I started this series with players who didn’t make the list, and now will be stepping through the list 5 at a time. The list itself can be found here http://phuturephillies.com/top-30-prospects/mattwinks-top-30/2013-top-30/
30. Gabriel Lino
This is a tools pick, it came down to three catchers for the last spot in Lino, Grullon, and Rupp. I aimed high on the projection because he is a pure boom or bust player. Lino has huge holes on offense and defense that are not allowing his monster tools to appear in game action. Lino is still very young so there is time, but there is a lot that can go wrong here.
To anyone who has seen him, Lino looks the part in the uniform. The problem is despite the power, the arm, and the increasing defensive prowess, he just swings and misses too much. He received a demotion this year and proceeded to have his numbers regress (.062 jump in BABIP). Lino still has sky high projection but the defensive tools are on the level of Rupp or Grullon. I didn’t expect the demotion and it really changed my whole way of thinking about Lino.
29. Jose Pujols
Pujols is a dream at this point. All we know is he has massive batting practice power generated from strength and ridiculous bat speed. Pujols has almost no game approach at this point and his swing will need to be retooled to close up some holes that will be exploited. In the field Pujols has the arm and range for right field.
Jose Pujols is still a dream, but I am glad I ranked him. The power is massive and the ceiling is high. But after reworking his swing in the middle of the GCL season he was able to drive the ball out of the park. The big remaining questions is the pitch recognition and approach (still ultra aggressive at times, though can take a walk when he wants). The big thing is that Pujols has incredible bat speed and has present 70 grade raw power with plenty of room for physical growth. Yes he will be higher on this years list, but it is hard to rank these guys higher out of the gate.
28. Aaron Altherr
I have always liked Altherr as a prospect and I like him even better now that it appears he can stick in center defensively (the arm might make up for not having elite range). Altherr may never be a star or a solid regular, but I feel more confident after his 2012 that there is a major league player in there (at very least a 4th outfielder).
Altherr really hasn’t changed too much, he showed more power at the cost of more strikeouts this year. He has yet to put it all together and in his 5th season it is a question about whether he ever will. I suspect Altherr will move up a little bit this year now that he should be going to AA, but you can almost copy/paste the same writeup.
27. Kevin Brady
Brady fell in the draft due to injury, but he showed a plus fastball and good breaking ball in his debut. The changeup has potential as well. Brady dominated in his debut but the competition was not great. He will likely double jump to Clearwater where he could move very quickly. If the changeup doesn’t come he could arrive very quickly in the bullpen.
This was a bad call. I was debating between Brady and Hoby Milner towards the back of the list. While I don’t think Milner is a starter long term, he did get the jump to Clearwater and put up pretty good numbers. I personally would have let Brady air it out from the bullpen, but the Phillies tried starting him and the control and injury bugs hit him and it all fell apart. There are reasons guys like Brady fall in the draft and it isn’t always best to pin hope on a college guy giving starting a try with bullpen fall back (see Garner, Perci).
26. Kelly Dugan
Upon first looking at just the numbers I had Dugan much higher on this list. However, his year was driven by an unsustainable BABIP given his high strikeout rate. There are things to like, Dugan walked at a good rate and made good contact. After his injury he played a good right field with a plus arm. At first base he is little more than an org guy and will need to stick in the outfield.
I still don’t know what to do with Dugan, I didn’t mention the power which is a negative on my part. The walk rate was a huge plus in Clearwater but it evaporated in Reading (he did still work deep counts). He is going to get a big boost up the rankings because AA is a lot different then low-A, but the strikeout rate is concerning and the upside is limited. The biggest thing he did this year was prove he is a corner OFer with a good arm and solid defense. That should put to rest all of the 1B talk and make me much more comfortable about the floor. In the end he should have been at least in the high teens ahead of Zach Collier, this is a case of really overthinking the ranking part of the equation. I really didn’t see the breakout coming to the extent it did either.