We continue our countdown of top prospects here at The Good Phight, counting backwards from 20 to our top prospect.
Simon Muzziotti, L/L, 23 years old
Visa issues kept Muzziotti off the field for most of 2021, but once he was activated in late August, the Phillies put him on a fast track. He played one game on the complex, then three at Low-A, four at High-A, and four at Double-A before finishing the season with eight games at Triple-A. That month-long whirlwind makes for a miniscule sample, upon which it seems unreasonable to pin many drastic changes to the center fielder’s report. The component most lacking is still his power production, with just five of his 21 hits going for extra bases in 2021, and none leaving the park. He’ll occasionally show an incredible ability to rotate, but doesn’t yet do so consistently enough for him to build around it. He can rip his hands through and get the barrel on pitches inside, and he can spoil tough pitches on the edge of the zone, but most of his contact is in the form of groundouts and lined singles. That said, during the fall he laid off the out-of-zone pitches he once typically squibbed into easy outs. We’re enamored with the rotational athleticism here and want to see what happens when he gets to play a healthy season.
Jay: 12, Ethan: 11, Alex: 14
What’s the difference between Muzziotti and Yhoswar Garcia?
That’s the question that I had coming into this write-up. Both are fast, both play a pretty solid defense, neither has much power to speak of, so what exactly is the difference? Why does one look like he might be a hair better than Roman Quinn at his peak (Garcia) while Muzziotti is higher on the list, yet has the same profile?
Read the above profile again on Muzziotti. There doesn’t seem to be too much question that he’ll hit at maturity. Maybe the power never comes, maybe he’s a gap power max player. But what separates him from Garcia is the fact that scouts are pretty sure he’s going to hit and that the ability to hit with at least some power could appear. It’s just taken him some time to start to get there since he always seems to be hurt.
So here we have another prospect with the team that really needs a full season’s worth of plate appearances to show the team what he has. If he’s able to succeed, develop some power and continue hitting, there might be an outside shot he can get to the center field job in Philadelphia at some point. Showing improvement in these areas might also give the team a trade piece they could cash in at the deadline if they have gotten a more permanent (i.e. better) long term solution in center. Either way, a healthy season that sees Muzziotti can only help this team. Let’s hope it comes to fruition.