by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
When a system graduates Rhys Hoskins, among others, you would think that it would be hurting for top end talent. That’s not the case for the Phillies, who have another wave of talent primed to arrive in the not too distant future. Considering there is talent both on the mound (which they further added to in the Freddy Galvis trade) and in the field, the future looks brighter than it has in some time and they could morph into a playoff contender a lot sooner than anyone expected. With that said, let’s take a look at the talent on the horizon:
1) Scott Kingery – Second Baseman
Grade – A-
ETA – 2018
There were calls for him to arrive in 2017, but it never made sense for the Phillies to push the envelope when they didn’t have to add him to the 40-man roster in the offseason. That’s going to change this season, and you have to think that the Phillies will clear a spot to give him an opportunity after he dominated at both Double and Triple-A last season:
- Double-A – .313 (87-278), 18 HR, 44 RBI, 62 R, 19 SB
- Triple-A – .294 (78-265), 8 HR, 21 RBI, 41 R, 10 SB
Even more important is that he showed an impressive approach, with a 9.5% SwStr% overall (and he improved to 8.8% at Triple-A). He may not draw a ton of walks, with a 6.8% walk rate, but he has power, an ability to make consistent contact and has already proven to be an efficient base runner (29-for-34 in SB attempts). You put it all together and you get a second baseman who could easily go .280/20/20, with the potential for even more. That’s a potential All-Star type line.
2) Sixto Sanchez – Right-Handed Pitcher
Grade – A-
ETA – 2019
He’s 19-years old, but there is no questioning the pure stuff and upside. While he “stumbled” in 27.2 IP at High-A last season (4.55 ERA), that does little to change things. The number that jumps out at you is his pinpoint control, especially pitching much of the year as an 18-year old, with a 1.71 BB/9 over 95.2 IP. He showed enough groundball stuff, with a 45.4% groundball rate, though he showed more upside at Single-A (48.3%). The bigger question comes from his size (he’s listed at 6’0” and 185 lbs.) and his strikeout rate. The latter shouldn’t be an issue, considering his 11.2% SwStr% and we’ve seen Aaron Nola struggle with strikeouts in the minor leagues and develop as he matured. As long as he proves he can hold up to a starters workload, he has the stuff to be among the elite.
3) J.P. Crawford – Shortstop
Grade – B+
ETA – Already Arrived
Crawford got his feet wet in the Majors in September, after an underwhelming Triple-A campaign (.243 with 15 HR over 474 AB). The numbers are masked by a slow start, as he began putting things together after the All-Star Break:
- First Half – .211 with 6 HR
- Second Half – .287 with 9 HR
The overall average is the big disappointment, as he’s never going to produce a significant amount of power (15 HR was a career high, and 20 doubles and 6 triples doesn’t support an increase) or speed (think 8-14 SB). With an overall 5.3% SwStr%, 14.2% walk rate and .275 BABIP the upside is there to profile as a 15/10 shortstop working out of the #2 spot in the order.
4) Franklyn Kilome – Right-Handed Pitcher
Grade – B
ETA – 2018
Kilome is big (listed at 6’6”) and throws hard, though there are questions that need to be answered and it’s possible that he ultimately profiles as a lights out bullpen arm. One of the biggest issues is his control, with a 3.69 BB/9 between High-A and Double-A. We’ll also have to see if he fills out, being listed at 175 lbs., and can hold up to a starters workload. That said his upside is immense, even though the strikeouts aren’t there yet (7.30 K/9 despite a 10.8% SwStr%). Time will tell if he gets there, but right now there are questions to be answered.
5) Adam Haseley – Outfielder
Grade – B
ETA – 2019
The team’s first round pick in 2017 performed fairly well in his first taste of professional baseball, hitting .284 with 3 HR and 6 SB over 215 AB. There obviously are questions, including an 11.0% SwStr%, but he hit the ball extremely hard (28.7% line drive rate) and has significant upside. It will be interesting to see how he develops.
The Next Five:
6) Jorge Alfaro – Catcher (Grade – B)
7) Adonis Medina – Right-Handed Pitcher (Grade – B)
8) Ranger Suarez – Left-Handed Pitcher (Grade – B)
9) Enyel De Los Santos – Right-Handed Pitcher (Grade – B)
Note – Acquired from the Padres in exchange for Freddy Galvis, you could argue De Los Santos above Medina and/or Suarez if you wanted. He showed strikeouts (10.00 K/9) and control (2.93 BB/9) spending the entire year at Double-A, meaning he could arrive in the Majors this season. The only reason he’s a step below the other two is the risk of home runs (44.2% groundball rate)
10) Roman Quinn – Outfielder (Grade – B)
Dropped Off The Rankings
Mickey Moniak – Outfielder (Grade – B-) – He was the first overall selection in 2016, but that was in name only. Spending the season at Single-A he hit .236 with little power (5 HR) and struggled to make consistent contact (14.3% SwStr%). We need to give him time, but right now he’s looking like an early bust.
Sources – Fangraphs, MLB.com, MILB.com
Make sure to check out all of our 2018 Preseason Top 10 Prospect Lists: