The Phillies Youth Movement is In Full Swing

2

That is the number of players 30 years old or older on the Phillies’ active roster after Daniel Nava was moved to the 60 day DL. Those players are RHP Luis Garcia and IF Andres Blanco. Last night the oldest player to take the field for the Phillies was 28 year old Cameron Rupp. The Phillies had two 22 year olds on the field in J.P. Crawford and Victor Arano. Their superstar right now is 24 year old Rhys Hoskins. This hasn’t been just a youth movement based on September callups, it has been a slow build all season with a final culmination as the Phillies head towards the end of the year.

Last night wasn’t the youngest the Phillies lineup could be, here is how they stack up right now by position.

Lineup: Jorge Alfaro (24), Cameron Rupp (28), J.P. Crawford (22), Maikel Franco (25), Freddy Galvis (27), Cesar Hernandez (27), Aaron Altherr (26), Odubel Herrera (25), Rhys Hoskins (24), Nick Williams (24)
Average Age: 25 Continue reading…

Phillies Claim Another Marginal LH Reliever

Even with the IronPigs ending their season yesterday, it appeared the Phillies were out of new additions to the 40 man roster this season. So when Jesen Therrien went down with a season ending arm injury it opened up a roster spot they likely weren’t planning on having.

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Crashbag Vol. 36: The Future Infield

Last night the minor league regular season ended, the IronPigs are still in playoffs and sending a AA rotation to the mound. Oh and the major league club has Rhys Hoskins, J.P. Crawford, Nick Williams, and Jorge Alfaro up with Odubel Herrera back from injury.

@totommit: Kingery’s K% has risen to 20.3% and BB% has dropped to 4.5% at AAA. Is this just a blip, or does he have plate discipline problems?

In 2016:

Clearwater: 7.9% BB% 12.9% K%
Reading: 3.0% BB% 21.7% K%

In 2017:

Reading: 8.8% BB% 16.1% K%
Lehigh Valley: 4.5% BB% 20.3% K%

Kingery does have some approach issues. He is an aggressive hitter at heart, and at each new level pitchers have been able to make him expand the strikezone. That said I am not really worried about him. He is never going to walk like Hoskins, Crawford, or Cesar Hernandez, but he also isn’t Nick Williams or Jorge Alfaro. He has always made the adjustment at each level, it just has taken him some time. This is part of why there haven’t been any rumblings about promoting Kingery to the majors, he hasn’t made the AAA adjustment yet. He will also only be 23 on opening day next year and should be on pace to compete for a major league spot should the Phillies trade Hernandez this offseason or ready as soon as the Phillies can move Hernandez during the season. So not a blip, as much as it is part of a pattern of struggle and adjustment. Continue reading…

Scott Kingery and Tom Eshelman Win Paul Owens Award

The Phillies announced that a pair of IronPigs had won the Paul Owens Award for the best minor league pitcher and hitter in the system this season. The award is supposed to combine some level of performance and prospect pedigree. On the hitting side recent winners include Darin Ruf, Maikel Franco, J.P. Crawford, Andrew Knapp, Dylan Cozens, and Rhys Hoskins. On the pitching side over that time period the names are much less illustrious with Tyler Cloyd, Severino Gonzalez, Luis Garcia, Ricardo Pinto, and Ben Lively all taking home the award. Enough of about past winners and more about the current winners.

It is hard to argue that Scott Kingery had a better hitting year than Rhys Hoskins, but Hoskins won the award last year and his resume in the majors kind of makes things unfair. What you can argue is that Scott Kingery had the best all around season of any Phillies prospect. He hit .304/.359/.530 between AA and AAA. He has 26 home runs and 29 stolen bases. He played high level defense at an up the middle position. His walk and strikeout rates in AAA leave a little bit to be desired, but don’t detract much from his overall success. Kingery could step into the lineup on opening day if the Phillies trade Cesar Hernandez this offseason, and with Crawford’s promotion he is the best position prospect the Phillies still have in the minors. Continue reading…

Phillies Trade Juan Nicasio for Real Person

When the Phillies acquired Juan Nicasio on waivers on August 31 it looked like a pure salary dump for the Pirates and opportunistic way of shoring up a struggling bullpen for the Phillies. I personally scoffed at the idea that the Phillies would flip Nicasio for anything in trade…

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Phillies To Call Up J.P. Crawford: Looking Forward

This piece is a companion to my J.P. Crawford retrospective on Phillies Minor Thoughts.

