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Philadelphia Phillies Top-10 Fantasy Prospects

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The Phillies improved in 2016, and there’s more high-end talent on the way.

MLB: Spring Training-Philadelphia Phillies at New York Yankees Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Our Basis

With fantasy prospect rankings, the key to knowing the usefulness of a specific player is how large and deep of a league you would need to be in for them to end up as a fantasy starter. We will be ranking 10 prospects in each system, but that doesn't mean that every one of them is useful if you play in a 12-team mixed dynasty league. With that said, we're aiming to provide useful information whether you play in a 10-team mixed, a 15-team AL-only, or a 24-team mixed.

Prospect rankings also come with the same caveat that must be rehashed every year. They represent a snapshot of how we view the players at the time of publication. There will inherently be more information published throughout the off-season, and so how we view a player may evolve significantly over time. We're going to get some of these right, we're going to get some of these wrong, and in general my reminder is to find information you trust, and use it to your advantage. If that comes from us, that's great and we're happy you're here. If it doesn't, we'll continue to work and hope that you'll keep checking in to see how we're doing.

The Tiers

The tiers are here though to provide some clarity when comparing players between different teams. It's by no means a perfect system, but the goal is to give you a general idea of which players we think are in a similar range in terms of value and ranking. Since the tiers are also expected to be relatively consistent across teams, there may be tiers that do not have prospects for certain teams.

Tier 1 - The Elite Prospects

These prospects are expected to be in the top-50 prospects overall, and have the potential to be among the top options at their position regardless of format or league size.

#1 - J.P. Crawford (SS)

Age on Opening Day 2017: 22

ETA: 2017

The 16th overall pick in the 2013 draft, Crawford ranks among the best overall prospects in the game. His defensive skills will allow him to remain at shortstop, where his offense will give fantasy owners the most value. In 2016, between Double-A Reading and Triple-A Lehigh Valley, he slashed .250/.349/.339 with 7 HR and 12 SB in 123 games. His hit-tool, however, is much better than those numbers suggest, and he always has been one of the youngest players at his level. Once he matures, his ceiling is that of a .300 hitter with double-digit homers and 20-plus steals--a perennial all-star. He’s a candidate to open 2017 with the Phillies, though he could return to Lehigh Valley for more at-bats.

Tier 2 - The Top 100 Candidates

These prospects are expected to be in the discussion for the top 100 prospects overall, and are expected to be starting options in all formats.

#2 - Jorge Alfaro (C)

Age on Opening Day 2017: 23

ETA: 2017

Acquired from Texas in the 2015 Cole Hamels trade, Alfaro enjoyed a productive first season with the Phillies organization and received a brief September callup. In 97 games with Double-A Reading, the young catcher slashed .285/.325/.458 with 15 HR and 67 RBI. His plate discipline remains a work-in-progress, as evidence by his 22:105 BB:K ratio. Still, he’s a 25-homer threat from behind the dish, which makes him an intriguing fantasy prospect, especially if his batting average stays above .270. In all likelihood he will open 2017 at Triple-A Lehigh Valley and then reach Philadelphia by midseason.

#3 - Mickey Moniak (OF)

Age on Opening Day 2017: 18

ETA: 2020

Signability and financial savings helped make Moniak the first overall pick in the 2016 draft, but the young centerfielder played well enough to earn that selection on merit. In his brief professional debut, Moniak more than held his own in the GCL Rookie League, slashing .284/.340/.409 with 1 HR and 10 SB in 46 games. He plays an outstanding centerfield and should remain there long-term. His offensive arsenal includes a plus hit-tool and plus speed, which should make him a force at the top of a major-league batting order, though he remains years away from reaching his all-star ceiling. An assignment to full-season ball awaits in 2017.

#4 - Nick Williams (OF)

Age on Opening Day 2017: 23

ETA: 2017

Another top prospect acquired from Texas in the Cole Hamels deal, Williams boasts perhaps the best offensive tools in the Phillies’ system. Alas, those tools have not always shown up in games. Such was the case in 2016, when he slashed .258/.287/.427 with 13 HR, 6 SB, and a ghastly 19:136 BB:K ratio in 125 games with Triple-A Lehigh Valley. Fantasy owners in head-to-head leagues might be scared away by his lack of plate discipline. In short, Williams still has a high ceiling but also a fairly low floor for a 23-year-old prospect. A return to Triple-A seems most likely--though, like Crawford and Alfaro, Williams could help the Phillies by midseason.

