Philly Teams


Corner Pub Sports

The State of the Philadelphia Phillies Farm System


The Philadelphia Phillies have been in the midst of a downward spiral over the past half decade, beginning when they went 73-89 in 2013. The team’s former general manager, Ruben Amaro Jr, began the organization’s transition into rebuilding, albeit a few years late, by trading away starting pitcher Cole Hamels for a slew of prospects to help rebuild and restock the Philadelphia farm system.

Fast forward to 2017 and the team has a new general manager, Matt Klentak, and is still in the middle of the rebuild that began with that Cole Hamels trade during the 2015 season. Only a couple of the prospects that the Phillies received in that trade have made their mark on the team in the major league level. Jake Thompson has been up and down between Triple-A Lehigh Valley and the major leagues, but he hasn’t had much success for the Phillies (3-6 with a 5.98 ERA in 13 games) and overall he hasn’t developed like the organization thought or wanted him to. Jerad Eickhoff has been the only constant at the major league level (14-24 with a 3.81 ERA in 54 games), but 2017 has been a terribly rough year thus far for him.

Many fans cite the reason for the team’s lack of success and excitement this season as being a lack of prospects being brought up to help the struggling Phillies team. The Phillies are currently sitting at 22-43, one of the worst records in the entire MLB. With players like Michael Saunders, Jeremy Hellickson, Howie Kendrick and Cameron Rupp playing games for the Phillies, space could definitely be made at the major league level for some of the organization’s top prospects.

The Triple-A Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs, currently sitting at 43-23 and in first place in the International League North, are stacked with prospects who all could make their major league debuts within this season. Catcher Jorge Alfaro (.267/.300/.403 with 5 HR and 31 RBIs), one of the pieces gotten back in the Cole Hamels trade, has taken the step from Double-A to Triple-A in stride this season, but he does need to strike out less (66 strikeouts in 206 at-bats). Outfielders Roman Quinn (.274/.344/.389 with 2 HR and 13 RBIs), Nick Williams (.274/.307/.504 with 13 HR and 40 RBIs) and Dylan Cozens (.243/.304/.478 with 14 HR and 46 RBIs) all could make the step to the major leagues within the next year, but they all have things to still improve on (injuries, striking out less, consistency). Starting pitcher Tom Eshelman (combined 7-1 with a 2.11 ERA in 12 games between Double-A and Triple-A) has been pitching very well this season, but he is unproven and has a bad track record. First baseman Rhys Hoskins (.291/.387/.577 with 14 HR and 49 RBIs) has been continuing his success from 2016 into 2017, and he is the player who is most deserving of making the leap into the majors. The only top prospect struggling for the Iron Pigs is shortstop JP Crawford (.194/.313/.252 with 2 HR and 21 RBIs), and he is at the point where his stock is beginning to fall.

The Double-A Reading Fighting Phils also have their share of prospects that are performing at a high level. Second baseman Scott Kingery (.302/.376/.609 with 18 HR and 37 RBIs) has been performing at a career high level, but earlier this week, general manager Matt Klentak shot down the hopes of bringing Kingery up this season. Outfielder Andrew Pullin (.310/.374/.559 with 13 HR and 41 RBIs) has shown that he can be a power-hitting outfielder for the Phillies, and it won’t be long till he sees himself at the Triple-A level. Shortstop Angelo Mora (.301/.354/.496 with 6 HR and 28 RBIs) is a shortstop who can hit well for that position, but he has missed a sizable amount of games this season. For pitchers, Mario Sanchez (4-1 with a 2.66 ERA in 17 games, 5 starts), Drew Anderson (5-2 with a 3.77 ERA in 12 games) and Brandon Leibrandt (5-2 with a 3.65 ERA in 12 games) all have shown potential to become quality pitchers at the major league level.

At the Single-A level, the Phillies have a multitude of prospects and other young players that are going to soon make their way up the farm system. Last year’s number one overall pick Mickey Moniak (.278/.335/.405 with 2 HR and 26 RBIs) has continued to develop since he has been drafted, with his gap power having been improved and worked on thus far in 2017. Ranger Suarez (4-2 with a 1.95 ERA in 11 games), Nick Fanti (5-0 with a 2.25 ERA in 11 games) and JoJo Romero (4-1 with a 2.26 ERA in 11 games) have all shown massive amounts of potential at Single-A Lakewood. Jose Taveras (5-2 with a 2.17 ERA in 11 games) and Franklyn Kilome (3-2 with a 2.60 ERA in 11 games) are showing that they can pitch well for Single-A Clearwater. First baseman Jose Pujols, once a top prospect at the Single-A level, has been struggling mightily in 2017, hitting a meager .180 batting average with only three home runs. Outfielder Cornelius Randolph has shown that people should temper their expectations, he is only hitting .230 but he does have six home runs and 29 RBIs.

Overall, the Phillies have a lot of prospects who are performing well all throughout the minor leagues. However, many of these prospects still have things to work on and improve or they just need more time to develop and mature physically. Phillies fans need to calm down and stop trying to rush every prospect into the majors, because that would most likely ruin the rebuild and development of these top prospects. In the end, the Phillies won’t be through their rebuild for a couple more years, and the fans need to give it both time and patience to work it’s magic.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *