Philadelphia Phillies Top 33 Prospects

Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

Below is an analysis of the prospects in the farm system of the Philadelphia Phillies. Scouting reports were compiled with information provided by industry sources as well as my own observations. This is the third year we’re delineating between two anticipated relief roles, the abbreviations for which you’ll see in the “position” column below: MIRP for multi-inning relief pitchers, and SIRP for single-inning relief pitchers. The ETAs listed generally correspond to the year a player has to be added to the 40-man roster to avoid being made eligible for the Rule 5 draft. Manual adjustments are made where they seem appropriate, but I use that as a rule of thumb.

A quick overview of what FV (Future Value) means can be found here. A much deeper overview can be found here.

All of the ranked prospects below also appear on The Board, a resource the site offers featuring sortable scouting information for every organization. It has more details (and updated TrackMan data from various sources) than this article and integrates every team’s list so readers can compare prospects across farm systems. It can be found here.

Phillies Top Prospects
Rk Name Age Highest Level Position ETA FV
1 Andrew Painter 20.0 AA SP 2023 60
2 Mick Abel 21.6 AA SP 2024 55
3 Griff McGarry 23.8 AAA MIRP 2023 50
4 Johan Rojas 22.6 AA CF 2023 45+
5 Justin Crawford 19.2 A CF 2028 45+
6 Hao-Yu Lee 20.2 A+ 2B 2025 40+
7 Jesus Starlyn Caba 17.3 R SS 2028 40+
8 William Bergolla 18.5 R SS 2027 40+
9 Carlos De La Cruz 23.5 AA RF 2024 40+
10 Gabriel Rincones Jr. 22.1 R LF 2027 40+
11 Alex McFarlane 21.8 A SIRP 2026 40+
12 Jaydenn Estanista 21.5 R SIRP 2025 40+
13 Aroon Escobar 18.3 R 2B 2027 40
14 Emaarion Boyd 19.6 A CF 2027 40
15 Nikau Pouaka-Grego 18.6 R 2B 2027 40
16 Símon Muzziotti 24.3 MLB LF 2023 40
17 Jordan Viars 19.7 A RF 2026 40
18 Wen Hui Pan 20.5 R SIRP 2027 40
19 Orion Kerkering 22.0 A SIRP 2026 40
20 Bryan Rincon 19.2 R SS 2026 40
21 Noah Song 25.9 A- SIRP 2023 35+
22 McKinley Moore 24.6 AAA SIRP 2023 35+
23 Luis Ortiz 27.5 MLB SP 2023 35+
24 Andrew Schultz 25.7 AA SIRP 2023 35+
25 Dalton Guthrie 27.3 MLB CF 2023 35+
26 Erick Brito 20.9 A 2B 2026 35+
27 Jean Cabrera 21.5 A SP 2025 35+
28 Leandro Pineda 20.8 A+ RF 2026 35+
29 Francisco Morales 23.4 MLB SIRP 2023 35+
30 Andrew Baker 23.0 AA SIRP 2024 35+
31 Max Kuhns 28.7 A+ SIRP 2024 35+
32 James McArthur 26.3 AA SIRP 2023 35+
33 Hans Crouse 24.6 MLB MIRP 2023 35+
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60 FV Prospects

Drafted: 1st Round, 2021 from Calvary Christian HS (PHI)
Age 20.0 Height 6′ 7″ Weight 215 Bat / Thr R / R FV 60
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops
60/70 55/60 55/60 40/50 50/60 96-98 / 100

Painter overpowered low-level hitters with sheer velocity and breaking ball quality during the majority of his first full pro season. The Phillies pushed him aggressively, going all the way to Double-A Reading late in 2022. There Painter showed more refinement, incorporating a handful of changeups into his outings and displaying an ability to vary his breaking ball shape in different situations. Painter has a prototypical pitcher’s frame and then some, standing in at a broad-shouldered 6-foot-7 (which Painter has sculpted since his days as a high school prospect), a stature you’d more often associate with NBA wing players than pro pitchers. Doug Fister is a fair baseball body comp. Painter’s size creates suboptimal shape and angle on his fastball, but there will still be big league hitters who he can just overpower with his upper-90s velocity. He’ll work six or more innings and never throw a fastball below 95 mph, sitting 96-98 for the bulk of the outing.

Both of Painter’s breaking balls have huge movement. His slider has two-plane sweep, while his curveball (more commonly used as an in-zone pitch and against lefties) is north/south and sometimes also has arm-side direction. If he can consistently create that arm-side finish on the curveball, it will give him a weapon against lefties, though now that he’s had to whip out his changeup against upper-level hitters, some of those have been quite good. Hitters seem to take more comfortable swings against his breaking stuff later in outings, so perhaps there’s something about Painter’s fastball angle that makes it easier to see his breaking balls pop out of the hand once they’ve had a look at them. In a vacuum, though, he has a shot to have four plus pitches and an inning-eater’s frame.

He entered the spring of 2023 with a legitimate shot to break camp in the Phillies rotation, like a pitching version of Fernando Tatis Jr. a few years ago. Instead, Painter’s elbow barked at him and he was shut down with a partial UCL tear after his first Grapefruit League outing. A plasma-rich platelet injection along with rest and rehab can be a short-term band-aid for small tears, but even if successful maintenance is performed in this fashion, it’s typical for the pitcher in question to need Tommy John surgery in the near future. The Phillies’ line of play with Painter’s elbow might enable him to return in the middle of the 2023 season and pitch in their big league rotation as part of a playoff push, and it’s plausible that a mostly-healthy Painter could still be one of their best four or five starters. In the event that the Phillies don’t make the postseason or that Painter’s elbow doesn’t heal from the PRP and rest, the team will have kicked the rehab can down the road at the cost of a future season.

