PHILADELPHIA -- How times have changed for the Phillies' farm system.
MLBPipeline.com on Friday night announced its preseason 2016 Top 100 Prospects list, and the Phillies have seven players on it -- more than any other team in Major League Baseball. Four of those prospects joined the organization following trades within the past six months.
The Phils selected Crawford, 21, with the 16th overall pick in the 2013 Draft. He is projected to make his big league debut in 2016, although his play with Triple-A Lehigh Valley likely will dictate that. But Crawford is considered the organization's top position-player prospect in quite some time. In fact, an argument can be made that he could be the No. 1 prospect in baseball.
Thompson, Williams and Alfaro joined the Phillies in July in the Cole Hamels trade with the Rangers. Appel came to Philadelphia in December in the Ken Giles trade with Houston. Like Crawford, the foursome is expected to open the season in Triple-A, but their performances also likely will dictate how quickly they are promoted to the big leagues.
The Phils selected Randolph, 18, with the 10th overall pick in the 2015 Draft. He hit .302 with 15 doubles, three triples, one home run, 24 RBIs and an .866 OPS in 212 plate appearances with the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League Phillies. An encouraging sign: Randolph walked 32 times and struck out 32 times, indicating he has a good understanding of the strike zone.
Quinn, 22, makes his first appearance in the top 100. He hit .306 with six doubles, six triples, four home runs, 15 RBIs, 29 stolen bases and a .791 OPS in 257 plate appearances with Double-A Reading. Quinn is highly regarded defensively in center field, too. But the trick for the speedster has been staying healthy. Quinn missed much of last season with a torn left hip flexor.
Regardless, a farm system that ranked among the bottom 10 in baseball in December 2014 now ranks seventh, according to MLBPipeline's rankings from this past August.
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone, follow him on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.