438 thoughts on “Open Discussion: Week of May 20, 2018

  1. Scorecard for the battle of the Phillies vs Rangers rule 5 selections:

    * Odúbel Herrera (4th year w/Phillies) … career .294/.351/.441, 13 WAR
    * Carlos Tocci (Texas’ pay back pick this winter) … .080 /.148/.080, -0.7 WAR

    Phillies win !

    1. I cannot, for the life of me, understand why Texas selected Tocci, much as I was confused about the Phillies’ selecting Goeddel a few years ago. I don’t think a 5th outfielder is worthy of a Rule 5 pick – there’s so little potential upside for the expected awful performance.

        1. Yeah, well, that’s another problem they’re having isn’t it? Tocci is a highly coordinated young man and his overall baseball skills are good. But he is truly like a man among boys when it comes to hitting.

          1. Yeah, he is but at only 22 I wouldn’t close the book on him getting stronger. He skipped AAA and that’s where he should be.

            1. If you saw him in person you probably wouldn’t be saying that. He is literally the weakest looking, most narrow-shouldered professional baseball player I’ve ever seen and certainly the weakest-looking major league player.

            2. The description I have of him is a high school cross-country runner. And it’s not a stretch – that’s what he looks like.

            3. And he’s a good fielder and has good baseball skills. But I don’t ever see him having the “man strength” to fight off inside pitches.

  2. Ok 2nd base better then Cehe
    G Torres
    Brain Dozier
    Jed lowrie
    Scooter Gennett
    I didn’t realize the so called changing of the guard at 2 nd.
    Phillips isn’t signed, D Murphy hurt , Kendrick hurt, Harrison just came back panik too.
    9 NL 2nd baseman Qualify by abats in avg , .obp ,.ops . Kendrick is hurt so.
    Out of 8 NL qualifed healthy 2 nd baseman CEHE ranks 5 th in.ops
    Out of 8 NL qualifed healthy 2 nd baseman CEHE ranks 5 th in .ops
    Out of 8 NL qualifed healthy 2nd baseman CEHE ranks 1 St in .obp
    However Albies,Baez, Cabrera and Gennett all have more HR , RBIs ,2bs , 3bs .
    So CEHE is alot of work to do to be come an NL all star.

    1. Since the start of the 2015 season — a pretty significant sample size — only five 2B have amassed more fWAR than Cesar Hernandez: Altuve, Dozier, Cano, Murphy and Kinsler. This season, he is fourth in the same category with 1.7 fWAR.

      I’m not sure what calculus you’re using to suggest there are so many better 2B options in MLB.

      BTW, you’re hung up on whether he’s an All Star. Who cares? He’s a solid defender who gets on base (1st in OBP among 2B) and scores runs (2nd in runs scored among 2B). He’s the leadoff hitter on a 26-18 baseball club.

      1. I give up Listening to wip and there is a guy who comes on, who thinks he is a scout. He said today, cesar should go and Kingery should be the second basemen. Cause Kingery is a better hitter. I GIVE UP.

      2. I’m not Catch said CeHe was one of the top 20 to 30 players in All of baseball.
        I agree with you exactly what Cehe is.
        Mlb sortable stats. OlD school .obs .slg = .ops
        F war is great but if Cano and Murphy and kinser are hurt or aged alot.
        2015 Ablies, Baez, Schoop, Torres , Gennett etc weren’t in the league yet or not starters.
        2nd base is a wierd position alot of movement yr in and yr out. Alot of these Swiss army knife type players like Kingery, Zobrist , are playing All over the place.

        1. fWAR is literally the metric you use when comparing different players at the same position.

          I went back to 2015 because that’s when CeHe became the full-time starter. Were Cano, Murphy and Kinsler hurt/old in 2015? Because their cumulative stats from then until now are included.

          The other guys are too young for that time period to count? OK.

          2017-present: Cesar is 5th among 2B in fWAR.
          2016-present: Cesar is 6th among 2B in fWAR.

          He is the definition of a first-division regular.

          BTW, Baez, Schoop and Gennett have been playing in MLB just as long as Cesar Hernandez.

          1. Yes but Baez is also a SS, 3rd OF , Gennett just started being a full time 2nd baseman he played alot in the outfield too.Schoop a power bat so different player. There’s not a lot of full time 2nd baseman anymore.cehe might have the most fwaf because he playerdd there the most.

            1. Nope. WAR is a cumulative stat that accrues at all different positions. And Cesar has more value than those other players, according to the metric.

            2. Wait that’s nuts in itself a full time 2nd baseman doesn’t have as much defensive war as SS . I mean 1st ,2nd base and LF have the 2 worse defensive war pts. SS 3rd and CF the most.

            3. Tim…..that is true….. and that is already taken into consideration in the mathematical algorithm when WAR is calculated. It is adjusted for positional value. Why guys like Jason Heyward (CF) and Andrelton Simmons have fairly higher WAR, than other of the lesser positional value players.

          2. Ahh I’ll still take Schoop or Gennett or Baez because you can plug them into different places on defense and the batting order. Cehe a standard leadoff 2Nd baseman .

    2. Tim, I was one of those advocating the Phillies trading CeHe during the off-season to open the job for Kingery and I haven’t abandoned that position but I don’t get the need to downgrade what Hernandez has done in 2018. He’s played a very good 2b and has produced offensively which is a good thing. I’ve never understood the need to denigrate one player as a means of promoting another.

      If you ask me today, Hernandez is a better player than Kingery. My expectation is that in a couple of years, Kingery will be the better player. That doesn’t make CeHe a bad player, it just makes him a moveable asset that should be able to return real talent..

      1. I’m not saying Cehe a bad player an avg reg . He’s not a all star or a top 30 player.

        1. He’s not average and he is undoubtedly playing at an AS/star level – but the AS game is a popularity contest so who knows if he’ll make it or not.

          1. Are people watching the same player? He’s one of the better 2B in all of baseball and has proven that for a few years now. We can move on from talking about him, he has earned the right to be the everyday 2B until his contract runs out. At least thats my opinion.

    3. Tim….you win, I give up ;(
      No mas.
      So it looks like, with all those great 2nd basemen in the majors you listed, better than Cesar,…the Phillies are stuck with him since there will be no market.

      1. I didn’t say great just either young with protental or having good season’s.there alot of really young 2nd baseman doing well. The Swiss army knife player in taking over.

      2. Nope package deal at the deadline book it why would the Phillies sign Kingery to a long term deal but not Cehe. Cehe price could go up after this yr 2 arbs left. I mean the Phillies could have opened up the check book signed Cehe to a long term contract .
        1 . He will cost alot more then Kingery right .
        2 . Cehe a 2nd baseman only .

        1. With analytics taking over, you can’t give long term deals to players who are over 30. Once Cesar hits FA, he’ll be 30. And since we signed Kingery long term, we can afford to see how Cesar goes in his arbitration years and decide later.

    4. He is also second in defensive runs saved is above average on the bases and is 4th in WRC+ and 3rd in WAR – he is absolutely playing at an AS/star level.

        1. Cesar is right there with all of them in overall performance and how does their performing well make Cesar any worse?

          1. I love Scott Kingery and believe in him over the long run, but if you’re point is present performance, how could you possibly advocate him over Cesar right now? Cesar is light years ahead of him and, in fact, I think Kingery probably should go back to AAA for a while.

            1. I’m not Kingery a different player he’s not just a 2nd baseman a Swiss army knife. . Cehe older and going to be way more expensive. Phillies signed Kingery for the future .imo weather it’s this yr or next .plus Kingery better on the D then Cehe and on the base pads.

            1. Altuve is the league’s reigning MVP. Nobody said he was Altuve, but that’s not the bar.

  3. CeHE is a good productive player who gets a little better each yr. His droughts are just a little too long to be a top tier player.
    if the ideal trade came along I would move him, otherwise, he’s given the phils a productive 2b while kingery’s versatility is giving him much needed atbats as he, in retrospect, may have needed a little more time at AAA.
    my biggest offense concern in 2018 is the “black hole” of offense emptiness coming from right field
    I’m also concerned that the braves, may have “out rebuilt” us with players with bigger upsides

    1. The irony of the Phillies and Braves rebuilding story….Amaro and Coppola….two GMs that left their previous jobs under unfavorable circumstances….but left teams in decent positions for the future.

        1. rocco…still can’t over that.
          I suppose Gillick and the crew did not want to come up with the necessary money to get him away from being a Longhorn. Tight budget.

    2. I think, on the whole, you could see the Braves sort of out-classing the Phillies during their respective rebuilds in real time. When the Phillies got a B level prospect, the Braves would get an A level prospect or at least it seemed that way. This doesn’t even account for Acuna and Albies. And on top of that the Phillies didn’t already have a guy like Freeman. But this whole process is far from over and many things can change. I expect the Phillies’ young players, on the whole, to be a lot better at the end of the year than they are now.

      At this point, the Phillies could really use an established, power-hitting corner outfielder in right. If the Dodgers are out of it by July (unlikely, but possible), a guy like Matt Kemp would look good for a stretch drive. He’s a bad defensive outfielder, but man can he hit.

      1. Kemp would be a cheap pickup. He’s only played 13 games in RF though. Too small of a sample size to draw any conclusions.

    3. srussell – I don’t know why the Phillies aren’t moving Cesar around like Kingery. It seems as though every team is looking for versatility. I’m not a major Kapler critic, but I think he’s handled the Williams/Altherr platoon poorly. Altherr is getting the majority of the playing time (does that mean they’re showcasing him for a trade)? As to the Braves out rebuilding us, it would seem so, until you look at the pitching at every level. Good pitching stops good hitting.

      1. ‘I don’t know why the Phillies aren’t moving Cesar around like Kingery.’.
        1. His defense is not on the same par as Kingery’s is at other positions outside 2nd base
        2. It was tried three years ago and the CF and 3rd base tries failed
        3. And also to some degree….Cesar has team ‘seniority’ and is due that respect to be established at the one position.

      2. agree with Romus, Cesar is a 2B only player. To maximize his value, Cesar needs to play 2B and nothing else.

        I’m already set that Kingery is the future 2B from the time he was drafted. While i prefer to see Kingery at 2B and trade Cesar for a valuable piece, Cesar will provide stability playing 2B and have Kingery play the FLEX role.

        I’m really happy that the Phils signed Kingery long term, but spending at least the 1st 6 weeks in LHV is still the better decision.

      3. Altherr is a much better defender, and Gabe needs him to snap out of his slump.

  4. The Cesar/Kingery argument is tired. I have advocated trading Cesar. However, the challenge to the FO is in wisely deciding how to manage the situation. While the Phillies are playoff relevant this season, I don’t expect any move to be made. As for Kingery, my hope is simply that Kapler and Klentak would clearly communicate to him that 2018 is a year for him to settle into the big league life without unnecessary pressure to post certain stats or reach certain milestones. If a trip back to Lehigh is warranted, so be it. What a great problem to solve!!…but just not right now.

    1. 8mark…agree.
      That makes the most sense.
      Cesar is probably here to stay this season….and there is no worthwhile return for him…a premier prospect may take years to pay off or then may fail…a MLB player would have to be a pitcher, and who is giving up starting pitchers of worth anymore!
      And Cesar is worth more than a bullpen piece IMO.
      So Cesar needs to stay.
      All hail,Cesar!
      Kingery…..I would exercise an option on him and let him get 100/125 steady ABs in LHV then bring him back in July for the stretch run

      1. Agree. At this point, it looks like Klentak will ride out CeHe’s final two years of arbitration and get a compensation pick (early 30’s) in 2021. If the team hasn’t gotten a good enough offer for Hernandez up until this point, it’s unlikely going to get one they like going forward. Other clubs can just wait a few months and sign a guy from a loaded 2B FA class this winter. After next season, Cesar would be worth even less because he’ll have just one year of team control left. So … let’s just enjoy him for the next two and a half years, and then use the compensation pick he’ll likely bring us to draft a stud in 2021.

            1. He’ll make more than that. If he does 3 WAR this year, he’ll get 9-10. If he gets 3 WAR again, he’ll get 16.

            2. He’ll get more than $5-7 million but still not enough to make a difference with the Phillies financial resources. No, Mr. Giles, we are not a small market team.

        1. @hinkie – the Phils need to offer and Cesar to decline a QO to qualify for a comp pick, correct? How much will be the QO by that time? $18-19M?

      2. If Cesar stays until the end of the yr. He will sign his arb . nobody going to give the Phillies much if Cesar is in his last yr of Arb.
        There going to sign Cesar who will be 29 to a long term contract. If the Phillies hold onto Cesar next yr he’s walking after the season.

