Baseball fans in Philadelphia have been treated to a dismal show in the first three months of the MLB season. The Phillies are the worst team in baseball with a record of 26-48.
In terms of the rest of the season, the Phillies will continue to lose. The rebuilding age has certainly come.
However, there have been parts of the season worth cheering for, and the major-league cheers have been mainly aimed towards Maikel Franco. The young third baseman has shown great staying power, playing exceptionally well in his first few months as a pro.
In June, Franco has complied a batting average of .395 with eight home runs, eight doubles and 21 runs batted in. These numbers are not something we as Phillies fans are used to seeing.
Franco’s season has been something very much needed for the Philadelphia fan base; however, it is possible that it was even more so needed for Phillies management. The joke surrounding Ruben Amaro Jr. and the Phillies is that they only call up players who are already in
their mid to late 20s.
The way Franco has played might give management a reason to give the young talents in the minor leagues a chance in the big leagues.
Pitching prospect Aaron Nola, the team’s first-round draft pick in 2014, could be one of the young players to benefit from this. Since the season obviously has no playoff hopes tied to it, the Phillies can bring up aspiring young talents and evaluate how they play in the majors.
Nola, like Franco, is 22 years old and could be another great call up for the Phillies. If anything else, he can give Phillies fans a reason to come to a game. Between his time with the Reading Fightin Phils and the Lehigh Valley IronPigs, Nola has pitched exceptionally well in the minors this season. He has compiled a 9-3 record, with a 1.91 ERA, and he’s rocketed 73 strikeouts by opposing pitchers.
The Phillies have brought up every pitcher in the minors not named Nola, so the time may come this season when Nola’s number is finally called.
Another young player, J.P. Crawford, was drafted in the first round by the Phillies, in 2013. In 2015, with the Clearwater Threshers and Reading Fightin Phils, the 20-year-old shortstop is batting .339 with two home runs and 17 runs batted in.
J.P. Crawford will not be making his MLB debut anytime soon, seeing as he is just 20 years old, but his great play in the minors this year is a good sign for Phillies fans. It shows that he is still working hard and improving his skills. In a few years, the Phillies could have an outstanding infield with Freddy Galvis, Maikel Franco and J.P. Crawford.
In this year’s MLB Draft, the Phillies drafted Cornelius Randolph, a shortstop. The idea with Randolph is to bring him up through the minor league system as an outfielder. This would be a great move for the Phillies, because they need to rebuild the outfield just as much as they need to rebuild anything else on the team. Randolph batted over .500 during his senior season, with more than 20 steals and seven home runs.
It’s certainly a tough season for Phillies fans, but there is a silver lining in that, the worse the Phillies do, the better chance they have of gaining new young talent. For many years, the Phillies have had a depleted minor league system, and it seems the team can begin to build it up again.