5 Philadelphia Phillies You Must Watch During Spring Training
5 Phillies to Watch During Spring Training
Although the Philadelphia Phillies will feature a veteran roster on opening day, there will still be buzz among their prospects during spring training. Many of their youngsters won’t get a shot at major league level this season but could see time in the near future.
At some point the Phillies will need to rebuild and that will begin with their farm system. One downside to making trades for big name players like Cliff Lee is you often lose top prospects. Making a handful of trades the past few seasons left the Phillies' farm system picked over and thin.
The more surprises the Phillies have this spring the better. Competition is what drives athletes to get better, and there are many veterans on this team who have not felt the pressure of losing their job in quite some time.
Cody Ashe is a prime example of a prospect unexpectedly breaking through. Ashe will most likely be the starting third baseman for the team this year, but he will have to prove himself again in spring training.
There are a few bright spots and prospects to pay attention to during the spring. Injury problems are likely for the aging Phillies, and they would love to fill the void with homegrown talent. Possibly some of these young prospects can have a big spring and be next in line to for the Phillies. There is no guarantee these players will break into the majors so make sure you pay attention to them in Clearwater.
5. Ken Giles
Ken Giles is a 23-year-old right-handed reliever who will most likely not make it to the majors this season. When he does pitch in Clearwater you’ll want to make sure you’re watching. The big righty features a fastball that lights up the radar gun at 100+ mph.
4. Tommy Joseph
Tommy Joseph is one of the Phillies' top prospects and hopes to fight his way onto the big league roster. Although it would be great for a young catcher to work with Carlos Ruiz on a daily basis, Joseph might be better suited playing every day in the minor leagues.
Joseph was forced to end last season early with a concussion but hopes to bounce back and improve as a player defensively and at the plate. He could be the future catcher for the Phillies so make sure you keep an eye on him throughout the spring.
3. Jesse Biddle
Jesse Biddle is a left-handed starter with a great curveball and is the Phillies' top pitching prospect. Although Biddle will probably never be better than a No. 3 or No. 4 starter in the rotation, he is still worth keeping an eye on since he will see big league action soon.
His 12-6 curveball is nasty and his go-to pitch. If Biddle can come out and impress in spring training then who knows; maybe he will make a few spot starts for the Phillies this season.
2. Maikel Franco
Maikel Franco will compete with Ashe for the starting third base job during spring training. Franco came on strong last season batting .320 with 31 home runs and 103 RBI in 134 games. He has a very strong arm but needs to work on his defense.
Franco will need to prove he can handle major league pitching if he wants to win the starting sport for the Phillies. He will be a must-watch this spring, and if he can handle major league caliber pitching he could be a starter.
1. Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez
Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez is a complete mystery, but the Phillies will find out just what they have in a few days. Gonzalez was signed out of Cuba by the Phillies back in October and expectations are unknown.
The Phillies hope they hit the jackpot and Gonzalez can compete for a starting spot in their rotation; ideally he would be the third starter behind Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels. Gonzalez could be one of the biggest stories in all of MLB if he turns into a starter for the Phillies. If he does not, Ruben Amaro Jr. will have a hard time explaining this $60 million signing.