Phuture Phillies 2017 Reader Top 30 Poll for #19

Nick Pivetta was your selection as the #18 prospect in the Phillies’ organization. Pivetta received 91 of 301 votes (30%) to achieve a plurality victory over Ben Lively (61 votes, 20%), and Alberto Tirado (51 votes, 17%).  

Nick Pivetta was drafted out of New Mexico Junior College  by the Washington Nationals in the 4th round of the 2013 MLB June Amateur Draft.  Pivetta attended Lambrick Park Secondary School (Victoria, BC) in Canada before enrolling at NMJC.  In 2013, Pivetta went 9-2 with a 3.36 ERA and six complete games in 13 starts for the Thunderbirds.  He was a member of the Canadian Junior National team from 2009-12.

Pivetta advanced through the lower levels of the Nationals’ system, pitching most of 2013 in low A, all of 2014 in full-season A, and starting in advanced A in 2015.  He pitched well in the Carolina League before two starts with Harrisburg in the Eastern League  He was traded to the Phillies for Jonathan Papelbon and cash on July 28th, just before the trade deadline.

Pivetta finished shakily at Reading in 2015, but rebounded nicely in 2016 in both Reading and Lehigh Valley.  He posted a career high 8.4 K/9 in 2016, but still struggled with walks. He posted a combined 3.0 BB/9.

Pivetta throws fastball, slider and curve ball.  His FB was 91-95 mph, touching 96 during the season.  He was selected for the Eastern League All Star game and threw 12 pitches (8 strikes) in one inning of work.  He struck out one and threw 95-96, touching 97 mph that night.

Next up is your selection for the #18 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
  14. Andrew Knapp
  15. Jhailyn Ortiz
  16. Adonis Medina
  17. Mark Appel
  18. Nick Pivetta

47 thoughts on “Phuture Phillies 2017 Reader Top 30 Poll for #19

  1. I deviated from the norm here and went Eshelman. How many guys have you come across with a 70-grade for control? I feel like there is that small hump of “putting guys away” that he needs to get over. And once he does, he could be a pretty damn good pitcher.

    1. I’m a big fan of him, too. I love pitchers who actually pitch–not just throw hard. And I have Eshelman above Lively because of his control.

      My only caveat in rooting for control pitchers is, they must posses plus-plus control and plus command to compensate for lack of power. That said, I do think Eshelman has it; and will continue to pitch well as he rises the ranks. Pitchers who have “only” plus command without power get hit around as they move up the ranks. That’s my fear with Lively.

      That said, I’m still voting Tirado. He’s a wild stallion, who, if harnessed, will be a heck of fun pony to watch run.

      1. Can you give me an example of a quality MLB pitcher who pitches to contact and doesn’t throw hard? I would like to understand why you love that profile so much.

        1. Tomlin might be a good one but generally command is something that comes and goes.

          Stuff is usually always there so even on your bad night the hitters still struggle. Eshelman is not in my top 30. Visions of Buchannon, Tyler Cloyd all over again perhaps.

            1. I know the command-control debate is a rager. Today they will say Cloyd threw strikes he didn’t command his pitches because he washed out at the MLB level

              Back in 2011 however the narrative was different. He was walking less than 2 per 9 and everyone was saying he had great command.

              You cite Maddux…everyone likes to cite Maddux in this debate because he didn’t have a big FB but his pitches ran to both sides of the plate and he was able to command that run to both his arm and glove side.

              So at the end of the day you can have plus-plus command the plate is still 18 inches so you won’t survive in the MLB with just command please tell Eshelman has something more in his arsenal. It doesn’t have to be velocity but it has to be something.

            2. We shouldn’t cite Maddux for the same reasons we shouldn’t cite Tony Gwynn. They were both extreme outliers that made them amazing when just a little bit less in the elite tools they had would have made them much less successful.

              There was only one Maddux, and only one Tony Gwynn, and there haven’t been another of either (well there was another Tony Gwynn, but even he wasn’t Tony Gwynn).

              Not saying that you did reference him Fritz. But I did hear a lot of the Gwynn comps during the Randolph voting.

          1. DMAR…or…….Kyle Hendricks of late, of the Cubbies. Scouts cannot be all that bad selecting him in the 2nd round…whereas Buchanan, Cloyd, Hyatt, were not that high.

            1. Sure Romus I look at these guys that are having success without a plus FB and for me the common denominator is a Plus Change that they can command very well in any count.

            2. DMAR..agree there. The CU and breaking pitch, what ever one he eventually chooses to use, needs to be improved.
              And if he can improve his CU, especially he needs it vs LHBs, then he has a chance to be a solid end of the rotation starter.
              He said he needs to close batters out….it is easy for him to get to two strikes, but cannot put them away.

        2. Greg Maddux and his 6K/9 certain qualifies.

          Btw, I love that profile not for their projection–but because I love the art of pitching. And frankly, its rooted in my own history. I never threw a heater–I relied on craft and cunning, control and command. So of course I’m going to be partial to pitchers who mirror that.

          Again, I’m not saying I love pitchers like that as prospects–I’m voting the seemingly uncontrollable Tirado here–I just enjoy watching them play and rooting for them.

          1. Oh…got you. I thought you were saying that that makes a good prospect.

            p.s. please do not use Greg Maddux as a comp for any prospect ever.

        3. Another good one is Marco Estrada. He pitches off that filthy change so well his FB plays way up.

          I love that guy maybe Thomas can become him…

      2. I like Eschelmen but did he really pitch that well in double A after his promotion. I thought his ERA was pretty atrocious. I do recall him pitching pretty well in Hi A however maybe I’m being harsh on the transition he had to make but he isn’t that young either as college draftee also that probably means he doesn’t have much projection left hopefully he can hone his off speed/breaking pitches
        But I also voted Tirado
        I did go pujols but rethought my position a little more and went Tirado.

    2. looking at opponents BA against him, the hump might be that he might need to learn when to not throw strikes. if a hitter knows a guy never walks anyone they might be expecting a strike every time. havent seen much of him to know if this is true though, anyone have any thoughts on this?

  2. Elniery Garcia here for me. In my opinion he is the best pitcher on the board, a solid lefty with good stuff who has pitched well at every level.

  3. Looking at where we are again there are more guys I’d like at this spot then ones I would say have no business being the room.

    Kurokawa would probably be the only one here I would say you were cracra for voting.

    1. DMAR,

      Agree. But somehow Kurokawa has two votes so far in this round.

      More amazing, look at the guys with no votes yet: Grullon and Canelo, who have been favorites in the past; JoJo Romero and Tyler Viza, who get talked up quite a bit; even Ranger Suarez, whose record over the past two years ought to get him one vote.

      Of course, this round isn’t over, and they’ll get some love as we get deeper into the 30.

      Grullon is on my Top 30. A potential break-out this season after years of, like Tocci, being “still young.”

  4. I like Eshelman and Tirado but I went with Lively because I think Lively is ready now to be a mid-to back rotation arm; likely a solid 4 with possible #3 upside.

    Tirado has a lot of upside and a lot of risk – who knows what he will become with his continuing control issues. I am encouraged, however, by his late season outings last year.

    Eshelman is said to have potential 80 command, he’s improved his velocity and he’s working on developing out pitches. I think he will get over the hump, but until his out pitch arrives (if it ever does), we don’t know his ceiling. His worst case scenario is probably Kyle Kendrick – his best case scenario is unclear, but it’s probably as a #3. I’m not a fan of pitch-to-contact pitchers and I’m also not generally a fan of soft tossers – but Eshelman has a nearly unique skill (out of this world command) that give him a chance to succeed over time if he can develop some breaking pitches. But we need to give him some time to do that.

    1. So his worst-case outcome is Kyle Kendrick? 81-81 career record, 5.5 WAR?

      Eshelman’s worst case scenario is he never makes the majors.

      1. Another instance where WAR is misleading…

        Kyle Kendrick didn’t set the bar very high. Let’s face it he played with one of the best OPSing line-ups in the league during his Phillies tenure and most nights he was going against the other teams 5th starter so his record is as much a product of that as anything else

        Once the Line-up started to deteriorate so did he and before we knew it he was out of baseball.

        That said I fully expect that Eshelman has a good chance at being better than Kendrick. I’ve seen Eshelman live and he actually pitched a solid game. He got hit pretty hard but was effective because of at least 4 double plays and some really good defense.

        1. Kendrick was nothing special but there are still plenty of pitchers that were worse than him. Eshelman could end up being one of them, even though I think he’s a solid prospect.

        2. His offensive support and the opposing pitcher have literally no bearing on his WAR totals.

          Kyle Kendrick was very slightly above average for a pitcher. VERY slightly. Which is exactly what his WAR indicates.

          1. No, he wasn’t very slightly above “average” – he was very slightly above replacement value – in other words, he was very slightly better than a AAAA pitcher and that is what is WAR indicates.

            1. To give you a comparison, over his extended career, Kyle Kendrick produced 5.5 WAR – never producing more than 2 WAR after his rookie campaigning and having several years under 1 WAR and a couple with negative WAR. Over a full season and another a month and a half, Jared Eickhoff, who is a good pitcher (a #3 right now), but not a star, has produced 5.3 WAR. Please let’s put Kendrick’s accomplishments in the proper context.

      2. Yup. That’s right. I said his worst case scenario is “probably” Kyle Kendrick – not that there was no way he could be worse than Kendrick. Sure he could be.

        Kendrick was a mediocre pitcher – a classic #5 – some years he pitched like the 5th guy on the staff and sometimes he pitched like a minor leaguer and sometimes he pitched like a 4. He got a lot of starts because he stayed healthy and the Phillies had little starting depth some years. He bounced around between the rotation and the bullpen and from the minors to the majors. I think that kind of existence probably is probably on the lower end of possible outcomes for Eshelman. Stated differently, I think Eshelman is probably going to be a better major league pitcher than Kyle Kendrick. It may take a while, but I think he’ll get there.

  5. I probably accidentally vote for Lively but Pinto my #16 prospect, is next on my list. Pinto pitches to miss bats and didn’t utilize his best secondary pitch – his CU, to develop his SL.

    #16 Pinto > #17 Lively – same proximity but Pinto has higher floor with above ave FB and CU plays well as a reliable bullpen arm

    #16 Pinto > #22 Eshelman – FB and CU combo better than what ever stuff Eshelman has. Eshelman lack of pure stuff narrows his margin of error compared to Pinto

    #16 Pinto > #21 Tirado – Pinto’s FB-CU is not that far behind from Tirado’s FB-SL. Tirado is already in the 40-man, but command and control is way behind his stuff that’s why I project him to be a RP than SP, thus, lowering him in my rankings.

    1. I saw Pinto last spring and wasn’t very impressed (looked like a middle relief arm). If what I saw was what he is, then I’m comfortable rating him below Lively, Eshelman and Tirado. But if he’s improved or had a bad day when I saw him, sure, there’s not THAT much distance separating these guys as prospects – maybe he is better.

  6. The plate is 17 inches wide, not 18.

    Kyle Hendricks was an 8th round pick.

    Edelman throws harder than Cloud ever did.

    1. Was not referring to Hendricks as a 2nd round pick….was referring to Eshelman by the Astros as a 2nd round pick.

        1. yeah, not sure if he can hit but Julian Eshelman can be good on the base paths. Phils should try to find that Tom Edelman and see how much heat he has.

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