Report Card–Middle Infield

Lehigh Valley

Scott Kingery, Phils 2nd round pick in 2015; .304/.359/.530 in 543AB between Reading and Lehigh Valley; 26HR 65RBI; 29SB;7%BB/19%K; .290 last 30 days; For Lehigh Valley: .294/.337/.439 in 265AB; 8HR 21RBI; 10SB; .269 vs LHP; .300 vs RHP; 125 games at 2B with 11 errors (.980); 4 games at 3B without an error; 2 games at SS without an error; Outstanding season and progress for Kingery who looks to be the Phillies second baseman to be for the next decade.  Grade: A; 2018: Lehigh Valley until June, then Phillies

Jesmuel Valentin, 23, Acquired from Dodgers in 2014; .229/.282/.292 in 96AB; 1HR 7RBI; 6%BB/16%K; .310 vs LHP; .167 vs RHP; 26 games at 2B with 2 errors (.969); 2 games at SS with 1 error; Valentin came real close to making the Phils out of SPring Training in April and then struggled when he didn’t, his season ultimately ending in injury mid May; Grade: C-; 2018: I expect him in Lehigh Valley with a debut with the Phils at some point next season

Pedro Florimon, 30, Signed as a free agent in 2017; .265/.347/.410 in 310AB with Lehigh Valley; 10HR 33RBI; 4SB; 10%BB/27%K; 33 games at 2B with 1 error (.989); 26 games at 3B with 2 errors (.966); 15 games at SS with 1 error (.980); 14 games in the OF with 1 error (.960); In 48AB with Phils, Florimon hit .348.  I hardly expected to become a big “Pedro Florimon fan” this season but that is what happened.  Florimon has the ability to play numerous positions and do it at a level where you will not be hurt defensively.  That skill set got him called up to Philly where he was being touted as a potential 2018 super utility player before his season ended with a gruesome injury.  He had a very good year being asked to do a little bit of everything.  Grade: B+; 2018: It all depends on his ability to bounce back from the ugly ankle injury.  Currently on the 40 man, if healthy, he will compete for Andres Blanco’s former role.

Angelo Mora, 24, Signed as a free agent in 2011; .291./334/.435 in 398AB between Reading and Lehigh Valley; 9HR 55RBI; 5SB; 6%BB/19%K; For LV: .280/.291/.330 in 100AB; 25 games at SS with 4 errors (.966); 24 games at 3B with 3 errors (.952); 47 games at 2B with 8 errors (.964); 4 games in the OF without an error; Mora did a real nice job this year with the bat and continued to be steady in the field at multiple positions.  Unfortuantely, I think I am more of a Mora fan than the Phils organization and I really doubt he ends up on the 40 man, leading to minor league free agency for Mora.  Grade: B

JP Crawford, 22, Phils 1st round pick in 2013; .243/.351/.405 in 474AB; 15HR 63RBI; 5/9SB; .250 vs LHP; .286 vs RHP; .278 last 30 days w/ LV; 14%BB/17%K rate; 113 games at SS with 17 errors (.960); 6 games at 3B without an error; 5 games at 2B without an error; Hitting .278 for the Phils in 36AB; Crawford’s way down then up season has been very well documented.  Looking at his season in its entirety, there was progress but not as much as I expected; The bright side saw his power substantially more than expectations, although not sure that will translate to MLB; His average was fairly significantly lower on the year than hoped but, more importantly his OBP was excellent and Crawford was among league leaders in runs because of his OBP.  Still a plus fielder but a small notch below my expectations this season.  Grade: C; 2018: I see him in Philly fulltime come June

Reading

Drew Stankiewicz, 24, Phils 11th round pick in 2014; .280/.364/.421 in 328AB between Clearwater and Reading; 9HR 35RBI; 3SB; 11%BB/19%K; .297 last 30 days; 81 games at 2B with 9 errors (.975); 14 games at 3B with 2 errors (.900); 3 games at SS with 3 errors; A good season for Stankiewicz who does a lot of things right, leading to lineup opportunities for him.  Grade: B; 2018: Reading

