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  • Writer's pictureSteve Potter

1/21/22 : Major League Debuts - part five

Fifth in a series on Phillies minor leaguers who might make major league debuts in 2022. If ya missed the first four articles here are links

RH Tyler Phillips - 24 years old - He’s got a four pitch mix ( FB, Change, Curve, Slider ) and is generally known as a command hurler who gets a lot of ground balls. The fastball generally is in the 91-93 mph range but can touch mid nineties. He was suffering thru some injury issues when claimed off waivers from the Rangers last summer by the Phillies and didn’t get the chance to show his full capability. We saw him pitch twice, decent change up and the fastball moves well. He also seems to know how to read hitters and induce soft contact, is a strike thrower. Was designated for assignment on September 20th to clear a 40 man roster spot but the Phillies maintained an interest and he was re-signed on 11/6/21 to a minor league contract. He’s been a starter most of his career and projects to continue in that path either with Reading or Lehigh Valley this coming season.

RH James McArthur - 25 years old - fastball has a lot of life, registers in the upper nineties, generally sits in the 93-95 range. His 6’7” height produces a pitch release point and arm angle that gets on the hitter quickly and adds deception as well as an elusion of even higher velocity. Secondary offerings are a curve and change-up. The curve ball is a plus pitch with a lot of spin and downward rotation. He finished the ‘21 regular season strong with Reading by posting a 2.70 ERA in his last seven games ( 33 1/3 IP ). He also pitched in the Arizona Fall League. Should move up to the AAA level of competition and provide depth as a starter for the big club. This spring will be his first big league camp as he was added to the 40 man roster this past November. A major league debut is within reach.

LH Erik Miller - 23 years old - 2021 was a frustrating year physically for the talented hurler, shoulder issues sidelined him from participating in big league spring training and lingered through out the summer. He was limited to 5 games ( 12 2/3 IP ) with the FCL Phillies, Clearwater and Jersey Shore. When he’s healthy the fastball posts as high as 98 mph and generally sits between 93 to 95. He throws both a sinker and four seam fastball with a curve, slider and change up as secondaries. We saw him pitch in Fall Instructs in preparation for the Arizona Fall League where he performed well as a reliever. Erik has a starter’s repertoire and will be used as such this season, hopefully the shoulder issues are a thing in the past. He has the stuff and mental makeup to get to the show. We see a chance for him to break spring camp with AA Reading, at the least a Jersey Shore beginning with an eye for a quick bump up.

RH Francisco Morales - 22 years old - A powerfully built pitcher who possesses a major league skill set, fastball can sit in mid to upper nineties, slider is a true weapon ( flat out nasty ) and changeup provides a softer offering. The issues to date have been maintaining consistent mechanics, release point and command. The stuff plays but he’s wavered in the ability to throw strikes. During the 2021 season he had an excellent month of July posting a 3.00 ERA over five starts ( 24 IP - 22 Ks ). On July 3rd he pitched six innings in a combined no hitter versus Erie and finished the regular season in September with 10 scoreless frames over two games ( one with Reading, one with Lehigh Valley ) allowing just three hits while punching out 14 batters. He pitched at AA and AAA as a 21 year old totaling 91 2/3 IP and posting 117 K’s ( the only Phillies minor leaguer with over 100 K’s in ‘21 ). In our view Francisco can have a very long and productive big league career, he responds well to challenges and has the physical tools to excel. It’s a matter of finding a routine that allows him to flourish. He should be part of either the Reading or Lehigh Valley rotation coming out of spring camp, if he throw quality strikes it will be Lehigh Valley with a call up to the show not out of reach during the season.

RH Colton Eastman - 25 years old - Colton suffered a broken finger in 2021 attempting to bunt in a Reading game in June. He returned to action on August 14th and pitched very well ( 2.70 ERA in 4 games - 10 IP ) earning a promotion to Lehigh Valley on September 7th where he continued to pitch well ( 3.00 ERA in 4 starts - 21 IP ). He’s shown very good command and control in his career to date with a four pitch mix, fastball sitting low nineties. Comparable to former Phillies and Cal State Fullerton fellow alumni Thomas Eshelman and Connor Seabold. We see him as part of the opening day Lehigh Valley rotation with the possibility of making his big league debut during the season if a need arises.

LH Scott Moss - 27 years old - I have not seen him pitch in person. He was selected off waivers from the Cleveland Guardians, was the 4th round draft choice of the Cincinnati Reds in the 2016 draft from the University of Florida. Had an outstanding 2019 season at the AA/AAA level going 10-6 with a 2.96 ERA in 26 starts accumulating 130 2/3 innings with 159 K’s and 70 walks. He was in the Guardians Alternate Camp in 2020 and at the AAA level in 2021 where he struggled to regain form, with large gaps between appearances and even spending time on the injured list. Moss threw only 20 1/3 innings in 2021 over nine games. His fastball generally sits in the 90-93 mph range, touching 95, has above average spin rate and vertical break. He also throws a low 80’s slider and low to mid 80’s changeup. Recent struggles with command and control. Scott is 6’6” 225 and his length lends deception to his delivery, comes from a three quarter arm slot. Sounds similar to Bailey Falter in the delivery deception regard. Is likely part of the LHV rotation providing depth when needed.

In the part six finale to the series we will highlight our final group of starting pitchers : Griff McGarry, Jack Perkins, Josh Hendrickson, Adam Leverett, Ethan Lindow and Cristian Hernandez.

Happy Day, Happy Baseball ⚾️

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