2015 Top 50 Phillies Prospects: 11-20

As we get closer to the top 10, the players in the system start to separate themselves into specific tiers of talent and profile.  In the last three groups of 10 the players could arguably have been slotted in many different orders.  Here those groups become smaller and the order starts to become more important.  I am making judgment calls here, sometimes on things very slight, but everyone is in the order they are in for a reason.

Top 50: Primer | 1-10 | 11-20 | 21-30 | 31-40 | 41-50

The first group of prospects here are all very similar, and you will see that each has the exact same role and risk.  Each comes to it a bit differently, all 4 pitchers bring more safety than upside, and all should move very quickly.

11.  Ben Lively – RHP (Profile)

DOB: March 5, 1992 (23)
H/W: 6’4″ 190lb
B/T: R/R
Acquired: Drafted in the 4th round (#135 overall) in the 2013 draft by the Reds ($350,000 bonus).  Traded to the Phillies on December 31, 2014 for OF Marlon Byrd
2014 Stats:

Team (LVL)GGSW-LIPERAH/9HR/9BB/9K/9
BAK (A+)131310-179.02.286.50.71.810.8
PNS (AA)13133-672.03.887.50.94.59.5

Role: #3/#4 Starter
Risk: Medium – There are some concerns about how well Lively’s arsenal will play against advanced hitters, however he has the basic pieces to keep hitters off balance, which gives him an excellent chance to stick in the rotation.
Summary:  Lively, the return from Cincinatti for Marlon Byrd, was the breakout prospect for the Reds in 2014.  The numbers, especially in the hitter-friendly Cal League, hinted at a pitcher with dominant stuff.  Instead, Lively brings more of an average arsenal to the table.  His fastball is 90-93, and he can get to 95 if needed.  Outside the fastball, his best pitch is his slider, which is above average to plus.  He will also use a curveball and changeup that rate out as having average future potential.  Lively’s delivery is a bit unconventional, and it causes the ball disappear from sight in the middle of the delivery (Fangraph’s Eno Sarris breaks the whole delivery down here).  This adds a lot of deception to Lively’s delivery, but it also has some scouts worrying how the control will hold up in this motion and whether major league hitters will be able to figure out the deception.  Right now, Lively has good command of his pitches and can pound the strike zone with all four pitches.  If the deception continues to deceive hitters, and he can keep throwing strikes, Lively could be a mid-rotation starter.  The optimistic outcome is that he is more of a #4 starter who will be able to shoulder a large innings burden.  There are some evaluators that think he is best suited for a bullpen role long term, but he would need to fail as a starter for the Phillies to explore that option.  Lively should join fellow trade acquisitions Windle and Eflin in the Reading rotation.


Previous Rank: N/A
ETA: 2016

12. Tom Windle – LHP (Profile)

DOB: March 10, 1992 (23)
H/W: 6’4″ 215lb
B/T: L/L
Acquired: Drafted in the 2nd round (#56 overall) in the 2013 draft by the Dodgers ($986,500 bonus).  Traded to the Phillies on December 19, 2014 along with RHP Zach Eflin for SS Jimmy Rollins.
2014 Stats:

Team (LVL)GGSW-LIPERAH/9HR/9BB/9K/9
RC (A+)262512-8139.14.269.50.92.87.2

Role: #3/#4 Starter
Risk: Medium – Windle has a good base to become a solid starter with his fastball and slider, however the concerns about his control and delivery will cause the whispers about a possible move to the bullpen to linger.
Summary: In many ways, Windle is still the same guy he was when the Dodgers took him in the second round last year.  His fastball sits at 89-93 and can get up to 94.   Some people love his slider and think it is a current plus pitch, others have it more at above average future potential.  His changeup shows average potential, but a year later it is still inconsistent.  His delivery adds deception, but the consequence is inconsistent control and a landing that makes some wonder about the stress he is putting on his arm.  All of this points to a future that might end up in the bullpen, where his fastball has shown it can tick up to true plus or better velocity.  However, there is upside here; Windle has now only been a starting pitcher for two years now (he was a reliever his first two years at Minnesota) and so there is still time for him to add feel for the changeup.  If he can surpass the potential delivery issues, he is a lefty with two 55 or better pitches with the chance to have a 50 changeup – that is a #4 starter.  What some are hoping for is that he fills out a little more and the velocity goes up a bit, the slider gets more consistency, and you are looking at 2 60s and a 50 or better, and his ceiling is more mid-rotation.  Windle will start 2015 in Reading, where he will need more polish and time than rotation mates Eflin or Lively.

