Phillies Top 30 Minor League Prospects: a breakdown


Player Name / Position / Current Level

1. Domonic Brown, RF A+/AAA

I think his rehab has been encouraging. It seems like his plate approach he’s good, he’s making nice contact and hitting for power. It’s just minor league pitching, but it’s been said a lot that his injury can sap a player’s power for a year, so hopefully it doesn’t affect Brown too much. I know people say he looked overmatched last year, but to adjust to ML pitching, he needs to face it every day, not once or twice a week in a pinch hitting experience like the end of 2010.

Potential ETA: Bring him up

2. Jonathan Singleton, LF A+

Singleton is having a bit of a unique season. His transition to left field is apparently going very well, and that’s probably the most important thing. His patience at the plate is still there which sets him apart from other toolsy, athletic prospects, and he’s hitting for a high average. One weird thing about his statline is his OBP is higher than his SLG which is pretty unusual and usually only light hitting middle infielders “accomplish” something like that. The power will almost certainly return, and he’ll need to cut down on his strikeouts.

Potential ETA: Late 2013

3. Brody Colvin, RHSP A+

Colvin was only able to make one (brief) start this year before being placed on the DL with a back injury. He’s been pitching in extended spring training and should be close to returning, and at that point he’ll be able to build on his strong final 2/3 of a season from 2010. It’s possible that he could still make 18-20 more starts this season, and that should be enough for him to continue developing and making progress.

Potential ETA: Late 2013

4. Jarred Cosart, RHSP A+

It’s been a very mediocre start to the season for Cosart whose statistics are down in pretty much every category. He’s walking more batters and allowing more hits, and perhaps the most concerning number is the decrease in strikeouts. After striking out nearly 10 batters per 9 innings with Lakewood last year, Cosart is down to 6.2 per 9 with Clearwater. One positive is that he’s been healthy so far, and it’s important that he’s able to survive a full season. It’s possible that they’ve made changes to his mechanics or arsenal to reduce injury risk, and that could take some time to adjust to, but of course that’s just speculation on my part.

Potential ETA: Late 2013, maybe sooner if he ever moves to the bullpen

5. Trevor May, RHSP A+

This is May’s second crack at Clearwater, and things are going a little better for him this time around. He still walks far too many (4.9 per 9 which is actually a career best over a full season) and his strikeouts are a bit down (but still very good), but at the very least, he’s getting shelled and removed from every game early like last season. He’s going to take some time, more than the other top pitcher prospects in the system, and the chances of him never making it are higher than others, but the potential to be a #3 starter or so is still there.

Potential ETA: 2014 at the earliest

6. Sebastian Valle, C A+

It’s been the usual season for Valle with extreme hot and cold streaks. The power is down a bit, but like I’ve said before, hitting for power in the Florida State League isn’t easy. An already aggressive and impatient hitter has somehow become even more aggressive and impatient with his strikeouts up and walks down. Reports last year indicated his defense behind the plate is improving, but right now he’s not having much success throwing out basestealers. He’s still young, so there’s plenty of time to improve his game, but I doubt his plate approach will ever get much better.

Potential ETA: 2014

7. Jiwan James, CF A+

The athletic outfielder is 22 which is generally the average age for this level, but since he began his career as a pitcher, he might take some more time than others. James’ season is roughly the same as last year’s so far, striking out quite a bit and walking very little. He’s been hitting much better left handed which I think has been consistent for him in his career, so I wonder if they’d give up on switch hitting eventually. After attempting 53 steals last year, he’s only tried six times this season.

Potential ETA: Late 2014

8. Jesse Biddle, LHSP A

Biddle got off to a rough start this year, but he has a couple consecutive decent starts. This is around the time Colvin got going at the same level last year, and while it’s dangerous to expect Biddle to end up dominating the way Colvin did last year since that’s not the norm, it’s encouraging. He’s going to be inconsistent like any young pitcher is, but I think he’ll be able to hold his own at this level this season. He’s striking out a good number of batters, but the walks and hits are both going to have to come down in future years.

