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Baseball America Top 30 and Prospect Handbook

Yesterday in the mail I received my Baseball America Prospect Handbook, adorned with a picture of Twins third baseman Miguel Sano, the book contains 900 scouting reports for prospects across baseball.  The list was compiled by Josh Norris (who you can follow Twitter here), and went to publishing before all of the surgery news on Morgan and Watson was out, but after Roman Quinn news and he has had his ranking adjusted accordingly.  If you would like to read all of the scouting reports you can order from Baseball America right here, subscribe to read them when they are up attached to the profiles on the BA site, or order the book from Amazon where it is cheaper but doesn’t ship until the end of February.  Now on to lists.

Top 50s:  John Manuel,  Matt Eddy, J.J. Cooper, and Ben Badler all have their own personal Top 50 prospects listed in the book.  Maikel Franco comes in at 21, 13, 19, and 17 respectively.  Cooper puts J.P. Crawford at #50 on his personal list as well.

Org Ranking:  BA ranked the Phillies as the 22nd org in baseball.

Top 30: 

  1. Maikel Franco
  2. Jesse Biddle
  3. J. P. Crawford
  4. Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez
  5. Carlos Tocci
  6. Ethan Martin
  7. Cesar Hernandez
  8. Aaron Altherr
  9. Severino Gonzalez
  10. Roman Quinn
  11. Adam Morgan
  12. Cameron Perkins
  13. Luis Encarnacion
  14. Deivi Grullon
  15. Zach Green
  16. Cameron Rupp
  17. Kelly Dugan
  18. Shane Watson
  19. Jose Pujols
  20. Ken Giles
  21. Tommy Joseph
  22. Dylan Cozens
  23. Yoel Mecias
  24. Andrew Knapp
  25. Cord Sandberg
  26. Jan Hernandez
  27. Zach Collier
  28. Malquin Canelo
  29. Austin Wright
  30. Daniel Child
  31. Larry Greene Jr.

Some Thoughts:

  • The distance between Cozens and Green is surprising, but if you don’t think one of them can hit then you have to drop them down the ranking
  • Dan Child will not be in my Top 30, but he was firmly in the group of 5 guys who just missed the list that I wanted to fit onto it.  It is really good raw stuff and the Phillies have him on the fast track.
  • Kelly Dugan seems perpetually low on BA lists, it is a fine line between thinking he is a starter and reserve and it also corresponds to 10 spots in the rankings
  • After the Top 3 and MAG it really just can go in many orders
  • Deivi Grullon is going to be on a lot of sleeper lists this year and could be the top defensive catcher in the minors once Austin Hedges and Christian Bethancourt graduate
  • Cameron Perkins seems really high to me, there is some projection, but also a lack of profile results and tools
  • It is a really solid group of names overall, Josh snuck a couple of relief prospects into the last few spots, but overall a lot of projection on the list
  • For those that aren’t familiar with him Malquin Canelo, he is a potential shortstop whiz (still needs polish but all the tools are there), but he may never hit, only 19 years old
  • I personally am happy to say Jose Pujols‘ name and have it in the Top 20, Josh noted a scout put an 80 on the raw power

I highly recommend the handbook if you are at all interested in prospects as a whole.  It is an easy way to become familiar with names across the minors as well as start to get a feel for how Phillies prospects match up against other prospects.

About Matt Winkelman

Matt is originally from Mt. Holly, NJ, but after a 4 year side track to Cleveland for college he now resides in Madison, WI. His work has previously appeared on Phuture Phillies and The Good Phight. You can read his work at Phillies Minor Thoughts

35 thoughts on “Baseball America Top 30 and Prospect Handbook

  1. Such a lousy system we have. I feel like we miss on soooo many prospects, in comparison to most other organizations. Do we just not scout well as we used to or do a poor job of developing the talent that we draft? Or is it a combination of the 2?

    1. Neither. Some orgs hit more than others (Cardinals), but every org fails a lot. The Phillies look down a lot because they haven’t had the opportunity to bring in high talent. Look at the guys picked around Greene in 2011, only Bradley looks like a real prospect. Meanwhile they are nailing Latin America right now, they nailed the 2013 draft, and have already gotten what looks like a big league regular out of the 2011 draft (Asche).

      The biggest impediments to the growth of the system was lack of spending under the old system and repeated forfeiture of draft picks for players that weren’t worth it (Papelbon, Ibanez)

      1. Good points. The forfeiture of picks from Raul (arguably made sense at the time) and Papelbon (never made sense) definitely sting. I guess I just look at picks like LGJr, Watson, Gueller, the trades we made to get Oswalt, Halladay and Pence, and whole lotta nuthin’ we got for trading Pence and Vic. Keep up the great work, really enjoy the site.

