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The Phillies have had multiple run-ins with squirrels. There was the squirrel that ran out on to the field during the 2011 NLDS in St. Louis. In 2015, another squirrel (presumably unrelated to the previous squirrel) attacked <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=16632">Chase Utley</a></span> in the dugout of a game in Philly. Their opponent that night? The Cardinals.
Kalas. Harry Kalas. Not "Callis".
<span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=59584">Aaron Altherr</a></span> is going to make you eat your words. Write it down!!!
Yeah, I have a friend who loved that channel. When I told him about the article he said he hoped it wouldn't be deleted due to the attention. And now it's gone. He blames me somehow.
This was a fantastic article.
"Nothing I read about baseball is original any more."
I only ever rarely feel this way. Good read.
I enjoyed this. I appreciate the initial effort to try and find some evidence of discrimination. I like that someone thought to go looking for that. And I agree with the challenges raised to the initial findings. Good stuff.
While it may be tough to pinpoint any real evidence of discrimination, it looks like the data does show that QuesTec (or some other form of monitoring that the umps are aware of) does seem to impact the calls. If the umps know that they're being watched, they try harder to get it right. Feels like it would be obvious but it's still nice to see that demonstrated in the data.
I agree with the closing bit about how we now have the kind of technology available to us to not only more accurately measure the variables but also prevent this kind of inconsistency from ever becoming a real problem again. Regardless of whether or not it ever existed in the first place. One pitch per game per team isn't huge but it is statistically significant enough to raise an eyebrow.
The bottom line seems to be that we should monitor the umps and let them know it's happening. Then hold them to any glaring issues.
Just don't do robot umps. It's too weird.
Enjoyed this. As good a prospect as Crawford is, it's going to be hard to fill those shoes. They're not the same player but the similarities are there enough that Crawford is probably going to end up being compared to Rollins for as long as he's in Philly.
Saw him at Reading last year. Look forward to seeing him at Lehigh Valley this year and hopefully in Philly for a long time to come.
Not asking for any names, but are these quotes coming from amateur scouts or pro scouts? I've always thought that the amateur scouts wouldn't have much need for something like <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=BABIP" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('BABIP'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">BABIP</span></a> or <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=FIP" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('FIP'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">FIP</span></a> but the pro scouts should at least be informed about them.
Usually, a team is expected to have won at least one Pennant before being considered a "baseball powerhouse". Especially when referring to those 2008-2009 teams as "mediocre".
I don't understand how he keeps making these lists. His numbers don't back it up at all. I'm sure there's a pitch or two (or three) that scouts see and they like it but where are the results?
I'm with you across the board (my question was actually rhetorical). I agree that it's going too far to say that big game performances or "clutch situations" have absolutely no merit but maybe it is only about 1% as important as it's made out to be by those who prefer a particular narrative. I have a buddy who will push that narrative all the time and we disagree constantly.
I certainly do agree with the idea that some players are just better than others at keeping their cool in big spots but ultimately, it's the talent that wins out over and over again. I follow the Phillies minor league affiliates pretty closely and Kleven has never really stood out to me so this one outing won't change anything even though it was a "big game" in the FSL standings.
This almost certainly means nothing in terms of player development but <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=66560">Colin Kleven</a></span>'s start yesterday was also the clinching game in the first half of the Florida State League's North Division. The Clearwater Threshers came from five out with five to play and swept the Daytona Tortugas to guarantee a playoff berth. Does pitching in a "big game" with "something on the line" say anything about Kleven as a prospect? Again, almost certainly not. But it's worth mentioning that there was actually something on the line in this start.
Great story. Thanks for telling it.
<span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=100656">Clint Coulter</a></span> put up some silly numbers last year in the Midwest League (.930 <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=OPS" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('OPS'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">OPS</span></a> in 126 games) and so far this year he's hitting .356/.442/.756 with 4 homers in 12 games in the FSL.
<span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=57967">Aaron Hicks</a></span> not only homered but also made the defensive play of the day on a diving over-the-shoulder catch in center.
I was wondering the same thing. He missed part of 2014, will miss all of 2015, and should miss at least the beginning of 2016. How much does the two year layoff hurt his overall value?
I have him in a 12 team dynasty league with two DL slots so I'll probably be able to hold on to him, for a while at least, but at some point he may not be worth the wait.
This was a great read.
I would say that the changes to the home plate collisions and the addition of instant replay were by far the biggest stories of the 2014 season. Had Gordon gone through the stop sign, or had the stop sign not been given, we might have seen the World Series decided on a play at the plate involving Buster Posey and instant replay.
Uh, Sam? I think the reason that you're having such difficulty explaining why this is below market is that it's not actually below market.
As Heyman would say, "good job by #marlins to sign superstar giancarlo stanton to a 13-year contract extension". I'm sure it will work out just fine. But please, don't try to tell me that it's a bargain.
Good stuff Sam.
Really like this. Looking forward to reading the entire series as it goes along.
Thanks for the reply.
I like what you're saying about Tocci's hands and it sounds like he's got some nice bat-to-ball skills. If he really is capable of filling out his frame it sounds like there's potential to at least be a solid bat with a plus defensive profile in CF. My reading of this is that you guys just don't see the same bat-to-ball, raw hit tool potential in Quinn that you see in Tocci.
I compare the two because they're both CF prospects (Quinn was never going to stay in the dirt) and it's all going to come down to the hit tool. If Tocci is only held back by his physical limitations then he would be the guy with the higher upside.
I didn't know that scouts were as down on Quinn's bat as they are or appear to be based on what you two are saying. He's always had a little bit of pop in his bat so I've just been waiting to see what happens when he made the eventual switch to the outfield. The numbers were decent this season once he was able to play. I can look at his stats and see a bit of a swing and miss issue but this is the first time I've seen someone really say that his hit tool may not even be average. Anything under a 5 grade tends to make me dismiss the guy unless there's a ton of raw power.
Thanks for the reply.
I guess, if you're saying they are both more likely to be 4th outfield/bench types, it really doesn't matter too much.
It sounds like everything is going to have to click for either guy to be an everyday player. I had hoped that Quinn would have a higher "likely outcome" than a that.
So, if Tocci is a 5+ potential hit tool guy, does that mean that Quinn is more of a 5 potential hit guy in your eyes?
The only issue that I have with leaving Quinn off the list is that a lot of the questions about Quinn's upside seem to mirror those of Tocci and he keeps making these lists. I thought Quinn made some nice strides this year so I'm surprised to see him left off.
I would think that Quinn has more upside and has already demonstrated more ability at the plate. Tocci is going to have to be elite in center. Is the defensive profile that high? Are his bat-to-ball skills that much better than Quinn's? I don't think I can read too many more "he's gotta bulk up" articles. It may just be outside of his control.
Thanks. I didn't realize they hit his four seamer that hard. You don't really want anyone slugging .488 against any of your pitches I'd think.
I know that there's a key around here somewhere but can anyone tell me what these slash lines are?
***Two-seam: 13.02% usage; .258/.356; 4.66% whiff
Four-seam: 28.18% usage; .285/.488; 6.03% whiff***
Is it unusual for a guy like Glasnow to be in the AFL? I feel like it's rare to see a top pitching prospect out there especially coming off a 124 inning season.
I'm looking forward to seeing how Roman Quinn looks. He had a pretty nasty injury to start the year but, from what I understand, looked good once he came back. Plus, he's finally been moved off SS and is now in CF where he probably belongs.
I liked the Uribe thing.
You're linking to the wrong Jordan Zimmerman(n).
Whatever the hell that thing is that Liriano is throwing here, it's fargin filthy.
I always liked the way he said "horseshit". It wasn't until I read Dollar Sign on the Muscle that I realized the significance of that talent. Jason, you say "horseshit" the way it's meant to be said. Happy trails.
Josh Bell sounds like a thicker version of Dom Brown in RF. Adventure in the field, cannon for an arm, swing needs work but lots of power.
I'm pretty sure the info on the Vet Stadium ball drop is way off. The Vet was much taller than 150 feet. The helicopter flew over the opening and dropped the ball. They would have had to hover down into the stadium in order to drop it from 150 feet.
I've been waiting to see this. Biddle imploded again yesterday (six walks in 3.1 innings). Starting to look like a guy who may never make it. I had hoped he might be a mid-rotation guy (possibly a #3 starter) but those hopes are fading.
I don't buy the 4-6 week range for Franco. Sandberg & Co. seem to be giving Asche every opportunity to prove himself and Franco is still only 21 years-old and not really in need of a push. I think he's gonna spend a bit more time in AAA this year.
Meant to say I had him to start 2012 and dropped him.