Potential ETA: 2015

9. Domingo Santana, OF A

Santana burst onto the scene in the Gulf Coast League as a 16 year old showing great power and the ability to take walks despite being so young. He has weaknesses; he’s inconsistent and strikes out way too much, but the potential is there. He started last season at Lakewood, but he struggled and went back to Williamsport the second half of the year where he was okay. He returned to Lakewood this season, and it’s a bit concerning. He’s still striking out way too much, but his walks are down by a lot too. He won’t be 19 until August so he’s still very young, so it’ll be best to remain patient with him.

Potential ETA: Late 2016

10. Aaron Altherr, OF A

The Phillies were raving about Altherr to any analyst that would listen this offseason, and the results so far have been disappointing. He’s a really toolsy player like so many others in this system, but many thought he was starting to turn the corner last year when he really improved his stock. He has a quick swing, he’s a good athlete, and he could have average paper. He’s playing CF now, but he’ll likely end up in LF or RF if he develops. Right now, he’s only hitting .200, striking out a ton and not showing any power.

Potential ETA: 2016

11. Vance Worley, RHSP AAA/MLB

I’m not going to spend much time on him since guys in the majors are discussed extensively here already, but I will say I prefer him starting in AAA than pitching mop up innings in the bullpen even though he is better than a number of relievers that started the season in the majors. I wasn’t as high on him as some until recently, but now he’s been striking out more batters and showing better stuff. He can be a nice starter at the end of the rotation.

Potential ETA: Ready

12. Antonio Bastardo, LHRP MLB

The walks will probably always be a problem, but I think we’re seeing the kind of reliever he can be. He has nice fastball velocity with some deception, and his changeup is a really good pitch. He put up a lot of good minor league numbers, but people were always skeptical about whether or not he could keep moving up. He got his opportunity in 2009, and if he stays healthy, he can be a quality reliever for them for a while.

Potential ETA: Ready

13. Scott Mathieson, RHRP AAA/MLB

His struggles have received a lot of attention, but prior to this year, that was confined to the majors and not the minors. So far with Lehigh Valley, he’s been bad, and I’m disappointed. I know he’s been bad in the majors, but if he’s not getting a chance to face ML hitters, he can’t adjust. He didn’t look very good against Atlanta on Sunday. It was nice that he was throwing strikes, but he hung his offspeed stuff way too much, and they didn’t make him pay until the second inning he was in. If he doesn’t get an extended chance with the Phillies, I understand why though. I’d just like to see it happen.

Potential ETA: Hope he gets a shot

14. Phillippe Aumont, RHRP AA

The debate about the trade is a horse that was beaten dead a long time ago, but it appears Aumont is in the bullpen for good, and he’s flourishing in that role so far. I thought it was right for the Phillies to move him back to the rotation last year, but the one thing that might’ve been a mistake was to start him with Reading. The encouraging things are he’s now allowing many hits, he’s walking batters at a career low rate, and his strikeouts, particularly his swinging strikeouts, are career highs too. It’s a nice rebound season so far.

Potential ETA: 2012

15. Justin De Fratus, RHRP AA

Phuture Phillies identified De Fratus as a guy to watch several years ago, and I’ve kept track of him since. He doesn’t have the full arsenal to be a starter, so he was moved to the bullpen last year where his great fastball plays up. This year, I think he’s struggling despite the low ERA. His H/9 is way up compared to previous years, and his BB/9 is currently 5.7 with a career number of 1.9. Command is a huge part of his game, and if that’s gone, his upside isn’t what we thought in the offseason. He’ll be as good as his slider becomes, and my guess right now is it’s still not a quality pitch.

Potential ETA: 2012

16. Tyson Gillies, OF AA

After dealing with supposed hamstring injuries last season and missing a lot of games, Gillies has still not played this year. He believes that hip and groin issues were the root of the hamstring problem, and hopefully he gets on the field soon. I’m really skeptical of him, and I just want to see him back on the field. It was a small sample size of at bats, but he struggled last year with Reading, and a concerning thing was he was walking a lot less when his plate approach is supposed to be a highlight of his game.

Potential ETA: Late 2013

17. J.C. Ramirez, RHP AA

A lot of people are excited about his start this season, and I don’t really want to dampen the enthusiasm, but it’s probably kind of a fluke. I appreciate his work ethic and desire to reach the majors, and not many guys would’ve pitched through the injury he had last year, but he absolutely needs to strike out more batters. He’s always done a good job throwing strikes, but his 5.9 H/9 isn’t sustainable. Eventually, the balls that are put in play are going to become hits, and his ERA and WHIP will rise. He has a nice fastball, but he needs to work on his secondary stuff. All I’m saying is people need to wait and see where he is in a couple months.

Potential ETA: 2012

18. Jon Pettibone, RHSP A+

Pettibone has kind of gotten lost in the shuffle, both in the 2008 draft (taken after Hewitt, Collier, Gose, Knapp and Worley) and in the rotations he’s pitched in (with Cosart, Colvin and May) but he’s having a solid season. After missing part of 2009 with Williamsport due to injury, statistically he’s emerged as a different pitcher. With the Crosscutters, he struck out a lot of batters and walked plenty too, and last year with Lakewood and this season, he hardly walks anyone and pitches to contact. His 1.75 ERA and .94 WHIP are likely unsustainable hovering around a 6.0 K/9, but it’s certainly been a good start.

Potential ETA: 2014

19 Cesar Hernandez 2B, A+

Hernandez has gotten off to an awful start with Clearwater, and it’s probably only a matter of time until he gets sent to Lakewood. He played for Williamsport in 2010, so the Phillies were a bit aggressive in having him skip Lakewood in the first place. He made good contact last year batting .325 and had a decent approach at the plate with only 27 strikeouts to 26 walks. He stole 32 bases in 38 attempts in only 65 games, so the athleticism is there. He’s already on the 40 man roster, so they certainly have expectations for him.

Potential ETA: 2015

20. Freddy Galvis, SS AA

We all know about how Rollins is a free agent after this season and how there really aren’t any in-house options to replace him. Could Galvis? I’d still say no, but it seems that he is making progress at the plate even though the overall numbers still aren’t good. He’s walking more than usual and striking out less which are both things he needs to do since he’s never going to hit for power. It would be a shame if a potential gold glove winner never got a significant ML chance because he can’t hit, but it could happen. Even if he could just hit more singles, the ability to make consistent contact could get him a starting spot in the majors eventually.

Potential ETA: 2013

21. Perci Garner, RHP, XST

Most fans probably don’t know who Garner is, but he was the team’s 2nd pick in the 2010 draft out of Ball State. He was shut down quickly after signing due to injury concerns, so he still doesn’t have much pro experience. He’s not as polished as most college pitchers are though because he focused on football his first two years in college. He has a great fastball, a potential plus curve and an average slider and changeup, so he has the potential arsenal to start. He’ll start his season with Williamsport, and I expect he’ll pitch well if he’s healthy. He probably has a shot to finish the season with Lakewood if all goes well.

Potential ETA: 2015

22. Harold Garcia, 2B AA

It’s a shame that Garcia tore his ACL because he was beginning to prove he could hit in the upper levels. He can run and make contact, and even if he was never going to hit for any power or be able to play a position besides 2B regularly, there’s still a spot in the majors for a player like that. Before his injury, he was probably striking out a bit too much, but it was a small sample size. I’m not sure what the timetable is like for ACL tears for baseball players, but my guess is he might be ready to go for next season, and if he’s healthy, he could earn a role with the Phillies late next year.

Potential ETA: Late 2012

23. Josh Zeid, RHP AA

After a good season at Lakewood and a successful stint in the AFL (against hitters more experienced than he’s used to facing) the Phillies double jumped him right to Reading. It’s always a bit of a risk to do that with a player, but at 24 years old, he needs to be challenged. Two years ago, the Phillies did the same thing with Vance Worley and Michael Stutes, and as you can see now, they eventually got past some early struggles to adjust. Zeid is struggling right now, and that might expedite his move to the bullpen. His strikeouts are way down, and his hits and walks are up.

