Kendall Simmons, SS/3B, PHI

A couple of years after being drafted by the Phillies, how is Kendall Simmons looking?
Video courtesy of Prospects Live
  • Born: April 11, 2000
  • B/T: Right/Right
  • 6’2″, 180-lbs
  • Drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies in the 3rd round of the 2018 MLB June Amateur Draft out of Tattnall Square Academy (Macon, GA).

The Numbers

His raw numbers are listed above courtesy of baseball-reference.com. Let’s aggregate by year and then focus on the important numbers for minor leaguers:

He did OK in his first pro season after being drafted, but there were a few warning signs that year: his strikeout rate was a bit high, his walk rate wasn’t great, and the power was only acceptable.

Then in short-season Low-A ball in 2019, the power broke out in a big way, and I mean a really big way! His .520 SLG led the league. That’ll work.

Meanwhile his strikeout rate ticked down, his walks bumped up, he showed enough speed to not be a drag on the base paths, and while his OBP could be better, that power will play anywhere.

His BA was poor, but his OBP against righties was great, and while his OBP against lefties was poor, his SLG against them was All World.
There’s his pull power as a teenager. At 6’2″ and only 180 pounds, he has room to grow on his frame. That one opposite field HR will be joined by others, and there will be more doubles to Right before all is said and done.
I love an .800 OPS, and that’s lower than his career average. Then in August of 2019 he entered the stratosphere.

The scouts

Warnings

If what we saw in late-summer 2019 was Simmons breaking out, no need to worry. But let’s see him do it again in full-season A ball, let alone AA.

Will his OBP against LHP cause him to end up in a platoon situation later in his career? Just something to keep an eye on.

Would be nice if the BA could be higher.

Conclusion

This is what you hope for when you draft a high school kid in the 6th round. This kind of breakout has started to get the scouts’ attention, and if he repeats this in 2020 there will be more scouting reports by this time next year.

His defense is adequate to perhaps stick at SS, but he could easily be at 2B, or even 3B where he has played 16 games. If he doesn’t develop into a regular major leaguer, he’d make a terrific utility player: could play MI or CI, and brings thump to the plate. Either result would be a great get in the 6th.

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