Here’s an open discussion about some of the Phillies’ minor league prospects I saw this season. Phillies’ talk and other non-prospect discussion should remain in the Open Discussion.
This is an open format for any minor league prospect you want to discuss. However, I am going to start with Rixon Wingrove. I will continue this on an irregular schedule for as long as I stay interested. This will be mostly about low-level prospects, but could include anyone I saw last season. If you have someone in particular you want to hear about, put the name in the comments section. If I’ve seen enough to warrant a post, I’ll strongly consider it.
Rixon Wingrove was signed by the Phillies as an international free agent on April 20, 2018 out of Australia.
Rixon Taylor-Wingrove was signed as an 18-year-old. He was initially listed as a catcher. But, the 6’5, 230 lb., left-handed hitter was switched to first base very early during extended spring training. He posted a .241/.310/.342/.652 slash with one HR and 8 RBI in 87 plate appearances during his first GCL season. He looked really raw at first base. He’s a big fellow (he’s currently 6’5, 260) who the Phillies spotted with the Sydney Blue Sox during the 2017 Australian Baseball League season. With the Phillies, he hit .429 in the 21 times he led off an inning. His big game came on August 17, 2018 when he went 3-5 with a walk, HR, and 4 RBI. He returned to the Sydney Blue Sox for the 2018 ABL season.
In 2019, a 19-year-old Wingrove slashed .298/.374/.500/.874 in a team high 48 games. In 203 plate appearances, he had a team high 17 doubles, 2 triples, a team high 5 HR, and a team high 37 RBI. He had 22 walks (10.8%) and 38 strike outs (18.7%). He played first base and one game in left field. He committed 8 errors at first base in 361 chances and had a fielding percentage of .978. He played error-free on 2 chances in left field. Wingrove may be the most improved player in the organization. His play at first base improved dramatically, and his offense also took a big step forward. I was also impressed by his patience at the plate. He wasn’t the free swinger I expected. He sees a lot of pitches and handles himself well in 2-strike counts.
Wingrove is also somewhat of a character. He speaks with a thick Australian accent and a quick smile. On one occasion, a June 26th no-hitter against the GCL Phillies East, Wingrove walked past the relief pitcher inserted for the ninth inning and said on his way to first base, “Don’t f@%$ this up”. Tyler Burch, the pitcher, had no idea that a no-hitter was in progress. On another occasion, while waiting in the on-deck circle, Wingrove quipped to a photographer along the fence, “Make sure you get this, I’m going to end this”. He didn’t, but two innings later he singled to start the go ahead rally. On yet another occasion, he remarked to teammate Mitchell Edwards, “He’s only got the one pitch. Wait for it and kill it”. He’s very outgoing. I have often seen him chatting with people along the fence while on deck.
Wingrove exhibits good baseball IQ. He has a strong arm, moves well at his position, anticipates where he should be when a play breaks down, and has a controlled swing. He has decent speed for a big guy. His best game came on July 10, 2019 when he went 3-4 with 2 runs scored, a double, triple, 6 RBI, and a walk. Which leads to one last anecdote. This was his first triple, but not his first attempt. He doubled on an July 10th on a ball into the left field corner. On Ashburn Field, the corner extends well into foul territory. With several runners on base, the relay throw was headed to the plate. There was no one guarding second base and Wingrove never broke stride as he headed to third. The relay was cutoff and thrown to third. Wingrove was within 15 feet of the bag when he stopped and returned to second. There was no one at the base so the fielder had to catch him from behind, which he did about ten feet from the bag. It reminded me of one of those Looney Toons cartoons about baseball.
Wingrove seems like a born leader. He could make the jump to Lakewood in 2020. How well he adjusts to better off speed pitches will determine how soon and how far he will advance.
Wingrove will join Phillies’ teammates Curtis Mead and Mitchell Edwards in the 2019 Australian Baseball League season playing for the Adelaide Giants.
- Bats left, Throws right
- 6’5, 260 lb.
- Born May 23, 2000 (age 19)
- International FA out of New Castle, New South Wales, Australia signed on 4/20/2018
- 2018; GCL Phillies West
- 2019; GCL Phillies West