Skip to main content

Prospect Nation 2016 Countdown Prelude

The dawn of a near year brings along with it our annual “Prospect Nation” rankings, which counts down the Phillies organization’s top 25 up and coming young players. Over the next several weeks, with the organization in rebuild mode, I’ll be bringing you reviews for each of the top developmental talents that appear to have the brightest futures for the Phillies.

Always taken into consideration when compiling this list is age, minor league performance relative to levels played, value to the organization as well as future potential and proximity to the big leagues.

These rankings do not include players over 25 years old or individuals that have spent lengthy stretches in the big leagues.

For instance, a talented youngster such as Darnell Sweeney, who wrapped up the regular season on the Major League roster after having played in 37 games for the Phils last year, will not be on this list. Hurlers Alec Asher and Severino Gonzalez, who each made seven starts in the majors last season, are also excluded from the list.

Players who garnered consideration for the countdown but missed the list include a very good collection of right-handed pitchers.

RHP Nick Pivetta was the trade return from Washington for reliever Jonathan Papelbon last summer. He has a promising arm, but posted a 7.27 ERA in 10 starts at the Double-A level last year after tallying a 2.29 ERA through 15 games (14 starts) in the Class A Advanced Carolina League. Pivetta's ceiling is very likely the majors, but the manner in which he'll perform there could range from David Buchanan in 2014, who went from unranked on this list to notching a 3.75 ERA in 20 big league appearances that year, to Buchanan in 2015, who looked like he didn't belong in the majors when he sported a 6.99 ERA in 15 games started with the Phillies last season.

RHP Adonis Medina is a 19-year-old Dominican that many insiders believe has big upside. Still years away from upper levels of professional baseball, Medina already hits mid-90's with his fastball and has impressed scouts with the potential of his secondary offerings (a curve and a change up). In 10 games (eight starts) at the rookie level Gulf Coast League last year, the six-foot-one 185-pounder posted a 3-2 record with a 2.98 ERA and a 6.9 K/9 mark.

RHP Alexis Rivero looked solid as a closer with Class A Lakewood last year (3-0 record, 2.62 ERA, seven saves in 25 games) and earned a promotion to Class A Advanced Clearwater (1-2, 2.67, three saves in 16 games). The 21-year-old Venezuelan shows an ability to hit upper-90's on the radar gun, which, paired with his excellent slider, is great for a late inning reliever. I would anticipate Rivero getting a look at the Double-A level this year.

RHP Shane Watson was the Phillies' top draft selection (40th overall) in 2012. After missing two full seasons with shoulder issues, he made it back to the mound this past summer. With Class A Lakewood, the 22-year-old notched a 1-5 record with a 4.53 ERA in 11 starts. His control needed refinement, as he struck out 34 and walked 25 in 47 2/3 innings. Watson, who clocked 96 MPH with his fastball late in the season, was likely still getting used to pitching with his surgically repaired shoulder as well as his bulked up frame which now can be measured around 240 pounds, up from his pre-surgery bio listing of 200 pounds. Look for Watson in the Clearwater rotation this year.

Additionally, several youngsters that made last year's list and remain in the organization have slipped from the top 25. Much of that shifting has to do with the manner in which the Phillies have beefed up their farm system and less to do with backwards progress from following players.

LHP Jesse Biddle has been battling injuries for some time. He sat out several weeks in 2014 with a concussion and most recently the Phillies' 1st round draft pick from 2010 has undergone Tommy John surgery to repair his damaged elbow. The 24-year-old made it to Triple-A Lehigh Valley last year, posting a 2-4 record with a 6.25 ERA in nine starts there. He is expected to miss the entire 2016 campaign while he recovers.

2B Jesmuel Valentin was suspended last season related to legal matters that have since been resolved The 21-year-old is still very promising, as he posted a .273/.351/.424 slash line in 31 games to close out the season with Clearwater last year. The switch-hitter is playing in Puerto Rico this off-season to make up for missed time on the diamond.

3B Zach Green has displayed plenty of raw power in his career thus far, but he didn't make progress in 2015, after missing much of the season with a broken left wrist. In 26 games for Clearwater last year, the 21-year-old righty batter sported a .173 average with a home run and seven RBI. Look for Green, the Phillies' 3rd round pick from 2012, to return to full health this year and, hopefully, get his swing back.

