Phillies release Jose Pujols, 2 other low minors prospects

A general view of the Philadelphia Phillies batting circle (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
A general view of the Philadelphia Phillies batting circle (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

The Phillies have parted ways with three minor-league prospects

The Philadelphia Phillies have recently released three Dominican Republic native prospects, according to Baseball America: outfielder Jose Pujols, southpaw Jose Jimenez, and right-handed pitcher Oscar Marcelino.

Pujols thanked the Phillies in an Instagram post: “Today I got release from the Phillies organization I got a call this morning from the team that during many years give me the opportunity to grow as a person and as a professional , I just want to say thank you Philadelphia and thank you fans for all the support during the years . I’m exited for what’s coming next . For all my spicy brothers ( teammates) lol no worry’s be ready I se you guys next season.”

Pujols, 24, had perhaps the best upside among the three released prospects, so much so, the Phillies gave him a $540,000 signing bonus in the summer of 2012. He had been ranked as a Top-30 Phillies prospect by across several seasons.

Pujols is shown below, far left, at the team’s annual Prospect Education Program at Citizens Bank Park in January 2019.

In 2018, Pujols was named Florida State League (FSL) Player of the Year after slashing .301/.364/.523 with 16 doubles, four triples, 18 home runs and 58 RBI across 95 games with the Class A-Advanced Clearwater Threshers prior to his August 3 promotion to Double-A Reading. Also, Pujols’ 11 outfield assists tied for most in the FSL, his 18 home runs tied for fourth-most, and his .887 ranked second-best.

However, Pujols’ 2019 season was anything but productive as his 2018 campaign. Pujols missed most of 2019 with an Achilles injury and was limited to just three games in the Phillies’ Gulf Coast League.

Jimenez, 22, has pitched in the organization since 2016. Jimenez missed all of 2019 due to injury, but in 2018 with the Williamsport Crosscutters, he went 2-1 with a 3.71 ERA, 33-9 strikeout-to-walk ratio, and 1.538 WHIP spanning 17 appearances and 26 2/3 innings.

Marcelino turned 23 exactly one month ago; he first appeared in the Phillies’ system at age 17 in 2014, but had not reached the Double-A level. In 32 relief appearances combined last season with the Clearwater Threshers and Lakewood BlueClaws, the right-hander went 3-2 with a 5.83 ERA, 38-31 strikeout-to-walk ratio and 1.848 WHIP spanning 41 2/3 innings.

The pandemic certainly has affected every Major League team’s minor-league system, with the MiLB season canceled. Just recently, for example, former Phillies pitching prospect LHP McKenzie Mills — acquired for Howie Kendrick and later traded for Justin Bourwas released by the Marlins.

In a normal year, the Phillies would have given Pujols and Jimenez another chance to rebound from their injuries. These four cuts are just some of the dozens similar transactions in recent weeks.