With the Philadelphia Phillies recent struggles, many fans of the team are showing their dismay and dissatisfaction for the poor on field play. It seems like just a few years ago the Phillies were on top of the National League East with the label as the “team to beat”. However with time comes change and that couldn’t be more fitting for Ruben Amaro Jr and the Phillies.
The draft has come and gone, yet the Phillies organization is still pondering of ways to improve. Developing talent takes time but for the current Phillies core of Ryan Howard, Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley time is running out. Currently with injuries to Cody Asche and Darin Ruf along with a young bullpen full of underachievers, the Phillies do not have answers. There are several holes that the Phillies must fill before they can be considered a competitor once again.
The Phillies depth in the farm system is very thin. Whether this is from trading away prospects or missing out in the draft, the Phillies need more depth. Going into this season MLB.com, ranked three Phillies prospects in the top 100. Maikel Franco (22), Jesse Biddle (45) and J.P Crawford(87). Prospects have been hard to find for the Phils. Recent draft picks such as: Joe Savery, Anthony Hewitt and Zach Collier have not panned out.
The Phillies need immediate help especially in upgrading a bench that is hovering around .200BA collectively. Not many of the players in the minors have helped with being possible solutions. However there are two players that do stand out. Tyler Henson, who is currently playing LF and 3B with the Ironpigs has been hitting the ball well in the early season. At the moment he is 2nd on the team in SLG, OBP and AVG. Another player who stands out is outfielder Steve Susdorf. With the current outfield struggles, one can only wonder when these players will have a shot to show their potential with the big league club.
Having depth is important for any club, look at the St. Louis Cardinals and Oakland Athletics over the recent years. These two clubs are perfect examples of a deep farm system and good scouting. The Phillies do have two ways to create depth and that is by drafting better along with rebuilding via trades.
As the Phillies fall further out of contention, the question will be when is the plug pulled? When are fan favorites like Chase Utley going to be traded in order to restock the farm system with prospects? One thing is for sure and that is building a farm system is essential for winning and Ruben Amaro Jr. has failed to do that.
It does not look like help is on the horizon for this current ballclub..
photo credit: (Philly.com)