Who are the most important members of the Phillies organization heading into 2018? That’s the question we asked ourselves in creating the 2018 Phillies Value 50.
This is our third year of ranking the organization’s top 50 most valuable people, whether player, coach, executive, trainer or personality. Here was our top-10 in 2016:
1. Johnny Almaraz (director of amateur scouting)
2. Joe Jordan (director of player development)
3. Pete Mackanin
4. J.P. Crawford
5. Maikel Franco
6. Mike Ondo (director of pro scouting)
7. Matt Klentak
8. Andy MacPhail
9. Aaron Nola
10. Sal Agostinelli (director of international scouting)
1. Matt Klentak
2. Joe Jordan
3. Aaron Nola
4. Andy MacPhail
5. Pete Mackanin
6. John Middleton
7. Vince Velasquez
8. J.P. Crawford
9. Maikel Franco
10. Matt Stairs (hitting coach)
In 2016 the top-10 focused more on organizational directors whose job was to fill up and manage the farm system. Last year we saw a transition to the on-field product with Velasquez entering the top-10 and Stairs being highlighted. This year? Let’s find out.
50. ANDREW PULLIN / outfielder / Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs
A surprise for the list, but in some ways it makes sense. There’s a lot of outfield depth in Philadelphia, so Pullin can make or break his – and the team’s – future with his 2018 performance. A good season means the Phils could more entertain dangling a Nick Williams or Aaron Altherr at the deadline.
49. FRANKLYN KILOME / pitcher / Reading Fightin’ Phils
Kilome is not expected to push for a starting job in Philadelphia in 2018, but he could be a favorite for the 2019 rotation if he has a solid season. That is likely to start in Reading with an opportunity at promotion around mid-season.
48. JAY McLAUGHLIN / baseball information analyst
The Phillies have bolstered the front office with an eye toward improving analytics. While analytics isn’t everything, it’ll prove crucial if the Phils are hoping to get advantages any way they can. This is where someone like McLaughlin becomes valuable – what kind of info can the Phils leverage to their advantage?
47. ANDREW KNAPP / catcher / Philadelphia Phillies
The Phils like Knapp’s ability to get on base, and he’s worked on his defensive skills in hopes of being on board as the team’s backup backstop. But it’s his position flexibility that might make him more valuable – a backup catcher for a new era.
46. CAMERON RUPP / catcher / Philadelphia Phillies
It seems fitting that Rupp and Knapp are next to one another here. Rupp will either be a veteran presence to help Alfaro, the starting catcher in Lehigh Valley, or traded somewhere else. There’s value in all of this.
45. SAM FULD / major league player information coordinator
The former major leaguer has already proved instrumental in his ability to relay information from front office to clubhouse. It’ll be interesting to see how he fits into the organization’s plans, and how important someone like him can be on a major league team.
44. MIKE ONDO / director of pro scouting
I’d imagine as the Phils become more competitive, Ondo’s job becomes more crucial, as his job is to ensure the team has the resources it needs to remain near the top. As we get closer to the trade deadline, we’re likely to hear more about the work he and his team is doing.
43. ADAM HASELEY / outfielder / Lakewood Blue Claws
The 2017 first round pick may start in Clearwater, but we’ll be conservative here. Either way he’ll be 22 in 2018, so look for him to shoot up the levels a bit more this year. After Mickey Moniak’s bad 2017, it would be nice for Haseley to stick.
42. BEN LIVELY / pitcher / Philadelphia Phillies
He could be the team’s No. 5 starter to begin the season, and he’ll have to prove to the organization that he’s a viable rotation piece going forward.
41. TOM ESHELMAN / pitcher / Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs
Very good in the minors, Eshelman is likely to reach the majors in 2018. His brand of low-stuff, high-control pitching doesn’t always translate to the big leagues, but maybe Eshelman is an exception. We’re bound to find out.