Ranking the Philadelphia Phillies’ Top 10 Prospects Heading into 2014
Ranking the Philadelphia Phillies' Top 10 Prospects Heading into 2014
It wouldn’t be difficult to find a boatload of Philadelphia Phillies fans that are sold out for the 2014 season and cannot wait to see their team retake the National League East. At the same time however a lot of people around baseball see a problem with the Phillies and the way they have been managed over the last several seasons by Ruben Amaro Jr., the team’s GM.
Currently at first base they have a big man with a load of potential in his bat that has disappointed for longer than most can remember in Ryan Howard. He still has plenty of contract left though. The middle infield is guaranteed to get older at least on the second base side as they signed Chase Utley to a new contract instead of thinking of getting younger at the second base slot and getting some nice trade value out of Utley.
It can be understood that they want to be loyal to Utley and he is far from the least productive infielder in the league. I like him just fine. It just seems that the Phillies have dug a financial hole where they spend more money than they can afford on a few older players and that keeps them from upgrading a team that keeps falling short. There could be hope arriving though.
Something of a wildcard in the roster making of a baseball team is the top prospects that threaten to bounce their way onto the major league scene at any moment. Here are the top ten the Phillies have in their system that could help the team get a little younger and better within the next year or so. Leave a comment below if you feel the need.
10 – Larry Greene
Greene is an outfield/first base prospect that saw his stock fall in 2013 with a down offensive season. He went from the #5 prospect preseason to the #10 now. He mainly needs to work on his hitting approach and most certainly strikeout less.
9 – Ethan Martin
Martin is a right hander that saw some MLB time late in the 2013 season. Unfortunately his elevated Triple-A ERA and WHIP was even more elevated in the debut time. This has his rank down to 9 from #2 where he was in the preseason rankings.
8 – Shane Watson
Watson marks the first of the top 10 whose stock rose in 2013. The right hander was #13 before the season and though his good stuff is still mostly in the potential side of things, he looked good enough to give the scouts hope for his immediate future.
7 – Mitch Gueller
Gueller is a right hander that made a huge leap from #18 to his current rank of #7. He also has most of his good in the potential stage but his plus fastball and good looking curve and changeup are enough to make scouts think he is on the way up and fast.
6 – Adam Morgan
Morgan is a solid lefty that gained one spot from his preseason rank. He has four solid offerings and could very well get a solid chance to show his stuff in the Major Leagues in 2014 at some point.
5 – Tommy Joseph
Joseph is the top catching prospect for the Phillies but did see his rank fall a couple of spots. Though a 2013 draft pick pushed him down one spot, he did fall some because of needing some offensive work. He is a very solid defensive catcher already though and should have a solid future.
4 – J.P. Crawford
Crawford mixed up the rankings as the 2013 first round shortstop that debuted at #4 with solid defense and surprisingly superb offense that could see his stock rise even higher providing he keeps up the pace.
3 – Romon Quinn
Quinn did manage to jump high enough on the prospect list to stay the number one shortstop in the system but just barely. What he lacks in height he more than makes up for in natural skills for hitting, developing power and great speed. He is also good enough defensively to stick at short which always speaks highly of any prospect. Look for him in a few years.
2 – Maikel Franco
Franco made the leap all the way to the #2 spot in the top ten prospects because of a huge offensive season. He exploded for a .320 average, .926 OPS with 31 homers and 103 RBI. There isn’t a team in the bigs that wouldn’t give this kid a shot sometime in 2014 and the Phillies look to be willing to do just that.
1 – Jesse Biddle
Anyone watching the Phillies for any length of time isn’t surprised to see this lefty at the top spot. He is a solid and constant member of the #1 slot in the Phillies ranks. Even though he just completed a double-A season, don’t be surprised if he gets a solid look in spring training or at least at the end of the 2014 season.