What happens at the trade deadline doesn’t matter for the Phillies. Building a long-term sustainable team requires them to start focusing on young talent—not going all-in for one season.
The Phillies current roster is the 3rd-youngest in all of baseball. Bryce Harper has another 12.5 years left of playing baseball in Philadelphia. The Phillies will need to leverage their young talent to build around Harper, Hoskins, Kingery, and Nola.
Alec Bohm is the future for the Phillies at 3B and is starting to become a household name. Even though Maikel Franco had a hot stretch at the end of June into July, he is not the long-term fit for the Phillies. Bohm was the only Phillie in attendance during the Futures All-Star game. At age 22, Bohm is starting to find his stride in the minors. The former first-round draft pick started his year in Single-A Lakewood. His performance at the plate this year has resulted in him being promoted all the way to AA Reading. Through 24 games, Bohm is slashing .277/.340/.574. The highlight of Bohm’s time spent in Reading is that he has already hit seven home runs and has limited his strikeouts to 18.
The current Phillies roster will only be able to go as far as their pitching staff will allow them. Nick Pivetta and Vince Velasquez’s years of being potential starting pitchers for the Phillies may be behind them. The two pitchers that fans should be excited for – and should be untouchable in any trade -are Spencer Howard and Damon Jones.
Spencer Howard is a 6’3” right-handed starting pitcher who was drafted in the 2nd round of the 2017 draft. Howard is catching the attention of many because of his ability to strike people out. Pitching only 35 innings in Clearwater, he has already struck out 48 batters. He is the Phillies #2 prospect and 57th in all of baseball. Howard is currently rehabbing a sore shoulder but will be back in baseball action soon. He consistently throws 94-95 and could be a long term top/middle rotation fit with Nola.
Damon Jones was not on the Phillies top 30 prospect list heading into 2019. With the current woes, the starting pitching staff has gone through this season, however, he could quickly find himself on the major league roster. Jones is 6’5” left-handed starting pitcher. If the Phillies lose interest in the Drew Smyly experiment, he may be the next pitcher called up. He started the season in Clearwater and has been quickly promoted to Lehigh Valley. His K/9 for 2019 is incredibly high at 13.2.
Through 86.2 innings pitched this season, he has already struck out 127 batters. Jones has already surpassed his 2018 total of 123 strikeouts. What makes him so successful is that he has good command. He has limited himself to only 39 walks. His fastball tops at 94 mph, while also throwing a curveball, slider, and changeup.
The Phillies have a talented young core of players currently on the major league roster. For the Phillies to take the next step towards long term success, they need to continue to develop their young talent.
Featured Image: Philly.com