MLBPipeline.com compiles a list of the Top 100 Prospects, and this year's list has been released. The Phillies are featured throughout the ranking with no less than seven of the best 100 prospects in the game. Four of those prospects are new additions to the system, with just J.P. Crawford (fifth), Cornelius Randolph (84th) and Roman Quinn (99th) as holdovers. The rest - Jake Thompson (55th), Nick Williams (64th), Mark Appel (70th) and Jorge Alfaro (96th) - having come to the Phillies in deals.
Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager, Twins outfielder Byron Buxton, Nationals right-hander Lucas Giolito and Dodgers lefty Julio Urias rank one through four, respectively, ahead of Crawford. It's worth noting that when the Phillies were shopping Cole Hamels, both Seager and Urias were on their list of targets from the Dodgers.
Alfaro, because of a badly injured ankle that caused him to miss substantial time, took a major tumble, falling fifty spots from last year's rankings. While he fell sharply in the rankings, he was named the catcher with the strongest arm among the catching prospects. Jim Callis noted that...
Some evaluators rate Alfaro's pure arm strength as an 80, though it doesn't always play to that level because he's not a clean receiver and his footwork can get sloppy. He threw out just 29-percent of basestealers last year and has erased just 27-percent as a pro, but no catcher can record sub-1.8-second pop times (mitt to glove at second base) as easily.
While the Phillies led the way with seven players listed, Colorado, Minnesota and the Chicago Cubs all had six players on the list. Texas, the Los Angeles Dodgers, Atlanta, Pittsburth, Milwaukee, Houston and Cincinnati all had five. The fact that Texas, who dealt Thompson, Williams and Alfaro, along with pitchers Jerad Eickhoff and Alec Asher, to Philadelphia in the Cole Hamels deal still has five prospects in the top 100 speaks to how strong their farm club is, which allowed them to pull the trigger on the trade. Three of the remaining Rangers prospects - Joey Gallo (ninth), Lewis Brinson (16th) and Nomar Mazara (18th) - placed in the top 20.
The list is put together by draft and prospect experts Jonathan Mayo, Jim Callis and Mike Rosenbaum, who speak with scouts, scouting directors and other baseball sources to gather input on the players. To be eligible, players must have their rookie status intact.
The top listed prospects for the other teams in the NL East were: Giolito (Washington - third), SS Danby Swanson (Atlanta - eighth) and left-hander Steven Matz (New York - 15th). The Miami Marlins didn't have any players make the list. In addition to Atlanta's five players, the Mets and Nationals each had four players on the list.