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tonycpsu

Philadelphia Phillies 2019 Outlook

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I was hoping to be able to make this post after signing one of the young franchise cornerstone bats to a long-term deal, but when a team ships their promising young catcher, their best prospect, and some other parts for two years of the best backstop in baseball, it's clear that the team's 2019 outlook has gone from "try to win now but focus on building for the future" to "win now and ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ the future."  Not that the future looks bad if the team doesn't get Machado or Harper, but the window certainly gets narrower.

 

Let's start with the lineup.  Even if the team makes no more moves after today, the Segura, McCutchen, and Realmuto deals transform a lineup that was okay at getting on base but comically bad at getting hits into one that could be among the best in the NL.  There were just so many outs in the lineup last season with so many PAs going to the likes of Kingery, Crawford, Altherr, Williams, Alfaro, and Knapp that it was hard to extract value from all the walks that guys like Hernandez, Santana, and Hoskins were drawing.  Now you scatter those high OBP guys in between guys who can hit for .270+ with regularity and suddenly you don't have to wait for the longball all the time.  But they should get plenty of those as well.

 

The rotation is all question marks after Nola, and even the young ace is likely to regress.  Arrieta should give them passable innings, but he's probably a SP4 on a good team who has to be an SP2 unless one of the young guns passes him.   Pivetta, Velasquez, and Eflin are all flawed in their own ways, and the team is going to need at least two of them to take significant steps forward if they want to contend in a suddenly competitive NL East.  Jerad Eickhoff could be a key mid rotation optoin if he returns to his level of performance from a couple of years ago, but that's a big if.


The bullpen looks better with Robertson at the top, but I don't know that it's a pen that I trust to be able to shorten games if the starters are regularly getting into trouble.  Neshek complained about being overused last year just because they asked him to pitch back-to-back games, and Hunter clearly lost effectiveness the more they relied on him.

 

One perhaps underrated aspect that might help all of the Phillies arms is the improved defense around the diamond.  Getting Hoskins out of LF is huge in and of itself, but when you add the effect of swapping Segura in for Kingery and Realmuto for Alfaro at two of the more demanding defensive positions, I think Phils' pitchers could get a lot more help from their defense than they're used to.

 

This team isn't a lock for the playoffs or anything right now -- that'll take one more big move -- but I'm seeing a lot to like in what Klentak's done already.  Fantasy-wise, I see big up arrows for all of the team's new acquisitions relative to current consensus ADP, and a lot to like about guys like Odubel Herrera and Cesar Hernandez in deeper formats as well.

 

Now, where's that "stupid money" when you need it...

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Very nice write up ^^^ I was curiously thinking about what the starting lineup might look like after this trade, and rotochamp already had Realmuto penciled into the 3 hole. Tough to give up on Sixto, but I think this was the type of trade that the Phils were waiting for, and should have pounced on. 

 

I don't think the Phightins are done yet, and would love to see Keuchel added and Harper announced on that starting Home Opener Come March 28th v the Braves.  

 

https://www.rotochamp.com/baseball/TeamPage.aspx?TeamID=PHI

 

Projected 2019 Lineup

  Player POS AB R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG OPS BB K
1 Andrew McCutchen OF 518 77 21 68 10 0.261 0.359 0.436 0.795 76 123
2 Jean Segura SS 565 88 12 56 23 0.304 0.348 0.434 0.782 33 77
3 J.T. Realmuto  C 495 68 18 65 6 0.283 0.337 0.459 0.796 35 103
4 Rhys Hoskins  1B 555 94 37 106 5 0.245 0.357 0.508 0.865 91 149
5 Maikel Franco  3B 541 61 25 79 1 0.251 0.300 0.436 0.736 37 86
6 Nick Williams  OF 375 51 15 53 2 0.264 0.326 0.435 0.761 28 106
7 Odubel Herrera  OF 542 69 18 61 10 0.271 0.327 0.434 0.761 40 124
8 Cesar Hernandez 2B 538 80 11 45 17 0.271 0.363 0.374 0.737 76 127

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It would be a lot prettier with Harper in that 3 spot, but so far hard to complain.

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Before the haters arrive. I'm not marking the Phillies as WS NL or even East favorites. But this is sure as hell is going to be the most fun team since the 2011 four aces. So I'm going to enjoy it 

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1 minute ago, XxxOilOverloadxxX said:

Before the haters arrive. I'm not marking the Phillies as WS NL or even East favorites. But this is sure as hell is going to be the most fun team since the 2011 four aces. So I'm going to enjoy it 

 

Who do you have in the NL East?  I wouldn't be completely surprised with anyone (outside the fish of course). Always more fun when the division is competitive. 

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2 minutes ago, Baur10 said:

 

Who do you have in the NL East?  I wouldn't be completely surprised with anyone (outside the fish of course). Always more fun when the division is competitive. 

I'm still giving Braves pending Josh Donaldson being AS caliber this year. 

 

Nats worry with me with an A Rod to Texas effect possibly. When the Mariners became amazing after he left, plus they have the pitching to do it. 

Edited by XxxOilOverloadxxX

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Michael Baumann isn't a fan of the Realmuto deal:

 

The Phillies Got Fleeced for J.T. Realmuto. If They Don’t Sign Bryce Harper or Manny Machado, They Failed.

 

The mistakes I think he's making: (a) assuming Alfaro's 2018 is repeatable (.400+ BABIP says maybe not), (b) giving Alfaro a bunch of credit for pitch framing, which is a really wonky stat that's hard to reliably translate into a WAR metric, and (c) downplaying the risk of Sanchez's elbow trouble.

 

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Am I the only one who hates this Realmuto deal?  Just seems like such a lofty price to pay for an albeit elite catcher. 

 

Have this sinking feeling that Alfaro has come nowhere close to reaching his potential

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4 minutes ago, malta69 said:

Am I the only one who hates this Realmuto deal?  Just seems like such a lofty price to pay for an albeit elite catcher. 

 

Have this sinking feeling that Alfaro has come nowhere close to reaching his potential

 

I'm definitely in the boat that thinks this is a great deal for the Phillies.

 

Quoting Kiley McDaniel:

If we use round numbers and say Realmuto is worth $85 million and is getting paid $15 million, that’s a $70 million asset value, probably lower, as both numbers are on the aggressive side. 

 

And then looking at the return and calculating Sixto's value at ~$53 million from below, I'd say the Phillies did pretty well here. Alfaro is a decent 2nd piece but I'd say his value is <$20 million.

 

Rank Name Team Pos FV Prospect Value* ($M)
1 Vladimir Guerrero Jr TOR 3B 70 $112
2 Fernando Tatis Jr. SDP SS 65 $65
3 Eloy Jimenez CHW RF 65 $64
4 Victor Robles WSN CF 65 $64
5 Royce Lewis MIN SS 60 $56
6 Wander Franco TBR SS 60 $56
7 Bo Bichette TOR SS 60 $56
8 Kyle Tucker HOU RF 60 $55
9 Nick Senzel CIN 3B 60 $55
10 Carter Kieboom WSN SS 60 $55
11 Brendan Rodgers COL SS 60 $55
12 Forrest Whitley HOU RHP 60 $54
13 Taylor Trammell CIN CF 60 $54
14 Brendan McKay TBR LHP/1B 60 $54
15 Alex Kirilloff MIN RF 60 $54
16 Sixto Sanchez PHI RHP 60 $53

 

 

 

 

 

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11 minutes ago, XxxOilOverloadxxX said:

I'm still giving Braves pending Josh Donaldson being AS caliber this year. 

 

Nats worry with me with an A Rod to Texas effect possibly. When the Mariners became amazing after he left, plus they have the pitching to do it. 

 

I'm not sure what to think about the Braves. Could be great offensively but for as much incredible minor league pitching talent as they have, their starters are volatile as hell.

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35 minutes ago, tonycpsu said:

Michael Baumann isn't a fan of the Realmuto deal:

 

The Phillies Got Fleeced for J.T. Realmuto. If They Don’t Sign Bryce Harper or Manny Machado, They Failed.

 

The mistakes I think he's making: (a) assuming Alfaro's 2018 is repeatable (.400+ BABIP says maybe not), (b) giving Alfaro a bunch of credit for pitch framing, which is a really wonky stat that's hard to reliably translate into a WAR metric, and (c) downplaying the risk of Sanchez's elbow trouble.

 

I am a little surprised by this. It is funny how the grass is always greener with young players. Personally, I think Alfaro has a lot of flaws. I might be alone here, but I am extremely worried about Sixto's elbow. 50/50 that within the next 2 years he goes down with TJ. Then he returns after 18 months, most likely spanning 2 seasons, and he is a undersized recovering TJ'er that is in his early/mid 20's and all that shine is gone. Then again, Sixto is absolutely electric and I am really bummed out that we dealt him, but you have to give something to get something. The rest of the deal is whatever to me. 

 

In general, it sucks that the Phillies were as competitive as they were last season because it gave the front office this sense of being closer than they probably are and cut their patience. Arrieta is a massive issue that feels overlooked. Everyone outside of Nola is a big question mark and someone you pencil in a stat line for and you wouldn't be shocked if you were off +/- 20-30%. There are some proven veterans out there that can be had on the cheap and short term contracts. If you are making a push, I might want to see those players signed. 

 

I agree with you @tonycpsu there were WAY too many easy/unproductive outs in that lineup last year. Cutch is an upgrade over what was used in 2018, but I hate the contract and locking in the downside off of his prime. If they don't tap out their budget on Harper/Machado then it will be interesting if they add cheap pitching and pull the plug on their young starters. Seems like they are in this weird window like Lebron and the Lakers. Every day that goes by makes a lot of your core older and worse so do you develop organically or go for broke? Not a good place to be, but time will tell on Machado and Harper. 

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If the main get is a pitching prospect that hasn't even pitched in AA and already has health questions. You really can't hate it.  There is all sorts of data out there that show the success rate is lower for top pitching prospects vs top hitting prospects.

 

Sixto is awesome but this is not same thing as trading away Vladdy, Eloy or Tatis. Forrest Whitley is only pitching prospect in baseball that would even come close right now.

 

 

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3 hours ago, tonycpsu said:

Michael Baumann isn't a fan of the Realmuto deal:

 

The Phillies Got Fleeced for J.T. Realmuto. If They Don’t Sign Bryce Harper or Manny Machado, They Failed.

 

The mistakes I think he's making: (a) assuming Alfaro's 2018 is repeatable (.400+ BABIP says maybe not), (b) giving Alfaro a bunch of credit for pitch framing, which is a really wonky stat that's hard to reliably translate into a WAR metric, and (c) downplaying the risk of Sanchez's elbow trouble.

 

That article's arguments are really terrible. Ask anyone in Philly about Alfaro's defense and they'll say he's got a cannon of an arm but everything else is suspect. That article then compared Realmuto to Grandal. Are you kidding? Just if you're gonna trash the trade have it make sense.

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3 hours ago, Slatykamora said:

If the main get is a pitching prospect that hasn't even pitched in AA and already has health questions. You really can't hate it.  There is all sorts of data out there that show the success rate is lower for top pitching prospects vs top hitting prospects.

 

Sixto is awesome but this is not same thing as trading away Vladdy, Eloy or Tatis. Forrest Whitley is only pitching prospect in baseball that would even come close right now.

 

 

The counter argument to this is that Sixto basically took a year off last year and with a couple of starts this year can vault into the Whitley territory. So he could be Whitely territory already, or he could be Honeywell 2.0...that should be known pretty quick. Every year there is a new batch of top 10 prospects that become elite. Not all of them pan out. 

 

2 hours ago, XxxOilOverloadxxX said:

Everyone always assumes every trade package is Omar Minaya 2.0 sending Grady Sizemore, Brandon Phillips, and Cliff Lee over.

Exactly this. Everyone once in a while the stars align and something magical happens. Most of the time it doesn't work out and some of the time a trade looks fair in hindsight. 

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1 hour ago, thezing1 said:

The counter argument to this is that Sixto basically took a year off last year and with a couple of starts this year can vault into the Whitley territory. So he could be Whitely territory already, or he could be Honeywell 2.0...that should be known pretty quick. Every year there is a new batch of top 10 prospects that become elite. Not all of them pan out. 

 

Exactly this. Everyone once in a while the stars align and something magical happens. Most of the time it doesn't work out and some of the time a trade looks fair in hindsight. 

Whitley is 6'7 and usually pitchers his size at his age are extemly wild. Long levers. His size, illustrating bigger whiff rates, suprisinly not completely wild for a 20 year old checks off every single check mark for a pitching prospect.

 

Sixto is nearly there..but Size does matter for pitchers. 6'0 is fine...but we are comparing to whitley. Not the average high end SP prospect. Not quite actulizing his stuff into big time whiffs despite having better current day command. He can and probably will get there though.

 

Given when Whitley was draftes he weighed a ton more. Whitley can probably bulk up if he wants too. 

 

Edited by Slatykamora

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8 hours ago, tonycpsu said:

 

This team isn't a lock for the playoffs or anything right now -- that'll take one more big move -- but I'm seeing a lot to like in what Klentak's done already.  Fantasy-wise, I see big up arrows for all of the team's new acquisitions relative to current consensus ADP, and a lot to like about guys like Odubel Herrera and Cesar Hernandez in deeper formats as well.

 

 

 

Hmmm.... I'll take your Cesar Hernandez and raise you a little. 

 

I like Cesar Hernandez a lot. This is contingent on him being and maintaining as the lead-off hitter, but I think he could sneak his way into top 100 value. 

 

His power increase looks decent as is:

2016: 6 HR
2017: 9

2018: 15

 

But it looks even better when you consider 2017 is also a shortened sample with only 128 Games Played. It's not a major difference, but looking at approx. 11 HRs on pace and 15 HRs the last two years makes me feel pretty good about projecting a teen-number of HRs.

 

Had his best SB season last year. But it looked like he was going to shred his previous high around midseason when he broke his foot. That's a narrative based argument, but guy had 14 SBs 2 CSs before the ASB and 5 SBs 4 CSs after. 

 

I do believe he's approaching hitting for power differently, so I'm not going to anticipate he jumps in BA back towards his .290 of yesteryear, but his BA fell off after the broken foot too (.270 First half, .228 Second Half).

