RHP Francisco Morales, Phillies #5 prospect by MLB Pipeline, is next in this a series of minor league profiles this offseason.
Steve Potter, author of Phillies Minor League Digest and www.philliesbaseballfan.com, offers his views of young Phillies players. Between streaming of minor league games and seeing games firsthand at BayCare Ballpark and Carpenter complex, Steve has seen every Phillies minor league player who played in the states in 2021. He’s a former corporate executive who retired in Clearwater, FL, but he’s hardly retired.
Francisco Morales — RHP — Birthdate: 10/27/99 — signed as an international free agent — 7/2/16 — San Juan de los Morros,
This Fan’s View
Francisco is a powerfully built pitcher who possesses a major league skill set, fastball can sit in mid to upper 90s, slider is a true weapon and changeup provides a softer offering. The issues to date have been consistent command, 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) but even then the walks were too often (14). 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). Can be a really good one if can harness the control/command.
Should be part of either the Reading or Lehigh Valley rotation coming out of spring camp. If he shows the ability to throw strikes it will be Lehigh Valley with a call up to the show not out of reach during the season.
(“The Comeback Season”, Potter’s 6th annual Phillies Minor League Digest, is now available at www.amazon.com. He captures this year’s entire minor league season which didn’t exist in 2020 because covid).