Today the Phillies signed this year’s first round draft pick, Lakewood High School (CA) shortstop JP Crawford, to his first professional baseball contract which included a $2.3 million signing bonus Yes, I’m writing up a report on JP Crawford almost two full weeks after he was drafted. Yes, every other Phillies media outlet has already done this ad naseum and all have probably forgotten about him by now. No, this is not like all the other ones.
Gib Bodet is one of the best scouts in the business. Currently the Dodgers National Crosschecking and Amateur Scouting Special Advisor, Gib Bodet has been scouting baseball for over forty years. He’s been working for the Dodgers for more than thirty of those and has been crosschecking for more than twenty. He’s been involved in signing Mike Piazza, Eric Karros and Todd Hollandsworth, all of whom won Rookie of the Year awards. Gib Bodet knows when he sees a good baseball player. And he knew it when he saw Chase Utley.
The draft is less than a week away and my press credential application to attend the event has been denied by Major League Baseball. In effort to channel my grief and anger into something useful, I have been sat at my desk all day Friday, racking my brain for some good ideas for content leading up to next week’s selections. I’m not going to write up scouting reports on all the potential prospects the Phillies might select. You can find that information in literally dozens of places online, in print, and on TV the night of the draft. Instead you’re getting a look back at some of the Phillies more prominent draft picks from the past 20 years or so. Thanks to the fantastic information archived at the Baseball Hall of Fame’s new scouting exhibit and the prospect resources we have at our fingertips, we can start to look back at some developmental achievements and failures of well regarded young players at various checkpoints in their careers. I hope to bring several of these to you over the next week. In order to do that, these pieces will be more research intensive than writing oriented. We start with Gavin Floyd.
As you have likely learned by now, Michael Young was placed on the bereavement list earlier today. While the exact reason for his leave isn’t yet known (and may not ever be because it probably isn’t any of our business) we do know Young will be gone from anywhere between three and seven days. We wish all the best to Michael in sorting through whatever may be wrong at home.
Taking his place on the 25-man roster is 23-year-old second baseman, Cesar Hernandez. I’ve seen plenty of Hernandez over the past few years and while his first stint in the big leagues is likely to be a short one, I don’t expect it to be his last. Here’s a full scouting report the young, switch hitting, Venezuelan infielder.
We live in an age where we can find pretty much anything we want (and lots of things we don’t want) on the internet with relative ease. This was not the case when the Phillies inked 17-year-old German outfielder Julsan Kamara to a seven-year minor league deal on May 13th. Google results yielded very little on Kamara, let alone the sort of in-depth information I look for when I begin to build a foundation of scouting information on an unknown international player.
I have since made a few calls and got in touch with Phillies Director of International Scouting, Sal Agostinelli, who was gracious enough to tell me a little bit about Kamara. Continue reading…
One piece of advice I always lend to those who seek to begin a serious scouting hobby is as follows:
“Watch baseball at all levels. High School, college, low minors, upper minors….everything. And above all, make sure you don’t stop watching MLB games.”
The last slice of that counsel is the most important. Too often will inexperienced scouting enthusiasts fully immerse themselves in prospects and lose sight of what a Major League player looks like. There’s a reason that you’re constantly looking at the box when you put together that jigsaw puzzle. You need to know what the finished product is supposed to look like while you work. Watching prospects is no different. Last Thursday, Jesse Biddle looked like a big leaguer. Drink it in.
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.
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.
Jonathan Pettibone, 23 year old righty who I ranked as the #7 prospect in the system, will make his Major League debut on tonight. I wanted to make sure you had a more in-depth overview of Pettibone’s prowess than you got in the prospect rankings. Here is the full scouting report.
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.