Phuture Phillies 2017 Reader Top 30 Poll for #1

Welcome to the 2017 Reader Top 30!

Well, here we go.  This should take us through the end of January.  A short two weeks later, pitchers and catchers report on February 13th and have their first work out on the 14th, signalling the start of spring training.  The first full squad work out is on the 17th.  Just 63 days to go.

I expect to publish a poll 4-5 days each week.  This first ballot is comprised of MLB’s top 20 prospects.  I’ll add names as needed.

If you want to suggest a player you think I may overlook, you can make the request among the Comments section or e-mail using the Subject Line – Add Prospect.  The Other option (a write-in option) will not be used this year.


75 thoughts on “Phuture Phillies 2017 Reader Top 30 Poll for #1

  1. #1 is obvious, but I wondered why there is no Sixto Sanchez.. He is by no means #1 (yet), but I think he is at least in #5 – #10 range.

      1. And Eshelman has a vote early. It’s probably because you mentioned him. Crawford is still #1 in my book.

  2. The top 15 prospects may be shuffled around but there’ll most likely be a consensus. The bottom 15 will definitely be an interesting survey on which players are lying in the weeds.

    While I’m hoping for big things from Alfaro, there are 2 catchers to keep an eye on: Rafael Marchan and Austin Bossart. Doubt they’ll make the top 30 but I like what I’ve read.

    1. 8mark,

      I agree. I took a first stab at a top 30 and the second 15 were all over the place. Then I noticed that I forgot Valentin. Below is the 30, sans Valentin. I expect to revise it as I learn more from the great analysts on this site.

      Note, I’ve got Nick Williams and Andrew Knapp down lower than most. Last year, I had them in about the same places as this year and expressed some doubt about both of them. That doubt proved justified, I think.

      I also had Edubray Ramos higher than most and enjoyed seeing my confidence in him come to fruition.

      For this year, I rank Hoskins high mainly because I think he’s clock: He just keeps on ticking. He could end up being an annual 25 HR, 80-90 RBI, hit-in-the-clutch guy more than making up for being just a RH 1B.

      So, here’s a rough start. Feel free to offer any and all advice, y’all.

      2017 Top 30 Prospects
      SWFL Frank

      1. JP Crawford
      2. Jorge Alfaro
      3. Rhys Hoskins
      4. Mickey Moniak
      5. Franklyn Kilome
      6. Roman Quinn
      7. Dylan Cozens
      8. Scott Kingery
      9. Nick Williams
      10. Mark Appel
      11. Sixto Sanchez
      12. Jhailyn Ortiz
      13. Andrew Knapp
      14. Einary Garcia
      15. Cornelius Randolph
      16. Kevin Gowdy
      17. Nick Pivetta
      18. Deivy Grullon
      19. Adonis Medina
      20. Victor Arano
      21. Carlos Tocci
      22. Chace Numata
      23. Jose Pujols
      24. Ricardo Pinto
      25. Alberto Tirado
      26. Matt Hockenberry
      27. Josh Tobias
      28. Jeff Singer
      29. Andrew Pullin
      30. Josh Stephen

      1. You are really bullish on Hoskins. He, also could push Tommy Joseph later in the year in Philly. TJ needs to get off to a good start or he will be looking over his shoulder.

        1. Romus,

          It will be interesting to see TJ vs. Hoskins play out. Likewise the Galvis, JP, CeHe, Valentin traffic jam.

          I know you’re high on Valentin and, I’ve got to admit, I’ve really like his workman-like approach.

    2. I love Austin Bossart. If his bat continues to improve, his game calling will take him places.
      I still dont undertand why Moniak is so hight. Him and Sixto are still to young to make any impact, but I guess people over pump players hoping that they become tje next Andrew Jones or Feliz Hernandez in no time.

    3. I think Bossart has fewer holes in his game (offense/defense) than the “prospects”. He just needs more ABs.

  3. JP overrated. Everyone assumes he’s going to be in the majors next year because of the echo chamber effect.

    1. No, he’s not. His likely WORST case scenario is as an above-average regular (a 3+ WAR player). His likely outcome is as first division regular/minor star, a guy who plays a terrific shortstop, makes tons of good contact and draws a ridiculous amount of walks. His plate discipline (judging balls and strikes) and plate control (ability to foul off borderline pitches until he gets a good pitch) are 80. Seriously – 80. That’s a unique skill and I think it’s a skill that is going to allow him to grow as a hitter for a long time as he gets stronger and learns to turn on the ball. He had a down year last year to be sure, but he’s worthy of our top spot even if his prospect star has dimmed a little bit. He’s a building block player and there aren’t many of those around.

