65 thoughts on “Baseball America Top 10

  1. I had substantially the same list except for Colvin/Cosart flipped and I had Cesar Hernandez 9th. I’m not ready to go top 10 on Altherr just yet, but BA will always rate the tools guys highly.

  2. A very reasonable list. I don’t know all the details on Gillies, but I still think he has the potential to become a starting center fielder. I really don’t know how much to read into the whole cocaine possession thing last summer or the never-ending hamstring injury, I guess it’s something to follow this year.

  3. It’s not my list, but it’s a pretty respectable one. Glad to see they have Biddle in there. #10 is a good place to take a flier on a guy like Altherr. Like Alan, I’d probably go C. Hernandez there, but there are a number of low A ball guys you could plug in that spot and be happy.

  4. Agree with Colvin over Cosart. Results have been more or less the same and Colvin has been healthy (thus far).

    Not sure about Singleton over Colvin/Cosart, mostly because I think a true ace starter is harder to find than a 25-homer leftfielder/first baseman. But Singleton’s overall line as an 18-year-old at A-ball is so impressive, especially the plate discipline, that the choice is certainly justifiable.

    Jiwan is definitely a ton of projection at this point, considering the 24% K rate in A-ball. He is obviously a toolshed but I kind of doubt he has a MLB starter’s bat projection at this point.

    Altherr had a fairly encouraging year actually. Solid plate discipline and contact rates.

  5. It’s interesting that the “Best Tools” sidebar that accompanies the article includes mostly pitchers absent from the Top 10–Aumont (curveball), Zeid (slider), Hyatt (changeup), and DeFratus (control).

  6. ****Any word on how Singleton’s LF transition experiment went/going?****

    The FO said that they were “very impressed” with how well he did in LF in the Florida Instructional League and that he’ll start 2011 as the LF in Clearwater…so I’m guessing it went well.

    If he can be even mediocre in LF (like Burrell when he was young), he’s an elite prospect.

  7. I guess I don’t project nearly as much on potential as they do. Interesting to me that neither DeFratus nor Worley make the top 10 list, but James and Altherr do. It will be interesting when we get the full top 30 to see where the older guys at the higher levels, like Hyatt, Schwimer, and Rizzotti are ranked and how they are described. Setting aside Brown, who has already excelled at AA and AAA, that’s four toolsy, rather raw, low-A level or below OF in our top 10. I know the Phillies actively seek out this type of player, but can’t help feeling that the BA evaluator has put his thumb too heavily on the scale as he considered them.

  8. I realize I’m a bit cynical about Phillies’ toolsy OF, although I love Brown. This comes from the many failed first round picks of toolsy HS OF and the realization that, apart from Burrell who was was a consensus #1 pick in the draft and a basically finished college player when drafted, Michael Bourn is the only major league starting OF we’ve produced in recent memory. Apart from Brown, I still think the strength of the farm lies in the pitching, yet only 4 of top 10 are pitchers.

  9. I actually had the same first six names in the exact same order. I think that after the year Santana had, it’s justifiable to not place him in the top 10. I didn’t on my list. i think Worley is a top 10 prospect even if his ceiling is lower, only because he’s much much more certain than Santana.

  10. If you are going back as far as Burrell, Marlon Byrd is also a MLB outfielder out of the Phillies system. And pretty questionable to not include Taylor and Gose as outfielders that were good picks for the Phillies. So in the past couple of years they’ve produced or are in the process of producing, Brown, Taylor, Gose, James, Altherr, Santana, and Castro. Not exactly a list to be ashamed of.

  11. Clearwater will have our #2-7 prospects next season. Baseball America likes to focus on max upside which is why Santana is on the list and Worley isn’t. I think its a reasonable list and while mine is a bit different on 7-10, I do have the same guys in my 7-15. As far as you guys putting Cesar Hernandez in the top 10, I don’t agree. He’s a 15 – 20 guy for me because he can only play 2B and has no power.

  12. It’s not a list to be ashamed of, but it’s not one worthy of praise yet either. None of those OFs have contributed anything at the big league level yet, and most are still very far away from the majors… I don’t understand what your point was.

  13. My point is that the past isn’t important. To complain about the Phillies development of outfielders in todays situation is foolish. They didn’t produce them in the past, but that doesn’t diminish the glut that they have know.

