Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Prospects Coming for Lee

for anyone who is interested, here are the baseball america scouting reports for the prospects coming for lee. i'm disappointed the phils couldn't find a way to keep both halladay and lee, but it seems to me that the prospects they're getting back for lee are way better than the prospects they gave up to get lee in the first place.

-----

Phillippe Aumont, rhp
Age: 20. Ht.: 6-7. Wt.: 220. Bats: L. Throws: R.
Selected by Mariners in first round (11th overall) of 2007 draft; signed Aug. 15, 2007.

The Mariners surprised Aumont in spring training with the announcement that he would continue his career as a reliever. He proceeded to save 12 games in 14 chances for high Class A High Desert before running into resistance in Double-A. After elbow soreness limited the towering righthander to 56 innings in 2008, the organization reasoned that not only would the move accelerate his readiness for the big leagues, but it also would help keep him on the field. Aumont throws across his body slightly, which gives his pitches above-average life but places additional strain on his shoulder. His heavy sinker ranges from 92-95 mph with plus-plus life down in the zone. He dials his four-seamer up to 98. His mid-70s curveball features occasional plus 12-to-6 break, especially when he repeats his high three-quarters arm slot and gets extension on the front side of his delivery. The biggest thing holding Aumont him back is an overall lack of command in the zone, but if he discovers it he has true closer potential.

Background: Aumont's Quebec high school didn't offer baseball, but he impressed scouts so much while pitching for travel teams that the Mariners selected him 11th overall in 2007 and signed him for $1.9 million. He signed late and made his pro debut in 2008, pitching just 56 innings as Seattle took a cautious approach when he developed a sore elbow.

Strengths: Aumont cuts an imposing figure on the mound, and his stuff is just as intimidating. He already throws 90-95 mph with plus-plus sink and boring action, and he may be able to throw even harder as he matures physically. If batters sit on his sinker, he can blow a high-90s four-seam fastball by them. Aumont's crossfire delivery and low three-quarters arm slot can make it tough for batters to pick up his pitches. His low-80s breaking ball has plus potential.

Weaknesses: For such a high pick, Aumont is quite unpolished, and now he has to prove he can stay healthy. His arm angle makes it hard to stay on top of his breaking ball, and he has a long way to go with a true changeup after using a splitter as an amateur. If he came up with a more balanced delivery, his secondary pitches and his command would benefit.

The Future: Aumont's physical presence and the natural movement on his pitches suggest that he can fill a role at the front of a rotation. He'll pitch at high Class A High Desert in 2009.

-----

Tyson Gillies, cf
Age: 21. Ht.: 6-2. Wt.: 190. Bats: L. Throws: R.
Selected by Mariners in 25th round of 2006 draft; signed May 30, 2007.

A Mariners' draft-and-follow find from Langley, British Columbia, Gillies skipped over low Class A on his way to the high Class A California League in '09. Despite his inexperience, he produced on a grand scale, ranking third in the minors in average (.341) and triples (14), fourth in runs scored (104) and fifth in on-base percentage (.430). Formerly the top athlete in Mariners system, he grades as an 80 runner on the 20-to-80 scouting scale by some evaluators, and he paced the Cal League with 44 stolen bases. Gillies' speed translates into well above-average range in center field, where he boasts of plus arm strength. His hand-eye coordination and feel for the strike zone give him a chance to hit .280 or better. Gillies hit only one home run away from the hitter's paradise that is High Desert, as his slap-and-run approach rules out power almost completely. Hearing deficiencies require Gillies to wear hearing aids in both ears, but he's adapted by learning to read lips proficiently.

-----

J.C. Ramirez, rhp
Age: 21.Born: Ht.: 6-3. Wt.: 225. Bats: R. Throws: R
Signed as nondrafted free agent by Mariners, July 2, 2005.

