Sunday, August 31, 2014

Phillies Do's and Don'ts for the Upcoming Offseason

  The Philadelphia Phillies are currently sitting in last place in the National League East Division with a record of 62 - 73, behind the Atlanta Braves, Washington National, the New York Mets, and the Miami Marlins. Although there are many game to be played until regular season baseball ends, the Phillies hopes of making the playoffs are virtually gone. At this time last year, the Phils were almost in the exact situation as they are in now, being last in their division, leaving many Phillies fans hoping that they will select a college pitcher or position player with their seventh overall pick of the 2014 MLB Draft. Aaron Nola was selected by the Phillies seventh overall, a move that was not controversial but one that revealed an opportunity and signs of young arms in the future. Without any more waiting or reading, he is the Philadelphia Phillies do's and don'ts of the 2014 ( And some of 2015 ) offseason.

  Do Sign a Left-Handed Reliever: With an unstable bullpen, the Phillies should look to tighten up their bullpen, by adding a young and inexpensive left handed reliever to accompany studs Ken Giles Antonio Bastardo, and Jonathan Papelbon.

 Don't Sign a Left-Handed Hitter: Too many left handed batters appear on the 25 man roster, in order to mix it up a little, why not go out and sign a right handed international player such as a Jorge Soler, Jose Abreu or Yoenis Cespedes. I'm not saying that we should release a left handed batter to sign a right handed batter, as we could just draft a contact hitter who possess power and the ability to steal a few bases, a young J - Roll for instance.

Do Keep Some Veteran Core: With many young, talented prospects that are rising through our minor league levels, it's good to keep the J - Roll, Utley, Howard trio together until they retire so that they can mentor the young, inexperienced MLB players. Although, with Howard's contract, I would say that that report is underrated, as all  players sometime in their career always run into a year where they do not perform nearly as well as they had the previous years.

Don't Continue Adding Age: Would you rather have a youngish core rather than a mid-thirties core? It's pretty simple. The Phils should monitor opposing teams propsects rather than giving up three to four prospect for a veteran player ( Hunter Pence trade for example ). Don't get me wrong, although we do have a budding farm system, it would be nice if we could develop those prospects into future stars, rather than trading future stars such as Michael Bourn, Jarred Cosart and Jon Singleton.

Do Give Prospects More Time to Develop: Sadly, many Phillies fans were devastated with the results from both Cody Asche and Ethan Martin. Not only were those fans expecting a rebuilding process with those young two studs, but many who don't follow the MILB though that both of the new callus were fairly developed. The Phillies can change that though, as J.P. Crawford is 19 years old, while Aaron Nola is only 21 years old. Don't rush those guys to the majors if you would like to see good results or better results than you were expecting.

Don't Sign an Expensive Reliever: Yes, I am somewhat talking about the Mike Adams signing which was controversial. A reliever with injuries that have effected his career is risky to sign. All the Phillies need is a young, developed and talented stud that can be a twin brother with Ken Giles.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

An Interview with Palm Springs Power GM: Peter Wagoner

    Peter Wagoner is currently the Palm Springs Power's general manager. A fan of every team with the word " Cleveland " in it, Wagoner grew up as a Cleveland Indians fan. I had the pleasure of interviewing Mr. Wagoner and he rewarded me with valuable information and advice. Sit back, relax and read the interview ( I know I would )!

JE: How did you come to enjoy baseball?

 PW:   My dad is a baseball fan so I was raised a Cleveland Indians fan.
JE: What is your fondest baseball memory?

 PW:   My fondest baseball memory personally was winning the 16 year old Virginia State Babe Ruth title in 1997.
JE: What is your dream job?

 PW:   My dream job would be to work in the front office of an MLB organization. 
JE: Who is your favorite current Major League Baseball player?

 PW:   My favorite current MLB player is Dr. Smooth, Michael Brantley.
JE:  As a GM, what is your opinion of the Athletics - Cubs trade? ( Russell for Samardzija and Hammel )

 PW:   I think it was a good trade for both sides. The A's haven't been able to get past Detroit and I think the two arms will help them in that endeavor. The Cubs were able to pick up some good prospects in return. I think both teams got what they wanted.
JE: Do you have a specific way to evaluate players?

 PW:   Obviously statistics do a good job of leveling out the playing field. With pitchers, you want to see velocity and a repeatable motion that will keep a guy healthy and out of mechanical issues. Position players are a little harder to generalize but you want to see someone with a good approach at the plate, someone who will have productive at bats.    

