June was an exciting month for the Phillies farm system. There were a few major promotions and some standout performances. The following players grabbed the spotlight for our June report.
Alec Bohm (3B) – Another month, another promotion for the Phillies top overall prospect. After torching both levels of A-ball, Bohm was promoted to the Reading Fightin’ Phils (AA) halfway through the month and has made the most of his opportunity. Not only did he deliver a walk-off hit for the club last week, but in his 10 games, he has hit three home runs with nine RBI. The right-handed Bohm has hit .300 off right-handed pitchers this season, but has surprisingly struggled against lefties to the tune of a .182 batting average. He is up to 10 homers and 47 RBI across all three minor league stops he has had this season. A promotion to the big leagues in 2019 is not out of the question, but he is most likely a 2020 candidate for a full-time role with the Phillies. Six of his next 10 games are at home, so get yourself out to Reading and watch Bohm play!
Damon Jones (LHP) – The 24-year-old lefty out of Washington State has made a huge impact since he was drafted in round 18 back in 2017. With a career ERA of 2.88 in the minors, Jones has taken an even bigger step forward so far in 2019. Also promoted to the Fightin’ Phils (AA) after 11 starts for the Clearwater Threshers (Class A-Advanced), Jones has pitched to a 1.41 ERA and a WHIP of 1.00 across 76.1 innings so far this season. In his 14 total starts, Jones has struck out a whopping 113, with opposing hitters only batting .174 against him. Currently not on the consensus top 30 Phillies prospects list, I would imagine that changes when the list is updated for the second half. Jones throws mid-to-high 90’s gas, a wipeout slider and, most importantly, throws strikes. He can pitch deep into games and, at his age, is a prime candidate for another promotion to Lehigh Valley (AAA) in the coming months. He could even make an impact on the Phillies come August or September.
Deivy Grullon (C) – With J.T. Realmuto making the All-Star team, Phillies fans have visions of him being our catcher of the future, as well as the present. Andrew Knapp, the team’s backup catcher, arguably leaves some definite room for improvement. Enter Grullon; signed by the Phillies on June 20, 2013, he had never played above AA before this season. He has played 68 games for the Iron Pigs (AAA) and has made a big impact with his bat. A career .254 hitter, Grullon now leads the Iron Pigs in home runs (12) and RBI (48) all while slashing .306/.370/.508 in 2019. He has also started two games at first base. Defensively, He has thrown out 13 runners, but allowed 57 stolen bases, already the same amount as all of last season. He has also allowed 11 passed balls, only six away from his career high. While questions remain about his defense, his bat may grant him a promotion to the big leagues should Realmuto or Knapp go down with an injury.
Julian Garcia (RHP) – A 10th-round selection in the 2016 draft, Garcia has started 12 games all with the Threshers (Class-A Advanced), while making one relief appearance. He is 5-4 with a 2.88 ERA and 77 strikeouts across 72 innings. In four June starts, Garcia has been fantastic, lowering his ERA almost half a run. In 24 June innings, Garcia only allowed five earned runs while striking out 25 hitters. Only 1-3 at home with a 4.73 ERA, Garcia has found most of his success this season away from Clearwater. He is 4-1 with a 1.36 in seven road starts, so his splits are completely backwards from the perceived norm in baseball. While he does not feature the most dominant stuff, I would suspect Garcia will finish the season in Reading with the Fightin’ Phils. His current trajectory pins him as a potential big leaguer in 2022, with a 2021 debut not out of the question.
Feel free to email or tweet me with any questions you may have about any Phillies prospect; I would be happy to have a fun conversation about the Phillies’ farm system. See you in August for the next Minor League report!