As it turned out last year, we weren’t very good at this (besides Victor of course). This year we’ll try again with even BOLDER predictions that we can all laugh at in September. Do you agree with any of these? Have some of your own? Leave them in the comments so we can revisit them at the end of the season. So here we go:
Victor’s Bold Predictions:
Roman Quinn plays 100+ games... in the Minors
Quinn hasn’t played more than 88 games in a Minor League season, so this would certainly be a somewhat positive sight to see. But this ends up happening due to an incredibly healthy Major League roster, and Quinn only sees scant time in the Majors until September, when he’s called up for good.
We have our next double play combination brewing, but not for long
Arqiumedes (or Arquimedez, depending on how you’re feeling) Gamboa and Daniel Brito really put things together in 2018. We start talking about them as a future double play combination before J.P. Crawford and Scott Kingery even have a chance to build chemistry in the Majors. Eventually, one of these guys, more than likely Brito, is traded for a veteran roster piece before the calendar year ends.
Adam Haseley is knocking on the door of Lehigh Valley by season’s end
While there were some signs of fatigue near the end of last season, Haseley was a first rounder for a reason. This would certainly be aggressive, but he’ll be 22 in April. Haseley will dominate in Clearwater before heading to Reading in mid-July, where he’ll continue his torrid streak and threaten to be part of the Iron Pigs roster late in the season. He won’t quite make it, but he’ll begin 2019 there.
Simon Muzziotti puts together a strong season in Lakewood and Clearwater
Muzziotti showed off in the GCL last year, and though the power isn’t there yet, there’s plenty of time for the body to fill out. He’s an interesting name in the system thanks to his bat. Let’s say he fills out a little earlier than expected, and Muzziotti becomes an important guy to watch over the next few seasons after an impressive 2018 across two levels of A-ball.
Sixto Sanchez pitches out of the Phillies’ bullpen in September, Phillies win the World Series
You want bold? Here you go.
Cormican’s Bold Predictions:
Jhailyn Ortiz will end the season as a Top 50 Prospect
Finally playing a full season, Jhailyn beats the expectations in Lakewood and shows his plus power, unexpectedly good defense and solid OBP skills. The strikeouts still look like a possible issue, but they improve and are offset by the rest of his skill set.
Mickey Moniak rebounds with a solid season
The 2016 draft was very, very bad. Moniak’s rebound is more to the respectable category and while he doesn’t look like the guy you’d hope to get first overall, he does wrap the season looking like a plus defender with above average hitting. I think the power will still be mostly of the doubles variety. Still, if he ends up being an average Center Fielder he could end up being the best player from the draft class running away.
JoJo Romero will end the season in the Majors
JoJo will make short work of Reading and be in Allentown after the Draft signees start pushing guys up the development hose. After some initial struggles in Lehigh Valley, JoJo changes his pitch sequencing to stop hitters from pouncing on his Changeup. He gets the call to the Majors in September working mostly from the ‘pen but starting the front half of a double header, make up game. Casual fans immediately predict he’s the next Cole Hamels for some reason.
Arquimedes Gamboa will become one of the most talked about prospects in the system...
After the Phillies trade him and Ranger Suarez at the deadline for Cole Hamels and Jake Diekman, after the Rangers become the 30th team in baseball to realize the Rangers are rebuilding.
Dylan Cozens will be removed from the 40 man roster
Cozens will again, put up good power numbers as he adjusts to Lehigh Valley, but it won’t be enough to save him from the numbers crunch on the roster. With all four young OF’s playing well in Philly, Cozens becomes expendable. He gets picked up off waivers by the Rangers. I make my predictions way too specific.
Jared’s Bold Predictions:
Seranthony Dominguez is in the major league ‘pen by season’s end
Over the winter, the Phillies officially moved Dominguez to a relief role full-time. He struggled with his command down the stretch after returning from injury and his pitch mix resembles that of a reliever. It looks like he will start the year in Reading, more than likely in a high-leverage role. I see him shooting up through the system and providing some relief to the relievers later in the season.
Clearwater steals the spotlight as the best team in the system
We have become accustomed to Reading and Lehigh Valley being the focal points of the Phillies’ system. That changes this year. Prospects who appear ticketed to start with the Threshers include top pitching prospects Sixto Sanchez and Adonis Medina; 2B Daniel Brito and SS Arquimedes Gamboa; outfielders Mickey Moniak and Adam Haseley; and back-end pitching prospects Edgar Garcia, McKenzie Mills, Alejandro Requena and Spencer Howard.
Cornelius Randolph takes advantage of Reading, hits 20 home runs
Randolph’s highest home run total in the minor leagues came last year as he hit 13 with high-A Clearwater. I say he continues to improve upon his power stroke (and gets a little help from the ballpark) and gets to at least 20 home runs this year.
Thomas Eshelman throws a no-hitter for Lehigh Valley
We knew Eshelman wouldn’t begin the year with the major league club, but he impressed many with his ability to paint the zone with all of his pitches. We will more than likely see him at the back of the Phils rotation at some point during the season, but before we do we will hear of a 93-pitch no-hitter in triple-A.
Jonathan Guzman and Luis Garcia break out in the low minors
Both international signees, Guzman and Garcia are current defense-first shortstop prospects in the low minors. Guzman was signed in 2015 and came stateside last year and played mostly with the GCL Phillies. Garcia signed last year and is a lock to be on one of the two GCL teams this season. Watch for both of them to jump out as two shortstop gems.
Jay’s Bold Predictions:
Jhailyn Ortiz is the top Phillies hitting prospect by season’s end
Yes, I think Ortiz has the makings of something quite special. Why is this bold you say? I think we can all agree he is a top 10 prospect in this organization. However, he does have plenty of contenders with Adam Haseley, Mickey Moniak and Scott Kingery. Kingery will exhaust his prospect status by season’s end, along with Jorge Alfaro. This will pave the way for Ortiz for that top spot.
Mickey Moniak hits 15 homers, steals 15 bases
His skillset seemed tantalizing at the 2016 MLB Draft. His 2017 campaign was the opposite of that, but I’m expecting a bounce-back season in the grandest of ways for the former first overall draft pick.
Zach Eflin injures himself (again), doesn’t finish the season
We’ve all read the “he’s in the best shape of his life” after his numerous knee surgeries over the last year or so. I’m not convinced a guy can come back from that 100%. I’m not going to be surprised if he has a setback early on and goes under the knife again.
Adonis Medina outperforms Sixto Sanchez
Largely assumed to be #2 and #1 pitching prospects in the organization, respectively. I believe Medina, being the older (wiser) pitcher, takes those next steps a bit quicker than Sanchez. He’ll likely rack up the loftier strikeout totals and see that AA promotion a bit sooner than our boy Sixto.
Spencer Howard finishes the season in Lehigh Valley
While he will start the year in Clearwater most likely, he will perform well enough for a AA promotion by mid-season. From there, because of injury call-ups, a space will open up for Howard to make his AAA debut (similar to Jose Tavares last season).