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Posts Tagged ‘Batting Average’

Phils Offense Needs Better Swings At The Plate

Posted by Jonathan Nisula, Fri, May 03, 2013 08:00 AM Comments: 9

Bad swings are killing the Phillies in 2013. (PHOTO: AP)

Bad swings are killing the Phillies in 2013. (PHOTO: AP)

The Phillies offense is clearly struggling this year. As a team, they are 8th in the NL in average, 12th in OBP, 10th in SLG, and 13th in OPS. The more in depth you go, the worse the stats get. I was looking for the root of the offensive woes when I came across their strikeout-to-walk ratio. I knew that they weren’t drawing many walks and were striking out a lot, but when you put them together, only the Cubs in the NL have a worse ratio.

However, the Phillies are about league average in pitches seen per plate appearance (P/PA). So they are seeing a decent amount of pitches, but do not have the walks to show for it. So what is happening with those pitches?

The Phils make contact with the ball (in any capacity) on about 77% of their swings, which is slightly below league average. But there’s a twist: they are fourth in the NL in the percentage of plate appearances that result in balls put into play. Their BABIP is at 6th.

This means that the balls that they put into play are resulting in more outs than other teams. Sure, this could be a case of  a tiny bit of “bad luck”, but when we see guys like Ben Revere ground out to second over and over again, and guys like Michael Young grounding into double play after double play, we begin to think otherwise.

So what’s the solution? Making better swings. They are seeing enough pitches, but they swing and miss too much, and when they make contact, it results in an out more often than it should. If they can make better swings, they’d make better contact more often. Their strikeout percent would go down, and it would put more pressure on opposing teams’ defense.

The Rockies have the NL’s best OPS and wOBA so far this year. They see about the same amount of pitches the Phillies do, but make contact more often, which results in the NL’s best batting average. They do more with the pitches they see with better swings. But is that possible with the Phillies? I think so. Definitely not best in the NL, but I think the Phillies’ bats still have some life in them. I think Ryan Howard, Domonic Brown, and Ben Revere will all improve over the course of the season, and if Delmon Young can produce as well, I think we’ll see better at-bats and more “oomph” from the offense.

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PN Interview: Reading Manager Dusty Wathan Talks 2013 Fightins

Posted by Jay Floyd, Tue, April 30, 2013 11:30 AM Comments: 1

Reading manager Dusty Wathan

In his second year with the team, former pro catcher Dusty Wathan has led the Double-A Reading Fightin Phillies to a 12-10 record thus far in the early going.

After his 14-year playing career, Wathan began the next leg of his career, managing, with the short-season Williamsport Crosscutters in the Phillies organization in 2008. Since then, the son of former Royals manager John Wathan has climbed up the Philadelphia developmental ranks, making stops with Class A Lakewood, Class A Advanced Clearwater and, of course, Reading.

As a player, Wathan was signed by Seattle in 1994 and went on to compete in the Florida, Milwaukee, Cleveland, Kansas City and Philadelphia organizations. With the Royals, Wathan appeared in three big league games in 2002.

This week, I sat down with Dusty to discuss the collection of well-regarded talent on his roster including top prospect Jesse Biddle, catcher Sebastian Valle, outfielders Anthony Hewitt and Zach Collier, plus plenty more. Read ahead for that full interview.

- Jesse Biddle is a guy that drives great interest from the fans at this point. Clearly, he’s always been very well touted, but the dominance he has shown with the strike outs and the batting average against, is that surprising at all to you?

Well, I don’t know about batting average against, but I know what his batting average is…he can swing the bat too! He’s been outstanding. He works as hard, if not harder, than any other starting pitcher I’ve ever seen. I mean, I tell these guys, you reap what you sow. And I’ll tell you what, he’s getting the rewards for it right now. He goes after it as hard as anybody and everything he gets is well deserved. He’s got the ability to go with the hard work. A lot of guys don’t have the ability that he has and he’s got the ability to throw four pitches and be a good major leaguer. Continue reading PN Interview: Reading Manager Dusty Wathan Talks 2013 Fightins

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Minor League Notebook: 4/29/13

Posted by Jay Floyd, Mon, April 29, 2013 12:40 AM Comments: 0

Tops on the Phillies’ developmental hot list is Double-A Reading Ace Jesse Biddle, who, in his last two outings, has thrown 13 scoreless innings, while allowing just two total hits and striking out 26 batters.  Overall this season, Biddle, who was the Phils’ 1st round draft selection in 2010, has a 2-1 record with a 1.74 ERA and a .114 batting average against.

