Baseball America Phillies Top 10 Prospects

Today Baseball America released their Top 10 prospects in the Phillies System.  Since the scouting reports are behind the pay wall I will keep the scouting reports to quick paraphrases of Baseball America’s reports.

If you have further questions and are a BA subscriber please go to the chat later today or submit your questions now.

1.  Jesse Biddle – LHP – Age 21 -Biddle has drawn comparisons to Andy Pettitte for his strong left handed frame.  Biddle’s fastball sits 88-93, he follows it up with a curveball which profiles as plus, an average change up, and a added a two-seamer and slider in 2012.    Biddle has a great work ethic and he physically profiles as a workhorse with a clean smooth delivery.  Biddle has a very good chance to be a #3 starter but there is a chance that he could profile better if one of his pitches takes a step forward.

2.  Roman Quinn – SS – Age 19 – Quinn’s best tool is 80 speed, at the plate he has taken to switch hitting full time and he has a good quick swing which has a good amount of power for his small frame, though he will never be a huge power threat.  In the field Quinn is still learning shortstop and has problem positioning and with his footwork, but he has an elite first step and excellent range as well as a plus arm.  Quinn has drawn comparisons to Jimmy Rollins but has more arm and speed than Rollins did at the same age.

3.  Tommy Joseph – C – Age 21 – Joseph’s calling card is his bat, he has plus raw power and he has a nice direct swing.  There have been some questions about whether Joseph can stick defensively, but the Phillies like what they see.  Joseph has good soft hands and a quick release to go with a plus arm that allows him to shut down the running game.  There are still some problems with his footwork and blocking balls in the dirt.

4. Jonathan Pettibone – RHP – Age 22 – Pettibone likely has the highest floor of any player in the Phillies minor league system.  His fastball sits 90-94 and has good sink, to go with an average slider and a plus change up, additionally Pettibone started to add a cutter which flashed has a nice weapon against LH hitters.  The biggest weakness for Pettibone is his lack of a true swing and miss pitch.  Pettibone’s ceiling is as a mid-rotation starter but he could be ready by the middle of 2013.

5. Adam Morgan – LHP – Age 22 – Morgan’s stuff actually ticked up in professional ball with his fastball sitting 91-94, a slider that profiles as plus, and a change up that was rated the best in the FSL.  Morgan has above average control and a smooth delivery, both of which have drawn some comparisons to Cliff Lee.  Morgan profiles as a #3 starter but there is some potential to be better than that if the secondary pitches continue to improve.

6. Ethan Martin – RHP – Age 23 – Martin was a lost prospect as of a few years ago but in 2012 he really improved.  Martin’s fastball sits 91-97 to go with a change up and curveball that are inconsistent but both flash plus at times giving Martin three plus pitches.  Martin still has slight below average control to go with shaky command.  If he can continue to improve the command he could be a mid-rotation starter, if not he is a solid bullpen piece.

7. Cody Asche – 3B – Age 22 – At the plate Asche has a short quick stroke that gives him good contact and line drive power to all fields.  Their are questions though as to whether he will ever have prototypical power for third base.  In the field he has good hands and a solid arm, his footwork and positioning still need work but are improving.  He is not a prototypical third baseman but there is a major league role for him, perhaps as a regular if it all comes together.

8. Maikel Franco – 3B – Age 20 – At the plate Franco has quick hands and above average raw power.  Franco is a 20 runner, a fact that scared away teams looking to sign him out of the DR.  In the field has a strong arm and soft hands which will allow him to stick at third base long term.  If Franco improve, especially in recognizing off-speed pitches, he will profile as a solid power hitting third baseman.

9. Darin Ruf – 1B/OF – Age 26 – Ruf had a huge breakout 2012 when he finally tapped into his good raw power.  He is good against fastballs and has shown some success at dealing with major league breaking balls.  In the field he is a well below average runner and is fringy defensively at first base, in the outfield he is a poor defender but has enough arm for left field.  Ruf could stick as a lose to everyday LF, and is floor is as a power bench bat.

9. Carlos Tocci – CF – Age 17 – The first thing about Tocci is his great instincts especially for his young age.  Physically he is very slight and he has shown almost no power to this point.  In the field he is a plus plus runner who has great range in center to go with a plus arm, giving him the chance to be a top defensive player there.  At the plate he has good strike zone awareness and can drive the ball to all fields, he projects as an above average hitter but the power will depend on how much muscle he can add to his frame.  Tocci is still far away and could handle the promotion to Lakewood but the Phillies might hold him back in Extended before sending him to Williamsport.

Best Hitter for Average Cody Asche
Best Power Hitter Darin Ruf
Best Strike Zone Discipline Darin Ruf
Fastest Baserunner Roman Quinn
Best Athlete Roman Quinn
Best Fastball Kenny Giles
Best Curveball Jesse Biddle
Best Slider Adam Morgan
Best Changeup Jon Pettibone
Best Control Jon Pettibone
Best Defensive Catcher Sebastian Valle
Best Defensive Infielder Cesar Hernandez
Best Infield Arm Maikel Franco
Best Defensive OF Tyson Gillies
Best Outfield Arm Kyrell Hudson
Catcher Tommy Joseph
First Base Ryan Howard
Second Base Chase Utley
Third Base Cody Asche
Shortstop Roman Quinn
Left Field Darin Ruf
Center Field Ben Revere
Right Field Domonic Brown
No. 1 Starter Cole Hamels
No. 2 Starter Cliff Lee
No. 3 Starter Roy Halladay
No. 4 Starter Jesse Biddle
No. 5 Starter Jonathan Pettibone
Closer Jonathan Papelbon

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

377 thoughts on “Baseball America Phillies Top 10 Prospects

      1. If Valle had a 6% rate over the past 2 seasons, he WOULD be top ten and deservedly so. The problem is that it is little more than half that, 3.3%.

        1. Hi Larry – good point. I was talking about his overall MILB walk rate. It’s 6% and dropping every year. Like his value.

  1. I know the Phillies have traded away a lot of guys over the last few years, but I REALLY like this top 10, as well as the many names that are not even incuded: Dylan Couzens, Larry Green, Tyson Gillies, Collier, Gueller, Watson, Giles… Phillies amateur scouting and player development is doing a great job. This system is better than advertised (or at least better that I was expecting to see).

  2. BA is treating Ruf like a top 10 guy? I’m a little shocked by that actually. As far as the rest of the list I’d have Pettibone behind Martin and Morgan and have Asche behind Francco.

      1. Since when has BA emphasized “MLB ready”?

        They’re the exact opposite. That’s why Shane Watson not making the list is good news.

        Pettibone is a solid back of the rotation starter even on the Phillies and he’s almost exactly one year older than Mark Appel.

        Larry Greene not making the list is a flag on him.
        Holding Carlos Tocci back from Lakewood is WRONG.

        Why is there no discussion of Zack Green?
        Freeaec Phillies ‏@Free_AEC
        Dave Montgomery arrested running naked down Market ST yelling “We’re under the limit! No taxes!” #PhilliesTalk #Phillies BOYCOTT SCAMMIES

        1. Green is probably a borderline Top 20 guy in the system. Defensively he should be near elite at third base, the problem is at the plate, he has some plate discipline issues and his swing can get long leaving him exposed against breaking balls. He was just drafted and is in the GCL so there is plenty of time and tons of risk. The interesting debate with him is him vs Walding who had a down year but the scouting reports are still very positive on.

          If you are going to list breakout candidates for 2013 he is likely on the short list, but he hasn’t done enough yet or have the pedigree to be high on the list (which is fine because he hasn’t really had time to prove anything yet). I really like him as a prospect, he just is really far away.

          1. I have Zach Green in the 25 range on the prospect list. Mitch Gueller, Mitchell Walding, Andrew Pullin and Dylan Cozens just ahead of him.

          2. I certainly did not write or even imply that Zach Green should be in the Phillies top ten prospect list. I’m simply astounded at the lack of discussion about him. 3 bombs, a three bagger and 13 doubles in 169 AB is some good pop, only Dylan “Anabolic” Cozens showed more power. Carlos Tocci had no pop whatsoever and a lower batting average than Green and he is fawned over.

            Given Green’s excellent glove skills he should be marked for the 3B job at Lakewood this year. He can always be sent back to instructional league and then to Williamsport if he can’t stick, but Green should be on the fast track. /

            1. Of course Tocci is regarded more highly than Green. He’s a year and a half younger at the same level and his defense in center supposedly projects to plus-plus. Also, if we want to use GCL stats (ugh, small samples), Green wins ISO (hugely) but loses K and BB rates there. So the best case to be made for Green against Tocci is that he performed equally well…and then we go back to the age difference. This is not even a close call in terms of prospect value.

            2. I disagree regarding it “not even a close call in terms of prospect value.” I too still do not understand the worship of Tocci. He look like a small child. His shoulders are small, and his body does not project. Let’s see what the prospect value of Tocci is in two years after the scouts have had the chance to see him physically develope and his ability to hit the ball out of the infield is questioned. The age difference will catch up. His body may never develop.

            3. First, I think Tocci is likely to develop into more than you suggest. Second, even if he doesn’t, then he becomes Revere B. We know the Phillies just traded a #4 starter plus a solid minor league pitching prospect for Revere. Tocci will have value due to speed, great defense, solid contact skills. I agree that it is unlikely that he suddenly puts on all the muscle needed to be a slugger. Then again, Greene has yet to slug and he already has all his muscle.

  3. Asche at 7……on Friday/Saturday was related on this site he was projected below the top 10….why the contradiction?

      1. Nope, it was definitively stated on here that Asche would not be included in the top 10. The claim was made that the writer had an advance look at BA list.
        I think the question should be: “why the discrepancy” ?

        1. It was a mistake on my part. I was missing three of the Top 10 (reports had appeared on their BA profiles) the only consistent thing across other Top 10s had been that 2012 drafted players had missing reports so I wrongly assumed that it was Watson in that spot and then made a rash declaration.

    1. I guess it turns out MattWinks isn’t the end all/be all that he purports himself to be along with the other know-it-all LarryM.

      The assuredness with which he stated the fact the other day and the way he disregarded other people’s opinions that believed Asche was a top 10 guy is exactly what I was pointing out the other day and everyone got their panties in a bunch.

      Whatever though…doesn’t really matter

      1. Reminds of the insurance commercial narrated by Paul Giamatti….’humans…they sometimes make mistakes’.

      2. Don’t be a jerk. You’re exactly the kind of poster who destroys sites like this. Matt deserves deference and respect for all the work and time he puts in here. If you don’t like it, it’s very easy to create your own site. And good riddance if that comes to pass. JMHO.

        1. In my experience Winks and “James” are punks who maintain a boring site that I can OWN at anytime, but that is so boring that I only return for a short time several months apart.

          By “boring” I mean that even the negative comments that I generate are lame. This is not by design, it is due to a lack of intellect.

  4. So Asche’s ceiling is essentially Michael Young?

    And Ruf’s floor is MLB bench bat? Seems BA has changed their tune on that, even from a few months ago, when they were still questioning whether Ruf could be anything more than AAAA.

    1. I don’t think they are saying quite that about Asche. I think there is some projection going on; if BP believed that Asche was a guy who had the serious potential to be a .300 hitter, he would be higher on the list, maybe even #1. Just to pick on the most obvious difference (which they don’t mention, but I am sure they are aware of), Asche doesn’t have the contact skills that Young has (big difference between 18% K rate in the minors and 14% in the majors).

      Look, I am by any objective standard pretty high on Asche. The fact that I don’t think he is going to be a star doesn’t negate that. But IF he had the plate discipline of Young, then his ceiling would be signficantly higher. Maybe still not as high as Young’s. but higher than solid regular.

      1. “contact skills,” not “plate discipline,” though looking at his career as a whole (i.e., not his current declining rates), Young has the edge there also.

        1. Asche as a 22 year old in A + and AA .324/.369/.481. OPS of .849
          Young as a 22 year old in A+ .313/.389/.428. OPS of .818

          1. And I’m not posting that to say that Asche is obviously superior to Young. Just that their offensive numbers are not dissimilar.

          2. And Young with, as I said, a substantially better contact rate. Some people just refuse to even look at BABIP, but it remains true that Asche’s 2012 BA was to a large extent BABIP driven.

            Look, I think it’s borderline insane that my really very optimistic take on Asche is considered to be a negative take on him around here. There are multiple reasons for that, but the biggest IMO is that a signficant percentage of his fans are convinced that his 2012 BA means that he is a potential .320 hitter in the majors, and he just isn’t. He’s slow, with mid range power at best and mediocre contact rate. Even with the nice line drive swing, that does not translate to a major league .300 hitter. It just doesn’t.

            Other differences – Young was a shortstop for most of his career – not a terribly good one, but no one suggests that Asche has that ability. He was never a speed demon, but in his 20s he was faster than Asche. It also is a stretch to project Asche to have as much power as Young did, though he could.

            If BA thought Asche’s ceiling was Young, he would be the Phillies’ top ranked prospect.

            1. Why do we think Asche will never have Young’s power? What about Young’s minor league power numbers are that dissimilar to Asche’s?

            2. I said he could have his power, but I wouldn’t count on it.

              The fact that they had similar minor league power numbers means less than you think. Most players with those kind of minor league power numbers do not develop that much power.

            3. But really to an even greater extent than with mds and batting average below we are splitting hairs on the power issue. The big picture here is that nowhere does BA compare him to Michael Young, and I think the comparision is a stretch on a number of grounds. Nothing is impossible, but I think a Young comp is quite a reach over all.

      2. I’m not sure that they don’t view him as a potential .300 hitter considering that they have him ranked that high despite noting his possible power and defensive limitatons. I took the “not a prototypical third basemen” comment as meaning high average, below average power.

        1. You are absolutely projecting your own beliefs about his batting average onto BA’s ranking. .300 hitters are quite rare; if he hits .280 to .290, that is still well above average, and plenty good to support the ranking. Not to beat a dead horse, but if they projected him as a .300 hitter he would, considering the whole package including proximity, be the number one prospect in the system.

          I would literally bet you any amount of money that BA is assuming at best a ceiling as a .290 hitter and most likely more like .280.

          1. Well there isn’t a big difference between a .290 ceiling and a .300 ceiling is there? certainly not enough to move up 6 spots in the rankings.

            The BABIP and contact rate concerns cannot be ignored, which is why I’m not a .320 ceiling guy for Asche. But I have no problem projecting on the high side with Asche due to a very compact and repeatable swing to go along with (by all accounts) a tremendous, Utley-like work ethic.

            1. Actually, on a career basis, 10 points in BA can make a signficant difference. Also, it’s 20 points if you assume .280, which IMO might be more realistic.

