BA Top 20: FSL list includes 3 current Phillies and 2 former Phillies

BA continues their run of league top 20s with the Florida State League, where the Phillies dominated the list, with 3 current players and 2 former players. The current crop includes Trevor May at #4, Sebastian Valle at #12, and Brody Colvin at #19, with former Phillies property Jon Singleton coming in at #7 and Jarred Cosart coming in at #9. You can see the full list here. Do not copy/paste the blurbs. Here is a quick summation

May – Good low 90s fastball, toying with a 2 seamer (which is GREAT news), curve and changeup are solid but both still need work, and his command is still his biggest question mark
Valle – Good raw power, ability to barrel balls to RF and his defense continues to make impressive progress, as he has a strong arm and improving footwork
Colvin – 90-94 hitting 95, but struggling with his secondary offerings and his fastball command and has trouble repeating his delivery (the cause of the command issues, obviously)

Singleton – Nothing groundbreaking here, good bat, good approach, raw power, but struggles against LHP
Cosart – Messy delivery, but huge arm strength, changeup grades out above his curve right now, both are inconsistent, some scouts think he’s a reliever (which I agree with)

I expect we’ll have a name or two on the Eastern League list. The FSL has 12 teams, so to have 3 of the 20 and 5 if you count the traded prospects shows the depth of Clearwater’s roster this year. Also, Pettibone, Jiwan James and Rodriguez missed the list, and both probably got consideration.

Updated running list

GCL: (1) – Ethan Stewart, LHP (16th)
NYPL: (2) – Maikel Franco, 3B (4th), Aaron Altherr, OF (20th)
SAL: (1) – Jesse Biddle, LHP (6th)
FSL: (3) – Trevor May, RHP (4th), Sebastian Valle, C (12th), Brody Colvin, RHP (19th)

50 thoughts on “BA Top 20: FSL list includes 3 current Phillies and 2 former Phillies

  1. I imagine Pettibone, in particular, just missed the list. I think he was most deserving. Rodriguez seems to be a guy who isn’t going to get any respect until he puts up good numbers in AA. No reason to expect that he won’t put up those good numbers.

  2. While I’m surprised that Pettibone didn’t make the list, and agree that J Rod won’t have any believers until he does it at AA, I’m very encouraged that Colvin still made the list despite his miserable year and that Valle is so highed regarded. Next year, Reading will be a hot destination. Unfortunately, with an aging mlb roster and a need and desire to win now, you can’t rule out another trade deadline deal next year.

  3. Interesting that May makes it above Cosart here. I know there were some who felt like May had passed him, but it’s nice to see that opinion from an independent source.

      1. I would agree with that. Singleton has things he’s got to work on but it’s not like May excels in every facet either.

  4. Do I take this to mean that Colvin is in line for a promotion to AA? Not what I was expecting to see.

    1. I wouldn’t. Just that he’s still a prospect. Imagine an alternative universe where Colvin was demoted to the Sally League halfway through the season, got his stuff together, and was lights out. Of course, that’s exactly what happened to Trevor May last season, and some folks wanted to put him ahead of Cosart and Colvin going into this season (and, based on results, that wasn’t a crazy opinion).

      He’ll still probably start in Clearwater again, but I doubt he finishes the year there.

    2. I have no knowledge of what held Colvin back from being a dominating pitcher this year. Just speculation, and I know nothing of his conditioning regime, but I think he’s in line to get very serious about conditioning and making baseball his BIG focus.

      Again, he could already be doing that, so this is a conditional statement. If a young guy is not throwing well and has niggling injuries that screw his season, conditioning and focus are two common causes.

      Welcome hard information to confirm or belie this speculation. I’m motivated by the desire to see a very talented pick grow and maximize his potential, not any desire to denigrate (I tend to look at the draft choices with patience and fatherly forgiveness, but also want them to focus their efforts and succeed). We need all the starters we can get who project as more then #4/5s.