Previous Rank: N/A
ETA: 2016

13. Matt Imhof – LHP (Profile)

DOB: October 26, 1993 (21)
H/W: 6’5″ 220lb
B/T: L/L
Acquired: Drafted in the 2nd round (#47 overall) in the 2014 draft by the Phillies ($1,187,900 bonus).
2014 Stats:

Team (LVL)GGSW-LIPERAH/9HR/9BB/9K/9
GCL (Rk)110-03.00.006.00.03.06.0
WPT (SS)331-012.00.754.50.03.08.2
LKW (A-)770-227.14..2810.51.02.08.9

Role: #3/#4 Starter
Risk: Medium – Imhof’s numbers outpaced his stuff in college, but the stuff may not be enough to dominate in pro ball.  However, his fastball command and mix of pitches give him a very good chance to stick in a rotation.
Summary: The Phillies’ second round pick in the 2014 draft, Imhof’s stuff has always lagged behind his results, but his numbers have been staggering.  The big lefty’s fastball velocity is rather pedestrian at 89-91, but he can get it to 93-94.  At the lower velocity, the pitch has good movement, and he has also shown the ability to command it to both sides of the plate.  Some evaluators liked his curveball more than his changeup coming out of college, but he has shown growth in the feel for his changeup since he signed.  All of Imhof’s pitches play up due to the deception inherent in his delivery that makes it hard for the batter to pick up the ball.  Imhof was able to dominate early in pro ball, purely by just using his fastball, but the Phillies have been forcing him to use his secondary pitches more.  His current arsenal points to a fast moving back of the rotation starter, and Imhof should start the year in Clearwater.  However, Imhof was one of the youngest college juniors and will play the whole year at age 2,1 so there might be a little more velocity in his big frame.


Previous Rank: N/A
ETA: 2016

14. Victor Arano – RHP (Profile)

DOB: February 7, 1995 (20)
H/W: 6’2″ 200lb
B/T: R/R
Acquired: Signed as an international free agent on April 4, 2013 by the Dodgers.  Traded to the Phillies on August 28, 2014 along with 2B Jesmuel Valentin for RHP Roberto Hernandez.
2014 Stats:

Team (LVL)GGSW-LIPERAH/9HR/9BB/9K/9
GL (A-)22154-786.04.089.21.22.18.7

Role: #3/#4 Starter
Risk: Medium – Arano lacks big upside, but he has an advanced feel for pitching for his age, and the control of a solid 3 pitch arsenal make him safer to reach his ceiling than most 20 year olds.
Summary: Arano is a player I have been eyeing Arano in the Dodgers system since he popped up at #10 on Baseball Prospectus’ Top 10  a year ago.  I was very surprised when he was included in the trade for Hernandez.  Despite his youth, Arano does not have lots of physical projection left, but his feel and stuff is already well above his age.  His fastball is 91-93 in the rotation, but he has been 95+ in a relief role.  His breaking ball goes from slider to curveball, depending on velocity and release, and evaluators’ opinions will range from below average to plus depending on which breaking ball they see.  He is starting to show a feel for the changeup, and it could settle in at above average.  With a good breaking ball Arano looks like he could be a #3 starter, and on a bad day he looks more like a reliever.  The truth is somewhere in the middle, and his likely profile is as a #4 starter, who could get to the majors very quickly.  Arano will pitch 2015 as a 20 year old and should join a good Clearwater rotation to start the year.


Previous Rank: N/A
ETA: 2017

The next group here is a pair of GCL Phillies who showed big growth in 2014.  In many ways, they contrast each other, with one bringing future projection and the other current stuff.  Both have good upside, but are a long time away from contributing in the majors.

