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Friday, January 28, 2011


Well, along with Anderson, perhaps Grilli will surprise and contribute at the MLB level.

Since we're talking about older prospects, go take a look at

Sickels has a review of his top 50 hitting and pitching prospects for 2006.

Of interest to Phillies' fans is the presence of Cole Hamels on the list at #42. Gio Gonzalez is also on the list ranked higher than Cole.

Grilli is minor league depth. If he pitches anywhere other than LV it will be a minor miracle.

Scratch that - MAJOR miracle.

A nice low risk signing if it has indeed gone down.

How bored can you be as baseball writer/blogger/whatever to make up false Jason Grilli rumors?

From the last thread:
"2003's top pick: 2B Timothy Moss.

Another fine selection by the Phillies."

How many times have I heard this? Moss was a 3rd rounder. Almost all 3rd round picks amount to nothing.

The Phils "Toolsy McTools" approach is very interesting. Many high pick busts but a they've churned out quite a bit of usable talent from later rounds. It's kind of a venture capital style of drafting.

On topic (Grilli): Yawn.

was just reading a couple threads back on the whole halladay/eskin thing. i know halladay has talked SEVERAL times since the season ended. he talked to zolecki, he is on a video on being interviewed just a couple weeks ago I think, he has talked about the Lee signing as well

Speaking of "tools" this should cheer everyone up.

2001 starting rotation

Andy Ashby
Bruce Chen
Omar Daal
Vicente Padilla
Paul Byrd

2011 starting rotation

"Silent Roy" Halladay
Cliff Lee
Roy Oswalt
Cole Hamels
Joe Blanton

The 2001 team won 86 games with that rotation.

Omar Daal shoulda been a third baseman.

Hard to believe Bruce Chen is still floating around.

Edmundo: Domonic Brown excepted, most of the Phillies' good late-round picks (and most of their good picks in general) have come when they have abandoned the "Toolsy McTools" approach.

It's interesting that at Baseball-Reference they list Chris Brock and Jerry Spradlin as the most comparable to him, both ex-Phils.

Also hard to believe that Byrd and Padilla actually had somewhat respectable careers long after 2001.

Wow, what a difference a decade makes!

NEPP - from your previous draft rundown Julio Rodriguez might merit more than 'another guy' mention. Klaw and Mayo both have him high if I'm not mistaken.

Re: the Bartolo Colon signing from yesterday's thread..

I think most MLB teams would throw a minor league deal at Colon... whats the worst that could happen?

So you have to ask yourself why would Colon pick the Yankees? He is going to pick a team that gives him the best chance for making the major league roster and right now, that the Yankees.. thats such as change from just a few years ago... its nuts..

****NEPP - from your previous draft rundown Julio Rodriguez might merit more than 'another guy' mention. Klaw and Mayo both have him high if I'm not mistaken.****

Probably right. I'll be honest, I was running out of time and had to run to an appointment so I rushed that list. He's been a pleasant surprise.

Keith Law's sleeper prospect to watch in 2011 for the Phils:

Aaron Altherr is an outstanding athlete who has a ways to go as a baseball player. He has a good idea of the zone and is balanced at the plate, even though it's not a classic swing. The Phils will try him at third base this year after he improved his throwing mechanics. He's a plus runner and has the upside you'd expect of this kind of size (6-foot-4, 190 pounds) and athleticism.

"Try him at 3B?"

Anyone want to take a shot at his over/under for Errors in 2011?

I'm going with 50.

Aaron Altherr is 6'4"? He could be an All Star third baseman with that height.

My apologies. I know that joke died a long time ago, but it's still the first thing I think of when a potential third baseman and height are mentioned.

Sorry I'm being nitpicky today for some reason. Back to work.

R. Billingsly: No worries. That joke isn't dead. It will likely never die.

RBill, no apology necessary. I still laugh at the joke. The unnamed former poster here who originally made that assertion gave us an opinion from an alternate universe that I still find hysterical in its' absurdity.

A prospect not only needs to have tools, but they need the ability to control and command their tools! See, I'm learning stuff on BL!

On a more serious note --

The last few threads have been a great way to catch up on the pharm without having to do the heavy lifting. So thank you to all that have contributed.

I still have to pinch myself when I think about the fact that we unloaded a ton of minor league talent/prospects to get Lee, Halladay and Oswalt and still have a top minor league system, flush with exciting young talent. It's amazing.

I have a young son (still too young to know anything about anything, let alone baseball), but I have a feeling that he's going to be growing up in a time where the Phillies are the toast of the National League. Even if they fall from grace, it won't be so far removed that the mystique had worn off. Quite different from my baseball watching childhood of the late '80s/early '90s.

