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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Phillies Top 10 Prospects

I’m not a huge fan of prospect lists, which provide a momentary snapshot of a system that is in constant flux and evolution. But the internet loves lists of all kinds and I can’t deprive you of that, can I? As always, I see just about everyone in person and get info from scouting and front office sources to supplement my own evaluations. If you want long form, detailed scouting reports on most of these guys, you can find them here. Enjoy 4000 words of Phillies prospect realism. Continue reading…

Phillies Prospect Conversations: Keith Law (ESPN)

Two and a half weeks ago I was fortunate enough to spend most of my Saturday with Keith Law as I took in that afternoon’s tilt between East Carolina and Virginia. We sat basking in the glow of the first vibrant sun either of us had seen in months, wearing the same clothes we had the day before (at least I was), drinking up every ounce of pleasing stimuli emitted by the world around us. The warmth from the sun, the sights and sounds on the field, the smell of the barbecue stand behind us. It was perfect. And then, as if the baseball gods had decided we were having too nice a time, a little, blonde, southern boy proceeded to kick the seat between Keith and I for the next seven innings with what had to be a heavy pair of BK Ratch Techs. Keith, who was filming swings and needed the kid to cease and desist, politely asked him to stop several times while I spent most of the game hoping Pai Natal actually existed and that this child would be butterless on Christmas Eve.

You probably don’t need an introduction to Keith and his work, which can be found on ESPN.com and is well worth a subscription to Insider on its own. Keith’s Phillies top 10, headlined b J.P. Crawford, is here. Our conversation follows. Continue reading…

The Future is Unwritten: Jan Hernandez

Until the Ben Wetzler Tattletale garbage surfaced, everything about the Phillies 2013 draft was pie. Delicious, creamy, tooled-up pie with a buttery, athletic crust. Jan Hernandez became a key ingredient in that pie when he was drafted in the third round and signed for $550,000. He became the first ever player from the Carlos Beltran Academy to be selected and is one of the more talented players we’ve seen come out of Puerto Rico over the last half decade. Only four total Puerto Rican players were selected with a top 100 draft pick from 2007 through 2011. Talent on the island appeared to have dried up until the loaded 2012 draft produced four top 100 talents on its own, including #1 overall pick Carlos Correa. Let’s hope that the last two years are signs that a once rich baseball locale is emerging from the dark ages caused by the draft’s blatant anti-trust violations and experiencing a talent renaissance. But back to Hernandez… Continue reading…

Phillies Prospect Conversations: Josh Norris (Baseball America)

Better than anyone, Baseball America has been providing comprehensive coverage of all levels of America’s Pastime for over three decades. Whether you’re a subscriber to their website, magazine or purchase the annual Prospect Handbook (which you can find here) you’re going to get well written, informative, dynamic content. I visit their site on a daily basis and encourage you to do the same. The July 2 coverage is second to none, they do outstanding reporting (like Aaron Fitt has on the Phillies/Ben Wetzler story) and generate content with excellence in all forms of media. I’ve been purchasing the Prospect Handbook since my senior year of high school (when Phil Hughes was on the cover) and have been a subscriber ever since I left the IronPigs and could no longer steal the new mag issues from the Coca-Cola Park press box. This year the BA writer covering the Phillies list is Josh Norris, formerly of The Trentonian. Our conversation follows. Continue reading…

Crash Bag, Vol. 94: Ben Wetzler Lightning Round

NBA trade deadline, labor strife, Little Big League…we’ve got it all this week.

@truelladelphia: “How great is Sam Hinkie?”

Pretty great. Early in the season, I had an expectation of getting at least one first-round pick (either this year or next) for Evan Turner and Spencer Hawes, but that stopped being realistic a while ago, thanks to the quality of this year’s draft and the NBA’s inscrutable player movement rules, which gridlocked the draft pick market to a certain extent. Hawes and Turner were both going to walk as free agents this summer anyway, so getting literally anything for them was a win. I would’ve liked to see Hawes go to either Oklahoma City or the Clippers, where I think he could’ve played a significant role on a title contender as a rotation big, but Hinkie got a return on Hawes and Turner while not panic trading Thaddeus Young for 50 cents on the dollar. Second-round NBA draft picks are one of the most useless commodities in sports, but this is where the Astros comparison I’ve been harping on all year comes in–if you take over a team without serious assets, you bide your time by placing a bunch of long-shot bets until you can get some assets. Anyway, Hinkie got rid of three veterans (including Lavoy Allen) for which he had no use and took on a net of either five or six (almost certainly six) second-round draft picks. A smart team can get one rotation player out of six second-round picks, or trade them for something else. This is the guy trading the red paper clip for the house.

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Phillies Prospect Conversation: Kiley McDaniel (ScoutingBaseball.com)

We continue our discussions on the Phillies farm system with Kiley McDaniel, he of MSN’s ScoutingBaseball.com and formerly of ESPN, Baseball Prospectus and some front office work, all before the age of 30. Based in Florida, McDaniel does an enormous amount of in-person work on amateur and Latin American talent and, for our purposes, sees plenty of Florida State League action as well. He provides excellent video content, rock solid scouting opinions and even breaks an occasional news story once in a while, including this doozy. You can also make the case that he has a better head of hair than I do. I wouldn’t, but you could. While Kiley’s stuff is mostly behind a pay wall (it’s absolutely worth it if you’re a hardcore baseball geek) his Phillies list is not. Lucky you. Here’s our discussion: Continue reading…