Philadelphia Phillipes Top 30 Prospects

February 13, 2024

The 2024 Preseason Top 30 lists are built around the idea of certainty and future Role. Similar to industry projection systems such as Future Value (FV), Overall Future Potential (OFP), and Grade, Role is a way to describe to what degree a player will add value to his organization at peak.

Our scale is a bit more conservative than other grading systems. We take into account recent seasonal performance, proximity to impact, metric/data analysis, and industry conversations to build a case for the most likely outcome for any given player.

It is important to note these Role labels are fluid and can change as a player moves up the developmental ladder. It is not uncommon for a player to change his role projection over even one month. Players jump from a Role 35 to a Role 40 quite quickly.

Things like mechanical adjustments and physical maturation can alter a player’s projection seemingly overnight. Players change. Keep that in mind.

Below is our Role chart used to place future projection on players.

20No organizational value. Non-prospect.
30Organizational value, filler. Likely peaks at Triple-A or below.
35Potential up-and-down, Quad-A prospect. Has some tools. Development necessary to secure prolonged MLB role.
40Back-up at MLB level. No. 5 starter on non-competitive team. Depth.
45Potential starter on contender. Bench player for championship-level team.
50Starter on a championship-level team. Lacks star ceiling. Steady. Potential No. 4 starting pitcher.
55Potential all-star. Some impact. Above average big-league regular. Mid-rotation starter on a contender.
60All-star level player. Impact. Middle-of-the-order bat. No. 2 starter on good team.
70Perennial all-star. Will contend for seasonal awards. Potential MVP/Cy Young upside. No. 1 starting pitcher. Ace.
80Hall of Fame upside. Generational. MVP/Cy Young Favorite some years. Organizational pillar who can carry an entire franchise at times.

You will not find players with a sub-50 Role on our Top 100 Prospect List. You are also unlikely to find any sub-35 Role players on a Top 30 board. Generally, organizations will have at least 30 players with big-league projection.

All rankings and roles by Joe Doyle
Player notes by Jason A. Churchill

The Phillies have been aggressive in free agency the last several years, landing the likes of Zack Wheeler, Bryce Harper, and Trea Turner with big spending, allowing the club to rebuild its farm system, at least enough to support a World Series run.

It’s a top-heavy group right now with two arms and two bats, including the club’s top pick from last July. Interestingly, Philly has four left-side infield prospects in their top 10, but the two high-octane right-handers hold the key.

1Andrew PainterRHP60
2Mick AbelRHP55
3Justin CrawfordOF55
4Aidan Miller3B55
5Orion KerkeringRHP50
6Starlyn CabaSS45
7Griff McGarryRHP45
8William Bergolla Jr.SS45
9Gabriel Rincones Jr.OF45
10Devin Saltiban3B40

Painter, 21 in April, missed all of 2023 with an elbow problem and had UCL surgery in late July. He may miss all of 2024, too. He reached Double-A at age 19 and was on the fast track before the injury.

A healthy Painter sits 94-97 mph with two fastballs. There are a few more ticks available if he reaches back. His slider is the best of his three future big-league secondaries, but his changeup is advanced for his age and experience. Perhaps most telling, Painter has plus control and command.

Despite the missed time, there’s physical projection remaining in his 6-foot-7, 220-pound frame, theorizing even more velocity should he recover all of his arm strength.

Abel will live in the mid-90s with three promising offspeed pitches, led by a potentially-plus slider. He’s been a bit inconsistent from start to start and even within outings from a stuff and command standpoint, a remedy which resides in more experience.

From a strike-throwing perspective, Able needs work following a 13.5% walk rate in 23 starts a year ago. A step in the right direction could mean a call-up in 2024.

Crawford is a 70 runner with at least 60-grade defense in center entering 2024, and last season began adding power to his offensive profile with 33 extra-base hits in 87 games, and he did so without sacrificing contact.

He uses his speed on the bases well, always taking the extra base and swiping 47 bases in 55 attempts.

Crawford just turned 20 and likely starts 2024 in High-A Jersey Shore where he finished a year ago.

McGarry, a fifth-round pick in 2021, is another power righty with high-quality stuff who, like Painter and Able, is nearing the big leagues.

It’s an easy 97 mph with the heater featuring carry from a three-quarter slot. Both breaking balls are at least average with the 84-87 mph slider the furthest along and most likely to garner swings and misses. McGarry also has flashed a consistent changeup and occasionally toyed with a cutter.

If the right-hander had even average control and command we might be talking about the game’s best pitching prospect, but he walked 50 batters in 60 innings a year ago, an alarming 18.5% mark.

He’s reached Triple-A already and since the Phillies don’t have a need in the big leagues just yet they can give McGarry time to remedy the issue, but there’s reliever risk until then.

11Bryan RinconSS40
12Eduardo TaitC40
13Carlos De La CruzOF40
14Alex McFarlaneRHP40
15TJayy WaltonOF35
16Emaarion BoydOF35
17Simon MuzziottiOF35
18Christian McGowanRHP35
19George KlassenRHP35
19Hendry MendezOF35
20Caleb RickettsC35
21Kehden HettigerC35
22Wen Hui PanRHP35
23Samuel AldegheriLHP35
24Jake EddingtonRHP35
25Raylin HerediaOF35
26Jordan ViarsOF40
27Andrew BakerRHP35
28Jaydenn EstanistaRHP35
29Estibenzon JimenezRHP35
30Enrique SeguraRHP35

Tait, who won’t turn 18 until late August, is a lefty-hitting backstop with a terrific arm and a chance to hit for average and power.

He’ll make his stateside debut in 2024 and posting a .333/.400/.517 slash in 44 games in the Dominican Summer League last season.

McFarlane, the club’s fourth-rounder in 2022, did everything but throw strikes last summer, touching 99 mph and flashing a slider that projects to miss bats.

His athleticism gives him a chance to work through a lagging arm action to help him find the zone consistently, but there’s some obvious reliever risk for the 22-year-old, who likely starts 2024 in High-A Jersey Shore.

Ricketts owns a left-handed swing with some power upside and a chance to stick behind the plate. He hit his way to High-A last season and should start there in 2024 with a shot to reach Double-A if he finds some offensive consistency and handles the Jersey Shore staff.

Pan signed a year ago out of Taiwan, reaching the upper 90s and finishing off hitters with a slider and splitter. The general consensus is the 21-year-old is a pure reliever, but he may move quickly if he continues to throw strikes.

Viars is a 20-year-old corner outfield prospect with above-average raw power and a shot at league-standard batting averages and OBPs, but he hasn’t performed well at the plate outside his 22-ga,e sample in the complex league in 2021.

Joe Doyle
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