Prospect lists are everywhere. On my way in to work today, I actually walked over a pile of prospect lists on the sidewalk. I almost tripped over them, for crying out loud.
The prospect lists are just stacked all over the place. And as the winter progresses, there will only be more. Heck, we'll do some.
Of course, some prospect rankings are better than others. Put another way, you wouldn't want to read my rankings because it would be a series of conjecture and guess work.
But there are folks who do a terrific job and have a thorough knowledge of every team's farm system. And one of those publications is Baseball America and Josh Norris, who on Monday released their ranking of the Phillies top 10 prospects.
Amazing. pic.twitter.com/a6UfjjcPuN— John Stolnis (@FelskeFiles) October 19, 2015
No, no, no, wait that's not from this year. (I keed, Baseball America, I keed). Seriously, these guys are great, and if there is any list that you should consult right now (aside from any list put out by your friendly neighborhood blog, The Good Phight), Baseball America's should be among them.
1. J.P. Crawford - SS
Barring a catastrophe, we will be seeing Crawford in the Majors next season. In 21 games at High-A Clearwater this year he hit .392/.489/.443 for an OPS of .932, and in 86 games for Double-A Reading he batted .265/.354/.407 for a .761 OPS, with five homers, 21 doubles and seven triples.
Keep in mind, this is a 20-year-old kid playing Double-A, with a 45/49 K/BB ratio. He also plays a terrific defensive shortstop.
Look for him to follow the Maikel Franco model, meaning he should be up sometime in May, after his arbitration clock is put off for one more year.
2. Nick Williams - OF
This is the first of what will be a number of prospects from the Cole Hamels trade on this list. Williams made quite an impression during his brief time in Reading, batting .320/.340/.536 for an .876 OPS with four homers, five doubles and two triples in just 22 games. And for Double-A Frisco, he hit .299/.357/.479 for an .836 OPS, with 13 dingers, 21 doubles and four triples.
Oh, and he's just 21.
3. Jake Thompson - SP
Yet another piece from the Hamels deal, the 21-year-old right-hander pitched out of his mind after joining Reading, going 5-1 with a 1.80 ERA in seven starts, striking out 34 and walking just 12 in 45 innings. He's not a big strikeout pitcher, and did a good job limiting his walks after coming over from the Rangers.
His numbers weren't quite as good for Double-A Frisco however, 6-6 with a 4.72 ERA and a WHIP of 1.414. But there is a lot to like about a kid that could be a No. 2 starter if everything works out right.
4. Andrew Knapp - C
The 23-year-old catcher still needs work on his defensive game, but his bat exploded this year after being elevated to Reading. In 55 games he hit .360/.419/.631 with 11 homers, 21 doubles and two triples. That's an OPS of 1.050, kids.
The big questions for Knapp will be whether he can continue to rake and if he can improve his defense enough to warrant a call-up at some point in 2016. However, he's more likely to be a late-season call-up, and 2017 may be a more reasonable expectation for regular Major League playing time.
5. Jorge Alfaro - C
The second of two potentially good catching prospects, Alfaro came over as part of the Hamels deal, and is known for a rocket arm that has been compared to Pudge Rodriguez. He missed most of 2015 after surgery on his ankle, but did make it back late in the year to play a few games in the Gulf Coast League.
In 49 games at Double-A Frisco in the Texas organization, Alfaro hit .253/.314/.432 for a .746 OPS with five homers and 15 doubles. He has high upside as an offensive player as well, but does need to work on his receiving skills as part of his development.
But the 22-year-old has the raw tools to be a star.
6. Cornelius Randolph - OF
The Phils' first-round pick, 10th overall last year, had an excellent season in Rookie ball, batting .302 with an on-base percentage of .425 and a slugging percentage of .442. At 18 years old, he's still getting his feet wet in the pros, but signed quickly, got some great experience and left a very good impression to start off his Phillies career.
7. Franklyn Kilome - SP
Guys who follow the Phils' system closely absolutely love his stuff. He's got an upper 90s fastball and breaking pitches that are potential top-of-the-rotation good. The 20-year-old from the Dominican Republic was in just his second pro season and posted a 3.28 ERA in 49.1 innings, with 36 strikeouts and 21 walks. The stuff is drool-worthy.
8. Roman Quinn - OF
Quinn missed most of the 2015 season with a tear in his hip flexor, but is raking in the DR league in Winter Ball, showing signs that the speedster is back. In 58 games for Reading this year, the 22-year-old slashed .306/.356/.435 with 29 stolen bases. Guys, that is 29 stolen bases in 58 games. He's also a plus-defender in center field. He'll likely start the season in Reading again, but look for a quick promotion to Lehigh if all goes well in the first few months of the 2016 season.
9. Adonis Medina - SP
He is something of a surprise, finishing higher on Baseball America's list than Zach Eflin and Ricardo Pinto, who was named the organization's top minor league pitcher this year. Medina's stuff is reminiscent of Kilome, although Kilome features a nasty curveball, whereas Medina's best off-speed pitch is his change-up. He's only 18 and in the Phils' rookie Gulf Coast league this year had a 2.98 ERA with 35 strikeouts and 12 walks in 45 1/3 innings.
10. Carlos Tocci - OF
Another teenager, Tocci is just 19 years old and hit .258/.296/.313 in 68 games for High-A Clearwater, a league with guys three and four years older than him. His numbers in Lakewood this year in 59 games (.321/.387/.432) were encouraging, and offer hope the young center fielder will continue to progress in 2016.