2017 Philadelphia Phillies Top 10 Prospects

Chat it up: Phillies Top 10 Prospects Chat with Ben Badler

Knowledge is Power: Phillies Top 10 Insider

Want More? Complete Top 10 Prospects Rankings

Go 30 deep: Order the 2017 Prospect Handbook!



1. J.P. Crawford, ss
2. Mickey Moniak, of
3. Jorge Alfaro, c
4. Nick Williams, of
5. Sixto Sanchez, rhp
6. Rhys Hoskins, 1b
7. Franklyn Kilome, rhp
8. Roman Quinn, of
9. Scott Kingery, 2b
10. Dylan Cozens, of

After five straight seasons without a playoff appearance, the Phillies are staring ahead at another year that’s unlikely to yield a postseason spot.

At least in 2017, however, there will be tangible signs of hope in Philadelphia. The Phillies have one of the game’s best farm systems, with much of that talent congregated at the upper levels of the minors in the form of position prospects. That’s a welcome sign for a team that scored the fewest runs in the majors in 2016.

Center fielder Odubel Herrera (an astute Rule 5 draft pick from the Rangers in 2014) second baseman Cesar Hernandez and third baseman Maikel Franco all could be a part of the next Phillies team to reach the playoffs, but they will need a lot more help. Fortunately for them, a slew of young hitters are on the way.

Shortstop J.P. Crawford, the team’s top prospect, didn’t take the big leap forward in 2016 the Phillies were hoping he would, but he’s still a potential cornerstone player who should be in Philadelphia at some point in 2017.

Catcher Jorge Alfaro, first baseman Rhys Hoskins and outfielders Nick Williams, Roman Quinn and Dylan Cozens all played at Double-A Reading or Triple-A Lehigh Valley in 2016 and should be among the help coming to the major league club in 2017. Center fielder Mickey Moniak, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2016 draft, is still at least a few years away, but he’s a high-upside talent at a premium position with promising skills on both sides of the ball.

The team’s best pitching prospects are at the lower levels. Under the watch of international scouting director Sal Agostinelli, the Phillies continue to churn out low-cost gems from Latin America. The latest is righthander Sixto Sanchez, a $35,000 signing out of the Dominican Republic who dazzled scouts in the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League. He has a chance to be a frontline starter, fronting a slew of promising Latin American pitching prospects the Phillies signed for less than $100,000.

Righty Ricardo Pinto is the only one of that group who has pitched at Double-A or above. Righthanders Nick Pivetta, Mark Appel, Ben Lively and Thomas Eshelman also have upper-level experience and could help in 2017, while lefty Joely Rodriguez pitched in the Philadelphia bullpen in September. They should help supplement an already young major league rotation that includes Jerad Eickhoff, Aaron Nola, Vince Velasquez, Jake Thompson and Zach Eflin as 25-and-under righthanders.

The transition to the major leagues won’t be seamless for every young player the Phillies bring up in 2017, but by 2018, the Phillies should have a strong young nucleus to build around, with the resources and payroll flexibility to add to their core.

While 2017 probably won’t end the franchise’s playoff drought, it should provide a key developmental bridge for the franchise with an eye toward contention in 2018.

1. J.P. Crawford, ss | bba_video_icon_red

Batting: 60
Power: 45
Speed: 50
Defense: 60
Arm: 60
Based on 20-80 scouting scale—where 50 represents major league average—and future projection rather than present tools.

Born: Jan. 11, 1995. B-T: L-R. Ht.: 6-2. Wt.: 180. Drafted: HS—Lakewood, Calif., 2013 (1st round). Signed by: Demerius Pittman.

Background: For the third straight season, Crawford ranks as the Phillies’ top prospect. It’s a ranking that comes after a season in which he didn’t take the next big leap forward that was expected of him coming into the year, but he’s still one of the game’s elite shortstop prospects. His athleticism runs in the family—he’s a cousin of Carl Crawford and his father played football at Iowa State and the Canadian Football League—but it’s the combination of athleticism and polished baseball skills for his age that have made Crawford stand out since his high school days. The Phillies selected him with the No. 16 overall pick in the 2013 draft, and he signed for $2,299,300. Crawford moved through the system quickly, reaching Double-A Reading as a 20-year-old in 2015 in a season that ended when he tore a ligament in his thumb in the Arizona Fall League. He opened 2016 by returning to Reading, where he spent six weeks before playing the rest of the season at Triple-A Lehigh Valley. He missed one week in August with an injured oblique. Crawford hit .250/.349/.339 in 123 games between the two stops.

Scouting Report: Crawford’s best offensive asset is his plate discipline. He has nearly as many walks as strikeouts in his career and shows a keen eye at the plate by recognizing offspeed pitches and rarely expanding the strike zone. Even as he went through growing pains upon reaching Triple-A, his strike-zone judgment remained intact. Crawford is a high-contact hitter with an efficient, compact swing from the left side, which combined with his plate discipline gives him a chance to be a high on-base threat at the top of a lineup. When he struggled, he had a habit of stepping in the bucket and leaking open early with his hips, creating a longer path to the ball. His ability to keep his hands back and control the bat head still allowed him to make contact, however. When his swing is in sync, Crawford stays inside the ball well, with a chance to be an above-average hitter. Getting stronger will be critical for him because his power is mostly to the gaps, with the occasional home run to the pull side. His power hasn’t developed as quickly as some expected, but between his bat speed and room to fill out his frame, he could develop average pop. In the field, Crawford shows plus defense, a mixture of athleticism, actions and instincts. With average speed, he isn’t a burner, but he has a quick first step and reads the ball well off the bat, providing him with plenty of range. He’s a fluid defender who can make plays to either side with his plus arm, which plays up because of his fast hands and quick transfer.

The Future: Crawford isn’t on the Phillies’ 40-man roster yet, though he hasn’t shown enough yet to merit a spot in the Opening Day lineup ahead of incumbent Freddy Galvis. Instead, he should return to Triple-A, with an opportunity to force his way to the major leagues by the all-star break. If everything clicks, the Phillies should have a franchise cornerstone at shortstop.

Reading (AA) .265 .398 .309 136 23 36 8 0 3 13 30 21 5
Lehigh Valley (AAA) .244 .328 .318 336 40 82 11 1 4 30 42 59 7

2. Mickey Moniak, of | bba_video_icon_red

Born: May 13, 1998. B-T: L-R. Ht.: 6-2. Wt.: 185. Drafted: HS—Carlsbad, Calif., 2016 (1st round). Signed by: Mike Garcia.

Background: Moniak was the center fielder and two-hole hitter for the U.S. team that won the 18U World Cup in Japan in 2015. A strong season as a high school senior propelled him to the top of the 2016 draft, with the Phillies signing him for a club-record $6.1 million as the No. 1 overall pick.

Scouting Report: Moniak is a premium position prospect who does a lot of things well with few glaring weaknesses. He draws comparisons with Christian Yelich and Steve Finley. Moniak has an easy lefthanded swing that’s short, quick and fluid. His barrel awareness and pitch recognition allow him to consistently square up good fastballs and adjust to put the bat on breaking balls. He’s a disciplined hitter who goes with where the ball is pitched and uses the whole field. He’s still skinny with mostly gap power now, but he should hit 10-15 home runs one day with strength gains, and he added about 20 pounds in the fall after a three-week strength and conditioning camp at the Phillies’ Clearwater complex. Moniak is an above-average runner with a quick first step in center field, where his good instincts and above-average arm make him a plus fielder.

The Future: Moniak’s balance of tools and skills on both sides of the ball make him a high-upside prospect without any major risk factors, aside from his inexperience. He will make his full-season debut at low Class A Lakewood in 2017.

GCL Phillies (R) .284 .340 .409 176 27 50 11 4 1 28 11 35 10

3. Jorge Alfaro, c | bba_video_icon_red

Born: June 11, 1993 B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-2. Wt.: 225. Signed: Colombia, 2010. Signed by: Rodolfo Rosario/Don Welke (Rangers).

