Hear Me Out: The Phillies Should Keep Casper Wells Around

Casper Wells has had a forgettable 2013 campaign. The Phillies are the third team with which he has actually made a Major League plate appearance, and he has a combined .337 OPS — he is barely out-hitting Kyle Kendrick and Jonathan Pettibone, for the sake of comparison. And now, as Matt Gelb reported, he is going on the disabled list with vision problems.

Just how bad were the vision problems?

“He’s also experienced some dry eye in the outfield,” Sandberg said. “They dry up when he tries to blink. He tries to blink to gain focus. He’s really battling something. It finally got to the point where he didn’t feel right about that. He mentioned production and betterment of the team and himself to see if he can get that fixed.

“That is scary. He said oftentimes it was a blurred ball coming in. He didn’t know if he was going to blink just right to make it clear.”

In 656 plate appearances entering the season, taken with the Detroit Tigers and Seattle Mariners, Wells posted an aggregate .752 OPS, good for an adjusted OPS of 109 (100 is average). Throughout his Minor League career, Wells displayed great power, hitting 15+ homers from 2008-10. Even in limited playing time with the Mariners last year, he hit 10 home runs and slugged just under .400.

The Phillies are paying Wells a prorated portion of a $505,400 salary for the 2013 season. Wells becomes eligible for arbitration for the first time after the season and won’t become eligible for free agency until after the 2016 season. For this reason — the remaining years of control and Wells’ relative cheapness — the Phillies should bring Wells back for at least the 2014 season. Due to his poor showing this year, he won’t have the leverage to ask for much of a salary increase, so we’re talking $750,000 or less, likely under $600,000 still.

With a 2014 outfield that will consist of Ben Revere in center, Domonic Brown in left, and a to-be-determined player in right field, Wells could serve as a fifth outfielder and pinch-hitter. If Wells’ struggles this year are entirely due to his vision problems, and they very well may be, then fixing them may help Wells return to normal.

This is the type of thinking that led former GM Pat Gillick to Jayson Werth going into the 2007 season. Werth hadn’t played since ending 2005 with a .234 average and just seven home runs in 395 trips to the plate. He had a wrist injury that doctors just couldn’t figure out. Eventually, he was referred to a doctor who correctly diagnosed the issue and fixed the wrist. Werth was able to go back to playing baseball. The Phillies paid Werth $850,000 for the 2007 season,¬†using him mostly off of the bench. He platooned with Geoff Jenkins in 2008, but eventually, Werth hit well enough to force then-manager Charlie Manuel to relegate Jenkins to the bench so that Werth could play every day in right field. The rest, as they say, is history.

This is not to say that Wells is the next Werth — the odds are very much in favor of this not working out — but it’s a virtually no-risk move and the Phillies have everything to gain by trying.

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44 comments

  1. MattWinks

    August 26, 2013 06:13 PM

    Wells is out of minor league options meaning the Phillies would have to put him on waivers and remove him from the 40 man roster to keep in AAA. This is the reason for all of his waiver movement this year.

  2. Bill Baer

    August 26, 2013 06:23 PM

    Where can you find information about the amount of options a player has left? I wasn’t able to find anything about it.

    Thanks for the clarification by the way.

  3. Jeff P

    August 26, 2013 07:25 PM

    Well, you have 3 years in which you’re allowed to be optioned. I guess you can always just check if he’s gone up and down from majors > minors in three separate years, and he has in 2010, 2011 and 2012

    Looks like in 2010 the Tigers had him up for 5 games in may and then optioned him to AAA before calling him up in August for the rest of the year.

  4. Jack Parkman

    August 26, 2013 09:29 PM

    Jenkins was brought in for 2008. Werth wasn’t paired with him until then.

    Beyond that, I agree with your analysis.

  5. Cutter McCool

    August 26, 2013 11:00 PM

    Darin Ruf is the right fielder in 2013. By hitting as many home runs as Howard in half as many at bats, he’s earned it. Considering his defense has been better than expected.

    He’d be better at 1st base but the Phil’s are stuck with 25 million worth of dead weight there for I don’t want to think about how many seasons still to come.

    (Somebody on the inside should sneak a steroid syringe into his locker while Selig is visiting–just saying.)

  6. Larry

    August 26, 2013 11:36 PM

    9 homeruns this month and every Phillies announcer says and knows Ruf has earned his spot. For some reason Bill Baer, you have proclaimed Revere in center next year, but nothing for Ruf. Is this a defense of your article “Ruf Isn’t That Good”?? How many other players in the NL have 9 homers this month? Who has a better OBP, OPS, OPS + or SLG % than Ruf on the Phillies this year??

    Do you even realize that Ruf has more homers per at bat than Brown this season?? This is not a fluke. He did this in the minors, which has translated into the majors. His defense is better than Brown. Why are you so against him Bill? What does he have to do to earn your respect? If Chase had 9 homers this month, you would be writing articles every 3-4 day about this.

    Sabermetrics even show that Ruf has been way more valuable than Revere per at bat, it’s not even close. Hardly anything has gone right for the Phillies this year, why not write positive articles about one of the only positive things that have gone right? Did Brown have a small sample size of 10 homers in May? The poll was Dom Brown or Dom Brown.

  7. Robby Bonfire

    August 27, 2013 04:55 AM

    Yes, I recall the “manager” kept platooning Werth and Jenkins, LONGGGGG after Jenkins had effectively collided with the career brick wall, and Werth had established himself as a highly productive corner outfielder. Yet, another example of a manager/imposter not being able to bring himself to making the obvious commitment to the productive player that was screaming to be made.

    What was it with this guy that he could never make a friggin’ mandated, player personnel change? Just nuts, and “loyalty” to what, mediocrity? Losing? Catching up on his sleep on the bench?

  8. Steve

    August 27, 2013 05:29 AM

    So Franco learns 1B over the winter and we trade RH at the trade deadline next year and our future has begun. Resign Ruiz to a two year, 10 mil contract to tutor Rupp. Ruiz, Franco, Utley, J-Roll, Asche, Ruf, Revere and Brown. That’s a young team with promise. Maybe Hernandez shows CF promise and he outplays Revere. three 30 HR potential, two 15 (Asche, Utley) and some speed plus a good infield defense(assuming Franco’s Glove translates to 1B). If we are comfortable with Franco, we can eat a significant portion of Howard’s contract to move him to the AL.

    Maybe Casper Wells maybe Bernadina as he has shown a better bat than this year and his defence and speed are plus. Either way we have a good competition with Revere for CF and I hope Hernandez wins out as his bat translates to a plus CF if his defence is average.

    I don’t know if I resign Halladay unless it is a serious team positive contract (one year/8mil with team options depending on how he pitches. If not, let him walk and move on.

    This team is actually bringing me back as I like the energy and we have an easy schedule the rest of the way so maybe Ryno finishes with an above .500 record for 2013. Atlanta will be our measuring stick and I hope RAJ doesn’t make too much of a team playing with nothing to lose.

  9. Mark

    August 27, 2013 08:51 AM

    Larry,

    Keep using 150 AB’s for Darin Ruf to drive all of your analysis. That should lead to some great results.

  10. Phil

    August 27, 2013 08:59 AM

    Mark,

    He’ll have about 300 career PA by the end of September, would you say that is a fair sample size or would you require a greater body of work?

  11. joecatz

    August 27, 2013 09:26 AM

    I agree with Wells inexpensiveness and control Bill.

    the bigger issue as pointed out is that he has to be on the roster.

    you’ve got five bench slots.

    backup C (Kratz/Rupp, both RH)
    Frandsen (RH)
    Galvis/Hernandez (SH MI)

    that leaves two spots for a LH bench bat and a RH bench bat.

    assuming Mayberry is gone, the only way you can keep Wells around is if Ruf is slotted into a starting role, or destined to platoon with the LH OF of your choosing.

    If the two OF slots are Wells and Bernadina, your bench becomes very defensive oriented. basically Wells and Bernadina are similar players with similar profiles.

    one of them really should be replaced with a more offensive oriented OF type bench bat. and if that guy is Ruf, and they go out and sign another OF, Wells has to go. Otherwise you’re left with Galviz/Hernandez as the only LH bench bat.

    I just don’t see how he ends up sticking, right or wrong.

  12. Mark

    August 27, 2013 09:31 AM

    Of course 300 is better than 150. My main point is everyone should be very careful with how they view Ruf and predict his future performance. I as happy as any Phillies fan that he’s finally been given a chance to prove his worth. He’s always been old for his league while in the minors, but that carries less and less weight as he performs against NL pitching.

    And for Larry to use 40 games to determine that Ruf is a better defensive player than Brown is just asinine.

  13. Larry

    August 27, 2013 10:18 AM

    @ Mark,

    Brown has a lot of problems judging the ball out there, I hope he gets better. he has a great arm. I think it’s pretty obvious that Ruf is more polished out there right now. Maybe Brown will be better defensively than Ruf 1 day, but I was just trying to say Ruf has been average to better than average. That’s fine enough with his power. He’s actually made some really good plays out there. It has surprised a lot of people.

  14. Phillie697

    August 27, 2013 10:28 AM

    Are we doing the Darin Ruf thing again? Apparently the whole “let’s wait until the season is over” thing didn’t take.

    I love how the same people who keep on harping that we shouldn’t ignore scouts conveniently ignore them when it doesn’t suit their arguments. Inconsistency is just a nicer word to describe hypocrisy.

  15. Robby Bonfire

    August 27, 2013 10:31 AM

    The real problem with Ruf is the Phillies “Bring them up late, syndrome.” Ruf would have a much more promising upside had he been promoted at 19-21, rather than in his mid-20’s. Schmidt came up at 23, Allen at 23, Utley and Howard in the 24-25 range. This is preposterous, based upon extensive evidence.

    Does NO ONE read Bill James’ discourse on this subject? I don’t mean here, I mean as regards Phillies brass. James’research conclusively determined that the later you promote a player = the sooner his career decline sets in, around the age of 28, 27 being the peak.

    Just as importantly, a late promotion greatly reduces a player’s career production curve. Look, Mantle was up at 19 and was striking out all over the place and took about three years to catch on and realize his super-stardom potential. Is this such a big price to pay for an organization?

    The real conflict here is free agency kicking in around age 25 when a kid is called up at 19. And it IS a problem. More kids would be brought up earlier if free agency kicked in at, say, age 30, instead of six seasons into a player’s career. Baseball has enough old DH guys, already. It really needs more 19 year-old budding super-stars to got with the immobile graybeards to upgrade the product it puts on the field.

  16. Phillie697

    August 27, 2013 10:36 AM

    @Robby,

    I don’t see that as a problem. I see that as an advantage. If you bring a kid up at 19, he proves that he’s Mickey Mantle at 22, you know that chances are he’s going to be a superstar for at least the next 8 years. While under team control, you leverage that control and sign him to a long-term team friendly contract. Viola, you got yourself the best FA money can buy below-market value, AND you don’t have to sit here praying to the baseball gods that he defies the normal aging curve.

    That’s how smart FOs build a baseball team. You spend the money where you have the least risk and the greatest reward. This is only a problem because many FOs are not smart.

  17. joecatz

    August 27, 2013 11:13 AM

    I don’t get the arguement in regards to Rufs age. First of all he wasn’t in the system when he was 19-21. second, while he won’t have a full career under control, who really cares if he declines in 3 or 4 years IF he proves he can be effective for 2?

    thats 2 years of a player likely in the prime of his brief career for the minimum.

    of course you can’t expect him to be part of a long term plan, but why can’t you expect him to be part of a short term plan?

    the key is capitalizing on it, and seeing the trends. thats all.

  18. joecatz

    August 27, 2013 11:17 AM

    Someone said this last week and it made a lot of sense. With a guy like Ruf you likely end up getting all of his on field value while hes under non arbitration control at league minimum and probably never spend a dime on his production when hes past that, and reaches free agency.

