The system has been depleted a little by trades and graduations, but there is still some talent to discuss and a few interesting names to keep an eye on.
20. Logan O’Hoppe, C
45 G, 177 PA, .216/.266/.407, 5 HR, 26 RBI, 12 BB, 49 K (Short-season A, Williamsport)
28 G, 109 PA, .258/.389/.483, 5 HR, 18 RBI, 18 BB, 23 K, (Australian Baseball League)
Alex: 21 Allie: 22 Cormican: 23 Jay: 16
The profile is still fairly interesting despite the drop-off in offense during the 2019 season. The behind-the-plate skills are there, but a work-in-progress. Despite that, he is already a coach’s favorite with his work ethic and overall IQ. I love the arm and athleticism. O’Hoppe has fairly decent power for a catcher, but will need to work on the contact skills to truly unlock that facet of his game. At 20 years old, JT Realmuto in the organziation and a pipeline that includes guys like: Rafael Marchan, Juan Aparicio and Rodolfo Duran the Phillies can certainly take their time in developing him.
19. Kendall Simmons, 2B
51 G, 205 PA, .234/.333/.520, 12 HR, 34 RBI, 20 BB, 54 K (Short-season A, Williamsport)
Alex: 18 Allie: 16 Cormican: 22 Jay: 18
I’m the low one on Simmons, so I guess it’s only fair I write him up and explain what there is to be excited about and what reservations I have. The good news on Simmons is he has a really good set of tools. He’s got above average speed, possibly plus power and he has some potential positional versatility. He’s overhauled his swing since being drafted and has shown strides at the plate his first 2 seasons. He’s possibly another Scott Kingery, which bring its own strengths and weaknesses as a profile. Like Kingery, Simmons has some strikeout issues, but his plus bat speed can overcome some mistakes by making loud contact when he connects. He also has enough speed and arm to cover Outfield spots after having covered Second, Third and Short in fairly substantial samples his first 2 short seasons. He also has some of the same defensive profile as Kingery, he’s not great at Short or Third and a 2B only profile is bad for a prospect. I don’t think he’s a 2B only guy, but until he unlocks his bat enough, he’s got a multi-position backup profile, for me. If he does keep improving the hit tool, though, I’ll rate him much higher with his positional versatility becoming a true strength as well.
18. Mauricio Llovera, RHP
14 G, 12 GS, 65.1 IP, 60 H, 33 ER, 28 BB, 72 K (AA, Reading)
Alex: 18 Allie: 20 Cormican: 15 Jay: 19
If you didn’t hear a lot of him this last year, you are going to hear this year AND then some. Mauricio Llovera is a potential power-arm with a good breaking ball, whose path to the majors could very-much mirror Seranthony Dominguez. With a mid-90’s fastball, most folks believe that going from a starter to a full-time reliever will see the stuff jump to Seranthony-levels. If we all remember 2018 Sir Tony Dominguez, that would be a tremendous asset to the Phillies bullpen.
17. JoJo Romero, LHP
13 G, 13 GS, 53.2 IP, 68 H, 41 ER, 35 BB, 40 K (AAA, Lehigh Valley)
11 G, 11 GS, 57.2 IP, 58 H, 31 ER, 12 BB, 52 K (AA, Reading)
8 G, 0 GS, 10.2 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 4 BB, 5 K (Arizona Fall League)
Alex: 17 Allie: 15 Cormican: 19 Jay: 15
It’s rather impressive that Jojo has managed to retain a mid-teens prospect rank despite the struggles he endured last season — but it’s not difficult to see the reason why.
He features a strong arsenal of pitches, though none really stand out as ‘plus’ per se. His fastball can touch mid-90s, and his changeup is his go-to secondary, but he also mixes in a decent slider/curveball combo alongside a working cutter.
Jojo’s delivery and mechanics are good. He’s balanced and shows a mature approach, but nothing really jumps off of the page just yet, especially after his setback in 2019.
Here’s hoping for a better 2020 for the young southpaw.
16. Kyle Glogoski, RHP
11 G, 11 GS, 52.2 IP, 37 H, 11 ER, 20 BB, 45 K (High-A, Cleawater)
8 G, 3 GS, 27.2 IP, 14 H, 4 ER, 8 BB, 45 K (Low-A, Lakewood)
5 G, 5 GS, 17.2 IP, 15 H, 10 ER, 9 BB, 19 K (Australian Baseball League)
Alex: 20 Allie: 5 Cormican: 17 Jay: 22
There’s a huge disparity between where I ranked Glogoski against everyone else, so I figured it was right that I explain why I’m so high on him. For starters, his numbers are ridiculously impressive. In 119.1 innings in his minor league career, he’s allowed just 25 earned runs and has struck out 137 batters while holding his opponents to just a .188 average.
But what impresses me the most, and what drives me to rank him as highly as I do, is the fact that Glogoski has only been playing baseball for eight years— and only pitching for six. By the age of 12, most baseball players have already been playing for years. By 14, most pitchers have at least started to learn a second pitch. To be able to pick up the game as quickly as he has, and to be able to pitch as effectively as he does, means that Glogoski is an incredibly quick learner and has the mental and emotional maturity to adapt to strenuous situations. At only 20 years old, that’s a unique combination of character traits to have. As a professional athlete, the combination is a fantastic asset. To be able to go from playing catcher at 14 to pitching for his country’s men’s national team at 17 to pitching professionally in the minor leagues at 20 shows the kind of growth he’s capable of. Now that he’s receiving professional coaching, what will he be able to accomplish by age 23?
If you’d like to read more about him, here is a great story about his journey.
