With the 2020 season winding down, Phillies Nation has updated its rankings of the top 20 prospects in the Philadelphia Phillies system. This most recent list was put together by Phillies Nation‘s Tim Kelly, Destiny Lugardo, Jonny Heller and myself, Ty Daubert.
As stated in our last prospect list in February, assessments of these prospects are based on the play we’ve seen covering these players in-person, analysis of film, conversations with scouts, coaches and other player development personnel and information from outlets such as Baseball America, Fangraphs, Prospects Live and MLB Pipeline.
This list comes near the end of a very unusual season for prospects across the whole sport. The COVID-19 pandemic shortened the Major League Baseball season to just 60 games, and canceled the Minor League Baseball season entirely. For some prospects not playing in the majors as rookies, the only organized baseball they could participate in came during intrasquad games at the team’s alternate training site in Lehigh Valley. Those not included in the pool of players at the alternate site essentially missed out on a year of development.
Multiple players on this list made their major-league debuts this season. Players that have played in the majors but have not yet exceeded their rookie eligibility are still considered prospects.
No. 1: Spencer Howard, RHP
The returning No. 1 prospect in the system, Howard made his major-league debut with the Phillies this year despite never pitching above Double-A in the minors. The 24-year-old struggled in his first six starts, posting a 5.92 ERA and only once throwing five innings before suffering a shoulder injury. He also did not quite have the velocity that he’s shown off in his minor-league career. Still, the right-hander projects as a top-of-the-rotation starter as long as he’s healthy, and he could show that as early as next season.
No. 2: Mick Abel, RHP
Abel was the top prep pitcher taken in this year’s draft when the Phillies selected him with the 15th pick in the first round, which makes sense considering how advanced he is for his age. At just 19 years old, Abel already has extremely good feel for his changeup — not to mention a mid-90s fastball and a slider he can throw “in any count, any quadrant of the zone,” to put it in his own words. Abel is another pitcher with front-end potential if he’s able to reach his ceiling.
No. 3: Bryson Stott, SS
With third baseman Alec Bohm getting well over 50 at-bats for the Phillies and exceeding his rookie eligibility, Stott now stands as the top position prospect in the organization. The 2019 first-round pick spent the season at the alternate training site, and performed well against an older and more experienced group. He’s a bat-first shortstop with some pop that hits from the left side, and should be able to hang at the position in the field.
No. 4: Francisco Morales, RHP
Morales has an electric fastball-slider combination that played well in 2019 in Low-A Lakewood. The right-hander turns 21 next month, and missed out on a season of minor-league pitching. Perhaps he starts next season in High-A Clearwater — assuming there is a 2021 MiLB season — and could see time in Double-A as well. He’ll pitch as a starter in the minors, but could definitely be successful as a reliever if that does not work out at higher levels.
No. 5: Rafael Marchan, C
The Phillies called up the 21-year-old when J.T. Realmuto was injured, because the team has confidence in his defensive abilities. Marchan receives the ball well and possesses a strong throwing arm. With the bat, he hits a lot of line drives and could add some power as he develops. He recently hit his first professional home run, which could be a sign of things to come for the young catcher.
No. 6: Adonis Medina, RHP
Another prospect who debuted for the Phillies this season, the right-handed Medina threw a solid four-inning start in his first big-league outing. He’s flashed a sharp-breaking slider at times, but has had some inconsistencies with his velocity. If he can keep the fastball closer to the mid-90s, Medina has a chance to become a very reliable back-end starter.
No. 7: JoJo Romero, LHP
Romero has looked like a completely different pitcher since becoming a reliever. The left-hander was more of a finesse pitcher in the minors, using a wide variety of pitches to try to keep hitters off-balance. He entered the majors out of the bullpen with a fastball around 95 mph, a hard-biting slider and a changeup. He’s struggled as of late, but should still be one of the first options out of the bullpen going forward.
No. 8: Mickey Moniak, OF
Moniak also had success once he was added to the pool of players at the alternate site before getting promoted to the majors. The former No. 1 overall pick was taking walks and hitting for more power than he’d shown in the past. He has excellent bat-to-ball skills but if he can become more disciplined, Moniak could turn himself into a starting-caliber outfielder. The 22-year-old has made some brutal errors in the field early in his major-league career, but still projects as a speedy fielder with good range that can play all three outfield positions.
