Crash Bag Vol. 31: Looking Back 3 Years

The trade deadline is over, and the Phillies traded nearly everyone they could and got some stuff back. The team is still bad, and a sweep at the hands of the Angels reinforced that the bullpen is a major problem and the starting pitching is shaky on days when Aaron Nola doesn’t pitch. But, let’s just forget about all of that and take a step back in time to talk about some prospects and some of your other questions this week.

@PaulSocolar: Your 2014 prspct list led w Crawford-Nola-Franco; top 10 also had Biddle-Sandberg-Dugan. Where would those 3s 2014 selves be on current list

I am just going to go for the whole list and not just the groupings of 3. For those that want to read 3 year old wrong opinions, here is the link, but for those with less time, here is my 2014 midseason top 10 (which I have no clue why I wrote it on June 24).

  1. J.P. Crawford
  2. Aaron Nola
  3. Maikel Franco
  4. Roman Quinn
  5. Jesse Biddle
  6. Deivi Grullon
  7. Cord Sandberg
  8. Carlos Tocci
  9. Kelly Dugan
  10. Aaron Altherr

My current midseason list is here.

  • The first big question is 2014 J.P. Crawford vs Sixto Sanchez. Both were 19 years old and had just dominated Lakewood, but I think I am going to go with Crawford’s .295/.398/.405 line with 37 walks to 37 strikeouts.
  • Aaron Nola had just been drafted #7 overall and was a polished college pitcher who was already in Clearwater, but here is where I go with the safety of the upper minors hitters, and I would slot him in between Kingery (3) and Alfaro (4).
  • On August 1 of 2014, Maikel Franco was hitting .242/.293/.387 in AAA at age 21 (soon to be 22). Do you take Franco over Alfaro here? I don’t because of the positional advantage for Alfaro, but I could see it the other way. Franco’s youth over Hoskins gives him the edge for me.
  • Now we have Roman Quinn, fresh off a major injury, now in center field and batting .256/.337/.365. Given where the injuries are now, I would take 2014 Quinn over 2017 Quinn, and would probably take him over Seranthony Dominguez.
  • Jesse Biddle is next and he is just making a start in the GCL after missing a month to a hail induced concussion. At this point his season has just gone horribly, but there is still some talent in there. I think I would still take him over Thomas Eshelman (16).
  • Next it is Deivi Grullon, who I always really liked and at this point was hitting .237 in Williamsport. I would probably take Arquimedes Gamboa (19) and Francisco Morales (20) ahead of him, because I like the offensive upside a bit better with Gamboa, and Morales’ arm could be really good.
  • Cord Sandberg hit .186 in July and probably would have fallen on this list had I done it later. Sandberg still had a lot of shine on him at this point, and I think his comparison now is Cole Stobbe, who was unofficially 26 on my list. I like Stobbe a bit more, so 27 is where it is for Sandberg.
  • Hey, it is 18 year old Carlos Tocci! Tocci was hitting .251/.302/.338 in Lakewood on August 1. He also would have and should have ranked higher than Sandberg, I will slide him in right at the same spot as Grullon, after Morales.
  • This is tough mentally on me, because I really really liked Kelly Dugan. Dugan was hitting .278/.373/.403 in Reading at age 23. Andrew Pullin is in roughly the same situation and wrecked Reading. Dugan could play RF and Pullin is LF only. I think that is unofficially 29th for Dugan.
  • A lingering AFL injury had put a damper on Altherr’s season. By the end of July, he had gone up to the majors as an emergency call up, but was back in Reading hitting .241/.298/.392 with 23 walks to 92 strikeouts. I believed in Altherr’s glove, but the bat was really ugly for a 23 year old in AA. Would I take him over Pullin? probably not, probably not over Kyle Young or Cole Irvin either. Aaron Altherr vs Elniery Garcia is tough, but give me the Rhineland Rocket at #31.

So to recap here is where the 2014 midseason list would fit in.

