Law Ranks Phillies 11th In Farm System Assessments – Phillies Nation
Minor Leagues

Law Ranks Phillies 11th In Farm System Assessments

ESPN Minor League writer Keith Law named the Phillies the 11th best farm system in his annual organization rankings:

Philadelphia Phillies: This system has improved dramatically in the past year, in particular because of the emergence of two tools guys, Dominic Brown and Michael Taylor, who weren’t really on the radar last winter. The system could make a big move up if a few high-risk/high-reward picks from this year pan out.

Hat tip to reader Justin. Everything outside of the top 10 is insider only.

Frankly, that’s a great sign. The Phillies were usually one of the bottom feeders, especially during the Ed Wade era (ironically, the Wade-run Astros are dead last this year). It’s good that the toolsy players are panning out enough to justify a higher ranking in some minds. Hopefully the payoff is richer.



  1. NJ

    January 21, 2009 at 6:09 pm

    Wow that’s an achievement coming from Law who usually has nothing good to say about the Phils.

  2. Griffin

    January 21, 2009 at 6:10 pm

    Imagine what this system would look like with a 1st round pick in June, but I digress….

  3. MA Phanatic

    January 21, 2009 at 6:28 pm

    Griffin, don’t we get a 1st round pick from the Rays since they signed Burrell…..ohhhhhhh wait…

  4. NJ

    January 21, 2009 at 6:32 pm

    Had we tendered Burrell you’d be looking at Juan Cruz territory for him not on off the market as a Ray.

  5. Griffin

    January 21, 2009 at 6:39 pm

    Or we could have just signed Dunn or Abreu to a 1-year deal for $5 million and kept the draft pick.
    Let’s just say that Amaro’s first month as a GM did not go as well as his second and third months.

  6. NJ

    January 21, 2009 at 6:44 pm

    Nice joke there Griffin. No way was Bobby Abreu coming back and Dunn’s in a great position now isn’t he… Ibanez was the second best outfielder in free agency and every team looking for one knew it and Amaro pounced.

    The farms looking healthy and deep though the Phils really need to start either addressing getting our prospects up gearing the purse towards impact prospects but thats easier said than done.

  7. Griffin

    January 21, 2009 at 6:55 pm

    NJ, we agree to disagree about Ibanez. I am hearing crazy rumors that Dunn and possibly Abreu will have to settle for one-year deals.

    As far as the farm is concerned, the K-Law ranking has me pretty excited. This year is a big year for Drabek to continue his development and for Savery to do something.


    January 21, 2009 at 7:14 pm

    Savery definitely needs to light a fire under it this season. I believe Naylor to be further along at this point.

  9. NJ

    January 21, 2009 at 7:17 pm

    Savery has to show more thought this year COULD be big for Drabek who rom eh sound of it shows no ill effects from TJ surgery. A role going forward needs to be defined for Donald and I’m really looking to some of the guys drafted this year like Stutes and Collier. Have to admit am a little concerned about the pressure being put on Taylor and am not sold on Brown and see very few guys in the system who could start and thrive in the bullpen.

    From the Sound of it Dunn’s still asking for money he’s not going to get near and Abreu’s out in the cold, the fact of the matter is the FO were never going to seriously entertain the idea of bringing Bobby back and Manny, Ibanez and to a smaller extent Bradley were the only guys who were going to get paid decently out of the corner outfielders.

  10. NJ

    January 21, 2009 at 7:20 pm

    Guys like Naylor, Carpenter, Zagurski are interesting thoughts at this point, are we really to expect these guys as anything more than depth guys at the major league level?

    Mathieson is a name that needs to get back on track, we really need a young start getting controllable guys into the pen to address the teams needs elsewhere.

  11. Griffin

    January 21, 2009 at 7:32 pm

    Random note-I heard that Carrasco is pitching in the WBC for Venezuela. Now I have a reason to watch. I will watch all the Venezuela games and hope he never pitches more than an inning at a time.

