J.P. Crawford remains the Phillies' top prospect, but Mickey Moniak, the player the Phillies drafted first overall last June, should soon assume that position, according to the latest rankings of the team's farm system by Baseball America.
Baseball America released its annual Phillies Top 10 list on Wednesday morning. It would not be a surprise if half the 10 players reached the majors in 2017, as seven of the 10 should spend time this season in triple A. But the organization also has talent at the lower levels. Once Crawford reaches the majors, the team's top pitching prospect and position prospect will each be just 19 years old.
Here's the full list:
1. J.P. Crawford, shortstop: Crawford will begin the season at triple A, where he spent most of last season. The smooth defender will turn 22 in January and could be in Philadelphia by May. His best trait is his plate discipline. Crawford has 232 walks and 243 strikeouts in 1,560 professional at-bats.
2. Mickey Moniak, outfielder: Moniak could begin the season at single-A Lakewood after playing 46 games last summer in the Gulf Coast League. The first overall pick in last June's draft batted .284 with a .340 on-base percentage in 176 at-bats. The centerfielder from California will turn 19 in May.
3. Jorge Alfaro, catcher: Alfaro spent the final month of last season in the major leagues, but will likely begin 2017 at triple A. He batted .285 last season at double A with 15 homers and 67 RBIs in 97 games. The 23-year-old has an incredible arm, which the team believes can be maximized with some nuanced defense behind the plate.
4. Nick Williams, outfielder: Williams was expected to reach the majors last season but could not hit his way out of triple A. He will start 2017 back at Lehigh Valley, where he batted .258 last season with a .287 on-base percentage. Most glaring was his strikeout-to-walk ratio as Williams whiffed 136 times and walked just 19 times. The 23-year-old could reach the majors by the summer.
5. Sixto Sanchez, righthanded pitcher: Sanchez, who will turn 19 in July, seems to be the team's most intriguing prospect. The Phillies signed him in 2015 out of the Dominican Republic for just $35,000. He made 11 starts last season in the Gulf Coast League, allowing three earned runs in 54 innings with 44 strikeouts and eight walks. He should begin this season at single-A Lakewood.
6. Rhys Hoskins, first baseman: Hoskins shared last season's Paul Owens Award, given to the organization's best minor-league player, with fellow Reading slugger Dylan Cozens. Hoskins, who will turn 24 in March, bashed 38 homers and drove in 116 runs in 135 double-A games. He proved to be a solid defender at first base and will likely start 2017 at triple A.
7. Franklyn Kilome, righthanded pitcher: Kilome, 21, spent all of last season in Lakewood and had a 2.73 ERA in his final 20 starts. He struck out 130 batters and walked 50 in 115 1/3 innings. He might start the season at high-A Clearwater, and a strong first half could push him to double A.
8. Roman Quinn, outfielder: Quinn ended last season in the majors and could start there in 2017. He had 15 hits in 57 major-league at-bats before straining a rib cage muscle in the season's final week. He has battled injuries his whole career, and his ability to stay healthy remains a concern. He can play all three outfield positions and would give the Phillies speed on the basepaths. Quinn, who will be 24 in May, has 159 steals in 356 minor-league games.
9. Scott Kingery, second baseman: Kingery, who will be 23 in April, likely will begin the season back at double A. He batted .293 with 29 doubles and 26 steals in 94 games at high-A Clearwater last season. He moved to Reading at the end of July but Joe Jordan, the team's director of player development, said Kingery ran out of gas. "He gave us everything he had," Jordan said. The Phillies have high hopes for Kingery, and a fresh start in double A will be a good test.
10. Dylan Cozens, outfielder: Cozens led all of minor-league baseball last season with 40 homers. The rightfielder batted .276 and drove in 125 runs but struck out 186 times in 521 at-bats at double-A Reading. Cozens will be 23 in May and will begin 2017 at triple A. If his power continues to surge, he'll find himself in the majors. Triple A will be a good test, as just 11 of his 40 homers last season came away from Reading's FirstEnergy Stadium.