Top 26 Prospects: Philadelphia Phillies

Below is an analysis of the prospects in the farm system of the Philadelphia Phillies. Scouting reports are compiled with information provided by industry sources as well as from our own (both Eric Longenhagen’s and Kiley McDaniel’s) observations. For more information on the 20-80 scouting scale by which all of our prospect content is governed you can click here. For further explanation of the merits and drawbacks of Future Value, read this.

Phillies Top Prospects
Rk Name Age High Level Position ETA FV
1 Sixto Sanchez 19 A+ RHP 2020 60
2 Scott Kingery 23 AAA 2B 2018 55
3 J.P. Crawford 23 MLB SS 2018 55
4 Adonis Medina 21 A RHP 2020 50
5 Franklyn Kilome 22 AA RHP 2019 50
6 Mickey Moniak 19 A OF 2021 45
7 Adam Haseley 21 A CF 2020 45
8 Jorge Alfaro 24 MLB C 2018 45
9 Jhailyn Ortiz 19 A- 1B 2021 45
10 JoJo Romero 21 A+ LHP 2019 45
11 Seranthony Dominguez 23 A+ RHP 2018 45
12 Enyel De Los Santos 22 AA RHP 2019 45
13 Daniel Brito 20 A 2B 2020 40
14 Arquimedes Gamboa 20 A SS 2021 40
15 Luis Garcia 17 R INF 2023 40
16 Roman Quinn 24 MLB CF 2018 40
17 Kevin Gowdy 20 R RHP 2020 40
18 Spencer Howard 21 A- RHP 2020 40
19 Francisco Morales 18 R RHP 2022 40
20 Jose Taveras 24 R RHP 2018 40
21 Thomas Eshelman 23 AAA RHP 2018 40
22 Ranger Suarez 22 A+ LHP 2020 40
23 Dylan Cozens 23 AAA OF 2018 40
24 Cole Irvin 24 AA LHP 2019 40
25 Jake Holmes 19 R SS 2022 40
26 Jose Gomez 21 R UTIL 2020 40

60 FV Prospects

Signed: July 2nd Period, 2014 from Dominican Republic
Age 18 Height 6’0 Weight 185 Bat/Throw R/R
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Curveball Changeup Command
70/70 45/50 50/55 55/65 45/55

Hitters like to shorten up against Sixto after he’s blown well-placed, sinking, upper-90s gas past them for strikes one and two, which leaves them vulnerable to any of his three viable secondary offerings later in at-bats. Sanchez sits 95-99, has touched 102, and possesses advanced command. He has a long, cutting slider in the mid-80s and a two-plane curveball, both of which flash above-average, but his best secondary is a ghosting, mid-80s changeup which embarrassed hitters five years older than him at Hi-A last year.

He’s just 6-foot, so you’re not projecting on the fastball, but it’s already so hard that it doesn’t matter. Scouts want to see release consistency deeper into games (and in general when Sanchez throws his breaking balls), but he’s athletic and has only been pitching full time for three years, so there’s reason to believe he’ll improve. He’s an electric talent with front-end upside.

55 FV Prospects

Drafted: 2nd Round, 2015 from Arizona
Age 23 Height 5’10 Weight 180 Bat/Throw R/R
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
50/60 50/50 40/50 70/70 60/65 45/45

A minor mechanical tweak unlocked some of Kingery’s previously undiscovered raw power last year, and he hit 26 home runs between Double- and Triple-A. Some of that was due to the hitting environment in Reading, but scouts agree that there’s more in-game power here now than there was previously. Kingery already had a chance to be an everyday player because of his superlative bat-to-ball ability, his speed, and plus-plus defense at second base. With the power folded in, he’s a potential star. Kingery signed a six-year extension just before the beginning of the season and is starting the year with the big-league club in a multi-positional role.

Drafted: 1st Round, 2013 from Lakewood HS (CA)
Age 22 Height 6’2 Weight 180 Bat/Throw L/R
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
40/55 50/50 35/45 50/50 50/55 60/60

The first month of Crawford’s 2017 season was such a disaster that scouts thought he was either hurt or extremely bored. He hit well in July and August and earned a September call-up, during which he played great defense all over the infield. Crawford has issues getting to balls away from him and probably won’t hit for much power, but he’s very patient and could reach base enough to hit at the top of a lineup. He’s only an average runner, but he’s also a very gifted athlete with a plus arm and a quick transfer. Crawford can make strong throws to first from all kinds of difficult platforms and projects as a plus defensive shortstop. Table-setting defensive wizards are pretty rare. He could go .270/.340/.400 with 12-15 homers and the Freddy Galvis trade paves the way for playing time immediately.

50 FV Prospects

Signed: July 2nd Period, 2013 from Dominican Republic
Age 20 Height 6’1 Weight 185 Bat/Throw R/R
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Curveball Changeup Command
55/60 50/55 40/45 45/55 40/50

After using the 2016 season to focus on fastball command and breaking-ball transition, Medina finally posted stats commensurate with his prodigious stuff. He sits 92-95 with a late-breaking slider, and his changeup and command have progressed as expected given his delivery and athleticism. He still needs to polish his command and the demarcation between his slider and curve, but Medina has made significant developmental progress during the last two seasons and should continue doing so. He projects as an above-average big-league starter.

Signed: July 2nd Period, 2012 from Dominican Republic
Age 22 Height 6’6 Weight 175 Bat/Throw R/R
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Curveball Changeup Command
60/60 55/60 30/45 35/45

For a prospect whom scouts consider to be raw, Kilome has moved to the doorstep of the big leagues fairly quickly. He made five starts at Double-A to finish off last year and then made six more in winter ball, putting his 2017 workload at about 144 innings. He’s in the upper minors and is ready for a full big-league season, from a workload standpoint, as a typical innings increase would have Kilome slated for about 170 innings this year. Not once has he been on the disabled list.

Kilome is less polished than the typical successful Double-A starter. He’s a fringe athlete and a gangly 6-foot-6, so unsurprisingly he has some issues with mechanical consistency. His changeup feel comes and goes, but he’ll show you a decent one, and Kilome has tinkered with his breaking balls several times over the last few years, so perhaps his current version has more room to grow than is projected here.

If Kilome is to hit his No. 3/4 starter ceiling, many things will need to be ironed out. But a mid-90s fastball and plus curveball combo make a great foundation for some kind of relevant big-league role. There’s recent precedent for dynamic two-pitch guys succeeding with fringe command (Luis Castillo, Dinelson Lamet), which makes more sense than some kind of relief role in consideration of Kilome’s durability. There’s reason to be optimistic about Kilome curing his own ills as he gains control of his limbs into his 20s, and his present abilities are enough for him to succeed in a sizable role if he can’t.

45 FV Prospects

Drafted: 1st Round, 2016 from La Costa Canyon HS (CA)
Age 19 Height 6’2 Weight 185 Bat/Throw L/R
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
25/55 40/50 20/40 60/55 40/55 50/55

The 2017 season was a disaster for Moniak, whose unexpected maladies at the plate (breaking-ball recognition and poor plate coverage chief among them) were exacerbated by his still immature frame wearing down as the summer drew on. Pre-draft evaluations of Moniak (including mine) were founded on his ability to hit. Like, really hit. A lot. He was not, and still is not, likely to develop big power, but a 60 or 70 hitter who plays a good center field is a great everyday player, and that’s what most of the industry expected Moniak to be coming out of high school. Now he needs to show some improvement in the areas that flummoxed him last year to recoup lost enthusiasm for his bat.

This evaluation of Moniak is diluted but still generally positive. A 100 to 105 wRC+ hitter who offers solid center-field defense is a 50/55 type of player. Moniak looks stronger, more physically mature this spring and doesn’t turn 20 until May. There’s plenty of time for him to right the ship; it’s just concerning that he has to already.

Drafted: 1st Round, 2017 from Virginia
Age 21 Height 6’1 Weight 195 Bat/Throw L/L
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
35/55 45/50 30/40 55/55 45/50 55/55

Haseley is an above-average runner with great instincts in center field, and he profiles as an above-average defender there despite lacking true high-end speed. Some scouts have concerns about his bat path, but proponents think he has the timing and hand-eye coordination to make it work. Haseley hit for an unexpected amount of power as a junior at UVA, but there’s skepticism about that recurring in pro ball. The overall profile still fits fine in center field; you just really have to squint to see much upside.

