The 2019 Minor League Baseball regular season is officially in the books. It’s now time to take a look back and see how the teams and prospects performed this season.
- Lehigh Valley IronPigs: 66-74
- Reading Fightin Phils: 79-58 (playoff bound)
- Clearwater Threshers: 68-68
- Lakewood BlueClaws: 58-80
- Williamsport Crosscutters: 32-43
- Alec Bohm had a year to remember. In 125 games across three levels, Bohm slashed .305/.378/.518 with 30 doubles, 21 home runs, four triples and 80 RBIs.
- Adonis Medina did not have a great season. He had a 4.94 ERA in 22 starts, with a 1.36 WHIP and a .254 opponent’s batting average. He had a 2-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio and averaged just seven strikeouts per nine innings, after averaging 10 the last two years.
- 2019 first round pick Bryson Stott had a solid first year. In 48 games, he slashed .295/.391/.494 with nine doubles, three triples and six home runs.
- Spencer Howard was outstanding in his injury-shortened season. In 15 starts, he had a 2.03 ERA between four levels, with a 0.83 WHIP. The 23-year-old averaged 11.9 strikeouts per nine innings, compared to just two walks per nine.
- Luis Garcia struggled in his first full season. The 18-year-old hit .186 with just 21 extra base hits and 132 strikeouts in 127 games.
- Francisco Morales showed glimpses of a promising future this season. Used as both a starter and a reliever, Morales had a 3.82 ERA over 96.2 innings of work. He also had 129 strikeouts in 2019.
- Enyel De Los Santos had a quiet season. In 19 starts for Lehigh Valley, he had a 4.40 ERA with a 1.23 WHIP.
- Mickey Moniak had an up and down year. His final numbers look like this: .252/.303/.439 with 28 doubles, 13 triples, 11 home runs, 15 stolen bases and 67 RBIs in 119 games. He is still just 21 years old.
- Erik Miller was the Phillies fourth round selection in the 2019 draft, but he comes in at No. 9 on MLB Pipeline’s Phillies prospect rankings. In 36 innings of work, Miller had a 1.50 ERA with a 1.11 WHIP and 52 strikeouts. The Phillies are still deciding whether to use him as a starter or a reliever.
- JoJo Romero did not fair well when he was promoted to Triple-A this year. His numbers between there, and his demotion to Reading, are not great. In 24 starts, he had a 5.82 ERA and a WHIP of 1.55. Opponents batted .286 against him. Despite these numbers, he only gave up 12 home runs, which seems low considering the ERA.
- Simon Muzziotti had a nice year. He hit .287 with 21 doubles, three home runs and 21 stolen bases in 110 games.
- I’m not so sure we will see Jhailyn Ortiz next season in Reading. Despite hitting 19 home runs in 115 games for Single-A Clearwater, the 20-year-old hit just .200 and struck out 149 times.
- Nick Maton hit .266 in 114 games this year. He’s a solid middle infielder who also stole 12 bases this year.
- Cole Irvin’s numbers in Triple-A were a little odd. His ERA was 3.94, but opponents hit .297 against him. He only walked 14 batters in 93.2 innings, so perhaps he threw too many strikes for his own good.
- Coming off being named the Phillies minor league pitcher of the year in 2018, David Parkinson had his fair share of struggles in 2019. Reading’s ballpark undoubtedly played a role, but Parkinson posted a 4.08 ERA in 22 starts. His WHIP was decent at 1.23 and he struck out 118 batters in 119 innings.
- Deivy Grullon will appear in Philadelphia this week, but he had a pretty good season in Triple-A first. He hit .283 with 24 doubles, 21 home runs and 77 RBIs in 108 games. There’s still questions about his defense behind the plate, but the power is there.
