Ive been ranking each organizations top ten prospects and the list brings me to my favorite team, the Philadelphia Phillies. I stayed away from looking at any 2010 prospect list because I didnt want it to cloud my judgement and really wanted to make this list my own. Ive ranked the Indians, Bluejays, Twins, Nats, A's, Astros, Angels, and Diamondbacks and now I presnet my list of the 2010 Philadelphia Phillies top 10 prospects.
1) Domonic Brown-OF-Last Year’s rank: Honorable Mention (Will be 23 in September)
Not much to say about Domonic Brown that most Phillies fans don’t already know. Drafted out of high school in the twentieth round, selected so late because many didn’t think Brown would sign. Many thought Brown would fulfill his verbal commitment and go play football for the University of Miami. If you ask Brown however he says he always preferred baseball over football and he signed with the Phillies to the shock of most. The man that the Phillies would not part with in any deal for Roy Halladay graces the list at number one.
After signing with the Phillies in 2006 he was placed on the Gulf Coast League Phillies for rookies and had a respectable .287 batting average and was tied for the team lead in stolen bases with thirteen. After a successful first pro season he looked to duplicate his success in 2007 as he was given a hefty promotion, High Class A Clearwater
While Brown started the 2007 season in Clearwater he finished the season in short season Williamsport which is one step above the GCL Phillies. He led the Williamsport Crosscutters in batting average (.295), hits (84), runs (43), triples (5), and stolen bases (14). His 84 hits were the third best in the entire New York Penn league that year. Brown looked towards 2008 to once again carry his success over to another year.
In 2008 Brown received a call up to Class A Lakewood where he led the team in hits (129), runs (77), and stolen bases (22) He had a .291 batting average and was able to smack 9 HR. His 54 RBI weren’t too bad either and it was clearly becoming apparent that Brown was one to watch going into 2009.
2009 brought Brown a first in his baseball career, he was voted by Baseball America as the Phillies top prospect going into the season. I was hesitant to put him on the list because he was so young and placed him on the honorable mention list but he proved me wrong and Baseball America right with the season he had last year.
In 2009 Brown started out the season for High Single A Clearwater. Unlike in 2007 Brown would play most of the season in Clearwater but did receive a call up to AA Redding and finished the season there playing alongside another great outfield prospect, Michael Taylor. Brown played the 2009 season for Clearwater, Reading and had a brief rehab stint in his old stomping grounds, the GCL Phillies.
COMBINED 2009 STATS: .299 BA, 21 2B, 9 3B, 14 HR, 64 RBI, and 65 R. In 395 AB he grabbed 23 SB, 10 CS, and had a .880 OPS
His numbers in Reading were impressive and it showed he could make the jump. I thought Brown was going to start the 2010 campaign back in Reading but with his recent success in spring training there is a chance the Phillies could place their prized jewel in AAA Leigh High Valley. Brown is batting .389 with 4 RBI and has played just about every game this spring starting in most.
If Jayson Werth were to leave Philadelphia after this season Domonic Brown would be your starting RF going into the 2011 season. His play this spring, and summer, could play a big factor on whether or not the Phillies will give Jayson what he wants or let him walk. If the Phillies were to resign Werth then Brown would be expected to take over LF in 2012 after Raul Ibanez contract is up. All in all I would get used to Domonic Brown because I fully expect Werth to be on a new team in 2010 and this top prospect taking his place. I also would bet my life on the fact that you will see Brown this season sometime. He would be a September call up at the latest.
2) Phillippe Aumont-RHP-Last Year’s Rank: NR (Will be 21 for the 2010 season)
Phillippe Aumont was the big piece the Phillies received when they shipped Cliff Lee off to Seattle. Aumont was the Mariners first round draft choice, eleventh overall, in the 2007 draft and was voted as the Mariners number three prospect by Baseball America going into last season. He made his pro debut in the 2008 season and pitched exceptionally well
In 2008 the Mariners sent Aumont to the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers of the Midwest League which is Low Single A. He worked as both a reliever and a starter in 2008 appearing in 15 games starting 8 of them while posting a 2.75 ERA. In 55.2 IP he had 50 SO and 19 BB while also nailing down 2 SV. He was also selected for the world team in the 2008 MLB Futures Game but did not participate because of an elbow strain. As a reliever in 2008 he had a 1.37 ERA which bodes well for him as he projects as a reliever more than anything
In 2009 Aumont was able to showcase his talents in the World Baseball Classic pitching for Team Canada. On March 7th he entered the game as a reliever and struck out Kevin Youkilis and Curtis Granderson and retired David Wright as well. After the WBC the Mariners brass placed Aumont on the California League's High Desert Mavericks which was the High Class A affiliate of the Mariners. The California League was one of the best offensive leagues in the entire minor leagues.
