BradEnglerBrad Engler

Recent articles by BradEngler

 

2017 Phillies Report Card: Nick WIlliams

Coming into 2017, Nick Williams’ stock was down. Critics saw a sputterring offensive game in the second half of 2016, and conflict with coaches in Lehigh Valley, and couldn’t help but conclude Williams was starting down the road to ruin. But throughout 2017, Nick Williams put ruin in the rearview and stood on the gas.
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Crashbag Vol. Something: Seems To Me We’ve Lost Count

Let’s start with one from in-house. I want to vandalize a sign that says “truck dump”. Can you think of any way to change a few letters and make it say something else? — Michael Schickling (@mikeschickling) August 16, 2017 Maybe I could come up with something. Maybe. I’ll need to spin that “d” and
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Crashbag Vol. 17 – Do Not Seek The Treasure

Hey, it’s my first Crashbag. Hope it gives you a chuckle, or failing that, that at least you think I’m an idiot afterwards. @bxe1234 @Matt_Winkelman Who will have a better big league career – Mark Appel or Clay Condrey? — Adam (@A__D__A__M__) April 27, 2017 Mark Appel was a #1 overall pick and now someone
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2016 Phillies Report Card: Aaron Nola

When a cornerstone of the future of an organization struggles, for what seems like no good reason, it can be a hard on the fans, but it has to be brutal on the player. And so it was with Aaron Nola in the summer of 2016. It got so bad that Nola was shelved for
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John Sickels Weighs In On Phils’ Prospects

Embed from Getty Images On Tuesday, John Sickels of Minorleagueball.com ranked 20 Phillies prospects. Sickels does it a little differently than most anyone you’re likely to see write up every system in the game. His lists are based on grades, from A on down, and we’ve seen before that he is not one to fall
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2016 Phillies Report Card: Vince Velasquez

Not one local paper seized the opportunity to use the headline “VERY VERY EXTRAORDINARY” when Vince Velasquez struck out 16 Padres en route to a three-hit shutout on April 14. No wonder the industry is on the decline. You can pin it on the internet if you want, but when you miss out on Nat “King” Cole
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2016 Phillies Report Card: Cameron Rupp

Back before the 2013 season, Matt Winkelman and I were holding down the proverbial fort at PhuturePhillies.com, and we conceived to go back and forth on a couple players where we had wide splits on our soon-to-be-published organizational rankings. One of those players was Cameron Rupp. My ranking of Rupp was about 15 spots ahead
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2016 Phillies Report Card: Jorge Alfaro

In 2016, perhaps no one in the Phils minor league system bolstered their claim to national rankings as much as Jorge Alfaro. Crawford, Williams, Thompson and Kilome, among others, all had at least some struggles, or at best maintained the outlook national evaluators will put on their game. Dylan Cozens and Rhys Hoskins certainly put
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Jake Thompson To Debut Saturday

It started last year with Alec Asher and Jerad Eickhoff. But Saturday, the first of the three marquee names in the 2015 Cole Hamels’ trade makes his big league debut with the Phillies. Jake Thompson came to the club last July with other top-flight prospects Nick Williams and Jorge Alfaro, injured MLB starter Matt Harrison,
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A Belated Look At The 2016 Draft, ft. Eric Longenhagen

A couple weeks back I asked Eric Longenhagen for his opinion of the Phils 2016 Draft. Since so much has been said already in regards to first overall pick, California prep center fielder Mickey Moniak, and since Eric wrote about him in his post-draft analysis at ESPN, I’ll just link you to that here. Beyond
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MLB Issues Ridiculous Defense Of Anti-Player Legislation

*Cracks Knuckles* Thursday, in response to the anti-player Save America’s Pastime Act proposed by some jerk in Congress and denounced by it’s no-longer-as-jerky co-sponsor a day after she was bombarded with negative reactions, MLB released a totally bogus statement siding with the legislation, that makes them sound like a bunch of freaking idiots. In my
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Prospect Matt Imhof Announces He Lost An Eye In A Training Accident

I’ll make this quick, because really, who cares what a dude like me has to say about something so serious. Phillies LHP prospect and current Clearwater Thresher (A+) Matt Imhof announced on Instagram that he lost his right eye in a training accident, after surgery was unable to save it. As many of you know
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Phillies Announce Signing Of Mickey Moniak

The Phillies announced late this afternoon that they have agreed to terms with OF Mickey Moniak, first overall pick in this year’s amateur draft. Sounds like a press conference is coming early this week, with @KevinCooney calling it “the next day or so”. Jim Callis is reporting the bonus at $6.1M, which is well shy
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I Didn’t Know We Had Zac Efron (It’s Zach Eflin, Mom)

No, my mom didn’t say that to me. But she might. (If I ever bothered to call her). Zac Efron and The King Of Ding(ers) Did you know Zac Efron is a Dodger fan? I mean, I guess he is. Getty shows him at a Dodger game once, wearing a Dodger cap. Though it was
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Phils Pick RHP Kevin Gowdy, Plus Day 1 Wrap and Sentimental Rambling

With the first pick in round two, and 42nd overall on the night, The Phillies picked RHP Kevin Gowdy from Santa Barbara High School in (wait for it) Santa Barbara, CA. He’ll be an overslot sign to buy out his commitment to UCLA, and he’s been ranked #24 overall by Keith Law, #33 by John
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Phils Make Mickey Moniak Top Draft Choice Of 2016

In what was only a surprise move if you weren’t paying attention for the last 24 hours or so, The Phillies selected Outfielder Mickey Moniak from La Costa Canyon High School in Carlsbad, California. Moniak will likely sign for well below the assigned pick value of just north of $9M, though it could be some
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What To Expect When You’re Expecting (Too Much)

I trust you all read Corinne’s piece earlier, and so you’re up on the big picture. I’ll try to get a little more detailed and throw out some of the names that everyone who follows the draft closely has been discussing the last couple weeks and months. We all have this problem right now. Our
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Mark Appel Is Probably Totally Fine, But…

It’s been reported this morning that Mark Appel, former first overall pick of Houston and a key component of the Ken Giles trade late last year, is headed to the 7-Day DL at Lehigh Valley, with what’s being called a “Right Shoulder Strain”. Larry Shenk (@ShenkLarry) of PhilliesInsider.mlblogs.com was first to report the news, as
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JP Crawford Moved Up To AAA

Are You Down With JPC, In The L.V.? As reported publicly by the Phillies, top shortstop prospect and excellent dog-haver J.P. Crawford has been promoted to AAA Lehigh Valley. Crawford has played nearly a full year at Reading now, minus a little time off for injury, and put up combined stats that PhilliesMinorThoughts.com’s Matt Winkelman
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Tommy Joseph Promoted, Darin Ruf Sent Down, Probably

(The original headline of this story implied Darin Ruf had been demoted, because it seems likely and because I am an idiot who forgot to fix it before posting. Sorry, Darin.) Tommy Joseph, the primary return in the Phillies 2012 trade of Hunter Pence to San Francisco, had his contract selected from Lehigh Valley and
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Bold Prediction: Tyler Goeddel Will Compete For NL Rookie Of The Year

Corey Seager, Steven Matz, Julio Urias, Trea Turner, Tyler Goeddel. That’s how I see the 2016 NL Rookie of the Year race. There are some studs in this rookie class, but Goeddel is a multi-tooled offensive player, and is not likely to be a defensive liability. If he gets hot, he could put up counting
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2016 Phillies Top 30 Prospects

So as was the case in 2015, I am terribly late in writing up my rankings again. Last year I decided to compare my list with a sample of those from around the industry, as compiled by Matt Winkelman (@Matt_Winkelman), owner/operator of the terrific site PhilliesMinorThoughts.com. Once again this year, Matt pulled all of the
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Positional Preview: Prospects

So, let me clear something up here, right off the bat. Maybe you’ve already figured this out, but, technically, “Prospects” is not a position. However, on the 2016 Phillies, prospects are as important a subset of the roster as any. And so, if I haven’t completely blown your mind, I hope you’ll follow along with
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Spring Storylines – Twenty-Six Guys Who Can Play Some Center Field

Gone are the days of Michael Martinez. Gone are the days of John Mayberry Jr. Gone are the days of “maybe Cesar Hernandez” and “I don’t know man, Grady Sizemore?”. The 2016 Phillies have actual center fielders coming to camp to back up an incumbent. Odubel Herrera enters the spring with a firm grip on a
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2015 Phillies Report Card: Ruben Amaro Jr.

