Who are the most important members of the Phillies organization heading into 2018? That’s the question we asked ourselves in creating the 2018 Phillies Value 50.
This is our third year of ranking the organization’s top 50 most valuable people, whether player, coach, executive, trainer or personality. Here was our top-10 in 2016:
1. Johnny Almaraz (director of amateur scouting)
2. Joe Jordan (director of player development)
3. Pete Mackanin
4. J.P. Crawford
5. Maikel Franco
6. Mike Ondo (director of pro scouting)
7. Matt Klentak
8. Andy MacPhail
9. Aaron Nola
10. Sal Agostinelli (director of international scouting)
1. Matt Klentak
2. Joe Jordan
3. Aaron Nola
4. Andy MacPhail
5. Pete Mackanin
6. John Middleton
7. Vince Velasquez
8. J.P. Crawford
9. Maikel Franco
10. Matt Stairs (hitting coach)
In 2016 the top-10 focused more on organizational directors whose job was to fill up and manage the farm system. Last year we saw a transition to the on-field product with Velasquez entering the top-10 and Stairs being highlighted. This year? Let’s find out.
Value 50 2018: 50-41
40. SCOTT SHERIDAN / head athletic trainer
A head athletic trainer will always be important because you want players to stay healthy. There’s no great correlation between the number of disabled list stints and success, as the teams with the most DL stints last year included the Dodgers, Red Sox and Nationals, while the Cubs had the fewest number in 2018. Still, you don’t want serious injuries, and building strength and stamina can help. That’s where Sheridan can make a difference.
39. BRYAN MINNITI / assistant general manager
We’re not exactly sure how the assistant general managers work within the structure of the current front office, so it’s tough to guess where Minniti, Scott Proefrock and Ned Rice rank. If we’re just going by the amount of press written about these guys, Minniti would be the least important of the three, but we really have no idea. He’s going here.
38. SAL AGOSTINELLI / director of international scouting
It’s surprising to see a lower ranking here for Agostinelli, whose role is extremely important as the guy who makes the final decisions on international talent. But maybe we’re shifting to looking more at the major league team now, and maybe Agostinelli’s work will fade more into the background as the team starts to hopefully contend. He still wields tremendous power. however, and every time another Latin American signing makes waves in the farm system, we have to give him credit for running a pretty damn good ship.
37. JAKE THOMPSON / pitcher / Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs
This is one reason it’s weird to see Agostinelli so low. Does Jake Thompson really have that much value in 2018? In a way his success or failure helps close the book on Ruben Amaro Jr., who acquired the pitcher from Texas in 2015. Maybe Thompson still has the ability to be a regular rotation piece – I still don’t buy it.
36. ZACH EFLIN / pitcher / Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs
Another Amaro acquisition, and just like Thompson, Eflin hasn’t yet established himself as a rotation piece. Either he does it this year, or it’s probably best to move on.
35. ROB THOMSON / bench coach / Philadelphia Phillies
With plenty of experience as Joe Girardi’s right-hand man in New York, Thomson is important because he’ll help balance out first-time manager Gabe Kapler. He also signals a new era in Philly – for the first time in what seems like forever, it won’t be Larry Bowa grumbling on the bench.
34. TOMMY HUNTER / pitcher / Philadelphia Phillies
Acquired this offseason to help bolster the bullpen, Hunter could be closer at some point this year. He could also be traded at midseason. Anything can happen here. Either way, he should be a huge part of the bullpen’s success.
33. DYLAN COZENS / outfielder / Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs
Like Thompson and Eflin, it seems weird ranking Cozens so high. But maybe this year is the biggest year for the slugging outfielder. If he can show plate discipline, he could open a lot of things up for the front office. But if not … well … there’s always Japan or Korea.
32. ANDY GALDI / director of baseball research and development
Galdi and his team of analysts are working in the trenches to give the front office and coaching staff whatever edges they can get, whether scouting talent for acquisitions or helping a hitter work on his launch angle. If the Phils are to be leaders in the data revolution, it’ll be up to Galdi to deliver.
31. ADAM MORGAN / pitcher / Philadelphia Phillies
See Thompson, Eflin and Cozens. Morgan is important in that he’ll be the top lefty out of the bullpen in 2018, but is he that valuable? This might be more of a comment on the state of lefties in the system – the Phils don’t have many, so Morgan becomes really important when facing the league’s better lefty hitters (Bryce Harper, Daniel Murphy, Freddie Freeman, etc.).