The Philadelphia Phillies have one of the best farm systems in baseball. Though the pitching prospects have left a little to be desired, the offense has been pretty exciting.
All is not lost, however. There are quite a few young arms creeping up the Phillies’ ladder. Here are three you need to know (UPDATED 1/13/17 — The Phillies added Enyel de los Santos from the Padres, who was their top “3 Prospects to Know”. His write up from that piece was added below in place of JoJo Romero).
Franklyn Kilome, RHP
Kilome continues to impress at every stop up the ladder. The tall and lanky 22-year-old with the big fastball made it to Double-A by season’s end.
Kilome was the ace of the Lakewood Blue Claws staff that made it to the South Atlantic League championship series last year. He pitched one of his best games of the season in a Game 1 duel with the Rome Braves Mike Soroka. There, he overpowered the Rome offense with his plus-curveball, keeping his mid-90s fastball fresh and full of velocity into the seventh inning.
His two problems are command and the development of a third pitch. The curveball improved this season, and he even added some velo to the fastball, but the change is still behind. Tall pitcher’s often have control issues, but this season they were a little worse than last year. Though he walked nearly four-per-nine last season, he countered it with a 10-per-nine strikeout rate. This season, his walk rate came down a hair (3.69-per-nine) but the K-rate came way down (7.20).
Still, there is too much not to like Kilome’s continued progress up the ladder. He was promoted to Lehigh Valley for the Triple-A playoffs and is scheduled to pitch Game 4. He has the ceiling of a No. 3 starter, with the floor of a long-man in the bullpen behind two electric pitches.
Enyel de los Santos, RHP
De Los Santos continues to improve at each rung of the minor league ladder. This year, the 21-year-old was arguably at his best in Double-A.
The righty pitched to a 10-6 record, posting a 3.78 ERA and 1.19 WHIP. A FIP of 3.64 shows that his game may have been actually a bit better than traditional numbers imply. He posted his best strikeout-per-nine ratio of his career (8.28) all while maintaining his normally low walk rate (2.88-per-nine). He was able to turn around his batted profile this year as well, becoming much more of a ground ball pitcher.
De Los Santos was at his best in August before finishing with two rough starts to close out the year. He posted a 1.29 ERA and a 0.96 WHIP, striking out 28 and walking 10 over four starts. He went seven innings or longer in three of the starts, throwing no less than 90 pitches.
His mid-90s fastball and strike-inducing curve are already there, while his changeup is trending upwards. He looks like he has all the makings of a back-end of the rotation starter (traded for Freddy Galvis on 12/15/17).
Adonis Medina, RHP
Medina is 20 years old. The righty had a nice season in the SAL, showing big strikeout potential.
Medina was signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2014 and has been pretty consistent on his rise up the minors. He was solid in Rookie ball behind a strong Dominican Summer League debut. This season he made his full-season debut, and posted some of the better numbers of his career.
He posted a 3.01 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP. Medina was a strikeout machine, fueled by a mid-90s, moving fastball. Medina struck out a career-best 10-per-nine, while walking less than 3-per-nine. He has to work on developing his secondary stuff still a bit, but he too is an extreme ground ball pitcher.
2017 was Medina’s first season breaking 100 innings and making over 20 starts. A strong July and an impressive August showed he was more than ready to handle it. 2018 will show a lot in the development of his whole arsenal against more advanced hitting, but he could prove to be an exciting prospect.