Phillies Nation Top 25 Prospects – Phillies Nation

Phillies Nation Top 25 Prospects

Here are my top 25 prospects. In grading the prospects, I looked at performance, potential and staying power. I evaluated performance with my OSR statistic (objective statistical record). For hitters, it breaks down base acquisition, scoring, producing and recording outs. For pitchers, it breaks down giving up runs, hits and walks, and recording strikeouts.

OSRs of 2.00 or above are considered elite — pitching tends to cross this boundary more — while OSRs of 1.20 or below are unacceptable. Average is about 1.50.

With each prospect, I list position, age, most prominent recent level and OSR (with rank among all qualified in organization).

Here’s the list:

1. Carlos Carrasco / P / 22 / Lehigh Valley (AAA)
2008 OSR : 1.4 (60) / 151.3 IP
The celebrated prospect didn’t have a great 2008 in Reading, but pitched very well in Allentown. He kept his K rate over 1 per inning throughout, however, and is performing well in Venezuela.
2009 Verdict : He’ll start either in the majors or minors, but he’ll finish in Philly.
Grade : A-

2. Michael Taylor / OF / 23 / Clearwater (A+)
2008 OSR : 1.721 (20) / 554 PA
The best hitting prospect in the system in 2008, Taylor was tops in total bases per game, and showed no hiccups moving up to Florida. May need to work on walks, but he doesn’t strike out a lot. A big outfielder, he could be the next Pat Burrell.
2009 Verdict : Reading.
Grade : B+

3. Lou Marson / C / 22 / Reading (AA)

2008 OSR : 1.614 (30) / 399 PA
He made a splash with his first big-league homer, and had an all-around great season in Reading, Japan and Philly. Seems poised to be the catcher of the future.
2009 Verdict : Lehigh Valley, with a move to Philly during the year.
Grade : B+

4. JA Happ / P / 26 / Philadelphia (MLB)
2008 OSR : 1.666 (25) / 166.7 IP
Still a prospect in the very loosest sense, Happ is ready to contribute to the Phillies. Has a good four pitches, and should challenge for the fifth-starter spot.
2009 Verdict : He’s a Phillie, or he’s traded.
Grade : B

5. Jason Donald / SS / 24 / Reading (AA)
2008 OSR : 1.593 (32) / 414 PA
After tearing through the low-As, Donald was fabulous in Reading, then shred up the Arizona Fall League. A consistent .300 hitter, he has considerable power and OK speed. Definitely a top bat. May not be answer at third base, however.
2009 Verdict : Lehigh Valley, but may need to trade.
Grade : B

6. Kyle Drabek / P / 21 / Williamsport (A-)
2008 OSR : 1.913 (11) / 32.3 IP
The first-rounder from 2006 came back from Tommy John better than before, but his strikeout rates need to improve. Still, his quick jump back to low-A is a great sign.
2009 Verdict : Be careful, and see if he can get to Clearwater by season’s end.
Grade : B-

7. Dominic Brown / OF / 21 / Lakewood (A)

2008 OSR : 1.489 (44) / 516 PA
Like Taylor, this outfielder has great tools, and the power is starting to come around. He’s been compared to Darryl Strawberry, and that’s very good.
2009 Verdict : Moving to Clearwater.
Grade : B-

Tier 2

8. Drew Naylor / P / 22 / Clearwater (A+)
2008 OSR : 1.416 (55) / 155.3 IP
Right-handed Aussie was fabulous in Lakewood, but hit growing pains in Clearwater. Has good control and good stuff, so he should be fine for 2009.
2009 Verdict : Will go through Florida again, but should end up in Reading.
Grade : C+

9. Travis d’Arnaud / C / 20 / Lakewood (A)
2008 OSR : 1.501 (43) / 267 PA
A highly touted catcher, he’s a solid hitter whose power hasn’t come to him yet. Is he as good as Marson? Maybe, but it’s still hard to tell. 2009 may determine it.
2009 Verdict : Lakewood first, then Clearwater to face good pitching.
Grade : C+

10. Mike Stutes / P / 22 / Lakewood (A)
2008 OSR : 2.536 (4) / 69.7 IP
His control can be better, but Stutes makes batters miss plenty, giving up just a hit every two innings. He was the Phils’ 11th round pick.
2009 Verdict : Clearwater, with a chance at Reading.
Grade : C+

11. Zach Collier / OF / 18 / GCL Phillies (Rk)
2008 OSR : 1.455 (50) / 150 PA
The supplemental draft pick started with OK numbers, but has a way to go. Seems to have more promise than the very raw Anthony Hewitt.
2009 Verdict : A little more time in rookie ball before moving up.
Grade : C+

12. Jason Knapp / P / 18 / GCL Phillies (Rk)
2008 OSR : 1.87 (12) / 31 IP
The big Jersey boy came out firing for the GCL Phillies, striking out 38 in 31 frames. He ended the season with elbow tenderness, so look out for that. Big potential, though.
2009 Verdict : As long as he’s healthy, move him to Williamsport.
Grade : C+

Tier 3

13. Joe Savery / P / 23 / Clearwater (A+)
2008 OSR : 1.355 (65) / 150.3 IP
A tough year for the 2007 first-rounder, as he struggled in the pitcher-friendly Florida State League. Still, he came on strong late. The future is somewhat cloudy.
2009 Verdict : A few early starts in Clearwater won’t hurt.
Grade : C+

14. Vance Worley / P / 21 / Lakewood (A)
2008 OSR : 2.365 (5) / 69 IP
A third-rounder in 2008, Worley pitched very well and kept his control, walking eight batters in 69 innings. Not overpowering, he may move up the low levels quickly.
2009 Verdict : Clearwater, and keep him there all season.
Grade : C+

15. Antonio Bastardo / P / 23 / Reading (AA)
2008 OSR : 1.753 (18) / 97.7 IP
Bastardo cleaned up in Clearwater, then fared fine in Reading, though he walked more. He struck out 109 in 97.7 innings in 2009. Also suffered a labrum injury.
2009 Verdict : Needs to throw more in Reading, but Philly isn’t out of question.
Grade : C+

16. Sebastian Valle / C / 18 / GCL Phillies (Rk)
2008 OSR : 1.409 (58) / 185 PA
The offense will come (he performed well anyway in the GCL), but for now, he’s shown to be a very good catching prospect. A ways to go, but promise lingers.
2009 Verdict : Rookie ball, maybe starting in Williamsport.
Grade : C

17. Greg Golson / OF / 23 / Reading (AA)
2008 OSR : 1.547 (37) / 476 PA
Great speed, great arm, great defense, great power, bad eye. He’ll either be Michael Bourn or Kenny Lofton. The choice is his.
2009 Verdict : Lehigh Valley, Philly or traded.
Grade : C

18. Tyson Brummett / P / 24 / Reading (AA)
2008 OSR : 1.276 (76) / 170 IP
Great in Lakewood, good in Clearwater, horrible in Reading. A full year in Reading should help, though he really had poor ratios.
2009 Verdict : Get it together in Reading before a possible move.
Grade : C

19. Travis Mattair / 3B / 20 / Lakewood (A)
2008 OSR : 1.268 (78) / 507 PA
Had a poor debut in Lakewood, showing no power, a high rate of strikeouts (108 in 129 games) and bad defense (26 errors at third base). But signs point to a very good second swing in Lakewood.
2009 Verdict : Lakewood, then Clearwater if all goes well.
Grade : C

Tier 4

20. Anthony Hewitt / SS / 19 / GCL Phillies (Rk)
2008 OSR : 1.146 (94) / 129 PA
The first-round pick was pretty bad in his debut, but that was expected. He’s very, very raw. He struck out 55 times in 117 at bats. Still, it’s a long road for the skinny shortstop.
2009 Verdict : Rookie ball and Williamsport, probably.
Grade : C

21. Edgar Garcia / P / 21 / Reading (AA)
2008 OSR : 1.267 (79) / 128.3 IP
Young for Reading, Garcia has the stuff to come back strong in 2009. He’ll benefit from a full slate in Berks County.
2009 Verdict : All Reading, all the time.
Grade : C

22. BJ Rosenberg / P / 23 / Williamsport (A-)
2008 OSR : 2.732 (3) / 36 IP
This 13th round reliever has a mid-90s fastball and devastating slider, and it shows with a K rate of 1.45 per inning, second in the system.
2009 Verdict : Lakewood, but not for long.
Grade : C

23. Michael Schwimer / P / 23 / Williamsport (A-)
2008 OSR : 2.195 (7) / 41.3 IP
Drafted near Rosenberg with the same idea — turn him into a back-end reliever. His strikeout ratio (1.5 per inning) was tops in the system in 2008. He has very good stuff at 6’8”.
2009 Verdict : Like Rosenberg, start him in Lakewood, but move quickly.
Grade : C

24. Julian Sampson / P / 20 / Lakewood (A)
2008 OSR : 1.206 (90) / 137 IP
He walked a good lot and didn’t strike out enough, but he needs polish. He’s still a very viable arm, and could see a big year in 2009.
2009 Verdict : Lakewood with hopes for Clearwater.
Grade : C-

25. Cody Overbeck / 3B / 22 / Williamsport (A-)
2008 OSR : 1.685 (23) / 311 PA
He strikes out a lot, but he hit 12 homers for the Crosscutters in 2008. This 2008 draft pick third baseman needs to work on the discipline, but has the tools to move up.
2009 Verdict : Clearwater, where he’ll really be tested.
Grade : C-

Just Missed

Chance Chapman / P / 25 / Lakewood (A)
2008 OSR : 1.692 (22) / 139 IP
Too old for the low levels, he teeters on the brink but had a well-rounded 2008. His walk rate was only 0.27 per inning.
2009 Verdict : Might get fast-tracked to Reading, but he’s close to the wall.
Grade : C-

Mike Cisco / P / 21 / Lakewood (A)
2008 OSR : 3.423 (1) / 54.3 IP
A reliever, Cisco has a low walk rate at 0.09 per inning, and a low hit rate at 0.74 per inning.
2009 Verdict : Start in Clearwater.
Grade : C-

Jeremy Slayden / OF / 26 / Reading (AA)
2008 OSR : 1.522 (38) / 551 PA
A power bat who strikes out quite a bit, Slayden seems more like a fifth outfielder than an everyday player. Drove in as many per game as Chase Utley in 2008.
2009 Verdict : Could be the Rule V victim; if not, Lehigh Valley or Philly.
Grade : C-

Andrew Carpenter / P / 23 / Reading (AA)
2008 OSR : 1.411 (57) / 153 IP
Bouncing between four leagues, Carpenter struggled for most of 2008. Without any great pitches, it seems he won’t have a sharp career. Still, the Phils are giving him shots, as he pitched prominently in the Arizona Fall League.
2009 Verdict : Stick him in Lehigh Valley, but he might be trade bait.
Grade : C-



  1. lilgartrn

    November 20, 2008 at 1:38 pm

    Try Donald at 2nd – sounds like Utley may miss some time now that he may have hip surgery!!!

  2. Derek

    November 20, 2008 at 1:48 pm

    He will have hip surgery and miss 4-6 MONTHS!!! Feliz is having surgery too and is looking at maybe 3 months, so Donald will definitely be with the Big club

  3. NJ

    November 20, 2008 at 2:10 pm

    I love some of those names but where do they fit in in the future? Carrasco will be up but unless Myers is jettisoned after ’09 it’s looking like there’s going to be a log-jam to get starters up with Moyer/Blanton/Happ/Kendrick considering none of the pitching prospects look to have the make-up to start out in the pen. Taylor might be viable insurance for Howard but thats 1 legitimate corner infielder or outfielder in the whole system, where’s the guy ready to man third when Feliz’s contract expires? Donald looks like a can’t miss at short for someone else but an average 3rd base prospect. Where are potential relievers in the organisation when Madson and Durbin’s numbers up? Why do we have prospect depth at the catcher and CF positions but not anywhere else, the pitching prospects look like they have an incredibly high ceiling but everyone has high ceiling pitching prospects in A-ball.

    1 prospect up and still on the roster in 6 drafts, if we hadn’t traded for Lidge does anyone think Bourn would be holding down a spot on merit?

    Again I love some of these names but most don’t shine a light on some of the young names recently in and on their way up to the majors on teams expected to go the distance.

  4. t

    November 20, 2008 at 2:13 pm

    Great rundown… the grades and projected status for the year were very helpful.

