Next to each prospect below you will see where each of us ranked them with the letter being the first initial of our last name and the next number being where we ranked that player. We also split up writing about the prospects with each of us taking 5 prospects to summarize why we ranked them where we did or anything else we feel like sharing. Stats are thru July 13.
1. J.P. Crawford, SS; C=1, F=1, P=1, W=1
REA: .265/.398/.390 LHV: .270/.357
If this was a month ago I would need to defend Crawford’s stat line, but he is now hitting plenty in AAA. Joe Jordan mentioned Crawford had a lingering thumb issue that was affecting Crawford’s quality of contact, which was the only thing he could have been knocked for this season. He has tightened up his defense at shortstop and now consistently looks like a plus defender. There are plenty of things to point to where Crawford can improve (like power production and stolen bases), but they are really just things that take him from best prospect in baseball to major league superstar, not flaws to his game.
2. Nick Williams, OF; C=2, F=2, P=2, W=2
On his way out the door with the Phillies Ruben Amaro, Jr. appears to have pulled off an astounding trade that is proving very beneficial to both teams. The Rangers got one of Baseball’s best left-handed starters and a very capable LOOGY. The Phillies got 5 prospects, most of whom litter this list. Williams is the tops of those, and for good reason. Williams has above-average speed, power and defense. His arm is playable in right, his speed is playable in Center and he’s probably a future 5 hole hitter in a good Major League line-up. He still has a few things to polish with his hitting. Primarily that he has a tendency to expand the strike zone a bit in 2-strike counts. However, despite the lack of walks, his approach is actually pretty patient.
3. Jake Thompson, RHP; C=3, F=4, P=3, W=4
LHV: 2.58 ERA, 1.137 WHIP, 6.2 K/9, 2.7 BB/9
The lack of fan-fare for Thompson is a bit puzzling. Some will cite his low strikeout totals this season as caution for excitement. He is a legitimate middle of the rotation prospect who has four good pitches and can command them. In his last 49.1 IP, he has given up just 35 hits and 4 earned runs while walking 12 and striking out 27. He will be in a Phillies uniform this summer.
4. Mickey Moniak, OF; C=4, F=5, P=5, W=3
2016 Draft pick, #1 overall/GCL: .277/.314/.383
We don’t know a ton about Mickey Moniak yet, and for good reason. He’s only had about 50 at-bats so far in a Phillies uniform. But when you’re the #1 pick, you can shoot up a prospect ranking list pretty quickly, and Moniak cracks the top five. The two key phrases you’ll continue to hear about Moniak over the coming months is "advanced high schooler" and "premier hit tool." Moniak may just be 18, but he’s wise beyond his years in terms of development. The hit tool is what could drive Moniak through the system pretty quickly. Getting to the Majors by his 21st birthday? Entirely possible. Moniak is hitting .277/.314/.383 thus far in the GCL and hasn’t looked out of place.
5. Jorge Alfaro, C; C=5, F=3, P=6, W=5
There may have been no prospect in the minors with a wider range of outcomes coming into the year than Jorge Alfaro. There were questions about whether he could catch, stay healthy, or have a decent approach. So far he is answering all of those questions passably, but not emphatically, which given Alfaro’s immense talent is plenty for his stock to be pointed up. Alfaro’s receiving has improved to the point where he should be passable behind the plate, though he still needs to improve at blocking pitches. For much of the year it looked like Alfaro’s approach was still terrible with 4 walks in 51 games before walking 10 times in his last 9 games, but before the walk streak Alfaro was already showing a much more discerning eye. Alfaro’s superstar level tools will always be tantalizing, but that shouldn’t distract from the fact he could be a very solid player that could eventually grow into a special one.
6. Cornelius Randolph, OF; C=6, F=6, P=4, W=6
Honestly, there’s not a ton of new analysis to add for Yukon. He’s been injured much of the year and is still getting his rhythm back at the plate. Just get back to hitting and not running into walls.
7. Andrew Knapp, C; C=7, F=7, P=8, W=12
After raising some eyebrows in Reading last season, the bat has slowed down. But then, no one should have really expected him to OPS 1.050 in Lehigh Valley anyway. Nothing has really changed for Knapp this season. He is a switch-hitting catcher who has decent pop and is an adequate receiver behind the plate. The arm is subpar, but should be good enough to stick at catcher. He is going to get a ton of pressure to produce from Jorge Alfaro if he continues to hit at the rate he has.
