Former special assistant to Blue Jays GM J.P. Ricciardi and current minor-league analyst for ESPN.com, Keith Law, released his prospect rankings this week and the Phillies are quite low on the list.
The Phillies rank 27th organizationally, and the only NL team lower on the list is the Brewers.
Why? Well, because most of the Phillies' exciting minor-leaguers are years away from the majors.
They'd be higher on the list if they didn't trade for Roy Halladay or Hunter Pence. Travis D'Arnaud -- who was traded by the Phillies to the Blue Jays for Halladay, then from Toronto to the Mets for R.A. Dickey -- ranks 14th on Law's Top 100.
Jonathan Singleton and Jarred Cosart, traded to Houston for Pence, rank 32nd and 86th, respectively. Law is very high on Singleton, calling him one of the only true offensive first basemen in the minors. He has questions about Cosart's control, but notes that if the Astros want to make him a closer, he'd be among the best closer prospects in the game.
None of the players traded for Roy Oswalt or Cliff Lee (in mid-2009) made Law's Top 100.
All 30 teams were represented in the Top 100, but the Phillies' top prospect was ranked lower than the top prospect of every other team. Right-hander Adam Morgan, who took a huge step forward in 2012, was 91st. Lefty Jesse Biddle was 95th.
Law projects Morgan to be a No. 3 or No. 4 starter, and sees Biddle as a pitcher with more upside but more command issues. Of Morgan, Law says:
In his first full year in pro ball, however, Morgan starting pitching more off his fastball and everything he threw ticked upward, adding a grade of velocity while seeing both his curveball and the changeup become more effective. He's also shown he can win games with any of those three pitches (fastball, curveball, changeup) as his go-to pitch in pitchers' counts, with impressive feel and command of all three offerings.
The Astros were ranked in that 27-30 range as recently as 2011, but they've surged to fourth on Law's list, thanks in large part to the Phillies.
The Cardinals are first. The top NL East team is the Mets (No. 14), followed by the Marlins (16), Braves (20) and Nationals (21).