Phillies 2014 Prospects
Top 5: J.P. Crawford, Aaron Nola, Maikel Franco, Roman Quinn, Zach Eflin
Bust: Severino Gonzalez
Surprise: Victor Arano
Aaron Nola proved his blue-chip status in this season, proving his worth as a top-10 pick. Roman Quinn probably never deserved top-5 prospect status, but it was the speed that made scouts drool.
Severino Gonzalez was ranked #10 this season, and when called upon to spot-start in the big leagues, failed dramatically. His career MLB ERA was just under seven, and he was a righty that topped at 89 as a starter, enough said.
J.P. Crawford’s appearance comes later, but Victor Arano was a pleasant surprise. Now an anchor in the Phillies bullpen, Arano was exchanged for Roberto Hernandez (aka Fausto Carmona), and has been excellent in a middle-innings role.
This is Zach Eflin’s only appearance in this article; the tall righty has succeeded in becoming an innings-eater for the Phillies in the middle of the rotation.
Phillies 2015 Prospects
Top 5: J.P. Crawford, Mark Appel, Jake Thompson, Nick Williams, Jorge Alfaro
Bust: Mark Appel
Surprise: Cord Sandberg
Still no on Crawford yet, but Mark Appel is a close second for the biggest bust in recent Phillies memory (sorry, Domonic Brown and company).
Twice drafted as a first-rounder out of Stanford, Appel had the Aaron Nola label as a sure thing when he was taken by the Astros in 2013. He possessed excellent stuff, with a mid-90s heater and plus secondary offerings, but never had the consistency to succeed past AAA.
Appel’s failures are still a mystery to many. Thompson, Williams, and Alfaro all came from the Cole Hamels trade and Alfaro proved to be the most successful, with Thompson gone and Williams hoping to fill a utility role this season.
Cord Sandberg is about as interesting as they come. Taken in the third round back in 2013, Sandberg also had offers to play quarterback in the SEC. He chose baseball and was out of pro ball in 2018 after struggling to hit AA pitching. Having been drafted out of high school, Sandberg signed with the Auburn Tigers, where he has been the backup QB the last two seasons, still only 25 years old.