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March 9, 2012

Future Shock

Phillies Top 11 Prospects

by Kevin Goldstein

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Previous Rankings: 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008

System In 20 Words Or Less: An unbalanced, shallow system bolstered by some big arms, both in terms of size and velocity.

Four-Star Prospects
1. Trevor May, RHP
2. Jesse Biddle, LHP
Three-Star Prospects
3. Phillippe Aumont, RHP
4. Freddy Galvis, SS
5. Sebastian Valle, C
6. Jonathan Pettibone, RHP
7. Larry Greene, OF
8. Roman Quinn, SS
9. Julio Rodriguez, RHP
Two-Star Prospects
10. Maikel Franco, 3B
11. Brody Colvin, RHP

Nine More:

12. Justin De Fratus, RHP: Could pitch in the Philly bullpen this year; ceiling is set-up man.
13. Carlos Tocci, OF: High-profile international sign has plus-plus speed and line-drive swing.
14. Lisalberto Bonilla, RHP: Smallish Dominican throws strikes with three average pitches.
15. Jiwan James, OF: Still as toolsy as they come, but has made little progress.
16. Cesar Hernandez, 2B: Impressive pure hitter, but pressure is on bat due to defensive limitations.
17. Aaron Altherr, OF: Anticipated breakout player collapsed at Low-A, but ceiling is still high.
18. Mitchell Walding, SS: Fifth-round pick is big athlete with plenty of upside.
19. Jake Diekman, LHP: Lefty side-armer with more velocity than most of his type.
20. Perci Garner, RHP: Power reliever who could move quickly with health.

1. Trevor May, RHP
DOB
: 9/23/89
Height/Weight: 6-5/215
Bats/Throws: R/R
Drafted/Signed: 4th round, 2008, Kelso HS (WA)
2011 Stats: 3.63 ERA (151.1-121-67-208) at High-A (27 G)
Tools Profile: Power frame; deep arsenal.

Year in Review: Harnessed his stuff and put together a breakout season in return to High-A.
The Good: May brings three average or better pitches to the table. His low 90s fastball can touch 95 mph and features horizontal movement. His best secondary pitch is a classic over-the-top slow curveball with late, heavy break, and he's refined his changeup to a solid-average offering. He honed his delivery and command, and is built to eat up innings.
The Bad: May still can get loose with his delivery, losing his release point and therefore the strike zone. He can get stubborn when things go wrong, and over-rely on his fastball. He tends to work high in the strike zone, and has flyball tendencies.
Ephemera: In 2011, May allowed 32 runs at home and 33 on the road. He allowed four home runs at home and four on the road. He walked 33 batters at home and 34 on the road. He had a 5-4 record at home, and a 5-4 record on the road.
Perfect World Projection: No. 3 starter, with some possibility to beat that.
Fantasy Impact: May should get plenty of strikeouts, but will never be a control specialist.
Path to the Big Leagues: If May can carry his success into Double-A this year, he could get a long look next spring.
ETA: Late 2013.

2. Jesse Biddle, LHP
DOB
: 10/22/91
Height/Weight: 6-4/225
Bats/Throws: L/L
Drafted/Signed: 1st round, 2010, Germantown Friends School (PA)
2011 Stats: 2.98 ERA (133-104-66-24) at Low-A (25 G)
Tools Profile: A similar profile to May, but left-handed and less velocity.

Year in Review: First-round pick made adjustments as the season wore on and had a 1.91 ERA after the All-Star break.
The Good: Biddle is a big, physical southpaw who looks like a future star on the right day. His fastball can sit in the low-90s with movement, and he'll flash a plus curveball and advanced changeup for his age. He improved considerably throughout the year and matured as a pitcher, and began to sequence better and take advantage of weaknesses.
The Bad: Biddle's velocity varied wildly in 2011, as he had starts where he rarely topped 90, and others when he rarely was below it. His delivery isn't the prettiest in the world, and he has trouble keeping it unified, which will always cause location issues.
Ephemera: The Phillies have had the 27th overall pick three times in draft history, and took a left-handed pitcher with each one, including Biddle, Tom Underwood (1972) and Kevin Saucier (1974).
Perfect World Projection: Like May, Biddle looks like a middle-rotation starter, but there is still room for growth.
Fantasy Impact: Solid across the board.
Path to the Big Leagues: Biddle will move up to High-A in 2012.
ETA: 2015.

