The Cincinnati Reds and Seattle Mariners have completed their trade from earlier this spring when the Reds sent All-Star outfielder Jesse Winker and third baseman Eugenio Suárez to the Mariners in exchange for pitchers Justin Dunn, Brandon Williamson, outfielder Jake Fraley, and a player to be named later. That player was named on Tuesday night as Connor Phillips.
Background on Connor Phillips
The right-handed pitcher has been drafted twice. In 2019 he was selected, but didn’t sign, in the 35th round by the Toronto Blue Jays. In 2020’s shortened, 5-round draft, the Mariners selected Phillips in the 2nd round out of McLennan Community College and this time around he opted to sign and begin his professional career.
He’s listed at 6′ 2″ and 190 lbs. Phillips is still 20-years-old, but will turn 21 in early May. Last season he split his time between Low-A and High-A in Seattle’s farm system. The righty made 17 starts – 16 with Low-A Modesto where he posted a 4.75 ERA in 72.0 innings where he gave up 62 hits, 1 home run, 44 walks, and struck out 104, and then made one start in High-A Everett where he allowed an earned run in 4.0 innings with seven strikeouts.
Connor Phillips Scouting Report
There’s some good stuff in the scouting report for Connor Phillips, but there’s also some stuff that is concerning. Let’s start off with the good stuff: He’s got two potentially plus offerings. His fastball works 93-96 MPH and touches 98 with good movement. His slider has good sweeping action to it and works in the mid-80’s.
Now to the less than stellar stuff. His change up works in the mid-to-upper 80’s and is a poor offering. His control isn’t very good, either. Last season he walked 13.5% of the batters he faced in A-ball. If he’s going to remain a starting pitcher in the long term his change up and his control must take big steps forward.
Fangraphs has some video from two weeks ago of Phillips from an intrasquad game in Mariners camp that you can watch below: