We are five games into the Arizona Fall League. My recent strong reaction to Tim Tebow’s selection as a participant for this prospect development league has subsided enough to allow me to comment somewhat rationally. Or maybe not. Continue reading Sideshow ‘Bow
MLB Trade Rumors has published their annual Projected Arbitration Salaries article for players who are eligible for this year’s arbitration process.
The Phillies have several players who are arbitration eligible. MLBTR offered projections for four of them.
- Player Service Time 2017 Projection 2016 Salary Projected Increase
- Jeanmar Gomez (5.063 yrs) $4.6MM $1.4MM $3.2MM
- Freddy Galvis (4.021 yrs) $4.4MM $2.0MM $2.4MM
- Cody Asche (3.022 yrs) $1.3MM $525K $775K
- Cesar Hernandez (2.154 yrs) $2.5MM $530K $1.97MM
Darin Ruf, Emmanuel Burriss, and Frank Hermann entered the off season as arbitration eligibles. Burriss and Hermann have already been outrighted. Ruf will likely be outrighted also. I heard around the Complex that he has a $4MM offer to play in Japan. If true, that is significantly more than his 2016 salary of $527K, and more than he could reasonably expect to make through arbitration or free agency.
Okay, one more thing. I’ve got nothing against the guy, but I just don’t see how a slash of .213/.284/.360/.635 in 71 games (218 PA/197 AB) with 4 HR and 18 RBI should project Asche for a raise of about 147%. He joined the MLB team on June 2nd this season and was optioned to Lehigh Valley on August 12th. I wish I got raises like this when I worked in the private sector.
Oh, one more “one more thing”, Jimmy Paredes and Patrick Schuster have elected to declare free agency.
Final report card of the year looking at relief pitchers at the upper parts of the organization.
Luis Garcia, 29, Signed as a free agent in 2013; 48G; 6-3 with a 2.14ERA; 13SV; 54.2IP 38H 24BB 53K; .203 opp avg; 1.13 WHIP; 2.09 GO/AO; 4.0BB/8.7K per 9; .203 vs LHH, .203 vs RHH; After throwing in 72 games for the Phillies in 2015, I was surprised to see Garcia start the season in Lehigh Valley and I was even more surprised that with the lack of bullpen depth in Philly, he didnt receive more of an opportunity with the big club before September. He pitched well for Lehigh Valley and is out of options next season. Grade: C+; 2017: ELsewhere, based on the lack of big league opportunity this season.
James Russell, 30, Signed as a free agent in 2016; 29G (13 starts) for Lehigh Valley; 3-5 with a 4.29ERA; 79.2IP 88H 19BB 49K; 11HR allowed; .272 opp avg; 1.34 WHIP; 0.74 GO/AO; 2.1BB/5.5K per 9; .176 vs LHH, .301 vs RHH, .346 last 30 days; Russell started the year in Philly and was sent down to Lehigh Valley after several awful outings. He pitched well for Lehigh Valley in multiple roles in the seasons final month where he really ran out of gas. Grade: C; 2017: Elsewhere
Dailier Hinojosa, 30, Acquired off of waivers from Boston in 2015; 22 games; 1-3 with a 2.96ERA; 24.1IP 25H 14BB 23K; .281 opp avg; 1.60 WHIP; 0.64 GO/AO; 5.2BB/8.5K per 9; Hinojosa was expected to be a key member of the Phils bullpen. That didnt happen. First, he was ineffective for the Phils, then was injured and after he came off the DL was very inconistent for Lehigh Valley. Grade: C-; 2017: I would be surprised if he were back
Colton Murray, 26, Phils 13th round pick in 2011; 27G; 2-2 with a 2.95ERA; 36.2IP 31H 15BB 36K; .230 opp avg; 1.25 WHIP; 0.97 GO/AO; 3.7BB/8.9K per 9; .242 vs LHH,. .259 vs RHH; Murray pitched well for Lehigh Valley but has struggled during multiple stints with the Phillies; I would expect him to spend another year as pitcher #14-15 in the organization, bouncing back and forth to Philly when (if) injuries occur. Grade: C+
Elvis Arajuo, 25, SIgned as a free agent in 2014; 18G, 1-0 with a 2.18ERA; 20.2IP 15H 6BB 19K; .195 opp avg; 1.02WHIP; 0.87 GO/AO; 2.6BB/8.3K per 9; .148 opp avg last 30 days; Arajuo pitched very poorly for the Phils in 32 games this season, struggling with his control and simply getting hit around. To his credit, he came down to AAA and threw well, but the Phils saw enough of Arajuo to not call him back up in September, leaving you wondering what his future with the organization may be.
