The future of MLB will be on display on Sunday, July 12th, 2015 in Cincinnati as dozens of the game’s top prospects take part in the Futures Game during All-Star Week festivities. Among the players participating will be the Phillies top two prospects, both moving ever closer to their big league debuts.
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Pitcher Aaron Nola was selected by the Phils with the 7th overall pick in the 2014 MLB Draft out of Louisiana State University. Nola just turned 22 years old in early June, and was just recently promoted from AA Reading to AAA Lehigh Valley.
In his first two AAA starts, Nola has shown that he belongs. He is 2-0 with a 2.13 ERA and 0.947 WHIP there, with a 14/2 K:BB ratio over 12.2 innings in which he has allowed just 10 hits.
J.P. Crawford overcame a preseason injury, starting late but making his own mark, earning his own promotion from High-A Lakewood to AA Reading. In his new AA assignment, Crawford has stepped up his game, hitting .298 with a .402 on-base percentage in 122 plate appearances.
The odds are that Nola is putting himself in line for a September call-up, at the latest. Think something similar to Maikel Franco a year ago. Crawford is likely to spend the rest of the season at Reading, though if he should really dominate, he could force a promotion to AAA later in the summer.
It is not a stretch to imagine a Phillies left-side infield at some point in the 2016 season featuring Franco at 3rd and Crawford at short. Those two guys will at some point be manning those positions behind Nola on the mound. They are all key pieces to the future, and that future is coming soon.