Friday, February 26, 2021

2021 Phillies Top Prospects Countdown: #12 RHP Connor Brogdon

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Brogdon, image- Jay Floyd
Relief pitcher Connor Brogdon propelled himself into discussions about the Phillies' top prospects with a considerably strong campaign in 2019 and reached the big leagues last year in the pandemic shortened season.

A Lewis-Clark State product, Brogdon was drafted by the Phils in 2017 as a 10th rounder.  That year, the right-hander began his professional career as a member of the Class A short-season Williamsport Crosscutters.  

In 16 relief appearances for the 'Cutters that year, Brogdon would post a 3-1 record with three saves, a 2.34 ERA, and a .177 batting average against while recording an 11.7 K/9 mark.

In 2018, his first full professional season, the six-foot-six 205-pounder tallied a 5-3 record with five saves, a 2.47 ERA, a .228 batting average against and a 10.3 K/9 mark in 31 games (seven starts) with Class A Lakewood.  Since moving to the bullpen and working in that role exclusively after May that year, Brogdon has truly thrived in the relief role.

The following season, Brogdon opened his campaign with Class A Advanced Clearwater, where he posted a 2-0 record, a 1.80 ERA, a .164 batting average against and a 10.4 K/9 mark in 10 contests. 

He was soon promoted to Double-A Reading, where the stellar numbers continued.  Brogdon would post a 1-1 record with a pair of saves, a 2.65 ERA, a .150 batting average against along with a 14.8 K/9 mark in 15 appearances.  

Before July, Brogdon earned his second promotion of the year, joining the pitching staff of the Triple-A Lehigh Valley IronPigs.  In 26 outings in the International League, the California native tallied a 3-1 record with two saves, a .193 batting average against and a 12.2 K/9 mark.   

Time with the IronPigs didn't go smoothly from the start.  Having posted a 7.71 ERA through his first six outings, Brogdon breezed through his next 20 appearances, as he notched a 1.78 ERA the rest of the way.

Last year, Brogdon got some big league experience and looked promising after a rough start.  The owner of a 16.88 ERA after three outings, Brogdon closed out his season with six straight scoreless innings.  Overall in his nine appearances for the Phillies, he notched a 1-0 record with a 3.97 ERA, a 0.88 WHIP and a 13.5 K/9 mark.  

Brogdon, a slugging catcher and third baseman in his little league and youth baseball days, grew up as a fan of Barry Bonds, so he's got a great appreciation for the minds and bats of his opposition.

Described as a power pitcher, Brogdon can bring the heat and misses a ton of bats.  With a fastball that tops out around 97 MPH, a slider with good movement, a standout change up and a spike curve ball which was a pitch with a refined grip that he learned from teammate Zach Warren in 2018.  

The approach for Brogdon is a simple one...come into a game, attack the strike zone and get outs.  With his long-armed, lean build, Brogdon gets a lot of extension and releases the ball closer to home plate than many pitchers, which is advantageous, as the offering appears harder to the hitter. 

He possesses very good control and walked just 2.9 batters per nine innings in his minor league career.

The 26-year-old is another talent that gets the pass on my usual age 25 cut off due to the shortened season.  I expect Brogdon to be a key contributor out of the Phillies' bullpen this year.

You can keep tabs on this year's Phillies prospects countdown by clicking on this link.

Sunday, February 21, 2021

2021 Phillies Top Prospects Countdown: #13 LHP Damon Jones

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Left-handed pitcher Damon Jones used an exceptional 2019 season to catapult himself toward the top of the list of names being discussed as top options to help the Phillies' pitching pitching staff.

An 18th round draft selection in 2017, out of Washington State, Jones began his professional career as a member of the short-season Class A Williamsport Crosscutters.  In 13 appearances, all in relief, that season, the six-foot-five 238-pounder notched a 2-3 record with three saves, a 4.85 ERA, a .240 batting average against and a 13.2 K/9 mark.

The following year Jones had a strong campaign with Class A Lakewood.  In 23 games (22 starts), Jones posted a 10-7 record with a 3.41 ERA, a .247 batting average against along with a 9.8 K/9 mark.

In 2019, Jones opened the year with a stretch that earned him a promotion and loads of regard as a true up-and-comer for the Phils organization.  With Class A Advanced Clearwater, Jones would post a 4-3 record with a 1.54 ERA and a .188 batting average against in 11 starts.  He moved up Double-A Reading and made a splash in that rotation as well.  In four starts, Jones sported a 1-0 record, a 0.82 ERA and a .129 batting average against.

He would move upward a second time in mid-July, making his final eight starts of the regular season with Triple-A Lehigh Valley.  The statistical production came back down to Earth a bit there, as it took longer for Jones to adjust to the highest level of the minor leagues.  He would notch a 0-1 record with a 6.62 ERA, a 1.56 WHIP and a .214 batting average against as a member of the IronPigs.

Jones continued to deliver standout strike out numbers throughout the full season in 2019, as he posted a 12.0 K/9 mark.

Last year, before the pandemic upended the baseball season, Jones made a pair of scoreless appearances with the Phillies in spring training.  

