Each offseason, MiLB.com goes position by position across each system and honors the players -- regardless of age or prospect status -- who had the best seasons in their organization. Click here to locate your favorite club.
Over the past couple seasons, the Phillies have gotten closer to playoff contention, with homegrown talent complementing big free agent signings.
While the next herd of young talent might not be ready to fully contribute out of the gate in 2022, several prospects advanced to Triple-A in their full-season debuts, most notably Bryson Stott and Logan O’Hoppe.
Stott and O'Hoppe kept rolling in the Arizona Fall League, where they were among the league's top players -- a feat especially impressive given the high level of competition on the circuit. The former led the league with 31 RBIs and 24 walks while the latter was right behind him with 21 free passes.
Catcher -- Logan O'Hoppe, Jersey Shore (85 games), Reading (13 games), Lehigh Valley (six games): After he was selected out of a New York high school in the 2018 Draft and played just 79 career games entering 2021, the biggest thing O’Hoppe needed was experience. And that he got, climbing from High-A to Triple-A.
The 21-year-old’s 86 hits and 17 doubles topped Jersey Shore for the entire season, even after his August promotion. According to Phillies assistant GM Jorge Velandia, O’Hoppe utilized the canceled 2020 season to work on his hitting. Across the three levels, he batted .270/.331/.458 with 17 homers and 58 RBIs.
“He has the ability to recognize secondary stuff and hitting counts and staying through the ball to generate the natural power that he brings to the table on the offensive side of things,” Velandia said by phone last month. “He’s an offensive catcher, but for him, the most important thing is how to handle his pitching staff and the leadership that he brings to the table.”
Behind the dish, O’Hoppe threw out 25 percent of would-be base stealers while yielding eight passed balls. Velandia has been most impressed with the catcher’s work ethic, which earned him the Dernell Stenson Sportsmanship Award in the AFL this year.
First baseman -- Vito Friscia, Jersey Shore (76 games), Lehigh Valley (one game): In his full-season debut, Friscia showed a good eye at the plate, leading the BlueClaws with 45 walks. The Hofstra product heated up in August with a .308/.390/.523 slash line in 17 games, earning a spot start at Triple-A. Friscia held his own in his first taste of the Minors’ highest level, going 1-for-3 with a walk. Overall, the 24-year-old posted a .799 OPS with seven homers and 40 RBIs across the two levels. Friscia split his time mostly between first and DH while making five starts behind the plate.
Second baseman -- Daniel Brito, Reading (63 games), Lehigh Valley (eight games): Brito started off strong for the Fightins before really turning it on and sizzling in June and July. The left-handed hitter registered a .296/.363/.457 slash line with six long balls and 11 RBIs at Double-A before his promotion to Triple-A. Brito homered in his debut, then kept it going with eight hits and another dinger in his first six games.
Unfortunately, the 23-year-old collapsed on the field on July 31 and needed emergency surgery. Brito stayed in the hospital for two months before being transferred to a rehab facility. Velandia said the Venezuela native is doing well and continues to get better.
Third baseman -- Erick Brito, DSL Phillies (54 games): Brito returned to the Dominican Summer League, where he showcased an impressive eye and the ability to get on base early and often. Brito got better as the season went on, culminating in a September in which he hit .383.
Overall, the 18-year-old led all qualified Phillies Minor Leaguers with a .327 average, a .470 OBP, a 1.43 BB/K rate and a 147 wRC+. What’s more, Brito thrived with runners in scoring position, batting .396 compared to .260 with no one on. The Venezuela native showed off versatility with the glove, playing every position except pitcher and catcher this summer.
Shortstop -- Bryson Stott, Jersey Shore (22 games), Reading (80 games), Lehigh Valley (10 games): Stott proved why he’s the Phillies’ top-ranked position player, leading the organization with an .876 OPS, 125 hits and 71 runs. MLB Pipeline’s No. 97 overall prospect also topped Philly's full-season Minor Leaguers with a 138 wRC+.
“He has a beautiful swing that creates a natural extension to hit doubles and home runs,” Velandia said. “He knows how to drive the ball to the other side of the field and he knows how to pull the ball.”
Although his power grades out at a 45, Stott showed some pop, leaving the yard 16 times across the three levels. Adding strength at the Phillies’ alternate training camp last summer, the left-handed hitter registered a .299/.390/.486 slash line.
