157 thoughts on “Reader Top 30; #3

  1. Michael Taylor, although JD will probably take it. Taylor just looks like such a player to me. We shall see.

  2. im goin with jason donald, had a strong year at reading, great olympic showing, and absolutley destroyed in the AFL, give him the nod over taylor because he did it at a higher level

  3. I think we have like 7-8 guys who could all be almost anywhere from 1-8 depending on how you rank guys (in alpha order, Brown, Carrasco, D’Arnaud, Donald, Drabek, Happ, Marson, Taylor). I can’t wait for the Individual Top 30s, I already get the feeling mine will look way different than the overall group top 30.

    Anyway, I went with Donald at 1 and 2, so I’m gonna go with Donald again.

  4. Jason Donald.

    I think a lot of people are going to say Michael Taylor, so I wanted to compare some numbers between the two.

    Lakewood (Age 22)
    Donald: .310/.409/.447 — .137 ISO — 12.8% BB / 19.8% K
    Taylor: .361/.441/.554 — .193 ISO — 11.1% BB / 17.3% K

    Clearwater (Age 22)
    Donald: .300/.386/.491 — .191 ISO — 10.7% BB / 23.9% K
    Taylor: .329/.380/.560 — .230 ISO — 7.3% BB / 18.9% K

    Taylor’s numbers compare favorably, with the lone exception being a slight slip in BB% as Taylor got to Clearwater. But what puts Donald over the top — in my opinion — is this year.

    Reading
    Donald: .307/.391/.497 — .191 ISO — 11.5% BB / 23.8% K

    To me, that proves that Donald’s 2007 wasn’t a fluke, and when you combine that line with the reports that his defense at SS is adequate for the MLB (or, alternatively, that he can handle 2B or even 3B), then that gives him the edge over an OF like Taylor — especially when Taylor hasn’t had success above A-ball yet.

  5. Wow, the three spot is a tough choice…for me Drabek, Taylor, Brown, Donald….all right up there for me. D’Arnaud won’t crack those 4 until he improves on defense, in my opinion.

    Choice: Taylor

    Reason: We know about the bat – but 18 assists? Wow. Pat was “close” with 12…and about 50 more games played.

  6. I gotta go with Jason Donald due to his consistency and the fact that he seems to be getting better and better (all we can ask for). That being said, I think Drabek and Brown have higher ceilings.

  7. Did i say Mr. Steady JD
    2007 2008
    LH .325 .321
    RH .291 .300
    Best month
    .340 .339
    Worse month (full)
    .274 .267
    Worse OBP 2007 ,2008
    .350

  8. I guess I’ll give a short reason. Happ, I think, has already proved to be a capable big league starter, which is probably more valuable than what Donald’s upside even is.

    Donald could very easily be nothing more than a utility player, while I think Happ has demonstrated that he is #5 starter material at worst.

  9. Donald has a nice bat, and he’s done it at different levels and on different stages. Plus he plays several valuable possitions. Seems like management may have even valued him over Cardenas which says something as well.

    Taylor and Drabek have higher upsides, and if they have good seasons next year they’ll probably be #1 and #2, but for now I’m going with the guy that seems ‘most likely to succeed’. DONALD

  10. Drabek. Donald’s had a good year, but I’m not convinced his ceiling is higher than above-average utility infielder or below average starting shortstop. Drabek’s ceiling is staff ace.

  11. Happ…
    He showed lots of improvement this year since he was healthy. Pitching well in the bigs narrowly puts him above JD for me.

  12. Donald, because he along with all of our other top prospects has a high ceiling, but he is also closer than others like brown and drabek to fulfilling his potential, because his success has been spread over more than one season.

    He just edges out Happ for me, because Happ also is ready and has shown improvement, but the upside gives JD the nod for me here.

  13. Drabek is a staff ace and looked great at Williamsport this year.

    I will keep voting for him until he is off the board or they pry my cold dead fingers from my computer!

  14. Agree with DPhrey: Taylor has more offensive upside, maybe more defensive upside, but at a less critical position. Howver, he still carries more risk factor.

    So I say Donald. No slight to Taylor, who could be our #1 by July.

  15. Donaldo!
    I heard a silly sound bite from an interview he did. Apparently he stayed at Marson’s house during the AFL. Stupid interviewer asked if he wore Marson’s catching gear around the house. Donald said no, but he did try on his jock and cup.

  16. Gotta go with Mike Taylor, Phils really haven’t had a position player this exciting since Howard. Donald’s gonna be good and all but when looking at prospects their ceiling counts, and MT’s is through the roof while JD’s is a solid average infielder.

  17. Give this round to Jason Donald. Amazing year!

    My top 5 go Marson, Carrasco, Donald, Drabek, Taylor.

    I’m pleased to see the Happ votes because I like what I see from JA. I debated switching Drabek and Happ in the top five but in time Drabek might be a top of the rotation pitcher while Happ may settle in the middle.

  18. It’s pretty clear that we have differences in perspective of which carries more weight: ceiling or risk factor. To me, it’s always some kind of algebraic balance of the two, which I work out intuitively. Taylor, for example, is huge upside, but still some significant risk. So I can’t put him ahead of Donald until he hits like blazes in high minors. Others look at raw upside, it seems. What if Taylor hits .278 next year at Reading? Is he still in top 5? That’s how I think of it. That’s no slam at Taylor. Love him. But it’s kind of like Reagan’s “Trust, but verify.” (And this from a flaming Liberal!) And AA/AAA is the best risk assessment tool we have.

  19. I agree Diamond. I personally have Donald ahead of Taylor based on him doing it in the AFL/AA/Olympics against stronger competition, although Taylor does have more upside. However, the upside of Drabek is so enormous it’s overpowered the risk involved with him.

  20. I’ll throw out the name Joe Savery as my #3 even though he has no shot for #3 right now. Drabek had a solid return and could climb the ladder.

  21. Rodeo: Drabek is a logical pick. We are in the region where it’s hard to argue with another’s pick. Just differently nuanced perspectives. I am seeing Drabek as much like Taylor. Still has not done it against AA/AAA. Like Taylor, he could be #1 or 2 by June, but not yet–to me.

    Biggest point to me:

    In 2000, after Utley, we were looking at Keith Buckyrot, Danny Gonzalez, and Taylor Buchholz as top draftees. In 2002, after Hamels, it was Segovia, Fischer and Bourgeois. In 2003, Tim Moss?, etc. We are in much better shape with the guys we are discussing. They have already show more, even in A+, than many previous draft classes.

  22. I agree with Ducky that the top guys are grouped fairly tightly. I’d really make it a top 10, with Garcia and Savery also in the mix.

    My choice for #3 is Donald. He accomplished a ton this year at Reading, Olympics, and winter ball. Really exceeded expectations. He plays a premium position and is within a nidge of being major league ready. It is rushing him a tad, but I would be content to see him as our opening day 2B or 3B in Philadelphia for 2009, while Utley and Feliz recoup. I don’t see Donald as spectacular or a future All-Star, but as a guy who can become a solid major league starter.

  23. Ill take Drabek over Donald at #3. His upside as a potentional top of the rotation starter trumps Donald’s higher likelihood of successfully becoming a solid everyday infielder.

  24. I think you have to take Donald here since he can lay 3 positions has a very good bat and should be MLB ready although his upside is limited depending on his position you cant fault him for that. All in all its a toss up with Donald, Drabek, Brown and Taylor.

  25. People are talking about upside here, Michael Taylor’s upside is Ryan Howard with fewer strikeouts. Considering Drabek’s injury history and the fact that his performance comes two levels below Taylor’s it’s hard to imagine that the upside gap between him and Taylor justifies putting him ahead of Taylor, and probably belongs behind Donald as well.

