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August 20, 2021

Phillies prospect watch: Bryson Stott is red hot, Hans Crouse is making stellar impression

The Phillies have fallen, sharply, out of first place after they were swept by the lowly Diamondbacks this week. Now on the outside looking in, once again Philly fans are forced to find ways to stay optimistic with a 10th year with no playoffs a very likely outcome.

Often times, a bright future is enough to make sports fans feel a little better about things. When it comes to the Phillies top prospects, it's kind of been hit or miss — though a bunch of players drafted highly in recent seasons are making good impressions in the minor leagues.

It should be known that this year is different than years past. Usually, toward the end of August, we'd be contemplating which players would be subject to a September call up. However, this year's rosters are constructed differently, and the expansion is just to 28 players, not to the usual 40. Which means there will be much less opportunity for players to make the jump to the MLB level this fall — particularly if the Phillies find themselves in a race for the NL East up until the end of the season.

Not surprisingly, the Phillies farm system is bottom heavy — most of their most highly regarded prospects are in the lower minor league levels right now. Which means that not many of the players we'll examine below would be in the mix for a call up anyway. 

Here's a look at whose hot, and whose not amongst the top 20 Phillies prospects (via

(Note: We did not include all 20, only the ones who have been noteworthy in their good, or bad play of late.)

Whose hot:

Bryson Stott, SS, Reading (No. 2)

Stott, a former first round pick whom many are hoping will be the teams future starting shortstop (or second baseman) is the very definition of hot right now in Reading. He is hitting .350 in the month of August so far, with seven extra base hits in 63 at bats in that span. He has five RBI in his last three games alone, and has lifted his batting average from .249 on July 31 to .274, where it currently stands. It will be interesting to see, with the minor league season extending into September, if they'll give him a try in Triple-A to end the season.

Hans Crouse, SP, Reading (No. 4)

Crouse's name being on this list is a breath of fresh air. He was acquired in the deal that landed the Phillies Ian Kennedy and Kyle Gibson, and the 22-year-old has made a great first impression. In his first two starts with the Phillies organization, Crouse has tossed 9.1 innings allowing just one solo homer while striking out 11. Will he show enough to put himself in line for a potential rotation spot in 2022?

Ricardo Perez, C, Rookie (No. 13)

A 2021 draftee, Perez has wasted no time flashing his bat in the minors, hitting .326 over 17 games so far in Rookie ball. He's only 17 and has a very bright future, and should make the jump to Clearwater sooner rather than later.

Christian Hernandez, SP, Clearwater (No. 16)

The 20-year-old pitching prospect has been consistent and reliable in Clearwater this season, posting a respectable 3.49 ERA with 74 strikeouts over 56.2 innings pitched. He may be an arm on the rise.

Jamari Baylor, SS, Rookie (No. 20)

Baylor is a 2019 draftee out of college who did not get to play last year due to COVID shutting down the minors. He's wasted no time getting back on scouts' radars, hitting .313 this season with the FCL Phillies. He has 10 extra base hits in 18 games.

Whose not:

Mick Abel, SP, Clearwater (No. 1)

The Phillies top overall prospect hasn't pitched since July 21 as he sits on the injured list. He has a 4.43 ERA as he sorts out how to handle professional level hitting.

Francisco Morales, SP, Reading (No. 5)

Morales continues to struggle to find his footing in Double-A, as his ERA remains an inflated 6.56 through 18 games pitched at that level. The 21-year-old is extremely talented but is struggling with his command, an unforced error for a player looking to rise to the challenge of helping the Phillies thin rotation.

Ethan Wilson, OF, Clearwater (No. 7)

Wilson is a new addition to the Phillies top prospects list, a second round pick back in the 2021 draft. He has two homers in his first eight pro games, but his batting average is low as he adjusts to be being a pro, at just .179. He is just 21.

Luis Garcia, SS, Clearwater (No. 9)

Garcia is only 20 and is just getting his feet wet in the pros, but his .079 batting average over the last 10 games he's played leaves some to be desired. He has had just three hits in 38 at bats over that span.

Jhailyn Ortiz, OF, Reading (No. 11)

Ortiz was more than holding his own in Single-A this season, blasting an impressive 19 homers and 65 RBI, but his transition to Double-A has been rough. In his 16 games with Reading, the international prospect has hit just .203.

Getting ready

Andrew Painter, SP (No. 3)

Painter is listed as the Phillies third best prospect which is either really good or really bad, depending on how you look at it. He's their 18-year-old recent first round pick who is readying to make his professional debut, so having scouts and baseball insiders high on him is a good thing. But, him being the franchise's third best prospect, having never thrown a pitch for the organization is, probably not a great sign.

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