Reader Top 30 #9 – Ethan Martin

Jonathan Pettibone edges Ethan Martin for the #8 spot.  To keep up with variety of choices I have added Mitch Gueller, Dylan Cozens, and Andrew Pullin, the additions will likely come in larger patches for a bit as there are a lot of viable candidates beyond the top 10-12 or so.

List so far:

  1. Biddle
  2. Quinn
  3. Morgan
  4. Joseph
  5. Franco
  6. Ruf
  7. Asche
  8. Pettibone



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

123 thoughts on “Reader Top 30 #9 – Ethan Martin

  1. Martin here. Next pick will be tough as i am leaning towards a dream. I think Tocci next but i like Watson and LG Jr upsides as well. The Rupert reports on LG Jr. during the season were real positives for me.

      1. I usually find myself as an upside guy. Also, Aumont has just not shown me enough consistency to think he will stick as high leverage guy.

  2. Easily Martin for me. After this it gets tougher but I’ll probably go Aumont. Pretty high floor, high upside (for a reliever).

  3. Martin again :(. Tough Choice for the next spot but i am thinking like Handzus and probably going with Aumont where proximity and talent almost demand a top 10. Depending on injuries he could be the most valuable player on this list at some point this year.

  4. I agree Aumont is being overlooked a bit here. He should have been much nearer in the voting to Pettibone. Aumont really does have filthy stuff and he had a good enough season to remain optimistic that he will be a closer someday — as long as he can continue to refine his command. I had him ranked much higher last year but reconsidered somewhat because bullpen guys really don’t compare to a starting pitcher’s value. I think a good #3 starter is more valuable than a good closer and Martin may yet reach that goal so I’m going with him here with fingers crossed. Aumont is my next vote though and I expect he will contribute this season to a much better bullpen.

  5. Normally I’d just say Tocci, but this is the 9th or 10th time I’m saying this and nobody gets it. This site used to stimulate my baseball mind but now it’s just the obnoxious free aec crap and the voters complying with common logic pick by pick. I’m done with Ill see y’all in Clearwater this year hopefully, gonna be fun, but I’m done with groupthink and Dave $$$ BS.

    1. I agree there is too much group think on the site, but it’s like that on every sports site. The stronger personalities and best debaters get the weaker to go along with them. The one thing that makes me sad is not that, though. It seems there are many more new commenters that can’t debate, just stating they have been following baseball since 1950, (as if that means there are no stupid 60 year olds in the world). Offering little to no logic, other than personal prejudices. All while still offering strong opinions, on things they are just repeating from what they have heard on WIP.

      Either way, I’m disappointed that you may no longer particpate. You were one of the better commenters.

      1. If you agree about the groupthink, does that mean you are engaging in it? Just kidding.

        I for one have not experienced any groupthink as I have been trying to convince people to vote for Pettibone since #5 but have been unsuccessful all along. Some people argued for Ruf at that point, some for Tocci, some for Martin. They are all very different kinds of prospects with different profiles, valued differently by different folks.

        I agree that there are some loud voices on here who post a lot, but hundreds more people vote. Do not interpret the loud commenters as some sort of groupthink. Instead look at the vote distributions.

        I have Tocci #10 on my list and with even league average performance this year he will move up. I hope Buddy reconsiders and continues to post here.

        1. I try not to fall into “Groupthink”, but I think in these forums, it is sometimes it naturally occurs. If we were all conscious of it, we wouldn’t do it.
          That being said, just as bad or worse than “groupthink”, are those who will not budge from their initial opinions, even when mountains of evidence contradict there thoughts.
          I try to be open minded enough to understand an opposite point of view, when it is presented intelligently. The good debators (3up3k, LarryM, MattW, Boston, bradin, Handzus, dephrey) work for me, and I may adjust my opinion on contrary points. Example: Great arguments for Adam Morgan and Cody Asche forced me to look a little closer, and I adjusted my rankings of them. On the other hand, dull arguments for Darin Ruf have not changed my opinion at all about him. Lately, many of the louder voices(not named) don’t make good arguments and that is unfortunate.
          That still shouldn’t cause a guy to throw a fit, because the player he likes the best, isn’t everybody elses #1. There are reasonable explanations why people do not rank Tocci as highly as he does.

        2. You guys don’t know how to pick players you just go with who was a high Draft pick, you guys suck at this game and that’s all it is to you guys a little game…..

      2. I wish sometimes that the strongest personalities/strongest debaters had much influence. 🙂 (j/k) Seriously, though, the kind of picks that I THINK buddy is objecting to are actually the picks that go against the grain of the alleged group think on the site. Asche went about where I thought he belonged, but probably higher than the “good debater/lstrong personality” consensus as a whole, and Ruf certainly went higher. Tocci is a guy whose biggest advocated tend to be in the good debaters/strong personalities category as well.

        Maybe I’m not understanding which picks buddy is objecting to.

    2. No you can’t! I’ve been voting Tocci since Joseph was picked because of that write-up you had of him before this event started. I’m really excited about him, and think he has a floor of at least 4th outfielder barring injury. Plus who knows how much muscle he could put on with professional trainers working with him. A little would make him replacement level CF, a lot with other regular growth would make him a perennial all star.

    3. Relax. Why let someone else ruin your day? FWIW, your input on Tocci helped move him up my rankings. I think you add something to the site.

      The nonsense a few of you constantly acknowledge is actually more painful for me. When I see your names, I expect to read something interesting/insightful/challenging. I might learn something. So it’s a letdown to see the complaints. I skip right over the other crap as soon as I recognize it.