    My vote is for Taylor.

  26. Jason Donald. Over the last two seasons he has hit .300 and over in 5 different leagues and one tournament. SAL .310; FSL .300; Grapefruit .429; EL .307; AFL .407 and the Olympics .381.

  27. Jason Donald, for reasons everyone has mentioned. Though he’s still frequently categorized as a “utility infielder,” it seems increasingly likely, as his results improve against tougher competition, that he has enough bat not only to hold down an everyday job at one of the positions, but to be above average at it.

  28. Donald.
    His consistent hitting at every level he has been at is encouraging. If this trend continues we could have a .300, 15 HR hitting infielder in less than a year. I’ll take it.

  29. Jason Donald. I believe others considered for this level on the list , have more question marks, while Donald seems more of a steady prescence.

    Speaking of Drabek, there is an article in BA in the prospects section, that is laudatory and has the headline Drabek looks great in Hawaii, something like that.

  30. Jason Donald.

    I had a tough time between Donald and Happ, but because of Donald’s performance in the AFL and him learning a few positions now, I give him a slight edge.

  31. Just can’t se that Donald = Utility assessment. Nick Punto is a utility guy and I like him as a 25th man and useful guy to have around. Same with Bruntlett. There is a 50-mile gap between Donald and Punto. Whether Donald is an AS or not, he has something special about him, which came out in brilliant colors this year. I see him as a solid starter at 2B or 3B (more fielding value there than at SS, where he will be avg), and 1 or 2 career years wherehe get strong AS consideration. I think that is a fantasy with a good reality component.

  32. I think Donald will be league-average to slightly above average wherever he plays, which is a great compliment and an enormous upgrade at 3B.

    Also, PhilsProspectFollower, if Taylor becomes Howard with fewer strikeouts, considering his fielding ability, that’d arguably make him the greatest player ever. That’s a tough statement to make.

  33. I’ve voted for the same person every round…. Surprise! I’m still voting for Drabek.

    I’m glad to see others have come around- Donald has a great bat but Drabek has far and away the most upside of any player in our system.

  34. Allentown: The reason I don’t include Garcia and Savery is that unlike the 8 guys I mentioned, they really haven’t shown a whole lot to be in that group on the field.

  35. Taylor because Donald will be ok but I don’t even see hiim starting constistently for the next couple years while Taylor at the Bank could hit a fair share of home runs. Scouts say Donald could be a nice platoon guy. Although I could see him getting on base a lot, with singles and walks. Dont think he steals much though

  36. If Drabek continues the way he is now you could make a case for him ahead of Carrasco. He probably had better stuff before his injury.

  37. If I were only voting on upside, I would have voted
    1) Drabek
    2) Taylor

    But neither of these players have more than 1 solid year (or less) in pro ball. Carrasco, Marson and Donald all have multiple solid seasons and have shown the ability to improve at higher levels.

    Maybe it’s a conservative approach, but I think it’s important to consider ability to reach upside as important as upside, so maybe i’m slightly biased towards prospects in the high minors. I’ll be voting for Happ for 4.

  38. Jason Knapp, lefthanders who throw in the high 90’s don’t grow on trees. I like his upside better than anyone’s in the system.

  39. Mike: Agreed. Also Knapp is going to be highly rated by BA this offseason, the only thing is he only played Rookie ball last year so we can’t anoint him a top 4,5 guy just yet.

  40. I still am thinking its donald marson carrasco after that no one until this next season, taylor has to repeat knapp has to stay healty, collier has to go to a higher level same with others, remember we only had Happ at triple a and at reading were our picks donald carrasco, marson and golson is gone. I love drabek upside but low a is still a long way to go, hard to rate them.

