Blueclaws

Reading Eagle survey: Crawford ranked top Phils prospect

Recently, Mike Drago of The Reading Eagle conducted a survey of experts, made up of local writers and other media members, designed to rank the top prospects in the Phillies developmental system.

The participating individuals, who are all close to the Phillies minor league system, were asked to rank their personal top 20, which were tabulated to determine the paper’s published list of top 15 Phillies prospects.  Individuals surveyed included Baseball America’s Josh Norris, Chris Rotolo of the Asbury Park Press, Mitch Rupert of the Williamsport Sun-Gazette as well as yours truly, Jay Floyd of PhilliesNation.com.

The collection of experts determined that last year’s first round draft pick, J.P. Crawford, who represented the Phillies in the MLB All-Star Futures Game this year, is the top prospect in the organization.  Crawford, 19, is widely expected to be the eventual successor to former National League MVP Jimmy Rollins at shortstop.

Last year’s Reading Eagle rankings featured Maikel Franco at the top.  The Dominican native fell to number three this year.  A few new names are also featured on the list.

Here’s an excerpt of The Reading Eagle’s 2014 prospect rankings…

1 J.P. Crawford: Just 14 months after being drafted the California shortstop found himself playing in the All-Star Futures Game. At 19 he was the youngest player on the Team USA roster and the second-youngest in the game. He was moved up to high Class A Clearwater in mid June, his third level in little more than a year. He’s hit at all of them and carries a .295 batting average and .388 on-base percentage through his first 720 professional games.  (ed. note- Crawford has played just 170 pro games)

2 Aaron Nola: The Phillies desperately needed a fast-moving, strike-throwing starting pitcher when they tabbed the LSU right-hander in the June draft and that’s exactly what they got. He became the first Phillies draft pick to reach Double-A in his first professional season since 1986. He’ll likely start next season in Reading and end it in Philadelphia.

3 Maikel Franco: The Phillies were hoping the 21-year-old would be their third baseman by now but he had a poor spring training and an even worse spring at Lehigh Valley. After a lousy first half he finally started to hit, batting .343 in July. He’s still extremely young – almost six years younger than the average International League player – so there’s no reason to panic.

4 Roman Quinn: He was moved off shortstop when J.P. Crawford made his way to Clearwater in June, but that’s OK because the Phillies are short of outfield prospects. Quinn has been slowed by an Achilles tendon ruptured in the offseason yet still has an organization-leading 29 steals, is a switch hitter and figures to cover lots of ground in center. He’s batting just .251 at Clearwater but he just turned 21 in May.

5 Jesse Biddle: The left-hander out of Philadelphia has been an enigma. The former first-round pick has great stuff but his career has gone sideways since arriving in Reading last season. At times he’s dominant, at other times his command disappears. The concussion suffered in May leaves a cloud over his season. It’s hard to gauge how much of an impact that’s had on him. The good news: He’s still just 22 and lefties develop late.

The remainder of the top 15 rounded out with the following 10 players:

6. Aaron Altherr, OF, Reading
7. Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez, RHP, Lehigh Valley
8. Matt Imhof, LHP, Lakewood
9. Carlos Tocci, OF, Lakewood
10. Kelly Dugan, OF, Reading
11. Dylan Cozens, OF, Lakewood
12. Deivi Grullon, Clearwater
13. Cameron Perkins, Lehigh Valley
14. Aaron Brown, OF, Lakewood
15. Severino Gonzalez, RHP, Reading

Injured hurlers Adam Morgan and Shane Watson fell from the Reading Eagle’s rankings after making the list last year, as did catchers Tommy Joseph and Cameron Rupp. Also, right-hander Ethan Martin, who spent some time with the big league club this year, missed the list.

Other players receiving votes this year included catcher Andrew Knapp, lefty hurler Yoel Mecias, outfielder Cord Sandberg, third baseman Zach Green and first baseman/catcher Willians Astudillo.

49 Comments

49 Comments

  1. PaMikeyDC

    August 25, 2014 at 10:55 am

    MAG #7 at 4 million per season. Ha.