55 FV Prospects

2. Mick Abel, SP

Drafted: 1st Round, 2020 from Jesuit HS (OR) (PHI)
Age 21.6 Height 6′ 5″ Weight 190 Bat / Thr R / R FV 55
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops
55/65 55/70 45/55 40/50 95-97 / 99

Abel has been the best pitching prospect his age since his sophomore year of high school, and he’s continued to track like an impact starter early on as a pro, reaching Double-A in 2022. He has the prototypical starter’s frame at a broad-shouldered 6-foot-6, and the pacing and look of his delivery evoke Gerrit Cole. Abel has long thrown hard for his age, his velocity steadily climbing into its current 95-97 mph band up from the 90-94 range when he was first known to FanGraphs as a prospect. The tailing shape on his heater is suboptimal but at times helps him miss a bat. Ideally, he’ll have a four- and two-seam variant at peak and be able to work both north/south and east/west with his fastball, but as of 2022, his fastball command was still quite crude. Thanks to his looseness and flexibility (again, think a lankier Gerrit Cole), not only does Abel project to maintain this level of velocity, but perhaps he’ll add to it as his frame fills out. Abel has a strong natural proclivity for spinning his breaking stuff, and his low-to-mid-80s slurve is already an above-average pitch and could be a 70-grade shove machine at maturity. Abel will also flash a really good changeup once in a while; that pitch tends to be in the 86-89 mph range and feasts on hitters who have to cheat to catch up to his fastball. We’re projecting heavily on Abel’s command in anticipation of him growing into his body and arm speed. If he can consistently locate his stuff — Abel’s pitch execution is behind that of the typical Double-A starter but okay for a still-growing pitcher his age— then Abel will be a front-end arm. He’s tracking to debut ahead of his draft class’ typical 40-man timeline, perhaps as early as mid-2023 if things click with his command.

50 FV Prospects

3. Griff McGarry, MIRP

Drafted: 5th Round, 2021 from Virginia (PHI)
Age 23.8 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 190 Bat / Thr R / R FV 50
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Changeup Command Sits/Tops
55/60 55/60 60/60 30/35 95-96 / 99

McGarry still has below-average control and only throws his pitches for strikes at a 60% clip, but he’s come a long way since his days at Virginia, when he was walking a batter per inning and was passed over in the 2020 draft. He’s now on the doorstep of the big leagues as a three-pitch power reliever. The Phillies moved McGarry to the bullpen just before he was promoted to Triple-A at the end of 2022. He still has two years before he technically has to be added to the 40-man, and theoretically the Phillies could use all that runway to keep developing him as a starter in the hopes that things click, but going on age 24 that feels like a bit of a pipe dream.

McGarry sits 95-96 mph and will bump 99 as a starter. His powerful lower half and flexibility drive the production of this velocity, while McGarry’s long arm action makes it tough for him to have a consistent release. McGarry’s mid-80s slider and low-80s changeup are both plus, but his control issues extend to those pitches. He struggles to set up his slider with well-located fastballs, and even when he does, it’s not a given that he’ll land the slider after it’s been set up. This sort of thing runs through McGarry’s whole operation, but he already has rare repertoire depth and quality for a reliever, and he might throw harder working just one or two innings at a time. If he can throw strikes in Allentown, he’ll likely crack the Phillies bullpen in 2023, and he has closer ceiling if he can throw strikes consistently. If not, he’s a Phillippe Aumont sequel. McGarry began the 2023 season on the shelf with side tightness. If you recall, he had an oblique issue in 2022 as well, so we’re not far from him being volatile due to persistent injury as well as the command/control piece.

45+ FV Prospects

Signed: July 2nd Period, 2017 from Dominican Republic (PHI)
Age 22.6 Height 5′ 11″ Weight 165 Bat / Thr R / R FV 45+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
45/50 55/60 30/35 70/70 60/70 60

Rojas is an unbelievable athlete with blazing speed, ridiculous range in center field, plus bat speed, and a swing that might not work against big league stuff. He is the player on the Phillies list who is the most likely to occupy a spot on SportsCenter’s Top 10 during the next five summers because of his ability to haul ass into each gap and make incredible diving plays, and Rojas’ center field defense alone is going to enable him to play a considerable big league role. Heck, the Phillies just traded an everyday catcher for Brandon Marsh largely because Marsh is a good center field defender, and there just aren’t many of those around at any given time, let alone a special one like Rojas.

In a 2022 season split between High-A Lakewood and Double-A Reading (a hitter’s haven), Rojas slashed a very vanilla .244/.309/.354, albeit with 34 extra-base hits and an incredible 62 steals in 67 attempts. Readers have seen versions of this swing before, as Rojas’ set-up is almost identical to Ronald Acuña Jr.‘s, he just doesn’t have the same feel for loft that Acuña does. Instead, Rojas (who swings really hard) has a flat cut through the upper two thirds of the zone and a downward bat path when he’s trying to impact pitches at the bottom. While his athleticism allows him to get deep into his lower half to dip and try to rip those low pitches, he just can’t do anything meaningful with them. Rojas’ contact rates are not only fine, they’re exceptional — he had an 88% Z-contact% in 2022, which is comfortably better than the average big league starting center fielder — it’s just that pitchers who can execute location can really limit the damage Rojas does. Because he’s such an incredible athlete, it’s possible that at some point during his big league career Rojas will make an adjustment that enables him to damage pitches down there more readily. The tools for stardom are here, but for now Rojas is a glove-first center fielder whose skill set typically fits at the very bottom of a good lineup.

Drafted: 1st Round, 2022 from Bishop Gorman HS (NV) (PHI)
Age 19.2 Height 6′ 1″ Weight 175 Bat / Thr L / R FV 45+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
25/55 40/55 20/45 70/70 40/50 45

Crawford was among the toolsiest, highest-variance prospects in the 2022 draft class. He played much less than his peers during the summer showcase circuit season and showed a couple of swing changes throughout the 2021 calendar year, making it harder to get a real grip on his offensive projection. Things were more mechanically typical late in 2021 and in 2022, and confidence increased in Crawford’s ability to hit the closer to the draft we got. He still has an abbreviated, helicopter-style finish similar to D-backs shortstop Geraldo Perdomo’s left-handed swing, and he’ll bend at the waist and throw his bottom hand at the ball to spray contact to all fields, but Crawford is adept at doing this with the fat part of the bat and surprises you with how much damage he can do with this style of hitting. He tracks pitches well, can move the barrel around, and will occasionally flash plus rotational explosiveness when he takes a max-effort swing, and his overall athleticism and physical projection make this contact/speed/present gap power package very exciting once you start anticipating that more strength will come. A Ferrari in spikes, Crawford’s speed could also make him an impact center fielder at peak, though his feel for the position is quite raw and, like his father Carl, he might instead be a premium left field defender. He projects as prototypical leadoff man.

