Category Archives: Other Stuff

Under the Microscope: Sixto Sanchez, by John Yarusinsky

Here’s another article from John Yarusinsky.  John sent it to me soon after he watched Sixto Sanchez pitch against the Rome Braves on July 12th.  I was hesitant to publish it.  I didn’t want to fan the flames of “Sixto-mania”.  But, it’s and introspective look at a remarkable young pitcher who turns nineteen next week (July 29th).  Enjoy. Continue reading Under the Microscope: Sixto Sanchez, by John Yarusinsky

Lehigh Valley Report

Two straight late inning, come from behind wins for Lehigh Valley, who have now won three straight games to start their seven game road trip through the South.  The ‘Pigs conclude their series with Gwinnett tonight, before heading to Durham for a four game series against the Bulls over the weekend.  Currently sitting at 59-37, the ‘Pigs are 1.5 games behind division leading Scranton and hold a 4.5 game lead over Rochester in the wildcard standings.

News and Notes: Tom Eshelman has made 12 AAA starts and 10 of them have been “quality starts”.  Since April 18th, Eshelman is a combined 10-2 with a 2.27ERA in 15 starts between Reading and Lehigh Valley with a walk rate of just 1.1 per 9 IP.

JP Crawford has now homered in 6 of his last 14 games (48AB) and has more homers than he did in all of 2016.  Crawford has reached base on 15 of his 16 games in July, hitting .286 over that time period.

–After walking just 4 times in his first 50 games, C Jorge Alfaro has walked 12 times in the last 25 games.  That said, his average is down under .250.  Over the last 18 games, Alfaro is hitting just .165.

Dylan Cozens is hitting .295 at Coca Cola Park and .180 on the road.

Rhys Hoskins has hit his first extended rough patch of the season, hitting just .160 (8-50) thus far in July.

2B Scott Kingery is hitting a combined .320 in his last 30 games (AA/AAA).  Kingery is the only player in all of baseball with 20HR and 20SB already this season.

–Over his last 10 starts (AA/AAA), P Brandon Leibrandt is a combined 6-1 with a 1.82ERA.  He has won all of his AAA starts and 6 striaght starts combining AA and AAA.

–With his save on Tuesday night, Pedro Beato has taken over the record for saves in a single season for LV, with his 27th, passing Scott Mathieson.  Beato is unscored upon in his last 9 games, which have included 5SV.

–RP Colton Murray is really struggling having been scored upon in 4 of his last 5 outings (12.70ERA) without recording a strikeout.

–Since May 25th, RP Yacksel Rios is a combined 0-0 with a 1.17ERA and a SV in 9G between Reading and Lehigh Valley

–After an outstanding start to the season, RP Pat Venditte has an ERA over 6 in his last 21 appearances.

Probables: Wed: Eflin, Thur: Thompson, Fri: Leibrandt; Sat: Eshelman

‘Pigs leaders: Hitting, Dylan Cozens is 5th in AB(340),10th in SLG(.479), is 4th in RBI(59), leads the league homers (22), strikeouts (125) and is 7th in runs(55)Rhys Hoskins leads the league in runs (63),RBI(68), SLG(.550), is 5th in BB(48),  7th in OBP(.376)is 3rd in HR(20),  7th in hits (92); JP Crawford is 7th in triples (4) and is 2nd in BB(52); Nick Williams is 7th in HR (15) and 5th in SLG (.511); ; Jorge Alfaro is 9th in strikeouts(96); Pitching: Pat Venditte is 7th in wins(8), 7th in games (35); Jake Thompson leads the league in losses (11); Tom Eshelman is 3rd in ERA (2.14) and leads the league in WHIP (0.95); Pedro Beato leads the league in games(41), saves(27); Mark Appel is 2nd in walks (53)

Transactions: Comings: Harold Martinez (from Reading); P Mark Leiter (from Philadelphia), OF Herlis Rodriguez (from Reading), P Zach Eflin (activated from the DL), P Ben Lively (from Philadelphia), P Yacksel Rios (from Reading); Goings: P Mark Peterson (Released), P Mark Appel (Placed on DL), INF Jorge Flores (to Reading), OF Nick Williams (promoted to Philadelphia)

Fanti Finishes

What a way to cap off the 3 day minor-league odyssey- a little piece of history as Nick Fanti (who you probably recall threw 8 2/3 innings of no-hit ball in May) completed a full 9 inning no-hitter.  Only one batter reached base which was a walk in the 2nd inning.  He threw 118 pitches, 79 of which were strikes.  He hit 93 once (based on the stadium gun), and had a bunch of pitches in the 88-91 range.  He had one off-speed pitch of 79 and a bunch in the 80-81 range.  Obviously he worked ahead all day though he did go 3-0 twice.  Charleston fouled off a bunch of pitches as they had trouble squaring anything up, but Nick still managed to get 12 K’s (7 Looking, 5 Swinging).  Like any no-hitter, there were a few near misses.  In the second inning Esteven Florial hit a liner right down the LF line that went into the corner.  It was so close that he ran all the way to second thinking it might be fair, but the 3rd base ump ruled it was foul.  For the last out of the 5th inning, Mandy Alvarez smoked a grounder between SS and 3B but Luke Williams made a great diving stop, jumped up and threw the runner out (wasn’t even that close which gives you an idea of how hard it was hit).  In the 7th inning, Yankees 2016 #1 pick- Blake Rutherford roped a liner the other way (down the RF line) but it was foul.   There were 1 or 2 hard liners right at outfielders, but that was about it-  everything else was pretty routine.   The last two innings went:

8:  91 mph looking K /91 mph looking K /Fly Out to RF

9:  84 mph Popout to SS (behind third base)/79 mph swinging K/ Routine flyout to Moniak in RC–  GAME OVER.

 

The Blue Claws only had two hits- both by Henri Lartigue: Solo HR (games only run), and a single in the 8th that was down the RF line.  He tried to stretch it into a 2B but was thrown out. So in the entire game there were 3 base runners (Lartigue twice – HR and was thrown out stretching), so in reality only 1 player actually stood on base while a pitch was thrown all day.

Mickey Moniak had a rough day:  1) 1st pitch weak 6-3 grounder (hit to the right side of second base but the SS was shifted over), 2) Swinging K (Change Up) 3) Swinging K which was one of the worst calls I’ve seen.  Mickey literally barely even moved the bat at all and somehow the ump, said he swung.  Mickey was in shock and let the umpire know it (which is very rare for him).  He asked for an appeal to the 1st base ump but the home plate ump refused to grant it.  Moniak was still staring at the plate ump as he ran out onto the field.

Pics from today:

 

 

 

Lehigh Valley Game Report, July 16

PITCHING:

Brandon Liebrandt started the game and retired the first 8 (5 in the infield, 3 line drives to the OF, one that Cozens reached up and caught over his head in RF).  In the 4th inning he did a great job of working out of a jam.  After a walk and a botched FC on an error by Kingery, he K’d three straight.  In the 5th, he gave up 2 walks and really seemed to tire.  Rochester got a run on an RBI single and the inning ended on a very hard lineout to deep LF.

Yacksel Rios came on for innings 6-7 and dominated except for a solo HR by John Ryan Murphy.  The other 6 batters he faced were:  4 K’s a 6-3 groundout, and a foul out to first.    Rios topped out at 97 and was consistently 94-96.  His off speed stuff was 86-87.

Edubray Ramos had a rough inning (only gave up an unearned run)  though he was bailed out by a DP with the bases loaded and one out.  He was consistently behind the hitters.  His pitch speed varied between 81 and 95.

Closer Pedro Beato finished though it wasn’t an easy inning:  Hard lineout to Kingery, Walk, Smoked line drive to Aguila in CF, and a groundout to Kingery.