Joely Rodriguez, 24, Acquired from Pittsburgh in 2014; 53G; 7-0 with a 2.35ERA across 3 levels; 5SV; 76.2IP 65H 23BB 69K; .237 opp avg; 1.15 WHIP; 2.06 GO/AO; 2.7BB/8.1K per 9; For LV: 13G, 0-0 with a 2.79ERA; 19.1IP 16H 6BB 18K; .232 opp avg; 1.14 WHIP; 2.8BB/8.4K per 9; Rodriguez left 2015 as a failed starting pitcher and was removed from the 40 man roster. He successfully reinvented himself as a left handed high leverage reliever and did an excellent job. One of his primary issues in ’15 was his control, which was much improved this season. With his call up to Philly in September, much rides on his performance as the role of LOOGY at the highest level is open for the taking. Grade: A- Continue reading Post Season Report Card–Relief Pitchers, Top Half of Organization
A look at the Outfield throughout the organization. Next up: Relief Pitchers, Wed or Thur
Nick WIlliams, 23, Acquired from Texas in 2015; .258/.287/.427 in 497AB; 13HR 64RBI; 6/10SB; 4%BB/26%K; .231 vs LHP; .273 vs RHP; .152 last 30 days; Since Aug 1, Williams hit .172 with a 1%BB/37%K rate; 122 games in the OF with 3 errors (.989); 6 OF assists; My pre-season expectation for WIlliams was hitting around .285-.290 with 10-12HR and 15SB prior to a July call to Philly. What actually happened is that WIlliams was benched on three separate occasions prior to August for disciplinary reasons and he went on to finish the season with a borderline unprecedented BB/K rate over the seasons final month plus. His ability would come out for a few weeks and he would then retreat into some combination of a baseball purists nightmare. Grade: C-; 2017: Lehigh Valley
Cam Perkins, Soon to be 26, Phils 7th round pick in 2012; .292/.329/.419 in 408AB; 8HR 47RBI; 11/15SB; .316 vs LHP; .274 vs RHP; .314 last 30 days; 5%BB/14%K; 103 games in the OF with 7 errors (.972); 3 OF assists; The numbers are decent for Perkins but not good enough to warrant a look at the big league level. The walk rate needs to go up, and Perkins needs to be more of a run producer to get that major league look. Surprisingly, Perkins went from 2 errors and 15 OF assists in ’15 to 7 errors and just 3 OF assists this year. Grade: B-; 2017: I expect Perkins to be left Rule 5 unprotected and expect him to go undrafted and back to Lehigh Valley
Cedric Hunter, 28, Signed as a free agent in 2016; .294/.324/.433 in 330AB with Lehigh Valley; 10HR 53RBI; 6/9SB; 4%BB/16%K; .313 vs LHP; .284 vs RHP; .286 last 30 days; 75 games in the OF without an error; 1 OF assist; Hunter started the year with Phils and was sent fairly quickly when people got healthy as he wasn’t performing. For Lehigh Valley, he was the most consistent outfielder all year, hitting the ball hard and playing a good OF. Hunter is a AAAA player who many organizations will be glad to have around. Grade: B+; 2017: Likely another organization with all the young talent below, although would love to see him back. He is fun to watch.
