The Future is Unwritten: Zach Green

A regularly discussed factor in prospect evaluation is risk. The youngest prospects, while often possessing tremendous upside, have a long developmental road to travel before they can reach the Majors. Often, somewhere along the way they take a wrong turn and end up lost, short, an organizational player. AS we project prospects we have to be mindful of the number and degree of difficulty of the developmental hurdles a teenage player must clear on his way up the farm system. Third baseman Zach Green is no different. Green’s ceiling is quite solid, that of an above average everyday player. If everything breaks right for him the Phillies are looking at a decent defensive third baseman with well above average power, enough to make up the acceptable amount of swing and miss in his game. The great, yawning chasm between that optimal outcome and where Green is now will take years to close. Continue reading…

Phillies Prospect Conversations: Chris Crawford (MLBDraftInsider and ESPN)

And so we begin a new season’s worth of conversations with the internet’s best prospect writers. We’ll examine those writers’ lists and talk with them about the Phillies system. Our first participant this year is Chris Crawford, he of ESPN’s MLB Draft coverage and MLBDraftInsider.com. Chris does really terrific work and his readership is deservedly growing at an exponential rate. He’s currently mowing through farm systems as he pumps out reports with his Top 14 in ’14 series. The Phillies list is here. It’s free and it includes meaty reports on all fourteen guys he ranks as well as present/future tool grades. If you like his work (you will) and you’re interested in the upcoming draft (you should be) then I’d encourage you to buy Crawford’s excellent Draftbook. It’s just $1.99 and for that you’ll get 150 amateur scouting reports in a neat and clean PDF whhich will be emailed to you within an hour or two of purchase. You’ll also get an updated version of the book closer to draft day. It’s a terrific resource, one I used to build my preliminary amateur schedule for this spring, and it can be ordered here.  Let’s get to my chat with Chris. Continue reading…

Scouting Notes from Nine Baseball’s MLK Invitational

This past Martin Luther King Day I had the opportunity to attend Nine Baseball’s invitation-only tryout for East Coast high schoolers at the Pocono Dome. I’ve included my notes on most of the notable young men in attendance below. I wanted to get these up sooner but a death in the family has prevented me from doing so until now. Amateur baseball in the northeast is generally poor because the weather only lends itself to favorable baseball conditions for maybe 5 months. As such, I have a tendency to be optimistic about even the most mediocre pro prospects in the area because there are so few of them at all. Keep that in mind as you read. Also, there were 60 players in attendance and I regretfully couldn’t write up every one of them. There were several players whose names are underlined and starred on my scouting sheet that don’t get mentioned here because of time and space, but they are noteworthy nonetheless. Kids like Luke Bonfield, Kyle Stinson, Gavin Sheets and Endy Sanchez, just to name a few, are all really interesting young baseball players who I liked quite a bit but decided not to include bulky reports on in the notes that follow. If you’re one of the players from the event and don’t see your name below I encourage you to bust your ass in school and at practice to make me look like an idiot. Until then, let’s discuss the kids that stood out to me. Continue reading…

The Future is Unwritten: Larry Greene

I enjoy violent contrast in tone and mood in my entertainment. There’s just something about it that tickles me. In high school, I wrote a very uplifting short story called, “Charlie’s Bucket,” for Mr. Whitehead’s sophomore English class. In that story, a little boy named Charlie is new at school and is struggling to make friends. He decides, in desperation, to “make” himself a friend using some things he finds lying around in his family’s shed. As you may be able to guess based on the story’s title, he uses a bucket for the head. He returns to school and starts to talk about his new friend, who sounds awesome, around the other kids. The other children at school start to think, “Gee, if Charlie has such a cool friend, he must be pretty cool.” They start to take to Charlie before learning of the bucket. By then, however, they realize that when Charlie was talking about how nice and fun his “friend” was, he was actually describing himself. The kids at school realize this, totally understand and embrace Charlie. The End. Continue reading…

Crash Bag, Vol. 87: Blizzard Shopping with Ruben Amaro

Hey, hey hey, interrogate me hey…

@mdubz11: “your hall of fame ballot, opinions, etc etc”

I’m shocked that nobody asked me this before now, but I guess there’s a certain point past which nobody cares about my opinion. Anyway, I answered this last year, and nobody got in, so a lot of my answers are the same…actually, look at that, it was Dubs who asked for my hypothetical Hall of Fame ballot last year too, the sneaky bastard.

Continue reading…

The Future is Unwritten: Aaron Altherr

Happy New Year. Let’s get right to it.

Aaron Altherr is the type of athlete the Phillies have stereotypically selected in the amateur draft. They made him a ninth round pick in 2009 out of Agua Fria High School in Arizona and floated him a $150,000 bonus to keep him away from the University of Arizona. The German-born Altherr (his mother was stationed there as a member of the U.S. military and his father was a German pro soccer player) has had his share of developmental quirks. Labeled a project from the start, Altherr only began focusing on baseball during his senior year in high school (he was also a terrific basketball player) and entered pro ball quite raw. It took Altherr three years before he was finally able to stick in full season ball. In 2011, after 40 Low-A games in which he only tallied seven extra-base hits, he was demoted from Lakewood back to Williamsport. The SALLY League was just too much for him to handle at the time. He showed some progress in 2012 but was still considered a lottery ticket talent.

Continue reading…

Longenhagen’s Scouting Report Index

Pitchers

Jesse Biddle 1, 2, 3

Luis Garcia

Perci Garner

Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez with a few updates here

Ethan Martin 1, 2

Yoel Mecias

Adam Morgan 1, 2

Kevin Munson

John Pettibone

Yacksel Rios

Mauricio Robles

Juan Sosa

 

Catchers

Tommy Joseph

Andrew Knapp

Cameron Rupp

 

Infielders

Cody Asche 1, 2

Malquin Canelo

Albert Cartwright

Art Charles

JP Crawford 1, 2

Luis Encarnacion

Maikel Franco

Zach Green

Larry Greene

Jan Hernandez

Cesar Hernandez

Andrew Pullin

Darin Ruf 1, 2

 

 

Outfielders

Aaron Altherr

Dylan Cozens

Kelly Dugan

Juslan Kamara

Cameron Perkins

Cord Sandberg

Steven Susdorf

 

 

More to come…

The Future is Unwritten: Cameron Perkins

There has been a good amount of wailing and gnashing of teeth among statistically inclined Phillies fans for the club to pursue more college hitters in the draft. A half dozen or so studies have been done on expected return of draft choices and many of them come out the other end touting college bats as the most beneficial type of selection (Rany Jazayerli, Phil Birnbaum and Victor Wang have all written about it at length). Generally, the Phillies do not select college hitters in the first round. The last time they did was in 2000 when they popped an infield prospect named Chase Utley from UCLA. In that vein, the prospect du jour is outfielder Cameron Perkins, the club’s sixth round pick in 2012 out of Purdue. Continue reading…

The Future is Unwritten: Luis Encarnacion

One nugget of Phillies-specific process that makes its way into the posts and comments here at Crashburn once in a while is the club’s traditional modus operandi when it comes to acquiring international talent. Usually, the Phillies give Sal Agostinelli, one of the best international scouting directors in the business, his proverbial prospect allowance and Sal doesn’t spend too much of it in one place. Instead, he spreads the wealth across Latin America to several lesser players whose names won’t be found on Baseball America’s annual list of the top July 2nd talent. Continue reading…