Top Prospect Discussion: October 1st

This post is reserved for the discussion of the top prospects in the Phillies’ organization. You can tout the merits of your favorite prospects, instruct us on why your ranking is superior, talk about a prospect who intrigues/worries you, ask about prospects you haven’t seen and don’t know much about, or anything at all as long as it is about the top prospects.

All I ask is that you keep it civil.  The observant among you have noticed that I restored the “Like” and “Thumbs Up/Down” features.  Use them as a tool, not a weapon. Remember there are no stupid comments, just stupid sports.  (Like poker.  I play poker, so it can’t be much of a sport.  Right?)

I was going to start the discussion with a player in the middle of the pack.  But, with all the graduations (Nola, Franco, Altherr, and Eickhoff with 6 more innings), I figured I would start off with the Top 4 as selected by MLB.  Remember, this is just to get the ball rolling, you can take the discussion in any direction about top prospects you want.

Prospect #1

  • J.P Crawford, SS, Bats: Left, Throws: Right, 6’2, 180 lb., DOB: 01/11/1995 (20)
  • Drafted: 2013, 1st (16) by Philadelphia out of high school
  • MLB #5 Prospect; #2 SS
  • Grades: Hit – 55, Power – 45, Run – 50, Arm – 60, Field – 65, Overall – 65
  • Moved quickly through the organization
  • 2013; GCL Phillies (age 18, -3.6 AgeDif) raked – .345/.443/.465
  •              promoted to Lakewood after 39 games
  • 2014; Lakewood (age 19, -2.5) excelled – .295/.398/.405
  •              promoted to Clearwater after 60 games
  • 2015; Clearwater (age 20, -2.6) raked – .392/.489/.443
  •              promoted to Reading after 21 games (-4.4) posted .265/.354/.407
  • 1266 PA he has 160 BB and 163 K
  • .290/.382/.408 across 3 levels, at least -2.5 age diff above Rookie level
  • Looks like he’ll start in Reading and move up to Lehigh Valley when ready (6-8 weeks?  100-200 AB?).  He could be in Philadelphia by mid-2017 if not sooner if he keeps progressing at his current rate.

Prospect #2

  • Jake Thompson, RHP, Bats: Right, Throws: Right, 6’4, 235 lb., DOB: 01/31/1994 (21)
  • Drafted: 2012, 2nd (91) by Detroit out of high school
  • MLB #52 Prospect
  • Grades: FB – 60, SL – 65, CB – 50, CH – 50, Control – 50, Overall – 55
  • 2012; GCL Tigers (age 18, -2.4 AgeDif)
  • 2013; Western Michigan (age 19, -2.8) – Full Season A, Detroit
  • 2014; Lakeland (age 20, -3.2) – High A, Detroit
  •             promoted Erie (-4.6) – AA, Detroit, after 16 starts
  •             traded to Texas as part of deal for Joakim Soria (7/23/2014)
  •             assigned to  Frisco (-4.4) – AA Texas
  • 2015; Frisco (-3.4) – AA Texas
  •             traded to Philadelphia as part of deal for Hamels (7/31/2015)
  •             assigned to Reading (age 21, -3.6)
  • Moved pretty quickly through 2 organizations
  • Reasonable peripherals
  • Generally 3-4.5 years younger than rest of league
  • Really came into his own in Reading; posted career low 2.4 BB/9 and 1.80 ERA
  • Should start in Lehigh Valley in 2016.  Could move up to Philadelphia by September. But, should be no rush, may be delayed until start of 2017 season.

Prospect #3

  • Nick Williams, OF, Bats: Left, Throws: Left, 6’3, 195 lb., DOB: 09/08/1993 (22)
  • Drafted: 2012, 2nd (93) by Texas out of high school
  • MLB #56 Prospect
  • Grades: Hit – 60, Power – 55, Run – 55, Arm – 50, Field – 55, Overall – 55
  • 2012; AZL Rangers (age 18, -1.4 AgeDif) excelled – .313/.375/.448
  • 2013; Hickory (age 19, -2.6) Full season A, excelled – .293/.337/.543
  • 2014; Myrtle Beach (age 20, -2.9) excelled – .292/.343/.491
  •              promoted to Frisco (-4.1) posted .226/.250/.290 in 15 games
  •              participated in AZFL, posted .277/.296/.420
  • 2015; Frisco (age 21, -3.2) excelled – .299/.357/.479
  •              traded to Philadelphia as part of the Hamels deal (7/31/2015)
  •              assigned to Reading and posted .320/.340/.536 in 22 games (100 PA)
  • Career .296/.346/.489 in minors
  • Double-digit HRs the past 3 seasons
  • Generally 2.5-4.0 years younger than rest of league
  • Free swinger, career 5.4% BB, 24.4% K needs to improve
  • Looks like he’ll start in Lehigh Valley.  There’s not  much in his way at Lehigh or in Philadelphia.  He could certainly be up by the start of 2017.