Despite looking like a power pitcher with considerable K rates, Jones uses his fastball, that reached 99 MPH in off-season workouts, to induce plenty of ground ball outs.  His strong curve ball is the out pitch that garners most of the strike outs for the big man.  He also possesses a slider that has good, horizontal movement and a change up that remains a work in progress, as he tries to refine it.

In May of 2019, Jones described to me how working his fastball to the inside and the outside against opposing batters was changing the look they were getting and helped him keep hitters off of his breaking pitches and his change up.

Command is a big positive for Jones.  It's a part of his game that impresses Phillies developmental staffers the most.

Jones is a member of the Phillies 40-man roster.  He'll be in the mix this year to earn a role with the big league team out of spring training.

The ceiling for Jones, 26, has been projected to be a big league starter.  My usual age cutoff for these rankings is 25, but my feeling is that Jones would have reached the big leagues last year if there was a complete season and he remains on the verge of doing so.  As such, he stays on my list this year due to his proximity to making an impact in the majors.

You can keep tabs on this year's Phillies prospects countdown by clicking on this link.

Thursday, February 18, 2021

2021 Phillies Top Prospects Countdown: #14 SS Nick Maton

Nick Maton, image-Jay Floyd

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Drafted in the 7th round out of Lincoln Land Community College in 2017, shortstop Nick Maton has proven to be among the Phillies most promising prospects.

The Illinois native was previously drafted out of high school as well, but chose not to sign.  After signing with the Phillies, he got his pro career underway with the short-season Class A Williamsport Crosscutters in 2017.  In 58 games there, Maton sported a .252 batting average with nine doubles, a triple, two homers, 13 RBI and 10 stolen bases.

The following season in 2018, Maton had a productive season with Class A Lakewood.  He tallied a .256 average with eight home runs, 51 RBI and five steals in 114 contests and was nominated as a South Atlantic League All-Star.

In 2019, Maton opened his regular season campaign with Class A Advanced Clearwater where he was honored as a mid-season All-Star.  In 93 games he sported a .276 batting average with five home runs, 45 RBI and 11 stolen bases.  He was promoted to Double-A Reading in August.  With the Fightin Phils, the six-foot-two 178-pounder batted .210 with two homers and six RBI through 21 games.

He was part of the Phillies' group that participated in the Arizona Fall League following that season.  the experience was advantageous to the up-and-comer despite only appearing in three games for the Scorpions.  He was 4-for-12 with a double and a home run during his playing time there as a second baseman. 

The 24-year-old was a member of the Phillies' taxi squad last year once the minor league season was cancelled due to the pandemic.

Nick is the younger brother of Cleveland relief pitcher Phil Maton and the older brother of college pitcher Jacob Maton.  Nick and his brothers check in one each other regularly, whether things are going good or bad, and offer support in order to help each brother achieve all that he can.

Touting great bat speed, Maton projects as an excellent hitting prospect.  He's got a solid handle of the strike zone, as the Illinois native draws walks very well and does not strike out a ton. 

Defensively, Maton has become more versatile in the past couple seasons, spending time at second base and third base, while remaining primarily a shortstop.  He boasts very good hands and a solid throwing arm.

Speed wise, Maton won't be the fastest guy on a roster, but he is a smart runner, will be a reliable first-to-third guy and may continue to be a stolen base threat as he moves up.

With a calm, poised approach, Maton is always focused on learning the game, doing his work and making improvements on the diamond.

The ceiling for Maton could be as an every day contributor in the big leagues.  Look for him to possibly open the season back at the Double-A level with a move to Triple-A likely as he shows he's mastered things with Reading.

You can keep tabs on this year's Phillies prospects countdown by clicking on this link.

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

2021 Phillies Top Prospects Countdown: #15 Infielder Luis Garcia

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Luis Garcia, image- Jay Floyd
Despite a down season in 2019, Phillies infield prospect Luis Garcia is still one of the organization's most promising prospects.

After the team signed Garcia for a reported $2.5 million (second highest international signing in Phils history) in July of 2017, Garcia participated in the Florida Instructional League as a 16-year-old later that year.

The Dominican Republic native would make his official professional debut in 2018. In the short-season Rookie level Gulf Coast League, Garcia led the league batting average with a .369 mark.  Additionally, he posted a .433 on-base percentage with an impressive .921 OPS.

The five-foot-11 170-pounder was named to the GCL’s post-season All-Star roster and was rated by Baseball America as the best prospect in the GCL at the time he played there.

In 2019 Garcia played the entire season with Class A Lakewood at the age of 18.  There, he would struggle considerably at the plate.  In 127 games he tallied a .186 batting average with 14 doubles, three triples, four home runs and 36 RBI.  

The cancelled 2020 season resulted in Garcia missing a year of development, though he did participate in the Fall Instructional League.  He's also stayed busy working out in his native DR and appears to have added some upper body muscle tone during his down time. 

Defensively, Garcia possesses an accurate, plus arm, solid range and quick feet. A smooth fielder, he was tasked with playing both middle infield spots with the BlueClaws.  His fielding percentages at the positions (.948 at shortstop and .944 at second base) were similarly strong.