  5. Tim Malcolm

    November 20, 2008 at 2:50 pm

    Well, NJ, some of these names will fit into the future, some won’t. It’s impossible to say who will and who won’t, since trades occur, and players fall, etc. Plus, you won’t build your whole team with prospects.

    Looking at the list, you have solid prospects at starting pitcher, relief pitcher, catcher, second base, and the outfield. Some of the spots will be filled, some will be traded away. That’s how it goes.

  6. From Section 113

    November 20, 2008 at 3:04 pm

    NJ- Also remember for relievers, they can move really fast. Garcia, should ge tmore hype, his numbers look bad, but he was a foreign signee, and he’s sooo young.

    I think Garcia will surprise a good amount of us.

  7. NJ

    November 20, 2008 at 3:16 pm

    Yeah I know Tim I was thinking out loud pesimistically. Looking around the league a lot of contending teams have brought a steady stream of prospects up as their earlier prospects reach their arbitration and veteran players reach free agency. I just look around at the players the Red Sox, Yankees, Angels, Dodgers, Brewers (who’d I’d consider to be in the same bracket as the Phils) have brought up in the last 3 years and they still have a better situation with prospects on the cuff. Some will be traded but I fear the ones who stay will just be the next generation Costanzo’s and Jaramillo’s and unless the mind-set changes.

    I don’t want to see us continually tie ourselves to 2nd and 3rd tier FA’s without a commitment to turning prospects into major league players. I worry were repeating the cycle of Chris Robertson to Michael Bourn to Greg Golson without producing viable full time major leaguers and it makes me worry with guys like Brown and Berry. I just can’t see a commitment to getting our best prospects up and I think that has an effect on the psyches of those kids coming up knowing they have to be stars to stand a chance of staying in Philly, constantly being reminded of the failures almost identical to most of their skillsets, also knowing the FO will probably go to FA anyway.

    I just want to see the Phil send Carrasco, Marson and Golson to AAA because their excited they have future tenured Phillies on their hands, not just stashing them there because there’s nowhere else to put them. Of course were not privy to whats said behind closed doors but our prospects seem to be handled with fear not promise. We don’t need to look like the Giants, Bucs or Fish to make the best of the farm- almost all the contendors are making the best of theirs.

    My biggest wish is Amaro will handle the farm like Theo Epstein.

  8. Danny

    November 20, 2008 at 3:18 pm

    Sampson is way too low. Hes still very young and improving and growing into his frame.

  9. NJ

    November 20, 2008 at 3:23 pm

    Section 113- I agree which is why I want to see us get these promising fast-track relievers up, Madson came up a long time ago now and no-one has followed because there’s been no commitment to developing relievers.

    We’ve been too willing to bring fringe veterans in to fill the vacant spots in the pen than give the pitching prospects a shot. All I’m saying is were not going to find the next Madson or get a major league career out of the toosly guys like Golson unless there’s a commitment to getting them up and keeping them there.

  10. Heyyy Boys

    November 20, 2008 at 3:34 pm

    WIth all due respect… Phuck how great our minor league is, or how anyone else views it.. we’ve all bashed them for not knowing how to run the organization, and they proved us all wrong. It takes a blend of homegrown talent, trades, and free agents.. but since the Free Agents now cost so much money.. lots of teams are trying to over-hype their own prospects by saying such-and-such is an “untouchable”

    They knew how good Madson could be.. when all of us would have been fine with a trade a year or so ago when we found out he wasn’t a starter… We all would have been fine with Myers getting traded at the deadline this year… They saw what they had in Rollins, Utley, and Howard and made those guys the foundation.. Ruiz.. out of nowhere became a highly regarded DEFENSIVE catcher, and honestly could have been the World Series MVP..

    I think they’ve handled the Farm very well for the past decade or so.. a lot of that was Mike Arbuckle, who is now with Kansas City.. but I think Amaro was around him, Wade, and Pat Gillick long enough that he knows what he’s doing.. I think we’ll see a nice run of Phillies baseball over the next 5+ years

  11. Don M

    November 20, 2008 at 3:37 pm

    I hate when I post something, and since I can’t type with a LISP to sound dainty… I just changed the name.. and then of course forgot to switch it back to make a serious point… PHUCK!

