2017 Midseason Phillies Rankings

Prospect lists in general are arbitrary things, midseason lists are doubly so. Each evaluator talks to different people, and each person has their own set of biases and values. When it comes to midseason lists, we add in a time factor as games are still going on. I am writing this list nearly a month after Baseball America wrote theirs, things have changed in that time period. I am almost certainly going to be wrong about a lot of this list before I even hit publish on it.

I did not rank any players who are currently in the majors (Nick Williams) or have exhausted their rookie eligibility (Jake Thompson and Zach Eflin). Williams is the only one I gave thought to, and he would have ranked at #4 on this list. I only ranked to 25 because it felt like the end of a tier, it is a bit of an arbitrary end point, but any ending would be arbitrary. I have included players that I found interesting or were in the Top 25 discussion, as well as player that were acquired in trade at the deadline. Enjoy.

1. Sixto Sanchez, RHP, Age 19

Team (LVL)GGSW-LIPERAH/9HR/9BB%K%
Lakewood (A-)13135-367.12.416.10.13.5%25.0%

There has been nothing more exciting for the Phillies than Sixto Sanchez’s starts. The short right hander has established himself as one of the best pitching prospects in the minor leagues. He starts with an electric fastball that sits 94-99 with movement that he has run up to 102 this season. He can pound the strike zone with it and shows the foundation for future plus command of it. He has shown a couple different changeups this year, a harder one up to 93 and another with more run and sink in the high 80s. He has both a slider and a curveball, but they can blend into a slurve at times. He can use either to miss bats, but they can also get long and loopy, and he can struggle with his consistency. There is enough feel in this plethora of offspeed pitches to pare things down and emerge with at least a pair of plus offerings. Sanchez is athletic on the mound, and while there is some effort in his delivery, his mechanics are clean and easy. He just turned 19 years old, so there is plenty of time for him to refine his arsenal. The biggest knock on Sanchez is that he has yet to pitch a full season of innings, and outside of a playoff start in 2016, he has not pitched more than 6 innings in an outing. Sanchez has ace level stuff, and if he can survive the trip through the minors, he has a chance to be one of the best pitchers in baseball.
Previous Rank: 6

2. J.P. Crawford, SS, Age 22

Team (LVL)GPAHRSBBB%K%AVGOBPSLG
Lehigh Valley (AAA)9340410314.6%17.1%.225.340.377

Much has been written about J.P. Crawford’s season. What we do know is that he was hurt at various times earlier in the season and is healthy now, his swing has changed over the course of the season, and his batting eye has been good statistically. Crawford is still a great defender at shortstop, though his consistency has taken a step back at times. At the plate, Crawford has one of the best batting eyes in the minors, but he was too passive at times this year. His passiveness, coupled with a swing that was unable to drive the hittable pitches he did swing at, plunged Crawford into a multi month slump. With his new swing, Crawford has driven the ball more consistently for power. He won’t hit 8 home runs every month like he has done in July, but he has the strength to ht 15-20 home runs at his peak (assuming the current HR environment holds). Crawford has a good hit tool, but he is more likely to be a .260-.270 hitter at his peak than a .300+ hitter. Combined with his good on base skills, Crawford still has the skills to be a cornerstone player and an All-Star at shortstop. However, it is going to take him maintaining this level of performance for more than a month to put to rest concerns that this isn’t just a hot streak. Crawford is near major league ready, but with Galvis in the majors the Phillies have a little bit of time for Crawford to try and maintain this higher level of play.
Previous Rank: 1

3. Scott Kingery, 2B, Age 23

Team (LVL)GPAHRSBBB%K%AVGOBPSLG
Reading (AA)6931718198.8%16.1%.313.379.608
Lehigh Valley (AAA)29131583.8%22.9%.303.331.475

The biggest question with Scott Kingery coming into the season was how much power he would hit for. In his first full season, he hit 5 total home runs, with most of his power coming in the form of doubles down the line and into the gaps. Kingery has already hit 23 home runs this season, thanks to an increase in strength and a focus on hitting more line drives (and fly balls). Most evaluators don’t think he will hit more than 20 home runs a year in the majors, but some also acknowledge that he is the type of player (strong wrists, good hit tool) that can exceed expectations. For the second year in a row, Kingery has seen his walk rate plummet and strikeouts spike after a promotion to a new level, but given previous adjustments he should return to something closer to 8% walk rate and sub 20% strikeout rate. Kingery can get a bit aggressive at the plate, so getting those rates back under control will be critical to his major league success. In the midst of his offensive breakout, Kingery’s secondary skills have gotten overlooked. He is a plus plus runner who is capable of infield and bunt hits as well as high stolen base totals. He has been an improved base runner this year and should steal 30+ bases a year in the majors. In the field, he is an excellent defender at second base, with great range and effort and a solid arm. Second base has become a bit more of an offensive position in recent years, but Kingery still has a ceiling of a first division regular, though there is a chance there is a bit more ceiling in there if he can really carry his power output in the majors.
Previous Rank: 6

