Phillies' 10 prospects to watch in 2010
System remains well-stocked, despite Halladay, Lee trades
With the 2010 season approaching, MLB.com takes a look at 10 of the Philadelphia Phillies' most intriguing rookie prospects that you should keep an eye on.
Prior to the 2009 season, we identified 10 prospects to watch in the Phillies farm system. Of those 10, only one remains on the 2010 list.
Domonic Brown, OF : The lone member of the pre-2009 season Top 10 remaining, Brown has vaulted to the head of the class. The 2006 20th-rounder (due strictly to signability questions) missed a month at Class A Advanced Clearwater with a broken finger, but the left-handed hitter still batted .299 with 14 homers, 64 RBIs and 23 steals between there and Double-A Reading. He has all five tools -- especially speed, power potential and arm strength -- and room to develop them, coupled with great work ethic and makeup.
These nine players were on our 2009 list but are not on the 2010 list, due to the loss of rookie status, trade, poor performance, injury, the addition of other prospects to the list, etc.
Carlos Carrasco, RHP: Once the top pitching prospect in the system, the Venezuelan-born right-hander was dealt to Cleveland last summer in the Cliff Lee trade. There, he made his big league debut and went 0-4 with an 8.87 ERA in five starts.
Zach Collier, OF: The lone member of the pre-2009 Top 10 to fall off the list while remaining in the system, Collier was the club's second pick in 2008 out of high school in California. He has tools but is still putting them together and was edged out by other up-and-comers. The raw left-handed hitter batted .221 between short-season Williamsport and Class A Lakewood with 20 steals at age 18. Don't rule him out yet.
Travis d'Arnaud, C: Dealt to the Blue Jays in the Roy Halladay blockbuster, the 2007 supplemental first-rounder is a line drive hitter with good defensive potential. He batted .255 with 13 homers and 71 RBIs at Lakewood last season.
Jason Donald, 2B : The 2008 Olympian was part of the Cliff Lee trade. He missed several weeks with back trouble, which affected his performance and likely kept him from making his big league debut in the fall.
Kyle Drabek, RHP: The Phillies' 2009 Minor League Pitcher of the Year and 2006 first-round pick was the key player in the Halladay deal. Coming off Tommy John surgery, the son of former Cy Young Award winner Doug struck out 150 batters in his comeback season.
J.A. Happ, LHP: The only member of the 2009 pre-season Top 10 to graduate to the big leagues for the Phillies, the Northwestern product was one of the top rookies in the National League in '09, spending the entire season in the Majors and going 12-4 with a 2.93 ERA.
Jason Knapp, RHP: Another piece of the Cliff Lee deal, the 2008 second-round pick got off to a hot start at Lakewood, but injuries shut him down during the stretch run. He underwent shoulder surgery in the offseason.
Lou Marson, C: Like Donald, Marson was a 2008 Olympian who ended up in Cleveland as one of four prospects sent over for Cliff Lee. After making a very brief big league debut with the Phillies at the end of 2008, he should see more time in the Majors with the Indians. He hit .250 in 14 games with Cleveland in 2009.
Michael Taylor, OF: Dealt to Toronto in the Halladay deal and immediately flipped to Oakland for infielder Brett Wallace, the multi-talented Stanford product was only expendable due to the development of Brown. He has combined to hit .312 over three Minor League seasons and totaled 20 homers and 21 steals between Reading and Triple-A Lehigh Valley in '09.
The following nine players are new additions to the Philadelphia Phillies Prospects to Watch list.
Phillippe Aumont, RHP : Acquired from Seattle in the Roy Halladay/Cliff Lee four-team blockbuster, the 6-foot-7 Canadian moved from a starter prospect to a closer prospect due to the Mariners' concerns with his durability. The Phillies apparently would like to see him back in a starting role, at least for now. Between Class A Advanced High Desert and Double-A West Tenn, he combined for a 3.88 ERA in 2009. A 2007 first-round pick, injuries slowed his ascent early on, so he remains a bit raw and is refining his repertoire and tweaking his mechanics and delivery.
Prospects to watch
|Domonic Brown, OF||Phillippe Aumont, RHP|
|Carlos Carrasco, RHP||Domonic Brown, OF|
|Zach Collier, OF||Jarred Cosart, RHP|
|Travis d'Arnaud, C||Yohan Flande, LHP|
|Jason Donald, 2B||Tyson Gillies, OF|
|Kyle Drabek, RHP||Anthony Gose, OF|
|J.A. Happ, LHP||Jiwan James, O|
|Jason Knapp, RHP||Trevor May, RHP|
|Lou Marson, C||JC Ramirez, RHP|
|Michael Taylor, OF||Sebastian Valle, C|
Jarred Cosart, RHP: Cosart made his pro debut last season after being being drafted way down in the 38th round in 2008 out of high school in Texas and being followed closely over the summer (the new version of a draft-and-follow). Boasting a lively fastball already sitting in the low- to mid-90s and a promising plus-potential curveball at age 19, he posted a 2.22 ERA in seven games in the Gulf Coast League.
Yohan Flande, LHP: One of the Phillies' biggest breakthrough players in 2009, the Dominican southpaw jumped from the Gulf Coast League, where he led the system with a 2.19 ERA in 2008, to finish the season at Reading after dominating in the Florida State League. Throwing a changeup as his out pitch and showing great poise and presence on the mound, Flande appeared in the Futures Game in 2009 and combined to go 11-5 with a 3.48 ERA in 26 starts between his two stops. There are few players in the system more universally loved and admired by his teammates than this 24-year-old.
Tyson Gillies, OF: The Canadian-born Gillies was one of three prospects (all on this list) picked up from Seattle in the Halladay/Lee deal and he adds even more speed and excitement to the organization. He has a strong arm and rates a top-of-the-scout-scale 80 when it comes to speed. A draft-and-follow out of British Columbia in the 25th round in 2006, the hearing-impaired Gillies hit .341 at Class A Advanced High Desert in 2009, third among all full-season players in the Minors. He also ranked in the top five in hits (170), triples (14) and runs scored (104) while leading the California League with 44 steals.
Anthony Gose, OF: One of a handful of raw but high-ceiling high school outfielders drafted in 2008, Gose jumped to the front of that pack in '09 as he led the Minors with 76 steals at Lakewood. He may even add some more pop as he fills out his lanky frame. A fine center fielder with good instincts, he is a converted pitcher who creates some excitement every time he steps to the plate. Just 19, he continues to work on plate discipline and overall offense.
Jiwan James, OF: Yes, yet another toolsy outfielder -- and another pitcher-turned-outfielder -- who joins the list as his talents continue to emerge and put him on the map. James, who missed all of 2008 due to a forearm injury, has tremendous athletic upside and hit .264 with seven steals in 30 games at Williamsport in his pro debut. Of all the high risk/high reward outfielders the Phillies are stockpiling at the lower levels, he may have the most upside.
Trevor May, RHP: The 2008 fourth-rounder stands 6-foot-5 and weighs 215 pounds. He has power stuff on the mound, including a hard fastball in the mid-90s with late movement. He adds a curveball and improving changeup to that repertoire. After joining Lakewood in mid-June, he posted a 2.56 ERA in 15 starts and added 11 shutout innings in the postseason to lead the BlueClaws to the South Atlantic League championship, fanning 95 over 77 1/3 innings in the regular season, including 24 shutout frames (playoffs included) to wind things up. The Washington native heads into what is likely to be his first full season on that high note.
JC Ramirez, RHP: The 21-year-old from Nicaragua is the third member of the talented trio acquired from Seattle in the Halladay/Lee deal. At High Desert in his second full season, he went 8-10 with a 5.12 ERA in 28 games but continued to develop a hard slider and plus fastball. Prior to 2009, he'd limited opponents to a .220 average in three pro seasons.
Sebastian Valle, C: A year ago, Valle -- like Flande -- was on our short list of players to watch as "Under the Radar," and both have moved up to the Top 10 for 2010. A good hitting catcher who gives the organization depth at that premium position, he batted .281 in his 2008 stateside debut. Last year, he jumped to Lakewood, where he struggled in his first full season, batting .223 in 45 games. But he regrouped at short-season Williamsport with a .307 average. Only 19, the Mexican-born Valle has good bat speed and raw power and continues to refine his defensive skills.
Lisa Winston is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.