Writing prospect updates for the Phils isn’t quite as exciting as it was in these days, but there will always be young guys in the system to follow.
Instead of doing a write-up for each, I’m going to recap how the experts (read: folks who know more about scouting prospects than myself) rank the top guys in the Phillies system and then give a cumulative top-20 with my comments.
For the purposes of this chart…
BA = Baseball America
BP = Baseball Prospectus
KL = Keith Law
FG = FanGraphs
PP = Phuture Phillies
PP (Fan) = Phuture Phillies fan vote
MLB = MLB.com
1. Trevor May, RHP, 22
Was 3rd in the minors last year in K’s (208) and led all the minors in K/9 (12.4) for pitchers with 100+ IP. The key to his future control. He dropped his BB/9 rate from 5.4 to 4.0 last year, but it’s go to go lower for him to reach his full potential. A potential that for me puts him as a #2 starter in the majors. Reading and AA ball will be a real challenge for him. That’s usually where you find out who is for real and who isn’t.
2. Jesse Biddle, LHP, 20
Big, strong lefty who got better as the year went on. Like May, needs to cut down on walks. At age 20, he could still improve his fastball velocity, which currently sits around 90-91mph.
3. Sebastian Valle, C, 21
Here’s a guy many are high on that I would trade in a heartbeat. He has some of the worst plate discipline you’ll ever see (13 walks last year in 91 games) and though he’s shown decent power, he had a big drop off last year (5 HR, .394 SLG%). Unless he’s an elite defensive catcher, I just don’t see it, and everything I’ve read has him around average behind the plate.
4. Jonathan Pettibone, RHP, 21
Breakout player from last year, Pettibone saw his velocity go up along with his strikeout rate, but also showed great control, with a BB/9 rate under 2. He is a big, ground ball type pitcher who like May, will be challenged at Reading.
5. Brody Colvin, RHP, 21
Considering all the problems he had, I’m surprised he’s this high. Colvin’s 2011 was disastrous as he allowed over 10 H/9 and saw his K/9 rate drop and BB/9 rate rise. Phils will hope he returns to 2010 form.
6. Freddy Galvis, SS, 21
Galvis had a breakout season with the bat in 2011, if you can call a .716 OPS “breakout,” but if you consider he was never higher than .588 in his minor league career, that’s a big jump. Also considering his defense has been at an above-average MLB level for several years, that’s all he’ll need to do to make the league. The Phillies are teaching him 2B and 3B in the hopes of making him a utility infielder with Rollins’ signed.
7. Maikel Franco, 3B, 19
This one is all scouting and projection, as Franco didn’t really do much of anything with the bat in the low level minors last year.
8. Phillippe Aumont, RHP, 23
Has really impressed in spring training. If he can reign in control, he could make the squad. Has the potential to be a closer or at least team with Bastardo in the late innings.
9. Justin De Fratus, RHP, 24
An injury has set him back in spring training, but like Aumont, has potential to be solid reliever for Phillies. Both he and Aumont are better prospects than Mike Stutes, in my opinion.
10. Larry Greene, OF, 19
Top draft pick from last year. We know he has a lot of power, something that is seriously lacking in our system. That’s about all we know at this point.
11. Julio Rodriguez, RHP, 21
Still only 21, and coming off 2 straight excellent seasons. 358 strikeouts in 307 innings and a 2.87 ERA. Clearly the scouts are seeing something in his stuff that is good enough to get minor leaguers out, but not major leaguers, otherwise he’d be much higher.
12. Jiwan James, OF, 22
Not holding my breath for this super-athlete to have his baseball gene kick in.
13. Roman Quinn, SS, 18
Another pick from last year’s draft. Potentially already the fastest guy in the system. Phuture Phillies compares him to a Michael Bourn or Juan Pierre in that his speed is so good, he might only have to hit a little bit to make it in the pros.
14. Lisalberto Bonilla, RHP, 21
Broke onto the scene last year. Has good K/9, BB/9 rates behind a solid fastball. He’s listed at only 165 lbs (!), so you wonder if he can gain some weight and additional velocity. Worth keeping an eye on this year – I’d put him higher than this.
15. Perci Garner, RHP, 23
Hard throwing reliever with only 34 innings in short-season Williamsport. Again, the scouts see something that the numbers don’t yet show.
16. Aaron Altherr, OF, 21
Sell, sell, sell. Toolsy outfielder who has shown very little signs of converted them into production with the bat.
17. Cesar Hernandez, 2B, 21
After a very good 2010 in Williamsport, he struggled in Clearwater. Not a whole lot of upside, but since he’s a middle-infielder he’s worth watching. Singles hitter who can steal some bases.
18. Mitchell Walding, 3B, 19
The third member of the 2011 draft class on here. Very little to go on here, but like most Phillies’ draft picks he’s a great athlete with lots of potential but is very raw.
19. Carlos Tocci, OF, 16
Uh, yes, that says “16″. And we paid him nearly $800k to sign back in August. Obviously given the age and the money they invested (that’s about the max the Phillies pay for international signings) the Phillies think a great deal of him. However, it’s going to be at least 3 years before we have an idea about what we have with him. Initial scouting says he’s more speed than power.
20. Tyson Gillies, OF, 23
Seemed to be the safest prospect we got back in the Cliff Lee deal but has not been healthy at all during his time with the Phils. If he’s finally healthy, he could have a resurgence, and seems to be impressing a bit in Spring Training this year.
So while the system isn’t what it once was, there are still a couple players here to get excited about. Hopefully as we move through this current window of opportunity at the major league level, the Phillies will pump money into the draft and international markets so we have reinforcements on the way, and more pieces to use in trades.