Baseball America’s Phillies Top 10 list

BA released their Phillies Top 10 today. You can find it here.

The top 10 is:

01. JP Crawford
02. Aaron Nola
03. Maikel Franco
04. Roman Quinn
05. Carlos Tocci
06. Aaron Brown
07. Matt Imhof
08. Jesmuel Valentin
09. Yoel Mecias
10. Franklyn Kilome

Please do not post the scouting reports from behind BA’s paywall. They will be pissed if you do. Here is a summary

The good:

* JP Crawford is awesome, and one of the best all around prospects in baseball
* Aaron Nola has elite command, he’s more than a soft tosser, but he has to refine his secondary stuff
* Franco has legit power and a great arm, but he’s really aggressive and has holes in his game
* Roman Quinn is one of the fastest players in baseball

The bad:

* After the top 4, it gets really bad# in a hurry
* Jesse Biddle couldn’t make the top 10, in what will be a system BA ranks in the 20-30 range. That is really troubling.
* The Phillies drafts over the last 4-5 years have been brutal. We’re feeling the effects right now.

If you’re a believer in divine intervention, say a few prayers for the bottom half of our top 10 so that things look a little better at this time next year. Also, a few people have asked me about putting out a top 30 list this winter, since I may start writing again. I’m going to decline to do that, simply because I have not paid as much attention to the system (or baseball as a whole) over the last 2 years. If I get back into it again, I will write a top 30 next winter. I will say, from what I know, that I’d rank Quinn above Franco right now, and even with his struggles, I’d have kept Biddle at #10, as I don’t think hes lost all hope, and I think hes a better bet to contribute in the majors on some level over a guy who hasn’t gotten out of A ball yet. But there isn’t much else for me to add.

Now, please discuss.

169 thoughts on “Baseball America’s Phillies Top 10 list

  1. Looks like the 2 most polarizing prospects are Biddle, who was #5 on BP’s list and Quinn who Didn’t make BP’s list. BA must really hate most of our guys if they would put a gujy like Imhof into our top 10 over guys like Grullon Dugan and Biddle.

  2. top 4 is legit, glad BA is still high on Tocci.

    Brown at 6 is a surprise to me; would rather have Biddle, Grullon, and Cozens than any of the back half of the top 10 IMO.

  3. It’s almost like they forgot about Grullon…

    Aggressive placement fir Brown. I think Quinn holding his own in the AFL solidified his top 5 status but need to see better contact from him this season.

    To me Biddle should be in the top 10- the guy just had the strangest of season last year.

      1. We’ve seen reports of a plus plus arm and developing receiving tools. Pretty good contact rates as well. For a 19 year old catcher that is a pretty exciting profile

    1. No, in the chat he says concerns with Grullon’s bat and that the D, apart from arm, need work

      On Biddle, he said that many scouts now see him as a back end of rotation guy and that his control just isn’t good enough, plus questions on the elbow. I can well see Biddle out of top 10. His last two seasons ended very badly and he is still able to just totally lose the ability to repeat his motion — not just not throwing strikes, at times not coming even close to throwing strikes on multiple pitches.

      I think our positions 5-20 are a smear of projection-type talent with a lot of questions. One could fight endlessly over relative placement within that range, but in the end, they’re about the same, with different strengths and weaknesses, but nobody who really stands out. It is the top 4, then a big step down.

      To get away from my opinions and back to the chat, he stated that the Phillies farm was ‘very, very weak’ and criticized it for lack of depth. He said Nola addition and Crawford advance were pluses, but that there were a lot of injuries and non-advances this past minor league season.

  4. I wouldn’t dismiss Biddle yet from the Top 10 ,and I agree it was a very strange year. I still have hope that he has a really good year, and if he does, he is closer to the Majors. I wonder where the 2 Pitches from the Rollins trade would go. Based on this list, they would both be in the Top 10. And, I think it is still awfully high for Tocci. Overall, quite a reflection on the system. All around baseball, they are down on it because there is a lack of high end quality. Hard to disagree.

    1. Definitely understand their system ranking as well but there seems to be quite a few intriguing profiles in the lower levels. There are a number of breakout candidates which will make this season a very interesting one to follow

  5. I wonder where Odubel Herrera would rank in the Phillies system now?
    He certainly has some very good tools going for him….contact hit, speed and glove. Maybe no power tool as of now, but who knows down the road.
    I guess there is a stigma against Rule 5 guys or maybe I am being to optimistic about him.

    1. Josh Norris of BA writes this on Herrera:
      ” I mean, we don’t even know if he’ll be with the team out of spring training yet. If he does stick, I can imagine him as a utility guy a la Michael Martinez with a better bat”.

      ….not as optimistic as I had hoped.

    1. Do we really? Who among them stands out as a top prospect? Everyone has lots of projectable guys with tools at the lower levels. The talk for years has been that the strength of the Phillies farm was at the lower levels, that talk started at least 3-4 years ago. Most of that ‘strength’ evaporated short of the bigs and even short of AA. Most of the guys we are looking to today (Franco, Asche, Nola, Crawford) weren’t even on the map (or even in the system) when we started talking about the strength at the bottom of the system.

      1. Not completely true. Asche was drafted in 2011. God that was an awful draft. What happened to Harold Martinez? Don’t even get me started on Larry Greene.

    2. Many times talent at the lower levels fizzles out so it is not good to overrank a Rookie or A ball player.

      If a guy like Crawford really shines then you can push him up the rankings but in most cases guys move slow and steady.