Injury concerns surrounded Aumont all of the 2009 season and because of the concerns the Mariners converted Aumont into a full time reliever with the hopes that it would speed his progression to the majors and also keep his arm fatigue at bay. Considering the offense the California League boasts Aumont pitched ok posting a 3.24 ERA in 33.1 IP. He finished the season with the AA West Tennessee Diamond Jaxx and didn’t fare too well posting a 5.09 ERA in 17.2 IP.
COMBINED 2009 STATS: 2-6 Record with a 3.88 ERA. In 51 IP he had 59 SO, 23 BB, and 16 SV. In 44 games opponents had a .231 BA.
Recently I got to sit in at a question and answer session with Phillies General Manager Reuben Amaro Jr. Where we found out a lot about the possible future closer of the Phillies. He was rumored to have a degenerative hip problem and that was one of the injuries he battled during the 2009 season but Reuben said there was no such problem with Aumont which is a relief. Another thing Amaro revealed was the Aumont would start the season out in AA Reading and be a SP to better work on his pitches but the Phillies see him more as a reliever.
Hopefully he will be able to rebound from his bad 2009 season and will flourish in the new system. I think getting Aumont in the trade for Lee was a key because it gave something the Phillies did not have in their system, a future closer. With 2011 looking like the last year of Brad Lidge it will be crucial for Aumont to live up to the hype that made it easy for the Phillies to ship a former Cy Young winner away.
3) Tyson Gillies-OF-Last Year’s Rank: NR (Will be 21 for the 2010 season)
I will admit that I am more excited for Gillies then Aumont, and would have ranked Gillies ahead of him on the list if it wasn’t for the fact that Aumont is a projected closer which is something the Phillies lack in their system. When I saw the Phillies had traded Cliff Lee for three prospects, one of which was Gillies, I immediately went on to found out what I could on the new Phillies farmhands. Gillies numbers in 2009 were just saw dropping.
Gillies was a twenty-fifth round selection in the 2006 MLB draft who played on the Canadian National team while in high school. He started his career in 2007 with the Mariners Arizona League team and didn’t actually fare too well. In 2007 he played 35 games with the Mariners rookie team receiving 86 AB with a .221/0/6 stat line. He also added 9 SB with 6 CS. Gillies looked to improve his 2007 season with a better 2008.
In 2008 Gillies started out with the High Class A High Desert Mavericks of the California League, but was sent down to Short Season Everett Aqua Sox when their season began. Gillies had a much better season in 2008 having a combined stat line that read .302/2/23 with 25 SB and 8 CS. In 2008 he led Everett in stolen bases, recorded a 17 game hit streak, had the fifth best batting average in the Northwest League, and was named Everett's player of the year. Not too bad for a kid who the previous season was barely getting AB in the Arizona League.
Last season was a big season for Tyson. He needed to prove that 2008 wasn’t a fluke, and that he could exceed against higher level pitching. Coming into 2009 Baseball America said that Gillies had the best outfield arm, and was also the fastest base runner in the Mariners system. The Mariners placed Gillies at High Class A High Desert Mavericks. Gillies spent all of 2009 at High Class A proving that 2008 was no fluke.
2009 STATS: .341 BA, 17 2B, 14 3B, 9 HR, for 42 RBI. In 498 AB, had 104 R, 44 SB, & 19 CS. 81 SO, 60 BB, and had a .916 OPS
Never mind the Mariners system, Gillies numbers were good enough to rank on a national scale. His .341 BA was the second best in the entire minor leagues. His 170 hits were tied for fourth in minor league baseball. His .430 OBP was good for fifth among minor league hitters. His 14 triples were tied for third best among all minor leaguers as well. Gillies also led the Mariners minor league system in stolen bases with 42.