Signed: July 2nd Period, 2009 from Colombia
Age 24 Height 6’2 Weight 225 Bat/Throw R/R
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
30/40 70/70 40/50 50/50 45/50 70/70

Alfaro has been a prospect of note for nearly a decade now, as his prodigious physical tools have been the stuff of legend since he was 16. As he’s trudged toward the majors, Alfaro’s catching and offensive approach haven’t developed as hoped. He’s one of the more impatient hitters in all of professional baseball, and his swing prevents him from doing anything with pitches down and away. Every projection system has him pegged as a sub-.300 OBP hitter and, even at catcher, there’s risk Alfaro’s offensive profile won’t hold water. There is some precedent (Yasmani Grandal last year, for one) for successful catchers who reach base near the bottom of the curve, and Alfaro has the power to get away with it, but his issues are pretty extreme.

Signed: July 2nd Period, 2015 from Dominican Republic
Age 18 Height 6’3 Weight 215 Bat/Throw R/R
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
25/50 70/70 30/60 30/20 40/45 60/60

Ortiz signed for $4 million in July of 2015 amid day-of concerns about his conditioning, but he was electric when he got his first taste of affiliated ball in 2017. He slashed .300/.400/.560 as an 18-year-old at short-season Williamsport. Ortiz’s bat path causes him to push a lot of contact the other way, but his bat speed and power allow him to be a little late and still hit the ball really hard. He’s now had on-paper success in a league occupied mostly by college players, so there’s more industry-wide confidence in Ortiz’s bat.

Teenagers this size almost invariably move to first base or DH, and though the org has stated they believe Ortiz can play the outfield in the big leagues, I’m skeptical. Perhaps the recent Darin Ruf and current Rhys Hoskins outfield experiments are indications that this org is more receptive to the idea of less-mobile outfielders, and perhaps more frequent outfield shifts make this kind of athlete more viable in an outfield than we assume. But this is a teenager who’s already bigger than Jose Abreu, so at the very least there’s extreme risk that Ortiz is a first-base-only prospect. Because the power is in place, all he has to do is continue proving the bat-to-ball skills are real. If that remains the case, it won’t matter where he plays.

10. JoJo Romero, LHP
Drafted: 4th Round, 2016 from Yavapai
Age 20 Height 6’0 Weight 190 Bat/Throw L/L
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Changeup Cutter Command
55/55 45/50 55/60 45/50 45/55

Romero is an ultra-athletic little lefty whose stuff ticked up a bit in pro ball. He had 55 or 60 changeup projection in college and it’s already developed into that kind of weapon. He has added a cutter, and he’s throwing a little bit harder than he was in college, sitting 92-95 this spring. Romero’s athleticism and compact delivery allow for continued command projection. His slider is fringe to average, but he locates it down and to his glove side with consistency, which allows him to avoid getting whacked when he doesn’t break off a good one. Before the draft, Romero’s ceiling looked like that of a No. 4 or 5 starter, but that has become his mean projection with room for mid-rotation ceiling if his stuff keeps trending upward or he develops plus command.

Signed: July 2nd Period, 2011 from Dominican Republic
Age 22 Height 6’1 Weight 185 Bat/Throw R/R
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Changeup Command
65/70 55/60 40/45 40/45

Dominguez has stuff on par with the pitching prospects ahead of him (he’ll sit 94-97, touch 99, and has a plus, upper-80s slider) but is already being converted to a relief role. He had previously been subject to questions about his repertoire depth (his changeup is bad and the Phillies scrapped his curveball), control, and his health. Dominguez’s delivery is violent, and he missed a few months with shoulder trouble last year. He has high-leverage upside, and the move to the bullpen probably quickened his ETA.

Signed: July 2nd Period, 2014 from Dominican Republic
Age 21 Height 6’3 Weight 170 Bat/Throw R/R
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Curveball Changeup Command
55/55 50/55 55/60 45/50

Acquired from San Diego in exchange for Freddy Galvis, De Los Santos threw 150 innings at Double-A last year as a 21-year-old. He doesn’t have surgical command but mostly lives in and around the strike zone with a mid-90s fastball that plays down a bit due to poor extension. De Los Santos’s low-80s curveball has enough depth to compete in the zone and miss bats beneath it, arcing in with two-plane movement under the bats of both left- and right-handed hitters. Scouts think De Los Santos has better command of this pitch than his fastball, something which could be best suited for a multi-inning relief role. But De Los Santos has a viable changeup that, though firm, has enough tail to miss some bats.

There’s enough stuff to start here, just some skepticism about the pitchability which is contradicted by De Los Santos’s on-paper strike-throwing success as a prospect who’s been young for his levels. He projects as a No. 4 starter with some risk of falling just short of that for a multitude of reasons (fringe command of the fastball, poor extension) that seem insignificant on their own but problematic when considered together.

40 FV Prospects

13. Daniel Brito, 2B
Signed: July 2nd Period, 2014 from Venezuela
Age 19 Height 6’1 Weight 155 Bat/Throw L/R
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
30/60 40/50 20/45 55/55 40/55 45/50

Brito has very promising bat control, tracks pitches well, possesses a swing with natural loft, and still has physical projection. Scouts feel good about the bat and think the key to his power development is for the body to fill out. He could be passable at shortstop if given the chance to play there, but he’s already been moved to second base to accommodate the next player on this list, who is a superior defender. There’s strong everyday upside here despite a poor on-paper performance in 2017.

Signed: July 2nd Period, 2014 from Venezuela
Age 19 Height 6’0 Weight 175 Bat/Throw S/R
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
30/50 40/45 20/30 60/60 45/55 60/60

Gamboa’s speed, agility, and arm strength make it very likely that he remains at shortstop, and he’s shown flashes of acrobatic brilliance that lead some to believe he could be a plus defender there at peak. Last year, he started showing signs of offensive ability commensurate with his physical tools, most notably in his ability to control the strike zone and move the bat head around the hitting zone from the left side of the plate. There’s optimism regarding his bat, so while Gamboa doesn’t have much power and doesn’t have an especially projectable frame, a one-dimensional offensive profile will be fine if his glove matures as hoped at shortstop. Gamboa has had hamstring issues each of the last two years, which may be a harbinger of health-related issues to come. Otherwise, he projects as a solid everyday shortstop.

15. Luis Garcia, INF
Signed: July 2nd Period, 2017 from Dominican Republic
Age 17 Height 5’11 Weight 170 Bat/Throw S/R
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
25/50 40/50 20/40 55/50 40/55 55/60

Garcia, who signed with Philadelphia for $2.5 million in July of 2017, has the requisite range, hands, and actions for shortstop, including an innate feel for squaring his hips in such a way that he gets as much zip on his throws as possible. His arm is above-average right now, but he’ll likely grow into a bit more and have the capacity to make all the necessary throws at short once he’s reached physical maturity. Scouts expect him to be built similarly to Jean Segura. Garcia has workable swings from both sides of the plate but has better feel for contact from the left side. He has a stocky yet projectable build and should at least grow into gap power, which will be fine at short. There’s clearly everyday talent here, assuming Garcia develops as planned; it’s just probably five or six years away from actualizing.

16. Roman Quinn, CF
Drafted: 2nd Round, 2011 from Port St. Joe HS (FL)
Age 24 Height 5’10 Weight 170 Bat/Throw B/R
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
50/55 45/45 30/30 80/80 55/55 50/50

Quinn missed time with injury again in 2017, adding to the long list of physical issues that have plagued him. He remains an 80 runner with requisite big-league contact skills and viable center-field defense. The Phillies have kicked around the idea of trying Quinn on the infield, where he played in high school and early in his pro career, but there’s a reason he moved off the dirt in the first place (his hands weren’t great), and scouts are skeptical of him suddenly becoming viable at shortstop. He continues to project as a speedy bench outfielder who could probably play every day if he stayed healthy. If he can make it work somewhere on the dirt, too, he’s a 45.

17. Kevin Gowdy, RHP
Drafted: 2nd Round, 2016 from Santa Barbara HS (CA)
Age 19 Height 6’4 Weight 170 Bat/Throw R/R
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Curveball Changeup Command
50/60 50/60 40/50 45/55

By the time Philadelphia made their second selection in the 2016 draft, Blake Rutherford, Joey Wentz, and other costly high schoolers were already off the board. Another top prep player with signability issues remained, however, in the form of Gowdy. The Phillies kept him from a UCLA commitment with a $3.5 million bonus.

Gowdy didn’t throw in 2017 and had Tommy John in August. He’ll miss all of 2018 and might be back to pick up fall innings. Before the injury, he’d touch 94 and locate a good breaking ball with a skill that few high-school pitchers possess. Some scouts didn’t like what they perceived to be a lack of physicality, nor did they like Gowdy’s longer arm action. Others thought he’d grow into his somewhat narrow 6-foot-4 frame and didn’t care as much about the delivery because Gowdy repeated it. Gowdy still projects as a league-average starter with a chance for more upside depending on how his velocity develops, but he’s going to have two years of missed development due to the timing of the surgery.