HITTING:

Kingery:  1) Pop out to pitcher, 2) Line Double- hit off the top of the third baseman’s glove and down the LF line, 3) swinging K, 4)  swinging K on a pitch in the dirt

Crawford:  VERY impressive AB’s today.  In 4 AB’s he saw about at least 24 pitches.  1) Flew out to RF after fouling off MANY 2 strike pitches, 2) RBI triple on a full count- pulled right over the first based bag.  He slide was way to the right of the third base bag but luckily the throw was off line.  3) Flyout to RF (first pitch) 4) On a full count, lined a double the other way into the LC gap.

Hoskins: 1) HBP, he actually stole 2nd and advanced to third when the throw sailed into CF (one would assume the catcher was too stunned to see Hoskins attempting to steal), 2) Line single to LF after fouling off 4-5 two strike pitches, 3) Lined a 1-2 pitch for a single to the SS’s right, 4) K’d looking on a 96 mph fastball

Cozens:  1) Battled from 0-2 to 3-2 but K’d swinging, 2) Popped up to the catcher, 3) Homered over the wall in RC (#22), 4) Looking K

Pullin:  Weak grounder to first base, reached on an error when the pitcher didn’t catch the flip, 2) Nice line single to CF, 3) and 4) Looking K (pitcher in the 7th K’d all 3 of them looking- Hoskins/Cozens/Pullin)

Alfaro had the day off.

On to Lakewood tomorrow…

Williamsport Game Report, July 15

PITCHING: 

Spencer Howard started the game.  He labored through a long first inning with numerous foul balls.  The lead-off batter (a righty) had a lucky double with an excuse me swing that snuck by Pickett over the first base bag.  He followed that with a walk on a full count (after falling behind 3-0), but then he K’d the next 2 batters (on off-speed pitches I would guess were curveballs).  A wild pitch moved the runners over to 2nd and 3rd though Rodolfo Duran almost nailed the runner going to 3rd.  A soft liner to CF dropped for a single which plated 2 runs.  The third out was recorded on an excellent diving catch by Jhailyn Ortiz in RF.

Howard’s 2nd inning went smoothly: soft lineout to RF followed by 2 swinging K’s.

His 3rd inning started with 2 routine groundouts, then he was removed after walking the next batter on a 3-2 pitch.

He threw 62 pitches overall (42 for strikes), and threw first pitch strikes to 10 of the 12 batters he faced.  There was no stadium gun, so I have no idea how hard (or soft) he was throwing.

Connor Seabold pitched the 4th and 5th and was very impressive.  In the 4th, he started with a swinging K.  After giving up a hard line single to LF, he got the last two outs on a lazy fly to LF and a 6-4 fielder’s choice.

In the 5th inning, Seabold struck out the side in order (swinging/looking/swinging).  The first batter may have actually seen 4 strikes since he took the 1-2 pitch that appeared to be in the strike zone.

He threw 27 pitches (21 for strikes) and threw a first pitch strike to 6 of the 7 hitters he faced.

I did not track the rest of the pitchers, but after Gustavo Armas gave up a run in the 6th, he settled down and gave up no runs for the rest of his outing which went through the 9th.

Randy Alcantara pitched out of jams in the 10th and 11th before pitching a clean 12th and getting the win.

HITTING:

It was the Jake Scheiner show as the 2017 4th round pick hit doubles in his 2nd and 3rd AB (one on a liner right over the third base bag, and one that one-hopped off the RF fence), then Homered to LF in his 4th AB.  Jake scored all 3 Cutter runs up to that point.  He was intentionally walked after a sac bunt in the 9th, and flew out to medium CF in the 11th.

Brian Mims went 1-5.  After 2 swinging K’s,  he was HBP in his third AB.    Next, he scalded a liner to center but it was caught in front of the track.  In the bottom of the 9th, he had the winning run on 2nd after Scheiner was intentionally walked, but he grounded into a 4-6-3 DP.  He smoked the ball up the middle but the 2B made a nice play.  He led off the 12th with a hard ground single in the hole between the the first baseman and 2nd baseman.  Malvin Matos pinch ran for him and scored the winning run.

