Tag Archives: Jhailyn Ortiz

Philadelphia Phillies top 20 prospects winter 2020 update

Embed from Getty Images

Alec Bohm should arrive at some point in 2020 to take over the hot corner at Citizens Bank Park

 

Where minor league prospects are concerned, the Philadelphia Phillies system is extremely top-heavy at the moment. That is, at least as far as any who anyone could reasonably forecast as likely to make a real impact on the ball club in the near future.

Fortunately for the Phillies, their top two prospects appear to be extremely talented. Both should slip right into positions of need, and both should see action at Citizens Bank Park at some point in the 2020 season.

Beyond that it truly becomes a crapshoot. There are a couple more players who could come quickly, but whose ceilings are not as obviously high. And there are a number of others with talent, but who will require more developmental time before we can even begin to make real assessments as to their potential impact on the big-league club.

In putting together this list, I utilized my own knowledge based on following the minor leagues closely and on personal observations. One note on my thought process. Unless a younger prospect is so obviously talented as to warrant a bump due to their gifts, I tend to respect actual performance against more advanced competition at the higher levels of the minors over “toolsy” kids in the lower levels.

In addition to my own thoughts, I also gleaned the published opinions of a number of reliable and respected sources, including Baseball America, MLB Pipeline, Baseball Prospectus and a few others who more intimately follow the Phillies on a regular basis.

The following represents the Philadelphia Phillies top 20 prospects list as I see them here on the first day of winter. They are shown with their most likely position at this time, and the age at which they will play most of the 2020 season.

I am providing writeups on the top ten and then a simple ranking of the next ten. I’ll be updating this list at some point in the spring, probably around April or May of 2020.

