Could former standout prospect pitcher Adonis Medina be helping out the Philadelphia Phillies soon?
According to MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki, the Philadelphia Phillies have officially added three players to their “Player Pool”. Right-handed pitcher Adonis Medina highlighted the group, with infielder Bryson Stott and utility-man Austin Listi joining him. All three will report to Lehigh Valley (AAA).
While a lot of eyes quickly turned to last year’s first-round pick Bryson Stott, it’s Medina who has really caught my personal attention. Once lauded as one of the top pitching prospects in all of baseball, Medina has somewhat been forgotten about down in the Phillies farm system.
However, considering just how bad the Phillies pitching staff has looked thus far, Medina could be someone the team is expecting to contribute sooner rather than later.
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Initially signed back in 2014, Medina was viewed as one of the more exciting international players in the entire MLB. He seriously impressed his first four years in the minor league system, recording ERAs of 1.37 and 2.98 in rookie ball, and then 2.92 and 3.01 ERAs in his first two years of single-A. Overall, Medina made 45 total starts through his first four years in the minors, a seriously promising number considering his age and overall projection.
Despite his impressive start to things, Medina saw a slight production dip in 2018, and then saw a serious drop off during the 2019 season. He recorded career worsts in both ERA and WHIP across 21 starts in AA last year.
While things might have looked bad for Medina, he still possesses some truly wicked “stuff”. He throws a 95-96 MPH fastball that has some sinking action to it, and his changeup has widely been considered his best overall pitch. Medina also throws a slider, which primarily induces ground balls and weak contact.
The biggest “red flag” when it comes to Medina is his lack of ability to miss bats. Baseball Savant describes him as such, “but there have been questions about why he doesn’t miss more bats given his stuff. Much of that is because of his mindset on the mound, where he leans heavily on his sinker and looks for contact early rather than strikeouts.”
At 23 years old, the clock is starting to tick on Medina regarding a major league debut. The Phillies have been known to keep their prospects down in the minors longer than most, but it’s starting to get hard to justify leaving pitchers down given the current state of the main roster.
Medina has generally been projected as a mid-rotation starter, but he could be useful as a long reliever in 2020. The team’s current go-to option in that regard is Cole Irvin, and he got absolutely rocked against the Marlins.
There’s an off chance Medina could come in and replace a guy like Jake Arrieta (Spencer Howard will likely be replacing Vince Velasquez), and in all reality that would probably be an upgrade as well.
The Phillies likely want to see Medina pitch a few AAA games before deciding anything about his future. However if he impresses early on, he makes for a prime candidate to be on the major league roster in a few weeks.