Phillies prospects are coming, and it could mean a change in the infield
No prospect in the Phillies farm system is hotter than second baseman Scott Kingery, who leads all of minor league baseball with 14 home runs.
It’s unlikely the Phillies have Kingery take the seismic leap from Reading to Philadelphia, but the 23-year-old has done everything in his power to prove he can be a piece of a championship team.
Because of Cesar Hernandez’ presence at second base, Kingery could be stuck in the minors longer than properly needed. A move to Lehigh Valley is anticipated with starter Jesmuel Valentin out for the year with a separated shoulder, but at this point, Kingery is staying in Reading.
On the other side of the Phillies diamond is third baseman Maikel Franco, who at one point was the savior of the Phillies organization. Expected to lead the team in home runs for the next decade, Franco has struggled both at the plate and mentally in the big leagues.
If Franco fails to evolve into the MVP candidate Mike Schmidt proclaimed him to be, or even an All-Star, the Phils will have to find someone to play the hot corner.
After Franco, the only major third base prospect in the farm system is Cole Stobbe, who the team drafted last year. Stobbe is years away from being considered a major asset for the team and is a virtual non-factor for the team at this moment.
This could ultimately spell a position change for Hernandez, who is as versatile as any player on this team.
Hernandez has 184.1 innings logged at third base, the second-fewest among the four positions he’s played at the major league level. Extended playing time at third could come for Hernandez with the presence of Andres Blanco off the bench.
It could also become a factor if top prospect J.P. Crawford arrives to play shortstop every day, thus forcing Freddy Galvis back to his original position, second base.
Moving Hernandez to third does multiple things for the Phillies: preserves his bat at the top of the lineup, and ultimately makes a hole at second for Kingery.