Phillies Prospects Round-Up

Johan Rojas, Clearwater Threshers, May 16, 2021. Photo credit Bryan Green on Flickr

With the minor league season fully underway, now is a good time to check on some of the notable Phillies prospects and how they are faring so far in 2021. The players are grouped below by level, and the number in parentheses is their ranking on my Phillies Top 50 prospects. All records and stats are for games played through June 9th. The minor league affiliates’ records aren’t outstanding, but there are some interesting players below who could help your fantasy teams in the future. At the end of each blurb, I give a direction of which way the prospect is trending as a guide to buy, sell, or hold in your leagues.

Philadelphia Phillies (28-31)

Spencer Howard, RHP (1)
Howard has bounced back and forth from Triple-A to the major leagues quite a few times this year. The organization had him begin the year as a reliever, then put him in the rotation when they called him back up in late May. The numbers haven’t looked great. Some of this has to be caused by the uncertainty of his role but his velocity has been dipping as he throws more pitches each game. Could he have an injury? Is he better suited for the bullpen? The team would be best served by having Howard in one set role and pitch through the struggles to find the answers to get him back on the right track. Trending: Steady, for now

JoJo Romero, LHP (14)
Outside of three bad outings, Romero was pitching well out of the bullpen but got hurt and underwent Tommy John surgery, ending his season and maybe even most of 2022. Trending: Down

Connor Brogdon, RHP (23)
Brogdon has pitched very well in his rookie year striking out almost one batter per inning. He’s been a solid presence in the bullpen during his first year in the major leagues and can continue to develop into a potential closer role. Trending: Up

Luke Williams, OF (Unranked)
Williams was promoted to the major leagues on June 8th after a great season for Triple-A Lehigh Valley. He had a slashline of .352/.439/.465 with 0 home runs and 3 stolen bases in 71 at bats. He’s able to play all over the outfield and infield and is under consideration to play shortstop while Didi Gregorius is still on the IL. He is very little power and this is his first year hitting over .245 beside his debut year in the GCL Rookie Level back in 2015. He may be a late bloomer and could be the Swiss Army knife utility player that the team can plug in at any position.

Triple-A: Lehigh Valley IronPigs (17-14)

Adonis Medina, RHP (7)
For some reason, the team hasn’t given Medina a full shot at starting in the majors despite the need. In their defense, Medina hasn’t exactly been lights-out in Triple-A either with a mid 4.56 ERA and a 1.44 WHIP. Trending: Down

Rafael Marchan, C (8)
Marchan has appeared in a few games for the big league team batting .231/.286/.308. He always hit well in the minor leagues and hasn’t looked overmatched at all against big league pitchers. While he has little power, Marchan is strong defensively behind the plate and has a solid hit tool. He could be trade bait if the Phillies somehow find themselves in playoff contention since JT Realmuto is signed through the 2025 season. Trending: Up

Ramon Rosso, RHP (13)
Rosso’s struggles from last year continued into this season as the righthander was designated for assignment in May but passed through waivers and is currently pitching at Triple-A. He’s losing his prospect status with the lack of production. Trending: Down

Damon Jones, LHP (16)
Jones has pitched well out of the bullpen and was actually called up for a short time when Covid impacted some players but he never appeared in a game. He has always struck out a fair share of batters but needs to continue to work on his command. Trending: Up

Mickey Moniak, OF (29)
The former first overall pick has struggled throughout his career but was given a chance to earn the centerfield spot with the team after injuries and ineffectiveness to other players. Moniak had 3 hits in 25 at bats with 1 home run, then was sent back to Triple-A for more seasoning. In Moniak’s defense, the team didn’t give him enough time to show if he is ready for the big leagues, but with his struggles in the minor leagues, it’s difficult to blame them. Trending: Steady

Bailey Falter, LHP (33)
Falter seems to have made it to the top of the hierarchy as the next pitcher to be called up after a strong showing for Lehigh Valley where he has a 1.91 ERA, a 1.02 WHIP and 41 strikeouts in 28.1 innings pitched. He was promoted for one start in Colorado where he gave up 2 runs in 2 innings but was promptly demoted, but he’s really impressed in Triple-A and I look forward to seeing if he will be recalled soon. Trending: Up

