Solid frame, good tone; dynamic athleticism with some natural quick-twitch; more raw physical strength than frame suggests, all good muscle; minimal additional physical projection remaining.
8/19-20, 8/31/14, 4/9, 4/11, 4/23, 4/25, 6/4-5/15
Lancaster JetHawks (High A, Astros)
Off the charts; football mentality, max effort; engaged with teammates, leadership qualities; significant demonstrated improvements
More balanced, load still longish but toned down; notable improvement creating torque, engages lower half better; line-drive orientation but can drop head and lift to pull side; advanced feel for in-swing adjustments; aggressive approach, struggles with same-hand spin, can cut off inner-third coverage.
Some natural loft to swing path; improved acceleration and bat speed, raw has ticked up from 45 to 50 raw in last year; picks spots well to unleash pull-side power, should be able to get to what he's got in games; will still come apart against inside velocity.
Raw footspeed pushes 65; quicker out of the box, seven clocks averaging 4.1 flat; strong initial push and quick pick-up, busts his tail down the line; raw base-stealer, lacks natural feel for timing pitchers, struggles to recognize first move; speed utility plays down on the bases at present.
Good instincts in center with first-step quickness and solid start-up; charges well, takes direct routes with plus range into the gaps; inconsistent tracking balls over his head; can struggle projecting angles off the wall; speed and athleticism to recover; easy plus closing speed, finishes routes well.
Fire hose; best outfield arm I've seen in the Cal League; double-plus velo and carry, retains accuracy throwing on the move; one-hop to third with accuracy from right-center gap; easy plus in right, double-plus in center.
Phillips now shows five average-or-better tools with the kind of make-up to max out his natural talent. He's made substantial strides over the past 10 months tightening his swing mechanics and improving his approach at the plate. He still struggles against southpaw spin and inside velocity, and he'll get caught cheating to the outer-half too often, but there's a playable line drive stroke here with some pull-side pop.
The speed is a notable asset, though his stolen base attempts lack a demonstrated feel for timing pitchers and releasing efficiently. He's a centerfielder, though he also demonstrates the athleticism and arm to handle either corner with plus defensive projection as well, giving him a high floor as a fourth outfielder capable of playing all over the grass if the offensive development stalls out.