Preseason Prediction Survey

Rather than do a bunch of interviews this spring where I ask everyone to repeat things they already have said in various forms, I decided instead to reach out to a bunch of people within the Phillies writing community as well as those watching and covering the system for various sites.  The contributors were:

Phillies Minor Thoughts: Matt Winkelman, Chris LaBarge, Matthew Speck, Cole Miller, Caite Ebbenga
The Good Phight: Eric Chesterton, Jason Polinsky
Crashburn Alley: Brad Engler, Corinne Landry, Adam Dembowitz, Michael Baumann (also Grantland)
Others: Josh Norris (Baseball America), Gail Dull (Baseball Betsy), Chris King (Baseball Prospectus/Perfect Game), Mitch Rupert (Williamsport Sun Gazette), Jim Peyton (Phuture Phillies)

I didn’t give clear direction on whether to give me one word response, a sentence, or whole novels so I got varying answers and have included the best responses.  In cases where I got multiple responses to a question I just used both.  The goal was to add some interest and fun to this long season.  Feel free to add your opinions and answers in the comments.

1. Who is your favorite prospect to watch in the system?

4 – J.P. Crawford
4 – Roman Quinn
3 – Jose Pujols
2 – Aaron Nola
1 – Kelly Dugan
1 – Deivi Grullon
1 – Cord Sandberg

Crawford – This one is pretty easy as he is the best prospect in the system and best we’ve had in quite some time. – Jason

I want an interesting, unique answer to this question, but how can it be anyone other than J.P. Crawford? – Corinne

Personally, I really enjoy the way Kelly Dugan plays the game. His approach at the plate is exactly what I would like to see guys like Aaron Altherr adopt. Dugan is patient, attacking pitches he likes, and makes great contact. I’d like to see him develop more power, but none of it means much of anything if he can’t stay healthy. – Chris LaBarge

Who is your choice for biggest breakout in 2015?

5 – Franklyn Kilome
3 – Jesse Biddle
1 – Roman Quinn
1 – Tyler Viza
1 – Cord Sandberg
1 – Deivi Grullon
1 – Dylan Cozens
1 – Edubray Ramos
1 – Andrew Knapp
1 – Tommy Joseph

Jesse Biddle. If he can stay healthy, I think he could surprise some people. Before everything went to hell (hail) last year, I recall he had some dominant outings, taking no-hitters relatively deep into games and racking up strikeouts. It seems to me that, as a high school guy from the not-south, if he can pitch consistently he could really improve at a faster rate than a lot of other dudes. – Eric

Edubray Ramos. I was surprised he stayed in Williamsport as long as he did last year at 21 years old. He’s a four-pitch pitcher, but I think the curve and slider are pretty similar and I’d like to see him stay more slider if he’s going to be in a relief role. He’s got plenty of velocity and I can see a scenario where the Phillies try to make him a starter, but it’s going to be tough to find him a rotation spot. He’s got moxie about him and a mound presence which can’t be understated. – Mitch

Andrew Knapp.  He struggled as a DH in Clearwater last year.  He performed better after reporting to Lakewood.  He has looked real sharp in spring training games so far.  Among the players I’ve seen, Knapp is the one I would expect big things from this year. – Jim

Which prospect makes the biggest 2015 impact?

13 – Aaron Nola
1 – Odubel Herrera
1 – Kelly Dugan
1 – Jesse Biddle

Aaron Nola. I just can’t fathom a situation where they don’t need him to come up and take a turn, whether it’s because of injury, ineffectiveness, trade, or some combination of those three. I think once he’s up, it’ll be hard for them to send him back. And I think Franco spends a lot of time in Philly too, but I don’t think his bat is going to give much. Nola can be a difference-maker, if such a thing exists on a dead-last team. – Adam

Within the organization?  Well other than the breakout I see for Knapp, I can see Aaron Nola really forcing the Phillies brain trust to make some hard decisions on whether or not to bring him up this season.  I can also see Roman Quinn solidifying his position as a top prospect.  Right now, I’m not 100% sure he can make the jump to the major league.  With a solid season and improvement in a couple areas (like reading balls off the bat, routes to the ball, and bunting from both sides of the plate), I can see him moving closer to a “Billy Hamilton” type prospect. – Jim

Who are you most excited to see play this year?

3 – Aaron  Nola
2 – Zach Eflin
1 – Franklyn Kilome
1 – J.P. Crawford
1 – Yoel Mecias
1 – Kelly Dugan
1 – Maikel Franco
1 – Granny Cumana
1 – Chris Oliver
1 – Roman Quinn
1 – Luis Encarnacion
1 – Deivi Grullon
1 – Threshers
1 – Reading Rotation

With the pitching depth the club has acquired, I’m having a hard time narrowing this one down. The potential rotation in Reading this year may be my winner. From all that hear coming out of camp, Nola, Biddle, Eflin, Windle, and Lively may all wind up in Baseballtown, meaning no matter when you go, you’ll be seeing a top prospect on the bump. That’s tough to beat. Hopefully, this ends better than the last set of “Baby Aces” in Reading. – Chris LaBarge

Roman Quinn. Haven’t seen him since he was in Williamsport, and I don’t care who it is, it’s still fun to watch a guy get to first base in under 4 seconds. I wish I could have seen him roam center field at spacious Bowman Field, but there’s plenty of room in Reading for him to run around. I don’t even care what he looks like at the plate (I know everyone else does), I just like to see him run. He’s lightning in a bottle and fans are going to love him. – Mitch

Who is the Phillies #2 prospect at the end of the year?

