Phuture Phillies 2017 Reader Top 30 Poll for #2

J.P. Crawford was the selection as the top prospect in the Phillies’ organization.  Crawford garnered 81% of 343 votes.

This is the third consecutive year that Crawford has been voted the #1 prospect in the organization by Phuture Phillies readers.  Jorge Alfaro finished a distant second with 8% of the vote, Mickey Moniak finished third with 4%.

Crawford started the season in Reading where he posted a slash of .265/.398/.390/.787 in 36 games before his promotion to AAA.  His 2016 slash in Reading was virtually similar to the .265/.354/.407/.761 he posted in 86 games in 2015.  Crawford posted a .244/.328/.318/.647 in 87 games in Lehigh Valley.

Crawford’s drop in production could be attributed to the better pitching he saw in AAA. However, it is just as likely that he was hampered by a nagging injury he endured throughout the season.  Early in the off season, Crawford underwent surgery to remove lose bodies from his left knee.

In 2016, Crawford posted a career high .966 fielding percentage and career low 19 errors.

Crawford sports a career BB/K of 232/243.  His legendary plate discipline suffered a slight blip when he walked 42 times and struck out 59 times with Lehigh Valley.

Next up is your selection for the #2 prospect in the organization.  Baseball America published their Phillies Top Ten.  The only prospect not already listed in our poll was Sixto Sanchez.  I added him to this poll.


82 thoughts on “Phuture Phillies 2017 Reader Top 30 Poll for #2

  1. Dylan Cozens road OPS: .766
    Jorge Alfaro road OPS: .705
    Dylan Cozens vs. LHP: .640 OPS
    Jorge Alfaro vs LHP: .585 OPS

    I like Moniak at #2 and Kilome at #3. I actually have Alfaro at #7, in between Cozens and Williams. Alfaro will probably win the vote here.

    Just remember when we get to Cozens that the two things everyone kills him for, he was better than the #2 prospect while being a little over a year younger.

    1. Those are very interesting stats of which I was entirely unaware. Thanks for bringing them to our attention. Like a few of our prospects (including Cozens), Alfaro’s ultimate outcome is extremely uncertain. But his tools are so good and unusual for a catcher that he’s worth the patience they will show with him. He could be a guy who needs to spend a couple of years at AAA before he takes off, like Gary Sanchez.

      Also, because I think it might be a while before Alfaro is ready, we shouldn’t be so quick to dispense with a guy like Andy Knapp. I believe strongly in Knapp as a hitter and I think this could be a big bounce-back year for him.

      1. Unfortunately Alafaro doesn’t have a couple years to play at AAA bc he will be out of opinions after this year. Which means hopefully he’s ready this year or next otherwise the Phillies will end up losing him.

        1. Chad…just carry him on the 40, how do you lose him?
          Grullon is the only other catcher in the system that would be required to be protected and probably be desirable enough to protect that is coming up. Rupp or Knapp could be moved at some point within the next two years anyway.

          1. Romus- if Alafaro does not make the big league team this year he uses an option. Therefore he needs to be ready to play in the MLB by 2018. Alafaro can not play more than 1 year at AAA like catch suggested that’s all I was stating.

    2. Those are interesting stats except that Alfaro plays a much more premium position and will definitely be able to stay there vs. Cozens who may or may not be able to remain in the OF.

      Went with Alfaro over Moniak based on position and production at a higher level..

    3. I voted Moniak here. He is a long way from the majors, but our scouts see huge talent and many of the skills already evident. I’ll have Alfaro at #3. Yes, the stats on Cozens are better, but Cozens can’t catch. Alfaro still has work to do on some aspects of his deal, but already is plus at throwing out baserunners and his tools in that regard are plus-plus.

          1. I recall there was some talk about Grooms demands if taken #1 also. Ithink his agent was Boras. So your probably right about being able to get two.

            My angle is that there were some comments about having a klayton krrshaw upside, AND the phils dearth of lefty starters in the system. Fro a pure talent/need issue, I thoight Grrome was the fit….aside from the mo.ey issues.

            We’ll have to see in about 10-15 yrs or maybe less.

            Groome impressed me for a H.S. kid…in the videos I saw.

  2. Hello All – I love this site. I read the posts and comments regularly but rarely post a comment myself. Here’s a question. It seems Cozens garners a lot more attention than someone like Hoskins, who has had a remarkably consistent minor league career. Is that faulty perception on my part? And if it isn’t, what makes Cozens more attractive (other than positional considerations)?

