Power-hitting Prospect Catches Gabe Kapler's Eye

MIAMI - Phillies manager Gabe Kapler likes to keep tabs on what's going on in the team's minor-league system.

"We're in a collaboration and a partnership, our field staff with our minor-league system," he said.

One of the players who has recently caught Kapler's eye is Darick Hall, a slugging first baseman for Single A Clearwater.

"He's leading the Florida State League in homers and doing some really cool things around the bag," Kapler said.

And how does Kapler know this?

Well, he can read the stat sheet. Hall has eight homers, 18 RBIs, a .265 batting average and a .948 OPS in his first 23 games. 

Beyond that, Kapler chatted on the phone with Clearwater manager Shawn Williams on Monday.

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"He's raving about the work being done there, in particular Darick," Kapler said. "So it's nice to have another guy to keep our eyes on outside of (Triple A) Lehigh Valley."

Kapler has another tool that helps him and other Philadelphia-based team officials keep tabs on minor leaguers. The team has extensive video resources and all of its minor-league parks are equipped with multiple cameras.

"We have all sorts of tools to watch players," Kapler said. "We have incredible video at our minor-league level and lots of angles."

Kapler said he watches video of minor-league prospects "as inspired."

"Maybe if somebody I don't have a high level of familiarity with is raking or having success on the mound, I pop in and take a look," Kapler said.

That's what happened with Hall.

"My familiarity with him is video and numbers right now," Kapler said. "So far, so good. Any time you get off to a start like that, it opens up your eyes and it's kind of fun because you start following the box score and looking for him specifically on a daily basis, asking more questions, learning what else he brings to the table."

Hall, 22, is a burly, 6-2, 245-pound left-handed hitter. The Phillies selected him in the 14th round of the 2016 draft out of Dallas Baptist University. He put up some big power totals - 29 homers and 101 RBIs - in his first full pro season last year. He spent 121 games with Lakewood in the South Atlantic League before playing the final seven games in Clearwater. For the season, he hit .270.

Hall still has many miles to cover in his development. If he stays on his current trajectory, he could get a look at Double A Reading later this season and a full-season look there next year. A number of Phillies' power-hitting prospects - Ryan Howard, Darin Ruf, Dylan Cozens and Rhys Hoskins to name a few - have put together huge seasons in Reading over the years, so that could be something to watch.

Gabe Kapler already is.

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