Philadelphia Phillies: 10 Most Hyped Prospects in Franchise History

Eddie RavertContributor IIDecember 5, 2011

Philadelphia Phillies: 10 Most Hyped Prospects in Franchise History

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    The Philadelphia Phillies are known for breeding young players.

    Throughout the years, the Phillies have produced many home-grown players, such as Ryan Howard, Cole Hamels, Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley and many more.

    But were these players some of the most hyped prospects the Phillies drafted?

    Sometimes young players live up to their expectations and sometimes they don't.

    This list ranges from those who thrived to those who were a big bust.

No. 10: Cole Hamels

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    Cole Hamels was drafted by the Phillies in the first round of the 2002 draft.  The 17th overall pick from San Diego spent just four years in the minors before making his debut in 2006.

    In 2007 the young lefty led the Phillies to an NL East title, and in 2008 he led the franchise to their first World Series since 1980.

    The organization and fans alike hyped up Hamels from the moment he was drafted, and he has certainly lived up his high expectations.  At age 27, he's been to two All-Star games and was named the 2008 World Series MVP.

    While his laid back, Californian demeanor is not that of the prototypical Phillies player, he has quickly grown into a fan favorite in Philly. 

No. 9: Mike Lieberthal

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    Mike Lieberthal was the backstop for the Phillies for 12 years.

    He was drafted by the Phils in the first-round of the 1990 draft and debuted in 1994 as the successor to Darren Daulton.

    In 1999, he had his best year.  During that year he batted. 300, hit 31 home runs, scored 96 RBIs and won a Gold Glove.

    Lieby also caught the most games in Phillies franchise history, at 1,139.  

    Drafted third overall, I would say he lived up to his hype.  He had a solid MLB career and was loved by fans in Philadelphia.

No. 8: Gavin Floyd

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    The fourth overall selection in the 2001 draft was the epitome of hype.

    Usually in trades there are prospects who are "untouchable", and Gavin Floyd was certainly one of them for a while.

    The young right-handed pitcher made his MLB debut in 2004, and pitched three seasons for the Phillies before being traded to the Chicago White Sox for Freddy Garcia.

    He is currently one of Chicago's starters, averaging 12 wins a season.

    Many fans criticized Ed Wade, the former Phillies GM, for trading Floyd, and it looks like they were warranted in doing so, since he's having a fine MLB career.

    However, I don't think he's lived up to his hype.

    Everyone was saying how he was going to be the next Hall of Fame pitcher for the Phillies.

    To say the least, he is far from the Hall of Fame.  

No. 7: Mike Costanzo

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    Mike Costanzo was selected by the Phillies in the second round of the 2005 draft.  The third baseman from the Philadelphia area was hyped up to be the next superstar for the Phils at the hot corner.

    The Archbishop Carroll High School product bumped around the Phillies' farm system for three years before being released.

    He was signed by the Baltimore Orioles and then the Cincinnati Reds, but spent his entire career festering around the minors.  

    To say the least, Costanzo has not lived up to all the hype that was associated with him.

No. 6: Chad McConnell

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    Chad McConnell was a first-rounder for the Phils in the 1992 draft.

    The outfielder never made it out of the minor leagues spending his entire career with the Double-A Reading Phillies and Single-A Clearwater.

    The 13th overall selection only lasted four years in professional baseball.  In his final season in the minors, he had an astronomical 119 strikeouts.

    His sole claim to fame was being a member of the 1992 United States Olympic team in Barcelona.

    McConnell was all hype, and never lived up to his expectations. 

No. 5: Pat Burrell

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    Pat Burrell was selected first overall by the Phillies in the 1998 draft.

    The hot-shot big power hitter was rated the No. 2 prospect before being drafted.

    Spending only two years in the minors, Pat the Bat was fast tracked to the big-league team, where he spent eight years in the City of Brotherly Love.

    Unfortunately, the slugger never really lived up to his reputation, and was not re-signed after the Phillies won the 2008 World Series.

    Leave no doubt that Burrell was certainly hyped.

    While he showed flashes of excellence, his poor fielding and inconsistent bat never made the Philly faithful completely pleased. 

No. 4: Reggie Taylor

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    Reggie Taylor was drafted in the first round in 1995.  This stud center fielder was projected to be the face of the Phillies' outfield, but that would never pan out.

    He made his MLB debut in 2000, but was soon traded to the Cincinnati Reds.  

    From there Taylor bumped around a lot from team to team, and is currently out of the MLB, playing in the Mexican League for the Olmecas de Tabasco. 

No. 3: Kyle Drabek

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    Kyle Drabek was another first-round draft pick, and one of those "untouchable" prospects in the Phillies organization.  His father is Doug Drabek, who won the 1990 NL Cy Young award.

    When the Phillies were attempting to acquire the likes of Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee at the trade deadlines, Drabek was always involved in the trade.

    The Phillies didn't want to trade him, but most teams demanded Drabek be included in any big-time deal.

    The Phillies gave in and traded Drabek to the Blue Jays in the deal for Roy Halladay in 2009.

    While Drabek has been in the MLB for the past two years, he has not lived up to his superstar status he was given in the minors.  

No. 2: Jimmy Rollins

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    This second-round draft pick has most certainly lived up to his hype during his tenure in Philadelphia.  He was drafted in 1996 and made his MLB debut in 2000.

    J-Roll has been at the helm of the Phillies ever since he became an everyday player.  He is regarded as one of the best shortstops in Phillies history.

    Rollins is a three time All Star, a World Series champion, a three-time Gold Glove winner, and a National League MVP.

    He's another fan favorite who was surrounded with hype when he was a prospect, and went on to flourish in Philly. 

No. 1: Domonic Brown

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    The most hyped prospect in Philadelphia Phillies history was Domonic Brown.

    Unlike all the other prospects on this list, Brown was not selected early in the draft.  He was taken by the Phils in the 20th round of the 2006 draft, but his successful minor league career started to make people talk about the outfielder.

    Dom Brown was also another one of those "untouchable" prospects in the Phillies organization.  Along with Kyle Drabek, Brown was also talked a lot about during the Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee trades.

    However, the Phillies haven't traded Brown...yet.

    When Jayson Werth signed with the Washington Nationals, Dom Brown was expected to take his place in right field.  

    But he didn't fully live up to his expectations, and the Phillies traded for Hunter Pence and sent Brown down to Triple-A this past season.

    While he is still young, I wouldn't give up on him just yet.

    There have been recent talks that the Phillies could trade Brown in a number of deals, but I don't think Ruben Amaro Jr. is wiling to part ways with the youngster just yet.

    But as for now, he is just another hyped prospect in the Phillies organization.