128 thoughts on “Reader Top 30 #2 – Roman Quinn

  1. This was a real tough one. I had to go with Tommy Joseph as he offers proximity to the majors, decent upside, and plays a premium position.

  2. Was a close one for me too, and I also went Joseph- edging out Morgan. For all the talk of Joseph not living up to his billing as a hitting catcher, of all 3 AA leagues Joseph had the second highest OPS for qualifying catchers. And the only guy with a better one is four years older. He’ll get to (probably) repeat AA as a 22 year old catcher and try to make whatever adjustments are needed. Just looking at other top catching prospects, Joseph’s numbers are right there with all but the most upper echelon guys.

  3. Had to go with Quinn, being as if he and Tommy Joseph were traded id be more upset about losing quinn.

    1. Agreed – I place a healthy emphasis on proximity to the majors, but Quinn has the chance to be something special – even if he can’t stick at shortstop.

  4. Went Morgan here. Phils clearly lacking high-ranking depth and even though I truly like Morgan, I’d much rather be liking him at 4 or 5 than 2.

    Quinn had a nice year last season, but what’s he need to put up in Lakewood in order to maintain a no. 2 rank? At least .280 avg, .350 obp and 45 steals? I’m having difficulty seeing Quinn in my Top 4 right now. Leaning Tommy Joseph for no. 3

    1. In past years,we seemed to have a 1 – 5 set out for us. You could argue the order but 1 – 5 was set. This year, I’m searching for a #2. Quinn still looks like Galvis to me When Galvis was Quinn’s age, he had 57 ABs at Reading already and he was still learning to switch-hit. Joseph scares me a bit because after the trade he seemed to disappear. I think Quinn an Joseph are definitely top 5 but it’s a week crop at the top. I went with Morgan because I think a pitcher should be #2. You can argue Morgan, Pettibone, or Martin but felt Morgan did a little better last year and he’s the youngest of the 3.

      1. I voted Quinn, but after reading your argument feel I should have went with Morgan. I’ve been burned so many times by guys who haven’t reached full season ball yet. Granted, Quinn has the pedigree and the scouting to back up the numbers, but you’re right, he’ll need to put up a really strong season next year to justify the #2 rank I tagged him with.

        Morgan isn’t the softish tossing lefty that we drafted. He’s added a few ticks – that’s huge. A really good number three is the best pitcher on a number of teams and Morgan has a decent shot of being a plus three as least as long as his velocity holds.

        1. I certainly don’t fault anyone for voting for Quinn. His potential is huge. I like the kid alot. If he has a strong showing in Lakewood this year, he could vault to #1 on my list. If he sputters a bit, he’ll still be 5 but we’ll start to see a chink in the armor.

      2. Quinn also has elite speed, which makes the comparison to Galvis a little questionable in my book. I voted for him at #2, for the simple reason that he’s the only player on the list that has a 80-rated tool.

        1. And elite speed is worth little unless the player has excellent on base ability, which requires power to achieve.

          Speedy toothpick bats are dime a dozen crap.

          1. Why can’t you reveal who u are. Only coward remain anonymous. Do u have the tools and speed of Roman Quinn.

      3. Joseph didn’t disappear after the trade. He hit better in Reading than he did in Richmond. I think he’s a victim of his own high expectations and is being overlooked by readers here.

  5. Have to go with Darin Ruf here.If he comes to spring training in good shape,look out!

    I think most people don’t realize what we may have with him,we won’t have to wait long to find out.

    1. I agree, of course, having voted for Ruf #1. Amaro recently said “We’re likely going with what we’ve got,” regarding his outfielders. That tells me that he agrees with you! Of course you, like he, say “what we may have”. I expect Ruf to open the season in left and Brown in right, without any regular platooning. I expect Nix and Mayberry will be pinch-hitters and defensive replacements. I am hopeful, that both Ruf and Brown will be able to hold their positions, although both are still defensive and offensive question marks. I think they’ll both get at least 40 games of regular playing time to start the season, as Francisco did in 2011. In mid-may hopefully both will have proven they belong, otherwise Amaro will look again at the trade market. I’m slightly more more optimistic about Ruf than Brown. That is if Brown were still rookie-eligible, I would still rank Ruf #1 and expect to see Ruf receive Rookie of the Year votes.

      1. The problem is Ben Revere and possibly Domonic Brown who has turned into an enigma.

        Ruf is going to hit.

  6. Morgan is my choice for #2. This shows that, even after having made gains, the farm still lacks depth.

    1. I disagree. This doesn’t mean the farm doesn’t have depth. It means the farm doesn’t have high end, blue chip, prospects.

      1. Agreed, and I suspect that is what Puddnhead may have been shooting add. I actually like the overall depth of our system right now even if the Top 5 leaves something to be desired for.

  7. This is a close one. I tend to judge the prospects value rank, by my perception of who has the most trade value. I could be wrong, but I think Tommy Joseph would bring the highest value in trade. He has already been traded (basically straight up) for a team controlled, very good, major league player.
    Tommy Joseph #2 prospect.

  8. Morgan. He has the durability to start, so his floor is in the back end of a rotation. That might be his ceiling, too, but his stuff ticked up enough this past season to make me think he can really get guys out at the big league level. Hopefully we’ll find out this season.

    A bit surprised that there’s so much love for Quinn this early. Yeah, his tools are loud, but he also hasn’t played above short season ball yet. If he repeats his performance in Lakewood, he’ll be top three for me next year, but for now that seems optimistic.

    1. speaking for myself, i think the love for Quinn derives from the fact that he has probably the only 80 tool in the system. Yes he is far off, but that is nothing to sneeze at

  9. For me, Quinn, Morgan and Joseph are very close. Yesterday I would have voted Quinn, but today I went with Morgan. I love Quinn and he could be our best prospect by the end of the year. Still, the scouting community has really gotten on board with Morgan and that, combined with his proximity and trajectory (speed of ascension through the minors) nudged him ahead of Quinn and Joseph – for now.

    1. Agreed- want to see more results from Quinn before I rank him this high. The games I saw, he still looked very raw (especially at SS)- certainly is athletic though. I went with Morgan as he has really moved up quickly, is closer to the show and has the results already to back him up.

