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Phillies August prospect update - Hitters

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Season stats aren't set in stone yet, but they're set in pretty well cured concrete this far in.

Mitchell Leff

All numbers are through 8/5. I'm not covering everyone, just those I find interesting for one reason or another. Feel free to ask questions in the comments.

Aaron Altherr - I like Altherr and I was happy he got a few cups 'o Joe in the bigs this Summer. His Reading totals for the year are .237/.292/.381, .144 ISO, .290 BABiP, 22.7% K, 5.2% BB. Of that the ISO is respectable for a CF prospect, the K rate is in line with his previous numbers and while a little high is not unreasonable, but his BB rate kind of cratered after a few strong years and BABiP or not, that's a crappy AVG.  He doesn't have strong platoon splits (He's stunk against both Lefties and Righties this year), but I also can't say he's adjusted to the level anytime this season either. The helium has gone out of the balloon a bit in terms of his ranking, but he could still be a really good 4/5th OF capable across all 3 spots. There are certainly worse fates.

"Teddy" Willians Astudillo - The man can make contact. In fact, I'm not aware of a guy in Full-Season ball with more insane K and BB rates: 4.7% and 4.2%, respectively. That's some pretty crazy bat control. He's not a spray and pray guy like Revere either (which is good, since he's slow as hell). His triple slash of .317/.349/.431 does suggest that if he were to make it to the Majors he may share an unfortunate trait with Revere, that of the hollow .300 AVG. The other drawback is that after his knee injury, Astudillo is putrid behind the plate. Maybe he just needs time to get back to his old level, but if he can't get to serviceable back there, he's unplayable except at DH, which the NL doesn't have.

Aaron Brown - I rarely adjust my rankings based on Short Season ball and with Brown I have no reason to. When he was drafted reports were he was a raw hitter with plus speed. So far he's looked like a fairly raw hitter with plus speed. His K rate of 20.3% is okay for a CF with some power, but the 3.4% BB rate is a bit alarming. That said, short season means small sample, means this could all change next year if he starts in Lakewood. I'm curious about Brown, but I'm also pretty cautious about any optimism, though he could switch to Pitching if next year goes really bad as a hitter.

Thrillin Dylan Cozens - I'm not going to spend much time on his traditional stats, they're fairly pedestrian (.257/.308/.430, 25.1% K, 6.9% BB - a big drop from his first 2 short seasons). Instead, let's look at his splits. Home: .186/.238/.330 he looks downright awful. Away from the thick, humid Lakewood air, he's .316/.365/.513. That suggests that the FSL might be in for a hurtin' when the big man goes to Clearwater next year. Or, of course, that could be really small sample size noise and he could end up in roughly the same spot with less severe splits. Speaking of splits, one thing to watch are his platoon splits. Currently he's crushing Lefties, but he's crushing them with an inflated BABiP and a 30% K rate. I suspect if teams in the Minors employed the Ryan Howard shift on him, his platoon splits would be more severe, though he's only 20, so there's time to potentially adjust that approach.

J.P. Crawford - Hands down the #1 prospect in the system, Crawford has barely slowed down after his promotion. His Lakewood numbers: .289/.393/.395, 14.2% K, 13.8% BB and in Clearwater: .277/.350/.377, 13.0% K, 10.9% BB. The one nitpick would be that his SB% is low enough that I'd say it's not worth stealing (57% in Clearwater), but technique might help that get back to the 70% range. One other minor adjustment I'd like to see is that currently half his XBH are HR, which sounds great, but really isn't. He's been a Singles machine in Clearwater and it would be nice to see some of the Doubles come back that he had in Lakewood and earlier. Small complaints though, as he's playing well beyond his years.

Grenny Cumana - Grenny is small (5'5"), but has bat control reminiscent of Astudillo, as he has low 8.5% K and 5.1% BB rates. His .377/.414/.528 slash line is kind of absurd, but it's also an insanely small sample. That said, drop everything 100 points and that's still pretty decent for a Shortstop/Catcher prospect. Too small to draw any conclusions and I doubt I rank him this offseason, but he'll be interesting to keep an eye on.

Kelly Dugan - Weird year for Kelly. He couldn't avoid the injury bug and I suspect he has some lingering effects sapping his power. His .284/.383/.407, 18.5% K, 10.6% BB line is pretty awesome. Now, some may say his BABiP is inflated at .342, but Dugan has weirdly always had a really high BABiP thanks to line drive power. Weirdly his BABiP is actually well below his career average to this point. If you assume his Power returns next year, post injury his line looks tremendous. Of course, last year I assumed Jesse Biddle would rebound after getting over whooping cough and plantar fascitis, so there's no guarantee, but I'm really enthused about Kelly's numbers this year in context.