Background: Alfaro signed with the Rangers for $1.3 million when he was 16 in 2010. Dealt to the Phillies at the 2015 trade deadline in the seven-player Cole Hamels deal, Alfaro missed most of the second half in 2015 with a broken left ankle that required surgery. In 2016 he showed cleaned-up defense at Double-A Reading before debuting in the major leagues in September.

Scouting Report: Alfaro is strong, has plus bat speed and plus-plus raw power. There’s effort to his swing, but he stays through the ball well to use the middle of the field and can drive the ball out to any part of the park. Plate discipline remains a weakness, and a more selective approach will be key to tapping into his raw power more in games. He surprises people with average speed, and his athleticism is evident behind the plate. He has top-of-the-scale arm strength and gets rid of the ball quickly and accurately, resulting in elite pop times on throws to second base. He threw out 44 percent of basestealers in Double-A. Alfaro still has room to improve his blocking and receiving but took major steps forward in those areas in 2016.

The Future: With Cameron Rupp and Andrew Knapp ahead of him, Alfaro will likely head to Triple-A to start 2017. He has the upside to be an above-average regular behind the plate.

Reading (AA) .285 .325 .458 404 68 115 21 2 15 67 22 105 3
Philadelphia (MLB) .125 .176 .125 16 0 2 0 0 0 0 1 8 0

4. Nick Williams, of | bba_video_icon_red

Born: Sept. 8, 1993. B-T: L-L. Ht.: 6-3. Wt.: 195. Drafted: HS—Galveston, Texas, 2012 (2nd round). Signed by: Jay Heafner (Rangers).

Background: Williams was in the middle of his finest season in 2015 at Double-A Frisco when Texas included him in the blockbuster deal for Cole Hamels at the trade deadline. Instead of continuing his upward trend, Williams went backwards in 2016 at Triple-A Lehigh Valley.

Scouting Report: Williams’ tantalizing physical talent remains intact, but his hitting approach regressed in 2016 as his offensive performance cratered. He walked less (4 percent of the time) and struck out more (26 percent) in 2016 than he did the previous season. Williams must develop better plate discipline to tap into his potential. His hand speed is top notch. He whips the barrel into the hitting zone quickly with a loose, fluid swing, though it can get long. Williams uses the whole field, has good hitting actions and easy plus raw power evident in batting practice, though it hasn’t translated into big home run totals yet. Though he doesn’t steal many bases, Williams is a plus runner who can play all three outfield spots with a solid-average arm.

The Future: Williams can still turn into an above-average regular, but his 2016 struggles add greater risk to his projection. He should return to Triple-A in 2017. Philadelphia’s outfield is wide open, so a good start could get him to Citizens Bank Park quickly.

Lehigh Valley (AAA) .258 .287 .427 497 78 128 33 6 13 64 19 136 6

5. Sixto Sanchez, rhp

Born: July 29, 1998. B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-0. Wt.: 200. Signed: Dominican Republic, 2015 Signed by: Carlos Salas.

Background: Phillies special assistant Bart Braun was at a workout in the Dominican Republic to scout a Cuban catcher. The player who caught his eye was Sanchez, the 16-year-old pitcher throwing to him, so the Phillies moved quickly to sign him for $35,000. When Sanchez jumped to U.S. in 2016, his stuff and stock soared as he overmatched hitters while leading the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League with a 0.50 ERA. He finished off his season with seven scoreless innings in the GCL playoffs.

Scouting Report: Prior to signing with the Phillies, Sanchez worked out for teams as an infielder, but he shows polish on the mound with an easy delivery. His explosive fastball sits at 92-96 mph and can reach 99 with good movement—a combination of sink and armside run that helps him generate weak contact. He’s a good athlete who commands his fastball well for his age to all areas of the strike zone. Between his curveball and changeup, Sanchez has two offspeed pitches that flash plus and with more consistency should allow his strikeout rate to jump. He sells his changeup with good arm speed and it runs away form lefthanded batters with good sinking action. He fields his position well.

