2016 Top 50 Phillies Prospects: 11-20

This section of the ranking was the hardest part of this exercise.  There was not a huge difference among these 10 players (and the last 2-3 of the Top 10), and in reality you could reorder this list with little argument from me.  It is easy to point to the top of the system as the reason for the Phillies’ system being highly regarded, but the real effect of the trades has been to fill this second tier with potential, solid major league contributors.  Almost everyone on this list would have been on the Top 10 in previous seasons.

All ages as of opening day 2016.  Videos by Baseball Betsy, PhilliesProspects and MiLB.

Index: Primer | 1-10 | 11-20 | 21-30 | 31-40 | 41-50 | Under 25 | Supplement: C/IF | OF | SP | RP

11. Carlos Tocci – CF (Profile)

DOB: August 23, 1995
H/W: 6’2” 160lbs
B/T: R/R
Acquired: Signed as an international free agent by the Phillies in August 2011.
2015 Stats:

Lakewood (A-)592612147.7%11.9%.321.387.423
Clearwater (A+)68298234.0%17.4%.258.296.313

Role: First Division Regular
Risk: High – Tocci is still physically underdeveloped, which hurts his offensive output.  However, Tocci’s defense is still near elite and gives him a path to major league contribution.
Summary:  The first thing that is going to come up with Carlos Tocci is his size, and it is a fair place to start, because his size does dictate much of who he is as a baseball player.  Tocci has been building strength since signing, adding about 10 pounds last offseason and close to that each of the previous years.  The added strength showed in 2015 when he was one of the best hitters in the South Atlantic League during the first half.  He began to show that there is power in his bat, too, with a couple mammoth home runs and plenty of doubles.  His success carried over to the Florida State League after a midseason promotion, with him just smoking the ball in July, before a fatigue induced collapse brought all of his numbers crashing down.  Strength and stamina is really the only thing missing from Tocci at the plate.  He is a natural hitter with an easy line drive swing with the feel to spray the ball to all fields.  He will never have big power, but with added strength he could hit around 10 home runs a year.  At minimum he should pepper the gaps with plenty of doubles.  Tocci showed a much more mature approach this past season, with a dramatic drop in strikeouts and a career high in walk rate in his time in Lakewood.  Even during his struggles in Clearwater, Tocci was able to keep the strikes and walks near career rates.  Defense is the foundation of what Tocci is as a prospect.  His defense in center field would be at least above average in the majors right now with a great first step, efficient routes, and plus speed.  There is no reason to believe he will be anything but a plus defender by the time he reaches the majors.  Additionally, Tocci has a plus, accurate arm which is an asset in center field.  Up until this spring, Tocci had never really put his plus speed to use on offense.  Many evaluators noted that his lack of strength contributed to a slow first few steps, which hurt him on the base paths.  Additionally, his base stealing instincts were poor, leading to a lot of bad reads.  In Lakewood, Tocci was finally able to steal bases efficiently with 14 steals in 16 attempts.  In Clearwater, he much less success on the bases.  Tocci is still a bit of an unknown, because we are waiting for something non-baseball to arrive, but the tools remain as exciting as they were when he was signed.  Despite being Rule 5 eligible this year, he only turned 20 years old this past August, and there is still plenty of time for the strength to come.  At his peak Tocci could hit .280-.290 with 10 or so HRs, 20 steals, and plus defense in center field.  While it feels like Tocci has been around forever and still has forever to his future, the payoff could be well worth it.
2016 Outlook:  Given his struggles in Clearwater, Carlos Tocci will almost assuredly give the Florida State League another shot in 2016.  If the strength is there he could push for Reading by the middle of the season, but a full year in Clearwater would not be a negative thing for his development.  Much like Roman Quinn, the biggest obstacle is that Tocci is behind a long line of center fielders in the Phillies organization, all of which he must pass to get the major league job.

