We finish up our annual look at the top 50 prospects in the Phillies organization by highlighting the top five players on the list. We’ve provided the player and the positions they 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.
1. Adam Haseley – CF (58), LF (44), RF (17) | B: Left, T: Left | April 12, 1996 (22) – Some people still doubt that Haseley has the tools he needs to be an above average major league player. Yes, there are some holes still to be patched, but he is still young enough to patch them and the 2018 season was his first in a full-season league. Haseley hit 5-38-.300/.343/.415 with Clearwater before playing 39 games with Reading where he hit 6-17-.316/.403/.478 with the Fightins. All combined, his 11 home runs and 55 RBI fell a little shy of what the Phillies may have hoped for but his .305/.361/.433 slash line is encouraging. His strikeout percentage for last season is also encouraging. With a league average of a 21-percent strikeout rate in both the Eastern League and Florida State League where Haseley played last season, he posted a 12-percent rate in the EL and a 15-percent rate in the FSL. His walk percentage was slightly above the 9-percent average in the EL and three points behind the 8-percent average in the FSL.
Defensively, Haseley has good but now overwhelming speed, which helps him in center field, but he may wind up being better suited to playing one of the corner positions. His arm is probably just a little below where you would want your right fielder to be, but he could play the position in the majors.
The key for Haseley is unlocking a little more power while not losing too much in the way of contact or plate discipline. The Phillies have worked with him on his plate mechanics hoping to find some more power. He opened the season back at Reading and is off to a slow start but there is no plan to rush him to Triple-A, so the Phillies will simply be patient with him.
2. Adonis Medina – SP (21) | B: Right, T: Right | December 18, 1996 (22) – Really, the only thing missing for Medina is consistency. He will look dominant for an outing or two and then get hit around only to bounce back soon enough and again put together impressive outings. Medina changes speeds very well and can put his fastball anywhere between 91 and 97 miles per hour, generally sitting around 94. He has an above average change with good movement and his slider, which he just started to throw last season, is already above average and keeps hitters from putting any marks on their bats. Every now and then, Medina leaves pitches up in the zone, which is interesting because his command is near pinpoint and mistakes like that shouldn’t happen. Again though, he’s young and it all comes back to consistency.
The Phillies don’t have any intention on rushing Medina and since he’s in his first trip to Double-A, he’s not likely to hit Triple-A until later in the season. It’s possible, but not likely that the Phillies will bring him to the majors in September, preferring instead to simply take a longer look at him next spring and see if he’s ready for the majors. The thing to watch with Medina will be how he handles Double-A hitters who are less likely to get fooled with by his secondary pitches and change of speeds.
3. JoJo Romero – SP (18) | B: Left, T: Left | September 9, 1996 (22) – After an impressive 2017 campaign – 10-3, 2.16 at Lakewood (13 GS) and Clearwater (10 GS) – the Phillies got aggressive with Romero in 2018 and put him at Double-A Reading to start the season. He wasn’t quite ready and the early numbers showed that as he posted a 7.20 ERA in his first four starts, averaging just five innings per start with 10 walks and 13 strikeouts over the span. Simply put, Double-A hitters weren’t fooled by his nice array of pitches with good movement. Instead, they picked their pitch and hit it hard. Eventually, Romero got tired of being hit around and started to attack hitters more and the results were much better.
Romero features a cut fastball that sits around 90, but he also throws a four-seamer that hits the mid-90s range. His slider and curve are both average, but good enough to get by with thanks to his change-up which is his best pitch and gets a lot of swings and misses. He disguises the change well and uses it to get a lot of strikeouts. The Phillies lost Romero in mid-July with a strained oblique. It was thought he would only miss a couple weeks, but wound up being lost for the season, which cost him important development time. The fact that the Phillies believe in Romero and the fact that they have a lot of pitching prospects that they wanted to put at Reading, moved Romero up to Lehigh Valley to open the season. Like last season, there is likely going to be an adjustment period, but he should be fine. A little time in the majors – most likely in September – isn’t out of the question, but odds are the Phillies will just bring him into camp next spring and see if he’s ready for the bigs.
4. Enyel De Los Santos – SP (22 AAA), 2 (MLB), RP (5 MLB) | B: Right, T: Right | December 25, 1995 (23) – De Los Santos made his major league debut last season against the Mets, throwing 6 1/3 innings, allowing three earned runs with three walks and six strikeouts. He wasn’t as good in his next start against the Marlins, lasting just 4 1/3 innings. He returned for one relief appearance in August and four more in September with good results out of the bullpen where he had a 2.16 ERA in 8 1/3 innings, including a stretch where he threw 7 1/3 innings without allowing a run.
The late season relief role fueled thoughts that De Los Santos may be best suited as a late inning reliever. Because he lacks real quality secondary pitches, De Los Santos relies heavily on his fastball, which he throws a couple variations of, delivering it as low as 90 miles per hour up to 98. In most outings, De Los Santos is 94-95 with most of his pitches and mixes in a slider, curve and change, none of which are anything to truly brag about. If he can find improvement on a couple of those pitches, he could have success at the major league level, but if not, his fastball can play up in the 98 range out of the bullpen and could even give the Phillies a couple innings in relief when needed.
De Los Santos returns to Triple-A for the 2019 season and it will be interesting to watch his secondary pitches to see if there is any progression. Keep in mind that the Phillies have a number of young starters battling for spots on the depth chart and De Los Santos may have a faster and more permanent path as a reliever.
5. Alec Bohm – 3B (29), 1B (2) | B: Right, T: Right | August 3, 1996 (22) – Bohm was the Phillies first round pick – third overall – in last year’s draft out of Wichita State. He played for about two weeks with Williamsport and took a pitch to the knee that cost him time in the lineup. When he returned he was simply messed up. The speed of the pro game seemed to catch Bohm by surprise and he finished the season with 40 games played in the GCL and New York-Penn Leagues, batting just .252 with no home runs and 17 RBI.
The good news is that as Bohm came up through college ball and summer leagues he showed the ability to make adjustments each time the competition got tougher. The same is likely in the pros. The Phillies worked on Bohm’s defense a lot in the Florida Instructional League and fixed some holes in his footwork that were hampering him from getting to a lot of balls hit to his left. The hope is that he can stick at third base and that his bat continues to progress. Bottom line is that he’s likely going to be the type of high-power, good average hitter that most scouts projected him to be coming into the draft. Patience is the key.
Even with his struggles last season the Phillies showed faith in Bohm’s progression during the FIL and in minor league camp to put him at Lakewood to open the season. He’s off to a decent start and the only question now is when the power begins to show up. The potential for a 30 home run type hitter is there if everything comes together.