2013 Philadelphia Phillies Top 10 Prospects With Scouting Reports





Baseball America's Top 10 Prospects lists are based on projections of a player's long-term worth after discussions with scouting and player-development personnel. All players who haven't exceeded the major league rookie standards of 130 at-bats or 50 innings pitched (without regard to service time) are eligible.

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Philadelphia Phillies

For different reasons, the Phillies' last two seasons have ended in disappointment. In 2011, the playoff run that had become an annual expectation in Philadelphia ended too early. In 2012, there was no postseason baseball in Philadelphia at all, for the first time in six years.

The Phillies expected their season to start slowly because of lingering injuries to Ryan Howard and Chase Utley, but it never really got on its projected course, at least until it was too late. The Phillies finished 81-81, their worst record since 2002, and needed a late-season blitz just to break even after falling 14 games under .500 at one point. Philadelphia lost several more players for significant time to injuries, including Jose Contreras, Freddy Galvis, Roy Halladay, Placido Polanco, Mike Stutes and Vance Worley.

As a result, the Phillies were sellers on the trade market for the first time since 2006. One year after acquiring Hunter Pence, general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. shipped him to the Giants for Nate Schierholtz and a pair of prospects (catcher Tommy Joseph and righthander Seth Rosin). Amaro also sent Joe Blanton and Shane Victorino to the Dodgers in separate deals for Josh Lindblom and righthanders Ethan Martin and Ryan O'Sullivan.

The big league struggles gave Philadelphia a chance to evaluate its system, as eight rookies debuted in the majors, the most since it had 15 in 1996. Along with the unexpected development of a few prospects, that ensured the last two months of the season weren't completely irrelevant.

Once considered an organization player, first baseman/outfielder Darin Ruf blasted 20 homers in Double-A in August to tie Sammy Sosa's pro record for a single month, then hit three more during a September callup. Tyler Cloyd, a soft-tossing righty who's short on stuff but strong on pitching sense, made his major league debut in August and won two of his six starts. Longtime minor league veteran Eric Kratz showed some pop, while Phillippe Aumont flashed his plus stuff out of the bullpen. In varying capacities, they all figure to contribute in 2013.

Meanwhile, the Phillies' .500 finish secured them a higher first-round pick than any in recent memory, as long as they don't sign a free agent who requires compensation. They're slated to select 16th, their highest selection since they took Gavin Floyd fourth overall in 2001.

Philadelphia has stuck with its philosophy of drafting high-upside athletes, with scouting director Marti Wolever preferring lefthanded pitching and speed. That's reflected on this list, which begins with a southpaw (Jesse Biddle) and a fleet-footed shortstop (Roman Quinn). Quinn is one of several members of a talented 2011 draft class who took a big step forward in their first full pro seasons, a group that also included lefthander Adam Morgan, third baseman Cody Asche and flamethrowing reliever Kenny Giles.

Most of the Phillies' best prospects are at least a year or two away from being ready for Citizens Bank Park, so Amaro swung two trades for veteran offensive help in December. He acquired Ben Revere from the Twins for Vance Worley and enigmatic righthander Trevor May, then dispatched Lindblom and righty Lisalverto Bonilla to get Michael Young from the Rangers.

It's not all doom and gloom for the Phillies, who will return several significant players from their 2007-11 National League East championship clubs in 2013. If they can stay healthy—certainly not a guarantee given the age of many of the players—their season could have a happier ending.

1. Jesse Biddle, lhp Born: Oct 22, 1991 B-T: L-L Ht.: 6-4 Wt.: 225
Drafted: Germantown Friends HS, Philadelphia, 2010 (1st round).  Signed by: Eric Valent
Jesse BiddleBackground: The Phillies were enamored with two high school players, California outfielder Christian Yelich and local lefty Jesse Biddle, in the 2010 draft. When the Marlins took Yelich four picks prior to the Philadelphia's selection at No. 27, that made the decision for them. They were thrilled to get Biddle, a lifelong Phillies fan who was in the stands at Citizens Bank Park for the Game Five clincher in the 2008 World Series. After seeing him shine at the East Coast Pro Showcase in the summer of 2011, Philadelphia targeted Biddle, who had thrown only 33 innings as a junior at Germantown Friends School. Area scout Eric Valent went to nearly every one of his starts as a senior, and various club officials including GM Ruben Amaro Jr. and senior advisor Pat Gillick also scouted him. Biddle sealed the deal by impressing in a private predraft workout at Citizens Bank Park. He gave up an Oregon commitment to sign quickly for $1.16 million. He has progressed steadily, leading the high Class A Florida State League with 151 strikeouts in 2012. He pitched the entire season at age 20 and was the FSL's second-youngest ERA qualifier behind the Pirates' Jameson Taillon. Biddle ranked No. 8 and No. 2 on this list after his first two pro seasons before ascending to the top spot.

Scouting Report: Biddle has drawn comparisons to Andy Pettitte for his frame, four-pitch mix and tough three-quarters arm angle that induces whiffs and weak contact. Pitching once a week as an amateur, Biddle worked at 92-94 mph with his fastball. He now operates more at 88-93 mph, but his fastball sneaks up on hitter and plays as a plus pitch because of his crossfire deception and leverage on the mound. He also can get swings and misses with a sweeping 72-75 mph curveball that features good shape and arc. He struggled to control its depth and throw it for strikes in the past, but he was much more consistent with his curve in 2012 and it now projects as a future plus offering. His 78-80 mph tumbling changeup continues to progress and could develop into an average pitch. Biddle added two new weapons in 2012. The Phillies reintroduced the slider that he threw in high school, and they also worked with him on picking up a two-seam fastball to get more early-count outs. Biddle has cut his walk rate every year since signing, and did a better job of pitching to both sides of the plate in the FSL. He has a smooth delivery and arm swing, so he could continue to improve his control and command. He earns praise for his maturity, competitiveness, aptitude and work ethic.

The Future: The safe projection would be to call Biddle a solid No. 3 starter who can eat innings in the middle of a contender's rotation. But he could have more upside if he continues to get better like he has throughout his young pro career. He benefited from pitching alongside college draftees and fellow lefties Adam Morgan and Austin Wright in Clearwater, and the trio could stick together in 2013 at Double-A Reading. If all goes according to plan, Biddle might be able to help the Phillies in the second half of 2014.

Year Team W L ERA G GS SV IP H R ER HR BB SO AVG
'10 Phillies (R) 3 1 4.32 9 9 0 33 35 23 16 2 9 41 .259
'10 Williamsport (SS) 1 0 2.61 3 3 0 10 5 4 3 0 11 9 .139
'11 Lakewood (LoA) 7 8 2.98 25 24 0 133 104 51 44 5 66 124 .207
'12 Clearwater (HiA) 10 6 3.22 26 26 0 143 129 64 51 10 54 151 .232
Minor League Totals 21 15 3.22 63 62 0 319 273 273 114 17 140 325 .222

2. Roman Quinn, ss Born: May 14, 1993 B-T: B-R Ht.: 5-10 Wt.: 170
Drafted: Port St. Joe (Fla.) HS, 2011 (2nd round).  Signed by: Aaron Jersild
Roman QuinnBackground: The fastest player in the 2011 draft, Quinn went 66th overall and signed for $775,000 hours before the Aug. 15 deadline. He didn't make his pro debut until 2012, when he led the short-season New York-Penn League in runs (56), triples (11) and steals (30).

Scouting Report: A true 80 runner on the 20-80 scouting scale, Quinn impacts all phases of the game with his speed. After toying with switch-hitting as an amateur, he fully committed to it after signing and he projects to be a solid hitter from both sides. He has a simple, fast stroke and more pop than his size would suggest, but he won't be a home run threat and will need to cut down on his strikeouts. A center fielder in high school, Quinn still is learning the intricacies of shortstop. He must do a better job at positioning and gathering his feet before throwing after making 27 errors in 66 games at Williamsport. He has elite-level first-step quickness and tremendous range to go along with a plus arm.

The Future: All the pieces are in place for Quinn to become a top-of-the-order, middle-of-the-diamond catalyst. He inevitably draws comparisons to Jimmy Rollins, especially in stature, but he runs faster and has a better arm than Rollins did at the same stage. Quinn will advance to low Class A Lakewood in 2013.

