Phillies MiLB Organization Review

Clearwater Threshers Matt Vierling, from April 19, 2019 vs. Tampa Tarpons. Photo credit - Scott Greene, @Scotty_Ballgame on Twitter

With the Minor League Baseball season a month into play, we’re going to take a look at each level in the organization. For every team, we’ll review the best hitter and pitcher, the player that I’m keeping my eye on for a breakout season, the player who is surprising me and the one who’s running out of time to remain relevant. For more information on these and other Philadelphia Phillies prospects, feel free to check out our Top 50 list here. All stats below are through games played May 2, 2019.

Lehigh Valley IronPigs(AAA)
The team is filled with veterans and prospects who haven’t made much of an impact at the major league level yet. The offense has been thinned out by recent trades and promotions. There are some talented pitchers here but the offense leaves something to be desired. Despite the lack of true future superstars, the team is battling for first place in it’s division after 22 games.

The HitterDeivy Grullon. He may be the top hitter here by default but Grullon does have a future in the major meagues. He projects to be a 2nd catcher type with power. His hit selection is holding him back from more but if he can learn to make more contact, there is upside here. In 65 at-bats, Grullon has a .385/.431/.631 slash line with 4 home runs.

The PitcherEnyel De Los Santos. De Los Santos had some solid starts for the Major League team last September and has continued that success into the early part of 2019 for the IronPigs. He was recalled to the Phillies on April 24th and could carve out a role in the struggling bullpen until he is needed in the rotation.

Keeping An Eye OnJan Hernandez. He was never considered a top prospect but is showing more power after moving up to Triple A this year. He projects to be a 4th outfielder type of player but stranger things have happened. And there’s nobody else really on the team that I think can turn heads. Hernandez is currently out for 4-6 weeks with a broken bone in his right hand. Through 17 games, he has a line of .279/.347/.559 with 5 HR but also struck out 25 times in 68 at-bats.

Surprising MeCole Irvin. Irvin is probably most positioned to help the Major League team this year. I expected him to be solid but he’s having an even better year than I thought. He doesn’t strike out many hitters but the other results have been impressive. Through 29.2 innings, Irvin has a 1.82 ERA with a 1.25 WHIP and 18 strikeouts.

Running Out of TimeDylan Cozens. Same as previous years – massive power but way too many strikeouts. Cozens currently has 6 home runs but has also struck out 38 times in only 70 at bats. He was called up to the big league team for a few games but sent back down last week when Jean Segura came off the IL.

Reading Fightins (AA)

Reading is home to three of Philadelphia’s recent 1st round picks in Mickey Moniak, Cornelius Randolph and Adam Haseley all roaming the outfield. The strength of the team lies in the bullpen with J.D. Hammer, Addison Russ, Kyle Dohy and Luke Leftwich all pitching very well. The park is known as a hitter’s haven, which makes their performances look even better. The team is currently 11-8, good for 3rd place in their division with most of the hitters struggling so far.

The HitterAdam Haseley. Haseley has struggled in the early going but will make the adjustments needed to succeed and has been hitting better the last two weeks.

The Pitcher Adonis Medina. The top pitching prospect in the organization, Medina has has mixed results so far in his first taste of Double-A. Small sample size applies but in 18.2 innings, he has 11 strikeouts and a 4.82 ERA. I wouldn’t worry about him just yet.

Keeping My Eye OnMauricio Llovera. Llovera is a 23-year-old right-hander doing great this year in also his first taste of Reading. He currently projects to be a 3rd or 4th starter due to command issues. If he continues the success he’s been showing this year, he’ll increase his stock. If not, he could be a solid reliever.

Surprising MeRamon Rosso. Signed by the Phillies in 2017 after being cut by the Los Angeles Dodgers, Rosso has been quite a find for the team. The 22-year-old has always posted strong strikeout/inning ratios and is showing the same this year for Reading. The promotion to Double-A hasn’t slowed him down.

Running Out of Time – Thomas Eshelman. Or Mickey Moniak. Or Cornelius Randolph. Eshelman more than the other two since they’re both recent high picks.

Clearwater Threshers (A+)

The Threshers have some interesting players on their squad in Jhailyn Ortiz, Matt Vierling, Simon Muzziotti, Spencer Howard, Kyle Young and others. Individually, the players are having solid seasons and showing good progress in their development. Collectively, the team is languishing towards the bottom in the division’s standings with a record of 10-14.

The Hitter – Jhailyn Ortiz. The big man started the year with an injury and was hitless in his first game but bounced back and is still getting back to health sporting a less-than-stellar line of .177/.250/.290 with 1 HR in 62 at bats.

The Pitcher – Spencer Howard. Howard is battling Medina for title of best pitching prospect in the system. The 2017 2nd round pick isn’t missing a beat in his first year with the team posting a 2.25 ERA, a WHIP of 1.00 and 30 K in 20 innings. There’s been talk from the organization of moving him up to Double-A soon. I’m trying to buy him in every dynasty league before his stock rises higher.

Keeping My Eye On – Matt Vierling. If you’ve seen my tweets you know how high I am on this kid. I see a future five-category fantasy contributor here. He has a solid approach at the plate and makes great contact. So far this year, he’s at .311/.386/.500 with 3 HR and 6 SB in 90 at bats.

Surprising MeMadison Stokes. 10th round pick in 2018 out of South Carolina, the 22-year-old first baseman has posted good power numbers in his first taste of Advanced-A ball. He’s walked only three times in 87 at bats striking out in 24 of those, which bears watching.

Running Out of Time Nick Fanti. Fanti was once a top 50 prospect in the system but injuries and ineffectiveness has made him an afterthought in those discussions. He is still only 22-years-old but a rough showing in 2018 exposed his lack of put away stuff has tempered expectations.

Lakewood BlueClaws (A-)

The top hitting prospect in the organization, Alec Bohm, is on the roster along with Francisco Morales, Luis Garcia and many other intriguing players. Despite the talent, the team is in last place with a record of 8-16. This is a very talented roster with many players who can shoot up the rankings by the end of the year.

The Hitter – Alec Bohm. After a rough 2018, Bohm is finally healthy this year and showing the promise that made him the 3rd overall pick in the 2018 draft. He has been playing both first base and third base for the team and has a line of .356/.429/.556 with 3 HR and 3 SB. Pretty impressive considering it took him a week or so to get warmed up.

The PitcherKevin Gowdy. Gowdy is finally healthy after undergoing Tommy John Surgery in August 2017. He’s been preventing runs but has more walks than innings right now. Command is usually the final thing to come back to a pitcher after TJS so let’s give him some more time to show why he was so touted when drafted.

Keeping An Eye OnDominic Pipkin. The 19-year-old was the team’s 9th round pick in last year’s draft. He has a great curve to go along with the mid 90’s fastball he routinely throws.

Surprising Me Rafael Marchan. One of the many catching prospects in the system, Marchan is slashing a cool .310/.385/.414 with 7 walks against 6 strikeouts.

Running Out of Time – Nobody. Most of these kids are only a year or two into their professional career so they have all the time in the world to succeed.


Until next time, let’s go Phillies! Ring the Bell!

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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