2017 Top 50 Phillies Prospects: Intro and Schedule

Each year making this list becomes harder and harder. The depth of the Phillies system has increased every year I have written a prospect list. There were many players left off this list that would have made the first Top 30 I wrote in the Spring of 2013. It is not all bad news when it comes to writing the list this year, as talented players are more fun to write about. Each list I write helps me learn more about baseball, but also more about myself and my weaknesses and biases.

As always this list represents a snapshot in time. I had to freeze my list manipulations before starting to publish and I already want to mess with it. This is not a bug in the system, rather it is an inherent part of the evaluation process as more information both about the players and the tools of evaluation become available. This list also represents my personal feelings and priorities in valuation. I ran this list by a many people, none of which agreed with the order or the order proposed by their peers. Sometimes that is because there is a fundamental disagreement about the profile of a player. Other times it is because there is a difference about the value or risk of a certain profile of player, even though both people have the same opinion of the player. I have tried to make the list independent of how I feel that the Phillies could use any player in the coming seasons because trades, injuries, and other unexpected events are a huge part of baseball.

The ranking structure itself provides more artificial hierarchy than I would like, so I will caution against reading too much into small differences in rankings. The gap between the #50 ranked prospect (Grant Dyer) and the #33 prospect (Jesmuel Valentin) is much much smaller than the gap between Valentin and a prospect like Dylan Cozens. If you want to reorder the back half of this list I would not put up a large argument. This all means that those that just missed, really just missed and there is not a sharp drop off after #50.

I am once again using the same structure for each player writeup, and you can read what I originally wrote about that 2 years ago here. My goal is to provide as much information that as the reader you can see both my process in constructing the ranking and the way in which you would construct it based on your own priorities.

Schedule

This year I am releasing the list at the same pace (over two weeks), but rather than release a 10 player group every other day, I will be releasing a 5 player group everyday. I was starting to realize that the larger lists especially when we were near the top of the list could be unwieldy and long. I didn’t want any players missed because they were at the end of a daily list. I hope the new format is easier to consume. I also have kept the same numbering convention on the lists even though the release order suggests a countdown. The reason for this is that in an ideal world I would start at 1 and go to 50, but I don’t know if anyone stick around for the end of the list. Like last year there will also be an Under 25 list of some length to be determined that will be released in the week after the Top 50 finishes. Also I plan on writing up almost every player in the system I have an opinion on, with the goal of those writeups also going on player pages for easy look up later.

Prospects #1-#5: January 20
Prospects #6-#10: January 19
Prospects #11-#15: January 18
Prospects #16-#20: January 17
Prospects #21-#25: January 16
Prospects #26-#30: January 13
Prospects #31-#35: January 12
Prospects #36-#40: January 11
Prospects #41-#45: January 10
Prospects #46-#50: January 9

Under 25 – TBD

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.

6 comments

  1. Keith Winder

    Thanks, Matt. I look forward to this every winter. It’s what keeps me going until pitchers and catchers.

  2. abc

    Well, you managed to make inauguration day just a little less horrible. I appreciate that.

  3. Cliff

    Big fan of the in-depth analysis these rankings will offer. Read you at the Good Phight as well. Thanks for the hard work.

  4. Eddie

    Always excited to read your writing, Matt. Thanks for all the work.

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