Prospects: Where Are The Holes?

Every organization has a hole or two in their farm system. So, where are the Phillies holes? Compared to last season, it's easy to see where some holes have been filled and others are starting to open.

Last year, there were some holes on the infield. Second base, shortstop and third base prospects accounted for just six of the 51 players listed on our 2005 Top 50 Prospects list. (There were 51 players because Sam Orr and Carl Galloway tied at the number 33 spot.) With that in mind, the Phillies went out and drafted third baseman Mike Costanzo with their first pick - second round - of the draft. Costanzo seems to have adequately filled the third base hole with little problem. Mike Durant was taken in the fourth round to provide more help at third, but Durant didn't make our 2006 list of the Top 50 Prospects.

Second base and shortstop didn't get much help through last year's draft and there are the same number of prospects - two - at each position. Tim Moss came in at number nine on our 2006 list and seems to have a shot at being a major league second baseman. The highest ranking shortstop is Welinson Baez, who came in at number 20 this season, although some scouts rank him higher than our list had him. The only other second baseman on the list was Danny Sandoval (#40), while John Hardy (#25) was the only other shortstop.

At first base, Ryan Howard's graduation from the list helped to drop the number of first base prospects from four to two. Buck Shaw was the other first baseman and he simply didn't make the 2006 list.

In the outfield, the Phillies have nine prospects on the 2006 list compared to seven on the 2005 list. There are three center fielders who could all become major leaguers - Greg Golson, Michael Bourn and Chris Roberson - and all rank in the top 13 on the 2006 list. The highest ranking corner outfielder is Jake Blalock, who came in at number eight on the 2006 list.

The Phillies actually have one less catching prospect on the list in 2006, but the prospects are all pretty good. And, if you include Marc Tugwell, who is converting to catching, the number remains the same from last season. Jason Jaramillo will be at Reading this season and is in a battle with Lou Marson for the "catcher of the future" label. Carlos Ruiz is a talented catcher, who could see time in the majors, perhaps as early as this season and Charles Creswell came in at number 43 on our 2006 list.

It's all about the pitching. The Phillies have the same number of pitchers - 27 - on the 2006 list as they did in 2005, but with one difference. This year, there were nine left-handers on the list, compared to the seven that were on last year. The obvious newcomers are Giovany Gonzalez (#1) and Daniel Haigwood (#16), who both came over from the White Sox in the Jim Thome trade.

Prospects Position Breakdown

POSITION 2005 2006
LEFT-HANDED PITCHING 7 9
RIGHT-HANDED PITCHING 20 18
FIRST BASE 4 2
SECOND BASE 2 3
THIRD BASE 2 5
SHORTSTOP 2 2
CORNER OUTFIELD 5 4
CENTER FIELDER 4 3
CATCHER 5 4


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