2017 Philadelphia Phillies Top 10 Insider

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SEASON IN A SENTENCE: The Phillies’ rebuild took a solid step forward, as the team improved by eight wins from the previous year despite a difficult offensive season. The Phils scored just 610 runs, tied for their fewest in a full season since 1988.

HIGH POINT: No one told Philadelphia it wasn’t supposed to contend early on, as the Phillies got off to a 24-17 start. They were just a half-game back of first place as righthanders Jeremy Hellickson and Vince Velasquez won 11 of their first 14 decisions, and closer Jeanmar Gomez saved 16 of the club’s first 24 victories. Velasquez provided the single-game highlight with an April 14 complete-game shutout with 16 strikeouts and no walks against the Padres.

LOW POINT: The Phillies ran out of gas and pitching in September, most exemplified by a late stretch including a series loss to the Mets with 10-5 and 17-0 losses sandwiched around a 10-8 win in which New York nearly rallied from a 10-0 deficit. Gomez posted a 19.13 ERA after Sept. 1 as the Phils went 11-18 to finish the season.

NOTABLE ROOKIES: With Ryan Howard ending his tenure in Philadelphia as his contract expires, rookie Tommy Joseph emerged as his platoon partner and hit 21 homers in a .257/.308/.505 campaign. The Phillies didn’t get much out of rookie righthanders Zach Eflin (3-5, 5.54), Jake Thompson (3-6, 5.70) and Severino Gonzalez (1-2, 5.60), while Edubray Ramos (1-3, 3.83) had his moments in a relief role. Thompson has the highest expectations going into 2017.

KEY TRANSACTIONS: Philadelphia had traded its top pieces, with catcher Carlos Ruiz the last piece of the ’08 World Series champions to be traded off, to the Dodgers in August. Howard finished his Phillies tenure with his 382 home runs ranking second in franchise history.

DOWN ON THE FARM: The Phillies’ greatest progress came in the minors, where Philadelphia domestic affiliates finished with a .595 winning percentage, the best mark by a farm system since the 2007 Yankees. Four Phillies clubs made the playoffs, with three 80-win clubs at high Class A Clearwater, Double-A Reading and Triple-A Lehigh Valley. Reading had the minors’ two top home run hitters, with outfielder Dylan Cozens edging first baseman Rhys Hoskins 40-38. Cozens also led the minors with 125 RBIs, while righthander Ben Lively went 18-5, 2.69 to lead the minors in wins.

OPENING DAY PAYROLL: $ 83,980,000 (25th)

Best Hitter for Average J.P. Crawford
Best Power Hitter Dylan Cozens
Best Strike-Zone Discipline J.P. Crawford
Fastest Baserunner Roman Quinn
Best Athlete Roman Quinn
Best Fastball Alberto Tirado
Best Curveball Nick Pivetta
Best Slider Edgar Garcia
Best Changeup Ricardo Pinto
Best Control Thomas Eshelman
Best Defensive Catcher Jorge Alfaro
Best Defensive Infielder J.P. Crawford
Best Infield Arm J.P. Crawford
Best Defensive Outfielder Roman Quinn
Best Outfield Arm Jose Pujols
Catcher Jorge Alfaro
First Base Rhys Hoskins
Second Base Cesar Hernandez
Third Base Maikel Franco
Shortstop J.P. Crawford
Left Field Odubel Herrera
Center Field Mickey Moniak
Right Field Nick Williams
No. 1 Starter Aaron Nola
No. 2 Starter Jerad Eickhoff
No. 3 Starter Vince Velasquez
No. 4 Starter Sixto Sanchez
No. 5 Starter Franklyn Kilome
Closer Victor Arano
Year Player, Pos. 2016 Org
2007 Carlos Carrasco, rhp Indians
2008 Carlos Carrasco, rhp Indians
2009 Domonic Brown, of Blue Jays
2010 Domonic Brown, of Blue Jays
2011 Domonic Brown, of Blue Jays
2012 Trevor May, rhp Twins
2013 Jesse Biddle, lhp Braves
2014 Maikel Franco, 3b/1b Phillies
2015 J.P. Crawford, ss Phillies
2016 J.P. Crawford, ss Phillies
Year Player, Pos. 2016 Org
2007 Joe Savery, lhp Did not play
2008 Anthony Hewitt, of Atlantic League
2009 Kelly Dugan, of (2nd round) Cubs
2010 Jesse Biddle, lhp Braves
2011 Larry Greene, of (1st round supp.) Did not play
2012 Shane Watson, rhp (1st round supp.) Phillies
2013 J.P. Crawford, ss Phillies
2014 Aaron Nola, rhp Phillies
2015 Cornelius Randolph, of Phillies
2016 Mickey Moniak, of Phillies
Mickey Moniak, 2016 $6,100,000
Gavin Floyd, 2001 $4,200,000
Jhailyn Ortiz, 2015 $4,010,000
Kevin Gowdy, 2016 $3,500,000
Aaron Nola, 2014 $3,300,900

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