Top 10 Prospects (2017): Philadelphia Phillies: Intriguing Names Sit Atop A Lackluster System

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

For a rebuilding franchise you’d hope that they’d be stocked with high upside prospects, but that’s not currently the case in Philadelphia.  That’s not to say that there aren’t some intriguing names or players who could make an impact in the Major Leagues, but the overall upside is lacking.  With that in mind, let’s take a look at how the Top 10 currently looks (actually it’s a Top 11):

 

1) J.P. Crawford – Shortstop
ETA – 2017
Grade – B+

There’s no question that he’s the top prospect in the system, but when will the production start to match the potential?  Last season he split time between Double and Triple-A, underwhelming at both levels:

  • Double-A (126 AB) – .265 with 3 HR, 13 RBI, 23 R and 5 SB
  • Triple-A (336 AB) – .244 with 4 HR, 30 RBI, 40 R and 7 SB

Currently it’s his plate discipline that represents his strongest tool, with 80 K vs. 72 BB last season (59 K vs. 42 BB at Triple-A), and with time he should start to tap into his across the board potential.  While he may never produce elite levels of home runs or stolen bases, he should consistently be a 10/20 player with the upside of a little more in both categories.

 

2) Roman Quinn – Outfielder
ETA – Already Arrived
Grade – B

The biggest issue facing Quinn is his ability to stay on the field, not what he can do when on it.  He spent the bulk of his time at Double-A last season, hitting .287 with 6 HR and 31 SB in 286 AB (his total for the year was 41 SB over 365 AB).  His speed is his biggest asset, with at least 29 SB every year despite setting a career high in SB last season.

He may not be a slugger, but if he can reach double-digits (which seems possible in Philadelphia) we are talking about a consistent 10/30 performer.  We do need to monitor the strikeout rate (21.1% while at Double-A) and the addition of Michael Saunders should ticket Quinn to start the season at Triple-A, but it shouldn’t be long before he forces his way into the mix.

 

3) Mickey Moniak – Outfielder
ETA – 2020
Grade – B

You would think the #1 overall pick in the 2016 draft would be ranked a bit higher in his own system, but it’s easy to argue that he wasn’t the best player available in the draft and circumstances led to his selection (like asking prices and injuries).  That’s not to say that Moniak doesn’t have value, as he can hit, but he doesn’t have blazing speed nor does he project to have significant power.  For Philadelphia’s sake hopefully he proves us wrong, and at 18-years old he has the time to develop.

 

4) Nick Williams – Outfielder
ETA – 2017
Grade – B

Just when we thought Williams had solved his strikeout issues, unlocking his potential, he took a significant step backwards at Triple-A in ’16:

  • 2015 (Rangers, Double-A) – 18.6%
  • 2015 (Phillies, Double-A) – 20.0%
  • 2016 (Phillies, Triple-A) – 25.8%

When coupled with a 3.6% walk rate it calls his plate discipline into question, especially at 23-years old.  He does have power and speed, though those skills failed to present themselves with 13 HR (though he added 33 doubles and 6 triples) and 6 SB (in 10 attempts).  The Phillies have enough depth to give him another extended look at Triple-A to see if he can figure it out and unlock his potential.

 

5) Jorge Alfaro – Catcher
ETA – Already Arrived
Grade – B

Alfaro is looking like your prototypical power catcher, as he hit 15 HR at Double-A but also proved to be extremely strikeout prone (24.1%) and lacking in his overall plate discipline (5.1% walk rate).  The defense is a plus, and that’s going to give him ample opportunities and a full-time role, and the power could take another step forward (think 20+ HR potential).  It could come courtesy of a poor average, in the range of .250 or worse, which puts him in the same category as many backstops around the league.  There’s a lot of hype and the potential to be a Top 10-15 catcher, thanks to the power, but to be one of the elite he needs to develop his approach.  With Cameron Rupp in the Majors, the Phillies should give Alfaro time at Triple-A this season in order to do so.

 

6) Franklyn Kilome – Right-Handed Pitcher
ETA – 2018
Grade – B

While there is a little bit of concern in his control (3.92 BB/9 in 114.2 IP at Single-A in ’16), he has time to iron it out.  The stuff is clear, with a 10.20 K/9, while flashing enough groundball stuff (1.02 GO/AO in ’16, 1.17 for his minor league career) with the likelihood that he improves that mark.  If he doesn’t find his control he could transition and be a lights out reliever, but there’s no rush for the Phillies’ to make that type of move.

 

The Rest:

7) Cornelius Randolph – Outfielder (Grade – B-)
8) Sixto Sanchez – Right-Handed Pitcher (Grade – B-)
9) Kevin Gowdy – Right-Handed Pitcher (Grade – B-)
10) Dylan Cozens – Outfielder (Grade – B-)
11) Rhys Hoskins – First Baseman (Grade – B-)

Sources – MILB.com, Fangraphs, Baseball Reference, MLB.com

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Grading System:
Grade A – Elite Prospects (aka potential future perennial All-Stars)
Grade B – Above Average Prospects (aka above average Major Leaguers, could develop into a potential All-Star)
Grade C – Average Prospects (aka solid, though unspectacular)
Grade D – Nothing More Than Roster Filler
Grade F – Move On

Make sure to check out all of our 2017 Prospect Rankings:

AL EastAL CentralAL West
Baltimore OriolesChicago White SoxHouston Astros
Boston Red SoxCleveland IndiansLos Angeles Angels
New York YankeesDetroit TigersOakland A's
Tampa Bay RaysKansas City RoyalsSeattle Mariners
Toronto Blue JaysMinnesota TwinsTexas Rangers
NL EastNL CentralNL West
Atlanta BravesChicago CubsArizona Diamondbacks
Miami MarlinsCincinnati RedsColorado Rockies
New York MetsMilwaukee BrewersLos Angeles Dodgers
Philadelphia PhilliesPittsburgh PiratesSan Diego Padres
Washington NationalsSt. Louis CardinalsSan Francisco Giants

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