8. Roman Quinn, OF; C=9, F=8, P=9, W=11
The Roman Quinn story is pretty well known at this point. When he’s healthy, he can be a difference maker on the field, but staying in the lineup has not been easy for the now 23-year-old center fielder. He’s been out since mid-June with an oblique injury. He could be back in the lineup by early August, which will give him a solid final month to contribute. Quinn has hit .288/.361/.420 this season for the Fightins, and that 80 speed is still there. Should everything go well, he’ll most likely start next year at AAA for the Iron Pigs. If Quinn can stay healthy, he’ll at worst be a 4th outfielder for the Phillies. We’re all hoping for a little bit more than that, though.
9. Franklyn Kilome, RHP; C=11, F=10, P=10, W=7
LWD: 4.97 ERA, 1.642 WHIP, 8.9 K/9, 5.2 BB/9
The hype on Kilome may have gotten a bit ahead of the results, but not the ability. Franklyn is a large man still trying to get his whole body to work in unison, and he really struggled to do that in the cold early (3 GS 9.2 IP 20 H 17 ER 10 BB 7 K). He is still struggling with walks, but he is missing more bats thanks to a fastball that still gets up to 97 and a future plus curveball. His changeup is still a work in progress, but he has the feel to make it work. The shine is off of Kilome, but the ceiling is all still there, yet still is a bit off from being realized.
10. Scott Kingery, 2B; C=15, F=13, P=7, W=9
I was the ranking outlier on Kingery. It’s not because I dislike him, it’s more an admitted bias against Second Base prospects. That said, Kingery’s speed is good enough to play center if he didn’t work at second (sadly there are lots of guys in the system with center field skills, including our current lone All Star). Kingery’s skill set is actually really, really tantalizing. He’s one year removed from being drafted and he’s probably just about ready for a promotion to Double-A. We got this guy in the second round, and the other draftees from last year advancing that quickly were among the top ten players picked last year. If he succeeds like this in Double-A, expect him to really rise up lists.
11. Adonis Medina, RHP; C=10, F=11, P=15, W=10
WPT: 0.64 ERA, 0.600 WHIP, 3.8 K/9, 1.9 BB/9
The 6’1" 19 year old out of Dominican Republic burst on the scene and radars of fans/scouts in 2015 flashing a mid-90’s fastball with good secondary stuff. He has good command of his pitches and can control the strike-zone. He has given up just 11 hits in 28.1 innings this season and has produce great groundball rates.
12. Rhys Hoskins, 1B; C=8, F=14, P=11, W=14
Hoskins and fellow basher Dylan Cozens are on their way to setting a bunch of records in Reading this season. That’s all well and good, and it has been a whole lot of fun, but it doesn’t mean much if these guys never make it to the Majors. April and May were decent months for Hoskins, but nothing too special. That changed in June, when he hit 13 home runs and posted a 1.198 OPS. The good news for Hoskins? He’s hit pretty well at home and on the road, unlike Cozens. The bad news? We’ll just have to wait and see if Hoskins will be able to do this at a higher level. For now, Hoskins has held down the fort at first base for Reading and the power numbers have been there outside of Baseballtown. It has been an encouraging (and somewhat surprising) season for Hoskins.
13. Dylan Cozens, OF; C=13, F=9, P=14, W=15
Yes, those numbers Cozens has posted are massive, but there is the home/road issue that Hoskins doesn’t suffer from. In Reading, Cozens has posted a 1.210 OPS. On the road, however, he has a .722 OPS. He is also yet to excel against left-handers, hitting just .186/.284/.347 vs. southpaws. This seems like the appropriate spot for Cozens, though, as it is hard to ignore the power numbers he has posted. We just have to wait and see what he can do against higher levels of pitching. Is he Matt Stairs? Is he Jack Cust? Is he something more than that? He’s been enough of a surprise this year to warrant this spot, but he’ll have to do it again in AAA before we truly start to believe.
14. Kevin Gowdy, RHP; C=12, F=28, P=29, W=8
2016 Draft Pick, #42/GCL: 1 G, 2 IP, 1 H, 0 ER
There’s not much new to say about Gowdy from everything written about him a month ago when he was drafted. He’s only pitched 2 Innings in GCL so far, though it went well it’s not worth spending many pixels on. As you can see in the rankings he’s a bit tough to rank, but him ending up this close to Medina is about right, as the stuff and ceilings are fairly similar. If you're any good at math you'll quickly realize 14 is not the average of the numbers above. Gowdy is the one prospect we argued a bit amongst ourselves on the rankings, and decided this spot felt about right. Gowdy could really rise in offseason rankings when he's had some pro success.
