Phillies Minors System on Rise


Jim Callis,’s primary minor league and prospect evaluator, today released the most recent rankings of each team’s minor league system, and for the first time in a long time the Phillies made the grade.

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The Phillies system graded out as the #7 current minor league system in the game, according to Callis. He has them now behind only the Boston Red Sox, Los Angeles Dodgers, Colorado Rockies, Chicago Cubs, Minnesota Twins, and Pittsburgh Pirates.

This means that the Phils have improved to become the very top farm system in the entire NL East division, the 5th best in the National League.

In rankings released prior to the season, the Phillies didn’t rate. Most “experts” had the Phillies in the bottom third of all organizations back in the spring. So what has changed?

The biggest single factor has been the infusion of talent to the system from the trades of veterans Jimmy Rollins, Marlon Byrd, Jonathan Papelbon, Ben Revere, and most especially Cole Hamels.

As Callis called it “the most improved system on this list” benefited from adding outfielder Nick Williams (63), catcher Jorge Alfaro (68), and pitcher Jake Thompson (59), all Top 100 prospects in all of baseball. Toss in the club’s top pick in the June MLB Amateur Draft, outfielder Cornelius Randolph (97), and the #6 prospect in the entire game in shortstop J.P. Crawford, and the Phillies now have a total of five Top 100 prospects.

Pitcher Aaron Nola (22) was also included in the evaluation by Callis, since he still has rookie status. That gives the Phils six of the Top 100 prospects in baseball. But having thrown 29.2 innings now with the Phillies in the big leagues, he is just 20.1 innings short of losing that distinction.

In the Rollins and Byrd deals, the Phils brought in pitchers Ben Lively, Zach Eflin, and Tom Windle. In the Papelbon and Revere trades it was pitchers Nick Pivetta, Alberto Tirado, and Jimmy Cordero. They also picked up a nice 2nd base prospect in the 2nd round of this year’s draft in Scott Kingery.

The Phillies have a number of lower-level prospects beginning to make a name for themselves. I recently covered some of the better performances in my Phillies Pharm Report released last Sunday. I am confident that at least a couple of these names, especially pitcher Franklyn Kilome, will reach Top 100 MLB prospect status over the off-season.

Clearly there has been improvement made in the minor league system, both in depth and in top-tier quality. That is now being recognized within the MLB industry. With a new president coming soon in Andy MacPhail, hopefully to be followed by a new GM, we could soon see a new day dawning in longterm prospect evaluation by the club.