Top 100 Prospects
Let's start off with MLB's official rankings of the Top 100 Prospects. There were several interesting players on the list to Phillies fans and a few names left off that may surprise some. Let's start with the Phillies prospects:
80. Ethan Martin, RHP - To summarize what they said in the write up, Martin has a top end Fastball that works in the upper 90's, his second best pitch is a hard slider, he flashes an inconsistent, heavy Curve and he has some feel for his Change-up, so he may have 4 pitches that are useable. He needs to work on his command, but it's trending in the right direction.
60. Jesse Biddle, LHP - This is a promising write-up actually, stating that Biddle has a good, repeatable delivery and he should end up with better command as he moves forward (command is already a bit of a strength, so that's nice). Works in the low 90's with a good fastball that fools hitters with nice angle. Very good Curve is a K pitch. Solid Change-up. All 3 pitches could be above average to plus when all is said and done.
Notable omissions: Roman Quinn has had some serious helium this offseason, but didn't sneak onto the back of this list. Adam Morgan, who some have argued may be the best Pitcher in the system, and who in almost every prospect ranking this offseason has been listed above Martin on Phillies Top XX lists. Tommy Joseph isn't a huge surprise, but at the same time seeing him at the back end of this list wouldn't have been a shock. Another notable omission: former farmhand Trevor May did not make the Top 100.
Non-Phillies of interest:
6. Travis D'Arnaud, C - Basically they say he'll be rockstar, haunting the Phillies for years and we'll all grow to hate him. I'm paraphrasing a good bit, but that's what I walked away with. That said, we got Halladay, so no problems with that trade, just wish he wasn't a Met.
27. Jonathan Singleton, 1B - Big bat, likely to contribute to the Astros very soon. Friggin' Pence.
89. Jarred Cosart, RHP - The writeup is similar to Martin's. Power stuff, misses plenty of bats, but also too many plates. Probably a future reliever, maybe even a Closer. Probably sold high here, but still, Friggin' Pence.
Take these for what they are, fun. Does Martin being an 80 and Cosart being an 89 mean Martin will be a better MLB pitcher? No, maybe, sure, who knows? It means the guys who put together this list like him 8 players better. For example, I think Mike Zunino's better than D'Arnaud (thanks to D'Arnaud's injury to his PCL), but MLB has Zunino ranked almost 20 spots later on the list.
Top Positional Prospects
This is also an Official MLB thing where they rank the best by position, so this almost always includes guys not in the Top 100. How did the Phillies fair here?
LHP: Biddle is listed 4th, same as his Top 100 Write up. No Morgan, no Wright.
Catcher: Tommy Joseph is ranked 8th here. Surprisingly behind Christian Bethancourt. Go look up Bethancourt on Youtube, he may be better than Yadier Molina Defensively. I mean there are awesome clips of him throwing runners out from his knees when the guy just leans toward second. His arm has to be an 80. His bat might be more like a 35 or 40, he's been a really bad hitter. Tommy Joseph though gets a nice write up, noting that he needs to work on his swing to unleash his power and that his D is plenty good with a little room for improvement.
First Base: Darin Ruf is 5th. Not much new in the writeup, though the Comp to Richie Sexson is one I haven't noted here before. Seems like a decent comp, and if Ruf had that career I think everyone would be pretty happy. Also on the list Jonathan Singleton is First. Friggin' Pence.
Any notable snubs here? You could make a case for Quinn, I suppose, but his Defense is pretty bad and he hasn't played full season, so leaving him off is pretty fair, since Short Stop may not be his long term home. Depending on how you feel about Asche and Franco, perhaps that is surprising, but both have question marks and I don't know who of the 10 listed I would put them in over. I suppose if I'm making a case for Morgan in the Top 100, he could reasonably be on the LHP list, since Biddle is 4th and I'd put him in over Perez. YMMV.
Report from Instructs
Great article from Fangraphs, (read it here). As a quick summary Larry Greene, Jr. has awesome power, but cheats on his swing to unlock it, leaving him susceptible to advanced pitchers who will challenge him early in the count. Athletically, he's moving to First at some point, as he likely won't maintain the lateral range for Left Field, but he isn't a slow plodder, he can run a bit (think NFL fullback). Greene needs to do some work on his swing, otherwise that eventual jump to Double-A will be a killer.
Carlos Tocci is currently just 6'1" and 148 lbs. That's pretty lanky, but he's also 17 so that's not necessarily what he'll look like in 6 or 7 years. We have no idea yet what he will be, but he does already have good defensive instincts and good bat speed and control. Those tools aren't likely to go anywhere no matter how he grows, so he'll be exciting to follow, whether he adds muscle and power or not.
Lewis Alezones is a Phillies international signing from 2012. He's 6'3" 170 lbs. He's a 16 year old Right Handed Pitcher who already works in the upper 80's, has good, clean mechanics and has a projectable frame (of course then in the next sentence they say he has narrow shoulders and may not put on much weight, so who knows). He has a change-up which seems to have some Splitter action. It's a work in progress, but shows above average potential. He's got a rough curveball that needs of lots of work. Too early to project anything, but remember the name.
Make sure to check out Melotticus' excellent Top 5, Last 5 Fan Post, if you haven't already.It's a great overview on recent draft history and strategy and ties in nicely with RtP's piece. Also, Melotticus may need a hobby or stronger meds as he's doing this for every team in baseball. Follow the posts over at Minor League Ball in the Fanposts.
Mattwinks is collecting fan Top XX Prospect lists for an archive he's compiling. Eventually he'll create some hybrid of fan ranking and pro rankings just to see how different people view prospects. Make sure to send him a list or post it in the fan post, even if your ranking is just 1. Roman Quinn and nothing else.