2012 Reader Top 30, #4

Sebastian Valle takes the #3 slot in runaway fashion, with a tightly grouped pack of four prospects following behind, which should make for interesting voting and discussion in this round. I will add Julio Rodriguez, based on popular demand, to take the spot of the chosen Valle. The voting for #4 will run through the weekend, and we’ll be back with #5 on Monday. As a reminder on eligibility for the list, to be eligible the player must have fewer than 130 AB or 50 innings pitched. The list so far

01. Trevor May, RHP
02. Jesse Biddle, LHP
03. Sebastian Valle, C

Check below for the next poll.

84 thoughts on “2012 Reader Top 30, #4

  1. Pettibone again from #3. Would have been Valle at #4. IMO, Colvin’s upside is still higher than probably anyone on the list, including May, but after last year, his downside seems to be Japan in 2015. Or Korea. Barring injury, Valle’s legit downside, to me, is probably a AAAA guy. And I doubt he’ll be worse than a consistent backup in the bigs.

  2. Wow I actually have Colvin behind Pettibone, Bonilla and J-Rod. A 1.379 WHIP and a k/9 at 7 bothers me. He may have the stuff to project with a higher upside but he’ll have to show it.

    I like Galvis here. I’d like to believe last year was not an anomaly but rather a product of his strength and conditioning.

    1. I agree! I’m continuing with Galvis, then I have Franco, De Fratus, and J-Rod before Colvin. Pettibone and Aumont round out my top 10. I like to see results, not just promise.

      1. I guess Baseball America missed that logic when they made Bryce Harper the #2 prospect in all of baseball last year. Before he played any minor league baseball or produced any “results”.

        1. Huh? 16-yr old kids with their face on the cover of Sports Illustrated are quite the exception. Not to mention that Harper, unlike Colvin, wasn’t coming off a hugely disappointing 3rd season in the minors; in a league where pitcher’s have the upper hand.

          Going Galvis here. It’s not glamorous and I understand that his ceiling is somewhat limited, but he’ll play a full season at LHV this year at age 22. He has a major-league arm and his glove is ready. 41 extra base hits last season after making big strides with the bat.

          In a more top heavy farm system, I’d be uncomfortable with Galvis this high. After having him ranked top 10 last season, I have no problem sliding him into the #4 spot.

          Considering Pettibone, Franco and LGJ . . Colvin in the back 10 for sure

        1. Mostly because of strikeouts. Franco struck out just 30 times vs 25 walks as an 18 year-old in Williamsport. Pettibone struck out just 6 batters per 9 innings each of his last 2 seasons. I also like Franco’s defensive ability (just 5 errors all season and a 2.5 RF/G per game) and I like his 778 OPS in Williamsport. That is results. He’s only 18, but position players tend to be more reliably projectable than pitchers. In addition, I pay attention to scouting reports, which is why I have Colvin just ahead of Pettibone. The Phillies batted Franco clean-up in his first games as a 17-year-old rookie in the GCL in 2010. In 2011 they began him in Lakewood. Those 2 moves showed me that they think very highly of him. I agree.

            1. Thanks for the correction. Yes, you are right. He was in Lakewood for 20 days in August, and was overmatched, but I like that the organization gave him the opportunity. From what I’ve read, Franco’s biggest problem may be one of conditioning. He started last season strong and faded in the end. I’m hoping he has found a good conditioning program and is working very hard this off season so he comes back strong and in the best shape of his life this spring, kind of like Galvis last year and not like Rizzotti.

  3. I’m surprised Colvin is running away with it. I thought Aumont would be the favorite here.

    Upside is nice, but his poor preparation heading into 2011 is a major blemish.

  4. Also went with Colvin based on his upside potential as a top of the rotation starter. Last season was a disappointment but anticipating he has a bounce back effort in 2012. Hoping part of drop last season was a bit of Verducci effect coming off of 2010 season where he got significant # of innings in his first full season after coming out of HS.

    1. Funny you should mention this. I was thinking it myself which led me to my Verducci Effect candidate for this year. I think that guy could be Biddle. He had 133 innings pitched very similar to Colvin last year. Of course, Colvin shot himself in the foot when he showed up out of shape. Let’s hope that is far behind. My vote went to Colvin again here.

  5. Given the promise Colvin showed in prev years, I’m willing to give him a 1-yr pass on the mediocre season, could be a lesson learned on conditioning, dedication, etc.–or maybe just injury related. But the chance of him coming back to form plus his upside puts him ahead of others, IMO.

