Focus on Phils' top 25 prospects
by Scott Butler 7/22/13

Yesterday, I discussed what the Phillies roster might look like if they were major sellers at the trading deadline. The Inquirer just announced their list of the top 25 Phillies prospects and today let's take a closer look at some of the players we may or may not be seeing in Philadelphia soon.

I'm not a minor league expert , so my intentions here are just to give you a quick overview of the names and stats of the key farm players. Just call this the Cliff's Notes version. But if you are looking for an exhaustive analysis of each prospect, read the posting or visit the top 20 rankings (although their comments are prior to this season) if you want an exhaustive analysis.

For our purposes here I separated everyone into the Haves and Have-Nots.

Phillies Prospect Haves

Maikel Franco (3B) – Clearwater/Reading

90 G, .323 AVG, 21 HR, 70 RBI, .364 OBP, .584 SLG, .948 OPS

Franco jumped over Jesse Biddle for the top spot in the Inquirer's rankings and hurdled Cody Asche as the top third base prospect. The numbers sure look good and he is only 20 years old. He is hitting for average and power at a power position which will probably have an opening next season. It will be interesting to see if he beats Cody Asche in the race to the majors or if one of them switches to another position.

Jesse Biddle (SP) – Reading  

19 G, 3-9, 3.33 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, 104.1 IP, 51 BB, 114 K

Biddle is progressing nicely through the Phillies farm system, but his walks indicate he needs more polish before coming to the majors. Biddle has average velocity and throws several above average pitches, but appears to lack that one dominant pitch ala Hamels' changeup. What also jumps out to me is a quote from a scout who said,"I would say he's a back-end-of-the-rotation starting pitcher."

Cesar Hernandez (2B) - Lehigh Valley

87 G, .312 AVG, 2 HR, 32 RBI, .376 OBP, .409 SLG, .790 OPS, 28 SB

Hernandez is having a great minor league season and held his own during his short stint in the majors. He clearly has the potential to hit and uses his speed as an asset. He is a solid second baseman and the Phillies have enough confidence in his defence that they are even trying him out in center field.

Cody Asche (3B) – Lehigh Valley

95 G, .283 AVG, 10 HR, 56 RBI, .344 OBP, .444 SLG, .788 OPS

Asche's names gets thrown around as much as anyone's in the Phillies organization and it almost seems surprising that he is ranked 5th and 9th among Phillies prospects. Asche is an above average hitter, but he has average speed and below average power for a third baseman. But many love his intagibles and have compared his makeup to Chase Utley. While Asche may not have the pop of a Howard, he could be loved like an Utley.

JP Crawford (SS) – Gulf Coast Phillies

17 G, .391 AVG, 0 HR, 4 RBI, .451 OBP, .469 SLG, .919 OPS

The Phillies' top pick in this year's draft and #16 overall pick has gotten off to a great start in the Gulf Coast League. Crawford began as an outfielder before switching to shorstop and is excelling at the postion. It is way too early to form any real opinions, but to see an 18-year-old succeeding already is a great sign.

Phillies Prospect Have-Nots

Roman Quinn (SS) – Lakewood

67 G, .238 AVG, 5 HR, 21 RBI, .323 OBP, .346 SLG, .669 OPS, 32 SB

Quinn is having a really tough season and now is on the DL with a broken wrist. On top of the horrible offensive numbers, Quinn has committed 31 errors in 66 games at shorstop (as a comparison, Jimmy Rollins has 9 errors in 94 games). Yet somehow Quinn is ranked as the third best prospect by the Inquirer and #5 on Scouts like his blazing speed, plus arm, and overall off-the-chart tools, and think at age 22 he can still develop into a .300 hitter.

Tommy Joseph (C) – Clearwater/Reading/Lehigh Valley

 36 G, .179 AVG, 3 HR, 16 RBI, .229 OBP, .285 SLG, .514 OPS

Ever since Joseph shook off Roy Halladay in Spring Training and stalked him between innings to pick his brain, you would think this guy was on a fast track to the big leagues. Since then it has been a disaster. He missed over a month due to a concussion and is back on the DL now. It may be just a throw-away season, but he is clearly not ready to replace Chooch anytime soon.

Ethan Martin (SP) Lehigh Valley

 19 G, 10-4, 4.79 ERA, 1.45 WHIP, 103.2 IP, 61 BB, 93 K

Martin has struggled with his command in his first full season in the Phillies organization, and allows 1.45 baserunners per inning. With a plus fastball that has touched 97 mph and a hard slider, he still has the tools, but he is nowhere near major league ready.

Adam Morgan (SP) – Lehigh Valley

10 G, 1-5, 4.62 ERA, 1.34 WHIP, 48.2 IP, 12 BB, 37 RBI

Morgan seemed the more likely guy to get a call to The Show, but while Jonathan Pettibone has been a serviceable major leaguer, Morgan had a rough time in the minors and now is on the DL for shoulder issues. Scouts like his stuff, but he needs more time before any calls from Ruben Amaro.

Cameron Rupp (C) - Reading/Lehigh Valley

68 G, .240 AVG, 10 HR, 33 RBI, .307 OBP, .421 SLG, .728 OPS

Rupp is first on the Phillies catching depth chart for no other reason than the struggles of Valle and Joseph ahead of him. His defense has improved and he has shown a touch of power, but a .240 AVG and .307 on-base percentage says it all.

Sebastian Valle (C) - Reading

63 G, .209 AVG, 9 HR, 25 RBI, .238 OBP, .370 SLG, .608 OPS

Speaking of Valle, no player in the organization has suffered a bigger fall from grace than Sebastian Valle. He was once the top catching prospect in the farm system, but his offense has regressed so far that you have to wonder if he will last much longer in the minors. As one scout put it, "He’s heading in the wrong direction.”

Larry Greene, Jr. (LF) - Lakewood

75 G, .235 AVG, 2 HR, 22 RBI, .329 OBP, .321 SLG, .650 OPS, 5 SB

Drafted for his power, the Phillies’ first overall pick in the 2011 draft ha shown none of that in his first pro season. He still has the raw physical power to make a difference and he still has time to put it together, but this looks like a bust to me.

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