Phillies MiLB Update

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There have been many positives for the Phillies this season.

Especially after a rocky start, no one could have imagined the Phillies playing this well (and winning as much as they have) through the first two months of the season.

Have they played a good chunk of their schedule against teams many had clearly envisioned to be in the “lower half” of the National League? Yes.  But to be five games over .500 in early June?  It has been a great first two months in the Gabe Kapler era.

With the Phillies’ success through the first third of the season, the popular questions now raised are:

  • Can they continue playing this well?
  • Can they compete for a playoff spot?
  • Should they trade away a few of their young prospects to add a “big piece” now?

Before you seriously start answering these questions, one must take a look at the prospects already in the system to see if they are viable options for this year’s team, along with these prospects’ “ceilings” for the upcoming season (and decide if “win now” outweighs “future potential.”)

The team has already added a few prospects this past week due to injury. At the same time, their offense—never terrific to begin with—has dipped a bit on this current road trip.

This week here at “The Shop,” we’ll take a look at the top-position players within the Phillies system and give you an update on how each is faring along with their chances of improving the team’s offense and how each might “fit” with the current roster.

Joey Meneses

He’s coming off a torrid month of May, becoming just the second Lehigh Valley player to win two “Player of the Month” awards within the same season (Andy Tracy being the other). A former top prospect with the Braves organization, his current .299 batting average and .866 OPS is well above his career average and about the same as league leaders with nine RBI.

Unfortunately, his primary position is first base, and with Carlos Santana signing a big free agent contract this past offseason, it’s not likely Meneses would be any more than a “lefty off the bench” pinch-hitting option who lacks the defensive mobility Kapler loves.

Trevor Plouffe

Plouffe started the year off slowly offensively and has only seen his batting average slide even further during the past two weeks (once dipping below .200).

Plouffe does have Major League experience and can play multiple positions, but with the Phillies still scuffling a little at the plate mixed with Trevor’s age (he turns 32 later this month), he’s probably not a guy who will get a long look in the Big Leagues.

Danny Ortiz

Unlike Plouffe, Ortiz had a great start to the season and can play either corner outfield position, which would help the Phillies with Rhys Hoskins’ injury and less-than-spectacular offensive numbers from alternating right-fielders Nick Williams and Aaron Altherr.

Unfortunately for Ortiz, his bat has also cooled of late. Despite hitting two home runs in the last 10 days, his average has been hovering in the .230-range the last few weeks while his on-base percentage is now an uninspiring .270.

Roman Quinn

Unfortunately, the very likeable and speedy outfielder has found himself on the disabled list—again. Quinn was once again leading the International League in stolen bases before suffering an injury that will keep him out of action for two months.  Injuries have been the biggest issue keeping Quinn out of the Majors, and, unless he has a quick recovery and regains his form in time for a spectacular month of August, the Phillies will have a tough decision this offseason whether to keep him on the 40-man roster or not.

Options at Reading?

Occasionally there’s a great prospect who can make the “jump” from Double-A to the Majors, but talking with my contacts who see this team on a regular basis, no such player is ready for any extended time above Triple-A.

Next week here at “The Shop” we’ll take a look pitching options in the minor leagues and feature video of my interview with one of the top pitching prospects in the Phillies organization.

We’ll also be talking baseball with’s Jim Callis, who is busy this week covering the MLB draft for MLB-TV. Jim will join us on Thursday’s “SportsTalk” to give his thoughts on the draft as well as analyze

Chris Michael About Chris Michael

Chris handles play-by-play for RCN sports events, including baseball, football & basketball games and produces/hosts the station’s 60-minute live call-in show. Among Chris’s other responsibilities include reporting on local news & sports stories, conducting “Take 5” interviews with community and political leaders, producing commercials, voiceovers and promos; and generating blog entries and videos on the internet. Click here to listen to the weekly Sports Talk podcast.

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