Phuture Phillies 2019 Reader Poll #12 – Francisco Morales

Francisco Morales was your selection as the #12 prospect in the Phillies’ organization.

Morales received 44 of the 195 votes cast (22.56%).  Ranger Suarez and Rafael Marchan received 26 votes each (13.33%), Austin Listi received 12 votes (6.15%), Luke Leftwich received 11 votes (5.64%), and Dylan Cozens and Kevin Gowdy received 10 votes each (5.13%).  Twenty-four guys shared the remaining 56 votes.

The Phillies signed Francisco Morales as an international free agent out of Venezuela on July 2, 2016.  He signed a future services contract and didn’t begin his professional career until the 2017 GCL season.

At 6’4 and 185 pounds, Morales has a perfect pitcher’s physique.  He made 9 starts for the 2017 GCL Phillies team that won their division.  He posted a 3-2 record and 3.05 ERA in 41.1 innings.  He struck out 44 (9.6 K9) but had a 1.306 WHIP that was greatly influenced by the 20 walks he issued (4.4 BB9).  At 17 years of age, Morales was 3.5 years younger than the league average.  He threw his fastball 92-94 mph in the one inning he threw in 2016 Instructs.  His fastball range was 90-95 mph in the GCL.  He backed it up with a slider and change up.  I saw him on several occasions.  His biggest problem was inconsistency findng the strike zone.

Morales spent 2018 with Williamsport and was 3.5 years younger than league average again.  In 13 starts, he posted a 4-5 record with a 5.91 ERA.  He struck out 68 batters in 56.1 innings (10.9 K9).  He issued 33 walks (5.3 BB9).  He threw his fastball 92-96 mph and touched 97 mph.  But, once again, his high walk rate influenced his 1.544 WHIP.

Some will point to Morales’ somewhat better control in his last 3-4 starts.  But he had a short stretch of good command earlier in the season, too.  His success battling inconsistency will determine how far in what role he advances.

In one interesting game in June, his fourth start in 2018, Morales threw 57 strikes in 84 pitches (68%).  He struck out 10, but induced an unbelievable 26 swinging strikes.  Morales threw 72% strikes in his next start.

Lakewood should be his 2019 assignment.

The poll for the #13 prospect will be posted in a separate thread.

Here are the complete results for the #12 poll.

32 thoughts on “Phuture Phillies 2019 Reader Poll #12 – Francisco Morales

  1. I’m voting Suarez again. There are a bunch of guys, in this range, that I could put on a dart board and slot them with a dart. I love Marchan but in my dart board scenario he’s #20. He could fall anywhere between #12 on #20. Listi came in at #18. 100% of why he’s not top 10 is what position does he play? Could he play LF or RF? In nearly 75 games, in his minor league career, he has zero errors and 5 assists. He’ll clean things up in the OF, if he can get to the ball. At 1B, in 61 games, he has 6 Errors and a .987 Fld%. He also played 3 errorless games at 3B in his career. I don’t know much about the other defensive metrics that exist and whether he does well/poorly/average in them. Chime in if you know

    1. Imo Marchan vs Suarez is a decision between a young, low-level, high upside position prospect at a premium defensive position vs a fifth starter who is mlb ready.

      My vote is for the high upside guy. But I understand why people value proximity.

      1. Most of the time, I think a bird in hand is better than 1, 2 or even 3 in the bush but there are exceptions. I liked Marchan when he played in the DSL. I almost put him in my top 30 back then. I just had a feeling he was something special. I still do but my dart board was spinning when I threw my dart.

  2. This is right where Rafael Marchan should sit. He’s young and so may not be considered a top 10 prospect by most. That’s fair. But I have been following his progress and love his profile as a small, quick, versatile player with an arm more than strong enough to catch, feet fleet enough to steal bases or man CF if need be. Good bat to ball skills to hit near the top of the lineup. And he hits from both sides of the plate. Whether he stays behind the plate long term or not, he has future major league impact written all over him.

  3. A name that I haven’t seen bandied about yet is Vierling. He had a good debut last year. Where are people slotting him?

    1. I have Vierling at #26. He has a lot of promise and another good year and he’ll vault up the list. I have him higher than Cozens right now and Dylan has proximity and a big power potential going for him.

    2. Vierling for me will be in the late teens, right after Darick Hall.
      Both Vierling and Hall , along with Haseley and Aaron Brown, were duel position players in college..pitchers and position players.
      Interesting, must be something the Phillies scouts like to see.

      1. Thanks for the responses on Vierling. His dual-position status is interesting: I guess he can play right field? He must have an arm.

  4. Not badmouthing Marchan, but I’m surprised not to see more of a preference for Grullon both defensively, offensively, and through performance at a higher level as a prospect!

    1. I have Grullon #31 on my top 30. I like Marchan, Aparicio and O’Hoppe ahead of him. I actually went back and forth on O’Hoppe or Grullon in the #30 slot and chose O’Hoppe. Here’s another time I went with my gut rather than proximity. I feel Grullon could be a Major League backup but Marchan and Aparicio have potential to be good #1 receivers in the big leagues. O’Hoppe was a huge surprise this year and deserved a #30 ranking for that effort.

      1. Perhaps when it comes to catchers, you may also want to have a longer look at 19- year old Gutierrez.
        He had a high ceiling at one time in the Braves org….they seem to know what they are doing when it come to the international player.

    2. I’ve seen Grullon in person and was utterly unimpressed. I doubt his skills translate very well to higher levels. I don’t see him becoming a MLB player unless he improves dramatically and unexpectedly. Reading hitting stats have a way of clouding our judgment – in this case, I think that’s definitely true.

      1. Deivi is 22 (23 in a month) and I’ve been impressed by his power in LKW, as a 19 yo and in CLW as a 21 yo. I respect people’s views, who have actually seen the guy play and you’re not the only one who says the same thing upon seeing him. I agree Reading is a hard place to determine if a catcher is the next Johnnie Bench or Deekim Poopaw (don’t try to look him up, he doesn’t exist). I thought Grullon put himself on or near the top 30 the 2 previous years. If he plays in LHV next year, we’ll know who he is and what he’ll be. If he starts in Reading then probably the Phillies are seeing the same thing you saw.

  5. Why are people wasting votes on Leftwich? Juvenile
    I stuck with Suarez who I think is better than he showed last year in his call up. As for Listi and his positional flexibility, we’ll see in spring training what he looks like. I think he’ll be a 1b only ultimately which will make it harder for him. He has to hit a ton.

    1. Murray, this is so not like you. I agree with you on Leftwich. He’s not even the best reliever in the organization. Getting 6 votes while Dohy only got 1 is crazy and there are so many other players with much bigger upsides. But your post, shows much aggravation. I hope you’ve had your coffee and are now settling into your day. Goose-fraba. Don’t take it out on your wife, co-workers or friends.

    2. “Why are people wasting votes on Leftwich? Juvenile”….hah….not a waste to them

      The family and friends plan…..perhaps also Scott Kingery’s Dad, Tom and maybe even Scott.
      If Tyler Viza was on the ballot and if Joey Curletta was still in the org and on the ballot…they get the votes too.
      They all played Little Legate ball together in Phoenix way back when …Scott’s dad was their coach.
      Loyalty goes a long way.

  6. On Ranger Saurez, wish him well, I don’t see him breaking through on the Phillies, thus his ranking is pushed down for me, as we are getting into his ranking range. Ulimately I see him being moved, which is probably best for him. We vote on promoximty, ceiling, etc. and after his debut, I felt his best chance will be in another organization with the other arms currently on the staff and those coming. Ultimately He didn’t pass the eye test for me. With the # of arms we have, fair or not, faster judgements will need to be made. Unchartered territory for this organization. He is falling into that AAAA area for me with the Phillies, but on the Padres… could be a different story. he’ll need more chances to breakthrough imo. Being a LHP, which should help him get those chances. I just see it in another org.

    From his few starts, he did seem to get some favorable calls. Not sure if that is on the ump, or is part of him hitting spots.

    To me his value to this org is in a trade.

    1. Tac3…on the Padres it will only be a one year experience for him probably…they have four lefty arms all virtually MLB ready by 2020/2021.

      1. To clarify, to me his best shot at landing a SR spot is on more off a rebuilding team. Being LHP, he’ll probably get a longer look, and a fair enough shot to reach/stay at the majors. He’ll need to get results obviously.

  7. Tac3, I have Ranger here because I think he has trade value. I don’t disagree that it will be hard for him to break through, but there is value to us in being of value to other teams. And, I have Vierling at 18.

    1. While I was impressed with Ranger’s success in the minors, he strikes me as ordinary, even for a lefty. Might become more valuable as he ages and develops further, but then…

      1. Agreed. I’m trying to refrain from being overly negative, but his few starts In the majors … he seemed overmatched. Some pitchers are confidence inspiring, I didn’t get that feeling. I was waiting more for him to get hit around than to see glimpses of a higher level/talent.
        Hopefully he can get there, I just didn’t see it with my eyes.

        For instance, I’m really impressed with Sixto,Medina,Howard, Irvin’s movement on the ball. It’s looks like they can hit their spots. Eickhoff is another one, the way he can change eye levels, makes me bullish. He just needs a few more ticks on the FB.

        I’m not as impressed with Saurez and Los Santos. They look hittable at the MLB level. They both had success in the minors, I’m just going to need to see it at the mlb level to believe it. Santos, has the mph, but some of his pitches look to straight, not enough bite. The best I can say his slowed deliver may make the ball feel likes it gets to the plate in a hurry. from video he looked to mix speeds well. Hopefully that can get it done for him. In the end, their best value to the org to me is trade value. Maybe Santos can stick in the pen.

  8. Suarez is a projectable LHP. STATS SUPPORT HIS PROSPECT POTENTIAL.. C’mon give give it a rest Gowdy is a Potential potential. He needs time and stats to support any consideration. 3 years and 4,00 ERA,WITH JUST 9 INNINGS. Stop wasting votes vote for True Prospects with stats.

    1. Harvey, I know Gowdy is becoming a hot button for some.

      For a friendly discussion: By your logic, wouldn’t Bohm need to be much lower then ? Those votes are potential potential as well.

      Curious to thoughts on this hypothetical, if Sixto is hurt (and I really hope not)… how far would he drop?

      For the record, I didn’t vote Gowdy this round, so he could have 11. Missed it. I did for the next round. He is possibly trending to hit around 15,16,17.

  9. Love that we have players like Marchan and Suarez to choose from at 13. I love Suarez’ track record. After incredible results in (vd?)SL, and GCL, Ranger’s results at higher levels fit a pattern. His first few games were blah, he adjusted, then excelled. His first few games in MLB were blah to good, and he seemed to adjust. So I’m finger crossed that this will continue.

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