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2 former fifth-round picks appear in Phillies top prospects lists, Mattingly reportedly hires new BlueClaws manager

Last week, both FanGraphs and Baseball Prospectus released their list of top Phillies prospects. Phillies 2020 first-round pick Mick Abel topped both lists. Bryson Stott, who is expected to be called up to the major league team at some point in 2022, finished second on FanGraphs’ top-41 list and third on Baseball Prospectus’ top ten.

Matt Vierling impressed in a short stint with the Phillies in 2021. (Photo by Cody Glenn/Icon Sportswire)

Among new faces in the Phillies’ top ten are two former fifth-round picks: outfielder Matt Vierling and right-handed pitcher Griff McGarry.

Vierling, 25, was drafted by Philadelphia in 2018 out of the University of Notre Dame and debuted with the Phillies in June 2021 after posting a 1.065 OPS with Double-A Reading in 24 games. He continued to hit during his brief time in the majors, slashing .324/.364/.479 in 77 plate appearances. FanGraphs ranks him as the fifth-best Phillies prospect while Baseball Prospectus has him at No. 9.

There was very little buzz surrounding Vierling as a prospect last offseason, but he quickly rose through the rankings when it was clear that he could hit the ball hard on a consistent basis. If he cuts down on hitting ground balls at a high rate, Vierling could carve out an important role with the Phillies in 2022.

FanGraphs in particular praises his multi-positional flexibility (he plays all three outfield spots and first base) and predicted that he’s “poised to be a lefty-killing, multi-positional role player in 2022.”

McGarry, 22, is the most intriguing arm to come out of the Phillies’ 2021 draft class outside of first rounder Andrew Painter. McGarry, a product out of the University of Virginia, was quickly promoted to High-A Jersey Shore after just five appearances in Clearwater. Across both levels, McGarry posted a 2.96 ERA in 24 1/3 innings. He has yet to surrender a home run in his professional career.

Baseball Prospectus ranked McGarry as the No. 4 prospect in the system while FanGraphs has him at No.10. He’s got a fastball that FanGraphs has maxing out at 98 mph while sitting between 93 and 96 mph along with a 55-grade slider and a 60-grade changeup (out of 80).

Command was the big issue for McGarry coming out of college and it didn’t get much better when he began his professional career. It will be interesting to see if McGarry can find the strike zone more often. If he does, Baseball Prospectus believes McGarry has “a very plausible high-end outcome.” FanGraphs writes, “If McGarry can develop even 40-grade control, he’ll be an impact big league reliever, perhaps in a multi-inning capacity thanks to his repertoire depth.”

Here are the top prospect rankings from both FanGraphs and Baseball Prospectus. Both lists were released before Saturday’s opening of the international signing period.

Baseball Prospectus’ Top 10

  1. Mick Abel
  2. Andrew Painter
  3. Bryson Stott
  4. Griff McGarry
  5. Johan Rojas
  6. Ethan Wilson
  7. Luis García
  8. Logan O’Hoppe
  9. Matt Vierling
  10. Símon Muzziotti

FanGraphs’ Top 41

  1. Mick Abel
  2. Bryson Stott
  3. Johan Rojas
  4. Andrew Painter
  5. Matt Vierling
  6. Logan O’Hoppe
  7. Ethan Wilson
  8. Hans Crouse
  9. Luis García
  10. Griff McGarry
  11. Erik Miller
  12. Hao Yu Lee
  13. Francisco Morales
  14. Micah Ottenbreit
  15. Jordan Viars
  16. James McArthur
  17. Donny Sands
  18. Casey Martin
  19. Símon Muzziotti
  20. Jhailyn Ortiz
  21. Yemal Flores
  22. Mickey Moniak
  23. Eduar Segovia
  24. Logan Simmons
  25. Jamari Baylor
  26. Yhoswar Garcia
  27. Cristopher Sánchez
  28. Damon Jones
  29. Jadiel Sanchez
  30. Andrew Schultz
  31. Blake Brown
  32. Andrew Baker
  33. Rafael Marcano
  34. Dominic Pipkin
  35. Jean Cabrera
  36. Gunner Mayer
  37. Jose Pena Jr.
  38. Baron Radcliff
  39. Nicoly Pina
  40. Starlyn Castillo
  41. Marcus Lee Sang

Phillies reportedly hire Werman to manage BlueClaws

According to Matt Gelb of The Athletic, the Phillies have hired Keith Werman to manage the High-A Jersey Shore BlueClaws. Werman, 32, spent the last four seasons on the San Diego Padres staff as the major league development coordinator. New Phillies farm director Preston Mattingly has made numerous minor league coaching changes this offseason. He’s hired Anthony Contreras to manage the Triple-A Lehigh Valley IronPigs and Kevin Bradshaw as minor-league field coordinator. Former 1992 AL Rookie of the Year Pat Listach will reportedly join Werman’s staff as Jersey Shore’s bench coach.


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