    Where’s Jake Fox or Art Charles. 🙂
    kidding. Sort of.

  2. Lefty

    August 25, 2014 at 11:13 am

    Surprised to see Martin fall that far. He seemed like he was really good for a while.

    • schmenkman

      August 25, 2014 at 12:45 pm

      (by the way, to continue the Byrd discussion from the other day, Imhof at #8 is the pick the Phillies would have forfeited if they had signed Nelson Cruz instead of Byrd).

  3. Chris

    August 25, 2014 at 1:02 pm

    Shame Crawford isn’t available now. Would love to get Poppins out of there.

    • schmenkman

      August 25, 2014 at 1:09 pm

      Sure, who wouldn’t want to get rid of this year’s 3rd best overall shortstop in the NL?

  4. Chris

    August 25, 2014 at 1:46 pm

    All that means is that there’s a shortage of good shortstops in the N.L. You are talking about the guy with the.317 OBP over the last 6 years and the .250 average, correct?

    • schmenkman

      August 25, 2014 at 1:51 pm

      Correct — and that makes him the 5th best shortstop in MLB over that time.

  5. betasigmadeltashag

    August 25, 2014 at 1:57 pm

    I’m a little confused. If the Phillies are short on OF prospects, how are 8 of the top 15 outfielders. Also can Franco play second. I like what Asche has done in his first full year of ML play was pretty impressive to me. Had some ups and downs, but made big strides defensively, and has a pretty sweet swing. And with Crawford slated to be SS in 2 years could we possible see an infield of Crawford, Asche, Franco Ruff in 2016-17

    • schmenkman

      August 25, 2014 at 2:00 pm

      Jay may reply, but as I understand it Franco is way too immobile to play second (or the OF), and that the only other viable position for him is really first base.

      • Jay Floyd

        August 26, 2014 at 12:25 am

        I like Franco’s range at third. I wouldn’t describe him as immobile. However, his versatility is best suited at corner infield. With Hernandez and Galvis having been tried at nearly every position, those were the infielders the Phillies felt best about moving to the OF.

  6. Brian

    August 25, 2014 at 2:12 pm

    Baseball America just named Franco the best defensive 3rd baseman and best infield arm in the International League and as stated above doesn’t have second baseman range. He’s the third baseman of the future not Asche.

  7. Brian

    August 25, 2014 at 2:22 pm

    Cozens seems a little low on this list and Tocci too high.

    • Jay Floyd

      August 26, 2014 at 12:30 am

      In my e-mail submission to Drago I stated something along the lines of, “Anyone ranking Tocci above Cozens is relying on other people’s lists to do their rankings.”

      I had Cozens as my current number 8, Tocci at 15. Dylan has been the guy that has shown the most improvement this year, outside of Crawford & Giles.

      Ethan Martin was in my top 10 as well.

  8. schmenkman

    August 25, 2014 at 2:47 pm

    Off topic, but for a certain commenter, on this date in 1946 20-year-old Lou Possehl made his major league debut with the Phillies. He pitched 7 strong innings, giving up a run on 5 hits.

    • loupossehl

      August 25, 2014 at 5:42 pm

      Shmenkman, you absolutely made my day with that comment. I have been wondering if anyone in Philliedom would catch on to the fact that I am not, in fact, Lou Possehl – or perhaps surmise the existence of an ersatz, wannabe Possehl.

      As to “the real” Possehl – wait – there’s more! In 1947, the Ashburn-led Utica (NY) Blue Sox, cheered on by local fans including me, tore up the Class-A Eastern League and found themselves in a playoff with the vaunted Albany Senators. It went down to a Game 7 and, with Possehl on the mound, the Blue Sox won, 6-2.

      That made the Phillies farm club Eastern League champs and made me a Phillies fan for life. The team was loaded with talent – lots of good detail about them in “The Whiz Kids and the 1950 Pennant” (Robin Roberts and C. Paul Rogers III).

      Like so many of that Utica team, Possehl did make it to the Majors – but he only pitched a few games in ’51 and ’52 as his career was curtailed by arm problems, and he retired in ’54. According to the Roberts book, Possehl made a soft landing and later on played lots of golf in Florida with Steve Ridzik.

