For a few years, the Phillies were a mainstay in the Top 10 farm system rankings, landing on that list five out of six times from midseason 2015 through the 2018 preseason ranking. Now, the system is in the bottom third of the top 30, thinned out by trades as the team tried to compete in the NL East and graduations.
The hope had been that a rebuilding effort would lead to a winner, but general manager Matt Klentak and company were only able to get to .500 in 2019 before finishing below that mark in 2020, landing the Phillies the No. 13 pick in next year’s Draft. It won’t be Klentak at the helm when that selection is made, however, as he stepped down in early October after the team failed to make the playoffs, though he remains with the team in an unspecified role.
The farm system did provide some lifts in 2020, with 2018 first-round pick Alec Bohm making it up and hitting .338/.400/.481 over 44 games to finish second in NL Rookie of the Year voting. He was the headliner, but the pitching staff also got contributions from Spencer Howard, JoJo Romero and some others, with inconsistent results. There is more talent on the way, but outside of Howard, no elite-level players appear poised to help in 2021.
FARM SYSTEM RANKINGS
2020 Midseason: 23 | Preseason: 19
2019 Midseason: NR | Preseason: NR
2018 Midseason: NR | Preseason: 5
2017 Midseason: 7 | Preseason: NR
2016 Midseason: 8 | Preseason: 7
2015 Midseason: 7 | Preseason: NR
Only the top 10 systems were ranked from 2015 to 2019 preseason; the top 15 systems were ranked 2019 midseason.
TOP 5 PROSPECTS
International: Yhoswar Garcia, OF (No. 23)
Though the Phillies did not have a second-round pick (forfeited because the club signed free agent Zack Wheeler), they did well to get Abel, the highest-ranked high school arm in the class, in the middle of the first and then to get Martin, who has first-round caliber tools but had been inconsistent, in the third. It was thought that Garcia was eligible to sign in July 2019, but an age-related issue delayed him until March, when the Phillies swooped in and inked him for $2.5 million.
2021 IMPACT PROSPECT
Spencer Howard, RHP: Howard’s big league debut was up-and-down and was interrupted with a shoulder issue. But the stuff is electric when he’s healthy and assuming that, he should once again be given every opportunity to impact the rotation.
2022 TOP PROSPECT
Mick Abel, RHP: Right now, Bryson Stott is ahead of Abel in the rankings by one spot, and it is possible the club’s 2019 first-round pick could remain ahead. But after hearing reports of how good Abel, taken No. 15 overall in this year’s Draft, looked at instructs, it’s easy to imagine him outperforming Stott and leapfrogging to the head of the list.
Hit: Bryson Stott
Power: Jhailyn Ortiz
Run: Johan Rojas
Arm: Jhailyn Ortiz
Field: Jonathan Guzman
Best athlete: Luke Williams
Fastball: Mick Abel
Curveball: Zach Warren
Slider: Francisco Morales
Changeup: Kyle Dohy
Control: Ethan Lindow
How the Top 30 Was Built
A total of 28 of the Phillies’ top 30 are homegrown, among the highest rates of all 30 teams. The dozen international players is also at the upper end of the spectrum, with four of them coming in the top 10 (Morales, Medina, Luis Garcia and Rafael Marchan).
Top 30 by Position
If left-handed pitching is indeed a hot commodity, the Phillies have some chips to work with. Their nine southpaws on the Top 30 is the most in baseball. Only one (Erik Miller) is in the top 10 and three are in the top 15 (Romero and Damon Jones). Three of the Phillies’ shortstops are in the top 10 (Stott, Garcia and Martin).