Tagged: MiLB

Interview With Phillies Prospect Jiwan James

This is an interview with Philadelphia Phillies prospect Jiwan James. Jiwan spent the 2010 season playing for the Lakewood Blueclaws. Jiwan did a great job with this interview. This was definetly my favorite interview I’ve done. I hope you enjoy
Me: Talk to me about some of your favorite high points of the ’10 season at Lakewood.
Jiwan: The entire season, from the first spring training game with those guys, until the final out of the Championship game. We had way too much fun together to try and name certain points along the way.

Me: Do you ever think about what it would be like to play alongside Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, and other current Phillies stars?

Jiwan: I’ve thought about it a few times, but its nothing that I’ve completely set my mind on. Im sure it would be a lot of fun with them, but who’s there when I get there is out of my control.
Me: Have you had any discussions about where you’re going to play in ’11 and have you reached out to any former Reading Phillies to ask for advice?
Jiwan: I haven’t had any discussions on where I’ll play in ’11. Im just going to head into camp and try to make a team. I talked to Domonic Brown throughout the season this year, and I talked to J.Slayden during instructs some.

Me: Favorite current Major Leaguer?

Jiwan: J.Roll and Howard. I know them on a personal level now and there just down to earth great people. When your with them away from the field, its like hanging out with some of your high school buddies from home.

Me: Do you think minor leaguers should be evaluated by sabermetrics and what are your thoughts on advanced stays as such?

Jiwan: It doesnt really matter to me rather minor leaguers get evaluated by sabermetricts or not. Looking at someone’s stats doesn’t really show you what type of player they are, It just gives you an Idea. Stats don’t show what type of clubhouse guy you are which could be the reason your winning or what kind of character you have which could be the reason your not getting the call even though your having a great season statistically. So that stuff really doesnt matter.

Me: Do you ever try to emulate your former idols when in the batters box? If so who.

Jiwan: No shot, I know everyone is their own player. So Im just trying to figure out what works for me in the box and stick with it.

Me: Talk about the season you guys had and how awesome it was to dominate A ball.

Jiwan: We had a great season and it was alot of fun. I dont know if anyone on our roster would have had it any other way. We won both halfs and the title so what more can you ask for from the season. I think its easy to dominate something when your entire team hates to lose. We had a team full of winners, so it was like we had no choice but to win night in and night out.
Me: Last one, what are your thoughts on Jarred Cosart and Jonathan Singleton?
Jiwan: Cosart was alot of fun to watch pitch, especially at home because I could turn around out there in CF and look at the radar gun. Every time he went 95+ I let out a little scream and whoever was in LF and RF would just look at me like I was crazy. Then he’d snap off a nasty breaking ball and have some of the hitters buckling there knees in the box, and I’d give a few chuckles from those too. As long as I wasnt up there facing that, I thought it was funny.

When Singleton came up, for the first month, month and a half, he was easily the best hitter in baseball I thought. Whenever he came up to bat I made it my business to get up off the bench or stop whatever I was doing in the dugout and watch his at bat. It was like he could do nothing wrong. It seemed as If everything was in slow motion to him the way he was taking pitches, and then when he did get a pitch he liked it was crazy how hard he was hitting the ball. Hagerstown infielders said 1 day that whenever he came up to hit they all took a few extra steps back because of how hard he was hitting the ball. I can’t wait to watch him put on a show for a full season and drive me in all year long.


Top 50 Most Underrated Prospects

This is a list of in my opinion, the top 50 best prospects in Baseball who are people dont usually talk about. I hope you all like it. Let me know if you like it, and If you don’t like it, let me know as well.There are obviously some guys who got left off, but we are all aware that there are hundred of underrated prospects in MILB.


1. Jason Kipnis (Indians): I’m going to say this once and once only. Kipnis is going to be better than Dustin Ackley, and watch for him in the AFL this fall. He is a very, very good player.

2. Tyler Skaggs (Diamondbacks): Everyone is still knocking Jerry DiPoto for the Dan Haren package. Well I ask why? Skaggs and Corbin both have a chance to be above average Major League Starters. Skaggs has really good stuff and is expected to rise quickly. He’s already one of the better prospects around.

3. Stephen Parker (A’s): Steve has done nothing but succeed since he was drafted last year. I’ve always liked him especially from the draft, and I expect him to keep on hitting next year.

4. J.D. Martinez (Astros): the problem with J.D. Is his knees, which makes him a defensive liability, but he’s one of the last batters you want to face in the minors if you’re a pitcher. Expect to see him in the Space City sometime next year.

5. Aaron Sanchez (Blue Jays): Definitely one of my favorite prospects in the minors. He is a good athlete who narrows down the chances of an injury, he has an effortless delivery which also makes the chances of an injury unlikely, and oh by the way, he dominated the GCL and made his way up to Rookie Ball as a just-18 year old. I’m really excited about Aaron Sanchez.

