Philadelphia Phillies Predictions 2017: Five Players Who Could Break Out

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Aug 21, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Vince Velasquez (28) throws a pitch during the first inning against the St. Louis Cardinals at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 21, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Vince Velasquez (28) throws a pitch during the first inning against the St. Louis Cardinals at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports /
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Mar 10, 2017; Clearwater, FL, USA; A detailed view of a Philadelphia Phillies signing an autograph before the game against the New York Yankees at Bright House Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /

Outfield Prospect Carlos Tocci

Carlos Tocci has been in the Phillies organization since 2011 when the team signed him on his 16th birthday. Rather than spending a season in one of the foreign rookie leagues, Tocci was instead assigned to the Gulf Coast League at just 17 years old in 2012. He then went to Low-A Lakewood at 18 years old the following season, but his progress stalled from there as he didn’t reach High-A Clearwater until 2015.

Tocci spent all of 2016 in Clearwater and hit for a respectable .284 batting average and struck out just 13.7% of the time. However, his lack of power continued to show as his .362 slugging percentage and .078 isolated slugging were both sub-par.

The Phillies left Tocci off the 40-man roster last winter, leaving him eligible for the Rule 5 draft. His plus defense made him a potential candidate to be selected, but his lack of offense scared away any teams that were potentially looking at him.

Next: Phils Inform Venditte, Ramos They Won't Make Team

In 2017, Tocci is headed to the ultimate hitter’s haven in Double-A Reading. Playing half of his games there this year could be what Tocci needs to jump-start his offensive production. He might even hit more than just a few home runs. FirstEnergy Stadium has already facilitated breakout seasons from Andrew Knapp, Dylan Cozens, and Rhys Hoskins, and Tocci could also break out at Double-A this year.

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