As I stated when I posted back in March, the line between a break out prospect and a sleeper prospect has become blurred the past several years. I pointed out that you endorse whomever you want regardless of the guidelines that James set up years before I attempted to explain the distinction between both. I showed that 60% of 2017’s breakout picks were also selected as sleepers. So, I just let you submit whatever you wanted.
However, I have to sift through the responses. So, after a couple attempts to capture your answers, I did what was easiest for me. I ignored sleeper submissions. In the case of multiple breakout submissions, I went with the first one you listed. If you posted a second comment, I ignored it.
Following those guidelines, I have 19 breakout players who received 37 votes. Here’s how they did.
- Jhailyn Ortiz (5 votes) – The nineteen-year old, Lakewood slugger began the season poorly before being placed on the disabled list after 16 games (.158/.250/.246/.496). He was activated by Lakewood on May 21st, and began a 3-4 week climb to respectability (.272/.333/.404/.737) before a slow decent to mediocrity by the end of the season (.225/.297/.375/.672). In his first season of full season ball (110 games), in 454 plate appearances, Ortiz stroked 13 HR, 18 doubles, and 47 RBI. He drew 35 walks (7.7%) and struck out 148 times (32.6%).
- Arquimedes Gamboa (4) – For ten weeks, Gamboa held his own against Florida State League pitching (.273/.351/.366/.717). But, from mid-June thru the end of the season, he regressed to a final line of .214/.304/.279/.583. In 114 games (497 plate appearances), he showed little power (2 HR) and had 37 RBI. He drew 53 walks (10.7%) and struck out just 111 times (22.3%). I saw Gamboa a lot this season, and thought he often looked over-matched. His .971 fielding percentage was a little disappointing, too.
- Cornelius Randolph (4) – After an incredibly slow start for the first three months of the season (.187/.274/.238/.512), the former first round pick rebounded strongly in July and August to finish with a .241/.324/.322/.646. Randolph discovered some power in the final 2 months, hitting 4 of his 5 HR and driving in 24 of his 40 RBI. He also walked less (28 v 20) and struck out less (64 v 28)). He finished with 48 walks (10.3%) and 92 strike outs (19.8%) in 118 games (465 plate appearances). Randolph’s resurgence is credited to a return to the fundamental swing elements that led to the Phillies drafting him in the first place.
- Mickey Moniak (4) – The former first overall pick was on everyone’s radar as he struggled out of the gate in April. As a nineteen-year old in the Florida State League, Moniak was one of the youngest players in the league. But a strong off season and an even better spring caused player development to challenge him in Clearwater rather than take the easy route of a couple months in Lakewood. I witnessed him hitting the ball hard all season and his gradual improvement each month of the season. Moniak batted .213 in April and improved to .277 in May. He suffered a slight regression in May to .250, a month that saw him playing with migraines associated with impacted wisdom teeth. After extraction, Moniak returned to a .277 in July and a .311 in August (and a 2-5 in September). He hit all 5 of his HR in June, July, and August and had 55 RBI. In 114 games (465 plate appearances), he drew 22 walks (4.7%) and struck out 100 times (21.5%). He made most of his starts in CF, with a handful in LF, and a couple in RF. He had a fielding percentage of .996 and committed just one error.
- Seranthony Dominguez (3) – Dominguez didn’t stick around long enough in the minors to have a breakout year. He was called up to Philadelphia by May 7th. However, while in the minors, he pitched well while still adjusting to a non-starter’s role. He gave up 2 ER in his first appearance with Reading but then held the opposition to one ER over his next 7 appearances. He finished with a 2.08 ERA in 13.0 IP with 2 walks and 18 strike outs. He made 3 appearances with Lehigh Valley (0.00 in 3.2 IP, 1 BB, 3 K) before his promotion. In his 11 minor league appearances he had just one save opportunity and zero saves. With the Phillies he posted a 2.95 ERA in 53 appearances with 16 saves, 58 IP, 22 BB (3.4/9), 74 K (11.5/9), an ERA+ of 142, a FIP of 2.85, and a 0.931 WHIP.
- Adam Haseley (2) – The 2017 first round pick performed just as he was expected. In 79 games at Clearwater, he posted a .300/.343/.415/.758 in 354 plate appearances. He had 13 doubles, 5 triples, 5 HR, 38 RBI, 19 BB (5.4%), and 54 K (15.3%). After his promotion to Reading, he posted a .316/.403/.478/.880 in 159 plate appearances. He had 4 doubles, 6 HR, 17 RBI, 16 BB (10.1%), and 19 K (11.9%).
- Darick Hall (2) – The 22-year old started the season in Clearwater where he played 48 games (199 plate appearances). He had 11 HR and 35 RBI as well as 18 walks (9.0%) and 39 strike outs (19.6%) while posting a .277/.367/.538/.904. In Reading, Hall had to contend with better pitching and in 80 games (331 plate appearances) had 15 HR and 52 RBI. He drew 18 walks (5.4%) and struck out 79 times (23.9%). He posted a .224/.296/.417/.713.
