We took a little hiatus, but another edition of Mack's Minors Report is back. The dialogue with these has usually been, who in the minors could the Phillies bring up to replace whoever was struggling at that point. Since it is June and they don't usually start playing to their full potential till then, we can now focus more on the future and players on rehab starts.
Clearwater Threshers (40-15)- A
Introducing the first team in all of Minor League Baseball to clinch a playoff berth, the Clearwater Threshers. With a win the other day, the Threshers secured the West division. The team features 9 members of the Phillies Top 30 Prospects according to MLB Pipeline.
Justin Crawford continues to impress down in Low-A. The Phillies 4th rated prospect has a slash line of .336/.394/.830. He leads the team in hits, RBIs, and triples. He has been a very consistent hitter on one of the best teams in minor league baseball.
Alex McFarlane is the Phillies 8th rated prospect and has been the top pitcher for the club in 2023. With McFarlane and the Phillies not having him throw large number of pitches in his outings, he usually goes 3-4 innings when he starts. He has yet to record a win because of this. In 10 starts he has 58 strikeouts, an ERA of 3.86, and an opponent's average of .239.
Reading Fightin Phils (21-35)- AA
The Fightin Phils may not be getting a lot of wins compared to Clearwater, but some individual performances have been worth noting.
Phillies 6th rated prospect Johan Rojas started slow in 2023, but now has really come together. He leads the team in RBI's, triples, and stolen bases. He is currently hitting .301. To start the year, he was very inconsistent, I was starting to feel he could be passed over for other top hitters in the farm system. He has really come together in recent weeks, and could be a potential call-up to AAA soon.
The Fightin Phils have a group of pitchers that everyone loves talking about, so let's join the conversation.
Andrew Painter is the top prospect and fans want him to join the Phillies rotation as soon as possible. On June 10th, he threw a 20-pitch bullpen session while rehabbing a UCL injury. I know Phillies fans want him called up, but in reality, I can't see him getting called up in 2023. I firmly believe the club is being as patient as possible, so they don't risk further injury.
#2 prospect Mick Abel has looked sharp in 2023. He has pitched in 10 games with an ERA of 4.73, 53 strikeouts, with an opponent average of .189. He has been the best pitcher in all of the Phillies organization in 2023. Abel is the guy who I can see getting the call up to the MLB. He has no injury concern this season, he's looked great, and could be a call-up in September when the roster expands.
Griff McGarry started the season hurt, but since he returned has been lights out. In 5 games for Reading, he has an ERA of 3.37, 22 strikeouts, an opponent's average of .172. He started off a little shaky like any pitcher returning from injury would, but now that he has settled down, he has been lights out. With the concern of injury, I can't see the Phillies rushing him with his development, so you will probably not see him in a Phillies uniform in 2023.
The Phillies 14th rated prospect Andrew Baker has looked incredible in recent outings. He hasn't given up a hit in his last 9 innings. He has settled down in 2023 and has turned into a very reliable reliver.
Lehigh Valley IronPigs (32-29) AAA
I have talked about Simon Muzziotti a lot in these reports. He is one of my favorite prospects, but I will not talk about how much I love him, I will focus on the guys who are on rehab starts or optioned down by the Phillies.
Jake Cave earned himself a Player of the Week and Player of the Month award since being optioned down to the Phillies on May 4th. He had an 18-game hitting streak to open his IronPigs stint and has been the best player on the team since May 4th. He has a slash line of .384/.469/.760, if someone on the Phillies goes down, Cave could be a call-up, and I really think he will come back a much better player.
Bailey Falter was 2-0 in 3 games with 12 strikeouts and 3.28 ERA, but was now transferred to Clearwater. Not sure on why that move occurred. He looked good in AAA, and I thought a candidate to rejoin the team later in the year. He made one start in Low-A giving up 1 hit, striking out 2, in 3 innings.
McKinley Moore made his MLB debut this year, but struggled in his first MLB stint. He is one of the most reliable bullpen arms for the Pigs'. He has appeared in 11 games, has an ERA of 1.50, and 20 strikeouts. He is going to be called up again, but his time is just not now. Keep an eye on him, because this is not the last time we've seen him in a Phillies uniform.
Andrew Bellatti being optioned to AAA was a surprise move for the Phillies. I will just say I do not see this being permanent, and he will be called back up soon. He has appeared in 6 games and has an opponent's average of .182. The Phillies can make adjustments to their bullpen, and Bellatti is an option to fix it.
Christian Pache surprised a lot of fans right before he went down with injury. He was originally acquired as a defensive player, but he turned into a fairly reliable hitter. He has appeared in 3 games in AAA and has yet to record a hit and has walked twice. It is a small sample size, but this is something to keep an eye on. If he cannot get his bat going, the club could keep him in AAA much longer than anticipated.
Darick Hall is batting .279 with 8 hits in 27 at bats in his AAA rehab starts. In his first rehab start with AAA, he walked it off to give the IronPigs the win. The Phillies have a big decision to make at 1B. They can keep Alec Bohm at 1B who was just reinstated from injury, move Bohm back to 3B and keep Kody Clemons at 1B who has come together nicely, or add Darick Hall back into the mix. I don't see a bad move right now, and it is nice they have multiple options.