While a top prospect list gives a good idea of the best of a farm system, it doesn’t include those outside of the top or who have already lost their prospect eligibility. With these organizational depth rankings, I hope to cover both of those categories. Without any more digressing, here is my ranking of the first basemen in the Phillies organization.
- Rhys Hoskins
- Luis Encarnacion
- Jhaylin Ortiz
- Darin Ruf
- Ryan Howard
- Brock Stassi
- Kyle Martin
- Brendon Hayden
- Tommy Joseph
- Jesus Posso
Rhys Hoskins is easily the best first-base prospect in the system. He slotted in at No. 19 on my Top 20, the only first baseman on the list. I had the following to say on him:
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.
Luis Encarnacion and Jhaylin Ortiz are both young (in Ortiz’s case very young) first base prospects. Encarnacion has strong raw power that flashes at times and has made improvements in most categories at the plate. He spent 2015 in the GCL and will be 18 when the short-season starts. Meanwhile, Ortiz is just 17 and has yet to play pro ball stateside. His raw power is elite, but he has to develop a lot of his game. He has been an outfielder, but most expect him to slide to first when he reaches the GCL.
Darin Ruf and Ryan Howard are similar to Cameron Rupp and Carlos Ruiz. One is a slightly above-replacement young player, and the other is a veteran on their way out. The two will be in a platoon for 2016, but neither presents any substantial value to the team.
Brock Stassi was a crucial part of the 2015 Reading team that made it to the Eastern League final. He could make it to the pros as a bench player, but he isn’t very toolsy.
Kyle Martin and Brendon Hayden were 2015 draft picks by the Phillies. Martin was assigned to Class-A Lakewood and mashed righties, but struggled hard against lefties. He was mostly a finished product out of college, so his solid-average raw power isn’t going to get much better. Hayden was also picked out of college in the 16th round, but was assigned to short-season Williamsport. Hayden hit for average but struggled with power, which he had in college. A return of the power could allow Hayden to make a better case for promotion.
Tommy Joseph and Jesus Posso are both converted catchers. Joseph is the last remnant of the Hunter Pence trade and concussions have forced a switch to first. Joseph has struggled at the plate, a death sentence for first base prospects. Posso was forced to first with better catching prospects in Williamsport (evaluators say he was rough behind the plate). He has decent power, but his long swing causes contact issues. As a first baseman, he doesn’t have much stock.