- Spencer Howard (2) – The 2017 second round pick started his age 21 season in Lakewood where he posted a 3.78 ERA in 23 games. He threw 112.0 innings, walked 40 batters (3.2 BB9) and struck out 147 (11.8 SO9). He allowed 101 hits but his 1.259 WHIP was affected by his walks. However, his 2018 BB9 was 2.5 walks better than it was in Williamsport in 2017, albeit a much smaller sample size.
- Daniel Brito (1) – The 20-year old started the season in Lakewood and was promoted to Clearwater at the beginning of August. The second baseman posted nearly identical slashes – Lakewood (92 G, 368 PA): .252/.309/.340/.649; Clearwater: (27 G, 100 PA): .252/.300/.348/.648. His .980 fielding percentage was the best of the three players who manned second base more than 20 games in 2018.
- Edgar Cabral (1) – Cabral split catching duties in Clearwater with Henri Lartigue. Between them, they caught 132 of 139 Threshers’ games. Based on their stats, they are essentially the same type of player:
- E.Cabral – 22 YO, 81 G, 329 PA, 6 HR, 39 RBI, 28 BB (8.5%), 64 K (19.5%), .252/.322/.361/.683, .994 Fld%, 54 SB, 22 CS, 29% CS%, 6 PB
- Lartigue – 23 YO, 100 G, 413 PA, 7 HR, 45 RBI, 33 BB (8.0%), 88 K (21.3%), .251/.322/.356/.678, .994 Fld%, 56 SB, 22 CS, 28% CS%, 6 PB
- Harold Arauz (1) – Arauz spent most of the season at Reading where he posted a 4.59 ERA in 24 starts. In 131.1 innings, he walked 42 (2.9 BB9), struck out 113 (7.7 SO9), and had a 1.416 WHIP. He made 2 starts in Lehigh and was sent back to Reading after posting a 6.23 ERA, .351 AVG, and 1.731 WHIP. But, he did strike out 12 in 8.2 innings.
- Jiandido Tromp (1) – The 25-year old faltered at Reading with a .225/.312/.329/.641 slash with 4 HR and 23 RBI. He went 3-15 in a cameo at Lehigh Valley in the beginning of August before returning to Reading.
- JoJo Romero (1) – The LHP began his age 21 season in Reading. He made 18 starts before being shut down due to an oblique strain. At the point of the season, he had posted a 3.80 ERA in 106.2 innings. He had a 3.5 BB9 and an 8.4 SO9.
- Jonathan Guzman (1) – Guzman struggled at the plate to a .210/.241/.272/.513. In 62 games (259 plate appearances), he walked 10 times (3.9%) and struck out 61 times (23.6%). Guzman started 61 games at SS and committed 10 errors on his way to a .960 Fld%.
- Josh Stephen (1) – This was Stephen’s age 20 season. He started quickly before declining to a season low .193 on May 23rd. He began a gradual climb to his final .242/.288/.347/.635. He had 4 HR and 35 RBI in 99 games (337 plate appearances). He walked 19 times (5.6%) and struck out 71 times (21.1%).
- Kyle Young (1) – Young suffered through an injury plagued season. He didn’t report to Lakewood until May 18th. He started 8 games and had a 2.98 ERA when he went on the DL on July 15th. He made 3 scoreless rehab appearances in the GCL and one rehab start with Williamsport before a 4.0 inning appearance for Lakewood in September.
- Nick Fanti (1) – Fanti also suffered through an injury plagued season. He only made 6 starts for Clearwater. The final start on June 20th inflated his ERA from 4.94 to 7.22 after an 8-run, 1.1 inning start in Bradenton. He didn’t start the season until May 16th. I saw three of his home starts. He didn’t look like the Nick Fanti I had seen in previous seasons.
- Ranger Suarez (1) – Suarez split time between Reading and Lehigh Valley. he posted similar numbers at each stop. They combined for a 2.75 ERA in 21 starts, 2.5 BB9, 6.2 SO9, and 1.182 WHIP. He made his major league debut with the Phillies and posted a 5.40 ERA in 3 starts (4 appearances). He struck out 11 in 15 innings but also walked six.
- Simon Muzziotti (1) – The nineteen year old center fielder had a .304 average in Lakewood when he went down with an injury on April 17th. After some indifferent appearances during rehab in the GCL, he returned to Lakewood on June 28th. His AVG spiked up even further for a few games before the long season took its toll and he finished with a .263/.299/.331/.630. In 299 PA, Muzziotti walked 14 times (4.7%) and struck out 40 times (13.4%).
So, we all missed on Austin Listi and David Patterson. Of the 19 players above, Adam Haseley had the best season at TWO levels with little to no drop off after the promotion. But, he was a first round pick and ranked third in pre-season top prospect polls in the organization. Some could argue that he did what was expected of him.
You can decide who above had a break out season.
(I have to go to Philadelphia for a family matter. I’ll post the weekly discussions, but I may have to create them in advance with generic content and put them on timed release. I’ll be up there for two weeks, so I won’t be able to report on Instructs. Pity, the front office is going to be here next week. Results of the polls will likely be delayed, too.)