2018 Philadelphia Phillies Midseason Top 10 Prospects
SEE ALSO: Midseason Top 10 Prospects
After five straight seasons under .500, the Phillies are contenders again in 2018. A great deal of that success has come from homegrown talent, so while the farm system isn’t as strong as it has been the last two years, much of that is because those prospects are now making an impact in the big leagues.
With so many position prospects graduating in 2017 and 2018, the Phillies are lighter than usual on position prospects. Third baseman Alec Bohm, the No. 3 overall pick out of Wichita State in June, is the best of the group, but the recent track record of the organization’s first-round picks has not been good. Outfielder Cornelius Randolph (No. 10 overall in 2015) has hit a wall in Double-A. Outfielder Mickey Moniak (No. 1 overall in 2016) continues to struggle mightily and outfielder Adam Haseley (No. 8 overall in 2017) has shown some positive qualities as a hitter in the high Class A Florida State League, but questions remain on his overall future impact.
International scouting under the direction of Sal Agostinelli continues to be a strength for the Phillies. Six of the organization’s Top 10 Prospects were signed by the Phillies out of Latin America as teenagers. Latin American pitching in particular is an area where the Phillies have excelled, with more talent on the way after the Phillies signed 16-year-old righthander Starlyn Castillo, the top pitching prospect out of the Dominican Republic this year. Castillo, who has reached 97 mph, for $1.6 million.
Overall, the Phillies’ system is heavy on pitching, led by one of the game’s best arms in righthander Sixto Sanchez. As the trade deadline nears, Philadelphia might have trouble pulling off a deal if a trade partner wants to build a return around position prospects, but the Phillies have plenty of attractive arms they could move.
1. Sixto Sanchez, RHP
High Class A Clearwater
Sanchez is one of the best pitching prospects in the game, a potential frontline starter who shares similarities with Yankees ace Luis Severino. Sanchez throws a mid-to-upper-90s fastball that can scrape 100 mph, and while many young power arms struggle with their control, Sanchez fills the strike zone with strong fastball command. He throws a plus slider and an average changeup, with a handful of high-strikeout games that have come when he has sequenced his pitches well. Right elbow inflammation has kept Sanchez out since June 3, but he’s expected to be throwing again by late July and could be pitching in games again in August.
2. Alec Bohm, 3B
Drafted third overall in June, Bohm is a 6-foot-5 third baseman who had some of the best raw power in the draft, along with a strong performance record in games. He has a promising combination of hitting ability, strike-zone judgment and power that could fit into the middle of a lineup, though several scouts believe he will end up moving to either an outfield corner or first base.
3. Adonis Medina, RHP
High Class A Clearwater
A pair of meltdown starts in April and a couple more sprinkled later in the season left Medina with a bloated ERA, but he still shows the stuff to be a mid-rotation starter. He’s sitting in the low-to-mid 90s with his fastball, putting hitters away with an above-average changeup and a solid-average slider. Medina has gotten into trouble when he has tried to lean too heavily on his offspeed pitches and when his fastball command has escaped him, but he has the attributes to fix those issues.
4. Seranthony Dominguez, RHP
Dominguez technically still qualifies as a prospect. He started the year in Double-A Reading and, once called up, quickly established himself as one of the better relievers in the big leagues. Dominguez has flourished moving from starter to reliever, with an electric fastball that sits in the upper 90s and a plus slider he can use as a finishing pitch.
5. Enyel de los Santos, RHP
The Mariners signed de los Santos in 2014, then a year later traded him to the Padres, who after the 2017 season flipped him to the Phillies for shortstop Freddy Galvis. He has shown a promising combination of power stuff, durability and control, producing one of the lowest ERAs this year in the Triple-A International League. De los Santos pitches off a fastball that sits 92-96 mph and can touch 98, and he leans on his above-average changeup as his out pitch that’s more advanced than his breaking stuff.
