Philadelphia Phillies: Top 10 Prospects

Philadelphia Phillies

Baseball America's Top 10 Prospects lists are based on projections of a player's long-term worth after discussions with scouting and player-development personnel. All players who haven't exceeded the major league rookie standards of 130 at-bats or 50 innings pitched (without regard to service time) are eligible. Ages are as of April 1, 2009.

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1. Dominic Brown, of
2. Carlos Carrasco, rhp
3. Lou Marson, c
4. Jason Donald, ss
5. Kyle Drabek, rhp
6. Michael Taylor, of
7. Travis D'Arnaud, c
8. Zach Collier, of
9. J.A. Happ, lhp
10. Jason Knapp, rhp
Best Hitter for Average Dominic Brown
Best Power Hitter Michael Taylor
Best Strike-Zone Discipline Lou Marson
Fastest Baserunner Quinton Berry
Best Athlete Anthony Hewitt
Best Fastball Carlos Carrasco
Best Curveball Kyle Drabek
Best Slider Mike Stutes
Best Changeup Carlos Carrasco
Best Control Mike Cisco
Best Defensive Catcher Lou Marson
Best Defensive Infielder Freddy Galvis
Best Infield Arm Freddy Galvis
Best Defensive Outfielder Anthony Gose
Best Outfield Arm Dominic Brown
Catcher Lou Marson
First Base Ryan Howard
Second Base Chase Utley
Third Base Jason Donald
Shortstop Jimmy Rollins
Left Field Michael Taylor
Center Field Shane Victorino
Right Field Dominic Brown
No. 1 Starter Cole Hamels
No. 2 Starter Carlos Carrasco
No. 3 Starter Kyle Drabek
No. 4 Starter Brett Myers
No. 5 Starter Joe Blanton
Closer Brad Lidge
Year Player, Position 2008
1999 Pat Burrell, 1b Phillies
2000 Pat Burrell, 1b/of Phillies
2001 Jimmy Rollins, ss Phillies
2002 Marlon Byrd, of Rangers
2003 Gavin Floyd, rhp White Sox
2004 Cole Hamels, lhp Phillies
2005 Ryan Howard, 1b Phillies
2006 Cole Hamels, lhp Phillies
2007 Carlos Carrasco, rhp Phillies
2008 Carlos Carrasco, rhp Phillies
Year Player, Position 2008
1999 Brett Myers, rhp Phillies
2000 Chase Utley, 2b Phillies
2001 Gavin Floyd, rhp White Sox
2002 Cole Hamels, lhp Phillies
2003 Tim Moss, 2b (3rd round) Out of baseball
2004 Greg Golson, of Phillies
2005 Mike Costanzo, 3b (2nd round) Orioles
2006 Kyle Drabek, rhp Phillies
2007 Joe Savery, lhp Phillies
2008 Anthony Hewitt, 3b/of Phillies
Gavin Floyd, 2001 $4,2000,000
Pat Burrell, 1998 $3,150,000
Brett Myers, 1999 $2,050,000
Cole Hamels, 2002 $2,000,000
Chase Utley, 2000 $1,780,000
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Philadelphia Phillies

For once, the sequel was actually better than the original.

In 2007, the Phillies trailed the Mets by seven games with 17 games to play but overtook New York on the final day of the season to complete the biggest late-season comeback in baseball history. But the Rockies swept Philadelphia in the Division Series, putting a quick end to the feel-good story.

Philadelphia learned from its demise and built on its successes in 2008, stunning the Mets with another September comeback before winning just the second World Series championship in the franchise's long, tortured history. The two championship teams have several similarities that link them in history, providing symmetry that's hard to ignore.

Both clubs built powerful offenses around the major league home run leader. No one's confusing Ryan Howard with Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt, yet Howard remains one of the game's most productive hitters after topping the majors with 48 homers and 146 RBIs. He had more help than Schmidt did, starting with Chase Utley and 2007 MVP Jimmy Rollins.

Lefthanded aces pitched at the front of both rotations. Cole Hamels fills the Steve Carlton role for his generation, with his changeup proving just as unhittable as Lefty's slider. Hamels' California cool was evident as he won the first game of all three postseason series.

Closer Tug McGraw provided the inspiration and the lasting visual images of the Phillies' 1980 title. While Brad Lidge, his 2008 counterpart, can't match McGraw as a quote, he matched him where it mattered, leading a bullpen that was baseball's best.

Philadelphia lost just three games in the postseason, one in each series. Perhaps most gratifying, the Phillies did it with a homegrown core. Rollins (1996), Burrell (1998), Brett Myers (1999), Utley (2000) and Hamels (2002) were first- or second-round picks made good. Howard (fifth round, 2001) and Ryan Madson (ninth, 1998) are also homegrown, the results of drafts orchestrated by Mike Arbuckle and Marti Wolever.

With extra picks in 2008, Wolever fashioned a draft class that could be the best of his tenure—though Hamels alone gives Wolever's first crop special currency. The Phillies gambled on high upsides, taking infielder Anthony Hewitt, outfielders Zach Collier and Anthony Gose, and righthander Jason Knapp with four of the first 71 selections. They also grabbed a promising haul of college pitchers led by third-rounder Vance Worley and 11th-rounder Mike Stutes.

Down on the farm, Triple-A Lehigh Valley and Double-A Reading finished with the worst records in their leagues, a sign that most of the franchise's minor league talent is collected at lower levels. With the big league team coming off consecutive playoff appearances, the Phillies can afford to be patient while prospects develop.

New general manager Ruben Amaro Jr., promoted from assistant GM when Pat Gillick retired after the World Series, inherits a championship club and a farm system with a growing number of high-ceiling talents. He didn't inherit Arbuckle, his fellow assistant GM who took a job with the Royals when he didn't get the GM gig, but other key members of the front office stayed in place.

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