The festive season is upon us and while there should be plenty of excitement for the holidays, the same can’t be said if you’re a Philadelphia sports fan. But fear not, I have decided to rank the top 22 players to watch in 2022.
To keep this fair, the Phillies entries have been limited to those who could make an impact in the bigs next year, or those paddling at the very top of the prospect pool. You could very easily make a list of nothing but Phillies prospects, but that’s another article entirely! For this list, we’re looking for young players on the cusp of a huge leap in development.
Here’s how the list looks so far:
#21 Hans Crouse
This list would look a lot different with Spencer Howard in the mix, but in his place sits an exciting 22-year-old. MLB had him ranked 22nd in their fall league prospects to watch and understandably so.
After being acquired by the Phils earlier this year, Crouse made his debut against the Pirates where he allowed a home run on the first pitch but made it the only run allowed in 3IP. Overall, he had a 5.14 ERA in 7IP.
Crouse was a second-round pick in 2017 and was once one of the top pitching prospects the Rangers had to offer. A rocky 2019 season was followed up by the COVID-deflated 2020 campaign, plummeting his stock and landing him in the trade to Philadelphia.
There’s plenty of wriggle room in the bullpen for Crouse to find a regular home and although he may not be as complete as Spencer Howard, he arguably has more breathing room to start developing. If you’re patient, there’s even more reason to be excited because there is a ceiling there to be tapped into.
#19 Mick Abel
At 20-years-old, Abel is easily the most exciting young names in the prospect pool. He made his professional debut for Clearwater this past season and is well on track to make the jump to the big leagues in the next few seasons.
As far as 2022 goes, there won’t be too much to watch at a Major League level, which is why he features so low on this list. However, a hot season at the single-A level could expedite his growth and see him push for that 3rd/4th starting role a year or two early.
#5 Bryson Stott
Stott not only tops this list but is the only Phillies prospect within the top 10, purely for the fact that he is the best positioned of all prospects to make an impact at the MLB level in 2022.
If you combine A+, AA, and AAA, Stott posted a .299 batting average with 125 hits, 16 home runs, and 26 doubles. Not to mention, he was also named to the Future’s game during the All-Star weekend.
There’s bucket-loads of potential when it comes to Stott, and we should see plenty more flashes next year providing he can add some power to his arsenal. It’s a long way to the top if you wanna rock ‘n’ roll, but Bryce Harper’s BFFL has all the tools to take a huge leap in his development next year.
Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire