Hey. It’s Me. The New Guy.
Some of you may know me as BradInDC from PhuturePhillies.com, where I bring my most-times-bone-dry sense of humor to the tedious task of scouring through sometimes eight leagues worth of Phils minor league action in the daily box score recaps. Some of you may know me from Twitter, @bxe1234, where I rock a pretty baller Mike-Schmidt-With-70s-Perm avi, (which I swiped off some dude’s website with scans of a bunch of old MLB yearbook-type photos), and where I tweet about the Phils and affiliates, indie/indie-folk music, progressive politics and The West Wing, among other things. For those that don’t know me, consider yourselves introduced. For those that do know me – Look At Me, I’m On Crashburn Alley!
I grew up near the Phils AAA affiliate at Lehigh Valley, (though the team wasn’t there when I was living there), in Northampton, PA, home of Brian Schneider. That’s one town over from @longenhagen, though it took him roadtripping to see Carlos Rodon and NC State at U. of Maryland up the road from me for us to meet even for a brief moment. I’ll forgo my normal jabs at his (completely awful) hometown of Catasaqua, (I guess that doesn’t count as foregoing), in favor of saying we’re super lucky to have had that guy doing what he did on this site for as long as he did it, and we’re as lucky that we’ll still be getting some info from him from time to time or whatever the proper descriptor is of how often he’ll be dropping knowledge upon us.
I was drawn to the the minor league scene by the 2008 trade deadline and had immersed myself by the 2010 trade deadline. There’s so much talent evaluation on the internet nowadays, that to ignore a crucial part of the construction of a franchise seemed to be limiting my knowledge of the team I had come to fall back in love with when they traded that no-good bum of a franchise’s Historical Top 10 player Bobby Abreu and almost made the 2006 post-season. I wasn’t paying enough attention then, and so I barely recall the prospect haul we got back for Abreu – some dude and two other some dudes and, umm, Carlos Monasterios I think, and oh we also gave up Cory Lidle, who Arthur Lee Rhodes slammed after he left for being a strike-breaking scab, and who crashed his plane into a NYC building after that season and everyone thought it was a terrorist attack for a couple minutes. Good times.
Anyway, I’ve learned a lot since then, to the point where I hope I can enlighten you a little bit, or just keep you posted if you’re enlightened already. I’ll stress this now – I am not a scout, but I do respect the hell out of what they do and find their input to be invaluable to those of us who don’t live close to much minor league ball. I rarely see live baseball, and when I do, it’s generally from the cheap seats in left field at Nats Park near the visitors bullpen, and kinda close to where they sell the good-ass nachos. The closest thing I have come to seeing a minor league game in the last couple years was the aforementioned Rodon at College Park, and when I almost went out to see Seth Rosin and Reading at Bowie last year but it was like 97 degrees that day and so I said fuck it and stayed home in the A/C.
What you will get from me is a (hopefully) balanced approach to minor league evaluation. I use the minor league stats we have available, or at least the ones that can be trusted, and I always try to provide a scouting perspective when one’s available, even if it’s just a line cribbed from the BA Prospect Handbook or a tweet I wriggle out of one of the BPro people or whoever else I can get a hold of.
Also, you should expect me to try to name events. Like the other day on PP I tried to name “drawing four walks in a game”, (“Golden Earring” was as close as I came). And did you know that two home runs, a double and a single in the same game, or one total base better than the revered “Cycle”, is called a “Big Wheel”. It is. Trust me. I made it up and that’s what it’s called now. Don’t bother looking it up. The “man” hasn’t started using it yet. But last spring, AAAA guy Josh Fields hit for The Big Wheel for Lehigh Valley, and a movement was born. Yes, a movement of one, but a movement nonetheless.
And with that, I’ll leave you, surely wanting more, since I talked about almost nothing related to the current Phillies and their affiliates and prospects. I will say this, I’ve been squinting hard at the Lakewood club the last few days, and I really do think there are six or seven guys in that lineup that could become big leaguers by 2017-2018. I’ll call them “The Lakewood Six or Seven”. Barring something breaking that only I can handle, (yeah, I don’t know either), that’s what I’ll talk about next time you hear from me.