Philadelphia Phillies Top Fantasy Baseball Prospects

Phillies top fantasy baseball prospects

The Phillies’s system lacks the notoriety that others have, but there are plenty of intriguing names. The list is top-heavy on pitching as Andrew Painter remains one of the top pitching prospects in all of baseball despite missing the entirety of the 2023 season. The biggest thing missing is impact bats in close proximity to the major leagues. There are plenty of intriguing bats from recent draft classes and International Signing periods in the lower levels of the minor leagues, but they remain early on in the development process.


Top Phillies Prospects


The Top Tier


1) Andrew Painter – SP, 20 YO

2023 Stats: DNP

Prior to spring training, there was hope throughout the baseball community (and the Phillies organization) that Andrew Painter would make the Opening Day rotation. Painter ranked toward the top of most prospect lists after a dominant showing in 2022. At just 19 years old, Painter pitched to a 1.56 ERA across 103.1 innings. Unfortunately for both Painter and the Phillies, he tore his UCL during a spring training start and missed the entirety of 2023. To make matters worse, the team and Painter chose to attempt to rehab the injury instead of opting for surgery right away making his 2024 timeline a bit murky.

When it comes to Painter on the mound nothing has changed. Painter looked as dominant in spring training as he had the previous season in the minor leagues. His fastball sits in the upper 90s with superb command. He has an excellent feel for his breaking pitches and can attack both lefties and righties with them. From a talent perspective, Painter is still one of the top pitching prospects in baseball. He has ace potential and will likely make his major league debut in 2025. Although the timeline has been pushed back, he is still likely to debut before or on his 22nd birthday which is faster than most pitching prospects.


2) Mick Abel – SP, 22 YO

2023 Stats (AA/AAA): 113.1 IP | 4.13 ERA | 27.4 K% | 13.5 BB%

The top two prospects in the Phillies’ system remain unchanged from a year ago. Abel was selected by the Phillies in the first round of the 2020 draft. He has steadily progressed through the minor leagues and is now knocking on the door of the majors. His whippy arm action provides good extension and helps him to blow fastballs right by opposing batters. He pairs the fastball with a slider and changeup. Both of which generate whiffs at an above-average rate. He reached a career-high 113 innings pitched this past season proving capable of handling a starter’s workload.

Abel’s kryptonite is a lack of control. After walking over 14% of batters in his debut season, Abel seemed to make significant strides in his control in 2022. He lowered his walk rate below 11% and had many excited to see if he continued improving in 2023. Unfortunately, he regressed and when you combine that with a struggle to limit the long ball, Abel put up some crooked starts. When on, Abel looks unhittable. Across his final five starts, he threw 27.1 innings with a 1.63 ERA. However, in the six starts prior he posted a 5.70 ERA. The Phillies will likely want to see more consistency before handing Abel a rotation spot, but the upside is undeniable.


3) Aiden Miller – SS/3B, 19 YO

2023 Stats (CPX/A): .303 AVG | .425 OBP | .379 SLG | 0 HR | 4 SB | 18.8 K% | 15.0 BB%

The Phillies selected Miller 27th overall in this year’s draft. Miller was originally projected to land much higher in the first round, but he suffered a broken left hamate and slid down draft boards. The hamate did not seem to be an issue in his first taste of professional baseball. He showed off excellent contact skills with a mature and patient approach at the plate. Miller is comfortable forcing pitchers to throw strikes which is rare for a player his age.

The hit tool is what really stands out from his debut. Not only does Miller have excellent contact skills, but his bat path is extremely smooth and consistent. His swing is designed to drive balls into the gaps and utilizes an all-fields approach. The power is what many expect to come. With a big 6’2″ frame and hands extremely quick hands, the power can look effortless at times. Once Miller learns to tap into his pull-side pop more, his numbers could explode. He is likely to move to third base long term which puts more pressure on his power to develop as he moves through the Phillies’ system. There is a safe base here for a high school bat with the upside to become a major fantasy asset.