  5. So, what is Trevor May’s ETA? If he pitches in Reading the way he did in Clearwater–by no means a foregone conclusion, considering the relatively hitting-friendliness of the Eastern League–does he work his way into consideration for a late-season call-up for 2012 (should an emergency/injury arise) or Spring Training opportunity for 2013? Seems like it might not be out of the realm of possibility, given the total dearth of serious starting prospects in the upper levels of the system at the moment. Come 2013, there’s going to be at least one hole to fill in the rotation, since Blanton will be gone, and possibly Hamels too if they don’t get a long-term extension done this offseason.

    1. Agreed that 2013 is most likely ETA for May if he continues on his current path. He might be up in 2012 if he really turns the corner and dominates AA.

    2. If May continues on his current path, I’m not sure we’ll see him in CBP in 2013. His current path suggests to me he is going to have some struggles in AA. Hitters are more selective and fly balls tend to go out more in Reading than in Clearwater. He will then have to prove himself in AAA before getting a shot in the bigs.

      That said, it is perfectly reasonable to think he could improve his command in 2012 just like he did in 2011. Plus if he develops a two-seamer that helps him get more groundballs, my concerns over his fly ball rate are lessened.

      1. I agree. He can be good, but he still has 1 or 2 development plateaus to scale. Most likely scenario is that next year, his command is not at a level where they would trust him to come in without struggling against patient hitters.

        That, said, year 3 or 4 in the minors is sometimes the year the light goes on, and he did make significant progress this year. I’ll pull for him to continue that progress. Sometimes it’s just the maturity, self-understanding, and ability to apply the knowledge that comes from the collective experience of the first couple years.

  6. I have a feeling that May could make an appearance in the bigs in 1 1/2 seasons (mid 2013) or shortly thereafter. The refinements needed as mentioned could be the key.

    On Valle, he should also need another season and a half, at least. Colvin better get his ‘tude together…such as reporting to ST in shape. If he does, he should be quickly on the heels of May. Then there is Biddle: give him 3 seasons…thus 2014 mid-season or soon thereafter. IMO, Biddle is likely going to be the best of them.

    With the long term contracts now collected for the Fab 5, these prospect pitchers will not have to be rushed. BUT, unfortunately these 3 are the only most likely starting pitcher better prospects in the system. So I’d expect the Phils to emphasize pitching in the June 2012 draft….along with hoping that some of the “others” step up in the meantime.

    Pitchers and catchers in the coming draft.

    1. I honestly don’t care if Colvin looks like David Wells as long as he can command his FB and secondary pitches. If he’s lazy, that’s one thing. But the most important thing for him is going to be FB command and then improved secondaries. Here’s hoping we see the 2010 version of Colvin next year.

      1. I’ll disagree, BP. I think conditioning is directly related to command. Conditioning affects strength, balance, endurance, body control, and confidence. Take just a little edge off all of those and you have a guy who can command on some pitches, but not consistently, and a guy who gets into a less than competitive mental state. I’m big on that view and would have to hear some pretty extensive arguments that conditioning is not important. It’s like saying. “My stereo does not sound good. But it can’t be the speakers or other hardware, it’s just that the sound coming out is not consistently good.” Well, the hardware is the thing putting out bad sound. And it’s Colvin’s body that’s putting out bad or weak pitches.

        1. Yea, people should try catching up to Roy Halladay while he’s running stairs every morning to tell him that his insane conditioning program is a waste of time. I bet his physical shape has nothing to do with the fact that he has the best command in the majors.

        2. I don’t think the poster was saying lack of conditioning was ideal, merely that he didn’t care if Colvin looked like David Wells, provided he threw like David Wells.

          1. Just for reference, this is what David Wells looked like when he was young: Not a beanpole by any means, but not the tub of lard he was in his latter years either. The point is, with a few rare exceptions (Valenzuela, Bartolo Colon), it’s hard to think of a young pitcher who appeared on the scene as a hefty guy. Most of them came up as big, athletic guys and put on weight as they hit their late 20s. Just to take another example, take a look at young CC:

  7. The Phils have to be excited with the progress May made last yr. I see him pitching say about 3/4 in Reading and a late call up to Lehigh Valley. Valle should see his numbers jump a little at Reading. I think Colvin should pitch a month at Clearwater and if all healthy make the move up to Reading. I agree with some of you on Julio Rodriguez. No respect. Hope he continues to prove the experts wrong. Pettibone had a solid year at Clearwater and expect the same at Reading.

    1. I agree that Pettibone should be most consistent from Clearwater to Reading. I think that May and J-Rod have some obvious red flags when it comes to pitching in Reading and AA. I am fascinated to see how it all plays out.

      I’m torn over Valle’s ability to do well in Reading. I think the hitting environment should help, but someone with his lack of plate discipline will fare poorly against better pitching. I console myself with the thought that it is most important for him to develop his defense and that the hitting can come later.

      1. A possible comp for J-Rod” Jaime Garcia? 89-90 FB, great deception, focus, mixes his pitches beautifully.

        1. If I’m not mistaken, Garcia also has a pretty good secondary pitch in his changeup, and I haven’t heard anything about Rodriguez having a secondary offering that good. The more obvious thing to mention is that Garcia is a lefty and can get away with lower velocity.

      2. While I really like May and think he has a great future, I think he’ll struggle at AA initially. Guys that struggle with control end up throwing lots of 2-0 fastballs and we know what happens with them. When May can throw 1st pitch strikes, he’ll move quickly. That likely won’t be until mid to late 2013 though. Pettibone can move quicker but with a lower upside. He has to develop a cutter or a 2 seamer, something that moves, to be effective with the big boys. As for JRod, he’s never struggled with the Phils so AA will present a nice challenge for him. I remember the article where May said JRod doesn’t ever throw a pitch that doesn’t move. If he can do that while throwing strikes on command he doesn’t have to throw mid 90s. The AA hitters will tell us what we have in him. As for Colvin, everyone agrees he has a great arm. I don’t know if he showed up out of shape last year, maybe his arm was tired from so many innings the year before. He’ll obviously start at CWater and we’ll see. He started very slowly the year before too but then he turned it around and was amazing. He needs to be the amazing guy from the outset next year. I also still have high hopes for James (and Gillies too I’m ashamed to say) but he needs to be much better next year because he’s still far from having major league ability. As for Gose, he still hasn’t shown he can hit 300 with all that ability. D’Arnaud is just a beast but I tell myself that Halladay is the best pitcher in the league and move on….

        1. I had kind of assumed that Pettibone must have some sort of movement on his fastball to get the amount of grounders he gets. Does anyone know for sure?

  8. According to Jim Shonerd in the BA Chat Pettibone was the closest with his FB getting up to 95 with good downward angle, but doesn’t miss that many bats; decent change. Said that Rodriguez as we all know will have to prove himself at each level with his 87-91FB and lazy curve. He did like his deception and the mixing of his pitches. James had good bat speed but poor pitch recognition and that he was over-aggressive.

    1. That’s pretty big news on Pettibone. I hope it is true and he can sustain those higher velocities. I also would like to see him miss more bats – a red flag for certain.

      1. Candidate for learning the cutter from the Four Aces? Then throwing the 95 mph four-seamer, low and away, low and in, or high in late counts, like Lee or Hamels?

      2. I’m not clear on that comment by BA if Pettibone is touching 95 on occasion or sitting in that range during the game. But this is not new for Pettibone. He was clocked in the mid 90s during the BlueClaws playoff run last year. He seems like the most polished of the baby aces but doesn’t have the big upside of Biddle, May and Colvin.

    1. If Cosart winds up in the bullpen then the trade is a fleecing. If Singleton can convert to a league average out fielder then that changes things obviously.