The Future: Sanchez is advanced enough to jump to low Class A Lakewood in 2017, with a chance to develop into a No. 2 or 3 starter.

GCL Phillies (R) 5 0 0.50 11 11 0 0 54 33 0 8 44 .181

6. Rhys Hoskins, 1b

Born: March 17, 1993. B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-4. Wt.: 225. Drafted: Sacramento State, 2014 (5th round). Signed by: Joey Davis.

Background: Hoskins has his skeptics, but his track record is difficult to dismiss. He hit well in the Cape Cod League and at Sacramento State, then signed with the Phillies for $349,700 as a fifth-round pick in 2014. Now Hoskins has hit at every level up through Double-A Reading, where he ranked fourth in the Eastern League in 2016 with a .377 on-base percentage and second in both slugging (.566) and home runs (38).

Scouting Report: Hoskins generates a split camp among scouts. Those who like him see a hitter with plus power, a sound swing path, good timing, the bat speed to catch up to quality fastballs and a smart plan at the plate. His power comes with some strikeouts, but he doesn’t swing and miss excessively and is a patient hitter who walked 12 percent of the time in 2016. While Reading is a terrific hitter’s park, he still hit .270/.357/.496 on the road. Hoskins’ doubters think he’s more of a mistake hitter who has a longer swing with stiffness and holes that better pitchers will exploit. Hoskins is slow-footed and isn’t very agile, but he has improved his defense to become an adequate defender with good hands at first base.

The Future: Hoskins doesn’t have the same athleticism or tools as fellow Reading masher Dylan Cozens, but he is the better pure hitter. He will start 2017 at Triple-A Lehigh Valley with a chance to get to Philadelphia by the end of the season.

Reading (AA) .281 .377 .566 498 95 140 26 1 38 116 75 125 8

7. Franklyn Kilome, rhp

Born: June 25, 1995. B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-6. Wt.: 215. Signed: Dominican Republic, 2013. Signed by: Koby Perez.

Background: A gangly righthander with a quick arm when the Phillies signed him for $40,000 in 2013, Kilome has filled out, with the additional mass and delivery adjustments helping him become one of the team’s top pitching prospects. In his first exposure to the cold at low Class A Lakewood in 2016, his first three starts were a disaster. He allowed 19 runs and 10 walks in 9.2 innings—but he recovered to record a 2.74 ERA with 10.5 strikeouts per nine innings the rest of the way.

Scouting Report: Kilome pitches with a plus fastball with good movement that sits at 91-95 mph and can touch 98. He started the season throwing a spike knuckle curveball, a pitch with sharp, hard break but one he had trouble landing in the strike zone. After his early struggles, the Phillies gave him a more standard grip on his curveball and that helped him throw it for strikes, though he still has the spike curve in his arsenal. His curve is a swing-and-miss pitch that flashes plus. His changeup is too firm and a below-average pitch he hasn’t used much, so bringing that pitch along will be important. Kilome doesn’t always keep his long limbs in sync during his delivery, which leads to spotty command.

The Future: If Kilome can improve his changeup and tighten his command, he can develop into a mid-rotation starter with a chance for more. High Class A Clearwater is his next stop.

Lakewood (LoA) 5 8 3.85 23 23 0 0 115 113 6 50 130 .259

8. Roman Quinn, of | bba_video_icon_red

Born: May 14, 1993. B-T: B-R. Ht.: 5-9. Wt.: 170. Drafted: HS—Port St. Joe, Fla., 2011 (2nd round). Signed by: Aaron Jersild.

Background: In four years of pro ball, Quinn has yet to play more than 100 games in a season because of a lengthy medical file. A broken wrist and torn right Achilles heel in 2013, leg injuries in 2014 and 2015 and an oblique strain in 2016 have held him back, but he remains an explosive athlete. Quinn performed well when healthy at Double-A Reading in 2016 before making his major league debut as a September callup.