OF Cam Perkins reached Triple-A Lehigh Valley in his second full pro season in 2014, but wasn't convincing with his efforts there, as he posted a .216/.259/.298 slash line in 74 games. Last year, back at Double-A Reading, he sported a .252 average with 11 homers and 51 RBI. Perkins is a smart ball player that will likely get another shot at Triple-A this year. The righty batting 25-year-old was the Phils' 6th round draft choice in 2012.

OF Aaron Brown had a good season for Clearwater last year, batting .257 with 11 home runs, 47 RBI and 10 steals in 110 games there, then posted a .627 OPS in 13 games in the prominent Arizona Fall League this off-season. The 23-year-old also pitched in college at Pepperdine prior to the Phils making him their 3rd round draft pick in 2014, but his hit tool is serious and he's strictly an outfielder now. With a big time ability to hit hard and drive the ball, look for the lefty batter to re-enter the top 25 soon and to spend time at the Double-A level this year. For me, Brown was the player I had the most difficulty leaving out of this year's countdown.

In the coming weeks, check back here often for the unveiling of this year’s countdown of the top 25 ranked prospects within the Phillies organization.

Follow this year's full prospect countdown by clicking this link.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

PhoulBallz Interview: RHP Ben Brown talks TJ recovery, O'Hoppe, cancelled season

Image- MiLB.com Out of action since last May when it was determined he required Tommy John surgery, righty pitching prospect Ben Brown is using the downtime of the pandemic hiatus to continue his physical recovery.  A 33rd round draft selection of the Phillies back in 2017, Brown made his professional debut that same year, posting a 2.57 ERA and a 1.43 WHIP in 10 appearances in the rookie level Gulf Coast League.  The following season, Brown began to make a name for himself in the GCL, striking out 16 batters in one July appearance.  He would post a 3.12 ERA and a 1.18 WHIP in 10 games (eight starts) before earning a promotion and finishing the season with a pair of outings with Class A short-season Williamsport. Brown, a Long Island, NY native, opened last year with Class A Lakewood.  In four appearances with the BlueClaws, he struck out 20, walked four and allowed no runs in 13 2/3 innings and looked well on his way to making an impact on betting odds and available promo codes

2019 Phillies Prospects Countdown: #7 LHP JoJo Romero

JoJo Romero, image- Jay Floyd With a growing crop of very talented pitching prospects in the Phillies organization, left-hander JoJo Romero is certainly among the standouts. The five-foot-11 200-pounder was the Phils’ 4th round draft selection in 2016. That year he helped Yavapai College, the same school that the Phillies drafted Kenny Giles from in 2011, clinch the JuCo World Series, leading the way with an 11-5 record, a 3.64 ERA and a 10.2 K/9 mark. He also tossed a complete game gem to earn the win in their title game. After signing with the Phillies, Romero made his professional debut as a member of the short-season Class A Williamsport Crosscutters. There, he notched a 2-2 record with a 2.56 ERA while striking out 31 and walking 11 in 45 2/3 innings. In 2017, he got off to a terrific start with the Class A Lakewood BlueClaws. In 13 starts, Romero tallied a 5-1 record with a 2.11 ERA and a 9.3 K/9 mark and was honored as a South Atlantic League mid-season All-Star. R

Kendrick & LaGrossa- Second Phils/Survivor Marriage

On Saturday, Phillies pitcher Kyle Kendrick married 3-time Survivor contestant and former Flyers employee Stephenie LaGrossa. The couple exchanged vows in front of 105 guests at the Silverado Resort in Napa, California. Their special day featured many personalized aspects, including cocktail hour snacks modeled in the fashion of mini Philly cheesesteaks, as well as the couple's two dogs, Bebe and Champ, serving as flower girl and ring bearer during the ceremony. The pets wore a white dress and a tuxedo, respectively. Kendrick is now the second Phillies pitcher to marry a former contestant of the CBS reality competition program, as lefty Cole Hamels wedded Heidi Strobel, who appeared on the sixth season of Survivor, in 2007. _________________________________________________________________ Be sure to follow PhoulBallz.com on Twitter, for updates, stats and info, by clicking HERE . Photos- People.com