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July 30, 2023

Phillies prospect watch: Which top youngsters could be trade chips?

A look at who might be included in a future trade from the Phillies' top prospect pool.

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Simon-Muzziotti-Phillies-Spring-Training-3.6.2023-MLB.jpg Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports

Phillies outfield prospect Símon Muzziotti during spring training back in March.

With our last check in on the Phillies top prospects prior to the MLB Trade Deadline, set to arrive on Tuesday, it makes sense to change things up a bit.

Instead of taking a look at who is hot and who is not, as we normally do, today we'll put the top 20 prospects into two categories for the purposes of the current situation in South Philly. Players who we surmise might be great trade chips, and players who are probably not going anywhere.

Could be moved

Griff McGarry, SP, Reading (No. 4)

It seems like McGarry is potentially the top available trade chip for the Phillies right now. The top three guys (as we'll get into) are probably going to be held onto with very high regard, and unless there is some kind of coup to get a future Hall of Famer, they're going to remain in the Phillies' farm system. This leads us to McGarry, who is 24 and has a 3.02 ERA over 12 starts in Double-A this year. He's being blocked out of a rotation spot and he's getting older. The Phillies might be wanting to cash in right now.

Gabriel Rincones Jr., OF, Jersey Shore (No. 7)

A third-round pick in 2022, Rincones is in his first season of pro ball and hitting decently well with 32 extra base hits and a .356 on-base rate this season in Single-A. At 22, he's a little older and positionally blocked in the outfield.

Alex McFarlane, SP, Clearwater (No. 8)

McFarlane was taken in the fourth round last year and in his second year of professional baseball he's been impressive, with a 3.72 ERA over 13 starts. At 22, he also is a little older for a pitching prospect and could find himself in a new farm system with more opportunity if he's moved.

Carlos De Los Cruz, OF, Reading (No. 9)

At 23, the huge 6-foot-8 outfielder is hitting .290 in Double-A and seems to be positionally blocked in the outfield. He's a very intriguing centerpiece for a potential trade.

Simon Muzziotti, OF, Lehigh Valley (No. 10)

It doesn't seem like there is much Muzziotti can do to crack the Phillies lineup. The 24-year old is a left-handed hitter which the Phillies already have plenty of at the big-league level. He is hitting .331 with 45 RBI for the Iron Pigs and could legitimately be a starter in the majors with another team.

Ethan Wilson, OF, Reading (No. 14)

Another left-handed outfielder excelling in the minors, Wilson has some power — 14 homers this year so far — and at 23, he has some of the same promotion issues as Muzziotti. 

Christian McGowen, SP,  Florida Complex League (No. 16)

McGowen is a talented arm but he's made just two starts following Tommy John surgery last year. He is 23 and would be more of a throw-in in a trade.

Andrew Baker, RP, Reading (No. 17)

Baker has talent but hasn't done much with it in three minor league seasons. The 23-year-old reliever may do well with a change of scenery in a deadline trade. He has a 5.52 career ERA.

Jhaylin Ortiz, OF, Reading (No. 18)

Can you believe that he's been a Phillies' prospect since 2015? Ortiz is struggling this season hitting just .217 in Reading, but he has some power and can play some defense and is 24 years old. He might do well in a new spot.

McKinley Moore, RP, Reading (No. 20)

If Moore doesn't get traded he should get called up. The 24-year-old strikeout machine just returned from injury and is continuing a 1.29 ERA campaign out of the bullpen in Reading. This is his fourth year in the Phillies farm system.

The untouchables

Andrew Painter (SP), Mick Abel (SP), Justin Crawford (OF)

Not a lot needs to be said here. Painter is getting Tommy John surgery and is also the team's top overall prospect. Abel still projects as a top of the rotation starter and he'll have a crack at the rotation in 2024. And Crawford was their first-round pick a year ago, appeared in the MLB Futures Game, and is tearing it up with a .325 batting average in Clearwater. The Phillies optimistically expect these three to become superstars. 

The 20 and under club

Hao-Yu Lee (2B), William Bergolla (SS), Emaarion Boyd (OF), Jordan Viars (OF), Rickardo Perez (C), Micah Ottenbreit (RP)

These young prospects are unproven, for one, which certainly hurts their value in a trade. They also mostly play positions that are at a premium for the Phillies, with Lee and Bergolla playing middle infield and Perez playing catcher. It's not super common for a teenager who is not an elite prospect to be thrown into a deadline deal.

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