  12. From Section 113

    November 20, 2008 at 3:39 pm

    NJ- To be fair it took nearly 5 years at the Major League level for Madson to become what he is today.

  13. From Section 113

    November 20, 2008 at 3:40 pm

    Also, Dom Brown has a a better season than Golson has ever had. Brown will be better than Golson. Brown will be better than Taylor.

  14. Don M

    November 20, 2008 at 3:49 pm

    true about Madson… but he’s been VERY solid the past 3 seasons as a reliever, sometimes it just takes time to find the right role.. coming down the stretch in the playoffs, the Phillies had one of the best 8th-9th reliever setups you could ever imagine.. they were both unhittable.

    Golson is just an explosive player, I think the Phillies would be willing to move him if the right deal came around, but that they are also intrigued by an OF with Golson, Victorino, Werth …. covering lots of ground in the OF, great arms, and causing all kinds of havoc on the basepaths all three of them..

    I hope Brown is better than Barry Bonds, that would be kickass

  15. NJ

    November 20, 2008 at 4:09 pm

    Remember Madson threw in 52 games as a rookie and 78 in his second year before the starting experiment. We ‘failed’ at grooming Outman, I hope Schwimer and Rosenborg can sustain their potential but we’ve drafted so enough high risk/high-reward starters to think we could aggressively stockpile potential relievers in at least 1 draft. Unless we do groom potential relievers and not just a couple we’ll continue the cycle of having to patch together a pen through FA and waivers with the constant risk of ending up with the Arthur Rhodes/Aaron Fultz or Rick White and Alfonseca’s and paying a premium for it.

    I’d heard the idea Taylor would be moved to first at some point. As for Brown he’s had a good year in A-ball as a late pick and I hope the Phils do everything to keep him developing at the rate he is but we can’t afford to just assume he’s going to make it ala Mike Constanzo. We have to start investing in the draft aggressively and with conviction the way the other top teams do.

  16. Eb

    November 20, 2008 at 5:25 pm

    I would trade Golson, the phillies can not afford another WIFFER.

    Is Taylor the 6’5 245lb outfiedler, at that size he has to move to 1st

  17. Eb

    November 20, 2008 at 5:26 pm

    Scratch my last comment. Alex Rios is a giant also, so i am wrong

  18. KM

    November 20, 2008 at 6:12 pm

    According to a recent interview with Amaro Jr., the Phillies will probably use Bruntlett at 2B, and bring up Donald to add depth . . . I guess I am okay with this. No use is trading for a second baseman if Utley can make it back before the All Star Break. At this point, the worst possible outcome(6 months) Utley would be due back late May/early June.

  19. KM

    November 20, 2008 at 6:14 pm

    Tim, after free agency and trades what do you expect the opening day lineup to look like next year? The starting rotation?

  20. NJ

    November 20, 2008 at 6:18 pm

    seems pointless using Donald purely for depth, if Bruntlet’s manning 2nd and Dobbs 3rd might as well bring Harman back up to ride the bench rather than Donald. We’re at the point we have to start using Donald or trade him while his value’s at it’s highest with so many teams looking for someone to slot in at short.

  21. Phillies Red Pinstripes

    November 20, 2008 at 7:58 pm

    Which, in case know one has heard, the Phillies have traded Golson to Texas for John Mayberry. So, looks like one of your verdicts has already come true with a trade several hours after posting it.

  22. mikemike

    November 20, 2008 at 8:13 pm

    Tim this kid Swimmer is the one to watch great numbers, real good relief pitching prospect. Was unhittable in virginia and lower minors expect him to be at reading by july. I believe he is a fast track prospect. only carrasco happ donald and marson are ahead of him in my opinion.

  23. mikemike

    November 20, 2008 at 8:16 pm

    KM I think its Rollins, donald, utley,howard,werth,victorino,mayberry,ruiz pitcher, pitching staff starters Hamels, Myers, Blanton ,Happ, Carrasco or low level major leaguer who signs cheap.

  24. christopher

    November 20, 2008 at 8:42 pm

    i think these rankings are pretty good tim, although i would have bastardo a bit higher. much better than that other guy’s article that you passed along earlier.

