The Tradeability Index, Volume 1

Those of you expecting to see your regularly scheduled Tuesday 10 today, we’ll return you to your weekly broadcast next week. Instead, I’ve got something a little different for this week.

This weekend, I put it to Twitter to help me out with an interactive project: rank 20 members of the Phillies’ current 40-man roster on how “tradeable” they are. That’s a subjective term, but the basic object was to find out what everyone believes is the best current trade asset the Phils possess on their 40-man. A player received 20 points for a first-place vote, 19 for second and so on down the line to 1 point for 20th place. This is the first of three or four such posts from now until just before the deadline, so the cast of characters and typical point totals may vary between now and then.

The results were intriguing. Here are the top 15, as voted on by readers and Crashburn staff alike. Unattributed quotes in the “What They’re Saying” sections are mine.

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Tommy Joseph’s game calling and other notes from Triple-A

As I prioritize amateur players on my scouting schedule as the June draft approaches, I’ve only mostly been able to check out Triple-A Lehigh Valley on the pro side. I’ve got notes on some of the guys there for you at the bottom of this post. In addition to that I’d like to expose you to a special little experiment I conducted at a game two weeks ago against Pawtucket. I’m fascinated by catcher defense and the intricacies that are involved in scouting it. I decided to try something I’ve only done once before and chart Tommy Joseph‘s game calling.

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Thoughts from the 222 Scrimmage

For 3 hours last night, Steve Noworyta and I sat shivering in section 112 of Coca-Cola Park. The Phillies’ Assistant Director of Minor League Operations and I begrudgingly unsheathed our pens at every on-field occurrence worth transcription and hustled to complete our frigid memoirs before the wind sucked the last bit of agility from our fingers. I seldom succeeded. The Reading Fightin Phils (I can’t believe I have to type that all season) were in Allentown for a scrimmage last night against the Lehigh Valley IronPigs. It was supposed to be a most efficient opportunity for me to evaluate Phillies Minor League talent. My cup runneth over, my scouting sheets fat with verbiage.

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Philadelphia Phillies Top 10 Prospects

Well I’ve just sort of decided to take over the site today. Prepare yourselves, this is quite long. One thing to keep in mind is that this list will be obsolete by mid-May. Things change, players develop or get hurt or regress or get traded. Feel free to ask questions in the comments section. I’ll get to as many as is humanly possible. You may proceed.

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Adam Morgan’s Path

Responding to my post yesterday about the Phillies’ contingency plan in case Roy Halladay is unfit or unable to contribute at any point during the 2013 season, many suggested left-hander Adam Morgan as a potential substitute. Morgan was drafted by the Phillies in the third round of the June 2011 draft and has impressed in his brief time in the system. Baseball America ranked him #5 in the Phillies’ top-ten, for example.

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Phillies Prospect Conversations: Jonathan Mayo (MLB.com)

This will be the final installment of our series of conversations with some of the prospecting industry’s most prominent scribes. It is a discussion I had with MLB.com’s Jonathan Mayo over lunch last week. Mayo has the unenviable task (ok, maybe I’m a little envious since he gets to talk about prospects for a living and all) of spearheading coverage of both minor league prospects and the draft for MLB.com all on his own. It’s hard not to be impressed by the sheer volume of work Mayo does over at MLBPipleline.com. He’s a Penn grad, so none of us should be surprised. At this point in my process it didn’t make sense to ask Jonathan about guys we’ve already beaten into the ground here, like Ruf, Brown, Biddle and Morgan (ok, so maybe he brings up Morgan on his own). Instead I asked Jonathan about guys he had ranked in atypical places (Ethan Martin at #2, Sebastian Valle at #8). I didn’t often bring these guys up in previous conversations because I’ve known I was going to ask Jonathan about them the whole time. Aren’t you impressed?

I’m starting on my own top 10, 12, 15….I don’t know how many I’m going to do just yet. Anyway, I’m starting to write up my list this week so you can expect that relatively soon. I’m also continuing chip away at a piece that’s been in the works since the Phillies acquired Delmon Young. I haven’t received an optimal amount of cooperation from people inside the game to this point, but the article is coming along and it’s very strange. Here’s my chat with Jonathan Mayo:

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Phillies Prospect Conversation: Keith Law (ESPN)

Keith Law and I have interacted with each other a total of three times. Once was during my first trip to the Arizona Fall League in 2010. Nervous and paranoid, I held a door open for him as we entered Scottsdale Stadium via the front office, where scouts can pass through before a game to see batting practice and infield work. I wasn’t nervous that Keith Law was behind me as much as I was nervous about being caught in a place where I had absolutely no business being. It’s amazing what you can get away with at a ballpark when you wear a face of feigned confidence, tuck in an ugly polo shirt and carry one of those very adult looking, over-the-shoulder bags.

Not long after that, Keith and I got into a spirited, but short, “Audrey Hepburn vs. Grace Kelly” debate on Twitter. We chose to argue with words instead of just sending pictures back and forth to one another so we both lost that one as far as I’m concerned. Our most recent encounter is our discussion concerning the Phillies farm system which you’ll find below.

I don’t need to tell you about Keith’s experience or credentials. His voice’s rationality is only exceeded by its influence on modern baseball discourse. Make a list of who you associate with baseball statistics and a separate list of who you associate with prospects and scouting. Keith’s name will be the first you see on both lists. He broke Rob Parker. I encourage all of you to head over and grab an ESPN Insider link account now, even if it’s for Keith’s work alone. We emailed back and forth about the Phillies system for almost two weeks and exchanged about forty total correspondences.

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