Despite the Phillies (46-79) having one of baseball’s worst records so far this season, there have been some bright spots in the midst of the losing and bad play that has plagued the 2017 Phillies. Throughout this season, players have been getting called up from Triple A Lehigh Valley to get a shot at making their mark at the major league level.
It began with Nick Williams, a 23-year-old outfielder who was part of the package received when the team traded star pitcher Cole Hamels to the Texas Rangers a few years ago. Williams made his debut for the Phillies on June 30, and he never looked back. In 46 games, Williams has compiled a .288/.353/.494 slash line to go with seven home runs and 26 RBIs. He has proven himself to be a solid outfielder who can hit for some power and average.
Catcher Jorge Alfaro was the next player to get the call, albeit due to an injury to catcher Andrew Knapp (who is currently on the 10-day disabled list). Alfaro was struggling at Triple A this season, hitting .241 with seven homers and 43 RBIs, before getting the opportunity to play at the major league level this season. However, his time in the majors in 2017 has been one to make fans excited. In nine games, Alfaro has hit .324 with one home run and four RBIs. The 24 year old was projected to be one of the main pieces that the Phillies got back in the Cole Hamels trade, and it appears that he is finally beginning to show some promise for the Phillies.
Last, but certainly not least, came first baseman Rhys Hoskins. Over the past couple of years, Hoskins has been one of the Phillies best hitters in their farm system. Last season at Double A, Hoskins hit .281 with 38 home runs and 116 RBIs. In 115 games at Triple A this season before being called up, he continued to tear the cover off of the baseball, hitting .284 with 29 homers and 91 RBIs. Hoskins was doing everything that the Phillies wanted to see, but the team has Tommy Joseph (.239 AVG, 18 homers, 60 RBIs) at first base. A log jam occurred at first base, resulting in Hoskins getting some time in left field. A few games later, Hoskins was promoted to the majors.
Playing as both a left fielder and first baseman, Hoskins took some time to get himself acquainted with the majors. After a slow start at the plate, Hoskins began tearing the cover off of the baseball. Hoskins, through 14 games, has compiled a .271/.407/.729 slash line to go with an incredible seven home runs and 16 RBIs. The Phillies were originally hitting Hoskins towards the bottom of the order, but it didn’t take manager Pete Mackanin long to start hitting Hoskins fourth in the order.
Nick Williams, Jorge Alfaro and Rhys Hoskins are just the beginning, the Phillies farm system is still stacked with young talent at all levels. In the coming years, some of these players will be called up and given a chance to prove themselves at the major league level. For now, the core three players of Williams, Alfaro, and Hoskins will be making their marks for the Phillies, giving plenty of reason for excitement about the Phillies’ future.
Mandatory Photo Credit: Gregory Bull/Associated Press