Chuck Hixson, PhillyBaseballInsider.com editor
Phillies fans are all aware that the organization has a strong base of prospects coming through the minor league system. On the most recent list of the top 100 prospects in all of baseball, MLB Pipeline selected three Phillies to be on their list. The bad news is that having just three players on the list isn’t really that great. Division foe Atlanta has eight prospects on the list and the San Diego Padres placed 10 of their prospects among the top 100 in baseball. The White Sox, Tampa Bay and Houston all put six players on the list.
Leading the Phillies players on the list is right-hander Sixto Sanchez, who comes in at 27. The 20-year old is generally thought of as the top Phillies prospect this year, just as he was last year. Pitching at High-A Clearwater in 2018, Sanchez went 4-3 in eight starts with a 2.51 ERA. His season was cut short by an elbow injury that first sent him to the DL in June. He had appeared to recover from that only to be pulled from the Phillies contingent of players heading to the Arizona Fall League by soreness in his right collarbone. The injury is not thought to be serious, but the Phillies did not want to rush Sanchez and deemed it more prudent to pull him from the AFL and allow him to recover fully.
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In four minor league seasons, Sanchez has a 15-12 record and a 2.48 ERA. It’s likely that he will be ready to go at full speed in spring training and also likely that the Phillies will have him open the season back at Clearwater to allow him to pitch in warmer weather close to the team’s complex. By mid-season though, he’ll likely be moved up to Double-A Reading, providing all goes well. Sanchez came into last season ranked 26th among prospects.
Last year’s first round pick by the Phillies, Alec Bohm is ranked 59th on the list of the top 100 prospects. Bohm was the third overall pick in last year’s draft by the Phillies and played for both Gulf Coast League teams and for Williamsport over the summer, with a combined line of 0-17-.252/.335/.324 in 40 games. The 22-year old third base prospect is a product of Wichita State University. Don’t be surprised if the Phillies bump Bohm up to Lakewood to start the season or at least shortly after the start of the season.
Finally, Adonis Medina, 22, placed 77th on the list of top prospects. Medina also spent last season with Clearwater and was 10-4, 4.12 in 21 starts and one relief appearance with the Threshers. The Phillies signed Medina as an international free agent out of the Dominican Republic in May, 2014. Prior to last season, Medina was ranked 86th in all of baseball by MLB Pipeline. In five minor league seasons, including the Dominican Summer League, Medina is 24-21 with a 3.21 ERA and has 347 strikeouts in 367 1/3 innings of work. The Phillies will likely start the season with Medina pitching for Double-A Reading.
On last year’s list of the Top 50 Phillies Prospects by Philly Baseball Insider, Sanchez was the top overall prospect and Medina was fifth.
The top six players on this year’s MLB Pipeline list are all position players. third baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is the top overall prospect, followed by Fernando Tatis Jr. at number-two. Both players have famous fathers who played in the majors. Guerrero’s father was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame this past July. Guerrero is in the Blue Jays organization and Tatis is in the Padres organization. Eloy jimenez (White Sox) is third, Victor Robles (Nationals) placed fourth. Both players are outfielders. Shortstop Royce Lewis (Twins) is fifth and third baseman/second baseman/outfielder Nick Senzel (Reds) is sixth. Senzel has been mentioned as a potential part of a trade for Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto. The first pitcher on the list is Houston’s Forrest Whitley, who came in at number seven.