Selected by the Phillies in this off-season’s Rule 5 draft, right-handed pitcher Kevin Munson is probably the most likely prospect on this countdown to make the team’s opening day roster.
Munson, a fourth round draft selection in 2010 by Arizona, tallied a 1.59 ERA in five outings in the Mexican Winter League prior to joining the Phillies’ organization this off-season. The hard-throwing hurler has been an under-performer in recent years and looks to shine with a change of scenery this year.
In four pro seasons, the six-foot-one 215-pounder has posted an 11.39 K/9 mark, which clearly shows his ability to overpower the opposition at the plate. His 4.98 BB/9 mark certainly indicates there’s plenty of room for improvement when addressing his control. Also, his 40.2% career ground ball ratio is fair, but not great.
Pitching as high as Triple-A last year, Munson sported a 0-2 record with one save and a 5.09 ERA in 24 appearances for Reno in the hitter friendly Pacific Coast League.
In parts of three seasons at Double-A Mobile, Munson has a 5-7 record along with a 5.03 ERA in 75 games.
Based on the guidelines of the Rule 5 draft, Munson, a reliever, would have to stay on the Phils’ 25-man roster, barring any disabled list time, or be offered back to Arizona.
The 25-year-old learned that he’d be leaving the Diamondbacks and joining the Phillies organization when he saw the news on Twitter. Just last year, a different Diamondbacks prospect, Ender Inciarte, made the Phillies’ opening day roster after they plucked him in the Rule 5 draft, but the Venezuelan outfielder was offered back to Arizona when the Phils decided not to keep him on their big league roster for the full season.
The Phillies hosted Munson, along with several other minor leaguers, for their annual prospect education seminars last week. While in the area, the group met with team brass, visited the MLB Network studios, gave interviews with local media and attended a Sixers game. Munson also took part in a prospect Q&A session with fans via the Phillies’ official Twitter account.
Munson, the career saves leader at James Madison University, sports a fastball that can hit 95 MPH with a hard slider that his coaches like a lot.
Look for Munson to get plenty of action during the exhibition season which will enable the Phillies to make a fair decision on the youngster, as he competes for a bullpen job with the likes of Jake Diekman, Justin De Fratus, Mike Stutes, B.J. Rosenberg, Phillippe Aumont and others.