Around this time last year, Rhys Hoskins, Scott Kingery, and J.P. Crawford were all dominating in the minor leagues. All three players eventually got their calls to the big leagues and have not looked back.
This season, the Philadelphia Phillies are waiting for the next crop of talented minor leaguers to rise up and make their case on why they should be promoted to the next level.
Here is a quick report on how a few players in the Phillies’ minor league system are faring through the first few months of the season.
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1. Lehigh Valley (AAA), P, Tom Eshelman - The 23-year old starting pitcher is struggling this season with the IronPigs. In 11 starts, he has an ERA of 7.06 and a record of 1-5. On Saturday night, Eshelman was roughed up by the Toledo Mud Hens, only lasting ⅓ of the first inning and giving up seven earned runs.
In 51 innings pitched this season, the right-hander has surrendered 10 home runs, which is more than he gave up in 2017 (8) with Lehigh Valley.
2. Reading (AA), 1B, Darick Hall - On a lighter note, there were multiple promotions last week within the Phils’ system and Darick Hall received one of them. The 22-year old was promoted from Single-A Clearwater to Double-A Reading on Friday, after dominating Florida State League pitching.
In 48 games with the Threshers this season, Hall had a triple slash line of .277/.367/.538 plus 11 home runs and 35 RBI. Hall was drafted in the 14th round of the 2016 MLB Draft by the Phillies.
The former Dallas Baptist product could be the next good power hitting first baseman in the Phils’ system.
3. Lehigh Valley (AAA), OF, Dylan Cozens - The 24 year-old slugger received great news last week as he got called up to the big league club. Cozens replaced outfielder Rhys Hoskins, who was put on the 10-day disabled with a fractured jaw.
This season with Lehigh Valley, Cozens continued to do what he does best and that is hitting home runs. In 168 at bats, he had 10 home runs with 25 RBI, but an overwhelming 75 strikeouts.
If Cozens wants to stay with the Phillies long-term, he must cut down on the strikeouts.