Top 50 Breakdown and Random Facts

Creating any prospect list is a ton of work behind the scenes, but along the way there are many neat little facts and discoveries.  One of my favorite is the list itself.  The names involved in it can tell you a lot about the organization and how it acquires talent.  There is not a lot of deep meaning to these numbers, it is more just a curiosity, but one that I found can give a nice positive look at the future of the organization.

The Top 50 Breakdown:

Here are the two quickest breakdowns of the list; how where the players acquired and what position do they play:


DraftInternationalTradeRule 5



We will get to comparisons to previous year’s later in terms of how the system has been built over the years, but immediately the number of international signings jumps out to me.  There are more Draft prospects in the Top 30 (12 to 10), but the sheer number of players signed out of Latin America is staggering.  The low relief pitcher numbers I will get to in a later post, but it is an inherent part of how I rank prospects, rather than a mark of the position’s strength or weakness.

From here we move on to one of my favorite talent markers, how a player was originally acquired.  This gives a good feel for initial talent acquisition.



Given the depth of the list, the draft breakdown is unsurprising, especially with 4 of the 5 first rounders appearing in the Top 6 (Jesmuel Valentin at #22 was the lowest).  The big surprise here is the Latin American presence.  First is the bolstering of the $500,000+ group with three shortstops this summer, but the second is more impressive, and that is 14 players signed for less than $50,000 or an unknown bonus.  Of that group, 4 were acquired from outside the organization, but the other 10 were brought in by the Phillies scouting staff.

Top 30 over the Years:

Since this is my first year writing up a Top 50 list, the full list is hard to compare to previous lists.  For that I have reduced it down to just the Top 30 in this list.  I have then compared that to my two previous lists from before the 2013 and 2014 seasons.

Talent Acquisition

DraftInternationalTradeRule 5

The draft has given way to other matters of talent acquisition, particularly in Latin America.  The trade returns have also improved as the 2013 list included freshly acquired Ethan Martin and Tommy Joseph, but also such luminaries as Tyson Gillies, Phillippe Aumont, and Gabriel Lino.

Positional Breakdown: (All prospects listed at the position they played at the time of the list’s construction)


Here is that same data in graph form:

image (1)


My first instinct was concern over the decline in up the middle hitters (C, 2B, SS, CF), but it turns out that with a catcher, two second baseman, and five shortstops in the next 20 players, it appears to only be a temporary problem.  The big gains are in pitching as the Phillies addressed their weaknesses (in 2014 the highest ranking RHSP was Severin Gonzalez at #19) in a convincing manner.

Beyond all of these graphs, the best way to see the system growth is to see it side by side with the system in the past.  Here are the last three years of Top 30’s for comparisons (click to expand)

Top 30’s

1J.P. CrawfordMaikel FrancoJesse Biddle
2Aaron NolaJesse BiddleAdam Morgan
3Maikel FrancoJP CrawfordRoman Quinn
4Yoel MeciasCarlos TocciTommy Joseph
5Zach EflinKelly DuganEthan Martin
6Jesse BiddleAaron AltherrMaikel Franco
7Roman QuinnRoman QuinnCody Asche
8Kelly DuganDeivi GrullonCarlos Tocci
9Deivi GrullonEthan MartinJonathan Pettibone
10Carlos TocciCord SandburgShane Watson
11Ben LivelyYoel MeciasLarry Greene Jr.
12Tom WindleDylan CozensMitch Gueller
13Matt ImhofAndrew KnappPhillippe Aumont
14Victor AranoKen GilesDarin Ruf
15Franklyn KilomeLuis EncarnacionDylan Cozens
16Elniery GarciaZach GreenJustin De Fratus
17Jose PujolsJose PujolsAndrew Pullin
18Dylan CozensCesar HernandezAustin Wright
19Cord SandbergSeverino GonzalezZach Collier
20Ricardo PintoAdam MorganSebastian Valle
21Zach GreenShane WatsonCesar Hernandez
22Jesmuel ValentinTommy JosephMitch Walding
23Andrew KnappCameron RuppZach Green
24Joely RodriguezJan HernandezKen Giles
25Aaron AltherrCameron PerkinsTyson Gillies
26Aaron BrownZach CollierKelly Dugan
27Luis EncarnacionDrew AndersonKevin Brady
28Odubel HerreraMalquin CaneloAaron Altherr
29Nefi OgandoAndrew PullinJose Pujols
30Severino GonzalezSamuel HicianoGabriel Lino

Fun With Numbers and Random Notes:

70’s and 80’s:

Tools at the top end of the spectrum are extremely rare.  During the ranking process I went through all the tools for all the players in the Top 50, and in reviewing the spreadsheet I have 3 80 grade tools and 3 70 grade tools among the whole list.