      I hope you’ll reconsider.

    4. I’m surprised by the strong reaction to the vote. This years poll results don’t seem much out line with previous years. These guys are reluctant to vote for rookie league guys every year. In fact, I’m pleasantly surprised that Roman Quinn, was voted as high as 3rd. Just two years ago, there wer guys refusing to vote for Biddle in the top 10, even though he was a 1st round pick that pitched well in GCL and NYP. You couldn’t have believed that Tocci was going to get voted in any earlier than this.

      1. Yeah, it’s not like past seasons when some people wanted Bolt in the top 10 or were convinced that our top prospect was Rizzotti. Ruf made top 10, a bit higher than I would place him, but Ruf is not Rizzotti and if he can actually play LF has quite a lot of value. Also, unlike Bolt and Rizzotti, he has actually hit HRs in the major leagues. That does count for something. None of the overaged wonder boys of past polls has achieved anything approaching what Ruf and Asche did this past season.

        1. So true. Stat guysookie lg stats and think they have a star. Pass or fail rookie lg wait till A ball at lest. Maybe I could vote if he was a high money guy but he was in the 15 range of that years prospects. Or if we drafted early for a change.

    5. Aec is not our fault and we are also allowed to have our own opinions, we do not have to agree with you. Tocci could be an A ball flop or an allstar, there’s just too much risk for me to put him that high. With that being said, I hope you keep coming here.

    6. Really? Because people have a different opinion than you do? The order is slightly different, but so far it contains exactly the same players that Baseball America’s top ten does, and if Tocci is picked for 10 (which is where he would be in my list) that is also exactly where BA has him. So what’s the issue? I welcome differing opinions so I do not want you to leave.
      I can explain why I have Tocci at 10. I think his ceiling is high, but not quite as high as others. There is a chance he develops power, but I am less optimistic about that at this point. There is also a chance Giles develops another plus plus pitch, but I’m not holding my breath. I realize his defense might be major league ready, but correct me if I am wrong, but so is Jiwan James’s. My point being, I think he has lots of potential, but at this point I see his floor being a little lower than most and I see his ceiling being a little lower as well. That could change, clearly, but that’s where he fits for me now. That combined with the prospects ahead of him, who may have lower ceilings but are about to actually play in the majors (Ruf) or have the similar floor/ceilings but are farther along in the organization (Martin, Franco).
      Bottom line, it’s an opinion and while some people like free aec are ridiculous and over the top, you have to be able to give room for logical people who have a different opinion than you.

    7. Buddy don’t go……if you must though, hope you keep giving us the first-hand reports from CLW when the time comes, they were informative and a breath of fresh air.

    8. So you’re that upset about a rookie league payer with 2 extra base hits in 107 PAs not being in the top 8? No doubt the kid has huge upside but relax a little.

    9. Take your toys and go home. You are right and everyone else is wrong. My way or the highway.

      Tocci may well grow into a fine player but if he turns sideways he disappears. Gillies could bench press him 25 times and plays the same position quite well. We hope Tocci develops as much power as Gillies already has. Tocci may be a better defender and may have similar speed but that’s not enough to outclass Gillies’ overall skill set yet. If Tocci sucks too hard on a milkshake he will get pulled into the straw.

      To discount Gillies for injuries and immaturity is a reach. Everyone is an injury risk every day and Tocci is perhaps more of a risk with his much slighter build. If those two collided I’m thinking Tocci would be the worse for it.

      Tocci may win me over but I can’t justify voting him ahead of Gillies. He’s pure projection at this point.

      Everyone has their pet pick. Mine was Marson years ago. I would have sworn he would be an above averge starting catcher by now but he’s not. His trade value is less now than it was when we dealt him. I appreciate your passion but being stubborn and moody about it is silly.

      1. Buddy is one of the few guys who provides useful, first hand accounts, so I for one wouldn’t be happy to see him go.

        That said, he’s the last guy I’d expect to raise the group think charge.

        1. I enjoyed his informative first hand accounts as well. Looking forward to more so I’m really hoping he’ll stick around. It’s an addiction, afterall.

      2. Like that: “If he sucks too hard on a milkshake he will get pulled into the straw”…

        Appreciate yr strong affirmation of Gillies, my next pick following Martin.

    10. Although I’ve enjoyed your commentary, you seem to have slipped into spoiled brat mode. If this site no longer floats your boat, just leave. Spare us your insults. You don’t agree with some people’s choices of prospects? So what. State your opposing argument. I think there is a real danger in over-valuing guys at the low end of the system. It really is easy for this to become hope over reality. Some fans, perhaps you, get angry when not everybody is willing to play this game. They want hope, not reality. When you think the strength of a system is all at the bottom levels, either you are deluding yourself to maintain hope or the team has recently gone to extraordinary lengths to create an infusion of talent. The Phillies have not gone to extraordinary lengths the past 3 seasons. Only had a number one draft pick in one of those years. Weren’t a huge spender in any of those years. International signing budget as anemic as it always has been.

      There have always been kids from LA that the Phillies talked up. Remember Carlos Valenzuela? He who could neither hit nor field his position. Hewitt?

      Some of us simply prefer not to rank guys until they have actually done something in the real world of organized baseball. For other, if a guy puts up good first half-season numbers, jam him into the top 10! If he didn’t play, or put up lousy numbers but was a
      high round pick, jam him into the top 10 anyway! Gotta keep the hope flowing!

