Baseball America, Fangraphs unveil Phillies Top 10 prospect lists

Baseball America and Fangraphs both rate Maikel Franco as the Phillies' top prospect. (Yong Kim/Staff Photographer)

We'll have plenty to write about prospects between now and spring training as everybody with an opinion unveils their list of prospect rankings. Baseball America and Fangraphs both hit the Internet this week. Keith Law's Top 10is due up tomorrow. Baseball Prospectus has yet to unveil its list. 

Here is Baseball America's:

  1. Maikel Franco, 3B
  2. Jesse Biddle, LHP
  3. J.P. Crawford, SS
  4. Miguel Gonzalez, RHP
  5. Roman Quinn, SS
  6. Carlos Tocci, OF
  7. Ethan Martin, RHP
  8. Cesar Hernandez, 2B/OF
  9. Aaron Altherr, OF
  10. Severino Gonzalez, RHP
  1. Maikel Franco, 3B
  2. Jesse Biddle, LHP
  3. J.P. Crawford, SS
  4. Miguel Gonzalez, RHP
  5. Severino Gonzalez, RHP
  6. Carlos Tocci, CF
  7. Aaron Altherr, OF
  8. Roman Quinn, SS
  9. Cesar Hernandez, 2B/OF
  10. Tommy Joseph, C
  11. Andrew Knapp, C
  12. Dylan Cozens, OF
  13. Cord Sandberg, OF
  14. Shane Watson, RHP
  15. Adam Morgan, LHP

As you can see, there is very little dispute as to how the Phillies' top three or four prospects fall in line. Franco and Crawford probably have the most trade value right now. Biddle is right around where Jarred Cosart was when the Phillies traded him to Houston in the Hunter Pence deal, while Franco is a notch or two below where Jonathan Singleton was (in a related note: the Phillies gave up a lot for Hunter Pence). Speaking of Pence, the only remaining piece from that trade failed to crack BA's Top 10, while he checks in at No. 10 for Baseball Prospectus. Meanwhile, Singleton, Cosart and Domingo Santana are all Top 10 prospects in the loaded Astros farm system. So I'd venture to say you can label Houston the winner in that thing. 

Quinn was the Phillies' top position prospect heading into last season, but he will miss all of 2014 while recovering from a ruptured Achilles, so he is a nonfactor at this point on the trade market and is looking at an ETA that is behind positionmate Crawford, whom all talent evaluators seem to love. Crawford is easily the most intriguing/exciting player in the system right now because. By the end of this year, you could be hearing him mentioned as one of the best prospects in the whole game. Or, he could remain right where he is: an immensely gifted baseball player who is still a huge projection given his need for polish, particularly at the plate. 

Speaking of projections, Tocci is all projection right now. He's quite similar to where Freddy Galvis was at his age, renowned for instincts and defense beyond his years, yet with a bat that most Class A pitchers can knock out of his hands. 

This is a big year for the Phillies' farm system. If things break right, the rebuild that the organization denies they are in the middle of could be limited to 2012-14. Last year different scouts compared Franco to Aramis Ramirez and Edwin Encarnacion. Pair that kind of power bat with Dom Brown and suddenly the Phillies do not necessarily need Ryan Howard, Chase Utley and Jimmy Rollins to earn their money (and, I'd argue, become Nobel physics candidates for reverse-engineering of time) in order to score runs. And if things break right, Biddle could be in the conversation for the 2015 rotation. Suddenly, the Phillies have a baseball team.

But the opposite trajectory could occur for all players mentioned. Like I said, it's a big year. 

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