After a handful of botched first round picks and trade returns went south, the Phillies farm system had dwindled down to bare bones. The hiring of Dave Dombrowski has surprisingly replenished the Phillies system, to the point of having two top arms in Andrew Painter (MLB.com #25 prospect) and Mick Abel (#57). A third arm, Griff McGary, is quickly rising through the ranks, as the 23-year-old is now the organization’s fourth best prospect.
While the trio of pitchers mentioned above have been highlighted in rankings and by the media, there are a few others who could make a splash in years to come.
Andrew Baker (RHP)
2022 stats at A+: 39.2 IP, 5.22 ERA, 1.56 WHIP, 31.3 K%, 12.6 BB%, 4.25 FIP, 1.13 HR/9
A 2021 eleventh round pick, Andrew Baker possesses a power fastball that has increasingly gained attention this summer. The 22-year-old regularly sits in the upper 90s with his heater, and often times will touch above 100 mph.
Andrew Baker with 2 scoreless innings for Jersey Shore tonight, striking out 3. Here are the first two punchies of the outing. Seemed to locate the breaking ball well tonight and just made that fastball play up even more. He was again 97-98 on the stadium gun that is 3-4 mph slow pic.twitter.com/Bo1wGJzLuO— Mitch Rupert (@Mitch_Rupert) August 21, 2022
The right-hander is continuously improving his command, walking just one in his last eight innings of work. During those eight frames, Baker has allowed just one run on five hits. The most impressive number may be the fifteen strikeouts during that span.
His punch-out numbers have been terrific all season, thanks to that overpowering fastball paired with an improving breaking ball.
It’s tough to predict a ceiling for a pitcher who throws as hard as Baker at such a young age. If he can continue to show great command in multi-inning roles, he could be bumped to AA to start the 2023 season.
Expect Baker to get more media attention and show up on more prospect rankings as he continues to get better with each outing.
Orion Kerkering (RHP)
A 2022 fifth round pick by the Phillies, Orion Kerkering has had an interesting baseball journey, which has recently landed him as the organization’s number twenty-six prospect on MLB.com.
After not making his varsity high school team until junior year, he impressed enough to earn a spot at South Florida. The COVID shortened 2020 season paused any momentum the young pitcher hoped to capitalize on.
After working his way to the Friday night starter spot, he scuffled a bit and was eventually moved back to the bullpen.
With a fastball that tops out at around 97 mph, Kerkering pairs it well with a slider that sits 83-85 mph.
In longer appearances, his fastball velocity tends to drop off just a bit, but remains consistently in the mid 90s during relief work.
The Phillies will start him in the relief role at rookie ball, with Kerkering having the experience to start in his back pocket.
It would not be surprising to see them test the waters at some point in 2023 to see how Orion fares as a starter in their system.
Erubiel Armenta (LHP)
2022 stats at A+: 32 IP, 3.94 ERA, 1.50 WHIP, 32.2 K%, 19.9 BB%, 4.23 FIP, .168 BAA
Young, left-handed pitchers are coveted in the world of baseball. The Phillies have one of their own who has flown well under the radar the past two seasons. Erubiel Armenta was signed by the Phils in July of 2019 as an international free agent.
Armenta made headlines thanks to his strong performance across multiple levels in 2021. The southpaw struck out 49 batters through twenty-three innings of work. A 19.2 K/9 will certainly play and he has carried that success into 2022.
His strikeouts remain strong as evident by his 32.2 K%, but the walks are the major area for concern for the 22-year-old. A 19.9 BB% is sky high and it equates to Armenta nearly walking one batter per inning.
He clearly has some special stuff as shown by the fact that he has only allowed thirty-four hits in 56.2 IP in his minor league career.
He may still be a couple years away from being a major league bullpen arm, but if he can improve his command, Armenta could be a major weapon one day.
Enrique Segura (RHP)
2022 stats at DSL (R): 42.2 IP, 2.32 ERA, 1.36 WHIP, 21.8 K%, 12.3 BB%, 4.05 FIP, 0.21 HR/9
If this list is any indication, it should be noted that the Phillies have put a major emphasis on signing and developing young arms since Dave Dombrowski took over. Enrique Segura was quietly signed for $80,000 in January of 2022 as an international free agent.
Currently pitching in the Dominican Summer League, the early returns on the seventeen-year-old are encouraging.
While the Dominican Summer League is not quite the same caliber of play as minor league baseball, it is a positive sign to see the teenager holding up against older competition.
The fact that he is keeping the ball in the yard is a plus, something young pitchers often struggle with. His walks are a bit high, but not overtly bad. Segura’s strikeout stuff has been working at a decent clip as well, whether it be as a starter or a reliever.
Segura has impressed enough to recently be moved to the 30th spot on MLB.com’s top 30 Phillies prospects.
Expect to hear more on the right-hander over the next two seasons as he makes the jump to the states.
Hao Yu Lee (2B)
2022 stats at A: .282/.379/.417, .819 OPS, 7 HR, 50 RBI, 10 SB, 19.1 K%, 11.3 BB%
To those who follow the Phillies closely and are fans of minor league baseball, this name may not be under the radar. Hao Yu Lee is currently ranked as the Phils number six prospect on MLB.com’s rankings. However, he hardly gets the media coverage that he deserves.
At just nineteen-years-old, Yu Lee is slashing .282/.379/.417, with an OPS of .819 at Clearwater. He has also flashed spurts of power, thanks to his compact and level swing.
One of the top offensive prospects in the #Phillies system, SS/2B Hao Yu Lee has been been locked in as of late.— Ian Smith (@FlaSmitty) August 17, 2022
The 19-year-old flashes impressive hands here for a loud 1B up the middle. #RingTheBell pic.twitter.com/Fmcp6wUtli
His defense at second base is respectable, and he has tried his luck at the hot corner. His arm is not the strongest, so the second base spot is likely where he will spend a majority of his time progressing through the minors.
The 2020-21 International free agent singing also commands the strike zone well as shown by his formidable walk and strikeout percentages.
There is a chance Lee makes it to AA at some point in 2023, with the second basemen likely to start the year at A+.