      I’ll have Tocci rounding out my top 10. I don’t think he’s done enough, filled out enough, or we know enough about him to rank him higher than that. Lots of good defensive CF who run really fast fall flat on their faces, because they cannot hit. If you want to put a guy in the top 10 because he already plays a major league quality CF defense, why not James. His D is better than Tocci’s. He’s not exactly slow, either. He just hasn’t hit yet and likely never will.

      It’s fine if you want to go into hibernation. I’m just not a big fan of the big parting denunciation, how your departure is forced by the unreasonableness of all of us. Look to yourself for your discontent. Better to just depart in silence. People think better of you that way. I’m not going to beg you to stay. It’s not worth it. Just keep shouting ‘nobody agrees with me because you all practice group think’, take your little ball and go home.

    11. If what you want is a debate, I’ll give it to you:

      Here’s why insisting that Tocci should be ranked higher than Martin is silly; floor. Dreaming on ceiling is fine. If a player is young and has tools, of course we will all salivate. We dream on what they could potentially become. With Tocci, he has speed to spare and his defense is, apparently, already at MLB level. That combined with the fact that he is only 17 (so he could add power) and he hit respectably (if not spectacularly) in the states at such a young age means he’s potentially a 5-tool player (more likely 4-tool, but that’s still awesome). His ceiling is very high at the moment, he could be the best CF in baseball in five years (or six, or seven… (also, I very seriously doubt he’ll ever be better than Trout, but it’s a possibility)). So we’re looking at, potentially, a 6-8 WAR player. Awesome, that seems like a top 10 player. Except not all of those tools are actualized yet. We’ve seen players with 3-5 tools that have actualized in games that have not reached anything close to a major league success story. And then there’s the fact that Tocci is EASILY the furthest prospect from the majors out of anyone we have even mentioned up to this point. His path could diverge in so many directions that it’s silly to even imagine what he’ll do if he DOES develop power (hell, he could add 80 lbs. and decide he would rather play football, for all we know). Now that doesn’t subtract from the fact that he has enormous potential, but that does work against him when considering who he is up against in the poll currently, namely Ethan Martin. You want upside? Martin has it in spades. This kid has the stuff to be a #2. Really the only thing holding him back is command/control. So what’s more valuable, a #2 or a star CF? Well, if you want to go by WAR then a #2 pitcher is generally the most valuable player outside of an ace in baseball. If you don’t believe in WAR, then look at the contracts for each position. I don’t count Hamilton as a CF, honestly, but even if we do Greinke was paid more to be the Dodger’s #2 pitcher. You don’t classify Greinke as a # 2? How about Cain (newly promoted to #1), Hamels (#3 in his own rotation), Gio, Lee, C.J. Wilson, etc., etc., etc. as pitchers who are not the aces of their staff getting (or potentially getting) contracts that blow out what basically any CF would ever get. I won’t even say that #2 pitchers are more valuable than a CF, though, let’s just call it a wash.

      So now we have Tocci and Martin with upsides that are roughly equivalent. So why should it matter which way we vote? Because of floor. Tocci’s floor is never making it to A+, Martin’s is making it to AAA and flaming out or, more likely, becoming a ‘pen pitcher. If they have equivalent upside and downside is clearly in favor of Martin, then why should we vote Tocci over Martin?

      1. I don’t have a strong opinion on this one – and hence am not voting on this. If anything, I’d be inclined to agree with your bottom line.

        But is it “silly” to vote otherwise? No. Using your frame, I’d say that Tocci has a significantly higher ceiling. Yes, also a lower floor, no doubt (but then again, I’d say his chance of exceeding that floor at least to the extent of a major league 4th outfielder role is about as high as it can be for a kid his age). But throw in the fact that, while obviously in some respects Martin has a lower risk factor, he’s still probably a long shot to reach his ceiling … I would say, 20% washout, 70% reliever (likely high leverage, but not certain), 20% #3/4 starter, and 10% #2 starter (and I think that’s being quite generous), and a vote for Tocci is certainly within the realm of the reasonable.

        1. To be clear, the case for a higher ceiling is this: IF Tocci fills out to the point where he has at least mid range HR power, and IF his other tools develop to their full extent, he’s probably the one guy in the system with superstar upside. Now, his chances of reaching that upside are probably QUITE low, but I don’t think there’s any doubt that he has the highest ceiling in the system.

          There are of course many reasons for ranking him lower despite that, but that’s why this is not as cut an dried as you say it is. Of course it ALSO isn’t as cut and dried as buddy says it is. 🙂

          1. They are both far away and thus long-shot projections, but I’ve put my likeliest superstar bet on Quinn, rather than Tocci. Tocci ranks second for me in that regard.

        2. ” I would say, 20% washout, 70% reliever (likely high leverage, but not certain), 20% #3/4 starter, and 10% #2 starter (and I think that’s being quite generous), and a vote for Tocci is certainly within the realm of the reasonable.”

          Obviously Larry you are a believer in giving more than 100%.

            1. That’s better!! Tension was getting way to thick in this room. I might throw 10%off of washout and add it to the 20 on 3/4 starter but i agree with your assessment.

    12. What I find odd with this is that early on in the process many commented that after the first couple of picks, the next 8-10 were going to be pretty much of a crapshoot since there wasn’t much separation. (hmm, would that be consider groupthink?).

      That seems to be exactly what has happened with multiple players getting significant vote counts. I haven’t make any major arguments for/against anyone being picked specifically because I don’t think there is much difference between #3 and #12 on the list. Ruf went higher than I would like, Pettibone went lower but I can certainly see the arguments for where each of those players went.

