2015 Top 50 Phillies Prospects: 41-50

The Top 50 starts at the very bottom, where the differences in rankings are very slight compared to the differences between players towards the top of the list.  That does not mean it lacks for talent, but these ten players still have a lot growth in front of them before we can consider them among the better prospects in the system.

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

41. Malquin Canelo – SS (Profile)

DOB: September 5, 1994 (20)
H/W: 5′ 10″ 156lbs
B/T: R/R
Acquired: Signed by Phillies as an international free agent on April 29, 2012
2014 Stats:

Team (LVL)GPAHRSBBB%K%AVGOBPSLG
WPT (SS)414007.128.6.154.214.154
LKW (A-)45167146.618.6.270.319.355
CLW (A+)653015.722.6.208.269.271

Role: Second Division Regular
Risk: Medium – Despite the huge gap from where he is right now to the majors, the defensive profile makes Canelo a safer bet for a major league career.
Summary: Canelo had a weird 2014 in most organizations he would have opened as the shortstop or second baseman in full season ball. But with J.P. Crawford and Andrew Pullin in Lakewood, Canelo was held back in Extended Spring Training, though he did make a 16 game cameo in Clearwater. He then went north with Williamsport for 4 games before Crawford’s promotion opened up the Lakewood shortstop job. Canelo then proceeded to hit .270/.319/.355 over 45 games in Lakewood. Canelo has continued to add more hard contact to his swing and continues to be a wizard with the glove. The bat is empty enough that it is an uphill road to a major league starting role. He profiles best as a player who can lock down three infield spots with plus defense in a utility role. He will likely have to battle it out with fellow good glove-light bat SS Emmanuel Marrero for who gets the job in Clearwater or Lakewood.


Previous Rank: 28
ETA: 2018

42. Jan Hernandez – 3B (Profile)

DOB: January 3, 1995 (20)
H/W: 6’1″ 195lbs
B/T: R/R
Acquired: Drafted in the 3rd Round (#96 overall) of 2013 draft by Phillies ($550,000 bonus)
2014 Stats:

Team (LVL)GPAHRSBBB%K%AVGOBPSLG
WPT(SS)57217548.336.4.186.256.320
LKW (A-)1760108.338.3.145.217.255

Role: Solid Regular
Risk: Extreme – In 2014 Hernandez showed the tools to be a major league regular, but any player striking out in over 36% of their PAs has extreme risk.
Summary:  There is not a lot to like about Hernandez’s year on the field as the former 3rd round pick put up a pitiful line in both Lakewood and Williamsport. However, there is still plenty of potential in the third baseman. He is plus raw power (to the pull side) and very good bat speed coming from strong wrists. The approach is not there, and the Phillies have been working to slowly make progress at coaxing a plan out of him. He is equally erratic in the field, where on some days he will look like a plus defender at the hot corner with a strong arm, and on others he will mess up easy plays. Hernandez is still very young, and it is too early to give up on him. He will go to Lakewood where he will need to work to get some more at bats under his belt and continue to step forward. The upside is an above average regular or better at third base, but the floor might be Lakewood.

Previous Rank: 24
ETA: 2018

43. Jonathan Arauz – SS (Profile)

DOB: August 3, 1998 (16)
H/W: 6’0″ 150
B/T: S/R
Acquired: Signed as an international free agent on August 3, 2014 by the Phillies ($600,000 signing bonus)
Role: Solid Regular
Risk: Extreme – July 2 signing with only pro experience coming in Fall Instructs.
Summary:  In the past someone like Arauz might have been in a Top 30 prospect list based on the limited data we have on him, but the system has gotten a bit deeper and so he ends up down here. Arauz was one of the more unheralded July 2 players this year due to a lack of appearances at high profile showcases, but was regarded as the best player out of Panama. The buzz before and after signing is that Arauz was flashing average to above average tools across the board, with the ability to stick at shortstop. He isn’t the defensive player Arquimedes Gamboa is, but he is also less of a gamble than Daniel Brito. There is breakout potential here if he can play to the tools. He should start 2015 in the GCL where he will play almost the entire year at age 16, and will almost certainly be youngest Phillies prospect playing stateside.
Previous Rank: N/A
ETA: 2020

