2013 Sleeper Prospects

Everyone has their guy that they think is not getting enough attention and will become a legitimate prospect in the coming year.  This is the chance to put that idea down for all to see.  Just as with the Top 30s we will likely come back to visit this later to see how we did.

For the purpose of this exercise a “sleeper” is a prospect outside of the consensus Top 30 who you think will make a leap onto the list next year or is someone that has a big league future that people are overlooking.  We will do “breakout” players tomorrow.

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

60 thoughts on “2013 Sleeper Prospects

  1. We have so many guys in the system with loud tools but poor baseball skills it’s tough to chose. Aaron Altherr, Anthony Hewitt, Jiwan James, Perci Garner, Ervis Manzanillo all have one or two attributes that make scouts turn heads but can’t put it together over an extended period of time.

    I’ll go with Jose Pujols though. Hugh unknown due to no professional data. Currently 6’4” 185 with a frame that could easily support much more additional muscle. Besides the incredible raw power the thing that really intrigues me are the reports of his bat speed. In a previous thread it was mentioned that at times his bat appeared to be moving through the zone too fast. Pitch recognition and swing mechanics hopefully can be taught but the raw power and bat speed are there. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RhfXXNJ-UXE&feature=player_embedded

    He’s all over the place in his swing. Poor balance, severe upper cut but hopefully they will bring him states side for some real coaching in instructs and maybe the GCL.

    1. I like the short stride and quick swing on display in the video. at least, he does not appear to be over-swinging.

    2. ‘hopefully they will bring him states side for some real coaching in instructs and maybe the GCL.’, not much confidence in LA guy Sal Agostinelli I see.

  2. Sleeper prospect:
    Franklyn Vargas. When the Phillies don’t start an under age 18, Venezuelan player in the VSL, they are showing he is a prospect. K% over 9 per. FIP under 4, for 17 year old. 6’4 left handed pitcher. He’ll easily be a consensus top 30 next year.

    Super Sleeper Prospect:
    Jiandido Tromp. 18 year old from Aruba. Had a horrific 1st 8 games to his career. Struck out 15 of 1st 32 PA’s, but settled down after that: 5 2Bs, 2 3Bs, 2 HRs (for a .288 ISO and 10.29 BB%) the last 68 PA’s in GCL. I think he will put up good numbers in NYP this year, being the 2nd year in the US.

    Breakout Prospect: Shane Watson will be a consensus top 3 prospect in the system, this time next year. Young pitchers with plus secondary pitches do very well in the low minors, and I expect him to strike out a lot of batters in the SALLY.

  3. I’ll go Serritella another college player that could move quickly and eventually make the MLB as an older rookie but again more likely he becomes Matt Rizzotti than Ryan Howard.

    I’ll go Delvi Francisco for a pitcher to watch. he has amazing stuff but unfortunately not Starter potential. 8th or 9th inning guy potential tho!

  4. Not quite sure what ‘dark horse’ means here. Some guys are on lists, but buried near the bottom. I’ll list some guys whom I think can do unexpectedly well and break out this year:
    1. Colvin
    2. Tromp
    3. James
    4. Altherr

    Perhaps more in the true dark horse category are 4 guys whom I doubt make any top 30 lists now, but will be there at the end of the season:
    5. Astudillo
    6. Mora
    7. Ethan Stewart
    8. Pointer

    1. Stewart is BA’s #31, so he isn’t a deep sleeper. On Pointer: If you are of the mindset that Dugan is firmly in the top 30, I think you are right that Pointer will be top 30 next year. I think Pointer is in about the same position as Dugan (a year ago) in offensive talent, but has much more defensive value.

  5. This time next year I suspect we’ll see Edgar Duran in the back of a lot of peoples’ top 30. I also like Colton Murray as a fast riser in the pen this year.

    1. Edgar Duran is a good choice, Serious improvement last season across the board. Could open some eyes in Reading this season. How is the glove-work?

      1. I asked Mitch what he remembered from his time in Williamsport, and he seemed to think he could stick at short for the long haul, and I think Jay Floyd had a similar feeling from seeing him in Lakewood a lot. He’s not Freddy Galvis, (few are), but I think if the bat improves again, he’ll turn some heads.