              But we’re splitting hairs to some extent; nether you nor I belong to either of the extremes on this site. There are people who think his ceiling is second division regular; I am more optimistic than that. There are people who see him as a potential .320 hitter; you are more pessimistic than that.

      3. Also, the last sentence of their evaluation should put this in perspective “but there is a major league role for him, perhaps as a regular if it all comes together.” Not what one says about the next Michael Young. Again, I find myself actually being MORE optimistic than that.

        1. ‘last sentence of their evaluation ‘ —“The left-handed hitter projects as the Phils’ third baseman of the future and the future might not be far away”

          1. Are we reading the same evaluations? Scroll up.

            Not that this makes much difference in the greater scheme of things. I’m bullish on Asche, just not to the extreme degree that some people around here are. And I read the BA ranking & comments as roughly where my own thinking is, if anything, a tiny bit less optimistic than I am.

            1. You woul think someone as smart as LarryM would have the reading comprehension skills to determine that the stuff he is reading when he scrolls up in this page is his buddy MattWinks’ summary of what BA wrote about Asche, so its his buddies words not BA’s. what Anonymous is referring to is Baseball Anericas opinion on Asche.

              LarryM would’ve figured that out eventually though since he is so smart and writes such long posts disputing everything that people say on here…

            2. I don’t have a subscription to BA and it is behind a pay wall. If you think MattW is not presenting a fair summary (not that I’d take your word for it, you pathetic punk), take it up with him, not me.

              The fact remains that BA ranked Asche about where I did, maybe a little lower. The delusional morons who think that this somehow vindicates their fantasy that Asche will hit .320 and be a perrenial all star can get-

            3. Larry, if you are going to use that language towards another poster on this site regardless of how much you feel insulted by their words I am going to have to start moderating your posts. This site is read by people both in and outside of the industry, including but not limited to front offices (I guarantee there is some poor intern in the Phillies front office who has scanning this site as part of their job description), writers, players, and player’s families. Gregg receives a good amount of feedback from many of these parties so please try to keep the language under control

            4. You should stop taking yourself so seriously on here. You just wished someone a painful death over a disagreement about a minor league baseball player. That’s nuts..

            5. If you are going to accuse me of bias please check your facts before doing so. I repeated almost verbatim out of the BA report on Asche’s future (actually much closer than I normally feel comfortable doing, I wanted to have this posted as soon as the list went up this morning)

          2. That is really weird considering the report ends with this:

            The Future: He’s not a prototypical power-hitting, slick-fielding third baseman, but Asche should hit enough to have a big league role, perhaps as a regular. He could start 2013 in Triple-A and be in line to take over for Michael Young when Young becomes a free agent after the season.

            1. LarryM…please, will you just chill out already. Practically, every month you lose it with someone on this site, can’t you see that…is that what you want, do you really like feeling that way! My goodness, almost 5 years of this, aren’t you tired of it?

            2. Here’s the thing anon. If I’m being an ass, I deserve to be called out. When I’m being nice, I don’t deserve it. I’m not an eye for an eye kind of guy; I’m a two arms, two legs, two eyes and a nose for an eye kind of guy. I admit that sometimes I’m a jerk, and I work on that. But I “lose it” with people who deserve everything they get, and I’m not likely to change that. Hopefully people like TheAnswer333 will learn that and not f*ck with me.

            3. No, of course not. My hope is that my words will be enough that he will stop posting here, or at least leave me alone.

    2. If Asche becomes Michael Young I think everyone would be thrilled. Who cares about his power. I’d take that kind of production in my lineup (2 hole or 6 hole) anyday. I’ll say it over and over and over again, I LOVE his swing.

    1. They tend to exclude prospects they have written off from top of anything. Another example would be Hyatt’s change up.

  5. Asche and Ruf fans will be pleased. Asche is about where I put him, the lower range of my 4 to 7 ranking, though higher than I would have guessed from BP. The one small shock is Ruf – I am higher on him that most people, but obviously a sceptic compared to many people on this site. I said he would have been on my top ten but for my doubts about his defense; BP either doesn’t fully share those doubts, or likes his offense enough to slot him in the top 10 despite it.

    Other than that, not too much to be surprised about. I would have guessed that Franco and Joseph would have been flipped, with Franco #3, but it’s not a shock that they went with the toolsie catcher already in AA over the third baseman in low A.

  6. Seems that in the past , some folks placed huge weight on all this. And when players which they had decreed to be minor league filler or something were downgraded by them, they would point to the lack of inclusion by them on the BA top prospect list as if it was brought down from the mountain top on stone tablets. What happens now that players they might have placed in this category are now included on this list? Will they now downgrade this list as if it is of no importance? I don’t know. What is THE ANSWER?

    None of this changes my views of anything whatsoever as I never placed a lot of stock in these type of lists anyway. Though the writers of this might be hard working and ambitious and include available and I would say highly selective input from Scouts, they are not, in fact, professional scouts , but writers. And writers receive training in building up a story , but not, necessarily possessing great knowledge and insight about the subject they write on. I similarly place little importance on breathless reports of what “scouts ” say on other prospect oriented websites , as they , too, are just writers. And though I would say this is a good list, it is simply generally accepted general wisdom, And the passage of time often shows this to be bull. For reference, see all past Baseball America lists.

    1. I’ve always placed some weight on this but not close to “huge,” and I will continue to do so. Since it mostly agrees with my own rankings, it won’t change my thinking much. Asche they have actually on the low end of where I think he belongs. Ruf they rank a little higher – though reading the narrative, they seem to have the same doubts I have regarding his defense, so I’m not entirely clear on their logic. Proximity counts more for them than I would have thought, I suppose.

      And let’s not exagerate things – no one on this list was considered “minor league filler” by anyone around here. Opinions differ about both Asche and Ruf, and of course before last season Ruf was regarded by pretty much everyone as minor league filler, but no one would call him that now. The question isn’t whether they are prospects, but how good they are as prospects.

      As for your second paragraph, I think you slightly exagerate the extent to which people around here weigh eexpert opinion. It is important, but not holy writ from on high. Your comment to the contrary, past BP lists are pretty darn good. Not perfect, but that’s the nature of the beast; prospects are unpredictable. And sadly for the optimists around here, when BP misses they usually miss in beiong too optimistic. There aren’t many prospects they dismissed that went on to major league success (yes, there are some).

      But yeah, obviously you do place much less weight on this stuff than some of us. But how do you evaluate prospects? I actually think I have a pretty good idea, but let me just say that when you ignore the scouts & experts, ignore advanced statistical analysis, you’re left with … what? personal observation, except that I don’t recall you being one of the people around here who gets see many of these prospects in action. (And everything you say about the scouts and experts applies ten fold to an untrained observer.) What’s left? Raw, unadjusted stats. Now, it’s one thing to be a pure fan and just cheer them all on – which is fine – but once one starts making predictions / ventures opinions about prospects, then one needs to base those on something. And will all the flaws of the scouts, and the experts, and advanced metrics, I’ll take them any day before an unsophisticated reliance on raw, context free stats.

      1. Looking at the narrative for Ruf, the one thing that stands out as different from my prior understanding is the comment about his ability to hit major league breaking balls, which was one of my concerns.

        Which means that yes, I will slightly increase my rating of Ruf based upon this report. I still am a sceptic about his outfield defense. i would love to be proven wrong on this.

      2. I think there is a question in there about how do I evaluate prospects, and since I don’t like to leave a question unanswered, I will just say this. Like President Richard Nixon had a secret plan to end the Vietnam war, I have a secret plan to evaluate prospects.Not being devoid of context, I say the various readings I did on a lot of stuff beforehand, I pre-wired all that in. And since I follow the things day by day I keep a vague mental graph on all followed players which I will incrementally adjust the meter up and down day by day as I believe warranted. I believe this is better than relying on another’s exact quantification of said numbers as their numbers are expressed as a percentage and as a percentage is a probability. A probability is not an exact outcome but a rough estimate, and , I say a vague mental graph works just as well. Also , following things day by day, it is possible to see an overlooked factor: momentum. I say I can see momentum.
        Also, while in Northern California (which is a hotbed of such things) I studied prescience, foreknowledge, clairvoyance , what-have-you, under an electro-acupuncturist . I had to abandon this pursuit over a period of time for reason of it working too good. But, sometimes I will get glimpses of future events, even now.
        So, that’s it: I see context, I see momentum, I see glimpses of future events.
        The exact methods are unknown, but I say it is not a science ,it is an art. Some people treat it as a religion ,however ,and think it is a science.

        1. I hate when I have to stop doing things because I’m too good at them. Thank You for elaborating on your methods.

    2. so very true , once these kids get to Lakewood that is the true start of the evaluation ,much more of a sample size.

    3. I think LarryM’s response to this is right on, but I’d just like to add that people who write about baseball professionally are by and large not, actually, ignorant about baseball. It strikes me that most people who dismiss the analysis of writers simply because they are writers tend to be people who … how shall I put this? … are not very skilled at reading.

      1. me? Fact is, from pre-school to now , I have always scored in the 98th percentile of the reading comprehension section of various tests. That’s the top 2 % for you numerate.. So, anybody not in the 98th or 99th percentile can hold it down. Either that or the standardized tests are way off. But, those whose content reveals them to be “trust the
        experts” types , looks like you’re stuck with it.

    1. Yeah, I was just about to say that, in a different way. I guess this is a counter argument to the Mr. Jordan line that implied Rupp was the best defensive catcher, and the article was taken by some to mean Rupp was the best catching prospect (article was before the acquisition of T. Joseph.

    2. Baseball America tends to exclude players they do not see as real prospects from their “best” list. Thus you see Gillies over James defensively which I would challenge. Also Hyatt has an exceptional change but is no longer seen as having prospect status so his top of organiztion change is overlooked. They see Rupp as an organizational catcher with limited prospect to be a major leaguer.

      1. Which I find Ironic because I think Rupp will have a better Major League career than Valle. That is assuming either of them have a major have much of a major league career.

  7. Solid if unspectacular list of prospects. Though I’m higher on Pettibone than most here I’d still rank Morgan above him due to a higher ceiling. Somewhat surprised to see Ruf in the top 10 but I’m absolutely thrilled that Tocci gets noticed here. I’m probably biased for Tocci having seen him play a dozen or so times this past season. He just stands out from other players and when considering he was a year or two younger than most of his competition it’s easy to understand what BA sees in him. I hope the Phils have him on a strength building program because it’s easy to see star potential though realization will be somewhat dependent on how he develops physically. I have Tocci in the 7-8 range of my Top 10

  8. For a system that has traded away so many prospects, it is amazing to see that the cupboard is not bare and far from it. Basically, we don’t have the “top” prospects because we don’t pick in the top of the first round. Due to that fact, the organization has taken some fliers on guys with “potential”, aka Hewitt. However, considering where the team picks each year, they have a list of guys that will play in the majors beyond the top 10. There are still some excellent arms, two or three catchers, and some young guys who may yet turn out. Thanks for putting the list out.

  9. Is Gillies problem just his attitude… I think he has the tools to be pretty successful/.

        1. I think some statements about Gillies mental miscues are somewhat overblown when discussing his prospect for success at the major league level. 95% of his problem is in his inability to stay on the field. Even more so when considering that perhaps his greatest asset is his speed and most of his health issues have been on the lower half of his body. He needs 400 ABs this year

  10. Tommy Joseph as # 3 prospect ? What am I missing ? I know he has very good defensive skills but his offensive numbers have been very average at best with no power and they say his “calling card is his Bat ” Show me the numbers that support that comment.

      1. Compare Joseph’s numbers at a similar age to Travis d’Arnaud’s numbers at a similar age and you will see why people like Joseph so much. Joseph is more advanced, with the bat, than Travis was at the same age and is a level or two above him. As for scouting reports, d’Arnaud’s reports going into his age 21 year were pretty much like Joseph’s for this year. Of course, d’Arnaud is hitting his ceiling and Joseph is still a work in progress, so there’s no guarantee, but there’s an awful lot to like about Tommy Joseph, including his arm – what a gun – and his temperment (a real leader with a lot of drive and energy – I love this guy).

    1. They’re only not on there because they “graduated”. I could see both Aumont and Defratus slotting ahead of Ruf honestly.

  11. It’s funny: the scouting report on Ethan Martin sounds more or less the same as the one we’ve been reading for years about Trevor May. I guess the system wasn’t big enough for both of them.

    As for everyone’s surprise about the high rankings for Asche and Ruf: I hate to be the downer guy, but my sense is that their positions on the list is as much an indication of the weakness of our system overall as one of the quality of Asche and Ruf as prospects.

    Think about who’s NOT on the list: One player is still left from the first 10 rounds of the 2008 draft–Pettibone. (Though that draft was a phenomenal success in yielding eventual trade chips, including Gose, Knapp, Worley and May.) There’s no one from the first 10 rounds of the 2009 draft. (Though Singleton would have been #1 on this list if he were still in the system.) There’s no one besides Biddle from the first 10 rounds of the 2010 draft. The vast majority of the players on this list have been added since 2011, either via that year’s draft (Quinn, Morgan, Asche), the international market (Tocci) or last year’s deadline deals (Joseph, Martin).

    What we’re seeing is the effects of sacrificing first round picks to sign Type A free agents, and making win-now trades for players like Oswalt and Pence. An unheralded player like Darin Ruf or Cody Asche can shoot to the top of the list based on a strong 2012 performance, simply because there’s no Singleton or Gose or D’Arnaud–players with both upside and proximity–to block them. Don’t get me wrong, I’d trade D’Arnaud for Halladay again in a second. But there are consequences, as we all knew at the time.

    1. Well, looks like new fodder coming up for the “we sacrificed D’Arnaud wail-a-thon.
      Since Dickey agreed to the extension, if the rumored trade of D’Arnaud comes to pass, many will get to see him up close on the Mets, it is presumed, and will get to see over time if he is “all that” or “not all that”.

      As for the 30+ guys in the ’08.’09; and ’10 draft not being found in this year’s top ten. It is an old story, probably starting when they first had low A baseball, and before that it was called class D baseball, over time these guys are exposed and found to be ” not all that”.

    2. Um, see my previous comment about reading comprehension. I’m far from wailing over the loss of D’Arnaud, just noting that it was a real cost to the system. As for your point about attrition, it’s true, as we all know. I was just saying that had we had some more first round picks, or had held a bit more dearly to our top prospects in the lower minors at the trade deadline–as other teams do–we would have a much stronger system. I don’t think it’s an earthshaking point, it’s just cost-benefit analysis.

      On a brighter note, the 2011 draft class, which many of us loved at the time, is looking better with age. Quinn looks like he has a chance to be a Top 100 prospect soon, Asche and Morgan are on the verge of being major league contributors, Giles looks like he could be a very useful bullpen piece, and there’s still lots of time for a couple others LGJr, Walding, maybe even Tyler Greene) to blossom. Throw in Tocci, too and I’m very much looking forward to watching the 2016 Phillies.