  6. The top 4 should be pretty standard in my opinion. They got that right. After that I think it goes to show the difference in opinion of the next 15 or so. Personally, i have a real tough time putting Tocci in my top 10. Although, he did show slight improvement the 2nd half. The player I think is getting the shaft the most is Cozens. Doesnt seem like a lot of people are as high on him as me. I have him in the 6-8 range. I know some see a player who ks a lot and not sure of his position. I see a guy who hit 15 hrs (in a tough HR park) and had 20 plus steals. It also looks like hes gonna stick in a corner OF spot. At leadt for now. Call me crazy but I’ll put a potential power hitting corner OF over a 5th OF defensive replacement player any day.

    1. Big hit tool questions with Cozens IMO. He’s one to dream on with the physical ability but really nothing more than that at the moment. Has breakout potential though.

      I hear you on Tocci. As you that’s a subject that’s been argued to death on here. It’s just a matter of how much physical projection you’re willing to make

  7. They lost me by including Tocci and excluding Cozens and Dugan (I have Grullon at 11). I can actually understand the Biddle exclusion because we all have crossed fingers on him, not exactly exuding confidence. On the positive side, I’m very encouraged by a 2nd source including Kilome on a top 10 list. He was unknown by most, six months ago. The two new guys are definitely top 10 for me with Eflin at 4 before Quinn. Let’s hope a few more top 10 caliber prospects are added in the next 2 weeks.

    1. BA’s Josh Norris on Odubel Herrera:
      “I mean, we don’t even know if he’ll be with the team out of spring training yet. If he does stick, I can imagine him as a utility guy a la Michael Martinez with a better bat”

      …..not a glowing report on Herrera. I had hoped he would be the CFer at some point.

      1. His stats look pretty good to me and if he can take his quality defense from 2B (he was voted the top 2B defender in his league) to CF with him due to his speed, we might actually have something. He’s definitely worth the gamble on a bad team. Unless he stinks in spring training, he’ll make the team to start the year. And if they trade Revere, who knows….he could be our starting CF on opening day.

    1. I haven’t given up on Biddle. He could be healthy throughout 2015 and vault back into our top 3, but for the last 2 years through injuries and severe control problems has been a hot mess, with his velocity also coming up short at times. 2015 will be a VERY critical season for Biddle. I think he’s about at position 10 for me.

    2. I agree that Biddle and Dugan belong in the top ten. The Rollins trade, if it goes through, will help a lot with starting pitching depth and upside. I’m not a scout, but I think the ranking of Brown so high, at least at this time, is misplaced – he may be one hell of an athlete, but the plate discipline is a huge concern. I like Dugan more than I like Brown at this point (and I don’t even like Perkins as a prospect unless he develops more power or improves his plate discipline). Of the rating organizations, BA is most focused on tools and ceiling and less so on baseball skills and feel for the game. That’s how you get Tocci and Brown ranked so high. Concerns about the system are legit – but will be alleviated to a significant degree if Crawford becomes a star and Nola becomes a legit 2 or 3.

      The one thing that people brush over is just how deep this team has gotten with its bullpen and secondary arms. They just keep acquiring good arms to store and test. For example, people don’t even mention Luis Garcia, but he has real ability – he can throw 97-99 and has a few developing breaking pitches that flash as well above average pitches – and he was lights out in AAA last year. I like that they are playing the odds with these guys – acquiring a lot of talent so that if and when they hit – as they did with Diekman and Giles – they can hit big. I would like to see them do this with position players and starters and work on converting some of the bullpen arms to a starting role.

      1. I agree with you about Dugan and Brown (and Perkins).

        The number of interesting arms in the system is really impressive to me. In years past there were always filler guys- whether they were milb veterans or even age appropriate players with questionable talent and poor results . Right now there’s at least a semi-interesting guy in every rotation spot all the way down to Williamsport. The worst of the group are guys like Kleven and Leiter- they may or may not have big league ability but at least they’ve had decent success at appropriate levels so far.

    3. Agree with your thinking in that Josh Norris was over critical of the Phillies farm system. Also, did not like his response to why Windle was rated #7 by MLB and he ranked him #11 in our system as he seemed a little arrogant.

      1. Meant ” #7 in Dodgers system by MLB”. At least Keith Law has our system ranked around the middle of the pack with a chance to get better quickly if certain players breakout this year.

  8. Also that is a bad comparison to Mini Mart. He may, in fact, be a utility guy, but he does have a bat vs. Martinez, who has no bat. The ability to actually hit the ball makes him much more than Martinez. There are better comparisons where very useful utility guys, who can hit, have really helped teams.

  9. I was the same way with basketball, which I used to follow religiously at the college and pro levels. By the time the draft came around, every year I knew all of the players and had a full scouting report on them in my head. Then I just stopped caring as much and lost my love for it.

    Sometimes you have to walk away from something you love once you stop really loving it. Eventually you come back to it and regain the love you used to have for it.

    Glad to see you back posting.

    I’m not too concerned with our Top 10 right now because of all of the guys who are questionmarks. If those guys don’t prove to be top prospects again by this time next year then yeah I’ll start panicking.

  10. Zach Green, Cozens, pullin, half the BP is from our farm sys Giles, Diekman etc so many more. Philies had a bad yr with injuries. I still think Duggan and Perkins will be in the big by yrs end. We have enough outfield prospects that we may have at least 3 that can play on the phillies someday. Hiciano, Pettibone, Watson, Greene, Morgan, Joseph were all hurt. Sandberg , Cozens were football players how are now baseball players. Trust me I know how bad are drafts have been we have put some money into Latin America. I hope we can hit the Cuba market next.

    1. That’s exactly how I see it. A lot of our guys were injured, are still developing, or are coming off of bad years. Plus a lot of our prospects actually improved year to year, just not the bigger name ones.

  11. Grullon not bring in the top 10 is an issue. If they believe in Tocci, Grullon should get as much consideration. Biddle… I could go either way. I agree that Dugan isn’t a prospect.

  12. The system cant be that bad that Valentin is in top 10 can it? You would think they would at least put higher ceiling guys like Cozens and ? before some of these players. Wow i just wrote Cozens and ?. Maybe it is that bad. Im just drawing a blank right?

    1. Why not? Valentin’s a switch-hitting middle infielder who can get on base and steal a few bags. He was a first round (sandwich) pick. He’s only eight months older than Crawford and a full year younger than Roman Quinn. Chase Utley he’s not, granted, but I like his chances to play in the bigs better than Cozens.

    2. Ask yourself this question, how many guys outside of the top 4 do you see as consistent day to day starters?

      Yeah, it is pretty bad.

      The system goes from borderline star to borderline starter very fast.

  13. This is exactly what makes this site so great. We can agree to disagree. You have your opinion and I have mine. So here’s mine: Tocci doesn’t belong in this year’s top 10. He had a pretty bad year last year. You can hang your hat on the fact the Phils are trying to beef him up and that will at least a few of the weak spanking grounders to get to the outfield grass. Cozens has enormous power but too many holes in his swing. I still think Zack Green is a better prospect. I’m unsure of Biddle. I think he still has potential but he hasn’t proven anything and potential, as far as I know, has never won a single game in the big leagues. It took Trevor May some extra time to put things together and he hasn’t made it yet.

    I still haven’t done my top 30 yet so who knows, maybe the system is so weak that Tocci, Green and Cozens are all top 10. Maybe the other Greene will suddenly wake up and be a better player. Then again, I’m still hoping for world peace…. by Christmas.

    1. I like Green quite a bit as well. He’s improving as he’s learning to shorten his swing and he’ll need to continue to improve. However, I don’t see Walding as a prospect any more so I hope Green goes back to playing 3B full time next year in CWater. He has more value as a 3B than a 1B obviously. I have Green at #13, after adding the 2 new pitchers ahead of him. I have Cozens at #9.

      1. Murray..understand the positional value aspect in regards to a prospect’s standing. But thinking strategically long-term, perhaps Philly FO sees primary Franco and then secondary Asche at third base on the chart at CBP, and Green being the guy, who may not see third, if he in fact, does make it to MLB.
        Getting him PAs at Clearwater now is essential to his development.
        I would hope they can get find some way to mix in development at both first-base and third.

        1. Yes, if the plan long term is to leave Franco at 3B, having Green continue to play both 1B and 3B adds versatility to him for later. If he can hit 15-20 homers in CWater, we’ll have something. He needs to stay healthy of course.

    2. I was a big Tocci supporter a couple years ago, but his hit tool hasn’t improved at all – he still strikes out a ton. I have no idea who to put at #5 in his place, though. Dugan? Mecias? Grullon? Imhof? Hopefully someone distances himself from the pack this year.

    3. The two players that BA’s Norris seems to like, and also to move up the list with potential are Cord Sandberg and Zach Green.

  14. This is a huge year for the system. By the end of it, Franco should have established himself as a Major League player, Nola should be in the rotation, Crawford a star at Reading. And then guys like Sandberg and Green should have good years, establishing themselves as legit prospects. Biddle can be re-established as a prospect and the 2 Dodger guys from the Rollins trade show they have ability. Then the system looks a heck of a lot better. I don’t think I am dreaming; all of those are certainly within the realm of possibility.

    1. All possible, I think some all but certain, but inevitably it will be a mixed bag. What has hurt the farm is some of the sort-of big names that have pretty much fallen out of bed in the past 18 months and many of which don’t show much sign of coming back: Biddle (likeliest to make it back), Rupp, Joseph, Morgan, Watson, Gueller, Sev Gonzales (I’m more encouraged after reading the BA article — apparently Phillies instructed him to use his best pitch very little in order to develop the other stuff), Altherr, MAG (who I also think has a good chance to make it this year).

  15. I was looking at Tromp to,Dsl VSL had some good pitchers to look at like Garcia, Pinto etc that are now state side keys is another one.

  16. Hewitt, Collier, LG,Jr., were just horrible picks. Gueller may be approaching that status. If even 2 were good prospects, that changes the picture a lot. But, The Crawford, Nola drafts show a great deal of positives going forward. Looking forward to this year’s Draft, and it has to be a really good pick.

    1. Speaking of bad moves, Bonilla made his MLB debut last September and has a low 3 ERA so far in his career.

      Still by far the WORST move RAJ has ever made.

      1. TruePhan – gave you a thumbs up after seeing two thumbs down. But my thumbs up only applies if you concede that RAJ has had no less than five ‘worst’ moves.

        😉

        1. True. Just about every move that winter qualified as a worst move. Two year contract to a coming-off-surgery Adams? Delmon Young being awarded the starting RF job in order to agree to steal our $? Durbin? Young playing 3B? It was the ultimate check every hole filled box, without adequately filling any of them, and addressing the holes in a way that did zilch for the future, while costing us Bonilla. That winter was the problem with Phillies management in a nutshell. It was a fraudulent ‘we’re making the commitment to win in 2013’ charade. It was the total mis-judgment of the current state of baseball, and awful wishful talent evaluation that decided injured players were magically healthy, guys who hadn’t been able to play a position for years were going to magically regain their younger defensive skills, and that post-PED players could play until they were 40. It was a total turning of managements back on Phillies own youngsters.

