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Keith Law calls Phillies’ recent draft ‘perhaps the best’ in MLB

Jan 28, 2014, 12:21 PM EDT

Phillies draft pick J.P. Crawford and his purple bowtie

They might as well change the name from Citizens Bank Park to Jurassic Park since it will be home to the prehistoric Philadelphia Phillies in 2014. The roster is old in a way that’s both funny and sad at the same time, and nothing is going to change that right now.

Help is on the way though—eventually. One year after rating the their farm system 27th out of 30 Major League Baseball organizations, ESPN’s resident scouting guru Keith Law has the Phillies making a big jump in his latest rankings, all the way to 14th.

It’s not infielder Maikel Franco or lefthander Jesse Biddle who have the Phils’ farm back on track though, two top-100 prospects who are gaining in hype and name recognition as they draw nearer to the big leagues. On the contrary, Law likes what he’s seeing at the lower levels.

His blurb via’s subscription Insider service:

Similar to Texas but with fewer prospects who are potential grade 65 or better players in the majors. I thought the Phillies had one of the best drafts, perhaps the best of anyone, in 2014, landing a few high-ceiling high school kids — such as shortstop J.P. Crawford — while mixing in some solid college bats like catcher Andrew Knapp.

I’m sure he meant in 2013, seeing as the ‘14 draft has yet to occur, but I digress. That sounds promising, even if most of those players are all years away from being big-league ready.

Also of note, the Phillies’ farm system ranked second in the NL East, so while the club might be headed for a last-place finish this year, they’ll sure show those guys in 2019!

>> Ranking all 30 farm systems [ESPN]

  1. nahroots - Jan 28, 2014 at 1:20 PM

    considering were were at, what? #27 last year. I’ll take it.

  2. IlliniGlory - Jan 28, 2014 at 2:01 PM

    Look, I’m not a sunshine fan who’s going to expel rainbows and butterflies about the upcoming season, but I don’t think it’s out of the realm of possibilities to think this team can sneak into the race if a few older players return to even somewhat of their yester-year form and Lee/Hamels pitch lights out. Throw in some of the younger guys stepping up, Revere hitting .300+ all year, and a ‘pen that can only go up from last year and who the hell knows. All I do know is that this team isn’t finishing last in the division when you have the Fish and Mets there as well.

    • Bonsai136 - Jan 28, 2014 at 2:21 PM

      not last but closer to last than first or second
      crime what rube did to a well stacked team

      • Boom - Jan 28, 2014 at 3:17 PM

        The crime is keeping that “stacked” team together.

    • Scott B - Jan 28, 2014 at 5:23 PM

      but that’s the thing @IlliniGlory. That is the absolute best case scenario but how often does that happen in a 162 game season. I used to think that way.

      I sadly think the Mets and Phils could be finishing within 5 games of each other. No way were even close to the Braves or Nats

    • Mike - Jan 28, 2014 at 5:38 PM

      What race are they sneaking into? They won 73 games last year. Where are they 12-15 games better? Revere is passable offensively and terrible defensively. Brown seems solid offensively and is an absolute butcher in the field. RF is going to be inhabited by anyone RAJ can put in front of Ruf, apparently. The bench…yeah. Kyle Kendrick is your #3 and Cliff Lee is going to be 36 in August. Even if Hamels pitches great, the bullpen is bad or maybe slightly better than bad with a closer who is done. I would love if they were good but they are far from it. I would be less surprised by 95 loss than 85 wins.

  3. Hextall - Jan 28, 2014 at 2:13 PM

    cool, more prospects to trade for old dudes.

  4. horsham - Jan 28, 2014 at 2:29 PM

    Sounds great and all, but the Phillies have a long history of holding players in the minors longer then normal. I understand it takes time for the development of players in the minors, but why are these players never ready to play in the bigs? I think the entire farm system…coaches, instructors etc is a big part to blame too. If this team is not in the race, then please bring some of these players up earlier and see if you have something earlier then expecting. Infuse some youthful talent into this lineup….

  5. Rich Milkman - Jan 28, 2014 at 3:13 PM

    Already starting on the Jurassic Park styled t shirts… Kulp you’ll get your cut

    • Hiccup - Jan 28, 2014 at 3:45 PM

      I like “senior citizens bank park” better which someone else posted a few weeks ago.

      • Steve - Jan 28, 2014 at 4:42 PM

        Me too, that one is cheesily great.

  6. Craig - Jan 28, 2014 at 5:30 PM

    All things considered they’d have a hard time getting worse. As promising as Franco & Biddle may be, injuries to Roman Quinn and several pitching prospects keep this from being a #14 farm system.

  7. john procopi - Jan 28, 2014 at 5:37 PM

    Coaching in the minor leagues needs to improve a lot.Last few years a lot of young pitchers came up from the farms and uniformly they had poor command.Similiarly young hitters seem to have zero idea of the strike zone and swing at flat out crap. That stuff can be coached and improved on and it needs to be. Another example of how Amaro is ruining this franchise

  8. Mike - Jan 28, 2014 at 5:46 PM

    I heard they’re moving Spring Training to The Villages this year.

  9. RJ Thomas - Jan 29, 2014 at 8:48 AM

    Good Morning..

    Could we please for once get off of the old team business.These are players that have a track record and some new players that could play like in their prime..Give it a break ..all everyone knows is how to be so damn negative..and it really is you all like to say old!

    • Hiccup - Jan 29, 2014 at 9:04 AM

      Sure thing pops.

  10. jbink2585 - Jan 29, 2014 at 2:31 PM

    Finally some Positive news with farm system I will take it.//NEGATIVE TIME: Cant really stop the old business because BREAKING NEWS THEY ARE OLD MID TO LATE 30′s guy who need to find a way to be healthy as there age goes up not happening. Say track record all you wan but eventually the track record falls off and you begin a decline, and GUESS WHAT WE ARE IN THE DECLINE. We need this team to tank, so we can blow it up sell at the deadline, replace the GM and hopefully we are back in playoff picture by 2016ish or 2017ish

  11. desiree - Jan 30, 2014 at 6:26 AM

    One in 2013 we did have young players ok the yunng players fuck up the game I forget what day it was but two clubs have young players playing that day .
    Two you need to hater on the phillies you never know this year going to be the best year ever.
    3. Maybe a older players but this older players know how to get to the playoff and show this yunng players how to do it right .

    4. I see the phillies going to the playoff maybe the world series 2014.
    5. Ryan still the why he is we good he a power hitter

  12. Shawn - Mar 18, 2014 at 2:18 PM

    GREAT – more prospects that Boob-en can throw away in awful trades.


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