2016 Preseason Phillies Prospect Rankings

franklyn kilome

Franklyn Kilome has the most upside of any pitchers in the system – Photo Courtesy Baseball Betsy

After another key trade sending closer Ken Giles and post-minor league season No. 20 prospect, shortstop Jonathan Arauz, to Houston, the Phillies system was only bolstered further. Even though the Phillies will most likely be cellar-dwellers again in 2016, the development of top prospects will be one of the main storylines of the season. Speaking of which, let us dive into the top prospects in the Phillies system.

​1. SS JP Crawford: 6’2, 180, L/R, 21 in 2016, drafted in the first round of the 2013 draft, No. 16 overall

  • Hit: 60
  • Raw Power: 50/55
  • Game Power: 50
  • Speed: 50
  • Glove: 50/55
  • Arm: 55/60

Crawford has been the definitive No. 1 prospect across every prospect list for the Phillies this offseason, and for good reason. Crawford carries solid tools across the board, including pluses hitting and throwing. He also shows strong discipline at the plate, with more walks (63) than strikeouts (54) between High-A Clearwater and Double-A Reading, and only seven more career strikeouts than walks (169 to 162).

2016 Outlook: Crawford should start out the year in Triple-A Lehigh Valley and was invited to the big league camp for spring training.

Risk/Reward: At this point, Crawford is a low-risk prospect with a first-division regular worst-case scenario floor and many scouts project him to be an All-Star player.

2. OF Nick Williams: 6’3, 195, L/L, 22, acquired from Texas with Jorge Alfaro, Jake Thompson, Jerad Eickhoff, Alec Asher, and Matt Harrison for Cole Hamels and Jake Diekman

  • ​Hit: 50/55
  • Raw Power: 60
  • Game Power: 55/60
  • Speed: 60
  • Arm: 55
  • Glove: 45/50

The biggest hurdle scouts cited for Williams to succeed was his lack of plate discipline; however, his strikeout rate fell about 10% from 2014 to 2015. Continued success will hinge upon Williams’s plus raw power showing up in games, and while it has, it must continue to do so as he moves up the ladder. His speed makes him a capable defender in center field, even though he often finds himself taking some interesting routes to fly balls.

2016 Outlook: Williams’s path looks quite similar to Crawford’s as both ended 2015 in Reading. Williams should have his eyes on a mid-2016 debut with an invite to the pro camp in spring training and a near-guaranteed start in Lehigh.

Risk/Reward: Williams has some risk as his plate discipline will still lack at times, but his speed-power combo is nothing to scoff at. If he continues to turn his athletic ability to performance in games, he could become a first-division regular.

3. RHP Jake Thompson: 6’4, 235, R/R, 22 in 2016, acquired from Texas with Jorge Alfaro, Nick Williams, Jerad Eickhoff, Alec Asher, and Matt Harrison for Cole Hamels and Jake Diekman

  • Fastball: 60
  • Slider: 60
  • Changeup: 45/50
  • Command: 45​

Thompson transitioned well to the Eastern League, maintaining both his strikeout and walk rate while lowering his FIP by 0.4 points. His over-the-head delivery is inconsistent at times leading to control issues. Thompson has a strong mid-90s fastball as well as a plus slider with heavy bite that is his strikeout pitch. Thompson also has started to mix in a changeup, but it’s still in the works.

2016 Outlook: The core of the Phillies farm system lied in Reading in 2015, so it only makes sense that the top three will all be starting in Lehigh come 2016. Thompson may spend the full year at Triple-A with a September call-up if the team doesn’t think his command is up to par.

Risk/Reward: Thompson has medium risk with the fact that his control is still lackluster. He has the repertoire of a No. 2-3 pitcher with two plus pitches, but the development of Thompson’s command will determine if he can reach that ceiling.

4. RHP Franklyn Kilome: 6’6, 175, R/R, 20 in 2016, signed January 2013 out of the Dominican Republic for $40,000

  • Fastball: 65/70
  • Curveball: 55/60
  • Changeup: 40/45
  • Command: 40/45​

Kilome is the most projectable out of all the Phillies’ pitching prospects. The base of his development is his plus-plus fastball, which saw a velocity increase in 2015, and a curveball that is above average but can flash plus. Outside of that, Kilome is all projection and has to develop the peripheral tools necessary for a major-league starter.

