By DAVID MURPHY
Baseball Prospectus has released its overview of the Phillies farm system, and it should come as little surprise that lefty Jesse Biddle heads their ranking of the system's Top 10 prospects. Following Biddle, who is the one unanimous Top 100 prospect in the Phillies' system, are third base prospect Maikel Franco and lefty starter Adam Morgan.
Here's the rest of Baseball Prospectus' Top 10, with my own comments.
- LHP Jesse Biddle: The 21-year-old Germantown Friends product has yet to have a hiccup since the Phillies drafted him 27th overall in 2010. Last year he started 26 games and logged 142 2/3 innings for Class A Clearwater, posting an impressive 9.5 K/9 and 0.6 HR/9 rate. His walk rate of 3.4 BB/9 was the lowest of his three seasons in the minors. Biddle's numbers are impressive in those three seasons: 3.21 ERA, 9.2 K/9, 3.9 BB/9, 0.5 HR/9, and he seems likely to open up the 2013 season at Double-A Reading.
- 3B Maikel Franco: The 20-year-old right-handed hitter has the kind of upside that creators of lists like this love. Last year he shook off a slow start at low-A Lakewood and ended up hitting 14 home runs with a .280/.336/.439 batting line. He makes contact -- 80 strikeouts in 503 at-bats -- but walked just 38 times in 554 plate appearances. A strong showing at Clearwater this season could really boost his stock.
- LHP Adam Morgan: A third rounder in 2011, the lefty is viewed as having a good chance to become a solid middle to bottom-of-the-rotation starter. He finished 2012 at Double-A Reading, posting a 3.53 ERA, 7.3 K/9, 2.8 BB/9 and 0.5 HR/9 in six starts there. He is near the top of the organizational depth chart should the Phillies need help in the rotation this season. Morgan turns 23 on Feb. 27.
- IF Roman Quinn: The Phillies were thrilled to grab Quinnin in the second round of the 2011 draft. Last year at Williamsport he showed why, hitting .281/.370/.778 with 11 triples and 30-of-36 stolen bases. He turns 20 in May.
- C/1B Tommy Joseph: Acquired in the Hunter Pence trade in July, he has power and defensive presence, although catcher is a notoriously tough position to project.
- RHP Ethan Martin: The Phillies did well for themselves to acquire this hard-throwing 24-year-old in the Shane Victorino trade with the Dodgers. He struck out 8.4 batters per nine and allowed just 0.5 home runs per nine while spending all of last season at Double-A, but he has some command issues, particularly with his curveball. The Phillies say they view him as a starter, though some scouts think he will end up in the bullpen.
- 3B Cody Asche: He'll likely get a chance to contribute at third base before Franco, but an appearance in the majors in 2013 is a stretch.
- RHP Jonathan Pettibone: Morgan has more upside, but Pettibone might be the first pitcher to get a look if the Phillies decide to bolster their rotation with a player from the system this season.
- OF Carlos Tocci: He broke into the system as a 16-year-old last season. A right-handed hitting outfielder, he is still pure potential at this point.
- RHP Shane Watson: A supplemental pick last June, the 19-year-old pitched seven innings in the Gulf Coast League, striking out eight and walking one while allowing one earned run.