Open Discussion: Week of January 30th

Two weeks until pitchers and catchers!!!  The first full team workout is three days later. Until then, here’s another open discussion for Phillies’ talk and other topics.

Severino Gonzalez, who was designated for assignment after FA Michael Saunders was signed, was traded to the Miami Marlins for a PTBNL or cash.  Another aging catcher, Ryan Hanigan, was signed and assigned to Lehigh Valley with an invite to spring training.

Clearwater pitcher Matt Imhof retired. And, three young players were released – Lakewood’s 2B William Cuicas and 1B Brendon Hayden, and the GCL Phillies RHP Luis Gonzalez.

MLB continued to roll out their Top Ten Prospects at each position.  Jorge Alfaro was dropped from the first to third best catching prospect.  Rhys Hoskins was ranked the 9th best first base prospect.  Scott Kingery was ranked seventh among second baseman.  J.P. Crawford was dropped from second to fourth best shortstop prospect.  It’s unlikely that Crawford will hold onto his 2016 second overall ranking.  First overal draft pick Mickey Moniak was ranked as the sixth best outfielder, four slots ahead of fellow 2016 first round draft pick Kyle Lewis and the youngest ranked outfielder.  None of the Phillies pitching prospects made the lists for RHP or LHP.

Eight players from the first round of the 2016 draft class made the Top Ten lists by position:

  • 1:1       OF     Mickey Moniak     (#6 OF)
  • 1:2       3B      Nick Senzel            (#2 3B)
  • 1:6       LHP   A.J. Puk                   (#7 LHP)
  • 1:7       LHP   Braxton Garrett   (#3 LHP)
  • 1:10    C         Zack Collins          (#4 C)
  • 1:11    OF      Kyle Lewis              (#10 OF)
  • 1:12    LHP   Jason Groome    (#2 LHP)
  • 1:16    1B      Matt Thaiss            (#8 1B)

MLB revealed their Top 100 Prospects list Saturday night.  Only three Phillies made the list.  The highest ranked Phillies’ prospect was Crawford who was ranked seventh, down from second in 2016.  Moniak was ranked nineteenth up from twenty-four.  Alfaro same in at seventy-two down from 59 in 2016.  Nick Williams, 49th in 2016, didn’t make the list.

Moniak was the highest ranked of the 2016 draft class.  Nick Senzel was next at 26.  I want so much to believe that this attests to the excellence of the Phillies scouting department and their ability to assess players.  But, I’m struck by the fact that EVERYONE was caught by surprise when the Phillies selected Moniak.  Not just us, but the WHOLE BASEBALL COMMUNITY.  Then the “experts” brushed Moniak’s selection off as the Phillies just trying to get a signable player at one so they had enough to get another prospect at two.

Sorry baseball world, but if Moniak is the highest ranked 2016 draft pick, then the Phillies picked a player who was more than a drafting ploy to get two young prospects, and maybe, just maybe, the best player available at #1.  Kudos to Johnny Amaraz and his staff.

Key dates remaining during the off season:

  • February – Salary arbitration hearings.
  • 2/14 – First workout for pitchers and catchers.
  • 2/17 – First full-squad workout.
  • 2/23 – Phillies’ spring training game v. University of Tampa.
  • 2/24 – Grapefruit League games begin.  Tentative schedule here.
  • 3/6-22 – World Baseball Classic.
  • 4/2-3 – Opening Night/Opening Day.

Extra Innings

Aguilas del Zulia won the Venezuelan Winter League title.  Freddy Galvis, who hit .183 during the regular season, hit .305 in the playoffs to aid in the victory.  The GM is Luis Amaro, brother of Ruben.  RA Sr. is a senior consultant.  Phillies’ farmhands Wilson Garcia and Herlis Rodriguez were also on the team.

Cumulative transactions: 

  • 1/25 – C Ryan Hanigan assigned to Lehigh Valley IronPigs.
  • 1/25 – Phillies signed free agent C Ryan Hanigan to a minor league contract and invited him to spring training.
  • 1/25 – LHP Matt Imhof retired.
  • 1/25 – Lakewood BlueClaws released 2B William Cuicas.
  • 1/25 – Lakewood BlueClaws released 1B Brendon Hayden.
  • 1/25 – GCL Phillies released RHP Luis Gonzalez.
  • 1/24 – Phillies traded RHP Severino Gonzalez to Miami Marlins for PTBNL.
  • 1/19 – Phillies signed free agent RHP Ruben Aponte to a minor league contract.
  • 1/19 – Phillies signed free agent LF Michael Saunders.
  • 1/19 – Phillies designated RHP Severino Gonzalez for assignment.
  • 1/12 – LHP Gabriel Yanez assigned to GCL Phillies.
  • 1/12 – Ramiro Soto assigned RHP to GCL Phillies.
  • 1/12 – RHP Santy Prada assigned to GCL Phillies.
  • 1/11 – Phillies signed free agent LHP Gabriel Yanez to a minor league contract.
  • 1/11 – Phillies signed free agent RHP Ramiro Soto to a minor league contract.
  • 1/11 – Phillies signed free agent RHP Santy Prada to a minor league contract.
  • 1/11 – Phillies invited non-roster RHP Victor Arano to spring training.
  • 1/11 – Phillies invited non-roster 2B Scott Kingery to spring training.
  • 1/11 – Phillies invited non-roster LF Andrew Pullin to spring training.
  • 1/11 – Phillies invited non-roster C Logan Moore to spring training.
  • 1/11 – Phillies invited non-roster RHP Colton Murray to spring training.
  • 1/11 – Phillies invited non-roster C Chace Numata to spring training.
  • 1/11 – Phillies invited non-roster LF Cam Perkins to spring training.
  • 1/11 – Phillies invited non-roster SS J.P. Crawford to spring training.
  • 1/11 – Phillies invited non-roster 1B Rhys Hoskins to spring training.
  • 1/11 – Phillies invited non-roster RHP Michael Mariot to spring training.
  • 1/11 – Phillies invited non-roster RHP Dalier Hinojosa to spring training.
  • 1/11 – Phillies invited non-roster 2B Taylor Featherston to spring training.
  • 1/11 – Phillies invited non-roster 1B Brock Stassi to spring training.
  • 1/7 – Phillies signed FA RF Christian Marrero to a minor league contract.
  • 1/6/ – RHP Pedro Beato assigned to Lehigh Valley IronPigs.
  • 1/6/ – RHP Jesse Beal assigned to Reading Fightin Phils.
  • 1/5 – Phillies signed FA LHP Cesar Ramos to a minor league contract and invited him to spring training.
  • 12/28 – Phillies signed free agent RHP Jesse Beal to a minor league contract.
  • 12/28 – LHP Wander Perez assigned to Lehigh Valley IronPigs
  • 12/23 – Reds claimed Richie Shaffer off waivers from Philadelphia Phillies.
  • 12/21 – Phillies signed free agent RHP Pedro Beato to a minor league contract and invited him to spring training.
  • 12/21 – Texas Rangers claimed David Rollins off waivers from Philadelphia Phillies.
  • 12/21 – SS Hector Gomez assigned to Lehigh Valley IronPigs.
  • 12/21 – SS Pedro Florimon assigned to Lehigh Valley IronPigs.
  • 12/21 – RHP Victor Santos assigned to GCL Phillies.
  • 12/21 – OF Wilbert Garcia assigned to GCL Phillies.
  • 12/20 – Philadelphia Phillies designated 3B Richie Shaffer for assignment.
  • 12/20 – Boston Red Sox traded RHP Clay Buchholz to Philadelphia Phillies for 2B Josh Tobias.
  • 12/20 – C Bryan Holaday assigned to Lehigh Valley IronPigs.
  • 12/20 – Phillies signed free agent C Bryan Holaday to a minor league contract and invited him to spring training.
  • 12/19 – LHP Sean Burnett assigned to Lehigh Valley IronPigs.
  • 12/19 – LF Daniel Nava assigned to Lehigh Valley IronPigs.
  • 12/15 – Phillies extended Odubel Herrera with a 5-year, $30.5M contract with 2 option years.  The Phillies have bought out Herrera’s arbitration years plus his first year of free agency.
  • 12/14 – Phillies signed free agent 2B Andres Blanco (1 yr./$3M).
  • 12/14 – Phillies claimed Richie Shaffer off waivers from Seattle Mariners.
  • 12/14 – Phillies released RHP Phil Klein.
  • 12/14 – Phillies designated LHP David Rollins for assignment.
  • 12/13 – Phillies sent Michael Mariot outright to Lehigh Valley IronPigs.
  • 12/12 – Potomac Nationals traded Mario Sanchez to Reading Fightin Phils to complete the Jimmy Cordero trade
  • 12/12 – Phillies signed free agent 3B Hector Gomez to a minor league contract and invited him to spring training.
  • 12/12 – Phillies signed free agent OF Daniel Nava to a minor league contract and invited him to spring training.
  • 12/12 – Phillies signed free agent LHP Sean Burnett to a minor league contract and invited him to spring training.
  • 12/12 – Phillies signed free agent 3B Pedro Florimon to a minor league contract and invited him to spring training.
  • 12/8 – Lehigh Valley  claimed Jorge Flores off waivers from the Dunedin Blue Jays.
  • 12/8 – Cleveland Indians claimed Hoby Milner off waivers from the Phillies.
  • 12/6 – Phillies designated RHP Michael Mariot for assignment.
  • 12/6 – Phillies signed free agent RHP Joaquin Benoit.
  • 12/2-9 – Phillies signed LHP Wander Perez to a minor league contract.
  • 12/2 – LHP Jose Palacio assigned to DSL Phillies.
    • 10/13 – Phillies signed free agent LHP Jose Palacio to a minor league contract.
  • 12/2 – Phillies claimed David Rollins off waivers from Texas Rangers.
  • 12/2 – Phillies designated LF Cody Asche for assignment.
  • 12/2 – LF Cody Asche elected free agency.
  • 11/23 – Phillies released RHP David Buchanan.
  • 11/23 – Phillies traded RHP Jimmy Cordero to Washington for cash or a PTBNL.
  • Signed RHP Victor Santos, OF Wilbert Garcia
  • 11/20 – C Ronald Torrealba assigned to DSL Phillies2
  • 11/20 – LHP Anton Mikhailovich Kuznetsov assigned to DSL Phillies.
    • 09/08 –  Phillies signed FA LHP Anton Kuznetsov to a minor league contract.
  • 11/18 – Phillies selected the contract of Mark Appel from Lehigh Valley.
  • 11/18 – Phillies selected the contract of Ben Lively from Lehigh Valley.
  • 11/18 – Phillies selected the contract of Andrew Knapp from Lehigh Valley.
  • 11/18 – Phillies selected the contract of Nick Pivetta from Lehigh Valley.
  • 11/18 – Phillies selected the contract of Jesmuel Valentin from Lehigh Valley.
  • 11/18 – Phillies selected the contract of Nick Williams from Lehigh Valley.
  • 11/18 – Phillies selected the contract of Elniery Garcia from Reading.
  • 11/18 – Phillies selected the contract of Dylan Cozens from Reading.
  • 11/18 – Phillies selected the contract of Ricardo Pinto from Reading.
  • 11/18 – Phillies selected the contract of Drew Anderson from Clearwater.
  • 11/18 – Phillies selected the contract of Alberto Tirado from Lakewood.
  • 11/18 – Marlins claimed Elvis Araujo off waivers from Phillies.
  • 11/18 – Phillies designated RHP David Buchanan for assignment.
  • 11/18 – Phillies designated RHP Jimmy Cordero for assignment.
  • 11/15 – Phillies released LHP Matt Harrison.
  • 11/11 – Dodgers traded LF Howie Kendrick to the Phillies for 1B Darin Ruf and 2B Darnell Sweeney.
  • 11/10 – RHP Luis Pacheco assigned to DSL Phillies
  • 11/10 – RHP Jose Perez assigned to DSL Phillies2.
  • 11/10 – RHP Jonas De La Cruz assigned to DSL Phillies.
  • 11/07 – 3B Carlos Alonso elected free agency.
  • 11/07 – LHP Anthony Vasquez elected free agency.
  • 11/07 – RHP Gregory Infante elected free agency.
  • 11/07 – DH Jake Fox elected free agency.
  • 11/07 – C Gabriel Lino elected free agency.
  • 11/07 – RF Christian Marrero elected free agency.
  • 11/07 – SS KC Serna elected free agency.
  • 11/07 – IF Raymond Mora assigned to DSL Phillies2.
  • 11/4 – Traded a PTBNL or cash to the Houston Astros for RHP Pat Neshek.
  • 11/3 – Philadelphia activated LHP Matt Harrison from the 60-day disabled list.
  • 11/3 – Philadelphia activated RHP Zach Eflin from the 60-day disabled list.
  • 11/3 – Philadelphia activated RHP Charlie Morton from the 60-day disabled list.
  • 11/3 – Philadelphia activated RHP Aaron Nola from the 60-day disabled list.
  • 11/3 – C A.J. Ellis elected free agency.
  • 11/3 – 2B Andres Blanco elected free agency.
  • 11/3 – RHP David Hernandez elected free agency.
  • 11/3 – 1B Ryan Howard elected free agency.
  • 11/3 – RHP Charlie Morton elected free agency.
  • 11/3 – RF Peter Bourjos elected free agency.
  • 10/26 – IF Juan Herrera assigned to DSL Phillies2.
  • 10/25 – Signed free agent RHP Alexis Araujo to a minor league contract.
  • 10/25 – OF Maximo De La Rosa assigned to DSL Phillies.
  • 10/25 – RHP Scot Hoffman assigned to Williamsport Crosscutters.
  • 10/25 – LHP Casey Brown assigned to Williamsport Crosscutters.
  • 10/15 – 2B Emmanuel Burriss elected free agency.
  • 10/13 – Signed free agent OF Luis Matos to a minor league contract.
  • 10/13 – RHP Frank Herrmann elected free agency.
  • 10/10 – RF Jimmy Paredes elected free agency.
  • 10/10 – LHP Patrick Schuster elected free agency.
  • 10/8 – DSL Phillies activated RHP Gregorix Mateo.
  • 10/7 – Outrighted Frank Herrmann, Dalier Hinojosa, Emmanuel Burriss, Patrick Schuster, Jimmy Paredes, and Colton Murray to Lehigh Valley.
  • 10/6 – Phillies signed free agent LHP Casey Brown to a minor league contract.
  • 10/5 – DSL Phillies activated 3B Leonardo Colagrossi from the 60-day disabled list.
  • Re-signed FA RHP Miguel Nunez
  • 10/6 – RHP Derwuin Marchan assigned to DSL Phillies2 (Signed July 2, 2016).
  • 10/4 – Signed NDFA RHP Scot Hoffman
  • 10/3 – RF Cedric Hunter elected free agency.
  • 10/3 – LHP James Russell elected free agency.
  • 10/3 – Signed free agent RHP Jose Perez to a minor league contract.
  • 10/3 – Signed free agent C Ronald Torrealba to a minor league contract.
  • 10/3 – Signed free agent RHP Luis Pacheco to a minor league contract.
  • Re-signed Chace Numata
  • The organization rosters are close to up to date.


179 thoughts on “Open Discussion: Week of January 30th

  1. A little disappointed we only had three top-100 guys. But that’s ok. Hopefully Roman Quinn, Nick Williams, Ben Lively, Nick Pivetta and a couple more just keep succeeding and force their way to philly and prove a lot of people wrong.

  2. The catching position appears to be the most intriguing both at the big league level as well as throughout the organization.

    Cameron Rupp
    Andrew Knapp
    Jorge Alfaro
    Ryan Hanigan
    Bryan Holaday
    Logan Moore
    Chace Numata
    Austin Bossart
    Deivy Grullon
    Rafael Marchan
    ….am I missing anyone?

    Even though a few are considered fillers (Hanigan, Holaday, Moore) they’ve either got considerable experience which is useful as a backup or upside which gives the organization quite a bit of leverage value wise. I’m confident this FO will manage the depth well. And let’s all stay healthy.

    1. You missed Lenin Rodriguez. You won’t after this year. He hit well last year. He should be a sleeper candidate this year.