#1 Crawford
#4 Nola
#5 Franco
#12 Quinn
#16 Biddle
#21 Grullon
#27 Sandberg
#21 Tocci
#29 Dugan
#31 Altherr

This does a much better job than I expected at showing where the depth of the system is. The system is deep in second and third tier prospects. These aren’t players you are expecting to be stars, but rather players you reasonably expect to contribute to your major league team.

@CTbott: in your opinion, which slash line is more valuable to a team – .251/.304/.415 or .225/.339/.376

This is a Galvis vs Crawford debate. But let’s throw that out, I am also going to throw out strikeout rate and BABIP since I have not been told them. By OPS these two lines are .719 and .715, so the real question is what do you value more, OBP or SLG? I will take the on base percentage, because it is plate appearances that don’t end in outs, which brings another hitter to the plate and gives you more opportunities to score. The .035 difference in on base percentage is 21 outs over 600 plate appearances, which is fairly substantial.

@MELKasinkas: Is it really reasonable to expect the Phillies to have 4 rookie position players debut OD in 2018? Hoskins Crawford kingery alfaro

Due to his option situation, Alfaro is a lock to be on the opening day roster next year, so let’s only look at the other 3 players. I think Hoskins is a lock, Tommy Joseph is not good and I don’t see him turning it around enough for the Phillies to keep him over Hoskins. I also don’t see a better option out on the market. Then we have Freddy Galvis. The Phillies love Galvis, the writers love Galvis, and Galvis has been fine. He is currently having the best year of his career and has been on fire for a little bit now. He is also a free agent after the 2018 season, and while there may be some thought to keeping him and delaying Crawford for a bit, I don’t think Freddy’s value is going up, and he isn’t going to get a qualifying offer or a cheap contract. Cesar Hernandez is the tough one, because he is actually good at baseball. Hernandez is essentially repeating his 2016 season, where he put up over 3 wins of value over a full season. Unlike Freddy, he isn’t a free agent until after the 2020 season, so you don’t need to commit to him for him to be your long term answer. This also means he has a lot of trade value, but I don’t know how many teams need a second baseman. I would put it at 100% that Alfaro and Hoskins are up, 75% that Crawford is up, and 50% that Kingery is up. What is that, a 37.5% chance they have 4 rookies?

@loudfartnoise: where is the best place to sit at CBP, for normal people (so no Diamond Club, first row behind dugout, etc)

I am going to be honest, almost every ticket I buy for a Phillies game is from StubHub or a site like that, and it is whatever the cheapest ticket available is. Occasionally, I will splurge if a slight upgrade will get a better seat. I have also never sat in the outfield, so I can’t speak to the experience there. For me, the best thing about Citizens Bank Park is that there really is no bad seat in the stadium. Some are better than others, but you aren’t going to ever have a bad view. My favorite year of Phillies baseball was 2012, because tickets were $1-$2 online and my girlfriend and I went to almost every game (I think we kept ending up with the same person’s tickets in 415). If you do find your tickets are bad, I advise just wandering the stadium and maybe camping in Ashburn Alley for a bit.

 

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23 comments

  1. Augustus Van Dusen

    August 04, 2017 12:13 PM

    Matt,

    What about using Kingery as a super utility man like the Astros use
    Marwin Gonzalez? I know that Kingery has some experience in left and at
    3rd and he seems to be athletic enough with sufficient arm strength
    to get by at short if needed in an emergency. Using him this way would allow
    the Phils to keep Hernandez, put Franco on a short leash, and would be
    a significant upgrade over Blanco.

    Regarding what do to about Galvis and Crawford. I think that the Phils
    want to see Crawford play well enough for longer in AAA to force his way
    to the team. If it happens before this time next year, then Galvis will
    probably be traded. If not, then a decision can be delayed until after
    next season.

    • Matt Winkelman

      August 04, 2017 01:42 PM

      Kingery really only has extensive experience at CF (freshman and sophomore year in college) and at 2B. He has gotten reps at SS and 3B as part of how the Phillies work with their second basemen, but that is not really reps for those positions and is more giving him different looks and throws to deal with. I am sure he could play LF if needed, but I have zero confidence in him playing a usable SS or 3B on short notice (and I don’t really believe in the arm at either position). He is a plus plus defender at 2B and that is where he should be playing.