    The system produced infielders, a catcher, and two stud pitchers for the current team. The current system is rich in outfielders and light in infielders.

    And the outfield system certainly is worthy of praise as most teams would like to have the depth and the various levels of development that the Phils have.

  14. 2 stud pitchers? I mean Kendrick – sure, but I’m not sure Hamels is a stud yet 🙂

    Seriously, who’s the 2nd? Madson?

  15. I have Worley in my top 10 and Biddle outside of it. I know that Biddle’s projection is higher (in the long run) than Worley’s but proximity to the big leagues makes me rate him higher. A bird in the hand is better than 2 in the bush. I always have a prejudice against the 1st year guys. I have a hard time getting all excited about a late 1st round pick with a very short season under his belt. I warm up quickly once they’ve had a few starts in their 2nd year.

  16. Can someone with a BA membership post some tidbits from the chat that’s about to start?

    Thanks!

  17. From reading ba top ten if I’m not mistaken Cosarts only knock is little injuries. They say he is a number 1 starter or closer where as Colvin is a number 2. Cosart has some of most electric stuff in minors sitting at 94-98 usuallyl the upper end. Command is way ahead of kids his age. So basically the Clearwater staff and team is gonna be loaded. Would love to see these two behind h20 in 2013

  18. Murray, Hernandez lacks power but has plate discipline and speed. If a guy can get on base at a high clip, it makes him a valuable player at any position.

  19. Hamels not a stud yet?? world series mvp makes him a stud to me and last year. how many pitch better than him?

  20. C’mon with the Gillies/Hamilton references…First off, just because someone loves cocaine doesn’t mean they’ll have a baseball career like Hamilton’s.

    And second, who doesn’t love cocaine, am i right?

  21. chat wasn’t free…. I can’t access it. either that, or it’s blocked at work.

    Did anyone actually see it?

  22. This what gets my goat. If Aumont has the best curve ,why does he have 4.5 ERA against A level players. Someone is lying through their teeth. I am perfectly willing to give the guy a chance but don’t blow in my ear and tell me its a hurricane.

  23. Question: In what ways do the potential Phillies free agents after 2011 (Madson, Lidge -club option, Oswalt – club option, Hamels – last arb, Rollins, Ibanez) change how you use prospects this year? In particular it made me wonder if you really make sure you give Brown, and De Fratus, (even Schwimer, Mathieson, ect) opportunities to compete at the ML level to see what you have. If so what does that look like while trying to field a championship team?

  24. in response to singleton in the OF

    Matt Forman: I’m surprised I didn’t get more questions about Singleton’s progress in the outfield, but I think it’s an important topic and worth discussing… The Phillies have played Pat Burrell or Raul Ibanez in left field for the last decade, indicating that they don’t put much weight in defense from that position. That being said, Singleton is a superior athlete to both Burrell and Ibanez. I saw him play a handful of games this year, and I noted twice how he almost “bounced” when he ran, highlighting his light feet. Every person in the Phillies front office I talked to and two people outside the organization gave Singleton a legitimate chance of playing the outfield. He has a solid-average throwing arm, he’ll just need time to work on reading the ball off the bat and tracking fly balls. Maybe the most important thing, though, is that he has the desire to get better defensively. Singleton stayed in extended spring last year to get extra time at first base, and then he was voted the best defensive first baseman in the South Atlantic League by managers at midseason. So at the very least, he’s going to put in the effort to make trying left field worth it. As one scout said, it’s going to be about his aptitude.

  25. Nowheels, its not common for a pitcher to have a great pitch but poor results. Jason Neighborgall for example had two plus-plus pitchers but he was awful because he had no command. Barry Zito has that great curveball and he’s the Giants’ #5 starter. It just shows that it takes more than one great pitch to be a good pitcher.

  26. My 7-10 are different. The players mentioned by BA are too recent to judge well. I think Singleton has shown enough in two years to give anyone reasonable hope that he will be a solid major leaguer for years.

  27. Nowheels, once upon a time, the Phillies had a young phenom named Gavin Floyd with a killer curveball. Unfortunately, he couldn’t get it over for a strike. So batters lay off the pitch early in the count, Floyd gets himself into hitter’s counts, and Floyd ends up getting raked or the batter walks. This is actually quite similar to Kyle Kendrick’s problem with his sinker.

