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2nd Edition: Let's See What The Phillies Top Prospects Are Up To

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I went a different direction for this one. Instead of doing the top ten prospect list according to MLB Pipeline, I did a list of who I think is closest to the MLB at this point in the season. I’m not nearly big enough to have any type of sources, so I am just using a little common sense here. This is quite the read folks and has a ton of detail so I hope you enjoy it on the ride home from the cube and into the weekend.

1. Rhys Hoskins

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What more does this guy have to do to hear his name called to the big club? Hoskins has been mashing now for 2 years in a row and has done nothing but hit since he was drafted in the 5th round of the 2014 MLB draft. Currently, the 1B position for the Phillies is 2nd to last in the MLB with a .716 OPS. The Phillies owe nothing to Tommy Joseph and yes, it’s waaay too early to call it quits on him, especially with the spectacular May he has been having. In his 8 games, Joseph has a 1.357, which is the 4th highest mark in all of baseball as well as a 50% HR/FB ratio.

It’s clear that Tommy feels the pressure from Rhys and is probably the main reason he has been playing his tits off so far in May. However, if we see any significant regression from him and Rhys keeps putting up the numbers he has all season, expect the Phillies to at least give Rhys a chance at 1B.

2. Jorge Alfaro

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There is nobody that hates reading Alfaro’s name on a Lehigh Valley box score on a daily basis more than me. So far he has been doing everything asked of him for the 1st place Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs. He has already caught 4 shutouts and 4, 1-run games so far this season. He has thrown out 38% of runners this season and 43% of runners the past two seasons. And all he has done is hit the ball with a .333 BA with 9 XBH and 14 RBI in 26 games. He probably would have a lot more RBI opportunity if JP Crawford ever got on base. Now his plate discipline isn’t the best and he has a very Vladdy approach at the plate. But, numbers don’t lie. Plate discipline may come, but look at Salvador Perez. Career .300 OBP and 4 straight all-star appearances and a World Series Ring. Just saying.

Now the Catcher position for the Phillies has been very solid offensively over the course of the season. Cameron Rupp and Andrew Knapp combined own an .852 OPS which is 2nd in the Majors. However, that number drops dramatically to .651 with men on base. Moreover, Cameron Rupp owns the 5th worst Catchers ERA in baseball with a 4.63 and has only thrown out 1 base stealer in 6 opportunities and holds a 26 CS% since last year. With how bad this pitching staff has been, Cameron also deserves some of that blame.

It was reported a few weeks ago that the Phillies have no intention to call him up soon, but I think they are bluffing. This team has not been exciting at all, we need some youth up in here. Jorge will be here sooner than we think.

3. Roman Quinn

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Quinn is doing exactly what the Phillies have asked him to do and that is stay healthy. I find it incredibly intriguing that he only has only has 9 stolen base attempts this season in 30 games. In 2015 he had 39 attempts in 58 games and 45 in 77 games last season. This guy has super-human speed so to me that’s him being very cautious with his body this season. I have absolutely no problem with that. This dude is an absolutely electric baseball player. Billy Hamilton 2.0. Don’t look into his stats too much this season. His route to the majors is paved IMO and now that Aaron Altherr is making his case, his only roadblock will be Nick Williams once Saunders and Kendrick are hopefully moved at the deadline.

4. Nick Williams

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If you watch videos or look at pictures of this kid, he just looks like Ken Griffey. I wish he played like him, but who knows what the future may hold. Nick Williams’ main goal for the 2017 season was get on base more and he has done just that. He has also really learned to hit lefties this year hitting .297 in 37 AB’s so far this season. The battle for one of the corner outfield positions is engaged with him, Quinn and Dylan Cozens and I say bring it.

5. JP Crawford

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I don’t have much to say about JP today. If you follow me you know I’m very high on Freddy Galvis and that love isn’t going anywhere. The case for JP is becoming more difficult to make by the day. I mean in 446 Triple-A at-bats he has 18 XBH. For a top 5 prospect in baseball, something is seriously wrong with that. You can tell me he’s only in his age 22 season, but he’s a 5 year pro now and has regressed extensively in every level above Single A. I’m sure he is feeling the heat and so is the front office with what are the best steps to take with him. Freddy is a free agent in 2018, the same year the Phillies expect to spend big money in that class, so I doubt he will be moved anywhere.

6. Dylan Cozens

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Cozens has a +++ power bat from the left side. He has really started to heat up the past ten after struggling the first month of the season. His only problem is how crowded the system is with young outfielders. I see him getting a cup of coffee in Septemeber, but not much beyond that for the time being. Unless, he really starts to turn some heads with the the ridiculous power he showed in the hitter-friendly Eastern League in 2016, than his route to the bigs will be stalled. His .188 BA with only 12 BB vs. left-handed pitching over the past two seasons doesn’t help his cause.

7. Mark Appel

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The Phillies have a serious bullpen problem and in my opinion, it starts and begins with velocity. They currently own the 4th lowest fastball velocity at 92.9 among all NL bullpens according to Fangraphs. Mark Appel is not a starting pitcher. He can’t go deep into games and has terrible command. However, the former first overall pick can pump. Put him in a 1 inning situation twice a week and you will see that fastball hit 98 MPH. It’s shit or get off the pot time with Appel. Transition him into the bullpen and let’s see what he can do at the Major League level, because the bums we have now are not cutting it.

8. Ricardo Pinto

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Like Appel, Pinto has a very live fastball. He has a decent slider to compliment it as well. The Phillies have a plethora of starting pitching they can use, but nothing in the back of the pen. Call him up if the pen continues their struggles into June and see how that 96 MPH fastball works in late inning situations. Dan Farnsworth of fangraphs said in a March 2016 article that Pinto should be in a big league Pen “right now.”

9. Scott Kingery

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Looks like Kingery is the real deal. The power numbers have definitely come out of nowhere considering he only hit 6 total home runs during his three years at the University of Arizona. I think I can say this with a certainty that Cesar Hernandez is here for the long haul. He has 3 Arb years left and as I mentioned earlier Freddy is a free agent in 2018. The way I see it, he’s competing with JP Crawford right now. Kingery is winning.

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10. Tom Eshelman

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Eshelman came over as part of the Ken Giles trade. A 2nd round pick in the 2015 draft, Eshelman has progressed each season in his professional career. Now pitching in AAA, he is coming off an 8 inning shutout performance in his debut. At 22 yrs old, the 6′ 3 210 lb right-hander may be the diamond in the rough that Matt Klentak sniped from the Astros. If he continues to perform, we may see a September call up if the Phillies decide to shut anyone down in September and if Hellickson gets moved.

Other Top Prospects

Micky Moniak has been decent in his first full year of pro ball. Currently owns a .280 BA and 15 RBI. No home runs yet for Lakewood. I still can’t believe he’s only 18

Cornelius Randolph has sacrificed the contact numbers he was drafted 9th overall for in 2015 for power this season. His 4 home runs through 29 games are more than he had over the past two seasons. He’s hitting .189 this season in Single A Clearwater. He’s just 19 and 3 years away.

Sixto Sanchez is dealing for Low A Lakewood. Has a 0.90 WHIP with 28 K’s over 24.1 IP. He is also 18 years old.

A few other guys are showing a lot of promise like Andrew Pullin, Carlos Tocci, Ranger Suarez Adonis Medina and Holy Cross grad, Jeff Singer.

If I missed anyone that you are interested in chatting about or have any thoughts about anyone I listed above, hit me up on twitter. Thanks for reading and have a great weekend. Go Phils.