      Had that Utica team sucked, chances are I would have become a Yankee fan like so many others where I grew up. So Possehl saved me – from being a star f*cker winner-chasing Yankee fan. Or I might have transitioned to the Mets and found myself fated to wage nonstop contentious bets with Andrew from Waldorf. In any case here I am, loyal as ever and as a Phillies fan having learned that – as in life – you can’t win ’em all, but you sure can win some and when you do it feels real good.

      • schmenkman

        August 25, 2014 at 8:05 pm

        Good stuff — I’m sure Lou is smiling somewhere, proud that he converted at least one fan, and probably a few others too.

      • Lefty

        August 25, 2014 at 8:21 pm

        Great stuff as always LouP and Schmenkman.

      • loupossehl

        August 25, 2014 at 9:08 pm

        Thank you, Shmenk and Lefty. High compliments from you boys.

        I don’t watch the games from out here on the Left Coast, but I do catch the scores on ESPN. Just get through the 7th with Burnett … and then bring on Diekman Giles and Paps and let the good times roll.

        P.S. Geez, I just noticed that he’s got 12Ks. Must be his hernia is taking the day off.

  9. Dave

    August 25, 2014 at 3:23 pm

    Franco hit for the cycle last night for Lehigh Valley.

    • schmenkman

      August 25, 2014 at 3:30 pm

      Saturday, actually, in the second game of the doubleheader. In his last 47 games he has hit .330/.345/.581 (.926 OPS).

      • Jay Floyd

        August 26, 2014 at 12:33 am

        Yes, Saturday. Wrote about it in a piece on PN that was posted Sunday morning…that article drew a total of ONE comment as of posting this reply.

  10. Andrew from waldorf

    August 25, 2014 at 7:12 pm

    I guess no gameday thread.

    Another must win for the Phillies.

    I am stuck with the terrible Nationals announcers.

    The worst in sports.

    Looks like less than 10,000 fans in attendance.

    I guess will announce 28,000

    • Lefty

      August 25, 2014 at 7:40 pm

      Gameday 131 Senators at Phillies

  11. Lefty

    August 25, 2014 at 7:32 pm

    Wow, Roark has great breaking stuff. Looks like he throws both a slider and a 12-6.

  12. Lefty

    August 25, 2014 at 7:34 pm

    Nats announcer mentions Harper’s steal of home against Hamels every single time they play them. Shuuuuuut up

    • schmenkman

      August 25, 2014 at 8:07 pm

      When your history is about 15 seconds, and your successful history a fraction of that, you latch on to whatever you can.

      • Chuck A.

        August 25, 2014 at 8:17 pm

        True that, schmenk. Those fans with “Natitude” really just don’t get it. But give the team props…they ARE the best team in the East…and will be for a few years,I think. Jayson Werth must be getting the last laugh!

  13. Lefty

    August 25, 2014 at 7:39 pm

    AJ getting tickets!

  14. Lefty

    August 25, 2014 at 8:28 pm

    The Nats announcers think Howard should have taken third on the ball to Werth. They also think he’d have scored on the Byrd hit if it made it through. I don’t think they understand how slow he is now.

  15. Lefty

    August 25, 2014 at 8:39 pm

    HBP aside, AJ looks as good as I’ve seen him this year.

  16. Lefty

    August 25, 2014 at 8:54 pm

    Werth had a legit beef on that pitch, he didn’t go around.

  17. Lefty

    August 25, 2014 at 9:06 pm

    Wow! that should be caught Dom Brown.

  18. Andrew from waldorf

    August 25, 2014 at 9:07 pm

    Wow why is Brown even in the line up?

    I wish I had the energy to have an old school rant.

    that was just a lack of effort.

  19. Andrew from waldorf

    August 25, 2014 at 9:10 pm

    Lefty did you catch when they put up the graph of the players who strike out the least frequently?

    The moron Nats announcer says after looking at the numbers.