Luis Encarnacion - It's a long road ahead for Luis, as shown by his .230/.304/.363 line with a 27% K and 6.3% BB rate. He's shown some power and the patience isn't bad, but I expect that, like Pujols, he'll be back in the GCL next year and there's nothing wrong with that.

Maikel Franco - Franco's overall line isn't very good, but his monthly splits show that perhaps he's adjusting to the level and swing changes worked on early in the year. His ISO was .253 in July, his K rate was down to 13.3 and his triple slash of .343/.371/.596 is really hard to complain about. If he can stay hot in August, I'll feel much better about his 2015 chances. He took a step back in rankings this year, but he can salvage things with a good last month.

Zach Green - Having the opposite issue as Franco, he started fairly strong after an injury sidelined him, but he's really slid after that strong first few weeks. A renowned power hitter, he hasn't hit a Homer since June and his walk rate has kind of cratered. He's making hard contact though and like Dugan and Cozens, perhaps it's a combo of lingering injury effects and Lakewood holding him in check. Like Cozens he does have pretty extreme home/road splits and like Dugan a high Line Drive rate is helping to boost his BABiP, so his AVG looks good. Good breakout candidate for 2015.

Deivi Grullon - Numbers, numbers, blah, blah, blah. Deivi isn't a particularly good hitter and he's been a not particularly good hitter across 3 levels this year, he has however shown a canon arm, good defensive skills and a good enough bat at levels he had no business hitting at to suggest he could have Starter potential down the road. He'll never be Buster Posey or Yadier Molina with the bat, but he could potentially be Molina-esque behind the plate in a few years (and maybe just north of Jose and Bengie with the bat). So, numbers, schmumbers with Grullon, for him it's all about the Scouting Reports for me, and those are fairly strong.

Julsan Kamara - No real scouting on him that I've seen, but people have asked before and the best I can do is numbers from the DSL. .230/.397/.344, .114 ISO, 28.2% K, 12.8% BB, 35.9% OFB (pretty high). He's an 18 year old German, playing on a team where everyone speaks Spanish and it's his first exposure to pro-baseball. The numbers don't mean a ton, since the DSL isn't an ideal barometer of mainland success, but this is a kid in a kind of weird spot and he's holding his own largely. It will be nice for him this Fall and next Spring when he can get some instruction in Clearwater and he and Altherr can exchange Guten Tag's.

Cam Perkins - It's been a tale of two seasons for Perk. He could do nothing but hit in Reading, but in a similar sample in Allentown he can't buy a hit. Reading: .342/.408/.495 LHV: .209/.249/.285. Those don't even look like the same player in those lines. Truth is Perkins had an inflated BABiP in reading, his BB rate was nearly 2x's his career average to that point and his numbers reflected that. Maybe this is regression hitting him hard, maybe he's struggling to adjust (as Dugan did in AA last year before approaching much better this year), but this takes some wind out of the sails.

Jose Pujols - Scouting reports have noted an improved approach and swing. Numbers look nearly identical to 2013 though. He'll be 19 in a little more than a month, so he's age appropriate for the level at this point. He's also got really strong platoon and home/road splits. Platoon splits especially, where he's .296/.367/.704 against Lefties and a really alarming .189/.260/.278 against same side pitching. Oddly his K rate against Lefties, who he hits better, is absurdly high. It looks as though he's really selling out for power against Lefties (supported by an absurd 42% OFB against Lefties).

Roman Quinn - Quinn is now a Centerfielder full time and honestly, I can't find much to complain about. .259/.342/.364, 20.1% K, 9.0% BB (It's interesting that his K rate has ranged from 19.7 - 21.5 and his BB rate has been 9.0 - 9.1% across 3 levels, which is impressively consistent, though 20% is a little higher than I'd like for a guy with Quinn's profile, but it's not unreasonable. At the time of the position switch, Quinn was slashing .253/.317/.333, so his AVG improved a little, but his real improvements were in his patience and power, which both boosted nearly 30 points. I'm pretty high on Quinn and I'd expect a big year from him in 2015 when his focus all year is on hitting and he's a year further removed from blowing up his ankle.

Cord Sandberg - In 2013 Cord started strong and faded badly. In 2014 he started really strong and has faded. Sadly, his BB rate, which was a strength has disappeared to Sebastian Valle levels the last month. Reports were he was too passive and letting good pitches get past him, so they wanted him to amp up his aggressiveness. His BABiP cratered, his GB rate nearly doubled and his overall numbers look pretty bad. His contact got similarly weak last July, but a great BB rate kept his numbers from getting too ugly. Sandberg's raw, so some of this is expected, but it would be nice if he dialed back a little on the aggressiveness and found a balance between the approaches.