Phillies

Phillies scout says Adam Haseley will be 'a good Phillie for a long time'

Phillies scout says Adam Haseley will be 'a good Phillie for a long time'

Long before the regional supervisors and the national cross-checkers and the special assistants and the scouting director and the general manager put their eyeballs on Adam Haseley, there was Paul Murphy.

Murphy, a Delaware resident and former third baseman in the Baltimore Orioles' system, is a Phillies area scout responsible for covering much of the Mid-Atlantic region, including Virginia.

Murphy first started keeping a book on Haseley, an outfielder/pitcher from the University of Virginia, three years ago. Last week, the Phillies selected Haseley with the eighth overall pick in the draft.

Haseley, 21, officially became a Phillie on Wednesday when he signed his first professional contract (see story). He received a $5.1 million signing bonus and will begin his pro career at Williamsport in the New York-Penn League after a brief orientation at the Phillies' complex in Clearwater.

So, what type of player are the Phillies getting in Haseley?

No one knows him better than Murphy.

"Over three years, I'd seen him 35 to 40 times between Virginia and summer ball and, really, his trajectory was upward from his freshman year," Murphy said. "You're getting a great makeup kid from a good college baseball program. It's very exciting. I think he's going to be a good Phillie for a long time."

The left-handed hitting Haseley, 6-1, 195 pounds, is a contact machine with growing power and the ability to control the strike zone, an important quality that is being stressed by second-year Phillies general manager Matt Klentak. He walked 44 times and struck out just 21 while hitting .390 with a .491 on-base percentage for the Cavaliers in 2017. He hit 14 homers — up from six as a sophomore — and added 16 doubles in 58 games. He also went 7-1 with a 3.58 ERA in 11 starts on the mound, but will only play outfield as a professional.

"The fact that he pitches and last offseason was the first time he trained as a hitter really leads you to believe that his best days are ahead of him if he just concentrates on hitting," Murphy said. "He made a big jump this season with his power numbers. He's got some projection left to his body, a chance to get bigger and stronger."

Haseley enjoyed pitching, but he's eager to focus on being a position player.

"Just from a health perspective, it will be a lot easier to recover, especially days after pitching," he said after stroking a bunch of line drives around Citizens Bank Park during batting practice Wednesday afternoon. "I'm usually pretty sore the day after. From a strength perspective, I'll be able to do different lifts that will help my overall strength."

Murphy first started thinking of Haseley as a potential first-rounder last summer.

"I saw him at Orleans in the Cape Cod League last year," Murphy said. "I've been doing the Cape league for 12 or 13 years and I saw him hit a baseball where people don't hit it in a game. He hit it about 440 feet just right of center field and it was an eye-opener. When people do something on a baseball field that you haven't seen, as a scout you certainly wake up and pay attention. That was probably the night I started considering him more seriously."

Murphy used Atlanta outfielder Nick Markakis as a loose comparison for Haseley.

"That kind of guy," Murphy said. "But I wouldn't limit him because I don't know that he's going to be the same player you see today. For a college junior he has a chance to get a lot bigger and stronger and a chance to keep improving.

"Sometimes you take a college player and that's what he is; you're not going to get anything better. But with [giving up] pitching and the body, he has a chance to keep maturing and become a better player than he is today and he's already a pretty good player for me."

Scouting director Johnny Almaraz summed up Haseley.

"Adam is a very dynamic player," Almaraz said. "He's a very exciting outfielder. He can play all three outfield positions. I believe offensively he's going to hit anywhere from 20 to 25 home runs and be somebody who's going to hit in the middle of the order."

Gabe Kapler names Jim Gott Phillies' bullpen coach

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Gabe Kapler names Jim Gott Phillies' bullpen coach

Gabe Kapler on Friday added to his coaching staff by naming Jim Gott the Phillies' bullpen coach.

Gott was the minor-league pitching coordinator for the Angels the last five seasons and the pitching coach for the Arizona League Angels the three years prior to that role.

He played for the Blue Jays, Giants, Pirates and Dodgers over 14 major-league seasons as a starter and reliever. Gott, now 58 years old, compiled a 3.87 ERA while making 96 starts and converting 91 saves.

Kapler and the Phillies still need to name a pitching coach and first-base coach. Last week, they named Dusty Wathan third-base coach and hired John Mallee as hitting coach, while retaining Rick Kranitz, who was the assistant pitching coach last season (see story). He could fill the main pitching coach vacancy, although his role is currently to be determined.

In 2017, Bob McClure served the Phillies as pitching coach and Mickey Morandini was first-base coach.

MLB Notes: Astros' Jose Altuve, Marlins' Giancarlo Stanton claim MVP awards

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MLB Notes: Astros' Jose Altuve, Marlins' Giancarlo Stanton claim MVP awards

Houston Astros dynamo Jose Altuve has won the American League MVP award, towering over New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge by a wide margin.

The 5-foot-6 Altuve drew 27 of the 30 first-place votes in balloting by members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America.

Altuve batted a major league-best .346. He hit 24 home runs with 81 RBIs, scored 112 times, stole 32 bases and showed a sharp glove at second base.

The 6-foot-7 Judge won the AL Rookie of the Year award Monday. He set a rookie record with 52 home runs.

Jose Ramirez of the Cleveland Indians finished third. The award was announced Thursday.

Altuve helped lead the Astros to their first World Series championship. Voting for these honors was completed before the postseason began.

Miami Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton won the NL MVP award, barely edging Joey Votto of the Cincinnati Reds.

In the closest MVP vote since 1979, Stanton became only the sixth player to win from a losing team. Stanton led the big leagues with 59 home runs and 132 RBIs (see full story).

MLB: Manfred says pace changes will happen with or without union
Major League Baseball will change rules to speed games next year with or without an agreement with the players' association.

Management proposed last offseason to institute a 20-second pitch clock, allow one trip to the mound by a catcher per pitcher each inning and raise the bottom of the strike zone from just beneath the kneecap to its pre-1996 level at the top of the kneecap. The union didn't agree, and clubs have the right to impose those changes unilaterally for 2018.

Players and MLB have held initial bargaining since summer, and MLB chief legal officer Dan Halem said this week he would like an agreement by mid-January.

"My preferred path is a negotiated agreement with the players, but if we can't get an agreement we are going to have rule changes in 2018 one way or the other," baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred said Thursday after a quarterly owners' meeting.

Nine-inning games averaged a record 3 hours, 5 minutes during the regular season and 3:29 during the postseason.

There are ongoing talks for a new posting system with Japan to replace the deal that expired Nov. 1, one that would allow star Japanese pitcher/outfielder Shohei Otani to leave the Pacific League's Nippon Ham Fighters to sign with a big league team (see full story).

Mariners: Team makes trade, raises available money for Japan's Otani​
The Seattle Mariners have gained more flexibility if they want to try to sign star Japanese pitcher/outfielder Shohei Otani.

They acquired an additional $500,000 for their international signing bonus pool from the Chicago White Sox in a trade for Brazilian right-hander Thyago Vieira.

Otani, a 23-year-old right-hander, would be limited to a minor league contract with a signing bonus under Major League Baseball's new collective bargaining agreement. The trade announced Thursday increases the Mariners' available money for a signing bonus to $1,557,500. Seattle has spent $3,942,500 on bonuses in the signing year that started July 2 from a pool that rose to $5.5 million with the trade.

The 24-year-old Vieira made his major league debut with a scoreless inning against Baltimore on Aug. 14, his only big league appearance. He was 2-3 with two saves and a 3.72 ERA in 29 games this year for Double-A Arkansas and 0-1 with two saves and a 4.58 ERA in 12 games for Triple-A Tacoma.

Chicago is restricted to a maximum $300,000 signing bonus because it exceeded its pool in a previous year under the old labor contract.