  6. I like Kevin Brady quite a bit. 11.4 K/9 and 1.5 BB/9. Those were his numbers last season in 42 innings. I think the Phils found themselves a real steal in the 10th round.

    1. I agree but I don’t think he is a sleeper. I think most are just waiting to see his health situation. I would consider him more for my breakout list.

  7. The #16 pick in the draft. You get to decide who that is. I looked at my list from last year and JRod, Ty Greene, Pointer, Castro and James fell off the list. I think JRod will be back to his former self and will the knocking at the door (more like pounding). He’ll get the bums rush but he’d be my choice. Is Harold Garcia coming back? I’ll be rooting for him the most.

  8. Pitchers:

    Hoby Milner- Small framed lefty. Questions of whether he will be able to stick as a starter, doesn’t throw real hard but if he falls out of starting he could be a multi inning lefty reliever (Kyle Simon) capable of getting both righties and lefties out. Good performance in Williamsport/Lakewood and got better as things progressed. 68.1 IP, 54 hits, 24 BB, 54 K’s

    Keivi Rojas- Will be 20 yrs old this year. Not sure what the organization wants to do with him but they’ll probably slot him as a reliever. Last year against the GCL and an outing in Clearwater he put up this: 33.1 IP, 22 H, 7 BB and 44 k’s. I looked for his name all summer because those numbers excite me but it is the GCL so it’s iffy. Haven’t heard too many reports concerning him but I think he throws in the low to mid 90s (Maybe Matt told me that once when I asked on here).


    Cameron Perkins- College guy. Wasn’t overly impressive in Williamsport but he did put up a respectable .304/.352/.407. BB% was a little under 5% which is concerning but he got hit an unusually high amount of times (7 in just under 300 PAs). K% was 14% which is relatively low. He’s got positional flexibility at the corners.

    Jiwan James- Not gonna throw up any stats really because none of them look that good but the scouts have seen tools in him. He’s already a plus defender. If he can figure it out just a little at the plate he’ll be on his way. Starting to get up there in years so he’s going to have to put it together soon to re-assert himself as a guy who could be in the Top 15 prospects in the system.

    Other names that I don’t feel like making cases for: Serritella, Pointer, Castro (my sleeper last year, but I can admit that as long as he hacks at the plate he’ll never be more than a 4 OF kind of guy)

    1. Milner was the odd college guy who came from a college pen into a pro rotation. Once he got stretched out, his stats were pretty good. I don’t know if he’s a “sleeper”, but he’s something to watch, whatever the label.

      1. Sleeper by definition provided in the thread haha. I had him on the cusp of my top 30 though so I don’t consider him a true sleeper.

        1. Voted for Milner from 28-30. Not too many draftees make Lakewood in season #1(even College guys), and he had good #’s. Does Milner coyinue LW or do they give him a shot in CW right away?

  9. I have a couple sleepers in my Top 30 write up for Friday, but I wanted to throw out my deep sleeper now.

    Braden Shull: huge projectable lefty who lost his draft year to signing late and last year to injury. Fastball sits low 90s and the secondary stuff hasn’t time to progress but he was polished out of high school. He won’t turn 20 until May so pitching in the NYPL will still be age appropriate. Has the build to be a really good starter if he is on the field.

    1. Yeah it’s disappointing that we haven’t been able to really see him pitch. Definitely a sleeper candidate, I just tried to avoid guys we’ve seen nothing of like the young latin guys and Shull because of his injury.

    2. I totally agree about Shull. He is the player I am most excited to see perform this year. I am less excited about Walter, though definitely curious to see what he’s got.

  10. Pitching Sleepers: Franklyn Vargas Yoel Mecias and Kevin Walter
    Hitting Sleepers: Edgar Duran Cameron Perkins and Tyler Greene

    1. Walter and Shull are good choices. Both had good reports out of HS and neither has been healthy enough to pitch. Break out or never be heard of again?

  11. Josh Warner. I don’t really have anything great to back it up, I just like a guy who’s from Australia and is age appropriate in his league, holding his own. I can’t seem to find any scouting info on him.

  12. How about Brian Pointer? Got some pop and a good walk rate, just tuned 21, should be a regular in Clearwater. Needs to bring down the Ks some.

