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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-

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