Upcoming 2016 Reader Top 30 Poll

Time to get ready for the 2016 Reader Top 30 Prospect Survey.  I will start next week and try to post a poll each weekday.  I will continue to follow baseball’s standards for prospect lists which states –

“To be eligible for a list, a player must have rookie eligibility. To qualify for rookie status, a player must not have exceeded 130 at-bats or 50 innings pitched in the Major Leagues, or accumulated more than 45 days on the active roster of a Major League club or clubs during the 25-player limit period, excluding time on the disabled list or in military service.”

Several players exceeded their Rookie Status during the 2015 season – Aaron Nola, Maikel Franco, Odubel Herrera, Aaron Altherr, Hector Neris, Adam Morgan, Elvis Araujo, and Jerad Eickhoff.

And several more from our 2015 Reader Top Fifty poll are no longer with the organization – Kelly Dugan, Yoel Mecias, Nefi Ogando, Willians Astudillo, Chris Oliver, David Whitehead, and Lewis Alezones.

The first ballot will be comprised of the top 20 players from MLB’s Top 30 Prospects plus Baseball America’s Top Ten organizational prospects.  This should be a very interesting process this year.  Two of BA’s top ten didn’t crack MLB’s top twenty (Carlos Tocci and Adonis Medina). We could see a lot plurality victories rather than majority wins.

There are about 226 players within the organization who still have rookie status.  The first ballot and probable future additions are listed below.  It is likely that some of those listed below don’t ever make the ballot.  Here’s the 22-player first ballot (in alphabetical order) –

Jorge Alfaro,
Mark Appel,
J.P. Crawford,
Zach Eflin,
Tomas Eshelman,
Tyler Goeddel,
Matt Imhof,
Franklyn Kilome,
Scott Kingery,
Andrew Knapp,
Ben Lively,
Adonis Medina,
Ricardo Pinto,
Nick Pivetta,
Roman Quinn,
Cornelius Randolph,
Darnell Sweeney,
Jake Thompson,
Alberto Tirado,
Carlos Tocci,
Nick Williams,
Tom Windle

I will add names, as necessary and as randomly as I did last season.  I’ll get the remaiining players in the MLB’s top 30 on the ballot as quickly as possible.  Then I’ll add guys as needed from the remainder of our 2015 Reader Top 30, the remainder of our 2015 Reader Top 50, the rest of the prospects on the 40-Man Roster, and guys coming off good seasons.

Remainder of MLB’s Top 30 – Alec Asher, Jesse Biddle, Malquin Canelo, Elniery Garcia, Deivy Grullon, Brandon Leibrandt, John Richy, Cord Sandberg

Remainder of Reader Top 30 – Aaron Brown, Dylan Cozens, Severino Gonzalez, Zach Green, Tommy Joseph, Andrew Pullin, Jesmuel Valentin

Prospects on the 40-Man Roster – Jimmy Cordero, Dalier Hinojosa, Colton Murray,
Edubray Ramos, Daniel Stumpf

Remainder of Reader Top 50 – Victor Arano, Luis Encarnacion, Arquimedes Gamboa,
Mitch Gueller, Samuel Hiciano, Rhys Hoskins, Mark Leiter, Cameron Perkins, Brian Pointer,
Jose Pujols, Joely Rodriguez, Jiandido Tromp

A Bunch of Guys Who had Nice Seasons – Jesus Alastre, Randy Alcantara, Daniel Brito,
Ismael Cabrera, Joey Denato, Bailey Falter, Nick Fanti, Cody Forsythe, Rafael Gamboa,
Edgar Garcia, Tyler Gilbert, Matt Hockenberry, Enger Jimenez, Ulises Joaquin, Mark Laird,
Juan Luis,  Ronaldo Marrero, Angelo Mora, Zach Morris, Jairo Munoz, Felix Paulino, Greg Pickett, Yacksel Rios, Alexis Rivero, Herlis Rodriguez, Lenin Rodriguez, Anthony Sequeria,
Robert Tasin, Jesen Therrien, Joshua Tobias, Sergio Velis, Lucas Williams

A Couple of New Guys Who Don’t Fit into one of the Above Groups – Harold Arauz, Jhailyn Ortiz

I am always interested in how the drawn out polling process compares to a one time submission.  I request that each participant submit her/his own Top 30 to prospectpoll@yahoo.com using the Subject – My Prospect List.  I am curious how the day-by-day voting and discussion affects the outcome when compared to a one-time submission early in the process along the lines of an MVP ballot.

