While the Phillies are struggling, some of their prospects are thriving.
While highly touted prospects are never a sure thing in baseball — consider outfielder Domonic Brown and pitcher Spencer Howard — the Philadelphia Phillies have quite a few prospects that can hopefully contribute in the majors soon.
It is no secret that top Phillies prospect Andrew Painter has dominated opposing hitters across three levels of minor-league baseball. Saturday night, he continued his dominance — pitching seven innings and giving up just one run and striking out nine opposing Double-A batters.
Other prospects are offering glimpses of hope other than Painter. Griff McGarry — who was just recently moved to a bullpen role with Reading — has shown great potential this season. He still projects as a starter, but has been made a reliever to possibly make an impact with the Phillies later this month. In 32 2/3 innings in Reading, McGarry has struck out 39 batters and sports a 2.20 ERA. He made his debut as a reliever Friday night, punching out four hitters in two innings.
Another pitching prospect — Andrew Baker — has slipped under the radar until recently. He was called up to Reading on August 29 and has shown real potential to quickly move through the farm system. Baker has electric stuff and can top out at 100-plus miles per hour with his fastball.
While pitching prospects have received a large amount of attention in the Phillies farm system, position players are turning some heads as well. Centerfielder Johan Rojas has shown real potential at Reading and Jersey Shore this season. While his .243 batting average leaves some room to improve upon, his speed and defense are impressive. In 120 games across the two levels, he has 57 stolen bases and has flashed some leather — making spectacular plays in center field.
Among the other players in the system who are impressing include second baseman Hao Yu Lee at Jersey Shore, power-hitting right fielder Jhailyn Ortiz at Reading, and Darick Hall — who fans have already seen play in the majors.
The Phillies hope that a handful of these players will soon be ready to make an impact in Philadelphia — both for their talent and to replace some more expensive veteran players to shed some payroll.