Thoughts on Those That Missed the Top 30

After working on the Top 30, I ended up with a list of names that I had opinions on.  This list may only represent two-thirds of them, because I just didn’t have time to finish them all.  This is not meant to be really in depth, so if you want more on a player just ask.  Previously I had attached this list to the Top 30, but in an effort to streamline the main list, the supplement gets its own post.  From this list you can probably take a good guess on who made the Top 30, so enjoy the speculation.

Jake Sweaney
Sweaney just missed the list.  Some evaluators love the upside, but I just feel that a raw catcher that may not catch, just doesn’t have a ton of value.  Check back in a year and he could be much higher in lesser form of what a Grullon did this year.

Jiandido Tromp
Speed and defense in centerfield make him intriguing.  The strikeouts are a bit high and the speed hasn’t translated to base paths.  Tromp is going to need a strong spring to force his way into a crowded Lakewood OF.

David Buchanan
Buchanan has always been a personal favorite, it is a fringe #5/swing man ceiling but the FB is above average and he could end up with big league time if injuries are plentiful.

Kevin Munson
Munson is a classic fastball-slider reliever and both could be very nice pitches.  Command is a problem, but if it improves, it is a legitimate bullpen arm that could stick for all of 2014.

Miguel Nunez
The fastball has plus velocity and the slider shows potential.  He hasn’t missed bats, and the lack of a changeup point to a reliever profile.

Nic Hanson
Nic is a classic sinker baller, the velocity is more average and the secondary pitches are lacking.  But at 6’7″ Hanson brings a potentially elite groundball profile if he can keep the ball down through the levels.

Brian Pointer
Lakewood has not been kind to Pointer.  There is some power in the swing, but the park has sapped much of it.  What Pointer did well in 2013 was walk and steal bases.  It is make or break time for Pointer, who has more of a tweener profile than anything.  He should get forced up to Clearwater based on playing time, and if he can put it all together, there might be a 4th outfielder in there.

Mitch Gueller
I was really high on Gueller a year ago when showed three potential plus pitches.  This year Gueller’s fastball wasn’t there, and he didn’t show confidence in the secondary stuff.  I want to see the stuff before Gueller goes back up the list.

Tyler Viza
Viza put up good surface numbers in the GCL (1.41 ERA), but low strikeout numbers and low BABIP, point to stuff that is more average than anything right now.  But he shows feel for three pitches and a fastball that was 90-92 predraft.  Coming in at 6’ 3” 170lbs, there is plenty of physical projection left.

Gabriel Lino
I thought Lino’s underlying numbers were better than the surface a year ago.  In 2014 he showed harder contact and better defense, but it came with a worst approach and at a lower level.  Lino has big time tools, but he has to put the together on the field.

Daniel Child
Right after the draft the Phillies moved Child to the bullpen and he ended the season n Clearwater.  Child can show a plus fastball/slider combination.  The control can waver but Child could move very quickly in the bullpen.

Denton Keys
Denton was an overslot signing at the last minute for the Phillies in the 2013 draft.  On the field he was in impressive with underdeveloped secondary stuff and a fastball in the hi-80s.  Don’t worry too much, the Phillies see a big projectable frame that could add more velocity over time.  Keye may take a while to develop but he is lottery ticket.

Tyson Gillies
I am out on Gillies.  He will be 25 years old in 2014, is in his last option year, and to this point has struggled to stay on the field.  The Phillies tinkered with his swing to add more power with some success, but overall the numbers aren’t great.  There are good tools, but the defense is suspect due to bad route running, and the effort/makeup have been suspect.

Mitch Walding
Each year we will talk about the good scouting reports with Walding until he either puts it together or loses his playing time.  Walding was raw coming into pro ball, and the power is coming slowly.  Injuries slowed him in 2013 so a healthy 2014 will be big for any development.

Venn Biter
Despite an 80 grade name, Biter is more gamer than tool shed.  There might not be an average tool other than speed, but he makes it work in centerfield.  It is the kind of profile that could  end up a bench outfielder, he’ll just need to keep proving it.

Perci Garner
Another year as a starter, that I thought Garner should be relieving.  In a relief role Garner could be overpowering with a power fastball/slider combo that could see his strikeout rate spike.  It is hard to see the arsenal and feel playing as more than a fringe starter.

Sebastian Valle
Valle is a lesson in approach not necesarily improving with age.  The defense is just not good enough to make him a backup and his offense will need to show more of what he did in winter ball and less of what he has done in pro ball.

Brody Colvin
Brody Colvin is an enigma, the control is gone, the stuff is everywhere.  At this point the easy answer is to put him in the pens and see if it helps.  You could see the Phillies keep him as a starter in a thin Reading rotation to give him more innings to try and figure it out.

Trey Williams
Williams was thought to be a Top 3 round talent in 2012, but fell to the Cardinals in the 11th round and failed to sign.  The Phillies took him in the 7th round based on his bloodlines, raw power, and bat speed.  There have been questions about the approach and mental makeup.  Additionally his lack of foot speed and actions at third base, likely make him a first baseman long term.

Larry Greene Jr.
Greene is a first baseman with plus raw power.  Right now if any other tool comes to 30 grade he is lucky.  Ultimately he needs to show up and be a different player than he has been, and it starts with showing up to Spring Training in shape.

