Every year, there are always a few exceptionally talented players that don’t quite make it into The Good Phight’s Top 20 prospects list, which we published yesterday (or, if they happen to make it in, they’re lesser-rated/honorable mentions.)
However, this year, there’s an exceptional amount of names that I feel are worth delving into, as they are young, projectable, and full of promise.
The following five players are all worthy talents that have yet to get their due via any of the big-name prospect evaluators — so get to know them while they’re still considered “underrated.”
CF Johan Rojas
Perhaps the most hype-prone inclusion on this list, Rojas was a recent signee in 2018 out of the Dominican Republic.
Johan is a remarkable fielder with some serious wheels, who carries a contact-prone bat with a copious amount of raw pop. There’s not doubt about it — the tools are all there. While it will be interesting to see how Rojas’ body fills out as he ages, the kid has the makings of an absolute stud.
At just 18 years-old, he burst onto the scene in 2018, taking the DOSL by storm, and slashing an impressive .320/.376/.421 with 2 home runs, and 19 stolen bases across 68 games. Rojas also showed impressive discipline at the plate, with 18 walks to 37 strikeouts over that same span.
Rojas has remained hot in 2019, as he hit .311/.393/.527 in the Gulf Coast League, and subsequently received a promotion to Williamsport, where he currently resides.
Out of anyone on this list, he’ll be one to watch as he ascends throughout the Phillies’ system — the hype is very, very real.
RHP Kyle Glogoski
A 20 year-old righty out of New Zealand, Glogoski has had an absolutely ludicrous year on the mound. Over 62.1 innings of work in both Lakewood and Clearwater, he’s posted a 1.73 ERA, 0.95 WHIP, 10.8 K/9, and 0.4 HR/9.
Glogoski boasts a well-tuned arsenal that includes a locatable fastball, a biting curveball, and a well-implemented changeup. He sits around 91-92 regularly, but dips into the low 70s with his curve, and low 80s with the changeup — meaning that he carries three starkly varying speeds, and pitches, at his disposal.
After his first full year with a professional training staff, Glogoski is thriving. One can only hope that this kind of progression continues throughout the rest of his minor league career, and further into his professional tenure.
Personally, I’m very excited about this guy.
C Logan O’Hoppe
While O’Hoppe is considered “under-the-radar” now, there’s no doubt that he’ll be appearing on Top-100 lists in the near future.
An absolute steal from the 23rd round of the 2018 MLB Draft, the 19 year-old out of St. John the Baptist High School stands at 6’3”, and is an absolute wall behind home plate. In 2018, he was awarded the Rawlings Gold-Glove as the top defensive high school catcher in the nation.
To make matters that much better, O’Hoppe also carries a difference-maker of a bat. He turned in an excellent Gulf-Coast campaign in 2018, hitting .367/.411/.532 with a couple of long balls across 34 games.
In 2019, he’s taken to Williamsport well, slashing .343/.373/.743 with 5 home runs across the month of July.
There are some preexisting contact concerns that present cause for worry, but his defensive prowess alone is cause to celebrate this kid. At worst, he has the high floor of an everyday backup catcher in the Major Leagues.
Oh, and, for those who were wondering, it’s pronounced ‘Oh-Hopp-ee’.
C Juan Aparicio
Before you ask, I have no idea whether or not he’s related to Hall of Famer, Luis Aparicio...
Juan carries a brilliant bat as well as some surprisingly quick feet — which is rare for a catcher.
While he isn’t as well-versed behind the plate as the aforementioned O’Hoppe, he plays his position relatively well, especially for a young kid.
The 19 year-old has been absurd in the box over the last couple of years. In the Gulf Coast League, he slashed .339/.378/.518 with 3 homers. In Williamsport, Juan was even better, believe it or not. He hit .374/.446/.570 with a home run and 4 (!) triples — prior to his promotion.
Aparicio currently resides in Lakewood, where he’s only played 5 games, and is in the process of adjusting — but he’s already hit his first home run, so there’s that.
OF Simon Muzziotti
This 20 year-old outfielder has garnered a metric ton of attention among scouts over the last few years — and for good reason.
Muzziotti, affectionately referred to as ‘Muzzy,’ sports an impressive, contact-prone approach at the plate, as well as some serious wheels on the bases.
Overall, he’s slashing .285/.337/.375 with 3 long balls, and 20 stolen bases over 90 games played in 2019. Muzzy is also showing advanced plate discipline, striking out just 47 times, while walking 20 times on the year.
His 114:65 career strikeout-to-walk ratio over 253 games of professional play are cause enough to be impressed, but his fielding also deserves a nod, as he’s logged just ONE error in 68 games of center field with Clearwater this year.
This kid is only getting better as time goes by, and, while the power could use some work, his other tools are fine tuned beyond belief.
All five of these talents will undoubtably find themselves among the top of the Phillies’ system at some point — it’s just a matter of when.
Don’t sleep on them!