          1. I agree that winter was awful, but to me it goes back to the way management handled trading for Halladay. They had no need whatsoever to trade Cliff Lee, first of all, and rather than getting Saunders (who the Mariners offered), they handpicked Gillies, and now Aumont is the only guy left from that trade. What made it worse was the decision to make Brown “untouchable” over Taylor, D’Arnaud, Drabek, and Gose, and to basically give in to the narrative that not only the media was spinning but the local bandwagon “fans” that we “have to get Halladay at any cost and only Brown is worth keeping”, which was ridiculous. Ever since then, every time the Phillies have had the local bandwagon “fans” and media clamoring for something to get done, they’ve done it wrong. The trades for Cliff Lee and for Oswalt were pretty damn good trades, but trading for Pence (the only move no local media or bandwagon fans were in agreement with that was a bad move), the Halladay trade, trading Cliff Lee, resigning Victorino, signing Papelbon, signing Mike Adams, trading for Young, and signing Burnett (which ironically enough would have been a great move had the Phillies capitalized on his strong first half and traded him) were just awful, awful moves.

            Maybe if RAJ would stop listening to bandwagon jumpers and opinionated media, he wouldn’t make so many dumb moves like trading for Young. His under-the-radar moves have really been solid. Trading for Lee, for Oswalt, signing Pedro of course, signing Roberto H, trading for Revere… he makes moves like this every year except this year. The Phillies as a whole care way too much about PR, and that leads to them making some really questionable moves.

            1. Dec 2008….signing Werth, after the WS win, to only two years vs three or more. That bothered me. His departure had a domino affect two years later.

        2. Na that one was by far the worst. The other moves either only cost the Phillies money or they got something of use in return. Say what you want about Revere but we gave up a guy who had had control problems and a guy who had weight problems and was a #3 starter at best. Revere hit .300 last season and at the very least could fetch us a nice prospect if we trade him.

          As for the thumbs down, somebody pathetically keeps thumbs-downing everything I say. I’m sure it’s probably the same person or handful of people.

  17. I think Keith Law calls the system mid tier due to Crawford who he feels is a very very strong player. Maybe Norris is a little overly critical but the fact remains there is too much projection after the top 5/6 prospects. Someone stated above that 10 to 20 are almost similar and can be interspersed with one another. I would agree with that.

    One other aspect of the Rollins trade – why is it that it has taken this long to confirm ? Are these the two players or not ? Law immediately stated they were the prospects, but no one else has even mentioned them again. My take, they may be trying to expand the trade into Hamels or fill in the blank. Any additional prospects may also make a big difference in the Phils system – assuming they add more.

    1. Still, this is taking a really, really long time. I don’t ever remember a trade being held up for an entire week. Very bizarre.

      1. Agreed but for whatever reason Kemp couldn’t take his physical until today which is needed to complete the trade.

        I’m sure the Philles and Dodgers have discussed the inclusion of another prospect in case Kemp fails his physical

    2. There’s a HUGE amount of projection on the #5 and #6 prospects as well. No question about Tocci’s defense, but his speed has been questioned and his bat has really been questioned, as has his ability to add the needed weight and strength. He’s not a young kid anymore, so the strength should be coming fairly soon, if it’s going to come at all. Brown is a guy about whom there was a lot of debate whether he should be a pitcher rather than a hitter. He has tools, but didn’t exactly light up SS ball with his bat and Ked in 1/3 of AB when promoted to Lakewood.

      1. On Tocci:
        If BA is this high on him (at 5), does that mean other MLB execs are also high on him?
        If so, why not package him in a deal.
        His upside at his age is huge and would sustain a decent chip value.
        But then again, Norris of BA says the Phillies farm system is ‘very very bad’, then I have to assume they judge Tocci as the big fish in a small pond.

        1. No. Crawford, Franco, Nola, Quinn are truly big fish in a small pond. Tocci and Brown are just one man’s guess of who stands out for high upside among a not-all-that-certain-or-impressive next 16 prospects who are extremely similar in value. Who gets to be #5 on the Phillies farm: Grullon? Biddle? Mecias? Encarnacion? Cozens? Sandberg? Imhof? Zach Green? Dugan? Perkins? Altherr? Valentin? Kilome? Knapp? Sev Gonzales? You could list a reason or two for any of them and more reasons to say no. They are all B- to C+ prospects at this point. Of the 16, who can we truly have a lot of faith in becoming at least an average major league starter? Certainly someone or two or maybe three from this list will make it, but your guess is as good as mine or BA’s.

          1. That has to be the best way to describe the state of the farm system with the B-/C+ guys.

            We have 4 A prospects and then a huge gap down to B-.

            The A-/B+/B area is practically void of prospects so our 5 maybe a 12 or 14 in a better system.

            1. You are exactly right. That 5-15 stretch of prospects is not yet good enough to elevate the ranking of the system. I hope some have great years and vault into true prospects, but as of right now, we don’t have them.

            2. In reality, JP is our only A prospect. Franco and NOLA are B+ and Quinn is a B until he hits higher. Eflin is a B also. We have lots of B-/C+ and lots of C guys.

            3. But it’s much better than the last couple years when there were 1 maybe 2 A prospects, and still the same glut of B-‘s.

