Scouting Report and Trading Block
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The information comes from the scouting report of Bernie Pleskoff: Phillips has been called a five-tool player, with his power tool developing over the past few years. His on-base skill will probably make him be a top of the order hitter. He has the body of a centerfielder and plays better as the take charge person of the outfield. His arm will be strong, especially if you pair him up with George Springer in right field.
He has a strong upper body that should allow him to hit about 20 home runs, which you can see from his stats this year that it is possible. He is patient at the plate and should hit for a decent batting average once he reaches the big leagues. He has speed and a good first step, but he needs to work on his instincts. Jeff Bagwell didn’t have the best speed, but he was able to steal based on instincts. Phillips will learn this with time.
Overall, he will be a great defensive hitter who can hit at the top of the order in front of Jose Altuve, Correa, Springer, and A.J. Reed (down the road). Put this bat in the front of the current Astros lineup, and he will get on base and steal second ahead of the big hitters.
On the Trading Block?
The bad news is that Phillips could be used as the main trade piece in a trade to get a pitcher like Johnny Cueto, Tyson Ross, Scott Kazmir, and Cole Hamels. The Astros are stocked at the outfield for the future with Derek Fisher, Daz Cameron, and Kyle Tucker, so unfortunately the Astros could see Phillips as expendable. This decision would be a mistake because this guy can play baseball.
I would rather the Astros trade Preston Tucker, Domingo Santana, or L.J. Hoes before Phillips, but it’s a decision that Jeff Luhnow will have to weigh before making a trade. The Astros should consider bringing up Phillips until Springer returns because he could serve as the spark plug that they are currently missing. Should he survive July, he will be the top Astros prospect.
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