Year Team AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB CS AVG OBP SLG
'12 Williamsport (SS) 267 56 75 9 11 1 23 28 61 30 6 .281 .370 .408
Minor League Totals 267 56 75 9 11 1 23 28 61 30 6 .281 .370 .408

3. Tommy Joseph, c Born: Jul 16, 1991 B-T: R-R Ht.: 6-1 Wt.: 215
Drafted: Horizon HS, Scottsdale, Ariz., 2009 (2nd round).  Signed by: Chuck Hensley
Tommy JosephBackground: A power-hitting Arizona prep product who moved behind the plate full-time as a senior, Joseph signed for $712,500 as a Giants second-round pick in 2009. He was the primary piece in the Hunter Pence deal, coming to the Phillies along with Nate Schierholtz and minor league righthander Seth Rosin last July. With Double-A Eastern League affiliate Richmond playing Reading, Joseph literally switched dugouts the night of the trade.

Scouting Report: Joseph is thick, strong and durable, especially in his lower half. His direct swing produces natural backspin, yielding plus raw power to all fields, and he's at his best when he's hitting the ball gap to gap. He projects as an average hitter, though he runs into trouble when his bat wraps and barrels the ball late. There were questions about Joseph's ability to remain behind the plate early in his pro career, but the Phillies believe in him. He has soft hands and plus arm strength, and he threw out 40 percent of basestealers in 2012. He's still working on positioning and blocking balls in the dirt. He's a below-average runner but has some instincts on the bases.

The Future: Joseph is Philadelphia's backstop of the future, and Carlos Ruiz is signed through only 2013. Joseph should spend the season at Triple-A Lehigh Valley splitting time with Sebastian Valle, who along with Cameron Rupp gives the system strong upper-level catching depth.

Year Team AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB CS AVG OBP SLG
'10 Augusta (LoA) 436 46 103 22 1 16 68 26 116 0 0 .236 .290 .401
'11 San Jose (HiA) 514 80 139 33 2 22 95 29 102 1 0 .270 .317 .471
'12 Richmond (AA) 304 32 79 16 0 8 38 25 64 0 3 .260 .313 .391
'12 Reading (AA) 100 12 25 8 0 3 10 9 32 0 1 .250 .327 .420
Minor League Totals 1354 170 346 79 3 49 211 89 314 1 4 .256 .308 .427

4. Jon Pettibone, rhp Born: Jul 19, 1990 B-T: L-R Ht.: 6-5 Wt.: 200
Drafted: Esperanza HS, Anaheim, 2008 (3rd round supplemental).  Signed by: Darrell Conner
Jon PettiboneBackground: The son of former big league pitcher Jay Pettibone, Jonathan signed for $500,000 as a supplemental third-round pick in 2008. He has climbed steadily through the system, easily handling Double-A and Triple-A in 2012 and claiming a spot on Philadelphia's 40-man roster.

Scouting Report: Pettibone doesn't have the highest ceiling among Phillies farmhands, but he might have the lowest floor. Aside from his youth, he has several attributes working in his favor—a tall frame that allows him to work downhill easily, a solid three-pitch mix, durability and a track record or performance. Pettibone works quickly and establishes tempo with a 90-92 mph sinker that touches 94, and he effectively pitches to both sides of the plate. He also throws an above-average changeup at 80-84 mph with good arm speed. He started throwing an 83-86 mph cutter late in 2012. His cutter is firmer and breaks later than his low-80s slider, giving him an added weapon against lefthanders. He has an effortless, repeatable delivery that looks like he's playing catch, and he has the system's best command.

The Future: Though Pettibone doesn't have a true swing-and-miss pitch, his stuff plays up because of his command. He profiles as a mid-rotation, innings-eating starter, and he needs little more seasoning before contributing in the big leagues. He could be the first starter promoted to Philadelphia in 2013.