40+ FV Prospects

6. Hao-Yu Lee, 2B

Signed: International Signing Period, 2021 from Taiwan (PHI)
Age 20.2 Height 5′ 9″ Weight 190 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
35/45 45/55 30/55 40/30 30/40 50

The Phillies are quite active in the Pacific Rim and tend to net interesting prospects for bonuses in the mid-six figures. Lee is the best of the recent contingent, a well-rounded, bat-first second base prospect who is coming off of a first full professional season during which he slashed .284/.386/.438 with nine home runs in 350 plate appearances, with the bulk of his games coming with Low-A Clearwater.

Lee is a plate-crowding bucket strider looking to pull. His hands have exciting life, and he generates authoritative pull power for a such a young hitter. His track record of high-contact hitting dates back to his amateur days and has continued as a pro, where his contact rates (83% in-zone, 75% overall) were close to big league average even though his swing looks like it’s compromising his plate coverage. Whether such a pull-oriented approach to contact will be sustainable or leave Lee vulnerable on the outer half of the plate against upper-level arms we just won’t know until he faces them. For now, his contact and chase rates are a better-than-average mix.

There’s a gap between scouts’ evaluations of Lee’s raw power during the spring of 2023 and what his measureable power output was in 2022. That might be because he missed six weeks in the middle of last season with a wrist fracture, which often causes power to return on a delay. Lee’s a thicker guy and doesn’t have deep-career power projection, but it’s reasonable to expect to see an uptick in 2023 as he gets further away from that fracture, and eyeball reports from the Carpenter Complex suggest that’s the case. Even though his body is maxed, Lee is only 20 and might come into another half grade of pop just through maturity. For a middle infielder, an average (or slightly above) hit and power combination would profile in any everyday role. Lee has played shortstop, second and third base. Especially with the death of the shift, it’s much more likely that an athlete with his build ends up at third base. His range already isn’t the best, but he bends well and has above-average hands and actions. Lee is young enough that it’s possible he may yet cut some weight to give himself a better chance of playing a more complete second base, the position where his bat has the best chance of profiling in an everyday role.

7. Jesus Starlyn Caba, SS

Signed: International Signing Period, 2023 from Venezuela (PHI)
Age 17.3 Height 5′ 10″ Weight 160 Bat / Thr L / R FV 40+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
20/50 30/40 20/40 60/60 45/70 50

Caba is an electric infield athlete with plus-plus footwork and hands, and a plus arm, perhaps the best defender in the January 2023 international class. His swing will likely be refined as he adds strength through maturation, but he’s shown promising hand-eye coordination to this point. His defense give him a floor of sorts, and the contact foundation helps ensure Caba will get to whatever power he grows into, even if it isn’t a ton. He’s fairly likely to be at least a utilityman, while early pro performance with the bat will help solidify how to project his offense.

Signed: International Signing Period, 2022 from Venezuela (PHI)
Age 18.5 Height 5′ 11″ Weight 160 Bat / Thr L / R FV 40+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
25/60 20/30 20/30 55/60 45/60 55

Bergolla was the Phillies’ top international signee from 2022, inking a deal for a cool $2 million. He’s a twitchy, slick-fielding shortstop with pro ball bloodlines, as his father played for over a decade and got a cup of coffee with the Reds in 2005. The younger Bergolla is a polished player with a smaller frame, but he’s got advanced feel for contact and is explosive enough that his lack of size may not be a problem. His pro debut performance fit flush with his amateur report, as Bergolla struck out just three times all summer in the DSL but had just three extra-base hits. He has a well-rounded skill set and a chance to move quickly because of his precocious baseball feel and instincts. And while he isn’t quite as twitchy of an athlete as the next prospect on the Phillies list, he’s a similar player who now has a year of pro performance under his belt, reinforcing confidence that Bergolla’s hit tool is the thing that could carry him to a prominent big league role.

Signed: July 2nd Period, 2017 from Dominican Republic (PHI)
Age 23.5 Height 6′ 8″ Weight 210 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
30/35 70/80 35/60 55/50 40/50 50

If every player in the Phillies organization walked off a giant bus, more than the likes of Bryce Harper and Kyle Schwarber, you would first be struck by the presence of Carlos De La Cruz. The 6-foot-8 marvel is physically unlike all but a few other pro ballplayers, taller even than Oneil Cruz by about a spike’s length. De La Cruz has traversed the minors with strikeout-heavy performances, and his 2022 season was comfortably his best as a pro, as he slashed .271/.333/.482 while reaching Reading. It was his first season with an OBP north of .300 since the 2018 GCL and he still struck out in 30% of his plate appearances. Ordinarily that kind of K% would be disqualifying for a hitter at Double-A, but De La Cruz is too freaky to dismiss so quickly and he’s actually cut his strikeout rate at each level, which suggests he’s starting to gain feel for his endless limbs.

As you can imagine, De La Cruz’s operation in the box has to be simple if a 6-foot-8 guy is going to be even remotely on time. He has a conservative leg kick and barely even loads his hands before turning his wrists over through the zone with impressive whip. That’s not to say De La Cruz doesn’t have hit tool-driven bust risk — his swing is grooved and he tends to chase, both of which contribute to risk in this area. His swing also tends to cut down at the ball, limiting his ability to launch and take advantage of his pop. This isn’t a crafty feel-to-hit prospect, it’s a guy who should be looking to do damage as often as possible, and De La Cruz’s approach and swing aren’t optimized for that. But he has 70-grade raw power now and his wiry frame looks like it could add another 30-plus pounds without impacting his mobility. He may have elite pop and strength at peak and be able to shorten up even more without losing impact power.

Defensively, De La Cruz is a non-traditional fit in center field but the little bit he’s played there hasn’t been awful, and it makes sense to give him every opportunity to improve his feel for the position enough to stay there, even as an average runner. His strides eat up huge stretches of ground and his ball skills are quite good, his routes just need some polish. Continuing to develop in center field would give his likely contact issues more room to breath. He could hit .190, but if he’s going to run into 25-30 bombs and play center, that’s a flawed but useful big leaguer. That is still probably going to take another couple years to happen, which is typical of athletes this size.

