As much as we hate to admit it, Ruben Amaro Jr. left the team with an abundance of young talent after his purging of the system. The Cole Hamels trade netted the Phillies three of their top six prospects (Thompson, Jorge Alfaro, and Nick Williams), and many of his other low-key moves have paid dividends.
Jared Eickhoff (Hamels trade) and Zach Eflin (Rollins trade) are both members of the Phillies starting rotation this season, and may be keys to the future. Lame-duck Jonathan Papelbon was flipped for their Nick Pivetta, who currently ranks as their 18th best prospect.
Ben Revere was sent to Toronto for two young pitchers (Jimmy Cordero and Alberto Tirado) who each rank within the clubs’ top 20 prospects.
Darnell Sweeney, the teams’ #23 prospect, was acquired for Chase Utley. Marlon Byrd got the Phillies Ben Lively, who is pitching very well in the minors, and is undervalued as being ranked the #30 prospect in the system.
Throw in the additions made by Klentak (Mark Appel, Velasquez, Thomas Eshelman) and the farm system is dramatically improved over the course of 11 months. It’s improved so much, they went from Baseball America’s 21st ranked system in 2015, all the way to eighth prior to this season.
Baseball America ranked six of the Phillies prospects in their top 100 in their mid-season report: J.P. Crawford, Thompson, Williams, Alfaro, Kilome, Andrew Knapp. Last year, only three made the list: Franco, Crawford, and Nola.
To make the future look even brighter, the Reading Fightin’ Phils have the best record in professional baseball (63-27) thanks to those trades, and the contributions of kids such as Dylan Cozens, Rhys Hoskins, and Roman Quinn.