Looking back is always a fun exercise to bring up memories from the past to and learn from our mistakes. In this article, I am going to review the Phillies top 5 prospects on MLB.com from 2011 through 2019 and take a quick look at what they did for the team and where they are now.
2011– Brody Colvin, Sebastian Valle, Jesse Biddle, Trevor May, Aaron Altherr
Colvin was a 7th round pick in 2009, falling to that round because of signing concerns. Command issues plagued him throughout his time with the organization and he never passed the AA level before being cut after the 2014 season.
Valle was a free agent signing out of Mexico and represented the team in the 2011 Futures Game. His strengths were power and his arm but his hit-tool never developed leading to his release after 2014. He bounced around in the minors for other teams and also in the Mexican league but he never appeared in the majors.
Biddle was the team’s first round pick in the 2010 draft and posted strong strikeout numbers but couldn’t limit his walks during his time with the organization. He underwent Tommy John Surgery in 2015 before being traded to Pittsburgh. Biddle has appeared in the majors, posting below-average numbers out of the bullpen for Atlanta, Seattle and Texas. He is currently in Cincinnati, having signed a minor league contract with the Reds earlier this year.
May was a 4th round pick in the 2008 draft and pitched very well for the team in the low minors. He was traded to the Twins in a deal for Ben Revere in 2012. May had a few solid years out of the bullpen for Minnesota and is pretty active and funny on Twitter @IamTrevorMay
Altherr was the team’s 9th round pick in the 2008 draft and steadily moved up the ranks and had a career season in 2017 slashing .270/.340/.516 with 19 home runs in 372 at bats. Altherr never had the same kind of success in the majors and was designated for assignment early in 2019. He played for the Giants and Mets without making an impact and signed with NC Dinos of the Korean League in November.
2012 – Jesse Biddle, Brody Colvin, Tommy Joseph, Larry Greene, Phillippe Aumont
Joseph, a 2009 2nd round pick for San Francisco, came to the Phillies in a deal for Hunter Pence in 2012. He originally was a catcher but moved to first base due to his concussion history. Joseph was given more playing time to see if he was able to replace Ryan Howard in the lineup but he never worked out. Joseph was released in 2018 and played for the LG Twins of the Korean League last year. With the power potential he had behind the plate, he could have been a solid catcher for any fantasy team.
Greene was the team’s first round pick in 2011, taken before players like Blake Snell and Trevor Story. The first baseman came out of high school known for having massive power but he never developed and he retired in 2015 when he was 22-years-old.
Aumont came over to the team in the 2009 trade sending Cliff Lee to the Mariners. The trade was widely panned at the time especially since the team had just acquired Roy Halladay. Visions of a rotation consisting of both of those aces with Cole Hamels had to wait another year. As for Aumont, he did absolutely nothing positive for the team in his 4 years with the team. Aumont had a 6.80 ERA to go with his 1.99 WHIP before being let do in 2015. He signed with Toronto in December, 2019 after minor league stints with three other teams.
2013 – Jesse Biddle, Maikel Franco, Roman Quinn, J.P. Crawford, Tommy Joseph
Franco was a free agent signing in 2010 out of the Dominican Republic and was the organization’s minor league player of the year in 2013. He appeared on many top prospect lists for the team and played well for the team throughout his time. His defense and base-running were not areas of strength and, along with his poor 2019 season, caused the team non-tender him after 2019. Franco signed with Kansas City and was named their started third basemen going into this year. At only 26-years-old, he is primed to have a breakout year with a fresh start.
Quinn was a 2nd round pick in the 2011 draft and looked like a future leadoff hitter since the day he showed up in A- ball, stealing 30 based with a .370 OBP. The next few years were more of the same – steals and the ability to get on base. Quinn’s career, however, has been beset by multiple injuries but he is still with the team and could be their starting center fielder if the season ever starts and Andrew McCutchen isn’t recovered from his own injury. With his speed, Quinn could have developed into a very solid fantasy option for any league.
Crawford appeared higher on real-life lists rather than fantasy lists because of his defense. He was the team’s first round pick in the 2016 draft and traded to Seattle in the Jean Segura trade in December, 2018. Crawford projects to be the starting shortstop for the Mariners after hitting .226/.313/.371 with 7 home runs and 5 stolen bases in 345 at bats last year. He won’t be considered a top player but he could provide solid numbers as a late round gamble in dynasty leagues.
2014 – J.P. Crawford, Aaron Nola, Maikel Franco, Roman Quinn, Zach Eflin
Nola was the team’s first round pick in the 2014 draft and moved quickly up the ladder debuting in the majors the next year. He had a breakout year in 2017, finishing 3rd in the Cy Young voting and 13th in MVP after going 17-6 with a 2.37 ERA and 224 strikeouts. Still only 26-years-old he is primed to be the team’s ace for many years into the future.