10. Gabriel Rincones Jr., LF

Drafted: 3rd Round, 2022 from Florida Atlantic (PHI)
Age 22.1 Height 6′ 4″ Weight 225 Bat / Thr L / R FV 40+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
30/45 55/60 35/55 40/40 30/50 40

Rincones’ father pitched briefly in the Mariners system before an injury derailed his career. His family moved to Venezuela and then later to Scotland for his dad’s new job in the oil industry. Rincones would eventually find his way to prospect factory Plant High School in Florida, where he would initially struggle to make the team before establishing himself as a junior college prospect. He then spent two seasons at St. Petersburg College before transferring to FAU, where in just one season he slashed .346/.451/.658, hit 19 homers, and elevated his stock into the third round. Because Rincones’ childhood featured much less baseball than is typical for a prospect, and because his high-level amateur tenure was impacted by the pandemic, he’s a “tip of the iceberg” prospect whose overall baseball feel might still be improving. Florida Atlantic is a mid-major but their schedule isn’t full of cupcakes, so the fact that Rincones hit as well as he did given his relative lack of experience is incredible.

The area in which late growth will be most important for him is contact ability. Rincones is adept at hitting pitches at the top of the zone but struggles with breaking balls in the lower third and below pretty badly, enough that it will be profile-altering if he can’t do a better job of laying off of them. This is actually the inverse of what one might expect considering that Rincones’ swing looks geared for low-ball contact. His ability to bend in the lower half is encouraging, since Rincones appears to be athletically capable of scooping these pitches so long as he can start recognizing them. Even if he ends up with a flawed hit tool, Rincones’ left-handed power still gives him a good chance to profile in a platoon capacity. He had a strong 2023 spring and is one of the few position players in Philly’s system who has a chance of being a core role player or better.

11. Alex McFarlane, SIRP

Drafted: 4th Round, 2022 from Miami (PHI)
Age 21.8 Height 6′ 4″ Weight 215 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Command Sits/Tops
60/65 55/60 30/40 96-98 / 100

McFarlane was a pure relief prospect at Miami and has maxed out throwing about 65 innings in a single year, a total he amassed in 2022 across his play as a college junior, on Cape Cod, and then finally in pro ball after signing. He is a plus on-mound athlete with a great pitcher’s frame, huge arm strength, and a plus breaking ball. His fastball doesn’t play as well as you’d like it to due to the tailing shape created by McFarlane’s nearly side-arm delivery, but as a draft prospect you could easily envision him having a malleable level of athleticism that could lead to a breakout, one that would have him projecting into a high-leverage role. That seems to have happened. Since joining the Phillies, McFarlane has leaned into the natural tailing action he imparts on the fastball and is throwing more of a sinker. He’s been sitting 98-100 mph during the spring of 2023 and looks like a quick-moving relief prospect who could be a third banana in a contender’s bullpen.

Signed: July 2nd Period, 2019 from Curacao (PHI)
Age 21.5 Height 6′ 3″ Weight 180 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Curveball Command Sits/Tops
55/70 45/50 30/40 93-97 / 98

Estanista, who signed in November of 2019, is a bit behind the developmental curve because the pandemic pushed his pro debut back a year, and he hadn’t yet pitched above rookie ball when he turned 21. But his arm strength is very exciting for a pitcher his age, and even more so when you factor in his nearly ideal physical projection and some of the natural riding life his delivery imparts on his fastball. Estanista has a perfect pitcher’s body at a lean 6-foot-3. His broad shoulders taper down to a high waist, and he moves around up on his toes almost like he’s prancing, similar to Phil Bickford. Not even close to physical maturity, he’s already pumping mid-90s gas in the 93-97 mph range, and Estanista’ vertical arm slot helps make the baseball ride through the zone. More powerful than fluid and graceful, Estanista struggles to repeat his long, stabbing arm action, his fastball locations scatter all over the place, and his breaking balls only flash bat-missing finish on occasion. There’s a lot of work to do here, but the upside is huge if Estanista and the Phillies dev staff can dial in his release. Even if he ends up in short relief, we’re probably talking about a single-inning reliever with a monster fastball, an outcome that feels closer to the middle of Estanista’s range. He’s a prospect of extreme variance and one of the more important developmental cogs in the system.

40 FV Prospects

13. Aroon Escobar, 2B

Signed: International Signing Period, 2022 from Venezuela (PHI)
Age 18.3 Height 5′ 11″ Weight 180 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
25/60 40/50 20/40 40/40 30/50 50

Escobar is a stout, versatile infield prospect with a contact-driven profile. His lively hitting hands are short and direct to the ball, making Escobar very difficult to beat in the strike zone. Though he’s already quite stocky and lacks anything close to typical projection for a teenage hitter, Escobar’s hands have promising thunder in them, and he’s a loose and explosive rotator in his hips. Despite Escobar’s relative physical maturity, there’s power projection here based on his capacity for movement and contact quality. It’s harder to reconcile his size with his defensive forecast. Though he’s played all the infield positions but first base, it’s tough for infielders with his build to stay at shortstop long-term. An agile low-to-the ground athlete, he’s a suitable infielder more in the 2B/3B mix. Here again we have a prospect whose ability to be an impact player will need to be driven by a premium hit tool, and the early indications are that this is plausible for Escobar. The extremely loose comp to make here is Jean Segura, whose hit tool represents a high-end outcome.

14. Emaarion Boyd, CF

Drafted: 11th Round, 2022 from South Panola HS (MS) (PHI)
Age 19.6 Height 5′ 11″ Weight 177 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
25/55 30/45 20/30 55/55 45/55 55

An over-slot 11th rounder, Boyd’s well-rounded skill set gives him a puncher’s chance to be a complementary regular in center field. Though he lacks a premium tool, Boyd’s early-career performance with the bat has been meaningfully encouraging. He wasn’t a fixture on the showcase circuit, where confidence in a hit tool is most sturdily built because performance is coming against an elite cross section of peers, but Boyd did make plenty of contact as an amateur and in a small post-draft sample. He’s short to the ball and is great at parsing breaking pitches while they’re in mid-air, so there’s some visual support to the notion that he’ll mature into an above-average hit tool. He tends to work back through the middle of the diamond, making doubles-quality contact right now. Considering how geared for contact he is at the moment, Boyd’s in-game power may not manifest even if he matures into strength.

Though not a true burner, Boyd is an advanced center fielder who makes good reads and takes an efficient line to the baseball. His ball skills and body positioning are a little less consistent, but they flash enough to comfortably project Boyd as a center fielder. We’re still in the early stages here, and Boyd’s early 2023 bat-to-ball performance will help dictate whether he takes a leap into an FV tier above this since the nature of that skill will likely determine his level of impact. His ceiling currently feels moderate enough not to value him in the 40+ tier, but if it starts to look like he’ll have a plus or better hit tool, he’ll move up.