Previous Rank: 10
ETA: 2018

12. Ricardo Pinto – RHP (Profile)

DOB: January 20, 1994 (22)
H/W: 6’0” 165lbs
B/T: R/R
Acquired: Signed as an international free agent by the Phillies in December 2011.
2015 Stats:

Lakewood (A-)11116-
Clearwater (A+)13139-278.12.877.40.76.3%14.9%

Role: #3/#4 Starter
Risk: Medium – The biggest impediment between Pinto and success as a major league starter is the development of his breaking ball.  Otherwise, Pinto shows two plus pitches and good control which would serve him well in a bullpen role.
Summary:  It isn’t hard to knock Ricardo Pinto if you want to.  He is listed at 6’0”, and he might even be shorter than that.  He is solidly built, but he lacks the room for future projection of others his age.  Then there is his only breaking ball, his slider, which is more of a fringe average pitch that will flash average.  You put that all together and you have a textbook case of a pitcher that is easy to shove into the reliever bucket.  Pinto is a starting pitcher though, and by all indications the Phillies have no plans on exploring any alternatives to that.  He has dominated at every level he has pitched, posting a 2.77 ERA across his 4 minor league seasons while showing excellent control with 2.3 walks per 9 over 324.1 minor league innings.  In addition to not walking batters, Pinto has excelled at keeping hitters in the ballpark, with his career high in HR/9 coming in 2014 at 0.77, which is encouraging given his size.  His 2015 season was no different, and he was the Phillies’ best pitcher across two minor league levels.  In addition to the results, Pinto has the stuff to back up his high ranking.  His fastball sat 91-94 touching 96.  It is a bit straight, but he can command it in the strikezone.  This year he add a two seam fastball in the 88-90 range that he can use to generate ground balls.  His best pitch is a plus changeup which sits in the low 80s with good fade and deception.  He is able to pound the strikezone with both pitches and is not afraid to attack right handed batters with his changeup.  The big knock against Pinto’s 2015 season was that he missed fewer bats in Clearwater while the Phillies forced him to use his slider more.  The lack of quality with the pitch caused his numbers to take a step back.  It was coupled with a reduction in the use of his changeup, which further exacerbated the problem.  He did rebound somewhat in August where he put up a 20% K% over 24.2 innings (he also put up a 0.73 ERA that month), so there are positive signs.  Pinto’s size gives some concern in terms of his durability as a starting pitcher (his career high in innings before 2015 was 69 innings in 2012).  But in 2015 Pinto pitched 145.1 innings over 24 starts, which included the Phillies easing off him some down the stretch to prepare for the FSL playoffs and keep his innings total under control.  In addition to the full season workload, Pinto was able to work 7 or more innings 7 times on the year and was able to go 8 scoreless once.  Outside of the tangible aspects of his arsenal, Pinto has the mental strengths you want in a starting pitcher.  In Clearwater he showed the ability to settle in after rough starts to games and keep his team in the game.  On the mound he is not afraid to attack hitters in the strikezone with all of his pitches.  The Phillies believe in Pinto’s ability to handle big moments, and he stepped right into a must win game for the Threshers in their race for the 1st half title.  He was the Threshers ace in the second half and started game 1 for Clearwater in the playoffs.  Pinto will only be 22 on opening day, so there is plenty of time for him to grow his slider and work on setting up hitters to miss bats.  Since his velocity is mostly topped out, Pinto’s upside is more towards a good #3 starter if he can make his slider a usable pitch.  If the slider stays fringy, he might be able to carve out a role as a #4/#5 starter, because his changeup and fastball are both plus pitches.  If this is the case, there will be a chance that he is moved to the bullpen where his stuff could give him a ceiling as a high leverage arm.  For now, his future is in the rotation.
2016 Outlook: Pinto will almost certainly open the year in Reading’s rotation.  He is Rule 5 eligible after the 2016 season, so if he excels, he could start to challenge players like Ben Lively and Zach Eflin for a spot in the Phillies’ rotation.  It is likely that the coaches in Reading will be forcing him to use the slider all year in an effort to accelerate its development, which could see his statistics suffer.

Previous Rank: 20
ETA: 2017

13. Adonis Medina – RHP (Profile)

DOB: December 18, 1996 (19)
H/W: 6’1” 185lbs
B/T: R/R
Acquired: Signed as an international free agent by the Phillies in May 2014 ($70,000 bonus).
2015 Stats:

GCL Phillies1083-245.12.988.30.26.4%18.5%

Role: #2/#3 Starter
Risk: Extreme – Medina has only started in the GCL and has yet to sustain success over a full season.  Medina still needs to work on his secondary pitches and command.
Summary:  Last year Medina was an afterthought, a line in a spreadsheet saying he threw 90-91.  The first time Medina really appeared on my radar was this spring when Chris King (2080 Baseball/Perfect Game) and Tim Williams (Pirates Prospects) reached out to tell me about this kid throwing 94-97 with a hammer curve.  Medina had come on in relief for Franklyn Kilome in an Extended Spring Training game that day, and he would repeat the same feat in relief later in the spring as well.  As a starter, Medina sits more in the 91-94 range but he can reach back for 95-97 occasionally.  What make him so special, given his age, are his secondary pitches.  His changeup and curveball both show above average with plus potential as he gains consistency with them.  Altogether that gives Medina a chance at 3 plus pitches with room for the fastball to maybe grow another grade.  The negatives for Medina are exactly what you would expect for an 18 year old.  He has more control than command and will need to learn how to locate his pitches better.  Additionally, he needs to work on his consistency, as he didn’t often have all three pitches working throughout a start.  Medina is yet another scouting and dev success story for the Phillies.  He was a projectable 17 year old when they signed him, and he has grown a lot in the last year.  Given his age and present stuff, Medina could grow into a #2 starter in time.  It will be a long journey with a lot of potential issues along the way.
2016 Outlook:  Medina will be 19 years old next season and is advanced enough that he could make the jump to Lakewood.  It is more likely that the Phillies take it slow and keep him in Extemded Spring Training before sending him to Williamsport.

Previous Rank: UR
ETA: 2020

14. Nick Pivetta – RHP (Profile)

DOB: February 14, 1993 (23)
H/W: 6’5” 220lbs
B/T: R/R
Acquired: Drafted in the 4th round (#136 overall) by the Nationals in the 2013 draft ($364,300 bonus).  Traded to the Phillies for Jonathan Papelbon on July 28, 2015.
2015 Stats:

Potamac (A+)15147-486.
Harrisburg (AA)330-215.07.2011.42.412.9%8.6%
Reading (AA)772-228.17.3110.21.314.3%18.8%

Role: #3 Starter/High Leverage Reliever
Risk: High – Pivetta’s lack of changeup and poor command give him some risk of not staying in the rotation.  His fastball/curveball combination gives him high upside in the bullpen, so his impact could still be high.
Summary: When you acquire as many prospects as the Phillies did, some are bound to slip through the cracks.  Pivetta got the double hit of obscurity by being the trade return for Jonathan Papelbon.  Despite all the distractions, Pivetta is a very solid prospect.  He dominated hi-A in the Nationals system before earning a promotion to AA.  He struggled after the promotion, especially with his control and it caused him to fall apart.  The Phillies were hoping to send him to the AFL to get more innings, but an oblique injury ended his season early.  Pivetta did pitch in the complex during Instructs, so there are no lingering concerns.  On the mound, Pivetta has prototype size for an innings eating starter.  Despite his age, he is still fairly raw and unrefined.  Pivetta’s best pitch is his fastball.  He will use a four seam fastball in the 92-96 range and a two seam fastball in the 89-92 range.  Pivetta throws two breaking balls that often blend into a slurvy pitch in between.  He has shown the ability to separate out a power curveball that shows plus potential.  Pivetta’s future hinges on his last pitch, a fringy changeup that flashes average potential.  Overall, he showed more control than command, which led to struggles putting away hitters at times.  If Pivetta can improve his changeup and command, he can be a mid rotation starter.  If he continues to struggle, the Phillies could move him to the bullpen to accelerate his path to the majors.  In the bullpen he can shorten his arsenal to just the fastball and curveball, and that combination could give him a high ceiling there.
2016 Outlook:  Pivetta will almost definitely return to the Reading rotation, where the Phillies can give him time to develop.  He is Rule 5 eligible after the 2016 season, so he could see time in the majors later in the year if the Phillies do move him to the bullpen.

Previous Rank: N/A
ETA: 2017

15. Scott Kingery – 2B (Profile)

DOB: April 29, 1994 (22)
H/W: 5’10” 180lbs
B/T: R/R
Acquired: Drafted in the 2nd round (#48 overall) by the Phillies in the 2015 draft ($1,259,600 bonus).
2015 Stats:

Lakewood (A-)662823116.4%15.2%.250.314.337

Role: Above Average Regular
Risk: High – Kingery can hit, and he has shown the ability to play defense.  Kingery still has a limited pro-track record, and because he is a second baseman, he will need to be perfect to reach his projections.
Summary: Kingery was the Phillies’ 2nd round pick in the 2015 draft as a second baseman out of the University of Arizona.  At the time of the pick, Kingery was seen as a steal, with evaluators feeling that he was a late first round talent.  The Phillies viewed Kingery’s bat and glove as advanced for the draft and skipped him over Williamsport, directly to full season Lakewood.  At the plate Kingery has shown good bat to ball skills, with some evaluators believing he will grow into having a plus hit tool.  Kingery has enough power to pepper the gaps with doubles and could hit 5-10 home runs a year at his peak.  The big question for Kingery is his approach at the plate.  In his sophomore year he drew walks at a good rate, but that cratered in his junior year.  In pro ball he walked at a below average rate, but he was able to keep his strikeout rate down.  It is not something to worry about, but it is something to pay attention to.  In addition to his raw hitting ability, Kingery is a plus to plus plus runner.  In college, Kingery was not a great base stealer, but he had success in Lakewood, going 11 for 12 on his stolen base attempts.  His speed should combine with his contact abilities to have his hit tool play up.  In the field, 2015 was Kingery’s first year as a full time second baseman.  He was previously Arizona’s center fielder, but he has taken well to the infield dirt.  He has an average arm and shows good reactions at second.  He still has some roughness to be smoothed out, but he could grow to be at least average for the position.  Kingery’s numbers in his debut were not stellar, but many noted that he looked tired towards the end of the year.  His contact quality declined over that time period, as he hit a lot of weak ground balls.  However, his tools looked fine during the advanced assignment, and he should still be quick moving.  His ceiling is not huge because of his limited power, but he could be a major league regular at second base fairly quickly.
2016 Outlook:  Kingery should start the year in Clearwater and could reach Reading or higher if he hits the ground running.  At this point, he is the Phillies’ top second base prospect, and the players between him and a major league job are not huge roadblocks.

Previous Rank: N/A
ETA: 2017

16. Jose Pujols – RF (Profile)

DOB: September 29, 1995 (20)
H/W: 6’3” 175lbs
B/T: R/R
Acquired: Signed as an international free agent by the Phillies in July 2012 ($540,000 bonus).
2015 Stats:

Williamsport (SS)66286458.7%28.3%.238.311.359

Role: First Division Regular
Risk: Extreme – Pujols has crazy tools, but he still lacks feel for the game.  While he has improved his approach, there is still a large gap from present to future that will need to be closed.
Summary: Jose Pujols has always had impact tools, and in 2015 he started to show that he knew how to use them (even if the numbers weren’t always there).  Pujols missed developmental time this spring with an injury, but still hit the ground running in Williamsport, easily lining doubles the other way for a while before struggling late, and then going on a home run binge.  At the plate Pujols poses an interesting problem because he has major issues, but they are known fixable issues.  He has very quick hands and a feel for contact, but he has a hitch in his swing that makes him late to the ball.  This hitch robbed him of his pull power and has raised his strikeout total, because he struggled with off speed pitches. Pujols’ approach remains flawed despite solid pitch recognition, and he has struggled between being too passive and too aggressive.  He is at his best when he can wait back and react with his quick hands.  As far as the low power output, it appears to be purely contact related as Pujols continued to murder baseballs in batting practice, including destroying a video board 400+ feet to straight away center field.  In addition to the current power, which comes from his bat speed and strong wrists, Pujols has the room to add a good amount of weight to his frame to get stronger in future seasons.  Pujols in the field is similar to Pujols at the plate; the tools are all there, but the feel is not.  Pujols has good range in right field, but his route running can be poor at times.  Pujols has a very strong arm with plus plus strength, but he does not always throw accurately or to the right base.  He has the tools to be an above average defender, but it is going to take time.  Pujols along with Carlos Tocci, has been the poster child for scouting over stats.  Pujols has tools to be a first division regular with an impact 30 home run bat in right field.  The key to his future growth will be fixing the known issues and then just continuing the growth he showed this year.  Pujols has already begun those steps by spending the winter in Clearwater as part of the Phillies’ strength and conditioning program.
2016 Outlook:  Pujols should open the year in Lakewood where his power will be somewhat suppressed, but he has the raw power to hit the ball out of any park.  This will be Pujols’ 4th season of pro-ball, so there will be pressure on him to start to match numbers to tools.
Previous Rank: 17
ETA: 2019

17. Deivi Grullon – C (Profile)

DOB: February 17, 1996 (20)
H/W: 6’1” 180lbs
B/T: R/R
Acquired: Signed as an international free agent by the Phillies in July 2012 ($575,000 bonus).
2015 Stats:

Lakewood (A-)107424805.4%24.8%.221.273.335

Role: Major League Regular
Risk: High – There is a lot of risk in Grullon’s bat, but his defense provides a higher floor than many players.
Summary: It was always known that Deivi Grullon’s glove would outpace his bat, which makes his 2015 season unsurprising in many ways.  Grullon has caught more innings than any catcher his age the past two seasons, and it has shown in his offensive production.  Grullon’s season long numbers in Lakewood were poor, characterized by high strikeout rates and low walk rates.  Grullon’s bat does not need to be great for him to provide value to a major league team, as his glove is special.  Grullon has always had a good arm with elite arm strength and quick release, giving him very strong pop times.  On top of the arm, Grullon’s glove is also very good, with soft hands and good pitch blocking.  He is still not a great pitch framer from a major league perspective, but he is advanced for the low-A level.  Overall it does not take much projection to see Grullon’s glove being one of top ones in the majors in a few years.  As for the bat, Grullon’s swing is very noisy, and the Phillies’ coaches have worked to make adjustments to make it quieter and more consistent.  Additionally, Grullon’s approach and pitch recognition are poor which hinders his ability to make contact.  Grullon’s frame is maxed out, so he is not going to experience any future power growth, but he already has average raw power.  The problem with the power output will always be his contact abilities, but there is room for Grullon to hit 10-15 home runs a year at his peak.  The statistical bright side to Grullon’s year is that he showed a better approach and more power in the second half, including an August that saw him hit a blistering .301/.370/.470 in 25 games.  Greg Giombarrese mentioned during our interview that a lot of this had to do with the coaching staff working on his approach and having Grullon be much more selective at the plate.  It will be a slow growth path for Grullon, who does not turn 20 until February.  He is likely only going to show flashes, like he did in the second half, for much of the next few seasons, as he still has to deal with the rigors of catching.  It is likely that Grullon’s bat will never gets to the point where he can be a major league regular, but his glove should make him a major leaguer.  If his bat can just be passable, he can be a major league regular — and with a bit more than that he could be special.  Now that he is no longer the top catching prospect in the system the Phillies can give him time to develop at his own pace.
2016 Outcome: It is hard right now to know which way the Phillies will go with Grullon.  His bat to end the year was worthy of the promotion to Clearwater, but a return trip to Lakewood to start this year would not be unreasonable.  Either way expect Grullon to be the primary catcher at whichever level he plays and to carry a large workload for another year.
Previous Rank: 9
ETA: 2019

18. Malquin Canelo – SS (Profile)

DOB: September 5, 1994 (21)
H/W: 5’10” 156lbs
B/T: R/R
Acquired: Signed as an international free agent by the Phillies in April 2012.
2015 Stats:

Lakewood (A-)632875107.3%13.6%.311.364.466
Clearwater (A+)63272375.9%19.5%.250.296.323

Role: Major League Regular
Risk: High – Malquin Canelo’s glove takes a lot of pressure off of his bat to perform, however he will need to improve after a rough trip to Clearwater to be a major league regular.
Summary:  Malquin Canelo’s 2015 season was a surprise to a lot of people, even those who follow the org closely.  Canelo was coming off a bit of a lost season after getting stuck behind J.P. Crawford on the shortstop depth chart.  He did hit .270/.319/.355 in 167 PA at age 19 in 2014, so the hints of a breakout were there before this season. What makes Canelo special is his glove, which profiles as plus, and he matches that with a strong arm.  He is prone to simple mistakes, but he has great range and feel for the position.  The inconsistencies should smooth out with time making him an asset at shortstop at the major league level.  In addition to being a plus defender, Canelo is a plus runner, which gives him some added value on bases and a slightly higher floor.  The bat is where Canelo took a large step forward in 2015.  He has always had good bat speed and some feel for contact.  However, he was slight coming into the 2013 and 2014 seasons and struggled to have any impact with his contact.  He bulked up last offseason and added some strength to his wiry frame, and the results showed on the field.  Canelo doesn’t have big power, and he does not maximize his small frame, but he does have some pop to the gaps for doubles, with the ability to get a hold of a pitch occasionally.  Canelo is never going to be an impact hitter, but he has room to grow in his approach, which remains aggressive and immature, and should be able to get back some of the gains he made in Lakewood this year.  Additionally he will need to get stronger, which is something the Phillies are working on with him in Clearwater this offseason.  If he can hit his ceiling, he can be an above average regular at shortstop, who can hold his own at the bottom of a lineup while providing value with his glove.  Even if his bat does not progress, there is a lot of room for Canelo to grow into a utility player in the majors, as he should be able to handle second base and third base in addition to short.
2016 Outlook:  Given his struggles in Clearwater and the lack of a shortstop prospect behind him, Canelo will likely return to hi-A to try and make a push towards AA.  He won’t need to repeat his Lakewood stats to have a successful season.  He is Rule 5 eligible after the season, so he will need to make a push to earn himself protection for next year.

Previous Rank: 41
ETA: 2017

19. Tyler Goeddel – RF (Profile)

DOB: October 20, 1992 (23)
H/W: 6’4” 186lbs
B/T: R/R
Acquired: Drafted in the 1st supplemental round (#41) by the Rays in the 2011 draft.  Selected with the #1 pick in the Rule 5 draft by the Phillies on December 10, 2015.
2015 Stats:

Montgomery (AA)12353312289.0%18.4%.279.364.466

Role: Major League Regular
Risk: Medium – Goeddel is going to be in the major leagues in 2016, but that doesn’t mean he is ready for the challenge.   Goeddel still has not grown into his frame, leaving his present power non-ideal for a corner.  Additionally, he struggled in AA to hit RHPs, which could limit his major league role.
Summary: The Rays decided that Goeddel was #41 on their full roster, and exposed him to the Rule 5 draft, knowing that he was likely to get picked, and get picked early.  The Phillies followed through on that by taking Goeddel #1 overall in the Rule 5 draft (the Reds would have taken him at #2 had the Phillies passed).  In many ways, Goeddel is the ideal Rule 5 pick, because he combines major league ready skills with future growth.  Goeddel’s biggest strength is his hit tool.  He has always shown a feel for contact from a good swing and in 2015 he made enough strides with his strikeout rate to have it translate to his stats.  Helping the cause was the start of some power growth in his long, lanky frame.  The result was some doubles turning into home runs and better contact overall.  Goeddel still has a long way to go as he still struggles to put on muscle mass.  On the bases Goeddel is an above average to plus runner, who has been a good base stealer so far in his career.  Outside of the need for more strength, Goeddel’s biggest problem has been tstruggling against right handed pitching.  This leaves his bat as a solid current platoon bat for contact and a bit of pop, but it leaves him lacking as a regular.  The bat was not the improvement Goeddel made in 2015.  Much like Odubel Herrera, Goeddel had been playing a position that was not working, in this case third base.  Unlike Herrera, Goeddel has already made the position switch, and his athleticism has taken well to the outfield.  Right now he is a solid defender in left and right, with a good arm.  He can play center field, but it is not ideal for a major league team.  He should be fine in whichever corner a team plays him in.  There is upside here, as Goeddel could turn into a 20 home run, good contact, and good OBP bat if he can put on good muscle.  However, his struggles against same side pitching are a problem, and his current bat is not good enough to start for a competitive club.  Even with those deficiencies, he should be a contributor to a major league team because he can hit lefties and play good defense in the corners.  Given that he was a Rule 5 pick, the Phillies are really only betting on him being a contributor, but they have the ABs to let him try and reach his fill ceiling.
2016 Outlook: Goeddel will start in the major leagues, and the Phillies have no reason to not keep him there all year.  Odubel Herrera had one of the best Rule 5 seasons ever, and he was horrendous to start the year, so the learning curve may be steep for a bit.  Expect ups and downs with both his playing time and results on the field as he adjusts to the major league game.

Previous Rank: N/A
ETA: 2016

20. Rhys Hoskins – 1B (Profile)

DOB: March 17, 1993 (23)
H/W: 6’4” 225lbs
B/T: R/R
Acquired: Drafted in the 5th round (#142) by the Phillies in the 2014 draft ($349,700 bonus)
2015 Stats:

Lakewood (A-)68290929.0%17.2%.322.397.525
Clearwater (A+)672778210.5%17.7%.317.394.510