Max Scherzer's March/April 2012 numbers come to mind. He had a 7.77 ERA after his first five starts. Over the course of the rest of the season his ERA went from 7.77 that first month to 4.04 in May, 3.86 in June, 3.62 in July, 2.25 in August, and then finally to his 1.95 ERA in six September starts. And then in 2013, well, he was pretty good.
I had him in a keeper league to start 2011 and dropped him after a few starts before I changed my mind and grabbed him again. The clues were there. His BABIP was .442 that first month. There were lots of signs indicating that this was just some bad luck.
Thanks for this.
"I'm not trying to pick on the Phillies"
I don't really feel good about that last sentence.
Thanks! Good to know. I'm always curious about the lower level guys this time of year. I know they're in camps but I would imagine that most of them are not going to be playing in any actual "games". They do a lot of simulated stuff this time of year right?
Thanks. I've been trying to find box scores but no-go. The teams seem to put out quick little recaps on their sites but nothing that gives you an actual line which made me wonder whether or not they're considered "real" games.
I see that AAA teams and AA teams are playing games now. Didn't realize they actually broke them down by level like that. Is everyone below AA playing in games against one another?
Are the MiLB Spring Training games actual games or are they simulated games? Are there box scores and official scorers and all that jazz?
I can understand a lower level member of the organization acting without thinking because he's mad that the kid said he'd sign and then changed his mind. I just don't see how the org can get behind it. Going nuclear like this doesn't seem like a very good idea. It's already a PR nightmare. Someone's getting fired.
It doesn't even sound as though any kind of interaction with the agents had much to do with either kid's decision to return to school. Monda is a med student with a brother on the team. Wetzler wants to keep playing for Oregon State because he's the Friday night starter (I think) and it's a strong program.
As a Phils fan I'm obviously hoping that there's more to the story than the plain old "they were mad so they snitched on the kid" angle. What possible upside is there here for the Phils? Is this part of a pattern of conduct on behalf of a particular agent or agency when it comes to negotiating with the Phils? Could it be as simple as a scout making an anonymous phone call to the NCAA without his team knowing about it?
I don't know that I'm buying into the Simmons hype but it will be interesting to see how close these projections were when all is said and done.
What the hell league were you in that someone traded you Matt Moore for Brandon League?
You guys may like the Rays. FanGraphs may like the Rays. A lot of people out there on the interwebz may LOVE the Rays but I seriously doubt that Cliff Lee or Max Scherzer would be all that giddy about making the minimum to help them win a World Series in front of a half-empty stadium. They would be an instant fan-favorite. All 10,000 fans in attendance would swoon.
The Rays are smart and there are a lot of people who root for teams that spend $50M and win as many, if not more, games than the teams spending over $100M. But, don't forget, they're internet darlings. Players may think that it would be cool to be one of the guys that helps the Cubs finally win but most of them probably don't care if the Rays ever win a WS. Nor should they.
Good to know. Looking forward to it.
I like that there are a lot of differences between this list and the one put out last week by Callis & Mayo. Gives you a little more perspective. Thanks for the hard work.
Was J.P. Crawford close to making the list? High draft pick who had a strong pro debut and led the GCL in hitting as a shortstop.
You know, the more I think about it, the more I believe that I actually have read that KG piece before. I wasn't a subscriber so I don't know where I read it but it does look damned familiar. I'm a no good lousy thief is what I am.
Thanks for the link Ben. I wasn't a subscriber back then so I appreciate it. For the record, I certainly was not in any way trying to plagiarize anything and try to pass it off as my own. I know I've seen similar articles recently but I can't remember where.
I started following prospects in about 2008 and didn't really begin to get serious about it until maybe 2010. Up & In got me hooked for good so I'm sure I picked up on KG and the Professor's view of player development and how much the fans should temper their expectations when it comes to prospects.
Just for fun I checked the 1990 crop a few minutes ago. There were 169 guys who made their debut in 1990 and only 29 who compiled at least 10 WAR in their careers(once again using B-R.com). The great Mickey Morandini just misses the cut with 9.7 WAR. Poor guy.
Highest on the list is Frank Thomas and there are a handful of pretty good names among the top 30 but once you start getting down to the fifties you're looking at dudes that were lucky to put together 3-4 WAR in their careers.
This is fantastic. I hope this series continues.
I was debating the value of a farm system with someone this week and I thought of this article while framing the argument. I argued that, while you'd like to have at least one or two players from your system graduate to the majors each year, it's unrealistic in my opinion to expect the average farm system to produce two guys each season who will go on to have productive MLB careers. You might see anywhere from five to ten guys make their debuts in any given season but of those five to ten guys you're usually only going to see about three to four who might go on to have at least 10 WARP over their career.