Signed: International Signing Period, 2022 from New Zealand (PHI)
Age 18.6 Height 5′ 10″ Weight 175 Bat / Thr L / R FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
25/70 30/40 20/30 50/50 40/50 45

The Kiwi Rake was perhaps the Phillies’ most exciting complex-level prospect in 2022, as he made searing all-fields contact throughout extended spring training and then again during the complex season proper, walking as much as he struck out and barely ever swinging and missing. He’s a compact, short-levered lefty stick with fantastic barrel feel and hand-eye coordination, as well as enough physicality to do doubles damage right now. Additionally, Pouaka-Grego has a coherent two-strike approach, ditching his leg kick once he’s deep in counts, spoiling tough pitches and grinding away at opposing pitchers until he gets something to put in play. Because he is not physically projectable, it’s likely that NPG’s hit tool will need to carry most of the water if he’s going to be an impact player, but all the early-career indicators here suggest that’s plausible. While Pouaka-Grego is short, he is not small, and his lower body is especially muscular and strong, so he’s not in danger of lacking big league physicality as much as it’s tough to project that he’ll have big raw power at maturity.

After he hit .301/.424/.466 on the complex, Pouaka-Grego suited up for the New Zealand national team during the WBC qualifiers in September and was set to play for the Adelaide Giants in the Australian Baseball League over the winter (the Phillies tend to send a few prospects there even if they aren’t from the continent), but he tore his ACL after just four games and now we likely won’t see him until 2024. If players were ranked strictly on trade value, NPG would be lower on this list due to the injury and the volatility created by a long layoff during a key developmental season, but because he’s one of the prospects in the system who has real impact potential, he’s valued here as if there’s a chance he really pops once he’s back healthy.

Signed: July 2nd Period, 2016 from Venezuela (PHI)
Age 24.3 Height 6′ 0″ Weight 175 Bat / Thr L / L FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
55/55 45/45 30/35 45/45 40/40 50

It’s amazing that Muzziotti is even on a 40-man roster and poised to lose rookie eligibility in 2023 given how arduous his career path has been. Part of the Red Sox bonus packaging scandal of 2016, he signed with the Phillies after he was declared a free agent and has had to overcome injuries, the time off due to the pandemic and then visa issues after it, and yet more injuries. In seven years since becoming a pro baseball player, Muziotti has averaged just 48 games per year. He is a career .267/.319/.355 hitter, which is emblematic of Muzziotti’s skill set: contact-oriented and light on power and patience. The most interesting thing about Muzziotti is his ability to rotate with verve and flexibility. He has rare left-handed bat speed and rotational athleticism, wielding one of the sexier looking swings in pro baseball. It is not the most effectual cut, however, as even though Muzziotti moves the barrel all over the place, he tends to drive the ball into the ground. His expansive swing decisions tend to impact his contact quality as well. You can project on aspects of Muzz’s approach and defense (which isn’t good at any outfield position right now) based on how few reps he’s had, but even if you’re not inclined to do that, his bat-to-ball ability from the left side of the plate will likely enable him to hold down a fifth outfielder role.

17. Jordan Viars, RF

Drafted: 3rd Round, 2021 from Reedy HS (TX) (PHI)
Age 19.7 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 215 Bat / Thr L / L FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
30/45 45/55 35/50 50/50 35/55 50

Drafted as a slow-burning power projection outfielder, Viars got about $750,000 to eschew a commitment to Arkansas. While power wasn’t really a part of his surface-level performance in 2022, scouts’ visual assessments and Viars’ underlying performance data (exit velos, etc.) agree that he has meaningful thump. The quality of his contact is very good for a hitter his age, and Viars still has room to add strength as he matures. The uphill nature of Viars’ swing helps him lift the baseball consistently. While he’s currently tracking like a below-average contact bat, Viars has shown an advanced two-strike approach and is strong enough to shorten up and still sting the baseball. With a little extra hit tool projection folded in here, Viars should settle into a corner platoon role over time.

18. Wen Hui Pan, SIRP

Signed: International Signing Period, 2023 from Taiwan (PHI)
Age 20.5 Height 6′ 3″ Weight 220 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Curveball Splitter Command Sits/Tops
60/70 30/40 50/60 30/40 94-98 / 99

Signed for $350,000 in January, Pan was not on The Board as an amateur but became the talk of the Phillies’ 2023 minor league spring camp because he arrived throwing very hard. Pan sat 92-94 during international competition and would reach back for the occasional 95-96 mph fastball, but during the spring of 2023, he was more 96-98 while topping out at 99 mph. He also has a nasty, late-diving splitter in the low-80s. Like a lot of Phillies international pitcher signees, Pan is more physically mature than most of his peers. His delivery’s violence and his lack of physical projection (though this might rapidly improve on a pro conditioning program) funnel his forecast toward the bullpen, as does Pan’s lack of a promising breaking ball. Still, he already has the makings of two plus pitches and his velocity appears to be exploding into a nearly elite range. He could move quickly as a reliever if the Phillies think that’s his ultimate role anyway, and if he keeps throwing this hard, it could be in a late-inning capacity.

19. Orion Kerkering, SIRP

Drafted: 5th Round, 2022 from South Florida (PHI)
Age 22.0 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 205 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Changeup Command Sits/Tops
45/50 60/70 30/40 30/45 92-95 / 97

Kerkering’s 2022 was a tale of two halves. He was great early in the year, sometimes pitching through the sixth and seventh inning while amassing seven or more strikeouts. In the second half, he had a few epic meltdowns and soon saw his role downshifted; he rarely pitched more than two innings at a time down the stretch before the draft. His stuff looked crisp again in the spring of 2023, especially Kerkering’s trademark mid-80s slider, which has huge two-plane sweep. He still has issues with fastball quality and command that funnel his projection toward the bullpen. Sitting 92-95 mph as a starter, he’ll hopefully see a more comfortable leap into the mid-90s if and when he’s eventually shifted to the bullpen. Here slider quality projects to carry him to a consistent on-roster middle relief role, ahead of the slew of up/down velo bullies who also reside in this system.

20. Bryan Rincon, SS

Drafted: 14th Round, 2022 from Shaler HS (PA) (PHI)
Age 19.2 Height 5′ 10″ Weight 185 Bat / Thr S / R FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
25/50 20/30 20/30 50/50 45/60 55

The slick-fielding Rincon has plus-plus defensive hands and actions and is a virtual lock to stay at shortstop. It will be imperative for him to add strength as he matures. Rincon’s feel for contact and (especially) for the strike zone are both pretty good, but he doesn’t impact the baseball with anything close to the ball-striking quality of a big league hitter. Because Rincon is so compactly built, it’s not a given that he’ll grow into viable strength, but we’re talking about a 45 FV utility type if he does.

