2016 Phillies Midseason Review

The Phillies don’t have the best farm system in baseball, and it is easy to look at a list like this and see a system bolstered mainly by the trade that sent Cole Hamels to Texas. This list does give me a chance to peel back the top of the system a bit to show that what is below the big names at the top is a deep, healthy, and thriving system bolstered by years of trades, a few recent strong drafts, and possibly most importantly a Latin American program that has flooded the lower levels with strong pitching.

I chose against doing a long ranking for that reason. There is a lot of talent in the system of various upside, risk, and proximity and by the time I got past the start of the list the artificial gaps made by rankings made differences between players seem much larger. Instead here is a bunch of Phillies prospects in a list with some ranking, some tiering, and some quick hits.

(Stats current through August 2)

Top 15:

1. J.P. Crawford, SS, Age: 21 – Lehigh Valley

Team (LVL)GPAHRSBBB%K%AVGOBPSLG
Reading (AA)361663518.1%12.7%.265.398.390
Lehigh Valley (AAA)652863 6 10.8% 14.7% .257 .340 .337

There has been a lot said and written about Crawford’s numbers this year in regards to his lofty prospect status. His batting average is not great, and his on base has dropped a bit in AAA, but before a recent slump he seemed to be finding his way at the plate. The tools are all there for Crawford to grow into a plus hit tool with average power. Couple that with his feel for the strikezone and plus defense, and he is still a potential superstar. He is near major league ready, but that doesn’t mean he is a finished product, because at 21 he has many years of growth ahead of him.

2. Nick Williams, OF, Age: 22 – Lehigh Valley

Team (LVL)GPAHRSBBB%K%AVGOBPSLG
Lehigh Valley (AAA)974121154.4%22.8%.286.316.468

There seems to be a lot of negativity around Nick Williams this year, whether it has been whispers about more makeup or concerns about his walk rate. All of that clouds a player who is very talented and could be an impact player for the Phillies. Nick is over aggressive at the plate, and you can get him to expand the strikezone, especially vs left handed pitchers. That being said, he has worked more counts this year, and due to his aggressive approach, most have ended up in play. He has now cut his walk rate the past two months, with a dramatic decrease in July. The home run numbers have been down this year, but the extra base hits have been steady, which alleviates a lot of concerns. Williams could play center field right now in the majors, but he is almost certainly a left fielder for the Phillies, and he could be one of the better defenders in the majors there. So while there are knocks against Nick’s game, his all around game should be very valuable even if he does not hit his superstar ceiling.

3. Mickey Moniak, OF, Age: 18 – GCL

Team (LVL)GPAHRSBBB%K%AVGOBPSLG
GCL (Rk)25108177.4%15.7%.326.398.453

With the first pick in the draft the Phillies took Moniak, a California prep outfielder. The move both saved the Phillies some money and got them the top high school bat in the draft. Moniak is a true center fielder who should be a plus defender by the time he reaches the majors. He is a plus to plus plus runner who should steal a good number of bases. What really makes Moniak special is his bat. Some scouts have thrown a future plus plus on Moniak’s hit tool because he has a great feel for quality contact and a good approach at the plate. The only thing that might keep Moniak from being a star is the power projection, as his swing lacks loft and he does not have the largest frame for future projection. If he can get to the 15+ home run a year range, he has a chance to be very special.

4. Jorge Alfaro, C, Age: 23 – Reading

Team (LVL)GPAHRSBBB%K%AVGOBPSLG
Reading (AA)753351224.8%22.4%.293.329.473

We normally think of breakouts as a prospect that goes from obscurity to stardom, but Alfaro might be the biggest breakout in the Phillies’ system. Alfaro has proven this year that he can stick at catcher, he won’t be a gold glover there.  However, he has become a below average receiver, good game caller, and he has tapped into his great arm strength. At the plate he has made similarly large strides, becoming a more complete hitter thanks to a better approach at the plate. He still is not drawing walks, instead he has become very good at going up the middle and going the opposite way. Alfaro’s profile wouldn’t work at many positions other than catcher, but if he can continue to stick behind the plate he could be a cornerstone for the Phillies back there.

5. Jake Thompson, RHP, Age: 22 – Lehigh Valley

Team (LVL)GGSW-LIPERAH/9HR/9BB%K%
Lehigh Valley (AAA)212111-5129.22.507.30.77.2%16.8%

Thompson is another Phillies prospect who has seen his stock slip while putting up great numbers. Part of the problem is that he has lost some feel for his slider, which has removed the big swing and miss pitch from his arsenal. The consequence has been that Thompson has become a more complete, but lower upside pitcher. He generates a lot of weak contact and works deep into games by keeping hitters off balance with a 4 pitch mix (5 if you separate the two fastballs). Right now Thompson looks more like an innings eating #4 starter, but he is only 22 and if he re-finds his wipeout slider he could be a valuable mid rotation pitcher for the Phillies.

