Around the Farm System

Posted by Ben Seal, Tue, June 23, 2009 06:11 AM | Comments: 32
Minor Leagues, Posts

Here’s a quick recap of the weekend around the Phillies top minor league camps:

Iron PigsLehigh Valley – Carlos Carrasco had his most encouraging start in weeks at Norfolk on Saturday, tossing 7 innings, allowing 5 hits and a run while striking out 5 against two walks. His strikeout-to-walk rate has been 3.5-to-1 this season, the best of his career, so despite the high ERA he may be figuring things out. He might be set to embark on a two-month tear through the International League. Or he might get lit up in his next start.  (more to come on him tomorrow)

Reading PhilliesReading – While Brad Lidge drew all the attention this weekend during his outing with the R-Phils, the real story was the team’s 1-2 punch of Kyle Drabek and Joe Savery.

Drabek pitched eight innings of shutout ball Friday, giving up four hits and no walks while striking out five. He gave up leadoff hits in innings 2, 3, and 4, but worked out of the jam each time before going on to retire the final 16 batters he faced. He lowered his ERA to 2.08 through four starts with Reading.

After Lidge tossed his inning to start the game Saturday, Savery had his chance to out-pitch Drabek. He threw five scoreless innings, allowing four hits and a walk while striking out five before rain ended his night. All told, he extended his scoreless innings streak to 14.2 innings, lowered his ERA to 3.24 and is now an impressive 9-1 on the season.

Michael Taylor slugged a grand slam Saturday and followed with 3 hits and a homer on Sunday. He now sits at .331 with 12 homers and a slugging percentage of .568.

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  • Posts: 0 NJ

    I can’t believe how some fans gave up on Savery and Carrasco, it’s early to say the Phils have an embarrassment of riches but boy this farm is starting to show sings of being one of the best farms in baseball right now.

    Carrasco will pitch in the majors, it’s good he’s taken some licks in AAA because he has the time and ability to use it to take his game to the next levels. Savery’s not Drabek but there’s no reason he can’t emulate guys like Saunders and Slowley at the major league level. Taylor just looks like a wrecking-ball who’s going to tear his way through AA and AAA to get to Philly.

    I know we all want to use some of the farm to go after a legit frontline starter (if genuinely available) but if the front office stays true to this young core then we can afford Utley, Howard, Hamels through their primes with a handful of great young players being just as important to the Phils future success. Never thought I’d say it but the future of the Phils starting pitching looks VERY bright.

  • Taylor is done with Double-A…move him to Lehigh immediately, I’m getting pretty stoked from what I see of this kid.

    Savery and Drabek too. And NJ is right about Carrasco, it’s still a learning process, but there is no reason why he cant be great either. He’s still pretty young. He’ll be fine.

  • Posts: 0 NJ

    To me the most impressive with Taylor is the K/BB ratio and K rate to go along with all that talent. He’s a little older so maybe it’s to be expected but for just over 2 years of pro ball he’s shown VERY good plate discipline and his K rate hasn’t spiked at any level which says it’s no fluke.

    It’s early to make this prediction but I think Jayson Werth will be the odd man out after next year making way for Taylor (or equivalent considering how quickly clubs fall in and out of love with prospects- Jaramillo) considering his contract situation.

  • Posts: 0 Albert

    If the Phillies acquire a big name starter, you can bet your ass Taylor will be in that deal. If Taylor isn’t in that deal than props to Rube.

  • Posts: 0 Albert

    Is it safe to say Taylor is putting up Ryan Howard type minor league numbers?

  • Posts: 0 William of Schuylkill County

    I’m getting my fill of Drabek and Taylor again this week…don’t know how long until I can…

  • Posts: 0 NJ

    Taylor’s in Reading at the same age Howard was and the numbers are reasonably comparable, Howard showed more production with his bat though Taylor’s average right now stands over 30pts higher with much better plate discipline, the OPS is similar except Howards was boosted by the added power.

