Looking for your Mailbag Questions

I have been trying to find things to say about 5 games of minor leagues, but we are still too early to take anything but small sample size observations of things that look slightly different (like Ben Badler’s report that Windle’s velocity was up this season).  So with that I will be taking all of your questions for a mailbag later this week.  You can ask here or on twitter and I will try to get to everything.

Also we are working to overhaul some of the resources on the menus on the top to be useful, but rather than small changes it will likely be a large rollout where we are all done.

Author: Matt Winkelman

Matt Winkelman
Matt is originally from Mt. Holly, NJ, but after a 4 year side track to Cleveland for college he now resides in Madison, WI. His work has appeared on Phuture Phillies, The Good Phight, and TheDynastyGuru.

19 comments

  1. Rei De Bastoni

    2 questions:

    1 – Why are command and control considered separate tools? Isn’t it impossible to have better command within the strike zone than ability to throw strikes in general?

    2 – For pitch sequencing, is it enough that either the pitcher or the catcher has a good understanding of pitch sequencing, not necessarily both? What would be the advantages a pitcher has for pitch sequencing that his catcher would not be able to duplicate with the same understanding?

    Thank you.

  2. Romus

    Pat Gillick mentioned that the Phillies will be looking offensive in this year’s draft, since he is please Ruben was able to get good arms this off-season. Seems I would go with the best available and not need but…..who am I to disagree with Mr Gillick.
    With that in mind…who are some of the handful of top hitters coming out this year?

  3. – As a newbie to minor league ball, I’d love to hear sort of primer on things that the average fan can watch for at the game. i.e. I can’t sit there and say “oh, that was a 60 slider” … watching in person I can barely tell a hard slider from a fastball, and certainly not from the cheap seats. So what can I look for when I watch a game?

    – I know we aren’t supposed to scout the stat lines, but we will anyway; 3 XBH in 6 games for Tocci has to be interesting. Any other specific player stats we can watch for?

  4. Dave47

    Looking down the road who is the Phillies center fielder Quinn or Tocci? Nice to see both have strong first weeks.

    • Considering Tocci is in low-A and Quinn just started AA, I think there are good odds that the answer is “neither.”

      That actually prompts another question for Matt: When you give projections/grades, is that “median outcome” or more “if things go well.” Kiley McDaniel calls his as 75th percentile, meaning 3/4 of prospects will not actually reach the projection he’s making … are you about the same?

      • Eric D

        Uhhh Down the road Quinn or Tocci better be our CF or else there was a big misjudge. I would consider down the road as 2-4 years which puts Quinn at 23-25 and Tocci at 21-23 when they should be either at the ML level (Quinn) and Tocci knocking on the door.

        • USSWasteland

          The point here, I think, is that since Quinn is still new to the high minors, and since Tocci has yet to play above Low-A, neither is a surefire bet to ever even see the Majors. Prospects flame out at such a large rate that neither is guaranteed to ever set foot in CBP.

        • No misjudge, just the reality of prospects. Depending on how you define the terms, only about 30% of top-100 prospects become productive MLB regulars … and not all scouts rate either Quinn or Tocci that highly, let alone both.

          http://www.royalsreview.com/2011/2/14/1992424/success-and-failure-rates-of-top-mlb-prospects

          Predicting the MLB reality of a prospect in A ball is like looking at the arrival time your GPS forecasts one hour into a cross-country drive … it’s an educated forecast, but there’s a lot of things that can go wrong along the way.

      • Eric D

        Obviously no one is a sure fire bet to make it to the highest level but when you are looking at players to either sign internationally (Tocci) or draft (Quinn) you are making evaluations on each player and bringing in the guys that you think could help the big club in the future. I don’t understand how it wouldn’t be misjudgment if players who are drafted in the top rounds or are paid a fair amount of money (international FA) don’t pan out. Hell a lot of times teams won’t go after a FA or don’t make trades bc they feel they have players in the minor league system who they see as their future at X position. People lose their jobs over how they judge talent, it doesn’t just get chalked up to “well only a small percent ever make it.”

        • Yes and no. If NONE of the prospects pan out (or very few), over a meaningful period of time, yeah, someone’s screwing up. It does not follow then that any one failed prospect (or any two) represents a bad decision. It’s like venture capitalism or 1800s oil drilling — a 10% chance of success here, a 15% chance there, and sooner or later you hit the big one, and the return on that makes up for all the failures. But if you ask an VC – or an oil prospector, or a baseball scout — which of his last three investments is going to be a success, and the most accurate answer he can give is “probably none.” But you throw $200k at this draft pick here and $250k at that Dominican there, because if any one of them succeeds he’s worth tens of millions.

