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Phillies Top 30 Prospects 20-11

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As we get into the teens we start getting more recognizable names and a few guys who could be significantly higher on this list next fall.

...and playing Left Field and batting 6th for your Philadelphia Phillies #11 Prospect Darin "Babe" Ruf
...and playing Left Field and batting 6th for your Philadelphia Phillies #11 Prospect Darin "Babe" Ruf
Drew Hallowell

Similar to the 21-30 in terms of rankings, as these can move depending upon preference for floor vs. ceiling. Also, as a point of clarification, I won't rank guys with even gaudy GCL stats very highly, as they aren't always indicative of the players true talent level. It's just always been a fluky league and guys have struggled there and been great at higher levels and vice versa. So there are a lot of GCL guys that others may rank higher, but who I want to see NYPL or Full season stats first before moving them into the Top 10 area.

20. Andrew Pullin, 2B/OF -This ranking assumes Pullin can stick at Second where the Phillies are trying to move him. Pullin has pretty average tools overall, but may be able to develop some power to get to what would be above average power for the middle infield. This is actually a really aggressive ranking for Pullin, but I believe that if he can make the transition to Second, his bat is good enough for him to move relatively quickly up the ladder. That's not to say I think his bat is particularly special, just that he seems to have solid skills that could get him to the show. Of course if the second base experiment fails, Pullin's likely a bust, as he's only suited for Left, where he'd basically be the second coming of Ben Francisco, at best. I could have ranked Pullin as low as 30 (if it weren't for the move to 2nd he wouldn't even be in my top 30), honestly, but if he can stick at 2nd as league average, he'll be a valuable prospect.

19. Cameron Rupp, C - Rupp is unlikely to be a star, but I honestly think his floor could be as a MLB backup Catcher. His ceiling might be as more of a fringe regular like John Jaso. There's value to both of those options. The jump to Double-A is big, but if he can maintain his 2012 performance level he could work his way into the team's future either as the second best Catching prospect in the system or as a tradeable commodity should the Phillies stick with both Joseph and Valle.

18. Carlos Tocci, OF - I really like Tocci's potential. For a 16 year old playing mostly against guys closer to 20, he did a very nice job. Decent plate discipline and good work on the basepaths, but no power (.021 ISO) and I don't project much to develop given his narrow frame (that said Griffey was able to hit quite a few without a huge frame, so it's too early to rule anything out). Even if Tocci develops no further power he has potential to be an elite defensive center fielder given current reports on his instincts. Combine that with a skill set that suggests strong OBP potential and Tocci could be another Michael Bourn. I know I probably have Tocci ranked lower than many others (Including BBA). I fully expect Tocci to be a Top 5 prospect within the next 2 years. As much as I value potential, I also balance it with performance. For me, it's a sliding scale, and while it's somewhat subjective I can't put a guy whose only track record so far is GCL ahead of guys with similar or better ceilings with stronger performance records. Nor can I put him in front of guys who I expect to help the team in the immediate short term future.

17. Kevin Brady, RHP - Brady should move quickly through the system as a fairly polished College pitcher. Brady has some injury history and may eventually end up in the bullpen, but even there he has high leverage potential if his control and command hold up. I may find this ranking high later since he was a little old for the leagues he was in this summer, but he flat out dominated and you can't ask for much more than that.

16. Sebastin Valle, C- Valle is starting to lose some steam in prospect circles. He's improved enough Defensively to stick at Catcher, it's his bat that's the problem now. What always made Valle a top prospect was his power potential. That power is still there and is the only thing that really keeps me pumped about him. I understand this ranking appears like I'm not high on Valle, but I am still fairly high on him. His power is there, but the trend with his Walk rate is really very concerning. It has gone down every season (on the plus side it can't really go much further down now) and if he can't take the occasional walk he'll get nailed to the 8th spot in the order (A .271 OBP last year) and possibly to a bench role in the Majors. The good news is that a few years back he was able to walk at a 5-6% clip. That still kinda sucks, but if he can get back to that it could be good enough to make him a regular with an over .300 OBP. Not great, but it's something. As a side note, I know a lot of Valle's supporters point to his age. That's a fair point, he's been young in every league. It's a double edged sword though since Valle already needs to be protected on the 40-man, he's basically got 3 years to go before the Phillies need to fish or cut bait, and the Phillies will likely start trying him in the majors well ahead of the start of that 3rd year.

15. Kenny Giles, RHP - Giles has Closer potential and should move quickly thought the system. It all comes down to his secondary pitches which are pretty raw. If he can get one or both to just average he could be pretty special. If he can't he's likely another Scott Mathieson (great, sometimes straight heater, nothing else to write home about). Giles K rates have been stunning (sadly so have his BB rates), I think another year or two of seasoning can get the BB rates down closer to 3/9 and that would be manageable for a reliever.

14. Kelly Dugan, OF - I am irrationally high on Kelly Dugan. Defensively he's a bit of a work in progress, but he has a really, really good arm and above average power potential. I don't think he's going to hit for a great average, and he clearly strikes out too much, but he's not afraid of taking walks (~10% BB rate). He also has enough speed on the basepaths to rack up some steals, he's not going to rack up gaudy SB totals like DeShields or Billy Hamilton, but he'll steal enough, and seems successful enough so far, to be valuable there as well. I think he could make the Majors in a few years as a league average RF. He just needs to get the K rate down a few points and avoid the injury bug.

13.Justin De Fratus, RHP - It was a bit of a lost year for De Fratus, but he still has high leverage reliever potential. Of course, everything hangs on his elbow. If the soreness and inflammation from 2012 has cleared and he's healthy I actually like him more than Aumont. Elbow injuries for Pitchers can be really bad though, while lots of guys come back from Tommy John, not everyone does, so fears of potential Tommy John in his future keep me from ranking De Fratus higher.

12. Shane Watson, RHP - Watson didn't really pitch this summer, otherwise he might be higher on this list. He's reportedly more polished than Gueller, so he ranks higher for me, though Gueller may have a higher ceiling. Watson works low to mid 90's and has a devastating curve, so he's already got a solid base from which to build, he could certainly be a nice mid rotation inning eater. I'm hesitant ranking him this high with so little data, but scouting reports seem pretty consistent on him and it's not like he did awful in his really, really brief work in the GCL.

11. Darin Ruf, 1B, OF - I worry about Darin Ruf. I think he's gotten some overly excited hype from fans who don't follow the Minors and just hear the nickname ("Babe" Ruf) and see the HR totals and assume he's the next Prince Fielder. Ruf had possibly the single greatest month of power hitting in the last 10 years, maybe ever. In August he had 12 days where he didn't hit a Homer (almost 20 days with, at least 1 HR). Were you to extrapolate that over a full MLB season that would be nearly 100 HRs. That's bat crap insane, and he wouldn't be able to keep that pace, but it made for a fun month to watch. I don't really care that he was a little old for AA, that month would be impressive in almost any context. I actually believe Ruf can be a regular in the Majors and a pretty good one. He's not going to win a Gold Glove in Left, but I don't think he's going to be David Ortiz either and be stuck at DH. Also, I feel bad making it sound like Ruf only had one good month. He actually has a good track record, just not elite enough power until this summer for a bat only prospect. He's had really good walk rates and solid ISO every year, so he isn't an overnight sensation, his bat does have some track record.