Philadelphia Phillies Spring Training: 5 Players Who Are Sure to Shine
5 Philadelphia Phillies Who Will Shine In Spring Training
With Spring Training right around the corner, the 2014 season presents an opportunity for many of the young Philadelphia Phillies to make a name for themselves. A roster teeming with All-Stars from the late aughts was augmented this offseason with the likes of 36-year-old Marlon Byrd, 39-year-old Bobby Abreu and now newly acquired 37-year-old A.J. Burnett. When a team has this many advanced-aged veterans and a GM who likes to double down on said characteristics, it is critical for some of the younger players to step up and show the team that they can be a part of the future.
Recalling last Spring Training, Darin Ruf and Domonic Brown were both in line to secure a starting spot in the everyday lineup. Brown lived up to his hype and became an All-Star after years of projection and a strong spring. Ruf, on the other hand, struggled in the field and was sent back down to Lehigh Valley before eventually being promoted midway through the season.
Much like NFL Training Camp, Spring Training is where players come to make a name for themselves, show their team what they’re made of and get their career moving. The following five names are young Phillies who are sure to break out this spring and demonstrate that they deserve to be a part of the current roster or the team’s future.
5. Darin Ruf, OF/1B
Dating back to 2012, Darin Ruf has hit 17 home runs in under 300 at-bats. If extrapolated over the course of an entire season, Ruf would be projected to hit close to 40 home runs! If he can harness the best he has to offer this spring in his age-27 year, the year most players enter their prime, the Phillies will have a hard time keeping him off their 25-man roster. Look for Ruf to seize the opportunity and play his way onto the team.
4. Cody Asche, 3B
Newly-assumed starting third baseman Cody Asche slumped significantly towards the end of the year, and he has Maikel Franco right over his shoulder bearing down on major league attention. With third base presumed to be Asche’s for the taking yet not guaranteed, he needs a strong spring to cement his status as the third baseman of the future. Look for him to do just that in Clearwater.
3. Ben Revere, CF
As Jimmy Rollins gets older and older, the onus will be on Ben Revere to firmly take over the leadoff position and run with it (pardon the pun). Revere is no longer the hot new name in Clearwater and his injury has left fans wanting. One year closer to his prime years, Revere is a sure bet to shine this March.
2. Jake Diekman, RP
Diekman’s 0.52 ERA from August 10 until the end of the season has put him on the top of the young arms race and has given him a head start on a bullpen spot, possibly as a LOOGY or a late-inning setup man. Look for him to maintain that momentum in Spring Training.
1. Jesse Biddle, SP
Biddle may be the most impressive pitching prospect the Phillies have had since Hamels. Being surrounded by the likes of Cliff Lee, Hamels, Roy Halladay and Brad Lidge will give the Germantown Friends’ alum a high-profile audience, and Biddle will most certainly show everybody why he was worthy of the team's top pick in 2010.