Phillies No. 4 prospect Adam Haseley looks to be headed towards joining a large group of former Philadelphia Phillies prospects who saw their offensive production take off when they made it to Double-A Reading.
The 2017 first-round pick and top outfield prospect in the system is as hot as could be since getting called up to Reading in mid-July. In 66 at-bats with Reading, the former two-way standout at the University of Virginia is hitting .348 with three home runs, three doubles, 12 runs scored and an on-base percentage of .463.
I decided to go see the hype for myself, so on Wednesday night, I took the trip to Reading. The Fightin’ Phils as a whole were shut down by the Trenton Thunder pitching staff in a 6-1 loss, but Haseley showed a lot of promise.
In his first at-bat, Haseley fought off an off-speed pitch low and away and dispensed it into left field for an opposite-field single. In his next at bat, he rolled over to the second baseman, but he booked it out of the box and turned an easy out into a close call. In his third plate appearance of the evening, he lined another ball to left field, but right at the left fielder. Haseley would single again to left to cap off a 2-4 night in his final at-bat.
I was impressed with Haseley’s ability to go opposite field consistently. In today’s shift-laden game, that is obviously an important skill to have.
I did not get to see Haseley in the outfield as he was DHing on Wednesday, but all signs point to him being an above-average defender. Haseley is a natural center fielder, though he’s also played left and right field for Reading, where he’s more likely to stick at once he reaches the major leagues.
Haseley is showing why the Phillies nabbed him at seven in the 2017 draft. Although he’s not a power hitter, Haseley should have the ability to hit 15-20 homers annually in his prime. If I had to pick an offensive comparison for Haseley that Phillies fans can relate to, I would go with a slightly slower version of Shane Victorino. I don’t see Haseley averaging 29 stolen bases a year or winning four Gold Glove Awards, but from an offensive standpoint there are some similarities. Victorino hit .275 for his career, I think Haseley may be able to better that number for his career. Haseley, like Victorino, does not strike out much. Victorino never struck out more than 80 times in a season. Haseley has 62 strikeouts in 99 games, but that number should be reduced as he matures as a hitter.
Haseley reminds me a little of how Scott Kingery exploded in Reading and found himself on the Phillies Opening Day roster the following year. Haseley should be invited to big league camp next Spring Training. And while he’ll probably open the season at either Double-A Reading or Triple-A Lehigh Valley, it’s starting to feel likely that he reaches the major league level at some point during the 2019 season.
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