    1. Without looking further into it, Cozens appears better because of his triple slash and minor league leading 40 homeruns. Hoskins more consistent though

      1. Hoskins is more consistent, and progresses each year. Every year a little better than before. Anxious to see how he handles AAA.

    2. I like Hoskins, but Cozens is 14 months younger and brings a speed profile that Hoskins can’t offer. I have Cozens 7th and Hoskins 9th this year, but I had Cozens relatively high (8th) last season as well.

      I’m not going to critique the monster season Cozens just had, but I will say there are some patterns in his splits that I will be interested to see play out at LV in 2017

      1. And Cozens plays a more valuable position in the outfield and is a very fine athlete.

        That said, I think, although Cozens’ ceiling is higher, for all his limitations (first baseman, right-handed, not particularly young), Hoskins is the better prospect right now.

        I view Cozens as a boom or bust major league prospect. I think he’s either going to be a really good major league player (the power is entirely real) or he’s going either not make the majors to be one of those guys who hits .210 with a bunch of homers and some walks, but little else, like Russell Branyan or Chris Carter. He has to learn how to fight off left-handed pitching or he is going to get abused by LOOGY types as Ryan Howard did.

        By comparison, Hoskins has a tighter swing, good platoon and home/away splits, growing plate discipline (second half of the year he was great), and is said to be a solid fielder. Hoskins probably does not have as much power as Tommy Joseph (who has like 65 in-game power – which is nothing to sneeze at), but he seems to have a better hit tool, better plate discipline and is a better fielder by all accounts. It wouldn’t surprise me if Joseph continues to improve and keeps the job but I wouldn’t count Hoskins out either – he can play.

        1. Catch, Well said. One of my red flags about Cozens is his temper. Hoskins looks as even tempered as a wet dish cloth. I’ve been a big Hoskins fans since watching him play for the Threshers. I like Cozens potential. But Cozens certainly has a lot of red flags that need to be furled.

          My prediction subject to change: Hoskins a solid 25 HR, 85-90 RBI contributor. Cozens anywhere from an Al-Star to a valuable platoon player to one of those guys who hangs around the bar and talks about what could have been.

    3. I think its a combination of Cozens power output in 2016 and defensive position. Hoskins I think gets a bit undersold because he’s right-handed and plays 1b where the offensive bar is higher.

    4. Good timing on your question. I saw this morning that BA released its 2017 Phillies Top 10 – They appear to be the first outlet to “come around” on Hoskins, ranking him 6th and Cozens 10th. I know BA knocks him for being a 1B-only guy, so I think this ranking says a lot about their belief in his ability to hit at the major league level.

      FWIW, I agree. I have Hoskins ahead of Cozens. I generally think the obvious major league contributors can be undervalued in favor of boom/bust guys like Cozens, which is just the nature of speculating about future talent.

    5. Positional considerations are certainly a big part. Cozens’ slightly better stats are a part. Cozens’ rate of improvement is a part. Cozens has more to learn. He can’t hit LHP. If he picks up there, he’s a monster. I have both Cozens and Hoskins in my top 10, but like Cousins a tad better, really probably only about one spot difference. The consistency of Hoskins across many minor league levels points to a higher floor for him, but I see Cousins as having the higher ceiling.

  3. Alfaro here. FWIW, I ranked him 10th last year when there were doubts as to whether he would stick at C. One of the most improved players in the system in my opinion, and at a premium position.

    Steve (Tampa) Rankings

    1. JP Crawford
    2. Jorge Alfaro

    1. Same thoughts. I thought he was on his way out, and way overrated, but that improvement in his defense changed his entire profile.

  4. I’m in the minority here, but I went with Nick Williams. He was 22 and had pretty good success in triple-A for 80% of his season. Before the season he was ranked as high 25th for baseball America and 27th for baseball prospectus. It also seemed like there were some issues with him and the manager, who has since been replaced.

    So even though I think Alfaro will be #2, and deservedly so, Nick Williams has had more success at the penultimate highest level. A level Alfaro has not even reached yet. And it’s not like there’s a huge age difference between the two either.

    1. Andrew,

      Williams is a “show me’ prospect.

      Until he does, I have him around 10th.

      I’m also a big attitude and hustle person. One can blame his manager last season, but maybe the fault lies in the Williams stars.

  5. I submitted the following question to BAs Ben Badler for their chat today at 2pm:

    How would you rank the Phillies ” up the middle ” prospects – Alfaro, Crawford, Kingery & Moniak – with other organizations?

    I personally think that for rebuilding there isn’t a more important indicator of success than what you’ve got up the middle. As long as you’re getting a reasonable amount of power from the corner positions, that’s the spine of a good lineup, both offensively and defensively.

