Minor Mish Mosh and Forty Man Mayhem (There Was No Mayhem)

“I’m gonna do some writing,” I said to my wife as she dozed off Thursday night. She barely managed a groggy reply.


“Baseball writing.”

“You could write me a love letter.”

“A love letter about Roman Quinn?”

Roman Quinn was named to a prospect list Thursday by Jim Callis and Jom Mayo from MLB.com. They called Quinn the 23rd best prospect in the prospect-rich Arizona Fall League, which led me to wonder where he might fall on some Top 100 discussions this off-season. Almost certainly, he’ll be in the conversation for the last third of John Sickels’ Top 150, but I doubt he’ll sniff any Top 100s. Still, he did have a very fine AFL, showing a willingness to use his eye at the plate, a continued progress towards base stealing prowess, a little bit of pop, and what was described regularly as a pretty good glove, especially for someone who spent about three calendar years learning shortstop in vain. To me, he’s the Phils #4 prospect, trailing only consensus #1 J.P. Crawford and the pair of Aaron Nola and Maikel Franco, in whatever order one might prefer them. Right now, I have Franco ahead of Nola, but ask me again after Franco finishes his winter league and maybe I change my mind. FTR – Jesse Biddle and his never-ending string of stings, dings and various other uncomfortable things, holds on to fifth for the moment, pending any setbacks in his recovery from elbow tendinitis.

Another interesting guy in the off-season leagues has been Hector Neris. He’s not allowed a run in eight innings in the Dom Rep, walking one, allowing five hits and striking out five in ten outings. This following a season where the righty reliever had a long scoreless streak and a slightly better than 3:1 K:BB ratio at AAA, earning himself a spot on the 40-man roster and a one inning big league debut. He’s a guy the club may get some use out of for his option years and beyond if he keeps doing what he’s doing. He doesn’t profile in the back of a bullpen, but he could easily break camp in a low-leverage role and a chance to earn his manager’s trust, much like Mario Hollands in 2014. (h/t to @phoulballz, Jay Floyd, for highlighting Neris often on Twitter.)

Had he not been added mid-year, Neris would have needed a 40-man spot Thursday in order to be protected from the Rule 5 draft at the upcoming Winter Meetings. Three Phillies punched their 40-man tickets Thursday, Biddle, LHP Adam Morgan and RHP Nefi Ogando, who like Roman Quinn, had an impressive AFL. Theses moves, in addition to the signing of LHP Elvis Araujo last week, and the earlier deals handed out to Grady Sizemore and Jerome Williams, leave the Phillies with two open spots heading into the Rule 5. The club is set to pick 8th. Last year, in the big league portion of the draft, the Phils picked Kevin Munson from Arizona and lost Seth Rosin to the Mets. Both players eventually made it back to their original clubs, though Rosin took a Ben Revere-like route through two 25-man rosters and one former British Penal Colony.

Who’s most likely to go this year? I’d say it’s Colt Murray. If I were a second division GM, I would absolutely give him a tryout in my bullpen. He’s got some fastball velocity and enough stuff on his secondaries to warrant a long look. Some interesting but very unlikely-to-be-drafted Phillies? Ethan Stewart, whose AFL showed he needs a lot of work on his control. Rosin, who didn’t really show improvement over the season and was passed on by every team on his way back to the Phils a couple weeks into the year. And Miguel Nunez, who just plain isn’t ready to compete in the bigs. Nunez could be stashed as a mop-up/swing man type by a team not intending to contend in 2015 who was willing to sacrifice another year of development after he already lost two to injury. Seems unlikely, but you never know what scout maybe saw him and loved him and can convince a GM he’s worth a chance.

That’s it for now – I’ll try to give you my two cents on anyone the club grabs in the Rule 5, and on anyone the club nets in trades for their veteran right fielder (let’s hope it’s not Endy Chavez again), or left-handed ace (insert FanGraphs grumbling here), or large-assed lefty reliever with unwed parents, or superstar first baseman with a five year contract.

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  1. JT

    November 21, 2014 09:28 AM

    This non-discussion of depth and hard 40 man decisions really highlights the Phillies present lack of depth at the near major league level.

    • BradInDC

      November 21, 2014 09:49 AM

      I don’t totally agree with that. You have three outfielders at AA or above who I would call “depth” (Altherr, Dugan and Perkins), plus Quinn who’ll just be starting AA in the spring. You’ll also have some bullpen depth at AAA if Martin is healthy, Rosin trends up like he was at the end of 2014, and Neris keeps doing his thing. Health precludes me from calling Joseph catching depth, so I agree with you there, and the infield and rotation depth are definitely a problem.

    • Matt Winkelman

      November 21, 2014 11:52 AM

      The big names from the classes that would have been Rule 5 eligible were Ken Giles, Cody Asche, and Maikel Franco

      Most teams added 2-4 guys

  2. edwin

    November 21, 2014 10:53 AM

    – Rosin took a Ben Revere-like route through two 25-man rosters and one former British Penal Colony.
    That’s rough

    • bradindc

      November 21, 2014 11:22 AM

      Rough on Revere? I guess so.

      If Paul Revere had taken as bad a route as Ben Revere we’d all be eating crumpets and getting all of our news from BBC. Or something. I haven’t worked out the finer points of that joke.

      • Romus

        November 21, 2014 03:59 PM

        For a minute, when you mentioned ‘one former British penal colony’, I thought Seth had a cup of coffee with a ball club down-under in the ABL.

      • edwin

        November 22, 2014 06:38 AM

        probably would have been cream tea and scones. Australia is pretty nice for a former penal colony. I recommend going if you have the chance.

      • Romus

        November 23, 2014 09:07 AM

        Edwin….heard that before…..perhaps one day I wait take your advice and get down to down-under.

  3. BobSmith77

    November 24, 2014 02:28 AM

    Inciarte has a good shot to win the starting job in LF next year for the DBacks and they just added K. Munson to their 40-man roster and plan on taking an extended look at him in spring training after a very solid year last year at T-AAA.

    Argue that Inciarte is already a better player than Revere and I would take Munson over several guys on the Phils’ 40-man roster right now including either Ogando, Neris, or Aumont.

    Somewhere the Phils are making some savvy choices in the Rule V draft but the FO is misfirings on player personnel moves (dumping Inciarte for eventually D. Young with a brief stint by Carrera) and dumping Manson (granted who struggled to throw strikes in ST but keeping a complete stiff like Manship or even Hollands and Lincoln) on the ’14 Opening Day roster.

    • Romus

      November 25, 2014 02:34 PM

      Charlie did not want to keep him (Inciarte) on the 25-man the whole season as a 5th. Ruben just listened to Charlie.

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