Admittedly this is week old news now, but still it's a great snapshot at prospect development. The Phillies system ranks in the bottom half, but last year's #20 is now ranked 11th, and the 25th ranked team has moved to 10th. In other words, one good draft or breakout season and everything looks a whole lot different. As far as his comments on the system, you can go there for specifics, but basically we have really good pitching depth, but not much hitting depth. Drafting players with lots of tools, but minimal skill has not gone real well.
Lists are nuts:
Keith Law is not as big a fan as John Sickels of the Phillies Org. Essentially his biggest issue is that the Phillies have a lot of relatively low impact players in the pipeline (relievers, #3 starters, utility players, etc.), but no Stars. It all depends upon how you evaluate systems. Is it more important that you have a continuous pipeline of role players or is it more important that you have 1 or 2 potential stars. Obviously a mix, like the Cards system is perfect, beyond that it's subjective.
There's a pretty big difference here from what we saw in the MLB Top 100. Ethan Martin doesn't appear at all. Jesse Biddle appears much lower here than on MLB, at 95. The write up isn't dissimilar to what MLB had to say. Solid fastball that plays up due to release and his changeup, Good delivery and command should improve, could be a #2, but Law also thinks his floor is lower (back of rotation starter).
This list also features Adam Morgan, just a few spots higher than Biddle at 92. A bit of an idiosyncrasy to the list is that Biddle has the higher ceiling, but Law feels that Morgan could probably step in now and be a number 4 starter, but he's likely to only ever be a number 3 starter, at best. His writeup talks about a 3 pitch mix with an average to above average fastball.
Non-Phillies of interest: Travis D'Arnaud at 14. Jonathan Singleton at 32. Jarred Cosart at 86. Trevor May also did not make this list. Big differences overall with the MLB list, for example Mike Olt is almost 50 spots lower on Law's ranking than he was on Mayo's MLB ranking. Both these ESPN articles are behind the Insider pay wall, by the way.
These lists are an interesting Rorschach test on the Phillies system. Jonathan Mayo who does the prospect work for MLB.com uses the 20-80 scouting scale (only in single digit form, so 2-8 in stead of 20-80). The basics of this scale are that a 5 is average, an 8 is elite and a 2 means it's really quite awful. The Full top 20 is at the link, but he's a few highlights:
- No surprise but Biddle and Martin (the only Phillies to make the MLB Top 100) came in 1 & 2
- Quinn doesn't appear until number 5, but the write-up is downright glowing. Mayo notes Quinn could blossom into a .300 hitter with average power and above-average defense (that's probably the biggest stretch of these projections. It's possible, but he's still extremely raw in this area).
- Larry "Fudgie" Greene Jr. appears at 6. Nothing earth shattering in the write-up, but the review is pretty solid.
- Valle is at 8, in spite of a writeup that doesn't seem to know what to make of him. Mayo has one very good point though, Valle's young, so there's good reason to hope he can learn at least some patience at the plate.
- The write up on Carlos Tocci (15) talks about his advanced approach and the fact that he put on 10 pounds of good weight over the winter.
- Ruf is 16, with the same write up that appeared last week for his ranking on the First Base list.
- Brody Colvin appears at 17, with notes about how good his raw stuff is and how bad his ability is to control it. I've probably be more down on Colvin than maybe I should be, but there's no arguing that if he can cut his walks down, he could be pretty special.
- Mitch Walding appears at 20. I didn't expect that after Walding struggled in his first Pro-season, but Mayo likes his tools and seems to feel he has a pretty good chance to reach them.
This is Mark Anderson's blog and you may know his work from several years at scout.com, and more recently, Baseball Prospectus. He gives pretty detailed writeups and I've been across his site several times the last 6 months while working on filling in details about prospects. There are a few surprises on this list. For example Maikel Franco at number 2. I'm enthused by the writeup, but I can't recall anyone else projecting Franco as an above-average defender.
After Franco there aren't any big surprises until 10, where Gabriel Lino appears. At first I was pretty shocked, but the writeup does say it's a bit of a flyer and I think most would agree with the assertion that Lino has the tools to eventually be a top Catcher. It's hard to overlook Lin's struggles with catching pitches sometimes, but if he puts it together it certainly is true that he could be pretty special.
I'm going to embed this comment here, as it's the most I've seen anyone write detail about Jose Pujols:
15. Jose Pujols – OF (NR)
I got my first exposure to Pujols during the fall instructional league and let’s just say I’m hooked. A very raw 16-year old, Pujols is a plus athlete with a good frame and the room to bulk up and add plenty of strength. He already has plenty of raw power with the ability to drive the ball out of the ball park but he must refine his hit tool and develop an approach at the plate to allow his power to manifest in games. Phillies fans are looking at least five years of development in Pujols future before he even approaches the big league radar but you should keep an eye on him.