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AAP: Josh Phegley

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I saw this note at the Trib site and noticed Josh Phegley was still open to be "adopted". I'll post this note, but anyone is open to adopt Josh if they want to.

 

Catcher Josh Phegley, the Sox's second pick in the amateur draft, could make a big impact once he's signed.

 

That comes from Eric Arnett, Phegley's teammate at Indiana who received a $1.2 million bonus as Milwaukee's first pick.

 

"He's going to really shock some people once he gets up there to see how good he is," Arnett said. "He's a guy who could move up very quickly."

 

Phegley batted .344 with 17 home runs and 66 RBIs for the Hoosiers and is known more for his hitting than his defense. But Arnett disputes Phegley's reputation as solely a hitter.

 

"I know some people say that [defense] is his downside, but when he catches me, he's someone you love to have behind the plate," Arnett said. "He's got a great arm. His glove may be inconsistent at times, but when it's there, he's one of the best."

 

Edit to add the link.

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Phegley recently signed for $888,600 and is starting his pro career at Kannapolis.

 

Short scouting video Looks like he runs pretty well for a catcher.

 

From baseballdraftreport.com

No suspense here, I’m sorry to report. After upsets in the first two regionals (Stock and Fleury), Josh Phegley blows away all comers here in the Joe Mauer Regional. It’s no surprise, really, as many publications have Phegley safely ensconced as one of the top two college catchers in all the land and a great bet to be off the board by the end of round two. We’ll talk about the other three names at a later date (I like Dalles over Medica, injury or not, by the way), but for now we’ll shine the prospect spotlight on the champ.

 

I’m excited for June 9 for all sorts of reasons. There are plenty of draft storylines that deserve more press coverage than they’ll inevitably get, but I hope the eventual destination of Josh Phegley gets a little bit of love come draft day. By the numbers, Phegley is truly a standout amongst a group of less than stellar college bats. There is no denying this man’s college production. So where will he land and when? Teams that place a greater importance on statistical performance will be hard pressed to find a better college prospect than Indiana’s star backstop. His numbers both in and out of context are staggering —> .438/.507/.746 with a 34/22 walk to strikeout ratio his sophomore year and .383/.485/.688 with 29 walks to 23 strikeouts so far this year, all while playing home games in a neutral park in the chilly north. To find fault in Phegley’s collegiate numbers is to complain about a stray splatter on a Jackson Pollock.

 

Phegley’s production has been top notch, but what about his projection? This is where things get more complicated. There are doubts surrounding his defense, his pro power potential, and his bat speed. To be fair, no college hitting prospect this side of Rich Poythress (though even he gets dinged for being limited to first defensively) comes without warts, but the fact that Phegley’s detractors knock his bat so severely is telling. My quick and dirty notes from watching his swing over a few games earlier this season:

 

* Pronounced crouch (a little like Aaron Rowand’s), good leverage and balance

 

* Circles bat pre-swing as timing mechanism; keeping hands high is key – when they drop, so does his power

 

* Uneven feet with his back leg staggered back in box, impressive in the way his lower half moves in sync with the rest of his body during setup and follow through

 

* Lets ball get unusually deep, but his wrists (more strong than quick) help his plate coverage – Phegley can afford to wait and wait and wait because, at worst, he has a knack for fouling balls off until he gets one he can drive

 

* Swing gets knocked for being long, but I saw it level and surprisingly compact and efficient; the helicopter finish may slow down the swing enough to give certain teams pause

 

I’d agree with a scout that questions Phegley’s future power potential as his swing is closer to that of a player with consistent line drive, gap power. I’m not sure I’d worry as much about a slow bat, but I do think some tweaks (namely toning down the finish a smidge) could help him shave some time off his swing and perhaps unleash a little bit of the power he loses with his level, one-plane swing.

 

Phegley’s defense is a topic that has generated plenty of discussion in scouting circles because, well, scouts love talking about an otherwise solid player’s glaring deficiency. Phegley’s defensive tools are solid as he possesses an average to above-average throwing arm with a quick release, but his shoddy footwork and consistent struggles blocking balls in the dirt keep his present defensive grade below-average.

 

Despite the fact that many of the specific concerns about his defense are valid, he’ll stick behind the plate as a professional. The aforementioned tools are there for Phegley to be an average defensive player and with a bat like his that should be enough. Picture an offense-first, slightly below-average to barely average defender behind the dish. A peak that looks a little something like Michael Barrett’s (2004-2006) with much better plate discipline (one of Phegley’s biggest and most unique strengths) sounds like a reasonable enough upside for Phegley going forward. For those looking for a decent prospect comp, I’ve got two names to consider – Phillies catcher Lou Marson (with a little more juice in his bat, but less glove) and Rangers catcher Max Ramirez (with less power, but better defense).

