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Posts Tagged ‘Hunter Pence’

Phillies Player Review: Domonic Brown

Posted by Ryan Dinger, Fri, November 09, 2012 09:00 AM Comments: 11

Domonic Brown needs to step up.

With Hunter Pence now in San Francisco and no one stepping in to take the full-time left field job in 2012, the Phillies are now desperately in need of two corner outfielders. Add on top of that the fact that, through the last four seasons, Ruben Amaro Jr. has traded away a boatload of offensive talent, all while refusing to budge on Brown, and the pressure on the young outfielder to become the player he was projected to be as a prospect is building fast.

The Phillies really need him to come through. To that end, they gave him his first true shot in the big leagues in 2012 (in 2010 he got a short look while Shane Victorino was on the DL and again as a September call-up and in 2011 he only had a month to prove himself before the plug was pulled).

For Brown, the results were mixed. He showed flashes of being the player everyone thinks he can be, but he was also plagued by long stretches of ineffectiveness, which leave his final numbers looking very bleak. He finished with a triple slash line of .235/.316/.396, while striking out 34 times and walking 21 times. He had five home runs and 26 RBI. Even more disheartening: he not only didn’t register a stolen base, he didn’t even make an attempt.

One plus for Brown was, of his 44 hits, 18 of them were for extra bases. He did show a fair amount of power, despite the anemic triple slash. He also got on base at a high rate, as the .316 OBP to a .235 batting average indicates.

However, what needs to be remembered about these numbers at the plate  is that they came over a very small sample size (212 plate appearances). He was also riddled by poor luck, posting a .260 BABIP. With an average BABIP of .300 (the league mean over the course of an entire season), Brown would’ve hit .272. Poor luck is not something to be ignored in this case, especially because the sample size was so small. Those things tend to even out and there are signs Brown can be a better hitter than the surface numbers this season showed. In the end, his .309 wOBA wasn’t atrocious.

In the field, it was more of the same from Brown. He exhibited fantastic athleticism and an amazing throwing arm (seven outfield assists in 51 games is a ridiculous number). But he also showed an inability to routinely track fly balls, coming up with more than a few misplays.

All and all, it seems like too short a viewing to truly evaluate Brown. Alas, that is what I have been tasked to do, so evaluate I must.

GRADE: C.  This grade probably should be lower. But I’m giving Brown a pass here because of the poor luck and the small sample. I think it’s also important to remember that, even though he seems older, Brown is still a very young player (This past season was his age 24 season). Many guys don’t get it figured out on the big league level until their mid-20s, and there’s enough here to suggest Brown will also reach a higher plateau of performance as he ages. That said, time is running out for him to become the player everyone expected.

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Weekly Off-season League Updates, 11/4/12

Posted by Jay Floyd, Sun, November 04, 2012 02:05 PM Comments: 2

It’s time for another edition of our off-season league updates. Each week, we’ll take a tour around the globe for a look at Phillies talents participating in various autumn and winter action.

Arizona Fall League (all Phillies talent plays for Peoria)-

Catching prospect Tommy Joseph (pictured left) is batting .152 with a double and an RBI in 10 games. The 21-year-old participated in Saturday’s AFL Rising Stars Game, and went 1-for-2 in the contest.  Joseph was acquired by the Phillies in the Hunter Pence trade last July.

Third baseman Cody Asche also played in the Rising Stars Game, going 0-for-2.  The 22-year-old has posted a .271 average with seven doubles, a homer and seven RBI through 17 games in the AFL. The University of Nebraska product was the Phils’ 4th round draft pick last year.

Outfielder Zach Collier has tallied a .295 batting average with three doubles, two triples and seven RBI through 13 games. The lefty hitting Collier was a supplemental round draft choice in 2008 out of high school. Collier, who began the regular season serving a suspension for banned substances, posted a .269/.333/.399 line in 78 games with Class A Advanced Clearwater in 2012.