Billingsley - The joke doesn't die. That's what I was referencing with Daal.

Andy: Didn't see your reference, which was much more clever than mine. How did I miss that?

Then Altherr will make fewer errors at third than that great Houston prospect Villar made last year at short who made only 56 errors.

Altherr's a great kid in the one chance I had to meet him and watching him in extended spring training and Williamsport last year. Body type and athleticism similar to Jayson Werth.

^^Turns off Lurker Mode.

I was under the impression that the following were always acceptable as humor on BL:

"Joe Player is too tall/too short to play third base."

"Victorino is actively hurting this team."

"Season = Over"

"Joe Player is trending upwards/downwards."

Returns to Lurker Mode.

Aaron Altherr is the flavor of the month it seems.

You know how the various sports Hall of Fames sometimes admit non-players who made outstanding and lasting contributions to the game? Well, there ought to be a wing in the Beerleaguer Elite for posters who have made outstanding and lasting contributions to Beerleaguer, irrespective of the quality of their posts. Under these criteria, I nominate MVPTommy for admission. 10 years from now, Utley, Howard, Halladay, & Rollins will all be retired & rarely ever mentioned on Beerleaguer. But something tells me we will still be talking about 3rd basemen's height.

clout: from the list of prospects voted in at Phuture Phillies -

14. Aaron Altherr, OF
15. Phillippe Aumont, RHP
16. JC Ramirez, RHP
17. Matt Rizzotti, 1B
18. Jon Pettibone, RHP
19. Austin Hyatt, RHP
20. Cesar Hernandez, 2B
21. Harold Garcia, 2B
22. Kelly Dugan, OF
23. Michael Schwimer, RHP
24. Colby Shreve, RHP
25. Freddy Galvis, SS
26. Josh Zeid, RHP
27. Leandro Castro, OF

****I have a young son (still too young to know anything about anything, let alone baseball), but I have a feeling that he's going to be growing up in a time where the Phillies are the toast of the National League. ****

Minor league games are a great way to get a kid loving baseball.

On Altherr: I saw him in person last year. He looks like a track star. I dont know how he'll handle 3B but he's one hell of an athlete. It could and will be ugly at times as he'll be learning 3B on the fly in Lakewood but we should give the guy a chance. He was a SS in High School so he's familiar with the infield.

Altherr is in a similar position to Jiwan James a year ago. He's getting a lot of press, but no one really knows what he'll do in a full season.

James' season was OK. It was good enough to keep him on the legitimate prospect radar, but not great enough to realistically think we have something special on our hands--he held serve, but didn't make a ton of progress. He still has a lot to prove this year.

Altherr would be fine with that sort of performance this year at Low-A, but I'd like to see a real breakout from him. He does seem to have immense physical tools and from following the box scores and reading the scouting reports seems to have a good sense of the strike zone. I'm cautiously optimistic with him.

Altherr looked like more of a baseball player to me than James. Both are long-shot toolshed types.

Both would make great basketball players too.

BAP, can we name it the "Sir Alden Wing" of the Beerleaguer Elite Hall of Fame?

Is judging pitchers based on DITHL counts still considered funny?

This is the 1st I've heard of Altherr to 3B. Has anyone seen anything about him working on the position in winter-ball or at the teams spring complex?

OK, I realize that there's very little Phillies news to talk about now, so the Altherrs of the world get discussed.

But seriously, for those of you who have superior knowledge of prospects, what really are Aaron Altherr's chances of making it to MLB as a significant contributor at any position? 10%? 5%?

Man I love this site!

And you're a Phillies fan and waste your time listening to WIP?

awh: Is that really you?

A buddy of mine is a Marlins fan (yes they're rare even in Fort Lauderdale) and he told me that the Mariners @ Marlins series June 24-26 will be played in Seattle with the Marlins as the home team. This is the same thing that happened with the Blue Jays/Phillies series last year. The reason? A U2 concert... on June 29. (source)

So, is this what Eskin wants out of Halladay? I, for one, cannot stand this clown who is clearly desperate for attention.

awh: "But seriously, for those of you who have superior knowledge of prospects, what really are Aaron Altherr's chances of making it to MLB as a significant contributor at any position? 10%? 5%?"

I'd say 2%, but only because I'm in a generous mood.

I would love to see Vegas odds on prospects who make "significant contributors" in the MLB.

If there was a generic way to define that, i bet there would be - such as a career WAR over 30 or something like that.