I looked at the players that made their debut in 2000 and the guys who made their debut in 2010. There were 204 players who made their MLB debut in 2000 and of that group 21 players compiled at least 10 WAR during their careers (I used B-R.com). In 2010 there were 203 players who made their MLB debut and of that group 5 guys have already compiled at least 10 WAR (Carlos Santana, Giancarlo Stanton, Chris Sale, Austin Jackson, and Jason Heyward).
So if there are about 200 guys who make their MLB debut each season and about 10% of those guys go on to produce at least 10 WAR over the course of their careers I'd say that the average farm system should be happy to produce at least one or two guys each year who turn into good (say 2-4 WARP per year) MLB players. Elite systems obviously should be expected to produce more of those players. But if the best system in 2003 produced 74 WARP ten years later and the best system in 2004 produced 90 WARP ten years later then I'd say that the average farm system is lucky to produce at least one or two players each year who go on to compile at least 10 WARP for their careers.
Jimmy Rollins and Pat Burrell both debuted in 2000 for the Phils and over the course of their careers have (so far) compiled 61.1 WARP. If your system gives you ONE of those guys in a given year you're stoked! This is of course an extremely rough estimate using only two crops of players ten years apart but it's freezing cold and covered with snow outside so this is what I decided to do with my Saturday. I'm sure there are all sorts of problems with the math here but I ain't as smart as you BP guys. I just wanted to look at the percentage of players who make their MLB debut in a given year that go on to be good MLB players in their careers.
Ah, I guess I missed that part.
I would imagine that it's one of the toughest grades to make and have to stand by in the future. Thanks for the reply. #TeamKove
I'm kinda surprised that Steinbrenner doesn't get a mention for least beloved. There are a ton of people out there who HATED him.
I was referring to a comment from an old episode of Up and In where one of them (thought it was the Professor) said that he's had people tell him that their hands tremble when they're about to put an 80 on some prospect's power. Lots of guys get 70 on their power but 80? It's rare. To see it in a SS is crazy.
Did your hand shake when you put that 80 on Baez?
It was the PlayPlace.
Professor, I'm reading Dollar Sign on the Muscle and I have taken a shit in a McDonald's before so I'm just saying. Ready to go if you need me.
This guy's got a future.
Chase, the batdog, died this July. His son Derby continues the job at Trenton and there's another son, Ollie, that is with the New Hampshire Fisher Cats but Chase had a retirement ceremony and then passed away maybe a day or two later. I had a sad.
This is an excellent post. Gold Star.
What is the run expectancy when Juan Uribe is batting in the bottom of the 8th inning with his team down a run and Yasiel Puig on second base with nobody out? Does it change if Craig Kimbrel is brought into the game?
I don't understand how you can say that Shields wasn't an Ace. He was third behind Kershaw and Wainwright in innings pitched, had a 3.15 ERA so it's not as though that's all he did was "eat innings". According to Fangraphs, Shields was 12th in WAR among starting pitchers. It always seems as though you just don't want to give this guy credit. Is this all about FIP or something?
Leake isn't a two start guy this week.
Over the last 28 games (according to B-R.com) Martin Prado is hitting .351/.414/.558 including a 4-for-4 game on Wednesday. I'm not sure it's accurate to say that the guys that Towers got are doing well "except for Martin Prado".
He has the track record to show that he's a fairly consistent hitter, he's "only" 29 years old, this was his first season playing for a new organization, and his BABIP is a bit low considering his typical BABIP numbers.
I'm not sure that he didn't just have a bad first half while adjusting to his new team.
There's an article on BP today complaining about terminology used a lot in baseball such as "professional hitter" and so on. Then I read this article and see "typical Phillies draft pick" and "plenty of tools" and "plenty of projection" as though this is particular to the Phils. Doesn't everyone taken in the first round have "plenty of tools"? Shouldn't they all have "plenty of projection"??? If you took a guy in the first round of the draft and people are saying that he lacks the tools or the projection I would think that this would be a bad thing. Like, the kind of thing that gets you fired. It's getting to the point where I'm waiting to see:
"This guy is a typical Cardinals pick. He's a college bat and he's not the toolsiest guy out there and his ceiling isn't that high but it's the Cardinals so we're all pretty sure he'll be good one day".