No. 9: Casey Martin, SS
The 21-year-old was the team’s third-round selection in this year’s draft out of the University of Arkansas, someone that Phillies scouting director Brian Barber believed wouldn’t fall to them at that pick. He certainly could stick at shortstop, but would most likely be able to handle third base, second base, center field or left field as well. Martin is an extremely fast runner with a lot of power at the plate. However, strikeouts are a big problem that could potentially keep the right-handed hitter from reaching his ceiling.
No. 10: Luis Garcia, SS
Garcia excelled as a 17-year-old in the Gulf Coast League, but struggled mightily as an 18-year-old in Low-A and had his age-19 season canceled. After finding a ton of success in 2018, Garcia posted an OPS of just .516 against much older competition in 2019 and didn’t get the opportunity to try to bounce back this year. Losing this season was tough, but the shortstop only turns 20 years old next month and still has a lot of upside as a contact hitter.
No. 11: Connor Brogdon, RHP
Brogdon struggled when he first came to the bigs, but has pitched very effectively in recent outings for the Phillies. The right-handed reliever throws a hard fastball and a deceptive changeup, and is beyond capable of throwing more than just one inning. Brogdon had a shot at reaching the majors last year, but couldn’t get past Triple-A. Now, it seems like the 25-year-old should be in the major leagues to stay.
No. 12: Erik Miller, LHP
Miller is a lefty with a solid fastball, a good slider and changeup. He was selected in the fourth round out of Stanford in 2019, and made it all the way to Low-A Lakewood by the end of the season. The Phillies will use him mostly as a starter for now, but Miller could also be effective out of the bullpen with a two-pitch mix of fastball and slider.
No. 13: Johan Rojas, OF
The 20-year-old outfielder has a lot of potential with his speed and power. He hit 11 doubles and 11 triples in just 60 minor-league games in 2019. Rojas can play all three outfield positions, and could develop into very good hitter if he can avoid chasing pitches out of the zone.
No 14: Damon Jones, LHP
Jones is a left-hander with a big arm and a nasty slider. However, he has struggled with control issues in his career. He has worked as a starter primarily, but a move to the bullpen is possible, if not likely. Jones spent the season at the alternate site, and turns 26 in late September.
No. 15: Simon Muzziotti, OF
The 21-year-old is a contact hitter with great speed and defensive instincts in center field. He batted .287 in 2019 with High-A Clearwater. Finding more power would be huge for Muzziotti’s career, but he could still have some kind of platoon/fourth outfielder role in the majors one day if he can’t do so.
No. 16: Ramón Rosso, RHP
Rosso is another reliever that debuted in the majors in 2020. It hasn’t all been completely smooth for the right-hander, but he’s still flashed enough in spring training, summer camp and at the major-league level to show he can contribute in the future. Rosso, 24, relies most on a fastball with late, hard cut in addition to his slider.
No. 17: Nick Maton, SS
Maton finished 2019 in Double-A, and likely would have spent time back in Reading and in Triple-A this minor-league season. He’s a capable shortstop, but could move around the infield for versatility purposes. Maton is a left-handed hitter with a solid hit tool and on-base skills, but not a ton of power. He’ll likely end up in a platoon or utility infield role when he reaches the major leagues.
No. 18: Yhoswar Garcia, OF
The Phillies finally signed the outfielder this spring after issues regarding his age prevented them from doing so last July. Garcia is a great runner and defensive center fielder. He has a solid hit tool, and is expected to develop more power as he gets older. Garcia just turned 19, but there’s already a lot to like about his game.
No. 19: Kendall Simmons, SS
Simmons shined for short-season Williamsport in 2019, posting an .854 OPS with 12 home runs in just 51 games. The 2018 sixth-round pick is just 20 years old, and has the ability to draw walks, hit for power and play multiple positions in the field. Simmons has mostly played shortstop, but can play second base and third base as well.
No. 20: Logan O’Hoppe, C
The 20-year-old catcher spent summer camp with the Phillies, and worked at the alternate training site during the season. He hit well at the training site, and got to work with pitchers that were more advanced than he probably would have caught in a regular minor-league season. O’Hoppe has above-average power for his position, and is one of a handful of good catchers in the Phillies organization.
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