My Top Prospects, 9/2019

With the Phillies torturing us on their way to missing the playoffs, I thought you might get some mileage out of this.

Last week, Mike Drago of the Reading Eagle canvassed radio and TV personalities, baseball writers, and others who follow the Phillies minor league system for input into his annual end of season top 30 prospect list.

We were asked to rank the prospects based on their present value to the Phillies, their ceiling/potential, age, and performance relative to level.  

I determined those who I consider to be the top prospects in the organization.  Then, I decided who had present value to the Phillies.  I defined this as meaning, who could help them in 2020 and early 2021.  Based on “present value” I pretty much eliminated all of the guys at Lehigh Valley and some of those at Reading.  If they had any current value, I believe they would have be in Philadelphia before September 1st instead of the collection of castoffs added to the team in their stead.  I’ve also did not consider a lot of the guys on the IL, especially those I know have shoulder and elbow injuries.  That doesn’t mean I don’t like these guys, but I want to see how they return before I estimate their value or ceilings.

I then looked at the prospects further from immediate impact with the Phillies, the next waves if you will, those who will start arriving in 2022 (maybe as early as mid 2021, but not necessarily).  My “ceiling/potential” is probably weighted more toward potential.  All but five on my list are under the age of twenty-three.

  • First, the top prospects.
  • #1. Alec Bohm, 3B/1B – The kid can hit.  I saw how hard he worked on his defense when he was the first to report in January.  I think he  can stay at third base.
  • #2.  Bryson Stott, SS – Another kid who can hit.  In his SSS in the GCL, I was concerned about his arm.  I have since had those worries allayed by Mitch Rupert.
  • #3. Spencer Howard, RHP – Seriously big arm, plus off speed pitches.  Let’s hope he’s over the shoulder issues.
  • These guys are players I think will have present value in the near future.  The numbers are more of a count for me rather than a ranking.
  • #4. Mickey Moniak, OF – Continues to improve.  May have earned promo to AAA next season.  Could contribute in Philadelphia some time next season.
  • #5. Erik Miller, LHP – Another big arm, this one from the 2019 draft.  Should continue to move quickly thru the organization.  (This guy interests me more than any other pitcher below AA.  I hope he starts in Clearwater and finishes in Philadelphia.)
  • #6. Connor Seabold, RHP – Good velocity and BB/K% after coming off IL.  Could move quickly.
  • #7. David Parkinson and
  • #8. Colton Eastman – Starters I’d rather see than the guys we’ve been running up from Lehigh Valley.
  • #9. Addison Russ,
  • #10. Tyler Gilbert,
  • #11. Grant Dyer, and
  • #12. Connor Brogdon – Relievers who I hope can have an impact.
  • #13. Josh Stephen – Made the most of an assignment that most questioned and took advantage of his ABs when opportunities arose.
  • Those above might prove to have “present value” to the Phillies as early as some time next season.  The following players could provide future value if they approach their ceilings.  Again, the numbers are just a count, not a rank.
  • #14. Nick Maton – Steady, all-around SS at Advanced A.  Held his own at AA until the final week of the season.
  • #15. Luis Garcia – Expect improvement next season as he starts in the SAL, again.
  • #16. Jhailyn Ortiz – Undeniable power, young for FSL, could repeat.
  • #17. Daniel Brito – Showed steady improvement after slow start, great glove.
  • #18. Simon Muzziotti – Great glove, flashed some power.
  • #19. Rafael Marchan – Emerging bat, great behind the plate, +36% CS rate.
  • #20. Kyle Glogoski and
  • #21. Ethan Lindow – A pair of 20-year-old LHP who showed promise at both Lakewood and Clearwater.
  • #22. Kendall Simmons – Must carry his SSS hot streak to next season.
  • #23. Johan Rojas – Impressed me in the GCL, continued to play well in Williamsport.
  • #24. Francisco Morales – His 12.0 K/9 is otherworldly, needs to continue to improve his control and 4.3 BB/9.
  • #25. Starlyn Castillo – Easily the most impressive pitcher I saw after he came off the IL.  He only threw 9.1 innings, but he has a mid 90s fastball with a couple of nice secondary pitches.  He shows poise beyond his 17 years.  Indeed, I forgot how young he was and thought he was older when I watched him.
  • And, 5 guys from the DSL to watch.  I got good intel from people who’ve been down there.  They’re listed in no particular.
  • #26. Israel Puello
  • #27. Uziel Viloria
  • #28. Manuel Urias
  • #29. Juan Herrera
  • #30. Alexis Azuaje

And, there are still more young guys who have caught my eye.  A lot of them.  Pitchers with low and mid 90s fastballs, but have sketchy command; hitters with good averages but little power, yet; hitters without positions; pitchers with command but not much velocity; players on the IL who I hope return to form …

My list might skew Mike’s poll with it’s unusual selections and the arbitrary rankings.  I apologized to Mike for that.  As you can see, the numbers are really quite arbitrary after #3.

