Phantasy Relevance – Phillies Hitting Prospects
When sifting through the Phillies minors system, it became clear to me that a lot of the criticism being tossed in their direction seemed just a little bit unfair. While there isn’t an overwhelming abundance of talent, there are some quality players here.
Anyone who follows baseball knows that the Phils are currently in a rebuilding mode and will need to add more young talent. Listed below are the rest of the hitting prospects beyond J.P. Crawford, who I previously covered for fantasy relevance, as listed in Baseball America’s Top 10 for the Phillies and what may prove to be their relevance to the fantasy game.
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3. 3B/1B – Maikel Franco – The name being brought up the most and talked about around the local water coolers in Philly is corner infield prospect, Maikel Franco. A 22-year old Dominican with tons of upside, Franco has shown some pop in the minors and has an under-appreciated glove.
The 3rd ranked prospect in the Phils’ organization according to Baseball America has Phillies fans daydreaming of the next great power bat in red pinstripes. He has been groomed to man the hot corner, but has also dabbled some at first base.
Franco’s best tool is his power, and provided he keeps progressing at the rate he has been, he’ll be a fixture in the Phillies lineup for years to come. Those years should start at some point this season.
For now, Franco is likely a year or so away from being a fantasy league producer. I wouldn’t draft him this year unless you are in a really deep league. He certainly should be owned in a keeper/dynasty league.
7. OF – Roman Quinn – After Franco, the next hitting prospect in the Phillies organization is Roman Quinn. A former shortstop, Quinn will now focus his efforts in centerfield. He’s a gifted runner with plus speed and a pretty good glove.
Quinn is not likely to reach Philadelphia until around 2017. He still needs quite a bit of refinement and will continue to get that in the minors.
Right now, Roman is more reliant on his speed than the rest of his game. Until the rest of his game catches up, he isn’t worth targeting in any fantasy league format.
8. OF – Carlos Tocci – Carlos is the definition of a high-risk prospect with high upside. Turning 19 years old last August, Tocci already has 2 1/2 years of minor league experience under his belt. Considered to be a better fielder than a hitter, Tocci has good speed and can flash the leather.
While that is good for the Phils’, it’s not so good for fantasy owners. Without producing at the plate, he will not garner any attention in the fantasy game. Tocci does stand 6’2″ and weighs 160 pounds, and at his age certainly has time to add some weight to his frame which should help him out at the plate.
He has pretty good speed to go along with his defensive abilities, but needs to cut down on his strikeouts, develop some pop, and turn some of those punch outs into base hits or walks. Still quite a few years away from being considered an option for the Phillies and for fantasy owners alike.
9. OF – Aaron Brown – A two-way player at Pepperdine University, left-handed pitcher/outfielder Aaron Brown will focus on the outfield after being drafted by the Phillies last June in the 3rd round as the 81st overall player selected.
Brown is an aggressive player, and at 22 years of age he has the talent to rise through the minors quickly. He exhibits a good deal of power and is fluid in the outfield.
Named to the ABCA All-American first team in his junior season a year ago, Aaron is a bigger guy (6’2″, 220) and looks the part of a power hitting outfielder. He played centerfield in college, and has the ability to stay there, but I see him as more of a corner outfielder.
While Aaron has a lot of the tools to be a big leaguer, he is a free swinger that will need to cut down on his strikeouts. Aaron may not have the upside of some of his peers in the system, but he does have a good-looking future and could eventually become a quality fantasy producer. Because of his ability to hit for power and a decent average, he’d be worthy of drafting near the end to fill up your minors roster in deeper keeper/dynasty leagues that have one.