    2. His being in the majors next season has nothing to do with him being overrated or not. He is not overrated because he plays a premium position well and has shown advanced OB skills at every level.

      The only real question in regards to him eventually becoming a top-10 player at his position is if he develops enough power.

  4. I voted for JP and I think he is the overwhelming choice, but I have a general question as we get into later slots. With the big money going to relievers, huge to closers and set up guys alike, does that make any of our Pitchers, who, even if they don’t make it as a SP, more valuable, and therefore deserving of a higher rank? Guys like Appel and Tirado come quickly to mind.

    1. In the MLB, I think relief pitchers were previously undervalued, but are now maybe slightly overvalued. Among prospects rankings, however, I think they are definitely undervalued. Case in point – Ken Giles was ranked 14th and 15th on our 2014 list. He should have been ranked higher than that – probably in the top 10 or so. So I think Victor Arano should be ranked in the top 30, perhaps even the top 20 and the fallback reliever position for a guy like Appel makes him inherently more valuable. So, yes, on the whole, I agree with you.

      1. Catch, in fairness, no one expected Giles to be that good. Lots of us talked him up and thought he would be in a major league bullpen soon but his actual production was out of sight. Does Tirado have that kind of upside? I thought Cordero might but I don’t think of Tirado as elite. Good pen arms are very valuable too but they’re not top 10. Appel is 15ish because of potential

        1. You’re right, nobody expected him to be that good – if we had known he would be that good, he would have been placed in the top 5 prospects, perhaps even the top 3 (and if you doubt that check out the value we received for him – it’s elite value). My view is that, knowing what we knew then and his stuff, he should have been around 10 or so. We also completely undervalued Jake Diekman when he was coming up – he should have been in the top 25-30 at least with his deadline stuff, but never made it.

          As for Appel and Tirado, right now, Tirado does not look like a bullpen arm because it looks like he struggles in shorter outings. Appel ranked around 15 is probably right and he’s 15 not 20 or so because of his potential as a reliever.

          1. I’m interested in Tirado as a starter. Let’s see if he can extend his starts beyond the fifth and sixth inning.

          2. One thing about Appel as a reliever – I saw a scouting report on the other day mentioning his trouble with runners on base. That would be a bullpen red flag.

          1. Command is something you are born with. Very few ever get it just like that. Good luck to Tirado as hard trhowing closer or something else.

        2. Tirado moved to starter and did well. I think he can be closer or mid-rotation starter who doesn’t go deep into games.

    2. Salaries are going up across the board, not just for relievers. Average 3rd/4th starters are getting $10-$15 million per season in the open market.

      Personally, I still value a prospect who can remain as a starter above all but the most dominant relief pitcher/closer candidate. So for a guy like Appel, if he appears to destined to be a middle inning reliever, his value drops..

  5. I agree guys, I wasn’t thinking Top 10, but for later slots as I work on my rankings list. Arano is another great example. A lot of us liked Giles but thought he needed to develop a slider, which he did, and made him much better.

  6. I voted Crawford because of talent plus extreme proximity. I think Moniak will have the better pro career, but he gets downgrade for lack of proximity.

  7. JP Crawford to me is the obvious pick here. I think the importance of his 2017 cannot be understated what it can do for the rebuild effort. The leadership of this organization is thankfully focusing on plate discipline and improving OBP and JP Crawford, if successful, could be a leader for a young core in this specific area, not to mention other areas of strong performance. A very strong start by JP at AAA and a May/June callup would be a great development for the rebuild and even more so if he was able to start off in the majors holding his own or better.

    On the flip side, a slow start or injury would be a much worse development and if JP in any way has a year that causes concern regarding his future, I think it definitely impacts the rebuild in a fairly significant way. Having said that, JP has demonstrated maturity beyond his years throughout the system and I think he will have a good start at AAA and be in Philly by mid season and we will have a key piece in place to the future of this organization.

    1. The Phillies violated their own criterion for promotion with Crawford by moving him to AAA before he was dominating at the AA level. He should catch up this year by July, but it could take most of the year.

    2. Not sure how a slow start by Crawford, or even an injury other than a significant one, is all that significant to the long-term rebuild. A bad April/May doesn’t change his eventual move to the big league roster.

      The only significant impact to the rebuild as is relates to Crawford would be if he shows no improvement in AAA over the 2017 season. It doesn’t matter long-term if he’s in Philly in May/June of 2017 or May/June 2018.