        1. I wouldn’t say they got nothing. Given the situation Martin was a great return for Vic, if they don’t trade him, they likely don’t give him a QO and if they do and he goes elsewhere the pick would had less value than Martin. The Pence trade has been a comedy of post trade errors.

          I think Watson was a good pick, he was really improving before shoulder injury. Those things happen, to avoid it would be to avoid pitching prospects all together. Greene and Gueller were misses, it is part of scouting.

          1. It would be nice to see the organization continue the momentum following the momentum of the 2013 draft, which I agree was very good. I’m really looking forward to the progression of Sandberg and Jan Hernandez. How does the talent level of this year’s draft compare to recent years? Strong? Weak? Somewhere in between?

      2. Pretty much 100%. They simply missed badly on several drafts in a row so we’re seeing that now. 09-11 were all wasted drafts for the most part. 12 is a wash because of Watson’s serious injury as well.

        1. what are you talking about 09 might turn out to be one of the better drafts the Phillies had. Dugan,Zeid, Singleton,Altherr in the first 10 rounds and then Ruf in a later round.

        2. The 2010 draft doesn’t look spectacular, but you are likely to get a backup catcher and mid-rotation starter out of it.

          I think the 2011 draft could turn out to be very valuable. They missed on Greene, but seriously look at the picks around him and everyone other than Bradley was a miss. But so far they have a major league regular at third base (Asche), a #3 starter if he returns healthy (Morgan), a lottery ticket who got injured but is progressing nicely (Quinn), a lefty reliever (Wright), and a potential elite closer (Giles). That is leaving out Walding putting tools to play.

          The 2012 draft still has a long way to go but Watson has talent and as much upside as anyone in the system, Cozens and Green are upside plays, the 2nd round pick turned in Jan Hernandez in 2013, Pullin and Perkins are interesting,

          I think you are looking for a star from drafts where their first picks were 27,39, and 40 respectively. I think you need to reevaluate how you look at success.

          As for 2009, anonymous is dead on. Remember that their first pick was Kelly Dugan at 75.

    2. well lets not forget the departed. The Phillies have drafted well after the first round in the past 5 years. They have massively wiffed though on players like Hewitt, Greene, Collier.

      From the looks of it Crawfords ceiling is looking higher and higher with every report we are reading. That combined with Francos ceiling… we may not be as bad as we think. I know times are changing with free agency but teams with our finances may only need a few impact team controlled young players.

      All im going to say is things are much better than they were the past 2 seasons.

        1. Can anyone tell me why Beede is rated so much higher than Weaver? I’d rather see the Phillies draft Weaver over Beede. Similar fastballs, but Weaver can change speeds on his breaking stuff. I think hitters hit about 40 higher versus Weaver, but Weaver walked less than one third of the batters Beede walked.

          1. Weaver is 6′ 2″ 170 lbs, Tyler Beede is 6′ 4″, yes results matter but one guys has questions about how his frame and body will hold up to a major league pitching schedule and the other is built like a workhorse. Beede has the consistently better fastball and overall stuff and that should help him more in the pros. I am not sure I like Beede at #7, but I look at the two and Beede looks like a #2+ starter and Weaver looks like a safer #3 guy. Give me upside at the top of the draft every single time, it is one of the only places you are going to get a chance at a guy like that.

    1. Its hard to believe in Altherr given how long its taken him to even get to A+ ball. He has a lot to prove in AA this year and A+ to AA is, by far, the hardest leap in the minors.

      Hopefully he doest become Drew Stubbs…that’d be awesome and huge for us a team.

    1. Sharpen them!
      I have Cozens at #6 call me crazy, but he is a serious sleeper.
      Amaro may be an idiot, but man have they drafted well post-Chuck Lamar.

  2. 13 for Franco? That’s the highest I’ve seen him which is awesome. Do they project him as a 1st batsman or can he stick at 3rd?

    1. i think wright sneaking onto the backend is certainly a surprise. I would have gone upside at the end instead of him.

  3. So is Gueller nearing non-prospect status then? I know he struggled (kindly) after the first couple starts of the season, but wasn’t he considered raw when he was drafted (he was a two-way guy).