  10. IF Quinn is really the #2 prospect,that means if you offer other teams choice of your prospects,they would choose him #2 before any of the rest.

    I agree there’s a lot to like about him,but I think #2 is too high at this stage in his career.Now if he does great this year,then you may have a future star.

    1. I don’t think that’s fair to state so completely. If I were a GM and the Phillies offered me ‘pick 2′ for a player I was trading I’d start with Biddle but then consider my own system in the decision as these guys are close in overall value. You’d have to consider risk x reward as well as your own horizion if you are ‘rebuilding’ (I’d take Quinn), retooling (I might take Pettibone), or completely lack any catching help (I’d take Joseph).

  11. Quinn, pretty clearly. The only other Phillie beside Biddle that has a chance to show up in top 100 lists at this point.

  12. Quinn. He has game-changing speed, showed a better-than-expected bat (considering he was learning to switch-hit in short season) and he has a ceiling as a top-of-the-order All-Star SS with range. Yes, he could also flame out, but I think its more likely he’s a Top 20 prospect in a few years. You don’t want to trade that away now.

    Oddly enough, I fought hard with myself about putting Maikel Franco here. His second half last season, for a young guy in A-ball, was pretty awesome. I think he could be a Top 100 guy by year’s end.

    1. Felt the same way, I think Franco/Joseph/Morgan will be my next three, but still struggling with the order.

    2. Agreed on Franco. I would think that a guy who was 19 for most of the year in A-, showed some pop, didn’t strike out too much, plays 3B and had a wRC+ of 111 would be a top prospect. However I am having real trouble placing him. I don’t remember any prospect gurus swooning over him. None of his numbers are eye-popping. I don’t know. I have him #6 now but hard to delineate exactly why.

      1. Franco is a Dominican. You can’t do age/level comps for Dominicans. They have to break our with the bat in a big way and move themselves or they aren’t anything to get excited about.

      2. His numbers aren’t eye popping over all, until you check his 2nd half split. Franco is like Jesse Biddle. His numbers are eye popping after he makes adjustments from the early part of the year. He reportedly was told to work on hitting the ball to the opposite field the whole 1st half of the year. The guy hit (OPS) .940 for the last 2 months last year, and he was younger than everybody on the Lakewood team outside of Lino.

        I had Franco #4 until about 2 weeks ago. I’ve since moved Morgan up, and knocked Franco to #5. I think your ranking of #6 is more than justified.

  13. Went with Quinn because of the 80 speed, good showing so far with the bat, and the fact that early reports on sticking at shortstop seem positive. I agree he’s a gamble, but the upside seems higher than some of the other candidates. That said, I can’t fault anyone for Joseph or Morgan.

    1. If Quinn had 80 power he would be exciting. Speed without power that will allow for excellent on base ability just isn’t much.

  14. I went with Quinn because he seems to have the best shot of being a blue chip prospect. If he can stick at short, his speed will be highly valuable. If not, then we have another Ben Revere.

  15. For me this is between Franco, Morgan and Joseph and I went with Franco. I really like Franco who has shown some good power and pretty good defense.

    1. I like your reasoning Chris. I like Franco better than any positional player other than Ruf. I have Joseph, Quinn, Asche, and Valle just behind those two, Biddle, Pettibone, and Morgan. It’s hard for me to rank pitchers and hitters on the same list, but I am warier of pitchers. Likewise I am also wary of players who haven’t played in a full season league yet.

  16. Interesting how many people undersell how good Morgan was last year. We saw the scouting reports of the increased velocity to go with good control and good secondary offerings, and you have a college guy who gets double jumped dominates high A then pitches very well in AA while keeping up fairly impressive BB/9 and K/9 rates. He throws strikes and missed a lot of bats and is showing good poise on the mound. Having him as a #2 and have these 2 quality LH starters at the top of our system looks like a strength to me. I understand we lack the truly high blue chip prospects that to 10 systems have but there is a good reason for that and with their recent history of developing them out of the guys they pick i am very encouraged by the prospects of Quinn and Tocci moving forward just hard to put them 2 without playing in full season ball yet. If they were heralded can’t miss prospects when we got them then they would be #1 and #2, but like Biddle they need to prove that their tools are what they can be before they get ranked very high.

    1. I really like Morgan I had him third on my list behind Biddle and Franco. He was just flat out dominate at Clearwater and maintained pretty solid pitching in Reading to finish things up. And apparently he can run his fastball up to 96. He’s got more velo then the original scouting reports gave him credit for. I could see Morgan getting the call if there was a significant injury and I’d prefer him to Pettibone in that case because I’m just not sold on Pettibone yet.

      1. Pettibone is going to surprise a lot of people.

        When you look back five years from now everyone is going to be like “Why was no one a booster of Pettibone? No rank on a Top 100 list?”

  17. Like everyone else, I was really torn about this choice. I ultimately went with Quinn after considering him, Pettibone, Morgan and Asche. My biggest factor was the numbers Quinn threw up hitting left-handed. Yes, too many strikeouts, but a .256/.354/.410 as a first-year left-handed hitter in a league dominated by college pitchers is eye-opening to me. The contact rate will only improve. His OBP (which as a speedy leadoff guy is about the only thing that matters to me) went from .355 to .405 after the all-star break (I know, small sample size). If he develops more power as he grows and matures, and not even necessarily home run power, but just even gap power, then to me he becomes that blue chip prospect the system needs. And I don’t really think asking for that is asking too much.

    1. Persuasive arguments. Considering that Quinn is a natural right-handed batter who only began switch hitting as a high school senior in 2011 gives me more reason for optimism about his future hitting.

  18. This is basically a response to Biancs413′s comment about Adam Morgan being underrated going into this season despite his dominating 2012. But I have a broader question about Morgan that I thought I’d throw out to the rest of the community, which I’m hoping will help me think about how to properly slot him on this list.

    I’ve read the enthusiastic scouting analyses about his increased velocity, and I’ve seen those assessments that suggest his ceiling is a #2-#3 starter, ie, something similar to Biddle. If I were confident that were true, I would have no trouble putting him at #2 on our list. Maybe even #1, given his proximity. But I have to admit that I’m not entirely sure whether to believe he’s really this fantastic late bloomer. This isn’t a guy who was picked third round when he was 17 and subsequently grew into his body. Morgan, as a 21-year-old college player, was passed over by 119 teams who apparently did not see anything resembling a future mid-rotation starter.

    How rare would such an outcome be? I was curious, so I generated this list on Baseball Reference: pitchers from 4 year colleges taken in the third round.

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/draft/?query_type=pos_round&pos=P&draft_round=3&draft_type=junreg&from_type_4y=1

    The career stat lines are listed for those players who actually made it to the majors. The first thing you notice is, once you get into the last 15 years, the number of players that fit this profile who actually end up becoming major leaguers plummets. I assume that has something to do with changes in the way teams draft, bonuses attracting the best high schoolers, etc. I notice only five pitchers drafted since 2000 who–even briefly–hit the ceiling some are now predicting for Morgan: Chris Young, Shawn Marcum, Denny Neagle, Jeremy Guthrie and Barry Zito. And even the lowest-picked of those (Young, at 89) was taken 30 slots before Morgan.

    I’m sure it’s possible to dig through the history of other rounds and pick out overlooked college pitchers who suddenly put it all together when they hit the minors. The point is, it’s a very rare occurrence. Professional talent evaluators had a lot of time to watch Adam Morgan, and they didn’t see this coming. I think we should therefore temper our expectations. That said, the list does give me one reason to be optimistic: two other names on it are Vance Worley and JA Happ. This suggests to me that the Phillies do a good job at finding undervalued collegiate pitchers in the draft. It seems like, for now, it would be prudent to look at Morgan as a pitcher who profiles like Happ–a cheap lefty who can pitch at the back end of the rotation or serve as trade bait. And if he proves himself to be that very rare exception and turns into a young Denny Neagle, that’s great.

    I’m thinking Morgan should slot in around #5 or #6.

    1. I would say it is rare, but there are some college pitchers who have their stuff tick up when they get to professional ball due to small tweaks from professional coaches as well as strength and conditioning programs (many amateurs actually will lose some velocity as they are pitching more often and will dial back the stuff at times to refine the control). What makes me more confidant about Morgan is that he was a guy in college who had consistency issues (there were always flashes of the stuff that he is showing now they were just few and far between) as well as having the results never quite match the stuff. Now you are seeing the two starting to converge, along with a tick up in the stuff. That being said he does carry more risk that a normal AA pitcher right now because he has such a small track record, but he was this dominant in his 2011 debut, albeit against NYPL competition (he is also 23 so there is little room for more projection). He is more likely a #3 going forward but there is some chance that he is just scratching the surface and as he refines the control and breaking ball he has a higher ceiling.

    2. Sorry stupid typo there, I obviously meant to Morgan was passed over by 30 teams a total of 119 times before he was picked.

    3. Yes, but by confining your search parameters to the third round, you miss other pitchers who were drafted even later. Cliff Lee was a 4th rounder from a 4 year college. He turned out pretty well, don’t you think? And, although he was at a 2-year college, Roy Oswalt was a 23rd round pick. This stuff happens in baseball more than in other sports. I don’t think his being a third rounder makes it prohibitively unlikely that he could develop into a #2 or #3.

      1. Well, right, as I said at the end, I’m sure you can come up with plenty of counterexamples that show it’s possible to find a quality college pitcher the third round. As Matt says, it may be that there’s a certain profile of college pitcher–an inconsistent guy who showed flashes of brilliance–who can blossom as a professional.

        That said, the point of my list was to show exactly what an extremely rare thing it would be if Adam Morgan turned out to be Cliff Lee (or even Denny Neagle). Sure, narrowing the parameters to the 3rd Round means you miss stuff in the interest of creating a manageable list. But I’m not sure that widening it to include later rounds would increase the proportion of “hits”–in the contrary, I’m guessing such examples will become increasingly rare as you get further and further away from the first round.

    4. Carter Capps- Projected future closer for the Mariners #121
      Addison Reed- Closer for the White Sox # 95
      Nick Maronde- #2 prospects for the Angels. Projects to be a back end starter or high leverage reliever. #104
      Tony Cingrani- One of the Reds top prospects. Hard throwing lefty. #114

      Mind you these guys have yet to fulfill their potential but their names can be found on all the top prospect lists.Some others names that stand out are relievers Scott Downs (#94) and Jon Rauch (#99) who both have had long careers are successful relievers.

      1. Yes, I didn’t include the relievers, because I think Adam Morgan’s high ranking is dependent on his being a starter. If he ends up profiling as a late inning reliever a la Jon Rauch–and I’m not saying he does, but those are names you cited–then he doesn’t outrank Phillipe Aumont and he doesn’t belong in the Top 5.

        As for those other recent draftees you mentioned–well, they may be fine prospects, but it seems like the jury is out on them just as much as it is on Morgan (and see my previous comment regarding the ones who profile as relievers).

    5. My gripe with this analysis is that you limited your query to only the 3rd round. I would query for anything after the start of the 3rd round. Granted, B-Ref doesn’t allow you to do that, but that would be a more effective query.

      For example, the 4th round list includes Randy Johnson, Cliff Lee, and Josh Johnson. It goes on as you tab out by round.

      So yes, it’s uncommon, but not terribly so.

      Let’s also consider, a third round pick is still high in the draft.

      1. Randy Johnson was drafted in the 2nd round

        Josh Johnson was drafted out of high school

        Yes, if you expand the list to include all rounds but the first and all prospects including high school players, you’ll get some different results! I was looking for a specific profile: college pitchers, taken in the 3rd round. And yes, the 3rd round is a relatively high pick in the draft. That’s why it’s pretty sobering that it’s so rare to find a really successful starting pitcher from the collegiate talent pool at that point.

        Here’s the list of college pitchers selected in the fourth round:
        http://www.baseball-reference.com/draft/?query_type=pos_round&pos=P&draft_round=4&draft_type=junreg&from_type_4y=1

        Yes, Cliff Lee is on this list. To get an idea of how truly rare that is, here’s top five fourth-round college pitchers picked since 1995, as ranked by WAR:

        Cliff Lee: 33 WAR
        Jonathan Papelbon: 17 WAR
        Russ Ortiz: 11 WAR
        Casey Janssen: 5 WAR
        Javier Lopez: 4 WAR

        I think that proves my point: in 18 years, the list of the five best-performing college pitchers selected in the fourth round goes: 1) elite starter, 2) elite reliever, 3) journeyman starter; 4)one-year closer; 5)situational reliever. And it falls off dramatically from there.