  13. I don’t know if he qualifies, but I still think Julio Rodriguez has a decent shot to become a back end starter 7th/8th inning guy. He was leading the EL in strikeouts as a 21 Y/O prior to being bumped from the rotation in August. He essentially had the same year as Trevor May and has outpitched Colvin at every level.

    JRod really was dominant prior to last season despite being slightly young for every level and there were positives from his performance at Reading. He doesn’t give up many hits (absurdly low 6.8/9IP) and misses bats. It’s also interesting that his one stretch where he was used more as a reliever (Lakewood 2010) he was magnificent, posting 90 Ks and only 32 hits in 56 IP.

    His command left him late in the year last season and his fastball velocity is fringy, so I’m not saying he’s even a potential mid-rotation guy at this point, but he’s been unquestionably better than Simon or Colvin and arguably better than May and Wright. Again, I know his raw stuff isn’t spectacular, highlighted by his being left unprotected, but I think we still might be selling him a bit short.

  14. Pitchers: Walter, another year after surgery, will be interesting to follow and I’m surprised noone has mentioned Knigge. He’s got a great fastball. If he can find something to go with it, we might have something. Hitters: Altherr and Hudson are running out of chances but both still have lots of untapped talent. Also, where are all the Tyler Greene fans this year? Don’t give up on him yet.

      1. I as well still have a soft spot for Greene. How about keeping him at SS in WPT to gain confidence then bump to LKW if he plays well?

  15. Ryan O Sullivan makes the Joe Blanton trade look good by being ranked the 19th best prospect this time next year.

    1. I like this choice, because a Fangraphs guy like him a lot. I think the problem will be he might not get to start and as a reliever it will be hard to move up the prospect list.

    1. I want to list JDT as a deep sleeper because I like his delivery, but he didn’t produce enough in the GCL as a 2nd year player to justify the position.

  16. I guess my official pick is Angelo Mora (though I was trying to find someone not mentioned yet). Because to move up the charts you need to be at least age appropriate and fielding a critical position certainly helps. He is a switch hitting SS with speed. Not enough walks and no power may be what keeps him off lists. He will also likely still be in short season which is not as much exposure.

    Other guys I like: (Rosin, T.Greene), Colin Kleven, Josh Ludy, Ervis Manzanillo, and my big dark horse Gauntlett Eldemire (if just to type his name again).

  17. My predictions for the system this year are as follows – some of these could be considered sleepers, others not so much, in no particular order.

    1. I think Tocci plays his way to be our clear cut #1 prospect by season’s end, and a top 50 in baseball.

    2. I think Austin Hyatt ends the season in Philadelphia. I don’t believe he has upside beyond a 5th starter type, or middle / long reliever, but I think we are collectively writing him off too quickly from being a marginal contributor.

    3. Jonathan Pettibone will establish himself as a solid major league starter by year’s end, and we’ll go into 2014 with him as a planned member of the rotation much like Worley was last year after his 2011 season.

    4. While Phillippe Aumont will continue to struggle with command and control, Justin DeFratus will prove to be the most valuable young right arm in the bullpen in 2013.

    5. Jacob Diekman will grab hold of the late inning LOOGY role from Bastardo and be a dominant late inning guy for the Phils in 2013.

    6. Jesse Biddle will struggle for the first time in his career at AA and many of us will over-react and get worried. He will finish the season strong and be on pace to start at AAA next season.

    7. Quinn, Greene Jr, and Walding will establish themselves with strong Lakewood seasons, and draw comparisons to be the next Rollins, Howard, and Utley.

    8. Tyson Gillies will wow us all in brief stints, and then continue to suffer minor, annoying setbacks that will keep him from making significant progress.

    9. Brody Colvin will be a top 5 Phils prospect by year end after a great season that will end at AAA.

    10. Cody Asche will struggle, and not perform to the level that he needs to be in the Phils 2014 plans. Mikael Franco will be the clear cut #1 third base prospect for the Phils by season end.

    11. Darin Ruf will not play a minor league game this season.

    12. Tommy Joseph will make us all forget about ole free swinging what’s his name that used to flail around RF.

    13. We will confirm for good this year that Harold Martinez, Anthony Hewitt, and Leandro Castro are not prospects, and never will be. Jiwan James could be a different story.

    14. This time next year Kenny Giles will be as likely to make the Phils out of spring training as Phillippe Aumont is this year. He’s that damn good.

    15. Cesar Hernandez will start making us ask the question – “Could he play 2B every day in the big leagues?”

    16. While on a AAA rehab assignment in Lehigh Valley, Delmon Young will join forces with Tyson Gillies and attack an innocent bus driver.

    17. It will not be a good year for Tyler’s – Cloyd will struggle to get guys out in AAA this season and Greene will repeat his 2012 season and struggle to even find the field.

    18. Jose Pujols will remind us more of Anthony Hewitt’s statistics this year than Albert Pujols’ statistics. But don’t fret, he is young.

    19. Michael Schwimer will pitch more innings this season for the Iron Pigs and Astros than he will the Phillies.

    20. The Phillies will lose in the World Series for the third time in a year ending in 3, this time on a walk off homer to a member of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. FreeAEC will remind us all that had the scammies paid Josh Hamilton that would have never happened.

    1. On #3: I think you are right. Pettibone being groomed to replace Kendrick, because he will be too expensive in Arbitration.
      On#5: Disagree. Think Bastardo bounces back and since Cholly doesn’t use his Lefties as pure Loogys, Diekman will struggle or be sent to minors in favor of Horst.
      On #6: I also believe that Jesse Biddle will struggle in AA this year. He struggles early each year, but I have a bad feeling he’ll have a harder time pulling it together this year.
      On #11: I think Ruf will mash in Spring Training and the 1st month of the season. Then he will struggle mightily the next month, due to pitchers adjustments. Will be back in minors by mid June.

    2. Lots of interesrting points. I don’t agree on Tocci, not yet anyway; lots would have to go wrong for Hyatt to end up in Philly this year so I hope not; Pettibone and DeFratus absolutely; Diekman is a maybe for me plus Horst looked great; Colvin? I don’t see it; Asche struggle badly? I don’t see it

  18. Agree on Pointer, Shull, Tromp, O’Sullivan, Manzanillo, JDT ….
    but my super (non-sensicle) sleeper is Jonathan Musser.

  19. I know he’s old for a “prospect” per say, but I think Justin Friend will have a excellent year up in LHV this year. I know its a logjam for him to get to the Phils pen for now, but I could see him being a callup if injuries get really bad. The Phils gotta think something of him as he’s up in the big league camp in ST. Lights out in Reading, his AAA stats were inflated by two bad outings. He’s not a power pitcher (touches 90-91 maybe), but has a nice slider and could be a surprise.

    If Hewitt hits above .220 in AA, it will be a miracle. BUST! Those “athlete” picks are great, aren’t they RAJ?

    Now for the R-Truth, Little Jimmy Special, Suckaz Gots To Know List Of Stuff Fo ’13

    1. Phils will rush Tocci up way too fast, lose confidence in him, and make him a PTBNL next year (see Santana, Domingo…….he had quite the year last year). I don’t see it happening, but I bet people didn’t see Santana being a throw in on the Pence deal either.

    2. If Joesph starts the season in AAA, he will be a bust there. Not ready for that level at all, and he still doesn’t impress me hitting wise yet. But he’s young, give the kid time and don’t rush him.

    3. Pettibone will be up at some point this year, if KK/Lannan/Cloyd struggle, could be sooner than later, though I’d like to not see him before Sept.

    4. Ruf will mash in ST, while I don’t see him hitting for a great average, I see him pulling a .260/15/55 line if he’s gonna platoon out there. Also think his D will surprise people.

    5. If Brown is not doing anything by the all star break and the Phils are gonna make a trade, make him a throw in please. I know he’s gonna hit .100 in ST and still make the team, but come on maaaaan

    6. I hope there will be a Reading jersey burning ceremony before season’s end and they change their name back

    7. Howard will hit like crap and the Phils will use some phantom injury as an excuse

    8. I will not go to any Phillies games cause I hate the city

    9. I love you all, AND THAT IS THE TRUTH!!

  20. He is already a decent prospect but I think Kenny Giles will dominate and be considered a top prospect. I also think Chris Duffy will have a good year. It’s more than likely he will just become a Jeremy Slayden type player but there is still that chance he will become a star.

  21. i will also look for walter (as i have the last 2 years). i just don’t remember what the surgery was for, shoulder or elbow?

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