by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
A series of trades have certainly helped the Phillies stockpile an impressive group of prospects. While the trade of Cole Hamels was the biggest move, the team also got a haul for Ken Giles and are reaping the benefits from some other deals as well (like moving Marlon Byrd and Ben Revere). Who offers the most upside in the system? Let’s take a look:
1) J.P. Crawford – Shortstop
ETA – 2016
Grade – A
A Phillies first round draft pick in 2013 (16th overall), Crawford split time between High-A and Double-A in ’15 (430 AB) hitting .288 with 6 HR and 12 SB. Those numbers may not seem all that impressive, but keep in mind that he spent the entire season as a 20-year old (he’ll turn 21 in January).
While he’s never going to be a significant source of power, it’s clearly developing as he had 33 extra base hits in his 351 AB at Double-A (21 doubles, 7 triples, 5 home runs). Look for him to continue developing, with 12-15 HR likely (with the potential for a few more playing half his games in Philadelphia). He also showed a tremendous approach at the plate at both levels, which is highly impressive given his age (strike out rate // walk rate):
- High-A – 9.5% // 14.7%
- Double-A – 11.1% // 12.1%
Those aren’t flipped, as he actually walked (63) more than he struck out (54) last season. Throw in the potential to steal 15-20 bases annually and you get the makings of an elite player at his position.
2) Nick Williams – Outfielder
ETA – 2016
Grade – B+ (borderline A-)
The biggest question for Williams, who was acquired as part of the Cole Hamels trade, has been his ability to make consistent contact. He made huge strides in that department, though, playing for two different Double-A teams:
- Rangers (415 PA) – 18.6%
- Phillies (100 PA) – 20.0%
If he can continue at that level, there is no questioning the upside. He hit 17 HR last season, to go along with 26 doubles and 6 triples, showing that as he ages he should routinely top 20 HR with a bit more potential. He also has the speed, though he needs to become a bit more efficient (13 SB in 21 attempts last season). No longer viewed in the same vein as a Drew Stubbs type, as long as the strikeouts remain suppressed the value is going to be there.
3) Cornelius Randolph – Outfielder
ETA – 2019
Grade – B+
Drafted 10th overall in 2015, Randolph made a significant splash in his first taste of professional baseball by hitting .302 with 19 extra base hits (15 doubles, 3 triples, 1 home run) over 172 AB. If that wasn’t impressive enough, despite turning just 18 in June he walked (32) just as many times as he struck out (32). For a player this young, showing that type of approach has got to get observers extremely excited. We need to give the left-handed swinger time to develop, and it’s going to take time, but he clearly belongs on all radars thanks to his potential.
4) Jake Thompson – Right-Handed Pitcher
ETA – 2016
Grade – B
Over 132.2 IP at Double-A he posted a 3.73 ERA and 1.27 WHIP, showing solid control (3.08 BB/9 with the Rangers, 2.40 with the Phillies). The strikeouts did drop after the trade, but he owns a minor league career 8.8 K/9 and 3.2 BB/9. He also has the size, at 6’4” and 235 lbs., so you are wondering what exactly is there not to like? He’s struggled to get LHH hitters out, thus far, including a .291 average against him at High-A in ’14. The development of his repertoire to improve in that regard will be paramount, otherwise he won’t develop into anything more than a mid-rotation starter.
5) Roman Quinn – Outfielder
ETA – 2016
Grade – B (B+ if weren’t for health concerns)
Injuries continue to cost Quinn time on the field, which has to be a concern. In 2013 he missed time due to a broken wrist. The start to his 2014 was delayed due to his recovery from a ruptured Achilles tendon. Last season it was a hip flexor injury that sidelined him in the second half. When he’s on the field there is no questioning his potential, thanks to elite speed (29 SB in 257 PA in ’15). While there isn’t much power, there’s enough to keep pitchers honest (4 HR last season) and he could hit 4-8 HR routinely (with the potential for a little more). He also improved his contact rate, with a 16.3% strikeout rate at Double-A last season. At this point until he shows he can stay on the field, there’s going to be significant risk hanging over him.
6) Jorge Alfaro – Catcher
ETA – 2017
Grade – B (would be a B+ with better plate discipline)
It’s possible he would’ve been ready in 2016, though June ankle surgery limited him to just 194 AB in ’15. He also needs work defensively, and with the Phillies rebuilding they will have time to let their newly acquired catcher of the future (he was another piece of the Hamels’ trade) to develop in the minors. That said there is no questioning his upside offensively, especially in the power department, but he needs to do a better job of limiting his strikeouts (23.2% at Double-A in ’14, 29.5% in ’15). He could be a 20-25 HR catcher with a poor average, though we all know there’s value in that.
7) Franklyn Kilome – Right-Handed Pitcher
8) Mark Appel – Right-Handed Pitcher
Note: There’s a lot to like regarding Appel, but he’s been wildly inconsistent in recent seasons (4.37 ERA, 1.41 WHIP between Double & Triple-A last season). The stuff is there, but he needs to prove he can put it together or he could be destined for a bullpen role.
9) Darnell Sweeney – Outfielder/Second Baseman
10) Andrew Knapp – Catcher
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Grading System (still in development):
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 Top 10 Prospect Lists: