It's pretty normal this time of year for Baseball America and other baseball media to revise their rankings of prospects in MLB systems. This morning they published the ranking for the Phillies' top ten prospects and there's quite a lot to take in.
I suppose the big story here is half of this list wasn't even in the organization last season. Dominican pitcher Franklyn Kilome (10) was signed as an amateur free agent just prior to last season. Aaron Nola (2), Aaron Brown (6), and Matt Imhof (7) were all selected in last year's draft. Nola making the biggest impact closing out his minor league season pitching for Double-A Reading. Jesmuel Valentin (8) was acquired in the deal that sent Roberto Hernandez to the Dodgers.
J.P. Crawford, who was ranked third before last season, shot to the top spot after hitting .292/.384/.404 between Lakewood and Clearwater in '14. Last year's number one, Maikel Franco dropped to the third slot. The most notable omission from the top ten is pitcher Jesse Biddle whose injury plagued season produced bad results, a leave of absence, and a demotion. Once in Clearwater, Biddle did pitch well again so there is hope for him to rebound some in '15. Also off the list is Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez who had a really nice season in Triple-A but has thus far struggled in his short stint in the majors.
As the sun officially sets on the era that brought a championship to Philadelphia in 2008 and franchise legends such as Jimmy Rollins are being shipped out, the building blocks are being set before our eyes. The front office deserved their criticism of late but credit is also deserved for injecting some talent into the system. Crawford appears destined to become a household name while Nola could be up as soon as next season. As trades are made and we bid farewell to other longtime Phillies, even more reinforcements to our system appear on the way.