      1. In his chat about the prospect list on BA, Matt Forman says he would place Biddle and Quinn around 50 on the top 100 list

        1. Hot damn, people are really taking notice of Quinn. I know we were all super excited by his year, but I figured everyone that isn’t a Phillies fan would wait until he’s had sustained success to place him so high on lists.

          1. Maybe Mitch Rupert will stop by and add more about Quinn. But if you follow him on Twitter check out his timeline with interesting information from a conversation with Andy Tracy.

            1. I’ll be honest, I’m a little surprised at just how much love Roman Quinn got. I’ve obviously always been on board with him as a potential star, as I think most of the people are who visit this site. I just didn’t expect it nationally, and I surely didn’t expect him to be No. 2 on the list. I really thought he and Larry Greene Jr. would be in the top 10, especially with the trades of Bonilla and May. But at best I expected them both in the 7-10 range. I know the big concern with Quinn is his defense, 27 errors in short-season ball will do that. But talking with Joe Jordan, Andy Tracy and a number of their minor league coordinators, it seems to be the least of their concerns. He’s able to go deep in the hole and up the middle behind the bag to get the ball and those feel like routine plays for him. He’s got tremendous arm strength and comes in on the ball well. The biggest problems he had were on routine plays where maybe he gets a tough hop, or just has too much time to think before he throws and throws wildly. But that’s all about repetitions. Joe Jordan mentioned to me at least twice about Derek Jeter having 50 errors in an A-ball season. So unless it becomes a year-after-year trend, I don’t think there’s any way he doesn’t stay at shortstop.

              The night Quinn hit his first home run I said to Andy Tracy that Quinn would likely never been a 15-homer guy, but he seems like he’s got room to add some pop. Tracy asked me why he couldn’t be a 15-homer guy. He went on to say that if he played in San Francisco for 81 games he probably wouldn’t be, but in Citizens Bank Park, he very well could be. The thing about Roman Quinn is he’s a 19-year old kid who looks like a kid. Mitch Walding and Larry Greene were 19-year old kids who looked like men. So it really seems like there’s growth potential for Quinn to add some pop, and that’ll also probably come with more consistent contact, especially from the left side. Add that on top of everything else that he already does well and you’re talking about a potential star-level player, and it seems BA thinks so as well.

              Did spring training start yet?

    3. +1
      I think another variable here is the apparent change in how aggressive this organization has been over the last year or so challenging prospects through promotions; is that Jordan’s influence? It is refreshing to see and looooong overdue IMO.

  12. Relief pitchers are not valued at all. Aumont, deFratus… none of them. I see it but they have a lot more potential to make a difference in the long run.

    The experts are always matching Quinn to Rollins. Wouldn’t a better match be a more recent SS that just made it to the show. I’m talking Galvis. If Quinn’s upsideis Galvis, do you rate him #2? Let’s check these two guys out. Galvis and Quinn are exactly the same height and weight. Is Quinn projectible to be much bigger? They both have one plus plus tool. Galvis has a glove and Quinn has speed. Quinn is rated as the best athlete but I’m not sure I can project that to be a great anything. Altherr is a monster of an athlete but he’s not going to be on many people’s lists. At 19 years old, Galvis already had 70 ABs at AA. Quinn’s still in A-. We never put Galvis above #15 on our top 10 list until 2011. Did the guys ahead of him have that much more potential all those years? If you put Quinn in AA or even A+ last year, would he have looked like Galvis or worse? I’m just asking the questions and not passing judgement.

    1. Fair point. Personally I always felt like Galvis was being underrated because he was always facing much older competition. The difference between him and Quinn is, while Quinn will probably never be Galvis with the glove, he could still be very good at short and he’s got an advantage because of his great speed. So, he probably has better tools overall than Galvis.

    2. What Quinn did last year (.281/.370/.408 with 30 steals) is fairly remarkable for a kid one year out of HS and learning to switch hit for the first time. Far more offensive potential from Quinn, and significant potential (and plenty of time) to develop defensively.

      1. Assume the plus-tools cancel each other out. Just look at the hit tools. Galvis never OPS’d above .600 in his first four professional seasons. Quinn posted a .778 while learning a new position and learning to switch hit in his first professional season. I don’t think there’s a comparison here.

    3. It is the mix of tools that produce the comparison with Rollins rather than Galvis. Rollins was a speed player with limited power. Quinn has more speed, but the model of player is at least close. Rollins was also more polished at SS (fewer errors), so that is a difference. The age versus level stuff does not mean much because Galvis was pushed to higher levels because of his defense. His offense suffered because of that, but the reality is that Galvis does not have plus offensive tools (mainly the hit tool) and both Quinn and Rollins have a plus hit tool.

  13. I’m pleasantly surprised by this list and the write-ups. BA noting that Pettibone has mid-rotation upside, as opposed to back-end, and Morgan and Biddle possibly being better than #3s in the future is nice to hear. Usually I feel like they favor upside significantly more than I do in the ‘upside vs. proximity’ debate but I agree with a lot of this list. Maybe it’s just a verification that the Phils finally have some nice prospects in AA and AAA.

    1. The Phillies do have some nice prospects in Reading and Allentown coming through. This will be the first year that the Iron Pigs will have basically a home grown AAA team with an potential infield of Asche, Galvis(?), Hernandez and Overbeck. The Iron Pig catchers (could be Valle and Joseph) and the outfield (Castro, Gillies and James) with a strong pitching are mostly drafted by the Phillies. The most notable free agents were Josh Fields and a couple starters. The Reading team will be interesting to watch as well with Jesse Biddle and players from a good Clearwater team going up to the next level. The Phillies have many solid young players with potential but few highly rated players.

    1. That’s a relief. His exclusion was the one head-scratcher for me–I’m glad it was just a numbers game rather than there being some kind of red flag in his performance that the scouts have picked up on. I’m sure if that doubles power starts turning into HR power, as everyone seems to think it should, he’s moved toward the top 5.

      1. I guess, but the fact that he couldn’t beat out Babe Ruf is disappointing. There seems to be some consensus around the industry that his debut was unimpressive, even at pitcher-friendly Williamsport. He needs to show in-game power next season if those Ryan Howard comps are going to hold any water.

        1. Remember that the floor is a huge separator, Ruf has hit major league home runs and Greene hasn’t played a full season. If I had to bet on who would have the better career the risk would go in favor of Ruf. If you were looking for an impact talent you would take Greene. It is a very interesting ceiling vs proximity debate. I wouldn’t worry about Greene, no one is questioning the talent at this point he is young and needs to put practice into play (by many accounts his BP sessions are very impressive with huge power)

          1. I also made this point I think earlier this year when we were talking about Cozens: I’m inclined to weight the value of prospects like Greene and Cozens (and actually Ruf, to be honest) who have the potential to hit for power, because I feel like that’s one tool that for whatever reason–whether cyclical or chemical–is in very short supply right now.

      2. Also alot in the chat about how he lost a good portion of the season because he just wasn’t conditioned enough and had to spend time getting into baseball shape. Perhaps this year is different for him now that he knows what’s expected of him.

      3. All and all I like Fudgie, but to me it would speak volumes about how bare the system is if a 1-2 tool player who didn’t show his one plus-plus tool made it into the top 10.

        1. Well to be fair, that plus plus tool usually takes the longest to develop. Not many prospects start hitting bombs immediately in the minors. Some take longer than others. It’s not like speed or arm where it’s easy to see early on..

          1. But that’s the problem. Since power is the last tool to develop, it is also the easiest to misjudge in a HS kid or short-season player. We have had lots of prospects, like Hewitt and Golson, who the scouts described as having raw power or batting practice power, who have yet to display plus game power and more seriously can’t put up an acceptable contact rate or obp. Greene’s power has plenty of time to develop. On the other hand, it could never show up. I’d feel better about Greene if he had hit more doubles.

            1. He did hit 22 doubles in 250 ABs. That’s not terrible. I read he hits the ball to the opposite field a lot. That right there will sap your power numbers, until he further matures and gets even stronger and in better shape.

            2. That’s not a big deal. With 2 HR it’s only 24 X-base hits in 257 AB. That is sub-par for a serious prospect. The other problem with Greene’s power is that I think he is less likely to grow into it than most kids a year out of HS. A lot of the aging into your power is reaching physical maturity, but Greene is already 235 pounds and is only 6-0″, so he has zero filling out to do.

              Yes, I’ve seen it said that Williamsport and NYP League are not great for power hitting, but look at some of Greene’s teammates:
              Pointer — 13 (3 HR) in 126 AB
              Walding — 14 in 253 AB
              Quinn — 21 in 261 AB
              T. Greene — 14 (3 HR) in 218 AB
              Serritella and Perkins too old to mention

              Greene’s power just doesn’t jump out at you, compared to his teammates

            3. Uh, Greene had almost double the amount of extra base hits than hits teammates (Quinn’s can be attributed to his speed). Not sure what your are trying to argue.

  14. A few things from the chat:
    -Zach Collier drew a bunch of Denard Span comps from scouts in the AFL, but still not sold on his ability..cautiously optimistic
    -James stock has plumeted…ceiling 4th or 5th OF..speed doesn’t translate to games
    -J-Rod has been exposed in AA
    -Keep an eye on Yoel Mecias..LHP Mid 90’s FB out of Venezuela w/ developing 2ndary pitches
    -Gillies still a prospect, health is the biggest key
    -Valle’s stock took a big hit as his complete lack of approach at the plate hinders his ability to be anything more than a projected backup.
    -Gueller’s aptitude in instructs was applauded bigtime as was his athleticism..Trevor May comps

    1. Collier to Span? Seems like an odd comparison to me. I figured Collier to be an average CF (at best) where Span is a GG candidate. I suppose both do have speed, but I figured Collier to get slower as he ages and develops more power. The BB/K rates are good which is another benefit of Span I suppose.

      I think Valle could end up like Olivo. Never walks but can put up a .260 BA with 20 HR and at least average defense. That is pretty useful from a catcher. Even is he is just a backup, he will be cheap and young and backup catcher get a lot of starts each season.

      I just keep hoping for Gillies breakout. It seemed like he was such a spark in Spring Training despite not having great numbers.

  15. Few more tidbits:
    -System most likely ranks 20-25 in all of baseball. Slight improvement, but still a ways to go
    -Matt really likes Pullin…said the guy can really hit
    -Giles ++ fastball is going to be enough to make it to the majors, his slider has the chance to become plus…phils shelled his curve/split change
    -Austin Wright may be targeted for relief as a pen piece to K both LH/RH hitters
    -Very excited about the 2013 Lakewood team
    -Aumont and DeFratus both will rank anywhere from 11-20 w/ Aumont being closer to 11. Definitely improvement over last year

    1. On Wright, does that mean the Phils plan to move him into the bullpen at some point like they did with Bonilla, or are they actually going to give him a chance to start until he fails?

    2. Pullin intrigues me. I like his stroke from viewing video. I think he has a chance to be special once he settles into a comfortable position.

        1. That’s fair combining ceiling and floor. Probably the highest ceiling of any pitcher who was in our organization. Probability of reaching that ceiling was certainly diminishing.

    3. System does not have a top notch prospect. If your best prospect is 60th then other teams have multiple players above. “Depth” of replacement level players is pretty useless to a major league team.

      I always seem to like ‘good swing’ 2B types.

      Giles still needs to have some idea where the ball is going.

      I almost forgot Wright in my Top30 list. He may have enough to stay a starter but likely goes the Bastardo route.

      I still love Aumont’s stuff. I wish Phillies could have gotten him to be a starter with that arsenal.

  16. One more thing: Mitch Walding is still looked at very favorably. His athleticism is off the charts and his tools are still raw/developing. He definitely has + raw power + arm and soft hands…Matt expects him to make a huge jump in 2013. Said he got really down on himself after cooling off. But there’s a ton to like

    1. He’s got all the tools. Quick hands, fast bat, big body, athletic. Looking forward to seeing how he- and the rest of the 2011 class- perform this year in Lakewood.

      1. 2011 has a chance to be the best Phillies draft class in a long, long time. Right now, it is competing with 2008. It’s funny, but right after both of those drafts ocurred most of us felt they were really strong and we were right.

        1. Well a lot of them still haven’t played full season ball so its hard to say who’s right, but I’m optimistic.

        2. I don’t remember that good feeling immediately after the 2008 draft. I remember guys wanting to jump off a bridge because of the selections of Hewitt, Collier and Gose in the 1st two rounds. PP also slammed the Pettibone pick.

          1. I remember people being happy with that draft, although maybe not immediately. I definitely remember the disappointment in the Hewitt pick, and the Pettibone pick, but I think most people liked Collier and Gose. Part of the reason people were unhappy is because they were all seen as very similar players, unless the Phils had planned to use Gose as a pitcher as some hoped. I don’t think people were too happy about picking Knapp either.

            1. Forgot about the Knapp complaining. Good memory. So basically complaints about all 5 of the players drafted in the 1st 3 rounds… but heavy praise for Colby Shreve in the later rounds.

            2. Yeah. The strategy they were in favor of makes sense though- save your fliers on high risk/high reward guys for picks outside the first few rounds. In retrospect, there were some guys with more pedigree who would’ve been solid picks that year. But I’ve come to generally trust the Phils in this area; their scouts do a nice job.

          2. Not my memory at all. The Hewitt pick was generally viewed as awful at the time. He was the unhappy combination of a 1st round pick who was both older than the typical HS draftee and also more raw. He also was such a strange ‘fast athlete, not much developed baseball skill’ type talent that BA at the time identified him as a ‘Phillies-type pick’ and said most teams didn’t think all that highly of him. Collier was well liked. A lot of us would have been happy with Collier in Hewitt’s spot. Gose was viewed as a good pick. People really liked Knapp, because he was a super-hard thrower. He was viewed as a steal. Yes, we were also in love with Colby Shreve, although we knew he was hurt and would be a project.

            1. I remember it this way too. James was very upset about the Hewitt pick but when they got Collier in that supplemental round he calmed down. He wanted Collier 1st and thought Hewitt was too much of a stretch. Hewitt definitely needed to go to College but he took the million $, which I would have too. I hope he saved a lot of it.

            2. Here’s how I remember the 2008 Draft. (Wow, I can’t a believe how long I have visited this site. AWESOME JOB to EVERYONE WHO KEEPS IT GOING!!)