3 – #10 Overall Pick
3 – Roman Quinn
2 – Zach Eflin
2 – Franklyn Kilome
1 – Deivi Grullon
1 – Cord Sandberg
1 – Blake Swihart
1 – Ben Lively
1 – Andrew Knapp
1 – Jesse Biddle
1 – Aaron Nola

Roman Quinn. I think Nola graduates to the big leagues, as does Maikel Franco, and Quinn’s speed combined with a guy who can hit .270 or so and plays strong defense in center is going to get him to near the top of the Phillies list and into the Top 100 in all of baseball. – Mitch

Whoever they take at #10 in June or Blake Swihart. – Brad

What team is Cole Hamels on to end the 2015 season?

8 – Phillies
3 – Yankees
2 – Red Sox
1 – Indians
1 – Dodgers
1 – Mariners

If you assign a numeric probability of employing Hamels at the end of the season to all thirty teams, the highest probability has to belong to the Phillies because one injury is all it takes to keep him in red pinstripes all year. That said, if he’s traded I think he’ll be joining his former teammate Jimmy Rollins on the Dodgers. – Corinne

Well, I picked him to not get traded for Crashburn, so I’ll stay consistent. I think there’s a higher likelihood he gets dealt at the trade deadline if it happens at all, but I’m really not convinced the league is on the same page as Amaro/Gillick. And that’s fine. I think the team is absolutely doing the right thing in holding the line. If someone comes with the Addison Russell/Shark deal, then yeah they obviously have to take it. Anything less would be irresponsible. If the Dodgers offer Urias or Seager, my lord, absolutely take it. But I don’t see it happening until the winter. – Adam

The Phillies will have what pick in the 2016 MLB Draft?

6 – #1
5 – #2
2 – #3
1 – #5
1 – Top 3
1 – Top 5

#1 – Even with Hamels for a full season, I don’t see a team competing with the Phillies for the worst in the league. – Jason

#1 overall pick. Sigh. – Adam

How many years before the Phillies make the playoffs again?

9 – 2018
4 – 2020
2 – 2019
1 – 2017

2018 seems pretty realistic even if Crawford and Franco are “only” average and 50% or less of Biddle/Nola/Lively/Eflin/Windle pan out. The organization just has too much financial power to go along with those young players to be sitting on the sidelines for more than another couple of seasons. I do think this year is going to be a disaster, but the trickle from the prospect pipeline is going to start to really flow next year and by 2017, we should have a much better idea of what we have. I think the organization will continue to spend freely internationally and will be a factor in free agency after the Howard/Lee contracts are off the books. Maybe they don’t make it in 2018, but I think a .500ish season in 2017 is possible and a wild card chase in 2018 is plausible. – Adam

I’d say 2 years before they compete, 3-4 years until they’re back in the playoffs. RAJ did a great job of getting quality pitching in return in trades, not to mention what still may come in other trades, and coupled with Nola, they should form a solid rotation to go with a very good, very young bullpen. Free agency will supplement the offense in a couple years. – Mitch

Three.  Clear your calendar for October 2018. – Corinne

Full Voting:

 Matt Winkelman (PMT)Eric Chesterton (TGP)Josh Norris (BA)Jason Polinsky (TGP)Matthew Speck (PMT)Cole Miller (PMT)Coirinne Landry (CA)Brad Engler (CA)Adam Dembowitz (CA)Gail Dull (BB)Michael Baumann (CA/Grantland)Mitch Rupert (Williamsport Sun)Chris King (BP/PG)Jim Peyton (PP)Chris LaBarge (PMT)Caite Ebbenga (PMT)
Favorite ProspectJose PujolsDeivi GrullonJ.P. CrawfordJ.P. CrawfordJose PujolsAaron NolaJ.P. CrawfordRoman QuinnJ.P. CrawfordRoman QuinnAaron NolaRoman QuinnJose PujolsCord SandbergKelly DuganRoman Quinn
Biggest BreakoutFranklyn KilomeJesse BiddleFranklyn KilomeRoman QuinnJesse BiddleTyler VizaCord SandbergDeivi GrullonJesse BiddleFranklyn KilomeDylan CozensEdubray RamosFranklyn KilomeAndrew KnappTommy JosephFranklyn Kilome
2015 ImpactAaron NolaOdubel HerreraAaron NolaAaron NolaAaron NolaKelly DuganJesse BiddleAaron NolaAaron NolaAaron NolaAaron NolaAaron NolaAaron NolaAaron NolaAaron NolaAaron Nola
Most Excited AboutYoel MeciasAaron NolaFranklyn KilomeJ.P. CrawfordZach EflinKelly DuganAaron NolaZach EflinMaikel Franco/Aaron NolaGrenny CumanaChris OliverRoman QuinnLuis EncarnacionThreshersReading RotationDeivi Grullon
#2 ProspectFranklyn KilomeGrullon (or draft pick)Franklyn KilomeRoman Quinn2015 PickCord Sandberg2015 Pick2015 Pick/SwihartBen LivelyAndrew KnappJesse BiddleRoman QuinnZach EflinAaron NolaZach EflinRoman Quinn
Cole Hamels?YankeesRed SoxMarinersPhilliesPhilliesIndiansDodgersRed SoxPhilliesYankeesPhilliesPhilliesYankeesPhilliesPhilliesPhillies
2016 Pick#1#3#2#1#2#1#3#1#1#2#5#1#2Top 5Top 3#2
Competitive in?2018202020192018201720192018201820182018202020182018202020202018

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 comment

  1. Jason P.

    I may have to amend my #1 overall pick prediction for the Phillies after that last Braves trade…