        1. I’m not saying this to be mean or start a war, but is English your second language? It’s really hard to decipher your posts.

            1. I’m not a teacher Roccum is . Roccum is the teacher at Cheerleaders Fri ,sat Nights . Romus is the Dean you can find him in the private booth section.

          1. #1 – Tim is saying arb = arbitration
            #2 – Tim is inferring he abreviates
            #3 – “is English your second language?” is sort of a mean question, although I’m sure you didn’t mean it that way.
            #4 – Tim brings a lot to the table (he seems like a really good guy), you just have to get used to deciphering some of his posts.

            1. It wasn’t meant in that way. I was having trouble reading his posts and needed some context.

            2. Hinkie the funny parts is that , Tim is a teacher at Penn Charter, Figure that one out. blows my mind.

            3. If Tim is really a teacher at Penn Charter then shame on him for spending us so many incomprehensible messages and Lord have mercy on us for trying to figure out what he is saying.

          2. @lord – are you really serious? are you going to ask our citizenships too?

            @tim – i’m with you with Cesar and my main basis is the current timeline that the Phils will contend. If the Phils are a serious contender now and the next 2 years, Cesar is the right fit. But I can only see the Phils as a serious contender by 2020 (which I’ve been saying for 2+ years now), that’s players like Cesar, Neris, Garcia, Franco, Altherr are something that the FO should consider selling high.

            Compared to Kingery, Cesar is the better player now and possibly for the next 2 years. The Phils will let him walk away on his final ARB year but possible offer a QO to recoup a comp pick.

            1. It was too chippy but in fairness, I’m often not sure what Tim is saying either.

            2. This is how Tim replied to one of my posts this morning

              “Photo he’s not Cehe having a good yr for Cehe.”

              I’m not trying to be mean, but that was not easy to decipher.

            3. That’s because photo was spell checked . I put something in can’t remember what. It was supposed Cehe is having a good yr for Cehe.

            4. @Kurdt – did I really say something offensive? I was asking if English was his second language because multiple posts were illegible. It seems as though he likes to abbreviate words and uses run-on sentences. I’m fairly new to reading the comments here so I’m not used to it. Please forgive me asking a simple question. Carry on.

          3. Lord Felly….you will learn to comprehend the Tim enigmatic messages.
            The is a certain code…you will break it.

            1. [ˌenəɡˈmadik]

              difficult to interpret or understand; mysterious.

  5. On the Braves vs Phils rebuild issue – current info suggests the Braves may be ahead given Albies, Acuna, and the several young starting pitchers. The Braves are also benefiting from Markakis and Suzuki playing way over their heads. It seems to me most pundits would state the Braves are ahead – but the Phillies have the resources with cash / tv contract to land a knockout punch by acquiring free agents. Machado alone is better than any Braves player now and quite possibly in the future. I don’t see the Braves being able to pay him what Phils can. It ain’t over yet.

    1. The Braves robbed Cobb County blind for the stadium so I’m wondering if they can afford free agent superstar players now.

    2. Braves have the better hitters. But the Phillies have the better pitchers and deeper pockets.

      1. You may be right. Let’s see how the Phils’ young pitchers continue to fare and how they convert excess pitching into long term assets.

    3. The Braves have the better farm and possible have the better young core. But the Phils can fill the gap with their financial muscle and the city of brotherly love is primed to be a FA destination in the coming years.

      The Braves bats looks better now, but Hoskins, Kingery and Alfaro have the higher ceiling than any of the Braves bats except Acuna. Add Doobie, a bigtime FA signing like Machado/Harper + secondary FA and prospects like Haseley, Jhailyn and possibly Bohm joining the roster, the Phils can get ahead of the Braves in 2 years time.

      The arms race will be close. Nola already passed Teheran but the Braves have the better depth in the SP although Sixto and Medina (whose ceiling is compared to Mize) probably have the higher ceiling that any of the Braves pitching prospect. So if JoJo, Howard, Morales and Gowdy can develop into a solid #3 — the arm battle will be fun to watch.

      Bullpen is probably the area where the Phils are ahead of the Braves. Seranthony and Morgan looks like a really good back end pen arm and the Phils can still convert Pivetta, Vinny, Anderson, Kilome to the pen if needed. Add Arano, Edgar Garcia, Llovera, Hammer and under the radar like Hibbs, Dohy, Dyer, etc — the pen can be a source of strength in the future.

  6. Big series vs Braves. Pivetta needs to be the man vs a good lineup. Foltenewicz seems like a Joe bagodonuts who seems to pitch well against the Phillies.

    1. Foltynewicz is a former first round pick who throws 97-99 with some pretty devastating stuff. He has a ton of ability.

  7. I’ve been looking forward to this rematch (at home) since the last time we played them.

  8. I think another lefty to keep an eye out for is Lakewood’s Will Stewart.
    So far this season he is 4-0, with a 1.26 ERA with a couple of shut-outs…and also an xFIP of 2.96
    His peripherals are very good….WHIP 0.930 H/9-7.1….HR/9-0.4 BB/9-1.3 and K/9-8.0 with a BABIP of just .267 He has sat in the low 90s last season…not sure what he is doing this season as for overall velocity.. He has a 50 change up and curveball, and this season his swing and miss rate has significantly climbed leading me to believe his velo has also picked up a few ticks., and continues to sit in the mid-60s% for GBs.
    He is still less than 50 innings pitched, so will have to see if he can sustain for another 75 innings or so.

    1. Stewart is another Johnny Almaraz find … for all those who continue to holler, “Fire Almaraz!”

      1. TMAC also made it a point last night to point our Johnny A’s involvement in both the Albies and Acuna Jr. Signs.

    2. i normally withhold my assessment of a prospect until their perform in A+ and above unless the prospect has loud tools to get excited about (i.e. Francisco Morales, Kevin Gowdy). I expressed excitement with Bailey Falter since he was still in ROK league since he reminds me of Cole Hamels but never ranked him in my Top 30, this year, looks like Bailey Falter will start to climb up in my rankings.

      Kyle Young is the lefy below A+ that I will be following closely. But Stewart will be in the same bucket as Mezquita, Manuel Silva, Lindow and Kutnetzov as the young under the radar lefty’s to watch out.

  9. If anybody here notices the new email address, it is the same old Hari. I just changed internet providers to everybody’s favorite Comcast.

  10. About a week when discussing who the new closer should be I said I thought Seranthony needed a bit more time at AAA. I was wrong, I gladly admit it. I’ve been of fan of the kid since 2016 at Williamsport. One night I saw a guy who was coming down to the walkway every time Seranthony was on the mound, struck up a conversation and found out he was an uncle, taking cell phone video and sending them back to the kid’s dad in the DR. When he came out of the game I showed the uncle where he could go to talk to his nephew. They called me over and Seranthony thanked me. I said to him that he had the stuff to make it to the show, which is why I am glad I was wrong last week. One of the nicest young men you would want to meet.

      1. I get a bit long-winded at times, so thanks for taking the time to read it. 🙂

  11. Vlad Guerro is tearing it up…at 19..in double AA no less.
    Juan Soto is the bigs with the Nats at 19
    Victor Robles @21 is a Nats future core piece
    Devers is the Sox future third baseman.
    Acuna and Albies are in the lineup this week vs the Phillies.
    Gleyber Torres and Mig Andujar are future core for the Yankees.

    When are the Phillies going to get their impact positional Latin player!

      1. Yeah Rangers signed him…….and if not for Rougned…he would still be there.
        Number 41 on Nov 2014 Rangers protect list…Daniels regrets not protecting him.

          1. Don’t be confused….he was not signed by the Phillies…my point….they have not signed an impact player…since Franco…if that is considered an impact player signing.
            I do not see Cesar and Freddy as top ten prospects in their prospect class.

            1. Gamboa could be….but check out the list over the last 10 years or so:
              And tell me if yuo feel that this is a strength in international scouting when it comes to position players being signed from the Latin countries.
              Samuel Hiciano
              Willians Astudillo
              Luis Encarnacion
              Leandro Castro
              Sebastian Valle
              Herlis Rodriguez
              Jiandido Tromp
              Carlos Tocci
              Jose Pujols
              Domingo Santana
              Deivi Grullon
              Jonathon Villar
              Mal Canelo
              Jon Arauz

              More recent signees:
              Arky Gamboa
              Daniel Brito
              Jon Guzman
              Brayan Gonzalez
              Luis Garcia
              Jhailyn Ortiz

            2. I think it’s a bit below average, but you missed many of the most important guys. Where are Cesar, Freddy G. and Franco on this list? They were signed too.

            3. I mentioned them above:
              May 21, 2018 at 2:27 PM
              ….they have not signed an impact player…since Franco…if that is considered an impact player signing.
              I do not see Cesar and Freddy as top ten prospects in their prospect class.

    1. An impact first round pick by Almaraz would be nice. The last three picks were #10, #1 and #8. Signing bonuses were for a combined $14.4M. Would be nice to get something good from that.

      1. Ortiz and Garcia are the biggies they are hoping for.
        But, right now, they are not even in the class of the above ones I mentioned.

        Though Simon Muzziotti could be a real find and a good player….but he was a Sox signing.
        And Abarhan Guiterrez could be a catcher to watch out of the braves org…..next month he should in Williamsport.

        1. Grullon is doing really well , D Santana was traded, plus Ortiz . The Phillies sign alot of skinny middle infielders and offense type cathers that never work out.
          The pitching is the key a host of good pitching brings you back a gold mine of talent.

          1. Tim……you would think that the Phillies could have signed one Latin position player that could be difference maker. in all those years…Freddy/Cesar and Maikel are the latest but will not be in the same class of Devers/Torres/Robles Acuna/Albies/Gary Sanchez et al….and Chooch, he was close to 20 years ago now.

            1. Think about it Ramos was a Cardinal reject he’s in the ML bullpen.Lius Garcia was found in a wearhouse. Russo looks really good the Dodgers had him. You really never know.

    2. It’s a straight up joke that Vlad Jr. is still at AA. He’s destroying AA pitching.

        1. thanks- i didnt realize that series was in Reading. Vlad sat out when i went last time.

    3. Their chances of signing a star-level position player is always going to be limited when they use the strategy of spreading smaller signing bonuses across a larger number of players. It’s been successful in bringing in a high volume of LA players, increasing their chances of hitting on a big league talent, but it limits the ceiling somewhat in terms of hitters.

  12. Eickhoff gonna have some time off, said he had twinging in his fingers in last game… Same feeling he had last season before injury.

    1. This is the same symptom ViVe and Matt Harvey had…..both had to have TOS surgery.

      1. Or he might need ulnar nerve transposition surgery like Degrom if his little finger gets numbness.

        1. yes…Tiger’s Fulmer also had it over the off-season.
          VuVe did not have his top rib removed…so it was labeled a TOS but it really was not.

    1. Thoracic outlet syndrome surgery.
      The area between the shoulder and the neck….the very top rib…flat bone the size of a tiny pinky finger…that could be causing some blockage and hampering blood flow.

  13. Sad for Quinn. Such a great athlete. Just can’t stay healthy

      1. Roman Quinn injury history:

        2013 – broken wrist (not a soft tissue injury)
        2014 – torn Achilles tendon
        2015 – torn hip flexor (trying to beat out a bunt)
        2016 – strained oblique (on a check swing)
        2017 – ulnar collateral ligament injury in left elbow (sliding into 3rd base); no surgery
        2018 – torn ligament in right middle finger

        Unfortunate, but the guy is a torn ligament/tendon or pulled muscle just waiting to happen.

        1. Yes, it seems that people are finally accepting that. This offseason people on here were advocating keeping him and trading Odubel? Can you imagine if they had done that?

          1. I’m guilty, from the offseason, I wanted to trade Odubel for pitching. Glad I’m not in the FO, turns out we didn’t need SP as bad as I thought. For the record, Herrera and Cesar are infuriating sometimes, and there is a point where their hitting and bonehead mistakes collide. Since they are doing so well now, you won’t hear as much, but If they cool off and make those same
            Mistakes, you’ll see the cockroaches come
            Running from miles away!

  14. Just crazy! He comes back at the end of July, give him a week to get ready and promote him to the Majors. We might as well get some Major league help from him before another injury. It is a shame. I am still a big fan, but these injuries are incredible. Is anybody else not really thrilled with the Defense that the team has been playing? I expected far better all around D, and it is just not there, at least so far.

    1. Santana is killing the Phillies with his D. His range is not great, he doesn’t pick the ball off the ground that well, and I think he threw at least 2 balls away.

