Phuture Phillies 2018 Reader Top 30 Poll Completed

Jose Taveras was your selection as the #30 prospect in the Phillies’ organization.

Taveras received 40 of the 194 votes cast (21%). Jhordany Mezquita finished second with 33 votes (17%), Kevin Gowdy finished third with 22 votes (11%), Victor Arano fourth (20, 10%), Simon Muzziotti fifth (15, 8%), and Andrew Pullin sixth (11, 6%).   Fifteen others received the other 53 votes.

Jose Taveras was signed by the Phillies at the age of 20 as a free agent.  The 6’4, 210 lb. RHP was assigned to the Dominican Summer League where he was about a year older than the average player in the league.   As expected, he fared well: 8-4 record, 1.05 ERA, 0.809 WHIP in 15 appearances, 13 starts.  He walked 8 (0.8 BB/9) and struck out 70 (7.4 K/9) in 85.1 innings.

Taveras advanced to Williamsport in 2015 where he faced age appropriate competition. He posted a 7-4 record and 3.88 ERA in 13 starts.  He walked 21 (3.0 BB/9) and struck out 59 (8.5 K/9) in 62.2 innings.

In 2016, Taveras pitched in Lakewood and faced age appropriate competition again.  He posted an 8-8 record, 3.28 ERA, and 1.034 WHIP in 20 starts, 25 appearances.  He walked 26 (1.7 BB/9) and struck out 154 (10.2 K/9) in 137.1 innings.

Taveras started the 2017 season with Clearwater.  In 16 starts, he posted a 6-4 record, 2.38 ERA, and 1.069 WHIP.  He struck walked 23 (2.0 BB/9) and struck out 92 (8.1 K/9) in 102.0 innings.  He was rewarded with a promotion to Reading on July 20th.  After a couple so-so starts, Taveras was promoted to Lehigh Valley on August 1st, the beneficiary of several IronPigs being assigned to the DL and some vacancies created by deadline trades by the Phillies.  He took advantage of the opportunity and posted a 3-1 record, 1.32 ERA, and 1.000 WHIP in 7 starts.  He walked 15 (3.3 BB/9) and struck out 37 (8.1 K/9) in 41.0 innings. In December he was added to the Phillies’ 40-man roster.

Taveras is a curious prospects.  He’s big and friendly with a quick smile.  In spite of his size, he does not look like the prototypical pitcher.  On the mound, he throws with an easy motion that gives the impression that he’s just tossing the ball to the catcher.  In the 5 starts I charted, his FB sat 89-91 mph in three games and 90-92 mph in the others two.  He get it up to 93-94 mph on occasion.

But in addition to what most of you would consider a pedestrian fastball, he possessed a change up, slider, and curve ball.  His change up was considered the best in the Florida State League.  He has very good command, and moves the ball around the strike zone effectively.  And, he can change velocity at will.  I can remember charting his games where he threw multiple pitches at each velocity from 76 to 94 mph.

He also has the uncanny ability to not get rattled when he walks a batter or an error is committed behind him.  I was pleasantly surprised how effective he was in Clearwater.  The league was too as he was voted the started in the FSL All Star game.  He pitched a perfect inning and was awarded the win.


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. Jose Taveras

We began our Tuesday with our morning ritual of identifying new faces as the players walked past us on their way to the left field foul line on Roberts Field.  Today we spotted six – Rhys Hoskins, Jorge Alfaro, Tommy Joseph, Brandon Leibrandt, Andrew Pullin, and Matt McBride.  These bring my count to 39 players in Clearwater.

The players did their stretching, sprints, and long-tossing and broke into their groups – pitchers and catchers to the Seven Mounds to pitch out of sight (grr!), outfielders to center field to shag balls hit from the right field foul line, and infielders took ground balls (only Florimon at short today, I didn’t see Walding today).

The position players batted in three groups today –

  • 1.) Pedro Florimon, Roman Quinn, Rhys Hoskins, Tommy Joseph;
  • 2.) Andrew Pullin, Dylan Cozens, Carlos De La Cruz; and
  • 3.) Jorge Alfaro, Edgar Cabral, Logan Moore, MattMcBride

They batted under the watchful eye of Charlie Manuel.

Hoskins crushed a ball over the left field fence and I commented, “the launch isn’t scheduled until 1:30”, a vague reference to the rocket going off on Florida’s east coast.  After all the hitting was done, Charlie had a long talk with Cozens out by the mound.  Seemed to last at least ten minutes, maybe more. We noticed that Cozens was swinging with mostly his arms, little use of his legs, and an imperceptible shift in weight from his back foot to his front.  It seemed clear that they were talking about hitting based on the motions Cozens was making, and really, Charlie knows hitting.  I’ve heard that Cozens is slow to take advice, so it will be interesting to see if he makes any changes tomorrow.


As players left the field, McBride took grounders at first, throwing to a coach at second.  I difficulty recognizing Pullin.  He’s sporting a full beard.

10 thoughts on “Phuture Phillies 2018 Reader Top 30 Poll Completed

  1. This year the poll took a lot of reviewing and double checking stats. I had my top 15 at the start and I changed it all along the way. I’d hear arguments from people in the comments section and I’d go back to the stats. I’d ask myself if this guy is actually a better choice than the one I originally had. Sometimes I’d say yes and sometimes no. But I felt I made the right decision for the right reason. There are a lot of guys who weren’t in my top 30 and someone was making a very good argument for them to be there. I quickly realized that we have a lot of guys who could be in the top 30 but they aren’t in my top 30. I couldn’t argue against them because I can only affect my own top 30. I made arguments why I chose a guy and I reviewed everyone’s comments about that choice. Some made great arguments for another guy but I’d already made my choice.

    The only guy I disagree with in our top 30 is Leftwich. I have nothing bad to say about him but as a reliever, he’s not even in the top 4 in the org.

    1. Leftwich’s inclusion basically makes this a top 29. Still, he’s got a non-zero shot to be a major league reliever so that’s a nice comment on the depth of the system. When I wrote up my list I went to about 70 and didn’t have him on it.

      1. Leftwich was on the friends and family PP plan. So we disregard it – not a big deal – at least it only happened for one prospect as far as I can tell.

        1. Yeah, I believe he was the only one this year. There are some guys I feel are overranked (Hall, Fanti, Hammer) but at least there was discussion about them in the comments and contingents of readers that voted for them.

    1. Jim,

      Yes. Great job on the poll.

      Also, thanks to everyone who contributed comments and analysis. I modified my Top 30 because of all the good, thoughtful information posters provided. Heck, two years ago I didn’t have a Top 30, so this has been a fun exercise thanks 100 percent to PhuturePhillies and the great job Jim does organizing the poll and herding cats.

  2. It’s a good sign when a prospect’s numbers get better every year as they advance through the system. Two guys that progressed like that (and were lightly regarded on PP) were Carlos Ruiz and Freddy Galvis.

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