Archive for the 'Phillies' Category

The Phillies and Nebraska

Friday, March 15th, 2013

I thought this was a good article by Matt Gelb about the Phillies and their players from Nebraska. Click here to read.

Several former BlueClaws are mentioned, including Darin Ruf, Tyler Cloyd, and Jake Diekman.

Why Nebraska? Scouting director Marti Wolever used to live there, for one:

“It’s a big advantage to scouting the area where your boss lives,” said Dave Seifert, the Phillies’ Midwest-area scout. “The few days he’s home, he’s going to get out and see that area’s guys. That’s a huge advantage. I don’t know any other scouting directors that live in Omaha.”

Seifert’s coverage area spanned nine states in 2012. He said he spent four weekends from last March to May in Nebraska. The reason is Wolever; if Seifert can recommend a player Wolever has seen even just once, he may be more inclined to use a late-round pick on that name.

Unrelated to this article, but related to Ruf – He is believed to be the only BlueClaw to play for a Jesuit school (Creighton). We mention this because the recently elected new Pope is the first-ever Jesuit Pope. That’s your fun fact of the day.

Today’s The Big Day

Wednesday, February 13th, 2013

Happy Pitchers and Catchers Report Day!

Many Phillies are already in camp, but today is official report day for Phillies pitchers and catchers. Position players report later this week.

Todd Zolecki has a rundown of some of the camp position battles, including what he projects could be two former BlueClaws, Darin Ruf and Domonic Brown, batting it out for one outfield spot. In the bullpen, Jake Diekman, Mike Stutes, Justin De Fratus, and BJ Rosenberg, all former BlueClaws, will be competing for spots.

Minor leaguers report in a few weeks, and I’ll post the minor league spring training schedule later this morning.

We also forgot to post about Michael Bourn going to the Indians. Bourn was a 2004 BlueClaw who stole 57 bases, the 3rd highest single-season total in franchise history. We wish him the best of luck.

More and more lately, we’ve heard about the importance of draft picks. The Mets were reportedly careful about pursuing Bourn because they might have to give up their first round pick (11th overall). What made the Indians a fit? File this away when projecting where free agents end up next winter. From the Plain Dealer:

The Tribe went into the off-season knowing they had to upgrade the outfield. They displayed initial interest in Bourn, but he was way out of their price range. Instead, they pursued Shane Victorino and Swisher, while Bourn’s price dropped because most of the high-profile teams interested in him didn’t want to part with their No. 1 draft pick as compensation.

The Tribe’s No. 1 pick was protected because it finished with one of the 10 worst records in the big leagues last year. They’d already lost their No. 2 pick by signing Swisher, which meant the most they could lose in signing Bourn was a pick between the second and third rounds that came their way through last year’s competitive-balance lottery.

They were in a unique position, and the Dolan family gave Antonetti the green light to go for it.

We wish Bourn the best of luck.

Manuel Focused on Topping Tough NL East

Wednesday, February 6th, 2013

What follows is an article based on an interview with Phillies manager Charlie Manuel at the annual Phillies Winter Tour stop in Lakewood from January 23rd.

For other content from the Winter Tour, please click here.

LAKEWOOD, NJ – The 2012 campaign was not what the Philadelphia Phillies and skipper Charlie Manuel had in mind, but they are both ready to turn the page and focus on a better 2013.

“We never really got going out of the gate,” admitted Manuel. “We definitely had a lot of injuries and had Howard and Utley out for over half the season, and Halladay was injured too which hurt our rotation and put a lot of stress on the bullpen.”

Manuel addressed the media prior to the Phillies Winter Tour festivities began at Woodlake Country Club. He spoke candidly on last year, and expressed that he was ready for spring training and the 2013 season.

“It’s been a long offseason, a lot of looking back on last year. I’m really looking forward to this season; I’ve been ready to go for a while…I’m heading down to Clearwater and we’ll be off and running.”

(more…)

Another BlueClaw Traded

Monday, December 10th, 2012

Two former BlueClaws were traded to Minnesota last week and another was traded on Sunday. The Phillies acquired Michael Young from Texas to take over as their 3rd baseman and 2011 BlueClaws RHP Lisalverto Bonilla was sent to the Rangers along with RHP Josh Lindblom.