6. Franklyn Kilome, RHP, Age: 21 – Lakewood

Team (LVL)GGSW-LIPERAH/9HR/9BB%K%
Lakewood (A-)17173-785.24.209.10.510.9%23.7%

I may have gone too in on Kilome after the past few years, but it appears he is finally putting the numbers to the scouting reports. Kilome struggled for his first 3 starts as he battled his mechanics, but since then he has been everything we were sold. He has started 14 games with a 2.70 ERA over 76.2 innings with 32 walks and 84 strikeouts. He has been even better in his last 2 starts, walking just 1 batter to 18 strikeouts in 14.1 innings. The stuff is still there for Kilome as he is sitting 92-96 touching 97+ with sink. He has flashed a power curveball that should be plus eventually and an inconsistent changeup that at times has shown good fade and deception. It is going to be a constant battle for Kilome to keep his mechanics in sync but he is showing that he can be an impactful started down the road.

7. Cornelius Randolph, OF, Age: 19 – Lakewood

Team (LVL)GPAHRSBBB%K%AVGOBPSLG
GCL (Rk)5150013.3%20.0%.077.200.077
Lakewood (A-)31140149.3%21.4%.246.336.311

It has not been a good year for the #10 pick in the 2015 draft. Randolph’s statistics are bad and he missed two and a half month to a shoulder and back injury that lingered. All that being said it is only 31 games of stats at Lakewood, so while bad it is not too significant. The physical abilities are still there for Randolph including great bat speed and bat control. It would be nice if he were hitting for more power, but there are hints that it might come with time. He still has a rough road as a left field only prospect, but as one of the youngest players in last year’s draft, Randolph has plenty of time to rebound from a disappointing start in full season ball.

8. Kevin Gowdy, RHP, Age: 18 – GCL

Team (LVL)GGSW-LIPERAH/9HR/9BB%K%
GCL (Rk)330-18.04.5010.10.05.1%20.5%

It appears for those who were plugged into the draft the Phillies were on Gowdy for a long time before making him their second round pick. It is easy to see why too, as he has a fastball currently sitting 90-93 touching 94 in the GCL, with the frame to add more velocity as he matures. He shows a good slider and feel for changeup, that both should be above average to plus pitches. Gowdy also has solid command and feel for pitching for an 18 year old. He lacks the big arm strength of some other prep pitchers, but he has the polish and ability to be a very good starter. He almost certainly spends the rest of the season in the GCL on a limited workload before doing some pitching in Instructs.

9. Scott Kingery, 2B, Age: 22 – Reading

Team (LVL)GPAHRSBBB%K%AVGOBPSLG
Clearwater (A+)944203267.9%12.9%.293.360.411
Reading (AA)832110.0%18.8%.355.375.452

Kingery is pretty much the prototype second baseman. He puts the ball in play at a high rate, doesn’t strike out much, and walks at a decent clip. He does not have much home run power, but he can put the ball in the gaps for doubles, and he has enough speed to steal a good chunk of bases. On defense Kingery lacks the arm to play the left side of the infield, and while his actions aren’t always smooth, he should be average long term at second base. It is always hard to buy in too much on second base prospects, but Kingery is a player who could hit around .280 with a solid on base and steal 15-20 bases a year with 5-8 home runs. It is not a star profile, but if he hits that ceiling he could be a cornerstone next to J.P. Crawford. With his promotion to AA, Kingery is poised to make a run at a major league roster spot by mid 2017.

10. Adonis Medina, RHP, Age: 19 – Williamsport

Team (LVL)GGSW-LIPERAH/9HR/9BB%K%
Williamsport (SS)884-143.11.665.20.47.6%11.6%

Medina was the breakout pitcher of the GCL team last year when his velocity jumped to sitting 91-94 and touching up to 96-97. This year he has been much of the same, working off the fastball and using his advanced secondary pitches to generate weak contact. His strikeouts are down, but it is hard to argue with how efficient Medina has been for a short season pitcher. The highlight of this was on June 27 when he carried a no-hitter into the 9th. He is a bit more feel than some of the Phillies other low minors arms, but lacks some of the raw upside due to his smaller frame. Even so, he has upside as a mid rotation starter thanks to the potential for three plus pitches.

11. Roman Quinn, OF, Age: 23 – Reading

Team (LVL)GPAHRSBBB%K%AVGOBPSLG
GCL (Rk)624054.2%12.5%.500.522.591
Reading (AA)502313258.7%22.9%.288.361.420

It is hard to not put the injury prone label on Roman Quinn as the injuries have mounted up over his career. Luckily none have been of the recurring variety and none have sapped his top of the line speed. Before getting injured this year, Quinn had been on a tear in the Eastern League showing contact, speed, and some power. If he can stay on the field, Quinn has the upside to be an everyday center fielder and his speed can be game changing. The Phillies have been giving him time in the corners during his rehab hinting that he could carve out time in a busy Phillies outfield with some versatility. Quinn won’t turn 24 until next May so there is plenty of time for him to move himself back among the top young players in the organization.

12. Andrew Knapp, C, Age: 24 – Lehigh Valley

Team (LVL)GPAHRSBBB%K%AVGOBPSLG
Lehigh Valley (AAA)83345729.0%23.5%.269.336.397

Andrew Knapp has kind of had a boring year. He hasn’t carried over his Reading breakout, he hasn’t made huge strides behind the plate, and he also has bombed in AA. His power has been a bit suppressed by his home park, but he also hasn’t really hit for power in the past two months. He is getting on base a decent pace for a catcher, and not striking out an unreasonable amount. There is still everything here for Knapp to be an average everyday catcher. What he has lost in the past year is the wiggle room for everything to not go perfectly. The Phillies don’t have a veteran catcher in AAA and Knapp needs a 40 man spot, so a September call up seems reasonable. If the Phillies keep Rupp, Knapp could move into Ruiz’s role of the short side of a 60-40 split while Alfaro continues to get ready.

13. Rhys Hoskins, 1B, Age: 23 – Reading

Team (LVL)GPAHRSBBB%K%AVGOBPSLG
Reading (AA)1044503049.3%22.9%.278.353.567

What Rhys Hoskins has done to AA has been pretty ridiculous. He has been obviously aided by the Reading park, but that has taken a very good year to one of the best in the minor leagues. The knocks against Hoskins are that he is a first base only prospect who lacks elite tools. His raw power is plus and he has solid bat speed and feel for contact, but nothing is off the charts. You can still beat him with spin and with velocity up. Evaluators do think he has a chance to hit major league pitching, and if he does the power should play. However, because of the lack of elite tools he has very little margin for error before being stuck as a AAAA slugger.

14. Nick Pivetta, RHP, Age: 23 – Reading

Team (LVL)GGSW-LIPERAH/9HR/9BB%K%
Reading (AA)212110-6119.03.558.00.87.5%21.5%

It was a rough first trip to AA for Nick Pivetta, but the second trip has been much better. He still lacks the changeup needed to give scouts confidence that he can stay in the rotation. For now he has been operating more at the top of his velocity range with a 93-96 mph sinker that he can get up to 97. His curveball is still a big swing and miss pitch for him, and more importantly he is showing solid control and feel for fastball command. If he cannot stick in the rotation, the bullpen is fall back option. He showed what kind of potential he has in a relief role during a scoreless inning in the Eastern League All-Star Game. Pivetta should get all of this year and a shot at AAA in a rotation before the question of a bullpen role is even asked.

15. Dylan Cozens, OF, Age: 22 – Reading

Team (LVL)GPAHRSBBB%K%AVGOBPSLG
Reading (AA)103448271711.8%29.9%.275.359.565

Cozens is a prospects of extremes. His raw power is large and he can hit them out of any park in the game, major or minor. His arm in the outfield is plus, capable of making all the throws from right field. At the plate Cozens’ swing is a bit long and stiff, though much looser than it has been in past years. His power is to all fields and is at his best when he gets his arms extended. His non fly ball contact is almost all to the pull side and teams already shift him heavily. Due to his size and stiffness he can be beat with velocity in and up, as well as with soft pitches away. His range in the outfield is below average due to fringe average speed. However, despite the speed deficiencies Cozens is a very good base runner due to his ability to read pitchers and catchers, a skill that will translate to base runs but not necessarily stolen bases in the majors. There is big risk in Cozens reaching his ceiling because there is a decent chance he just won’t hit advanced pitching due to his physical limitations.

The Next Group (and others):

Most of the names in this section are prospects who immediately follow the ranked group. Part of this is that it is really hard to compare a raw arm with youth and velocity like Sixto Sanchez against a pitcher like Ricardo Pinto who is showing a little less velocity, but more advanced off speed pitches in AA. I will say there is a bit of a drop off once the list gets past the Valentin to Dominguez area. The players that follow are a bit more risky, despite some very high ceilings. For the most part these are the Players I had a lot to say about, the exact order has more to do with the order I wrote them, though as mentioned before they are generally in tiers.

Sixto Sanchez, RHP, Age: 18 – GCL

There has been no Phillies pitcher who has generated the buzz in the last month than Sanchez has in his first taste of stateside action. Sanchez just turned 18 this week and is relatively small (listed at 5’10” and maybe is 5’11”) for a big time pitching prospect. However, this GCL season Sanchez has moved quickly from a guy sitting 91-95 to a guy sitting 93-96 and touching up to 97-99 is some his starts. So far he has shown that he can throw the pitch for strikes and has generated large quantities of weak contact. His offspeed pitches show potential, but need work, which is not out of the ordinary for a pitcher as young as him. Sanchez is a guy who will be right on the cusp of the Phillies’ top prospects due to the combination of age and velocity, but there are still some things he needs to work through to get past the concerns about his size and establish himself as one of the top pitching prospects in the system.

Arquimedez Gamboa, SS, Age: 18 – Williamsport

Gamboa got the biggest bonus of the three shortstops the Phillies signed in the summer of 2014. Last year Jonathan Arauz passed him as a prospect, but the reports from evaluators was that Gamboa was still the more talented player of the two. This year Gamboa is starting to put it together. He is one of the youngest player in the New York-Penn League, an assignment the Phillies know will challenge him greatly. At the plate he was overmatched in June, but has held his own through most of July. He probably will never be impactful with the bat, but he has some feel to hit from the left side, and surprising power. In the field Gamboa is an athletic shortstop who still is a bit rough around the edges, but should be a good defender down the road.

Jhailyn Ortiz, OF, Age: 17 – GCL

About 8 months before the July 2 signing period Ortiz was one of the top 2-3 players in the class. The Phillies locked him up to a massive bonus, and then the reports went downhill. Now a year after signing him Ortiz looks like the guy the Phillies first agreed with. His weight his down, he is showing off his massive power, and he has been athletic enough to handle both outfield corners. Ortiz still struggles with offspeed pitches and his overall feel for the game can be lacking at times, but he has shown improvements in both. Ortiz is still far away from helping the Phillies, but he is starting to look like a middle of the order slugger.

Mark Appel, RHP, Age: 25 – Lehigh Valley

It has been a lost season for Mark Appel who flashed both the good and the bad in Lehigh Valley. He was up to 97 in some starts, but struggled from the stretch, saw his command go, and had innings where he topped out at 91. Injuries ended Appel’s season early, but he should be ready to go before Spring Training and the off time should give him plenty of time to get healthy. The Phillies knew it would take time with Appel, so this is a setback, but far from an end to his career. Appel has the ability to be mid rotation to back end starter with a fall back has a pretty good reliever. For now Appel’s stock takes a tumble because he is no longer on the edge of the majors, but it could jump back up with a healthy spring 2017.

Ricardo Pinto, RHP, Age: 22 – Reading

It has not been a good statistical year for Ricardo Pinto even though he is mostly the same pitcher. This is both the good and the bad, he runs his fastball up to 95-96 and has a plus changeup, but his breaking ball has not progressed to being a good third pitch and he is still more control over command. There is always a worry about short pitchers and home run rates, and the long ball has killed Pinto this season. He is 22 so he still has time to work things out in the rotation, but if the breaking ball and command don’t come along he has a future in the bullpen where his two pitch mix could allow him to get righties and lefties out.

Cole Stobbe, SS, Age: 18 – GCL

By going underslot at #1 the Phillies were able to lead off day 2 of the draft with Stobbe, a prep shortstop from Nebraska. For now Stobbe is an average defensive shortstop, but as he gets older, bigger, and a step slower a move to third base is expected. So far in pro ball he has shown a simple easy swing that as allowed for solid line drive contact. He has yet to tap into his power, but he may have plus raw power down the road. Overall Stobbe might end up with 5 average tools, which could work as a first division regular at the hot corner.

Carlos Tocci, OF, Age: 20 – Clearwater

It feels like I have been writing the same things about Tocci for half a decade (well actually I have, but that is besides the point). Tocci is still a very good defender in center field, and he still has a good feel for hitting. He won’t turn 21 until later this month, so he still has plenty of time to get bigger. This season Tocci is walking more and striking out less, while hitting for a bit more power. He still needs to become better base stealer and he is obviously still physically underdeveloped. He still could be an average regular in center field, but it might take some time, like until he is 23.

Deivi Grullon, C, Age: 20 – Lakewood

Grullon is making his third try at Lakewood, and the improvements at the plate are starting to show. The 20 year old catcher has doubled his walk rate while slightly decreasing his strikeouts and making an improvement in his power. A shoulder injury cost him a month early, but he is back on track now. Grullon’s glove and arm are still superb and they should carry what optimistically is an average bat up through the minors. It is going to take time for Grullon to reach his ceiling, but there is reason to be optimistic about that future.