44. Daniel Brito – SS (Profile)

DOB: January 25, 1998 (17)
H/W: 6’1″ 140lbs
B/T: L/R
Acquired: Signed as an international free agent on July 2, 2014 by the Phillies ($650,000 bonus)
Role: Solid Regular
Risk: Extreme – July 2 signing with only pro experience coming in Fall Instructs and his needed physical projection lends extra risk.
Summary: Brito is the lowest ranked of the three Latin July 2 shortstops the Phillies spent $600k+ on this past season. In many ways Brito’s frame and abilities are reminiscent of Carlos Tocci. Brito has a long way to go physically, and there are questions about whether his frame can handle enough muscle. Also like Tocci, he has a feel for hitting beyond both his age and physical abilities. He has solid actions at shortstop, but right now seems the most likely of the group to have to make the shift to either second base or center field. Much like Arauz, Brito was under the radar having not attended many showcases. Like Gamboa and Arauz, Brito will likely begin the year in the GCL where he will be in the juggling act for playing time. It may be a few years before Brito has matured enough physically to know where his future projection is.
Previous Rank: N/A
ETA: 2020

45. Adam Morgan – LHP (Profile)

DOB: February 27, 1990 (25)
H/W: 6’1″ 195lbs
B/T: L/L
Acquired: Drafted in the 3rd Round (#120 overall) in the 2011 Draft by the Phillies ($250,000 bonus)
2014 Stats:

Team (LVL)GGSW-LIPERAH/9HR/9BB/9K/9
SCO (AFL)661-216.16.6114.31.71.76.1

Role: #4 Starter
Risk: Extreme – Following shoulder surgery, Adam Morgan has not yet had his stuff return to pre-injury form, additionally the history of pitchers successfully returning from shoulder injuries is poor.
Summary: It’s been a rough past two years for Adam Morgan.  Out of spring training in 2013 he looked electric and on his way to being a rotation mainstay.  In 2015 he will enter spring training having only thrown a handful of innings in the Arizona Fall League where his arsenal lacked impact and was very hittable.  He hangs on at the back of a list because he is early in his return to the mound and there is a chance that the stuff continues to improve as he gets more innings under his belt.  If he could ever return to his pre-injury form, he is a mid-rotation starter with an outside chance at three plus pitches.  At this point the odds are better that he is a fringe LH reliever if he makes the major leagues.


Previous Rank: 20
ETA: 2015

46. Miguel Nunez – RHP (Profile)

DOB: October 27, 1992 (22)
H/W: 6’6″ 215lbs
B/T: R/R
Acquired: Signed as an international free agent on January 22, 2010 ($220,000 bonus)
2014 Stats:

Team (LVL)GGSW-LIPERAH/9HR/9BB/9K/9
CLW (A+)25206-7122.14.499.20.63.27.0

Role: #4 Starter
Risk:  High – Nunez had a rough time in A-ball and despite the gains late in the season he still hasn’t shown a pattern of sustainability.
Summary:  Nunez was once a high profile international signing for the Phillies, but after missing both the 2011 and 2012 seasons he was off most people’s radars.  In 2013 he started the year in a piggyback starting spot with Yoel Mecias, but after Lakewood experienced injuries he moved into the rotation full time.  He entered 2014 poised to enter prospect discussions, but a terrible start to the year had him in Extended Spring Training having his delivery put back together.  After a couple of appearances out of the bullpen he returned to the rotation where he was dominant in the second half of the year.  Nunez brings a fastball in the low 90s, and an average curve and changeup.  Despite the size and youth, there is not big upside here because there is not a lot of projection remaining.  However, there is enough current stuff to see a role as a back end starter.  The other option is that he eventually moves to the bullpen where the stuff could play up.

