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Still rich with position depth.
The Phillies have one of the deepest farm systems in baseball thanks to a strong international program, trades and high draft picks. Even with Rhys Hoskins and Nick Williams graduating, the club has more upper-level bats ready to help with J.P. Crawford and Scott Kingery. The Latin American pitching pipeline continues to be a strength, led by Sixto Sanchez, with arms like Seranthony Dominguez, Ranger Suarez and Francisco Morales continuing to pop up.
The Phillies don’t have a glaring weakness on the farm because the system is well balanced. While they have starting pitching prospects in the system, nobody will likely help them in 2018 beyond back-end starters like Drew Anderson or Tom Eshelman.
Notable Graduations: 1B Rhys Hoskins (6) starred, while OF Nick Williams (4), C Andrew Knapp (14) and RHPs Nick Pivetta and Ben Lively (18) showed flashes.
Track Record: Crawford is the top prospect in the organization for the fourth straight season, but it hasn't been a smooth ride up the ladder. The No. 13 overall pick in 2013 made fast progress initially, reaching Double-A as a 20-year-old in 2015. Yet when Crawford spent most of 2016 in Triple-A Lehigh Valley, he struggled, and when he returned to the IronPigs in 2017 his poor performance continued. By June 10, his slash line had dropped to .194/.313/.252. He took the next nine days off to rest a nagging groin strain and take a mental break, and when he returned he looked like a different player. Crawford finished the season on a tear, batting .280/.381/.522 with 13 home runs in his final 71 games. He made his big league debut as a September callup. Scouting Report: Even when he struggles, Crawford stands out for his plate discipline. He's a patient, selective hitter who recognizes offspeed pitches, piles up walks and is a an on-base threat. At times, his strike-zone judgment was the only offensive attribute working for him. He got into a bad habit of pulling off the ball, causing his hips to fly open. That created a longer swing path, left him vulnerable to pitches on the outer third and cut into his ability to drive the ball. Crawford adjusted in the second half by setting up his hands closer to his body and keeping his lower half into his swing better. The changes improved his swing efficiency and helped him stay through the ball better. Crawford's offensive game is still centered around hitting line drives, but he showed the potential for 15-plus home runs. Crawford struggled on defense early in the season, but by the end of the year he again looked like a true shortstop with good athleticism and range, quick hands, a smooth transfer and an accurate, above-average arm. He shifted to third base in August to get accustomed to the position with Freddy Galvis at shortstop in Philadelphia. The Future: Crawford's extended struggles in Triple-A can't simply be dismissed, but his turnaround showed he still has the talent to be a centerpiece player. He should soon supplant Galvis as the Phillies' everyday shortstop and develop into an above-average player.
Track Record: At a tryout for a Cuban catcher, it was Sanchez instead who grabbed the Phillies' attention. They quickly signed him for $35,000, and after a breakout 2016 season in the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League, he continued his ascension in 2017--he reached high Class A Clearwater in August--as one of the best pitching prospects in the game. Scouting Report: Sanchez is one of the hardest-throwing starting pitchers in the minors, but you wouldn't know it from his delivery. He has easy, fluid mechanics that he repeats consistently, helping him command a lively fastball that sits in the mid-90s and touches 100 mph. Sanchez can overpower hitters with his fastball, though he's working to polish his secondary pitches to miss more bats. His changeup flashes plus with good sink and run, and it helps him thwart lefties, though he needs to do a better job of repeating the same arm slot as his fastball. His slider is average now but could be above-average if he can add more power. The Future: Sanchez's fastball command should help him continue to move quickly, with a chance to join the big league rotation by 2019 and develop into a front-line starter along the lines of the Yankees' Luis Severino.
Track Record: A walk-on at Arizona, Kingery played well in his first full season in 2016 before hitting a wall at Double-A Reading. Returning to the Eastern League in 2017, Kingery clobbered the competition and advanced to Triple-A Lehigh Valley, hitting a career-high 26 home runs after belting just five the previous season. Scouting Report: Kingery has a chance to develop into a plus hitter. He has a simple, efficient swing with good bat speed, balance and barrel control. He recognizes pitches, stays back on offspeed pitches and covers the plate, driving the ball with loft to all fields. Kingery has a medium build but strong forearms that help him generate solid-average power and a chance to hit 20 homers. A smart, instinctive player, he is a plus runner who gets good jumps stealing bases. He's also a plus defender at second base, where he has good range and turns the double play well with a fringe-average arm. The Future: Kingery is a well-rounded player whose batting, baserunning and defensive value in the middle of the diamond could make him an above-average regular who hits toward the top of a lineup. He likely will open 2018 back in Triple-A, but he should be a key part of Philadelphia's big league club by the all-star break.
Track Record: The Phillies signed Medina for $70,000 when he was a 17-year-old with a loose arm action and a fastball that hit 90 mph. Now he's a power arm who took a big step forward at low Class A Lakewood in 2017 by improving his offspeed arsenal, which led to an increase in his strikeout rate. Scouting Report: Medina operates off a fastball that parks at 92-95 mph and touches 97. His fastball is his best pitch, and he combines plus velocity with late life and the ability to throw his heater for strikes. Over the past year, Medina altered his delivery to get more extension out front at his release point, which helps his fastball jump on hitters faster than they expect. After striking out just 13 percent of batters in 2016, Medina doubled his strikeout rate to 26 percent in 2017. His changeup became a plus pitch and he introduced a slider that's a solid-average offering. Medina is a good athlete who controls the running game well. The Future: The improvement of Medina's secondary stuff gives him an opportunity to develop into a mid-rotation starter. His next step will be high Class A Clearwater.
Track Record: In high school, Haseley earned attention from scouts for his bat and his arm. He took those skills to Virginia as a two-way player. The Phillies made him the eighth overall pick in 2017 as an outfielder and signed him for $5.1 million. Haseley looked run down in a pro debut that culminated with 18 games at low Class A Lakewood, which is understandable given he also threw 65 innings as a weekend starter in college. Scouting Report: Haseley doesn't have one loud 70 tool on the 20-80 scale, but he does a lot of things well. He's a potential above-average hitter with a good sense for the strike zone. He has an inside-out swing that leads him to use the opposite field frequently. He has average power, and once he learns which pitches he can turn on to drive with authority, his power numbers could spike. Haseley isn't a burner, but his slightly above-average speed is enough to start his career in center field. He has an average, accurate arm. The Future: Now that Haseley dropped pitching, the Phillies are optimistic that his bat will take off. He will open 2018 at one of their Class A affiliates, with a chance to develop into a solid-average regular.
Track Record: Romero was an athletic lefty with an average fastball and a four-pitch mix when the Phillies drafted him in the fourth round in 2016 and signed him for $800,000. In Romero's first full season, improved velocity helped his stock tick up as he cruised through two Class A levels. Scouting Report: After throwing 89-92 mph and touching 94 in college, Romero jumped to 91-94 in 2017 and topped out at 96. An excellent athlete, he repeats his delivery and locates his fastball well to both sides of the plate. Romero's changeup and curveball each earn 55-60 grades on the 20-80 scale, with his changeup the more consistently reliable weapon. He has a fringe-average slider that he mixes in as well to give hitters another look. Romero throws all of his pitches for strikes and is studious in his preparation. He does the little things well, too, with quick feet to hold runners close and field his position. The Future: Romero's polish should help him continue to move quickly through the system, with a chance to crack the big league rotation by 2019 and develop into a No. 3 or 4 starter.
Track Record: When Ortiz signed for $4.01 million, he had humongous raw power, but his huge frame and struggles against live pitching concerned other clubs. He still is a big-bodied power hitter, but his improved feel for hitting helped him excel in 2017 as one of the youngest players in the short-season New York-Penn League. Scouting Report: Ortiz's calling card is his raw power, a 70 on the 20-80 scale. He has the bat speed and strength to launch balls deep out of the park to the pull side, but he uses the opposite field well to drive the ball out the other way with ease. Ortiz still gets his weight out too early on his front side at times and his power will always come with a high strikeout rate, but he made major strides with his approach in 2017. He can hammer fastballs, but he also did a better job recognizing offspeed pitches. Ortiz is built like a first baseman, but moves surprisingly well for his size. His plus arm fits well in right field. The Future: Ortiz is a potential 30-homer bat who could become a middle-of-the-order bat. Low Class A Lakewood is his next stop.
Track Record: Alfaro has tantalized scouts with his combination of power, arm strength and athleticism since signing with the Rangers. Acquired from Texas at the 2015 trade deadline in the Cole Hamels deal, Alfaro has not put it all together yet. A disappointing 2017 season in Triple-A Lehigh Valley underscores that point, though he performed well once he reached the big leagues in August. Scouting Report: Alfaro has a fast bat and plus-plus raw power to go deep to any part of the park. He doesn't fully tap into his power in games, however, in part due to his free-swinging approach. Alfaro doesn't recognize offspeed pitches well and frequently expands the strike zone. His strikeout rate jumped to 32 percent in Triple-A and he rarely walks, so he will never be a high on-base threat. Alfaro has gotten bigger, but he still moves well for a catcher and has below-average speed. His arm is well above-average, though his blocking and receiving need improvement. The Future: Alfaro's power could carry him to an everyday role, but he must improve his pitch selectivity and clean up his receiving to get to that level.
Track Record: Moniak was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2016 draft and signed for $6.1 million. His first full season in pro ball was a disappointment, however. Moniak held his own at low Class A Lakewood the first two months before going into a tailspin the rest of the year. Scouting Report: Moniak is a tricky player to project given his struggles. He still earns praise from scouts for his easy, simple swing that is direct to the ball. He got himself into trouble by getting away from a selective hitting approach and instead rolled over a lot of easy ground balls to the right side. Moniak will need to get stronger, both to handle the rigors of a full season and to add to his power, which for now is mostly limited to the gaps. An above-average runner, he drew mixed reviews for his defense in center field. He at times made good plays with a gliding stride and an above-average arm, though other scouts questioned his reads. The Future: Moniak's development will require more patience than originally anticipated, but his underlying talent suggests he can be an above-average big leaguer. Now 2018 will be key for him to show that his full-season debut was more fluke than anything.
Track Record: The Phillies signed Kilome for $40,000 when he was a tall, skinny 17-year-old with a fast arm. As he packed on weight and made mechanical changes, he grew into a power arm who finished 2017 in Double-A Reading after an August promotion. Scouting Report: Kilome's fastball gets on hitters quickly thanks to his extension, downhill plane and velocity that sits 93-96 mph and peaks at 99. He throws a power four-seam fastball, but he added a two-seamer to his repertoire in 2017 to help him induce weak, early-count contact. One drawback was that Kilome's strikeout rate dropped from 26 percent in 2016 to 19 percent in 2017. He has a tick above-average curveball that he can use as a putaway pitch, but his struggles to coordinate the long levers in his delivery impacts his command and puts him in too many disadvantage counts. He also throws a slider that tends to blend into his curveball, and while Kilome's changeup has shown progress, it's still a below-average pitch. The Future: Kilome has the potential to be a No. 3 or 4 starter, but to reach that potential he will have to improve his fastball command, increase his swing-and-miss rate and develop his changeup.
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