A top 30 prospect list doesn’t encompass all the prospects that the Phillies have in their system. Here we will examine prospects who didn’t make the list but still have some potential.
When I had to compile my Top 30 prospect list, there were some tough choices to make when whittling it down. The Phillies have plenty of prospects who you could make the case for on the list, and I probably would have agreed with you. Any system that ranks in the top ten of baseball should have a multitude of talented prospects. Here I will throw out a couple more names that you should keep an eye on along with the players on the Top 30.
If you asked me who my No. 31 prospect would be, it’d be left-handed pitcher Elniery Garcia. The 21-year old has been a slow riser, spending one year in the Dominican League and two more in the short-season leagues. He finally made his full-season debut last season with Low-A Lakewood, moving up to High-A Clearwater this year. It started to click for Garcia this year, as he carried a 1.10 WHIP and 2.68 ERA in 117.2 innings for the Threshers. He commands three pitches which all could be average, making him a back-end starter. However, if it doesn’t all go together, Garcia’s left-handedness could be be his saving grace as he could be a lefty specialist in the bullpen.
Drew Anderson was also part of the Clearwater rotation, making his return from Tommy John surgery this season. He split the year between Lakewood and Clearwater, truly shining in the Florida State League. Anderson struck out 10.19 batters per nine innings in eight High-A starts. This was his first healthy season since 2013, so injury concerns will always follow Anderson. He could have three average pitches with a low-to-mid 90s fastball in his repertoire, but since coming back from surgery he has struggled with command at times.
One last pitcher to note is righty Victor Arano. The Phillies acquired Arano in the 2014 Roberto Hernandez trade, and he struggled in Clearwater’s rotation in 2015. Moving to the bullpen this season, Arano’s stuff has really played up. He can now run his fastball well into the mid-90s upwards of 97. His slider is missing more bats and he’s always been able to command it well.
Arano allowed opposing hitters a .208 average in 79.2 innings between High-A and Double-A this year. He could be in the major-league bullpen as soon as 2017 because of how fast relievers move through the system.
Turning to hitters, outfielder Juan Luis could become a solid player thanks to a toolshed of abilities. His plus-plus speed makes him an above-average center fielder and will carry his prospect value. Matt Winkelman of Phillies Minor Thoughts said “The defense does give him a good base to build on in a similar way to higher regarded prospects like Carlos Tocci and Roman Quinn.” Luis has the speed to steal a good number of bases, but he still needs to hone in the finer aspects of basestealing. He went 9-for-14 in stolen bases attempts with short-season Williamsport. At the plate, Luis struggled with a .235/.282/.327 line. The hope exists that Luis can put together an average hit tool, but that goal seems lofty for now.
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One prospect who splits evaluators is second baseman Josh Tobias. The 2015 tenth-round draft pick did some serious work at the plate in Williamsport that year and only continued when he started 2016 with Lakewood. He hit a snag in Clearwater but still had a .324 OBP despite his poor average. Tobias gets his bat on the ball consistently and is hard to strike out, getting punched out in just 15.9% of his plate appearances this season. He has the bat to stick at second base, but his defense still needs help. While second usually is easier than other infield positions, Tobias may not stick there and has already spent time in left field this season.
That extra versatility may be what keeps Tobias in the major-leagues as opposed to being stuck in Quad-A purgatory.
Outfielder Andrew Pullin had an eventful 2016 season, but when he did play he was a force at the plate. After leading the Florida State League in home runs in 2015, Pullin announced his retirement just before this season started. He told Matt Breen of the Philadelphia Inquirer upon his return, “I had some problems at home that I had to take care of. I’m back from that now, and I feel better than ever. Just having a lot of fun.”
Pullin raked in the Florida State League for 36 games, posting a .796 OPS with Clearwater. He only got better upon reaching Double-A Reading, leading the team with a .346 batting average and hitting 10 home runs in 46 games. However, he battled through a groin strain and elbow sprain in that time. Pullin has below-average to average tools across the board, but Pullin will have to mirror the success he had this season next year and for the years to come in order to reach the majors. His below-average defense in left field means Pullin has to keep hitting.