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TGP Top Phillies Prospects: #30 - #21

TheGoodPhight’s Top Prospects entering the 2019 season

Colorado Rockies v Philadelphia Phillies Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images

Welcome to Part One of a three-part prospect ranking series! Cormican, Victor and myself punched the numbers, made some calls and ultimately threw it all away to come up with our own personal Top 30 prospect rankings. This series won’t have much in the form of official scouting reports or writeups, but rather our own personal feelings for these players and why we chose to rank them where we did or not at all.

Before we get into the rankings, a bit on how these lists were compiled. Once all three of our lists were completed, each prospect was averaged out to give them an official ranking. While this was all easy and self-explanatory through the first 20 prospects or so, it got a little more difficult to differentiate when one of us were to leave off a prospect entirely. While the order below may seem confusing, we did the best to weight the prospects higher based on if they showed up on more than one list. An extreme (and totally not real) example would be say if I ranked Austin Listi as my 15th ranked prospect, but he wasn’t on either Cormican or Victor’s list. He wouldn’t be ranked 15th in this series and instead take a backseat to prospects like *peeks ahead* Kevin Gowdy who showed up on 2/3’s of the ballots.

Make sense? No? That’s fine, tell us your thoughts in the comments below and enjoy the show!

#30 - Kevin Gowdy, RHP

21 yr. old
2016 2nd Round Pick
2018 stats - N/A (recovery from Tommy John Surgery)

Jay (did not rank him):
I would very much like for him to be good, considering that he was considered “a get” when he was taken early in the 2nd round after selecting Mickey Moniak first overall. Injuries have really set him back and who really knows if he will show the same stuff as he was throwing nearly two years ago come the spring. Had we expanded this to a Top 50, Gowdy would have certainly been there.

Cormican (ranked him 29):
In a system that’s a bit fallow after graduations, Gowdy snuck into the top 30 for me. He’s got 9 career innings from over 2 years ago, but he’s also only 21 years old and if his stuff is back after Tommy John Surgery, he still has a mid-rotation ceiling. The Phillies have quite a few guys with similar ceilings and which order you rank them in is pretty defensible in several iterations.

Victor (ranked him 26):
He showed the potential for three plus pitches, but that is back in 2016 at this point. He has a lot to prove this season, but I like pushing Gowdy a bit to this spot. Of course, his last extensive time on a mound was in high school, but he did seem to be advanced for his age in terms of pitchability and makeup at the time. If everything goes well, he should be in Lakewood to start the season, and he’ll be pitching against some talented guys. Let’s see how it goes.

#29 - Jonathan Guzman, SS

19 yr. old
2015 International Free Agent
2018 stats - 259 PA, .210/.241/.272, 2 HR, 14 RBI, 3 SB, 10 BB, 61 K (Williamsport)

Cormican (ranked him 20):
Guzman’s bat has big question marks, but he’s hit in the past and his glove is a carrying tool. If he can even just be a competent hitter he has a bench utility role in his future, if he can hit same side pitching competently he could be a Freddy Galvis type in the Majors.

Jay (ranked him 30):
This was a ranking that I really struggled with. He’s struggled offensively since coming over to the States, but the defense is really good and perhaps the bat eventually comes around. As Cormican mentions, the floor of a defense-first utility role is still very much in the cards. It will be interesting to see how he progresses this season and if he’s held in Williamsport another season.

Victor (did not rank him):
This was a tough ranking for me, too. We’ve seen 25th men carve out decent careers for themselves, but you’d like to have seen a bit more from the bat at this point. It could be a struggle for Guzman to hang around as anything other than a AAAA kind of guy, but he is just 19.

#28 - Bailey Falter, LHP

21 yr. old
2015 5th Round Pick
2018 stats - 93.2 IP, 87 H, 35 R 28 ER, 15 BB, 83 K (Clearwater)

Cormican (did not rank him):
Maybe he can get a cup of coffee in the Majors like Severino Gonzalez or David Buchanan. It’s in Falter’s benefit that he’s a lefty, but unless he gets a big uptick in stuff his ceiling is a guy who pitches in AAA for a few years in case 2 or 3 MLB starters get hurt and he needs to make a spot start here or there.

Jay (ranked him 24):
I love a good lefty...and Falter might just be one! He’s going to face a real test in Reading this season where he might not survive. Or perhaps his ability to throw some decent secondary pitches fools AA hitters enough to get by. He’s going to need a jump in his stuff this season and maybe a full season of actually being healthy does that. The raw talent is certainly there.

