Quite a few surprises with this report, beginning with the demotions of Crawford and Moniak from the top tier, where they were back in January in our preseason 2017 Philadelphia Phillies Top 50 Prospects list. We also see a few new faces in Tier 1. Some were expected but some were not. As we look over this list, we can see that the Phillies have a plethora of young pitching prospects in their system. Many of them are hard-throwers who can start or relieve. The organization is hedging their bets against the inevitable setbacks to some prospects by having a great quantity of talent. All in all, this is a fairly strong system with the hitters being very close to the majors (or playing in them now) and the pitchers a little further behind in the development curve. Without further ado, let’s get onto my updated Philadelphia Phillies Top 50 Prospects.
Tier 1: Players with high expectations of both making the majors and playing at an All-Star level for a number of years
Tier 2: Players with an above average expectation of making the majors and being a solid contributor
Tier 3: Players with an average expectation of making the majors and being a solid contributor
Tier 4: Players who have the potential of making the majors, or have high likelihood of making the majors but providing minimal impact (e.g. middle reliever, low-ceiling UT guys)
Tier 5: Players who are worth keeping an eye on, but likely to never make a team’s 40-man roster
1. Rhys Hoskins, 1B (preseason ranking #5)
Age: 24 (DOB 03/17/93)
After seeing his play in the majors, you would think the scouts were crazy for not having him higher on their lists. Yes, he has to make adjustments once the pitchers do, but Hoskins has hit throughout his entire career. He’s a polished player who can provide power in addition to getting on base due to his terrific strike-zone judgement.
2. Sixto Sanchez, RHP (preseason ranking #8)
Age: 19 (DOB 07/29/98)
Some publications have him at the number 1 spot for the Phillies. He’s only 18 but he has put up some impressive numbers in his short time in the organization highlighted by his 84 strikeouts in 95 innings with only 18 walks this season. Throws high-90’s fastball effortlessly and has been compared to Johnny Cueto. The sky’s the limit for Sanchez.
3. Scott Kingery, 2B (preseason ranking #7)
Age: 23 (DOB 04/29/94)
After hitting 5 home runs last year in 531 at-bats, he’s gone deep 26 times this year. His BB-rate has stayed the same and the K-rate has decreased. Kingery wasn’t on the 40 man roster preventing him from seeing the majors this year but an early 2018 promotion is expected. If you invested in Kingery prior to this year – kudos to you! If not, grab him if you still can. A 5-tool player like him at 2B is a great asset.
4. Nick Williams, OF (preseason ranking #3)
Age: 23 (DOB 09/08/93)
One of the prospects obtained in the Cole Hamels trade from Texas, Williams has showed power every step of his career. In the majors, he has a slash line of .273/.333/.478 with 8 home runs in 209 at-bats as of 9/3. A future perennial 30 home run hitter.
5. Mickey Moniak, OF (preseason ranking #2)
Age: 19 (DOB 05/13/98)
Very disappointing 2 years for Mickey in his minor league career. In 632 minor league at-bats, he’s slashing .250/.301/.359 with 6 home runs and 21 steals. It’s way too early to give up on him and I expect improvement next year, however.
6. J.P. Crawford, SS (preseason ranking #1)
Age: 22 (DOB 01/11/95)
Many scouts claimed that Crawford is an elite prospect due to his potential and hit tool. I have to disagree. He’s been around a few years and hasn’t shown too much. He was expected to be .300/15/15 type of player but it hasn’t happened. Even if a few of those hits go right at fielders, then you’re looking at a .270 hitter. Sounds alot like Jed Lowrie who you can draft 20 rounds after him.
7. Franklyn Kilome, RHP (preseason ranking #4)
Age: 22 (DOB 06/25/95)
Kilome has done pretty well this year at High-A Clearwater and Double-A Reading, with an overall 2.83 ERA and 103 K in 127 IP. Franklyn has greatly improved his control and throws in the mid 90’s. He can be a future 2 starter within a couple of years if he keeps up this pace.
8. Jorge Alfaro, C (preseason ranking #10)
Age: 24 (DOB 06/11/93)
Alfaro was promoted to the majors this year and showed some good things. He has a strong arm – think Benito Santiago for any children of the 80’s. He slashed .347/.373/.449 in 49 MLB at bats as of this writing. He showed power in the minors and is expected to provide mid 20’s home runs if he can stay healthy.
