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Thursday, June 07, 2007


my understanding is that LaPorta is extremely unlikely, since he's probably only a year or two from the majors and can't play anything other than first base. unless they expect Howard to fall off a cliff, he doesn't make a lot of sense.

Borbon I think would be a nightmare - he's the quintessential raw, toolsy kind of guy who goes into our system and dies.

Dominguez and Mesoraco both look pretty good based on what I've read. both appear to be plus defensively and not all that raw for prep players.

"When talking about his own experience with the amateur draft, Arbuckle said that he has worked for three GMs in his Phils tenure (Thomas, Wade, and Gillick) and said there are no significant differences on how they approach the draft."

I'm guessing that means they're all pretty hands off. Which is probably not great news, considering the org's draft results through that timeframe have been spotty at best. Doesn't sound like Gillick has much input into changing the most glaring weakness of the franchise. Awesome.

gr, When Arbuckle made this comment, he was addressing two main facets of the Phils' draft philosophy which he says has remained unchanged in all his time here.
1) Taking the highest ceiling player, regardless of positional need. Some would say this is the Phils penchant for choosing raw, toosy players through the years.
2) The Scouting Director along with the scouts really run the draft -- although the GM and assistant GM provide input.

If the Phils don't get Dominguez in the first round, they need to tab Frazier in the supplemental round. We desperately need to make a very high third base selection!

I think I read on that one guy they are sorta (stress "sorta") looking at his the closer from Vanderbilt-Weathers?

Weathers would be interesting; I've seen some scouts say he could even pitch in the majors this year. I think most of the mocks I've seen have him going much earlier, but who really knows, right?

Yesterday afternoon on a radio station Arbuckle made statements that the Phillies aren't afraid to take a chance on players they think have a high upside then used JD Drew as an example. How are they taking a chance on a player when he tells him there is no way he will sign with them? To me it is just stupid and is symptomatic of the problems that plague this organization.

He could fill an immediate need (not that he'd be ready right now) and send Myers back to the rotation. Fun to speculate, but you're right, who knows.

"The Phillies philosophy will be to the take the best available player, based on highest ceiling, not position."

Genius philosophy, seeing as the Phillies are in need in EVERY position in their farm system.

Absolutely agree with JHZ. The highest ceiling players almost always carry a higher degree of risk; I would rather have a productive if not superstar player with a higher chance of making the majors than another Jeff Jackson. Guys with lots of power but big holes in their swings have high ceilings, but it's predicated on the idea that you can fix the holes. This organization has a dreadful track record with such players. This makes me very worried about them taking that power hitter from Hillsborough High with their first pick. I'd be far more interested in one of the several third basemen, particularly Dominguez, who is seen as an excellent glove.

Please no Borbon!

Ben Maller's rumor wire states: "The speculation continues, but Pat Gillick reiterated yesterday that he isn't primed to return to Seattle. The Phillies' general manager dismissed a report Sunday that he could join a bid to buy the Seattle Mariners. And yesterday he said there is no truth to rumblings in the baseball community that he could leave the Phils to become Seattle's club president. "No," he said. "I have not been contacted by Seattle. I'm loving my time in Philly. I love the city. I love the fans." Gillick was Seattle's general manager from 2000 to 2003 and served as a special consultant for the team from 2004 to 2005. Chuck Armstrong is the Mariners' president, but there is talk of a shake-up after the season. "I'm hearing it all over the place," a baseball executive said yesterday. "I'm not hearing it from bozos. I'm hearing it from respectable people - people who would know. It's all over baseball. From what I'm hearing, [Gillick] can go there right now and be the club president."

I'd say that PG is a gone pecan by year end and we'll just have to get used to Junior!

The two "higest ceiling" guys on the Phillies roster are Utley & Howard, and both played college ball.

Perhaps with a high school pitcher, a GM or scout can make some plausible projections about the player's future major league prospects -- though, as we saw with Gavin Floyd, those projections are hardly scientific. But at least pitchers have skills that can either be measured (i.e., velocity) or are readily detectable to the naked eye (i.e., the sharpness of a breaking pitch). With an everyday player, I just don't see how you can make any projections based on a high school track record. The level of competition is so vastly inferior to even the low minor leagues as to make any attempted projections meaningless.

b_a_p, you don't think potential Cy Young winner Hamels has a high ceiling? what about Rollins?

another pitfall to ignoring prep prospects is that you end up with a much older team. compare our core of Utley (28) and Howard (27) to the Mets' core of David Wright (24, prep draft pick) and Jose Reyes (24, undrafted FA at age 17).