  9. Next year will tell the tale of this talented bunch. I can’t wait to see Valle hit at Reading, also Ruf. I am curious to see if Rodriguez’s curve is as lazy and good as Chris Short’s. He certainly does not have Short’s speed, but he knows how to pitch and is very competitive, like Worley so he has a chance. I believe that Pettibone will start in the majors as a 3 or 4. Let’s see if he continues his outstanding pitching. No doubt Colvin has the talent, but can he learn how to pitch? Can Cesar Hernandez keep hitting for average and improve his power numbers? Will Harold Garcia maintain his .300 batting average and get to the Phillies after he is promoted to Lehigh Valley? Will Matt Way and Nick Hernandez merit consideration to move up to Reading after a while at Clearwater? May has seemed to have solved partially his command problems, but I think he feels the wildness gives him an advantage and I don’t know if that will serve him in the majors. I guess as long as he keeps getting tons of strikeouts and missing bats, he’ll be OK. Will Barnes hit more home runs in Reading and get consideration as a utility player? I am itching with curiosity.

    1. LOVE to hear Short’s name used as a comp. One of the best pitchers to ever wear a Phillies uniform, his career cut short by injury. He battled Koufax pitch for pitch, some of the best pitching duels in the NL of that era. Dominant!

      However, Short had a real hammer curve. Nothing lazy about it.

      With Hernandez, guys like remind me of Manny Trillo, nice contact hitter, some gap power, eventually maybe 8-12 HRs a year. If he is a plus 2B-man and can hit .280+ in majors eventually and have smart AB, take some walks, I’d call that a serviceable 2B.

      I have a good feeling about Barnes as a utility guy. He’s strong for his size. I think he’ll have the ability to pop one out when he gets a fat FB or a hanger. Otherwise, line drive singles and doubles. To me, that’s the quintessential utility guy.

    2. Matt Way’s back is suspect….he will soon need to decide on his status in a professional baseball career.

      1. Can only assume Matt Way will be back…..back in January 2011 he says in an interview to SportsTalkPhilly……’my back is feeling better. The problem started with a glute strain. As the season went on, it became more of an inflammation problem. The time off, with some adjustments to my posture habits, helped a lot. I’m feeling really good and I’m excited to get to Florida and start job hunting.’….a glute strain should not deter his future in baseball…I would think.

        1. Right…but that was January of 2011…before he missed this past season. Not sure how that makes one feel better!

  10. BA supposedly just posted their EL top 20. Any subscribers want to let us know if Reading represented?

    1. In the chat John Manuel commented on Galvis, Not enough bat to make list though he did have a good year. If he makes the ML would be an 8 hitter, but he did praise his glove,said he was in “in Hechevarria’s league defensively”(the #19 ranked Blue Jay). As for Amount he said he has “as good a combo of velocity and sink as anyone in the game” just doesn’t throw enough strikes at this time. Said DeFratus has good stuff and throws strikes but Aumont has the higher ceiling.

      1. Manuel’s comments on Aumont and DeFratus are exactly what I would say. Aumont has a chance to be great but isn’t yet while DeFratus is close to being very good but will never be great. Next spring training should be fun with all these arms to see. Hopefully, the Phils will leave a spot open to competition.

  11. I picture Trevor May as a future Matt Cain……..tremendous arm with control issues, and if he can master them, watch out……

    1. Yes, that’s an excellent comparable. Cain still had control issues when he started in the majors but overcame them and become a terrific pitcher.

  12. I liked May’s attitude which came across as very positive during his interview with TMac and Wheels when he accepted his Paul Owens award for best pitcher in the minors this year.
    He sounded very confident in his ability but knows what he needs to improve on.
    His Philly ETA should be 2013 with perhaps a September callup in 2012.

    1. While I like May quite a bit, I think he’ll struggle at AA initially due to his control problems. At AA, going 2-0 to hitters, which will happen a lot initially, will provide lots of hard hit balls. He’ll learn that he has to be able to throw 1st pitch strikes if he wants to succeed. Homer Bailey of the Reds is another good comparable except he still strugges throwing strike 1.

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