Phuture Phillies 2017 Reader Top 30 … Recap

The 2017 Phuture Phillies Top 30 came to a close this week.  We ended up ranking the top 40 prospects as the readers here at Phuture Phillies view the organization.  Today’s article includes the final day-by-day tally as well as the Top 30 from readers who e-mailed me their rankings early in the polling process.

Final Prospect Rankings –

Reader Poll                          Reader Mail

  1. J.P. Crawford                       J.P. Crawford
  2. Jorge Alfaro                         Jorge Alfaro
  3. Mickey Moniak                   Mickey Moniak
  4. Roman Quinn                     Nick Williams
  5. Nick Williams                       Rhys Hoskins
  6. Franklyn Kilome                 Franklyn Kilome
  7. Sixto Sanchez                     Dylan Cozens
  8. Rhys Hoskins                       Sixto Sanchez
  9. Dylan Cozens                       Roman Quinn
  10. “C” Randolph                      Scott Kingery
  11. Scott Kingery                       “C” Randolph
  12. Kevin Gowdy                        Jhailyn Ortiz
  13. Harold Arauz                       Andrew Knapp
  14. Andrew Knapp                   Mark Appel
  15. Jhailyn Ortiz                        Nick Pivetta
  16. Adonis Medina                   Kevin Gowdy
  17. Mark Appel                           Ben Lively
  18. Nick Pivetta                           Elniery Garcia
  19. Ben Lively                              Alberto Tirado
  20. Alberto Tirado                    Adonis Medina
  21. Elniery Garcia                      Ricardo Pinto
  22. Nick Fanti                               Cole Stobbe
  23. Cole Stobbe                          Drew Anderson
  24. Drew Anderson                  Jesse Valentin
  25. Andrew Pullin                      Thomas Eshelman
  26. Carlos Tocci                          Victor Arano
  27. Ricardo Pinto                       Andrew Pullin
  28. Jordan Kurokawa              Malquin Canelo
  29. Thomas Eshelman            Carlos Tocci
  30. Jesse Valentin                      Cole Irvin
  31. Jose Pujols
  32. Bailey Falter
  33. Victor Arano
  34. Daniel Brito
  35. Tyler Viza
  36. Seranthony Dominguez
  37. JoJo Romero
  38. Cole Irvin
  39. Arquimedes Gamboa
  40. Deivi Grullon

As you would expect, the rankings are different, though only slightly.  But what stands out is some of the similarities.  The same 11 prospects are included in the top 11 of both polls. One through three are exactly the same.  Ten and eleven are flip-flopped.  And, four through nine are shuffled.

Both polls remain similar through the top twenty.  If you discard #13 from the daily poll (Arauz), both polls would include the same prospects through number twenty.  In fact, if you ignore the anomalies that occurred during the polling process,  the polls are very similar.  In an organization that many consider to be deep with talent, both polls contain 28 of the same prospects in their top thirty.  Pujols and Falter made it into the tail end of the daily poll while Canelo and Irvin did the same in the mail poll.

Now for some numbers.

  • Only 5 prospects won by majority vote.
  • #1 Crawford had the largest majority victoty with 80.8%.
  • #3 Moniak had the second largest with 71.6%.
  • #7 Sanchez was third with 55.7%.
  • #11 Scott Kingery was fourth with 51.7%.
  • #2 Alfaro was fifth with 50.5%.
  • The two closest races were decided by a total of 5 votes.
  • Lively edged Tirado for # 19 by 2 votes (87-85).
  • Kilome edged Sanchez for #6 by 3 votes (117-114).
  • The original 20 prospects I included in the poll were all ranked among the top 30.
  • The first prospect I added after Poll #1 (Sanchez) was voted in on Poll #7.
  • Of the first group I added (Tirado, Brito, Edgar Garcia), only Tirado was ranked in the top 30.  Brito was eventually ranked at #34, Garcia went unranked.
  • Of the second group (Lively, Pullin, Tocci, Valentin, and Pujols), all were ranked in the top 30 except Pujols who came in at #31.
  • Only Arauz was ranked in the top 30 from the third group (Falter, Arano, Viza, Romero, Irvin, Grullon, Arauz, and Canelo).  All but Canelo made the top 40.
  • Kurokawa and Fanti made it into the top 30 from the fourth group.  Dominguez (#36) made the top 40, Stephen and Suarez went unranked.
  • Drew Anderson (#24) was the only prospect to make the top 30 from from the fifth group.  Luke Williams, Numata, Walding, Martin, and Young were unranked.
  • The final group of ten was added after the top 30 was complete.  Arquimedes Gamboa was ranked #39.  The rest went unranked.
  • Nine prospects received write in votes during the final 10 polls.
  • 14 of the top 30 were acquired through the draft.
  • 7 were signed as international free agents in their teens.
  • 9 were acquired through trades.
  • The top 30 is a little top heavy with as many as maybe 20 prospects who could be at AA or higher, including no fewer than maybe 12 at AAA.
  • In a reversal from previous years, 8 of the top 10 are position players.
  • The top 30 contains 15 position players and 15 pitchers.
  • Position break down – 2 catchers, 3 middle infielders, 2 corner infielders, 8 outfielders (4 true corners), 13 starting pitchers, and 2 relievers.
  • Including players acquired through trades the top 30 includes 20 prospects who came through the draft – 5 first round (or comp), 7 second round, 1 third round, 2 fourth round, 2 fifth round, and 3 below the twentieth round.

