This is a retrospective back on the Top 30 prospects list I wrote before the start of the season. My opinion is that anyone who puts their opinion out there should be accountable for that opinion, in this case rather than just ask whether I was right or wrong, but more why was it right or wrong. The goal is to explore things in the development of a prospect that can point to growth or regression. Additionally just because a prospect fails to live up to or exceeds expectations does it mean the base analysis was wrong when it was written.
Continuing on with the next group of 5 players including a 2 relievers, 2 players who had disappointing years, and a player with decent potential in the low minors. As always the original list lives here http://phuturephillies.com/top-30-prospects/mattwinks-top-30/2013-top-30/
20. Sebastian Valle
Valle has no real approach and just sells out for power at the plate. This leads to a high strikeout rate with a really low walk rate. At the major league level that approach will be completely exposed. Behind the plate Valle is a very good receiver, but he does not have a good release making him below average against the run game despite a plus arm. Overall Valle will need to improve greatly to have a chance as anything more than a marginal back up.
When I wrote the original piece my girlfriend took on the task of editing the entire piece. When she got to Valle she was surprised at how negative an outlook I had on a guy that I ranked #20 on my list. The truth is ranking Valle this high was a hedge and a bet against my own instincts based on some other opinions I had heard. The truth is Valle’s year was better than his last but he is still barely back to 2010 level of production if you look at the peripherals. I thought Valle might have a future as a backup, but he is no longer young and the stats are trending in the wrong direction.
19. Zach Collier
Collier had all the tools when the Phillies drafted him in the first round in 2008 but injuries and suspensions have reduced his playing time. He looked good in Clearwater and then broke out in the Arizona Fall League. Collier may not be a starter without a huge jump forward in tools, but he could make the big leagues as a solid 4th outfielder-a dream that may not have been possible a year ago.
I don’t know what happened to Collier this year. The only difference in his stats was a sudden 7% spike in strikeout rate. Collier had a better end of his year and he still has a lot of talent. He is looking more like a 4th OFer at best at this point but he is still is fairly young (just turned 23 3 days ago), and he is at least going to get another look at AA. We are at least a year off giving up on him but he is not going in the right direction.
18. Austin Wright
I just don’t think Wright is a starter long term. The combination of command problems and his developing changeup really concern me. That being said I think Wright could be a lefty reliever with more than LOOGY upside. His stuff reminds me of Antonio Bastardo out of the pen and he could have similar upside.
I thought Wright was a reliever and they made him a reliever. The problem is I did not expect his command to regress so much. I still think he could be a very good arm out of the bullpen, but now that the starter dreams is done, he is going to be fighting for a spot at the back of the Top 30. A successful AFL could do good things for his stock, especially if the stuff ticks up a bit out of the bullpen.
17. Andrew Pullin
From the reports I believe that Pullin can stick at second with average defense. His line drive swing shows good contact ability and average power potential. He doesn’t have star level tools but he should move quickly with a ceiling as a solid regular. I believe that Pullin will hit and should move quickly if he can handle second.
Pullin’s walk rate wasn’t great in the GCL and it just disappeared in the NYPL. He showed more power but the swing has some maintenance and I am less of believer in the pure contact ability. In the field he is showing that he should be able to stick at second base as the actions get smoother. He has gone from being in the same conversation as Green and Cozens to being in a tier below them.
16. Justin De Fratus
De Fratus has a plus fastball and slider and knows what to do with both of them. De Fratus lacks the upside of Aumont but he is a much safer bet to be a major league reliever. De Fratus does have dominant high leverage upside earning him a good spot on this list.
De Fratus may not have quite the upside I thought but he has really started to establish himself as a solid major league reliever. He has plenty of raw ability and he is just starting to get a feel for getting swings and misses. Additionally the control which was a strong point is trending in the right direction. He may not have the value of the other guys on the list but he is in the majors and should be a solid contributor going forward.