Phuture Phillies 2016 Reader Top 30 #4

As expected, this one was over early.  After a close battle with Nick Williams for the #2 prospect spot in the organization, Jake Thompson posted a landslide victory over the field as the #3 Phillies’ prospect.  Thompson garnered over 78% (395) of the 506 votes cast.

Thompson was one piece of the multi-prospect Hamels’ trade that helped re-stock the Phillies’ minor leagues.  In 7 games with Reading, he showed tremendous improvement over his earlier season performance in the Texas League.  Historically, the offensive production in the Texas and Eastern Leagues are similar.  Park factors for the two teams are also very similar.

Thompson has a 5-pitch mix.  He throws both a 2-seam and 4-seam fastball that fall in the 89-95 MPH range, solidly above average for a right-handed starter.  He sports a plus slider that flashes 70 (plus-plus) on the 20-80 scouting scale.  He has an average change-up and curve ball that show room for improvement.  Thompson already grades out as a #3 in a major league rotation.  Baseball America assigned him a 60/medium rating going into 2015 (fairly polished needing some work to reach realistic ceiling of a #3).  It isn’t unreasonable to project Thompson to a ceiling of a #2.  He has enough average and above pitches that it’s possible that he can improve to a point to be the #2 we all hope he will be.  Still, a pitcher solidly at the upper end of a #3 is a good pitcher to have.

I received e-mail requests to add Rhys Hoskins, Dylan Cozens, and Jhailyn Ortiz.  I saw an outright request for Cozens among the Comments so far as well as hints for Deivi Grullon and Hoskins.  I don’t know how serious the Other votes are.  There hasn’t been much of a groundswell for any one prospect.  If these votes are serious, I think it’s too early for some of them.  I find it hard to make a case for a AA middle reliever or an Advanced A third basemen.

Once again, the surest way to get me to consider a guy is via e-mail.  It’s too easy for me to miss a request among the Comments.  That said, the first group of additions will be (and I hope I got the 2 obvious omissions about whom Larry was vague) –

  1. Rhys Hoskins,
  2. Dylan Cozens,
  3. Deivi Grullon, and
  4. Edubray Ramos

They’ll be added to the next poll.  Ortiz will be added in a later group.

Now that Crawford, Williams, and Thompson are seeded it should get interesting.

All but one of the polls that have been e-mailed to me so far had Crawford first and Williams/Thompson  second and third.  It was just as close, Williams edged Thompson by two.

E-mail addresses are –

prospectpoll@yahoo.com using the Subject – My Prospect List

prospectpoll@yahoo.com using the Subject – Add Prospect

Next up is your selection for the #4 prospect in the organization.

115 thoughts on “Phuture Phillies 2016 Reader Top 30 #4

    1. I agree about the upside, but Appel has the same kind of upside and is in AAA. If he is allowed to pitch the way he is comfortable and not the way the Astros wanted him to pitch he could get back to the 1/2 ceiling his stuff says he should be. Kilome is next for me.

        1. It’s an interesting comparison. Despite what I’ve said about Appel, I think you can make the case for him over Kilome. But it’s a case that ends up putting Kilome lower, not Appel higher.

          All this is based on scouting reports, and to a lesser extent results. I’d put it this way:

          (1) Appel has a higher floor. In that sense, there’s less risk.

          (2) Probably similar ceilings. The question then comes down to risk on reaching the ceilings. There’s plenty for both players, but a different kind of risk. For Kilome, it’s a developmental risk. For Appel, it’s the “risk” that he never regains his college stuff (also some command issues) Which risk is higher? I don’t honestly know. Something of an apples and oranges comparison.

          But overall I’m kind of talking myself into ranking Appel higher than Kilome. But that means both end up towards the back of the top ten. But as deep as the Phillies prospect list is currently, that’s far from an insult to either player.

          1. I agree completely. My difference is that I think Kilome is more likely to reach his potential.

            Sorry if I was being facetious, but even though there isn’t a comparison in skills between Biddle and Appel, there is a clear similarity in their situations. Despite it, I still have Appel solidly in the top 10.

