We continue our countdown of top prospects here at The Good Phight, counting backwards from 20 to our top prospect.
Matt Vierling, R/R, 25 years old
A 2018 fifth rounder out of Notre Dame, Vierling hit .324/.364/.479 in 34 games with Philly last season while playing four different positions. He could be in line for lots of 2022 at-bats as a righty-hitting complement to the lefty-hitting outfielders projected toward the bottom of Philly’s lineup (former first rounders Mickey Moniak, Adam Haseley). Beware of hitter-friendly Reading, though. Vierling had an OPS over 1.000 there, where lots of former Phillies position player prospects have overperformed because of the hitting environment, and Vierling was doing so at age 24; he hit .248/.331/.359 later in the year at Triple-A. He’s similar in many ways to former notable Phillies prospect Cameron Perkins, another Day Two pick from a Midwest college (Purdue) who hit in the upper minors and had a cup of coffee with multiple big league clubs. Some teams think Vierling can play a passable center field as part of his multi-positional suite, however, which is a meaningful separator. His name was floated in some pre-lockout trade rumors, with Philly ultimately backing away from a deal because they didn’t want to move him. He’s poised to be a lefty-killing, multi-positional role player in 2022.
Jay: 8, Ethan: 8, Alex: 8
There isn’t much left to say about Vierling that we haven’t said here already. In the almost constant push to try and build up any hitter from the Phillies’ farm system, we’re looking high and low for silver linings with Vierling.
Does he hit the ball hard? Yup.
Does he hit get on base? Sure.
Is there room for growth or is he a finished product? Of course he can get better.
We aren’t talking about Vierling developing into a top tier outfielder. There is a chance he can get there, but probably somewhere in the low tiers of likelihood. Instead, hoping Vierling can be a 2-3 WAR outfielder now and in the future gives the team a solid, lower part of the batting order outfielder that won’t cost a lot of money, yet still gives solid production. There is always a place on the roster for that kind of player.