Not every prospect is a future star, but that doesn’t mean they should be ignored. Many useful prospects can fly under the radar because they lack the flash of better prospects. By capping the rankings at 50 I had to leave many of these players off of my list. This is not the best prospects who missed, nor are they in any order, but they are names you should know because some of them will emerge over the next year or two. I have excluded relievers from this list because they will get their own post soon.
Jason Zgardowski – RHP
Zgardowski was an undrafted free agent who is young for a college junior. He has a loose arm and physical projection, and he starts from a solid base with a fastball already up to 96. He has some feel for a slider and is working on adding a two-seam fastball and a changeup.
Josh Taylor – LHP
Another undrafted free agent college junior, Taylor has a three pitch mix topped with a fastball at 92-93. He has the arsenal to start and could be a steal for the Phillies.
Lewis Alezones – RHP
Alezones has a solid three pitch mix, but his fastball is more 88-91. Alezones is still young enough to add some velocity, however his frame lacks a lot of physical projection.
Denton Keys – LHP
Keys was an overslot pick in 2013, and he has a nice projectable frame. However, the lefty still lacks impact in his stuff and will need to add some velocity and improved secondaries to survive upper minors.
Mark Leiter Jr. – RHP
Leiter is the stereotypical junk ball college RHP. His fastball barely gets to 90, and none of his stuff is above average. He brings a million pitches, and his height makes him homer prone. He is probably a reliever long term.
Hoby Milner – LHP
Milner lacks the stuff to maintain a spot in the rotation. It appears that the velocity is never coming, but in the bullpen he might get a little more. With the fastball and solid changeup, Milner could settle into a middle relief role.
Shane Watson – RHP
Watson before his injury was looking like he was showing progress, but that was in 2013. His shoulder injuries have destroyed his stock until he can show any of his former promise.
Tommy Joseph – C
Joseph has a ton of talent, and a good amount of flaws. He has a cannon arm and big power, but the receiving and hit tool need work. He started off hot in 2014, but he had another concussion scare and a wrist injury. The wrist injury eventually required surgery and he only started swinging last week. There were some worries about his body language in the GCL. All of it together puts his stock on hold until he can get on a field.
David Whitehead – RHP
Whitehead appears to have come back fully from Tommy John surgery. Whitehead’s best weapon is a sinker in the low-90s that generates lots of ground balls. His secondary pitches indicate that his ceiling is #5 starter.
Sam McWilliams – RHP
McWilliams is the only high schooler signed by the Phillies in the 2014 draft. McWilliams has a large projectable frame, and he has touched 94 in the past. He was 90-92 late in instructs, however his secondary pitches need a lot of work.
Emmanuel Marrero – SS
Marrero was the Phillies 7th round pick in 2014. He is a glove first shortstop who may not hit. He and Malquin Canelo will have an interesting camp battle for placement.
Yacksel Rios – RHP
Yacksel has a 90-92 mph fastball out of the rotation, but he does have good deception and movement on the pitch. His changeup is more advanced than his slider, but both need a lot of work. If he can find the secondary pitches, he could settle in as a back of the rotation, but most likely he is a reliever.
Mitch Gueller – RHP
Gueller just never showed the stuff he had as an amateur, when he flashed potential for 3 plus pitches. In 2014 he replaced the curveball with a slider, which showed good potential. The Phillies think the velocity is in there, and he needs to reestablish his fastball.
Lenin Rodriguez – C
The Phillies gave Lenin $300,000 this summer as a 16 year old. Lenin is an offense first catcher with some defensive questions.
Brian Pointer – OF
On some days Pointer will look like an impact talent with power and speed, but on other days you wonder whether he should be on the roster. The middle ground is an inconsistent player with a reserve outfielder profile.
Gabriel Lino – C
Lino has a lot of tools you might associate with a promising catching prospect. He has a strong arm and plus raw power. The problem is that his receiving is suspect, and his hit tool is poor. He did make good strides in 2014 and could start in Reading in 2015, but his path remains unclear.
Ranger Suarez – LHP
Suarez’s numbers were eye popping, but in Instructs his fastball was in the mid-80s. He is not a big enough guy that you would expect velocity growth.
Carlos Duran – OF
Duran is a plus runner, tweener outfielder who has a long way to go. He is athletic and could grow into some home run power. Not really a sleeper, but someone to keep half an eye on.
William Cuicas – IF
Cuicas is a good defensive infielder who is unlikely to hit enough to have value.
Jesus Alastre – CF
Alastre is a speedy outfielder who tore up VWL at age 16. He is someone to watch in GCL.
Kevin Walter – RHP
Walter is a former over-slot project (part of the three prospects getting Scott Frazier’s money) with a low-90s fastball that showed first signs of life since the 2010 draft.
Nic Hanson – RHP
Hanson is a personal favorite of mine, because he is a giant sinker baller. He is not much of a pro prospect, but 6’7″ guy who pounds the zone with good plane.
Colin Kleven – RHP
Kleven is a three pitch righty with improved control. He could be the 2017 version of David Buchanan, as a guy who could do enough to get a shot at some major league starts.
Drew Stankiewicz – 2B
A grinder utility infielder, if Stankiewicz can keep hitting he might be something.
Mitch Walding – 3B
Walding is an outstanding defensive third baseman, but he doesn’t hit well. More concerning is that his bat lacks the impact to really carry him over his flaws.
Jake Sweaney – OF
A huge down year for the 6th round pick, with Sweaney moving from catcher to the outfield. He has raw talent and athleticism, but Sweaney has yet to translate it into baseball skills.
Ranfi Casimiro – RHP
Casimiro is a gigantic human being with an average fastball and good curve. His control can absolutely disappear, but he improved all year and could be a backend starter or reliever.
Larry Greene – LF
Non prospect and not particularly close. I will be surprised if he is in the org a year from now. On a tangent, go watch BP and highlights by Greene and Hewitt; you will get it a bit more. Both have very visible tools. The Phillies missed badly, that is not debatable. However, it becomes clear what was alluring at the time. All in all, scouting is hard.