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Mailbag #16: Odubel & Co.

Having a CF locked down is nice, but two other OF spots are still way up for grabs.

MLB: San Francisco Giants at Philadelphia Phillies Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The last mailbag of 2016 is here with the holidays coming up upon us. Luckily, the Phillies granted us an early present with an Odubel Herrera extension. We also got a new prospect list from Baseball America. And now, my gift to you.

Player Spotlight: Edgar Garcia and Grant Dyer

Part of the ranking process involves coming to moments of dissonance, where the numbers and available spots on a list do not align with how you feel about a player. This often comes into dealing with inherently high-risk profiles, and in this case that profile is low-A relief pitchers. Dyer and Garcia were great in relief this year with these lines:

. Dyer Garcia
. Dyer Garcia
IP 42.1 47.1
ERA 2.34 2.09
H 27 42
HR 3 4
K 57 46
BB 6 11

Immediately after the draft, the Phillies moved Dyer back to the bullpen, where he had excelled during his sophomore year at UCLA. Dyer does not have huge stuff, but his fastball runs up to 95 and he has a plus curveball that he throws from a deceptive over-the-top arm slot. His control is already plus and he is advanced enough that, even if he starts in Clearwater in 2017, he has a chance to reach the Majors next season as a middle reliever.

Garcia pitched the whole year at 19 years old and matches Dyer in velocity, reaching up to 95 with his fastball. Garcia’s best secondary pitch is his slider, a pitch Baseball America called the best in the system (in a close competition with teammate Alberto Tirado). Garcia also has a developing changeup and solid control. The Phillies may continue to try and force Garcia into a starting role because of his arsenal, but they could also fast-track him in the bullpen where his profile resembles previous RH RP arms like Edubray Ramos and Victor Arano.

Neither of these players will feature prominently in my own Top 50 (teaser alert), but that doesn’t mean they are not potential Major Leaguers.


I would invite him to camp, but I don’t know if I personally would give him a real shot to make the team. Stassi can fake left field in a way that is only slightly more passable than Darin Ruf, so he really is a 1B through and through. At that point you are looking at him as the strong side of a first base platoon to get him at bats, but Tommy Joseph still exists and is just the superior player at that position. The on base percentage is nice for Stassi, but he is also a 27-year-old first baseman who has a career high of 15 home runs, and that was done in Reading. I think Stassi is an interesting story, but the Phillies need to know what they have in Joseph with Hoskins coming. Plus, carrying two true first basemen really hurts the bench (as we saw in 2016 with Howard and Ruf/Joseph).

I think, right now, the slight edge has to go to Roman Quinn. He was the one that looked better toward end the 2016 season and has the higher upside going forward, and sending Altherr to the bench instead works out better for the Phillies in the long run. That said, Quinn is young and has no Triple-A time served, and Altherr was good when at 100 percent in 2015. It is going to be really close, and based on the roster the decision may not have anything to do with how the two look in Spring Training.

Tim asked this before the Herrera news came out, so I guess the answer is yes. As John Stolnis pointed out on Twitter, the next guy in line if they want to do this is probably Jerad Eickhoff given Velasquez’s inconsistency and Nola’s injury. Eickhoff is still 5 years from FA so it would be a long commitment to a non-elite pitcher which is probably why it doesn’t happen. Maikel Franco would be an interesting option, but he is probably not in a place to take a below market deal to gain some security.

This was a fun activity. I started with BA’s new list and their Top Prospects for the past 10 years. I am going to briefly run through each of the Top Prospects and then post the full list after. I have included the BA Top 100 rank from the given year in parentheses as well for comparison.

  • 2007 Carlos Carrasco (#41) - Just came off a 2.26 ERA in Lakewood at age 19. His stuff doesn’t match Sixto Sanchez, but he had conquered the higher level.
  • 2008 Carlos Carrasco (#54) - Carrasco blasted through Clearwater then saw his control fall apart in Reading and his stock slip.
  • 2009 Domonic Brown (#48) - Brown spent 2008 raking in Lakewood, showing skills to go with his raw athleticism.
  • 2010 Domonic Brown (#15) - Brown put up a .903 OPS in Clearwater before getting a taste of Reading. His power started to show up a bit more, cementing him as one of the best prospects in the game.
  • 2011 Domonic Brown (#4) - Brown would reach Philly for a few games in 2010, but found time to hit .318/.391/.602 in Double-A and .346/.390/.561 in Triple-A. He looked like a superstar, one that might need a bit of polish before breaking out.
  • 2012 Trevor May (#69) - May was the last one standing after the Pence trade. He had a 3.63 ERA in Clearwater with over 12 strikeouts per 9. His profile is similar to Kilome in many ways, except Kilome has a bit more fastball and May had a better changeup.
  • 2013 Jesse Biddle (#89) - Biddle was coming off a solid year in Clearwater where he looked like a mid-rotation starter, but with limited upside.
  • 2014 Maikel Franco (#17) - Franco hit .339/.363/.563 in Double-A, topping off a 31 home run season across two levels. Many evaluators still worried about Franco’s plate discipline and at the time the T100 rank was considered slightly aggressive.
  • 2015 J.P. Crawford (#14) - In his first full pro year, Crawford hit in both hi- and low-A ball, flashing on base, power, and defense.
  • 2016 J.P. Crawford (#6) - Crawford only hit .265 in Reading, but he walked more than he struck out while playing excellent defense in AA at age 20. He looked like a superstar.

This gives a ranking of:

  1. 2016 J.P. Crawford
  2. 2011 Domonic Brown
  3. 2017 J.P. Crawford
  4. 2015 J.P. Crawford
  5. 2010 Domonic Brown
  6. 2017 Mickey Moniak
  7. 2014 Maikel Franco
  8. 2017 Jorge Alfaro
  9. 2009 Domonic Brown
  10. 2017 Nick Williams
  11. 2007 Carlos Carrasco
  12. 2017 Sixto Sanchez
  13. 2008 Carlos Carrasco
  14. 2017 Rhys Hoskins
  15. 2017 Franklyn Kilome
  16. 2012 Trevor May
  17. 2013 Jesse Biddle
  18. 2017 Roman Quinn

I went by pure upside to serve as excitement.

  1. J.P. Crawford - He has a great floor, but don’t forget the ceiling is Gold Glove defense with a high on base and maybe 20 home runs a year at his peak.
  2. Jorge Alfaro - Alfaro’s power is immense, he can run, he has bat speed, he has a laser arm, and he also can catch.
  3. Sixto Sanchez - Sixto vs. Tirado is an interesting discussion, but Sixto has it all right now and is 1 mph short of that magical 100 mph marker. He is a special prospect.
  4. Mickey Moniak - Imagine that Crawford writeup in center field with more speed. Moniak is “safe,” but that is not at the cost of upside.
  5. Alberto Tirado - Tirado has a fastball up to 100 and a wipeout slider. He probably isn’t a starting pitcher, but he can hold his velocity deep into games so the door is not closed yet.
  6. Roman Quinn - Quinn is really really fast and has sneaky power.
  7. Dylan Cozens - Cozens has holes in his game, but he hits balls a mile.
  8. Franklyn Kilome - Kilome is all projection, but with the present velocity up to 98 and a hellacious curveball. He might even be too low on this list.
  9. Nick Williams - Williams has the tools to be a five-tool outfielder and has the electric hand speed to be always exciting at the plate.
  10. Jhailyn Ortiz - Ortiz edges Jose Pujols here. Ortiz is a hulking teenager with the power to match, and he might be able to stick in right field with a plus arm. He is still really early in his development, but his power is not common.

A happy and safe holiday season to you and yours. See you again in 2017!