Tuesday's Top Prospects Round-Up


Well, if it’s Tuesday, then it must be time to find out what our favorite Phillies prospects have been up to this week.

Since last Tuesday, ESPN’s Scouts Inc. guru Keith Law unleashed his knowledge unto the world, sharing his Top 100 prospects overall, his ranking of each farm system in the Majors, each team’s top sleeper prospect, as well as their own Top 10 prospects (ESPN Insider Access is required for all links).

Mr. Law, it seems, sleeps about as much as a coked-up Lyndsay Lohan on a Vegas weekend bender.

Sadly, Keith is not enamored with the crop of youngsters in the Phils’ organization. Only one Phillie made his Top 100, Trevor May. Of May, Law said…

May’s return engagement in the Florida State League went much better than the first go-round, cutting his walk rate nearly in half while striking out 208, a third of the batters he faced. May has above-average velocity at 91-95 mph and his curveball, while still not above-average, at least improved last year. The same applies to his changeup, which is slightly ahead of the curve but still isn’t a real weapon for him yet.

The scary aspect of May’s success is that he gets a lot of swings-and-misses on the fastball up in the zone, which works in the minors but is harder to pull off in the majors with a higher penalty for failure. He was a pretty severe flyball guy in the FSL, which is a pretty tough league on home runs. May has made strides in becoming more of a pitcher than a thrower, thinking ahead and developing a pitching plan, and the missed bats are a huge positive. He’ll just need to work down in the zone or otherwise change eye levels so home runs don’t swallow him alive at higher levels.

Law’s top 10 prospects in the Phils’ organization look like this:

1. Trevor May, RHP (76)
2. Jesse Biddle, LHP
3. Jonathan Pettibone, RHP
4. Sebastian Valle, C
5. Freddy Galvis, SS
6. Brody Colvin, RHP
7. Larry Green, OF
8. Julio Rodriguez, RHP
9. Maikel Franco, 3B
10. Perci Garner, RHP

Garner is a prospect who does intrigue Law, naming him the Phillies’ sleeper prospect for 2011. Law had this to say about Garner…

Right-hander Perci Garner was a two-sport guy at Ball State with limited baseball experience because of his time as a quarterback, but he started to turn the corner as a prospect last year when repeating short-season Williamsport, showing better command and hitting 94 mph in instructional league.

In 30 innings last year at Williamsport, Garner made four starts and posted a 1.20 ERA, averaging a strikeout per inning. He walked nine batters in those 30 innings, not a bad ratio for someone still really learning how to pitch. He was picked in the second round with the 77th overall pick in the 2010 draft from Ball State, and it will be interesting to see if he stays in Williamsport to start 2012, or moves up to the next level. The roadblocks for him are controlling his stuff, and getting to the Majors before he’s too old to be labeled a “prospect” anymore.

As for the Phillies’ farm system as a whole, Law notes the mass exodus of prospects to other clubs has left the Phillies with a lot of high-ceiling guys at the lower levels, but not much star-caliber, Major League-ready players in the upper levels, putting them at #25 overall…

Philly has a ton of athleticism at the lower levels, but the upper levels were wiped out by trades the past few years. New farm director Joe Jordan, the Orioles’ former scouting director, has a ton of raw material to work with but no finished or even nearly finished products.

In addition to Law’s Webster-esque dictionary of prospecty goodness, Baseball Prospectus’ Kevin Goldstein also listed his Top 100 (actually 101) prospects for 2011. He was a little kinder than Law, putting two Phillies on his list, May (#51) and Jesse Biddle (#84).

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OK, time for a Twitter update from the ‘Lil Phils on the not-yet-populated pharm.

Justin De Fratus is quickly becoming one of my favorite tweeters, mainly because he shares some very personal, and often times, painful moments…

Justin, sometimes, you make me sad. There, I’m over it. So, how was “The Grey?”

I’m going to go ahead and give that a tentative thumbs-up for “The Grey.” Join us next week when Justin ventures to his local theater alone once again to see “Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close.”

Justin also is a smart, and frugal, shopper…

I could not agree more. The wife and I just bought a very nice lamp stand and shade there on Saturday. And the prices were VERY reasonable.

Phils prospect Tyson Gillies took the opportunity to mock his fellow pharmhand this week with this tweet…

At least Justin can take a joke.

Anyway, the Phils’ #1 prospect, Trevor May, also hit the theater this week. Why didn’t he call Justin and meet up somewhere? Seems like these are two ships silently passing in the night…

Looks like I’m going to have to add “Chronicle” to my must-see list! We also found out Trevor has a LOT of free time on his hands right now…

No Trevor. No… he… is… not!

And finally, here’s hoping Jiwan James can crack the Top 10 prospects list at some point this year, because he’s probably the best Tweeter of the bunch. My favorite from the last week…

No word on whether mom’s truck is a 2003 Toyota Tundra or a 2005 Chevy Silverado. Jiwan, just be thankful you weren’t driving around a minivan.

That’s it for this week, folks. Check back next Tuesday for the latest Top 10 prospect news!

You can follow John’s Phillies thoughts on Twitter @FelskeFiles and on Facebook. He can also be emailed at [email protected]

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