            1. I see little similarity between Appel and Biddle in terms of situation. I don’t want to put words in your mouth, but most people who post words like this are saying that both Biddle and Appel’s problems are in their heads. I don’t think that is true to either player. There are very clear specifics to say that Biddle’s problems have been largely physical and not minor, malingering type physical — serious stuff like an elbow requiring TJ surgery, whooping cough, plantar fasciitis, and concussion. The Phillies seem to have decided that since he’s a rich kid that he isn’t tough enough and that it is up to them to toughen him up and make him pitch through all of these quite serious physical ailments (obviously the surgery stopped the pitching, but I think a lot of pitching with an injured elbow occurred, likely because the Phillies treat all his physical woes as something to be toughed out). In the case of Appel, we have a guy who was very successful in college and a drafting team who decided he really wasn’t the type of pitcher they wanted, so they would remake him — into something he likely is unable to be. That doesn’t make Appel a guy whose problems are in his head. It may very well have made him a guy whose problems were in his coaching staff. I’ve not given up on either Biddle or Appel.

              At this point, a lot of Kilome’s ranking is due to projection. That doesn’t mean the perceived ceiling isn’t real, but the odds are a lot smaller than for a guy needing less projection. I have Kilome at #9 on my list, and that is based more on scouting report than anything. If going by stats and age/level, Tocci did a lot more at Lakewood at age 19 than Kilome did in Williamsport at age 20. Even his K-rate doesn’t shine. I can’t rank Kilome above Eflin, who had as good stats at Reading at only age 21.

        2. To be clear, I don’t think Appel and Biddle are a comp at all. Despite some negativity on Appel, his ceiling and floor are much higher than Biddle’s, and his risk lower. But I do realize that you weren’t exactly making that comp. 🙂

  1. I do not understand the love for Mark Appel.

    If you remove the fact that he was drafted 1:1, there’s nothing that stands-out about him.

    If a 7th round pick has performed like Appel, we wouldn’t even have him in our Top 10.

    I love pitchers, and I want to believe, but I just don’t see anything.

    Can someone please explain why Appel is receiving so many votes?

    For me, and for reasons I’ve explored in a previous posts, I’m voting Randolph here.

    1. The popular sentiment seems to be that Appel will find a home as a late inning reliever. And today, while I’m one of the few on this board who value relief pitching, I’d still probably rank Windle over Appel. I’d say Windle has the floor, certainly. And looks the part.

      1. @fritz – you do value RP if you rank Windle over Appel. I already liked the 1st version of the Giles trade (VV+Fisher+Obbie+Eschelman). So if your valuation of Appel is correct (which I hope is not), then to give up a Corny type of prospect in Jon Arauz to get Appel instead of Fisher (which I like) —- hhhhmmmm. I trust my own valuation, but to see the Phils give up Arauz and get Appel instead somehow tells me that the FO (which is milestones better than me) sees something in Appel.

    2. I voted for “C” here too. On Appel, the answer is pretty clear. Tools, tools, tools. He has them but hasn’t been able to harness them in game situations. I have Appel at #8 in my poll because I’m on the fence as to whether the tools will ever show up in a game. How many guys get their big payday and suddenly become lost? Maybe Appel is one of them. Change of scenery is what I’m resting my hope on. Maybe getting traded was a spark that will ignite the guy to put it all together. Hope springs eternal and #4 may be high for for that hope but #8 to #10 is not out of the question.

    3. I feel if Phillies figure out what is wrong with Appel he can rebound to top pitching prospect quickly. Astros had changed a few things with him and with a few adjustments he can become good again. I also would not be surprised to see Phils start him in AA as they can afford to be patient with him. But I am going with “C” at this point.

      1. Agreed. Reminds me a bit of another highly drafted pitcher who always had good stuff, was forced to make changes by the team that drafted, and didn’t find success until traded — Gavin Floyd.

    4. The only argument I could see for Appel is proximity, which is absurd, because his movement through the levels has been based on pedigree, rather than performance.

      I laid out my argument for Randolph vs. Kilome in the last thread, so I won’t restate it, except to say this: He is a 10th overall pick who raked like a landscaper in autumn after joining the GCL. There is nothing to “fix” with Randolph … just plug him in and watch him move through the system.

      1. i don’t think it’s the proximity or being the #1 pick. Some scouts still thinks that Appel still has the stuff to be s front line starter. Appel’s plus stuff, physical projection and higher floor (thus reducing risk) provides his value.

        Corny is smooth as a hitter but every knows that he can hit from the time he entered the draft but the limited position (question about his arm and speed) somehow reduces his value.

          1. @Mike – i think what’s important is what comes after those statements because what comes next are 2 entirely different facts. you cannot just pick a portion of the statement especially if that doesn’t portray the whole picture.

            The argument is basically – Appel’s plus stuff + physical projection + proximity – lack of result vs Conry’s plus hitting tool – limited position – questionable arm and speed.

            I like Corny too (as he’s my #5 and a close #4), but his potential is on based on plus hit tool and (potentially) average power. if Corny is doing what he’s doing while playing @ SS – then he’s my JPC 2 years ago and might rank #3.

            1. If we were talking about a 19 year old pitcher with plus stuff (projection’s probably done at this point, and proximity is based on purely pedigree promotions), I’d say OK. But a polished college pitcher should not struggle the way he has in 2 plus years in the minors. I’m not saying I don’t like Appel, but a reclamation project should not take precedence over a hitter with a plus hit and approach.

            2. i don’t want to belabor this argument since #4 to #6 (or #7) are close to one another so it’s a matter of what you value the most. Appel is based on on tools, tools, tools.

              we’ll just see how our own rankings fare with others (PP, PMT, MLB, BA, BP, etc).

        1. It keeps coming down to, “Maybe he can still be the guy everyone thought he would be” instead of “Holy cow, how did a bat like that last to the tenth pick?” I guarantee if the Phillies put a For Sale sign up on the Pharm, every team would line up asking about Randolph. Appel … not so much.

          1. I’ll bet you that you’re wrong. I’ll bet that teams would rather take a flier on Appel that somehow he can become the ace that he was originally projected to be. I like Randolph as much as the next guy but let him show us that he can hit over 20 homers in the majors and be a legit #3 hitter who can also play LF at least passably and he’d be Williams. 4 vs 5? Does it really matter? Relax….

    5. You can’t only scout the stat line. All reports are that he still has great stuff. Some pitchers just take a while to put it together.

      That said, I went Corny here. I am a huge fan. The scouts who follow the FSL raved about him. Reminds me of Abreu

      1. But that’s not what “all reports” say. In fact, every report I’ve seen says otherwise.See, e.g., http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=28147 (“flashes” 3 great pitches, but generally his stuff is not what it was in college; e.g., “His fastball generally sits in the low 90s now, only occasionally showing the near-elite velocity it had in college–well, except for that one start when he was popping 97 on the gun, but maybe you caught him on a different one when he was 89-92 and everything was flat. See, this is the problem.

        Here’s an even more negative take: http://www.baseballamerica.com/majors/trade-central-astros-get-giles-phillies/. “At best” three pitches that “can be” plus offerings, but then pans the fast ball as “not missing bats” because of “lack of plane and life.” The change and slider are better, but lack of command on those pitches is problematic, and his delivery “lacks deception.”

        I’ve seen other such negative takes, but don’t have time to find them.

        That said, I would be genuinely interested in looking at any links which say that he still has consistently great (as opposed to just good) stuff. I haven’t seen any (at least not from a scouting perspective, e.g., I’m not interested in a bleacher report link).

        Finally, none of this should be read as writing the guy off by any means. Even if those reports are true, he should be a good back of the rotation starter or high leverage reliever. And it’s certainly possible that he’ll regain his college stuff, and if he does, his ceiling is very high.

        1. Here is MLB’s:….”consistently great”????? No, but what constitutes consistently great?
          Fastball: 70 | Slider: 60 | Changeup: 55 | Control: 55 | Overall: 55
          When Appel chose to return to Stanford for his senior year instead of signing with the Pirates following the 2012 Draft, it gave the Astros another chance to take the Houston native first overall. They did just that in 2013. His first full season started off rocky, but Appel righted himself in the second half and advanced to Double-A Corpus Christi. He finished the year with a dominant performance in the Arizona Fall League, easing many lingering concerns. While his 2015 season saw him split the year between Double- and Triple-A, the results were once again a bit uneven, and he was included in the package of prospects sent to the Phillies in return for Ken Giles in December.
          Appel’s inconsistencies have been difficult to explain, as his stuff has never regressed. His fastball sits in the mid-90s, routinely reaching 98 mph. His changeup and slider give him a pair of above-average secondary pitches.
          Appel has a good understanding of pitching and controls his whole arsenal effectively. His all-around package still gives him the chance to become a frontline starter in the big leagues.