  1. Alec Bohm, 3B (23): I juggled Bohm and Howard in my mind for awhile when considering this list. Bohm’s solid play as the starting third baseman for Team USA in the Premier 12 tournament in which he homered, doubled three times, and played a solid third base pushed him to the front. The Omaha, Nebraska native was the Phillies first round choice at third overall in the 2018 MLB Draft out of Wichita State University. He has slashed .293/.368/.474 in two minor league seasons, advancing to Double-A Reading by the end of summer 2019. His scouting report at MLB.com tells the tale of why he is so highly touted: “Bohm has the potential to hit for average as well as power at the highest level. He has strength and excellent bat speed to go along with excellent strike zone control. As a result, he can draw walks and doesn’t strike out much, especially for someone who can generate plus raw power.” In his own report back in August, Matt Winkelman of Phillies Minor Thoughts tells the tale of why some still have slight reservations on Bohm’s ceiling: “The real remaining question facing Bohm is where he will play defensively. He has improved at third base, but his actions still aren’t great and he profiles as below average there. Long term he probably moves off the position and tries an outfield corner before moving to first base.” Unless the Phillies make a late push to sign free agent Josh Donaldson or swing a deal for either Kris Bryant or Nolan Arenado, all unlikely, Bohm will get every chance to be their starter at the hot corner at some point in 2020, and probably for years to come.
  2. Spencer Howard, RHP (23): The Phillies brought Aaron Nola to the big-leagues in recent years and he has developed into an ace-caliber starting pitcher. A year ago at this time, Sixto Sanchez was the club’s top prospect and also viewed as a future ace before being dealt to Miami in the J.T. Realmuto trade. Howard now takes up the mantle as the Phillies top pitching prospect and is beginning to gain similar predictions of eventual stardom. Howard lost a little more than a month in 2019 due to a shoulder injury. He returned by early July and as Baseball Prospectus reported “the Phillies made sure he got plenty of innings in Double-A and the AFL to close the gap.” While he can be inconsistent with his breaking balls at times, Howard’s overall numbers are exciting. In three minor league seasons he has allowed 166 hits over 211.1 innings across 47 starts with a 281/74 K:BB ratio, a 3.28 ERA, and a 1.136 WHIP mark. Baseball America’s scouting report on his potential reads “Other than his stint on the IL with shoulder stiffness, there were few blemishes in Howard’s outstanding 2019 season. He has taken massive strides in his two and a half seasons as a pro and now profiles as a potential No. 2 starter. He could be ready to pitch in Philadelphia by the second half of the 2020 season.” He reached Double-A Reading for a half-dozen starts at the end of 2019. Howard will start at Triple-A Lehigh Valley and, if he stays healthy and continues to dominate, will be up when there is an opening in the Phillies rotation.
  3. Bryson Stott, SS (22): The Phillies first-round choice at 14th overall in the 2019 MLB Draft out of the University of Nevada-Las Vegas. His MLB.com report includes “Nearly all of Stott’s tools grade out as at least above-average. He has the chance to be a plus hitter, with very advanced bat-to-ball skills.” Baseball America says “Stott has few clear weaknesses, but also few standout tools.” Some question whether he can stay at shortstop and he may eventually have to slide to second or third base, depending on both his own development and the Phillies future needs. It is likely that he stays at shortstop while rising through the minors over the next couple of seasons.
  4. Francisco Morales, RHP (20): Signed out of Venezuela in 2016 as a 16-year-old, Morales was rated by Baseball America as the top available international free agent that summer. The tall righty has lived up to the hype and could top this list by next off-season. At Low-A Lakewood this past summer, Morales allowed 82 hits over 96.2 innings across 27 games, 15 of those as starts, with a 129/46 K:BB ratio. The MLB.com writeup reflects how most feel at this point: “The raw stuff is all there, but it’s still very much about projection for the big right-hander.” I happen to be bullish on him. He’ll pitch at High-A Clearwater in 2020 with a shot at Double-A Reading if he stays healthy, shows consistency, and continues to produce.
  5. Adonis Medina, RHP (23): A year or two ago, many saw Medina as just slightly behind Sanchez on the Phillies pitching prospect pecking order. He seemed destined for at least a mid-rotation role. Now that is a little cloudier. Winkelman summed it up well: “Medina’s secondary pitches have not taken a step forward and still lack consistency and bite. At his best, Medina will show three plus pitches and look like a mid rotation starter, but there are a lot of times where he is pitching below that.” Medina’s ERA has risen from 2.92 at short-season Williamsport in 2016 to 3.01 with Low-A Lakewood in 2017 to 4.12 at High-A Clearwater in 2018 and most recently to 4.94 with Double-A Reading this past summer. His strikeout totals have dropped each of the last two seasons. His age and experience say that he will pitch at Triple-A Lehigh Valley at some point in 2020, perhaps from the start of the season. His performance and health there will go a long way towards determining his ultimate long-term role. Or he could be used as part of a trade package.
  6.  Mickey Moniak, CF (22): The top overall pick of the 2016 MLB Draft out of a California high school, Moniak has been slow to live up to the status of a first overall draftee. While it’s hard at this point to see him ever being impactful enough to justify that lofty selection, his production over the last two summers is giving hope that he can find a big-league role at some point. In just 39 more plate appearances, Moniak increased his extra-base production from 36 in 2018 to 52 in 2019. He more than doubled his home run total from five to 11, and increased his stolen base numbers from six to 15. Moniak has proven to be an excellent outfield defender to this point. He should play at Triple-A Lehigh Valley in 2020, and could be ready for a backup role with the Phillies by 2021. With continued progress he looks like a future big-league fourth outfielder who can serve as a solid backup at all three positions.
  7. Luis Garcia, SS (19): I hate, hate, hate ranking teenagers who have not flashed much of their projected offensive potential this high. But when everyone else is as bullish as they are on Garcia, I’ll yield to that input. MLB.com says “It’s easy to see Garcia becoming the best prospect in the system in the future and eventually be thought of as one of the top shortstop prospects in the game.” That sounds pretty exciting, no? Baseball Prospectus evaluates him in this way: “We don’t know if he can hit yet. It’s likely to be a few years before we know. He’s very, very far away. Yet even if it takes a half-decade to sort everything out, he’ll only be 23 during the 2024 season.” After a poor 2019 season in which he slashed just .186/.261/.255 over 524 plate appearances as an 18-year-old at Low-A Lakewood, I need to see Garcia begin to produce some offense in order to move him up the list in the future.
  8. Enyel De Los Santos, RHP (24): Now this is more like it for my tastes. An arm who is ready to help the big-league club right now. The issue is, what is the best role for De Los Santos, and what is his ceiling? He signed with the Seattle Mariners as an international free agent out of the Dominican Republic back in 2014. He was dealt to the San Diego Padres in November 2015 for veteran reliever Joaquin Benoit, then to the Phillies two years later for shortstop Freddy Galvis. He has been solid at Triple-A Lehigh Valley in each of the last two seasons, but showed mixed results in a series of cameos with the Phillies. Unless he is included as part of a trade package, expect De Los Santos to compete for a bullpen role in spring training. His MLB rookie status still intact, De Los Santos could end up right back in the IronPigs 2020 rotation, waiting for another shot to help out in Philly when needed.
  9. Damon Jones, LHP (25): I’m as big a fan of tall, hard-throwing southpaws as you are likely to find, and that description fits Jones to a T. The Phillies grabbed him in the 17th round of the 2017 MLB Draft out of Washington State. In 2019, Jones rose through three levels of the minors, allowing 74 hits over 114.1 innings across 23 starts with a 152/59 K:BB ratio. He is almost certainly headed for a bullpen role in the big-leagues, and could fill such a role with the Phillies at some point this season. In fact, don’t be surprised if he emerges as soon as spring training and challenges for an Opening Day roster spot. While there is the potential for Mitch Williams-caliber wildness, he appears to have a bit more control than The Wild Thing. I like this guy. He could end up helping the pen for years to come.
  10. Cristopher Sanchez, LHP (23): Hey, a newbie! And a birthday present for me as well. The Phillies acquired Sanchez on my November 20 birthday this year from the Tampa Bay Rays in exchange for minor league infielder Curtis Mead. The Rays had signed him as an international free agent from the Dominican Republic back in 2013. Like Jones just ahead of him on this list, Sanchez is a tall southpaw, though not with quite as big a fastball. Baseball Prospectus writes “The fastball is plus at 92-94, the slider is firm with tilt, and the change has a chance to be plus with quality separation from his heater and big sink. Tampa Bay had too many quality prospects to protect everyone in December’s Rule 5 draft, so they dealt Sanchez to the Phillies who had the 40-man space to protect this intriguing arm.” He reached Triple-A Durham in Tampa’s system last year, and will be another intriguing option who likely opens with the IronPigs but will be ready to help the Phillies if needed in 2020.
  11. Rafael Marchan, C (21)
  12. Simon Muzziotti, CF (21)
  13. Nick Maton, SS (23)
  14. Johan Rojas, OF (19)
  15. JoJo Romero, LHP (23)
  16. Erik Miller, LHP (22)
  17. Starlyn Castillo, RHP (18)
  18. Connor Seabold, RHP (24)
  19. Jhailyn Ortiz, 1B (21)
  20. Kyle Dohy, LHP (23)

Could make the next list: Jamari Baylor, SS (19)

Others like him more: Deivy Grullon, C (24)

I just don’t get it: Arquimedes Gamboa, SS (22)

 

MORE RECENT PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES CONTENT:

Phillies Nation places Alec Bohm at top of latest Phillies Top 20 Prospects rankings

Embed from Getty Imageswindow.gie=window.gie||function(c){(gie.q=gie.q||[]).push(c)};gie(function(){gie.widgets.load({id:’MVF2FtJcSb9L7JOAMCCOAQ’,sig:’noJKpw5fqYfCWJ1f5jRM-TsO6C4qh8YppKKxSxnZTLQ=’,w:’594px’,h:’396px’,items:’978854850′,caption: true ,tld:’com’,is360: false })});//embed-cdn.gettyimages.com/widgets.js

Alec Bohm ascends to the top of the Phillies prospect rankings

The Phillies Nation official Top 20 Philadelphia Phillies prospect ranking is being updated here based on a survey of select members of our current staff taken as Spring Training wound down back in late March.

Taking part in the survey were Editorial Director Tim Kelly, lead writer Matthew Veasey (yours truly) and staff writers Alec Whitaker and Drew Rhoades.
We each presented individual Phillies top 20 prospect lists. These were subsequently compiled into what you find presented below as our official ranking.
As always, the staff here at Phillies Nation follow the organization on a regular basis, from the lowest levels of the minor leagues on up through the big league club. We regularly read evaluations from industry experts and those who closely follow the team.
In forming our opinions we incorporate those of the scouts and industry experts from various sources including MLB PipelineBaseball AmericaFangraphs and a variety of other respected outside resources. We also attend games in person at a number of levels and watch televised broadcasts of the big club and minor league affiliates. As often as possible, we work to see players and prospects actually perform on the field with our own eyes as well.
This latest Phillies Nation version of the current Phillies Top 20 Prospects is meant to present fans of the team with a clearer picture of the very best youngsters now moving through the organization’s minor league system.
Our usual standards applied: in order for players to be considered, they must have not used up their rookie qualifications of 130 big-league at-bats or 50 innings pitched with Major League Baseball.
To come up with each player’s ranking, I simply took each of our staffer’s lists and assigned a numeric point value based on those lists. A first place ranking from our staffer got you one point, a fifth place spot five, a 12th place spot got you 12 points and so on.
A dozen prospects found themselves on all four of our lists. You will find them as the No. 1-12 ranked prospects below. The next five from 13-17 were named on three of our four lists. The final three players at 18-20 were on two lists. Two other players were also named on two lists but ranked lower overall.
Full write-ups on the top 10 are supplied with 11-20 simply ranked. And once again as a bonus, players who were mentioned by at least one of our staffers but who did not make the overall top 20 are presented as well.
We hope you enjoy, and feel free to let us know about someone who you think we should be looking at for our next ranking in the late summer, your favorites who may not have made the list.