Cody Asche, 26, Phils 4th round pick in 2011; .279/.350/.514 in 111AB for Lehigh Valley; 6HR 15RBI; 1SB; 9%BB/21%K; .229 vs LHP; .303 vs RHP; .302 last 30 days; 16 games in the OF with 1 error (.973); 7 games at 3B with 1 error (.923); 3 games at 1B without an error; Asche was optioned to Lehigh Valley after hitting .213/.281/.362 in 174AB with the Phils this year, to go along with a 23% K rate. Pre season, I expected Asche to be a productive member of the Phils OF. Between his injury in SPring Training and then his performance once off the DL, 2016 was a major disappointment for Asche. That said, kudos to Asche for not sulking when sent down and performing well at multiple positions for Lehigh Valley late in the season. I expect to see Asche back with the Phils in 2017 with Altherr, Bourjos and Goeddel all question marks for the ’17 roster.
Dylan Cozens, 22, Phils 2nd round pick in 2012; .276/.350/.591 in 521AB; 40HR 125RBI; 21SB; 10%BB/32%K; .197 vs LHP; .302 vs RHP; .234 last 30 days; .295/.374/.744 with 29HR 83RBI at home; .259/.325/.441 with 11HR 42RBI on the road; 128 games in the OF with 5 errors (.982); 12 OF assists; The overall stats, before you dig in are mind blowing. Team records for HR and RBI to go along with a 20+ SB season and double digits in OF assists. Then comes the negative. The very average player Cozens becomes on the road and his .197 average with a 42% K rate against left handed pitching. Grade: A-; 2017: Lehigh Valley Continue reading Post Season Report Card–Outfield
Next up are the organizations catchers. A reminder that grades are based on pre-season expectations for that player vs. actual production. Look for the report on Outfielders, Tuesday or Wednesday.
Andy Knapp, 24, Phils 2nd round pick in 2013; .266/.330/.390 in 403AB; 8HR 46RBI; 2/4SB; 8%BB/24%K; .277 vs LHP; .258 vs RHP; .253 last 30 days; 104 games caught with 7 errors (.991); 16 passed balls; 18/48 CS (38%); Decent but not outstanding offensive numbers combined with defense that was poor at the beginning of the year but much improved by years end. The biggest issue for Knapp entering this season was that he was considered a liability defensively. He is making significant strides. Grade: B-; 2017: Lehigh Valley to start, expect to see him in Philly at some point.
Logan Moore, 26, Phils 9th round pick in 2011; .220/.282/.256 in 177AB between Reading and Lehigh Valley; 5HR 20RBI; 8%BB/28%K; Hit .218/.256/.391 in 110AB with Lehigh Valley; .138 last 30 days; 53 games caught with 5 errors (.988); 0 passed balls; 18/45 CS (40%); Pretty much what we expected from Moore which is minimal offense and very good defense. He will be entering his final year prior to minor league free agency next season and I wouldn’t expect him to be Rule 5 protected. Grade: C+; 2017: Lehigh Valley backup
Jorge Alfaro,23, Acquired from Texas in 2015; .285/.325/.458 in 404AB; 15HR 67RBI; 3/5SB; 5%BB/25%K; .213 vs LHP; .302 vs RHP; .263 last 30 days; 95 games caught with 6 errors (.993); 7 passed balls; 33/75 CS (44%): After significant injuries issues in 2015, Alfaro kept himself both healthy and productive for large portions of the season. I believe he has the potential to be a top 5 major league catcher between the combination of a very good bat and an absolute gun for an arm. Grade: A-; 2017: Phils, sharing time with Rupp. Continue reading Post Season Report Card–Catchers
A look up the middle at Phils prospects. A reminder that grades are based on my expectations for a players performance pre-season against how they actually performed. Look for the next report, on catchers, out Monday,
Jesmuel Valentin, 22, Acquired from Dodgers in 2014. 269/.341/.395 in 446AB between Reading and Lehigh Valley; 9HR 52RBI; 4/8SB; 10%BB/16%K; For Lehigh Valley: .248/.325/.381; 4HR 14RBI in 105AB; 10%BB/20%K; 116 games at 2B with 14 errors (.975); 9 games at SS with 3 errors (.900); After missing almost all of 2015 suspended, Valentin had a very good year producing consistently in Reading and being rewarded with a late season callup to Lehigh Valley. Having watched him several times, I do believe he profiles as a major leaguer, although probably not a starter. He was solid at 2B, walked a good deal and produced runs with the bat. Grade: B; 2017: Lehigh Valley and could see him in Philly late next year
JP Crawford, 21, Phils 1st round pick in 2013; .250/.349/.339 in 472AB; 7HR 43RBI; 12/19SB; 13%BB/15%K; For Lehigh Valley: .244/.328/.318; 4HR 30RBI; 7/11SB; 11%BB/16%K; .244 vs LHP; .244 vs RHP; .197 last 30 days; 123 games at SS with 19 errors (.966); Going into 2016, I expected Crawford to make his Phillies debut in September. It appears that will not happen as the level of production did not equate with expectations this season. Crawford clearly has the talent based on what he is able to put together 3,4,5 games at a time, however lacked the consistency this year that he will need to be the all star major leaguer that he is projected to be. Crawford played very well in the field, continued to have excellent plate discipline but simply didnt produce with the bat after two extended slumps at the beginning of his time in Allentown and during the last month of the season. Grade: C-; 2017: Lehigh Valley to start with hopefully a call up to Philly come June/July.
