Keith Law Org Top 10

Keith Laws list came out today, some surprises.

1. Adam Morgan, LHP (92)
2. Jesse Biddle, LHP (95)
3. Roman Quinn, SS
4. Maikel Franco, 3B
5. Tommy Joseph, C
6. Ethan Martin, RHP
7. Jonathan Pettibone, RHP
8. Cody Asche, 3B
9. Kenny Giles, RHP
10. Larry Greene, 1B

2013 Impact: Darin Ruf (bench bat), Kenny Giles (could move very quick as power arm, likes the slider)

Sleeper: Quinn (may stick at short and jump up boards), Franco (believes in second half improvements), Watson (just missed Top 10)

Overall: There is a really lack of upside missing in the upper minors, especially on position player side (doesn’t see any regulars before 2015 unless Asche makes strides).  Enough talented guys in low minors that the system could real jump.


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

50 thoughts on “Keith Law Org Top 10

  1. Has Keith ever given his opinion on Tocci? i’d be really interested in seeing what he had to say about him.

  2. Guess he’s not a believer than Larry Greene can play left field. This is the opposite of what we got form Joe Jordan.

    1. Well Joe Jordan also said that Anthony Hewitt is not a bust. It’s his job to pump his own system up. It’d be counterproductive to do otherwise.

  3. We don’t need to get into whether Law likes he Phillies or not. Nothing he says will get a prospect any quicker to the show. With that said, does Law think that Kenny Giles could be a starter? If not, Aumont and De Fratus seem like they would be ranked higher than KG.

    1. Why? If he thinks(or has been told) Kenny Giles has better ‘stuff’ than Aumont, it is reasonable that he is ranked higher.

    2. I am surprised at Giles over Aumont (who has sick stuff), but not De Fratus. However if you think Giles has ironed out the control issues and you think Aumont’s are systematic (large unathletic guy who can’t keep the pieces together) then there is a justification there.

      I am working on compiling the lists against each other of major experts over the past few seasons, of the non-Sickels talent evaluators Law has been one of the most optimistic on the Phillies (he really liked Singleton and Cosart). He was higher on the system last year than BA or BP.

  4. Key quote on the future: “I like a number of guys here as candidates for big jumps in 2013, even right-hander Shane Watson, a 2012 supplemental first-rounder who just missed the team’s top 10 and who could push the system into the top 20 overall.”

    So he does like the depth in the lower minors. He just bases his system ranks more on top level prospects in the upper minors. BTW he does refer to Giles specifically as a reliever who could move quickly if he improves his control. Talks about him legitimately throwing 99-100 with an average slider.

  5. Most pleasant surprise here is the ranking of Greene to me (knowing Giles is a reach on velocity mainly). I have said that Greene’s strike zone control that he showed last year was more important than the lack of HR. He was going against college pitchers mostly. The doubles show that the power is there.

    1. Agreed. I wonder if he ranks him there still on potential or if there were really positive takeaways from his performance last year that are not clear from his numbers.

      1. My opinion on Greene is that the power is there. So why not work on some of his deficiencies, which it seems that they did in his first year. I can envision a jump in the power numbers this season. Should be fun to follow.

        1. what I worry about w/ Greene is the bat speed. More than a few scouts have commented that his bat is just not fast enough and will get exploited by better pitching.

          1. Sound familiar? Ruf…Cough….Cough…Ruf!! LGJ is still years away from being ready and I would venture to guess that his numbers coming through the system will not be that impressive until the “light goes off” and he puts everything he has been working on together.

  6. I actually like Law’s list and justifications, just some things I took away:
    – Biddle and Morgan are really 1A and 1B, with Biddle having more upside and Morgan more safety
    – I like the optimism on Quinn’s defense
    – Franco is definitely getting some love, really excited about him going forward
    – I was concerned about Joseph and his 2015 comment, but when you think about it, he needs a full year in the minors, and even if he breaks camp in 2014 it would be difficult to say him ready to be a full time regular
    – First real positive comment on Giles’s slider, if it is really average a late 2013 ETA is not unreasonable
    – There are things to like in the system, plenty of things that could go wrong and a bad fit for 2013-2014 needs but at least their is upside and talent

    1. Folks dislike Law because he is a little arrogant in his posts, but I generally like his approach that combines scouting reports on tools with actual performance from the statistics. On something like Quinn’s defense the stats are really not important at this point. I really want to know whether scouts think he has the tools to stay there.

      From the tone of his comments here I really think he believes the system has significant upside. We just don’t have any Profar/sure things out there.

