It’s been a few weeks since the final 2017 edition of my in-game reporting, and I have been sitting on a ton of information and video. And now with the Phillies season drawing to a close, it’s time to get into offseason more. There’s going to be plenty of evaluation over the next few months of the minor league season that was and is to come for many of the Phillies top minor league talent. So I thought I’d start the offseason off with the first of many player evaluations which will be based off a number of sources, from my own eyewitness accounts to other video sources and plenty of statistical breakdowns. So let’s start with a player who might not be anything more than depth but has intrigued me enough to have me evaluate him.
Jiandido Candido Tromp
5’11”, 175 lb
Played for: Reading (AA) and Lehigh Valley (AAA)
Dates Seen: 7/22, 8/16, 8/31
Eyewitness Stats: 11 PA, 4/9, 1 2B, 2 HR, 7 RBI, 2 R, 2 BB, 2 K
What the Numbers Say
Reading (AA): 122 G, 491 PA, .285/.329/.485, 31 2B, 3 3B, 18 HR, 62 RBI, 64 R, 10/17 SB, 5.7% BB, 22.8% K, 121 wRC+
Lehigh Valley (AAA): 3 G, 2/9, 1 2B, 2 RBI, BB, 2 K
Fielding: 45 G (42 GS) in LF, 67 G (63 GS) in RF, 917 total innings, 200 chances, zero errors, four outfield assists, 1.000 Fld%
Tromp’s had a fairly consistent year at the plate. His worst month (if you exclude his 3/17 September) was May when he hit .247 with a .744 OPS. His OPS wouldn’t be lower than .783 in any other full month. From June on, Tromp would hit .297 with a .830 OPS, along with 13 of his 18 home runs. Tromp showed this past season that he might be mainly a southpaw masher. In 180 PA vs LHP, Tromp would hit a monstrous .355 with a 1.036 OPS, highlighted by 30 of his 53 extra base hits and a 16.1% K. Conversely vs RHP, he only hit .244 with a .684 OPS and a 26.5% K.
As for the “Reading factor”, while Tromp did hit more home runs and slugged higher at Firstenergy Stadium (13 to 5 HR, .516 to .455 SLG%), his home/road batting average (.286/.284) and BABIP (.347/.335) suggests the same amount of luck. In fact he would strike out less on the road a bit more significantly than he did in the same number of games at home (18.5% K on road, 27.1% K at home).
Taking mainly his AA numbers, Tromp would increase his line drive rate rate from about 18.1% (A/A+) to 21.3%, which was more reminiscent of his rate before his midseason promotion from Lakewood to Clearwater last year. His HR/FB rate didn’t change at all despite two less home runs, staying at 12.9%. The interesting development is that Tromp went to the opposite field more jumping from around 19% to 28.3%
Tale of the Tape
Tromp’s swing is pretty simple and he can hit the ball with solid power to the opposite field consistently. His pull power was noticeable on 8/16, when he crushed a two-run home run that appeared to clear LF deck on a hard line drive (not shown in video). His swing reminds me in some ways of Aaron Altherr because it’s a two-handed compact swing with a short stride leg kick. Even if he gets his foot down early, he’ll keep his hands back and drive it the other way like he did in that opposite field home run in the video above. He’ll tend to expand the strike zone a bit and doesn’t have incredible patience, swinging early in the count and getting fooled by some good sliders. He’s not an above average athlete, but he runs well enough where he can snag the extra base on a ball in the gap that is picked up rather quickly. He has also shown good first steps in both corner outfield spots to where he shouldn’t be a defensive liability.
What Lies Ahead
Tromp is in an interesting spot as he enters the offseason as a minor league free agent. While there is a chance another team could sign him where he could get a shot at a 40 man roster spot in the spring, I think he’s made enough of an impression on the Phillies organization where they could re-sign him. If that’s the case expect him to start 2018 in Lehigh Valley at 24 years old, forming a pretty formidable outfield crop with Dylan Cozens, Andrew Pullin and Roman Quinn (if the Phillies decide another direction for a fourth outfielder). Tromp’s bat would be able to be in the lineup everyday giving days off for Pullin and Cozens facing LHP or in the DH role. Tromp isn’t one of the flashiest players in the system but he does a little bit of everything well. That’s also one of the reasons why he might be held back from being in the organization’s top 30 prospects. He doesn’t present a tool that doesn’t grade above-average and the mediocre plate discipline could hold him back. But Tromp could be a key organizational depth piece where his major league ceiling would be a solid fourth outfielder who can mash left-handed pitching and do a little bit of everything well. He’s hit well enough the last couple of years and is at a solid age where another team might want to have him in their system for those reasons. Sometimes it’s the lesser known prospects who get overlooked. Tromp could be one of those prospects.