4) Gabriel Rincones Jr. – OF, 22 YO

2023 Stats (A/A+): .248 AVG | .351 OBP | .427 SLG | 15 HR | 32 SB | 25.1 K% | 11.4 BB%

The Phillies drafted Rincones in the third round of the 2022 draft. The team opted to delay his professional debut until 2023 and saw him produce solid results. His speed and baseball instincts were better than advertised and he showed off strong plate discipline. Rincones’ strikeout rate and contact skills showed improvement as the season moved along making many confident in the improvements he can continue making.

What does not show up on the stat pages are the tweaks he made to his stance throughout the season. In this linked video from spring training, Rincones starts with his hands way up above his head. In this second video from August, Rincones’ hands are lower but come with a lot of movement and a new leg kick. The third video is from the AFL. His hands stay lower, but the rocking back and forth is more subdued. His leg kick is also smaller. Notably, Rincones dominated the AFL batting .293/.426/.493 and competing in the home run derby. He looks comfortable at the plate and hopefully, these changes will lead to more consistent contact. There is 25 home run/20 stolen base potential here for a player that could move quickly through the Phillies’ system.


5) Justin Crawford – OF, 19 YO

2023 Stats (A/A+): .332 AVG | .392 OBP | .467 SLG | 3 HR | 47 SB | 17.7 K% | 8.2 BB%

Praise for Crawford rings throughout the Phillies’ organization. The first-round pick from 2022 put together an excellent slash line in 2023. He dominated Low-A to the tune of a .344/.399/.478 slash line before earning a promotion to High-A. His speed helps fuel the high batting average and once on base, Crawford has no issues stealing another. His borderline elite speed is his carrying tool from a fantasy perspective. He projects for 35+ stolen bases once he makes it to the major league level.

Based solely on his 2023 slash line and speed, it feels as if Crawford should rank higher on this list. The issue is that he does not do very much damage to the ball. He hit just three home runs all season and in 69 games in Low-A, he posted an average exit velocity of just 85 mph. At just 19, there is time for Crawford to add more physicality to his game, but he will also need to undergo a swing change. Crawford led all of the minor leagues in ground ball rate at an astronomical 69.7%. This limits any power potential and is likely to cause batting average issues as he reaches the upper levels of the minor leagues. There is a lot for fantasy managers to be wary of when digging deeper past Crawford’s surface stats.


6) Griff McGarry – SP, 24 YO

2023 Stats (AA/AAA): 60 IP | 6.00 ERA | 30.0 K% | 18.5 BB%

There was a time when the Phillies system was loaded with top-end pitching talent: the previously mentioned Painter and Abel along with Ben Brown and McGarry. Brown is now with the Cubs and McGarry has stumbled a bit as he has reached the upper minor leagues. The fastball, slider combination that McGarry deploys is still electric. He gets over 15 inches of vertical break on the four-seam and his slider generated a whiff rate of over 40% last season.

Generating strikeouts has never been an issue for McGarry and is the reason his fantasy ceiling is so high. The flip side to his high ceiling is an extremely low floor. McGarry has had trouble throwing strikes consistently and is yet to prove capable of handling a starter’s workload. He walked over 18% of the batters he faced last season which has been a consistent theme throughout his career. There is a strong possibility that McGarry will wind up in a relief role moving forward. He is best viewed as a high-volatility fantasy asset with a strong chance to make his debut in 2024.


7) Carlos De La Cruz – OF/1B, 24 YO

2023 Stats (AA): .259 AVG | .344 OBP | .454 SLG | 24 HR | 3 SB | 27.5 K% | 9.3 BB%

De La Cruz is an intimidating presence in the box. Standing at 6’8″, it is not hard to figure out where his raw power comes from. De La Cruz can knock balls out of the park with a flick of the wrist. This impressive power was on full display in spring training last year making his name even more notable.

