Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Return of Hollywood

2009 was a year to forget for many, among those were Jimmy Rollins, Brad Lidge, Yankee Haters, and the creditors union. The list could really go on forever but today we address Colbert "Hollywood" Hamels and his attempt to extinguish the memory of the 2009 season.

Hamels was an absolute phenom when he made his major league debut for the Phillies in 2006. Some viewed him as the savior of the franchise and he did not disappoint. Hamels helped the Phillies get to the playoffs in his first full season, he then carried them to the Broad Street Parade of World F***in Champions the next year.
In Hamels's first full season he was named to the National League All-Star team and finished 6th in the Cy Young race. The following year, Hamels pitched 227 innings and led the Majors in WHIP, while posting a paltry 3.09 era. Once the postseason came, Hamels then all of a sudden turned into Walter Johnson as he went 4-0 in 35 innings and posted a 1.80 era earning him MVP honors of the NLCS and the World Series. This all occurred at the age of 24.

Who's Partyin?? Hollywood Hamels, that's who!!

Then 2009 came and he got a raw backhand to the face in spring training and never recovered. In 2009, Hamels posted career a worst in winning%, losses, era, hits, whip, basically every single pitching stat that exists. He had a few really good outings that restored hope in Philadelphia but that never materialized as he couldn't pull it together by playoff time. The 2009 playoffs didn't go as swimmingly as 2008 as Hamels went 1-2 in 19 innings while posting an era (7.56) that chased the height of Philadelphia basketball hero, Shawn "the stick" Bradley.

Hamels appeared as if he did nothing in the offseason after the World Series and it really affected his 2009 performance. Hamels has gotten alot of crap for partying too much during the 08 offseason. Ya, you try and become the most decorated postseason hero in Philadelphia history at 24 years old and focus on the task at hand. Good luck.

There is no question that Hamels is one of the most talented pitchers in baseball. You don't post great numbers like he did in the minors and his first 3 years in the majors without being talented. Every single great pitcher in this league has gone through struggles after their early success except Tim Lincecum, I guess that is why he's named "the freak." Hamels posted a 4.3 era at 25 years of age, Halladay posted a 4.2 era at 27, Beckett posted a 5.0 era at 26, Chris Carpenter had a 6.2 era when he was 25, and Cliff Lee even got demoted when he was 28.

Hamels seems to have learned his lesson as he has put in some serious work during the offseason. It appears that Hamels has been working on several different offspeed pitches along with developing arm strength early in the season. I believe that the struggles of 2009 will help out Hamels in the long run as it has forced him to refocus himself. I predict a Cy Young type season for Cole. Hollywood will be back with a vengeance.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

THE Prospect List

Over the past few weeks there have been many prospect lists being published. Well I am here to give you my Phillies prospect list. I have said before that it is difficult to compare the value of pitchers to position players so here is the top 25 in both category. Overall the Phillies farm system is much better than people believe. Obviously it was stronger last year as we have lost Marson, Knapp, Carrasco, Donald, Drabek, Taylor, and D'Arnaud. Still, the Phillies have plenty of high ceiling players in the low minors. The Phillies have a plethora of good prospects, it just doesn't seem this way because they are all 18,19,20 years old and are at the very least 2+ years away. Anyways here it the top 50 overall.

Organizational Levels
(AAA) Lehigh Valley IronPigs
(AA) Reading Phillies
(A) Clearwater Threshers
(A-) Lakewood BlueClaws
(A--) Williamsport Crosscutters
(A---) Gulf Coast League Phillies

Pitchers AcronymKey:
RHSP: Right Handed Starting Pitcher
LHSP: Left Handed Starting Pitcher
RHRP: Right Handed Relief Pitcher
LHRP: Left Handed Relief Pitcher


Rank Player Position Level
1 Phillippe Aumont RHSP/RHRP AA
2 Trevor May RHSP A-
3 Antonio Bastardo LHSP/LHRP MLB
4 Jarred Cosart RHSP A---
5 J.C. Ramirez RHSP/RHRP AA
6 Brody Colvin RHSP RHSP A---
7 Scott Mathieson RHRP AA
8 Steven Inch RHSP A---
9 Vance Worley RHSP AA
10 BJ Rosenberg RHRP AA
11 Andrew Carpenter RHSP AAA
12 Colby Shreve RHSP A---
13 Michael Stutes RHSP AA
14 Michael Cisco RHSP AA
15 Yohan Flande RHSP AA
16 Jonathan Pettibone RHSP A--
17 Matt Way LHSP A-
18 Jesus Sanchez RHSP A-
19 Justin Defratus RHRP A-
20 Edgar Garcia RHSP A-
21 Julio Rodriguez RHRP A---
22 Austin Hyatt RHSP/RHRP A-
23 Michael Schwimmer RHRP AA
24 Joe Savery LHSP/LHRP AAA
25 Tyler Cloyd RHSP A

