Phillies: Which prospects are still untouchable

PHILADELPHIA, PA - APRIL 15: Matt Klentak, right, Vice President and General Manager of the Philadelphia Phillies talks with Peter Bourjos
PHILADELPHIA, PA - APRIL 15: Matt Klentak, right, Vice President and General Manager of the Philadelphia Phillies talks with Peter Bourjos /

Only a handful of the Phillies young players feel like pieces of the future

As the Phillies next core begins to arrive to the major leagues, a stacked farm system will quickly turn from prospects to trade chips. While general manager Matt Klentak isn’t ready to buy veteran players just yet, his desire for a starting pitcher could force his hand to make a move.

On the surface, it appears there are two players in the Phillies top-30 prospect rankings who haven’t made it to the big leagues and are untouchable. Second baseman Scott Kingery and pitcher Sixto Sanchez appear to be locked into the Phillies future plans.

Kingery is due to debut as early as opening day as the starting second baseman, but with Cesar Hernandez still on the roster, Kingery could be held off until the summer.

Sanchez is further away than Kingery having pitched only five games in Advanced-A ball at the age of 19. It wouldn’t be surprising to see Sanchez finish the season with Double-A Reading, but jumping to the big leagues in 2018, and perhaps even 2019, would be a stretch.

Beyond those two it’s hard to see anyone else being an untouchable prospect. Jhailyn Ortiz and Mickey Moniak could be borderline untouchable, but where do they fit in the organization long-term? Franklyn Kilome might make his major league debut in 2018, but how far can he go as a starting pitcher?

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The two most extendable prospects, in my opinion, would be outfielders Dylan Cozens and Cornelious Randolph. Cozens was the second half of the organization’s “bash brothers” along with Rhys Hoskins, clubbing 67 home runs in his last two seasons. Strikeouts are an issue for Cozens, and he may fare better as a designated hitter.

Randolph was the 10th overall pick in 2015 and was a top-100 prospect entering the 2016 season. Reaching Advanced-A Clearwater at the age of 20 Randolph finally found his power, swatting 13 home runs while hitting .250 in 122 games. Ruben Amaro Jr. drafted Randolph, which could put him out of favor with Klentak’s ideology of how the team should be built.

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It’ll be tough for any of the Phillies outfield prospects to find a job, including number one overall pick Mickey Moniak down the road. With Rhys Hoskins, Odubel Herrera, and Nick Williams slated to start opening day as the outfielders some of the outfield prospects could be part of a deal to acquire a legitimate ace.

Pencil in a free agent like Bryce Harper and the outfield logjam becomes too much.