Prospect #4

  • Jorge Alfaro, C/1B, Bats: Right, Throws: Right, 6’2, 225 lb., DOB: 06/11/1993 (22)
  • Signed as a free agent for a Columbian record of $1.3M in January 2010 at 16
  • MLB #60 Prospect, #1 Catcher
  • Grades: Hit – 45, Power – 60, Run – 45, Arm – 70, Field – 50, Overall – 55
  • 2010; DSL Rangers (age 17, -1.5 AgeDif)
  • 2011; Spokane (age 18, -3.3) Short season A – .300/.345./481
  • 2012; Hickory (age 19, -2.7) Full season A – .261/.320/.430
  •              Winter Ball in Puerto Rico (-7.3) .292/.303/.446 in 18 games (66 PA)
  • 2013; Hickory (age 20, -1.6) Full season A – .258/.338/.452, 16 HR
  •               participated in AZFL – .386/.438/.500 in 19 games (80 PA)
  • 2014; Myrtle Beach (age 21, -1.9) Advanced A – .262/.318/.440, 13 HR
  •              promoted to Frisco (-3.1) posted .261/.343/.443 in 21 games (99 PA)
  • 2015; Frisco (age 22, -3.2) – .253/.314/.443 in 49 games before ankle injury
  •              traded to Philadelphia as part of the Hamels deal (7/31/2015)
  • Career .261/.326/.432 in minors, 52 HR
  • Double-digit HRs in 2013 and 2014
  • Generally 2.0 years younger than rest of league
  • Free swinger, career 5.1% BB, 26.7% K needs to improve
  • Alfaro is in Clearwater during Instructs, preparing for winter ball.  His play there may help the Phillies decide where he starts next season.  Judging by his defensive metrics from 2015, Alfaro still needs some work, and should probably start the season at Reading.  (But, I don’t know if they are ready to promote Knapp to LHV. Between the two, Knapp is probably closer.)

I would have to defer to MLB’s ranking.  Since Crawford was promoted on May 30th, I have only seen Alfaro play in two GCL games.  I have see #5, Cornelius Randolph a lot, and I like what I see.  If the three Texas guys are better, somebody did good in the Hamels’ trade.


98 thoughts on “Top Prospect Discussion: October 1st

  1. I guess Viagra will appreciate this.

    So if these are the top 5 (including Randolph) then 2 are Philly draft picks and 3 are from other organizations. But Hamels got the Phils the 3 from outside the organization so all came from Philly drafts (directly and indirectly). Nice!

    The two Phil’s draft picks are from the last 3 years and if you throw Nola in there, the last 3 top picks have been very, very good. What’s the common denominator? They are higher 1st round picks than the Phils have had in nearly a decade. So some of the lack of top talent in the organization comes from draft position. I’d even say most of the lack comes from draft position. There are other factors though and others may need to point those out. Fogettaboutit!

  2. Mixed emotions and expectations on Jorge Alfaro.
    Metrics so far, point to a .250/.260BA guy with a wOBA .330/.340….but who could be a 25/30HR producer…something like Lucas Duda’s current metrics.
    Which I guess is above standards for most catchers.
    And if his defense improves that is more of a plus above average.
    Interesting to see how it works out with him and Knapp in two years.

    1. I don’t know where you got your “metrics”. If Jorge Alfaro is a 250- 260 major league hitter, there is no way on earth he’s just a .340 slugger. If Alfaro becomes a 260 hitter he’ll slug .410 and be an All-star catcher.

      1. Exactly where did I say he was a .340 slugger now in my post?
        I believe, now I may be incorrect, but I comped him to Lucas Duda’s current numbers and he is plus .475 SLG.
        And as for projecting him at .260 and also being an All-Star with a .400 SLG is optimistic.

        Now it appears to me, you are thinking he will not even reach those level.
        Granted his Krate is poor and defensively. other then his 80arm, are poor, but he has time to correct and improve his defensive game.

        1. My mistake. You clearly didn’t say slugging and said wOba. Still, with a 340 wOBA, you’re describing an All-star catcher. Lucas Duda’s hitting from a catcher is an All-star.

          1. Yes agree…….I would like that to happen for him, and would like it if the Phillies do not rush him u, but let him get two full seasons ( at least 1/2 season @ at Reading and 1 1/2 @ LHV) behind the plate to improve his defense.
            His defense is the thing that can really deter him, even with an 80arm.
            I cannot fathom 80 PBs in 300 games catching, unless the pitchers were all that wild.

            1. I’m also not sold on Alfaro, but its not due to his numbers. The scouting descriptions that I’ve heard of him seem like he’s pretty much boom or total bust. I haven’t heard one scout say they’re confident he’ll hit, or that he will be a good receiver. It’s great to have 80 power, but if you can’t make contact, that’s meaningless. If he has poor pop times, then that neutralizes his arm. On one podcast, the BA guys just matter of factly described him as raw on both sides of the plate and said that he really doesn’t do anything great.
              I’m hoping he’s as good as his ranking, but I’m holding my excitement on him.