Cornelius Randolph, OF (Unranked)
Randolph started the year on fire hitting over .500 with 4 home runs over his first 14 games showing why he was a first round pick in the 2015 Draft. Nobody can keep up that pace and Randolph went 5 for his next 27 at bats, then mysteriously disappeared from the starting lineup after May 30th. It was announced a week later that he had an elbow sprain and put on the IL. Trending: Steady

Double-A: Reading Fightin Phils (7-24)

Bryson Stott, SS (3)
The team’s 2019 first round pick was promoted to Reading on June 1st after a spectacular season in High A ball where he hit .288/.453/.548 with 5 home runs and 3 stolen bases. The UNLV product has always been able to hit and can grow into more power as he develops. He should be in the major leagues sometime next year. Trending: Up

Francisco Morales, RHP (4)
Morales has not looked good at all this season except for his strikeout numbers, where he is averaging 13.9 K/9. He’s walking too many batters and giving up way too many hits in the early part of the season. Morales is still young at 21 years old and his tools are too good to give up on him, though. Trending: Down

Matt Vierling, OF (20)
Fresh off training camp with the big league team, Vierling looked very sharp for Reading slashing .299/.402/.552 with 4 home runs and 5 stolen bases. He missed some time with a left hand injury but is back healthy and ready to continue his development. There’s a chance we can see the outfielder later this summer in Citizens Bank Park. Trending: Up

High-A: Jersey Shore BlueClaws (13-16)

Jhailyn Ortiz, OF (22)
Ortiz started the year very slowly but has recently picked it up giving him a .259/.354/.435 line with 5 home runs. So far his career has been less than expected when compared to other players signed during the same J2 period – Vladimir Guerrero, Juan Soto, Fernando Tatis and Jazz Chisholm, to name a few. Chances are, he will never approach the success of those players but he still has time on his side. Trending: Steady

Kevin Gowdy, RHP (24)
The team’s 2nd round pick in the 2016 Draft is healthy and hasn’t pitched badly this season considering the time missed due to injuries. Gowdy has a 4.91 ERA and 1.36 WHIP with 21 strikeouts in 22 innings pitched. He is an interesting one to keep an eye on this year in deeper fantasy leagues. Trending: Up

Low-A: Clearwater Threshers (16-14)

Mick Abel, RHP (2)
The highly-touted Abel has looked sensational during his debut season after being taken 15th overall in the 2020 Draft. He’s been hitting mid 90’s with his fastball and overall pitching to a 3.57 ERA and a 1.058 WHIP in 17.2 innings with 23 strikeouts. The team won’t rush their top prospect so don’t expect to see Abel soon but we will watch his career with great interest. Trending: Up

Logan Simmons, SS (5)
After injuries delayed his season, Simmons finally played on June 2nd. I’m excited to see how his year goes with his power potential out of the middle infield spot. He has less than 20 at bats so we have to see how he produces over a larger sample size this season. Trending: Up

Casey Martin, 2B (6)
One of my favorite players in the organization, Martin already has 8 stolen bases showing his great speed but hasn’t tapped into his power with only 1 home run. Last year’s 3rd round pick has some strikeout concerns but if he can work on that hit tool, he can be a potential contributor for your fantasy team. Trending: Up

Luis Garcia, SS (9)
Garcia’s defense is his carrying tool but there are some intriguing skills with the bat. This is an important year for him because he hasn’t hit much since his debut season in 2018. He has 2 home runs and 4 stolen bases but he’s still struggling to get his bat going with only a .244 average. Trending: Down

Johan Rojas, OF (11)
One of the most exciting players in the organization, Rojas hasn’t looked bad so far even though the numbers do. He’s currently batting slightly above .200 but has 2 home runs and 6 stolen bases. We do have to remember he’s only 20 years old with less than 700 professional at bats. Trending: Steady

Baron Radcliff, OF (27)
The outfielder is struggling to get hits as shown by his .097 average but this stat interested me. His OBP is .378. This tendency to take a base is nothing new for Radcliff because his NCAA career slashline was .236/.359/.470. He’s always had power and an ability to get on base. If he can curtail his strikeouts, we may be looking at a potential solid contributor in fantasy leagues. Trending: Up

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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