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2015 Phillies top 30 prospects 21-30

After weeks of reviewing and making sure I didn't leave off one of the seemingly 20 new names to the system, we can start looking at a very deep system.

It's a hoely, Joely prospect list. It's the best time of the year.
It's a hoely, Joely prospect list. It's the best time of the year.
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

30. Joely Rodriguez, LHP - I think I could end up regretting this ranking a little. Joely could potentially be a mid-rotation starter with a low-90's Fastball, Slider and Change-up with lots of movement. He performed well in the Arizona Fall League where his Pitching Coach was the IronPigs wonderful Ray Burris. One would assume Burris saw enough to work with that it convinced the team to take Rodriguez back for Bastardo from the Pirates. His current track record is why I rank him 30. If he can recreate what he did in the AFL over a full season, he'd rank, at least, 10 spots higher, but, as is, he's still a good bet to be a solid bullpen option.

29. Cam Perkins, OF - Cam Perkins is tough to rank. On one hand I'm pretty certain he's a future Major Leaguer. On the other hand, he's probably more Ty Wigginton than anything else. He can play each corner (though he hasn't played 3rd in years, so you wouldn't want to rely on that beyond emergencies), but not as a Starter. A few years ago I had hoped Perkins would add muscle and power, but at 24, that ship has sailed and his contact oriented approach leaves him with pretty average tools across the board, but an approach that will prevent him from using many of them. He's a pretty strong Ground Ball hitter, but with very average speed, that's not the best of approaches. Still, teams need utility players and pinch hitters and Perkins has the tools and skills to fill that role.

28. Chris Oliver, RHP - Chris Oliver was awful this summer, but don't confuse that with him not being a good prospect. Oliver was a Second Rounder before a DUI arrest and he has a Plus fastball, which he mixes with a slider and a changeup. His ultimate role could end up being a mid-rotation Starter, a high leverage reliever all the way to a Brody Colvin who can never get proper control of his pitches due to an inconsistency in mechanics. Oliver could end up almost anywhere on this list a year from now.

27. Severino Gonzales, RHPLHP - I've never been the biggest Severino fan, and while I'm still not a big fan I do think his Command and ability to pitch (sequencing, locating, etc) will give him a solid David Buchanan, Jon Pettibone type role in a year or two. His slight frame means he won't eat innings in all likelihood, but he could still end up a solid enough #4/5 Starter. If he proves to be unable to get through a lineup twice with his average arsenal, he could still play up in the Pen and fill an emergency Starter role.

26. Victor Arano, RHP - It's entirely possible that no system is as deep as the Phillies are now in #3 Starter prospects. Every new trade seems to bring back one or more of these mid-rotation options. Somehow we got Arano from the Dodgers for Roberto Hernandez. Arano's not a finished product and he could still end up anywhere from that #3 role to a fringe Reliever. It will depend on him developing his Change, refining his Slider/Curve to be more consistent (well, at all consistent) and perhaps getting a touch more velocity on a low-to-mid-90's Fastball.

25. Aaron Brown, OF - Aaron Brown is the most exciting athlete the Phillies drafted in 2014, by a long shot. In some ways he reminds me a little of Jiwan James. Like James, he's a former Pitcher who gets praised for work ethic, tools, athleticism and potential. Also like James, he's not a very good hitter yet. He tends to swing quite freely (a 2.8% walk rate is kind of jarring). Still Brown has a Plus arm, Plus speed, above average power potential and the ability to play anywhere in the OF, though likely best in a corner. It's all going to come down to his approach.

24. Aaron Altherr, OF - This is the toolsy Outfielder, poor hitter section of my list, apparently (also where I have clumped the Aarons for some reason). Altherr has a good chance to become the next John Mayberry, Jr. Altherr can play Center, he can hit for above average power, he can run the bases with above average speed, he has a plus arm, the one this he doesn't have is very good pitch recognition. Altherr just turned 24 2 weeks ago, so he's not fully cooked yet, but he is close enough to a finished product that I feel fairly confident he won't suddenly develop this skill. If Altherr can do what he did in Clearwater 2 years ago, he could end up a fringe Starter in Center. If he does what he did last year, he's a fringe 5th OF.

23. Andrew Knapp, C - I'm a fan of Knapp, who I think has the bat to be an above average Offensive Catcher and the glove to be a below average Defensive Catcher. Knapp's footwork can be rough behind the plate and his arm is fairly borderline for a Catcher, but as a hitter he can make consistent contact, draw walks and probably hit for 10-15 HR a year at his peak. That said, if his defense doesn't improve and he moves off Catcherm the bat and skills don't really play anywhere else, so he's on a bit of a tightrope.

22. Cord Sandberg, OF - I'm a big Sandberg fan. He has the tools to be an above average RF, but he's pretty raw and may never get there. I could just as easily envision Sandberg being a guy who never gets beyond High-A as being a guy who makes an All Star team one day. Sandberg is a fastball/mistake crusher who pulls almost everything. The problem is, both of those powers can be easily defeated by shifting the defense and pitching backwards (starting a hitter with off-speed Pitches). The key for Sandberg will be learning to recognize the off-speed stuff and still be able to unload on mistakes and make solid contact on Fastballs. The good sign is that Sandberg's K rate is still very good, I'd like to see his BB rate rebound, but the team instructed him to be more aggressive last year. He may have gone a bit too aggressive and it would be nice to see him settle in with a 8-11% BB rate.

21. Luis Encarnacion, OF - This is probably the best Power bat in the system. Scouts raved about the amateur Encarnacion's bat, his power, his patience, his approach, his ability to make contact. The questions were about his Defense. And while his Defense met expectations in year one, his bat did not. Of course, for a 16 year old playing his first pro-games a .229/.294/.343 line isn't all that bad. The Phillies have frequently taken their top IFA and jumped him to full-season ball in year 2, but Lakewood's OF will already be crowded with Brown, Sandberg, Pujols, Tromp likely to be splitting time. Which is fine, extended Spring Training will be good for working on Encarnacion's game and he can then go North to Williamsport or Lakewood. I don't know if I can call a guy less than 2 years removed from a seven figure signing bonus a sleeper, but I would not be at all surprised to see Luis rocket up lists next year if he just needed a year to acclimate.