This rundown has been difficult to write because I have little confidence in this club’s ability to develop its players, so even as we have plenty of reasons to be interested in several names on the list, we have more reasons to doubt than invest.
Format: Position Player | Age on 4/1/2022 | Highest level played | ETA
1. SS Bryson Stott | 24 | AAA | 2022
Stott’s tots believe Bryson will make their dreams come true, and maybe he can. His 2021 season jumped off the page, culminating in a .303/.439/.394 across ten games at AAA, his third level of the season. This ascent pushed his dynasty value up into the Sell range for me, but that’s only if someone is really backing up the truck for him. If not, there’s no harm in waiting to see how Spring Training plays out. Might be another nice little value bump in the 6’3” shortstop’s future.
2. RHP Mick Abel | 20 | A | 2024
Abel isn’t out here murdering everyone like some of his big-armed brethren, but the 6’5” youngster with the nasty fastball had a promising debut season nonetheless, posting a 20.6 K-BB rate and 1.21 WHIP across 19 starts. He was 2.9 years younger than the average competitor he faced at Clearwater, and hopes are sky high in the city of brotherly love, an apt place for Abel to wind up one day. I’ve seen him in the 50’s on prospect lists, and he’s a Sell for me at that rate.
3. OF Johan Rojas | 21 | A+ | 2023
Rojas is one of the few Phillies we should be buying (fir free) right now in dynasty leagues. He finished the season on a heater at High-A Jersey Shore, slashing .344/.419/.563 in 17 games at a level where he was about three years younger than the league average. He’s a premium athlete at 6’1” 165 lbs, though I wouldn’t be shocked if he’s 20 pounds heavier and stronger than that today. Had been hitting the ball on the ground a lot before something clicked late. A season-long breakout could be in the cards for 2022, where he could open in AA if Philly wants to really push the envelope, which is their typical M.O.
4. RHP Andrew Painter | 18 | R | 2025
The club’s second first-round high school arm in as many seasons, Painter is a 6’7” 215 lb mountain with great stuff and better command than you’d expect from a teenager his size. He’s got everything you’d want: a slider that’s distinct from his curveball and a chance to access four different velocity bands if his changeup comes along, but he’s still a high school pitcher selected at a time when there wasn’t much high school baseball. This cuts several ways in that it saved him some innings and might have hidden his topside, but it also means he’s even less experienced than the typical teenage arm, which is already by far the most volatile player group. I’ll likely be letting someone else take him in my First-Year-Player Drafts this winter.
5. OF Matt Vierling | 25 | MLB | 2021
It’s easy to overlook Vierling, a 5th round pick in 2018 who never garnered much press in his journey to the majors, partly because he lost the 2020 season, partly because much of that climb occurred this year when Vierling traversed three levels and wound up one of the club’s better hitters down the stretch, albeit in a part-time role. He got the season cooking with a steamy .345/.422/.644 line in 24 games at AA, but that ballpark in Reading is notoriously generous to hitters, and he struggled to replicate that success at AAA (.248/.331/.359) before splashing down with a .324/.364/.479 line in 79 major league plate appearances. He doesn’t swing and miss much (9.2% in Philadelphia) or strikeout much, and he packs just enough power and speed to cause problems for opponents and score points for us. He’s my favorite name in this system in terms of price versus potential to help us in the standings.
6. OF Jhailyn Ortiz | 23 | AA | 2023
Listed at 6’3” 215 lbs, Ortiz is likely a little heftier than that today, but he has done a solid job of maintaining an outfielder’s body despite some size and fitness concerns when he was younger—no small feat particularly after losing the 2020 season. He still strikes out too much, but Ortiz resuscitated his prospect life this season, slashing .262/.358/.521 with 19 HR and 4 SB across 74 games at A+ before scuffling through the final 21 games at AA (.208/.307/.377 with 4 HR). He’s probably rostered in your league thanks to the Philadelphia record $4.2 million signing bonus he snagged as a 16-year-old. If not, he makes a sneaky pickup in Supp drafts or early next year, when I suspect he’ll join the Phillies for Spring Training before heading back to AA.
7. SS Luis Garcia | 21 | A+ | 2024
Garcia played 205 games at A ball between 2019 and 2021, having been pushed too fast too early and getting totally overmatched in his first look at the level (.186/.261/.255) but rebounding well this time around (.246/.356/.423) with 11 HR and 11 SB in 87 games. Nothing to get all hot and bothered about but certainly more to dream on than we’d seen to that point. He was okay in High-A for 16 games at season’s end (.224/.333/.362 with 2 HR and 4 SB). If he and Rojas both return to the Jersey Shore and Mick Abel joins them there, they’ll give the Phillies their most talented low-minors squad in several years.
8. OF Jordan Viars | 18 | CPX | 2025
A 3rd round pick in 2021, Viars got off to a slow start on the complex before homering three times in his final nine games at the level. He’s a powerful 6’4” 215 lbs with enough patience (17.2%/18.8% BB/K rate) to and speed that I expect he’ll cruise through a couple levels next year if he’s making enough contact.
9. C Rafael Marchan | 23 | MLB | 2020
Marchan filled in when JT Realmuto was dinged up in 2021, and I think we’ll see more of the same in 2022, especially if the universal DH makes its highly anticipated return to the league. A short (5’9”) switch-hitting catcher with solid contact skills, Marchan hasn’t hit much in his baseball life, but he’s always been young for the level and held his own while providing good defense behind the dish. He makes the back of this list because he’s a high probability major leaguer, and this organization doesn’t have many of those.
10. RHP Hans Crouse | 23 | MLB | 2021
Acquired from Texas in the Spencer Howard deal, Crouse carved his way to the big leagues for the Phillies but found himself outclassed in a short stint. No matter. It was just seven innings, and Crouse will have an inside lane on making the team out of Spring Training. Might even wind up in the rotation thanks to a double-plus fastball, curveball combination, making him an interesting under-the-radar target in super deep leagues.
Thanks for reading!
I’m @theprospectitch on Twitter.