Nos.14-25 on the Phillies' top-prospects list

Posted: July 20, 2013

The Phillies resume play Friday in New York against the Mets, and how they fare after the all-star break could determine the future of some of their top prospects.

Here is the rest of The Inquirer's top-25 minor-league prospects. The top 13 were published Thursday. Three scouts from outside the organization were willing to comment on the players, but only players who have performed at low-A Lakewood or above have comments from the scouts.

14. Aaron Altherr, OF, high-A Clearwater

Always considered a player with good tools and an athletic body, the 6-foot-5 outfielder has never looked better on the field than he has this season. He was named a Florida State League all-star and entered mid-July as the league leader in doubles with 27. Unlike outfielder Kelly Dugan, the 22-year-old Altherr is likely to spend the entire season at Clearwater.

Scout's view: "At worst, I think he's an extra outfielder. I still think his swing is a little long."

15. Darin Ruf, LF/1B, AAA Lehigh Valley, Phillies

The 26-year-old Ruf got his second call to the big leagues when Ryan Howard landed on the disabled list earlier this month. In his first season at Lehigh Valley, he was streaky and unable to duplicate the extraordinary power numbers he put up last August at Reading. Perhaps the most impressive thing about his season is how he turned himself into a decent leftfielder after struggling at the position during spring training.

Scout's view: "I think this is going to be his big opportunity over the next eight weeks. If he's going to stay in the big leagues, he's going to do it right here and right now. Based on my previous observations, I think his best chance is against lefthanded pitching. I think he has a chance to be a serviceable platoon player or extra guy."

16. Cameron Rupp, C, AA Reading, AAA Lehigh Valley

Once behind Tommy Joseph and Sebastian Valle on the team's catching depth chart, the 24-year-old Rupp has climbed steadily to Lehigh Valley, thanks to his defensive ability and displays of power.

Scout's view: "He has been coming on and he is much improved, especially his throwing. He still needs to work on running a game from behind the plate."

17. Zach Green, 3B, rookie Williamsport

After putting up solid numbers - .284, 3 home runs, and 21 RBIs in 47 games - last year in the Gulf Coast League, the Phillies' 2012 third-round pick got off to a great start with the Crosscutters this season. The 19-year-old third baseman collected 6 doubles, 4 home runs, and 12 RBIs in his first nine games, but has cooled off since. The 6-foot-3 Green still has a lot of work to do in the field and likely will make a position change on his way up the minor-league ladder.

18. Mitch Gueller, RHP, rookie Williamsport

After a rough introduction to professional baseball last year in the Gulf Coast League, the Phillies' 2012 first-round compensation pick has pitched much better at short-season Williamsport so far this season. The 19-year-old native of Washington state has a mid-90s fastball, but still has much to learn about pitching.

19. Ken Giles, RHP, high-A Clearwater

A seventh-round pick in the 2011 draft, Giles has one of the best power arms in the organization, but he has spent most of this season on the disabled list because of a rib injury. He returned at the beginning of July.

Scout's view: "I saw him last year throwing 93 to 97 [m.p.h.]. He averaged 95. He has an excellent arm and attacks hitters like a Craig Kimbrel from the Braves. He needs to polish his secondary stuff."

20. Cord Sandberg, CF, Gulf Coast League Phillies

A two-sport star at Manatee High School in Bradenton, Fla., the 6-foot-3, 215-pound centerfielder decided to pass on a football scholarship to play quarterback at Mississippi State. Sandberg, 18, signed with the Phillies for $775,000.

21. Sebastian Valle, C, AA Reading

A year ago he opened the season as the Phillies' best catching prospect, but he has remained at double-A Reading this season after finishing last year at Lehigh Valley. Valle, who will turn 23 on Wednesday, has struggled to hit for power and average in the hitter-friendly Eastern League.

Scout's view: "He's heading in the wrong direction."

22. Larry Greene Jr., LF, low-A Lakewood

The Phillies' first overall pick in the 2011 draft has struggled in his first full professional season, but has shown recent signs of coming around. Drafted for his power, however, the 20-year-old outfielder has shown little this season.

Scout's view: "He needs to get into better shape. In batting practice, he has as great a power as I've seen in anybody all year. It has not carried over into the game. I don't know why, but it's not being transferred from 4:30 to 7 o'clock."

23. Mitch Walding, 3B, low-A Lakewood

The first two seasons have been humbling for the Phillies' 2011 fifth-round pick, but most observers still believe the 20-year-old third baseman has a chance to be a solid big-league player.

Scout's view: "He's a good player. I like the way he grinds, and he's a kid with tools. Very good defensive player. For his age, he has an idea of how to keep the ball in the middle of the field."

24. Severino Gonzalez, RHP, low-A Lakewood, high-A Clearwater

He was supposed to start the season in Williamsport after a long stint in extended spring training, but a need at Clearwater gave the 20-year-old Panamanian an opportunity much sooner than anticipated. He posted a 2.51 ERA in 13 games at Clearwater before moving down and becoming a starter with a 1.69 ERA in four games at Lakewood.

Scout's view: "The best part about him is how well he can pitch for his age. He has a real good feel for it. He already has a nice fastball, and he's a quick work with good energy. I think he has a chance to be a back-end-of-the-rotation starter."

25. Yoel Mecias, LHP, low-A Lakewood

The 19-year-old lefty from Venezuela performed well in the Gulf Coast League and was following that up with a solid season at Lakewood before going on the disabled list with an elbow injury that required Tommy John surgery.

Scout's view: "He has a good change-of-speed approach. He reminds me of Wandy Rodriguez at the same age. He still has to work on his slider, but he's definitely a young lefty to keep on the radar screen."


Contact Bob Brookover at bbrookover@phillynews.com. Follow on Twitter @brookob.

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