Baseball Prospectus Offers Unique Phillies Top 10 – Phillies Nation

Baseball Prospectus Offers Unique Phillies Top 10

Franco's placement at two by BP is a little surprising but well deserved. Photo by: Jay Floyd

Baseball Prospectus released their Top 10 Phillies prospects list today. Like Baseball America and Minor League Ball before them, which we covered here and here, BP named lefty Jesse Biddle the Phillies Top Prospect for 2013. BP says Biddle is a legitimate Top 100 prospect in baseball. After Biddle, however, there are quite a few surprises.

Strong Placing for Franco

Maikel Franco, eighth on BA’s list and ninth on Minor LB’s list, ranks in at an aggressive second on BP’s list. Franco enters his age 20 season coming off of a .280/.336/.439 year with 14 HRs for Lakewood and projects to start the year in Clearwater. A hot start could have Franco manning the hot corner for Reading. Franco’s positioning is surprising considering he is five places above the presumed 2014 starter at third base, Cody Asche.

You’ll Not’ve Seen Nothing Like the Mighty Quinn

Pardon my Bob Dylan/Manfred Mann reference, but Roman Quinn is developing quite the reputation. Quinn ranks fourth by BP after second and third place finishes in the other projections.

Morgan and Martin Ranked High Again

Adam Morgan continues to gain attention after his age 22 season that saw surprising success in Reading. Morgan will compete for the IronPigs’ rotation and probably is not that far away from reaching the Phillies. BP liked him just about as much as the other prospectors, placing him at #3 compared to #2 and #5 finishes on the other lists. His possible future rotation-mate Ethan Martin comes in sixth on BP’s list, compared to third and eighth place finishes on the other lists.

The Teenager Gets His Due

Carlos Tocci, who we featured at length in our piece about the Phillies and Venezuelan players, cracks the BP list at number nine. Tocci stands at 6’2″ and 160 lbs soaking wet but covers all the field you could ask for in center field. Tocci hit .278/.330/.299 in his age 16 season last year for the Gulf Coast Phillies. He will likely start the year in Williamsport but could easily jump, as a 17-year old, to Lakewood with a good Spring Training.

“Every Day Player” Label Sticking to Joseph?

Tommy Joseph was ranked a solid fifth by BP and seems to be gaining traction in the “could be a solid, every day player” department. Slightly disappointing considering the haul that was given to acquire Pence.

Notable Omissions Stay Consistent

Much like the other lists, Sebastian Valle again does not appear in the Top 10 after years of being recognized among the Phillies’ top positional prospects. 2011′s number one pick, outfielder Larry Greene was left off of the Top 10. The same applies for RHPs Julio Rodriguez, RHP Seth Rosin, and RHP Brody Colvin and OFs Tyson Gillies, Aaron Altherr, Leandro Castro, and Jiwan James,



  1. Bob in Bucks

    January 11, 2013 at 4:02 pm

    Let’s note that the article is introduced in a newsletter as follows:
    “It’s a thin system, but there are some players who offer reasons for hope.”

    While these might be Phillies top prospects there is nothing here to get very excited about.

    • Devin

      January 11, 2013 at 5:03 pm

      In the actual article there’s some fairly high praise for a few of these guys… I think you’ve misinterpreted. These guys have talent to dream on, its just that theres not much left after them.

      • Bob in Bucks

        January 11, 2013 at 11:50 pm

        As a paying subscriber to Baseball Prospectus I get a daily newsletter with links to the latest articles. If you don’t have a subscription you can’t get to the link. But here is what I saw:


        Prospects Will Break Your Heart
        Philadelphia Phillies Top 10 Prospects

        by Jason Parks

        It’s a thin system, but there are some players who offer reasons for hope.

  2. Dave P

    January 11, 2013 at 4:22 pm

    Tyson Gillies, regardless of injuries, seems to be one of the phillies brighter prospects. Surprised he doesn’t make an appearance on this list.

    • EricL

      January 12, 2013 at 10:41 am

      He’s 24 and has played in a total of 106 games since 2009. It’s really hard to highly rank a guy who can’t stay on the field.

  3. George

    January 11, 2013 at 4:45 pm

    No one agrees, so we’ll just have to wait and see.

    It does seem pretty obvious, though, that the Phils’ system doesn’t have one of those consensus “can’t miss” guys like a Steven Strasburg. When you can’t get top draft position, you’re just not going to find many of those, though, and I think that considering where the Phils have drafted the past five years, they don’t seem in terrible shape.

  4. Bart Shart

    January 11, 2013 at 7:19 pm

    The Phils need a renewed strong focus on the farm system. It is our life blood.

  5. frank

    January 11, 2013 at 7:42 pm

    I was looking at the top 20 prospects for 2013 for each team in our division and was really shocked at where all the teams look. I thought Washington and Atlanta we’re suppose to be strong. The team that looks by far the strongest is new York. They have the strongest young pitching by far. I’m surprised they’re not going after Justin Upton. Maybe that’s why they’re so bad. How about a trade of ruf and brown for 2 or 3 of their young pitchers as a mini rebuild and then sign bourne.

  6. Josh S

    January 11, 2013 at 8:56 pm

    They won’t sign bourn due to the fact that Atlanta would get the money the phillies have at pick 18 and in regard to Atlanta the price from the dbacks is more severe than what the Mariners offered

    • hk

      January 12, 2013 at 8:52 am

      I don’t think that that’s exactly true. When a team signs a free agent who had received a qualifying offer, the signing team loses their own first round pick and the slot money that comes with it while the team that lost the player gains a pick after the 1st round and the slot money that comes with that pick. Therefore, as long as someone signs Bourn, the Braves are going to get the pick and its slot money, so the Phils disinterest has nothing to do with the fact that Bourn is a former Brave. However, it is quite possible that the Phils are not – and never were – interested in Bourn because they don’t want to lose the 16th pick and the slot money that comes with it.

      • Lefty

        January 12, 2013 at 10:08 am

        I think the new CBA system of tying in draft picks to FA’s with the loss of slot/bonus money is way too restrictive. It doesn’t seem to be in the proper spirit of free agency, something the union worked hard for so long to get. Adam La Roche should have hit his goal of at least a three year contract and got hosed. Hard to say what will happen to Michael Bourn, Soriano or Lohse, but there is a chance they will too. I could see Bourn back with Atlanta even though they got BJ Upton, or Soriano on a short deal with the Yankees. Not sure if St Louis wants Lohse back, Rangers seem to be going hard after him.

        Thoughts anyone?

      • hk

        January 12, 2013 at 1:02 pm


        The new CBA, to which the players agreed, is less restrictive than the old one as it pertains to free agency compensation. I think that part of the problem is that some agents misread the market and the willingness of teams to part with draft choices plus the slot money that comes with those draft choices. In the past, teams weren’t as concerned with giving up the draft choice because they could give up the draft choice and still draft better players, who were known to only want over slot bonuses, later in the draft. Using Rafael Soriano as an example, Scott Boras advised him to opt out of his contract, for which he received $1.5M, and to turn down the qualifying offer of $13.3M to become a free agent. Soriano could have collected $14.8M to be a set-up man and been a free agent again next year. Instead, Boras advised him to pass on the $13.3M and look for a team to give him a lucrative long-term deal while giving up their 1st round pick and the accompanying slot money. Unfortunately for Boras and Soriano, RAJ filled the closer spot last year, and most other GM’s have to come to realize that it is silly to overpay anyone for 60 innings per year.

      • Lefty

        January 12, 2013 at 2:35 pm

        hk, Thanks for your take, although I really don’t like to think about the Papelbon signing. What makes it even worse ( if that’s possible) is his velocity decline last season.

        It’s here.

        But back to the original issue, when you say this –
        “In the past, teams weren’t as concerned with giving up the draft choice because they could give up the draft choice and still draft better players, who were known to only want over slot bonuses, later in the draft.”

        My point was exactly that, and it’s tie in with the FA’s, and that’s why I think of it as more restrictive. In many ways I think we are just saying different versions of the same thing, but you are adding the agents/ Boras misread in, which is certainly legitimate.

      • hk

        January 12, 2013 at 2:47 pm


        You’re right, we’re not too far off. I just think that the players accepted this part of the CBA, so it is up to them – their agents actually – to what’s best for themselves in free agency. Boras had a chance to beat the system when he took the $1.5M buyout and then was offered another $13.3M, but he wanted multiple years instead of $14.8M for one. In hindsight, Kyle Lohse should have taken $13.3M from STL and gone back to free agency again next year. The players and their agents will adjust. Next off-season, I bet you see some players accept the qualifying offers.

      • Lefty

        January 12, 2013 at 3:00 pm

        Accepting the QO would seem the likely lesson learned.

    • George

      January 12, 2013 at 2:47 pm

      I don’t think anybody read the market well. In the past, a team could give up the draft pick because the players who merited giving up that pick were all top talent, except for those type B guys, who were already having difficulty getting contracts their agents felt they deserved. Now, there is some question whether a $13 M player (probably a type B under the old agreement) is all that great a deal. It’s pretty easy to give up a pick if you’re agreeing to sign Cliff Lee, but not so easy when you’re only getting Kyle Lohse.

      • Lefty

        January 12, 2013 at 3:03 pm

        I wonder if the Cardinals wouldn’t have been better off not giving Lohse a QO, and then signing him for 2 years at around 17. (Similar to Blanton?) He’s obviously taken to their coaching, he never kept the ball down like last season before. I think they blew that one.

      • hk

        January 12, 2013 at 3:07 pm


        I disagree. I think that teams are unwilling to part with the picks now because they lose the slot money whereas in the past, they could go over slot to sign players picked after the 1st round. For instance, in 2011, the White Sox gave up their 1st round pick to sign Adam Dunn and the Yankees (coincidentally) gave up theirs to sign Rafael Soriano, in 2010, picks were relinquished by the teams that signed the likes of Chone Figgins, Jose Valverde and John Lackey and in 2009, teams gave up 1st rounders to sign the likes of Orlando Hudson, Brian Fuentes and – it pains me to write it – Raul Ibanez. By the way, Seattle used the pick that they got from the Phils signing of Ibanez to draft Nick Franklin, who is now the 29th ranked prospect in all of MLB by None of those guys should be mentioned in the same category as Cliff Lee.

      • hk

        January 12, 2013 at 3:11 pm


        The Cardinals can still sign Lohse for $17M / 2 if both he and they want, so they lose nothing from making the QO. If they both agree to those terms, they are happy to bring him back. If he signs elsewhere, they get the compensation pick.

      • George

        January 12, 2013 at 7:30 pm

        HK, go ahead and disagree. The slot money does figure in; I never said it doesn’t. However, as I tried to point out, the talent level still has a lot to do with it. I will point out that your examples are all two years old or older. Things had already been changing by 2012, and there were many who’d have been type “B” free agents under the 2011 scheme that had to wait for deals. Even a big name, Ryan Madson, got way less than what he’d hoped for.

        Were I an owner, I wouldn’t give up a pick for any of the guys available right now; they’re just either too old and/or not that good, or want too much green stuff for too many years. Of course, coupled with the slot money, signing a speedster who’s probably on the downswing, or a 34 year old pitcher with only a slightly above average career makes not signing them even easier.

        I think the players might have shot themselves in the foot on this whole new free agent thing.

      • hk

        January 13, 2013 at 6:46 am


        Of course, my examples are all 2 years old or older, the new CBA went into effect last off-season. Therefore, my examples are all from the final 3 years of the prior CBA and showed that teams gave up 1st round picks for lesser than top talents like Figgins, Hudson and Ibanez, among others.

  7. hk

    January 12, 2013 at 9:08 am

    This and other prospect lists plus recent events should combine to put to rest all of the unreasonable expectations that the Phils could trade prospects and young major leaguers for either Justin Upton or Giancarlo Stanton. It took the Mariners offering the #4 (Tijuan Walker) and #29 (Nick Franklin) prospects in all of baseball according to plus another prospect (Stephen Prior) who’s not quite top 100 plus a 26 year old reliever (Charlie Furbush) to get the D-Backs to agree to deal Justin Upton…before Upton used his no trade privilege to nix the deal. By comparison purposes, Biddle is ranked #75 by and no other Phillies are top 100. I guess it is possible that the Phils could trade a proven major leaguer like Cliff Lee for Upton with the Phils paying a large portion of Lee’s contract, but that would be like robbing Peter to pay Paul.

    Since Stanton is better than Upton, cheaper than Upton, younger than Upton and under team control for longer than Upton, it is unrealistic to think the Phils would have any chance to acquire him this off-season if the Fish decide to trade him.

    • Lefty

      January 12, 2013 at 2:43 pm

      Completely agree about the Phils prospects, and I also agree about robbing Peter to pay Paul. But I also think it’s irrelevant, Lee chose Philly and IMO- he’s staying, period. If it’s true (due to his NTC) that Cliff Lee didn’t want to go the Dodgers, he ain’t going to the Marlins at this point in his career.

  8. Vernon Dozier

    January 12, 2013 at 4:05 pm

    Since I don’t see this roster as anything more than a middle of the pack team, I’d strongly consider moving anyone and everyone who holds trade value at this point.

    In order for this group to contend, almost everything would need to break right – and that rarely happens in this game. The injury concerns (Halladay, Utley, Howard) would all need to prove healthy. The “prospects” (Brown, Ruf, Aumont) would all need to significantly contribute. Even if ALL those things worked out positively, they’re still up against the natural decline in skills that their older players are reasonably expected to endure. There are just too many “ifs”, “maybes”, and “hopes” on this roster to reasonably expect a record much different than 2012.

    That’s why I say suck it up and rebuild the farm system as quickly as possible – which means trading any veteran possible (and I realize that a few are virtually unmovable). Right now, we’re just looking at a very expensive .500 team.

    • frank

      January 12, 2013 at 4:27 pm

      That’s what I was talking about earlier. Looking at other teams minor league system’s, there’s a lot of very young high ceiling pitchers a low levels that we should look into trying to trade for. Try to get 2 or 3 of them while they are under the radar. Start a small rebuild while we are still competitive.

    • George

      January 12, 2013 at 7:47 pm

      “…and I realize that a few are virtually unmovable.”

      If that’s the case, how much talent could even be acquired? Hamels might be tradeable, even with his big contract, and probably Ruiz. Lee is questionable because of his huge contract. No one would want the injured guys.

      And “frank,” if a fan knows about some of these “under the radar” prospects, I doubt if they’re so much out of view that they could be gotten on the cheap.

      People always talk about “rebuilding.” They seem not to notice that the Phils this year have a much younger center fielder, an almost rookie bullpen, and potential talent in the corner outfield slots. The team IS rebuilding. They’ve gotten rid of some of the veterans in the past few years, people like Victorino, Pence, Thome, Ibanez, and Polanco. They just aren’t tearing the whole thing down at once, which is intelligent, because when othe GMs think you’re in “rebuild” mode they swoop down like vultures and you get mostly picked clean of your still-usable veterans.

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