Phillies Second Baseman Alexeis Azuaje Worth Keeping An Eye On
Phillies fans looking for an under-the-radar prospect to keep tabs on would be wise to view Alexeis Azuaje’s statistical page.
Though the sample size is small, the middle infielder's performance in 2021 was quite impressive.
Azuaje batted .400/.509/.867 in a 19-game run in the Florida Complex League. Of his 18 hits, 11 went for extra bases, including five home runs.
Azuaje turns 20 in April. The Phillies signed him out of Venezuela in July 2018 for $400,000. He’s a solid defender at three positions—shortstop, second base and third base—and runs well. He went 4-for-4 on stolen base attempts last year.
Azuaje has a promising hit tool, and at 5-foot-10, 185 pounds, he’s strong enough to hit for power with the realistic expectation that more could come.
Azuaje got his first taste of pro ball in the Dominican Summer League in 2019. He showed good thump for a middle infielder with a .470 slugging percentage.
After the pandemic forced the cancellation of the 2020 minor league season, Azuaje returned in 2021 and played in the FCL. The Phillies’ complex was hit hard by Covid, so Azuaje was limited to just 19 games and 45 at-bats.
Perhaps the most impressive aspect of Azuaje’s 2021 season was the way he cut down his strikeout rate from near 21% in 2019 to just 9% in 2021. His walk rate improved along with his strikeout rate.
The Phillies’ 2021 FCL team featured two other strong infield prospects, Jamari Baylor and Hao Yu Lee. Baylor was a third-round pick out of Benedictine High in Richmond in 2019 and Lee was signed out of Taiwan in 2021.
That trio will be worth watching as it moves toward full-season assignments in 2022.