Jesmuel Valentin, 2B, Age: 22 – Lehigh Valley

After missing most of 2015 for a suspension for off the field problems, Valentin took hold of his opportunity in AA. Valentin lacks real standout tools, but he does a lot of things fairly well. He plays a good second base defensively and has the versatility to play all over the diamond. He is not a base stealer and his power is limited, but he will line the ball into the gaps and work counts. Despite the success in Reading, Valentin still probably lacks the bat to be an everyday second baseman. However, there is a major league role for him on a bench, and a chance that he gets a chance to take the second base job from Cesar.

Ben Lively, RHP, Age: 24 – Lehigh Valley

For a while Lively looked like he might be returning to the guy some saw before he came over for Marlon Byrd. But since his promotion to AAA, the mirage is gone and he is still the Ben Lively we saw for much of last year. His velocity is a little down, but his secondary pitches are a bit better. When his fastball command is on (and it has been a few times this year) he looks like a good major league starter, but when it is shaky he looks like maybe an emergency fill in, and that is a profile the Phillies have in multitude. If Lively’s stuff plays up in the bullpen he could get in the major league middle relief mix.

Malquin Canelo, SS, Age: 21 – Clearwater

The hope coming into the year was that Canelo could repeat his 2015 1st half where he cruised through Lakewood. Unfortunately he has had a year that looks more like a better version of his 2nd half in Clearwater. Canelo still has the projection to be a good defender at shortstop, but it looks like he might not have the bat to be regular there. He is only 21 so he has time to add more strength. For now though, his prospect stock and progression through the system has stalled.

Elniery Garcia, LHP, Age: 21 – Cleatwater

Coming into the year Elniery Garcia looked like a command and control lefty with 3 average pitches. He still is mostly the same player, but his fastball has gotten a little bit better (now more 89-93 T94) and it has brought his arsenal together a bit more. Garcia has kept his walk rate low and has increased his strikeouts, though both have been tested during a relatively rough June and July. Garcia is only 21, so there may be a bit more stuff in him, but he is also on the small side so this might be all we get. His three pitch mix gives him the profile of a back end starter, and that also makes him the best left handed pitching prospect in the organization for now.

Seranthony Dominguez, RHP, Age: 21 – Lakewood

The buzz around Seranthony Dominguez started this spring when he was up to 95 in front of scouts and evaluators on Spring Training backfields. The velocity was not new for Seranthony who was up to 95 last spring as well before getting hurt early in the GCL season. It is not just about the velocity for the right handed pitchers who also is showing improved control and the making of solid secondary pitches. It was a bit of a wait to see what Dominguez could do as the Phillies limited his workload by sending him to Williamsport rather than full season ball. He moved quickly on the Lakewood where the results have been mixed due to occasionally shaky command. Dominguez has relatively few innings for a 21 year old in their 5th season so there is still a lot of work still to be done. If he can master his command and see his secondary pitches step forward, he could be a mid rotation starter, but it is also not hard to see a future path that is in a bullpen if any part of his game does not improve.

Jose Pujols, OF, Age: 20 – Lakewood

Pujols is both a puzzling prospect and one where his struggles and success make a lot of sense. Pujols has immense raw power, and this year he has tapped into that in a big way. Right now he struggles greatly against any pitch with spin, and he has been fed a steady diet of them this year and he has flailed at most of them. He also has had problems with right handed pitchers. In the field, Pujols can be an adventure and his throws can show questionable decision making, despite the raw strength. He has too much talent for the Phillies not to give him plenty of time to work through things, and he will flash progress, but it is going to take a long time for it all to come together for Pujols.

Thomas Eshelman, RHP, Age: 22 – Reading

If you don’t throw hard, you need to throw good strikes. That was the book on Eshelman coming into this year, he was supposed to command 4+ pitches, never walk anyone, and look like a major league contributor. Eshelman did that for the most part in Clearwater, but the wheels came off in Reading. Eshelman’s stuff is rather ordinary (low 90s fastball, average changeup, slider, and curveball) and so when he is throwing strikes, but not spotting his pitches hitters were able to square him up with regularity. If he can get his command back in order he could be a #4 starter in the majors, but if he continues to miss his spots he might end up more of an up and down AAAA starter.

