Phillies among most improved farm systems in league

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TAMPA, FL- MARCH 03: J.P. Crawford #77 of the Philadelphia Phillies in action during the game against the New York Yankees at Steinbrenner Field on March 3, 2016 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
TAMPA, FL- MARCH 03: J.P. Crawford #77 of the Philadelphia Phillies in action during the game against the New York Yankees at Steinbrenner Field on March 3, 2016 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) /
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Jim Callis of MLB.com put out a list of the most improved farm systems in baseball, and the Phillies were among the five listed.

The Phillies have come a long way from their absolute abyss of a farm system just four or five years ago. They lost out on draft picks due to free agent signings and the ones they had didn’t pan out. This left them dead in the water for several years.

Now, they are among one of the better farm systems in baseball. They started working their way back, and now look to be among one of the top teams in terms of minor-league talent.

Jim Callis of MLB.com released a list of the five most improved farm systems in 2017. The second team he put in the article was Philadelphia, crediting steps forward from several of the club’s top prospects. In addition to those steps forward, Callis also points towards new prospects brought into the system either from international signings, the draft, or trades:

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"Philadelphia had the best system of anyone on this list at the start of 2017, and now it has one of the best systems in baseball. Having right-hander Sixto Sanchez emerge as one of the game’s top pitching prospects, second baseman Scott Kingery break out with 26 homers and 29 steals and shortstop J.P. Crawford reclaim his mojo in the second half certainly helped.So did drafting polished center fielder Adam Haseley with the No. 8 overall pick, swapping big leaguers for prospect depth (most notably getting righty Enyel de los Santos from the Padres for Freddy Galvis) and adding a solid corps of international signees headlined by shortstop Luis Garcia."

Sanchez burst onto the scene into 2016 in the Gulf Coast League with gawdy numbers and an electric fastball. This season he continued to improve, making it to High-A just after turning 19 years old. He should rank among the top prospects in all of baseball when league-wide lists start to come out.

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Meanwhile, Kingery’s breakout saw his power increase (probably partly due to the Reading effect) while still hitting for a high average. He should be in the majors in 2018. Callis doesn’t even dive into many of the other improved prospects like JoJo Romero, Jhailyn Ortiz, Adonis Medina, and Tom Eshelman.

Some of the new faces in the system also pose to be top prospects. Haseley is well-rounded as a player and should be a quick riser. de los Santos was one of many prospects brought in by trade this season. Garcia is a young, toolsy shortstop headlining several signings (including Abrahan Gutierrez, a catching prospect plucked from the Braves’ released prospects).

Next: Phillies could soon have a shortage of infield prospects

Hopefully, 2018 will be another year of improvement, both in the farm system and on the major-league team.

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