Participation in the daily poll was consistent.  The highest vote in the top ten was for #2 (394 votes).  The highest overall was #22 (403 votes).  We received over 300 votes through the first 13 polls.  Through the top 30, the lowest voted total was 283 votes.  Six polls of the top 30 polls came in below 300 votes.  After the top 30, voting for #31-40 dropped off.  But, no one knew that we were going to continue past #30.  The 234 votes for #31 were the highest, the 123 votes for #33 were the lowest.

9562 votes were cast during the Top 30, 11213 votes through the entire polling process.

The Reader Mail Poll looks like a pretty good representation of the organization.  However, I didn’t receive enough votes to make any real observations.  Thank you to the SIX readers who took the time to e-mail your rankings to me.  A larger number of participants would have lessened the impact of the few anomalies that occurred.  The most glaring to me was the one poll that didn’t include Roman Quinn at all.  I can only assume that the participant thought Quinn’s call up to the Phillies made him ineligible.  A few others that stood out were that Gowdy, Lively, Elniery Garcia, Medina, and Stobbe were also left off of one ballot each.  Drew Anderson was left off two.

With only 6 participants, there weren’t enough ballots to override the unusual placement of some prospects.  For instance, Valentin was ranked high enough on one ballot to be ranked 24th even though he was only on 2 ballots.  More participants would make such instances less likely.

I received several suggestions on how to avoid the ballot stuffing for “favorite sons”.  I can’t really find it in my heart to just ignore the conclusions in those polls.  While we try to ensure that we are voting for truly deserving prospects, there is no rule against voting for favorites.

The one suggestion that I like was from a long time reader and participant.  He suggested that everyone e-mail their Top 30 lists to me.  I would then compile the votes and roll out the results from #30 to #1 like some other sites do with their site generated rankings.  This would still be a reader poll which is still unique among all prospect sites.  It would continue to allow the intelligent, daily discussion that drew me to Phuture Phillies in the first place.

However, I’m afraid that such a process would discourage new and some current readers from participating.  I’ve asked for readers to e-mail their top 30 lists the past three years and have received only a few responses – 6 this year, 16 last year, and 11 for the 2015 poll (the first year I ran the poll).

And, let’s face it, some people don’t feel they know enough about the organization to rank a list of 30 prospects.  I would venture to guess that some readers rely on the daily discussions to make their decisions on subsequent picks.

This is a reader driven site.  Let me know what you think in the comments section below.  If you would prefer to remain anonymous, e-mail me at with the word POLL in the subject line, and I can introduce your thoughts into the discussion while maintaining your anonymity.



6 thoughts on “Phuture Phillies 2017 Reader Top 30 … Recap

  1. Jim,

    Excellent poll, excellent work, very thoughtful.

    i don’t have any first-blush suggestions for improving the process. I might as others chime in and offer their suggestions. But I would like to kick off the discussion by commending you for how carefully, thoughtfully and sensitively you handle this. Well done!

    1. Follow to my comment above:

      I also like your reference to intelligent daily discussion.

      PhuturePhillies is definitely the place for informed, intelligent debate, sometimes sharp, but always gentlemanly. No question, PP is the thinking man’s Phillies website. And, darn, I’ve learned so much here.

  2. I have one new idea for next year. Keep everything the same, an early secret reader mail poll followed by the open polling for spots 1 to at least 30. The one change I would make is to not allow a player to be elected to a spot after #1 who was not one of the top 5 runners up of the previous poll. That way a surprise darkhorse would to do well in 2 consecutive polls to win a spot, finished in the top 6 in one and winning the next. A new player added to the ballot without write-ins (or a player never written in before with write-ins) would be ineligible to win the first time he is on the ballot. We would also have chance to discuss the merits of that darkhorse and not be so surprised by an upset. If enough fans are passionate enough to vote for him twice, that is okay. Let him win as we did this year. This is for fun. It is not a scientific poll.

    I have followed this site since close to its start a decade ago. I have voted in many mail polls (and still have my lists), but skipped that this year because I did not have time to prepare. The daily voting is much easier to do because it takes much less time to research. I think that the top 30+ voting is the best part about this site and it would be a big mistake to stop it. It is something that I look forward to every year. Tweaks like limiting the ballot choices and my one suggestion above are good. Thanks for continuing the tradition.

  3. I also like Ken’s suggestion about a player having to show up in the previous poll well before winning a slot. I wouldn’t change the current format because it has done well for so many years

    and I agree I don’t want to discourage new posters to the site or the conversation and debate on each slot.

  4. Great work, as always, Jim. I would keep it the same with the addendum that Ken45 came up with. I definitely rely on a lot of the discussion to make my vote, once we get past the Top 5. Even with the couple of anomalies we had, it is still a terrific exercise and really helps get through the Winter while we wait for ST.

  5. I’m one of those participants who like to read the discussions about the prospects during the daily polls and those discussions often change my opinions of where to rate certain players. I’m not that concerned about the “ballot stuffing” because it doesn’t seem to happen often and it’s rather obvious when it does.

    Besides, for me the top-30 poll is more about discussing prospects during the slow winter months. I do not believe we get graded on the outcome (do we? :)).

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