Bonilla joined the BlueClaws in May of 2011 and went 4-5, 2.80 with 95 strikeouts in 106 innings. He moved into the rotation after starting his time with the BlueClaws in the bullpen, and even threw nine shutout innings in one game, but is back in the pen. This year, he gave up just eight runs in 44.1 innings between Clearwater and Reading and made the Futures Game, though got hurt at the event and didn’t pitch the rest of the season.

Lindblom was acquired from the Dodgers in the Shane Victorino trade and is on the move again.

Three Former BlueClaws Added to 40-Man Roster

Wednesday, November 21st, 2012

One quick post before Thanksgiving – and first we want to wish both of you (see what we did there) a very Happy Thanksgiving.

Yesterday, the Phillies added four players to their 40-man roster, bringing their 40-man up to 38 as of right now. Zach Collier (BlueClaws 2009, 2011), Trevor May (2009-10), Jonathan Pettibone (2010) and Ethan Martin were added, protecting them from the Rule 5 Draft, which takes place at the Winter Meetings in Nashville on Thursday, December 6th.

Pettibone split the year between Reading (9-7, 3.30) and Lehigh Valley (4-1, 2.55 in seven starts) and just turned 22 in July. He was a 3rd round pick in 2008 who had advanced one level per year until his in-season promotion to the IronPigs, where he will likely open 2013. He was not among the Phillies top tier prospects when the season started but is now.

May and Pettibone were teammates with the BlueClaws championship club in 2010 and May was also on the team that won the league title in 2009. This year with Reading, he went 10-13, 4.87 but struck out 151 in 149 innings pitched. He entered the year as the top prospect in the organization and is certainly still in the top five.

Collier was drafted in 2008, played with the BlueClaws for most of 2009, missed 2010 with an injury, and returned to Lakewood in 2011. This year, he played for Clearwater, hitting .269 with 11 stolen bases, but really earned his spot on the 40-man in the Arizona Fall League, when he hit .371 (23-62).

Martin was acquired from the Dodgers in the Shane Victorino trade at the deadline this year, and went 5-0, 3.18 over seven starts at the end of the season for Reading.

Congrats to those players, who were all very excited.

Collier tweeted: Im really looking foward to going to big league camp this year #madethe40man #bigleaguecamp #Godisgood #letsgetit

Players that were signed at 18 or younger and have been in the organization for five years or players signed at 19 or older that have been in the organization for four years and are not on the 40-man roster can be selected in the Rule 5 Draft. They would have to stay on the drafting team’s 25-man Major League roster for the duration of the season or be offered back. The Phillies lost 2011 BlueClaw Lendy Castillo to the Cubs in the Rule 5 last year. Among those unprotected were 2010 BlueClaws outfielders Jiwan James and Leandro Castro.

Rosenberg Called Up to Phillies

Saturday, June 9th, 2012

Congratulations to 2009 BlueClaws RHP BJ Rosenberg, who had his contract selected today by the Phillies and will soon make his big league debut.

Rosenberg, a 13th round pick in 2008 from the University of Louisville, was a dynamite reliever with Lakewood in 2009, going 7-2, with a 0.89 ERA and throwing 28.1 straight innings without allowing an earned run from Memorial Day until August 6th when he was promoted straight to Double-A Reading.

Injuries slowed him down in 2010 and he bounced between the bullpen and starting rotation with Reading last year. This year, in 16 games between Reading and Lehigh Valley, he’s allowed just five ER in 28.2 innings pitched with 36 strikeouts and eight walks.

Here is a Q&A we did with Rosenberg after the 2009 season. That year, he pitched for Team USA in Pan-Am qualifying. One of his coaches there was Kannapolis manager Ernie Young. This was going on at the same time that Lakewood and Kannapolis were facing off in the first round of the 2009 SAL playoffs.

Rosenberg will be the 45th Shore to the Show players and sixth BlueClaws alum to make his big league debut this year, following Freddy Galvis, Lendy Castillo, Adrian Cardenas, Jake Diekman, and and Quintin Berry.

UPDATE: Rosenberg was added to this list after making his debut on Saturday. He threw a scoreless 11th inning before allowing a walk-off home run to Adam Jones. Despite the loss, he still called it “the greatest day of my life,” and who’s to say differently?

“This happened so quick,” Rosenberg said. “I was pitching really well, so you never really know. But if you told me at the beginning of the year that I would be here right now, I would have called them a liar. I’m just thankful for the opportunity.”

We did want to share this tweet from Mark Zaiger, who was an intern with the BlueClaws in 2009 and is now with the Northwest Arkansas Naturals.

Congrats to BJ Rosenberg for making it to the big leagues. He was awesome with the youth when I ran the 2009 @blueclaws kids baseball clinic

Another reason to root for Rosenberg.

Congrats to Jake Diekman

Saturday, May 12th, 2012

Looking at Jake Diekman’s numbers with the BlueClaws in 2009, one might see a somewhat pedestrian season, a 2-0 record and a 4.09 ERA with an opponents batting average of .266. But you have to look a little deeper to see what was truly a remarkable turnaruond for the lefty.

After the first half was complete, Diekman, who appeared in just two games from May 22 through June 21, had an ERA of 7.09 and opponents were hitting .333 against him. During the break, he threw a bullpen session, which was typical, but this session had an atypical aspect to it. He threw sidearm. It changed his career.

Diekman came back a new pitcher in the second half, throwing 1.1 scoreless innings on June 28th and went on to allow just 4 ER in 29 innings (1.77) in the second half, holding opponents to a batting average of .186. After that June 28th game, Phillies adviser Dallas Green, after watching Diekman’s first game as a side-armer, said he thought Diekman could be a situational lefty in the big leagues.

He was right. Diekman was called up to the Phillies Friday. When he makes his debut, he’ll be come the 43rd player to go From the Shore to the Show, as we say here in Lakewood, and he might have had the bumpiest journey.

A rocky beginning for Diekman saw him start 2008 with Lakewood but finish with Williamsport. The beginning of his 2009 season didn’t go according to plan, but the change in arm angle catapulted him through the system: to Clearwater in 2010, Reading in 2011 (where lefties hit .090 against him) and Lehigh this year, where he gave up one run in 15.1 innings pitched.

Here is an interview we did with Dusty Wathan (then Lakewood’s manager) in August of 2009, about six weeks into the side-arming career of Diekman.

“He’s got a lot of confidence right now and thinks he can get anyone out, and that’s half the battle. When you’re throwing from the side at 90 mph and you can control a breaking ball and get it over the plate, you don’t see that every day, especially at this level.”

That was the one thing that was unanimous about Diekman when he dropped his arm angle: everyone was super-impressed that when he did that, no velocity was sacrificed. In fact, he’s now up to 93-94, so he’s throwing harder then he ever was before.

The Phillies had to make a decision on Diekman after last season so they sent him to face the game’s best prospects in the Arizona Fall League. He gave up one run in 11.1 innings with 14 strikeouts, enough for the Phillies to put him on their 40-man roster. He almost made the team out of spring training, and his pitching coach, Rich Dubee, loves him.

“I asked him first if he had an agent,” Dubee said. “He told me he did. I said, ‘Fire him. Because I’ll jump on and be your agent and hopefully I’ll be able to retire soon.’ I think he’s got tremendous upside. Seriously. That’s what I told him. I expect to see him this year. If the call comes, I expect him to be ready.”

The call has come. And Diekman is ready.

“It was probably the best feeling I ever felt in my entire life,” Diekman said hours before Friday’s game at Citizens Bank Park against the San Diego Padres. “When I found out I called my dad right away, and making him cry was pretty cool.”

Indeed, and the BlueClaws are ecstatic for Diekman too. Good luck!

Galvis: #40

Friday, April 6th, 2012

Congrats to 2008 BlueClaws SS Freddy Galvis, who yesterday made his major league debut and became the 40th player to go From the Shore, to the Show. Click here for the full list of Shore to the Show players, which only increased by three last year.

