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July 23, 2019

Phillies prospect watch: Alec Bohm, Mickey Moniak playing like top prospects as trade deadline approaches

With the trade deadline on the horizon, baseball prospects are about to come onto center stage. Teams selling will be looking to restock their farm systems as they turn toward the future, and teams like the Phillies — expected to buy — will be shipping off prospects in hopes of contending right now.

Philadelphia may have to part with some of its top 10 prospects in order to persuade sellers to help them reach the playoffs this fall. And if the prospects we examine in this article do stick around, they will have a good chance at making an impact on the big league club, as injuries and depth issues continue to plague the Phillies.

With many prospects already either on the MLB roster (Adam Haseley, Ranger Suarez), or having been send down recently (Enyel De Los Santos, J.D. Hammer), we'll focus on those who have yet to crack the big leagues.

Here's a look at who is impressing and who is struggling on the Phillies farm system:

Who's hot?

Alex Bohm, 3B, Reading

Bohm hit two home runs on Sunday, continuing his meteoric rise through the Phillies' farm system. Last year's first round pick for the squad, the 22-year-old appears to be on a collision course with a big league call up sooner rather than later. He has seven homers in 21 games in Reading, his third level this season, and has hit .282 over his last 10 games. He also was the Phillies' lone representative at the MLB Futures Game back on July 7. Bohm could find himself in Philadelphia with a September call up, and will most assuredly get a spring training invite next spring.

Mickey Moniak, CF, Reading

Moniak too is making a statement in Double-A, hitting .297 over his last 10 games. After a slow start, the 21-year-old former No. 1 overall pick is starting to live up to the billing, and is making a case to be the next top outfield prospect called up after Haseley got the nod earlier this season.

Francisco Morales, SP, Lakewood

Morales is 19 and getting work in both the bullpen and as a starter. He may be a ways away from having an impact as he is just in Single-A right now, but he has shown promise in both situations combining for a 3.31 ERA in his last 10 appearances, six of them starts and four in relief. He has 40 strikeouts to 17 walks over that span.

JoJo Romero, SP, Reading

In the fine tradition of J.D. Hammer (who was sent down this week by the way), JoJo Romero has the second coolest name of Phillies pitching prospects. He's also finally starting to pitch like a top 10 prospect. In the last few weeks he's lowered his ERA from 8.18 on May 27 to 6.41 after a quality start on Monday. He has won three of his last five appearances and allowed three or fewer runs in his last five. 

Spencer Howard, SP, Clearwater

In a farm system lacking in headline-worthy pitchers, Howard could become a huge asset as he impresses in A-ball. Since returning from an injury on June 26, Howard has allowed only three runs in 20.1 innings. He has a 1.79 ERA in nine total starts this season and, at 22, could see himself in Reading sometime pretty soon.

Simon Muzziotti, CF, Clearwater

Fast approaching the top 10 prospect moniker, the speedy 20-year-old is hitting .286 over his last 10 games and .277 for the year. He also has 15 stolen bases.

Who's not?

Cornelius Randolph, LF, Reading

Randolph is another first rounder, but one who is struggling. Randolph is getting dangerously close to being labeled a "bust," though he is still 22 and has time to turn it around. He'll need to put his .197 average over his last 10 games firmly in the rearview and improve his .236 average on the season thus far.

Adonis Medina, SP, Reading

What to make of Adonis Medina, the Phillies top pitching prospect... Two starts ago he tossed seven scoreless innings in a win against Binghamton. Monday, he had his worst outing yet, allowing eight runs in 2.2 innings. The Phillies pitching staff is not just thin in the majors, they also have very few top arms in their farm system. Medina is 6-4 with a 4.34 ERA in Double-A this year.

Luis Garcia, SS, Lakewood

Garcia has been as ice cold as one can be in baseball, hitting .077 over his last 10 games with just three hits in that timeframe. The infielder is just 18 and is adjusting to playing professionally, but started the season much more strongly. He is positioned as one of the Phils' top 10 prospects — at least for now.

Jhailyn Ortiz, RF, Clearwater

Ortiz was hitting .263 the last time we checked in with the 20-year-old slugger, working his way through Single-A baseball. In the weeks since, he's seen his average creep down to .219. Plate discipline seems to be a big issue, as he's been wrung up 105 times in 81 games and five times in his last four games (which included just two hits combined).

Arquimedes Gamboa, SS, Reading

Gamboa is on the Phillies' 40-man-roster, which means there is a pretty good chance he'll see the field at Citizen's Bank Park this fall. But not if he keeps hitting for a .181 average in Reading. Gamboa has struck out nine times in his last six games and has hit .191 over his last 10. At 21, Philadelphia still has high hopes he will find his hitting stroke and become a majors caliber infielder.

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