PHILLIES NATION: PHILLIES TOP 20 PROSPECTS
  1. Alec Bohm, 3B: After the Phillies dealt away their consensus top prospect in pitcher Sixto Sanchez back in early February in the J.T. Realmuto trade, Bohm has ascended to the organizational throne. Well, at least in the eyes of three of our four participating staffers. The third overall pick in last year’s MLB Draft out of Wichita State, Bohm is billed as an advanced bat with both power and high-average potential who controls the strike zone well and who simply needs to prove that he can stay at the hot corner for the long-term. That will be his mission as he opens his first full professional season at Low-A Lakewood. If he produces as expected, you will at least see Bohm at High-A Clearwater before the summer is out. If he both hits and fields the position well you might even see him at Double-A Reading around the time that he turns 23 years of age in early August. Maikel Franco is off to a hot start in Philly. Rhys Hoskins has first base nailed down. However, with a new Collective Bargaining Agreement coming in a couple of years, we may see the Designated Hitter in the National League starting in the early-2020s. That could pave the way for Bohm’s promotion, if he doesn’t force a tough decision before hand.
  2. Adonis Medina, RHP: With the trade of Sanchez, Medina has inherited the title of top pitching prospect in the Phillies system. He also received the other top overall prospect vote from our Drew Rhoades, who stated the following: “the unanimous top pitching prospect for the Phillies, and for good reason. Medina has a 3.21 ERA in five seasons in the minors, and while his 4.12 ERA last season was a bump up from his 2017 3.01 ERA, he still has the stuff (9.9 SO/9 in 2018) to make it in the majors.” MLB Pipeline says “Pure stuff-wise, Medina is as electric as perhaps any prospect’s in baseball and when he’s locked in, he can be virtually unhittable. He uses his three-pitch mix to miss a lot of bats, striking out 10 per nine innings in his first two years of full-season ball.” Our Tim Kelly stated the following: “… it is worth noting that of the 51 earned runs that Medina surrendered in 111.1 innings at Single-A Clearwater, 26 of those runs came in just four starts. If he can limit his outliers in 2019, he could rise up through the Phillies system relatively quickly.”  He won’t turn 23 years old until a week before Christmas. Medina opens the season with Double-A Reading and, assuming he continues on his current developmental path, should reach Triple-A Lehigh Valley before the season is over. If his season is strong enough and he remains healthy you might even see him get a September cup of coffee in Philadelphia.
  3. Adam Haseley, OF: Haseley turns 23 in the second week of April, and the eighth overall pick in the 2017 MLB Draft will open the season with Double-A Reading. Though Bohm got my top prospect vote, I had Haseley in my second position. I’m a fan of his toolbox. The kid can flat-out rake, with a sweet left-handed swing that consistently finds the barrel of the bat. Pipeline reports that he “…doesn’t strike out a ton and can draw walks and there’s the chance for more power to come as he learns to add more leverage to his swing, something he did more of later in his first season.” Though Haseley slashed just .167/.211/.250 in the Grapefruit League last month, he impressed many, including our Alec Whitaker: “…impressed me with his ability to hit to all fields. He brings speed, hustle, and solid defense to the table as well. He didn’t hit incredibly well in Spring Training, but he did other things well and gained valuable experience.” This will be an extremely important season for Haseley. The Phillies appear set in the outfield over the next couple of seasons, so he doesn’t have to be rushed. Produce this year in Reading and next year at Lehigh Valley, and 2021 could find him pushing his way to the Phillies. It’s entirely possible he pushes his way towards the majors much quicker. If he forces the organization’s hand sooner, it will be a good problem to have.
  4. JoJo Romero, LHP: Since Cole Hamels broke into the big-leagues in 2006 the Phillies have not developed a left-handed starter who has made a difference in their rotation other than J.A. Happ, who was dealt away in the 2010 Roy Oswalt trade, after one solid season. He won’t turn 23 until September, but Romero is not far off from helping the Phillies. Pipeline writes: “At his best, Romero commands his fastball to both sides of the plate and goes right after hitters, something he struggled with in the early going a year ago. Strong and athletic, he shouldn’t need too much more time to be ready for a gig as a mid-rotation starter.” If he remains healthy and productive this year, we might even see him get a promotion to Philadelphia later in the season. For now, he opens the season as part of the Triple-A Lehigh Valley rotation looking to both work on his control and demonstrate that he can get more advanced hitters out on a regular basis.
  5. Mickey Moniak, OF: “The former No. 1 overall pick slashed .286/.332/.442 with 29 RBIs and 17 walks after the All-Star Break a season ago. Now 20, this will be a crucial season.” That was the breakdown from Tim Kelly, pointing out the 2018 second-half breakthrough, which those who remain in Moniak’s corner are hanging their hats upon. Consider me one of them. I simply cannot believe that the Phillies would get it so wrong with the top overall pick in the 2016 MLB Draft. Pipeline stated “…he’s reportedly already added more strength this off-season to help him show more extra-base thump. He was more consistent defensively as well and showed he could help a team in center field even when he wasn’t swing the bat as well.” Moniak turns 21 years old in May and joins Haseley in the Reading outfield this season in what will be a crucial year for him to finally put it all together.
  6. Luis Garcia, SS: Easily the most disparate vote-getter among our staff, who ranked him third, sixth, ninth and 11th on our individual lists. With Garcia, it’s all about whether you value potential over a more proven record at advanced levels and closeness to helping the big club. The 18-year-old has that high potential in his corner. Pipeline describes it perfectly: “It’s hard not to get excited about Garcia’s tools, though it should be tempered with the fact that much of it is projection and the teenager has a long way to go.” When Sanchez was still in the system this past off-season, Baseball America ranked Garcia third behind Sixto and Bohm saying he is “at least a few years away, but he could soon become the Phillies top prospect as a potential plus hitter with plus defense at a premium position.” In ranking him third, Kelly pointed out that ESPN’s Jeff Passan has predicted that Garcia would be the club’s number one prospect at the end of this season.
  7. Enyel De Los Santos, RHP: It’s difficult to see where De Los Santos fits in with the Phillies, assuming he isn’t used as trade bait at some point. Alec Whitaker believes that “he may be better off served in the bullpen long-term. If that is the case, he has a chance to become an effective reliever.” His fastball and change are already good enough to help the Phillies bullpen right now. However, the organization will pitch him as part of their season-opening six-man rotation at Triple-A Lehigh Valley. He doesn’t turn 24 until Christmas Day, so time remains on this side. Expect to see him back with the Phillies again at some point this year when the need arrives for an emergency pitcher in either role.
  8. Spencer Howard, RHP: He’ll turn 23 years old at the end of July and will open the season fronting the High-A Clearwater rotation. As he gets more innings under his belt and the six-man Reading rotation sorts itself out, expect to see Howard at Double-A before that birthday. “He misses plenty of bats and has the stuff to be a frontline starter,” per Pipeline. “The only thing that could hold him back is his command and control. If he can build off of his improvements in finding the strike zone as well as consistent mechanics on his breaking stuff, he could reach that ceiling in the near future.
  9. Ranger Suarez, LHP: As Whitaker points out “He’s a lefty, which makes him vital to the Phillies – who lack lefty pitching. He’s probably destined for the bullpen, but he has back-end starter potential.” If Suarez pitches well as part of the IronPigs six-man rotation he will simply be waiting, like De Los Santos, for another opportunity in Philadelphia. His chance could come sooner due to his southpaw status, especially if Adam Morgan and Jose Alvarez let the Phillies down. Pipeline gets it right again: “His ceiling is limited to that of a back-end stater, but he’s ready to help out now.
  10. Jhailyn Ortiz, OF: Rhoades wrote “I love Jhailyn’s potential as a slugger. Back in 2017, former director of player development Joe Jordan called Ortiz a “hitter with power.” He isn’t wrong. Ortiz hit 13 home runs in 110 games last season, albeit with a .225 average. In 2017, Ortiz hit .302, so perhaps he’ll continue to grow as a contact hitter.”  Pipeline backs up that assessment of Ortiz power in their report which calls the tool “at least a 70 on the 20-to-80 scouting scale.” For Ortiz, who will play all of the 2019 season at age 20, it will be all about proving he can be something more than an all-or-nothing type. He begins the year battling a hamstring strain, and should open his season with High-A Clearwater once healthy.
  11. Cole Irvin, LHP
  12. Francisco Morales, RHP
  13. Arquimedes Gamboa, SS
  14. Rafael Marchan, C
  15. Mauricio Llovera, RHP
  16. Kyle Young, LHP
  17. David Parkinson, LHP
  18. Simon Muzziotti, OF
  19. Cornelius Randolph, OF
  20. Kyle Dohy, LHP