    If the guy produces its as low risk high reward as it gets, and if he doesn’t its the same. he’s never gonna get an extended deal, he’s probably never gonna cost more than 500k a season.

    so the only risk with Ruf, as a bench bat, a platoon player, or a regular if he drops off the face of the map production wise, he’s easily cut with no financial issues, and easily replaced, and if he’s succesful, he’s cheap as cheap can be.

    thats not a bad thing at all.

  19. Phillie697

    August 27, 2013 11:20 AM

    I don’t think the point was to say Ruf has no value. The point is that you should identify a Ruf when he’s 21, not when he’s 27.

  20. Larry

    August 27, 2013 12:23 PM

    @697,

    If you look at Ruf’s numbers when he was 22+, they were good. He could have been called up a lot earlier, but Howard probably blocked him, just like Thome did to Howard. So Ruf had to make it here as an outfielder. Then D-bag Young blocked him earlier this year. Now he’s taking his opportunity and running with it, something Brown struggled to do the 3 try outs he had previous to this year.

    SSS getting bigger every day. In 213 PAs as a Phillie, including last season, he has a 149 OPS+. It’s unsustainable but very impressive thus far. Nobody has more homers in the NL this month than Ruf. 1 guy has more in the AL (Miguel Cabrera) and that guy is a beast.

  21. joecatz

    August 27, 2013 12:47 PM

    LOL.

    you realize that by the time Ruf was 23, he had hit 15 home runs in 750 plate appearances over two seasons right?

    Ruf was 24 when he played his first full season at Clearwater. that was 2011. the team won 102 games. How does he make a mark any sooner? its not possible.

    And I’m not sure how Delmon blocked him this year considering Delmon didnt see the field until May 1st.

    Ruf blocked HIMSELF with a shitty spring, and a .593 OPS through 21 games in April when they ultimately were considering what to do with delmon.

    he simply wasn’t even in the conversation.

    and to play devils adocate here, Ruf has hit exactly 3 line drives at the major league level off of left handed pitching, and is striking out at a 35% clip. the power is real. and so are the holes.

    temper the expectations until the LD rate normalizes. (and it should, but its the number to watch above anything else.)

  22. Larry

    August 27, 2013 01:03 PM

    Absolutely right Joe about the homers back then, but his other numbers OPS, OPS +, SLG %, OBP% were good back then. His minor league #s are impressive even without the homers. DYoung was here too long since he was shitty since he got here. That was a horrible signing by RAJ. Are you endorsing Young to play right field over Ruf this year? If Raj went by spring training numbers wouldn’t Bentancourt have made the team? 447/451/574 were his splits. His OPS was 1.025. What did Bentancourt have to do to get a spot here? So the Spring Training argument can get flushed down the drain. RAJ wanted D-bag Young from the start.

  23. joecatz

    August 27, 2013 01:51 PM

    if you’re asking me whether, with his shitty defense and .593 OPS on april 27th if I would have called Ruf up instead of rostering Delmon the answer is a resounding no.

    If you are asking me if I would have rostered Ruf and released Delmon if Ruf was tearing the cover off the ball at the end of April at lehigh? maybe.

    the two have nothing to do with one another. Darin Ruf SUCKED EGGS both offensively and defensively in the spring and was not ready to play in a major league OF every day. period.

    Bitch about Delmon Young all you want but thats not the reason Darin Ruf wasn’t on the roster. If he was ready, he’d have broken camp with the team and played for a month at the very least.

  24. Larry

    August 27, 2013 02:48 PM

    “If you are asking me if I would have rostered Ruf and released Delmon if Ruf was tearing the cover off the ball at the end of April at lehigh? maybe.”

    So just a “maybe” in that scenario? I think this may stem back to you not being a big fan of his last year to just say “maybe”. Delmon Young was a statue in right field. he just couldn’t get to balls not hit directly at him. He has no plate discipline whatsoever. Ruf may K a lot like a lot of power hitters, but he will give you a good OBP and make the pitcher work harder, making his pitch count rise. Those are some intangibles that I would think you would agree with.

    Speaking of sucking eggs, do you remember how Brown and Revere were in April? We saw Mini Mart up here who absolutely sucks, before Ruf was given a shot on a sub .500 team.

