Sunday, August 29, 2010

Experts Rank Phillies Top 20 Prospects

This week I took part in a media survey, conducted by The Reading Eagle's Mike Drago, that was designed to rank the top 20 prospects in the Phillies system. Twelve individuals who are very close to the Phillies minor league system were asked to rank their own personal top 20, which Drago tabulated and averaged to determine the list of 20.

Normally, these sorts of lists are done by one source, who is not necessarily close to a solitary organization (IE- a national outlet that has correspondents who occasionally view the analyzed players).

In this instance, surveying a dozen analysts, who have seen these players on a regular basis, makes this catalog of Philadelphia prospects the most accurate and reliable one available.

Here are the rankings, including brief reviews for the top half:



Jonathan Singleton

1. Jonathan Singleton: Just 18 and in his first full professional season, the eighth-round pick out of Long Beach, Calif., got off to a sizzling start with Lakewood, hitting over .400 his first month and homering 10 times in his first 41 games. He has tired over the second half of the season; before Aug. 1 his walks equaled his strikeout total.

2. Jarred Cosart: The 20-year-old right-hander has electric stuff, with a fastball in the 97-98 mph range. He was blowing away Sally League hitters in his first pro season (77 strikeouts in 71 innings) before being shut down in late June with elbow issues.

Vance Worley

3. Vance Worley: The 22-year-old right-hander bounced back from a rough second half at Double-A last season to excel this season, earning a brief mid-summer call-up to Philadelphia. He's at Triple-A, where he has been strong, and could get a September call-up.

4. Trevor May: The 20-year-old right-hander got off to a poor start at Clearwater (5-5, 5.01), then rebounded when he was returned to Lakewood (85 strikeouts in 59 innings) in early June. A bit of a setback for a guy ranked by Baseball America as the top pitcher in the organization coming into the season.

5. Sebastian Valle: The 20-year-old is the Phils' top catching prospect and has continued to show power at Lakewood, with 16 HRs and 74 RBIs in 115 games. Not great behind the plate or at throwing out basestealers.


Harold Garcia

6. Harold Garcia: Among the most intriguing players in the system, he was off the radar until a 37-game hitting streak at Clearwater, where he batted .335. He has continued to hit (.293) and show athleticism at second base since his promotion to Reading in July.

7. Brody Colvin: The right-hander appears to be worth the $900,000 bonus the Phils paid him last summer. He has been tremendous over the second half at Lakewood, with a 1.65 ERA over his last 11 starts, and he just turned 20 this month.

8. Scott Mathieson: He has survived two Tommy John surgeries and is throwing as hard, and as well, as ever at age 26. For some reason the Phillies seem hesitant to call him to the big leagues, but he's been a stalwart at Lehigh Valley, with a 2.88 ERA, 24 saves, and 78 strikeouts over 591/3 innings. Could be recalled to Philly in September.

Jiwan James

9. Jiwan James: This converted pitcher is considered the best overall athlete in the Phillies system. Now an outfielder, he has tremendous range and a strong arm, and is just learning to hit. He has held his own with the bat in his first full professional season, batting .274 with 33 steals at Lakewood.

10. Matt Rizzotti: One of the most intriguing players in the system. He and Worley are the only players to advance two levels during the season. He batted .358 at Clearwater before tearing up the Eastern League with increased power in Reading. Had a fast start after moving to Lehigh Valley in early August, but a wrist injury slowed him and now has him on the DL. His .344 batting average is tops in the system. The bat seems legit, but he's blocked by both Ryan Howard at first base and his lack of tools other than his bat.

11. Justin De Fratus, P, Reading

12. Austin Hyatt, P, Reading

13. Michael Schwimer, P, Lehigh Valley

14. Antonio Bastardo, P, Lehigh Valley

15. Jesse Biddle, P, Williamsport

16. Mike Stutes, P, Lehigh Valley

17. J.C. Ramirez, P, Reading

18. Freddy Galvis, SS, Reading

19. Kelly Dugan, OF, Williamsport

20. Julio Rodriguez, P, Lakewood


Read the full piece from the Reading Eagle by clicking here.

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