Crawford is a high school pick and a shortstop. Of course he's got "plenty of tools"! If he didn't he'd be a corner bat and probably a mid round pick out of some college somewhere. And the Cardinals would draft him. And everyone would say "This guy is a typical Cardinals pick...."
Why do you guys hate fun?
Six months after trading Abreu and freeing up money they gave Utley a 7 year deal worth $85M. The post-deadline 2006 Phils were fascinating to watch. Stat guys hate this kind of argument but there was a culture change. I loved Abreu and liked guys like Lieberthal but those teams were soft. There was a big dust up over Billy Wagner saying that the guys on the team cared more about their hair than winning.
For whatever reason, once they became sellers and started rebuilding the guys who were left starting fighting to win games. Victorino took over in left, Utley slid into the 3-hole, Rollins became a bit more outspoken, and Howard starting hitting bombs left and right. Hamels was a rookie but you could tell right away that he was something special.
It all came together nicely but it started out as a fire sale. I'm pretty sure Gillick wanted to move Burrell even after the 2006 season but he wouldn't waive the no-trade clause. Worked out for the best.
Is there a way to see what the playoff odds were on different dates from the past?
Thanks for the feedback. Looking forward to that full report. Keep up the great work.
So you're saying that, based on what you saw, you probably don't rank him as high as others but still think he's a major league talent. Is that the bottom line?
That's kinda what I'm getting at. Seems as though he doesn't agree with the rest on Franco. I'm just confused about the top 50 ranking based on this report. I mean the stuff about his body and the concerns about his future seem to be honest concerns but couldn't we have said that same sort of thing about Pablo Sandoval or maybe even Pedro Alvarez? Is that his ceiling? Sandoval put up a .972 OPS in 112 games between A+ and AA in 2008. He hit 20 bombs. Franco has put up a .970 OPS in 77 games so far between A+ and AA and he's already at 20 homers.
I'm trying to get a feel for this kid's profile. I'm not asking for a comp but I want to get some kind of clear picture. I think of a top 50 prospect as an impact player not a fringe average guy with all sorts of questions concerning his make-up (work ethic/want) and his defensive profile and even his hit tool.
I love Jason's work and I love all of the reports from BP but there really does seem to me to be a discrepancy from one week to the next.
Jason, how can you put Franco in your top 50 at midseason while saying that you're not that impressed with him? Is it just a matter of the power being too legit to overlook? Would you leave him off that list after seeing him in this series?
Franco wasn't on anyone's top 100 list coming into the season but he raked in the second half last year and got off to a great start this year. After the promotion he continued to hit and made the top 50 and all of us here in Philly started to get excited about him. There was a buzz and some indication that he might be an impact talent. Now you're hinting at him being lacking in #want and talking about how he might not stay at third and doesn't have that much hit tool.
I just don't understand how a guy can be a top 50 talent one week and a potential fringe-average guy the next week.
Still having issues with iTunes.
I read Colin's article last night and immediately read Russell's "companion" piece. Great stuff.
For the Phillies, taking Larry Greene over Jackie Bradley just gets worse by the day. Is it true that he showed up out of shape again this spring? Doesn't seem like a guy that really wants it right now.
Will it be sexy?
Listening to the discussion about trade vetoes and it reminds me of my keeper league. I've made a vow to never vote on any trades from here on out because I just don't want to have the "you're being stupid" conversation with another owner.
Prior to last season I went into seller's mode and moved Cliff Lee, Curtis Granderson, Hanley Ramirez, Mariano Rivera, and a few others. I got Neil Walker and Mike Trout for Lee. I can see how, looking back, someone might have had a problem with that prior to knowing what Trout was going to do. If that trade had been vetoed I would have totally lost my shit watching Trout explode onto the scene.
You have to have faith in the other owners or else just get out of the league. If one team is owned by a moron then so be it. He/she has a right to be stupid.
Just wanted to mention that while Tommy Joseph is swinging the bat well, he's already been charged with six passed balls in four games. Might have more to do with the Lehigh Valley staff but it's worth noting.
Good stuff guys. You're making my sick day much more tolerable.
You're all smoke and mirrors...
Two years ago I went to see a Camden Riversharks game with a group of friends on my birthday. Pedro Feliz was playing. Campbell's Field is a nice park but it is in Camden so there's not a lot of glamor involved and I'm sure he wasn't making much money. But there was a moment, maybe in the 8th or even the 9th inning, where Pete Happy came to the dish with the game on the line. It wasn't Game 5 of the 2008 World Series in South Philly but it was close enough that the memories came back even if only for a second.
