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Phillies Top 30 Prospects 2016: 11-20

There's quite a bit of hitting in this part of the list. Which is good, because I felt like I wrote about an endless stream of Pitchers in the 21-30 section. While there are a couple of high ceilings here, we're ultimately looking at a lot of likely role players.

Yeah, Edubray Ramos made the 21-30 portion, but pickings can be slim for pics of Minor Leaguers
Yeah, Edubray Ramos made the 21-30 portion, but pickings can be slim for pics of Minor Leaguers
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Role players are good to have, provided they're good at their role. Where would the 2008 Phillies have been without the Defensive versatility of Eric Bruntlett, the big bat of Matt Stairs, the reliable and durable Jamie Moyer or the briefly effective wildness of JC Romero? None were stars, but all were capable of fulfilling valuable roles on the team. There's a good chance that in 11-20 we get a few more of those types for the next team. While that sounds dull, if they're good, it beats having to roll Jayson Nix, Michael Martinez, Wilson Valdez and Dustin MacGowan out there.

20. Tom Windle, LHP
Windle proved to be magnificently hittable, Home Run prone and rather limited in his time in Reading. However, he may be able to play up a bit in the bullpen. He looked good there in Arizona last fall, where he got his Fastball up to 95 mph. He just doesn't have the stuff to Start, but in Relief he has Plus-Plus Velocity and his Slider is like 2 or 3 pitches on its own. Going from a tight late breaking ball that can keep Righties honest to a more looping pitch that could help to throw off timing or be thrown inside to get the corner, while scaring the bejeezus out of Left handed hitters. Windle is a bit of the JC Romero here, as his control can disappear a bit, but when the control hangs on, he could be an effective 7th Inning Pitcher, as Romero was.

19. Tyler Goeddel, OF
This list seemed extra hard to write this year, as there are so many new faces from trades, Draft and Rule 5. Goeddel may have been the most obscure one for me. I knew some about him: Good speed, terrible defender at Third Base, talented hitter, lanky. Digging deeper, he is, at present a short side of a platoon corner OF, with below average present power. You can play him anywhere in OF, but Center in emergencies only. This will only be his second season in the OF and there's some hope that without having to master a challenging position he can focus on the bat and add good weight. I think Goeddel will always have Below Average Power, but he may end up hitting for a good average and generating Walks. I expect him to be the 5th OF for much of the year, but he'll have to get some starts against Righties so he can work on his hitting. The Phillies can live with the growing pains in hopes he can improve.

18. Dylan Cozens, OF
Dylan Cozens in many ways is the anti-Goeddel. He's not in any way fast (other than the back handed compliment of "for his size"); he's not a very natural hitter; not a particularly great defender, but that also means he's got the kind of Power Goeddel doesn't. He's good enough in Left Field to maybe play a year or two there before a likely move to First Base. As a hitter he's got a lot of holes, as do most guys his size, but the Phillies had him work on his approach in 2015 instead of focusing on power and it seemed to work. If he can keep that approach and unlock that Plus power, he could really break out in Reading. He'll never hit for much average or likely carry a very high OBP, but 25-30 HR a year is a mighty good tool to be able to bring.

17. Nick Pivetta, RHP
Pivetta came over in the Papelbon trade from the Nationals. A trade I'd consider a win regardless of who came back in the deal. Pivetta's a legit Pitching prospect, at 6'5" he can get good downward plane on his sinking Fastball, plus he has a Curveball with Plus potential and a Changeup that exists (to be fair, there's potential there, but it's his least consistent pitch). If the Changeup gets to Average consistently he's a #4 Starter. If the Curve and Fastball get more consistent you can squint enough to see a #3 profile. Most likely, he's destined for the Bullpen, where he can ditch the Change and get more heat on the Fastball, which is low 90's in his Starts.

16. Scott Kingery, 2B
Kingery was the Phillies Second Round pick in 2015. The team started him at Second Base in Lakewood, where he seemed to tire a bit as the season wore on. Second Base reduces the Offensive pressure on his bat, though he shows good contact skills and has enough Power to keep Pitchers honest. The margin for Second Base prospects is slim and if any facet fails to develop guys quickly become AAAA players, but Kingery has all the required tools for Second and I'm writing off some of his struggles from last year to the 3 factors of the jump in competition in skipping over Williamsport, the fact that he was playing beyond the end of his usual season and adjusting to Second Base after playing Center in college.

