Art Charles Scouting Report

Sure, it’s a minor trade, but it can’t hurt to be fully aware of what’s going in with the new member of the roster, Art Charles. Hell, I wrote almost 500 words on Ender Inciarte as soon as the Phillies pulled the trigger on him in the Rule 5 draft, so why should I get lazy now?

I don’t want to use a ton of time discussing what the Phillies “lost” in exiling Michael Schwimer north of the border. The guy is a known commodity at this point; an up-and-down reliever who thinks he’s owed a full time roster spot and isn’t afraid to make a stink about it. He was more of a headache than he was worth.

The new guy is minor league first baseman, Art Charles, a massive, left handed 22 year old who only has 140 PAs above Rookie League ball (80% of his career Pas came in Rookie League work). Drafted out of a Bakersfield, CA JC in 2010’s 20th round (606 overall), Charles stands at 6’6” and is listed at 220lbs. He looks to be about 240lbs in a body that will limit him to first base.

The defensive limitations put a lot of pressure on the bat and it is unlikely Charles will do the necessary raking to overcome those limitations. He has above average raw power and a good idea of what is a strike and what is not, but struggles to make contact with the things that are thrown over the plate because his bat just doesn’t stay in the zone very long. There are things I don’t like about Charles’ feet in the box, which are different at five o’clock than they are at seven, and it negatively impacts his balance. Are these things that can be fixed? Sure, but it’s not as if the Phillies have worked a slew of developmental miracles recently and I doubt the sort of time coaches would need to devote to Charles to make those changes will be dedicated to someone in which the Phillies have very little invested.

Looks like he’s an org guy.

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11 comments

  1. phillychuck

    February 24, 2013 11:33 AM

    Eric–you’re selling Schwimer short. He’s got the potential to be more than “an up-and-down reliever. He’s averaged more than 9.5 K’s per 9 IP throughout the minors, including seasons with more than 13. His first year in the big leagues he averaged more than 10 K/9 IP. Relievers like that don’t grow on trees. Ruben is just throwing away value because he can’t find a way to manage a difficult personality. I personally don’t care how much “trouble” a player is, it’s the organization’s job to figure out how to manage him.

    Schwimer has a career 0.2 WAR right now. I’ll bet you $100 to your favorite charity that Art Charles never reaches that lofty number. The guy has spent the better part of three seasons in rookie ball, and he was older than most of his high-school drafted opponents every year.

    This was a stupid move by RA, another in a pretty long line of net losses of talent.

  2. Mark Peltz

    February 24, 2013 12:51 PM

    Charles is limited to 1B. His chances of sticking with the organization are slim to none. I would have thought they could have gotten more for Schwimer.

  3. Eric Longenhagen

    February 24, 2013 01:12 PM

    Chuck- How much more “potential” does a 27 year old relief only arm have left to fulfill? His first year in the big leagues he averaged more than 10 K/9IP? Yeah, in a whopping 14 innings. Don’t think that because I’m the scouting guy that you can cherry pick garbage stats to win an argument. Relievers like this practically do grow on trees.

  4. EricL

    February 24, 2013 04:43 PM

    Today I learned that K/9 is a “garbage stat.” I know K-rate is better, but I thought K/9 was at least an okay substitute as long as you know it’s weaknesses.

    Anyway, I’m not sure I buy that players like Schwimer are quite as ubiquitous as you make it seem. According to FG, here’s the list of all relievers since 2005, aged 27 and under, who pitched at least 40 innings with a K/9 greater than 9.5 and who walked fewer than 4.5 per nine. Across those 8 years only 40 players fit that description, including a lot of really good high-leverage relievers: www.fangraphs.com/leaders.aspx?pos=all&stats=rel&lg=all&qual=40&type=8&season=2012&month=0&season1=2005&ind=0&team=0&rost=0&age=14%2c27&filter=4961&players=0

    I also think your interpretation of his motive for not reporting to Lehigh Valley is uncharitable. Schwimer has already said he’s likely to be in AAA this season with Toronto, so it’s not as if he’s adamant about not being optioned: (12th graf) sports.nationalpost.com/2013/02/24/blue-jays-pitcher-michael-schwimer-likes-the-energy-in-his-new-clubhouse/.

    Ultimately I don’t really care about Scwhimer’s case individually. It’s more the process that concerns me. I care that the organization is trading away guys with some value and receiving guys with basically no value in return, solely because he annoyed his bosses. Hell, I think Schwimer is probably better than Chad Durbin at this point.

  5. EricL

    February 24, 2013 04:45 PM

    hrm. Should be “..its weaknesses…” Not sure how that apostrophe slipped in there.

  6. LTG

    February 24, 2013 06:59 PM

    The “garbage”-ness of the K/9 stat is that it came in 14 IP. That sample size is too small to cite for an argument. And, yeah, K% and BB% would be a much superior measure.

    To be fair to Longenhagen’s claim about Schwimmer’s talent set, you would have to look at the arms in AAA, at least, not just in MLB.

  7. keith

    February 24, 2013 11:14 PM

    I dont think you are looking at the hole pitcher Charles can braing to the phillies
    I think there is Alot of people mad that Schwimmer was traded for A rookie

  8. Phillie697

    February 25, 2013 03:46 AM

    I don’t know about you, but starting with 8 years of data but then set the innings limit at 40 and a K/BB ratio of 2.11, and then end up with not 5, not 10, but FORTY names, 26 of which were younger than Schwimer… Seems like the very definition of garbage stats to me.

  9. Nick

    February 25, 2013 03:36 PM

    I like how angry Chuck gets over loosing a “slop time” at best reliever like Schwimer. Yes, RAJ is the worst GM in the world because he traded a 27 year old “slop time” reliever with little potential for a 22 year first baseman. WORST GM EVER!

  10. Ryan Sommers

    February 26, 2013 10:18 AM

    If we’re going to feign heartbreak over eminently replaceable relievers, let’s at least do it for the left-handed ones

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