In addition to having plenty of talented pitching prospects in the top end of the system, the Phillies have even more down the list, starting with 18-year-old righty Francisco Morales.
The Phillies signed the top Venezuelan pitching prospect in 2016, picking up Francisco Morales with a $900,000 bonus. He was the 17th-best prospect in that international signing class according to MLB.com.
When he signed, Morales’s best pitch was his fastball, and it still is, sitting between 92-96 miles per hour. Some think the velocity could increase as he gets older and physically develops, which would escalate it above the plus pitch it already is. In addition, Morales has the workings of a plus breaking pitch as well as an average changeup.
However, Morales still has a ways to go with his command, and it showed as he walked 4.35 batters per nine innings in 10 appearances this year in the Gulf Coast League. He did strike out 44 batters in 41.1 innings, but it doesn’t cancel out his lack of control. Granted, Morales was 17 years old this season and still has plenty of time to develop.