While Gary Sanchez tore up the American League and kept the Yankees hopes alive for far longer than they should have been this year, the Phillies kept their most anticipated prospects in the minors and promoted Darin Ruf again.
In other news, MiLB.com has awarded the Phillies the 2016 Best Farm System MiLBY Award. (Though the Yankees won the Fan Vote with 39% approval; the Phillies got a mere 6%).
While this may not even be a unanimous determination, even among The Good Phight staff, there are certain sexy aspects of 2016 that make this understandable:
- All of the Phillies’ farm teams making the playoffs for the first time ever
- Rhys Hoskins and Dylan Cozens’ respective rampages (Cozens won a MiLBY of his own)
- J.P. Crawford, just in general
- Nick Williams’ long arms and powerful bat
- Four fifths of the big league rotation being filled with young faces acquired via trades
- Having more young faces to replace the other young faces with once they got hurt (But Aaron Nola is all better!)
- Scott Kingery’s ability to turn the double play and subsequent AFL All-Star selection
- Mickey Moniak’s journey through the Gulf Coast League
- Jorge Alfaro's speed as a catcher
- Roman Quinn's speed as a speed demon
- Sixto Sanchez's name
As Director of Player Development Joe Jordan put it while propping his feet on a stack of prospects and lighting a fat cigar,
"Things happen pretty quick. You get one or two extra pieces, and before you know it, you're back on top. It's really fun to watch the type of talent and also the quality of the individuals we're getting, and between those two things, it's real good time to be a Phillie."
There’s one thing we can’t forget, though: this win belongs to Ruben Amaro Jr.
Andy MacPhail and Matt Klentak have been on the job for just a year now, and though they’ve made some good moves, the Phillies’ minor league system was built by Amaro and his environs. I am determined that we never forget what Amaro did for this club once they finally decided to rebuild, especially once the Phillies start winning. The trades and signing will be all MacPhail and Klentak, but the farm system belongs to Amaro, and will for years into the future.
There are some who would say the Yankees, or a team like the Braves who is also rebuilding, have leaped ahead of the Phillies' farm system in the power rankings, and those arguments could certainly be made. Crawford didn't have his best year, Williams scuffled with management, none of the teams actually won their championships after making the playoffs (not that that matters much). In general, people weren't picking their jaws up off the floor at the advancements of the Phillies' prospect brigade; there was more applause simply for the fact that the minors were restocked with guys who appeared to have the ceiling for a higher level of talent.
The general idea is that the ceiling in question has yet to be reached in a lot of areas. But hey, they're probably giving out a 2017 Best Farm System MiLBY Award too, so hold onto your butts.