    2. Just the latest or new signees from LA in the 2016 period:
      Juan Aparacio-C-Ven
      Ronald Torrealba – C – Ven
      Juan Mendez – C – DR
      Pedro Gonzalez – C – Ven
      Luis Rojas – C – Ven
      And from the draft Henri Lartigue, Brett Barbier and Danny Garner

  3. Obviously the national press sees Moniak over Alfaro as our #2 pick. Being left off the list should add motivation and focus to Nick Williams and Quinn. Two weeks…..

  4. Our system is a lot deeper than those rankings indicate. Those rankings are for the most hyped up prospects in the minors. We have a lot of really good players who could surprise.

    1. Well, it’s the same argument we’ve heard for awhile now – the Phillies’ system is deep, but is short on “elite” prospects who project as potential stars at the MLB level. It’s a valid observation IMO, so we will need some “surprises”.

  5. I’m very interested to see what the Phillies do with J.P. Crawford this year.

    Let me start by saying I’m a huge Crawford fan. He’s a superb fielding shortstop, has a solid hit tool and has elite (not good, elite) plate discipline (ability to discern balls and strikes) and plate control (ability to foul off borderline pitches). His at bats remind me a lot of Lenny Dykstra’s at bats. Crawford knows what he’s doing at the plate and has the talent to implement what he wants to do.

    That said, having watched a lot of his at bats, I’m a little concerned that his approach and swing do not allow him to drive the ball well. His approach is a little defensive and he doesn’t load up well and use a weight shift all that well. I know they asked him to get stronger this year and that’s a good start. I am also very eager for Matt Stairs to start working with him. If there’s one thing Stairs knows about, it’s how to use your whole body to drive a baseball. I think Crawford could play just fine in the majors right now, but he has some work to do to achieve his ceiling. His development this year could tell us a lot about what kind of player he can become. If they retool his swing a little (which is possible), it might be a little longer until he makes the majors, but if he improves, the delay will be well worth it.

    1. The word on JP is that he never lifted weights before and finally agreed at the end of last season to lift this off season to get stronger. Everyone is waiting to see what he looks like and whether he added muscle. He needs some grown up muscles, it will make a big difference.

  6. Pre-2016, MLB had Williams much lower than both BA & BP. BA & BP had him in the 25-30 range whereas MLB had him around 70th. So they were never as high on him.

    And considering his lackluster 2016 season, its no surprise he didn’t crack their Top 100 this year.

    Furthermore, I’d be surprised if he made BP or BA’s Top 100. His 2016 was terrible. Of course, we all hope that was an anomaly; but there’s no denying his status has fallen.

    I don’t even think he’s our fifth best prospect any more–I vote Randolph and Quinn, among others, above him.

    The MLB list pretty well matches-up with our own. Their top 3 mirror our top 3, with MM and Alfaro swapping positions. I reckon if they did 101-200, that a number of our prospects ranked 4-12 would make their list (perhaps even all?).

    As has been its said numerous times on here, its the depth of our system that’s impressive; not our top-end talent. Thee “A” talents, nine “B” talents, and a bunch of lottery tickets is a good hand to have.

    1. I have Nick Williams as my breakout candidate. If he still has the tools this year should/could be a banner year at the plate.

  7. Ya I was a little disapointed to on the top 100. I get why Appel, Williams, and Randolph dropped, but I guess the voters bought into the Quin injury deal. Not sure what the weights the voting but its suppose to be talent potential, performance, and proximity to the majors? When he is playing he still ranks just as high as last year in my mind, maybe higher since he gave some indication last year that he can produce in the majors. Thought he should be in that mix and I was hoping Hoskins snuck in.

  8. ….we do have a number of prospects that I think can get up there for mid year, next year.

    Bounce back – Williams, Quinn and Randolph

    A great season away – Cozens, Hoskins, Pivetta, Gowdy, Ortiz, Kingery

    New Kids – Kilome, Medina, Garcia, Sixto, Fanti, ?

    Dark Hoarse – Knapp, Lively, Stobbe, Appel, Pinto. Pujols, Tocci, Tirado, Anderson, Pullin, Eshelman, Valetin, ?

    Some of the higher draft guys like Appel just need a great season in the dark hoarse category and New kids cats…..where the others need some media buzz for the lower draft / minors players.

    It will only be 2-3 more at most and Crawford (and maybe Alfaro) will be off the board by then, but I think we have a few guys knocking on the 100 door for next year.

    1. Isn’t this the season for Knapp, Quinn, Williams, Cozens, and Hoskins to show Major League potential and perhaps crack the Phillies lineup? Just making the top 100 prospects will not be enough.

        1. Catch, assuming JP and Alfaro are in the bigs, next year’s top 100 could conceivably include Kilome, Sixto, Randolph and maybe Kingery, if these kids progress at their current trajectory.

  9. No question in my mind that Quinn is a game changer. IF he stays healthy, we struck gold. Pro sports is historically and unfortunately filled with tremendous athletes who simply couldn’t stay on the field. Let’s pray Roman can from this point, aside from the occasional nagging injury common to baseball players. But yeah, he’s lightning.

  10. We’re deep at 3 positions – behind the plate, 2b and starting pitching. Unfortunately each has its built in setbacks. Catchers are only so durable. 2b tend not to be high impact players. Pitchers get sore arms and shoulders. So having said that, maybe Matt K and co don’t deal from that depth until the dust settles on who will be keepers. I’ve been wanting them to deal sooner when we really don’t need to, especially when the FA crop will be booming in 2 yrs.

  11. Fans loves (as in really love) rankings — but MLB vs Prospects rankings are 2 different things to me because of the consideration of the “risk” factor and a low probability of prospects turning into a legit MLB player that will win World Series. The prospect world is a game of probability — so having high number (or depth) of prospects can give the Phillies a better chance of hitting on a transcendent MLB player and more reliable reinforcement in the big level if needed. Basically, more tickets gives you a better chance to win a lottery.

    I’ll take the national rankings of the Phillies player more seriously. I will be more concerned on where VV, Nola, Franco, Doobie, Eickhoff, etc. ranks nationally because that will give a better indication of how far the team is from the World Series.

    As a fan, I’m happy that the Phils has a lot of controllable MLB ready talent and a deep pool of high potential lottery tickets in the farm. The failure of the last great Phillies team is the lack of depth and talent in the farm that can replenish the MLB team. The Phils will get that “elite” player in the FA and use that “depth” in the farm to plug some holes.

    1. Kurdt, I think the Phils need to have a couple of “elite” guys before they go the FA route. And by elite, I mean All Star caliber on a perennial basis, not just someone who makes it off of a couple of good months. You can’t build a contender from FA and a few “ok” guys. An Ace SP, a Machado, you can, maybe, get in FA, but they better have a pretty good team built around a core of guys that came up through the farm.

      1. @matt13 – i agree, that’s why i believe that the national rankings of the Phillies players like VV, Nola, Doobie, Franco, Eickhoff, etc should be more of the concern rather than the national ranking of the (prospects and the) farm. Unless you don’t think that the players i mentioned (plus Ramos, Neris, Cesar) are not good building blocks to construct a team.

        The farm is being built so it provides that almost unlimited supply of prospects that will be used as a trade chip and/or replenish the MLB team and with the chance of hitting the “elite player” that everybody is looking for. SF, STL and KC doesn’t have a start studded core of players but won World Series not because of elite prospects but because these teams were able to produce prospects from their farm that compliments their core players. In contrast, LAD (with elite prospects from the farm, best ace, $$ spend), LAA (with the greatest MLB player and $$), MIA (with stuff ace in Jose [RIP], Stanton, Yelich, Ozuna, Gordon), MIN and COL (with number of high ranking prospects littering the annual Top 100) cannot even make a good run in the playoffs.

        1. You are correct Kurdt, they need Franco to grow his game and Doobie to continue to get better. Then, out of the young SPs, there needs to be 2/3 level quality there. Then, with a JP, and another of the young guys developing into everyday players, you have the core to go into FA and get what you may be missing. Not having a younger group like they have now is the big mistake that the team made from 2007 to 2011

          1. matt13…sometimes it comes down to prospect pipeline timing, and of course MLB players contract lengths. Throw in a little luck also….i.e. from injuries specifically, and it isn’t as easy as it may appear to be.
            For example, say JPC turns out to be da man beginning in 2018 at age 23/24….when do you start to look for his eventual replacement at shortstop?
            Teams sign multiple Latin middle infielders every year….but many will not make it.
            But if you draft a ss in the first round with your first pick….you better believe he will be given every opp to make it.
            Backfilling completely a loaded team in 7/9 years from now, is not as easy as it would appear.

