Crash Bag #8: Mini Post-Draft Crash Bag

The MLB Draft happened this week, so without time for a massive mailbag you all answered the call for a few good questions.

@Lead_FarmerSD: Is Bohm the safest first round pick the Phillies have made since Nola?

The answer is yes and it isn’t particularly close, but that is boring, so I decided to rank the safeness of Phillies 1st round picks back to 2000 when the Phillies took Chase Utley. These are at the time of the draft, and I am going safe as safest to be an everyday major leaguer.

  1. Aaron Nola (#7 – 2014 – Col)
  2. Alec Bohm (#3 – 2018 – Col)
  3. Mickey Moniak (#1 – 2016 – HS)
  4. Gavin Floyd (#4 – 2001 – HS)
  5. Adam Haseley (#8 – 2017 – Col)
  6. Chase Utley (#15 – 2000 – Col)
  7. Cole Hamels (#17 – 2002 – HS)
  8. J.P. Crawford (#16 – 2013 – HS)
  9. Kyle Drabek (#18 – 2006 – HS)
  10. Joe Savery (#19 – 2007 – Col)
  11. Cornelius Randolph (#10 – 2015 – HS)
  12. Jesse Biddle (#27 – 2010 – HS)
  13. Travis d’Arnaud (#37 – 2007 – HS)
  14. Shane Watson (#40 – 2012 – HS)
  15. Adrian Cardenas (#37 – 2006 – HS)
  16. Zach Collier (#34 – 2008 – HS)
  17. Mitch Gueller (#54 – 2012 – HS)
  18. Greg Golson (#21 – 2004 – HS)
  19. Larry Greene Jr (#39 – 2011 – HS)
  20. Anthony Hewitt (#24 – 2008 – HS)

There is a definite trend of high picks being safer and college hitters being safer than high schoolers. There are also a few weird things here, like Utley’s lack of position, Hamels’ injury history, and Drabek’s makeup questions that forced them down draft boards. Bohm hits in, not only as a safe player, but one of the best draft prospects the Phillies have ever had.

@joelrineer: After watching the MLB team with a lot of our prospects up, what tool do you value in hitting prospect? I have to say hit tool over power…the avg with RISP has hurt the Phillies

The answer is the ability to make adjustments. When it comes to hit vs power the answer really is both. Ben Revere probably had a plus plus hit tool, but without the ability to drive the baseball, he never got thrown balls and his upside was capped. If a prospect is all power, then they never can tap into that power and it is kind of useless. You could also have both tools, but without the ability to make adjustment or have a good approach then the hitter is just going to roll over weak contact, and not really drive the ball. Major league baseball is also hard and teams are always finding a hitter’s weakness and exploiting it until that player fails or adjusts. For a player to be successful they need to be able to react to those changes, which is why you see a player like Rhys Hoskins move through the minors when other R/R first basemen fail. Now that doesn’t really answer the question you asked. You need to be able to hit to hit for power, so hit tool is more important. It is also the hardest to scout and the rarest.

@MGoldenpine: Phillies pitching is on pace to finish with 4th fewest runs allowed in last 50 years. What’s your best estimate on how many runs Phillies actually give up this year?

So despite the team looking like garbage for stretches, the Phillies pitching is running a 3.50 ERA on the year, good enough for 5th in the majors. I don’t have an estimate on how many runs, so I am going to twist this question and go through the Phillies pitchers by innings and think about who profiles to get better or worse at giving up runs (or ERA up or down).

