The Eye Test – 6/9/15

Is it possible that I haven’t attended a game in over 3 weeks? Nothing at all since my last post? Of course not. I’ve been fortunate to see a few recent Iron Pigs games and even a Fightins game since the time I wrote but either had nothing to write about paid so little attention to the game it wouldn’t be fair to comment on what I saw. But this past Tuesday my family and I made the trek to Reading for another game and even the annual Gluttony Night ($8 for all-you-can-eat concessions!?!) couldn’t keep me from watching some prospects. And here’s what I saw.

Ben Lively – This was actually the second consecutive time I’ve seen Lively, having caught his last home start at the end of May. I didn’t get to pay full attention last time but his stuff seemed a bit off and he got hit around a little bit. This time out was more of the same. Our seats were directly behind the left hand batters box in the second row so my son and I got a decent look at Lively’s stuff. Despite what the numbers tell you, he seemed to have good command of his pitches but didn’t seem to be getting the close calls. Not even a few of them. More than once (closer to ten times) Lively and catcher Logan Moore really wanted a pitch they didn’t get. The stadium radar gun was in and out all night so I don’t trust any of what it did show the crowd but the fastball looked like it always does, 91-93. I saw a sharper slider than I was expecting to see which he used effectively as well. I came away less depressed than most with what I saw. Lively has some stuff to work on, but is still very promising.

Roman Quinn – Not much new to report here. While I question approach at times, he’s very consistent at the plate. Besides my issue with his strikeouts, I’m also starting to get concerned with the number of times he gets picked off. I realize as a speed guy it comes with the territory, but it’s really becoming a common occurrence.

Aaron Altherr – After a quick start, Altherr has slowed a bit and I seemed to notice a regression in his approach to more 2014 than early 2015. However, he looked to have much better at bats in this game. He carried it into Wednesday’s contest, collecting 4 hits (3 XBH). I really root for Aaron because I love the raw tools and the defense and hope his latest trend (patience at the plate) continues.

JP Crawford – This is the one we came for. As much as we’ve read and as much as we’ve seen on TV, this would be our first look at JP in live game action. He is absolutely as advertised. His approach at the plate is evident. He’s not in a hurry and is willing to wait out the pitcher to get “his pitch”. And if he has to, he seems very willing to hit with 2 strikes. He doesn’t chase much early in counts and remains balanced throughout his at bats. It was a treat to watch. Cannot wait to see him again in a few days!

As always, we finished off the night watching our son chase the players down the autographs. Successfully I might add. We even had the pleasure of a half hour hang with pitcher Zach Eflin in the parking lot, with very little discussion about baseball. What an absolute gem of a human being. It was a great end to another fun night in Baseballtown. Now, if you’ll excuse me I have a lot of pizza and hot dogs to walk off.

Author: chrislabarge


Chris is a husband, father, electrician, baseball fanatic, if you’re into labels. Born and raised in the Lehigh Valley of eastern PA, but in his heart, he knows he doesn’t belong there. In the meantime, Chris will attend every Iron Pig/Fightins game he can.


  1. I was at the same game. I agree on Lively getting squeezed a bit. He never missed badly. But, he doesn’t get a lot of swing and miss, and doesn’t seem to have a solid out pitch. That keeps him from moving his ceiling above a #5 starter. By the 5th inning, the hitters were on to his fastball and started to make solid contact often. Overall, he pitched well. Hopefully, he can continue to develop his slider.

    Crawford looked great of course. Completely comfortable already in AA. Probably would look comfortable in AAA too. But, hopefully, he stays in Reading the rest of the year.

  2. Romus

    The more and more I hear about JPC’s patience and hit tool, I think of him being a Chase Utley clone- type hitter.

    • phillysf

      Romus , how was Utley’s power described on the old 20-80 scale when he was in the minors , I dont recall but I know JPC seems to be described as below average on nearly everything I have seen

      • Romus

        phillysf……do not know what Chase’s final power rating was…..based on his last two minor league season, more then likely the average/ pedestrian catch-all ’50’ grading….pretty certain it was not a 40 (too low), and doubt if it were a ’60’, but I could be mistaken..

        • phillysf

          I think JPC has some more power to come wonder if he gets to Chase’s level

        • Ian

          When I see JPC, I see the body of jimmy Rollins, and the mind of chase utley. Less speed, more height maybe?

  3. phillysf

    @Ian , Rollins according to the internet sources and baseball cards it says Rollins is 5’9″ and JPC according to similar sources says he is 6’2″ , however even thought there is a 5 inch height difference they are similar in weight , however JRoll’s dad was not only a do wop singer but he was also a bodybuilder and is buff as all hell according to my friends from across the bay in Oakland who witnessed JRoll and family when they were younger