    1. Tim, I’m a huge Roman Quinn fan, but have to face the reality that he can’t stay healthy. Maybe a good 4th or 5t outfielder some day, but as of now, not to be considered in prospect discussion.

  15. Cehe might be a 4 war player that still does things in games that are coach killers.
    Nick Williams has as much opposite field power as any LH batter I seen.

  16. I said it, I think Nick Pivetta has finally turned the corner. His confidence with his slider and curveball were the best I’ve ever seen. He threw 2 straight sliders on the outside for strikes against Dansby, the old Pivetta could never do that. He looked confident, he trusted his pitches, he flat out looked great tonight.

    1. RAJ turned Jonathan Papelbon into Nick Pivetta. That’s going to go down as an all-timer !

      1. RAJ was also in charge when they got our future closer in seranthony-dominguez. Klentak owes half his paycheck to RAJ and his minions!

    2. rotoworld had this line today- it’s safe to say Pivetta has now beaten out Punto as the greatest Nick P in Phillies history.

  17. What’s going on with Joey Meneses at Lehigh? He’s going crazy down there. He just turned 26 (younger than Altherr), and he looks like he wants a shot with the big club.

    1. the new baseball roster construction is a curse for players like this who might have had a good career as a bat off the bench ( what I call the greg dobbs role) but players like this who aren’t starters and don’t have position versatility esp playing either center field or SS defensively are becoming scarce in the majors with teams carrying only 5 and sometimes 4 bench players

      1. srussell…spot on….pitchers and the total pen numbers are increasing, thereby doing what you mentioned.

        1. Tim you need to be more like me, Stop being so negative, I Am so positive about these guys, Except now I must admit Franco just keeps doing the same thing, Pulls off against right hand pitching. I loved this kid in the minors but think its time to move on. He just has a ton of ability. but cant stop pulling off pitches, will never be the type of player I thought.

          1. The new and improved rocco with the posi attitude these days!
            And you may be correct on Franco.
            He has 3/4 of the season to show more of a change and improvement…..or wondering if the Phillies move on after the season without him.

          2. Rocco,

            Have to agree with you. Franco has had a lot of chances, as in a lot.

            Perhaps what’s protecting him is nobody in the high minors who looks like a replacement. The closest might be Mitch Walding, who is having a fairly good year, and Damek Tomscha who might be among the most underrated players. I think people dismiss Tomscha because of his age, but he’s actually moved steadily through the system after starting at a late age after college.

            Then again, the answer might be to trade for a third baseman.

          3. He’s only 24 Franco plays really good denfese right now even with holes in his game . He still can produce 25 to 30 hr and 80 to 100 RBIs.

    1. That’s a shame. This board was on fire in 2010 during his first few months at Lakewood. Dude was 19 and slashed .350/.434/.631 with 10 HR and a 12.7%/15.9% BB/K rate in his first two months of full season ball. I remember a scout throwing out a Manny Ramirez comp.

      I hope he turns it around. Addiction is a horrible thing, but guys like Josh Hamilton and Matt Bush have shown that it’s possible to overcome and find success.

      1. Singleton and dom brown are two of the cautionary tales of how even the best of prospects sometimes don’t work out. every team has them, Profar from texas was the top prospect in baseball for a few yrs and basically cant hit at major league level to this pt.
        I remember david green a prospect with the cards in the early 80s who was supposed to be the next willie mays and couldn’t hit major league pitching. look at Jason heyward,, everyone thought he was a 30 hr .300 average everyyear. that’s why having waves of prospects rather that counting on one or two start prospects is the best approach.

        1. Though Profar’s case was a little different than Brown and Singleton in their declines….Profar’s was that shoulder injury and subsequent surgery that led to his decline.

          1. It doesn’t matter how a prospect fails (injury, addiction, lack of ability), it only matters that they failed. #1 pick Brien Taylor failed due to injury. #1 pick Mark Appel failed due to lack of ability. In they end, they both busted for the team that drafted them.

            1. I disagree. An injury is a fluke … there’s little scouts can do to predict one. A lack of ability is something that can be scouted.

        2. I wouldn’t call Heyward a failed prospect. He was a great player for six seasons before joining the Cubs. Your overall point is spot on, though. Baseball is a game of adjustments, and even the shiniest prospects will quickly lose their luster if they can’t keep up.

          Everybody killed RAJ for the first Pence trade, but in retrospect he gave up: a failed 1B prospect (Singleton), a replacement-level starter (Cosart) and an average corner OF with shrinking chances of becoming a first-division regular due to swing-and-miss/contact issues (Santana). Had they held onto Pence, they would have gotten more out of him than those other three combined.

          1. agreed
            heyward wasn’t a failure by any means with the braves
            so probably not the best example
            he just never became the dominant player he was projected to be

        3. I have always said this, prospects fail a lot more than you think. Take my favorite example, Byron Buxton. His numbers in the minors were ridiculous. He was the #2 prospect in all of baseball at one point. He was can’t miss. And aside from 1 crazy year where he had an astronomical dWar, he has been remarkably ordinary.

          1. Then on the other side of that you have someone like Doobie…..he never cracked the top twenty…..that is, the Rangers top 20…and he is on his way to his second all-star selection and maybe a Gold Glove candidate this season.

        4. I agree on the waves of prospects approach. It’s what the Phillies have done with their pitchers and it’s working like a charm.

  18. Wow the 2017 pitching draft class might go down as the best. Parkinson game score 89 last night.

    1. Alfaro’s throw to second looks like a Nolan Ryan fastball. I’m beginning to wonder why teams are running on him.

      Related: Mistakes happen, but dropping that first laser from Alfaro last night had to give Kingery nightmares.

      1. If Alfaro had a little training and wound up on a mound and threw a pitch, I’ll bet it would be in the high 90s (not that he should) – his arm is exceptional.

    2. I have always loved Alfaro the person (saw him in ST a few years ago and he’s engaging and a bolt of sunshine – a very positive kid), but have doubted Alfaro the prospect.

      But now I’ve seen more and I was definitely wrong, at least in part. The throw he made in the 7th inning to nail the runner at second, was, I think, perhaps the best and strongest throw I’ve ever seen by a catcher. I’ve never had a throw to second take my breath away – but that one did. He has a true 8 arm and the release was quick last night. He also made two ridiculous plays in the infield – your average catcher would not have made both plays. And he’s worked so hard on his plate discipline and pitch framing. At this point, even with just average organic growth, he should develop into a decent regular and, obviously, with his physical skills, he could be much better than that. Consider the starting catcher job won – good job, Jorge!

      1. Fortunately for Alf, the offensive bar for catchers is not set by Posey
        Even with an eventual slash of 250/310/425, he should be a very valuable asset to the team.

        1. That’s kind of what I’m thinking – if he could develop a little more HR power and maybe nudge the average into the .265 range with 6-8% walks, he should be just fine.

          1. I think he can get his SLG% up to the 475/500 area, especially playing half the season at the Bank. I imagine he will have a high swing and miss rate for the next few years until he becomes more established and confident vs MLB pitchers.
            And that arm…wow.
            He says when he thows to second…he aims for the pitcher’s head….yikes…they better duck quick.

      2. He always had that cannon, and speed. The most impressive growth area to me is his pitch framing. He went from “just can’t do it” to very good in one offseason. He must have worked extremely hard on that. Second would be game-calling. You didn’t see Pivetta shake off too many of Alfaro’s calls last night.

    3. Perhaps the Phillies should have stickers made up of him as Alfaro the Cat……saying ‘me-wow’!

      1. Right on, Wawa! Let’s go with EL GATO. Don’t want to get him confused with Andres Galaraga.

  19. Over the winter we had many discussions about the Phillies catching. We all pretty much agreed that last summers numbers were unsustainable for him. Many wanted to trade for Realmuto, and I wonder how close Klentak came to making that deal. In hindsight, it would have been a bad deal (we still need a good back up). Alfaro is still developing as a hitter, and a receiver.

    1. “it would have been a bad deal”….????
      But why….Realmuto is only 27…10WAR career so far…on pace for a 5WAR season this year on a poor team…if he can stay healthy.
      Realmuto and Machado on this team right now, would ensure a play-off berth and possibly a WS showing.

      1. Romus – A bad deal in that Alfaro would only play a couple of games a week. It would be a immediate upgrade, but could stunt Alfaro’s development. I’d guess that, by the end of the season, you’ll change your mind. Would .270, 18 HR’s, and 75 RBI’s change your mind?
        I prefer that the Phillies go after Machado over Harper. The outfield is already overcrowded, but Manny would be a huge upgrade over Crawford.

        1. Wawa….I would have included Alf in any package for Realmuto, since Jeter wanted to reduce salary and Realmuto is going to go from current $2.9M to probably triple that at a minimum next season.

    1. Hari – Today, this minute. Machado has repeatedly said that he will go to the highest bidder. That has to be the Phillies bid this winter.

  20. Looking at Alfaro’s underlying stats and it’s not very encouraging. Out of the 25 catchers with 100 PAs so far:

    -He swings at the most pitches outside of the strike zone (43%) and makes the least contact by far (36%).

    -He swings at a ton of pitches in the zone, which isn’t a killer, but he’s making the least contact (70%). All but 4 of the other catchers are above 80%.

    It adds up to him only making contact on 57% of his swings. To give you an idea of how bad that is, it’s the same as career Bartolo Colon.

    I’ve seen a few comments above about him hitting .260 or .270, and that’s just extremely unlikely. I just don’t see much of a path to him being a productive hitter. If he keeps hitting the same combination of line drives and ground balls, MAYBE he’s a .200 hitter, but there’s not going to be much power. If he starts hitting hitting more fly balls, there’s maybe 25-30 home run power, but he’s probably going to hit .180.

    1. Also, if you could somehow get the Marlins to trade Realmuto and salary (Prado?) for Alfaro and a #15-20 type prospect in the system, I’d jump on that in a heartbeat. I don’t think they’d go for that though.

    2. You may be right about how Alfaro projects, but there’s much to be said for coaching. I am far more confident in this big league staff in working with the raw tools. Last year, only Matt Stairs seemed to make a difference to guys like Altherr and William’s. You can see how the pitching staff has benefited from Kranny and Co. Besides, Alf is a catcher. They typically take longer to come around. And I’m not pinning the offensive future of this squad on his shoulders. Let him grow organically and we’ll know soon enough….

      1. I hope you’re right. I feel a lot better about what he could become defensively with his arm. Right now he’s about an average at throwing out runners. He could be elite. The only problem with that is there’s fewer guys stealing bases now. I’m honestly not sure how he is at pitch framing.

        I’m still not sure how much we can depend on this staff to improve position players. Alfaro, Franco, Hoskins, Altherr, and Williams haven’t really improved much. Kingery and Crawford have been pretty disappointing, though it’s still early for them. The improvements have really all come on the pitching side.

        1. I’m not sure what to say – your analysis is very thorough – perhaps we can just hope that with work and coaching he improves.

          1. The good news is that he is already in the top 10 in pitch framing (I just checked). I could see him getting a lot better there. He also has to get at least a little credit for how much the staff has improved this year. I don’t know if it’ll offset the hitting, but at least there are some positives.

      2. 8mark – You are right on about the coaching staff, from Kapler right on down the line. In almost every prospect interview it becomes obvious that every player, manager, and coach is on the same page at every level.

    3. Otero – Are you aware that Alfaro took a “just make contact” swing with two strikes, and the ball landed 400 feet away?

      1. Yeah, I don’t think anyone’s disputing his raw power. I don’t know where you got that from what I wrote. The problem is he swings and misses more than pitchers do.

        1. ” swings and misses more than pitchers do.”…in the strike zone, no less, which is really a red-flag. And this was his problem thru out his minor league career.

  21. I’m very impressed with Alfaro’s pitch calling ( though I’m sure part of that is having a better pitching coach, god I hated McClure).
    you don’t see as many headshaking pitch selections like you saw when rupp was behind the plate
    I also think Alfaro will get better with his hitting because he seems to have a high baseball IQ. not easy to be a rookie catcher and work on defense and offense at the same time.
    I can see him being a .260 hitter with 15 homers

    1. srussell….he wears a wrist/forearm ‘ipad’ that tells him what pitches to call in certain counts vs certain batters. So it really is the coaches still calling the pitches because they update that device prior every game.

      1. I’m actually quite impressed with the new pitching instruction though obviously the season is young. I judge a coach or manager by whether they make the players better than they were and a lot of our pitchers are improving

        1. Exactly – you’ve got to give Rick Kranitz a ton of credit – they’ve almost all improved across the board. It’s impressive.