              Hewitt = hated, maybe okay for huge tools guys with second pick
              Collier = loved, should have been first pick,
              Gose threw 90+ in high school from the left side. Announcing him as an OF was not well received by the fanbase. If he stayed a Pitcher the pick was liked, hated as an OF, but accepted that Phillies would just quickly move him to pitcher (which he did NOT want to do).
              Knapp was too high for cold weather guy. Considered too much of homer pick but did have upside at least.
              Worley was considered a reliever.
              Pettibone was highly disliked since he appeared in nobody’s top whatever lists but was at least a CA kid.
              May was very well liked. Power pitcher with body to match and just a NW guy and might take some time.
              Hamilton = useless, common ‘vet minor leaguer 1B bat to stabilize order’ but he had little power
              Shreve = upside pick due to injury, well liked risk pick
              Coy = talented 3B who supposedly asked for more after drafted then Phillies originally expected and did not sign, went to college on basketball scholarship
              Rodriguez = really young, hoped he’d grow into his body, considered good choice although nobody had heard of him

              Stutes, Schwimer, Rosenberg were all considered, by James at least, to be excellent reliever candidates on fast track. Good enough stuff but reasons for being lower end draftees as college seniors (I think they all were). Great return on all these guys actually as each has pitched in the majors. This is the way to build a major league bullpen; having cost controlled guys to fill 5-7 innings rather than pay $2M per for inconsistent vets.
              Saunderson and Arroyo were liked as non-college guys who were signed. Cloyd was intriguing since he did not go to school (some Nebraska school the prior year?) and Susdorf was great in the College World Series that year.
              Cosart was loved and figured to be close to the 2nd best player signed by the Phillies (after Collier).

              Even Susdorf, Overbeck, Cisco, (and maybe even Hanzawa and Murphy) made it to AAA with some success. That is a pretty awesome draft but they not proven major leaguers yet.

  17. I know there’s probably no science that goes into it, but how can Utley, Halladay, Lee and Papelbon be included in the projected 2016 lineup? None are under contract for that season. Given that this is a prospects list, wouldn’t it make more sense to project a younger player for those positions?

    2B: Galvis
    SP: Adam Morgan
    SP: Ethan Martin
    Closer: Philippe Aumont

      1. I know they do it, I just don’t see the point of including old veterans well beyond the expiration of their contracts when the entire point of the list is to evaluate the team’s prospects.

        1. I think maybe that’s BA’s way of saying they aren’t necessarily ready to say the likes of Martin and Aumont are ever going to play those roles. Not every team is going to have a future starter at every position in their minor league system. So, consider Utley as 2B their way of saying: “we’re not sure Galvis is ever going to be a major league starter.” Or at least they’re not willing to bet their credibility by predicting it.

        2. If you are a GM, you have to make a choice between extending your current players or trusting the prospects. If you are negotiating with Chase Utley, it is worth asking whether a current player in the system will be better than him in four years.

          Personally, I’d like to rock the boat and suggest that Ryan Howard will NOT be the best first baseman in the system in 2016.

          1. I would hardly think that is rocking the boat. There are probably those here that don’t think he is the best firstbaseman now. But the fact remains he will still be owed between $35 and $42 million at that point he will likely be playing there in 2016

          2. The Phillies will be very supportive of Howard as he comes back from injury, but he probably should platoon with Ruf. Howard has pretty much failed to adjust to the shift and take pitches away to the opposite field.

            1. I’m outside of the Philadelphia media market so what I learned may be commonly known. But according to Joe Kerrigan in his interview on WIP yesterday, Howard has dropped something like 25-30 lbs. since the season ended. If he’s so serious about preparing for the coming season, this significantly raises my hope/expectation for not only the middle of the order in 2013 but also Howard’s useful shelf life in candy stripes.

            2. IM…and yes, all this while also getting married and honeymooning in the land of pineapples and newlyweds. I see a resurgence of the man.

            3. Has he worked on hitting the ball the other way, or is he still trying to pull line drives through a shifted 4+ man infield?

            4. The problem I have is that most likely this is what he needs to do at a minimum just to get back to where he was in 2010-2011. Which, compared to last year, would be pretty great, but still a pale shadow of what he was at his peak.

              From a purely baseball perspective he should not be hitting against left handers. I fully recognize the many reasons why he will continue to do so.

        3. This came directly from Matt via the 2016 potentials: Glad you pointed this out, Rob. Take the 2016 Projected Lineup with a grain of salt; they’re a quick way to compare a team’s current major league talent with its minor league talent, because we don’t know who will re-sign or depart via free agency. This is why Cole Hamels, Cliff Lee and Roy Halladay remain, and why Biddle fits as the No. 4 in that rotation.

    1. The more projectable the talent, the more the vet names will disappear from such lists. When the younger guys start moving up in the system, hopefully we’ll see more confidence from scouts and analysts that the young guys can ultimately take over at the MLB level.

  18. BA projects Utley at 2B in 2016? I think it’s a reach to put him there in 2014. This may be his final year as a Phillie. Is that because there is no obvious prospect to take his place?

    1. I like to think Pullin could be projectable for 2nd in 2016. But that is a way off and anything can happen until then..

    2. I think the Phillies run into the same problem with Utley that they did with Rollins last year. He is declining but likely the best available option. I for one do not see Galvis or Hernandez as an everyday secondbaseman on a playoff team unless there is offense coming from a lot of other places. I would not be surprised to see Utley get a three year contract at the end of this year if he plays 130+ games.

      1. The difference is that Rollins has been a lot healthier. Utley doesn’t have the sort of problem that improves or goes away.

    3. If I remember correctly, reports about Utley’s health last off-season were infrequent, but positive. Yet, he missed half the season. I’m not seeing any difference this off-season.

      In the last three seasons, Utley has played in 115, 103, and 83 games, respectively. The trend is downward.

      It is terribly optimistic to think Utley will play as many as 120 games in 2013. Put me down for an even 100.

      In the last three seasons, Utley has played in 115, 103, and 83 games, respectively. The trend is downward.

      It is terribly optimistic to think Utley will play as many as 120 games in 2013. Put me down for an even 100.

      1. The odd thing about Utley is that, for two seasons in a row, once he returned he managed, despite the bad knees, to play regularly and to play well. This is not a case of breaking down as the season wears on. That suggests SOMETHING wrong with his off season routine; I have no idea what, but hopefully it is correctable.

        That said, while obviously having him play at least close to a full season in 2013 is probably a necessary condition for re-signing him, is it a sufficient condition? With those knees the risk factor is high. Certainly I wouldn’t want to give him a 3 year deal. (Will he even want to play that long with his knees?) Probably what would make the most sense is a deal where only one year is guaranteed, but a second and perhaps third year vests depending upon games played. If he can play 120 games in 2013, I’d favor that kind of deal going forward. The options are just too bleak to contemplate, at least in the medium term.

        1. Absolutely if we could sign Utley to the kind of deal you suggest it would be a no brainer. However, supposing he plays say 120+ games, hits 16+ HR, has a 115+ OPS+ and he wants a three year contract.What do you do? Other than Prado or a ridiculous offer to Cano there aren’t a whole lot of options out there.

          1. I obviously don’t know the state of his knees. But I’m somewhat skeptical that he’ll get a guaranteed 3 year deal on the open market from anyone given his health history. (Can he even pass a physical at this point I wonder?)

            I also get the impression he wants to stay in Philadelphia.

            Though expecting that kind of creativity from Amaro I agree is quite a reach.

        2. LarryM….you mentione something wrong with his off-season routine…exactly what Ut said on an interview last week. He changed it up under the supervision of a personal trainer. Plus, he said, or Ruben said it, not sure which, the Phillies trainer will be taking trips out to California to see his progress and evaluate his knees, sounded like there was one trip last week or this and one more in mid-January..

        3. Ruben on Utley today via Todd Zolecki:
          QUESTION: How is Chase Utley doing?
          ANSWER: He’s done very well this offseason. (Head athletic trainer) Scott Sheridan’s visited him once and he’s probably going to go see him again. He’s taking ground balls pretty much every other day. He didn’t take a whole lot of time off. One of the things I think we’ve all learned, including Chase, that it probably behooved him to continue to work and do things to be able to keep his joints going, keep his knees going. He’s actually done very well. We have to be cautiously optimistic that he’s going to be back and playing. He hasn’t played games in spring training the last two years, but we’re cautiously optimistic that he’s going to be ready to go. We’ll probably monitor and have a discussion prior to spring training about how he’ll be utilized and such during the spring. I think he’s feeling like he’s raring to go and hopefully he’ll be ready to go April 1.

  19. Pettibone at #4 shows me the weakness of the system. I doubt he is really a Top200 type (at least I do not think so) but as mentioned the Phillies do have lots of very young guys (again) to dream on.

    The 2016 projection is just sloppy on their part. Especially on a team with some deep pitching prospects even if not #2 starter types.

  20. Can you repeat that?

    But I do agree that suggesting that Utley will play more then 90-100 games in ’13 is whistling past the graveyard. Wishing won’t do it since the numbers do not lie…and this from a guy who prefers optimism when peppered with the spice of reality. And to believe that the Phils would sign him on to 3 more years…?…Would YOU in light of his recent history?

    Galvis just might bring more to the plate than we beklieve now; IMO he’s been concentrating on getting more power into his swing, and I’d like to watch him in ’13 to see. Giving him a chance to play at 2nd, 3rd, and SS in ’13 should provide him with at least 250 ABs. He has had to deal with competition beyond his age all throughout his minor lg career. I’d like to see him (minus “juice”) gain in ’13. He DOES bring GREAT defense to the middle infield.

  21. Underwhelming overall description of the top 10. The Phillies’ system has improved over the last year and a half, but still has a ways to go to get to where I would like it to be. I think the system is still lacking the top level, can’t miss star power that would really top it off. If they can develop an ace and two first level position players to top that list off, then you push everyone down 2-3 slots. If that happens, you have a nice system to feed a future contender. As it stands now, there is no one I see that I say will lead a team to WS contention. I do think there are a few position guys that could develop to that level, Quinn, LG, Franco, Tocci to name a few, but none that are clear cut at this point. We experienced it here with Utley, Howard, Rollins, Hamels, Ruiz. we saw what it took to make a contender even with those guys. Even that group of all time Phillies all on one team only won one WS. I do not see one guy in the system now that is better than any one of those guys at their position or even in total impact.

    **Throw in Madsen as another cheap stud reliever during the 2000’s for good measure. The present system is likely to match his production however.

    ++ On the bright side, there are no relievers on the list. Last year there were at least 2 relievers on the top 10. That is never a good sign in my opinion.

    1. Better go back 8/9/10 years and check where Utley, Rollins and Howard ranked in the MiLB system when it came to BA’s scouting reports. Not even sure they ever cracked top 25.

      1. Don’t forget we had more draft picks, and higher draft picks, back in the dark days of the 90s and early 00s. Look at that list of the biggest bonuses given out–the most recent was Cole Hamels. Since they started getting good and signing Type A free agents, the team has had to get a lot more creative in its drafting, trying to find rough gems in the later rounds. And it’s done a great job at that, by all accounts. Still, it’s a lot easier to build a young team when you have a lot of high picks, a la Washington. (Of course, a fat lot of good it’s done Pittsburgh and KC, so far at least).

      2. Howard’s top ranking was 27th in ’05. Rollins top ranking was 31st in ’01 and Utley’s top ranking was 81st in ’03.

      3. They (Rollins especially) ranked a little higher than you recall. But that’s not the main point.

        The point is that expecting history to repeat – you can throw in some other names as well, Werth, Vic, Ruiz – is not a winning strategy. The “expect a half dozen young prospects all to significantly exceed their expected ceiling and lead the team to a WS win” is a strategy that will work probably one time in a hundred.

        In the short to medium run, the road back to the WS … well, that ship has sailed for the next 3 years IMO; absent a lucky run after squeaking in as a WC team. Signing a marquee FA or two would have been risky but MIGHT have placed the team in a better position to compete. We’ll never know.

        Now, looking forward to 2016, a lot can happen. There are players in the lower minors who DO have star potential. Combine them with some of the players now in the upper minors – players who can be solid, though for the most part not stars – maybe one or two hold overs, a couple smart FA signings – one could see the team return to serious contention.

        I have no faith in Amaro, so I don’t think that is at all likely, but absolutely that could happen if the team is intelligently led.

        But expecting Asche/Ruf/Galvis/Biddle to be the equivalent of Utley/Howard/Rollins/Hamels is wishful thinking.

        1. Well said. The window is basically closed. The current crop of kids can’t get us back there themselves – unless we’re engaging in some serious wish-casting, and we’re all but completely reliant on our GM making some shrewd moves and spending wisely – and I bet Ryan Howards contract that Amaro isn’t up for it….it’ll be money well lost if he is!

  22. quinn second, based off half year, this system right now is really weak. they need a good draft, this coming year.

    1. how is it that freshly drafted players this year is going to make the system better while you complain about the recently drafted guy with actual pro ab’s who showed his tools are legit and is going to start at low A?

    2. In the chat they said that Quinn and DeSheilds are the fastest guys in the minors aside from Hamilton, and have legit game breaking 80 speed. Combine that with Quinn’s ability to make contact and his seemingly developing plate discipline and you have the makings of a first division SS who plays elite defense at a premium position. You know how many teams would like to have one of those guys? Every one. He’s someone to get excited about.

  23. mike trout, harper, strasburg, portello, bauer, not everyone takes five years to come up jameson, there are more, gose is another,less than three year, my point was quinn is a young 19 year old kid, and he is your second player rated in system, no way he isnt a elite prospect coming in, just shows we need a infuseing of talent in this system.

    1. Considering Quinn was the #66 pick in the 2011 draft and is likely a Top 100 prospect in all of baseball I would say he isn’t elite but that is a damn good prospect. Gose arrived in the bigs in his 5 major league season (2008 draftee), if you look at those others you have 2 generational high school talents (Harper and Trout should never be used in comparisons of anything), the best college pitcher of the past decade (Strasburg), a polished college pitcher who was also really good (Bauer), and a Detroit Tigers prospect (they have a history of rushing pitchers through their system with not great results, see Jacob Turner and Porcello) who came in way below his ceiling because he was rushed through the system (Porcello). Quinn will move slower than a similar prospect with his offensive skill set because the Phillies have no reason to rush him with Rollins signed and they would like to give him the reps to stick at SS. If you could guarantee that Quinn would stick at SS then he is a Top 50 prospect at age 19, that is a special player.

      Yes this team could use more talent, but it has a good amount of talent in it right now, the Phillies have been using high picks on high school player for the last few years and you could list off 10+ guys with legitimate plus tools who could break out in the next year and likely only one or two will but there is definitely talent in the system, it just comes with a lot of risk. It is never a bad thing to add more talent and if you want to be encouraged about the draft look at the 2011 and 2012 drafts, the Phillies amatuer scouts while not always given the resources are some of the best in the game.

      1. Absolutely. I think it’s also important to understand their philosophy when it comes to the draft. They just don’t spend the money that WSH/KC/Pit/TEX (in the past) and now (because of the $$ limit) to sign high priced ticket items. They’d rather allocate their resources to proven MLB players. It’s not something I always agree with, but it’s proven to have worked out more often than not.

