7 new prospects highlight Law's Phillies top-10

7 new prospects highlight Law's Phillies top-10

Kendrick looking forward to spring training

January 31, 2014, 5:00 pm
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From left to right: Shortstop J.P. Crawford, third baseman Maikel Franco and right-handed pitcher Severino Gonzalez. (USA Today Images, AP)

There was plenty of turnover in Keith Law's top-10 Phillies prospects list, released Friday. Seven players who weren't listed by Law a year ago make up the top-10.

Shortstop J.P. Crawford tops the list. The Phils' first-round pick in 2013, Crawford hit .308 at age 18 in 228 plate appearances with the Gulf Coast Phillies and Class A Lakewood Blueclaws.

Law calls Crawford "a true shortstop with All-Star upside due to his potential with the bat."

Power-hitting corner infielder Maikel Franco comes in at No. 2, followed by left-handed pitcher Jesse Biddle. Both players could make an impact with the Phils this season.

Only Franco, Biddle and shortstop Roman Quinn -- who ruptured his Achilles tendon this offseason -- remain from last year's top-10.

Outfielder Kelly Dugan is ranked fourth by Law. "Dugan has a chance to be a solid-average regular if he can tighten up his plate discipline, which fell apart after a midseason promotion to Double-A," wrote the ESPN minor-league expert.

After Biddle, the top pitcher in the Phils' top-10 prospects list is Severino Gonzalez, a 21-year-old righty from Panama. Gonzalez went 7-5 with a 2.00 ERA last season in 25 appearances (14 starts). He struck out 10.3 batters per nine and walked just 1.9, and posted a measly 1.02 WHIP.

"Gonzalez is their best right-handed arm ... a command guy with two solid-average pitches now in a fastball and cutter and a chance for four average offerings with more development time," Law writes.

Two players in the top-10 are currently hurt. Quinn will miss most, if not all of 2014 recovering from the Achilles injury, while 2013 second-round catcher Andrew Knapp will miss some time recovering from Tommy John surgery. Knapp was a college catcher at Cal with a big bat when the Phils drafted him.

The Phils have some depth behind the plate, although Tommy Joseph fell off the top-10 after an unproductive, injury-plagued 2013.

But 17-year-old catcher Deivi Grullon, whom Law ranks 10th in the Phillies' system, has an "80-grade arm," according to Law. The scouting scale grades from 20-80, which means Grullon's cannon is as good as it gets.

"[Grullon] has a chance to be an elite defender all around, developing very quickly on the [defensive] side of the ball, but has a ways to go with the bat, right now showing more power than feel to hit," Law writes. "His floor looks very high due to his arm and glove and his aptitude for learning the more cerebral parts of catching."

Here's the full list:

1. J.P. Crawford, SS, 19
2. Maikel Franco, 3B, 21
3. Jesse Biddle, LHP, 22
4. Kelly Dugan, RF, 23
5. Severino Gonzalez, RHP, 21
6. Cord Sandberg, OF, 19
7. Roman Quinn, SS, 20
8. Andrew Knapp, C, 22
9. Carlos Tocci, OF, 18
10. Deivi Grullon, C, 17

As you can see, most of the Phillies' top talent on the farm is very, very young. Forty percent of the list has yet to turn 20 years old, and half of it cannot yet legally drink.