Galvis became the first Phillies player in 42 years to make his big league debut on Opening Day.

“He did great in the field,” Roy Halladay said. “At the plate, it’s going to be the first couple times for a young guy, him getting in there and getting the first one out of the way is important. But he’s a tremendous fielder and that’s probably the biggest reason he’s with us. We need guys that can play defense and do the little things and I believe he can do that for us.”

Lendy Castillo will likely be #41 at some point this week and Jacob Diekman nearly made the Phillies Opening Day roster and he’s on call from Lehigh Valley.

Could Galvis Be #40?

Tuesday, March 20th, 2012

2008 BlueClaw Freddy Galvis has reportedly emerged as the leader to be the Phillies Opening Day second baseman with the injury to Chase Utley.

Yesterday, we speculated that Lendy Castillo, a Cubs Rule-5 pick and 2011 BlueClaw, could be the 40th BlueClaw to go From the Shore to the Show, but now it looks Galvis has the upper-hand in the race for #40.

Galvis is profiled here by Paul Hagen, now of MLB.com. Galvis says of his age (he’s 22):

“I played with older guys. I was always the younger guy. So if I wanted to play, I had to play good. I was always practicing around the house, but I think I got better because I played so much in the street.”

When he was with Lakewood in 2008, he was just 18 and the youngest player in team history until Domingo Santana opened up 2010 with the BlueClaws as a 17 year old.

Last year was his best year. He hit a career-high .278 split between Reading (104 games) and Lehigh Valley (33 games) and was penciled in as the IronPigs shortstop after Jimmy Rollins re-signed in the winter. But Utley’s situation has given Galvis a new opportunity at a new position, second base.

He played one game of third base with Clearwater in 2009 but has never played second, though considering he is thought to be the best defensive shortstop in the minors, everyone expects him to be able to handle the transition without much of a problem.

“The good thing about Freddy is that he’s such a heads-up player. He thinks in the game,” said Hall of Fame second baseman Ryne Sandberg, who managed Galvis after he was promoted to the IronPigs on Aug. 2.

“He has very good instincts, and I think that’s what allows him to be ready for all the plays that do happen at second base. And he’s a very creative player. Very good at improvising and making a play. Those are good traits to have playing the middle infield. I think he’ll have no problem at second base.”

He’s ranked 6th in the system by Baseball America, his highest ranking, and they note that the Phillies were wowed by Galvis when they saw him as a 14-year old in 2004. They signed him when he turned 16.

There are a couple of guys who could break through early in the year to be the 40th Shore to the Show player, but Galvis probably heads the list.

Two Morning Reads

Monday, March 5th, 2012

A couple of good ones this morning – one on 2007 BlueClaws catcher Tuffy Gosewisch and another on some of the former BlueClaws that have been traded in the last few seasons.

First, this Philadelphia Daily News article on Gosewisch by David Murphy:

Turns out, everybody is rooting for Tuffy Gosewisch. Colin Curtis, a non-roster invitee in Yankees camp? Team Tuffy. Roy Halladay, a two-time Cy Young winner? Team Tuffy. And if you believe that a catcher’s value cannot be measured by batting lines and stolen base percentages, then you will end up on Team Tuffy, too.

“Honestly, I would take him any day of the week,” Halladay said. “I really would.”

You might know the name. Born James Benjamin Gosewisch, his parents decided on a more appropriate moniker during a toddler-hood in which he rained destruction upon everything he touched. For the past 5 years, he has been more Lenten resolution than catching prospect, appearing on the Phillies’ roster in February and lingering until sometime in March.

But there is a reason Gosewisch was behind the plate yesterday for Halladay’s Grapefruit League debut.

The other is this from Bob Brookover in the Inquirer (by the way – thanks for the plug, Travis):

“When we made that trade, there was a comment made that this one is going to be the one that is the most painful,” assistant general manager Benny Looper said Sunday. “He’s at a premium spot, because catching is hard to find and we liked him.”

“That was my second [championship],” d’Arnaud said. “I also won one at Lakewood [the Phillies’ South Atlantic League affiliate]. It was kind of weird because both of them, Anthony Gose and I were on the same team. Maybe we’re both winners, who knows?”

