Two months into the season, the Phillies are the league’s biggest surprise. As a result, their youth movement has begun way before even the most optimistic fans could have imagined. After Philadelphia called up Tommy Joseph last week, many have begun to wonder which of the Phillies’ other prospects may be up next. Here is a list of the possible candidates:
Thompson is considered by many to be one of the most major-league ready prospects in Philadelphia’s farm system, and he may get to prove that within the coming weeks. After a shaky start, the 22-year-old has allowed just four earned runs in his last 27 innings pitched, and has struck out 20 batters in that same span. Thompson, who has been starting in the minors, could be used to replace Adam Morgan in the starting rotation or to help solidify a bullpen that ranks in the lower half of the league.
Crawford, the Phillies’ highly touted young shortstop, put up slightly lackluster numbers at the Double-A level this year. In 36 games, he hit just .265 and committed seven errors. However, his .398 OBP and advanced approach at the plate convinced the Phillies’ brass that he had outgrown Reading, so he was recently promoted to Triple-A. The 21-year-old still needs work with the glove, so the Phillies will be hesitant to rush him. But, now that Philadelphia is in contention, Crawford may out-grow Lehigh Valley by the time the All-Star break rolls around.
Cameron Rupp has been serviceable in his role, but Alfaro’s numbers have become hard to ignore, and he will inevitably force Philadelphia’s hand if he continues to dominate. The young catcher is hitting .358 with two homeruns and 16 RBI, while throwing out 46 percent of base runners. The front office may test him out at Triple-A first, but expect to see Alfaro sooner rather than later.
If Thompson does not get the call from the Phillies, Eflin will be the one who does. Eflin has been groomed as a starter his entire career, unlike Thompson, so he will only get an early call if Morgan continues to drop off. However, the young right-hander has been exceptional, posting a 5-0 record, to go along with a 2.36 ERA and is right on the cusp of Philadelphia’s rotation.
Considering Philadelphia recently called up Joseph, Knapp, who is a similar player, may not be up until the rosters expand later on in the season. However, if Joseph struggles, Knapp could find his way on to the roster much sooner, due to his proven bat. The Phillies rank 29th in both homeruns and runs scored, and could use the six homeruns and 19 RBI that Knapp has totaled in just 32 games.