As promised in my inaugural post last week, I'm going to do a weekly "Prospect Roundup" that keeps tabs on the pride of the Phillies' minor league system. I'll be sure to touch on the top prospects, and I'll throw in a couple of intriguing sleeper-types that may change from week to week, sort of in a BP Minor League Update style. I can't be as exhaustive here as the coverage at Phuture Phillies, so be sure to head over there for your daily prospect fix.
With the departure of Jason Knapp, Lou Marson, Carlos Carrasco and Jason Donald, the Phils' system has undergone a shake-up in the rankings. Phuture Phillies did a nice job of re-racking the Top 15, and the takeaway is this: there's still a lot of talent left. Much of it is to be found in A-ball or below at this point, but that means a lot of high upside guys who could break out at any point.
So without further ado, check beyond the jump for this week's update.
Dominic Brown, L-OF, Reading: After a .303/.386/.517 line in 272 High-A plate appearances, Brown got his call to Double-A on Saturday. While he went 0-for-3 in his debut, he did walk twice, reminding us all that despite his incredible athleticism (witness his 6.3 speed score for Clearwater this year), it's Brown's polish and plate discipline (12.5% BB, 20.2% K) that have him climbing prospect charts. Sunday saw him collect his first 2 hits for the R-Phils, and it'll be interesting to see just how quickly he's able to adjust to the Eastern League.
Kyle Drabek, RHP, Reading: Hey, he's still here! Drabek is in the midst of figuring out Double-A, so there will be outings like last Monday's (7.0 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 5 K, 1 HR) and outings like Saturday's (6.0 IP, 6 H, 5 ER, 3 BB, 5 K, 3 HR) as well. His overall numbers at Reading are respectable (6.6 K/9, 2.7 BB/9, 3.87 FIP), especially for someone who had pitched a grand total of 109.2 pro innings before this year. Speaking of innings, Kyle's up to 135.1 on the year so far, so the organization might want to really start monitoring that total.
Michael Taylor, R-OF, Lehigh Valley: I wonder if Taylor was as shocked as I was that he was still around come August 1. It's perhaps the most pleasant surprise of all the proceedings -- 6'6", 250-lb. outfielders with speed (20:4 SB:CS this year), power (.229 ISO this year), and plate discipline (10.6% BB, 16.8% K this year) don't exactly grow on trees. Taylor's still adjusting to Triple-A, but 18 games in, the results are pretty encouraging: .258/.360/.452, with 3 HR, 13.9% BB, and 21.0% K. If he keeps this up, a September call-up is not at all out of the question.
Travis d'Arnaud, R-C, Lakewood: Lou Marson's departure says a lot about what the organization thinks of d'Arnaud. This year has been a struggle at times, but his June and July numbers show why it's too early to lose faith in d'Arnaud's bat: .289/.351/.479, with 6 HRs and 8.7% BB and 17.4% K. Travis will move a year at a time, but he still projects to be a solid big-league regular with potential for more.
Anthony Gose, L-OF, Lakewood: Many, including myself, saw Zach Collier as the 2008 early round draft product most likely to break out, but it's turned out to be Gose. At 18, he's still incredibly raw, but with a .269/.331/.377 line in pitcher-friendly Lakewood, he's more than holding his own. His steals in 73 attempts (78.1% success) add up to a 9.0 speed score, which along with his powerful arm make him a plus defender in center field. Most encouraging, in my mind, is that he's cut down on the whiffs as the season has progressed: his 26.1% K (and 5.2% BB) in April and May have given way to 17.8% K (and 7.1% BB) marks in June and July.
Domingo Santana, R-OF, GCL Phillies: Signed for $300,000 back in March, Santana is (yawn) another 6'5", 200-lb. monster outfielder. He's flashed some incredible power in the Gulf Coast League, clubbing 5 HRs and posting a mind-numbing .295 ISO in 71 at bats for a .282/.393/.577 total line. I say "mind-numbing" because of the most important number here: Santana turns 17 on Wednesday. His prodigious strikeout rate (42.3% K) is concerning, but it's simply an adjustment he'll have to make, and he may already be doing it: he's 6-for-12 in his last 12 games with a 3B, 1 BB, and 0 K. A kid this age, hitting for this kind of power, is certainly something to get excited about.
Trevor May, RHP, Lakewood: One of the reasons the organization could afford to deal Knapp is that, in addition to Drabek and potential back-end starters like Vance Worley, Mike Stutes, and Mike Cisco, they have a number of live arms in the lower minors. The Phils' 4th round pick in 2008, the 6'5", 215-lb. May looks like the best of the bunch. While he's only thrown 47.2 IP across 9 starts, the results thus far have been impressive, as he's posted a 3.40 FIP with 59 K. The walks (24) and fly ball tendencies (only 32.5% GB) are reason for caution, but May is a live arm and is certainly one to watch going forward.
Anthony Hewitt, R-3B, Williamsport: It's been a struggle once again this year for the Phillies' 2008 first round pick, as his .210/.255/.370 line and his 18 errors at Williamsport show. Still, it's not all bad -- he's cut his strikeout rate to 32.6% (from 47.1% last year) and has flashed a bit of power (3 HR and a .160 ISO) in a pitching-dominated league. He's still a project, but the tools (raw power, speed) that piqued the organization's interest are still there, and there's always the possibility of a breakout down the line. Just don't expect to see him in a major league uniform any sooner than about 2013.
Matt Way, LHP, Williamsport: Sure, he's a polished 4-year college player throwing in a pitching-dominated circuit, but he's been absolutely laying waste to the New York Penn League: 10.3 K/9, 1.9 BB/9, 44.0% GB, and a 2.40 FIP. A 6'1", 195-lb. southpaw with good athleticism, a fastball that touches 90, and a devastating change-up that's held NYPL right-handed hitters to a .170 BA, this year's 5th round pick looks like good value so far on the below-slot $30,000 bonus the Phils gave him. He should probably be bumped to Lakewood -- like, yesterday -- and based on the early returns, he's got a decent shot to make it as a back-end starter.
Jonathan Singleton, L-1B, GCL Phillies: This year's 8th round pick out of a California high school, Singleton came with the promise of excellent raw power (thanks to his 6'2", 215-lb. frame) but the reputation of a swing that needed some polishing. Well, 12 games is a small sample size, but he appears to be more polished than thought: he's hit .522/.607/.565 with 5 BB and only 2 K in 28 plate appearances. He's only got one extra base hit so far, but that's nitpicking for a 17-year old getting his first taste of pro ball. While it's early days, Singleton already looks like the best 1B prospect in the organization.