"Pitching has got to be the foundation in the organization. Everybody wants a good pitcher. The more pitchers we have, the stronger our organization will be."
- Dayton Moore, Kansas City Royals General Manager

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

2008 Philadelphia Phillies Organizational Depth Report

1. cole hamels, LHSP
2. carlos carrasco, RHSP - late 2008
3. josh outman, LHSP - mid 2008
4. kyle kendrick, RHSP
5. edgar garcia, RHSP - 2010
6. drew carpenter, RHSP - may 2009
7. james happ, LHSP - mid 2008
8. antonio bastardo, LHSP - 2010
9. fabio castro, LHSP
10.scott mathieson, RHSP - mid 2008

the phillies organization has created a lot of depth by finally diving into the latin american markets. carrasco, garcia, and bastardo were all products of the team's latin american academies, and the pipeline has only just started, as the organization's dominican summer league affiliate had a conglomerated ERA more than a half a run lower than league average, with their rotation having players aged 17, 17, 18, 19, 21. unfortunately, none of those prospects appear to be ready to head stateside in 2008, so while this is the tree that keeps on giving, the fruit might not start ripening until 2010.

i am very high on carlos carrasco, but i have a slight concern that he's been overused these last 2 years. he's thrown 300 combined innings since 2006 opened, and i never like to see that many innings on a teenage arm. scouting wise, he varies the speed of his fastball, so it sits from 88-93, but he has little problem revving it up to 95. his changeup is his best pitch, and when he's on, he is flat out dominating, not just because of his stuff, but because of his insistance on varying the speed of his best two pitches. the whole is most definitely greater than the sum of it's parts.

james happ had a relatively horrible season in 2008, and that is mostly due to the collapse of his BB rate. he is not a good enough pitcher, and he is not a good enough thrower to be able to succeed with a BB rate around 4.5/9 IP. i think his BB rate will regress to about 3.5/9 IP, but if it doesn't get under 3, he has very little value.

scott mathieson received inclusion to this list based on his tremendous fastball-slider combination, but it should be noted that he is still recovering from TJ surgery, and he likely won't be fully healthy until september of 2008.

also receiving consideration were kyle drabek and mike zagurski, who both underwent TJ surgery during this season *edit: zagurski had season ending surgery for a torn hamstring, not TJ surgery.* drabek would have slotted in at 4 if healthy, and zagurski would have fought for the 10th spot, but would likely have fallen short.

i did not include savery because i don't have a good enough feel for him. as a philly resident, i was against the pick at first, because of the torn labrum that he suffered as a result of a bone growth in his shoulder, but i have since been assuaged of that feeling. if the phillies team doctor's did their jobs (which considering the joe borowski and freddy garcia situations is a big if) savery should be a very good acquisition for the phils. savery would rank behind outman, but ahead of drabek, if i included him in this list. my reasoning for not including savery can be found on the sidebar to the right.

Spotlight: Kyle Kendrick

Kendrick's fastball is his bread and butter. whereas carlos carrasco, kendrick's 2006 teammate at low A lakewood, creates unease in the minds of opposing hitters by changing speeds on his fastball and changeup, kendrick creates unease by sinking, cutting, and running his low 90s fastball in, down, and off the plate versus left and right handed batters.

kendrick also features a slider that sits in the mid 80s. he doesn't really use it as a strikeout pitch, but instead as more of a show me pitch. his changeup is also a show me pitch, at best.

getting runs on the board against him doesn't seem to be that difficult a task if batters have the right mindset stepping up to the plate. short compact swings will have the most success against kendrick because of his propensity for pitching to contact, and their willingness to take it. players with longer swings will have more trouble against kendrick as a result of their having significantly less time to identify and react to whichever variation of his fastball is coming. this leads to exactly what kendrick wants, weak contact and foul balls.

kendrick pitches most every game, every inning in the danger zone, but so long as he pitches his home games in a bandbox, where hitters are preoccupied with sending a ball over the wall, he should be a quality starter, and a quality innings eater.


Anonymous said...

I beleive Zagurski had surgery
on his hamstring not TJ surgery ...
Please correct me if that isn't
the case ...

steagles said...

you appear to be correct. i'm not sure whether that would increase or decrease his value, though. TJ is a relatively safe operation, but when your legs and/or back starts having problems, that's usually a sign of decline.

Anonymous said...

Very shorts, simple and easy to understand, bet some more comments from your side would be great