Phillies 2022 Minor League Recap

Andrew Painter, Reading Fightin Phils, September 3, 2022, Hartford, CT. Photo credit Scott Greene, @Scotty_Ballgame on Twitter

Another year of minor league baseball is behind us which means it’s time for our annual edition of the Phillies Minor League recap. We’ll have more in-depth Phillies articles throughout the offseason but, for now, let’s take a look at four players at each level. We’ll take inspiration from our site leader, Scotty Ballgame’s Red Sox article, where I point out Stock Up, Stock Down, Keep Your Eyes On and Diamond Mine (players less than 5% owned in Fantrax leagues).

Lehigh Valley IronPigs (Triple A):

Stock Up: Griff McGarry, RHP (6) 11% owned
The right-hander moved up three levels this season and there was talk of him appearing as a reliever for the major league team but it never came to fruition. McGarry’s stock shot up this season and he could start next year in the Phillies rotation. As his command improves, he could be a very solid mid-rotation starter, if not better.

Stock Down: Colton Eastman, RHP (34) 0% owned
Eastman was always a fringe-type prospect with back-end rotation potential but this year he struggled even more in AAA. He may still be an innings eater in the majors but without great results.

Keep Your Eyes On: Players at other levels

Diamond Mine: Francisco Morales, RHP (7) 7% owned
Morales seems to have found his niche in the bullpen where his ability to rack up the strikeouts plays better. His command is still a work in progress but he did get some time in the majors this season. With the other starting pitchers the organization has in the minors, there isn’t as much pressure as before to let Morales start and that is a good thing for those saves/hold speculators.

Reading Fightin Phils (Double-A):

Stock Up: Andrew Painter, RHP (1) 33% owned, Mick Abel, RHP (2) 35% owned
Take your pick from either of these prospects. I cheated by including 2 here but they both deserve the honor. There has been alot written about both of their potential and it’s exciting to have two prospects like this poised to debut in the majors within months of each other.

Stock Down: Simon Muzziotti, OF (24) 2% owned
Muzziotti’s calling card is his speed, which he as shown through the years. He has limited power but, as a leadoff hitter, you could get away with it if he’s hitting and getting on base. However, in 1309 minor league at-bats, his slash line is .249/.330/.410.

Keep Your Eyes On: Ethan Lindow, LHP (31) 1% owned
While Abel, Painter and McGarry were getting all the attention this season, their AA rotation mate, Lindow, was putting up impressive numbers of his own. He projects as a mid-rotation type and could appear in the majors in 2023.

Diamond Mine: Carlos De La Cruz, OF, (41) 0% owned
The tall outfielder had his breakout season this year with 17 home runs and 6 steals across two levels. He has good tools but his swing can get long sometimes. If he can get his swing under control, he could become a serviceable outfielder for the major league team.

Clearwater Threshers (High-A):

Stock Up: Alexeis Azuaje, 2B, (16) 1% owned
Ajuaje struggled towards the end of the year but, overall, had a solid year for GCL and Clearwater. He has good speed and can make contact very well. He’s expected to develop power as he matures.

Stock Down: Starlyn Castillo, RHP (43) 1% owned
At the time of his signing back in July 2018, Castillo was one of the top pitching prospects in the International market but he’s struggled both with injuries and performance. He needs to work on his command to have a chance to get back on the prospect map.

Keep Your Eyes On: Jordan Viars, OF (15) 3% owned
Viars has dealt with a few injuries since being selected in the 3rd round in the 2021 draft but his talent is undeniable. He has a great eye at the plate along with power potential. The overall numbers don’t look great but I’d like to see what he does in 2023 since he will have a fresh start hopefully fully healthy.

Diamond Mine: Estibenzon Jimenez, RHP (NR) Not in Fantrax Player Pool
International free agent signing back in November, 2019. Jimenez has good control and put up some good numbers in the DSL in 2021 then again in the FCL this season. In his 9 innings for Clearwater, he also looked solid.

Jersey Shore BlueClaws (Single-A):

Stock Up: Rixon Wingrove, 1B (48) 0% owned
Wingrove is a DH/OF type with some power and ability to get on base.

Stock Down: Casey Martin, 2B, (21) 4% owned
Martin always had some power and speed but the biggest problem with him was his hit tool and this year was no different. He’s very strikeout prone and his home runs decreased this year, too.

Keep Your Eyes On: Marcus Lee Sang, OF (44) 0% owned
The outfielder had a solid year for both A-level teams this year totaling double digits in home runs and stolen bases.

Diamond Mine: Christian McGowan, RHP, (NR) 0% owned
Mcgowan has thrown only 12.1 innings for the Phillies since being drafted in the 7th round of the 2021 draft due to Tommy John Surgery in April. He is expected to be back early 2023. He pitched well in college and during his few innings with the organization. He could be a potential steal at the cost it takes to get him since he’s out of action for a while.

FCL and DSL Phillies (Rookie):

Stock Up: Justin Crawford, OF, (NR)  2% owned
Alright so I’m cheating by placing Crawford here since he was called up to single A at the end of August but he started here and I wanted to put him somewhere so here he is. Crawford, the son of ex-major leaguer Carl, had 10 stolen bases and a .333 OBP in 58 at bats for FCL and Clearwater. He doesn’t have much power but his hit tool is above average. It’ll be interesting to see whether he or Jojan Rojas become the centerfielder for the major league team in a few years.

Stock Down: None really here, being it’s the first exposure to professional baseball for many of these kids.

Keep Your Eyes On: Yemal Flores, SS, (33) 1% owned
Flores struggled in the FCL after a dismal 2021 in the DSL but he was pretty highly touted when the team signed him in February 2021. His primary tool was supposed to be power but he hasn’t shown much yet – 18 extra base hits in 217 at bats. He’s still young and is a potential sleeper if he turns it around next season.

Diamond Mine: Nikau Pouaka-Grego, SS, (NR) 1% owned
Pouaka-Grego signed this past January for $250,000 and hails from Australia. He made great strides in the FCL slashing .301/.424/.466 with 2 home runs in 103 at bats. He had as many walks as he did strikeouts (16) showing a solid judgement of the strike zone for an 18 year old. He’s expected to grow into more power as he matures and, with his present hit tool, is someone to grab now in your dynasty leagues.

Tony Bps Spina is a lifelong baseball fan hailing from the City of Brotherly Love - Philadelphia! Tony has loved baseball since 1980 and has followed the Phillies through good and bad times. Tony is married with 3 kids and works for a financial institution but has enough free time to play in 20 fantasy baseball leagues with 75% of them being Dynasty Leagues. He lives a few blocks away from Citizens Bank Park and attends many Phillies games per year in addition to their minor league teams in Lehigh Valley and Reading. He can be reached on Twitter at @TonyBps1.

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