Victor (ranked him 23): Yeah, who doesn’t love a good lefty? Heck, I had to go and one-up you, Jay, by ranking Falter a spot ahead of you. The stuff does need a jump. The fastball can sit 89-91, touching 92, but there’s not much else to write home about in terms of off-speed stuff. Low walk rate, but not enough swing-and-miss stuff. This profile tends to creep onto Major League rosters as spot starters eventually, though.

#27 - Daniel Brito, 2B

21 yr. old
2014 International Free Agent
2018 stats -
368 PA, .252/.309/.340, 4 HR, 31 RBI, 15 SB, 27 BB, 64 K (Lakewood)
100 PA, .250/.300/.348, 0 HR, 7 RBI, 1 SB, 6 BB, 19 K (Clearwater)

Jay (did not rank him):
I’ve honestly never been a fan of Brito and perhaps that is unfair to him considering I ranked Guzman and not him. All-glove, no-bat middle infielders are tough, but I’m of the thought that Brito will never make it to the majors.

Cormican (ranked him 27):
I like to think of Brito as Carlos Tocci reincarnated (well, without the whole being dead thing) as a Second Baseman. Like Tocci, there’s a lot of raw talent, but significant struggles with consistently unlocking them and a good bit of prospect fatigue at this point. That said, if he was a US born player this would be his junior year of college and his tools would have him on the draft radar (really staying in my lane here) and possibly a 3rd or 4th round profile, but a good season could get him to the 2nd round. If he puts it together he could be in the top 10 on this list.

Victor (ranked him 19):
Well, yes, it’s official, Brito is now the next Tocci, the guy who seems like he’s been around forever but actually isn’t that old. There is certainly some pop in the bat, and the bat speed is there, but sometimes he tries to pull the ball too much to show off this power, getting away from a smoother swing with a more even plane. He could be an above-average defender at the keystone, and that’s worth something. He’s still at least two years away from being an impact Major Leaguer, though.

#26 - Matt Vierling, OF

22 yr. old
2018 5th Round Pick
2018 stats -
53 PA, .420/.453/.580, 1 HR, 6 RBI, 2 SB, 3 BB, 2 K (Williamsport)
204 PA, .293/.342/.473, 6 HR, 25 RBI, 5 SB, 10 BB, 38 K (Lakewood)

Cormican (ranked him 23):
Vierling’s a favorite of mine. The dude has hit pretty consistently and he has good pop for center field. To his negative side, he struggled in College with wood bats and until he does it for a full season I’m applying my D’Arby Myers rule of not changing his ranking based off short season stats, but boy I want to.

Jay (ranked him 23):
Before the draft last season I thought Vierling was just another fungible OF bat with “upside” and that assessment has quickly turned itself around after his 2018 campaign. He made easy work of short-season ball and felt comfortable in low-A ball to end the year. I’m not sure Vierling stays in center, but his power could certainly still play in the corners.

Victor (did not rank him):
Vierling just didn’t excite me as a top-30 kind of guy right now, though he wasn’t too far outside this list. He can handle center field, but he might be able to move to a corner if the bat plays up a bit. He showed some promised in Lakewood, and went on a tear to end the year. We’ll see what he’s capable of in a full season.

#25 - Jake Holmes, 3B

20 yr. old
2017 11th Round Pick
2018 stats:
129 PA, .353/.395/.534, 4 HR, 29 RBI, 4 SB, 10 BB, 19 K (Gulf Coast Phillies East)
116 PA, .252/.330/.272, 0 HR, 9 RBI, 3 SB, 10 BB, 23 K (Williamsport)

Cormican (ranked him 19):
I guess I’m the high guy on Holmes, but I have a weakness for the Mitch Walding type prospect Holmes reminds me a bit of. I have no concerns about his Defense, but his bat will needs to really blossom in Lakewood this year as 3rd base is getting pretty crowded in the system right now (even more so depending upon how free agency goes).

Jay (did not rank him):
As Cormican mentions his defense is good, but he looked over-matched at the plate to end the season. He was a guy that “just missed” in my Top 30, but an improved showing in 2019 could easily have him back in for next year’s list.

Victor (ranked him 25):
Moving Holmes to third base right off the bat was for the best. He had some projection as a shortstop, but the move to the hot corner allows him to work at the position he’ll likely end up at. While he struggled at Williamsport, he could have above-average power in there, and he shows signs of being a competent hitter.

#24 - Ben Pelletier, OF

20 yr. old
2015 34th Round Pick
2018 stats - 286 PA, .277/.333/.480, 9 HR, 45 RBI, 1 SB, 16 BB, 63 K (Williamsport)

Cormican (ranked him 18):
Hmm, this is the Dan’s higher than everyone else part of the list, I guess. I might be unreasonably high on Ben. He brings no real defensive value, so it’s all bat, but that bat has really good potential. He’s got above-average power and if everything comes together he could be Pat Burrell like (on the field, Wet Luzinski, I don’t know if any prospect has the nightlife potential of Pat the Bat). The risk is, of course, also high that he doesn’t put it together and never even gets out of A ball. I’m betting a little on the chance he does.