      As other have mentioned, its not like Anthony Hewitt went #3 or Ashe fell to 25th. Seems to be way too much angst over these ranking.

  6. Can i finaly get an Ethan Martin? I’ve been voting for him since #4. After that I have De Fratus and then Aumont. Both will probaby pitch in the Majors this year but I think De Fratus will stick and Aumont will continue to work on his control in AAA. I think Aumont has the better stuff but in the long run both players will be very good relievers. You could easily switch their positions. I hope Aumont grows into his body , becomes dominating and punishes me for picking De Fratus over him.

    1. I am with you Bellman..Martin at nine. No need to repeat the plusses and minuses for him that have been espoused over the last week.

    2. Aumont has better stuff than Martin and had better results in the minors. He is only 5 months older. I prefer Aumont and I have a feeling I am going to be voting for him for a loooong time…

      1. If Aumont were still a starter, I’d agree with you. Aumont has the upside of a stud closer, Martin a No. 2 starter. If both reach their potential, I’d argue that Martin would be more valuable.

      2. Hopefully not too long on Aumont since I’ll also be voting for him after Martin goes for the same reason as Mike, I prefer potential starters over relievers.

      3. Kind of an apples to oranges comparison for who was better in the minors. They were at different levels at different times, Martin has more appearances as a starter and Aumont even logged some time in the FSL which probably helps out his A+ numbers. I do agree that he has better stuff but since his starter ship has sailed I think Martin should be ranked ahead.

        As for Aumont vs. De Fratus, I like Aumont quite a bit better because of ceiling. Just going by what I’ve seen of their stuff, De Fratus doesn’t look like a guy with dominant pitches. Maybe I’m missing it with him, because his K numbers in the minors are very good. Obviously he’s got better control than Aumont, but I don’t see him as a possible closer. Lower ceiling, higher floor I guess. Aumont is a year younger too.

  7. Tyson Gillies is my choice. I see this as a year where he plays the entire season and shows the immense ability he has. For mee is easily one of the top players in the syustem if he plays. I think he will play.

  8. Tocci. Had him #7 on my personal list. Played well, as a 16 year old against guys 2-3 years older than him. All scouting reports say he is a highly skilled baseball player. Baseball prospectus gives him 70s and 60s on three of his tools, while no other prospect received grades that high on 3 tools. Made the BA top GCL prospect list at 16, while no other Phillie made the list.
    Carlos Tocci has the best reviews of the players being considered here. Martin, Watson and LGJ, next

  9. Is there a way to hide the results until the poll closes? This might be a way to stop people from voting based on the way the poll is trending and might spark better discussion since we have no way of knowing who is leading.

  10. Martin definitely as I’ve been voting for him since #4…sticking with my #2 starter potential…I know it was almost 5years ago but Dodgers drafted him 15th overall for a reason…so saying he can still be a #2 is not a stretch…Larry Greene Jr. The kid with the most power in his draft up next!

  11. Accidentally voted for Watson here when I meant to vote for Martin and Watson tomorrow. Seems like it won’t matter. So how many weeks until Shane Watson gets ranked? Feel free to let me know if I say the same thing over and over next week to drum up support for Watson. Which I will, almost for sure, cause there’s really not much to say about him. Which is why some people won’t vote for him. Which will make me repeat myself the next day. It’s a slippery slope or the penrose stairs or something.

    1. I hear you.. I live in the LB area, it is a hotbed for baseball talent, which the Phillies like to go and get and seem to be right in doing so.. d’Arnaud, Gose, Singleton all grew up in the same area and played in the same leagues as Watson did. So while there isn’t much on Watson at this point don’t worry time will tell and I’m quite certain the Phillies are right on this guy.

    2. Dude, we missed the boat with Watson. You should have spoke up on the first day of polling here. We’re talking about a 19 year old with diabetes who has a minor league career of seven innings in GCL.

      Clearly Shane Watson should have been the #1 prospect on this list.

    3. Because of the huge flame out rate in baseball, I have a tough time trying to relate a drafted player to ‘professional’ player who actually compete in better established leagues.
      I have no problem with Watson or Gueller in the rankings but I choose not to rank them myself. Others that did compete at GCL or WPT at least have some comparable stats and scout opinions.

      I cannot fault other posters who vote more on proximity and name recognition. Part of the comments section is to help educate us about the lesser known prospects and help promote them. That way other less educated voters (I will certainly include myself despite following this site for years) can learn new names and try to catch up on their own reserach.

    4. The key with Watson for me is that already has a plus curveball to go with his good fastball. It seems like he’s really ahead of the curve (no pun intended) for a guy his age. I feel like he’s going to do very well in A ball and shoot up these rankings pretty quickly. If he can refine his command and develop a third pitch (he throws a change and cutter also) he could be an ace in the future.

      1. I maybe wrong on this, but didn’t Dubee once allude to the fact a few years ago, that they do not want their young pitchers in the system learning to throw the cutter or the split-finger, until they were in MLB.

            1. A lot of evidence connects the splitter with elbow trouble, the Phillies have used it as a pitch of last resort to give a guy an off speed pitch and a bullpen future. They won’t take it away from someone who already throws it but they won’t teach it unless the player has already failed (see Mathieson, Scott)

  12. I”m going to go with ‘who would upset me most if they traded’ and it is going Tocci, Tocci, Tocci.

    Should Aumont even be eligible anymore?