            2. Agree.
              I just hope the Phillies decide one way or the other whether he stays as a catcher or has to transition to a corner OFer, and not wait 4 years down the road to make that decision.

            3. Knapp and Alfaro put up nearly identical OPS in the SAL, but Alfaro was 2 years younger at the time. He has been a consistent .750-.780 OPS guy throughout his minor league career. It is not as though he needs to prove he can hit or that he needs to translate BP power to game power. In 2013 and 2014 he hit at a 20+ HR/600 AB pace.

            4. @Allentown. Yeah, I know he put up good numbers in the past. My concerns come from every Scouting report implying that he has a bad approach and will have a hard time making contact as he moves up. If it was just about his stats, and I’d never seen or heard a Scouting report, I’d be very excited about Alfaro.

  3. As we get into prospect discussions, I wanted to talk about a player that I spend s lot of time thinking about, Cody Asche.

    I think about him because I was dead wrong on him. I didn’t have a great read on his defense, but thought his bat would play in the majors.

    Look at his numbers:

    Very respectable k% and bb%. ISO showed respectable (but not elite) power. Only statistical flag was a very high BABIP producing only an above average (not elite) ob%. As I review this prospect and the fact that he is not an MLB level player, I have concluded a few things:
    1. Scouting reports said he would never hit for power and they were right. That was a massive flag for a 3b that I glossed over due to his high batting average. A stat that I was in love with in 2012/13.
    2. ISO can be inflated in the minors due to poor defense. Power is power, and scouts can see it. So don’t over rely on minor league ISO as a proxy for what will play in the majors.
    3. I have come to believe, that a minor leaguer must show elite power or speed, or unbelievable contact ability and batting eye (see k% and bb% of Randolph or Crawford as examples) to make it in the majors. BA is not a proxy for hit tool.
    4. Don’t underestimate how important Defense is when determining the quality of a player’s career potential.

    I keep these rules in mind when I evaluate all new prospects. I will share my thoughts on the above 4 in a later post.

    1. I bet we will see some pitchers quit in the middle of games when they have to face J.P and Cornelius back to back.

    2. I thought Asche would hit more doubles to make up for being light on HR power. What disappoints me is how much of a pull hitter he is, coupled with low power and a high K-rate. That’s just not a good profile.

    3. Another good case study in your point 4 is Dom Brown. I mean yeah, he turned out to be a bad hitter too, but when he came up playing the field like he’d never done it before, it was a real shock and it seemed incredible that he’d shot to the top of prospect lists without this really ever entering into the discussion.

    4. While Cody will never be an elite player, if he can get his defense in left to fringe or below average his numbers extrapolated over a 162 game season show a serviceable mlb starter(if he can add 20 walks to his totals).

      1. disagree. you can have a corner OF with a below .700 OPS and no speed. and that is assuming improving defense to “below average”.

        That profile is a negative WAR player.

        1. Shame Asche could not transition to 2nd base……that may be close to his only ‘valued’ position compatible with his potential hit metric.

  4. My 2c on these prospects:
    – JP. The performance of Lindor (a prospect with similar grades) gets me very excited. JP’s walk/k rates suggest an elite 2 hole hitter for a long time.
    – Jake has everything I look for in a top pitching prospect. Good fastball with good command and an elite out pitch. Given his starting point for command/control, I believe he is the type of pitcher that can get significantly better with age.
    – Williams. I seems that I am higher on him than many others, but when I read. Respected scout put a 70 on a prospect’s hit tool, along with reports of elite bat speed, defense and statistical performance, I get very excited. I understand the caution. But his big drop in k rate and rise in walk rate at a young age, suggest he can apply coaching. Elite athletes are so dominate at a young age that it is hard to teach them patience until they fail at a level. That is a very different flag than not being able to do something. He has proven that he can take pitches. He will likely struggle a bit when he first comes up. But I think he can have a great career.
    – Alfaro. When I analyze Alfaro, I remind myself how low the bar is on offense for catchers. Especially those with elite power and arm, which are two things you can’t teach. Defense and framing and calling a game all can be taught to a good athlete. And by all accounts, he is an elite athlete. So I am not worried about his current defense. And I am not worried about his low rate of throwing guys out. He seems to have great pop times to go with his 70/80 arm. He does stoke me as a player that will have a low BA (.240) and high k rate (25%+) But will also pop 20-25 homers a year at his peak. If he can learn catching defense and shut down the running game with his arm, then that is an All Star catcher. The bar is that low.

    1. Would you agree that the Williams,Altherr,and Herrera and also the emergence of Cozens have pushed Quinn out of the picture.Also Quinn’s injury history and lack of power tool may place him in Dom Brown territory as no longer needed.