Potential ETA: Late 2012 if he becomes a reliever

24. Austin Hyatt, RHP AA

Hyatt put up some great numbers at Clearwater last year, but at 24 years old, that’s exactly what he should do at the high-A level. It was impressive nonetheless, but with guys that are old for their level, they need to keep proving themselves at higher levels. So far this year, he’s doing that, ultimately if his future is in the bullpen. He’s not striking out as many players as he did in 2010, but it’s still a good K/9, and he’s still not allowing many baserunners. He should continue progressing through the system quickly, especially when he moves to the bullpen.

Potential ETA: 2012

25. Julio Rodriguez, RHSP A+

Rodriguez is a bit of a sleeper in the system, and Baseball America ranked him lower than some other places did. The numbers he put up in 2009 and 2010 are ridiculous and probably make him look like a better prospect than he is. Reports on his fastball seem to vary, ranging from the high 80’s (which he probably can’t get away with in the majors) to the low 90’s (which makes him a pretty good prospect.) He has a nice curveball, and he has the frame to add some more muscle and MPH to his fastball.

Potential ETA: 2014

26. Matt Rizzotti, 1B AA

Rizzotti was one of the minors’ best hitters last year, but as an unathletic player who can barely play 1B, he needs to hit, and hit for power, to have any value. He finished last season in AAA, but the Phillies assigned him back at Reading to start this year, and he’s hitting exactly like you’d expect a 25 year old who has played at that level before. Like Hyatt, older players need to prove themselves at higher levels over and over again, but that obviously won’t be with the Phillies in the majors. Unfortunately, Rizzotti passing through waivers gives you an idea that he has almost no trade value unless a team likes what they see this year, and I don’t know how they would when he’s just dominating a level he already played at last year.

Potential ETA: 2012

27. Leandro Castro, OF, A+

Castro has a decent combination of power and speed in a corner outfield. He got off to a hot start, but he’s been slumping lately. He has a bit of an interesting plate approach. He hardly walks at all or takes pitches, and in fact he hasn’t struck out looking yet this year. He also doesn’t strike out at an absurd amount either, but it’s still above average. He’ll probably have to improve his approach to improve his consistency and reach the majors.

Potential ETA: 2015

28. Kelly Dugan, OF, XST

Dugan was the team’s first pick in the 2009 draft because they didn’t have a first rounder after signing Raul Ibanez. It was considered to be a bit of an overdraft then, and Dugan hasn’t done anything to erase those doubts. He hasn’t played in a full season league yet, so even though he’s only 20 years old, he needs to get moving. An injury really limited him last season, and he only played in 28 games. There was some buzz that they could’ve moved him to 1B to play at Lakewood to get him in a full season league, but that would be a waste of his athleticism, so he’ll be back in Williamsport where he needs to show something.

ETA: 2016

29. Kevin Walter, RHSP XST

If you haven’t heard of Walter, that’s fine because he’s only pitched 2 pro innings so far. He was a late round pick that signed for an overslot bonus in 2010. He’s 6’5, 210 and they hope he can add some muscle and improve his fastball which current sits in the 88-90 range. He has a nice curve, and he can also throw sliders and changeups. My guess is he’ll start this season with the GCL team, but I’m sure it depends on how he looks in camp and what their draft looks like in a few weeks.

Potential ETA: 2017

30. Cameron Rupp, C A

Rupp was a high pick out of college last year, so it’s a bit disappointing that he’s hitting so poorly as a pro so far. At the plate, he’s supposed to have some power, but he hasn’t made consistent enough contact for it to matter. He’s batting under .200 this year, and his .218 mark with Williamsport last year wasn’t much better. His caught stealing percentage is below average right now, but if his body allows it (he’s 6’1, 240) he should be able to stay behind the plate.

Potential ETA: 2015

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Scott Grauer writes for PSC and Bus Leagues Baseball – check him out!  Scott also regularly updates the PSC Minor League Thread with player stats, games results, and more…

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