Last week, Biddle locked down a win against Harrisburg, when he struck out 16 and allowed only one hit and no runs over seven innings.

On Sunday, in Reading’s 2-1 win over New Hampshire, the left-handed 21-year-old fanned 10 New Hampshire Fisher Cats (Toronto affiliate).  The video clip below features Biddle striking out the side in the 5th inning and speaking to the media following his second consecutive tremendous effort.


Continue reading Minor League Notebook: 4/29/13

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PN Interview: Catching Prospect Chace Numata

Posted by Jay Floyd, Sun, April 28, 2013 09:00 AM Comments: 0

Chace Numata, image- Jay Floyd

One of the more consistent bats in the Class A Lakewood lineup in the early going this season has been that of catcher Chace Numata.  The 20-year-old sported a .280 batting average entering the weekend through 14 games for the BlueClaws.

A 14th round draft pick in 2010 out of Pearl City High School in Hawaii, Numata sported a .224 batting average with two home runs and 30 RBI through 84 professional games entering the 2013 season.  Now, the 6-foot 175-pounder is leading a pitching staff that includes last year’s top Phils draft pick Shane Watson and trying to help solidify an offense that is tied for the least amount of runs scored in the South Atlantic League.

Last week, I spoke with Chace about his transition from playing infield and pitching in high school, the hamate fracture that forced him to miss a great majority of the 2011 season, his progress in the minor leagues and plenty more.  Read ahead for that full interview.

- Chace, you seem to be producing pretty steadily on offense this year.  What is your comfort level like at the dish?

It’s not bad.  I feel like, I think a lot, so this entire season I’ve been trying to not think so much and let the game come to me and slow things down.

- On the defensive side, you’re not as consistent.  People would notice passed balls (seven this year) and things like that.  I know you’ve changed positions.  What can you tell me about how you’re adjusting there?

You know, I’m still kind of learning, going from, in high school, just playing shortstop and pitching, to my first year in 2010 playing catcher.  I’m still learning.  There’s still a lot of errors and things, passed balls, and I just feel like, when the coaches come in, my catching coach, he always knows how to fix it.  And I just need to kind of just stay with it. Continue reading PN Interview: Catching Prospect Chace Numata

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Gameday: Phillies (9-12) vs. Pirates (11-9)

Posted by Amanda Orr, Wed, April 24, 2013 06:54 PM Comments: 26

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_R2yHiPgsajA/Si048xOKYNI/AAAAAAAABg0/Zr2Ct92C2ok/s400/pirates+logo.gifPhiladelphia Phillies (9-12) vs Pittsburgh Pirates (11-9)

Wandy Rodriguez (2-0, 0.56) vs. Roy Halladay (2-2, 6.04)

TIME: 7:05, Citizens Bank Park
TV:
Comcast Sportsnet, home of Phillies Nation TV
Weather: 55, cloudy
Media: Twitter and Facebook

Continue reading Gameday: Phillies (9-12) vs. Pirates (11-9)

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Schierholtz/Nix Fiasco Yet Another Miscalculation

Posted by Corey Seidman, Fri, April 19, 2013 11:40 AM Comments: 26

The Phillies are getting absolutely nothing out of their outfield. In 183 at-bats, Phillies outfielders are batting .219 with five home runs.

Ben Revere hasn’t gotten off the ground, Laynce Nix and John Mayberry are doing pretty much what you’d expect in one outfield corner and Domonic Brown remains the wildly inconsistent, baseball version of Evan Turner.

The Phillies’ outfield is as unsettled as it was months ago when the offseason was just underway. Of these four players, Revere has the longest track record as a starter and that was one full season in Minnesota. So it is odd today — as it was months ago — that the Phillies so easily gave up on Nate Schierholtz.

Schierholtz is hitting .350 with eight extra-base hits for the Cubs, who are paying him a measly $2.25 million. The Phillies had a chance to offer him arbitration but instead non-tendered him at the end of November.

