There is always a moderate to phanatical interest among Phuture Phillies’ readers when baseball sites release prospect rankings and organizational strength rankings.
I find comparisons against other organizations by the various ranking groups very uninteresting. Each site ranks prospects by their own criteria which can differ greatly. The same can be said when they try to rank organizations. But, one thing is certain, these rankings do generate discussion among avid baseball fans.
For Phillies fans, these discussions are usually critical of the way they draft players and how those players are developed.
About a week ago, Baseball America published their organizational rankings. They placed the Phillies in the bottom five.
SWFL Frank shared the following on August 12th.
Baseball America released its mid-season farm system rankings. The Phillies are a rousing 26th.
“Here’s BA’s comment: In normal systems, having two Top 30 prospects would mean inclusion in the upper echelon of baseball. Aside from first-round picks RHP Mick Abel and SS Bryson Stott, however, the system’s quality takes a short, sharp dive. Third-round pick SS Casey Martin, who was among the most tooled-up players available in the draft, could give the group a boost with a strong pro debut in 2021, however.”
This season, the Phillies have promoted their top two prospects, Spencer Howard and Alec Bohm. It is entirely probable that both lose their rookie status this season. MLB defines the rookie status of drafted or draft-eligible prospects as follows –
“To be eligible for a list, a player must have rookie eligibility. To qualify for rookie status, a player must not have exceeded 130 at-bats or 50 innings pitched in the Major Leagues, or accumulated more than 45 days on the active roster of a Major League club or clubs during the 25-player limit period, excluding time on the disabled list or in military service.”
The 2020 season ends on September 27th. Howard’s contract was selected on August 9th giving him 23 days on the active roster in August plus 27 days in September for a total of 50 days. Bohm’s contract was selected on August 13th giving him 19 days on the active roster in August plus 27 days in September for a total of 46 days.
Counting Tuesday’s game in Boston, the Phillies have 42 games remaining. Bohm has 20 plate appearances and 17 at bats in his first five games, batting in the second half of the line up. He should play most, if not all, games and should easily accumulate the 130 at bats (I’m surprised it’s not plate appearances).
Howard, on the other hand, probably gets just 8 more starts. He has pitched 8.0 innings in his first two starts. He would have to go deeper in games to hit the 50 innings mark. However, as I noted above, he does surpass the 45 days that would negate his rookie status next season.
A new Phillies’ Top 30 will be headed by Bryson Stott and Mick Abel. The remaining current top 30 prospects are dotted with guys who are moving in the wrong direction, guys who have been recently DFA-ed, and guys who are getting too old to seriously be considered prospects.
So, assuming that both Spencer Howard and Alec Bohm graduate from rookie status, how much further does the Phillies prospect organizational ranking drop?