JE: What is your opinion of the Cleveland Cavaliers signing Lebron James?

  PWI'm excited about LeBron coming back to Cleveland. The city has gone 50 years without a title and with his return the Cavs are the closest to changing that. It's good for the city of Cleveland and I look forward to watching him this year.
JE: Who is your favorite MILB player?

PWMy favorite MiLB player is the Indians' top prospect, Francisco Lindor. He's a plus defensive shortstop who switch hits, has speed and should hit for a high average while providing a little bit of pop at the top of the lineup. 
JE: Do you happen to know anyone that either works in Major League Baseball or Minor League Baseball?

 PWI know a couple of people that work in MLB and MiLB.

 JE: What would your advice be for a kid who would like to become a sports GM?

 PW: That is a tough question. There is no exact route to become a sports GM. Study and applicable subject in school. Seriously consider an advanced degree. Make sure you choose an internship that will help you with your career path. Start networking and building work relationships as soon as you can. Overall, always try and put yourself in the best position to be successful.

  *Click the link below to go visit the Palm Spring Power's website!

   A big thanks to Mr. Wagoner for putting work aside for a few minutes to respond to this interview via email!

   Check out MLB with Evered on Twitter: @MLBwithEvered

Saturday, August 23, 2014

The Top MLB Prospect from New Jersey: Anthony Ranaudo

     Anthony Ranaudo, 24, was born on September 9th, 1989 in Freehold, New Jersey. A budding prospect, Ranaudo achieved " The Dream " by being called up on August 1st, 2014 to the Boston Red Sox in order to make to his first career start as a player in the MLB against the New York Yankees, the team Ranaudo grew up rooting for.

 * Ranaudo's first strikeout came against the one and only, Derek Jeter, Ranaudo's role - model as a child. Although he may have been calm after recording his first career strikeout in the MLB, Ranaudo kept the ball and was obviously excited.

LSU Career
      Anthony Ranaudo attended Louisiana State University, known as LSU, from 2008 - 2010. During those years, Ranaudo not only excelled on the field, but excelled academically at LSU, earning a spot on the 2010 SEC honor role! Not only did Ranaudo achieve academic success, but he was named to the 2009 First - Team All Louisiana and was crowned the 2009 NCAA Regional Most Outstanding Player award before being drafted by the Red Sox in 2010!

    Ranaudo was drafted thirty-ninth ( 39th ) overall out of LSU in the first round of the 2010 MLB Draft by the Boston Red Sox, Ranaudo later agreed to sign for a bonus of 2.55 million dollars! Four years later, Ranaudo continues to excel on the mound, which led to being ranked exceptionally high in MLB prospect ranks, lists and charts by's draft and prospect expert Jonathan Mayo. As of now, Ranaudo is ranked by Jonathan Mayo as the Boston Red Sox 5th ( fifth ) best prospect and the 78th best prospect in the minor leagues.

       As a said earlier, Ranaudo has excelled on the mound in the minors since 2010. Starting 23 games this season for the Pawtucket Red Sox,  Ranaudo is 14 - 4 with an excellent ERA of 2.46! Ranaudo has pitched a lengthy 131.2 innings this year, allowed only 105 hits, seven ( 7 ) home runs and has issued 51 walks. Ranaudo's overall record in the minors 35 -18 with a 3.42 ERA, that equals a winning percentage of .660! Although Anthony Ranaudo is not on the Boston Red Sox current roster, he is on their 40 - man roster and is probably ready for his September call - up. As a candidate for a spot on the starting rotation for the Red Sox in 2015, Ranaudo's game and class is constantly under surveillance by scouts from around the league, not to mention the Boston Red Sox's front office!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Baseball Tutorial: How to Calculate Statistics

   Hello sports fans! The majority of fans seem to not know how to calculate certain baseball statistics you see on the back of a baseball card. Therefore, today I will be teaching you how to calculate WHIP ( Walks, hits, innings pitched ), ERA (Earned Run Average), and the simple batting average of a position player.
                                                                  Let us get started!

        Walks, plus --> Hits, per ---> Innings Pitched = The W-H-IP
Calculate WHIP:   The amount of walks plus hits the pitcher has given up, over
                               The amount of innings the pitcher has pitched

     Earned- Run- Average = ERA
Calculate ERA: Take the number of earned runs the pitcher has given up and divide that number by the amount of innings the pitcher has pitched. After you have calculated that, multiply your result by nine.
Example: ( Not actual statistic of Tyson Ross )  Tyson Ross has given up 20 earned runs over 100 innings pitched so far this season.
                         20 divided by 100 = 0.2, then multiply 0.2 by 9 which is equivalent to 1.80, a magnificent ERA.