At the plate, the switch-hitter can display a mature approach with quick hands, but he was over-matched in 2019 at full-season Class A ball.  Offensive struggles aside, Garcia's hitting coach with the 'Claws, Christian Marrero asserted that he saw improvements with the player's at bats throughout the long season. 

On the bases, Garcia is quick and could become a steady stolen base threat.  However, thus far in his affiliated pro career, he has been successful in just 21 of 37 stolen base attempts.  A 56.7% success rate is definitely not outstanding, but as Garcia moves up in the minor leagues, he will have more tools at his disposal to improve on that ratio and would be expected to improve.

Phils developmental coaches have noticed that Garcia, even at a young age, stands out as a leader, primarily among his fellow Latin players. 

Headed into 2019, many prospect reviewers pointed toward Garcia as a young talent that could become a blue chipper for the Phillies.  The buzz surrounding him seems to have quieted a bit following his lackluster production in Class A.

With the BlueClaws being reassigned as a Class A Advanced level team for the coming season, it's likely that Garcia could return to Lakewood, now referred to as Jersey Shore, to open the 2021 campaign.  

The ceiling for the man known as "El Flow" is unclear, but he remains a bright, exciting youngster that Phillies fans should keep their eyes on.

You can keep tabs on this year's Phillies prospects countdown by clicking on this link.

Sunday, February 14, 2021

Phillies Top Prospects Countdown: #16 Shortstop Kendall Simmons

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Kendall Simmons, image- Jay Floyd
An All-Star in 2019 with the short-season Class-A Williamsport Crosscutters, Kendall Simmons is one of the Phillies' most promising prospects.  

Simmons, an outstanding and multi-positional infielder, was the Phillies' 6th round draft pick in 2018.

That year, he made his professional debut in the Rookie level Gulf Coast League, tallying a .234 average with three homers and 11 RBI in 32 games.

The right-handed batter posted a .234 batting average with 12 home runs, 34 RBI and five stolen bases in 51 games with Williamsport in 2019. 

This off-season, Simmons played in the Australian Baseball League, making up for some of the time missed due to the cancelled 2020 season.  In 21 games with Adelaide, he notched a .172 batting average with a home run, seven RBI and three steals. 

Strength and athleticism are key traits that stand out for the Georgia native, Simmons. 

At the plate, the ball jumps off his quick bat.  He'll want to work on making better contact, as his strike out rate thus far as a pro hasn't been exemplary.  

Primarily a shortstop, Simmons has also played second base and third base in the Phils system.  It's unclear where he'll land in a more permanent fashion, but the versatility is certainly something that will be beneficial to the player and the organization down the road.  He's got a strong enough arm to remain in the left side of the infield.

Simmons is one of the main names that has come up in discussions about under-the-radar Phillies prospects, but as he continues to make a name for himself, that type of status will no longer apply to this terrific talent. 

The six-foot-two 180-pounder turns 21 years old in April. 

An estimated time of arrival to the big leagues is still years away.  Look for Simmons to play full-season A ball this year.  


You can keep tabs on this year's Phillies prospects countdown by clicking on this link.

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

2021 Phillies Top Prospect Countdown: #17 RHP Mauricio Llovera

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MoYo, Image- MLB.com

Righty pitcher Mauricio Llovera was signed by the Phillies in 2014 as an 18-year-old for a reported $7500.  Since then, Llovera has ascended at a steady pace through the developmental ranks and could prove to be a considerable bargain at that price.

Llovera began his professional career in the Venezuelan Summer League in 2015, recording a 2-3 record with a 3.23 ERA and a .209 batting average against in 11 games (10 starts).

The following year, the five-foot-11 225-pounder was outstanding in the Gulf Coast League, sporting a 7-1 record with a 1.87 ERA, a .205 batting average against and a 9.5 K/9 mark in 11 games (10 starts). The win total was tops in the league. Additionally that season, Llovera allowed one or no runs in eight of his 10 starts.

Moving to Class A Lakewood in 2017, the man that coaches call “MoYo” would tally a 2-4 record with a save, a 3.35 ERA, a .250 BAA and a 9.8 K/9 mark, splitting time as a starter and as a reliever in 30 appearances (10 starts). The move into relief seemed quite successful, as his ERA splits favored his shorter outings (4.31 ERA as a starter/2.13 ERA in relief).

In 2018 with Class A Advanced Clearwater, the Venezuela native moved back to a full time starting role, posting an 8-7 record with a 3.72 ERA, a .221 BAA and a 10.2 K/9 mark through 23 games (22 starts).

He wrapped up his 2018 campaign with a string of six outstanding starts in which he notched a 5-0 record with a 0.96 ERA while striking out 48 batters in 37 2/3 innings.

In 2019, Llovera opened the season with Double-A Reading.  He notched a 3-4 record with a 4.55 ERA, a .243 BAA, a 1.35 WHIP along with a 9.9 K/9 mark in 14 games (12 starts).  His season was cut short in mid-July, as Llovera suffered a reported forearm injury. 

Last year, Llovera was a member of the Phillies' taxi squad, which served as the club's reserve players.  He made his big league debut against the Mets in September and was touched for four earned runs in just one inning of work.