2016 Outlook: Kilome should debut in full-season ball in 2016, which means he is right on course. A full season should show how his arm lasts over a long stretch.

Risk/Reward: The risk with Kilome is high, like most other projection guys coming out of short-season ball. Kilome has all the tools necessary to be a No. 2 power pitcher, but everything has to fall in place first.

5. C Jorge Alfaro: 6’2, 185, R/R, 22 in 2016, acquired from Texas with Jake Thompson, Nick Williams, Jerad Eickhoff, Alec Asher, and Matt Harrison for Cole Hamels and Jake Diekman

  • ​​Hit: 50
  • Raw Power: 65
  • Game Power: 50/55
  • Speed: 40
  • Arm: 70/80
  • Glove: 45

Alfaro’s stock rides on two key tools: his arm and raw power. Both are plus-plus with the arm being called an 80 by some scouts. The raw power may never live up to its full potential in games, but Alfaro could easily get it to an above-average level. Alfaro’s arm is a true 70 at least and some scouts were reporting a 1.80 pop time (70 as well) to go with the strong arm.

2016 Outlook: Alfaro is primed to start in Reading, ending his 2015 early in Double-A with Texas after breaking his ankle and getting surgery to fix it.

Risk/Reward: Alfaro’s risk is medium to high as he has to show the same pop time behind the plate after the aforementioned surgery. Along with that, Alfaro needs to hone the finer skills of catching (framing, etc.) as well as maintain significant contact at the plate.

6. OF Cornelius Randolph: 5’11, 205, L/R, 18 in 2016, drafted in the first round of the 2015 draft No. 10 overall

  • Hit: 60
  • Raw Power: 55
  • Game Power: 45
  • Speed: 45
  • Arm: 55
  • Glove: 45/50

In Randolph’s debut in the Phillies’ system, the kid showed one thing; he can hit. That’s why the Phillies drafted him No. 10 overall. In the GCL, Randolph showcased his ability to hit, batting .302 over 53 games, striking back at critics who questioned his selection by the Phillies. A friend of mine who watched Randolph play in the GCL said Randolph “looked better than anyone else there.” Some scouts question if his raw power will ever play into games, but the team remains adamant it will come in time. Randolph was moved from shortstop, where he played in high school, down the defensive spectrum to left field where his defense has been a mild surprise.

2016 Outlook: Randolph will be 18 when 2016 starts, so him starting out in extended spring training then joining short-season Williamsport is most likely. He would be 19 when the short-season leagues start.

Risk/Reward: As with all players of his age, Randolph has a fair amount of risk. However, if Randolph keeps hitting at the level he did in 2015, a progression to full-season ball should come sooner rather than later.

7. OF Roman Quinn: 5’10, 170, S/R, 22 in 2016, drafted in the second round of the 2011 draft, No. 66 overall

  • Hit: 45/50
  • Raw Power: 40
  • Game Power: 40
  • Speed: 80
  • Arm: 55
  • Glove: 50/55

Quinn’s best asset is easily his speed, making him a terror stealing bases. The speed also corrects is routes in center field, which can be errant at times. If you want to see it in action, watch this where he gets an inside-the-park home run in about 15 seconds. Quinn stormed out of the gate in 2015, hitting for a .306/.356/.435 split with 29 stolen bases in 58 games. His season was cut short by a torn quad, shelving him for the year in mid-June.

2016 Outlook: A strong return from the quad injury will be key in Quinn’s trajectory in 2016. The team will want to see him stay healthy at Double-A before they promote him to Triple-A. A cup of coffee in September is possible, but the likelihood of it is unknown.

Risk/Reward: Quinn is a high-risk player as he has yet to complete a full season without injury. Quinn’s stock hinges on his speed, and a loss of his speed from injury would hamper his first-division regular ceiling. Health will be a key hurdle moving forward for Quinn.

