Phuture Phillies 2017 Reader Top 30 Poll for #15

Andrew Knapp was your selection as the #14 prospect in the Phillies’ organization.  Knapp received 77 of 284 votes (27%) to achieve a plurality victory over Jhailyn Ortiz and Adonis Medina who received 47 and 45 votes respectively for 17% and 16% of the vote.  One of my favorites Bailey Falter had a surprisingly strong showing (39 votes, 14%) for fourth place.  

Andrew Knapp was drafted out of high school by the Oakland Athletics in the 41st round of the 2010 June Amateur Draft.  He chose to attend Cal-Berkeley and was selected by the Phillies in the 2nd round of the 2013 Amateur Draft.

Knapp began his journey with Williamsport in 2013.  He had surgery over the off season (TJ, I think) and opened the 2014 season as a DH for the Threshers in Advanced A.  When he was finally healthy, he reported to Lakewood and posted a .290/.354/.438/.792 slash.

Knapp returned to Clearwater in 2015 and posted some nice numbers as he continued to master catching.  Then, after a promotion to Reading, he went crazy with a small sample slash of .360/.419/.631/1.050 with 11 HR in 241 PA.

In 2016, Knapp played for AAA lehigh Valley.  He posted numbers closer to his career slash, and pretty reasonable for a switch-hitting catcher – .266/.330/.390/.719.  He also posted a .991 Fld% and threw out 38% of stolen base attempts.

Unless the Phillies sign a veteran FA catcher (and I hope they don’t, and I hope Holaday wasn’t signed to be on the MLB roster), Knapp should start the season as Cameron Rupp’s back up.  As a switch hitter, he could also platoon with Tommy Joseph at first.  The presence of Andres Blanco, the Phillies emergency catcher, could even make Knapp available as  DH and pinch hitter.

With all the extracurricular stuff yesterday, I neglected to report on Harold Arauz.  He was signed as an international free agent by the Houston Astros on May 12, 2012.  He came to the Phillies as part of the Ken Giles trade in December of 2015.  He was eligible for the 2016 Rule 5 Draft.

Except for a 3-game rehab stint in the GCL (where he was torched in his 2nd and 3rd appearances), Arauz spent the 2016 season with Lakewood.  He had a 6-6 record with a .318 ERA.  He posted a 1.04 WHIP in 99 innings and struck out 85 (7.7 K/9) while  walking 24 (2.2 BB/9).

Arauz had severe home/away splits.

Home 6 0 1.44 13 68.2 11 0 14 61 0.83 8.0
Away 0 6 6.98 9 38.2 30 4 12 32 1.552 7.4

Not included above is a home loss versus the Rome Braves in the final game of the SAL Championship Series.  Arauz held the Braves scoreless through four innings and took a 1-0 lead into the fifth, but was unable to complete the inning.  His final line – 4.1 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 4 K, 0 HR, 6.23 ERA.  He had a game score of 51.  (The Claws had a rough night against the Brave’ Max Fried who struck out 13 in 7.0 innings.)

At the time of the Giles trade, a lot of us GCL followers lamented the loss of the other Arauz in the deal (Jonathan, also Panamanian but no relation).  I’m now happy with the acquisition of Harold, although I would like to have Jonathan still.  I look forward to watching the 22-year old Harold in the Threshers rotation in 2017.

Next up is your selection for the #15 prospect in the organization.


Poll to date –

  1. J.P. Crawford
  2. Jorge Alfaro
  3. Mickey Moniak
  4. Roman Quinn
  5. Nick Williams
  6. Franklyn Kilome
  7. Sixto Sanchez
  8. Rhys Hoskins
  9. Dylan Cozens
  10. “C” Randolph
  11. Scott Kingery
  12. Kevin Gowdy
  13. Harold Arauz
  14. Andrew Knapp

30 thoughts on “Phuture Phillies 2017 Reader Top 30 Poll for #15

  1. Valentin who could be up in ‘`17 at 2nd base…by mid-summer…if Kendrick replaces Cesar who is traded. Valentin is a pretty good player at 2nd bse, can hit in .270s with some extra base pop. Also can play SS short term as well as 3rd base. He’s made steady progress since acquired, was the Eastern Lg’s All-Star 2nd basemen. Very good fielder. Played a minimal # of games at AAA Lehigh Valley through his tiresome season and shows that he’ll be ready for full time AAA duty…ultimately no less than their infield “super -sub.”…and sweeten the competition for the 2d base job with Kingery. And Valentin is real close….!

