Phuture Phillies 2016 Reader Top 30 #10

Andrew Knapp received 355 of 527 votes (67%) and was selected as the #9 prospect in the Phillies’ organization.   Zach Eflin finished second with 66 votes.  He is the early favorite to complete the top ten.

Andrew Knapp was selected by the Oakland Athletics in the 41st round of the 2010 MLB Amateur Draft.  He opted to attend Cal-Berkeley and three years later the Phillies made him their second round selection in 2013.  The junior catcher signed and began his pro career in Williamsport.

Knapp is a switch-hitting catcher.  According to most scouting reports, he was an advanced hitter and a below average catcher.  Since joining the Phillies, he has worked on improving his catching skills and has shown improvement at each level.  Due to off season Tommy John surgery, Knapp got a late start to the 2014 season.  He served as a DH for the Threshers until he was ready to start at catcher and continued his season by posting a .290/.354/.438/.792 at Lakewood.

During the first half of his 2015 season at Clearwater, Knapp posted a .262/.356/.369/.725 line.  The coaching staff voiced their excitement over Knapp’s continued improvement behind the plate.  After a mid-season promotion to Double-A Reading, Knapp forced his way into top prospect conversations with a .360/.419/.631/.1.050 slash, 11 HR, and 56 RBI in 241 plate appearances.

Knapp threw out 36% of base runners across two levels in 2015.  He has progressed to the point where he may force fellow catching prospect Jorge Alfaro to a new position.  Knapp played first base in a half dozen games during the 2015 AFL season.  So, if nothing else, he has increased his options.

Knapp swing

I would expect Knapp to start the 2016 season in Lehigh Valley.  There is a good chance that he will be the opening day catcher in 2017.

So far the Top 30 looks like this:

  1. J.P. Crawford
  2. Nick Williams
  3. Jake Thompson
  4. Mark Appel
  5. “C” Randolph
  6. Roman Quinn
  7. Jorge Alfaro
  8. Franklyn Kilome
  9. Andrew Knapp

Cord Sandberg, Aaron Brown, Jhailyn Ortiz, Reinier Roibal, and Elvis Araujo have been added to the poll.

I have received requests to add Severino Gonzalez, Luis Encarnacion, Josh Tobias, and Yacksel Rios.  Maybe a couple of thes guys make it to the poll next week.

Some odd voting observations –

  • Each of the first nine prospects has received votes in all polls in which he was eligible to receive votes.  The only other player to receive votes in all 9 polls so far – Tom Windle.  I bet you’re all surprised I didn’t say Mitch Walding, aren’t you.
  • Using the most restrictive setting to deter repeat voting has limited the early irregularities like the 21 votes Scott Kingery received in the 3rd poll and the 25 votes Tom Eshelman received in the fourth.  Their support dropped off significantly after the more restrictive settings were put in place.
  • Jerad Eickhoff is receiving write-in votes.  Eickhoff is NOT ELIGIBLE fot this poll.  He pitched too many innings (51) and lost his rookie status.
  • Since the 9 crazy write-in votes during the first poll, the write-ins have been less frequent and a little less silly, especially those made during the most recent polls.
  • Carlos Tocci finally received more than 2 votes in a poll.
  • Based on recent polls Zach Eflin, Dylan Cozens, Rhys Hoskins, and Ricardo Pinto look like the early favorites for the next 4 positions.

The e-mail addresses for prospect lists and the addition of a prospect to the poll 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 #10 prospect in the organization.

59 thoughts on “Phuture Phillies 2016 Reader Top 30 #10

  1. “He has progressed to the point where he may force fellow catching prospect Jorge Alfaro to a new position.” This might be a stretch. Catcher is the toughest position to fill. If someone can play it well at the highest level, you don’t move them. Maybe Alfaro could be a C-1B, and play the field when he’s not catching. But if they are both capable behind the plate, I’d expect a more creative solution.

    Regarding the vote, I want to go Windle here, but I feel like I’d be wasting my vote. So of the four contenders for the 10th spot, I’ll go with Eflin. I really do like Pinto, though, and am intrigued by Eshelman also.