Herlis Rodriguez
Herlis raked to the tune of .389/.436/.533  (.434 BABIP) in the GLC, before sputtering to end the year in Williamsport  Herlis can go get it in center field, but he is going to need to make hard contact up the ranks to have a chance in a crowded center field bunch.

Austin Wright
Wright’s transition to the bullpen happened earlier than many expected, but isn’t too unsurprising.  The changeup never came around and the control can be iffy.  Despite poor results so far, the combination of size, velocity, and hammer curve will serve him well in the bullpen.

Leandro Castro
Castro is going to get his major league shot eventually.  He does enough things right to be somebodies 5th outfielder.  It is going to be hard to do that in Philly, even though he could be 80% of Mayberry right now.

Anthony Hewitt
Hewitt destroyed lefties in 2013, and improved his defense.  He still can’t hit breaking balls and is miserable against RHP.  That being said he could start in AAA in 2014, and that is incredible.

Hoby Milner
I’ll be honest, I never have thought of Milner as a starter.  The changeup is nice, but the rest of the arsenal is fringy.  He really faded late and the frame does not suggest stamina going forward.  He was a dominant reliever in college, and the changeup could make him more than a LOOGY.

Jay Johnson
Speaking of LOOGYs, Johnson is a side arming lefty the Phillies have developed along the lines of Jake Diekman.  Johnson lacks Diekman’s velocity (though he does sit mid-90s).  What Johnson has is a curveball (rare from low arm slot) that has sharp bite, from insane rotation he imparts on the pitch.  Johnson could be ready in 2014 if there is a spot for him in the major league bullpen.

Franklyn Vargas
Vargas still has the stuff that made him a darling a year ago.  The control took a step back, but in a system light on pitching he could see a shot in the rotation in 2014.

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

26 thoughts on “Thoughts on Those That Missed the Top 30

  1. Matt…I assume all of the above players were given at least one vote by some reader in the Top 30 Reader’s list exercise?

    1. You’re probably thinking of Tyler Colvin OF who the Orioles signed then nullified after he took a physical.

  2. Good post; it’s nice to see some words about the intriguing but fringy guys we have in the system. Hanson and Nunez have interested me, mainly because of their size, but I figured as much about their stuff, which is why I left both off my top 30.

  3. Its sad to see so many former number one or supplemental round picks on this list, but I guess it happens to all organizations , I just hope it doesnt happen to the number 7 this year as I really have little faith in some of this organizations decisions.

      1. The hope is obviously to get the next Clayton Kershaw or Frank Thomas and not the next Matt LaPorta (though even he had a ton of trade value and the Brewers sold him at the absolute top of his value for Sabathia).

        Note: all were #7 picks overall

  4. Larry Greene may end up at 1B but he has been exclusively an OF so far. Not a good one, but that is where he is now. He is on the list of underperforming guys that should be on sleeper lists along with Walding, Gueller, Gillies, Valle, and Colvin from the above article. At least one of two of them will force their way back onto prospect lists. I have never been a fan of Gillies, for instance, but he is probably 6 weeks of 800 OPS at LHV from actually being on the major league roster given our lack of outfield depth that can play acceptable defense.

  5. A few takeaways from this list:

    I completely forgot about Brody Colvin during the voting on the Top 30. That’s pretty amazing considering he was (if I recall correctly) our #3 prospect one year. I wonder which guy we are really high on is going to be off our list completely in a couple years?

    On the other hand: Anthony Hewitt in AAA! One thing you have to say for the guy, he must be a hell of a worker, no one thought he would ever be able to play and he’s kept at it when it would have been pretty easy to get discouraged. It can’t be easy being a draft bust.

    Wonder if Larry Greene Jr will ever see AAA?

    Venn Biter–what a comic book name! Let’s hope he gets bitten by a radioactive spider and turns into Mike Trout.

  6. I agree about Hewitt. He’s gotten further than I ever imagined. I know he has some serious flaws but at least he’s shown some power. Not sure how his D has come along but maybe there could be hope for him to crack a roster at some point. Probably as a bench guy.

    1. If he was anything other than a top pick, he likely washes out in Clearwater at best. What a horrible pick that was….even at the time a good number of people lambasted it and rightfully so.

    1. He was in Lakewood last year, then got sent to Extended early in May. After that, he just disappeared. I can only assume he was cut & it was never updated on his milb.com page.

  7. As I continued reading through the names listed, I just kept shaking my head……..so many high draft picks, and so many players that we had such high hopes for, yet chances are none of them will get anything more than a cup of coffee in the show……I know baseball scouting is the most difficult since you have to wait so long to see how a player will develop, but IMO we need to overhaul our philosophy/scouting department…………..

  8. What about Brock Stassi, his hitting has made a steady climb, his fielding has been superb and he has outstanding baseball IQ (comes from a deep baseball family). He is a smooth swinging lefty that looks like a contact – doubles type hitter ala Mark Grace

  9. Couldn’t access your top 30 for some reason for this year, but assuming he didn’t make it, not a Dugan fan ?

      1. It’s March 2 and I have had the same article on Phuture Phillies since Thursday, Feb 26. Are there problems with the site? It seems like a long time to have no new posts this time of year. I’m wondering if there is a problem on my end.

        1. I have been spending all of my writing time on the Top 30 to come out on Monday and no one has had something they want to write. It happens, I am not going to put out filler just for filler.

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