  6. I am a HUGE Aumont fan, but unless and until he goes back to starting pitching his upside impact on the team is limited to, at best, 1-2.5 WAR per year. I picked Colvin by a hair over Pettibone given the reports on his stuff and the fact that, frequently, really good prospects often take a half step back before leaping forward. I bet Colvin comes into ST in great shape and ready to kick some tail. By mid-season, the Reading rotation (May, Rodriguez, Pettibone, Colvin) will be ridiculous – perhaps the best in minor league baseball. Clearwater will also be quite good, with lefties Wright and Biddle leading the way and Bonnilla also doing well.

  7. I have Pettibone as my #4, comfortably ahead of theres here. He was very consistent last year as he was in the last few months of the 2010 season. He clearly projects as a major league starter. I would feel a lot better about Colvin, who had a terrific 3/4 of a season in 2010, if he did anything positive last year but I can’t find it. I do have Colvin at 5 but its purely on potential. To me, the quality of the list takes a huge step down after Colvin at #5. Its at this point where lots of different guys could trade places. It also feels very obvious that the system’s quality is much less than it has been in the last few years. I have eight of last year’s drafted guys in my top 35, which is a lot, and that doesn’t even include Tocci, so hopefully help is on the way. I know Tyler Greene’s relatives think he’s the #1 guy and that would be great but we’ll have to wait and see. Its not like he tore up the GCL after he signed. Don’t you wish we had someone who actually hit 320 in the minors?? We just have so few 300 hitters that we’re left to pine for potential. Gillies did it for Seattle, Cesar Hernandez did well two years ago, Harold Garcia had the great year 2 years ago also but that’s it. As Pete Rose said, having potential just means a guy is supposed to do something but he hasn’t done it yet.

  8. I like Colvin, but he had a full season of weakness with only a brief period of improvement in the middle. I think Pettibone and J-Rod have passed him (for now).

    I voted for Galvis. I was his main cheerleader last year and will remain so. If he can have a league average bat with an above-average glove, he will be a successful major leaguer. My two main reservations are: 1) league average in AA is not the same as league average in the majors; and 2) some comments here and there that his defense deteriorated last year.

  9. Going with Colvin at #4 although i’m a bit down on him after this past season. Assuming he stays healthy and has a nice bounce back season, he could easily find himself on top prospect lists again.

  10. Maikel Franco is my choice for #4 after some deliberation.
    Colvin at 4 isn’t a bad choice here though. He still has the upside to be a good starting pitcher.
    Didn’t want to pick a Utility IF (Galvis) a Reliever (Aumont) or a 4-5 starter (Pettibone) as the #4 prospect. So I went with 3B with good glove and major bat speed.

    1. It seems to me that Franco’s “stock” has increased significantly in the eyes of some. Can someone who has seen him and/or has additional insight give a little more detail of his skill set and upside. I am hopeful that the minor league system can produce a real upside position player prospect in the next few years. The idea of a 3b prospect is even that more appealing.


      1. I had my first chance to see him when he played at Williamsport this year. He is not very tall but seemed solid at 3rd with a good but not great arm. Seems like he enjoys playing and I liked his bat. Seems to have better at bats as the game moves on and is squaring up fastballs although he does seem to need more experience as he does pull many of his best swings foul. I think he will be very good at Lakewood and will only be 19. I plugged him in at four. I favor players I have seen a few times thus I will leave off all the guys who have not played past high school yet.

      2. I was a little more impressed with his arm than mwbbfan. He has a quick bat, and takes aggressive swings early, then just tries to make contact when he gets behind. He was making contact against breaking balls but not squaring them up. Looks good with his glove, but he’s terribly slow. Hopefully he’s able to keep himself in shape enough to stay at 3rd.

  11. I can’t vote for Colvin here because he really needs to show a more serious approach to his conditioning and mental preparation than he did coming into last season. Talent alone simply isn’t enough.

    Pettibone is a better choice here if you’re looking to vote for a starting pitcher, he has so much more polish and professionalism than Colvin. I love Pettibone’s command, he just knows how to pitch and stay out of his own way, so to speak. He did a great job working out of a rough patch last season and finished strong, a huge positive.

    Meanwhile, I’m voting for Aumont because I think he can become a dominant closer for a number of years and he’s also quite close to being MLB ready. I may switch to Pettibone if I see Aumont as a lost cause at #5, though.

