Some of the Phillies best prospects went unrecognized in Saturday’s rankings
Philadelphia saw three young stars rated as top-100 prospects by MLB.com, with two being in the top 20. J.P. Crawford (7), Mickey Moniak (19), and Jorge Alfaro (73) represented the Phillies in the annual top-100 prospect ranking, but some could argue one or two more were qualified to make the list.
The first worth noting is outfielder Nick Williams, who was named the 49th-best prospect just one year ago. With a multitude of tools up his sleeves, Williams has the talent to be an all-star should he reach the majors. What most likely drove him off the top-100 list is his plate discipline and on-base percentage. Last season Williams struck out 136 times, walked just 19, and owned a horrendous .287 OBP.
Unless the 23-year-old lefty learns that hitting like Vlad Guerro isn’t for everyone, the Phillies will have yet another outfield prospect bust come through the organization.
If the strikeouts decrease early on in 2017, Williams could be called-up in September should Michael Saunders be traded.
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Young pitcher Franklyn Kilome’s absence sticks out, but that could purely be caused by him only being in Single-A. Philadelphia’s best pitching prospect yet to have reached the majors, Kilome has the potential to be an ace for a championship Phillies team. Rated the eighth-best prospect in the Phillies organization, Kilome’s major league debut is still years away. Just 21-years-old, Kilome could possibly start this season with Advanced-A Clearwater.
Outside of Kilome and Williams you’ll be hard pressed to argue anyone else in the organization is worth a top-100 ranking.
It’s hard to say whether Roman Quinn and Jake Thompson are still considered “prospects” in the eyes of the scouts ranking baseball’s future stars. Their limited major league experience may have disqualified them from the list, but either would be an obvious candidate for the ranking in any other situation.
Dylan Cozens and Cornelius Randolph are both top-six prospects for the Phillies, but each carries certain question marks. Cozens had a meteoric rise in Reading last year, slugging a club record 40 home runs. The friendly confines of Reading’s ballpark may explain the power surge.
Randolph has struggled to live up to his first-round hype but has reminded fans he’s still just a teenager. Philadelphia will want to see some major improvements from Randolph in his third season as a professional. While just 19-years-old, Randolph needs to prove he can stay healthy and be a consistent hitter against tougher pitching.
I would expect to see Randolph start the year back in Lakewood, with Moniak playing beside him in center field.
At this stage just be thankful the Phillies have been abe to replenish their farm system as rapidly as they have. After Ruben Amaro Jr. literally sold the farm to compete with aging players, the organization has reignited fans’ championship hopes.