Stock Up, Stock Down for Phillies' Top 10 Prospects for Week 2
As we get a little bit farther into the season, we are beginning to learn more about the top prospects in the Philadelphia Phillies’ farm system. It has been a frustrating start for some of these prospects, and some players have been dominant.
There are some great pieces coming up, and it seems like a lot of them are about halfway through their minor league journey. We will see if they can become major league-ready by the end of this year.
10. Tommy Joseph, C
Tommy Joseph had an excellent week at the plate. He clubbed his first home run of the year and drove in four runs. Although he did not get a hit in his first three games of the year, those troubles are into the past, and it is great to see him do well again after he struggled with concussion-related issues last season.
Carlos Ruiz is getting older, and the Phillies will need a catcher in the not-too-distant future. Hopefully, Joseph continues to develop into that role.
9. Kelly Dugan, RF
Kelly Dugan hit his first home run of the season on April 10, so it is good to see him getting that stroke back this season. That was a pleasant surprise last season, and I hope to see that power continue to develop this year.
He is still striking out a little bit too much (7 K), but at this time of year, I am really not that worried about it. He is a talented hitter, and even if he does strikeout some, he will still produce runs.
8. Aaron Altherr, LF
Aaron Altherr began the year on the disabled list, and he just made his season debut on April 13. He did not get a hit, and he drew one walk. I guess there’s not a whole lot to say about his performance this season so far.
Nevertheless, based on his potential, this was the position I had rated him before the season began, so before he either proves me right or wrong, I wanted to put him back where he began.
7. Cesar Hernandez, 2B
Cesar Hernandez began the week in the major leagues, but because of the return of Freddy Galvis, he found his way back down to the minor leagues. He is now with Reading, and over his first three games, he is hitting .538.
Overall, Hernandez hit .231 over his brief stint in the majors, but I don’t think it will be very long until we see him back up again.
6. Ken Giles, RHP
Ken Giles has been perfect so far this week and this year for that matter. He had two save opportunities this week, converted both of them and struck out five in the combined three innings he pitched.
He is impressive. He only has two walks and has only surrendered one hit all season. Let me put it this way. He has pitched five innings this season. He has 11 strikeouts. In other words, he only has four outs that are not strikeouts. He is dominating so far.
5. Severino Gonzalez, RHP
Severino Gonzalez only had one start this week, but he made the most of it. He picked up the victory against the New Hampshire Fisher Cats by going seven innings and only giving up five hits. He surrendered one earned run and collected four strikeouts.
Previously in his career, he had averaged over a strikeout per inning, and he doesn’t seem to be doing that this year. However, if he keeps putting up performances like this, I don’t think anyone will mind the slight change.
4. Carlos Tocci, CF
Carlos Tocci did not have the best week. He struck out at least one time every day that he played, and on three days this week, he struck out twice. This is a little bit problematic. He seems to be the type of guy who has power and speed potential, but he needs to get on base to show off that speed.
This season, he is only hitting .125 overall. It has been a rough start for him, and I hope that he is able to turn this one around soon.
3. J.P. Crawford, SS
J.P. Crawford has had a pretty impressive week. He started off with a bang on Monday night. He had six at-bats with four hits, one double, one home run and four runs scored. Granted, for the rest of the week he only went 2-for-16, but he showed some of his potential.
He only had one home run all of last season, so this is definitely a positive sign. Sure, he needs to become more consistent at the plate, but I like seeing a little bit of development out of him.
2. Jesse Biddle, LHP
Jesse Biddle appeared to be much stronger in his two starts this past week. Against New Hampshire, he went seven innings while giving up four earned runs, and against Harrisburg, he went four innings while giving up three unearned runs.
After a rough start to the season, maybe he is starting to settle down for the season. He is averaging more than a strikeout per inning, so he has the potential to overpower opponents. Now he just needs to rein it in.
1. Maikel Franco, 3B
Week 1 was not very friendly to Maikel Franco, and the second week really did not get any better. He only collected two hits over the entire week, and his regular-season average dropped to .098. He hasn’t hit a home run yet, and he has not had an extra-base hit since April 5.
He is still on top of this list because of his enormous power potential, but you do have to be a little bit worried. You don’t want to see this slump extend very far. Hopefully he will be able to turn this season around.