The Rule 5 draft has passed. The long cold winter has begun. Things will be slow here over the next few weeks unless something major happens. I have some ideas for things I want to write about, but finding the time of late to sit down and do a thorough job has been tough. So maybe you’ll see a few shorter pieces that should spur on discussion, including a few “what to expect in 2012” editions. My plan is to start the Reader Top 30 at the beginning of January, which I believe is what we did last year. So, you can start thinking about your top 30 lists. As always, feel free to discuss whatever is on your mind here, and try to keep it somewhat prospect related if you can.
You asked for it, you got it. Discuss whatever you’d like. Another “what to expect in 2012” is coming this week, so if there is someone you’d really like to see next, you can post it here. Otherwise, the floor is yours.
I’m going to focus on the external options here, as we’ve already reviewed the Phillies minor league free agents. You can check all minor league free agents using BA’s tracker here. I just picked out a few guys I find interesting. None of these guys are likely to be big time MLB contributors in 2012 or any time, for that matter, but they might be good depth guys who can fill in if the injury bug hits. In other words, these guys might be better than the Dane Sardinha’s of the world.
C – Lucas May (Age 27) – He has only 39 MLB PAs, and he was awful during that time. But its 39 PA. His OPS numbers the last 3 years: .757, .831, and .858. He’s not a defensive ace, at least judging by his CS% (28% career, but 33% in 2011) but he’s not terrible.
1B – Koby Clemens (turns 25 in Aug) – Clemens struggled in 2011, putting up just a .756 OPS at AAA as a 24 year old. But the year before he put up a .241/.350/.476 line at AA. He struggles with contact (260 K the last 2 years), but he also has hit 16, 26 and 22 HR the last three years. Righthanded infield power is increasingly rare these days, he might be worth a look.
1B – Jeff Clement (Age 28) – Taken 3rd overall in the 2005 draft, he looks like one of the bigger top 5 overall busts in recent memory, but there might still be something there. He’s struggled with injuries, logging just 262 minor league ABs the last 2 seasons, along with just 144 pro ABs in that time. He always had the physical tools, he just never put it together.
2B – Yangervis Solarte (Age 24) – Signed out of Venezuela in 2005 (debuted in 2006), he’s made a slow climb, but put together his best season yet in 2011, hitting .329/.367/.466 at AA, 46 XBH. More impressively, he struck out just 38 times (with 24 BB) and doesn’t appear to be a total butcher at 2B, in that he committed only 1 error. He seems like an ideal guy to give a shot to.
3B – Matt Antonelli (Age 26) – Another first rounder (17th overall, 2006) who hasn’t lived up to the billing who also had some injury issues. He did hit .297/.393/.460 for the Nats AAA team last year. He also played SS, 3B, 2B, and OF. Looks like a nice utility guy to take a shot on.
3B – Brandon Wood (Age 26…27 on opening day) – I’ve always been a Brandon Wood apologist, arguing that he just needed playing time. The Pirates kind of gave him playing time in 20111, then they stopped, and he ended up with just 250 AB in 2011. He swings and misses a lot, but he can still drive the ball, and he can play SS, though you wouldn’t want him there every day. Again, a guy who can play both SS/3B is valuable, especially RH power. Now he’s free, so I’m still supporting bringing him in.
OF – Quintin Berry (Age 27) – Our old friend Quintin. Berry’s skill set remains unchanged, as he stole 40 bases in 2011 and posted a .397 OB%. He still has no power, his K total was a little on the high side (22%), but if we need a cheap 5th OF for defensive purposes/pinch running, he might be a good candidate.
LHP – Chuck Lofgren (Age 25…26 on Opening Day) – Lofgren was a quality prospect heading in to the 2008 season, having made the BA Top 100 the two previous years. Then things fell apart. But he still was effective against lefties in 2011, and it may be time to convert him to a full time reliever and just see if his stuff will tick up in one inning stints.
These are just a few guys I like at a quick glance. There are other interesting names, but since none of these guys is likely to make an impact anywhere, I won’t spend more time digging. If you see anyone else of note, please post it in the comments.