 

In the end, I think a Marson comp (right down to their similar level swings) makes the most sense with a more patient Barrett-like peak well within reason. One of the perks of an established college player with a strong statistical history like Phegley is the near elimination of the total bust factor; it’s hard to see Phegley completely flaming out as a pro, he’s had too much success against high level competition to bet against him at least reaching the bigs as a backup. With a ceiling of Mike Barrett and a floor of Josh Bard (high level backup deemed not quite good enough to catch full-time, but productive when given opportunities). There’s some very real value there, especially considering the typical dearth of catching prospects throughout baseball. It remains to be seen how far down the top prep college catchers will push the college guys on draft day, but Phegley’s statistical profile and good enough tools could get him picked anywhere from late in the first (to a competitive team in need of a quick moving catcher…Tampa? Boston?) to the middle of the third round. I’d take him over any other college catcher, but probably not until midway through the second round.

 

from pgcrosschecker.com

BRADENTON, FL- Indiana catcher Josh Phegley should become yet another “college guy” who turns into a high draft pick.

 

The Terre Haute product was scouted but not selected out of high school in 2006. Phegley was dismissed by scouts as a “college guy”, a worn-out label that refers to a good prep player who isn’t a pro prospect. Three years later, Phegley has proved otherwise. In our preseason rankings, we have Phegley listed as the best catcher available (PGX #20 overall) in the draft with a chance to go in the first round.

 

Phegley started behind the plate and played against West Virginia University today, hitting third in the lineup.

 

I came early to watch him hit in the cages (there was no on-field pregame at McKechnie Field) and saw a very strongly built 5-10, 215 kid who looked like a catcher. Phegley has manufactured his body from the weight room. He’s thick and strong in his legs and hips, with a solid torso and broad, sloped shoulders.

 

He showed a short stroke with lift while hitting in the cage. From his appearance, I wondered if he would be too stiff with his hands to make adjustments against “good movement” pitchers in the game.

 

Phegley would go 4-5 today with an opposite field single thrown in. He seemed to handle everything though he never saw a fastball over 89 MPH. From batting practice, I thought I’d find a power hitter who might be too stiff to make adjustments but what I found was almost the opposite. Phegley showed a lot of bat-head control, making adjustments mid-swing in both a bloop hit to left and the single to right. With his ability to generate average bat-speed off a short stroke, he should be able to hit a big league heater.

 

The power is what didn’t translate. Despite his physical strength and late swing extension, there isn’t much loft. I see him as a hitter who hits for average and only occasional power.

 

Defensively, I believe Phegley will be solid-average to plus. He received the ball easily and though he wasn’t particularly shifty, he had soft hands and a comfortable crouch. Phegley’s also blessed with a short release and good feet. One scout told me he had graded Phegley’s arm-strength at 65 when he was a freshman. Rotator cuff surgery may have robbed some of what that scout saw, but I can still give him a 55 which is solid-average.

 

For me, he is a pure catcher, but I’m sure he could play first base or the outfield if his organization wished to make him more versatile; he’s a 35 runner but seems to have good reactions. Phegley actually played the last three innings in left field. I don’t doubt he could play third base by his tools, but it would take considerably more work to teach him that position.

 

Above it all, Phegley played aggressively and with a hint of cockiness. The way he ran the bases, the way he blocked balls, and the way he swung through the ball showed me that he’s a grinder.

 

There’s no projection with him, he’s fully filled out and his raw tools are maxed. But there’s enough there already to make him a big league catcher with just a couple years of seasoning. I believe he has a chance to become a solid big league starter and at least a backup. Without the on-field makeup, I wouldn’t feel comfortable with him in the first or sandwich round, but his demeanor puts him over.

 

from sportingnews.com

Earlier today we offered up congratulations to the Louisville and Indiana baseball teams for winning the Big East and Big 10 tournament titles, respectively.

 

Now word comes today that the two teams will face off against each other in the Kentucky Regional when No. 1 ranked Louisville hosts No. 4 ranked Indiana.

 

Hence, I find it apropos that we talked about Louisville's Chris Dominguez this morning. This afternoon we focus on Indiana catcher Josh Phegley.

 

Josh PhegleyThe 5-11, 215-pound Phegley finished second in the nation last year, hitting .438 with 15 homers and 80 RBI as a sophomore. He followed that up with a .352 average with 17 homers and 66 RBI this season.

 

And during the Big 10 Tournament this past weekend, Phegley went 6-for-18 with four RBI.