      1. No. I am not down on Quinn at all. he has elite speed tool that should be a carrying tool IMO. I like him much better than Cozens.

        Also, the quality of a prospect is not dependent upon others in the system. If a prospect can play, then he is valuable to the Phillies, regardless of where he ends up playing a career.

        1. Agreed, and Quinn also is a superb fielder with a tremendous outfield arm. He has growing plate discipline, an improving hit tool and some surprising pop. And despite the nagging injuries, he has managed to move up a level each year and improve while doing so. If he reaches his ceiling he is an all-star centerfielder – if he becomes the player he has the potential to come, you will not be able to take your eyes off him at times. He has breathtaking talent and potential. But he’s got to stay more healthy and he needs to progress. I’m not writing off Herrera – heck, he’s already a good major league regular, but Quinn’s ceiling is still higher.

          1. If we somehow ended up with too many OFs, Herrera was a 2B in the minors until the Phillies sent him to the OF. Maybe he could make the move back to 2B. His bat is already nearly All Star level if he played 2B.

            1. It shouldn’t be that difficult for him, he did play over 400 games there in the minor leagues. But I think right now they are thinking 2016 with him in CF, but who knows after next season.

            2. He wasn’t a good defensive 2B. It seems that he’s much better defensively in CF, so I think Hererra has only a slightly better chance of moving back there than Asche.

              If he ends up a 4th OF, I could see him trying to work at 2B also to improve versatility.

            3. Though he was voted best 2nd baseman in the 8-team Texas league last year.
              So he may not be totally inept. But nevertheless, the Phillies will not play him there in 2016 since they already said he was going to CF again this winter in the Ven. .

            4. Cesar won a couple of those awards on his way up the ladder iirc, and his defense hasn’t been very good at 2B imo. Scouting reports I’ve read pegged him as fringy, maybe average with some more work.

              Anyway, true, the Phillies have already said they see him as a CF for next year. I don’t think that’s going to change, especially if one of the middle infielders in the minors develops, in addition to Crawford .

          2. Certainly the top defensive 2B in one of the three AA leagues doesn’t equate to being a plus MLB defensive 2B, but I think the guys who could play a plus AA-quality 2B are heads and shoulders above a guy like Asche who was less than adequate as an NYP league 2B. The current Phillies have a lot of guys who do not project well to a long-term position on the Phillies 25-man roster. If he stays healthy, Crawford is going to be a Rollins-duration fixture at SS for the Phillies. That means a lot of guys have to compete for the starting 2B job, with the losers competing for the utility IF jobs. Hernandez is at a disadvantage, because he isn’t flexible enough to be a utility IF. Asche gets another chance in 2016 to prove his bat and glove can improve enough to at least be one of the utility guys: barely adequate with glove and bat at 3B, LF, and can fill in at 1B and perhaps RF. Galvis is in a good spot. He plays all of the IF positions well enough to be plus defensively by utility IF standards and is quite good at SS and 2B. I think he wins one of the intermediate-term utility slots. Then we have Sweeney. Guys like Sweeney and Asche just aren’t going to get much OF time after 2016. This year is really a back to Kevin Sefcik in the OF sort of thing — not at all good. I think Sweeney competes with Asche for the same utility spot. Herrera has to battle Quinn. He could move back to 2B, but then Kingery is chugging through the minors and Canelo will be right behind him. Likely one of them becomes our next other-than-interim 2B.

      2. Dom Brown was a better minor league hitter than every one of these guys. Dom Brown hasn’t been good, but none of these guys were nearly as good as him in the minors.

          1. I Think you have to realize in the minors you don’t face the pitching like in the majors. So its hard to project what a guy will do. In doms case he is a good offspeed hitter imo. so he would do good in triple a with all those junk ball pitchers. the major league adjusted to dom and he had no answer pure and simple.

      3. No, I don’t agree with that at all. I will agree that Quinn’s injury history is a big red flag, which makes him more of a risk than the other guys you list. The danger is that he goes the Gillies route, not that he has insufficient talent. Herrera may get better as a CF and is fine as he is, but Quinn will be better. He has game-changing speed and I think will develop into a good enough hitter to capitalize on that speed. If he stays healthy, he is our future CF. I give him no more than 50-50 to stay healthy and get enough AB to make it to the bigs and be a 500+ AB guy for his 6 seasons of team control. If he can stay healthy, I give Quinn a 75% chance of being one of our starting 8 out of 2018 ST, likely with some MLB AB in 2017. I need to see sustained good stats from Cozens. At this point in time, I give him only about a 65% chance of being a multi-year starter in Philly. That could happen at 1B, rather than in the OF if all 4 of these fine prospects reach their potential.

