First-Quarter Stock Up, Stock Down for the Phillies' Top 10 Prospects
Baseball season is already about a quarter of the way through, and by and large, the Philadelphia Phillies have many reasons to be excited about the future. Overall, in terms of prospect development, the Phillies have seen many of their players have success and even be promoted already.
Obviously, we are nowhere near the time of year when rosters expand, so we won’t see most of these guys for at least a little while, but it is good to see some promise.
10. Kelly Dugan, RF
2014 Stats: .275, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 1 SB
Kelly Dugan hasn’t played since April 25, so his numbers are understandably reduced. He wasn’t off to a great start, but he also wasn’t doing badly. It was strictly a pretty average performance, which is admittedly hard to complain about.
Health is important right now. He needs to get back on the field to get some positive motion on this season.
9. Aaron Altherr, LF
2014 Stats: .238, 2 HR, 12 RBI, 2 SB
Aaron Altherr has been doing a little bit better since he moved up to Reading. Interestingly, he is hitting .278 against right-handers and only .130 against lefties. Obviously that is not ideal, but since he faces right-handers much more often, it is better that that number is this way rather than the inverse.
Last season, he began to show a little bit of power, and with two home runs already, maybe we could see him build on that. He is off to a slow start, but there are some positive signs.
8. Tommy Joseph, C
2014 Stats: .282, 5 HR, 19 RBI, 0 SB
Tommy Joseph is starting to look awfully good. At the plate, his power numbers are encouraging, and his average is as good as it has ever been. Beyond that, his strikeout numbers are not too bad, which indicates that his discipline is coming up.
After dealing with injury for most of last season, it is nice to see him bouncing back, and hopefully he will stay hot.
7. Cesar Hernandez, 2B
2014 Stats: .357, 3 HR, 14 RBI, 1 SB
Cesar Hernandez is hitting the ball so well in Reading that I thought he would be the one promoted when Freddy Galvis was demoted, but obviously that wasn’t meant to be. His numbers speak for themselves though, and you have to think that promotion will come eventually again.
Hernandez will never have a ton of power, but he has shown enough to be a pleasant surprise. Even though he must be disappointed, I think his growth is positive.
6. Severino Gonzalez, RHP
2014 Stats: 3-3, 5.73 ERA, 44.0 IP, 32 K, 9 BB
Severino Gonzalez began the season with a few great starts, but it has gotten a little bit rockier as of late. It is not that any particular start has been awful outside of two, but he seems to be much more hittable than he was earlier in the year.
Gonzalez has certainly been adequate at times, but he seems to be headed in the wrong direction.
5. Carlos Tocci, CF
2014 Stats: .252, 0 HR, 10 RBI, 1 SB
Carlos Tocci has not had the best start. He has struck out in almost a quarter of his at-bats, and he has yet to hit a home run. Beyond that, he only has six extra-base hits, which is not nearly as much as we had hoped for him at the beginning of the year.
He is a young player who is still developing physically. As he adds on muscle, it will definitely take some adjusting, but he has plenty of time.
4. Ken Giles, RHP
2014 Stats: 0-0, 1.69 ERA, 7 SV, 30 K, 6 BB
Ken Giles absolutely dominated in Reading, and he just turned his promotion to Lehigh Valley. Prior to that promotion, he has been overwhelming the competition. Part of that is probably due to his triple-digit fastball, but it does seem like he has overcome some of the control issues that previously held him back.
Giles is one step away from the majors, and that bullpen is struggling. If he can put together a solid stretch now, I would not be surprised to see him in Citizens Bank Park in the near future.
3. J.P. Crawford, SS
2014 Stats: .336, 3 HR, 12 RBI, 8 SB
J.P. Crawford is tearing it up this year. He is showing power, speed and an overall ability to get on base. He has as many walks as strikeouts, and he is hitting both left-handers and right-handers with equal consistency.
I understand it is a long way to the major leagues, but Crawford is off to a phenomenal start this season and I have to imagine that promotion will be in his future shortly if he keeps going like this.
2. Jesse Biddle, LHP
2014 Stats: 3-4, 3.63 ERA, 44.2 IP, 18 BB, 51 K
Jesse Biddle has been a different pitcher at home. While there, he is 3-1 with a 3.16 ERA. On the road, he is 0-3 with a 4.73 ERA. Interestingly, he also has more walks on the road in less than half the innings total.
That being said, he is still showing positive signs. His control seems to be improving, and admittedly his ERA is inflated by a few bad outings. Overall, it has been a positive year for him.
1. Maikel Franco, 3B
2014 Stats: .231, 3 HR, 13 RBI, 1 SB
Maikel Franco got off to a terrible start in 2014, but May has been a new month. In 11 games, he is hitting .340 with two home runs and six RBI. For comparison's sake, in April, he appeared in 23 games, hit .172 with one home run and seven RBI.
His numbers are not quite what they were last year, but I am finally comfortable saying that he is ready to move on from that rough start. His power will be important for the Phillies down the road.