 

While every scout with whom I spoke had nothing but praise for Phegley's demeanor and work ethic, they still had concerns about Phegley's ability to hit at the pro level.

 

"He's a great kid, but he's still got lots to learn with the bat," an NL West scout said. "He didn't look good with wood. His bat speed isn't very fast.

 

"There's some strength there, of course," he added. "But you need both to generate 20 homers at the pro level. In college, with aluminum, you can get away with just strength. So the question is, what's he going to hit as a pro?"

 

 

Another scout offered another insight.

 

"He takes a lot of balls off his thumbs back there," the other scout said. "His defense isn't great, so over time, that pounding he takes back there is going to slow down his bat even more."

 

Indeed, Phegley is one of those excellent college or high school players who are hard to figure. Scouts across the board say that diagnosing if a guy will be able to hit with wood bats is one of the hardest tasks of the job.

 

One scout said he will keep track of "GW" outs, or "good wood" outs.

 

"If a guy centers the ball consistently or hits it solid but lines out to short, I'll mark down a little 'GW'. That just gives me a little reminder that this guy hit the ball well."

 

If a hitter does that consistently, the scout might actually weigh that more heavily than a hitter who earns a bunch of bloop singles or bleeders off the handle of a metal bat. So who's the better hitter, really?

 

"When I saw Phegley one game, man he really smoked some line drives," another scout added. "But then he can't touch a thing the next day. It's really hard to figure out."

 

Phegley really only profiles well behind the plate, so he will have to refine his skills and as I mentioned, scouts love his makeup, so no one doubts he will work to improve both defensively as well as offensively.

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Phegley finished his first season of pro ball as a bit of a disappointment for such a high pick. He had an avg. of just .224 with 40 K's and 11 BB's in 196 AB's. That means his K rate was over 25% and a BB rate of just 5.6%. He did show some good power however slugging 9 HR's in his limited action which actually led the team this year despite the fact that he only played 1/3 of the season. His OPS was just .685 and he also had 7 errors.

 

All in all he did not perform up to the draft hype, however, he did have a very slow start batting only .139 in July with an OPS of just .520 while he upped his average and OPS to .275 and .842 respectively in Aug so clearly there was an adjustment period for him. His performance in the second half of his season gives us hope for the future with him.

 

When he was selected he was expected to progress fairly quickly through the system but I still expect him to start the season in Hi-A W-S next season.

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Josh saw very limited action in spring training with the big club this year doing nothing to really to distinguish himself and will be starting the season in Winston-Salem.

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Phegley is out indefinitely with an illness, don't have the name of it off hand but it doesn't sound good and could keep him from playing for a significant amount of time while the doctors figure out how to manage it. Hopefully we don't end up with a Rocco Baldelli type situation with him.

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QUOTE (bighurt4life @ May 24, 2010 -> 06:40 AM)
Phegley is out indefinitely with an illness, don't have the name of it off hand but it doesn't sound good and could keep him from playing for a significant amount of time while the doctors figure out how to manage it. Hopefully we don't end up with a Rocco Baldelli type situation with him.

 

 

It's called Immune Idiopathic Thrombocytopenia Purpura- ITP.

 

It's a condition in which there are an unusually low amount of platelets in the blood.

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QUOTE (girlslikebaseballtoo#26 @ May 24, 2010 -> 09:44 AM)
It's called Immune Idiopathic Thrombocytopenia Purpura- ITP.

 

It's a condition in which there are an unusually low amount of platelets in the blood.

 

well there you have it.

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Phegley is in Bristol. He's there to get some AB's in. Supposed to be there for a week, looks like he'll be catching 3 diff games ..5 innings then 7 innings then he will catch a full 9 inning game. When he's not catching he's supposed to be in as DH.

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QUOTE (girlslikebaseballtoo#26 @ Jun 21, 2010 -> 06:51 PM)
Phegley is in Bristol. He's there to get some AB's in. Supposed to be there for a week, looks like he'll be catching 3 diff games ..5 innings then 7 innings then he will catch a full 9 inning game. When he's not catching he's supposed to be in as DH.

 

I can't tell you how much many of us appreciate the updates from you (and Chase). Much thanks Bren!

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QUOTE (SoxAce @ Jun 21, 2010 -> 04:57 PM)
I can't tell you how much many of us appreciate the updates from you (and Chase). Much thanks Bren!

 

 

Oh, you're very welcome!

 

We're happy to do it! :)

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QUOTE (girlslikebaseballtoo#26 @ Jun 21, 2010 -> 07:51 PM)
Phegley is in Bristol. He's there to get some AB's in. Supposed to be there for a week, looks like he'll be catching 3 diff games ..5 innings then 7 innings then he will catch a full 9 inning game. When he's not catching he's supposed to be in as DH.