  28. I think a good example is Drabek. His curveball is his out pitch but the problem with his curve is that he throws it in the dirt and not for strikes. Has command but can’t control it, so if a batters know its comming they won’t chase.

  29. I might be alone in this…but I have De Fratus in the top 5. I think he is one of the more dominant players in the farm system.

  30. Phillies management will be having some interesting rankings of their own. They have already traded from their depth at C and OF but how much value to they have on guys like James, Altherr, Gillies, Santana, Collier? Who is being given the ‘untradeable’ like Brown and Drabek a year ago?

  31. I agree with the top 6….but I have James, Altherr, and Santana all 10-15. I have Tyson Gillies in the top 10. I think he has a strong year at Reading.

  32. It’s always exciting to hear about up and coming young guys. That 2014 rotation looks sick (assuming the prospect work out)! But I think Oswalt might retire soon. I think he’s only 35, but he keeps mentioning it.

  33. I think Rizzotti should be in the top 10. I know he cant play the field, but sombody putting up those solid all around numbers at the plate for a full year should be at the back end of the top 10, atleast over Altherr or Jiwan James.

  34. When you’re in short season league, even if you put up great numbers, being put on the top 10 prospect list is still just about entirely about projection. This is also true to a significantly lesser extent for a guy at Lakewood. I don’t see projecting a guy to top 10 from short season league when he has not put up stats that pop in his short season play. Especially so when he really doesn’t have a pedigree going into and through the draft. I guess BA is enamored of Altherr’s size. Between the two short-season teams he put up an OPS of .750, with 1 HR and 12 for 18 in SB. In his favor, he didn’t strike out a lot, but he also only walked about once in 20 plate appearances. Looking at his performance in short-season ball, it’s hard for me to say he ranks above Cesar Hernandez or Dugan, who were his teammates. Santana and Singleton are young, also, but their stats jump out at you in a way that Altherr’s just don’t.

  35. Altherr hit 287/350/426 in the NY-Penn League as a 19 year old. This doesn’t seem superficially impressive, but this is a league where the average OBP is .326 and the average slugging percentage is .362. It’s an extreme pitchers league. So you have a big tools guy who is better than average in his league though he’s younger than most of the league. In fact among the 19 year olds in the NY-Penn League Altherr ranked third in OPS. It’s a package worth rating highly, IMO.

  36. If I am to assume… unless I missed something the 2014 staff should look like Cosart May Colvin Biddle/Worley and Hamels????

  37. 1flyfan, Baseball America picks a rotation based on who is currently in the system and who will be the best players in 2014. They had it as Halladay/Oswalt/Hamels/Cosart/Colvin. Now in real life, Oswalt and Hamels will hit free agency before then so a 2014 rotation would be Halladay (assuming the Phils pick up his option) and our four best prospects. But baseball being as it is the Phillies would obviously pick up a pitcher or two elsewhere to supplement that group.

  38. Until some other publication’s baseball perceptions about evaluating prospects shows to be more perceptive, I’ll mostly honor BA’s list…while being open to amendments.

    What strikes me is the concentration of such superior very young pitchers there are to dream on. And the respect given to a catcher and outfielders is also welcome.

    What is a concern, of course, is the complete absence of 3rd basemen and shortstops. Garcia appears to be the closest, but he seems ticketed as a utility infr. That absence of others should be a concern that needs an effective response as soon as possible.

    Otherwise, it seems there will be good bunches to watch at Clwtr, Lkwd, and Reading../and maybe LV’s relief guys, too… throughout ’11. Suitable for the long-range baseball thinkers/posters here.

    Looking for the occurrence of an April.

  39. 2014 rotation looks like Halladay (think he has an option for that year?), Cliff Lee (if you believe the reports tonight haha), Hamels (maybe), and 2 of the prospects listed hopefully. Every one has to keep in mind that 3-5 great pitching prospects at A ball or below will likely yield 1 or maybe 2 good big league pitchers. So out of Biddle, Cosart, Colvin, and May we probably get 1 or 2.