Since we’re only doing a top 30, a lot of the guys listed above might not make it to a ballot. If you have a favorite that you want considered for the ballot or want to ensure that one of the guys listed above makes it to a ballot, e-mail me at prospectpoll@yahoo.com using the Subject – Add Prospect.  You can also include the request in the comments section but I can’t guarantee that I’ll see.  I’m going to incorporate the Other option in the poll again.  We’ll see how it works, but I expect that I’ll have to turn it off just like last year.

Unlike previous years, I haven’t seen most of the prospects.  A lot of the top guys weren’t in the organization 13 months ago, and haven’t passed through Clearwater. So, if it looks like I’m missing someone you think should be considered, send me those names.

Right now, the following aren’t being considered –

Non-Roster Invitees – Gregory Infante, Reinier Roibal, Angelys Nina

Mexican League – Jesus Chavez

Unassigned – Jake Sweaney, Nathan Thornhill , Ben Pelletier, Rafael Marchan, Manuel Silva, Keudy Bocio, Reggie Wilson, Jeff Singer, Leonel Aponte

Lehigh Valley – Gabriel Lino, Logan Moore

Reading – Hoby Milner, Ryan O’Sullivan, Carlos Alonso, Art Charles, Harold Martinez, KC Serna, Brock Stassi

Clearwater – Harold Guerrero, Lino Martinez, Miguel Nunez, Wilson Garcia, Chace Numata, Derek Campbell , Drew Stankiewicz , Mitch Walding

Lakewood – Andrew Anderson, Ranfi Casimiro, Austin Davis , Victor Delgado, Scott Harris ,
Will Morris, Calvin Rayburn , Tyler Viza, Shane Watson, Jason Zgardowski, Joel Fisher , Jose Mayorga, Emmanuel Marrero, Kyle Martin, Damek Tomscha , Tim Zier , Chase Harris

Williamsport – Alejandro Arteaga, Andrew Godail, Skylar Hunter, Denton Keys, Kenny Koplove, Luke Leftwich, Sutter McLoughlin, Luis Morales, Feliberto Sanchez, Jose Taveras, Jacob Waguespack, Austin Bossart, Gregory Brodzinski, Jesus Posso, Gregori Rivero, Andrew Amaro, Dylan Bosheers, William Cuicas, Grenny Cumana, Luis Espiritu,
Brendon Hayden, Jan Hernandez, Venn Biter, Zack Coppola, Carlos Duran

Gulf Coast League – Seranthony Dominguez, Ryne Frankoff, Carlos Indriago, Will Stewart,
Horace Stubblefield, Ranger Suarez, Kevin Walsh,  Edgar Cabral, Rodolfo Duran, Jose Antequera, Scott Tomassetti , Bryan Martelo,

Dominican – Joel Cabrera, Steiner Carmona, Yeral Gomez, Oscar Marcelino, Robinson Martinez, Gregorix Mateo, Jose Nin, DominicanAnderson Nunez, Jhon Nunez, Geury Ortiz,
Sandro Rosario, Sixto Sanchez, Christopher Suero, Yonathan Trinidad, Luis Liriano, Nerluis Martinez, Robert Paulino, Ricardo Baez, Braylin Carrasco, Alberto Feliz, Emmanuel Garcia, Jan Guerrero, Daniel Romero, Edwin Rodriguez, Henry Santana

Venezuelan – Abdallah Aris, Gustavo Armas, Miguelangel Bastidas, Luis Carrasco, Jose Diaz, Luis Gonzalez, Reiwal Gonzalez, Tanis Lara, Mauricio Llovera, Orangel Lopez, Denny Martinez, Orestes Melendez, Williams Mendoza, Carlos Salazar, Oskerlly Sanchez, Victor Sobil, Freddy Zorrilla, Adrian Acosta, Wilman Silva, Jesus Henrique, Jhon Meison Herrera,
David Periera, Raul Rivas, Joseph Torrivilla, Juan Avila, Malvin Matos, Luis Mendoza, Yorbys Tabares

And finally, while sorting through the potential prospects, I noticed that back in September, the Phillies released Julsan Kamara.  He was signed out of high school in Germany a couple years ago.  Kamara spent 2 seasons in the DSL.  He slashed .189/.357/.254 over both seasons, and actually regressed last season.