Previous Rank: HM
ETA: 2016

47. Samuel Hiciano – LF (Profile)

DOB: January 25, 1994
H/W: 6’1″ 203lbs
B/T: R/R
Acquired: Signed by the Phillies as an international free agent on December 1, 2011
2014 Stats:

Team (LVL)GPAHRSBBB%K%AVGOBPSLG
LKW (A-)93362986.423.8.255.306.409

Role: Second Division Regular
Risk: High – One year of full season ball, left field only profile that saw approach numbers regress in 2014.
Summary:  Hiciano came out of 2013 poised for a breakout season, but injuries and the Lakewood ballpark caused the 20 year old to stall out in his first attempt at full season ball.  In Williamsport, his season was marked by power and patience, but in 2014 his BB% dropped from 11.4 to 6.4 and his ISO dropped from .206 to .155.  The approach issue was a big red flag, but we are going to need more data on the power given some stark home/road splits:

GAB2BHRBBKAVGOBPSLG
Home47160711148.238.287.313
Away461701381238.271.323.500

The walk rate didn’t improve dramatically on the road, but what we see is a huge difference in the power  and a sharp drop in his strikeout rate when Hiciano got away from Lakewood.  Part of this has to do with the fact that Hiciano had a 47% FB% in 2014, and those balls just died in Lakewood (especially to CF and to RF).  Hiciano is a bit pull happy on the ground and hits a lot of infield fly balls.  Outside of the bat, it is a left field only profile, so there is not a lot of defensive value coming.  Overall there is not a huge ceiling here, but Hiciano is a big enough guy with plus raw power, that he should not get forgotten in the low minors outfield shuffle.  His ceiling is probably major league regular, but 2015 will go a long way to showing whether 2013 or 2014 was more of the real Hiciano.


Previous Rank: 30
ETA: 2018

48. Brandon Leibrandt – LHP (Profile)

DOB: December 13, 1992 (22)
H/W: 6’4″ 190lbs
B/T: L/L
Acquired:  Drafted in the 6th Round (#172 overall) by the Phillies in 2014 ($261,800)
2014 Stats:

Team (LVL)GGSW-LIPERAH/9HR/9BB/9K/9
GCL (Rk)531-219.24.129.20.50.910.1
WPT (SS)772-341.02.206.40.21.89.9

Role: #5 Starter/Swing Man
Risk: Medium – For the most part Leibrandt is what he is, the changeup makes him more advanced than most short season pitcher, but the ceiling at risk is not too high.
Summary: Brandon has the pitcher profile I rail against the most, an advanced college arm with a feel for pitching and a plus changeup, but a mediocre fastball.  The fastball is the sticking point between a player I love (which we will get to eventually with Yoel Mecias) and a player like Leibrandt.  The reason Leibrandt does sneak on to this list is that the fastball did start to tick up closer to the 88-90 range in instructional leagues, and at 6’4” 190 lbs there is a small chance he can make that next step to being more in that 89-91 touch 92 range.  If he can get to average with the fastball, it will help his plus change find separation, and you can start to dream on a back of the rotation ceiling.  It’s much more likely the velocity doesn’t come, and Leibrandt finds hims a AAA starter or the stuff ticks up enough in the bullpen to make him a solid middle reliever.  Leibrandt should move quickly and is a candidate to skip over Lakewood and go directly to Clearwater.

Previous Rank: N/A
ETA: 2018

49. Drew Anderson – RHP (Profile)

DOB: March 22, 1994 (21)
H/W: 6’3″ 185lbs
B/T: R/R
Acquired: Drafted in the 21st Round (#668 overall) by the Phillies in 2012
2014 Stats:

Team (LVL)GGSW-LIPERAH/9HR/9BB/9K/9
GCL (Rk)211-15.23.187.91.64.89.5
LKW (A-)994-444.03.689.40.23.19.4

Role: #4 Starter
Risk: High – Anderson has shown pretty good stuff, but injuries give him more risk than other pitchers with a similar profile in the system.
Summary: Anderson was my #27 prospect a year ago when he was coming off a season in Williamsport, where he was dominating competition with more feel than stuff.  In 2014 the stuff took a small step forward as the fastball was average to slightly above, and the second pitches continued to improve.  However, he missed time due to an arm injury, which casts some doubt on his future in the rotation as well as his ability to get enough innings to keep pushing forward in the dev process.  At his best Anderson looks like a potential #4 starter, but the former 21st round pick has the frame that he could see a jump in stuff that could push his ceiling a bit higher.  The big thing will be for him to get healthy and on the mound.  He could return to Lakewood or move onto Clearwater, depending both on how the Phillies think he is in his rehab and how they want to assign some of their other low minors pitchers.

