Philadelphia Phillies: The Night is Darkest Just Before the Dawn

Mar 13, 2016; Tampa, FL, USA; Philadelphia Phillies right fielder Nick Williams (79) hits a RBI doubles during the second inning against the New York Yankees at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 13, 2016; Tampa, FL, USA; Philadelphia Phillies right fielder Nick Williams (79) hits a RBI doubles during the second inning against the New York Yankees at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /

The Philadelphia Phillies are 5-17 in their last 22 contests and have looked like the team everyone thought they would be this year. But this team could be looking better sooner rather than later.

Entering the season the Philadelphia Phillies had the 7th ranked farm system in all of baseball according to  The farm has shown thus far this year that they are not only worthy of that ranking, but they could possibly be higher. Given that the Major League club is currently in a masterful slump, some of these players could find themselves in South Philly suiting up sooner rather than later.

One player who still has some steps to take in his development, but is playing out of his mind so far is Reading Fighting’ Phils first basemen Rhys Hoskins (no relation). Coming into the season as the 19th prospect in the organization according to’s prospect watch, he is currently batting .278 with 16 long balls and 46 RBI.

Yes, it is only double-A, but the potential is there. With the Phillies relatively recent call-up of Tommy Joseph, who is playing quite well since getting the nod as the starter at first, Hoskins has his work cut out in order to make it to the show and qualify for playing time. However, if he continues to hit the cover off the ball like he has and doesn’t slow down in triple-A, Rhys will find himself on the Phils by the end of the year.

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Starting pitching has had its bright spots for the Philadelphia Phillies this year but a player with the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs by the name of Zach Eflin had absolutely dominated Triple-A hitters this season. He had a sub 3.00 ERA (2.90) and was 5-2 for the Iron Pigs and earned his spot on the Phillies roster by being called up in the wake of the Vincent Velasquez injury.

He’s not a strikeout guy with only 55 K’s in 68 innings but you can’t complain about the results. He’s the 13th ranked prospect but, like Hoskins, the numbers can’t be denied. Despite having a nice outing on Sunday, Adam Morgan should be looking over his shoulder at this youngster once Vince Valasquez comes back, as they could be swapping roster spots before too long.

Despite Pete Mackanin‘s aggressive approach to base running this season, the Phillies lack that premiere stolen base threat. In step Roman Quinn. In 49 games so far, Quinn has 25 steals. To put this in perspective, that would equal about 83 steals in a 162 game season. Batting .289 with a .360 on-base percentage, Roman is the ideal leadoff guy.

Yes, Odubel Herrera is doing a heck of job there, but he doesn’t quite bring to the table what Quinn does. I’m not saying to bench Herrera by any stretch, but there are three outfield positions. He is still in Double-A so promoting him to Triple-A would be the next step. But Roman Quinn is a player that very much should be getting to hang out in the Citizens Bank Park clubhouse by years end.

My favorite prospect in the Phillies organization right now is outfielder Nick Williams. Watching highlights of Williams’ long homers is enough to get any true baseball fan excited. He has the ability to hit the ball a mile, but at the same time, has learned that he doesn’t always have to try to. He’s currently batting .286 with 7 home runs and 31 RBI’s. His swing is a thing of beauty. With Paredes manning right field and batting .205, why not give the young kid with promise (Phillies number 3 prospect according to a shot in the bigs.

It would be impossible to talk about the Phillies’ farm system and not bring up the name J.P. Crawford. Crawford recently got his promotion to Triple-A and has had his struggles so far, only batting .165 since the call-up. Crawford has all the talent you could ask for in a 21-year-old. Moving up to the next level isn’t always easy.

If Crawford can become accustomed to the pitching at the next level and begin to thrive in it, there are currently two positions possible for him in the Majors. Freddy Galvis is far from an all-star and Cesar Hernandez isn’t any closer (especially after possibly costing the Phillies in Sunday’s game against the Nats with fielding blunders).

According to an article by Jim Salisbury in late May, these players have been told by their manager that they better show up this year “because there are people who want to be in the big leagues that are in the minor leagues and want to take your job.” I feel it’s safe to say Crawford was undoubtedly one of, if not the only, people Pete was referring to.

Phillies fans, the rest of this season may not translate in winning the 95 wins the Phils were on pace for earlier in the year, but the season could get very exciting again if everything pans out like it potentially could. The positions on the team right now that have the biggest flaws could be positions of most excitement by the end of September.

Next: Phillies Call up Zach Eflin from Triple-A

If that’s not enough, columnist, Jim Callis, released an article saying the Phils had the most promising draft this year. The future is bright Philadelphia. It’s painful now but to quote Harvey Dent in The Dark Knight, “the night is darkest just before the dawn.”