I probably have a lot of guys who you wouldn’t have considered.  And, a lot of guys missing who you think should be listed.  Say la vee. (C’est la vie)

40 thoughts on “My Top Prospects, 9/2019

  1. I don’t know how you can put Stott ahead of Howard at this point. He’s only played in low A and was good, but not great. Howard has definitely shown more at this point.

    (editor’s note: this from a guy who posts under someone else’s name. What? Ashamed of your own name, Mark Duane?

    1. Lists are opinions. There are no wrongs or rights. I love the fact that Jim calls it like he sees it.

      I (like Jim) also hope the Phillies really push Erik Miller in 2020. For anybody who missed it earlier this summer … Fangraphs (Eric Longenhagen) listed Erik Miller among pitchers with Clayton Kershaw traits.

  2. I think it is a tenet of this site that a contender is built from the organization and free agents add the complimentary pieces. Given that, it should be 2021 at the earliest that the Phillies become genuine contenders. This depends on Bohm, Howard, Stott, Miller, and Seabold living up to their promise. Hopefully, with Harper,Realmoto, Dickerson, Kingery, Hoskins, Nola, and Haseley in their prime, this team could be exciting. But the organizational talent must materialize. There are no quick fixes.

    1. bishop…..just a wild guess….but assume when he posted,

      ” Based on “present value” I pretty much eliminated all of the guys at Lehigh Valley and some of those at Reading. If they had any current value, I believe they would have be in Philadelphia before September 1st instead of the collection of castoffs added to the team in their stead.”.

      Medina probably falls into that category since he was on the 40 and eligible for call-up , along with Enyel DLS.

    1. I also like Vierling…..he really tailed off in the second half. The rigors must have worn him down….mid-June he had a week or so off to rest and heal a bit.
      In August he began to pick up his game again, but June and July were brutal for him
      But you have to like his defense, only 2 errors and 9 assists playing all three positions, he has an above average arm and also ability to steal a base or two.
      He needs to work however to improve his contact abilities.
      Hopefully he stays at the Complex thru the winter and works with the Driveline guys on that aspect of his game.

  3. Jim, your list seems good. I’ve been thinking about my own list and it’s tough beyond the obvious top 3 (I have Howard at 2). Quite a drop off. Medina has fallen off for me, Moniak has improved but he still just hit 260, Garcia was awful, Morales has improved but that walk rate is bad, Muzziotti is a nice CF but with no power, Ortiz has bigtime power but lots of swing and miss, Seabold is good but not great, Miller looks very good but he hasn’t done it for long, DLS hasn’t shined, the relievers have been good but not great. I could go on. Making our list should be very interesting this winter.

    1. Right now I see the Phillies Mount Rushmore of the minors as Howard, Bohm, Stott and Miller. I keep hoping and waiting for Moniak to break out although his outlook is brighter than it was 2 years ago. If Haseley turns into the ballplayer he’s shown in recent days (despite the manager’s insistence on starting AAAA guys), then MM’s development is less urgent. After that, the dropoff leaves us with lots of lottery tickets, loads of bench players and little to bank on.

        1. …or for once you could pick a horse that’ll either win, place or show.

          Just kidding, Roc. You know how I roll.

  4. Talk about First base, if Bohm cant play third, does Rys get traded to make room for Bohm. I never knew how high Miller was rated,,Romus never talks about Miller, so I never heard that much about him. Most of my info is off Romus chat site.

  5. rocco…..”I never knew how high Miller was rated,”…what!
    Its the High Life…champagne of beers. 🙂

    Seriously, Erik Miller could be a future 2 or 3, if he can harness his control, maybe worry about the command later.
    Nobody can hit him, maybe because they will walk, but he does the velo well for a lefty …into the mid-90s…and a very sharp breaking out-of-the-ozone slider.

    1. +1 on Miller. He definitely slipped under my radar, and did exactly what we would hope a college pitcher would do.

      Hopefully he starts in Clearwater with a midseason bump to Reading. I could see him sticking in Lakewood since he only pitched 13 innings there. Fingers crossed, the Phils are agressive with him.


    2. He averaged almost 13K’s per nine for a starter which is very good. His K to BB ration was 3+/1 which is also good. I’m aware the Phillies had him change aspects of his delivery that he worked on at short season and A ball and will continue to refine at Instructs. With the exception of the last game at Hagerstown which was named by those present as the “make up the strike zone as you go” where Miller had 4 BB, he had significantly reduced his BB’s.. Miller will be a fast mover through the system but any call up to the Phillies before 2021 isn’t likely..

