Philadelphia Phillies' Top Ten Prospects 2010: Numbers Ten to Six
This is the first in a two-part series on the Philadelphia Phillies' top ten prospects heading into 2010.
In baseball, a lot can change in a short period of time.
Last year at this time, the Phillies' prospect list included names such as Carlos Carrasco, Lou Marson, Jason Donald, Jason Knapp, Kyle Drabek, Michael Taylor, and Travis D'Arnaud.
Due to two shrewd trades by General Manager Ruben Amaro Jr., for Cliff Lee and Roy Halladay respectively, the Phillies' minor league system may have had the greatest shake-up of any team's in the last year.
The Phillies traded Carrasco, Marson, Donald, and Knapp to the Cleveland Indians for Lee and Ben Francisco days before the 2009 trade deadline, which already had many buzzing about what the Phillies' new prospect list would look like come this spring.
Months later, enter Roy Halladay; exit Drabek, Taylor, and D'Arnaud.
Sure, the Phillies do not have the same quality or quantity of prospects as they did a year ago at this time, but it is the price a team pays to upgrade for the opportunity to win now.
However, with the trading of Lee to the Seattle Mariners, it brought the Phillies three new prospects, all appearing on the new top ten list.
Yes, it would have been nice to have Lee, Halladay, and Cole Hamels anchor the Phillies' staff in 2010.
Had Amaro not made the trade, however, the Phillies' minor league system would have been depleted for years to come.
With players like Raul Ibanez and Chase Utley getting older, and players such as Jayson Werth potentially looking for mammoth contracts this off-season, the trade was a necessary evil to re-stock the Phillies' farm system.
Without further ado, the Philadelphia Phillies' 2010 top ten prospects:
10. Antonio Bastardo
A potential bullpen pitcher in 2010, Antonio Bastardo cracks the edge of the list based on the fact that he still has prospect status.
He made his Major League debut last year on June 2 in a start against San Diego, and was brilliant in the process, pitching six innings and allowing just one run in his victorious first game.
Amaro announced a few weeks ago that Bastardo will now be a full-time bullpen pitcher, and he has an opportunity to grab one of the open spots in spring training.
The Phillies originally signed Bastardo as an amateur free agent in 2007.
He rose quickly through the Phillies' system, starting 14 games in Double-A Reading in 2008 and posting a 3.76 ERA in 67 innings.
Bastardo threw his fastball almost exclusively last year, which sits in the 90-92 MPH range, touching the mid 90's at times.
There have been concerns about his ability to hit those numbers consistently, but if the Phillies don't overwork him, he can be used effectively.
He has put on about 30 pounds since the Phillies signed him as a lanky kid in the Dominican Republic, giving him increased durability and stamina this year.
He will work on developing a slider, along with a change-up, in 2010.
He will have to do that to survive as a bullpen pitcher, as hitters quickly picked up on his propensity for the fastball in 2009.
9. Jarred Cosart
There were a number of people who believed Jarred Cosart was unsignable when the Phillies selected him in the 38th round of the 2008 draft.
He was committed to Missouri, and it was rumored that he wanted a lot of money to sign.
He did sign (for $550,000) and the Phillies' system is more fruitful today because of it.
Cosart was scouted as an outfielder and as a pitcher out of Clear Creek High (TX) with supreme athletic ability.
The Phillies have converted him to pitching full-time, and Cosart, who will turn 20 in May, performed very well in rookie ball last season.
The 6'3", 180-pound right-hander pitched in seven games (five starts) for Clearwater in the Gulf Coast League, and allowed just 12 hits in 24.1 innings.
Cosart also struck out 25 batters en route to posting a 2.22 ERA in his first experience in the minors.
Perfect Game USA described Cosart as such: "unbelievable arm strength, quick clean arm action on the mound nice extension, sharp 11 to 5 curveball, curveball is an out pitch, nice sink and run on change-up, feel for three above average pitches."
Cosart possesses a clean, downhill delivery which allows for maximum velocity on his fastball, which can reach the mid 90's.
Add that in with a body that is still growing, and Cosart could become a dominant power pitcher down the road.
While likely being at least three years from the Major Leagues, he is one to keep an eye on.
8. Domingo Santana
Although the Phillies just signed Domingo Santana as an amateur free agent last March, and though he is just 17 years of age, what he has done thus far warrants his spot on this list.
Scouted heavily by the Yankees along with the Phillies, the Phightin's snatched him up for $300,000 in a hotly contested bidding war for the right fielder.
The Dominican-born Santana is a young 6'5", 200-pounder.
While the Phillies have always been tepid regarding the international market, they felt they could not pass up a player of Santana's potential.
He played 37 games in the Gulf Coast League for Clearwater, and posted an impressive slash line of .288/.388/.508 while hitting six homers and driving in 28 runs.
If there is one negative against Santana, it could be his ability to put the ball in play, as he struck out 44 times in 118 at-bats.
However, many have raved about Santana's throwing arm, along with his ability to run the bases, which could rank him much higher on next year's list.
Sometimes, there just isn't a whole lot of information to go off of when ranking these players, and Santana is a perfect example.
7. Sebastian Valle
With Marson and D'Arnaud no longer in the Phillies' system, all eyes are on Sebastian Valle as the catcher of the future.
Sometimes it can be unfair to just assume that he will be just that because the catching depth in the Phillies' system is razor-thin. Nonetheless, Valle's name shoots to the top of the list.
Valle certainly has the tools and the potential to turn into a decent player.
For the Phillies, the Mexican-born Valle is one of three players on this list to be signed as an amateur free agent.
At 19 years of age, he has only been catching for a couple of years, but the Phillies are hoping he will develop into a good game-caller.
He was signed for his bat, and has shown good power to the gaps, with 42 doubles in the past two years in the minors.
He spent the first part of 2009 in the New York-Penn League with Williamsport (Low-A), and posted an impressive .307/.335/.531 slash line, earning him a promotion to Lakewood (High-A).
The results there weren't as sparkling, as he hit just .213 in 157 at-bats.
In the past couple of years, the Phillies have seen the maturation process of catcher Carlos Ruiz, who has done a brilliant job handling the pitching staff.
Valle will have to prove that he can do the same if he hopes to have a chance at becoming a Major Leaguer.
6. Anthony Gose
For years, there has been a stigma throughout baseball that the Phillies front office has a love of "toolsy" players with great athletic ability.
Seeing that they have drafted Zach Collier, Anthony Hewitt, Domonic Brown, Tim Moss, and Reggie Taylor over the years, you could say it's true.
Anthony Gose is another player in that mold, and is making inroads in the organization.
With the departure of Taylor to Oakland, Gose becomes the third-highest ranked outfielder in the system.
In terms of speed, Gose is a once-in-a-lifetime talent. The question remains as to whether or not he can become a well-rounded baseball player.
A second-round pick in the 2008 draft, the Phillies had high hopes for Gose going into last season. At 6'1", 190-pounds, Gose is projected as a center fielder.
He hit .259 last year, with a .323 on-base percentage and .353 slugging percentage. You can almost hear the Juan Pierre comparisons already.
However, one thing he has going for him is his arm, as he had 13 outfield assists in 2009, something Pierre can only dream about doing in his sleep.
Amazingly, Gose stole 76 bases last year, leading all of the minors in that category. It's an impressive feat for a guy who only got on base 32.3% of the time.
He'll have to work on his plate discipline and his contact skills, as he struck out 110 times last year, walking just 35 times.
However, Gose could some day be patrolling the center field area at Citizens Bank Park, but is likely at least two years away from making an impact.
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