          1. Okay, that is indeed what I asked for – a scouting take that says that his stuff hasn’t regressed. Thanks. Certainly at odds with the sources that I cited.

            Here’s three questions about the fastball (it’s there that opinions seem most divided.

            (1) Is it indeed flat and not deceptive? The source that you cite doesn’t seem to speak to that concern.
            (2) What was his typical velocity? The three sources are all at variance on that point.
            (3) Can a return to his former fast ball grip make a difference? Why did the Astros make him change it in the first place?

            I certainly hope that the more optimistic takes are correct – and they might be!

          2. I also have a little trouble believing a scouting take that doesn’t at least try to explain the “difficult to explain” inconsistencies. Look, it’s not like his numbers are horrible, especially if you remove the CAL/Lancaster 14 data, but as a general rule a polished college pitcher who is expected to be a top of the rotation pitcher rockets through the minors with ridiculously good numbers. He hasn’t. Why is that?

            Put it this way: if his stuff is still so great, what’s the problem? In a way, I find that kind of report a little more troubling. It’s one thing to point to identifiable, presumably fixable, problems with his stuff. It’s another to just shrug your shoulders and say “it’s a mystery.” If it’s a mystery, what’s the road to improvement?

        2. 1. You misquoted the BA article. They did not say “at best” they said, “At his best”. Ignoring (intentionally?) the word “his” changes the quote materially.

          2. Here is a quote from Keith Law in after Futures game, “I’m a big Appel fan and anything I say about last season runs the risk of being called an apologist. The time in Lancaster was dreadful. Double-A was better. AFL was very good and at times called dominant. The stuff is still there to be a top of the rotation type, but he needs to tighten up his command and attack hitters. He seemed too hesitant this year.”

          http://www.crawfishboxes.com/2015/7/16/8978559/keith-law-names-bregman-phillips-and-appel-to-top-50-mlb-prospects

          3. BP report from mid-season:
          “A season marked with uneven results further amplifies the questions surrounding this former no. 1 overall pick, while casting additional haze on what exactly he’s going to be. The stuff is there to be a front-line type, though some wonder if the intestinal fortitude and consistent execution will allow him to produce at that level. Now that he’s sitting in Triple-A, we’re likely to get a definitive picture soon. -Chris Mellen”
          http://www.crawfishboxes.com/2015/7/6/8901767/mark-appel-named-to-baseball-prospectus-top-50-prospects

          4. here is a report from last year’s spring training on stuff:

          “Appel had worked at 95-98 in his last major-league outing against the Yankees. When I saw him in a Double-A game against Atlanta’s Mississippi affiliate, he was 91-96, mostly 94-96 from the windup, and throwing more if not always better strikes (that is, above-average control but fringy command). His slider was 85-90 with a ton of break, a true plus pitch for him, the best slider I’ve seen him throw since he was at Stanford. He barely used his changeup, a pitch I believe he’ll need to keep lefties from sitting on his fastball. All of the hard contact he gave up was on his fastball, usually because he didn’t get the pitch up or down enough and caught too much of the middle third (with respect to height) of the zone. His fastball should be effective in the upper third or just above the zone, but he has to hit that spot. Once he’s ahead, he’s going to miss a lot of right-handed bats with the slider.”

          http://insider.espn.go.com/blog/keith-law/insider/post?id=3790

          Now there are certainly some negative reports out there. So I shouldn’t have said “all”. You are right Larry. You “got me” buddy.

    6. Partly wishful thinking and a desire to have absolutely killed it on the Giles deal. Realistically, there is hope that Houston really messed up Appel by switching his FB grip and changing his delivery and, more than that, that the Phillies are able to fix him, in large measure by moving him back more to the pitcher who was very successful in college, with just a few positive tweaks. As far as we can tell, Appel has been healthy since he was drafted, so the ‘messed up’ theory has some credence. If so, he is a guy who could explode if allowed to pitch pretty much in the way that has worked for him.

      That said, I have him farther down my top 10 and voted for Randolph at #4.

      1. Yeah, I think that’s the realistic positive take on Appel, as opposed to the false “his stuff is still great, it’s just that his numbers have inexplicably failed to reflect that” take that I’ve seen from others.