15. Franklyn Kilome – RHP (Profile)

DOB: June 25, 1995 (19)
H/W: 6’6″ 195lb
B/T: R/R
Acquired: Signed as an international free agent in January 2013 by the Phillies ($40,000 bonus).
2014 Stats:

Team (LVL)GGSW-LIPERAH/9HR/9BB/9K/9
GCL (Rk)1183-140.13.128.00.42.55.6

Role: #2/#3 Starter
Risk: High – Kilome still has a lot of filling out to do to max out his frame and potential.  If he doesn’t, his ceiling might not be too high, but his solid delivery and his ability to generate ground balls give him something to fall back on.
Summary: I first heard about Kilome this spring.  It was mentioned to me secondhand that the Phillies had a kid they were bringing stateside who was already up to 94 but could get to 98.  Kilome not only didn’t disappoint, but he was a pleasant surprise in the GCL this year.  The fastball was mostly 90-92, but he touched 95 towards the end of year.  The regular fastball has good downward plane from his long frame, but he creates something special when he combines that frame with a heavy sinker that comes in at 88-90.  He can pound the strike zone with the sinker and hitters have little choice but to hit it into the ground.  Kilome has begun to show a feel for a curveball and a changeup, and the curveball could be a plus pitch.  Filling out his projectable frame could see Kilome’s fastball reach as high as plus plus long term.  His delivery is nice and easy for a man of his size, and he has shown the ability to control all of his pitches.  Kilome might have the most upside of any pitcher in the Phillies organization, and it’s not a stretch to say he has #2 upside if he can get to a 70 fastball and keep the heaviness to his arsenal.   Given his polish, Kilome could jump to Lakewood, but the number of pitchers at his level, coupled with an effort to keep his total innings down, could land him in Extended Spring Training before going to Williamsport.


Previous Rank: UR
ETA: 2019

16. Elniery Garcia – LHP (Profile)

DOB: December 24, 1994 (20)
H/W: 6’0″ 155lb
B/T: L/L
Acquired: Signed as an international free agent on December 9, 2011 by the Phillies.
2014 Stats:

Team (LVL)GGSW-LIPERAH/9HR/9BB/9K/9
GCL (Rk)742-226.02.089.00.01.48.0
WPT (SS)400-04.25.7911.61.93.99.6

Role: #3/#4 Starter
Risk: High – Garcia lacks big time stuff to fall back on if he can’t continue to develop his pitches, but he does have advanced feel for his secondary pitches, which should be enough to make him interesting from the left side.
Summary: While Kilome brings big upside and projection, Garcia brings more actualized stuff and an advanced feel for pitching.  In 2014, Garcia took a big step forward, especially with his fastball.  Right now the pitch will comes in at 89-91, touching 92.  This makes it more fringe average velocity from the left side, but Garcia can command the pitch as well as give it movement, which makes it play higher than the velocity suggest.  Garcia’s best pitch is a plus swing and miss curveball, however he is still inconsistent with the pitch.  His changeup is less developed than the other two pitches but shows solid potential.  Garcia has a slight build, so some question his durability and whether he can add any velocity his fastball.  Given his feel for pitching and present control, Garcia is the most likely of the GCL pitchers to jump right to Lakewood.  Garcia’s upside is a mid-rotation starter if he can continue to make strides like he did this past season.


Previous Rank: UR
ETA: 2019

After six straight pitchers, we find a group of high upside, but high risk outfielders.  Their athleticism and power are reminiscent of some of the classic Phillies high risk draft picks.  The payoff on any of them could be huge, but there is a decent chance none of them ever make the majors.

