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.
**Editor’s Note: Sixto Sanchez and Will Stewart were removed from this list on 2/7/19 when they were traded to Miami for J.T. Realmuto.**
All of the numbered prospects here also appear on The Board, a new feature at the site that offers sortable scouting information for every organization. That can be found here.
|7||Enyel De Los Santos||23.1||MLB||RHP||2019||45|
Other Prospects of Note
Grouped by type and listed in order of preference within each category.
Grullon has elite arm strength and hit 21 homers at Double-A last year. The power output was likely caricatured by Reading’s ballpark and Grullon is a slow-twitch, immobile defender, and a 20 runner with below average bat speed and is probably more of a third/inventory catcher than a true backup despite the hose and pull pop. Aparicio has a well-rounded collection of tools (5 bat, 45 raw, can catch, 45 arm) but at age 18, is a hefty 5-foot-8, 210, and it’s going to be tough to keep that frame in check. Gutierrez is similar. O’Hoppe was a nice late-round flier, an athletic, projectable catcher from the northeast with the physical tools to hit and catcher’s intangibles. He turns 19 in February and is probably going to take a while to develop. Cabral gets some Henry Blanco comps because he’s similarly built and is a tough guy with a 7 arm, but to say Cabral will have a 16-year career that starts in his late-20s is probably excessive. He profiles as a third catcher.
Simmons signed for $750,000 as a 2018 sixth rounder. He’s super toolsy but sushi raw and may never hit. Aponte, 19, has a projectable frame (6-foot-4, 150) and can spin a breaking ball (2650 rpm) but he’s a below-average athlete and only sits 86-90 right now. De La Cruz has a power forward build at 6-foot-8 and is an extreme power projection long shot. Bocio has plus bat speed and a lean, projectable frame but he’s an extreme free swinger. Gonzalez was sent to the NYPL at 18 and struggled, striking out in 40% of his PA’s. Visually he remains advanced on both sides, tracking pitches well and playing polished defense. He projects as a utility type. Angulo is a lanky, low-slot teenage projection arm. The Phillies wanted to sign Mezquita as an international amateur but he moved away from the U.S. and to the Dominican too late to qualify, so the Phillies stashed him in Hazelton, PA, where he didn’t play high school baseball, and drafted him in the 2017 eighth round. He sits 88-91 and has an average curveball.
Anderson was off and on the DL a bunch in 2016, his first year back from Tommy John, but his stuff blossomed anyway and he was a surprise 40-man add that November. The Phillies have continued to develop him as a starter and he’ll likely compete for the rotation’s fifth spot in the spring. He has a four-pitch mix, and can spin a solid breaking ball. He’s a No. 5 or 6 starter type, like everyone in this group, except for Hammer who is a mid-90s/changeup relief prospect who was hurt for most of 2018. Seabold is a true 40 for those who think he has plus command of an average fastball and slider. Irvin is a soft-tossing lefty whose changeup has improved in pro ball. He dumps a ton of curveballs in for strikes and might be Tommy Milone. Eshelman and Eastman are similar pitchability righties.
All of these guys need to hit a ton to profile because of where they are on the defensive spectrum. Vierling was the club’s 2018 fifth rounder out of Notre Dame. He hit well at Lakewood after signing and is a fairly athletic prospect who spent his early college career as a two-way player. He has some strength-driven power but probably needs a swing change to get to it in games. Cozens is the toolsiest player of this group and has elite power/size/athletic ability, but he’s also plateaued at Triple-A and has red flag contact rates. Listi has some strong underlying indicators (he hits the ball in the air and had strong peripherals at Hi-A last year) but he’s 25, very old for the levels at which he has competed, and looked out of place in the AFL from a tools standpoint. Pelletier is only 20 and has promising hitter’s hands, but imbalanced footwork. If that gets cleaned up, he might break out as he’s performed for two straight years despite these issues.
Rosso is a low slot cutter/breaking ball righty who struck more than a batter per inning over a season split between Low and Hi-A. He sits in the upper-80s and his stuff doesn’t appear to merit the results he’s already gotten, so we might be underrating him. Tols is 29 and has a work of art, 69 mph curveball that spins at 3050 rpm. He’s physically and mechanically similar to Timmy Collins but doesn’t throw nearly as hard. Jones is a big-bodied, 24-year-old lefty whose fastball plays above it’s velo due to deception and extension. He has an average curveball. Taveras’ velocity was way down last year, but he’s a similar extension/deception arm whose stuff is good in short stints before hitters can adjust.
The new Phillies regime has been around long enough that it’s now fair to attempt to identify talent acquisition trends. Perhaps mostly notable so far is how the club has targeted upside in the middle rounds, often scooping up $500,000 – $1 million prep prospects in the fifth to 11th rounds. The player development arm of the organization is transitioning to the philosophy du jour, as the org has brought on adventurous, contemporary thinkers like Driveline Baseball’s Jason Ochart, who will oversee hitting instruction. Several of the prospects in this system would benefit from well-executed swing alterations (especially Haseley and Bohm, and perhaps Moniak), arguably making the new player development infrastructure the focal point of the organization’s growth now that the big league team is good again.
Despite having graduated or traded five 45 FV or better prospects in the last year, the Phillies have a respectable group of high-end talent largely thanks to the emergence of several additions from 2017. Paired with high-upside players like Bohm and Garcia is an awful lot of interesting depth, specifically from Venezuela, which is notable because political and social unrest in the country have made it dangerous and difficult to eat and obtain medicine there, let alone find baseball players.
There are fourteen Venezuelans on this list if we include those in the Others of Note section, which is a much greater number than any other organization we’ve audited so far. The Phillies have several Venezuelan people in influential front office positions and are one of the few teams to still operate an academy there at a time when the U.S. government and MLB have advised citizens and team employees to avoid the country or reconsider travel there.