Darnell Sweeney, 25, Acquired from Dodgers in 2015; .233/.299/.345 in 400AB; 6HR 35RBI; 12/23SB; 9%BB/23%K; .242 vs LHP; .226 vs RHP, .211 last 30 days; 40 games at 3B with 7 errors (.924); 54 games at 2B with 5 errors (.980); 20 games in the OF without an error; It was pretty clear the Phils expected alot more out of Sweeney who was placed on the 40 last season, and removed from the 40 just last week. A very disappointing year after going into Spring Training with a real possibility of making the big league club. Grade: D; 2017: If he is back it will be in Lehigh Valley and not on the 40.
Scott Kingery, 22, Phils 2nd round pick in 2015; .281/.335/.388 in 531AB between Clearwater and Reading; 5HR 36RBI; 30SB; 7%BB/16%K; For Reading: .250/.273/.333 in 156AB; 2HR 18RBI; 4/6SB; 3%BB/22%K; .214 last 30 days; 125 games at 2B with 11 errors (.980); Kingery was excellent for Clearwater throughout the season and was called up to Reading in late July. After some early success with the Fightins’, Kingery struggled with the stick over the last month. Perhaps most problematic is the 3% walk rate for a guy that should be hitting at the top of the lineup. Defense was excellent all year. Grade: B; 2017: Reading with potential to move to Lehigh Valley come July. Continue reading Post Season Report Card, Middle Infield
A reminder that “grades” are based upon my pre season expectations for that player against themselves, not against each other.
Brock Stassi, 27, Phils 33rd round pick in 2011; .267/.369/.437 in 375AB; 12HR 58RBI; 1/3SB; 14%BB/17%K; .293 vs LHP; .254 vs RHP; .302 last 30 days; .279/.372/.476 post all star break; 86 games at 1B with 1 error (.999); Grade: B-; The 2015 numbers in Reading were surely inflated by the ballpark but Stassi has had a decent year after struggling through the seasons first few months. He is among the league leaders in both walks and OBP and has shown some power during the second half of the season. His defense continues to be excellent. 2017: I would like to see Stassi back to give the Phils some depth, and I expect him to do that in Lehigh Valley
Darin Ruf, 30, Phils 20th round pick in 2009; .294/.356/.429 in 350AB; 20HR 65RBI; 8%BB/21%K; .331 vs LHP; .273 vs RHP; Hit .307 with 11HR post all star break; 47 games at 1B without an error; 26 games in the OF without an error; 2 OF assists; Grade: C+; Coming into the year, I truly thought that Ruf would establish himself in a similar manner that Tommy Joseph has in Philly. That clearly did not happen. That said, after Ruf was sent down, he has been consistently productive for Lehigh Valley hitting for both power and average, with most of his success coming predominately against left handed pitchers. 2017: Ruf is out of options and I simply don’t see a way he is brought back. Another organization.