4. Jorge Alfaro, C, Age 24

Team (LVL)GPAHRSBBB%K%AVGOBPSLG
Lehigh Valley (AAA)81338714.7%32.0%.240.293.359

After a solid AA season in 2016 and a hot start to his 2017 season, Jorge Alfaro looked on pace to be the Phillies catcher of the future. However, over the past three months he has seen his stat line plummet as he has struggled with approach at the plate. Alfaro has always been an aggressive hitter, and AAA pitching has exploited that. This is the last option year for Jorge Alfaro, and the Phillies are trying to cram all of his offensive and defensive development into one year. Alfaro still needs some work behind the plate, mostly when it comes to consistency, but he should stick back there. Despite the low numbers this year, he still has great raw power. Despite all of the negatives to his 2017 season, Alfaro continues to be an extremely talented catcher and catching continues to be a position of low output in the majors. Alfaro may not come up and dominate in the majors in 2018, but there is still is enough optimism that he can be a solid major league player in the future.
Previous Rank: 2

5. Rhys Hoskins, 1B, Age 24

Team (LVL)GPAHRSBBB%K%AVGOBPSLG
Lehigh Valley (AAA)10643524313.6%15.9%.281.384.559

The adage on repeat for Rhys Hoskins since he was drafted was that he needed to mash at every level. Hoskins has not only mashed at every level, but he has also shown the ability to adjust and improve as he has moved up the ladder. In AAA this year, he has posted career best walk and strikeout rates, while maintaining his power output from Reading. Hoskins is a first baseman only, and while he isn’t a disaster there, he also isn’t a Gold Glover. He has the highest offensive ceiling of any prospect in the Phillies system (the only challenger is probably Jhailyn Ortiz), but his overall ceiling is limited by the current state of major league baseball. With the increase in power in the majors, first basemen are hitting on average, .259/.342/.479, and nine everyday first basemen have OPSs over .900, and 14 have already hit 20 home runs this year. So while Hoskins may be a middle of the order impact bat for the Phillies, his ceiling may not even be as a fringe All-Star. He has been major league ready for a while, and it sounds like the Phillies are willing to cut dramatically into Tommy Joseph’s playing time if it means getting Hoskins MLB at bats.
Previous Rank: 12

6. Adam Haseley, CF, Age 21

Team (LVL)GPAHRSBBB%K%AVGOBPSLG
GCL (Rk)3140114.3%21.4%.583.643.833
Williamsport (SS)261162510.3%18.1%.263.357.384

The Phillies had the 8th pick in the 2017 draft, and for the first time in over ten years, they took a college hitter in the first round. Haseley was one of the best hitters in college baseball this season for the University of Virginia. Haseley mashed the GCL for 3 games before reaching the New York Penn-League and scuffling a little bit. He is still hitting line drives at over a 30% rate and walking at a high rate, so there is no reason to be worried. Haseley is currently a center fielder based on great routes, more than on his above average speed. As he gets bigger and stronger (from being able to focus on hitting and not pitching) he probably will have to move to right field, where his above average to plus arm will play. Haseley showed more power than expected in his junior year and should have above average to plus power as he focuses full time on hitting. Haseley has a good swing and feel for contact from the left side as well as an advanced approach. None of his tools are more than plus, but Haseley’s collection of tools gives him a chance to be a quick moving first division outfielder whether it is in center or right.
Previous Rank: N/A

7. Adonis Medina, RHP, Age 20

Team (LVL)GGSW-LIPERAH/9HR/9BB%K%
Lakewood (A-)17174-794.13.248.00.57.7%26.6%

Last year, Adonis Medina struck out under 5 batters every 9 innings, despite raw stuff that received near universal praise from evaluators. This year, he is striking out over 10 per 9 innings. Medina’s fastball is consistently in his higher velocity range, sitting 92-96 with heavy sink. He has shown more consistency with his changeup this year, and it looks like a future plus pitch with good fade and deception. The big change for Medina this season has been his breaking ball. Early this year, he switched from his curveball to the slider he flashed at the end of the 2016 season. His slider is a future plus or better pitch that gives him a weapon to finish off batters with. He does telegraph the pitch and needs to work it more naturally into his arsenal. Long term, Medina should have three plus pitches and plus control, and that gives him the ceiling of a high end #3 starting pitcher, but there is a chance at a bit more if he can refine his ability to pitch and sequence.
Previous Rank: 9

8. Mickey Moniak, CF, Age 19

Team (LVL)GPAHRSBBB%K%AVGOBPSLG
Lakewood (A-)97400496.3%21.5%.258.312.368

When the Phillies selected Mickey Moniak with the #1 pick in the 2016 draft, there were two things clear; the draft itself was not very good, and Moniak might not be the best player in it but was certainly in the conversation for it. Now a year later, the first one is abundantly clear, and the second is more murky. Moniak was supposed to have only one weakness, and that was how much power he would eventually hit for. This year Moniak has shown that the speed and arm are as advertised, and his glove is pretty close (he has some lapses in the field). The big problem has been his hit tool. He has struggled to recognize and hit offspeed pitches, and he has been a disaster against left handed pitching. There are many theories about Moniak’s regression, and they range from his hit tool never actually being this good to the muscle he added hurting his fast twitch athleticism, with everyone having their own opinions for his struggles. Despite all of the negativity, I have heard people praise the swing, and many still think he is going to hit a lot, and he is still only 19 years old with a good glove up the middle of the diamond. This could end up being a blip for Moniak. He wouldn’t be the first talented player to struggle in their full season debut, but he will need to show noticeable improvement to maintain his top prospect status.
Previous Rank: 3

9. Franklyn Kilome, RHP, Age 22

Team (LVL)GGSW-LIPERAH/9HR/9BB%K%
Clearwater (A+)18185-491.12.668.90.59.6%20.5%

Kilome entered the year as either the first or second best pitcher on Phillies prospect lists. He hasn’t really been anything different this season, but the lack of progress is mildly concerning. Kilome’s fastball is 92-96,can touch 97-98, and is heavy with sink. He still will show a plus curveball, but at times will struggle to not spike it into the dirt. His changeup has not progressed as much as some hoped, but he has brought back his slider in an effort to give him a different look vs batters. The biggest unsolved problem for Kilome has been his control. He is long and lanky, and is not always in control of his limbs, which has led to delivery inconsistency and sudden lapses in ability to throw strikes. Kilome still has #2/#3 starter upside, but if he can’t find consistency in his delivery, he might be a candidate to move to the bullpen as a late inning reliever.
Previous Rank: 5

10. Daniel Brito, 2B, Age 19

Team (LVL)GPAHRSBBB%K%AVGOBPSLG
Lakewood (A-)883905107.7%19.0%.236.303.313

Last winter when I was compiling my Top 50, Daniel Brito was the hot name that everyone wanted to push up the list. On the surface, his batting line would indicate the hype was premature, as he has struggled since a hot start to his year, but there are plenty of things to be positive about. Brito is young and physically underdeveloped for the South Atlantic League. There have been multiple reports that he has looked worn down, and while the Phillies have tried to rest him more, he has already played 40 more games than last year and 27 more than his career high. Brito is all about projection, as he could grow into fringe average to average power, which when combined with a swing that generates plenty of contact, should make him a potent offensive player. He is a great defender at second base (and probably could handle shortstop in a pinch). It is going to take some time for Brito to get to where he needs to physically, but he has the chance to be an impact player at second base.
Previous Rank: 18

11. Jhailyn Ortiz, RF, Age 18

Team (LVL)GPAHRSBBB%K%AVGOBPSLG
Williamsport (SS)311297310.9%22.5%.305.426.610

At $4,010,000, the Phillies gave Jhailyn one of the largest bonuses ever for a 16 year old prospect. In 2016, Ortiz got off to great start, but faded down the stretch. This year, Ortiz has been one of the best players in the New York-Penn League at only 18 years old. Ortiz has immense raw power and has reportedly hit the ball 500 feet in batting practice, and while that may be an exaggeration, his batting practice performances have become must see. A massive 16 year old when he signed, Ortiz has done a great job of keeping his body in great shape since signing. He may need to eventually move to first base when he gets older, but for now he is a pretty good right fielder with a great arm. No matter what position he ends up at, Ortiz will need to hit, and so far he has shown good pitch recognition and feel for hitting for his age. Ortiz is only 18 and is probably 3-4 years from being in the conversation for a major league role, but he looks like he could be a middle of the order monster if he can keep on the path he has started on.
Previous Rank: 17

12. Seranthony Dominguez, RHP, Age 22

Team (LVL)GGSW-LIPERAH/9HR/9BB%K%
GCL (Rk)220-05.15.068.40.016.0%28.0%
Clearwater (A+)983-142.02.576.90.910.4%30.6%

If you had asked in the middle of May who the Phillies’ biggest breakout prospect was, there is a chance that Dominguez would have surpassed Sixto Sanchez. The short right hander was throwing his fastball at 94-98 and was touching 99, up from the 93-96 he had been the previous season. He showed a future plus slider and above average changeup. Dominguez’s command wasn’t spectacular, but he was pounding the strike zone with all of his offerings. Unfortunately he suffered a bicep injury in mid-May and missed the next two months. Since coming back, Dominguez has seen his velocity stay up (he has been mostly 95-97), but his control and feel for his offspeed pitches have not been there. If Dominguez can refind the feel for his secondary pitches, he could be a #3 or better starting pitcher. If the control continues to be spotty, he could eventually move to the bullpen, where he profiles as a high leverage reliever.
Previous Rank: 24

