One problem with evaluating Phillies prospects is reading. Sorry, Reading, the AA level, is one of the issues. Double A is typically the preferred level for anyone trying to get a read/handle on what a player could become. Josh Stephen is a decent example. As a 21-year-old outfielder in AA, he posted a 140 wRC+. Normally this puts up a “follow-me” flag. And Stephen does deserve some eyeballs as he heads into AAA at 22. But so what if he hits there? He didn’t hit in High-A Clearwater. By which I mean he skipped the level after not hitting in class A Lakewood (82 wRC+). Didn’t hit in Low A either (91 wRC+).
So what do we know about Stephen after four years in the system? That maybe he doesn’t have enough bat to carry the profile? I don’t think we can really say that about a guy who was always young for his level. To make matters better, he’s rule 5 draft eligible next December, so they’re running out of time before they could lose him. And now he’s headed for the juicy AAA balls, assuming they’re still juicy.
It’s not all bad news though. Pitchers go through this same crucible, and though it’s not the easiest path to value (see Adonis Medina’s 2019 stock movement), it might produce extremely resilient prospects, and I’m not sure there’s a more important aspect of making a living on the mound.
1. RHP Spencer Howard | 23 | AA | Late 2020
2. 3B Alec Bohm | 23 | AA | Early 2021
Spencer’s got the kind of gifts people actually want. He’s one of the rare pitching prospects I wouldn’t be selling right now.
Dropping bombs since he got drafted 3rd overall, Alec Bohm was likely a bargain in your first-year-player draft last winter. He’s not much of a defender, so the Phanatics in Philly are crossing their fingers for that National League DH.
3. SS Bryson Stott | 22 | A- | Late 2022
4. OF Simon Muzziotti | 21 | A+ | 2022
Everyone in the Stott’s tots class gets their college paid for if Bryson makes it big, so here’s hoping his well-rounded set of skills lets the 2019 first rounder scale that ladder. He doesn’t stand out at anything in particular, but it’s pretty common for these sum-of-the-parts guys to overachieve.
Muzziotti just sounds like a speed play, which is fine because he is. He got caught 12 times in 32 attempts last year, but that’s not a big issue when you’re hitting .287 as a 20-year-old in High A. Striking out 12.9 percent of the time. Walking 6.9 percent—sorry I was drooling a little. An actualized Muzziotti playing above age with a juiced ball would be a thing. A Dude. Is that what they say now? But I’m gonna use that better later, so I’ll stick with thing. I’m also not sure he’d be a Dude. More of a Thing for fantasy than a Mr. Universe type. Greg Universe, maybe.
5. 2B Kendall Simmons | 19 | A- | 2023
6. RHP Adonis Medina | 23 | AA | Early 2021
Posting a 177 wRC+ over his final month in Low A as a 19-year-old, Kendall Simmons seems to have unlocked something. At 6’2” 180 lbs., he’s the perfect build for continued physical development and will leap up the lists early in 2020 if he hits well in Spring.
As mentioned in the opener, 2019 was a difficult year for Adonis Medina. One might even say he was a funky cold Medina. His strikeout rate plummeted from 26.1 to 17.5 percent. That park in Reading causes a lot of problems, but strikeout-rate drain doesn’t have to be one of them. Medina works with plus command of his plus changeup and slider, and I thought his mature secondary stuff would make his transition to top levels smooth. Maybe it still will.
7. LHP Damon Jones | 25 | AAA | Late 2020
8. SS Luis Garcia | 19 | A | 2024
9. OF Mickey Moniak | 22 | AA | 2022
10. OF Johan Rojas | 19 | A- | 2024
11. RHP Kyle Glogoski | 21 | A+ | Early 2022
Damon Jones is the most interesting to me in part because he’s closest to the majors but also because he added velocity last year and was cheat-code dominant across A+ and AA before sputtering in 34 AAA innings. The 6’5” lefty pairs a mid 90’s, late-life heater with a wipe-out slider and could wield four major-league-quality pitches if his change and curve continue developing.
Luis Garcia is probably owned in your league and definitely has enough upside to make waves, but he just slashed .189/.261/.255 across 127 games in A ball. I dropped him in two 300+ MiLB-owned dynasty leagues last year and have not regretted it.
Perhaps the most disappointing number one overall draft pick since Brady Aiken in 2014 or Mark Appel in 2013, Mickey Moniak has not endeared himself to Phillies fans or fantasy players. He’s still just 22 and on-time in the age-to-level math, so we can wait a beat to start singing a dirge for Moniak’s baseball life, but his fantasy baseball life? That’ll need to be resuscitated.
Might have gone too far there. I just mean he’s probably a free agent in a lot of dynasty leagues.
You’re probably better off having Johan Rojas than Moniak. That’ll be our little Easter egg on Halloween. Consider them flipped in the rankings. Rojas is already surrounded by the low rumble of a hype train revving up. sounds
Kyle The Big Glogoski is a 6’3” New Zealander with wicked mustache game. He’s a tough at bat for right handed hitters because he hides the ball well and repeats well, which helps his stuff play up. That strong base of command and deception gives him an advantage paired with his age: time to experiment and improve against good competition. The Dude is lined up for AA at 21. If he thrives at Reading, White Russians are on me.
Click here to see Glogoski’s delivery in this awesome story by Rob Terranova of MiLB.com
LHP Ethan Lindow | 21 | A+ | Early 2022
Lindow enjoys many of the same age-to-level advantages as Glogoski but is a bit behind and likely ticketed for High A after throwing just 16 innings there in 2019. I tend to collect young lefties like Lindow with command and the ability to limit home runs. We’ll get to see how it plays at Reading some time in 2020, and if he’s good early there, I’d add him.