Phillies Top 20 Prospects Summer 2018

Embed from Getty Imageswindow.gie=window.gie||function(c){(gie.q=gie.q||[]).push(c)};gie(function(){gie.widgets.load({id:’fhJAZfsiQlxCL5ZHYvQLtA’,sig:’GSYfq1jXHcjhwE9a6WtwJwgh9Eo6Dr7O-_CxC_Cr8PU=’,w:’594px’,h:’396px’,items:’967382762′,caption: true ,tld:’com’,is360: false })});//embed-cdn.gettyimages.com/widgets.js

Pitcher Sixto Sanchez is the consensus top Phillies prospect

The Phillies Nation official Top 20 Philadelphia Phillies prospect ranking has been compiled from a survey of select members of our current staff.

Taking part in the survey were myself, Editorial Director Tim Kelly and staff writer Alec Whitaker, who produces our “Minor League Mash-up” series and regularly covers the Phillies minor league system here at Phillies Nation.
Each of these staffers presented their own individual Phillies Top 20 Prospect lists, which were then compiled into what you find presented below as our official ranking.
The staff here at Phillies Nation all follow the organization on a regular basis, from the lowest levels of the minor leagues on up through the big league club. We regularly read over the evaluations of both industry experts and others who closely follow the team.
We also attend games at a number of levels, watch TV broadcasts of the big club and minor league affiliates, and get to see players and prospects actually perform on the field.
These types of lists are always going to be subjective in nature. However, we incorporate the opinions of industry experts from places such as MLB PipelineBaseball America and a variety of other respected outside resources in helping to form our individual opinions.
This Phillies Nation version of the current Phillies Top 20 Prospects reflects those influences. It presents fans with a realistic picture of the very best youngsters now moving through the organization’s minor league system.
As for qualifications, we operated with the standard that to be considered, players must have not used up their MLB rookie qualifications of 130 big league at-bats or 50 innings pitched.
To come up with each player’s ranking, I simply took each of our three staffer’s lists and assigned a numeric point value based on those lists. A first place ranking from our staffer got you one point, a fifth place spot five, a 12th place spot got you 12 points. Add up the points for a total with the lowest being the best, and that’s how the final PN rankings were established. There were 15 prospects who received votes from all three of us.
You will find full write-ups on the top 10, and then 11-20 simply ranked. As a bonus, players who were mentioned by one of our staffers but who didn’t make the official rankings will be noted as well.

