Phillies with 5 in Keith Law’s Top 100

Prospect rankings move ever onward, and today Keith Law follows up his org rankings with his Top 100 prospects in the minors.  Law’s list is always going to have more outliers than any other public list because it is his individual ranking.  This has lead to him being higher on some individual Phillies over the years, like J.P. Crawford and lower on others like Maikel Franco.  So take all of these ranking with a grain of salt because some are going to be very right has Law is earlier to the party than everyone else, other times he can lag on players that he has always been down on.  Either way his rankings lack the smoothing that comes with consensus, which allows for individuality to come through.

Here are the Phillies’ rankings with a short bit from Law’s larger writeups on each, you can read everything here (Insider Only).

4. J.P. Crawford

A plus defender at short with high OBPs, speed and 35-40 doubles a year is an All-Star in our current offensive environment, and Crawford seems like he’ll be ready to reach the majors and start providing that glovework by the end of this year.

63. Jake Thompson

He has great feel for pitching and is very aggressive on the mound, pitching a bit like a guy with bigger stuff, which is why he seems so likely to become at least a back-end starter. He has the mentality and command to become a mid-rotation guy in time.

68. Mark Appel

Even as is, he’s a fourth starter in the big leagues, but getting into a new player development system, one in which he can get back to his style of pitching, should be the best thing for him.

74. Nick Williams

A low-OBP center fielder who can poke 20 homers is a big league regular, and if Williams can find a more patient approach that lasts more than three weeks, he could be a lot more.

82. Jorge Alfaro

There is a good argument to be made that it’s easier to fix one problem than two, meaning the Phillies should just put Alfaro in right field and tell him to pretend he’s Vlad Guerrero. But if he can just be an average receiver, maybe just a fringy framer, with that arm and that power, he could still be worth several wins per year. Power from behind the plate is so scarce that only seven catchers have reached 25 homers in any single year in the past five seasons, and we’ve seen only 28 20-homer seasons from catchers in that span, six of them fromBrian McCann. So here’s hoping the trade was the wake-up call Alfaro needed to start acting like a catcher and work on game-calling and pitch-framing and all the stuff that makes the job so hard, because he has All-Star appearances riding on his willingness to do just that.

From Law’s Chat:

Bring DH to NL: Lack of position the main reason that Corneilus Randolph is not on the list?
Klaw: It’s a rather significant issue. It’s left field or bust for him.

Danny FannyBannanny: No love for Cornelius Randolph?
Klaw: Can we drop the delusion that leaving a player off the top 100 is “no love?”

Jay: KLaw, Where would Roman Quinn had fallen had he not been injured? Do you think he has upside still or to much of an injury risk?
Klaw: Call me when he has a full, healthy season. Forgive me if I’m not waiting by the phone.

Some Quick Thoughts:

  • Williams is too low, I think Law focuses too much on the walk rate and not the overall approach improvements that allowed for Williams to cut his strikeouts dramatically.
  • Opinions are still very divided on Jorge Alfaro, but he has made every Top 100 so far due to his huge upside if he can just stick behind the plate.
  • A lot of the hope around Appel focuses on the Phillies helping him to make adjustments, if they can’t unlock him he is going to tumble to obscurity quickly.
  • Law is down on Thompson’s slider, and that hurts his overall profile.
  • A lot of players picked around Randolph made this list, Randolph outperformed many of them, but Law was low on him before the draft.
  • Crawford is a beast.

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.


  1. eddie

    Matt –

    Any thoughts on Taylor Featherston? I really liked him in last year’s rule 5, and with some time playing regularly in AAA to get himself straightened out, I can imagine a league-average 2B come 2017. Crazy?

  2. GDub

    I will admit I am still pretty new when it comes to understanding the whole prospect rankings but being a phillies fan that is the only way to keep your sanity right now.

    What I find a bit odd is it seems people inside the organization are very high on Williams but when I see or ESPN’s Law rank prospects they see a player with a ton of risk. It didn’t take me long to understand why a guy like Alfaro you could have mixed opinions on (which is true both in house and out) but Williams seems to be more polished than Alfaro. Do you feel Williams is underrated nation wide or is it in house hype?

    • Matt Winkelman

      I think Williams is being undervalued nationally. I really like his defense in center field, I don’t think he will be the center fielder for the Phillies because others are better, but he could be very good in a corner. I think he is going to draw walks eventually in much the same way it happened with Maikel Franco, he is such a good hitter and his power is great, and pitchers just aren’t going to give him things to hit. His hit tool is really quite amazing, he has that natural ability to square up almost anything and his hands are lightning fast. I think he is risky, but I think he has a fairly high floor and I think that in particular is being underrated nationally

      • GDub

        Thanks for the reply. I really enjoy the articles.