Position Players

Rank Player Position Level
1 Domonic Brown RF/LF AA
2 Tyson Gillies CF AA
3 Anthony Gose CF A-
4 Jonathan Singleton 1B A---
5 Sebastian Valle C A-
6 Domingo Santana RF/LF A---
7 Freddy Galvis SS AA
8 Kyrell Hudson CF A-
9 Zach Collier OF A-
10 Jiwan James CF A--
11 Jonathan Villar SS A---
12 Kelly Dugan RF/LF A---
13 John Mayberry Jr. RF/LF AAA
14 Stephen Susdorf RF/LF AA
15 Leandro Castro CF A-
16 D'Arby Myers CF A-
17 Quintin Berry CF AA
18 Francisco Diaz C A---
19 Tim Kennelly C/3B/OF AA
20 Jeremy Barnes SS A--
21 Anthony Hewitt OF A--
22 Aaron Altherr OF A---
23 Adam Buschini 2B A--
24 Travis Mattair 3B A-
25 Cesar Hernandez 2B A---

Some notes about my list.

Personal Favs:

Bastardo- Maybe best stuff. Would have put #1 if they gave him a chance to start.
Cosart- Absurd athlete. Had a great rookie season even though very small sample size.
Cisco- Insane control. Better name.
Singleton- Great Discipline and power potential. Best pure hitter in the system.
Gillies- Most have him worse than Gose. Similar skills but I like Gillies patience and bat in the long run.
Hudson- Crazy athleticism and he may be faster than Gose.

Monday, February 1, 2010

BastardBall: Too Much For Dominica

Ruben Amaro Jr. has made it official that Bastardo will work exclusively as a reliever in 2010 and has taken the appropriate measures to make sure Bastardo is ready for the transition. Antonio Bastardo has been pitching down in the Dominican Winter League and has been nothing short of domination. In 23 innings he has posted a 0.78 era, allowed only 9 hits and 5 walks, while striking out 32 batters.

Here is a link that explains his amazingness in better fashion


Bastardo will be in the pen the entire season and will be the primary lefty reliever when romero is injured. Assuming Madson stays with the Phillies after his current contract is up, the Phillies bullpen appears to have a very strong future. Madson, Bastardo, Mathieson, Rosenberg, and Schwimer should all have successful careers for the Phillies for years to come.

The 2010 major league bullpen will have its share of injuries like every bullpen does, and when that happens the Phillies will not need to sign or trade anyone because they will have a schmorgesborg of relief options down on the farm.

Phillies Prospect Arrested

Phillies pitching prospect, Brody Colvin, was arrested yesterday morning due to having too good of a time it would appear.

According to a spokesman for the Lafayette County Sheriff's Office, Colvin -- was charged with disturbing the peace, simple battery and resisting an officer in Jefferson Street -- an area known for its bars -- at 2:20 a.m. ET Sunday morning.

Colvin was drafted last year by the Phillies in the 7th round out of St. Thomas More High School in Louisiana. Colvin, being 19 years of age, seems to be enjoying his celebrity a little too much. Many will crucify Colvin for this, I say let the kid live a little. He was given a $900,000 signing bonus at 18 years old. At least he's spending it in the proper way, droppin dimes at as many places that will serve him. It turns out that in Louisiana, that is about every place.

Cole Hamels got in similar trouble when he got in a bar fight when he was 19. He also broke his hand in that bar fight which cost him some time on the DL. That's right, Cole Hamels, bar fight, go figure. Anyways, Hamels turned out to be a decent pitcher so the concern isn't too high for Colvin.

Colvin is a high risk high reward type prospect. He clearly is already cashing in on the risk side of that but he also has incredible potential. I currently have him rated as the 6th best pitching prospect in the Phillies system. He only pitched 2 innings in the GCL in 2009 so he is nowhere close to reaching the majors, but he projects as a very good starting pitcher down the road.

It was sad to see Brett "Kenny Powers" Myers leave. At least it seems like the Phillies are grooming another Kenny Powers in the system.