Daily Archives: June 28, 2017

Analyzing Five Hitters in the Phillies System

This is another offering from John Yarusinsky.  He forwarded it to me several days ago, so some of the stats are a little out of date, but not enough to affect John’s analysis. Conversion from a locked .pdf file is cumbersome and I have to re-format, so that’s my excuse for the delay.

Introduction
You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to figure out how poorly the Phillies are playing. I’ll save everyone the headaches and subsequent trauma. Instead, let’s focus on the future. Are there better days ahead? Will the “kids” in the minor league system change the face of the franchise?

If you’re the casual observer and looked up some stat lines, you might be disappointed. If you know sabermetrics on the other hand, maybe there are some silver linings. Based on Mlbpipeline’s Phillies’ top 30 prospects, I wrote down five names: J.P. Crawford, Mickey Moniak, Jorge Alfaro, Nick Williams and Dylan Cozens. My focus is to compare these players using both traditional methods and some sabermetrics. I attempt to predict if their season will be lost, they’re just fine or if a second half resurgence is possible.

Disclaimer, when gauging sabermetrics, it isn’t fair to compare a player’s results across leagues for obvious reasons. Just keep that in mind. Let’s begin!

1. J.P. Crawford, SS (Lehigh Valley)

Traditional Stat Line
G     AB     AVG     HR     RBI     K%     SLG%
57   211   .194        2       22    17.2     .251

Splits
V. LHP   V. RHP   V. RISP   AHD   BHD
.205       .188        .242       .179   .206

LHP = Left handed pitching RHP= Right handed pitching RISP= Runners in scoring
Position AHD= Ahead in the count BHD= Behind in the count

Sabermetrics
BABIP     ISO     wRC+     wOBA
.233      .058        65          .272

BABIP= Batting average on balls in play ISO= Isolated slugging percentage wRC+= Weighted runs created wOBA= Weighted on base average

Analysis:
As you can see, Crawford is having an awful season. The traditional stat line and splits paint an awful picture and those numbers speak for themselves. Let’s talk about the sabermetric results. The best hitters average .350 in terms of BABIP. Basically, Crawford’s result of .233 means that given the average amount of balls he puts in play, this is what his batting average would look like. It means he’s not even getting bloop hits. He’s making contact given his low 17.2 K rate, but he’s not “hitting them where they ain’t.” His ISO is also bad. The best hitters are between .170 and anything .200 and over is excellent. It means when Crawford does get a hit, it’s a single instead of providing offensive flare via extra base hits. The best ball players average over 100 in wRC+. This analytic measures offensive productivity via run production comparative to the league average. Put simply, Crawford has minimal offensive value due to his 65 result. Lastly, his .272 wOBA is bad. The best players are .350 and over. wOBA accounts for more than your traditional OBP by including reaching on a dropped third strike, hit by pitch, etc. There’s no other way to slice it. Crawford is heading towards yet another poor year with no end in sight.

2. Mickey Moniak, OF (Lakewood)

Traditional Stat Line
G     AB     AVG     HR     RBI     K%     SLG%
62   237   .270        2       27    20.1     .392

Splits
V. LHP   V. RHP   V. RISP   AHD   BHD
.212       .292        .253       .392   .211

Sabermetrics
BABIP     ISO     wRC+     wOBA
.335      .122      106          .327

Analysis:
To the casual observer, Moniak isn’t living up to expectations since being selected first overall in last year’s draft. People forget he just turned 19 and this is his first crack at full-season baseball. As you can see, these traditional numbers reinforce the former’s argument. This has been a “safe” beginning to Moniak’s career. Putting that aside, one thing to note is his .392 average when ahead in the count. It means Moniak is flat out swinging away. While doing so, he’s amassed a 20.1 K rate which isn’t terrible by any means. Why do I say that? His BABIP of .335 indicates that Moniak is putting plenty of balls in play which trends towards excellent. Soon or later, these balls put in play will begin to fall for more hits. His ISO of .122 is decent, but it shows Moniak is predominantly a singles hitter this year, even though he has 15 doubles to his name. Given the league average of 100, Moniak’s 106 wRC+ is encouraging. It means Moniak creates 6 more runs for Lakewood than the league average. Lastly, his wOBA of .327 must improve. Given Moniak’s true OBP is .328, even when factoring in other ways to reach base, there’s no separation whatsoever. All things considering, Moniak is raw, but getting better. He’s on the right track!

3. Jorge Alfaro, C (Lehigh Valley)

Traditional Stat Line
G     AB     AVG     HR     RBI     K%     SLG%
55   220   .268        5       32     29.7    .395

Splits
V. LHP   V. RHP   V. RISP   AHD   BHD
.291       .254        .246       .277   .255

Sabermetrics
BABIP     ISO     wRC+     wOBA
.354       .130       87          .306

Analysis:
Alfaro is having a decent season at Lehigh since earning a big league call up last year. The one stick in the mud is his 29.7 K rate to go along with a miniscule 5 home runs. That’s way too many whiffs when you’re not cranking out long balls. His splits are pretty even keel, but nothing to write home about. Let’s discuss his analytics. What strikes me as odd is Alfaro’s .354 BABIP. He hasn’t registered a result that high since 2012. It could mean Alfaro has been lucky with a few bloop hits falling in, or it could be an increase in legitimate contact where more hits are forthcoming. Alfaro’s ISO of .130 is a career low for him. This is bad news considering he’s averaged at least .169 in every milb season. Why is this bad? It means when Alfaro does get hits, they’ve been singles. It indicates Alfaro might become an empty hitter going forward, with little flare. Alfaro is also averaging 13 runs less than the league average this season. His result of 87 is a career low and it implies a decrease in overall offensive production. Lastly, wOBA isn’t too much of a concern, considering Alfaro is a catcher. Even if he gets on base via other methods, I don’t think he’s going to steal many bases. Put simply, this is a pedestrian season for Alfaro and hopefully he finds his power stroke again.