  25. Ryk

    November 21, 2008 at 1:38 am

    Tim, I’m curious to see how these rankings would change regarding the value they have based on the Phils’ specific needs (ie, SP, a future 3b, C). We know Donald is gunna be a stud in the future, but he’s blocked at SS. Mattair would then up in the rankings due to the position he plays, but I’m not big on him at all, eventhough 3b is weak. Might be fun to chew on.

  26. NYPhilsFan

    January 7, 2009 at 4:49 pm

    Do people even look at Marson’s stats? He has no power and no speed. He’s a single hitter. That’s great in AA, but does that project to a starting catcher? Ruiz’s AA numbers were much better than Marson, including great power numbers. I would trade Marson while his stock is high.

    Where is Quintin Berry? This I don’t understand. Speed is becoming increasingly important in the MLB, due to the decline in power numbers. Berry is not Bourn or Golson. He is not only fast, but he has excellent plate discipline as evidenced by his high OBP over the past two years. He may not be a starter, but he will be an excellent bench player and reserve outfielder.

    Slayden is not a prospect. Whenever I see him listed on these sites, it makes me laugh. He is 26 years old, in AA. He may be a nice bench player for a team like Pittsburgh. But, he will never see any playing time on this team.

    Carpenter has a better OSR than Carrasco???? I’m not sure how you calculated that stat, but you better check your math. Based on last year’s performance, there is no way that Carpenter should be ranked higher than Carrasco in any list.

  27. Tim Malcolm

    January 7, 2009 at 5:00 pm

    Some points to answer your points:

    – Stats don’t mean as much with prospects. Marson may not have power, but prospects usually don’t develop power until they hit the majors. Moreover, Marson’s worth as a catcher is extremely high. If he’s, say, a third basemen, he’s not that high a prospect. Marson does project to a starting catcher because of his defense and contact hitting abilities. A la Jason Kendall.

    – I had Berry right outside the names I listed here. To me, his speed has been hampered by poor decision making. Moreover, he’s very old for his level. He needs to step it up in AA Reading.

    – Well Slayden IS a prospect. But you are right that he’s nothing much. I’d concede swapping him for Berry.

    – One thing I will try to change with OSR is adjusting each league for difficulty. Carpenter has a better OSR simply because he pitched better in the lower levels, while Carrasco had a tougher year in higher levels. Carrasco’s value was one of the few issues I had with OSR when I developed it.

  28. NYPhilsFan

    January 7, 2009 at 6:07 pm

    Thank you for your response. I guess I should have started my post with – great work! It is a very good list with great analysis. I just did a similar top 10 list for my friends and had many of the same names.

    I do have to disagree regarding the development of power stats. Some of your data on that may be due to the steroid era. With testing in the minors, it was a lot harder to cheat in the 00’s. Not so in the majors, as you know. Many of the names on the Mitchell report were back up catchers.

    Jason Kendall? His high for HRs in the MLB was 14. He only slugged over .500 once (in 78 games). He was not a power guy. During his prime, he had a little pop and a little speed. He averaged almost 20 steals during the 6 years of his prime. I’m sure that speed helped him stretch some singles into doubles.

    Marson is showing very little power (5 HRs and .416 OBP in 2008 AA; 7 HRs and .407 in more ABs in 2007 in High A) and no speed (3SB and 3 CS). He’s 22 in AA. So, it’s not like he is a high school player playing above his level and growing into his body (like Brown and Hewitt).

    Finally, Ruiz had 17 HRs in AA in 2004. He was a few years older. But, he was never among the top 50 prospects in all of baseball. Ruiz’s power dropped in AAA (4 HRs & .458 SLG in 2005) and we all know his MLB stats. But, he’s solid defensively, calls a good game (per all of the pitchers), was clutch in September and the playoffs, and comes cheap. I just don’t see enough from Marson to see him being a significant upgrade over Ruiz. Therefore, I think we should strike while the iron is hot and ship him to another team for pitching.

  29. NYPhilsFan

    January 7, 2009 at 6:09 pm

    It should read 5 HRs and .416 SLG in 2008 for Marson.

  30. NYPhilsFan

    August 7, 2009 at 2:45 pm

    Your boy Slayden retired today.

  31. Ozie Brzenk

    June 29, 2010 at 1:16 am

    sooo true 😉

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