Pitcher Sixto Sanchez is the consensus top Phillies prospect
The Phillies Nation official Top 20 Philadelphia Phillies prospect ranking has been compiled from a survey of select members of our current staff.
Taking part in the survey were myself, Editorial Director Tim Kelly and staff writer Alec Whitaker, who produces our “Minor League Mash-up” series and regularly covers the Phillies minor league system here at Phillies Nation.
Each of these staffers presented their own individual Phillies Top 20 Prospect lists, which were then compiled into what you find presented below as our official ranking.
The staff here at Phillies Nation all follow the organization on a regular basis, from the lowest levels of the minor leagues on up through the big league club. We regularly read over the evaluations of both industry experts and others who closely follow the team.
We also attend games at a number of levels, watch TV broadcasts of the big club and minor league affiliates, and get to see players and prospects actually perform on the field.
These types of lists are always going to be subjective in nature. However, we incorporate the opinions of industry experts from places such as MLB Pipeline, Baseball America and a variety of other respected outside resources in helping to form our individual opinions.
This Phillies Nation version of the current Phillies Top 20 Prospects reflects those influences. It presents fans with a realistic picture of the very best youngsters now moving through the organization’s minor league system.
As for qualifications, we operated with the standard that to be considered, players must have not used up their MLB rookie qualifications of 130 big league at-bats or 50 innings pitched.
To come up with each player’s ranking, I simply took each of our three staffer’s lists and assigned a numeric point value based on those lists. A first place ranking from our staffer got you one point, a fifth place spot five, a 12th place spot got you 12 points. Add up the points for a total with the lowest being the best, and that’s how the final PN rankings were established. There were 15 prospects who received votes from all three of us.
You will find full write-ups on the top 10, and then 11-20 simply ranked. As a bonus, players who were mentioned by one of our staffers but who didn’t make the official rankings will be noted as well.
PHILLIES NATION: PHILLIES TOP 20 PROSPECTS
Sanchez was rated in the top spot by all three Phillies Nation evaluators.
1. Sixto Sanchez, RHP: The consensus top Phillies prospect at this time, not only on our PN list, but also per every reputable industry resource. Sanchez just left his teenage years behind a little over a week ago, and has spent the past couple of months on the minor league disabled list after suffering inflammation in his right (pitching) elbow. Signed by the Phillies as a 16-year-old international free agent out of his native Dominican Republic back in 2015, Sanchez has been advancing incrementally through the club’s farm system ever since. Over eight starts at High A Clearwater this season, he’s gone 4-3 with a 2.51 ERA and 1.071 WHIP, allowing 39 hits over 46.2 innings with a 45/11 K:BB ratio. Whitaker commented that “no one in the Phillies system has as much upside as the 20-year-old flamethrower.” MLB.com backs up that description with their scouting report: “It’s hard not to get excited about Sanchez’s combination of pure stuff and feel for pitching. While he is just six feet tall, he’s strong and athletic with a repeatable delivery that points to a future in a rotation. He can hit triple digits with his four-seam fastball and also features a two-seamer with a ton of sinking action. His fastball is better than its pure velocity because of its movement as well as his ability to command it extremely well. His secondary stuff continues to improve, with a breaking ball he adds and subtracts from and a changeup he shows a good feel for at times. Both will flash above-average to plus, and given his overall feel for pitching, there is confidence both will get there consistently in time.” The Phillies are being understandably conservative in handling his rehabilitation. It is hoped that he will return to pitching this month. Assuming he is recovered and progresses physically, it would not be unreasonable to expect Sanchez to reach Double-A Reading next season, and possibly get a taste of Triple-A Lehigh Valley as well. By spring of 2020, when he will still be just 21 years of age, Sanchez should be pushing for a role in the Phillies starting rotation.
Bohm was the Phillies top pick in the 2018 MLB Amateur Draft
2. Alec Bohm, 3B: The Phillies top pick at third overall in the 2018 MLB Amateur Draft out of Wichita State University, Bohm turned 22 years old this past Friday. He was ranked in the top three on each of our staffers lists, and both MLB and Baseball America have him in this second slot. An advanced college hitter who slashed .339/.436/.625 with 16 home runs, 14 doubles and 55 RBIs over 224 at-bats during his senior year, Bohm is an all-around offensive force. The big question is going to be whether or not he can stay at the hot corner. Even if he can’t, the bat would play at first base or on an outfield corner. Whitaker says that he has “the most upside of any bat in the system. Bohm is a great combination of power, plate discipline, and hitting ability.” With Maikel Franco showing rapid improvement in his own overall game, the Phillies might be smart to try him out as a corner outfielder sooner rather than later. Carlos Santana‘s deal is up following the 2020 season. Bohm will be 24 by then, and could replace Rhys Hoskins in left field, with Hoskins moving back to first base for his age-28 season in 2021.
3. Adam Haseley, OF: I’ll admit it, I’m the one guy who ranked Haseley ahead of Bohm. That was for two reasons. First, Bohm has just 73 professional plate appearances. Second, Haseley has really stepped up his game in his own first full season in pro ball. The Phillies first round pick at eighth overall a year ago out of the University of Virginia, Haseley doesn’t possess Bohm’s power. But he does have some developing pop, and is just as strong an offensive player in every other facet. A more pure defender out there, Haseley could end up at any of the three outfield spots. Already at Double-A Reading, Haseley has hit for a .307/.362/.432 slash with 30 extra-base hits and 68 runs scored over 448 plate appearances combined across two minor league levels this season. Whitaker believes that Haseley “does a little bit of everything on the field and could have an impact on the big club by Opening Day 2019.” While that might be a tad optimistic, it would not be unreasonable at all to think we could see Haseley debut at Citizens Bank Park at some point next season.
Medina has at least a mid-rotation upside, and could develop into even more. (Baseball Betsy)
4. Adonis Medina, RHP: All three of us rated Medina in this spot, so there you have it. Both MLB and Baseball America have him in the number three slot. A quick glance at his stat line reveals a 4.96 ERA this season at High A Clearwater. But as Baseball America explains it, a “pair of meltdown starts in April and a couple more sprinkled later in the season left Medina with a bloated ERA, but he still shows the stuff to be a mid-rotation starter.” His fastball-slider-changeup combo each flash above average at times. He profiles as a mid-rotation starter with greater upside, if he and the organization can pinpoint and eliminate whatever has led to his increased tendency to surrender the long ball this season. Turning 22 in December, he should be at Double-A Reading next year, pushing for a spot with the Phillies by 2020.
5. JoJo Romero, LHP: A top 10 Phillies prospect on all three of our lists, Romero is slotted in at No. 5 for MLB and No. 6 with Baseball America. Whitaker noted that “an ERA of 3.80 while playing in a tough pitchers park at Reading is more than okay. Romero could be a solid middle rotation option or an elite lefty out of the bullpen.” Following an extremely rough start to his season, the southpaw has greatly improved to the tune of a 79/28 K:BB ratio over his last 73.1 innings, during which he has fashioned a strong 2.95 ERA. You like those numbers, right? He’ll turn 22 years of age in September, and with 18 starts under his belt already with Double-A Reading, Romero is in line to push his way to the fringes of a big league shot by sometime next season.
Dominguez is already impacting the big club, and could become a lights-out closer.
6. Seranthony Dominguez, RHP: He’s already here in Philly, so fans are becoming well acquainted with the fire-balling relief pitcher. Whitaker commented that “Dominguez moved from the starting rotation to the bullpen and everything has clicked for him. He can reach 100 MPH and has a wipe out slider. The Phillies may have found their closer for the foreseeable future.” The Baseball America evaluators have been impressed by his performance in the big leagues thus far, commenting that the 23-year-old has “quickly established himself as one of the better relievers in the big leagues. Dominguez has…with an electric fastball that sits in the upper 90s and a plus slider he can use as a finishing pitch.” Dominguez is not only a huge part of the Phillies future, but he is already a huge part of their present.
