Phillies MiLB star is top third base prospect: Wait, what?

Bohm is close to joining the Phillies, but he won't arrive in 2019. Photo by Alex Trautwig/MLB Photos via Getty Images.
Bohm is close to joining the Phillies, but he won't arrive in 2019. Photo by Alex Trautwig/MLB Photos via Getty Images. /

While everybody in Philly was debating whether or not to root for Andy Reid in the Super Bowl, nobody noticed their top-ranked Phillies prospect.

A consistent complaint of Philadelphia Phillies fans for years has been “there’s nothing in the pipeline,” and in fact, many of their draft choices and prime “hot prospects” have been fairly disappointing. A prime example is the new Royals infielder Maikel Franco.

So, it is with reluctance that I confess I missed’s ranking of Alec Bohm, an actual Phillies prospect, as the top third baseman in the minors. This is a ranking 10 days old as I type, and the Philadelphia press has studiously ignored the matter.

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The Phillies website does have Bohm listed as their no. 1 prospect – in the ninth-ranked article on their current pieces list, and that piece is basically a page of baseball card-sized photos – you have to click on the photo for any real information.

Well. All right, perhaps Bohm isn’t quite as promising as Vlad Guerrero, Jr., last year’s no. 1 third baseman, but still….

It should also be noted that Guerrero is not the second coming of either his father (yet) or Ted Williams. In 123 games last season young Vlad slashed .272/.339/.443 with 15 homers and 69 RBIs. This was very nice, of course, but not really Ted Williams’ first year, at the age of 20, when he finished fourth in the MVP voting. (Go ahead, guess Williams’ RBI total in 1939.)

So, the excitement is muted in Philadelphia. There’s no assurance that Bohm will make it to The Show this season – there’s that arbitration eligibility thing – and there’s little expectation, especially in the Delaware Valley, that this guy will be either Vlad Guerrero’s son or Williams.

Still, one should consider a few things about Bohm, who is not, as a minor leaguer, some kind of re-gifted fruit cake.

Although he has played only 63 games at the Double-A level and hit a grand total of 21 minor league home runs, Bohm is a bit of a physical curiosity by all accounts. He’s 6-foot-5, but unlike many players that tall, he apparently has good bat control, pitch selection judgment, and bat speed. (In the video here, I suggest paying attention to the third and fourth balls hit in the sequence.)

In other words, this guy ain’t Dave Kingman, or at least that can be hoped. As Mike Rosenbaum notes, he “[hit] his way up to Double-A in his first full season.”

Many have called Bohm’s fielding into question. Indeed, the article on the Phillies website as I type lists Bohm’s “Field” score as his 5th best, just ahead of his worst score, for running (and again, you have to click on the player’s picture to see this). But, interestingly, the Phillies list Bohm as a third baseman/first baseman.

He has played in over 70 games at first base. What’s up with that? I thought the future of first base for the Phillies is Rhys Hoskins.

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Hoskins’ fielding numbers aren’t that great, and he finished last season in a slump. Or to quote a mechanic in an ancient film comedy starring Chevy Chase, “Think about it.”