MLB Draft Insider - Top Philadelphia Phillies Prospects


1J.P. CrawfordSSL/R6-2 / 180
The Phillies took Crawford with their highest draft pick in seven years, and while his skill-set isn’t the sexiest, he has a chance to be one of the best players to come out of the draft as a plus defender who can help with the bat.

At the plate, Crawford’s best tool are his hands, which are quick to the zone with plus bat speed, and though there’s a slight amount of drift in his swing he still is able to make hard contact and a willingness to go the other way with pitches on the outer-half of the plate. He won’t likely put up big home run totals because of his frame, but with a lowered hand load he should be able to put balls into the gaps to both left and right-center field. While Crawford is an aggressive hitter, he has excellent pitch recognition skills and is more than willing to take walks, and though he’s just an average runner he can read pitchers and can steal bases.
While Crawford impressed at the plate at Lakewood, he was even better with the glove, making plays to his left and right and showing excellent footwork around the bag and he charges the ball extremely well. His hands are soft, and he puts himself into position to use his strong, accurate arm.He’s not going to be a star, but Crawford is a potential three-to-five win player as a shortstop who can get on base and provide plus defense as well, and that makes him the best prospect in the system.
HIT 45-60
POWER 35-50
SPEED 50-50
GLOVE 50-60
ARM 60-60
ETA: 2016

2Maikel Franco3B/1BR/R6-1 / 180
Franco is the best offensive prospect in the system by a large margin, putting up impressive offensive numbers at both the A+ and AA levels. He has plus bat speed and incredibly strong wrists, and when he doesn’t leak his hips he generates tremendous force, capable of hitting the ball out of the park to any part of the field. He can generate backspin on the ball as well, and while he won’t put up big walk totals and occasionally will give up at-bats, he’s talented enough to hit in the .300′s and you can hope that the discipline develops.
What isn’t as likely to develop, however, is Franco’s defense. Most scouts I’ve talk to believe it’s only a matter of time before Franco has to move across the diamond, as he’s a well below-average runner with mediocre hands and footwork, though he certainly has the arm strength to handle the hot corner. If he can stick at third then he’s the best prospect in their system by a considerable amount, but even if/when he has to move to first base Franco has more than enough offensive ability to play everyday.
HIT 50-60
POWER 55-65
SPEED 30-30
GLOVE 35-40
ARM 60-60
ETA: LATE 2014

3Jesse BiddleLHPL/L6-4 / 225
Biddle’s stuff has seen an uptick since he was a first-round pick in 2010, though his control is still a work in progress at best. He sits in the low 90′s with his fastball, and will occasionally touch the mid 90′s with some life. His out-pitch is his curveball, a swing and miss pitch that has big spin and break, though at times he loses his release point with the pitch and he struggles to throw it for strikes. Biddle’s change will also flash above-average with good fade and arm speed, and he also has a show-me slider that doesn’t project as much more than below-average.
What keeps Biddle from projecting as a No. 2 starter right now is his control and command. Last year Biddle walked 82 batters in just 138 innings, and too often he cuts himself short and struggles to find a consistent release point. If the command can be anywhere close to average he’s a mid rotation starter who can miss bats, but there’s a non-zero chance he’s a reliever if the walk rates continue to cause trouble.
CURVE 55-65
CHANGE 45-55
ETA: 2015

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