Gillies seems to be what every team looks for. he can certainly hit, he can run like the wind, and he’s got a great arm. He does however need to work on his base running ability. It’s great that he has the speed to steal 60 + bases but 19 caught stealing he had need to be lowered. I am not too worried however as Phillies fans will remember that Shane Victorino was an awful base runner before the tutelage of Davey Lopes.
Gillies will start out next season in AA Reading which will be a big test for him as he faces more experienced, smarter pitchers. If all goes well he could project as the replacement for Raul Ibanez when his contract is up after the 2011 season. I for one cannot wait to see Gillies and Brown in the same lineup, the base paths will never be the same.
4) Yohan Flande-LHP-Last Year’s Rank: NR (Will be 24 for the 2010 season)
Flande was signed out of the Dominican Republic by the Phillies back in 2004 but didn’t make his state side debut until 2008 where he was the Gulf Coast League Phillies best pitcher. Somewhat of an afterthought in regards to pitching prospects Flande quietly climbed the ranks in a year and had his breakout season last year.
In 2008 Flande made his Pro debut pitching in 10 games, 8 starts for the GCL Phil’s. He had a 4-1 record with a 2.19 ERA. This put him on some fans radar but to the casual fan they still had no idea who Yohan was. That all changed last season.
In 2009 Flande made a huge jump from rookie ball to High Class A Clearwater. I think this was mainly due to his age (23) as well as his positive 2008 year. He treated Clearwater just like he treated the GCL, dominating in every essence of the word. In 13 games in Clearwater Flande puzzled Florida State League hitters with a 2.52 ERA. He then received a promotion to AA Reading to join a former teammate, Kyle Drabek. Redding didn’t treat Yohan as kindly as Clearwater and the Gulf Coast League did. He had his growing pains posting a 4.58 ERA in 13 games.
Combined 2009 Stats: 11-5 Record with a 3.55 ERA. In 152.2 IP he had 117 SO, 45 BB and surrendered 7 HR.
Even with his struggles in 2009 Flande was put on just about every fans radar. He was selected to the 2009 MLB Futures Game, and was the second pitcher to pitch for the world team. He struggled big time in his first few starts with Reading which resulted in a huge ERA but in his last few games with the R-Phil’s he pitched much better lowering his ERA to 4.58.
Flande has pitched a little bit this spring training, his first with the Phillies and will be sent back to Redding to try and recapture the magic he had with Clearwater. I think with the Phillies depth at the starting pitcher position he will probably be used as trade bait come July but I fully expect Flande to be contributing in the majors at some point in 2011.
5) Sebastian Valle-C-Last Year’s Rank: Honorable Mention (Will be 20 in July)
Last season I didn’t even have Valle on my list. He was the best hitter for the 2008 Gulf Coast League Phillies team but I had Lou Marson and Travis D'Arnaud on the list and placed Valle on the Honorable Mention portion of the list. Marson was thought of as the Phillies number one prospect going into last season with D'Arnaud being the second best catching prospect in the system but after Marson was packaged together in a trade to get Cliff Lee, in my mind, D'Arnaud was still the second best catching prospect being surpassed by Valle.
Valle was signed as an amateur free agent back in 2006 and he’s flourished in the system ever since. In 2008 he had a .281/2/18 stat line for the GCL Phillies in 167 AB. He played the entire season for the rookie ball team and received a promotion in 2009 to Short Season Williamsport.
Valle at one point last season was flirting with a .400 batting average for the Crosscutters. He was like the energizer bunny but instead of banging on a drum he was racking up hit after hit after hit. His good play eventually earned him a call up to Low Single A Lakewood where he struggled at bit hitting .223 in 157 AB. He was sent back to Williamsport and was unable to recapture the Ted Williams like hitting he had before the call up to Lakewood. After the season he played Winter Ball and was able to get back that swing he was looking for. So after you compile his winter ball stats, Lakewood stats, and Williamsport stats this is what you get.
