Friday, February 22, 2019

2019 Phillies Prospects Countdown: #17 OF Austin Listi

Austin Listi, image- Jay Floyd
The Phillies' top offensive performer in the minors last year, Austin Listi truly made a name for himself with a bust out season.

A 17th round pick out of Dallas Baptist in 2017, Listi was a career .300 hitter with a .407 OBP in 236 career college games for the Patriots.

Generously listed at six-feet tall, 218 pounds, Listi made his professional debut with short-season Class A Williamsport in 2017, batting .293 with three homers and 17 RBI in 22 games before earning a promotion to Class A Lakewood.  There, with the BlueClaws, he sported a .242 average with four home runs and 11 RBI in 31 contests.

Last year he took a step up and opened his campaign at Class A Advanced Clearwater.  In 58 games with the Threshers, Listi notched a .344 batting average with nine home runs and 45 RBI.  Promoted to Double-A Reading in June, Listi would continue to succeed, batting .281 with nine home runs and 39 RBI in 65 games.

Listi's combined average (.312), on-base percentage (.412) and OPS (.915) were all tops in the organization for the season.

Defenisvely, he has played as many games at first base as he has in the outfield, but Listi will reportedly be used strictly in the outfield moving forward.  He hasn't been a player that stands out on defense, but he is also not a liability on that side of the game.

This off-season in the prestigious Arizona Fall League, Listi got time in both right field and left field.  In 22 games there, Listi posted a .250 average with two doubles, a triples and seven RBI.  The Texas native also represented the Phillies in the AFL's annual Fall-Stars Game. 

Speed is not a factor of Listi's game as he has just three steals in his two pro seasons. 

It's difficult to assert precisely what the future holds for Listi, but his swift rise in the system and the honor of receiving the Paul Owens Award from the Phillies last year made it impossible to ignore him on a list like this.

Listi will go as far as his bat will take him.  Fans should hope he's not another Andrew Pullin, who hit well at every level and tallied a .936 OPS at Double-A until he reached Triple-A and fizzled out (.633 OPS), ultimately retiring last season.  Listi and Pullin are approximately three months apart in age. 

In big league camp with the Phils as a non-roster invitee this spring, the 25-year-old will get the opportunity to impress the team's coaching staff.  It's possible Listi could open the season at the Triple-A level, though some time back in Double-A may be more likely.

Keep tabs on this year's complete Phillies top prospects countdown by clicking this link.   

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