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Philadelphia Phillies Top 20 Prospects for 2010

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Philadelphia Phillies Top 20 Prospects for 2010

All grades are EXTREMELY PRELIMINARY and subject to change. Don't get too worried about exact rankings at this point, especially once you get beyond the Top 10. Grade C+/C guys are pretty interchangeable depending on what you want to emphasize. Complete reports on these and over 1,000 other players will be in the 2010 Baseball Prospect Book, now available for pre-order, shipping on February 2nd!

1) Domonic Brown, OF, Grade B+: Borderline A-. I love this guy, but the tools aren't quite refined yet and they need to give him a solid consolidation season in 2010, start him off in Reading and leave him there until July no matter what he does.

2) Trevor May, RHP, Grade B-: Borderline B. I love the upside with this arm as demonstrated in his K/IP and H/IP ratios, but he needs to cut back on the walks.

3) Phillipe Aumont, RHP, Grade B-: High upside arm acquired from the Mariners but I worry about his durability and mechanics.

4) J.C. Ramirez, RHP, Grade B-: Another high upside arm acquired from the Mariners. High Desert hurt his numbers. I've always liked him better than the numbers indicate I should, and I think a breakout is possible in 2010.

5) Anthony Gose, OF, Grade C+: Love the speed, youth, and the athleticism. Don't like the high strikeout rate for a guy without much power. Most advanced of the uber-tools players collected in this system in recent drafts.

6) Sebastian Valle, C, Grade C+: Excellent power potential and very young, but plate discipline and defense need work.

7) Domingo Santana, OF, Grade C+: Another tools guy, excellent power production in the Gulf Coast League but plate discipline/contact could be issues. Could rank much higher next year.

8) Tyson Gillies, OF, Grade C+: Draws walks, steals bases with outstanding speed, good glove, fun to watch. Most of his power came at High Desert; Double-A production could raise him to a B- or even a B. Could rank as high as fifth if you want to value his polish over pure upside of Gose, Valle, and Santana.

9) Jarred Cosart, RHP, Grade C+: Live arm, good stats in limited GCL sample, negative reports about makeup are a concern but he's young enough to outgrow that. Like Santana, could rank much higher next year.

10) Antonio Bastardo, LHP, Grade C+: I've liked the guy for awhile and expect him to be a good pitcher, but durability problems make it more likely as a reliever.

11) Jonathan Singleton, 1B, Grade C+: Bat was a lot more polished than expected in the GCL. Strong power potential, could rank over Cosart and Bastardo if you prefer hitting to pitching.

12) Scott Mathieson, RHP, Grade C+: Difficult to rank and grade. He's always been effective when healthy and has a great arm, but at some point he's going to run out of graftable ligaments. Could make an impact in the pen as soon as this year.

13) Leandro Castro, OF, Grade C+: Another member of the Toolsy Outfielder Who Might Not Hit Good Pitching Brigade. Could rank as high as eighth.

14) Brody Colvin, RHP, Grade C+: :Live arm from the '09 draft stands out as a sleeper to me.

15) B.J. Rosenberg, RHP, Grade C+: Looks like he could be a good relief option sometime soon.

16) Jiwan James, OF, Grade C: Hard to pick from all the raw tools guys who can fit at the bottom of the list, but for some reason this guy sticks out at me as one who could really take off this year.

17) Justin De Fratus, RHP, Grade C: Terrific K/BB ratio in the Sally League with a live arm.

18) Zach Collier, OF, Grade C: He didn't hit at all last year, but I prefer him to the even rawer Anthony Hewitt at this point.

19) Drew Carpenter, RHP, Grade C: Control artist with mediocre stuff has nothing left to prove in the minors, but fly ball tendency might not fit well in Philly.

20) Johan Flande, LHP, Grade C: Deceptive lefty has less upside than other arms but could help sooner.

OTHERS (Grade C): Aaron Altherr, OF; Mike Cisco, RHP; Heitor Correa, RHP; Kelly Dugan, OF; Sergio Escalona, LHP; Freddy Galvis, SS; Edgar Garcia, RHP; David Herndon, RHP; Anthony Hewitt, 3B; Kyrell Hudson, OF; Austin Hyatt, RHP; Jon Pettibone, RHP; Joe Savery, LHP; Mike Schwimer, RHP; Colby Shreve, RHP; Mike Stutes, RHP; Steve Susdorf, OF; Jonathan Villar, SS; Matt Way, LHP; Vance Worley, RHP.

The Phillies are interesting to write about but hard to make a list for. They love collecting raw tools players and have a great football team at the lower levels of the farm system, but most of these guys have very limited baseball skills right now. Gose, Santana, Castro, and Singleton look the most polished, but that's only in comparison to Collier, Hewitt, Altherr, and Hudson, who don't have a clue what they are doing yet.  The Phillies are betting that they can get these guys to develop along Domonic Brown lines, but the thing is that what Brown did over the last two years is special; most super raw tools guys don't develop that well. My intuition is telling me that Jiwan James could develop like Brown, but I have nothing objective to back that up.

On the pitching side, they have a more balanced mixture of upside (May, Cosart, Aumont, Ramirez and others) with polish (Carpenter and the batch of potential relievers). If May can refine his command he could be a legitimate B+/A- guy next year, but that's a big if. Mathieson is a special case; under the right circumstances he could pull an Andrew Bailey in 2010; but he could also languish in Triple-A and/or get hurt again.

The Halladay/Lee trade is a strong blow; losing Drabek, Taylor, and D'Arnaud rips the guts out of the system. Getting Aumont, Gillies, and Ramirez in return helps some but none of them are as good as the three they lost.

Overall, this system is in flux due to recent trades but still has a lot of very interesting, if difficult to predict, talent.