        I think a key part of the Phillies strategy in the draft is that they look for guys who have had so-so years/coming off injuries to try and get the best possible value….(howard/Singleton/Hamels to name a few)

        -One thing I”d like to see more of is international spending (obviously w/ the cap in mind) and taking a look at college players with higher floors. You can’t argue with what some of those teams Pitt/Tex/Stl have been able to do and with the Phillies ability to develop pitching, it may be a more worthwhile gamble than your toolsy athletic OF.

        1. I would disagree that it’s worked out more often than not. It’s the primary reason we are becoming an old team with few internal replacements and continuing to patch on top of patch at the big league level. It’s been proven time and again in studies that you get more from a $ spent on amateur bonuses than you do on an extra $ in major league salary bonus. The Phillies last WS appearance was built around home-grown talent of the sort that we really haven’t added since Howard and Hamels and Ruiz. It is not that the Phillies haven’t chosen to spend as much on the draft/international as a few high-spending teams. It is that their draft/international spending over the past 5 seasons puts them in the bottom 5 of all of baseball. That the farm is as good as it is speaks highly of the talent of our scouts. They really needed to have more money to work with. With the rule changes, there is no quick fix, although the Phillies spent a little less than they could have last year. We will look back on this era of cheap draft/international spending as one of missed opportunities for a team with a huge cash flow to use those $ to ensure a prolonged bright future, with no need for a serious down time between successful cores. It is just plain stupid. They’ve saved perhaps $2 mill/year at a time when the major league salary budget has been $150+ mill. The money was there. The wisdom was lacking.

          1. I completely agree. What the market is showing is that you are going to have to pay free agents exorbitant amounts of money well past there prime that will cripple you going forward. The big name free agent market is where you go for the last ditch effort to win before excepting years of mediocrity or worse do to having aging veterans who steal your payroll flexibility. Or you are going to have to continually blow up your team like the Marlins do. It is really much better to keep a steady flow of young talent coming up through your system ala the Braves of the 1990’s and early 2000’s. Of course this requires superior scouting and development.

          2. I agree with a lot of that, but it goes back to the Phillies draft philosophy…They won’t do a Bubba Starling-esque bonus on a guy no matter how good his billing is. Had they not made the trades for Halladay/Pence/Oswalt, you’re looking at a top ten system easily. I just question how many people would be talking about the draft budget if those trades hadn’t been made.

          3. “The Phillies last WS appearance was built around home-grown talent …” Talent which grows more expensive with success and particularly with a WS win. You make it sound as if it’s easy to replicate the model leading up to 2008.

          4. ATown…the LA draft signee days of the past, are just that. With the new CBA in place, it is a more equitable ‘playing’ field. Notorious, over-spenders ie Yanks, Braves, Rangers, BoSox and believe it or not the A’s and Royals now have to toe the line. They are still ahead of frugal/thrifty teams like the Phillies, but I like to think in 3/4 years things even out.

        2. I think “+1” means I agree with the previous comments, so if that’s the case I have to go with “+1,000” or more. Dear anonymous, not being snitty but you did call out some serious outliers in the folks getting to the big leagues quickly. Add to that the fact that we have the really unfortunate situation where the Phils have been good for quite a few years (and yes, that is sarcasm) so we have been drafting at or near the bottom of the first round for some time now. So I don’t think we want to wonder why our draft picks don’t show up in the majors quickly. I’ve definitely preferred the high risk/reward approach the team has taken the last few years. At the end of the day, drafting where we are, you just aren’t getting a sure fire star. You can probably limit your downside exposure with a good college kid (and no, there is no “great” college kid where we are drafting) but then you are limiting the upside. Look, more of these won’t work out than do, but if you look at what we’ve traded away (and quesitoning the actual trades is another time discussion) and we’ve actually drafted some fairly good quality while still being a good team. Look at the BA top 100 from last year (and this year for sure as well) and you’ll see a fair number of Phillies players – almost as much as any team, in there. And the other teams tend to be the “KC Royal – like” teams who are always drafting high. I am not trying to be a homer here, as I think the pure stats play out when looking at those lists that the Phils have drafted pretty darn well.

          And JA, agree with most of what you say but, again, I don’t think you can compare our draft spending to some of those teams you mentioned. The higher you draft, the more you spend – no real other way around it. And since we’re SO fat back in the first round (when we’re in the first round) there are ennough big dollar teams in front of us to snap up the “signing issue” guys before we get a shot. Will be really interesting to see what we do this year.

          1. Absolutely. I guess I was alluding to how much those other teams spend internationally. Where there was no draft order and the Profars/Oscar Taverases/Luis Heredias of the world were available to the highest bidder. Hasn’t been the Phils MO when they really could have had a high advantage. They just seemed to be more risk averse (which is funny considering the Howard signing) but oh well!

      2. I am thinking that if Quinn does exceptiuonally well at the plate, not so much in the field, in Lakewood’s first 50/60 games, Joe Jordan will bump him up to CLW for the stretch in July and August. So far, Jordan’s MO seems to be push them up a level at mid-season and see what they show you.

        1. The bottom line for this discussion was “does quinn at 2 mean we have a weak farm?” my answer is no because quinn is a hell of a talent with some serious tools who showed signs in his debut. Now does this mean we have a strong system now? no, but my point is quinn at 2 is not the sign of a weak system. Ruf in the top 10 however could be argued as a sign of a weak system but that is for better men than i.

          1. The Ruf thing is interesting, I have been putting a good amount of work into my Top 30 and it has become clear, that the Top 8 are a tier (Biddle, Quinn, Joseph, Pettibone, Morgan, Martin, Asche, and Franco in some order), and then you could go from 9 to about 16-17 and argue them in many different orders, if you prefer upside (like I do) then you might have that group led by Tocci, Watson, Greene, and Gueller, but if you value safety and proximity you might have Ruf, Aumont, and DeFratus. Those guys are close enough together that I would argue that the Ruf inclusion there is a personal preference and not a sign of weakness and if you read the BA chat there is a whole lot of guys who were in the consideration for the Top 10 at some point and ended up pushed out of it.

            Also Ruf is an extremely hard guy to rank because if he repeats his AA season he should be #1, if he is just a 26 year old bench bat limited to first base he is barely in the Top 30 so you kind of have to just choose something and know you are likely to be wrong.

            1. Yea, i am personally an upside guy. That being said, i don’t mind Ruf in the 8-9 range because of the fact he is actually getting pro ab’s which gives him a very high floor and will get a shot at LF if the Phils brass have been totally honest in their assessments. again though, i was really just replying as i don’t feel quinn at 2 is a sign of weakness. I think the production plus scouting reports would put him near or at 2 in plenty of other systems, although admittedly i am not familiar with all 29 other clubs. .

            2. There is no shame in Quinn as the #2 in the system. If you are really considering his numbers objectively and considering his predraft pedigree, I don’t know how you could rank him any lower than #3. Ranking him any lower, you aren’t considering his “age to level”, pedigree, position scarcity or his offensive production correctly.

            3. not exactly like 20 hrs in a month isn’t high upside, thats the real confusing part on ruf is his high floor and super weird upside

  24. Floyd, Burrell, Myers, Hamels, Utley … these are the guys who got the 5 largest bonuses in Phillies history. The last of the bonuses was paid out in the 2002 draft. Since then, we’ve spent less… a lot less on the draft. We didn’t have to. Other teams without primo draft position decided they would pay for a potential star who slid down the draft. Our management never chose to do so. Nor did they choose to be leaders in international spending, a totally unregulated market prior to 2012. And, we’ve traded talent. So, it’s not unreasonable that BA thinks we rank around 25. The Phillies have intentionally allowed the farm to drift.

    1. I just posted with my thoughts on this. Look where those guys were drafted. They will definitely get the higher bonuses. This is total conjecture, but I think my point about the guys sliding down the draft would be proven right (maybe:)) but I can’t think of anyone who fits that bill who actually made it down the draft board to us. Be interesting to look that up.

      As for international – do agree with you there that we haven’t spent probably what our income would allow.

      But all that said, I still say this org has drafted well I and I will, very respectfully, disagree with the comment about the team “intentionally allowing the farm to drift”. I’ll say again, so look at the list right now of top prospects in baseball and we are the team who has a good record of drafting a good bit of them, especially from where we’ve been drafting.

    2. Comparing Floyd and Burrell who were top 5 picks to the recent drafts is comparing apples to oranges. There is no comparison whatsoever.

      1. I know. That’s the point. We haven’t signed players lately who match these guys. It is not all about draft position. There is nothing to stop the Phillies from signing the best foreign talent in the years that they draft in the 30 slot or don’t have a 1st round pick, as we didn’t 2 of the past 3 drafts. This is a matter of organizational choice. Teheran is a top Braves prospect. They didn’t get him by having a great position in the draft.

        Look at the top 50 prospects in baseball. Likely none or 1 will be on our farm. Yes, we draft D’Arnaud and Singleton. We also traded them. When you do that, you need to replace the talent level or your farm drifts down to #25 or so, as ours has.

  25. The problem with lists like BA’s are that most of the time they are skewed depending on how good of a blue chip prospect the farm has. I would guarantee you that if the Phillies still had Singleton, they would no way be ranked in the 20s and would be closer to the 10-15 range. That’s the nature of the beast. I don’t fault the organization for going for broke to win a WS by dealing prospects in 2009, 2010, and 2011. That’s the cost of doing business in the MLB.

    Having said that, the fact that they continue to draft well (Quinn as an example) and develop players that do help at the ML level (Worley, Bastardo) is quite significant. So while the farm does lack those true blue chip prospects that outfits such as BA drool over, the Phillies have been decently successful at replacing those they have traded over the past 4 years.

    1. Yes, if the Phillies had one of the top prospects in Baseball they would be rated higher. That has nothing to due with bias on BA’s part.

      1. Of course it does. My point is that one prospect can shift an organization’s ranking 7-10 spots? I don’t know if I buy it. I do understand that these guys do the rankings for a living so they do know more than I do, just a lowly poster on a message board.

        I think I can illustrate my point better. Say Team A has 3 blue chip prospects and not much else. Team B has 5-7 good but not stellar prospects. Team A will always be ranked higher than Team B. But who knows if those 3 prospects can fulfill their billing. Team B’s prospects may be a surer bet or safer bet but they won’t be ranked high on BA.

        1. But as I posted below, one blue chipper can equal 5-7 average guys if they pan out, and provide it all in one player. Star players especially at pre-arb and arb rates are the most valuable commodity in baseball.

    2. I don’t know if I’d say that. San Diego’s system is very highly regarded amongst all prospect sites because of the overall depth they possess. I remember Keith Law ranking them #1 and people complaining about the lack of blue chip prospects…

      1. Ok. Maybe I will be proven wrong. From everything that I’ve seen when it comes to BA though, they seem to err on the side of rankings skewed towards top line prospects.

        1. It can really skew, but think of the value that a Trout/Heyward/Strasburg provides, it takes a good amount of just major league regulars to equal some of the top prospects. That said as JA said San Diego had a very high rating on the back of a large quantity of players with safe major league regular profiles.

          1. Quantity over quality huh? That still shocks me though.

            I do understand what you’re saying with regard to the cream of the crop prospects though. Those guys will move a needle.

            1. And when we say quantity, the Padres had 5-7 players in Top 100s but no one about 40. When you look at the Top 100, the players who are safe and have star upside end somewhere between 15-20 and from then on you either have extreme upside or good major league regular with extreme safety. Just having a guy or two in the top tier just really can move it, there is much bigger gap between 1 and 50 then 50 and 250.

            2. Ok. I think I get it.

              To me this is very interesting stuff. I wish I had more disposable income to get into the scouting reports on BA to really read up on guys around the league. I’ve been following Fangraph’s rankings as they come out.

            3. I agree I find this part more fascinating than arguing who is #7 vs #8 on a list. If you haven’t already I would listen to the BA podcasts (they are free on iTunes) not too much scouting reports but some good broader knowledge, I would also look into the Up & In Podcast that Kevin Goldstein and Jason Parks used to do before the Astros hired Kevin, it can be dated at times and they also have some non-baseball stuff but they both have a great knowledge of prospects that spans analytics and scouting. If you ever have the money I would suggest just giving BA a three month try during the off-season when the lists are coming out if you don’t want to commit to the full year.

  26. Very surprising to see Jay Floyd’s @Phoulballs interpretation of BA’s list.
    -He was miffed to not see Valle, Asche at higher than he was, Quinn’s ranking, and Ruf anywhere on the list.For someone who looks at the prospects as much as he does, I was really surprised at how much I disagreed with his points.

    1. That was an odd post, he did have Valle #2 last year over Biddle on his personal list. The Asche argument seems like one a lot of people are making , I don’t understand the Quinn argument either. Also the argument about Galvis and Aumont makes no sense, Aumont is on the Phillies Top 30 by BA he just didn’t make the Top 10 (which is a good thing for the system depth) and Galvis used up his rookie eligibility earlier in the season and is not ranked.

      1. Well he kept using RBI when discussing Valle and didn’t say a thing about his tools/approach, just that he moved up a level. I kind of tool it w/ a grain of salt when I saw RBI in his argument

        1. Jay Floyd does not get too far into the metric portion of the analysis on his site. Not even sure if BB%, K%, BABIP,ISO or even for that matter OBA ever get discussed. He prefers the interview directly with the prospect and probing for whatever they are working to improve on.

  27. Quinn got drafted #66 in 2011.
    He is a top 50 prospect talent in baseball in 2013….?
    I think it’s safe to say we finally have an elite talent. I think his stock is going to sore the way Domonic Brown’s did as he keeps playing. This is exciting, this is good.

  28. Am I the only one who was disappointed to see everyone of our Top pitching prospects being projected as #3 starter. I know they mentioned each could move up if refining their skills..but how bout throwing us a bone. In normal times (not the current phillies lineup where their #3 starter is Cy Young winner) the Number 3 starter is average.

