Phillies Top 10 Prospects: Baseball America


Baseball America has begun releasing it’s annual Top 10 prospects lists for each of the 30 MLB organizations, and on Monday it was the Philadelphia Phillies turn.

Two months ago, a survey conducted by The Reading Eagle of some two dozen Phillies’ writers, bloggers, and organizational experts, myself included, revealed that group’s Top 20 Phillies prospects.

A comparison of the Reading list published on August 30th and the Baseball America list published on November 2nd reveals a fairly strong consensus as to the organization’s very top prospects.

Shortstop J.P. Crawford sits atop both lists as the top prospect in the Phillies farm system. The #5 prospect in the game per Major League Baseball will turn 21 years of age in just over two months. Crawford was just sent home early from the Arizona Fall League due to a thumb ligament injury that is believed to be minor, and which should not hold him up from being ready come spring training.

In the 2-3 positions on both lists are a pair of prospects obtained by the Phils from the Texas Rangers in the Cole Hamels deal just over three months ago. That deal fetched the club three members of the BA list, as well as young arms Jerad Eickhoff and Alec Asher, who each made their MLB debut in Philly in August. Also obtained in that deal was injured veteran lefty Matt Harrison.

Starting pitcher Jake Thompson, 2nd on the Reading list and 3rd by Baseball America, is a big Texas righty who will turn 21 years old at the end of January. At Reading following the trade, Thompson went 5-1 over 7 starts with a 1.80 ERA, allowing just 33 hits in 45 innings with a 34/12 K:BB ratio.

Outfielder Nick Williams, 3rd on the Reading list and 2nd by Baseball America, is another native Texan. The big, multi-tooled left-handed hitter and fielder turned 22 years old in the beginning of September. Following the trade, Williams hit for a .320/.340/.536 slash line at Reading with 4 homers, 10 RBI, 21 runs, and 3 steals in 97 at-bats over 22 games.

Catcher Andrew Knapp rode a strong 2015 season to the #4 ranking on the Baseball America list. He had finished just 12th in the Reading Eagle survey. The winner of the organizational Paul Owens Award as the top performing position prospect, Knapp will turn 24 years old in less than a week, and is on the verge of making his big league debut.

The California native hit for a .308/.385/.491 combined slash line between High-A and AA this season, with 13 home runs and 84 RBI. He really took off following the promotion to AA Reading, where he hit for a .360/.419/.631 line and recorded a 1.050 OPS.

In the #5 spot on both lists was catcher Jorge Alfaro, who was highlighted this past weekend here at TBOH. An injury-marred season is now in the rearview mirror for this third member of the Hamels trade haul to make the BA list, and his strong bat should pay dividends, even if a position switch is eventually required of the 22-year old backstop.

Outfielder Cornelius Randolph was ranked 6th by BA and 4th on the Reading list. The Phillies’ top pick in this past June’s MLB Amateur Draft is a converted infielder who took well to left field. He is a righty fielder, but a left-handed bat who reminds some of the late Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn.

Randolph should field well enough to play left field in the big leagues, but it will be his exciting bat that should eventually carry him to a spot near the middle of the club’s batting order by the end of the decade. The Georgia native just turned 18 years old in June, so still has plenty of minor league developmental time ahead of him.

20-year old right-handed pitcher Franklyn Kilome has begun to excite prospect watchers following a strong campaign in which the tall, lanky Dominican went 3-2 with a 3.28 ERA, 1.257 WHIP, and a 36/21 K:BB ratio. In 49.1 innings across 11 starts, he allowed just 41 hits for rookie-level Williamsport and was ranked in the #7 position on both the Reading and Baseball America lists.

Outfielder Roman Quinn finished at #8 on the BA list, #6 on the Reading list. The 22-year old speedster spent the entire season with AA Reading, hitting .306 with a .356 on-base percentage while scoring 44 runs and stealing 29 bases in 58 games. Quinn’s development could force the Phillies to consider a move back to 2nd base by exciting Rule 5 find Odubel Herrera.

More from That Balls Outta Here

Dominican Republic native Adonis Medina will turn 19 years old in December, and was left entirely off the Reading Eagle Phillies Top 20 prospects ranking. However, the righty was listed at #9 by Baseball America following a strong season with the Phils’ Gulf Coast League squad. Medina went 3-2 with a 2.98 ERA and 1.19 WHIP over 10 games, 8 of them starts. He allowed 42 hits in 45.1 innings, with a 35/12 K:BB ratio, and experienced a major bump up in his fastball velocity this year, which may be something that BA jumped on.

Rounding out the Top 10 Phillies prospects on both lists was enigmatic outfielder Carlos Tocci. The 20-year old is at this time in his development the classic “toolsy” player who has not yet put it all together results-wise, but is still highly considered, as is obvious by these two rankings.

The right-handed Tocci is currently playing with Tigres de Aragua in the Venezuelan Winter League. He hit for a .287/.339/.363 slash line across two minor league levels this season in the Phils’ system. He has, however, shown incremental improvement in his numbers across the board each of the last two seasons, and could be due for a big breakthrough.

Not making the Baseball America Phillies Top 10 Prospects list were pitchers Zach Eflin and Ricardo Pinto, who finished at #8 and 9 respectively in the Reading Eagle Top 20 rankings. The 21- year old righty Eflin is one of the arms received in the Jimmy Rollins deal last December, while Pinto is a righty who will turn 22 years old in January, and who received the Owens Award as the organization’s top performing pitcher this year.

Baseball America has now released its Top 10 listing for four of the five teams of the National League East Division, and will be staggering the release of the other organizations in Major League Baseball every few days over the course of the next couple of months, finishing up with the AL West at the end of January.

Next: Phils' Ramos Named to AFL All-Star Team