    1. I’d agree, except one has to get a ton of offense from the IF and OF corners and the Phillies have been horrible at developing corner OFs and now need to find a firstbaseman, although I think the answer is in our system, whether that be Joseph, Hoskins, or Ortiz.

  6. I voted for Alfaro here. If he has one more year of improvement like last year’s, he could easily be #1. I have Kilome #3, with Moniak #4 and moving ahead of Williams. Moniak was lower earlier but the reports from Jim that he’s added bulk were very promising. Sixto continues to move up my list. He’s # 9 right now. He’s so young and so far away from the Show that the risks are huge. But every year he puts up solid numbers would move him well into the top 3. Cozens has some gigantic holes in his swing. AAA will definitely expose them further but he has made some adjustments as he’s moved up and let’s see if he can adjust some more. He’s #6 on my list. Hoskins is #7 and the only reason he’s not above Cozens is he’s a 1st baseman. Cozens is still handling the OF well enough and makes him the higher choice. Quinn is #8. His strengths are huge but that injury bug keeps him from moving into the top 5. IMO

  7. Alfaro over Moniak here. Despite the hype on Moniak and no major holes in his game and the potential he has, Alfaro is much further ahead with the big power at a critical position. The swing and miss in his swing with lack of walks is only detractor but is on cusp of majors.

    Its a good problem to have

      1. Romus – for me, proximity generally brings familiarity.A player who has passed thru several levels of the minors may be easier to prospect versus a kid with 40 professional games under his belt and was playing high school ball a few months earlier. The biggest influence for me when ranking prospects is ceiling, but it’s not an absolute factor. The probability of reaching that ceiling is nearly as critical for me.

        1. Steve…can understand that rationale.
          Actually that is something most may do subconsciously anyway.
          Successfully going up that career ladder brings more certainty to the ultimate projection.

      2. I think Alfaro has better floor and better ceiling than Moniak. He has the defensive tools to stick behind the plate, and enough power to be at least a 2nd division regular even if he hits .200, but if it all comes together, he’s a monster.

        Moniak’s floor is probably 4th outfielder, and ceiling of occasional All Star. I think their chances of hitting their ceilings are about the same.

        1. Alfaro might have a better ceiling (because of the catcher position and elite arm and power) but MickeyMo has better floor because of his overall skill set and lack of extreme red flags. Alfaro (knock on wood) can be a boom or bust and MM is a boom or OK MLB player.

          1. So you don’t think Alfaro’s floor is OK MLB player because of his red flags.

            I agree he has those red flags, just that the bar is so low for catchers that average defense, great arm, .200 average, and 15 HR is an everyday player, albeit in the bottom 25% of the league’s starting catchers.

            Moniak may never hit for power, and as he moves up and faces better pitching, his hit tool may not be as good as everyone thought it was. And trying not to take anything away from him, he was a rather weak 1:1. He’s my #3, but the gap in my mind is noticeable.

            1. @rei – if someone has a “bust” factor i don’t consider him an OK MLB player because one somebody becomes a bust, he’ll be out of the league real quick.. Blanco is a typical OK MLB in my definition. I should probably use the word “SAFE” to justify MM floor.

        2. Rei,

          I agree. I see Moniak as a good MLB player, and maybe the occasional all-star, but he’s not the second coming of Joe DiMaggio. Now,Carlos Tocci is, if he’d just gain some darned weight. LOL

      3. For me it’s not a question of proximity but rather a risk/reward assessment.

        I have Alfaro over Moniak because the reward of Alfaro reaching his potential as a catcher is higher than Moniak reaching his potential in CF. Alfaro I believe carries greater risk but not by much. If Moniak’s supposed new weight gain increases his power potential then maybe the assessment changes.

        1. Well said

          “I have Alfaro over Moniak because the reward of Alfaro reaching his potential as a catcher is higher than Moniak reaching his potential in CF. “

        2. I don’t ever feel comfortable with relying on catchers for their offensive contributions to the line-up because they are so prone to injury back there e.g. Posey and Maurer.

          The beating back there I believe degrades the offense faster than any position on the field. That’s not Alfaro’s fault of course.

      4. Romus, for me it only factored into my vote not the entire thing. MM only had 1/2 a year of professional play so that did get considered. I really wanted to rank him 2 but not just yet. My prediction is that he just may be #1 by next year

  8. I went MM here, slightly ahead of Alfaro. CF and C are 2 premium positions, and it came down to MM’s speed/D/hit tool vs. Alfaro’s arm/power. With regard to Cozens, his K rate is also a red flag, and he did hit only 8HRs the year before in over 400 ABs. I want him to succeed, but I need to see him outside of Reading

    1. By the way, I went with MM too. I get the proximity issues, but his upside is huge, I like everything I’ve seen and heard about him and, just as importantly, Alfaro has a bunch of holes in his game and, while he’s not old, he’s not super young either.