      1. You should really read comments more closely before criticizing them. The comment was “if JP in any way has a year that causes concern regarding his future, I think it definitely impacts the rebuild in a fairly significant way.” My point is if at the end of 2017 JP’s future projection is much less promising than it is today, I think that significantly impacts the rebuild. He has been the #1 prospect for a while and a guy that has been hoped to be at the top or middle of the order, with plus defense, and a first division shortstop for the Phils for years to come, and if that projection changes, it is significant.

        1. Think I read them quite well. “On the flip side, a slow start or injury would be a much worse development” is how you open the paragraph. My response is that a slow start or minor injury is meaningless…

          We both agree that an entire 2017 without signs of improvement is a problem. I don’t think I missed the overall meaning..

  8. Reading the comments yesterday and today about Sixto’s inclusion or not at this point, I think it’s a bigger issue. The readers and commenters on this site are so wise and knowledgeable about these prospects that I think the list should be longer and more inclusive right from day one. If this was, I think you’d have to manage the vote so to say because of a lack of understanding (among many other things), but on this site people truly care and take this seriously and so I don’t think the vote should be shaped by the moderator(s) by him deciding who should be included when, but rather put everyone out there now that has a chance to be in the top 30 and let the smart, knowledgeable people of this site vote as they see fit.

    Certainly not an attack on Jim, your contributions to this site on your worst day are far better than what I could do on my best and this site would be nothing without you, so please don’t take my opinion the wrong way here.

    1. How do you know that your list of the top 30 is the same as my list? The cut-off needs to be somewhere and it’s currently at 20. I’m sure the smart people on this site will be able to identify who their choice is for each pick without undue influence by the names listed.

      Showing the BA list in the comments is much more likely to have an influence and I’m fine with that being shown…

        1. So the issue is Sixto? I expect the smart fans here already know who he is so his exclusion from the list for pick #1 isn’t impacting anything.

          If you are talking about listing the potential 50-60 players who could possibly in part of the top 30 that would seem to be unwieldy..

    2. Buddy, the original Reader Poll offered 10 prospects plus the Other option. I chose to open it up to 20 when I took over before the 2015 Poll. (I also opened it up to a one time only top 50 to keep interest in the site after the other writers left or were going to leave.) I have regretted that decision ever since. Each poll has to be created from scratch. There is no copy and edit option. More options is a lot more typing, and a lot more work.

      If pressed for a change, I’m more likely to opt to cut back to a Top 20 with 10 prospects per poll than I am to extending each poll out to 30 prospects.

      1. And as for me shaping the vote, I don’t think I left anyone off the first poll who the “wise and knowledgeable” commenters would have selected for the #1 prospect in the organization. And I don’t think who I’ve left off a poll shapes the vote. Especially when I encourage suggestions in the Comment section or via e-mail.

      2. Once the vote gets started, you can get a pretty good idea of who might be picked for the next rank based on the previous round’s voting.

        You could put the top 10 vote getters from the last poll, plus an “Other” write in category, and save yourself some typing. I don’t think you would lose any accuracy using that method.

    1. By the second wow is Hoskins. BA is typically “ceiling” oriented – so for them to include a right-handed first baseman who is about to turn 24 as the #6 prospect in the organization means they think an awfully lot of him and I agree with them.

      This is a very fine list. My only personal gripe is I’m not a Nick Williams fan. If you flipped him and Kilome, I’d be good with that but, again, it’s a very good list.

        1. Romus our first item for our menu. A catch 22 of the day. A tim river big mouth bass, in our Dmar wine sauce over a romus lettuce salad. 34.95

  9. C is a tough pick to make slot wise. A very mediocre year with an injury, so nothing to get excited about. I have a tough time picking him in the Top 10 just based on what we thought of him when he was drafted. And, I still am not sure that Hoskins shouldn’t have a higher ranking than Cozens. Important year for a lot of these guys.

    1. Cozens has too many red flags right now, awful platoon splits, awful home/road splits, too many strikeouts. He’s placed about right at number 10.

  10. Great to hear that Moniak put on an additional 20 lbs of muscle in the offseason. Going from 170 to 190 is a huge deal and should help him avoid fatigue in the long season. This development leads me to the obvious question. Why the hell isn’t Tocci on the same plan?

    1. He was – HE CAN’T GAIN WEIGHT. HE’S A SKINNY, NON-MUSCULAR TWIG OF A MAN. Folks, some people can gain muscle weight, others really cannot. If you saw him in person you would see exactly what I mean.

      1. FYI – JP also apparently went home with the goal of putting on muscle weight. Supposedly, he finally agreed with the Phils that he needed to add muscle. We’all all wait to see what he looks like when he shows up.