7. Jhailyn Ortiz, OF: Power is the calling card for this Dominican native, who will turn 20 in November. Ortiz has 27 homers and 98 RBI over his first 732 minor league plate appearances, all coming as a teenager. His raw power has always been evident. It’s the reason that the Phillies gave him a $4 million signing bonus back in 2016. He is willing to put in the work to get better as well. As MLB noted in their scouting report: “Ortiz gets high marks for his work ethic and desire to improve.” He still strikes out plenty, and may have to move one level at a time, meaning you may not see him in Philly much before the 2022 season. But it also may be well worth the wait in the end.
8. Mickey Moniak, OF: The first overall pick by the Phillies in the 2016 MLB Amateur Draft seems to finally be finding his footing as a professional. Now at High A Clearwater, Moniak has equaled his RBI total from a year ago and has just seven fewer extra-base hits in 143 less plate appearances. He hit .277 with 13 extra-base hits in July. Still, for Moniak to live up to anything close to his top pick potential, he is going to have to get on-base at a much better clip than the .294 OBP that he has on his stat sheet after his first 1,069 minor league plate appearances. Still very much a project, fans should remain hopeful thanks to his recent hot spell. Having turned just 20 years old in May, the lefty hitter from California still has plenty of time to keep working and get it to click.
Moniak was the top overall pick in the 2016 MLB Amateur Draft
9. Ranger Suarez, LHP: He’s the last player on this list to make all three of our top ten Phillies prospects. Suarez is also the second player on this list to reach the majors. He got his name into the Baseball Encyclopedia and picked up his first big league victory with a spot-start on July 26 against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park. Suarez was the first lefty to start a game for the Phillies in nearly two years. MLB compared him to Romero, who is three spots ahead of him on our list and theirs. “There isn’t a huge separation between him and Romero, who is a few spots ahead on this list. Romero might have a little more sizzle to his stuff, but the Phillies are just as exciting to see Suarez take on upper-level hitters and develop into a future big league starter.” Between the two of them, the Phillies are likely to find at least one southpaw to take a more regular turn in their rotation, possibly by next season.
10. (tie) Enyel De Los Santos, RHP: Just as with Suarez, De Los Santos got to make his big league debut earlier this season with the Phillies. Unlike the lefty, this right-hander made a return engagement. Unfortunately, the second start for De Los Santos wasn’t as good as the first. On July 10, he beat the New York Mets by striking out six and surrendering just five hits over 6.1 innings. But five days later, the Miami Marlins ripped seven hits off him on the way to scoring five earned runs, knocking De Los Santos out after just 4.1 innings. Obtained in a straight-up trade for Freddy Galvis from the San Diego Padres back in December, the Dominican will turn 23 years of age in December. The Baseball America evaluators like what they’ve seen of his minor league performances this year: “He has shown a promising combination of power stuff, durability and control, producing one of the lowest ERAs this year in the Triple-A International League. De los Santos pitches off a fastball that sits 92-96 mph and can touch 98, and he leans on his above-average changeup as his out pitch that’s more advanced than his breaking stuff.”
Finally healthy, Quinn brings a dynamic element to Phillies mix.
10. (tie) Roman Quinn, OF: The other two guys may be wondering how Quinn, who each ranked at #14, was able to crack our overall top ten list. Well, the speedy 25-year-old who has been making an impact with the Phillies over the last week or so can thank yours truly. Always a big Quinn fan, I put him at No. 5 on my own list. His scouting report at MLB reveals why I’ve been impressed. “Quinn is still one of the fastest men in baseball, with true 80 speed on the 20-to-80 scale, with four seasons of 30 or more steals, all the more impressive considering how oft-interrupted they have been. His overall approach at the plate has changed as he’s learned the importance of drawing walks and getting on base and while power is never going to be a huge part of his game, he has the strength to impact the ball enough to be a solid average hitter. He is a plus defender in the outfield with a strong arm.” It’s that “oft-interrupted” part that has been the problem. One injury after another has derailed Quinn’s rise over the last few years. He now appears to finally be healthy. If he stays that way, he is going to make for some difficult Phillies decisions in the coming months.