    2. matt13…in all fairness to Cozens in ’15….he did have that lower body injury/high ankle I think, not sure, that hampered him for a month or so in Clearwater. Plus from what Jim had said, or maybe it was from another site, about this past spring, they, the Phillies, were changing his batting approach in Clearwater from what it was in Lakewood. So there was that adjustment for him centered around the injury.

      1. Romus, I don’t remember that, but I was just going by the number of ABs Cozens had. I am rooting for him and his power and speed combo could make him a big time player. He wouldn’t be the first to learn to cut down on Ks, and learn to better hit LHP. I am having trouble deciding if his ceiling vs. Hoskins’ floor makes him a higher ranked prospect.

      2. That’s right, Romus. The Phillies asked Cozens to hit for average/contact rather than power in Clearwater. He responded well and slashed .282/.335/.411/.746 with 5 HR, 26 BB, and 79 K in 96 G/365 AB. Cozens suffered his leg injury in mid-June and missed the Threshers’ rally to the first half title. He returned and hit well thru July and August, putting up his best numbers of the season. He was set to finish the season in Clearwater when Nick Williams went down with a concussion in Reading and opened the way for Cozens’ promotion.

        It’s interesting to note that when the shackles were removed from Cozens in Reading in 2016, his average only dropped .006 points and his slash was .276/.350/.591/.941. Sure his Ks rose dramatically, but it only cost him those .006 points and returned an enormous jump in run production.

        I know his home/road splits are skewed, but his have always been skewed. The irony is that his road split in Lakewood was better than his home. He’s always had a better splits against RHP except during the 2014 season in Lakewood. What is it about Lakewood?

  9. IMO #2 is a battle between Alfaro and MickeyMo. when talking of prospects, i consider the most realistic future value a player. MM doesn’t have any major red flags and his tools are fundamentally solid that he should be able to continue his progression which makes it easier for me (or anyone) to expect a more realistic future value for him. Alfaro’s still carry some red flags despite of his proximity — that’s why i have MickeyMo over Alfaro.

  10. I have Sixto, Kilome, and Medina as my top 3 pitchers, but give me some guesses on who the 4th is. It’s probably unexpected, but I think he’s well ahead of the rest of the pitching prospects.

      1. Gowdy to me makes no sense. He isn’t a hard thrower. didn’t do much. Do we based our picks on the draft? or what they do

        1. rocco…..he is 18 years old.
          He still could gain some strength and go up 2/3 ticks on the speedometer.
          How is this?
          Scouting Report

          Lean, loose body and arm.
          FB sits 89-92, touching 94 with life.****************
          Breaking ball used to be a downer at 77/78, now has more lateral tilt at 80-82.
          CH at 80-82 with fade and sink.
          Excellent command for age.
          Plus poise on the mound. 
          FB has steadily gained velo and there’s more there as body fills out. 
          Outstanding body control

    1. It is hard to rank pitchers, because of huge injury risk. I think a bit difficult to project Sixto based upon GCL domination. That reflects polish as much as anything. We have had other young LA pitchers with great control excel at GCL and then fizzle. A serious question on Sixto is his stature. I think you have to wait and see what he does at Lakewood and CLW against more mature competition than GCL offers. I still have him in top 10.

      If I discount injury, I have to have Tirado in my top 5 pitching prospects. Also Gowdy.

      1. An under-rated guy who could arrive in the Phillies pen, sooner rather than later, is Pivetta. He is top 20 rather than top 10 for me.

        1. I’ve also had a growing interest in Pivetta. IMO, he and Thompson will be rivals for a #6 in the rotation….first to be called up from AAA to fill in for a one needing injury recovery…..though IMO both will start the season at LV….unless one is lights out in sT.

        2. Pivetta has a higher upside than most imagine and he’s slid under the radar, but the arm is real and so is the potential. What I like most about Pivetta is that his ability may put the team in a position to trade other arms once they get established without really falling behind. If you’re looking for the next Jared Eickhoff (with a better arm, actually), look no farther than Nick Pivetta.

          1. I saw Pivetta pitch live a couple of times in 2016 and the arm is definitely there. He also maintained velocity into later innings. What I saw with him was inconsistent breaking pitches. He didn’t have bad off-speed stuff but struggled to repeat pitches.

