Even with opening day a mere few days away (and the Phillies Futures Series even sooner), prospect ranking isn’t over yet with Baseball Prospectus releasing their 2016 organizational rankings. They slotted the Phillies in at No. 4 overall.
In addition, Prospectus stratified all the teams into tiers of depth, with the Phillies in the second tier. They were joined by the Red Sox, Pirates, and Twins. In the top tier were the Dodgers, Braves, and Rockies.
This ranking of No. 4 was higher than any other. Baseball America, MLB Pipeline, and ESPN ranked the Phillies No. 8, No. 7, and No. 6, respectively.
The Phillies are the outlier here, both in how they built the system, and how different they look from last Spring. J.P. Crawford is still here, and is an elite-level prospect, but the Phillies added six new top-ten prospects in the last calendar year between the 2015 draft and the Ken Giles and Cole Hamels trades. The Phillies system may lack a true impact talent past JP Crawford, but Nick Williams has a chance to get there, and otherwise they have a nice blend of arms and bats, upside and floor. The 2016 subplot to follow: How Mark Appel and Jorge Alfaro deal with their change of scenery. Those two could make this ranking look overly conservative by the end of the 2016 season.