By Dylan MacKinnon- Producer at 97.5 The Fanatic
Baseball America has released its start of the season Top 100 Prospects rankings. How many did the Phillies end up with? Two. A whole two prospects. Spencer Howard, and Alec Bohm. I was a Journalism major, so math is not my strong point. But even I can figure out that with 30 teams, you should have at least 3 prospects ranked. But no, the Phillies have two.
Spencer Howard was ranked at 27, and Alec Bohm at 28. We should be excited about both of them. They both have advanced through the Minors quickly, excelling at every level. But they are only two players.
Now you may say that they had more prospects. In 2017 this farm system had promise. They had 7 players in that year’s Top 100.
Rhys Hoskins struggled last year, but he has also excelled at other points. JP Crawford was traded to acquire Jean Segura. Scott Kingery is another player who at least shown potential. And they used Sixto Sanchez and Jorge Alfaro to trade for JT Realmuto. But here is the thing, all but two of those 7 players, were added under Ruben Amaro Jr. Matt Klentak and Andy MacPhail’s additions, Mickey Moniak, and Adam Haseley. Neither remained in the Top 100 the following year.
Andy Macphail got hired as a special assistant during June in 2015, and was promoted to President at the end of that season. Matt Klentak was also hired at the end of that season. They have had 4 drafts to acquire prospects of their own. They have two ranked prospects to show for it.
They took Mickey Moniak 1st overall in 2016. Now MLB drafts can be a bit of a crapshoot, but when you have the number one overall pick, you would think you would at least get a player who would 4 years later be considered a good prospect. Not only is he not a top 100 prospect, he is barely in the Phillies top 10. In 119 games at AA last year, he hit .252 with 11 HRS. Baseball America does not even project him to be the starter on this team by 2023.
For pitching prospects, besides Howard they have… uh… Adonis Medina? We have heard about his potential, yet every year, he continues to drop down the Phillies rankings. There is no one right now in the Phillies system, besides Spencer Howard, who projects to be a starter in the near future. Oh, and Medina wasn’t even a guy they added. In 4 years they couldn’t even manage to add a second SP prospect worthy of having the potential to not live up to their potential. No other starter they have drafted, can even outperform Medina, who has not played well at all.
There are some bright spots. Obviously Bohm and Howard are highly regarded prospects. But beyond that, Bryson Stott was a guy they drafted last year who has serious potential. He isn’t ranked yet, but was only drafted last year, and he probably will play himself into being a Top 100 prospect. Francisco Morales is a RP prospect, who while he has been inconsistent, does have great strikeout stuff, and could maybe become a good reliever.
But that is what we have been reduced to. When one of the best prospects they have, is a high ceiling RP who hasn’t put it all together yet, there is something wrong. Why in 4 years, have this front office produced so little to be excited about? Two Top 100 prospects, and 1 player who will start for them this year, Adam Hasely. I like Hasley, and I am excited about Bohm and Howard, and even Stott. But that is bleak. They have added 4 guys in 4 years that we can be excited about through the draft.
We can give them credit for making good trades to get Realmuto, and good signings to add guys like Harper and Wheeler. But their drafts have been terrible. The expectations in the draft have to be lower than in any other league, but even with that excuse, it looks bad. There aren’t even role player type guys there.
We thought the previous regime was bad, but in their last few years, they added Aaron Nola, Rhys Hoskins, JP Crawford, Sixto Sanchez, Scott Kingery, among some others. The last 4 years of the Amaro era drafted better, at least for now, than the first 4 of the Klentak era.
With the Phillies already near the luxury tax, and ownership for now seeming unwilling to pass the luxury tax, that is a problem. There are not many reinforcements on the way, so what you see with the Phillies is what we are going to get. Doesn’t inspire much confidence.