          2. I’d take Biddle over almost all of those guys when healthy. I think he’s just had an extremely unfortunate career after getting off to such a solid start.

            1. I would too, but the question is, how much of a healthy Biddle are we going to see. He starts seasons well, develops health issues, the Phillies have him pitch through them, and the seasons end disastrously. I was on hand as he finished a late-season 2013 being unable to do better than lobbing the ball a foot or two from the strike zone. He ended 2014 unable to throw strikes. Winter ball was a disaster, then the arm injury. I was pooh-poohed for saying it was a mistake to send Biddle to winter ball. It was a serious mistake. You don’t send a guy who badly needs to get body and head back together into the win-now atmosphere of LA winter ball. From my perspective, the Phillies medical and development staff would have been hard-pressed to do worse by Biddle over the past two years — they have all but ruined the guy who was their top prospect. It is hard to see any logic to their approach. Now he has a sore elbow added to his list of problems. He can still be good, but he now has a lot of iffiness about his future. For whatever reason, the velocity was down much of last season.

  18. From what I have read, you are correct. Kemp was unavailable until this morning to take his physical, and that held up the deal. if it was just the Phils, I would worry, but Dodgers and Padres both moving forward like a done deal. What puzzles me is that there is no deal for Byrd yet. Seattle and Orioles could use him, there have been discussions and nothing has happened. Also, Morrow, who signed with Padres, along with Floyd and Medlen are on my list for Phils to acquire. Modest investment, varying degrees of upside, all worth the risk. But, Phils seem to be doing none of the above.

  19. The trade market for power hitting outfielders will open up now that all the major Free Agents have been signed. The market for Byrd, Upton and others will get much more active soon.

    1. philabaltfan….any truth to the rumor that RAJ tried to get the O’s, in the Byrd talks, to try to also take on Howard?

      1. I heard they tried that tactic but Baltimore said no thanks. I am not sure Ryan Howard gets moved this winter so hope someone gets desperate for a DH. Byrd should be moved much more easily.

        1. I am hoping the Mariners are still interested in Byrd. I wonder if they would be willing to part with Tyler Marlette, a catcher. Mike Zunino is there now and not going anywhere for awhile.

  20. Even if that was the case, the Orioles should be finished laughing by now, so why haven’t trade talks resumed on Byrd? O’s, Reds Mariners all could use Byrd. Look at the #s? Byrd’s $ is modest in comparison. And, why isn’t there Chooch talk at all? I know his age and his Contract, but still a very good handler of Pitchers. Not expecting much in return, but there is so little gossip about Phils. And, waiting until July for Hamels trade really doesn’t help the Phils as there will be a number of SPs available, including, hopefully Cliff Lee.

    1. 1. Age.
      2. Teams know Amaro’s price so they are shopping around looking at other deals. Why get someone in their late 30’s when you can take a flyer on someone 5 or 6 years younger at a cheaper price?
      3. Amaro needs to move or he will be left at the altar once again.

      1. Don’t agree with your points as the last Free Agent outfielders have just signed and the trade market has not developed yet for RH Power bats. Marlon Byrd will be traded by spring training.

  21. It’s pretty amazing how quickly pitching depth became the strength of the system. Behind Nola there’s Arano, Eflin, Windle, Imhoff, Mecias, and Biddle. All of them have flaws, but I’d really be surprised if one or two didn’t become useful major league starters. They’re all probably going to end the year in the upper minors, which is a nice change from the years where 2/3 of our top 15 prospects were in short season ball or Lakewood. I know every team has these types of pitchers, but we have six of them (along with two legitimately interesting arms in Pinto and Kilome in the lower levels).

    When you factor in that depth, Crawford as a top 15-20 prospect, Nola as a top 50 guy, I don’t see how the system isn’t in the 15 – 20 range.

    1. Well it probably will be 15-20 (probably closer to 20) on some other lists. My understanding is that BA tends to emphasize high ceilings guys In their rankings more than other sites. Of course that is where the Phillies system is most limited

    2. All news guys that we haven’t seen enough of a performance sampling, and one that we have seen enough of a performance sample and wish we hadn’t.

      I’m not completely out on Biddle though. He looked like he was pitching himself into a #2 time of talent in early 2013, so he’s certainly taken a significant step backward. But outside of the Top 10 kind of backwards? Absolutely not. He’s probably no. 5’ish for me. Maybe 6th or 7th. I’m excited about Nola but equally excited about Imhoff.

      Still, I would hardly call our pitching depth the strength of the system.

      1. Yeah, to be honest in any trade I’d want a high ceiling pitcher or at least one with the chance of that. We don’t have enough legitimate starters. Have you seen our current AAA roster, by the way? There’s barely any players on it. Biddle was supposed to be there, Morgan, Nola, all of these guys who we had such high hopes for. We need pitchers with upside badly. The only guys we have right now are Pettibone (who was injured), Buchanon, and Ethan Martin. Obviously the wildcard is MAG, but we’ll see about him. We’ve got plenty of relievers. That’s the problem, we keep turning our high-upside starters into relievers because they have control problems due to the fact that we draft so many project guys.

  22. Vegas odds on the Phillies is dead-last, with 150-to-1 odds of winning it all. That ties them for the longest odds with the Astros and Twins.

  23. Thinking outside the box here. Would anyone here do a Howard for Arod deal. Maybe even get the yanks to throw in some money. I think i would do it and move arod to first

    1. I mentioned that back in Sept……Phillies do lose money since Howard’s contract is one year shorter then ARod’s….throw in Paps and it equals out. But would Cashman buy into it?

