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
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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.