Ranking the Top 10 Prospects in the Philadelphia Phillies' Farm System

Mike Rosenbaum@GoldenSombreroMLB Prospects Lead WriterNovember 27, 2012

Ranking the Top 10 Prospects in the Philadelphia Phillies' Farm System

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    Headed into the 2012 season, nobody expected the Phillies to be anything less than a playoff contender, let alone struggle as they did.

    By the All-Star break, the team’s postseason aspirations were fading quickly, and a few weeks later, they began clearing house by moving both Hunter Pence and Shane Victorino at the July 31 trade deadline.

    However, while their overall season was a disappointment, they did add a few nice pieces to their severely depleted farm system in RHP Ethan Martin and C Tommy Joseph. And it’s a good thing that they did, because a majority of their highly-regarded prospects headed into the season endured a regression.

    Although they possess a host of young pitching, as well as a few intriguing position prospects, the organization has only one potential star prospect in left-hander Jesse Biddle. And as you will see, their top 10 has a much different look than it did a year ago.

10. OF Larry Greene

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    Position: OF

    DOB: 2/10/1993 (Age: 19)

    Height/Weight: 6’0", 235

    Bats/Throws: L/R

    Drafted/Signed: Supplemental-first round, 2011 (Berrien County HS, Ga.)

    ETA: 2016

    2012 Stats: .272/.373/.381, 24 XBH (22 2B), 78/41 K/BB (70 G, Short-Season Williamsport)

    Scouting Notes: Left-handed hitter with plenty of raw, light-tower power; upper-cut swing will need to be leveled (to an extend) over the next couple years; holes in his swing will be exploited if he doesn’t continue to make adjustments; needs to employs a less pull-oriented approach and focus on more hard contact; struggles to catch up to above-average fastballs.

    An impressive athlete for his size who also starred on the gridiron as a prep; physical player who doesn’t require much future projection; has more speed than one would expect, but grades as slightly below-average; will have to avoid adding addition weight to 6’0" frame, which may prompt a move to first base; fringy arm strength also limits his defensive projection.

    2013 Opening Day Level: Low-A Lakewood

9. LHP Adam Morgan

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    Position: LHP

    DOB: 2/27/1990 (Age: 22)

    Height/Weight: 6’1”, 195

    Bats/Throws: L/L

    Drafted/Signed: Third round, 2011 (Alabama)

    ETA: 2013

    2012 Stats: 4-10, 123 IP, 3.29 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, 10.24 K/9, 2.05 BB/9 (21 G; 20 GS, High-A Clearwater); 4-1, 35.2 IP, 3.53 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, 7.32 K/9, 2.78 BB/9 (6 GS, Double-A Reading)

    Scouting Notes: Morgan has clean mechanics and an easy delivery that makes his 91-94 mph fastball deceptively jump on opposing hitters; commands the pitch well to both sides of the plate; doesn’t shy away from working inside against right-handed hitters; adept to adding and subtracting from fastball.

    Features two average secondary offerings in a slider and changeup; slider has a nice break and he spots it well; changeup is especially effective when he’s locating his heater; pitch has late fade and is thrown with arm speed comparable to fastball.

    2013 Opening Day Level: Double-A Reading

8. 3B Maikel Franco

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    Position: 3B

    DOB: 8/26/1992 (Age: 20)

    Height/Weight: 6’1”, 180

    Bats/Throws: R/R

    Drafted/Signed: Jan. 2010 (Dominican Republic)

    ETA: 2015

    2012 Stats: .280/.336/.439, 49 XBH (14 HR), 84 RBI, 80/38 K/BB (132 G, Low-A Lakewood)

    Scouting Notes: Franco possesses wiry strength at 6’1”, 180 pounds, but should become a more physical player as he develops and fills out; right-handed hitter has easy, above-average raw power to all fields thanks to strong wrists and a leveraged swing; bat path can get long when he tries to gear it up; aggressive hitter needs to attack more pitches in the strike zone and work to improve his bat-to-ball ability; may possess a solid-average hit tool by the time he reaches the major leagues.

    I really like his defense profile at the hot corner; despite lacking speed and quickness, he’s an agile defender with average range in all directions; hands and actions seem natural at the position and should continue to improve; plus arm is his strongest defensive attribute; still a very raw prospect early indications suggest he’ll develop favorably.

    2013 Opening Day Level: High-A Clearwater

7. RHP Shane Watson

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    Position: RHP

    DOB: 8/13/1993 (Age: 19)

    Height/Weight: 6’4”, 200

    Bats/Throws: R/R

    Drafted/Signed: First round, 2012 (Lakewood HS, Calif.)

    ETA: 2016

    2012 Stats: 7 IP, 1.29 ERA, 8/1 K/BB (5 G; 3 GS, Rookie-level Gulf Coast League)

    Scouting Notes: Highly projectable 6’4”, 200-pound frame is built for innings; better athlete than his size suggests; tough competitor on the mound who attacks hitters and trusts his arsenal; overall command is average at the moment, but will seemingly improve as he works out a few kinks with his delivery and release point.

    Fastball sits 89-93 mph and he holds it deep into starts; has scraped 94-95 mph on occasional and could sit there as he develops; throws a slower curveball in the mid-70s, though it has a nice shape; still working on developing a consistent changeup, as he tends to over-grip the pitch and throw it too hard; regardless of velocity, it has makes of an above-average pitch with late fade.

    2013 Opening Day Level: Short-Season Williamsport

6. 3B Cody Asche

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    Position: 3B

    DOB: 6/30/1990 (Age: 22)

    Height/Weight: 6’1”, 180

    Bats/Throws: L/R

    Drafted/Signed: Fourth round, 2011 (Nebraska)

    ETA: 2014

    2012 Stats: .349/.378/.447, 18 XBH, 10 SB, 37/12 K/BB (62 G, High-A Clearwater); .300/.360/.513, 33 XBH (10 HR), 56/22 K/BB (68 G, Double-A Reading)

    Scouting Notes: Asche turned in an impressive full-season debut in which he reached Double-A; advanced college hitter employs a patient approach and is adept to seeing the ball deep and using the whole field; possesses primarily gap power at the moment, but showed more home-run power upon reaching Double-A; power is fringy to profile as a big-league third baseman.

    Defensive tools and skill set play well at the hot corner; good glove and hands combined with an instinctual first step; range is suitable for the position though it’s only slightly above-average; possesses a strong and accurate arm that aids his projection at third base; enough present speed to potentially see time in left field if necessary.

    2013 Opening Day Level: Double-A Reading

5. SS Roman Quinn

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    Position: SS

    DOB: 5/14/1993

    Height/Weight: 5’10”, 170

    Bats/Throws: S/R

    Drafted/Signed: Second round, 2011 (Port St. Joe HS, Fla.)

    ETA: 2015

    2012 Stats: .281/.370/.408, 56 R, 21 XBH (11 3B), 30 SB, 61/28 K/BB (66 G, Short-Season Williamsport)

    Scouting Notes: Younger player who has advanced tools and baseball skills relative to his age; explosive plus speed gives him true top-of-the-order potential; switch-hitter is still learning intricacies from both sides; much better hitter from his natural right side, though he made impressive strides as a left-handed hitter in pro debut; present above-average bat speed and impressive hand-eye coordination suggest the development of an above-average hit tool; plate discipline is impressive given his lack of experience, but will need to improve his pitch recognition over time.

    Plus speed lends to his above-average range at shortstop; approaches the position with creativity and should be able to stick at the position; possesses quick feet and natural instincts which lends to his overall range; overall, he’s still very raw defensively but there’s a lot to like.

    2013 Opening Day Level: Low-A Lakewood

4. C Tommy Joseph

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    Position: C

    DOB: 7/16/1991 (Age: 21)

    Height/Weight: 6’1”, 215

    Bats/Throws: R/R

    Drafted/Signed: Second round, 2009 (Horizon HS, Ariz.)