"To me it is just stupid and is symptomatic of the problems that plague this organization."

JH2, you are correct. These people think they are really smart baseball people, but their track record does not demonstrate it.

They are also PR idiots. On the last thread Angelo Cataldi was quoted at the end of his interview with Chris Coste:

"Thanks, Chris Coste. Phils didn't want him to come on (WIP) . . . they (the Phillies) thought he would make them look bad."

How stuoid are these people? They must sit at the bank and not listen to talk radio or read blogs at all.

Do they really think that it would take an interview with Chris Coste to make them look bad?

They looked bad when they signed Barajas, a move that was ripped by many on this blog.

They looked bad when they didn't bring the best 25 players north.

They looked bad when they didn't address the bullpen in the offseason.

They looked bad when The Puppet called Seattle Stew into his office to scold him for saying what any fan with eyes already knew about The Puppet's ballclub, crystallizing for every fan that the owners only care about the money.

They looked bad when the didn't require Garcia to get a physical before consummating the trade for him.

Do I need to go on? These people are tonedeaf, have no PR savvy, and hiring Scott Palmer hasn't helped one bit.

I hate to change this from a Draft thread to some sort of Coste thread, but playing Devil's advocate here-Is it common for a team to allow a AA player to speak to the media in the city of the parent team?
"Thanks, Chris Coste. Phils didn't want him to come on (WIP) . . . they (the Phillies) thought he would make them look bad."

That quote may very well be true. I know it's another sport/organization, but remember the Eagles wouldn't even allow their franchise QB to speak to the media not that long ago.

Just a thought.

Ae, I was talking about everyday players, so I didn't include Cole. And, yes, Rollins has a high ceiling but I used the words "two highest ceiling players" and, while Rollins is an excellent player, I don't think he is, or will ever be, quite at the level of Howard or Utley.

The point of my post was twofold. First, it's rubbish that high school players have higher ceilings than college players. Second, while there may be some science to projecting the future major league performance of a high school pitcher, that is far less so with everyday players. Once in a blue moon you might get lucky, as they did with Rollins. But, just because you hit a big jackpot on the lottery once every ten years does not mean that buying $20 of lottery tickets every week is a sound investment strategy.

Rollins, Utley, Howard, Myers, Hamels . . . weren't all of these guys drafted under Arbuckle? Seems like we can all agree that the one positive thing that the Phillies have going for them, the reason they compete for a playoff spot every year is this core group. If there have been five studs drafted in ten or twelve years I would say that this is a better than average drafting. The barren farm system looks to be systematic of many years in the top half of the league as well as trades and free agent signings (both also due to the fact that the Phils have competed for a playoff spot for the past half dozen years)

Let it also be noted that guys like Utley and Hamels weren't number one picks - there were 14 and 18 players, respectively, drafted before them who are not performing up to their level (the 00 draft a little more so than the 02) - does Arbuckle get credit for what seems to be a discerning eye in these respective first rounds?

The '00 draft was recognized as the weakest in many years. Utley was considered a ML-caliber hitter but mid-1st-round pick from the beginning, mainly because he was considered a weak defender. It wasn't so much that the PHillies recognized his talent as that they ignored the weak spot in his game; I'm not sure they knew how hard he would work to improve himself in that area.

I don't think Arbuckle is all that bad. They lacked picks recently, which doesn't help and their development sucks (see yesterday's thread).They've got some young talent in A ball. I love D'Arby Myers.

well, b_a_p, you may have a point there. but other teams - like the Mets, as I said in my following post - seem to have no problem coming up with great players from prep prospects (and I'm sure that they had their share of missteps too; that's the nature of any draft). I don't see it as a question of luck, I see it as a question of smart scouting.

for instance, one of the reasons Mesoraco's stock has gone up in recent weeks is that he's much less raw than other prep schoolers. he has a reputation for a good "wooden bat" swing - i.e., he's not the Golson type who's seen to have lots of potential but needs intensive coaching to have a shot at realizing it. I would much rather have the Phils draft a player like that than a player like Borbon, who despite having three years of college experience is still reportedly very raw.

O'Neil, I would agree. I think their development of players is far worse than their talent evaluation in the draft.

Let's see what happens with Gavin Floyd in Chicago. If he winds up successful at the MLB level, that would seem to point a very large prehensil digit at the Phils for failing to develop him properly.


Other than Wright, name one player on the Mets who was DRAFTED out of high school. Reyes did not play college ball but he wasn't acquired in the draft.

I don't know what the Mets' minor league system currently looks like, but I certainly wouldn't cite the Mets as an example of a team with great drafting. They built their team the "new-fashioned" way -- by spending big money to raid other team's good players.

I don't think that's entirely fair, AWH; nobody's farm system bats a thousand. look at Victorino - the Dodgers (who have been pretty good at coming up with hitting prospects lately) gave up on him so completely they didn't even want him back when we offered him, and we managed to turn him into a pretty good player. of course that one example doesn't really prove anything about Philly or LA's farm system; but then neither does Floyd.

and FWIW, Floyd is currently at 3-3 in 10 starts for Chicago's AAA team. he has a 3.86 ERA and 1.39 WHIP in 58 innings.

What's with the flowered shirt? Does Gillick require that or is it some sort of baseball exec uni?

Last night, Kyle Kendrick pitched the first nine-inning complete game for any Reading Phillies player in almost a year. Zach Segovia pitched the last nine-inning complete game on July 4, 2006, for the Reading Phillies.

Kendrick threw 106 pitches, 70 for strikes, and had the following to say after the game:

"It's nice to get a CG," Kendrick said, "but better to get a win, to tell you the truth. (Chris) Coste called a great game behind the plate, my fastball command was pretty good I think it was down most of the time. My slider in the later innings was good, also my changeup in the later innings helped me out too. All around I felt pretty good."

Also, indy league off-season signee Greg Jacobs, now with the R Phillies, is now batting .310, with a .500 slg.%, and 7 home runs, has 23 RBIs in his last 25 games, and 38 RBIs in 52 games this season.

R Phillies link:

well, I wasn't picking out the Mets as necessarily the paragon of drafting excellence, just pointing out that they've had ample success with young players. I'm not at all familiar with their farm system either, although I'm pretty sure Milledge was a high schooler when he was drafted.

I guess my big problem with your posts is that you're assuming that all prep schoolers are raw and all college players are not. I do agree that many - but by no means all - prep schoolers are raw. but I don't think it's blind luck that separates the Wrights and Mauers from the Golsons and Jacksons, it's good scouting (and, of course, good minor league coaching).

Danger, Will Robinson: this line from the draft story, based on an interview with Wolever:

Some names to consider, should they fall to No. 19: RHP Jarrod Parker, Norwell (Ind.) High School; C Travis d'Arnaud, Lakewood (Calif.) High School; RHP Phillippe Aumont, Ecole du Versant, Gatineau, Quebec; LHP Ross Detwiler (Missouri State); LHP Josh Smoker, Sugar Valley (Ga.) Calhoun H.S.; 3B Kevin Ahrens, Memorial High School, Houston, Texas.

One of those names is not like the others, in that I've never seen it in a mock draft 1st round:
C Travis d'Arnaud, Lakewood (Calif.) High School.

Am I being paranoid in guessing that this means the Phillies have overrated this guy, and that he'll be their first pick?

I like Victorino, but i'm not sure if I'd call him a polished player. He's made some baserunning blunders. Didn't both the Padres and Dodgers give up on him? I'm guessing they did b/c he was prone to some of the same mistakes. I think he has a good phuture here, however.


I don't think drafting & scouting are blind luck. But I do think you have to play the percentages to a certain extent. I'm not advocating that the Phillies draft ONLY college players, but I do think that's where their emphasis should be, particularly in the early rounds where you pay a much greater price for being wrong. Save your "toolsy" athlete picks for the later rounds. There are plenty of those guys out there.

Um, wasn't Cole Hamels drafted out of high school? Or does your emphasis on college players doctrine only apply to position players?

BAP: The highest ceiling, highest risk approach to the draft is probably the best approach IF, and I repeat, IF you have a first rate minor league development staff that can get the best out of raw athletes.

If you do not have such a staff, the wiser choice is to draft more projectable college players.

The Braves take the first approach and it has paid off. The A's take the second approach because of finances and because they're more stat oriented. The Phillies take the first approach, but fare poorly at developing raw athletes.


Keith Law recently wrote a great column on regarding the conflict between high schoolers and college guys: - the upshot is, you just need to find the right guys, regardless of where you get them from. It would be nice if the Phils organization gave you any confidence that they could develop a "raw" athlete, but I don't think their history in that regard is very strong.

As far as making generalizations regarding the polish of high schoolers vs. college guys...I don't think you can. Are the college guys more emotionally mature? Probably. But was Alex Rodriguez not polished as a baseball player coming out of HS? Ken Griffey Jr.? Manny Ramirez? There are plenty of examples both ways. The Phils just need to get it right...

And as for saving the "toolsy" athlete picks until the later rounds...usually the opposite happens, as those guys are the most expensive to sign. The high school kids usually have partial scholarships waiting for them at can be costly to buy those kids out of that potential destination and I don't think we'll be seeing the Phils break the bank in the later rounds to pay big bonuses keeping kids out of college. That's been the MO for the Red Sox and Yankees for the past couple of years though, and it's worked wonders toward building depth in their systems. But the Phils brass is too tight with the MLB bigwigs to dare try a strategy like that...

It definitely applies more to position players than to pitchers. But, to some extent, it applies to both. In 16 years of drafting mostly high school pitchers, they've managed to land one potential star & one decent major league starter/reliever (Myers). Two successes in 16 years are hardly enough to validate the overall strategy.

I don't want to sound like I'm being an absolutist here. The bottom line is that there is no one right or wrong way to approach the draft. Different approaches do work for different organizations. But, as Clout points out, there is a fundamental mismatch between the Phillies' weakness at developing players & their philosophy of drafting raw talent.

there was a very good post over on A Citizen's Blog a couple days ago about the college/high school divide. one fact that contradicts a lot of conventional wisdom: the Phils and Beane's A's are virtually identical in terms of the proportion of high schoolers drafted from 2004-2006: about 40% for Philly and about 35% for Oakland. (the two extremes were Anaheim - 92% HS - and Toronto - 7% HS.)

again, I think the fallacy being made here is assuming that all prep and all college prospects are alike. that's not true. some college (position player) prospects are still very raw, while some prep prospects are only 2-3 years from the big leagues.

well, that's overstating it; 3-4 years is probably more accurate.

P O'Neil: I'm guessing that the Padres and Dodgers gave up on Vic because of what the scouting reports were on him: Good speed, good glove, no power, poor strike zone judgment. Probable future: 4th or 5th outfielder. Obviously, he turned out better than that, although I don't think his future is as an everyday corner outfielder.

I agree, the guy's a center fielder.

From Jayson Stark on

"While the Phillies prefer to market Aaron Rowand for bullpen help, another outfielder in Philadelphia has started to attract some interest: rookie sprint champ Michael Bourn. If the right bullpen arm is ever offered for him, it would force the Phillies to resolve their internal tug-of-war over whether Bourn is a future star or merely a fourth outfielder with off-the-charts speed. We've heard scouts voice both opinions, so it's no surprise the Phillies are as divided over Bourn's talents as they've been with any position-player prospect in years."

interesting fact in the crawl on MLB's draft broadcast - the Mets have no 1st round pick for the second consecutive year. with all the arguments about the Phils' lost draft picks, I wonder how this will affect our neighbors in NYC.

I would agree with poster (forget who) a few days ago who said nobody should ever trade an everyday player for a middle reliever. I would extend that to the 4th outfielder.

I would trade Bourn for a decent reliever in a second...


I'm sure they're not thrilled with having no first round picks, but at the same time, they've got oodles of cash and typically, a good farm system/scouts. Probably don't care as much as we would.

there goes Weathers from Vandy at 8, to Colorado.

you would think that coste would be enough to get a decent reliever.

gosh, i wonder why they don't do that.

Does that free up Fuentes, to be traded to the Phils?

Coste for a decent reliever? I'd say Coste will get you an up and down reliever type. Ron Villone.

it would sure seem to make Fuentes a viable trade option. although the Rockies are sure to wait for his prices to go up as long as he pitches well.

Florida snaps up Dominguez...that's too bad.

After Florida #12
Three Top Hitters Left

Jason Heyward OF
Devin Mesoraco C
JP Arencibia C Blue Jay Like him

Arencibia hasn't been tabbed as a first rounder, as far as I've seen.

too bad Cleveland took Mills - a college 3B would have made a lot of posters very happy. :)

Toronto is reportedly all over college catcher J.P. Arencibia with one of their two first-round picks. Arencibia went into the spring as a possible top ten pick, but a nagging back injury kept him from playing at his best. If he can get healthy, he’s a solid pick here, and the team is suddenly worried that he won’t be around at 21.

Jason Heyward OF is a Georgia Boy

Atlanta is on the clock

one mock draft. most of what I've seen has him as a supplemental round guy. not saying it won't happen, but he's not one of the top 3 bats on the board right now, at least by general consensus.


3 3Bs gone in the first 13 picks. It's like a conspiracy to keep Abe Nunez employed.

Groundhog boy is gone. Swiped up by Cincy.

Mesoraco to Cincinnati - another one down. get ready for Toolsy Outfielder Time.

another 3B off the board; you can probably say goodbye to solving that problem internally.

Damn, 25% of the picks thus far have been 3B?

Whats up with that?

Looking more and more like Arencibia.

it'll be Borbon or Burgess before Arencibia.

We're on the clock...who do we pick?

Well I wish it wasn't Borbon. But that's the more logical Phillie choice.

Sweet maybe Borbon can live with Reggie Taylor when he washes out of A-Ball

Pick Porecllo or Main, please!

don't get me wrong - I hope to God it's not Borbon or Burgess.

Or Harvey!

Why not Borbon?

Arencibia or a Pitcher

Schmidt, Smoker, Harvey, Main, Portello

Not in that order


He's a CF. No more CFers.

Savery! now that's a surprise.


Wow, just wow. Was Savery a bigger prospect before he had Labrum surgery? I haven't heard this guys name before.

He's not a center fielder. ESPN has him as a lefty pitcher and somone who crushes at 1st too.

What's the deal with Savery?

I was talking about Borbon.

I've never heard of half of these guys, and the ones I have heard of are way past there prime.

Most of these guys never had a prime.

This guy here is dead!!

Cross him off then (or let the Phils draft him)

Wow. Nice pick. He could realistically step in next year. Phillips thinks he could be a complement to Hamels.

it's interesting that he's a pretty good hitter, but as a college 1B I'm sure Philly isn't thinking about that.

Kevin Goldstein (1:06:10 PM PST): Give credit to Bryan Smith here -- he mentioned Savery prior to the pick over IM. I love this pick, and like they said on TV, this is a guy who is a top 15 talent who was hurt this year, and if he comes back, he's possibly a steal here. I love this pick.

Your Conscience,

What are you talking about ?

Here's what USA Today Has on him:

Joe Savery, Rice

What he is: 6-3, 215-pound junior left-hander

2007: 9-1, 2.91 ERA

Career: 22-7, 2.66 ERA

Draft projection: First round, 15-to-25 range

This season: Savery began slowly after shoulder surgery to remove a bone spur last winter and is just starting to cut loose his 90-mph-plus fastball. His strikeouts are down (54 in 801/3 innings from 62 in 62 innings a year ago) but he has been a steady front-of-the-rotation ace for a 49-12 team that could win it all.

Inside pitch: Scouts will be monitoring Savery in the postseason to see if he can ramp up the fastball. If so, his combination of power and versatility make him a two-way prospect. He leads the Owls in hitting (.364) and is second in runs batted in (52) while playing first base and appearing in every game.

Maybe he can play 3B?

I like it, but does anyone know is Savery is toolsy?!

Best part of the MLB profile on him is the last line: "That said, he could end up being a steal for a team willing to take a chance after the first round."

What's with Phila teams taking guys earlier than they were expected to be drafted this year?

Shoulder bone spur?

Doesn't sound like a "structural" or chronic problem.

I'll take it. You can never have too many pitching prospects.

he can pitch, he can hit, he's toolsy!

I'm fine with the pick.

coming off a shoulder injury with declining strikeout rates? yikes...

MLB scouting says it was a torn labrum. Why are we reaching for a guy in the first round? By all accounts he may have been there in the supplemental round. But you just drafted a guy higher than he was projected when he hasn't been 100% all year, I has no movement on his fastball, he throws few breaking balls because of the injury and his best attribute outside of being able to be the DH when he's pitching is a change-up that he can control. I'm all about great change-ups but this just seems like a bad decision. You have no idea how much I hope I'm wrong.

You saw how Cholly used Eaton as a Pinch Runner the other night. This guy has Teacher's Pet written all over him.

The sad part is that when Manuel (God forbid he's still around) pinch hits for Nunez with the "toolsy lefty pitcher," it will actually be an upgrade.

I find it incredibly hard to get worked up over a baseball draft pick.

We all know it's a crap shoot.

Two cautionary words - Brien Taylor.

You NEVER know.

Yeah it is a very risky pick; but the Phils did say they'd go with the best available, and if they were going by ceiling, this guy might have been it (although part of me wishes they went with Harvey, despite Boras).

Your Conscience - says that it was "minor surgery to shave down a bone growth in the back of his shoulder that was causing some fraying in his labrum" and "Savery could be a steal if he slides into the second half of the first round".

Anyway, I may be wrong, but didn't the Phillies do pretty well with a first round pick of a left handed pitcher who had injury questions & a sweet changeup a few years ago?

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