9. Ranger Suarez, LHP (preseason ranking #43)
Age: 22 (DOB 08/26/95)
Average more than a strikeout an inning with a 1.06 WHIP in 122 innings for two A level leagues this year. Is quickly moving up the rankings and has potential to be a solid 2 or 3 starter. Jump in before more people hear about him.
10. Adam Haseley, OF (preseason ranking – unranked)
Age: 21 (DOB 04/12/96)
2017 1st rounder more than held his own during his first taste of professional baseball with a .288 average and .362 OBP. Does not possess an elite individual took but is average to above-average in each tool and can develop into a mid-teens home run hitter.
11. Cornelius Randolph, OF (preseason ranking #9)
Age: 20 (DOB 06/02/97)
Very young for the level and was known for his hit-tool when drafted. Randolph has the ability to get on base and make contact. His speed and power (or lack thereof) could make it difficult for him to remain in the outfield. Was originally drafted as a shortstop, where his numbers would have played better.
12. Kevin Gowdy, RHP (preseason ranking #12)
Age: 19 (DOB 11/16/97)
Sort of a lost year for Gowdy, as he needed Tommy John surgery. Last year in the Gulf Coast League, he threw 9 innings striking out 9. Fastball can get in the mid-90’s and projects to be a serviceable 2 or 3 starter with a mid 90’s fastball. Expected back by midseason 2018.
13. Roman Quinn, OF (preseason ranking #11)
Age: 24 (DOB 05/14/93)
Injuries continued to halt his development – he hasn’t played since May 28th due to UCL tear in his left elbow. Quinn has a history of injuries but has proven to be an OBP and stolen base threat when healthy. If he can stay healthy and put it all together, he will be a valuable leadoff hitter in the future.
14. Nick Fanti, LHP (preseason ranking – unranked)
Age: 20 (DOB 12/30/96)
Nick threw 2 no-hitters this summer and struck out a batter an inning with a tidy 0.96 WHIP. Someone to keep an eye on as he progresses. Dynasty league participants should try to pick him up now.
15. Seranthony Dominguez, RHP (preseason ranking #47)
Age: 22 (DOB 11/25/94)
Mid-90’s fastball with a plus curve, Dominguez has struck out 82 batters in 66.2 innings. Another potentially solid starter in a few years. Seranthony (great name!) is quickly moving up the charts.
16. Adonis Medina, RHP (preseason ranking #15)
Age: 20 (DOB 12/18/96)
I like this guy alot. He loves to strike out batters – 126 in 113.2 innings pitched this year in Single A. He’s another hard-thrower in the lower minors that the team has been collecting like baseball cards.
17. Jose Taveras, RHP (preseason ranking #30)
Age: 23 (DOB 11/06/93)
Taveras had a great year for High-A Clearwater this year, giving up 2 runs or less in 8 of his 9 starts and 1 run or less in 6 of those. He didn’t miss beat in Double-A or Triple-A either, averaging a 1.07 WHIP across all three levels with almost a strikeout an inning. Keep your eye on this one.
18. Cole Stobbe, 3B (preseason ranking – 18)
Age: 19 (DOB 08/30/97)
Showed his solid toolset this year in short season A ball, hitting 8 home runs in 197 at-bats. A 3rd round pick in 2016, he was called a poor man’s Trevor Story when drafted. Let’s hope the 2016 version and not 2017.
19. Thomas Eshelman, RHP (preseason ranking #17)
Age: 23 (DOB 06/20/94)
A scout compared him to Greg Maddux in the past due to his solid control. This season he walked 18 batters in 150 innings for a 0.97 WHIP. Eshelman doesn’t strike many batter out (6.12 per 9 IP) so he will rely on his control to succeed. Potential 3 or 4 starter in the majors.
20. Darick Hall, 1B (preseason ranking #31)
Age: 22 (DOB 07/25/95)
Hall has crushed 29 home runs in 448 at-bats this year with an OBP of .335 and an OPS of .868. A college-hitter, he is polished for his age. I’m excited about watching him grow.
21. Dylan Cozens, OF (preseason ranking #6)
Age: 23 (DOB 05/31/94)
All of his numbers declined this year from last year’s phenomenal stats. Cozens slash line is .211/.299/.422 which is not good, but there is power (27 HR). He has struck out an amazing 40% of the time in Triple-A after a 35% K-rate last year. Dylan’s power is there but his inability to control the strike zone makes it difficult to foresee a regular starting job soon. He is young enough to make the adjustments but it’s not going to be easy.