Previous Rank: 27
ETA: 2018

50. Grenny Cumana – SS (Profile)

DOB: November 10, 1995 (19)
H/W: 5’5″ 143lbs
B/T: S/R
Acquired: Signed as an international free agent by Phillies on March 3, 2013
2014 Stats:

Team (LVL)GPAHRSBBB%K%AVGOBPSLG
GCL (Rk)33126165.67.9.248.304.363

Role: Solid regular
Risk: Extreme – Complex league profile, only had statistical success before injury.
Summary: Cumana is going to have the grinder and scrappy labels by default due to his size and lack of impact outside of his speed, which is plus plus.  There is enough glove and arm strength (plus) that he could stick at shortstop long term, but he may end up pushed off the position by better prospects.  The fall back is second base, where he fits the good speed, little power, high contact rate profile.  It’s likely a utility or second division regular ceiling, but if he can stick at shortstop, the combination of glove and hitting ability could get him to the solid regular ceiling.  Cumana was showing a lot of promising progress before he was injured in 2014 (20 of 50 at the plate before injury and 8 of 63 after injury) with most of the post injury numbers due to bad luck on balls in play.  The big plus has been his contact rate with a strikeout rate of 7.9% in 2014, following up a 9.6% in 2013.  There isn’t a huge ceiling, but he likely gets a chance at short season ball in 2015 and will need to stay in front of the 2014 J2 SS signings to keep playing time.


Previous Rank: UR
ETA: 2019

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.

8 comments

  1. Romus

    I like little 50.
    Kind of the Jose Altuve -type, smallish but with skills in the field. With a plus K rate, and an average BB rate for a Latin player,I just hope his bat someday plays out with more power, specifically XBHs, not so much HRs..

  2. Supra98x

    Matt, Nice site, first time I’m seriously checking it out. I liked your write-ups w/ PP and happy to see the changes you’ve made. Might start visiting more often, I can’t get enough of the prospect talk, especially looking forward to your draft coverage.

    As to the top 50, really sad to see morgan sliding so far, he was once a prospect to dream on and seems to be just a shell of his former self… it’s sad.

    • Matt Winkelman

      Thank you.

      Morgan’s writeup was really depressing to write up. It is at least nice that he is playing, unlike Tommy Joseph or Shane Watson

  3. jcull

    Good list. Drew Anderson being almost outside the top 50 is a testament to the depth the farm system has developed recently. There’s little star power, but I would contend that Philadelphia’s farm system is among the 10 deepest in the league.

    • Supra98x

      Depth can become star power, I feel like to a certain extent, other then JPC (who continued where he left off) last year was a year without any prospects really taking a huge step forward. I feel like most years you get one of those type of prospects. 2013 we had both Franco and JPC, last year, no huge surprises.

      I also think the sheer depth of the system is bolstered by their international signing strategy, while they may not go after huge names (mags aside) they do sign a fair amount of these prospects every year.

      • Matt Winkelman

        I will argue that the big breakout guy last year was Ken Giles, he won’t appear on this list for obvious reasons, but he is the guy who made a huge jump forward.

      • jcull

        Supra98x, I agree that depth can become star power. However, there is little star power at the moment, which is why the Phillies are (in my opinion) underrated by farm system rankings. If a few talented prospects like Quinn, Pujols, and Tocci make big jumps and emerge as top 100 prospects, the farm system will jump to the upper echelon of team rankings.

  4. Dom

    nice work matt. A lot of information but easy to read.