The power is effortless, but questions remain over his hit tool. Although his strikeout rate has come down in consecutive seasons, it still remains above 27%. Improvements to his plate discipline are more notable than any improvements to his contact skills. Strikeout rates tend to increase against tougher competition which would continue to lower De La Cruz’s fantasy value. The Phillies continue to use him in the outfield on a regular basis but have also been increasing his playing time at first base. The move to first base is likely based on his size and slowing speed which puts more pressure on his bat to come through. There is 35+ home run raw power here, but there is a risk he never hits enough to stick in the major leagues


Prospects Dynasty Managers Should Know


8) Orion Kerkering – RP, 22 YO

2023 MiLB Stats (A/A+/AA/AAA): 53.2 IP | 1.51 ERA | 8.0 K% | 5.8 BB%

2023 MLB Stats: 3 IP | 3.00 ERA | 42.9 K% | 14.3 BB%

The biggest riser from the Phillies’ system in 2023. Kerkering features a high-spin slider that has already proven to make major league batters look silly. He has a chance to be a dominant back-end bullpen arm for years to come.


9) Devin Saltiban – SS/OF, 18 YO

2023 Stats (CPX): .333 AVG | .391 OBP | .452 SLG | 1 HR | 5 SB | 15.2 K% | 6.5 BB%

Aiden Miller gets all of the attention from the Phillies’ 2023 draft class, but Saltiban might be my favorite pick. He has extremely quick hands and a knack for hitting. The power is underrated in his profile as his athleticism could carry him through the system. A move to the outfield is likely.


10) Starlyn Caba – SS, 17 YO

2023 Stats (DSL): .301 AVG | .423 OBP | .346 SLG | 0 HR | 16 SB | 9.8 K% | 17.1 BB%

Caba is the international signing that nobody is talking about. He has a mature understanding of the strike zone with excellent athleticism. If he can increase his launch angle to get more lift on the ball, he could skyrocket up rankings.


11) Bryan Rincon – SS, 19 YO

2023 Stats (A/A+): .234 AVG | .368 OBP | .361 SLG | 8 HR | 27 SB | 17.9 K% | 16.0 BB%

The transition to stateside baseball is taking some time for Rincon, but there is plenty to like. He has excellent contact skills and a strong understanding of the strike zone. His swing from the left side is especially pretty when he connects and there is more power than people give him credit for. There is a strong foundation here if everything clicks.


12) William Bergolla Jr. – SS, 19 YO

2023 Stats (A): .255 AVG | .351 OBP | .286 SLG | 0 HR | 2 SB | 7.5 K% | 13.2 BB%

Bergolla has the best pure contact skills in the organization. He knows the strike zone and is more than willing to take a walk. This ranking is about projecting more power to come. There is a solid base here, but without a professional home run, it is difficult to get too excited.


13) Eduardo Tait – C, 17 YO

2023 Stats (DSL): .333 AVG | .400 OBP | .517 SLG | 3 HR | 4 SB | 18.8 K% | 7.3 BB%

Tait’s first exposure to professional baseball went as well as anybody could have hoped. Extremely high swinging strike rates could lead to issues against tougher competition, but he is certainly worth keeping an eye on. He has a smooth swing path and a natural tendency to tap into pull-side power.


14) Emaarion Boyd – OF, 20 YO

2023 Stats (A): .262 AVG | .366 OBP | .324 SLG | 1 HR | 56 SB | 14.9 K% | 8.7 BB%

He reminds me of Justin Crawford-lite. Boyd is incredibly fast and makes contact at an above-average rate. Lowering his ground ball rate is the only way he is going to tap into enough power to become fantasy-relevant.


15) Simon Muzzioti – OF, 24 YO

2023 Stats (AAA): .296 AVG | .358 OBP | .404 SLG | 7 HR | 26 SB | 15.5 K% | 8.6 BB%

A glove-first outfielder who has shown off an improving hit tool in Triple-A. Has the chance to become a useful fourth outfielder although a change in scenery might be what is best for his career. There is very little fantasy upside here.


The Next Five


Although these prospects do not crack the top 15, dynasty managers should keep their eye on these five players.

Raylin Heredia – 18 YO- High-variance; unproven outfielder.

Alex McFarlane – 22 YO- Injuries have limited him to just 58 professional innings and kept him in Low-A.

TJayy Walton – 18 YO- Big and athletic with plenty of raw potential and tons of risk.

Nikau Pouaka-Grego – 19 YO – Utility infielder carried by a strong hit tool.

Caleb Ricketts – 23 YO- Low-variance, low-upside catching prospect.


Feature image by Michael Packard (@CollectingPack on Twitter)

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