  12. Doug

    January 21, 2009 at 8:08 pm

    Another thing that nobody seems to grasp is that we have a lot of starting pitching knocking at the door in Happ and Kendrick. Although these two are not really a part of the “farm system” anymore, the Phils still have numerous “options” on both of them, making them easy to kind of stash in AAA until a rotation spot opens up or in the event of an injury. Now I know that a good number of those here aren’t very high on Kendrick, but he has already shown a tremendous ability to “pitch” out of trouble for a 23-year old. If he perfects the change-up that he’s been developing, when added to the rest of his moving pitches, he may very well claim that #5 rotation spot.

  13. Manny

    January 21, 2009 at 8:14 pm

    I agree, Doug. I’m looking forward to seeing Kendrick bounce back from a mediocre 2008…

  14. Justin

    January 21, 2009 at 8:25 pm

    we shall see what Savery can do on the biggest stage in MILB, AA is the stepping stone by which players are found to have achieved their talent. I can’t believe that AAA is basically the stomping grounds for has beens and never will be’s. All of a sudden AA is where all the good prospects are stached until they’re needed for the most part. Michael Taylor, Drew Naylor, and Joe Savery are 3 guys that are going to be placed center stage to see where they are talent wise

  15. Justin

    January 21, 2009 at 8:27 pm

    Thanks Tim i appreciate the props.

  16. GPR

    January 21, 2009 at 9:33 pm

    I am a Met fan, and I come in here from time to time to read your opinions and sometimes leave my own, in a rare non-retarded fashion as every rival fan does in the rivals blog, and I was wondering if you can tell me where did the Mets rank? I am guessing 17-18?

  17. Tim

    January 21, 2009 at 9:49 pm

    Here you go GPR:

    “17. New York Mets: It took a few major trades, but their system finally has thinned. Their international scouting department has saved the system, with three of their top six prospects (Fernando Martinez, Wilmer Flores and Jefry Marte) all coming via that route. Keep an eye on Brad Holt, a potentially fast mover from the 2008 draft whose curveball is improving. “

  18. Pingback: Law Ranks Phillies 11th In Farm System Assessments | Blogbdon

  19. GPR

    January 22, 2009 at 8:36 am

    Thanks Tim.

  20. Griffin

    January 22, 2009 at 11:46 am

    I just saw this in a recent ESPN chat with Jim Callis of Baseball America:

    ” Can you help me rank some minor league pitchers who are fairly close to the majors? How do Chris Tillman, Justin Holland, Jordan Zimmermann and Carlos Carrasco compare?

    SportsNation Jim Callis: On my personal Top 50 list for the Handbook, I put Holland at No. 28, Tillman at No. 31 and Zimmermann at No. 35. I didn’t rank Carrasco, who would fall in the 51-70 range for me. ”

    ouch, he’s not too high on Carrasco.

  21. Don M

    January 22, 2009 at 11:52 am

    Ask him where he ranked Homer Bailey the past few years??

    These guys don’t know anything more than anyone else… Anyone that watched Evan Longoria play knew he was awesome, and same with David Price… where are all the guys telling us how Lastings Milledge, Andrew Miller, and Homer Bailey would be amazing?

  22. Griffin

    January 22, 2009 at 12:34 pm

    I agree that it’s not an exact science, but these guys are good at predicting future success. It’s their job. Sure, they miss on an occasional prospect or two (or twenty) but they give you a general guideline of what to expect from each player.
    Carrasco getting ranked that low after being more highly thought of in previous years can not be looked at as a good thing. He can still be a #3 starter, but he’s not a #1 or #2. Then again, he could breakout this year….

  23. Geoff

    January 22, 2009 at 12:41 pm

    As far as Carrasco goes, as it is with many highly talented young starting pitchers, you haev NO idea whether or not theyll be an ace or a 2 until they get out there. you can project it based on their stuff, which carrasco has plenty of, but to predict their mentaltoughness against the best competition is a crapshoot.

  24. Don M

    January 22, 2009 at 12:43 pm

    Right but my point is you never know what the future holds for any of these guys.. some players all of a sudden “get it” and they take off… some players never do.. What the hell got into Gavin Floyd last year? Why was Cliff Lee so bad in 2007, only to win the Cy Young in 2008??

    Mike Piazza and Albert Pujols weren’t on anyone’s lists… and then look at all the busts there are.. some players hit their ceilings before they ever reach the big leagues, so you might have been the greatest college baseball player of all time, but you were only “above average” in the Majors (aka Pat Burrell)

    I know im rambling, but my whole point is that it doesn’t matter what the scouts, or the stats say… it matters what the player is made up of. Chase Utley is great because he plays ALL OUT… and works hard. There are definitely players that are more “talented” then Utley and they would probably have been ranked higher as prospects, etc.. but you never know what you are going to get from any of these guys

    Projections are like opinions. Opinions are like A$$holes, everyone has one and they all stink. Therefore Projections stink, I think.

  25. Don M

    January 22, 2009 at 12:47 pm

    “mental toughness” is a GREAT phrase… My dad uses that all the time..

    Different Sports… But Tiger Woods and Michael Jordan.. there are guys that are better at certain aspects of each game, Michael Jordan wasn’t the best shooter on his own team most years.. but he NEVER got rattled, and always left it all on the field.

    I think a lot of times too, these scouts look at the stats, and they maybe see these guys play a few times.. but with how streaky most basball players are, what if you see a guy when he’s on a tear.. you’ll think he’s better than he really might be. or if a guy is in a slump, you would never project him to be a great hitter.. some guys have trouble hitting breaking balls, but POUND fastballs, so they are projected as great hitters with the comment that if they can learn to read the breaking pitches sooner… but what if that isn’t something that a player can learn..

    Damn these “what-ifs”

  26. Matt Kwasiborski

    January 22, 2009 at 4:29 pm

    It is funny that you criticize Ed Wade but under his watch we drafted Rollins, Burrell, Utley, Howard, Hamels, Myers, etc. Yet, you say how far below the radar his Astros fell. Wade deserves alot of credit for our recent success and Gillick rightfully recognized him.

    And the MLB draft list is nothing like the NFL or NBA where it is easier to project prospects. These experts are good at what they do but in the long run their opinion doesn’t mean shi*.

  27. From Section 113

    January 23, 2009 at 12:14 am

    Matt Kwasiborski –

    My good Phillies Phan, Ed Wade started his GM career in 1998, though he was Asst. GM he was not the head hancho in 1996 when Jimmy ROllins was taken in the 2nd round, of course Eaton was taken in the 1st.

    Also to note, the GM has probably little to do the draft other than the first high profile round and dishing out any larger bonus. So Ed Eade gets NO props for taking a 5ht rounder in the name of Howard, the developmental staff and Howard get the props. I mean if he was such a sure thing why wasn’t he taken in the 1st round.

    GM’s should get the credit of putting togeth the 25 man roster and picking the right people to develop the farm (including internationally) but not for every minor leaguer.

    That being said I will give him Hamels, Myers, and Burrell. I dunno about Utley. Supposedly, they want Baldelli instead and they had Utley as an insurance pick. Even Burrell is a question mark being the #1 pick and all.

  28. Don M

    January 23, 2009 at 11:40 am

    Mike Arbuckle was probably more responsible for the WS roster than Ed Wade was… the best thing that Ed Wade did, was not trade Howard, Utley, and Hamels.. he’s a genious.

    Sucks that Arbuckle had to go, but it was either him or Amaro for the GM job, and you knew the other would want to leave..

  29. Travis Mount

    June 15, 2009 at 1:27 pm

    Just read some of these comments and then think about where the organization is right now. Ibanez for MVP; Burrell spending most of the season on the DL.

    Amaro had a good first move as GM. I would definitely loathe seeing Abreu back in a Phightin Jersey

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