Phillies Sign Alec Bohm and Many Others

With the current era of draft slots, the odds of a team taking a player in the top 10 rounds of the draft without signing them is extremely low. So it is not surprising that at just about a week after the draft the Phillies were able to lock up #3 overall pick Alec Bohm to a deal (as well as 19 other draftees). It is also not surprising that that the Phillies signed 6th round pick Logan Simmons, nor will it be surprising when the Phillies officially sign 9th round Dominic Pipkin. The real question was after the Phillies took Pipkin in the 9th round, how much money would they have to spend on later picks. After the Phillies took Stetson RHP Jack Perkins in the 11th it seemed they may have been out of money after likely having to give overslot bonuses to Pipkin and Simmons. Continue reading…

The Kingery Shortstop Dilemma

Last week Matt Gelb wrote about the difficulty the Phillies are facing with trying to compete and trying to develop their young players. There is no player at the center of this more than Scott Kingery. Coming into the year, Kingery didn’t look entirely major league ready. He was coming off a strong spring, but his AAA numbers were not great, especially with regard to his approach at the plate. Despite this, the Phillies saw enough upside to sign him a large contract and send him right to the majors.

The problem was and has been that Scott Kingery is a second baseman and the Phillies already have a solid second baseman. The Phillies have tried to deal with this by shoehorning Kingery in at other positions. Kingery can play a competent outfield, but outside of the Rhys Hoskins’ brief 10 day trip to the DL the Phillies have had 4 outfielders they all want to get playing time. That leaves shortstop and third base. At shortstop the Phillies have another top prospect in J.P. Crawford who is known for his glove, and at third they have a former top prospect in Maikel Franco who the Phillies would like to see improve. When Crawford was out with an arm injury, this all made some sense because the Phillies didn’t have another shortstop and it got Kingery’s bat in the lineup for development. Continue reading…

Crash Bag #8: Mini Post-Draft Crash Bag

The MLB Draft happened this week, so without time for a massive mailbag you all answered the call for a few good questions.

@Lead_FarmerSD: Is Bohm the safest first round pick the Phillies have made since Nola?

The answer is yes and it isn’t particularly close, but that is boring, so I decided to rank the safeness of Phillies 1st round picks back to 2000 when the Phillies took Chase Utley. These are at the time of the draft, and I am going safe as safest to be an everyday major leaguer. Continue reading…

Phillies 2018 Draft Day 2 Recap

Today was the second day of the 2018 MLB Draft. Picks today covered rounds 3 to 10. The Phillies did not have a second or third round pick, so they went from pick 3 until pick 107 waiting for things to happen. I wrote about much of my own thoughts on the Phillies picks here, but I wanted to take this time to see what how the Phillies picks related to what the internet had to say and rank coming in. Continue reading…

Phillies Select Alec Bohm with the #3 Overall Pick

After 24 hours of speculation and some hope around Casey Mize sliding to the #3 pick, everything went as expected with the Phillies selecting Wichita State 3B Alec Bohm with the #3 overall pick. Bohm was widely considered the best bat in the draft. There may have been some prospects with better hit tool and some players who can compete on raw power, but Bohm’s combination of hit tool and power put him ahead of other hitters in the draft. Bohm has also shown improvement every year and has a track record of hitting with wood bats. He profiles as at least an everyday regular at third, but if he can fully tap into his raw power without sacrificing much hit tool, he could be an all-star level, middle of the order contributor. Continue reading…

Draft Day 1 Preview: Pick #3

For a team picking as high as the Phillies, it is a relatively quiet draft day. Due to the signings of Carlos Santana and Jake Arrieta the Phillies do not have their 2nd and 3rd round picks. That means their day should be over by 7:30pm eastern and not have anything draft related until the second round tomorrow. The loss of the picks (and their associated slot amounts) means that the Phillies are also not really able to pull off any shenanigans with bonus manipulations. There is a chance their first pick will be over or under slot, but that won’t be to float a specific player down the draft, rather it will allow them or prevent them from being flexible on the rest of day two and greatly affect what they can do in the 11th round on Day 3 (more on that when we get to day 3). Continue reading…

This One Is Going to Hurt, Hoskins’ Jaw Injury Force Cozens to the Majors

It didn’t take long for the buzz of an exciting call up for Mitch Walding to wear off. It appears that Rhys Hoskins was misdiagnosed when it looked like he had dodged major injury from a foul ball to the face, because instead of being day to day he has a fractured jaw and will be out for an unknown period of time. As I detailed yesterday, the Phillies don’t actually have a lot of options for position player call ups. So the Phillies are calling up the one guy I said was not ready in 2012 2nd round pick Dylan Cozens. Continue reading…

Pedro Florimon to the DL, Reportedly Mitch Walding to the Majors

The Phillies entered the 2018 season with a 40 man roster full of pitchers. On the surface it made a lot of sense. The team was going to run a 4 man bench, it was going to run a fairly stable lineup, and the major league team had enough positional flexibility to withstand minor injuries. Largely this year, that has held true, with the only 25 man roster injury being J.P. Crawford’s. In that instance the Phillies moved Kingery into his spot, Pedro Florimon into his spot, and promoted Jesmuel Valentin to sit in Pedro Florimon’s spot on the bench. Continue reading…

Nick Williams is Thriving as a Pinch Hitter and Showing Meaningful Growth at the Plate

With the signing of Carlos Santana the Phillies opened themselves up to a playing time crunch in right field. A big question entering the year was how the Phillies would split the playing time for Aaron Altherr and Nick Williams. Through 47 games, Williams has 19 starts and Altherr has 30. So far that split has not gone well for either, with Altherr batting .198/.333/.379 and Williams at .231/.307/.374. Both players have been streaky throughout their careers and it as seemed like the Phillies are half a step behind in dividing the playing time. Right now the Phillies are going with more of a 50/50 split to playing time as Williams has surged in May. Continue reading…

Crash Bag #7: What Are The Questions We Should Be Asking?

@JimClemmens: Why has everyone seemed to forget or ignore jesmuel valentin’s domestic violence history?

I appreciate you asking this question, it is an important question to ask. I think on a basic level not many people know about it. For those without context, in April 2015 Jesmuel Valentin was arrested for domestic battery in an incident involving his wife. He was suspended for much of the 2015 season and went to counseling, and the charges were dropped, but ultimately that means very little in our society in terms of whether something occurred. During the time he was suspended it was easy to treat him like he was not a member of the Phillies organization. Valentin’s lack of prominence in the Phillies’ system has allowed it to fade from public awareness, and unlike established major leaguers like Aroldis Chapman, Addison Russell, and others, we have not been directly confronted with whether we want him on our baseball team. We still struggle as a society to talk about domestic violence as well, with many of the institutional problems around it (such as a lack of official reports, dropped charges, and fear for the safety of the abused) leading to ambiguity in facts. This ambiguity leads to a place where teams and league have decided that the player can continue to play, and we as fans have no say in that matter. It is uncomfortable to write about Valentin and others, it is uncomfortable to root for him, and it is uncomfortable not knowing about the continued safety of the abused. There are no charges and no legal ramifications here, and we don’t know what transpired 3 years ago. Ultimately we are left having to move on with that sick fear in our gut. Moving forward, teams need to have support structures for victims of domestic abuse. Major league baseball needs stricter punishments against perpetrators of domestic abuse and teams that allow it to happen. Teams need to stop promoting policies, events, and individuals that build gender divides and glorify and perpetuate all forms of violence.

If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic abuse, contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline www.thehotline.org/ (1-800-799-7233). Continue reading…