Phillies farm system in Keith Law’s top-10 for 2019
The Phillies farm system has received another high rating for 2019.
Keith Law of ESPN has ranked the Phillies farm system as the 10th-best in baseball entering the 2019 season.
Law’s rankings, which are under the ESPN+ subscription, breaks down all 30 of the farm systems in baseball.
According to Law, the Phillies farm system has taken a step back after being in the top-five last year, but some of that is attributed to players such as Seranthony Dominguez graduating to the big leagues.
Another note by Law is that several of the Phillies’ top prospects had down years last year, which is very true. Former number one pick Mickey Moniak struggled early in the season before a visit from his high school friends rejuvenated him, and Jhailyn Ortiz had a very bad year in Lakewood hitting just .225 for the BlueClaws.
Pitcher Thomas Eshelman also took a step back after competing for a big league job in spring training. Eshelman had a 5.84 ERA for Lehigh Valley in 27 games, 26 of which were starts.
Here’s a snippet of what else Law had to say about the Phillies’ minor league system.
"The Phillies’ system had a down year by all accounts, with many of their most vaunted players coming into 2018 struggling with performance and/or injuries, and both scouts and execs reporting back that the Phillies’ biggest names had lost value in their eyes."
Top prospect Sixto Sanchez only pitched 46.2 innings last year due to injury, and 2016 second round pick Kevin Gowdy is still coming back from Tommy John.
Two players highlighted by Law as risers in the organization are shortstop Luis Garcia and pitcher Spencer Howard. Garcia has been all over the place on the national rankings, finishing third on the Baseball America (subscription required) Phillies rankings but not being ranked as a top-10 shortstop by MLB Pipeline.
There isn’t a lot on the 18-year-old Garcia coming out of the Dominican Republic. Last year in the Gulf Coast League Garcia hit .369 with an excellent glove at short. Garcia could jump Low-A Williamsport right to Single-A Lakewood this year and play as high as Reading if his success continues.
Howard was a second-round pick in 2017 who was very good in 23 starts for Lakewood. He struck out 147 batters in 112 innings and threw a complete game as the cherry on top of a very good year. Baseball America rated Howard as the Phillies’ eighth-best prospect this year after MLB Pipeline had him 18th last year.
It’ll be interesting to see the MLB Pipeline rankings and where they layout the Phillies farm system for 2019. Only three players (Sanchez, Adonis Medina, and Alec Bohm) finished in their top-100 prospect ranking, so there are your top-three prospects in the organization.
Law notes that Philadelphia hasn’t had much luck with their first round picks outside of Aaron Nola.
It’ll be interesting to see where Moniak lands on the remaining prospect lists. His resurgence at the end of the year was promising but there’s still a lot of room for growth.
I expect to see 2017 first round pick Adam Haseley in the top-five of MLB Pipeline’s Phillies rankings, especially after he was invited to big league camp.
Haseley is likely to start the year at Double-A Reading. Depending on what happens with the big league club a productive season from Haseley could see a September call-up.
Pitching prospects Enyel De Los Santos and Ranger Suarez saw major league playing time but neither lost their rookie eligibility.
De Los Santos, a top pitching prospect acquired from the Padres for Freddy Galvis, pitched just 19 innings in two starts and five relief appearances. Suarez threw 15 innings in three starts and one relief appearance.
Both of those pitchers should be in the top-10 but neither are considered major prospects anymore.