Gose described d’Arnaud as the “best catcher in the minor leagues,” and Looper and the Phillies probably wouldn’t argue with him.

I recommend you read both of the articles.

Two Good Reads

Friday, March 2nd, 2012

Two articles that we suggest reading, especially since it’s Friday morning and you’re not doing anything important at work anyway:

The first is this one, from Bob Brookover on Philly.com: Who Needs Sabermetrics? Next week, we will unveil the annual BlueClaws Alumni Fantasy Baseball Guide, and there will be some Sabermetric tools used in evaluating those players for fantasy purposes. But for the Phillies and their front office? It’s not a big deal.

The man in charge of number-crunching for the Phillies is baseball information analyst Jay McLaughlin, and he is often assisted by baseball operations representative Chris Cashman. All the sabermetric equations are available to Amaro and his assistants, but they are just not that enamored with a player’s WAR, PERA, or BABIP.

“I honestly can’t tell you the last time WAR or VORP or any of those things were brought up in a conversation,” assistant GM Scott Proefrock said. “We’re aware of them, and we understand what they are. It’s just not something we find relevant.”

Proefrock said the Phillies’ primary use for sabermetrics is in determining how other teams may view players.

[snip]

Amaro agrees that the human element of the game cannot be measured by numbers.

“I believe you can break down and analyze statistics any way you really want, but when it comes to scouting heart and head, you can’t do it with sabermetrics,” the general manager said. “In our current situation, I feel like talent and production is very important, but I want a player who has a championship-caliber outlook on how to go about his business.”

That’s something that can’t be measured by a number. And one more quote from Amaro on the movie Moneyball, a point with which we agree.

“I understand Hollywood is Hollywood, but there were a lot of unrealistic things that occurred in that movie,” he said. “The thing that bothered me most is I think the fact of the matter was that Oakland had so much success because they had three of the best starting pitchers in the game. I don’t know if that was mentioned more than once, if that. A lot of the movie was based around Scott Hatteberg moving to first base, and I don’t think that was the reason why they had so much success.”

Whichever side you fall on, read Bob’s article. Very well done.

The other article we found isn’t from today. It’s from February 21st (it’s March by the way) in the Corpus Christi Times. Corpus Christi is the city in which the Astros have their Double-A team, and the writer, Joel Roza, makes the case that Jonathan Singleton, a former BlueClaw and likely CC Hook this year, is the most important player in the Astros system.

Sure you can contend that, because pitching is always the key ingredient to a consistent winner, that guys like Jarred Cosart, Brett Oberholtzer, Paul Clemens, Mike Foltynewicz or any other young, potential pitching stud in Houston’s farm system are for more important to the future of the team, and you’d have a valid point, but rarely does a team come across a talent like Singleton – a guy who’s coming up and is already hitting for average and power at every level. The scary thing is, he’s only beginning to tap into his power.

While any team is going to need pitching to contend long-term, it’s easy to see why many scouts think Singleton can be a .300-30-100 guy in the big leagues. The one comment we’d have on the article is that it’s a bit pre-mature, and not fair to Singleton, to compare him to Jeff Bagwell, maybe the best player in team history and a guy who should be in the Hall of Fame.

Freddy Galvis Roundup

Tuesday, February 7th, 2012

galvisblogWe’ll have some stuff here and there in the coming weeks on some of your favorite former BlueClaws as spring training nears and continues. Pitchers and catchers are set to report in less than two weeks and we’ve stumbled across some Freddy Galvis news and notes that are worth sharing here.

Last Year: Galvis split the season between Reading (where he played in 2010) and Lehigh Valley, hitting .273 in 104 games with the R-Phils and .298 in 33 games with the IronPigs, easily his best offensive seasons. In fact, it’s the only time he hit above .238 in any stop except for an 8-29 rehab stint with the GCL Phillies in 2009.

Baseball America: He was ranked 6th in the system, his highest ranking, and they note what everyone has always said – he is a defensive wizard.

In the Media: Todd Zolecki of MLB.com noted the following in a recent mailbag about Galvis.