Llovera possesses a repertoire that includes a fastball which typically resides in the mid 90's and can get up to 97 MPH. His fastball features some movement that can tail up and in to right-handed hitters. He also touts a very good slider, a nice change up and a curve ball to keep the opposition guessing.

Control is not a concern for the 24-year-old, who keeps his offerings around the strike zone. The talented hurler has averaged 2.9 BB/9 in his minor league career to date.

A member of the Phillies' 40-man roster, Llovera has a shot at breaking camp as a reliever this year, but could open the season in the minors.

You can keep tabs on this year's Phillies prospects countdown by clicking on this link.

Friday, February 5, 2021

2021 Phillies Top Prospects Countdown: #18 LHP Cristopher Sanchez

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Sanchez, image- MLB.com

Acquired in an off-season trade last year, lefty pitching prospect Cristopher Sanchez looks to be a possible contributor for the big league team in the near future.

The Phils sent infielder Curtis Mead to the Rays in a November 2019 trade in exchange for the promising native of the Dominican Republic.

Signed for a reported $65,000 by Tampa Bay in 2013 at age of 16, Sanchez would go on to make his professional debut in the Dominican Summer League the following year.  In 13 outings that season, he notched a 7.77 ERA.  The Rays would have him repeat the league twice.  In 41 total appearances there, Sanchez collected an 8-7 record with a 4.15 ERA, 6.1 K/9 and 3.8 BB/9. 

In 2017 Sanchez split time between starting and relieving in the Rookie level Appalachian League.  With Princeton, he sported a 1-6 record with a 10.01 ERA and a .353 batting average against.

The following year, he opened the year back in extended spring training and went the short-season route with Princeton once more.  Pitching exclusively as a starter at this point, as a 21-year-old, Sanchez looked better, tallying a 3-2 record with a 4.60 ERA over 10 outings.  The Rays would promote him to wrap up there season and he joined Hudson Valley of the New York-Penn League.  In two regular season starts, he went 1-0 with a 4.00 ERA.  Overall that season, Sanchez collected a .302 BAA, a 7.8 K/9 mark and a 4.7 BB/9.

In 2019 Sanchez played full-season ball for the first time.  He opened the campaign with Class A Bowling Green, where he again split time as a reliever and a starter.  In 11 games (four starts), he had a 3-1 record with two saves, a 2.01 ERA, a .190 batting average against and a 0.97 WHIP.  He would earn a promotion to Class A Advanced Charlotte and posted a 1-0 record, a 1.85 ERA, a .231 batting average against, as well as a 1.21 WHIP in 12 appearances (six starts).  He ended the season with an appearance at Triple-A Durham.  Overall, in 24 games, Sanchez recorded an 8.7 K/9 mark and a 3.1 BB/9 mark.

His splits that year did not clearly favor one role over the other, as with Bowling Green he tallied a 0.83 ERA out of the bullpen and a 3.38 mark as a starter.  Then with Charlotte his ERA was just about a full run better in the rotation (1.54 ERA as a starter, 2.53 ERA in relief).

Sanchez played the following off-season in the Dominican Winter League for the Toros.  He made just five relief appearances, none of which came after he was acquired by the Phillies.  

Prior to the pandemic last year, Sanchez pitched in a pair of Phillies spring training games, allowing three earned runs over 1 1/3 innings while striking out three and uncorking two wild pitches.

This off-season, Sanchez appeared twice with the Toros with nothing noteworthy to mention.

A valued talent, Sanchez was somewhat buried in a Rays farm system that is deep with promising arms.  Tampa Bay feared Sanchez could be lost at the Winter Meetings' Rule 5 Draft, so trading him made more sense.  Sanchez, listed at six-foot-one 165-pounds, quickly ranked among the top prospects for his new organization.

Opponents do not generally go deep off of Sanchez, as he's notched a 0.4 HR/9 mark in his minor league career to date.

He touts an exciting skill set highlighted by fastball velocity that steadily resides in the high 90's and features remarkable movement.  He regularly clocked triple digits last summer as well.  He also has a change up and a slider in his repertoire that he is looking to refine and get to a big-league-ready level.

Consistency is said to have been the difference maker that allowed Sanchez to up his game in 2019.  Repeating his delivery much more routinely, the result was more strikes.

A member of the Phils' 40-man roster, the 24-year-old will be in camp with the big league team in spring training this year, so he'll get plenty of opportunities to impress important team personnel.  Possibly a dark horse candidate, Sanchez could have a shot at making the big league roster this year.

You can keep tabs on this year's Phillies prospects countdown by clicking on this link.

Thursday, February 4, 2021

2021 Phillies Top Prospects Countdown: #19 Catcher Logan O'Hoppe

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Logan O'Hoppe, image- Jay Floyd

With a cancelled minor league season last year due to the Coronavirus pandemic, it's fairly difficult to find bright spot in the prospect rankings from 2020.  Catcher Logan O'Hoppe is one of those rare highlights from last year.

In need of an extra backstop to work with the pitching staff assigned to the organization's taxi squad, which served as the team's reserves throughout the shortened major league season, the Phillies took a risk plucking a 20-year-old with less than 80 games of professional experience to fill that void. 

A 23rd round draft selection in 2018, O'Hoppe made a splash online in July when the Long Island native flashed a smile and more excitement than might be permitted in an exhibition game at Yankee Stadium.  It was a pretty big moment for the youngster that grew up as a Yankees fan.  

Prior to being added by the Phillies last summer, O'Hoppe's residence in Sayville, NY became somewhat of a destination for local hurlers looking to get their work in.  Phillies prospects such as Kyle Young and Nick Fanti, also residents of Long Island, would spend time with their local backstop.  Plenty of the work took place in O'Hoppe's back yard, which features a netted tunnel built by Logan's father Mike roughly a decade ago that's suitable for pitching practice, but is likely more recognizable as a batting cage.  The length of the passage, though, at just 55 feet, isn't ideal for hitting.

O'Hoppe made his professional debut in 2018 in the rookie level Gulf Coast League.  In 24 contests, the righty batter sported a remarkable .367/.411/.532 slash line. 

The following year he was honored as a short-season Class A All-Star as a member of the Williamsport Crosscutters.  In 45 games O'Hoppe batted .216 with 12 doubles, two triples, five home runs and 26 RBI. 

He's described as advanced for his age at calling pitches and reading the opposition.  Battery mates enjoy throwing to O'Hoppe stating that they have considerable confidence in his ability to control the running game and smother any pitches in the dirt.

With a baseball-only focus, the six-foot-two 185-pounder stays fixated on climbing the developmental ladder and improving his own game and that of those around him.

Look for O'Hoppe, who turns 21 years old next week, to get time with full-season Class A Clearwater this year.  

You can keep tabs on this year's Phillies prospects countdown by clicking on this link.

Friday, January 29, 2021

2021 Phillies Top Prospects Countdown: #20 OF Johan Rojas

Signed for a measly bonus of $10,000 in 2018, outfielder Johan Rojas has begun to prove himself as a steal in his short professional career to date.

The righty hitting Dominican made a splash in the Dominican Summer League in 2018, recording an impressive .320 batting average with 12 doubles, four triples, a pair of home runs, 31 RBI and 19 stolen bases in 68 games.

The following year, Rojas made his United States debut, opening his campaign in the Gulf Coast League where he tallied a .920 OPS through 18 games before he was promoted to short-season Class A Williamsport.  With the Crosscutters, the six-foot-one 165-pounder posted a .244 average with a pair of homers, 11 RBI and 11 steals in 42 games.  Remarkably, he did most of that damage before his 19th birthday.

If you like raw power and considerable bat speed, Rojas is your guy.  He is touted as a hitter that makes hard contact and is praised for his hand-eye coordination.  He has a chance to develop into a formidable offensive threat as he progresses in the minor leagues.  

Primarily a center fielder to date in his professional career, Rojas has also gotten some game action in both left field as well as right field.  He's got exceptional range that plays nicely for him in center.

An energetic 20-year-old, Rojas stands out as one of the Phillies' most promising prospects.  It's possible to expect him to see time at the Class A Advanced level this year.

You can keep tabs on this year's Phillies prospects countdown by clicking on this link.

 

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

2021 Phillies Top Prospects Countdown: #21 LHP Zach Warren

Zach Warren, image- Jay Floyd
I invite you to visit Patreon.com/PhoulBallz in order to support my work and get access to material like this before anyone else and get access to interviews as well as other exclusive content you can't get anywhere else.

Back to back outstanding full-season campaigns propelled lefty pitcher Zach Warren right into the discussion of young Phillies prospects that could be able to help the big league club sooner than later.

A 14th round draft selection out of the University of Tennessee in 2017, Warren, a Vineland, NJ native, grew up as a Phillies fan.

He opened his professional career as a reliever with Class-A Williamsport, posting a 0-3 record with a 3.00 ERA, a .236 batting average against and a 10.9 K/9 mark in 13 games.

The following year, he spent his 2018 campaign with the Class A Lakewood BlueClaws, where he was dominant out of their bullpen, posting a 3-2 record with 15 saves, a 1.91 ERA along with a 15.9 K/9 mark. 

In 40 relief appearance in 2019 with the Class A Advanced Clearwater Threshers, Warren notched a 1-3 record with seven saves, a 3.30 ERA and a 12.0 K/9 mark.  

In the subsequent off-season Warren pitched in the prestigious Arizona Fall League.  He appeared in five games, all in relief, recording a .063 batting average against and a 3.86 ERA while striking out seven and walking four in 4 2/3 innings.

A non-roster invitee to Phils spring training last year, Warren appeared in a pair of Grapefruit League contests prior to the exhibition season was cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  He struck out four and walked two while allowing three earned runs and uncorking a wild pitch in 1 2/3 innings.

The arsenal that Warren brings to the table includes a fastball which resides in the mid-90's, a plus breaking pitch that he describes as a combo of a slider and a curve ball, and a change up that has some plus potential.  A cutter was added to Warren's repertoire early in 2019, but some difficulty with command led to its regular season removal after April.  He mentioned to me that the cutter might make a return for some more work in exhibition games, so that remains a possible option, depending on progress.

