I have a feeling that our Philadelphia Phillies Top 15 prospect list is going to one of our more controversial lists. Because the club lacks a lot of elite level prospects, there’s not as much consensus over who should be ranked where. It makes for a fun conversation but not everyone is going to be happy with this list because several players have been omitted who are listed fairly highly on other lists.
For this list, the boys over at That Balls Outta Here, our FanSided Phillies blog, got together to pitch in. They brought in four writers who each provided a list which was then compiled by Spencer, who assigned points to each ranking using an inverse point system (20 points for 1st place vote, 19 points for 2nd, etc). They did include some honorable mentions but for the sake of time, we’re just going with the Top 15. Spencer provided us with some comments which you’ll see below.
Triple-A: Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs (International League)
Double-A: Reading Fightin’ Phils (Eastern League)
High-A: Clearwater Threshers (Florida State League)
Class-A: Lakewood BlueClaws (South Atlantic League)
Short-Season A: Williamsport Crosscutters (New York-Penn League)
Complex Rookie: GCL Phillies (Gulf Coast League)
Zach Green – 3B
Date of Birth: March 7, 1994
Height/Weight: 6’3″/210 lbs
Acquired: 3rd round of the 2012 draft
Analysis: Green, drafted just in 2012, is already showing himself to be third baseman to watch in the Phillies’ system. If he continues to perform as he did in 2013, he could start to be mentioned in the same conversations as some other, more established players far ahead of him on the depth chart. Green broke the Williamsport club home run record this year but also struck out 91 times (29.3%). In the long run, it’ll be a question of where he plays defensively and whether he can continue to take a lot of walks to go along with all those strikeouts.
2014 Prognosis: Full-season ball in Class-A Lakewood calls for Green.
Shane Watson – RHP
Date of Birth: August 13, 1993
Height/Weight: 6’4″/200 lbs
Acquired: 1st round (40th overall) of the 2012 draft
Analysis: Playing full-season ball at 19, Watson acquitted himself well but didn’t particularly stand out. The 6’4″ righty is showing fairly solid control and may develop some more velocity and have his fastball add a tick or two to the 92 mph where it sits now. He throws a curve that could easily be a plus pitch and has a solid changeup to go along with it.
2014 Prognosis: Watson will likely take a step up to Clearwater for some High-A action in 2014.
Dylan Cozens – OF
Date of Birth: May 31, 1994
Height/Weight: 6’6″/235 lbs
Acquired: 2nd round of the 2012 draft
Analysis: Cozens, who was a defensive lineman in high school (in addition to playing baseball), is already showing the kind of raw power that you might expect out of a 19-year-old kid who stands at 6’6″ and weighs 235 pounds. Hitting 19 doubles and nine home runs in a short-season league is pretty impressive and Cozens didn’t embarrass himself to do so, striking out in 23.1% of his plate appearances but also walking 10.1% of the time. Some scouts think that he’s a first-baseman-in-waiting but for now, he plays the outfield just fine.
2014 Prognosis: Lakewood calls for Cozens who might put up some very big numbers in both the home run and strikeout columns at a higher level.
Kelly Dugan – OF
Date of Birth: September 8, 1990
Height/Weight: 6’3″/195 lbs
Acquired: 2nd round of the 2009 draft
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Analysis: With plus power, Dugan is flashing some potential to be a major league quality bat. Whether the reality can meet the projection is another question as Dugan saw a huge drop in his batting average and walk rates when he was promoted to Double-A Reading from Clearwater. His numbers in the Florida State League are particularly eye-popping considering that the FSL is a very pitcher-friendly league.
2014 Prognosis: Dugan returns to Reading for a while to work on his plate discipline. If he continues to mash while being more selective, he could end up in Triple-A by season’s end.
Aaron Altherr – OF
Date of Birth: January 14, 1991
Height/Weight: 6’5″/190 lbs
Acquired: 9th round of the 2009 draft
Analysis: Altherr is a toolsy outfielder who is starting to put everything together into a nice package. Despite striking out 140 times in 2013, he also hit 54 extra-base hits and stole 23 bases. If he can cut down on the strikeouts, he could be a solid player with good run and hit tools. Scouts still like his ceiling and Altherr could develop enough power to be a corner outfielder.
2014 Prognosis: Up a level to Double-A Reading.