I'm pretty sure I saw Rickey in a game at Campbell's Field a few years prior to that one. It's cool to see these guys in some game in the independent leagues. I'm sure it's pretty sweet for their teammates on those rosters too.
I can remember Kevin Goldstein saying at one point last year that Corbin could end up beating all three of Bauer, Skaggs, and Bradley to the big leagues in Arizona. Are we seeing a similar thing with Maurer? Is it a matter of efficiency and feel right now?
Is lineup protection really a "myth" or is it something that is just accepted in the sabermetric community? I see/hear people rattle this one off all of the time but has there been any kind of really strong analysis? I did a quick (very quick) search and the first thing that popped up was Tom Tango's article here.
I wouldn't be so quick to view Vic as "ready to fall off a cliff" but I understand the skepticism with that signing. Vic had a pretty rough year in 2012 where he was one of the guys being asked to shoulder an increasingly difficult burden in the Philly lineup with Utley and Howard out. It was also a contract year and, really, almost everything about the 2012 Phillies was depressing. It was a contract year, he struggled early, things got really messy in Philly, and he's traded from a team and a city that he really seemed to love to a team that is almost a patchwork group of guys being brought together on the fly.
He's at the age where a decline is to be expected but if he's used the right way (he still kills lefty pitching) there's a lot of value there. Will he be worth $13M in two years? Probably not. But it's a three year deal for a guy who just turned 32, hits lefties pretty well, and can play all over the outfield.
As for Bradley being ready pretty soon? We'll see. He's a very nice looking prospect and it still kills me as a Phils fan to know that my team passed on him when they took Larry Greene just ahead of him in the draft, but 271 PA in AA may not be enough to really know how much he's ready to step in as an everyday centerfielder in the AL East.
Bookmarked. Thank you much.
When discussing Freddie Freeman you mentioned that there is a "league batting average" on line drives. Or something. Can you clear that up for me? I didn't know that they kept batting average numbers for different batted ball types.
Love the podcast by the by. Good on ya.
I love that the banner ad above this article (at least when I checked it out) was for GNC.
I don't know if anyone considers Parada a real prospect but I've kept an eye on him since he started pitching shutouts in the VSL. He had a perfecto in July where he struck out 14.
Who knows what the level of competition down there is like though.
I'm just seeing this reply now. Thanks for getting back to me. Yes, Brantley really does seem ideally suited to my league. I hadn't heard that he was a possible leadoff candidate but should he get the gig my decision becomes even easier.
His career splits in the majors suggest that he has struggled to get on base out of the leadoff spot though not as much as Stubbs. Any idea whether or not Francona would allow him to run more from that spot? Obviously his Runs Scored would improve and his RBI would take a hit but he's not on my roster for the RBI anyway.
I may be overly impressed with the dude but there's a lot to like, especially in my league. Again, thanks for the response.
I enjoyed this last year. Good to see that it's back.
I'm in a shallow keeper league that has a few extra categories for hitters. We have the standard R, HR, RBI, SB, AVG stats but we also penalize hitters for strikeouts while rewarding them for walks and doubles. In that league Michael Brantley had a nice year for me. He won't hit many homers or steal a lot of bases but he walked 53 times last year while striking out only 56 times. In 2011 he struck out 76 times in 496 plate appearances but in 2012 he reduced his strikeouts by 20 in 113 fewer plate appearances. He also hit 37 doubles. He doesn't kill you in BA either. I'll be curious to see what PECOTA thinks of him. He'll be 26 in 2013 and his numbers are trending in the right direction.
Any thoughts on him?
Of course Amaro is more interested in the free agent market than the trade market. I mean, when you can overpay for premium talent while also giving away your highest draft pick in years how do you NOT jump at that opportunity???
Replace the stars with bacon strips. Everyone wins.
Like the new stuff JP & Co. are doing.
Of all the Rube moves that have been made I believe Singleton will ultimately prove to be the one who got away. I'm curious to see what Cosart becomes and I'm interested in seeing what Santana looks like when he's not in Lancaster anymore but I've seen enough and read enough of Singleton to really like the kid's potential.
Good luck with this group KG... wherever you are.
Will the minor league updates over the winter include the Caribbean Leagues? The VWL started up yesterday. Freddy Galvis and his adorable cheeks went 4-for-5 with a dinger.
Congrats Professor. Does this make you the sensei?