    1. you have the wrong definition of #3 starter, it does not mean #3 in a rotation. A #3 is an above average starter, here is a quick breakdown of the starter terms (there are some good breakdowns out there but I am struggling to find one right now).
      #1 Starter (80 on scouting scale) – Also known as an ace, there is probably 10-15 of them at a time, has to have two 70+ pitches and all other pitches at least average, must have plus plus command/control, must look like an ace (prototype – Verlander, Phillies examples – Hamels, Lee)
      #2 Starter (70 on scouting scale) – There are probably another 20 some of these pitchers, they are lacking something to be a #1 whether there pitches are more 60s than 70s, they are inconsistent at times, command is only a 60, or they have durability issues. (prototype – James Shields, Phillies examples – ’08 Hamels, Halladay w/injury concerns)
      #3 Starter (60 on scouting scale) – Above average starter, there is maybe another 30-45 of these in baseball, many teams opening day starters are #3s, there are many reasons a pitcher could be a #3 (see #2 and add another flaw or two), but these are still really good pitchers. (prototype – Anibal Sanchez, Phillies example – ’05-’06 Brett Myers)
      #4 Starter (50-55 on scouting scale) – Average to above average starting pitcher. May lack in results but can give you 200+ innings a year, could just be average. (prototype – Joe Blanton, Phillies example – Joe Blanton, Vance Worley)
      #5 Starter (45 on scouting scale) – A slight step above replacement level, gives you innings but you are always looking to replace them. (prototype – John Lannan, Phillies example – Kyle Kendrick before July)

      #3 starters are really good pitchers who command 12-15 million a year on the open market. To say a pitcher projects to be a #3 and could be higher is a hell of a prospect especially when it comes in a package as safe as Biddle appears to be.

    2. No need to be disappointed. A number 3 starter, as defined by Baseball America: One (1) plus pitch, Two (2) average pitches, Average command.
      Biddle’s plus pitch is his curveball, his Fastball and change are average. Pettibone’s plus pitch is his Change (not ideal for a RH pitcher), his other pitches are average, but he has good command. Ethan Martin has multiple potential plus pitches, but doesn’t have the command. Morgan has the plus command and two pitches that are described as potentially plus, so it would seem that he would have the chance to reach the status of #2 pitcher. Overall, I think their assesments of the pitcher’s ceilings were about right.

      1. Thank you for finding the description, I had been searching unsuccessfully. The Chance for more on Biddle is the fact that he has two plus pitches in the fastball and curveball, so if he either adds another plus pitch (like the changeup) or one of the other two can be a plus plus pitch to go along with an improvement to true plus to plus plus command (not impossible given his yearly growth) you have a #2 starter.

        1. Actually, what you describe is a #1 pitcher, as defined by BA. Two (2) Plus pitches, average 3rd pitch, plus-plus command and (the hard to measure) plus makeup. Basically, the only differences between a #1 and #2 is plus-plus command and makeup, rather than average command and makeup. “Stuff” is the same.

          1. Ok thank you for the update I was trying to do it off memory, the biggest difference though is the unwritten one which is you have to do it to be a #1 it is not something that can be given until you prove that you can do it consistently. The best thing I have heard about #1s is that if you have to ask if a guy is a #1, he isn’t a #1.

  29. i’m glad the phillies aren’t pursuing swisher, because they’d have to forfeit the 16th pick. they haven’t drafted that high in years. i like some of the guys on the top 10 list a lot, but we need several more years to replenish the system.

  30. BA had a post during the season to rank five ss’s in the lower minors and Quinn was the 4th rated. It probably shows how hard it is to iind 10 real prospects in the system. Joseph along with his morbid bat after the Phil’s tried to “fix”: his swing after aquiring him is a real question, even bigger is his lack of ability to dig balls out of the dirt. In Phil’ that is a death sentence. I havn’t heard that on this site. Only passing along good stuff just confuses people like Larry M as if anyone can get any more confused and not suspect it.

    1. You are really good at picking out single facts out of context. Quinn was rated #5 out of the 5 presented, now lets put that into context here are the shortstops out how they were ordered.
      1. Carlos Correa (#1 overall pick 2012 draft)
      2. Addison Russel ( #11 pick 2012 draft)
      3. Corey Seager (#18 pick 2012 draft)
      4. Adalberto Modesi (son former Raul Modesi who is 17 in short season ball after recieving a $2 million signing bonus)
      And it wasn’t a huge separation. As for Joseph he was a better hitter than Valle during their respective times in Reading with an OBP 40 points higher. And it was acknowledged that Joseph has problems with balls in the dirt in the piece on catchers, but he has improved a lot since 2011 and is elite in shutting down the running game. Posters here acknowledge Joseph still needs time to work on his defense we just don’t beat that dead horse any more.

  31. When Jim Callis/Jason Parks/Keith Law make their prospect lists, I don’t think we see Quinn/Biddle around 50 and Joseph around 100. That was Matt Forman’s own personal ranking. I think we see Biddle around the 60-ish mark and Quinn/Joseph in the just missed list. Just my opinion. The prospect lists are just so much stronger than they were 2-3 years ago.

  32. I see two waves of position propects for the Phillies:
    “Soon”: Valle/Joseph, (Howard), Hernandez, Galvis, Asche/Franco, Ruf, Gillies, (Brown)/Collier
    “Years Away”: Lino, L.Greene, Pullin, Quinn, Walding, Pujols, Tocci, Cozens

    Certainly not all of them will make it, but projection could see them all as major league ‘starters’.
    “Soon” Starting Pitching could be: Martin, Biddle, Pettibone, Morgan, Wright/Colvin
    “Years Away” I have no idea but starts with Gueller and Watson.

    1. I know that I pound on this more than I should, but if we want to remain realistic yet still hope for a contender, it’s past time that we inject a little realism regarding our position prospects. Of the near term guys:

      It think it’s reasonable to be quite hopeful that Joseph, Asche, Franco and Brown become regulars. Throw Ruf in there also if he can play an adequate corner outfield or a spot opens at first base. Not looking for any of these guys to be stars (with Franco and Joseph probably having the best upside, with Ruf and Asche closer to contributing), but all of them potentially solid regulars.

      Of the other “soon” position players, I can at least see dreaming on (more or less in order) Gillies, Collier and even Valle, but realize that given their CURRENT paths, none of them projects as even a second division regular. IF they have a true breakout season (and health for Gillies, and a little more plate discipline for Valle) they can still BECOME players with a serious shot at being position prospects, but they are not that now.

      As for Hernandez, no, just no. Not even close. A team of similar players (in terms of overall ability) would lose 130 games. The only reason he (barely) merits thew prospect tag is the outside chance that he could be a middle infield bench guy, depending upon whether he can play an adequate SS in addition to 2B.

      On the whole, and given normal uncertainties (i.e., the following could be overly pessimistic, OR overly optimistic), the above lineup and pitching staff, even inserting Hamels in the mix, would be extraordinarily lucky to win 70 games. A decent enough pitching staff potentially, but not close to the best in the league, and easily the worst lineup in baseball.

      1. I would tend to agree with you on this Larry, but then I look at San Francisco’s lineup from last year. Outside of Posey that lineup is pretty bleak (considering Cabrera didn’t play in the post season). Furthermore, with the year Lincecum had I really don’t think the Phillies would have that much worse of a rotation in a couple of years. So the Phillies would need one player to breakout like Posey or pick up a high priced middle of the order bat (obviously they are not doing that this year). There is reason for hope.

        1. I addressed the San Francisco issue in another thread – keep in mind among other things that, despite Cabrera not playing in the post season, they would likely not have been there without him – and that staff, even with Lincecum stinking, is going to be tough to match – and a break out of Posey dimensions is a lot to ask – I could go on.

          BUT I don’t dismiss the possibility that the team could make that kind of turn around. I am not optimistic, partly because I don’t respect Amaro. But if it happens, it will probably happen because of development of the top prospects on that list, plus some smart FA moves and/or trades. Not because we put a bunch of AAA and AAAA type players in the lineup. I mean, people blast the SF lineup, but the above lineup is probably 100 runs worse (at least).

          1. I have to say that I truly don’t understand – not being mean, just honestly don’t understand it – the kind of mind set that can look at the team’s prospects in A+ and above, and see a franchise that can (in the short to medium run) do both of the following:

            (1) Play the kids, and
            (2) Remain contenders.

            When I say “play the kids,” of course I’m referring to a strategy that relies MOSTLY on our prospects; obviously, no one denies that some of these prospects can play a role in a return to success. Part of the argument seems to be some variation upon “sometimes the experts are wrong,” but where is the POSITIVE case that this group of prospects is going to be the foundation for a contending team? it’s not that the case for that is bad, it is that no one really even tries to make the case.

            1. I guess the question becomes what are/were the alternatives. I see three:

              (1) Blow up the team and rebuild
              (2) Play a mix of kids/veterans and attempt to remain in the mix while waiting for the farm to develop
              (3) Make a big signing (Hamilton, Upton, ect.) or gut what is left of the farm on a trade

              I don’t see (1) as being possible because outside of maybe Lee and Hamels are the only two that get us anything even remotely worthwhile back and I am assuming Hamels is the one person we build around.

              RAJ seems to be attempting (2) and you say it isn’t possible. Maybe you are right . However, the current Vegas odds on the Phillies are 15 to 1 to win the World Series. I would say that is a bit generous but not way out of line.

              You seem to be all about (3), Correct me if I am wrong. As much as people would want us to make two or more of these big signees it seems fairly obvious that RAJ only had enough resources to make one. The only bat that see as a difference maker was Hamilton. Unfortunately, Hamilton doesn’t solve our weak against lefthander lineup and is all sorts of risk. Upton (and you were big on getting Upton) is an even bigger risk. He has Carl Crawford bust written all over him. Even if he duplicates last season and adds a few homeruns where do you bat him? A sub .300 OBP does not say top or middle of the lineup to me. Now you are on a Swisher kick. Swisher is hardly a difference maker and maybe moves those odd from 15/1 to 14/1 and costs the highest pick we’ve had in a decade.

              In the end, even with added a big piece or two this years team is going to live or die by the performance of Utley/Howard/Halladay. Additionally, any of these big name signees or trade pieces will greatly reduce our ability to compete in the medium and long term through weakening the farm and/or reduce payroll flexibility as the decline with age through the length of the contracts.

              While I would love us to have a blue chip prospect we could build around or a 26 year old can’t miss right handed free agent middle of the order bat, that just isn’t the case. Despite my initial reaction to the Young trade I think RAJ has done a decent job this off season with the deals he has made as even more so with the deals he hasn’t done.

            2. I’m really somewhere between 2 and 3. Even leaning towards 2, but a more competently executed 2. The simple fact is that one or even two significant FA signings this year IMO would NOT have hurt the team’s long run prospects significantly, and might even have helped (Upton is a guy who, though risky, could well have helped the team win for the entirety of a 5 year contract). People around here over value the draft pick by a lot (ironic because for years people under valued it). That’s the point – part of a well executed strategy 2 WOULD HAVE INCLUDED some significant FA signings.

              Moreover, following #2 religiously, year after year, WITHOUT significant FA signings, basically is going to throw out any chance of being competitive for the next 4 years. 2013 maybe excepted, but I think Vegas’ odds are way too generous. After 2013, I don’t share the optimism of Matt and others. IMO continued aging of the core outweighs gains from the kids for at least the next few years. At some point we’re going to HAVE TO dip into the FA market. Next year the market looks worse. Maybe it’s better the year after, but no guarantees.

              Underlying all of this is a profound doubt that Amaro can competently execute ANY of these strategies. I have gone back and forth on him, at times even defending him. But I think it’s now clear beyond any reasonable doubt that he is one of the 5 worst GMs in the game.

            3. Well LarryM…Ruben is at least improving in your eyes, last week he was tied as the worst GM with KC’s GM, now he has gone up to worst 5.

            4. amaro is the worst. the phils are an overpaid version of the 2009 all star team. unfortunately we are going into the 2013 season.

              He should have been fired on the spot the day he extended howard

          2. Larry – I enjoy your posts, but it seems to me that your gripes with Amaro are on a personal level. If your problems with him are because of personality and not the moves he has made, I don’t see how you would have a subjective viewpoint of anything he does because you will view everything he does in a negative light. That can’t be the case can it?

            Listen, I’ve had many a disagreement with what RAJ has done over his tenure as Phillies GM (Howard extension, Paps signing, first Pence trade). But I don’t think any of it is without an intention to put the best baseball team on the field. No GM is perfect and no GM makes the best decisions all the time. Even the vaunted Billy Beane.

            RAJ gets a lot of the same criticism that Brian Sabean did for years in SF. If someone told me 4 years ago that Sabean would have 2 WS rings in 2013, I would have told them they were full of it.

            1. How could that be true given the many times that I have praised him and come to his defense? That’s not true this season, apart from the Revere trade (but even that’s evidence against your hypothesis), but maybe that has much more to do with the Amaro than with me.

              I will admit that I probably was a tad harsher regarding the Lannan signing than in retrospect I should have been, but that was more about my disdain for low K pitchers than about Amaro per se.

              The simple fact is that we have either acquired or been linked to just about every washed up veteran in the game over this post season. If anything, I am even now far too kind. Nowheels likely would be a better GM.

            2. No, I get the criticisms of RAJ. I think he was good GM for the 09, 10, and 11 teams. Last season, everything that went wrong did. This is a make or break season for him. It all depends on how the team bounces back this year.

              I guess this shouldn’t be in this thread but his drafts haven’t been that bad either. I think the jury is still out on the 2011 draft, but none of his drafts have been absolute clunkers.

            3. I think Amaro in the past has struggled with being able to gauge the market and has been aggressive to trade or sign players in a sellers market. i.e. the Pence deal. However, this off-season, I am alright with what he has done. I do not think Lannan is a great pitcher, but it’s a low risk move. The way players get hurt, it just adds extra insurance. I don’t think Cloyd is a legitimate starting pitcher for a good team and i’m not convinced Kendrick will continue on his second half. Lannan is really blocking anyone (I think if Pettibone has a good first half, he gets a shot at some point).
              The reality is that is just was not a good market for acquiring the Phillies needs. Obviously, if they would have seen the Hamilton signing coming (which no one really did) they probably would have waited and tried to trade for Bourjous. But there isn’t much of a market for 3rd baseman and I think Young can give us more at 3rd than we had last year and I didn’t like the other options. I wish they would’ve signed Upton, but Bourne wanted more than he’s worth (particularly with the K% of this team) and on top of that they would’ve given up a draft pick (wouldn’t of minded if it was Upton).
              I wish there was more that could be done, but I’m not sure there really was. Probably the best thing Amaro did this off-season was not hog-tie us us with bad contracts in the future and he didn’t block 3rd base.

            4. I think the problem is that he is bad at gauging the market, period, sometimes in one direction, sometimes in the other. I don’t see this as someone learning, but as someone overreacting to past mistakes but NOT learning.

              More fundamentally, when it comes to position players, I think he is just really bad at talent evaluation. Some but not all of that is undervaluing BB and over valuing RBI, which 20 years ago would not have mattered that much, because EVERYONE did that, but in 2012 that will just kill you because most teams get that balance right, or closer to right, and in a competitive market over time that means we’ll never get the player with good plate discipline and always over pay for RBIs. He also doesn’t IMO understand aging curves. (It’s funny, people just assumed when he talked about our players having a bad approach at the plate that he meant that the team needed to be more patient at the plate, but given his revealed preferences, I think if anything he favors players with an aggressive approach and good contact skills. Nothing wrong with good contact skills, but the aggressiveness is a different matter.)

