Phillies Upper-Minors Prospects Ranked by Baseball America

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Mar 5, 2016; Dunedin, FL, USA; Philadelphia Phillies shortstop J.P. Crawford (77) fields a ball as they warm up during the fourth inning of a game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Florida Auto Exchange Park. Mandatory Credit: Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 5, 2016; Dunedin, FL, USA; Philadelphia Phillies shortstop J.P. Crawford (77) fields a ball as they warm up during the fourth inning of a game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Florida Auto Exchange Park. Mandatory Credit: Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports /
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A majority of the Phillies’ top prospects are in the upper levels of the minor-leagues. Baseball America placed five Phillies prospects among the Top 20s in the Florida State, Eastern, and International Leagues.

Earlier this month, Baseball America ranked the Phillies prospects in the lower levels of their minor-league system. Continuing on with their rankings of the prospects in each of the minor-leagues, five Phillies prospects placed on the Florida State, Eastern, and International League lists.

Scott Kingery was the lone Phillies prospect who appeared on the Florida State League list. J.P. Crawford, Jorge Alfaro, and Dylan Cozens all placed on the Eastern League list, with Cozens being named the league MVP by BA. Crawford also earned a spot on the International League list along with Nick Williams. BA named Jake Thompson the International League pitcher of the year, but he no longer has his prospect status, so he didn’t rank on the list.

Crawford ranked No. 4 on the International League list behind Washington’s Trea Turner, Minnesota’s Byron Buxton, and the Yankees’ Gary Sanchez, who all spent time in the majors this year. Meanwhile, Williams ranked No. 13 after a poor season in Lehigh Valley.

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Teddy Cahill, who ranked the International League prospects, acknowledged that the International League is very deep in prospect talent. Cahill said he would take the top three prospects over Alex Reyes, the top prospect in the Pacific Coast League. In addition, he said “there’s a strong case for Crawford and Glasnow over [Alex] Reyes [the No. 1 prospect in the Pacific Coast League] as well.”

Moving on to the Eastern League, Crawford ranked as the No. 6 prospect in that league. Jorge Alfaro ranked 12th, and Dylan Cozens ranked 13th. Josh Norris said Alfaro is in the “upper echelon of minor league catchers” and “the long-term heir to Carlos Ruiz.” Later in the chat, Norris said Alfaro is ahead of Andrew Knapp, the other top catching prospect in the system.

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Cozens led the minors this year with 40 home runs but also amassed the second-most strikeouts at 186. Norris wondered, “How much of Cozens’ power is real, and how much was fueled the cozy dimensions at Reading’s FirstEnergy Stadium?” There was no mention of Cozens in the chat.

While first baseman Rhys Hoskins didn’t make the Top 20, a fan still brought him up in the chat, asking how far off the list Hoskins was. Norris responded with the following:

"“He was a split case. The guys who liked him really liked him, and the guys who didn’t like him hated him.The positives are obvious: He can hit the ball and hit it for power. The questions, too, are obvious: Is the power amplified by Reading’s park (of course it is). His numbers away from the park are respectable, but not the eye-popping stuff you want to see from a player who projects as first-base only. He’s also average to a little worse at first base, which doesn’t help his case.”"

While High-A Clearwater had the best record in the Florida State League, just one of their players made it into the top 20, second baseman Scott Kingery, ranking No. 14. John Manuel liked what Kingery has to offer on offense including “plus speed” and a “simple, short swing, producing power to the gaps.” However, Manuel also noted Kingery will “have to control the strike zone a bit more to fit the leadoff profile.”

Next: Phillies 40-Man Roster Crunch: Who's In, Who's Out

In the FSL chat, Manuel rattled off multiple other Clearwater prospects of note, including Carlos Tocci, Malquin Canelo, and Thomas Eshelman. One fan also asked about left-handed pitcher Elniery Garcia, and Manuel said Garcia would have made the list if it went deeper. While he expressed concern over his small frame, Manuel also said Garcia has “a quick arm, an average fastball that plays up, changeup is still his 3rd pitch”, projecting him as a “lefty reliever.”

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