Eflin was one of the first acquisitions by the organization when it started the rebuild after their period of success. He was obtained from the Dodgers along with Tom Windle for Jimmy Rollins. Eflin struggled the first few years but turned into a serviceable back-of-the-rotation started the last two years. He’s still young enough to help the team as an innings eater and could take another step forward this year in his development.
2015 – J.P. Crawford, Mark Appel, Jake Thompson, Nick Williams, Jorge Alfaro
Appel was the first overall pick in the 2013 pick by Houston and struggled to live up to expectations. He was traded to the Phillies in the 2015 Ken Giles trade. Looking back, the Phillies got little value out of that deal. Appel, Tom Eshelman, Brett Oberholtzer and Harold Arauz never appeared in a game with the team. Vince Velasquez is the only remaining player still around, for better or worse. As for Appel, he announced his retirement in February 2018.
Thompson was acquired from the Texas Rangers in the Cole Hamels deal and, at the time, was one of the more highly touted players coming back to Philadelphia. He didn’t do much during his Phillies career with a 4.87 ERA and 1.53 WHIP.
Williams was considered to be a major part of the aforementioned Cole Hamels trade projecting to be an everyday outfielder with speed and power. He is still with the team but hasn’t really taken advantage of the opportunities the team has given him to be a starting outfielder. Williams has the tools and is still young at 26-years-old to break out if given the chance.
Alfaro was also in that Cole Hamels trade but was traded last year to the Marlins for J.T. Realmuto. Alfaro is continuing to develop into a solid option behind the plate with his arm and power. In 2019, he slashed .262/.312/.425 with 18 home runs in 425 at bats and is a solid option if you wait on catchers until later in your draft.
2016 – J.P. Crawford, Mickey Moniak, Nick Williams, Jorge Alfaro, Cornelius Randolph
Moniak was the team’s first round pick in the 2016 draft and is still with the organization, reaching AA last year and representing the team in the Arizona Fall League last year. For someone showing up on these lists since 2016, he’s still only 21-years-old!
Randolph, their first round pick in 2015, was drafted as a shortstop but converted to outfielder in his first year in A-ball. Randolph has fell off prospect lists because of his lack of progress and could find himself out of the organization after this season.
2017 – Mickey Moniak, Sixto Sanchez, Scott Kingery, J.P. Crawford, Jorge Alfaro
Sanchez was a free agent signing back in 2015 out of the Dominican Republic. He pitched very well at every level and was the headliner in the Realmuto deal. He currently is Miami’s top pitching prospect and is poised to appear in the majors as soon as this year and could become a solid 2 starter.
Kingery was the team’s 2nd round pick in the 2015 draft and showed great speed and power in the minor leagues. The Phillies signed him to a major league contract prior to Opening Day 2018 before he even debuted in the majors. Last year, he hit 19 home runs and had 15 stolen bases in 500 at bats. Kingery is only 25-years-old and has the ability to put up 20/20 seasons for a long time.
2018 – Alec Bohm, Adonis Medina, Adam Haseley, JoJo Romero, Mickey Moniak
Bohm is the team’s top prospect after being their 1st round pick in the 2018 draft. Expect to see him in the majors soon, providing a solid average and great power.
Medina hasn’t lived up to the promise he originally showed due to inconsistency and could be moved to the bullpen soon.
Haseley was the team’s first round pick in 2017 and was promoted midway through the 2019 season to help the team because of injuries to their other outfielders. He more than held his own and is in the running to start for the team this year, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he gets more minor league seasoning at AAA.
Romero has been up and down throughout his minor league career and could build off a solid showing in the Arizona Fall League to work his way back into the team’s starting rotation plans. He was their fourth round pick in the 2016 draft.
2019 – Alec Bohm, Spencer Howard, Bryson Stott, Adonis Medina, Spencer Howard, Luis Garcia
Howard was a 2nd round pick in the 2017 draft and has pitched every well throughout his time with the team. He is considered one of the top pitching prospects in baseball and could start for the team as soon as this year.
Stott is a first round pick in the 2019 draft out of UNLV. He has a high floor with above-average skills across the board without any one part standing out. He’s a safe player who should progress quickly to the majors.
Garcia is defensively ready for the majors but his bat needs some work. He has the tools but struggled last year in his first taste of A-ball. He gets a mulligan due to his age.
Looking back at these players, it’s obvious that the team didn’t capitalize on the trades that moved Hunter Pence, Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels and Ken Giles. If more of those players developed, the Phillies would have had more success in recent years. For a team that had those types of assets to move, they should have received better return packages for them. Also, the organization must do a better job with their early round draft picks. Biddle, Greene, Crawford, Randolph, and Moniak have done nothing for the major league team during their time here. Here’s hoping the recent picks can fare much better to help spur the team back into contention.