High Desert is such a hostile pitching environment that you can largely disregard Ramirez's final '09 pitching line. He pitched much better in 11 road starts, compiling a 3.09 ERA in with just two home runs allowed over 64 innings. Ramirez has mid-rotation potential if he can improve his concentration on the mound and learn to repeat his delivery and arm slot. He's a physical, durable righthander who has proven capable of handling increased workloads each season. Though Ramirez's command wavers, his stuff is top-shelf, beginning with a lively 92-94 mph fastball that he also four-seams at 96-97 when necessary. He can spin a quality, high-70s slider, but the pitch lacks consistent tilt because he often drops his hands during delivery, which lowers his arm slot. His changeup has not made much progress three years of pitching in the U.S.

Background: The Mariners have as strong a presence in Nicaragua as any club. They have the nation's top minor league prospect in Ramirez, and signed its top 2008 prospect, righthander Francisco Valdivia, for $726,000 in July. Ramirez handled low Class A well for a teenager last season, showing dominating stuff and improved command.

Strengths: Tall, loose-armed and still projectable, Ramirez fires off easy 92-93 mph heat and can push his four-seam fastball to 97 on occasion. One scout lauded Ramirez for having a heavy ball, and all his pitches feature plus movement as the ball jumps out of his hand from a high three-quarters arm slot. Though he limited Midwest League batters to a .239 average largely on the strength of his fastball, he also throws a hard slider that has plus potential.

Weaknesses: Like most young flamethrowers, Ramirez lacks feel for his changeup because he's accustomed to blowing the ball past batters. He struggles to stay on top of his secondary pitches on a consistent basis. He needs to do a better job of pacing himself and holding his stuff deep into starts. He also needs to work on controlling the running game.

The Future: His build and delivery are reminiscent of former Mariner Rafael Soriano. Ramirez has the raw stuff to project as a front-end starter, but he also could follow Soriano into a role as relief ace.

Labels:

9 Comments:

Blogger David said...

no balm for this wound. They had a shot to become the team to beat in all of baseball where you could throw Hamels at teams as a 3 and instead they go on the cheap, like Phillies teams always do. I am disgusted with this team right now. They aren't serious about winning above all else as the elite teams have to be. Why can't Philadelphia fans just once have an owner push all in when they have a shot to win a title? They were 2 games away with a far inferior staff last year. Why not go for broke?

Bumble

2:37 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can someone talk some sense into Chan Ho Park and convince him that he may be the final piece necessary to compete for a World Series in 2010?

8:03 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

no balm for this wound. They had a shot to become the team to beat in all of baseball where you could throw Hamels at teams as a 3 and instead they go on the cheap, like Phillies teams always do. I am disgusted with this team right now. They aren't serious about winning above all else as the elite teams have to be. Why can't Philadelphia fans just once have an owner push all in when they have a shot to win a title? They were 2 games away with a far inferior staff last year. Why not go for broke?

bumble, as a fan i'm disappointed at not getting the opportunity to watch a potential all-time great team. i'm with you.

however, i also understand why amaro made this move. i'm sure some of it had to do with money, but i don't think it had to do with them being cheap per se and is not anything you should be disgusted about -- certainly not after what the phils have accomplished the last two seasons. even if they made this move to be cheap (which i don't think they did), haven't they earned some amount of grace period?

for me they have. even without that, though, i believe amaro has earned the right not to be questioned whether he is operating in good faith. if he says this is a baseball move, i believe him, because everything he's done since taking over from gillick tells me that he's trying to be a contender both short and long term.

he's not trying to build the 80's bears. he's trying to build the 2000's patriots.

let's also think about this in terms of probabilities. with the team as it's constructed now, what are the phillies chances of winning a world series. 8%? 10%?

how much does that improve if they'd kept lee? it certainly doesn't jump to 100%. i'd say it probably doesn't even jump to 20%. might be 15%-18%.

however, keeping lee for this one season virtually ensures that they don't have a replacement for hamels/happ when one or both of them leave the team.

keeping lee for this one season reduces the likelihood of having a replacement for victorino/werth when one or both of them leave the team.

i think your "all in" reference is appropriate for discussion here. good poker players rarely go "all in" unless the odds are significantly in their favor. the odds would not be in their favor for an all-in move here.

keeping lee would have been incredibly fun to watch, but the cold analysis says that amaro is making the right moves.

-- meanguy

9:33 AM EST  
Blogger David said...

How can one call Amaro infallible when he extended a near 50 year old pitcher two years at exorbitant money who threw absolutely terribly in the previous post season? Those dollars sure would come in handy now. In addition, when they let Lee walk after the season, they'd get compensatory picks in return. Third, why is every baseball expert saying the mariners fleeced them? Doesn't add up to the blind faith you're proposing.

Bumble

8:58 PM EST  
Blogger The Mean Guy said...

How can one call Amaro infallible when he extended a near 50 year old pitcher two years at exorbitant money who threw absolutely terribly in the previous post season? Those dollars sure would come in handy now.

no one is infallible. gillick made mistakes just like amaro's made mistakes. i'm saying i've seen amaro make more good moves than bad and i've seen unusual creativity in the way he approaches being a GM. he's earned my trust that he's working in good faith toward fielding the most competitive team he can.

i'm not saying i necessarily agree with him (though in this case i do understand why he went in this direction). i'm saying i trust him.

another thing to note is that the fans clamored to sign moyer, just like the fans are clamoring about letting lee walk. just because everyone wants it doesn't make it the right move.

In addition, when they let Lee walk after the season, they'd get compensatory picks in return. Third, why is every baseball expert saying the mariners fleeced them? Doesn't add up to the blind faith you're proposing.

a) every baseball talking head is just comparing talent vs. talent. for real GMs contract status seems to factor much more heavily than for the talking heads.

telling point to consider. if the phillies could have gotten more for lee, why did they give up even less to get him last season (when he had more contract left than he does now)?

b) i'm thinking one of the reasons is that the draft picks would result in guys much further from the majors than the guys they got in trade.

9:18 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Part I

My first reaction to this trade tandem was "egad, this could have been a team for the ages, wish the Phils would go for broke in 2010 with this once-in-a-lifetime core." My rationale was simple. If the Phils win the WS, particularly in a rematch with the Yankees (my 2nd favorite team), I'd be set for life. It wouldn't matter to me if they ever won another title. I love the game so much that I enjoy even the down years. I told Bumble privately that I'd let my son worry about the next championship while I enjoyed shorter lines at Tony Luke's.

A part of me still feels this way. With Halladay and Lee at the top of the rotation, this would have been the best squad since the late 1970's, and perhaps ever (it still might be).

I started to calm down when I learned that the Phils were receiving prospects and $6 million in the deal. Remember, when the first reports came out, the Phils were identified as the team giving prospect to both Toronto and Seattle. Under that scenario, the trade made little sense to me. I saw it as the Phils upgrading their ace while adding payroll and subtracting youth. Their current ace (Lee) wasn't as good as the new one (Halladay), but this didn't seem important as we already knew Lee could beat the Yankees (with a dynamite team behind him). Regardless of how good Halladay could be, he wasn't going to improve on a 4-0 post season.

The problem the Phils had last year was that no pitcher other than Lee was good enough to beat the Yankees. As such, keeping Lee in addition to adding Halladay was necessary to affect a genuine, practical improvement.

This may still be true. I don't have a lot of faith in Cole. This isn't based on the fact that I think he is a cupcake, a quitter, etc. Rather, it is based on the belief that guys who top out at 92 and have only two pitches can't be effective starters in the Bigs over the long haul, no matter how good the second pitch is.

The Phils have a different opinion about Cole. After listening to Amaro, it is obvious that the baseball people in the organization honestly believe he can rebound and reestablish himself as a premiere starter. Assuming this is correct, and with the knowledge that Cole is under the team's control for two more years, the decision to trade Lee makes a lot more sense.

