Phillies: Six prospects in Keith Law’s top 100

SAN DIEGO, CA - AUGUST 15: Jorge Alfaro #38 of the Philadelphia Phillies points skyward after hitting a two run home run during the fifth inning of a baseball game against the San Diego Padres at PETCO Park on August 15, 2017 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO, CA - AUGUST 15: Jorge Alfaro #38 of the Philadelphia Phillies points skyward after hitting a two run home run during the fifth inning of a baseball game against the San Diego Padres at PETCO Park on August 15, 2017 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images) /
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Matt Klentak’s rebuild has the Phillies farm system shining once again

Despite entering a lengthy rebuild the Philadelphia Phillies farm system has gone from the worst in baseball to one of the premier systems. With Opening Day about two months away, major publications are releasing their top-100 prospect rankings.

ESPN’s Keith Law released his rankings on Tuesday with a slight twist by omitting former number one pick Mickey Moniak.

Sitting behind the Atlanta Braves’ nine prospects are the Phillies with six young, rising stars.

The following prospects were rated by Law in his latest top 100 prospect ranking: shortstop J.P. Crawford (10), right-handed pitcher Sixto Sanchez (23), second baseman Scott Kingery (33), left-handed pitcher JoJo Romero (59), outfielder Jhaylin Ortiz (83), and catcher Jorge Alfaro (98).

Philadelphia Phillies
Philadelphia Phillies /

Philadelphia Phillies

Law raved about Sanchez, who could emerge as one of the top pitching prospects in baseball.

"If (Sanchez) develops as expected and somewhere along the way finds an above-average or better breaking pitch, he’ll be a No. 1 starter. At worst, as long as he stays healthy, he looks like a solid No. 2 in the making."

Kingery didn’t receive as much love from Law despite being named the top second base prospect by MLB Pipeline earlier this week.

"If he’s even a 20-homer guy in the majors, his defense, speed, and ability to hit for average would make him an above-average regular who’ll make some All-Star teams."

Once again unraked is the Phillies number one overall pick Mickey Moniak from the 2016 MLB Amateur Draft.  Philadelphia’s first round pick last year Adam Haseley was ranked as the 100th best prospect by Baseball America, but fell short on Law’s list.

Right-handed pitcher Adonis Medina was the second Philadelphia prospect rated by Baseball America not to place on Law’s list.

Phillies
NEW YORK, NY – SEPTEMBER 05: J.P. Crawford #2 of the Philadelphia Phillies hits a single against the New York Mets during the fifth inning of a game at Citi Field on September 5, 2017 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. The hit was Carwfords first MLB hit. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) /

Law decided to list Crawford and Alfaro despite them likely securing major league jobs and seeing significant at-bats last year, while Baseball America did not.

"Only three MLB shortstops qualified for the batting title in 2017 and posted an OBP above .350, so even if Crawford is just a 10-12 homer guy in the majors, he’s still a well-above-average regular because of how much he projects to get on base.At any other position, Alfaro would probably have fallen off the prospect map by now given his allergy to the base on balls and modest batting averages, but he is a catcher with an 80 arm and 80 power so we’ll have to let him slide another year."

Sitting in the basement of the Phillies farm system, Ortiz and Romero are the intriguing new names to show up on Law’s list. With the body of a first baseman Ortiz has primarily played right field for Short-Season Williamsport. In 98 games between rookie ball and Williamsport Ortiz has 16 career home runs with a .265 batting average.

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Ortiz saw his average tick above .300 last year for the Crosscutters with nearly double the amount of two-base hits and six fewer strikeouts in the same amount of games.

"While Ortiz’s swing is big, he will go the other way and has already shown some power to the opposite field. He’ll show 70 raw in BP, and projects to 30-plus homers in the big leagues.He is a very long way away, having yet to play a game in a full season league but the early returns are very promising."

Still just 19-years-old Ortiz is a rising star in the organization who could reach the majors in three to five years.

Romero is truly an unsung prospect in the organization at 20 years old with a career 2.27 ERA in 33 starts, two of which were complete games. Rarely do clubs allow a young pitcher to pitch a complete game in the minor leagues, but Romero has his share. In fact, Romero had as many complete games this year as the entire Phillies starting rotation.

"He’s a bit undersized, but the four-pitch mix, command and ability to miss bats all point to a future as a starter, probably a good No. 3 or a little above average."

For the Phillies sake let’s hope Romero, the top lefty in the system, is above average.

Next: Five worst Phillies trades of the last decade

MLB Pipeline is expected to release their top 100 prospect ranking and their franchise ranking in the coming days.

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