Tommy Joseph: Full Scouting Report on Prospect Dealt for Hunter Pence

July 31, 2012 by  
Filed under Fan News

The Philadelphia Phillies became sellers in a big way right before the MLB trade deadline, dealing outfielders Shane Victorino and Hunter Pence in the same day. While losing these veterans is tough, Philly needs to get acquainted with the new players brought over, especially Tommy Joseph.

As reporter Jake Kaplan announced via Twitter, Pence has been sent to San Francisco in exchange for several names including a top catching prospect in Joseph.

It’s not exactly like getting Buster Posey from San Fran, but it could be down the road. Right before the 2009 MLB draft, ESPN lead baseball analyst Keith Law called Joseph “one of the top prep catchers in this year’s draft class and probably the top draft-eligible high school hitter in the state of Arizona.”

That’s the kind of scouting report that make fans breathe easier after losing a big star. Joseph has been called “one of the best power-hitting prospects in the league,” albeit by his Richmond Flying Squirrels hitting coach Ken Joyce.

While Joseph did kill some of the excitement that surrounded his name back in 2009 when he posted a .236 batting average in his first minor league season, he knows how to hit the long ball.

The newest member of the Phillies’ farm system recorded 16 home runs for Single-A Augusta and followed that season up with 22 in High-A San Jose. The biggest change from 2010 to 2011 though for Joseph was the much-discussed batting average.

He hiked the less-than-great .236 from his first year to .270 even after moving up to more challenging competition. While 2012 has seen a slight dip down to a .260 average with Double-A Richmond, the Eastern League tends to be more of a pitcher-friendly league.

As of now, the Flying Squirrels have just two batters with over a .300 average and the league as a whole only has 10 batters over that mark.

Joseph has the tools to come up through the Phillies’ farm system and become a fine catcher for the team while providing some of the pop the lineup has lost with the departures of Pence and Victorino.

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Article Source: Bleacher Report - Philadelphia Phillies

Phillies Trade Rumors: Philadelphia Would Be Wise to Sell Shane Victorino

July 30, 2012 by  
Filed under Fan News’s Jayson Stark recently wrote that the Philadelphia Phillies could “probably” move Shane Victorino before the deadline, and that would be the wisest move for them to make.

Stark lists the Dogers, Reds and Pirates as teams that could acquire Victorino, but in all honestly the Phils should just get what they can and move on from the aging outfielder.

While 31 years old in the MLB is not the same as being 31 in the NFL or NHL, it’s still the wrong side of 30 with the Phillies needing to bring young blood into an aging team.

Between Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, Victorino and even Roy Halladay, it’s almost as if Philadelphia didn’t really get any younger after they cut ties with Jamie Moyer awhile back. 

Victorino is hitting a career-low .256 so far in 2012 and hasn’t shown signs of improving with his .262 mark in July.

The odd thing is that his home run and RBI totals are on pace to finish where they usually do, with a mid-high teens number in dingers with an RBI total in the 60s. That being said, his name value is worth plenty to teams like the Dodgers and Pirates trying to grab hold of a playoff spot and the Phils would be smart to take from either team’s farm system.

The Dodgers home-grown players include Andre Either, Matt Kemp and Clayton Kershaw. The Pirates, with a few exceptions, were built from their farm system. Philadelphia should jump at the chance to move Victorino and dip their hands into one of these teams’ minor league squads.

Whether Philly fans want to face the facts or not, the team isn’t making the playoffs this year even with the added wild card spot for each division. Injuries to Utley, Howard and Halladay have proven too much for this team, which has had to claw for every win in 2012.

This team hasn’t cracked a top 15 power ranking by ESPN standards since Week 9 of the season and is 15.5 games behind the NL East-leading Washington Nationals. The Phils are also 11.5 games behind in the NL wild card race.

Victorino has been a valued part of Phildelphia’s recent years of success, but the time has come to part ways and have a changing of the guard. The team needs to bring in some new, young talent and that means having to make some tough decisions regarding long-time players.

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Article Source: Bleacher Report - Philadelphia Phillies

Roy Halladay Injury: Phillies Are Doomed Without Ace Hurler

May 30, 2012 by  
Filed under Fan News

The Philadelphia Phillies have been dominating the National League East for the past several MLB seasons thanks to names like Chase Utley, Ryan Howard and Roy Halladay leading the way. With all of those All-Stars far from returning from their various injuries, the Philadelphia faithful shouldn’t expect a postseason run this year.

Cole Hamels put together a string of gems before facing the rival New York Mets this past Monday, and Cliff Lee is back from the disabled list, but this injury mountain is just too high for these Phillies to climb.

Halladay is gone for six to eight weeks, and that’s if everything goes right during his rehabilitation. While that may have some fans hoping for an early July return for Doc, guys like Brett Gardner and Carl Crawford can attest that things don’t always go as planned during rehab.

Phillies assistant general manager Scott Proefrock echoed this sentiment during an interview with Tyler Kepner of the New York Times, stating, “There’s a lot of things that can happen one way or another in that time frame.”

With Halladay joining the already endless list of Phillies starters and backups on the disabled list, the team finds itself with little depth and starting less-than-stellar options.

Despite a solid year with the Baltimore Orioles back in 2010, Ty Wigginton isn’t someone a team can rely on to get a hit all too often. His current batting average of .256 is actually higher than what he posted in the past two seasons. Wiggy and current second baseman Freddy Galvis just don’t offer the same type of production that Howard and Utley do.

While Philadelphia manager Charlie Manuel is trying to rally the healthy players he has, that’s easier said than done in a tough division like the NL East.

Behind young sensations Bryce Harper, Jordan Zimmermann and Stephen Strasburg, the Washington Nationals are currently atop the division and appear to be primed for a playoff push, while the Mets continue to defy the odds and find themselves tied for second place in the NL East with the Miami Marlins.

“Our division’s going to be very tight,” Manuel told Kepner before Tuesday’s game against the Mets. “That’s why it’s very important for us to kind of keep our head above water…we’ve got to stay alive.”

Delaware County Daily Times writer Ryan Lawrence believes that starting pitcher Vance Worley could make his return to the Phillies rotation next Monday, which allows the team to easily replace Doc’s spot in the rotation. That being said, the rotation is still a shell of itself with arguably the best pitcher of the last decade unavailable.

The issue the Phillies face is that there’s no real timetable for the return of Utley or Howard, and it’s six to eight weeks at best before Doc takes the mound again.

This means their offense will continue to struggle to consistently score more than three runs or so, while their opposition no longer have to prepare for their dominant ace until July at the earliest.

Philadelphia is a resilient unit headed by one of the best managers in the game in Manuel, but this time around, there just seems to be too many hurdles for it to jump in order to make the playoffs.

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Article Source: Bleacher Report - Philadelphia Phillies

MLB Playoffs: Tale of the Tape Between Boston Red Sox, Philadelphia Phillies

August 18, 2011 by  
Filed under Fan News

The 2011 MLB Playoffs are inching closer and closer, and that age-old question is beginning to rear its head again: “Which two teams have the best chance to make it to the World Series?”

At this point in the season, the Boston Red Sox and Philadelphia Phillies are looking like the two most complete teams heading into the postseason and both heavy favorites to make it to the Fall Classic.

Let’s take a look at how these two high profiled ball clubs match up against one another. 

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Article Source: Bleacher Report - Philadelphia Phillies