Player (ERA)

  • Aaron Nola (2.35) – Up – It is hard to see Nola keeping his ERA this low all year, is a 2.70 range out of the question, probably not, but he is really good.
  • Nick Pivetta (3.76) – Steady – Pivetta is way outperforming his FIP, but when you are as streaky as Nick can be, it happens. Maybe he gets down into the 3.50 range, but I could also see 4.00.
  • Jake Arrieta (2.66) – Up – Jake is not striking anyone out and relying on soft contact, I see a low 3s ERA as more likely for the year, but maybe he adds the strikeouts back and makes this work.
  • Vince Velasquez (3.82) – Slight down – Velasquez has shown some real improvements, I could see more in the 3.60-3.70 range, but like Pivetta this could be up over 4 in an instant.
  • Zach Eflin (3.74) – Up – I don’t trust him over long stretches of time.
  • Ben Lively (6.85) – Steady – Change would require pitching in the majors.
  • Luis Garcia (3.47) – Down – I think Garcia settles into the 3.00 to 3.20 range.
  • Edubray Ramos (0.81) – Up – Already unsustainable, Ramos walks too many to be here, mid 2s is probably his upside.
  • Hector Neris (5.24) – Down – Neris can’t really be worse can he?
  • Drew Hutchison (4.64) – Steady – He is gone, but he did his job.
  • Victor Arano (1.96) – Up – Just into the 2s somewhere, it is hard to stay this low.
  • Yacksel Rios (5.29) – Down – I think Rios is back at some point and gets this to about 4.50.
  • Adam Morgan (3.24) – Steady – Why does this just feel right?
  • Seranthony Dominguez (1.13) – Up – He might be the guy to go sub 2, but not sub 1.
  • Tommy Hunter (4.20 ) – Down – Hunter is better than what he has done so far.
  • Jake Thompson (7.27) – Down – Thompson has actually been good in AAA, is he 5.00 good?
  • Zac Curtis (3.38) – Up – Curtis is not very good.
  • Hoby Milner (7.71) – Down – Milner dodges trouble well enough to get to 6.80.
  • Mark Leiter (0.00) – Up – Leiter ends up in the low 4s and not pitching very much.
  • Pedro Florimon (9.00) – Down – If he gets back healthy I think he has another scoreless inning in him.

In the end I think the team might be more in the 3.70-3.80 range which puts them off of historical paces.

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  1. Bob D

    June 09, 2018 02:46 PM

    I’m glad to see that I am not the only one who is on board the Pedro Florimon pitching train.

  2. Ed

    June 09, 2018 03:41 PM

    Hmmm, maybe we could also talk about how bad the defense is – how bad is it? Pretty bad. Or, the situational hitting – getting guys on is great but not getting them is not going to win a whole lot of games. Also, perhaps we need to really look at where this team is and ask ourselves, ‘do they really have the players to win?’ ‘Do we really think that players like Herrera is worth holding on to and is he ever going to figure it out?’ Sure the team is much better than in the recent past but do you really think they are going to the playoffs this year? This rebuild is not over, they are still 3-4 really good players away from contention.

  3. BoomerBubba

    June 09, 2018 05:41 PM

    Go Phillies! On a roll!

  4. Steve

    June 10, 2018 01:20 PM

    Are you saying that Herrera isn’t good enough to be a starter on a contending team, or are you saying we should trade him now for a good return because we won’t be competitive during his prime years?
    I guess the “really good players” is a subjective term, but I think 3 or 4 is a little bit of an exaggeration. I would say one or two. Machado alone would certainly check a lot of boxes. While any team would love to have him, I think he puts the Phillies in contention right away.

    • Ed

      June 12, 2018 09:12 PM

      Hey Steve, I think he could be a starter and maybe even on a contender. However, he is too inconsistent and shows a lack of discipline on both sides of the ball. He has talent, but so did Bobby Abreu. Trading him might be best for all if they package it right. Perhaps they can get a decent return like a good pitcher. With Machado and perhaps Harper as FA signings they could very well be contenders for a long time. As I said, they are much better than in the recent past, but they are still just pretenders and not true contenders. Ask yourself this would you compare Betts, Turner, or Trout as being on the same level as Herrera? The small details in elite players’ games is what separate them from the rest. Also, pulling the trigger on a trade involving one of the better players on the team – while difficult for many to stomach – should not be shied away from. Think about how the Sox got Sale. They traded the #1 prospect in the game and it seems to have worked well for both sides.

    • Tokyo Joe

      June 16, 2018 03:35 PM

      They are very far from contending. One player is not going to make them contenders. As for Herrera, he doesn’t look to me to be a guy you would build around. Too many negatives.

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