15. Malquin Canelo, SS
Canelo has been known as a glove first Shortstop prospect for a few years now. Every system has a few of those guys and I generally wouldn't rank a pure, glove-first guy too high, since they're somewhat common. Canelo did something somewhat unexpected though, he hit pretty well with a little bit of power in 2015. Now, Canelo had hit for a solid average in 2014 in Lakewood, but in 2015 he hit for a .311/.364/.466 line, well above expectations. He was repeating the level and he carried a bit of a high BABiP, but he made more solid contact and the Offensive bar he needs to clear is pretty low to find an MLB role. There's little doubt that Crawford is the future at Short, but there's a reserve role for Canelo if he can hit a little and if he can hit more than a little, the Phillies can shift him to Second Base or use him to trade for other needed pieces.

14. Deivi Grullon, C
It feels like Grullon's been on this list forever and I keep writing the same things about him every year, but it's important to remember how young he still is (turns 20 next week). Like Canelo, the Offensive bar is pretty low for Grullon to clear. Unlike Canelo, Grullon seems to keep hitting his head against that bar. 2015 may have been a bit of a step back for Grullon, as his numbers across the board were down with the exception of BB rate and ISO. Again, the bar is low, his likely ceiling is Backup Catcher, which makes him really hard to rank. However the second half of 2015 showed him looking like a Starting prospect with his bat. If those improvements stick his glove will make him a very good prospect. More realistic is that he'll be streaky and settle into a role as a good backup.

13. Ricardo Pinto, RHP
I have my biases and one of them is that I generally don't like pitchers with Pinto's profile. Pinto is listed at an even six feet tall (some reports note that may be generous) and a very slim 165 lbs. Somehow out of that frame Pinto manages to produce Plus speed on his 4-seam Fastball. He has added a 2-seamer that generates ground balls. He pairs those with a Plus or better Changeup and a Slider that needs work. That Slider will need to work to improve his chances of staying in a Starting role. To that end, he'll continue throwing the Slider a lot in 2016, results be damned. If he moves to the bullpen, as some feel he will eventually, he'll drop the Slider and let his other 2 pitches play up. There's a pretty good relief floor if it comes to that.

12. Adonis Medina, RHP
What excites me about the 19 year old Medina is that his best pitch currently is his Changeup. Medina was essentially equivalent to a High School Senior age wise, throwing a Plus Fastball with a Plus Changeup. That would be a somewhat unusual profile for a Pitcher that age, who has likely spent 4 years blowing away overmatched High Schoolers with 90% Fastballs and a smattering of Breaking Balls with an occasional Changeup. It's not a profile without flaws though. Medina does have wavering control and command of all his Pitches and each needs consistency. On the plus side, he could still add some heat to the Fastball and in many ways he's ahead of where many HS Pitchers would be 6 months out from the Draft. Since I'm sure someone will ask, he's probably equivalent to a Supplemental First to Second Rounder in the Draft. His ceiling is a step below Franklyn Kilome, probably a solid #2 Starter. His floor is probably AAAA Reliever, but that's if nothing really develops any further. I'm a big fan of Medina, but he's about as far away as you can be so there's a lot that can go wrong on the road to the Majors.

11. Zach Eflin, RHP
If I was ranking on floor alone, Eflin's probably Top 5. I think he'll likely find some MLB role, but it will be a fairly minor one. I think there's a worst case potential of a Kyle Kendrick like #4 Starter who doesn't strike many guys out, but limits walks and eats innings, sometimes looking very effective and sometimes looking Bullpen bound. He did change a little late in 2015 as a Curveball appeared out of nowhere, along with a 4-seam Fastball with Plus to Plus-Plus speed. He adds those to an average Changeup and a Slider that may go extinct if the Curve improves. Like KK, Eflin has good size and should have no problem gobbling up as many innings as needed. Also like KK, his arsenal isn't the type you'd expect to translate to the bullpen. Perhaps the Fastball would work, but there isn't really an out pitch in his arsenal that you'd expect to play up. The tough part for Eflin will be finding his role among the pile of young arms, likely to be added to with the Draft in a few months where some potentially quick moving arms are available at the top.