Scout's View: Phillies Class A Clubs

The Phillies' farm system would be forgiven for taking a step backwards after the trades the last two years that brought Cliff Lee and then Roy Halladay to the City of Brotherly Love. In trading Lee, the Phillies gave up righthanders Carlos Carrasco and Jason Knapp, catcher Lou Marson and infielder Jason Donald. To get Halladay, they gave up righthander Kyle Drabek, outfielder Michael Taylor and catcher Travis d'Arnaud. That's five players who had been Top 100 Prospects at one time, and the two who weren't, Marson and Donald, have spent much of 2010 in the majors.

And yet the Phillies system figures to move up BA's Organization Talent Rankings next March after ranking 18th prior to the 2010 season. That's because few organizations have as much talent at the lowers levels as the Phils, whose rosters at low Class A Lakewood and high Class A Clearwater are bursting with talent.

Two scouts doing pro coverage for National League organizations broke down some of the high-ceiling talent they saw for the Blue Claws and Threshers.

"Lakewood is stacked. (Jarred) Cosart was out when I saw them, but it's hard to know how much better he would be than (Brody) Colvin. I saw Colvin throw very well. He was sitting 91-94 mph with his fastball all game the first six innings or so, and then he got into trouble in the seventh, had some runners on. He just reached back and was up to 95-96 in the seventh for the first time all game. He had a different gear when he got into trouble. He's got good arm speed on his changeup and used it when he was behind in the count. His arm action is long in the back, but he has a very quick arm that makes up for it. It's a slurvy breaking ball but he's got a chance to be a three-pitch guy who holds his velocity. He gets downhill and repeats his delivery. He has everything it takes to be a starter—the stuff, the arsenal, the durability.

"They were so good up the middle. I've seen (catcher) Sebastian Valle better in the past, and he was just OK blocking and moving his feet, but he has a plus arm. I've seen him better with the bat so I think it's in there. (Jonathan) Villar at short has ridiculous range and easy actions. Defensively, it's all there, 60 arm, very good range.

"Their whole team plays so hard and is very aggressive on the bases. You have to give the organization credit and also the manager, Mark Parent, they're playing hard for him."

"Clearwater really impressed me with their arms too. Trevor May is what it's supposed to look like, and his fastball was 92-94 mph at the (Florida State League) all-star game. Justin DeFratus isn't a high-profile guy for them (No. 29 in last year's Top 30) and I had him popping 95-98. Austin Hyatt's also developed nicely for them, he's a college draft guy who has improved and has good secondary stuff with his changeup and slider, which is why he has (128 strikeouts in 99 innings). I haven't seen as much of (Anthony) Gose this year as I did last year, but his tools are impressive. From what I can see, Lakewood and Clearwater are both pretty loaded."