© 2008 MLB Advanced Media, L.P. All rights reserved.

11/14/08 10:00 AM EST

Phillies rich in outfield prospects

Michael Taylor highlights World Champs' up-and-coming stars

Before the 2008 season began, MLB.com took an in-depth look at every big league team's Minor League system. Now it's time to recap and analyze all 30 organizations, from top prospects to the recent Draft class.

In our season preview, we said that Phillies fans had a lot to cheer about in 2007 with their "phantastic phinish." Needless to say, things were even better in 2008. And fans can definitely thank the club's scouting and player development, with such homegrown players such as shortstop Jimmy Rollins, first baseman Ryan Howard and World Series MVP Cole Hamels, to name but a few.

While there were no "impact rookies" on the club in 2008, there could be some on the way in 2009 and beyond.

In the meantime, fans who can't get tickets at Citizens Bank Park (at least on a regular basis) don't have to travel far to get their fill of cheering for their future stars, with the Triple-A club at Allentown (the Lehigh Valley IronPigs), the Double-A team at Reading and the Class A club in Lakewood, N.J., just across the border.

If the Phillies have a weak link (at least as weak a link as a World Series champion could have), it would probably be the outfield, and that's one place where the system has some of its best players on the way.

Overall on the field in 2008, the Phils' clubs went 390-439, finishing 25th of 30 organizations. The Lakewood club was the only full-season affiliate that did well, going 80-60. Advanced A Clearwater was 64-76, Reading 53-89 and Lehigh Valley 55-89.

Further down, though, the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League Phillies went 33-25 and won the league title, while Class A Short-Season Williamsport was 38-37.

With the talent in the big leagues set for awhile, the Phillies could afford to take some young upside risks in the Draft, and the first three players they selected were raw but toolsy high school hitters.

Organizational Players of the Year

MLB.com Preseason Picks

Dominic Brown, OF: We went a little bit out of the box by picking a late-round Draft pick (20th round from 2006) who was entering his first full season, but Brown's athleticism and upside made it worth the shot. And his season was indeed an impressive one as the 6-foot-5 205-pounder hit .291 with nine homers, 54 RBIs and 22 steals for Lakewood at age 20. The converted pitcher, who turned down a college football scholarship, has plus power and a high defensive ceiling and should continue to be a lot of fun to watch.
Two-run double for Brown

•  Monday, Oct. 6: Washington Nationals
•  Tuesday, Oct. 7: Seattle Mariners
•  Wednesday, Oct. 8: San Diego Padres
•  Thursday, Oct. 9: Pittsburgh Pirates
•  Friday, Oct. 10: Baltimore Orioles
•  Monday, Oct. 13: Atlanta Braves
•  Tuesday, Oct. 14: San Francisco Giants
•  Wednesday, Oct. 15: Cincinnati Reds
•  Thursday, Oct. 16: Colorado Rockies
•  Friday, Oct. 17: Detroit Tigers
•  Monday, Oct. 20: Kansas City Royals
•  Tuesday, Oct. 21: Oakland Athletics
•  Wednesday, Oct. 22: Texas Rangers
•  Thursday, Oct. 23: Cleveland Indians
•  Friday, Oct. 24: Arizona Diamondbacks
•  Monday, Oct. 27: Florida Marlins
•  Tuesday, Oct. 28: Toronto Blue Jays
•  Wednesday, Oct. 29: St. Louis Cardinals
•  Thursday, Oct. 30: Houston Astros
•  Friday, Oct. 31: Minnesota Twins
•  Monday, Nov. 3: New York Yankees
•  Tuesday, Nov. 4: New York Mets
•  Wednesday, Nov. 5: Los Angeles Angels
•  Thursday, Nov. 6: Chicago White Sox
•  Friday, Nov. 7: Milwaukee Brewers
•  Monday, Nov. 10: Chicago Cubs
•  Tuesday, Nov. 11: Boston Red Sox
•  Wednesday, Nov. 12: LA Dodgers
•  Thursday, Nov. 13: Tampa Bay Rays
•  Friday, Nov. 14: Philadelphia Phillies

Andrew Carpenter, RHP: Carpenter was a conservative pick since he was coming off a Phillies' Minor League Pitcher of the Year campaign in which he went 17-6 with a 3.20 ERA at Clearwater, but he backslid to open 2008 before rebounding nicely down the stretch. The 2006 second-round pick began the season at Reading but posted a 6.94 ERA before being sent to Clearwater to regroup. There his ERA dipped to 2.92 in eight starts, and when he rejoined the R-Phils he posted a 3.44 ERA in five games. That included one very rough outing where he allowed eight earned runs in six innings -- he gave up just five earned runs in his remaining 28 innings there, and also had a brief one-inning big-league debut. Carpenter offsets a fastball around 90 mph with a plus slider, curve and changeup.
Carpenter fans his fifth

MLB.com Post-Season Selections:

Michael Taylor, OF: You hate to compare someone who just finished his first full season to Ryan Howard, but the similarities are unmistakable. A 6-foot-6 260-pound power hitter who was a fifth-round Draft pick by the Phillies? One difference, though, is that Taylor had a much better first full season than Howard did. Howard, in 2001, hit .280 with 19 homers, 87 RBIs and five steals at Lakewood. Taylor batted .346 with 19 homers, 88 RBIs and 15 steals between Lakewood and Clearwater, including a .361 mark at Lakewood before his promotion. His average, 170 hits and 274 total bases all ranked in the Minors' top 10. The Stanford product, who was drafted in 2007, has a plus arm in right field and raw power at the plate. Though he hit .227 at Williamsport in his '07 debut, this is more what the Phillies thought him capable of.
Taylor hits a three-run blast

J.A. Happ, LHP: We predicted that Happ (whose first name, despite the initials and periods, is pronounced "Jay") would enjoy a comeback year from a 2007 campaign in which he was troubled by a sore elbow and posted just a 5.02 ERA at what was then the Phillies' Triple-A affiliate at Ottawa. This year, his 3.60 ERA at Lehigh Valley was third in the organization, as were his 151 strikeouts in 135 innings. His 9.77 strikeouts per nine innings ranked 10th in the Minors among starters. After having pitched one game in the big leagues in 2007, the third-rounder from 2004 out of Northwestern returned to the Majors in 2008 and this time had a 3.69 ERA in eight games -- four of them starts -- over 31 2/3 innings.
Happ notches 12th and 13th strikeouts

Climbed the Ladder

Quintin Berry, OF: A fifth-rounder in 2006 out of San Diego State, Berry bears a lot of similarities to Kenny Lofton, a game-igniter who loves to play. He batted .272 at Clearwater this season with an organization-high 51 steals, and also led the Minors with a 30-game hitting streak late in the summer. The lone member of that Clearwater squad to be named a Florida State League All-Star, Berry was coming off a 2007 full-season debut where he posted similarly impressive numbers at Lakewood with a .312 average and 55 steals.
Berry smacks a leadoff double

Jason Donald, IF: Exclusively a shortstop since signing with the Phillies as a third-round pick in 2005 out of Arizona, it's no surprise that the 2008 Olympian is seeing time at third base and even a little at second in the Arizona Fall League this year, since Philadelphia's middle infield is occupied, and his bat shows he's not far from being ready to get there. Donald batted .307 with 14 homers and 54 RBIs in 92 games at Reading and adds some gap power to great makeup and a live bat.
Donald launches three-run homer

Greg Golson, OF: A first-rounder out of high school in 2004, Golson has risen to the top of the outfield crop and was selected to play in the Futures Game this past summer. He's got a ton of tools, ranging from plus power potential to speed to defense to a strong arm and has done a good job of refining the package. He batted .282 with 13 home runs, 60 RBIs and 23 steals in 106 games at Reading this season, though his strikeout rate is still something of an issue (130 versus 34 walks). He capped off the summer by making his big league debut in September.
Interview with Greg Golson

J.A. Happ, RHP: See selections

Lou Marson, C: A fourth-round pick in 2004 out of high school in Scottsdale, Ariz., Marson batted .314 -- second in the system -- in 94 games this summer (his schedule included an August trip to China for the Olympics). When you add in his 68 walks, his .433 on-base average ranked sixth in the Minors. A steady defender, he spent all of September and October with the big league club through the World Series, soaking in the atmosphere and experience for what is expected to be a spot in the bigs in the not-too-distant future. Though he only got into one game on the last day of the season, he homered in his first at-bat there. Phillies farm director Steve Noworyta had this to say about Marson in our preview: "He continues, like fine wine, to get better as he ages."
Marson drives in six runs

Michael Taylor, OF: See selections

Kept Their Footing

Dominic Brown, OF: See selections

Andrew Carpenter, RHP: See selections

Carlos Carrasco, RHP: Arguably the top Phillies pitching prospect, the young Venezuelan should be in the big leagues by the end of 2009, but there is no need to rush him, no matter how highly anticipated his arrival is. He went 9-9 with a 3.69 ERA between Reading and Lehigh Valley, posting a 4.32 ERA in 114 innings at Reading and then a 1.72 ERA in six starts with the IronPigs. He finished fifth in the organization in ERA and second in strikeouts and in most cases it could be argued he climbed the ladder, except that he is so highly regarded that he was already on the top rung of expectations.
Carrasco strikes out the side

Joe Savery, LHP: The club's top pick in 2007 out of Rice, Savery went 9-10 with a 4.13 ERA at Clearwater in his first full season, finishing ninth in the system in ERA and striking out 122 while walking 60 in 150 1/3 innings, though he did allow 171 hits. He throws a fastball in the low 90s, has great makeup and poise and is also an outstanding batter.
Interview with Joe Savery

Slipped a Rung

Jason Jaramillo, C: Jaramillo, a second-round pick in 2004 out of Oklahoma State, has slipped down the ladder due to the emergence of Lou Marson as the top catching prospect. He hit a serviceable .266 with eight homers and 39 RBIs at Lehigh Valley but is known more for his defense than his bat and probably projects more as a backup as he awaits his big league debut.

