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Friday, June 06, 2014


Also, Mr. Red remains the creepiest mascot in baseball. Mr. Met is more recognizable, and more tragic, but those eyes, man...

'Escalona Express' is going to need an extensive overhaul at the ASB with all the miles the Phils are putting on it from Lehigh Valley to Philly.

Pretty alarming that of the three pieces we got in the Cliff Lee deal, we're actually better off employing an "addition by subtraction" methodology. Cutting Gillies loose was actually long overdue, and I suspect that Aumont is on the same track. It's almost as if we set our organization backwards by "restocking the farm system."


Nola, 21, is eager to get started.

"I kind of want to get going," he said in a telephone interview Thursday night. "I look forward to getting up there."

It sounds like that should not be a problem. Wolever said he thinks they are "very close" to signing Nola. Once he signs, it would not be a surprise to see him begin his professional career with Class A Clearwater, but because he threw 116 1/3 inning this season the Phillies plan to bring him along slowly.

Red Sox have interest in Byrd. Let the fire begin.

The Cedeno move was indeed for Cesar. And he wasn't just optioned, but DFA'd to clear room on the 40-man.

It was Cesar Jimenez, not Hernandez.

Todd Zolecki @ToddZolecki · 36m
The Phillies have selected the contract of INF Ronny Cedeno from Lehigh Valley (AAA) and designated LHP Cesar Jimenez for assignment.

Oh, good, so we're doubling down on yet another utility infielder. I was beginning to get worried there for awhile.

Damn this team with it's plethora of Cesars and Hernandezes!

Anyone want to have a fun read go back and look at the discussions of Gillies on BL in the off-season of 2009-10 in which I was a skeptic and Jack was Gillies' biggest booster. A lot of posters were very impressed with Gillies' bloated High Desert stats.

... *its.

Phillibuster ...

Someone using a word like "plethora" will likely catch the "it's" / "its" grammatical error. ;)

Actually, Clout, I thought Gillies was the best thing in the deal. You thought JC Ramirez was. I think it's pretty obvious that we both had zero clue just how awful both of them were. And the sooner Aumont gets to an organization that has pitching instruction, the sooner he will be a major league pitcher. Because goodness knows it won't happen with the Phillies minor league wasteland.

Which brings me to the most important point: I like the Nola pick and hate the Imhoff pick. Why? Because Imhoff has poor secondary stuff and as we all know by now, whatever a Phillies farmhand brings to the organization is exactly what he leaves it with. They don't learn a darn thing until they get to the majors, except how to lose apparently.

Sally: Well, I did catch it... Just a little late.

Kind of ironic (or "sad," or "pathetic," or "depressing") for a team with a poor track record of coaching and developing young players to also have a reputation for loving Toolsy McToolshed types.

Anyone want to have a fun read go back and look at the discussions of Gillies on BL in the off-season of 2009-10 in which I was a skeptic and Jack was Gillies' biggest booster. A lot of posters were very impressed with Gillies' bloated High Desert stats.

Posted by: clout | Friday, June 06, 2014 at 12:54 PM

If memory serves, you were of the opinion that JC Ramirez was the best piece in that trade.

Looking back, it appears all 3 pieces absolutely sucked arse. So, a push perhaps?

And the sooner Aumont gets to an organization that has pitching instruction, the sooner he will be a major league pitcher.

From all accounts, Aumont simply cant or wont take instruction from anyone. Its a big part of why the Mariners dumped him to us and why he's sucked in our Org too.

A few lonely voices pointed out that Rube had been bent over by the Mariners.

On Ronny Cedeno...its hard to even make fun of Amaro's moves anymore. How many utility infielders is enough for him? He must have been seriously wigging out for the past two weeks with an MLB roster where he was only 2 deep at the infield positions.

Thank god he sent Ruf down to get injured so we could be back at full strength 3 deep at SS.

Phillies OPS+: 11th in NL

Phillies ERA+: 14th in NL

Yes cyclic, but that's probably rock bottom. Ronny Cedeno is here.