Hi. Sorry for the infrequent updates of late, but I’ve had a bunch of stuff going on that has been occupying my time. I’m working on a few things, and I hope to have some of it ready to go this weekend, so look for that. Now that we’re in the offseason, there will still be things to discuss, but the posts might be a bit less frequent here, at least until we start doing the Reader Top 30. I’ll try and keep putting up semi-regular open discussion posts for you to discuss whatever is on your mind. I’ll have some AFL thoughts, some Rule 5 thoughts, and other stuff.
Also, its been a while, so I figured I’d do an old fashioned mailbag. If you have questions, email them to phuturephillies at gmail dot com with “Mailbag” in the email title. And I’ll take some of them and provide the answers here in a new post. If you post questions here, I won’t reply to them. Send them via email. Thank you in advance. And now, the time is yours, discuss whatever you’d like.
Here’s our new discussion topic. Which prospects will crack the big league roster this year, and how much time will they log? I figure we can also discuss guys who have a cup of coffee under their belt already and who figure to be more prominent players in 2012.
Domonic Brown, OF – Brown had a rollercoaster 2011, and his stock seems to have dipped, but the raw ability is still there. His defense is obviously the biggest obstacle standing between him and a big league job. If the Phillies do not sign a 1B this winter, the presumption may be that Mayberry will play 1B in Howard’s absence, which may open up LF for Brown. Of course, the entire offseason is ahead of us, so nothing is assured or known, and Amaro has spoken of getting Brown a full season in AAA in 2012, which could be a smokescreen.
Michael Schwimer, RHP – Schwim got a brief cup of coffee in 2011 and had mixed results. He showed potential, and when he threw strikes he was tough, but he does have to sharpen his control and hone his approach against lefties. With the Phillies figuring to go with a young bullpen (outside of whoever they sign to close), I figure he’ll have a shot at a bullpen job in spring training and should spend a good chunk of time in the majors.
Justin De Fratus, RHP – If Schwimer got a cup, I suppose De Fratus had a sip. Like Schwimer, mixed results. His velocity was only 91-92, but you could definitely see the swing and miss potential of his slider, and the velocity may have just been him tiring out at the end of a long season. Like Schwim, he should have the chance to grab a spot in spring training. Like Schwim, he figures to spend a good chunk of the season in the bigs.
I wanted to throw this one out there for discussion. My plan is to start the Reader Top 30 in early November, but until then, I’m going to throw out a few discussion topics, I’m working on a few pieces of my own, and then we’ll have AFL recaps as well. For today, I figured I’d solicit your picks for 2012 sleepers. To make it clear, Trevor May and Jesse Biddle aren’t sleepers, they are well established upper echelon prospects. When I say “sleeper”, I define it as a guy who is not a consensus top 10-15 prospect, preferably someone who is even further off the radar, who you feel will break out in 2012 and establish/re-establish his prospect status. For instance, Mike Stutes was a breakout guy this year, because he wasn’t on any industry Top 30 lists this past winter, and was on very few Reader Top 30 ballots. Those are the guys I’m thinking of.
So give me your best guys for 2012.
I wanted to throw this discussion question out there to the masses.
I also want to extend a HUGE thank you to Gregg for his coverage of the playoffs, and really for all the work he’s done this year and since he started helping out here. Please join me in thanking him as you give your pick for biggest leap forward/biggest step back in 2011. I’ll withhold my votes for now as to not taint the discussion, and I plan on writing up a piece for both categories in the next few weeks.
Hi all. I am without internet right now, waiting for Comcast to come out and find out why my internet suddenly stopped working Sunday night. I’m not going to labor through a box score recap on my iPhone, so I’ll just create this post to give you a place to keep all your comments. Hopefully I get back up and running in the next day or so. Thanks in advance.
I was thinking about this today. There will likely be some interesting 2011 assignments, some of which will certainly be determined by spring training performance. Here are the guys I’m thinking about now, but feel free to mention any others that you find intriguing.
Josh Zeid – AA maybe?
Cameron Rupp – A? A+?
Phillippe Aumont – AA?
Trevor May – A+?
Justin De Fratus – AAA?
JC Ramirez – AA?
Domingo Santana – SS? A?
Lets hear it.