Maybe its sad, maybe its good strategy. But lately in the City of Brotherly Love, wins aren't the indicator whether a season is a success. No, Mr. MacPhail. I'm not going to use the T word when it comes to the Phillies. But the growth and development of the Phillies young players far out ways the win loss record this season. We all have heard a lot about guys like Crawford, Knapp, Williams and Alfaro but the talent is a lot deeper than just those four!
Last spring Quinn was the player experts talked about after mentioning top prospect J.P Crawford. Now with the accusation of the likes Williams, Alfaro, Appel and Thompson. The 22 year old has been put on the back burner. Oddly "burner" is the perfect word to describe Quinn! Scouts grade prospects on a 20-80 scale (80 being the best) and Quinn's speed might be a 90 if that were possible.
The 22 year old Center Fielder is one of the fastest players in the minors. And the converted short-stop was having a breakout season in Reading when he was unfortunately sidelined for the final 2 months in 2015 with hip flexor. Before his injury, he was hitting .306 with 42 runs scored and 29 steals in just 58 games! His extraordinary athleticism has made the transition to center field a relatively easy one as he was starting to get good jumps and take great routes on fly balls. The switch hitting speedster also possses surprising pop from his small frame that allowed him to hit 4 home runs last year and an OPS of nearly .800!
The problem with Quinn isn't what he can do on the field, its been his ability to remain on the field. In addition to his injury last season, Quinn missed time with a broken wrist in 2013 and a ruptured Achilles in 2014. The good news for the Phillies is the previous injuries haven't slowed him down. If he is able to remain healthy, he could be a big part of the Phillies Phuture. Roman and his good friend JP would be a scary propitiation for opposing pitchers to deal with at the top of the Phillies lineup for the next decade plus!
Thankfully the Phillies brass has gotten away with taking "Toolsy" prospects early in the draft and have shifted to there focus to people who can actually play baseball. Guys like Crawford and Randolph get the press but 2nd round pick Scott Kingery fits the mold. He dominated the PAC-10 and the rest of the NCAA hitting .392 in his last season at Arizona. After signing with the Phillies, they gave him an aggressive promotion to low A Lakewood and it didn't go as well as some may have hoped. He hit just .250 and 11 steals in 66 games.
Despite the lack of tremendous success in his pro debut, there is a lot of reason to be excited. He is your prototypical top of the order hitter. The 21 year old possesses great speed and his OBP would make Billy Beane very happy! Kingery's advanced bat make him a prime candidate to be fast riser through the system and I think he will arrive in Philly quicker than many expect. Look for him to compete with Galvis and Hernendez as the organizations 2nd baseman of the Phuture.
3. Carlos Tocci CF
Baseball America 10th, MLB Pipeline: 23rd
I've always thought of Tocci as one of the most intriguing prospects in the Phillies system. Everyone has been waiting for his physical stature to catch up with his baseball instincts. Tocci has the baseball ability to be successful, he just needs to continue to add bulk to his skinny frame. The now only 20 year old made the jump to High A last season after starting his 3rd straight season at Lakewood. He hit .321 in Lakewood and earned the promotion midway through the season.
He is an excellent Center Fielder as his instincts allow him to take tremendous routes to balls and shows an advanced bat. Tocci hit 4 of his career 6 home runs last season, so it is a good sign that he is beginning to exhibit some power. It remains to be seen if he is able to grow in to a major league player, but the kid has the tools. Since playing at Lakewood at age 17, he has always been on of the younger players in his league. Now likely to start 2016 at Clearwater at age 20, age can no longer be an excuse for lack of production. But his baseball IQ give him a great chance at making in impact in the big leagues sometime in the Phuture.
4. Dylan Cozens OF
Baseball America: 17th, MLB Pipeline: UR
If MLB.com doesn't think Cozens is one of our top 30 prospects, then they have to think we have a heck of pharm system! Personally I don't understand the ranking! Late in the season last year, he made the jump from Clearwater to Reading and became a critical part of there playoff run. He ended the season with 8HR and hit .286/.336/.426. But had a 1.011 OPS in 11 games with the R-Phils!
Cozens has what is a weakness in the now loaded Phillies system. Raw power and lots of it. The former 2 sport star looks like a linebacker but shows a great ability to play the game. Even at 235LB he managed 20 steals last year. His critics see a stiff inconsistent power hitter and who will give you little in defensive value. But his supporters see a 6-6 imposing hitter who will only continue to gain power. Cozens will likely start the season back at Reading but looks to be at least a year away from making an impact in Philly.
Sweeney is the only player on the list who has a chance to be with the big club on Opening Day. He will always have the dubious honor as being who was acquired for Chase. But that doesn't mean he won't make an impact in Philly. He was immediately called up upon his accusation and made an immediate impact playing all over the diamond. But he hit just .176 in his 37 games with the Phillies.
It remains to be scene what kind of impact Sweeney will have. Is he an everyday player or is he just a utility man? Either way, he has the talent to make an impact in the majors. Players who can play multiple positions are crucial when building a team. But with the influx of talent in the upper levels of the system, he will have to produce when given the opportunity if he wants to remain in the big leagues.