  40. Actually the most interesting comment to come out of today’s chat was that the FO told him that Aumont would be a reliever this year and that the phillies feel his sinking fastball alone should get him to the major leagues. I agree with the move to the BP, and the past season in the rotation should have given him the time to work on all his pitches so as a reliever he should know what will work and what won’t.

  41. Not a bad list, but I’d probably go…

    1 Brown
    2 Cosart
    3 Singleton
    4 Colvin
    5 Valle
    6 DeFratus
    7 May
    8 Biddle
    9 Gillies
    10 Worley

  42. Alan
    Last I saw Zito wasn’t throwing to A ball hitter, generally are Not curve ball specialist. Aumont SHOULD of been at a tremendous advantage with a Great curce at Clearwater. There the BA statement is bull.

  43. If a pitcher can’t get his curve over it doesn’t need to be publish on BA as best. Certainly I have seen throws with great movement but they were not PITCHES>

  44. So now that cliff lee is back, you could say we exchanged gose / villar for gillies/aumont/ramierez (well, maybe YOU wouldn’t say that, but just humor me for a second). good swap? bad swap? even?

  45. Obviously I think Hernandez is the better prospect by far. Garcia doesn’t hit for much power either but I’m worried about his BB/K ratios as well.

  46. Garcia is certainly closer to the majors and had a terrific season last year and a good season the year before. That’s not to say that Hernandez might not pass him in a year or two but not yet.

  47. I think one thing this Lee trade does is make some of these prospects that much more important. I know some of their current players are later in the contracts, but I think we will see holes plugged through the farm. I wonder if this is the end of Jimmy Rollins after this season, unless he signs a cheaper contract. I think Lidge won’t be resigned and Ibanez certainly won’t. I expect to see some of these young guys taking over because they are cheaper. That being said, with Cosart and Colvin a couple years away, this sets up nicely, when Oswalt is toward the end of his deal, these two will just be coming up. Also, look for Worley to be given the 5th starters job. I gotta think they will deal blanton and Kenderick if possible.

  48. When are any infielders(sans 1st base) and a catcher going to be top prospects? They have yet to get a solid top prospect in the last several years and it appears to be several more years for a solid prospect. I realize Freddy Galvis has the glove but cant hit the broad side of a barn in AA and Harold Garcia isn’t much better at 2nd base.

  49. Like most recent dynasty teams the Rollins, Utley, Howard, Hamels group is what pushed the team to stardom. How many teams are ‘lucky’ enough to have that happen? (Braves = Glavine, Smoltz, C.Jones, J.Lopez; Yankees = Jeter, Rivera, Pettite, Posada, B.Williams). Both teams built around their core with quality vets and youngsters.

    Other young star teams have had success but have not gotten multiple superstars emerge. Dodgers (Either, Billingsley, Kerhsaw, Kemp), Rays (Crawford, Longoria, Upton, Price), Rockies (Tulowitski, Jimenez, Hawpe, Atkins and now Cargo). Somehow the Twins and Cardinals always seems to be good.

    To re-invent their team, the Phillies will need new superstars. Here’s hoping for Brown, Gillies & Singleton; May, Cosart & Colvin; DeFratus, Schwimer & Aumont to augment an aging Rollins, Utley & Howard. Agreed that a can’t miss 3B like Zimmerman or Longoria would be an awesome fit.

  50. Agreed. Zimmerman and Longoria were both college players. It would be great for the Phillies to find the next best 3B prospect. I sense that SS prospect will come by way of Latin America. Galvis is there with the glove, maybe you give him a shot for a few years as 8 hole hitter as a stop gap to something better.

    I would even consider offering Rollins arbitration for one season at $10M after this year. Always felt Rollins has done more for the team in terms of leadership and that is hard to replace.

  51. Top 10

    01. Brown
    02. Cosart
    03. Singleton
    04. Colvin
    05. Valle
    06. May
    07. Biddle
    08. Worley
    09. Gillies
    10. James

  52. It really becomes a crap shoot after #6. You could list the next 4 in any order or swap out a few outside the top 10 for numbers 11 – 15 without doing anything other than split hairs. The good news it that it appears to be quality and the farm is in decent shape, albeit that the team needs some ideas for third base in the not too distant future.

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