|Jose Pujols, image- Jay Floyd|
The Dominican native was signed by the Phillies in 2012 at the age of 16.
Opening his professional playing career as a member of the rookie level Gulf Coast League Phillies in 2013, Pujols sported a .188 batting average with six home runs and 18 RBI in 45 contests.
The following year, Pujols split time between the GCL and short-season Class A Williamsport. In 57 combined games, the righty batter posted a .226/.273/.377 slash line.
In 2015, Pujols continued to show improvement with a .241 average, four homers and 30 RBI in 66 games with Williamsport.
He followed up that campaign by breaking out and setting the single-season home run record for the Class A Lakewood BlueClaws with 24. Additionally, Pujols would post a .241 average with 21 doubles, three triples and 82 RBI in 128 games.
As Pujols gained more experience in the talented South Atlantic League last year, he took strides to display improvements. His on-base percentage in the second half saw a 53 point jump following the SAL All-Star break in 2016 and his contact at the plate seemed to take steps in the right direction additionally, as his strike out rate decreased and he proved to his coaches that he could lay off pitches out of the strike zone.
His manager with Lakewood last year, Shawn Williams, who will likely be followed by Pujols up a level to Class A Advanced Clearwater following a promotion for the skipper this off-season, cited Pujols as the most improved prospects he has seen during his four years working in the Phillies organization.
Strictly a right fielder, Pujols gets solid reads and can track down fly balls at a better than average rate, displaying the range of a typical center fielder. He has a strong arm and is an asset to his team on defense.
Pujols will be 21 years old for the entirety of the 2017 season. With a thin six-foot-three 175-pound frame, the youngster has plenty of room to add muscle and further develop on the physical side. So, it's certainly possible that there is plenty more to come on the power front with this blossoming talent.
You can follow along with this year’s Phillies prospects countdown by clicking this link.