3. Phillippe Aumont, RHP
DOB
: 1/7/89
Height/Weight: 6-7/255
Bats/Throws: L/R
Drafted/Signed: 1st round, 2007, Ecole du Versant (Quebec)
2011 Stats: 2.32 ERA (31-23-11-41) at Double-A (25 G). 3.18 ERA (22-21-14-37) at Triple-A (18 G)
Tools Profile: Huge right-hander with closer stuff.

Year in Review: After a failed year of starting, the Phillies moved him back to the bullpen, and he put himself on the verge of the big leagues.
The Good: Aumont's fastball is special, as it sits at 94-96 mph and features heavy sink. His power curveball has plenty of spin and he's equally effective at dropping it into the strike zone or burying it as a chase pitch.
The Bad: Aumont is huge and unathletic, has struggled with his mechanics throughout his career and always had trouble throwing strikes. He wears his emotions on his sleeve and can get frustrated, leading to over-throwing or abandoning his breaking ball.
Ephemera: Former Pirate Rod Scurry (1974) is the only 11th overall pick with more than three big league saves.
Perfect World Projection: Aumont has closer possibilities.
Fantasy Impact: If he can get save opportunities, he'll be quite valuable.
Path to the Big Leagues: Aumont is set to open the year back at Triple-A, but should reach the big leagues at some point during the season.
ETA: 2012.

4. Freddy Galvis, SS
DOB
: 11/14/89
Height/Weight: 5-10/170
Bats/Throws: S/R
Drafted/Signed: 2007, Venezuela
2011 Stats: .273/.326/.400 at Double-A (104 G). .298/.315/.364 at Triple-A (33 G)
Tools Profile: Plus-plus glove and just enough bat.

Year in Review: Always one of the best defensive players in the minors, Galvis finally began to put up some  numbers in his fifth professional season.
The Good: Galvis is an outstanding defensive player with an explosive first step, silky smooth actions and a plus arm. He could not only play the position in the big leagues right now, but be well above-average at it. An offensive black hole in the past, he's always made consistent contact but it became harder in 2011, and scouts believe he can eventually fit in the back of a batting order.
The Bad: Galvis will never be much of a hitter. He's still impatient, and offers little power. He's no more than an average runner.
Ephemera: Playing in one fewer game than he did in 2010, Galvis had 34 more hits than in the previous season, 12 more doubles, and three more home runs, yet drove in five few than he did in 2010.
Perfect World Projection: Second division shortstop with more glove than bat.
Fantasy Impact: He could have some value with 5-10 home runs and 15+ stolen bases.
Path to the Big Leagues: With Jimmy Rollins returning to Philadelphia, Galvis' path in Philadelphia is closed and he'll return to Triple-A to begin the season as a possible trade chip.
ETA: 2013.

5. Sebastian Valle, C
DOB: 7/24/90
Height/Weight: 6-1/170
Bats/Throws: R/R
Drafted/Signed: 2008, Mexico
2011 Stats: .284/.312/.394 at High-A (91 G)
Tools Profile: Catcher with plus bat and arm.

Year in Review: Top catching prospect in the system had a mixed season at High-A Clearwater.
The Good: Valle has intriguing offensive potential, as he has bat speed and strong wrists, leaving some to believe he could hit for average with solid power potential. He's improved his receiving skills dramatically, and has always had a well above-average arm.
The Bad: Valle's plate discipline is non-existent, and Florida State League pitchers knew how to take advantage of this by getting him to consistently chase breaking balls out of the strike zone. He'll need to refine there, or he could get stuck in the minors, as his power went away last year while his strikeout rate exploded. While he has improved, he still needs to refine his receiving skills.
Ephemera: Valle drew just three walks in his first 50 games for Clearwater in 2011, and then 10 in his last 41.
Perfect World Projection: Average everyday catcher.
Fantasy Impact: Not much other than batting average.
Path to the Big Leagues: Valle will begin the year at Double-A, in what will be a stern test for his lack of secondary skills.
ETA: 2014.

6. Jonathan Pettibone, RHP
DOB
: 7/19/90
Height/Weight: 6-5/200
Bats/Throws: L/R
Drafted/Signed: 3rd round, 2008, Esperanza HS (CA)
2011 Stats: 2.96 ERA (161-149-34-115) at High-A (27 G)
Tools Profile: The Phillies like big pitchers, and here's another one.