Batting Average
      Calculate Batting Average: Let us say that Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Ben Revere had 175 hits out of 629 at-bats. To calculate Ben Revere's batting average, simply divide the number of hits, by the number of at-bats.
Revere's average would be about .278, a solid batting average in the major leagues.

 I hope this has helped with your calculations!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

An Interview with Washington Nationals TOP Prospect: Lucas Giolito

       Lucas Giolito, 20,  is the Washington Nationals top prospect in their minor league organization, tenth best prospect in the minors and the second best right-handed starting pitcher in the minors ( Rankings by's draft and prospect expert, Jonathan Mayo ).  Selected 16th overall by the Washington Nationals during the 2012 MLB Draft, the Nationals signed Giolito to a bonus of 2.925 million dollars. If not for his sprained ulnar collateral ligament before the 2012 MLB Draft, Giolito was projected to be a top-ten pick, so it was not a surprise Giolito fell to the Nationals 16th overall. Giolito made only one start in the Washington National's minor league farm system in  2012, before undergoing Tommy John surgery that shut him down during his first professional season. He returned to the diamond during July of 2013, where his pitches dazzled scouts from opposing teams. Unlike many other teams ( that propel their top pitching prospects to the majors too fast ), the Washington Nationals will play the waiting game with Giolito, and call him up to " The Show" once he is capable of pitching with his fully developed arm, spirit and potential.

       * I would like to thank Mr. Pearlstein, the Hagerstown Sun's media manager for all of his hard work put into coordinating this interview between Mr. Giolito and myself!

                                         Without further waiting, let's jump into the interview!

  JE: You are currently in the midst of a superb season, what is the secret for your success, did you make any adjustments? ( Lucas Giolito is 10 - 2 this season with a 2.20 ERA so far. ) 

LG: I think over the course of the year, I did a good job of developing better control of all of my pitches and when you're able to throw pitches where you want, you're going to have a lot more success. I have just was able to get better over time.

JE: You are ranked the Washington Nationals top prospect in their organization, how do you deal with the hype and high expectations?

LG: I don't think about it too much. It's cool I'm thought so highly of by people in the media, organization and everything, and I definitely appreciate everything about it, but I'm a minor league player like everybody else, so everyday I'm just working hard to make it to the " Big Leagues."

JE: You have sprained your ulnar collateral ligament and have undergone Tommy John surgery, how are you trying to remain healthy?

LG: I know a lot more about my arm, I know what exercises I need to do to keep my arm healthy, not only that, but I've also made some mechanical adjustments here and there to make sure I stay healthy.

JE: Out of all of your pitches, which is your most lethal pitch?

LG: It actually depends on the day, it depends on what is working on that specific day. I've had days where my changeup was the most effective and I've had days where my curveball was looking sharp. Obviously the fastball is always there and I've been able to command that pretty well so far.

JE: How excited were you once you were told you would be playing in the 2014 Futures Game?

LG: I was extremely excited to be picked this year, I wasn't expecting to be selected this year, I was hoping I would be selected next year, but to be honored and selected is amazing.

JE: How has the Washington Nationals organization helped you further develop as a starting pitcher?

LG: We have a plan: to throw innings and get better as a pitcher. I work with my coaches to develop certain aspects of my game to get better every time I go out there ( To pitch ).

JE: How do you and your teammates occupy yourselves during long road trips?

LG: I spend a lot of time sleeping, we all play Clash of Clans, an I- phone game, we will watch movies and television shows on our computers.

JE: After home games, do you go home to a host family?

LG: Yes, Spenser ( Spenser Kieboom is a catcher for the Hagerstown Suns ) and I, live at a host family, everyone on our team lives with a host family.

JE: Who has been the best hitter you have pitched against?

LG: I've faced a lot of really good players, but if I had to pick out one, I would have to say Javier Baez. He was the player who hit the bomb off of me during the 2014 Futures Game, he has a heck of a swing. Actually, he is the only player who has hit my curveball really well.

JE: Have you developed any friendships with players from opposing organizations?

LG: Yes, I am friends with a few guys I played with in High School. To name a couple, Max Fried and Joey Gallo and some other teammates from high school that are now in opposing organizations.

                                     I had an excellent time interviewing Mr. Giolito!

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