The top 20 prospects in the Phillies system are all talented, but the ones in the top five all have the chance to be tremendous players in the future, starting with catcher Jorge Alfaro at No. 5.
Since Carlos Ruiz started to decline, the Phillies have gotten little production from the catching position. That could all change in the near future as Jorge Alfaro becomes the starter behind the plate next season.
Alfaro has been in the minor-leagues for eight seasons now, and he finally got his first extended look in the majors this year. In 29 games, Alfaro posted a .318/.360/.514 line with five home runs and six doubles. His 127 wRC+ was second-highest on the team among players with 110 or more plate appearances.
While Alfaro definitely showed power potential, his approach at the plate is still a clear work-in-progress. In his major-league stint this year, he swung at 46.2 percent of pitches outside of the strike zone, swung at 61.9 percent of all pitches, and swung and missed on 21.5 percent of pitches. All of these rates were well above league-average, leading to a 28.9 percent strikeout rate and 2.6 percent walk rate. This lack of plate discipline certainly lessens Alfaro’s offensive potential.
Defensively, Alfaro has a very strong arm that he can use to throw out runners trying to steal bases. While he still has to hone in the finer aspects of catching, he has improved every year since joining the Phillies. That trend should continue next year in the majors as Alfaro and Andrew Knapp are expected to be the two major-league catchers on Opening Day.