    2. If Kingery holds onto the ball on Freeman’s SB he was dead to rights on that Alfaro throw

    3. IMO, a catchers priority is defensive more than offensively. I don’t expect Alfaro to be in the #1-#5 hitting line up, so if Alfaro can be at least average defensively, he can be dark horse as a bottom of the order hitter since he can hit with power.

    4. McClure wasn’t quite up there with, say, Bill Davis (disastrously bad defensive coordinate for the Eagles) in the Pantheon of bad Philadelphia assistant coaches – but he’s not that great either.

  22. srussell – Amen to McClure. Alfaro seems more confident since he won the starting job.

  23. i think it’s too premature to be concerned with:

    1) Hoskins – 25 yo, 322 ABs
    2) Kingery – 24 yo, 134 ABs
    3) JPC – 23 yo, 134 ABs

    The trio displayed a very good hit tool on their way to the majors and i don’t see any of these tools regress. Among the 3, I don’t expect JPC to be an offensive catalyst. Regarding Kingery, his role of a “plug and play” just makes it hard for him to settle down and focus on what he do best. The “plug and play” or flex are more suited to veteran players who are defensively flexible like Blanco, Florimon, Zobrist, etc. Kingery is an offensive weapon – he needs to be unleashed.

    I’m also not worried about these batters since they are not known to be disciplined hitter but they have big time tools to be game changers.

    Nick Williams – 24 yo, 399 ABs
    Jorge Alfaro – 24 yo, 229 ABs

    Nick and Jorge are suited better as complimentary players. If a GM thinks that they are the foundation of their offensive line up, then they are setting themselves for disappointment. Williams and Jorge as a #6-#8 are decent options.

    Aaron Altherr – 27 yo, 826 ABs, is another player that’s known for his various tools (speed and power) except for his hit tool. Similar to Williams, Altherr is another bottom of the order option.

    So do expect that Altherr, Williams and Alfaro to carry the team offensive because that’s not the player they are based on their projections.

    The key to the Phils offensive prowess if for the Top 5 hitters to be who they need to be. So far Cesar and Doobie are doing their part, but Hoskins, Santana and Franco need to show better and this where a key player like Machado, Harper or Trout fits in.

  24. Kiley McDaniel, in his chat today, had glowing reports on Sixto Sanchez and Adonis Medina.

    On Sixto: Mcdaniel saw him last week and Sixto was upper 90’s T100 with plus CB and plus CH. Also added, “No reason to be worried, he may even be a little better than what I saw.”

    On Medina: “Saw him a couple weeks ago and that guy would go in the top 5 picks of the draft.”

    1. the Phils doesn’t have the deep stable of young tops arms like ATL, SD, CWS, NYY, but if Sixto and Medina developed as projected – this will be key in the way and timing that the Phils can contend for the WS.

      i don’t expect the Phils to draft in the Top 15 anymore for the next 10 years, so major components of the next contending team will be acquired via FA, trade and effective scouting of hidden talents.

      1. “major components of the next contending team will be acquired via FA, trade and effective scouting of hidden talents”…I just want them to be more successful in the Latin market when it comes to position players. with paying the high end bonuses..

        1. Their issues with position players are in the draft, the LA amateur market and the trade market. They need to do better on those fronts and they need to keep up what they’ve been doing well in LA on the pitching front.

        2. @romus – there’s a lot of competition in the high end bonus — teams with really good scouting teams like BOS, NYY, TEX, LAD, CHC, SD are all over these projected high end talents – so the Phils might get one and here they can develop them. Sal A.s team appears to hit the correct buttons in the pitching side, so they might need to hire new scouts who have a track record in finding positional players. Maybe Johnn A. can help. He used to be with ATL’s latin scouting team that find Albies and Acuna.

          1. KuKo…agree.
            Maybe Ortiz will be that guy.
            But I am really cannot tired of seeing the Vlad Guerreo’s, Albies, Acunas, Moncados, Sotos, Robles, Gleyber Torres, Devers, Margot, Mazaros et al coming out for all these teams.
            Of the 2011 to 2014 versions….only Grullon and Gamboa, IMO, would appear to be a significant finds….hopefully also Brito
            but Encarnacion is gone…Pujols has been repeating levels to succeed…Tocci, Pinto, Tromp well….

            1. Jhailyn is definitely a decision outside their comfort zone especially when reports about Jhailyn’s conditioning.

              I understand that signing 16 yos are riskier than the domestic Rule 4 draft, Sal A.’s team tend to be conservative with the higher priced positional players —- concentrating on “safe” choices of toolsy mid-infielders while “playing within rules”.

              In all fairness to Sal A., i like the spread of $$ and the quality of signings of the top IFAs since 2014 — Gamboa (2014), Ortiz (2015), Morales (2016), Garcia (2017) and Castillo (2018) have the makings of a premier prospects — add Brito, Guzman, Gonzalez, Muzziotti and Gutierrez — it looks like that Sal A. is now hitting both sides of the fence.

            2. @romus – i agree that Muzziotti and Gutierrez are not Sal A.’s original signing, but he provided the most input before Klentak signed these prospects.

              do you think that Muzziotti and Gutierrez just walked in and asked Klentak to sign them?

              As i mentioned to Tim – the onus on signing/drafting a prospect lies with the scouting head.

            3. KuKo….yes, Sal may have input on both Muzz and Gutierrez acquisitions…but they were already professionals for a year in the DSL, so it was not such a big find to identify their capabilities…..the Phillies just outbid other buyers for their services.

  25. It will be great to add a nice major component in this year’s draft at 1.3. Maybe he is the Rookie of the Year in 2021 and the Phils win the WS?

  26. There drafting , scouting of the LA pitchers and trading for Pitchers in the last couple of yrs is the best I’ve seen . Imo

    1. The drafting has been okay, the trading has been quite good and the LA signings have been spectacular. There is just one excellent LA arm after the next – to the point where there are so many good players you lose track of them all.

      1. image if they had hit or ultimately do hit ( to keep it positive) on the moniak, haseley and Randolph high selections.

        1. I can’t go there – it’s just too painful to think about 3 top 10 picks that may yield almost nothing. And I’m not opening that can of worms.

    1. @tim – i agree with the buy the bats (Machado, Harper) and grow the arms (sixto, medina) philosophy but your post is misleading.

      Out of the last 8 drafts (2010-2017), Nola is the only legitimate regular SP. I like to include Anderson because I like him – but it’s only Nola. Irvin can probably make it and JoJo has a good upside, but he might eventually move to the pen. Gowdy has the highest upside, but we need to see how Gowdy comes back from the injury

      If you include the pen arms, then Morgan and Rios are regulars and possibly Leiter (Milner is not that good). I think Anderson and Austin Davis have the ability to regular pen arms and stuff better than Rios and Leiter.

      As we speak, i don’t see this as very good on the pitching side — BUT this can change next year when Gowdy, Falter, Fanti, Young, Howard, Seabold starts going up the ladder.

      When it comes to the position players from same timeline (2010-2017), the Rule 4 produced Hoskins, Kingery, JPC, Knapp with Quinn and Cozens in the 40-man. I can see Hoskins, Kingery and JPC as regulars in the MLB and possibly Quinn if he really got over that injury hump.

      1. Don’t forget Macphail and company just came on board . So 2015 forward also include Steward, Parkinson, Damon Jones , K Young, Addison Russ ,Leftwich, etc. That site doesn’t cover who’s not playing yet. Jake Holmes,Ben P , DJ Steward. The Nola Draft will be a good one if Hoskins, Liebrandt, Austin Davis , pan out.

        1. when it comes to R4 draft and IFA, i put the onus on the scouting heads and not on the GMs or President although I will admit that the President/GM can influence the choice.

          My comment with Johnny A. is the lack of high risk high reward talents in his game plan. Johnny A. tends to hedge his picks and focus on red flags than ceiling. Kevin Gowdy (and Howard possibly) is(are) the only R4 pick(s) that I consider high ceiling. Somebody drafted in R4 need to have a Kingery-type break out to increase their ceiling.

          On the IFA side, Sal A. still play the “good boy” role and play within the rules unless the other big market teams who are willing to break the rules just to get the top IFA available. With Sal A.’s success in the hidden gems like Sixto, Medina, Seranthony, etc. – I guess I can’t complain.

          1. i supposed to say “unlike the other big markets” NOT “unless”.

  27. Tim, I agree with your pointing out what MacPhail stated, but how does that match up with 3 straight hitters picked at #1? And the answer is not BPA, because that is just not true.

  28. Sixto, Howard, Gowdy, Morales, Medina….if two of these top SP prospects can be impact major leaguers, we’re doing well. (I no longer consider Kilome a top prospect, perhaps he winds up in the bullpen.) I don’t consider lefties like Romero, Ranger, Rosso, Parkinson or even Irvin in this class, although they may be serviceable arms down the road. The legend of Kyle Young is a story really yet to begin, but intriguing to anticipate. With Nola, Pivetta and Velasquez (I’m still holding my breath on him) already marking their spot, the pitching outlook is VERY bright. And when you have pitching, at least you are playoff relevant.

    1. @8mark – the 5 names you mentioned are the possibly the top 5 pitching arms in the farm based on true potential (all 5 are at least a MOR) – other than these 5 arms, no prospect AA and below has the current potential and stuff to be better than a #3 except for JoJo Romero and Kilome. Some scouts and analysts projects JoJo as #4/#5 or go to the bullpen, and Kilome will transition to the arm because of his lack of control and a playable 3rd pitch.

      I’m optimistic that one (and possibly more) of the LA arms in the DSL/VSL/ROK will break out and develop their stuff like Sixto, Medina and Ranger did but Johnny A. Rule 4 arms are on the “pitchability” bucket than “pure stuff”.

      It’s imperative really that Klentak holds on to Sixto, Medina, Gowdy, Howard and Morales and do everything to help them develop to big leaguers.

      1. AA or better De Los Santos , Ranger, Eshelman, Liebrandt and Taveras is back.lakewood might have the best rotation in the minor’s.im ready hi on Russo , Steward too .

        1. CLW rotation is still the cream of the crop since the it headlines the top 2 pitching prospects in Sixto and Medina. Seabold is coming around and Falter is flying under the radar.

          Howard is the only SP in LWD that gets me excited. But I’m happy with the recent success of Will Stewart and I want to see Rosso perform in the higher level. Rosso might be the Jose Taveras 2.0.

  29. Hopefully the bats are overdue to break out some crooked numbers against the Braves lefty Gohara tonight. Head into Memorial Day weekend a half game back. Braves will be in Beantown while we host the Jays who’ve been struggling of late. Let’s be in 1st place come Monday.

  30. I know one thing, We cant keep with the braves or nats with the production we are getting. from left field, right field ,ss, third, catcher. its really bad Hoskins number lately are horrible. he is dropping like a lead weight in all offensive category’s/ Sheldon better do something fast. find a hitter somewhere.

    1. rocco…long term solution…
      1. draft Madrigal,
      2. sign Machado
      3. trade for Realmuto.

    2. I agree Rocco, the bats need to heat up. Maybe Kapler moves guys around in the lineup to try to shake things up. I would add 1st base to your list of getting no production. Santana, aside from the Giants series, has been a huge disappointment at bat and in the field as well.

      Had to laugh at the coverage in Philly.com and NBC Sports after the game. They put the blame on the defense and pitching, not the fact that they scored one run against Brandon “Cy Young” McCarthy and friends. Have to make sure we coddle Hoskins, Kingery, etc… Love how this team makes guys with fastballs that couldn’t break a pane of glass look like TOR arms.

      1. Remember when Jamie Moyer used to dominate the young Marlins? Well that’s what’s going on a little now with the Phillies’ young bats. They can all hit the heat. What they can’t always do is adjust to a pitcher who works multiple pitches and multiple zones like Brandon McCarthy or the kid from St. Louis the other day. They need to grow up and adjust to more advanced pitching. It’s going to take a little time.

        1. Catch I don’t agree. Any prospect should kill fastballs What kills guys is the offs peed stuff and curves. that is what separates the good hitters from bad. not fastballs. In fact you proved it with your moyer fact.

          1. Uh, Roccom – that’s exactly what I’m saying. They do hit fastballs and they do struggle with good breaking pitches. I think we agree. Not sure how you took something else from that post.

          2. Phillies are having trouble with the pitchers with great control command. The pitching that don’t they walk and get the Pitchers into trouble. McCarthy has the highest % his of pitches in the stike zone in the league. The Phillies won 3 zip the night before the Braves hitters aren’t hitting the cover of the ball.
            VV had 9 k’s but 3 bb in 4.1 ings which killed him.
            Albies is real good player .