Taylor Featherston, 26, Signed off of waivers in 2016: .254/.311/.428 in 402AB; 13HR 37RBI; 6/9SB; 6%BB/23%K; .240 vs LHP; .260 vs RHP; .180 opp avg last 30 days; 50 games at 3B with 9 errors (.930); 28 games at 2B with 4 errors (.966); 17 games at SS with 5 errors (.945); 4 games at 2B without an error; Grade:B-; Featherston was a productive offensive player who was capable of playing multiple positions defensively albeit not so well. He had a cup of coffee with the Phils and it went less than smoothly in his short time in Philly. Currently sitting with a 40 man roster spot, I see Featherston being designated for assignment with the possibility of him rejoining the organization as a minor league free agent
Rhys Hoskins, 23, Phils 5th round pick in 2014; .281/.377/.566; 38HR 116RBI; 8/11SB; 12%BB/22%K; .277 vs LHP; .282 vs RHP; .264 last 30 days; 129 games at 1B with 14 errors (.988); Grade: A; Outstanding offensive production all year from Hoskins. Hit for power, average and produced a ton of runs. Hit lefties well and even showed some speed. It si the defense that is not major league ready 2017: Lehigh Valley Continue reading Post Season Report Card, Corner Infield
A reminder that grades are based on a players expected performance (in my mind) for 2016, not against others. Next up: Corner Infielders
Anthony Vasquez, Soon to be 30, Re-Signed as free agent in 2016; 28 games (27 starts) between Reading and Lehigh Valley; 12-4 with a 3.08ERA; 3 complete games; 172.1IP 168H 43BB 119K; 15 HR allowed; .261 opp avg; 1.22 WHIP; 0.88 GO/AO; 2.2BB/6.2K per 9; .244 opp avg last 30 days; Vasquez was once again excellent, with stats that were actually slightly better for Lehigh Valley than for Reading. Grade: A-; 2017: Having thrown 300+ very good innings over 2 seasons for the Phils organization without getting a spot start in the majors, Vasquez will go wherever he has his last best shot at the majors.
Nick Pivetta, 23, Acquired from Washington in 2015; 27 starts, 12-8 with a 3.27ERA between Reading and Lehigh Valley; 148.2IP 128H 51BB 138K; 12 HR allowed; .235 opp avg; 1.20WHIP; 1.07 GO/AO; 3.1BB/8.4K per 9; For Lehigh Valley: 5 starts; 1-2 with a 2.55ERA; .233 opp avg; 1.22WHIP; Major steps forward this year for Pivetta who stayed predominately healthy, pitching very well all year. He should be protected on the 40 man roster in the off season and projects to be a mainstay of the ‘Pigs ’17 rotation. If 2017 is successful, a September ’17 callup is likely.
Ben Lively, 24, Acquired from Reds in 2014; 28 starts between Reading and Lehigh Valley; 18-5 with a 2.69ERA; 170.2IP 118H 42BB 139K; .192 opp avg; 0.94WHIP; 0.85 GO/AO; 2.2BB/7.3K per 9; For Lehigh Valley: 19 starts, 11-5 with a 3.06ERA; .196 opp avg; 0.93WHIP; 2.1BB/6.9K per 9; .150 opp avg last 30 days; Simply outstanding this year. Lively took his game to another level, Grade: A+; 2017: I see him as the Phils #5 starter
David Buchanan, 27, Phils 7th round pick in 2010; 27 starts; 10-9 with a 3.98ERA; 167.1IP 163H 40BB 95K; 15HR allowed; .257 opp avg; 1.21 WHIP; 1.31 GO/AO; 2.2BB/5.1K per 9; .239 vs LHH, .266 vs RHH, .273 opp avg last 30 days; 6-4 with a 2.93ERA in 11 post all star game starts; Buchanan was just awful during the first part of the season but had a very strong second half and the whole body of work looks pretty good when it is all said and done. That said, I don’t think (based on Buchanan’s experience) that he is more than a AAAA pitcher, and his days in the organization are likely numbered with the talent surrounding him. Grade: C+; 2017: Another organization Continue reading Post Season Report Card–Starting Pitching, LV, Reading and Clearwater
