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Sunday, January 28, 2007


FWIW: This comment came in earlier today from a reader named "vas," posted in the original entry from back when Jacobs was signed:

"This guy was a star at Cal State Fullerton and did great at Tacoma for Seattle. Fluke injury canceled a call up to Seattle. Can hit the cover off the ball. Always a pure hitter, despite the pitching attempt in the Anaheim system. Complete steal with enormous upside. Beat the Indians to this guy."

Jason, I just know you posted this to lure davthom into having an Indy ball cause for '07, knowing it will fill the blog with an ongoing debate about whether or not Jacobs is the next Edgar Martinez.

The guy is a 30-year-old converted pitcher who can only play corner OF but doesn't have much power. The chances of lightning striking twice (Coste) in 2 years is nil.

It really depends on whether the guy can field his position. If he is average defensively, I could see him being a productive player, certainly better than Hollandsworth or Garcia.

I'm surprised you are so down on these kind of players clout. When commenting on these guys, you sound just like the "fat scout" in Moneyball. The guy can clearly hit, and has never failed to hit at any level given sufficient playing time. I don't care if he is a converted car salesmen...a .414 career OBP is impressive!

I must say, it's good that Gillick is stockpiling position player options for the high minors. It's anyone's guess if guys like Jacobs or Garcia or Simon or Dobbs can actually help the Phillies, but at least they represent *some* form of an option in case of emergency - whereas there apparently was previously nothing of the sort down (up) there otherwise. We have seen these sorts of signings can turn out to pay dividends, whether or not they are likely to repeat the level of success Chris Coste has had.

I saw Jacobs at the Sixers game last week and he looked to be shorter than his listed 5' 10" -- Rowand towered over him. I am not against bringing him to ST, but isn't Ottawa already loaded with outfielders (Karim Garcia, Bourne, Javon Moran, Pedro Swan, Lou Collier). Not like we lack depth with AAA outfielders.

kdon: Did you actually look at his stats? When and where did they occur? If you pull out the indy league and class A stats, what are you left with? Or do you think indy league is equivalent to double and triple A? Heck I bet we could find some softballers with a .414 OB, let's bring them in too.

Not to mention Ron Calloway, Chris Roberson, Gary Burnham, Joey Hammond, Jim Rushford, etc. Some of these players will get pink slips. Pedro Swann could get a pink slip, same for Calloway or Rushford.

Jacobs stands about 5-7, but he looks like he's in good shape, better than that photo.

Clout, not exactly fair. you're left with one very good season in AAA in 2004 (197 abs, .388 obp) and one very short lousy stop at AAA again in 2005 (59 abs, .238 obp and .373 slg) - so easier to give his career OBP the benefit of the doubt, I think. Looking at his numbers, he has a better chance of a call-up than garcia, especially if Gillick thinks he's a worthwhile player.

oisin: League and age DO matter. His fat numbers come out of A ball, when he was older than league average, and indy ball. Those are the facts. Now if you think A ball and indy ball is equivalent to Triple A, fine, but I honestly believe the level of competition is inferior at those levels.

Hey, it's almost spring, posters here always overrate prospects and fringe players, so I'll back off. There are a load of guys just like Jacobs that move from organization to organization every off-season. Last year the posters here were clamoring for Bobby Scales. Who am I to deny the fun?

I'll shut up on these guys and only comment on the real prospects. Although I do hope davthom takes up the cause (especially if Coste is gone) because it makes for fun reading.

JW, 5' 7" seems about right for Jacobs. He looked about JRoll's height. Not many corner outfielders that height.

OK clout, here are Jacob's combined AA and AAA numbers:

537(AB) 162(H) 34(2B) 1(3B) 18(HR) 58(BB) 83(K)


So removing his "softaball" totals gives you a .370 OBP, not too bad. Karim Garcia could play the Beerleaguer all-stars and not put up a .370 OBP!