  13. As we get into what are mostly pure potential picks, it’s good to see Greene, Cozens and Tocci. An only potential outfield to dream about. (or to decry as all complete longshots.)

  14. Personally, I had Tocci at #3 because I believe in his ‘hit’ tool and advanced approach both at the plate and in the OF. Right now I see his floor just below Ben Revere, assuming no injuries or weird growth spurt. His ceiling is huge but he has a VERY long way to go which mean more things could go wrong.
    I hope Tocci wins the next spot.

    Aumont is a tough vote because of the diminshed value of relievers. Almost everyone agrees that his raw pitch velocity and movement is the best in the organization. But issues with his control and the fact that he will only be a reliever has his voting value all over the place. My personal opinion is that a closer is worth the same as a #3 starter, both make about $10M despite WAR highly favoring the SP.

    I have Gillies also highly ranked due to his upside on the field. Since I have no way to determine the impact of his injuries, I am going to assume a full recovery and base my ranking on a fully healthy Gillies with Victorino like (maybe more BB and less HR) upside. I am not going to argue with voters who dimiss him completely as a career lost to injury since that is certainly a reasonable path given his history.

    I actually really like Larry Greene in this mix as well. Lot of assumptions on my part with him as well. I think he will stay in the OF. I think the power will be realized at 70+. What make me bump him up so high is that his walk rate was so good. If he can avoid swinging a bad pitches I believe he will be a tremedous power threat.

    After that I really have a break to my next grouping of pretty much everyone else with Valle and DeFratus at the top of that list.
    And to all those that continue to ignore the trolls, avoid personal attacks, and add their well thought opinions to this site I THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

    1. As a 16-17 year old with years ahead of him until he sniffs the major, I’d say his floor is minor league wash out. Too many variable’s to consider to even think about comparing his floor to Revere.

  15. I went with Martin here, because I’m dreaming the improved control at Reading was real. Next up is Tocci, followed by Aumont, Greene, and Watson, in some order.

  16. I have Martin at 9 followed by Aumont, Defratus, Greene, Watson and then Tocci at 14. I think we all have the same group of guys in the same general range. It just becomes a discussion of whether we value ceiling or proximity considering liklihood. To me there’s a large drop off after Martin because either the ceiling is much lower (2 relief pitchers) or the liklihood is much lower because the guys are so far away (Watson, LGJ, and Tocci). Its one thing to say that a guy has a high ceiling like Tocci but realize how hard it is to predict how a 16 yr old kid will play as a 21 yr young man. I do find the comment about Wright above interesting. I guess I have him lower (21) because I continue to hear that he’s a likely relief pitcher but that’s an interesting discussion unto itself.

  17. For whats its worth I had Asche 7, Tocci 8, LGJR 9, Martin 10. The arguments to have Martin higher and Tocci lower are all reasonable.

    The likelyhood that these or any rankings is more than 50% correct is finite. One only needs to go back and look at last years poll. So to present any statistic and point to it as if it were a clear cut predictor of success or failure is absurd. Same holds true for the “I’ve seen this guy in action” crowd.

    So put it out there and let’s talk about it 4-5 years from now how on this day you told us that Tocci was going to be a star. But let’s all be man enough to say how completely wrong we were when the time comes….

  18. I also wanted to add as a case in point that Biddle as our #1 is more a romantic ranking than an actual ranking. I have him 1 as well but its more a hometown boy thing than it is a quantified measure.

    I don’t recall if they were in the system at the same time but if you draw a Quinn/Rollins comparison to a Biddle/Wolf comparison I would say the numbers belie how we currently have both players ranked.

    1. No it’s not a homeboy ranking. Biddle is a #1 draft pick who has performed well every season, including A+ FSL, so in terms of proximity he is mid-range. His stuff grades out well, he has good size, and he is a lefty. I haven’t seen any of the semi-professional rankings listing him lower than #2 among our prospects. Most have him first, as we do. You might argue convincingly that somebody deserves to be above him, but he is an emminently reasonable choice for #1.

      1. If you had to put out a comparable for Biddle who would it be? I’m interested in your thoughts? Is Quinn more likely to resemble Rollins than Biddle would be better than Wolf?

        1. I see Biddle as more likely to be a solid #3 starter than a #2. Barring injury, I think his floor is as a very solid #4 and his delivery date is start of 2014, possibly with a cameo this September. Is Quinn Rollins? No he isn’t. He will never approach the power that Rollins shows in even an off season. I am afraid that he will also not be Rollins’ equal with the glove, although it’s too early to rule that out. I guess for a comp, he could be Maury Wills if all goes just right. I guess Biddle can be Wolf. He can’t be Hamels.

          I agree with Larry. Biddle is #1 partly by default. There are no ‘A’ players in the Phillies system. We have the depth of a ton of interesting ‘C’ players, along with a handful of Bs. That’s why I think the farm system is bottom half, possibly bottom third. Teams build from within based on home-grown stars. Rollins, Hamels, Utley, Ruiz. Nobody on the farm is high odds to match those guys. We have a couple guys who could rival Howard, if you take away Howard’s best two seasons. Worley and Kendrick? We have a ton of guys who can match them. Suitable relievers, including a closer? Sure, I can believe that.

