Phuture Phillies 2018 Reader Top 30 Poll for the Phillies #30 Prospect

McKenzie Mills was your selection as the #29 prospect in the Phillies’ organization.

Mills received 34 of the 154 votes cast (22%). Jose Taveras finished second with 26 votes (17%), Jhordany Mezquita finished third with 18 votes (12%), Kevin Gowdy fourth (16, 10%), Simon Muzziotti fifth (12, 8%), and Victor Arano sixth(10, 6%).   Fourteen others received the other 38 votes.

McKenzie Mills was acquired by the Phillies from the Washington Nationals along with international bonus slot money in last season’s Howie Kendrick trade.

Mills is a big left handed pitcher, drafted by the Nationals in the 18th round of the 2014 MLB Amateur Draft out of Sprayberry High School, Georgia.

Mills spent 3 years at Rookie and Low A ball.  He struggled with control his first two seasons, but showed some improvement in his third season, posting a 3.71 ERA in 12 starts.  He posted career bests 4.7 BB/9 and 7.8 K/9 in 53.1 innings.

Mills had a break out season with Hagerstown in the SAL in 2017.  He posted a 12-2 record and 3.01 ERA in 18 starts.  He walked 22 (1.9 BB/9) and struck out 118 (10.1 K/9)in 104.2 innings.  After the trade, he made 3 starts for Clearwater and showed some wear and tear before being shut down for the season.  He pitched a combined 120.1 innings after throwing 111.0 innings in his first three seasons.

MLB’s scouting report says Mills –

“features a deceptive delivery and quick arm that generates a lively fastball in the low 90s that he’s still learning to command. Scouts anticipate more velocity moving forward and they also like how he attacks hitters up in the zone. Mills’ above-average curveball is his go-to secondary offering, and the Nationals have been pleased with the development of his changeup, projecting as a third average-or-better pitch for the lefty.

Mills’ success in 2017 is a product of his capacity to make adjustments, as his feel for repeating his delivery more consistently has led to improved fastball command and more effective use of his secondaries. He has the makings of a back-end starter on paper, though his ceiling might still be emerging.”

Mills reported early and threw hard the days I saw him.  Described as tall and lanky by the MLB scout, the 6’4 lefty looks a little thicker than the 205 lb. at which he is listed.

Look for Mills to start in Clearwater this season.

Next up is your selection for the #30 prospect in the organization.


2018 Readers’ Poll, so far –

  1. Sixto Sanchez
  2. Scott Kingery
  3. J.P. Crawford
  4. Jhailyn Ortiz
  5. Jorge Alfaro
  6. Adam Haseley
  7. Adonis Medina
  8. Franklyn Kilome
  9. Mickey Moniak
  10. JoJo Romero
  11. Roman Quinn
  12. Enyel De Los Santos
  13. Cornelius Randolph
  14. Tom Eshelman
  15. Dylan Cozens
  16. Ranger Suarez
  17. Seranthony Dominguez
  18. Nick Fanti
  19. Arquimedes Gamboa
  20. Darick Hall
  21. Luke Leftwich
  22. Kyle Young
  23. Francisco Morales
  24. Daniel Brito
  25. Spencer Howard
  26. Drew Anderson
  27. Cole Irvin
  28. J.D. Hammer
  29. McKenzie Mills
  30. ?

Heavy rain on Sunday forced most activities indoors.  The players came outside to stretch and long toss.  Only Morgan, Beato, and Thompson threw bullpen sessions from the outside mounds, about 30 pitches each.  Mario Sanchez, Dyer, and Gowdy threw from flat ground again.  Aaron Nola and Hoby Milner made their first appearance at the Complex.

20 thoughts on “Phuture Phillies 2018 Reader Top 30 Poll for the Phillies #30 Prospect

  1. Eliezer Alvarez is my 30th player. He is a bit more advanced than those who are left. We’ll see how he does this year in AA or AAA.

  2. Taveres gets my vote for #30. He started in the Phillies organization late. He was 20. He pitched somewhere else, if memory serves, but was released. He pitched in the DSL at 20 so it would be very easy to write the guy off at that point. At 21 he pitched in Wmsprt and LKW at 22. They were nice seasons. At 23, last year, things changed. He pitched at 3 levels A+, AA and ended at AAA. He got better as he moved up. He had 7 starts in LHV. He had a 1.32 ERA and a 1.000 Whip in 41 innings. He only gave up 26 hits in those 41 innings. He had a K/9 of 8.1 and a BB/9 of 3.3. Considering he started the season in CLW and ended up a raging success in LHV, he is in my top 30.

    1. He’s a bit of a forgotten man, but I’ve got him just outside the top 30. He could be the team’s top bench IF at some point this year.