PHILLIES NATION: PHILLIES TOP 20 PROSPECTS

Sanchez was rated in the top spot by all three Phillies Nation evaluators.
1. Sixto Sanchez, RHP: The consensus top Phillies prospect at this time, not only on our PN list, but also per every reputable industry resource. Sanchez just left his teenage years behind a little over a week ago, and has spent the past couple of months on the minor league disabled list after suffering inflammation in his right (pitching) elbow. Signed by the Phillies as a 16-year-old international free agent out of his native Dominican Republic back in 2015, Sanchez has been advancing incrementally through the club’s farm system ever since. Over eight starts at High A Clearwater this season, he’s gone 4-3 with a 2.51 ERA and 1.071 WHIP, allowing 39 hits over 46.2 innings with a 45/11 K:BB ratio. Whitaker commented that “no one in the Phillies system has as much upside as the 20-year-old flamethrower.” MLB.com backs up that description with their scouting report: “It’s hard not to get excited about Sanchez’s combination of pure stuff and feel for pitching. While he is just six feet tall, he’s strong and athletic with a repeatable delivery that points to a future in a rotation. He can hit triple digits with his four-seam fastball and also features a two-seamer with a ton of sinking action. His fastball is better than its pure velocity because of its movement as well as his ability to command it extremely well. His secondary stuff continues to improve, with a breaking ball he adds and subtracts from and a changeup he shows a good feel for at times. Both will flash above-average to plus, and given his overall feel for pitching, there is confidence both will get there consistently in time.” The Phillies are being understandably conservative in handling his rehabilitation. It is hoped that he will return to pitching this month. Assuming he is recovered and progresses physically, it would not be unreasonable to expect Sanchez to reach Double-A Reading next season, and possibly get a taste of Triple-A Lehigh Valley as well. By spring of 2020, when he will still be just 21 years of age, Sanchez should be pushing for a role in the Phillies starting rotation.

Bohm was the Phillies top pick in the 2018 MLB Amateur Draft
2. Alec Bohm, 3B: The Phillies top pick at third overall in the 2018 MLB Amateur Draft out of Wichita State University, Bohm turned 22 years old this past Friday. He was ranked in the top three on each of our staffers lists, and both MLB and Baseball America have him in this second slot. An advanced college hitter who slashed .339/.436/.625 with 16 home runs, 14 doubles and 55 RBIs over 224 at-bats during his senior year, Bohm is an all-around offensive force. The big question is going to be whether or not he can stay at the hot corner. Even if he can’t, the bat would play at first base or on an outfield corner. Whitaker says that he has “the most upside of any bat in the system. Bohm is a great combination of power, plate discipline, and hitting ability.” With Maikel Franco showing rapid improvement in his own overall game, the Phillies might be smart to try him out as a corner outfielder sooner rather than later. Carlos Santana‘s deal is up following the 2020 season. Bohm will be 24 by then, and could replace Rhys Hoskins in left field, with Hoskins moving back to first base for his age-28 season in 2021.
3. Adam Haseley, OF: I’ll admit it, I’m the one guy who ranked Haseley ahead of Bohm. That was for two reasons. First, Bohm has just 73 professional plate appearances. Second, Haseley has really stepped up his game in his own first full season in pro ball. The Phillies first round pick at eighth overall a year ago out of the University of Virginia, Haseley doesn’t possess Bohm’s power. But he does have some developing pop, and is just as strong an offensive player in every other facet. A more pure defender out there, Haseley could end up at any of the three outfield spots. Already at Double-A Reading, Haseley has hit for a .307/.362/.432 slash with 30 extra-base hits and 68 runs scored over 448 plate appearances combined across two minor league levels this season. Whitaker believes that Haseley “does a little bit of everything on the field and could have an impact on the big club by Opening Day 2019.” While that might be a tad optimistic, it would not be unreasonable at all to think we could see Haseley debut at Citizens Bank Park at some point next season.

Medina has at least a mid-rotation upside, and could develop into even more. (Baseball Betsy)
4. Adonis Medina, RHP: All three of us rated Medina in this spot, so there you have it. Both MLB and Baseball America have him in the number three slot. A quick glance at his stat line reveals a 4.96 ERA this season at High A Clearwater. But as Baseball America explains it, a “pair of meltdown starts in April and a couple more sprinkled later in the season left Medina with a bloated ERA, but he still shows the stuff to be a mid-rotation starter.” His fastball-slider-changeup combo each flash above average at times. He profiles as a mid-rotation starter with greater upside, if he and the organization can pinpoint and eliminate whatever has led to his increased tendency to surrender the long ball this season. Turning 22 in December, he should be at Double-A Reading next year, pushing for a spot with the Phillies by 2020.
5. JoJo Romero, LHP: A top 10 Phillies prospect on all three of our lists, Romero is slotted in at No. 5 for MLB and No. 6 with Baseball America. Whitaker noted that “an ERA of 3.80 while playing in a tough pitchers park at Reading is more than okay. Romero could be a solid middle rotation option or an elite lefty out of the bullpen.” Following an extremely rough start to his season, the southpaw has greatly improved to the tune of a 79/28 K:BB ratio over his last 73.1 innings, during which he has fashioned a strong 2.95 ERA. You like those numbers, right? He’ll turn 22 years of age in September, and with 18 starts under his belt already with Double-A Reading, Romero is in line to push his way to the fringes of a big league shot by sometime next season.

