Holiday Phillies Prospects Q&A

I am in the depth of writing my Top 50 prospects and so there is not much in the way of actual articles being written right now, nor the time to a mailbag for here of The Good Phight. So in that case I am going to open this post up for your questions. Post your question in the comments and I will post my answer there as well as putting both the question and answer into the body of this post. I can’t promise amazingly quick turnaround times. Just as I get time and as questions come in.

Should we be concerned about Franklyn Kilome’s 2016 season? It seems the buzz has almost entirely shifted to Sixto Sanchez during the last few months.

Not at all. I still have Kilome as my top ranked pitcher in the organization. Sixto has gotten a lot of buzz because he has a chance to be special, like really special. Also people are just learning about him. Kilome no longer has that new prospect smell. Kilome was dominant down the stretch, his last 10 starts including the playoffs saw him go 54.2 innings with a 1.98 ERA and 13 walks to 73 strikeouts. His fastball still sits 93-97 and his curveball is a bat missing plus pitch. He still needs work on his changeup and command, but he does not turn 22 until next June.

Is it reasonable to assume Greg Pickett starts the year in Lakewood ? What would the Blue Claw OF look like ? Moniak, Ortiz, Luis, Martinelli, and Pickett ?

It is not. If I had to guess, Pickett starts the year in Williamsport and I would say the same of Jhailyn Ortiz, who is still really young. My guess is that the Lakewood outfield is some combination of Mickey Moniak, Juan Luis, David Martinelli, Jesus Alastre, and Josh Stephen. That leaves a very talented Williamsport outfield that could include Pickett, Malvin Matos, Ortiz, and Ben Pelletier.

Two players I really like seem to be slipping this “ranking season.” Am I too high on C Randolph and Elniery Garcia? I really like them both, higher than I’ve seen them on anybody’s list thus far.

I don’t know where you are on the two to say whether you are too high. I have Randolph in the Top 10. I believe in his ability to hit and I think some power will come, but it is a very high bar that he needs to cross in left field. Garcia is on the fringe of my top 20 with pitchers like Ricardo Pinto and Mark Appel. Unless he can hold the flashes of higher velocity than his fastball is average. His changeup could get to average but isn’t there. His curveball is above average but can do the Jesse Biddle looping rainbow thing. He is a back end starter unless he can grow his pitches more and that just is a bit down lists.

If Dylan Cozens ends up being a strictly platoon OF in the majors, who might be a good fit in the organization on the RH side of the platoon?

The obvious answer is probably Aaron Altherr who also has the added benefit of being a good defensive replacement as well. Another MLB ready player who fits the bill is Tyler Goeddel. If you want to dream on dingers and strikeouts the answer is Jose Pujols.

If Maikel Franco fails in the majors or is traded, who is the Phillies’ third baseman in 2018?

Unless Franco regresses further after his 2016 season I don’t see how he is not the third baseman in 2018 without a trade. Franco was competent last year (below average but not a disaster), so with some minor improvements he could look very league average in a year. The Phillies top 3B prospect is Cole Stobbe, and he is an eternity away. The only upper minors third baseman is Mitch Walding, and while his glove is good, he is still pretty unexciting, even after a breakout year. My guess is if Franco is out of the org in 2018, the third baseman for that year also comes from outside the org.

I know batting average isn’t so important anymore, but is there any alarm that few in the organization hit over .300 in 2016?

As you said, batting average is not the all be all of analysis. A lot of the big named prospects (Alfaro, Brito, Moniak, Tocci, Hoskins, Kingery, Cozens) hit in the .275-.290 range and that is just fine with me. There were some guys who really hit like Quinn and Pullin, as well more farther away guys like Jonathan Guzman, Rafael Marchn, and Lenin Rodriguez who also hit the ball well. I think the two guys that I can see the worry about are J.P. Crawford and Nick Williams. To that I will say Crawford has a .349 OBP and had 72 walks to 80 strikeouts and at the end of the day on August 1 Nick Williams was hitting .286/.316/.468

With the relative depth that the Phillies have with RH starting pitchers, would it make sense to try to transition Ricardo Pinto and Nick Pivetta to relievers now? It seems that they would be of more use to the team that way. They both seem to me to have good profiles to be a set up man type reliever. Am I off base with that projection?

I think it makes some sense for Pinto who can’t seem to find a breaking ball and is a bit further away as a starting pitcher. He was working out of the bullpen in winter ball, so that may be in order or it may not be.

You aren’t wrong in your assessment of Pivetta in the bullpen as he might be one of the Phillies 7 best reliever now if they made the switch. The problem with that idea is that Pivetta actually became a better starting pitcher in 2016 and for me is the best of the upper minors starters who is still prospect eligible (of those that aren’t I would take Thompson and Eflin, but not Asher over him). There are a lot of things similar to Jerad Eickhoff about his profile.

I will say no matter who they move to the bullpen, whether it is Pinto, Pivetta, or someone else like Appel, they should keep an open mind because they all have 1-2 things that if corrected could turn them back into good starting pitchers in the future.

Photo 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.

15 comments

  1. Matt

    Should we be concerned about Franklyn Kilome’s 2016 season? It seems the buzz has almost entirely shifted to Sixto Sanchez during the last few months.