8. RHP Mark Appel: 6’4, 225, R/R, 24 in 2016, acquired from Houston with Brett Oberholtzer, Harold Arauz, Thomas Eshelman, and Vincent Velazquez for Ken Giles and Jonathan Arauz

  • Fastball: 65/70
  • Slider: 60
  • Changeup: 55/60
  • Command: 40

Appel has three pitches that can show at least plus, giving him the stuff of a No. 2 starter. The problem is ​the simple fact that Appel just lacks consistency. While he has three plus pitches, only one of them will look like it in any one appearance. The lack of control means he often gets hit around in starts and his career minor-league WHIP is 1.37. Appel has a clean, repeatable delivery, but it also displays the ball for most of the motion, allowing hitters to square up on him even easier.

2016 Outlook: Appel will assuredly start out the year in Triple-A Lehigh where the coaching staff will hope to introduce some consistency in his pitching. A pro debut in 2016 is likely with the volatility of the Phillies’s pitching staff, but as of now it’s uncertain how ready Appel will be.

Risk/Reward: As mentioned earlier, Appel’s raw tools are indicative of a No. 2 starter. However, the risk to get him to that point is high considering consistency and possible mental problems have to be solved.

9. C Andrew Knapp: 6’1, 190, S/R, 24 in 2016, drafted in the second round of the 2013 draft, No. 53 overall

  • Hit: 50/55
  • Raw Power: 60
  • Game Power: 50/55
  • Speed: 35
  • Arm: 50
  • Glove: 45

Knapp’s rise in prospect rankings comes thanks to an unbelievable hitting tear in Reading with a .360/.419/.631 split in 55 games with 11 home runs. While those numbers are fueled heavily by BABIP, Knapp still showed a solid hit tool with a simple, clean swing from each side of the plate. While Knapp has strong raw power, his swing is more suited to line drives and his game power will most likely be in the gaps. On defense, Knapp improved to a fringe defender in 2015, but it is by no means enough to carry him to the pros if the bat doesn’t pan out like we hope.

2016 Outlook: With Alfaro needing playing time in Double-A, Knapp will most likely start the year out in Lehigh. If he continues to hit, Knapp could force the Phillies to a decision with Cameron Rupp and/or Carlos Ruiz as Knapp challenges for the starting spot.

Risk/Reward: Knapp has a medial amount of risk as his bat is what is carrying him to the pros. If he can continue to hit, then it will be worth the less-than-ideal defense behind the plate. The sample size of strong hitting is small, and the sustenance of this skill at the plate will be a large question mark in 2016.

10. RHP Ricardo Pinto: 6’0, 165, R/R, 22 in 2016, signed as an international free agent in December 2011

  • Fastball: 55
  • Changeup: 60
  • Slider: 40
  • Command: 50

Pinto, despite his small stature, is an impending force on the mound. He has a solid combination of an above-average fastball and a plus changeup that he attacks hitters with. His command is good enough that he can do so without risking a bad pitch. Pinto’s largest concern is the lack of a breaking ball that can be used as a strikeout pitch. While at lower levels Pinto could get away without the breaking ball, at Class-A Advanced Clearwater in 2015 and Reading in 2016 Pinto will definitely need the slider to play up.

2016 Outlook: Between his solid 2015 campaign, finishing with a 3.03 ERA between Class-A Lakewood and Clearwater, and the likely promotion of several Reading starters, Pinto seems to be a lock for the Reading rotation to start out 2016. I expect the Reading coaching staff to force Pinto to use the slider a lot, hopefully improving it but at the same time most likely damaging his stats.

Risk/Reward: Pinto has medium risk because he lacks that strikeout pitch; without it, he’ll have to rely on the fielders behind him. Pinto is a No. 4-5 starter at minimum, but at his ceiling with a solid breaking pitch can get Pinto into the 2-3 slot of the rotation.

11. 2B Scott Kingery: 5’10, 175, R/R, 22 in 2016, drafted in the second round of the 2015 draft, No. 48 overall

  • Hit: 60
  • Raw Power: 45
  • Game Power: 45
  • Speed: 60
  • Glove: 50
  • Arm: 50

Kingery was viewed as a steal of a second-round pick as many graded him to be late-first talent. The Phillies believed in Kingery’s bat enough to start him at full-season Lakewood rather than starting him out in short-season Williamsport. Kingery showed a plus hit tool, hitting lots of line drives in the gaps. He might get you 5-10 home runs in a season if some of those line drives carry, but the raw power isn’t there for a solid home run hitter. Kingery showcased his plus speed in the season well, converting 11 of 12 steal attempts. His speed and hitting will be what carries him to the pros. Kingery should profile out as a solid second baseman with solid average tools fielding and throwing.

2016 Outlook: Kingery showed enough at Lakewood to merit a 2016 start at Clearwater, and a solid start there could warrant a promotion to Reading. Kingery’s strong hitting should continue as he progresses after adjusting to the higher level of skill.

Risk/Reward: There is some medium to high risk with Kingery as he is a second baseman, meaning the hitting has to continue in order to reach his full potential. Kingery showed the ability to adjust to his first season of professional baseball, hopefully that continues.

12. RHP Zach Eflin 6’4, 200, R/R, 22 in 2016, acquired from the Dodgers with Tom Windle for Jimmy Rollins

  • ​Fastball: 55
  • Changeup: 55/60
  • Slider: 45/50
  • Curve: 40/45
  • Command: 45

The easy way to describe Eflin would be a puzzle which has all its pieces in the right place, but isn’t put together quite yet. Eflin has two above-average fastballs with a low-to-mid-90s two-seam fastball and mid-to-high-90s four-seamer. Eflin also has a changeup which shows above-average to plus along with two developing pitches in a high-80s slider and a loopy mid-70s curveball. Eflin can place his pitches well enough, but they all still need to come together in his arsenal. As Matt Winkleman puts it, “Eflin still has more control than command.”

2016 Outlook: Eflin most likely needs another year of development to polish his repertoire of pitches. A Reading start is not out of the question, but Lehigh Valley is equally if not more likely for a start. A cup of coffee to end 2016 is also likely, coinciding with the fact that Elfin is headed to spring training with the team.

Risk/Reward: Eflin has medium risk to hit his mid-rotation ceiling due to the lack of command of his pitches. Right now there is enough for a back-end starter, but the Phil’s system is littered with pitchers who fit that mold. It would behoove the team to let Elfin develop in his last year before Rule 5 eligibility.

13. RHP Adonis Medina: 6’1, 185, R/R, 19 in 2016, signed as an international free agent in May 2014 with a $70,000 bonus

  • Fastball: 55/60
  • Curve: 50/55
  • Change: 50/55
  • Command: 40

Adonis Medina made a true jump at the beginning of 2015, showing a mid-to-high-90s fastball and hammer curve in extended spring training while in relief. As a starter, the fastball shows more in the 91-94 range even though it can top out in that 95-97 range he shows in relief. The secondary pitches all flash above average potential. The main blow against Medina, like most other teenage prospects, is the lack of command over his pitches. However, the raw tools are there to make quite the interesting prospect.

2016 Outlook: Medina’s makeup is advanced enough that he could start out 2016 in Lakewood with a strong spring, but more likely than not Medina will head back to extended spring training and debut in Williamsport in June.

Risk/Reward: Medina’s risk is extremely high despite his projectability due to his young age and lack of command. Medina has only pitched in the GCL and will eventually have to show the ability to pitch over a full season. Some think his ceiling is higher than Eflin’s or Pinto’s, but there is a lot to go before he gets there.

14. OF Carlos Tocci: 6’2, 160, R/R, 21 in 2016, signed as an international free agent in August 2011

  • Hit: 50
  • Raw Power: 45
  • Game Power: 40
  • Speed: 60
  • Glove: 55
  • Arm: 60

The main gripe scouts have had against Tocci his is lack of strength. While that has been and continues to be accurate, Tocci is showing some signs of strength. Tocci has also shown a solid hit tool, peppering a lot of doubles into the gaps. The game power will most likely end up fringey despite him showing some solid average raw power. Tocci’s main assets are on defense, where he shows good instincts and a quick first step. While Tocci has struggled to apply his plus speed to the basepaths, it showed some signs of life in the first half of 2015 as he converted 14 of 16 stolen base attempts in Lakewood.

2016 Outlook: Considering the fact that Tocci struggled after his promotion to Clearwater (.609 OPS, 3-for-12 stolen base attempts), so it would only make sense that he gets to take another wack at Class-A Advanced. Reading is not out of the question with a strong performance to start the year, but any promotion to Double-A will most likely be blocked by Roman Quinn if he is still at Reading.

Risk/Reward: Tocci is a medium-risk prospect as he has the defensive floor to carry him to the majors as a bench outfielder, but his hitting remains inconsistent and there are still concerns about his strength. Tocci has time to develop and should be in the majors by 2018.

15. RF Jose Pujols: 6’3, 175, R/R, 20 in 2016, signed as an international free agent in July 2012 with a $540,000 bonus

  • Hit: 45/50
  • Raw Power: 60/65
  • Game Power: 50/55
  • Speed: 45
  • Arm: 55
  • Glove: 45

​At this point, Pujols is all projection. His raw power is an easy plus and carries the majority of his value. As of now his hit tool is fringey, showing issues (albeit fixable) at the plate. Pujols has a hitch that slows down his swing. Even then, his bat is fast enough to be considered quick even with the hitch; if/when the issue is fixed could show an even better swing. Pujols projects well in right field with an above average arm, but has been prone to mental lapses in the field.

2016 Outlook: Pujols is set to start 2016 in Lakewood for his first full season after a second year in Williamsport. His power numbers will most likely be limited there, but he still has the raw strength to hit the ball out of any ballpark.

Risk/Reward: Pujols’s risk is extreme as of right now; a lot of things have to come together in order to meet his potential; his ceiling and floor are massively apart. Pujols will have to show numbers to match his tools soon as he heads into his fourth professional season with the team.

16. RHP Nick Pivetta: 6’5, 210, R/R, 23 in 2016, acquired from the Nationals for Jonathan Papelbon

  • Fastball: 55
  • Curve: 60
  • Changeup: 45/50
  • Command: 40/45

Pivetta has a solid pitch combination in his mid-90s fastball and plus curve. However, his lack of a third at least solid pitch and command led him to be lit up in Double-A, posting a 1.82 WHIP and 7.27 ERA with Potomac, Washington’s Double-A affiliate, and Reading. The peripheral tools have to develop for Pivetta to fill his mid-rotation ceiling, otherwise he will most likely be relegated to a bullpen role.

2016 Outlook: Pivetta has not yet spent a full season in Double-A, so a start there is almost an assurance. The goal should be develop his changeup that is fringey right now and to hone in his command to warrant a promotion to Lehigh Valley.

Risk/Reward: Pivetta has high risk; without at least solid command it will be hard for him to stay in the rotation. The two-pitch combo could play up in the bullpen, but obviously the team should push for a starter first before converting him to a bullpen arm.

17. OF Tyler Goeddel: 6’4, 180, R/R, 23 in 2016, selected in the first round of the 2016 season Rule 5 draft, No. 1 overall

  • Hit: 50/55
  • Raw Power: 50
  • Game Power: 40/45
  • Speed: 55/60
  • Glove: 50
  • Arm: 50

Tyler Goeddel was the odd one out in Tampa’s 40-man roster decisions, and leaving a Top-30 prospect eligible for the Rule 5 draft is almost a guarantee to lose a player. In Goeddel, the Phillies have a converted outfielder who can play the corners well enough but isn’t ideal for center. In addition, Goeddel has to add some strength, limiting his raw power. He showed flashes in Montgomery (Tampa’s Double-A affiliate), hitting 12 home runs and hitting doubles in the gaps. His speed plays well on the basepaths and Goeddel is an efficient base-stealer.