From the archives:

Gillies doesn't really impress me...he's all speed. I want to see him do something at Reading before I say anything. Lots of guys look amazing in A+ ball and then suck in AA/AAA.

Posted by: NEPP | Tuesday, December 15, 2009 at 09:52 PM

Pretty much nailed it. My thoughts on Aumont were basically "Great raw stuff and he might be something if he gets good instruction/cleans up his delivery. Mainly I was in that tiny minority of people that ripped the deal a new one for giving up Lee for no reason and I was getting hammered for it repeatedly.

Phillies OPS+: 87
Phillies ERA+: 88

Verdict: They both suck.

Juums this comes late but nice work on the long draft piece.

It's crazy, a few days ago we could still say that despite everything, the Phils are only 5.5 games out and it did't seem ridiculous. Now, we're still only 7 games out, but with this current bunch, bridging that gap may be as fruitless as attempting to leap naked across the Grand Canyon.

I am sticking with my preseason prediction of 74 wins, but that is looking optimistic.

That should read, "with the way this current bunch is playing".

Also, with regard to

Phillies OPS+: 11th in NL

Phillies ERA+: 14th in NL

I wonder if any team has ever finished last in both.

Aaron Brown reports, anyone?

Day 2 (so far):

#81: Brown, Aaron - CF/LHP - Pepperdine (Jr.)
#112: Oliver, Chris - RHP - Arkansas (Jr.)

Brown is our typical raw athletic pick without a ton of OF experience.

Think Jiwan James...

So he'll never help the MLB club.

Probably not...but that's true of most any 3rd round pick.

"Shorter recap of this trade:

Better in 2010 to make a deep postseason run? - No.

Better in 2011 to make a deep postseason run? - Probably but depends on how the Phils deal with several key contracts next offseason.

Better in 2012? - Who knows because Amaro has made every move to focus on the next 2 seasons.

Bullpen? - Still stinks are currently constituted.

Cupboard? - Pretty bare in terms of MLB-ready talent.

Amaro? - Extended the window last year by largely spending more bucks last offseason. Looked like a mad genius for the Lee/Francisco trade.

Who won this thing? - Won't be able to tell who really won this trade until the end of the 2011 season at the earliest.

Below the radar? - Moyer contract. Contract to Moyer with the 2nd year where Amaro backloaded it substantially really came back to bite them in the a$$ this offseason. $8M on a guy who might not even give them much next season.

If you count the $4M on Romero and $12.5M on Lidge, the Phils have a lot of money tied up in pitchers who might not give them much in terms of IP and quality next year with really shaky middle relief.

Posted by: MG | Tuesday, December 15, 2009 at 03:15 PM"

Pretty damn nice recap and it was the middle relief (along with the inability to buy a timely base hit in a few key spots) which did cost the Phils big time in what was a pretty evenly matched '10 NLCS.

'Lee to Seattle' trade will always go down as one of the biggest 'What Ifs' in Philly sports history. If only Amaro hadn't resigned the thoroughly mediocre Blanton, the Phils never would have had to trade Lee for salary relief.

So all college players so far?

Rube clearly has said "old way wasn't working, now we are going to do the complete opposite and only draft college players."

As if it's that simple.

All college juniors...that's important.

No 4/5 year senior Org Filler guys so far at least.

Its the George Costanza "Do the opposite" theory at play really.

I've already reported these college juniors to the NCAA.

I wonder who'd win in a fight between Mr. Red and Mr. Met.

I believe that is a picture of Mr. Redlegs and not of Mr. Red.

Accuracy is important.

#142: Hoskins, Rhys - 1B - Sacramento State (Jr.)

Phils only 2.5 GB from drafting #1 in 2015. you can do it guys!

You just gotta want it!

Matt Gelb (‏@magelb)
The Phillies' fourth-round pick, RHP Chris Oliver from Univ. of Arkansas, was arrested on a DUI charge on Tuesday.

Glad to see the Phillies have done their homework on character guys. Not like the old days when Tyson Gillies . . . oh, never mind.

I see Brown has already been confined to the dustbin of phailed phillies prospects. It only took 2 hours.

