August 21, 2017
When we rolled out the previous edition of these power rankings, we began by apologizing to the many talented pitchers in the Phillies system. For whatever reason, positions players dominated a month ago.
A month later, two of those position players have graduated off this list and to the big leagues (Rhys Hoskins and Jorge Alfaro) and two others are in the midst of lengthy slumps and dropped off (Mickey Moniak and Dylan Cozens). The result: five newcomers to the Phillies Prospect Power Rankings, which I believe is a season-high.
But fans of Moniak and Cozens, don’t fret. Nick Williams went from 6th, 10th, and then off the 12-man list entirely in the first, second, and third editions of these rankings in March, April, and May. And we all know where Williams is now.
If you get hot, you can work your way back … and to the big leagues, too. Heck, ask J.P. Crawford, who as having a dreadful 2017 season, entering July hitting just .203 and has gone on such a tear that he’s a likely September call-up.
*All stats are entering Monday's games
Age: 19 | Position: Right-handed pitcher | Previous Ranking: 1
2017 stats: 5-5, 2.95 ERA, 0.90 WHIP, 77 K, 10 BB in 85 1/3 IP, 16 G between Class A Clearwater and Low-A Lakewood
The kid isn't going anywhere anytime soon. When you have a 102-MPH fastball in your arsenal and some off-speed pitches you can throw between 82-88 MPH, it's just really not fair when you're doing it with impeccable control, too (139 K, 24 walks as a pro). But the most amazing Sixto Sanchez stat? I'm going to go with this: one home run allowed in 139 1/3 innings since the beginning of the 2016 season.
Estimated Time of Arrival to Phillies: 2020 (or, again, if you want to be really bullish, late 2019).
Age: 22 | Position: Shortstop | Previous Ranking: 2
2017 stats: .246/.352/.408, 13 HR, 17 2B, 6 3B, 68 BB, 85 K in 112 G/490 plate appearances at Triple-A Lehigh Valley
I've had Phillies fans suggesting the team should cut bait and release Crawford this year. Really. And, yes, I know his first three months were really not good and his year-long stay in Triple-A wasn't going very well entering the summer. But now here we are with a couple of weeks left in the minor league season and Crawford is playing third base with the possibility of a September call-up on the horizon. How the heck did that happen?
Here's how: Crawford is slashing .298/.390/.555 in his last 57 games (since June 10) with 11 home runs, 13 doubles and five triples. With 13 home runs total, he's one away from doubling his 2016 total. Crawford has eight multi-hit games in his last 15 games, with eight extra-base hits in that span. That's more extra-base hits than he had (seven) in the season's first two months.
ETA: Next month
Age: 23 | Position: Second Base | Previous Ranking: 4
2017 stats: .314/.366/.563, 26 HR, 26 2B, 8 3B, 96 K, 37 BB in 117 G between at Triple-A Lehigh Valley and Double-A Reading
Now that Rhys Hoskins has graduated off this list, we can call Scott Kingery the most consistently productive player in the Phillies farm system in 2017. Kingery slashed .313/.379/.608 with 18 home runs in 69 games at Double-A Reading and has slashed .315/.347/.502 with eight home runs in 48 games since his promotion to Triple-A Lehigh Valley. As with Crawford, it wouldn't be surprising if he begins seeing action at a secondary position (something we first reported way back in May) since it would increase his versatility (never a bad thing) as the Phillies could open 2018 with Crawford, Freddy Galvis, and Cesar Hernandez all in the mix in their infield. Galvis is a free agent after '18, so the log jam might not last very long.
ETA: Early 2018
Age: 21 | Position: Outfield | Previous Ranking: 9
2017 stats: .303/.357/.398, 3 HR, 19 2B, 7 3B, 68 K, 29 BB in 117 G/489 plate appearances between Triple-A Lehigh Valley and Double-A Reading
This was a challenging edition of the Phillies Prospect Power Rankings with the aforementioned two graduations and two dropoffs, both near the top of the list. So how do you begin going forward after an easy top 3? You go with the guys recently promoted for their strong play all season, of course. Tocci, who turns 22 on Wednesday and was promoted to Triple-A last week, could be on the cusp of a big league audition in September depending on the health statuses of guys like Aaron Altherr and Odubel Herrera. Tocci might not ever hit for power (his .398 slugging percentage is a boost from his .362 SLG last year, though, and Kingery is an example of a player that can grow into power as he gets older), but his ability to hit for contact and play stellar center field defense will get him on a big league field before long.
