Austin Bossart is working to become more than just a defensive catcher for the Phillies

Being drafted as a college senior didn't give Austin Bossart a lot of leverage. He signed quickly with the Phillies and put up solid first-year numbers as a member of the Williamsport Crosscutters as he looks to move up the prospect lists.

PBI Top 50 Prospect ranking: 41 [PBI Top 50 Prospects]

Austin Bossart has already played baseball in Philadelphia. He made his way from Abilene, Texas to the University of Pennsylvania, where he was named the Ivy League Co-Player of the Year in his senior season with the Quakers. After being selected in the 14th round of the 2015 Draft, Bossart was assigned to Williamsport, where he played in 37 games and hit a somewhat surprising .333 with the Crosscutters.

The offensive numbers are part of a trend for Bossart that provide hope that he might turn out to be more than just a defensive catcher. After hitting a combined .284 in his first three seasons at Penn, Bossart hit .358 with a strong .540 slugging percentage in his senior season. The offensive development actually started late in his junior season when he seemed to suddenly start clicking at the plate.

Defensively, Bossart is athletic and moves quickly to block pitches. He's got a strong, accurate arm that was good enough to throw out 39-percent of the runners attempting to steal against him last season at Williamsport.

Initially, Bossart wasn't thought to be much more than an organizational guy who would fill a spot on a minor league roster. Now, the hope is that he's developing enough offense that he can potentially reach the majors and be a serviceable backup catcher.

It will be interesting to see where in the organization the Phillies start Bossart this season. They could make a case for keeping him in extended camp, but with a good showing in minor league camp, he could potentially open the season at Low-A Lakewood. If he does stay behind in extended camp, it's likely he would be in line to get a quick call to Lakewood should they need a catcher.

Austin Bossart's minor league stats

2015 Williamsport 37 138 15 46 7 1 1 19 0 2 0 18 .333 .359 .420
Generated 3/5/2016.

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