 

RBIs won't be great, but even without Harper/Machado, the line-ups good enough that as a good baserunner with a good eye and good OBP, he should be a 90-110 R type. 

 

Add it together and I'm looking at a 12-13 HR, 21-23 SB, a .270+ BA, and the potential to be among the league-leaders in R scored. 

 

Worse thing that can happen to him obviously is that he gets bumped in the line-up and that does hurt him pretty significantly. And that deserves to be baked into his value. But if he leads off all year I think he's a player with a lot of value. 

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7 hours ago, thezing1 said:


I am a little surprised by this. It is funny how the grass is always greener with young players.Personally, I think Alfaro has a lot of flaws.

 

That article is terrible.

 

Besides that though, you aren't alone on Alfaro, at least as far as I'm concerned. I mean hell, this may seem to many to be a crazy statement, but I actually feel like the Philies just flipped Alfaro at near peak value. He's young but I don't like the tools really. I mean he WHIFFED at 22+% of pitches last year. That's just freaking insane to me. His contact rate is so awful. And it's not like he's masked the K's or anything. He struck out around 36.8% last year, and hit only 10 HRs. I mean this guy seems like Mike Zunino with half the power to me, and Zunino is no beauty. Even if his BABIP does continue to be insanely above average, I still don't think he's much better than your Tucker Barnhart class of catcher in teh future. And between his Contact and Power abilities, I just can't believe what others are seeing. If you're going to K that much you have to come with a bit more power and power upside than Alfaro has shown for me to even get to the idea of being interested.

 

 

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Sirius/XM was just talking about the deal and gushing over the return for Miami.  The Sixto stuff I'd heard before but they also pegged Alfaro as an eventual 25-30 HR batter and Will Stewart as a "Chris Sale clone" as far as body type.   

 

Maybe I'm just not fully caffeinated yet but that seems like a bit much. :blink:

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13 hours ago, Slatykamora said:

Whitley is 6'7 and usually pitchers his size at his age are extemly wild. Long levers. His size, illustrating bigger whiff rates, suprisinly not completely wild for a 20 year old checks off every single check mark for a pitching prospect.

 

Sixto is nearly there..but Size does matter for pitchers. 6'0 is fine...but we are comparing to whitley. Not the average high end SP prospect. Not quite actulizing his stuff into big time whiffs despite having better current day command. He can and probably will get there though.

 

Given when Whitley was draftes he weighed a ton more. Whitley can probably bulk up if he wants too. 

 

I was just talking in terms of prospect ranking....not actually comparing him to Whitely the pitching prospect. That said, I hear your point, but these prospect rankings are taken as gospel far too often and are fluid and very inaccurate. The fluidity and fickle nature of them is what I was trying to get at with my post. 

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With the Harper saga seemingly looking like it will not end in Philadelphia how do they stack up to the rest of the NL East? Lineup has balance, though not a lot of pop. Bullpen is a strength. However, SP is a question mark after Nola. 

Depending on movement with remaining free agents and possible moves during the trade deadline, I'm concerned they don't stack up and would see a difficult road in winning the NL East.

 

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8 minutes ago, High&Inside said:

With the Harper saga seemingly looking like it will not end in Philadelphia how do they stack up to the rest of the NL East? Lineup has balance, though not a lot of pop. Bullpen is a strength. However, SP is a question mark after Nola. 

Depending on movement with remaining free agents and possible moves during the trade deadline, I'm concerned they don't stack up and would see a difficult road in winning the NL East.

 

 

It's really just the rotation to me. Can the 2-5 be enough? As is, I don't think so. But there's plenty of time to add. 

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34 minutes ago, High&Inside said:

With the Harper saga seemingly looking like it will not end in Philadelphia how do they stack up to the rest of the NL East? Lineup has balance, though not a lot of pop. Bullpen is a strength. However, SP is a question mark after Nola. 

Depending on movement with remaining free agents and possible moves during the trade deadline, I'm concerned they don't stack up and would see a difficult road in winning the NL East.

 

Really a toss-up.  Wouldn't be totally shocked where any of the teams finish 1-4.  Miami should clearly be the basement team.  If the Phillies miss out on Harper (and perhaps even if they get him), would be nice to see them go after Keuchel.  

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38 minutes ago, High&Inside said:

With the Harper saga seemingly looking like it will not end in Philadelphia how do they stack up to the rest of the NL East? Lineup has balance, though not a lot of pop. Bullpen is a strength. However, SP is a question mark after Nola. 

Depending on movement with remaining free agents and possible moves during the trade deadline, I'm concerned they don't stack up and would see a difficult road in winning the NL East.

 

I think they’ll be in the mix. There’s a pretty good chance that if they miss out on Harper they’ll  pivot to Keuchel and Kimbrel.

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