The Phillies need offense. That’s a given. The team’s OPS fell from .690 in 2013 to .665 this year. The National League average OPS was .694. They hit 15 fewer home runs this year than last year. The team’s batting average was a puny .242, a drop of six points from 2013.
I could on and on but you get the point. Just go to Baseball Reference for the sad details or if you watched the Phillies this year you know what I am talking about. The Phillies need help at the bat.
Help at the bat is on the way in a couple of years if the Instructs game against the Pirates is any indication. Yes, the Phillies Instructs had only four hits but they were all by three very important prospects: switch hitting catcher Andrew Knapp, right handed hitting Rhys Hoskins and left handed hitting center fielder Aaron Brown.
Knapp was the most impressive player on the field yesterday. Not only did he hit a one hop ground rule double over the .401 sign in center at Bright House Field, See Here, but he threw out two runners trying to steal second, both great throws. This season at Lakewood he hit .290 with a .792 OPS.
Hoskins has been the big power hitter at instructs. On Wednesday in the intersquad game he hit a long home run off the back wall of the bullpen in left. In yesterday’s game he double down the line in right SEE HERE and singled. In an earlier instructs game he put one up on the Tiki Bar roof in left. At Williamsport this season he hit .245 with a .720 OPS. He looks poised to have a big year in 2015.
Brown looks like the center fielder of the future. Yesterday, he lined a triple to the gap in right center SEE HERE and showed his speed on his way to third. After his promotion from Williamsport he hit .309 with a .812 OPS in 14 games to end the season at Lakewood.
These three guys belong in Clearwater next year with the Threshers. They are the Phillies offense of the future.
While talking about the future what about that Grenny Cumana who was playing second base yesterday. On one play he went far to his right up middle behind second base with the ball appearing to be headed to center. But Grenny snatched it up with his back to first, turned in one motion with his strong arm and threw a one hop strike to first which surprised Hoskins who was not at the bag or the runner would have been out. Mark down Cumana as quickly becoming the top second base prospect in the system. With Grenny at second and J.P. Crawford at short they would not let anything through in the middle infield.
Though the Phillies Instructs team lost 5-1, I saw four major league prospects catching, at first, second and in center yesterday who give hope that the future is bright for the Phillies.