6. Angel Morales): (Twins) Definetly one of my favorites. Sangel has all of the tools and they are all there as well. He does everything that a “Twins type of player” does, and may be a perennial 50 SB guy with a good glove and a .380 OBP throughout his MLB career.
7. Johnny Giavotella (Royals): Another Royals prospect who will impact the team a great deal in a few years. I look at Johnny the same way I look at Dustin Pedroia, they are almost exactly the same player. Johnny is also the perfect #2 hitter for any team.

8. Billy Hamilton (Reds): Tons of tools, and the scary thing is, they are already there in Rookie Ball. Billy has a chance to be one of the games most special players and although he is still in rookie ball, he is closer than most think.

9. Corey Kluber (Indians): Still don’t understand why the Padres would trade a future #2 with really good stuff. Well the Indians have themself a pitcher who can definetly impact their rotation sometime soon. Kluber reminds me a lot of what Thomas Diamond was to Texas, but he’ll definetly have a better career than Diamond.

10. Michael McDade (Blue Jays): Love the power that Mack Daddy has. He also plays 1B extremely well. I was talking to one of my buddies on the Fisher Cats and he said that McDade can walk faster than he could run; so that’s a problem. But there is a 100% chance that McDade will be in AA next season and I expect him to do nothing but hit and get on base, AND scoop some balls out of the dirt.

11. Drake Britton (Red Sox): How do you not like this talented starter for Greenville? He is exactly what teams want in a young starter; left handed, strikes out more than a batter per inning, has good poise, and pitches consistently. Not that the Red Sox rotation needs more help, but Britton will definetly provide it when ready. I’m really excited to see him pitch in the EL when he is there.

12. Trayvon Robinson (Dodgers): The Dodgers have themself a special player is Trayvon, someone who can switch hit, get on base, and play the position well. I expect him to be a very successful Major League Outfielder.

13. Adam Warren (Yankees): Betances, Banuelos, Noesi, and oh yeah, another Yankee farmhand who strikes out more than a batter per inning and puts up good numbers where and whenever he pitches. Expect the Yankees to take a good look at Warren in Spring Training next year.

14. Eric Thames (Blue Jays): Eric, a great guy and a guy I know as well, is definetly someone to keep an eye on. He is underrated because of his age, but he was drafted at the age of 22. He is currently 24, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t a future OF for a Major League Team. From what I know, the Jays keep a lot of their top prospects in NH, mainly because its closer to Toronto. I do have high hopes for Eric though and expect him to continue his success and maintain it at a higher level.

15. Joe Gardner (Indians): Joe strikes out a lot of batters, but can he continue to do so at the higher levels of the Indians system? I hope so. But for now, he is someone who I like and hope others keep an eye on him as well.

16. Alex Cobb (Rays): Still can’t believe people don’t know about Cobb. He has great stuff for a Rays pitcher, and that is saying a lot.

17. Jean Segura (Angels): Another Angels prospect who does all of the little things right. Segura is a few years away, but has plenty of upside and potential. Expect to hear about him more when the Angels are trying to make some trades.

18. Francisco Martinez (Tigers): I really like Francisco. Has a really high ceiling and plays the game right. He is still young, but is definetly someone to keep an eye on and certainly a player who will be in many GM’s phone calls for years to come.

19. Josh Harrison (Pirates): Another reason why the Curve won the EL this year. Harrison hit 1 home run but drove in 75 runs. He has speed, and is someone to definetly keep an eye on.

20. Liam Hendricks (Twins): Put up great numbers this year, not the best of stuff though. But can definetly succeed as a Twins pitcher because he is a strike thrower at worst.

21. Francisco Arcia (Yankees): I’m sure Yankee fans are saying, can’t we move this guy to the other NY borough? Well Staten Island isn’t far from the Bronx, but Arcia isn’t close to being Major League ready. He will impact the team though when he is in the Majors.

22. Rudy Owens (Pirates): Was the Pirates MILB Pitcher of the year, but we all know that he was the MILB and MLB Pirates pitcher of the year. A big reason why the Curve were EL Champions.

23. Rashun Dixon (A’s): Kevin Goldstein likes Dixon as well as I do, and he was great for Kane County this year. He has a chance to be a poor mans Carl Crawford, but will definetly steal 50+ bases per year at the Major League Level. I’m really excited about the A’s system, and Dixon is a big reason for that.

24. Edgar Olmos (Marlins): I have always liked Olmos, but due to his rough august, people are only going to look at his overall numbers which were very good (9+k/9 and a sub 4 ERA) before the last month. He has a chance to join Koeller and Vilanueva as 3 starters for the Marlins who can impact the rotation in the new ballpark, so keep an eye on Olmos.

25. Luis Jimenez (Angels): doesn’t hit for mucch power, but plays the position well. Then again, playing for the Angela’s like the Twins, its about defense as well, un that aspect, Luis can definetly be something special for LAA.

26. L.J. Hoes (Orioles): A perfect player for the Orioles. L.J. gets on base, is fast, and plays the game the right way especially defensively. The Orioles already have a lot of talented position players, and Hoes is just another guy with tremendous tools and speed. Expect him to force Brian Roberts out of Baltimore when the time comes.

27. Derrick Robinson (Royals): Another favorite of mine, he played a big part in the Naturals dominance of the Texas League this year. The Naturals also had one of the best teams in Minor League Baseball history. D-Rob was a big reason for that. He provides switch hitting speed, something that Royals executives and fans should be excited about.

28. Ryan Gennett (Brewers): A very good 2B prospect for the Brewers, keep an eye on this middle-infield talent.

29. Leonel Santiago (Royals): Doesn’t have the greastest stuff on earth, but this guy can pitch. I know a lot of Royals experts like him, as do I. But I definetly believe that Santiago might be one of the better pitching prospects in the Royals organization. Anytime you dominate rookie ball, you have an eye on yourself, but Santiago has a chance to even better than most think.

30. Domingo Santana (Phillies): Had a rough season for Williamsport, but the sky is the limit for Santana, who has tons of potential.

31. Ian Krol (A’s): The A’s don’t have enough good pitching at the Major League Level right? No, I am joking, but Krol is another guy with good stuff who is young (19). And by the way, does it help if he’s left handed?

32. Patrick Keating (Royals): A power arm with really good stuff out of the Royals system. The Royals system is just awesome, simple as that.

33. Kyle Seager (Mariners): The Mariners have Franklin, Ackley, Liddi, and now Seager as some prospects who will impact their infield in a couple of years. Seager has done nothing but hit this year, and is expected to do the same next year.

34. Armando Hernandez (Mets): I like Hernandez as a back of the rotation starter, but he may be more than that. We’ll see what happens when he pitches at a higher level.

35. Crawford Simmons (Royals): I never thought I would say this, but the Royals are getting sick of having incredibly good left handed pitching prospects in their organization. Well if thats the case, Simmons won’t make them any happier.

36. Bobby Carson (Mets): Another Mets prospect who has potential even though he was roughed up a bit in AA. He is still seen as a pitcher who top of the rotation stuff and potential, just when will he reach that potential is the question.

37. Brandon Gomes (Padres): So the Padres bullpen is pretty darn good already right? Well Gomes can make in even better and well by the middle to end of next season. Great numbers as a reliever throughout his career and continues to do nothing but pitch fantastically and strike batters out.

38. Hector Noesi (Yankees): I like Noesi, and if he can maintain his strikeouts, he can be a good pitcher. Ever since Betances and Banuelos came on to the scene, Noesi has over shadowed, but I still think Hector can continue to pitch well at a higher level.

39. Felix Sanchez (Red Sox): Felix has all of the tools but he is years away from being the Red Sox starting CF. He USA a traditional leadoff guy in that he gets on base, guys for a high AVG, and steals a number of bases. Has lots of upside and is a special prospect for the Sox. Reminds me a lot of Jacoby Ellsbury.

40. Trystan Magnuson (Blue Jays): Great guy and someone who I have had some pretty good conversations with this summer. He doesn’t throw very hard, but is a really good late inning reliever who locates and gets outs when he needs to.

41. Cody Stanley (Cardinals): Cardinals fans should definetly be excited about Stanley. He has good tools, something that the higher levels of the Cards organization lacks.

42. Neil Holland (Nationals): I met Buster Olney at a Vermont Lake Monsters game this summer, and he seemed more excited to see Neil Holland than me. Does anybody know why? Well Holland, a NYPL All-Star this season, was the best pitcher for the Lake Monsters this summer, and has potential to be another weapon out of the pen for the Nats.

43. Austin Wates (Astros): Tons of speed, gets on base, plays a good defensive CF; is anybody else wondering why he wasn’t drafted sooner?

44. Kyle Petter (Indians): This is a guy who a lot of people like, especially John Manuel and myself. a 34th rounder this year, is a future weapon out of the pen for the Tribe. Has really good stuff and may move quickly.

45. Brad Meyers (Nationals): If he can stay healthy, he has top of the rotation stuff. Notice how I said, “IF” he can stay healthy.

46. Brayan Villareal (Tigers): Not a very big guy and may be a reliever in the long term, but Villareal has really good stuff and is a bright spot in a not so great Tigers system.

47. Jose Altuve (Astros): This 5’5 toolsy SS for Lancaster played great this year and has impressed a lot of people connected with the organization. Jonathan Villar is closer to the Majors than Altuve, but expect to hear more about him for a while.

48. Tommy Koehler (Marlins): I actually currently play in the Babe Ruth League that Koehler played in, although I wish I was as good of a pitcher as he is.

49. Matt Bush (Rays): Yes, the guy who was drafted as **** 1st overall by the Padres instead of Verlander, Pedroia, and Gallardo. Bush has now re-found his career and is a reliever who has really good stuff.

50. Charles Furbush (Tigers): Furbush has top of the rotation potential and is left handed. He is putting up good numbers at AAA and although the season ended a bit badly for Furbush, he will definetly be someone who can impact the Tigers rotation as soon as next season.