Phillies: Prospects other than Bohm, Howard to watch in spring training
The next big power hitter to come out of Reading will be in Phillies spring training as a non-roster invitee. Darick Hall joins the likes of Rhys Hoskins and Dylan Cozens who both benefitted from the friendly confines out in Reading, seeing their home run numbers surge and their profiles grow among fans and analysts.
Hall hit 20 home runs for Reading last year and 35 in 212 career games as a Fightin’ Phil. He’s already had seasons with 29 and 26 home runs apiece, so it’s not just Reading that’s giving him a bump in the power numbers.
The issues Hall is going to have are the same Hoskins and Cozens ran into: he’s limited to one big league position and he doesn’t hit for average. Hall has played all 3,004 of his minor league innings at first base and has hit .239 over his last two seasons.
Unless Hall can bring that average up or learn a corner outfield position, his value as a big league hitter will be the same as Cozens, who was exiled last season.
If we’re talking about power-hitting first basemen, we gotta talk about Austin Listi.
Like the aforementioned players, Listi has raw power but where he differs is that he can hit for average and most around the diamond.
Last year Listi hit .252, similar to the other three comparable players, but the year before he hit .312 between Clearwater and Reading. Once he reached Lehigh Valley last year Listi actually hit better than he did in Reading, picking up a .278 batting average in 71 games.
The Phillies have moved Listi around the diamond, giving him opportunities to get comfortable at third, left, and right field. He’s listed as a first baseman, but if he can at least carry an outfield glove, his value for the organization is exponentially larger than Hall’s.
Let’s see how Joe Girardi plays Listi in spring training and whether Listi can get some eye-popping home runs into the tiki bar.