          Go look at MLB drafts from ten or fifteen years ago, and you’ll see that even in the first round, half or more of the picks never became productive MLB regulars, and after the first round it drops way off. I’d bet it’s even worse if you look at international signings. Either you conclude that everyone in baseball is incompetent and they all need to be fired, or you accept that’s the nature of the business.

          http://www.baseballamerica.com/draft/one-in-six-draft-picks-will-click/

          Quinn and Tocci are both past the draft pick stage, but a long way from the majors. Two prospects each with a 25% chance of success = 56% chance that both fail.

  5. Eric D

    My question is . . . Franklyn Kilome . . . If he has a great season where can we expect to see him next year, Clearwater? Also I know comps aren’t easy thing to do (and most ppl don’t like making them) but what would you say about his comp? I see the body and looseness of Chapman (obviously not the stuff), I mean he’s effortless throwing 93. Talk about Kilome as much as possible.

  6. Do you see Adam Morgan regaining his pre-injury velocity?

  7. Andrew

    1. Is Brady Aiken in consideration at #10 after his TJ surgery? Or would you write him off due to re-injury and missed development time? Who would you realistically like to see drafted at #10?

    2. Do you think Biddle should focus on his somewhat established curve or his improving slide? Could he utilize both effectively?

  8. allentown1

    I’ll be pushy and ask several questions. Thanks for doing the mailbag. It generally yields useful information which isn’t easy to find for those of us not as close to the farm staffers as you are.

    1. Do we know how much weight Tocci actually gained over the winter and what he weighs today?
    2. We’ve read a lot about the Phillies new scouting director. I’ve either missed or the local media hasn’t provided any info on changes to our roster of scouts and cross-checkers. Typically, wouldn’t a new scouting director bring some of his chums to his new organization?
    3. I am hoping that some of the farmhands who have moved to lower value defensive positions will work their way back to the premium slots sometime this season. Any chance of Astudillo doing significant catching, Zach Green returning to 3B, or Pullin to 2B?
    4. The return to actual pitching from the mound by Watson seems to have been delayed yet again according to the last article I read. How is his arm and are we likely to see him pitch in an actual game sometime this season?
    5. What’s the latest on the persistent rumors that the Phillies are planning to blow out their international allocation this summer, including signing a $3-4 million slugger? To me, it only makes sense to go beyond the 15% above allocation (plus whatever additional allocation you can buy), if you are going to spend around $15 million or more, since you are losing two years of $300K signings and need to spend at least 3 years worth of allocation for it to make sense.

    • Eric D

      Going into number 5 a little bit here . . The Phillies pool for the July 2 signing period is $3,041,700 so if they have a deal locked in with Ortiz at the 4.2m amount that will put them over right there. Does that mean he will be the only big signing they will have? I mean that’s already close to 1.2m over, is that considered “blowing by their allotted bonus pool”? I have been reading that the Cubs already have deals with 7 IFA totaling close to 8m and the Dodgers should be spending money too. I’m just nervous that it’s going to be one big signing and that’s it . . Hope I’m wrong and hope they dive in head first but it sounds like a lot of top guys already have deals in place.

      • Romus

        From what i understand, the Phillies can still trade with clubs who are penalized (up to 50% of their allocation) and cannot exceed the $330K threshold….and the Phillies can obtain more allocation monies. Those penalized clubs could take tier two prospects or late-season veterans if in contention, for that additional exchange of allocation.

  9. What do you know/suspect about July 2 plans? I keep hearing they’re going to go big, but I’ve seen the Dodgers linked to about five names and the Phillies just the one.

    Andy Ibanez? Seems like he’d be great fit for a team that will need a 2B in a year or two, and he’s been oddly quiet …

  10. Slim

    The Phils’ vaunted bullpen has been disappointing in the first 2 wks. McGowan and Diekman both have WHIPs over 2. Diekman is the only lefty, yet Jimenez was cut when they had to make a roster move. Who’s closest to being ready for the bigs, and when would it make sense to give them a shot rather than relying on a journeyman like McGowan?

  11. Yes and no. If NONE of the prospects pan out (or very few), over a meaningful period of time, yeah, someone’s screwing up. It does not follow then that any one failed prospect (or any two) represents a bad decision. It’s like venture capitalism or 1800s oil drilling — a 10% chance of success here, a 15% chance there, and sooner or later you hit the big one, and the return on that makes up for all the failures. But if you ask an VC – or an oil prospector, or a baseball scout — which of his last three investments is going to be a success, and the most accurate answer he can give is “probably none.” But you throw $200k at this draft pick here and $250k at that Dominican there, because if any one of them succeeds he’s worth tens of millions.

    Go look at MLB drafts from ten or fifteen years ago, and you’ll see that even in the first round, half or more of the picks never became productive MLB regulars, and after the first round it drops way off. I’d bet it’s even worse if you look at international signings. Either you conclude that everyone in baseball is incompetent and they all need to be fired, or you accept that’s the nature of the business.

    http://www.baseballamerica.com/draft/one-in-six-draft-picks-will-click/