22. Jose Gomez, IF (preseason ranking – #21 Rockies)
Age: 20 (DOB 12/10/96)
Gomez was obtained from the Rockies in the Pat Neshek deal. Showed that he can get on base at a .357 clip this year and has stolen 18 bases in 105 games this year.
23. Yacksel Rios, RHP (preseason ranking – unranked)
Age: 24 (DOB 06/27/93)
Recently promoted to the majors after a solid year striking out 10.2 hitters per 9 IP with a 0.82 WHIP. Throws in the high 90’s and has a spectacular slider.
24. Elniery Garcia, LHP (preseason ranking #23)
Age: 22 (DOB 12/24/94)
Has thrown only 30.2 innings this year due to a suspension. One of only a few LHP prospects in the organization so he has a longer leash.
25. JoJo Romero, LHP (preseason ranking #22)
Age: 20 (DOB 09/09/96)
Romero’s 95 mph-fastball helped him strike out over a batter an inning with a 1.11 WHIP across 123 innings for 2 A-level teams this year. Another potentially great starter for the future Phillies.
26. Carlos Tocci, OF (preseason ranking #25)
Age: 22 (DOB 08/23/95)
Tocci can play all 3 outfield spots and has a knack for hitting for a .300 average and getting on base. Was promoted to Triple A for the first time this year. Doesn’t have too much power but can work himself into a utility role/4th outfielder role if the power never develops.
27. Jhailyn Ortiz, OF (preseason ranking #21)
Age: 20 (DOB 11/18/98)
Presently has a 60-grade on the power scale which some scouts think can develop into a 70. Hit over .300 with an OBP over .400 this year with 8 home runs in 159 at-bats. Still very young but can develop into a monster home run hitter.
28. Ricardo Pinto, RHP (preseason ranking #13)
Age: 23 (DOB 01/20/94)
Was the Phillies Minor League Pitcher of the Year in 2015. Had a lackluster 2016 and the mediocrity continued into 2017. Was promoted to the majors this year and held his own. Struck out a batter in inning but also walked 4.5 batters per 9 IP. If he can harness his control, he can continue to work his way up the bullpen hierarchy.
29. Cole Irvin, LHP (preseason ranking #33)
Age: 23 (DOB 01/31/94)
Has been improving since Tommy John surgery in 2014. Over two stops this year, had a 1.18 WHIP with 118 strikeouts in 151.1 innings pitched.
30. McKenzie Mills, LHP (preseason ranking – unranked)
Age: 21 (DOB 11/19/95)
Acquired from the Nationals for Howie Kendrick, Mills has struck out over a batter an inning this year (134 in 120.1 IP) in the minors with only 22 walks.
31. Drew Anderson, RHP (preseason ranking #38)
Age: 23 (DOB 03/22/94)
2016 was a return year for Anderson, coming off Tommy John surgery the previous spring and working through a full season. Was promoted this year to the majors, throwing only 2.1 innings at the big league level as of 9/3. Spent most of 2017 at Double-A Reading.
32. Deivi Grullon, C (preseason ranking #32)
Age: 21 (DOB 02/17/96)
Strong arm behind the plate will keep him there. Showed a little pop with 12 home runs this year but has always had trouble making contact or getting on-base. Still very young and has time to grow.
33. Brandon Leibrandt, LHP (preseason ranking #49)
Age: 24 (DOB 12/13/92)
Has had some injuries in the past and limited his walks in the low minors. Has become more hittable as he progressed to Double and Triple A this year. Let’s see what he can do with a full, healthy year at Triple A next year.
34. Jesmuel Valentin, 2B (preseason ranking #28)
Age: 23 (DOB 05/12/94)
Was considered to be the organization’s 2nd best 2nd base prospect but only played in 29 games this year after dislocating his left shoulder. Impressed the team in Spring Training. May not help your fantasy team but could be utility player in the future.
35. Daniel Brito, 2B (preseason ranking #29)
Age: 19 (DOB 01/23/98)
Brito has regressed in 2017. Showed good plate discipline in previous years but his OBP has decreased to .296 this year.
36. Mitch Walding, 3B (preseason ranking – unranked)
Age: 24 (DOB 09/10/92)
Could be another product of Reading’s home park with 23 home runs in 340 at bats. Posted the highest SLG of his career (.506) at Reading and is a good defender at the hot corner. May be a utility-type in the future.