Derek Campbell, 26, Phils 20th round pick in 2014; .250/.308/.359 in 159AB between Clearwater and Reading; 3HR 13RBI; 6%BB/22%K; Hit .162 for Reading in 37 late season AB; 8 games in the OF without an error; 21 games at 3B with 2 errors (.941); 15 games at 2B with 2 errors; Campbell spent large portions of the season injured and was mostly a spare piece when healthy; Grade: C-; 2018: Elsewhere

Malquin Canelo, 23, Signed as a free agent in 2012; .226/.301/.339 in 389AB; 6HR 34RBI; 12SB; 10%BB/26%K; .273 vs LHP; .203 vs RHP; .215 post all star break; 112 games at SS with 23 errors (.955); Not a good year for Canelo who just could not put it together for a prolonged period of time without slumping.  High K rate, too many errors, and low OBP; Grade: D; 2018: Reading

Clearwater

Grenny Cumana, 21, Signed as a free agent in 2012; .243/.282/.292 in 301AB; 2HR 21RBI; 16SB; 4%BB/13%K; .310 vs LHP; .217 vs RHP; .250 last 30 days; 68 games at 2B with 11 errors (.961); 20 games at SS with 2 errors (,974); Very little plate discipline inhibited true progress for Cumana.  His OBP dropped .62 between Lakewood and Clearwater which is very problematic.  Defense was solid and has good speed.  Grade: C-; 2018: CLearwater

Emmanuel Marrero, 24, Phils 7th round pick in 2014; .252/.310/.359 in 365AB; 5HR 32RBI; 11SB; 7%BB/23%K; .215 vs LHP; .265 vs RHP; .211 last 30 days; 87 games at SS with 13 errors (,964); 6 games at 2B with 2 errors (.905); 16 games at 3B with 2 errors (.905); Decent year for Marrero who pretty much mimicked his production level that he had for Lakewood the year prior. Decent at bat, decent in the field.  Just decent.  Grade: C; 2018: Just enough to move up. Reading

Jose Gomez, 20, Acquired from Rockies in 2017; .307/.353/.398 in 410AB between South Atlantic League and Clearwater; 4HR 36RBI; 18SB; 5%BB/18%K; .250/.289/.272 in 92AB for CW; 73 games at SS with 15 errors (.955); 12 games at 2B with 2 errors (.965); 10 games at 3B without an error; Acquired late in the season, Gomez came pretty highly touted out of the SAL.  Under 100AB for CW, so not enough time to evaluate but his SAL year was impressive as a 20 year old.  2018: Clearwater

Jose Antequera, 22, Signed as a free agent in 2014; .184/.244/.216 in 185AB between LK, CW and REA; 0HR 16RBI; 6%BB/18%K; 41 games at SS with 6 errors (.962); 4 games at 3B with 1 error; 19 games at 2B without an error; Antequera filled in where needed due to injuries.  I don’t expect him back with a lot of talent pushing at the lower levels

Lakewood

Daniel Brito, 19, SIgned as a free agent in 2014; .239/.298/.318 in 491AB; 6HR 32RBI; 12/21SB; 6%BB/18%K; .262 vs LHP; .232 vs RHP; .238 last 30 days; 107 games at 2B with 10 errors (.977); 6 games at SS with 2 errors; Decent year for Brito who moved to Lakewood directly from the GCL as a 19 year old. Grade: C+; 2018: Back to Lakewood, with Scheiner moving to CLearwater

Raul Rivas, 20, Signed as a free agent in 2014; .267/.311/.302 in 318AB between Williamsport and Lakewood; 0HR 29RBI; 12/19SB; 5%BB/18%K; .278 last 30 days; 35 games at 2B with 3 errors (.979); 30 games at SS with 8 errors (.936); 17 games at 3B with 2 errors (.952); Rivas played well at Lakewood, hitting .280 and was solid in the field.  Took a double jump from the GCL and I expect to see him in Clearwater next season; Grade: B-

Arquimedes Gamboa, 20, SIgned as a free agent in 2014; .261/.328/.378 in 307AB; 6HR 28RBI; 8SB; 9%BB/15%K; .227 vs LHP; .274 vs RHP; .325 last 30 days; 79 games at SS with 14 errors (.953); If you watch Gamboa, you clearly see a player who has a lot of potential, especially in the field.  Similar to 2016, he did spend some time injured this season, but when healthy, he played well.  Grade: B-; Lakewood to start with a quick move to Clearwater possible.