Year Team W L ERA G GS SV IP H R ER HR BB SO AVG
'08 Phillies (R) 0 1 0.00 1 1 0 1 3 2 0 0 1 0 .500
'09 Williamsport (SS) 2 4 5.35 9 8 0 35 37 28 21 0 16 36 .259
'10 Lakewood (LoA) 8 6 3.49 24 23 0 131 114 63 51 10 41 84 .224
'11 Clearwater (HiA) 10 11 2.96 27 27 0 161 149 62 53 5 34 115 .236
'12 Reading (AA) 9 7 3.30 19 19 0 117 115 52 43 9 27 81 .246
'12 Lehigh Valley (AAA) 4 1 2.55 7 7 0 42 31 12 12 0 22 32 .196
Minor League Totals 33 30 3.33 87 85 0 487 449 449 180 24 141 348 .235

5. Adam Morgan, lhp Born: Feb 27, 1990 B-T: L-L Ht.: 6-1 Wt.: 195
Drafted: Alabama, 2011 (3rd round).  Signed by: Mike Stauffer
Adam MorganBackground: Inconsistent during three years as a weekend starter at Alabama, Morgan signed with the Phillies for $250,000 as a third-round pick in 2011. Following a strong spring training, he skipped a level to high Class A for his first full pro season and led the Florida State League in strikeouts per nine innings (10.2) and WHIP (1.07). He finished the year by winning four of his six Double-A starts.

Scouting Report: Morgan's stuff took a significant step forward in 2012. He did a better job of establishing his 91-94 mph fastball, especially on the inner half of the plate, making the rest of his arsenal more effective. His 81-84 mph sharp slider flashes plus potential and is more consistent than in the past, while managers rated his 78-80 mph changeup the FSL's best. He also throws a 76-78 mph show-me curveball. Morgan has above-average control. His smooth delivery, high three-quarters arm action, burrowing glove tuck, strike-throwing ability and competitiveness all evoke comparisons to Cliff Lee, though he doesn't quite have Lee's arsenal.

The Future: With the boost in stuff, Morgan profiles as a mid-rotation starter and possibly more, given the development of his secondary offerings. He could earn an aggressive assignment to Triple-A in 2013, though a brief return to Reading isn't out of the question.

Year Team W L ERA G GS SV IP H R ER HR BB SO AVG
'11 Williamsport (SS) 3 3 2.01 11 11 0 54 42 18 12 2 14 43 .207
'12 Clearwater (HiA) 4 10 3.29 21 20 0 123 103 46 45 7 28 140 .218
'12 Reading (AA) 4 1 3.53 6 6 0 36 34 14 14 2 11 29 .241
Minor League Totals 11 14 3.00 38 37 0 213 179 179 71 11 53 212 .219

6. Ethan Martin, rhp Born: Jun 06, 1989 B-T: R-R Ht.: 6-2 Wt.: 195
Drafted: Stephens County HS, Toccoa, Ga., 2008 (1st round).  Signed by: Lon Joyce
Ethan MartinBackground: The first high school pitcher selected in the 2008 draft, Martin went 15th overall and signed for $1.73 million. He had sporadic success in four years in the Dodgers system, but made strides in 2012 before coming to the Phillies along with Josh Lindblom in a July deal for Shane Victorino. After splitting time between the rotation and bullpen in the past, Martin was exclusively a starter last season.

Scouting Report: Athletic yet unrefined, Martin has an effortless delivery, a loose arm action and the potential for three plus pitches. He operates anywhere from 91-97 mph with his fastball, mostly sitting at 93-95 with late two-seam life. His best secondary pitch is an 85-88 mph slider that's almost like a cutter. He didn't use his 72-75 mph curveball much in relief, so it's still developing, but it has sharp, late break. He also shows feel for an 82-84 mph fading changeup. Martin has average-at-best control and even shakier command. He gets in trouble with high pitch counts, though his 2012 walk rate (4.5 per nine innings) was a career best.

The Future: With his variety of weapons and a history of durability, Martin has the ceiling of a solid mid-rotation starter, but his struggles to throw consistent strikes could make him destined for the bullpen. Placed on the 40-man roster in November, he should spend 2013 in Triple-A.