    1. If you are optimistic on Asche and just middle of the road on Joseph, they both profile as solid regulars at their position, Joseph has more upside and plays the premium position (also a year younger at the same level).

      Martin has a large chance of being a reliever, Joseph as a power hitting back up. Similar upside (average regular/#3 starter with both having the potential for more), take the younger position player (2 year difference).

      There isn’t a ton of difference between those guys value wise so don’t worry too much.

      1. There is a pretty big difference to me between Joseph and Martin. Joseph had an average bat in AA as a catcher at the age of 20 (half the year he was 21). Martin had a FIP of ~3.6 at the age of 23 (although really he was 22 and turned 23 just before the halfway mark). He has a career K/9 of 7.1 and a career BB/9 of 6.3. Last year he was at about 8.3 K/9 and 4.3 BB/9. He cannot throw strikes and does not strike out enough people to make up for it.

        Joseph was two years younger and performed better at the same level. Plus he plays catcher and can stick there. To me he is way more valuable. I think the only way you can argue he is not more valuable is tp argue that Martin figured it all out at the end of the year and will be able to throw strikes from now on. That is highly optimistic to me.

      2. If the recent reports about his work ethic are accurate, we may be underrating Joseph if anything. Looking at that top 10, he could have the highest ceiling of anyone but Quinn, and is 3 levels more advanced. IMO highest ceiling in the system among players above short season ball.

    2. Check out the interview on crashburnalley today. They talk about Joseph having amazing character and work ethic. Noone thought he could stick at catcher, but now its a likelyhood based on his hard work. Plus he’s still very young. I’m on the Joseph train.

      1. There is a nugget there about Ruf that not only will excite his boosters, but IMO will deservedly excite his boosters.

        1. I like Ruf more than some but whenever anyone brings up the mysterious scout who compared him to Holiday they lose me. Ruf does not have the athleticism or speed tool Holiday had. This makes a big difference when trying to cover ground in LF. I still like Ruf at 1B but unless Howard is hurt for a long stretch Ruf will never get a chance there and they may end up having to sell low on him in a trade if he can’t handle LF..

          1. I’m kind of with you, but this fleshes out the story a bit and provides the scout with a good track record. I’m still not “all in” on the story, and no, Ruf isn’t going to become Matt Holiday, but the apparent fact that a real scout with a good track record thinks that at least makes me some more optimistic that he can he a very good major league hitter. He doesn’t have to be Matt Holiday to have significant value.

          1. Are you forbidden from using a link to it? I think I have tracked it down, but it would be nice to know exactly what you are referring to. Anyway, if the scout is right a lot, then I’m ready to project Ruf in LF and Brown in AAA where he will re-establish himself…

            1. So you are in the Amaro really IS that stupid (to play Delmon Young in right) camp? Sadly I think you are correct, but if Amaro really IS that stupid, then this whole blog is a waste of time, because the Phillies will son be the Houston Astros. I think we need to at least hope/pretend that Amaro was lying when he said Young was his right fielder.

              So It almost doesn’t matter who the left fielder is if Amaro is indeed that foolish. I will say that, as little as it matters, OF COURSE Brown should start in left over Ruf, if it comes to that. Alternatively, a platoon there would be sub-optimal, but preferable to putting Brown in AAA. I would hope, for Brown’s sake, that the Phillies would trade him to a real franchise before sending him back down to AAA.

    3. KLaw values defense and he does not believe Asche will be able to play 3B in the show, but he obviously feels Joseph will be able to. I am happy with Quinn being so high, as that means he should be able to stick at SS.

      Amaro and Law would not make a good team. Law is a sabrematician and Amaro is NOT. They seem to be similar in picking pitchers, but not in the same neighborhood when it comes to position players and how they pick them.

      It is exciting that he feels we have a lot of talent and could make a jump next year. It will make watching some of our lower teams and reading this site that much better this season.

      1. To be fair, there’s a good chance that Asche cant handle 3B defensively. Or, if he can stay there, its as more of a Greg Dobbs type of player.

        1. Having watched him play 3B for several games, I think he will be able to handle it. Not a great defender but about average.

  7. Suprised the most Giles and somewhat by Asche.
    Greene at 1B makes little difference to me at this point. Phillies will play him at LF for as long as possible, he hitting will be all that matters.

    Asche seems to have low upside but Law must consider him likely to make the majors. I am surprised since Asche was not a high profile college guy, was terrible his first season, and last year might have been a career year. My view on Asche is lower (I think he will be a utility guy), so hearing more scouts rank him higher gives me more hope he can actually both hit and field enough to be a starting 3B.