  12. A question for everyone. Do the Phils employ a sports science person or persons? There are nutritional programs, core strengthening programs, flexibility programs that may help Roman Quinn. I know about the Eagles’ and Sixers programs, do the Phils have one and what if so, does anyone know the program that Roman is on?

  13. was eyeballing the last MLB from after the draft last year until now. One guy ranked higher than NIck Williams last year to drop off the list was Tyler Jay (was #36). Then after Nick, Phil Bickford (#54) dropped off as he was suspended, Trent Clark (#62) off after a poor 2016 season, Brett Phillips (#63) off after hitting under .230 in AA, Brady Aiken (#64) off after his first couple months of pro ball. Harrison Bader had gotten onto the list at #83 as he was playing well at AA in his first full season- guess he got bumped for struggling in AAA late in the season-thats rough.
    Can I assume Moniak gets a bit of a boost because he was the #1 pick and there is a certain amount of hype factored into the numbers?
    See Benitendi at #1 and cant help but remember they got him by managing to finish 2 games worse than the Phils in 2014.

    1. I think most prospect rankings put high consideration on physical projection. A prospect with very good tools or stuff and less red flags that is fairly young will rank higher in the prospect ladder despite of the lack of overall body of work. Older prospects (normally in the upper minors) need to perform so stats matters to them in the eyes of the national analyst. Despite of the below expectation in their overall stats for JPC and Nick — there’s no significant deterioration in their tools that made them really good prospects to begin with – so I’m not worried.

      JPC is still the slick SS with good speed, range and plate discipline with developing power — so it doesn’t matter if he’s the 1st, 4th or not Top 10 SS. JPC is still the same JPC in the last 3 1/2 years that we expect to be core player in the next 10+ years.

  14. Time to be realistic, after all of the losing the Phillies have a middling farm system housed with minimal impact talent. The international approach of quantity over quality is what ultimately stalled the re-build. I know many have wrongly argued in favor of the Phillies risk averse international approach, but as more farm system rankings show a system that is at best mediocre, I am hopeful people will realize the franchise needs a fresh approach and perspective.

    1. As Sal Agostinelli said. “You can be successful, but you’re going to make mistakes. When you’re not spending a lot of money, it’s like, ‘Oh man, they got guys to the big leagues.’ We’re still going to get guys to the big leagues, but you have to live with bigger mistakes because we’re taking bigger chances. If you don’t take bigger chances, you’re never going to hit on the right guys.”
      So hopefully Ortiz turns out to be the right guy in a few years.

    2. A middling system? If this isn’t one of the most of base comments I’ve ever read on here than I dunno what is. As far as the MLB list goes, it’s laughable. I find t EXTREMELY HARD to believe there are 100 prospects better than Roman Quinn, someone who has been ranked before and only neg is injury issues. Hell hes even shown (although in a short sample size) that he can handle the MLB, yet that doesn’t nothing to improve his stock? Yeah that’s almost as laughable as the Phillies middling farm system.

      1. KLAw on Sixto Sanchez, has him at No. 15 on the Phillies prospect list.
        Almost everyone else seems to have Sixto much higher.
        Here is KLaw’s write-up:.
        “Conversion guy Sixto Sanchez (15) throws 90-97 mph for strikes but has nothing else above average at the moment, with the changeup ahead of the breaking ball; he’s a great signing for $35,000”

        1. About Keith Law’s opinion of Sixto Sanchez … A few weeks ago, I asked him if he had an opportunity to see Sanchez yet. He admitted he has not seen him. Said he has spoken to scouts who have.

          1. @hinkie – this is the caveat that i have against the national pundits. i mentioned earlier about their subconscious bias and lack of in-depth knowledge turned me away from them. that’s why i don’t spend any $$ for subscription because your are paying for their biased opinion.

          2. Hinkie…….on the national level you can get your share of mixed projections and rankings. Sometimes it is better to see them all and then use your own intuitive reasoning to evaluate a prospects projection.

          3. Hinkie, most of the people who post on this forum have not seen the players they are writing about, but they know all about them from what other people (like Keith Law) have written.

            1. Harold, I don’t disagree BUT the point isn’t having first hand knowledge of prospects (I wish we all had that luxury) but rather the apparent bias of certain writers/analysts (who as professionals are getting paid) and the credibility of THEIR sources or first hand knowledge. We Phillies fans, like those of all teams, are biased since we want to believe our prospects are better than what some national pundit thinks. I just want somebody with an informed, balanced view and not be predisposed to think “well, he just doesn’t like the Phillies.” Keith Law, knowledgeable as he might be, gives many here that vibe.

      2. EricD…
        re: ‘middling system’
        He may be going by KLaw’s ranking of the Phillies system at 13 or 14 if I recall correctly.

      3. There’s actually a little bit to what both of you are saying. The Phillies do have depth and they do have decent prospects, some of whom may have a high ceiling. They also have a lot of young talent on the major league team. But they are kind of shockingly low on top tier talent, which could be huge. Still, I think they know this and I see them doing a more complete job know trying to obtain top tier guys instead of middle tier guys. I’m not exactly sure of how far we are in the rebuild and how good the young upper level talent will be, but I like the direction in which the front office is heading, so I’ll just watch and let it play out.

    3. @danky – i agree that the Phils need to flex their financial muscles in the international market – but to say that the farm is mediocre at best that requires a fresh approach sounds like a lazy blanket conclusion that lacks thought process.

      1st – the impact in the LA market is normally realized at least after 4 years. If there’s no impact LA prospect in the current team and the years before — this is because of the old perspective by the previous FO. With about 40% of the current Top 50 prospects representing LA IFA, this should tell you that the current FO already changed their perspective.

      2nd – excluding Jhailyn, the high end (Kilome, Sixto, Medina) and potential solid (Ramos, Neris, Pinto, Brito) LA prospects are low bonus signings and not considered top end LA prospects. So the Phils are still hitting it despite of the lack of effort in signing the big boys.

      3rd – out of the last 5 July 2 signings — i can only count Barreto (TOR), Urena (TOR), Jimenez (CHC), Torres (CHC), Devers (BOS), Espinosa (BOS) and Lara (MIL) as the high priced LA prospects that looks a future MLB player. But that remains to be seen. Notice CHC, BOS and TOR – teams that do a good job in international scouting. (2015/16 LA signings are still too early to assess).

      I guess my point is, the Phils are already headed in the right direction when it comes to the international market. They just probably need to be more aggressive and start to play with the big boys.

      1. The chance to ‘play with the big boys’ is past. There are now hard caps on the under-23 FA market. The caps are set by market size, so the Phillies will never have a near-the-top international allocation under this players’ contract. Big spending in the LA market is just the latest missed opportunity for the Phillies.

        1. Teams are also still allowed to trade pool money. They can acquire up to 75 percent of their original pool and they can trade away as much of their pool as they want. So a team like the Phillies with a $4.75 million pool, can trade for up to $8.3 million. Smaller market teams can trade up to $10M.

  15. It seems like folks here are disappointed by being #14. No one should be surprised. Last year JP, Williams, Appel, Knapp, Pinto and Randolph clearly all had back sliding seasons while Quinn was hurt again. That’s what national folks are focusing on and I get it. At the same time, Alfaro, Lively, Kilome, Sanchez, Cozens, Hoskins, Pivetta and Kingery all had seasons suggesting they were major league quality. Plus Thompson graduated after a good year. We have talent in our system regardless of what is said but they need to produce this year. This is a big year and it should be fun.

    1. like our poll, these analysts rankings are subject individual bias and can show lack of total knowledge about a team’s farm system since these national guys don’t have that time to follow all the prospects in every team to provide a credible unbiased evaluation.

      the analogy i can think about the national rankings is similar to checking somebody’s else purse – purse with couple of $100 bills, $20, series of $5s and $1s vs purse of stack with $50s, $20s and $10s. Unless you count “ALL” the $$ in the purse, one would think that the purse with few $100 is more valuable than the other.