4. Nick Williams, OF (Lehigh Valley)

Traditional Stat Line
G     AB     AVG     HR     RBI     K%     SLG%
69   251   .279      14       41    30.2     .510

Splits
V. LHP   V. RHP   V. RISP   AHD   BHD
.247       .293        .254       .404    .158

Sabermetrics
BABIP     ISO     wRC+     wOBA
.355       .236      126         .363

Analysis:
Williams is having a traditional Williams season. Decent batting average, tons of offensive flare and strikeouts galore. Put simply, at least he’s consistent. Let’s dissect his sabermetrics. Williams is putting a ton of balls in play as his .355 BABIP indicates. This result is near consistent as in recent years, which proves he’s not getting a ton of fluke hits. His ISO of .236 is his highest result in 4 years. It means when you subtract his slugging percentage from his batting average, it shows Williams is far from an empty singles hitter. This result is beyond excellent. Williams creates 26 more runs to Lehigh than the league average. This implicates strong offensive production. Lastly, his .363 wOBA proves Williams gets on base more often and provides a strong presence on the basepaths. Williams is on the right track, but he must cut down on the K rate in order to become an elite player. As long as he continues to put balls in play, the Phillies should be happy with him.

5. Dylan Cozens, OF (Lehigh Valley)

Traditional Stat Line
G     AB     AVG     HR     RBI     K%     SLG%
68   245   .245      16      49    30.0     .494

Splits
V. LHP   V. RHP   V. RISP   AHD   BHD
.200       .271        .260       .256    .158

Sabermetrics
BABIP     ISO     wRC+     wOBA
.295      .250      120          .354

Analysis:
Ditto with Cozens. Almost everything that I said about Nick Williams, applies to Cozens as well. Aside from a few percentage points, they’re eerily similar offensively whether it’s traditional or sabermetrics. The problem for Cozens is his .200 average against lefties. This will be a major hurdle for him to climb going forward as it’s always been his weak spot. Also, Cozens isn’t as aggressive as Williams which is indicative of the splits when ahead in the count. I’d like to see Cozens swing dead red more often. Regardless, he’s on the 40 man roster, so expect to see him in Philly sometime this season along with Alfaro and Williams.

 

Trevor Bettencourt Interview – 2017

This is the seventh in a series of interviews conducted by Steve Potter.

Minor League Spot Light: Trevor Bettencourt

Trevor Bettencourt was the Phillies 25th round draft selection of the 2016 amateur draft from UC Santa Barbara. The 22 year old right handed pitcher is from San Jose, California. Continue reading Trevor Bettencourt Interview – 2017

Around the System–Catchers

Lehigh Valley

Jorge Alfaro, 24, Acquired from Texas in 2015; .256/.305/.378; 5HR 32RBI; 4%BB/30%K; .284 vs LHP; .240 vs RHP; .181 in June; .232 with RISP; 56 games caught with 1 error (.996); 7 passed balls; 11/35 CS(31%); Alfaro started the season on fire however is hitting just .223 since May 1st.  His defense is improved and still has the gun for an arm but the recent lack of production offensively with the talent around him is troublesome.

Logan Moore, 26, Phils 9th round pick in 2011; .280/.347/.439 in 82AB; 3HR 17RBI; 11%BB/32%K; .133 vs LHP; .313 vs RHP; .296 in June; 23 games caught with 3 errors (.981); 5/17 CS (28%); Moore continues to do his very competent job at what he is asked to do as a backup in AAA.  Good receiver, hitting is improved.

Reading

Chace Numata, 24, Phils 14th round pick in 2010; .249/.312/.350 in 197AB; 3HR 18RBI; 8%BB/11%K; .200 vs LHP; .276 vs RHP; .281 in June; 4 errors in 53 games caught (.981); 4 passed balls; 25/50 CS (50%); Continued progression for Numata, who while only 24, seems to have been in the organization forever; Becoming more competent with the bat and has been very good behind the plate this season.

Nick Rickles, 27, Acquired from Washington in 2017; .326/.347/.630 in 46AB since joining Reading; 3HR 8RBI; 4%BB/13%K; .211 vs LHP; .344 vs RHP; 12 games caught with 1 error and 1 passed ball; 8/17 CS(47%); Rickles is a clear upgrade for Reading and has been playing well since his acquisition in May. Continue reading Around the System–Catchers

Box Score Recap – 6/27/2017

Lehigh Valley got crushed, but Scott Kingery hit 2 HR and Dylan Cozens hit his 18th?

Reading split a double header, Mitch Walding hit his 18th HR.

Clearwater lost in a walk off, wasting Jose Taveras six shutout innings.

Lakewood lost as Nick Fanti (5-1, 2.74) suffered his first loss.

The GCL Phillies split their season opening double header.  Adam Haseley had 3 hits, Zach Green hit 2 home runs.

Williamsport was scheduled off.

Continue reading Box Score Recap – 6/27/2017