Let’s Take A Moment And See How The Top Phillies Prospects Are Doing
We need to take a break from reading about borderline unwatchable baseball at the Major League level and take the time to daydream a little bit about what might be. Here’s a quick breakdown of the Top 10 prospects in the Phillies farm system from my perspective.
1. JP Crawford SS (above)
JP is supposed to be the guy. The second coming of Jimmy Rollins. Well since last year he hasn’t shown much of anything and he is off to such a cold start right now. I’m not ready to blow the whistle on him, but we have the best defensive shortstop in baseball, who also happens to have 20 HR pop in front of him. If JP wants to steal Freddy’s spot at this point, he is going to really need to start turning some heads. Doesn’t help his case with Scott Kingery impressing, Roman Quinn’s ability to play the infield and Jesmuel Valentin knocking on the door as well.
Here’s a few names in case you forgot; Adrian Cardenas, Kyle Drabek, Michael Taylor, Jason Knapp, Lou Marson, Jonathan Singleton. These were all top tier guys in our farm that we traded away for the likes of Joe Blanton, Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Roy Oswalt and Hunter Pence. Maybe I’m wrong on JP and I hope I am, but if this team really thinks they can contend by 2019, throwing JP’s name onto the trading block is not the worse decision. With Freddy’s free agency year looming after the 2018 season and the marquee names that will be available in that class as well, I am really excited to see what management has in store with the SS position for the future.
2. Mickey Moniak OF
Josh Norris, a Baseball America editor, threw out a tweet on March 25 that said, “Mickey Moniak just turned a 93 mph fastball into a triple into RCF. Gorgeous swing, runs like a gazelle.” Now that’s the kind of stuff you what you want to be hearing from the 2016 1st overall pick. He gained 20 lbs this offseason and has plenty of time to develop and grow into his body, From the naked eye it may seem like the kid may lack some power, but keep in mind he is only 18. The singles hitter that he looks to be now, will soon turn into gap and maybe, even home run power. Try and head out to Lakewood this summer to watch this kid play. It’s roughly an hour from the city. I attached a great interview of Mickey, below. Starts around the 34:00 minute mark.
3. Jorge Alfaro C
I know I am not alone in this take, but I definitely don’t read it often enough. Jorge Alfaro is far and away the best prospect in the entire Phillies system. Like all organizations, the Phillies have to backdoor his 2017 debut due to service time, but this was no mystery. By the beginning of June, if Jorge Alfaro is not the everyday Phillies backstop, I will riot. After watching him lead Team Columbia in the WBC and his brief audition last season, the days are most certainly numbered for Cameron Rupp. The time is now for Alfaro to start acquainting himself with the Phillies arms of the future, Jerad Eickhoff, Aaron Nola and Vince Velasquez.
4. Nick Williams OF
I’ve read that Williams might have some temperament issues, but I have also read claims disproving that. Williams has the build and athleticism to be an everyday outfielder, but I am not sure if he has the swing quite yet. He definitely doesn’t have the plate discipline. He is still raw, but I don’t see him being much of an improvement over Aaron Altherr. I’m very curious to see what their plan is with Nick. Odubel will lock down center for the next 5 years, Dylan Cozens #9 has far greater power, and I think Roman Quinn, #6 on this list, will become a much better everyday player. If we see improvement in the XBH and OBP numbers over the next year and half, than sign me up for some Nick WIlliams.
5. Franklyn Kilome RHP
Kilome is a big righthander, standing at 6’6 and throwing from a 3/4 slot. If you want, youtube some of his BP sessions and you will see a guy with a very smooth delivery and imposing presence on the mound. His fastball can touch 97 and his curve and off-speed appear to be plus pitches. While his K/9 has made vast improvement since he signed as 19yr old, his BB/9 has worsened. Command is always a problem for young pitchers, but he will be in store for a promotion to Reading at some point this season if he can make those adjustments in Clearwater.
6. Roman Quinn OF
I love this kid. A switch hitter who has lightening speed and can make things happen on the ball field. He impressed during his call up last September and he certainly caught mine and few other folks attention this Spring. He hasn’t had the best start in AAA this season, but I think all the Phillies need to see out of him at his point is health. Can he stay on the ball field through July without any setbacks and if so, then the ceiling is the roof. He needs to adopt a more Juan Pierre style of hitting, slapping the ball and using his speed. I think that will be the best fit for him in the future. Because when this guy is on the base paths, watch out.
7. Sixto Sanchez RHP
Sixto really made a name for himself last season with a 0.50 ERA in 54 IP. Sixto has a cannon arm. He can hit 99 on the gun and at just 6′ tall, he reminds me of a Tim Lincecum circa 2008. He would probably be the top RHP prospect in the world if he had Kilome’s size. He has tremendous command and will most likely be stretched to 100 IP for the first time in his career in 2017. Sixto will probably spend the entire season at Lakewood, so make sure he is the SP when you head down to see Moniak.
8. Kevin Gowdy
Gowdy is currently in extended spring training having yet to make his 2017 debut. I don’t have much to report about the 2016 2nd round pick, other than he is only 19 and has great size for a pitcher standing at 6’4. What I did notice is the Phillies changed around his mechanics a little bit last season judging from pictures of Team USA, high school and his time spent in the GCL. Gowdy has a long road ahead of him, but wish him a happy and healthy few years in the minors.
9. Dylan Cozens OF
Coming off a 40 home run year in 2016, Dylan propelled himself into the Phillies top 10 rankings. Hitting from the left side, Cozens has power to all fields, but like most power hitters he strikes out a ton. 548 times in 506 games is probably why he is so far down this list. There is no question about his raw power however, and even has sneaky speed swiping 21 bases in 2016. At just 22, Cozens has played every outfield position and could be the power bat the Phillies desperately need.
10. Cornelius Randolph
Philadelphia hasn’t had a Cornelius walk onto the diamond since the late, great Cornelius Alexander Mack. Old Connie went on to spend 69 (nice) years of his professional career in the sport of baseball. Mr. Randolph will do his best over the next few seasons to see if he can break through to the big club.. The 2015 first round pick showed off some of his power the first week of the 2017 season, which was mostly absent during his first two years of pro ball. A corner outfielder, Randolph spent half the season last year on the DL with a nagging shoulder injury. Still only 20 years old, this will be a big year for Randolphs development. Outfield is a tough place to be as a Phillies prospect right now. Plenty of names iching and crawling around the system.
Not Listed: Scott Kingery is hitting .286 with Reading and has already hit 4 bombs. His 2 home runs during big league camp turned a lot of heads for the 2015 2nd rounder. Rhys Hoskins continues to murder baseballs. After hitting 38 HR last season with Reading, he already has 3 through 11 games with Lehigh Valley. It will be hard not to reward Rhys with a call-up if he keeps this up and Tommy Joseph continues his struggles into mid-season.