Tyler Phillips, the Texas Rangers righthanded pitching prospect who has spent 2018 pitching extremely well for the Hickory Crawdads, is being rewarded with a promotion. Phillips makes his final start of the year today, but will be pitching for the high-A Down East Wood Ducks, rather than for low-A Hickory.
As you know if you’ve been reading LSB this summer, the 20 year old Phillips has had a breakout 2018 campaign. Phillips has a 2.67 ERA in 128 innings over 22 starts, with 124 Ks against just 14 walks. After walking a pair in his first start of the year, Phillips has walked either 0 or 1 hitters in every subsequent start.
Phillips doesn’t have overwhelming stuff, but he has a low-90s fastball and an impressive changeup to go with good command. He has the type of repertoire that can often dominate lower-level hitters while not necessarily translating at the higher levels, so he is someone who may not get the sort of attention his numbers would suggest is warranted until he has success at the higher levels. Today he will get his first opportunity to show he can handle high-A hitters.
UPDATE — Phillips had a solid final start of the year, going 5 IP, allowing 2 hits, 2 walks, and an HBP, giving up 1 run and striking out 3.