The Lakewood Six Or Seven (Or Eight)

When last we spoke, I mentioned how enamored I’d become of the Lakewood lineup. At the beginning of 2014, it was pretty clear that there was a good amount of talent inhabiting the low-A roster, led by 2013 first round pick J.P. Crawford. As the year has gone on, a couple guys have forced their way to the fore, and a couple have lagged behind, but the ceilings of a few remain so intriguing that it’s hard not to be interested. So let’s talk (for 1800 words or so, apparently), about Crawford, Carlos Tocci, Dylan Cozens, Andrew Pullin, Zach Green, Samuel Hiciano, and Andrew Knapp. And I’ll even throw in some Willians Astudillo, just for fun.

I’ll start with the headliner. J.P. Crawford reached Lakewood last summer via the double jump from the Gulf Coast League. He started this year slow, then got very hot, but has slumped lately, OPSing just .555 in 14 June games, after putting up a .969 in May. Continue reading…

The Future Is Unwritten: Severino Gonzalez

You, like me, probably became aware of Severino Gonzalez last year when he tore up the Florida State League to the tune of a 2.02 ERA between the bullpen and rotation before being brought up to Reading. It’s the kind of performance that makes you sit up in your chair and pay attention and also the sort of thing I’ve warned about countless times on this site: Do not get married to opinions based on minor league numbers, especially when those numbers were put up at the lower levels. Regardless of how little minor league numbers indicate future performance, they can make players worth going out of your way to see. Such was the case with Gonzalez, who I saw several times before departing to Arizona. Let’s start by getting a big aspect of Gonzalez’s evaluation out of the way and start by discussing his size. Continue reading…

Hey. It’s Me. The New Guy.

Some of you may know me as BradInDC from PhuturePhillies.com, where I bring my most-times-bone-dry sense of humor to the tedious task of scouring through sometimes eight leagues worth of Phils minor league action in the daily box score recaps. Some of you may know me from Twitter, @bxe1234, where I rock a pretty baller Mike-Schmidt-With-70s-Perm avi, (which I swiped off some dude’s website with scans of a bunch of old MLB yearbook-type photos), and where I tweet about the Phils and affiliates, indie/indie-folk music, progressive politics and The West Wing, among other things. For those that don’t know me, consider yourselves introduced. For those that do know me – Look At Me, I’m On Crashburn Alley!

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Phillies Media Day X

Phillies Draft Retrospective: Reggie Taylor

Ask an MLB Draft pundit who they think the Phillies are likely to draft in the first round and almost always they’ll tell you to pick an athlete, any athlete. It’s been the organization’s modus operandi for as long as most of us can remember and it’s produced mixed results. Selecting the intriguing athlete has given the Phillies the likes of Jimmy Rollins, Kyle Kendrick and Michael Bourn as well as the dislikes of Greg Golson, Tim Moss and Anthony Hewitt. Perhaps no more fitting example of the volatile nature of this tendency lies in the specter of Reggie Taylor, the 1995 draft’s 14th overall selection. Continue reading…

Phillies Day 2 Draft Notes

Aaron Brown CF Pepperdine- I was on Brown as a pitcher who had an above average fastball, flashed an average slider and whose changeup shpwed a little promise but some teams liked him as an outfielder and the Phillies were one of them. Brown has an athletic, strong build, some pull power and might have enough athleticism to play CF with, obviously, a plus arm. There are footwork issues with the swing and I think he may struggle to make contact. It’s a fourth OF profile for me. Maybe there’s room for more now that he’ll focus on hitting full time. Continue reading…

Draft recap Day 1: Aaron Nola Scouting Report, Matt Imhof notes.

The Phillies got their wish Thursday night as a few surprises (the biggest of which In more ways than one was the Cubs’ selection of Kyle Schwarber at #4 overall) ahead of them freed them up to take the guy they’ve been targeting all along, LSU right-handed pitcher Aaron Nola. Nola, who turned 21 just a few days ago, has dominated SEC competition for the past two years, posting sub-2 ERAs in both 2013 and 2014. Continue reading…

The Future is Unwritten: Mark Leiter Jr.

Mark Leiter Jr. garners more interest than your typical 22nd round pick from the New Jersey Institute of Technology typically does. He has pedigree (his father and his uncle Al were big leaguers for parts of nearly 30 seasons combined), he’s put up good numbers (a 1.20 ERA and 50 strikeouts in 45 innings of work last year and good peripherals so far this year) and once struck out 20 hitters in a college game, so he’s worth a look and a read.

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Notes on a few Minor League arms

Hey, everyone. Don’t worry, full scouting reports are coming. In the meantime, here are some notes on pitchers that maybe don’t warrant full reports but you might as well know about anyway. Just some little updates.

Brody Colvin- Colvin’s stuff is down, even out of the bullpen. The fastball is sitting 87-90 and he’s not repeating. The command and control are all well below average. While the athleticism and curveball are still interesting, the pitcher I’ve seen this year isn’t one thats looks like a future big leaguer. The velocity needs to come back for me to think otherwise.

Austin Wright- Wright’s move to the bullpen has been accompanied by an uptick in velocity. The fastball is now humming in at an above average 90-93 mph as opposed to last year’s 88-91 range. The curveball is an average offering, a useful upper 70s hook with decent depth. It’s not really a bat-misser, not consistently anyway, but it has decent depth. Wright’s done a much better job of keeping the ball down so far this year, though oftentimes he’s missing in the dirt. He has a middle-inning ceiling but is still a long way from it. Continue reading…

Minor League Notes, Maikel Franco Klonopin

Howdy, readers. I’m insanely busy planning the wedding and the move and doing draft prep but I’m still getting to 4 or 5 games per week because I need to make sure I maintain my brand which justifies my existence. I’ve seen Severino Gonzalez twice so far this year but I’m waiting to write him up because I’m kicking the tires on something bigger than a simple scouting report there. For now, here’s some random thoughts on the guys I’ve had a couple looks at now that we’re two and a half weeks into the season. Continue reading…

Be Patient, Temper Expectations for Ken Giles

Last night’s bullpen meltdown brought calls for Double-A reliever Ken Giles to a fever pitch. Giles, 23, has gotten off to a fast start with Reading, striking out 14, walking two, notching five saves, all without allowing a single run in six innings of work. Giles throws a fastball which reaches the triple digits along with a power slider. GM Ruben Amaro said of the Phillies promoting Giles earlier on WIP, “I think you have to think about it.”

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