50 thoughts on “Upcoming 2016 Reader Top 30 Poll

  1. Ive voted for last couple of years but never did a personal top 30 before hand…its tough…one thing ive never liked is the proximity argument…being drafted years before someone doesnt make him a better prospect…i understand it helps to judge his talent especially vs older more experienced talent…im just going with who I think will be the better pro no matter when.

    1. Maybe that won’t be much of an issue this year. Scott Mathieson, Justin Defratus and Vance Worely no longer have prospect status…

    2. There always has to be a tradeoff between ceiling and floor or probability of approaching ceiling. Proximity has a lot to do with setting a reasonably high floor and giving a reasonably high probability of approaching ceiling. A lot of interesting ceilings in GCL and NYP leagues, but in most cases a low probability of approaching that ceiling. Even more drastic for the guys who only played in the DSL or VSL or like Ortiz haven’t played at all. I guess Ortiz is the perfect test for how one values ceiling vs floor/probability. He could be an All-Star slugging corner OF or he could be a total bust. For sure he’s at least 4 and probably 5 years away and we have no stats at all to judge him by. As I type this, I realize that I have absolutely no idea where I’m going to rank him.

      1. And different experts use differing philosophies in regards to the prox vs ceiling argument . I know KLaw tends to go heavily with upside or ceiling vs proximity. Though I think the majority will lean ceiling over proximity.

  2. I’m actually a big fan of Roibal and have him as a surprise guy to make an appearance in Philly this year after doing well in LHV. I may have to give him a vote. Let’s just start with #2, we all know who #1 is. Go JP!

  3. I like franklyn kilome as my #2 prospect. I think he has the shut down ability and the brains to continue growing. Also ranfi casimiro should be slotted somewhere between 20-30.

  4. The Rule 5 guys cause me angst. Whether to put them on the list or not? Last year, I tormented myself over putting Herrera on my top 30 list. I went back and found I put him on at #21. The Community list had him at #15. He, of course, never saw the minor leagues last year.

    These guys could make the team out of Spring Training. If they don’t make the big club, they have to be offered back or to other teams before they can go to the minors. Their chances of passing through to our minor leagues are probably pretty small. I have my first pass list done to #15 and they are not on the list yet. Maybe I’ll get all the way to #30 before I use the proximity argument for them. I don’t think that’s the case but it could happen.

    I guess I should take comfort in the fact that no Phillies Player Personnel guy will be calling me up to ask my opinion on any minor league player; therefore, why have any angst at all? I’m putting the Alka Seltzer back in the medicine cabinet.

      1. Goeddel has only played in the minors and has not made the Major league club. His performance can be compared other minor leaguers. Not sure why he should be disqualified.

        1. True but the most likely outcome is he never plays in our system. So it would make sense to keep him off and add him when/if he is assigned in our minors

          1. Why does that make the most sense? The list is for players as they stand right now, January 2016. Goeddel is a minor league prospect in the Phillies organization right now.

            Goeddel really isn’t that hard to slot. His numbers are similar to Dylan Cozens and their projections are nearly identical. So wherever You plan to place Cozens, just slot Goeddel in one spot ahead or one spot below him. They’re essentially the same prospect.

            1. Their projections are identical? Huh. I for one will have Cozens ranked substantially higher that Goeddel

            2. According to their Fangraphs pages, Goeddel and Cozens are very similar offensively. Factoring in speed and the ability to all 3 OF positions and 3B, I’d give Goeddel the edge.

    1. Funny bellman – I went back and looked at my top 20 (I stopped there) and don’t see Herrera. I’m not sure if I disqualified him, and if I did, my rationale for doing so. I’m not sure if Goeddel gets in my top 20 anyway, but I’ve decided not to disqualify rule Vs from my prospect rankings

    2. I hear you Bellman. I felt strongly last year that Herrera shouldn’t be considered a prospect for the reasons you state. But, not only do a lot of readers feel differently, so do MLB and BA. So, I include them. Doesn’t mean I have to vote for them

  5. I wonder who will be the most disputed top 20 player. Hoskins will likely be part of that discussion. I could see him getting Top 7 chatter from one group and back 20 talk from another. Tocci perhaps – he’ll likely miss my personal top 20. Or what about Jhailyn Ortiz?

    1. Seems you are ready for the bell and round one to begin. Should be a real knock down top 30 this year. And you are correct…Hoskins could be the major draw on the main event.

      1. I’m ready Romus. My rankings aren’t fixed in stone but I only expect minor changes from here on out.

  6. Did not see Dylan Cousins in any list. Did he fall out of favor? Seems like a pretty good power hitting prosepct who I know had some injury issues last year, but is still on 22

    1. MLB’s ranking, after the July movement…..basically they do not rework their top 30 but just ‘cut and paste’ the added players into the top 30 rankings….the ten or so players the Phillies got between July and the Rule 5 in December were plugged in somewhere and Cozens was bumped out. When they rework their pre-2016 rankings my guess Cozens pops back in, around 12-15 range.

    2. Cozens was my no. 7 going into the season and certainly didn’t hurt himself with his 2015 performance. Right now I have Cozens, Eflin, Alfaro and Hoskins battling 8-11. Difficult to believe I have to rank one of these guys outside of my top 10. System is deep.

  7. First, thanks for the very exhaustive list.

    Second, If I had my druthers, we’d vote for four different lists.

    1) High A and above, hitters
    2) High A and above, pitchers
    3) Below High A, hitters
    4) Below High A, pitchers

    It seems flawed to me to have Kilome and Sweeney lumped together. A low ball pitcher and a hitter with MLB experience are just in such different worlds. Alas, I understand that’s what most rankings do, and we’ll do here. That said, I do use those four categories above when compiling my own lists.

    Third, probably more than anyone on this board, I value proximity. Bird in hand. I’m going to rank someone with a 50% chance of achieving an overall 45 rating higher someone with a 10% chance of achieving an overall 65 rating. That’s why I’ll have Eflin higher than Kilome.

    However, I am so impressed with Randolph that I’ll probably have him higher than most. Its extraordinary rare for me to value a sub-High A player so high, but I’ve been that impressed with him. Its also extraordinarily rare for me to comment on a hitter–I almost exclusively follow just pitchers. I don’t think I’ve ever been so excited about a low-ball hitter before. I have him third in my Top 3.

    Finally, I’m excited to get the poll started =)

    1. Fritz – Randolph number 4 for me, and I thought I would have him higher than most too. I’m enamored

    2. I have to admit that I’m unreasonably high on Randolph, too. I have to remind myself to temper my expectations to normal advancement over last season. Otherwise, I’ll be disappointed if he doesn’t reach my irrationally high expectations. Unfortunately, since he is the top prospect that I saw the most last season, it is difficult not to rank him as my #2 behind X. However, I don’t think it’s fair to the player to rank a kid who hasn’t played above Rookie Ball that high. Well, I have a few days to decide.

      1. Jim – I hear you regarding the need to temper expectations. I suspect Lakewood to start – and I wouldn’t be surprised if he puts up an OPS north of .800 as a 19 yr old in his first taste of full season ball. I’m as excited about Randolph as I was upon realizing we had something special in Crawford.

        1. That’s whose path I would have expected C to follow. Had he not been learning a new position, I’m sure he would have jumped to Lakewood during the summer as J.P. did. So, he’s a half season behind the Crawford plan, and starts 2016 in Lakewood. If the jump is too early, they can always pull him down to Williamsport in June. However, he has been overheard telling coaches how comfortable he felt against GCL pitchers. I wouldn’t be surprised if his bat forced the Phillies to at least consider a promotion to Clearwater by the end of the season. Geez, I must calm down, it’s only January.

      2. It would be unreasonble to think that Randolph develops into a big HR power guy, but if your expectation is high obp, line-drive power with a fair number of HRs, good fielding and base-running from a corner OF spot and reaching the Phillies by late 2018, then I think your expectations are perfectly reasonable.

        1. First, I don’t know why this got a 1-star vote. Sometimes I just want to scrap this rating system.

          I agree with you. So far, I haven’t seen anything that would indicate that C would be a big home run guy. I think he only hit 1 HR in the GCL, but I was there to see it. The ball easily cleared the right field fence on Ashburn Field. So, he has power, he just seems to have an advanced approach where he is willing to hit the ball where it is pitched rather than try to jerk the ball to right field.

          Late 2018 would put him on a similar timetable as Crawford. Sounds about right.

          1. Jim – I’m all in favor of scrapping the rating system. Unfortunately there are children posing as adults out there. Yesterday morning, every post was rated one star often only moments after the post was posted. I appreciate the though of ratings, but I don’t think it has the effect we would have hoped for

            1. Children as in a college student in one case. I chastised one commenter for tone or content a couple months ago (I think his comments became personal). Afterwards ALL my comments as well as his original targets were rated with one star. I researched and blocked him for three days. The poor ratings stopped. I unblocked him and the one stars returned. I’m going to look into other options again. Unfortunately, with the prospect poll starting up, my free time just evaporated. Scrapping ratings may be the easiest and best solution.

            2. There is another system that is used by other blogs….thumbs up/down, but the caveat…..thumbs down do not register unless a reply comment is initiated to the original posting. Just a suggestion.

            3. Thanks, Romus. I was looking for that system when I activated ratings again and couldn’t find it. I spotted it this time, I think. It’s called the Nero System. I’ll try that next, but I like the new rating labels for now.

            4. Yes Jim…that’s it…..the Nero System…..lol, images of Joaquin Phoenix giving his thumbs up/down in the movie Gladiator come to mind.

  8. Couple notes:

    Dalier Hinojosa: Surprised he’s still eligible. His 24 innings fit the prospect description, but having pitched in 19 games, I would have thought he had over 45 days of service.

    Tyler Viza: I know in prior years, he garnered some love from the voters. He’d probably still make my Top 50.

    Hoby Milner: I remember people being excited from him a couple years ago.

    1. I was surprised on several players. I used Baseball Reference to find out eligibility. Thankfully, they list the info and don’t require a search or worse yet individual calculations.

  9. Here’s how I have tried to ‘resolve’ the proximity vs. upside debate in my own mind:
    I rate the players on what I consider their trade value. In other words, the player I’d be most upset if Phillies traded for $1 would be my highest ranked.

    This strategy is also how I attempt to value all players (or assets, if expanded) in the organization. But for this list the restriction is that players must still have rookie eligibility and be under Phillies control.

    1. You’ve contradicted yourself. You start saying you rank players based upon their trade value, which is reasonable. Then you turn around that and define it as the guy you would be most upset if traded for $1. That’s not at all the same. The first is a measure of what other teams think our player is worth. The second is just a matter of how much you would miss him. He may be a guy no team would give up a quality prospect to get, but you’d miss him most, because something about him and his performance especially appeals to you.

      1. Since I am the one ranking them I am assigning their value in my opinion.
        I have no idea what these players are worth on the open market until they are either traded or signed to a major league contract.
        (And yes, I am sure I have players I rank higher than others might.)

        1. I don’t disagree with your approach, but that approach is not ranking by trade value. It is rare that a player without most of a year in A-ball has trade trade value.

          1. Yes, but that’s exactly the point in discerning between ceiling and proximity. Young players in A ball have so little value for two reasons. The first is that they won’t be useful for a while, but the second and more important reason is that there is such a high failure rate for these prospects. The younger and further away the player is from the majors, the higher the failure rate and, thus, the lower the value. I think one of the reasons we like Randolph so much is that, with his hitting and plate discipline, it’s hard to see him being a failure. I’m not sure I’d have him in my top 5, but he would almost certainly be in my top ten and he’s likely to climb quickly.

          2. Jonathan Arauz played in the GCL, was just traded and had positive trade value. And I’d guess that both Jaylyn Ortiz and Adonis Medina have more trade value than a number of players that some currently rank in the top 30, who are playing in or above High A.

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