Adam Hasely’s AB’s:  1) Reached on an error by 1B (not hit overly hard, the ball hopped up and hit the 1B in the chest).  2) Rolled over on a ball in the hole between 1B and 2B.  The second baseman made a nice diving play and came up firing and threw him out (at least according to the ump- he looked safe to me).  3)  Roped a double deep into the RC gap, CF dove but couldn’t make the catch.  4) Pop up to 2B. 5) Very hard linout to LF.  6) Weak 4-3 groundout

Greg Pickett went 1-6 out of the clean-up spot.  He had 3 infield outs, a hard flyout to CF, a swinging K (fastball right by him), and a hard line RBI single to right center.

Jhailyn Ortiz’s AB’s:  1) Broken Bat 5-3 ground out- he ran hard and almost beat it out.  2) Got jammed and hit a foul popout out to the SS behind the third base bag.  3) HBP (it may have hit one of the buttons on his uniform).  4) Weak 5-3 groundout.  5) Long flyout to RC- looked like it might get out for a walk-off HR in the 10th but was caught right in front of the wall.  6) Worked a walk in the 12th (good AB)

Josh Stephen stepped to the plate in the bottom of the 12th having not hit a ball out of the infield all night (3 groundouts to short, a K , and a comebacker to the pitcher).  So of course, he lines a clean single into shallow CF to walk-off the Cutters, and get me back to the hotel room by 11:15.

Luis Encarnacion had a rough day at the plate going 0-4 with a HBP.  He did not make solid contact on any of his BA’s.

Rodolfo Duran went 3-5 with 3 singles.  The first one was a dribbler up the third base line, and the other two were hit hard.

On to Allentown tomorrow afternoon…

Around the System–Starting Pitching, Lower Levels

A look around the lower levels with plenty to talk about in Clearwater and Lakewood; Too early for any commentary on Williamsport or GCL performances.

Clearwater

Edgar Garcia, 20, Signed as a free agent in 2014; 19G (8 starts); 2-3 with a 4.03ERA; 51.1IP 55H 17BB 56K; .271 opp avg; 1.40WHIP; 3.0BB/9.8K per 9; .310 vs LHH, .244 vs RHH, .298 opp avg last 30 days; Garcia moved into the Clearwater rotation relatively recently and the results have been ok, his stuff is a bit better than ok.

Franklyn Kilome, 22, Signed as a free agent in 2014; 14 starts; 4-3 with a 2.61ERA; 69IP 65H 26BB 62K; .257 opp avg; 1.32WHIP; 3.4BB/8.1K per 9; .255 vs LHH, .259 vs RHH, .253 opp avg last 30 days; Very Good results for Kilome but not overwhelming; Has been consistent all season; Needs to improve his walk rate a bit.

JoJo Romero, 20, Phils 4th round pick in 2016; 14 starts between CLearwater and Lakewood; 5-2 with a 1.95ERA; 83IP 64H 23BB 89K; 2.5BB/9.7K per 9; .161 vs LHH, .254 vs RHH; .179 opp avg with RISP; Romero has been extremely impressive this year throwing consistently well for Lakewood before his promotion last week to Clearwater.  He projects as a #3 or 4 major league starter at this rate.

Ranger Suarez, 21, Signed as a free agent in 2011; 14 starts, all for Lakewood; 6-2 with a 1.59ERA; 85IP 52H 24BB 90K; .177 opp avg; 0.89WHIP; 2.5BB/9.5K per 9; .080 vs LHH, .218 vs RHH; .109 with RISP; 1.05 ERA since June 1; Suarez received his well deserved promotion this week and has yet to make a start for Clearwater; The numbers simply cant get much better.

Jose Taveras, 23, Signed as a free agent in 2014; 14 starts, 5-4 with a 2.45ERA; 88IP 74H 22BB 77K; .227 opp avg; 1.09WHIP; 2.3BB/7.9K per 9; .193 vs LHH, .251 vs RHH, .244 opp avg last 30 days; Taveras has been excellent all season; I would love to see him get a half dozen starts for Reading before the year is out.