Yes, that's why he fell from the mid-60s all the way to 112 for us.

A college kid was drinking and driving...That would be the first time I've ever known a 20 year old to make a poor decision about drinking especially in a college environment.

Remember, he's underage too so any BAC level is considered a DUI at that point so it could have been a .02% for all we know.

Middle relief cost the Phils in 2010?

Arkansas pitcher Chris Oliver arrested for DWI

According to a police report, the 20-year-old pitcher had a blood-alcohol level of 0.09 percent. The limit for drivers under 21 is 0.02 percent.

Thanks Dickie...that does make it look a bit worse.

Still, .09 is basically 2 beers. Hopefully they did their homework and it was an isolated incident.

Kids do stupid things.

You can't make this stuff up!

Iceman - Did you forget watching D. Baez, Romero, C. Durbin, and Herndon mediocre pitching all year and really hurt them a few times in the '10 NLCS series espeically Durbin? I do.

Was looking at mock drafts to see where they had Aaron Brown and I can't find any that had him going below 100. Phils picked him at 81. Maybe a signability issue? Scouts like his power potential and he's decent defensively, but bad BB/K ratio in college and shows no evidence of strike zone recognition.

Out on a limb here clout but he will never make it past Reading.

"You thought JC Ramirez was."

Yes, I remember that too. clout was bigger on JC than the other two.

"A college kid was drinking and driving...That would be the first time I've ever known a 20 year old to make a poor decision about drinking especially in a college environment."

Yeah, I've never HEARD of such a thing.

And no one on this board has ever done it either!

Draft Thoughts:
Third Round: Aaron Brown (OF/LHP)
A two-way player who's not overpowering in the field or on the mound, he offers interesting abilities nonetheless. On the hill he's a fastball/slider/changeup guy whose fastball sits 90-92 with some sink, though he can have trouble keeping it in the zone. The slider flashes above-average and is a swing-and-miss pitch, while the changeup's potentially serviceable, though it's his weakest pitch. He's not the kind of quality strike-thrower the Phils took in the first two rounds, so he's a more natural fit for the bullpen due to his fringy command.

If taken as an OF, he offers an above-average hit tool combined with average power, who offers a potentially above-average arm and glove to make what promises to be a decent-hitting, above-average defender in the OF. The question is where the glove plays up best, as's prospect list grades him out as a 30 runner, which seems to restrict him to an above-average LF or average-at-best RF. (Though's write-up also makes reference to his athleticism being sufficient to play CF, so who knows?) Reaching his offensive upside will take longer than you'd like for a college bat, as he's got a known swing-and-miss tendencies, due to his stance's mechanics and unrefined approach.

Verdict: Not the pick I'd've made, but it's possible Brown's stuff or bat will play up when he's focusing just on pitching or playing a position, so there's legitimate hope for third-round-quality upside there.

Fourth Round: Chris Oliver (RHP)
Is it possible to have a raw and toolsy college pitcher? Oliver's perhaps the closest thing we'll get to that. He pitched all of 36 IP his first two years at the University of Arkansas, before finally earning a rotation spot and regular time in his junior year. This leaves Oliver with high school-grade mileage on his arm, though he pays the price with distinct lack of polish that is what makes college guys attractive.

Oliver's a three-pitch guy, with a fastball that can sit 94-97 in relief outings and 92-94 while starting, though after extended usage it fell into the high-80s. His slider's flashed plus and the changeup has flashed being average, but both remain raw and works-in-progress, with the changeup likely only ever being fringy at best. His command is nothing to write home about and his control's fringy, though whether that's due to lack of mound-time is a legitimate question. Oliver's 6'4" and 180 lb., so the body is rather projectable. Which is a good thing, as Oliver not-infrequently gets out of sorts with his mechanics, though hopefully filling out and greater mound-time will quiet them and let him make the adjustments needed to keep himself together.

Verdict: Oliver's profile is closer to that of an HS pitcher, so don't expect him on the fast-track like most college arms. Again, not the pick I'd make, but the upside is real and a better choice than if you went with someone in the same mold who is in fact an HS pitcher.

