Youth is creeping into the Phillies lineup, but can the team allow younger players to play everyday?
We see and hear it every year, a lot of the Phillies prospects that get talked about so much, don't accompany the team back to Philadelphia by the time the roster gets shaved down to 25 players.
The good news for the Phillies is that they now have a lot of players that have picked up the tag of 'top prospect' even though some of them aren't really on the radar for playing for the team until late in the season, once the regular season starts.
A couple of the names are: Jorge Alfaro and Andrew Knapp. Both showed promise that Spring Training season, but there are only 25 spots to fill and the team for now doesn't think that these guys deserve one of those spots. Of course both of these guys are catchers, and the Phillies don't seem to have a shortage of fairly good catchers anymore. They invited a ton of them to Spring Training.
In years past, we've heard the name, Darin Ruf. What a great prospect he was, and the Phillies dangled him between the big club and the minors far too often. They never really gave him a chance to put in a full season or two to show what he has. Now, he is 29 years old, in many fan's eyes he has been mismanaged. Here's a guy that was on fire in the minors, and in international league play and never really got the proper chance to play everyday.
That's one of the fears that I have when I hear the word 'prospect' in the same sentence as the word 'Phillies.' Mike Trout would probably still be in the minors if he was a Phillies player, not given a chance to get up on the big club and show what he has shown.
Maybe those days are gone now as the old regime of Ruben Amaro Jr. and Pat Gillick are out, and the newcomers are in. It just doesn't seem like any player on the Phillies comes up to play on the big club at 24 or less anymore.