A third round draft selection by the Phillies in 2019 out of Benedictine Prep, a military school in Virginia, shortstop Jamari Baylor signed his first pro contract for a reported $675,000 and put his significant tools on display during his brief initial minor league stint.
In four games in the rookie level Gulf Coast League, five-foot-11 190-pounder sported a .273 average with a pair of doubles. He was forced out action swiftly after his pro debut due to a reported hamstring injury.
After the 2020 season was cancelled due to the global pandemic, Baylor trained at Driveline Baseball and got some game action at Fall Instructs in Florida during that off-season as well.
In 2021, Baylor was back in action and absolutely torched Rookie level Florida Complex League competition. In 25 contests, he boasted an outstanding 1.020 OPS with 16 RBI and 11 stolen bases.
Shortly after he turned 21 years old in late August, Baylor was promoted to Class A Clearwater to wrap up the regular season. After debuting for the Threshers with a 3-for-4, three RBI game, he went just 9-for-52 (.173 avg.) the rest of the way.
With a loose approach at the plate, Baylor generates plenty of bat speed and squares up well on pitches. Many project the right-handed hitter to develop more of a power stroke as he advances in his career.
A plus runner, Baylor is a stolen base threat and should trouble opposing batteries at any level.
Brandishing a plus arm, Baylor has quick feet and solid range. He could stick at shortstop as he continues his professional career.
Look for more full-season ball for Baylor to open the 2022 campaign. It's likely he would open the season in Clearwater, with unfinished business at that level, based on his statistics last season.
Baylor's certainly a significant distance from reaching the big leagues, but if he progresses at a pace similar to how he projects, it won't be long before he factors into the team's future plans.
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