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June 11, 2021

Phillies prospect watch: Bryson Stott continues his ascent, Mickey Moniak, Mick Abel struggle

Phillies MLB
Phillies-Cardinals-Mickey-Moniak-Kate-Frese_041721-133.jpg Kate Frese/for PhillyVoice

Phillies outfielder Mickey Moniak.

The Phillies seemingly struck gold — at least in the very early returns — in calling up utility-man prospect Luke Williams. The sensation hit a walk-off two-run homer Wednesday against the Braves, and is hitting .444 through his first three games with the MLB club.

It looks as though an infusion of youth and energy may be just what this Phillies team needs, as they remain in .500 purgatory but within striking distance of the NL East lead. Who could be the next player who is called up to make an impact? And which players are currently increasing their worth in the minors — potentially helping the Phillies compile some ammo to make a meaningful trade deadline acquisition?

Here's a look at who is hot — and who is not — among the Phillies current top prospects down in the farm system. The prospects we chose are ones who are playing particular great or really badly. Many of the team's top prospects not mentioned are either injured, have been called up to the majors or have been simply lukewarm...

[NOTE: Prospect rankings are via's top 30.]

Who's hot

Bryson Stott, SS, Reading (No. 2 prospect)

A Phillies first-round pick overachieving? That's a new one. Stott, following in the disappointing footsteps of Mickey Moniak (more on him later), Adam Haseley and others, has been absolutely slaughtering in the minors so far this season. After starting his 2021 with the Blue Claws, Stott hit .288 with five homers, and a ridiculous .453 on-base percentage. It took him just 22 games to earn a promotion, and he's been just as good with Reading over the last week, with two homers already as he slashes .286/.447/.536. Philly is clamoring over his development, and the hope seems to be obvious that he can supplement Didi Gregorius at short next season when his contract expires.

Johan Rojas, CF, Clearwater (No. 7)

Rojas is a baby at just 20 years old, but after a very slow start he is raking down in Florida, hitting .382 over his last seven starts, including three home runs and eight RBI. He's young, and clearly raw, but is a top 10 prospect for a reason. Could he see a call up to Reading in his future?

Jhailyn Ortiz, SS, Jersey (No. 20)

Ortiz, just 22, has had an impressive June, hitting .348 with three homers in just six games so far. On May 29, his batting average was a thoroughly mundane .235. Now it's at .259 and rising. Ortiz is one of the best and hottest prospects on the farm right now.

Cornelius Randolph, RF, Lehigh Valley (Not ranked)

Randolph was the Phillies' first-round pick out of high school back in 2015 and he's taken a while to find his footing as a pro athlete. But it appears he has this year, hitting an impressive .311 in Triple-A. However, his red hot status looks like it's about to cool bit has he was placed on the 7-day injured list back on June 5.

Bailey Falter, SP, Lehigh Valley (Not ranked)

Since a less than stellar Triple-A debut back in early May, Falter has allowed just two total earned runs in five subsequent starts, compiling an impressive 2.91 ERA this year. He made one brief appearance (allowing two runs) in the majors back in April, but he's definitely found a groove since then and could find himself receiving a spot start should the rotation need help this summer.

Rafael Marcano, SP, Clearwater (Not ranked)

This is a bonus inclusion. Marcano isn't on any list of the Phillies top prospects, but the 21 year old from Venezuela has been absolutely dominating down in Single-A, relenting just two runs in 20 innings stretched across six games, three of them starts. On a June 5th start, Marcano struck out eight while allowing no hits, no walks and no runs. If he keeps this up he'll be due a promotion in no time.

Arquimedes Gamboa, SS, Reading (Not ranked)

Gamboa, 23, was at one point both on the Phillies 40-man roster and among their top 30 prospects. He has a great glove at short, and the Phillies front office was hoping his bat would catch up. For the most part. it hasn't. He is hitting .212 so far in Double-A, but he has been slightly better of late, hitting .316 in six games so far in the month of June.

Who's not

Mick Abel, SP, Clearwater (No. 1)

Abel has been getting progressively better as he's pitched in his first professional setting in Clearwater, but he's still got an ugly 4.74 ERA so far this year. In his most recent start on Wednesday, Abel couldn't make it out of the second inning, allowing three runs on three hits and two walks. Prior to that he had allowed just two runs in his four last starts, but none of them went longer than 3.2 innings as the Phils are cautious innings-wise with their most recent first-round pick.

Francisco Morales, SP, Reading (No. 3)

It would be hard to find a top three prospect less hot than Morales is right now. After showing lots of promise in low-A ball back in 2019, the year off in 2020 due to COVID-19 (which cancelled minor league baseball) appears to have really stunted the development of the 21 year old. Over six starts in Double-A, Morales is 0-5 with a 14.09 ERA. He has allowed four or more runs in all but one of his starts and is risking demotion if he can't figure things out soon.

Luis Garcia, SS, Clearwater (No. 5)

Another 20 year old (like Rojas), Garcia has been working hard to figure out how to be a professional hitter. He is stuck hitting .236 with 41 strikeouts over 32 games. Since a three-hit performance on June 5, Garcia is just one for his last 13.

Adonis Medina, SP, Lehigh Valley (No. 10)

The Phillies are lacking in lights-out pitching talent, and Medina hasn't really played well during his age 24 season in the minors, putting his top 10 prospect moniker at risk. After tossing five scoreless frames back on May 21, Medina has struggled, letting 13 runs cross the plate over his last 11.2 innings, spread across three starts. 

Mickey Moniak, CF, Lehigh Valley (No. 11)

Moniak has been as frustrating as any young prospect in recent memory for Phillies' fans, as 2016's first overall pick has failed to come even close to reaching expectations. He was awful when given a few weeks in the majors to earn a starting gig and lost that job to veteran Odubel Herrera. In Triple-A since, Moniak is hitting .216, and was playing even worse before a three-hit, two homer game on June 5 helped boost his numbers. He'll need to have a few more multi-hit games to get another shot at an MLB job.

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