As Philly Baseball News counts down our list of top prospects starting from number 75 and working their way up through the rankings, our readers have been casting their votes for who they rank at the top of the prospect lists. It will be interesting to see how the rankings compare with each other when the two lists catch up with each other. Our list is being kept secret for now, but we can tell you that the two lists have some differences at the top of the rankings.
It's not too late to jump into the voting. Just visit Ashburn's, our interactive forum where Phillies fans share their comments on any issue that comes to mind, and cast your vote. It's too late to vote on the Top Five, but we're currently taking votes on the sixth best prospect in the organization and you're welcome to join in. Plus, you can give your thoughts on the Top Five and on the prospects that you vote for.
Here's a look at the Reader's Top Five, with a summary of the players:
1. Carlos Carrasco - Last year, J.A. Happ edged out Carlos Carrasco for the top spot on the Philly Baseball News rankings. Looking at the two pitchers in 2007, it's easy to see that we simply were wrong. While Happ struggled, Carrasco blossomed into a consistent pitcher who can dominate a game almost any game that he starts. The Phillies insist that they're not going to rush Carrasco and that he won't see the majors until at least next year. You have to figure that if Carrasco pitches well this season, it's going to be very tempting to give him a shot at a start or two late in the season.
2. Adrian Cardenas - The Phillies have a solid, young infield at the Major League level, but it likely won't be too long before young prospects coming through the system push the Phillies to do something and Adrian Cardenas is the top infield prospect on the list. The Phillies shifted Cardenas from shortstop to second base in 2007 and his defense took a step up, which is exactly what the Phillies were hoping would happen. Cardenas figures to be at least an average defensive second baseman and should have the offensive potential that will keep him on the radar. There are already some comparisons to Chase Utley, which it's pretty early for. Having said that, there are similarities between the two and Cardenas has great potential, if not the early hype that Utley had when he was drafted.
3. Joe Savery - Again, the Phillies insist that they're not going to rush Savery, their top pick in last June's draft. The left-hander pitched at Williamsport this past season and did a nice job. It wouldn't really be rushing him to have him start the year at Low-A Lakewood and like Carrasco, it's going to be tough to resist the temptation to push him along to higher levels. There were some folks who thought Savery was best suited to be a first baseman in the pro ranks, but the Phillies liked his arm and love the fact that there aren't too many miles on his arm because he split his time between pitching and first base in college.
4. Josh Outman - The 23 year old left-hander is cruising right through the organization and should start the 2008 season at Double-A Reading, where he ended last season. In seven starts with the R-Phils, Outman struggled at times, but that came after he conquered hitters in the Florida State League for much of the season. Even though his overall numbers at Reading weren't great, Outman showed signs of brilliance, including eight shutout innings against Altoona. With those games under his belt, Outman figures to settle in nicely in 2008.
5. Kyle Drabek - Even though his season ended early because of injury and will start late in 2008, Drabek is still a force to be reckoned with in the Phillies organization. Had he not gotten hurt, Drabek could be at least a spot or two higher on the prospect list. It's thought that Drabek was pitching through pain for at least a month before he was shut down and underwent surgery. Still, his 4.33 ERA at Lakewood was considered a good showing for the 20 year old right-hander.
So, who will be the sixth best prospect in the organization? Remember to cast your vote and give your thoughts at Ashburn's.