COMBINED 2009 STATS: .275 BA, 36 2B, 7 3B, 18 HR, and 84 RBI while scoring 59 R. In 509 AB he had 111 SO, 37 BB, and had a .824 OPS
I think one of the reasons the Phillies have been willing to part with three of their catching prospects in the past year (Jason Jaramillio being the other one) is because of the success Sebastian Valle has had. It doesn’t hurt that even though Carlos Ruiz is 31 he is a young 31 and appears to be the Phillies catcher for the next three years at least. Valle does project as the catcher for the future for the Phil’s and now that D'Arnuad is gone he will be the starting catcher at Lakewood next season.
If Valle can start out next season like he did 2009 he will be in Clearwater in no time. Now that there are no road blocks in the system Valle immediately becomes the guy to watch behind the backstop. I think there is a really good chance he will finish the season as the Clearwater’s catcher but to start the season he will be a Blueclaw.
6) Anthony Gose-OF-Last Year’s Rank: 10 (Will be 20 in August)
Gose was taken in the second round of the 2008 draft and was thought of as a pitcher. He was projected as a guy who could hit 97 MPH on the gun and had a slider that was compared to Billy Wagner. There was only one slight problem; he didn’t want to be a pitcher anymore. Gose had gone through arm problems and didn’t want to continue pitching. He wanted to play the OF and he was a raw enough athlete to do so. Most scouts said his bat speed wouldn’t carry him to the majors but so far he hasn’t had a problem
I think the Phillies signed him, telling him that he would be able to play outfield, with the hopes that he would fail in the outfield role and be forced to make the transition to pitcher. This is all speculation on my part but when he was coming out of high school he wasn’t drafted in the second round for his athletic ability but more so because of what they saw on the mound. If Gose didn’t want to be a pitcher he could have just went to college so I think the big sticking point with Gose was that he would sign, but only if given the opportunity to be an outfielder.
In 2008 he made his pro debut with the Gulf Coast League Phillies. In 39 AB he had a .256/0/3 stat line while adding 3 SB and 1 CS. While he didn’t play much in 2008 the Phillies front office decided to promote Gose in 2009 to Low A Lakewood. I for one was shocked when I saw that Gose, who only had 39 AB the season before, was headed to Lakewood skipping Williamsport all together. Not even former first round pick Anthony Hewitt got the nod to become a Blueclaw in 2009.
Either the scouting reports on Gose coming out of high school were wrong, or he just really doesn’t want to pitch. Whatever the case Gose had a breakout year in 2009 playing for Lakewood where he was able to be the regular CF for the Blueclaws
2009 STATS: .259 BA, 24 2B, 9 3B, 2 HR, 52 RBI with 72 R. In 510 AB he had 110 SO, 35 BB, had 76 SB, 20 CS and posted a .676 OPS
Gose can wreck havoc on the base paths as he proved last season stealing seventy six bases but the problem is getting Gose on base. He only walked thirty five times last season but he struck out over a hundred times. He needs to learn better plate discipline to succeed at the next level. He also isn’t too shabby with the glove either and projects as a CF in the majors with his plus defensive ability.
Next season should bring Gose to Clearwater where he will be a Thresher for the Phillies High Class A affiliate. Minus triples and HR Gose was on first or second base 156 times last season and attempted 96 steals. That’s more than half the time that Gose was on base he was attempting to advance. His speed is something that really could progress him in the organization but just imagine what he could do if he worked counts more and was able to lower the strike outs and draw more walks, something he will need to do at the High A level.
7) Michael Cisco-RHP-Last Year’s Rank: 7 (Will be 23 in May)
Cisco was a diamond in the rough for the Phillies. Taken in the 36th round of the 2008 draft there were 1,095 players taken before the Gamecock was taken off the board. He immediately signed and started making the Phillies look genius.
Cisco's first stop in his pro career was at Short Season Williamsport where he posted a 1.86 record in nine games. He only started one of those games however but his ERA earned him a promotion and a spot in Low Class A Lakewood's rotation. In eight games for the Blueclaws, six starts, he posted a .51 ERA showing that Williamsport was no fluke.
Most prospects don’t usually improve their stats after an immediate promotion but Cisco is one of the few who did. He managed to finish out the season with a 3-1 record with a .99 ERA. He also had 52 SO and only 5 BB which, in my mind was more impressive than his ERA. in 54.1 IP he averaged less than a walk per nine innings. His stellar pro debut opened my eyes and made me slot him in the seven spot on last year’s ranking.