    1. Eric Longenhagen at Crashburn Alley did a chat with one of the national prospect bloggers in which they talked about Mitch Gueller–he said he’s not entirely ready to give up on him. Of course, the fact that that’s the conversation now is an indication of what thin ice he’s on. There’s been some talk of moving him into the field to see if the bat plays better.

  4. Great add-ons to the BA list.
    Maybe it just means that I read this site too often but I agree on:
    Grullon (if defense is really elite) has a very high floor.
    Dugan is all over the rankings. I think he will be a very good 4th OF which puts him lower in the rankings.
    Cesar is another guy I think is similar.
    Perkins would have more value if he could also play 3B. I could see him as a good bench piece in that case.

  5. Amazon.com has the 2014 BA Handbook for $20.84 on pre-order. It won’t be available until 2/25. So if you can wait you can save a little moolah.

    1. I flipped to your top 50′s paragraph after I clicked on the BA purchase link. I didn’t read the last line or two about getting it on pre-order from Amazon. At least, I provided the cost. You’ll pay shipping costs unless you’re a Prime member or you purchase something else with a $15 value or more.

  6. Is it just me or looking at this list, is anyone else actually OPTIMISTIC? They have legit specs all the way down at slot 30. No ORG filler crap. Now, not all 30 of these guys are going to hit, but at least you can dream on all 30. If the system has a solid year it could totally bounce into the top 10 even without trades and another draft.

    1. I fully agree. Others on this site have a better historical perspective than I, but when you look at this list, you can make a reasonable argument that any of these players have a shot to, at minimum, rocket up the list of prospects. I would expect that we will have one or 2 guys that are currently in the 20′s to be well entrenched within the top 5 or 7 by this time next year. Part of this will of course be due to some players graduating to the majors, but much of it will be due to these prospects addressing/minimizing their ‘blemish’ (i.e. lack of patience, lack of secondary pitches, etc).

    2. It’s a very good point. I’m a believer in the strength in numbers theory. If you have 3 guys who have a twenty percent chance of being solid major leaguer regulars, then, in my view, your odds are not very good. But when you have 20 or 25 guys like that, odds are, you are going to hit on a few. And the Phillies have essentially done this at several positions, catcher and third base most obviously.

      Take catcher, for example. You have Rupp, Joseph, Valle, Knapp, Sweaney, and Grullon. Chances are, you are going to get one or two major league back-ups from that group and will likely get at least one solid or better major league starter. In fact, Rupp already looks like he will, at worst, be a solid major league back-up and might even be good enough to be a second division or better regular if everything goes right.

      Third base is similar. The Phils had Asche, Franco, Walding, Green and Martinez and then acquired/drafted Encarnacion and Hernandez for good measure. Already, Asche is looking, at worst, like a second division regular (and above average to borderline plus if he hits on all cylinders), Franco is projecting as a first division regular, Green has intriguing upside and Walding and Encarnacion both have a shot at being pretty good, although Walding is beginning to look like a wash out. The nice thing about third base prospects is that, if the position is overly crowded and the player has some athleticism, a move to a corner outfield position or first base, while not optimal, is always possible.

      Outfield is much the same, the Phillies have tiers of centerfielders and corner outfielders – a few of those guys are likely to come through.

      So, yes, there are not a ton of guys who are standout prospects right now, but there’s a decent chance that several of them will become standouts in the next year or two, and that’s just fine by me.

      Now, they need to rebuild pitching depth in the same manner, but you can’t have it all. Also, I would argue that, the Phillies, like any organization have generations of talent. The Phillies have a LOT of young talent in the bullpen (I believe it’s more pure bullpen talent than the Phillies have ever had at one time in their history) and some of those players are starting to come through now and could make the bullpen a huge strength of the team this year by year end.

      1. Agree with your overall assessment on how it looks. I think KLaw agrees with you there also since he rated the org higher then the last few years.
        It would be very helpful if Asche and Franco do bust on scene at the ‘Bank’, along with Domo Brown and Revere, and perhaps Ruf, fulfilling their expectations, then the need to rush any of the others in A ball, does not become imperative.

          1. Yes, JRoll is here through 2015 and maybe 2016, so Crawford’s earliest ETA is probably 2016, and that may be pushing it. And then there is Freddy G who may come into the picture. I envision Crawford atarting in 2017. That will get him 3.5 years minor league time and probably the min/normal 1500 PAs in the minors.

    3. I have a similar feeling looking at the back end of this list, although I can’t tell if it’s because there are actually better prospects that in recent years, or because the number of prospects I know something about grows a bit each year. I’ve only been seriously following the system since I discovered this site a few years ago.

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