13. Cornelius Randolph, LF, Age 20

Team (LVL)GPAHRSBBB%K%AVGOBPSLG
Clearwater (A+)9740510711.9%24.9%.258.352.403

When the Phillies drafted Cornelius Randolph in the first round of the 2015 draft, he was supposed to be a polished high school hitter with questions about his position and power. This season has been a real mixed bag for the 20 year old left fielder. Randolph is walking more this year, and he is hitting for more power (his 10 home runs is well above his career high). He is also striking out a lot more and is only hitting .255. Randolph has been on fire in July (.311/.417/.472) and is one of the youngest players in the Florida State League, so there is plenty of positive to build on. There are some concerns about Randolph’s glove, and some are concerned he will eventually have to move to first base. Whether he is in left field or at first base, Randolph will need to show both power and ability to get on base. He still has the ceiling of an everyday left fielder, but as always he will need to hit his way into that role.
Previous Rank: 8

14. Roman Quinn, CF, Age 24

Team (LVL)GPAHRSBBB%K%AVGOBPSLG
Lehigh Valley (AAA)451972109.1%24.9%.274.344.389

Roman Quinn last played a game on May 28. He hurt his elbow sliding head first into third base (players should stop doing that). It is yet another fluke injury for Quinn that keeps him off the field but doesn’t really affect his long term future. Quinn had been getting hot in May after having a good major league spring training. The small center fielder still has elite speed and surprising power. If it weren’t for the injury, he probably would have logged at least a month in the majors by now. Quinn doesn’t turn 25 until next May, so he has time to get back on track. In the Phillies organization, he might need a positive break to crack the majors, but he still has the ability to be an above average regular. Quinn should be starting a rehab soon. The Phillies will probably try to just get him as many at bats as they can before the end of the season.
Previous Rank: 7

15. Jonathan Guzman, SS, Age 17

Team (LVL)GPAHRSBBB%K%AVGOBPSLG
GCL(Rk)2089156.7%9.0%.301.348.422
Williamsport (SS)6231017.4%13.0%.263.391.421
Clearwater (A+)13000.0%100.0%.000.000.000

The Phillies did not have a ton of international signing money left over in 2015 after handing large bonuses to Jhailyn Ortiz and Rafael Marchan, but they did have enough to give Guzman $70,000. In many ways, Guzman is reminiscent of Carlos Tocci. He is young for his level (he turns 18 on August 17), he is slight of build,  he is an advanced hitter, and he plays a valuable defensive position at a high level. Guzman already shows more power and usable speed than Tocci did at the same age (though Tocci was playing in Lakewood at the time). Guzman’s swing isn’t conventional, but he has a great feel for getting the bat on the ball. He is going to need time to get bigger, but he is already advanced enough that the Phillies initially sent him to Williamsport. Without knowing how much power Guzman ends up with, it is hard to figure out his ultimate ceiling, but there are the pieces here for a special player.
Previous Rank: 39

16. Thomas Eshelman, RHP, Age 23

Team (LVL)GGSW-LIPERAH/9HR/9BB%K%
Reading (AA)553-029.03.108.41.94.4%19.5%
Lehigh Valley (AAA)12127-284.02.147.50.63.1%18.0%

In his second full season, Eshelman has climbed to AAA and has seemingly mastered the highest level of the minors. He still is functionally the same pitcher he has always been, with command enhancing a collection of ok offerings. His fastball will sit 88-92, and he can manipulate it some. His changeup and curveball are just ok pitches. He has had a cutter emerge from his arsenal, and it looks to be a good pitch for him. He is not really going to generate swings and misses, but he also isn’t going to hurt himself with mistakes. No one is calling Eshelman an ace, but right now he looks like a back end starter, and he is already in AAA, blocked only by his lack of 40 man roster spot. Eshelman probably finishes the year in AAA, as the Phillies monitor his innings and keep him off the 40 man roster with another impending crunch coming. He should at least get an outside chance at competing for a 2018 rotation spot.
Previous Rank: 27

17. Carlos Tocci, CF, Age 21

Team (LVL)GPAHRSBBB%K%AVGOBPSLG
Reading (AA)98412226.1%13.1%.306.361.399

The 2017 season marks Carlos Tocci’s 6th in the organization, but for the 21 year old center fielder, it might also be his best. Tocci continues to be skinny, and his power is limited, but he has shown that his bat is not something to be ignored. Tocci has a great feel for contact and will hit the ball to all fields and into the gaps for doubles. Despite plus speed, he has yet to become a good base stealer. However, Tocci continues to be an excellent defensive center fielder and has added the ability to play in the corners if needed. He still has the ceiling of an everyday center fielder, but it requires him adding the power that has eluded him for years. More likely, he is a solid bench outfielder who can provide a high level of contact and good defense. He is a minor free agent after the season, which should force the Phillies to add him to the 40 man roster after the season.
Previous Rank: 25

18. Dylan Cozens, OF, Age 23

Team (LVL)GPAHRSBBB%K%AVGOBPSLG
Lehigh Valley (AAA)1034232389.7%34.5%.225.305.451