Fifth Round: Rhys Hoskins (1B)
Let's see if this sound familiar: Thumping RHB first-baseman with an average hit tool and plus power, who is renowned as a smart hitter and hard worker. If you aren't getting inklings of a Darin Ruf comp, I'm bad at my job.

Hoskins is a better athlete than Ruf, whose arm plays as above-average and who could stick in RF if everything breaks his way, even if Hoskins could well be a below-average one due to his below-average speed. The bat's not as loud and the eye not as good as 'tweeners like Mike Papi and A.J. Reed, but he's still a guy who hit more than well enough in the Cape Cod League, which lends credence to the notion that bat is a legit one.

Verdict: Hoskins is a polished college bat who's got a present hit tool and an approach that lets him use it. It's impossible for me not to like this pick, but while he does have an extant hit tool, its continued development is essential, lest the comp with Darin Ruf become all the more uncomfortable.

Round Six: Brandon Leibrandt (LHP)
If there is a polar opposite to the archetypical Phillies' pitcher draft choice, Brandon Leibrandt would be pretty darn close to it. A college arm whose fastball is deafeningly silent, he leaves many of the boxes the Phils usually like blank.

This is because Leibrandt's loudest tool is his pitchability. A three-pitch guy, Leibrandt's fastball grades out as below-average as it sits 84-88 that that touches 90 despite his ability to locate it well. His secondary stuff consists of an average curveball which he also locate well and a plus changeup, which is both his best pitch and his out pitch. In addition to his command, Leibrandt shows a knack for knowing how to work hitters, so that his other pitches setup the changeup and mitigate against the mediocrity of his other pitches. His upside is as a back-of-the-rotation starter, as his stuff likely won't play from the bullpen.

Verdict: I have a soft spot for pitchability-centric guys, but the tools are legitimately there to make his ceiling reasonably attainable in spite of my sentimentality. To be taken in the sixth-round is either a bid by the Phils to reclaim slot money or a testament to their thinking he's a legit back-end starter.

"Scouts like his power potential and he's decent defensively, but bad BB/K ratio in college and shows no evidence of strike zone recognition."

Well, there you go. He doesn't walk. That's precisely why RAJ liked him.

"I see Brown has already been confined to the dustbin of phailed phillies prospects. It only took 2 hours. "

Bed Beard, which Brown, Dom or Aaron?

Bed Beard, which Brown, Dom or Aaron?

Posted by: awh™ | Friday, June 06, 2014 at 03:51 PM

some text

But unlike Dom, we can put Aaron Brown on the mound, which totally invalidates the legit criticisms about his bat.

Of course, then he's open to equally legit criticisms about his command. I'd grumble about the Phils valuing pure stuff over strike-throwing, but then I look at the draft board and see the name Brandon Leibrandt. And just can't make the criticism.

At least until they pick a few guys with big arms and spotty commands, at least.

I too wonder if Leibrandt is a "sign for the minimum" guy. But he's not a senior, so my guess is that we're going to see three or four college seniors to fill that role coming up.

Charlie Leibrandt's kid. Another son of a former player. We've had luck with those :)

Brandon Leibrandt is Charlie's son.

Every time I think of Charlie Leibrandt, I think of this:

Pitchability guys are often good for going under-slot, because they usually don't have any of the loud tools that command big bonuses. (Or, if they do in addition to their pitchability, they're Top 5 overall picks instead of pitchability guys.) But they also offer good value, because pitchability guys know how to get outs with what they've got. For, if they don't, they'll never make it above AA.

But, as said, I've got a soft spot for them. And a soft spot in general for guys who know how to use their limited tools versus guys with loud tools who do not know how to make the most of them.

Juums - Pitchability guys can go under slot, but when they are juniors, they may not go enough under slot to do the Phillies any good. If this guy pans out, he might be a Jamie Moyer clone. But the problem is that a successful Jamie Moyer comes a long once every fifty or so years.

More than fair enough. It's why I'm not in love with the pick: If the fastball sat 88-90 or the changeup was an 80, I'd probably be unable to stop myself. But as it is? This might be an overdraft if they chose him for non-slot reasons.

Or maybe even if they did draft for slot reasons, if he won't go far enough under to do their bottom line much good.

7th round pick is in.

Another college player - this time at SS.

Wow, we've taken literally all college juniors with our first 7 picks. I wonder if that's a record for the Phillies.

And there's a HS pitcher...a tall HS pitcher at 6'7".

Phils have selected all college players so far? Is this perhaps an overreaction by Wolever and Amaro and drive in part by the fact they hope these picks can come in and contribute in a meaningful way at A/AA this year and early next year?

Have to hope history repeats itself with Leibrandt.

His dad was also a weak-stuff LHP with good command who took awhile to establish himself (it took until age 27.) But he ended with a nice 14-year career as an above-average mid-rotation guy. Finished with a career ERA+ of 108. Had a career K/9 of 4.4, which BL posters say you can't possibly succeed with in MLB.

First HS pick.

#232 (8 rd): McWilliams, Sam - RHP - Beech HS (TN)

Round Seven: Emmanuel Marrero (SS)
A glove-first shortstop with a Latin-sounding name? Isn't this infringing upon Sal Agostinelli's territory?

Marrero is a Puerto Rican junior-signee from the University of Alabama, where he was regarded as an excellent defensive shortstop. Considered by some scouts to be the best defensive shortstop in the draft, he has the tools to stay at the position at an above-average level at the MLB-level. (He is cited, in particular, for his ability to make throws on the run.) While only an average runner, he offers more than enough range to be a good defensive shortstop.

The bat's the question mark, as he's got decent bat-to-ball skills and a line-drive swing, though he grades at below-average potential power. The approach is reported to be overly aggressive and an impediment to hitting for average, which will need refining if he's ever going to hope to hit well enough to be an everyday SS.

Verdict: Marrero is what every no-hit utility infielder begins life as. If the bat continues to develop, he could be an everyday guy up the middle. If not, he's a fairly high-floor guy who will reduce our dependency upon other teams' farm systems for glove-first utility infielders. It's hard not to like his floor, unless you think the Phils should be taking potshots at more traditional toolsheds.

Round Eight: Sean McWilliams (RHP)
What'd I just say about traditional toolsheds? As McWilliams does his damnedest to win Traditional Phillies Pitching Prospect Bingo. I'll let Baseball America say it, because I can't hope to paraphrase it better:
"McWilliams is one of the prime pop-up arms in the country and has been something of an enigma this spring because his stuff can differ significantly start to start. He worked at 83-86 mph last fall, touching 88. At his best this spring, he sits in the low 90s while touching 94 mph. Other days he can sit 84-86 and even drop as low as 83. His breaking ball frequently plays as below-average, but shows enough spin to project close to average. He has some feel for a changeup that flashes average. The 6-foot-7, 190-pound McWilliams offers plenty of room for projection, and some of his inconsistency comes from a delivery that will likely be altered in pro ball. The Tennessee Tech commit's lack of history, projectable body and inconsistent stuff make him a wild card on draft day."

Verdict: The Phils finally return to form and gamble on a raw, high-upside guy with lots of projection and little in the way of present skills. At his best, McWilliams is a starting version of what Philippe Aumont was supposed to be. At his worst, he is what Philippe Aumont is today with markedly less velocity. I actually like doing a little gambling on upside at this point in the draft, though it leaves me wishing my mind didn't immediately go to Aumont for a comp.

Of course, his K/9 during the years where he was actually successful (Age 27 - 36) was 4.6...over the established 4.5 k/9 rate that Bill James speaks of....but clout already knows that.

I'd had that thought, too, but some of the picks are really weird if the goal is drafting solely for fast-trackability. As both Aaron Brown and Chris Oliver are raw as pitchers and will likely need far more mound time in the minors than guys like Nola and Imhof, who are closer to being finished products. There were myriad guys still on the board who were more polished and offered comparable upside when Brown and Oliver went, so I've got to think they were taken either for signability reasons or that the Phils have a for-reals belief in their upside being higher than is believed.

