Phillies Prospects Invited to Spring Training

Mickey Moniak - photo credit @BaseballBetsy on Twitter and The Baseball Betsy Blog

With Spring Training underway, now is a good time to take a look at the Phillies who received invitations from the organization this year to attend camp in Clearwater, FL.


Before we get into that, here are a few reasons why a team could extend invitations to players to attend Spring Training:

  1. To reward a minor league player for a solid 2018.
  2. To provide depth for the team for minor league games
  3. To see if a veteran has anything left in his tank to contribute in the upcoming year.

For our purposes, we’ll look at the minor league players who received invitations, and see if they have a chance to break camp and head north with the Phillies. For more information on these players and the team’s other prospects, read last month’s Phillies Top 50 Prospects list.

Malquin Canelo, SS
Age: 24 DOB: 09/05/1994

Highest Level in 2018: Reading Fightin Phils (AA)
Preseason Top 50 Rank: Unranked
2018 Stats: 470 AB, .251/.305/.366, 9 HR, 63 R, 32 RBI, 24 SB

Why is he here? Canelo’s luster has dimmed in the last few seasons. He has some pop, some speed, and solid defensive skills, but he is limited by his hitting approach. This could be the team giving him a final shot at impressing before being let go at the end of the year.

Odds of making Opening Day Roster: 5%
Odds of being promoted in 2019: 15%

What would have to happen to see him promoted? A lot of injuries to the middle infielders and an increased level of production from Canelo this year could give him an outside shot at being called up.


Tyler Gilbert, LHP
Age: 26, DOB: 12/22/1993

Highest Level in 2018: Lehigh Valley IronPigs (AAA)
Preseason Top 50 Rank: Unranked
2018 Stats: 69 1/3 IP, 3.25 ERA, 69 K, 1.00 WHIP

Why is he here? A 6th round pick out of USC back in 2015, Gilbert averaged a strikeout an inning and could help the team as a lefty specialist out of the bullpen. Depending on how the crowded bullpen shakes out over the year, he could see time in the majors later in the year.

Odds of making Opening Day Roster: 10%
Odds of being promoted in 2019: 75%

What would have to happen to see him promoted? Injuries or struggles to current left-handers James Pazos, Jose Alvarez and Adam Morgan should give him a shot at promotion this year. If he continues his production, at the minimum we could see him in September.


Deivi Grullon, C
Age: 23, DOB: 02/17/1996

Highest Level in 2018: Team: Reading Fightin Phils (AA)
Preseason Top 50 Rank: 22
2018 Stats: 326 AB, .273/.310/.515, 21 HR, 36 R, 59 RBI, 0 SB

Why is he here? With the acquisition of J.T. Realmuto, it lessens the chance that Grullon could make the roster. However, Andrew Knapp is the only other catcher on the team. With Knapp’s career slash line of .226/.330/.671, it could give Grullon a chance in the big leagues this year. He won the Eastern League Home Run Derby last year and was named to their All-Star team, too. So far he has looked good in camp, too.

Odds of making Opening Day Roster: 10%
Odds of being promoted in 2019: 50%

What would have to happen to see him promoted? If Andrew Knapp continues to be Andrew Knapp and Grullon keeps up his production, it would bode well for Grullon’s chances of promotion.


Adam Haseley, OF
Age: 22, DOB: 04/12/1996

Highest Level in 2018: Team: Reading Fightin Phils (AA)
Preseason Top 50 Rank: 4
2018 Stats: 347 AB, .305/.361/.433, 11 HR, 77 R, 55 RBI, 7 SB (two levels)

Why is he here? First round pick in the 2017 draft had a solid season last year over two levels. Haseley has an outside shot at joining the team sometime this summer if his production continues. The team had him batting 5th for their February 24th game against Detroit showing us their level of confidence in him.

Odds of making Opening Day Roster: 5%
Odds of being promoted in 2019: 50%

What would have to happen to see him promoted? Haseley just has to continue to hit and a September call-up should happen this year, if not sooner.


Cole Irvin, LHP
Age: 25, DOB: 01/31/1994

Highest Level in 2018: Lehigh Valley IronPigs (AAA)
Preseason Top 50 Rank: 13
2018 Stats: 161 1/3 IP, 2.57 ERA, 131 K, 1.05 WHIP

Why is he here? With the trade of Sixto Sanchez, Irvin has placed himself in talks for 2nd best pitching prospect in the organization (with Spencer Howard and JoJo Romero). He is close to the majors, having shown success in Triple A last year. With the uncertainty in the back-end of the rotation, he should see his number called this summer.

Odds of making Opening Day Roster: 15%
Odds of being promoted in 2019: 75%

What would have to happen to see him promoted? The backend of the rotation isn’t known for its stability and health. A good showing again for Lehigh Valley and Irvin could be promoted sooner than later this season.


Austin Listi, OF
Age: 25, DOB: 11/05/1993

Highest Level in 2018: Team: Reading Fightin Phils (AA)
Preseason Top 50 Rank: 21
2018 Stats: 308 AB, .312/.412/.502, 18 HR, 63 R, 84 RBI, 0 SB (2 levels A+ & AA)

Why is he here? Listi did very well last year for the Reading Phillies, showing power and patience at the plate. He’s also showed his versatility by putting time in at first base, third base, left field and right field last year. He’s a little older for a prospect at 25 years old but that also means he could be ready to face a higher level of competition.

Odds of making Opening Day Roster: 10%
Odds of being promoted in 2019: 35%

What would have to happen to see him promoted? A good showing this year could have Listi up later in the season. His positional versatility helps him if the team needs a bat this year.


Mickey Moniak, OF
Age: 21, DOB: 05/13/1998

Highest Level in 2018: Clearwater Threshers (A+)
Preseason Top 50 Rank: 26
2018 Stats: 433 AB, .270/.304/.383, 5 HR, 50 R, 55 RBI, 6 SB

Why is he here? The team may be looking to increase his confidence level and to reward him for his solid showing in the second half of 2018.

Odds of making Opening Day Roster: 0%
Odds of being promoted in 2019: 1%

What would have to happen to see him promoted? It’s extremely doubtful that Moniak would be up this year since he hasn’t even reached Double A yet. There would need to be a massive amount of injuries and struggles not only at the big league level but also to Haseley, Listi and other outfielders in the upper levels. Also, Moniak himself has to show that the adjustments he made in the second half can carry over into this year.


JoJo Romero, LHP
Age: 22, DOB: 09/09/1996

Highest Level in 2018: Team: Reading Fightin Phils (AA)
Preseason Top 50 Rank: 10
2018 Stats: 106 2/3 IP, 3.80 ERA, 100 K, 1.29 WHIP

Why is he here? One of their top pitching prospects, Romero only threw 106 innings last year due to a rib injury. The team is taking a look at what he can do this Spring in case they need a pitcher throughout the season.

Odds of making Opening Day Roster: 10%
Odds of being promoted in 2019: 60%

What would have to happen to see him promoted? Same scenario as with Cole Irvin. The team could use Romero as a reliever this year as they did with Seranthony Dominguez last year.

About Tony Bps 21 Articles
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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