    He thinks Denard Span really strikes out the least because the other guys have those numbers because they swing early in counts.

    You cant make it up.

    And ignorance of the level of the Nats announcers is only tolerated in DC.

    The worst ive ever seen any sport.

    • Lefty

      August 25, 2014 at 9:17 pm

      I missed that but it doesn’t it surprise me.

  20. Lefty

    August 25, 2014 at 9:19 pm

    Choooooch!

  21. Lefty

    August 25, 2014 at 9:51 pm

    Uh oh

  22. Andrew from waldorf

    August 25, 2014 at 9:56 pm

    Winner winner
    Chicken dinner

    Only 2 games behind the Mets

    The sports word is a buzz as the Phillies make the run to catch and over take the Mets.

    We can do this guys.

    • Chuck A.

      August 25, 2014 at 9:59 pm

      Ruben’s job may yet be saved.

      • schmenkman

        August 25, 2014 at 10:03 pm

        21-20 since July 7th.

      • schmenkman

        August 25, 2014 at 11:09 pm

        Correction: 22-21.

  23. loupossehl

    August 26, 2014 at 12:14 am

    Re Roman Quinn: he “was moved off shortstop when J.P. Crawford made his way to Clearwater in June, but that’s OK because the Phillies are short of outfield prospects. Quinn … has an organization-leading 29 steals, is a switch hitter and figures to cover lots of ground in center. He’s batting just .251 at Clearwater but he just turned 21 in May.”

    Shortage of outfielder prospects? Betasigma has pointed out that 8 out the top 15 prospects are OF, and Quinn isn’t going to provide the pop normally associated with that position. As to an outfielder who won’t do much in terms of slugging pct. but is a prolific base stealer who can cover lots of ground in CF – WE ALREADY HAVE ONE OF THOSE. With Quinn’s infielder experience, why not have him make the easy transition to 2B and move up the ladder from that position? Imagine a DP combo of Crawford and Quinn, and a stolen-base duo of Revere and Quinn. I’m sure that Crawford would get his SB’s as well. Cardinals baseball – what’s not to like?

  24. bacardipr05

    August 26, 2014 at 12:30 am

    Its a scary list when you consider someone who hits .251 #4 and someone who has a ERA round out your Top 5. Dugan has shown he can hit an take a walk but doesnt have the power. Nor can does he appear to be able to steal bases. Might be a reserve OF.

  25. Jay Floyd

    August 26, 2014 at 12:44 am

    Don’t be sour on Dugan. Homer numbers are down this year, but his OPS in only down 40 points, so it’s not a huge dip. His bat speed is great and his plate discipline has improved since his promotion to Reading last year…he’s a smarter hitter. Also keep in mind he missed time with two injuries this season.

    I like Dugan’s bat better than Altherr and Perkins in the long run.

    As for Biddle- 3.14 ERA, 9.14 K/9, 4 BB/9 before the concussion this year.

    Quinn’s battled back from a ruptured Achilles to swipe 30 bases and is finally playing a position he’s comfortable at. Hashtag upside.

  26. Jay Floyd

    August 26, 2014 at 12:52 am

    Also, for the record, I did not rank Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez in my current top 20, so in a scoring system for this survey that awarded 20 pts for the first place ranking, 19 points for number 2, 18 points for 3rd place, etc…MAG locked in the #7 spot by receiving a big fat ZERO from me, so several people ranked him higher than that.

    I just cut off the term “prospect” at 25 years old. MAG turns 28 in less than a month.

    • Chuck A.

      August 26, 2014 at 8:57 am

      Jay, I’m curious… What is your honest take on MAG? Will he seriously amount to anything or did the organization fail to see something here? Which, in my opinion, is a far greater problem (the org’s lack of judgement) moving forward…

  27. bacardipr05

    August 26, 2014 at 1:28 am

    Jay im not sour on Dugan yet. Though in just over 1500 AB he has 40 HR’s. I actually wondered why he wasnt higher than Altherr.

  28. TimC

    August 26, 2014 at 12:47 pm

    Happy Birthday to M. Franco! 22 years old now.

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