    A note on Galvis: I love what he did last season, what a huge leap forward as a batsman. I had basically written the guy off and he really amazed me with his progress. Still, he has a long way to go before I can predict with any comfort that he’ll be a starting SS on a contending team. I’m a Galvis fan but I just can’t vote for him this high. I hope he continues to prove his doubters wrong, I’ll eat as much crow as he can serve up.

  12. Pettibone here, his stuff really isn’t that far behind Colvin, but he knows where it is going. He has #3 starter upside and doesn’t have a lot of flaws, he just isn’t oozing untapped potential or raw tools.

  13. The poll is not showing up for me. I would have voted for Colvin, although others’ comments this thread and last have convinced me that it is really close between Colvin, Aumont, and Pettibone. Aumont was my biggest disappointment last year, but impressed in 2011. Colvin had a poor 2010 but the talent is there. Pettibone was the most pleasant surprise of 2011. I think I’ve just talked myself into Pettibone Hopefully the polling box will return to the thread soon and I’ll actually be able to vote.

  14. Colvin, like the rest. I’m not sure what to make of all the reports that he was out of shape, since I didn’t see him myself, but it seems like scouts still rave about his raw stuff. Maybe he would benefit from starting off back in Clearwater for a stretch.

    I think after this things will get interesting, as the list is pretty evenly split between relatively low-ceiling pitchers (Pettibone, Rodriguez, De Fratus, Aumont) and raw infielders we can dream on (I’m assuming LGJr ends up at 1B). And then there’s Galvis, who I suspect is going to involve a contentious argument. I love what he did last year, and have always been one of those who thought he had room to grow as a hitter, but some of the expectations for him voiced during the debate over Rollins’ contract veered in a delusional direction. I’d put him somewhere in the bottom half of the Top 10, personally, though I’m certainly hoping he’ll continue to show steady progress at AAA next year. If he does, I could see the front office asking Rollins to move to 3B in the third year of his contract, the way Ripken did at the end of his career.

    1. Nice to see atleast one person agrees with me, I am with you on that, Glavis to me is down at the number 8 spot on my list… I say glavis doesn’t belong in the top 5 and get called a troll after being on this site for 6 years… lovely.

    2. Aumont is NOT a low ceiling player. His ceiling is a top tier closer or even top of the rotation starter. The issue with him is risk.

  15. I like Pettibone for #4. Good fastball. Keeps evrytthing low. He should be very good for the Phillies.

  16. Colvin 100% here, maybe Franco next (still haven’t decided, i’m a bit torn between him and pettibone)

  17. I’m gonna start the Tyler Greene campaign – I love that he signed early enough to get some pro reps and did pretty well. It will be interesting to see if the Phils are agressive and start him at Lakewood this year.

  18. … and I’d also like to put a request to see Pointer’s name on the ballot. I had him rather aggressively ranked at 7 on my list, which means I may be overvaluing him.

    1. Just a comparison.

      Brian Pointer: Gulf Coast league, age 19, OBP .350, K% 24, BB% 9

      Maikel Franco: NYpenn league, age 18, OBP .360, K% 13, BB% 11

      1. Pointer: 6 HR’s in 169 AB’s and 8 for 8 in SB attempts
        Franco: 3 HR’s in 267 AB’s and 0 SB

        To me, Pointer is the sleeper in the Phillies’ system and should be in the top 10.

        1. Pointer as a sleeper I can buy. Top ten is a stretch.

          But the comparison to Franco … ignores a year difference in age, a level difference in advancement through the system, and a positional edge to Franco. Yes, his raw numbers were better before making those adjustments. Franco, though, IMO has a much higher ceiling, considering the above factors.

  19. Pointer is top 10 for me too.

    Meanwhile, I went with Galvis here. Yeah, I’m not sold on him, but we’re kind of weak on top end talent, and the kid played pretty good AA and AAA ball at the tender age of 21. He’s been around forever so you think he’s older, but he’s every bit as young as the guys in A ball – plus I was a big hater before so I’m trying to make attonment.

    1. Confession is good for the soul. I am very interested in what kind of advancement Galvis makes this ST. Surely he can’t match the quantum jump of last year but one can hope beyond reason. Austin Brough is interesting I think he may make the top ten next year. Another one of those college pitchers with a bad college record who show up for the phils. Beats thinking about snow anyway

  20. Okay. 10 am and this one is done, too. It’s Colvin. You could post another one now and get to six on Monday.

  21. I don’t think of POinter as a top 10 or even top 15 yet he’s actually 26th on my list because he is in the GCL but he has a lot of potential though if he keeps putting up the numbers in higher leagues he will be a top 10 but not now.

