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

Brody Colvin

Cody Forsythe

Luis Garcia

Perci Garner

Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez with a few updates here

Severino Gonzalez

Matt Imhof

Jay Johnson

Mark Leiter Jr. 

Ethan Martin 1, 2

Sam McWilliams

Yoel Mecias

Hoby Milner

Adam Morgan 1, 2

Kevin Munson

Aaron Nola

Nefi Ogando

Chris Oliver

John Pettibone

Yacksel Rios

Mauricio Robles

Juan Sosa

Austin Wright

 

Catchers

Tommy Joseph, 2

Andrew Knapp

Cameron Rupp

 

Infielders

Cody Asche 1, 2

Malquin Canelo

Albert Cartwright

Art Charles

JP Crawford 1, 2

Luis Encarnacion

Maikel Franco, 2

Zach Green

Larry Greene

Jan Hernandez

Cesar Hernandez, 2

Rhys Hoskins

Emmanuel Marrero

Andrew Pullin

Darin Ruf 1, 2

 

 

Outfielders

Aaron Altherr

Aaron Brown

Zach Collier

Dylan Cozens

Kelly Dugan

Juslan Kamara

Cameron Perkins

Cord Sandberg

Steven Susdorf

Carlos Tocci

 

Draft Retrospectives

Reggie Taylor

Gavin Floyd

Chase Utley

 

 

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…

The Future is Unwritten: Andrew Knapp

The Phillies 2013 draft has acclaimed by many (including yours truly) as one rich with upside laden talent. JP Crawford, Cord Sandberg and Jan Hernandez are all dripping with athleticism and the potential for an explosive Major League tool or two if the Phillies player development squad can turn the dreams of all that raw talent into a reality. Lost among the forest of those teenage redwood saplings is Andrew Knapp, Philadelphia’s second round pick in that draft. The Cal (Berkley) catcher is already 22 years old, the cement on the body is mostly dry and there really isn’t really a chance for a plus tool here. Despite that, there is an interesting combination of athleticism and skills that could make Knapp an everyday catcher if things break right. Continue reading…