Latest reports have 50 players including 30 on the active MLB roster suiting up for games and another 20 on an NFL type taxi squad if baseball returns this summer. The Phillies will likely load up and fill up the 2020 MLB roster with aging journey guys let go by other organizations as the tend to do!
We would like to see several young prospects who were not on the Phillies spring training roster get several taxi squad spots. Especially, since it now appears no minor league season will take place. Read HERE.
Having watched the limited spring training we nominate five up-the-middle prospects who should get consideration for the Phillies major league taxi squad. They include pitcher Spencer Howard, catcher Logan O’Hoppe, shortstop Bryson Stott, infielder Logan Simmons and centerfielder Simon Muzziotti.
Of course most of them will likely not get any consideration. They are likely to be pegged as way too young for the Phillies Front Office to consider. Howard is the only one who will get a shot in the majors this season but the Phillies should use this opportunity to develop the rest over the summer even without minor league baseball. They are major league talent!
Howard is major league ready now. He showed it last season striking out nearly 12 batters per nine innings while pitching to a 1.29 ERA with the Clearwater Threshers, a 2.35 ERA with Reading and a 2.11 ERA in the Arizona Fall League. He also allowed only one earned run in his playoff game start with Reading.
O’Hoppe was voted by the players as the best catcher in the Australian Baseball League in off season baseball after hitting five homers in 89 at bats in the ABL regular season. He hit .357 in the ABL post season. According to an Adelaide Giants post it was “his athleticism, throwing accuracy and baseball brain contributed to making him the complete package.” Read a blog about O’Hoppe HERE.
Stott, the Phillies first round draft pick in 2019, hit five homers in 157 at bats and committed only two errors in 135 chances at shortstop for Williamsport. The videos below are from Fall Instructs and spring training.
Simmons put together one of the best home run streaks in all of baseball last season with Williamsport. In a 22 game stretch in late July and August, he hit 10 homers for the Crosscutters. Read HERE about how his Williamsport roommate, Logan O’Hoppe, helped him turned last season around.
Muzziotti had a strong season as Clearwater’s centerfielder. He finished fourth in the Florida State League in batting average and was charged with only one error for a .994 fielding percent in centerfield.
The Phillies need to take a look at the future behind the plate and shortstop in particular right now! Both catcher J.T. Realmuto and shortstop Didi Gregarious will be free agents at the end of this season. Clearly for us, Logan O’Hoppe and Bryson Stott are the top prospects at those positions in the Phillies farm system. On the other hand, we believed that Spencer Howard should have been pitching already in the major leagues last season.
We do not know what the Phillies front office will do with the players in minor league system if they minor league season is cancelled. What we do know is that Howard, O’Hoppe, Stott, Simmons and Muzziotti were best of the minor league bunch up the middle that we saw play last season and in the abbreviate spring training this season.