For most of the last decade, a barren farm system has kept the Philadelphia Phillies down.
Their inability to develop prospects forces them to spend big on free agents and hamstrings them in trade endeavors. When big-leaguers got injured, they didn’t have the requisite talent waiting in the wings to fill in.
But over the last year, several signs point to the farm system finally turning around. The Phillies poached development talent from the San Diego Padres and Tampa Bay Rays. Ahead of the 2022 season, they improved in the organizational rankings for the first time since 2017, jumping from 27th to 23rd.
This week, another sign of improvement. Baseball America (subscription required) released their midseason Top 100 prospect rankings, and four Phillies made the cut: Andrew Painter, Mick Abel, Logan O’Hoppe, and Griff McGarry.
Even better, Painter and O’Hoppe are rising through the rankings. Painter, their first-overall pick in 2021, jumped from 53rd to 38th on the list of MLB’s most promising stars of tomorrow. O’Hoppe scooted up from 93rd to 92nd. McGarry remained on the edge, at 99th, but Phillies farm director Preston Mattingly praised him earlier this month, raving,
"“I don’t know who in the minor leagues has better pure stuff than Griff McGarry.”"
Unfortunately, Abel dropped from 52nd to 66th. Their first-overall pick in 2020, Abel has dealt with some mechanical issues and injuries already in his fledgling professional career. That said, Mattingly isn’t concerned. In his Q&A with Matt Gelb of The Athletic (subscription required) earlier this month, Mattingly gave context to Abel’s stat line, noting that the young righty is using his minor league development to hone all of his pitches and that they’re working on getting him to go deep into games. Between June 10 and July 1, he threw 6+ innings in each of his four starts
Thankfully, none of this means as much as how these men actually play, and Mattingly is thrilled with all four prospects’ progress. We’ll see how they clock in when the offseason rankings come out.