Dominguez is already impacting the big club, and could become a lights-out closer.
6. Seranthony Dominguez, RHP: He’s already here in Philly, so fans are becoming well acquainted with the fire-balling relief pitcher. Whitaker commented that “Dominguez moved from the starting rotation to the bullpen and everything has clicked for him. He can reach 100 MPH and has a wipe out slider. The Phillies may have found their closer for the foreseeable future.” The Baseball America evaluators have been impressed by his performance in the big leagues thus far, commenting that the 23-year-old has “quickly established himself as one of the better relievers in the big leagues. Dominguez has…with an electric fastball that sits in the upper 90s and a plus slider he can use as a finishing pitch.” Dominguez is not only a huge part of the Phillies future, but he is already a huge part of their present.
7. Jhailyn Ortiz, OF: Power is the calling card for this Dominican native, who will turn 20 in November. Ortiz has 27 homers and 98 RBI over his first 732 minor league plate appearances, all coming as a teenager. His raw power has always been evident. It’s the reason that the Phillies gave him a $4 million signing bonus back in 2016. He is willing to put in the work to get better as well. As MLB noted in their scouting report: “Ortiz gets high marks for his work ethic and desire to improve.” He still strikes out plenty, and may have to move one level at a time, meaning you may not see him in Philly much before the 2022 season. But it also may be well worth the wait in the end.
8. Mickey Moniak, OF: The first overall pick by the Phillies in the 2016 MLB Amateur Draft seems to finally be finding his footing as a professional. Now at High A Clearwater, Moniak has equaled his RBI total from a year ago and has just seven fewer extra-base hits in 143 less plate appearances. He hit .277 with 13 extra-base hits in July. Still, for Moniak to live up to anything close to his top pick potential, he is going to have to get on-base at a much better clip than the .294 OBP that he has on his stat sheet after his first 1,069 minor league plate appearances. Still very much a project, fans should remain hopeful thanks to his recent hot spell. Having turned just 20 years old in May, the lefty hitter from California still has plenty of time to keep working and get it to click.

Moniak was the top overall pick in the 2016 MLB Amateur Draft
9. Ranger Suarez, LHP: He’s the last player on this list to make all three of our top ten Phillies prospects. Suarez is also the second player on this list to reach the majors. He got his name into the Baseball Encyclopedia and picked up his first big league victory with a spot-start on July 26 against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park. Suarez was the first lefty to start a game for the Phillies in nearly two years. MLB compared him to Romero, who is three spots ahead of him on our list and theirs. “There isn’t a huge separation between him and Romero, who is a few spots ahead on this list. Romero might have a little more sizzle to his stuff, but the Phillies are just as exciting to see Suarez take on upper-level hitters and develop into a future big league starter.” Between the two of them, the Phillies are likely to find at least one southpaw to take a more regular turn in their rotation, possibly by next season.
10. (tie) Enyel De Los Santos, RHP: Just as with Suarez, De Los Santos got to make his big league debut earlier this season with the Phillies. Unlike the lefty, this right-hander made a return engagement. Unfortunately, the second start for De Los Santos wasn’t as good as the first. On July 10, he beat the New York Mets by striking out six and surrendering just five hits over 6.1 innings. But five days later, the Miami Marlins ripped seven hits off him on the way to scoring five earned runs, knocking De Los Santos out after just 4.1 innings. Obtained in a straight-up trade for Freddy Galvis from the San Diego Padres back in December, the Dominican will turn 23 years of age in December. The Baseball America evaluators like what they’ve seen of his minor league performances this year: “He has shown a promising combination of power stuff, durability and control, producing one of the lowest ERAs this year in the Triple-A International League. De los Santos pitches off a fastball that sits 92-96 mph and can touch 98, and he leans on his above-average changeup as his out pitch that’s more advanced than his breaking stuff.