Kyle Simon, has a 2-2 record with a 9.00 ERA through five starts. The righty, who was acquired in the Jim Thome trade from Baltimore, posted a 1.36 ERA through 20 regular season appearances after joining the Phillies organization in 2012. Continue reading Weekly Off-season League Updates, 11/4/12

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Minor League Notebook: AFL Rising Stars, R-Phils’ Rebranding & More

Posted by Jay Floyd, Wed, October 31, 2012 10:45 PM Comments: 1

Rosters for the Arizona Fall League’s All-Star type showcase were announced on Wednesday with two Phillies prospects among the talents involved.  Third baseman Cody Asche (pictured) and catcher Tommy Joseph will represent their Javelinas club in the seventh annual Rising Stars Game, which will be televised on MLB Network this coming Saturday, November 3rd at 8 PM eastern time.

Asche, the Phillies’ 4th round draft selection in 2011, was a fast mover upward in the developmental ranks this year. After beginning his first full pro season with Class A Advanced Clearwater, Asche was promoted to Double-A Reading in June.

Altogether in 130 regular season games at the two levels, Asche, who recently offered his thoughts on his time in the AFL, launched 12 home runs with 72 RBI and an .849 OPS.  In 15 games with Peoria in the AFL, Asche, a University of Nebraska product, has tallied a .259 average with one home run and seven RBI.

Joseph, who was acquired from San Francisco in the Hunter Pence trade this past summer, has struggled a bit in AFL play, batting .172 with no home runs and one RBI in nine games played. Continue reading Minor League Notebook: AFL Rising Stars, R-Phils’ Rebranding & More

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Phillies Player Review: Josh Lindblom

Posted by Corey Seidman, Tue, October 30, 2012 02:07 PM Comments: 18

Josh Lindblom has limited righties to a .191 batting average in two seasons.

The Phillies’ bullpen was a disaster in 2012, placing 21st in ERA (3.94) and 29th in eighth-inning ERA (4.89). The ‘pen blew 19 saves — 11 more than their 2011 total. And it lost 27 games after losing just 18 in 2011.

So it made sense that when the Phillies were set to unload Shane Victorino and Hunter Pence at the trade deadline, they would look for at least one young reliever who could come in to help a beleaguered unit. Victorino was dealt to the Dodgers for 25-year-old right-hander Josh Lindblom and 23-year-old starting pitching prospect Ethan Martin.

While Martin flourished at Reading, going 5-0 with a 3.18 ERA in seven starts, Lindblom didn’t have much success in a Phillies uniform. He had a 4.63 ERA for the Phillies, and while he struck out 27 batters in 23.1 innings, he also walked 17.

Lindblom has heat — his fastball ranges from 92-96 mph, but he has trouble keeping the ball in the park. He allowed 13 home runs in 71 innings this season, nine of which came on the first or second pitch of an at-bat. It’s a trend that makes you nervous going forward at Citizens Bank Park.

The 6-foot-4 Lindblom does have potential, though, and he’ll be cheap for a few more years since he has less than two years of major-league service time.

The Phils should use him as a righty specialist in 2013. Right-handed hitters are batting .191 with a .576 OPS off Lindblom in a career sample of 248 plate appearances. Lefties, though, are hitting .282/.396/.500.

Lindblom can still be a quality bullpen piece for the next two or three years if the home run trend changes, but he should not be the eighth-inning answer in 2013, whether it’s just him or a combination of he, Antonio Bastardo and possibly Phillippe Aumont. Lindblom’s propensity to hit the sweet spot of the bat and the control problems of Bastardo and Aumont would set the Phils up for another season of late meltdowns.

If the Phillies sign a veteran reliever with a track record of setup success — a Mike Adams, Ryan Madson or Brandon League — Lindblom can move into the complementary role he is better suited for at this point.

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Phillies Player Review: John Mayberry

Posted by Eric Seidman, Fri, October 26, 2012 08:15 AM Comments: 19

John Mayberry received more playing time this year, playing in 149 games with Domonic Brown in the minors, the mid-season trades of Hunter Pence and Shane Victorino and Ryan Howard‘s injury. His overall production was below average. He hit for power but didn’t reach base all that much and struck out 23% of the time.

His defense was solid at first base and in the corner outfield spots, but his athleticism didn’t translate into solid routes or range in center. All told, he tallied just 0.4 WAR this year, down from the very impressive 2.5 WAR he produced in 2011.

His 2012 campaign can be viewed one of two ways: it was an overall failure or it was an experiment that cemented the notion that he is only useful as a platoon player. The two are mutually exclusive, because buying into the latter means that this season was useful in determining his future role, which prevents it from being a total outright failure.

Maybe I’m a glass half-full kind of guy, but I choose to evaluate his production the second way. This was a largely disappointing season, but his lack of production against righties means the Phillies can use him strictly against the lefties he crushes moving forward. They don’t need to waste any more time giving him work against righties and can instead eke out more outfield production through the use of platoons. All along, we said that the one benefit to this waste of a Phillies season was that the team would get to try different players in various spots and really see what it had.

While that comment was primarily directed towards the bullpen, it was also true of Mayberry. Over the last two seasons, he embodied the common expression “He’s great as an extra man but if he’s a starter you’re not a very good team.” That expression comes in many shapes and forms, but it describes Mayberry and the Phillies. As a part-time platoon player that isn’t yet arbitration-eligible, he is a perfect fit for this Phillies roster. As an everyday starter, not so much, and the 2012 season helped prove that point.

Continue reading Phillies Player Review: John Mayberry

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Jealous of the Giants?

Posted by Pat Gallen, Thu, October 25, 2012 12:01 PM Comments: 24

Kung Fu Panda became a legend. (Mercurynews.com)

This morning, a twitter follower of mine sent me a seemingly innocuous tweet: “why can’t the Phillies be like the Giants?” Seems like a simple question, right?

Three things get a team through the postseason: luck, timely hitting/pitching, and getting hot at the right time. Seems like a simple equation for winning, right?

The San Francisco Giants are putting all three of those important ingredients into the stew at the same time and getting great results. As we’ve come to find out, it’s not always the most talented team that wins, but the team that can best figure out how to get a couple of large hits and big innings from pitchers, stay rolling, and get some luck to go your way.

Continue reading Jealous of the Giants?

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Phillies Player Review: Shane Victorino and Hunter Pence

Posted by Pat Gallen, Sun, October 14, 2012 01:52 PM Comments: 14

The outfield situation was messy in 2012. (AP)

The two outfielders spent the first half of the season with the Phillies, then both were sent packing to the west coast in separate pre-deadline deals. For that, we put Shane Victorino and Hunter Pence together as they were key cogs in an underachieving first half; not only personally, but for the entire team.

After a solid 2011 season, Victorino seemed primed for a big contract following the 2012 season as he hit free agency. The issue was that he let the contract talk follow him wherever he went. Victorino, as we’ve come to learn, moves and talks a mile a minute. There’s a lot going on in his head already, and the thoughts of millions of dollars were too much to overcome – he said so himself.

As for Pence, no one really knows what’s happening there. So much kinetic energy was not always a good thing with Pence. When he came here from Houston, it was his all-out hustle that was so endearing to the fans. That quickly got old as the dude struggled big time with runners in scoring position during the first half of the year and couldn’t slow himself down at the plate no matter the circumstance.

Continue reading Phillies Player Review: Shane Victorino and Hunter Pence

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New Arizona Fall League Season Kicks Off

Posted by Jay Floyd, Tue, October 09, 2012 08:00 AM Comments: 1

Tuesday marks the beginning of another baseball season…the Arizona Fall League season.  This year, as the league celebrates its 20th anniversary, representatives from the Phillies organization will team with players from the Reds, Padres, Twins and Mariners to make up the Poeria Javelinas roster.