          1. Biddle has been compared physically to Andy Petite, and checking the minor league numbers, he compares very favorably in that regard.
            In first attempt at High A:

            Andy Pettitte, age 21, 8.2 H/9, 0.4 HR, 2.6 BB, 7.3 K, 2.74 K/Bb

            Jesse Biddle, age 20, 8.1 H/9, 0.6 HR, 3.4 BB, 9.5 K, 2.80 K/BB

      2. Once again, I don’t feel super strongly on this one way or the other, but I think that opinions on Biddle are a little more divided than the more or less consensus #1 ranking would indicate. See the recent crashburn alley interview with Jason Parks. I think for some the #1 ranking was a more an indication of the lack of top tier prospects in the system than anything else. Of course some scouts are higher on him.

    2. The Biddle/Wolf comp has been made quite a bit, he reminds me more of Texas LHP Matt Harrison, big body lefties with low-90s FB and a plus changeup and two average breaking balls (Biddle’s slider definitely looks to be there). He put up a 6 WAR this past year, and I think Biddle could have a better K/9

  19. What’s amazing to me is there has been no disscussion about a 6′ 4″ lefty who has a fastball that touches 96 MPH in games and was the Florida State League pitcher of the year. Instead we have a whining cadre who insist that teenagers who have never sniffed a full season league should dominate the top ten list. Carlos Tocci’s father has even threatened to leave the site forever if his son does not make the top ten.

    You know what’s even more outrageous then this state of affaors? I’m not allowed to make this post! It has already been removed and will be removed again. You either accept the delusion that Roman Quinn is a phenom short stop (even though he’s a former high school outfielder and scouting reports do NOT say that he can remain at the position) or you can’t offer your opion here. You’re called a “troll” and your post is deleted.

    So just forget about Austin Wright. Sure he’s a future MLB pitcher who could even end up as a #3 in a rottion or at worst a back of the bullpen lefty. Roman Quinn and Carlos Tocci are phenoms. Larry Greene , Shane Watson and Andrew Pullin have been victimized by “WIP fanboys” or they would be 6th, 7th and 8th on this list.

    And of course, forget this post as it will quickly be gone.

    1. It was deleted last time for the way you wrote the Tocci’s father passage in it. This isn’t much better but the previous version was too offensive to leave up.

      It is not your points that have your posts removed but the language you use to surround them.

      1. I’m going to take everyone’s advice and stop engaging him, but one parting comment – he has to know (a) why his comments are getting deleted, and (b) that if he goes back to his old ways he’s gone for good (well, i have to assume that he was told the latter). yet, here he is, once again, skirting the line right off the bat with the inappropriate comment about Tocci’s dad. Sigh.

        IMO your patience with him exceeds all bounds. I respect it at one level, but I don’t think it is good for the site.

      1. If I understand the most verbose poster in the history of baseball message boards correctly, he believes that listeners from WIP radio are invading this site in what he suspects is a conspiracy to bring down the site.

        However, he also holds out the possibility that it could be the work of just one individual.

        He and a few others who think alike and share actual paranoid and delusional thought patterns compose the only problem here. It’s most unfortunate that those with the power to delete and censor posts are a part of that group.

        The strength of the presently weak Phillies farm system is their pitching. One or more of the teenage “phenoms” may become actual prospects this year. Today this is not so. Next week and next month they will not be solid prospects. They are all ceiling and no floor. We not afflicted by delusional thought patterns await their performance this year at Lakewood.

        Would you really have no question about purchasing a ranch house if you opened the front door and noticed that if you stepped into the house you would fall all the way to a dirt cellar floor because all the rooms of the house had a ceiling, but there was no floor?

          1. Yes, that’s correct. The accusation is bizarre.

            I’ve never seen a tweet from Jim Callis or anyone like that to notify their followers that they’ll be appearing on Philly talk radio to talk about Phillies prospects.

    2. What’s amazing to me is that you don’t have the guts to post with a handle. C’mon son grow a set and put a name to your comments so we can all look back on them and see how brilliant you were.

      1. He has used a number of ‘names’ in the past. His points are thought-provoking, but his delivery is roughly too crude.

    3. Wright is a 6’4 lefty with no change-up. He will not be a starter, let alone a #3 starter, if he can not throw a change-up. That is a must for a LH pitcher. That is why he isn’t valued nearly as high as Biddle or Morgan.

      1. I disagree. I have Wright 13 on my list. I do agree he is not to be valued as high as Biddle and Morgan but I’m not prepared to say he can’t be a #3 starter. The FB is definitely there and the curve is pretty good hence the solid K/9.

        His obvious challenge is command. Sure it would be nice if he developed a change but I don’t see that as a must for success.

        1. “…It would be nice if he developed a change, but I don’t see that as a must”
          That is incorrect. A changeup for a LH pitcher is not a luxury. It is a necessity. There are no good starting LH pitchers, without good changeups in their arsenal. At this point, Austin Wright has as much chance as being a LOOGY, as being a starting pitcher.
          And that is coming from a guy that has him around #15.

          1. Ok, you had me there until someone below mentioned that Kershaw doesn’t throw a changeup. Obviously I’m not comparing Austin Wright to Kershaw in any way, but I guess a good changeup isn’t an absolute necessity?

      1. Wright has no third pitch at all? No one thinks he’ll develop a third pitch?

        Cole Hamels was very successful with nothing but a fastball and changeup for quite sometime. His curveball and cutter are nothing but “third pitches”.

        I see nothing but fastballs and changeups from Johan Santana.

        Cliff Lee has four plus pitches, but uses two of them most of the time. That’s a big mystery with him. Lee could have been completely dominant as a pitcher in 2012 if he used his curveball and changeup about twice as often as he did.