        1. What I should have said and it’s only my opinion is that the Phillies can’t afford to carry two non power hitting center fielders at the same time.Especially in CBP they’ll be out powered like they were when Ben Revere was here.
          Don’t get me wrong,if Quinn makes it to the major leagues in one piece he could be potential dynamite at the top of the order,but Herrera should be traded because too many similar players will equal many stolen bases and few runs as potential rivals will out homer us.
          The Phillies in the future can carry one or two players like that,but not a majority of them.
          I believe Williams,Altherr,Alfaro,Hoskins,Franco and possibly Cozens can provide the power in the future Phillies lineups.While Quinn or Herrera,not both.and Crawford will be up top of the lineup with Kingery or possibly Galvis at second base at the bottom.
          Not everything is going to work out as planned,but that’s what I for one see it right now.That’s not even considering Knapp,Tocci or Pullen who could be a part of the future Phillies.

          1. It depends on what the rest of the lineup looks like. Having two players with little power isn’t going to kill a team, especially if the offensive environment around baseball stays low. Besides, both Hererra and Quinn have more power than Revere- he’s really an extreme example of having no power.

    2. It’s “dominant” (the adjective) and not “dominate” (verb). I realize that this may be one of the auto-correct errors you mentioned or perhaps simply bad proofreading (a big bugbear for me) but I see so many people use dominate instead of dominant that my parents’ ghosts (both were teachers) stir and I occasionally make a comment on it.

  5. I am very high on our top 3, and hoping on Alfaro. Corny had a very good beginning and expect big things from him as well. I expect a big season from him.I don’t remember having this depth before. I have a question as the Phils aggravate me by winning. Has anyone seen a study that compares the success rate of the 1.1 Draft pick vs. the 1.2? I have seen that in other sports, but not MLB. Thanks!

    1. I don’t think that 1.1 vs 1.2 really matters this season since there isn’t, at least right now, a clear front runner for the top pick. If there was a Bryce Harper out there that was obviously better than the next prospect it would be different.

      By most accounts, there are 2-3 players who are considered to be relatively equal going into the 2016 draft. Maybe performance or injuries change that before June but for now, I don’t see that it really makes a big difference.

      1. It absolutely makes a big difference.

        for one, the #1 overall pick gets much more money in their bonus pool for the draft. Something like $3 million more, which allows for drafting underslot guys after the 1st round.

        second, if you receive the first pick, you also receive the most international budget money and the first pick in the Rule 5 draft.

        third, just because theres no “Bryce Harper” right now, does not mean there will not be a clear cut #1 pick by the time the draft rolls around. A lot can happen between now and the draft, and if someone clearly separates themselves from the pack it would stink (editor’s word replacement) to not have the first pick….

      2. Sort of true, but this is early for a clear #1 to emerge and someone may still do so. Even in a field of 3-4 great talents of comparable quality, the significantly higher slot value of the #1 and the ability to work out a deal, playing those top 3-4 guys off against each other provides the opportunity to sign your choice of those 3-4 guys with the 1.1 and another big talent from among the top 15 prospects with your 2.1. Other teams have played this game very well. The 1.1 also comes with a larger international allocation. I also like the power that the first slot gives a team to go into each day of the draft with the first pick, deciding the prior night exactly whom they most prefer and being able to negotiate with several guys, rather than having to react after the team with the first slot makes their pick. As in football draft, even with non-primo round picks, first pick of the day is a big advantage.

  6. I should add that the biggest loss in my opinion is the extra Slot $$$ between 1 and 2. In 2015 that was a little more than $1 million which might allow the team to negotiate with the top players and maybe be more aggressive with a later round pick.

  7. 1. JP Crawford: I’m very confident that he’ll be an above average MLB SS, barring injury. He’s making a mockery of the minors.
    2. Jake Thompson: Barring injury, I’m confident Thompson will be a good #3 pitcher, with upside to be a #2. That slider is devastating. If he becomes a #2, the rebuild becomes much easier.
    3. Nick Williams: He’s the key to the Hamels trade IMO. Hopefully he keeps improving his approach. If he becomes an average-to-above average regular in LF, he will make it possible to for the Phillies buy whatever is necessary to make themselves a contender. They’d have the entire left side of the field set cheaply for 5 years.
    4. Cornelius Randolph: Very happy with him so far, but he is too far away to count him in the plans. He could turn into the hitting machine they project, or he could never unlock his power and become a below avg player due to lack of power and speed.
    5. Jorge Alfaro: See above. Very unsure on him.
    6. Eickhoff: A good #5. If he makes the improvements to his change-up that Kedndrick did, he is good enough to be a #3. If not he’ll get killed by Left handed lineups just like Kendrick did early in his career.
    7. Zach Eflin: Its hard to make out what Eflin is going to be in the majors. Just watching him, he looks like a good pitcher with good stuff. But that K ratio is really disturbing. Hopefully he’s a little more than a #5, and is a solid #4.

    1. Eickhoff strikes me as better than a #5 now. I think he’ll settle into being a solid #4 with a slight chance to develop into a #3. He is built to eat a lot of innings.

      1. I agree somewhat. He’s solidly in my top 10, prospects though he should lose rookie Eligibility by the end of the season. I hesitate to say he is good as he has performed though, because there have been a lot of pitchers who could go through the league one time, and look great. But its rare in today’s MLB that a starting pitcher with no change-up can be more than a #5 or middle reliever. I think he could be a low end #3, if he develops an average change-up because be has a plus pitch (curve) and control.

        1. Today may have been the first time Ruiz was calling the game for Eickoff and it was really noticeable. He forced him to throw some changeups and it looks like a pitch he can use once he becomes more confident with it. I agree with Allentown,,,he’s built like a horse and already appears to making some adjustments. Could top out as a 3, but should at least be a solid 4.

    2. I like to think of Ron Gant as a comparable to Cornelius Randolph. Gant was an infielder switched to the outfield, was drafted in the 4th round out of high school. He was an All Star by the time he was 25. Had a 16 year big league career.

  8. Hi. I’m relatively new to prospect talk. Can someone explain the grading of different tools to me. I’m getting a sense of what’s good (80) and what’s okay (45ish?), but what is the scale here. Is it out of 80? 100? Also how do these numbers fit together to create a total grade on the player? For instance, Crawford’s line: Hit – 55, Power – 45, Run – 50, Arm – 60, Field – 65, Overall – 65. The ‘Overall’ doesn’t seem to be an average of his other tools. Is this just an overall sense that scouts have about the player? Finally, how is something like the hit tool judged? Is this based on statistics? His batting average and walk rates seem pretty solid. Does that factor in here? Or is the grading more about guessing his potential based on an observed skill set? That’s a lot of questions. Sorry.

    1. Super simple explanation. 80 means it will be a top 3 tool in the majors. Harper/Stanton power. Billy Hamilton speed. Etc. 20 means worst in the majors. Benji Molina speed. Basically. 40 is average.

      1. I think you meant to type 50 for average. As a side note, the spread from 2 to 8, or 20 to 80, or 200 to 800 shows up with some frequency in measurement systems. I remember encountering it first in the grading systems for College Board exams (SAT and what was then called achievement tests. I think they are SAT I and SAT II now).

    2. The scale is from 20-80, so a 20 tool would be something like Ben Revere’s power, and an 80 tool would be something like Billy Hamilton’s speed. I think you’re dead on about the “overall” grade- it’s not an average of the tools but a projection of how good a player will be. A 65 overall grade is an all-star caliber, borderline elite player.

      What exactly makes up a hit tool gets talked about a lot. I don’t know if there’s a hard and fast answer to that, but it’s probably accurate to say that it’s some amalgamation of bat speed, plate vision, hand-eye coordination, barrel control and swing plane: things that lead to consistent, hard contact.

    3. From Players are graded on a 20-80 scale for future tools:
      20-30 is well below average
      40 is below average
      50 is average
      60 is above average
      70-80 is well above average

  9. During Reading’s postseason run, any doubts I had on Crawford were quickly dismissed. This guy is close to ready and I expect to see him at CBP next September (hopefully Thompson and Williams will be with him as well). Crawford’s BB rate and OBP are very promising. If Rollins is considered one of the greatest Phillies of all time with his .265 BA and .325 OBP, then Crawford is going to be a stud. He might not have the power or glove that JRoll consistently had over his 15 years with the Phils but he’ll be a more natural top of the order fit than JRoll ever was.

    Williams seems to be the real key to the rebuild. He probably has the highest upside of all our prospects, as someone mentioned above with his possible 70+ hit tool. However, those K and BB rates are frightening. As I live in the Lehigh Valley, I can’t wait to watch him on a regular basis with the Pigs next year (along with all of these guys really). If he’s legit, then all of a sudden the rebuild starts to really take shape. And maybe the Phils will even consider themselves ahead of schedule. That’s another reason why the #1 pick is so crucial for the Phils. A pitcher like A.J. Puk will be ready in a year or 2, to go along with these other pieces that are a year of 2 away. If they fall to the 2nd pick, Jason Groome sounds like a nice consolation prize, but he’s probably 5 years away, with a much higher risk. I’m putting my money on Williams, Crawford and Thompson being legit pieces that are on the opening day roster in 2017, with Puk or maybe even Hansen (if they decide to go the safer route and pass on Groome) joining them by mid-/late-2017.