2016 Outlook: Goeddel has to stick on the pro roster if the Phillies want to keep him in the long-term. However, if any team is going to be able to retain a Rule 5 player, it’s the Phillies, and there should be enough ABs going around for Goeddel to get time to develop.

Risk/Reward: Goeddel has about medium risk; he has major platoon splits, struggling against righties. He does profile out well for a contact-first platoon man as of now, but he first has to make the leap from Double-A to the majors well enough for the Phillies to retain him.

18. C Deivi Grullon: 6’1, 180, R/R, 20 in 2016, signed as an international free agent in July 2012 with a $575,000 bonus

  • Hit: 45
  • Raw Power: 50
  • Game Power: 45
  • Speed: 35
  • Glove: 55/60
  • Arm: 70

Grullon will always be a defense-first prospect; he has a plus-plus arm few catchers can rival and advanced defense behind the plate. Grullon’s floor is kept rather high because of his strong defense. However, his hitting is definitely a work-in-progress. The coaching staff has helped Grullon make strides with his contact, but it remains fringey. Grullon has average raw power , but it always be limited by his ability to make contact.

2016 Outlook: Grullon should see time in Clearwater next year, and starting there is most likely after a year and a half in Lakewood. Grullon should have some time to develop now that he is no longer the top catcher in the system and has time to hone his hit tool.

Risk/Reward: Grullon’s lack of a solid hit tool presents medium to high risk, but he has the defensive floor that makes his value look similar to Cameron Rupp’s at worst.

19. 1B Rhys Hoskins: 6’4, 225, R/R, 23 in 2016, drafted in the fifth round of the 2014 draft (No. 142 overall)

  • Hit: 50
  • Raw Power: 60
  • Game Power: 45/50
  • Speed: 40
  • Glove: 50
  • Arm: 55 (wasted as a first baseman)

As a right-handed first baseman, Hoskins has to hit at every level if he wants to reach the majors. However, he has done that to a T after an initial stumble in short-season Williamsport. In 2015, Hoskins put up a combined .913 OPS between Class-A Lakewood and Class-A Advanced Clearwater. Hoskins is a solid average player across the board in most categories besides plus raw power and below-average speed. On the other hand, Hoskins has no real elite tool, only furthering the necessity for him to hit.

2016 Outlook: Hoskins will get a look at Reading sooner rather than later at Reading as the top first-base prospect and the likely promotion of Brock Stassi to Lehigh Valley. Double-A is where many batters hit a wall, so it is there where we will see Stassi’s hit tool sink or swim.

Risk/Rewrard: Hoskin’s risk is high as his hit tool is all that can get him to the majors. However, he has shown a solid hit tool and a good enough approach to have a chance at becoming a major-league regular.

20. SS Malquin Canelo: 5’10, 156, R/R, 21 in 2016, signed as an international free agent in April 2012

  • Hit: 40/45
  • Raw Power: 40
  • Game Power: 35/40
  • Speed: 60
  • Glove: 60
  • Arm: 55

Before this season, Canelo was a skinny shortstop stuck behind J.P. Crawford in Class-A ball. However, as Crawford was promoted Canelo had a chance to show himself in Lakewood. Canelo flashed a strong hit tool while there, but it was merely a flash as he regressed reaching Clearwatwer. Canelo had a .830 OPS in Lakewood but a .619 in Clearwater. However, his hitting ceiling is limited by underwhelming power. On the other hand, Canelo has a high defensive floor with good range boosted by his plus speed and a strong arm.

2016 Outlook: Canelo looks to start in Clearwater with the hope that his hitting returns to Lakewood form. J.P. Crawford will most likely be in Lehigh Valley in 2016, so the hole for Canelo is there in Reading for Canelo to take if he can hit in Clearwater.

Risk/Reward: Canelo has medium to high risk because of his fringey bat. While he has the glove of a major-leaguer, his bat will always limit him until he can find some consistency.

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2 thoughts on “2016 Preseason Phillies Prospect Rankings

  1. Pingback: Watching the Phillies Could Actually Be Fun This Year | Phillies Minor League Report

  2. Pingback: Phillies Organizational Depth Rankings: First Base | Phillies Minor League Report

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