    I’m under the impression that you were one of those people that liked the DYoung signing that 697 was making fun of a few weeks ago. If I took that the wrong way, I apologize in advance.

  25. Robby Bonfire

    August 27, 2013 03:55 PM

    @Phillie697.

    Yes, it’s a trade off. I certainly agree that in today’s game, you have to leverage your team according to the CBA in place. The downside here is that your young super-star takes Yankee or Dodger bucks, rather than re-signing with the club that developed him. So that when you promote the next Robin Yount at 18, Mel Ott at 17, Bob Feller at 17, Mickey and Willie at 19, Jimmy Foxx at 18, et al, you had better be committed to re-signing players of this, or nearly this caliber, when their contract renewal time is at hand.

    Also a concern is the lack of organizational loyalty on the part of today’s players, even old-timers like the biggest ingrate I have ever heard of, Tommy John, whose career was salvaged by the Dodgers surgeon, and then – BANG- out the door for a better deal he went.

    I just wish the Phillies could get their cream of the crop young players up to the big show no later than 22 years of age, for obvious reasons. Lefty Grove got his MLB ticket at 25 and won 300 games. Wade Boggs could hit, but the Red Sox put his career on hold until he, too, was 25. There must be a middle ground here, somewhere. The Phillies really struck out by cutting 1/3rd of the career off Utley and Howard. And extending David Bell’s career, at the cost of forestalling Chase Utley’s career; and forestalling Ryan Howard’s career to give Jim Thome Fort Knox money, is really all the case from my perspective I need to make,

  26. joecatz

    August 27, 2013 04:32 PM

    “I just wish the Phillies could get their cream of the crop young players up to the big show no later than 22 years of age, for obvious reasons.”

    they have to not trade their cream of the crop guys for that to happen. They also have to draft really really good at the high school level.

    A bigger reason why you see fewer 19-22 year old big leaguers is because more often than not kids forgo signing right out of high school and reenter the draft two years later than they used to.

    The biggest chance for the young stud impact guys is on the international side in todays game.

    I mean if you go back to the 2010 draft? the high school kids who have made it to the bigs?

    harper (1 overall)
    Machado (3 overall)
    Yellich (23 overall)

    thats it. every other player in the first five rounds with big league experince was a college draftee.

    If you go back to 2009?
    25 of the first 44 picks have made the majors.

    Wheeler (6th overall)
    Jacob Turner (9th overall)
    Shelby Miller (19th overall)
    Trout (25th overall)
    Nick Franklin (27th overall)
    Matt Davidson (35th overall)
    Tyler Skaggs (40th overall)

    Nolan Arenado, patrick Corbin, Wil Myers, Robbie Erlin, Jake Marisnik. thats it through the 2nd to 5th rounds.

    So the point here is that you get MAYBE 5 guys out of 1500 drafted past the first round out of high school that make the majors by 22 years old.

    the guys from the first round that make it are elite talent guys, like Harper trout and Machado, and a sprinkling of others. but its not just the Phillies, its the game in general.

  27. joecatz

    August 27, 2013 04:34 PM

    I think this may stem back to you not being a big fan of his last year to just say “maybe”.

    Uh, no, it stems from the fact that defensively, in April he was a bigger liability than Delmon was. and developmentally, he needed more time. plain and simple.

    I hated the Delmon Young signing. but not because they took a chance on him, because it could have been avoided by tendering Schierholtz a contract. But Delmon Young was a drop in the bucket man. get over it.

  28. joecatz

    August 27, 2013 04:35 PM

    that should be 7 of 25 picks in the first round that were high school guys.

  29. Steve

    August 27, 2013 05:45 PM

    LOL

    If we had a team of 21 years olds, we’d be the Marlins and we’d suck just as bad. At the same time, I am all for getting franco at this level sooner than later. Let Ryan show he has some value during the 1st three/four months and than trade him to a AL team. Even if we have to eat salary, getting Franco for league min makes it palatable if we can receive anything in the trade. It will never happen as RAJ would never admit to that blunder.

  30. Joecatz

    August 27, 2013 07:45 PM

    Also, not to nitpick, but Boggs made his major league debut in 1982. He broke camp at 23 years old, and turned 24 in June of that year. Ad he did that after playing two full seasons at AA and AAA. Mainly because they had just traded for Carney Lansford in 1980, who hit 336 in 1981.

    Ad I’m not sure how you can say the phillies cut 1/3 off utleys career. He signed out of college in 2000 at 21. Played one full season of A ball, then jumped all the way to AAA in 2002. He skipped AA.

    Polanco was a 4.6 war 2B in the second year of his contract in 2003. Utley was a guy in AAA. How much sooner could he have moved? I man, they traded a guy who put up 4.6 war the year before to make room for him.

    Howard was drafted at 21 too. Same deal, man… There was a guy named thome hitting 90 home runs in 2003 and 2004 kind of blocking his path.

  31. Larry

    August 27, 2013 09:13 PM

    Joe I am very critical of RAJ. I liked that he brought Doc and Lee to this team. they have been a pleasure to watch. However, most of all his other moves have been mostly negative. I hated losing Werth, but I understood his age at 17 mil per year for til he is 38 was a lot……But crap he is still a big time producer. He kills us when we play the Nats. I guess the final straw was trading Victorino for me. That totally sucked. He had a wrist injury last season and one of his worst years of his career. Someone said he also folded under the pressure of a contract year…..But even Fangraphs, that you guys always talk about, said he was worth over 13 mil last year. According to that site he is on pace to be a 25-30 mil player this year. I don’t totally trust it, but I’m making that point for Saber fans who love that site.

    So moves like D-bag Young make me more sick to my stomach. There is a guy here with a screen name (Amaro Sucks) and I totally agree with it. I want Amaro gone and I guess that’s why I can’t get over it “man”. I think a lot of Phillies fans feel the same way.

  32. Robby Bonfire

    August 28, 2013 03:42 AM

    Of course RAJ and David Montgomery are graduates of Penn Charter, and when you think about it, that figures as the primary reason RAJ got the job over a more qualified man, in the first place.

    I wonder if, given RAJ’s demonstrated lack of aptitude for the position, Montgomery and Co. have the guts to do the right thing? Sandburg deserves all the front office support he can get, if he’s going to last here awhile. He certainly figures to be on a shorter leash than was his predecessor.

  33. Robby Bonfire

    August 28, 2013 03:48 AM

    Good points re the delayed elevation of Utley and Howard. Not entirely the Phillies fault. However, here is a point to consider. Are not more bona fide prospects opting for college, these days, knowing that they figure to wallow in the minors until age 23+, given the FA constraint where inhibits most teams from promoting really young players, these days?

    These days we are saddled with relatively old, and in many cases – quite talented, rookies, to go with the glut of older players who are hanging on as a result of the continued survival of the D.H., and over-expansion. 24 teams should have been tops, to preserve the integrity of what is means to be a major league player.

  34. Steve

    August 28, 2013 05:31 AM

    @Robby
    I don’t think anymore/less prospects opt for college than in the past. It seems to me the college option is used as leverage for signing bonus and college has become a decent option as the level of play/instruction is getting better, at least for position players.

    Teams also seem to be looking at the bringing a player up at a young age at a way to sign a talent at 26/27 to a 5-7 year contract and still lock in their prime years at some type of hometown discount. We’ll see if that works with Mike Trout, BH and Stephen Strasburg.

    At least that’s my take as to why the FA market seems to be laden with 32-36 year olds and less of the big time players hitting 29.

  35. Robby Bonfire

    August 28, 2013 08:29 AM

    I hope you are right as regards MLB trending toward older FA’s. That is good for the game which can use all the young blood it can get.

    Look at the Yankees – how aged, infirm, and spoiled rotten over-compensated they are. Too many damn jobs and teams, today. Forty year-old ballplayers hanging on is a disgrace to baseball and a slap at fans who pay the freight. Pettitte, Ichiro, Jeter, A-Rod, Rivera, you can have them, they had their time. Where are the kids, today, in this organization?

    As for college as “leverage,” yes it is a strong bargaining chip. Coming out of high school would you rather be assigned to a team in the single A Northwest League, and have to ride the bus all night after spending three days in a motel in a small town; or would you prefer to be pitching for UCLA, USC, LSU, South Carolina, etc. with a shot at reaching the CWS, while getting in some legitimate college credits? Even Ken Griffey, Jr. was made to waste some time as a kid in the Northwest League, when he should have been up and producing at the MLB level, all the while. This could not have happened, before free agency.

  36. Phillie697

    August 28, 2013 09:53 AM

    I want to know how a conversation about the philosophy of grooming young players (when to bring them up etc) turn into another discussion about Darin Ruf again. Nobody cares joecatz.

  37. Phillie697

    August 28, 2013 09:57 AM

    @Robby,

    1) Phillies have big money. We need not worry about that.

    2) Would you rather take a gamble and sign a young player to a big contract, knowing that you at least don’t have to worry about the aging curve, or take a gamble on an old player? If you’re going to spend the money, at least spend it smartly. The whole argument to delay a player for financial reasons is flawed because precisely of this: “The Phillies really struck out by cutting 1/3rd of the career off Utley and Howard.”

  38. Joecatz

    August 28, 2013 01:07 PM

    Read the comments. I didn’t bring up Ruf. It’s a conversation about a back up RH OF. In what planet does Darin Ruf not enter that conversation?

    And stop speaking for people other than yourself.

  39. Robby Bonfire

    August 28, 2013 07:02 PM

    The 1/3rd off the career reference does not apply to Utley and Howard, coming into the organization in their early 20’s, as they did, so I exaggerated a point there. I like Thome but don’t like signing old guys even if they hit 90+ home runs the previous two years. The sharp decline career phase can really set in quickly, almost overnight.

    In general, players coming up at 24-25 who should have been at least given a trial at age 19, have lost 5-6 critical developmental, plus some highly productive early career years, which for most players is a lot more than 1/3rd of a career, but for a 19 year-old who can make it and play effectively until age 37, or so, the difference is an 18 year career vs. a 12 or 13 year career.

  40. joecatz

    August 29, 2013 08:41 PM

    Robby,

    thats perfectly well and good when you draft a stud out of high school. But you’re using that comparison for two guys who were signed out of college. they werent even in the system till they were each 21.

    also, since 1990, heres every player to play in the major leagues at the age of 19. www.fangraphs.com/leaders.aspx?pos=all&stats=bat&lg=all&qual=10&type=8&season=2013&month=0&season1=1990&ind=0&team=0&rost=0&age=14,19&filter=&players=0

    13 players. 5 pitchers.

    in 23 years. it doesn’t happen.

  41. Robby Bonfire

    August 30, 2013 07:41 PM

    Ahh, of course promoting young, budding starts in their teens rarely happens these days. Used to be MLB rosters were mostly comprised of players who started right out of high school, if they were good enough to merit the chance. And farm boys with little education were not held back If you were good enough. How did Honus Wagner do? Ty Cobb? Babe Ruth should have been brought up at 24 instead of at 19? Dizzy Dean was a young farm boy, too.

    The fact that many 18 and 19 year-olds who could make an immediate impact at the top are not given the chance until age 23+, really hurts them and MLB. How about Bob Feller had come up at 23 instead of 17; Frank Robinson at 24 instead of 20; Robin Yount at 23 instead of 18? You telling me their careers would have been more productive with a higher upside? Good luck with that.

    Look, Ken Griffey, Jr. should have been in the major leagues when they were wasting his contributions in Single A ball. You disagree? He had a better career in the majors because of his A-ball time? Make the case.

  42. Joecatz

    August 31, 2013 06:31 AM

    Robby,

    It’s not a phillies issues. It’s the nature of the sport. And it’s not teams keeping kids down, it’s the kids choosing to go the college route, etc…

    And pointing out hall of famers doesnt really make you case here.

  43. Robby Bonfire

    August 31, 2013 12:08 PM

    Next time I will point out Jimmy Bloodworth, Putsy Caballaro, and Wayne Terwilliger.

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