Year in Review: 2008 third-round pick showed that 2010's performance was the real deal with a strong showing at High-A.
The Good: Pettibone has a power frame, a smooth delivery, and outstanding command and control that should allow him to eat up innings. He has a 90-92 mph fastball that plays up due to location and movement, and keeps hitters off balance with an advanced changeup as well as an improving slider.
The Bad: Pettibone does not miss many bats, and some scouts are concerned as to how he'll adjust at the upper levels without a go-to offering. His slider can get slurvy at times and lose bite.
Ephemera: Bryce Florie (1988) is the all-time leader among 110th overall picks with 20 major league wins, as only five of the  20 pitchers drafted in that slot reached the big leagues.
Perfect World Projection: No. 4 starter.
Fantasy Impact: Other than eating up innings, it's limited.
Path to the Big Leagues: Pettibone will move up to Double-A in 2012.
ETA: 2014.

7. Larry Greene, OF
DOB: 2/10/93
Height/Weight: 6-2/235
Bats/Throws: L/R
Drafted/Signed: 1st round, 2011, Berrien County HS (GA)
2011 Stats: DNP
Tools Profile: Power, and plenty of it.

Year in Review: Workout stud upped his stock throughout the spring and earned a $1 million bonus as the 39th overall pick in the draft.
The Good: Greene has massive raw power, and some scouts believe he has the potential to earn an 80 in that tool. He has a huge, muscular frame and an equally massive swing, and does not have to fully square a ball up to drive it out of the yard.
The Bad: Greene's power is his only impressive tool, and some scouts feel he'll never tap into it. He still has a long way to go as a hitter and could spend much of the early part of his career as a strikeout machine. He's not especially athletic, and will be limited to left field or first base as a pro.
Ephemera: The 39th overall pick has been good for power, as both Don Baylor (1967) and Todd Hundley (1987) were selected there, while the San Francisco Giants selected Barry Bonds there in 1982 out of high school.
Perfect World Projection: Cleanup hitter.
Fantasy Impact: He's a high-upside/high-risk player, but could be a big home run threat.
Path to the Big Leagues: Greene will try to prove this spring that he's ready for a full-season assignment, but will likely spend some time in extended spring training.
ETA: 2016.

8. Roman Quinn, SS
DOB
: 5/14/93
Height/Weight: 5-10/170
Bats/Throws: S/R
Drafted/Signed: 2nd round, 2011, Port St. Joe HS (FL)
2011 Stats: DNP
Tools Profile: Small, but incredibly athletic.

Year in Review: Another high school player who saw his stock rise throughout the spring, and signed as a second-round pick for $775,000.
The Good: Quinn is a compact athlete with plenty of tools. He's a pure burner who should steal plenty of bases, and he has a very quick bat with gap power. He has good range in the infield and a solid arm.
The Bad: Quinn is still raw and needs to refine his approach at the plate and develop pitch recognition. His infield instincts and actions are below average, and many scouts would like to see him in center field.
Ephemera: There have been six shortstops selected with the 66th overall pick in the draft, with the best being Tripp Cromer (1989), Gookie Dawkins (1997) or Bobby Hill (1999), depending on which player you felt did the least damage.
Perfect World Projection: Speed-based player, more likely in the outfield than the infield.
Fantasy Impact: He could end up having value for his stolen bases alone.
Path to the Big Leagues: Quinn will likely play for a short-season club in 2012.
ETA: 2016.

9. Julio Rodriguez, RHP
DOB
: 8/29/90
Height/Weight: 6-4/195
Bats/Throws: R/R
Drafted/Signed: 8th round, 2008,
2011 Stats: 2.76 ERA (156.2-102-56-168) at High-A (27 G)
Tools Profile: Smoke and mirrors right-hander.

