Being a Phillies fan and seeing talent that rose throughout the depths of the Phillies farm system during their run into becoming a powerhouse from 2006-2011 is something I will never forget. A team that was built around players that were homegrown such as Jimmy Rollins, Cole Hamels, Chase Utley, and Ryan Howard, and those players leading the team from middle of the NL East to perennial World Series contenders left us fans spoiled. Because since then, we really haven’t had a strong farm system. Sure… we have hit on some home-grown talent like Aaron Nola, and more recently with Bryson Stott and Alec Bohm. But that hasn’t been the norm as of late. The failed years of Andy McPhail and Matt Klentak left the farm system in absolute ruins, with an organizational change of forcing changes to players swings for added launch angle and ruining some great upcoming talent like Scott Kingery and Cornelius Randolph. The team constantly had prospects never achieve what they were expected, unable to groom players and big-time prospects like Spencer Howard. But since Dave Dombrowski has taken over, an emphasis has been placed on building from within and that’s exactly what has happened. Dombrowski made two important moves when he first joined the Phillies; Hiring Preston Mattingly to be the new Director of Player Development & hiring Anirudh Kilambi to be the Director of Research and Development. The latter name, Kilambi, was huge as Kilambi is credited with building the Ray’s farm system philosophies that are still being used today.

When Dombrowski took over at the end of the 2020 season, the Phillies had a farm system ranked 19th, also lacking much depth. However, Statcast has recently put out their projected rankings and the Phillies farm system finds themselves 4th overall. The shift in the Phillies’ farm system rankings reflects the potential for a bright future with a focus on developing MLB-caliber hitters, offering hope for the team’s on-field success in the coming years. Phillies’ minor league hitters have a Hit Score+ of 114.09 ranking them fourth overall. The team’s emphasis on developing hitting prospects under the guidance of the director of player development Preston Mattingly highlights an optimistic outlook for grooming MLB-caliber players within the organization. The Phillies’ rise in Statcast hitting metrics rankings signifies a potential turning point for the organization, offering hope for the team’s future success with a focus on developing a strong core of hitting and pitching prospects.

Dombrowski was able to rebuild the farm system by putting a heavy emphasis on pitching, big league pedigree, and making top prospects unavailable for trades at recent trade deadlines. Fangraphs has recently released their Top 26 Phillies Prospects:

RkNameAgeHighest LevelPositionETAFV
1Andrew Painter20.7AASP202560
2Mick Abel22.4AAASP202455
3Starlyn Caba18.1RSS202850
4Aidan Miller19.6A3B202745
5Bryan Rincon19.9A+SS202645
6Eduardo Tait17.4RC202945
7Justin Crawford20.0A+CF202840+
8Orion Kerkering22.7MLBSIRP202640+
9Alex McFarlane22.6ASIRP202640+
10Michael Mercado24.7AAASIRP202440
11Christian McGowan23.8AAASIRP202540
12Aroon Escobar19.0R2B202740
13William Bergolla19.2ASS202740
14Emaarion Boyd20.4ACF202740
15Nikau Pouaka-Grego19.3R2B202740
16Alexis De La Cruz19.3RSP202840
17Robert Moore21.8A+SS202740
18McKinley Moore25.4MLBSIRP202440
19Andrew Baker23.8AASIRP202540
20Devin Saltiban18.4RSS202835+
21Gabriel Rincones Jr.22.8A+LF202735+
22Jean Cabrera22.2ASP202635+
23Samuel Aldegheri22.3A+SP202635+
24Wen Hui Pan21.3A+SIRP202735+
25Griff McGarry24.6AAASIRP202535+
26George Klassen21.5RSIRP202635+

Let’s take a look at some of the big-name prospects that will be in Red Pinstripes soon:

Andrew Painter:

Painter ended 2022 as one of the best two or three pitching prospects in baseball. He overpowered hitters with his fastball at the lowest levels, but by the end of the year, he was carving Double-A and looked like a fully formed, four-pitch monster. He entered the spring of 2023 with a legitimate shot to break camp in the Phillies rotation, before a slight tear in his UCL led to Tommy John surgery. “Unfortunately, we most likely won’t see Painter until late 2024 if at all. It’s incredibly rare to value a prospect who will have missed two years this highly, but Painter’s rare ceiling and the success rate of Tommy John surgeries is high enough to anticipate that he’ll return to his old self. Healthy Painter has a prototypical pitcher’s frame and then some, standing in at a broad-shouldered 6-foot-7.”

Aidan Miller:

Miller had among the fastest hitting hands in the entire 2023 draft, and his bat speed gives him impressive present power and his frame portends more. MLB Analyst Jim Callis was recently asked about where Aidan Miller will fall on Baseball America’s updated prospect list coming later this month. “The Phillies getting Miller with the 27th overall pick was the biggest steal of the first round of the 2023 Draft. He was the best hitter on the high school showcase circuit the previous summer, and it never made sense to me that his stock dipped because he missed most of his senior season with a broken left hamate. He’s going to hit for power and average, and he’ll settle in at third base after spending his pro debut at shortstop. I can’t reveal exactly where Miller will rank on our upcoming Top 100, but I can tell you that he’ll move up significantly from his No. 90 spot on our end-of-2023 list. He’ll continue to climb in the rankings until he takes over the hot corner in Philadelphia in mid-2026, when he’ll be 22.”

Justin Crawford:

The son of former MLB All Star Carl Crawford, Justin shows the potential to be a future gold glove outfielder in the MLB. Phillies were linked to multiple starting pitchers said to be available and Dombrowksi has made it known that Crawford seems to be untouchable. “When Crawford swings, the bend and athleticism in his lower half is amazing. Despite his physical immaturity, he doesn’t whiff a ton, and there’s a dynamic gap-to-gap hitter lurking here. Crawford is also a plus-plus runner who could be an impact center field defender with time. This package of contact, speed, and defense is exciting if you anticipate that more strength will come.”

The farm system is littered with prospects that have a true shot at being everyday players in the future. Dombrowski now has a farm system available to him that will allow the Phillies to fill in future needs with team-controlled assets which will be imperative with how much money is already locked up between major stars like Bryce Harper and Trea Turner. The current roster is as exciting as ever, but don’t sleep on the future because the Phillies minor league teams are loaded.

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