The Kram Top 40: Phillies Prospects 2017

Hey Baseball fans, it’s “list season” out on the inter-webs.  For the first time, I’m throwing my hat into the ring.

Historically, I’ve followed the Phillies prospect lists merely to anticipate when talented young players might be able to come to the IronPigs and contribute towards winning baseball.  But since I became a season ticket holder in Reading as well as Allentown, I’ve got a little more perspective and opinion–hopefully cogent enough to write my own list.

As you read lists, it is important to keep in mind the author.  National or local?  What sources does the author have?  How much time does he/she spend watching the players in person or on video?

So keeping that in mind, I’ll add a few comments here and there from my AAA/AA perspective, and where I expect them to start the 2017 season.  This may not be the most curated of lists out there, but it has basis and might better be described as my “impression.”


See that kiddos?  JP with good form...   Photo: Cheryl Pursell

See that kiddos? JP with good form…
Photo: Cheryl Pursell

  1. JP Crawford SS (IronPigs)  He makes it all look easy.  And no one is talking about it, but nagging injuries to his hand/wrist and back/oblique sapped his power a bit last season.  I still expect really big things.
  2. Jorge Alfaro C (IronPigs)  So there will be two dudes named ‘Jorge’ from Columbia working at Coca Cola Park this summer…  Pitchers love him and he works really hard.  One of my favorites.
  3. Nick Williams OF (IronPigs)  I might be higher than other Phillies-centric rankers here, but I still believe in his talent.  (Must. not. make. Dom. Brown. comp.)
  4. Mickey Moniak CF (Lakewood)  He’s a natural–expect him to move quickly.
  5. C Randolph LF (Clearwater)  I’m among the highest on him I know–I just think he can hit.  I also know the Tony Gwynn Sr comp is unfair, but…
  6. Franklyn Kilome RHP (Clearwater)
  7. Sixto Sanchez RHP  (Williamsport)  The hot guy this offseason. A long way off perhaps.
  8. Mark Appel RHP (IronPigs)  I still believe.  Not in the pedigree, but in the stuff.  If his shoulder is right he could be a dominant starter or even a back-end reliever.
  9. Roman Quinn OF (IronPigs)  Many have him starting in Philadelphia.  I’m not sold on his arm in right field.  He needs to play and stay healthy and that might have to start in CF in Allentown.
  10. Elniery Garcia LHP  (Reading)  I’m among the highest on him.  Really looking forward to watching him in Reading this season.  I probably over-value lefties.
  11. Scott Kingery 2B (Reading)  The speed is really good.  Second is his only position, though, I think.
  12. Rhys Hoskins 1B  (IronPigs)  It’s not just about homers–he can hit.  But he’ll have to keep it up.
  13. Nick Pivetta RHP  (IronPigs)  Stuff is good enough to convert to the pen if needed.
  14. Adonis Medina RHP (Lakewood)
  15. Kevin Gowdy RHP (Williamsport)  Draft pedigree–but I’m going to need to see something.
  16. Andrew Knapp C (IronPigs)  I’d like to see him hit more.  I’d like to see his defense improve.
  17. Dylan Cozens RF (IronPigs)  I’m really worried about lefties and curves…
  18. Carlos Tocci CF  (Reading)  Sink or swim time for Tocci?  Advanced feel for the game bodes well.
  19. Ricardo Pinto RHP (Reading)  I’m ready to put him in the bullpen right now.
  20. Victor Arano RHP (Reading)  Could move quickly.  A reliever with value.
  21. Drew Anderson RHP (Clearwater)  I might be drinking the Kool Aide..
  22. Jhailyn Ortiz OF  (Williamsport)  I believe.  Just, so young.
  23. Jesmuel Valentin 2B (IronPigs)  I was impressed with his adjustment to AAA last season after seeing him in Reading as well.  Might need to start getting some time at SS or 3B to improve flexibility.
  24. Andrew Pullin LF (Reading)  He’s going to need to keep hitting, and although he played a bunch in RF for Reading, probably limited to LF long term.
  25. Deivi Grullon C (Clearwater)  I’m still drunk on his arm.  And, I’ve got a soft spot for catchers. Still finding his way at the plate.
  26. Alberto Tirado RHP (Clearwater)  Top self stuff but might never harness it.  Time to put him in the ‘pen and get him moving if he’s gonna.
  27. Chace Numata C (Reading)  Love catchers.  He hits .300?  Yes, please, more of that.
  28. Cole Stobbe SS (Williamsport)
  29. Malquin Canelo SS (Reading)  I’m worried he’ll never hit.
  30. Arquimedes Gamboa SS (Lakewood)  I probably over-value defense.
  31. Ben Lively RHP (IronPigs)  One of the best ‘Pigs starters–might be challenged at the next level.
  32. Thomas Eshelman RHP (Reading)  Control artist struggling with control.  I’m worried.
  33. JoJo Romero LHP (Lakewood)
  34. Cole Irvin LHP (Lakewood?) College pitcher; needs to move.
  35. Jose Pujols OF (Clearwater)  Power for days.  Strikeouts for weeks.
  36. Brock Stassi 1B (IronPigs)  Just keeps proving people wrong.  This season’s Tommy Joseph?
  37. Cam Perkins OF (IronPigs)  Having a great winter.
  38. Seranthony Dominguez RHP (Clearwater)
  39. Harold Arauz RHP (Clearwater)
  40. Grenny Cumana INF (Clearwater)  DiPro’s favorite player as soon as he arrives in Allentown in 2019.


I probably forgot someone.  Have at me in the comments if you want.


See you at the parks,


Categories: Kram's Korner - From the Club Level, Lehigh Valley IronPigs

Tags: , ,

2 replies

  1. I assume the team in parentheses is where you project these guys to land in 2017. Where do you have some of Clearwater’s pitchers from 2016 landing this year?

    • Yeah, yeah–team in parenthesis is my projected starting position, but you never know. There are guys they may want to challenge, and the Phillies are often careful and conservative–much easier to move a guy up than have him play so poorly he needs to be sent back down.

      As I kind of mentioned, I’m more of a AA and AAA guy because that’s what I get to see every day–but here we go with my guesses at where the 2016 Clearwater hurlers will be in April:

      2016 Clearwater Starters:

      Elniery Garcia: Reading
      Ranfi Casimiro: Clearwater
      Shane Watson: Clearwater
      Tyler Viza: Reading
      Will Morris: Reading maybe
      Thomas Eshelman: Reading
      Luke Leftwich: Clearwater
      John Richy: Clearwater bubble

      2016 Clearwater Relievers:

      Ulises Joaquin: Reading
      Matt Hockenberry: Reading
      Victor Arano: Reading
      Joey DeNato: Clearwater bubble
      Jesen Therrien: Reading
      Alexis Rivero: Reading

      But what do I know? What do any of us know? Who predicted what Tommy Joseph did last season?

      It’s too soon to start counting up roster spots and stuff, so when I throw this out I’m basically looking at “working groups” of players and their assignments will follow. There will be numbers problems if everyone is healthy–especially with pitchers so some Lehigh Valley guys might start in Reading (Like Asher and Vasquez last season) and some guys ready for AA might end up back with Clearwater to start.

      One last thing: I assume Matt must be your brother or other relative. I saw I think 2 of his 3 appearances with Reading last season and thought he did well. I assumed it was a numbers problem with that Reading pen and nothing else–I didn’t understand a lot of the reliever moves that were made last season between Clearwater and Reading. I’m sure his family is looking forward to having him back in PA this season. He’ll immediately have the best Twitter handle in the Eastern League! 😉

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