15. Erik Miller, LHP
3 G, 2 GS, 13 IP, 10 H, 3 ER, 6 BB, 17 K (Low-A, Lakewood)
6 G, 4 GS, 20 IP, 13 H, 2 ER, 7 BB, 29 K (Short-season A, Williamsport)
2 G, 1 GS, 3 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 6 K (Rookie League, Gulf Cost Phillies West)
Alex: 9 Allie: 11 Cormican: 16 Jay: 20
The Phillies have shown a willingness to gamble a bit on guys in the Draft who missed some time to injury or worked out of the bullpen for most of their College days, but show rotation potential. Miller is among that group. He’s a big Lefty who throws an average Fastball and pairs it with 3 above average secondaries (curve, slider and change, all roughly equal in quality). Miller is a smart pitcher who sequences his pitches well and succeeds, in part, because he pitches backwards a bit more that Low-A hitters are used to seeing.
There’s some risk he’s a pitchability Lefty who will get exposed a bit at higher levels, but he’s shown an above average to even flashing plus fastball in the past. If he can get to that velocity more consistently, he could be a solid mid-rotation starter. If he can’t I think the new 3 batter rule will actually help him find a bullpen role, since he has a pretty strong changeup, allowing him to be more than just a LOOGY.
14. Damon Jones, LHP
8 G, 8 GS, 34 IP, 27 H, 25 ER, 26 BB, 33 K (AAA, Lehigh Valley)
4 G, 4 GS, 22 IP, 9 H, 2 ER, 9 BB, 31 K (AA, Reading)
11 G, 11 GS, 58.1 IP, 38 H, 10 ER, 24 BB, 88 K (High-A, Clearwater)
Alex: 11 Allie: 17 Cormican: 13 Jay: 12
Damon Jones has been flying under the radar since he was drafted in 2017, but in 2019 he took big steps forward in his development that has rocketed him into the top prospects list. The biggest reason for his rise in the ranks is the improvement he’s shown in the command of all three of his pitches.
While his changeup still needs work, in addition to command over a mid-90s fastball, Jones also has a successful curveball that he has learned to take advantage of in order to strike guys out. It’s a pitch that could absolutely be used in the majors right now. While his ceiling is as a mid-rotation starter, he also has the potential to become an outstanding arm out of the ‘pen as well, especially in long-term relief situations. With questions in both the starting rotation and the relief corps, it’s highly likely that Jones makes his MLB debut in 2020, even if he’s only called up for a short amount of time.
13. Johan Rojas, CF
42 G, 172 PA, .244/.273/.384, 2 HR, 11 RBI, 11 SB, 5 BB, 29 K (Short-season A, Williamsport)
18 G, 84 PA, .311/.393/.527, 0 HR, 4 RBI, 3 SB, 9 BB, 12 K (Rookie League, Gulf Cost Phillies West)
Alex: 7 Allie: 27 Cormican: 8 Jay: 10
As Phillies Minor League Hitting Coordinator, Jason Ochart, once said to me; “This kid is special.”
Johan Rojas is the real deal. We’re talking plus-plus speed, plus fielding, a plus arm, and potential plus power. The only thing missing? The hit tool — which is coming along nicely.
Rojas mashed his way through Rookie League ball, posting a .320/.376/.421 slash in 2018, and a .311/.393/.527 slash in 2019, before his promotion to Low-A Lakewood, where he began to sputter a bit. Rojas hit .244/.273/.384 across his 42 games there — and did I mention he’s only 19?
He’s no Ronald Acuna or Juan Soto (yet,) but watching this kid play is glorious. Everything he does he does with style, and he puts all he’s got into his game day after day.
I can’t wait to see more of Johan this year, and, if he wasn’t already, he should be on your radar in a major way.
12. Nick Maton, SS
21 G, 72 PA, .210/.306/.355, 2 HR, 6 RBI, 1 SB 9 BB, 14 K (AA, Reading)
93 G, 384 PA, .276/.358/.380, 5 HR, 45 RBI, 11 SB, 41 BB, 71 K (High-A, Cleawater)
3 G, 13 PA, .333/.385/.667, 1 HR, 2 RBI, BB, 6 K (Arizona Fall League)
Alex: 15 Allie: 13 Cormican: 11 Jay: 13
To rank Nick Maton was actually pretty tough, but considering we were all around each other in our respective rankings, I guess it made sense? The profile reads future utility-infielder as he primarily plays shortstop and second base (but should see more innings at third as well). He’s got a good eye at the plate, as evidenced by his 71:41 K/BB in 93 games last season. The power likely will never get there, so the best you can hope with him is that he continues to show ways to get on base and show that he can be an asset no matter where you play him in the infield. While he didn’t play much in the Arizona Fall League in 2019, Maton was able go 4 for 12 with a HR (but a more unsightly 6:1 K/BB). This isn’t a flashy prospect, but one with a higher floor than you’d think and actually need in your system.
11. Simon Muzziotti, CF
110 G, 465 PA, .287/.337/.372, 3 HR, 28 RBI, 21 SB, 32 BB, 60 K (High-A, Clearwater)
Alex: 14 Allie: 12 Cormican: 12 Jay: 11
Snatched up after the Red Sox had to cut him loose as punishment for IFA infractions, the Phillies may have gotten a bit of a steal. Simon has Plus of better speed, a borderline plus arm and is at least an average defender in Center. He really seems to love swinging. I mean, really seems to love swinging, like Vlad Guerrero school of swinging (without the power). Muzziotti has good contact skills, maybe not Willians Astudillo level contact skills, but definitely plus. A 14% K rate for as aggressive as he is, is impressive. He then has enough speed to leg out hits, but there is not much power, as he has 4 career Homers to this point. That’s fine. He has a perfect Center Field profile and if he can refine his approach a little he could be a defensively competent Ben Revere.