Year Team W L ERA G GS SV IP H R ER HR BB SO AVG
'09 Great Lakes (LoA) 6 8 3.87 27 19 1 100 85 55 43 4 61 120 .221
'10 Inland Empire (HiA) 9 14 6.35 25 22 0 113 120 84 80 10 81 105 .261
'11 R. Cucamonga (HiA) 4 4 7.36 16 9 0 55 65 48 45 8 37 61 .283
'11 Chattanooga (AA) 5 3 4.02 21 3 2 40 31 21 18 3 29 43 .204
'12 Chattanooga (AA) 8 6 3.58 20 20 0 118 89 48 47 5 61 112 .201
'12 Reading (AA) 5 0 3.18 7 7 0 40 29 15 14 3 18 35 .196
Minor League Totals 37 35 4.77 116 80 3 466 419 419 247 33 287 476 .231

7. Cody Asche, 3b Born: Jun 30, 1990 B-T: L-R Ht.: 6-1 Wt.: 180
Drafted: Nebraska, 2011 (4th round).  Signed by: David Seifert
Cody AscheBackground: Asche posted potent power numbers at Nebraska and signed for $168,300 as a fourth-rounder in 2011, but he batted just .192 with little pop in his pro debut. The Phillies weren't sure what to make of his struggles or future position, but then he hit .324/.369/.481 and reached Double-A in his first full pro season.

Scouting Report: Asche always has had the hands, bat speed and plate discipline to hit. Adding a better load to his swing during instructional league in 2011 allowed him to better tap into his power. His short stroke and strong finish create loft off the barrel, though some scouts if he'll have enough pop to profile as a regular at third base. He gets a tad overly aggressive at times, but he goes to the plate with a good plan. Asche grades as average with the glove, and managers named him the Florida State League's best defensive third baseman in 2012. He has a solid arm and good hands, and he has improved his positioning and footwork. He's an average runner who's quicker underway.

The Future: He's not a prototypical power-hitting, slick-fielding third baseman, but Asche should hit enough to have a big league role, perhaps as a regular. He could start 2013 in Triple-A and be in line to take over for Michael Young when Young becomes a free agent after the season.

Year Team AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB CS AVG OBP SLG
'11 Williamsport (SS) 239 14 46 11 0 2 19 24 50 0 3 .192 .273 .264
'12 Clearwater (HiA) 255 31 89 13 3 2 25 12 37 10 2 .349 .378 .447
'12 Reading (AA) 263 42 79 20 3 10 47 22 56 1 1 .300 .360 .513
Minor League Totals 757 87 214 44 6 14 91 58 143 11 6 .283 .338 .412

8. Maikel Franco, 3b Born: Aug 26, 1992 B-T: R-R Ht.: 6-1 Wt.: 180
Signed: Dominican Republic '10 Signed by: Sal Agostinelli
Maikel FrancoBackground: His 7.7-second 60-yard dash times scared international scouts off Franco in showcase settings, but Koby Perez closely followed him and suggested to Phillies international supervisor Sal Agostinelli that Franco could move behind the plate. That never came to pass, but Philadelphia has been pleased with his progress since signing him for $100,000. He hit .346/.395/.530 in the second half of 2012 as a 19-year-old in low Class A.

Scouting Report: Franco has an unconventional arm-bar swing and pre-pitch movement that make his stroke long at times, but he has quick hands and good feel for the barrel. He has well above-average raw power and puts on a show in batting practice, though he doesn't always get to his pop during games. Early in 2012, he struggled with soft stuff away, got pull-happy and didn't have much of a two-strike approach. He found success when he worked the middle of the diamond in the second half. Despite being a 20 runner on the 20-80 scouting scale, Franco projects as a solid third baseman with a strong arm and soft hands. Franco has a thick lower half and will need to keep his body in check.

The Future: Franco has a ceiling of a power-hitting corner infielder, but he'll have to continue to make offensive adjustments, especially in recognizing offspeed stuff. He'll make the jump to high Class A in 2013.

