The 2019 Arizona Fall League is underway. Before we jump into a review of the prospects that are participating for the Phillies, let’s go over some information about the league itself. Just like its name, the league is played in the fall in Arizona. There are six teams that compete – Mesa Solar Sox, Salt River Rafters, Scottsdale Scorpions, Glendale Desert Dogs, Peoria Javelinas, Surprise Saguaros. Some of the top minor leaguers are selected by their teams to play here and it gives those players exposure to many scouts and general managers of other MLB organizations, also. To give you an idea about the seriousness of the league, Keston Hiura, Ronald Acuna Jr. and Gleyber Torres were the last three MVPs. Some teams also send players who may have missed time during the year to get more at-bats or innings pitched and to see how they fare against better competition. The Phillies are sending eight players to the league this year. Here is some information on the chosen ones:
Alec Bohm, 3B
Ranked #1 on my Midseason Phillies Top 50 List
The Phillies selected Bohm with the 3rd overall pick in the 2018 draft out of Wichita State. After that year cut short to injury, he came back strong with a spectacular 2019. Bohm was promoted three levels ending his season at Double A for the Reading Phillies. Overall in 2019 he slashed .305/.378/.518 with 21 home runs in 475 at-bats. He was also selected to the Futures Game this summer. With a successful showing in the Fall League, he could push the organization to give him a chance to start 2020 for the Major League team. I’m going to go out on a limb and predict he’s the MVP this year.
Totally forgot to report this — Alec Bohm finished last night 4-for-5 with a double.
Mickey Moniak went 2-for-6 with a double, as well.
Connor Seabold tossed 3 frames of 1-hit ball, K’d 5.
Our boys are looking GOOD in the AFL. https://t.co/Z6vXwuIpbC
— Alex Carr (@AlexCarrMLB) September 20, 2019
Spencer Howard, RHP
Ranked #2 on my Midseason Top 50 List
Howard was a 2nd round pick in the 2017 draft. After struggling somewhat for A- Williamsport that year, he pitched much better the following season for Class-A Lakewood reaching 112 innings. 2019 was a breakout year for him. Howard was limited to 71 innings across three levels due to a shoulder injury earlier in the year but he pitched to a 2.03 ERA with a 0.83 WHIP and 11.9 K/9. The Phillies want to get him more innings this year in Arizona to build him up for 2020. With the well-known problems in the rotation at the major league level, Howard can further cement his case for a shot right out of spring training.
Mickey Moniak, OF
Ranked #17 on my Midseason Top 50 List
The outfielder is being rewarded for his fine year by being selected to play in Arizona. Even though he had possibly his best season there is still work to be done here. Moniak has seen his stock drop due to his performance but also because of the high expectations on him being the first overall pick. A number of other players drafted after him have already reached the majors to mixed results – Pete Alonso, Nick Senzel, A.J. Puk, Cal Quantrill, Zack Collins, Kyle Lewis, Gavin Lux are a few of them.
JoJo Romero, LHP
Ranked #23 on my Midseason Top 50 List
Romero pitched 111.1 innings across two levels this year and regressed in all numbers from 2018. The fourth round pick from the 2016 draft struggled enough in 13 games in Triple-A that we was demoted to Reading AA. He actually pitched much better down the stretch for the Fightins and is looking to continue that groove in Arizona. Romero needs to work more on his command and pitching deeper into games.
Connor Seabold, RHP
Ranked #32 on my Midseason Top 50 List
Seabold got hurt before the season began and didn’t appear in a game until the end of June. In the 12 games he pitched, he gave up 3 runs once and gave up no more than 2 in the other 11 and ended the season with 5 straight quality starts. Seabold struck out 58 in his 56 total innings across three levels this season. He is being sent to continue to gain experience for the time he missed this year and for the organization to see more of what they have in their 2017 3rd round pick.
— Baseball Ross (@BaseballRoss) September 20, 2019
Nick Maton, SS/2B
Ranked #47 on my Midseason Top 50 List
Maton is more valuable in real baseball than fantasy baseball. He gets on base and has a good hit tool but not much power. The infielder can steal a base but isn’t a speed-demon on the basepaths and projects more to be a bench player than a future star.
Josh Stephen, OF
Unranked on my Midseason Top 50 List
Stephen came out of nowhere to have a successful season for Reading AA. In 363 at bats he slashed .271/.342/.483 with 12 home runs. Stephen was an 11th round pick in the 2016 draft and has been promoted one level each year. He has some pop, some speed and profiles as a bench bat in future years. I don’t see too much potential here to help your fantasy teams in the future.
Zach Warren, LHP
Unranked on my Midseason Top 50 List
Warren is a hard-throwing reliever who had an average year for Reading after a great year in Lakewood in 2018. His K/9 went from 15.9 to 12.0 and his WHIP went from 1.076 to 1.35 in his first taste of AA ball. He could be a future part of the bullpen if he can fix his control problems (38 walks in 60 innings).