I'm doing the double 0.9er thing now. Do it. It's fun to relive.
I'm sure this article will have a million comments by the time I check in later tonight so I'll look forward to that. Can't say enough about how much of an inspiration you've been. The internet will never be the same. Best of luck KG. Get 'em Sarge!
Reading about Joey Gallo and knowing that he went with the 39th pick in the draft just makes it that much sweeter that the Phils picked 40th. But hey, at least we got Papelbon signed really early right? Who needs that earlier pick in the draft right??? RIGHT!?!???
Ruin Tomorrow Sooner ladies and gents!
Hamels has developed a heck of a cutter after his up and down 2009 season. He's used it close to 20% of the time since then. He only uses the curve about 10% of the time. The cutter has become his go-to pitch against righties. Right handed hitters hit .277 off Hamels in 2009, .245 in 2010, .202 in 2011, and are currently hitting .232 against him in 2012. I don't know if that qualifies as a "knockout off-speed pitch" but as a Phillies fan, I'll take it.
Ben, you both seemed to hint at the Royals not being able to upgrade at 2B/SS this offseason but Alcides Escobar is having a nice little season at the plate. Is he that bad defensively that you think they'll still need to upgrade at some point?
There was a brief moment when I thought that I might someday be sitting around telling some kid about the Up and In podcast and how great it was to have been there then but now, sadly, it just doesn't exist anymore. I'd look a lot like John Cusack at the end of Eight Men Out, sitting there in the bleachers, smoking angrily, a look in my eye and a stubble on my face that says "Yes, yes I do like Scotch".
And this child, whose parents did a terrible job of instructing him about staying away from people like me in the stands, would look at me and ask "So is it them Mister? Is that KG and the Professor?". And I'd have no choice but to shake my head, look off into the distance longingly, and tell him, "No kid... those guys are all gone now".
Thanks for not turning me into John Cusack. The kid thanks you too.
Trevor May on the list and Jesse Biddle off of it surprised me.
Here's the thing with Bauer. Was he (is he) really having trouble hitting the strike zone or is he just convinced that he can get people to swing at his stuff? He seems like the classic example of a kid who is too smart for his own good. He believes that he can get guys out by throwing pitches up in the zone but there is evidence to suggest that it doesn't work and that batters in MLB just aren't going to swing at it.
The kid has talent. Five minutes of watching him at UCLA proved that to me. But, he thinks he can do it his own way and that he can get guys to chase. He's actually been quoted as saying that he'll walk a guy if he likes the match-up with the next batter better than what he's got in front of him.
So is it control problems caused by a mechanical issue or is it just that this dude is too stubborn to pound the strike zone and it costs him?
Mitch Walding has been getting some positive reviews at the plate but he's had several errors at third so far. I wouldn't worry about watching Polanco much longer. He won't be back.
I meant to say "from the perspective of someone with a trained eye".
Nice! Thanks. I'm familiar with their numbers but I'd like to know what they look like from a trained eye.
I had the same response. I get that guys like Altherr and Duffy and Franco may not be on anyone's radar but I was hoping to hear something on them.
Loved the answer to Tim's email.
It's not really a baseball book but Underworld by Don Delillo has some great underlying baseball stuff woven into it including the opening chapter which takes place at the Polo Grounds during the "Shot Heard 'Round the World" game. Jackie Gleason pukes. Good times.
I'm reading "Juicing the Game" by Howard Bryant at the moment. Pretty good read on the entirety of the steroid era. There's a lot of stuff in there about the shrinking strike zone, the smaller ballparks, the depleted pitching staffs due to expansion, and the charge made by some that the stitching on the balls being used was tighter. He paints a pretty good picture of all of the forces that combined to create the offensive explosion of that era.
That Visalia game must have been fun to watch.
I felt the same way. The idea that Bauer is playing with his different toys and trying to figure out which ones he can use in which spots sounds exactly like what we heard about Darvish a few weeks ago.
If you're Cole Hamels and you look around the clubhouse at an aging manager, an aging expensive slugger at 1B who is still healing from a ruptured Achilles, an aging second baseman who can't get on the field, a soon-to-be free agent centerfielder, an aging catcher, third baseman, and shortstop and a farm system ranked near the bottom of all of the teams out there... why the hell would you want to sign with Philly?
By the way, I'm a Phillies fan. But, when I look at this roster and the farm system I don't think "yeah, locking up another starting pitcher to a long term deal solves everything" and I can't see Hamels wanting to stay here. Will he sign? Maybe. But, I think he's taking his time because the future ain't all that bright in Philly right now.
I've heard/read where some think that Skaggs, Bauer, and Bradley could all be top of the rotation guys. Some seem to think more than one of them could be an Ace. Should be fun following them over the next few years.
I'm not wishing anything on anyone but if Youk is out for any length of time does Middlebrooks get a call-up? He's on their 40 man roster already. Would they go with Aviles?
My understanding is that there are a lot of scouts who are still pretty high on Brown and see him as a potential impact guy. I wasn't so much trying to gauge how much Brown would help the Phils' ranking as much as I was trying to get a read on how much any impact prospect would affect a team's ranking.
If you're saying that Brown would only bump them up a few slots then I'm fine with that. If you're saying that removing Trout drops the Angels several slots then I understand. I'm just trying to get a read on the rankings.
This isn't a "hey, why do you hate my team?" thing. I'm trying to understand the ways, if any, that this system could improve outside of getting a whole new bunch of guys. If May is strong in AA I assume his stock continues to rise, if Colvin has a solid season and Valle walks more than once a month, and James shows something at the plate this still looks like a system filled with utility guys, back ups, bullpen arms, and mid rotation starters. There are no impact guys. Is that fair to say?
His development was hurt by his development. Yeah, the Phils did him no favors by calling him up in 2010 and keeping him there while not playing him but the RF job was there for the taking in 2011 and he broke his hand. That's not the GM's fault. When he was healthy he struggled and then the Phils thought adding Pence would put them over the top so they did it.
Brown still has a chance to become the everyday guy in LF. I see your point that he doesn't help the system all that much if he's included.
If Brown were eligible where would the Phils rank? Middle of the pack at least?
Brown has looked really good at the plate this spring. He's still a mess in the field and is now dealing with a sprained thumb that he injured while diving to make a play on a ball that he read poorly coming off the bat. I'm hoping he'll force his way into the bigs and stay there. It's not like Laynce Nix is some mountain to be overcome here.
Brown looks stronger this year. He's filled out. The swing looks to be quieter than it had been and he's hit a few pitches to the opposite field on liners. There's still plenty to be happy about and I understand the "change of scenery" thing but this is a guy that they refused to include in the Halladay talks in 2009 and someone who can help the Phils keep their payroll down over the next few years. I have to believe he's still going to get a shot here and I hope he succeeds.
Does Walding look like he could stick at SS? I've seen some suggest that he'll end up at third.
I was pretty happy to see the live feed today. He looked pretty nasty from my cubicle. He also seemed pretty relaxed out there. Flashed a smile or two and seemed to enjoy himself. Anything yet on how his teammates feel about him?
Is the curve something that he can throw out there once in a while to get a guy's attention and maybe get ahead 0-1? It sounds like it could hang and could be risky if used too often. I've seen one or two people say it's not very sharp.
Hot water can dull the mind.
I'm with you on Stealing Home. Some of it may be that I grew up in Philly and there are scenes where the lead character is a kid listening to the Phils getting whomped on the radio and let's just say that this resonates with me.
Ruin Tomorrow is the greatest GM in baseball. How dare you sir?!?
I've been enjoying First Take each day when having my morning coffee and crossing off another day on the calender bringing us closer to the day that pitchers and catchers report.
I have no idea why Rube thinks it's a really super awesome idea to jump into free agency like a drunken sailor at a strip club but I'm hoping eventually someone is added to the front office mix who can get him to stop thinking that the guy who signs the first player to the biggest contract wins. I do think it's smart to have an elite closer. Going back to Wainwright in 2006, Papelbon in 2007, Lidge in 2008, Rivera in 2009, and Wilson in 2010 I see some elite names on the rosters of the winning side in each of those WS. Maybe Motte isn't elite yet but people have been waiting on him to arrive for a while now.
Did the Phils need a reliable guy in the back of the pen for 2012? Yeah, I'd say it was a good idea to get that guy. Did they need to spend $50M on that guy? Probably a big fat "no" on that one. So while it's almost certainly an overpay in both years and dollars the bottom line is... well, nevermind. The bottom line is that it's an overpay. Still, I'm not sold on the idea that contending teams should avoid Madson in favor of a 37 year old guy still recovering from TJ (sorry Joe Nathan). There is something to be said for certainty but it's gotta have a price and I'm not sure the price needs to be in the $50M range.