            I’m not ready to write him off as a bullpen arm just yet and have him in the upper teens.

      2. Tirado is exactly right as my 4th pitcher. I was really surprised when I determined that, but I can’t convince myself of anyone else being above him.

        1. You look at Tirado and the 14.2 K/9 he posted last season and go gaga. My qualm is the 5.8 BB/9.

          I have him slightly behind Gowdy and to Rocco’s point do we base ranking on draft status or performance…I think its both. For now I trust that our scouts knew what they were doing giving him $3.5 million.

          Come June or some point further out we may feel much differently.

  11. I went Aggressive and have Sixto here. Dominate is an understatement to his season, albeit Rookie Ball. But at the same age as MM in Rookie Ball he was much more impressive. This year should be starting in Lakewood 2 years younger then Kilome was this past year. Ceiling appears to be the highest of any of our pitchers.

  12. I went with Alfaro at #2 but otherwise I’m going with BAs top 10. I know everyone (including me to a degree) are down on Williams but I’m encouraged to see them rank him #4. I’m giving him the benefit of the ’16 doubt to recover next season. The kid’s got talent and he’s young enough to mature between the ears.

    1. 8mark..I am with you on Williams…he had that three week stretch starting in late July /early August of 18 games and then the very last week of the season of about 7/8 games and things went haywire for him and all his metrics plummeted.
      Of course you cannot pick and choose and those approx. 90 PAs were all part and parcel of his total season.
      I think he will rebound with the talent he has from the dismal end of last season.

  13. Speaking of starting pitchers, what about Lively….the one chosen by mngmnt as their minor lg pitcher of the year? Like Rodney Dangerfield, he just can”t get no respect. His season was at AA and AAA where he put up good numbers in ERA and wins (18?). He deserves a good shot in ST to see just how much help he could be in the ’17 season. What’s not to like? And he is 25 years old this season….Time for a serious inquiry.

    1. Lively is good. In identifying our apparent oversight, you are actually confirming the depth of the system. Lively is a nice, solid, mid-to back rotation prospect. In another system, he’d probably be around 10-12. Our depth alone slides him down further probably 15-low 20s, but he’s a very solid prospect.

  14. Ben Badler of BA seems very high on the farm as a whole. Thinks there were easily another 15 guys who did not make the Top 30 that would be very easily placed in most other teams’ Top 30. As sleepers, loves Brito and Taveras.

    1. But his take on Alfaro’s bat is not what I expected, especially if he is moved out from catching to the OF.

    1. And I thought Franco was the only one who may get a contract this year. I highly doubt any pitcher does until next year sometime at the earliest

      1. IMO, Franco has yet to prove himself— especially to be able to adjust to and hit off-speed stuff. His fielding has been rated as ok or good but not elite. His power is obvious but his tendency to pull toward LF remains a problem….learning to hit toward the center of the field and sometimes RF on pitches on the outside of the plate would help a lot.

        ’17 should show just what we have….and whether he can make those adjustments. Unfortunately, we have no other worthy 3rd baseman within sight of the majors.

        1. Art, have to agree with you here. I’d love to see him make strides like Odubel did this past year (at least for a while) regarding plate discipline. If he can do what you described above, he is an All Star. If he has last year’s approach long term, I don’t know that he’s a critical piece going forward – more like a 7 hole hitter on a good team.

          Regarding Odubel, really hoping we see the Odubel of April and May for the full season. If he plays at that level, this deal signed today should be a huge bargain and great move by the FO.

      2. Franco is going for arbitration/FA. He took out some kind of stock thing on his future earnings. Though if he continues to be average he might take some guaranteed money.

  15. My top 30 (top 10 same as BA except 2 and 3 switch):
    1 JP Crawford
    2 Jorge Alfaro
    3 Mickey Moniak
    4 Nick Williams
    5 Sixto Sanchez
    6 Rhys Hoskins
    7 Franklyn Kilome
    8 Roman Quinn
    9 Scott Kingery
    10 Dylan Cozens

    11 Cornelius Randolph
    12 Adonis Medina
    13 Jhailyn Ortiz
    14 Victor Arano
    15 Kevin Gowdy
    16 Andrew Knapp
    17 Elniery Garcia
    18 Ben Lively
    19 Mark Appel
    20 Alberto Tirado

    21 Nick Pivetta
    22 Drew Anderson
    23 Jesse Valentin
    24 Cole Stobbe
    25 Austin Bossart
    26 Daniel Brito
    27 Ricardo Pinto
    28 Cole Irvin
    29 Rafael Marchan
    30 Jonathan Guzman

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