Velandia said the UNLV product is a leader on the field and is always watching the catcher to make sure he’s in the right position. And while Stott spent time at second and third this year to boost his versatility, the Phillies view him as a true shortstop.
Jorge Bonifacio, Reading (92 games), Lehigh Valley (72 games), Philadelphia (seven games): After the Phillies signed him on May 25, Bonifacio posted one of his best seasons yet, leading all qualified Minor Leaguers in the system with a .506 slugging percentage. The Dominican Republic native drilled 17 homers with 60 RBIs in 93 games across Double-A and Triple-A. Bonifacio -- who spent time in all three outfield spots -- elected free agency in October.
Jhailyn Ortiz, Jersey Shore (74 games), Reading (21 games): After lackluster 2018 and 2019 campaigns, Ortiz broke out this year. The Phillies’ No. 10 prospect led the farm system with 23 homers while topping the BlueClaws with 52 runs and 48 RBIs (tied with O’Hoppe). With a better understanding of the strike zone, Ortiz was able to take advantage of his game-changing raw power.
“His swing decisions got better; his two-strike approach got better,” Velandia said. “The quality of at-bat got better throughout the year. His defense has always been there. He was good all around.”
From the grass, Ortiz boasts a 60-grade arm, which he showcased mostly from right field, but he did get some time in left and center as well. The Phillies were so pleased with Ortiz’s season that they protected him from the Rule 5 Draft by adding him to their 40-man roster in November.
Matt Vierling, Reading (24 games), Lehigh Valley (55 games), Philadelphia (34 games): Vierling started the season on a tear, hitting .345 with a 1.065 OPS in 24 Double-A games before getting bumped up to Triple-A. And after going 5-for-12 in his first three IronPigs games, the Notre Dame product was called upon to make his Major League debut.
That first stint only lasted a couple days due to roster limitations, but Vierling was back in September, leaving a strong impression as he hit .324/.364/.479 in 34 big league games. And though the 25-year-old only played 79 Minor League games, he reached career highs of 11 homers and 47 RBIs.
“He's going to get a big opportunity in Spring Training to make the team and contribute with the big league club,” Velandia said. "But yes, we were very happy with the development of Matt. What a gamer.”
Left-handed starting pitcher -- Josh Hendrickson, Jersey Shore (six games), Reading (14 games), Lehigh Valley (one game): After growing up in Australia, Hendrickson moved to Kansas for community college before transferring to the University of San Diego for his junior year. The Phillies drafted him as a reliever, but as the southpaw developed, the club realized he was better suited for the rotation.
“Fastball moves with some sink and cutter action. There's some deception to him,” Velandia said. “He can utilize any pitch at any time for strikes and he just needs to continue to master his craft.”
Hendrickson went 4-5 with a 3.57 ERA, 93 strikeouts and 32 walks in 96 2/3 innings across 21 games (14 starts) as he advanced to Triple-A three days before turning 24.
Right-handed starting pitcher -- Adam Leverett, Jersey Shore (11 games), Reading (eight games), Lehigh Valley (two games): Making his full-season debut, the 2019 Draft pick climbed three levels en route to Triple-A. Leverett held High-A East foes to two runs over his first 29 1/3 frames before earning a spot start with Reading.
While the 6-foot-4 hurler ran into trouble in July, he finished strong, yielding just five total runs across August and July. In total, Leverett went 4-5 with a 3.48 ERA, 90 strikeouts and 31 walks in 85 1/3 innings over 21 games (17 starts).
Honorable mention: Fifth-ranked Phillies prospect Francisco Morales led the system with 117 strikeouts in 91 2/3 innings across Double-A and Triple-A.
Relief pitcher -- Carlo Reyes, Clearwater (eight games), Jersey Shore (19 games), Reading (eight games): Reyes started his first full season with 10 1/3 scoreless innings in May as he earned a promotion to High-A. The 23-year-old right-hander got bumped up to Double-A in July, and he didn’t allow an earned run in seven of his eight appearances.
Reyes finished the year back with the BlueClaws, getting stretched out over the course of three starts. Overall, the 6-foot hurler notched a 2.40 ERA with 82 strikeouts and 23 walks in 60 innings spanning 35 appearances.
Kelsie Heneghan is a writer for MiLB.com. Follow her on Twitter @Kelsie_Heneghan.