Crashburn Roundtable: The Young Kids
I was out of town this weekend chasing the eclipse so we have an abbreviated Roundtable this week as it is just Adam and I weighing in on some kids with the major league team.
We are all now living in the age of Rhys Hoskins. What are your first impressions of the young slugger?
Adam: He’s ok, I guess. If you like home runs and walks and stuff. Of course, he’s only made 55 plate appearances so I’m not going to quote wRC+ or anything, but he’s hit for years and he hasn’t stopped. Hoskins seems to be a reliable source of middle-of-the-order production for the next several years. I like a first baseman with power and a decent glove who doesn’t hit too many grounders and doesn’t strike out too much. His peak probably won’t be as high as Ryan Howard‘s, but he also probably won’t completely fall off a cliff in his decline years.
Matt: I am impressed by how calm and simple everything is. His swing has so little wasted movement and it allows him to just punish all mistakes. He has also been patient enough to let those mistakes come to him and not swing at bad pitches in the zone. Obviously the home run numbers will come down, but he also is going have some doubles and singles fall, so the ISO will come down, but there is still a lot of room for batting average growth. I still don’t see a superstar here, but it obvious that the ability is there for him to be the Phillies #3 or #4 hitter for the foreseeable future.
Nick Williams is walking more in August, but has hit for a little less power. How much are you buying into him as a fixture in the Phillies outfield, and what would he need to do to convince you that he is here to stay?
Matt: I am not sure I am writing him in for the next decade in a corner for the Phillies, but I am certainly willing to give him a long run to prove that he can be that kind of player. Some bad defensive rating are dragging down his WAR, but he has mostly looked pretty good in the outfield (especially in center field). Other than that, he is one pace to be a 25-30 home run a year outfielder and if he can keep his walk rate near the 7% it is right now, that is a pretty good baseball player.
Adam: I think I’m lower on Nick Williams than I should be, though I do really like him, but I’m concerned the strikeout/walk imbalance will hamper him. On the other hand, I was skeptical about Aaron Altherr and he’s turned out to be very good. I’m looking forward to the playing time battles next spring with some of the high minors guys pushing Williams.
Outside of Williams, Hoskins, and Aaron Nola, who is keeping you sane watching Phillies games right now?
Adam: Actually, Freddy Galvis and Cesar Hernandez. I’ve been fairly critical of both over the years, and with good reason. Maybe it’s because they’re veterans now and maybe it’s because they’re both having career years (or close to it), or maybe I’ve come to love my captors. I’ve been happy to see them take charge of the team, particularly Freddy. I’ll also be glad when one or both of them is replaced in the starting lineup next year.
Matt: Jorge Alfaro. He is not really major league ready so he is going to struggle, but I am watching for the glimpses of talent that make him an exciting part of the Phillies’ future. Otherwise I am kept sane by the youth of the bullpen. Ricardo Pinto (23), Yacksel Rios (24), Jesen Therrien (24), and Edubray Ramos (24) have been a mixed bag in the majors, but there is the stuff in that group for the Phillies to get a couple of long term relievers out of it. Otherwise the only way to stay sane with this team is to imagine it at full strength. Put Herrera in center, Altherr in right, Williams in left. Then move Hoskins to first and replace Freddy and Cesar with Kingery and Crawford. Then just add a starting pitcher or good prospect and call it Cesar Galvis or Freddy Hernandez. That team suddenly looks a lot better.