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Phillies reportedly are ‘favorites’ to sign highly-touted Venezuelan prospect


Citizens Bank Park has been home to the Phillies since 2004. (Tim Kelly/Phillies Nation)

MLB Pipeline reports that the Philadelphia Phillies are the favorites to sign a coveted international prospect, Venezuelan shortstop William Bergolla.

Bergolla is, per MLB Pipeline, the No. 4 overall international prospect in the 2021 class:

Considered one of the top players out of Venezuela in this year’s class, Bergolla has a chance to be an everyday starter in the future because of his all-around game.

He already shows solid bat-to-ball skills and an advanced approach and understanding of the strike zone. He shows line-drive power, and more pop is expected to come as he develops and his body matures. 

Bergolla shows good footwork, soft hands, and a strong enough arm to keep him at the position as he makes his way through the Minor Leagues. He has solid range and good baseball instincts. He’s been praised for his baseball IQ and awareness on both sides of the ball.

On a 20-80 scale, MLB Pipeline says that the 5-foot-11, 175 pounds infielder has a 55 in future value. He’s only 16, which makes it difficult to project him as a major leaguer this far out, because he’s almost certainly not finished growing.

The future at shortstop for the Phillies at the major league level is unclear.

Didi Gregorius is under contract for 2022 at $14.5 million, but the -8 defensive runs saved that he has this season make you wonder if he’ll be playing at shortstop next season.

2019 first-round pick Bryson Stott could seemingly play at the position for part or all of the 2022 season, but that assumes that the Phillies aren’t players in a shortstop class that could include Carlos Correa, Corey Seager and Trevor Story. By the time Stott would be close to reaching free agency and/or one of the trio of free agents listed above would have their contract expiring, seemingly Bergolla could be ready to play at the major league level.

In any event, the Phillies potentially signing one of the five best international prospects in this year’s class is a positive step towards fixing a minor league system thin on blue chip talents.

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