All posts by giventofly41

The blueprint to rebuild the Phillies

Hello, its me. Since we last chatted, a lot has happened. The draft has come and gone, Andy McPhail has arrived, and the Phillies have lost a ton of baseball games. Today is the Futures Game, which means we’ll see JP Crawford (for a while) and Aaron Nola (probably not at all) and we’ll dream about what could be in the future. In the spirit of thinking about the future, I’m going to provide the blueprint for rebuilding the Phillies. I had originally intended to put this into a Powerpoint presentation which would have been part of my application for the Phillies GM job, but I just don’t think I can leave my current job. So, my loss is the Phillies gain, as I’m giving away the blueprint for free. You’re welcome, Andy. Details below the fold

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Thoughts on the first 10 rounds of the draft

Hello, its me. I apologize for not writing up a final draft prep piece on Sunday, life sort of got in the way. I did want to pop back in and write up some thoughts on the first two days of the draft. This is not going to rival the draft recaps I wrote up for 5 years, where I spent waaaay too much time dissecting draft picks and potential signability concerns, but I do have some thoughts, so I figured I’d share them with the masses, in case you were interested to see what I thought.

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Sunday notes – 2015 MLB draft preview


I wanted to spend all of my words today talking about the upcoming MLB draft, which starts on June 8th. I’ve written about the draft in all of my previous notes columns, and I’ll write about it again here. After the draft, I’ll start focusing more on our prospects, the breakouts, the disappointments, etc. But for now, my focus is the draft. Check below the fold

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Sunday notes, 19 April 2015

Hello, it’s me. I have a few brief thoughts on the first few weeks of the season and of course the upcoming MLB draft. My hope is that I will be able to start writing more frequently. Work and other obligations have kept me very busy recently, and I have quite a bit of upcoming travel, so it may be tough, but I am going to do my best.

Continue reading Sunday notes, 19 April 2015

Sunday Notes, March 29th

Hello. I am back with another edition of Sunday notes. Today I want to talk about Aaron Nola and the draft. And maybe something else if I can remember what it was. My plan is to continue to write at least once per week during the season, likely on Sundays, but it will depend on my work travel schedule. I may also pop up with a mid-week entry or something else, but for now, Sundays will work best for me. Thanks as always for reading.

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Sunday notes – March 8th

Hello, its me. Now that we have spring training games happening, there are more things to talk about. The college baseball season is under way, there will be draft things to discuss, and so I hope to begin writing this notes column on a weekly basis, and then I might also throw in a few other random writings depending on my free time available. I’ll share some thoughts on our prospects and the draft, and some other random stuff. So, lets get started.

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Sunday notes: Moncada, draft, and other stuff

Since the Reader Top 30 is now wrapping up, I figured I should start to write a bit more. As I mentioned when announcing I was coming back, one thing I’d like to do is write a weekly post, maybe on a Sunday, with various thoughts and notes. This week’s piece will cover Cuban phenom Yoan Moncada, initial comments on the draft, and thoughts on Keith Law’s prospect list.

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Thoughts on potential Cole Hamels trades

Disclaimer: I wrote about 3,000 words, hit the wrong key stroke, and apparently autosave didn’t work, so it was all erased. I am going to try and type it again, but I can promise you it won’t be as detailed as what I’d written before.

Okay, so Jim Salisbury identified 4 teams that were in the running for Cole Hamels: The Padres, Red Sox, Rangers and Cardinals. I wanted to take a look at each of the 4 to see what the Phillies could expect to receive in return. I also wanted to make a few comments on the actual concept of trading Cole Hamels. I’ll do all of that below the fold.

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More Ben Lively info

Thanks to Jim for putting up the post when the deal went down. Here is some more analysis and info on Lively. has already moved Lively to the Phillies section of their coverage and ranked him #8 overall. Heres what they have to say on his stuff:

None of Lively’s pitches jump off the page, but he does have four of them that he can throw for strikes. His fastball can touch 93-94 mph, and his slider shows signs of being a potential above-average pitch, as well. Lively mixes in his curve and changeup well to keep hitters guessing. All of his stuff plays up because of his unusual delivery in which his arm stays hidden, making it tough for hitters to pick up the ball.

In their league top 20s this year, Lively was ranked 16th in the Cal League and then 20th in the Southern League. Given that there are 10 teams in the CAL and 10 teams in the SOU, it means it is moderately difficult to make the list, and that he made both is promising. Here are some highlights from those BA writeups

CAL: Lively’s delivery features deception—his arm angle drops slightly and he throws across his body—helping his fastball get inon hitters. He’ll pound all quadrants of the strike zone with command of a 91-92 mph fastball that bumps 94.

SOU: Lively ranges from 88-92 mph and sits at about 90, often working up and over the plate, but batters struggle to square him up because they don’t see the ball until the last instant. He throws what one manager deemed an “invisible” fastball. Lively’s low-80s curveball can be an out pitch for him, for he executed it with more depth in 2014, and his slider and changeup grade as major league average. When scouts factor in plus control, they come away convinced Lively can be at least a durable No. 4 starter.

Here are video clips: one, two, and three.

BP ranked him #7 in the Reds system, giving him a future #3 SP profile. They also had him 88-92, with a plus slider and average change and curve. They note the biggest question mark is about his delivery and mechanics, and whether he will be able to repeat them well enough to be a consistent starting pitcher.

Nevertheless, to receive a potential MLB starter who will be worth a win or two a year at worst, for a guy who was not in the long term plans, its a nice get by the Phillies.

So, which piece is next to go?