Kiley McDaniel continues what has been a very informative trip through prospects across the league with his Top 200 prospects. Kiley has divided the list into tiers based on his Future Value (FV) for each prospect. The result is a list that really gives more meaning than the pure numeric ranking in front of each player. The list runs from 70 FV to a group of 45+ FV players. There are 4 Phillies’ prospects on the list, which is unsurprising given the makeup of the system. The full Phillies top prospect list can be found here. Here are the rankings as well as the scouting report from Kiley (Full list is here)
10. J.P. Crawford
Scouting Report: J.P. Crawford is a cousin of Carl Crawford, but you don’t need to know his bloodlines to to know he’s a premium athlete. He is a plus runner with smooth hands, good range and an above average arm, giving him a very good chance to stick at shortstop long-term. Scouts are pleasantly surprised by how well Crawford has hit since turning pro and he’s now on the fast track. He turns 20 soon and will get a taste of Double-A next year, possibly to start the year, with a 2016 big league cup of coffee in range if he keeps progressing.
38. Maikel Franco
Scouting Report: Franco’s breakout was in 2013, between High-A and Double-A, when he went from a high contact hitter with some raw power to a monster hitting over .300 with 30 homers between two levels. Franco is limited physically by his slow feet and will never be more than fringy at third base, but has the plus arm and good hands to figure out a way to make it work over there. The ultimate fit is likely first base, but that’s years away and he’ll get an extended big league look in 2015, with his aggressive offensive approach the big remaining question to answer.
51. Aaron Nola
Scouting Report: Nola was a smaller righty that threw 85-88 mph from a low slot with some feel in high school, then he exploded onto the scene at LSU, throwing 91-94 mph as a sophomore and hitting 96 mph pretty often in his draft year. Nola creates above average life on his fastball and changeup with the spin he puts on the ball from the low slot. One of the concerns is that his low 3/4 slinging slot allows left-handed hitters seeing the ball too clearly, but Nola’s plus changeup does the heavy lifting here; his above average command and aggressive approach also help keep hitters off balance. He’s never been hurt before despite an unusual delivery and while his stuff was a tick worse after signing, that’s expected with pitchers throwing the longest year of their young careers. Nola will head to Double-A for 2015 and should get a big league look at some point if he has a strong season.
45+ Tier. Zach Eflin
Rather than rank this tier, Kiley presented them as a group, grouped by their team. This matches the reality where the lines between players is blurred and personal preference can lead to large swings in ranking.