      1. Well i think that the total money is about the same, even if Arod is a year longer becuase of the big buy out of Howards deal. About 60mm for both

    2. Steve – probably the only player in the majors that I would not do a 1:1 for. And perhaps Nick Swisher because I don’t want to have to look at his big head all season. And Teixeira, because of the aforementioned big head syndrome

    1. Also I am not too terribly down on the system right now. I think we are actually going in a very positive direction. Nola and Crawford are the best first round picks we have made in years already.

    2. Yeah. I’m not buying that at all. Aaron Brown not in my Top 15. Seriously. He’ll turn 23 mid-season (June 20th). If he OPS .800 in his first full year at Lakewood then maybe I’ll get excited. I’m not buying Top 10 as of now though

      1. It is relative to our weak system past the big four. All are projected as superstars but after that you get a dropoff.

        Brown may not project to be a starter and is 23 which should tell you a lot about the health of the system.

        This is why we need quality prospects for Hamels, Byrd, and anyone else. There is a big gap after the top four prospects.

        1. Hold the phone there. It’s a stretch to say our top 4 are projected to be superstars. Quality regulars is more like it.

      2. When you draft a 22 year old hitter, time is really working against the player in a big way. Sometimes players make big jumps the year after being drafted (especially college players). Brown has to really get some traction this year and he needs to do it quickly. Otherwise, he’s going to be a 24 year old next year in Clearwater. How many of those guys are going to make it? Not many I would submit.

      3. I agree with Brown being way to high but don’t forget he (or should I say the Phillies) have a plan B if he doesn’t hit. Scouts say he has quite the Arm and wouldn’t take to long to develop as a reliever.

    1. I hope it is Marlette the catcher, he is in their bottom 10 to the 10 thru 15 range of prospects.. With Zunino he becomes expendable.

  24. I’ve seen Tocci play about 20games or so. The kid can play CF better then some guys in the big now, has a solid arm, great baseball instincts, he has some speed but doesn’t use it well on the bases yet but is very aggressive taking extra bases. The ONLY thing holding him back is his size. He doesn’t have to get to 200plus lbs, 180-185 would be fine however as a strength and conditioning coach I know that some people just don’t have the body make up and/or genetics to put on excess muscle and believe it or not 185 may be excess for him. He has an extremely slender frame that isn’t able to hold the weight or at least makes it extremely hard to gain it and keep it. With that being said if he can somehow get to that weight, with strength he will shoot up prospect lists and I can see him cracking baseballs top 100.

    1. I want to be optimistic about Tocci.
      And his defense is exceptional.
      But his first 1100PAs in MiLB with that slash and only 2HRs really gnaws at me. Now he did have the two dingers in the second half last season, so perhaps the power swing is coming around.
      I can recall how Alex Rios looked In his youthful stages, so there has to be hope for Tocci.

    2. I have seen him play a bunch too. I think your conclusion is an over simplification of the issues. IMO the biggest issue is his contact. More specifically, he strikes out a lot, doesn’t walk a lot and very rarely squares on the ball. If you square on a ball, you can make solid contact regardless of how much you weigh. he just doesn’t do that in any of the games I have seen (which is about 12 games).

      1. Well the walks go back to the fact that pitchers aren’t worrying about him going yard so he gets balls to hit. He K’s a lot? In terms of games played to K’s he’s like 8th or 9th on Lakewood in K’s. I wouldn’t say he strikes out “a lot”, maybe more then he should but it’s not like he averages a K per game. As far as squaring up goes, he actually does square up a lot of balls but again there isn’t as much behind it so it’s harder to tell. Again this is just my opinion from what I’ve seen.

          1. I don’t know how you’re doing your math. I divide 191 by 1104 and get around 18%, not less than 6%.

            1. I’m not so sure V1again, guys seem to get reputations that are more hearsay that stat-based. Perkins is reputedly a low-power guy who is lauded for his hitting. He’s got about 6% walks and 15% Ks, actually a little higher K rate this past season.

            2. It’s not bad for an 18 year old in full season ball. My problem is that he had pretty much the same rate the year before. I was hoping he would either lower his K rate or raise his BB rate, in addition to showing a bit more power. The power was there but not the improved hitting skills (at least that’s how it seems from the numbers).

        1. I think the accurate thing to say about his contact skills is that they are average – which would be fine if he had some pop, given his position and defensive skills, but not so fine if he doesn’t add some strength and at least some mid range power. And as you say, the BB rate is also related to the lack of power.

          1. That sounds right.

            I saw Tocci play in 2013 at Lakewood. Now, he was then a very young guy, it was as small a sample size as you can get and I’m no expert in human development.

            That said, I saw him play and I really scratched my head about the hype. It’s very true that this guy seems to have impressive skills as a fielder and great baseball instincts. He flies to the ball and seems to have a good outfield arm (in fact, he’s got so much arm that, in warm ups, he flew the ball over the other Lakewood fielder and hit a lady in the stands). That said, he was ridiculously scrawny and did not look like he had the type of frame to put on any appreciable muscle and doesn’t have the type of speed to be a player like Hamilton or Quinn where he would be an offensive weapon if he just gets on base. When I saw him I thought to myself “there’s no way this guy can ever start in the major leagues – no way.”

            So unless he’s filled out quite a bit or has much more strength than his build and physique would suggest, I’ve kind of written him off as a potential utility outfielder at most and not somebody to whom I’d pay a lot of attention. Hopefully I’m wrong but I don’t think so.

        2. his k rate is 18% his second time through Low A. That is a very high k rate for a non-power hitter. comparing the strikeout total to others on Lakewood makes no sense. many factors go into a raw total. the way to analyze it is relative to his at bats.

          http://www.fangraphs.com/statss.aspx?playerid=sa660101&position=OF

          a guy who isn’t strong can still get plenty of hits. his babip was pretty normal last year. his low OB% is because he doesn’t take walks and strikes out a lot. those things have nothing to do with how strong he is.

          1. Actually they do. A guy without enough power to frighten pitchers a little has a tough time collecting walks, especially as he faces better pitching at the higher levels. That’s why Revere doesn’t collect a lot of walks. Tocci isn’t actually a high strike-out guy at all. I wouldn’t lay that problem on him.

  25. Tocci is still young, but Altherr is the best Defensive CF in the system presently, but is not yet much of a prospect, because hitting is actually a requirement. Until Tocci shows that he can hit, and he still has some time, he projects as a not much better than Altherr prospect. I hope he pans out, but #5 right now? Way over slotted.

    1. Sadly, that is spot on. Altherr is 23 in AA, so just about age appropriate, a year older than you’d like to see: the great D, some success as a base-stealer, 14 HR, a little under 25% Ks, a little over 5% walks, and .686 OPS — deservedly does not make top 10 in even the weakened Phillies system. Tocci, 18 in repeat Lakewood year so now 1 year under-age rather than 2 under, the very good D, no success as a basestealer, 2 HR, a little under 20% Ks, a little over 5% BB, and a .621 OPS (now .621 at Lakewood means more than it would in Reading and it shows with a repeat and increase in age of one year that he upped his OPS by .111 and about doubled his ISO) — gets rated #5. It’s a stretch, but our #5-20 are awfully similar in value. I think I put Tocci around #10. He did improve in 2014 which is a plus, but if he is our #5 prospect, it is hard times in Philly.

  26. I was a non Altherr believer before last season and I am far from a believer today but what I will say with Aaron is he could have a nice career as a 4th OF or a platoon player. If John Mayberry was able to tack onto a 25 man for as long as he has then Aaron certainly has that as a floor.

    1. That’s true, but it is also the problem. We need OF. As of now, Dugan, Perkins and Altherr look like they can be cheap major league 4th/5th OF for us. I think Tocci is also highly likely to achieve that, as is Aaron Brown. They all have sufficient skill to set that as sort of a ‘reasonably projectable’ floor. We need for one or two of them to step it up and become more than that. We need one or two of them to become legit MLB starters.

    2. I guess throw in the lesser probability power guys like Sandberg, Cozens, Pujols, and Zach Green and we really need 3 of them to become starters.

      1. I don’t think that out of Sandberg, Pulols, Zach Green, Cozens, Altherr, Dugan and Perkins we are going to get three good major league regulars – I’d expect one from that group and two if we are really lucky. Perkins really isn’t good thus far and I think he’s almost done developing. Altherr is a great athlete and good fielder, but hasn’t shown the all-around offensive game yet – he’s probably a 5th outfielder. Dugan actually has quite a bit of potential and is also a good athlete – he could become a regular, but has to maintain the power and plate discipline he’s shown and first demonstrate that he can hit AAA pitching. Sandberg, Cozens, Pujols and Zach Green are all just too far away to project, and none has truly excelled to this point although Cozens and Green have shown flashes.

        1. Interestingly, Josh Norris of BA is really high on Sandberg.
          Read his ‘cha’t on him.
          Now he also has Tocci at #5, so make what you want of his evaluation thought-process.

          1. Sandberg has all the tools but if remember correctly one of the other sites broke down his swing last year and there were all kinds of things in need of fixing. The good news is that he has plenty of time to fix them. I’ll try to find the article

            1. Interesting.
              Longenhagen is thorough in his analysis.
              From MLB sometime in 2014 season.
              :……Sandberg showed glimpses of loosening up at the plate and started to stay through the ball more consistently while spending a month at the Phillies’ Dominican Academy. If he can continue to do that, he’ll be able to start tapping into his raw power from the left side more consistently”

        2. Oops! I miscounted/forgot to list Quinn. Out of those 7 plus Quinn and a possibly rehabilitated Domonic Brown, we have to get our 3 starting OF. Yes, it is a reach, but that’s where we are, if we are to turn the ship around any time soon. Yes, there will be FA, but since we are short on quality arms in the system, I’m assuming the big FA $ are going to need to go to a couple of SP, one of whom is going to be the 2017 version of this season’s Lester — big $$$.

    1. If that is the case….wouldn’t the Dodgers just substitute one Zach for the other…..Lee for Eflin. I really think they want JRoll.

    2. Something in physical is holding up this deal, Kemp physical, I believe is the problem. Rollins back would be crazy.

      1. rocco…Dodgers will keep Rollins and get Kemp back….so they could sub Anderson or Lee or both ilo of the Pad’s Eflin.
        Do you really think they will want to return Rollins?

          1. Not sure…they are a bit older then Eflin and their ceiling may be a bit lower.
            If it comes down to a scenario like Kemp failing his physical and the trade has to be re-structured with JRoll, then Ruben’s keen, sharpened and intuitive negotiation skills will again be at the forefront. 😉

            1. Actually, from what I’ve read, I agree. It sounded like Eflin’s ceiling was/is notably higher than Lee’s. At this time, trades for a struggling team like the Phillies are all about upside. I don’t think Rollins will come back if S.D. voids the Kemp trade (I think the ship has sailed and the parties want the Rollins deal to go through), but who gets substituted and how the trade changes might be pretty interesting.