Role: Major League Regular
Risk: High – First base only prospects have a long history of failure, but Hoskins has done nothing but hit which sets him on the right path for success.  He has shown enough patience and power that he may be able to carve out at least a platoon role if he can’t reach his ceiling.
Summary:  There are few prospect profiles as critically judged as right handed, right throwing, college first basemen.  The margin for error is so small, because the player is on the short side of the platoon with high expectations for their bat.  And from the moment they enter pro-ball, they will be one of oldest and most advanced bats at their level.  The solution to all of this worry is for the player to just hit.  Outside of a few weeks after being drafted, that is all Rhys Hoskins has done in pro-ball.  In 2015 he was the top hitter in the South Atlantic League before being promoted to Clearwater where he was the top batter in the league in the second half.  This winter Rhys went to Australia, where he has stayed among the league leaders in most offensive categories.  Hoskins’ physical tools don’t jump off the field; he has solid bat speed, plus raw power, and a good swing, but none of them are elite.  Hoskins does have a good approach and good feel for the game at the plate, which puts him in a good position to make solid contact.  In 2015 the Phillies added a bit of leg kick, which allowed him to better tap into his raw power.  The result is a bat that could draw a good amount of walks with 20+ home run power and a solid batting average.  It isn’t a bat that looks like an MVP, but it could work to make Hoskins a major league regular.  While defense is not going to carry a first baseman to the majors, Hoskins is a good defender at first base and is fairly athletic.  He has an above average arm that is mostly wasted at first base, but he can start the double play if needed.  Hoskins is a smart baserunner, but his speed is not going to translate to anything more than the occasional extra base or a steal off of a slow pitcher.  Because of his profile and lack of standout skills, it will continue to be a tough road for Hoskins, with him having to prove it at every level.  If Hoskins keeps hitting like he has, he will get his chance at the majors, maybe as soon as next season.  If he stumbles, his stock could plummet, but a good year against top level pitching could see his risk decrease dramatically.
2016 Outlook:  After mastering the Florida State League, Hoskins will almost certainly be the starting first baseman for Reading.  The Reading ballpark may inflate Hoskin’s stats somewhat, especially his power numbers, so that will be important to account for.  If Hoskins hits in Reading, he could see himself pushed in Lehigh Valley and then to Philly.  With only Ryan Howard and Darin Ruf in front of him, the path to  the major league first base job is fairly open.

Previous Rank: 37
ETA: 2017

Picture of Ricardo Pinto by Baseball Betsy.

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.


  1. Dan

    Hey Matt, first of all thank you for putting the time and effort into this list and your Twitter account. The recent trades have gotten me really interested in the Phillies farm system and you’re the best source out there.

    For someone who hasn’t followed minor league baseball much in the past, can you try to put some of the prospects in terms of how some current/former Phillies were viewed at certain points? I know it’s a silly exercise but I’m trying to find a way to gain some context in how I should view a Carlos Tocci or Tyler Goedell.

  2. dlhunter

    Joe Roa better show up in the top 10 or I’m writing an angry letter.

  3. SirAlden

    First Divison Regular vs Above Average Regular? Above Average Regular Higher than Second Division Regular or just an oversite with Kingery?

    Best Work as always Matt. Thanks.

  4. Kurdt Kobeyn

    Matt – since you’re down to your Top 10 which I assume will consist of the prospects below (might be of different order), I just realized that both Imhof and Leibrant were not included in your Top 50. I don’t expect them to be ranked highly (i have Imhof #22 and Leibrant #33), but I would assume that they should rank higher than Perkins (#43), Lino (#47) and Hernandez (#49). I can see that the heater is not where it should be, but for a polished LHP with above average 2nd pitch (CH for Leibrant and SL for Imhof) and solid command has some descent value. I assume Leibrant with start in REA and Imhof start in CLW but will go up to REA unless he really sucks.

    I would like to hear your thoughts on both prospects why there were left out. Given the fact the some older pitching prospects (with no premium stuff) still rank high in your list – Lively (#33), Asher (#29) and Eschelman (#21).

    1. J.P. Crawford
    2. Jake Thompson
    3. Nick Williams
    4. Mark Appel
    5. Cornelius Randolph
    6. Franklyn Kilome
    7. Roman Quinn
    8. Andrew Knapp
    9. Zach Eflin
    10. Jorge Alfaro

    • Matt Winkelman

      Their fastballs are less than any of the guys included. Both were more 86-89 T90 this season, both had injuries as well and I just don’t trust either to be a major league pitcher. The reports on Imhof this year were particularly bad.

      • Kurdt Kobeyn

        I’m worried about the impact of the injuries particularly with Imhof, but both are on the bigger side physically so i hope that they should be ok. not saying that i’m a big of leibrandt, but a LHP that can pitch high 80s with above average CH and plus control has a making of a MLB player.

        i’m not ready to write them off yet, since personally i’m not easily blown away by FB velocity (unless it’s below 85 FB) – i prefer SP with good make up (pitching mix, understanding of pitching sequence) with plus command and control. I like Falter and Fanti – both LHP – and will be watching them closely. I think the Phils will have a Cole in Falter.

        but i have to say that both should find success as SP, otherwise, they will not make it in the big show.

  5. Eddie

    Matt —

    As I read the writeup, it sounds like you’re saying the heavy workload behind the plate is a drag on Grullon’s development as a hitter. If that’s the case, why not ease up on him, let him DH 2-3 times a week, and hope his bat catches up a little bit? Seems like you could get him 500 PAs and let him focus on the part of the game that needs work while still having him start behind the dish 80 times.

    • Matt Winkelman

      I don’t think it is a huge drag on his development and more a drag on his numbers. Overall the numbers of minor league catchers are depressed by their workloads. In the majors you have bullpen catchers and others to catch bullpens, side sessions, and warmups. In the minors (especially the low minors) the catching prospects are doing all of the catching. I wouldn’t worry too much about it until he is in the high minors

  6. Dave47

    Thanks for your great write ups. It’s always enjoyable to read your take on the prospects. I was happy to see you still rate Tocci highly – I have always been impressed with his outfield skills and keep hoping the bat will keep improving.

  7. Jim D.

    Hey Matt,

    If Hoskins puts up numbers close to what he did last year in Double-A, do we have to consider him a top 10 prospect (assuming the guys who are in the top 10 are still considered prospects) and maybe a top 100 in all of MLB?

    • No, not even close. He put up a .920 OPS in Lakewood and a .902 OPS in CLW. Reading inflates offensive numbers, especially for power hitters. A .900 OPS for a Reading 1B is entirely ho-hum. Matt Rizzotti put up a 1.087 OPS at Reading. Darin Ruf put up a 1.078 OPS at Reading. Last season Brock Stassi put up a .864 OPS at Reading. We’ve had a lot of college 1B put up big OPS at Reading. Only HOward (1.033) ever amounted to much or made an all of baseball top 100. Hoskins has to put up around a 1.000 at Reading to be taken seriously and the real test doesn’t come until he plays in Allentown. In Hoskins’ favor, he is a year or two younger than these other guys.

  8. Matthew Sullivan

    Hey thanks for all you do; I love the site.

    Where would you rank Velazquez if he were still considered a prospect?

    • Matt Winkelman

      I will have an under 25 list out next week after the top 10 goes up. Velasquez will be ranked quite high

  9. Gary

    I find it interesting that the rating of prospects is influenced by the player’s heritage. If Adonis Medina was from the U.S. and was a June, 2015 HS graduate (possessing a mid 90s FB and good secondary pitches), he would have been a high 1st Round pick last June. As such, he would probably make the top 5 of the MLB team who selected him on their prospect list. Additionally, there are language and cultural issues to contend with for these Latin players when they come here. I have not seen Medina pitch, but his raw talent indicates a potential #1 MLB pitcher.

    • Matt Winkelman

      I wrote about this concept in the middle of the season. I don’t necessarily think Medina goes in the top of the first round, mostly because of his size. He has more present velocity than other guys but they have the size to grow into it. I think in current state he goes somewhere in the comp round or early second which is about where he is on this list.

    • Gary

      Thanks for your clarification, Matt. Your cogent, well thought out analysis is valuable to all of us who enjoy the process (and dreaming) of our future team.

  10. SirAlden

    Is Kingery half way between a First Division Regular, and a Second Division Regular? Was that your intent with “above average regular”?


    • Matt Winkelman

      Maybe not quite halfway, more in the 2/3rds way because there is still average major league regular before you get to 2nd division. I would say it is like a 2.5-3 win player.

  11. MLL

    Great job as always, Matt. As the full list is now becoming clear, I refer back to the Primer where you noted that there are a lot of interesting players that did not make the list and provided your write-up of Jesse Biddle as an example. Once the Top 50 is complete and you have published your under-25 list, if you have done evaluations as per Biddle on others who missed the list, it would be great to see your write-ups. Hard to believe that after years of struggling to find a respectable top 20, we have serious talent beyond the top 50!