Phillies

Phillies to bring top prospects Spencer Howard, Alec Bohm and a slew of relievers to big-league camp

Phillies to bring top prospects Spencer Howard, Alec Bohm and a slew of relievers to big-league camp

The Phillies will get a look at their top two minor-league prospects in big-league spring training camp next month in Clearwater, Florida.

Starting pitching Spencer Howard and third baseman Alec Bohm are among 15 minor-leaguers from the Phillies system that have received invites to big-league camp, the club announced Monday.

Howard and Bohm are both expected to open 2020 at Triple A, but they could impact the big club during the season.

In addition to Howard and Bohm, the Phillies will bring a deep group of relievers into big-league camp. The Phils have so far made no significant additions to their bullpen this winter and will be looking for contributors to emerge. 

Pitchers and catchers report to camp on February 11.

The Phillies previously invited veteran position players Josh Harrison, Matt Szczur, Phil Gosselin, Mikie Mahtook, Ronald Torreyes, T.J. Rivera and Christian Bethancourt to big-league camp. All signed minor-league contracts in recent weeks.

Members of the 40-man roster who will attend their first big-league camp include pitchers Mauricio Llovera, JoJo Romero, Garrett Cleavinger and Cristopher Sanchez. Llovera, Romero and Cleavinger could all get looks in the bullpen. The hard-throwing Sanchez, acquired in a minor-league trade with Tampa Bay in November, is slated to work as a starter at Double A Reading.

Here’s a quick look at the 15 players from the organization who have been invited to big-league camp.

Spencer Howard, starting pitcher: The organization’s top pitching prospect. He has a power fastball and the rest of his pitch mix is above average. He has averaged 12 strikeouts per nine innings in his minor-league career. The 23-year-old right-hander is expected to open in Triple A and should be a factor in Philadelphia during the season, though team officials will be mindful of his workload because he has pitched more than 100 innings only once in his pro career.

Alec Bohm, third baseman: He was the No. 3 overall pick in the 2018 draft and is ready for Triple A after hitting .305 with 21 homers and 80 RBIs at three levels in 2019. Team officials believe he can play major-league quality defense, but some scouts who’ve seen him believe his future is across the diamond at first base or even in left field. It will be interesting to see if the Phillies move him around the diamond a little in spring training. Like Howard, he could arrive in Philadelphia some time this season.

Mickey Moniak, outfielder: He has not lived up to the hype of being the No. 1 overall pick in the 2016 draft, but he’s still young (he turns 22 in May) and improving and projects to play in the majors in some role. He played at Double A Reading last season and hit .252 with 28 doubles, 13 triples and 11 homers. This will be his second trip to big-league camp.

Connor Brogdon, relief pitcher: The 6-6 right-hander struck out 12.6 batters per nine innings at three levels in the minors last season and was discussed for a late-season promotion. He will get a chance to open some more eyes in big-league camp and could help the big club in 2020.

Damon Jones, starting pitcher: Lefty was the team’s 18th-round draft pick in 2017 out of Washington State University. He popped on the radar in 2019 with big strikeout totals at High A and Double A before struggling at Triple A.

Addison Russ, relief pitcher: He struck out 12.9 batters per nine innings at Double A Reading in 2019 and has racked up 49 saves the last two seasons. He was a 19th-round pick out of Houston Baptist in 2017.

Austin Listi, first baseman/third baseman/outfielder: He returns to big-league camp for the second year in a row. He has driven in 84 and 83 runs, respectively, the last two seasons, including 50 in 259 at-bats at Triple A last season. 

Tyler Gilbert, relief pitcher: Lefty will attend his second straight big-league camp. He has shown an ability to get lefty hitters out.

Kyle Dohy, relief pitcher: An intriguing, power-armed lefty, he has struck out 13.8 batters per nine innings in his minor-league career.

Zach Warren, relief pitcher: Yet another lefty reliever who has opened eyes with 13.2 strikeouts per nine innings in the minor leagues. Vineland, N.J. native and former Tennessee Vol saw action as a closer at Lakewood and Clearwater last season and should be ready for Double A.

Darick Hall, first baseman: Big, lefty-hitting slugger has 75 homers at the Single A and Double A levels the last three seasons.

Henri Lartigue, catcher: He played at Double A Reading last season.

Nick Maton, shortstop/second baseman: He made it to Double A last season and was named on Baseball America’s list of Top 10 Phillies prospects. He’s from the same Illinois high school as Jayson Werth.

Luke Williams, infielder/outfielder: Third-round draft pick in 2015 played at Double A last season.

Ramon Rosso, starting pitcher: Made 24 starts between Double A and Triple A last season.

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