    1. Valentin actually has a chance to start the season on the 25 due to the 40 man issues. He might stay up until JP gets called up.

  2. Wanted to make sure I vote now since the decisions are much less obvious. I do agree that the Top10 are fairly agreed upon y scouts and are reflected in this poll.

    I think my tier break was around 14. Medina is likely better than his stats but the low K rate is a huge flag. I like Ortiz but still mostly due to the huge signing bonus. I think he did well for being a supposed out of shape and immature hitter. It is all protection with him but getting a Cozens-like season out of him at AA seems like his upside, hopefully with fewer K’s.

  3. I like your writeup of Valentin, but I’m going with the upside of Appel here. He has the tools for sure.

  4. Jim – same thoughts on the Arauz’s. A year ago this time I was particularly excited about Arauz, significantly more so than Brito. Jonathan, while still just 18, had the type of regression year at the plate in 2016 that would typically lead to more conservative expectations. Brito on the other hand (is 8 months older than Brito) had something of a break out state side debut with the Gulf Coast Phillies in 2016. Had Arauz still remained in the organization, I suspect I would have Brito ranked ahead of him (any thoughts there? Arauz vs Brito)

    1. Brito really progressed well in 2016. If J. Arauz had stayed and been assigned to Williamsport, he would have bee 17 years old and 3.5 years younger than the mean. I think his stronger position was 2B, and he would have been paired with SS Gamboa. He may not have had the regression you mention if he had remained in the organization (but the 3.5 years difference might explain that).

      What I remember about Arauz was that he had a better physical build than the usual LA middle infielders the Phillies sign (regardless what his listed weight is in Baseball Reference, he had a much better developed lower body than his countrymen). When he batted left-handed, he looked like Utley (NOT A COMP) in the way he dropped the bat on inside pitches and had a short compact swing. He was less disciplined from the right side.

      I don’t know how I would compare a projected Arauz Williamsport season v. Brito’s GCL season, but Brito had the better GCL although at a year older.

  5. Tyler Viza received 8 votes in yesterday’s poll. Pivetta received 4. I have Pivetta rated as #13 on my poll. I’ve liked Viza since the Phils trotted him out to be massacred in LKW as a 19 y/o. I just haven’t rated him very highly in our top 30. But Viza is 2 years younger than Pivetta and only one level behind him. Viza is getting better with age although I wouldn’t call him a strike out pitcher. Pivetta was solid last year but Viza wasn’t chopped liver either. I’m still picking Pivetta over Viza when their time comes to vote for them but Viza looks like a solid end of the top 30 guy. Maybe he slides into the low 20s. I have to do the math. What do others think about them?

    1. i have Viza just outside my Top 30 – and I expect the younger SP prospected will pass him in my next years ranking. I see Viza as Ben Lively lite with one less pitch. I’m more excited with Drew Anderson who has better stuff but Viza has the cooler name.

    2. Viza reminds me of Chris Young. I can see him pitching in the big leagues one day as a back end starter or a long relief guy. That said I don’t have him in my top 30.

  6. Regarding Harold Arauz – who I presume would start 2017 with the Threshers and who, won’t turn 22 until May 29th – if you disregard the first three 2016 starts with the GCL Phillies and look only at his body of work at Lakewood, his home stats are even more amazing. In 11 home starts at Lakewood in 2016, Harold Arauz put up the following dominant line:

    IP: 64
    H: 36
    K: 58
    BB: 12
    HR: 0
    ERA: 0.98
    WHIP 0.75.

    Pretty impressive considering he spent half the season as a 20 year old.

    1. Steve…..he also had a very good overall GB rate, home and away, of 52% during the regular season as a BlueClaw and overall WHIP 1.04. His metrics were on the whole excellent for the 99 innings pitched.
      Clearwater could be a real coming out for him this year if he is able to keep it up..