  41. I would have to vote for Donald in this spot. I must admit, I much prefer results over future projections, and thus I have chosen Carrasco, Marson, and now Donald. Soon, however, it will be time to entertain all of those fancy little pipe dreams. Just one other quick little note that I thought of, a lot of people are hyping the ceiling of Drabek, and rightfully so. However, Carrasco is four levels more advanced and is only 9 months older! I think Carrasco gets undeservedly pegged as a finished product, even though he is practically the same age as Drabek. Just imagine Carrasco pitching in the NYP league. Anyway, that is all I have for today…

  42. Gotta go with Donald. It’s his time and he’s closer to the majors than Taylor. For me, that puts Donald slightly ahead.

  43. Jason Donald. My suspicion is that he becomes an MLB caliber SS for another team. My policy is to rate guys on their potential, no matter their likely destination.

  44. Donald.

    I’d say he’s equally major league ready as Happ, but with higher upside, so he wins that debate.

    With Taylor/Drabek, those guys are so far away that Donald’s readiness to play major league ball overpowers their presumed greater potential.

  45. Jason Donald. I know Happ’s available for this list, but he was on the ML roster last year and in my opinion is the odds on favorite for the #5 slot.

  46. i voted for donald #1, marson #2 their ready right now. of course im not including happ as a prospect hes already in my rotation. number 3 would have to be carrasco. i havent seen taylor or drabek but they both seem to be 2 years away,especially if we do the right thing and resign burrell. from the descriptions ive read here drabek seems like a real comer,and taylor seems to be far ahead of brown. the one thing that worries me about taylor is his size.most 6’6″ guys take along time to get going hence thats why you dont see many really big guys playing anywhere but 1st.you need that initcial burst of speed when you break on a ball and most big dont have that.as ive said before ive seen savery a bit and he seems like a better hitter than pitcher. drabek certainly has the blood lines.

  47. John
    Good point about Taylor but note the outfield here is so
    small it sort negates that point on the road maybe a different story. Drabek is my next vote but Mike Cisco does too but for some reason he is invisible.

  48. taylor. more upside than donald.

    donald is #4 to me. but i wouldn’t be upset if the vote is for donald at #3

  49. Jason Donald

    Yes, there are many other prospects in our system that have a higher upside, but like others have said, there has to be a balance between upside and major league readiness (which usually means you have played pretty well for several years). This, and the next 7 votes will be very difficult, but it has to be Donald. He tore up the AFL, which is widely considered a gauge for top prospects, and last but not least, if another team was going to trade for a Phillies prospect and they could not get Carrasco or Marson, they would ask for Donald.

  50. Donald is our number 3. Upside is not as high as Taylors, or is it? Big swing. Hits for average and in the clutch. Home Run power developing at 24. Sure sounds awfully similar to a smallish former Red Sox second base prospect who just won the American League MVP. Is that a high enough ceiling?

  51. Ducky —
    I think Garcia has shown a lot on the field, especially for a guy who has always been young for the leagues he played in. This season at Clearwater, playing at age 20, he had a WHIP of 1.23 and 8K/9 IP. Those are very good numbers. Last year, Carrasco at same age had fewer Ks, but a lower WHIP and ERA at CLW. I don’t see a lot separating the two in ability. Carrasco is a bit better in skill, a bit more advanced and a level ahead, making him closer to the majors, with less chance of falling by wayside due to injury or failure to progress in development. Carrasco likely a #2 and Garcia likely a #3. So Carrasco our #1 – 3 prospect and Garcia around 9/10. Still, neither of these pitchers is Hamels, just as none of our hitting prospects is an Utley, Howard, or Rollins. I think we have about 10 guys clustered fairly close together, who can be a level below the Hamels/Rollins/Utley/Howard quality in the bigs.

  52. Donald, but, you know, I’ve been thinking about Happ as our 5th starter on the Phillies, so he has to be in the top 5 somewhere. He’s proven too much to be outside of that grouping.

    As a preview, I’d rank the rest of them

    3 – Donald
    4- Taylor
    5 – Happ
    6 – Drabek
    7 . . . haven’t decided below 6

  53. Too many questions remain for Drabek to list him this high and Taylor needs to have a good year at AA in 2009 to move into the top 3. This said, I’m going with Donald who edges Happ – 2 players I expect to make the big league roster out of spring training.

  54. I think Drabek is back on track to a spot in top half of Phillies rotation and I know that the majority of pitchers come back fine from TJ sometimes even with better velocity, but Mathieson and Segovia are cautionary tales. For that reason, I’m going to wait a year before putting Drabek back into the top 5. Just too much that can still go wrong in his recovery and the Phillies-specific TJ history just not that good.

  55. Could someone answer a question. if the phillies don’t offer arbritation to burrell. do they get two choices if he signs with another team.

  56. They will get nothing if they don’t offer arbitration. If they offer which I think they are they will get the other teams first and a supplemental between 1st and 2ond round. If the team that signs the player finished below the 15 top teams we get their 2ond round pick and the supplemental pick.

  57. I can’t believe they are worry about his one year salary. I would hope he does accept its the best option. It give us another year to see if brown or taylor are the answer. and if the turns us down we can some picks for the farm, an win win situation.

  58. They have to off arbitration If excepts fine a year to bring along Taylor and Brown. The only problem is if they wanna or have a chance pops up to go in another direction the pic gets cloudy. The SOP up to now is go with whatever stupid things they come up with in their winter meeting
    e.g. Jenkins not McClouth\ Garcia\ Eaton \etc writtin on stone tablets. Does Ruben go in with an open mind???
    4. Drabek
    5. Cisco

  59. Allentown: that’s selective stat picking. Garcia was good at Clearwater for the first half of this year, but it was his best half season as a pro so far and he got absolutely mauled in Reading. I just don’t see it. I know the reports about his stuff are good, but in general, you don’t get lit up to the tune of an 8.22 ERA if your stuff is as good as advertised and pitched fairly well at A+. Also, Carrasco was on the same path as Garcia, and his numbers were far better in his age 20 season at both levels other than his K rate at A+ and his BB rate at AA.

  60. My vote goes to J.A. Happ, who gave a good account of himself in the Majors this year. He might never be a star, but I think he’s a major league pitcher.

  61. I think it is depressing that people think Happ is the #3 player in our minor league system. A 5th starter who is ready now is not worth nearly as much as a possible 1/2 starter or an average position player that could be ready in a year or two. You can find a #5 anywhere.

    I hope he turns our great, don’t get me wrong…. I just don’t see it.

  62. Skunky, I agree. Happ looks like he might be a pitcher who gives Phils a few decent years as a #4/5. Don’t see him being better than that unless he has more magic up his sleeves than we have seen so far, maybe like the pinpoint control and craftiness of a Glavine or Moyer as he enter his later 20s. That would be a suprising development that we cannot count on from this vantage point.

    The other guys we are talking about have the potential to make much more of an impact–from Marson, Donald, Talyor and Carrasco to Brown, Drabek and D’Arnaud. Happ is down around #8-10.

    Right now, I would put him ahead of Savery, who needs to prove a) he is healthy and b) he has good enough stuff to be a pitcher, vs. ehat he can contrinute as a hitter. Most prospects I have not mentioned are too far away, without a solid read on them yet, to put ahead of Happ. So I might give Happ #8–at best.

  63. Happ’s problem and why I will not rank him higher is his struggles against lefties in 08. He had a 5.56 ERA against them and a 2.66 ERA against righties. If he can ever figure out how to get lefties out he is going to be more than a No. 5 starter. Hamels 08 ERA spread was similar but not as wide. His ERA was 4.22 against lefties and 2.74 against righties. If Happ can cut his margin in half to the Hamels ERA differential between L and R hitters he might be right there and rated much more that a No. 5.

  64. How exactly do you measure ERA splits? ERA is a flakey stat to begin with. That doesn’t make mathematical sense to me… Its not like he’d face only righties or only lefties in any given inning.

    And what you’re saying in “If Happ can cut his margin in half…” is basically if Happ can develop a consistent, effective breaking ball… which isn’t likely to happen at 26.And for the record, at least at the MLB level, Happ has been more effective against lefties than righties, to the tune of a .204/.247 split.

    So anyway, yea I don’t think Happ is a top prospect.

  65. Yo Rickey Branch. Not sure where you are coming from. What about Happ’s repertoire or history says he will lower his ERA against lefties while getting righties out at the same clip. I could say that Eaton will be a much better pitcher if he lowers his ERA against lefties and righties. Or if Dobbs hits 15 more HRs against lefites he will be a starter position player. I still have to make a case for that happening. Doesn’t mean much to say what you said. What backs up your idea that this improvement will happen?

  66. Nowheels:

    That is a 34 inning sample- you can’t tell ANYTHING from that. If immediate success was a prerequisite for future success then Kyle Kendrick would have won a Cy Young this year. Not to mention he never pitched more than 6 innings because Charlie felt like he had to handle him with gloves.

    He has a fastball with average lefty velocity and no late movement, an average change-up and no usable breaking pitch. All he has going to him right now is natural deception and novelty. Once the league starts to see him there is a very good chance he’ll get hammered.

    A top 3 prospect that does not make.

  67. Also need to look a the teams he faced…

    Happ gave them a big lift in 2008 filling in during a time when their rotation was struggling but aside from the STL start, his good performances were against Atlanta and Washington.

    He struggled against both Florida and the Mets…

    Happ has a chance to be a decent 5th starter but he is not a top 5 prospect, even in a weak system like the Phillies have.

  68. happ as our #3 prospect? are you guys kidding?

    while he is closest to being an mlb pitcher, his upside is very limited. he is a service-able 5th starter, best case. nothing more than that. there are many other players in our system with significant upside that can become top of the rotation starters or midle of the order players. happ is a fine player, but doesn’t belong in the conversation at this point.

  69. While I agree that Happ isn’t our #3 prospect, I think all the people who think he’s nothing more than a #5 starter are WAY offbase. His K rate has been good at every level including his few major league innings, he has an average fastball, an average breaking ball, and a good changeup, and he does have deception. His ceiling is a #3, I think worst case scenario is a serviceable #5. Outside of Carrasco, Drabek, and arguably Savery and/or Garcia, I don’t think there’s anybody in our system who projects higher than a #3.

  70. No Happ is being blamed “too small a sample” Well if the Phils hadnt trades for Garcia,and Eaton, the sample would of
    been much larger.

  71. Happ was injured and struggled most of the season the Phillies had Garcia (remember, the Phillies overworked him coming back off of those injuries) so he wouldn’t have taken his place. That is why Kendrick got the job instead.

    Either way, Happ will get his shot at a rotation spot this year assuming he isn’t traded before ST but the point remains that a potential #5 starter shouldn’t be the #3 prospect in any organization…

  72. I’m not blaming him for having too small of a sample! Just saying that what you said about “pulling up his box scores in 08″ is fairly irrelevant because it is a very small sample. You could make an argument that his good AAA numbers combined with that small sample suggest to you that he is a good pitching prospect… but I would argue right back that success is not the only way to evaluate a prospect. Brian Mazone had a fairly successful year at AAA by comparison and I don’t see him making the team anytime soon. Sometimes you have to rely on scouting reports made by experts- people that get paid big money to rate these players- in order to make a proper evaluation of talent. Those people say Happ will probably be a #5 starter and they are probably right. And in light of that, it does not make any sense to rate him higher on a prospect list than a play who’s projected MINIMUM would be the equivalent of a #5 starter.

    You can’t have the argument both ways and then declare yourself right by invoking Eaton and declaring a woulda shoulda coulda.

  73. Happ is a high ball pitcher modern players cant handle high pitches. Guess we will see. As for experts they…… oh never mind this is a clean website

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