Is Jacobs a budding superstar? No. Is he an everyday OF on a contending team? No. Is he as good or better than most of the veteran junk like Garcia, Hollandsworth or Michael Tucker? Absolutely!

My OF depth chart right now would be:
Bourn (could be higher, but I want him to get AAA ABs)

And unless Bobby Scales threw like a girl, there is no question he would have been a more valuable player than Nunez last year.

I'm not saying he's great and overlooked. I'm saying his numbers make him worth a look. I'm not disagreeing with your point about age of a player and the league he's in. But given he had a good full season at AAA, and continued to put up consistently good OBP numbers regardless of the level, I'm happy to take a look at the guy. Like RSB said - back up options are a good thing. Especially with the combination of gimpy and hard-running that we have in our outfield right now.

Jason, as Clout correctly surmises, I have been waiting for your second post on Greg Jacobs.

Actually, the quality of baseball in the Northern League and the Atlantic League -- the two top independent leagues IMO -- is very comparable to something between MLB-affiliated AA and AAA. While there assuredly will be those -- presumably Clout included -- who disagree, a number of Northern League and Atlantic League players go back and forth between MLB-affiliated AA and AAA clubs -- and their numbers generally are quite comparable.

IMO, Greg Jacobs was a positive, inexpensive, no-risk acquisition, likely with the intention of Jacobs simply being organizational depth at Ottawa, but if Jacobs is given a chance to get some innings and at bats in ST, as I said before, Jacobs will likely surprise favorably. Of course, a Gillick recycle like Dobbs will likely relegate and consign Jacobs to a few at bats and a reassignment to the club's minor league camp.

Nevertheless, I saw Jacobs play in two Northern League series last sumer (in Fargo and Winnnipeg) and he plays high level major league quality outfield defense, has an excellent arm, and hits ropes with a quick bat. We'll see.

"Looking at his numbers, he has a better chance of a call-up than garcia..."

Let's try to remember the kind of hitters you want on the bench. Near the top of the list is someone who can hit the ball out of the park when the team is behind in the late innings. Does that sound more like Garcia or any of the other AAA fodder?

The Indy leaguers are between AA and AAA? Dream on, DavThom. The players you cite are the older ones with some experience. The rosters are filled out with guys looking for an opportunity. Somewhere between high A and AA is more like it -- except, of course, I forgot, they must be better because major league scouts passed on them and they want to play anyway. Hey, anything beats learning to work the forklift at Home Depot.

Dobbs deserves a shot here just because their is no definite 5th outfielder. Dobbs looks like an average hitter at best but I more concerned about his speed/defense. Figure the 5th outfielder will get alot of time late in games replacing Burrell.

That said, Bourn, Garcia (Karim), or Dobbs will likely claim the last spot in the OF once the smoke clears in March.

has anyone heard about the phils maybe trading aaron rowand to san diego? i really don't like that very much...i think rowand is a great fit w/ the phillies...what do yall think?

DavThom - listening to Jason's interview with jacobs, he knows gillick pretty well from his time at seattle - jacobs go so far as to say that he thought he was one of gillick's favourites. So technically, jacobs is also a Gillick recycle.

kdon- as you may know, I was co-head of the Bobby Scales fan club and was very disappointed to see him NOT called up at all last season, especially with the struggle of Nunez...ok, joking aside.

I'm personally a fan of all these minor league signings for Ottawa, because it gives insurance should someone on the MLB roster go on the DL for a 2 week stretch. I know Karim Garcia, Randall Simon, Ron Calloway, Jim Rushford, Brett Abernathy, Greg Dobbs, Lou Collier, Greg Jacobs, and others aren't going to set the world on fire, but we don't really have anyone ready at the Triple A level, so these signings are good as long as the players are kept primarily in the wings waiting for an opportunity.

Olney has been reporting a rumour that rowand goes to san diego for a reliever - apparently he thought the phils were aiming at linebrink. There was discussion of it over at Back She Goes.

Personally, I don't mind, because I think it gives us a chance to put vic at centre and trade lieber for a RF half of a platoon, upping our overall outfield production.