Jacob Waguespack, 23, Signed as a free agent in 2015; 21 games, 7 starts; 5-3 with a 2.53ERA; 53.1IP 47H 19BB 57K; 3.2BB/9.6K per 9; .258 vs LHH, .223 vs RHH; .239 opp avg last 30 days; As a starter: 4-1 with a 1.97ERA; .231 opp avg; 1.06WHIP; Waguespack’s transition into the rotation has been largely successful.  Still needs to be stretched out a bit.

Lakewood

Bailey Falter, 20, Phils 5th round pick in 2015; 14 starts, 4-5 with a 3.24ERA; 75IP 80H 13BB 63K; .276 opp avg; 1.24WHIP; 1.6BB/7.6K per 9; .315 vs LH, .245 vs RHH, .300 opp avg last 30 days; Falter has thrown well this year with an occasional expected bump along the way. Continue reading Around the System–Starting Pitching, Lower Levels

Around the System–Starting Pitching, Lehigh Valley and Reading

Lehigh Valley

Mark Appel, 25, Acquired from Astros in 2015; 16 starts; 5-4 with a 4.87ERA; 81.1IP 88H 48BB 60K; 9HR allowed; .278 opp avg; 1.67WHIP; 5.3BB/6.6K per 9; .321 vs LHH, .246 vs RHH, .288 opp avg last 30 days; 2.50 ERA in 6 June starts; Appel seems to be showing signs of improvement however, put simply, needs to throw strikes.  Even in June, his walk rate was 5.2 per 9, which indicates he pitched out of many a jam, which ultimately will backfire.

Tom Eshelman, 23 Acquired from Astros in 2015; 16 starts between Reading and Lehigh Valley; 10-2 with a 2.27ERA; 107IP 91H 14BB 74K; 11HR allowed; 1.2BB/6.2K per 9; .234 opp avg; 0.98WHIP; For Lehigh Valley: 11 starts, 7-2 with a 1.96ERA; .225 opp avg; 0.94WHIP; 1.0BB/6.0K per 9; Eshelman has been outstanding all year, earning a AAA all star berth, in which he will be the starting pitcher.  Far from overpowering, Eshelman has pinpoint command and is a pleasure to work behind as he works very quickly.

Brandon Leibrandt, 24, Phils 6th round pick in 2014; 15 starts between Reading and Lehigh Valley; 7-2 with a 3.23ERA; 83.2IP 85H 28BB 62K; .273 opp avg; 1.35WHIP; 5HR allowed;3.0BB/6.6K per 9;  5-1 with a 2.44ERA in last 10 starts; 2 starts for Lehigh Valley: 1-0 with 2.45ERA.  Leibrandt has had a very good year, throwing well consistently. Spent a good portion of 2016 hurt, so the Phils will be watching his innings moving forward I suspect.

Jake Thompson, 23, Acquired from Texas in 2015; 15 starts, 3-9 with a 5.97ERA; 75.1IP 97H 29BB 62K; 6HR allowed; 3.5BB/7.4K per 9; .321 opp avg; 1.67WHIP; .305 vs LHH; .333 vs RHH; .345 opp avg last 30 days; 2017 has been an unmitigated disaster for Thompson.  While watching several of his AAA rotation partners getting called to Philly and having a modicum of success (or at least not all out failure), Thompson has basically been throwing batting practice all season.  After an outstanding 2016, I’m curious as to whether this is a health issue or the tinkering of his mechanics

Cesar Ramos, 33, Signed as a free agent in 2017; 21 games (9 starts); 4-3 with a 3.86ERA; 58.1IP 55H 18BB 41K; 2.8BB/6.3K per 9; .231 vs LHH, .260 vs RHH, .327 opp avg last 30 days; In his 9 starts, Ramos is 0-3 with a 5.75ERA; As a reliever, Ramos is 4-0 with an 0.81ERA; Ramos has been the sacrificial lamb when the ‘Pigs need a starter which has been fairly often due to injuries and callups.  The numbers speak for themselves…he is most effective in the ‘pen, as a long reliever.