It was a curious move at the time. The Phils had no regular outfielders, had to know a platoon would be utilized in one corner, and yet still parted ways and got nothing for Schierholtz. This despite his well above-average defense, his .287 batting average vs. righties since 2011 and his overall superiority to Nix.

The Phils’ reasoning? Nix was under contract already for $1.35MM in 2013. High-priced outfielders were still on the market, and they were still “players” for guys like Angel Pagan, Cody Ross, etc.

But it’s not as if the Phils have never eaten the final year of a bad, unnecessary contract. They did it in Danys Baez’s second year. They did it in Adam Eaton’s third year. If you didn’t want both players on the 25-man roster, Nix could have been moved or cut. To keep him over Schierholtz just because Nix had a small guarantee … well, that’s the kind of move that has gotten the Phillies to this place. It’s poor talent evaluation. Had Schierholtz not gotten hurt after being traded to the Phils, they probably would have kept him. But instead his track record was dismissed, and Ruben Amaro chose to go with Nix, the guy who has some power but never walks, plays worse defense than Schierholtz and doesn’t put the ball in play as much.

It just made no sense, and it continues to make no sense as the Phillies’ outfield gives them nothing. This is a poorly assembled team. Schierholtz isn’t some sort of savior, but he has 2.5-WAR potential as a platoon outfielder getting 70% of at-bats in a given season.

This 6-10 record, this pathetic offense, these situational struggles, they just feel like the culmination of years of myopic moves and strict adherence to an organizational philosophy that doesn’t mesh with winning in this day and age. Schierholtz is yet another example.

Amaro expressed shock on Monday that the Phillies had gone three (now four) games without a walk.

Why is he shocked? This is the only organization in baseball that doesn’t employ an advanced stats department, and he’s the one who built the team.

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Weekly Minor League Wrap Up, 4/17/13

Posted by Jay Floyd, Wed, April 17, 2013 11:00 AM Comments: 1

It’s time, once again, for our weekly glance around the Phillies’ developmental ranks, taking a look a some exceptional performers and those that have raised some eyebrows for different reasons.

Class A Lakewood
hot list-

Art Charles, photo- Jay Floyd

First baseman Art Charles, who was acquired from Toronto this spring in the Michael Schwimer trade, has hit in six straight games, going 9-for-22 (.409 avg) with two doubles, two homers and seven RBI in that stretch. Overall, the lefty batting 22-year-old is hitting .239 in 13 games this season.

Righty reliever Nic Hanson, who celebrated his 21st birthday this week, has struck out 10 batters while walking two in eight innings of work through three appearances. Additionally, he has a save and a 3.38 ERA during that time as well. The six-foot-seven 210-pounder was drafted by the Phils in the 16th round last year out of Golden West College.

Lakewood red flags-

OF Brian Pointer is batting .174 this season, despite a current three-game hitting streak. The lefty batting 21-year-old was the Phillies’ 28th round draft pick in 2010.

17-year-old outfielder Carlos Tocci, the youngest player in the South Atlantic League, has posted a .186 batting average with one extra-base hit (a double) in 12 contests this season. The right-handed hitting Venezuelan batted .278 with two doubles in 38 games last season with the Gulf Coast League Phillies. Continue reading Weekly Minor League Wrap Up, 4/17/13

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PN Interview: 3B Prospect Mitch Walding

Posted by Jay Floyd, Fri, April 12, 2013 08:00 AM Comments: 0

MitchWalding2

Lakewood 3B Mitch Walding, photo- Jay Floyd

Phillies 5th round draft choice from 2011, Mitch Walding, is off to a solid start to the  regular season this year with the Class A Lakewood BlueClaws.  Walding, a 3rd baseman, has gone 9-for-28 (.321 avg) with two doubles and six RBI through eight games thus far against South Atlantic League competition.

The lefty batting Lodi, CA native made his pro debut last season with the short-season Class A Williamsport Crosscutters, posting a .233 batting average along with 10 doubles, three triples, a homer and 31 RBI in 60 games.

After playing in the Florida Instructional League last year as well, the six-foot-three 190-pounder came into spring training this year, ready to make an impact and made his full season team debut last week.