The Phillies front office gave Cisco his much deserved promotion in 2009 placing him in High Class A Clearwater. He started off right where he left off for the 2009 season but then suffered an injury and struggled a bit when he came back. In Clearwater he posted a 7-3 record with a 3.31 ERA in 73.1 IP. The Phillies front office decided to promote him to AA Redding where he finished the season.
At Reading Cisco had his first real struggle going 2-4 record with a 4.58 ERA in 39.1 IP. He finished the season at the Phil’s AA affiliate but after the season looked to work on his pitching in the Arizona Fall League. Cisco pitched pretty well in the AFL posting a 3.38 ERA in six starts, 18.2 IP. The Arizona Fall League ended his decent 2009 season so let’s look at his body of work.
COMBINED 2009 STATS: 10-9 Record with a 3.57 ERA. In 28 games, 27 starts, he had 84 SO, 32 BB while surrendering 13 HR. In 137.1 IP he held his opponents to a .231 BA.
Cisco's walks went up last season but they were still pretty good. He did surrender thirteen home runs as opposed to the one he gave up in 2008. Basically all of his pitching numbers went up slightly not at a rate that should really alarm anyone. He had some growing pains in his stint at Redding but he was facing more experienced, patient batters in the Eastern League so at was to be expected.
Cisco will look to improve his 2009 numbers in 2010 where he will start the season out in AA Redding. If he can lower his walks, and home run totals and get them closer to his 2008 numbers he will have success in 2010 like he did in 2008.
8) Freddy Galvis-SS-Last Year’s Rank: NR (Will be 20 for the 2010 Season)
Freddy Galvis is the best short stop prospect the Phillies have, and as of right now he is the heir apparent to the Jimmy Rollins throne. Galvis was signed out of Venezuela in 2006 because of his stellar defense which will be the reason he gets to the majors.
In 2007 Galvis began his first professional season at Short Season Williamsport where he had a .203/0/7 stat line in 38 games. Not only aren’t these really impressive numbers they were actually pretty bad. Not exactly the showing Galvis was looking to have in his first pro season. But Galvis none the less earned a promotion in 20008 to Class A Lakewood of the South Atlantic League. Galvis improved his offensive numbers a bit in 2008 having a .238/3/42 stat line while adding fourteen stolen bases and getting caught seven times. Once again this isn’t exactly a stat line that deserves a promotion but with Galvis continuing to play exceptional defense the Phillies promoted the young short stop to Clearwater for the 2009 season
At this point word had started to spread about Galvis and his glove. In 2008 he was getting compared to Omar Vizquel with most scouts saying his defense was major league ready, his bat was the thing that was holding him back. He looked to once again improve his offense numbers in 2009 playing for the High Class A Clearwater Threshers.
The offense finally came in 2009 as Galvis hit the ground running for the Threshers hitting around the .300 mark for most of the first half of the season. But he suffered an injury and when he returned after a rehab stint with the Gulf Coast League Phillies he struggled a bit bringing his final Clearwater stats to a .247/1/15 stat line six stolen bases while getting caught three times. After having success at the High Class A level he received a call up to AA Reading at the age of 19. Reading wasn’t kind to Galvis as he hit below the Mendoza line (.197) in 61 AB for the R-Phil’s.
COMBINED 2009 STATS: .240 BA, 9 2B, 2 3B, 2 HR, 20 RBI and 41 R. In 341 AB he had 54 SO, 13 BB, and an OPS of .568
Galvis was invited to spring training with the Phillies and has already shown his amazing defense that has gotten him all the way to AA Reading while hitting around .230. He is only 20 and will be the starting short stop for the Redding Phil’s getting acclimated to more major league ready pitching. Galvis is at such a young age where it wouldn’t hurt for him to spend all of 2010 in Redding and then starting in Reading again for the 2011 season.
It will be interesting to see how he will hit this upcoming season and also if he can actually manage to improve his numbers. While Galvis hasn’t ever really been a threat with the bat he has slowly managed to get his numbers up ever so slightly in all three seasons in the Phillies system. He will be one of the youngest players with Reading this upcoming season and one of the players with the highest ceilings on the team.