Scouting Report: Despite an array of lower-body injuries, Quinn remains a true 80 runner on the 20-80 scouting scale. Signed as a shortstop, he has played center field the last three years, where his speed gives him excellent range to go with a plus arm and good accuracy. Quinn isn’t a pure hitter, but he has solid bat-to-ball skills from both sides of the plate with good bat speed and the sneaky pop to hit 8-12 home runs. His game has to be about getting on base, and while he showed more patience in 2016 than he did the year before, he must develop more selectivity to have a better grasp of the strike zone.

The Future: Quinn’s speed and defense should make him at least a fourth outfielder, though he has the upside to become a regular in center field with more progress as a hitter. Triple-A Lehigh Valley should be his next stop.

Reading (AA) .287 .361 .441 286 58 82 14 6 6 25 30 68 31
Philadelphia .263 .373 .333 57 10 15 4 0 0 6 8 19 5

9. Scott Kingery, 2b

Born: April 29, 1994. B-T: R-R. Ht.: 5-10. Wt.: 180. Drafted: Arizona, 2015 (2nd round). Signed by: Brad Holland.

Background: Kingery was a walk-on at Arizona, where he formed a double-play combination with Pirates 2015 first-rounder Kevin Newman. Kingery showed enough for the Phillies to sign him for $1,259,600 as a second-round pick in 2015. He hit well at high Class A Clearwater in 2016, but when he got to Double-A Reading in late July he seemed run down, which carried over to the Arizona Fall League as well.

Scouting Report: Kingery seems to grow on scouts the more they see him. He has a quick righthanded stroke that’s short, simple and repeatable. He has good bat control and plate coverage, and he stays through the middle of the field. He has good strike-zone judgment, though that came unglued when he got to Double-A when he got away from his usually disciplined approach. Kingery’s power is mostly to the gaps, but he can occasionally pull a ball over the fence. His plus speed and baserunning savvy helped him steal 30 bases in 2016. Kingery can look awkward at times in the field, but he is a solid-average defender at second base who’s quick on the double-play pivot with an average arm.

The Future: Kingery isn’t flashy, but he has a chance to grow into an average regular at second base. He appears set to return to Double-A to begin 2017.

Clearwater (HiA) .293 .360 .411 375 60 110 29 3 3 28 33 54 26
Reading (AA) .250 .273 .333 156 16 39 7 0 2 18 5 36 4

10. Dylan Cozens, of | bba_video_icon_red

Born: May 31, 1994. B-T: L-L. Ht.: 6-6. Wt.: 235. Drafted: HS—Scottsdale, Ariz., 2012 (2nd round). Signed by: Brad Holland.

Background: Cozens starred in both baseball and football in high school, so he entered pro ball a bit raw after the Phillies made him a second-round pick in 2012. The 6-foot-6 right fielder took giant strides at Double-A Reading in 2016, his fifth pro season, by improving his batting eye and more frequently getting to his monstrous raw power. Cozens led the minors with 40 home runs and 125 RBIs, though he hit just 11 of those bombs away from the cozy confines at Reading.

Scouting Report: Cozens is a player of extremes. He is a huge, strong, long-armed hitter who generates at least 70 raw power grades on the 20-80 scouting scale, with outstanding leverage when he’s in sync, on time and able to get his hands extended. Even when he doesn’t square up the ball, it flies off his bat with power to all fields. Cozens’ long, uphill swing path leaves him with holes pitchers can exploit. This is particularly true when he faces lefthanders. While contact is an issue, he does show solid plate patience to go with his power. He also moves surprisingly well for his size, with average speed that helped him steal 21 bases in 22 attempts. He has worked his way into a playable defender with an average arm who played all three outfield spots in 2016.

The Future: Cozens has the power to mash in the middle of the lineup, but a long list of power-hitting prospects have been stymied by contact issues. Triple-A Lehigh Valley is next.

Reading (AA) .276 .350 .591 521 106 144 38 3 40 125 61 186 21

Comments are closed.

Download our app

Read the newest magazine issue right on your phone