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April 19, 2022

Phillies prospect watch: Top players having slow slow slow starts in minors

The Phillies have been struggling to start the year, with an inconsistent offense and a pitching staff measuring as one of the league's worst through 11 games (4-7). Still, it's incredibly early to be worried, or to be discussing sending in reinforcements to shake things up.

Most of the talented veterans on the Phillies roster will find their sea legs, and the team will probably be just fine. But that doesn't mean there isn't a little pressure on the top players in the farm system to develop. The team could certainly use some help in the bullpen, and there is a good chance they'll need a sixth starter at some point. There is also always the chance a position player gets an opportunity due to an injury.

And, if none of that happens, the Phillies still want their prospects to impress so they can potentially flip some of them to improve the big league club later this summer.

Here's a brief look at who is hot, and who is not right now amongst the Phillies top prospects. Spoiler alert — not many players are hot right now...

Who's hot?

Andrew Painter, SP, Clearwater (No. 3 prospect)

Last year's first round pick is fitting in just nicely in professional baseball. After pitching three shutout frames in his debut, the 6-foot-7 righty tossed four innings of no-hit ball this weekend. He has a ridiculous 16 strikeouts through seven innings pitched so far and could be on the rise if he keeps it up.

Ethan Wilson, OF, Jersey Shore (No. 7)

Wilson is one of the very few top offensive players in the farm system not struggling early. He has four hits in his last four games and has a .273 average thus far through nine games in Single-A.

Francisco Morales, RP, Reading (No. 10)

Morales could see himself called up to Triple-A sometime soon if he continues to mow down Double-A hitters. Through five innings in relief, Morales has allowed just one hit and has struck out six.

Erik Miller, RP, Reading (No. 11)

Miller is another converted starter who has been light's out to start things out of the pen. He has a 2.25 ERA through four frames with eight punch outs.

Who's not?

Mick Abel, SP, Jersey Shore (No. 2)

Abel, the former first round pick, has had a rough start to the year over in Jersey, posting a 7.50 ERA through two starts (that would fit right in with the MLB club). He does however, have nine strikeouts and a lone walk over that span, and he is limiting hitters to a .238 average in the early going. Perhaps he's close to finding a grove in pro ball?

Johan Rojas, OF, Jersey Shore (No. 4)

Rojas, the Phils' top position player (aside from Bryson Stott) in the system is struggling to yield his bat in Single-A. The 21-year-old is hitting .212 through nine games and just one of his seven hits has gone for extra bases.

Logan O'Hoppe, C, Reading (No. 5)

After posting two multi-hit games in his first four, the catching prospect has slowed down, getting just two hits in the four games since. His .241 batting average is fine, but in the early going he hasn't produced much.

Hans Crouse, SP, Lehigh Valley (No. 6)

Thought by many to be the closest to big league ready of the Phillies starting pitching talent, Crouse has allowed seven runs in just 4.1 innings so far stretched across two starts for the Iron Pigs. His 1.85 WHIP shows he has been quite ineffective at the minor's highest level.

Luis Garcia, SS, Jersey Shore (No. 8)

The former international signee is the top infielder in the system for a team that will likely badly need homegrown talent there in the coming seasons. Through two weeks, Garcia has struggled at the plate to the tune of a .138 batting average. He hit 13 homers last year but has yet to hit one in 2022.

Jhailyn Ortiz, OF, Reading (No. 13)

Ortiz was thought by many to be a potential big league outfielder of the future signed as a teenager six years ago. His bat hasn't cooperated and continues to hinder him, as he's hit .200 so far in Double-A. He does, however, have three homers in nine games.

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