9) Anthony Hewitt-3B-Last Year’s Rank: NR (Will be 21 in April)
Hewitt was the Phillies first overall pick in the 2008 MLB Draft. Hewitt was taken out of the Salisbury School in Connecticut where he dominated playing both third and short. When the Phillies took Hewitt it was under a bit of controversy. Some scouts thought he would be a slugging third basemen for years to come while others thought he would struggle mightily and never amount to much. One scout when referring to Hewitt after watching him in a summer league said "he went 0-for the summer". But the Phillies, under then GM Pat Gillick, took Hewitt and are hoping to reap the benefits.
Gillick is known for taking raw players in the draft (He took risks with his first three picks in the 2008 draft picking Zach Collier in the second round and Anthony Gose in the third) and seeing if he can make solid pro ball players out of them. After giving a verbal commitment to Vanderbilt to play baseball for the Commodores he signed fairly quickly and was sent to the Gulf Coast League to play with the Phillies rookie team.
2008 Wasn’t as kind to Hewitt as he was downright bad. Spending all of 2008 with the GCL Phillies Hewitt hit just .197 with 1 HR and 9 RBI in 117 AB. He struck out 55 times while only drawing 7 walks. It wasn’t exactly the pro debut he was looking for and I for one was a bit worried that the "future third basemen" hit below the Mendoza line at the lowest level in the minors. If it wasn’t for the fact that he was a high pick I don’t know if Hewitt would have been promoted in 2009 but because he was a first rounder the Phillies sent Hewitt to Short Season Williamsport. 2009 was much better for Hewitt where at times he showed that raw ability that got him drafted 24th overall in the nation.
2009 STATS: .223 BA, 7 2B, 6 3B, 7 HR, 30 RBI, and 25 R. In 233 AB he had 77 SO, and only 9 BB while posting a .650 OPS. He also had 9 SB and 5 CS
Before Hewitt can think of wearing Phillies pinstripes he needs to learn some plate discipline. He showed his raw power last season where he led Williamsport in home runs. But he struck out 33% of the time and only walked nine times in over two hundred at bats. He still hasn’t quite lived up the 24th overall pick but he getting closer.
I would expect the Phillies to place Hewitt in Low A Lakewood where he would be the everyday third basemen. Travis Mattairr is currently listed as the Blueclaws third basemen but he has been at Lakewood for the past two season showing no real improvement. At Lakewood Hewitt will finally be able to play a full season and, barring injury, get around 500 AB so which will be interesting to see since he has never had that many AB in a season before. Big risk big reward was the tag line for Hewitt when he was drafted and it appears as it is still the case today, a year and a half later.
10) Trevor May-RHP-Last Year’s Rank: Honorable Mention (Will be 21 in September)
May was taken in the fourth round of the 2008 draft. Another pick that was criticized, May was drafted out of high school where he played ball in Washington (state). While he was regarded as one of the better high school pitchers in the state, the question was how good was the competition he was facing.
The Phillies obviously didn’t seem too concerned about the competition May was facing and selected him in the fourth. and after he signed he was sent to the Gulf Coast League Phillies with most of the other Phillies 2008 draft picks. In a limited role with the GCL Phil’s May pitched well compiling a 1-1 record with a 3.75 ERA in 12 IP. He only pitched in five games, starting just two of them, but had enough success that the Phillies sent the then 19 year old to Class A Lakewood for the 2009 campaign.
In 2009 the Lakewood Blueclaws were the best team in the South Atlantic League winning the championship, and Trevor May was a huge part of it. The Trevor May, Mathew Way connection was a 1-2 punch that Greenville couldn’t stop. May was exceptional in 2009, let’s take a look why.
2009 STATS: 4-1 Record with a 2.56 ERA. In 15 games, starting all 15, he had 95 SO, 43 BB while allowing just 3 HR. In 77.1 IP he held his opponents to a .211 BA
May will be in Clearwater's rotation next year looking to duplicate his wonderful 2009 season. His command can wander at times (43 walks in only 77 IP) but he has a good fastball that can, at times, reach mid 90's and a two decent breaking pitches. It’s looking better and better that the Phillies convinced this University of Washington bound pitcher to forgo his eligibility and sign with the team.