      The farm might be full of $20s right now, but a good year will turn these series of $20s into $50-$100 bills! Progress takes time.

    2. Ranked 14th likely due to a few factors. There were those who graduated like Thompson, Eflin, and others who no longer qualify as prospects. Then a few under performed such as Williams and Crawford. Others had great years but not recognized as cream of the crop prospects such as Hoskins and Cozens.

      It would be interesting to see who would have been ranked 101 thru 130 as they should all be in top 100 by midseason. There are probably 20 plus who will graduate off the list by June as they will start in majors

      1. Bob D … Law did write that Rhys Hoskins and Dylan Cozens fall into his 101-150 ranking: “Rhys Hoskins and Dylan Cozens both had enormous seasons in hitter-friendly Reading, and Hoskins also hit on the road. Long-term, Hoskins has the better hit tool, but I think his power last year was illusory. Cozens remains hopeless against lefties (.197/.262/.378 with a 42 percent K rate) and is a below-average defender in right. Both would have made the main list if I’d gone to 150.”

  16. Please someone answer this . . . I’m going to repeat what I said with a little more behind it tho . . .
    MLBs ranking left Quinn out, I believe Quinn was in their ranking last year (Pre 2016, just checked it, he was in it, #99) . . . so this was with the injury concern still present, so don’t give that as a justification. Then last year in 300 abs he hits .302/.371/.451/.822 while stealing 36 bases and playing a great CF. He then gets called up where he hits .263/.373/.333/.706 with 5 SB in about 60AB.

    Now tell me

    1. How do you FALL in the rankings after putting up numbers like those AND showing you may be able to do it at the MLB level?
    2. Yes there are prospects better than Quinn and maybe there’s 50 of them but tell me 100 that are better? There aren’t

    Seriously, this makes no sense and is laughable .

      1. He’s been hurt before that with ranking him and he finished the year fine, it’s not like he ended the season on the DL.

        1. Eric D….you do make a good point…..he finished the season playing and not on the DL. Plus to be eligible for the list, a player must have rookie eligibility. To qualify for rookie status, a player must not have exceeded 130 at-bats and he had less than 65 ABs.
          Does seem a bit quizzical why he did at least make it into the 90s.

          1. Exactly, by their logic 2 things happened
            1. There are 100 prospects better than him
            2. The numbers he put up weren’t good enough to keep him where he was already ranked or even more him up (And his numbers were perfectly fine)

            1. Eric what you have just pointed out is exactly why I pay it very little mind. IMO there are too many lists too many rankings and too much debating over mostly subjective nonsense.

              I don’t ever want to lose sight of what I really enjoy which is watching a live game and the appreciation I have for the players I’m seeing on the field.

              I’ve oft asked myself the question “Isn’t it enough that you know the players in the system and their strengths and weaknesses?”

    1. @eric d – with me trying to understand the thought process behind the national rankings, i think that the key factors are a) age; b) physical projections and red flags; c) name recognition; and d) the stats expectations in the upper level of the minors. this line of thinking favors the young guys with very good tools. Case in point is Kevin Maitan who hasn’t played in an organized professional baseball but is ranked #32. Prospects in the upper minors should statistically perform well otherwise their stock will get a big hit. It doesn’t matter if JPC is one youngest in the AAA and adjusting to the level of competition, but the fact that he’s in AAA and cannot replicate his historical success — he was deemed under performed in the eyes of the national analysts. Quinn is a victim of the same unjust assumption — it’s easy to point to the health consideration (a red flag) but since Quinn’s stats with the Phils is below his normal marks, he was deemed under performed as well.

      I don’t consider the national analyst/media as the bright line. their job is to report based on the information they received (which we know is lacking in depth knowledge). I already engaged in some of them and what i got is they haven’t seen that particular player/prospect/personality so they relied on the information provided to them. To me, some of this national guys have the same big red flag as Domonic Brown’s swing.

    2. One of the things top prospects need to do is to answer the serious remaining questions. Quinn didn’t do that. 2016 was another year in which he missed close to half the season. The injury worries around Quinn are very real and on the high side and each year he loses significant time to injury the level of concern will increase.. Dugan had good speed and a plus hit tool, sometimes putting up quite good numbers, but he was plagued by injuries. He never solved that problem and is no longer Phillies property.

  17. You are correct Kurdt. It is also a mistake to believe that all progress is linear, when it is often the opposite. Sometimes the best players react to adversity, learn from mistakes and make a big leap. I expect that from JP, and if, for example, Nick Williams realizes what he did wrong and adjusts his approach, he can become a top prospect again. It is the rare player that starts on fire and continues that through his career.

  18. I find BA and BP to have the most credible scouting resources among the prominent publications. Fangraphs is another good source of information. Mainstream outlets like ESPN and even and network leave much to be desired since they are personality driven and geared toward ratings and marketing the big names.

    1. @8mark – well said about ESPN and MLB – which is geared towards ratings and marketing propaganda. Although i still don’t spend $$ in subscription, I wouldn’t mind spending time reading articles and analysis from BA, BP and Fangraphs which i think is well thought.

      1. Kuko, I’m too cheap to spend $$ on subscriptions myself but yes, I enjoy reading regular samples of these guys. I also rely on Heyman, Stark, and Cafardo for what’s happening nationally on the rumor mill. Todd Z seems like a good guy but I consider him an employee of MLB. Same for Mayo and Callis. They simply say what they’re given.

          1. Rosenthal is plugged in but gets a lot of garbage rumors.
            Gammons us knowledgeable but favors his own circle of influence. He’s old money, so to speak.
            Morosi is right there with Heyman IMO.

            1. I liken Rosenthal to Heyman. Rosenthal does seem to have more “bad” rumors, but is first on a lot of things. Both are on MLB shows a lot so I sometimes wonder if they aren’t becoming MLB mouthpieces.

              I found Gammons to be to “Boston-centric” and stopped following him.

              Morosi is a guy I enjoyed following as an MLB reporter, but I am tired of hearing about the WBC.

            2. Agree on Gammons, Jim. Heyman, Rosenthal, Morosi are sited ad nauseum by MLBTR, which is a great site but their staff reports too much on what ISN’T going to happen. A lot of filler. But then I’m a junkie, what can I say.

      1. Romus,

        Thanks for the link. Definitely succinct in his answers. I liked his matter-of-fact mildly sardonic responses on Nick Williams, JP and Quinn over Cozens.

  19. Romus & Kuko, agree about Eric L. He’s as informed as anyone along with Ben Badler of BA. Nobody is completely unbiased but those 2 have an objectivity to what is a largely subjective field of expertise.

    1. 8mark…what is interesting from today chat, Eric revealed he and KLaw , when they worked together at ESPN….did have some disagreements on certain prospects… of which was Bichette.
      So within the same organization/company…the staffers will have varied opinions, the pros and cons, on prospects and projections.

  20. He seems to be very high on Moniak, high on Alfaro, but I don’t know where he stands on JP. Of course, that is just reading between the lines from his answers today.

    1. Eric got burned on Dom Brown….like almost everyone.
      And one of his pet quips is the over-hyped hitting accomplishments from players playing half their games at FirstEnergy Reading.
      So part of his take today on JPC had some reflection on is offensive numbers when he played at Reading…which when you really think about….had a lot less with any power surge but JPC doing what he does best….his excellent batting approach.
      He was originally a Phillies fan….but in the business you sometimes just outgrow that youthful fandom exuberance. So sometimes he may not toot the horn for the Phillies prospects as high as you think he should.

      1. Thanks Romus, I was confused when he mentioned Ruf and Matt Rizzotti in a sentence about JP. He had no surge in power due to playing in Reading. Eric can make that argument, and many have, about Hoskins and Cozens and not giving them too much credit because they played at Reading, but it had nothing to do with JP’s tools as a hitter.

        1. I cannot think about Rizzotti without thinking about Anthony Rizzo, who the Red Sox took with the very next pick of that draft.

          The old Phillies draft team was so mechanical with their picks at times. I think after they took Ryan Howard in the 5th round in 2001, they thought that they could get great value by picking a college first baseman in the middle rounds (4th through 6th). And so that’s what they did almost every single year. Now, Rhys Hoskins may work out, but the rigid approach did not impress me.

