Sign Up! Join our newsletters, get a FREE e-Edition
TRACK RECORD: Sanchez originally trained in the Dominican Republic as a shortstop, but his arm was better than his bat, so he moved to the mound. At a tryout for a Cuban catcher, the Phillies were instead drawn to Sanchez, an eligible 16-year-old pitcher who had quick, easy arm action and a fastball that reached the low 90s. They signed him shortly after that for $35,000. Sanchez spent his first year getting acclimated in the Dominican Summer League, then had a breakthrough in 2016 in the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League, where he led the league with an 0.50 ERA while running his fastball up to 98 mph. Sanchez became one of the game's elite pitching prospects in 2017, reaching high Class A Clearwater just after his 19th birthday and touching 100 mph. In 2018, Sanchez showed electric stuff but made just eight starts before being shut down for the year with right elbow inflammation. The Phillies had hoped Sanchez would pitch in the Arizona Fall League, but a sore collarbone prevented him from playing there.
SCOUTING REPORT: Few pitching prospects in the minors can match Sanchez's blend of premium stuff, control and easy, athletic delivery. His fastball explodes on hitters, parking in the mid-90s and regularly touching 100 mph. He holds that velocity throughout his starts. Unlike many other young flamethrowers, Sanchez doesn't have any issues throwing his fastball over the plate, and he projects to have plus or better control. While the injury cut Sanchez's 2018 season short, he still showed exciting progress by turning his slider into a wipeout pitch with two-plane tilt that misses bats against lefties and righties. That's in addition to his changeup, which flashes plus with good sink and running action. If Sanchez can maintain the progress he showed with his slider before getting injured, his strikeout rate could spike as he mixes that in and gains a better understanding of how to sequence hitters. He is a good athlete who fields his position well and generates his velocity without much effort due to his mechanics.
THE FUTURE: The 95 innings Sanchez threw in 2017 were a career high, so he still has to prove his durability. But if he shows he can handle a starter's workload, he could develop into a true frontline starter along the lines of the Yankees' Luis Severino. He's advanced enough to go to Double-A Reading in 2019 with a chance to get to Philadelphia by the end of the season.
Projected Future Grades On 20-80 Scouting Scale
FASTBALL: 70. SLIDER: 60. CHANGEUP: 60. CONTROL: 70.
TRACK RECORD: After ranking second in the Cape Cod League in batting average (.351) in the summer of 2017, Bohm batted .339/.436/.625 with more walks (39) and extra-base hits (31) than strikeouts (28) for Wichita State his junior year. The Phillies drafted him with the third overall pick and signed him for $5.85 million.
SCOUTING REPORT: Bohm has an encouraging combination of raw power and pure hitting ability for a big man. At 6-foot-5, he is a strong, physical hitter with bat speed and leverage in his swing to generate plus raw power. Bohm has a big strike zone to cover and he manages it with a keen eye that improved over the course of his college years. He approaches his at-bats with a smart plan and the ability to make adjustments, despite a soft offensive debut in pro ball. Bohm has a chance to stick at third base, where he has a solid-average arm, but he's a below-average runner whose lack of first-step quickness inhibits his range.
THE FUTURE: The Phillies sent 2017 first-rounder Adam Haseley to high Class A Clearwater for his first full season, with Bohm likely to follow that same path. If Bohm can stay at third base, he has the offensive upside to be a plus everyday regular at the position.
TRACK RECORD: Garcia was one of the top players in a stacked 2017 class of international prospects, with the Phillies signing him for $2.5 million. The Phillies aggressively pushed Garcia to the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League to make his pro debut, and he won the batting title by hitting .369.
