John Sickels’ Releases His 2016 Phillies Top 20 List

Prospect ranking never seems to truly end.  Today we have the Phillies’ list from John Sickels of Minor League Ball, the whole list is free so you can go read it and get John’s thoughts here.  The reason I wanted to quickly look at John’s list though is that he applies grades to players which allows for us to break the list into tiers, so I am going to present it like that and then add some thoughts.

You can read John’s breakdown of what the grades mean at the top of his rankings.  John’s actual ranking is in parentheses behind the player name.


  • J.P. Crawford (1)


  • Nick Williams (2)


  • Cornelius Randolph (3)
  • Jake Thompson (4)
  • Andrew Knapp (5)


  • Roman Quinn (6)
  • Mark Appel (7)


  • Jorge Alfaro (8)
  • Darnell Sweeney (9)
  • Franklyn Kilome (10)
  • Rhys Hoskins (11)


  • Zach Eflin (12)
  • Ben Lively (13)
  • Thomas Eshelman (14)


  • Tyler Goeddel (15)
  • Ricardo Pinto (16)
  • Adonis Medina (17)
  • Carlos Tocci (18)
  • Dylan Cozens (19)
  • Alberto Tirado (20)
  • Aaron Brown (UR)
  • Malquin Canelo (UR)
  • Jimmy Cordero (UR)
  • Scott Kingery (UR)
  • Jhailyn Ortiz (UR)
  • John Richy (UR)
  • Lucas Williams (UR)

Some thoughts on all of this:

  • The tier system is really the way to rank as it is much better at communicating actual differences.  John goes more granular than is probably ideal, but I think it is much more informative than his counterparts.
  • The most puzzling ranking on the surface is Darnell Sweeney, but the tools are there to justify John’s rankings.  Sweeney has some power, plus speed, and in theory should play up the middle.  I worry that the only defensive position he will be competent at is left field, and while his bat is intriguing at 2B, in left field he has a lot of holes.
  • John seems to worry more about minor league strikeout rates than I do, but if you believe they are entirely predictive of future success then there are reasons to worry about Kilome, Eflin, and Lively on that fact alone.
  • I am not ready to be that bullish on Randolph, but the guy can really hit and I won’t begrudge anyone who wants to be high on him because of that.
  • There are a lot of name missing from discussion that are legitimate prospects.
  • John really likes Phillies 3rd round pick Lucas Williams.
  • Crawford might be the only star in the system, but as you can see in John’s rankings broken out like this, there are a lot of potential contributors.

You can view all Phillies’ rankings here.

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.