In this week's Pork Barrel Blog, IronPigs media assistant Pat McCarthy takes a quick look at the players named Nos. 7-18 on the Phillies Top-30 prospects list according to MLB Pipeline.
MLB Pipeline has released its Top 30 prospects for each organization and, according to the website, the Phillies have the fifth-best farm system in all of baseball. The top 6 players in the system were announced earlier in the winter, but we learned the rest of the top 30 last week.
The top six players in the Phillies system fall in the same order they did in the Top 100 ranking earlier this winter. Sixto Sanchez is the top-rated Phillies prospect followed by Scott Kingery, J.P. Crawford, Adonis Medina, Mickey Moniak and Adam Haseley.
Here is a list of the next 12 players - Nos. 7-18 - in the farm according to Pipeline.
No. 7: Jorge Alfaro will graduate from this list early in the regular season because of Major League service time but is still considered a prospect despite playing parts of two seasons in the big leagues. Alfaro is out of minor league options and was once rated as the top catching prospect in all of baseball, Alfaro is expected to open the season as the Phillies starting catcher.
No. 8: Considered the top power hitter in the international class when he was signed at age 16 in 2015, Jhailyn Ortiz (now 19) put up major power numbers last season in Williamsport. One of the youngest players in the New York-Penn league, Ortiz hit eight home runs and drove in 30 in his 47 games.
No. 9: The Phillies did not start a left handed pitcher in the big leagues during 2017 but have a young group in the minors that will soon change that stat. JoJo Romero was selected in the fourth round of the 2016 draft and has worked his way through the minor leagues quickly. Romero could begin the season with Reading this year after making 23 starts between Lakewood and Clearwater in 2017.
No. 10: Added to the 40-man roster this winter, Franklyn Kilome has an electric fastball and will likely be in an IronPigs uniform by the summer months. Added to the Pigs roster during the playoffs after five starts in Reading, Kilome will likely be back with the Fightin' Phils to open the season, but a return to the Lehigh Valley is likely if he continues to make strides.
No. 11: Arquinedes Gamboa was considered one of the top prospects coming out of Venezuela back in 2014, but he struggled offensively early on in his pro career. However the 20-year-old picked it up in 2017 with Lakewood. Gamboa hit .261 with the BlueClaws including 21 extra base hits and 29 RBIs in 79 games in Low A.
No. 12: Another addition to the 40-man roster, Ranger Suarez is one of those promising young left-handed arms in the Phillies farm system. Signed by the Phillies out of Venezuela in 2012, the 20-year-old should reach Reading in June or July. Suarez split the 2017 season with Lakewood and Clearwater posting a 2.27 ERA in his 22 starts.
No. 13: Seranthony Dominguez has a fastball that can touch triple digits and in order to harness that, the Phillies have moved the 23-year-old to the bullpen. Dominguez is on the 40 man roster and in big league camp and should be in Reading for the 2018 season. It appeared Dominguez could have made the jump last season but injuries kept him in the Florida State League.
No. 14: Daniel Brito got off to a flying start in 2017 but cooled off as the season progressed. The 20-year-old Venezuelan batted .239 in his first full season of pro ball. The Phillies elected to send Brito right to the South Atlantic league after sending the 2016 season in the GCL. Brito will likely follow a similar path to Mickey Moniak and be back in Lakewood for a second season.
No. 15: The Phillies added Enyel De Los Santos this winter when the dealt Freddy Galvis to San Diego. De Los Santos has an electric arm and is an upper-level minor league pitcher. The 22-year-old spent 2017 in Double-A and if he does not open up the season with the Pigs should be in the Lehigh Valley early in the summer.
No. 16: After floating in and out of the Phillies Top 30 last season, Tom Eshelman is ranked 16th after his breakout 2017. The Phillies Paul Owens Winner made 18 starts for the Pigs last year with a 2.23 ERA. Eshelman is in camp with the Phillies, competing to be their fifth starter as a non-roster invitee.
No. 17: Despite having trouble staying on the field, Roman Quinn has game-changing tools. That's why he is the Phillies No. 17 prospect. Quinn was off to a solid start in his first season in Triple-A last year before an elbow injury sidelined him for the rest of the season. Quinn is back in Phillies camp healthy and could make the Phillies Opening Day roster as the team's fifth outfielder.
No. 18: Cornelius Randolph was the first-round pick of the Phillies and considered the top high school bat in 2015. The Phillies challenged Randolph in 2017 by sending the then-19-year-old to the Florida State League. Randolph held his own for the Threshers despite being one of the youngest players in the FSL. In 122 games, Randolph hit .250 with 13 home runs and 55 RBIs. Randolph will be back in Clearwater for the beginning of 2018 but if he builds off his first tour in the FSL could reach Double-A by the end of the season.
In our next Hog Blog we will outline the remaining prospects that make up the Phillies Top 30 according to MLB Pipeline.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.