Well, the good news for the Phillies is they don’t have to do anything with Galvis other than play him at Triple-A Lehigh Valley. Galvis had a nice season last year, hitting a combined .278 with Double-A Reading and Lehigh Valley. But that’s also the first season he hit better than .240.

Galvis is far from a finished product, so more seasoning in the Minors should serve him well. And because Philadelphia traded Wilson Valdez to Cincinnati, Galvis could get an extended look in the big leagues this season should something happen to Rollins.

Trade Influence: The Phillies traded utility IF Wilson Valdez to the Reds the day of the Winter Tour stop in Lakewood and Ruben Amaro said the following:

“We’re keeping our minds and eyes and ears open,” Amaro said. “Freddy, we view him as a guy who will start off in Triple A and if we have any injury issues or things that will happen during the course of the year, we feel very comfortable that Freddy can come in and do a good job as a backup or a stopgap at this stage of his career.”

Sandberg Says: Sandberg will manage the 22 year old in Lehigh Valley this year.

“Freddy made a great stride last year. He turned out to be the best regular player we had on the whole field. He’s a very heads up player, he’s right there with the manager, thinking the game of baseball,” Sandberg said. “He does all the little things. That’s drag bunting, checking the defense, taking what the defense gives you, gap to gap hitting. He really stepped in and like I said, was probably our best regular player the last month of the season and into the playoffs. I think he’ll really get a serious look from the major league club.”

That’s number one. We’ll have more of these roundups as we go forward.

Seven ‘Claws in MLB Top 100

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

mlbtop100full

MLB.com put out their annual top 100 prospect listing (link here) and there are seven former BlueClaws on the list, all from the last three years, and six of those players helped the BlueClaws win at least one South Atlantic League title.

Below, find bios and notes on these players:

25. Travis d’Arnaud, Catcher, Blue Jays – MLB Says – The Blue Jays got d’Arnaud in the Roy Halladay deal and he has steadily improved into one of the better all-around catching prospects. Agile and fairly athletic, he also has an above-average arm, giving him all he needs to be a fine defensive catcher, especially as he learns more of the nuances of the craft. He has excellent makeup and leadership skills. His excellent bat speed should continue to allow him to hit for average and power, which really started happening in 2011. If things continue to progress, he could give J.P. Arencibia a run for his money in Toronto soon.

With Lakewood – He hit .255 – 13 – 71 in 2009, helping the BlueClaws to the Sally League title, before being included in the Roy Halladay trade that December. This year, with AA New Hampshire, he was the Eastern League MVP and won another championship with OF Anthony Gose.

44. Jonathan Singleton, First Baseman, Astros – MLB Says – Singleton has a special bat from the left side of the plate. He should hit for plenty of average, and the power started to come in 2011, with much more on the way. He has a good game plan at the plate with excellent discipline. The Phillies moved him to left field to avoid the Ryan Howard roadblock but put him back at first after a while, where he is much more comfortable defensively. The trade to Houston in the Hunter Pence deal erases that issue.

With Lakewood – He hit .290 – 14 – 77 after joining the BlueClaws from extended spring training on May 13th of 2010. He homered in his first at bat, hit two on the day the BlueClaws clinched the first-half title, and hit cleanup on Lakewood’s second straight championship team. He was traded to Houston in the Hunter Pence trade in July of 2011.

54. Trevor May, Starting Pitcher, Phillies – MLB Says – May is starting to develop into a more complete pitcher and not just a thrower. The fastball is up to 95 mph and it has plenty of sink. May has no trouble maintaining velocity deep into his starts. He complements his fastball with an above-average curve and a changeup that shows glimpses of being above-average as well. While he still walks a good number of hitters, he lowered his walk rate considerably and showed better overall command.

With Lakewood – He went 4-1, 2.56 in 2009 and returned on July 4th, 2010 to go 7-3, 2.91 down the stretch and was the workhorse starter on two different BlueClaws championship teams. This year, he was third in the minors with 208 strikeouts while pitching for Clearwater.

