MLB.com Announces Phillies Top 30 Prospect List
MLB.com recently updated their top-30 prospect rankings for each team and the Phillies actually look they have a promising group of players in the lower tiers of their farm system.
For most of my life the Phillies have been among the worst teams in baseball at developing homegrown talent. It’s also one of the biggest reasons I was hesitant to include top prospect SS Bryson Stott in my Phillies lineup projections for the upcoming season.
We are entering the third season since Dave Dombrowski hired Brian Barber to run the scouting department after years of mismanagement and poor developmental oversight by Matt Klentak’s front office.
As much disdain as I have for Klentak after he completely bungled the Phillies rebuild we should all take a moment to give him credit for drafting the number one guy on this list.
1. Bryson Stott, SS (MLB #45)
It’s inevitable that Stott will succeed Didi Gregorius as the Phillies everyday shortstop. The only question is whether that will happen in 2022 or 2023. Stott is progressing easily through the minors as you would expect from a former 1st round pick drafted out of college. At 24, scouts are confident that he is an MLB caliber player but some question whether he will be able stick at short or cement himself into an everyday role.
In 2021 over three levels Stott hit .299/.390/.486 then proceeded to show he more than belonged by hitting .318 and being selected to the All-Arizona Fall League team. While Stott will never be a gold-glove caliber shortstop, he moves well and shown the ability to play second and third base.
2. Mick Abel, RHP (MLB #81)
Abel is the guy I would consider the best prospect in the Phillies system. The Phillies went against their organizational philosophy by taking Abel 15th overall in the 2020 draft. Abel more than held his own as a 19-year-old in Clearwater last season posting a 4.43 ERA with a 2:1 K/BB ratio over 44 innings before being shut down with arm soreness.
The Phillies understandably will be patient with Abel and avoid rushing him through the minors while keeping him on a strict innings limit. A promotion to Double-A Reading this season is not out of the question should he show he is ready for tougher competition.
3. Andrew Painter, RHP
The second consecutive high school arm taken by the Phillies in the draft, Painter may not have the same ceiling as Abel but he could easily become a top half of the rotation arm. Pitchers taken at 18 years old are extremely difficult to project but Painter stands 6’7” and throws consistently in the mid to high 90’s. It’s a good sign when teams like the Oakland A’s are asking for a guy in return for their star player.
Painter through 6 innings in rookie ball this year following the draft.
4. Johan Rojas, OF
I have to agree with Kiley McDaniel here. Johan Rojas is the guy who could finally hold down the centerfield position for the Phillies. A plus runner, Rojas took a leap toward the end of 2021 when he hit .344/.419.563 after being promoted to High-A Jersey Shore.
Rojas wont turn 22 until August and with a strong performance could easily progress this season all the way to Triple-A Lehigh Valley much like O’Hoppe and Stott did last year.
Again, I never expect anything to go right for a Phillies prospect but Rojas starting in CF opening day 2023 is a real possibility.
5. Logan O’Hoppe, C
O’Hoppe increased his stock more than any other prospect in the Phils system in 2021. This time last year he was ranked 28th in one of the worst farm systems in baseball. Then O’Hoppe slashed .270/.331/.458 with 17 HR, 58 RBIs and a .789 OPS. Then absolutely dominated top pitching prospects in the Arizona Fall League batting .299 with 3 HR, 17 RBIs and a .960 OPS over 22 games.
O’Hoppe, was drafted in the 23rd round in 2018 because scouts believed he would sign with his fathers alma mater at East Carolina University. The Phils managed to sign him with a strong bonus offer of $215,000 and he know looks like a guy with a ceiling as an everyday catcher.
Despite ending last season in Lehigh Valley, O’Hoppe will likely begin the year in AA Reading to ensure he is getting everyday playing time. Keep an eye out for O’Hoppe for when the Phillies expand their rosters in September.
I have to admit I am getting all kinds of excited watch a guy crush pitches in Utley’s #26.
Other Notable Phillies Prospects in the Top 30
10. Matt Vierling, OF
Despite being 25 years old you would imagine that Vierling, who hit .324 in 71 AB’s last season would grade higher on this list. A 5th round pick out of Notre Dame in 2018, Vierling just looks like a baseball player.
Yes, I sound like an 80-year-old scout for the Oakland A’s from the movie Moneyball, but its true!
When I watch Vierling I get major Jason Werth vibes. He likely wont hit well against LHP but could very well be the Phillies 2022 opening day starter in CF and has the versatility to play all three outfield spots.
18. Mickey Moniak, OF
Woof. Can Philadelphia ever have nice things? Im hesitant to slam the kid because the Phillies drafted him #1 overall knowing he wasn’t a top-5 prospect. Thats a ton of pressure for an 18-year-old who has never faced professional pitching.
I’m also hesitant to declare Moniak a bust as he has already reached the big leagues and occasionally shows flashes of the promise that led the Phillies to become so enamored with his skillset.
But the numbers clearly aren’t impressive.
Moniak posted an abysmal .091/.167/.182 in 30AB for the big club last season. At 23 he was clearly overmatched and quickly sent back down to Lehigh Valley where he remained for the rest of the year slashing a paltry .238/.299/.447 with 15 HR and 65 RBI.
I still think Moniak will have success in the show. Right now the only question is whether the Phillies are the team that can unlock his potential.
23. Christopher Sanchez, P
As noted in my pessimistic preview of the Phillies bullpen earlier this month, Sanchez has a chance to be pitching in South Philly this season. Normally a depth reliever wouldn’t make a notable prospect list but Sanchez just happens to be part of one of the worst Phillies trades of the past decade.
The Phils got Sanchez in a swap for third basemen Curtis Mead who obliterated minor league pitching in 2021 and is now a top-100 prospect overall.
Thanks again Matt Klentak!