2021 Phillies top 10 prospects list shows promise for future
By Matt Rappa
9. Johan Rojas, OF
The Dominican Republic native Johan Rojas, who turned 20 this past August, has only played professionally in the Phillies organization for two seasons, after being signed as an international prospect during the 2017-18 signing period.
So far, he has impressed. Spanning 128 combined games and 548 plate appearances, Rojas has slashed .294/.346/.425 with 23 doubles, 15 triples, four home runs, 46 RBI, 33 stolen bases, 32 walks, and just 78 strikeouts.
MLB Pipeline projects Rojas to make his big-league debut sometime in 2023, and says he “makes a ton of hard contact from the right side of the plate, barreling up the baseball very well and has the chance to be a solid hitter with good power.”
Rojas is said to also have plus speed, which he takes advantage of on the base paths stealing bases, as well as when fielding in the outfield. Rojas has been primarily used as a center fielder, and has committed only six errors through 295 chances and 1,079 1/3 innings so far in the Phillies system overall.
“He’s played more center field than anywhere else to date and has the range and the instincts to stay there, though he’s also shown the ability to play both corners and has plenty of arm strength for right,” MLB Pipeline continues.
8. Simon Muzziotti, OF
The Venezuela native Simon Muzziotti also was an international prospect, but came to the Phillies through unique circumstances. The Boston Red Sox first inked the outfielder during the 2015-16 signing period; however, he was later declared a free-agent, once the Red Sox were forced to forfeit him and others — as well as became banned from signing international prospects the subsequent year — due to signing-bonus rule violations.
So far, Muzziotti has shown promising signs in the Phillies system, having struck out only 127 times compared to his 70 walks through 1,157 plate appearances from 2016-19. And, Muzziotti was even named a 2019 Florida State League All-Star, after slashing .287/.337/.372 with 21 doubles, three triples, three home runs, 28 RBI, and 21 stolen bases.
The primary center fielder will turn 22 next month and is described as a “natural defender with outstanding instincts — one who reads hitters well, gets great jumps and takes very good routes to the ball, with a very accurate arm to boot.” The Phillies recently added Muzziotti, along with five other prospects, to their 40-man roster as protection from this offseason’s Rule 5 Draft.