Tier 3 - The Next Group of Starters

These prospects would likely slot into the 100-200 range on an overall ranking list, and would be starters in mid-depth formats, like 12 and 14 team leagues.

#5 - Cornelius Randolph (OF)

Age on Opening Day 2017: 19

ETA: 2019

In 2015 Randolph exceeded pre-draft expectations when the Phillies selected him 10th overall. He rewarded the organization by leading the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League with an .866 OPS. A shoulder injury in 2016 limited him to 68 games at Low-A Lakewood, where he slashed .274/.355/.357. Still, Randolph possesses a plus hit-tool with above-average power potential, and he has shown exceptional plate discipline even as a teenager facing advanced competition. His bat will carry him to the majors, where he could develop into an offensive force. Meanwhile, he should head to High-A Clearwater in 2017.

#6 - Franklyn Kilome

Age on Opening Day 2017: 21

ETA: 2019

With a strong 6’6” frame, a plus fastball, and promising secondary stuff, Kilome has the look of a potential frontline starter. His 2016 performance did nothing to dispel that notion. At Low-A Lakewood, the 21-year-old righthander finished 5-8 with a 3.85 ERA, 50 walks and 130 strikeouts in 114.2 IP. He closed the season with three outstanding performances totaling 20 IP, 8 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, and 24 K. With experience at higher levels and the graduation of other top prospects, Kilome could ascend this list in short order. That ascent will begin at High-A Clearwater in 2017.

#7 - Roman Quinn (OF)

Age on Opening Day 2017: 23

ETA: 2017

A 2011 second-round pick, Quinn battled through a variety of injuries in his career before finally getting the call to Philadelphia last September. At his best and healthiest, Quinn is an outstanding baserunner with double-plus speed and a promising hit-tool. At Double-A Reading in 2016 he slashed .287/.361/.441 with 6 HR and 31 SB in 71 games. He’s unlikely to develop into a serious power threat, but double-digit homers are not out of the question. Meanwhile, his elite speed and developing hit-tool give him tremendous fantasy potential. He could skip Triple-A altogether and open 2017 with the Phillies.

#8 - Kevin Gowdy (RHP)

Age on Opening Day 2017: 19

ETA: 2020

The Phillies went way over slot to sign Gowdy, the 42nd overall pick in the 2016 draft. At 6’4”, the young righthander has a chance to add velocity to his above-average fastball. He also projects to have above-average secondary pitches, a slider and changeup. That’s a starter’s profile. While it might be too soon to speculate on a ceiling, Gowdy, like Kilome, could ascend this list with a strong 2017, which should begin at Low-A Lakewood.

Tier 4 - Single League and Deep Format Plays

These prospects would likely slot into the 200-300 range on a ranking list, and would have the most value to mixed leagues with 16+ teams and single-league formats with 12+ teams.

#9 - Dylan Cozens (OF)

Age on Opening Day 2017: 22

ETA: 2018

On minor-league production alone, Cozens, a 2012 second-round pick, belongs at the top of this list. In 2016 at Double-A Reading Cozens slashed .276/.350/.591 with an absurd 40 HR and an equally ridiculous 21 SB. The only red flag with Cozens--and it’s a big one--is plate discipline. In 134 games he struck out a whopping 186 times. Time will tell whether or not his swing-and-miss tendencies will prevent him from enjoying similar offensive success at the higher levels. Still, the counting stats are eye-popping, which makes Cozens a fantasy player worth watching as he advances to Triple-A in 2017.

#10 - Sixto Sanchez (RHP)

Age on Opening Day 2017: 18

ETA: 2020

Sanchez exploded onto the prospect scene in 2016, when he led the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League with an 0.50 ERA in 11 starts. He also showed excellent control, striking out 44 while walking only 8 batters. Sanchez will not turn 19 until the end of July and has yet to reach full-season ball, so it’s difficult to project his ceiling. A more promising debut, however, would be difficult to imagine.