The 2020 season was the most challenging ever in baseball. The Phillies did not make the post season playoffs again. They failed to qualify in the a limited Covid-19, 60 game season with a 28-32 record.
Hope for a post season season was apparent when the Phillies had the best record of all teams in Grapefruit spring training games but the regular season went down hill. They lost 7 of their last 8 games of the regular season to finish out of the MLB playoffs for the 9th straight season.
Then, the Phillies fired their general manager Matt Klentak but he is still around because he has two years left on his contract. They are reportedly getting ready to interview replacement candidates but no one knows for sure when a final decision will occur. In the meantime Klentak ‘s Assistant GM, Ned Rice, has taken over. So nothing yet has really changed in the Front Office.
Decisions need to be made by someone since the deadline to protect young players from the Rule Five Draft is November 20th. This Draft takes place on December 10th. To get some possible answers we have reviewed several articles written by MLB.com’s Jonathan Mayo about the the young Phillies talent who played at the Alternative Camp in Allentown this summer and Fall Instructs held in Clearwater. Both were closed to most fans.
Mayo interviewed Phillies farm director Josh Bonifay for both articles. Bonifay mentioned five prospects from the alternative camp who impressed him. They were pitcher Connor Brogdon, catchers Rafael Machan and Logan O’Hoppe, middle infielder Bryson Stott and outfielder Mickey Moniak. Read HERE.
Brogdon and Marchan were called up to finish the season with the Phillies and were impressive. Brogdon pitched 8.2 innings of no run, one-hit, 14 strikeout, innings in September relief and Marchan homered in one of his two starts catching. It was Machan’s first and only home run in four season in the Phillies system.
O’Hoppe stood out at the Alternative Camp hitting at least three homers in intrasquad games. Unlike Marchan, he did not get a call-up to the Phillies.
In October, the Phillies gathered up their top talent and put over 50 of them, excluding the Alternative Camp members, through a month long workout at the Carpenter Complex in Clearwater. For the first time ever Fall Instructs were closed to the fans.
We can only go on what was said by Bonifay in his interview with Mayo about Fall Instructs. Mayo reported about three pitchers including 2020 first-round draft pick Mick Abel, Francisco Morales and James McArthur; two catchers, Rodolfo Duran and Edgar Cabral; four infielders, Casey Martin, Kendall Simmons, Jonathan Guzman and Luis Garcia and three outfielders Johan Rojas, Matt Vierling and Baron Radcliff. Read HERE.
We were glad to read that Duran has recovered from a twisted knee suffered in an at bat late in the 2019 season with the Clearwater Threshers. He hit a total of 27 home runs in 160 games combining the 2018 and 2019 seasons with Lakewood, including three homers in the 2018 SAL playoffs and Clearwater in 2019 before his season ending injury.
Also, positive words were said by Bonifay about McArthur who won his last three starts of the season in August of 2019 for the Threshers to qualify them for the eventually weather-related cancellation of the FSL post season.
According to MLB.com’s Top 30 prospects by team, the Phillies have 12 eligible for the the Rule Five Draft. The most of any team. Read HERE. We would expect the Phillies to add several of the eligible Rule Five prospects on the Top 30 to the 40-man roster. Most likely to be added would be Morales, Duran and Simon Muzziotti.
In our next blog we will be selecting the Baseball Betsy/Ross Phillies minor league position player and pitcher for 2020. Since no minor league season took place, we will rely from what we were able to learn from other reports such as the 2020 ABL playoffs, the Alternative Camp and Fall Instructs.