View image | gettyimages.com It’s been easy to shit on Ruben Amaro Jr. Has been for years. After all, he was given a championship club and turned it into a 99-loss disaster over the course of his six seasons as Phillies General Manager. He did some good things, like trading for Roy Halladay and Cliff
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2015 Phillies Report Card: Adam Morgan

There’s a neighborhood here in Washington, D.C. called Adams Morgan. There’s a bar there called Madam’s Organ. Clever, I know. A band I was in played open mic there once, circa 1999. We were in town for a gig at a private art show, where an artist who was trying to sell some of her
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2015 Phillies Report Card: Ben Revere

View image | gettyimages.com Apparently it’s weepy nostalgia week here at Crashburn Alley. With Corinne writing up Cole Hamels on Wednesday, and Bill doing the same for Chase Utley‘s season and Cliff Lee‘s Phillies Career on Tuesday, I’ll take my turn today with Franchise Icon Ben Daniel Revere.

 

2015 Phillies Report Card: Maikel Franco

Those of us who really dig deep into Phillies prospects every year have been in on Maikel Franco for a long time. He exploded onto the national scene with a huge 2013 that included half seasons in Clearwater and Reading, but anyone paying attention in 2012 saw the signs of that leap forward. Franco had
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2015 Phillies Report Card: Justin DeFratus

Which came first, the chicken or the egg? Clearly it’s the egg, because that’s where chickens come from, and the egg’s parents were some sort of freak chicken-like thing that somehow made the first chicken. I know, I know, but where did the freak chicken-like thing come from? An egg. Simple. Anyway, in the forthcoming
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2015 Phillies Report Card – Aaron Nola

For Aaron Nola, after being the college pitcher of the year in 2014, and the #7 overall pick in that summer’s draft,  a ticket to the majors was printed on opening day of 2015. The date of arrival was the only thing left blank. Nola spent a couple months in AA and AAA before he
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2015 Phillies Report Card: Freddy Galvis

Early in the year, “Broadcaster” Mike Schmidt was talking about his time as “Spring Training Guest Instructor” Mike Schmidt, when he, “Unreasonable Optimist” Mike Schmidt, set a goal for “Guy Who Has To Follow Jimmy Rollins” Freddy Galvis to reach 200 hits in 2015. I, in my role as “Wet Blanket” Brad Engler, thought that
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2015 Phillies Report Card – Jerad Eickhoff

The first of the Hamels Gang to make the majors, Jerad Eickhoff debuted to mostly good reviews in 2015 (Script idea: Blogger somehow winds up in a cool street gang with Cole Hamels, they dance and sing and throw wicked change-ups and otherwise mess up opposing gangs). But I have an important question for all
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Utley Retrospective – The Minors and Rookie Campaign(s)

I’m going to take a close look at Chase Utley‘s minor league career and rookie season(s), much like I did with Jimmy Rollins when he was traded to The Dodgers. When I wrote about the franchise-best shortstop last winter, I called James Calvin Rollins “the rarest of the rare”. Damned if we didn’t have two
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Phillies 2015 Draft Wrap-Up With ESPN’s Eric Longenhagen

As the dust was settling from last week’s draft, I asked our old pal Eric Longenhagen from ESPN to do an email Q&A on the Phillies draft, and he and I wrote back and forth over the last week or so. I’m posting most of what was discussed below, with some notes about after-the-fact facts
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Thoughts on Cornelius Randolph and Second Round Pick Scott Kingery

As Bill reported earlier, The Phillies grabbed Georgia HS bat Cornelius Randolph with the tenth overall selection in the 2015 draft on Monday night. Randolph played short in high school, but like many high school shortstops, he doesn’t project to stay there in the pros, and Johnny Almaraz has already stated the club will force
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All Signs Point To Kyle Tucker (Maybe)

It’s been a kind of Magic Eight Ball draft season for the Phillies, who pick number 10 tonight. We heard Vanderbilt RHP Walker Buehler’s name at that pick a couple times, mostly a couple weeks ago now, and that’s tapered off as his stock slips a little into the mid-teens. We’ve more recently been hearing
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The Absurdity of Pitchers Hitting (Bring It On, Haters)