    I really doubt Taylor will be dealt, Gillick held his ground on Carrasco and Marson last year and Amaro will do the same unless he is able to land an arm like Halladay or Webb, Donald from the sound of it is still the most dealable positional guy by virtue of being a shortstop. That said it too LaPorta to land Sabathia last year as a rental and he was a much more coveted prospect that Taylor.

  • Posts: 0 Chuck P

    NJ… on the money. Patience… we already have a great core that has proven that they have what it takes. Alongside this next wave of talent, the future looks bright. We are there now but the Taylor’s and Carrasco’s will help us stay there for a long time… I am ok with trading a top-tier prospect for a LEGITIMATE horse… a true #1 or #2… but pitchers are frail and there are no guarantees so if it comes down to getting a guy with a lot of question marks or keeping what we’ve got, I would say that we’re better off staying pat.

  • Posts: 0 Dan

    its nice to hear something positive coming out of the phillies’ organization right now

  • Posts: 0 Argive

    Carrasco will be fine. Despite the high ERA, his WHIP is 1.36, which is pretty close to his career average so far. His HR/9 is at .9, his BB/9 is down, and I like that K/BB ratio. I think his ERA is as high as it is because his H/9 is up a bit (9.8) and the IronPigs’ defense is not so good. His BABIP stands at .356, and his LOB% is at 58.9. Even bad pitchers will tend to strand 70% over the long run, so I think that he’s been victimized by bad luck. Also, by all accounts, he can get rattled easily, which can’t help. But you can fix that kind of thing in the minors. I’m looking forward to seeing the guy crack the major leagues, and I hope it’s with the Phils.

  • Posts: 0 NJ

    Carrasco, Bastardo, Drabek, Savery, Worley, Stutes and that’s just the start. I think we can agree we’ve got as much as were likely to get from Kendrick (who deserves some respect for what he did achieve coming out of nowhere) though past those names above there’s still Knapp, Naylor, Brummett and just browsing there’s a 23 year old Dominican lefty named Flande doing very well in high A after doing the same in rookie ball last year.

    Even if only a fraction of these guys stick with the big club, I think the amount pitching the Phils have in the system is being greatly underestimated. I just hope Amaro doesn’t repeat his predecessors pattern of trying to find success through veterans signed to multi-year deals that stops the Phils from being able to call-up young pitching unless the injury bug hits.

    The only draftee I’m scratching my head on is Hewitt, almost everyone going into the draft has ‘skills’ and I know it’s very early but this kid looks like he couldn’t hit a barn door…

  • Posts: 0 Bruce

    News item on Amaro’s thoughts regarding chances for aquiring a top tier starter:

    ” GM Ruben Amaro Jr. has been trying for weeks to trade for a proven, reliable starting pitcher, and while he’s perfectly ready to make a deal, he said he doesn’t have any willing partners. “No one’s out there dealing anybody or wanting to part with anybody because the pitchers who are available are one, hurt; and two, pitching for teams that don’t think they’re out of the race yet,” Amaro told the Wilmington (Del.) News Journal. “I know because I’ve asked about every one of them.” Many of the best pitchers believed to be available have suffered injuries, including San Diego’s Jake Peavy(notes) (torn ankle tendon) and Seattle’s Erik Bedard(notes) (left shoulder inflammation). Meanwhile, the .500 Reds won’t seriously discuss trading Aaron Harang(notes) or Bronson Arroyo(notes) unless they fade from contention, and the recently resurgent Rockies aren’t ready to deal free-agent-to-be Jason Marquis.”

  • Posts: 0 Don M

    one of the things with Taylor is that he’s said to have a line-drive swing.. which is why his HR total is “only” at 12 …. some time spent with Charlie and Milt might increase those numbers a bit… though a swing change might also cause him to struggle??

    Maybe he’s so effective because of the swing he has right now?

    Brown is the higher-rated prospect.. I’d be interested to see which of those two the Phillies want to keep.. If Brown has higher trade value, that would actually be a good thing for us!

    I dont think anyone is down on Carrasco or Savery.. anyone that has followed them know that they project as middle-to-low Starting Pitchers.. but #3′s, #4′s need to go out and win games for you too!!