  31. The minor league system is, to my mind, now dominated by pitching.

    Here’s a new working top 10 list

    1. Sixto
    2. Medina (I’ll choose to believe the scouting reports, which are through the roof – but the performance needs to catch up soon).
    3. De Los Santos (the numbers and stuff don’t lie)
    4. Howard (had a few bad starts but the numbers and scouting reports are excellent).
    5. Gamboa (I think he’s ready for an explosion and soon – very solid hitting and OB numbers).
    6. Romero (I’m still a believer)
    7. Ortiz (not giving up yet – has a world of ability)
    8. Falter (wow – great numbers)
    9. Haseley (seems to be catching fire now)
    10.Irvin (this guy is way underrated and could easily be a mid-rotation arm – has proximity on his side).
    11.Suarez (could easily been anywhere from 7-11 on this list)
    12. F. Morales
    13. Hall (let’s see how he does when he gets to AAA, but early results are encouraging).
    14. Kilome (let’s give him a little time – the stuff is still excellent).
    15. Seabold (I think there’s something there)

    Out of the top 20 – Moniak (OMG – he’s been terrible)
    Out of the top 20 – Eshelman (what happened?)
    Out of the top 25 and maybe top 30 – Randolph (I did not expect this implosion).

        1. I’d probably have Rosso around 16 or so, but he could be in the last few spots too – judgment call. Could also swap Irvin and Falter – could go either way.

    1. As Randolph is concerned, I fully expected what would happen. He was promoted without having dominated at A+. The high school players must be treated with patience. He and Moniak have been promoted even though they did not dominate at the previous level. it is a good policy to promote once domination is achieved. I imagine they promote them because they would have to promote other players ahead of them. What is wrong with that? Promote them if they deserve it. If you draft young, have the patience needed for them to learn how to play professional baseball. It is unfair to young players to expect too much. I don’t care where they were drafted.

  32. catch – Great list. I might switch Irvin and Falter, and drop Kilome and add Kyle Young.

  33. I’m going the with the hole Lakewood rotation ,Addison Russ , Steward, Russo as the biggest surprises in pitching .

  34. According to MLBTR, Ryan Bollinger, 47th round draft choice of the Phillies in 2009 has just been called up to the majors. Never was a prospect; I believe he signed but never pitched an inning. Not saying that he will ever amount to much, but I doubt any of us would have ever thought that he would ever appear on a MLB roster.

    1. Wow! Ryan Bollinger. If I remember he signed late out of high school in one of the Dakotas and was committed to proving he could make his people proud. Their chests must be bursting. Congratulations Ryan.

  35. catch … you have inspired me to put together a quick midseason top 40. I included the upcoming 1-3 pick, but couldn’t include the Phillies 4th rounder (or any other 2018 draft pick) because I’m not a clairvoyant. I also discluded any prospect either currently or previously on the MLB roster this season.

    1. Sixto Sanchez
    2. Adonis Medina
    3. Alec Bohm/Nick Madrigal/Joey Bart
    4. Roman Quinn
    5. Jhailyn Ortiz
    6. Francisco Morales
    7. JoJo Romero
    8. Enyel De Los Santos
    9. Spencer Howard
    10. Adam Haseley
    11. Franklyn Kilome
    12. Arquimedes Gamboa
    13. Kevin Gowdy
    14. Ranger Saurez
    15. Daniel Brito
    16. Simon Muzziotti
    17. Dylan Cozens
    18. Edgar Cabral
    19. Darick Hall
    20. Nick Maton
    21. Mickey Moniak
    22. Kyle Young
    23. Jonathan Guzman
    24. Bailey Falter
    25. Cole Irvin
    26. Drew Anderson
    27. Luis Garcia
    28. Cornelius Randolph
    29. Jake Sheiner
    30. Ben Pelletier
    31. Tom Eshelman
    32. Connor Seasbold
    33. DJ Stewart
    34. McKenzie Mills
    35. Jake Holmes
    36. Mauricio Llovera
    37. Edgar Garcia
    38. Jose Taveras
    39. Ramon Rosso
    40. Austin Listi

    * If the Phillies draft Casey Mize, I’d put him at #2.

    1. Compelling list, Hinkie. I would exclude Quinn since his shelf life as a prospect has expired IMO. Abraham Gutierrez and Rafael Marchan are 2 that might be considered. All in all, nice work.

    2. Man, I love Quinn, but I would have a hard time justifying him in the top 10 at this point.

      1. I’ve always been a Roman Quinn believer. Also, I don’t bump a player too much for injuries (see Kevin Gowdy).

        1. That’s where you and I differ. A temporary or freak injury, no probably not. But a guy who is injured every year in similar ways like clockwork and is always out about half the season or more – absolutely. How can you plan a team around a guy like that? And with pitchers the issue is whether the injury will diminish the player’s underlying ability and cut into development time. I’d have to mark Gowdy down significantly because of that. I’d have a hard time justifying putting him in the top 20.

          1. I’d also put Valentin somewhere between 15 and 20. He’s the forgotten man, but I’m telling you, this guy can play. He could end up having a career like Jonathan Villar.

    3. Hinkie…nice list.
      But Randolph at 28 and Austin Listi holding up the list at the bottom?

      1. Romus … of all the guys to question me on, you’re going to bring up Randolph and Listi ? I was sure you were going to scold me for not placing Darick Hall in my top 5 🙂

        1. Hinkie…oh that too.
          But really, Hall is probably a lot lower since he is limited to first base.
          The 15-19 range is about right.
          I want to see how Mayo/Calluis rate him in mid-season with the other first basemen in the minors.
          I think he is right there with Pavin Smith (3)., evan White (5)Matt Thais and Lewin Diaz at the back end…..but first round picks and high bonus Latin signings get the benefit of th doubt.

    4. Nice list. I like Morales a lot, but can’t see him above De Los Santos or Howard, both of whom are getting it done at higher levels. Also, I’d put Bohm, Madrigal or Bart ahead of Medina and behind Sanchez, not just Mize.

      I agree with your assessment of Ortiz.

    5. Hinkie,

      All of this listing is getting me excited to do my own. Until then, thanks to you and Catch for your fine lists. However, it is with heavy heart, as they say, that I would drop Roman Quinn way down. On talent, Number 4, on prospect of making it and making a difference, a lot lower.

    6. @hinkie – our prospect list are normally close to one another, although I think you forgot a couple of prospect who deserve to be in the Top 30/40 — Bryan Guzman and JD Hammer. Nick Fanti is a favorite in this site – who is #40 in my list. And where’s your el favorito Jakob Hernandez?!

      I like the high ranking for Francisco Morales and Enyel delos Santos. I lobbied hard for these 2 prospects during the prospect ranking but only got few support. I have Edgar Garcia in my Top 30 for 3 years now — another prospect that I think is not getting any love in this site.

      And how about Cabral?! He’s intriguing but not sure if he deserve Top 40 yet.

      1. KuKo … I seriously considered jaKe the caKe and Jhordany Mezquita over Ramon Rosso. Hernandez, Mezquita and Brayan Gonzalez all made my next five (41-45).

        1. and DJ Stewart at #33?? Looks like Stewart spends a lot of time with Jakob in the kitchen during their free hours.

          Manuel Silva is my wild card in the lower minors. He can be the next Ranger Suarez and possibly better.

          1. KuKo … don’t sleep on DJ Stewart. He was a stud in HS, and is one of the higher ceiling bats in the Phillies’ system. They gave him double the slot for a day three pick (250 thousand dollars). That’s more than Kyle Young got as a day three pick in 2016.

            Eli Fishman got this exclusive interview with Stewart late last summer. He’s gonna’ have to spend a lot more time in la cucina to match jaKe the caKe.

  36. I think Cabral has become one of the most interesting prospects and what they do with him will be equally interesting. I love me a defense first catcher. He has the best BB/K rates for a catcher in the system. He has had almost a full season at A+ now and I’d like to see him promoted. But Grullon and Bossart are in Reading. Both are/were supposedly great receivers. Grullon has improved offense this year but his BB-rate continues to be abysmal. And he is yet again on pace for 10+ Errors and PBs.

  37. Want to comment on a thread here recently concerning Joey Meneses at LVH. He is batting .350 with a 1.01OPS. I view the signing of multiple AAAA players to LVH as being similar to the draft lottery. Almost all of course will be organizational filler, but you hope to find a diamond in the rough, otherwise what is the point of signing them. It seems we may have found a diamond in Meneses. He needs to be given an opportunity in Philly. I know the argument against is some one must be dropped from the 40 so he can be added. I ask you, what other prospects come close to his numbers. If he was a draft pick we would be clammering for his promotion to the bigs. I remember well that we had Brandon Moss at LVH and left him there to rot, he became a star for a few years with someone else. I say lets see what we have with him.

        1. They are full up at first base and left field. I don’t see a spot for him on the team now or in the foreseeable future, although I’ll allow that he might actually be pretty good.

    1. Joey Meneses is a RHB 1B and will take away ABs from Knapp. I’m not even sure if Meneses can play in the OF. Don’t be fooled with the minor league stats unless the “tools” matched the “numbers”. Darin Ruf has better minor league numbers than Meneses and I’m pretty sure that some here can provide another example of minor league journeyman who posted good numbers but stinks in the majors.

      1. Actually the little hidden secret with Ruf is that he never really hit well in AAA – his damage was done at AA Reading. Sometimes players in their mid-20s improve a lot – they should keep an eye on Meneses and not pre-judge him. That said, they’ve paid Santana a ton of money so he’s not going anywhere.

  38. Ok I’ll do my list it by position . Too me health is an important tool. You can’t get better if you can’t stay on field . I value players that made it to higher levels that proform well . The younger players that proform well for they league too.

    1.Sixto there’s not a report anywhere that hasn’t said anything bad not one.
    2. Medina I’ve been on Medina for awhile.
    3. Tie De Los Santos José Taveras both have been really good at high levels .
    4. Howard hmm has proformed well but so have the rest of the Lakewood staff.
    Russo has out proformed him at the same level.Tie
    5.Seabold , Eshelman, really Rhp see the Phillies staff.
    There’s alot of Hope in many Rhp pitchers that are way down the latter. I can’t judge Gowdy yet . Morales has a way to go so does the young LA arms for last yr.
    There’s alot of Really good young LhP.
    1. Ranger Saurez ,Cole Irvin tie
    2. JoJo Romero
    3. Falter he’s coming into his own.
    4. Stewart having a great break out season.
    5. LhP starters on Lakewood D Jones , Parkinson , Young too.
    Tommorow relief .

    1. most of the pitching in the low minors are more about “stats” than “stuff” so it’s hard to get excited until we see them perform at least at A+. Other than Sixto and Medina – Howard and Morales are the only pitching prospects in A+ and below that can have at MOR potential. Falter can be a potential #3 if he can start developing his CU. So far, Falter is utilizing a FB-CB combo and his CU looks more of a 2S than a true CU.

      I’m glad to see Fanti, Young, Stewart, Rosso, Parkinson having good stats, and Lindow and Mezquita looks like good finds too, but we need to see prospects develop good stuff than post good minor league stats.

      1. I read alot of reports on the Phillies pitchers. Russo has 3 reports his slider is plus his FB movement is great. He knows how to spin a baseball really well. He needs a CB or cutter. He already knows how to takeoff or add speed on his FB .
        The college arms at Lakewood need more ings to see what they have the weather sucks. You talk Morales is a kid who needs alot of ings he probably never faced a college hitter yet. There’s at least 4 yrs of development left .on Young how many 7 footers do hitters face . I mean you can’t produce good stats over a long period of time with stuff. You also have to know how to pitch and have control stuff that’s the key .
        It’s really hard this yr because of the weather.

    2. Generally on board with your rankings except Taveras, whose stuff is nowhere near as good as the other guys on that list – he’s a very secondary prospect in my view.

    1. Assumed it would be TOS……VV kept his top rib in his this off-season…..we will see what they do now.

      1. Romus watching the phillies last night .Great pitching, I hope Gabe reverses the roles of Sir Anthony and Neris. Alfaro arm is unreal. but his bat scares me. I saw a guy who cant hit a fastball. Watch him bat he fouled off about 4 to right field, which means he is late. He struck out in his first at bat with three down the middle fastballs, Didn’t even touch one. His hit was on a breaking Ball. I hope he goes to lighter bat, that may help. or else were have a 230 hitter, with a good arm at best. I think he could be a lot more.

