Matt Vierling

Position: LF
Level: High A
Affiliate: Clearwater Threshers
League: Florida State League
Born: 09/16/1996 (Age: 22)
Height: 6'3"
Weight: 205
B/T: Right / Right
Acquired: 5th Rd. 2018 MLB First-Year Player Draft (PHI)

Prospect Spotlight

Vierling was Philadelphia’s fifth-rounder in 2018, a three-year starter at Notre Dame who has enjoyed lots of success early in his pro career. He spent most of his first summer in the minors with Class A Lakewood—a fairly direct assignment for a player that was just drafted—playing a large role in the BlueClaws’ push to the South Atlantic League championship by slashing .293/.342/.473 down the stretch. Vierling got off to a torrid start to 2019 in the pitcher-friendly Florida State League but has cooled of late, slumping through May and the early parts of June.

A large, full-bodied frame at 6-foot-3, Vierling is surprisingly mobile for his size. He runs close to average up the line and slides in at CF when needed, though he only profiles on an outfield corner at higher levels. At the plate, his hands work in a tight, punchy loop that keeps the barrel in the zone a long time. Vierling makes hard contact to both fields, and while a level path doesn’t seem geared for much power, he’s putting more balls in the air this season than ever before.

This type of prospect—a R/R corner player from the college ranks without towering raw power—rarely sees the top of prospect lists. That said, there’s track record for that profile consistently popping up in the big leagues, usually as offense-first bench bats or stopgap regulars on the weak side of a platoon. Vierling isn’t hugely deficient defensively or on the bases, which helps him be a bit less one-dimensional if he winds up filling a low-impact role such as that.