SCOUTING REPORT: As an amateur, Garcia earned widespread praise from scouts for his defense. He's a smooth defender who is light on his feet with soft hands and a plus arm. Garcia has the ability to make the flashy, acrobatic plays, but he separates himself from most young shortstops because of his calm, collected poise and smart decision-making, which is why he committed just five errors in 43 games. When Garcia signed, scouts were split on whether he would fit better at the top or bottom of a lineup, but he looked excellent at the plate in the GCL, showing signs of a potential future .300 hitter with strong on-base skills. A solid-average runner, Garcia tracks pitches well and controls the strike zone, setting up from both sides with a calm, quiet approach and a short stroke to shoot line drives with doubles power.
THE FUTURE: Garcia could soon become the Phillies' top prospect as a potential plus hitter with plus defense at a premium position.
TRACK RECORD: Medina had a handful of meltdown outings during the 2018 season that caused his ERA to swell but he still flashed electric stuff and ranked third in the high Class A Florida League with 123 strikeouts.
SCOUTING REPORT: Medina has three pitches that grade out or at least flash plus. He throws a plus fastball that sits at 92-96 mph with late movement and can scrape 97. Medina generates good extension out front, which helps his fastball get on hitters faster than they expect. His slider has made huge strides over the last two seasons, to the point where it’s now plus and a nasty swing-and-miss pitch with two-plane depth to both righthanded hitters or when he throws it to the back foot of lefties. His changeup is another pitch that flashes plus, though it’s not consistent yet. Medina is an athletic strike-thrower, though he needs to tighten his command and improve his pitch sequencing, both of which led to trouble despite his stuff last year.
THE FUTURE: Medina has the athleticism and delivery that point to a pitcher who should be able to make command improvements. If he can do that, he can be a mid-rotation starter, with Double-A Reading up next.
TRACK RECORD: Haseley was a two-way player at Virginia and one of the best hitters in the country when the Phillies drafted him No. 8 overall in 2017. After signing that summer and in the first half of 2018, Haseley had yet to perform above a modest level, but he finished strong with Double-A Reading.
SCOUTING REPORT: Haseley has a knack for barreling balls, striking out in just 14 percent of his plate appearances in 2018. However, he had to adjust in pro ball to better velocity. Haseley has a direct, inside-out swing with an approach geared toward using the middle of the field. During the season he adjusted his stance to get more upright to create better leverage. If he can learn to create a more out-front contact point on pitches he can drive, that could help him tap more into his average raw power, though Haseley will probably always have more of a hit-over-power profile. He is a slightly above-average runner with an average arm, which might be enough for him to handle center field.
THE FUTURE: Haseley has some tweener outfielder risk, but if his pure hitting ability can carry him or he can develop more game power, he has the potential to develop into an average regular.
TRACK RECORD: Romero opened 2018 with a 7.18 ERA in his first five starts. After that, he posted a 2.69 ERA with an 83-to-30 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 80.1 innings before a strained oblique in July shut him down for the year.
SCOUTING REPORT: Romero has a diverse pitch mix, and early in 2018, he was throwing them all at hitters and trying to get them to chase. That approach didn't work for Romero, however, because he often fell behind in the count and batters were able to do damage against him. After a rough start, he altered his approach by attacking hitters more with his power sinker and changeup. As his fastball command improved, so did the results. Romero mixes four- and two-seam fastballs from the low 90s up to 96 mph. He's at his best when he's attacking with his sinker and changeup, which flashes above-average, to mess with the timing of hitters. Romero has an average curveball and sprinkles in a slider and cutter as well. He's an athletic pitcher with quick feet to help him control the running game.
THE FUTURE: With three average to plus pitches and good control from the left side, Romero projects as a potential No. 3 or 4 starter. He should head to Triple-A Lehigh Valley for 2019.
TRACK RECORD: De los Santos signed with the Mariners for $15,000 out of the Dominican Republic in 2014, went to the Padres after the 2015 season in the Joaquin Benoit trade, then arrived in the Phillies organization in December 2017 when they traded Freddy Galvis to San Diego. De los Santos proved steady and reliable throughout his 2018 time in Triple-A Lehigh Valley, then made his major league debut in July.