      1. Agreed. I think he’s the reason the team didn’t re-sign Blanco. If and when Kingery is promoted and Cesar is moved (probably inevitable), Valentin will be the utility guy.

  3. Glad Mills finally made the list. I’ve got Arano next. He could be an important piece in the ML bullpen this season.

    1. Handzus,

      I’m with you. Arano also has been a bit of the forgotten man along with Valentin. I really wanted to vote Valentin, but just couldn’t do it given the guys ahead of him. As has been mentioned, the depth of talent is greater than ever with Mills and Hammer b being examples of additions who probably keep Valentin outside of the Top 30.

        1. 2017 in AAA is a good year for Rios, thus, his inclusion to the 40-man. Current result is not necessarily the best barometer for future performance. Overall body of work, projection and pure stuff favors Arano. Arano has a legit plus FB-SL with good command. Rios’ FB can be plus but his secondary is below Arano’s.

  4. Biggest jumpers from last year’s list to this years list…JoJo Romero , from 37 to now 10, and Gamboa, from 39 to 19.

    1. this is just my observation – most posters give value to proximity and recent stats in this sites ranking – thus, the preference to high floors than high ceiling. last year’s Top 30 is littered with prospects that are in AA/AAA (I think Tirado is like #20).

      Most prospects in low minors (A and below) except for high draft picks and highly touted IFA signings don’t gather enough attention. Brito (#34), JoJo (#37), Seranthony (#36), Gamboa (#39) were all out side Top 30 but these four are an easy Top 20/30 in most prospects ranking I’ve seen. Guzman and Gonzalez were irrelevant last year and it looks they will not make the Top 30 this year (there are an easy Top 20/30 in most rankings I’m seeing).

      Arano or Taveras (both close to majors) will round up the Top 30 based on the trend that i can see although IMO high risks and high reward prospects in low minors like Guzman, Gonzalez, Luis Garcia, Muzziotti, Gutierrez and even mid-ceiling prospect like Seabold warrants more consideration than the high floor upper minors prospects in the current list.

      1. Thats a plausible reason for the rise of many this year.
        And yes there would appear to be those who are on the list that in that category of “high floor upper minors prospects in the current list.”
        And assume you may mean the likes of Quinn, Eshelman, or even Kilome. They may not be eligible next year if they get the call up to play in Philly this season

        1. Fanti, Irvin, Hammer and Mills (I disregard Leftwich) are the ones I’m referring to the high floors.

          I can see Guzman, Gonzalez, Seabold, Luis Garcia and Mezquita as potential high risers. Mezquita has better stuff than Fanti although he might start to WIL (due to workload) than do a jump in LWD.

          The trio of Guzman, Gonzalez and Muzziotti will play in WIL – so they may not be in everybody’s consciousness until June and need a Brito-like start of the year before most here starts talking about them. I’m still 50-50 on Muzziotti because he Tocci to me but the Guzman and Gonzalez DP combo is legit.

          Hinkie’s favorite Jakob Hernandez will be a fan favorite but David Parkinson will be the high floor LHP fast riser like Cole Irvin.

          Lindow and Silva are Fanti-like. I hope they show better stuff because I prefer a Ranger-like than a Fanti-like.

  5. Pretty amazing we got through 30 spots and Pullin, Tavares, Gowdy and Arano are still on the board. It’s a result of the team’s admirable depth in the farm system.

    1. Lol not for my lack of trying. 🙂 I guess I am one of the proximity guys that puts more emphasis on the guys that are close than I do the high ceiling lottery tickets down below. So many things can turn a high draft into a landscaper by the time they are 28. It is fun to project, and sometimes it works out and you are right. Other times you look silly. Just look back 3-4 years on old posts here and you will see it littered with prospects that at the time were the best thing since sliced bread and now are crumbs. lol (political pun) lol anyways, we are all most there. Show me the bats, show me the velocity. That’s my motto. I see 2019 as the year. I just want to talk about the guys that will be part of it then. The teenagers can come in afterwards and build upon that. Who here now will help the Phils in 2019?

  6. I’m voting Kevin Gowdy again. I know he’s had a rough post draft year-and-a-half due to injuries. However, he was a high second round draft pick who got first round money. He was one of the most polished HS arms in his draft class, has a great frame (6’4″, 180 lbs, wide shoulders with lots of room for growth) and is still very young (just turned 20). I’m also a firm believer that most (young) pitchers bounce back even stronger from TJ. I’m expecting a Jesus Luzardo type result for Gowdy.

    1. @hinkie – i agree with the TJ recovery. Gowdy can be the Mitchell White that you are hoping that the farm can have. Both stands at 6’4″ and have TJ surgery almost at the same age. Maybe Gowdy can follow the Mitchell White path of pitching from the pen while building arm strength and refining command. Gowdy has the stuff to be even better than Mitchell White.

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