Half the MLB season is in the book, and with the Phillies more likely than not to miss the playoffs, the future will become more and more a topic of conversation as the season continues.
Here's a brief look at who's hot and who's not heading into the dog days of summer in the Phils loaded minor league system:
J.P. Crawford: Finally, Philly's top prospect is playing like it. The shortstop of the future has found his stroke in Triple-A Lehigh Valley, ripping for a .415 average in the last dozen game's he's played with five mulit-hit efforts in that span. It could be enough to earn him a ticket to South Philly. Stay tuned.
Rhys Hoskins: Hoskins has found his power stroke, batting in 17 runs in his last 10 games. He leads the Eastern League in homers and RBI, (25 and 83 respectively) and at 23, is making a compelling case for his big-league worthiness.
Jake Thompson: Thompson, one of Philly's top right-handed throwers, is making a case for a big league call up as well, boasting some red hot numbers over the last two months. In his last six decisions he is 5-1, with a 2.16 ERA over his last 10 starts. In his most recent start, back on July 6 he threw seven scoreless innings while relenting just three hits in a Lehigh valley win.
Nick Pivetta: If and when Thompson gets the big-league call, Pivetta will certainly take his place in Triple-A. The 23-year-old has emerged as the new ace in Reading and has an 8-4 record with 3.14 ERA. In his last 10 starts his numbers are even better, with an ERA of 2.65 over that span. He has allowed just three runs over his last five starts.
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Dylan Cozens: Cozens is 22 and seemingly also on the verge of breaking through into the bigs. He's hit .375 over his last 10 games and has the second most homers and RBI in the Eastern League (second to Hoskins in each category).
Mickey Moniak: The Phils' No. 1 overall pick from a month ago is fitting in nicely in the Gulf Coast League. In his first taste of professional ball he is hitting .310 in his last 10 games. He also has 10 RBI and hit his first career homer back on July 6.
Jorge Alfaro: The Phillies hope Alfaro is the catcher of the future, and his season numbers are pretty impressive as he's maintained a batting average above .300 and has a very good walk rate. However, heading into the All-Star Break, he saw a mini-slump emerge at the plate, as he's hit .250 over the last 10 games.
Nick Williams: Williams is playing OK in Triple-A. But as highly-touted a prospect as Williams is, that just won't cut it. He will almost certainly see MLB action when rosters expand to 40 in September, but has been nothing special of late, hitting .250 over his last 10 frames with just one homer.
Ben Lively: Lively is 1-2 in his last 3 decisions and has bounced back nicely, with six-innings of shutout baseball on July 8 after allowing 11 runs in back-to-back losses prior. His ERA and winning percentage have dropped, but he remains one of the best members of the Iron Pigs' staff.