With respect to the Phils being cheap, that's just plain silly. Their payroll will expand to the north side of $140 million. That puts them right there with the Cubs, Red Sox, Cardinals, Mets and Dodgers. I'm okay with that. Without a regional cable company like YES, they can't spend the way the #1 market Yankees do. They also can't compete against a team that charges $1500 for dugout seats instead of $60. God bless the Phillies for keeping ticket prices WAY under value. Check out what the other big markets charge for comparable tickets.

Amaro said with complete sincerity that trading Lee was a baseball decision based on the premise that his job is to make sure the team can compete for the championship EVERY....

10:30 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Part II

year. I'd argue that the willingness to spend $140 million speaks to that commitment. Amaro: "If I can't field a team that can compete for the Championship with $140 million, I'm not doing a good job."

I love Amaro. I love his intelligence, candor, and creativity. If Amaro likes the prospects he received for Lee, I like them. I haven't seen them play, but I have watched Amaro operate. The organization is getting things done right. They’re drafting well and developing prospects that other teams covet. Big-time players want to play in Philadelphia.

Something that has gone unnoticed by many in the "all in" camp: Amaro explained that he needed prospects for two reasons. First, to eventually restock the big team with new, price-favorable young players in the upcoming years (call this cheap if you want, smart if you get it), and second, to have trade bait available in the event THIS team (2010) develops holes it needs to fill to win right now.

In other words, Amaro makes a credible argument that trading Lee may offer greater flexibility to go "all in" this year. What if Lidge gets hurt at the all-star break? What if Rollins breaks his leg? After trading 7 of the organization’s best 10 prospects over six months, Amaro makes a fair point. The lack of additional prospects may hand cuff THIS year's team. I admit, I had not thought enough about this point.

For me, the bottom line is this: We don't have Lee, but we have a better pitcher in Halladay. We have a better third baseman, a better bench, and ironically, a better future.

Does everyone understand how big a coup it was to get Halladay signed for ONLY three years at $60 million? His market value was closer to $150 million for 7 years. Make no mistake, he gave the Phils a big-time gift, and this signing was brilliant, probably Amaro's best moment as a GM. I love Cliff Lee, but if anyone thinks a guy who has made "only" $15 million in his pro career would sign the same deal, he is smoking seriously good weed. Lee clearly wanted to stay in Philly, but I doubt he would have signed such a favorable deal.

The more I think about these moves in tandem, the more see that the Phils hit a home run.

I'm not unhappy at all anymore, even though I wish we had Lee for another year, just like everybody else.

I can't wait for the season to begin. After the last 3-4 phenomenal years, the team is poised for its best year ever. Will they win the World Series? You never know. If the Phils are right and Hamels can be a good #2 starter, I like their chances. If Hamels pitches like last year, they aren't as likely to win the WS as they would have been with Cliff Lee. You never really know what's going to happen, but I'm pretty sure this is a damn good team, and a damn good organization, even without Cliff Lee.

Right now, I'm confident the Phils know what they are doing. I’m a fan, but the guys calling the shots are professionals.

The “Total Package” (Amaro) has made one major mistake as a GM. He followed his heart and gave Jamie Moyer a two-year deal that pays him $8 million this year. Ultimately, this hurts the team’s ability to land late inning relief help. Pray that Chan Ho comes to his senses and returns to the fold. I think Amaro learned something from this mistake. This time, he didn’t follow his heart or popular opinion. He made a bold move based on what his head told him was the smartest decision for the long-term success of the team. After listening to Amaro describe his rationale, I’m “all in” with the General Manager.

Enjoy what you have Philly, and stop worrying about what you don't.

Ed Wade

10:34 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

By the way, thanks for reporting on the prospects, Phil.

Let's go Eagles. Looking forward to Sunday.

11:08 PM EST  
Blogger The Mean Guy said...

By the way, thanks for reporting on the prospects, Phil.

phil comment on baseball? can't wait to see the day. :)

9:07 AM EST  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home