With top young stars on both the offensive and pitching side of the ball, the NL East is looking like it will once again, in a few short years, be the premier division in all of baseball. All of the teams are getting younger and are developing with their future stars, getting them necessary at-bats and a chance to experience the major leagues. All of the teams are doing this, well, all except one.
And while the rest of the division is getting younger all around, the Philadelphia Phillies are lagging behind. Compared to their rivals, the Phillies have just two in their starting lineup that are under 25 years old in Domonic Brown and Ben Revere and just one member of the rotation, Jonathan Pettibone, that is under 25.
Meanwhile, the Atlanta Braves‘ roster features five marquee names of which the team is building their future around, all aged 23 or younger. Included in this list is Freddie Freeman and Jason Heyward, two of the top young stars in the game.
And for the Phillies, the Braves should be the perfect example. While they have a better farm system than the Phillies, Atlanta is sitting atop the NL East, doing so with a combination of young, up and comers and proven veterans such as Brian McCann and Tim Hudson.
The Phillies, on the other hand, are struggling with a roster whose average age is 29.6 and a roster that has no infielders under the age of 30.
There is clearly a formula for success in this league and that is youth. And with each of the teams around them getting younger and getting prepared for years of future playoff contention, the Phillies will need to dig into their farm system and promote from within.
It worked leading up to 2008 and it certainly would work again. And at this point, seeing as the entire NL East is doing it, the Phillies won’t have a choice if they hope to get close to winning another World Series.