Philadelphia Phillies 2018 top prospects: Five pitchers to note

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PHILADELPHIA, PA - JULY 21: A view of the Miami Marlins and Philadelphia Phillies bullpens in centerfield as fans watch from above during a game at Citizens Bank Park on July 21, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Marlins won 9-3. (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - JULY 21: A view of the Miami Marlins and Philadelphia Phillies bullpens in centerfield as fans watch from above during a game at Citizens Bank Park on July 21, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Marlins won 9-3. (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images) /
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PHILADELPHIA, PA – JULY 21: A view of the Miami Marlins and Philadelphia Phillies bullpens in centerfield as fans watch from above during a game at Citizens Bank Park on July 21, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Marlins won 9-3. (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images) /

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.

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