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Organizational Talent Rankings via Baseball America
2013 (24) | 2012 (27) | 2011 (11) | 2010 (18) | 2009 (12)

2013 Affiliate Records
MLB:  [73-89] NL East
AAA:  [72-72] International League — Lehigh Valley
AA:  [62-80] Eastern League — Reading
A+:  [67-68] Florida State League — Clearwater
A:  [56-80] South Atlantic League — Lakewood
A(ss):  [37-38] New York-Penn League — Williamsport

Arizona Fall League PlayersPeoria Javelinas
Ken Giles (RHP); Mike Nesseth (RHP); Kyle Simon (RHP); Austin Wright (LHP); Cameron Rupp (C); Aaron Altherr (OF); Cameron Perkins (OF)

Graduated Prospects
Darin Ruf (1B/OF); Cody Asche (3B); Jonathan Pettibone (RHP); Tyler Cloyd (RHP); Justin De Fratus (RHP); Jake Diekman (LHP)

The Run Down
Two of the top four prospects here weren’t in the system a year ago, so it goes without saying that the Phillies have made it an initiative to improve their farm.  They’ve done a good job of it too, and they now feature a nice mix of upper levels talent and lower levels upside.  Maikel Franco is the prized piece here, a top 25 fantasy prospect.  After him there’s not a whole lot in the high-impact department (not yet, at least), but there’s still plenty of options that could be intriguing for the fantasy game.  Along with the White Sox, I’d say the Phillies are the most improved organization that we’ve gone over so far.

Top Ten Fantasy Prospects
1.  Maikel Franco, 3B/1B:
  Franco had a phenomenal year in 2013, hitting .320/.356/.569 with 70 XBH (31 HR) in 581 PA between High-A and Double-A.  Prospects tend to struggle with the transition from A-ball to Double-A, especially those with approach concerns (like Franco), but this 21-year-old wasn’t slowed down by that leap one bit, hitting .339 with 15 homers through 69 games at Reading.  I’m a big fan, which is why I slotted Franco at #21 overall in my mid-season top 50.  There are questions about where he’ll end up defensively, but his bat will be a coveted one in all formats, regardless of position.  Look for Franco to arrive around mid-season.  ETA:  2014

2.  Jesse Biddle, RHP:  Back in April at Double-A Reading, Biddle put up one of the best lines we saw all year:  7 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 16 K.  On the season, the 22-year-old posted a 3.64 ERA, a 1.35 WHIP, and a K/9 at 10.0 across 138 IP, all at the Double-A level.  He’s touted mostly for his secondary stuff — his curveball, in particular, is one of the better hooks in the minors — and if he’s locating his fastball, he’s going to miss plenty of bats.  Biddle will move up to Triple-A in 2014, and he should become a big league option for the Phillies if, at any point, they’re in need of a starter.  ETA:  Late 2014

3.  J.P. Crawford, SS:  The Phillies drafted Crawford 16th overall this past June, so there’s not yet much pro data on the 18-yaer-old, but reports on him thus far are glowing.  Like all high school draftees, he’s going to take time to develop, but there’s high-impact upside here with 5-category potential.  Do keep an eye on Crawford as he pushes through the lower levels.  ETA:  2017

4.  Miguel Gonzalez, RHP:  Both Grey and I wrote some on Gonzalez right around the time when he first signed (er, reportedly signed).  Click here for Grey’s take, and here for mine.  It’s worth noting that the original deal was rescinded after health concerns popped up regarding the 26-year-old’s elbow.  Gonzalez ended up signing a three-year deal worth $12 million.  ETA:  2014

5.  Roman Quinn, SS:  With elite-level speed, Quinn draws plenty of Billy Hamilton comps, but his wheels aren’t quite Hamiltonian, and his hit tool is nowhere near where it needs to be.  Still, he has the potential to be a 60-steal guy at the ML level, so there’s plenty of long-term fantasy appeal.  He’ll need a big year at High-A if the Hamilton comparisons are going to continue.  ETA:  2016

6.  Ethan Martin, RHP:  Martin pitched 40 innings at the ML level, so he’s only barely hanging onto his prospect status.  The 24-year-old was not impressive in 8 starts with the Phillies (6.08 ERA, 1.70 WHIP), but his long-term outlook is much better than that debut.  With a bat-missing arsenal, there’s plenty of fantasy upside here.  ETA:  2014

7.  Aaron Altherr, OF:  Alther is a tool shed, with potential to help across the board in fantasy, but so far, he’s only shown glimpses of his overall potential.  The 22-year-old is yet to reach the upper levels, meaning he’s already behind the curve, developmentally.  He’ll make his way to Reading to begin 2014, where he’ll look to produce more consistently at the plate.  ETA:  2015

8.  Severino Gonzalez, RHP:  Gonzalez has performed well at every stop so far, boasting an impressive career line across four levels:  1.88 ERA, 0.88 WHIP, 8.8 K/9.  The 21-year-old doesn’t feature premium stuff, but his command is superb, and every pitch he throws moves plenty.  If he can add a few more ticks to the fastball, his ceiling could be that of a #2 starter, but for now he looks more like a steady #3.  Gonzalez will likely head to Reading to begin 2014.  ETA:  2015

9.   Carlos Tocci, OF:  Like Altherr, Tocci is an impressive athlete, and he offers intriguing fantasy upside, but for now, his tools are too raw to garner much attention.  After hitting just .209 in his first year of full-season ball, it’ll be interesting to see if the Phillies choose to send the 18-year-old back to Lakewood to repeat Low-A, or if they move him up to High-A Clearwater next spring.  ETA:  2017

10.  Tommy Joseph, C:  2013 was basically a lost year for Joseph, who appeared in only 39 games thanks to a nasty concussion.  So let’s default to my 2013 capsule on Joseph, when he ranked #3 in this Phillies org:  “Joseph arrived in Philly via San Francisco in the Hunter Pence deal.  He brings big raw power which is not typical of catching prospects.  He throws well, too, and if his other tools behind the plate progress as hoped, there’s significant potential here, especially in the fantasy game.”  The system around him has improved, and the lost year doesn’t help his chances of maxing out his potential.  Those two factors contribute to his slide from #3 to #10, but the gist remains the same:  this is a catcher with pop, and that skill set can be quite useful.  ETA:  2015

From Around The Web

  1. English says:
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    Hey Scott. Enjoyable as always.

    Do you think Martin makes the rotation out of spring training?

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      @English: My gut says no, but he’ll be given an opportunity to compete for a rotation spot… looks like there’ll be 3 guys (Pettibone, M Gonzalez & Martin) competing for 2 rotation spots…

  2. Jiminy Glick says:
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    Quinn recently exploded his Achilles. Might change the calculus on him.

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      @Jiminy Glick: Oof. That nugget obviously escaped my scope… hate to see guys get hurt badly in offseason workouts, just a shame… this one is significant, too… certainly sets his ETA back to 2017 & it probably drops him down to 10th, maybe off this list entirely… thanks for catching that.

  3. centerfield ballhawk says:
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    Scott,
    In what scenario do you see Franco making the club in 2014? Taking over for a struggling Asche or as a replacement at first for an injured Ryan Howard?

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      @centerfield ballhawk: I could see either of those scenarios playing out… Franco brings a much higher ceiling than Asche, so if Asche is struggling, you’d think the Phillies would give Franco a look, much in the same way that the Red Sox did with Middlebrooks & Bogaerts in 2013. A Ryan Howard injury, on the other hand, would appear to be Franco’s quickest (and probably most plausible) route to the bigs…

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