        Does Clayton Kershaw have a changeup? I only see a fastball and curveball when he pitches. Both are plus pitches, but I don’t see a third pitch.

        Does Madison Bumgarner have a second pitch?

        Steve Carlton was alleged to have a forkball and knuckleball according to Tim McCarver, but I only occasionally saw a curveball, and that was really in his later years. When Carlton was “Super Steve” he was just fastballs and sliders. An outstanding fastball and the best slider of any lefty that I’ve seen, but it was two pitches 99% of the time.

        If Wright can maintain the power of his fastball, learn to cut it and command a decent curveball he could be a #3. He already has a floor of being a pitcher in MLB though.

        My point though was he should be in the top ten because a bunch of position players who do not have any floor as players in MLB are now listed ahead of him. The #2 guy on this list has no discernible floor whatsoever and there are vocal people here who want to put more teenagers with no discernible floor ahead of Wright as well.

        1. Wright has no plus pitches and you compared him to guys with 70 grade type pitches. Wright may carry a 60 fastball. Wright is a reliever and should probably be converted to it now to accelerate the process to the big leagues.

          Kershaw throws a slider and a curveball FYI.

  20. Martin here. GILLIES next.

    Nobody else in our system has all the tools he has. Give him a solid ’13 season and he’d leap several grades upward, maybe to #1 or #2, and would fill another outfield spot (RF?) on the big team. Can’t (shouldn’t) ignore his excellent skill set. Again: speedy in CF with stolen base skills under development, strong accurate arm from the OF, superior CFing, extra base power, close to .300 BA with oba slightly lagging, AND a continuing desire to overcome his injury riddled recent past which was/is not his fault AND his hearing deficit from his birth.

    Gotta root for this guy. He deserves full credit and should be prepared to have a helluva season at LV in ’13.


    1. Art,

      I’ll respond here because I have something productive and non-snarky to say. The health issue probably is the main thing dividing our opinions – of course it isn’t his “fault,” but that doesn’t mean we can ignore it & its very real effect on his development.

      Set that aside. Assume for a minute not just good health, but good health AND the that the loss of development time doesn’t set him back. Your take on him if that happens – I’ll dialog with you about that in a minute, but even if you’re right, that doesn’t sound like a guy who justifies the level of excitement you have for him. I mean, as a center fielder, okay, but as a corner outfielder? Unless you think “extra base power” means something different than I think it does.

      On the specifics of your expectations of what he could do if healthy – actually, you’re more reasonable about that than I would have expected (given your level of enthusiasm), though you can guess from prior posts where I disagree with you. I want to focus on one issue, though, “stolen base skills under development.” IMO the problem is it is developing in the wrong direction! Even before the injuries, he was a low percentage base stealer. As a Phillies farm hand, he has 15 SB and 8 CS. It’s just hard to see how stolen bases is ever likely to be a positive for him, even if he gets healthy. Maybe if Davey Lopes was still here?

    2. I root for him and have seen him play. I think if he gets healthy and is our #1, #2 prospect, that would be an indication that the farm is really weak. Gillies can be a good starting CF if things go well from here. He has shown no signs of being a star since the first time he stepped on the field at Reading, and that was several years ago. He basically lost two full years of development time. I don’t think that they are disqualifying, but he has also shown some personal behavior issues.

  21. Well it is obvious that Tocci is the poster boy for what is/isn’t yet a prospect. It is fascinating to see how differently he is viewed by all of us. The biggest reason why there is so much disagreement is that we have so many different views on what makes a prospect. Some prefer proximity to the majors while others love to hype the recent draftees and their “potential.” None of us know how good someone like Tocci will ultimately be, but that’s the fun of it.

    I tend to want to see more of a player before ranking him high. I also admit I am somewhat biased by seeing a player in action. I get to some games every year and inevitably catch guys on their best or worst day which leaves an impression on me. For example, I saw Tocci take BP in spring training and he didn’t seem like he had the strength to hit the ball out of the infield. I saw him in one GCL game and he had one weak hit and was thrown out on a slow roller that I would have expected him to beat out. My points is that I didn’t even see a glimpse of the potential (or the ++ speed). I certainly believe the scouts who know much more than I, and am excited about him due to his young age. I am just not ready to rank him in my top 10. Of course, I hope I am wrong and I respect those that feel differently.

    I am also of the opinion that Roman Quinn will not stick at SS. I saw him play 3 times last year, and was not impressed with his range or his arm. He sure is fun to watch on the bases though.

    What would be interesting is to have a two-man vote Ruf vs Tocci. That would be the ultimate performance vs promise and old vs young vote. I fell like they are polar opposites and where you vote on this would say a lot about your philosophy.

    Outside of a game report, that was by far my longest post ever. Thanks for listening (if you’re still reading it).

    1. I think I agree. My only counter on Quinn is that it is way to early to say he can’t stick at SS and even if he can’t he doesn’t lose points in my book because by all accounts his ability to play CF as a fall back option is real.

    2. I saw Yohan Flande a few years back pitching for the R-Phils in Trenton. The Thunder were off-balance and out in front of his changeup all day. You’d think he was Cole Hamels-lite out there.

      First hand reports are nice and I always enjoy reading them when people post, but always take them with a grain of salt. We are not scouts and often do not see guys over and over and over again. We could just be catching a guy on a good day or a bad day.

