Phillips returned to Biloxi to start his 2016 season after a solid showing at Double-A in the second half of 2015, splitting time between Texas League Corpus Christi and Southern League Biloxi. Thus far, his production has largely matched what he has done throughout his minor league career, showing feel for contact, a solid approach, a sound understanding of the zone, and enough pop to rack up extra bases along the way. Through his first 13 games the Florida prep product is slashing .311/.404/.489 with over a third of his hits going for extra bases.
In addition, Phillips is a plus runner with solid feel on the base paths, giving him an opportunity to swipe an extra bag when the opportunity permits. He has excellent bat speed and an ability to yank balls on the inner half, as well as spray balls to the gaps when attacking the rest of the zone. It’s unlikely he’ll hit homers at the pace he was setting early last year in the comfy confines of the Cal League, but those homers should transition smoothly to doubles and triples, making him an intriguing possibility at the top of a big league lineup.
With his arm an easy double-plus, the defensive package profiles at either center field or right, with Michael Reed (OF, Triple-A Colorado Springs) likewise giving Milwaukee flexibility at those two positions. Having already shown he can hold his own at Double-A, Phillips will likely see a promotion to Triple-A Colorado Springs as soon as room opens up – most likely when Reed gets the call to Milwaukee. –Nick J. Faleris