        1. rocco….Alf’s swing and miss in the strike zone must be close to 60% now….just way too high. I think the team can live with that if he were the eventual 8-hole hitter with seven decent bats ahead of him in the lineup.

        2. I completely disagree. The way Gabe is using Dominguez has been perfect. Dominguez is not pitching the ninth but he has been pitching the most important art bats. Like last night: men on second and third in the seventh with a three run lead is much more important than bases empty in the ninth with a four run lead.

          Use your best pitcher in the most important situation. Don’t be handicapped by the modern tradition of “closer.”

          1. Aron you use your closer in the ninth, cause Neris is going to give me a heart attack. no clean innings.That kid Sir Anthony has close written all over him. looks cool nothing bothers him so far.

            1. rocco….purely conjecture , but there may be a reason why Seranthony is now a reliever and no longer a starter. Last year when he was on the DL for two months from mid-May to mid-July with shoulder problems, imaging could have revealed an issue. You never know. He could be pitching on borrowed time like Jimmy Cordero was 3 years ago.
              When Seranthony came back and was made the starter he was ineffective lasting an average of 4 maybe 5 innings in a half -dozen or so starts with PC in the 70s , then late in August he was asked to go into the pen. Hope that is a wrong assumption to make and he can be the the guy for a decade here.

            2. i’m mentioned here before about my concern of Neris putting to much runners on base. Yes, he’s getting the job done, but it will catch up to him soon. Neris’ stuff is not getting any better. I have him on my “To Trade” list since a year ago.

              I prefer to have Tommy Hunter get the regular closer gig and use Seranthony and Neris on high leverage situations. Seranthony will eventually get the closer role, i rather have him get situated with high leverage situations then transition to closer one he gets enough MLB experience.

            3. Using a closer in the ninth was a modern innovation of Tony LaRussa with Dennis Eckersley in the early 1990’s. Before that your best pitcher was called a fireman (Hence what is now called Reliever of the Year Award was the Fireman of the Year Award until 2000). Your Fireman was brought in whenever things were blowing up with runners on base in the seventh inning or later. This was back before relief pitchers were one inning only so the Fireman would pitch the rest of the game and get the save.

              I feel bad that it will hurt Domiguez’s future earnings but I’d much rather have Domiguez as our Fireman than our Closer. I’d be more than happy of Gabe went without a closer.

            4. Aron I think you are seeing the pendulum swing back toward the concept of a fireman. More teams are starting to use their best relievers earlier in games in key situations. Saw last night with CLE bring in Andrew Miller in the 7th inning with a runner on 3rd base, none out of a 1-0 ballgame.

              I agree that a need for a designated closer is diminishing in a game where 3-4 innings every night belong to the bullpen..

  39. Arrieta IS the man , Hoskins is looking lost at the plate if he doesn’t walk he can’t make solid contact. There getting him inside with soft stuff or the outside breaking ball. They also have the shift on him now. Hoskins and Santana are horrible in the 2 spot. More Kingery or the RF there.

    1. Most of Lenny’s problems are self-inflicted. The crazy man personality that made him such a great baseball player makes him a less functioning person in the real world. He’s kind of out of his mind in my view.

      1. I suppose we will see Lenny quite often on TV in courtroom settings, in orange jumpsuits soon.

      2. Lenny’s displaying same traits/behaviors you see from some former NFL players who were major steroid users during their careers. Unfortunately, I expect his situation to end tragically.

  40. Another reason why the big club is winning. The Phillies have four regulars (Hernandez, Hoskins, Santana, Altherr) who have an OBP at least 100 basis points higher than their batting average. Hoskins, despite hitting .239, gets on base at a .376 clip. This has been sorely missing from recent Phillies teams. These guys are being patient at the plate and still getting on base, even when the hits aren’t falling. Imagine when their bats wake up (which has already started with Santana …)

    1. Hoskins last ten games hitting 132, with 38 at bats 4 walks one homer 2 rbi. He is dropping like a dead weight as I stated before. cant keep up this terrible numbers.

      1. That’s the point. The guy is slumping, but the team is still winning because hitters are doing what they can to get on base. 4 BB may not sound like much, but that’s a 9.3% BB rate during that 10-game stretch. And guess what? They’ve won more games than they lost during that stretch, despite the slump.

  41. random question- maybe this was covered in a Phils broadcast before, but looking at that pine tar on Santana’s bat. Is there no more rule on that since the George Brett game? Is there any reason he has it so high up the bat? it seems like if he would get jammed, defense would be fielding a ball with pine tar on it. does he get a new jersey every game or does someone have to clean that stain 162 times?

    1. I don’t think they clean uniforms anymore – I think a game worn jersey is immediately taken out of play and sold or given away. And since they realized that pine tar doesn’t really affect how hard a ball is hit they have stopped fixating on it, but I don’t know if they really changed the rule or not.

        1. Yeah, but the Brett incident virtually guaranteed that the restriction will never be enforced after an at bat and probably not at all during a game.

      1. What struck me last night at the game , one of the guys there asked why so many ‘black’ bats anymore, is it the different wood, like ash?
        …Hoskins may be the exception.
        Then saw this rule….” No colored bat may be used in a professional game unless approved by the Rules Committee.”…..pink for Mother’s Day and Breast Cancer Awareness have been long-ago approved, but I assume the black and shining brown bats are now considered non-colored.

  42. I agree with the suggestion for Kap to shuffle the line up and see if Hoskins and Santana’s bats will wake up. The issue is, other than Cesar and Doobie, nobody has been consistent with their bats.

    I will not be worried about Alfaro, Williams and Altherr’s bat as long as their hit in the bottom of the order. It’s good that the Phils are winning (because of pitching than offense) but the heart of the order needs to start warming up – Hoskins and Santana in particular.

    1. Look at Santana last 10 games his walk % is much better and his k % is way Down. He also hitting. Santana has seen the Braves pitching now. He’s adjusting to the NL.

  43. Rhys still seems slow on the fastballs, and he is swinging at some pitches not even close to the plate that he didn’t swing at last year or at the beginning of this season. Pressing can explain the swinging at bad pitches, but I don’t know what is causing the slow bat speed. I have complete faith in him, for some reason, but the slump is dragging on a bit too long.

    1. I was at the game last night and, being able to watch outside of the cameras makes it clearer how frustrated he is. Pressing isn’t the word. He was visibly upset when Makarakis ran down his drive to the RF corner.

      On the other hand, I know Alfaro Ks too much, but he is even more impressive in person than on TV. The latest strike to catch a would-be stealer made me wish there were a Spanish equivalent to Thor so he could have a cool nickname. Busts his ass all the time. Huge passion for the game.

      1. Alfaro is an impressive, hard-working and very likeable young man. When we were at ST, he was all smiles, all hustle, all the time.

    2. The slow bat is also explained by the slump/frustrations. Indecision will make the bat look slow because he’s starting late.

      Hoskins is in a funk right now, just like Mike Trout is in a funk right now (5 for his last 52 for a .143 average). It happens to even the best of players..

  44. MLBPA features Cole Hamels today as a trade candidate. I think it’s a no-brainer to offer Vince Velasquez – and only Vinny Velo – since we’d be taking Cole’s $$$$ as well, which many teams with luxury tax issues will shy away from. The Rangers have already been interested in Velasquez going back to last year. Hamels brings his heat of the playoff run and WS experience to a team in need of that. He and Arrieta would be the veteran oomph behind Nola, which this club will benefit from should they make the playoffs. Pivetta would become the #4 guy. I don’t suggest trading VV lightly. My main concern about him moving forward as contenders is his propensity to have only a 5-6 inning limit. With Texas, he may thrive where he would have more time to grow. I don’t think the Phillies have that luxury IF they’re in the hunt. If other suitors offer Texas a more appealing offer of prospects, then we have enough depth to sweeten the deal.

    1. 8mark … when the time comes to make a trade, I think Klentak will be looking to deal from the farm system instead of the current rotation. Don’t think replacing a (soon to be) 26 YO starter (under team control for 3.5 more years) with a 34 YO starter would be wise for a team that is realistically still a year away from contending for a WS. I would rather them sign a FA LHSP (27 YO Yusei Kikuchi) this winter.

    2. Oh, I think it’s a brainer 🙂 … The team has been following a rebuild plan for about 5 years now and would be foolish to abandon it now because they might be in the ‘hunt’ for a playoff spot earlier then expected..

      They need to stay the course. If they can move a fringe player or two to make the team better or use $$$ to take on a contract fine, but moving a potential long-term rotation piece (or even a back end of the pen arm) in VV because he’s not polished enough yet for an expensive veteran like Hamels would be a mistake..

      1. I would also add that with Hamels you aren’t solving your 5-6 inning pitching issue. In 10 starts, Hamels has gone exactly 7 innings once, 6+ innings 5 times, and 5+ innings 4 times. Hamels has been better than VV in 2018 but he’s averaging about 1 IP more per game.

        I have no issues with Hamels returning to Philly but not at the expense of future pieces..

  45. Just ran across this from David Murphy. It’s exactly what I’ve been saying on here for months now. There is absolutely no way Manny Machado would ever agree to a LTC with any team wanting to deal for him in-season. http://www.philly.com/philly/columnists/david_murphy/phillies-manny-machado-free-agency-trade-contract-rumors-orioles-20180522.html
    Here’s a piece of Murphy’s article:

    “Forget about a window to negotiate a contract extension as a contingency for any trade. Short of equity in the team, there is virtually nothing the Phillies could offer Machado that would prompt agent Dan Lozano to advise that there will be no better offer out there on the open market. This is self-evident. If the Phillies are willing to offer X now, they will be willing to offer X later, and, thus, accepting X now requires forfeiting the possibility of another team offering X+1 without any corresponding diminishment in risk. This is why midseason extensions for rent-a-players do not happen.”
    “Every team in the majors has been preparing its payroll for next offseason, and, given his defensive versatility, every team in the league has an open spot in the lineup for him.”

    1. Hinkie….that is Murphy’s opinion. How does he know for sure!.
      I see he gladly skipped the part that MacPhail and Lozano did the original signing 8 years ago at about this same time.

      1. It’s Romus vs Hinkie in this steel cage match over the Manny debate. Gotta love it. But I’m afraid I have to side with Hinkie here, Romus. Sorry, pal. 2018 is a whole other world from 2010.

        1. Hah rocco…..what would really be thorn into the Phillies,
          if Theo and the Cubbies trade for Machado…..Russell, Ian Happ and a minor league prospect as has been rumored by some of the Tribune guys, …..and he decides to ink a LTC with them as they go into a play-off run.
          Talk about a deflated Phillies org if that would ever occur.

      2. OMG, Romus … as I’ve noted a dozen times, already … that contract you keep mentioning is just a typical/ordinary entry level contract that every drafted player signs. Other than the signing bonus, it’s no different than the contract signed last year by Phillies’ 29th rounder Bailey Cummings. MacPhail worked that same contract with about 30 other players the same year MM was drafted. It means nothing in a MacPhail/Lazano/Machado relationship … other than they know one another … and that is not going to move the needle in an attempt to get MM to sign an early LTC.

        1. Hinkie…..that is correct, but he still did not have to sign, correct?
          he was committed to FIU to play ball and signed on the last signing date day in mid-August.
          Others have not signed as first round draft choices.
          And I did make a mistake……he changed agents from Boras to Lozano after a few years after that signing….so it was not Macpail and Lozano, but Boras and MacPhail

          1. Jon Heyman reports that O’s owner Peter Angelos has instructed his FO that only a huge haul will get them to pry Machado away. Negotiating ploy? Perhaps. We’ll see….

        2. Sign and trade deals do not happen in baseball. They only happen in basketball because the NBA has the Bird rights rule. MLB has nothing like that. Baseball players gain nothing by negotiating with one team instead of multiple clubs.

        3. Romus … You are a smart guy. But … I swear to God … you are like one of my dogs with a toy 🙂 You won’t give it up. You know that (approximately) 99.5 % of first round draft picks sign.
          The point is … Machado has never signed anything but one year contracts. Why would he now sign a multi-year deal when he is just five months shy of hitting free agency ? Not gonna’ happen.

          1. Hinkie…..I am not saying he is not going to FA 100%……there is that small percentage that he could sign with a new team that trades for him.
            Everyone is 100% certain he will not.
            If it is the Cubs that trades for him…..I would not underestimate Theo Epstein. I saw what he did as a the Sox GM and saw what Cashman failed to do to counter-act.

            But if you were GM of the Os would you let Machdo walk at the end of the season and get a 30th or so pick?