Actually, erase that post so no else steals my million dollar idea to rip off the entire world of minor leaguer experts - putting money lines on fans' favorites prospects and paying out like 1 of every 100 bets.

... and that one

Phuture Phils - 22. Kelly Dugan

Talk about somebody who has fallen almost completely off the radar. Wonder if he will be able to stay healthy enough to finally give the Phils a good enough look at what they might actually have with him this year. Played in only 73 G the past 2 seasons.

The ultimate 'toolsy' guy the Phils have to have selected in a higher round the past 3 years is Kyrell Hudson (3rd rd pick in '09 draft). Family friend who is a scout and covers A ball in the NE said he is one of the faster guys he has seen in minors last year. Worse plate discipline than Hewitt and a guy he said has no chance of making at AA level where all of the pitchers generally have at least one decent offspeed pitch.

I think I probably would have preferred "Silent Cole", for reasons of historical levity rather than real life blunders.

Looking ahead to the season, are there any humorous stats we should be tracking as a community? "The Howard" is counted elsewhere. Maybe we could tally the number of DITHL/DHL appearances for our relievers and look for correlation with undesirable results.

Considering the Phils have traded away what seems like half their farm system in the last 5 years, other teams seem to value our raw and toolsy prospects quite a bit. To top it off, they STILL have a top 5 system despite that attrition, so talent evaluators outside of MLB seem to value their prospects quite a bit as well. Considering they don't work with a huge draft/scouting budget, it sounds like they're doing just fine on the scouting end of things.

The way I look at it, every team has plenty of organizational fillers and low-impact guys. What makes a system great or not is the number of high-end type prospects it has. The Phils have really focused on this end of things, and it seems to have worked. It doesn't matter if 8 of 10 high-end guys flame out in A ball, cause the 2 that succeed make it worth it.

The odds of making the majors are astronomically low for just about any 19-year old everyday player who has never played in a league higher than A-. But Altherr did hit .297 at 2 levels last year and he does seem to have an ability to make contact. If he can sustain that type of success over a full season at Lakewood, he'll definitely put himself on the map as a legitimate prospect. Until then, he's just a guy worth keeping an eye on.

Boy, I'll never understand the 3rd base/height thing? joke? Every time I read about it I always feel like a total n00b.

Heck, back in the day Ron Cey ("Penguin") was only 5' 10" and did a pretty nice job at 3rd:
* Rookie of the Year
* six-time All Star

Hard to believe he rung up those All Star nominations with Schmitty holding court as NL's premier 3rd basemen.

In today's news, things are looking just peachy for your 2011 NY Metropolitans:

Madoff Lawsuit Forces Mets to Seek More Owners

Hard to believe, Harry.

cut: I think the 3rd base height joke pre-dates your time at Beerleaguer. And, once I explain it, you probably won't even think it's that funny (which, objectively viewed, it really isn't). But it was the context that made it funny.

There used to be a frequent poster named MVPTommy who would post the most inane comments imaginable & then completely monopolize the thread by writing follow-up posts every 2 minutes for the rest of the day (until jw finally banned him). One day, late in the 2009 season, he got on the topic of 3rd basemen usually being tall. If he had stopped there, no one would have taken note since, after all, most third basemen ARE tall. But it was his explanation which became part of Beerleaguer comic lore. Third basemen absolutely had to be tall, he explained, in order to snare those high line drives that get hit down the third base line. When others questioned his claim, he persisted and, two threads later, we were still talking about it.

Quite honestly, his point was nowhere near the most ridiculous thing ever said on Beerleaguer. If anyone else had said it, I seriously doubt the joke would have such lasting power. But somehow or other, it has become the quintessential MVPTommy memory for all of us who were there.

bap -- duly noted. Your explanation provides the context for the humor. I hope MVPTommy found happiness elsewhere - those must have been the days for a contentious Beer Leaguer!

BTW, Mike Schmidt was 6’ 2” – surely he escaped scrutiny, no?

I think 6' is the cutoff for an effective 3B...unless he has long arms.

Polly is simply too short to be a good 3B.

Thats where he comes good NEPP. His arms are deceptively long.

A 6'8" 3B though late in games would really a boost to a team's 'no doubles down the line' defense though.

maybe Eskin's right...why doesn't Halladay ever do interviews or answers the things the fans want to know? I mean c'mon Roy it's the least you could do.

Oh wait, what's that you say, there's a 7 min interview on the phils website where Roy is doing an interview and answering questions sent in by fans?

Eskin's topic for next week...why does Halladay hate the media and fans so much that all his interviews are shorter than 10 min?

Yo, new thread

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