The most anticipated transaction in the Phillies system for the best 3+ years was the promotion of J.P. Crawford to the majors. It was a move that was meant represent the start of the new age of Philadelphia baseball. Crawford has slipped a bit from this path, but he is still the Phillies top prospect and his promotion is still probably the biggest event of the Phillies 2017 season. Instead of being the start of the new age of Philadelphia baseball, Crawford will be asked to augment what already looks like a bright future highlighted by Odubel Herrera, Rhys Hoskins, Nick Williams, and Aaron Altherr. There has been much written about Crawford over the years and what he might mean to the Phillies, but here on the eve of his callup we get a chance to step back and look at his full minor league resume and see what he might be for the Phillies.

It is hard to translate any sort of statistical defensive numbers from the minors to the majors. What we do know from scouting is that Crawford has great instincts at shortstop and a strong and accurate arm. For the most part he is not a flashy player because his body control makes his motions appear smooth, but he is capable of the making the play deep in the hole at short or making a play on pure athleticism.

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What Is Going On With Adam Morgan?

14.1 IP

11 H

1 ER

2 BB

22 K

That is Adam Morgan’s line in relief for the Phillies in the month of August. It is a truly amazing accomplishment given that on the season Morgan still has a 4.46 ERA and only 52 strikeouts in 42.1 innings. It is also really amazing because in his first two years in the league Morgan had a 5.37 ERA in nearly 200 innings as a starting pitcher. In his first two seasons his fastball averaged 89.6 and 91.7 mph respectively. He barely missed bats and everyone wanted the Phillies to chuck him aside this spring and for much of the season. So what changed? Continue reading…

Crashbag Vol. 35: The Rotation, Prospects, and Seasons

Lets jump right in.

@stee_jobs: what’s the 2018 starting rotation (include possible free agents)

As I mentioned in a post earlier this week, the rotation is not exactly an area of strength heading into 2018. We know (barring injury) that Aaron Nola, Jerad Eickhoff, and Vince Velasquez will be back. There had been some thought that Velasquez, after another inconsistent and injury-riddled season, would enter 2018 in the bullpen, but based on the Phillies public comments, they plan to give him another shot to stick in the rotation. We’ll assume that happens. If I’m the Phillies, I hope to sign or trade for a young controllable mid-rotation starter and let the dregs of the 2017 rotation compete for the fifth starter role. Let’s take a look at free agents who fit or exceed the “mid-rotation starter” mold. I’m assuming the Phillies won’t want anyone on the downside of their career, so I took out anyone over 32 years old. I’m using the list of 2017-2018 free agents on MLBTradeRumors, so if I missed anyone, it’s all their fault. Continue reading…

Encouraging Signs From the Phillies

As the 2017 season winds down, the Phillies still find themselves with the worst record in baseball, on pace for over 100 losses for the first time since 1961. However, the rookies are positively contributing, and the bullpen has righted the ship somewhat, and the team has posted a .465 winning percentage in the second half. I’m not sure how much I believe in season-to-season momentum, but at any rate, this has been an encouraging effort for the young Phillies. I’d like to run down a few important developments on the Phillies’ long march back to respectability. Continue reading…

Crashbag Vol. 34: Future Edition

This week I asked for questions during a Phillies game which meant everything was Phillies related, and much of it was not particularly deep, I just answered everything.

@andrewrinnier: What are realistic goals for the young guys down the stretch?

Just going to go quick bullet points on the major guys

  • Jerad Eickhoff – 6 innings each start, try to keep it under 4 runs
  • Ben Lively/Mark Leiter – Hold off regression while trying to find a sustainable pitch
  • Aaron Nola – Stay healthy
  • Nick Pivetta – 4-5 solid innings each start, it doesn’t matter if you implode in the 5th or 6th
  • Jorge Alfaro – Just 1 walk, maybe 2 walks?
  • Maikel Franco – Just show in one game that you learned something this year
  • Rhys Hoskins – Fight through the first slump when it hits
  • Nick Williams – Just keep up the approach gains
  • J.P. Crawford – Don’t force things in majors or minors
  • Scott Kingery – Try and bring the strikeouts under control and walk a bit more
  • Odubel Herrera – Have a solid end of year
  • Aaron Altherr – Get healthy, stay healthy
  • Andrew Knapp – Show enough defensive growth to have the Phillies trust you to be the opening day starter and pair with Alfaro next year

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