Jay (ranked him 26):
I love the bat and think he’s close to a breakout season in Lakewood this season. He’s going to settle into being a Left Fielder it looks like and he will really need to hit to move up in the organization.

Victor (did not rank him):
This ranking was pretty much all over the place. And for me, at this point, I just don’t like the bat as much as everyone else does it would appear. The swing has some holes in it, and he strikes out a bit more than you’d like to see, but when he is on, he’s got some impressive pull side power.

#23 - Connor Seabold, RHP

23 yr. old
2017 3rd Round Pick
2018 stats -
71.2 IP, 57 H, 31 R, 30 ER, 14 BB, 68 K (Clearwater)
58.2 IP, 55 H, 32 R, 32 ER, 19 BB, 64 K (Reading)

Cormican (ranked him 22):
I like Seabold, but he’s not terribly exciting. His ceiling and floor are both probably a #4 starter. What is kind of exciting is that the cake is mostly baked at this point. They can refine his command, maybe tweak his pitches a little, but he could probably start in MLB in 2019 when needed.

Jay (did not rank him):
Call me burned out Cal Fullerton prospects (see: Tom Eshelman & Colton Eastman). While Seabold does seem to have better stuff than the aforementioned pitchers, I don’t think it will be good enough for him to succeed in AA, let along AAA. I get Tyler Viza vibes with him.

Victor (ranked him 21):
You may not believe me if I told you that Tom Eshelman and Connor Seabold had similar walk rates last season, though I guess that may also show that Eshelman came back to earth a bit in terms of his command in 2018. But they’re sort of the same guy in a sense, not too flashy, not really sure if they have an out pitch, need to throw strikes to succeed, etc. Seabold has the more promising stuff at this point though. There’s nothing flashy about him, but he could pan out by late 2020 if you need a spot start.

#22 - Nick Maton, SS

21 yr. old
2017 7th Round Pick
2018 stats - 466 PA, .256/.330/.404, 8 HR, 51 RBI, 5 SB, 43 BB, 103 K (Lakewood)

Cormican (did not rank him):
There are 3 prospect profiles I hate ranking: relief pitcher, backup catcher and utility player. I usually skip ranking them unless I see a good chance at an everyday regular role. I didn’t rank Maton because I think the glove and bat are both fringy enough in terms of MLB potential that I’m not even terribly optimistic there’s a future utility role there. Of course, I never ranked Cesar Hernandez higher than 18 for similar reasons, so grain of salt, folks.

Jay (ranked him 22):
Another prospect I didn’t think too highly of that was drafted, but then ended up pleasantly surprised. All the reports that the future utility role is there if he keeps this up at each level. Maton has good on-base skills and deceptive power for a middle-infielder. I don’t think a Jason Donald comp is crazy here.

Victor (ranked him 20):
You could see an average hit tool panning out for Maton down the road. For now, pitch recognition lacks at times, but he’ll turn on a mistake off-speed hanger every now and again. He’s likely at the back end of a roster, a guy who fields his position well and someone you aren’t afraid to start once a week.

#21 - Kyle Young, LHP

21 yr. old
2016 22nd Round Pick
2018 stats - 52.1 IP, 46 H, 20 R, 18 ER, 7 BB, 44 K (Lakewood)

Cormican (ranked him 25):
Young is not all that different from Seabold in terms of likely ceiling and floor. In terms of actual ceilings though, Young does an awful lot more ducking. I also think that given his 7’0” height his stuff may play up more than its pedestrian quality might suggest. He’s basically Chris Young with a couple extra inches and the benefit of being a lefty. I also think his control is a bit better than Chris Young, so perhaps more like the Padres version of Chris Young who averaged around 2 WAR per year is a realistic expectation.

Jay (ranked him 25):
As Dan said above, you wish his velocity was a bit higher because he is a very large man. You can kiss the Randy Johnson-type dream out of the door, but a lefty version of Chris Young is very real. Young is still...young and has room to grow so there is more upside there.

Victor (ranked him 29):
When you break down the video of Young, you almost have to do a double take. The guy is just on top of hitters immediately. Of course, that’s what being 7’0” tall does. He’ll sit around 86-88 mph with the fastball and there’s really nothing impressive in the arsenal, but he’s just sort of a freak show out there and mildly deceptive. He could be a back-end of the rotation option down the road.