In the greatly improved Philadelphia Phillies farm system, a young right-hander with big talent is the club’s #6 prospect and the top pitching prospect.
It is widely accepted throughout the industry that the Philadelphia Phillies have one of the most improved farm systems in the game.
As my own “Phillies Fall 2016 Top 10 Prospects” countdown progresses, the player in the #6 slot becomes the third and final pitcher on the list.
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Franklyn Kilome is a 21-year old, 6’6″, 175 pound right-hander signed by the Phils out of the Dominican Republic back in 2013.
Kilome’s Pro Career to Date
Kilome began his professional career pitching as a teenager with the GCL Phillies in the summer of 2014. He went 3-1 with a 3.12 ERA and 1.165 WHIP while allowing 36 hits over 40.1 innings in 11 games, eight of them starts.
In 2015, Kilome was moved up to short season Williamsport, where he put together a 3-2 record with a 3.28 ERA and 1.257 WHIP as a 20-year old. He yielded 41 hits in 49.1 innings over 11 starting outings.
This past summer saw Kilome take the next step, moving up to Low A Lakewood in the South Atlantic League. He went 5-8 with a 3.85 ERA and 1.42 WHIP over 23 starts, allowing 113 hits in 114.2 innings.
In his three seasons, Kilome has produced a combined 191/82 K:BB ratio over 204.1 innings. He has allowed 190 hits over his first 45 pro games, 42 of those as starting assignments.
It is believed that Kilome is beginning to fill out his large frame as he matures, and that his actual weight is significantly greater now than the bio listed 175.
What the Experts Have to Say on Kilome
MLB Pipeline has him ranked as the Phillies #8 prospect, and as I do, the organizations highest rated pitching prospect. Their basic scouting report on him reads as follows:
“Kilome has added a lot of good strength and weighs a great deal more than what is listed in his bio. That has led to more consistent velocity, sitting in the mid-90s and touching higher than that. He’s also grown as a pitcher, throwing that plus heater for strikes more consistently down in the zone. He has the chance to have a very good curve and he flashed above-average breaking balls in the New York-Penn League in 2015. His changeup is a distant third pitch, but there is confidence it will become a usable third option for him in time. He should be able to repeat his delivery and be a consistent strike-thrower in time.
With two major weapons and the potential to add a third, along with a very strong work ethic, it might be a mistake to put a ceiling on Kilome, who has frontline starter potential if things continue along this path.”
More Expert Opinions
Baseball Prospectus just released their own Phillies Top 10 Prospects for 2017. They have Kilome in the Phillies prospects rankings #5 slot. BP lists his scouting report in a “good” and “bad” format as follows:
The Good: All of the individual pieces are present for a top pitching prospect—when he’s on his game. He possesses a fastball that can sit 92-97 and touch a little higher, a curve with easy plus potential, and a change that flashes as more than just an interesting third pitch. He’s a tall drink of water with a great power-pitcher physique. If you catch him on the right day, you might see a top-of-the-rotation starter kit. There were more right days than wrong days later in the season, which gives hope for in-season progression.
The Bad: When not on his game, Kilome can look like an organizational player. If you show up on the wrong day, you’re liable to get a fastball flagging down into the high-80s, off-speeds that won’t impress anyone, and brutal command problems. As you might suspect, he’s often unable to repeat his mechanics. When it goes bad, it goes really bad.
Kilome eliminated a pitch from his repertoire back in April, and began to really work on his curve. It has made a huge difference.
“It’s helped him tremendously. He’s got two different curves now…one he can command and throw for strikes, and another for a put-away pitch. He’s throwing the ball very well, and for me, the way he’s turned it around this season has really been fun to watch…progressed big time.”
Kilome is clearly the Phillies top pitching prospect at this point in the opinion of every reputable evaluator. He will turn 22 years old next June, with his natural progression taking him to High A Clearwater.
With a strong performance, Kilome could find himself getting a taste of AA ball next summer. His size, talent, and current path and progress mean that he likely reaches the upper levels and AA and AAA for a full season in 2018. That would put him on the doorstep to Citizens Bank Park at some point in the 2019 season.