35+ FV Prospects

21. Noah Song, SIRP

Drafted: 4th Round, 2019 from Navy (BOS)
Age 25.9 Height 6′ 4″ Weight 200 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops
55/60 50/55 50/55 40/45 40/50 93-95 / 99

Song was a first round talent whose looming, multi-year Naval commitment pushed him to the fourth round, where he was drafted by the Red Sox. Song would routinely sit 96 mph and show you two plus breaking balls as a starter, and he worked fast and confidently, mowing through Patriot League hitters with no problem. After the draft, he looked great in pro ball and for Team USA at the Premier12 tournament in the fall of 2019, when he bumped 100 several times during a tune-up game in Arizona before the tournament. That was the last Song pitched competitively. Despite some twists and turns (there were whispers that Song was too tall for a cockpit and might be discharged, and the rules around exemptions for military athletes changed a couple times during his service), Song was committed to the Navy for the last few years, and his name only resurfaced when the Phillies made him the most shocking Rule 5 Draft selection in quite some time during the 2022-23 offseason. Song came to Phillies camp to start from scratch, and then he was scratched with a back issue that put him on the IL to start the season. While the Phillies can use the IL to stash him while he builds back up into pro baseball shape, if they want to retain him, he’ll need to spend 90 days on the active big league roster and do so with only his rehab innings as a build up. It’s a long shot, but if Song can even come close to recapturing his peak form, he’ll be a core reliever.

22. McKinley Moore, SIRP

Drafted: 14th Round, 2019 from Arkansas-Little Rock (CHW)
Age 24.6 Height 6′ 6″ Weight 225 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Command Sits/Tops
65/65 60/60 30/30 95-98 / 99

Moore stood out pretty much immediately upon entry into pro ball because of his near elite arm strength. He was sitting 95-98 mph and bending in a plus, mid-to-upper-80s slider on the White Sox backfields in 2021, one of the few breakout prospects in a scant farm system. The Phillies acquired him a year later in a trade for former first rounder Adam Haseley, and Moore had a better 2022 than anticipated from a strike-throwing standpoint, walking “only” 28 batters in 51 innings at (mostly) Reading. He entered 2023 camp looking svelte and trim compared to prior years. Moore had a great spring from a strike-throwing standpoint and was the first arm called up from Triple-A to weather the storm of some early-season bullpen volatility and exhaustion. He still doesn’t have very good feel for strikes, as Moore scatters fastballs all over the place. His new-ish physique might help him better control his body and repeat his release as he gets comfortable with it over time. If that’s the case, he’ll establish himself in a consistent relief role. Until then, he’s a classic up/down reliever whose stuff is good enough to miss big league bats but whose control isn’t good enough to inspire regular confidence in his manager.

23. Luis Ortiz, SP

Drafted: 1st Round, 2014 from Sanger HS (CA) (TEX)
Age 27.5 Height 6′ 3″ Weight 230 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Curveball Command Sits/Tops
50/50 60/60 45/50 40/40 92-95 / 96

It’s been nearly nine years since Ortiz was a first round pick and he’s still somehow rookie eligible despite having thrown a dusting of big league innings starting back in 2018. He is very likely to play a role on the big league club at some point this year, probably as a long reliever, due to his presence on the 40-man roster and experience working in a long relief role since the end of the pandemic shutdown. Ortiz is making more liberal use of his plus mid-80s slider since it’s the pitch he has the best feel for locating, throwing it for a strike 73% of the time in 2022. That level of command does not extend to any of his other offerings (not even close), which is largely why Ortiz is now a fringe reliever rather than a first-round pick pedigree starter. His fastballs have enough sink and tail to get a groundball in the event that he’s walked his way into trouble, which helps Ortiz provide length out of the ‘pen even though he isn’t all that efficient.

24. Andrew Schultz, SIRP

Drafted: 6th Round, 2019 from Tennessee (PHI)
Age 25.7 Height 6′ 4″ Weight 195 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Command Sits/Tops
60/60 60/60 35/35 96-99 / 100

Schultz’s arm strength is all the way back from his 2020 Tommy John. Throughout 2022, he once again sat 96-99 without many strikes. He’s transitioned to a slider-first approach since his feel for locating that pitch is a little better than his strikes tend to be with his fastball. Schultz’s arm action is already extremely curt and short, so it’s tough to find a path to a more consistent release for him, and he’ll likely always been too wild to be a late-inning option even though his stuff is at that level. Instead, he’s one of several volatile up/down relievers in this system.

25. Dalton Guthrie, CF

Drafted: 6th Round, 2017 from Florida (PHI)
Age 27.3 Height 5′ 11″ Weight 160 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
50/50 40/40 30/30 50/50 45/45 45

At one point there was hope that Guthrie could play 2B/3B and at least the corner outfield spots, but as the infield became less of an option, it became more imperative for him to prove that he could play center field and act as a versatile, righty-hitting complement to Brandon Marsh. Guthrie was given lots of center field run during the spring of 2023 and actually looked okay out there, but the Phillies still made the decision to trade for Cristian Pache, who brings a splashier glove (and more volatile offense) to their 40-man. Guthrie is on the Luke Williams path. He has a competent hit tool and can play center field in a pinch, but you’d rather have him in a corner. He’s an above-replacement journeyman type.

26. Erick Brito, 2B

Signed: July 2nd Period, 2018 from Venezuela (PHI)
Age 20.9 Height 5′ 10″ Weight 160 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
35/60 20/30 20/30 45/45 30/50 50

Built like a Mini Cooper, Brito has preternatural bat control despite a relatively unathletic swing. His high front side and medium rotational athleticism aren’t exciting, but he moves the bat head all over the zone with precision with just a flick of his wrists. He’s ultra compact and makes a ton of contact, but very little of it is hard. While not a slam dunk shortstop, Brito has a shot to stay there and it’s very important that he does, as he’s unlikely to have enough pop to be an everyday second baseman. Either staying at short (where there may be enough offense for him to be a low-end everyday option) or becoming a more complete and versatile infield defender (a utility outcome, which is probably the more likely scenario) are the important developmental checkpoints for Brito to hit.

Signed: July 2nd Period, 2019 from Venezuela (PHI)
Age 21.5 Height 6′ 4″ Weight 155 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Changeup Command Sits/Tops
50/60 40/45 30/50 30/45 92-94 / 97

Cabrera is a projectable 21-year-old righty with four nearly average pitches, with the fastball currently in the 92-94 mph range. His delivery is graceful and fluid, but Cabrera doesn’t have great feel for location right now and his walk rate exploded upon entry to full-season ball in 2022. Breaking balls in the 77-82 mph range vary in their shape and depth, some more slider-y, others more true curveballs. Both show promising break when Cabrera finishes them, enough to miss bats and play as in-zone weapons or chase pitches. Based on his athleticism and mechanical fluidity, Cabrera projects to develop starter-level control over time. His ceiling will be dictated by whether or not he can also add velocity into his mid-20s.

Signed: July 2nd Period, 2018 from Venezuela (PHI)
Age 20.8 Height 6′ 1″ Weight 180 Bat / Thr L / L FV 35+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
30/40 45/60 35/55 45/45 30/50 60

Pineda is a statuesque 6-foot-1 outfielder who presents an exciting combination of present pop and long-term raw power projection. He was one of the 2022 extended spring group’s splashier prospects on a short scouting look because of his build and power, but some swing-and-miss issues were exposed over the course of the whole summer (Pineda ended up hitting .206 in 2022). Both his plate discipline and barrel control are a grade below average, and they combine to make him a low-probability prospect. He’ll likely need to grow into impact power to overcome these issues, but Pineda’s present bat speed and (hopefully) future physicality give him a shot to do just that.

Signed: July 2nd Period, 2016 from Venezuela (PHI)
Age 23.4 Height 6′ 4″ Weight 185 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Command Sits/Tops
60/60 70/70 20/30 93-97 / 99

A high-profile amateur prospect from the 2016 class, the Phillies added Morales to their 40-man roster after the 2020 season. He spent his first two option years struggling so badly to throw strikes that he barely sniffed the big leagues and pitched just five major league innings in 2022. Last season was his first in the bullpen, and Morales altered his pitch usage such that his incredible slider is now his most-used weapon by a pretty wide margin. A slider-first approach is becoming more common throughout baseball, especially for pitchers who struggle to throw their fastballs for strikes, a subgroup for which Morales is the poster boy. He was only able to throw his fastball for strikes 46% of the time in 2022 and walked so many hitters that the Phillies designated him for assignment during the offseason to free up a 40-man spot.

Much like Félix Bautista, Morales’ stuff is so good that he could find himself working later innings if things suddenly click for him. His slider has absurd depth for a pitch that averages 86 mph, but he simply can’t control his mid-90s fastball enough for a manager to trust him in a consistent big league role right now. Only 23, as long as Morales throws this hard and has this good of a slider, he’ll get opportunity after opportunity to show he can throw an acceptable number of strikes. This is a volatile prospect who is valued like a middle reliever though the evaluation suggests he’ll have some seasons where he performs above that role and others below it.

30. Andrew Baker, SIRP

Drafted: 11th Round, 2021 from Chipola JC (PHI)
Age 23.0 Height 6′ 3″ Weight 190 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Curveball Command Sits/Tops
60/60 60/60 30/35 97-98 / 101

Baker raced to Double-A just a year after he was drafted out of a Florida JUCO and did so amid a two-tick velo bump in 2022; he now sits 97-98 mph and has been up to 101. He still has a hammer low-80s curveball and has added a low-90s cutter, but Baker’s feel for location is still extremely raw and needs to be polished up if a big league manager is going to trust him. Because Baker was drafted so recently, there’s plenty of time to clean this up before his roster status starts to become a problem, but his control is far enough away from where it needs to be that it might. He’ll be in the big leagues pretty quickly if things click for him, but until they do, he’s valued here like an up/down reliever.

31. Max Kuhns, SIRP

Drafted: 21th Round, 2016 from Santa Clara (NYM)
Age 28.7 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 209 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Changeup Command Sits/Tops
55/60 40/50 40/45 40/40 94-96 / 97

A Mets draft pick in 2016, Kuhns was beset by injuries and only pitched eight combined innings in 2018 and 2019 when New York released him. He resurfaced during the 2022-23 offseason in Mexico, where Kuhns was pumping mid-90s gas for Mayos de Navojoa. The Phillies signed him not long before the start of 2023 spring training and he pitched in one Grapefruit League game, sitting 94-96 mph while bending in one mid-80s slider. Kuhns’ slider consistency in Mexico was mixed and he utilizes an extremely fastball-heavy approach to pitching. He and the Phillies will need to find a viable second offering, but if they can and Kuhns (who is starting 2023 with Reading) can reach the big leagues, it will make for one hell of a story.

32. James McArthur, SIRP

Drafted: 12th Round, 2018 from Ole Miss (PHI)
Age 26.3 Height 6′ 5″ Weight 230 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops
50/55 50/55 40/40 40/45 93-94 / 96

McArthur felt like a potential 2022 debutant but a stress reaction in his elbow ended his season early and probably impacted his stuff before he was shut down. His fastball only averaged 92 mph in 2022, down considerably from the year before. All appears to be well now, as McArthur was sitting 94-96 in single-inning relief outings during the spring of 2023. His fastball plays down a bit due to its shape and angle, so every tick of velocity he has will be important. He works with sink and has a two-plane curveball that operates as his most frequent secondary pitch, while a rare cutter has begun to creep into his usage, which will hopefully give him a tool to keep hitters off his fastballs. Without a true plus pitch, McArthur looks more like an up/down depth option than a true on-roster, middle-inning archetype.

33. Hans Crouse, MIRP

Drafted: 2nd Round, 2017 from Dana Hills HS (CA) (TEX)
Age 24.6 Height 6′ 4″ Weight 180 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Changeup Command Sits/Tops
30/30 50/55 50/55 50/50 92-96 / 98

Crouse can still get by on funk and deception for an inning at a time. He has to mix in his slider and changeup liberally because his fastball has settled into the low-90s, but his slider and changeup quality and command are both sufficient for him to do so. He’s an up/down reliever right now. Perhaps the more important, marco-level takeaway here is that sometimes this is where things end up for hard-throwing high schoolers, perhaps only for reasons of mechanical sustainability.

Other Prospects of Note

Grouped by type and listed in order of preference within each category.

Young Upside Bats
Nolan Beltran, 2B
Joseph Diaz, OF
Leny Carela, SS

This group contains recent international signees, mostly a few standouts from the DSL. Beltran, an 18-year-old Colombian infielder, is a compact, contact-oriented hitter with precocious feel to hit and little physicality. Diaz, 17, is a very lanky, athletic, and projectable outfielder with a lovely swing. Carela, 18, is a smooth infield defender with good barrel feel for someone who lacks strength.

Spot Starters
Michael Plassmeyer, LHP
Jordi Martinez, LHP
Cristian Hernandez, RHP

Plassmeyer, 26, sits 89-91 mph, throws lots of fastball strikes, and has an average curveball and changeup. Martinez, 22, is similar except he sits 93 with traits that cause his heater to play down. Perhaps Hernandez, 23, is more likely to fit in a long relief role. He was moved to the bullpen in the middle of 2022, and will touch the 95-96 range in shorter outings (buts tends to sit 92-93 as a starter) and show you a plus breaking ball.

Tommy John Rehabbers
Micah Ottenbreit, RHP
Christian McGowan, RHP
Eduar Segovia, RHP

Ottenbreit got about $750,000 as a 2021 fourth rounder to eschew a commitment to Michigan State. A projectable righty with two good secondary pitches, his early career has been marred by wildness and now injury. McGowan was the Phillies’ 2021 seventh rounder out of Eastern Oklahoma State. He’s up to 97 mph and sits 92-94, and his slider has pretty nasty angle. Both blew out two starts into 2022 and are nearing the one year mark of rehab. Segovia has been back this spring and sitting 91-94, which is the lower end of his pre-surgery velo range. At points he has looked like a middle reliever with a mid-90s heater and a plus slider.

Many More Relief Candidates
Alex Rao, RHP
Eiberson Castellano, RHP
Tommy McCollum, RHP
Jose Pena Jr., RHP
Rafael Marcano, LHP
Erubiel Armenta, LHP

A 2022 Day Two pick out of Notre Dame, Rao sits 93-96 mph and has an above-average changeup. Castellano, 21, sits 92-93 but has been up to 96 on the backfields. He throws strikes and his curveball has a chance to be plus. His delivery is reliever-y but otherwise he’s a pretty stable prospect. McCollum, going on 24, sits 94-96 with more of a fringe breaking ball. Pena, 19, has had a velo swoon this spring and is sitting closer to 91 mph than his usual mid-90s according to scouts with Phillies coverage. Marcano has a plus lefty breaking ball and below-average fastball velo. Armenta, 23, sits in the low-90s with uphill angle, a plus changeup, and 20-grade control.

Unlikely To Hit Enough
Marcus Lee Sang, RF
Yemal Flores, CF
Yhoswar Garcia, CF
Pedro Martinez, SS
Kendall Simmons, 2B
Jhailyn Ortiz, RF
Ethan Wilson, LF
Baron Radcliff, 1B
Jamari Baylor, 2B
Casey Martin, SS

In my opinion, this entire group has hit tools that will make it very hard for any of them to become substantial big leaguers. They are pref’d out here based largely on defensive fit and remaining time to develop. Lots of them were either high-profile draft picks or big-dollar international prospects. Two-way high schooler Marcus Lee Sang’s contact quality is quite good on paper, which was almost enough for him to make the main section of the list, but I can’t find scouts who buy that he’ll make enough contact. Flores, 19, has hit below the Mendoza Line in each of his two pro seasons. His feel for center field is pretty good for such a stocky teenager, and the bat speed he generates despite a short swing is impressive, but he hasn’t hit at all. Garcia has had ID verification, visa, and injury issues that have made it tough for him to get reps, but he’s looked totally lost at the plate when I’ve seen him. Martinez is a fair shortstop defender and a switch-hitter with limited barrel feel. Simmons has enticing pull power and had an okay 2022 on paper when he was healthy, but he’s also nearly 23. Ortiz, who was just DFA’d, should be squarely in the KBO crosshairs. I had a late-first round grade on Wilson, but he hasn’t hit double digit homers in a season since his freshman year of college and that just doesn’t cut it for a corner outfielder. Radcliff easily has plus power but might have a 20-grade hit tool. Baylor and Martin are toolsheds who were worthy draft gambles that just haven’t worked out.

System Overview

There are some potential stars sitting atop this otherwise below-average system, as the Phillies have struggled to identify prospects whose hit tools can actually carry them to a meaningful big league role. Even the better position player prospects aren’t guarantees to hit, though some (especially Nikau Pouaka-Grego, William Bergolla and Hao-Yu Lee) have performed well so far. Not only is there that huge roster of struggling guys at the bottom of the Honorable Mentions here, but attrition of this kind is likely to impact several of the players on the main section of the list who have some statistical yellow or red flags in the contact category (especially Carlos De La Cruz and Gabriel Rincones Jr.).

What the system does have lots of is pitching, not only the trio at the very top of the list but, importantly, in the 35+ FV tier where up/down relievers tend to be valued. The Phillies are defending National League champions and need all the relatively fungible pitching depth they can get to sandbag against injuries, especially when the varsity group is coming off an extra-long, grinding 2022 postseason.

The core competencies here have been the same for a while. The Phillies do well internationally, especially in Venezuela and in the Pacific Rim. They tend to find an interesting high schooler on Day Two or Three of the draft, with Emaarion Boyd and Bryan Rincon providing the most recent examples, while Logan O’Hoppe is the best. With so many of the big league roster spots firmly in the grasp of star players, the Phillies’ relative dearth of position player prospects will only hurt them if they end up lacking ammunition to trade and extend this window of contention. If one or more of those players can take a meaningful step forward, then the Phillies will be able to add without cleaning out every high-end prospect they have.





Eric Longenhagen is from Catasauqua, PA and currently lives in Tempe, AZ. He spent four years working for the Phillies Triple-A affiliate, two with Baseball Info Solutions and two contributing to prospect coverage at ESPN.com. Previous work can also be found at Sports On Earth, CrashburnAlley and Prospect Insider.

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RoyalsFan#14321member
10 months ago

Only five prospects 45 or higher? Yikes.

CC AFCmember
10 months ago

That actually feels decent for year 3 of a Dave Dombrowski project

gettwobrute79member
10 months ago
Reply to  CC AFC

He does seem to know which ‘spects to trade.

RoyalsFan#14321member
10 months ago
Reply to  CC AFC

Good point.