Offseason Phillies Prospect Mailbag #1

The World Series over, free agency starts soon, and prospect rankings are upon us.  So what better time than now to answer your questions about the Phillies minor leagues.

Jason Polinsky (@Jay_Poozle) If you could trade Dom for a hypothetical top 100 prospect, would you?

Yes and not even close.  I like Brown’s potential, but even if he turns it around you only have 3 arb years of control left.  I will take my chances on a player with less upside for those 3 years of pre-arb control.  If I thought Brown could guarantee me close to average regular production (~2 WAR) it is a different story, he just has too much risk.

Adam Dembowitz (@adamd243) Gimme all you got on Tommy Joseph.

Joseph has plus raw power and a plus arm and a lot of fringy other things.  I was really encouraged by his brief healthy time in AA this year where he hit .282/.345/.551 over 21 games.  There is a non-zero chance he could be a regular behind the plate, but on top of the much talked about concussions he has missed dev time to other injuries.  His attitude was apparently very poor in the GCL as he dealt with the frustration from the injured wrist.  In a perfect world, Joseph provide fringe average defense behind the plate, hits 15-20 HRs with a half decent walk rate and a .240 batting average, that is a really solid player.  I wouldn’t give him up for nothing, but you can’t really count on anything either.

Jeremy Boyer (@CitizenBoyer) When will Nola be pitching in Philly?

I have hard time seeing him break camp with the team.  Barring a major setback either due to injury or ineffectiveness I think his ETA is right in that late June-early July time period.  Don’t expect him to be lights out when he arrives, but his stuff can get major league batters out right now, he just needs to get the secondary stuff to a point where he can be good when he isn’t perfect.

Christopher Smith (@shindaga7225) The most exciting player acquired during the last 2yrs quiet rebuild? Prospect with the highest ceiling and highest chance to be a bust?

If we are talking most exciting period and prospect with highest ceiling it is J.P. Crawford and it isn’t really close.  I think the spirit of the question is the best player traded for, at which point now that Ethan Martin has moved to the bullpen full time (which makes sense but is a little sad), it has to be Victor Arano.  I am sucker for young pitchers with good secondaries and feel for them.  It is always exciting when a big velo guy finds secondaries and goes shooting up, but give me a teenager with solid stuff and feel to pitch.  Arano’s ceiling might be a #3, but is closer to a #4, but he has the ability to actualize that ceiling, unlike a lot of his peers.

My answer to part 2 is the same player, right fielder Jose Pujols.  Pujols has legit 80 raw power and the room to add even more muscle.  On top of that he has the bat control to hit the ball to all fields.  That combination puts a ceiling somewhere in the all-star to MVP range.  The big problem is approach and pitch recognition are very lacking right now.  He will flash an understanding, but he really lacks any sort of consistency.  Pujols is my breakout guy for 2015, he is a guy who could go from unknown to impact prospect.

Michael Baumann (@MJ_Baumann) Nefi Ogando is the combination of Alexi Ogando and Neftali Feliz.  What would your ultimate Frankenpitcher be?

I am going to stick to relievers here because they are just more fun.  In this case I am going to ask Reds RHP Jumbo Diaz (listed at 6’4″ 315) to put the weight back on and then take his velocity and put him into Darren O’Day‘s delivery.  The sight of a 300 pound man dropping to submarine should just scare the crap out of any rational human being.  Plus we get to call him Jumbo O’Day which just is fun.

Matt Sigafus (@nurseintime) To what minor league level do fall and winter leagues compare?  Always believed AFL=AA, but what about the rest?

Hard to make a direct comparison considering leagues like the DWL have players ranging from established major league stars to shortseason “children”.  AFL probably has an average talent level around AA, but with the limited pitching the numbers are not a good direct compare.  I would say given the talent in each league I would rank them like this:

AFL (Arizona)
DWL (Domincan)
VWL (Venezuala)
LMP (Mexico)
PWL (Puerto Rico)
ABL (Australia)

But I wouldn’t read into too much.  Goal is to win, not to develop and the talent and skill level is so varied you can’t do a good comparison.

Josh (@JackPott08) Probably way too early, but who would you like to see us draft in next June’s draft?

Way too early.  I love pitchers and up the middle talent.  In that case I could go with college pitcher like a Kyle Funkhouser (RHP, Louisville) who has good upside, but there will be some HS arms who will pop that I will like there as well.  On the hitting side I am looking at middle infield specifically Dansby Swanson (SS Vanderbilt) and Alex Bregman (2B/SS LSU).  I am not sure either will prove they deserve to be at #10, but give where the team is I wouldn’t be opposed to a 2B/SS type who can really hit.  All that being said, give me the best player available next June.

Jade (@OuttaHere22) Why is this happening to us, what did we do wrong?

We ignored the true greatness in front of us and so we are now being punished for our ignorance.

Jose Pujols photo by Tom Hagerty


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.