|Simon Muzziotti, image- Jay Floyd|
Signing infractions by his former organization, the Red Sox, lead the talented youngster to be declared a free agent by Major League Baseball approximately a year after he signed with Boston at the age of 16. Muzziotti was subsequently inked by the Phillies and has been an attention grabber as he has moved up the developmental ranks with quickness.
In 2016, he played in the Dominican Summer League, tallying a .256 average with six doubles, two triples and eight steals in his combined time with the Sox and Phils teams there.
The following year, at the age of 18, the left-handed hitter notched a .269 batting average with four doubles, six triples and eight stolen bases in 33 games in the Gulf Coast League. He also recorded two hits in seven at bats as a fill-in with Class A Advanced Clearwater.
In 2018, Muzziotti missed a couple of months with a broken finger, when he was hit by a pitch in April. Despite the physical set back, the Venezuela native made outstanding impressions and began to stand out. In 74 games, including a rehab stint in the GCL, Muzziotti posted a .250 average with with 12 doubles, two triples, a home run, 22 RBI and 19 steals, primarily as a lead-off batter.
Last year, Muzziotti spent the regular season with Class A Advanced Clearwater, continuing to hone his craft. In 110 games, he tallied a .287 batting average with 21 doubles, three triples, three homers, 28 RBI and 21 steals. The efforts earned him the honor of being a Florida State League All-Star.
He was called up to Double-A Reading for their postseason run last year after Clearwater's season ended, in case his talents were needed. Ultimately, he was never officially added to their roster at any point during the playoffs.
The hit tool for Muzziotti is what prospect reviewers tout the most. He is said to be among the best hitters in the minors for the Phillies. With an ability to spray the ball to all fields, the six-foot-one 175 pounder has a knack for making contact and great hand-eye coordination. However, he will likely not ever be considered a big power threat.
Last year, his left/right splits at the plate showed plenty of room for improvement. Against righty pitchers, Muzziotti posted a .772 OPS while he sported a lowly .434 mark against lefty hurlers.
Defensively, Muzziotti boasts remarkable range and has a strong arm. He is a plus contributor on that side of the ball and should be able to stick in centerfield as he moves upward in the system, though he does have some time in both right field and left field during his career in the minors.
On the bases, Muzziotti possesses excellent speed. He's got some good instincts as well and is already a stolen base threat.
The ceiling for the 21-year-old may be questionable, but I would feel comfortable asserting he has a high floor, which would see him as a big league contributor in the coming years.
Look for the exciting speedster to see action with Reading this year and fully put on display what he can do at the higher levels of the minors.
You can keep tabs on this year's top 25 Phillies prospect countdown by clicking this link.