Today, Baseball America released their top ten Phillies prospects. The link is behind a paywall, so we’ll just list the top ten here and generate some discussion.
- Mick Abel
- Andrew Painter
- Bryson Stott
- Johan Rojas
- Ethan Wilson
- Logan O’Hoppe
- Hans Crouse
- Matt Vierling
- Rafael Marchan (curiously listed as an OF, but probably an error)
- Simon Muzziotti
Not a bad list, but there are some people missing that might raise an eyebrow or two. Luis Garcia, the Phillies version, is not in their top ten after posting some serious improvements at the plate compared to what he was in 2019. O’Hoppe being so high on the list, above Marchan, is a little surprising to me considering Marchan is at the doorsteps of the majors, but maybe the ceiling on what O’Hoppe can be is a little higher. I’m no prospect maven, so I don’t know.
What I do like are some of the following reports on players.
On Mick Abel:
“It wasn’t a perfect debut for Abel, but he still stood out as one of the top pitching prospects in baseball, with three plus pitches, a fourth average offering and room to keep improving. He should start the 2022 season at High-A, where he will continue to hone his changeup, curveball and delivery. He has all the ingredients to pitch in the middle to front of a big league rotation.”
I know there might have been some disappointment that Abel didn’t come out and dominate like some thought he might this season, but the reports here and at other spots are still of the belief that he’ll turn into someone who can lead a rotation. Abel feels like the prospect the Phillies absolutely must get right.
On Bryson Stott:
Stott spent the 2020 summer at the alternate training site, where he added strength to his frame and worked on hitting the ball to all fields. He also incorporated bat speed training and improved his plate discipline against advanced pitchers. Those improvements carried over to 2021 as Stott showed better recognition of finding the right pitch to hit and raised his walk rate. Stott’s power gains give him a fifth average or better tool, and the added juice didn’t lead to more swing-and-miss or cause him to be too pull-happy.
Maybe it’s the prospect pessimist in me, the one who was burned by Dominic Brown and his higher ranking than Mike Trout, but I’ve always thought that Stott wasn’t going to do much in the majors. Maybe it’s because he didn’t have that one tool that screamed “superstar”, but I just always felt underwhelmed by him. It sure looks like I am wrong.
On Johan Rojas:
Rojas has tools scouts can dream on, with plus-plus speed, plus defense, an above-average arm and plus raw power that led to a career-high 11 homers. But he’s had trouble accessing those tools in games. He took a big step forward in 2021, improving his approach at the plate and swing decisions, getting a better launch angle on the ball to lower his groundball rate and cutting down on his swing-and-miss while showing higher exit velocities.
This is the guy I am excited most about. I love toolsy prospects who are super raw since they offer so much to dream on and it looks like Rojas is starting to put it all together. If the Phillies hit with this guy, it feels like he’s a budding superstar.
We saw in our local writer’s discussion that the team’s system isn’t exactly chock full of high upside guys, but there are some players to get excited about here. Hopefully now that the team has a more cohesive player development program, they can start to tap into that potential a lot more.