Ricardo Pinto warms up at the Phillies Futures Game
Coming into this season, there was a solid chance the Phillies rotation was going to be rough. If the 2015 rotation was any indication, the Phillies weren’t going to have anything close to solid starting pitching. While Jerad Eickhoff and Aaron Nola were prepped to bolster the rotation, Charlie Morton and Jeremy Hellickson were big question marks.
However, this graphic put out by Fangraphs today shows the Phillies’ starting pitchers have the best FIP (Fielding-Independent Pitching) in the major leagues as of April 17th.
While a Top 30 gives a good idea of the best of a farm system, it doesn’t include those outside of the Top 30 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 shortstops in the Phillies organization.
J.P. Crawford is a blue-chip prospect; that’s all I really have to say about him. He’s an MLB Top 5 prospect with strong fielding and a very advanced approach at the plate. Starting in Reading, expect Crawford to get a cup of coffee in September.
Malquin Canelo is the other Top 30 shortstop prospect in the Phillies’ system. I have been particularly down on him in the past (probably unduely). Canelo has a plus glove and should stick at shortstop long-term. His hitting flashed in Lakewood to start the year, but he cooled off upon promotion to Clearwater. If his hit tool develops, he could turn into a solid major-league contributor. He started this season back in Clearwater.
Freddy Galvis and Andres Blanco are our major-league players in the depth chart. Galvis hasn’t and probably won’t reach his offensive ceiling, but he’s a well-rounded defensive player and could have a future as a utility infielder. Blanco has been a solid backup for the past several years for the Phillies, but he is 32 now and he won’t end up fitting on the team.
Jonathan Arauz would be the next shortstop up on the list if he wasn’t traded with Ken Giles to get a better prospect haul.
Arquimedes Gamboa and Daniel Brito are fringe prospects, falling out of the Top 30 but fitting into Matt Winkleman’s Top 50. Gamboa was a well-reputed signing in the 2014 international signing period, but faltered at the plate in the GCL with a .189 average. Scouts see upside for him, but as of now Gamboa is underdeveloped and needs some serious projection. Brito has only played in the DSL and has to develop physically. He does have a good feel for contact at the plate, but without strength he’ll be limited to the gaps.
Grenny Cumana has the most upside out of the supplement players in the system to me. He has room to fill out but will be fringey at best at the plate. He is a strong defender with a plus arm and plus-plus speed.