Drafted: 2nd Round, 2017 from Cal Poly
Age 20 Height 6’3 Weight 205 Bat/Throw R/R
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Changeup Command
60/60 45/50 45/50 40/50

At any given time, Howard will show you everything you’d ask of a starting pitching prospect. His fastball is hard, 92-96, and he’ll have stretches where he pitches with above-average east/west command and flash an average changeup. Because he began his junior year at Cal Poly as a reliever, not everyone has seen Howard do those things, and those scouts consider him a fastball/slider relief prospect. Scouts who observed him in pro ball after signing saw poor command. That can pretty easily be explained away by the typical post-draft fatigue that plagues many players, but because Howard was pitching in relief for much of his college career, we don’t have a lot of evidence that refutes those looks. It’s possible the Phillies got in on the ground floor of a guy who should have gone in the first round. It’s also possible they took a college reliever three rounds too early. I’m cautiously optimistic about his future as a No. 4 starter.

Signed: July 2nd Period, 2016 from Venezuela
Age 17 Height 6’4 Weight 185 Bat/Throw R/R
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Changeup Command
55/60 50/60 30/45 30/45

Morales signed for $900,000 out of Venezuela in 2016. He was a physical righty with more heat than is typical for July 2 pitchers, and he remains hard-throwing — 90-94 with big extension — and physically projectable, though some scouts think there’s significant relief risk here because the arm action is a little long and they haven’t seen a good changeup. Morales already has an average slider in aggregate, and you can project on his fastball and slider pretty conservatively and still end up with a late-inning relief forecast. It could take a while for everything to click, but there’s pretty significant upside if it does.

20. Jose Taveras, RHP
Signed: July 2nd Period, 2013 from Dominican Republic
Age 24 Height 6’4 Weight 210 Bat/Throw R/R
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Changeup Command
50/50 45/45 55/60 50/55

Taveras has some Yusmeiro Petit qualities that enable his upper-80s fastball to play up. He’s a long-limbed 6-foot-4, pitches with a cross-bodied delivery from the third base side of the rubber, and gets way down the mound, creating terrific extension and eliciting visible discomfort from hitters. He also has a Bugs Bunny changeup in the low-80s that sublimates as it approaches the plate, and his breaking ball plays up against righties because of his release point. This type of skillset is the kind that suffers diminishing returns multiple times through the lineup as hitters grow comfortable with the delivery, but it should be fine, and maybe special, in a long relief role.

Drafted: 2nd Round, 2015 from Cal State Fullerton
Age 23 Height 6’3 Weight 210 Bat/Throw R/R
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Curveball Changeup Cutter Command
40/40 40/40 45/50 55/55 60/70

Surgical command has enabled Eshelman to succeed up through Triple-A despite fringe stuff across the board. He can throw any of his four pitches where he wants in any count, and his repertoire is deep enough to keep hitters from narrowing the scope of their approach and cheating on something specific. He’s a near-ready fifth-starter prospect. Eshelman was acquired from Houston in the Ken Giles trade.

22. Ranger Suarez, LHP
Signed: July 2nd Period, 2011 from Venezuela
Age 21 Height 6’1 Weight 180 Bat/Throw L/L
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Changeup Command
50/50 50/55 40/50 45/55

Suarez is small but athletic and mechanically efficient, unfurling a sinker/slider combination that has a chance to play at the back of a rotation. He’ll touch 95, sit 91-93, and spin in an average slider that plays up a bit due to his lightning-quick arm action. He turns 23 in August and could reach Double-A this year.

Drafted: 2nd Round, 2012 from Chaparral HS (AZ)
Age 23 Height 6’6 Weight 235 Bat/Throw L/L
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
30/40 70/70 50/60 40/30 40/45 45/45

Cozens went nuts in Reading in 2016 then had a .300 OBP at Triple-A in 2017. His power wasn’t caricatured in Reading the way other Phillies prospects’ have been in the past. He has legitimate 70 raw power. He simply has holes in his swing that were exploited by Triple-A pitching, and Cozens lacks the bat control to adjust. He swings through a lot of pitches both in and out of the strike zone. There’s so much power here that Cozens still seems likely to get several opportunities to figure something out. Maybe he becomes a left-handed version of Chris Carter, but he may also just be Steven Moya.

24. Cole Irvin, LHP
Drafted: 5th Round, 2016 from Oregon
Age 23 Height 6’4 Weight 180 Bat/Throw L/L
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Curveball Changeup Command
40/40 45/50 50/50 40/45 45/55

Irvin reached Double-A in his first full season largely due to the ability to locate his breaking balls. His combination of handedness, command, and quality spin make it very likely that he carves out a big-league role of some kind. His lack of velocity (mostly 88-91) means the ceiling on that role is probably limited to the back of a rotation or relief. He missed his 2014 collegiate season due to TJ.

25. Jake Holmes, SS
Drafted: 11th Round, 2017 from Pinnacle HS (AZ)
Age 18 Height 6’3 Weight 185 Bat/Throw R/R
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
20/50 50/55 20/50 60/55 40/45 55/55

Holmes is large for shortstop, but he’s a plus runner with an above-average arm and should stay there for a while. If anything is going to kick him over to third, it’s a lack of flexibility and agility. He has above-average raw pull-power projection and, if he can get to some of it and stay at short, he’ll play every day. He signed for $500K as an 11th-round pick in 2017.

26. Jose Gomez, UTIL
Signed: July 2nd Period, 2013 from Venezuela
Age 21 Height 5’11 Weight 175 Bat/Throw R/R
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
30/55 40/45 20/30 50/50 40/45 50/50

Gomez, a 21-year-old infielder acquired from Colorado in the 2017 Pat Neshek trade, is the owner of a .312 career batting average and, indeed, scouts like his feel to hit. Gomez doesn’t get much out of his lower half and is a bit undersized — and thus very unlikely to hit for much power barring a mechanical change — but he has good hand-eye coordination, above-average bat speed, and a chance to be a plus hitter at peak. An average runner with an average arm, Gomez lacks the high-end athleticism typically found at shortstop and is not a lock to stay there. He’s already seen time at second and third base, two positions where he will likely lack the power to profile every day should one of them become his long-term defensive home. He projects as a bat-first utility player.

Other Prospects of Note
Grouped by type and listed in order of preference within each category.
Long-Term Projects with Upside
Jonathan Guzman, MIF
Simon Muzziotti, CF
Brayan Hernandez, INF
Luis Carrasco, RHP
Carlos de la Cruz, OF
Jose Pujols, OF
Abrahan Gutierrez, C
Melvin Matos, OF

Guzman can play short but desperately needs to add strength. He has everyday potential because of his glove, but he’s probably six years away. Muzziotti can hit and run but lacks physical projection, and his combination of proximity and fourth-outfield risk kept him off the main list despite a strong spring. Hernandez is probably a utilityman but might hit enough to be Placido Polanco. Carrasco threw hard with sink in 2016, then didn’t in 2017, and now is throwing hard again this spring.

De La Cruz is a 6-foot-8, 210-pound teenage outfielder with present average raw power and plenty of room for more. He’s as unrefined as you’d expect a teenager this size to be but has physical attributes rarely found in baseball, so he’ll at least be interesting to follow. Pujols has 70 raw but nobody thinks he’s going to hit. Gutierrez projects as a regular for some and is barely a prospect for others. Matos is a good-bodied 21-year-old outfielder with average power, slightly above-average speed, and presently raw feel to hit.

Likely Depth Arms
Kyle Young, LHP
McKenzie Mills, LHP
Connor Seabold, RHP
Drew Anderson, RHP
Elniery Garcia, LHP
Alejandro Requena, RHP

Young has fringe big-league stuff — upper-80s fastball, average curveball, fringe changeup — and his report reads like a generic depth arm until you get to his measurables. He’s 7-feet tall and threw a shocking amount of strikes for a pitcher that size in the NYPL last year. There’s not much precedent for a pitcher this size in the big leagues (don’t say “Randy Johnson” in the comments, you don’t get to compare a guy throwing 88 to Randy Johnson) so it’s hard to project on stuff like velocity and command in this situation. For now, we have Young projected as a back-end starter but know there’s a good chance something unique happens here; there’s just no way of knowing if it will be good.

Mills was acquired from Washington for Howie Kendrick in 2017. He sits 89-91 and will kiss 94 while flashing an above-average changeup and curveball. He projects as a back-end starter. A high-volume strike-thrower with fringe stuff, the golden-locked Seabold looks to have a future similar to that fellow Titan Tom Eshelman; he’s just several levels behind him. Anderson bumps 96, has a 6 curveball and fringe everything else. Garcia was a 45 FV on last year’s list, but his stuff backed up after he returned from his PED suspension. Requena is 88-92 with curveball command.

