Phillies Top 33 Prospects Ranked by Eric Longenhagen of Fangraphs


Fangraph always provides great, in-depth prospect analysis, and they went above and beyond this season, rankings the top 33 Phillies prospects.

Eric Longenhagen of Fangraphs released his top Phillies prospect list Wednesday as he went 33 players deep into the system. As the basis of his rankings, he applied Fangraphs’s 20-80 future value (FV) scale to better explain what each player will likely be in the future.

On that 20-80 scale, 50 is considered average and would equate to a two-WAR player. Philadelphia has three prospects above that level. J.P. Crawford received a 60 FV while Mickey Moniak and Jorge Alfaro each had a 55 FV. They had ten prospects at 45 FV and the rest of the 33 were at 40.

Fangraphs’s KATOH projection system has Crawford racking up 15.6 fWAR in their first six years while Moniak and Alfaro are both projected to have two fWAR.

Longenhagen still believes in Crawford as a future-big leaguer despite his down 2016:

More from Phillies News

"“While Crawford’s 2016 looked disappointing on paper, scouts saw the same collection of tools here as they always have. Namely, future plus or better defense at shortstop, top of the scale athleticism and a natural ability to control the strike zone. He does not have exceptional bat speed or power, is an average runner and is continuously searching for in-the-box footwork that works for him.While he will, on occasion, drop the bat head and golf out a ball down and in, there’s very little power here and some think Crawford was overswinging at times in 2016 to try to create more.”"

One thing I found interesting about Longenhagen’s rankings is the order of Philadelphia’s pitching prospects. He has them in the following order: Sixto Sanchez (4), Adonis Medina (6), Elniery Garcia (7), and Franklyn Kilome (8). Kilome or Sanchez is usually the top pitching prospect, followed by Medina and then Garcia later down the list.

Kilome was below the other pitchers, likely because scouts Longenhagen spoke with told him, “there’s significant reliever risk here, as Kilome’s changeup is raw for his age (he pitched most of last year at age 21, which is a little old for the SALLY League), as is the command.” He projected Kilome to have two plus pitches in his fastball and curve, but average command and a below-average changeup.

More from Phillies News

Andrew Knapp and Mark Appel, who both played at Triple-A last year with mixed results – or none at all in Appel’s case – fell down the list considerably compared to the 2016 list written by Dan Farnsworth. Appel was No. 6 while Knapp was No. 15 on last year’s list. Now Knapp is No. 23 and and Appel is No. 25 with 40 FVs.

Ricardo Pinto, who was at No. 8 last year with a 45+ FV, really fell off the list.

He barely cracked the 2017 rankings, coming in at No. 32. Longenhagen criticized Pinto’s fastball because it is “planeless”, saying that it “might not play in the majors, even at that velocity.” Longenhagen said Pinto’s stuff could play up out of the bullpen and expects him to wind up there in the future.

In addition to the 33 prospects on the list, Longenhagen also wrote up several other prospects of note. One of them was Paul Owens Award winner Ben Lively. Longenhagen said Lively has “good armside fastball command but really struggles to work anything to his glove side” which causes struggles against lefties. He said Lively is likely a “fifth-starter/up-and-down arm.”

Carson Cistulli also selects one player who received a FV below 40 to give a more in-depth look. Jesmuel Valentin was Philadelphia’s “Cistulli’s Guy.” He noted Valentin has posted strikeout rates between 11.6% and 15.6% and an isolated slugging percentage between .105 and .150 in his four seasons with 150 or more plate appearances along with playing a defensive position that provides above-average value. Only nine players have done that in the last five years in the majors. Cistulli said “There are indications that, with average development, he could do the same thing in the majors. While playing average-ish defense, as well.”

Next: 10 Phillies Playing in the World Baseball Classic

As a whole, Longenhagen said Philadelphia’s farm system “has potential impact up top (and some of it close to the big leagues) to go along with a huge midsection of 45 FV prospects whom you can rank in various acceptable orders depending on your personal taste.” He also praised their success in the international market, noting that more teams may adopt their strategy “where they give out many smaller bonuses to a wide swath of players” with the new hard cap on international spending.