ETA: Next month?
Age: 22 | Position: Right-handed pitcher | Previous Ranking: NR
2017 stats: .6-5, 2.72 ERA, 1.36 WHIP, 93 K, 42 BB in 21 G/109 1/3 IP between Double-A Reading and Class A Clearwater
Kilome has probably deserved to be on this list more regularly but he just didn't have the dazzling strikeout-to-walk numbers of some of his peers in the Phils' system this summer and he kept getting edged out. But the hard-throwing Dominican, promoted to Double-A Reading earlier this month, is now closing in on the big leagues because he's been able to regularly limit the damage despite the free passes (1.36 WHIP). Kilome hasn't allowed more than three earned runs in 15 straight starts (80 innings, 2.36 ERA) and has allowed two earned runs or fewer in 12 of those 15 starts. UPDATED: Make that 16 straight, and 13 out of 16. Kilome polished off his best start of the season on Monday night, holding the Bowie Baysox to three hits in eight shutout innings.
ETA: Late 2018
Age: 21 | Position: Outfielder | Previous Ranking: 11
2017 stats: .280/.363/.405, 3 HR, 10 2B, 1 3B, 38 K, 19 BB in 46 G/194 plate appearances between Low-A Lakewood, short-season Williamsport and Gulf Coast League
Haseley's pro career is just two months old, but surely people are going to start wondering how quickly the Univeristy of Virginia product can get to the big leagues. Well, we looked at that question two months ago, with the following fact within the story: all seven of the college position players drafted within the first 15 picks of the 2014 and ’15 drafts reached the big leagues within two seasons of their draft year: Kyle Schwarber, Ian Happ, Trea Turner, Michael Conforto, Andrew Benintendi, Alex Bregman, and Dansby Swanson. Haseley still has some time to follow this blueprint, but finishing strong in the next two weeks and getting to Class A Clearwater early in 2018 (where he could once again be separated from fellow center fielder Mickey Moniak, who would seem ticketed for another year at Lakewood in 2018) could help him get there.
Age: 20 | Position: Outfield | Previous Ranking: 8
2017 stats: .253/.343/.401, 12 HR, 17 2B, 4 3B, 117 K, 54 BB in 114 G/474 plate appearances at Class A Clearwater
It's probably time to talk about two out of the Phillies outfield prospects that have dominated the conversation the most in the last year, briefly. Mickey Moniak, the first overall pick in the 2016 draft, is hitting .182 with a .232 OBP and just six extra base hits and 39 strikeouts in his last 42 games (since June 30). Dylan Cozens, the home run leader across all affiliated minor leagues in 2016, is hitting .170 with a .282 OBP and seven extra-base hits (five home runs) in 43 games over that same time frame.
And the outfielder many forget about, 2015 first-round pick Cornelius Randolph? He’s slashing .286/.377/.457 with 18 extra-base hits (five home runs) in 48 games over that same time frame. Randolph’s .343 OBP on the season ranks 11th among Florida State League players who have played in at least 100 games this season.
Age: 23 | Position: Right-handed pitcher | Previous Ranking: NR
2017 stats: 5-2, 2.68 ERA, 0.876 WHIP, 72 K, 6 BB in 53 2/3 IP/37 G between Class A Clearwater and Low-A Lakewood
Fourteen months into his pro career, Bettencourt looks like a steal for Johnny Almaraz and the amateur scouting department. And like fellow late-round pick Jesen Therrien, he could enjoy a quick rise from A-ball to the big leagues if he keeps it up. Bettencourt, the Phillies 25th round pick out of UC-Santa Barbara in 2016, has a ridiculous 72-to-6 strikeout-to-walk ratio this season. That might even make current Threshers teammate Sixto Sanchez blush. Bettencourt's been doing it with a fastball that tops out around 93-MPH and a cutter-heavy diet that induces plenty of ground ball outs, too.
