Baseball America 2015 Top 10 Phillies Prospects

List season has begun and we kick it all off with Baseball America’s Top 10 prospects (the full Top 30 will release with their book).  Before looking at Josh Norris’ list I just wanted to say that there are some definite tiers in the Phillies’ system with a lot of interchangeability.  Additionally, there are some prospects with plenty of helium that will be very high on some lists because their talent level is undeniable, but they have some risks that would cause others to be hesitant.  So without much else let’s start with the list.

  1. J.P. Crawford
  2. Nick Williams
  3. Jake Thompson
  4. Andrew Knapp
  5. Jorge Alfaro
  6. Cornelius Randolph
  7. Franklyn Kilome
  8. Roman Quinn
  9. Adonis Medina
  10. Carlos Tocci

There are two names that stand out here, Andrew Knapp and Adonis Medina.  Let’s start with Knapp.  It is higher than I am ready to go right now, but if you think Knapp can catch and he is a plus hitter with solid power from both sides, he is not out of place at #4 on this list.  The reports have been positive on Knapp since his promotion (and there is context for previous poor performance) and he is a former second round pick, so there is previously recognized talent.  Right now I wouldn’t be willing to put Knapp over Alfaro, but I might be obsessed with Alfaro’s upside, but I can buy it.

I love everything I have heard about Adonis Medina.  He is yet another in a long line of scouting and drafting successes from the Phillies in Latin America.  I won’t have Medina over Zach Eflin and Ricardo Pinto at this moment, but I don’t think the gap is large.  Medina is an 18 year old who can touch 97 but sits 91-94 and will show two plus offspeed pitches.  He is not Franklyn Kilome with near infinite potential, but the raw stuff right now puts him in an uncommon realm of pitcher ability.

I don’t know if I will have the two as high on my list, but there is nothing that really makes me pause too much about where they are ranked.

Here are some interesting tidbits from Josh’s chat:

Kelly (St. Cloud, MN): If you had to guess, how many of these guys could make the BA 100?

Josh Norris: I could see 2-3, with Crawford and one or both of Thompson and Williams

Marcus Mariota (Tennessee): I started following the Phillies thinking I'd be a Philadelphia native. I know it's early but who would you take with the #1 pick today?

Josh Norris: I’d take you, Marcus, I’ll always take you. But since you’re not draft-eligible and I have no idea the last time you even tried at baseball, I’d probably go for somebody like Oklahoma RHP Alec Hansen, or Florida LHP A.J. Puk. A guy who really impressed me in the brief time I saw him at Team USA was Georgia RHP Robert Tyler. June is a long way away though, and by then, Marcus, you and Chip Kelly might be reunited.

Jim (Philly): Where do guys like Eflin and Lively end up on this list? Both guys had decent seasons at AA Reading this year. Are these guys still considered "back of the rotation" or "mid rotation" types?

Josh Norris: Eflin will end up higher than Lively, I’ll say that much. Eflin worked this year on sequencing and learning how to better finish off hitters when he got them into two-strike counts. Scouts like what they see from him, including a fastball and slider that project as average or better, and a changeup that fits in that mix, too. Lively is in a similar boat, but his arsenal is vanilla across the board and he learned this year that he can’t get away in Double-A with some of the same stuff he did in A-Ball. None of his offspeeds particularly jump out, which obviously limits his ceiling.

MJ (Valpo): No Dylan Cozens??? He had a pretty major breakout (especially after being promoted)...didn't he? I thought he'd sneak in. So what do the Phillies think about him?Josh Norris: I wouldn’t call what he did a breakout, especially the 11-game stretch at Reading (It was awesome, but 11 games of anything isn’t a breakout). He did what the Phillies asked him to do, which was to work on becoming a more complete hitter even if it meant the power numbers dropped. It was a great first step in the right direction, and at 21 years old he has time on his side. He should be in the 11-15 range too.

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.

9 comments

  1. Gil

    Thanks for the list and your thoughts Matt – very helpful and interesting as always.

    Not sure I understand what you mean by “definite tiers in the Phillies system with a lot of interchangeability.”

    Can you please clarify what this means?

    Would also appreciate your thoughts on which players – even those not on the above list – might have some extra helium pumping up their prospects. Is Kingery one such in your opinion?

    • Matt Winkelman

      You can break the players in the distinct tiers of value where you can order than mostly in any order. Crawford is his own tier, 2-7 are another group, the group starting at 8 probably goes to about 16 or 17 in the system. It would be hard to take someone like Jonathan Arauz over Roman Quinn, but it is an entirely justifiable opinion (those two probably bookend that group for me).
      Some guys I could see being rated higher by some people than others; Arauz, Pinto, Kingery, Eflin, and Pujols. All have big tools depending on what look you saw and what you value.

  2. Gil

    Thank you – that helps. Seems a good situation for the Phillies right now.

    Like many, I’m looking forward to seeing their nearly ready for prime time prospects continue their development.

    Since reading your Giombarrese interview I admit that my voice has gotten a little higher on Kingery. I hope he works out.

    • Romus

      Gil…have to agree with you…since that interview my expectations and hopes for Kingery have also increased, especially from his defensive side.

  3. Kurdt Kobeyn

    @Matt – you compared Adonis Medina to a HS pitcher that will probably get drafted in the late 1st or early 2nd rd in this year’s draft. Who do you think in the 2015 Draft Class (drafted and undrafted) is comparable to Adonis Medina? Beau Burrows? Donny Everett? Cole Sands? I think Everette and Sands (if they continue their progression) will be Top 5, Top 10 in 2017 Draft with potential #1/#2 ceiling — this should justify his high ranking (and bring some excitement to the Phillies fans too!!)

    I have Medina (anbd Arauz) in the bottom of my Top 20.

  4. Kurdt Kobeyn

    @Matt – another thing. I saw your Top 20 ranking back in September. Where do you think you will rank Jhailyn Ortiz in the Phils depth chart??

    • Matt Winkelman

      Right now Ortiz is probably in the 20-30 range but I have not gotten that granular yet. He moves well for a player his size and he has some feel for approach at the plate. It is still really early, but there is a lot to like. I am likely to be conservative in ranking him like I was with Arauz, Gamboa, and Brito a year ago.

      • Kurdt Kobeyn

        I think that most Top 20 will consist of the prospects below. So if Ortiz will be in the 20s (I think he’s more on the 30s as of now) at his age, that’s really really good value for the Phils despite of the hefty price tag. Can’t wait for the Spring Training and can’t wait to see your updated (Top 50) prospect list.

        J.P. Crawford
        Jake Thompson
        Nick Williams
        Cornelius Randolph
        Franklyn Kilome
        Jorge Alfaro
        Zach Eflin
        Roman Quinn
        Ricardo Pinto
        Andrew Knapp
        Dylan Cozens
        Scott Kingery
        Carlos Tocci
        Deivi Grullon
        Nick Pivetta
        Rhys Hoskins
        Alberto Tirado
        Malquin Canelo
        Adonis Medina
        Jonathan Arauz

  5. phillysf

    So , I think two or three guys in the top 100 is on the low on the very low end , I could see 4 easily and maybe 5 , Crawford, Thompson, Williams , Alfaro and maybe Randolph possible Quinn although had he not been injured again this year he would easily been in if he continued with year he was having but I guess it was not meant to be , next year he is AAA by the end with a cup of coffee for the phillies as they get a second number 1 in a row