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June 30, 2023

Phillies Prospect watch: Outfielders Justin Crawford, Johan Rojas, Símon Muzziotti, and others are red hot

Checking in on the Phillies' top 15 prospects as the trade deadline and All-Star Futures game approach.

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Johan-Rojas-Phillies-prospects_063023_USAT Nathan Ray Seebeck/USA Today Sports

Will Johan Rojas be with the Phillies organization long enough to make it to the majors?

There is one month left before MLB's trade deadline and the Phillies seem very likely to be buying.

Just how much they plan to do prior to August 1, and how much of their farm system they're willing to surrender to make another World Series run, is anyone's guess. But there are certainly players who will make for appealing throw-ins for potential deals.

Will the Phillies' current top prospects also be able to make cases for promotions during the summer months? 

Here's a look at who's hot and who's not right now in the minor leagues:

Who's hot

Justin Crawford, OF, Clearwater (No. 3)

Last year's first-rounder swapped prospect rankings with Griff McGarry last week and he's playing like a young man who deserves to be the third-best youngster in the farm system. He is hitting .357 over his last 10 games in Single-A and will be representing the Phillies in the All-Star Futures game in a week and a half. A promotion should be in the cards soon.

Hao-Yu Lee, 2B, Jersey Shore (No. 5)

The franchise's top infield prospect has a modest seven-game hitting streak right now, as he posts decent numbers in high-A Jersey Shore. He was signed out of Taiwan a few years ago and is still only 20. 

Johan Rojas, OF, Reading (No. 6)

The young outfielder is 0 for his last 12 at-bats, but prior to that he had 13 hits in seven games. He's still hitting .310 this year so we aren't knocking him down to the "not" list quite yet. Rojas is 22, very talented, but very blocked at outfielder right now. He could be a trade chip next month.

Alex McFarlane, SP, Clearwater (No. 8)

The 22-year-old has had back-to-back solid outings, but at only two innings apiece in his last two starts. In them he's allowed two combined hits.

Carlos De Los Cruz, OF, Reading (No. 9)

Here's another Fightins' outfielder who could be trade bait. De Los Crus is hitting .317 over his last 10 games and .294 overall. He has flashed a bit of power too, with 14 homers and 37 RBI this season. He is 23 years old and 6-foot-8 (which seems worth mentioning).

Símon Muzziotti, OF, Lehigh Valley (No. 10)

There's not much more that this 24-year-old prospect can do to make his case for the majors. In Triple-A this season the left-handed outfielder has hit .348 with four homers and 38 RBI in his first 65 games. He also has 18 stolen bases. If a spot on the Phillies' active roster opens up, it seems likely the eight-year pro will get a chance in the majors.

William Bergolla, SS, Clearwater (No. 11)

The Phils' second-best infielder has played in 14 games in Single-A so far and is off to a hot start, hitting .292. He is an 18-year-old international signee to keep an eye on.

Emaarion Boyd, OF, Clearwater (No. 12)

Boyd is just 19 and has incredible speed and timing on the base paths. In 51 games this season the outfielder has a ridiculous 38 stolen bases. He is also hitting a respectable .271, with a .393 on-base rate.

Ethan Wilson, OF, Reading (No. 14)

Wilson hit a double and a triple Thursday night and has hit a decent .268 over his last 10 games. He's a talented 23-year-old left-handed outfielder who is totally blocked from the majors and is a candidate to be moved in a deadline deal.

Who's not

Mick Abel, SP, Reading (Prospect No. 2)

Abel had an ERA of 2.53 back on May 5, and since then he's not gotten a single win — and has been struggling a bit in Double-A. He's allowed eight combined runs and eight walks in his most recent three starts, each of them five-inning outings. He did, however, strike out 17 hitters over that span and his .196 batting average against this year isn't bad.

Griff McGarry, SP, Reading (No. 4)

McGarry has been unable to make it through the fourth inning in his last two starts, one of which saw him struggle mightily with control, walking six batters. His 1.41 WHIP this season could use some work.

Gabriel Rincones Jr., OF, Jersey Shore (No. 7)

A new name to many Phillies fans, last year's third-round pick has dropped off quite a bit after a fast start, hitting just .238 since being promoted from Clearwater. 

Jordan Viars, OF, Clearwater (No. 13)

Viars is hitting only .212 this season. This is the start of the third season in Single-A for the 19-year old from Texas.

Who's hurt

Andrew Painter, SP (No. 1)

Painter is throwing bullpen sessions, finally, and is likely to get some work against live hitters sometime soon.

Rickardo Perez, C, FCL (No. 15)

The top catcher in the farm system is the 19-year-old Perez, who hit an eye-popping .349 for the Phillies Florida Complex League rookie ball team last year. He hasn't suited up yet in 2023.

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