For a team like the Philadelphia Phillies, who have been rebuilding for the better half of a decade, it’s all about making strides and jumps to slowly, but progressively improve your team. In 2018, the Phillies took the jump from cellar dwellers to contenders by bettering their record by 14 games from 2017 to 2018. Rhys Hoskins took the jump from an incredible first five weeks in the majors to one of the National League’s best power hitters. And Aaron Nola took the jump from one of baseball’s better young starters to one of the most dominant arms in the sport.
Here’s a look at five Phillies prospects who could be ready to make a jump of their own in 2019.
1. Adam Haseley
The 2017 first-round pick started off the year strong in High-A ball, where he hit .300 with five home runs in 79 games. He spent the second half of the summer in Double-A Reading, where he caught fire, hitting .316 with six home runs in 39 games. Haseley showed the ability to spray the ball to all fields and started to show power potential. The 22-year-old should get an invitation to big league camp in the spring, where he should get some valuable experience. Haseley will most likely return to Reading to start the year, and if he keeps up his play from last year, he could find himself in Triple-A by Memorial Day.
2. David Parkinson
Parkinson was a pleasant surprise for the organization in 2018. The 2017 12th-round pick had a 1.45 ERA in 22 games across Low-A and High-A. He struck out 141 batters in 124.1 innings, while only walking 35. Parkinson will most likely return to Clearwater to start 2019, but if he pitches like he did in 2018, he should find himself in Reading in no time. Reading will be a good challenge for Parkinson, as it is known as a hitter-friendly ballpark and he will be facing more experienced hitters. If Parkinson continues along this route, he could become a top-tier prospect in the organization in 2019.
3. Luis Garcia
The teenager was nothing but sensational in 2018. At the age of 17, Garcia hit .369 with 11 doubles, three triples and one home run in Rookie Ball in 43 games. Garcia also showed advanced plate discipline, walking 15 times, while striking out just 21 times. Garcia also possesses great speed, which makes him a threat on the bases and a plus defender at the key position of shortstop. Unlike Haseley and Parkinson, Garcia will not play across multiple levels in 2019, but he should make the jump from unknown teenager to promising young talent, especially as he spends more time with the organization getting stronger and learning more about the game.
4. Enyel De Los Santos
Acquired from the San Diego Padres for Freddy Galvis before the 2018 season, De Los Santos turned in an excellent season with Triple-A Lehigh Valley, posting a 2.63 ERA in 22 starts. He made a couple spot starts for the Phillies, before being a bullpen asset down the stretch in September. Although he struggled in the majors – he posted an ERA of 4.74 and a WHIP of 1.42 in 19 innings of work – he gained experience that will go a long way in his development. 2019 should be the year that De Los Santos breaks through to the majors on a more consistent basis. Whether the Phillies opt to have De Los Santos aid a rotation that struggled down the stretch or be a solution to a bullpen that had more questions than answers in 2018, De Los Santos should make the jump to Philadelphia on a regular basis in 2019.
5. Mickey Moniak
The 2016 No. 1 overall pick was underwhelming to say the least in 2017, as he hit .236 with Low-A Lakewood. Things seemed to be headed in that direction again in 2018, as he hit .254 before the All-Star Break. Moniak came out red-hot though in the second half, hitting .286 to finish the year with a .270 average to go along with 28 doubles and five home runs. Moniak, who will be 20 on Opening Day in 2019, will be headed to Double-A Reading, a place where Phillies position prospects are notorious for finding their sweet-swing. Moniak continues to get stronger and work with the coaches to improve his approach at the plate, which has been suspect with 100 strikeouts compared to 22 walks in 2018. The combination of his surge in the second half of last year, the fact that he’ll be playing at hitter-friendly First Energy Stadium and another year in the organization bods well for Moniak having a break-through season in 2019 and becoming the player the Phillies thought he would be when they nabbed him first overall in 2016.
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