15. Carlos Tocci, OF; C=16, F=12, P=12, W=16
Most will argue that this is too high for a centerfielder that is OPSing under .700. The fact remains that Tocci is still a plus defender in centerfield and has hit fairly well the last two seasons despite the lack of power. He is still just 20 years old, but the "age-defense" is slowly starting to fade away. Tocci has speed and is capable of 20+ bags in a season, but isn’t the great of baserunners yet. There is a slight chance he could be taken in the next Rule 5 Draft if the Phillies don’t add him to the 40 man roster this offseason.
16. Thomas Eshelman, RHP; C=22, F=17, P=13, W=23
CLW: 3.34 ERA, 1.163 WHIP, 9.7 K/9, 1.7 BB/9; REA: 5.94 ERA, 2.040 WHIP, 7.6 K/9, 3.8 BB/9
Eshelman can’t afford to be a nibbler if he’s going to make a career in the Majors. It wasn’t much of a shock that he performed well in Clearwater, and the promotion to Reading was deserved. He’s had four starts thus far in Reading, and the early results say there has been some bad BABIP mixed in there. But, he has walked seven batters in just 16 2/3 innings in Reading, which is out of character for him. He just turned 22 a few weeks ago, and developmentally he’s right about where he should be. If he can do what he did at Clearwater, he’ll be a cheap back end of the rotation option for the Phillies for years to come. Depth is always important, and you can never have enough pitching.
17. Nick Pivetta, RHP; C=18, F=25, P=19, W=13
REA: 3.14 ERA, 1.215 WHIP, 8.2 K/9, 3.0 BB/9
It wasn’t a surprise that Pivetta returned to AA for the 2016 season, but it has been a bit of a surprise how much he has gotten better. He has been dominant since a rough first start and he seems to have his control back in order. Pivetta still lacks the solid changeup to be a no doubt starter, but a sinking fastball at 93-96 and a good hammer curveball mean that his floor is very good reliever. For now though his future is in the rotation because the Phillies have no need to rush him.
18. Jhailyn Ortiz, OF/1B; C=14, F=15, P-28, W=19
2015 IFA Signee
I’m so excited to write about Ortiz, but given format here I’ll keep it short. He’s currently playing right field. This is kind of astounding, as he’s a big kid (maybe generously listed as 6’3", 215 lbs). I don’t think Jhailyn is very long for right field, and he may well shift to left in a season or two, but it’s even more likely that by the time he’s ready to make the Show he’s a first base only prospect. That’s perfectly fine though, as his ceiling is along the lines of Prince Fielder (though his build should be more like Cecil’s). He’s an exciting prospect with more athleticism than you’d expect in a package that big. He’ll carry the same risks that all big bodied players have and that’s managing the size to avoid piling up injuries and declining early.
19. Malquin Canelo, SS; C=23, F=16, P=16, W=25
Canelo demolished the South Atlantic League in 2015 to the tune of a .311/.364/.466 batting line. Since his promotion to Clearwater midway through the 2016 season, it has been more of a struggle. The slick fielding SS has just enough power at the plate and speed on the basepaths to keep pitchers honest. He is still fairly young for the Florida State League and should continue to develop. There is no rush in the SS pipeline given the guy ranked #1 on this list.
20. Deivi Grullon, C; C=17, F=18, P=23, W=24
Grullon is the correct answer to all the questions about best defensive catcher in the Phillies system, but on his third try at Lakewood he still is not getting the bat to work. He missed time due to injury this year which lead to a miserable May. His power and walks are up this year, but the strikeouts are still high and his contact is inconsistent. However, he is only 20 and his glove is going to give him all the time he needs to develop at the plate.
Honorable Mention (others receiving votes from all 4 of us): Mark Appel, RHP; Ricardo Pinto, RHP; Jesmuel Valentin, 2B; Ben Lively, RHP; Elniery Garcia, LHP, Jimmy Cordero, RHP
Notable players who also received at least 1 vote: Cole Stobbe, Luke Leftwich, Jose Pujols, Alberto Tirado, Juan Luis, Tyler Viza, Luke Williams, Seranthony Dominguez, Andrew Pullin