Reds prospect Connor Phillips will fall just short of superstar status.
Collectively, Reds fans rolled their eyes when Jesse Winker and Eugenio Suárez were dealt to the Seattle Mariners for a rotational outfielder, an injured pitcher, a left-handed prospect, and a player to be named later.
That PTBNL turned out to be one of the better pitching prospects in Seattle's farm system. MLB Pipeline ranks Connor Phillips as the 14th-best prospect in their minor league system, while FanGraphs ranks the right-hander at No. 6, slotting him ahead of former first-round picks Matt McLain and Austin Hendrick.
Phillips pursuit of becoming an elite, superstar pitcher will hinge on his command and development of his secondary pitches. Phillips has a pair of breaking balls (curveball and slider) and is working on adding a changeup as well.
Phillips must, however, find a way to get his walks under control. That alone is what will keep him from stardom in the big leagues. While Phillips has been striking out over 30% of the hitters he's facing, he's also been walking opposing batters about 15% of the time in the early going.
If Connor Phillips, who's only 21 years old and has yet to pitch above High-A, learns how to attack the strike zone, he has star potential. Phillips' curveball is a plus-pitch and his slider isn't far behind.
Development in the minors over the next two years is key to Phillips unlocking his greatness, but I believe he'll fall just short of that and instead be a middle-of-the-rotation piece for the Reds in the future.