            2. Lee and Eflin MLB comparisons:
              Zach Lee: Age-23…6’3”, 195 lbs
              MLB grades: FB: 55 (low 90s, hard sink) | CuB: 40 | Slider: 50 | ChUp: 55 | Control: 55 | Overall: 50

              Zach Eflin: Age-20…6’4′, 200 lbs
              MLB grades: FB: 55 (low 90s) | Slider: 50 | ChUp: 60 | Control: 55 | Overall: 50

              Age is a prime difference.

  27. Only because RAJ is involved is there a problem. I think the Dodgers really want Rollins and they will substitute another Pitcher, I believe. I thought we would have a decent prospect for Byrd, and really am confused as to why guys are moving who are not nearly as good. Now all of the Byrd teams, O’s Reds, mariners are looking at Aoki rather than Byrd, when they are all in need of some Power.

      1. Just saw that kenricks might go to Colorado. What kind of deal you think he would get? my quess is one year 5 million

        1. I guess this discussion belongs in the general discussion thread but it doesn’t matter, they can have Kendrick regardless of the price. I don’t ever want to see him in red pinstripes again.

        2. Come on Roccom. The guys who run this site (for free) have asked us many times to keep the big club talk in the General Discussion threads. The least we can do is follow those wishes

  28. Just saw that KLaw predicts Nola starts the Season in the Phils rotation. I had not heard that before, generally, have heard much later in the year. Any thoughts?

    1. It won’t happen for no other reason than they don’t want his Arb/FA clock to begin ticking this year (it’s not a small thing, either). I’m thinking sometime between late May and August, depending on a myriad of factors, some of which will have nothing to do with how well he’s pitching.

    1. really like that list, interested to hear what others think of it. Still holding out hope that Adam Morgan can get back on track, was a huge fan before the injury.

      1. It’s been too bad about Morgan thus far, he really did have potential as a #3. We’ll just have to let it play out and see if he recovers some velocity.

    2. It’s a good list, with some strange placements. MAG seems terribly low, if we are still allowing him on a prospect list. BA too high on Tocci, but fangraphs seems low.

      1. ‘slow feet’, after the first two lateral steps at third, does it matter.
        he has the quickness for third and the coaches all voted him the best in the league last year
        ba’s fringy label for him at third is incorrect.

        1. Some of this is nit picking, as will be clear by the end of my comment, but:

          -I’d say yes, more than the first two steps matter, BUT that’s not the main point. The main point is that MOST reports (there are some conflicting reports) say that he DOESN’T have a quick first two steps.

          -“coaches voted him” doesn’t mean much IMO. For multiple reasons (e.g., what was the competition) but mainly because those awards don’t seem to correlate well with major league fielding excellence.

          -fringy label – you MAY be right about this, at least in the short term, as his pluses (sure handed, good arm, good instincts) outweigh the negative (slow/poor range). He looked good in limited major league play. BUT let’s not pretend that the concerns about range are entirely misplaced. They aren’t.

          All that said, I am in the whole very much in favor of keeping him at third. Moving him to first base would be a mistake.

        2. I must have seen a different kid last year. I Watched a lot of him on tv, and he is a good fielder. and really quick to his left. I must have seen a different player.

  29. Imhof high again. I hope they and BA are right. And, that Roberto Hernandez trade looks pretty good. RAJ deserves a little credit there. Still want to see more from Dugan, and if the Rollins deal ever happens, the Pitching prospects are not too bad. Especially if Biddle were to make a come back to prospectdom. And, I agree, I really liked Adam Morgan before he got hurt.

  30. From the standpoint of this thread, who from the Dodgers, as a replacement for Eglin, makes the Phils Top 10? Zach Lee, Anderson, Guerrero, the Cuban SS/2B? I believe the better of the 2 prospects we were getting was Eglin, not Windle, so Phils would need a comparable piece.

    1. My friend who a Dodgers fan said Jose De Leon is better then Anderson. I , De Leon up he’s has outstanding stats. His fastball vg FYI philadelphia phantoms scored 3 goals in 36 seconds last night.

  31. If the rumored trade ever goes through, where do you guys think Windle and Eflin would rank in the top ten?

    1. Between 5/6 and 12/13. Eflin is probably between 5-9; Windle between like 6-13. MLB website has them at 5 and 6, ahead of Biddle.

  32. eflin 5 before biddle due to upside- windle 7 after biddle. Last chance for biddle before he falls out of my top 15

        1. Yes, I don’t know much about Windle since I mainly just follow Phillies prospects, but I definitely agree on Altherr. Mayo has a tendency to follow the more successful programs. He did this rating at the beginning of August I think, so he is a few months behind. After watching Altherr in Reading this past summer he is at the bottom of my top 20 list. He looks great in uniform, but at 6’5″ inches he should be crushing the ball. When he made solid contact (when?) he usually hit low liners and grounders. Did not wow me in the field, although the Reading team looked very lifeless at times. Like I said in previous posts, they need better management, scouting, player development people in their system. To me that is job 1.

  33. I haven’t seen Eflin pitch not sure many of us have but in the paper stats I see another Cloyd, Pettibone and Buchannon. the BA against is high and the WHIP while not atrocious is higher than one would expect from a guy with a low K/Rate and supposed pin point command.

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