I spoke with the 20-year-old Walding recently about his his draft experience, his time as a pro thus far and plenty more.  Read ahead to check out the full interview.

- In 2011, you were a 5th round draft pick.  I just wanted to get you to take me through your draft experience and talk about how you were tracking the draft, how did you learn the Phillies drafted you and how did you celebrate?

I was at my grandmother’s house with all my family and friends.  I knew I wasn’t probably gonna go the first day, I knew I was gonna go anywhere from four to, anywhere to round 15. We were just kind of sitting there and waiting and we came down and I didn’t really think I was gonna get picked that day, ’cause I was the last pick of that day, or whatever, on TV, and all of a sudden it kind of just happened. They called my name and my whole family was excited and kind of jumping around. Everyone was stoked. It was a great time. You can’t really explain it. It was a great time. Everyone was full of excitement. Continue reading PN Interview: 3B Prospect Mitch Walding

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Minor League Notebook: Injuries, Signings and Stats

Posted by Jay Floyd, Wed, April 10, 2013 08:00 AM Comments: 0

Mario Hollands

Lefty hurler Mario Hollands, who is on the disabled list for the Class A Advanced Clearwater Threshers, is not currently ailing and is spending time with the Phils’ extended spring training team until further notice. Pitching at four levels of the organization’s developmental system last season, the 24-year-old posted a 7-9 record with a 4.55 ERA and a .282 batting average against in 27 outings (18 starts).

Right-handed reliever Kenny Giles, who also opened the 2013 season on the disabled list for the Threshers, is dealing with an oblique strain. There is no known time frame for the Phillies’ 2011 7th round draft selection’s return. Last season, with Class A Lakewood and Clearwater, the 22-year-old tallied a 4-3 record with eight saves, a 3.51 ERA and a 12.18 K/9 mark in 39 contests.

Left-handed starting pitcher Nick Hernandez made his official return to the mound for the Threshers on Tuesday evening. Out since 2010 with repeated shoulder injuries, the 24-year-old had a very good outing for Clearwater, throwing five innings, allowing two runs (both earned) on five hits while surrendering four walks and striking out five opposing batters.  Hernandez, the nephew on MLB umpire Angel Hernandez, was a mid-season South Atlantic League All-Star with Lakewood in 2010, when he went 3-1 with a 1.61 ERA in eight outings prior to being sidelined. Continue reading Minor League Notebook: Injuries, Signings and Stats

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The Cody Chronicles, Vol. 6: Asche Ready to Begin 2013 Season

Posted by Jay Floyd, Tue, March 26, 2013 08:00 AM Comments: 1

Asche with Reading in 2012, Image- Jay Floyd

As the exhibition schedule winds down, we check in one last time with Phillies third base prospect Cody Asche, who has been offering weekly thoughts directly from inside spring training in Clearwater, FL.

A 4th round draft selection in 2011 out of the University of Nebraska, Asche has been a fast rising prospect since joining the Phils organization. Last year, the 22-year-old, in his first full professional season, tallied a .324 batting average with 12 homers, 72 RBI and 11 stolen bases in 130 combined games with Class A Advanced Clearwater and Double-A Reading. Asche followed up that campaign with a .281/.343/.438 line with Peoria in the Arizona Fall League. This spring the six-foot-one 180-pounder went 5-for-14 (.357 average) with two doubles in eight Grapefruit League contests this year, before being reassigned to minor league camp.

In the latest edition of The Cody Chronicles, Asche talks about the potential of beginning the season with Triple-A Lehigh Valley IronPigs, playing on developmental teams located in the heart of big league Phillies territory, his teammate and roommate Adam Morgan as well as plenty more. Read ahead for Cody’s thoughts.

On the possibility of starting the season at the Triple-A level, having entered the final week of spring games playing with the group that will come north as the Lehigh Valley IronPigs…

I don’t think anything’s set in stone. Anything can happen. So, I’ll just keep showing up and doing my work and keep playing hard until we get those final assignments. You can’t really assume anything at this point when, there’s still a lot of changes that could probably be made. Continue reading The Cody Chronicles, Vol. 6: Asche Ready to Begin 2013 Season

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