Phillies Future Has a Massive Hole at Second Base
The Phillies farm system has more depth than ever before, except at one position: second base.
The loss of Chase Utley has created a hole in the literal center of the Phillies depth chart not just this season, but for the long-term future.
The 2015 second round pick Scott Kingery is the ideal option, but at 22-years-old and still in Single-A Clearwater, he is not expected to reach the big leagues until either the 2018 or 2019 season. While his power is limited, his pure hitting ability will hopefully bring him to the big leagues. He’s hitting an impressive .295 with 28 doubles and 32 walks with the Threshers.
Only one other second baseman is ranked within the Phillies top 30 prospects, that being Darnell Sweeney. The Phillies got a chance to look at Sweeney after acquiring him in the Utley deal last year, and he disappointed with a .176 batting average in 36 games. He’s currently hitting .236 while playing in Lehigh Valley this season.
If you wish to see a potential Gold Glove at second base, it would intrigue me to see Freddy Galvis take a shot at second. He’s started 71 games at second for the Phillies, mostly when Chase Utley was dealing with his chronic knee injuries.
Finally, Odubel Herrera could always return to his original position. He spent six years in the Rangers farm system at second base, only to move when the Phillies acquired him in the Rule 5 Draft. With so many centerfielders in the Phillies farm system, this may be their long-term plan. If Nick Williams takes the field this season, Odubel could see some time at second and work with Juan Samuel.
Unless the Phillies make a trade and acquire a second baseman (I’m looking at you, Jurickson Profar) these are the Phillies options going forward. Most likely, they will keep throwing Cesar Hernandez out to play second, with Galvis or Herrera occasionally getting reps if time permits. But for now, it seems the organization is resting the fate of second base on the shoulders of Scott Kingery.
And as we’ve learned from Dominic Brown, Phillippe Aumont, and Darin Ruf, even the best prospects collapse at the big league level.