Cincinnati maintained at the time of the deal they’d add a notable prospect as the player to be named later, and they indeed pick up one of the better arms in the Seattle system. Baseball America ranked Phillips 12th among M’s farmhands this winter, writing that the right-hander owns a 94-96 MPH fastball and a plus slider. BA suggests that Phillips’ below-average changeup and inconsistent control figure to make him a reliever in the long run, but he worked as a starting pitcher during his first full professional season.
Phillips, whom the Mariners selected 64th overall out of a Texas junior college in 2020, made 16 starts with Low-A Modesto last year. The 20-year-old tossed 72 innings of 4.75 ERA ball, striking out an excellent 32.3% of opposing hitters but issuing walks at an alarming 13.7% rate. He was bumped up to High-A Everett for his final start of the year, allowing three runs in four innings.
Phillips becomes the latest power arm added to the Cincinnati system as part of their recent sell-off. The Reds also picked up Brandon Williamson in the Winker trade and landed 2021 first-rounder Chase Petty from the Twins in the Sonny Gray deal.
Ryan Divish of The Seattle Times reported Phillips’ inclusion in the deal shortly before the official announcement.