        1. The Phillies were really engaging in some tough love with J.P. – very little praise for him last year. They want him to get bigger and come into ST with a chip on his shoulder. I think they went out of their way this past summer NOT to praise him or make him complacent.

  11. BAs list is very, very encouraging, especially with Sixto and Hoskins recognized that highly by an objective source. Williams and Cozens are no doubt exceptional talents who we’ll find out more about in ’17. We should see half of the top 10 by no later than September. Wins and losses aside, this should be the most interesting season of Phillies baseball since 2011.

    1. Probably so – guys in their second year in the big leagues are, to me, just as interesting as the rookies. It certainly won’t be the “same old” “same old” Phillies we saw there for quite some time.

      1. Catch,

        Guys in their third years interest me. I’m eager to see if Herrera and Franco can bust out as mature hitters now that they’ve had their sophomore slumps and learned that they’ve got to learn and become more disciplined and better students of the game.

  12. Big Hoskins guy…glad he is getting love…but i think he eventually is traded because Joseph locks 1st down this year!

    1. I keep holding out hope that the NL gets the DH, in which case both players could remain on the team. If that does not happen, I think the team is going to let both guys play and see how things pan out. Joseph has the added benefit of actually having hit some in the big leagues – he has serious in-game power. However, he is a rough fielder and hasn’t shown good plate discipline thus far. Hoskins may have a higher upside.

      1. Wasn’t even mentioned as part of the CBA this time around so I wouldn’t hold my out too much hope for the DH anytime soon..

        1. I believe it will be four years for the next CBA.
          Unless Trump calls Commish Rob Manfred up and have him walk down to Trump Tower to see him, and ask for the DH in both leagues…make baseball great again.:)

    2. Sam,

      It will be interesting to see how it plays out. I think maybe Hoskins has the edge as a more consistent hitter and better OBP guy. But it could go either way.

  13. I agree that Crawford is overrated (along w Cozens as well) . . . I just don’t see him having a career that is worthy of being a top 5 prospect in all of baseball. I’m ready to get killed w my comp (haha) . . . I think he ends up w a career like Marco Scutaro (check out his number, which isn’t bad just not a superstar or a perennial all star). I just don’t see the player that most see (and I get that people w better knowledge that I have would disagree whole heartedly but I just don’t think he’s gonna have the career that most ppl think he will). Hope I’m completely wrong.

  14. In the golden age of 1976-1980, 1974 was the year that the Phillies started to turn he corner. They developed a home grown nucleus that they later supplanted with trades, most notably McGraw and Maddox. This year might be similar…JP, Alfaro and a sleeper (Cozens or Hoskins) -and we’re in a much different position next off season

  15. —Francisco Lindor…age 21 season at AAA:….Games-59….PAs -262 HR- 2 RBIs-22 SB-9 slash .284/ .350 /. 752……BB rate -10%…Krate-15%…wRC+-118
    —JPC……………………age 21 season at AAA:….Games-87…PAs385……HR-3….RBIs-30….SB-7…slash .244/328/.647…..BB rate-11%…Krate15%….wRC+-90
    JPC is somewhat close to Lindor’s AAA season in some specific metrics…just not wRC+ however.

  16. Yes, Crawford for #1. I’d like to add, early, a name that should become even more valuable this season: Valentin. Looking at his development with the Dodgers and Phils, we read that he was chosen as the Dodgers best fielding infielder and with their best infield arm early in his pro career….and he’s played both SS and 2nd base in the minors. In his ’16 season at Reading, this 22 yr old came on at the plate at times touching .300 BA. His hitting at AAA for a short time declined…but given his history should recover well at LV where he should start at 2b with Crawford at SS.

    There seems at lot to like there even if we favor Kingery to be the ultimate 2nd baseman for the emerging better team. His fielding has probably maintained his previous plaudits and, to me, he looks like a super sub that can play the middle infield and maybe 3rd base as he did a little in the Dodgers’ system. He could give Kingery the necessary competition for 2nd base…but IMO he is a vital tool for their coming infield, even as a super sub. I suggest he is closer to the top 10 than people may give him credit for.

    1. Minor league K rate-15%…BB rate 11% over approx. 1800 PAs….that says it all.
      He will be a major league player soon, depends on him at what level.

    1. Two things going against Stassi.
      He’ll turn 26 in 2017.
      He doesn’t hit for power relative to playing 1b (which he does well).
      I’d like to see him given a shot out of spring training to at least platoon with TJ until Hoskins arrives.

    2. He’s a 1b without power who’s a .280 hitter. Darren Ruf was a better prospect and he wasn’t a prospect…

      Hopefully the Phillies have 30 better prospects in the system..

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