Bailey Falter, LHP, Age: 19 – Williamsport

The Phillies spoke glowingly of Bailey Falter after drafting him in the 5th round last year. He survived the GCL with a mid to hi 80s fastball due to solid control and a three pitch mix. This year Falter has gotten both stronger and more efficient in his delivery, and the payoff has been velocity that has ticked up to sitting high 80s to now sitting 89-92 touching 93 in his last start. Falter’s best secondary pitch is his changeup which flashes good fade and deception. His curveball is still a bit long and he lacks good command of it, but it should grow into a solid pitch. Falter mixes these three pitches with good command having walked only 1 batter in his last 5 starts (27 innings). Right now the profile looks like a back end starter, but Falter is only 19, and has the size to add strength. If the velocity ticks up even more he has the polish and feel for pitching to rocket up rankings.

Jimmy Cordero, RHP, Age: 24 – Reading

Cordero may have been the most exciting addition to the Phillies 40 man roster this offseason due to a fastball running up to 102 (and then 104 this offseason) and a developing slider. He hurt his bicep and then his shoulder to start the year, and is only just starting to get his feet under him in AA. Cordero’s velocity is down a little to just being in the mid to high 90s, and both his slider and control have been down from where he ended last season. It is still a bit early to call this a lost season for Cordero as he has time to regain his stuff, but this has been a setback for an exciting arm in the system.

Drew Anderson, RHP, Age: 22 – Clearwater

Anderson was an interesting prospect following the 2013 season when he showed a mix of average pitches coupled with an advanced feel for pitching. He then missed most of 2014 due to injury before tearing his UCL in early in 2015 and having Tommy John surgery. He is back healthy this year and slowly knocking all the rust off. At his best he is 92-95 touching 96-97 with a changeup, slider, and curveball. He also still has a good feel for pitching and will show the potential for future average command. The whole package together is a #3/#4 starter if it all works together, that being said he is not all back to peak yet, and that coupled with a skinny frame and injury history past will get him the reliever label.

Alberto Tirado, RHP, Age: 21 – Lakewood

Tirado was an unobtainable dream when the Phillies acquired him, and he continues to look like an unobtainable dream. He struggled in the Lakewood bullpen to start the year before being sent Florida to stretch out. He was then sent back up to Lakewood as a starter, and he is starting to find his groove again. At his best Tirado shows a fastball sitting 93-97 touching 98-100 with run and sink. His slider is in the mid 80s and features sharp two plane break. His changeup has shown above average potential in the past with good fade and deception. The problem has been finding the strike zone, and while he has done better of late he has struggled to repeat his delivery and release point. Tirado’s future is almost certainly in the bullpen, but if he can make some strides in his control, he could be an elite reliever.

Juan Luis, OF, Age: 20 – Williamsport

Luis is a skinny and athletic center fielder who will flash plus plus speed, plus arm, and surprising power. He still needs a lot of physical development and may be one of the skinniest players in the organization. At his best Luis hits the ball harder than you would think possible for a guy his size. He still needs to work on pitch recognition like all players in short season ball, and despite his age he is still relatively new to professional baseball. Luis is a player who could rocket up the list in the coming years or just fade away.

Tyler Viza, RHP, Age: 21 – Reading

Viza has seen an increase in stuff across the board and now has 3 average to above average pitches to go with solid control. His velocity is now 90-94 up from the 89-91 it was previously, and the increase allowed him to breeze through Clearwater on his way to Reading. He will need to sharpen everything across the board, but he could be a back end starter.

Edgar Garcia, RHP, Age: 19 – Lakewood

Garcia had a great stateside debut in 2015, and the Phillies sent him to Lakewood after a short time in Extended Spring Training. After starting out in the bullpen, the Phillies have slowly transitioned Garcia to the rotation after starting him in the bullpen. Garcia has had mixed results there, but with a fastball that sits 91-95 with a wipeout slider and work-in-progress changeup he has some potential in that role. Garcia throws a good amount of strikes but needs to turn the control into command. At only 19, Garcia has time to work through his issues in the rotation and still make a quick transition and accession in the bullpen if it doesn’t work.

Josh Tobias, 2B, Age: 23 – Clearwater

Tobias is the embodiment of the problem with second base prospects. Most of his skeptics have come around on the bat and think he will hit. He doesn’t have a ton of raw power, but if he hits he will tap into what power he has. He is also a decent runner who can steal some bases. Offensively he fits at second base. There have not been many who think he sticks there defensively as a regular. The Phillies have already started getting him time in left field to give him flexibility, and he did play third in college. However, his bat does not work at either of those positions. The added flexibility could carve out a role in a major league bench for him, rather than have him top out in AAA.

Quick Hits:

A couple of the players below probably deserve to be in the group above, but I only have so many things I can say about them so far due to limited track records. Also if I wrote about everyone this would never get published.