    If those guys can land us a #2 type pitcher though.. the Phillies can’t be afraid to move them to help win now

  • Posts: 0 Steve-o

    I’m agree that Taylor needs a promotion. Let’s get him to AAA and see what he can do. I’m still not as sold on Savery as others, but he is certainly having a solid year.

  • Posts: 0 Bruce

    It’s so predictable that a few here when reading about the success of a prospect like Michael Taylor or a Kyle Drabek at AA level in Reading would get excited and want a fast track to the Majors for them. I trust the judgement of management, coaches and scouts in THEIR evaluation and use a judicious approach in promoting a prospective player.

  • Posts: 0 Albert

    I wouldn’t say promoting Taylor to AAA is fast tracking him. He isn’t as young as prospects like Brown or Drabek, so if he continues to dominate AA a promotion should be in the near future.

  • Posts: 0 Steve-o

    Yeah Bruce I wouldn’t move Drabek or Savery up yet. I just think that Taylor has shown himself superior to AA at this point, much in the way that Drabek showed he was superior to High Class A earlier this way.

  • Posts: 0 NJ

    Had to be said Bruce, the only questionmarsk are will the front office continue to use veterans to fill out the roster and will the Phils use AA as a springboard for serviceable prospects or speed up their development to get them time in AAA.

    I think we need to drop the tagging of where these prospects project. We need to just wish these kids do have what it takes to get to the majors, the difference between a potential frontline and middle of the rotation pitcher can be as little as an inning a start. If Carrasco learns to master his stuff he can be the frontline starter many view him as, if he doesn’t then he’s back-end rotation filler most others see him as. I don’t think Angels fans are too worried about where Joe Sauders fits in and Savery has the potential to reach that plateau if not further.

    I expect a trade, I hope of all the names mentioned it’s Harang but the important thing is we keep looking at the farm EXPECTING a future out of some of these prospects. When your scratching around past the visible prospects and see guys with ERA’s in the low 2′s and WHIP’s not too far north of 1 then I feel there’s even more pressure to stay true to a plan of addressing needs in-house. I’d compare our potential young pitching to the Angels position players, there’s a lot of them and it’ll take some time to find out who’s going to stick, but the focus has to be on those guys being part of the foreseeable future of this team.

  • Posts: 0 The Dispy

    NJ…..Whats the word on Savery? Is he now a “good prospect”? I heard his velocity is still low. Is it correct to say that he is a “crafty lefty”, as we know the term, and not a “stuff” pitcher? Regarding Bastardo, is the change up NOT his best pitch, and if so, why won’t he throw it?

    The Dipsy

  • Posts: 0 William of Schuylkill County

    Taylor is 23…so moving him to AAA, as Albert said, would not be fast tracking him.

    The only reason I could not see Taylor get a promotion, which Howard did after dominating AA like Taylor is, would be because they are holding out to trade him. If he goes up to AAA and struggles, people might be stand offish than if he is tearing up AA and people “think” he is ready to move up.

    Other than that I dont’ think Taylor has anything left to prove in AA other than having me watch him more and more.

  • Posts: 0 Don M

    Taylor also doesn’t need to jump up yet though.. why not keep his confidence growing.. keep his trade value growing, etc..

    He’s not going to play in the Big Leagues to start next season.. so there isn’t a need to jump him to AAA right now.. maybe for the last month or so of this season?

    He’ll start next year at AAA.. and you go from there.. it would be kinda nice to see what he does against “better” competition. but the Eastern League in AA is a pretty good league.. i’d let him rake down there for a little while longer

  • Posts: 0 Don M

    @ William of Sch…

    I didn’t even see that, but I agree 100% …. let him keep looking great where he is.. there is nothing really to gain by jumping him right now unless they feel he isn’t being tested at the AA level

    in 65 games he’s hitting .329, with a .392 On-Base-%
    12 HRs, 10 Steals, 44 Runs Scored

    He’s only 23-years-old though, he’s only been pro since the end 2007.. so he is still pretty new to being a “PRO” baseball player.. only 65 games played above A-ball … lets give him a while, no need to rush him

  • Posts: 0 GWFightinsFan

    Taylor and Howard are different types of players, so I dont think it is very helpful to compare their stats. Howard is obviously more of a power guy, and Taylor with his line drive swing will hit for more average, and maybe top out at 30 homers a year, which ain’t bad. I’m excited to see what he can do.

