We continue our annual look at the top 50 prospects in the Phillies organization by highlighting players ranked between 16 and 20 on the list. We’ll keep revealing five names on our 2019 list of the best prospects until we reach the top. We’ll provide the player and the positions he played in 2018, with the number of games at each position in parenthesis. Following that is the side of the plate the player hits from and which arm he throws with. We also list their birth date and age as of April 1, 2019 in parenthesis and provide a short scouting report on each player.
16. Deivi Grullon – C (87) | B: Right, T: Right | February 17, 1996 (23) – Many thought that Deivi Grullon’s power numbers last season were thanks to playing in the friendly confines of Reading’s FirstEnergy Stadium, but he proved them wrong with an impressive power display at the Eastern League All-Star Game Home Run Derby. To be fair though, 14 of Grullon’s 21 home runs did come at home, so he’s going to have to prove that he can put up those numbers at Lehigh Valley’s Coca-Cola Park, which is not known as a home run hitter’s paradise. If he doesn’t keep up the power numbers, his strikeout numbers are going to become an albatross for him and likely keep him from becoming the player that most thought he could be when he signed with the Phillies as an international free agent in 2012.
Defensively, Grullon is above average but can get better. His work at blocking balls in the dirt is erratic and at times, he’ll stumble and bumble behind the plate. At other times, he looks completely comfortable and in command, but keep in mind that he is still just 23 years old. One of the keys for Grullon is having a strong, accurate arm to throw out baserunners. He should have the benefit of working with a veteran catcher at Lehigh Valley, most likely either Rob Brantly or Drew Butera, which would benefit Grullon greatly. The interesting part comes either during the season or shortly after; if the Phillies need another catcher during the season, it will be interesting to see if they put Grullon on the 40-man roster and promote him or would they go with one of the veterans. If he doesn’t go on the 40-man, will he have a good enough season to convince the Phillies to add him then and protect him from the Rule 5 Draft in December?
17. Dylan Cozens – MLB: LF (9), RF (5), MiLB: RF (70), CF (9), LF (7) | B: Left, T: Left | May 31, 1994 (24) – To some, Dylan Cozens is the current day version of Dave Kingman; what isn’t a home run is likely a strikeout. He’s got natural raw power and currently holds the record for the longest home run ever at Coca-Cola Park, home of the Lehigh Valley IronPigs. Unfortunately, he has a lot of swings and misses to his credit and pitchers can fool him easily with some off-speed junk that he tends to chase. For a guy as big as he is – 6′ 6″ , 235 pounds – Cozens has good speed and can surprise catchers by stealing a base at just the right time.
Defensively, Cozens is generally a decent outfielder, but has the ability to make some impressive plays. His speed comes in handy and he’s not afraid to launch himself to pull in a fly ball. One of the concerns about Cozens had been his maturity and he has a number of clubhouse and dugout fights to his record, including one with teammate Nick Williams a couple seasons ago. This past season though, Cozens attitude and personality seemed to have undergone a fine tuning and he was a perfect citizen in the IronPigs clubhouse.
While he’s having a strong spring, Cozens chances of making the club took a major hit with the signing of Bryce Harper. It’s likely that he’s back to Triple-A and will have to wait his turn for a spot to open at the big league level. The bright side for Cozens is that he can play all three outfield positions and has a strong enough arm to handle right field, so he’s at least got some versatility.
18. Kyle Dohy – RP (49) | B: Left, T: Left | September 17, 1996 (22) – Dohy pitched at three levels last season, opening the year with Lakewood and moving to Clearwater before a quick jump to Double-A Reading. What he found out was that as you move higher, hitters aren’t as easily fooled by breaking pitches. Dohy has a good slider, which left-handers have a particular issue picking up, but he’s not really able to control it and it breaks well out of the zone. The hitters he was seeing in Low-A would chase it, the ones at Double-A tended to let it go by. The result was 42 walks in 67 1/3 innings of work, but he also loaded up the Ks with 111 strikeouts. The bottom line is control and command. If he can harness his control and put the ball not only in the strike zone, but in a good spot in the zone, he can be a near-dominate pitcher.
At just 22, Dohy has time to continue to progress and picking up a couple ticks on the radar gun would work well for him. His fastball is generally a low-90s, but more and more he’s able to pick it up to the mid-90s. In addition to the fastball and slider, he’s got a plus change-up, but again, it’s all about control and command.
The 2019 season will open with Dohy at Double-A Reading and they’re not likely to push him too quickly, although a move to Lehigh Valley certainly isn’t out of the question. He’s still just 22 and won’t turn 23 until the minor league season is over, so there’s some time to work on the holes in his pitching.
19. Connor Seabold – SP (23) | B: Right, T: Right | January 24, 1996 (23) – The best thing that happened to Seabold last season was being moved up to Double-A Reading. Fightins pitching coach Steve Schrenk took the initiative to change Seabold’s delivery and make him much smoother and under control when he’s delivering the pitch. The result was some added velocity on his fastball and more strikes. Now, the job is to turn that control that the new mechanics gave him into a more precise command of his pitches to make him more effective. The nice part about Seabold’s fastball is that he can easily finesse it and put it any from 90 up to the mid-90s.
His slider and change-up became better pitches with the change in mechanics and both could continue to get better than what they are. Right now, both are slightly ahead of what would be an average pitch. The problem is that while he’s got a lot of good things going for him, none of his pitches are dominant enough to consistently get hitters out on a regular basis. He’s either going to be a pitcher with three good pitches who has to work hard for everything he gets or he’s going to be a guy with a couple of good pitches who has one outstanding pitch to get hitters out.
The fact that Seabold was just drafted in 2017 and is already at Double-A is a good sign, so if he continues to work on the gaps in his game, he has the chance to be a mid-rotation major league starter. An interesting conundrum for the Phillies is where to put Seabold to open 2019. His situation would definitely have him back with Reading, but Schrenk moved up a level to become the pitching coach for Lehigh Valley, so it might be wise to keep him with Schrenk to continue their work on his mechanics.
20. Drew Anderson – MLB: RP (4), SP (1), MiLB: SP (19) | B: Right, T: Right | March 22, 1994 (25) – It’s funny how picking up one pitch can completely change a pitcher. Over the winter, Anderson demoted his slider to an occasional offering and picked up a cutter. The change has been impressive and he’s showing it off in front of the Phillies big league coaching staff in spring training. The slider just wasn’t fooling hitters enough, especially at the major league level, to do Anderson much good. Now, he can throw the pitch just to give hitters a little something to think about and use his other pitches to do damage.
While Anderson has cut back on throwing the slider, he’s still got a plus four-seam fastball with good movement and a change-up that is average to slightly above. With no chance of making the major league staff to open the season, Anderson will be back at Triple-A and it’s going to be his opportunity to show just how well he can get hitters out and whether his new mix of pitches looks good enough to make him effective at the major league level.
The Phillies have a nice problem in that they have a bunch of young pitching prospects with the potential to become legitimate prospects if things go the right way. Usually in a situation like that, a couple flame out completely, a couple become decent pitchers and one or two become quality major league starters. Right now, Anderson figures to be in the “decent pitchers” part of the list, but if the cutter is the real thing, he could move up to a higher ceiling and put his major league struggles behind him.