Phillies prospect watch: J.P. Crawford breaking slump, Scott Kingery stays red-hot
The Phillies appear to have several big league-ready prospects making convincing cases in Triple-A.
With the Phillies stuck in the mud and seemingly destined to lose more than 100 games for the second time in three seasons, the time has never been better to turn our eyes toward the future.
It appears the Phils are a few years away from contending, which means many of the future stars for the Philadelphia organization are currently being tutored through the minor leagues.
Here is a brief look at a few of the more interesting players in the farm system, and how they have fared in recent weeks:
Scott Kingery, Triple-A Lehigh Valley
Remember this name. Kingery is the hottest hitter in the Phillies farm system and was called up from Double to Triple-A this week. He has collected four hits in three games for the Iron Pigs for a .308 average early in his Triple-A career. A career that may not last long, as cries for him to step to the big league were answered with his call-up. He hit .313 with 18 homers and 44 RBI in 69 games in Reading.
Nick Williams, Triple-A Lehigh Valley
After a relative down year in 2016 (hitting just .258, a minors career low) the 23-year-old slugging prospect seems to be getting more comfortable in the highest minor league level, hitting .277 through three months this season. He's finally found the power stroke he was acquired for, tallying 15 homers and 44 RBI thus far.
J.P. Crawford, Triple-A Lehigh Valley
This hot-or-not list is completely relative, as demonstrated by the Phils top prospect Crawford and his .207 season average. Why is the shortstop on the hot list? well, he was hitting .194 two weeks ago and has lifted his average thanks to a .293 clip over the last 10 games.
Tom Eshelman, Triple-A Lehigh Valley
Eshelman is the pitching equivalent of Kingery, crushing the opposition in the minor leagues. He's allowed just 17 runs over his last 71 innings good for a 2.15 ERA in that span. For the year, he is 9-2 with a 2.43 ERA in Reading and Lehigh Valley.
Micky Moniak, Single-A Lakewood
The No. 1 overall pick last summer has hit a wall of sorts in Lakewood, as the 19-year-old outfielder has hit just .237 over his last 10 games. A home run and three-hit night on Tuesday seemed to be a bright spot before another 0-for-4 performance Wednesday following. On the year, Moniak is hitting .272 with 29 RBI.
Jorge Alfaro, Triple-A Lehigh Valley
The Phillies had high hopes that Alfaro would emerge as the big league-ready catcher they desperately need on their MLB roster. But after a fantastic season in 2016, he has had issues at the plate, stuck in a slump that sees him hitting .182 over his last 10 contests and .256 overall.
Dylan Cozens, Triple-A Lehigh Valley.
A player blasting 18 homers and 51 RBI would usually be cause for excitement among baseball fans. But a .237 batting average has relegated Cozens into late-career Ryan Howard territory as the hitter seems to be unable to hit for anything but power.
Jake Thompson, Triple-A Lehigh Valley
The Phils expected better from gunslinging hurler Jake Thompson, one of the centerpieces of the Cole Hamels trade, but he's been unable to keep hitters at bay in Triple-A. He is 2-5 with a 5.26 ERA over his last 10 starts,