      1. “His K to BB ration was 3+/1 which is also good”…..I would not go by that ratio.
        For a true pix for a pitcher I’d prefer the BB/9 and the WHIP……and he needs to harness them.
        The higher K rate and high walk rate 4BB/9 only will get him into the 4th inning like the Velasquez’s of the world.

        1. Miller’s WHIP was 1.11 which my understanding was closer to 1.00 or slightly less until the Hagerstown aberration. His WHIP in 2019 from Stanford through the end of his first pro season continually declined which is the desired trend.

      1. Then it will probably be awhile because I expect Cesar back. With Bohm coming at some point next year they won’t be able to sign a legit 3B (we’d make an exception for Rendon of course) so they’ll likely trade or release Franco and start the year with Kingery at 3B full time. Which means, Cesar will be back for one more year.

    1. Do you mean Damon Jones? If so, he’s got a great arm but really struggled in AAA. The jury is out on his future, as we are with Jo Jo Romero also.

  6. I have a question, and I am not trying to be a smart ass. Luis Garcia struggled mightily in Lakewood this year. He was really young for the league, as both Jim and multiple posters on the blog kept pointing out. But he will probably repeat Lakewood next year. So my question is this- how does it benefit both Luis Garcia and the Phillies if he is pushed to Lakewood and struggles, like he did this year? He repeats Lakewood next year and he will still be young for the league, and if he struggles again, then what?

    1. My guess a year older with experience will make a difference. If he still struggles back to Williamsport. If he struggles there it’s red flag time..

    2. Prospects fail all the time. The Phillies thought he can handle Lakewood at his age. He struggled mightily. What happens if he struggles again at Lakewood in 2020? He stays in the system, other prospects pass him, and life goes on.

  7. Oh my how times have changed. For guys on this website that push High Velocity down our throats this years POY Pitcher just puts up numbers and is rewarded. Fan of players who grow from start to start, give their team a chance to win, grow from year to year, 18 YO, 165 lb drafted now 22-23 YO 225 lb a true prospect but this website followers who want high velocity with min control/min IP. Let’s develop players not arms like The BIG Boys is; Houston, Atlanta, Yankees, Dodgers etc.
    Strength as a Team not hoping to shutout opponent

    1. Harvey….”Let’s develop players not arms like The BIG Boys is; Houston, Atlanta, Yankees, Dodgers etc.”……….
      As to starting pitchers…..Astros developed Keuchel, he’s gone, McCuller’s ????….Yankees developed Severino and German….one has shoulder issues the other is 27 years old and is finally having his one great year……. Dodgers have two…HoF Kershaw and Beuhler….Braves, basically two so far in Soroka and Teherean

      All the ret of their pitchers were acquired thru free agency or trades.
      Phillies acquired their three in trades also….Eflin, ViVe and Pivetta.
      Sure there are end of minor career develppment…..but as to drafting and signing as 16-year olds and working all the way thru a system…..not so much for many teams.

  8. 2019 Paul Owens Awards go to Bohm (no surprise there) and Lindow (maybe a surprise to some but not to me). I didn’t see anyone mention it but maybe I missed an entire discussion about it.

    1. Yeah Lindow was a bit off the radar but shouldn’t have been for that award. He made it through the season healthy and with great numbers. Sadly, there weren’t many other pitchers that did that. He had a good finish after moving up to Clearwater too.

      Figure his main competition would have been Eastman, Garcia, Jones, maybe Glogoski and Connor Brogdon.

      1. If Howard had pitched maybe 25/30 more innings, tacked onto his outstanding 71, he may have been a strong candidate.

        1. Howard would likely be the guy if he hadn’t missed so much time. Seabold would have probably been in the mix too.

  9. If I can be honest. Once you get past #5 that list looks brutal. Will take while to recover from Almaraz.

  10. This may be the wrong place to make this comment, but I hope the placement of Erik Miller promotes a different drafting philosophy for pitchers, i.e. it is not worthwhile for a team that wants to be a division leader to draft pitchers unless they have the potential to be dominant at the Major League level, not just in the minors.

  11. Whether it’s a pitcher or position player I believe the preferred track by team management is to see a player ascend through the system, hit a level where their challenged and possibly struggle some, figure it out and ascend again before their promoted to the MLB team… Some prospects don’t meet those struggles until they get to the MLB which is fine yet I think coaches would prefer to see how players react and recover in the minors rather than facing it in the MLB..

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