Lehigh. I wouldn’t worry on the decoy theory just yet. I attended a couple of bluewclaws games but never saw him pitching, so No clue here. I guess his potential value lays in the fact that he was part of the Giles trade, and if that is the case, then we probably have someone to look at in 2017. Again, I dont know enough.

  15. I feel like out of all the names on this list, the one that seems like it has the highest potential to have a long and productive major league career (as opposed to a role player, not that there is anything wrong with role players) is Mark Appel. He also seems like he has a fairly high chance of ending the season in AAA for some other organization or pitching for the Camden Riversharks, his 40-man spot will become valuable at some point. But I put him a nose ahead of the other high-risk, high-ceiling guys on this list because of his proximity to the majors. Seems like more or less the right place for him.

  16. Not sure what year it was, but this ballot stuffing thing happened before with a kid named damarii Sanderson. He was out of baseball the following year. Hope Aruz fairs better!

  17. John Sickels Top 20 is here:

    His Top 15 looks pretty spot on to me. Here it is with a comparison (+ — =) to our list:

    1) J.P. Crawford = (same as our list)
    2) Mickey Moniak =
    3) Jorge Alfaro =
    4) Roman Quinn =
    5) Franklyn Kilome + (higher than our list, which has him 6th)
    6) Rhys Hoskins + (higher than our list, which has him 8th)
    7) Sixto Sanchez =
    8) Nick Williams — (lower than our list, which has him 5th)
    9) Scott Kingery + (higher than our list, which has him 11th)
    10) Dylan Cozens — (lower than our list, which has him 9th)
    11) Ben Lively + (higher than our list, which has him ?)
    12) Nick Pivetta + (higher than our list, which has him ?)
    13) Cornelius Randolph — (lower than our list, which has him 10th)
    14) Kevin Gowdy — (lower than our list, which has him 12th)
    15) Carlos Tocci + (higher than our list, which has him ?)

    If I assume Knapp and Ortiz win the next two polls, the real outliers on Sickels’ list compared to ours are Lively and Pivetta, and perhaps Tocci.

  18. Meanwhile, back at the roster….Wouldn’t Michael Saunders make a good choice as right fielder/1b against righties? Free agent I believe. Even a 2 yr contract with ability to buy out the option for 2nd season? Just wondering……

  19. The first 12 are pretty consistent, and from there, it seems that we have a bunch of fringe prospects. The hard throwing righties dont impress me much. I want to see movement!!!
    Look at Adonis for example, he can dial it up, but had less than 40k in short season.
    I wouldn’t worry about Arauz. If his fastball doesnt move, he will be dead meat sooner than later. Tocci is treated as if he were 25. he is only 21. Let’s give him 2 more seasons before shiping him back to Mexico, Venezuela or whatever. Pujols strikes out too much. Is he the next Bautista. We are yet to see. Let ‘s give him 2-3 years more. He was expensive.
    Tirado will never throw strikes consistently as starter. Let’s make up our minds and transform him into the next Giles!! Lively is good, with good endurance.. Let’s try Randolph as 2B. Better bat and body fram than Tobias. Randolph looks like Charlie Hayes! Good looking fellow in the field. Like him a lot. I’m betting hard on Cozens too. Love that guy.
    Moniak, Sanckez and Gowdy: Way too early to be ranked in the top 10. Too early.

  20. I’m seeing a trend here. Folks are running away from traditional names. Tocci, Appel, Pujols, Lively, etc, etc.
    It looks like we are gearing toward really strong prospects, say, the top 5-6, and new names, including lottery tickets from the lower level.
    Interesting exercise.

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