17. Jose Pujols – RF (Profile)

DOB: September 29, 1995 (19)
H/W: 6’3′
B/T: 175
Acquired: Signed as an international free agent on July 2, 2012 ($540,000 bonus)
2014 Stats:

Team (LVL)GPAHRSBBB%K%AVGOBPSLG
GCL (Rk)41166517.232.5.232.291.411
WPT (SS)1662000.033.9.213.226.295

Role: First Division Regular
Risk: Extreme – Pujols’ power is special, but his approach is abysmal.  If he cannot put himself in a position to make contact, it is going to be tough for him to put up numbers in A-ball, let alone in the majors.
Summary:  If you like huge tools and incredible upside, then Jose Pujols is the prospect for you!  Everyone who sees Pujols raves about his power, and for good reason.  Pujols might have the most power in the Phillies system, and he still has room to add more muscle and strength.  He generates his power with incredible bat speed, with the ball seemingly jumps off his bat.  The question has always been about how much contact Pujols will make.  His swing can get a bit long and disjointed, but the Phillies have gone a long way in cleaning it up and removing the distinct uppercut he had before he signed.  Pujols also has a good feel for manipulating the bat to make contact, and right now he can make contact even when he is fooled by offspeed pitches.  The real problem is his approach.  Pujols will swing at almost anything and often doesn’t have a plan at the plate, which puts him in a poor hitting position.  Despite the concerns about his hit tool, I am encouraged by the strides that Pujols has made so far.  In 2014 he was able to go from an all pull approach to showing power and contact to all fields.  On defense, Pujols’ routes in right field can be an adventure, but he is an average runner, and he has an arm that will flash plus or better.  Given the incremental improvements he has made and flashes of a better approach, I thinks Pujols is starting to put it all together.  There is a ton of risk here, but the potential payoff is extremely special.  Depending on his showing in Spring Training, Pujols could be going to either Extended Spring Training or Lakewood, with a trip to Williamsport possible in both scenarios.

Jose Pujols taking BP in Mahoning Valley.

A post shared by Ian Catherine (@iancatherine27) on

Previous Rank: 17
ETA: 2019

18. Dylan Cozens – RF/LF (Profile)

DOB: May 31,  1994
H/W: 6’6″ 235lb
B/T: L/L
Acquired: Drafted in the 2nd round (#77 overall) in the 2012 draft by the Phillies.
2014 Stats:

Team (LVL)GPAHRSBBB%K%AVGOBPSLG
LKW (A-)13255616237.226.4.248.303.415

Role: Solid Regular
Risk: High – A bad approach and natural swing holes are a difficult thing for any player to overcome.  Cozens brings enough power to the table to potentially hit his way out of a tough profile, but it will not an easy road.
Summary: It is really easy to see why there is always buzz around Dylan Cozens.  Cozens comes in at a gigantic 6’6” 235lb, with most of that weight in muscle, and he will only be 20 years old on opening day.  His strength and long levers give him plus to plus plus raw power,  and so far Cozens has been able to impressively show that power in games (including a monster home run off of Lucas Giolito).  But, as is to be expected with a player of Cozens’ size, there is a lot of swing and miss at the plate.  While neither his bat speed and hand-eye coordination are a negative,  they are not special enough to close all the holes in his swing, and so he is going to need to outhit them.  Up to this point, Cozens has done a decent job keeping his head above water, but he will need the approach to tighten up enough to bring the walk rate back up towards pre-2014 levels and keep the strikeout rate from going too much over 25%.  His bat is so important because of the rest of his profile.  On defense, he has an above average arm and below average speed, and he is fairly athletic.  Right now he can handle right field, though he has been bumped to left by some of the better fielders in the Phillies’ system.  However, his outfield routes can sometimes be a bit adventurous.  Despite his stolen base numbers, I have never seen an average speed time for Cozens, and given his size, he is likely to get slightly slower over time.  If he can stick in an outfield corner and clean up the approach at the plate, Cozens can be a major league regular at a time when power is rare.  The danger that some see is that an eventual move to first base or a poor approach will put him in a position where he just won’t be able to hit at a high enough level to make himself valuable.