On the Radar

Chance Chapman, RHP: A 24-year-old in his first full season, Chapman made a good impression at Lakeland, where he went 7-7 with a 2.98 ERA that led all Phillies full-season starters. He fanned 118 in 139 innings while walking just 37. The club's eighth-round pick in 2007 out of Oral Roberts posted a 2.09 ERA at short-season Williamsport in his pro debut, earning New York-Penn League All-Star honors that summer.

Travis D'Arnaud, C: Another catcher on the rise is the supplemental first-round pick from 2007, who earned New York-Penn League All-Star honors this past summer, hitting a combined .305 between Williamsport and a promotion to Lakewood. He is a good defensive catcher as well.
D'Arnaud smacks an RBI double

Sergio Escalona, LHP: The Venezuelan southpaw in his first full season emerged as a quick mover as he posted a 3.00 ERA and struck out 89 batters in 69 innings between Lakewood and a jump up to Reading, where he had a 2.22 ERA in the final month.
Escalona posts back-to-back strikeouts

Freddy Galvis, SS: A switch-hitting defensive whiz who played the season at age 18, he's a highlight-reel kind of guy with great range. He batted .238 (over .250 from July on) at Lakewood, and his 16 sac bunts ranked seventh in the Minors.
Two-run double for Galvis

Jeremy Slayden, OF: The Phillies' eighth-round pick in 2005 out of Georgia Tech could be an interesting guy to watch. A shoulder injury suffered in college will probably prevent him from ever having a plus arm, but his bat is what makes him stand out. At 26, he's not a kid, but he had one of the best seasons of any of the Phillies' farmhands, hitting .298 with 17 homers and 81 RBIs at Reading.
Slayden hits an RBI triple

Draft Recap

1. Anthony Hewitt, SS: Hewitt turned down an offer to play ball at Vanderbilt to sign out of high school in New York with the Phillies. He batted .197 in 33 games in the Gulf Coast League in his debut. His tools include a plus arm, speed and power potential. He was taken with the 24th overall pick.

2. Zach Collier OF: A supplemental first-rounder, the left-handed hitter also has raw power potential and batted .271 with 19 RBIs in the Gulf Coast League this summer. He has a live bat and good range in the outfield.

3. Anthony Gose, OF: A high schooler from California taken in the second round, he's yet another toolbox kid who batted .256 in the Gulf Coast League.

Others of Note: RHP Jason Knapp (2nd round) went 3-1 with a 2.61 ERA in seven games in the Gulf Coast League, striking out 38 in 31 innings after being drafted out of high school in New Jersey. He can touch the high 90s with his fastball. ... RHP Vance Worley (3rd round), the first college player the Phillies took, is a Cal State-Long Beach hurler who made just two starts for Williamsport, posting a 1.13 ERA before moving up to Lakewood where he had a 2.66 EA and 53 strikeouts versus just seven walks in 61 innings. ... RHP Jonathan Pettitbone (3rd round) was considered a tough sign with a commitment to USC, but signed right before the deadline and tossed one inning in the Gulf Coast League. ... 3B Cody Overbeck (9th round) out of Mississippi hit .272 with 12 home runs and 57 RBIs at Williamsport. ... RHP Michael Stutes (11th round) out of Oregon State had a 1.33 ERA in six starts at Williamsport ... RHP Brian Rosenberg (13th round) from Louisville had a 1.00 ERA and went 10-for-10 in save opportunities for the Crosscutters. ... RHP Michael Schwimmer (14th round) out of Virginia had a 1.96 ERA in 22 games in relief at Williamsport and struck out 62 in 41 1/3 innings there. ... SS Troy Hanzawa (16th round), a defensive standout from San Diego State, hit .297 with three homers and 31 RBIs at Williamsport. ... RHP Ryan Bergh (26th round) out of Old Dominion was 3-1 with an 0.64 ERA in the Gulf Coast League, walking four and striking out 26 in 28 1/3 innings. ... RHP Jordan Ellis (28th round), a local sign out of Villanova, had a 1.29 ERA in eight games in the Gulf Coast League and then posted a 3.00 ERA in 30 innings at Williamsport. ... RHP Michael Cisco (36th round) out of South Carolina had a great debut, with a 1.86 ERA in nine games at Williamsport and an 0.51 ERA in a move up to Lakewood. He combined to strike out 52 in 54 1/3 innings, walking five, including 35 innings without a free pass for the Blueclaws.

Lisa Winston is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.