- Damon Jones had a great year turn ugly. He flew through High-A, posting a 1.54 ERA in 11 starts. He was promoted to Reading where he had a 0.82 ERA in four starts. The Phillies sent him to Triple-A Lehigh Valley in mid-July, and things took an unexpected turn. In eight starts for the IronPigs, Jones posted a 6.62 ERA with 26 walks in 34 innings. He had only walked 33 batters in 80.1 innings before then.
- Kyle Dohy had a similar problem. The relief pitcher tossed 11 innings in Reading, posting a 0.82 ERA with 22 strikeouts. He was moved to Lehigh Valley, where he posted a 6.19 ERA in 56.2 innings. He walked 54 batters in that time.
- Connor Seabold had a very encouraging year, coming back from injury in 2018. He posted a 2.24 ERA in 56.1 innings of work with a 1.01 WHIP.
- Colton Eastman also had a nice season. In 24 starts across three levels, he posted a 3.71 ERA with a 1.22 WHIP and 134 strikeouts in 128.2 innings.
- Kyle Glogoski had maybe the best season of any Phillies minor league pitcher. In 19 starts between Lakewood and Clearwater, he posted a 1.68 ERA with a 0.98 WHIP. He struck out 90 batters in 80.1 innings, and gave up just three home runs.
- Ethan Evanko was just as good, though. In 19 starts between Lakewood and Clearwater, he posted a 1.61 ERA. Evanko’s WHIP was even a hair lower at 0.97. However, Glogoski wins the strikeouts category, as Evanko had only 58 in 67 innings.
- There’s a third really good pitcher in Clearwater, Ethan Lindow. In 26 starts this year, he posted a 2.52 ERA with a 1.01 WHIP. He had 119 strikeouts in 110.2 innings, and walked just 22 batters.
- Ramon Rosso was having a strong season in Reading, with a 3.15 ERA in 10 starts. He was promoted to Lehigh Valley and well, he ended up like the other pitchers. In 14 starts there, his ERA jumped to 5.50 and his WHIP went from 1.12 to 1.43.
- Austin Listi provided some pop this year. In 133 games between Reading and Lehigh Valley, he hit 19 home runs with 24 doubles and 83 RBIs.
- My hitter of the year is quite obvious, Alec Bohm. The top prospect is capable of doing so much at the plate, and I’m looking forward to being on “Bohm watch” in 2020 as we look forward to his eventual arrival in Philadelphia.
- My pitcher of the year is Evan Evanko. He’s not a big strikeout guy, but his other numbers were just too good to pass up. He barely beat out his teammate, Glogoski.
- My most improved prospect is Spencer Howard. We knew he was going to be good, but his numbers were off the charts this year. Will we see him in Philadelphia before the season ends? Probably not, but he’ll certainly be on the 2020 Phillies.
- My biggest disappointment in Jhailyn Ortiz. He’s still struggling to make consistent contact at the plate. He’s still only 20, so there’s lots of time to figure this out. I believe if he does figure out how to make more contact and have better plate discipline, we could see him towards the top of some prospect lists. That may be an unrealistic expectation, though.
It is hard to shake the feeling that an alarming number of pitchers in the Phillies system seem to be hitting a wall when they get to Triple-A Lehigh Valley. There were multiple instances of young pitchers who had great control all the way until they get to Triple-A and then all of a sudden forget how to throw strikes. We can blame juiced balls, but it’s not like the pitchers just were getting crushed by the long ball, a lot of it had to do with control. Now, the hitters in Triple-A are more experienced and lay off some pitches that the younger hitters in Single-A and Double-A wouldn’t, but it was an ugly trend to say the least.
Overall, it was a successful year for the Phillies minor league system. Most guys stayed healthy and we got some answers to some critical questions. We found out how good Spencer Howard was, which made letting former No. 1 pitching prospect Sixto Sanchez go in the J.T. Realmuto trade hurt a little less. We saw how good Alec Bohm’s bat is and what he brings to the table. We also saw that there is actually a lot of pitching depth in this system, and outside of what happened to guys in Lehigh Valley, they were all pretty good this season.
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