Reading Eagle End of Season Prospect Poll, 2017

Over the past weekend, Mike Drago of the Reading Eagle published his yearly prospect survey (The Reading Eagle is a subscription site).  Mike requested input from about two dozen industry people who watch or cover a fair amount of games and players among the Phillies’ affiliates.  He received 17 responses and used a weighted scoring system to determine a player’s perceived value (first-place votes earning 30 points, second place 29 points, etc.).   I was one of the 17 respondents.

We were asked  to –

  • Rank the top players in the Phillies’ organization from No. 1 to No. 30, based on their present value to the organization and their major league ceiling/potential.
  • Consider a player’s age and performance relative to each level he has played.
  • Not include players who are no longer with the organization, nor players who appear to be in the majors for the long haul or have had significant big league time (such as: Mark Leiter and Brock Stassi).
  • Consider players who appear to be in the big leagues for a brief time and who are likely will begin next season in the minor leagues (such as: Jorge Alfaro, Pedro Beato, Rhys Hoskins, Ben Lively, Hoby Milner, Cameron Perkins, Ricardo Pinto, Jesen Therrien, Jake Thompson, and Nick Williams).

I notified Mike that I would not be including Nick Williams since he had exceeded the 130 plate appearances needed to maintain rookie and prospect status.  Matt Winkelman responded that in addition to Williams he would be excluding Pedro Beato and Jake Thompson.

So, without further eloquence (from The Quiet Man), here is the 2017 Reading Eagle End of Season Prospect Poll (with position, current club, and total points) –

  1. Scott Kingery, 2B, Lehigh Valley, 519
  2. Rhys Hoskins, 1B, Philadelphia, 479
  3. Sixto Sanchez, P, Clearwater, 470
  4. J.P. Crawford, SS, Lehigh Valley, 441
  5. Cornelius Randolph, OF, Clearwater, 385
  6. Adam Haseley, OF, Williamsport, 384
  7. Mickey Moniak, OF, Lakewood, 379
  8. Franklyn Kilome, P, Reading, 371
  9. Jorge Alfaro, C, Lehigh Valley, 357
  10. Adonis Medina, P, Lakewood, 326
  11. Jhailyn Ortiz, OF, Williamsport, 301
  12. Thomas Eshelman, P, Lehigh Valley, 294
  13. JoJoRomero, P, Lakewood, 267
  14. Carlos Tocci, OF, Lehigh Valley, 244
  15. Ranger Suarez, P, Lakewood, 229
  16. Roman Quinn, OF, Lehigh Valley, 228
  17. Drew Anderson, P, Lehigh Valley, 218
  18. Dylan Cozens, OF, Lehigh Valley, 203
  19. Jessen Therrien, P, Philadelphia, 164
  20. Seranthony Dominquez, P, Gulf Coast, 146
  21. Daniel Brito, 2B, Lakewood, 144
  22. Ben Lively, P, Philadelphia, 137
  23. Elniery Garcia, P, Reading, 127
  24. Cole Irvin, P, Reading, 109
  25. Ricardo Pinto, P, Philadelphia, 108
  26. Kevin Gowdy, P, (injured), 88
  27. Spencer Howard, P, Williamsport, 69
  28. Andrew Pullin, OF, Lehigh Valley, 61
  29. Jonathan Guzman, SS, Gulf Coast, 56
  30. Yacksel Rios, P, Philadelphia, 53
Others receiving multiple votes (in order of vote total):
  • Victor Arano, P, Reading, 50
  • Arquimedes Gamboa, SS, Lakewood, 48
  • Kyle Young, P, Williamsport, 42
  • Cole Stobb, 3B, Williamsport, 36
  • Nick Fanti, P, Lakewood, 31
  • McKenzie Mills, P, Clearwater, 29
  • Darick Hall, 1B, Lakewood, 28
  • Jose Taveras, P, Lehigh Valley, 28
  • Edgar Garcia, P, Clearwater, 28
  • Alberto Tirado, P, Reading, 23
  • Connor Seabold, P, Williamsport, 20
  • Alejandro Requena, P, Lakewood, 18
  • Jose Gomez, SS, Clearwater, 15
  • Brandon Leibrandt, P, Lehigh Valley, 15
  • Mitch Walding, 3B, Reading, 12
  • Brayan Gonzalez, 2B, Gulf Coast, 10
  • Jiandido Tromp, OF, Reading, 10
  • Austin Davis, P, Reading, 6
  • Paul Rivas, 2B, Williamsport, 3

Mike Notes:

  • 17 people turned in ballots
  • First place votes were worth 30 points, second place 29, and so on
  • Among those not considered for the rankings, due to time spent in the majors: Nick Williams, Jake Thompson, Brock Stassi, Mark Leiter, Nick Pivetta.

For your enjoyment, here is my response to Mike.

Here is my top 30 prospects list.  It contains 13 of the players I included in my top 25 last year.

I have considered present value as you requested, as well as ceiling/potential.  My list contains just 18 of the players listed in the MLB top 30.  When push came to shove, I decided to not include the marginal players that make their top 30  – the back end starters, the mid-to-long relievers, the 4th outfielders, the back up catchers, and the back up middle infielder types.

I decided to place more emphasis on the players I’ve seen who might have star potential, those who haven’t been relegated to the classifications I listed above.  My list includes a lot of the younger guys I like.  However, it does not include still more players who have me excited about the rosters for the Low A teams next year.

Well, here goes.

  1. Rhys Hoskins – on performance alone he is the best player in the organization
  2. Scott Kingery – another excellent performer
  3. Jorge Alfaro
  4. J.P. Crawford
  5. Sixto Sanchez – I didn’t want to rank him this high at his age, but he’s the best pitcher we’ve got
  6. Franklyn Kilome
  7. Cole Irvin
  8. Ranger Suarez
  9. Adonis Medina
  10. JoJo Romero
  11. Seranthony Dominguez
  12. Jhailyn Ortiz
  13. Drew Anderson
  14. Jesen Therrien
  15. Edgar Garcia
  16. Adam Haseley
  17. Mickey Moniak
  18. Cornelius Randolph
  19. Greg Pickett
  20. Bailey Falter
  21. Colby Fitch
  22. Kyle Young
  23. Daniel Brito
  24. Carlos Tocci
  25. Nick Fanti
  26. Simon Muzziotti
  27. Ben Pelletier
  28. Jonathan Guzman
  29. Brayan Gonzalez
  30. Yahir Gurrola

I realize that my list is very “bottom-heavy” but there are so many more young guys I like who could probably be on my list next year – Jhordany Mezquita, Francisco Morales, Jose Jimenez, Ethan Lindow, Ben Brown, Rafael Caravajal, Jakob Hernandez. Anton Kuznetsov, Dalton Guthrie, Jake Holmes, Jesus Alastre, Darick Hall, and Jose Gomez.  I really, really, really like these young guys and can’t wait til everyone gets to see them.

And just to make it easy for you, the 12 players from the MLB Top 30 who I did not include in my top 30 are – Dylan Cozens (performance), Roman Quinn (injury), Kevin Gowdy (injury), Cole Stobbe (performance), Jose Gomez (new to org), Elniery Garcia (suspension), Spencer Howard (new to org), McKenzie Mills (new to org), Luis Garcia (new to org), Victor Arano (performance), Francisco Morales (too early to rank), and J.D. Hammer (new to org).

Just as in previous years, I tried focusing on the prospect’s “present value to the organization and their major league ceiling/potential”.  This year, I was more mindful of “a player’s age and performance relative to each level he has played”.  However, I went a little further and excluded the marginal types I cited above in my reply to Mike. The players I see most often are the players for whom I can still envision higher ceilings.  Therefore, the back end of my top 30 is greatly influenced by the prospects I saw in extended spring training and the GCL.  Though their risk is “extreme”, I can still see (hope) reason to place higher ceilings on them.  It isn’t until they get to Advanced A that I can finally accept that the warts will win out and prospects become suspects.  This is just an explanation on my thought process while trying to rank prospects with different abilities, skill sets, ceilings, experience.  I’m sure that a couple of the players I excluded will draw some ire, but until performance or injury history changes, there are other players I am more excited to see, like the guys in my last paragraph to Mike.

Here are the results from the 2016 poll.

J.P. Crawford received 9 of 15 first place ballots, and was second on two others. He also received a third, a fourth a fifth and an eighth-place vote.  Crawford is the first to rank No. 1 in three straight seasons since we’ve been doing the rankings.  Mickey Moniak and Jake Thompson each received two first places, Nick Williams and Rhys Hoskins, one apiece.   Forty-six different players received votes.

  1. J.P. Crawford, SS, Lehigh Valley
  2. Jorge Alfaro, C, Reading
  3. Nick Williams, OF, Lehigh Valley
  4. Jake Thompson, P, Philadelphia
  5. Mickey Moniak, OF, Gulf Coast
  6. Dylan Cozens, OF, Reading
  7. Roman Quinn, OF, Reading
  8. Cornelius Randolph, OF, Lakewood
  9. Franklyn Kilome, P, Lakewood
  10. Rhys Hoskins, 1B, Reading
  11. Scott Kingery, 2B, Reading
  12. Andrew Knapp, C, Lehigh Valley
  13. Adonis Medina, P, Williamsport
  14. Nick Pivetta, P, Lehigh Valley
  15. Jhailyn Ortiz, OF, Gulf Coast
  16. Ricardo Pinto, P, Reading
  17. Elniery Garcia, P, Clearwater
  18. Ben Lively, P, Lehigh Valley
  19. Kevin Gowdy, P, Gulf Coast
  20. Carlos Tocci, OF, Clearwater

Others receiving multiple votes( in order of vote total): Mark Appel, P, Lehigh Valley; Sixto Sanchez, P, Gulf Coast; Jimmy Cordeo, P, Reading; Cole Stobbe, SS, Gulf Coast; Jose Pujols, OF, Lakewood; Alberto Tirado, P, Lakewood; Alec Asher, P, Lehigh Valley; Thomas Eshelman, P, Reading; Drew Anderson, P, Clearwater; Andrew Pullin, OF, Reading; Cole Irvin, P, Williamsport; Arquimedes Gamboa, Williamsport; JoJo Romero, P, Williamsport; Malquin Canelo, SS, Clearwater; Tyler Viza, P, Reading.

Here are the results from the 2015 poll.

J.P Crawford received 15 of 16 first place votes.  Jake Thompson received the other first place vote.  Nick Williams received 11 second place votes.  Thirty-four players received votes.  The results of the poll were as follows.

  1. J.P. Crawford                     SS     Reading                    317 points
  2. Jake Thompson                 P     Reading                    287
  3. Nick Williams                    OF    Reading                    278
  4. Cornelius Randolph      OF   Gulf Coast                253
  5. Jorge Alfaro                          C     Reading                    236
  6. Roman Quinn                    OF     Reading                    225
  7. Franklyn Kilome                 P      Williamsport         215
  8. Zach Eflin                                P      Reading                   197
  9. Ricardo Pinto                       P       Clearwater             154
  10. Carlos Tocci                          OF     Clearwater             145
  11. Aaron Altherr                       OF    Philadelphia         144
  12. Andrew Knapp                     C      Reading                   138
  13. Jarad Eickoff                         P      Philadelphia        113
  14. Scott Kingery                      2B      Lakewood             104
  15. Nick Pivetta                           P      Reading                      93
  16. Ben Lively                                P      Reading                      63
  17. Darnell Sweeney              OF     Philadelphia            59
  18. Rhys Hoskins                      1B     Clearwater                36
  19. Alberto Tirado                      P      Clearwater                34
  20. Malquin Canelo                 SS    Lakewood                  29

Others receiving multiple votes( in order of vote total):  Matt Imhof, P, Clearwater; Alec Asher, P, Lehigh Valley; Brandon Leibrandt, P,Clearwater; Dylan Cozens, OF, Clearwater; Jimmy Cordero, P, Reading; Kelly Dugan, OF, Lehigh Valley; Jose Pujols, OF Williamsport; Deivi Grullon, C, Lakewood; Willians Astudillo, C, Clearwater; Jesse Biddle, P, Lehigh Valley.

40 thoughts on “Reading Eagle End of Season Prospect Poll, 2017

    1. He’s not really young for his league, at 23. I do, however, think he’s still a top 30 guy based on proximity and ceiling. I’ve never been a big fan of his but there’s still the hope that something clicks for him next year as he’s repeating AAA.