    ETA: 2014

    2012 Stats: .260/.313/.391, 24 XBH (8 HR), 64/24 K/BB (80 G, Double-A Richmond); .250/.327/.420, 11 XBH (3 HR), 32/9 K/BB (28 G, Double-A Reading)

    Scouting Notes: Acquired from the San Francisco Giants in exchange for Hunter Pence at the 2012 trade deadline; decent agility behind the plate but does a good job boxing the ball; receiving and game-calling skills were much improved this past season; plus arm behind the plate stifles running game (40-percent caught stealing rate in 2012); has continued to see time at first base in order to keep bat in the lineup.

    Right-handed hitter features plus raw power to all fields, though he doesn’t efficiently tap into it with frequency; power numbers in 2011 likely a result of hitter-friendly California League (High-A); too much swing-and-miss to his game and needs to improve bat-to-ball ability; not sold on his bat in general; hands can be slow and appears to cheat at times; too many late swings but should be able to shorten his bat path with more experience.

    2013 Opening Day Level: Double-A Reading

3. RHP Trevor May

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    Position: RHP

    DOB: 9/23/1989 (Age: 23)

    Height/Weight: 6’5”, 215

    Bats/Throws: R/R

    Drafted/Signed: Fourth round, 2008 (Kelso HS, Wash.)

    ETA: 2013

    2012 Stats: 10-13, 149.2 IP, 4.87 ERA, 1.45 WHIP, 9.08 K/9, 4.69 BB/9 (28 GS, Double-A Reading)

    Scouting Notes: Finally made the jump to Double-A after three years up and down at Low and High-A; 6’5” right-hander has power pitcher’s frame and projectable arsenal; took a step back with his command after highly successful 2011 campaign; has a tendency to overthrow and, in turn, loses a feel for his natural arm slot.

    Fastball sits at a very heavy 90-95 mph, and he can reach back for a few more ticks when needed; throws the pitch on solid downward plane; effectively locating it is key to setting up secondary offerings; curveball is a hammer when he doesn’t over-grip and spike it; changeup has the potential to be an average pitch in the low-80s, though he throws it with inconsistent arm speed; slider gives the tall right-hander a fourth potentially average pitch.

    2013 Opening Day Level: Triple-A

2. RHP Ethan Martin

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    Position: RHP

    DOB: 6/6/1989 (Age: 23)

    Height/Weight: 6’2”, 195

    Bats/Throws: R/R

    Drafted/Signed: First round, 2008 [Dodgers] (Stephens County HS, Ga.)

    ETA: 2013

    2012 Stats: 8-6, 118 IP, 3.58 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, 8.54 K/9, 4.65 BB/9 (20 GS, Double-A Chattanooga); 5-0, 39.2 IP, 3.18 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, 7.94 K/9, 4.08 BB/9 (7 GS, Double-A Reading)

    Scouting Notes: Headlined the prospect package for Shane Victorino at the 2013 trade deadline; composed and balanced delivery with fluid arm action; release point is still inconsistent, which had led to command problems; impressive athlete who should continue to refine his mechanics.

    Fastball consistently registers in the mid-90s and visibly jumps on opposing hitters; curveball can get a bit slurvy at times but flashes plus potential when thrown with consistency; changeup is a work-in-progress, but was better this past season; arsenal and athleticism give him No. 3 starter upside provided his command continues to improve.

    2013 Opening Day Level: Double-A Reading

1. LHP Jesse Biddle

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    Position: LHP

    DOB: 10/22/1991

    Height/Weight: 6’4”, 225

    Bats/Throws: L/L

    Drafted/Signed: First round, 2010 (Germantown Friends HS, Penn.)

    ETA: 2014

    2012 Stats: 10-6, 142.2 IP, 3.22 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, 9.53 K/9, 3.41 BB/9 (26 GS, High-A Clearwater)

    Scouting Notes: Biddle thrived as a 20-year-old at High-A last season after refining his mechanics; eliminated some of the cross-body delivery that hindered his command in 2011; uses 6’4” frame to advantage and throws on a downward plane.

    Works 90-93 mph running fastball in and out; doesn’t catch as much plate with the pitch as he used to; curveball features tight spin and late, downer bite; comfortable throwing it for a strike as well as spotting to induce whiffs; changeup vastly improved this past season and gives him a chance to have three at least above-average offerings.

    2013 Opening Day Level: Double-A Reading

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