  22. Just want to weigh in on a few things:
    – Ruf’s placement in the Top 10, especially how close the race was, really threw off people’s personal rankings and Tocci has been caught behind the backlog of guys
    – Tocci is firmly in my personal top 10 because is defense floor is plus defensive center fielder (barring catastrophic injury), the problem is that his offensive floor is that he can’t hit the ball of the infield in full season ball against premium stuff
    – We all have our hills to fight on, mine is Mitch Gueller who I believe is behind Watson but it is not that great a divide, Watson has two plus pitches right now in his fastball and curveball but an almost non-existent changeup. Gueller has the better fastball, a curveball that flashes plus, a changeup that flashes plus, and an athletic build which should allow him to hold his delivery and possibly add more velocity. I read nothing into GCL pitching stats, the scouting reports matter, because getting players out (especially by strikeout) is one of the last things a player is working on. Gueller is raw (we all know about the fact that he was liked almost as well as a hitter) and is likely a year behind Watson developmentally but he has the higher upside and there is no reason he should be more a couple of spots behind him in the rankings.
    – I will get into it more in my personal rankings, but I just don’t think healthy Tyson Gillies is that good, I think his ceiling is solid regular, he no longer has 80 speed and it may not even be a 70, he has some power as in he isn’t Ben Revere (who he is only a couple months younger than), but he has played the last 4 years in high offense environments, it might be a 30 tool though, he has more raw than that but hasn’t shown in games. He has good contact ability but I am not sure without the power the walk rate is sustainable. He is very good defensively but he is not an elite difference maker, though he does have a plus arm. Couple that with the fact that he can’t stay health and that just isn’t that amazing.

    1. Agree on Gillies. Even if he stays healthy (which I’m skeptical about at this point) I don’t think he’s destined to be a star as some apparently do. Maybe an above average regular, but it’s hard to say. Once again he has an important season coming up. I don’t think you can call LHV a particularly good hitters environment, so we’ll see how he handles that when he’s on the field.

      1. While I am in full agreement that Gillies needs to stay on the field, I do think he profiles very well as a very good lead off hitter. He also is a much better than average fielder with a strong arm. I’m not really sure what his speed is now after the injuries or whether it might not even pick back up a little as he moves further away from the injuries. He still looks fast to my naked eye and he covers lots of ground in CF. His max upside is as a 300 hitter with 80 walks and 30 steals and gold glove, or close to that level, defense. He’s also a very high energy guy like Victorino was. i do think he could become that level of player if he could stay healthy. Unfortunately, I’m not sure about that part…. His type of leg injuries never seem to go away permanently. He’s an easy guy to root for though.

    2. We all know at instructs they take the curveball away from pitchers. Forcing them to command their fastball and develop a change up.. going by the feedback it appears Watson is well on his way with both (25 pitches in 3 innings in his last outing) .. keep developing like that, bring the curveball back, get a few years of professional instruction .. forget about it! !

      1. I saw that 3 inning outing and it could have been a lot less pitches- 1st inning was a horror show with errors and bad throws (one by Watson on a bunt though). Settled in nicely after that and then the rains came…

    3. I am also a Watson fan. Was very impressed with him when I saw him- great poise with runners on- excellent pickoff moves and good stuff. As for Gueller- agreed he is more raw. A side note on Gueller- he is non-stop energy. He can’t sit still- always pacing back and forth and walking all over the place during the GCL games. Definitely a nice guy who I am pulling for. Do you guys think Watson will be at Lakewood or wait for WP?

      1. I think Lakewood because he’s already got a good secondary pitch. As long as his control is semi-decent.

        1. Why wouldn’t Vargas have as much chance at Lakewood as Watson and Gueller? He had more innings than both, and had positive results.

          1. He will be 18 going into next season and had a BB/9 over 5, that just seems like someone who could benefit from extended spring training before going to WPT.

  23. Looks like the discussion is really abou #10. Valle did pretty well getting to AAA at age 21 with 17 hr on the season. Aumont showed us he belongs at #2 or #42 on alternate days. DeFratus had a good season and will graduate this year, ISA. Gillies would be #4 if healthy. Watson would be #2 if he did what he did in 13 games instead of 3. LGJ showed he’s not an Anthony Hewett, which should be worth #15 all by itself. Cozens didn’t punch out any coaches, which makes him competitive with LGJ. Pullin pulled himself up. Wright’s merely good season pulled him down to the second ten.

  24. Jimmy is playing for Team USA with Aumont and Gillies (and Orr…) playing for Canada. Good luck guys! Make us all proud.

  25. Aumont up next . Best stuff in the org. He is ready to take an important spot in the pen this year. It could make or break us. I have been waiting for someone to come along and bust it in there good. Other teams run two or three hard throwing relievers. Its our turn.. He has a late relievers mentality and will bust somone insde. If Diekman can find his command we would have hard throwing left right set up men for Pap to finish up. AUMONT, Its time.

  26. Buddy Biancalana could you get me a schedule at the Carpenter Complex for the minor league games . They are usually in plastic boxes attached to the main building. I am going down in March and would like to plan to see as many minor lg,games as I can and give some good reports like you. Thanks if you can. Let me know here and we can make arrangements, Thanks.b

  27. VALLE for me here. He made it to AAA already in just his 21-year-old season. I don’t care if he had just turned 22, it was still his 21-year-old season for comparison purposes in Baseball Reference dot com. Defensively he’s good. Offensively he hits and hits with power. I believe part of his problem with drawing walks is simply that he’s been promoted so quickly. After more seasoning in AAA I expect his walk rate to return to at least 6%. Valle and Joseph are very close as prospects in my mind.

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