April 01, 2022
For a franchise that's only had one winning season in the last 10 years, the Phillies certainly haven't restocked the cupboard during a shaky, half-hearted rebuild.
The Phillies most productive players in 2021 – Bryce Harper, Zack Wheeler, Jean Segura and J.T. Realmuto – were all acquired through trade or free agency. Those figures have gotten the Phillies back to respectability and two new big-ticket signings, Kyle Schwarber and Nick Castellanos, could have them contending for a playoff spot in 2022.
Those players are older and in their primes though. The Phillies are bereft of young talent. MLB.com even says the Phils have a bottom-five farm system, ranked 26th out of 30 teams. Here's what their writers had to say about the Phillies' minor leaguers:
2021 midseason rank: 27
2021 preseason rank: 23
2020 midseason rank: 23
2020 preseason rank: 19
Top 100 Prospects: Bryson Stott (No. 45), Mick Abel (No. 81)
The Phillies’ farm system has slid down our rankings in recent years, but that’s not to say it’s a system devoid of high-end talent -- infielder Stott looks like a future star at the plate who could crack the Opening Day roster, and Philadelphia has invested its top pick in the past two Drafts in a pair of talented right-handers -- Abel and Andrew Painter. The system is skewed toward the offensive side, featuring players who rose up the rankings after breakout 2021 seasons by catcher Logan O’Hoppe and outfielders Johan Rojas and Jhailyn Ortiz.
While that No. 26 ranking looks bad, there could be immediate help as soon as Opening Day, as it looks like top-prospect Bryson Stott will be a regular fixture in the Phillies' lineup. He seems legit. I'm not expecting a Scott Kingery-like odd turn from him in the majors. The Phillies are iffy in center field, which speaks to how former first-overall pick Mickey Moniak hasn't quite panned out as a big leaguer. Joan Rojas could be a midseason call-up though and round out the Phils' outfielder group.
This may seem pessimistic, but, hey, we could be just a few months away from Stott being the NL's Rookie of the Year and Rojas flashing and looking like the next Shane Victorino if you squint hard enough. "High hopes" has rarely been more true for the Phils right now.
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