Phillies 2014 Top 30 Prospects 21-30

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Lots of potential in the 21-30 range, but most of it is still unproven. A lot of these guys could be Top 10 prospects in a year. A few have potential to be useful bench players with in a few years, but all of them have questions about their game right now.

I've reordered the bottom of this list a number of times before settling on the idea of focusing on some more interesting prospects, as very little seperates guys 21-35 in the system and a perfectly good argument can be made for number 35 to get written up too. At some point you just have to publish otherwise you can reorder these things until the season starts.

30. Trey Williams, 3B- I'm a big fan of Trey's potential. Given his bat, power and arm, Williams could have easily been a First Round Pick either of the last 2 years. He has the potential to be a middle of the order power bat and slick fielding Third Baseman. However, there's also a good reason he's ranked 30 here and lasted to pick 211 in the 2013 Draft: He doesn't play particularly hard and has a reputation for being disinterested in the game. Make, no mistake though, he's 19 years old and he could absolutley be the #1 prospect in the system very quickly if he puts in the work and a few things click.

29. Mitch Gueller, RHP - When the Phillies grabbed Gueller in the 1st round in 2012 it was pretty well known that he was raw with an electric arm and would take a few years as a bit of a project to develop. In High School Gueller was a Draftable prospect as both a Right Fielder and Pitcher. In High School in Washington state, he was able to simply blow low to mid 90's heat past inferior competition. For that reason his secondary pitches are very raw and his command is a bit spotty. Could be a strong #2 Starter, but he has a long road ahead of him to get there.

28. Jake Sweaney, C - Sweaney was two sport star in High School, also starring on the Football field as a Wide Receiver and Defensive Back. He's pretty raw as a Catcher. He'll need work, but he's more than athletic enough to get it down and he has plenty of arm for the job. He'll also need some work on his hitting, but his swing is fairly compact and he doesn't have a huge leg left or bat load to get rid of of quiet. Sweaney is years away, it will be interesting to follow him the next few years to see if he's able to hone his skills, especially as a receiver.

27. Jan Hernandez, 3B - It was only a few years ago that many Phillies fans lamented the lack of Third Base prospects in the system. Suddenly you're looking at a Top 30 that could reasonably have 4-6 Third Base prospects on it (along with the recently graduated Cody Asche). Hernandez is a 2013 Draftee, picked a few spots behind Cord Sandberg in the Third Round. He played Shortstop at the Carlos Beltran school in Puerto Rico (where he replaced 2012 top pick Carlos Correa). Hernandez is a better fit at 3rd due to his size. Hernandez will have some fixing to be done on his swing, as he has a big leg kick and huge uppercut. He'll swing and miss a lot and that will limit the ability to use his power in games. He has potential for moon shots though and if the Phillies work with him and he can adapt, there is middle of the order potential here.

26. Andrew Pullin, 2B - I really like Pullin, but as a low minors Second baseman he's walking a razor thin development line. If he can hit for a respectable average with power for maybe 12-15 Home Runs, he could be a Major League Regular. If he can't, he'll never make it out of Triple-A. Defense is the other side of the equation. He has a similar tightrope to walk here, as his only other Position is LEft Field where his bat is unlikely to be strong enough. He's progressing at Second, but his motions are still pretty mechanical and his turn and throw to First is still a work in progress. Reports are positive that he should be able to iron these issues out given his athleticism.

25. Severino Gonzalez, RHP - I know some may find this placement surprising given Sev's strong season. His profile though screams Austin Hyatt to me. He has no Above Average pitches. He's short and quite thin, his velocity is somewhat pedestrian. He's really getting guys out with his advanced pitchability (good control/command, sequencing and an insanely low HR/FB of ~5%. I'd love to be wrong here and see Severino become the next Pedro Martinez, but that's pretty unlikely. He may however eventually be a usefull bullpen Pitcher.

24. Cameron Perkins - Perkins has hit pretty reliably. He also has a bit of positional versatility as he can play Corner Outfield and in a pinch can perhaps play the infield corners as well. Perkins also has a little bit of pop. So what keeps him from being higher on the list? His swing is violent and unconventional, but players have overcome that type of thing in the past. A bigger issue is really that Perkins doesn't have great pitch recognition at present. He hits mistakes, but those will become less common higher up the development ladder and with a 5% BB rate, Perkins is unlikely to get on base enough to be a regular. However, versatility, pop and a good arm will get you a spot on a MLB bench. I suppose Perkins could still get to fringe starter if he learns some plate discipline, but even if he ends up a young Ty Wigginton (a 1-2.5 WAR player earlier in his career), well you need some of those guys too.

23. Cameron Rupp, C - Catchers are insanely hard to rank. I really hate ranking them. A good backup Catcher like Brien Schneider might accumulate .5-1.0 WAR in a season, and that's for a pretty good backup. The problem being that even the best backups only catch 30-40 games a year. And if you aren't starting, you aren't playing. Catchers almost never PH, even during really long extra-inning games they stay glued to the bench. Too great is the risk of injury and having to send a Starting Pitcher out to Catch or having a fielder who played Catcher once in High School hop behind the plate while a Pitcher goes to the OF. I actually think Rupp has a slim chance of being a capable Starter down the road and that's what puts him on this list. The ceiling isn't high, but he's reliable Defensively and he's shown decent contact skills and power in the minors. IF he can get his K rate down ~20% I think he could be a decent Starter and, of course, Catchers take a long time to develop so maybe there's a little more power on the way. I don't think the chances are great, but his floor is very high.

22. Luis Encarnacion, 1B/3B - Encarnacion was signed as a Third Baseman, but he'd be a pretty massive Third Baseman in all likeliehood by the time he fills out. An International signing (ranked as the #4 International prospect), Encarnacion has massive power potential, but questionable hit tool and defense and pretty low expectations for his running. I haven't seen much of Encarnacion, nor seen many Scouting Reports (those I have read are pretty mixed), but suffice it to say if you're ever in line to buy an Encarnacion shirsey at Modell's it's because Encarnacion is hitting light stands. It all comes down to the hit tool and until I can see more video and read more scouting reports, well, it's really hardto predict whether I'm ranking him way too high or underselling him. I expect he'll go to XST next summer then go the GCL, so it may be a while before we get a great picture.

21. Yoel Mecias, LHP - I'm ranking Mecias pretty aggresively. In fact, by this time next year he may be off the top 30 due to likely missing the majority of the season to Tommy John rehab. That said, with some growth (currently a lanky 6'2", 160 lbs) and strength he could see his Fastball tick up a few mph (currently low 90's, but varies due to stamina). Combine that with some very minor delivery tweaks and Mecias could be a mid-rotation Starter. Even if he doesn't build stamina, his Changeup is so good that he may even be able to work in the back end of a rotation. That's a pretty good floor. It is worth noting though that I did not take much off his ranking due to injury concerns, so even sans injury, he may only be slightly higher on this list, with so few innings under his belt and so much projection left to fill he has a long way to go. Mecias would be a Phillie in 2017, at the earliest.

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