            5. Even you have pretty much given a wash to the Young trade, which ironically we were probably the two people most critical of the deal when it was first rumored. As for rumors of other washed up players (Wells, Soriano, ect) I wouldn’t put to much stock in the reports. People will report any name people even conceive of putting in a trade. For example the Soriano story, there was no mention of who brought up the deal to whom or how far it even went. If the Cubs called up RAJ and send “hey, we’ll give you Soriano for Brown and we’ll even take up most of his salary for better prospects.” That should not count against RAJ unless he takes the deal.

            6. I wouldn’t say that the Young deal is a wash, we traded players with some value for a guy who could just as likely hurt the team as help it. But even at my most critical I conceded that the problem wasn’t so much that the move itself hurt the team, but rather that it confirmed Amaro’s poor talent judgment.

  33. my breakout candidates:
    pitching: Holby Millner- i loved what he did and i think he could potentially climb quickly… with all these mid-rotation starters, i see some beautiful trade chips without blowing the farm.
    position: Hewitt- i know it sounds crazy, but i expect him to get very confident when he starts hitting ridiculous amounts of hrs in reading. i think its not that crazy to believe he’ll bat 260 with 35+ homers and then start trying harder on defense.

    1. That would be pretty amazing upside for Hewitt. I could possibly see 25 HR though. Will be interesting if he does put up those numbers to see what the Phillies do with him. My guess is that he goes to AFL if they figure he has any chance.

      I could see Milner having a great year. His issue will be upside potential as he moves up the system. He will certainly have to ‘prove it’ each year.

    2. Colvin is a breakout candidate, yet again, but he’s not the Hewitt of pitchers. I’d give that title to JC Ramirez.

      1. JC Ramirez didn’t get a 900K bonus. JC is nowhere near the bust that Colvin has been. The only reason Colvin isnt a Hewitt level bust, is because he was decent for half of a season, in 2010. Otherwise he’s been as bad at pitching as Hewitt has been at hitting.

  34. It is not a minor league point, but I am happy to see that that BA picked Halladay as being the Phils #3 starter in 2016. After last season, I’ve been afraid might never be good again, but this means they don’t see Halladay retiring soon and they do see the Phillies re-signing him on merit.

    Regarding the minor leaguers, I’m glad to see Tocci and Quinn ranked so highly. Remember all prospects, even blue-chippers, are a crap-shoot. Before the 2011 June draft Brown I think was #1moving up from #4 preseason after #1-#3 reached the majors before him. I am happy with the Phillies minor league system, They have a lot of pretty good but not yet blue-chip prospects means there are players with a chance to blossom, particularly pitchers, who are particularly hard to predict, partly due to more injury concerns.

    1. Honestly, I don’t think it says anything about how they view the likelihood of Halladay being resigned. That is a question that depends not only upon how well Halladay pitches, but how well the team performs and what sort of contract Halladay wants. If the Phillies are as far behind at the trade deadline in 2013 as they were in 2012, Halladay will be traded. He is just a place holder on the listing of future starters. What the list really says is that BA doesn’t think we have enough hot-shot minor league pitchers to credibly fill out a major league staff.

      1. I would say the best way to describe the list is take the current group of players, project a minor age decline, mostly to see if they would be retiring, assume all free agents will be re-signed and then fill in the holes with the best prospect. Don’t read into that list at all, BA has 4 pitchers in are Top 10 alone that they project to be mid-rotation starters or better. There isn’t an ace there but that is what Hamels was signed to be.
        But of all of the information put out by BA the projected line up is by far the most useless.

      1. Unfortunately, Ruf also might not play the OF. This conversion is still a work in progress. If it were established that Ruf could play an adequate LF, he would likely move up the list a little. As of the end of last season, the answer to this question was still up in the air. I don’t think any of us really know how winter ball went with regard to the D.

        1. It went great from what the coach down there said and Amaro re-iterated. That was discussed here back after Thansgiving after he returned to the states. His defense was more then adequate his coach said and Ruben mentioned BOTH LF and RF for some reason.

          1. There is a lot of posturing in that statement, not to call Amaro a lier (it is kind of his job on some level) but what does he have to gain by saying that Ruf can’t play in the OF, that destroys any leverage he has in negotiations with any free agent outfielder. Also is adequate Pat Burrel or is it Mayberry, there is a huge difference as to what adequate in LF is.

  35. I know lots of folks on here love Tocci and project him top 10 even though I have him at 14 so I’m encouraged that BA puts him at #10. Their top 10 looks very much like my list except that I have Aumont at 10 instead of Tocci and I have Asche at 5 with Pettibone and Martin after him. I can certainly understand their reasons. They have Greene and Watson at 11 and 12 which I understand also. I also have DeFratus ahead of them but BA clearly didn’t value the two relievers as high, which I know many on here are in agreement with. I get the argument but I think both relievers will spend most of the season pitching in Philly this year and that counts for something for me. The comments about Greene are probably the most encouraging since we really need him to become an effective power hitter. We can’t waste anymore 1st round picks.
    I can’t believe we’re going to have to face D’Arnaud for the next ten years as a Met….

    1. The difference between position 10 and 14 is miniscule. I chose not to rate Watson this year, since he barely pitched.

  36. Hey Larry, just a quick fyi. I was listening to Serius (sp?) yesterday and Jim Duquette (former GM) said he would not sign Swisher at the expense of the 16th pick. He acknowledged that many picks don’t make it but said the trade value of these picks a year after the draft is higher than what Swisher will be worth, especially after he signs an expensive deal. Other GMs might agree with you to sign him if you want to win now but I think you have to hope you get a big time player there. Lots of great players get drafted in the first round at 16 or later, we just need one of them to come our way in June.

    1. Murray, here’s the thing: I’m not saying people who don’t want to sign Swisher are crazy, just wrong. I also think – and if this applies to Duquette as well, so be it – that people just focusing mainly upon the pick are .. well, not quite crazy but dead wrong. If Swisher is a real difference maker – and I think he is – then OF COURSE he is worth the pick. Of course. If the typical GM felt differently, then the FA market would have shaken out very differently this year (and in past years, where the cost was similar).

      I really do think that, even for people who keep talking about the pick, this is more a disagreement about Swisher than about the pick. I think Swisher is significantly under rated.

      1. I don’t think anyone here is debating whether or not they would give up a pick for a difference maker. The debate is whether Swisher is a difference maker. I do not think so and especially not worth it for the pick and 4/$60 or whatever he is going to get. I like OBP guys too but not at that price, not for someone that makes us better but not by enough to justify what we have to give up.

        It’s funny for as much as we bash on RAJ for being behind the times in the Sabrematics form. We forget that he learned from Gillick who seems to get a free pass. We can say it is because GIllick was a better judge of talent but I would say that with how RAJ has done without a high draft picks and his ability to often trade away players when there value is high- (Drabek, Happ, ect.) Yes absolutely he has made some mistakes but who hasn’t. As much as Billy Beane is the “god ” of Sabremathmaticians other than Swisher how have the other players he so highly valued from the Moneyball book actually panned out.

        1. Oh and I meant to ask how come Swisher is immune to the aging curve that you complain about so much with everyone else?

          1. He’s not immune but:

            -as I’ve made clear, I’m not a slave to WAR but I think it captures Swisher’s value well. Over the past 3 years, he has averaged 3.9 WAR. He can decline somewhat from that & still be well above average.
            -he hasn’t hit the age where the decline tends to be steep
            -he hasn’t shown signs yet of a decline, nor does he have the characteristics (in terms of skill set or body type) that are characteristic of a premature decline. Both points contrast him with (for example) Howard.

            I do think that come year 4 and maybe 3 he’ll likely be over priced. But I can live with a 15 million a year player who will be somewhat overpriced as opposed to say a 25 million a year player who is over priced. Especially given the team’s likely salary structure 3 or 4 years out.

            The other point, and at the risk of repeating myself, unless the team abstains from the FA market, resigning themselves to mediocrity and leaving millions of payroll dollars on the table, at some point in the next couple of years they are going to have to take a risk on a guy like Swisher. The market isn’t getting better.

            Also, this isn’t just about valuing Swisher – it’s also about Ruf. If I had more faith in his outfield defense, I might not be pushing this move so much.

            The bottom line for me is that, IF you value Swisher as I do, and IF you are skeptical of Ruf’s defense, and IF you aren’t willing to be statisfied with mediocrity or worse for the next 3 years, then the pick really isn’t nearly enough to sway you against the move.

            1. And again, I’m not sayng this one is a a no brainer. There are arguments going the other way.Though I do think that the growing anti-FA mentality on this site is short sighted, and that the pick is not, in and of itself, a reason to object to the deal.

            2. You really can’t say not signing Swisher now will relegate the Phils to 3 years of mediocrity. They could easily trade for someone mid-season or sign a FA next offseason because they still have the salary space. Every move effects all future moves.

            3. The short answer: if you love the pick that much, then you’re going to be against any FA pickups for the next two years, and REALLY against any mid season moves. It’s one thing to say that either (a) you don’t care about a period of mediocrity, or (2) you think the current roster has more potential than I do. But thinking that there is somethign uniquely expensive about THIS season’s FA market , and that there will be cheaper FA or trade options down the road is a pretty clear error.

            4. The longer answer. The FA market next year is crap. Far worse than this year. When the 2014-15 FA market rolls around, the pick we will need to surrender is likely going to be BETTER than a 16th pick.

              They could do a mid season move. The cost of same will likely far, far exceed a 16th pick.

              I think a lot of people around here are fetishizing the pick. Sure there is a “chance” the pick could result in a star level player. I think a lot of people around here are assuming that it is likely that the pick will be a star. The reality is that less than 10% of such picks become stars.

              I think the Phillies have as many as dozen prospects who are worth more than the 16th pick. Any decent mid season pick-up is going to cost us one of our top 5 picks, and probably another one from 6 to 12. Let’s say we have the opportunity to pick up a Swisher type player at the trade deadline, but have to give up Biddle and Larry Greene for him. Would you really rather do that than give up the 16th pick? Really?

              Why are people okay with that, but not okay with losing the pick? Seriously, I don’t get it. If you’re not willing to lose the pick, you’re REALLY going to be against any mid season move that has the potential to help the team.

        2. I have never given Gillick a free pass. He made some of the worst trades/FA signings in recent memory. Abreu/Lidle, Freddy Garcia, Adam Eaton, Jenkins. Signing Werth is his biggest player coup. He inherited a strong team, which just needed a push over the top. He was skilled at the deadline deal and adding complementary pieces. I’m not even sure that Gillick was a genius at this or Wade was just incompetent. I suspect that quite a few GMs were talented enough to replace Wade and push the team over the top. One thing that Gillick brought, which few other GMs could bring, was the stature to convince ownership to raise the budget enough to push the team over the top. Beyond that, I think Gillick’s greatest skill has been in analyzing the leagues and joining teams that were ripe to be pushed over the top. Phillies fans were fairly demoralized before he arrived, but a thoughtful analysis would show that we were a very good, underperforming team, with some great young talent about to burst onto the major league scene. It’s not like he walked into Pittsburgh and took the Pirates to a WS. Part of Gillick’s genius lies in never attempting to make a success of the Pittsburgh’s of the game.

          1. What Gillick brought was a new set of eyes that was not beholden to his only successful players on the team (Abreu, Lieberthal, Wolf). Gillick was able to dump three former All Stars without having his reputation tied to them. Now if you are anti intangible person just stop reading. By moving those 3 he successfully allowed Rollins and Utley to dominate the locker room and become the leaders of the team. This allowed that talented team to make that next step as you replaced some guys, who were complacent with a mediocre team result as long as they got their numbers, with younger hungrier players that had more drive to succeed.

      2. Btw, the Orioles are having the same situation with regards to Laroche. They can’t decide whether Laroche is worth more than the pick.

      3. I don’t think Swisher is a difference maker for us. To me, he’s less than Pence was two years ago. I agree that a difference-making CF would have been worth losing pick #16. I think the farm needs strengthening, but really trading May and Bonilla is more of a hit than losing a mid-first round pick. Pitchers who have advanced that far through the system with success, although with legit question marks in both cases, are worth more than an untested HS pitcher we would draft this year. Having lost the minor leaguers, I wouldn’t lose the pick. If RA was willing to lose the pick, then he should not have traded any minor leaguers and simply signed a horde of FA, since the pick was lost anyway. To me, once he made the Revere trade, he was committed to saving our first round pick.

        1. I don’t agree that Bonilla was worth nearly as much as the 1st round pick and I am not sure May had that kind of value going forward either. But I do agree that once they moved on from Upton and traded minor leaguers for Revere and Young, the plan should be to hold on to the pick.
          Swisher is not the kind of difference maker that should cause an organization to forfeit a top pick and offer a huge contract, IMO.

          1. I don’t think Bonilla was as valuable as the first rounder either, but Bonilla plus May were. Going into last season, May was our #1 prospect. He had a down year, but he was still about our 6th best prospect with a chance to bounce back. Among the stretched out starting pitchers, he had the best stuff on the farm. May and Biddle are about the best you get out of #1 picks outside the top dozen. One that has progressed through the system without injury is worth a lot more than a newly drafted equivalent. Sometimes you can luck out on a Utley with a pick at this point in the draft, but that is really rare.

            1. I really can not agree that May has more value than the 16th pick. I really believe you are over valuing Trevor May. There is value in proximity, but a truer picture of what May will become has been established. That has lowered his value.
              Look at it this way: At the trade deadline, I bet any player drafted in the top 16 of the 2012 draft would fetch more in trade than May (if he does not make significant improvement). Many of those players will be in BA’s top 100 before the shortseason starts. May won’t be in anyone’s top 100.

            2. But may was in the top 100, before an off-season. It amazes me how people can promise a big bounce-back year for a 36-year old who has had an awful year and wash their hands of a kid who has had an off year. Since he entered full-season ball, May has never had less than 9 Ks/9 and never averaged as much as a hit surrendered per inning. This includes his bad 2012. He has been over 11K/9 multiple times in his minor league career. He has a very good arm. He needs better control. That’s about it. There is still quite realistic hope that May will be a star. A higher percentage than your typical 16th guy in the draft. For a pitcher, making it to AA without injury or totally falling by the wayside is a big plus. A lot of pitchers from earlier in the draft than the 16th slot don’t make it that far.

            3. Look at just some of the Phillies first round pitchers over the years. Guys like Scott Munninghof. About half of our first round pitchers, some quite early in the round, got little more than a cup of coffee in the bigs. Unless he blows out his arm this season, May will do at least that well.

            4. If this was May’s 1st hiccup in his minor league career I would agree with you. This isn’t. May reached High A, at the start of 2010. It’s 2013 and he will still be in AA. He doesn’t have near the value that you’re giving him.