        1. I am sure he realizes his mistake and will not repeat it in the future.
          Wonder how he feels about Josh Stephen!

      2. The national writers view Reading hitting statistics skeptically, as they should. It’s very hard to convert Reading hitting statistics to big league equivalents because it’s such a bandbox. It’s also hard to project hitters from Reading for the same reason. When I see a guy dominate at Reading, I often still have many lingering questions and, to a certain extent, will often suspend judgment until I see the player hit in AAA. The funny thing, however, is that many people on this site see the Reading statistics as a sign of great improvement and then get disappointed when the guy only does okay in AAA. Andrew Knapp didn’t have a bad season at AAA – he was perfectly fine for a first year AAA hitter. What knocked him down from the prior year was better pitching and more difficult parks to hit in. Even if Hoskins, Alfaro and Cozens do fine in AAA, expect their statistics to be quite a bit worse – if they are similar to their AA numbers, then they won’t be in AAA for long.

        1. catch,

          My response to Reading is similar. For Knapp, Reading was seen as a break through but, in reality, it was an outlier and he returned to form in AAA. So my tendency is to not consider a strong year at Reading as a break out.

          AAA should tell us a lot about Cozens and his ability to mature at the plate.

          1. I generally agree with you but I’m bullish on Knapp because I’ve seen him hit fairly frequently and I just like him as a hitter. The Reading statistics are part of that equation, but it is mostly based on my personal observations.

  21. Brad Lidge, Wes Helms and Chad Durbin will be joining Schmidt, LA, and Uncle Charlie as guest instructors at ST. 14 DAYS! I can smell the pine tar, gentleman.

  22. ….and speak of the devil, guess who just signed a minor league deal with Colorado……………one Dominic Brown.

  23. Some ex Phils have been released, Tyson Gillies from Kansas City T-Bones of the American Association and Jiwan James of theTrois-Rivieres Aigles of the Can-Am League.

  24. Wayne, that brings up bad memories. Of all the mistakes of the Ruben Amaro regime, the number 1 is the Lee trade after 2009. From every standpoint a terrible decision and a horrible mistake.

    1. Good decisions typically are the result of good ideas or plans that are well executed. Bad decisions usually occur when either the initial idea was bad or a good plan was poorly executed. Horrible decisions are generally bad ideas that are poorly executed. The second Cliff Lee trade was a horrible decision. They never should have made that trade at all, but when they did it, they bungled it, getting what resulted in nothing in return. Classic Amaro.

      1. The funniest thing about that trade is that they convinced themselves that if they did it at the same time the team acquired Roy Halladay, nobody would notice or get too upset. What were they thinking?!!! That garbage may fly in San Diego or Kansas City, but you can’t fool or lull Philadelphia fans to sleep like that.

  25. catch, you are 100% correct! We will never know whose idea it was, but it was dumb from the get go. He was only owed $9Million. He had just had a terrific WS, and if anyone other than Lee and Utley had done anything, they would have won 2 WS in a row. Then, after a stupid decision, they executed it as badly as possible, seeming to do it on a whim without trying to get as much as they could. They only talked to Seattle and got absolutely crushed in the trade.

    1. It’s such a relief to know that those morons are no longer running the team.

      I may not always agree with MacPhail or Klentak, but, from all appearances, they are trying to go about all of this the right way and with a long term view of the club’s future. In a way, the incompetence of Amaro (with a very nice assist from Dave Montgomery) was a blessing, in that it caused Middleton to blow up the whole front office structure, which was essential. That never would have happened if the team had not tanked so badly or fallen so dangerously behind in analytics.

      1. Sorry Catch I have to call you out on that. Amaro never makes that trade if Middleton was running the show. Let’s keep it real.

        Secondly when he was forced into that scenario by Montgomery and Dallas Green it was Gillick and the NW scouts tied to Seattle who advised on the return.

        Sad that you continue to throw shade at the guy who ended up making some really nice moves once the decision was finally made to move Monty out of the picture and start with the rebuild.

        And let me get really crazy. if Amaro doesn’t take the GM job when he did and instead got it when Klentak got it we’d have a much different view of him.

        1. Easy on Catch, DMAR. I like Ruben on a personal level but he never had the chops for GM. Yes, Monty and co. pushed the big buttons until they realized Middleton was becoming the new sheriff in town. He pushed for re-acquiring Lee as a FA even though Monty still had the title. I don’t blame Amaro for most of what went down (literally) but he was no more than a company good old soldier who took the hit for Monty. It was painful to watch but now a favorable wind is taking the sails on a better course. Go Phils!

        2. @DMAR – Amaro may not be the ultimate decision maker but he is the poster boy of a railroaded process to replace Gillick as the GM (over a more capable and qualified candidate in Mike Arbuckle) —- this is when the downhill starts. The ineptness of the Amaro regime was only masked by the superb core of homegrown Phillies talent who are entering the peak of their career. A homegrown core of Howard-Chase-Jimmy-Cole-Mad Dog-Myers (and complimentary pieces of Shane, Werth, Kendrick) might be one of the very best home grown core of talents we will see (they are better than the homegrown Cubs) and deserve to have more than 1 World Series.

          We focus so much on the trades that Amaro made, but his main failure is his inability to hire the right personnel who can scout, find and develop talent. The FO augmented this by tolerating the culture of mediocrity and lack of accountability until the wheels started to fall off.

          1. or should i say Amaro’s inability to put the “right resources (personnel, infrastructure, etc) to support the scouting, collecting and developing the talent pool”…

        3. DMAR – I’m not sure what you are calling me out on – I don’t agree with your conclusions or analysis.

          At that point in time (when Lee was traded), Amaro and Montgomery were running the show. Middleton is the owner and deferred to them. He has never tried to make the day-to-day decisions (and he shouldn’t and still doesn’t), so he should not be blamed for that move. Also, Middleton and his wife were very close to Cliff Lee and his wife – I have no doubt whatsoever that he had to be persuaded by others to make that move. He sure as heck didn’t wake up one morning and say “let’s trade Cliff Lee.”

          As for the defense of Amaro, I don’t get it and never will. He took over a championship team in its prime, with a sold out stadium, flowing revenues, an owner who supported salaries up to the high salary cap, and, by the time he left, ran that thing into the ground so hard that we will have a 5-7 year drought (at least) before we see a contender again. He dismissed analytics. He traded every prospect in sight. He killed baseball in Philadelphia. He is a laughing stock in the industry – a poster boy for the incompetent GM. He is so poorly thought of that he could not get a front office job and who can blame them.

          In many ways Amaro reminds of Omar Minaya. Both guys looked good in early years because they just kept pushing all of their chips into the middle of the table without properly planning for the long run. It doesn’t take a genius to send your best prospects for Roy Halladay or give Carlos Beltran a ton of money. You can only do that for so long. Even if you’re the Yankees, which we are not and never were. It does, however, take someone very bright and capable to enhance the present while planning for the future – Amaro was too incompetent to do that.

          As for MacPhail and Klentak. You’re right, I don’t think this all goes down the way it did with Amaro if they were in charge. But we can never know, but I can tell you that, while their execution of the plan is always subject to review, I can appreciate what they are trying to do and their approach – they are really trying to do this the right way.

          So yeah, I don’t plan to stop throwing Amaro under the bus anytime soon. He was a train wreck of a GM and I’ve never seen anyone make an effective argument to the contrary.

          1. And, by the way, I don’t agree with “Amaro was just a mouthpiece for Montgomery” arguments either. There is no doubt that Montgomery had a not very helpful hand in this mess, but Amaro was given a lot of rope. Not only that, Gillick used to frequently comment on Amaro’s desire to buy what he wanted at any price. Why are people apologists for Ruben Amaro? I don’t get it.

            1. Its not being an apologist you guys just don’t know what you’re talking about and I don’t say that in a snarky or condescending way.

              One of these days we’ll meet up at a park and we can have an off the record undocumented talk and then if you still believe the nonsense your spewing about RAJ so be it.

              Always thought the right thing to do in life was keep an open mind and be prudent about judging a person from afar. Especially those whose only window to you is the media.

            2. DMAR… can’t serve two masters…and Ruben was working for the triad consortium of MGM (Monty/Gillick/Manuel) for his first 4/5 years.
              Amazingly, when it became apparent his contract was not being renewed, and they gave him the ability to exercise his GM reigns, he did his best work beginning with the JRoll trade thru the Hamels’ trade.