Well, comparable upside to Brown. Oliver's got first-round-pick upside if he fleshes out as projected and his stuff can develop in the way his body's being dreamed on.

DuI is a scam. .09 isn't close to what a normal person would describe as drunk.

Actually, every drink you take impairs your perception and coordination. If one is a habitual drinker, .09 could send you into dt's. If you're not, it is certainly impaired, even if it's not falling down drunk.

Juums - the Phillies drafting history says they do not get the benefit of the doubt. If their draft board looks odd, it's because it is. And what else would we expect from this organization. Just as in every other phase of preparing a baseball team, it screams of not having a plan. And if this is a plan, it's similar to the plan that has this team sucking up every awful utility infielder on the planet.

MG- I'm not sure the 'few times' you're remembering. In game 4, Durbin was awful and you could argue that he was the biggest contributor in the loss. I would argue that Blanton's inability to pitch through the fifth inning killed them, along with Manuel's interesting decision to pitch Oswalt out of the bullpen in the 9th.

Other than that, they didn't even have any middle relief to speak of in the 6 games. Basically all Madson and Lidge, with a few contributions from Contreras and Romero (specifically in Game 5).

The idea that 'the middle relief cost them' is a fantasy. They had 7 innings to score off of 5 different Giants relievers in Game 6 and didn't do it.

From what we've got, I'd put their draft board as follows in terms of my thoughts:
--Like/Love: Aaron Nola, Rhys Hoskins, Emmanuel Marrero
--Unobjectionable: Brandon Leibrandt*, Matt Imhof**, Chris Oliver
--Dislike: Aaron Brown, Sam McWilliams
* This is a pick that I like which is mostly unsupportable based upon the body of scouting knowledge available. Hence why it is unobjectionable.
** This is a pick that I dislike which is mostly unsupportable based upon the body of scouting knowledge available. Hence why it is unobjectionable.

.09 is nothing.


The ninth round pick is Matt Hockenberry, an RHP from Temple. Who's a senior-signee and doesn't appear on BA's Top 500 list. Which means this pick is primarily to reclaim slot money, as I can't find a darned thing that's been written about him that actually scouts him. (Other than that his Twitter handle -- @hocktimus_prime -- is really cool.)

From the bits I can find, it looks like he's a big lefty who pitches to contact, though whether it's by choice or necessity is unascertained. Probably destined to be organizational filler given his lack of presence on prospect boards, unless the Phils' ease of scouting him has let them unearth a gem.

#9 (262): Hockenberry, Matt - RHP - Temple (Sr.)

Pure Org Filler pick.

As the Phils seem to have a preference for fast-trackability and have started trying to reclaim slot money, a senior signee who might be worth looking at with their last pick of the day is A.J. Vanegas.

Vanegas is Stanford's closer with a fastball/slider combination, the former sitting in the mid-90s and touching 97, while the latter is a hard-thrown pitch that sometimes bites as a true slider and sometimes moves laterally more like a cutter. Command issues guarantee his upside is as a bullpen piece, but even with them he's better able to locate the fastball than half of our present bullpen.

Vanegas promises to be a fast-moving reliever in the minors and will have downward pressure on his price-tag due to his being a senior-signee and having previously dealt with injuries in his junior year. For a club that's seemed to aim at replenishing the upper minors who need to make a pick on the cheap, he seems like a decent enough pick.

If Hockenberry is a gem, color me very surprised. Some of these picks have been real head scratchers. This pick makes perfect sense. He is a minimum sign and we're going to see another after him. In fact, i think major league baseball has to go back to the drawing board with this draft system. A system that has teams locking in duds in their top ten picks because of financial concerns of other picks is simply stupid.

Something as simple as giving each team a global signing budget like in the NFL would fix this garbage. What exactly is magical about the first ten rounds?

Juums - rest assured Rube will grab a nonentity with little upside and a floor somewhere in the sub-basement. It's what he does. And if anyone has any upside, like the kid you mention, he'll want too much money to allow Rube to sign such all stars as the spotty high school pitcher or the no hit middle infielder. You know, Phillies specials.