His tall, six-foot-five, 205-pound frame allows Warren to pitch on a down hill plane, which is advantageous for the talented hurler.

Coaches point to Warren's preparation and his work ethic as qualities that help him stand out.

Warren grew up in the Phillies heyday of a decade ago, or so.  His favorite player during those days was lefty pitcher Cole Hamels. 

The 24-year-old should get time with the big league club in spring training if pandemic guidelines and roster limits allow for it.  Look for Warren to get some time at the Triple-A level this year.  He'll be an arm that the Phils can look to for contributions out of the bullpen as needs arise this year.

You can keep tabs on this year's Phillies prospects countdown by clicking on this link.

Saturday, January 23, 2021

2021 Phillies Top Prospects Countdown: #22 SS Casey Martin

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A third round draft pick last year, Arkansas junior Casey Martin was quickly signed by the Phillies and consideration as one of the organization's top infield prospects quickly began.  The team's confidence in his ceiling is likely evident in the signing bonus he got, which was reportedly $1.3 million, which was considerably more than slot money dictated by his 87th overall draft position ($685K).

The right-handed batting Martin tallied a .311/.393/.545 slash line with 30 homers, 24 steals and 112 RBI in 143 games through his college career at Arkansas.  Reports had him falling in the draft as a result of an injury to the hamate bone in his left hand prior to his 2020 season.  Prior to the procedure, Baseball America projected Martin as a top ten draft pick.

In 15 games last year, primarily as the Razorbacks' clean up hitter, before the season was halted due to the Coronavirus pandemic, Martin sported a .271 average with a pair of home runs, 10 RBI and six stolen bases.  

A super talent, Martin was a collegiate freshman All-American in 2018 and was a unanimous pre-season All-American prior to his junior season.

Martin, listed at five-feet-11, 175-pounds in an Arkansas native.  

He's projected as a guy that could change positions and land as a second baseman or a center fielder as he moves through the professional ranks.  Martin previously played third base as a freshman in college.

Described as a player that's "full of tools", it's possible that the 21-year-old could get a shot at playing in full-season Class A ball to open the 2021 campaign. 

You can keep tabs on this year's Phillies prospects countdown by clicking on this link.

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

2021 Phillies Top Prospect Countdown: #23 LHP Ethan Lindow

Ethan Lindow, image- Jay Floyd
I invite you to visit Patreon.com/PhoulBallz in order to support my work, get access to material like this before anyone else and get access to interviews as well as other exclusive content you can't get anywhere else.  

Lefty pitcher Ethan Lindow stood out so much among Phillies pitching prospects in 2019 that he was honored with the Paul Owens Award, which is bestowed annually upon the top position player and the top hurler from the organization's minor league affiliates.

Selected in the 5th round of the 2017 draft as a high schooler, Lindow would sign for a reported $500,000 and swiftly began his professional career.

In the Rookie level Gulf Coast League, the Georgie native would start eight contests, posting a 2-2 record with a 4.55 ERA and a .241 batting average against while striking out 34 and walking 12 batters in 27 2/3 innings pitched.  He participated that year in the Florida Instructional League as well. 

In 2018 Lindow opened the campaign in extended spring training, then put up exceptional numbers for the Class A short-season Williamsport Crosscutters.  In 13 starts, the six-foot-three 180-pounder posted a 3-2 record with a 2.19 ERA, a .227 batting average against along with an 8.1 K/9 mark.  For his efforts with the 'Cutters, he was honored by Baseball America as a short-season All-Star.

The following year Lindow really made his mark with the Class A Lakewood BlueClaws.  In 23 appearances (13 starts), he collected a 5-2 record with a 2.66 ERA, a .208 batting average against, a 0.98 WHIP and a 9.9 K/9 mark.

By late in the season, the Phillies promoted Lindow to Class A Advanced Clearwater.  With the Threshers, he made three starts, going winless with a 1.69 ERA, a .274 batting average against and averaging a strikeout per inning pitched.
 
He's got some intangibles that developmental personnel like to see.  Coaches admire Lindow's tendency to stand out as a leader among his peers. He also pitches like a polished, more mature hurler.  This is a quality that can be attributed to working with a well-known big leaguer, namely Tom Glavine, whose son was a travel ball teammate of Lindow.  The Hall of Famer would mentor Lindow and helped him develop insight on the game he would not have otherwise had. 

Described as a serious competitor, Lindow has a terrific feel for the strike zone and attacks the opposition with his arsenal.  The 22-year-old's repertoire includes a fastball that most often resides in the low-90's, a very good curve ball, a cutter and a top notch change up.

The key quality that has people raving about Lindow and pointing toward him as a guy that could become special is his command.  With consistency like his, Lindow's ceiling is as a member of a big league starting rotation.

An emerging talent, Lindow may open the 2021 campaign at the Double-A level.  He's definitely a prospect to watch this year.

You can keep tabs on this year's Phillies prospects countdown by clicking on this link.

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

2021 Phillies Top Prospects Countdown: #24 LHP Kyle Dohy

I invite you to visit Patreon.com/PhoulBallz in order to support my work and read to material like this before anyone else and get access to interviews as well as other exclusive content you can't see anywhere else.  