Williamsport

Jake Scheiner, 22, Phils 4th round pick in 2017; .250/.317/.377 in 236AB; 4HR 19RBI; 5/12SB; 6%BB/21%K; .200 vs LHP; .271 vs RHP; .250 last 30 days;  31 games at 2B with 1 error (.993); 24 games at 3B with 8 errors (.871); Scheiner played a very small notch below where I expected him this season as a high draft pick.  Clearly a better 2B than 3B.  Grade: C; 2018: I think the Phils slot him in CLearwater

Brian Mims, 21, Phils 22nd round pick in 2017; .190/.244/.264 in 121AB; 0HR 6RBI; 1SB; 3%BB/31%K; .167 vs LHP; .200 vs RHP; .163 last 30 days; 19 games at 2B with 3 errors (.957); 14 games at 1B without an error; 3 games in the OF without an error; Mims played part time and was pretty awful with the bat.  2018: I would be surprised if he were back

Jesus Azajue, 20, Phils 25th round pick in 2017; .131/.169/.131 in 84AB between GCL and WIlliamsport; 0HR 3RBI; 3SB; 3%BB/16%K; 16 games at 2B with 3 errors (.944); 11 games at SS with 2 errors (.952); Same analysis as Mims.

Nick Maton, 20, Phils 7th round pick in 2017; .252/.350/.333 in 210AB; 2HR13RBI; 10SB; 12%BB/19%K; .158 vs LHP; .288 vs RHP; .227 last 30 days; 57 games at SS with 9 errors (.966); Maton made a positive impression showing impressive plate discipline, good speed and was good in the field; Needs substantial work vs. LHP.   Grade: B; 2018: Lakewood

GCL

Brayan Gonzalez, 17, SIgned as a free agent in 2016;.269/.331/.388 in 134AB; 2HR 24RBI; 6SB; 8%BB/17%K; .227 vs LHP; .277 vs RHP; .206 last 30 days; 38 games at 2B with 5 errors (.972); Gonzalez made a very impressive stateside debut this season.  Produced runs with the bat, showed some speed and showed a decent glove: Grade: B+; 2018: Start with GCL, finish with Williamsport

Gunnar Buhner, 22, Signed as a free agent in 2o17; Hit .122 in 49AB with 0HR 3RBI; 10 games at 2B without an error; 8 games at 3B without an error; 2 games at SS with 1 error; .122 at the lowest level as a 22 year old isn’t going to cut it.  Buhner likely wont be back

Jonathan Guzman, 18, Signed as a free agent in 2015; .246/.305/.326 in 175AB between GCL and Williamsport; 2HR 15RBI; 5SB; 8%BB/16%K; .179 vs LHP; .264 vs RHP; .167 last 30 days; 42 games at SS with 15 errors (.923); Far too many errors this season with mediocre offensive production.  Grade: C-; 2018:GCL

Jake Homes, 19, Phils 11th round pick in 2017; .252/.331/.355 in 107AB; 2HR 14RBI; 5SB; 9%BB/14%K; 18 games at SS with 2 errors (.968)

Dalton Guthrie, 21, Phils 6th round pick in 2017; Hit .182 in 22AB; 8 games at SS with 1 error; Guthrie missed almost all of the season injured.  At 21, and as a high draft pick, I don’t expect him back in the GCL.

 

40 thoughts on “Report Card–Middle Infield

    1. Short season, either GCL again or Williamsport. Don’t rule out a position change. He’s 6’3, 185. We may get an idea what the Phillies intend during Instructs.

  1. Completely disagree on JPC’s 2018 destination. Everything I see him doing now is validating he can hold his own in the bigs and should start there opening day. Yesterday he worked a walk against a LHP and it must have been a 10-12 pitch at bat. His plate discipline is outstanding, his glove has looked very good, and the FO will want to reward his OBP friendly approach as that’s the culture they’re trying to set.

    1. I agree with on JP. I think he is ready, and is just going through his textbook adjustment period he does when jumping a level. I think it really depends on the FO, whether or not they poo or get off the pot in terms of the IF logjam. Something has to give in those terms. I’m expecting a really interesting offseason or a stay for the status quo, nothing in the middle. Will see, im leaning status quo.

    2. I thought that was a bit odd too, although I could see him being caught in a “numbers game” if the team can’t find a spot for him and are unable to move Hernandez/Galvis/Franko.

      Just like with Kingery, it all depends on how he does in Spring Training. If both of them go and out rake in February and March, sending them to the minors would be pretty inexcusable.

      Jeff

      1. Kingery is going to the minors after next ST come hell or high water. He will be promoted just as soon as his FA clock ticks. They want 7 years of control over him and that’s how they will do it. It’s a time-honored tradition.

        1. Catch, I think the Phils approach to the middle IF will be this in 2018:
          1 JPC will play everyday somewhere
          2 They see Kingery as an everyday big leaguer at some point next year so he won’t be traded. I think their plan will be, with everyone healthy, to send him to AAA, but I don’t think they’d hesitate to break camp with him if an injury occurs. I just don’t think the plan will be him opening day no matter what.
          3 I don’t know if Franco has options next year, but if he does I think the Phils will send him to AAA before they’d trade him for pennies on the dollar. He’s too young to give up on but I think his career will ultimately mirror Dom Brown not Adrian Beltre.
          4 I think they’ll try hard to trade Galvis and keep Cesar. I feel like the Phils are playing up his leadership and defensive skills to increase his value. While he is strong on those areas, I think the Phils see him as an offensive liability and average overall player whose salary is going to exceed his performance rather quickly. I think they’ll hope to sell high. I also think they love what Cesar has done and can do going forward.
          5 This would put Franco or Kingery at 3B, JPC at SS, and Cesar at 2B. The dream here is that Franco figures it out (at least for 3 months) and Kingery proves to be ready.

          1. Yeah, it will be. I’d be shocked if Kingery is the opening day 2nd baseman – shocked. Even if he is ready, they will hold down the fort for 2 or 3 weeks until his FA clock runs – it won’t be hard to find a fill-in, even if Cesar is traded. They are not such a good team that they can’t afford to keep him out of the line-up.

        2. Hernandez is the only chip of value the Phils can offer that they can spare. Re-living the Joseph/Hoskins bottleneck in 2018 at 2B serves no one’s interest. Don’t be surprised if they put together a deal for Hernandez and let Kingery compete with Galvis to open the season at the keystone sack.

  2. Had it not been for the injury he sustained during the CWS, I think Guthrie could have been in Lakewood by season’s end, and may have started there ala Kingery and Martin in 2015. As things stand, I expect Guthrie will start in Lakewood in 2018 and could be in Clearwater by mid-season. His bat will dictate how fast a riser he is though. His glove looks promising.

    1. I don’t have a source to cite, but I distinctly remember college baseball commentators discussing how highly regarded Guthrie was coming out of high school.

  3. Kingery and Crawford will both be in the Phillies infield opening day. Cesar and Franco will be traded to either load up on more prospects or be a part of a trade to get a solid number 2 stater. Stroman, Cole, Archer, or Fulmer. So Nola, trade, Lynn (FA), Cobb ( FA), Lively. Put some excess pitching in the pen and trade some.

    1. Not happening. Kingery will not be on the opening day team. He will be in the minors even if Cesar is traded. I’d bet you $100 on that if I could.

      Also, it’s very unlikely Franco will be traded for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that it’s foolish to trade him while his trade value has ebbed so low.

      1. i’m one of the biggest Kingery fan here but I agree with Catch. Kingery will be invited in ST and regardless of what he does, he will not be added in the 40-man when 2018 season starts. May is the earliest with June as the most likely.

