Reading Eagle Top 20 Phillies Prospect Survey

Each year Mike Drago polls people involved with covering the Phillies’  minor league system for their Top 20 prospects and publishes a compiled list with his thoughts for the Reading Eagle.  This year he asked if I would like to participate and so I updated my midseason list and sent it in.  First lets look at the compiled rankings and Mike’s writeup of it and then I want to touch on some players that moved up or down for me.

You can read Mike’s full piece here (if the link doesn’t work Mitch Rupert published Mike’s story as well).  Overall it is a solid list and while the ordering is different than I would do it (as well will see), the Top 12 names on my list all made the top 12, and overall 17 of the 20 also were in my top 20.

Here is the Top 20 with voting totals (20 for first and so on):
(with position, current club)

  1. J.P. Crawford, SS, Reading 317
  2. Jake Thompson, P, Reading 287
  3. Nick Williams, OF, Reading 278
  4. Cornelius Randolph, OF, Gulf Coast 253
  5. Jorge Alfaro, C, Reading 236
  6. Roman Quinn, OF, Reading 225
  7. Franklyn Kilome, P, Williamsport 215
  8. Zach Eflin, P, Reading 197
  9. Ricardo Pinto, P, Clearwater 154
  10. Carlos Tocci, OF, Clearwater 145
  11. Aaron Altherr, OF,  Philadelphia 144
  12. Andrew Knapp, C, Reading 138
  13. Jerad Eickoff, P, Philadelphia 113
  14. Scott Kingery, 2B, Lakewood 104
  15. Nick Pivetta, P, Reading 93
  16. Ben Lively, P, Reading 63
  17. Darnell Sweeney, OF, Philadelphia 59
  18. Rhys Hoskins, 1B, Clearwater 36
  19. Alberto Tirado, P, Clearwater 34
  20. Malquin Canelo, SS, Lakewood 29

Others receiving multiple votes( in order of vote total):

Matt Imhof, P, Clearwater; Alec Asher, P, Lehigh Valley; Brandon Leibrandt, P, Clearwater; Dylan Cozens, OF, Clearwater; Jimmy Cordero, P, Reading; Kelly Dugan, OF, Lehigh Valley; Jose Pujols, OF Williamsport; Deivi Grullon, C, Lakewood; Willians Astudillo, C, Clearwater; Jesse Biddle, P, Lehigh Valley.

For comparison here are my midseason list and the one I sent to Mike.

RankMidseasonUpdated Top 20
1J.P. CrawfordJ.P. Crawford
2Nick WilliamsNick Williams
3Jake ThompsonJorge Alfaro
4Jorge AlfaroJake Thompson
5Franklyn KilomeFranklyn Kilome
6Cornelius RandolphCornelius Randolph
7Roman QuinnZach Eflin
8Carlos TocciRoman Quinn
9Zach EflinCarlos Tocci
10Ricardo PintoRicardo Pinto
11Scott KingeryAaron Altherr
12Aaron AltherrAndrew Knapp
13Nick PivettaScott Kingery
14Jose PujolsNick Pivetta
15Deivi GrullonJose Pujols
16Malquin CaneloDeivi Grullon
17Rhys HoskinsRhys Hoskins
18Jesse BiddleMalquin Canelo
19Jerad EickhoffJerad Eickhoff
20Victor AranoAdonis Medina

There is not a ton of movement but I wanted to touch on some of the movement that did happen.