  22. Funny. This poll is shaping up exactly like fangraphs’ list.
    I didn’t notice a post here, mentioning the fangraph’s top 10, but it looks like this list will likely be the same through at least the top 5. The differences will likely be Franco being lower and Galvis being higher on this poll than the fangraphs list. Also, seems that many here love Tyler Green, but scouts and outsiders seem like Larry Greene and Roman Quinn more.

      1. I would say that you’re pretty anonymous too. Seeing as I don’t know you.
        Anyway you’re wrong. Baseball America and the scouts rated Singleton higher than Hewitt, in their draft years. Singleton was rated significantly higher, going into his senior year, than Hewitt was in his year.

  23. I went Colvin here, then I’m going Franco next. Franco is very interesting to me and I’m expecting a big year in 2012.

  24. Anon:

    Did you see/read/hear some scouts say they liked L.Greene and Quinn ahead of T. Greene? What–if you recall–did they say? Was that after the post season camp?

    “Youth” wants to know.

    1. Tyler Greene showed up all the 2012 drafts in Clearwater at the Fall Instructs. He was playing SS with the kids 3 plus yeas older than him and more than held his own.. while the others were learning the positions the Org wants them to play.

  25. Good article today in Philadelphia Inquirer by Matt Gelb with 5 pitchers who could help Phillies this year. He mention Aumont, DeFratus, Hyatt, Diekman, and Cloyd.

      1. We have the worst media people in history in Philadelphia. Generally a lazy group, more than willing to repeat any garbage lines they are feed as long as it doesn’t involve work.

        1. I’m still high on Schwimer. When it comes to him facing lefties I think of the 9/11 game at Milwaukee where Schwimer was brought into a game the Phils trailed 3-2 in the bottom of the 7th to face one hitter, lefty Prince Fielder with a man on first a 2 out. Charlie could have brought in a lefty, but he chose Schwimer And Schwimer struck Fielder out. It gives me a ray of hope. Anyway, a righty specialist who struggles against lefties is more valuable than a lefty specialist who struggles against righties, since most batters are right-handed. And Schwimer was lights out against righties with both the Iron Pigs and the Phils. If Shwim improves just a tad against lefties and maintains his dominance of righties, he’ll have a fine major league career.

      2. He was hit or miss last year. It was a small sample size, I’ll concede that, but realistically, if he’s not going to get left handed hitters out, he’s not going to help out a whole lot.

      3. Geld writes about Savery in the same section of lefty prospects along with Diekman, saying that either of the 2 could beat out Willis in ST. The headline could have said 6 pitchers, not 5. I think the headline’s focus is on the 5 other minor leaguers Gelb assumes are less well known.

    1. I’m surprised the voting wasn’t closer for the first few spots. To me the top 10 to 15 are pretty interchangeable. Nobody this year would have cracked my personal top 4 last year (Brown, Worley, Singleton, and Valle), and I bet a lot of people feel the same (with Cosart and Colvin instead of Worley and Valle perhaps). I had May 5th (ahead of Cosart) as the best of the baby aces and now he’s #1. Valle took a couple steps back for me, although May did move up a half-step. Biddle reportedly lost velocity on his FB and he moved up to #2? A bit scary. This is the weakest the system has been in a few years, so there will be a lot of healthy debate about the high schoolers of the 2011 draft, since unfortunately there may be room for them in the top 30. But if a couple of the baby aces break out in Reading, or if some of the toolsy outfielders start to break-out (Gillies, James, and Castro at AA and AAA say) the organization would be able to boast of blue chip prospects again soon.

      1. By the way, I think Gillies has to rank higher than James, since he was protected and James wasn’t, and James wasn’t selected in the Rule 5 draft. They’ve both been slowed by injuries, they’re both very good defensive centerfielders with great speed and great arms. Gillies has had more success batting and base stealing and has already had a taste of AA. Gillies is coming off more recent injuries and James is 6 months younger, but Gillies being on the 40-man roster tells me the Phillies and presumably other major league teams think he’s a better prospect than James at this point. I have Gillies 13th and Jame 15th in my current rankings, possibly subject to change as I read this blog.

        1. Gillies being on the 40 man roster, doesnt mean he is a better Major league prospect than Jiwan James. It means the Phillies think that Gillies is more likely to be chosen to “stick” on a roster as a 5th OF, right now. Being the better 5th OF right now, does not mean you are the better prospect.
          The Phillies also protected Brian Bocock and left Harold Garcia unprotected 2 years ago. That doesn’t mean they thought Bocock was a prospect.

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