  • Posts: 0 William of Schuylkill County

    Don M…

    if we don’t trade, I agree…he will do just that start in AAA next year and maybe get a Sept. call up this year.

    I wouldn’t mind him in AA all year! :)

  • Posts: 0 NJ

    Dipsy, I know there’s been a fair bit of bad press so I hold to the knowledge the Phils saw something in him and he was considered to have fallen because of the arm surgery. He’s not going to be a fantasy stat pitcher but he is as good a prospect as when we drafted him, that excites me though I can understand how it might turn others off seeing another guy not likely to fill that elusive ‘number 2′ slot.

    As for Bastardo I’m sure there are reasons the change-up isn’t being used aggressively, I guess in NFL terms the coaches are keeping the playbook simple for him. Personally I wasn’t expecting him to stay up for long and it’s good he’s getting his feet wet now and do what Kendrick was unable to do and take all that new knowledge back to the minors to elevate his game for the when he has a legitimate chance of sticking with the big club.

  • Posts: 0 NJ

    The only reason to rush your most prized prospects is when your a bad (pre-08 DEVIL Rays) or young team (09 A’s) and the Phils aren’t either. The sensible thing with Taylor is to let his progression happen naturally, it’s unlikely more power will just appear and a lot of guys can hit well over .300 in the minors so it’s important to let his development solidify his plate presence to project as more of an Ordonez/Markakis type of bat than a big bopper.

  • Posts: 0 JeffS

    William –

    I’m all for keeping Taylor in Reading. AAA Pigs is just a holdeing tank (as someone else implied a few days ago) anyway.

    Jeff of Lebanon County

  • Posts: 0 Manny

    I’m definitely not giving up on Carrasco… ESPECIALLY since he is probably the only pitcher in the minors that could actually end up in our rotation sometime this season…and we truly need help. I hope he keeps improving and forces himself into the rotation by September…

  • Posts: 0 Chuck P

    I’ve been on the Taylor bandwagon for a while… kid is a stud. He is the reason why I didn’t feel like we needed to lock up Werth AND Vic. He just looks like he belongs in the bigs. At 6’6″, 250 lbs, it’s easy to see why they selected him, despite an inconsistent college career. Best of all, he’s a hard worker and a smart kid (Stanford). His stature and skill set reminds me of Jermaine Dye. He has speed, power and a very strong arm… untouchable.

  • Posts: 0 Jeff of NoVa.

    The problem is if you send all these guys to AAA, you have to send others down. LV is starting to play respectable baseball. If you add all the AA talent that sounds good in theory but I am not sold on the coaching staff in LV.

    Keep them where they are and bring them up from there if need be.

    No trade needed at this point. There is no one out there available at this point and to make a trade just cause we have talent burning our pocket.

    I would like to see Drabek and or Savery given a shot at the big club this year. I think they deserve it.

  • Posts: 0 mikemike

    You won’t see Drabek or Savery in the bigs this year. I really don’t think salvery is anything special, he lacks velocity, and has control problems. He never came back with his velocity since his injury, he might be a loogy some day or 7 inning guy. Drabek if healthy will be a stud. carrasco is a head case right now. and needs to mature. Taylor right now isn’t needed but if he was with a another team like the braves or giants he would be up. As far as his swing. he has changed it from college to adjust to the pro game. Remember he went to stanford, who has a reputation for hurting kids who go to the pro game, there coach teaches a different approach to hitting. which doesn’t tranlate to the pro game.

  • Posts: 0 William of Schuylkill County

    Going to see Drabek pitch again on Thursday…hopefully Taylor is in the lineup too.

    Let if he can stay impressive.

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