      1. Jim,

        Thanks. We are simpatico on the Top Five.

        I also can’t overlook regression. At this point, I’m thinking Cozens is a platoon, DH guy.

  1. Thanks for this. And thanks for sharing your own list, Jim. I’m frankly shocked at the triumvirate of Hasely/Moniak/Randolph falling 16-17-18 on your list, behind Edgar Garcia and Jesen Therrien. Are you really that low on these guys? Or do you just value pitching more? Just curious.

    1. I don’t consider that as my being “that low on these guys”. One is new to professional baseball, the other two are young for their leagues and still learning.

      The prospects ahead of them are all having good seasons – Therrien so good that he was promoted to the majors, and Garcia had been pitching well until after I submitted my list.

  2. I am more than a little surprised to not see on a Reading-based survey the name of Drew Stankiewicz, who to me is the best position player on the Reading team.

    On the other side, Jim, I’m scratching my head on your placement of Bailey Falter and just assume you’ve seen a lot on him that I have missed.

    1. Notice, as well, that Taveras stands at 6′ 4″ and weighs 210 lbs. Most of the Latin American players are strngbeans.

    2. I like Taveras as well. I strongly considered him. But, without more velocity, I see him as a back end starter. I specifically excluded those from my list.

  3. A poll is a poll; a compilation of not-so-expert opinions. On the other hand, Jim Payton eats, sleeps, and breathes the Phillies Pharmland. It’s his list only that catches my eye.

    1. Agree with you on Hall. I think he has a chance to be an elite power prospect.
      He may not have the total hit tool as Hoskins had when he was in LKW in ’15 for half a season, but Hall’s power is unquestionably legitimate.
      If, next season, he can combine both his power swing with the hit tool he had in his first two years of college…he will easily be a top ten prospect first basemen on the Mayo/Callis MLB.com board.

      1. He’s an enigma wrapped in a conundrum. I do not understand the organization’s hesitance to promote him to Clearwater. Believe me there is nothing and no one there blocking him.

        1. Perhaps Joe Jordan will mention something about it in a post-season interview.
          But suspect it will be something very generic.

        2. I don’t think it’s that complicated.

          He’s not doing soooo well that it makes no sense to let him finish out the year at Lakewood and he really didn’t do all that well in July. Reasonable minds can differ about whether they should have called him up, but it’s really not a big deal.

          1. He’s nowhere near Rhys’ category as far as being a prospect. After his first partial season he just raked and raked and raked some more. Hall’s a decent prospect, but he’s not in Rhys’ class at this point in his career.

            1. Power-wise via ISO, Hall is every bit a prospect as Hoskins was in 2015 at LKW and I had Hoskins labeled then as a Goldey type.
              Hall’s ISO is currently .261 and Rhys’ was .204 prior to his promo.
              The only thing that Hall is lacking is in the peripherals in the hit tool.
              Their slugging percentage is practically identical at that level.

            2. No, he’s not.

              By the time Rhys had finished his first full year as a minor leaguer, he had dominated both low and high A ball and had shown a superior hit tool and plate discipline at both levels with no decrease in performance shown after the promotion. And it’s the hit tool and plate discipline that has allowed him to succeed most at higher levels.

              Darick Hall, at this point, ain’t within spitting distance of what Hoskins was after his first full year of the minors. And that’s taking nothing away from Hall, who is a good prospect and could still improve quite a bit. But his hit tool and plate discipline issues give him many more red flags than Hoskins had at the same stage of his career.

            3. I believe that is what I mentioned above,,,,peripherals lacking in the hit tool.
              Hoskins had a delta of 8 and Hall sits right now at 20…that is a significant difference.
              But will stick with my assessment when it comes to power.
              I’d say by this time next summer he will be on many mid-season prospect lists radar.

            4. Having thought about it, I’m not sure I properly gave Hall his due on the power front. I think Hoskins was a much better prospect, but Hall is intriguing and if he refines his game his upside is there. And it’s not just the hit tool, it’s the plate discipline which, as I watch prospects longer and longer is seems to be just as important as the hit tool and perhaps more important for minor leaguers.

          2. I am not advocating that Hall is the second coming of Rhys Hoskins. But, when Damek Tomscha was promoted to Reading on July 13th, Hall had 17 HR and 68 RBI and was slashing .270/.336/.536/.872 with 19 BB (6.3%), and 74 K (24.6%).

            Tomscha played 1B and 3B for the Threshers. He split time with Wilson Garcia at first and Jan Hernandez at third. Presently, Garcia is the everyday first baseman and Hernandez has been sent to RF while Emmanuel Marrero has taken over at third.

            And it’s really not a big deal except to us Threshers’ season ticket holders who watched the offense evaporate when Tomscha and Coppola and Sandberg and Stankiewicz and Herlis Rodriguez went to Reading. Only to be replaced by Zach Green and Derek Campbell (who also went to Reading), Jose Antequera, Carlos Duran, and Jose Gomez. (Cabral replacing Grullon was a wash)

  4. I think the Reading list has “C” way too high. I have him right about where Jim put him, but I would slot Haseley and MM ahead of Anderson, Garcia and Therrien.

    1. Therrien may not be pitching well in the majors, but it is narrow-minded to overlook how well he pitched for Reading and Lehigh Valley this year, as well as how well he pitched in the two previous years. 13 innings seems a SSS for making a decision on a player.

      1. Jim from the first time I saw him. I wasn’t impressed with him. I even ask romus what he thought. The things I heard about his slider just don’t see it.. your right about me I am narrow mined.

        1. rocco….might be nerves and relievers can be so fluid.
          Has he even been throwing the slider that much? I have not noticed.
          His control in Philly is not as good as it was in Reading or LHV so he may have lost confidence in it, or more then likely, MLB hitters are not taking the bait and biting on it, and letting it go as a ball. Then he falls behind in the count.
          Same illness with Lidge in ’09
          Who knows.
          Did hear that Mack said he really liked it this spring.

          1. Here’s the thing Therrien and Rios are 6 yr minor league players . That means at the end of this yr they can sign with any team. I think Therrien ,Rios, Ramos are pitching for a 40 man roster . I think Morgan , Milner, Garcia and Neris have there’s.

    2. Therrien looks like a possible middle-reliever to me. I don’t see the stuff to be a late inning guy.

  5. Everybody’s skipping Deivi Grullon, a durable 21-year old power hitting defensive catcher who is in AA already. I’d slot him around 21st to match his age. He’s sure to be my sleeper prospect for next year. I blame his fall from people’s radars as prospect fatigue.

    1. At the risk of sounding like a broken record. I’m still not sold on Grullon as a defensive catcher. Great arm yes but four years of double digit PB and E is concerning to me. He strikes me as the riskiness of Alfaro without the upside. Don’t get me wrong I’ll take a great defensive catcher over a great hitting catcher any day of the week. Not that he should be on any prospect list but I think Logan Moore is severely underrated.

      1. Moore is 5.5 years older than Grullon, Alfaro 2.7. Logan reached AA when he was 23. Alfaro was also 21, so he is a much better comp. I agree that Deivi is far from a finished product defensively. But how good was Alfaro last year? People still were thinking of him as a potential outfielder. I’m projecting Grullon 3 years from now, in 2020, after 3 more years of AA and AAA experience and training, to be better overall than Jorge is today.

        1. All this talk about Grullon’s defense puzzles me. Aron has it right. Nothing to brag about, although he may improve. The bigger – biggest – question is his bat, or lack thereof. He gets on hot streaks occasionally but has never been consistent. I’ve been watching him since 2014 (in person, not in the box scores) and he’s never impressed me.

          1. Granted his bat is below average.
            However, there is one defensive metric that he is above average in…CS….32% in 382 games
            He betters the number one MLB catching prospect Francisco Mejia who is at 29% in 339 games.
            I assume that has a lot to do with his pop-up and arm strength.

            1. Just got home from the Cutters game. Another heartbreaking loss. Too many left on base. Granted there are some good things about Grullon, but the bottom line is, will he ever be behind the plate in Philadelphia? I think his chances of that are slim and none. His value to the Philllies is as a trade piece in a package deal.

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