Crash Bag #6: The Young Guys Might be Fine
Sorry for not writing much. I don’t have any excuses, so here is your questions answered.
@andrewrnnier: Can they continue to find at bats for everyone/does the early success of Cesar make him more appealing in a trade thereby freeing up regular at bats for kingery
@andrewrnnier: I guess the better question should have been, given the contract extension and number of at bats Kingery has gotten in the first two weeks, what are the long term ramifications? Is he truly going to be a super utility who plays 4-5 times a week until Cesar moves on?
@DoctorSchoppe: How’s your gut feeling on Caesar holding up in this young season? How about we let em play. JP has the glove to be an everyday regular and his floor is above Galvis. Next question. #philliestalk
I am just going to combine these all kind of together. I think they can continue to balance the playing time. We have already seen guys get hot, guys get cold, and we have yet to see anyone get injured. Odds are at some point that someone is going to get banged up, at which point having their current depth will make the loss much less painful.
As for Cesar, I am torn. I do think the league undervalues him, and if he can keep showing power output it really helps his overall game. The Phillies got offers this offseason, but nothing they felt matched Cesar’s value, maybe that changes. The two biggest problems around trading Cesar are the trade market itself. First is that Hernandez is a win now player, which means teams looking to trade for him aren’t going to be moving big league pieces off of their roster. You aren’t going to trade Cesar in a deal for an ace level starter, because why would a team trade their ace to get a good 27 year old second baseman, it is kind of counterproductive. That means any deal for Cesar is going to involve prospects or young players who have not established themselves in the majors. His current production and the risk of those young players means the Phillies’ ask is going to be large enough some teams won’t be able to reach it and others will immediately balk. Which brings me to the other part of all of this, which is the market just doesn’t exist. Theoretically the Mets need a 2B, the Dodgers could make room for a 2B, the Angels don’t really have a long term 2B answer unless Jahmai Jones is good there, and the Cardinals may finally decide that Kolten Wong is bad. That is not a lot of good farm systems looking to make a deal, and one good farm system with a history of not parting with good prospects. I just don’t see a trade emerging for Cesar during the season, because if he continues to hit a high rate like this he probably is the key to the Phillies’ success.
@DaleACooke: How much cold water do you need to throw on Kingery/Crawford/Franco from this series to get our (fans’) expectations back to where they should be?
The Marlins and Reds are bad baseball teams. I don’t think any of the three are doing anything at a level where people need cold water. Kingery had some dramatic moments, but he is batting .250/.300/.500 with a 25% strikeout rate. It is awesome to see the power, but he is not lighting the world on fire, just being fairly solid. I expect the average and onbase to actually rise, with a drop to the power output. His ability to switch positions effortlessly with only minor mistakes has been great. The amount of players that are stars in their rookie year is low. If Kingery does this for a full year, I think everyone should be happy. I am most encouraged by Franco forcing contact to the opposite field during the Reds series, but like Kingery his batting line is solid, but not world beating. I think we are seeing flashes of the guy he was in his rookie year, and really that is all you can really hope for him. Crawford mashed the ball in the last two games of the series, but he is also hitting .103 on the year. Be patient with Crawford, he has power, he has a great eye, and he is really athletic. I don’t think anyone has expectations that need cold water, rather I would say stop being so down on him, he is going to be fine.
@nmarmarou: I know it is still early and the last two games have been good, but what do you think Crawford’s floor and ceiling is as a hitter? Yes, he sees pitches and gets on base which is good, but I am wondering if he can ever be a top of the lineup hitter.
My opinions on Crawford’s ceiling have not changed based on his start. I have become more concerned about his ability to reach it. His floor is probably like 2017 Dansby Swanson, which isn’t really a major leaguer. The meh outcome is probably Jordy Mercer. In terms of ceiling I think he can be a guy who has on base in the .360+ range, hits 15-ish home runs, hits like .280-.290, with a great glove. If he gets to that on base level he is going to hit at the top of a lineup and be a very good player. We are starting to see the swing improvements over the last few games, but it is frustrating to see how lost he was to start the year. Remember this is a 23 year old, he has time.
@KingLandy1: Three starts in, how do you think the rest of pivetta’s season goes
I expect it to go up and down. Pivetta has made noticeable improvements. He is throwing his curveball more, he is throwing his fastball less, and he has junked his changeup entirely. He also has improved his command, and his curveball is much more consistent. The problem is that he still doesn’t have that changeup to really keep lefties off of his fastball, and he needs to be on with his curveball
@Lemmiwinks531: SSS caveats apply, any minor league surprises for you so far this season in terms of mechanics or results?
It is super early, only some of the starting pitchers have even had two starts, so surprises is not really a thing there is yet. That said, a couple of guys have had individual performances worth watching.
- Ramon Rosso – Rosso was out of affiliated baseball a year ago, he signed with the Phillies in June and rocketed through the system. He is 21 and in Lakewood so the numbers (which included a 12 strikeout game) should be taken with a large grain of salt. He has a low 90s fastball and a decent slider, so he might be a reliever long term, but he is worth at least checking the box score after his starts.
- Enyel De Los Santos – De Los Santos looked good in Spring Training, so no surprise he looked good in his AAA debut. His fastball sat 93-97 with good movement. He showed off his improved breaking ball and a good changeup in a 7 strikeout performance.
- Franklyn Kilome – Kilome had an ok start in AA, only going 3 innings, but 2 walks and 8 strikeouts after having a horrible first two innings due to snow and illness was good to see.
- Edgar Cabral/Deivi Grullon – Grullon and Cabral are both defense first catchers, and both have two home runs in the early going.
- Cole Irvin – No reports on Irvin’s stuff in AAA this year, but the big lefty looked solid in Spring Training, and 1 walk to 10 strikeout performance will certainly pique some interest.
- Seranthony Dominguez – Dominguez is sitting 94-98 out of the bullpen and flashing a hi-80s nasty slider. He had a rough first game, but has settled in.
@beetlebayley219: Is Seabold a top 3 guy In a major league rotation?
Probably not. Seabold is a strike throwing righty with an average fastball. His secondary stuff is ok, but not anything that profiles as impactful. It is a similar profile to guys like Jose Taveras, Cole Irvin (though Irvin is a lefty), Ben Lively, Zach Eflin, Thomas Eshelman, and Drew Anderson. Those guys all have slightly different strengths and weaknesses, but ultimately they are all kind of back end starter types. Seabold could move as quickly as Irvin where he ends the 2018 season in AA, and starts 2019 in AAA. Nothing wrong with that.