Not Adam Haseley
Left-handed reliever Kyle Dohy has been on the fast track since joining the Phillies organization and has steadily stood out as one of the organization's most promising pitching prospects.

A 16th round draft selection out of Citrus Community College in 2017, Dohy was quickly signed by the Phils and began his professional career that year in the Class A short-season New York-Penn League.

In 13 appearances with Williamsport that year, as a 20-year-old, Dohy would notch a 2-1 record with a 3.60 ERA and a .182 batting average against in 13 appearances.  Additionally, he would strike out 22 and walk 20 in 20 innings.

In 2018, Dohy really stood out, pitching at three levels, and started to make a name for himself.  In 24 appearances with Class A Lakewood, Dohy looked nearly untouchable, recording a 3-3 record with seven saves, a 0.80 ERA, a .144 batting average against and an outstanding 16.8 K/9 mark while the BB/9 rate looked much better at 4.5.

Dohy earned a promotion to Class A Advanced Clearwater at the Sally League's All-Star break in June.  His brief stint there was just as successful as the first half of the season had been, as he tallied a 2-1 record with a pair of saves and a 1.64 ERA, striking out 18 and walking three in 11 innings over seven appearances for the Threshers.

The Phillies then promoted the youngster once more and he looked a bit more human out of the bullpen with Double-A Reading for the remainder of the season.  In 18 games Dohy sported a 2-5 record with a save, a 5.56 ERA and a .165 batting average against.  He would strike out 30 and walk 22 over 22 2/3 innings pitched in the Eastern League.

In 2019, Dohy opened the campaign back in Double-A and appeared to have mastered that level.  In six games, he collected a 1-0 record with two saves, a 0.82 ERA, a .059 batting average against and stuck out 22 while walking five in 11 innings of work.  He'd move to Triple-A Lehigh Valley before April was through.

As a member of the Lehigh Valley IronPigs, Dohy posted a 6-5 record with a save, a 6.19 ERA, a .253 batting average against while striking out 83 and walking 54 in 56 2/3 innings over 41 appearances.

Last year, the California native opened spring training with the big league team.  Prior to the sport's stoppage due to the Coronavirus pandemic Dohy appeared in three games, allowing two earned runs, striking out three batters, walking none and hitting one batter in three innings of work. 

The pitch repertoire for Dohy, who is listed at six-feet-two, 202 pounds, includes a trio of offerings with plus potential.  He features a mid-90's fastball that has touched up to 97 MPH, a premier slider that has a lot of movement and a change up that has been a work in progress at times.

Command has been a area of concern through the 24-year-old's first few seasons in the minors.  It's part of his games that has been a focus for coaches and instructors, as they work with the pitcher to get his mechanics and delivery to be as consistent as possible.

A sticking point for several pitchers in 2019 was the usage of a different baseball, the type used in the big leagues, at the Triple-A level.  It has been a learning process and the Phillies' developmental coaches feel it's something that a talented individual like Dohy will work through and emerge from with a promising future.

If guidelines do not limit roster size, due to the ongoing pandemic, look for Dohy back in big league spring training this year.  He could get a shot at contributing in the major leagues before very long.  

You can keep tabs on this year's Phillies prospects countdown by clicking on this link.

Saturday, January 16, 2021

2021 Phillies Top Prospects Countdown: #25 First baseman Darick Hall

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Building on a breakout initial full season that saw him honored as the Class A South Atlantic League's Most Valuable Player, first baseman Darick Hall continued to prove himself worthy of regard as one of the Phillies' most promising minor league power hitters.

A 14th round draft selection in 2016, the Dallas Baptist product made his professional debut with the short-season Class A Williamsport Crosscutters that same year. In 57 games, Hall would notch a .282 batting average with nine home runs and 29 RBI.  His .890 OPS led the New York-Penn League.

Hall, a left-handed hitter, moved up to full-season Class A in 2017 and with Lakewood, sporting a .272 average with 28 doubles, a triple, 27 home runs (team record) and 96 RBI (another team record) in 114 games.  

He would close out his 2017 campaign with a week in the Class A Advanced Florida State League playing for Clearwater. In seven games with the Threshers, the six-foot-four 236-pounder posted a .231 batting average with a pair of homers and five RBI. 

The clean-up hitter's presence in the lineup for a Lakewood club that had several teenagers that were learning what minor league life was like, playing everyday, traveling up and down the east coast, was crucial. Hall, who played three seasons of college ball helped his teammates learn what the professional athlete life is all about. Hall is an individual that can lead by example and he did just that all year long.

In 2018, Hall continued his top offensive efforts, torching FSL opposition for two months. In 48 games, he batted .277 with 12 doubles, 11 home runs and 35 RBI.

Promoted to Double-A Reading on June 1st, Hall would see his batting average dip in the Eastern League, but the power numbers did not fall off. In 80 games for the Fightins, Hall tallied a .224 average with 10 doubles, a triple, 15 homers and 52 RBI.

During the off-season, Hall competed in the prestigious Arizona Fall League. There with the Scorpions he batted .234 while launching four round-trippers and driving in 12 runs through 18 games.

Hall shared with me that he picked up a timing tip from Mets star Pete Alonso that he hoped would help him going forward.