Previous Rank: 12
ETA: 2018

19. Cord Sandberg – RF (Profile)

DOB: January 2, 1995 (20)
H/W: 6’3″ 215lb
B/T: L/L
Acquired: Drafted in the 3rd round (#89 overall) in the 2013 draft ($775,000 bonus)
2014 Stats:

Team (LVL)GPAHRSBBB%K%AVGOBPSLG
WPT (SS)66283683.919.8.235.267.345

Role: First Division Regular
Risk: Extreme – The individual tools look special for Sandberg, but his inexperience is showing in his approach at the plate and pitch recognition, and they in turn prevent his natural abilities from showing on the field.  He doesn’t need to overcome these issues in 2015, but he does need to begin to show real progress.
Summary: It looked like coming out of Extended Spring Training it looked like Sandberg was poised for breakout, especially when he started off in Williamsport by hitting .297/.348/.453 in 15 June games.  It went downhill from there as Sandberg was forced to deal with pitchers pitching him backwards and throwing the most advanced breaking balls he’d seen so far.  The good news is that Sandberg’s ceiling and projection are all still in place, it’s just a riskier and longer road ahead.  The Phillies worked with him late in the year to start developing opposite field contact, so he could go with pitches the other way, as almost all of his contact has been to his pull side so far.

Cord Sandberg in Williamsport

Cord Sandberg in Williamsport

His swing is real easy, and he can sting the ball when he makes good contact.  Sandberg is an average runner, but he gets going fairly well and uses it to run great routes in the outfield, and as a former quarterback, he has the plus arm you would expect.  Sandberg has a frame to dream on and a high ceiling.  A full year of at bats in Lakewood will go a long way to just getting him the reps he needs to start putting his raw abilities to work.  Given the Lakewood ballpark’s tendency to suppress offense and Sandberg’s rawness, I wouldn’t bet on 2015 being a breakout year, but it should be a foundational year before his stock leaps forward.

http://instagram.com/p/rksnbWr4Yr/

Previous Rank: 10
ETA: 2019

In many ways, Ricardo Pinto should be with Garcia and Kilome, but he is a bit further behind them when it comes to a complete arsenal and future projection.

20. Ricardo Pinto – RHP (Profile)

DOB: January 20, 1994 (21)
H/W: 6’0 165lb
B/T: R/R
Acquired: Signed as an international free agent on December 28, 2011 by the Phillies.
2014 Stats:

Team (LVL)GGSW-LIPERAH/9HR/9BB/9K/9
WPT (SS)991-547.02.116.90.82.99.2

Role: #3/#4 Starter
Risk: High – Pinto is still missing a third usable pitch next to go with his fastball and changeup, and his track record of stateside success is limited so far.  Once the slider starts to come along, he could move very quickly.
Summary: Ricardo Pinto seemingly came out of nowhere in 2014, as the Phillies brought the diminutive RHP directly from the VSL to the New York Penn League.  An injury got his season off to a late start, but after that his year took off.  Pinto brings a fastball that is mostly 91-94, but has gotten as high as 96.  He pairs it with a changeup that the Williamsport staff raved about, and it has been described as above average to plus depending on who you talk to.  The slider is still a work in progress, but it can flash average potential.  Pinto has earned a reputation for just attacking batters with his stuff in the zone, and up to now he has been able to miss bats.  He is relatively compactly built and is unlikely to put on more muscle and velocity.  Given his advanced feel and the fact that he will be 21 on opening day, there is a chance that Pinto will skip over Lakewood and go right to Clearwater.  Either way, Pinto has enough stuff to flash mid rotation upside on a good day, and on a bad day, still make you think he could be very good in a bullpen role with the fastball-changeup combination.

Previous Rank: UR
ETA: 2018

Photo of Jose Pujols by Tom Hagerty

Author: Matt Winkelman

Matt Winkelman
Matt is originally from Mt. Holly, NJ, but after a 4 year side track to Cleveland for college he now resides in Madison, WI. His work has appeared on Phuture Phillies, The Good Phight, and TheDynastyGuru.

27 comments

  1. jcull

    I’m really surprised to see Pinto and Garcia. They’re good prospects, but they really were under-the-radar throughout the year and subsequently I did not pay as much attention to them as I should have.

    Of Windle, Lively, and Imhof, who is most likely to become a #3 starter?

    • Matt Winkelman

      Most likely to be a #3 is probably Lively because he has the 4 pitch mix right now. Most likely to stick in the rotation is probably Imhof, and most likely to overachieve might be Windle because it isn’t too hard to see him with a plus fastball and plus slider from the left hand side. Windle is the most likely to end up in the bullpen.

  2. CZ

    Just a thought…have you considered ordering these the other way so one can scroll from 20 -> 11? I find myself having to scroll to the bottom and read everything backwards. Thanks for doing what you do!

  3. LarryM

    As much as I want to avoid the easy conclusion that the Phillies have an organization wide tendency to under emphasize the importance of approach for hitters – whether from a development perspective or a talent selection perspective – the evidence (in terms of prospect profiles) does seem rather compelling. It even applies to some of the guys who will be in your top ten.

    • LarryM

      And the first blush response might be something along the lines of “the Phillies prefer toolsie players over players with good approaches – relatively few players have both.” That defines the problem, it does not negate it.

      Better I guess would be a comment along the lines of “prospects with good tools are more common than prospects with a good approach,” and there may be some truth to that – but does not IMO opinion explain why the Phillies seem to have so many prospects without a decent approach.

      • Matt Winkelman

        Not sure the Phillies right now are going for one over the other. Right here are 3 guys who will be 19 or 20 next year with huge tools, and if they had their tools and a good approach they would have been top of their class. The reason the Phillies have so many hitters with bad approaches is for the same reason all the pitchers have questions about their control, it is a really tough part of playing baseball and not something often gained in the amatuer ranks. When we get to the Top 10, there are some guys with great approaches at the plate.

        But more than anything, players with great approaches and also the tools to play in the major leaguers are extremely rare. Having just a great approach and not having the tools is the same as having a 85mph fastball and great control, it just isn’t going to work. So you go with a player with the tools to play in the major leagues.

        • LarryM

          Well those are pretty much the responses I anticipated, and as I said I give them some credence. But it’s not just 3 guys here. There are a bunch of guys lower, and some higher, that fit that description as well. Who has a really good approach? Crawford. Then there are some guys with okay approaches (Dugan, for example) – and a bunch of guys with questionable approaches, including at least one top ten prospect (Franco).

          Now, as you say, that’s a problem with prospects generally. I get the sense – maybe wrong, maybe not – that it tends to be a bigger problem for the Phillies than for the average organization. And then there are organizations which tend to prioritize approach – the Cardinals come to mind – with some good success.

          Hard to answer that concern without a comparison (with other systems) well beyond the scope of a comments section.

        • LarryM

          I guess maybe another way of saying the same thing – the problem isn’t so much the lack of players with great approaches, but the (relative) lack of players with decent to good approaches. And yes, I am aware that there are some, both higher and lower on the list, and that it’s hard to say whether the Phillies are truly lacking in this regard without doing a detailed comparison with other systems.

  4. furtigan

    Matt —

    Could you give us some clarification/quantification on what the “risk” means? I mean obviously, “medium risk” on a prospect is a relative thing, and does not equate to “50/50 chance he meets this projection” … but what does it mean? 30% of filling that role? 5%

    Same for all the rest of the ratings … I understand that someone like Pujols is basically a lottery ticket, but there is a difference between one in a hundred Church raffle odds and one in a million Powerball odds.

    Any guidance appreciated!

    • Matt Winkelman

      I don’t really have a good response to a percentage as it is mostly a gut feel. Some things like pitch recognition are harder for an individual to overcome than the attrition that is going from short season to full season. I do want to also emphasize what you have about it as risk to achieve the role. Some of these guys are going to be major leaguers based on profile alone (Valentin could be a utility player for years or Grullon could be a defense first back up).

  5. A certain outfielder not in this bracket makes me more excited about your top 10, can’t wait. It’s been great so far Matt!

  6. I have been making guesses, based on your comments over the past year on your upcoming top 10… Looking forward to it.

  7. Romus

    Like what Lively had to say about his velo and the difference between UCF and the last year-and-half of pro ball, and why the slight trend downward. His FB velo in college was higher and he says he is in the process of re-strengthening his legs this off-season and hopes the results prove beneficial to increase velo. Wouldn’t surprise me if he sits at 93-94 and touches 97 this season.

  8. furtigan

    It seems to me the real issue isn’t so much a failure to find guys with good approaches, but failure to develop good approaches. It’s one thing for Franco to have a 5% walk rate … it’s another thing that it’s gone down every year he’s been in pro ball.