DL: Zach Eflin.

Reading

Drew Anderson, 23, Phils 21st round pick in 2012; 16 starts; 5-3 with a 3.56ERA; 83.1IP 67H 27BB 71K; 10HR allowed;.216 opp avg; 1.13 WHIP; 2.9BB/7.7K per 9; .212 vs LHH; .221 vs RHH, .178 opp avg last 30 days; Anderson is one of those pitchers you watch who you think could be a major league pitcher; He has a mound presence and knows how to pitch with it showing in his results; Previous injury issues will have the Phils closely monitoring innings in the second half of the season.

Tommy Bergjans, 24, Acquired from Dodgers in 2016; 4 starts, 1-1 with a 6.75ERA; 17.1IP 16H 6BB 14K; 3.1BB/7.3K per 9; .246 opp avg; 1.27WHIP; .200 vs LHH, .300 vs RHH; Bergjans moved into the Reading rotation in June after spending the first two months of the season in Extended Spring Training.  He has pitched better than his ERA indicates but after watching him a couple of times, he probably maxes out as a AA arm.

Cole Irvin, 23, Phils 5th round pick in 2016; 14 starts between CLearwater and Reading; 6-6 with a 2.70ERA; 80IP 85H 17BB 60K; 1.9BB/6.8K per 9; .273 opp avg; 1.28 WHIP; 4HR allowed; Irvin has thrown very well this year, transitioning to Reading recently with two effective starts.  After holding the opposition to a .197 average last year, Irvin has been more hittable this season but shown a good deal of savvy on the mound.

John Richy, 24, Acquired from Dodgers in 2015; 11 games (6 starts) between Reading and Lehigh Valley; 1-2 with a 6.29ERA; 34.1IP 52H 7BB 22K; .354 opp avg; 1.72 WHIP; 1.8BB/5.8K per 9; Richy was injured to start the season and has been consistently poor since being activated from the DL.

Tyler Viza, 22, Phils 32nd round pick in 2013;14 starts, 6-4 with a 5.45ERA; 71IP 78H 23BB 50K; .275 opp avg; 1.42WHIP; 2.9BB/6.3K per 9; .295 vs LHH, .255 vs RHH, .247 opp avg last 30 days; Viza has had an ERA over 5 each month of the season thus far after a good 2016.  His last start was an excellent start in beginning to turn things around.

DL: Miguel Nunez, Mario Sanchez; Suspended: Eineiry Garcia

 

Analyzing Five Hitters in the Phillies System

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2. Mickey Moniak, OF (Lakewood)

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

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

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

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

3. Jorge Alfaro, C (Lehigh Valley)

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

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

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

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

4. Nick Williams, OF (Lehigh Valley)

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

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

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

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

5. Dylan Cozens, OF (Lehigh Valley)

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

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

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

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

 

Around the System–Catchers

Lehigh Valley

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

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

Reading

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

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

Lehigh Valley Report

With their 5-4 loss in ten innings last night, the ‘Pigs have lost three straight games and four of their last five games.  Still at 49-28, Lehigh Valley sits in first place of the Northern DIvision of the International League, holding a 2.5 game lead.  The ‘Pigs continue home through next Monday with three more against Pawtucket, followed by four games against Rochester.  The ‘Pigs have not lost more than four in a row all season.

Probables: Tues: Ramos; Wed: Eshleman; Thur: Appel; Fri: Thompson; Sat: Leibrandt

News and Notes:  Last night, Rhys Hoskins extended his on base streak to 8 games, during which he has hit .414.  Also on June 19th, Hoskins became the only player in Lehigh Valley history to hit multiple home runs in 3 games.

–Since starting the season hitting .136, Dylan Cozens is hitting .286 since with 13HR and 35RBI.

–Over his last 39 games, Nick WIlliams is hitting .303 with 13HR and 39RBI

–Over their last 26 home games, Lehigh Valley have won 21 of them and have not lost a home series all season (11 series) Continue reading Lehigh Valley Report