        If Cesar is traded, Galvis and JPC will be the DP combo until Kingery comes up. The Phils will sign Florimon to be the main INF back up while Valentin stays in LHV and only called up in case of injury. Unless Franco generates some interest from GMs for a decent return, he will be the 3B for May and June but his leash will be short.

        1. KuKo…..players like Franco, at his age and experience, sometimes really get it going after a few poor seasons. The majors have seen plenty of them .
          I like to think he will be one. I do not think he will be one to have a “Dom Brown” complex.

          1. romus – i’m really “ish” with Franco. i was never been vocal to support or criticize him. i never liked Domo because of his mechanics. Although i agree with you that Franco doesn’t have a Domo complex, his mechanics concerns me too.

            I prefer batters who hits without being outbalance in the plate whether they hit for the fences or not. Altherr and Williams used to be like that, but they learned and make adjustments while keeping their aggressiveness. Franco seems to be more stubborn than Altherr and Williams.

            I’ve been vocal about Machado for a while now. That’s probably my indirect swipe towards Franco. If the 40-man roster is not an issue, I would like to see Walding at 3B (and just DFA him if he’s bad so no big loss). At least Walding got a nice swing and a decent defense at 3B.

            1. Walding is such a shot in the dark.

              He’s old now for a AA prospect and his hit tool is highly suspect. Not enough hits, too many Ks and too old. And yet, there might be something there, but he’s a lottery ticket right now. I’m okay with keeping him and seeing what happens, but you can’t rely on him to be a big league hitter.

            2. KuKo….based on Walding’s latest minor league metrics, his projected MLB slash would be the same or worse than Franco’s.
              And he is only one month younger than Franco, with no AAA or MLB experience
              I seriously doubt he will ever be added to the 40.

            3. i’m not saying that Walding is the answer, because I was never been on him ever, but this is me saying i rather want to see somebody else than Franco. At least Walding have better mechanics and defense and MAYBE something click with him for a couple of months. No harm done.

        2. I generally agree with all of this. While Kingery will almost definitely start the year in the minors, his call-up date could be anytime from mid-late April to early June, assuming he doesn’t tank for some unexpected reason. Honestly, I think another 150 ABs in the minors would be beneficial to him. He’s almost a finished product, but he needs a little work on his plate discipline, but once he’s up, he will be amazing.

          I also think Franco starts next year as the third-baseman and the team assesses where is at the end of May and takes it from there. The frustrating thing is that the talent is definitely there at the plate (although the performance has been horrible) and the defense is just fine (although not as good as advertised).

          I’m resigned to the fact that Galvis will almost certainly be here and, much to our chagrin, batting second much of the time (why doesn’t the FO tell him to change that? they are his bosses after all). His trade value isn’t high enough for him to draw a lot in return and Pete Mackanin (the former good-fielding, light hitting and, as Ted Williams said, “stupid” hitter, must see himself in Galvis) loves him.

  4. Incorrect Cesar has to be traded to get the assets to get a number 2 and Franco is awful nightmare that we all must wake up from. Kingery is your start 2nd baseman opening day.

    1. Cesar may indeed get traded, but time will prove that I am entirely correct about when Kingery is promoted. It won’t be at the beginning of the season.

      1. Like I said, if you can figure out a way for us to put $100 on this and actually collect, you’ve got yourself a bet.

  5. I don’t see any need to give up on Franco yet. There is no one to replace him, without the musical chairs of moving guys out of position. And, he is young enough, with a high enough skill set, to improve his game. We are not going to get all of our issues fixed in 1 off season. I still don’t see Cesar bringing that SP back that everyone wants, without an expanded trade that he is a part of. If he gets traded, I see Freddy at 2B and JP at SS, and I agree with Catch and KuKo that Kingery starts the year in LHV. That control issue is a very big one, and has nothing to do with Kingery being the future 2B.

