Phillies: This top-30 prospect has stepped up in big way

Matt Vierling #44 of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
Matt Vierling #44 of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) /
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Phillies prospect Matt Vierling has shined as the team makes a postseason push.

Before his mid-June promotion to replace fellow outfielder Matt Joyce on the Philadelphia Phillies big-league roster, few knew Matt Vierling.

Now, he is quickly becoming known, not just among Phillies fans, but throughout Major League Baseball.

Entering Saturday, the soon-to-be 25-year-old outfielder has impressed and made a noticeable impact, as the Joe Girardi-led squad looks to make the postseason over its final month of the 2021 regular season. Through nine games and 17 plate appearances, the St. Louis native has slashed .529/.529/.765 with six singles, two doubles, one triple, two RBI, and just six strikeouts.

Vierling’s first career RBI came as the Phillies’ starting center fielder in Friday’s 10-3 series-opening defeat to the Miami Marlins. In the top of the second, Vierling cut the team’s two-run deficit in half with a RBI triple to right field. Four innings later, he notched the game at three with a RBI double to left field. Both extra-base hits scored veteran left fielder Andrew McCutchen.

Earlier in the week, Vierling put together a four-hit game in an eventual 12-6 win opposite the Washington Nationals. All four hits came via an exit velocity of at least 102 miles per hour. Having also “slugged” a ground out that was 104.5 miles per hour, the rookie became the seventh player this season with five 100-plus miles per hour exit velocities in a game, according to MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki. The other six players: teammate Rhys Hoskins, Juan Soto (Washington Nationals), Austin Riley (Atlanta Braves), once-Phillies trade target Byron Buxton (Minnesota Twins), Ryan McMahon (Colorado Rockies), and Paul Goldschmidt (St. Louis Cardinals).

Ranked as the Phillies’ 25th-best prospect by MLB.com, Vierling second of two clutch hits on Friday against the Marlins — which tied the game at three — had just an 80.8 miles per hour exit velocity. Zolecki adds that it was the first ball he put in play in three games this week that was slower than 102.7 miles per hour.

While it is often said that the Phillies farm system needs a complete overhaul, they still have promising prospects — such as Vierling, Nick Maton, and Luke Williams — who are “waiting in the wings” for their chance to shine in the majors.

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