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Joe Jordan talks about Phillies minor league system

July 23, 2012 - Mitch Rupert
Phillies director of player development Joe Jordan made a stop in Williamsport on Monday and gave his thoughts on a number of things and players within the Phillies minor league system.

Here's a transcript of his answers from a nearly 12-minute interview during batting practice on Monday afternoon.

- ON THE EARLIER DRAFT SIGNING DEADLINE

It’s changed things a lot. It’s been great. I’ve been on scouting side where you try all summer to sign guys. It’s been good just to be able to watch them play. We’ve gotten such a better read. Instructional league should be more productive, because we have a better idea of what guys need to be working on there, versus seeing them for the first time. There’s a lot of those types of benefits. It’s a big, big difference. More than anything for a lot of them, if they’re going to be big leaguers, they’re going to be there a year earlier because we’re going to be able to do more with them in instructional league. Spring training will be more productive. You’re not going through orientation where guys are trying to figure out the organization. All of that will be this summer.

- ON IF HE’S SURPRISED EARLY SIGNING HAD AS MUCH OF AN IMPACT AS IT DID

I talked with our amateur scouting director Marti Wolever about it and I think everyone thought it was going to be a help. I don’t know that everyone thought it would help as much as it did. We’re going to get a really, really good read on this year’s players.

- ON IF THEY’RE HAPPY WITH EARLY RETURNS OF 2012 DRAFT CLASS

Absolutely. I’ve known Marti and his staff for a long time on the road competing against them. And they’re looking for the right kind of guys, they really are.The organization is set up to devleop players that are a long ways away from being finished. We’re willing to be patient, we’re willing to do the work. It’s a really exciting group.

- ON DRAFTING RAW, PROJECT-TYPE PLAYERS

I think the way you have to look at it in relation to this organization, is last year their first pick was at 39. This year it was in the 40s. So you have a hard time filling a need at the major league club picking there. A lot of times those college players are gone that could go through your system in a hurry. I think you always have to take a long-term view. Obviously we’ve been thinned out in the upper levels with some trades that have happened. But I think they’ve done a good job in the past and they’re going to keep taking the same kind of players.

- ON POTENTIAL BIG LEAGUE HELP IN READING

I think that there’s a handful – it’s not a large number – but I think there are a lot of players on that club that are going to be Major League players. Some of them are just going to need a couple more years. There’s a handful of guys, whether it’s sometime in (2013) or early in (2014), there’s some guys that will help out.

- ON OUTFIELDER LEANDRO CASTRO

I think what we’ve seen from Leandro this year, is early he played out of control a little bit. Went through a period where he made some really good adjustments and slowed the game down and took what the game gave him and didn’t force it. That’s really the stuff that he’s going to have to do because he has the ability to play all three outfield spots. He can hit, he can run, he can throw. He can do everything physically that you need to be able to do to be a Major League player. It’s just a matter of playing under control, playing smart. Again, what is the game giving me tonight? That’s what I’m going to take and I’m not going to try to force anything else. He’s getting there, made a lot of progress this year.

- ON DARIN RUF IN LEFT FIELD

We’re going to try to do it enough to get a good look. We’re going to get a good feel if he can do it because we think the bat is going to be a Major League bat. We’ve obviously got a cornerstone player in the Major Leagues at first base, so we obviously want to explore all of the options for Darin.

- ON CODY ASCHE’S ASCENT THIS YEAR

I think if (Cody Asche of 2011) was the player we had seen in spring training and the first three months in Clearwater, yeah, we’d be surprised. Again, he played last summer and the organization got a read on him last summer and what he needed to work on in instructional league. They did no address it until instricutional league, but they did it then. It was a simple pre-swing adjustment that they did, he took it home and worked on it and hit basically almost .350 in three months in the Florida State League. We felt like he could handle it. He’s playing a very good third base, which he didn’t play here last summer. He’s a different player. Things came together. So no, I’m not surprised because I’m the one that moved him.

- ON ASCHE MAKING ADJUSTMENTS IN READING

They are going to turn around and they’ve started. This is the way I look at development: when the challenge of a level is losing its luster, I felt like there were adjustments he needed to make hitting .350 in the Florida State League. It’s hard to approach a player about making adjustments when things are going that well. He needed the feedback that AA gave him, which was pretty hard there for two or three weeks. But, everyone told me he’s very strong mentally, he handled the struggles he had here last summer and didn’t give in to it. So we made a decision that even if he does struggle, he’s mentally tough enough to handle it, but even more importantly he needs to struggle so we can bring some things to him that’s going to make him better down the road. And that’s exactly what happened. Hopefully he keeps on this upward trend he’s on.

- ON PROSPECTS IN WILLIAMSPORT

I saw them all as amateurs, so I’ve got a perspective that I know where they came from. They’re very exciting. Roman Quinn has the ability to impact the game every night because of his speed. He’s going to learn shortstop and is going to be a good, good, good Major League player. Larry is going to be a game-changer, I really believe that. He’s going to be a guy that one swing a night can change a ball game. He’s a better hitter than maybe we thought. He’s going to take his hits to the left side of the infield. And Walding, Mitch is a very high strung young man. If you just break him down tools-wise, which is what I do as a scout, he’s got the ability to hit, he’s going to have power, he can throw, he works his butt off defensively. Takes as much pride in his defense as his offense. All three have a chance to be really good players. Serritella, out of this draft, I’ve been really impressed with him because I’ve seen him hit the ball a long way to the pull side. And with two strikes about three times in four games I’ve seen him take hits to the left side. So for me, there’s some hit ability there. It’s a good group. Some of them haven’t gotten to see as much. It’s a good group, a very exciting group, and there’s going to be some Major League players on this team.

- ON LARRY GREENE JR’S PLATE DISCIPLINE

I don’t know that it was a question, but I’ve been very impressed with his willingness to take pitches and get deep into at-bats. It’s a really, really good sign for a guy that has that kind of an impact when he swings. It’s a good sign from a 19-year old hitter.

- ON ROMAN QUINN STICKING AT SHORTSTOP

I have no question. None. Zero. He’s come a thousand miles from spring training. Two years from now I think we have the chance to have a fantastic defensive player. I saw him play center field in high school and this is the first full year he’s had to play short. He has every physical ability you need. If you watch the athletic plays, those are easy for him. It’s when the ball is right at him and he has time, he’s not comfortable for that right now. He made about three athletic plays (Sunday) night that were really good plays, but those are easy because he’s just reacting and that’s the athlete. But when he’s got to set everything and get lined up and move his feet, that’s when he scatters throws a little bit, and that’ll come. The game is going to slow down, it has slowed down since camp. I’m willing to watch it. I think Jeter made 50-some errors his first year.

- ON TALENT IN LOWER LEVELS

They’re here. It’s our job to develop them and keep them positive. They’re going to have struggles. This 19-year old group here can’t beat some of these 22 and 23-year old college teams they play. That’s OK. They’re going to get better. I think August will be a better month than July, but I’m very excited. This is a good group, a very exciting group to watch.

 
 

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