A year after leading the minor leagues in home runs, Dylan Cozens is among the league leaders again this year. Unfortunately, that is one of the only things going right for Cozens this season. He had a good May, but a disastrous June and July have seen his strikeout rate balloon to over 35% and put him in the lead in minor league baseball. Cozens is only 23 years old and in his first year on the 40 man roster, so he has time to get things back under control. If Cozens can get his strikeout rate back near 30% with his usual level of power, Cozens can be an effective platoon power bat in the majors. Outside of at the plate, Cozens continues to be an ok fielder with a strong arm, and while his stolen base percentage has gone down, he continues to be an opportunistic base runner despite fringe average speed.
Previous Rank: 13

19. Arquimedes Gamboa, SS, Age 19

Team (LVL)GPAHRSBBB%K%AVGOBPSLG
Lakewood (A-)542432410.7%14.8%.230.311.306

The Phillies signed Gamboa for $900,000 in 2014 to top off a class that included Daniel Brito and Jonathan Arauz. For the second season in a row, Gamboa missed 6 weeks early in the season with a hamstring injury. Gamboa is not hitting for a high average, and it isn’t just his low BABIP, his quality of contact has been poor as well. However, Gamboa has shortly cut his strikeout rate this year while greatly increasing his walk rate. Gamboa should have better success at the plate as he fills out, and it is important to remember he is only 19 years old. What makes Gamboa an interesting prospect is that he is absolutely a shortstop going forward. His glove should carry him while his quality of contact catches up. Long term, Gamboa profiles as an everyday shortstop, but it might take a few years for the profile to come together.
Previous Rank: 16

20. Francisco Morales, RHP, Age 17

Team (LVL)GGSW-LIPERAH/9HR/9BB%K%
GCL (Rk)541-219.24.589.20.511.1%21.1%

The Phillies have had a great track record of developing Latin American pitchers, so it raised eyebrows when they signed the top 16 year old pitcher on the market last year. So far the reviews on Morales have been exciting. The 17 year old RHP has been up to 95-96, sitting a bit lower than that. He had a good slider when he signed, and the pitch continues to look like it could a be future plus pitch. He pairs that with a changeup that he shows improved feel for. Morales is young enough that he could add a few more mph to his fastball as he fills out. He is still an eternity away and will need to improve his command, but he has at least mid rotation upside.
Previous Rank: 38

21. JoJo Romero, LHP, Age 20

Team (LVL)GGSW-LIPERAH/9HR/9BB%K%
Lakewood (A-)555-176.22.117.20.27.0%26.3%
Clearwater (A+)553-228.12.227.60.38.5%24.6%

Much of the conversation around the Phillies getting Mickey Moniak for under slot has focused on Kevin Gowdy and Cole Stobbe, but it also allowed for the Phillies give large bonuses to JoJo Romero (4th) and Cole Irvin (5th). Romero blitzed through Low-A this year on the back of a fastball that sits 89-93 and can reach back for 94-95 and a plus changeup with good fade. He also throws a slider and curveball with average potential. Romero has more control than command, but his control has improved since his amatuer days. Romero is undersized, but it shouldn’t prevent his ability to start. Without a surprise step forward somewhere in his arsenal, Romero projects as a #4 starting pitcher.
Previous Rank: 30

22. Drew Anderson, RHP, Age 23

Team (LVL)GGSW-LIPERAH/9HR/9BB%K%
Reading (AA)19197-495.23.767.11.08.3%19.6%

Anderson was the big breakout late last season for the Phillies. He returned from Tommy John surgery with more velocity than he had before the injury, while still maintaining his pre-injury control. This season, Anderson has been sitting a bit below the high end of the range he showed in 2016, but he still has an above average to plus fastball (sitting 92-94). He is making progress with his changeup, but it still needs work to match his curveball as a good secondary pitch. Anderson’s control has come and gone, leaving him with some dominant stretches and some real duds. The top priority for Anderson this year was having a full healthy year, and he has so far passed that test with flying colors. Anderson’s lack of development makes him more of a #4 starting pitcher than the #3 upside he flashed late last season.
Previous Rank: 26

23. Kevin Gowdy, RHP, Age 19

Part of the draw of going underslot with the #1 pick in the 2016 draft was that the Phillies would be able to hand a large bonus to a high schooler who fell down the draft. The Phillies loved Kevin Gowdy out of high school, because he had good size with room for projection. It wasn’t just future projection that made Gowdy special. He already had an above average fastball, a very good slider, and advanced feel for a changeup. The problem is that lower body injuries limited him in his pro debut last year, and so far this year he has yet to play in an official game due to bicep tendonitis. If Gowdy can get healthy and back on track, he has a probable #3 starter ceiling, and the projection to make a #2 ceiling is not out of the picture. The last news was that Gowdy would be back pitching in late July to early August, so we will see if there is news soon. Once he is back on the mound, the Phillies are going to try and ramp him up enough to not make this a completely lost year.
Previous Rank: 10