            3. @Romus the most over looked problem in that regime and this goes back to when they canned Lee Thomas is Dallas Green.

              Very few are aware or forget how toxic a person he is. But for some weird and perverse reason Giles/Monty and the Bucks would listen to him over whoever was the GM.

              but anyway sorry for ranting everyone. I’m starting to sound like another guy that used to annoy around here.

            4. @DMAR – it show that you’re a good person by not judging from afar. But if you are paid big $$ to do a very good job, then you have to do a very good job. Authority, responsibility and accountability are tied together.

              The team went to a downward slope from the time RAJ was hired. In regardless who is pulling the strings, a GM was paid handsomely because of all the “very important” decisions that the GM needs to do. With hindsight, we all see how it crumbles and all signs pointed to a failed GM. We are judging RAJ as a GM not as RAJ as a person. RAJ cannot take that big $$ and get away from not doing a very good job! RAJ is the worst GM remember?

  26. Caribbean Series starts today…on rosters I see Freddy Galvis and Herlis Rodriguez on Venezuela….Jesmuel Valentin on PR….Ulises Joaquin on Dominica Republic……lots of ex-Phils, my favorite being Rick Roberson for Mexico

  27. Also guys, I started by saying we will never know whose call it was to trade Lee. Maybe Amaro had nothing to do with it. Maybe we can still blame Bill Giles. It does not matter. The idea was dumb. The GM, Amaro, then had the job to get the best deal he could. So, blame Gillick for that. It also doesn’t matter. The GM in place at the time, Amaro, after his bosses forced him to make a stupid move, still got zero for a guy who was a certified Ace SP owed only $9Million. How can he be absolved of any wrongdoing? And, whose job was it to hire scouts and put development people in place? I blame Bill Giles, solely, for the team’s refusal to go over slot when there was no real slotting, only a request from Bud Selig. They had ample opportunity to supplement their core for a number of years, but Giles refused to let them. So blame Giles for the idea to trade Lee. Amaro still had to negotiate the trade and the execution equalled the idea as a dismal failure.

    1. I don’t think Bill Giles has had anything to do with baseball operations since the early 2000s – but there is plenty of blame to go around.

      My point is that I’m glad they’ve changed horses and have a new approach.


      1. My perspective going back to when Giles took control (early 80s) is that the Phillies had nary a baseball guy in the front office with the exception of Paul Owens, who under the Carpenter regime built the ’80 champs.. Just a bunch of nice guys (some sober) drawn from the good ol’ boy network. The anomaly since then was when Monty (also a Giles boy) somehow hired a credible baseball man in Pat Gillick, whose first significant personnel move was trading Bobby Abreu, which triggered the eventual winning culture that brought us WHAT SHOULD HAVE BEEN multiple World Series appearances (meaning more than 2 and perhaps more than one title). ’83 and ’93 were fun seasons but barely oases in the midst of a huge desert, neither were sustained success stories but blips.

        After 35 years, we have something going, a soon-to-be majority owner who simply wants to win and a brass who’ve got a pedigree to build something that should last.

        1. 8mark…well put, bravo.
          Good analogy…’but barely oases in the midst of a huge desert’
          And now, the time does some near for a better tomorrow. Hopefully with the talented youngsters, and a little luck with players staying healthy, will be on the Phillies horizon.

      2. Totally disagree Catch. He had a lot o say in things the commissioner didn’t want done. like high bonus in international market. I still believe he stopped them from spending. I still thing he is the devil.

  28. ESPN’s Bradforn Doolittle posted a story on The State Of Baseball’s Worst Teams today.

    Philadelphia Phillies: Win now, win later.

    The last vestige of the Phillies’ World Series clubs was washed away after the season when the club declined its $25 million option on Ryan Howard. The big guy is gone, as are Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley and the rest. Unlike some of the other rebuilding clubs on this tier, the Phillies are sneaking up fast on a return to contention. With a starting staff that appears solid, the Phillies spent the offseason bolstering their bullpen and lineup with veterans on short-term deals. The hope is that the Phillies can launch into contention, or flip guys such as Howie Kendrick, Joaquin Benoit or Pat Neshek.

    After that, Philly will hopefully start to get big league production from their stable of near-ready prospects, including minor league power duo Dylan Cozens and, less likely, Rhys Hoskins. They combined for 78 homers at Double-A Reading last season. The Phillies’ top prospect, SS J.P. Crawford, is overdue for a breakout and could arrive this season. With little in the way of long-term deals on the books and a team that looks to be both young and competitive, the Phils are poised to make a major splash in the next couple of years. That could be a blockbuster trade or a big-ticket, free-agent item.

    Either way, it looks like Andy MacPhail’s latest rebuilding effort won’t be a prolonged one. And if you’re looking for a sleeper wild-card contender for this season, you could do worse than picking the Phillies. Presently, Philadelphia projects to win 73 games by my system. That’s with an offense that ranked 28th in the league, which would actually be a two-spot improvement over last year’s rock-bottom attack. If some of these highly invented, short-term veterans — Howie Kendrick, Michael Saunders, etc. — pay off or a couple of the kids make a leap, the Phillies could start moving up the ladder very quickly. If that happens, they have all the resources they could want to bolster a playoff run.

  29. I don’t understand the “less likely”, Rhys Hoskins comment. I think there is a better chance Hoskins makes it in the Majors. Cozens may have a higher ceiling but Hoskins has a higher floor. The OBP numbers for Cozens are still not good. I hope they both make it, but I think Hoskins’ chances are a little better.

    1. I’m not sure how high Hoskins’ floor is. It seems he’s either good enough to be a starting MLB firstbaseman or he is a difficult guy to carry on the team. The offensive bar is so very high for a RH firstbaseman. The negative for Hoskins is that despite all the HRs, his OPS isn’t really all that high compared to guys like Rizzotti and Ruf. It’s the Reading effect. He will need to hit well at Allentown to be taken seriously, because Rizzotti and Ruf both did better in Reading and fizzled. The pluses for Hoskins is that he is younger than the other Reading sluggers were and he’s hit better than they did prior to reaching Reading. The offensive bar is lower for Cozens, since he is a reasonably good RF with surprising speed. Hoskins isn’t a defensive whiz at 1B, like Stassi is. Cozens career is on a sharper upswing, which also means he doesn’t have the background of performing as well at lower levels that Hoskins has.

      1. I should have mentioned that since teams usually carry two reserve OFs, I think Cozens floor as a bench guy is sounder than Hoskins, since teams don’t want to carry two 1B-only guys, if they can avoid it. We did it for the recent HOward era, but really just because we were locked into that huge contract.

          1. Your lips to God’s ears, Wayne.

            In any case, the Phillies should acquire (if not grow) power bats. Ever since CPB opened they haven’t obtained a big bopper. I mean a legit 35+ HR guy. Thome and Piece were already with the organization prior to 2004. It’s a waste of the ball park dimensions if we don’t have AT LEAST one pure power bat.

            1. 1) You’re underestimating the difficulty of hitting 35+ HR in the current baseball environment.

              2) Jayson Werth and Raul Ibanez were both brought in after 2004 and both put up the kind of HR numbers you were looking for.

              We also had Stairs, Rowand (flash in the pan? Maybe), Pence, and others who were brought in with the thought of providing some power. Besides, why would you go looking for more power when you had Howard, Utley, Werth, and Rollins at the top of your order? They didn’t bring in many power bats over the years because we didn’t need them. Their current hope is Franco and Joseph will provide the lumber, with an eye on Cozens and Hoskins in the near future.

        1. allentown,

          I understand the case for caution on Hoskins, which you express very well.

          However, I think he’s been a fairly consistent batter in his career, and I expect to see that consistency in Lehigh Valley.

          My question: even if Hoskins does prove himself, what happens if Tommy Joseph also proves himself this year since they’re both young guys who are limited to first base?

    1. Hinkie…I see you still have Ootani and I assume, Machado, in your cross-hairs?
      Hope you hit the bullseye.

      1. Yes, Romus. Still believe something will be worked out to allow Otani to become an unrestricted FA after this season. Phillies will frontload a contract and offer an opt out clause to win the bidding war with the Cubs and Yankees. I feel even more confident about Machado. I believe the odds of him hitting the open market are very good whether he’s an Oriole or he has been traded to another team. MacPhail and Klentak have a relationship with him from their days in Baltimore.