Jhailyn Ortiz finishes second in the New York-Penn League home run derby by hitting 11— Mitch Rupert (@Mitch_Rupert) August 15, 2017
Age: 18 | Position: Outfield | Previous Ranking: 10
2017 stats: .283/.389/.520, 7 HR, 13 2B, 1 3B, 46 K, 18 BB in 45 games/180 plate appearances at short-season Williamsport
Lakewood's FirstEnergy Park has been home to some of the bigger named prospects in the Phillies system this season, including Moniak, Sanchez, and Haseley. Ortiz should follow the trio and give the BlueClaws a fun box office draw next season. The 6-3, 215-pound, right-handed hitting teenager is currently one back of the New York-Penn League lead with seven home runs in 45 games and he can also run a little bit, too (5-for-6 in stolen base attempts) for a very large human. Ortiz was the most expensive amateur international sign ever for the Phillies, and so far, the investment looks like a good one.
Age: 20 | Position: Left-handed pitcher | Previous Ranking: NR
2017 stats: 8-3, 2.23 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, 117 K, 33 BB in 117 IP/20 games between Class A Clearwater and Low-A Lakewood
Since Sanchez missed some time this season (with a minor neck injury), we feel OK saying that JoJo Romero may just be the most consistently dominant pitcher in the farm system this season (although Tom Eshelman and some other guys who have pitched at Lakewood could make an argument, too). Romero, the Phillies fourth-round pick in 2016, is averaging a strikeout-per-inning in his first full season and has been stingy with walks. He's also been stingy allowing runs: he's allowed more than three earned runs just twice in 20 starts this season (and has held the opposition to two runs or fewer in 16 of his starts).
Age: 20 | Position: Right-handed pitcher | Previous Ranking: NR
2017 stats: 4-8, 3.22 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, 118 K, 34 BB in 103 1/3 IP/19 games at Low-A Lakewood
Romero's former BlueClaws teammate has the bigger arm, and thus, the bigger upside. Medina hasn't been as consistent as Romero (or fellow former teammate Ranger Suarez, who was also promoted to Clearwater this summer) but he's been pretty darn good in his own right. Medina is fourth in the South Atlantic League with 118 strikeouts and his strikeout rate (10.3-per-nine innings) and walk rate (3.0) are both improvements upon last season. Medina has held Sally League hitters to a .235/.314/.333 slash line in 19 games this season.
Age: 22 | Position: First base | Previous Ranking: NR
2017 stats: .268/.341/.524, 24 HR, 27 2B, 85 RBI, 102 K, 29 BB in 107 G/446 plate appearances at Low-A Lakewood
Hall's swing almost brings Dylan Cozens to mind, although he is a couple of inches shorter. The BlueClaws slugging first baseman has arguably been the offensive MVP of the South Atlantic League. He's one home run from breaking the Lakewood franchise record. And he's also one of three players on Lakewood's roster drafted from the same Texas college in the last two years. I caught up with Hall just last week at FirstEnergy Park.
Five who dropped out: 1B/OF Rhys Hoskins and C Jorge Alfaro (promoted to Phillies), OF Mickey Moniak, OF Dylan Cozens, LHP Nick Fanti
More rising pitchers: Seven-foot left-hander Kyle Young (22nd round, 106 draft), fellow left-hander David Parkinson (12th round, 2017) and right-hander Connor Seabold (3rd round, 2017) have all fared well with the Williamsport Crosscutters this summer, ditto 19-year-old, Russian-born left-hander Anton Kuznetsov in the Gulf Coast League.
Down and out: Kevin Gowdy, the Phillies second round pick in 2016, hasn’t pitched this season and will likely miss 2018 after undergoing Tommy John surgery last week.
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