        Point is, as I’ve said, it’s not impossible to find a quality collegiate pitcher after the first couple rounds, but it’s really, really rare.

        1. Look at the second round and it is not a ton better (for that matter round 1 isn’t a , it is an indictment of the upside of 4 year college pitchers more than anything about the round in which they were selected.

        2. FWIW, I just trusted the query that I borrowed, which had the Johnsons both in the 4th round as 4 year college types. Not sure why that might have happened if it’s not true.

    6. I certainly can see your point ACA and I believe what has changed his standing from the draft was the improvement in velocity like Matt said. And the comp with Happ and Worley are interesting but he has better control than happ and more K’s than Worley. Because i can’t remember what were Happ and Worley ranked at their age 22 yrs. I may be a year premature with my love for Morgan, but i worry that with another year like last year he will not be a prospect for long.

      1. I actually like Morgan a lot as a prospect. I just don’t want to get too ambitious in our projections for him. If he turns out like JA Happ, I’d be happy with that. Happ has had his problems since he left the Phillies, but he was certainly a valuable commodity. I could definitely foresee Morgan having a season this year like Worley did a couple years ago, and Happ did in 2009: impressive spring earns him a chance in the rotation, where he impresses the first time around the league. And then after that, who knows?

        1. I don’t buy any Happ comparisons though. Happ’s whole thing was “being deceptive”. I’ve not seen anything about Morgan having an over-reliance on that.

        2. Understood, and the only reason i am excited about him is the recent success with pitching prospects with the Phils and they seem to be doing very well with developing these pitchers, and his success at AA. :)

          The Main Point with my post was that him being at the top of our system is not a negative to the system as some were implying.

      2. Also just reread Jame’s write-up on Morgan from last year. He pretty much nailed it even to the point about the consistency with the FB in the low-mind 90′s.

    7. AndyCleveAlex—-you sold me. Proof is in the puddin’, Ruben needs to package him now in a trade while his value is high.

  19. I was really undecided. I think Franco, Asche, Joseph, Morgan, Martin, Quinn are so close in value that you can arrange them in just about any order and not be clearly right or wrong. Long-term, I think Quinn is the best of the 6, but he is so far from majors and has so few real stats, that he has to be downgraded for that. I went with Asche as a sentimental choice, because I really enjoyed his time at Reading. I decided I like him a hair better than Joseph and Martin, having watched all 3.

    Still, I’m left wondering why, if I picked Asche as a good-performing proximity pick whom I thought played great at Reading, I didn’t just go with Ruf. Don’t have a great answer for that other than what I perceive as a significant difference in defensive value. Still, Asche isn’t all that much faster afoot than Ruf and I have Ruf as, at best, #10. I have to admit to myself that my system is less than scientific.

    I agree with the above commenter that we don’t have a true #2. All of the guys on my list have deducts. Franco had half a great season. Martin had his first really good season. Joseph is very young, but I didn’t see anything that says for sure he is very good. Morgan is such a turnaround, that I want to see a second season like 2012 before I make him #2. Then Asche is really slow, not a great defender, and the scouts say not super tools. Yet he had such a great year as he zoomed up the Phillies farm in a way nobody has in recent years.

    1. Morgan stands way out from the rest. He has scouting reports with comps to Cliff Lee to back up his excellent performance.

      Seriously, who is Roman Quinn?

      Pettibone is clearly ahead of Quinn.

      1. Quinn was a second round pick in 2011 and one of the fastest players in the game…since you asked.

            1. I believe it is ‘David $$$ Montgomery’, and do not forget the BOLD and italicized references that is employed quite often.

  20. I like Joseph for #2. I agree that Quinn’s speed tool is intriguing, and Morgan had a remarkable 2012, from a stats and scouting “awakening” perspective, but Joseph is a potential power-hitting catcher who handles the bat well otherwise, with reasonable full season K rates for the last 2 years and a fair walk rate in 2012. He also has 49 professional HR as a 21 year-old. Some of those came in the CAL league, so fair to knock them down a bit, but if he sticks behind the plate, and has even a solid year, even only at AA as a 22 yr-old, Joseph will be a hugely valuable commodity for the organization.

    Joseph’s ceiling is probably a slightly above average regular catcher for a decade, with a peak period where he could be a multiple all-star, (if that’s something you worry about). His most likely outcome is probably a league-average regular on a good team for 6-8 years. I think Quinn’s is about the same, (though his windows last a little longer since he isn’t behind the plate), but he’s further away. If Quinn shows some power, then his ceiling is probably even higher, but no one’s really suggested he ever will, from what I can recall.

    Morgan is such an odd case as @AndrewCA stated above, that it’s a bit harder to read. I was planning to vote Morgan 3 and Quinn 4, but I may swap that after reading the comments here today. Quinn really is exciting, and placing him ahead of Morgan is almost impossible to argue against, while I could much more easily argue against placing Morgan ahead of Quinn.

    1. If the “If he sticks at catcher” disclaimer still applies, then he’s not a #2 prospect. Jospeh has a good bat, but it’s not enough to carry him if he has to move to corner OF or 1B.

      Now that said, I’m not sure it’s fair to continue using that disclaimer. The question is more “can he be average or better?”

      1. I personally think it’s settled. He has the arm, according to his throw-out rates, anyway. Unless there’s scouting I can’t recall that says he’s truly bad at blocking balls and will never figure it out, I think he can be a catcher. If his bat and 1B defense is good enough to play some 1st on his off-days, all the better, and I kind of think that’s what SF was doing having him play some 1B. I was going to mention that they also have Buster Posey, but that’s probably a dumb reason for an org to push a guy off a more valuable defensive position that low in the minors.

    2. The Eastern League and Reading in particular is a good hitting environment. Let’s see Joseph post a .900 OPS with 30 bombs, then he’s an elite prospect with “plus plus power”.

      I saw nothing from his bat in 2012.

      1. I did not suggest he has plus plus power. Also, a 20-21 yr old making the jump to AA is going to have some serious adjustments to make, not to mention the adjustments a catcher has to go through working with an entirely foreign pitching staff half way through a season. If he OPSes .900 with 30 HR in 2013 at Reading, I would be amazed. If he OPSes .800 and hits 20 HR at Reading in 2013, I will feel pretty good about his ceiling being close to what it I stated.

      2. “Let’s see Joseph post a .900 OPS with 30 bombs”

        No one in the Eastern League did either of those things last year, except for Ruf. That’s asking too much, especially for a catcher. No one is saying he’s elite or has plus plus power anyway. But just because he’s not Travis d’Arnaud doesn’t mean he’s not a good prospect.

  21. Voted Tocci again.

    Question for those with a little more knowledge than I about some current #1 pitchers in MLB about their status as prospects. I hear many people say that Biddle and Morgan and others don’t have #1 upside. Did people say Cliff Lee had #1 upside when he was in the minors? How about Hamels? I think Hamels did as he was a high draft pick and I always remember hearing about how great his changeup was. What about Halladay?

    I ask this because I wonder if it isn’t a bit premature of us to assume someone like Biddle or Morgan couldn’t become a #1 either by adding another pitch or changing the way they throw a certain pitch, etc. As an example, when Cole Hamels added the cutter, well into his major league career, it made him a much better pitcher, although he of course had success before without it. Would be interested in hearing others thoughts on this.

    1. Lee is the only #1 that never had #1 upside (or at very least hi-#2 upside), Hamels always had the potential (the cutter has replaced what early on was a devastating curveball). Halladay was a stud prospect who bombed when he first came up and was dominant afterwards (he never had strong strikeout numbers for all of you trashing Gueller). You need the stuff to be a #1 and it does not come out of nowhere, and if you don’t have the stuff you need 80 command/control and at least plus stuff (Lee).

      1. Or develop a crazy/good out pitch or specialty pitch. Lee got better because he: (a) improved his velocity (used to sit around 89 or 90 and now sits 91-93); (b) developed additional pitches and refined those he already threw; and (c) sharpened his control/command to ridiculous levels.

        1. Yeah, I forgot about the crazy out pitch caveat (in reality it only applies to two pitches a sinker or a knuckleball). The examples there being Brandon Webb (sinker) and RA Dickey (knuckleball). Lee is in the realm where so many things have to go right that it is useless to predict because the percentages are ridiculously low.

          1. I can think of several pitches that can become out pitches and dramatically and sometimes very suddently change the career of a pitcher – change-up (Madson, Kendrick), splitter (Mike Scott, Bruce Sutter, Curt Schilling at the end of his career), cutter (Rivera). I agree on the knuckleball, not as sure on the sinker – guys seem to either have that pitch when they are young or never develop it at all, but I may be wrong.

            1. But yeah, Cliff Lee was the perfect storm scenario – you can’t project another Cliff Lee, just as you can’t project another Jose Bautista – it’s like one day they just get struck by a bolt of lightning sent by the Gods. But it’s why baseball is so great – when does that ever happen in, say, the NBA? The answer is never – Jeremy Lin doesn’t count because he was very young and his star has already faded.

            2. Well, not to be pedantic but the NFL is even more random. Tom Brady didn’t even start in college, and he’s maybe in the Top 5 QBs of all time.

    2. Buddy – Cole’s pre-2006 BA scouting report talked about him having 3 above average pitches (change being plus plus) along with command and good mound presence. That addes up to a projected #1 starter. As it turns out his curve never really developed into a plus pitch and I don’t think his cutter is either but it’s enough with his fastball and change to make him a staff ace.

      Biddle is an improved pitch away from being considered a front line starter, IMO.

    3. Cole Hamels was elite from his first appearance at Lakewood.

      However to say Hamels “added a cutter at the MLB level” is barely scratching the surface. He changed his whole delivery from over-the-top with a fastball that was 89 – 91 but had excellent downward plane to a traditional three quarters delivery that boosted his gun reading to 95 MPH and allowed him to throw a cutter and improved his curveball.

      That’s why Hamels 2009 season wasn’t very good, he was getting used to the changes.

  22. So are we adding players by faking a second screen name and voting for that guy at #2 even though he has no business being voted at #2, or are we adding guys some other way. Can we start with the first comment of the day being “who should be added” and reply to that or something? I always have one guy way higher than concensus and have to beg for him to be added in time for me to vote for him, so maybe this is only my problem.

    1. Matt reads these right? I think as long as a prospect is mentioned in a thread in the comments below, that prospect could be added? Just a thought.

    2. Couldn’t we just list the top 30-40 prospects and that way everyone is there and we don’t have to add each day?

    3. I thought the same thing Brad as my #2 is Gillies but I’d rather natural selection take its course. I assume matt see’s all the write ins and will add them to the vote if an overwhelming majority believes the same.

      Once round two passes I will not write in Gillies any further I will just move onto voting for the next player on my list. I had Quinn 3 and Morgan 4.

      1. Oh I will vote for my guy fifteen times in a row if I need to. Cause I’m stubborn like that.

        I don’t know Matt’s plans. I could have asked him directly, I suppose.

  23. Gripe of mine but how hard is it to create a handle? Please anonymouses, start using a handle to have some sort of legitimacy. Sorry if this is off topic, just a pet peeve.

    1. Riggs, many of us agree with you on this issue. Perhaps Gregg, Brad or Matt can make that programming change.

    2. Like anon1. Still quite anonymous, but we know who to direct comments at. quick, someone take anon2!

  24. I voted for Morgan. He’s moving through the system at a fast pace, suggesting he’ll be ready for the majors sooner than later. He has good command/control, along with a fastball that has had improved velocity. His secondary stuff is above average too.

    I also considered Pettibone and Quinn…. Pettibone doesn’t miss enough bats to be placed ahead of Morgan, and Quinn is just too far away from the majors.

  25. Voted Quinn #1 and happy to vote him #2.
    Biddle is a safer choice but I do not think he has superstar upside like Quinn.

    My difficulty starts with the next pick…
    Just about anyone on this ‘short’ list could have a good case made for themselves

  26. Roman Quinn #2 based on his potential upside, I feel like Morgan has a much better chance of being a productive Major Leaguer, but Quinn has a greater chance of becoming a star.

  27. I will answer a few questions/concerns in one post here:
    1. I do not have the power to do anything regarding posting besides delete or mark as spam, both of which are not permanent solutions and only escalate a problem (not to mention I don’t have time with work). The tools available on WordPress only would slow down someone who wanted to troll and would prevent those stopping by from participating in discussion. As far as I can tell FreeAEC actually has created an account that has no handle, which has actually put out more posts than any other user in the recent week or so. To make this site pay or severely restrict access would defeat the purpose that James put forth when creating the site. I am looking into ways of resolving the issue but there aren’t anyways to truly stop it if trolls really want to spend their time here.

    2. When it comes to adding names, I read everything, so if you want someone added post it, someone thought Tocci should be #1 on the last poll and there were no other repeated names thrown around. I can tell you that Cozens is leading the write-ins with 2 votes but the thread seems to be calling for Gillies. I am keeping the number limited on the poll because otherwise it just gets ridiculous to find the player you want. Feel free to use the comment section to campaign a write-in vote. If we come to situation where there are loud calls for multiple guys I will add multiple guys, until then I am trying to keep it clean.

    Feel free to reply to this comment with any concerns or ideas on either of these topics.

    1. Just taking this opportunity to thank you for your work on PP. Complaints and squabbling aside, everyone here is appreciative of what you’ve done to keep this place going.

  28. All trolls welcome. Levity is good. Besides many of you guys take yourselves way to serious. Isn’t everyone a troll the first few times. When do you change from a troll to a regular? 2,3,4?

    1. A troll isn’t a first-time poster. A troll is somebody who deliberately causes trouble on any message board; somebody who comes around with good intentions but no knowledge is just new, not a troll.

      1. I wish that was true. But I have seen first timers that have a different viewpoint called trolls may times.

      2. You meant to write:

        “Someone who has superior insight to me and makes me aware of that fact is a troll.”

        Happy I could help you out there.

  29. I see a lot of votes for Morgan, who I like but I also remember most saying he could be a solid #3…I went with Quinn on his potential to be a stud SS…which leads me to this question…hasn’t it been said that Ethan Martin has potential to be a #2? I have Martin #4 and Morgan #6.

    1. Morgan seems to have a higher floor than Martin. And more recent scouting reports on Morgan make it sound like he could also be a #2, possibly. So he’s a safer bet and might have the same ceiling.

  30. Can’t disagree with any of your assessments boys, this is a blast reading your insights & methods of evaluation…for me, Cody Asche. There is something here that screams Chase Utley [Cody's work ethic & intensity], I see this guy as a solid defensive 3B, [soft hands, good arm, limited range but makes plays on everything he reaches] and above average 3B [ 15-25 HR, 25+ 2B, .275+ BA, .340+ OBA] maybe not all star but a starter on a contending team. I think he debuts this year and is starting at the start od 2014!

  31. Martin really struggled before the trade. Quinn has a plus-plus tool that is rated sec.best in minor lg. baseball.. Morgan I thought would falter when he reached AA. But what I saw was a consistant 93 mph fb that he threw inside and almost always kept down, an 86mph curve that had good downward movement and is rated one of the best in the system. He works at a consistant rate and looked confident and showed good command. I did not see a change , but it was his1st AA game and he pitched 6 solid in. Another guy I loved was Giles who has closing stuff. Reading should be a destination spot along with Lakewood this summer..

  32. My Top 30:

    1. LHP Jesse Biddle – Very refined delivery, easy mechanics that generate solid velocity, which I also think he’s holding back a tad at the Phillies request to work on his command, and if that’s truly the case, and he adds a few more ticks to his fastball, already possessing a plus curveball and a change/slider that shows flashes as well, we’re looking at a guy with high end #2 upside. Biddle’s not a bonafide blue-chipper, but he’s a solid bet to be in the Phillies rotation for years to come.

    2. SS Roman Quinn – This was a tough one, I had two guys that could go either way, Quinn or Joseph, but I went with the guy who already has a truly plus-plus tool, and that’s Quinn’s speed. He already has a very high walk rate, and is JUST learning to hit left-handed, which I think is amazing, and I think some people severely underrate. If he can cut down on his strikeouts a tad, and stick at SS, we’re looking at a true blue-chip prospect.

    3. C Tommy Joseph – Acquired in the Hunter Pence trade, Joseph was raved about by scouts, though his scouting report didn’t necessarily translate to results in his first time around at Reading, I think he just wore down towards the end of the season, coming to a new team and adjusting to a new pitching staff. I think Joseph has a strong 2013, and will be the guy in Philly for years to come. I love his arm, and his plus power potential, you gotta remember the guy’s quite young to be in AA, and by all accounts is a true leader and has great makeup. I’d take Joseph at catcher all day in my system, I really think this guy has Mike Napoli offensive upside assuming he can stick at catcher (which I think he will).

    4. LHP Adam Morgan – Morgan opened eyes in 2012, mine included, I always liked Morgan’s delivery, really free and easy, but I always thought his stuff lacked to truly be any more than a low end #3, high #4, but hearing all these comps to Cliff Lee has me really excited, especially with his sudden uptick in velocity. Morgan doesn’t have any particular devastating pitch, but I think his command and control will compensate for his lack of truly elite stuff. I think Morgan will be the first of the pitching prospects aside from Pettibone to make it to the bigs.

    5. RHP Ethan Martin – Acquired in the Victorino trade, Martin has a pretty solid pedigree, but was sort of overlooked for lack of command. Martin has a nasty slider, that is truly a plus pitch along with a hard but mostly straight fastball that he can get up to 95-96 mph, if Martin can ever harness his raw stuff, I think he could truly challenge Biddle to be the #1 prospect in the system. Which I’m encouraged will happen, because his BB/9 decreased in the last 3 years from 6.5 to 4.1 for 2012 which is still pretty high but is a solid decrease for a 3 year period, while also increasing his K/BB ratio up to 1.94. Unfortunately his K/9 has also decreased the last 3 years, though I think it might be due to coaching telling him to pull his velocity back a little bit to work on his control. If he can stay around an 8.0 K/9 with a 3-3.5 BB/9, Martin will be damn good, possible #2 upside.

    6. 3B Maikel Franco – Some people might say Franco is a little high, but I love the guy’s bat, and he’s pretty young for his league at only 20 years old. This guy has truly plus raw power, and by all accounts a pretty solid glove at 3B, so if he sticks, I see a guy with a higher upside than Asche, even though I like Asche a lot, he doesn’t have the possible game-changing power that Franco has. His ETA is fairly far away, so he could just as easily flame out, but a solid 3B prospect with power, I feel, should be high on anyone’s list.

    7. OF Carlos Tocci – This guy is the most intriguing guy in the system in my eyes. He’s so far away, that it’s possible he burns out before he even sees AA, but man is he fun to dream on. The guy’s got solid baseball instincts, a fantastic outfielder with a cannon arm, and a good eye at the plate. The debate is really whether he’ll ever develop power, or just be a speedster with a fantastic glove. I personally think he falls somewhere in between power-wise. He’s the ultimate boom or bust prospect, with superstar potential or total flameout possibility.

    8. OF/1B Darin Ruf – The most discussed thing on PhuturePhillies the last couple months or so is what to do with, or how to judge Darin Ruf. At first I was extremely skeptical, ala LarryM, but I’ve became a believer over the last few months, after seeing Ruf’s minor league clips, and watching him in his 2012 cameo in Philly, I really believe in the bat. He came out of nowhere, and yes, he’s not a prospect with a pedigree, and was old for his league, but he can rake. And seeing how the Phillies have had a history of slugging, slow-footed LF’s, I think Ruf gets his shot in LF for the Phils, and realistically I could see Ruf hitting somewhere between .275-.280, and slugging around .500+ with 25+ homers. Some will say I’m a bit optimistic, but in my eyes, Ruf deserves a shot, and I think he’ll run with it. I realize I could very easily be eating my words come June, but that’s a risk I’m willing to take, because guys with his kind of power don’t grow on trees.

    9. 3B Cody Asche – Asche is a fun guy to follow, and I love how he always seems to prove scouts and haters alike wrong. I also love his ability to adjust to higher levels, which translates into possible big league success. I don’t think Asche will ever be a superstar, but a solid everyday regular is not out of the question, especially if his crazy work ethic is true, I’d take a guy like Asche any day on my team. The glove worries me a bit, but the scouting reports have been improving, and I love his swing, really effortless, and if he develops any more power, he’ll rank even higher on the list.

    10 RHP Jonathan Pettibone – Pettibone could rank anywhere from as high as 7 or as low as 15 to me, I love his command and overall mound presence, but by all accounts, the only pitch he has that could possibly be plus is his sinker, and having no true out pitch, he’ll almost have to be perfect with his command, or he’ll get hit around. His proximity, and safe bet to eat innings while keeping his walks down makes him a nice low end #3, high end #4, which is nothing to sneeze at. I’m a Pettibone fan, and I hope he can develop a solid out pitch, because that could be what he’s lacking to truly hold down a major league job. I would love for him to beat the odds and be more than that, but I’m tempering my expectations for now.

    11. RHP Shane Watson – I’m going out on a limb here, and basing this ranking on pretty much scouting reports alone, being that I haven’t really seen much of Watson. He has a solid fastball, and a plus curve already for a young age, so that’s a great thing to have going forward. He’s far, far away, but I like his potential, especially if the scouts like him so much.

    12. CF Tyson Gillies – I might get berated here a little bit, but I’m still a Gillies believer, injuries be damned! There’s just something special about this guy to me, I love his patience, and overall effort, he goes all out, and although he relies on his speed, he has surprising pop at a premium defensive position. I know injuries should be taken into account, especially for a guy whose speed is probably his greatest asset, but I try to not take being injury prone into my prospect rankings as much. And anyway as far as pure CF’s in the system, who on talent and proximity alone is better than Gillies, you could make a case for Tocci, but as promising as he is, he’s still VERY far away. See what I mean?

    13. LHP Austin Wright – The 4th of the solid pitching prospects the Phils are churning out lately, Wright has a solid fastball, that sits 91-92, and occasionally touches 94, and pairs it with a devastating overhand curveball, kind of reminds me of a poor man’s Barry Zito. He’s a little far away, and needs one more true out pitch, but this guy has the tools to be a starter, and while Sickels and BA have him possibly being converted to a power reliever, I think the Phils give him every chance to prove he can start before they move him to the ‘pen.

    14. OF/1B Larry Greene Jr. – Greene’s a bit raw, considering he was set to play football at Alabama before ultimately signing with the Phillies. People will have to give this guy time, he’s adjusting to a new sport, but has a fantastic eye, and prodigious power, though it hasn’t been shown in games quite yet, he still mashed a few doubles, and once he learns to actually drive a pitch he’s looking for instead of just taking pitches to take, he’ll become even more deadly. This guy’s an athlete, give him some time to get used to baseball and let his natural instincts take over and we’ll have a solid prospect on our hands.

    15. CF Zach Collier – Injuries and lost time aside, I still think Collier has a very high upside, and even though he seems like he’s been in the system for years, the guy’s still only 22 years old, and could possibly be bumped to Reading where he’ll be more age appropriate. A nice AFL showing, and scouting reports about his improving defense have me hopeful Collier can still put it together, sometimes these toolsy guys tend to take a little longer than most. If he can stick in CF, I’ll feel comfortable ranking him here, but if he has to move to a corner OF spot, he’ll fall down the list, because he doesn’t have the bat to be a corner OF.

    16. RHP Mitch Gueller – Again, between him and Watson, all I really know is what scouting reports show me, and seeing that they’re high on both guys, I feel like I should include him in the top 20. He’s not quite as refined as Watson, but they say he’s the better athlete, and possibly has more upside. As for now though, he has just a solid fastball, with improving secondary offerings, very high upside though.

    17. RF Kelly Dugan – I personally feel Dugan’s a bit underrated, yes he has his flaws, but the guy knows how to take a walk, has pretty decent plate discipline, and surprising pop. He’s not the best outfielder in the world, but does have a pretty good arm. Now that he’s gave up switch hitting, I think he can really consolidate his focus, and will be better for it. The strikeouts worry me a bit, but as long as he can take walks like he has in his short career, he should be fine. Needs to move through the system quicker though.

    18. RHP Phillippe Aumont – One of my personal favorites, Aumont has hands down, the best stuff in the system, with a filthy sinking fastball the can get up to 98-99, while sitting at 95. And a plus plus curveball that has huge strikeout potential. Aumont’s problem has been and always will be command, he can either make hitters look silly, or embarass himself by walking the bases loaded. I fear Aumont will always be an enigma, but I still hold out hope that he can put it all together and become a devastating late inning arm. Should get the trial by fire in Philly this year.

    19. RF Jose Pujols – This is another guy I don’t know much about, other than vague scouting reports and a short video of him tracking down balls and firing home, and taking some BP. Pujols looks to have a cannon arm, and a wiry frame that could possibly add muscle and power. I also really like his swing, short and compact and creates great loft without too much uppercut. Complete lottery ticket being so far away, but is pretty much Domingo Santana 2.0, they even look and have scouting reports that are eerily similar.

    20. LHP Jake Diekman – This one might be a bit controversial to some too, but I really like Diekman, with his fastball velocity and filthy sidearm delivery, he’s an absolute nightmare for lefties, and while he was hit around a bit in the majors, and struggled with command, I still have faith that he can be a very effective late inning guy, mostly used as a LOOGY, but able to handle an entire inning if needed as well. I have a good feeling about Diek and I think he’ll be a fixture in the pen for a while.

    21. C Sebastian Valle – Valle’s stock has fallen a lot in a year, and while I was never a huge believer in Valle to start with because of his atrocious walk rate, scouting reports about Valle’s defense, and his pop should get him some time in the majors, but I can’t see him any more as a full time starter, his free swinging mentality will be exposed in the majors. He’s still very young and in AAA, so it’s still possible he learns to be more patient and work the count, but the odds aren’t on his side in my opinion, especially with Joseph, and the other catchers in the system nipping at his heels.

    22. RHP Justin De Fratus – De Fratus has a live arm, with a fastball that can touch 96, but sits in the 93-94 range, and nasty slider, he’s the ideal 7th/8th inning guy. The signing of Mike Adams makes me wonder about De Fratus’ spot on the 25 man, but live arms like his don’t grow on trees, and I think if he doesn’t start in the majors, he’ll see time there soon if he’s tearing it up in AAA. I’d love to see the Brad Lidge comps come to fruition.

    23. OF Dylan Cozens – Cozens put up impressive numbers in the GCL, and while there are questions about his makeup, I like his bat and his athleticism. The Phillies seem to think he has really raw power as well. He put on quite a show at the Bank when the Phils worked him out. Him and LGJ compare favorably, although Greene was in the tougher league, I still like Cozens and am excited to see how he progresses next year.

    24. RHP Kenny Giles – Best fastball in the system, and an improving slider, Giles runs it up to triple digits, apparently without going full out either, from what I’ve seen, his mechanics are fairly solid, and he doesn’t look like he puts a lot of strain on the arm, really uses his legs to generate velocity, kind of reminds of Joe Blanton strangely enough from the stretch. Quick riser through the system, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a jump to AA if there was a spot available.

    25. 3B Mitch Walding – Although he didn’t have the year he, or any of us were expecting, the guy still oozes with athleticism, and he has a lot of tools to dream on. He was fairly raw when drafted, and is still learning to man 3B, but I like his bat, and athletes can turn it around quicker than players that aren’t athletic. I have faith for now, it’s way too early too give up on him, but another year like 2012, and he’ll be dropping down the list.

    26. RHP Kevin Brady – That K/BB ratio alone warrants this guy a spot in the top 30, freaking fantastic no matter what league you’re in. Brady’s a college guy, so he’s probably overmatching some of the younger guys in his league, but this guy could rise through the system pretty fast, as he’s already a fairly polished pitcher. Would rank him higher but I feel he’ll be a reliever, and is farther away than any of the other relievers in the system.

    27. LHP Franklyn Vargas – While we don’t have much on this guy, a LH that can throw in the mid 90′s is a nice luxury to have. Small sample size to go on but I love that K/9, and he apparently has a free and easy delivery. Unclear how the Phillies are planning on using him, but if he’s a starter, by this time next year, he could be even higher. Check back in 2014.

    28. RHP Tyler Cloyd – Cloyd is one of those guys who seems to outperform his peripherals, always has a nice ERA, but his FIP and xFIP don’t really see it that way. He does have a very good BB rate, but also a pretty poor K rate. He doesn’t have good velocity either, and relies on movement and trickery to get outs. I admire the hell out of the guy for making it to the majors with a somewhat lacking arsenal, but I fear he’ll be exposed when teams start to really get to see him. He has a solid K/BB ratio, and he keeps the ball in the ball park (0.7 HR/9 in 632 2/3 professional IP) though so he has that going for him. Will have to constantly prove himself.

    29. OF Brian Pointer – Pointer’s got one of the smoothest swings in the system, and after tearing it up early in his career, he’s struggled as of late. He’s still young, and has time to figure it out, and having success early on, hopefully he can get back to that. Still like his athletic ability, and hoping he can put it all together.

    30. RHP Brody Colvin – Still gotta show Brody some love, we all know 2012 was a horrible year for him, I don’t think anyone would argue that, but there was a lot of bad luck in Colvin’s season as well. He’s had his mechanics tinkered with, and been sent up and down the minor league ladder, but this guy still has big league stuff, and a good pedigree. The Phillies are probably getting a little antsy after doling out a huge signing bonus for Colvin, but their’s still hope because he’s fairly young. I see 2013 as his last chance to start, and if that doesn’t work out, I think he will be either converted to a reliever permanently, or released. Make or break year for Brody.

    I love reading this site, and everyone’s opinions, it’s a nice mix of proximity vs. upside commenters here, and I’m excited to get on board with you guys. I’m more of an upside guy myself, which is why I rank the solid relievers we have further down on my list than most. Feel free to dissect and discuss, because I’d like to know your thoughts.

    Thanks again!

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