    And just planting a seed here–but before this poll ends, I’d like to see Leibrandt added to list. He’s on the backend of my Top 30.

    1. If Knapp proves that he is the better catching prospect this year I think they trade Alafaro hands down as long as they can get a prospect of real value. I can’t see Philly trying to play Alafaro in right where his value will be diminished. Unless they think they can platoon knapp and Alafaro effectively while playing the other at first or rf to extend their careers.

    2. fritz….’ I’d expect a more creative solution’…then, the next solution one gets traded.
      What other solutions are there….one gets moved to another position or one gets traded.
      I am sure you do not one of them to sit on the bench or sit in the minors when they are MLB ready.

      1. I agree Rom. I would think that while they are stocked at Catcher, these two have the most offensive potential so either could go to area’s of need at 1st or OF.

        1. Unless Hoskins falls completely on his face offensively in the next year or two, I see him as the first baseman going forward.
          He, after all is said and done, will have had almost 7/8 years at first base since graduating HS and enough time to defensively not embarrass himself at the mLB level.
          I cannot see either of Knapp or Alfaro supplanting him on the prospect first base depth board. Alfaro was mentioned by Ruben back in July of athletic enough to go to the OF and with that arm RF could be an option.
          I twill be fun watching how it all plays out.
          Who knows the DH may be headed to the NL in 2017 with 28-man rosters and 25-man game day activations, so both are kept gainfully employed on the team.

          1. I agree that Hoskins is looking good and that maybe OF (DH) is a better option if you want to have Alfaro, Knapp, and Hoskins all in the line-up. However with that said the chances of all three of them making it as starters with the Phils is probably less than 50/50 even with all three being projectable. Just being real with all things that could happen in the next couple years. I think there is another former catcher at AAA who was projected to be a starter (at the AA level when we acquired him) we got him for Pence……..

  2. Went Cozens here though I actually have Alfaro as my no. 10 and Eflin as my no. 9. Knapp lands outside my top 10. I’m not entirely sold on Knapp as a C but I would love to be wrong in that respect. If he doesn’t stick at C though, he’s not even a Top 20 prospect

    1. JP Crawford
    2. Nick Williams
    3. Jake Thompson
    4. Cornelius Randolph
    5. Mark Appel
    6. Franklyn Kilome
    7. Roman Quinn
    8. Dylan Cozens
    9. Zach Eflin
    10. Jorge Alfaro

    1. Steve (Tampa)…you are a big Cozens guy…little trivia….his senior year in HS he set the Arizona state HR one season record with 19. He broke the old mark of 13 set by Paul Konerko, not a bad major leaguer.
      And he did it after getting booted off one HS team and transferring to another school for his senior year. I guess he was determined.

    2. I also went Cozens. When we first got him he was an athletic, toolsy, 2-sport star that could put it together and be a decent ball player. He was seen as someone who was going to lose athleticism and end up on first base. He seemed like another high ceiling type of guy the Phillies usually drafted.

      Fast forward a couple of years and he has continued to impress. I really expected more struggling at this point. He’s still playing the outfield and still stealing bases. I am very shocked, and pleased that he is doing as well as he is. And to me, he is just under the radar enough to keep flying high. If he continues his success this season, people will definately be knowing his name.

    3. Not sure why I did it, but I have Cozens #19 on my list. I regret that. For next 5, I have Canelo, Hoskins, Tocci, Tirado, Pivetta, Medina. Now I’m wondering where’s Pinto and in moving guys around, I lost him completely. I’m going to cheat and stick him in after Tocci.

  3. I had put Eflin earlier, so let me put him here since I fouled up the last few votes. Oh well. As always, this is fun and I am pleased with the results overall. Pinto is next at number 11, as he would have been if I had not forgotten Eflin.

    1. Ricardo Pinto’s Scouting report and his results, remind me a lot of Severino Gonzalez’s report from 2 years ago (except Pinto didn’t get strikeouts in A+). I don’t see a high ceiling to project on a small, ‘pitch-ability’, RH pitcher, who doesn’t get strikeouts. Guys like that turn into Severino Gonzalez in the Majors.

      1. I see some similarities I guess mostly that they are right handed, small and both were LA signings but that’s about it.

        Sev had awesome stats in the low minors but reports on his stuff were always discouraging. Pinto already has two pitches that grade out as plus and a breaking ball he’s working on that if he continue to develop would put him as a possible #3.
        Sev never had a plus pitch and was always pegged as a back of the rotation/bullpen guy based on stuff, I think the stats got some of our hopes up that he may end up being more but that fizzled pretty quickly when he got to AA.

        1. Pinto’s upside is Pedro Martinez (Holy Crap!). His downside is Mort Milton. And you ask, “Who is (was) Mort Milton?” exactly!

        2. I don’t see a lot of difference between Severino and Pinto at the same stage of development, whether you are a “tools guy” or “stat guy”.

          Fangraphs Scouting report on projected tools:

          Ricardo Pinto: Fastball 55, Change 55, Slider 50, Command 50
          Sev. Gonzalez: Fastball 50, Change 50, Slider 50+, Command 50+

          Production at same level:

          Ricardo Pinto 6’0 165: age 21,level A+, 5.6 K%, 2.2 BB%, 3.82 FIP
          Sev. Gonzalez 6’1 155: age 20, level A+, 9.7 K%, 2.3 BB%, 2.59 FIP

          1. Cant disagree based off of Fangraphs assessment and I’ve only seen one of them pitch(Sev) so I’m basing my assessment on Pinto off of reports I’ve seen.

            His change up has been described as plus already which would put him at a 60 at the present. His fastball sits 91-94 and touches 96 I think I saw on Matt’s scouting report which i think you can argue either 55/60. Two pitches at a 50 grade compared to a 60 grade make a very different pitcher imo. Also Sev’s fastball is more like a 40/45, 50 is very generous grade imo, even as a future.

            The stats are similar but have a definite edge towards Sev.

            Again, I haven’t seen Pinto pitch so the reports could be inaccurate….

          2. Fangraphs grades Sev’s fastball as a 45, with 50 as a future. He has no above average pitches and a below average fastball. Pinto’s fastball is at least a grade higher, already sitting low-mid 90s and touching 96. Depending on where you look, Pinto has two pitches that profile as above average or plus, with a third pitch that can be average. I don’t think he and Gonzalez are very similar at all.

            Pinto threw less changeups and more sliders in Clearwater, per MattWinks. We’ve known the Phillies to try and develop pitchers in that manner before. That would help explain the lack of strikeouts.

            1. Yes, fangraphs graded Severino’s FB at 45 now, 50 future and Pinto’s at 50 now, 55 future. Doesn’t change anything I posted. Pinto has a slightly better Fastball. I just posted the future projections.
              Also, if the Phillies developed both pitchers, that means both were limited throwing change-ups. So their results can still be compared.

            2. I’d say there’s a significant difference between Severino’s 88-90, T92 and Pinto’s 91-94, T96. I think Fangraph’s pitch grades can be suspect, but at best they’re just the opinion of one source. Everything else I’ve seen regarding Pinto’s fastball rates it as above average currently.

              Also, the Phillies limited the use of Sev’s cutter but not until 2014 when he got to AA. As far as I know, he was able to use his full arsenal when he was in Clearwater.

          3. That’s seems an awfully high rating on Sev’s stuff. We’ll see what he does in 2016. He certainly disappointed in 2015 and also not great in 2014. I would not have given him 50 or better grades on 3 pitches and command. Maybe he was hurting. His BB-rate has been good, his K-rate middling, but he’s been a HR machine: 277 IP wit 36 HR over the past two seasons over 3 levels.

            1. It’s a crazy high rating on Sev. His FB was in the 40/45 range when I saw it. 91 is a 50 FB for a righty. He sits 88-90. HIs stuff was all average or below average. Now, he’s still young and maybe there’s some untapped potential, but I never saw anything that would lead me to view him as any more than a borderline 5/AAAA guy.

  4. Eflin here. He’s the last guy from my top 10. I also had him earlier than 10. I think a lot of us had same top 10 in different orders. I expect a lot more disagreement on 11-15.

  5. I agree, He was the last of my Top 10, so I went with Eflin here. He does not have the upside of some of our other pitching prospects, but I still believe he is a Major League SP.

      1. Agree his in depth knowledge and abundant metric information on the prospects are wikipedia-like.
        But after 10 it will get dicey it appears to me.
        He is Cozens @ 31 and Jose Pujols @16 and Juan Luis @28….head scratchers IMO. Perhaps maybe paralysis by analysis!

      2. I think MW suffers from too much devotion/loyalty to prospects he loved at the time of acquisition and severe bias against prospects he didn’t like much at time of acquisition. His Jose Pujols love and Dylan Cozens hate borders on the absurd. He is smart and knows what to look for, but I think that flaw takes away from his articles. JMO.

        1. I have been wrong and will be wrong again. Scouts and other evaluators think that Pujols will hit (especially once they clean up his hitch). A lot of people like Cozens’ raw power, but they think he is one trick guy. His pitch recognition is poor and his approach is bad. I personally don’t think he will hit because his swing is long and he lacks the feel to square up the baseball. Pujols is also a much better defender.

          I repeatedly asked guys about Cozens this year because I am down on him. Best I got was that the power potential gives him a chance to break out, but that he will need to make large improvements to his contact abilities against premium stuff.

          1. All reasonable explanations, depending on how you interpret the subjective data you’ve present. And I agree with your assement of Cozens (except your poor #31 ranking)for the most part, but that is an argument that I won’t engage because its based non-objective data. On the other hand: Pujols at #16 has zero valid reasoning.

            Tyler Goeddel is becoming my go-to prospect as a baseline comparable for ML prospect. You have Jose Pujols at #16 and Tyler Goeddel at #19. Goeddel has good tools, more speed and has as much or more defensive value as Pujols. Pujols has never played above SS ball. Goeddel went straight from HS to Full-season ball.

            Below, Goeddel’s WORST season (his 1st) and Pujols’ BEST season:

            J Pujols: 19, level ss, 8.7 BB%, 28.3K%, .121 ISO, .320 wOBA 101RC+
            Goeddel: 19, level A, 10.0 bb%, 24.8K%, .125 ISO, .326 wOBA 103RC+

            Again, Goeddel’s WORST season is better across the board to Pujols’ BEST season and it was at a higher level and he had less pro experience.

            1. VOR….you hit the nail on the head. Did not realize the Goeddel aspect in regards to their respective rankings.
              I really would like Pujols to come around as was expected at the time, from his big signing, but after almost 700 PAS with a krate at 30% just do not see it happening.
              Further, as mentioned above, ‘cleaning up a hitch’ is easier said then done.
              In practice it is not difficult, in real game situations muscle memory can be too far ingrained to just ‘forget’ about it and make the correct swing adjustment.
              He is entering his age-20 season so he is young enough to ‘get it together’, and with the high bonus money involved, the Phillies may have more patience.
              This year is critical and he needs to show progression.

  6. I know I’m in the minority at this point, but I think (and want to believe) that Kingery is the best prospect remaining. Eflin is very good and Hoskins has a chance to meaningfully contribute but when we look back in 10-15 years, I think Kingery has the better career.

    1. Kingery could be the best prospect left, but there are many choices that may have as much or more potential: Devi Grullon, Jhailyn Ortiz, Malquin Canelo, Adonis Medina, Carlos Tocci and Nick Pivetta could all have more impact down the road.

  7. Romus, I m with you on Cozens. It seems to me that too many of us spend too much time on what Cozens may not be able to do at the next level. He had a strong season in Clearwater and, upon call up to reading was arguably are best offensive player down the stretch showing no learning curve. I have not seen him play, but he sure profiles like a prospect who has legit chance to play in “the show”. He seems to have matured since the high school incident with the manager – imagine a 17 year kid acting immaturely at times. I have never heard of that before. Kudos to him for evolving and being able to grow as person.

    1. This will be the season doubters change their tune on Cozens. They might identify with a breakout at Reading, while I would contend that the breakout has already started

      1. Presently, Cozens and Hoskins do seem to be running neck- and- neck for the annual Rodney Dangerfield Award.

    2. I have seen Cozens play 6 times. He is very big and not very fluid. Still plays like a linebacker out there. I like his stats but he doesn’t pass my eye test. I think he is closer to 30 than 10.