SCOUTING REPORT: De los Santos is a durable power arm who has thrown 145-plus innings each of the last two seasons. His best pitch is his fastball, which mostly ranges from 92-97 mph and has topped at 98. De los Santos relies heavily on his fastball and keeping hitters off balance with a solid-average changeup at 85-89 mph. It's not a true out pitch, but it can miss bats at times, induce weak contact and help him against lefties, who had a nearly identical OPS against him as righties. The biggest risk with de los Santos is his lack of a reliable breaking ball, because his curve is below-average.
THE FUTURE: De los Santos has the durability to start if he can develop a better breaking pitch. If not, he could find success as a two-pitch reliever.
TRACK RECORD: After a strong April in 2018, it was a bit puzzling when Howard finished June with a 5.06 ERA at low Class A Lakewood. From July on, Howard dominated, posting a 2.36 ERA with 71 strikeouts and 20 walks in 53.1 innings in his final 10 starts. He capped off his season with a complete-game no-hitter in the playoffs.
SCOUTING REPORT: Howard has some of the best pure stuff in the organization, with a fastball that improved in the second half of 2018. Sitting in the low-to-mid-90s early in the season, Howard by the end of the year was parking in the mid-90s and reached 100 mph in the playoffs. His fastball has late life that helps him get swings and misses in the zone and when he elevates. Howard added more power to both his fastball and his slider, a deep-breaking putaway pitch that grades out plus. He throws a curveball and a changeup that both are average pitches at times. Howard will need to throw more strikes to reach his potential, especially as he faces more advanced hitters.
THE FUTURE: There’s a wide range of outcomes for Howard, who could become a No. 2 or 3 starter if he’s able to harness his control. If not, he has the stuff to pitch high-leverage relief innings.
TRACK RECORD: Suarez was a longshot, pitchability lefty when the Phillies signed him out of Venezuela for $25,000. Over the years, he has added more power to complement his savvy. He split 2018 between Double-A Reading and Triple-A Lehigh Valley and made his big league debut.
SCOUTING REPORT: In 2017, Suarez adjusted his lower-half mechanics to stay into his back leg more, which helped his velocity jump to sit in the low 90s and reach 95 mph. He maintained that velocity throughout the 2018 season, and he hides the ball well in his delivery, adding deception that helps his stuff play up. The secondary pitch Suarez leans on most is his mid-80s changeup, a solid-average offering. His slider isn't consistent but when it's on, it can be an average pitch. Suarez doesn't have one wipeout pitch, but he's a smart pitcher who mixes and matches both his stuff and his location. He's a good athlete who fields his position well and has quick feet to control the running game.
THE FUTURE: Suarez projects as a back-end starter and should compete for a spot in Philadelphia's rotation to open the season, though there's a chance he could begin the year back in Triple-A.
TRACK RECORD: After a promising pro debut in 2017 in the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League, Morales went to a college-heavy short-season New York-Penn League as an 18-year-old and struggled, though the raw stuff he showed still impressed.
SCOUTING REPORT: Morales showed exciting flashes in 2018, including a pair of double-digit strikeout games and an overall strikeout rate of 10.9 per nine innings, though his lack of command got him into trouble against older hitters. He generates downhill plane on his plus fastball, which ranges from 92-96 mph and might have a little more room for growth. He gets good extension out front, helping his fastball play up. His plus slider is a finishing pitch that helped him pile up strikeouts. He has shown feel for a changeup when he uses it, though that pitch still remains a work in progress. His struggles in 2018 mostly stemmed from his command escaping him. Morales is a young, long-limbed pitcher who still is learning to sync everything and repeat his mechanics.
THE FUTURE: With better command, Morales has the potential to develop into a mid-rotation starter, though that projection comes with significant risk. He will make his full season debut at low Class A Lakewood in 2019.
-- Reports written by Ben Badler
In order to access this exclusive content you must have a Baseball America Account.
Login or sign up