Led by 2012 Double-A Reading Phillies manager Dusty Wathan, the club will feature seven Phils minor leaguers.  Righty relievers Kyle Simon, Tyler Knigge and Colby Shreve, who each manned a key bullpen role for the R-Phils into the playoffs this season, will solidify Peoria’s relief corp.  Left-hander Jay Johnson will also be serving as a reliever for the team.  Additionally, catcher Tommy Joseph, who was acquired by the Phillies in the Hunter Pence trade this year, will see considerable playing time.  Third baseman Cody Asche, who made an impact at two levels in 2012, his first full year of professional baseball, is also on the roster along with outfielder Zach Collier, who was the Phils’ supplementary 1st round draft choice in 2008.

Simon, a 22-year-old, was acquired from Baltimore in the Jim Thome trade this year, posted excellent numbers after joining the Phils system.  In 20 contests, the University of Arizona product posted a 4-0 record with a 1.36 ERA while striking out 35 batters and walking just six in 39 2/3 innings.  Simon was the Orioles’ 4th round draft pick in 2011. Continue reading New Arizona Fall League Season Kicks Off

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Thoughts From a Lost Season: The Offense

Posted by Pat Gallen, Mon, October 08, 2012 11:15 AM Comments: 46

Ryno never recovered from this. (AP)

My quick thoughts on the 2012 offense. Phillies Nation will also have a more thorough breakdown of each player coming later this month.

THE BAD

-You must begin with what wasn’t. Ryan Howard and Chase Utley were not ready for the beginning of the 2012 season, and both missed extended time nursing their injuries. Upon their return, it was Utley who looked miles ahead of Howard in terms of their bat and physical fitness. That was to be expected with Howard unable to do much cardio in the offseason while riding around on a jazzy scooter with his leg bearing no weight. It put a damper on the early part of the season, offensively speaking, and the Phillies never recovered. Would it have made a difference had they both been healthy the entire season? Perhaps.

-We can look back and positively say that the Placido Polanco signing was a failure. That’s not Polanco’s fault, either, as he was coming off a few big seasons in Detroit before coming to Philadelphia. The reason it was a terrible move was the length of the contract. Polly had one-half of a good season when he first got here in 2010, never staying healthy enough to be worth the three-year, $18 million deal Ruben Amaro gave him. Put the blame on Amaro, not Polly. He played in just 90 games this past season and now the Phillies will be searching widely for a third baseman this offseason.

Continue reading Thoughts From a Lost Season: The Offense

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Zeid Exudes Jewish Pride with Israel in WBC Qualifiers

Posted by Jay Floyd, Wed, September 26, 2012 08:00 AM Comments: 1

A failed attempt by Team Israel to qualify for next year’s World Baseball Classic was disappointing for former Phillies prospect Josh Zeid, but the experience is one that he is proud of and the Tulane University product is confident that the sport is headed in the right direction for the country that has limited experiences with America’s national pastime.

The righty hurler, Zeid, described his time representing Israel as a true highlight, not only in his career but in his life as a whole. Additionally, he stressed his level of enjoyment playing along side players with such similar backgrounds.

“Playing with 27 teammates, who all are very similar to myself, religiously and socially, was a tremendous and very unique experience,” Zeid said.  “I’ve had Jewish teammates before, but to have a whole team of Jewish men, really brought a cohesiveness that I’ve never quite felt in the locker room before. It was as if we had been teammates for a whole year or years. It was the most fun I’ve had on the mound in a long time and it was also the hardest loss I’ve ever had to deal with in my career.”

Zied, who was part of a package of prospects dealt by the Phillies to Houston for All-Star outfielder Hunter Pence last season, was a stud on the mound for the Class A Lakewood BlueClaws team that won the South Atlantic League championship in 2010.  Continue reading Zeid Exudes Jewish Pride with Israel in WBC Qualifiers

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