  2. Romus

    August 04, 2017 02:24 PM

    @loudnoises…..section 101…and seats 1 and 2 better yet, if you can get them…..right center field next to the bullpen. Some of the ‘bullies’ will talk to you, if you seem sane and sober. Then there are the occasional HRs in and around that area.

    • Ryan

      August 04, 2017 03:48 PM

      Why in the world would someone downvote that comment? Not a rhetorical question, I can’t see any plausible reason why someone would take the time to down vote a thoughtful response to solicited advice.

      • Romus

        August 04, 2017 05:39 PM

        There are people, on some other sites I post on also, that do not see -eye-to-eye with what I post, so they just down vote anything I post…be it here or on the other sites.

      • Mike Fassano

        August 05, 2017 09:14 AM

        When I logged on yesterday, the post was blank, and only the comments were visible. Without being able to read the question, the answer looks pretty odd.

      • Ryan

        August 07, 2017 04:13 PM

        Mike,

        I think it was at a -2 at the time I made the comment. I assumed it was trolls downvoting for no reason and it looks like that’s correct. I don’t know what certain people have against Romus but I’d appreciate it if you’d let it go. The people reading this blog are seriously invested in a 65 win team, we don’t really need any additional negativity.

  3. GMKev

    August 05, 2017 12:15 PM

    Best seats are 412-418, you have a great view of the scoreboard and the field is positioned perfectly to see the runners go from 1st to 2nd or 3rd. Great cheap seats and views!

  4. JerseyJim

    August 05, 2017 04:04 PM

    Have you done a 180 on Joseph since May?

    • Matt Winkelman

      August 07, 2017 10:14 AM

      I wouldn’t say it is a 180 so much as we now have 2+ more months of data and in those two months he has hit .250/.304/.432. My position early in the year was that Joseph had been pretty good in 2016 and giving him time to see if he could adjust and be a productive player was prudent. He has not shown the ability to adjust or be a productive player.

      • Major Malfunction

        August 07, 2017 10:37 AM

        I concur. And with paying him league minimum and having a legitimate prospect in AAA waiting to get a chance to play 1B at the MLB level, what’s the point of continuing with Joseph everyday? Eat the $70-$80k and give Hoskins a shot. If Joseph isn’t the 1B of the future, might as well give someone else a chance when you are 25 games out of first and 29 games under 500 ball.

      • Romus

        August 07, 2017 02:33 PM

        Malfunction…….the only other guy I see in the system, that deserves some consideration at this moment is big Darick Hall in Lakewood…..which means he is 3 years minimum ETA. He has already broke Ryan Howard’s HR mark there in about 30 fewer games played and currently standing at 21 HRs. Across the board he is top ten in SLG, OPS, and ISO for the SALLY. And Lakewood is the hardest Park Factor ballpark in the league for hitters and HRs.

      • Matt Winkelman

        August 07, 2017 04:18 PM

        I will say on the Darick Hall front, he has been universally panned by scouts and evaluators who don’t think he will hit upper level offspeed pitching.

  5. Joe

    August 06, 2017 01:26 PM

    Best to sit for money IMO 300 level behind home, 321 to 319 is my choice. Kind right above broadcast booth, fairly reasonable around $30

  6. SJHaack

    August 07, 2017 10:52 AM

    I like the scoreboard porch a whole lot for seats (section 241-245). It’s the same price but closer to the field than the terrace deck, and there aren’t any obscured parts of the field like you get in the RF cheap seats. We never sat in the outfield when I was a kid, but I’ve gained an appreciation for it. If you like watching the clockwork of baseball players moving off the ball in play, it’s great.

  7. Jim

    August 07, 2017 01:13 PM

    Matt,

    Is it me or has this organization not been going downhill for over 7 years? How does a sane organization do that? Have other National League organizations had downspins of this magnitude and duration?

