Philadelphia Phillies 2013 Top 15 Prospects
The rest of Bullpen Banter’s 2013 Top 15 Prospects can be found on the 2013 Team Prospect Lists Bar on the right side of your screen. Thanks for reading! -BB
Bullpen Banter Philadelphia Phillies 2013 Top 15 Prospects
Jeff Reese: The Philadelphia Phillies target athletes and players with loud raw tools; their present baseball skills take a back seat. This has worked well in the past with some very legitimate prospects emerging from the land of interesting, but not THAT interesting, preps. Jonathan Singleton is the best example, but it also includes the likes of Jarred Cosart, Trevor May, Domonic Brown, Anthony Gose, along with the international version in Jonathan Villar, Sebastian Valle, and Domingo Santana. Did you notice anything about that list? Only Sebastian Valle & Domonic Brown are still members of the Philadelphia Phillies organization — and they keep putting new obstacles in the way of Domonic Brown’s attempt to claim a starting role. Since assuming the role of General Manager in 2009, Ruben Amaro has aggressively dealt his prospects for pieces that could help his team recapture the magic of the 2008 championship run. I disagree with the win now at all costs mentality, but he did lead his team to three more NL East crowns and another World Series appearance in that time. Age has started to show its hand in the 2012 season however, and the farm system that has been gutted becomes more important.
One problem is that the players with the loud, raw tools have not seen similar breakouts over the past couple of seasons. The closest is Roman Quinn who has impact level speed — he hit an inside the park home run during the NYPL All-Star Game and made it home-to-home in 14.25 seconds — and looks more competent at short stop defensively than expected. Larry Greene of the same draft class and minor league affiliate has seen his stock drop; the massive raw power is still there, but translating it into game power has been an obstacle he’s yet to surmount; with his lack of defensive value, the bat needs to be better, a lot better. Tommy Joseph is one of the few to be brought into the organization via trade and has plus power potential. Catching is very much a work in progress, but there has been progress. A move to first base would really hurt his stock.
Maikel Franco and Carlos Tocci are two players who could break out into that upper echelon of prospects. Franco has impressive bat speed and the offensive tools to be an asset at third base. Tocci meanwhile spent the year in the Complex Leagues and showed off his monster athleticism. The bat is still very under-developed and it’s unlikely he moves up to full season ball just yet — yeah, that means I should see him in the NYPL this year! Gabriel Lino could fit into this group as well as he has good offensive and defensive tools behind the plate.
The pitching prospects are lead by Jesse Biddle, a former first rounder who has steadily been working his way through the system. With a quality three pitch mix and a good durable frame, he looks more like a mid rotation starter than one that will fit at the top of one. Adam Morgan shares that projection. Shane Watson could exceed it with a fastball and curve ball that flash plus from a fairly low effort delivery.
The Phillies will continue to target athletes and raw, toolsy amateurs from both the college and high school ranks. Some of them will develop into legitimate big league talent; we’re just looking at the system at a point in time where no one has developed into that top 50 type of prospect just yet.
Al Skorupa: The Philies definitely do love their raw toolsy types as Jeff stated above. Usually this strategy results in a lot of misses and a few exciting hits. Recently there haven’t been many high profile “hits,” yet I was surprised how much I like their farm system this winter. Its not one of the better systems in baseball by any stretch of the imagination, but they have more depth in interesting players than has been the case the last few years. Admittedly, many of those players are not a great bet to amount to much. I just see more potential here than I did in other Phillies farm system rankings of recent vintage.
What really hurts the system is a lack of any top notch talents. As Jeff covered, there’s not a top 50 type of player here. I like Roman Quinn’s game considerably, but we need to do a whole lot of projection when evaluating what kind of player he’ll be. The arms at the top of this system all look useful and many aren’t far off. Its doubtful there is a front of the rotation arm hiding in the bunch, though. I got a quick look at Tommy Joseph last season for double-A Richmond. He didn’t impress me and flailed at breaking balls. I got better reports from contacts who saw him later in the year but I’ve received some poor reports in the past, too. The mixed reviews leave me wishing I had gotten a more extensive look at him. He definitely has some pop in the bat.
I’m not really buying Ethan Martin’s resurgence. I still think he’s a reliever and probably closer to the 6th and 7th innings than he is to the 9th. Command and inconsistency are major issues here and I don’t know if he’ll ever repeat his delivery well enough to fix those problems. I am a believer in Darin Ruf. I don’t think he’s an impact major league bat, but he is a useful piece who will mash against lesser pitchers and lower velocities. Ruf gives me a Kevin Millar vibe. At least in terms of offensive impact – not personality! I’m not surprised Sebastian Valle’s poor approach has been his downfall. Between Valle and Gabriel Lino the Phils have some excellent catch and throw back up receivers coming. There’s potential for more with both catchers, of course. I didn’t love most of Philadelphia’s early draft selections the last couple years. In retrospect they’ve gotten some solid prospects out of those picks. I will say there were better players on my board most of the time and I don’t think they allocated their money all that well in general. To give credit where credit is due this organization has done a pretty good job in the 2nd to 5th rounds recently.
This farm system is very difficult to peg and so are many of the best prospects in it. There is a tremendous amount of potential here but its matched by the tremendous amount of potential for things to go wrong. Next winter this could be a system I rank in the middle of the pack and I wouldn’t be surprised. Nor would I be surprised to see them come in dead last in my rankings.
SS Roman Quinn (Jeff Reese)
C Tommy Joseph (Steve Fiorindo)
RHP Shane Watson (Steve Fiorindo)
RHP Ethan Martin (Chris Blessing and Steve Fiorindo)
C Gabriel Lino (Jeff Reese)
C Sebastian Valle (Steve Fiorindo)
RHP Steven Inch (Jeff Reese)
3B Mitch Walding (Jeff Reese)
LF Larry Greene (Jeff Reese)
3B Cameron Perkins (Jeff Reese)
OF Brian Pointer (Jeff Reese)
1B Chris Serritella (Jeff Reese)
IF Tyler Greene (Jeff Reese)
LHP Delvin Perez (Jeff Reese)