57. Anthony Gose, Outfielder, Blue Jays – MLB Says – Gose is an exciting player to watch thanks to his considerable tools. The best one, of course, is his plus plus speed, which he uses to be a major basestealing threat and to be an outstanding defensive center fielder. He also has one of the best outfield arms in the Minors as a former high-school pitcher who could dial it up into the mid-90s. He did draw more walks in 2011 and started turning his raw power into production, but his strikeout rate is still too high, especially if he’s going to be a top-of-the-order catalyst.

With Lakewood – He set the franchise stolen base record with 76 in 2009, stole 45 in the Florida State League in 2010 and 70 more this year with New Hampshire. Gose hit over .400 in the 2009 Sally League postseason at Lakewood’s leadoff hitter and catalyst. He was traded to Houston in the 2010 Roy Oswalt trade and was immediately flipped to the Blue Jays where he was re-united with Travis d’Arnaud.

61. Jarred Cosart, Starting Pitcher, Astros – MLB Says – Cosart shook off the injury bug that hampered him in 2009 and 2010 to have a fully healthy 2011 season, albeit one interrupted by the trade. He has electric stuff, with a plus fastball that touches the upper 90s. His curve, while inconsistent at times, can be nasty, and he’ll even show glimpses of an excellent changeup. He’s lean and projectable.

With Lakewood – Went 7-3, 3.79 in the first half of 2010 with Lakewood before getting hurt, though he did help the BlueClaws to a first-half title. The hard-thrower was traded to the Astros in the Hunter Pence trade at the deadline in 2011.

78. Jesse Biddle, Starting Pitcher, Phillies – MLB Says – A strong and durable southpaw, Biddle has the makings of three above-average to plus pitches in his arsenal. He’s shown the ability to run his fastball in the low 90s. He has a changeup that could be plus when all is said and done, and although his curve is inconsistent, it’s tighter and has a harder break than when he was in high school. He needs to improve his command, not rare for such a young arm, but he did lower his walk rate in the second half of 2011.

With Lakewood – Biddle had a 1.97 ERA after the all-star break and went 7-8, 2.98 on the year, his first full season after being drafted the previous June. He was also named the South Atlantic League All-Star Left-Handed Pitcher at the conclusion of the season.

80. Brody Colvin, Starting Pitcher, Phillies – MLB Says – Despite the rough 2011 season, Colvin still has pure stuff, and a projectable pitcher’s body, that would be the envy of many a pitching prospect. His fastball is plus at times, up into the mid-90s with good sink that generates ground balls. Both his curve and his changeup have the chance to be very good secondary pitches, and he’s shown a better feel for the offspeed pitch in the past then many his age. His command suffered in 2011, something that will have to improve for him to move forward.

With Lakewood – He was 6-8 with the BlueClaws in 2010 but had an ERA of just 3.38 and was the only Lakewood starter to make every turn that year. His ERA after May 15th was below 2.50.

Some Winter Tour Leftovers

Monday, January 30th, 2012

Just cleaning out the notebook with some leftover quotes from the Winter Tour last Wednesday.

Mickey Morandini
“Lakewood is such a great environment. I know the players really enjoy playing in front of big crowds which we have here and I’m really looking forward to Opening Day.”

“I love everything about coaching. I love teaching the kids and I love seeing them grow into better and better players. I’ve been friends with Ruben for a while and now with my kids being older it made sense for me to start getting back into the game of baseball.”

“I’d love to manage in the bigs, but right now my job is to send Charlie the most polished players I can send him. People ask me what type of manager are you? I’ll say that I’m patient, and will be able to give the kids plenty of time to develop. The most gratifying part for me is to see the kids in April and see how much they’ve gotten better by September.”

Ruben Amaro
“We are very fortunate to have the support of all the people in this room and I applaud all of you for your support.”

“I believe Jimmy (Rollins) is the most consistent shortstop in baseball…If things didn’t work out with Jimmy we were ready for Freddy Galvis, who may still get an opportunity to play Major League Baseball this year.”

“We like to shoot for a guy that may be more high risk/high reward type of player than most teams.”

You see some photos of the event on Facebook here.

Also within the next week or so we’ll start with our position by position looks at guys that might be with the BlueClaws in 2012.