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.