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Monday, May 22, 2006

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I'm so tired of hearing the phrase "5 tool player" and "project" thrown around. Those guys should be drafted in later rounds, because they are not sure things. The first few rounds should be reserved for players that can almost definetely contribute some day in the bigs, not fillers for double AA rosters. I really hope the Phillies make some good picks, but that's not always the case.

1 player who catches my eye in this draft is switch-hitting California high school catcher Hank Conger. He should go anywhere from 15-20. The Phillies select at 18. No reports say he can't hit and he has big time power. Right now, the catching in the Phillies system doesn't look good. A third baseman might look good here, but all seem to have flaws. The Phils can get a good pitcher somewhere in their next two selections.

Player AVG G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI OB% SLG% E
Hank Conger .449 24 78 25 35 7 1 11 27 .527 .987 1

The expression I loathe is "best available athlete". I suppose there are some extraordinary basketball players out there who haven't been drafted yet by an NBA team or signed a letter of intent with some college. Maybe if they are still available when the Phillies' turn comes up they should draft them!!

"Best available" and "Best available athlete" are different. "Best available," the one I endorse, would be the player that has had the most proven success, instead of, say, nice abs.

Excuse me for the ignorance, but why 2B and SS in the draft? Obviously this is not the NFL where you draft what you might need in the upcoming season or two, but it seems that these two positions (second base especially) are locked up for many years to come.

The Phillies seem to have an over-affection for speedy outfielders who don't hit well and have little plate discipline. I would rather see them focus on performance - how did a prospect do against good competition. Catcher and third base are obviously the biggest priorities, but it might be about time to start thinking about a future replacement for Burrell or Abreu. If a good corner outfielder is available, the Phils should take him.

If the talent pool isn't so great this year, maybe they should try and trade down in the draft for next year. I'm pretty sure it won't happen but I figured its just one more thing to be thrown on the table to talk about. Or maybe they could draft a good trainer to take care of Wounded Wolf.

Figure it takes about 4-5 seasons for the best prospects to graduate to the major leagues. This is how long it took Rollins, for example, stepping into a wide-open situation at short. When Utley becomes a free agent, figure he will become the highest-paid second baseman in baseball. The Phils should have a fall back plan if they can't resign him.

As for shortstop, the Phillies have more money wrapped up in J-Roll than any player in their organization, and at the moment, he isn't performing much better than a replacement player. If they should need to rebuild, Rollins is someone they should consider move. Having another SS would give them the option to do that.

I like the idea of drafting middle infield here, but only if there is a knockout on the board, otherwise, one of the quality arms BA is talking about.

Cards: In baseball, you can't trade draft picks the way you can in the NFL.

Haha, trading down. Get your head out of the tight end.

Not draft related, but I just want to say how happy I am that A-Gone is officially gone. There hasn't been much to get excited about this week so I'll take what I can get. Coste should give the Phils a bit more pop against LHP. Big question is if Coste performs, what happens when Lieby gets back...Fassano gone, Ruiz back to the minors?

Even though I have that well-documented man-crush on Ruiz, sending him down would probably be the right call. They can't afford to risk losing Fasano in case Lieberthal gets hurt again. In addition, Ruiz can get regular work in Scranton, and Coste will be up as an emergency guy.

But since Lieberthal still cannot run, it looks like Ruiz is here to stay at least for a little while longer. No matter what, it's good experience for a guy that could play a big role next season.

The Phillies have a poor reputation for developing pitching.

Jason, I think you're being a little too harsh on the Phillies system. Draftniks always say that if 1 player becomes a major league regular, then it was a successful draft. First of all, each of the Phillies' #1 draft picks from 1997-2002 drafts are starting players in the majors. I doubt there is another team in the major leagues that can say that. In addition, in the last 6 or 7 years, the Phillies system has produced Randy Wolf, Adam Eaton, Brett Myers, Ryan Madson, Gavin Floyd, Taylor Buchholz, Cole Hamels, Carlos Silva, Robinson Tejeda and Elizardo Ramirez. All of whom have had major league success at some point. Of that group Brett Myers and Cole Hamels look to be stars and Wolf and Floyd (and maybe Buchholz?) look like they have the potential to be stars (in Wolf's case, regain his star potential). So, the Phillies have developed something like 4 or 5 impact starting pitchers in the last 6 or 7 years. Not too many organizations can lay claim to that kind of success. I've always argued that it isn't the farm system that is at fault but poor front office management. Trading away Adam Eaton, Taylor Buchholz (though this may have been a good trade), Elizardo Ramirez, and Carlos Silva are the fault of the GM and not the scouting and development side.

The Phillies have produced pitching and bats over the past 6-7 years, but what they lack is depth. Look at the minors now the Phillies basically have nothing offensively. Yes, Burrell, Rollins, Utley, and Howard have come up to produce, but what now? That's the knock on the Phillies farm system, limited prospects. With that said, the pitching in the minors is looking much better, and that's a good thing because Wold and Lidle are most likely gone following this season, along with a lot of guys from the bullpen.

I have to agree with H.E.P., the Phillies system has been great in the last 6 or 7 years(probably the best in the NL and second only to the Twins in the majors).

There was a big deal last year about the system being baren and what happens this year, we get Victorino and Hamels (not to mention Floyd, Geary, Ruiz and Roberson, who may or may not contribute this year).

In addition to all the obvious names, the PHils have also come up with spare parts like Michales, Anderson and Byrd. If you combine the farm products on the team now with all the ones Ed Wade shipped out for middle relievers, you would come close to an all-star team, or at the least, the most talented team in the NL.

As for depth of offensive talent, I think this is true but not a real criticism of the Phillies drafts. It would almost be impossible for the Phillies to produce a viurual starting lineup of home grown players AND have a stocked minor league system. Unless your comparison is the Dodgers of the 60s and 70s, the Phillies minor league production has been fantastic.

My major concern is restocking the system with bats immediately. The Phillies minors are baren of hitting talent right now.

I haven’t criticized the quality of previous drafts. They’ve done a commendable job filling out a big-league team with homegrown talent.

But that was then, and today the system is bone dry with position talent, and that’s a fact.

As for pitching, their poor reputation is well earned. Very well earned. Myers, Wolf and Eaton are perhaps the three best pitchers over the last seven years or so. Maybe Hamels can make that list one day.

But where’s the Roy Oswalt on that list? Or Zambrano? Or Zito? When was the last time the Phils produced a relief pitcher that was worth a damn? Madson? Bottallico?

Part of development is also knowing what you have and making sure you keep it. That, too, has been a failure. Forget Buchholz. This is his third season with the Astros organization. He belongs to them now. Carlos Silva wasn't supposed to be anything more than a relief pitcher for the Phillies. Obviously, the Twins saw more, and got the most from him.

Let's remember how inexact a science the MLB draft can be. For every late round Piazza, there is a Tyler Green or Brien Taylor. I tend to agree that a solid consistent hitter (preferably in the middle infield) would be more desirable than any "best available" player in this year's diluted draft. The only reason I can see to take a best available player at a position that is not needed in the next 4-5 years would be for trade bit.

And please don't draft a kid out of high school. Way too much risk. Do it the Beane way for a change.

Which Beane are you talking about, the gay outfielder or the GM? That makes a big difference.

By the way, I'm just messing around, we need some humor around here some times.

Hey, WillardPreacher, are you the real Willard Preacher from University Park, PA? What color is your sweatshirt?

OOH! OOH! I KNOW!

Not sure, if anybody will go back and read this, but just to show the complete lack of bats in the minors...Reading has scored a grand total of 3 runs in the last 5 games...across the board in the Phillies system the offense completely sucks!

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