    • Matt Winkelman

      Not at all. I still have Kilome as my top ranked pitcher in the organization. Sixto has gotten a lot of buzz because he has a chance to be special, like really special. Also people are just learning about him. Kilome no longer has that new prospect smell. Kilome was dominant down the stretch, his last 10 starts including the playoffs saw him go 54.2 innings with a 1.98 ERA and 13 walks to 73 strikeouts. His fastball still sits 93-97 and his curveball is a bat missing plus pitch. He still needs work on his changeup and command, but he does not turn 22 until next June.

  2. Hinkie

    Is it reasonable to assume Greg Pickett starts the year in Lakewood ? What would the Blue Claw OF look like ? Moniak, Ortiz, Luis, Martinelli, and Pickett ?

    • Matt Winkelman

      It is not. If I had to guess, Pickett starts the year in Williamsport and I would say the same of Jhailyn Ortiz, who is still really young. My guess is that the Lakewood outfield is some combination of Mickey Moniak, Juan Luis, David Martinelli, Jesus Alastre, and Josh Stephen. That leaves a very talented Williamsport outfield that could include Pickett, Malvin Matos, Ortiz, and Ben Pelletier.

  3. Two players I really like seem to be slipping this “ranking season.” Am I too high on C Randolph and Elniery Garcia? I really like them both, higher than I’ve seen them on anybody’s list thus far.

    • Matt Winkelman

      I don’t know where you are on the two to say whether you are too high. I have Randolph in the Top 10. I believe in his ability to hit and I think some power will come, but it is a very high bar that he needs to cross in left field. Garcia is on the fringe of my top 20 with pitchers like Ricardo Pinto and Mark Appel. Unless he can hold the flashes of higher velocity than his fastball is average. His changeup could get to average but isn’t there. His curveball is above average but can do the Jesse Biddle looping rainbow thing. He is a back end starter unless he can grow his pitches more and that just is a bit down lists.

  4. msb

    If Dylan Cozens ends up being a strictly platoon OF in the majors, who might be a good fit in the organization on the RH side of the platoon?

    • Matt Winkelman

      The obvious answer is probably Aaron Altherr who also has the added benefit of being a good defensive replacement as well. Another MLB ready player who fits the bill is Tyler Goeddel. If you want to dream on dingers and strikeouts the answer is Jose Pujols.

  5. dlhunter

    If Maikel Franco fails in the majors or is traded, who is the Phillies’ third baseman in 2018?

    • Matt Winkelman

      Unless Franco regresses further after his 2016 season I don’t see how he is not the third baseman in 2018 without a trade. Franco was competent last year (below average but not a disaster), so with some minor improvements he could look very league average in a year. The Phillies top 3B prospect is Cole Stobbe, and he is an eternity away. The only upper minors third baseman is Mitch Walding, and while his glove is good, he is still pretty unexciting, even after a breakout year. My guess is if Franco is out of the org in 2018, the third baseman for that year also comes from outside the org.

  6. Rainout

    I know batting average isn’t so important anymore, but is there any alarm that few in the organization hit over .300 in 2016?

    • Matt Winkelman

      As you said, batting average is not the all be all of analysis. A lot of the big named prospects (Alfaro, Brito, Moniak, Tocci, Hoskins, Kingery, Cozens) hit in the .275-.290 range and that is just fine with me. There were some guys who really hit like Quinn and Pullin, as well more farther away guys like Jonathan Guzman, Rafael Marchn, and Lenin Rodriguez who also hit the ball well. I think the two guys that I can see the worry about are J.P. Crawford and Nick Williams. To that I will say Crawford has a .349 OBP and had 72 walks to 80 strikeouts and at the end of the day on August 1 Nick Williams was hitting .286/.316/.468

  7. With the relative depth that the Phillies have with RH starting pitchers, would it make sense to try to transition Ricardo Pinto and Nick Pivetta to relievers now? It seems that they would be of more use to the team that way. They both seem to me to have good profiles to be a set up man type reliever. Am I off base with that projection?

    • Matt Winkelman

      I think it makes some sense for Pinto who can’t seem to find a breaking ball and is a bit further away as a starting pitcher. He was working out of the bullpen in winter ball, so that may be in order or it may not be.

      You aren’t wrong in your assessment of Pivetta in the bullpen as he might be one of the Phillies 7 best reliever now if they made the switch. The problem with that idea is that Pivetta actually became a better starting pitcher in 2016 and for me is the best of the upper minors starters who is still prospect eligible (of those that aren’t I would take Thompson and Eflin, but not Asher over him). There are a lot of things similar to Jerad Eickhoff about his profile.

      I will say no matter who they move to the bullpen, whether it is Pinto, Pivetta, or someone else like Appel, they should keep an open mind because they all have 1-2 things that if corrected could turn them back into good starting pitchers in the future.

  8. brian

    With the depth of starting pitching between Reading and Philadelphia, is there any chance we see Klentak flip some of the #4/5 upside guys whose stuff doesn’t more obviously seem to play up in relief? On a thinner roster, Morgan, Lively and Asher would all seem to be useful 5th/6th starter types right now, and ideally I’d like to see one or more of them flipped for some well-scouted academy or complex-level lottery tickets (like the Astros targeting of Arauz).