Vanegas has potentially got signability issues, so there might well be perfectly good reasons to pass on him. This is his third go-round being drafted, as he turned down a rumored $2MM bonus from the Padres out of high school to go to Stanford and then went back to school after being taken in the 19th round by the A's after being injury-laden last year.

If you can't get him on the cheap, that's a shame, as I still can't help but think you need to pull a college bullpen piece with a plus fastball and plus out-pitch if you're genuinely trying to pick for fast-trackability. (Heaven knows there're plenty of them that've been on the board when the Phils are on the clock.)

Juums - Here's the problem. YOU have a plan. When YOU have a plan and the Phillies do not, there is cognitive dissonance. Cognitive dissonance is in your brain, the problem is entirely yours.

True enough! Plaintively planning and hoping for the best is still better for sanity than gazing into the abyss that is the present front office's draft effort. Maybe they'll surprise us at the end, though! ...that kind of false hope is just begging for a toolshed of a position player, to complement McWilliams.

Well just so their short of all our expectations, they pick Shortall. High average. Some power. Not a prospect. Hopefully, they'll save some money from these picks and have a little extra to use in rounds 11 and 12. But that, again, would require a plan. My guess is that they use all of their top ten money on the top ten and have at least one pick who "surprisingly" won't sign.

Sorry "they're" not "their."

And our last pick of the day is Matt Shortall, an OF from the University of Texas-Arlington. Once more a senior-signee who doesn't turn up on the BA Top 500 and whose bio page at the UoT-A site fails to inspire confidence. As Aksmith called it, a guy drafted solely for solely slot reason because he'll take the minimum. Anything that comes out of him in the system will be what he earns through blood, sweat, and tears.

I profess that I don't know squat about any of these guys but, since RAJ is the one doing the picking, I hate all the picks.

^ This.

(except Nola)

"^ This.

(except Nola)"

I fully expect that, before the 2014 season is over, Nola will be shut down with a degenerative elbow disorder, which the Phillies' medical staff failed to discover.

That's a little unfair. I'd say the Aaron Nola, Matt Imhof, Rhys Hoskins, and Emmanuel Marrero picks were good ones. And I say that as someone who's pessimistic on Imhof's upside.

Brandon Leibrandt and Chris Oliver are borderline picks who've got arguments in favor of them and arguments against. If I had to choose whether they're "good" or "bad", I'd classify Leibrandt as a good pick and Oliver as a bad one, but I'm the first to admit that I'm biased on Oliver, for if I wanted a raw, toolsy arm, I'd've gone with a high schooler.

The picks that I think can legitimately be classified as bad are Aaron Brown, Sam McWilliams, Matt Hockenberry, and Matt Shortall. Hockberry and Shortall are perfectly fine Day 3 picks who, while probably organizational filler, can always surprise you. They're bad in this context because they're your 9th and 10th round picks, and the axiom of the draft is to either take the best talent on the board or the best talent which suits your organization's needs. (That they'll sign under-slot is not an organizational need.)

I think Aaron Brown is the one that will go down in infamy, as there were better pitchers available who were more polished (e.g. Ben Graves) and who were raw but had higher upside (e.g. Austin DeCarr and Keith Weisenburg). On the position player side of things, there a fair number of HS guys who profile positively with tools and present baseball skills, such as Jakson Reetz (drafted #84 by the Mets) and Casey Soltis (drafted #137 by Marlins). Just an odd pick, for as he's a two-way guy, you're betting on upside justify that high of a pick. And if you're going to bet on upside, isn't that just an invitation to take a high schooler?

I don't think any words need to be expended on Sam McWilliams. They think they can iron-out his mechanics so that he's sitting 94 instead of 83. And that that velocity will only increase. I remain dubious on both counts, but for an eighth-round pick, it's at least justifiable to bet on that kind of upside. (Even if it's still not a good pick.)

Chris Crawford @CrawfordChrisV
Easy to make fun of the Phillies -- kind of fun, too -- but they're having another great draft.

(mlbdraftinsider founder).

But hey, aksmith remains cranky b/c nobody's bio said "future HOFer".

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EST. 2005

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