Who Is Julsan Kamara? What We Know of the German Prospect the Phillies Signed

Who Is Julsan Kamara? What We Know of the German Prospect the Phillies Signed

About a week ago some of our favorite Phillies blogs had caught wind of a seemingly minor although very intriguing signing by the organization in Julsan Kamara. Details are still sparse however, as the front office hasn’t made too big a deal over the 17-year-old prospect from Germany.

The report originally surfaced from the European site Mister Baseball, which noted Kamara agreed to a seven-year minor league contract, and that he would enter the Phillies’ system full-time in the spring of 2014 after he graduates high school. The 6-4, 192-lb. right-hander has attended an MLB academy, participated in a home run derby at Marlins Park, and is a member of the German national team.

The Phillies have downplayed the possibility that they snagged one of the best prospects in Germany, a potential diamond in the rough. In fact, they’ve hardly commented on it at all from what we’ve seen. The Inquirer’s Mark Narducci managed to get a few words out of assistant general manager Benny Looper, which the scribe shared over the weekend.

"The ball comes off his bat well and we think there is potential power there," said Benny Looper, the Phillies assistant general manager, player personnel. "He has general athleticism and we are hoping that translates to a good baseball player."

"He hasn't played a lot and with a lot of international signings he needs to be taught how to play the game," Looper said. "He has good tools and we are looking forward to working with him."

As an aside, Looper sounds exactly like one of those scouts in the film adaptation of Moneyball.

Who is Julsan Kamara? It seems we don’t know, and likely won’t learn a ton more for years to come. He’s obviously a long way from ever contributing at the big-league level, and while the pure ability to play the game is probably there, there’s no telling how a kid that young will develop, particularly one who needs to be taught.

It’s a story we’ve been tracking though, because it’s not every day the Phillies sign 17-year-old prospects from Germany who possess plus-power and speed. The organization is scouring the earth to find talent though, and we’ll be waiting to see if Kumara’s name pops up somewhere down the road, or disappears as quietly as it appeared on to the scene.

>> Phillies find gem in German high school [Inq]

*Photo via Power Showcase

Nerlens Noel on Sixers' frontcourt logjam: 'I don't see a way it can work'

Nerlens Noel on Sixers' frontcourt logjam: 'I don't see a way it can work'

CAMDEN, N.J. — Nerlens Noel is standing his ground.

After saying that the Sixers' entering the season with three starting-caliber centers (himself, Jahlil Okafor, Joel Embiid) "doesn't make sense," Noel didn't back down from his stance during the team's annual media day.  

"I don't see a way it can work," Noel said Monday. "It's just a logjam. You have three young, talented centers that can play 30-plus minutes a night." 

The Sixers attempted to play with two bigs in Noel and Okafor last season but had little success. Now that Embiid is finally healthy, the fit to the puzzle doesn't figure to get any better.

Reports swirled during the offseason that the Sixers were looking to trade either Noel or Okafor to add backcourt help to the woeful franchise, but nothing came to fruition.

"Things need to get situated," Noel said. "I think things obviously need to be moved around, someone needs to be moved around. It's just a tough situation. I can't really say too much because I have no say in the matter, so obviously that's for who can handle the situation in the right manner.

"I've gone through a whole lot. Probably the most, arguably, that any player has gone through in the NBA in losing. It's a tough situation to still be in. Year by year, to see things get more difficult to show your value. Year by year, it's always been something. It's really at a point where it's just a lot."

Bryan Colangelo said he understands Noel's viewpoint. However, the Sixers' president said he is in no rush to trade any of the centers and will wait the situation out.

"It’s not disappointing. It’s understandable," Colangelo said. "I think Nerlens actually did a pretty good job sizing up what we have, which is a lot of depth and a lot of talent at that position."

Despite each of the three centers being early in their career, Noel, who is in the final year of his rookie contract, doesn't want to hold off to see if the trio can actually mesh on the floor.

"I can't say I do really understand that (wait-and-see approach)," Noel said. "If you have a group of players, I just don't think it makes too much sense to just still come into the season with such a heavy lineup at the center position. I don't know what there is to wait and see."

Noel made sure to express that he has no issues with Okafor and Embiid and said they are some of his closest friends on the team. But when asked whether he was happy to be a Sixer, Noel deflected.

"I feel good," he said. "I'm all right, I'm in a good place right now."

Sure sounds like it.

Darren Sproles' TD from Wentz set to Sonic the Hedgehog music

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Darren Sproles' TD from Wentz set to Sonic the Hedgehog music

You may fondly remember the time Darren Sproles took a punt return to the house last season and a wonderful Twitter user set the video to the Super Mario Bros.' star music, yes?

It was great.

Now that Sproles' put on the jets again yesterday in the Eagles win over the Steelers, the same @pacdude on Twitter has done it again.

This time it's the theme music from Sonic the Hedgehog 2. Please enjoy.