6. JoJo Romero, LHP
Things didn’t click early for Romero, who after five starts had a 7.18 ERA and a 17-11 K-BB mark in 26.1 innings. Since then going into the Eastern League all-star break, Romero rebounded with a 2.95 ERA, 79 strikeouts and 28 walks in 73.1 innings. Whereas early on he was trying to get hitters to chase and ended up falling behind in counts, Romero got back to emphasizing strengths with his low-to-mid-90s sinker and above-average changeup. Romero has the potential to develop into a No. 3 starter.
7. Ranger Suarez, LHP
Triple-A Lehigh Valley
After starting in Double-A Reading, Suarez received a promotion to Triple-A at the end of June. Suarez has always had advanced feel for pitching and deception, but last year he got his legs into his delivery and added more power to his fastball. He throws 90-95 mph, with four-seamers and mostly two-seamers that have heavy sink. His go-to secondary weapon is a mid-80s changeup that flashes solid-average. He also throws a slider that can be an average pitch at times. He projects as a No. 4 starter, with a chance to exceed that in some years.
8. Adam Haseley, OF
After Haseley batted .300/.343/.415 with five home runs in 79 games for high Class A Clearwater, the Phillies promoted him to Double-A in July. The No. 8 overall pick in 2017, Haseley has good feel for the barrel, but he does face profile questions, with his defense projecting better at an outfield corner than in center, and his power not truly suited for a corner, though scouts highest on him still think his bat can be his carrying tool.
9. Francisco Morales, RHP
The Latin America pitching pipeline keeps flowing for the Phillies, with Morales the team’s most exciting international in short-season ball. He’s throwing 92-96 mph with downhill angle from his 6-foot-5 frame, then finishing hitters with a plus slider. Morales’ command escapes him at times, but he could develop into a mid-rotation starter with a chance for more.
10. Luis Garcia, SS
Rookie-level Gulf Coast League
Garcia was Philadelphia’s big-ticket international signing out of the Dominican Republic in 2017, when they gave him $2.5 million. He was one of the best defensive shortstops in his class, with quick feet, soft hands and a plus arm. In his pro debut, Garcia has also shown an encouraging offensive approach, working the count into his favor and showing good contact skills from both sides of the plate, albeit without much power yet.
2018 MLB All-Rookie Team
The 2018 MLB rookie class stands out for the sheer amount of history it made.
- RHP Enyel de los Santos made a seamless transition to Triple-A and reached the majors in July.
- LHP Cole Irvin has been throwing strikes and generating weak contact against Triple-A hitters, putting himself in position to make his major league debut this year.
- Rookie-level Gulf Coast League 2B Nicolas Torres has a smaller stature with a knack for hitting and plus-plus speed underway.
- The Phillies drafted OF Mickey Moniak with the No. 1 overall pick in 2016. Two years later, his stock has cratered because he has struggled for the second straight year to get on base or show any power. He’s been one of the worst hitters in the Florida State League this year by a variety of statistical measures.
- OF Jhailyn Ortiz appeared to make a breakthrough as a hitter in 2017, but he has regressed this season. The gigantic raw power is still there, but the strikeouts have piled up for the slugger in low Class A Lakewood.
- The Phillies drafted OF Cornelius Randolph with the No. 10 overall pick in 2015 because of his bat. Three years later, he’s a 21-year-old in Double-A who isn’t hitting or showing any power.
- RHP Sixto Sanchez, the team’s top prospect, is on the disabled list with right elbow inflammation, but the Phillies expect him to be pitching in games again in August.
- OF Roman Quinn’s injuries continue to pile up. He had surgery in May to fix a torn ligament in the middle finger of his right hand. He should return to action shortly.
- RHP Kevin Gowdy, a second-round pick in 2016, missed the entire 2017 season and is expected to miss 2018 as well following Tommy John surgery. He got back on a mound for the first time in July and is scheduled to begin pitching against hitters again during instructional league.
- The Phillies graduated SS J.P. Crawford, 2B Scott Kingery and C Jorge Alfaro—all Top 10 Prospects entering the season—into their big league lineup. With OFs Rhys Hoskins and Nick Williams getting to Philadelphia last year, that’s the last of the team’s wave of upper-level position prospects, leaving the system light on hitters close to the big leagues.