Arizona Fall League Rosters Announced

The Rosters are finally out today, and as I surmised the other day, higher level prospects are going to the Fall League this year. Here are the Philadelphia Phillies heading to Arizona as part of the Peoria Javelinas club: Bryson Stott, SS (No. 2/MLB No. 97); Hans Crouse, RHP (No. 4); Erik Miller, LHP (No. 9); Logan O’Hoppe, C (No. 11); Simon Muzziotti, OF (No. 16); Mickey Moniak, OF (No. 17); Damon Jones, LHP; James McArthur, RHP.

We know that Bryson Stott was the Phillies best hitting prospect of the year according to the MLB pipeline. He is our “slam dunk” player who should be able to compete for the AFL MVP.

An intriguing prospect we’ll see out West is Hans Crouse. As detailed in the MLB report Crouse, who was acquired at the trade deadline from the Rangers along with pitchers Kyle Gibson and Ian Kennedy in exchange for Spencer Howard, pitched very well in six Double-A starts for the Reading Fightin’ Phils after the trade (2.73 ERA, 11.5 K/9). He had a rougher go of it in one Triple-A outing and made his big league debut on Sept. 26 with a one-run, three-inning start for the Phillies.

From his bio on the MLB page: Crouse had the stuff and performance track record to go in the first round of the 2017 Draft, but he also had a lot of moving parts and effort in his delivery and was emotional on the mound, so the Rangers were able to land him in the second. He worked just 162 1/3 innings in his first three seasons after signing him for $1.45 million, in part because he was limited by bone spurs in his elbow in 2019. He had them removed that October and then sat out alternate camp and instructional league in 2020 for undisclosed personal reasons that the club says aren’t a concern. It looks as if Crouse has regained the electric stuff he had when he was last fully healthy in 2018. His fastball sits at 92-97 and reaches 99 with riding life. His slider can be a wipeout pitch with mid-80s velocity and two-plane break, though it was less sharp and he used it less frequently in 2019 because it bothered his elbow. 

Next on the list is Erik Miller, with a rank of 9 in the Phils’ minor league system, kind of surprising as a 4th round draft pick. Which shows that he made great progress in his time with the Jersey Shore Blue Claws last season, as evidenced in his MLB bio, with a potential fast track to the Bigs at the end of next year if he shows well in the Fall League and in the Spring and climbs the minor league ladder quickly.

From a pure stuff and size standpoint, Miller was one of the best college lefties in the 2019 Draft class. Concerns about command and reliever risk led to him being the seventh-ranked college southpaw on the Draft Top 200 list and he was the eighth one taken when the Phillies made him their fourth-round selection. The stuff played very well during his summer pro debut as he pitched his way to full-season ball. A heater that sat around 93 mph when he entered pro ball, he’s been more around the 95- to 96-mph range, throwing it with a lot of riding life through the zone with a slightly higher arm slot that’s generated above-average spin. His slider is still his best pitch, a put-away breaking ball that misses a ton of bats and he continues to work on developing his changeup, which he does a nice job of killing spin with. Miller has worked on adding a distinct 12-to-6 curve which plays well against right-handed hitters. He’s cleaned up his delivery, which has led to more strikes, giving the Phillies more faith in his ability to start long-term.

After Miller we find his former battery mate in Lakewood, Logan O’Hoppe (Sara Press’s favorite prospect), ranked at #11 on the list. Logan hopped all the way up to finish the 2021 season promoted to Lehigh Valley. From his MLB Bio:

Over his first two summers of pro ball, O’Hoppe has shown the ability to impact the baseball from the right side of the plate. He has tremendous raw power, especially to his pull side, though he hasn’t always gotten to it with a raw approach leading to swing-and-misses, particularly with the move to short-season ball (27.7 strikeout rate in 2019). His strikeout rate went down and walk rate went up during his time in the Australian Baseball League after the 2019 season and that continued at the alternate site, where he doubled his walk rate compared to his previous Phillies totals. O’Hoppe is an excellent receiver, showing agility to get the low pitch and blocking well. He has an average arm now, but his quick release has helped that play up and he continues to add strength. He gets very high marks for his baseball rat mentality and leadership behind the plate.

A very intriguing prospect is Simon Muzziotti, #16 on the prospect list, but with the potential to move up very fast because the Phils are so desparate for a legitimate center fielder. From his MLB bio:

Muzziotti has always been a contact machine from the left side of the plate, one who has struck out in just 11 percent of his plate appearances entering the 2021 season. That’s allowing him to hit in better counts and added strength has enabled him to drive the ball more effectively, though he’s likely never to be a huge home run guy. Still just 22 for all of the 2021 season, Muzziotti is a plus defender in center field with outstanding jumps and reads off the bat. He’s also shown the ability to handle the corners very well, with the ceiling of being an everyday player up the middle and a very high floor as a productive fourth outfielder.

Those are the five legitimate prospects the Phillies are sending to Arizona. The other three listed above are warm bodies. One is Mickey Moniak, the former #1 overall pick in the 2016 draft. The Phillies literally don’t know what to do with him, as his performance has been disappointing at every level. This included a poor showing in the Fall League in 2019. Then there is Damon Jones, a 27 year-old left-hander who was an 18th round draft pick in 2017 and pitched like it last year with the Iron Pigs. But lefties get more slack, and maybe someone thinks showcasing him in the AFL might help package him in a deal if he pitches decently. And bringing up the rear is James McArthur, a 24 year-old righty whose best attribute is his height (6’7″). A 12th round pick in 2018, he had a pedestrian level performance in AA last year.

UPDATE: Dombrowski mentioned in his press conference today that Moniak won’t be going to the Fall League because of an injury at season’s end (27 minute mark here).


About Leonard J. Press, O.D., FAAO, FCOVD

Developmental Optometry is my passion as well as occupation. Blogging allows me to share thoughts in a unique visual style.
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2 Responses to Arizona Fall League Rosters Announced

  1. Susan Myers says:

    *Baseball is the only sport I understand but I am still a Chicago Cubs fan and these men should share their expertise with Chicago fans.* *My best,*

    *Susan Myers*

    On Wed, Oct 6, 2021 at 6:00 PM Pressvision’s Blog wrote:

    > Leonard J. Press, O.D., FAAO, FCOVD posted: ” The Rosters are finally out > today, and as I surmised the other day, higher level prospects are going to > the Fall League this year. Here are the Philadelphia Phillies heading to > Arizona as part of the Peoria Javelinas club: Bryson Stott, SS (No. 2/MLB > N” >

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