            5. Not just me. I think BA had him top 50 going into 2012. Pettibone is more ‘sure thing’ but much lower ceiling. Of course May has value. How do you think we got Revere? I also doubt May is in AA in 2013. You fill out the #4/5 spots in a rotation with good control ‘sure thing’ guys like Kendrick and Worley. For the front of the rotation, you need guys with electric stuff, who can miss bats. May had that, more than any guy in the system. He isn’t a finished product and he might never reach his potential, but he’s got the best stuff of anyone we’ve had starting in the minors since Hamels.

            6. I think you overrating May a bit. His ranking was too high last year, likely because he was the top prospect in the system. May’s issues go beyond just control, his change up has devolved into a below average pitch, he tips his curveball throwing it from a different angle and release point, and he is homer prone because he consistently tries to beat hitters up in the zone. It is still a special arm and a good prospect but he was somewhere between 6 and 10 in the org. This would have easily had him behind a #16 pick there is just way too much chance he is a reliever.

              As for pure raw stuff he has to be behind Colvin and Martin who have better fastballs, and I could make a compelling argument that both Biddle and Morgan have better stuff, and this is not counting the two young guys. This isn’t including Cosart who had insane stuff as well.

            7. The fact that an average talent can make it to AA uninjured doesn’t make them a great commodity. Pettibone, who is more of a sure thing than May, has less trade value than Lucas Giolito (2012, 16th pick).

            8. Really, that’s just silly. May is hardly an average talent. He didn’t become our top prospect by being an average talent. May projected as a #2 starter. It’s way too soon to write him off after one bad year. Starting minor league pitchers who can pitch over 150 innings in a season and log over 12K/9 as May did in 2011 are not average talents. He was a primo talent going into 2012.

            9. “Was a primo talent…” That’s the point. At the end of 2011, May was more valuable than the #16 pick. Prospect status and value is fluid. Trevor May is has take 5 seasons to establish himself as a ‘healthy’ AA pitcher. He is not as valuable as a high 1st round pick.

            10. Greg Golson, Anthony Hewitt and Joe Savory.

              Trevor May has a good chance to have a Ryan Madson career in the bullpen.

              And they threw in Vance Worlley.

              For a toothpick bat. …….

        2. I don’t agree. I think there is always the hope that the 16th pick has a chance to be a star. The new draft model makes it even harder to find a star after the first few rounds. so those picks become more valuable. There wasn’t that belief attached to May or Bonilla.

          1. What’s the chance May manages to overcome his control and command issues and become a solid #2 pitcher? Pretty low, right? Maybe about 10%?

            The same chance, roughly, as a #16 pick to become a star. I’d probably assign May marginally less value than a #16 pick. Throw Bonilla in, and I’d say the combination is pretty clearly worth more than a 16th pick.

            Old draft, new draft, everything past the top 5 or so is a bit of a crap shoot. Every player in the first 5 rounds has a “chance” to be a star. Yes, a number 16 pick a little more than (say) a second round pick. Still a pretty small chance on the whole.

            1. There were 45 (I think) #16 picks from 1965 to 2009. Nine of them had a rWAR higher than 10. Brett Lawrie should get there too, which makes 10. I think I’d rather take my chances with the pick. It’s close though.

              I see the best case scenario for May as being similar to Brett Myers so I think May’s ceiling is a little lower than Larry stated, but I’d give him a slightly better than 10% chance to reach his ceiling.

            2. Brett Myers was a much superior pitcher and talent to Trevor May. Myers was already dominating Reading at age 20. Trevor May was being demoted from Clearwater to Lakewood, at the same age.
              Myers was a ML veteran at the stage May is, right now.

            3. Agreed, but Myers really only had three good years as a starter and two good years as a reliever. His other years ranged from below average to bad. I think May could replicate that as a best case scenario.

            4. I’d think substantially better than 10%. Most young prospect pitchers, not counting the low-stuff control guys like Kendrick, have command and control issues in the minors. Many never get over that, but the number who do is better than 10%.

            5. Yep, the draft is a crap shoot, but Trevor May not nearly as much.

              And for a toothpick bat.

              “Josh Hamilton goes Yard!”

      4. Besides losing the 16th pick, your bonus pool is greatly diminished as well. Losing that takes $5,601,800 out of your overall draft budget.

        1. That’s only a big deal if you can sign the pick for less than that. If he signs for scale, then its really a non issue.

          1. It gives you more flexibility to overslot in the later rounds if the guy in the 1st round plays hardball.

            1. No it doesn’t. If you don’t sign the first round guy, you lose the $, or rather you carry it over to the next draft with a repeat pick. The only way you can really save appreciable $ is to draft a guy at #16 who isn’t really a #16 talent. Let’s say you and the agent of a guy who recognizes himself as a second-round talent agree that you’ll draft him at #16 and pay him the #30 slot. Then you can bank some money for later rounds, but you’ve also passed on the best talent that you’ll have a crack at signing. For max flexibility you could always draft another of Ruben’s relatives and give him half of the $ for the #16 slot, but will that really get you a higher level of talent overall in the draft?

  37. For better or worse, I think the Phils are waiting out Hairston and Ross to see if their price drops. I’m not sure if the Phils have the appetite for another trade unless its just a salary dump like Wells, which seems like an absulute waste of time to me. Cuddyer’s name is still being tossed around as is the Rockies’ need for relief pitchng. Maybe the Phils could get him for DeFratus or Schwimer if they absorbed most of his contract. That would be something that I’d support because I think Cuddyer could be pretty good in our park, if he could stay healthy, and he’s another real gamer who the city would love.

    1. Agreed and i think that signifies the release of Mayberry as both Ross and Hairston can play all 3 OF positions in a pinch. And both would probably have their performance optimized by a platoon.

      1. Releasing Mayberry would be a colossal blunder – thus entirely in the realm of the possible.

        As a strict platoon player, Mayberry would be better than either. Both would likely be better full time players. Hariston would make a lousy full time player so that isn’t saying much. Ross would be better, but if signing Ross meant releasing Mayberry, it would be an bad signing. Considering salary, Mayberry is a more valuable player than Ross. He’s probably a more valuable player than Hairston, period, because both should be considered platoon players, Mayberry is better in that role, and Hairston’s ability to be merely very bad against right handers, as opposed to terrible, is no meaningful advantage. Mayberry is also a better fielder.

        1. And lest we forget, in a pinch, Mayberry plays a very decent first base, but then again so does Darin Ruf.

        2. Not saying i agree with it but the roster numbers might dictate it (unless it is a Ruf or Brown who get sent down). Personally i think that Mayberry is a valuable 4/5 OF to an organization. Plays around average D at all 3 positions and can provide some pop from the right side. And i will assume colossal blunder is hyperbole.

        3. After the 2011 AS break Mayberry was hitting very well. So well it was embarrassing set aside Cholly’s effort to acquire a veteran RH OF bat. We go Pence and Mayberry basically sat after that as Ibanez and Pence manned the corner spots. I think that season would have ended better had the team stuck with Mayberry and sat Ibanez. Mayberry outhit Ibanez against both LH and RH pitching that season. I think Cholly’s actions really hurt Mayberry’s career, but he can still make a comeback in 2013. Our management badly needs to stop managing the team based upon the career averages on the back of baseball cards. Kids do improve, aged players do regress. In both cases, averages to date in the bigs are quite meaningless.

          1. STINKBERRY should not be playing MLB.

            That should be obvious to anyone who can evaluate talent. He is a minus across the board. Every tool in his box is rusted.

      2. As a platoon player Mayberry has a good chance to suceed, he does hit lefties well and can play the field.. I’m not sure about the other half of the platoon or a platoon in left and right, too much can go wrong.

  38. Are you kidding , i am not a big mayberry fan, but he has value as a fourth or fifth outfielder, infact i rather have him over ross or hairston,. he can field and run and hit some homeruns,and play four positon first and all three outfields

  39. Here is an interesting take on the Phillies Top 10 by former BP writer and current Bloomberg sports writer Bradley Ankrom (

    1) Jesse Biddle, lhp
    2) Maikel Franco, 3b
    3) Tommy Joseph, c/1b
    4) Roman Quinn, ss
    5) Ethan Martin, rhp
    6) Larry Greene, lf
    7) Carlos Tocci, cf
    8) Phillippe Aumont, rhp
    9) Shane Watson, rhp
    10) Adam Morgan, lhp

    He justifies his choices in the write up, not sure I completely agree but it is nice to see someone whose opinions I respect have Franco and Greene that high

    1. He justifies the guys he left off his top 10, but doesn’t really make any case at all for his additions. I’m not as high on Pettibone as some are, but it seems a stretch to exclude him from the top 10. Different people treat proximity to bigs differently. I have a hard time seeing Joseph ahead of Quinn. If you give Joseph #3 at least partly based on proximity, then Joseph and Watson seem high to me. I think Watson has done too little to be ranked and diabetes problems severe enough to require missed time are an issue. Ruf is a unique case, just about every one will treat him as an outlier in their normal evaluative process. He also seems a little harsh in his ranking of Morgan.

      1. Watson’s diabetes problems will be fine going forward. It was a severe issue because it was undetected up to that point and his body shut down from the disease, once treated many pitchers have made it not an issue, there was talk of him getting a pump which would make it so that he wouldn’t have to even check his blood sugar during games.

      2. I would have a hard time seeing Quinn ahead of Joseph, given that scouts say both guys have pretty high upside and Joseph is beating him on the proximity issue. I guess some might point to performance last year, but you have to take into account that Joseph is 3 levels higher but only 2 years older.

      3. It’s scary to see Roman Quinn on any top ten list for the Phillies.

        Either those making out the list have reality problems – BA folks suffer from this- or the Phillies system is very very weak.

        No one should be able to make a top ten list before they play full season ball for a full season. Perhaps an actual phenom like Bryce Harper would be an exception.

        BTW, Maikel Franco runs as slow as Pat Burrell. No hyperbole there, actual 60 yard “dash” time of 7.7

        1. Two things:
          1: Roman Quinn being on the Phillies top ten isn’t a sign of a bad Phillies farm system. They said Quinn might rank around 75 nationally. Which is damn good.
          2: I couldn’t care less if he is as slow as Burrell. If the dude can barrel and glove a ball then he has value.

        2. Here is him hitting a single this year. He is quicker than he used to be, it might still be close to a 20 run tool but he has a good first step, and if he can stick at third the speed doesn’t matter.

          Quinn is a really good prospect by pretty much national consensus, if he had been in full season he might have a legitimate shot at the #1 spot. A Merry Christmas to you FreeAEC I am so glad that you think highly enough of us to spend your Christmas day here.

    2. What were Ruf’s platoon splits? I find it hard to believe he achieved 38 HR .317/.408/.620 in 584 PA if he can’t hold his own against Righties.

        1. 20% K rate against righties not encouraging, also the -.104/-.102/-.317 split difference is not good. Unless Ruf repeats his entire performance he is likely to not be great against righties.

          1. I wonder what the average platoon difference is? Is that information available? Can I look up averages for a season?

            1. Gah. I’m not nearly statistically intelligent enough(Nor do the minor league resources exist I think) to properly figure out how in line his platoons are.

            2. Right handers usually have small platoon splits you would expect somewhere in the -.030 range on his OBP, it is a relatively significant split on Ruf, there are ton of questions though because all of our optimism is based on an insane small sample size. So the stats can be swayed by his number of home games during the streak, number of lefties faced, and just the quality of competition in general. Again very small sample sizes but he was much better against lefties in his short time in the big leagues

            3. I’ve gotta think that his major league platoon splits are meaningless right now. Just too few PAs. And in the minors, his numbers against lefties are so ridiculous (at least the last two years), I can’t see holding it against him because he was merely great against righties. If he puts up an .845 OPS against righties in the majors next year, we would all love that, right?

            4. I think to expect Ruf to do in the Major League what he did last year against righties or lefties is a tall order. However, I agree with you that we should care if his OBP split is -.200 if he can maintain an OPS of .800 versus righties.

              For comparison sake here are some the slash lines against righties of some of the names that have been tossed around these boards. Swisher .250/.342/.478, Willingham .266/.359/.476, Cuddyer .263/.324/.435, Ross .253/.312/.415, and Mayberry, Jr. .232/.302/.376.

              My question is what would be an adequate slash line against righties to warrant not being a platoon player?

        2. Ruf’s K% historically has been under 20% overall, I think one year overall he was 21%. Now concerning righties, if you look at the majority of ‘power’ RH bats (20HRs, and up guys) their K rates will normally be in the low to mid 20 percentile vs RHPs, am I wrong in that assumption?

    3. Interesting top 10. Ethan Martin a little too high. Morgan too low. Asche and Pettibone should be on the list, even if their ceilings are perceived as low. In my mind, Martin (who may likely become a reliever)and Aumont have limited upside value. I think it is arguable that an average everyday 3B and 4-5 starter has more valuable than a good reliever. It is very hard for even the top relievers to get a 1.5 WAR.

    4. FWIW, based on some of these comments and reviews I updated (took a guess at my Top10) going mostly on projected upside. Biggest change is that I basically swapped Martin and Morgan based on Morgan having above average control and Martin not.

      Quinn, Biddle, Tocci, Morgan, Joseph, Franco, Gillies, L.Greene, Martin, Aumont.
      (I had May #11 and Bonilla #15 but that is partially since I’d switch him to starter).
      I still think Gillies has all-star potential but agree the injuries should knock him down much further on this list. Aumont is too high due to his control issues but his stuff is off the charts good so I have him in the Top10. I think Asche is a fringe starter but I love his makeup; likewise for Pettibone who I think is 4th Starter.

      1. Yeah, I’ve watched him pitch – he’s not like Kendrick. In terms of stuff, he’s more like a young Ryan Madson, except, unlike Madson, he can hold his velocity for many innings.

  40. Mike Newman at fangraphs did a prospects chat today and was asked whether Quinn’s BA ranking was justified. His answer:

    “Yes, definitely. Very, VERY exciting young player with blazing speed. He should be MILB’s next 100 SB guy.”

          1. He is likely the second fastest prospect behind Hamilton (there may be some non-prospects who can just run who may be faster). Quinn is an 80, Hamilton is 100 on the 20-80 scale.

    1. Yeah that is insane. He is full speed after step one and I want to see the defensive film because the reports say that he is like that getting to balls at shortstop.

      1. The speed is obvious and overwhelming, but the hit tool is what could make him a big star. For his first yeat as a switch hitter he was amazing, holding his own as a lefty and flat out raking as a righty. Talk about a high ceiling player! Quite a superb pick if you ask me.

  41. Whatever happened to those guys who ripped Baseball America, at this time last year, for rating Roman Quinn ahead of Tyler Greene?

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