        On another note … any idea who this “hulking Dominican” kid who drives the ball to all fields is ? I’m talking about the kid Matt Gelb mentioned Sal Agostinelli really liked in this week’s series of articles. Says he has multiple teams interested and will command at least one million dollars to sign.

        1. Hinkie….no clue on the, DR youngster.
          Jesse Sanchez , MLB, usually has scoops on all the up and coming Latin players. His top twenty or so comes out this month, if he does it like last year.

          1. Here’s another Agostinelli quote on young pitcher, Francisco Morales from the Inky:

            “The guy is a flat-out monster,” Agostinelli said of Morales. “If he doesn’t make it, it’s because he gets hurt. The guy is 94, 95 [m.p.h.]. He’s 6-foot-5 and he’s 16 years old with an 85-m.p.h. slider.”

            Looks like a guy to follow in DSL this summer.

  30. My bold Goundhog’s Day prediction:

    With a fine young major league pitching staff, the Phillies will finish at or very near .500(78-81 Ws); my sleeper is Zach Eflin, even if he starts the season in Lehigh.

    1. KuKo…..Phillies are now probably forced to sell lower than expected on Hellickson in July. They have less leverage than in 2016.

      1. agree, the Phils better hope that Hellboy replicate his 2016 and multiple contending teams need an extra arm (or two) during the trade deadline. Or the Phils can package any of their trade chips (any combo of Hellboy, Buchholz, Howie, Neshek, Benoit, Saunders) and throw $$ to up their haul.

        Josh Naylor is a good return for Hellboy. Preller needs to be crucified.

      2. I’d be satisfied with a do-over with the Marlins early this season. I mentioned before, I’d send Hellboy and Buchholtz to Miami for their competitive balance pick (#36) and international pool $$$.

        1. Hinkie…I’m wich ya.
          Just not sure that is the current philosophy of this regime.
          Right now, they appear to be taking the very basic route in their rebuild, and not as creative as I thought a Dartmouth guy would be.
          $4.75M and a hard-cap penalty for violators, in the international venue, may suit them well.

  31. The year is 2021. The dream team including coveted FAs-to-be and beast mode prospects who realize their ceiling:

    1b Jhailyn Ortiz
    2b Scott Kingery
    ss JP Crawford
    3b Manny Machado
    lf Mike Trout
    cf Mickey Moniak
    rf Dylan Cozens
    c Jorge Alfaro

    SPs – Vince Velasquez, Sixto Sanchez, Jerad Eickhoff, Franklyn Kilome and a rookie named Francisco Morales.

      1. Romus, I thought about Otani but then I thought, why be greedy? Besides, 2-way players are historically undefinitive.

        1. Having a staff ace like Otani will be a good marketing tool to attract bigtime FAs like Machado and Trout when they hit the market.

          Not sure why you’re worrying to much if Otani is a 2-way player. The Phils will sign Otani to anchor the pitching stuff and not to carry the offense (you’ll leave that to Machado and Trout). As long as Otani can dominate in the mound — that’s all that matters. If he can hit, then it just a bonus and should not drag his value down because of the lack of precedent about 2-way players.

    1. It will be interesting to see how Eickhoff progress in 2020/2021 – is he going to be better than Nola? How about Drew Anderson? I think Morales may not be ready by 2021. Kevin Gowdy and Adonis Medina and one of the LHP pitchers in El Garcia, Falter, Fanti will probably join the 2020/2021 pitching stuff.

      1. Kuko, you guys can battle over the starting rotation. I’m drooling over that lineup. Who needs to make a batting order?

        1. Any batting order with Trout and Machado is potent and if you surround them with the Phils’ top position players then it becomes scary even excluding C, Williams and holdovers like Doobie and Franco are excluded.

          It just funny that none of the current Phillies’ make your projected 2021 line up, Brito can give Kingery a fight over 2B and hope that Cozens can stay in RF.

          Overall, it’s fun to think about the potential line up if most, if not all, of the high end pan out as expected.

          1. Great problem to have choosing between Kingery and Brito, whose lefty bat would give even balance. What kind of legs does Brito have, anyone?

            1. @8mark – Brito is my breakout candidate so I might be a little bias. I will not be surprise if he catch Kingery at the top of the 2B ladder by the year’s end. Brito can be a 4-tool player (with Power as the missing box) and can be Chase-lite without the HR potential. Brito is a plus runner and fielder and can hit with good plate discipline (56BB vs 49K in 400 AB), his arm strength might be average but his 2B profile doesn’t require for it.

              Brito, Edgar Garcia, Drew Anderson, Josh Stephen — watch out in 2017!

            1. Let’s get Buster Posey and Clayton Kershaw while we are at it.

              Guys – it’s possible some really big name free agents will come available and slip to us, but you don’t plan on those things years in advance. Rather, the best they can do is plan for free agent years and hope there are some good names when the date and time arrives to start bidding.

    2. That line up I’m OK with the starting Pitching just had to keep the the score under 8 runs a game. What’s the bullpen?

      1. Bullpen will turn over a few times by 2021. Hard to project. There’s a myriad of good candidates from this current crop. Plus I’m sure a free agent or 2.

  32. Chris Coghlan signed to Minor League contract and gets invite to ST. Another possible bench piece. I can’t really argue with Matt K.’s off season.

    1. matt13…I remember when he first came up with the Marlins and the Phillies were in the pennant run and looking to pull away from the pack, they play the Marlins and he would just get one hit after another against them in key situations.
      He looked like a future star in the Steve Finley mold, then wallah….it unraveled for him.
      Jjust as fast as he burst on the scene he was trending downward..

      1. Yeah I don’t like the sign. I mean yeah its only a minor league deal with a spring invite but I thought the mantra was let’s see what these young guys can do.

        When we finally get to ST games I don’t want to see the Coghlans, Hannigans, Holadays and Navas.

        We’ve seen it way to many times these guys come in they take away AB’s from the young guys, look really good in spring a la Burris/Hunter/Lough etc..

        I’d understand it if we were light on prospects at the upper level but we’re not. We are pretty solid with guys that are at least AAAA guys.

        1. The competition will probably be good, and if any prospect isn’t ready yet, he won’t be forced into a role.

          I don’t think any of them would block a legitimately MLB-ready prospect. This new crew seems more apt to challenge the kids than coddle them until they’re 25.

  33. Keith Law has put out a list of The Top Sleeper Prospect For Every Team. He has Elniery Garcia as the Phillies’ sleeper … “Garcia came on in multiple ways in 2016 while having success in high-A, even making a playoff start for Reading, where he went six innings and gave up three runs in the Fightin Phils’ only postseason win of the year.”

    1. Phillies have a grand total of $3 million committed for baseball year 2018. Optionality to the extreme next year. Sam Hinkie would be proud.

  34. I believe the Coghlan signing was a really good move. He’s still young, can run well, play corner OF, 3B, and 2B and bats left. I’d rather see him as the last guy on the bench than Nava. He made 4.8 mill last year. Has anyone heard/read how much he’d get if he makes the 25 man roster?

    1. Someone else, like Goeddel, would have to come off the 40 for Nava or Coughlin to replace Goeddel on the 25 as the 25th man.

  35. From Baseball Ross:
    “Kilome, who turns 22 in June and is listed at 6’5″, 215 lbs  according to the Phillies 2016 Fall Instructs roster compared to 175 lbs. on his MiLB page.  He is a now strong power pitcher with a big curve ball……. HERE.”

    …….good to see Franklyn Kilome is putting on the weight.

    1. We’re growing some beasts in this organization, Romus! Morales is already at 16, Mickey Mo gained 20 lbs. JP is reportedly beefing up. Let’s see what Nicky W looks like in spring trng.

  36. LHP Travis Wood is still on the market. Should the Phillies be interested in him as either a long man or spot starter?

  37. I think he is holding out for a guarantee of a starting role as opposed to a hybrid one. I don’t what team that would be, and I think the Phils go with Joely Rodriguez as their Lefty, and that swing role comes down to Asher or Morgan.

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