Phillies major league camp is getting even smaller as prospects head across the Carpenter Complex to minor league camp
Phillies fans got a taste of the future with Jorge Alfaro, Nick Williams, and J.P. Crawford in major league camp for the majority of spring training.
However, with opening day approaching the major league starters need to get everyday at-bats to be fully prepared for the regular season.
To do so, the Phillies optioned six players to minor league camp, including their three most advanced hitting prospects.
Alfaro, who returns to Clearwater after an impressive showing for Team Columbia in the World Baseball Classic, will be one of the six designated for minor league camp. He saw limited at-bats in Clearwater because of his commitment to Team Columbia, and had two hits in five games.
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Crawford, one of the top prospects in baseball, will also transition out of major league camp. The shortstop needed to hit better in Clearwater after squeaking out a .227 average, but he did walk three times and only strikeout twice.
With Freddy Galvis still in the organization, the club has no need to rush Crawford to Philadelphia. Even if Galvis goes down for a short period of time the team is likely more inclined to play Andres Blanco than give Crawford a two-week taste of the majors.
Williams had the most impressive spring of the top three prospects thanks to a new swing and a healthy relationship with hitting coach Matt Stairs. The outfielder hit .286 with a home run and two stolen bases in 15 games.
Also moving with the three prospects to minor league camp are veteran reliever Pedro Beato, infielder Taylor Featherston, and outfielder Cam Perkins.
Perkins entered camp battling Brock Stassi for a major league job, but with Stassi leading all of baseball in home runs in spring training Perkins going to the minors was no surprise.
Philadelphia throws Aaron Nola out on the mound for a St. Patrick’s Day showdown with Toronto at 1 p.m. from Clearwater.