He returned to the Double-A level in 2019 and saw improvement with his production.  In 132 games for Reading, he posted a .235 average with a league leading 38 doubles, a triple, 20 home runs (2nd in the league) and 67 RBI.  Additionally, along with helping Reading reach the postseason, a highlight of 2019 for Hall was taking two-time All-Star Luis Severino deep for a homer in the Eastern League playoffs while the right-hander was rehabbing with the Yankees' affiliate Trenton.  Another big moment for Hall that year was winning the Eastern League Home Run Derby at the All-Star break in Richmond, VA.

Last year, Hall missed the entire regular season, due to the COVID-19 shutdown of minor league baseball.  He was also not included in the Phillies Taxi Squad, but was told to remain ready all summer long, in case he was needed.  So, essentially, Hall was a Taxi Squad alternate.  

Hall spent time this off-season playing in Mexico with Los Mochis, lacing four homers in 20 games and gaining experience in left field and right field, while there.

Aside from his missile-like long balls, the 25-year-old's daily work and preparation are the things that impress Phillies developmental coaches the most. 

From a family where two of his uncles (Ladd Hall and Shane Hall) were drafted by big league teams, Hall feels structure is important to his game. Everything from diet and practice to making a game plan and following through have been critical to his success.

Hall preaches "confidence is key" and knows which parts of his game he needs to improve. While recording triple digits in strike outs in three straight seasons, the promising slugger has worked plenty on refining his approach at the plate.

He saw a considerable increase in his walk rate heading into his most recent full season, as his 11.2% mark was a big jump from his 6.1% effort in 2018 and his 7.5% career mark heading into the 2019 campaign. 
 
On defense, Hall is solid and dependable.  He is an accurate thrower with a .992 career fielding percentage.

Not a speedster, the Arizona native has collected just seven stolen bases in his minor league career. 

The Phillies invited Hall to big league spring training last year, so it's possible for that to happen again this year, if pandemic restriction allow it.  Expect him to see action at the Triple-A level to open the regular season this year.

You can keep tabs on this year's Phillies prospects countdown by clicking on this link.

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

2021 Phillies Prospect Countdown Prelude

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Each winter I compile prospect rankings and count down the Phillies organization’s top 25 minor league players. In the coming weeks, I’ll be posting reviews for each of the top developmental talents that appear to have the brightest futures for the Phils organization.

Taken into consideration when compiling the list is age, minor league performance relative to levels played to date, value to the organization as well as each player's future potential along with proximity to the big leagues.

These rankings won't contain players over the age of 25 or individuals that have already spent lengthy stretches in the big leagues.

For example, an individual such as JoJo Romero, who was included on last year's edition of this list, will not be featured in this year's rankings, as he appeared in a dozen big league contests last year.  

Players that garnered consideration for this list but missed out on placing among the top 25 names include some promising talents with high ceilings as well as some names fans may have already begun hearing about.

Baron Radcliff, a 21-year-old outfielder, was the Phillies' 5th round draft selection last year.  posted a .259 batting average with three home runs and 17 RBI.  His father Vic was a 4th round draft pick of the Royals back in 1995 and he played five seasons in the minor leagues.  Radcliff could be a stereotypical big power guy that slugs and strikes out a lot.

Yhoswar Garcia is another outfielder that has much promise.  The 19-year-old Venezuelan is said to have great defense and superior speed.  Garcia reportedly also is a contact hitter that laces line drives on offense.  Standing six feet tall with a small 150-pound frame, Garcia may draw some comparisons to former Phils prospect Carlos Tocci.  Garcia signed last summer for a reported $2.5 million.  

Daniel Brito, image- Jay Floyd

Second baseman/shortstop Daniel Brito is one of the most fun Phillies prospects to watch.  With loads of energy and an ability to lead, the 22-year-old lefty batter could become a favorite of Phils fans.  In five pro seasons, Brito sports a .252 average with 16 homers, 146 RBI and 49 steals.  Look for Brito, who has an ability to hit well to all fields, at the Double-A level this year.

Pitcher Albertus Barber is a familiar name to regular readers of this site.  The 24-year-old Oklahoma native was an undrafted free agent signing by the Phils in 2019.  That year, the right-hander competed at three levels, reaching full-season A level Lakewood.  In 17 total appearances, Barber notched a 4-0 record with a save and a 0.87 ERA, while averaging more than a strike out per inning.  Barber worked harder than most during the cancelled 2020 season, training at the well-regarded Driveline facility with a focus on reaching triple-digits in velocity, which he has done at times.

Lefty pitcher David Parkinson remains a hurler that the Phillies could be able to count on.  A 12th round draft pick in 2017, Parkinson has tallied a 2.71 ERA, a .226 batting average against and a 9.8  K/9 mark through three professional seasons to date.  The 25-year-old Mississippi product is a strike thrower that focuses on game-planning as much, if not more, than any other guy on the field.  With command and a four-pitch arsenal, Parkinson is a battler that keeps his opposition guessing.

Check back here on PhoulBallz.com often, as the 2021 season approaches, for the unveiling of this year’s top 25 ranked prospects within the Phillies organization.