Lesser/Long-Term Bullpen Guys
Victor Arano, RHP
J.D. Hammer, RHP
Garrett Cleavinger, LHP
Mauricio Llovera, RHP

Arano sits 93-94 and has a 55 slider. The bespectacled Hammer touches 99 and has a late-breaking power curveball. Scouts don’t like the extreme stiffness in his delivery and are mixed about whether his breaker has the length to miss big-league bats. On paper, though, that’s not really a question: Hammer has K’d 32% of hitters he’s faced as a pro. He projects in middle relief. Cleavinger (Hellickson trade) is a lefty with a plus curveball. Llovera will touch 97 and has enough slider and changeup feel that it’s likely one of them develops into a viable second offering.

Potential Pop-up Guys
Luke Leftwich, RHP
Edgar Garcia, RHP
Jan Hernandez, INF

Leftwich was a seventh-rounder out of Wofford in 2015. His velocity ticked way up in 2017 (he averaged 90-91 in 2016 and was sitting at 93 last year, touching 97 with good extension), and he has feel for two breaking balls, the better of which is a potential 55 curveball. Garcia sits 90-95, has a 50 slider and 45 change. Hernandez made a swing change last year that substantially altered his batted-ball profile in a way that enabled him to hit for more power. He’s a career .215 hitter, but there is power here.

Bench Contributors
Jesmuel Valentin, UTIL
Deivi Grullon, C
Malquin Canelo, SS
Kyle Martin, 1B
Cornelius Randolph, LF
Andrew Pullin, LF
Jiandido Tromp, OF

Grullon and Canelo could be big-league bench guys. Martin, Randolph, and Pullin could all be bench bats fairly soon, while Tromp has a better mix of tools but no standout skill. Valentin would probably have made the big club out of spring training if Kingery didn’t go nuts.

Cistulli’s Guy
Selected by Carson Cistulli from any player who received less than a 40 FV.

Jacob Waguespack, RHP
Whatever the future outcome for Waguespack, the present outcome is already sufficiently improbable. During his junior season at Ole Miss, Waguespack worked in relief exclusively, recording somewhat uninspiring statistical indicators. Undrafted that June, he signed with the Phillies as a free agent anyway.

After passing his first couple professional seasons in the bullpen, Waguespack moved to the rotation this past May with High-A Clearwater. The success was immediate. Over a 10-start stretch, he recorded strikeout and walk rates of 24.7% and 5.7%, respectively, in 47.0 innings. The performance earned him a promotion to Double-A Reading.

Despite having been overlooked in the draft, Waguespack nevertheless possesses some attributes more commonly associated with actual prospects. Like he’s a well-proportioned 6-foot-6, for example. And also he sits at 93 mph or thereabouts. His mechanics aren’t ideal — he wraps the ball somewhat awkwardly behind his body — but the return on everyone’s investment so far is substantial.

System Overview

The Phillies have a lot of young talent both on the big-league roster and also represented here, in the breakdown of the system. Not only is this system’s depth and quality notable, but so is the way it’s constructed. There’s lots of diverse pitching depth, while most of the position-player prospects play up the middle.

Perhaps what’s most interesting about this system is imagining what it will look like in August. Alfaro, Crawford, and Kingery and probably some combination of upper-level pitchers are almost certain to graduate. But Medina, Sanchez, and the No. 3 overall pick in this year’s draft are all likely 50 FV or better prospects and any of the 45 FVs on the current list could take a slight step forward, and it’s very possible that one of the many lower-level infielders breaks out. In four months the Phillies might have a competitive, young big-league team and a good-looking farm system developing behind it.

Eric Longenhagen is from Catasauqua, PA and currently lives in Tempe, AZ. He spent four years working for the Phillies Triple-A affiliate, two with Baseball Info Solutions and two contributing to prospect coverage at Previous work can also be found at Sports On Earth, CrashburnAlley and Prospect Insider.

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6 years ago

Was there any reports on Ben Pelletier? For a very raw, young, cold-weather guy, his 2017 performance looked good.

6 years ago
Reply to  bloodface

Second this…dude was the youngest player in draft history, but didn’t play in ’16 to go finish high school in Canada… has a quick right handed, decent pull power, short to the ball (from what I can tell based off a few grainy youtube videos 🙂 ) Definitely keeping my eye on him