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April 02, 2019

Phillies prospect watch: When will top young players make the big leagues?

The minor league baseball season starts later this week, with Reading and Lehigh Valley kicking off their seasons on Thursday. 

Both teams will likely be chock full of players with MLB potential.

Below is a preseason look ahead at the top 10 players in the Phillies system. We'll check in every few weeks to see how each of them is doing, but to start things off, let's take a look at when we project each of the top youngsters will make their debut for the Phillies in South Philly.

One thing to note as you read, is that some of these players may be used as centerpieces of future trades for the Phillies as they look to upgrade this July — yet another reason why they are so important, even if they are not expected to make an immediate impact.

Without further ado...

1. Adonis Media, 22, SP

After the Phils traded away Sixto Sanchez in a swap for J.T. Realmuto, Media ascended to become the team's top pitching prospect. He has three really solid pitches but has not pitched higher than A-ball, where he will start the 2019 season. He has the stuff to make the jump to Double-A this season and perhaps climb close to Triple-A if he reaches his potential. His ERA of 3.21 over parts of five minor league seasons is impressive, as is his 9.9 strikeouts per nine innings from last season.

MLB ETA: 2020

2. Alec Bohm, 22, 3B

Bohm was Philly's first-round pick a year ago and the infielder from Wichita State looks to be close to a finished product. Scouts are enamored with his arm at third and his raw power with the bat. He has a clear path to the bigs as the Phillies would likely be happy to move on from Maikel Franco (though his epic start to the season may thrown a thorn in that notion). Bohm will probably begin in either High-A or Double-A this coming season.

MLB ETA: 2021

3. Spencer Howard, 22, SP

Howard is another untested prospect, a second-round pick from 2017 who has yet to advance past Single-A. He has a ton of life on his highly-rated fastball, has size at 6-foot-3, and struck out nearly 12 batters per nine last season. Howard, like Medina has some traveling left to do through the minors before he is big league ready, which is why he also projects as a potential big league arm in a season or so — if everything goes right — with the Phillies in need of rotation stability.

MLB ETA: 2020

4. Luis Garcia, 18, SS

The first thing that jumps out about Garcia, signed out of the Dominican Republic as an amateur last year, is his age. Still a teenager, Garcia has all the makings of the Phillies' shortstop (or second baseman if the team keeps Jean Segura for another contract) of the future. He has elite speed and defense, and while his bat was suspect at first, his batting average of .369 last season in A-ball was a very good reassurance. He has a long way to go but a ton of upside.

MLB ETA: 2022

5. Adam Haseley, 22, CF

Haseley is likely the name on the list you recognize the most, as the 2017 first rounder was called up to spring training last month in Clearwater. He has elite power and speed and hit .316 with six homers and 17 RBI in just 39 games in Reading last season. He will start his 2019 campaign there again, and likely make the jump to Lehigh Valley if he continues to form. Look for Haseley to push for an outfield gig this season of any of the big leaguers struggle. He also undoubtedly has a great chance to be a September call-up.

MLB ETA: 2019

6. JoJo Romero, 22, SP

If one of the Phillies bottom of the order starters falter or get injured, it's possible Romero is the first call up. He was solid in Double-A last year with a 3.80 ERA over 18 starts, and he'll probably begin the year either in Reading or Lehigh Valley. His left-handedness is a big plus, as the Phillies are lacking in that department currently. His control is the one thing holding him back, as his walk rate has increased as he's climbed the farm system.

MLB ETA: 2019

7. Enyel De Los Santos, 23, SP

De Los Santos started twice for the Phillies last season and helped out of the bullpen in September but will start the year in Triple-A. With the bullpen options more or less stacked, De Los Santos will be in competition with Romero to be the first starter called up if the MLB squad needs reinforcements.

MLB ETA: 2019

8. Simon Mussiotti, 20, CF

Mussiotti is a newcomer to the top 10 list, but he has an impressive combination of bat and speed that could propel him to the majors someday. Last season in 68 games he stole 19 bases while hitting .250 in Single-A. There is a logjam in the outfield so his path to Bigs may be tough. 

MLB ETA: 2022

9. Francisco Morales, 19, SP

Last season in the low minors, Morales struck out 68 batters in 56.1 innings of work — good for a 10.86 K/9 rate. The youngster has two plus pitches in his fastball and slider, with his major hurdle being the acquisition of a solid third pitch. Morales is raw but talented enough to crack the Phils' top 10 list. 

MLB ETA: 2022

10. Mickey Moniak, 20, CF

The first overall pick for the Phillies in the 2016 draft, Moniak has had an up and down career as a professional so far. He had a productive second half of 2018, which prompted the Phillies to invite the outfielder to spring training this past season. Moniak will probably start off in Double-A and a solid campaign could land him in Triple-A at some point this or next season. The depth at outfield is rather extensive, and Moniak is probably currently behind Haseley in the pecking order.

MLB ETA: 2020

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