  • Jorge Alfaro (4 to 3) – I had Alfaro and Thompson incredibly close in my midseason rankings, and Thompson has not disappointed since joining the Phillies system.  However, Alfaro is healthy and playing baseball again when he was still out indefinitely 4 weeks ago.  Additionally, there have been more reports from earlier this year pointing to improvements he has made at the plate and behind it.
  • Zach Eflin (9 to 7) – I had some concerns about Eflin’s growth, and in August he didn’t put up his best statistical month.  But he did show a new curveball to give another dimension to his arsenal and showed he can dial up the 4 seam fastball to miss bats.  There is still a lot of work to do, but the improvements coupled with a little slipping for Quinn and Tocci moves Eflin up again.
  • Aaron Altherr (12 to 11) – Altherr and Kingery went back and forth all during the rankings.  I got some good reports on Kingery leading up to the midseason rankings, but since then Altherr has continued to impress me and moves up a spot.
  • Andrew Knapp (22 to 12) – Knapp had yet to have his torrid August when I did my ranking.  His numbers are obviously unsustainable, but he has shown a plus bat with below to fringe average power and that can carry him to the majors as an everyday regular.  I am still worried about his glove, but that is more about ETA than long term success.
  • Rhys Hoskins (17 to 17, but jumps Canelo) – Hoskins moves up a slot over Malquin Canelo.  Not a huge move, both are near equal in value, this just felt more right because I trust Hoskins bat a bit more than I did a month ago.
  • Jesse Biddle (18 to UR) – Biddle is free falling, the stuff is backing up, he is hurt again (this time an actual baseball injury).  If you watch him pitch you see the flashes that has the Phillies believing.  At some point the pitching depth is going to give him a shot in the bullpen.
  • Adonis Medina (21 to 20) – I still think Medina doesn’t get enough press and love among prospect circles and I am pretty sure I am the only one to rank him here.  He is an 18 year old RHP sitting 91-94 with two advanced secondary pitches.  It is the type of profile that can turn into a monster player.
  • Jonathan Arauz (25 to 21*) – Arauz didn’t make my 20 here (though I desperately wanted him too), but he jumped over Victor Arano who fell out of the rankings.  Arauz just turned 17, has four average to plus tools and below average speed.  It is still a bit early to jump him into the top group of prospects for me because he is so far away and he has been good but not dominant.
  • Darnell Sweeney (UR to 22*) – Sweeney missed my list, jumping Arano and then slotting in behind Arauz.  Sweeney is safer than a lot of guys in front of him to return some value, but it is most likely that he is a bench player and that knocks him down for me.

Overall there is a lot of depth here and you can argue a lot of different orders, but no matter what you do, it is a big improvement over last year.

Image by Chris LaBarge

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. Kurdt Kobeyn

    Matt – we almost have the same Top 14 except for Pinto (I ranked higher than Tocci). Jose Pujols is the difference in our Top 20 since I have Cozens at 19 – here’s my 14 to 20. 14) Eikhoff 15) Hoskins 16) Grullon 17) Tirado 18) Canelo 19) Cozens and 20) Medina. Overall, it’s a solid list from you and hopefully Medina can develop into a solid #2/3 with the 2019 Phillies featuring Nola-Thompson-Kilome-Pinto-Medina pitching staff with the only obvious hole is the lack of LHP.

  2. Handzus

    I try not to get too caught up with Eickhoff’s first two starts, but he looks like better than a #5 starter to me. Since he’s already in the majors and looks like a solid #4 with a non-zero chance of being a #3, I’d have him in the Kingery-Pivetta neighborhood. Otherwise, I wouldn’t differ much from your list. The system seems crazy-deep now.

  3. dag5

    Biddle is not a good candidate for the bullpen imo. He either sinks or swims as a starter. He has 4 pitches-( 5 if you include the two-seam fastball ).

    • One more try to swim as a starter, then he has to try to swim as a reliever.

  4. dag5

    like I said before, he’s a starter, NOT a reliever. I disagree with you their, but everyone’s entitled to their own opinions.

    • Romus

      With his stuff, size , and a lefty, he will be an attractive trade chip in a package deal next July to some GM, if his season is up until then is going mediocre/so-so.
      MacPhail will make the final call, with whoever the new GM is in place.

      • Kurdt Kobeyn

        Romus – agree with Biddle. I will not be suprised if the Phils will include (one of/combination) Biddle, Lively, Asher and Windle in a trade package given the young arms developing in the farm.

      • dag5

        I think they’ll give Jesse two more years, being that he’s been snakebitten with injuries over the last 3 years, he’s only 23, and he’s fairly new to triple a.