    GIles will never be a starter. How many 100mph relievers have had superstar careers? I suppose in a system of low level lottery tickets he will get the most buzz. I will refer to MattWinks reply above, but I think Aumont is more likely to be star as his stuff is already proven major league caliber.
    Also interested in Law’s view on Tocci as others mentioned. I think even if Tocci does not develop any power he can be an all-star CF based on his defense and batting ‘approach’.

  8. Here is his comment on Quinn: Shortstop Roman Quinn is an 80-grade runner (on the 20-80 scouting scale) who looked great at short even though he was a center fielder in high school, a rare outfield-to-infield conversion that looks like it will result in more than just a fringy defender. He has a sound approach and will drive the ball the other way, although it’s going to be more doubles/triples power than homers.

      1. Expecially if he learns to combine the speed with base-running ability. Would profile as a player similar to Jose Reyes.

      2. He IMO needs to at least have enough power – doubles power, a few home runs – to keep pitchers honest if he is to be a star. Absent that, he could still be a very good (well above average) player.

        In that vein, I kind of like the Jose Reyes comp. Obviously his chances of being Jose Reyes are slim, but that’s probably the kind of player he would look like if he becomes a star (he is probably even faster, though has a lot of work to do on his fielding to match Reyes, among other things).

        1. ‘He IMO needs to at least have enough power – doubles power, a few home runs – to keep pitchers honest if he is to be a star’, can be just that, if he stayed with his natural batting side. However, Phillies FO making him a switcher may lessen power from his un-natural side.

          1. Possibly, but he will always have the platoon advantage, his new swing has shown good line drive power. With his speed the left handed swing (his new swing) will also give him a speed advantage to first and put pressure on every ball not hit directly at a fielder.

  9. If Quinn can’t stick at short, is 2B plan B or is it CF? When they drafted him, I don’t know why but I assumed he would play second and be like a better Luis Castillo.

    Also, while there may not be many prospects with Superstar up side, I think there are a lot of solid contributors that will be nice complimentary players and fill out a roster.

    I would call Florida and tell them they can have any 7 prospects they want at anytime for Stanton.

    1. If Quinn does not make it at SS it will not be because of some of the factors that cause a mediocre SS to become a 2B. He has good range and a decent arm. It would probably be his hands and consistency that would force the change. Those would be issues as well at 2B. His defensive development will be one of the most important things to watch this year. Hopefully he can cut the error rate down by maybe 20%. He made 27 errors in 66 games last year. I would hope he could come in around 40 next year with more consistency. Of course he would get criticism for that, but lots of young SS make a large number of errors in the lower minors and still go on to be good defensive SS.

  10. It’s pretty hard to field consistently well in the low minors–bad fields, bad lights, bad backgrounds. If Quinn comes in around 40 errors in a full season that would be outstanding.

    1. hate to disagree but that would not be “outstanding” if Quinn had 40 errors this season lol. that’s atrocious. And yes the fields and lights are not those of Major League parks, but I think you need to check out a game! Fields are kept up with will get that allusion out of your mind

      1. Yes, the Lakewood park is both modern and its field kept in good condition. Still, 40 errors for Quinn would not be atrocious. He’s young and has little experience as a SS. He needs to gradually cut down on his errors and 40 errors would be an improvement. Kids don’t show up at Lakewood as ready-made major leaguers. They have strengths, which they learn to harness and rough edges, which they work to smooth off. Quinn has a lot of strengths. It is not at all surprising that he is an inconsistent fielder at this point in his career.

  11. I do not like Keith Law at all to be honest, Morgan ahead of Biddle is first where I disagree as well as not ranking Cody ash higher in our top 10. It feels like once he goes against a player he is to stubborn to ever admit he is wrong, like he’s stubborn.

    1. I also have Biddle first and Asche higher in my top 10. That said, your criticism of Law is harsh. If he were stubbornly refusing to change his opinion of Asche, then he would have him a lot lower than 8th. Being ranked second is hardly a knock on Biddle. I have Biddle ahead of Morgan because of age/level and his greater size giving me hope for further growth in velocity and K/9. Morgan has better control/command and had more Ks at CLW. Which of the two you favor depends in larger part upon how you correct results for age/level. Law’s ordering of the two is certainly not outrageous. That said, I admit that I also had Quinn above Morgan.

  12. Kenneth Giles, has done such an amazing job throughout the season. You can tell that he has become a better pitcher and throwing 3 digits, of course he will be the closer, without a doubt!

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