A lot of debate for a minor league guy. The more of these guys you throw against the wall, the better chance one will stick. This is a minor aquisition.

This season can't start soon enough.

I second that notion Tony!

Just read Paul Hagen's article at about the possibility that Burrell's bat woes were due to eyesight problems. Bad foot, bad eyes, yuck!!!

I don't buy the bad eyesight problem Fred. The article said his depth perception is off the charts. The problem is his swing is so long that if he swung at those inside pitches there wood be firewood all over the infield.

Burrell is what he is. I'm not expecting him to have break out year or anything. Another vintage Burrell 260-375-480 year would be great.

And if we're checking someones eyes how bout we check NUNEZ!!!!!!!

Just read something on ESPN that said Schilling is going to pitch in "08." Unless I'm losing my mind, I thought he said he was going to retire before last year, or at a bear minimum after last year. Anyway, his contract is up with the Sox. I wonder what you guys would think of a Schilling swan song back in Philly? I dont know if Schilling would do it, and I dont know how much money it would cost, but if we won the WS with Schilling on the hill, I think it would be a fitting end to the last of the '93' players still around.

COntract up after 07 season that is.

I don't mind the Phils stockpiling these types of guys for spring training-hey you never, know, maybe one pans out. However, nothing about this guy really stands out---except his age and he's a converted pitcher. NEXT.

The problem with a depth chart is that after Jayson Werth, you only need to worry about, at most, two spots, and I believe they will go to predictable options like Dobbs or Roberson. Jacobs is Triple-A depth.

I wonder if the Phillies are interested in any of our minor leaguers -- if they go to Reading, rather than Ottawa? Reading might be the AAA for the '07 season as Ottawa is on the other side of the world. I know the O's used to always put there 26-32 members of their roster at Bowie.

That's an excellent point, Brad. I will follow up on this.

Oisin, interesting post. I didn't hear the jacobs ionterview to which you refer -- but it seems as though a Dobbs-Jacobs battle for a bench slot will be a duel of "Gillick recycles." There are indeed a lot of them in the Phillies' camp now.

Alby, when I said that two specific independent leagues -- the Northern League and the Atlantic League -- played a quality of baseball somewhere between MLB-affiliated AA and AAA, that was not an original assessment. A number of MLB-employed scouts and farm directors have said similar things. Your reference to independent league baseball in a "one size fits all" manner is simply not acccurate. There is a substantial difference in quality between independent leagues, and the Northern Lerague and the Atlantic League are at the top of the indy leagues.

When you look to compare the quality of competition between an independent league and MLB-affiliated AA and AAA leagues, a sound place to look are the comparative performances of players who have played in both independent and MLB-affiliated minor leagues, one seasoni to the next, or within the same season. And my point was simply that, "a number of Northern League and Atlantic League players go back and forth between MLB-affiliated AA and AAA clubs -- and their numbers generally are quite comparable."

And I stand by that correct statement.

DavThom, I cannot speak to the Northern League. But I've seen a lot of Atlantic League baseball and with the exception of the occasional Stephen Drew type situation, I find the overall talent of the Atlantic League way below AA or AAA. I've also spoken to scouts (I don't know any farm directors) who share this opinion.

I would agree with Billy Mac. It's an opinion that's changed since I started this site. From time to time, I look at Lancaster's roster. It's pretty awful, and the caliber of play is awful. They house players who couldn't hack it in Double-A let alone Triple-A, and they become stars there. You'll even find players they rounded up from local semi-pro leagues.

As for how this relates to Jacobs, I'd wager he has a better chance of being at Double-A than seeing any time in the majors next season.

Hey billy you sould like you dont know the game or even put on a jock ever in your life. Once you look at this guy Jacobs you would know he is a gamer and if you saw him play you would say he is a should be in MLB. He has the #s. So why not talk SH** on him when he fails at it not before, I promise he will make you eat your words. Come down to Clearwater and see him play you might even become a fan of him and want him in Philly!

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