    2. I agree, Arauz number at home are like Sixto Sanchez’s in GCL. By far he was the best starter at home. I watched one outing in may where he pitched 7 scoreless innings at home. He pitched like he had a brain. His fastball is not impressive but it seems that it cuts a lot, hence the high GB and soft contacts rates. Also 4 HR is nice compared to the other starters in low A. I continue to believe that he is more in the 25-30 range, and if in he takes care of his really poor outings as visitor, then we may move up to the 9-15 range. Also, I need to see him reaching 135-150 innings in 2017 to make sure he’s got the rquired endurance.

      1. Top 9-15 will be a stretch unless majority of the higher level prospects will graduate. while the stats looks decent, Arauz lack of elite stuff hurts his ceiling. Most Philly bloggers believe that Seranthony Dominguez is the better prospect.

        Arauz barely make my Top 10 SP prospects below AA that’s why I think it’s harder for him to break into Top 9-15 of all propsects. It’s not that I don’t like Arauz, but there must be a reason why he didn’t generated any buzz when left unprotected in the last Rule V draft.

        1 Kilome
        2 Sanchez
        3 Gowdy
        4 Medina
        5 Edgar Garcia
        6 Irvin
        7 JoJo
        8 Fanti
        9 Dominguez
        10 Arauz

  7. Good for Andrew. At his age I really do hope he makes the club out of ST. I voted Medina again. I have Medina at 10 and Knapp at 11 on my board.

  8. Man, when we do these polls you realize the depth of this system. It’s REALLY deep. Drew Anderson has a chance to be a pretty decent pitcher and he doesn’t even make the poll and here we are at 15 and prospects like Medina, Ortiz, Eshelman, Lively and Appel are still on the board.

      1. 3 pitchers and 4 position players actually. It’s really tough Romus good problem to have for us perhaps.

  9. I think we can all agree to consider Arauz between 20-30. Which means Knapp is actually #13. Nothing against Harold but let’s get real.

  10. From who is currently on the board I’m going 15 Ortiz
    16 Medina
    17 Stobbe
    18 El.Garcia
    19 Arano
    20 Lively or Pivetta
    21 ” ”
    22 Appel
    23 Valentin
    24 Tirado

    1. I have Stobbe at 25 but I hope you’re right on him. I also have Garcia at 17, the only lefty we have. And then I gave Pinto but after the other names on your list.

  11. The pitching pipeline the Phillies have right now is insanely deep

    First, you’ve got the young guys who’ve already graduated to the show and are no longer prospects (Nola, Velazquez, Eickhoff, Eflin, Thompson)

    Then, the far-away but potential TOR guys (Kilome, Sixto, maybe Gowdy, Tirado (?))

    Lastly, a small army of #3/4/5 types (Lively, Pivetta, Appel, Eshelman, E. Garcia, Medina, Viza, Pinto, the infamous Mr. Arauz…and a dozen other guys)

    Obviously guys will flame out, be shifted to the bullpen, etc…but it’s really fun to dream on a very good and largely homegrown rotation. Also, think the strength of this pitching depth is the potential, when the time is right, to bundle some of these guys together to trade for real impact talent at the major league level without decimating the farm.

  12. Just read a BA article on Eshelman dated 12/30. Excellent read. Like the kid a lot. Good head on his shoulders. He’s all about command and deception. Working the off season on an out pitch, maybe a slider. Scout named Budzinski pointed out some encouraging things. Imagine if both Arauz AND Eshelman succeed. The Giles trade would become an all-timer.

    1. The old regime might be slow to start the rebuild but they did a good job in finding value for their only valuable trade piece in Hamels and the older players. And for the sudden need of shutdown relievers, Klentak strike with the Giles trade.

      Hamels – Eickhoff, Alfaro, Thompson, Nick, Asher
      Jimmy – Eflin, Windle
      Chase – Richy, Sweeney (who becomes Kendrick who can become a trade piece in July)
      Roberto – Arano, Valentin
      Byrd – Lively
      Paps – Pivetta
      Revere – Tirado
      Giles – VV, Appel, Eshelman, Obbie and H Arauz

      13 prospected received already in the current 40-man roster.

  13. I voted Medina again. Looks like Ortiz has an unstoppable lead. That’s fine with me. I had both Medina and Ortiz in my top 15. I like Arauz, but somewhere in the high 20s level of like. Not enough plus to pick someone that far from the majors any higher than that.

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