Updates on Phillies Prospects

JoJo Romero, Phillies Spring Training, March 2, 2019 - photo credit Bryan Green on Flickr

The 2020 season is almost at the mid-way point and it has been quite a year so far. Not only have some rules been changed (Universal DH, 7 inning doubleheaders, etc), but most teams have promoted their prospects to the majors at a quick pace. Some of those prospects are actual top players ranked highly by their teams and there are some others who have been pressed into action due to the pandemic and/or other injuries. Either way, every team has some players who have been impacted this season and the Phillies are no different. Below, we’ll take a look at which prospects on my preseason Phillies Top 50 list have been impacted the most by this long/short, strange season. All stats are for games played through August 27, 2020.

Alec Bohm – Preseason #1
2020 Stats: 12 G, 48 PA, .317/.417/.463, 6 R, 1 HR, 6 RBI, 0 SB
Bohm was called up and played his first game on August 13th, going 1-4 with a double. He’s played well and has shown a great approach at the plate. His defense, as expected, has been an issue with 3 errors but he’s also shown good range, turning some impressive double-plays. He will move across the diamond to 1B eventually but we aren’t here for his defense – it’s his hitting that is why you want him on your fantasy team. Bohm has looked absolutely fantastic during his short time with the team and will continue to put up great numbers.

Spencer Howard – Preseason #2
2020 Stats: 3 G, 3 GS, 6.17 ERA, 2.057 WHIP, 11.2 IP, 11 K, 5 BB, 8.5 K/9, 2.20 K/BB 
Howard made the jump to the majors this year after throwing only 30 innings in Double-A last year. On paper, he hasn’t looked the part of the team’s top prospect but the stats don’t show how impressive he has pitched this year. Howard has been good at getting movement on his pitches and some of his hits allowed have been flukey. He’s also coming off an injured shoulder and building up his workload at the major league level. The righthander isn’t going to be an ace right away but this experience is good for his development as he will be an integral part of the rotation in future years.

Connor Seabold – Preseason #7
2020 Stats: N/A
Seabold was moved to the Boston Red Sox on August 21st along with Nick Pivetta for Brandon Workman and Heath Hembree in an attempt to help the bullpen. Workman fit right in with the bullpen’s modus operandi by losing the first game he appeared in. The team dealt from it’s strength by moving Seabold as they currently have Spencer Howard joining the 4 veterans in the big-league rotation. Also, down on the farm, they have 2020 1st round pick, Mick Abel, along with other potential contributors. Seabold projects as a mid-rotation to back-end starter and could get called up as early as next year. He’s coming off a solid year in the minors with an impressive showing in the Arizona Fall League where he racked up 22 strikeouts in 17 innings and a 1.06 ERA and .58 WHIP. The trade makes sense for the Phillies as they attempt to contend for the playoffs this year.

Jose Pujols – Preseason #13
2020 Stats: N/A
Pujols was cut prior to the season after suffering through numerous injuries during his time with the organization. He was a J2-signee during the 2012 season and had a very productive 2018 year before missing most of the 2019 with an Achilles injury. When he was healthy, Pujols put up good numbers from 2016-2018 and increased his average over the three years. I can see another team giving him a chance, as he is still only 24 years old.

Damon Jones – Preseason #18
2020 Stats: N/A
Jones is on the 60-man player pool but hasn’t been promoted yet, which is surprising considering the failures of the bullpen. He has pitched well in the minors as a starter but there has been talk of him being more suited for the bullpen. Either way, he can’t be worse than Nick Pivetta or  Trevor Kelly, right? I expect to see Jones promoted sometime this year, either for a spot-start or to pitch in the middle innings. 

Seth Lancaster – Preseason #20
2020 Stats: N/A
Lancaster was released prior to the 2020 season starting. Looking back on his ranking, it was an aggressive move on my part, based on his OBP and versatility but he was old for the levels and didn’t show much in the way of hitting or power in his team with the team.

JoJo Romero – Preseason #27
2020 Stats: 1 G, 0 GS, 0.00 ERA, 0.00 WHIP, 1 IP, 3 K, 0 BB, 27.0  K/9, INF K/BB 
Romero was called up earlier this month and promptly struck out the first three batters he faced on 12 pitches. He never pitched in relief during his 4 seasons in the minors but when Jose Alvarez was placed on the IL, the team turned to Romero to replace him. Like Seabold, he also pitched very well in his 10.2 innings pitched in the Arizona Fall League with a 0.84 ERA and a 0.938 WHIP.  Romero was the team’s 4th round pick in the 2016 draft and pitched very well in the low minors but struggled once he moved up to Double and Triple-A before his great time in the AFL. The lefty throws a mid-90s fastball with an improving change-up and has a great opportunity to stick with the major league team if he continues his good outings.

Addison Russ – Preseason #33
2020 Stats: N/A
In a surprising trade, the Phillies moved Russ to the New York Yankees for journeyman middle-reliever, David Hale. Russ put up solid numbers during his time with the organization averaging almost 12 K/9 with a 1.087 WHIP during his 3 seasons in the minors. Russ could have contributed to the team this year but the team would have to add him to the 40 man roster or risk losing him in this winter’s Rule 5 draft. The team is looking to contend now, which is why they made the deal but Hale will more than likely be a non-tendered candidate at the end of the season.

Connor Brogdon – Preseason #35
2020 Stats: 3 G, 0 GS, 16.88 ERA, 2.62 WHIP, 2.2 IP, 3 K, 3 BB, 10.1 K/9, 1.00 K/BB 
Brogdon has struggled in two of his three appearances after a surprise call-up in mid-August. He’s thrown very well in the minors with a 2.50 ERA. 1.02 WHIP and  averaging 11.5 strikeouts per 9 IP during his 3 seasons. With the struggles in the bullpen, Brogdon has the opportunity to stick, if he can limit the home runs and base-runners. 

Ramon Rosso – Preseason #39
2020 Stats: 5 G, 0 GS, 7.94 ERA, 2.11 WHIP, 5.2 IP, 6 K, 5 BB, 9.5 K/9, 1.20 K/BB 
Rosso was called up in late July as one of the team’s first prospects promoted to the big leagues after impressing the brass during both versions of Spring Training. After starting 60 of the 62 games he appeared in during the minors, Rosso was thrown into his first game in the 5th inning replacing Aaron Nola with a man on 2nd base. He was understandably wild, walking a batter and throwing two wild pitches that inning and giving up a run-scoring double to Garrett Cooper. He did not give up a run during his next two games but gave up two runs in each of his next two appearances. He projects more of a mid-rotation to back-end starter but has to work more on his control, having already walked 5 batters in his 5.2 innings after averaging about 3 walks per 9 innings pitched in the minors.

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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