Friday, March 6, 2015

Phillies minor leaguers getting brutalized with baseballs

It is ideal to have an organization reflect the philosophy of its top stars. The Phillies have at different points over the past few years illustrated the swagger of Jimmy Rollins, the looseness of Ryan Howard, and the cold intensity of Chase Utley.

Phillies minor leaguers getting brutalized with baseballs

John Mayberry, exemplifying one of the Phillies´ core philosophies. (Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
John Mayberry, exemplifying one of the Phillies' core philosophies. (Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

It is ideal to have an organization reflect the philosophy of its top stars. The Phillies have at different points over the past few years illustrated the swagger of Jimmy Rollins, the looseness of Ryan Howard, and the cold intensity of Chase Utley.

Utley has set another precedent during his 12-year Phillies career: absorbing baseballs. It is widely accepted how willing Utley is to stand there and let a pitch hit him, leading the league in HBP for three straight years from 2007 to 2009.

Now, we can see that the farm system is somewhat reflecting this strategy.

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Yes, the Phillies minor leaguers are getting bashed with fewer pitches than only four other farm systems. Clearly, nothing will shatter their dedication to getting on base. Of course, it's tough to find a team in the Phillies farm system not in or hovering around last place, so this may be more of a statement on agility than OBP, but hey. Look at that chart. You can't argue with that chart.

Lehigh Valley

Number of HBP: 35

2013 team total: 40

Number of players who have been HBP: 13

Team leader in HBP: Tyson Gillies (7) (T-3 for 7th in International League), Jim Murphy (6), Leandro Castro (4)

Reading

Number of HBP: 61

2013 team total: 72

Number of players who have been HBP: 15

Team leader in HBP: Carlos Alonso (9) (5th in Eastern League), Aaron Altherr, Kelly Dugan, Jake Fox (8)

Alonso was the team leader at the close of last season, too, with 14 HBP, which was 5th in the league as well.

Lakewood

Number of HBP: 37

2013 team total:

Number of players who have been HBP: 13

Team leaders in HBP: Carlos Tocci (10) (6th in South Atlantic League), Andrew Pullin (6), Willians Astudillo (4)

Williamsport

Number of HBP: 35

2013 team total: 46

Number of players who have been HBP: 12

Team leaders in HBP: Derek Campbell (8) (2nd in NY-Penn League), Aaron Brown (6), Rhys Hoskins (5)

Clearwater

Number of HBP: 41

2013 team total: 51

Number of players who have been HBP: 16

Team leaders in HBP: Brian Pointer and Roman Quinn (7) (T-6 for 5th in Florida State League)

Of the five leagues in which the Phillies affiliates operate, the most HBP belong to a prospect named Nathan Orf, playing for the Brewers A+ squad out of Brevard County in the Florida State League. He has been hit by 19 pitches in 351 AB this season. 

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