Phillies Prospect #51: Francisco Murillo

The Phillies plucked Francisco Murillo out of Venezuela and his first season in the states was decent, if not spectacular. The problem may be finding a spot for Murillo to play.

Acquired: Signed by the Phillies as an amateur free agent.

B: T: R  /  Height: 6' 0"  Weight: 196 lbs

2007 Team: Gulf Coast League Phillies

Positions Played in 2007: LF (29 g), 1B (13 g), DH (9 g)

Batting and Power: While he doesn't have the biggest build, Francisco Murillo packs some power into a nice, short swing. The problem is that Murillo needs to learn better plate discipline and keep his nice, short swing the way it is rather than letting it get a little long from time to time. Because he doesn't have a lot of natural power, Murillo tends to try to do too much at the plate. Not only does he let his swing get a little long at times, but he has trouble discerning a ball from a strike and swings through a lot of pitches.

Baserunning and Speed: Murillo has slightly above average speed and good instincts on the basepaths. He can steal some bases at key times and figures to be able to swipe about 20 bases per season if he can get on base enough to have the opportunities.

Defense: Just where is Murillo going to play? He started out as a catcher in the Venezuelan Summer League, but concerns over his size and durability moved him to first and third base, but his defense at third base was especially rough and there's no future for him there. This past season, he played primarily in left field, but did spend some time at first base. His defense in left was average and he doesn't have a very accurate arm, although it is fairly strong. At first base, his defense has gotten better and he will likely find a home there for the long term.

Projection: There is still a lot for Murillo to learn, but he's got a lot of talent. He turned 21 a couple months ago and played his first season in the states. While his numbers weren't where they were in 2006 when he had a breakout season in the VSL, he put up decent enough numbers to give some promise for the future. If Murillo can cut down on his strikeouts, he has the potential to become a pretty solid prospect. Just where he'll play in 2008 is going to be interesting. It's likely that the Phillies will keep him in extended camp and then send him out to Williamsport for the short-season New York - Penn League, but it won't be surprising for Murillo to reach Lakewood before the summer ends.

Francisco Murillo's career stats

2005 Tronconero 4 14 .247 37 85 16 21 6 1 1 14 27 .366 .482 .848
2006 VSL Phillies 10 56 .299 67 221 39 66 11 2 9 37 55 .402 .502 .904
2007 GCL Phillies 7 36 .242 51 178 22 43 16 0 2 21 57 .324 .449 .773
TOTALS 21 106 .269 155 484 77 130 33 3 12 72 139 .367 .479 .846

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