24. Spencer Howard, RHP, Age 21

Team (LVL)GGSW-LIPERAH/9HR/9BB%K%
Williamsport (SS)440-19.26.5210.20.014.9%25.5%

It caused a few raised eyebrows when the Phillies took Spencer Howard with their 2nd round pick in the 2017 draft. The Phillies talked loftily about Howard after the draft, but the reality is a bit below the platitudes. Howard is relatively new to starting, but there is plenty to like. He is a projectable 6’3”, and his fastball sits 91-93 and can reach up to 96 with good life and deception. He shows a solid slider and changeup, as well as a fringy curveball. If he can find consistency with his slider and changeup, he has a chance to be a #3 starter, but he might take a bit longer than a normal college starter. The Phillies will likely limit his innings this summer after his college season. It will be interesting to see what the Phillies’ developmental staff will be able to do with him this fall during instructs.
Previous Rank: N/A

25. Ranger Suarez, LHP, Age 21

Team (LVL)GGSW-LIPERAH/9HR/9BB%K%
Lakewood (A-)14146-285.01.595.50.47.4%27.8%
Clearwater (A+)441-219.12.338.40.07.5%30.0%

Ranger Suarez has come a long way since he walked one during the 2014 VSL season. At the time, Suarez was a short left hander sitting in the mid to high 80s. Suarez is now 91-95 with his fastball with solid control. He matches his fastball with a good slider and an improved changeup. Despite feeling like he is new to the scene, Suarez will turn 22 this August and will be entering his second year of Rule 5 eligibility. Suarez has a #4 starter ceiling thanks to his 3 pitch mix and feel for pitching, but his improvements this year indicate there might be a bit more ceiling there. He will pitch the rest of the year in Clearwater and will likely force a difficult Rule 5 decision for the Phillies.
Previous Rank: UR

Other Prospects of Note:

These are some of the prospects that were in the discussion for the list but didn’t make it, as well as players that I found of particular interest. I know I asked for suggestions, due to this getting cluttered I have not included them all, I will post them in the comments. There is no order to these other than the order in which I wrote them.