        1. When you remove the 44 innings in CAL/Lancaster, ’14, when he changed his mandated repertoire from the ‘Stros, out of his total of 280 plus innings, his metrics reflects a different pitcher. I think he can be be more then a setup reliever.

          1. Well I do too. 🙂 The “can be” is the operative word that. And FWIW, if he does become a reliever, I think closer is more likely than set up man.

          2. I do too. Honestly, I’m not expecting a #1/2 starter from him. I think he can be a solid #3 for us, but even that is far from guaranteed. We’ll see what we have after the Phillies coaches work with him this Spring.

    7. @Fitz – I haven’t seen Appel closely but the scouting reports say that he still has plus stuff. Given that plus the physical projection, Appel still has high value (while it’s declining due to results). Corny might eventually have the higher ceiling but for 2016 ranking i still choose Appel over Corny on the basis that he will yield more returns (than Corny) assuming both of them will be traded now.

      Appell vs Corny for #4 closely mirrors Thompson vs Williams for #2. I go both for the pitchers (#2 Thompson and #4 Appel) since both has stuff, physical projection and higher floor.

    8. But there was a reason he was the 1st pick in the draft and was a 1st round pick twice. he’s a horse that just needs to improve a little bit.

      1. But a horse can just as easily be a very durable, pitch consistently through the 6-7th inning #3/4 as he can be a #1 or #2 starter. Quite a few horses are nothing more than back end of rotations innings eaters.

    9. I like Appel based on the fact that he can have 2-3 plus pitches and the fact that he has played against more advance competition even though he hasn’t had a lot of success. No one knows what exactly is wrong with him but i see his floor as being a late inning reliever (something that I value more than a lot of people) something that you don’t do unless you know he can’t make it as a pitcher. I’ve never seen him pitch but plan to this year not that I’m some expert scout or anything but I would stIll like to see him. When I look at corny I see a guy with a great hit tool that needs to go through 4 more levels to make it to the pros. If he never develops power think 5-10 hrs and average doubles and triples he is a bench player because he doesn’t play a highly skilled defensive position. If he is playing short stop reasonably well defensively I rank him as our number 2 prospect but the fact is that he is playing left feild. Even if he is playing a reasonable defensive 2nd base this past year I would put him in the same discussion as Thompson and Williams. I don’t understand how you can rank windle over Appel due to the windle is already in the pen doesn’t make sense to me but hey everyone has a different opinion which is good otherwise the sites comment board would be useless.

  2. Appel for #4. His upside is hard to ignore. Command has eluded many others, but will be a key part of his next year. I’m betting he puts it all together.

  3. Eshelman garnering 10 votes for #4 is a little wild. He’s a 2nd round pick with only 10 professional IP. He had 2 games in A ball. I’ve picked my top 15 right now and he’s not even in that group. I understand his upside but his stats are the very definition of short season stats. I always have trouble with guys with very little professional experience.

    1. Every year we do this it always reminds these guys are humans just like us. They have friends, college roommates and of course Mom’s and Dads, brothers and sisters.

      Notice Sandusky hasn’t been around in quite some time to trumpet for Walding or is he?

        1. Windle is getting votes over Appel and Randolph. Eshelman and Walding getting votes is no less ridiculous.

    2. Reeks of suspiciousness to be honest. I find it hard to believe that there are 11 Phillies Phans on the planet who honestly believe that Eshelman is the 4th best prospect

      1. Why Steve….mom , dad, two grandmoms, two grandfathers, two aunts on his mother side, one uncle on his father’s side, and a brother and ‘lil sis…there you have it..the Eshelman clan.

      2. I haven’t looked at the totals, yet. But, yes, there is a way to cast multiple votes. In order to block repeat votes, the app goes by cookies. The strongest method blocks by cookie and IP address and makes it much more difficult. However,it can still be beat (I can think of one person who could certainly beat it if he visits us again). And it can be problematic for some voters. If I think there is anything going on, I’ll try the stronger deterrent.

  4. #4 to #7 are all basically the same tier for me, but I think Cornelius Randolph is the #4 prospect.