I have been mulling over my stance on the Designated Hitter for a while, and hashing it out on Twitter with other diehard types leads to some good discussion. I always stall on one thing that’s too long to describe in 140 characters: Pitchers hitting is completely absurd in comparison to other sports. It’s its
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Promotion Time

The start of June has typically signaled the start of promotion season in Minor League baseball. Two months at a level is a pretty good benchmark for many guys – everyday players are generally approaching 200 PAs, starting pitchers have 8-10 starts under their belts, and relievers are often 25+ innings into their campaigns. And
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A Brief Written History of Maikel Franco

News broke this morning, from basically every beat writer who was awake, that the Phillies have called up third baseman Maikel Franco from AAA to start at the hot corner tonight and with any luck, long into the future. This shouldn’t be much of a surprise, given the recent demotion of incumbent Cody Asche to
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Phillies Minor League Preview

Minor League Full-Season leagues open today, with not too many surprises on the rosters. I’d like to tell you about a couple of those, note a couple other items of interest, and pick some deeper sleeper and breakout guys to watch out for as the season gets going, since one of my sleepers and one
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Amaro Full-Blows It On Biddle’s Brain

Among the bizarre health issues that have befallen Jesse Biddle in the last couple years, (you may recall he basically pitched through whooping cough in 2013), getting a concussion from a hail stone takes the cake. He was pitching well at AA Reading early in 2014, then he got plunked fleeing for cover from his busted up car
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Phillies 2015 Top 30 Prospects

I wanted to post my Top 30 Prospects list on the day pitchers and catchers report because it’s symbolic of the passing of not just one year to another, but one generation to another. Ok, I’m lying – it’s because I procrastinated for a very long time and this seemed like the latest I should let
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Keith Law Loves J.P. Crawford

I love J.P. Crawford, too, but it was still a pleasant (if not major) surprise to see one of our guys in the Top 10 of a major Top Prospect list for the first time since Dom Brown was rated #1 in BA’s mid-season just before his initial call-up to the big leagues. Law ranked
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Rollins Retrospective: The Minors and Rookie Campaign

Sometimes a guy comes into the minors with high hopes and fails. Sometimes a guy comes in with little hope, or no hope at all, and fails. The successes are all rare, expectation or not. And careers like Jimmy Rollins‘…well…every year over 2,000 guys are drafted or sign internationally. Two win an MVP, like Jimmy
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One Fight At A Time (Rule 5)

Well, the Phillies really did it this time. They really went out there and picked two guys in the Rule Five draft. The stones on this Amaro fellow. Anyway, it’s true, and not at all problematic, that The Phillies did, in fact, snag two players in the Big League portion of the 2014 Rule 5
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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. “Writing?” “Baseball writing.” “You could write me a love letter.” “A love letter about Roman Quinn?”

 

2014 Phillies Report Card: Cole Hamels

From way out west there was this fella I wanna tell ya about. Goes by the name of Cole Hamels. At least that was the handle his loving parents gave him, but he never had much use for it himself. See, this Hamels, he called himself “Hollywood”, (does anyone still call him that?). Now, “Hollywood”
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2014 Phillies Report Card: Grady Sizemore

I thought about writing up Grady Sizemore‘s season as if I thought he was Scott Sizemore, but I’m pretty sure there’s not much material there, since Scott’s season was even less impactful that Grady’s, (Scott took all of 16 big league PAs in 2014). Next came the idea that somehow I could play off his name,
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2014 Phillies Report Card: Cameron Rupp

Cameron Rupp‘s big league experience in 2014 consisted of about half-time PAs from the middle of June through the middle of July, when both Carlos Ruiz and Wil Nieves were out injured at different points, and just one appearance in September, despite Chooch admitting mid-way through the month that he’d been suffering from a year-long
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2014 Phillies Report Card: B. J. Rosenberg

B.J. Rosenberg was a 13th round pick in 2008 out of Louisville, and the fact that he’s made it to the bigs from such a position is laudable, (you know there’s trouble coming when someone points out how good someone has to be just to make the majors). About a year ago, there was a
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