  • Cole Stobbe, 3B – The Phillies 3rd round pick in 2016 is showing good power this year, but a lot more swing and miss due to pitch recognition issues than expected. He still has the talent to be an everyday third baseman.
  • Ben Lively, RHP – Lively has seen some major league time this year, with mixed success. He is a 4 pitch pitcher without a swing and miss pitch, and that makes #5 starter his ceiling, with an up and down future more likely.
  • Ricardo Pinto, RHP – Pinto was the first of the Phillies prominent starting pitchers to make the transition to the bullpen. After a rough start, he has shown a promising base to work with. His velocity is up, and he is routinely touching 97-98 (he even had a 100 in the majors). His changeup is still a weapon, and his slider has looked improved as well. He still makes too many mistakes in the zone, but his future looks bright.
  • Andrew Pullin, LF – Pullin has scuffled some since being promoted to AAA, but his hot start in AA showed he has the hit tool and power to have an everyday left fielder ceiling. He doesn’t have any fall back, so he will need to keep hitting.
  • Cole Irvin, LHP – Irvin has held the low 90s fastball he flashed last year (90-93, touching up to 95). His changeup is his best pitch, but he has a slider and curveball to go with solid control. His ceiling is backend starter, and he could be major league ready in 2018.
  • Kyle Young, LHP – Young is now 7’0”, but he has yet to fill out his frame. His fastball is mostly 88-90, and can touch 91-92, but the Phillies think there is more in there. He is athletic, with surprising control for his size. Right now he looks like a back end starter, but there is a lot more projection in his frame.
  • Elniery Garcia, LHP – Garcia looked like a breakout prospect at the end of last year, when his fastball started touching the mid 90s. However, Garcia has missed the first 4 months of the 2017 season due to a PED suspension and injury. If he can show the same stuff from late in 2016, he could rocket back up prospect lists.
  • Connor Seabold, RHP – Seabold was the Phillies 3rd round pick, and due to his school and college numbers, he received a bunch of Eshelman comps at the time of the draft. Seabold has a bit more velocity that Eshelman, but Eshelman has better command and has developed a cutter that gives a plus pitch. Seabold should move quickly as a back end starter.
  • Jesmuel Valentin, 2B – Valentin is the more advanced version of Jose Gomez. He may hit enough to be a second division regular at second, but is more likely a utility player. A shoulder injury is going to cost Valentin the entire 2017 season, which is a pity because he could have gotten some run in the majors this year.
  • Alberto Tirado, RHP – A slight downtick in velocity and increasingly poor control forced the Phillies to send Tirado back to the bullpen. His velocity is creeping back up to the hi-90s, and his slider still looks like a good pitch, but Tirado still needs to get better at throwing strikes (13 walks in 10 AA innings). If he can find the strike zone consistently he could be a high leverage reliever, he is also only 22 years old.
  • Edgar Garcia, RHP – Injuries forced the Phillies to move Edgar Garcia to the rotation for the second year in a row. The 20 year old righty sits 91-95 T96 with his fastball, and his slider repeatedly receives praise. He needs to improve his command and changeup to stick in the rotation, but he has the stuff to be a good reliever.
  • Brayan Gonzalez, 2B/SS – Gonzalez was the Phillies top international signing last year, and like some other players, he has gotten buried in the depth of the system. He has moved to second in deference to Jonathan Guzman, and his glove is great there. His bat is never going to be amazing, but he is having a solid year at 17 in the GCL.
  • Malquin Canelo, SS – Canelo got off to a hot start in AA, but he is back to striking out a ton with not a lot of other impact on the game. His youth and glove at shortstop continue to make him worth keeping an eye on.
  • Victor Arano, RHP – Arano was supposed to be the next fast moving reliever in the Phillies system after a breakout 2016 season. However, after an arm injury, his velocity is down to 92-93 from the 94-97 it was last year, and his results have been pedestrian.
  • Mauricio Llovera, RHP – Llovera has moved to the Lakewood rotation, but nearly universally his future is seen in the bullpen. He lacks command of his fastball, but he will sit 96-98 in short bursts (94-96 as a starter). His slider is a 1 plane frisbee, but his changeup shows some promise with some fade.
  • Jake Scheiner, 2B/3B – The Phillies took Scheiner in the 4th round of the 2017 draft after he had a big year in his only season at the University of Houston. He was a shortstop in college, but the Phillies are trying him at second and third, with the reports positive at both. He has some power, but a decent amount of swing and miss.
  • Jose Taveras, RHP – Taveras is similar to Ben Lively in that he relies on a modest arsenal and the ability to throw it all for strikes from a deceptive delivery. Ultimately, the lack of a putaway pitch limits his ceiling.
  • Yacksel Rios, RHP – Rios is in the middle of a breakout year of sorts. He is finally having success in the bullpen, where he throws his fastball at 94-97. His slider flashes potential, but he needs some more work before he can really impact the majors. As a 6 year minor league free agent, that work may need to come in the majors.
  • Austin Davis, LHP – Davis popped up early in the year after he missed most of last season due to injury. He is working full time as a reliever, where his fastball has been in the 92-95 range touching as high as 98. He needs to get his control back in line after his walks spiked in AA.
  • Rafael Marchan, C – Marchan was the other big signing for the Phillies in 2015. He is a converted infielder with a good arm behind the plate and a great feel for hitting.
  • Rodolfo Duran, C – The Phillies brought Duran stateside at 17 in 2015 ahead of some more highly regarded prospects. He has shown good defense and a solid hit tool so far this year as a 19 year old in the New York-Penn League.
  • Jhordany Mezquita, LHP – Mezquita (8th round) was the man of mystery on draft night for the Phillies. Mezquita was 88-92 in the GCL for the one game I got reports on, but was apparently up to 94 pre draft. He has some projection left and a good curveball to work with.
  • Ben Pelletier, OF – I have heard great reports on Pelletier and some less flattering ones from the same evaluator in the same game. Pelletier has a prototypical right fielder’s build and should grow into plus power as he matures. Despite being drafted in 2015, he won’t turn 19 until the end of August, so he has time to work through his inconsistencies.
  • Nick Fanti, LHP – No one, save possibly Harold Arauz, has done more with less than Nick Fanti this year. Has taken two no hitters 26 outs into a game (completing one) while pitching with a fastball that barely touches 90. He has good feel for his changeup and curveball (he has improved his changeup this year) and can throw all of his pitches for strikes. His frame doesn’t project to add much more velocity, which means his upside is probably as a LOOGY, but maybe he can carve out a career as a swing starter like a left handed Mark Leiter Jr.

Trade Returns:

Here are all of the prospects the Phillies got back at the deadline.

  • McKenzie Mills, LHP -Mills was the only prospect the Phillies received in the Howie Kendrick trade, and there are a lot of mixed reviews about his stuff. What most agree on his that he is in the low 90s range with his fastball with a clean delivery and solid control. He has a changeup and curveball, and while different evaluators like each pitch more, neither has been labeled a knock out pitch.
  • Jose Gomez, IF – Gomez was the best of three prospects the Phillies got back for Pat Neshek. Gomez has hit everywhere he has gone, but lacks big tools at the plate and the range to stick at shortstop. If he can keep hitting, he might be a second division second baseman, but more likely his future is as a utility infielder.
  • Garrett Cleavinger, LHP – Cleavinger was the prospect return for the Jeremy Hellickson, and his star has dimmed substantially since he was drafted in the third round. At his best, he had a solid fastball from the left side, and a power curve from a deceptive delivery. Right now both those pitches are a grade or two lower and his control is completely gone, leaving him more as org fodder.
  • J.D. Hammer, RHP – His spectacles have made him famous, but Hammer’s calling card is a good fastball that has ticked up this year to touching 97. He needs to work on his slider and control, and he profiles as a middle reliever if things continue to improve.
  • Alejandro Requena, RHP – Requena dominated the South Atlantic League before coming to the Phillies in the Pat Neshek trade. He has a solid 3 pitch mix but lacks anything that stands out. His ability to throw strikes with his entire arsenal makes his ceiling a backend starter.
  • Seth McGarry, RHP – Much like Hammer, McGarry is a two pitch reliever in hi-A. McGarry is a sinker-curveball righty with a ground ball generating fastball that sits 92-95. He probably will never be as good as Joaquin Benoit, but he has enough stuff to be a middle reliever if things go well.