  • Malvin Matos – Matos has struggled of late, but he had some buzz from people in the complex and around the Phillies. Can play center field and was making a lot of hard contact early in the GCL season.
  • Cole Irvin – Irvin was the Phillies 5th round pick in 2016 draft, sitting 88-93 and has touched up to 95 for Williamspot.He has the offspeed pitches and strike throwing ability to be a fast moving back end starter if he can keep the velocity up.
  • JoJo Romero – The Phillies 4th round pick in the 2016 draft, Romero is a small left handed starter who sits 89-92 touching up to 94 with a good changeup. His slider and command both need work, but he is also only 19 years old. His size and lack of a useable third pitch have a lot of evaluators thinking he is eventually a reliever, but the Phillies are going to develop him as a starter.
  • Victor Arano – This is the first year for Arano as a full time reliever, he is missing more bats and his fastball is up to 93-96 T97 to go with his already solid control.
  • Josh Stephen – The Phillies gave a lot of money to Stephen because he can hit, there a lot of concerns about his game outside of that and he may be a left fielder who is low on power.
  • Andrew Pullin – Pullin is corner outfield only at this point and his showing his 2015 power output may not have been a fluke, but he is still pull heavy and he does not have the frame to suggest he can continue his power output. To have a major league future he will need to continue to mash like he has done so far this year.
  • Luke Williams – Williams was the Phillies 3rd round pick in 2015 and is still a bit strange as a prospect. He is a good fielder at third, but he is relatively low power and high speed for the hot corner. Missing time this year has not helped his stock.
  • Darnell Sweeney – Sweeney had a chance to seize a utility man for the Phillies, but he just can’t seem to make enough contact. Sweeney has played all over the diamond in AAA, and could provide power and speed off a bench if he can put the ball in play more.
  • David Martinelli – Martinelli is a potential 5 tool center fielder that the Phillies took in the 6th round. The big weakness is his hit tool and he has struggled with strikeouts in Williamsport over recent times.
  • Jose Taveras – Taveras pitches with a fastball at 89-92 T93 and a three pitch mix topped by a slider that flashes solid potential. Taveras has been able to pound the strikezone this year which has led to both highs (15 strikeout game) and games where he has been hit around. Taveras has good size and could be a back end starter or middle reliever down the road.
  • Jiandido Tromp – Tromp’s tools are intriguing, he has plus speed, good power, and can play a solid center field. The problem has been that his plate discipline and pitch recognition were poor, leading to 4 trips to Lakewood. He has finally reached Clearwater and his continuing to show good power. If he can finish strong he will move back up on to lists.
  • Alexis Rivero – Rivero is a right handed reliever with a mid 90s fastball and a solid slider. Rivero has struggled some in AA with control, but he could be a solid reliever for a major league team and is only 21.
  • Miguel Nunez –  Nunez is a hulking (6’6″) right handed reliever who moved to the bullpen last year. He features a fastball that will mostly sit 96-97, he mixes that in with a curveball and splitter. After not walking any batters in Clearwater, Nunez has struggled with control in Reading. He is a minor league free agent after the year, so a good finish could force the Phillies to put him on the 40 man roster.
  • Joely Rodriguez – Rodriguez has moved to the bullpen full time and his stuff and command has taken a step forward. He has been death on left handed hitters and could still be a useable major league reliever.
  • Cam Perkins – Perkins is a bit of a tweener in the outfield, he lacks the power to play an outfield corner, and despite getting time in center field his glove does not play there. At almost 26 years old Perkins is what he is and that is buried in a system with higher upside outfielders.
  • Luis Encarnacion – Encarnacion has been a mess in Williamsport due to some large problems with pitch recognition and approach. He is still very young and he has big power, so there is time for him to make correction, but for now it doesn’t look great.
  • Jeff Singer – Small left handed reliever who was signed as a non-drafted free agent. Singer’s fastball sits 94-95 T96 and he mixes in a solid slider.
  • Shane Watson – Watson has shown that some of his stuff has returned post injuries, but he lacks the complete arsenal that made him a solid a prospect when he was drafted. He may be tiring too as he is well past his career high in innings. The likely outcome is that Watson eventually ends up in the bullpen, but he needs innings for now.
  • Luke Leftwich – Leftwich might be a classic reliever profile. He throws strikes and can miss some bats, but he struggled to hold his velocity (89-94) and sharpness deep into games.
  • Mitch Walding – Walding has a relative breakout year with a big uptick in power and BABIP. He is still a good defender at third base, but at almost 24 years old and in hi-A it is hard to vault Walding much up lists.
  • Grenny Cumana – Cumana is a fun little player (he is 5’5″) who can play both up the middle infield positions. Cumana makes a lot of contact and can occasionally put a ball in the gap for a double, but is low on power. He has at least plus speed, but is not yet a good base stealer.
  • Zach Coppola – Coppola is very similar to Ben Revere in that he is a no power outfielder who makes a ton of contact. Coppola throws the ball better than Revere, but he has at least a grade less speed.
  • Ranger Suarez – Suarez popped up on prospect radars in 2014 when he put up video game numbers in the VSL. In the past two years he has seen his fastball increase to a respectable 89-93 and he has swapped his curveball for a slider, which has helped him keep batters off balance. He is only 20 despite having 5 years of pro ball under his belt. He already has a seven inning no hitter this year thanks to his ability to command his arsenal and he could move through the system as a back end starter if he can continue to live on the edges of the strike zone.
  • Felix Paulino – Paulino dominated the Gulf Coast league last year, but did not draw rave reviews from scouts. He has some arm strength (90-94 T95) and will show 4 pitches, but none of his secondary pitches stand out a great deal. He has had one disastrous start for Williamsport and 7 solid to great ones.
  • Daniel Brito – Brito was the third shortstop the Phillies signed in the summer of 2014. He has moved to second base where he is a very good defender. Brito is limited offensively due to a lack of power, but he works counts and makes plenty of contact.
  • Ben Pelletier – The Phillies used a loophole of sorts to draft and sign Pelletier at age 16 out of the 2015 draft. Due to finishing school he didn’t show up to Florida until late spring this year. He still is a bit raw, but he has the ideal frame for a prototype right fielder with solid power. He is a bit of a project, but won’t turn 18 until late summer this year.
  • Chace Numata – Numata might have the strongest arm of any of the Phillies catching prospects,  but his receiving still needs work. At the plate he makes contact and works counts but has very limited power.
  • Nick Fanti – When the Phillies signed Fanti out of the 31st round in 2015 he was seen as a bit of a project, and he still very much is. His stats have been dominant in the GCL, but his fastball still sits in the mid to high 80s and he can bump it up to 89-90. He is showing that he can put good movement on the pitch and command it in the strike zone. He also mixes in a changeup and curveball, both of which show promise. Fanti still needs to add strength to move up near his low minors pitching peers.
  • Mauricio Llovera – Llovera is a big bodied righty who has been sitting 92-96 T97 so far in the Gulf Coast League. Llovera shows three pitches, but the off speed pitches need work, but he has good arm strength to work with.
  • Rafael Marchan – Marchan is still in the DSL so there are not new scouting reports on him, but the 17 year old catcher just keeps hitting and has a .333/.395/.400 line through 27 games.
  • Luis Carrasco – Carrasco is another starter with the GCL Phillies making his stateside debut. He has good size and has good arm strength (92-94 so far), but his delivery needs a lot of work and he turns 22 in September.

