The Philadelphia Phillies have faced nothing better than mediocrity in the last decade. They last played October baseball in 2011 and since then have had little to no success on the diamond. In most cases, if you had top draft picks for ten years in a row, a top farm system in baseball is a given. That is not the case for the Phillies. Throughout the past few years, the Phillies have had a minimal amount of success that has come from their farm system. Even though the Phillies farm system does not have a ton of talent or depth, there are definitely some names that you could see playing in red and white in the near future.
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1. Mick Abel, RHP
In 2020, the Phillies selected Mick Abel with the 15th overall pick. Abel’s size, standing at 6-foot-5, and his ability to execute four pitches have made him an intriguing prospect. At age 20, his fastball is sitting at 95 MPH and has touched 98 MPH. His off-speed pitches have also shown to be effective, as he is able to spin his curveball well while executing a solid sinking change. In Abel’s first year in A-ball, he started 14 games, finishing with a 4.43 ERA. Although the ERA might not look the best on paper, his strikeout numbers were very promising, as he finished with 13.3 strikeouts per nine rate. Abel for sure has some control issues to work out, but the 20-year-old definitely has a bright future ahead.
Abel’s 2022 is most likely to start in A-ball, whether that be in High-A or Low-A is unknown. Whichever one it should be, he is projected to finish his season in Double-A. Abel’s progression is important for the Phillies and they are unlikely to rush him through the minor league ranks. Although Abel’s arrival to the big leagues might not be for a few years, his arrival is something that baseball fans should be excited about.
2. Andrew Painter, RHP
After taking a starter with their first-round pick in 2020, the Phillies decided to stay on the same route in 2021 and selected Andrew Painter with the 13th overall pick. Painter, just like Abel, is tall and lanky. The 18-year-old is able to execute four solid pitches, with his fastball, being his best, sitting at about 95 MPH. He supplements his fastball, with a 12-6 curveball, a slider that sits in the mid-’80s, and a changeup that although needs work has great potential. Last year, Painter started four games in rookie ball. Even though he only pitched six innings in those games, he allowed no runs and no walks while striking out 12.
Low-A or Rookie ball is where Painter will likely kick off his 2022 campaign, as he still has a long road till he is big-league ready. Painter is a very exciting prospect, and should be someone Phillie fans should be watching closely. If all goes right, a one-two punch with Painter and Abel could be very dangerous for the rest of the MLB.
3. Bryson Stott, SS
After spending three years at UNLV, Bryson Stott got drafted 14th overall by the Phillies. Stott, a lefty at the plate, has shown his ability to use the whole field and hit for a high average. In 112 games in 2021, he slashed .299/.390/.486. Although the power doesn’t shine in his game, Stott still crushed 16 homers last year. He also has shown great discipline at the plate, walking 65 times in 2021. Stott has shown great potential and could become a household name in Philadelphia very soon.
After finishing his 2021 campaign in Lehigh Valley, with the Phillies Triple-A affiliate, Stott is projected to begin his 2022 back there. His time there might be a short stay because Stott could very well make his big league debut not too long into the season. He has shown he is able to play at all levels in the minors, and we could be seeing him very soon at the Bank.
4. Hans Crouse, RHP
Drafted 66th overall in 2017 by the Texas Ranger, Hans Crouse was traded to the Phillies at the 2021 trade deadline. After taking a year off in 2020, Crouse had a solid year in 2021. In all, he finished with a 3.12 ERA, pitching in 80.2 innings. Crouse has an electric fastball that sits in the mid to upper ’90s and complements well with a wipeout slider and a solid changeup. Crouse has shown his ability to be dominant, and carrying that into the big leagues will be very important for him.
After finishing the season last year on two rough starts with the Phillies. Crouse is looking to grab a late rotation spot, and start the year in the bigs. If he ends up starting the year in Lehigh Valley an early-season entrance back to the MLB is expected. Crouse definitely has the stuff to be a staple in the Phillies rotation, and it will be interesting to watch what he is able to do.
5. Francisco Morales, RHP
Acquired during the 2016 international signing window, Francisco Morales has shown his ability to be a dominant pitcher. The now 22-year-old, although he only throws two pitches, has a nasty pitch mix. His fastball consistently sits 98 MPH, and his slider has become a swing and miss machine. Morales’s command issues slowed him down in 2021, but he has proven in previous years that he can be dominant.
Morales is most likely to start the year in Double-A, but if all goes right could see a quick progression to Triple-A. His development is important to the Phillies, and gaining command of the strike zone is going to be very important for him this season. Although pitching in the MLB could be an option this season, I would most likely be expecting a debut in 2023.
What Does the Future Hold?
The top of the Phillies farm system is heavily loaded with pitchers. A strong rotation for years to come is expected for the Phillies, but the real question is how their positional prospects can develop. Other than Stott, the Phillies lack major depth in that department, so it will be interesting to see if anyone can develop into something worth noting.
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Main Image Credit: From Phillies Nation