Phillies Farm System Receives Low Ranking For 2024

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Johan Rojas Phillies
Clearwater, FL – JUN 26: Johan Rojas (33) of the Phillies West dives safely into third base during the Gulf Coast League (GCL) game between the GCL Phillies West and the GCL Phillies East on June 26, 2018, at the Carpenter Complex in Clearwater, FL. (Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire)

PHILADELPHIA – Since 2019, the Phillies have arguably represented one of the best atmospheres in baseball with their superstar talent and young core in the mix. Yet, even with this known, their farm system still lacks the respective praise compared to others in MLB.

Down But Not Out

Despite having four of the Top 100 prospects in baseball, the Phillies farm system was reviewed at 22nd overall in the latest preseason rankings. This preseason ranking, however, wouldn’t be their worst, considering they came in at 23rd during midseason last year but were still below the 21st ranking they gained during the 2023 preseason. This isn’t a spot the Phillies are unfamiliar with, but it is a major improvement from their 25th and 26th rankings in 2022.

The revival of this team over the last 2-3 years has been nothing short of incredible, as they managed to be in the NLCS twice with a World Series appearance in 2022. With this in mind, Dombrowski and Co. want to add more oil to the fire by executing a higher threshold at lower draft positions. It will not hurt them in the short term but will be necessary in the long run.

The Phillies Top 100 prospects are not unknown to MLB fans and admirers alike with pitcher Andrew Painter (No. 27), pitcher Mick Abel (No. 49), infielder Aiden Miller (No. 61), and outfielder Justin Crawford (No. 77) rounding out the list.

Painter just had Tommy John surgery and will be a firm scratch until he resumes his road to The Show in 2025. Abel is at a healthy middle ground right now as he looks to remain to start in Triple-A and disclosed that limiting walks is his top priority for receiving the mid-season call-up. Miller and Crawford, on the other hand, are the Phils’ last two first-round picks and will most likely be MLB-ready by 2026 or 2027. Crawford is most notably famed for being the son of former Major Leaguer Carl Crawford.

Phillies promote four pitchers, including Orion Kerkering, to triple-A Lehigh Valley
Clearwater Threshers pitcher Orion Kerkering (44) delivers a pitch during an MiLB Florida State League baseball game against the Bradenton Marauders on April 8, 2023 at LECOM Park in Bradenton, Florida. Kerkering pitched one inning of a combined no-hitter, earning a hold. (Mike Janes/Four Seam Images via AP)

Next Generation of Phillies

According to MLB Pipeline, the Phils system is top-heavy right now, with the aforementioned prospects looking to help the Major League club at some point in the future while the other prospects behind them have more room for growth before they’ll be ready. One exception is pitcher Orion Kerkering (No. 6), who joined the Phillies in September and pitched during their postseason run last year. He is expected to make the Phillies Opening Day roster once April rolls around.

While young shortstop prospect Starlyn Caba (No. 5) was ranked higher than Kerkering, the latter has already acquired major league and postseason experience, deeming him more worthy of a roster spot to begin the season. I think the most important aspect here is that their young talent is all in positions that will need to be filled in the next 5-6 years, which puts them ahead of the curve. Regardless of the overall ranking, the Phillies remain World Series-ready, especially after their latest extension of ace Zack Wheeler.

Photo Credit: Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire