Phillies bonus prospects Nos. 21-25
The Phillies, as everyone knows, have a bit of an aging big league roster, with one of the highest average ages in Major League Baseball. The question, of course, is just what help is on the way. The Phillies Top 20 doesn’t provide a ton of immediate future solutions, though Maikel Franco is up now. Recent first-round pick Aaron Nola should help next year. J.P. Crawford does have the makings of a star at shortstop, but you might need to wait a bit.
As for further down the list, some injuries to promising arms have hurt depth a bit, but if some can return to health, this system could get better down the road.
21. Franklyn Kilome, RHP: If you like tall, projectable right-handers, then Kilome might be the guy for you. The 19-year old made his debut in the Gulf Coast League this summer and threw very well. The 6-foot-6, 175-pound Dominican has plenty of room for growth and added strength, and already throws a fastball in the low-90s. His sinker produces groundball outs and he commands his heater well. The secondary stuff is a work in progress, though he was making strikes in setting hitters up with his fastball and developing off-speed stuff.
22. Austin Wright, LHP: An eighth-round pick in 2011 out of Mississippi, Wright began his pro career promisingly as a starter. When the 6-foot-4 lefty stalled in 2013, the Phillies moved him to the bullpen. Sometimes, that move allows a pitcher to take off; sometimes it takes a while. Wright fits into the latter category as he’s struggled with his command more than anything. While he did repeat at Double-A and his numbers aren’t anything to write home about, left-handed hitters did have trouble hitting him. With his fastball-breaking ball combination, if he can improve his command/control a bit, he still has the stuff to be a successful lefty reliever in the big legaues.
23: Drew Anderson, RHP: Taken out of the Reno, Nevada, high school ranks in the 21st round of the 2012 Draft, Anderson was making excellent progress, pitching well in the New York-Penn League as a teenager in 2013. This year, he battled injuries, throwing just 49 2/3 innings, but when he was healthy, he threw pretty well in his first taste of full-season ball. Anderson can touch 94 mph with his fastball, which he sinks and commands well. He throws a curve and changeup along with it. The breaking ball has the chance to be a swing-and-miss pitch and the changeup is developing. A back end starter if everything clicks.
24. Jose Pujols, OF: Pujols was ranked No. 16 on our International Top 20 list back in 2012 and the Phillies signed him for $540,000 when the signing period began in July of that year. He made his United States debut in 2013 at age 17 and showed very good raw power, and just how much he needed to learn about hitting. He went back to the GCL this year and did much of the same thing, showing some pop and struggling with plate discipline. He’s still a work in progress, but the upside is that of a prototypical power-hitting right fielder.
25. Shane Watson, RHP: Watson is one of the aforementioned injured pitchers. The supplemental first-round pick in 2012 was looking like he was handling an assignment to full-season ball in 2013, but then the arm trouble started. He was shut down in early July and hasn’t thrown a competitive pitch since, dealing with shoulder trouble. When healthy, he can touch the mid-90s with his fastball and has a big curve ball that’s a solid second pitch. He was really learning to pitch with his changeup before the arm issues started. He has the confidence you like to see from a starting pitcher. Now it’s just a question of getting back on the mound for competitive pitching.