Phillies prospect watch: Tom Eshelman breaking through, J.P. Crawford crumbling

As is typically the case, the news is good and bad from the Phillies farm system.
The Phillies continue to see less and less from their top prospect J.P. Crawford in the minors. (Credit/Getty Images)

It's becoming apparent that the Phillies' issues go deeper than many thought when the season first began.

 

Neither the pitching nor the hitting has been consistent, and more and more it is appearing that some of the pieces currently on the big league roster may not be long-term answers when the Phillies are able to contend again.

 

That being said, there have been some incredible performances in the minors as the Phillies' top prospects attempt to put some pressure on their major league counterparts.

 

Here's a quick look at who is hot and who is not in the Phils' farm system:

 

Who's hot?

Scott Kingery, Double-A Reading

The second baseman has been flexing his power muscles all season long, leading the Eastern League in homers with 17. He may be due for a promotion sometime soon, demonstraited by his .344 batting average over the last two weeks.

Rhys Hoskins, Triple-A Lehigh Valley

The power display continues into Triple-A with Hoskins, who has 14 homers this year after finishing in the top two in Double-A last year. He is certainly putting pressure on Phillies first baseman Tommy Joseph — a .307 batting average and 48 RBI will do that.

Nick Williams, Triple-A Lehigh Valley

Williams is also making strides in Triple-A. At 23, he has been a little slow warm up to professional pitching but he's hit .294 over his last 10 games and has a respectable .284 average this season. At the very least, continued play at this level will warrant a September call-up.

Tom Eshelman, Triple-A Lehigh Valley

Finally, some good news from a pitcher. With prospect arms Jake Thompson, Mark Appel and others struggling — just as big team arms are — Eshelman has been nothing short of brilliant over both Double and Triple-A this season. Combined, he is 7-0 with a 2.05 ERA on the year. But his performance since getting promoted has been even more impressive, as he's won his only four Lehigh Valley decisions, has a 1.38 ERA, two complete games and has allowed just one home run in more than 45 innings pitched in Triple-A.

Who's not?

Mickey Moniak, Single-A Lakewood

Philly's first overall pick last June has had an impressive start to his professional carrer, but it seems he's finally hit his first slump. He has hit just .190 over his last 10 games lowering his batting average considerably. The center fielder has also shown a glaring weakness against lefties (he is left-handed himself), hitting just .183 against them compared to his .270 clip overall.

Jorge Alfaro, Triple-A Lehigh Valley

The Phillies need help at catcher, so Alfaro will likely get a call-up this season — due in part to his defensive abilities. But offensively he has slid a but, relatively, with his average down to .264 on the year after a red-hot start.

Dylan Cozens, Triple-A Leigh Valley

A year after leading Double-A in homers, Cozens is again showing his power stroke with 14 dingers, but his hitting overall has been dreary, as he's hit just .238 this year.

J.P. Crawford, Triple-A Lehigh Valley

Will Crawford ever show the promise so many saw in him as a younger prospect? At 22, the shortstop who has been labeled as the best talent in the Philly system is hitting just .157 this year.