            And to entice teams to trade for a ‘rental’ so you can maximize return for Machado what would you do?

            Knowing Machado…I am inclined to think he will go out as a FA. He does have a superiority factor in his personality and can see him getting traded and then leave that team in November.

            But if there is one GM that can get him to stay with his team if he gets traded to them..it is Epstein..

            1. Romus … yes, the Orioles would love it if Manny Machado would agree to a sign and trade deal. That would increase MM’s value and Baltimore’s asking price. That said, a sign and trade does nothing for Manny but cost him money.
              When Machado is finally traded, it will be as a rental. If Theo trades for Machado, he’s still going to have to outbid John Middleton this winter if he wants to keep Manny long term.

              It’s all going to work out fine for the Phillies. At some point this summer, Angelos and DD will trade Machado to another team (might very well be the Cubs; not sure). That will save the Phillies their 2019 second round draft pick when MacKlentak signs Manny this winter. End of story.

  46. Exactly Hinkie, and while I have no problem with acquiring him at the deadline, I don’t come anywhere close to offering some of the names I have read.

  47. For old times sake and the excitement of the current buzz of the ’18 club, I replayed the old “Phillies Fever” starring Cash, Bowa, Schmidt, Maddox and Luzinski (man, what a ham job that was, but fond to look back on all the same). I suppose the ’08 version would have featured Rollins, Utley, Howard, Hamels and Chooch. Anyway, Kapler should take an off day to gather this year’s LA core players and put together a quality version. Call it “Phillies Fiebre” (Spanish for fever) with Doobie, Santana, Alfaro, Franco and Cesar.

    ….slow day at work. Sorry.

  48. Romus, I usually agree with you, but I have to side with Hinkie on the issue of Machado signing a LTC. I don’t believe that MM cares where he plays, and if there is some kind of special relationship that gives the Phils an edge, then simply exploit that in the off season and save all your prospects. I believe he will play wherever they give him the most money and agree to let him play whichever position he prefers. And, the Phils won’t be the only team willing to give him the biggest contract ever. So, if my choice is Josh Donaldson and Sixto and JPC and KIngery and whoever else equals Happ and Russell and Pitching prospects, vs. Machado and losing all those guys, I want Donaldson.

    1. matt13……IMO, I would not trade for MM unless a LTC was on the table. If not, wait for the off-season.
      But Theo and the Cubs could have other ideas and if they do in fact make a trade for him next month, I would think he is smart enough to know that he will get first dibs on MM. And Epstein is not a guy who will sit back and wait to see what happens. He appears to grab the bull by the horns and testicles.
      If MM does sign elsewhere, then Donaldson would come a lot cheaper.
      He is having a bad year, so is it a cliff-falling for him at his age?
      Thats the risk with him.
      he will play in Philly this weekend and yuo see how he does.
      Right now he is struggling…4 for his last 31 PAs.

      1. CHC and LAD, like WAS when they overpay for Eaton, are in the win-now mode so i will not be surprised if they mortgage their future for a Manny Machado rental. Theo will be more than willing to accept the long term ramification of the Machado gamble for a 2nd World Series in 3 years.

        Same thing with LAD. They are probably Machado away to go back and possibly win the World Series. LAD have a strong farm compared to CHC and they are playing high stakes gambling most of the time so LAD can overpay for Machado.

        The Phils played that game before (after 2008 WS) but they cannot afford to do it now. Klentak needs to be opportunistic when it comes to Machado. If the prices goes down to any 2 of Eshelman, Vinny, Eickhoff, Eflin or Lively plus another minor league, then do it. If not, wait until FA season starts. Machado will be there waiting for his check.

  49. Machado is playing well at the right time. Whoever team that will sign him will commit to at least 10 years with multiple opt out options. Manny knows that the FA will be his best chance to get his $$ and set his (and his family) retirement. The more suitors the better for Manny to increase the minimum price. The only way i can see Manny signing a contract without testing the FA is when a team offered him a record breaking offer like $600M/12 years or $50 AAV.

    Klentak can acquire him at the deadline if he likes, but he better not give up his premium assets and be ready to offer above $400M at the minimum to keep Machado in his arms.

  50. Here’s my RRP Relief pitching
    1. E Garcia
    2. Leftwich
    3. Addison Russ
    4. Kilome
    5. Bettencourt
    Hammer would be on it too if he wasn’t hurt. I expect everyone of these pitchers to be pitching in the majors before long.I forgot about Mark Lieter jr and Rios.

    LhP relief
    1. Liebrandt until he gives up a run he’s staying # 1. I heard he has a new CB.
    2.Jeff Singer
    3. Kyle Dohy a crazy good breaking pitch u tube it.
    4.Austin Davis
    5. A Brown.

    1. RHP Edgar Garcia is legit. I have in my top 30 for 3 years now, but not getting any love in this site. He has the definition of a wipe out SL.

      RHP Kilome will be the best bullpen arm prospect if he converted like Seranthony.

      LHP Austin Davis, if healthy, is the best lefty pen arm. Can throw mid-90s with potential above average breaking ball. Leibrant is the lefty version of Leiter – long arm in the pen that can be exposed by good RH bat. Kyle Dohy might eventually challenge Austin Davis if he continue his current trend with his FB 91-94 and potential plus SL.

      RHP Grant Dyer is the other pen arm that i like. He will be a fast riser once recovered from injury. FB mid-90s with tight CB and good control.

      RHP Will Hibbs is 6′ 7″. Watched him in LWD last year. Started poorly, but should be closing when control comes back.

      RHP Luke Leftwich, a generic RHP pen arm but knows how to miss bats. Can throw at least average 3-pitch mix of FB-CB-CU so he can be a multiple innings arm.

      1. I’m surprised Kilome hasn’t been converted to the bullpen already. He walks way too many guys and his SO rate is not that impressive for what he’s throwing. He’s only a year younger than Seranthony. He has similar career minor league numbers to Seranthony.

      2. Addison Russ Fb 95 plus spitter . Re check your info on Liebrandt RHP doesn’t do well against him. He always had a plus Ch plus a outstanding pickoff for off move to first .
        I remember how good A Brown was on the mound he’s up too 95 with that slider. Bettencourt good fb vg slider outstanding bb rate.Singer it’s a control thing once he learns that he might be a vg go piece.
        Also Tyler Gilbert he can pitch .Dyer yes he looked good but injured.

        1. @tim – I said Leibrandt will be exposed by “good” RH bat – and I’m about about majors not minors. He can be effective in the majors for a couple of innings but not more so I’m still spot on my what I said that he is the LH version of Leiter.

          Russ is on my radar, but he’s 23 yo. Maybe if he can replicate in A+. Same thing with A Brown, i will not be enamored by any velocity unless there’s quality in that pitch. Brown’s SL needs to be consistent. At 25 yo, I’m not sure if there’s any projection left.

          Leftwich and Gilbert is like Leiter and Leibrandt – they are mirrors of one another only on the opposite side. I prefer Leftwich than Gilbert since Leftwich knows how to miss bats. Both of them are generic pen arms, nothing to get excited about. They are not better than Yacksel Rios or JDT who did not get any love in this site as prospects.

          If you will look at the possible live pen arms, love at Mauricio Llovera and Luis Carrasco. Both are starting right now but belongs to the pen in the future. Llovera can rech 100+ sitting in the high 90s. Carrasco sits in the mid-90s starting and he can jack it up for a couple of mph if transitioned to the pen.

          1. Gilbert left landed and holding his own in Reading . Leftwich we will see I think there’s 7 th ing arm there. I like Llovera Reading usually separates the the throws from the pitchers.

            1. the Phils can have a legit homegrown bullpen in 2019 as follows:

              LONG – LHP Morgan, RHP Arano
              MID – LHP Davis, RHP Ramos, RHP Kilome, RHP Hammer
              CL – RHP Dominguez

              With Rios and some failed SPs backing them up.

              If Leibrandt, Gilbert, Leftwich will in the majors it’s either for a cup of coffee with the Phils or as pen arms of another team.

            2. I’ve grown to really like Leiter or Lively as long relievers and spot starters. Both are fairly competent pitchers. I know Davis has a good arm but I’d like to see him dominate in AAA before I start projecting him in the majors and Hammer has been injured and hasn’t played in AAA so it’s premature to project him either, although I like what I saw last year.

  51. Boston just cut Hanley Ramirez to avoid his 2019 option from vesting. So Boston paid $88M to Hanley for 1.3 WAR! But this is the same team that paid Rusney Castillo (remember him?) $72.5M for 1.6 WAR. They have money to burn.

  52. They do Guru, but so do the Phils. Santana and Arrieta were just the beginning. I believe Middleton when he says they will spend whatever it takes to be back among the big boys and I am looking forward to it.

    1. The Phillies have money, but it’s not close to the level of Boston. Boston has eaten many contracts (i forgot to mention Kung Fu Panda). And what’s the largest contract that the Phillies have ever given out? $125M to Ryan Howard? Boston already gave $217M to David Price. They have a willingness to give big contracts and eat big contracts. To this point, the Phillies have not demonstrated either of that.

        1. No. Philly is No. 4, Boston is No. 8. The Red Sox probably draw in higher ratings, however. They are the obsession in Boston, similar to the Eagles in Philly.

          1. Thats close, but MLB has their own formula to determine team market size, accounting for the double teams in particualr metro areas:
            Philly is 9th

            ATTACHMENT 26
            * Phased in over four years (2017–2020) at 25% per year, per Article
            Rank..Club.. SCORE DQ%
            1 NYY ..235.. 100%
            1 NYM… 235… 100%
            3 LAD… 178… 100%
            3 LAA… 178… 100%
            5 CHI… 124… 100%
            5 CWS …124… 100%
            7 TOR… 119… 100%
            8 WSH …113… 100%
            9 PHI ..111… 100%
            10 OAK …108… 100%*
            10 SF ..108 …100%
            12 BOS… 101… 100%
            12 TEX …101… 100%

      1. agree with Guru, BOS are playing the big boys game for years now. Blowing international pools, signing top FAs and getting their hands dirty and cheat on the side.

        The Red Sox are one of the legit high rollers in the game and they don’t bluff. So Middleton and the Phils need to know how to pull the trigger when needed because these “big boys” are playing bully-bowl.

        1. KuKo…and also besides Boston. starting in J2 2011/12 thru the last CBA…..Yankees, Cubs, and Dodgers were biggies too.
          The Phillies may have been the only large market team not to incur one penalty of the $300K restriction variety, during that 5 year period..
          They would get the Good Guy Award from MLB if there was one.


          1. Romus The Bill Giles award cause he didn’t want to get the commissioner pissed

  53. Can’t recall the last time I rooted for Boston. What a great Memorial day weekend for baseball! Sox take 2 from the Braves, we take 2 from the Jays (I won’t be greedy despite Toronto’s recent struggles) and we’re a first place club all by ourselves. Let’s go Phillies! And let’s start filling the seats at CBP, for crying out loud.

  54. 8 mark All you need to fill those seats Is ten of Romus ex girlfriends. in fact he told me two of those ex ladies are banned on dollar dog night.

  55. 8mark, I think in another 3 weeks, when the kids are out of school and the bad weather is behind us, the seats will get filled. I am thrilled we are in a Playoff hunt on Memorial Day, and we have done it with some of the guys I counted on having big slumps. The SP has really surpassed my expectations, and we will be talking about who we can add at the deadline in 2 months!

    1. matt13…if the Giants are out of it by then, maybe Madison Bumgarner?
      They will have to cough up really really big money soon to keep him.
      And it will cost really really big time p

  56. Christmas at the trade deadline. Maybe a Lh starter , another lefty in the pen. A playoff proven bench piece with power. Maybe a closer with experience not a knock on SD .

    1. We face JA Happ on Sunday. He and Hamels are two prime lefty candidates to be targeted by the deadline.

      1. I qualify that comment by saying there is a likelihood that due to either injury or poor performance by one or more in the current rotation, the need will be there to trade. Unless, of course De Los Santos rises by then.

      2. No need to trade for a lefty —- same as Hinkie, sign Yusei Kikuchi. NYY wants Kikuchi before, but they are currently in a financial bind especially if NYY still plan to be big players for Harper, Machado and Corbin. NYY may lean towards Corbin in FA so the Phils has a shot on signing Kikuchi.

        I already mentioned Hamels in my proposed Cole (Hamels) & Cole (Ragans) trade with TEX a year ago. The Phils can be in a bidding war with a win now teams with Hamels and Happ.


        1. KuKo….Yankees are also interested in Hamels.
          So he may generate a bidding war in July for his services.

          1. I can see CHC, LAD, BOS and NYY (especially CHC) to be major players come trade deadline since these teams (or who I called the big boys) are one player away to be a WS champion. These teams will overbid for players like Machado, Hamels, Happ, etc so Klentak doesn’t need to be carried away and play with the big boys if he’s not ready to do it.

            I rather focus on MIA trying to get Realmuto and some bad contracts (for Alfaro, Moniak, Eflin and Mills), or trade Vinny Velo (or Kilome + Taveras) to PIT for Shane Baz.

            1. Yikes – that would be an enormous price for Realmuto – no thanks! Substitute Seabold for Eflin and maybe I’d consider it.

            2. And Realmuto’s salary goes from $3M AAV to probably close to triple that….so Jeter could settle for a little less than that total package.

            3. Catch – I don’t really think that’s too much for Realmuto. He’s a top 10 catcher who does everything pretty well and has two more years of control after this season. The upgrade from Alfaro to Realmuto would be huge. We’re going to have to give up something of value to get a player like that and it’s likely that Eflin and Alfaro’s value is higher than it’s ever going to be.

            4. I guess it depends on how you project Eflin – but I agree it’s a closer call than I originally stated. You’d certainly like to sign him longer term as part of that transaction.

        2. Kikuchi is certainly a very good target but comes with the standard concerns as he approaches 1000 innings pitched.
          According to one scouting report….he features a fastball that has been clocked as high as 98.2 mph, which is an NPB record for a LHP.. His bbest pitch is a hard slider that falls off the table. Kikuchi also throws a CB and CU. Understnad he has great deception…. delivery hides the ball well until the last moment. Hitters have a hard time picking up the release point and recognizing what’s coming.
          But as usual it seems…. Kikuchi has dealt with injuriesr.
          Failed to reach the qualified innings pitched in 2015.
          Even then, he missed two months with an injury to his right side.
          In 2010 he missed the season with shoulder pain. In 2013 season was shut down prematurely with another bout of shoulder pain.
          But looks lke he has overcome those early troubles…..Phillies should really pursue him along with Machado

          1. Love Kikuchi. He’s part of the three step Hinkie off-season “to do” list:

            1. Manny Machado
            2. Yusei Kikuchi
            3. LHRP (Zach Britton or Jake Diekman likely targets if they get/remain healthy)

  57. Hit on our dam high picks and we wouldn’t need Machado. 40 for ten years, is nuts. Let the Indians do it or cubs. I love to see how the cubs can do it. they would be over 240 million with the arb cases they have coming up. Bryant will want Machado type money. I take less not to have to live in Cleveland. terrible place to live. but in the end he will go to Yankees or Boston.

      1. Romus so Stassi played 83 games in major That means he gets his pension and medical? is that correct?

    1. @roccom – playing against NYY and BOS, Machado will only go there is the $$ is obviously in that favor. But both NYY and BOS are and will be financially strapped in the next coming years which will make their belt tighter. BOS has a lot of young players who are in ARB and players like Betts and Bogaerts will want a lot of $$.

      Plus, BOS and NYY have Bogaerts/Devers/Nunez and Gregorious/Torres/Andujar in the left side of the infield so they may not go hard at Machado but rather focus more on other positions of need.

      As long as Middleton is willing to shell out >$350M for Machado, the Phils can sign him.

      1. Jon Heyman reported….nine teams made aggressive plays for Machado this winter, including the Cubs, Phillies, Dodgers, Indians, Diamondbacks, Yankees, Red Sox, White Sox, and Cardinals.
        A whole lot of those teams still make sense here in late May — maybe all of them except the White Sox.

      2. The problem is that if Boston or NY decides to get a player, they’ll get that player. In the end, they’ll it make happen. I think NY is the leader for Machado and Boston for Harper. And it’s doubtful that the Phillies will be able to outbid the Cubs or Dodgers.

      1. We can all admire how far Brock Stassi advanced with hard work, character and spirit.

        No one will ever be able to take away from him that he was a Major League baseball player.

        1. I admire the living heck out of this guy and hope, if he wants it, he can have a long and productive career as a coach or in a front office. He’s a winner and never gives up. I’m a Brock Stassi fan for sure!

  58. Man I thought the Phillies had that game last night. I mean the blue Jays Pitcher was wild . Hoskins and Herrera up . If Elfin keeps pitching like that everyone of the hits he gave up were on Pitches out and over the strike zone.
    De los Santos might be up in a month. Btw Sam Gaviglio fb 87 he’s 2 & 0 2.30 era not bad

    1. It was a disappointing game. We had those Jays relievers on the ropes and we let them off the hook.

      Not sure what’s going on with Eflin but he wasn’t sharp at all. He’ll get some leash to turn it around, but he better turn it around quickly. Enyel De Los Santos has a 1.39 ERA at Lehigh.

      Gaviglio is by definition, a junk pitcher. He threw 87-88, but he threw nothing straight. It’s concerning that the Phillies had so much problems against him, since we faced Jack Flaherty last week against the Cards. Flaherty threw 91-92, but his assortment of offspeed pitches killed us.

  59. Guys,

    Let’s say it loud and clear: First Place Phillies.

    It might only last today, but it is a moment to enjoy.

    The youngest team in MLB is in first place. And how valuable are vets Arrieta and Santana to these kids? A lot, I should think.

  60. Sorry to see it, but how glad are we that the Phillies pursued Arrieta and not You Darvish? He’s on the DL with right triceps tendinitis.

    1. Besides the fact that he had a bit of an injury history in the past, I was fairly certain that he wasn’t going to come here anyways. The Phillies have no history with Japanese star players.

  61. 52 percent of teams in first place on Memorial Day since divisional play began in 1969 went on to the playoffs….and since baseball added the first wild-card spot in 1995, around 60 percent of teams either leading their division or their league’s wild-card standings on the holiday have made the playoffs.

  62. Romus. Twelve percent of Overweight women . lose weight on Weight Watchers, I still don’t think they make it. unless they start hitting. there offense is terrible.

  63. Nola, Nola,Nola, great game wow he’s really good . The Jays hitters were please not another Curve ball.Nola for Cy Young you heard it right hear first.
    Why did the Jays pull Garcia I mean He’s was cursing .

    1. Tim,

      Actually, I think they were cursing after they pulled him.

      Keep up the good work, typos and all.

    2. Right now it’s Scherzer, Nola, de Grom and Sydndergaard, with an early lead to Scherzer who may be having his best season ever, which is saying something when you’ve won 3 Cy Young awards. But obviously, Aaron Nola is becoming a true #1 – our first 1 since Halladay, Lee, and in certain years, Hamels, at their peaks.

  64. No I mean he was in the dugout Garcia was at 73 pitches when they batted for him.

  65. Baltimore writer Rich Kubatko reported that the Phillies “left open the possibility of engaging in talks” about Manny when they were there a couple weeks ago…

    For a rental Manny, I would offer Franco and a couple of 10-20 prospects. Maybe Kilome as one of them. There is certainly enough depth in the organization to at least be in the discussion.

    1. 8mark……that is a tough decision to be made. Franco could be coming around.
      The Os stand to bring back an even bigger haul if they let teams try to negotiate with his agent and him, before a trade is consummated. If nothing can be accomplished, the Os will get relatively less on the dollar worth of value for machado.

      1. I would never give up a starting third basemen like franco for rental. I Give them Williams and two low level pitching prospect like fanti or arron brown.

      2. Romus … HaHa HaHa !!! Did you just post “The Os stand to bring back an even bigger haul if they let teams try to negotiate with his agent and him, before a trade is consummated” to get the usual “No way MM is doing a sign and trade” response from me ? Or … were you hoping for the “You’re like my dogs and their toys, they won’t give them up” comment 🙂 🙂 🙂

      3. If Franco is “coming around”, all the more reason to consider the idea that he might be of interest to the O’s. Anyway, with Doobie sitting vs Happ, Maikel is batting 3rd today. Showcase?

    2. 8mark….Orioles baseball operations chief Dan Duquette said in April that his struggling club would wait until after Memorial Day to consider whether to begin unloading some of its pending free agents to improve the team’s minor league depth.
      Not much has changed since then and that holiday is here now.
      So Manny could be gone by the end of the week to a NL team.

  66. If tomorrow comes and the Phillies are still in first place in the NL-East…52% of making the playoffs.
    And a team leading its division on July 4 will win it roughly 60 percent of the time, and including the Wild Card, will reach the post season more than two-thirds (67%) of the time.
    The June Swoon Schedule still awaits and will be a challenge…27 games …15 home, 12 away……but almost every opponent is over .500

  67. Mike Trout with a great 5 hit game in Yankee Stadium.
    Even before his 27th birthday in August he is right near 60WAR player.
    Tied for 195th in MLB history.
    By the end of the year he could pass Chase, who is at 65.7WAR.

    1. Mike Trout is accumulating WAR at a faster pace than Mike Schmidt, who has a career WAR of 106.8. The only thing stopping Mike Trout is injury.

      1. If you compare them at the same ages – Trout is very far ahead of Mike Schmidt. He started several years earlier than Schmidt and he’s accumulated significantly more WAR per year than Schmidt. Trout is on pace to be one of the 5 to 10 greatest players who ever lived. Perhaps even among the top 3 or 4. The issue will be how he ages. Guys like Hank Aaron were just about as good from age 30-37 or 38 as they were in their twenties. Guys like Eddie Mathews (probably the most underrated great player of all time) were essentially done accumulating big WAR numbers by age 31 or 32 as were Pujols and Ken Griffey, Jr. There’s no crystal ball for this.

        1. The amazing thing is that Trout is probably having his best year but the phenomenal Mookie Betts is keeping pace with him. Trout is like a supernova – he burns so brightly that he obscures other stars in the surrounding area, like Mookie Betts.

  68. I wish the Phillies would just demote Valentin if they don’t ever intend to play him. He’s a good player and potentially a very good player. He’s not a 33 year old journeyman who can sit on the bench without consequence. It’s not fair to keep him there rotting when he could be playing every day in AAA and developing.

    1. And it’s not smart management either – he’s a rotting rather than appreciating asset lodged on the bench in Philly.

    2. While I agree with your basic point, the team’s hands are tied by the 40-man roster. All the position players they have on it are either already on the 25-man or on the DL, so there’s no one else to bring up without making a move.

      1. Has Quinn been put on the 60 yet?
        If not what are they waiting for.
        Then they can go out and sign a journeyman infielder…there are plenty around.

        1. Think Quinn had to be on the 25 man roster in order to be put on the 60 day DL. Could put Eickhoff on 60 day DL and option Valentin to open a 25 man spot.

    3. Agree…free Valentin.
      Stop trying to make him into his father at 24 years old.
      He needs to play every day.

  69. Catch – Yes it’s only May, and we haven’t been in first place for 24 hours yet. Don’t be concerned with Valentin’s playing time, I’m not.

    1. I’m concerned because I don’t see the point in it. It’s a lost opportunity with no corresponding upside.

  70. Like to See Seranthony Start For ViVe….. Gabe , with an open mind about anything analytical or traditional, would be one to pull a Rays’ Kevin Cash and start Seranthony for an inning or two tomorrow afternoon in LA for Vinny.

  71. Cannot understand why Matt Klentak cannot do things like some of the other GMs.
    AJ Preller and the Padres….. have traded for veteran right-hander Phil Hughes, who was designated for assignment by the Twins earlier this week, the club announced on Sunday.
    It is believed that Minnesota will cover the rest of Hughes’ 2018 salary and a little over half his ’19 salary, which is $13.2 million. As part of the deal, the Padres have also acquired the No. 74 overall pick in this year’s Draft and sent catcher Janigson Villalobos to Minnesota.

    1. Romus … absolutely agree. Wasted opportunity. As the only team in MLB w/o a second and third round pick, Klentak should be looking to eat all the bad contracts he can find to acquire competitive balance picks.

      1. So … basically, AJ Preller just bought a competitive balance draft pick for roughly 6 million dollars. Who else wants to get rid of 6 million dollars from their payroll ? I see you with your hand up, Derek Jeter.

        1. Hinkie……this is one of the most exasperating aspects of Matt Klentak I cannot understand.
          I just shake my head.
          The financial resources are there to do this….the minor league system has plenty of players that could be also used for this purpose.
          The Padres catcher was a 21-year old catcher in their rookie level league. And was not probably in their top 30/40 or maybe 50.

            1. The Phillies would have recouped their third round pick. This is a really deep draft. Klentak – no bueno.

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