    Also, another name that we’ll be talking about a lot next year… Roman Quinn

    1. If Crawford comes close to Rollins career, I think everybody would be very happy (46 WAR, 1 MVP, 4 gold gloves, 2008 WS champ)

      1. If JP Crawford comes anywhere near Jimmy Rollins’ career, he and everybody else should thank the Heavens.

      2. I’m going on record now, that, at least on an annualized basis (average WAR per year), J.P. Crawford will be better than Jimmy Rollins. It’s hard to predict career longevity of a 20 year old for a variety of reasons, but my prediction is that, if he stays healthy and stays on the Phillies, he will retire as the team’s all-time hits leader, but his OBP will blow Rollins’ away and his slugging percentage should be similar to Rollins. J.P. Crawford has at least a 70 in terms of his plate discipline. And that’s just one of his many talents. If he grows to hit 15-20 homers a year, he will be a superstar. He’s that good.

    2. I was very impressed by Williams in the playoffs. In my mind (probably being insanely overly optimistic) I see him as a given as a starting member of our MLB OF within a year. So, to me the real keys to the rebuild are Alfaro and Knapp. We need to get a plus starting catcher out of that pair as well as either an extremely capable backup or a very valuable trade piece.

      1. I look for Williams to finally end up in LF at CBP. Not sure CF will be his destination, with Herrera and Quinn in the mix . And in RF seems Altherr will be given the opportunity with his defensive skills.
        Not sure what Williams’ arm is graded out now…last year it may have been graded lower.

    3. Groome is not 5 years away. If he were going to be projected to be that far away, he wouldn’t be in the top 2-3.

      1. Groome’s pedigree could be 300/350 IPed in the minors. Kershaw was up fast, Hamels a little longer due to injuries.
        But should be NLT 2019…three years.

  10. The Phillies can certainly lose the #1 Pick in next year’s draft the way they are playing lately. The Reds are in complete tank mode losing 11 straight games. The Mets are pitching the very bottom of their rotation and the Phillies have the Marlins this weekend.

    1. It’s certainly possible, but the Phillies would need to win at least three games in the last 4 with the Reds losing at least three in that same stretch. Cincinnati is only 2 games back in the reverse standings, but the Phils have the tiebreaker as they had the worse record in 2014.

  11. And, meanwhile, under-the-radar Jared Eickhoff, continues to do so well, it’s almost shocking. I saw him pitch (Milb.Tv) a few games in AAA and was utterly amazed – I said at the time that I thought he was the sleeper of the trade and, man, that really appears to be the case. The strikeouts are the most encouraging. If you’re missing a lot of bats, it means you have a lot of upside as a big leaguer if you can throw strikes. Think about it – Eickhoff has practically pitched as well as Hamels since the trade and he’s cheap and just the tip of the trade ice berg. Amazing

    1. LA said his curve and slider are both plus today and hopes it stays that way.
      Most pitchers do not have both a CB and a Sldr….one plays off the other and most times, he said, one will be plus and the other average.
      Eickhoff did mention his CB is his out pitch and the slider the set-up.
      Can you imagine if he also develops a plus change-up facing lefties.

  12. Eickhoff just past 50 innings pitched. Exceeded his rookie Eligibility. No longer a prospect. Who takes his spot in the top 30?

  13. Jim – you do a great job with this and i really appreciate your work. It is a highlight to come to this site each day. Do you all remember the SI feature “Where are they now?”, cause I feel that way about Carlos Tocci. it is too funny – before the trades this summer he was talked about daily on this site, now i cannot remember the last time i saw his name. So what does everyone think, serious prospect or ultimately org filler?

    1. I think he’s just as good a prospect as he was upon his promotion to Clearwater, he’s just been overshadowed by the players acquired in trades. He’s always been divisive so opinions on him are pretty varied. Personally I like him and have him in my top 15.

    1. and almost as many career strikeouts. aumont edges him 42 to 39 on that one. Aumont also wins on walks 42 to 12

      Realize they aren’t comparable. just funny that a player we saw as a throw in on the new trade has surpassed one of the jewels (not that any of us were sold at the time) of the Cliff Lee trade

  14. Malquin Canelo came in #14 on the SALLy league top 20 prospects. Ahead of 2014 #2 overall pick, Tyler Kolek. Rys Hoskins came in at #20.

    1. Hoskins @20, Ryan O’Hearn @19.
      Hoskins second best 1st baseman in the SAL it appears, though all his metrics are above O”Hearn sans HRs…and O’Hearn bats left handed, as John Manuel said, which is considered advantageous over a right handed batting first baseman,

        1. BB%—one percentage point separates them 10(O’Hearn) vs 9 (Hoskins)…very negligible iMO.
          ISO is negligible also O’Hearn’s .217 vs Hoskins’ .204
          Only the BABIP is different favoring O’Hearn (.321)—-.and that is only a 048 delta.
          O’Hearn K rate was higher, his slash was lower,

          1. Negligible or not, you said Hoskins advanced stats were better in every category. They weren’t.

            1. Other then BABIP….better or ‘neglilible’ to equal in every metric …I should have been more specific.
              Bottom line……as Mr Manuel already stated last week on his chat….since Hoskins bats right handed…he will be at a disadvantage rating and grading wise vs left hand hitting first baseman….and in Hoskin’s case …three were drafted in his draft class as acollegiants who will more then likely be graded above him…AJ Reed, which is obvious, two, Casey Gillaspie and Ryan O’Hearn…the last two do not have ‘overall’ better metrics then Hoskins….but bat left handed.

              As for BABIP…… if you’re simply going to take a quick glance at BABIP and arrive at quick conclusions regarding a players “luck” without considering why their BABIP may have been so high or so low, you might as well ignore BABIP altogether and be better off. What happened before there was anything called BABIP, it was taken for granted that for example fast hitters beat out ground balls more than slow hitters. Hoskins is a 40/50 runner, for I know O’heran who is smaller of statured could be a faster runner.BABIP can be a very useful stat in fantasy baseball.

            2. The guy is ‘better or ‘neglilible’ to equal in every metric’ and the difference in ranking is negligible (19 and 20). What’s the beef?

            3. My beef is with BA’s staff……because Hoskins bats right handed he is slightly degraded more then left handed hitting first baseman.

  15. Top 10 for me
    1 Crawford
    2 Thompson
    3 Williams
    5 Alfaro
    6 Randolph
    7 canelo

  16. Eikoff is trying to become a stud in the rotation. He’s doing well so far. He, Nola, and Thompson plus two will give a decent pathway to respectability. At this point, Thompson may not spend a bunch of time at LV in ’16.

    Alfaro: give him a year of AA and a year at AAA…there’s a lot there to build upon. He loses half his value when he’s moved from the catcher position. A supposed good athlete; no reason he could not improve behind and to the side of the plate during ’16 & ’17.

  17. Look, if Thompson becomes a true 2 and Eickhoff is a solid 3 or even excellent 4, that consideration alone will more than justify the Hamels trade due to the cost savings associated with Hamels’ contract (even with Harrison expense picked up) – that makes everything else gravy.

    1. Honestly, if Thompson becomes a#3, Eickhoff a #4 and Nick Johnson becomes just an average regular, the trade was a success. That’s regardless of Alfaro, Asher and Harrison’s outcome. When was the last time anyone saw a team get 3 young regulars, in one prospect trade.

  18. I have a couple of bets going with my brother on Crawford. He thought Crawford would actually start the year with the Phils. I said that would never happen, if only that he would be held back until mid May for the arb. clock. I said he wouldn’t be up at all this year. We bet $10 on that. Then I a little later I said you’ll probably win that bet, that I should have made it for Crawford not coming up before Sept. 1. So we agreed on another $10 bet for if he does come up before then. I think I might get a split out of it. But on here it looks like others agree Crawford won’t make the big club until 2017.

    1. As fast as Crawford seems to make adjustments at every level, I would think he’d conquer Triple A by July, 2016. The Phillies won’t be playing for anything and they’ll have JP sitting there as a top 3 prospect all year. They’ll bring him up after the All-star game, just to get fans excited for a few home series.

  19. ON JP: he’s got to lower his errors in the field. 27 errors at Reading is way too much. He needs some quality coaching on this. When he conquers this aspect of his game, he’ll fit right in the lineup hitting #2 at first. But as he matures, the power will come forth and become a 20 HR guy. Then he’d likely be down in the lineup.

    I have no hesitation to naming Eikoff as our #3 behind Nola and Thompson.

    On Williams: he needs to use his time at AAA LV to cut down his Ks, especially against lefty pitchers. His hitting vs. lefties is still a big barrier to steady play in MLB. He isn’t really a CFer; if we improves his fielding as well as his Ks problem, he might be suited for RF..if Altherr doesn’t make the starting lineup. I don’t know Williams’ throwing arm; if good, I’d love him to man RF absent Altherr.

  20. Jerad Eickhoff:
    From a poster, ‘100Bucks’ from another site, sites this stat…very informative:

    “2006: Hamels, 9-8, 4.08, 132 IP, 145 SO, S/Str 20.9%
    2007: Kendrick, 10-4, 3.87, 121 IP, 49 SO, S/Str 9.4%
    2011: Worley, 11-3, 3.01, 131 IP, 119 SO, S/Str 9.5%
    2015: Nola, 6-2, 3.59, 77 IP, 68 SO, S/Str 14.4%
    2015: Eickhoff, 3-3, 2.65, 51 IP, 49 SO, S/Str 17.1%
    Promising rookie starting pitchers for the past 10 years have included Hamels, Kendrick, Worley, Nola, and Eickhoff. Looking at their Wins/Losses, ERA, Strikeouts, and S/Str; the stat that seems to correlate to long term success is the Swinging Strike % (S/Str). A great pitcher needs to be able to make hitters miss. By that measure, Eickhoff and Nola are off to good starts.”

  21. BA’s JJ Cooper on Hoskins:

    J.J. Cooper: You have to be 60-hit, 60-power to even scratch out a chance to play in the big leagues as a R-R 1B. That’s a tough combo.

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