Year in Review: Scouts aren't quite sure how he does it, but he continued to put up eye-popping numbers.
The Good: There's nothing remarkable about Rodriguez' stuff, nor his command and control. He can touch 93 mph with his fastball but generally sits at average in terms of velocity, and he effectively mixed in an average-to-plus curve and decent changeup. His delivery is not complicated, but he naturally hides the ball behind his head until just before the point of release, which gives him plenty of deception.
The Bad: Rodriguez' achievements, when compared to his raw ability, borders on baffling, and he'll have to prove himself at every level. Without a true plus offering, there is concern that at some point he'll hit a wall.
Ephemera: Rodriguez allowed more hits than innings pitched in just three of his 27 starts in 2011.
Perfect World Projection: No. 4 starter.
Fantasy Impact: It's unlikely that Rodriguez will be able to put up numbers like he did in 2011 at the major league level.
Path to the Big Leagues: Rodriguez will face the big test of Double-A hitting in 2012.
ETA: 2014.

10. Maikel Franco, 3B
DOB
: 8/26/92
Height/Weight: 6-1/180
Bats/Throws: R/R
Drafted/Signed: 2010, Dominican Republic
2011 Stats: .287/.367/.411 at Short-Season (54 G), .123/.149/.200 at Low-A (17 G)
Tools Profile: Hitting potential and solid glove work.

Year in Review: Hit well in the New York-Penn League but collapsed after late-season promotion to Low-A.
The Good: Franco's hit tool earns high praise; he has a surprising knack for contact for such a young player, to go along with plenty of bat speed and the potential for average power. He's a good defensive player with quick reactions and a strong arm.
The Bad: Franco's approach needs work, as when he slumped at Lakewood, he began to press and consistently fell behind in the count. He's not especially big or athletic, and doesn't run well.
Ephemera: Franco went 11-for-23 with four doubles and a triple during the fifth inning of New York-Penn League games in 2011; even during his disastrous stint for Lakewood, he was 2-for-7 in the frame.
Perfect World Projection: Solid everyday third baseman with some upside beyond that.
Fantasy Impact: It all depends on how the power develops.
Path to the Big Leagues: Franco will get another shot at full-season pitching in 2012 when he returns to Low-A Lakewood.
ETA: 2015.

11. Brody Colvin, RHP
DOB
: 8/14/90
Height/Weight: 6-3/195
Bats/Throws: R/R
Drafted/Signed: 7th round, 2009, More HS (LA)
2011 Stats: 4.71 ERA (116.2-131-42-78) at High-A (22 G)
Tools Profile: Still a very athletic pitcher with upside.

Year in Review: After a breakout season in 2010, Colvin tried to pitch through some injuries and everything fell apart.
The Good: Colvin has sat in the low-90s in the past while touching the mid-90s; more often than not, he just had average velocity last year with less movement than he had in the past. His curveball is a potentially plus pitch, and his changeup is solid.
The Bad: Colvin got hit hard in 2011 when he tried to pitch off his fastball, and he rarely looked comfortable on the mound. His delivery was never the prettiest thing, but it devolved into a mechanical, multi-part mess with little fluidity.
Ephemera: In Colvin's 21 starts, he allowed 20 first inning runs, including four of the 10 home runs he allowed on the season.
Perfect World Projection: Colvin still could turn into a No. 3 starter or better, but his chances of reaching that ceiling have diminished.
Fantasy Impact: For now, he's a lottery ticket.
Path to the Big Leagues: Colvin's ugly season has left the team reticent about moving him up to Double-A, so he'll likely return to High-A in 2012; he needs to earn a promotion.
ETA: 2014

The Sleeper: 2011 seventh-round pick Kenny Giles is a raw but very live-armed right-hander with some of the best velocity in the system.

Top 10 Talents 25 And Under (born 4/1/86 or later)
1. Domonic Brown, OF

2. Vance Worly, RHP
3. Trevor May, RHP
4. Jesse Biddle, LHP
5. Phillippe Aumont, RHP
6. Michael Stutes, RHP
7. Freddy Galvis, SS
8. Sebastian Valle, C
9. Jonathan Pettibone, RHP
10. Larry Greene, OF

Domonic Brown still has star potential, but it's looking more and more like he won't reach that in Philadelphia; there might not be a better change-of-scenery young player in the game. Worley ranks where he ranks because he's in the big leagues and he's been good, but he's a massive regression candidate based on the gap between stats and stuff. Stutes is a solid reliever, but he's already at his ceiling.

Summary: The Phillies are designed to win right now, and that's a good thing, because there isn't any big help coming through the system. They have plenty of arms to replace aging pitchers, but the offensive burden will have to rest on an aging, veteran lineup.

Kevin Goldstein is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Kevin's other articles. You can contact Kevin by clicking here

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