    • Steve

      August 07, 2017 01:26 PM

      Technically theyve been going downhill since 200i, but when you are world series champs there isnt much room to go anywhere but downhill.

      You have to look at it from 2012 foward, because up until then they were competitive and basically putting all their resources towards another WS.

      If you judge this team by wins amd loses you are going to be very frustrated. Theu were very lucky in 1 run games last year amd very unlucky this year. i think they are a better team this year, with more players who look like possible long term solutions than they were in 2016. Also they had a better trade deadline this year, and their prospects have mostly all transitioned up a level in the minors with relative success.

      No i dont think the organization regressed from 2016 to 2017.

      • Ryan

        August 07, 2017 04:21 PM

        Agree with Steve, even though they are frustrating to watch this year, they’ve played immensely better than in 2016. They are on pace to improve their run differential by around 80 and have already improved on cumulative offensive and pitching WAR since last year. Additionally, with the exception of Neshak, all of their positive contributors remain under team control. (honestly, based on his words upon being traded and his stellar production, I’d be in favor of signing Neshak again this offseason.)

        All in all, this team is playing like a 70 win team and could very realistically add 8 wins to that in 2018. I know that’s not wild card range, but it should be better than the abyss.

    • Matt Winkelman

      August 07, 2017 04:30 PM

      They drafted like crap from about 2002 until recent years and traded away what few hits they had. If you use the years until a player is Rule 5 eligible as a rough guide to major league readiness then you expect a draft class to take 4-5 years to make an appearance in the majors and that is about where we are with the first post 2011 draft classes.

      As for other teams:
      Cubs: Won 97 in 2008, Won 83 in 2009, no winning season until 2015
      Marlins: Last winning season was 87-75 in 2009
      Braves: Won 96 in 2013, highest win total since is 79
      Mets: Won 89 games in 2008, wouldn’t have a winning season until they went 90-72 in 2015
      Brewers: Have won more than 90 games once (2011) since 1993
      Cardinals: Have always kind of been ok, won a WS in a 83-78 season
      Pirates: Went from 1992 until 2013 without a winning season
      Reds: Had a brief peak from 2010 to 2013 and have been bade in all the other years since 1999
      Dodgers: Have never really been bad, but haven’t reached the World Series since 1988
      Rockies: Have won 90 games twice in their existence
      Diamondbacks: Since 2011 – 81, 81, 64, 79, 69 wins
      Padres: Last made the playoffs in 2006 when Mike Cameron was their best player
      Giants: Have not made the playoffs in an odd year since 2003
      Nationals: Went 7 years in Washington before being above .500

      Phillies: Have gone 5 years (almost 6) with a losing record since 2011 where they won 102

      • Romus

        August 07, 2017 04:59 PM

        Based on the total 134 year existence of the Phillies organization, the last 37 years have been relatively fruitful for the organization……5 WS appearances with two rings.
        From 1883 to 1980…two WS appearance and no rings.

      • JerseyJim

        August 07, 2017 06:36 PM

        They have been the worst team in MLB the last few years and don’t seem poised to contend again any time in the near future.

        At least they are young and poised to improve with plenty of money to spend.

      • Jim Shorts

        August 08, 2017 03:02 PM

        Not hitting on a full draft class really hurts an organization long term. Add that to trade pieces received who do nothing, and that’s a double whammy to screw your organization.

        On drafts, I know it’s really really early, but I’m a little concerned on 2015-2016 Moniak/Randolph. At least 2015 has Kingery. 2014 seems solid w/ Nola (and Hoskins tbd). 2013 – mostly hinges on crawford (leiter as a bullpen piece would be a nice bonus). 2012 is basically a bust.

      • Jim Shorts

        August 08, 2017 03:55 PM

        Ok so I my above post isn’t the full picture of the past 4 years because rule 5 and international need to be accounted for.

        Rule 5 success – Odubel

        International signing successes – franco, galvis, cesar H, neris.
        international signing TBD but promising – Sixto sanchez, suarez, jhailyn Ortiz, kilome, tocci, mecias

        Dominican development complex – great success

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