The post season report card series begins with a look at starting pitching at the lower levels of the organization. Grades are based on my expectations for the player entering the season against themselves, not against other players. Next up: Starting Pitching at LV, Reading and Clearwater
Harold Arauz, 21, Acquired from Houston in 2015; 19 starts; 6-6 with a 3.18ERA; 99IP 79H 24BB 85K; 4HR allowed; .216 opp avg; 1.04WHIP; .148 GO/AO; .215 vs LHH, .216 vs RHH, .190 opp avg last 30 days; 2.2BB/7.7K per 9; Arauz came into his own this year pitching very well throughout the year with the Phils trying to limit his innings in his first year of full season ball. Very consistent, good command and showed the ability to put hitters away. Grade: B+; 2017: Clearwater
Seranthony Dominguez, 21, Signed as a free agent in 2011; 13 starts between Williamsport and Lakewood; 6-3 with a 2.34ERA; 65.1IP 42H 24BB 65K; .185 opp avg; 1.01WHIP; 1.40 GO/AO; 3.3BB/9.0K per 9; For Lakewood: 10 starts, 5-2, 2.42ERA: .202 opp avg; 1.12WHIP; 3.7BB/9.3K per 9; Dominguez had an excellent progressing quickly to Lakewood and continuing with a string of excellent starts for the Claws. Walks need to come down a tick. Grade: A-; 2017: Probably will begin in Lakewood but could move to Clearwater quickly.
Tyler Gilbert, 22, Phils 6th round pick in 2015; 23 starts, 7-9 with a 3.98ERA; 131IP 136H 26BB 106K; 10HR allowed; .264 opp avg; 1.24 WHIP; 0.99 GO/AO; 1.8BB/7.3K per 9; .266 vs LHH, .263 vs RHH, .320 last 30 days; Overall a decent year for Gilbert who struggled and seemed to run out of gas towards the end of the year. He showed very good control this season but was very hittable at times. Grade: C+; 2017: CLearwater
Franklyn Kilome, 21, Signed as a free agent in 2013; 23 starts; 5-8 with a 3.85ERA; 114.2IP 113H 50BB 130K; 6HR allowed; .259 opp avg; 1.42 WHIP; 1.02 GO/AO; 3.9BB/10.2K per 9; .272 vs LHH, .247 vs RHH, .227 last 30 days; 2.77ERA; 1.22WHIP; .233 opp avg post all star break; Kilome really struggled during parts of the first half of the season, lacking confidence and command. He strung together a very nice second half to end the season on an up note and reemphasize he has lights out stuff when he is on. Grade: B-; 2017: Clearwater Continue reading Post Season Report Card–Starting Pitching–Lakewood, Williamsport, GCL
Prior to their rain out yesterday, Lehigh Valley had won four of their last six games and return home for a quick two game home stand against Scranton before hitting the road for three games against Pawtucket. At 76-52, Lehigh Valley sits in 2nd place of the Northern Division, four games behind division leading Scranton, however hold a 5.5 game lead in the wild card race with 15 games remaining in the season.
News and Notes: Darin Ruf has hit safely in his last 7 games, during which he is hitting .400 with 3HR and 8RBI. Over the last month, Ruf leads the IL in slugging %.
—Cody Asche has hit in all 9 games since being optioned from Philadelphia.
—Anthony Vasquez continues pitching well wherever he is throwing. Over his last 8 starts for Lehigh Valley, Vasquez is 3-0 with a 2.23ERA and 5 quality starts.
–P Phil Klein has been added to the rotation and is throwing very well, going 2-0 with a 1.40ERA in his last 3 starts.
–Over his last 12 games, RP Colton Murray has a 1.53ERA; and has struck out 16 in 17.2IP.
—JP Crawford was out on the lineup for an 8 game stint between 8/10 and 8/17. Since returning to the lineup, Crawford is 3-14 (.214) and his average has fallen to .255 since joining Lehigh Valley.
—Andy Knapp continues to progress defensively and has now thrown out over 36% of would be base stealers this season.
–Over the last 2 months, 1B Brock Stassi is hitting .287 with 10HR 37RBI and 14 go ahead RBI. Continue reading Lehigh Valley Report