  6. I heard from a good source that Galvis is batting 2nd because he’s a smart base runner . they wanted someone between Ceaser and Herrera in the beginning . Jp k% is a bit high plus it takes the pressure off a rookie that’s playing 2nd and 3rd.

    1. Tim………….’because he’s a smart base runner ‘….with that in mind, to be effective and productive, one would need to get into that position, i.e. on base, a little more than at a .305 percent clip.

  7. True but Galvis K% 16.9 is much better Williams 28.2 , Altherr 27.4 , Herrera 22.2 . Jp k% is 26 .5 as of now that should get better. So maybe putting the bat on the ball is just as important.

    1. No, it’s not – he’s an out maker. He has no business hitting second in any legitimate line-up. Crawford is the prototypical # 2 hitter. Low K%, High BB%, excellent back control and ability to provide situational hitting.

  8. Let’s see what Crawford can do at major league level his K % is high right now. Let’s give Jp 100 at bats or so to see if that K % comes down . Never heard of Jp having great bat control he has a nice eye at the plate .

  9. Plus it’s taken him about 1 1/2 yrs to adjust to AAA . JP mite need some time to adjust to MLB the offense part. Jp doesn’t really have alot of speed or power . I mean he’s not a Seager ,Correa, Lindor on offense. I’m not putting him down .

    1. You’re right, he’s not Seager, Correa or Lindor on offense. He’s in the Willie Randolph, Keith Hernandez, Lou Boudreau family of hitters. If you don’t know who those guys are look them up. They never hit a lot of home runs, but they got on base all the time and hit for relatively high averages (Crawford won’t hit for as good of an average as Hernandez or Boudreau – but he’ll hit for a decent average and have more power than Randolph), were great fielders and generated excellent positive WAR. He’s a bit of a throwback player, in a good way.

      1. You don’t have to hit 25 homers a year to be really valuable. Check out Randolph’s stats. https://www.baseball-reference.com/players/r/randowi01.shtml

        I expect Crawford to hit for not quite as high an average and he’s slower than Randolph, but he’ll have more power that will offset those advantages.

        If J.P. plays plus defense (as I expect he will), hits .275 with a .365 OBP and hits 25 doubles and 12 homers, he’s going to be a 3-5 WAR player year after year after year and hitting second he will put tremendous pressure on the other team’s pitcher. If he starts hitting more doubles and 18-25 homers, he’s going to be a star. I don’t necessarily predict that, but it’s more than possible.

      2. I like to think he will give you something close to a Jeter OBP/SLG % slash and the BA may be in the 270ish range.

        1. That would be fine – he won’t hit for as high of an average or as much power, but he’ll draw more walks.

      3. Lol I know who they are, yes In there era of baseball they were vg players . The SS position has morphed into a power and RBI position . Im No saying he’s a bad offense player it just might take awhile to get there. Kingery and Herrera can give you the up the middle power hopefully.

        1. Tim, there are a total of 5 SS with an .OPS over .800. It’s not the power position you think it is unless you’re strictly focused on HR’s. There are 9 SS’s with 20 or more hrs and Freddy is currently 18th with his 12.

  10. JP will be playing in Philly on opening day. He’s shown he’s ready. The only question is whether Galvis or Cesar is playing 2B, after the other is traded. Kingery will be up June 1 and that will kick Galvis or Cesar to the super sub role and kick Florimon off the team. The interesting decisions will be at Lakewood and Clearwater. Guthrie, Gomez and Gamboa all need to play every day.

  11. Long term, I see JPC as the 2 hitter, with Hoskins 3. They will just wear pitchers down. Last night is a great example. Darvish threw 97 pitches in 5+ innings and was pulled in the sixth. Getting to the bullpen earlier led to the Phils scoring 5 in the 7th. Why had Darvish thrown 97 pitches? Because in 5 total ABs, Rhys and JPC made him throw 31 pitches. Replace those two with TJ and Franco, who let’s say see 3 pitches per AB total, Darvish would have been at 81 pitches, finished the 6th, and possibly pitched the 7th.

    These two, along with another 1-2 guys with similar discipline, will just wear down starting pitchers.

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