Keith Law’s Top 10 Phillies Prospects

It’s the first week of Spring Training, so that means ESPN’s Keith Law has been working nonstop on his prospect rankings. He released his top 10 Phillies prospects list today, and threw in ten more for good measure. The fact that the list has an extra 10 names on it is one indicator of how deep the Phillies’ farm system has become. Here’s the list, with the player’s KLaw top-100 ranking in parentheses where applicable. 

  1. J.P. Crawford (4)
  2. Jake Thompson (63)
  3. Mark Appel (68)
  4. Nick Williams (74)
  5. Jorge Alfaro (82)
  6. Scott Kingery
  7. Cornelius Randolph
  8. Franklyn Kilome
  9. Ricardo Pinto
  10. Rhys Hoskins
  11. Roman Quinn
  12. Thomas Eshelman
  13. Carlos Tocci
  14. Nick Pivetta
  15. Darnell Sweeney
  16. Andrew Knapp
  17. Arquimedez Gamboa
  18. Dylan Cozens
  19. Adonis Medina
  20. Malquin Canelo

I think at this point you’re well-acquainted with how highly Law thinks of Crawford, and it’s a glowing endorsement of the system that Law has ranked five Phillies farmhands in his top 100. Scott Kingery, who I profiled briefly in this morning’s article, was a pleasant surprise in the six spot. Law believes Scotty Jetpax needs to work on his plate discipline, but gives Kingery a good review for his defense, running, and contact skill. Unsurprisingly, Law told us what we already knew about Cornelius Randolph: he’s a really good hitter who doesn’t have a position. Keith says that Franklyn Kilome’s breaking ball is becoming above average, and praised Ricardo Pinto for a plus fastball and a 60-70 changeup(!).

Rhys Hoskins got a tongue-in-cheek Paul Goldschmidt comp, but if you’ve read enough KLaw stuff you know he hates player comparisons. Consider it a compliment, but one made only as advice to keep an eye on Hoskins’ development. Quinn’s inclusion on the list is no surprise, and while Law rates his baserunning at 80 and center field defense at 60, he also acknowledged Quinn’s well-documented injury history. Eshelman is a soft-tossing righty who was part of the Ken Giles trade with Houston. Law raised some concerns about Eshelman’s workload at Cal State Fullerton, so that’s something to monitor moving forward.

As far as my own comments on the players in the KLaw list, I can’t overemphasize how excited I am to watch J.P. Crawford play. He’s the Golden Boy, the shortstop of the future, and the heir to Jimmy Rollins‘ throne. Obviously, that’s too much pressure to put on such a young player. I don’t expect him to become Jimmy Rollins, but as I’ve said before, if he can do even half of what Jimmy did, we’ll all be fortunate. Jake Thompson is, theoretically, the best pitcher to come back in the Cole Hamels trade, and is projected to be a rotation fixture for years. He seems a likely candidate to come up this summer after either Charlie Morton or Jeremy Hellickson is traded or injured, but the team has enough depth that they won’t rush Thompson. He’ll be up when he’s ready. Mark Appel, the onetime top prospect who was acquired in the Giles trade, has been given a fresh start in Philadelphia. It seems if the team lets him go back to what made him successful at Stanford, he has a chance to regain his standing.

Nick Williams is already one of my favorite Phillies, and he hasn’t even taken a pitch in Philadelphia yet. He’ll be coming to an outfield near you very soon. Williams should form an exciting outfield trio with Odubel Herrera and Aaron Altherr at some point this season. Jorge Alfaro is either the catcher of the future or a first baseman with an unbelievable arm. Considering the bad luck the franchise has had with catching prospects over the last several years, it will be refreshing if Alfaro can stay healthy and improve enough defensively to stick behind the plate.

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  1. Romus

    February 16, 2016 03:55 PM

    Keith Law has admitted in the past he overlooked Paul Goldschmidt.
    Thought his K rate would be a detriment in the long term.
    FWIW, Goldschmidt never made the BA Top 100 either, so he was not the only one..

    • Adam Dembowitz

      February 16, 2016 05:04 PM

      Yup. I still remember him saying Goldy was a platoon guy. Whoops! At least he owns up to it though.

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