37. J.D Hammer, RHP (preseason ranking – unranked)
Age: 23 (DOB 07/12/94)
Reliever came over from Colorado in the Pat Neshek deal. Throws consistently between 94-97 mph and can help the future bullpen.
38. Francisco Morales, RHP (preseason ranking #40)
Age: 17 (DOB 10/27/99)
Signed as an International Free Agent in 2016, was ranked as Venezuela’s top pitching prospect. Still very young and years away but has struck out over a batter an inning this year in the Gulf Coast League.
39. Alejandro Requena, RHP (preseason ranking – unranked)
Age: 20 (DOB 11/29/96)
Also acquired from the Rockies in the Pat Neshek trade, Requena has had a good year with a 2.74 ERA and a 1.05 WHIP, with only 25 walks out of the 506 batters he faced this year, striking out 104.
40. Victor Arano, RHP
Age: 22 (DOB 02/07/95)
Fastball in the mid 90’s with control concerns, but struck out over 10 batters per 9 IP in 2016. Hasn’t been lights out in 2017 at Double-A Reading (4.30 ERA, 1.33 WHIP in only 37.2 IP) but has a chance to improve in the next year enough to put himself back in the team’s bullpen plans.
41. Luke Leftwich, RHP (preseason ranking – unranked)
Age: 23 (DOB 06/09/94)
A 7th round pick in the 2015 draft, Leftwich is a 3rd generation ballplayer. He has four pitches with a fastball that can reach up to the mid-90’s. Has an 11 K/9 rate this year with a 1.13 WHIP after being turned into a reliever.
42. Jose Pujols, OF (preseason ranking #27)
Age: 21 (DOB 09/29/95)
Pujols’ numbers have taken a big dip from last year. He went from 24 home runs to 8 and his OBP went from .306 to .247. More worrisome, in 323 at-bats he’s struck out 150 times.
43. Harold Arauz, RHP (preseason ranking – unranked)
Age: 22 (DOB 5/29/95)
Promoted quickly from High A to A to AA this year, the righthander has struck out 8.7 batters per 9 IP this year with a very solid WHIP of 0.88.
44. Will Hibbs, LHP (preseason ranking – unranked)
Age: 23 (DOB 10/27/93)
Has 20 saves this year (at Low-A Lakewood), striking out 79 in 67 innings pitched across 2 levels.
45. Trevor Bettencourt, LHP (preseason ranking – unranked)
Age: 23 (DOB 07/21/94)
76 strikeouts in 57.2 IP for two Single A teams have led to this reliever being selected for the Arizona Fall League this year.
46. Spencer Howard, RHP (preseason ranking – unranked)
Age: 21 (DOB 07/28/96)
Drafted as a reliever in the 2nd round in 2017, he worked as a starter this past year. Has a mid-90’s fastball and has 3 other good pitches.
47. Zach Coppola, OF (preseason ranking – unranked)
Age: 23 (DOB 05/09/94)
39 steals, .363 OBP, 1 home run. Power won’t be his calling card but with his speed he could lead off someday for the team if he continues this trend.
48. Kyle Martin, 1B (preseason ranking – unranked)
Age: 24 (DOB 11/13/92)
22 home runs in Reading with OBP of .290. Has a lot of trouble against LHP. Could be platoon player in the future.
49. Arquimedes Gamboa , SS (preseason ranking – unranked)
Age: 19 (DOB 09/23/97)
Signed in 2014 as an international free agent, the switch-hitting shortstop is batting .255 with 6 home runs in Single A this year.
50. Jiandido Tromp, OF (preseason ranking #50)
Age: 23 (DOB 09/27/93)
A free agent after this season, I’m not sure if he did enough this year for the Phillies to consider keeping him around. He was an Eastern League All Star this year and hit 18 home runs. He has a great name too so we’re hoping he can figure things out just for that alone.
Tony Bps Spina is a lifelong baseball fan hailing from the City of Brotherly Love - Philadelphia! Tony has loved baseball since 1980 and has followed the Phillies through good and bad times. Tony is married with 3 kids and works for a financial institution but has enough free time to play in 20 fantasy baseball leagues with 75% of them being Dynasty Leagues. He lives a few blocks away from Citizens Bank Park and attends many Phillies games per year in addition to their minor league teams in Lehigh Valley and Reading. He can be reached on Twitter at @TonyBps1.
Really curious to see how Eshelman will fare at MLB level. There was no glitches at all as he moved up through the levels. But the MLB bats and home park will be ultimate test for him.