Year Team AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB CS AVG OBP SLG
'10 Phillies (R) 194 23 43 11 2 2 29 16 46 0 0 .222 .292 .330
'11 Lakewood (LoA) 65 6 8 2 0 1 6 1 15 0 0 .123 .149 .200
'11 Williamsport (SS) 202 19 58 17 1 2 38 25 30 0 0 .287 .367 .411
'12 Lakewood (LoA) 503 70 141 32 3 14 84 38 80 3 1 .280 .336 .439
Minor League Totals 964 118 250 62 6 19 157 80 171 3 1 .259 .322 .395

9. Darin Ruf, 1b/of Born: Jul 28, 1986 B-T: R-R Ht.: 6-3 Wt.: 220
Drafted: Creighton, 2009 (20th round).  Signed by: David Seifert
Darin RufBackground: Signed for just $2,500 as a 20th-round pick in 2009, Ruf wasn't in the Phillies' future plans until he tied a professional record with 20 homers in August. He finished the year with a minor league-high 38 homers, smacked three during a September callup and added 10 more in the Venezuelan Winter League.

Scouting Report: Ruf always has hit, batting .290 or better in each of his four pro seasons. Though he didn't break out until he turned 26, Philadelphia believes his home run binge is the result of maturing at the plate. He has plenty of raw strength and started tapping into it when he added loft to his swing and identified which pitches he can drive. He's a good fastball hitter, and he had success against soft stuff in his short stint in the big leagues. Ruf is a well below-average runner and a fringy defender at first base, his natural position. He started taking flyballs in left field last July and isn't pretty in the outfield, though he catches what he gets to. His arm is playable.

The Future: He's blocked at first base by Ryan Howard, but the Phillies want to get his bat in their lineup. He could be their everyday left fielder in 2013, a scenario unimaginable in the middle of last season. At worst, he should be a power bat off the bench.

Year Team AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB CS AVG OBP SLG
'09 Phillies (R) 43 5 14 3 0 0 6 3 8 0 0 .326 .400 .395
'09 Williamsport (SS) 133 17 40 17 0 3 24 14 22 0 1 .301 .377 .496
'10 Lakewood (LoA) 115 25 38 7 3 4 17 21 23 3 2 .330 .443 .548
'10 Clearwater (HiA) 368 45 102 34 2 5 50 26 87 2 2 .277 .335 .421
'11 Clearwater (HiA) 484 72 149 43 1 17 82 56 95 0 1 .308 .388 .506
'12 Reading (AA) 489 93 155 32 1 38 104 65 102 2 0 .317 .408 .620
'12 Philadelphia (MAJ) 33 4 11 2 1 3 10 2 12 0 0 .333 .351 .727
Major League Totals 33 4 11 2 1 3 10 2 12 0 0 .333 .351 .727
Minor League Totals 1632 257 498 136 7 67 283 185 337 7 6 .305 .386 .520

10. Carlos Tocci, of Born: Aug 23, 1995 B-T: R-R Ht.: 6-2 Wt.: 160
Signed: Venezuela '11 Signed by: Sal Agostinelli
Carlos TocciBackground: Tocci attracted one of the largest bonuses that international supervisor Sal Agostinelli's budget-conscious staff ever has given an international amateur, signing for $759,000 as soon as he turned 16 in 2011. Though the Phillies have an academy in his native Venezuela, they aggressively assigned him to the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League for his 2012 pro debut. He held his own as the GCL's lone 16-year-old.

Scouting Report: Tocci has a stick-figure frame, so Philadelphia closely monitored his physical wear and tear during the summer. Other than strength and corresponding power, he has all the tools the scouts look for, as well as uncanny instincts. He's a plus-plus runner who picks his spots to steal. He glides in center field, has a plus arm and could be a top-flight defender. Tocci has a good idea of the strike zone, consistently barrels the ball and uses the whole field. He projects as an above-average hitter, though it's uncertain if he'll ever have much power. He has narrow shoulders and may not fill out much.

The Future: While he has an intriguing ceiling, Tocci also will need plenty of time to develop his tools and add strength. He might be able to handle an assignment to low Class A in 2013, but the safer play would be to keep him in extended spring training and send him to Williamsport in June.

Year Team AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB CS AVG OBP SLG
'12 Phillies (R) 97 13 27 2 0 0 9 6 18 9 2 .278 .330 .299
Minor League Totals 97 13 27 2 0 0 9 6 18 9 2 .278 .330 .299