Hey, More Good News! Phillies Top Prospects Still Aren’t Very Good
By John Stolnis
OK kids, I know it’s been a few weeks since the latest Prospect Watch, but that’s only because I’ve been so darn busy watching all these prospects! Traveling from small hick town to small hick town, trying to catch as many Blue Claws games as I can, is a real time eater.
Or, maybe it was because I just spent the last few weeks trying to sell my house and buy a new one. Yeah, it’s probably the latter, because I didn’t do any of that other stuff.
Anyway, now that the 2012 season has reached the All-Star break, baseball publications are releasing revised prospects lists. And, you’ll be shocked to learn that all the latest lists still have a dearth of Phillies prospects on them.
I know. There’s also gambling at the casino.
Baseball America released it’s top 50 midseason prospect list and there was nary a Phillie on it. Unfortunately, three former Phils prospects did make the cut, Travid d’Arnaud at #19, Jonathan Singleton at #23 and Anthony Gose at #38. This makes my feelings cry.
Meanwhile, John Sickels of Minorleagueball.com released an updated Top 120 list, and there were actually two Phillies players on it! Interestingly, Sickels’ list has Jesse Biddle ranked ahead of Trevor May, with Biddle at #54, up 17 spots from #71 at the start of the year. May, however, fell 16 spots, from #40 to #56, two spots behind Biddle.
Phillies fans who believe Cole Hamels is a goner have been hearing the name Mike Olt quite a bit lately. That’s because Olt is the Texas Rangers’ third base prospect currently tearing it up in AA, hitting .297/.406/.584 for an OPS .990, with 22 HRs and 62 RBI. He’s also blocked by a pretty good third baseman on the Major League level in Adrian Beltre.
Did I mention he plays third base?
Baseball America’s midseason rankings have him listed as the #11 overall prospect in the minors. He’s exactly the type of player Ruben Amaro should be asking for in any deal for Hamels, and it’s why many believe the Texas Rangers are the front-runners to acquire Hamels if he does end up on the trading block. Get used to hearing his name A LOT over the next couple weeks, because everything you’re going to hear is that he’s the second coming of Scott Rolen, only not an incredible punk. He does have a lot of pop and, according to ESPN’s Keith Law, had the best infield glove at the Futures Game this week.
There are others who believe the Yankees match up well with the Phillies in a potential Hamels trade. Tyler Jett at the Philly Inquirer noted MLB.com’s top prospect is 21-year-old pitching prospect Manny Banuelos, a AAA pitcher who has spent most of the season on the disabled list. But when he’s healthy, he has three plus-pitches, a fastball, curveball and change-up. Also high up in the Yanks’ organization is 24-year-old Dellin Betances, a pitcher demoted to AA this year. He walks a lot of guys, but also strikes out a lot. He’s got a live arm but his control needs to come around. Baseball America has New York’s top prospect as OF Mason Williams, a 20-year-old center fielder currently playing in Advanced A ball, recently promoted after getting off to a monstrous start in the Sally League to start the season. BA has him as the 28th best prospect in the minors. Right behind him is 19-year-old catching prospect Gary Sanchez, the 30th best prospect in the minors. He also was just promoted to the Florida State League from the Sally League a couple weeks ago. Both Williams and Sanchez, however, are likely still two or three years from contributing at the Major League level, and Amaro is probably looking for players closer to being Major League-ready. However, all are players that will be mentioned if the Yankees emerge as a potential landing spot for Hamels.
If you are a Phillies fan and you watched the MLB Futures Game over the weekend, you probably felt a strange sensation in your groin. That feeling was Jonathan Singleton and Anthony Gose kicking you in the crotch. Both former Phils farmhands shined in the ballgame, with Singleton going 3-4 with an RBI and two runs scored for the American team, while Gose went 1-1 with a run scored and a walk. Meanwhile, Reading prospect Julio Rodriguez pitched the 8th inning for the World Team, allowing three runs (two earned) on three hits and one walk. Rodriguez is ranked as the 15th best prospect in the Phillies’ organization.
The other Phils farmhand to be selected for the game was Lisalverto Bonilla, another Reading pitcher. However, he didn’t appear in the game after injuring his hand while “horsing around” with a teammate in the hotel the night before. Awesome.
Hey, does everyone remember when Domonic Brown was ranked the #4 overall prospect in the minors by Baseball America? Just wanted to let everyone know that Brown IS still a part of the organization. ETA was 2011, by the way.
Just wanted to end yet another positive column on yet another happy note.