Longenhagen checks in from Fall League
This will be my penultimate post here on Crashburn. It’s a run down of the Phillies Fall League players, all of whom I’ve now seen enough to feel comfortable evaluating formally. Let’s get to it.
Quinn looks pretty good out here. He’s putting up 70 grade run times and, while it’s not the 80 grade octane we saw before his Achilles injury, he’s still plenty fast enough to make an impact with his legs. Quinn has also transitioned back to the outfield (he played CF in high school) and is already average there. He’ll likely be plus in due time. The arm is average, maybe a half grade below if he doesn’t set his feet properly, and won’t be a weapon but isn’t a horrendous blight, either.
Now, on to the bat. Quinn’s bat path is naturally geared for ground balls. There’s not much of a load to it, from either side of the plate, and Quinn needs to collapse his back side to produce any loft and power in his swing, which he’s been doing more of this fall. He sacrifices bat control for bat speed and hand strength. He’d be a 35 hitter in the bigs right now and I have a future 40 on the bat with a chance to get to 45 if he can BABIP his way there because of his legs. It’s 35 grade power and I’m holding firm on that for his peak as well.
This is a pretty good player, one I think will become a fringe-average regular in centerfield with a chance to be solid average if he hits more than I anticipate. A useful piece.
Moore has struggled mightily with his receiving out here, far too much for me to consider him a viable option behind the plate. There’s not enough bat for anywhere else. He’s an org guy for me.
I saw Morgan’s first start of the Fall and things did not go well. He looks a good bit stiffer than he did before his shoulder issues. The fastball was 87-90, down from the 91-94 we saw when Morgan rose to the top of my Phillies prospect rankings a few years ago. His secondary pitches still wink at you from across the bar now and then but not as consistently as before. His changeup will sit 77-79mph with some run and fade. I put a 45 on it, though it flashed 55. Both his slider and curveball were 45 pitches for me and his command was below average. I won’t dare declare Morgan’s future to be as bleak as I just made it sound because he is just coming off f an injury and deserves time to shake off rust. The early returns, however, are not promising. It’s a bit heartbreaking, really. Adam is, by all accounts, a wonderful young man. If I catch him again and things look different, I’ll let you know.
I’ve written about Ogando here before but here’s where things are now. He throws really hard, 96-98mph and he’s been doing it long enough now that I think it’s safe to say that velo spike he saw after coming over from Boston in the John McDonald trade is going to stick. His slider is usually pretty bad, in the 87-91mph range. It spins but does not move, a grade 30 pitch. However, Ogando has begun working with Ray Burris, who grabbed a hold of Ken Giles and his solid but unspectacular breaking ball at Triple-A last year and did some serious work. Ogando has flashed a better slider recently and it’s possible Burris has made some headway there. You can always dream on arm strength like this turning into something. It’s not unreasonable to think Ogando’s slider will come along enough for him to be a middle relief piece. He’s shown a below average changeup out here as well and has the arm action to think that could also tick pu a half grade or so with reps. Keep monitoring him.
Murray’s got a relief-only delivery. Very violent, very noisy. That brings about reliever’s command. The stuff is decent, fastball 92-94mph and an above average breaking ball. He could be a middle relief piece.
Stewart looks really good. His fastball coasts in at an unspectacular 90-93mph which is basically crawling when compared to the way other bullpen arms are bringing it lately. But the slider is a diving 84-87mph phantom that has flashed 65 and is, at worst, a grade 55 offering. Stewart’s use of the pitch is especially impressive. He’s shown a good idea of how to use that slider to get RHHs out and immunize himself from potential platoon issues we often see with left-handed relievers. He won’t get a lot of buzz because he doesn’t make the radar guns explode but he’s got a chance to be a setup man with that slide piece working the way it is.
Guys like Sullivan aren’t really prospects but he’s been jerked back and forth between the bullpen and rotation in the minors so much that he provides a valuable skill: Adaptability. While he grades out as an org guy, O’Sullivan might get a chance to wear a Major League uniform in the next season or two because he can pretty much take the mound whenever you need him to. In an organization that has little pitching depth and a bunch of old guys in the Majors, reaching down to Reading or Allentown for a rubber arm isn’t unthinkable.