Finally healthy, Quinn brings a dynamic element to Phillies mix.
10. (tie) Roman Quinn, OF: The other two guys may be wondering how Quinn, who each ranked at #14, was able to crack our overall top ten list. Well, the speedy 25-year-old who has been making an impact with the Phillies over the last week or so can thank yours truly. Always a big Quinn fan, I put him at No. 5 on my own list. His scouting report at MLB reveals why I’ve been impressed. “Quinn is still one of the fastest men in baseball, with true 80 speed on the 20-to-80 scale, with four seasons of 30 or more steals, all the more impressive considering how oft-interrupted they have been. His overall approach at the plate has changed as he’s learned the importance of drawing walks and getting on base and while power is never going to be a huge part of his game, he has the strength to impact the ball enough to be a solid average hitter. He is a plus defender in the outfield with a strong arm.” It’s that “oft-interrupted” part that has been the problem. One injury after another has derailed Quinn’s rise over the last few years. He now appears to finally be healthy. If he stays that way, he is going to make for some difficult Phillies decisions in the coming months.
12. Cole Irvin, LHP
14. Luis Garcia, SS
16. Dylan Cozens, OF
17. Kyle Dohy, LHP
18. David Parkinson, LHP
19. Kyle Young, LHP
20. Spencer Howard, RHP
ALSO receiving votes (alphabetical order): Drew AndersonDaniel BritoKevin GowdyCornelius Randolph
Originally published at Phillies Nation as “Phillies Nation Top 20 Philadelphia Phillies Prospects – August 2018

Phillies Fall 2016 Top Ten Prospects: Near Misses

Over the past week, I have been releasing a countdown of the Philadelphia Phillies Top Ten Prospects as of Fall 2016.
That Phillies top prospect list shows that this vastly improved organization has a tremendous mix of talented youngsters coming at a variety of positions.
The current top ten includes three pitchers, a catcher, a second baseman, a shortstop, and four outfielders. At least three of these prospects appear ready to impact the team in the 2017 season.
But there were others who didn’t make the cut, but who were close. Players who are legitimate big league prospects. 
Certainly a few of them would have made the top ten list in the estimations of other talent evaluators. Let’s examine a few of the prospects who just missed my list.

HITTERS WHO JUST MISSED THE TOP TEN

Possibly the most familiar name who was not included on my Fall 2016 Phillies Top Ten prospects countdown was outfielder Dylan Cozens. If I went further, he would probably be #11 or 12 on my list.
Along with another interesting hitter, first baseman Rhys Hoskins, I want to see Cozens produce next season at AAA Lehigh Valley before ranking them any higher.
The pair played the 2016 season with AA Reading, a notorious hitting environment. When I think of guys who were bat-first players who put up big numbers at Reading, I think of Darin Ruf.
If Cozens and Hoskins turn into Ruf, they are not top ten caliber prospects. For me, it will be all about how these two perform at the next level in the 2017 season.
Another who just missed is catcher Andrew Knapp. The 2015 Paul Owens Award winner has clearly been passed on the organizational catching ladder. Knapp seemed to regress a bit in 2016, so next year will be a big season for the now 25-year old.
There are four other hitters who I really like, but who are just too far away yet for me to include in a top ten list. Those are third baseman Cole Stobbe, and outfielder Jose PujolsJhailyn Ortiz, and Carlos Tocci.

PITCHERS JUST OUTSIDE THE TOP TEN

Easily the biggest name pitcher who missed my list was former first overall MLB Amateur Draft pick Mark Appel. He would have battled Cozens for the #11 spot on my rankings.
Appel needed bone spurs removed from his right pitching elbow in June. Before his talent can take over and give him a chance, he needs to get and stay healthy.
The 25-year old has a big 2017 season ahead of him, one that could find him advance quickly. If Appel is indeed healthy and performing to his talent level, he could finish the year in Philadelphia.
It’s easy to like Appel as a person. He is quality in that regard. Now it’s time to find out what he can be as a professional baseball player.
I’m a guy who likes command and control from my pitchers, and the more talented pitchers in the Phillies farm system outside my top ten seem to be lacking that right now.
One who highlights that well is Alberto Tirado. The righty turns 22 years old in a couple of weeks. In 314 minor league innings over parts of five seasons across two organizations, Tirado has shown that he can strike hitters out. He has a 9.4 K/9 ratio. However, he also has an unacceptable 5.7 BB/9 mark.
This was his first full season in the Phils’ organization this year after coming over in the 2015 trade from the Toronto Blue Jays for Ben Revere. Tirado went 7-1 with a 3.90 ERA, allowing just 51 hits over 64.2 innings with 102 strikeouts. Pretty darned impressive. However, he also walked 42 batters, a 5.8 BB/9 ratio that is right in line with his career totals. Unacceptable.
Another arm that I really like, but who is just too far away yet to put in my top ten, is 18-year old righty Sixto Sanchez. He snapped onto the radar this summer, leading the GCL with a 0.50 ERA.
Sanchez has only been pitching for two years, and this was the first year in the United States for the Dominican native. He needs to show that it was no fluke, and that he can keep progressing.

PHILLIES FALL 2016 TOP TEN

For those who may have missed it, the below is my Philadelphia Phillies Fall 2016 Top Ten Prospects ranking. I’ll be re-evaluating the system again and updating the ranking next May, prior to the 2017 MLB Amateur Draft.
The “name” link takes you to the player’s statistical page at Baseball Reference. The “Fall Evaluation” link takes you to my piece on them, explaining my ranking.