    I can’t think of a single guy that’s shown real progress in his approach to the plate, at least in terms of working the count for a walk. Some of them cut K rates, but that might just be experience and developing skills.

    • Romus

      One aspect is that opposing pitchers, as they go up the ladder from A to AAA ball, have better comm and cont and are around the plate more. maybe one factor in the lower BB rates for the batters as they go up or out.

      • furtigan

        Oh, sure, part of it is pitchers getting better. But the hitters should be getting better, too, and when you’re looking at the odds for guys like Pujols and Sandberg, it’d be nice to have a few examples of guy that came hacking away, and the org coached him up a bit, so you could hope it happens again. I think it’s happened a bit with pitchers and with defense — e.g. a year ago people were wondering if Franco could stick at third, but now I’m hearing him called a potential plus defender; I give some credit for that to coaching. Same with some of the unheralded arms that have turned into promising young relievers at the ML level.

        I can’t think of any examples of that happening with a hitters.

        • Andrew Cleveland Alexander

          I have to say that it was really striking when I went to see a couple Williamsport games over the summer, how much they were just hacking at everything. Part of it was that in the second of the two games I went to they were focusing Marcos Molina, who is a legit prospect (#9 on BA’s Mets org list). But they were equally out of control looking against other pitchers. Maybe they were just in a funk that week, maybe they are just young, but it really did seem to be a team-wide problem.

    • Chance

      You could argue that Roman Quinn has approved his approach- well at least walk rate. Slight uptick from Lakewood to Clw, continued improvement in the AFL. I recall interviews where he mentions that was an area of focus.

  9. Chance

    Yeh, that’s improved his approach. I definitely approve that walk rate in the AFL.

    So is this coaching or Quinn recognizing how to take advantage of his skill set?

  10. msb

    I watched Sandberg three times last year (twice during his early hitting streak). He needs a full season at Lakewood, but if he figures out the off-speed stuff, I think he has a chance to be a good ball player. Reminds me a little of Jim Edmonds, maybe not the same power Edmonds showed.

  11. Romus

    When you comp Joey Gallo’s 2013 Hickory season vs Cozens’ 2014 LKW season, outside the HRs, the K rate favors Cozen’s in a big way.
    How come Gallo doesn’t have ‘a bad approach and holes in his swing’ that would prevent from being 60 on the BA List.

    • Matt Winkelman

      The power is a huge difference. Cozens has 60 grade power and might hit 25-30 HRs if it all works out perfectly. Gallo has legitimate 80 power (it is the best power I have ever seen) and could legitimately hit 50+ HRs a season (for reference their ISOs were .167 and .365 respectively). I also think Gallo has more bat speed and a better defensive profile. So in the end they both have some similar approach and swing hole issues, but Cozens’ upside is solid regular and Gallo’s is perennial MVP.

      • Romus

        Have you projected Gallo’s minor league k-rate to the majors?
        And how others at 30% or higher in the minors equated to major league success or non-success?
        All the bat speed in the world cannot overcome contact ability.

        • furtigan

          The point he is making is not that Gallo is a sure thing. It’s that IF he does fix his K rate and the flaws in his swing that K rate reflects, he has 50 HR potential which is something to get excited about.

          Consider the difference between two lottery tickets: one gives you a 5% chance of winning $1,000. whereas the other gives you a 1% of winning $1,000,000. You’d much rather have the latter, even though it’s a longer shot.

  12. phillysf

    @ Matt

    have you heard any new about Watson and is he really not even top 50 anymore ?

    • Matt Winkelman

      Shoulder injuries scare the shit out of me. Watson had another minor surgery this fall and faces a 50 game suspension this year (which he will be rehabbing during so it doesn’t matter much). Morgan was a better prospect and is back pitching and is ranked very low on this list. If Watson (and Tommy Joseph who also missed the Top 50) can come back healthy and show his previous stuff I will rank him accordingly, but it is a road few make it back from.

      It is a real pity, I really like Watson up until his injury, I thought he was a good draft pick based on what he was showing.

  13. Maybe it’s me but I see a little bit of Alex Cobb in Ben Lively. Thoughts?