  5. Cornelius here at no. 4

    My list:
    1. JP Crawford
    2. Nick Williams
    3. Jake Thompson
    4. Cornelius Randolph

    Appel coming up following by Kilome

  6. Odd results so far for #4. I went Knapp here. I thought he broke out last season lest we forget he was a 2nd round $1 million plus sign. OPS’d over 1.000 in AA last season and while not great defensively showed signs that he could be adequate.

    I have Randolph next so I get the love for him here at 4.

    If you are voting for Appel or Kilome here then you haven’t done your own due diligence you’re just riding the coat tales of scout babble at this point.

    And if you are voting for Alfaro here then you haven’t learned your lesson from Valle because you aren’t seeing a K rate over 26% and a BB rate of only 5%. Alfaro has 95 walks in over 1800 PA’s Knapp has 105 in only 1100.

    Again I’m not trying to beat up on Alfaro I have him 11. Just saying 4 is way to high for him at this juncture.

    1. DMAR….using the DMAR Domindex Formula for Appel I come up with a 1.45 (WHIP-1.439, H/9-10, S/9-7.9)….not too shabby.
      And I believe, that doesn’t include his SSS AFL results from ’14.
      And if you factor out his first time assignment to AA-Corpus Christi in spring ’14 when he stopped using his 2Ser and went the direction of the ‘Stros recommendations, those Domindex numbers get better.
      Sure there is ‘scout bable’ on him, but maybe he just does not like Corpus Christi Texas!. 🙂

      1. I like Appel I understand that my post sounds as if I don’t. I just don’t have him ahead of Knapp or Randolph…

        1. Yes , I figured that
          Actually his Lancaster, high A CAL league assignment was his only really bad outrageous tour…44 innings out of 280 plus. Though he really dominated in the AFL facing quality hitters. Will see how he fares at LHV.

          1. I saw Mark in a few of those AFL games on the MLB network. Maybe its concentration or focus. College was really easy for him with the stuff he has.

    2. “Scout babble” aka “the best source of information we have to go on for minor leaguers, especially ones in SS ball.”

  7. Yes, you added the two “obvious” omissions, and Grullon who I also mentioned, so I’m happy. 🙂

    Randolph for me, despite his ceiling being limited by position/defensive value. Doesn’t look like he’ll make 40% as I had predicted. The surprise for me isn’t the Kilome votes – I can see it, but I just think there’s way too much risk to rate him this high. But Alfaro I have the same kind of doubts about that others have, and Appel I’ve talked about a couple days ago.

  8. I went with Appel slightly over Corny. I believe he has the stuff and with the proverbial change of scenery and going back to the 2 seamer that he used in College may get him back to what he was. He would then be a little closer to the Majors. I love Corny too, and he is next and anyone who has him 4th certainly makes a great case for the choice.

  9. Someone Mentioned him the other day and I started digging into him. He has 107.1 IP total thus far. Pitched mostly at LKW last season and was quite dominant. I don’t think this guy is top 20 but I don’t believe in waiting to drum up support for a guy who posted a .903 WHIP with an 8.8 K/9

    That guy is Joey DeNato. Reminds of Billy the Kid!

    1. DMAR,

      DeNato and Therrien. They aren’t physically imposing, throw super hard or are flashy, but they sure look like pitchers. I know DeNato only from his stats and that the Phillies moved him up fast in 2014, but I’ve seen Therrien several times. Whether they get to The Show, and whether they succeed there I don’t know, but they definitely are worth the occasional mention.

  10. I guess my tentative top tiers at the moment would be:

    1. Crawford
    2. Thompson/Williams
    3. Kilome/Randolph
    4. Knapp
    5. Quinn/Appel
    6. Alfaro/Pinto/Eflin/Medina/Cozens

  11. Jorge Alfaro here for me. I had him tied with Williams & Thompson, so he’s the clear choice for me now. At the time of the trade, some sources ranked him tops of the 3. He is healthy again, so why drop him? I love his raw power and potential to shut down stolen bases.

    1. Jorge Alfaro (22) and his “80” arm threw out 28%(10 of 36) of potential base stealers in AA, last year.
      Gabriel Lino (22) threw out 48% (15 of 31) in AA and 36%(16 of 45) in AAA.
      Deivi Grullon (19) threw out 32% (33 of 102) in A ball.

      1. You don’t need the quotation marks. He absolutely has a cannon for an arm. The issue, if I remember correctly, is that his pop times are bad.

        People tend to forget that arm strength isn’t the only factor in throwing out a runner.

        That said, I can’t justify ranking Alfaro this high currently. Coming off a significant injury with questions about both the bat (K% vs BB%) and defense (can he stick behind the dish). If he ultimately moves, I’m actually pretty confident he could hold down an OF spot. But his bat makes him worth comparatively less than Randolph out there.

        1. If Alfaro is moved to the OF, his bat will make him nothing more than a replacement level player. With the doubt about his ability to stay behind the plate, he shouldn’t even be in the discussion for the top 5.

          1. He should be in the discussion because if it comes together for him, he’s an all-star catcher. He’s one of the toolsy guys that we dream on.

            But with the amount of risk attached to him, it’s also reasonable not to have him this high up. It’s the classic case of upside versus proximity. I like upside, but his specific mix of risk and upside puts him lower on the list for me.

            1. Don’t get me wrong. I’m a tools guy too. But, IMO, Alfaro has two 80 tools that he can’t put into use. Whether it’s pop-time or mechanics, he hasn’t thrown baserunners out. And with his contact issues its very questionable whether he can get to his 80 power. I love tools, but he hasn’t shown he can get to them.
              Those issues, combined with Scouting reports saying he isn’t a good receiver, make me very skeptical of him.

          2. No doubt. Alfaro is very high risk. His bat plays at C but not anywhere else. Still, he’s young and is talented enough to experience a breakout in the coming years. Right now I have him ranked no. 10 only because questions remain regarding his ability to stick behind the plate.

        2. His pop times are fine. His mechanics are what makes him inconsistent. He clearly has some room to improve.

          I also would not put too much stock into the CS %. Looking at that 2015 Frisco team the catcher that caught the most games (Patrick Cantwell) only threw out 20% of runners. Ranger pitchers might do a lousy job of holding runners on at that level. Alfaro’s assist rate is also pretty good meaning he is throwing out runners in other situations. Finally, he did cut his passed ball rate in half, something you would like to see from a 21-22 year old.

    2. Throwing out runners is nice and all even kind of sexy but it doesn’t mean a hill of beans if you can’t hit.

      On the heels of Piazza getting into the HOF a catcher notorious for being poor defensively and throwing out runners. to hear Leiter tell it he was good at game planning and calling a game and he could rake.

  12. I went with Appel because of upside/proximity. His stuff has never been in question, his command has. Also, he’s closer than my next two, Randolph and Kilome. I have no qualms with those 3 in any order but players can decline from low levels to upper levels. I’ll usually go with ceiling over proximity, but since they are so close in my mind, I’ll go with Appel

    1. Yeah, I don’t get all the Eshelman love. Yes, he was a second round pick in this year’s draft, but he pitched 10 not terribly impressive IP. Gueller and Imhof were also 2nd rounders and I’m not putting either of them in my top 30. Kingery was our #2 this year and I doubt he makes it into the top 10.

    1. Atlanta’s system really jumped up from last year, similar to the Phllies I guess.
      Half their top ten came via trades and 4 of the Phillies top ten also.
      I would like to see how the Philies’ 10 thru 30 does compared to those other five teams.

    2. thanks Jim. i’m surprised to see BOS at #2. I thought the Phils have better Top 15 and depth overall compared to BOS.

      surprised to see TEX and COL missed the Top 10.

      1. The power rankings for the systems primarily come from the premium talent. Every team has players like the Phillies have 10-30. The Red Sox and Dodgers have 4-5 difference makers at the top of their system, that makes them the best. The Rockies are deeper than the Phillies, but they don’t have JP Crawford, so theyre ranked behind the Phillies. Premium talent moves the needle, depth not do much.

  13. I think a lot of you guys are way too high on Appel. Can’t ignore him [stink]ing as a pro so far.

    I have C at 4. Going Kilome next. {Wordpress flagged your post for language, I replaced the offending word with the word between the braces[].}

    1. Wow is right. Well, CR should be an easy number 5 then. I had Appel at 5 anyway so no big deal. Still, no. 4 (and by virtue no. 5) are my first differences from the consensus

      1. JP Crawford
      2. Nick Williams
      3. Jake Thompson
      4. Cornelius Randolph

  14. Funny BR questions about Jorge Alfaro staying behind the plate because of Knapp. I was watching him Alfaro on tape he moves well for a big guy. He does have the arm for right field he needs to show power more. I watched him swing at a pitch that would have hit him the next he took was close . He differently needs refinement but the ball jump off his bat and his arm is legit. I ‘m not saying Knapp is better but with Alfaro. the Phillies mite have other options. I know Texas tried the outfield with Alfaro.

  15. Big Ben Revere is back the nats traded for him. Drew Storen wow Mr 300 with a least 30 sb back in the Div.

      1. … and there have been zero write-in votes for Hoskins and only one e-mail request to add him before the end of the top ten. So, I interpret that as he is not missed this early in the poll.

  16. If you’re voting for Appel, you might want to look at Eflin before him. Eflin is 21 y/o, Appel is 24. Eflin has handled AA. Appel didn’t even play in AA until he was 22 (college sign). They looked very similar in stats with the 1 year difference. Eflin doesn’t have the upside tools but age/performance should count for something. I have Appel at #8 and Eflin at #9 on my list. Tools mean slightly more but not to move him all the way to #4.

    1. Appel is the bright, shiny, new toy from the latest trade and he once-upon-a-time was Mr. 1.1. Credible top 10, not credible #4, IMHO.

    2. I originally had Appel #4 but moved him down one spot and voted for Kilome here. I like Eflin, but he looks like a probable #4/5 with a best case scenario as a #3. Appel looks like a probable #4/5 with a best case scenario as a #2. The difference may seem small but I don’t really think it is. I also think Appel probably has a better chance of being a #2 than Eflin does of being a 3. I have Eflin ranked tenth.

    3. Age/level do count for something but tools count for more. I didn’t vote for Appel at #4 but I understand why many are.

      1. Problem is: Appel isn’t showing a lot of tools. He was switched to two-seam FB to up his velocity, but that just made his FB flat. What are his tools? Recent reports don’t great his FB, control/command, change, or bendy stuff all that highly. He showed tools once upon a time. He is no longer the guy who was drafted 1.1. That guy would have been a successful MLB pitcher by now. At this point, what he really is is a promising dumpster dive reclamation project. If Houston thinks he has a chance to be a #2 starter, he doesn’t get thrown into the Giles deal. I’m glad we have him, and I think he’s top 10, but I’m happier with Nola, Velasquez, Thompson, and Eflin’s chances going forward, than I am with Appel’s. I think one of those guys will turn into a #2 for us, but I give the lowest odds to Appel among the 4.

        1. Though, yesterday Brett Oberholtzer said he really likes his (Appel) stuff, plus also ViVe, and in three weeks on Feb 1st, they will probably get together in CLW. But I guess he has to say that since they are all still teammates, just different uniforms

        2. A two seam fastball wouldn’t increase velocity, its purpose is to get more movement. But I was responding to Bellman’s comment that Appel has more tools than Elfin, which is what he stated.

          As for those tools, you can choose to believe whichever reports you want. This thread is full of links on both sides of the argument. I tend to believe that someone good enough to be picked #1 overall didn’t suddenly lose those tools without some significant injury.

          Obviously he comes with some risk or as you noted, the Astro’s wouldn’t have traded him. But all minor leaguers come with risk. I weight heavily on the side of valuing tools and top end ability over proximity or even minor league results, especially in the low minors. My take is that a big market club like the Phillies need to go for all-star players in drafts/trades. They can buy league average..

          As for your listed pitchers, you’ve created a straw man. I also prefer Nola, Thompson, and Velasquez who are all either ineligible for this poll or already have been selected. The remaining argument is Appel/Eflin. You Choose Eflin, I choose Appel. And as I noted above, I didn’t choose Appel in this round anyway.

    1. I hope they are incorrect on the forecast for Brett Oberholtzer.
      For starters in the AL his ERA was better then it is forecasted to be in the NL…and 46 innings pitched with a FIP of 4.2!

    2. Fritz,

      Very interesting. Thanks for posting. Kershaw’s 7.8 pretty impressive. Hamels’ not bad.

      Casual observation would agree with Franco and Herrera’s positives and Howard’s negative. A little surprised that Ruiz and Rupp are positive 0.9 and 0.8.

      How are the minor league guys like Crawford calculated? Actuals or some kind of Big League projection?

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