      1. v1…you saw him play 6 times . I may be incorrect, but I assume it was in Lakewood in 2014, almost two years ago now and he was 20-years old. He may have physically matured more since, and may have increased his fluidity since then.
        But you are certainly entitled to rank him 20 thru 30 somewhere, if that is where you think he ranks as a prospect in the system..

        1. True, my in person views where in Lakewood. But I have seen him in videos and I see the same robotic movements. He has not shown real in-game power and is not a great defender.

      2. V1 I do appreciate and respect your opinions s they are always well thought out and researched. I find it interesting that you – mr metrics, are now going to tell us the reason you have Cozens ranked lower is because as a 6’6″ 19 year old who weighs 235 pounds may lack some fluidness in his movement. Yet his metrics say he should be ranked higher on our collective lists! Mmmmmmm…….. Very interesting.

        Why you call lack of fluidness I would call upside or as we used to say when I was a kid “grow into his body”. 😉

        1. 1. I like looking at stats but always weigh scouting reports too.
          2. Not sure what stats you are looking at. Maybe the extremely small sample of his AA stats. But his stats at Clearwater are not exactly elite.

          1. V1 no worries about the comment rating. It is just my opinion – the raterhas every right to disagree. Assuming Cozens plays in Reading this year, I will be able to see him in person as I live in suburban philly which is about 50 minutes from reading and 35 min from Trenton. Agreed about the extremely sss in Reading but don’t think the organization would have thrown him up there if they did not think he could handle it. That is what makes all of this so much fun is that you we really don’t know which prospect is going to be “the true lottery” ticket”.

            Remember Cozens had football scholarship offers to play Defensive end for Arizona St among others . The athleticism is there – we will find out if there is enough baseball player in there.

            1. The key baseball talent needed to hit a baseball is vision. Specifically 20/12 or better vision. His ability to play defensive end is irrelevant.

            2. v1…one telling metric to determine if a player has ‘vision’ to hit a baseball is a player’s Krate… Cozens is trending down from over 26% a few years ago to under 20% in the latest metrics, and that ain’t hey!
              ……and I have been told on numerous occasions look at the latest trend line not the entire picture.

    3. The Bull might have a been a little stiff . Cozens hit 16 hr in Lakewood he may not be a Gold glove winner but seems to have a quite a few outfield Asst . He not fast but he steals base’s . The 2nd half of last yr the Phillies changed Cozens Approach in Clearwater to generated more contact.Yes Cozens did well in Reading and in the Summer league. Cozens came here a 17 yr old football player . He had advanced steadily though the system. Pujols was signed at 17 yes he has a great arm although he needs help route ‘s . Pujols should start in lakewood his yr his first yr . This should tell a lot about him. Both have there minus and pluses .

  8. I went with Pinto here he throws right at the hitters his fastball can get too 96 and plus Cu. Seve throws 90,91 which is ok if have a plus Breaking ball which he doesn’t . Could it be that Pinto k’s went down as soon as told him not too use CU has much . Minor league pitching Stats are rough we never somethings that the pitchers are working on.

  9. Adonis Medina here. Grade A name and can rip it. Feel he has a better profile than the other sub a ball players. Rule 5 player after that.

  10. V1 I do appreciate and respect your opinions s they are always well thought out and researched. I find it interesting that you – mr metrics, are now going to tell us the reason you have Cozens ranked lower is because as a 6’6″ 19 year old who weighs 235 pounds may lack some fluidness in his movement. Yet his metrics say he should be ranked higher on our collective lists! Mmmmmmm…….. Very interesting.

    Why you call lack of fluidness I would call upside or as we used to say when I was a kid “grow into his body”. 😉

  11. surprised kingery isn’t getting more votes, has at least 2 mlb carrying tools from what i read and has proximity to mlb which plays a good size factor when ranking players. just my 2 cents

  12. V1 Good point on hitting a baseball and thanks Romus for the positive trend on the K rate trending down. The ability to be athletic enough can translate into areas such as fielding and throwing which have become increasingly more important in the valuation of a prospect. But you knew already, right? Probably 😉

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