RHP Tyler Phillips
While the site of Cole Winn and Ricky Vanasco being added to the Rangers’ Alternate Site could interest a lot of fans, Tyler Phillips looks the most likely of the starting pitching prospects in the organization to get a look at the Majors this season.
A 6’5″ right-hander from New Jersey was a 16th round draft pick of the Texas Rangers in 2016 and has since steadily risen up the club’s farm system. With a fastball that sits in the low-90’s, Phillips works more as a weak contact pitcher rather than with an aggressive swing and miss approach. MLB Pipeline noted though that Phillips has arguably the best control and command in the Rangers’ system.
Phillips, like Apostel and Evans, makes sense as a candidate to debut this year because he is currently on the Rangers 40-man roster. Texas won’t have to make a move to get him up with the club making a call up all the more easy.
Last season Phillips pitched with High-A Down East and Double-A Frisco. He made 22 starts between the two levels and 24 appearances overall. His success in six starts with the Wood Ducks was noteworthy with Phillips posting a 1.19 ERA and a 0.90 WHIP against Class-A hitters. However, the jump to Double-A wasn’t quite as smooth with opponents hitting .263 against Phillips while his ERA jumped up to the 4.73 mark.
While Phillips likely doesn’t profile as a frontline starter, his ability to limit free passes and generate ground balls could get him into the rotation long-term at the back end. With the Rangers likely looking to fill at least a couple of rotation spots for the 2021 season, Phillips could get a look now as Texas evaluates their options. Of the starting pitchers who might get a call this year, Phillips seems the most likely.