  • Deivi Grullon’s Arm
  • Roman Quinn’s Speed
  • Jose Pujols’ Raw Power (the game power is much lower)


  • Nefi Ogando’s Fastball (mostly 96-98 despite the ability to touch higher)
  • Jiandido Tromp’s Speed
  • Grenny Cumana’s Speed

I wanted to share this because of just how rare these physical gifts are and how good players can be without them.  The top player on the list have a lot of 60’s and 55’s, which are all very valuable on a major league roster.

Random Stuff:

  • Only two players J.P. Crawford (3 to 1) and Yoel Mecias (11 to 4) actually climbed in the rankings.
  • The biggest fallers on the list (among those that did not fall off) : Adam Morgan (20 to 45), Drew Anderson (27 to 49), Aaron Altherr (6 to 25), Jan Hernandez (24 to 42), and Samuel Hiciano (30 to 47)
  • Two players, Roman Quinn and Jose Pujols, did not change spots
  • 10 players in the Top 30 were not in the organization a year ago
  • Drew Anderson (22nd Round) is the lowest round drafted player on the list
  • Jonathan Arauz is the youngest (August 1998)
  • Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez (28) is the oldest
  • Kelly Dugan (signed June 13, 2009) has been in the organization the longest
  • Ben Lively (traded for on December 31, 2014) has been in the organization the shortest


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. Rei De Bastoni

    Hey Matt, thanks for some cool facts. Were you thinking of doing a best tools in the system analysis?

    Also I expected Astudillo to have a 70 hit grade.

  2. Romus

    While for the Phillies, the higher international threshold of monies allocated to a players is now $500,000, would appear on the surface as a new and enlightening endeavor to future results. The large market teams, Yankees, Red Sox, Rangers, Cubs, White Sox, LAD, LAA and yes even the D-backs Braves, dwell in the 7 figure range for the quality prospect acquisition from the international and specifically the LA market.
    Lets face it….unless the Phillies do something extra-ordinary like sign a Yoan Moncada, they will just still pay out the minimal for the appearance of competitiveness and await the establishment of an international draft.

  3. Romus

    Tromp is interesting to me.
    His speed at 70 plus hopefully at some point translate to a better SB/CS%, though SSS, approx. 40% CS cab be improved.
    Plus his power, for a smaller guy, is plus in my opinion.

  4. allentown1

    Your positional analysis is skewed, because your second table and graph reverse 2013 and 2015. Either that or your initial table showing a 1B and 3 C is wrong.

    • Matt Winkelman

      The first table is a full Top 50 breakdown and the second is Top 30 only. In the Top 30 there are no 1B and only Knapp and Grullon at catcher. Once you expand to 50 then you pick up Hoskins at 1B and Posso at C. I have made that clearer in the post.

      • allentown1

        But you have Encarnacion at 1B in the top 30, at least I assume when you list a guy as position A/B you count him as A. In any case, you had Green listed as B/A, where A is 1B. Btw, it would be nice if we had somebody with a 70 hit tool.

  5. Aron

    The catcher situation. Makes me a little sad. I remember when we were fairly confident of getting at least one major league starter and a backup from Joseph/Valle/Rupp.

  6. DPhrey


    Could you publish a list of your top 50 players in a spreadsheet? I’m jumping back and forth between posts to try to figure out where you have guys.

    Great, great analysis and I really like that you went 50 deep – most years 30 is just fine, but a number of these guys that you’ve ranked outside of the top 30 will see MLB time. It’s a much deeper system now. We have some good top end talent, but we’re missing those B level prospects that the strongest systems have. That’s OK, provided some of our C level guys step up this year!