Phillies Kid Hitters Cameo Ends

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Mar 6, 2016; Clearwater, FL, USA; Philadelphia Phillies shortstop J.P. Crawford (77) during the seventh inning against the New York Yankees at Bright House Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 6, 2016; Clearwater, FL, USA; Philadelphia Phillies shortstop J.P. Crawford (77) during the seventh inning against the New York Yankees at Bright House Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Philadelphia Phillies have begun to reassign many of their top prospects to minor league camp.

The process began as last week ended when the club sent top pitching prospects Jake Thompson, Mark Appel, and Zach Eflin back to the minor leagues.

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This morning that process continued, and the Grapefruit League games will now get a little less interesting. The Phillies have reassigned their top two prospects, shortstop J.P. Crawford and outfielder Nick Williams, to minor league camp. At the same time the team optioned both outfielder Roman Quinn and pitcher Edubray Ramos to the AA Reading Fightin’ Phils roster.

Crawford is one of the top all-around prospects in baseball, and has been ticketed for AAA Lehigh Valley all along. However, his presence here for the first big league camp of his career provided excitement, not only for him, but for fans of the team as well.

The 21-year old shortstop hit just .150 with a .292 on-base percentage, scoring four runs and driving in one across 20 at-bats. He produced no extra-base hits, walked four times, and stole no bases.

Williams hit for a .227/.320/.500 slash line, crushing a monstrous home run and three doubles across 22 at-bats. The 22-year old also struck out a team-high seven times, demonstrating both his prodigious power and swing-and-miss tendencies.

He was sick at the start of camp and I think that set him back a little bit,” Phillies’ manager Pete Mackanin said of Williams, per Ryan Lawrence of Philly Voice. “He’s starting to swing the bat better. A lot of guys don’t get off real good and it takes them a while. But everyone I’ve spoken to who has seen him in the past told me this guy can flat-out hit. He showed power. He’s got a good swing. He’s got a good arm. He’s got tools.

Quinn had the most productive spring of the young trio, hitting for a .300/.417/.750 slash line while with the big leaguers. The 22-year old had three triples, a home run, scored five times, and stole two bags.

The three young offensive players showed, as did their pitching brethren who were reassigned earlier, that they all have the talent to compete at the highest level. Now it’s their job to continue their development, and the organization’s job to help work out the finishing touches needed to get each of them to Citizens Bank Park sooner rather than later.

It’s difficult to put an exact time frame on their arrival. That will all depend on their performance and development, the performance of the players on the Major League roster, and health. It would not be surprising to find all three of them starting for the Phils by September at the latest, and certainly by this time next year they should all be ready to open the season as starters in Philadelphia.

Along with the three position players, the Phillies demoted Ramos, a 23-year old relief pitcher. The righty had a 2.70 ERA, allowing three hits over 3.1 innings this spring over four games. He struck out three and walked five, and will have to work on his control, a problem last season when he reached AA Reading, in order to get to the big leagues.

Next: Velasquez Stays in Rotation Race

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