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.

11 comments

  1. msb

    Great list, thanks Matt

  2. Hinkie

    Loved reading these scouting reports, Matt. Thanks for all your hard work.
    BTW … Do you have any info on what is ailing Greg Pickett ?

    • Matt Winkelman

      I have not been able to get anything on why Pickett is out for the year

  3. dlhunter

    Here I bang the drum for Rodolfo Duran…

  4. PhilsFan1

    Just repeating what others scouts and publications have said but ok. What are the hints on the power potential for Moniak?

    • Eric D

      Bro you’re gonna get blocked man . . . I’d delete that comment if I were you.

    • Matt Winkelman

      Moniak does not have a giant frame, but he does hit the ball hard, and he did see a big uptick in home runs in his senior year of high school. For me the reason to be optimistic on power for Moniak is that it seems that guys who make a lot of hard, quality contact tend to either outperform their raw power or maximize how much of that power they tap into. I think the Phillies say he could get to 20 home runs is overly optimistic, but something like 15 is within his grasp if he fills out over time.

      • Eric D

        Can you unblock me on Twitter or at least give me a fair reason as to why you did. I’ve NEVER been rude or disrespectful to you on there, hell I’ve talked up your website and phuturephillies on there. Was even speaking w T Mac and told him about both sites (I told him they should have a segment once a series where they talk about an individual prospect for 1/2 an inning. Would be good to get the causal fans knowing about what’s coming up. I pointing him toward your site and PP to get further info on guys. He liked the idea and said he would try to get it going). So yeah I really don’t understand it. Prob not the place for this but how else can I?

        • Matt Winkelman

          You were blocked for a combination of misogynistic comments and because I was tired of engaging in conversations around your pro-management and anti-player beliefs. You should be unblocked now.

  5. Philphan4ever

    Ortiz near top of GCL leaderboard in what should be his Jr year of HS. Shows advanced eye and in-game power. He should be top 10 next year, no?

  6. Matt I think you are being too bearish on Walding. We both know how raw he was and saw very little good pitching in highschool.