Image 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.

16 comments

  1. msb

    Very interesting ranking Matt– great read! My hope is in 18 months we’re talking about Ortiz as a top 20 MLB prospect. Hopefully he doesn’t get made a “PTBNL” like Domingo. That still grinds me! Thoughts on Muzziotti?

    • Matt Winkelman

      Simon Muzziotti, CF – Muzziotti comes from the school of Carlos Tocci skinny center fielders, though Muzziotti might be even bigger than Tocci. He makes a ton of contact but doesn’t have much power. His value will be tied up in defense and speed.

  2. Chris A

    Holy crap our system is deep. It’s absolutely amazing how guys that are not even top30 for us now would have been top 7 only a couple years ago. We have several legitimate big league prospects who are not even in the discussion for top 30! I love that we’ve added a middle infield bat with the upside of Gomez and he’s almost an afterthought!

  3. Keith Winder

    Thank you for your work, Matt. This is wonderful and a gift to MiLB Phillies fans.

  4. The original Will

    Great list. I am more bullish on Ortiz and would probably have him between Haseley and Hoskins. The in-game (and raw) power and plate discipline playing against older competition makes me think his upside is true offensive superstar, which only Alfaro can otherwise claim.

    Otherwise, no real arguments.

  5. Mace Chutney

    Exciting list, especially when compared to the 2010 list.

  6. FloridaPhilly

    How about Harold Arauz. That kid almost threw a perfect game with Clearwater.

    Also, Jan Hernandez

    • Matt Winkelman

      Harold Arauz – Arauz was the 5th member of the Ken Giles trade and pitched mostly as a starter last season. This year, he has been up and down the system filling whatever role the Phillies need. His fastball tops out at about 89, and he profiles as org filler.

      Jan Hernandez – Hernandez has transitioned to right field recently, having taken to the outfield quickly. He is athletic with good raw power, but his 32% strikeout rate shows how far his approach still has to go for him to have a big league future.

  7. Ken45

    Nice list with great comments! What is your take on Mitch Walding?

    • Matt Winkelman

      Mitch Walding – Walding has long been a tease in the Phillies system. He has a great looking left handed swing and is a good defender at third base. Over the past two seasons, he has worked on his swing to generate more power. He is nearly 25 years old and striking out a ton in AA, but the power output makes him interesting. A scary collision with Chace Numata has likely ended his season.

      But I wrote a much bigger piece here http://philliesminorthoughts.com/reading-is-danger-stuff-mitch-waldings-2017/

  8. Murray

    Matt, nice work as always. What’s your take on Lindow? I think there could be something there (Ben Brown too). Any love for Tromp?

    • Matt Winkelman

      Jiandido Tromp – In his 7th season in the organization, Tromp is starting to put up good numbers against good competition. He has some power and speed, but it is mostly limited to the outfield corners. His approach probably keeps him from being a major league contributor, but he has some bench outfielder potential.

      I don’t have enough on Lindow to have much on an opinion. He needs to get stronger and add more velocity. The reports on Brown were not great as to delivery and stuff

  9. Anon

    What are your thoughts on Bailey Falter? He’s held his own in Lakewood, but now seems to be listed in Williamsport.

    And these may be a longshots, but do you have anything on Ramon Rosso and Anton Kuznetsov’s stuff? They’ve been lights out this year.

    • Matt Winkelman

      Just a paper move for Falter who starts tonight for Lakewood

      Bailey Falter – It is easy to lose Falter in the great pitching that Lakewood has had this year, but the 6’4” lefty is putting up another great season. He still needs to add more velocity to be more than a fringe starter, but the other pieces (control, durability, secondary pitches) are already there.

      Kuznetsov has been up to 88, I heard the changeup and feel for pitching are good. But he is also probably 5’10” or 5’11” and lacking in projection, so probably org arm, maybe there is more.

      Rosso is making his second stateside appearance today, but first time out was 88-92 T93. Throws a ton of strikes and has a breaking ball. Seems worth keeping an eye on.

      • Anon

        Thanks for responding Matt. You’re a great source for this stuff.

        What do you attribute to the Phillies ability to sign lower priced pitchers from LA (Sixto, Medina, Kilome, Seranthony, Suarez, etc.) and develop them into legit prospects? Is it better scouting or certain coaching? They seem to have gotten significantly better at finding these guys in recent years.

  10. Dphrey

    Best list in the industry imo. Thank you Matt for doing this!

    I would rank em

    Sixto, Kingery, Crawford, Hoskins, Ortiz, Medina, Hasley, Moniak, Alfaro, kilome, Dominguez, Guzman, Tocci, Morales, Romero, Brito, Quinn, Randolph, Suarez, Couzens, Mills, Young, Gamboa, Muzziotti, but I know less than half what you do. Love all of you work.