The uncertainty of the Phillies season has almost hit its peak. In a push to the playoffs, the next week will be telling. The Phillies have a few options down in the minors that could help the team should Matt Klentak balk at the trading deadline.
The fact of the matter is that the Phillies really don’t have a lot to offer in the system. With the exception of a few players, the Phillies never have drafted well. A not so fun fact, in the 2013 MLB draft, the Phillies drafted Andrew Knapp ahead of both Cody Bellinger and Jeff McNeil.
Lehigh Valley IronPigs
The IronPigs currently sit in nine games back of first place in their division. They are three games below .500. The pitching issues have hit the IronPigs as hard as the Phillies as their starting pitching has not been solid. As the Phillies look for help and based on Andy MacPhail’s comments that suggest they won’t be buyers at the deadline, they may look to Lehigh Valley for bench help. Let’s look at some hep that could bolster the bench.
Two of the top three hitters in Lehigh Valley have spent time in the majors and have done much. Nick Williams and Phill Gosselin haven’t produced. Coming in third place is Austin Listi. Listi is currently listed as a right fielder, but also plays first and could possibly be used in left field.
Listi is batting .338 in Allentown with an on-base percentage of .430 and a slugging percentage of .651. He has belted 8 home runs with 29 RBI. Listi was promoted to Lehigh Valley this season. Over the last ten games, he is hitting 13 for 38 for a .342 average. The interesting fact is that the Texas native is hitting better know at AAA then he did in AA Reading.
Next up we look at the backup catcher situation. Andrew Knapp is just not playing well. There is a significant drop off when between Knapp and J.T. Realmuto. There is an answer to the problem who is playing in Allentown, Deivy Grullon.
The 23-year-old from the Dominican Republic is hitting .300 in 75 games at Lehigh Valley. He has an OBP of .350 and Slugging percent of .502. Grullon has hit 13 home runs and batted in 55 runs. At one point he has hit a homer in 4 straight games. Given the struggles of Knapp, I’d rather have Grullon coming off of the bench. The only issue is that he needs plate appearances and backing up Realmuto, who seemingly plays every day, maybe leaving him in AAA is the smarter choice. On the other hand don’t the Phillies have enough bad hitters on the bench?
Reading Fightin Phils
The Fightins are in the middle of a playoff push. They currently lead the division by 4.5 games for the second half of the season. Because Reading is primed to make a playoff run, Klentak may hold off on any call ups and allow the young players to get valuable playoff experience.
Two names being thrown around as trade pieces are Mickey Moniak and Alec Bohm. Here are the results on a recent twitter poll:
As of this writing, the results were Moniak and Bohm at 42% and Haseley at 15%. Personally, I wouldn’t part with any of them. I think all three have the potential to be very good major league players with Bohm being the best of them.
The Case of Moniak
It’s easy to see that some fans are ready to give up on Moniak. Being the number 1 overall pick, expectations were that he should have made the Phillies roster by now. Moniak is improving albeit not as quickly as some would hope. Couple that with the fact that Haseley, who was drafted a year later, is playing for the Phillies every day has fans ready to trade Moniak.
The fact is Moniak is improving at the AA level. His numbers are getting better every year as he moves up a level. His stat line of .270/ .331/ .446 is an improvement from his time in single-A ball. Moniak already has career highs in walks and triples and if he keeps this pace he will have career highs in hits, doubles, homers, and RBI. I wouldn’t give up on Moniak just yet.
Bryson Stott Update
This year’s first-round pick, Stott, has had an impressive start to his professional career. The shortstop is hitting .361 with a .465 OBP and a slugging percentage of .750. He has 13 hits in 36 at-bats. Stott has hit 3 homers, 2 triples and 1 double and driven in 7 runs and has also been perfect in the field as well. The future looks bright for this young player.