Phillies Offense Will Lack Speed Once Again

If you’re like me, one of the first things you did when Dan Szymborski’s ZiPS projections for the Phillies was posted on FanGraphs, you went right to wOBA and sorted high to low. You probably also glanced at ISO, strikeout and walk rates, and plate appearances for context. Like me, you probably also skipped over the stolen base projections.

Base running is an often overlooked aspect of a player’s offensive game. It doesn’t impact offense nearly as much as a player’s ability to get on base — if the base running stat on FanGraphs is to be believed, the difference between the best base running team and the worst is about 40 runs or four wins. For context, the difference between the best offensive team and the worst in 2013 was nearly 300 runs or 30 wins. Still, four wins is four wins and could ultimately be the difference between playing meaningful baseball in October or scheduling a golf outing.

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Longenhagen’s Scouting Report Index


Jesse Biddle 1, 2, 3

Brody Colvin

Cody Forsythe

Luis Garcia

Perci Garner

Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez with a few updates here

Severino Gonzalez

Matt Imhof

Jay Johnson

Mark Leiter Jr. 

Ethan Martin 1, 2

Sam McWilliams

Yoel Mecias

Hoby Milner

Adam Morgan 1, 2

Kevin Munson

Aaron Nola

Nefi Ogando

Chris Oliver

John Pettibone

Yacksel Rios

Mauricio Robles

Juan Sosa

Austin Wright



Tommy Joseph, 2

Andrew Knapp

Cameron Rupp



Cody Asche 1, 2

Malquin Canelo

Albert Cartwright

Art Charles

JP Crawford 1, 2

Luis Encarnacion

Maikel Franco, 2

Zach Green

Larry Greene

Jan Hernandez

Cesar Hernandez, 2

Rhys Hoskins

Emmanuel Marrero

Andrew Pullin

Darin Ruf 1, 2




Aaron Altherr

Aaron Brown

Zach Collier

Dylan Cozens

Kelly Dugan

Juslan Kamara

Cameron Perkins

Cord Sandberg

Steven Susdorf

Carlos Tocci


Draft Retrospectives

Reggie Taylor

Gavin Floyd

Chase Utley



More to come…

Phillies Bullpen Has the Potential to be Great in 2014

Much has been made of closer Jonathan Papelbon — his age, the negative trends, some purported clubhouse issues, and the Phillies’ desire to trade him. And with good reason; Papelbon is owed between $26 and $39 million over the next two or three years, depending on if his 2016 option vests. The rest of the bullpen has been an afterthought, but it has the potential to be great in 2014.

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The Future is Unwritten: Cameron Perkins

There has been a good amount of wailing and gnashing of teeth among statistically inclined Phillies fans for the club to pursue more college hitters in the draft. A half dozen or so studies have been done on expected return of draft choices and many of them come out the other end touting college bats as the most beneficial type of selection (Rany Jazayerli, Phil Birnbaum and Victor Wang have all written about it at length). Generally, the Phillies do not select college hitters in the first round. The last time they did was in 2000 when they popped an infield prospect named Chase Utley from UCLA. In that vein, the prospect du jour is outfielder Cameron Perkins, the club’s sixth round pick in 2012 out of Purdue. Continue reading…

Crash Bag, Vol. 86: Basal Ganglia

I’m down to my last month or so in Madison (side note, if anyone wants to pay me to write or edit anything, I’m very much available), and let me say this: I am entirely sick of snow. We got about eight inches dumped on us in what seemed like an hour, and I’m so tired of having to go five months between grass sightings. This place is so cold all the doctors are named Yuri and write horrible poetry. I took the garbage out on Monday and got icicles on my beard and in my nose after about 30 seconds. I’m just so done with snow.

But I’ll say this–it being 10 below up here isn’t even close to the most miserable weather I’ve ever experienced. Because I’d take this winter over Philadelphia winter anytime. Philadelphia winter is 34 and overcast and unrelenting sleet and freezing rain and wind and I want to punch John Bolaris in the forehead right now just thinking about winter weather in Philadelphia. The worst place on the planet in winter is on the campus of Temple University, under the footbridge between Gladfelter and Anderson halls, where if you step out you get your ears frozen off from the sleet and belted by wind so strong you wonder if NASA’s testing a static airframe for a new hypersonic rocket plane. It is the most miserable place I’ve ever been.

Your questions.

@dj_mosfett: “Over this Holiday Period, I have consumed much Egg Nog. What are your thoughts on Nog? What is your preferred Nog recipe?”

My preferred Nog recipe goes something like this:

Wanna Watch A Baseball Highlight?

Christmas is over and it’s almost 2014, so there’s that. But baseball is still a long ways away. If you’re anything like me, the time between the conclusion of the World Series and the reporting of pitchers and catchers is purgatory on Earth. I don’t watch football, basketball, or hockey, so those four months or so are slow and seemingly take forever. I find myself passing the time pawing around on or MLB’s YouTube channel just watching random highlights.

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Ruben Amaro’s Market-Changing Mistakes

When Ryan Howard signed that five-year, $125 million contract extension back in April 2010, many proponents said at the time that it would look comparatively cheap once Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder got their big contracts, plus inflation would balloon future contracts, too. And that wasn’t altogether incorrect. Pujols signed a ten-year, $240 million contract with the Angels and year two (2013) was just no fun for them as the future Hall of Famer dealt with injuries and diminished effectiveness. Fielder, now a Ranger, signed a nine-year, $214 million contract with the Tigers in January 2012. Joey Votto also signed an extension with the Reds in early April 2012 worth $225 million over ten years.

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Christmas with the Phillies

Just because they’re millionaire celebrities doesn’t mean they don’t still celebrate Christmas like most of the rest of us. That’s right, Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, and even Michael Martinez excitedly woke up this morning to spend the holiday exchanging gifts, eating good food, and spending time with loved ones. What they didn’t know is that I had installed cameras at all of their residences so I could observe all of them to report on it later. Thanks, NSA!

Here’s a selection of gifts I observed members of the Phillies unwrapping earlier today.

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The Future is Unwritten: Luis Encarnacion

One nugget of Phillies-specific process that makes its way into the posts and comments here at Crashburn once in a while is the club’s traditional modus operandi when it comes to acquiring international talent. Usually, the Phillies give Sal Agostinelli, one of the best international scouting directors in the business, his proverbial prospect allowance and Sal doesn’t spend too much of it in one place. Instead, he spreads the wealth across Latin America to several lesser players whose names won’t be found on Baseball America’s annual list of the top July 2nd talent. Continue reading…

Crash Bag, Vol. 85: The Duck Blind

Bill told me, when this post was in draft mode, that I’d turned off comments. I have no idea how I did this, so I don’t know how to turn them back on, and while Bill apparently edited the post while I wasn’t looking, he might not have reenabled the comments. We’ll see how this goes.

@jenningsjt: “If RAJ was fired and the city decided Hinkie should run both the Sixers and the Phillies, what would be his first few moves?”

I think the first thing he’d do is try to trade for draft picks, maybe take on a couple bad contracts to do so, figuring he’s got the cap space…then come hurtling back to the ground when he realizes you can’t trade draft picks and baseball doesn’t have a salary cap. Continue reading…