Really, he's back to playing? That's great news. Thanks!

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QUOTE (Balta1701 @ Jun 22, 2010 -> 06:26 AM)
Really, he's back to playing? That's great news. Thanks!

 

 

Sure is!

 

I don't know what this means for Logan Johnson ..or if it means anything, but Johnson has been off of the DL for quite some time and has yet to catch a game! He's been DH'ing ..Luis Sierra and Jason Bour have been catching ..and doing just fine.

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Fantastic news. Glad to see he's gotten better. Scary thing Josh had to go through and its something I hope he'll be able to control the rest of his life.

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QUOTE (Chisoxfn @ Jun 22, 2010 -> 12:41 PM)
Fantastic news. Glad to see he's gotten better. Scary thing Josh had to go through and its something I hope he'll be able to control the rest of his life.

 

 

Surely so! ..I can't imagine thinking I'm perfectly healthy, then getting clobbered by a guy and nearly dying then finding out ...HEY, guess what? ..You have a blood disorder! ..That would be devastating to me.

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QUOTE (girlslikebaseballtoo#26 @ Jun 22, 2010 -> 12:35 PM)
Sure is!

 

I don't know what this means for Logan Johnson ..or if it means anything, but Johnson has been off of the DL for quite some time and has yet to catch a game! He's been DH'ing ..Luis Sierra and Jason Bour have been catching ..and doing just fine.

 

We all know who the weak link on Winston-Salem's roster is, and it certainly isn't Logan Johnson. He shouldn't lose his roster spot when Phegley comes back, Junior should.

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QUOTE (JPN366 @ Jun 22, 2010 -> 03:43 PM)
We all know who the weak link on Winston-Salem's roster is, and it certainly isn't Logan Johnson. He shouldn't lose his roster spot when Phegley comes back, Junior should.

 

 

You don't honestly think that's going to happen?!?!

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QUOTE (girlslikebaseballtoo#26 @ Jun 22, 2010 -> 06:02 PM)
You don't honestly think that's going to happen?!?!

 

He needs to go back on the "DL," that's when Winston-Salem was playing murderball. They don't need their everyday 6th hitter and LF batting .212. At least Oney Guillen and Harold Baines Jr. had the decency to retire instead of taking a roster spot from someone else.

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Besides, Logan Johnson use to be an infielder up until last year. I know he's already played first base once recently. I'm sure he could do alright in left field.

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His spleen was removed during surgery on Nov. 5, a process that caused Phegley's platelet count to automatically spike. If post-surgery blood work had revealed that his platelet count had plummeted again, that would indicate that there still was a problem. But his platelet count not only didn't drop, it elevated further, as evidenced by tests taken in early December, which leads an ecstatic and encouraged Phegley to believe "all is well."

 

"At the beginning, it was so surreal that it didn't hit me that it was that big of a deal. You have this life-threatening illness, but you feel 100 percent normal," said Phegley, who has been working out for the past month and only has to guard against certain bacterial infections that could do damage without the counteracting antibodies produced by his spleen. "It happens to thousands of people per year. It's like a genetic thing.

 

"Some people I talk to, they get strep throat, and their system will do this. You can get a common cold, and it happens."

 

Phegley no doubt feels it's a true holiday gift that he has been allowed to remain at catcher, despite the risks inherent in the combination of his condition and the physical nature of his position. Given his on-field talents, Phegley has emerged as the potential heir apparent to Pierzynski, but he has been aided just as much by his character and makeup in the way he handled this startling situation.

 

"Josh is no slouch," Magallanes said. "We joked around [about] how he took one; someone came around and tried squaring him up at home, and he didn't budge. It's almost like hitting a brick wall. He's a strong kid."

 

"[Josh] just handled it like a man, sort of, like, 'It's not a big deal. I'm fine,'" said White Sox Minor League director Buddy Bell. "There's no question in my mind, if he had a full year, he would have definitely been able to help us [at the big league level] in this coming year. He's a tough, athletic, approachable kid who plays hard. He's going to make everyone better."

Link to a long piece

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WhiteSoxTalkCSN White Sox Talk

Capra hopes Phegley has his health issues behind him and can have a full season on the field. Adds he's a bulldog. #SoxFest

1 hour ago

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After a decent 2012 campaign (where, most importantly, he stayed healthy all year), Josh has been added to the 40-man roster by the Sox. If Tyler Flowers ends up being the starting C in 2013, Phegley may get a shot at the backup slot (though it seems more likely the Sox would pick up a vet backup in that case).

 

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